Category Archives: Eat/Cook/Learn

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Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers

That’s a long title.  Say that 5 times fast.   No, really, do it.  I’ll wait…

…Ha!  That was hilarious.  You’re a funny person.

Today has been a myriad of ups and downs.  I’m still on vacation, +1.  The fence won’t be finished for days yet so our yard is still a construction zone and our dogs can’t roam freely as they’d like, -1.  Paul came over for dinner and games, +1.  Paul smashed his iPad in our driveway, -1.  We had these chicken skewers for dinner, + 1.  I forgot to make rice to go with them, -1.  We had arugula salad though, +1!  It was 90 degrees outside…+/- 0.  The skewers were delicious, +1.  Tally….whew! I’m in the black today.

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

I may have gone a little skewer-crazy, today.  I also made skewers of cherry tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, baby eggplants brushed with olive oil, zucchini and red onion and grilled them on salt blocks.  They turned out quite nicely as well.  It got a little hot in the 90F degree heat standing in front of the grill but it was worth the extra tan :).

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Enjoy!

Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers

Ingredients

  • 4 medium to large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 1 pound paneer cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt plus extra for dipping
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tsp habanero powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 metal skewers

Instructions

    Chicken version
  1. Cut chicken breasts into 12 strips, lengthwise (about three strips per breast). Put the chicken into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  2. In a medium-sized bow, mix together the yogurt, lime juice, paprika, habanero powder and salt. If habanero is too spicy for you, you can substitute a different chile powder or skip it altogether and increase the amount of paprika.
  3. Spoon the yogurt mixture into the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and squish it around until all of the chicken is coated with the yogurt mixture. Put the bag in the fridge and let it marinate for about 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Brush your grill with oil or spray and set it to a medium high heat. Thread the chicken strips onto the metal skewers, two strips per skewer, one right after the other. Place the skewers on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and a nice crust has developed--about 7-8 minutes per side.
  5. Serve alongside a bowl of greek yogurt for dipping.
  6. Paneer Version
  7. Cut the paneer into 1" cubes. Place cubes in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  8. Follow steps 2-5, only cut the cooking time down to 5 minutes per side.

Notes

I didn't have any cumin, but I think a couple teaspoons added in would be divine. Also an optional spritz of lime, if that's your thing. We served this over an arugula salad, but I think a saffron and tomato rice dish would also fare nicely.

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/07/spicy-greek-yogurt-and-lime-marinated-chicken-or-paneer-skewers/

Grilled Peaches

Jalapeno-stuffed, bacon wrapped cheddar dogs and grilled peaches à la mode

I am on vacation.  From my main job, anyway.  Sadly, there won’t be any beach or Mediterranean abode or even a lot of relaxation.  There’s a lot to do–a new fence being built (yay!), garden beds to replant after being tramped while the fence was being built (boo!), storage spaces to clean, committee meetings to go to, a zoo to visit.  But at least there won’t be any boredom…?

Remember when summer vacation was actually…a vacation?

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Oh well.  At least I’ll get a lot of good stuff done and this “vacation” was definitely started off right.  I got at least one proper, full relaxation day in, though.  Slept in, laid around, watched tv (a Psych marathon if you’re interested), had a mini cookout with friend and watched a movie.  I won’t go into detail about my feelings on the movie we watched (Oz The Great and Powerful)–I hated it but that’s ok.  Because at least while watching it, I got to eat good food.

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

Stuffed Cheddar Dog

First of all, jazzed up hot dogs from Biercamp, an artisanal charcuterie in town.  Their sausages are delicious enough, but we decided to kick it up another notch….so we split them in half, stuffed them with sliced jalapenos, wrapped them with Biercamp peppered bacon, grilled them, served them on Zingerman’s buns and smothered them with shredded sharp cheddar.  There should have been grilled, buttered onions on top too but sadly, I forgot to make them.  I know.  I know.  I’m working on forgiving myself.

Mexican Corn

Mexican Corn

 

Alongside those hot dogs, we had Mexican street corn–you know, grilled corn on the cob slathered with a “crema,” or essentially, mayo, sour cream and lime juice, and rolled in parmesan and chile powder.  Pretty good, I will say.  We also sampled a bit of this week’s Champagne Wednesday cocktail, too.

Dessert was also fabulous: grilled peaches with vanilla bean gelato and balsamic glaze.  More specifically and food porn-ingly, we brushed halved, fresh peaches with butter, ground cinnamon and brown sugar, grilled them on either side and served them in cocktail glasses with a scoop of Talenti vanilla bean gelato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.

Grilled Peaches

Grilled Peaches

Yeah baby.  Just thinking about it makes my muscles feel all soft and happy.

The meal in general went a long way to soothe frustrations I have about how ridiculously difficult it’s been to get our fence replaced.  I mean, endless paperwork and permits and days of construction and blah.  But it’s ok because peaches.  Peaches.

The Stuffed Cheddar Dogs Non-Recipe

Ingredients

  • Hot dogs
  • Fresh whole jalapeño peppers
  • Bacon---and not "Canadian bacon" either
  • Buns
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Grilled buttered onions
  • Any other hot dog toppings you like

Instructions

  1. Carefully slit each hot dog down the middle lengthwise, being careful not to cut the hot dog all the way in half. You basically just want to create a little pocket in the center.
  2. Cut the jalapeño in half. For two hot dogs, I used about a third of a large jalapeño, because we like things spicy. Adjust accordingly for your quantity and preference. Slice the jalapeños into thin slices crosswise. Stuff as many slices into the hot dogs as you like.
  3. Wrap a slice of bacon around each hot dog. You'll probably need two slices to wrap from top to bottom. Seal the slices with tooth picks to keep them from unraveling, or tuck the ends into the strips.
  4. Grill the hot dogs as you normally would until heated through, and the bacon is crispy.
  5. Put a hotdog into a good quality bun, and top with any other toppings you like--ketchup, relish, mustard, etc--and finally smother it in cheddar cheese. Place under a broiler for a minute to melt the cheese a bit.
  6. If you'd like to add the buttered onions, what I usually do is thinly slice an onion and pile it into the center of a good-sized piece of tinfoil. Place a big pat of butter in the center of the onions, pull the corners of the tinfoil together and tightly wrap into a little package. Put the package on the grill while you get the hot dogs ready, or for about 10 minutes, then pull them off. Put 'em on your dogs.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes

Obviously, this can be scaled up or down pretty easily for however many hot dogs you need to make.

Also, if you don't like hot dogs, try bratwursts or any other kind of sausage.

Works for veggie dogs, too! Although without the bacon obviously...ribbons of zucchini might work though!

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/07/first-day-of-vacation-stuffed-cheddar-dogs-and-grilled-peaches-a-la-mode/

Grilled Peaches à la Mode with Balsamic Glaze

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches
  • 2 tablespoons butter,softened
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scoops vanilla bean gelato or ice cream

Instructions

    Prepare the balsamic glaze:
  1. Pour the vinegar into a small pot and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. You want a thickened but not stiff consistency that fully coats the back of a spoon. You can start this about 10-15 minutes before you cook the peaches. If it finishes first, turn off the heat and let it sit. It will stiffen a bit and may lighten in color but if so, just give it a good stir.
  2. Prepare the peaches:
  3. Cut the first peach in half from tip to tip. Keep the knife still, but turn the peace 360 degrees. Then grab both halves of the peach and twist in opposite directions to disconnect them. Remove the pits. Repeat this process for each subsequent peach.
  4. Brush the inside (flesh side) of each peach half with about a quarter tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle it with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and half a tablespoon of brown sugar. Pat the sugar down so it sticks.
  5. Turn your grill onto about medium heat. Place the peaches flesh-side up on the grill and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred and soft.
  6. Put the dish together
  7. Put one peach half in a small bowl, or be super-fancy and use a wide-bottom cocktail glass. Put a scoop of vanilla gelato on top. Drizzle it with a tablespoon or two of the balsamic glaze and top with another peach half. Repeat for each peach.
  8. To eat: Put on your fancy face, lift your pinky and enjoy.

Notes

This is also easy to scale up or down. Basically, one peach per person, each peach gets 1/4 tbsp of butter, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 scoop of ice cream and however much glaze you want.

Also might be good to add: whipped cream with a slight bit of cinnamon added, or chopped, salted nuts.

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/07/first-day-of-vacation-stuffed-cheddar-dogs-and-grilled-peaches-a-la-mode/

slowrosemarychicken-3

Rosemary Chicken

I don’t know about where you are but it is super hot, humid and rainy in Michigan.  Hot and humid enough that you don’t want to use the oven.  Rainy enough that you can’t grill and your herb garden is exploding…in fact, I think my oregano plant may have eaten one of the neighborhood children.

So that’s when I turn to one of the greatest inventions of mankind: pizza delivery.  Just kidding, I really mean the slowcooker.  And I know that we often think of the slowcooker as a winter-meal-generator and mostly useful for heavy comfort food, but really, you get out of it what you put into it.

ingredient collage

Literally.  What goes into the slowcooker comes out of the slowcooker, only better and more moist.  (I wrote “moister” there the first time, I did.)  And it can be light and summery, and use up all those fresh herbs you’ve got in your yard….or the ones you found in the produce section of the grocery store.  This dish packs a lot of bright, delicious flavor for what ends up being very little effort on your part.  Chicken, pancetta, rosemary (though you could substitute thyme or fresh oregano).  It takes about 10 minutes to put together—all you have to do is slice a few things and layer them in your slow cooker. Less time to cook, more time to fight off the mosquitos.

slowrosemarychicken-5

Rosemary Chicken

Yield: About 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 breast each

Ingredients

  • 4 split chicken breasts (or about 3lbs)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and whole
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2oz pancetta,diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine)

Instructions

  1. Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on top of the onions. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, pancetta, rosemary and lemon juice.
  3. Cook for 8 hours on low heat.
http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/07/rosemary-chicken/

 

 

Great Google+ Communities for Food Lovers

There are some great Google+ communities for people who love to grow, make and eat great food.  The problem with some G+ communities, though, is obscene of amounts of blogspam.  Here are a few of my favorite that are actually full of interesting conversation with other people and not just links.

Enchilada Poblano Burger

Spicy Enchilada Poblano Black Bean Burger

Spicy Enchilada Poblano Black Bean Burger.  That’s a long name.  It’s a solid name.  It’s weighty with deliciousness.  It sprang forth from the communion of two of my dear loves: black bean burgers and enchiladas.

Here’s the thing about black bean burgers: sometimes I love the idea of making my own delicious, spicy black bean burgers from scratch.  But other times…most times, really….almost all times, I don’t have the energy or the time or the desire to mold soft beans with my hands.  So then I turn to the next best thing: Morningstar’s frozen black bean burgers.

I’m not a fan of frozen beef burgers.  But veggie and black bean burger patties seem to do pretty well frozen.  I like that I can grill them like regular burgers and get a bit of that fire-kissed, smoky flavor going on, or I can fry them in a skillet at my house because I live in Michigan and we only have so much “grilling weather” to go around.  They’re ready in minutes and they are delicious.  They actually have flavor!  FLAVOR!

Enchilada Poblano Burger

But anyway, I have this disease, it’s called “Enchiladosis*.”  Essentially, every time I hear the phrase “black beans,” I immediately begin to salivate and crave black bean and poblano enchiladas.  Some days it’s not so bad; I can get to the market or to a nearby Mexican restaurant and satisfy my craving before it gets too terrible, but some days it can be pretty bad.  I mean, we had friends over for gaming last night.  You can’t game and eat enchiladas at the same time!  That’s madness!  It’s messy!  No, you need a hand-held meal for board game night and sadly, enchiladas are a fork-and-knifer.

But it’s ok, because I have found a treatment for Enchiladosis, so all of its long-suffering victims can rejoice.  Enchilada flavor in a delicious, meatless, hand-held format: the spicy enchilada poblano black bean burger.

Just say the words.  Just breathe it in.  Even the words have flavor.  Delightfully, it’s super easy to make a bunch of these at once, too, whether you can get to a grill or not.  And for you skeptical meat-eaters, trust me: this is a delicious burger in its own right and you will be thoroughly satisfied.

There recipe below makes 2 burgers, but is easily scaled up for more.  I also included some notes on possible additions or substitutions.  Enjoy!

 

*This isn’t really a thing.  But it should be.

Spicy Enchilada Poblano Black Bean Burger

Yield: 2 burgers, mucho deliciousness

Ingredients

  • 2 Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers
  • 1 large poblano pepper, fire-roasted, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons enchilada sauce, plus more to serve with
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese or 2 oz grated chihuahua cheese or 2 slices of your favorite vegan cheese
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced and divided
  • 2 tbsps fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 buns
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, divided

Instructions

  1. Cook the Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers according to package direction, but I highly recommend grilling. Near the end of the cooking time, lay one slice of pepperjack cheese (or 1 oz grated chihuahua or 1 slice of vegan cheese) on top of each patty and let melt.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of ground cumin on the inside of each bun. Lay the buns on the grill until lightly toasted.
  3. Assemble the burger: on the bottom bun for each burger, lay half the fire roasted poblano, 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce (or more if desired), 1 slice of red onion, the Morningstar black bean burger, half of the avocado, and 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Place the top bun on top.
  4. Serve the burgers with extra enchilada sauce for dipping, plus salsa and tortilla chips on the side. Nom.

Notes

Possible extra toppings:

* Swap the poblano for roasted red pepper if you'd like it less spicy * Try adding a couple spoonfuls of fire roasted corn salad * Swap out the enchilada sauce for salsa verde * Add a spritz of lime to the avocado

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/07/spicy-enchilada-poblano-black-bean-burger/

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Nuts, and Making the Meals the Universe Wants You To Make

I blame Emily Dingmann.  A day after looking through this interesting Learnist board she’d created on fancy nut butters, my husband brought home, completely on his own, a jar of spicy peanut butter.  Today, I had nothing in the house to make a real dinner with except a package of chicken, some butter lettuce, bell pepper and….that jar of spicy peanut butter.  Clearly, the universe was compelling me to make peanut chicken wraps.  Clearly.

Sadly, I don’t have an actual recipe to share with you.  I can tell you that I heated canola oil and a tablespoon of Chinese 5-spice powder in a pan and then fried died chicken in it, added half a diced onion and one diced bell pepper, and a couple chopped leaves of basil.  Then I added a big scoop of spicy peanut butter, thinned it out a bit with chicken stock until it coated the chicken mixture without being too runny, and served it in lettuce cups with chopped peanuts and some chives from my garden.  That was about it.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Despite what this blog and my Evernote recipe notebook might lead you to believe, most of my cooking doesn’t involve recipes at all.  It just involves me saying, “Hm, what should I eat?”, perusing the refrigerator and cupboards, finding a few ingredients and thinking, “Yeah that seems good” and just sort of throwing things together.  I never think much of it; chances are you do the same thing.  But I do often get questions and exclamations of wonderment from friends and acquaintances who aren’t as comfortable just throwing culinary paint at the wall, as it were.  “How do you know what to put together?  How do you know how much?  How do you know it’ll taste good?”

The answer is, I don’t always, except I sort of do, and it usually works out.  Part of it is knowing what individual ingredients taste like (raw and cooked), which comes with experience; part of it is being able to imagine how they’ll taste together, which comes with experimentation; and part of it is being confident in your instincts, which comes down to trusting yourself a little bit.

Maybe you’ve never considered trying a spicy peanut butter; maybe you’ve never thrown a scoop of peanut butter into a dish with chicken; maybe you’ve never imagined spreading peanut butter on a grilled cheese sandwich, but you should because it’s delicious.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Unless you have a peanut allergy.  I mean, it’s delicious but it’s not worth anaphylactic shock.

I can’t really think of anything that is worth anaphylactic shock, off the top of my head.  Unless you’ve been in the desert for months without the slightest bit of chocolate and some desert mirage offers you an Almond Joy.  Then you eat that sucker.

No, seriously, don’t do that if you have a nut allergy.  I’m just kidding.

Anyway, for the rest of you, if the Universe gives you a nut, use it to make something delicious and new to you.  The Universe wants you to experiment.  It wants you to be happy.  It wants you to make delicious food.

Also, it thinks you should check out the following Learnist boards on peanuts and things you can do with them.

Also, it said you look really cute today, so kudos.

 

Photo Jun 17, 7 53 27 PM

Mint Feta Meatballs with Fresh Mint Sauce

Somewhat surprisingly, my backyard is not overrun with mint.  Sure, it’s overrun with dogs, various weeds and oregano (so much oregano!) but not mint.  I do have a healthy mint plant, though, and usually I use it for mojitos, or as I like to call them, “Other Water.”

But anyway, I rarely use mint for savory dishes, generally just drinks and garnishes for ice cream.  Today I was on my own for dinner, since Josh had to do some freelance work, and all I had in the fridge (that wasn’t calabrese, anyway) was ground beef.  One of my go-to meals for myself is meatballs.  I like meatballs.  I mean, my twitter handle is chickenmeatball, after all.  This time I thought I’d use some traditional flavors from Greek cuisine—like mint and feta.

Meatballs with mint, feta and almonds, with a side of fattoush

I also thought that instead of a traditional tomato sauce, or a heavy bell pepper sauce, I would use up a bag of peas I had in the freezer, thaw them and make a mint-green pea sauce to pour over my meatballs.  So I set about making the meatballs (recipe below) and it was all well and good until the meatballs were almost done and I went to make the sauce…..and realized I’d already used those peas up last week.  Oy.

Always check to make sure you have ingredients before you begin cooking.  Yeah, yeah I know.  One of those days.

But I recovered nicely, I think.  I just went all-in with the mint.  I made a flavored oil with fresh mint, garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil, and drizzled it over the meatballs, which I ate alongside some prepared fattoush salad I had leftover from Hiller’s market.  Not a bad finish.

Photo Jun 17, 7 53 27 PM

Mint Feta Meatballs with Fresh Mint Sauce

Ingredients

    For the meatballs
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1/4 cup whole fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup feta
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • plus a little olive oil for drizzling
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • juice of one 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

    Make the meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Cover a lipped cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Put the mint and almonds in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Add in the ground beef, garlic salt, egg, black pepper and feta. Process until thoroughly combined.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the beef mixture into round balls and place a couple inches apart on the cookie sheet. Drizzle them with just a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Bake the meatballs for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Make the sauce
  6. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until the mint is well chopped and the mixture is well blended. Pour over the meatballs.
  7. Serve along side fattoush or a light lettuce salad.

Notes

Serving sizes will depend on your ice cream scoop, but I got 6 large meatballs out of mine. You could serve 3 people two meatballs each.

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/06/mint-feta-meatballs-with-fresh-mint-sauce/

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Sunshine Cake: Pineapple Ginger Upside Down Cake

Pssst.  You.  Come here.  It’s ok, I just want to talk for a second.  Look, we’re friends, right?  Good.  Cause I need to tell you something.  And I feel that since we’re friends, I can be honest and direct with you.

You look like you could use a piece of cake.

And not just any cake either, but a piece of cake that practically radiates sunlight, or rainbows.  Like the unicorn of the confectionary world.

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Now I don’t know what’s going on.  Maybe you’ve had a bad week.  Maybe you’ve had a fabulous week.  Maybe you just look a little hungry, I dunno.  But you need this cake.

So here’s what we’re going to do.  I’m going to lay out the recipe below.  You are going to read it, make a grocery list, go to the store, buy the items you need, come back to your house and bake this cake.  When it’s done and cooled, you are going to cut yourself a slice and then you are going to eat it.

I know.  Crazy right?

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Pineapple Ginger Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the topping
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 8-oz can pineapple rings, drained
  • 1 8-oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare the cake
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the butter, milk, vanilla, eggs, ginger and cinnamon. Mix until it just comes together.
  4. Prepare the topping
  5. Spray a 9" high-sided cast iron skillet with baking spray.
  6. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon until fully incorporated and gooey. Pour the butter mixture into the skillet. Place individual pineapple rings in the butter mixture around the pan. Fill in the spaces with spoonfuls of the crushed pineapple.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the skillet.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  9. Take a knife and edge around the cake to loosen it a bit. Place a plate over the top of the skillet and flip it upside down. The cake should slide out smoothly but if you lose a pineapple ring, just nudge it back into place. :)

Notes

Cake recipe adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

This makes a very tall, dense but soft cake. You can adapt this into two 8" cakes, a couple dozen cupcakes if you prefer.

http://haveforkwilleat.com/2013/06/sunshine-cake-pineapple-ginger-upside-down-cake/

BeerButtChicken7-225x300

{Guest Post!} Chad’s Beer Butt Chicken

If you remember, Chad Williams is the fitness guru behind Anthrophysique and the Evernote Ambassador for Fitness.  Here he’s sharing one of his favorite healthy recipes!

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Beer Butt Chicken is one of my favorite meals of all time. It’s a pretty simple recipe and best of all, it’s done on the barbecue.

When it comes to cooking, I like my meals on the BBQ. I’m not so handy when I have to do things in the oven, but over an open flame I’m better at getting it just right. I also like the flavour you can get and the control you have.

If you’ve never had this meal, you’re in for a treat! Continue reading

Parmigiano Orange Zucchini Bites with Dipping Sauce

My Ode to the King of Cheese: Parmigiano-Orange Zucchini Fritters

Parmigiano Orange Zucchini Bites with Dipping SauceI’m three months into my thirtieth year, and it’s become official: I am not aging backwards.  I had briefly entertained the notion that, by some arcane feat of magic or dubious loophole in the natural law, I might merely crest the top of this thirty year timeline before slowly and gracefully falling backwards where I would begin to age in reverse, somehow growing younger and fresher as the days wound on.

Now that I’ve written that out, it does sound a little stupid.  But I like to think that stranger things have happened.  Case in point: the platypus.   Continue reading

Zucchini Calabrese Hash with Poached Eggs

Zucchini Calabrese Hash

Zucchini Calabrese Hash with Poached EggsI make some of my best dishes off-the-cuff when I don’t feel good.  When I’m sick, I need rest, green tea, and hot delicious food, in that order.  Plus throwing together a very quick, simple but tasty meal for myself lifts my mood and helps me feel better.

This little veggie hash is one of those things.  I didn’t think much of it when I threw it together the first time, but then it was gorgeous.  So gorgeous I had to make it again a few days later.  It not only takes very little time and looks gorgeous, but it’s easily customizable and full of veggies and it features one of my favorite sausages of all time: calabrese.   Continue reading

Strawberry Marshmallows

Valentine’s Day: Make All the Marshmallows!

Strawberry Marshmallows

Strawberry Marshmallows

I’ve been on a marshmallow-making kick lately.  I’ve made vanilla bean, chocolate-Grand Marnier, amaretto dipped in almonds and chocolate, and chocolate covered strawberries.  Next I plan on lemon, stuffed marshmallows and vegan marshmallows.  Why, you ask?  Because happiness and marshmallows are pretty close to being the same thing.  Fluffy, pillowy, flavorful, fun to melt on a stick and smoosh in between pieces of chocolate and graham cracker.  There are a lot of similarities between the two.

Also, it’s surprisingly easy.

Continue reading

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Coconut-Flour Parmesan Drop Biscuits

IMG_0026We had two really warm days this week.  By “really warm,” I mean, 50 degrees in Michigan in January.  They were promptly and predictably bookended by several days of snow and freezing temperatures.  It’s the kind of weather that makes me think about….well, running away to Tahiti.  But also biscuits.

I love biscuits.  Pillowy, fluffy, savory biscuits, dripping with butter and all the promise of delicious flavor conveniently transported to my mouth in one hand-sized package.  My favorite, of course, is the buttermilk biscuit that I can now make in my sleep, practically.  But I’ve been working on other species, if you will, of biscuit.   Continue reading

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Satsuma Delight

Did you have a merry Christmas?  Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, did you have a terrific Tuesday?  I did.  I got to spend time with friends and family and relax and eat good food.  That’s what holidays are truly about.  And I’m lucky enough to be off work for the next two weeks, and it’s a good thing too because I have serious plans for my kitchen and pantry…but more on that in a later post.

I promised you the third and final installment of our Citrus Dinner series—that is, the recipes and dishes we made for our citrus challenge, featuring delicious and fresh satsuma and clementine oranges from Whole Foods.  Thus far we’ve covered a delightful Champagne Wednesday cocktail (berry punch with clementine simple syrup) and a wholesome cheese plate (goat cheese, olive oil, raw almonds, fresh satsumas), plus two main courses (clementine-roasted chicken with thyme, mushrooms and tofu en papilotte).  Now, for the grand finale….

…dessert. Continue reading

Clementines and Thyme

Clemen-Thyme Roasted Chicken & Citrus-Scented Mushrooms and Tofu En Papilotte

Whew.  Say that three times fast.

Continuing with our citrus fest, let’s move on the main show, shall we?  If you remember from last time, Whole Foods sponsored a little bit of experimentation using their fresh, in-season clementines and satsumas.  And with these beautiful little balls of sunshine, we made a delightful feast.

Citrus Dinner Menu

So we covered the berry punch with clementine syrup (which I already have another request for—as one of our New Year’s Eve cocktails) and our lovely fresh satsuma, almond and goat cheese plate (still one of my favorite appetizers ever).

But there was more.  Oh, so much more.  I’d been wanting for a while to make a thyme-roasted chicken dish and figured that adding a bit of citrus would make it even better.  And I was right. Continue reading