Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 121: Homemade Cajun Hamburgers

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
6 soda crackers, finely crushed
2 tsp cajun spice
salt and pepper

1) In a large bowl mix all ingredients together until combined.
2) Form meat into flattened patties and set aside.
3) Heat a fry pan with olive oil and then add hamburger patties.
4) Season with a bit more cajun spice and cook hamburgers on both sides until cooked through.
5) Assemble hamburgers on a bun with lettuce and cheese and all of your favourite condiments.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 120: Ham & Swiss on Focaccia Bread

1 large square slice of focaccia bread
3 slices of sundried tomato turkey deli  meat
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dry thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil

1) Slice focaccia in half horizontally
2) Drizzle olive oil on both halves.
3) Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
4) Arrange one half with turkey and cheese.
5) Place other half on top of the sandwich.
6) Press sandwich in a panini grill and cook until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 170: Sauteed Spinach with Shallots

4 cups spinach leaves
2 large shallots, finely chopped
3-4 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a large fry pan add butter and shallots and cook on high heat until shallots are translucent.
2) Add spinach to the pan and stir until spinach has wilted and is coated with butter.
3) Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 169: Rosemary Focaccia Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 packets dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 T olive oil
2 T fresh rosemary leaves
salt to taste

1) Mix flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water in a large bowl until it forms a dough consistency.
2) Knead dough with your hands for 3-5 minutes.
3) Place dough into  an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until dough has doubled in size.
4) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5) Divide dough in half and form into two square loaves.
6) Let loaves sit for 1 hour.
7) Sprinkle loaves with olive oil, rosemary and salt.
8) Bake in a 425F oven for approximately 20 minutes.
9) Serve warm with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 168: Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce with Tortellinis

Here is a great recipe that uses prepared pasta with a home made sauce.
1 package cheese tortellini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 T fresh basil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1) Prepare pasta according to the directions on the package.
2) Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
3) Pour sauce over hot pasta and serve.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 164: Turkey & Cheese Baguette

Today I made a Parisian style sandwich for lunch.  I guess I was missing Paris already.  I put a little twist on it with sundried tomato turkey instead of ham.

1 baguette
1 package of sundried tomato turkey deli meat.
8 slices of cheddar cheese
1 cup baby greens

1) Cut baguette in half horizontally.
2) Arrange meat on one half of the bread.
3) Top meat with cheese and lettuce.
4) Place top half of baguette on top of the sandwich and slice into 4" sections.
5) Serve with a hand full of chips.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 163: Berries & Baby Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I just got back from my European holiday a few days ago and one of the things I picked up in Italy was some really nice balsamic vinegar.  So today, after a trip to the market with some beautiful berries and fresh greens I decided to make a fresh salad; something I had been craving for weeks!

2 cups baby greens
6-8 fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe here)

 In a salad bowl toss all ingredients together with the salad dressing and serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 162: Fresh Strawberries with Lemon Whipped Cream

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 T sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1) Chill bowl and whisk of an electric mixer in the freezer until very cold.
2) Beat cream until very stiff.
3) Add sugar and lemon juice to cream and mix until combined.
4) Place berries in serving bowls and serve with a generous spoonful of whipped cream.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 161: Mini Chicken Salad Pockets

4 mini pita pockets
1 chicken breast, baked or roasted and shredded
1 cup baby greens
1/4 cup caesar salad dressing
salt and pepper to taste

1) Slice 1/4" off one side of each of the pockets.
2) Stuff pockets with chicken, greens and caesar dressing.
3) Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 160: Spicy Beef Barley Stew

3 strip loin steaks, cut into tiny pieces
8 cups beef stock
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
7 red potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 small white onion, finely diced
5 celery stocks, sliced
1 tbs all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp hot sauce
1 T dry thyme leaves
1/2" tsp garlic powder
3 green onions, finely chopped (reserve for garnish)

1) In a large stock pot add beef stock and place on high heat.
2) In a bowl, coat meat with flour.
3) Heat olive oil in a large fry pan until hot.
4) Add meat to frypan and brown all sides.
5) Add meat to stock pot along with all vegetables.
6) Season stock with thyme, hot sauce, garlic powder salt and pepper.
7) Let simmer on medium low heat for 20 - 30 minutes.
8) Serve in a bowl with a generous amount of green onions for garnish.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 158: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1) With a fork, combine all ingredients until the mixture becomes crumbly.
2) Set aside.

4 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup rhubarb, diced
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp honey

1. Mix all filling ingredients together to coat the fruit.
2. Place filling in a baking dish and top with the crumble topping.
3. Bake at 400F for 30 -40 minutes until crumble is golden brown and filling begins to bubble up.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 157: Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squash (halved)
1 small macintosh apple (peeled and diced)
2 shallots (minced)
4 cups chicken stock
2 T butter
2 T fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic (minced) salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup creme fraîche
2 tsp olive oil

1) Sprinkle the squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and thyme.  Then place the       squash flesh side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
 2) Bake squash for 45 min. - 1 hour at 350F.
 3) Scoop out the flesh from the squash halves and set aside.
 4) In a large fry pan melt butter and sautee shallots, garlic and apple until soft.
 5) Add the squash and chicken stock to the apple and shallots and simmer for 20-30 min.
 6) Puree soup in a food processor or hand blender until smooth. Add more seasoning if necessary.
 7) Garnish each bowl with a spoonful of creme fraîche and sprinkle with a few thyme leaves.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 156: Herb Crusted Salmon

Herb Crusted Salmon
4 - 6 salmon filets (4 oz. each)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1/4 cup parmesan ( finely grated)
1/4 cup japanese bread crumbs
2 T fresh dill (chopped)
1/3 cup butter (melted)
salt and pepper to taste

1) On a parchment lined baking sheet, place filets skin side down and season with salt and pepper.
2) In a bowl, mix cilantro, parmesan, bread crumbs and dill until combined.
3) Top each filet with a generous amount of the herb mixture then drizzle with melted butter.
4) Bake at 425F for approximately 15 minutes or until done.
5) Serve with lemon dill sauce and garnish with a dill sprig.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day155: Cajun Pepper & Beef Kebobs

2 striploin steaks, cut into 1" pieces
2 - 3 T cajun spice
1 tsp cracked pepper
4 mini peppers, cut into 1/2" rings
6-8 baby roma tomatoes
2 T olive oil

1) Generously season meat with cajun spice and pepper.
2) Assemble meat and vegetables on skewers alternating meat with 1 piece of pepper and 1 tomato.
3) In a fry pan add oil and heat on high.
4) Add skewers to pan and brown all sides.
5) Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 153: Dirty Martini

2 oz gin
2 tsp dry vermouth
1 tsp olive juice
2 olives

1) Fill a martini shaker half full with crushed ice.
2) Add gin, vermouth and olive juice to shaker and mix vigourously.
3) Pour into a martini glass and garnish with olives.


Day 154: Sundried Tomato Pesto with Penne

4 cups prepared penne pasta
1 jar sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan

1) In the bowl of a food processor add tomatoes (including the oil), pepper, salt, basil, cilantro and blend until smooth.
2) Toss hot pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.