Food!!

Napa cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad

untitled

Even though it’s still a little cold out there it doesn’t stop us from having a delicious salad.  Salads are so versatile you can add pretty much anything you desire.  This one is super easy and refreshing with a hint of sweetness from the mangos and orange juice dressing.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 head Napa cabbage, finely chopped
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup bacon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing ingredients:
2/4 cups orange juice
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk together dressing ingredients until well incorporated.

Next in the same large bowl add the Napa, bacon, mangos and cilantro.  Toss everything together until dressing is well distributed.  Serve and enjoy!

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #sensationalsides below:

Devour: 6 Protein-Heavy Salads to Make Your Desk Lunch Less Sad
Homemade Delish: 
Napa Cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad
Dishin & Dishes: 
Buddha Power Bowl
Creative Culinary: 
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bacon, Croutons and Buttermilk Herb Dressing
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Green Salad With Emerald Green Vinaigrette
Red or Green: 
Southwest Salad With Ranch Salsa Dressing
Healthy Eats: 
Balance Spring Meals with These Leafy Green Side Salads
TasteBook: 
The Ultimate Green Salad
Taste with the Eyes: 
Blackened Barramundi Salad, Blackberry Vinaigrette
The Mom 100: 
Pea Shoot Salad with Shrimp, Goat Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette
FN Dish: 
How to Eat Salad for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (and Not Be Mad About It)

Advertisements
Food!!

Cauliflower Au Gratin

unnamed (2)

Creating different sides for a meal can be fun. You can be very creative with different vegetables and toppings. Luckily my kids love pretty much anything, so it makes my life easier when creating a side. Cauliflower was the vegetable of choice this week, and I wanted it to be creamy like a potato au gratin. This is a super easy side that you can add to any dinner or dinner party. For one of the toppings I had to use bacon, and you can never go wrong with bacon. Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, or cheese of choice
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon, optional

Preparation:

Preheat oven 375 F degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets to water. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, remove and place in ice cold bowl of water (this will stop the cooking process). Set aside.

In another large bowl whisk together heavy cream, cheese, S&P and flour until well incorporated. Next drain cauliflower from cold water and place into the cream mixer. Toss everything together. Pour into baking dish. Top with Panko. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven, top with bacon and server.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Feed Me Phoebe: Paleo Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Scallion Pesto
The Heritage Cook: Easy Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Sriracha Butter (Gluten-Free)
Dishin & Dishes: Cauliflower Steaks with Curried Coconut Puree
Homemade Delish: Cauliflower Au Gratin
Healthy Eats: 6 Classic Comfort Foods with a Cauliflower Twist
Creative Culinary: Roasted Cauliflower with a Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Six Recipes To Make You Fall In Love With Cauliflower
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Cauliflower Patties
Taste with the Eyes: Grilled Eggplant Pizza with Low-Carb Cauliflower Crust
FN Dish: 6 Ways Cauliflower Can Stand In for Other Favorite Foods

Food!!

Warm Pumpkin Salad

unnamed (1)

Pumpkins are a staple for fall decor and food. I love everything pumpkin.  I’m that person that will have everything pumpkin as soon as October hits. I love to incorporate it in my cooking. I’m lucky enough that my store carries per cut and peeled pieces.  I like to make warm salads during the cooler months.  I figured this would be the perfect one to share. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pancetta, cubed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 whole Artichoke hearts, cut into wedges
2 lbs pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into desired pieces
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a baking dish add pumpkins and Artichoke hearts. Season salt, pepper and 1/4 cup olive oil. Place in the oven for 1 hour or until pumpkin is tender. Set aside.

In a medium skillet on medium heat add pancetta, cook until crispy. remove and place on paper towel to absorb any oils. In the same skillet add the fennel into pancetta oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside in large bowl. Add the pumpkin, artichokes and parsley. Toss together.

Dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation:
In a medium bowl add apple cider begin to whisk in olive oil. Whisk consistently. Season salt and pepper. Add garlic, lemon juice and molasses. Keeping whisking for another 2 minutes. Pour over pumpkin and veggie mix. Toss everything together. Top with crispy pancetta. Place in serving dish and enjoy.

P.S. This is a perfect dish for thanksgiving.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines
Bacon and Souffle: Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan
Homemade Delish: Warm Pumpkin Salad
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Butter
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Weelicious: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
TasteBook: Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
The Heritage Cook: Roasted Pumpkin, Potato, and Sage (Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Taste with the Eyes: Sultry Pumpkin Soup – Southwest Flavors, Dressed To Kill
FN Dish: 8 Ways to Eat Pumpkin All Day Long

Food!!

Jacked sweet potato quesadilla

unnamed (4)

Sweet potatoes are such a great alternative to potatoes and have so many health benefits. I love making French fries and burgers with sweet potatoes, but since my family loves a good Mexican meal I went ahead and made a sweet potato quesadilla. It was a hit we all loved it. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed. It’s super easy and great for a weeknight dinner. This is totally optional but you can microwave the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them.

Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
Flour or whole wheat tortillas
2 slices pepper jack, per quesadilla
2 slices pancetta, per quesadilla, optional
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Fill the pot about half full (you will need just enough water to cover the sweet potatoes) and add a dash of salt. Bring to boiling. Add sweet potatoes. Cover the pan and cook sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until just tender on the outside but resistant in the center when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool. Remove the skin of the sweet potatoes. Mash the potatoes, add butter, salt & pepper.

Take tortilla and spread the sweet potatoes. Top with cheese and pancetta. Fold tortilla over and place on a hot skillet. Press down and brown quesadilla for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:

Creative Culinary: Twice-Baked Jalapeno Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Streusel Topping
Homemade Delish: Jacked Sweet Potato Quesadilla
Healthy Eats: How Sweet It Is: 7 Sweet Potato Dishes for Every Palate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Sweet Potato, Green Onion & Herb Pommes Anna
Red or Green: Sweet Potato “Nacho” Dip
Taste with the Eyes: Caramelized Upside-Down French Sweet Potato Pie {Tarte Tatin}
Dishin & Dishes: Bacon Poblano Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
The Mom 100: Sweet Potato Pie
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
FN Dish: Five 5-Star Ways to Get Your Sweet Potato Fix

Food!!

Festive Champagne Punch

unnamed (22)

Give a final burst of summer this Labor Day weekend with this delicious Prosecco punch. It’s packed with flavor and super refreshing on these last couple days of heat. This drink would actually be really enjoyable around the holidays too. Feel free to add your favorite fruits. Your guests will be coming back for more, so make sure to stock up.

Ingredients: 
1/4 cup private stock dark rum 
1 whole bottle of prosecco 
1/2 grapefruit, sliced 
1 cup fresh raspberries 
1 can of Sanpellegrino Aranciata Soda Pomegranate and Orange
Fresh basil leaves, optional for garnish 
Preparation: 
Pour all of the above ingredients in a punch bowl or a large pitcher, stir, garnish, pour and enjoy. 
Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

The Lemon Bowl: Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Bacon and Souffle: Roasted Shrimp Orzo
The Hungry Traveler: Ginger Vanilla Fruit Salad
Homemade Delish: Festive Champagne Punch
Dishin & Dishes: Savory Tomato, Roasted Garlic and Mozzarella Tart
Creative Culinary: Zucchini and Cream Cheese Casserole
TasteBook: Apple-Pecan Chicken Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Batter Fried Pepper with Tzatziki Sauce
Healthy Eats: 6 Fall-Forward Recipes for Your Labor Day Celebration
Domesticate Me: Lobster Avocado Toast
Taste with the Eyes: “Margarita” Salmon Burger with Tequila, Lime, and Hatch Chiles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Shrimp & Peaches with Arugula Pesto
Red or Green: Spicy Greek Chickpea Spread
The Heritage Cook: Smoked Chicken Salad (Gluten-Free)
The Mom 100: Yogurt Berry Pops
FN Dish: The Last Hurrah: Grill Absolutely Everything on Labor Day

 

Food!!

Bite Size Peach Panini

unnamed (13)

Panini sandwiches are always fun to create; from to sweet to salty or in this case both. Peaches are in full bloom right now and are one of my favorite fruits. I wanted to highlight them in this recipe giving it the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Once you take a bite into this panini your mouth will be bursting with flavors from the saltiness of the prosciutto, the creaminess and sharpness of the Gorgonzola cheese, the sweetness of the peach and the crunchy and buttery taste of the ciabatta bread. Cutting them into halves or into fours will be the perfect bite size start to any party. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients: 
8 slices ciabatta bread 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for spreading on bread 
1 to 2 peaches, sliced into thin wedges 
2 cups Gorgonzola cheese crumbles 
4 slices prosciutto 
 
Preparation: 
 
Get the panini press nice and hot. Next take the pieces of bread and spread the butter on the outer part of the sandwich. Now add some Gorgonzola cheese, slices of peaches and finally one slice of prosciutto. Close the panini and put on the hot press for about 4-5 minutes, until toasted and golden brown.

unnamed (12)

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

Virtually Homemade: Mixed Summer Fruit Baked Oatmeal
Homemade Delish: Bite-Sized Peach Panini
The Heritage Cook: Grilled Chicken with Peach Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: Peach and Ricotta Crostini
Creative Culinary: Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate Dipped Peaches with Sea Salt
Red or Green: Summer Peach & Tomato Salad
The Mom 100: Sour Cream Peach Cobbler
Domesticate Me: Peach Crumble Smoothie
Daisy at Home: Creamy Peach Popsicles
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Six Ways to Savor Peaches
Healthy Eats: 7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime
Taste with the Eyes: Grilled Peach Salad, Over-The-Top Maple Bourbon Dressing
Swing Eats: Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla
Dishin and Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese and Aged Balsamic
FN Dish: 8 Juicy Ways to Eat Peaches Before They’re Gone

Food!!

Jalapeno and Peach Gelato

unnamed (6)

There is nothing better in the summer than a bowl of delicious ice cream. Being from Italian descent, I wanted to give gelato a whirl. So I called my dad up and asked for his recipe. He gave me the traditional ingredients but I wanted to bump it up a notch. This combo worked out perfectly.  It’s jalapeño and peach. Surprisingly it wasn’t spicy. I went easy on the jalapeños, but it’s just enough to get the flavor of the pepper without the heat.  The heat and cold as well as the spice and sweetness in this balance nicely.

Ingredients:
2 jalapeños, spilt and deseeded
1 large peach, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk ( you need whole milk)
5 egg yolks, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add milk cream and 1/2 cup sugar, whisk. Heat until bubbles forms around the edges. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, the remaining sugar and vanilla. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly; Tempering the eggs. Return mixture to saucepan; on medium heat and stirring with a wooden spoon consistently until the mixture slightly coats the back of the spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Now pour the mixture through a fine sieve. Next in a food processor or blender, blend the jalapeno and peaches into a puree. Pur puree into cream mixture, whisk.  Cover and place in the freezer overnight.

I don’t have a ice cream maker but I used my blendtec the next day to blend the mix after is been frozen to give it a silky smooth finish. Serve and store in freezer.

unnamed (5)

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

 

The Hungry Traveler Blog: Banana Coconut Paletas
The Lemon Bowl: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Shell
Creative Culinary: Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Sherbet
The Heritage Cook: Grilled Plums and Port Parfaits (Gluten-Free)
TasteBook: Triple Chocolate Mousse Pie
Dishin & Dishes: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Gelato
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Chocolate & Greens Fudgsicles
Red or Green: Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Yogurt
The Mom 100: Easy Chocolate Mousse
Weelicious: Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops
Taste with the Eyes: Figs and Sabayon à la Julia Child
Healthy Eats: Puddings, Pops and Pies: 7 Desserts Best Served Cold
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Seven Sensational Frozen Treats
FN Dish: 8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List

 

Food!!

Sweet Tomato Jam

unnamed (1)

Tomatoes in my garden are in full abundance. We have so much that we make sauce and freeze it.  Something that I learned as a child was how to make tomato jam.  Yes I said “jam.” It’s so delicious and goes great on a cheese board. As we all know tomatoes are actually fruit, so it’s natural to turn it into jam. Give it a try you will not be disappointed. 

Ingredients: 
12 large tomatoes
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks 
2 tablespoons cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
  
Preparation: 
Add tomatoes to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. 
Drain tomatoes. Peel off the skin, coarsely chop and remove core (if you would like to remove the seeds feel free to). Place into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth consistency. 
 In a large pot add tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Cook on medium to low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Until mixture has a jam consistency. Taste along the way adjust sweetness. Once done set aside to cool. 

Scoop into mason jars and refrigerate until ready to use.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
The Lemon Bowl: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
Homemade Delish: Sweet Tomato Jam
Healthy Eats: 7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
Creative Culinary: Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta 
Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Salad
Dishin & Dishes: Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
Domesticate Me: 10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
Swing Eats: Tiny Insalata Caprese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Tomato and Swiss Tart
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Pickle
Taste with the Eyes: Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
Red or Green: Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
The Mom 100: Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
FN Dish: 10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer

Food!!

Delicious Ceviche

unnamed

The heat is on this week in Philly. On days like today I just want fresh salads or juicy fruits. Ceviche is one of those dishes that I turn to when I want a no cook meal. 

A lot of people ask what Ceviche is.  Is it good?  What does it takes like?  Well I have had Ceviche before and I can personally say I love it. Here’s my own recipe for it.  There are so many different ways to make Ceviche. 

1 1/2lbs tilapia 

1/2 cup cilantro 

Juice of 8 limes 

Salt & pepper 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

2 avocados, cubed 

1 small onion, diced 

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped 

2 tomatoes, sliced around the core and chopped 

2 mangos, cubed 

1 Serrano pepper, diced 

1 seedless cucumber, cubed 

Tortillas chips, for serving 

Preparation:  Tilpia and chopped up in cubes, marinated in Lime juice for about 45 min.  (longer if you would like.) (Tip: The citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, basically cooking the fish.  Another fish that is great for this dish is Halibut).  

In a large bowl add chopped up avocado, onion,  the outer part of the tomato (basically cutting around the tomato because if not the pulp of the tomato causes too much juice), garlic, dash of salt, pepper, serrano peppers, cucumbers, mangos, cilantro and olive oil.  Toss everything together and set aside. After about 45 mins or so drain the lime juice and place fish in salad mix.  You can put them on a dish or a fancy glass to capture the eye. Serve with tortillas. 

Before preparing this dish just make sure you research your fish and make sure your market sells the freshest fish.  Enjoy!

unnamed111

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

Feed Me Phoebe: 5 Farmer’s Market Summer Salad Recipes
Healthy Eats: 
Ovenless Entertaining
Dishin & Dishes: 
Coral Snake Salsa (Apricot Tomatillo)
The Mom 100: 
Simple Raspberry Fool
Domesticate Me: 
Arugula Salad with Shaved Zucchini, Pistachios and Parmesan
Taste with the Eyes: 
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin à la Jean-Georges
Homemade Delish: 
Delicious Ceviche
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich with Basil-Garlic Scape Pesto
Red or Green: 
Gott’s Gazpacho
Swing Eats: 
Green Grapes, Drunken Goat Cheese, and Jalapenos on a Toothpick
Bacon and Souffle: 
Scallop Ceviche
FN Dish: 
A Complete Menu of No-Cook Recipes for the Whole Day

Food!!

Refreshing Watermelon Salsa

unnamed (22)

Mexican food is a favorite in our household.  From tacos to salsa we love it all.  One of the things I love to create is fresh salsas and different flavors.  I think sweet and spicy always go great together. So I took a summer staple, a watermelon, and created a delicious refreshing salsa. A lot of people might think it’s weird but it works. I hope you give it a try. I promise you will not be disappointed. 
 
Also you can’t have salsa and not have a delicious margarita in hand. I used the rest of my watermelon to make a homemade margarita. 
 
Salsa Ingredients: 
2 cups watermelon, cubed 
1 Serrano pepper, diced 
1 jalapeño pepper, diced 
1/2 red onion, diced 
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 
Salt & pepper, to taste 
1 yellow bell pepper, diced 
1 orange bell pepper, diced 
2 Garlic cloves, minced 
Juice of 1 lime 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
 
Preparation: 
 
Place all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well incorporated. Enjoy with tortilla chips.
 
Margarita ingredients: 
2 cups tequila 
1 cup lime juice 
1/4 cup agave nectar, more if desired 
4 cups watermelon 
3 cups ice cubes 
 
Preparation: 
In a blender place all of the above ingredients and blend. Serve with salt or sugar on rim or nothing at all. Cheers! 

Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #SummerSoiree below:

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Homemade Delish: Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
Healthy Eats: Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon
Creative Culinary: Margarita Watermelon
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
The Mom 100: Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie
Taste with the Eyes: Unique Watermelon Salad – Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind

This slideshow requires JavaScript.