Monday, June 29, 2009

I Won!

Okay, today is a good day.

I won the Cedar Plank kit from Food Blogga.

I can't tell you how excited I am to try it. Coming from a commercial fishing family, it's a complete embarrassment I've never used planks for grilling. Just straight on the barbecue or broiled.

So, hopefully next week, I'll be outside grilling with the planks and trying out this recipe!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pea Salad

I bring this salad to almost every potluck/cookout. Everyone always asks for the recipe, and I'm almost embarrassed at how simple it is.

But then again, food does not always need to be complicated to be great.

So, without further ado, my Pea Salad.


2 small bags frozen peas
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
3 stalks green onion, diced
1 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper...wait for it...diced
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise, depending on how mayonnaise-ey you like it
1/3 cup salted, dry roasted peanuts

Combine everything except the peanuts in a large bowl. You'll want to use the peas in their frozen state as it is much easier to mix everything together this way. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate. I usually make this the night before to let all the flavors combine and the peas thaw. But if you need to make it the day of, pull the salad out an hour before serving to make sure you're not serving frozen peas.

Mix the peanuts into the salad directly before serving.

The Return of Saturday Roundup

Hey there. It's been a while.

I missed you. Really, I did.

Between Father's Day and our house guests last week, I've been ever so neglectful.

Let's talk about some great grub, shall we?

White Bean, Chicken and Poblano Chili from Zolo Grill in Boulder via Everyday With Rachael Ray. This has become a family favorite. My mom even served it on Christmas Eve last year.

Asian Pear Mojito. So refreshing. Very dangerous. This is a copycat of the original from P.F. Changs.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef
from A Year of Slow Cooking. Though I love the idea of crockpots, I'm highly wary of most crockpot recipes. But this was seriously good. Seriously.

Have you tried anything noteworthy recently? Do tell!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CEiMB Review: Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham

I'll put it out there. I'm not a ham fan. I have never liked it. My brother doesn't either - but my mother has a block on that fact and still serves it up every single Easter. And then is surprised EVERY SINGLE YEAR when we don't eat it.

So, right off the bat, I decided to substitute something for the ham in this recipe. I saw that someone had used andouille sausage instead - and that sounded SO MUCH BETTER.
I picked up some chicken andouille at Trader Joe's. I also added some poblano into the mix to heat things up a bit. I like my jambalaya SPICY! The only other substitution I made is with the shrimp. I thought I had a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer - turns out all I had was a mix of shrimp, calamari, and scallops. They worked beautifully.

Let me tell you, this was delicious! My picky husband ate it (well, he picked out the veggies) and my 17 month old kept on asking for 'bite? bite?'. I was worried it might be too spicy for him, but he loved it, and had a whole bowlful for lunch yesterday.

Did I mention that this is even better the next day?

Below you'll find the recipe with my modifications. The original recipe is here.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 poblano pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste (I used A LOT more)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 ounces diced chicken andouille sausage (this works out to 2 Trader Joe's sausages)
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 pound mixed seafood (calamari, shrimp and scallops)
Hot pepper sauce

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in the next 11 ingredients, salt through the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the shrimp and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more, or until shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with hot pepper sauce.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Roundup

I haven't been cooking much these last few weeks - I've been caring for an extra child so by the time evening rolls around, I'm a zombie. We've had a few hot dog or pizza night of late.

I did manage to try out a few new things:

General Tsao's Chicken a la Weight Watchers. Surprisingly good!

Did you know Gywneth Paltrow has a food newsletter? Anyhow, scroll halfway down the page... check out Katie Lee Joel's (yes - married to the great Billy Joel) Dark Chocolate Chunk and Dried Cherry Cookies. Yum!

Marinated Greek Chicken Kabobs. I added a few cloves of chopped garlic to the marinade.

Jessica Seinfeld's Sweet Potato Pancakes. If you have a pancake obsession like I do, you'll love these. They're a great way to sneak some veggies into your kids (or husband's) breakfast as well.

Have you tried anything lately you loved? Comment below and tell me about it!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review: Double Chocolate Pudding Pie

So I've joined this group called Craving Ellie in My Belly. Every week, we try out an Ellie Krieger recipe and share our results.

This weeks recipe is Double Chocolate Pudding Pie. I volunteered to bring dessert to a dinner at a friend's house this week - so I had the perfect opportunity to try it out. Plus, it's been pretty warm around here, so a nice cool pudding pie sounded like just the ticket.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good. It needed a little more crust, and the pie filling itself was a little too gelatinous for my liking. And I've never worked with plain gelatin before - that stuff smells nasty. Like a horse. But I digress.

I will probably make it again, but next time I might use less gelatin and more cornstarch. But for a low fat, healthy dessert, not bad.

And I did try to photograph the pie, but it kept on coming out looking, well, jello-y and shiny. So here's a photo of my son after enjoying a few bites.

He liked it! Really!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lime in the Coconut Pops

Good god almighty, these are good.

No photo, cause they're a bore to look at, but to eat? OHMYGOODNESS.


1 can light coconut milk
16 ounces yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup water
zest of one lime (if you're feelin' fancy)

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, water and lime juice to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in lime zest.

In a large bowl, or blender, combine the coconut, yogurt and lime/sugar/water mixture. Mix well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking rum might be a good addition to these frozen treats. But then, isn't rum ALWAYS a good add?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mango Orange Yogurtsicles

We are having unseasonally warm weather these last few weeks. And by warm, I mean over 60.
And if feels amazing. It's the only way I can stand to live in the Pacific Northwest - the handful of truly gorgeous weeks we are granted yearly.

Warm weather like this calls for cool treats! I ordered up these popsicle molds a few weeks back and just had to give them a try.

This is a recipe close to one my mom used to make for us as children. Except she didn't use the mango - just orange juice concentrate and yogurt (also very yummy).


16 ounces plain yogurt
2 cups frozen mango chunks (you could use fresh, but I had frozen handy - from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate

Throw all the ingredients in the blender. Blend till smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

EAT. Outside on a lounge chair, preferably.