Monday, 30 July 2012

For Nate Dogg! Pistachio crusted Chicken Breast

This Summer I noticed a surge in pistachios entering the market place. Wee Bear and I love them and they, as it turns out, are very healthy! Yippy! Something we love, is good for us! BONUS!!

Pistachios promote probiotics in the stomach. In addition to providing ample protein, vitamin B6 and thiamin, new research conducted at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md., found that people who ate 3 ounces—a couple handfuls—of pistachios daily for 19 days had elevated levels of probiotics (good bugs) in their digestive tracts. Specifically, pistachios promoted butyrate-producing flora—microbes believed to maintain colon health and even reduce colon cancer risk. Scientists think pistachios' abundant dietary fiber and phytochemicals may be the reasons behind these benefits.

I love the single serving packs for hiking and the large bag of shelled pistachio's for making delicious recipes. Somehow, I like the activity of shelling my pistachio's when I am having them as a snack or with a cocktail. On one of our hikes where we take turns, making lunch, I packed the single serving pistachio's for a snack. I found out that my son-in-law, Nate Dogg (named for his alma mater, University of Washington Husky's) loves pistachio's. Soon after, I blogged about a healthy, skinny pistachio dip (June 16th). Today, I am offering a scrumptious Pistachio crusted Chicken Breast with a mustard cream sauce. 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea die for!

Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea Salt

There is a deep divide between those who favor sweet and those who favor salt. This is fact! However, is that a divide that can meld, if you combine the two?

Most people born and raised in the US, tend to be rather salt heavy and frequently use it in our desserts. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, even bread, ice cream and pie crusts. Fruit based desserts should not use salt, because they rely on the delicate interplay between sweet and sour for their appeal. Most cooks reach for the salt without even thinking when components include cream, chocolate, nuts and caramel are involved. I love the combination of salt and chocolate, and came across this recipe, courtesy of Saveur.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Rhubarb Tart - good for you and oh so DELICIOUS!

One of my favorite Summer treats is Rhubarb pie! I have combined it with many other fruits, for a delicious dessert or afternoon snack.

 Early records of rhubarb in America identify an unnamed Maine gardener as having obtained seed or root stock from Europe in the period between 1790-1800. He introduced it to growers in Massachusetts where its popularity spread and by 1822 it was sold in produce markets. Earliest records of rhubarb, date back to 2700 BC in China where Rhubarb was cultivated for medicinal purposes (its purgative qualities). It is amazing how far back some of the delicious vegetables, fruits and nuts date. My mind wanders, thinking, how  did our ancestors use it?  From my research, it was used more as medicine, now we enjoy delicious deserts and side dishes. It is a perfect complement to pork or chicken.

Rhubarb is a cool season, perennial crop. It requires temperatures below 40 °F / 5 °C to break dormancy and to stimulate spring growth and summer temperatures averaging less than 75 °F / 24 °C for vigorous vegetative growth. The Northern U.S. and Canada are well suited for rhubarb production. In the United states it grows best in the northern states from Maine south to Illinois and west to Washington state. Once planted, rhubarb plantings remain productive for 8 to 15 years. I am trying to figure out where I can plant a rhubarb plant, I just love it! For now, I buy it at my local farmers market. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Potato cakes with a!

 Here is a new potato dish, I think you will love! It is easy to make and your family will love you for changing things up a bit! If you have a surplus of left over potatoes this is perfect!  When attending the certificate series, my school age children just loved for me to create new meals for them and their friends.  Whether it be Chinese, Italian, French, German or Japanese, they were eager to try it! This was one of their favorites! With their crispy exterior and creamy, cheesy center, there’s not much to dislike here. I recommend a poached egg on top for breakfast!!

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Little Bite ~ Mini Cannoli Cream Cups

I was looking for something to present for dessert the other night that was simple and fast, but also tasty. As I do, I scoured the Internet for something that would strike my fancy! Found these little buddies!! Cannoli's traditionally take some work so I was thrilled to come across this super easy recipe. I know we are all strapped for time so today I am offering you these little bites courtesy of Arlene "aka" 'Sugar' at She provides a video tutorial on how to make these cannolis the easy way -check it out!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Healthy Dessert Pizza! Yum!

Monday, I gave you a tutorial on "How to make great pizzas on your gas grill". Today, to round out your party, I am giving you a tutorial on Sweet pizza! Kids will love this as well as adults! 

This dessert pizza is going to have your family and friends clapping and cheering for more! It resembles a pizza in so much as it's round, has some type of crust and is finished with toppings, other than that, it's a dessert for sure. I wouldn't mention it in Italy or try to get a slice of it in New York, but that doesn't mean that it's not absolutely delicious! Give it a try!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Pizza! Made on your gas barbeque!!

When I tell people that one of the best things you can put on your grill is a pizza I get a lot of blank stares. It seems a lot harder than it really is and the results will leave you turning you noses up at fast food pizzas forever. Pizza is fun to make outside and chances are that grill in your backyard is the perfect tool for making the perfect pizza. 
All pizzas start with the dough. With a little bit of effort, my dough can easily be mastered. However, if you don't have time or are intimidated by working with yeast, call your local pizza place and see if they will sell you some of their dough. In some areas you can buy refrigerated dough, but the tube kind is not so good. If you use a heavy, bready, prebaked, vacumn packed pizza just won't be the same.
Here is the recipe for the dough I make, I like it as it has a little wheat in it, but not enough to make the dough tuff.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Gone to the DOGS!! Pup Cake recipe!

Happy Birthday! left, Moose, Bandit, Beemer and Bentley.

  Bentley, Bandit and Moose have the same Mother and Father, however, Moose is one year older than the two litter mates.  They share a birthday. I have made some pup healthy treats in the past, but,  hadn't made up my own recipe until now. The pups loved this carrot cake, even our resident picky eater, Beemer!! I made a pup healthy cake, easy and you can refrigerate or freeze for a later date!

Making a Birthday cake for your dog can seem like a daunting task. Dogs cannot eat all the things we can and they have limitations on sweets as well. Finding the perfect mix between healthy and yummy this cake will please the most finicky pup!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Taste of Enchantment! Southwest Chopped Salad!

 We enjoy the cuisine of the Southwestern United States known to be popular in the southwestern United States, the west coast and state of California. It comprises a fusion of recipes for foods that might have been eaten by Spanish colonial settlers, cowboys, Native Americans and Mexicans throughout the post- Colombian era; there is however, a great diversity in this kind of cuisine throughout the Southwestern states. Wee Bear and I just love it!

Southwestern cuisine is similar to Mexican cuisine, but, often involves larger cuts of meat, and less use of tripe, brain and other parts not considered as desirable in the United States. Like Mexican cuisine, it is also known for its use of spices (particularly the chile, or chili pepper) and accompaniment with beans (frijoles), cooked in a variety of manners. Note that "chili" generally refers to a thick stew or soup prepared with beans and meat, while "chile" refers to to the peppers that grow in this region and have been eaten for thousands of years by native people.

I took classes to learn more about this cuisine from Barbara Fenzl, who is owner of Les Gourmettes Cooking School in Phoenix, Arizona, and author of three cookbooks (one collaborated with Jacques Pepin) focused on the cuisine of the Southwest. She hosted a PBS television series, Savor the Southwest, which aired in over 90 cities! She also teaches at La Combe en Perigord in southern France, Rancho La Puerta in Mexico, and the Spa at Lake Austin in Texas. I was thrilled that she came to Desert Mountain (my community in Scottsdale) to teach on several occasions! I will be featuring some of my Southwestern recipes in future blogs, let me know if you enjoy!

 My friend Ruth grew up in the southwest, is an accomplished home chef, and a successful career woman. She has opened up my eyes to many southwestern dishes that are delicious and eye appealing, over the years. This is a salad she created for us one evening, a few months ago. It is soooo tasty, I asked her if she would share the recipe with me, so that I could recreate and share with my viewers! It is easy to make and oh so Delicious! Don't you just love all the colors!!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Meatless Monday! Parsely Ravioli!

Won ton wrappers make a great substitute for homemade pasta, so you can whip up these tasty ravioli on a weeknight. They're made with flat-leaf parsley, also called Italian parsley, which tastes much more robust than the curly variety. Parsley is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, so use it generously, as this recipe does.

Parsley Ravioli
adapted from Sunset

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cookie Dough + Cheesecake = umm, yes please!

Another creation from Sweet One's Sweet Shop!

I came across this recipe while surfing the blogosphere. I am not a huge cheesecake fan but the flavor profile/combination intrigued me! It came out delicious and had just the right amount of cookie dough and cheesecake. This was so easy to make...I think you need to get into the kitchen and make this immediately!

Recipe adapted from

Monday, 2 July 2012

Skewer your 4th with this!!

 Happy 4th of July! We're so grateful to live in this great Country and to celebrate the birth of our Nation. On this day we thank our servicemen and women who are fighting for our freedom and keeping our country safe. Many of us celebrate our Nation’s birth filled with family gatherings, picnics, barbecues, parades, and showing a great emphasis on the American tradition of Freedom. The most common symbol of Independence Day is the American flag, but other symbols include the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York harbor and Macy’s fireworks display viewed all over the United States. Most of us display the American flag outside our home or buildings. My family and friends will be with us for the annual celebration of our independence! I will see you again on Friday!

  July is upon us, the Summer is really heating up in most areas in our country. I’m sure you, like most people are preparing your menu for this July 4th for family and friend cookouts. That means grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, steaks, chicken, Mom's potato salad, corn on the cob and veggie's. Mmmmmmm Mmmmmm, I can't wait, my mouth is watering just writing this! Today I am offering a method of grilling kabobs. What about BOB? No, I said KABOB!!!! Okay, I've got your attention!!

I love kabobs, but, am frequently disappointed when when the meat is over cooked. Over the years I have had mixed success trying to come up with the perfect combination of flavors and fire. Too often my attempts ended with beef that's either chalky with black spots or practically incinerated with the red raw center. And the vegetables? These usually turn out torched on the outside and crunchy on the inside. I have been determined to nail a foolproof approach to putting some great flavor into the beef and achieving nicely browned, tender-firm vegetables at the same time. Here is what I have found to be the epitome of perfectly done kabobs!! Enjoy!