Archive | July, 2009

Do It Yourself Chips and Dip!

24 Jul

Homemade Baked Pita Chips with Fresh Avocado Dip I love pita chips. I once lived in an apartment where I could not turn my oven past 400 degrees. Strange I know but it set the fire alarm off for some reason, which was probably an entirely different issue. These pita chips are super easy and delicious. They go great with this spicy avocado dip that I do not call guacamole because it has tomatoes in it. I’ve made this for several parties and there has never been any left over.

What you need for the chips:

3 pitas, if they are the split kind just separate them and rip them into strips or slice them into strips, depending on how picky you are about shapes

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon of butter

Salt and Pepper

Tony’s seasoning (optional)

2 teaspoons of Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon of basil

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

2 garlic cloves, minced one small sauce pan

Baking sheet

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If for some reason you cannot do that, 375 degrees will do. Arrange pita on baking sheet. It might take more than one sheet depending how big or small your strips are. Heat olive oil on low and add garlic and all seasonings. Don’t let the garlic burn. It will be bitter and, well gross. Pour over the pita chips. Bake for 10-15 minute, or until crispy. If you want straight Tony’s that’s yum too, just don’t add any other seasonings. Another way is to coat the pita is to shake the pieces in one of the large gallon Ziplocs with the oil and seasonings. Delicious! Enjoy!

Avocado Dip

2 avocado

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

1/3 of a red onion finely chopped (optional)

½ a pint of grape tomatoes, halved

Salt and Pepper

Sriracha (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil

Lime juice (if you are desperate you can use orange juice…IF you are desperate)

Start with the avocadoes. Remove pit and throw out. I never tried planting a straight pit to see if it grew anything…but I don’t think it would work. Not sure though. Slice the avocadoes into cubes. Season with garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and lime juice. Add tomatoes and optional red onion. Why grape tomatoes? I have a thing about tomato seeds and by thing I mean I don’t like them…and they are sweet and add a nice balance to the rest of the dip. Personal taste is important. Add as much or little lime juice and salt as you see needed. The same goes with sriracha. A little goes a long way but it adds an amazing heat. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips and enjoy!

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Salmon and Spinach Super Good and Good for you!

14 Jul

I love spinach.  Baby spinach salads, spinach dip…or just pan sauteed spinach!  Below is a quick simple side dish perfect for chicken or fish…like salmon!

What you need for salmon:

Aluminum foil

2 Salmon filets

2 Garlic cloves

1 Cup of white wine (save some for yourself)

1 Cup of orange juice

1/3 Cup of pineapple juice

1 TB of lemon juice

salt and pepper

Potatoes!

10 Jul

When I was a little girl I loved mashed potatoes…I’d call it “Irish rice.”  In college one of my closest friends in college used to say that she wished restaurants would just give her a bowl of potatoes instead of bread.  She was the “Bubba” of our group as she would eat potatoes in all forms…hashbrowns, home fries, baked, mashed…In honor of potato love, here is a fun and easy recipe for mashed potatoes for two!  If you have leftovers you can fry them in a pan for quick potato pancakes.  Enjoy!

3-Cheesy Mashed Red Potatoes

3-5 red potatoes scrubbed clean and cubed
1 cup of fat free sour cream
skim milk
½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup of skim ricotta cheese
½ cup of shredded Gouda or sharp cheddar cheese
salt
pepper
1 ½ teaspoon of paprika
1 chopped garlic clove
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Boil a pot of water and season with salt. When water is at a rolling boil add potatoes and lower heat. Watch the potatoes so they don’t boil over and make a mess. When potatoes are fork tender drain water and put potatoes back in pot or into a mixing bowl (your choice). Add a good splash of milk to the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of butter. You don’t want to add too much milk to begin with because they could get soupy. You can either mash the potatoes with a traditional masher or put the potatoes into a food processor, which is my preference. Start by putting oil and garlic in the food processor before any potatoes. Pulse so garlic gets minced. Add potatoes. Pulse potatoes so they start to get soft. Add sour cream, paprika and cheese. To go a step farther, you can put the potatoes into a baking dish and put cheese on the top to broil so it gets a nice bubbly cheese crust on top.

Mamma Mia!

2 Jul

I love ABBA.  I love going to see Mamma Mia! and watching women of all ages dance in the aisles because everyone knew the words.  I love watching the movie on sing-along settings even though I know all of the words…One of my favorite things about the movie (other than Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan) is the view (again other than of Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan).  Gorgeous Greek beaches makes me think of sea food.

Below is a fun summery tilapia recipe.  Perfect for two.  Enjoy!

I came up with this when I wanted fish and chips but did not have flour or the traditional white fish (cod or haddock etc.).  Simply replace batter with breadcrumbs and you have a yummy lighter alternative to the traditional deep fried fish.

2 tilapia filets (if you’re using frozen filets, make sure they’re defrosted)
1 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
lemon wedge
2 teaspoons of paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 ½ teaspoons of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lightly beaten egg
1 cup of canola oil or olive oil

You’ll need two bowls, one for the bread crumbs and one for the egg. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Lightly beat egg and put in separate bowl. Heat oil in a pan large enough to hold both filets without crowding. Each filet needs to be dropped in beaten egg before going into the breadcrumb mixture. If you’re using a pre-flavored breadcrumb mixture, you may want to adjust what outside seasonings you add to the breadcrumbs. Also, be careful because certain flavorings of breadcrumbs can be very salty tasting so adding more salt till over power the fish. When oil is hot turn heat to medium high heat or a middle flame. Place breaded filets into oil. You want to outside to be crispy and the inside to be just cooked (over cooked fish is gross if you dine out and your fish tastes over cooked, send it back!) Feel free to flip the filets over a couple of times. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Garnish with lemon.  YUM!

M is for Mimosas!

1 Jul

While getting ready for work I realized that my Monday orange juice was missing something…champagne.  In college, we drank Andre from the bottle and the three bottles for one special at the Super Walmart was our favorite sale.

…here are a couple variations some bubbly drinks. 🙂

Mimosa

Orange Juice

Champagne

I like to think a mimosa is 3/4 champagne with a splash of juice but depending on how you want to spend the rest of your day, you can be the judge!

Pink Mimosa

Champagne

Grenadine

Maraschino cherries

Same as the first!  Bubbly and fun!

One of my other favorites is just a glass of champagne with a few cherries in the bottom of the glass.  Cheers!