Food!!

Asparagus crostini fun

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Asparagus is in season so it’s time to breakout those delicious recipes. I’m always looking for different ideas to entertain family and friends. This asparagus pesto is great for crostinis, where the toppings can be endless.

Leftovers of the pesto were used to toss with pasta. This recipe will be sure to please all those asparagus lovers.

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cooked and blanched in cold water.
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup raw almonds
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups evoo
1 French baguette, sliced and toasted
Parmesan Reggiano, garnish optional
Baked Prosciutto slices, garnish optional
Ricotta, garnish optional
Baby arugula, garnish optional

Preparation:

Slice the French baguette and place on a baking sheet. Take 1/4 cup of evoo and brush it over the slices of bread. Sprinkle a little salt over the slices. Once toasted set aside.

In a food processor add, asparagus, almonds, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic and s&p. Pulse and slowly add evoo until desired consistency.

Spread over slices of bread and top with desired toppings.

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

Creative Culinary: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic and Parsley

Homemade Delish: Asparagus Crostini

Devour: 25 Ways to Use Asparagus

Feed Me Phoebe: Spring Quinoa Mujadara with Asparagus

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Asparagus & Arugula Panzanella

Healthy Eats: 5 Fresher Ways to Prepare Asparagus

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Asparagus, Onion & Pesto Pizza

Red or Green: Roasted Asparagus with Spicy Thousand Island Dressing

The Mom 100: Millet Greens Salad

Taste with the Eyes: Modern Asparagus Spring Rolls – Red Chili, Black Sesame, Almond

FN Dish: 6 Ways to Bundle Up Asparagus This Spring

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Food!!

Napa cabbage, Mango and Bacon Salad

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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)

Food!!

No Bake Mascarpone cheesecake in a cup

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This is the perfect quick fix if you’re craving a delicious piece of cheesecake. I love a no bake dessert because it’s super simple clean up and a no waiting game. This particular one is perfect for entertaining as well because they are individual servings.

In a traditional cheesecake of course you use cream cheese but I wanted to make this double the fun and added marscarpone as well (an Italian cream cheese). I also added a scoop of apricot preserve and let’s just say there was a party in my mouth.

Ingredients:

2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
8oz  package cream cheese, room temperature
8oz package marscarpone, room temperature
6-8 scoops apricot preserve
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cups powdered sugar

Preparation:
In a mixing bowl add cream cheese, marscarpone, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Mix for about 2 minutes until everything is well incorporate and smooth.

Take serving cups or bowls and layer some graham crackers then cream cheese filling and a scoop of apricot preserve. Repeat until desired amount.

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

Homemade Delish: No-Bake Mascarpone Cheesecake in a Cup

Creative Culinary: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Three Cake Recipes To Get You Through Till Spring

Red or Green: Spiced Gingerbread Cake

Healthy Eats: 5 Cupcakes That Are Secretly Lighter

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Dark Chocolate Brownies

The Mom 100: Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake with Sweet Vanilla Drizzle

FN Dish: 5 Stunning Cakes with Sky-High Fan Reviews

 

Food!!

Parmesan crusted potato wedges

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Potato wedges are a perfect side to any dinner dish. Instead of frying my potatoes I went ahead and baked them. But before placing these wedges in the oven I dipped them in Parmesan cheese, yes cheese. I hope you give these a try they will not disappoint. 

Ingredients: 

3 large potatoes, cut into wedges 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

2 cups Parmesan cheese 

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 

Preparation: 

Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.

In a medium bowl add cheese and Italian seasoning, mix. Cut potatoes into wedges. Dip the potatoes into cheese mix and place on to a baking dish. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over wedges. Place in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown or until cheese is crispy. 

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

Creative Culinary: Bacon and Caramelized Onion Potato Salad
Homemade Delish: Parmesan-Crusted Potato Wedges
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Stir-Fried Purple Potatoes
Healthy Eats: 6 Better Ways to Eat Potatoes
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Slow Cooked Baked Potatoes
Taste with the Eyes: Flatbread Pizza: Potato, Arugula, Sour Cream, Chives, Olive, Truffle, Lemon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mashed Russet and Sweet Potato Casserole
Red or Green: Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Sweet Potatoes Anna with Apples and Raisins
From My Corner of Saratoga: Air Fried French Fries
FN Dish: 5 Downright Perfect Potato Dish

Food!!

Italian Cioppino Soup

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It’s officially winter, and soup is in full effect in our house. I grew up with my dad making soups all the time, and this was one of them. It’s called cioppino, an Italian American seafood soup or stew. It’s a one pot delight. Enjoy and hope your keeping warm. 

Ingredients: 

1 lb cod, cut into chunks 

1 lb mussels, scrubbed 

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 

1/4 cup tomato paste 

2 piece celery, chopped

1 1/2 cups dry white wine 

5 cups vegetable stock 

1 bay leave 

5 garlic cloves, minced 

1 28oz can diced tomato 

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Preparation: 

In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil. Add onions, celery and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, salt, pepper flakes and tomato paste and diced tomato, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the stock, wine and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes so flavors combined. 

Next add mussels to broth and cook for about 5 minutes until mussels begin to open. Finally add shrimp and fish cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, stir. 

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of Italian bread. 

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

The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Posole Rojo
Creative Culinary: Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham
Homemade Delish: Italian Cioppino Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Soup
Dishing with Divya: Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Creamy Vegetable Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (in a slow cooker)
Red or Green: New Mexican Green Chile, Turkey & Posole Soup
The Heritage Cook: Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 14 Sensational Soups
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Winter Squash & Chickpea Ribollita
The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup
The Mom 100: Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Healthy Eats: 5 No-Brainers for Improving Chicken Soup
FN Dish: Soup’s On! 5 Warming Must-Make Bowls

 

Food!!

Fennel and potato gratin

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Most people know about a traditional potato au gratin dish, but I wanted to give this classic a twist and add some fennel.  The results were delicious. If you’re planning on bringing a side dish to a party or just making it for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes sliced into 1/4 inch slices or using a mandolin slicer
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 large garlic clove
1 fennel bulb, sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices or using a mandolin slicer
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/4 cups shredded fontina cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped almonds, optional for garnish

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Smear butter in a 1 quart casserole dish.

In a food processor add flour, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, milk, garlic and butter. Pulse for 30 seconds, add the cheese and stir together and set aside.

Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the 1/2 of the fennel slices, Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/2 milk mixture on to potatoes and fennel. Repeat.

Next add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Top with almonds and serve.

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

Feed Me Phoebe: Butternut Squash Gratin with Gruyere and Pistachios
The Lemon Bowl: Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Homemade Delish: Fennel and Potato Gratin
The Mom 100: Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Rye & Roasted Butternut Squash Dressing
Red or Green: Green Beans with Chipotle Butter
The Mediterranean Dish: Shrimp Bruschetta
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Fail-Proof Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Lobster, Artichoke and Spinach Bake
Creative Culinary: Baked Mushrooms in a Parmesan Cream Sauce
Healthy Eats: 7 Holiday Sides That Won’t Spoil Dessert
FN Dish: 5 Indulgent Side Dishes to Deck Your Holiday Table

Food!!

Thai carrot noodles

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If you enjoy Thai peanut noodles you will love this dish. The crazy part about it is it doesn’t have  noodles at all, but it’s substituted by carrots sliced really thin or by using a spiralizer. This is a super easy dish to make and enjoy. My kids loved it too. 
Ingredients: 
4 carrots, cut super thin or spiralizer
3-4 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon peanut butter 
1 tablespoon honey 
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce 
2 teaspoon sesame oil 
Zest of 1 lime 
Juice half a lime 
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger 
Sriracha sauce, optional for garnish 
1/2 cup crushed unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 
Preparation:   
In a medium bowl add soy, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, lime zest, honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and garlic. Whisk everything together until well incorporated. 
In a large skillet on medium to high heat add remaining sesame oil and carrots. Sauté for about 1 minute,  now add the peanut butter sauce and toss everything together for another minute. Remove from heat and add cilantro, crushed peanuts and Sriracha. Toss and serve. 
Check out the other great dishes from this week’s Food Network Blog #fallfest below:
Food!!

Brussels Sprout and Bacon Pizza

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We love to eat Brussels sprouts in our home pretty much any time of the year. I wasn’t a big fan as a child but I’m obsessed now or maybe it’s because I use bacon fat to cook my Brussels sprouts in. Whatever the case may be we love to eat it and why not combined that with another favorite… Pizza?  I decided to grill my pizza since it was a beautiful day. I grill year around if it’s nice out. I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Ingredients: 

Brussels sprouts, chopped finely 

Salt & pepper, to taste 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder 

12 pieces bacon, cut in pieces 

Olive oil, for brushing on to pizza dough

3 cups Italian fontina cheese, shredded 

Pizza dough, store bought is fine

Truffle oil, topping 

Pecorino Romano, shavings for garnish 

Preparation: 

In a large skillet on medium to high heat add a couple slices of bacon. Cook until golden and crispy about 5 minted per side. Remove and place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat process until all of the bacon is cooked (try not to eat any haha). Set aside 

Next add the Brussels into the skillet with the bacon drippings. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder sauté for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Get grill nice and hot. Brush some olive oil on to the pizza. Place on the grill once it starts to bubble flip the pizza.  It should only take about 2-3 minutes per side. 

Once flipped add fountain cheese, remove after cheese has melted. Next top with Brussels and bacon. Garnish with pecorino and truffle oil. 

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

Feed Me Phoebe: Quinoa Brussels Sprout Gratin with Smoked Cheddar
Homemade Delish: Brussels Sprout and Bacon Pizza
Creative Culinary: Fried Brussels Sprouts with a Sriracha and Honey Glaze
Napa Farmhouse 1885:  Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pesto Pizza
Red or Green: Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad With Avocado & Pomegranate Seeds
Taste with the Eyes: Brussels, Bacon, Balsamic
TasteBook: Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Healthy Eats: 6 Ways to Never Get Bored of Brussels Sprouts
The Mom 100: White Bean and Roasted Cauliflower Spread with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: The Only 5 Brussels Sprouts Dishes You’ll Need This Season

Food!!

Warm Pumpkin Salad

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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

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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