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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Top 5 Sunday Recap (09.29.12)

Each week, I see what the top viewed recipes are here on the blog and thought I'd share them with you  in case you missed any posts. Simply click on the name to view the recipe!

Here are the Top 5 Viewed Recipes for 
Week Ending September 29, 2012 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness-CEK Gives Back!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 
and I'm asking you to help me give back 
by supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

In 2012, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be:

  • 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer 
  • 63,300 new cases of in situ breast cancer
  • 39,510 breast cancer deaths

And it's not just women! 

Did you know that  

men can also get breast cancer? It is rare; however, in 2012 it is estimated that there will be 2,190 cases of breast cancer in men with 410 breast cancer deaths. 

Whether you're fighting a personal battle or you know of someone who has, it affects so many of us at some point and time in our lives. A mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, cousin, teacher, friend...cancer knows now boundaries, age or social status. 

Please help this cause by donating what you can afford (no amount is too small!) and for every dollar raised by October 31, 2012, Carrie's Experimental Kitchen will donate 10 cents*. 

Simply click on the Pink Ribbon Image in this post or on the blog page itself and it will take you directly to the sponsorship page where it will be posted all month. 

Thank you so much for your generosity. I am so lucky that I am in the position to help raise awareness for this cause that is near and dear to my heart and am fortunate that I haven't been a personal statistic...yet. If breast cancer has affected you or someone you know, please comment below and list the first name of the person to let others know that this disease affects real people each and every day. 

Together we can make a difference! 

xo Carrie

*Carrie's Experimental Kitchen will donate 10 cents on every dollar donated on this page by10/31/12 up to $100.

Seafood Frenzy Friday (Week 36)

Welcome to our last day of Tomato Week! I hope you've enjoyed this theme week and have come away with some new inspiration to use up your bountiful tomato harvests. 

In keeping with our theme, I've selected seafood recipes containing tomatoes for this weeks' Seafood Frenzy Friday. I hope you all enjoy these posts each week. Even though I don't eat seafood myself, I'm amazed each week by the creativity from my fellow food bloggers and I'm so happy to be able to share them all with you. To get the recipe, click on the name underneath the picture to be taken to the author's original post. 

Enjoy the selections this week and have a  wonderful weekend! :)

Ask Chef Dennis

Chatterpie Kitchen

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

Kalyn's Kitchen

Sumptuous Spoonfuls

My Carolina Kitchen

Mother Thyme

Comfy Cuisine

Julie Goodwin

Julia's Album

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Italian Turkey Sausage & Roasted Tomato White Bean Stew #macgrillgive

Tomato Week continues with this fabulous recipe I whipped up last week for this Italian Turkey Sausage & Roasted Tomato White Bean Stew. You all should know by now how much I love roasting things and these tomatoes added to this stew was no exception. This dish was packed with wonderful flavors and was the perfect all in one meal. It especially came in handy for us during the week as my oldest daughter has to go right from her sports practice to her SAT prep tutoring class without stopping home, so dinner is usually in the car served in a thermos. This tasted even better reheated after all of the flavors had a chance to meld together, so I wish I had doubled this recipe to keep some extra in the freezer! :)

I’m also sharing this recipe with the Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign. Can you believe that 1 in every 5 children go hungry in America each YEAR! As a mother and a human being that to me is astounding! From this post, Macaroni Grill will donate $50 to connect a child to up to 500 meals and I'm happy to do my part to help raise awareness to this wonderful cause. If you would like to help, you can also contribute by going online to 1 Million Meals or by visiting your local Macaroni Grill  restaurant. By donating $2, you will receive $5 off of your next meal.  We hope you'll join us on this million meals mission that ends THIS Sunday, September 30! 

Italian Turkey Sausage & Roasted Tomato White Bean Stew
2 c. Cherry Tomatoes
2 Garlic Clove, chopped
1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
6 Links Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 c. Onion, chopped
1 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 c. Tomato Paste
1/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
1-15oz. Can Cannellini Beans, rinsed


1. Add tomatoes, 1 clove of chopped garlic, vinegar, and oil to bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2. Mix well then add to a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for approximately 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst open.
3. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat 1 tbsp. oil in your Dutch oven or pot, remove the casings from your sausage and add to your pot. Cook the meat thoroughly so there is no pink, then add in your onions and garlic. 
4. Saute until the onions start to soften, then add in your cooked tomatoes, basil, oregano, tomato paste and cheese. 
5. Mix well then simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serves 4. 

*Nutritional Information: Calories 292, Carbs 25.7g, Fat 8.1g, Protein 33.3g, Fiber 8.8g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

*Tip: If you like your food on the spicier side, opt for the Hot Italian Turkey Sausage. You can also prepare this in a slow cooker on warm or low as long as the sausage is cooked prior to adding it to the mixture. I would also wait to add the beans in until right before you are ready to serve. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Corn & Tomato Salad

Fall is officially here and the summer vegetable crops are starting to come to an end for most of us here in the northeast, making way for fields of pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks. Here is a simple, marinated salad to use up the last of your harvest. This salad tastes best with fresh corn after it's been removed from the husks, but off-season you can also use the frozen variety. 

As for tomatoes, are they a fruit or a vegetable? According to Oxford Dictionaries "A tomato is the fruit of the tomato plant, but it is used as a vegetable in cooking", so I guess it is both. In any event, tomatoes are a good source of vitamins such as A, C, K, Folate and Potassium and are low in sodium, cholesterol and calories. One serving (or 1 cup) of tomatoes has 2 grams of fiber and the water content is high so tomatoes are a great food to eat to help fill you up. 

Corn & Cherry Tomato Salad
3 Butter & Sugar Corn on the cob, cooked
2 c. Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 c. Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. Remove the corn from the husks and place in a bowl.
2. Add in the tomatoes, basil, oil, and vinegar and mix well. 
3. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 6-1/2 cup Servings. 

*Nutritional Information: Calories 90, Carbs 8.7g, Fat 5g, Protein .8g, Fiber 1.1g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce

Welcome to Day 2 of Tomato Week here at CEK! 

I love waking up on a Sunday morning, having a cup of tea with my hubby before the kids get up and finding a movie on tv to watch while the house is quiet. A few Sunday's ago, that movie happened to be the 1991 film, Fried Green Tomatoes written by Fannie Flag. I just love this movie and can watch it over and over again, but the thought of making fried green tomatoes intrigued me. I had tried them out years ago and loved them, but never made them again. No real reason, I guess I just forgot. So when my father in law asked me to go pick more of his tomatoes, I grabbed some green ones this time too. 

I thought a dipping sauce to go with nicely with these and had recently been to Chili's restaurant where I tried some of their avocado dip they served with their southwestern egg rolls. So I cheated here a little bit and made this simple Avocado Ranch dip using bottled ranch dressing. These were crispy and delicious and the cool flavor of the creamy dip against the piping hot tomatoes was incredible!  These would make a great appetizer or side dish. 

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
12 Green Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 c. Flour (I used All-Purpose)
Egg wash (1 Egg + splash of 2% Milk)
1/2 c. Italian Flavored Breadcrumbs
Canola Oil, for frying

1. Prepare three separate bowls for the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs. 
2. First dip the tomato halves into the flour, then into the egg wash, and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat for all pieces. 
3. Heat some oil in a frying pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. 
4. Add the tomatoes and fry 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned. 
5. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and drain on paper towels or brown paper bags to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with dipping sauce. Serves 4. 

Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce
1 Avocado
1/2 c. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

1. Cut the avocado in half to remove the pit. 
2. Scoop out the insides and add to a mini food processor or blender. 
3. Add the ranch dressing and pulse until well blended and creamy. Makes 1 cup. 


*Tip: Best when served hot, immediately after frying. They didn't reheat well when placed in the microwave. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pan Seared Pork in a White Wine, Tomato & Caper Sauce

If you've been reading my posts here on the blog, you've probably heard me talking A LOT about  how I have so many tomatoes this season. Are your gardens full of them this year too? So this week, I've decided to dedicate all of the recipes to tomatoes! That's right. Get out there and pick those vine ripened beauties off the vines before the frost comes (and it will be here sooner than we know it...well, at least here in the Northeast!) because each day, I will be featuring a new recipe utilizing tomatoes. 

Today's recipe is for this pan seared pork. Pan searing is a cooking technique where you cook your meat at a high temperature in a pan over the stove(I used stainless steel). This method allows your meat to form a caramelized crust and also helps to seal in the juices. Usually, the meat will not be fully cooked during this process, so you then have to finish it off in the oven or, like I did here, cover  the pan and allow the steam from the liquid sauce finish cooking your meat until proper internal temperature is reached. 

The other night my hubby came home from an 11 day business trip to Germany and London, so I polled my Facebook page as to what I should make him for dinner. I had so many wonderful suggestions, but when he came home all he wanted was pasta because he had been up for over 24 hours and was exhausted! A few people had mentioned pork so I decided to make him a nice meal the next night and came up with this recipe. It was deliciously moist though a little salty due to the capers (so no need for any extra during the cooking process). My entire family enjoyed it, and I hope yours will too! 

Pan Seared Pork in a White Wine, Tomato & Caper Sauce
4 - 4oz. Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops, trimmed
3/4 c. White Wine
24 Grape Tomatoes. cut in half
2 tbsp. Capers
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. Lemon Thyme, removed from step
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

1. Add 1 tbsp. of the oil to a large saute pan and heat over medium-high. 
2. Season your pork chops with pepper, then place in the hot pan. Sear them on both sides until they turn a caramel brown color; approximately 2-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness (mine were 1 1/2" thick and took about 5 minutes per side).
3. Once browned, remove the pork chops, cover with foil and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil, then add in your tomatoes, capers, garlic, thyme and white wine; scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. 
4. Add back in the pork chops, cover and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat; turning once to coat the meat. Serves 4. 

*Nutritional Information per Slice: Calories 247, Carbs 2.6g, Fat 12.3g, Protein 26.4g, Fiber .5g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

*Tip: You can substitute 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half or 1 cup of any other diced tomatoes. If you don't like to cook with wine, you may substitute chicken or vegetable broth. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Top 5 Sunday Recipe Recap (09.22.12)

Each week, I see what the top viewed recipes are here on the blog and thought I'd share them with you  in case you missed any posts. Simply click on the name to view the recipe!

Here are the Top 5 Viewed Recipes for 
Week Ending September 22, 2012 

And the #1 Most Viewed Post was: 

Which one was YOUR favorite?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Seafood Frenzy Friday (Week 35)

Welcome to Week 34 of Seafood Frenzy Friday where I select seafood recipes from some of my food blogging friends to showcase for all of you since I don't eat any fish myself. Simply click on the name of the recipe underneath the picture to be taken to the author's original post. 

*Reminder: You only have until this SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2012 to place your order for Pampered Chef products. Here's the link in case you missed it!

Enjoy the selections this week!

Strands of My Life

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Beth Michelle

Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide

Juanita's Cocina

Smoky Wok

LuLu's Sweet Secrets

The Heritage Cook

Manus Menu

The Shiksa in the Kitchen

I hope you enjoyed this weeks selections. Thank you to the ten featured bloggers 
for allowing me to share your recipes.  

Enjoy your weekend!