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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dijon Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

When we were in Rome this past summer, we ate at this restaurant that served small, cubed roasted potatoes with our meal. I usually make mine a little larger but figured I'd try something new. These were so easy and my youngest one loved them because they were already bite sized. 

Dijon Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
6 Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, rosemary, mustard, salt and pepper. Add in the chopped potatoes and coat well. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes until well browned, turning halfway through cooking time. Serves 4



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Monday, January 30, 2012

Honey Tangerine Chicken

Honey tangerines, which are also known as Murcott oranges, are only grown in the state of Florida. The actual origin of this fruit is a bit of a mystery, but what we do know about it is that is a hybrid between the tangerine and sweet orange, also known as a tangor. It is thought that a man by the name of Charles Murcott Smith is the developer of the fruit, hence its name. He was a manager of a nursery located in Bayview, Florida. Charles is believed to have created the honey tangerines in the 1920s. Also, supposedly, involved in the development of the honey tangerine are J. Ward Smith and W. T. Swindle. Another name for the honey tangerines is Murcott orange, but it’s mostly sold under the name honey tangerine. The fruit comes in various colors, but most of the time it has an orange red color and sometimes it’s more of a yellow orange. It all depends on the winter conditions that year; if it was a cold winter, they have a darker orange and during warmer months, they have a lighter, brighter yellow orange. 
The reason why the honey tangerines got their name was because of its sweet taste, perhaps the sweetest tangerine there is – usually compared to the sugar levels of the honeybell, also known as the Minneola tangelo. The juice of honey tangerines is mainly used in the kitchen for baking desserts like orange cakes. Some even put it in their salad dressing and croutons. Others put it in during the last minute of their stir fly to give it a citrusy taste. Honey tangerines are only grown in Florida between January and April. The best ones to pick are those that are a bit heavy, shiny and smooth. Those that are light may not be as juicy. Don’t buy any that have green spots or wrinkled skin. Honey tangerines are known to spoil quickly, so make sure you plan to eat them fairly quickly before getting them; don’t buy too many at a time if you don’t think they’ll be consumed in a timely manner. The average honey tangerine is small to medium in size. (Source:
I had purchased a few of these tangerines and still had one left. So I decided to just cut it up and make a sauce with it. It was very good. A little on the sweet side but not overly so and it was perfect over some brown rice. 

Honey Tangerine Chicken
4-6oz. Boneless Chicken Breasts, cubed
2 tbsp. Flour
1 Honey Tangerine, peeled, segmented and cut in half
1/4 c. Honey
3/4 c. Low Sodium Chicken Broth
3/4 c. Orange Juice
1 tsp. Dill
2 tbsp. Canola Oil

In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil and saute chicken until it is cooked through. Add flour and mix. Next, add the chicken broth, orange juice, honey, tangerine pieces and dill. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve alone or over rice or noodles. Serves 4. 

Points+=9pts (assuming all of the sauce is used and divided equally into four parts)


Shared on Amee's Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays on 2/3/12

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tomato, Basil & Fresh Mozzarella Frittata

I'm not a big fan of breakfast, I'd rather wait the few hours after I get up to have an early lunch instead. But every now and then I like to have a frittata, which is nothing more than an omelette you bake in the oven (it just sounds so much better doesn't it...fri-ta-ta!). The eggs are so fluffy and I just love all of the flavor combinations you can make. By baking it in the oven, it also gives you those 10 extra minutes to prepare anything else you may want to serve along with it. I've made this many different ways, but this is my all time favorite. It even makes a great, quick dinner idea since it takes no time at all to make. If you're making it for a larger crowd, I like to cut back on the whole eggs and use mostly egg whites with a few whole eggs thrown in for color. 

Tomato, Basil & Fresh Mozzarella Frittata
4 Eggs
1/4 c. 2% Milk
1 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Roma Tomato, chopped
2 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, chopped
Cooking Spray
In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Heat a stainless steel saute pan over medium and spray generously with cooking spray (I use Olive Oil or Canola), making sure you get the sides. Add the egg mixture to the pan and push the eggs towards the center, allowing them to cook evenly. When most of the liquid has been cooked, place the entire pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until the eggs have set and are firm. CAREFULLY remove the pan from the oven with an oven mitt (YES, the handle will be hot!). Serves 2. 


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Homemade Manicotti

Homemade Manicotti..I LOVE IT! By looking at these steps you're probably already thinking that it's too complicated and you're not even going to try it...big mistake! It REALLY is very easy to make and wouldn't your family love fresh, homemade pasta for dinner? I know mine did. These are so light and fluffy and by using the part skim cheeses, I certainly cut down on the caloric intake as well (though if you're not worried about that sort of thing, by all means use the whole milk products!). 

So here are the steps in stages. Try not to get intimated. The first one or two shells, might need to be tossed until you get the hang of it. The thinner you can get the crepe, the better. Just swirl it around the pan until it forms a nice, round circle. Depending on how high you have your burner, they can take anywhere from 30-60 seconds per crepe so you have to stand there and watch them carefully. 

Step 1: Make the shells
Manicotti Shells
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Water
4 Eggs
Pinch of Salt

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Spray a small saute pan (about 8") with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. One at a time, pour just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan (less than a ladle full) and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. When the edges start to "dry" and pull away from the pan, gently flip it over to cook the other side for another 15-30 seconds. Remove from pan and set aside. Makes 14-16 shells

Step 2: Make the Filling
Manicotti Filling
2-15oz. Containers Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
1 1/2 c. + 1/2 c. Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
2 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
2 tbsp. Parsley (dried or fresh)
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together using 1 1/2 c. of the mozzarella cheese, leaving the remaining 1/2 c. to top the manicotti before baking. Makes enough to fill 18 shells(you will probably have some left over). 

Step 3: Heat the sauce
2 c. Marinara Sauce: You can use your favorite, homemade or jar. I prefer the homemade version and you can click on the name for the recipe. 

Step 4: Assemble
This is how it should look prior to topping
with sauce and cheese. 
How to Assemble:
Place 1-2 ladle fulls of sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish in order to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay out one shell then take 2 tbsp. of the cheese mixture and place it in the center of the shell in a 'line'. Fold over one half of the shell, then continue rolling to form a log looking shell. Place the manicotti in the baking dish. Repeat for all shells. Next, top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Makes 14 Manicotti Shells.

Approx. Points+=5pts per Completed Manicotti Shell


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Creamy Asian Root Vegetable Soup

Turnips. Another vegetable I have never eaten before. The most common are the white turnip and according to Wikipedia, the turnip was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times. The root is high in Vitamin C and is only 34 calories. 

I had purchased some during my fruit and vegetable run last week, but since I haven't been feeling well, I had forgotten they were there and found them buried in the bottom of my vegetable drawer. I started to think about what it was I was going to make when I opened my Facebook page, and there was my inspriation. Nisreen from Green Cuisine List had posted a picture of her Roasted Vegetable Soup on my wall (since I love roasting veggies!) which got me thinking about how good a nice hot bowl of soup would taste. So I did my weekly "refrigerator cleanout" to make room for next weeks fresh fruits and veggies and found some carrots, celery, a sweet potato, garlic, a piece of ginger root and of course these two small turnips. All the makings for a nice soup. It was creamy and oh so flavorful!

Creamy Asian Root Vegetable Soup
1 c. Carrots, chopped
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
2 White Turnips, peeled and chopped
1 Small Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 c. Scallions, chopped
2 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
2 tbsp. Stir Fry Oil
2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
1/4 c. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
4 c. Low Sodium Vegetable Broth (or you can use chicken broth)
2 c. Water
1/2 c. Heavy Cream
1/2 c. 2% Milk

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil then add in the carrots, celery, turnips, sweet potato, garlic, scallions, and ginger. Saute for about 5-10 minutes then add flour and mix well. Next, add the soy sauce, broth and water and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat then let simmer for 45 minutes or until all of the vegetables have softened. In a separate saucepan, heat the cream and milk. Use your immersion blender* to blend all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped scallions. Makes 8 cups.

*If you do not have an immersion blender, simply pour the mixture into a regular blender and puree until smooth. Just be very careful not to fill it too much to the top as it will be extremely hot and you don't want to pop the lid off of your blender.


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Shared on Amee's Savory Dish 1/27/12

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Week 3: Seafood Frenzy Friday

Welcome to Week 3 of Seafood Frenzy Friday! I hope you all like these posts on Friday's. If there is something specific you're looking for, let me know and I'll try and find a great recipe for you! 

Since this is still a new feature, here is what I'm doing! Every Friday I will randomly select seafood recipes from my fellow foodie bloggers to showcase and include the link to the recipe with a picture. Simply click on the name under the picture and it will take you to the recipe. If you were one of the featured bloggers, feel free to come back and grab the "I was featured on Seafood Frenzy Friday" button on the right hand side of the page. Enjoy!

Lisa's Dinnertime Dish
Fish in a Sack

Little Mommy, Big Appetite
Baked Fish with a Parmesan Sour Cream Sauce

Mia's Domain

Mother Thyme

Bia's Rich and Sweet Kitchen

The Tastress

Broke Ass Gourmet
Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Wasabi Aioli

Everyday Mom's Meals
Cajun Fish 
(Featuring Cajun Spices from Mr. Pete's Cajun Spices)

That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Maple Glazed Salmon

The Foodie Physician
Grilled Swordfish with Spiced Red Pepper Sauce

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Maple Roasted Pork

I was home all day on Tuesday getting caught up on some housework so I had the opportunity to make a roast, which is normally left for our Sunday meals. I have to say it was quite nice to smell the maple as it was roasting in the house and it didn't take as long as I originally thought it would. I happened to use a pork loin end roast with the bone in and it was just enough for the four of us after carving. The maple syrup mixed with the horseradish, mustard and fresh rosemary was a wonderful combination for this pork roast and would even make a great marinade for pork chops as well if you're low on time. 

Maple Roasted Pork
4# Pork Loin End Roast, bone in (approx. weight), rinsed and trim any visible fat
1/4c. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
1 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

In a bowl, mix together the maple syrup, horseradish, mustard, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended. Add the meat to an oven safe dish and baste the pork with the syrup mixture. Add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 2 1/2 hours (figure on 25-30 minutes per pound), basting every 30 minutes. After the meat has reached the desired internal temperature, remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. (You may have to add more broth towards the end if you want to make a gravy, we just ate it 'au jus'). Serves 4. 


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Shared on Baking Bad 1/27/12

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Champagne & Thyme Roasted Cauliflower

I have been filling out a questionairre for the publisher for my upcoming cookbook this week and I'm having a bit of difficulty locking in on a working title for my book. If you could please take a moment to answer the poll to the left, I'd greatly appreciate it~Thank you!

And now for the recipe...
Take one guess what I made this with? You guessed it! the Champagne Chicken with Baby Portobello Mushrooms. And...I think the champagne is all gone now too. :) These were so good even my picky eater tried them this time and she loved them!

Champagne & Thyme Roasted Cauliflower
1 Large Head Cauliflower, cut down to florets (about 6 cups chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. Fresh Thyme
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1/4 c. Sweet Champagne (like Asti)
3-4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, enough to coat without burning
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Place in an oven safe baking dish and bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour; turning several times throughout. Serves 6. 


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Champagne Chicken with Baby Portobello Mushrooms

Last night I was craving Chicken Marsala for dinner and I had purchased some baby portobello mushrooms last week that I needed to use. When I went to get the Marsala wine, I realized I must have used the last of it so I improvised and used some champagne I still had left. The chicken was delicious and tender and the portobello mushrooms and sweet champagne gave it a wonderful flavor. The sauce even went perfectly over the brown rice I had made to go with it. 

Champagne Chicken with Baby Portobello Mushrooms
3 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
1-10oz. Package Baby Portobello Mushrooms, halved

1 Scallion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Fresh Thyme
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp. Butter
1/4 c. Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 c. Sweet Champagne (like Asti)
1 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

Rinse your chicken and trim any visible fat. Then slice the chicken horizontally into 1/4" thick pieces (approx. 7-9 pieces) and pound with a meat mallet until pieces are uniform in thickness. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of the flour and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Heat oil and 1 tbsp. of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add flour-coated chicken and cook 2-3 minutes per side until they become lightly browned.  Place cooked chicken directly in an oven safe baking dish and repeat until all of the chicken is cooked through. Drain the grease from your pan but do not wipe clean (leaving the bits in the bottom). Add the remaining 1 tbsp. butter along with the mushrooms, scallions, thyme and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms have softened and add the remaining 2 tbsp. flour; mix well. Next, deglaze the pan with your champagne and chicken broth and stir until the sauce becomes slightly thickened. Pour mixture over the cooked chicken and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Serves 6.

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Shared on The Newlyweds Blog 1/25/12

Shared on Baking Bad 1/27/12

Monday, January 23, 2012

Warm Coconut Rice Pudding

First, I wanted to let you know that during the week of January 23, 2012, I am being featured as "Chef of the Week" over at I'm fairly new to this website but what I like about it is that it gives me the nutritional breakdown for the recipes I enter into their site. I've already started posting some of them but look for more to come in the future. 

I recently received a subscription from Cooking Light Magazine for Christmas and was thrilled. I had been a subscriber years ago, but I rarely found the time to read it, let alone cook anything out of it with my hectic schedule. As I was flipping through the January/February 2012 issue last weekend, I came across a recipe for this Warm Coconut Rice Pudding. Now, I'm not a big fan of any pudding (or jello, it's a texture thing), but my hubby LOVES rice pudding and I can honestly say I've made it for him once in the almost 17 years we've been married. Instead, I rely on my MIL to make it or buy Kozy Shack.   I happened to have all of the ingredients, except for coconut milk on hand, so I improvised and used some Coco Lopez Creme of Coconut (hidden in the back of my pantry leftover from last summer's Pina Coladas...ahhh...could really go for one of those right about now..but I digress). He said it was good but also said that he preferred the original kind better. I tasted it and to me it was a little sweet, but I'm sure it wouldn't be as sweet if you used the coconut milk like it called for. I can tell you that none of it went in the garbage so it must not have been that bad. :)

Warm Coconut Rice Pudding
Original Recipe Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2012
1 c. Water
1c. Uncooked Instant Rice
1/2 c. Sugar
3 tbsp. Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 c. 2% Milk
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 c. Light Coconut Milk (I substituted 1/2c. Coco Lopez Creme of Coconut)
1/4c. Flaked Sweetened Coconut
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom (I didn't use this either)

Boil water then stir in rice. Cover pot, reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes then remove from heat and set aside. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Next, combine 1/4 cup 2% milk and yolks in a bowl using a whisk. Then add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture. Bring remaining 1 1/4 cups of 2% milk and the coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that you don't cook the eggs. Return milk mixture to a pan and bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in cooked rice then add the coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Serves 6 (1/2 cup pudding)

Points+=6pts per serving (made as originally published)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Roasted Chicken with Fresh Pomegranate, Lime and Cilantro

If you follow me on Facebook, this is the roasted chicken I made last night for dinner. It had such a refreshing flavor and the kids LOVED the pomegranate seeds. 

They had never tried pomegranate before and got a kick out of pulling the seeds away from the membrane. It's actually quite easy if you've never done it before yourself. Cut the top of the pomegranate in half about halfway down, then break it apart with your fingers. I found it easier to place in a bowl with a little water. The seeds drop to the bottom while the fleshy part floats to the top, making it easier to separate. Just be careful..pomegranate juice STAINS, so you might want to put on an apron or an old shirt. :) Also, don't be afraid if your little bird is pink while marinating. It will turn to this golden brown color once roasted. 

Roasted Chicken with Fresh Pomegranate, Lime and Cilantro
3-4lb. Roaster Chicken, insides removed

1/2 Fresh Pomegranate, seeds only (about 1 cup)
1 Lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/3 c. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 c. Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Add pomegranate seeds to a blender and pulse. Strain the mixture to remove all of the seeds with a sieve. Add the juice to a bowl and whisk in the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add the chicken to resealable bag and pour in the mixture. Seal the bag and coat the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Place chicken in a roasting pan, add the chicken broth then bake chicken at 350 degrees until proper internal temperature is reached, basting the chicken every 20 minutes to achieve the golden color. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing. 

Enjoy and GO GIANTS!...Sorry, I couldn't resist! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sausage with Roasted Fennel & Zucchini

Remember when I said I had an experiment go awry with the Sweet Potato Gnocchi? Well, this was Plan B. I had a package of sausage in the freezer so I took that out to make dinner with instead. This is such a quick and easy meal to put together and if you wanted to, you could even put this over pasta but we ate it 'as is'. The flavor combination of sweet italian sausage with the roasted fennel, zucchini and spinach was incredible. I'm just a huge fan of roasting any vegetable. I think it turned out pretty well and the family loved it. 

Sausage with Roasted Fennel & Zucchini
14 Links Sausage
1c. Fennel, chopped
1 Zucchini, sliced
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
1 pt. Grape Tomatoes
1 Clove Garlic
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 c. Fresh Spinach
1/2 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
1 c. White Wine 

Place sausage on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and slice diagonally into 1/4" thick slices. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together the fennel, zucchini, onion, rosemary, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Add the sausage to a large, non-stick frying pan and saute until the pieces turn slightly brown. Add the wine, then the roasted vegetables and spinach. Saute until spinach starts to wilt and add in the cheese. Mix well. Serves 6-8. 


Friday, January 20, 2012

Roasted Chick Peas in Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette

I was browsing recipes one day when I came across one for Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad by Mind Over Batter It looked phenomenal and I will definitely be making her version of this very shortly. But I didn't have any fresh limes or cilantro in the house but wanted to try my little spin on it. So I roasted the chick peas first, like I did when I made the Roasted Chickpea & Leek Hummus, then I just added some scallions for color and used some more of that wonderful Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar from Pampered Chef I purchased. This was SO easy to make, healthy and filling. I just wish I had made more! This would make a great salad on it's own or used on top of tossed salads to give it a little something extra. 

Roasted Chick Peas in Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette 
(Inspired by Mind Over Batter Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad)
1-15oz. Can Chick Peas, rinsed and drained
1 Scallion (approx. 2 tbsp.), chopped
2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
3 tbsp. Pampered Chef Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar 
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place chickpeas on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and roast in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool. In a bowl, mix together the chickpeas, scallions, rosemary, vinegar and oil until well blended. Makes approx. four 1/2 cup servings. 

Points+=7pts per 1/2 cup


Seafood Frenzy Friday: Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Seafood Frenzy Friday! For those of you who missed it last week, I decided that just because I don't like seafood, it doesn't mean that all of you don't. So I will be featuring seafood recipes I find from other food bloggers to give you some variety since you won't find many seafood dishes here at CEK. 

Every Friday I will:
1. Randomly select recipes to showcase
2. Include the link to the recipe with a picture
3. Give a brief Bio about the blogger (which will be taken directly from their blog page)

If your recipe has been selected, I will notify you so that you can come back to grab the 
"I was featured on Seafood Frenzy Friday" button. 

Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

But first, a tip I saw from The Paper Cup Kitchen on Facebook this week: "Thaw fish fillets in milk to absorb the frozen taste and a fresh caught taste. (James Martin, British Chef)" Great tip~Thanks Nel!


Cod Ratatouille en Papillote

I wasn't raised in a foodie family. My Mom had a hand full of "go to" dinners. Monday night Meatloaf, and Tuesday night Tuna Casserole, etc. Many of her recipes called for canned soups, and the sides consisted of processed boxed foods. Both of which were high in sodium and/or fat. In 2004 I underwent Gastric Bypass surgery, which helped me to lose 160 pounds. Through that process I began searching for new recipes to showcase great food with good flavor. It became all about quality to me.That is when I became addicted to cooking. 

I was a very difficult child when it came to eating.  I survived on a 5-ingredient diet consisting of cream cheese (I once ate an entire block in one swoop), Kraft Singles cheese slices, ketchup, bacon, and mac and cheese.  I might still be munching on this dairy and pork heavy nutritionist’s nightmare if it weren’t for my husband, Chris. Desperate to impress him when we started dating, I’d try almost any food he asked me to (with the exception of cow’s heart).  As my love and knowledge of food grew, so too did my desire to find good ingredients.  


Fettuccine with Lobster, Tomatoes & Saffron
I am an avid lover of food, wine, brew and great friendships.  I believe that we should live our lives out loud and enjoy every aspect of who we are, every day and I would like to bring to you the very best of what our lives can hold.  Great recipes to feed your families and decorating ideas for your home because your haven should be all that you want it to be.
I am the author of two books, “Chin Deep in Bubbles- Little Luxuries for Every Day,” which was published in 2001, and “Welcome Home – Tips For Turning Your Home Into a Luxurious Retreat,” which was published in 2004. The purpose of this blog is to share inspirational ideas. My desire it to create a place where you can find useful health tips, great recipes, frugal spa recipes for your bath time, and many other simple pleasures that will enrich your life.


Crab Dip
I am a work in progress. I only say this because I'm not done building me yet. I LOVE learning about pretty much everything. Because of this I thought I could pass some of this info on to you... I am a "Jack of all trades" and a "Master of None".


Athenian Fish

 I enjoy making new recipes weekly--to me cooking is a form of therapy. After a long day at the office I like to get in the kitchen and cook a delicious meal that is both rewarding and nutritious.  I hope that my food adventures bring a little more excitement into everyone's kitchens! I'm part Italian, German, and Polish, and try to incorporate some of my heritage make-up into my food; however, I LOVE all foods and feel that every kitchen should have a wide variety of recipes on hand. Therefore I would never want to limit myself or my readers to one specific style of cooking.

The next recipe comes from The Mystic Blue Spice Company. They sell their own blend of spices, herbs, sugars, etc. However, this recipe was posted on their Facebook Page, not on their website and I thought you all might like it! 

The Mystic Blue Spice Company 
(click for link to website)

Krazy Curry Coconut Mussels

1 Sm white Onion - Diced
1 Med. Red Bell - Diced
2 Lg Garlic Cloves - Minced
4 Tbs Unsalted Butter
14oz unsweetened Coconut Milk
8oz Good Chicken Stock
1/4 C Mystic Blue Krazy Curry Powder (
1 Bay Leaf
3 Tbs White Wine ( I used a Sweet Chardonay )
2lbs of Mussels
How to:
Over med heat melt butter, add onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook over med heat 1-2minutes add Coconut Milk, Chicken Stock, then Krazy Curry Powder.  Mix will add Bay Leaf.  Cook over med-high heat for 6-8, leave uncovered, add White Wine and mix will.   Add Mussels, cooking an additional 6-7 until all shells are open (those that don't open.....DISCARD).  Garnish with a little parsley or cilantro.