Roasted Red Potatoes

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I have a confession.
When I'm cooking I'm already "writing" what I want to say about the lovely food I'm throwing together. I stand there, over the stove, or bbq. Perhaps chopping at the island, taking a peek at something in the oven and constructing just what I want to say about it when it goes into cyberspace- it is a strange little life I lead in this head of mine.
In any case, last night I made roasted potatoes. I ate them with salad tossed in a sun-dried tomato pesto Caesar dressing. (More on that deliciousness later). Anyway, these potatoes were perfect little bites of carb, tart and salt. I found them a nice alternative to french fries- what I usually serve with burgers (that's what the rest of the fam ate).
I drizzled them with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, and threw them in the oven until they were a deep golden.
Then...please prepare yourself for the best part.
That sun-dried tomato pesto I used in dressing?
I put it on the potatoes.
Oh yeah.
Just a 1/4 of a cup of the pesto married itself nicely with the potatoes and created one of the best side dishes I've ever made.
I know it's summer and you may fret turning on your oven, so feel free to save these for the fall, turn on the AC, or throw them on the bbq.

Roasted Potatoes with Pesto
Serves 6-8 as a side
7-8 red potatoes (depending on the size)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkling of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut red potatoes in chunks: slice in half long way, slice each half in quarters.
Place in a large baking dish; giving each potato enough room
Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper- toss with a spoon.
Cook for about 30 minutes- until the potatoes are soft and golden.
Let cool for 5 minutes. toss with pesto. (Recipe to come tomorrow)

Oh and I should note that this picture was taken by Cassie. She got a new camera and have I mentioned that she got the photographer gene? I missed that one somehow and gave it all to her- I am recruiting her to be my food blog photog. Like the name?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WARNING: Viewing not permitted without a napkin for drool induced mishaps.

Orange and white chocolate, funfetti, crushed raspberry and banana chocolate chunk

Meal on the go

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I originally discovered this recipe on one of my favorite healthy food blogs. I made it on a whim and I fell in love. I now keep at least four bananas in the freezer at all times, so I can make this when I've had an awesome run, don't know what to eat or really want a treat. I modified the orginal recipe slightly based on criteria I require a smoothie to have for my own personal satisfaction. The amazing part of this smoothie is that you don't need ice. Frizen bananas keep the smoothie cold and add so much flavor. Once you discover how much you love this, play around with the ingredients.

Honestly, there is little need for me to post the recipe because the HH version is so good, but when one of my faithful readers wrote on her blog that she succumbed to a milshake craving recently, I thought, "I have to post this milkshake alternative for health nut Aggie!" Ags, this one's for you and if that little GB insists on a real milkshake, just give it to him anyway- he's the boss. In fact, call me up and I'll meet you at Shari's for a real milkshake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Serves 1..for bfast, lunch, dinner or a delish snack!


2 whole frozen bananas (I leave the peels on in the feezer and then nuke them for a bit to peel the skins off)
1/2 tbsp peanut butter (or more if you're not calorie counting)
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup fat free or non-dairy's truly excellent with vanilla soymilk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Yes, that is a Starbucks cup. Don't judge. I needed a throw away cup for dinner tonight.


Friday, July 9, 2010

I couple weekends ago I took Cassie to the Backstreet Boys concert for her bday/graduation present. She heard they were coming to town and told me "we HAD to go!!" "This might be our last chance." (They are getting old, ya know.)

Since they were playing at The Warfield in SF, we got to hang out with Nicole.

For dinner we went to this place in the Marina area called Asqew. Basically you pick a type of meat and it comes on a skewer with a bunch of different flavors, veggies, etc. Plus it comes with a delicious side.

I had Ahi Tuna...mmmmm.

And polenta. Can I get a what, what?

The highlights...
Seeing BSB rock like it was 1998 and I was 13 years old.

Watching my sister sing, dance and take pics like she wasn't 5 when BSB was cool.

Hanging with Nicole- always a plus.

Eating frozen yogurt on a sunny Monday.

Getting my car towed. Er, scratch that last one.

Pizza on the Grill

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Last Wednesday night my cousin came into town. He is visiting for two weeks, as has become tradition every summer. So what do you feed a 14 year old boy? Whatever it is, you should probably have a lot of it. I went with BBQ pizza for his first night in.
Here are the stars of the night..
Pepporoni Pizza (yes, it had regular pepporoni and regular cheese)
Ranch BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tri Mushroom Pesto Pizza

Sadly, I do not have a pic of the mushroom pizza- despite how delish it was. I had never made that one before and I should have sauteed the mushrooms slightly to let them cook a bit before putting them on the pizza. I found that they took longer than the crust, making the crust a little dark. Still edible, but I would like to perfect the recipe before I hand it off to you.
I will give you the simple Ranch BBQ Chicken one though...I will say, there is no cheese on it. You surprised? You shouldn't be.

BBQing pizza is an art and takes several attempts to get right. Here are my tips:

1. Have all of your ingredients ready to go before you put the dough on the grill- I always place them in bowls on a plate, etc and take them out to the grill. You have to work fast once the dough is ready.
2. Have a big pair of BBQ tongs to help you flip the pizza. Your fingers will get hot; there is no way around this.
3. Place cornmeal on the dough while you knead it because it will keep it from sticking to the grill.
4. Keep your grill on medium heat- not high!

Ranch BBQ Chicken Pizza
Pizza dough
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed
corn meal
1/4-1/3 cup light ranch dressing- your choice
1 large or 2 medium chicken breasts- see how to prepare below
1/4 large red onion, chopped
4 oz deli ham, chopped

First, prepare chicken. Place breast(s) in a large plastic bag, or between two sheets of plastic wrap. Bang with tenderizer or`rolling pin until thin- about 1/2 inch or so. THIS STEP IS KEY. IT cooks the chicken faster and makes it a lot juicier. In abowl, blend 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Place chicken in bowl and bathe it in the mix for a minute. Place chicken on a hot grill until fully cooked with grill marks- this probably takes about 5-6 minutes on each side.
Take off the grill and let it REST while you prepare the pizza.
Sprinkle some corn meal on a smooth surface and knead the pizza dough. Brush with the 2 tablespoons olive oil- on both sides.
Chop chicken, onions and ham and take them outside- ready to place on the dough when it's time!
Place dough on grill and let the bottom cook, but still stay pale in color. It should be cooked enough that you can flip it with the help of some tongs. Flip dough and spread the ranch dressing, like pizza sauce, over the entire dough. Top the dressing with ham, onions and chicken. Close grill, check often and make sure to pop any large bubbles. Leave on gril until the dough is not gooey all the way through.

French Poodles.

French Poodles?


French Poodles.

Oh! Wait...what?

So here's the story. When I lived in Portland there was this amazing breakfats place nearish to where I lived in North Portland. (That's No Po to everyone in the know.) Actually, there is really no bad breakfast place in Portland, but this place, Beaterville, is defintely in my top 5. It's totally ridiculous with it's old, crappy car motif: beaters, get it? And a lot of the items on their menu reflect the motif- think omlettes with names like Pacer and coffee drinks with names like Asphault. One year my friend Claire and I went every Tuesday (I think?) to do homework and more importantly, eat. Ah, the things you let yourself get away with in college. Mind you, I don't know how much homework actually got done. On the weeks I felt productive, Claire did not and vice versa. I also remember an internal struggle to be good and get toast with a bowl of fruit, which totally never happened.

I've had everything from their breakfast sandwiches, to the scramblers (served with the best potatoes- my oh my) and this thing called a French Poodle. A French Poodle is french toast made with a crossaint- I am so not kidding about this. It's served with butter and syrup and powdered sugar. Of course you die because 1. it's amazing and 2. it's a crossaint dipped in milk and egg (no wonder the Europeans hate us). I have not had this in about five years and I never ever buy crossaints. But, when it's Dad's day and you have guests, you get to be adventurous and naughty and make your own French Poodles.

All you need to do is cut the crossaints along the middle (hot dog style) amd use a standard french toast recipe to create the poodle. I had all kinds of fixings for them- fruit, homemade whipped cream, syrup and even lemon curd. You'll notice in the picture that these look like plain ole crossaints, but I swear they're not. I forgot to take a picture of them all dressed up because, well, I was just too excited to eat them.