Saturday, August 29, 2015

Roasted Garlic Chicken


Whole Chicken
1 head garlic, separated into whole cloves, papery skin removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chicken stock
Herbs of your choice for the chicken


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut up your chicken – I like using a whole chicken because you have all the pieces and it is much more reasonable.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Salt and pepper liberally and place chicken and whole garlic cloves in a large bag and place in the fridge for a couple hours. After marinating the chicken, in a large ovenproof saute pan over medium heat, cook the whole garlic cloves in olive oil and butter, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside. Increase the heat to medium high and brown the chicken skin-side down until the skin is golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, sprinkle on herbes of your choice.  Add the garlic back to the pan and place hot pan in oven. Bake the chicken until cooked through, about 25 minutes. After about 15 min, I pulled all pieces of the chicken, except the breast (I flipped the breast over at this time), and covered with foil while the breast continued to cook. Once the chicken is done, remove chicken and garlic and place on a platter. Place the pan over medium-high heat and sprinkle the drippings with flour and stir. Deglaze the pan with the stock. Stir a little more and then pour the sauce over the chicken on the platter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fish Tacos

Ingredients for the Tacos
  • 1 T. cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 2 T. of chopped garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Tilapia fillets
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  1. Combine spices in a small dish. Sprinkle seasonings and bread crumbs over Tilapia fillets, season with salt and pepper, rubbing the spices and bread crumbs into the fish.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add in your Tilapia fillets. Once you add your fish, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes or so. Check to be sure fish is completely cooked (fish will be white and flaky throughout).
Ingredients for Cabbage Salad
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Pinto Beans
  • Same parts red wine vinegar and rice wine vinegar
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Dash Paprika
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate. Use as a topping for the tacos. 

Also served with sour cream, avocado and cilantro sauce and shredded cheese.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Parents 35th Anniversary

August 8th (eventhough their actual anniversary was August 9th) we celebrated my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary. The day started off with Anthony's famous bloody marys with the family. My aunt, uncle and cousins came over to watch Giada for the day while we were off to surprise my parents with a day full of wine tasting.(didn't quite make the full day) My cousin Liam was our chauffer for the day in their car that was decorated by my Uncle Jack.  Before leaving for the wineries, my Dad insisted we take a family photo "just like we use to when we were kids". After the photo shoot, we blindfolded my mom and put her in the car. My dad rode with my brother and was not as cooperative. We arrived at the first winery and began our journey. Delicato was the first stop, followed by Klinker Brick (which was my favorite) and then Prie. After three wineries, we made the decision to head home and hang by the pool. Some of the group needed a power nap, while the rest of us watched Giada and the twins swim. As the evening arrived, we prepared lamb, shrimp, scallops, an orzo salad and mixed veggies for dinner.

We had a wonderful time celebrating my parents 35th wedding anniversay and enjoyed some great family bonding!


 My aunt, uncle and cousins just came back from Hawaii and brought Giada back some treats! She's not sure what a hula outfit means!

Giada 9 Months

Giada turned 9 months old on the 13th and I can’t believe how much has changed in one month! She weighs 16lbs 5oz and now in the 20 percentile for weight and the 10 percentile for height. Giada is wearing size three diapers and 6-9 months in clothes. Her schedule is still the same and I love it! She eats at 7, 11, 3 and 7. She naps from 9-11, 1-3 and 4:45-5:30.  Bedtime is at 8:00 and she sleeps until 7:00 AM. Chicken is now in her diet even though she only has her two bottom teeth, but that had not stopped her from chewing the food. She is crawling everywhere and pulling herself up on everything. She is a huge flirt and never stops talking.  The poor dogs are continually chased around the house and their food bowl is her new favorite toy.

Happy 9 months baby girl!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chicken Thigh Marinade

  • 3 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 of a lime, squeezed
  • 5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place chicken and all ingredients in large baggie and marinade for at least two hours (I marinaded mine 4 hours)
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Place the chicken and all of the marinade in a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 20 minutes with the skin side up.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Taco Salad with Homemade Tortilla Shell

Tortilla Shell
I used flour tortillas and a cupcake sheet. Simply, the cupcake sheet was used to shape the tortillas. 

Preheat oven to 425. Place cupcake sheet in the over for 5 min, check and rotate the pan. Leave in for 5 more min, then let cool. 

Doritos Taco Salad
(This is the same taco salad I previously posted.)   
·  1 lb of beef (I used 1 pound and` had extra meat)
·  lettuce - chopped
·  1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
·  1 6-ounce can olives, chopped
·  1 small can of kidney beans (black beans would be best, but I used what was in the pantry)
·  2 tomatoes, chopped
·  1-2 avocados, chopped
·  Crushed Doritos
·  salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef and add your favorite taco seasoning to taste. Once cooked, add kidney beans to warm with meat. Drain the grease and set aside for salad. Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.

Homemade Catalina Dressing 
·  1/4 cup ketchup 
·  1/4 cup granulated sugar
·  1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
·  1/4 cup onion finely chopped
·  1/2 teaspoon paprika
·  1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·  1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·  Salt and pepper to taste
·  Sour Cream Topping

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Homemade Pasta

This past weekend I made a creamy pesto pasta with shrimp and Italian sausage. 

Pasta Dough  (This recipe is from The Joy of Cooking) 
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar (secret ingredient)

Without the Kitchen Aid
Mound flour on a clean counter. Make a well in the center and add to the well: eggs, salt, and olive oil. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, drawing in some flour as you go, until the eggs are mixed and slightly thickened. Using the fingertips of one hand, gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs and blend everything into a smooth, not too stiff dough. If the dough feels too dry and crumbly, add a little water as needed. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour.
Knead the dough until satiny and very elastic, about 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and wrap the pieces loosely in plastic wrap or cover with an inverted bowl. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 60 minutes before rolling it out.

With Kitchen Aid
Beat the eggs lightly with a fork in the mixing bowl, drawing in some flour as you go, until the eggs are mixed and slightly thickened.Using the flat mixing blade attachment add water, oil and vinegar to eggs then gradually pour flour into the eggs and blend  until until it starts to pull away from bowl. Switch the flat blade to the dough hook and mix till smooth, not too stiff dough. If the dough feels too dry and crumbly, add a little water as needed. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. Remove from mixer and divide the dough into 4 pieces, and wrap the pieces loosely in plastic wrap or cover with an inverted bowl. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 60 minutes before rolling it out.

Rolling out the dough.
I use the  pasta attachment which fits the  Kitchen Aid. (a must have) Flatten each piece slightly and set adjustment knob on pasta attachment at 1. Allow the dough to run through the attachment. Once the dough rolls through, lightly dust pasta with flour and move the knob to 2. Continue this process until you have run the dough through each setting and made it to setting number 7.

Once finished, attach the pasta roller and run the rolled out dough through the attachment. As each set of pasta is complete, hang the pasta to dry (I don’t have an official pasta hanger, so I use a hanger) Sometimes the pasta is easier to handle if you let the first step dry out a little before running through the attachment for pasta

Sausage and Shrimp
Cook Italian sausage outside of casing. As the sausage is almost cooked add shrimp and a little pesto. Cook thoroughly. Set aside for later.

Boiling Homemade Pasta
This process only takes a few minutes. I prepare the sauce before the pasta in boiling water

  • Small carton of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup homemade pesto
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ stick butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

Heat olive oil in pan then add garlic. Cook for 3 min and then add remaining ingredients. Allow sauce to thicken on low. After 5-10 min, transfer sauce to oven safe serving dish. Place dish in 200 degree oven and keep warm.

Place pasta in boiling water. Unlike regular store bought pasta that you bring the water back to a boil, fresh pasta cooks very quickly, usually 1 or 2 minutes and it's ready to remove from water

Remove sauce from oven and transfer pasta to sauce. DO NOT STRAIN PASTA IN A STRAINER) Add a small amount of pasta water to the sauce. Lastly, add Italian sausage and ship. Toss and top with Parmesan pasta. Serve Immediately.

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