Monday, October 5, 2015

Homemade Mac & Cheese

This is a favorite quick go-to recipe in our house. We all love it. Serves 2.

You will need:
Pasta (I change it up. Elbow, spiral - whatever)
2 tbsp butter 
3 tbsp of cream cheese
a handful of (fresh is best) shredded parmesan
Kale (Optional. I sauteed a bag of kale, threw it in the food processor and froze it in an ice cube tray. Now I just throw it in with the mac and cheese to sneak in some veggies. You wouldn't even know...)
Also optional: a pinch of salt

Cook your pasta as directed. I use 1 cup of dry pasta per person. Drain, don't rinse, set aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot (less dishes hehehe), add pasta back to it. Stir in the cream cheese and parmesan cheese. If you use kale, add it now too. Stir until all ingredients are melted and combined - done! You just made healthy(er) mac & cheese. No more boxed m&c in our house!

Chana Masala

This looks like the Curried Coconut Chicken dish, and even a lot of the same ingredients are used, it does taste completely different. I was at the local Whole Foods hot bar where they had this dish. I just LOVED it. I googled different recipes and mixed them all up. Here is how I make it. It is my husbands favorite dish and the kids love it too! Traditionally this is a vegetarian dish. But whenever I make something vegetarian my husband will ask me: What kind of meat are you going to put in it? So now it's a chicken dish. That is optional. It's also a little spicy, so I add the Garam Masala last, after taking out a portion for the kids.

This will serve 4 people.

You will need:
A big deep pan (or a wok)
Some olive oil
6 chicken drumsticks or bone-in, skin on thighs (optional)
1 onion, chopped
 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 teaspoons of Garam Masala spice mix (Harris Teeter has it in the international food section)
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 teaspoons of ginger (can also use fresh)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 tbs of lemon juice
a bunch of fresh chopped cilantro

Heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Skip this next step if you are making it vegetarian. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, season with salt. Don't cook all the way trough. Set chicken aside and drain the fat out of the pan.

Add a little more olive oil and sautee your onion until translucent. Add the turmeric, ginger and garlic (low heat now) and stir until fragrant. If you cook for kids, leave out the Garam Masala until later. Otherwise you can add it here now as well. Cook while stiring for sbout 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan. Also add the cans of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and lemon juice. Cook for at least 30 minutes, better 45-60 minutes with the lid on over low heat. Your chicken will fall off the bone when its done! If you don't use chicken you still want to cook it this long for the spices to come together and the tomatoes to cook softly. Season with a little salt. Take out the portion for the children and add your Garam Masala now. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the cilantro just right before serving.

Serve with rice or naan. Or both :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Summer Bruschetta

This post is a few months too late because there are only a few good summer tomatoes left and that is the most important ingredient. But my good friend Marie asked me to post the recipe, so here we go.

You will need:

4-5 big juicy tomatoes (I like 2-3 different colors)
a bunch of fresh basil
half a block of feta cheese
a good handful of freshly shredded parmesan
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Dice up the tomatoes, quite small. Chop the basil, brake up or chop the feta cheese, mince your garlic. Combine all of it in a big bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the top and generously drizzle the vinegar over the top. Salt to taste. We just eat it with blue corn tortilla chips, but it's also amazing on some broiled baguette or just bread.

I think Trader Joes hat THE BEST balsamic vinegar. It makes this entire dish.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Thank you my friend Monique for your encouragement to keep this blog going!

Everybody loves Hummus, right?! It's not that cheap at the store but so cheap and easy and good homemade. Here we go:

You will need a blender (I have a Nutribullet)
1 can of (organic) chickpeas
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/4 tsp of salt
splash of water

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Combine all ingredients in the blender, blend - voila!

If it's too thick add a little more water and blend again. You can add other things like a jalapeno, pepper - whatever your heart desires! Serve with your favorite veggies or pita chips.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Coconut Curried Chicken Chickpea Stew

You will need a wok or big pan!

4-6 chicken drumsticks or thighs (bone-in, skin-on!)
olive oil
3 cloves of minced or crushed garlic
1 diced onion
1 can chickpeas
1 can coconut milk
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of these spices:
salt, cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ground cloves, ginger (you can get these spices for a good price at Trader Joe's, Saigon market or at Food Lion in the Mexican isle)
a bunch of chopped fresh parsley
if you like it spicy, add some cayenne pepper

Brown your chicken on all sides in some olive oil over medium-high heat. Just brown, don't cook all the way through. Take out chicken put aside. Drain fat. With a little more olive oil cook onion until translucent over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, be careful not to burn it. Add all dry spices and cook for about 3 minutes.Your kitchen will smell like heaven! Add all canned goods and chicken. Bring to a boil, return to a simmer and cook with lid for at least 30 but better 45 minutes. The meat should be falling off the bone. Just before serving, add the parsley.

This is fantastic over basmati rice and/or naan bread.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Quick Pasta w/ egg goodness, serves 3-4

You will need:
A big pan, I use a wok.
2 cups of dry tricolor pasta or fresh pasta (check box for serving size)
2 slices of 1/4 inch thick pancetta from the deli
1 tomato
1 clove of garlic
2 - 3 eggs
1/3 cup of half & half
3/4 cup of shredded cheese: best with parmesan is best, italian mix works too.
salt, pepper and basil

Boil your pasta with a little salt. Drain, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, half & half and the cheese. Season with cracked pepper. Set aside.
Dice the pancetta. On medium heat, sautee it in a little olive oil until it browns, drain the excess fat.
Put the pan back on the stove and add your pasta and then your egg/cheese mixture. Stir and cook until eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted. Then add your tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with a little salt (pancetta is very salty) and basil.

Pot Roast (Crock Pot) - Serves 6

You will need:

A crock pot.
A big piece of Beef Chuck (1-2 lbs)
2 stalks of celery
2 long carrots
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 handful of mushrooms, washed or peeled (fresh)
2 big juicy tomatoes (or a can of diced tomatoes)
3-4 medium sized potatoes
beef bullion (I am a "better than bullion"-fan!)
1 cup of red wine (optional)
2-3 cups of water
jalapeno (optional)

Cube your beef. Don't cut out the fat, just leave as is. Brown it in a pan with a little olive oil over high heat. Just brown it quickly, don't cook it through. This should only take 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the fat, and set aside.

Finely dice the tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Cube the potatoes. Layer everything in your crock pot. I put the tomatoes first and the meat last. Add 2-3 cups of water (just half way covered) and if you like a cup of red wine. Don't add the bullion yet. Cook on high for 6 hours. You know it's done when your meat falls apart. Then add bullion to taste. Add some red tabasco if you like it spicy or throw in a cut up jalapeno at the very start. Enjoy!