Friday, April 20, 2012

April showers bring...Cinco de Mayo!

I think we can all agree that the weather in north America has been completely out-of-whack; in Cincinnati anyway.  One day we're experiencing 85 degree Fahrenheit then the next day we need a jacket. Either way, two things remain certain. One, it is the month of April. And two, it has definitely been raining!  One thing comes to mind as we creep toward the end of this shower period... CINCO DE MAYO IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

You don't have to be in Mexico to appreciate this wonderful holiday.  People in the United states observe it as well! If you live in neither of those countries I say strap a sombrero to your head and say "O'lay!" anyway because this guacamole is worth celebrating over! This is a fun, easy and positively delicious recipe with very few ingredients and steps!

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes

-4 medium avocados
-4 cloves smashed garlic
-1/4 finely chopped red onion
-1 large lime
-pinch of salt
-1 bag tortilla chips

1. Slice in half, pit and peel the avocado by using a paring knife. Try cutting the avocado while still in the skin in a checkerboard pattern. Then flip it over and push it out of the skin into a medium size bowl. That makes it easier but takes longer.
2. Using a medicine mallet or hand held garlic smasher, smash the garlic until it is extremely fine.  If you are using the mallet, add a pinch of salt to the garlic before smashing to make it easier.  
**The salt grinds help break down the garlic**
3. Dice the onion until it is extremely fine (nobody likes to chew on a large piece of onion)
4. Use a hand-held mixer or fork to mash the avocado. Be careful not to mash it too much or else it will lose the intended thick consistency 
5. Juice the lime over the avocado and stir in the rest of the ingredients
6. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pasta Skaloozi

I am horrible. No need to tell me twice. I completely realize that I have not even typed my website in the URL box since January. I am ashamed and my greatest apologies go out to you...that is, if you are still there.  I have a good reason for my negligence! I recently got married and moved into a new home with my husband (Brian). That along with a honeymoon and other serious stresses that come with planning a wedding have negatively impacted my attention to my precious little hobby.

Enough of that, you get the drift. Now lets stop moping and start cooking!!!

This is one of the first dishes I made as a married woman. It is a concoction that I'm pretty sure does not exist out there, until now that is. In order to patent this creation, I named it something outrageous. How did I come up with Pasta Skaloozi you ask? It is catchy, fun to say, and quite frankly the first thing that came to mind. My husband thinks it's "so cheesey" but I tell you this: What will you remember more, chicken and vegetable pasta or pasta skaloozi? So say it a few times! Go ahead, I won't tell anyone. You'll see how fun it is to say.  It will be even more fun to order it in a restaurant one day. Just saying.  Here's how I make it... (I really should stop giving my recipes away for free)...Either way, this gets the stamp of approval for an original recipe that is fun, easy and positively delicious!

Serves: 4
-6 vine ripened tomatoes
-4 chicken breasts (if frozen, make sure they are thawed completely prior to cooking)
-1 small to medium finely chopped yellow onion
-3 cloves smashed garlic with a pinch of salt
-1 box whole wheat penne pasta
-2 zucchini
-1/2 lb fresh cut green beans (not frozen or canned)
-1 lb fresh cut mushrooms (not frozen or canned)
-1/2 lb fresh cut carrots
-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Sautee garlic, onion and olive oil in a medium to large frying pan
2. Stir frequently so the onion cooks evenly
3. In the meantime, chop the tomatoes into small cube pieces
4. Pour the tomatoes along with their juice in the pan. Cook on medium heat
5. Once the tomatoes start to create a sauce, place chicken breasts in the pan
6. While the chicken is cooking, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in a deep hot pan
7. Place the cut vegetables in the pan and stir frequently to cook evenly for about fifteen minutes or until golden
8. Turn chicken over and cook until completely white on the inside 
9. As the chicken continues to cook, pour pasta in a large pot of boiling water and follow the directions on the box
Serve hot... Bon a petite!