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, March 31, 2012

The Sandwich Cake: Cardamom Pound Cake with Pistacio Butter Filling and Sour Cherry Jelly

Some of my favorite gifts come from my friend Heather. Whimsical and fun gadgets that I wouldn't purchase for myself but love having. One of these treasures came in the form of a sandwich cake
mold. Fill the mold with cake batter, bake, cut the cake in half and add some filling. It looks like a giant sandwich. 

Peanut butter and jelly seemed to be the obvious choice, but since I tend to follow the least traveled path my flavors skewed toward an Indian edge with cardamom, pistachios and orange. But my homemade orange jam turned bitter on me. So a jar of sour cherry spread filled in and completely hit the mark!

The whole thing becomes an adult play on the PB & J. The cake is dense with a tender crumb while the pistachio filling gives it richness that gets a kick from the sour cherry jam. It's a very different cake; a fantastic break from traditional cake flavors.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mahi Mahi Appetizers: Smoked fish on tortilla chip

I love to have easy appetizer recipes in my bag of tricks for those unexpected, last minute parties. Or just for lazy Sunday afternoon snack time.

Smoked fish nestled in an herbed mayo with salty capers get a touch of sweetness from golden raisins while a paper thin jalapeno slice finishes the whole crunchy bite with a sliver of heat.

This recipe comes together in minutes, assembling each one might take longer than mixing it all up. Check your cupboard because you might even have most of the ingredients already, except for the smoked fish. Bookmark or print this Fat and Happy appetizer, but don't tuck it away too deep. You never know how quickly you may need a simple recipe.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Homemade Creme de Menthe and Basil Mint Chocolate Shamrock Shakes

Recently I came across a couple of different recipes for making homemade creme de menthe; with St Patrick's day right around the corner and visions of shamrock shakes clouding my judgement, how could I say no.

Both recipes are great in their own right. The first is very much a knock-off of the classic green, bottled creme de menthe and only takes minutes to make. While the other is a more refined, upscale, sipping (if you will) creme de minth. If you are short on time go with the quick option and you won't be disappointed.

For the longer, steeping version I used natural cane sugar my sister brought back from Hawaii for me (another successful secret ingredient!) and I opted to let the color be natural rather than fake green. This method takes 2 days for steeping but the result is a subtle, almost caramel-ly mint liqueur. In both cases I preferred these chilled and opted to keep in the refrigerator for storage.

Now the questions is what to do with the creme de minth. This time of year it only makes sense that a shamrock shake is warranted. But rarely can I stick with the easy options; I wasn't looking to make a difficult recipe- just to elevate this yummy shake. The simple addition of fresh basil added to layers of mint shake and chocolate cookies and you've got a fricken delicious dessert!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Juicy, Tender Filet Mignon for Steak and a BJ Day

There was a time when February 14th wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to women. It wasn't fair to women because there was so much emphasis on them, they didn't get the chance to give back. Not properly. The flowers, the candy, the romance; none of this is for the man.

But that was all before. Now there is March 14th, one month after Valentines day. Steak and a BJ day: a day for men. Both are equally as important, but this is a food blog so I will focus on the steak and leave the BJ techniques to the bedroom bloggers.

There are some pairings to be discussed. What kind of steak will you be serving? And what will you serve with it?

Steaks are a matter of preference. Rib Eye is one of the tastiest and juiciest steaks thanks to a lot of extra fat. The Porterhouse and T-bone are manly cuts with a T-shaped bone (adding more flavor), the latter tends to be a little tougher. The strip steak is common and a good cut of meat without the bone. Flank steak can be tough but so good when marinated and sliced thin. The most prized cut of beef is the Filet Mignon with considerably less fat, fork tender and great flavor. Some see this as a women's steak because it is so tender. It's worth finding out which cut your partner enjoys.

Go easy on the potatoes and the heavy rich sauces to allow the meat flavor to shine through. There are so many great marinades and sauce recipes available but this cut doesn't need, save those for a cheaper cut of meat. Serve with a simple mango, chickpea or quinoa salad instead.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pizza Breadsticks

The Monthly Recipe Swaps are meant to challenge a group of food bloggers to recreate a recipe from its original intention. Our chosen recipe for this month is a pizza in the simplest form. Now I love pizza as much as the next person  -though I'm impartial to my grilled flat bread pizzas I've been concocting for decades.

But the goal of the swap is to create something new, a variation of a pizza. I wanted it to be simple but have the essence of pizza. Life has become so busy that my latest  kitchen mantra is fast, easy and simple. That means a yeast crust was out; not that working with yeast is difficult but I wanted a quicker recipe with no assembling and proofing time.

What if the toppings were inside the dough itself like a pizza bread? Or a pizza stick. A bread stick filled with pizza toppings. It could work!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Corned Beef Stuffed Rye Ravioli's with Caraway Cream Sauce

There is nothing better than thick slices of rye bread piled high with paper thin slices of corned beef  dripping with sauerkraut. If you get it at the right deli, it's the size of a brontosaurus - a total Flintstones sandwich!

For the longest time I've wanted to stuff this flavor into a pasta creating a refined 'sandwich' that is more manageable, eaten with a fork to avoid goo running down the elbows.

Even recreated for refinement, this is not a wimpy meal. All the components are included- the corned beef, the 'kraut, a cheesy sauce and a rye-carb base.

Rye flour adds just a touch of the bread essence while the creamy caraway cheese sauce will you have you licking the plate (so much for refined!) The corned beef and sauerkraut are simply stuffed inside the ravioli.


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