I can officially say that Spring has sprung here in New Jersey. This weekend was a dream come true with over 70 degree days and abundance of sunshine. Every season change is magical but the arrival of Spring is special. Waking up to the sound of the chirping birds is usually the first thing I notice. It doesn’t bother me at all, on the contrary it’s music to my ears. The trees are starting to bloom and the gloominess is finally gone. I love this time of the year.
We spent a good part of Sunday morning clearing our backyard of the massive amount of leaves that accumulated since last Fall. It took eight garbage bags to get it done yet we have a small backyard. Sometimes I feel as if all the leaves in the neighborhood make their way into our yard. Thankfully that project is done. For me this marks the official start to the barbecue season. That evening I made Peruvian chicken, garlic potatoes with fresh herbs and a BLT salad for our friends. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the deck, with wine and great company.
The only day off I had came and went faster than I could notice but it was just what I needed. Can’t wait till next weekend.
Until next time, I leave you with this bowl of ramen.
Ramen is insanely easy to prepare. You can add all sorts of ingredients, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy or pretty much anything you like. For me a hard boiled egg and Sriracha is a must!
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 1 hanger steak (about ½ lbs), sliced thin against the grain
- 9 oz ramen noodles
- 2 beef bouillons
- handful fresh spinach
- 5 button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 hard boiled egg, cut in half (optional)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Add sliced hanger steak. Let marinade for about 15 minutes.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add beef bouillons and dissolve. Adjust salt to taste.
- Bring a separate pot of water to a boil, add ramen and cook a few minutes until the noodles are done. Drain. Set aside.
- In a hot skillet sauté steak slices until lightly brown.
- To serve, arrange noodles in a soup bowl, top with steak, mushrooms, scallions and spinach. Ladle enough broth to cover.
- Top with half an egg.
- Great with Sriracha.
I am happy because I’m tired. Sounds weird right? Well I’m happy it’s Friday because I am exhausted and somewhat sleep deprived. We’ve got a jam packed agenda this weekend with three different birthday parties as well as a surprise trip for Briana on Sunday. Kurt and I are taking her to see Nick Jr. on Tour. She has no idea where we’re going but I’m sure she’ll be freaked out excited. I am most probably going to need a day off afterwards so I can actually get some rest.
Pasta has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m sure it is my body’s way of requesting carbs. To be honest, I didn’t even notice but thinking through what I’ve been eating lately, carbohydrates were far and few in between. That can be another reason for my exhaustion because getting up earlier than usual for work has nothing to do with it.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Hope you have a fabulous weekend. Thank you friends for reading my blog.
- 1 9 oz package of fresh linguine (I used Butoni)
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 slices of bacon, sliced thinly
- ¼ cup andouille sausage, cubed
- ½ cup leeks, bright part only, thinly sliced (or one small onion, chopped)
- 1 bunch asparagus cut into one inch peaces, ends trimmed
- 4 basil leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic bulb just enough to expose the cloves, place in aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly and roast for 30 min.
- Remove garlic from aluminum foil and allow to cool. Gently squeeze the cloves out of the bulb into a small bowl. Mash and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to instructions. Drain reserving a cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon and sausage in a large skillet until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Add leeks, red pepper flakes and mashed up garlic to the same skillet. Add ¼ cup of pasta water and chopped basil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add asparagus and half the bacon mixture. Cook another 2 minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. The sauce consistency should be medium thick.
- Gently mix in pasta and parmesan cheese.
- To serve plate the linguine and top with bacon mixture. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy.
This might be the simplest chicken fingers recipe you’ll find.
I am having writer’s block.
It took me five minutes just to come up with that sentence. I kept searching for an idea I thought might come crawling out from deep within. All I came up with was nothing. Many nights I lay in bed for hours tortured by my own creativity and yet when the times comes I draw a blank. Go figure. Wow, I actually wrote an entire paragraph about nothing.
Well since I am so uncreative today and did not photograph my very boring eats for our What I Ate Wednesday fun I might as well share a recipe. But if you’re curious what other bloggers are eating head on over to Peas & Crayons for a weekly party of food sharing.
Happy Birthday to my love, my best friend and the best daddy I know – my husband Kurt. Briana and I love you!
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into 3 strips each
- ½ cup Panko
- ¼ cup low fat Vegenaise (or mayo)
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Season the chicken strips with salt.
- In a small bowl combine Panko, paprika and parmesan cheese.
- In another small bowl stir vegenaise.
- Dip each strip in vegenaise to coat slightly, then roll on the breadcrumb mixture until well coated.
- Arrange on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through inside.
Hello Monday. May I ask you a question? Why are you back so quickly? Don’t you have something better to do? I’m not prepared to go work yet. I want to play and have fun. Since I work every other saturday some weekends seem none existent. This was one of those weekends, although we had a ton of fun. Saturday night we went to a Fundraising Gala followed by a little night out on the town. Kurt and I had a great time.
Well since you are here, dear Monday, let’s make you meatless.
Do you like horseradish? I sure hope you do.
I combined some of my favorite veggies with cheddar cheese and horseradish for a delicious dish. Horseradish contains significant amounts of cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates, which increase the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and may suppress the growth of tumors. Combined with cauliflower and broccoli you have a dish loaded with the good stuff. Yes, I know, it has cheese, but a little goes a long way.
I love cauliflower, but don’t feel that I’m cooking enough with it. I was watching a new to me show on the Cooking Channel, How to Live till 100 and the chef, Jason, was making a bunch of different dishes using cauliflower. All looked insanely delicious, by the time it was over I found myself craving cauliflower. What I enjoyed even more that through out the entire episode, Jason explains the benefits that cauliflower offers. And that is definitely my kind of show.
What is your favorite cauliflower dish?
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 1 broccoli crown
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup low fat milk
- 1 tbsp prepared horseradish, or more to taste
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and cook until tender about 10 minutes.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute creating a roux.
- Add horseradish. Then add the milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth before adding more. Bring to a simmer but do not allow to boil.
- Add cheese and stir until the cheese melts.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add more horseradish if desired.
- Gently mix cauliflower, broccoli and the sauce. Transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle with Panko. Bake in a 425 degree oven until bubbling, about 15 minutes.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a set of rules about what to eat and what not to. Healthy eating is not about dieting and deprivation. To me it’s more about the ability to make the right choices as well as exercise a good measure of self control. We try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, choose as many organic ingredients as possible and learn how to identify GMO produce. While our diet consists a lot of the good stuff there are times when we give in to the bad. And that’s ok.
Saturday night the family was over for a down and dirty roll up your sleeves type of meal. We made home made Margaritas and Hot N Juicy style shrimp boil. For those of you who have never been to Hot n Juicy, they serve bagged seafood swimming in tons of buttery seasoning made spicy to your licking. I can’t explain how good it is. It’s just is. I’ve mastered the seasoning and it’s now become a once a month thing for the family get together. My dad can sit there all night, just peel the shrimp and enjoy sucking the sauce out them. The six of us ate 8 lbs of shrimp and we’re not sorry. I’ll be good again tomorrow.
Saturday was a beautiful 65 degree day and a glimpse into what Spring is going to bring, but today the cold is back. It’s going to rain most of the week with a possibility of snow on Tuesday. So I made this delicious stew to warm up a bit. I love stews no matter the time of the year.
I made baked tortilla chips as well. Simply cut corn tortillas into eights, lay on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bake at 350 degrees until golden.
The toppings are all up to you. Use whatever you like, avocado, radish, cabbage, red onions. All fantastic! I made crispy chorizo bits for an even more flavor.
This stew is great the day it’s made and even better the day after. It freezes well too.
- 2 lbs pork shoulder, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can light beer
- 2 14 oz cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 2 whole pickled jalapeños plus the juice, fine chop
- 1 tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- olive oil
- toppings of your choice
- Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot or a Dutch oven.
- Season pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown pork. (Don’t overcrowd the pot, you’ll end up steaming the meat instead of browning it) Remove to a bowl.
- To the same pot add diced onion, garlic and poblano pepper. Cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the beer, deglaze the pot and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 1 hour until pork is tender. Season with salt and cayenne to your liking.