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!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Strawberry and Port Jello Shots

I'm no stranger to the jello shot; let's just say I've licked more than one of those annoying little plastic containers clean. So when my good friend Alina shared a photo of her hollowed out strawberries filled with jello shots- I said 'Hell yes' to this fancy vessel touting shot idea.

No longer do need to struggle with getting the liquor -laden jello out of the stiff little plastic cups while nearly slicing open your tongue on the hard edge, nor do we need to look like we are desperate for that teaspoon of alcohol found in each as we try to gracefully smack the back of the cup hoping the jello will magically fall into our mouths. Those days are over my friends!

Enter the strawberry cup; a simple strawberry with a hollowed out core, filled with flavored gelatin. All edible. All delicious. All genius.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Almond Cake with Ginger Rosemary Syrup and Grapefruit Ice Cream

Birthdays are special and should be celebrated as such. When I get the chance to help a friend celebrate by making their cake, my goal is to make that cake as memorable as possible. The cake should represent them, their personality and their energy.

This Almond Cake was for a friend who is refined and classic with an refreshingly cool and sassy layer. The ground almonds give the elegant cake it's  grainy-like texture while the ginger syrup keeps the cake mouth-wateringly moist. The grapefruit ice cream brings in a bold punch against the ginger.

An elegant birthday cake by all standards, yet casual enough for any Fat and Happy day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slow Cooked Porchetta with Macadamia Nut Pesto

It's no secret how much I'm into grilling. Yet there are times, yes even in the summer, that a slow cooked crock pot dish is the right choice. Case in point, we were hosting an evening barbecue for a friends birthday ... after an afternoon Cubs game ... in the Bleachers!
How that was ever agreed to is still beyond me. The most important point of the day is that the food needed to be easy to put together with all of the work done ahead of time.  

Without getting into too many details, porchetta is traditionally an Italian street food in which a pig is stuffed with herbs, roasted over a spit then sliced for sandwiches. I enjoyed this while in Amondola, Italy some years back and still crave it today.

My version takes on a different form being slow cooked in the crock pot, but it's still tasty and juicy; admittedly not the original though. However adding the macadamia nut pesto to this sandwich takes it in a whole different direction.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bacon Jam, Avocado and Tomato Bruschetta

Hello, my name is Monique. It's been one week since I first made Bacon Jam and I'm addicted. I've eaten it every day for seven days straight in some way, shape or form.

And now I'm going to be an amazing blog friend and share this recipe with you. Actually, the recipe is already on the blog from last weeks Homemade Bacon Roll post, but you'll find it below as well. This Bacon Jam / Jelly / Marmalade is deep, rich and dark with a hint of sweet and spice. It's divine and will change the way you think about about jam!

One of my initial thoughts was how great this would taste with fresh garden tomato. That thought led me to a BLT which ultimately brought me to this Bacon Jam, Avocado and Tomato Bruschetta. I was testing these out as an appetizer and ate so many I couldn't eat dinner!

The uses for this delectable preserve are endless - spread it on a sandwich or burger, top a fresh tomato or smear it on toast and top with a sunny side up egg. Or enjoy it the Fat and Happy way - with a spoon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lemon Lime Vinaigrette over Cucumber Salad

How many times have you had a wilted lettuce salad? You may find it interesting it's the oil, not the vinegar, that wilts the lettuce quicker. True story.

Enter this cucumber lettuce salad. The butter lettuce is hardy and won't wilt under this dressing made with less oil than typical, so you can dress this salad for a buffet table and be confident it will stand up.

Try this fantastic fresh, crisp summer salad next to a spicy grilled burger like this Chorizo Stuffed Burger. The citrusy vinaigrette is tasty and cooling.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bacon Jam Stuffed Bread Rolls - Recipe Swap

This month's recipe swap is a Jelly Cake - two layers of a spice cake with jelly between the layers. The goal of the swap is to modify the recipe by at least 3 ingredients or modify the method. I wanted to play pretty close to the original ingredients but really deviate from the the idea of a sweet cake.

Two words: Bacon Jam. Or you can call it Bacon Jelly, which is also two words. Either way. My first step was to get away from the sweet, fruit jelly - that's where the bacon jam comes in. Next, my goal was to create a non-cake-like-layered item while using the base cake ingredients.

Add in some yeast, remove the baking soda and cream of tartar, move the spice ingredients to the bacon jelly and WAMO - a rolled homemade bacon jam bun. Successful? Hell yes! It's a Fat and Happy homemade bacon bread recipe that I highly suggest trying today.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grilled Romaine Salad with Buttermilk Feta Dressing

I like The Wedge salad - that classic salad with a hunk of  iceberg lettuce and blue cheese dressing. It's as simple as simple gets with a bonus fresh and crunchy profile. This may be the only instance where iceberg lettuce is a truly acceptable use.

Since the goal of this Fat and Happy Food Blog is to create new recipes from scratch, my plan was to play off the simplicity of that salad but vary it enough so the a new salad would stand on its own. Grilling the romaine lettuce gives a depth of flavor and a hint of warmth while also keeping a bit of the cool crunch; the tangy buttermilk and feta dressing covers the salty pow that commands attention.

Grilling lettuce is a show stopper with the crowd too, so be prepared for the spotlight. The Fat and Happy Grilled Wedge Salad - take your next barbecue up a notch!


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