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Friday, January 30, 2015

Cashew Chicken

What do I do when there's almost 2 feet of snow on the ground ?

Other than spend my time in the kitchen cooking Cashew Chicken?

I watch my dogs play in the snow, of course.  Notice how I didn't say play together. 

Gus runs, Clyde tries to keep up until he gives up.

He then decides to lie down on the warm, cozy bed of snow. And occupy himself with the old standby, a stick to chew on.  

Until I chime in and say, "Clyde!  That's soooo not good for you!"

"Hmmph??  You wanna try and catch me so that you can take it away from me?"

"Didn't think so, hehe."

Today's recipe, Cashew Chicken, is really fast and easy to make.  Like, 15 minutes from start to finish fast.

Unless you're cooking it with kids, that is, which is what I did last night when we taped an episode of the cooking show.  In that case, it was fun and easy.  But I'll save that post for another day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Baked French Toast

When I woke up this morning, I was relieved to see that it had finally stopped snowing.  

7 a.m. this morning, Clyde the party animal was his usual "Yee-Haw!" self.  Gus was like, "It's too early, kid."

Strange, isn't it, how easily I embrace imaginary dog conversations now that my kids aren't around?

They don't even look like they're part of the same conversation in this picture.  Gus looks like he's had enough of the cold and Clyde looks like he's still ready for his close-up.

I decided to make today's recipe, Baked French Toast, because I wanted to use up a package of rolls that I had in my freezer.  It's a perfect breakfast for a snowy day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Italian Wedding Soup

We finally got some snow this weekend.


And now the forecasters are predicting another another 2 to 3 feet is on the way, starting this afternoon.

I hope they're wrong!

Clyde has no idea what we're in for.

It's going to be hard to wag that tail, buddy, when it's buried in snow.

Today's recipe is a PERFECT soup for a snowy day!  Meatballs, cheese, escarole--a wedding of flavors that go together so well.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pizza Cooking Show

We filmed another episode of the cooking show last week.


My friend,  Jay, cooked with me.

I had all sorts of toppings & cheeses ready, and we prepared fresh pesto and a simple red sauce.

For the simple red sauce: 

Sauté 1 small chopped onion and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until soft and just beginning to caramelize.  

Add one 14-oz can of tomato sauce (your choice, I prefer a thin, runny sauce--which thickens up as the sauce simmers--but if you like a thick or chunky pizza sauce use canned diced tomatoes or tomato puree).  

When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken while you prepare your pizza dough.

We made two types of pizza dough.  

A quick dough which requires no yeast (and thus no rise time).  Mix it, knead it, bake it.  

Jay declared it "a game changer."

Here's the pizza he made with the quick dough.  He called it a "Grilled Cheese and Tomato" pizza, very simply topped with shredded mozzarella and diced plum tomatoes.

The rest of our pizzas were made with my favorite homemade pizza dough.

I put together a Chicken/Pesto pizza with mushrooms.  I spread some pesto on the crust, then added some chicken.  I covered it all with shredded fontina and a little bit of Parmesan.  And mushrooms.

My favorite corner, with the mushrooms.

Jay created a Meatlover's Pizza, topped with pepperoni and sliced meatballs.

I decided to go half and half with this pizza:  pepperoni and shredded mozzarella on one half, and sliced fresh mozzarella on the other half.

Jay also made a "little bit of everything" pizza which I neglected to get a close-up picture of.  I think it had chicken and chopped tomatoes on one half and meatballs and fresh mozzarella on the other half.  And shredded mozzarella, fontina and Parmesan sprinkled on top.

You can click on the highlighted links above for the pesto and quick crust recipes, and here is the recipe for my favorite pizza dough:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Southwestern Chicken Soup

I was looking for some cooking inspiration, so I decided to check out a listing of national food holidays.  Did you know that just about every day of the year is a specific food holiday?

As it turns out, today (January 13) is National Peach Melba Day.

Huh.  No offense, peach melba lovers, but I don't exactly feel inspired.

However, while I was on the national food holidays website, I did notice that January is National Soup Month.  This is something I can work with.

After all, I had some leftover Chicken Tortellini Soup for lunch today.

There's a pot of lentil soup simmering on my stove top as I type this, and my daughters have both requested (ahem, begged) me to PLEASE make some broccoli cheddar soup ASAP.

Recipes for all of the above-mentioned soups can be found by clicking on the links.

If there is a such a thing as a go-to soup, the recipe I am going to give you today, Southwestern Chicken Soup, is my go-to soup.  Don't be afraid to change things up, if you don't like sweet potatoes use a white potato or rice or noodles or pasta.  

Don't omit the cumin, lime or cilantro, however!  It's what makes it Southwestern!  And the chopped avocado & Monterey Jack sprinkled on top takes it over the top, in my opinion.