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Showing posts from May, 2011

10 for Tuesday

Cooking Tips:

1) Lumpy sauce or gravy? Remember hot and cold - either hot roux and cold liquid or cold roux and hot liquid. If you still end up with lumps just puree sauce with an immersion blender.

2) When juicing citrus fruit, microwave for 15 seconds to get the most juice out of them. Remember to zest the fruit first before juicing.

3) Allow steak to come to room temperature before cooking for the best results.

4) Fresh parsley and cilantro will last a lot longer if you treat them like a bouquet of flowers - stems in a glass of water, cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge. Change the water every couple of days.

5) Taste everything. That is the only way to know if everything is seasoned perfectly. If you are making something that is unsafe to taste raw such as meatballs, make a miniature patty and cook in a skillet or microwave for 20 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6) Invest in a good set of knives, it will be the best investment you will ever make. There is …

Garlic and Lemon Marinated Chicken Souvlaki

Whenever I tell people that I cook professionally, the first response is always....' Oh, your husband is a lucky man, I bet he eats gourmet meals every night'. Uhhh nooo. That couldn't be further from the truth. After standing over a hot stove all day, cooking anything elaborate is the very last thing you feel like doing when you get home. So, when I tell you that I spent about four years cooking at a Greek restaurant, you can probably understand why I rarely made Greek food at home. Well, it has been a couple of years since I last worked at the restaurant and I am starting to remember how much I love Greek food. Salty feta. Sweet, juicy tomatoes and cucumber, soft and chewy pita bread dipped into garlicky tzatziki sauce, chicken marinated in lemon and garlic. It doesn't get much better than that.

Garlic and Lemon Marinated Chicken Souvlaki
(makes 4 chicken skewers)

2 large boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
juice and zest of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch o…

Potato Gnocchi, Chicken and Asparagus in a Creamy Dill Sauce

After my disastrous attempt at making gnocchi recently, I just had to redeem myself.  I think I pulled it off. 

I don't mean to brag or anything, but  this was absolutely amazing! I was expecting the gnocchi to be the star of this meal, but it was actually the creamy dill sauce that really made this one a superstar.  I used  light cream cheese instead of heavy cream and it was as rich and decadent as any cream sauce could ever hope to be. The dill and lemon  brighten it up and keep it from being too heavy- tasting. This sauce would also be great  with tortellini, penne or fettuccine in place of the gnocchi. Or, try salmon,shrimp or scallops instead of the chicken.

Potato Gnocchi, Chicken and Asparagus in a Creamy Dill Sauce
( serves 2- 4 people)

1 large boneless chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces
8 to 12 spears asparagus, trimmed and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces on an angle
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, sliced thinly
4 oz light cream cheese
juice and zest of one lem…

Banana Bread and the Mary Tyler Moore Show

I was all set to write a post on banana bread. Trouble was, I didn't have much to say. It's banana bread..... we've all had it. We all know what it looks and tastes like. It's not like I have reinvented the wheel or anything.

As I was sitting here thinking, I somehow got the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore show stuck in my head and I could not get it out.

"Love is all around " by Paul Williams

Who can turn the world on with her smile
Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it seem worthwhile?
Well, it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all

How will you make it on your own?
This world is awfully big, girl this time you are all alone
But it's time you let someone else do some giving

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don…