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Friday, March 29, 2013

Seafood Frenzy Friday (Week 54) & Interview at MommyPage

Welcome to Week 54 of Seafood Frenzy. If you've missed any of the posts along the way, you can check out all of the previous Seafood Frenzy Friday posts to get more inspiration! In these posts, I share the name of the blog, an image of the recipe and a link to the author's original post. I also write a comment on each person's blog with a link back to this post letting them know that I shared their recipe, as that is also the right thing to do. Plus, it's just nice to hear when someone appreciates your work and is willing to share it with others. I will also share these posts on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest

Before we begin, I also wanted to let you know about a couple of things: 

  • Visit where I am the Featured Interview a little later today.
  • The April Newsletter will be sent out on 4/1. If you haven't signed up yet, now's the time! It only comes once a month and there is always information in there I don't share here on the blog. I won't sell your email to any third party vendors and you can unsubscribe at any time. 
I hope you enjoyed this past weeks' recipe selections including Creamy Rigatoni with Portobello Mushrooms and Spinach, Wasabi Egg Salad and My Easter Menu, and yesterday's Rosemary Grilled Pork Skewers . Comment below or let me know if there was a recent recipe you tried at home, I'd love to hear from you! 

And now for today's selections for Seafood Frenzy Friday!

The Healthy Foodie
Minimally Invasive

Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Basil Asiago Baked Walleye

A Bachelor and His Grill
Mango Chili Prawns

Pinch & Swirl
Steamed Cod over Greens with Meyer Lemon Gremolata

My Good Gravy
Wild Sockeye Salmon Sliders

Kitten with a Whisk
Blackened Fish Tacos

Heat Oven to 350
Southwestern Salmon Cakes

Manu's Menu
Fried Calamari

Thank you to this weeks' bloggers for allowing me to share their recipes. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rosemary Grilled Pork Skewers

Today is Food on a Stick Day (I know, there's a day for everything these days!) and since the weather is starting to warm up a bit, I thought I'd share these Rosemary Grilled Pork Skewers. They're so easy to make, are healthy and loaded with fresh, aromatic flavors like lemon, garlic and rosemary. 

The beauty of making a grilled meat skewer, or kabob if you prefer that term, is that you can add any vegetable you like and it will slightly change the flavor. My standard is to use some sort of mushroom, onion and tomatoes; then I add on others with what I happen to have in the house at that moment. This time I also used some zucchini, but eggplant, yellow squash and peppers would work well too. 

Rosemary Grilled Pork Skewers
1 1/2 lb. Center Cut Pork Loin, trimmed and cubed
1/4 c. Distilled White Vinegar
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, zest and juice
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Vegetables for Skewers (I used baby bella mushrooms, zucchini, onion and Roma tomatoes)

1. Combine the vinegar, oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together. 
2. Add the pork to a resealable plastic bag; then add in the vinegar mixture. 
3. Refrigerate for 2 hours, remove pork then assemble skewers by alternating 3-4 pieces of pork and vegetables of your choice per skewer. 
4. Grill 8-10 minutes or until the pork has reached the proper internal temperature. Makes 8 skewers; Serves 4. 

The nutritional information for this recipe takes into account all ingredients, even though most of the marinade is discarded before grilling. Please take that into consideration when calculating your caloric intake. I've given you both sets of data so that you can decide which one you prefer to use. 

*Nutritional Information per Skewer With All of the Marinade: 
Calories 177, Carbs .2g, Fat 10g, Protein 21g, Fiber 0g

*Nutritional Information per Skewer--Pork only; does not include vegetables: 
Calories 119, Carbs 0g, Fat 3.4g, Protein 21g, Fiber 0g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wasabi Egg Salad and My Easter Menu

My family and I celebrate Easter and since it is a mere 5 days away, I guess it's not too early to start talking about eggs.  The kids still love to color them, but rarely eat them all.  We ALWAYS tend to have leftover; mainly because they still fight over how many they each get to color and design (yes, they're 16 and 11!). The funny thing is that I don't really like to eat hard boiled eggs and only tend to make them around this time of year.  

So when I find myself with leftover eggs, I like to make egg salad to use them up.  I LOVE the flavor and kick a nice hot mustard or wasabi gives your food and this added just the right amount. Just remember to remove your eggs from refrigeration about 30 minutes prior to boiling. This will prevent your eggs from cracking; which is fine for an egg salad, but not for coloring Easter eggs! You can also use this recipe to make Deviled Eggs. 

Wasabi Egg Salad
5 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Wasabi Paste
3 tbsp. Hellman's Mayonnaise
Kosher Salt, to taste

1.  Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. 
2. Bring to a boil then let simmer for approximately 6 minutes. Eggs will be done if you can spin them on their vertical axis. (If they fall to the side, they're not done). 
3. Remove from water and place in an ice bath (water and ice) several times until they have cooled (you can also make ahead and refrigerate). 
4. Peel the eggs, rinse off any residual shells, chop the eggs and place in a bowl. 
5. Add the wasabi paste and mayonnaise and mix well. Serves 3. 

*Nutritional Information per Serving (without bread): Calories 231, Carbs 1.3g, Fat 19.8g, Protein 10.5g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 1.3g

*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

And now for my EasterMenu...

I'm cooking for about ten people this year so it will be quiet. We start the day by having the girls look for eggs (plastic so if they don't find them all AND if I forget where we hid them, they won't stink up the house!) then spend the morning preparing the food for our dinner and setting the table so that I can relax with my guests as much as possible. There's nothing worse than trying to get it all done the same day and not getting to enjoy the holiday or your company.  Here are some things I'm leaning towards this year. Click on the link to be taken to the original recipe post! 

(You can stuff and bread these the night before, cover, and keep
 refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator and allow 20-25 minutes for 
baking right before you're ready to serve).

(You can be prepare the egg salad up to two days ahead of time. 
Assemble up to four hours before you're ready to serve)

(You can prepare these the day before and cover tightly 
in an air tight container or with plastic wrap. This year I'm using 
Yellow Sunburst Tomatoes instead)


Main Course

Honey & Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
(Recipe to follow)

(Cut the potatoes and place them in your pot in the morning. Cover the potatoes with 
cold water; then place the lid on top of the pot. They're ready to boil when you are.)

Herbs de Provence Roasted Carrots & Turnips
(Recipe to follow)

(A must have every Easter decorated by the kids)
 (You can make the cake the day before; then keep refrigerated until ready to serve)

Limoncello Cheesecake 
(Recipe in the cookbook!)

Wishing all of you a wonderful Passover and Easter holiday! xo


Monday, March 25, 2013

Creamy Rigatoni with Portobello Mushrooms and Spinach

Are you looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal? Whether it's for Meatless Monday, Friday during Lent or any night in between, this meatless recipe for Creamy Rigatoni with Portobello Mushrooms and Spinach is perfect! 

Cream cheese adds a wonderful, creamy texture and flavor when mixed with fresh garlic, spinach and Portobello mushrooms and your family will love it. I served mine with a tossed salad and it even reheated beautifully when I had to take this one on-the-go for Rachael's dinner. If you like your food a little on the spicier side, add more crushed red pepper. 

Creamy Rigatoni with Portobello Mushrooms & Spinach
1 lb. Rigatoni Pasta
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Portobello Mushroom Cap, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/2 c. Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted
4 oz. Light Cream Cheese
1/2 c. Pasta Water
1/2 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
Kosher Salt, to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain all water except for 1/2 cup. 
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large saute pan and add the mushrooms and garlic. 
3. Saute until the mushrooms start to soften; then add in the spinach, cream cheese, pasta water, Pecorino Romano cheese, and red pepper. 
4. Add in the cooked pasta and mix until well blended. Serves 6. 
*Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories 382, Carbs 53.5g, Fat 12.4g, Protein 16.3g, Fiber 3.2g, Sugar 3.7g
*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.

On another note, Happy Anniversary to my hubby of 18 years!  I love you and the life we've made together and would do it all over again and again. It hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't change a thing. xo  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Celebration KitchenAid Giveaway!

Welcome to the Spring Celebration 
KitchenAid Giveaway! 

Hosted by:

To celebrate the beginning of Spring, we are giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer in Empire Red. 

Who wouldn't want this bad boy in their kitchen?

Product Details
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds
  • 5-quart stainless steel bowl
  • Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture
  • 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
  • Includes flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip
  • Measures 14 by 8-2/3 inches by 14 inches
  • 1-year warranty
***Cannot be used in Australia, not Suitable for Australian Voltage System

Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win! 
Take advantage of the daily entries for Tweeting the 
giveaway and the Extra Entries at the bottom! 
Good Luck!

**Please read the Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 22, 2013

Seafood Frenzy Friday (Week 53)

Welcome to Week 53 of Seafood Frenzy. If you've missed any weeks along the way, you can check out all of the Seafood Frenzy Friday posts to get more inspiration!  

First, CONGRATULATIONS to Gainya T. for winning the signed copy of The Everything Wheat-Free Diet Cookbook by Lauren Kelly C.N. and THANK YOU to everyone that entered! 

If you're a new reader to this weekly feature, Welcome! In these posts, I share the name of the blog, an image of the recipe and a link to the author's original post. I also write a comment on each person's blog with a link back to this post letting them know that I shared their recipe, as that is also the right thing to do. Plus, it's just nice to hear when someone appreciates your work and is willing to share it with others. I will also share these posts on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest

I hope you enjoyed this past weeks' recipe selections including Asiago Quinoa with Portobello Mushrooms, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Ravioli with Spinach Pesto, and yesterday's recap of the Buick Discovery Tour along with a giveaway for Michael Psilakis' new book "How to Roast a Lamb". If you haven't entered already, there's still time!  Comment below or let me know if there was a recent recipe you tried at home, I'd love to hear from you! 

Bakeaholic Mama

Mom, What's For Dinner?
Parmesan Dill Sea Bass

Lisa's Dinnertime Dish
Lobster Pot Pie

Just One Cookbook
Grilled Littleneck Clams

Culinary Colleen
Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes

What a Girl Eats
Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Cookin' Canuck
Steamed Shrimp & Mushroom Dumplings

The Foodie Physician
Halibut with Thai Green Curry

Bev Cooks
Shrimp Naan Pizzas with Thai Coconut Arugula Pesto

Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

I hope you enjoyed this weeks selections. Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Buick Discovery Tour with Food and Wine Magazine

This past weekend, I was invited to experience The Buick Discovery Tour, an event where consumers are invited to test drive Buick vehicles and can then attend demonstrations and interactive experiences with celebrity chef Michael Psilakis, Food & Wine Best New Chef George Mendes, and pastry chef Ben Roche.  The event will be held across the country this year, in cities including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Denver, Tampa, Atlanta, Boston, New York and in New Jersey (where I attended). Multiple three-hour sessions take place with typically more than 1,200 people registered throughout the weekend events.

Showcasing a fresh, new lineup but still facing antiquated opinions about its products, Buick is using a different strategy to reach luxury buyers – food. And with a buy rate nearly triple that of the industry norm and increases of nearly 100 percent in opinion and consideration for Buick among import owners (and decreases for competitors), the strategy is working.

Culinary, a growing lifestyle interest among luxury buyers, attracts a unique, target-rich audience to Buick who are younger, more affluent and highly educated. One way Buick is connecting with this demographic is through its Buick Discovery Tour, one part of a number of promotional activities that blend the discovery of food trends with Buick's new portfolio.

Here is how our afternoon went!

We were welcomed by representatives in the hotel lobby of the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, NJ where we received badges outlining what our afternoon would consist of. We were then instructed to go upstairs for some light refreshments until all of the guests had arrived and were treated to a lovely Mediterranean display of olives, meat, cheeses, grilled vegetables and salads. 

Next, it was time to break out into groups (we were the Green group) and it was off to see Food & Wine's Best New Chef George Mendes, who is the owner and Executive Chef at Aldea in NYC. He is a first generation American born to Portuguese parents and showed us how to make Salted Cod Scrambled with Egg, Crispy Potato and Black Olives

Before preparing the recipe, he also instructed the group on how to make our own salted cod by using 1/4 lb. of Kosher Salt to 1 lb. of cod. Soak the cod in the salt, making sure it's covered top and bottom for 2 days in the refrigerator. Then, remove the salt and cover the fish in water and keep refrigerated for another 2 days. He also explained how to dry Kalamata olives by baking them in a low oven for 6-8 hours as it intensifies the flavor. You all know I'm not a seafood eater, so I didn't try the cod; however, my half-Portuguese husband and another friend of mine did and really enjoyed it. I'm definitely going to try the olive idea though and keep you posted! 

Next on the agenda was the Buick Test Drive where we were given the opportunity to test drive the Buick RegalBuick EncoreBuick LaCrosse or Buick Verano.  Check out their full line of new vehicles at  to see which one is your favorite! 

Up next, we were in for a sweet treat from pastry chef Ben Roche; Chef Partner of Baume and Brix in Chicago. Here, he showed us how to make Yuzu Chiboust, Coconut Rice Pudding and Caraway Ice Cream...AMAZING! 

Michael Green was next on the agenda, who is one of America's premier wine and spirits celebrities. He has served as Gourmet Magazine's wine and spirit consultant for 19 years and has made appearances on The Today Show, Food Network, MSNBC and CNN. We sampled two wines: 2011 Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc Estate Vineyards and Tapena Tempranillo 2011

I don't generally like white wine and this one was on the dry side; however, Michael showed us that when you drink a wine while eating foods with higher acidity, like citrus or vinegar, the wine takes on a sweeter flavor and for me it was much more enjoyable. The red Tapena from Rioja, Spain was paired with Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and was my favorite; though as you all know I'm partial to red wine and was already familiar with the Tempranillo grape. One thing he said, and I agree wholeheartedly, is that if a wine tastes good to you, then it's good and a wine shouldn't be judged by the price or the label. 
Tip: Place this chocolate on a baguette and melt under a broiler! 
Here are a few more tips Michael Green shared with us: 
  • The Fifteen-Minute Rule: No wine storage? No problem! Take your white wines out of the refrigerator fifteen minutes before serving and put your red wines in the refrigerator fifteen minutes before serving
  • How to order wine in a restaurant: Try to get the wine list ahead of time online or help the sommelier help you by giving them a style, grape and producer that you know you like. An example would be "I like full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon from Cakebread." 
  • Latitude & Style: Lighter wines hail from cooler climates and heavier wines hail from warmer climates. Example: Sauvignon Blanc from Malrlborough, New Zealand=Lighter; Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain=Heavier 

Last, but certainly not least, was celebrity chef Michael Psilakis. Michael Psilakis has acquired many of the food world’s highest honors in the short time he has been on the culinary scene. In 2008 alone, Psilakis was awarded Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year distinctions; nominated for A-List Chef by Bravo TV; and had his upscale Greek restaurant, Anthos, nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of Best New Restaurant. He was also named “Chef of the Year” by Esquire Magazine and his restaurant Anthos was awarded a Michelin star and named the third of ten best new restaurants by The New York Times restaurant reviewer, Frank Bruni. He currently owns four restaurants: Kefi, FISHTAG—both on the Upper West Side—and MP Taverna in Roslyn and Irvington. An MP Taverna will also open soon in Astoria.

He shared a touching story about how his father shared his knowledge of food with him as a young boy; thus planting a seed for his love of cooking and is now sharing his experiences in Greek cuisine with his own family. He made these phenomenal Gyro Spiced Sliders that we all got to taste, made with his special Gyro slider spice, his own fresh ground meat and Tsatziki Sauce. It had a little kick, but well worth it!

Gyro Slider Spice
12 tbsp. Cumin
2 tbsp. Coriander
8 tbsp. Yellow Mustard Seed
2 1/2 tsp. Cloves
2 tbsp. Black Cardamom
4 tbsp. Fennel
2 tbsp. Cinnamon

Directions: Combine all spices in a mixing bowl; then transfer to an airtight container. 

Here I am with Chef Michael Psilakis at the Buick Discovery Tour
Michael was also generous to give each attendee a signed hardcover copy of his new book, How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking and since the hubby came with me, I have an extra copy I'd like to give away to one lucky reader. The book is a culinary tribute to Psilakis’ Greek heritage and has gone on to win countless awards including the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine. Enter to win the cookbook by using the Rafflecopter link below. Contest ends 03/24/13 and the winner will be selected and notified by 3/25/13. 

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Food & Wine Magazine and Buick for inviting me and my guests to this extraordinary event. We truly enjoyed your hospitality and informative presentations. I received four complimentary tickets to attend this event; however, I was not compensated by Buick, Food & Wine Magazine or any of their sponsors to write this post. All opinions are my own.