Thursday, January 28, 2010

FNCCC Assignment #21 - Ingrid Hoffmann

I have not seen Ingrid Hoffmann's show but after reading only the first page of her recipes on FN I've seen several that I want to try. It's going to be tough deciding on just one.
"Passionate about food and entertaining, Ingrid Hoffmann spends each day sharing her enthusiasm and talent with an international audience. Ingrid launched Simply Delicioso ( on Food Network last July and also hosts her own Spanish-language cooking and lifestyle show, Delicioso, on Galavision/Univision. Her infatuation with food was so strong that Ingrid returned to her passion, and opened Rocca, the first restaurant to feature tabletop cooking on heated lava rocks." (HOW COOL!)

We will post Ingrid's recipes on Wednesday, February 3, 2010. Can't wait to see what you are cooking!
HERE is the list of upcoming chefs if you want to plan ahead.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FNCCC - Ina Garten

I have been MIA for almost two weeks due to a computer with the Swine Flu (or some other kind of virus) that has been out of commission for over a week and a camera that finally decided to die. Who knows when the computer will be back. My new camera arrives on Thursday! There's no picture of my recipe because at that point the camera was only taking wavy purple pictures. I'll be back into the swing of things soon, I hope.

This week's Food Network chef is Ina Garten. She has a neat bio and she's fun to watch because she is so at home in the kitchen. I have heard that her cookbooks are fabulous. I can't wait to check them out.

I chose her Parmesan Chicken. It was just OK directly out of the pan, but my flattened chicken breasts took up the entire skillet so I had to do them in 4 batches. By the time we ate, the ones that were cooked first were soggy. I admit that I am not a pan fry kind of girl. I thought these were too greasy. The coating could have used a little something extra. The leftovers...even worse. I had to throw them away; something I never do. This recipe has not been added to my recipe box. You win some, you loose some but I won't give up on you Ina!

Parmesan Chicken
2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used four that, when flattened, were as big as dinner plates)
1 cup all-purpose flour (too much, could have used half that)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry (I completely forgot about this and the dressing by the time the dinner made it to the table, so I can not comment on this)
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin. (I loved doing this! I put them inside an empty cereal bag to do it without any mess)
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings

So what did you cook?? I'm excited to try some of your recommendations because mine didn't pan out. Link your recipe to MckLinky below.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FNCCC Assignment # 20 - Ina Garten

Next week's chef is Ina Garten who has fabulous food and over 600 recipes to choose from!
"In 1978, Ina Garten found herself working in the White House on nuclear energy policy and thinking, "There's got to be more to life than this!" She saw an ad for a small food store for sale in a place she'd never been: the Hamptons at the end of Long Island. She and her husband drove up to investigate and made the owner an offer on the spot. Two months later she found herself the owner of Barefoot Contessa, a 400-sq. ft. specialty food store." I loved watching her biography because her story has changed so much. She has numerous cookbooks and currently hosts Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.
We will post Ina's recipes on Wednesday, January 27, 2010. Can't wait to see what you are cooking!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FNCCC Week 19 - Guy Feiri

This week's featured chef is Guy Fieri, host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy's Big Bite, and Ultimate Recipe Showdown. He has some great recipes. I chose the Pan-Fried Catfish Sandwich with Chipotle-Lime Slaw. The fish was very tasty and moist but I'm not sure if it was good enough that I would do it exactly the same next time. It had a great crunch without any oil. I didn't make mine into a sandwich. The slaw was fantastic. Spicy! I couldn't wait to eat it for lunch the next day. I dig chipotle. I had to make the kids grilled cheese.

Pan-Fried Catfish Sandwich with Chipotle-Lime Slaw
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri

For the fish:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided
1/2 cup dark beer
3/4 cup whole-grain or stone-ground mustard
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound catfish fillets (cut into 4 pieces) - I used tilapia instead

For the slaw:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly shredded
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature - didn't use
4 Cuban rolls, split lengthwise - didn't make into sandwiches
1 cup canola oil - I baked mine so didn't use this

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, the chili powder and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a shallow dish. Combine the beer and mustard in a separate shallow dish (there was way too much of this). Mix the panko, granulated garlic, paprika, salt and remaining pepper into a third shallow dish.

Dredge the fish in the flour mixture and then the beer and mustard and lastly in the panko mixture. Arrange the fish on a sheet pan, lined with a cooling rack (I did not use a cooling rack and it turned out perfectly crispy), and refrigerate until ready to cook.

For the slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest and juice, chipotle, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the cabbage, onion, bell peppers, scallions, and cilantro and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Refrigerate.
Spread the butter on inside of rolls and arrange, crust side down, on a rack in the oven to toast while fish cooks.

Heat 1 cup oil in a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the fish, cooking on both sides until the coating turns golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to drain. Keep warm in the oven, if necessary. (Didn't do this step, as I baked it)

Cook's Note for an alternate method: Prepare fish as above, but arrange on a sheet pan lined with a baking rack (no baking rack, just put it right on the pan and flipped half way through). Put the fish into the hot oven and bake until cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Briefly broil both sides of fillets to get a good crisp coating. (I didn't broil it either and mine was super crispy)

To make each sandwich, arrange a piece of fish on the bottom half of the rolls and top with the slaw. Cover with another piece of bread and serve.

So what did you make this week? Can't wait to see what you choose!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Award :)

Jenn over at Bento For Kidlet and Angela at Confessions of a Non-Domestic Housewife
both gave me this award....and what a cute award it is! Come on, cupcakes make anyone's day better!

Jenn makes the most amazing bento lunches you have ever seen. It makes me feel a little guilty when I throw together a lunch for dear daughter (because I hate packing lunches). Angela has a series she does called "Princess Traning", which teachers her daughter to become a proper princess (awesome idea) and has taken over Kid Friendly Friday for me (thank you!!). Go check them out.

Here's what I'm supposed to do:
1. Copy the award image into a post.
2. List 10 things that make you happy.
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Put in a link to their blogs.
5. Notify the award receivers. (hold tight folks, this may take awhile :)
6. Recipients should link back to the sender's blog. (I say this can be optional. If I have given you an award you are in no way obligated to link back to me, just enjoy your award!)

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1. Carbohydrates

2. Bright Colors

3. My parents visiting from Minnesota.

4. Growing my own tomatoes (uggghhh - the FL cold spell killed them this week)

5. Being alone in the car so I can sing at the top of my lungs to whatever I want to listen to

6. Coffee in the morning

7. Family gatherings

8. Snuggling with a child that is not fully awake and demanding breakfast

9. Pizza (I could eat this daily but even more so when it's not me making it)

10. When my husband calls during the day just to say hi!

10 Bloggers That Brighten My Day:

3. The Misadventures of Mub


5. Lucy's Kitchen

6. Mother Is Not Concerned

7. Susie's Homemade

8. The First Year Wife


10. Adventures in Mommydom

Thousand Word Thursday - I Want to Clean

To clarify, I never want to clean.....but Little Bit really wants to clean. Good luck with getting that to stick! While I am on the phone she sees the opportunity to grab the spray bottle and rag (and taunts me a bit).....
and runs out the door.

I find her at her Little People table pretending to clean. She must have watched me (and is obviously a very quick learner because she doesn't see me do this often).

Getting her cleaning groove on.

And a bad hair day.

Cheaper Than Therapy holds A Thousand Word Thursday each week. Go visit to check out other pictures!

Kids in the Kitchen - Chex Mix

I've been meaning to make Chex Mix since the holiday season started and I got boxes of each cereal for less than a dollar. Nice! To make matters worse, The Pioneer Woman (whom I cannot get enough of these days) posted a recipe that is close to the original but uses fresh garlic. My parents are coming in to town tomorrow so I figured this would be a good snack to have around. Unfortunately, it is too good and we made it on Monday....which means it's almost gone. I do have enough cereal for another batch. Mimi did have lots of fun measuring everything out - and Little Bit had lots of fun sneaking cereal from the bowl :) See the link above for the recipe. Enjoy!

Go over to A Little Fun With Me and Lu to check out more Kids in the Kitchen posts!

FNCCC Assignment # 19 - Guy Fieri

This week's chef is an exciting one! "Guy Fieri competed on and won season two of The Next Food Network Star. Today he hosts three popular shows on Food Network, including Guy's Big Bite, where he teaches viewers how to make creative dishes with bold flavors, Ultimate Recipe Showdown, where he showcases home cooks' best recipes and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, where he travels across America to find the most unique food America has to offer."

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is one of my favorite FN shows to veg out to. What a job, to find and eat great food! I love Guy's personality - he is fun to watch. We will post Guy's recipes on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. Can't wait to see what you are cooking!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - I Used the Potty

Let me clarify, I always use the potty.....but out of nowhere, Little Bit used the potty for the first time (she really wanted on the big potty so luckily this little one was just under the bathroom sink). We couldn't get her out of the bathroom after that. She just wanted to keep sitting. SO different than the other two!

Check out more Wordless/Wordful Wednesday posts HERE or HERE.

FNCCC #18 - Giada De Laurentiis

This week's chef in the Food Network's Chefs cooking Challenge is Giada De Laurentiis. It was hard to pick just one recipe but I found a winner!

I have been grilling eggplant (and every other veggie) for a few months now. By itself, it's awesome. In this salad, it's guest worthy. And lunch worthy. And snack worthy. You get it. YUM!
Grilled eggplant is very flavorful with only evoo, salt and pepper. Pair it with creamy goat cheese, fresh basil and the bite of the balsamic vinegar - it's a little piece of heaven. Try it if you like these flavors! You will not be disappointed.

Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil
7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (couldn't find these anywhere - they moved them at my grocery store)
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side (it took a lot longer than this to get it done like I like it).
Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

So what did you make? I bet there were a lot of winners this week! Link to MckLinky below to share yours.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tempt My Tummy Peanut Butter Crumb Cake

My new favorite dessert cookbook is Fearless Baking by Elinor Klivans. I will be baking my way through it in the coming months (years, yes, there are that many good recipes). I discovered it at the library but found it on for 0.19 cents! Bonus :)

The Peanut Butter Crumb Cake is just the right amount of peanut butter (not overly so) and just the right amount of sweet. The crumb topping is perfect! The cake freezes nicely and is very moist when thawed (to freeze: when completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil). The picture I have here is a square that had been frozen. The crumb topping is a little smooshed, but no less delicious. You probably have everything on hand, so go make your peanut butter lovers happy today!

Peanut Butter Crumb Cake
by Elinor Klivans

2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 t salt
5 tablespoons soft, unsalted butter cut into pieces (for some reason I only put in 4 and it turned out just fine)
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, left alone for 5 minutes)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t baking soda
1 t water

Position the oven rack in the middle of the over and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 13x9x2 baking pan.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low (of course you can do it by hand or use a stand mixer like I did). Add the butter and peanut butter and continue beating until a mealy mixture with some large crumbs forms, about 1 minute. Remove 2/3 cup of the mixture and set aside for crumb topping. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and beat until blended and a thick batter forms. The batter will have a few lumps. Stir the baking soda and water together in a small bowl until dissolved and add to the batter, mixing just until it is blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over top.

Bake for about 30 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Go check out other Tempt My Tummy recipes at Blessed With Grace!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quite The Imagination

Yesterday, when I picked Mimi up from Sunday School, the teacher was so surprised that I was at church. Mimi told her class that her mom was sick with the flu and couldn't get out of bed. The class prayer for me. No flu. Wonder if she wants me to get sick? I asked Mimi about it and she played dumb....never heard of such a thing.

I just got a call from Mimi's preschool. They wanted to check to see if Mimi was OK to be at school. Mimi told her teacher that she was at the hospital yesterday and had to get something stuck down her throat. She told them she wasn't going to breath today so she wouldn't get anyone else sick. I just love the staff at the pre-school. They just laughed when I told them there was no sickness or hospital trip.

I am surprised that she is so bold to tell people these things. So what do you do with a 4 year old with a vivid imagination? I can't wait to see what she tells me about it when I pick her up today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It is COLD in FL

On our way to school - too cold (32) and but not often enough that we have cold weather gear that matches :)

Cheaper Than Therapy holds A Thousand Word Thursday each week. Go visit to check out other pictures!

FNCCC Assignment # 18 Giada DeLaurentiis

Giada De Larentiis is one of the chefs that I have actually seen on Food Network. "Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family's kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather's restaurant, DDL Foodshow.

Her Emmy winning, daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian, features quick, healthy and satisfying Italian dishes. Her primetime show, Giada's Weekend Getaways, debuted in January 2007 and follows Giada to popular destinations in and around the United States as she explores the cities' most notable restaurants and activities."

She has almost 900 recipes to choose from. We will post her recipes on Wednesday, January 13, 2010.
I hope you are having a wonderful new year! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wow - Great Price on Pioneer Woman

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is only $11.50 ($27.50) right now on Amazon (free shipping if you sign up for Amazon prime - you can cancel in the first 3 months)!! I love her blog and just checked this by accident and am so glad I did. I hear most of the recipes are from her blog, but I would like it in hardcover. Everything I have tried from her is outstanding.

Wordless Wednesday - Go Vikings!

Hooray for a first round bye!

Check out more Wordless/Wordful Wednesday posts HERE or HERE.

FNCCC #17 - George Duran - Turkey Quesadillas

After seeing George Duran's recipe for Fried Cookie Dough, I was a little hesitant to dive into the rest but was pleasantly surprised and book marked several recipes I want to try. He had some great stuff! I wish I had seen the Sand Art Brownie gifts before Christmas. I now need to remember this for Teacher Appreciation Week :) I made the Turkey Quesadillas, as I just made a turkey and have fond memories of a Turkey leftover sandwich I had years ago with cranberries and stuffing. This quesadilla was super yummy! If you are looking for a unique way to use up some leftovers.....

Turkey Quesadilla
Recipe courtesy George Duran

2 flour tortillas
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons grated Jack or Cheddar (I used jack)
2 tablespoons leftover stuffing
2 tablespoons cooked and chopped green beans
3 tablespoons chopped cooked turkey
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno peppers (I wasn't feeling spicy so didn't use these)
Vegetable oil cooking spray (didn't use this)

Place 2 tortillas on your board. Spread 1 with cranberry sauce and set aside. Sprinkle the cheese over the other one and crumble the stuffing on top. Add the green beans, turkey, and jalapeno peppers. Pick up the first tortilla and place it cranberry side down onto the filled one. Press gently but firmly to keep the quesadilla together.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and put it over medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the skillet and cook until the bottom is lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Flip the quesadilla and cook it on the other side for another 2 minutes. Slide it onto a cutting board, cut it into wedges, and serve.

Instead of learning as you go, my pictures are getting worse. My camera is almost dead. The screen changes different colors and gets wavy lines which show up on the pictures. Just about time for a new one. I dislike camera shopping. Any suggestions for a new one??

Here I am on the floor in front of the stove sharing my love of Stove Top stuffing with Little Bit. She's genetically predisposed to eating it straight out of the pan.

Can't wait to see what you have been cooking! Anyone go for the Fried Cookie Dough? Link your posts to MckLinky below. I know it's been difficult to find time during the holidays for the challenge. If you missed a few weeks just jump in whenever you are ready!