Be sure to check out my Happy Eats Healthy site to see upcoming classes, seminars, for more information on Health Coaching, nutrition information and more!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paella Parade Review

 Paella Parade: A review for Gozamos

It didn't take much to talk me into attending the Paella Parade. All you can eat paella and all you can drink wine? Even the rainy, thunder and lightning weather didn't slow me down as I ran, not walked, there.

Hosted by El Cota de Rioja, seven local chefs mixed, grilled and vied for the 'Best Paella' in Chicago honors. The paellas are made in pans so large they need to be lifted by two people.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lemon Feta Scones

How many things can be sweet or savory, soft or crunchy and enjoyed at breakfast, dinner or afternoon tea without seeming out of place? Not too many edible items have the liberty of crossing the ethical eating boundaries.

Scones are a liberal bunch. They are easy, playful and so damn yummy. 

The feta in these give the savory scones a saltiness that plays with the bright lemon zest. They come out of the oven tall and fluffy with a slightly crunchy bottom. It's the Fat and Happy scone that has no limits.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Apricot Hot Pepper Dipping Sauce

Dips make everything taste better. And a quick and easy dipping sauce is all that this is. You probably have the ingredients available in your house right now, seriously- go look.

This dip works on all versions of grilled meats or as a great sandwich dip. Mix it up and see if you can find a fat and happy way to dip into it.

Tips and techniques:  I used jarred, pickled hot banana peppers because it's what I had available, but if you have fresh pepper please use them!

Orange Hot Pepper Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup Hot banana peppers (jarred)
4 oz orange or apricot jelly
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tbls lemon juice or 2 tsp citrus champagne vinaigrette

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 1 minute. Pour into a small sauce pan and warm over medium low heat, serve warm.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grilled Pork Kabobs and Red Potatoes with a Spicy Tomato Aioli

An afternoon of Spanish tapas and sangria is a favorite way to waste away a day. What seems hard about making tapas at home is the variety you would typically order at the restaurant. That, and the fact the you don't have someone waiting on you refilling an empty glass!

If you think about narrowing down the at-home-tapas night to just two or three dishes at a time, you'll find it more manageable. Once you have those dishes under your belt, you can add more dishes each time you do tapas.

Today I made Grilled Spicy Pork Kabobs, which in the tapas world can also be know as Brochetas de Cerdo (essentially pig on a stick) or Pinchos Morunos (mini meat appetizers served in tapas bar that are heavily spiced). Served with simple Grilled Potatoes and a Spicy Tomato Sauce (which is also known as an Aioli even though this is not technically correct) it's a fun tapas-esque meal.

Cooked on the grill, the pork will achieve a nice crusty spice layer while the insides will remain juicy. With the Spicy Tomato Sauce and marinated pork, the potatoes can be kept pretty simple with just olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mix up a pitcher of sangria (red sangria or white sangria will do), invite the friends over and settle in for for a Fat and Happy Spanish afternoon

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Jalapeno Ice Cream

I love mixing flavors into an ice cream, especially ones that make people raise their eyebrows. Lemon ice cream isn't strange, and lemon mixed with jalapeno isn't really strange on it's own either, but jalapeno in an ice cream? Now that's gonna pop a few lids.

When I offered this ice cream to friends, many of them said no thanks. But after coaxing them to try it, everyone was wowed at how much they loved it.

The first taste packs a huge punch of lemon, there is no hiding my love of this deceivingly delicate fruit in this dish; then a subtle warmth slowly coats the throat. Not the kind of heat that makes you cough but rather a gentle pepper flavor that calms the lemon surge.

This Lemon Jalapeno ice cream is a great way to approach the heat of the summer. And it helps keep your taste buds, and your friends eye brows, on their fat and happy toes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breakfast Polenta Bruschetta with Maple Caramel Syrup

Breakfast is great - wouldn't miss it unless I somehow ... accidentally ... overslept. Even then there's a good chance my lunch order would lean heavily towards sunny side up.

Boredom with eggs and bacon can seep onto your plate and cause soggy toast if you're not careful, so it's important to be creative. In today's breakfast recipe, simple scrambled eggs sit atop seared polenta which may not seem uber exciting (though gooey, cheese polenta can never be beat no matter what time of day served) it's the creation of the Breakfast Maple Caramel Syrup that brings the whole dish to life! Sweetness with a hint of maple and touch of spice; just a drizzle is enough to wake up the taste buds.

Instead of bacon try slim slices of dried salami, the chewy saltiness is an super match to the creamy polenta. My cheese choice here is a slightly spicy pepper jack which gives the eggs a lift; a creamy havarti or provolone could pair well too if you are adverse to heat.

Rise and shine readers, it's time to make a Fat and Happy breakfast. This one will have you turning off the alarm rather than hitting snooze.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garlicky Fava Beans

When talking about the fava bean, the phrase "Will work for food" has never been so relevant before. Only available for a handful of days in the Spring, think of the fava bean as one of those duties women performed while rocking in the shade of the front porch and sipping sun tea.

This creamy, delectable bean needs a lot of attention. First you strip the seam, as you would with a pea pod, and coax the green giants out of the shell. Then a quick dip in boiling water loosens the bean from the waxy coating. Who knew the fava bean was so important it needs two security measures! Nimble fingers work to squeeze the bean out of this veritable fortress. Now you are ready to continue with the actual recipe.

After all that work, it just makes sense to keep it simple. A toss in butter and garlic will do; heck, toss anything in butter and garlic and it's gonna be good. And you deserve good... after all that work.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Smore Potato Muffin and Portable Smore Hand Pies

What: The Burwell General Store Recipe Swap
Recipe: Potato Donuts
Goal: To change at least 3 key ingredients and/or the technique
Result: Potato Smore Muffins and Portable Smore Hand Pies

In my previous recipe swap recipes (Fat and Happy Blog swap recipes) I deviated more from the ingredients rather than the technique. Since this original potato donut is deep fried, something my thighs just don't let me do, my creation this time changes the baking technique more than the ingredients themselves.

After trying a few variations on the dough I settled on a winner, but still had not decided on the best cooking method. The dough saw the grill, the oven and the stove top in the form of cookies, balls and shapes that can't even be described.

A memory hit me of my Mom making these crazy muffins that involved wrapping bread dough around a marshmallow and baking it. That marshmallow muffin was the answer. But you'll also see a second baking option that is almost an empanada or a smore hand pie. I couldn't resist adding this because I could see this traveling well, say camping, where you could pop it over the fire for a minute to heat it up and it's good to go.

Both methods are fun, just completely different outcomes. And above all else, it's just fun to play with recipes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chorizo and Habanero Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing

There is nothing more intoxicating than the first summer barbecue with the familiar sounds of the sizzle when the meat hits the grill and the smoke smell lingering smell in your hair.

And yes, my grill has missed my touch as as well. Like the dutiful cleaning time after the occasional fire from my too-fatty bacon that wasn't secured well around the pork tenderloin - these are the bonding moments that make my boyfriend jealous.

Our first time back together couldn't be ordinary, it needed juicy burger love. The chorizo and habanero cheese stuffing flavors the beef and keep it so juicy it drips on the fire just enough to impart the simple seasoned burger with classic grill undertones. Creamy cumin and lime spiked sour cream soothes the tickling heat of the habanero while the pea shoots have the taste buds screaming fresh.

Welcome your grill back to the good life with a Fat and Happy Chorizo Stuffed Burger, it's yummy enough to satisfy you both.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ginger Cardamom Creme Brulee

Creme brulee. What is it about these two little words that makes it sound so difficult? Admittedly, the first time I thought about making this delectably creamy dessert I felt a little twinge as well. Perhaps I was nervous at turning the silky smooth texture gritty or maybe it was that I might overdo the golden, crunchy sugar crust that defines this dessert.

Set those fears aside with this easy version. The ginger and cardamom combine as a super delicate flavor; it was a perfect ending after our Curried African Bobotie; but since these flavors are delicate they can easily end any meal.

Funny that I can't really remember why I was afraid to make this mouth pleasing treat, but I'm not anymore. Making a creme brulee once will give you super sonic confidence to make more. And because everyone thinks this is a difficult dessert, you will come across as a Fat and Happy star!


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