Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spicy Mayo Calories Eliminated!

This post is dedicated to my good friend Eryn Standard. As a group of girls, we have so often frequented RA Sushi. One of the best parts of sushi and happy hour food, of course, is dipping sauces. Eryn happens to totally love the spicy mayo RA serves with many different dishes. I love this kick also, and was recently inspired to make a much healthier version! Test kitchen approved, this version has 91% less calories than the original! That's right!!! Original Japanese style spicy mayo = 110 calories per TABLESPOON! The new rendition has a mere 10 calories per Tablespoon! This sauce is quick, stores well in the refrigerator, and can be used on a variety of dishes (see below for ideas!)

1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 T Sriracha Sauce
1/2 t Splenda

Mix above ingredients in a small bowl. Add more Sriracha or Splenda to taste. Note, Splenda was used to add "zero calories", if you so prefer you can use regular sugar for a few additional calories.

Also note, calorie calculations are based on Kirkland Greek Yogurt, with 140 calories per cup, and "regular" mayonnaise in the original product.

Overall, I think this substitute is pretty awesome! Ideas for meals to serve this with; turkey burgers (we did this tonight!), panko crusted chicken, seared Ahi Tuna, sushi, or anything else that needs a kick! Let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Welcome to Pittsburgh!

Well, here we are! One full week into the next chapter of our lives. Brad and I have been pretty busy this last week getting accustomed to the Pittsburgh area, and enjoying each other's company before Brad is off to work. Here is a little bit about what we have been up to, and pictures to share:

We arrived on October 7th, and made the "almost famous" stop at Primanti Bros in the Strip District in downtown Pittsburgh. We experienced the restaurant that has been on Food Network, and that so many people talk about. I must say, it was quite interesting! Every sandwich come with coleslaw and French Fries IN BETWEEN the bread and meat! Right, like I said, interesting!

Next we were off to the North suburbs to find the area that would soon become our new "bubble", Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. We are currently staying in a nice townhouse that has a great view of the West hills at the edge of town! We sure caught the trees at just the right time. Over the weekend we were busy settling in to our new place (pictures to come soon). Out on the town to try out some new restaurants; Mad Mex where we had our first taste of Yuengling Beer & a pumpkin margarita on Friday, and Ichiban Sushi on Saturday. We really loved both of these new places (how can you go wrong with sushi, right?!). Sunday we stumbled upon My Big Fat Greek Gyro! Brad was happy as a clam in mud, drooling at the meat spit. Famous quote during lunch from Brad, "I remember the first time I saw one of those. It's better than a pinata, better than a crystal ball!...I need a new word for 'meat drunk', maybe 'mrunk'." Wow, let me tell you, that was funny!

The ONE thing I WASN'T going to miss about Kansas, didn't change as I hoped it would. Nope, you can't buy wine in grocery stores ; ( booo! Here you have "state stores" which is where you can buy wine and hard liquor, but no beer. Beer is sold separately at a beer distribution store. The plus of this joint is that it's a drive thru also! But if you are wanting less than 24 beers its lookin' a little TS.

Sunday we wandered into the farmland hills to visit the pumpkin patch! Always fun on a beautiful fall day. Also, finally made it to Costco and the "Shop and Save" grocery store. Brad was beyond thrilled to buy a ton of meat to put into our new deep freezer. Clearly you can tell this from the pictures!!!!!

We also began looking at houses with our realtor. After galavanting the area yesterday morning for quite a bit, we completely validated our decision to build a new house! We found a great new "community" as a neighborhood is called here, I guess! It's a great mix of townhouses at the front, close "city houses" in the middle, and then normal single family homes at the back of the neighborhood. The area backs up to a great park with walking trails, sports fields in one corner and a nice play field area. We are closing in on the perfect house, decked out with all the bells and whistles we need, and of course, PERFECT FOR VISITORS and entertaining!!!!!!!!!!! We can't wait to customize our new home!

We will keep you all posted with our progress! Miss everyone in Kansas City a ton, but we will be back in just one week! Lots of love!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sushi at the Ford's!

We have always wanted to try making sushi at home, so we finally gave it a try! I must say, it turned out much better then I thought it would. With a good amount of time and patience our dinner was delicious! Brad did the rolling, he certainly did a great job. Also, this was SO much less expensive than going out to sushi.

We made a good mix of; California Roll, Philadelphia Rolls, Dungeness Crab Rolls, Spicy Crab & Smoked Salmon Roll, Spicy Crab and Avocado Roll, Crab Tempura Roll, Salmon and Crab Tempura Roll!!!!! YUM!!!!

Weekend Delights

Chicken Picatta, Scallops, Whole Wheat Pasta with Garlic Sauce & Fresh Basil

Easy and delicious snack bruschetta; Triscuit crackers, mozzarella, basil, cherry tomatoes and garlic

Happy Birthday Brad - Meat Cake!

A little late getting all my summer posts up, but better late than never.

I made a surprise birthday cake for my husband, Brad. Brad has a "meat tooth" not a "sweet tooth"! He absolutely LOVED this!

Coconut Waffles with Strawberry Pineapple Glaze

Can't take credit for this recipe, although I did modify and add. Simple recipe for coconut waffles, with coconut flake was quick and delicious. We additionally made a cold concoction of pureed strawberries and pineapple juice. A drizzle of coconut vinegar to mine, mmmm! Super delicious!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Fondue Frenzy

The only good thing about cold nights in winter, are they are the perfect reason to have a fondue dinner!

Here are a couple of fondue ideas. There are millions of renditions on broth, cheese, sauces, etc. One word of advice - use a good fondue pot.

Beef & Red Wine Broth:
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups red wine
- Chopped garlic cloves (4-5)
- 2 bay leaves
- Diced Shallot about 1/4 cup
- Pepper
- Any additional seasonings you might like, we use a tiny bit of hickory salt and garlic pepper, just a little or it gets to salty.
- Simmer in fondue pot at least 20-30 min before serving. This allows the broth to thicken slightly.
- Beef, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, etc. are great dipped in this.

Cheese Fondue:
- Gruyere Cheese (depending on the # of people estimate about 1/2 to 1 cup of loosely grated cheese per person)
- 1/2 - 1 cup dry white wine (generally use a sauvignon blanc ) - add more or less depending on amount of cheese
- 1/4 cup diced shallot
- Chopped garlic cloves (4-5)
- Chives or diced green onions
- 2 T butter
- Dash of hickory salt (optional)
- Spray the fondue pot with cooking spray before mixing in liquids.
- Our favorite bread to dip in the cheese is the Roasted Garlic Bread from Costco. It's amazing in this cheese!!!

Serving Sauces:
My favorite is a horseradish sauce made with sour cream, horseradish, worcestershire sauce , lemon juice, salt/ pepper
I always google fondue dipping sauces to spark some ideas.

Chocolate Fondue:
- 1 lb dark chocolate pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Heat cream on med/low in a saucepan until small bubbles form.
- Add chocolate and mix until smooth.
- Transfer to fondue pot or mini Crockpot
-Serve w/ strawberries, bananas, marshmallows or angel food cake pieces.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oh the New Year at the gym!

Oh man, my blood is boiling.
Nothing irritates me more in the wee early days of January than those "fine" people who come out of the woodwork to show up at the gym for their New Years resolution. I hate it. Good for you working out, but why do YOU need all the good machines? I have been coming to this gym for years, and here you are, all new and bushy-tailed, taking the best equipment...85% of you ready to sink in a matter of days. I just needed to vent. It happens every year, nothing new. Just one of the many things I hate about January.
I am SOOOO ready for spring!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Eve 2010; Seafood, Pasta & Creme Brulee

Celebrating the last night of 2010, we went out like we roll all year - enjoying great food!

Dinner: Lobster Tail, Alaskan King Crab & Lemon Chive Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Cream Sauce
Dessert: Coconut Creme Brulee
Drink: Champagne, of course!

Brad was on the meat task, as usual! We figured out a great way to prepare the tail & legs so its much easier to eat! Use crab claws to slice open the crab legs before simmering in a pan with butter. The meat can be easily picked out with a fork, once ready to eat.

Lemon Chive Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Cream Sauce:
- 1 Package of Papardelle's Lemon Chive Pasta (City Market or online)
- For the sauce:
- 10 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 large shallot, sliced into small sections
- 4-6 Roma Tomatoes, cut into large sections
- 1 can diced tomatoes (can sub an additional can for the fresh Roma's if necessary)
- 2 packages sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup heavy cream

Add 3-4 T EVOO to a large pot, add garlic & shallots. Simmer till tender on medium low heat. Add tomatoes, including juice from canned tomatoes. Add mushrooms, cook on medium to medium high for 5-6 minutes until mushrooms become tender. Add cream, and reduce heat to low. Simmer till well combined. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Top pasta with hot sauce & enjoy!

Coconut Creme Brulee (AMAZING!!!!!!!!)
This recipe will make 6 small creme brulee servings. Double if necessary.

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream + 2 T approximately
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup coconut

Slowly heat cream and coconut milk in a medium saucepan till it just begins to bubble.
Whisk together the yolks and sugar until eggs turn a light yellow and the mixture thickens. Whisk in the vanilla, rum, and salt.
Slowly add the hot cream mixture while continuously whisking. Stir in the sweetened coconut.
Pour mixture evenly into 6 small ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish and add enough hot water to come about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until custard is almost set. The custard will be mostly firm but still jiggle slightly in the center when tapped.
Remove from water bath and let cool slightly. Place in refrigerator and chill for a few hours, or overnight.
Just before serving sprinkle 1 to 2 tsp of sugar over each custard. Place on cookie sheet and place in preheated broiler. Cook until sugar is a golden brown (about 3 minutes). You can also caramelize the sugar with a handheld propane or butane torch.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.
(recipe adapted from grouprecipes.com)