Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday Dinner February 26, 2012

On the Menu

Creole Style Catfish
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 catfish fillets
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning [recipe to follow]
1 – 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ cup chopped onions
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Method
Season catfish with sea salt, granulated garlic and Creole seasoning then sit aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat then add onions, peppers and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
Place catfish in skillet and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes per side.
Turn once and add vegetables.
Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender about 3 minutes.

 Creole Seasoning
Yields ~1 ¼ Cup

Ingredients
⅓ cup paprika
¼ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup onion powder
⅓ cup freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight jar or plastic container.

Tomato Relish
Ingredients
3 - 4 medium tomatoes, diced
¾ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
Juice of ½ lemon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Method
Combine tomatoes, seasonings, lemon zest, lemon juice and Worcestershire in a small non reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Add parsley and mix thoroughly
Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Place in glass container; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Serve with mostly anything, meats, fish, poultry, legumes, rice, vegetables, sandwiches, salads, etc.

Vegan Pasta Salad
6 – 8 servings

Ingredients
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced   
1 large carrot, grated
1 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup vegan mayo - Recipe to follow

Instructions
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta then bring the pot back up to a rapid boil and stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit 6 – 8 minutes covered and undisturbed (see package for actual cooking time).
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt, pepper and paprika, mix thoroughly.
Add olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Vegan Mayo
1½ cup

Ingredients
½ cup soy milk, plain and unsweetened
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions
Put everything in the blender and process until it is thick. The homemade vegan mayonnaise will become thick and completely emulsified exactly like a mayonnaise made with egg.

 Lemon Garlic Spinach
6 - 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds baby spinach
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice                  

Method
In a sauce pan, heat oil and chili peppers, add garlic and saute on medium heat 1 minute do not let garlic brown.
Add spinach, sea salt and lemon juice, mix thoroughly and saute just until spinach is wilted and all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Serve immediately.




Tomato Relish


Tomato Relish
Ingredients
3 - 4 medium tomatoes, diced
¾ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
Juice of ½ lemon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Method
Combine tomatoes, seasonings, lemon zest, lemon juice and Worcestershire in a small non reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Add parsley and mix thoroughly
Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Place in glass container; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Serve with mostly anything, meats, fish, poultry, legumes, rice, vegetables, sandwiches, salads, etc.

Creole Style Catfish

Creole Style Catfish
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 catfish fillets
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning [recipe to follow]
1 – 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ cup chopped onions
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Method
Season catfish with sea salt, granulated garlic and Creole seasoning then sit aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat then add onions, peppers and garlic and saute until onions are translucent.
Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
Place catfish in skillet and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes per side.
Turn once and add vegetables.
Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender about 3 minutes.
Creole Seasoning
Yields ~1 ¼ Cup

Ingredients
⅓ cup paprika
¼ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup onion powder
⅓ cup freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight jar or plastic container.

Creole Seasoning

 Creole Seasoning
Yields ~1 ¼ Cup

Ingredients
⅓ cup paprika
¼ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup onion powder
⅓ cup freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight jar or plastic container.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

Angelique
Its Fat Tuesday!  Mom is a lover of anything hot and spicy, so I suggested she put out some New Orleans classics.
Mom
We not only love the food of New Orleans, we love the city itself.
Angelique
And I love the culture.  Where else can you stumble around drunk in the streets with no shirt on and get rewarded with beads instead of handcuffs?
Mom
I think what Ange is trying to say is that we have a lot of fond memories of New Orleans.
Angelique
But never together.
Mom
It's probably better that way.
Angelique
Nah ma, we have to do New Orleans together at least once.  I promise I'll keep my shirt on.
Mom
Well if you're a good girl, maybe I'll let you take me to the Essence Music Festival this summer.
Angelique 
How kind of you.
Mom
Anytime, hun.  Anyway, since today is Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is the beginning of Lent, we are going to forgo the healthy aspect of our recipes and for once, go for the gusto!
Angelique
Woo-hoo!  Grab your mardi gras beads.  She hasn't done this in ages.
 
Happy Mardi Gras & Soulful Eating,
Angelique & Joyce


Jambalaya
6 servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces ham, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh, basil or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
1 ½ tablespoons Cajun spice mix – [recipe to follow]
2 cups uncooked rice
2 ½ cups chopped tomatoes with juice
2 – 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ - 2 teaspoons Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ pounds raw fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
Chopped scallions and parsley for garnish

Method
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or frying pan with a cover.
Add the ham and saute over medium high heat for 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the onion, garlic, pepper and celery and saute for 3 – 5 minutes or until the onions becomes translucent, but peppers are still crunchy.
Add the herbs, spice mix and rice and stir thoroughly to coat the rice with oil.
Stir in the tomatoes, broth, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and salt.  Reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
Stir in the prawns and add more liquid if the rice looks too dry.
Cover and cook until the rice is tender and prawns are pink and firm, another 10 – 15 minutes.
Taste for seasoning.
Serve sprinkled with scallions and parsley.

Cajun Spice Mix
Yields 1 ½ cups
Ingredients
½ cup paprika
¼ cup black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder

Method
Combine the spices thoroughly and store in a closed jar in a cool dry place.  Use with a month for best flavor.  Discard after 6 months.
Pickled Corn and Okra Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
½ cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup grapeseed oil
2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen corn
1 cup red peppers, chopped
1 cup defrosted sliced frozen okra
1 cup chopped scallions
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 head of butter or read leaf lettuce
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Method
Mix the vinegar, pickling spices, pepper flakes and oil in a non aluminum sauce pan and bring to a boil, simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Strain, and then pour the liquid over the corn, red pepper and okra.
Marinate for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Stir in the scallions, season with salt and pepper.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on individual plates or a platter.  Spoon the salad on top and garnish with cherry tomato halves.

Bread Pudding
8 – 10
Serve with Whiskey Sauce [recipe to follow]
Ingredients
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 cups light cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups chopped apples
10 cups French bread torn into small pieces

Method
Mix the eggs, sugar, cream and spices and pour over the apples and bread in a large bowl.
Stir well; let the mixture soak for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Lightly oil a 9 inch baking dish.
Pour in the pudding mixture and bake until firm and beginning to brown, about 1 hour.
Cool before serving.


Whiskey Sauce
Yield 1 cup
Ingredients
1 cup cream
¼ cup bourbon whiskey
1 tablespoon corn flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice

Method
In a small saucepan, beat the cream over medium high heat until bubbles start to form around the edge.
Stir together the whiskey and corn flour and add to the cream, whisking vigorously.
Lower heat and cook until the cream begins to thicken 1 – 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. 
Stir in the vanilla and sugar.
Break the egg in a small bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of the hot cream.
Repeat with 2 – 3 more tablespoon of cream, one at a time until the egg mixture is warmed through.
Remove the cream from the heat and whisk in the egg mixture and spices to make a smooth sauce.
Return to low heat and cook for 1 – 2 minutes more.
Whisking often until sauce reaches the consistency of thick cream.
Serve warm or cool.


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Soulful Dinner

On The Menu

Angelique:  Pork!  The other white meat.  I have to admit I'm not much on pork with the exception of an occasional rib.  When I was young we were told pork/pig was a dirty, nasty animal.
Mom:  In fact, pork got such a bad reputation that the industry was forced to clean up its act. Having worked in agriculture for many years, I can assure you pork and the way pigs are farmed has become much cleaner than chicken.
Angelique:  I don't think you have to sell the average family on pork.  It is the most consumed meat in the country.
Mom:  Me, try to sell someone on meat?  I'd rather see us all eating arugula and black rice.  But for those who have avoided pork because of its bad reputation, I just wanted to update them.
Angelique:  I think the most interesting part about this weekend's menu is Mom not only suggested it, but she dreamed about it. You going back to meat, ma?
Mom:  Uh, no.  But I sincerely hope you and the family and our extended family in the blogosphere enjoy these pork chops.
Angelique:  You sure you don't want a taste? . . .  Did you roll your eyes at me, ma?

Soulful Eating,
Angelique & Joyce


 Slightly Smothered Pork Chops
4 servings
Ingredients
4 bone in pork chops
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic granulated
1 teaspoon onion granulated
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 cup water
1 bay leaf

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Rinse and dry chops with a paper towel then sit them aside 
Thoroughly combine all seasonings in a small container.
Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the seasoning mix.
Heat oil in a large iron skillet on medium high, once pan is hot, add the seasoned chops and cook until they are golden brown about 3 minutes on each side.
Remove chops from skillet and sit aside in a warm place.
Saute the onions and garlic in the pan drippings until onions are lightly caramelized.
Add the water, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon of the seasoning mix to the skillet and deglaze.
Return the chops to skillet cover with a lid and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. 

 Home-style Tomato Gravy
Ingredients
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 bay leaf
½ small onion, diced
½ small bell pepper, diced fine
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated  
1 teaspoon onion, granulated
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup plain soy milk

Method
Seed and dice the tomatoes, reserving the juices.
In a small pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil; add the tomatoes and juices, bay leaf, onion and green pepper and ½ teaspoon sea salt, let simmer while you prepare the roux.
In a separate skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; stir in the flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, granulated garlic, granulated onions and pepper.  Cook and stir over medium heat, stirring constantly, until roux reaches a light beige color.
Add the broth and tomato mixture, adding slowly, but continuously, until fully incorporated.
Stir in the soy milk and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until nicely thickened. 
Remove bay leaf, taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve over chops.

 Sautéed Crazy Corn
4 Servings
Ingredients
3 – 4 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon oregano or thyme

Method
Clean corn by removing husk and silk.  Rinse corn and scrub with a vegetable brush to remove all of the silk.
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn off of the cob
In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the peppers, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and saute 3 minutes.
Add the corn and remaining seasonings and saute until corn is tender, approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  Arugula Salad
6 – 8 Servings
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds arugula/spinach
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup grated parmesan cheese [not the stuff in the green can]

Method
In a large bowl, toss the arugula, pine nuts and parmesan cheese until combined.
Just prior to serving add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Slightly Smothered Pork Chops

 Slightly Smothered Pork Chops
4 servings
Ingredients
4 bone in pork chops
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic granulated
1 teaspoon onion granulated
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 cup water
1 bay leaf

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Rinse and dry chops with a paper towel then sit them aside 
Thoroughly combine all seasonings in a small container.
Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the seasoning mix.
Heat oil in a large iron skillet on medium high, once pan is hot, add the seasoned chops and cook until they are golden brown about 3 minutes on each side.
Remove chops from skillet and sit aside in a warm place.
Saute the onions and garlic in the pan drippings until onions are lightly caramelized.
Add the water, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon of the seasoning mix to the skillet and deglaze.
Return the chops to skillet cover with a lid and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. 

Home-style Tomato Gravy

 Home-style Tomato Gravy
2 cups
Ingredients
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 bay leaf
½ small onion, diced
½ small bell pepper, diced fine
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated  
1 teaspoon onion, granulated
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup plain soy milk

Method
Seed and dice the tomatoes, reserving the juices.
In a small pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil; add the tomatoes and juices, bay leaf, onion and green pepper and ½ teaspoon sea salt, let simmer while you prepare the roux.
In a separate skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; stir in the flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, granulated garlic, granulated onions and pepper.  Cook and stir over medium heat, stirring constantly, until roux reaches a light beige color.
Add the broth and tomato mixture, adding slowly, but continuously, until fully incorporated.
Stir in the soy milk and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until nicely thickened. 
Remove bay leaf, taste and adjust seasonings.

Sautéed Crazy Corn

 Sautéed Crazy Corn
4 Servings
Ingredients
3 – 4 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon oregano or thyme

Method
Clean corn by removing husk and silk.  Rinse corn and scrub with a vegetable brush to remove all of the silk.
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn off of the cob
In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the peppers, onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and saute 3 minutes.
Add the corn and remaining seasonings and saute until corn is tender, approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Dinner to Remember

On The Menu


Angelique:
Oh, we went back and forth on this Valentine's dinner.  We received so many great suggestions on our Facebook page like chicken fettuccine, stuffed chicken and a Cornish hen.  But let's not forget, it isn't the food the makes the evening romantic, its the company. Get some fragrant candles, a nice bottle of wine, some good music and enjoy this fabulous Valentine's treat.

Soulful Eating,
Angelique & Joyce

Arugula and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
2 Servings

Ingredients
1 medium fennel bulb
½ red onion
10 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup pomegranate seeds

Method
Trim the fennel bulb and reserve the fronds.
Cut the bulb in half and remove the tough inner core.
Using a sharp knife or a mandolin cut the fennel into very thin slices and put them into a large bowl.
Cut the onion into very thin slices and add them to the bowl.
Add the arugula to the bowl and give it a good toss.
Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it again to coat all the ingredients; put the salad onto a large platter.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin pieces of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and scatter them and the pomegranate seeds over the salad. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.


Blackened Salmon
2 Servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, for frying
2 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish with the rub.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

Rosemary Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes
2 Servings
Ingredients:
1 pound baby red bliss potatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
Juice of ½ lemons
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
 
Method
Preheat oven 450 degrees
Lightly oil/spray a baking sheet
24 hours prior to cooking, prep potatoes by scrubbing with a vegetable brush to remove dirt.  If potatoes are larger than 1 inch in length, cut them in half. 
Cover potatoes with cold water squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon then add lemon rind to water.  Refrigerate and let potatoes soak overnight.
Remove potatoes from refrigerator and let drain in a colander.  Blot potatoes with a paper towel to remove excess liquid then place them in a large bowl.
Add the rosemary and mix thoroughly by hand.
Add chili peppers, salt, onion and garlic powder and mix thoroughly.
Add olive oil and minced garlic and mix until every potato is well coated.
Place potatoes on the sprayed baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and tender.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
 

Cranberry-Glazed Carrots
2 Servings
Ingredients
¾ lb carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup cranberry juice
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Method
Heat a skillet on medium high then add  olive oil and carrots, cook until carrots begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add cranberry juice, cumin, cinnamon and salt.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until tender and glazed,  approximately 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and transfer to a serving dish.


Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients
Cake:
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar

Icing:
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons all purpose four
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of angel flake coconut
½ cup black walnuts, crushed

Method
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
In another bowl, add the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar and mix thoroughly.
Pour 2 cups of the flour mixture into the creamed butter, mix and add 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture. Continue mixing alternating between the flour and buttermilk mixtures until all ingredients are added.
Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, greased and floured.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
Using a double boiler, whisk together the buttermilk and flour until smooth.
Cook until mixture is thick.  Refrigerate until cool [while cake is baking].
Once cake is done and you sit it aside to cool, start putting together your icing.
In a medium bowl, add butter make sure it‘s at room temperature or soft enough to cream. 
Then add the sugar, vanilla and cooled buttermilk mixture and mix or whisk until creamy.
Add coconut flakes and walnuts then mix thoroughly.
Once cake is cooled you can begin icing it. 
Spread icing  between layers and on top and sides of  cake.


Arugula and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Arugula and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
2 Servings

Ingredients
1 medium fennel bulb
½ red onion
10 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup pomegranate seeds

Method
Trim the fennel bulb and reserve the fronds.
Cut the bulb in half and remove the tough inner core.
Using a sharp knife or a mandolin cut the fennel into very thin slices and put them into a large bowl.
Cut the onion into very thin slices and add them to the bowl.
Add the arugula to the bowl and give it a good toss.
Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it again to coat all the ingredients; put the salad onto a large platter.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave thin pieces of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and scatter them and the pomegranate seeds over the salad. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

Blackened Salmon

Blackened Salmon
2 Servings

Ingredients
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, for frying
2 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish with the rub.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

Cranberry-Glazed Carrots

Cranberry-Glazed Carrots
2 Servings
Ingredients
¾ lb carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup cranberry juice
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Method
Heat a skillet on medium high then add  olive oil and carrots, cook until carrots begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add cranberry juice, cumin, cinnamon and salt.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until tender and glazed,  approximately 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and transfer to a serving dish.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients
Cake:
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar

Icing:
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons all purpose four
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of angel flake coconut
½ cup black walnuts, crushed

Method
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.
In another bowl, add the food coloring, buttermilk, vanilla extract and vinegar and mix thoroughly..
Pour 2 cups of the flour mixture into the creamed butter, mix and add 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture. Continue mixing alternating between the flour and buttermilk mixtures until all ingredients are added.
Pour batter into 2 (8-inch) round cake pans, greased and floured.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:
Using a double boiler, whisk together the buttermilk and flour until smooth.
Cook until mixture is thick.  Refrigerate until cool [while cake is baking].
Once cake is done and you sit it aside to cool, start putting together your icing.
In a medium bowl, add butter make sure it‘s at room temperature or soft enough to cream. 
Then add the sugar, vanilla and cooled buttermilk mixture and mix or whisk until creamy.
Add coconut flakes and walnuts then mix thoroughly.
Once cake is cooled you can begin icing it. 
Spread icing  between layers and on top and sides of  cake.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Family Feud - Sexy Veggies!

Angelique: So Mom and I are sitting in the living room this afternoon trying to think of the perfect Valentine's Day dinner to post. "What's a sexy meal, Ange?" Well I don't know. "BBQ short ribs with mashed potatoes and spinach?" We just happen to have family in town this week. Grandma's here and my aunt chimes in "strawberries!" Grandma says, "asparagus?"
Looking at Steve Harvey's Sexy Veggie clip from the Family Feud, we're not the only ones struggling with sexy food for the holiday.


6 Foods That Feed Your Metabolism

By Paige Greenfield

It's true: Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew. Other eats contain nutrients and compounds that stoke your metabolic fire. Feed your metabolism with these.

 Whole Grains
Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.

 Lean Meats
Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30 percent of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 3000-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).

 Low Fat Dairy Product
Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass -- essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

Green Tea
Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

Lentils
One cup packs 35 percent of your daily iron needs -- good news, since up to 20 percent of us are iron-deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows because the body's not getting what it needs to work efficiently, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., co-author of The Secret to Skinny.

Hot Chili Peppers
Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried or powdered peppers, says Lakatos Shames. "Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs and meats."


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quinoa - Something New For The New Year

This Week’s Menu

Angelique
Mom always says, "Variety is the spice of life."  So she wants to start the month off with something new.  But I say, "I ain't eatin nothing I can't pronounce."    
Mom
Don’t let the name intimidate you, it’s pronounced keen-wah.   Yes quite different from it’s spelling so no one is expected to know how to pronounce it.
Angelique
And despite its fancy name, its pretty much a form of rice.
Mom
To be more exact, Quinoa is a very old grain from South America that is high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein.  It includes all nine essential amino acids.  
Angelique
So whoever told you the only place to get a complete protein is from meat was wrong.   Step right up future vegetarians because quinoa is a grain you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  
Mom
In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. It’s a very good source of manganese as well as magnesium, folate, and phosphorus. So if nothing else, it's good for you.
Angelique
Like rice, quinoa comes in many different varieties, wheat, red, black, etc. and it's cooking method is the same as rice. But unlike rice, you can eat it hot or cold.  You can eat it as a cereal, salad, entree or side.  
Mom
With out any further ado, here is your first quinoa recipe.
Angelique
Followed by a lovely Sunday dinner and one of my favorite dishes - cornish hen.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
2 scallions chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ cup cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped

Instructions
Rinse quinoa in cold water then drain.
Place quinoa, water and bay leaf in a pot bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl and cool.
If using fresh corn, cut it off the cob and add it to the quinoa.
If using frozen corn, rinse until thawed then add to the quinoa.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours prior to serving.
The longer grain salads marinate in their dressings the better the taste.

 Cornish Game Hens
4 - 6 Servings

Ingredients
4 Cornish game hens
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup orange juice
1 small lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
24 garlic cloves
6 sprigs fresh rosemary - divided
1 lemon, quartered

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor or blender add the olive oil, wine, orange juice, lime juice, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, crushed red peppers and leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary.  Puree until rosemary leaves are chopped and mixture thickens.
Rub hens with mixture and place 1 lemon wedge and 1 rosemary sprig in cavity of each hen.
Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens.
Roast the hens in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Drain the juice from the cavity of the hens and the roasting pan then sit it aside.
Transfer hens to a platter and form a tent of aluminum foil over them to keep warm.
Pour the reserved  juices and garlic cloves into a medium saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.
Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates.
Spoon sauce and garlic around hens, garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.

 Sautéed Red Cabbage
6 Servings

Ingredients
3 pounds red cabbage- coarsely shredded
1 lemon. juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion sliced thin
2 granny smith apples, cored, sliced thin
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup 100% maple syrup [grade B]
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Method
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large pot of boiling water then add the lemon. The juice is important as it seals the color in the cabbage.
Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil approximately 3 minutes then drain thoroughly, discard the lemon.
In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions; sauté stirring frequently until onions are caramel in color.
Add the apples and cook until apples are slightly softened.
Add the juice from the orange, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper,bay leaf and cloves, mix thoroughly.
Mix in cabbage and cook 13 minutes stirring frequently. 
Remove bay leaf before serving.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
2 scallions chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup black beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ cup cilantro or parsley, coarsely chopped

Instructions
Rinse quinoa in cold water then drain.
Place quinoa, water and bay leaf in a pot bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
Drain, discard bay leaf and transfer to a mixing bowl and cool.
If using fresh corn, cut it off the cob and add it to the quinoa.
If using frozen corn, rinse until thawed then add to the quinoa.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours prior to serving.
The longer grain salads marinate in their dressings the better the taste.

Sautéed Red Cabbage


  Sautéed Red Cabbage
6 Servings
Ingredients
3 pounds red cabbage- coarsely shredded
1 lemon. juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion sliced thin
2 granny smith apples, cored, sliced thin
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup 100% maple syrup [grade B]
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Method
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large pot of boiling water then add the lemon. The juice is important as it seals the color in the cabbage.
Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil approximately 3 minutes then drain thoroughly, discard the lemon.
In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and onions; sauté stirring frequently until onions are caramel in color.
Add the apples and cook until apples are slightly softened.
Add the juice from the orange, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper,bay leaf and cloves, mix thoroughly.
Mix in cabbage and cook 13 minutes stirring frequently. 
Remove bay leaf before serving.