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50 Shades of Chicken

I have neglected my poor blog for many many months now. Partly because I’m super busy, partly because I haven’t really been cooking anything exciting to blog about and partly because I’ve just simply been uninspired. But now … holy cow, what a clever little cookbook I’ve just been alerted to. And no I haven’t read the book that inspired it!!! But yes I am super entertained by what I’ve read and seen so far and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. It has it’s own hilariously brilliant twitter handle too: @50ShadesChicken that I now follow. LOL  Once I get my hands on a copy, I will surely be posting a few recipes . 🙂

Food Porn!

No Words. Just pictures. Click each photo for the recipe! Not all are gluten free but can be adjusted to be so!

Cookie Shipment

My Girl Scout Cookie delivery came … and went. I have no words except to say, in these 140 cases lie, 1,680 boxes of cookies that hold roughly 24,000 cookies! The rest I’ll say with pictures!

Hearts Galore!

I always try to think up new ways of creating special and magical moments for my 6 year old daughter. Moments that, I hope, she will remember for the rest of her life. Here are a few photos from one of those moments. This morning!!! Valentine’s Day morning. It took 400 hearts, 2 days, and no sleep, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat (pun intended) just to see the look on her face one more time!!! Oh, and in case you are wondering … she loved it. Gasped at the sight of it. 🙂

Lasagna Bites

Last night, along with the rest of the nation, I hosted a Super Bowl party. Go Giants! Is it still considered a party if the guest list only included, my 6 year old, the dog, the cat and myself? LOL! At any rate, it’s not a Super Bowl party without some kind of delicious bite size appetizer, right?

A couple days earlier I found this recipe from a website called Tablespoon. It looked too cute and too delicious not to try. I had to modify it a bit because the  recipe called for wonton wrappers that I couldn’t, for the life of me, find; never mind finding the gluten free version. However, to be fair, I only went to one store.  My whole thing is if I can’t find it at my local Stop & Shop, I’m NOT making it. Convenience is really key for me. I don’t like going on wild goose chases for ingredients. Anyway, I opted for the mini phyllo shells instead. They aren’t gluten free either but a little gluten isn’t going to kill me (thankfully!) Needless to say, they were absolutely delicious. Perfect little bite sized pieces of pure yumminess! Below is my version. But if you are interested in the original, visit here.

Note: I don’t list ingredient amounts because I did it all by sight. Add as much as you like depending on personal preference. I also threw in some sliced avocado for added measure. Everything tastes better with avocado. 🙂

As I mentioned, these are NOT gluten free but can be easily modified to be so if you know where to find gluten free wonton wrappers. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • marinara sauce
  • ground beef
  • shredded mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese
  • ricotta cheese
  • (optional) cilantro for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Brown beef and season with salt and pepper. Drain.
3. Place all your mini phyllo shells in a non stick tin.  Sprinkle in a little Parmesan cheese, Ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Top with a little meat and marinara sauce. Quantity to sprinkle depends on your personal preference.
4. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
5.  Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
6. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Enjoy!

Chia Overdose!

I am in heaven right now. I just got a shipment for some chia products as well as a copy of Wheat Belly, a book I’ve been dying to read.  Yay! I use all brands of chia seeds.  But The Chia Co has quality chia and a great packaging and since I’ve met with someone from teh company, I wanted to give them a shout out.  Heeeeeyyyy!!!

But I  really can’t wait to sink my teeth into the Chia Charger products that came. Did I mention that I love chia???? lol. Here is what I ordered:

Chia Cranberry Granola to add to my Chobani yogurt. It’s made with rolled whole oats, organic peanuts, agave nectar, cranberries, chia seeds, coconut and walnuts. Dairy free and soy free. I wish they were gluten free but fortunately a little gluten won’t kill me. Must try!!! They do have a gf version but I wanted to try this one first.

Manhattan Mud BeKind Butters to spread on my Udi gluten free bread. Its a smooth vegan chocolate chia seed peanut butter. Holla!!!! 🙂

Gator Grit BeKind Butters (not pictured here) is a smooth chia seed peanut butter.

ChiaCharger Health Bites are made with rolled oats, organic agave nectar, peanut butter, cranberries, chia seeds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts and paprika.

I see plenty of more chia products in my future. 🙂

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!


Initially, I was only planning on making the cornfritters tonight (see previous post) but I realized that I needed to add some protein to the menu. And this recipe, also from Vegan Holiday Kitchen, seemed like the perfect addition to the menu. 🙂 Lots of shopping to do tonight. But this supermarket visit is sure worth the trip. 🙂 #NowImStarving

Makes two cups.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach, arugula, or watercress leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (preferred), or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella-style nondairy cheese, optional
  • Paprika for topping

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.

2. Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is golden and just beginning to brown.

3. Transfer the onion mixture to a food processor, along with the beans and cream cheese. Process until smooth.

4. Add the artichoke hearts, spinach, dill, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pulse on and off until the artichokes and spinach are finely and evenly chopped but not pureed. Transfer the mixture to a small ovenproof container. Top with the optional nondairy cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top is golden.

5. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Serve hot or warm with a small spreading knife or a spoon.

Make sure to have gluten-free accompaniments on hand!!!

Serve with bread (such as an array of crisp breads, flat breads,and toasted baguette slices), baby carrots, spoon-size chunks of red bell pepper, and Belgian endive leaves.

While I am not a vegan, this recipe looks to amazing not to try. It’s from Nava Atlas‘ book Vegan Holiday Kitchen and it’s just one of three recipes from her book on my must make list. I think this one will be on the menu for tonight. 🙂

What you’ll need:

CILANTRO SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • CORN FRITTERS
  • 5 medium ears fresh, uncooked corn
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 small fresh hot chili pepper, seeded and minced, optional
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

1. Place the salsa, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the cilantro leaves are finely minced. Transfer the sauce to a small serving bowl.

2. Break each ear of corn in half; stand it on the flat end, and scrape the kernels off with a sharp knife. Combine the corn kernels with the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the corn is finely minced but not pureed.

3. Heat enough oil to coat a large skillet or griddle. When really hot, ladle the batter onto the skillet to form 21/2- to 3-inch rounds (this will be somewhat less than 1/4 cup each). Cook over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Transfer each batch to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

4. To serve, place the sauce in the center of a platter and surround with the fritters. Place a small spoon in the sauce so that everyone can spread a bit on the fritters.

So I know all mother’s think their kids are talented, but seriously!!! This is fantastic!!! They ONLY thing I helped her with was the highlights in the hair. I think it’s AMAZING! You be the judge.

And while I’m tooting horns … here is a Bird on A Branch (in  water color) by yours truly “Mama Picasso” LOL. 🙂