Monthly Archives: January 2014

Skinny Creamy Tomato Soup

skinny creamy tomato soup

Ok, so by now you know I love tomatoes.  I love soup.  I am trying to eat as lean and mean as possible.  This soup takes care of all that.  Creamy (without heavy cream with a sub of low-fat cream cheese), the shallots and sherry add that extra punch of flavor you need.  I <3 this soup! Continue reading Skinny Creamy Tomato Soup

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes

One of my favorite side dishes and also one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes during the winter when I am missing my favorite fresh tomatoes from Wilson’s farm.  They get a little sweeter when you roast them and they are the perfect side for Roasted Chicken or Roast Beef.

You could also make it a quick pasta sauce.  If doing that, add 2 extra Tbsp olive oil to the pan to create the sauce.  Cook the pasta until al dente, drain but reserve one cup of the pasta water.  Put the pasta back in the pan, add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Add more pasta water if needed.  Sprinkle some chopped basil and you have a great pasta dish! Continue reading Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Butternut Leek Soup

butternut leek soup

I love this soup recipe. The combination of the roasted butternut with the leeks and ginger is fantastic.  I don’t usually do the fried Leek garnish, but last night Bill and I went out to dinner and his appetizer had these beautiful tasty little fried leeks on it, and when Bill saw the leeks on my cutting board, he asked if I was making fried leeks and I said, good idea!  They will make my picture look pretty.

As quality control I had to have a bowl before I finished this post and I can tell you, the little crispy fried leeks are totally worth it!  :) Continue reading Butternut Leek Soup

Chicken Marsala

chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala, a classic dish but too often at a restaurant the sauce leaves me feeling ripped off.  Bland.  Sorry but there is nothing worse than a wasted restaurant meal.  You know what I am talking about.  When  you order the wrong thing and it stinks which in most cases your companion ordered the right thing………you know what I am talking about!

Anyway, I digress.  When  I saw this recipe I knew the sauce would be great as it has prosciutto in it.  Salty, smoky prosciutto.  The only change I made was to add shallots.  I cannot seem to make a recipe without some type of onion in it, sorry.  I will say the amount of sauce this made was better for 2, than 4, so next time I will probably double the sauce.  If you do double, just remember it will take longer to reduce.  I served mine on a tiny bit of spaghetti.  Delish! Continue reading Chicken Marsala

Chipotle Chili

chipotle chili

Chili, is there anything better on a cold winter night than a piping hot bowl of Chili?  I posted my age-old favorite Chili recipe a while ago.  That is my go to Chili recipe but when I saw this one in Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh, I knew I had to try it.  You see, I LOVE Chipotle Chilis.  Love, love, love them.  I like it hot.  The original recipe had you add 2 Chipotle peppers.  I started with 3 and ended up with 5 :).   I also added the tomato paste and brown sugar as it needed a little sweetness to balance the chilis.  Other than that, I was pretty true to the recipe.  When I served mine I added avocado, low-fat sour cream, a little cheddar cheese, raw red onion and a few big spoons of  hot sauce which Bill found a little perplexing.  I told you I like it hot!  :)

I have had this cookbook for a while, but recently spent some time going through it again and have about 20 recipes tagged with a stick it note.  The recipes are all meant for quick, healthy weeknight dinners, so you will see more of them here for sure! Continue reading Chipotle Chili

Balsamic Roasted Chicken

balsamic roasted chicken whole

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simple Italian Food by Mario Batali.  He says it’s one of his favorite things to make on a Sunday for Family dinner and I agree.  There is something so festive about making a whole chicken, it’s just comforting.  By the way, the leftover onions, pan juices and carcass make a kick ass chicken stock like no other.  The pan juices create their own sauce, all you do is strain the fat out of it.  That’s due to the 2 secret weapons, a parmesan rind and bacon.  His recipe has you use a proscuitto rind but I am pretty sure you don’t have one of those sitting in your fridge right now, so the bacon fits the bill.  :)  Someone once said to me that “Bacon is the duck tape of food”, how perfect is that? Continue reading Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Braised Pork Roast

braised pork

I went to a cooking class at Rialto on Sunday.  It was great.  Jody Adams is the chef and she is a very interesting woman, besides being an amazing chef.  The topic was braising and she prepared 3 dishes, then you sit down and enjoy all the dishes with a wine pairing.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!

So, she made a braised pork belly on a citrus salad that was so amazing, I have been dreaming about it.  No sheeps for me falling asleep this week, pork belly ….pork belly….It will be on the menu for my Fall Dinner party next year.

Yesterday I had a 3 pound pork loin roast (Under $6) and I decided I would braise it.  Braising is such a great way to add flavor to any cut of meat or some veggies (think leeks).  It is a moist cooking method that creates a luscious sauce (ok, now you know why I love braising!).

This the basic method:  Sear the braising subject.  Remove and carmelize braising veg in same pot.  Add liquid (beer, wine, stock, combo), return braising subject to pot.  Add water if needed so liquid comes a third of the way up, cover and finish in oven for hours.  Take out and enjoy the luscious sauce with braising liquid.  You can also finish braise in a crock pot but you must sear the subject and veg first, that is the main flavoring. Continue reading Braised Pork Roast

Hamersly’s Roasted Chicken with Garlic & Lemon

Hamersly's roasted garlic chicken This is it.  This the recipe that started my cooking journey.  I had just started dating Bill and I was going to make him dinner.  I can remember it now, I was at the Star Market on Mt. Auburn in Watertown, and In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs caught my eye.  I picked it up, saw the Gordon Hamersley recipe for the Roasted Chicken, bought the ingredients and went to town.

The cook book is great for a beginner, the way it lays out the recipes and there are a lot of pictures, which I love.  I was able to follow the directions and I could not believe the end result.  Not only did it look just like the picture but it tasted like a restaurant quality dish.  Bill was impressed.  I was giddy inside.  He assumed that was no big deal and that is the way I cooked normally (I let him keep thinking that), I got addicted to cooking magazines, cook books and cooking shows.  Fast forward 18 years and I am the author of my own food blog.  All thanks to falling in love!  xo

ps…..Hamersley’s Bistro is a 20-year-old Boston Institution and this recipe is still on the menu.  Yes, it’s that good! Continue reading Hamersly’s Roasted Chicken with Garlic & Lemon