December 16, 2008

Gonzo Garbanzos

Over the weekend I tried out a recipe from Rachael Ray’s magazine for “Gonzo Garbanzos”

I’ve been snacking on this crunchy mix for the past few days. Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe ACCURATELY. There is something about recipes that give me A.D.D. — I have a hard time reading the whole thing again after I’ve read it once. My mistake was putting the pistachios in at the very beginning…they turned out super “roasty” not burnt… still good though.

I’ll be making this again- but correctly. The spice is perfect and I find myself walking by the container of it in my kitchen…swiping copious handfuls between picking up laundry and baby burp cloths from the garage. Perhaps these will be my savory treat for my Christmas goodies packages 😉

out of the oven

did you ever know that I make a fricking mess in the kitchen?  here's proof spice mixture

rinse & dry the mix

stir it up, little darling, stir it up

“Gonzo Garbanzos”
-makes 2 1/4 cups

-2 15.5 oz cans chickpeas- drained, rinsed & patted dry
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 teaspoon coarse salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-2 teaspoons dried thyme
-1 cup shelled pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and discard any loose skins. Toss with olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin & cayenne until evenly coated.

3. Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp. This takes about 25 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and add the pistachios and thyme. Bake until crunchy, about 10 minutes more. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

December 10, 2008

Sausage Chard Stuffing

a nice bowl full

Let me tell you that the Sausage Chard stuffing recipe in last month’s issue of Sunset Magazine made me SALIVATE hardcore. Oh yeah baby…look at the picture (if you have the issue) and you’ll see what I mean. I ripped it out immediately…and slept with it under my pillow so I could continuing dreaming of it late into the night.

I wanted something hearty for our Sunday late afternoon lunch (I didn’t make a special breakfast this past week because we stayed in bed as LONG as we possibly could). I didn’t have a turkey or a chicken to accompany this recipe, but I figured what the hell- It has meat, veggies & carbs. How can a girl go wrong?

And let me tell you…it was SCRUMPTIOUS! If only they could make a candle that smelled like that yummy stuffing- I would light it all day long…..

soaking the bread


after a few helpings...

Anyways- here’s the recipe!

Sausage Chard Stuffing

serves 6

(adapted from a Sunset Magazine recipe)

-1 1lb. Italian Sausage (remove from casings)
-1 large bunch Swiss Chard (chopped, stems removed)
-1 clove garlic minced
-1 heaping tablespoon olive oil
-1 medium onion chopped
-3 stalks of celery finely chopped
-1 1/2 cup nonfat milk
-3/4 loaf of french bread
-1 cup chopped parsley
-3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon dried basil
-1 teaspoon dried rosemary
-dash of red pepper
-salt & pepper to taste

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1. Cut pieces of bread into 1 inch slices. Put slices in a large bowl and pour the milk all over it. Let sit in bowl for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, place a 6-8 quart pot over high heat. Add sausage (without the casings) stirring often to crumble. Cook until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes; discard fat. Add parsley, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and celery. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard and 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring often until wilted, about 5 minutes.

3. With your hands, squeeze bread slices to break them into tiny pieces. Add cooked meat mixture, Parmesan, basil & rosemary. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Spoon stuffing into a shallow 3 quart casserole dish. For moist stuff, cover with foil. For crusty stuffing, do not cover. Bake until hot or lightly brown (at least 30 minutes).

I got a request from Casey last night to make it again. He was reading my mind!
Who needs Thanksgiving as an excuse to make stuffing. Just do it!


November 29, 2008

sooooo much to be thankful for!

my seat

oh hellllll yeah I ate it up

it’s true! this year I have sooooooo much to be thankful for!

-my healthy little boy & his awesome daddy
-my family
-my friends
-the past year of wonderful eats!!!

and of course- YOU!
Thank you for your comments & stopping by.
You keep me going 😉
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!



November 25, 2008

Israeli Couscous with Zucchini & Lentils


While I was making dinner last night I looked at everything that I was going to put in this Israeli Couscous I bought from Trader Joe’s and realized that every single ingredient came from Trader Joe’s!

Some of you may remember me posting every day last November about Trader Joe’s products for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). How did I ever manage that?? I didn’t have Cooper back then- so there’s my answer! I kinda miss that project.

So what better way to remember that CRAZY month than to add another recipe to the queue!

it's what's for dinner

hello healthy

Israeli Couscous with Zucchini & Lentils
(something I made up)

-1 onion chopped
-2 cloves garlic minced
-3 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 1 tablespoon for the Couscous preparation)
-1/3 cup white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
-4 zucchini chopped into small pieces
-2 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
-1 lemon, juiced
-1 package TJ’s Israeli Couscous
-1 package TJ’s pre-cooked Lentils
-1/3 cup feta (this is optional)

1. Saute chopped onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until onions become soft. Add wine and reduce until there is a little bit of liquid left. Add zucchini & thyme. Mix well and cook until zucchini is soft. This takes about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare Israeli Couscous according to directions on back. When the couscous is done, put entire package of lentils in the microwave (cut a few holes to vent it) and nuke them for 3 minutes. Add lentils and couscous to the zucchini mixture. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice to the mixture-stir until well combined. Now fold the feta in so it doesn’t melt too much. Season with salt & pepper to taste. EAT UP!

This recipe serves about 4 people.


***Notes: This recipe can be vegan if you cut out the feta. It’s REALLY good with extra lemon and super yummy the next day! We made it an entree last night but I am sure it would be perfect with some grilled chicken or some yummy fish. Enjoy! ***

November 24, 2008

busy busy weekend

Saturday marked the first time Casey & I left Coop to be babysat!

My parents watched him while we saw Zack and Miri Make a Porno (super funny!)

date night!

The next morning we woke up to a wonderful breakfast made by my Mom!

breakfast @ mom's house

the paremesan crust!

ooooooh eggs with herbs!

We hung out in our pjs and watched the little froggy sleep:

I went to a baby shower on Sunday afternoon. We drove back home and relaxed for the rest of the night.

First date night out with the baby was a success! It sure does take a lot of planning/packing to spend the night away from home! But it was totally worth it. I felt like a human again!

Now this week is all about getting my dishes ready for Thanksgiving. And of course- Giving thanks!

I am making:

-Creamed Spinach
-Pumpkin Tiramisu

What are you making?

November 16, 2008

Pumpkin Waffles

I had a cup of canned pumpkin puree leftover in my fridge and decided that it was my mission to use it up!

Luckily, Deb over at Smitten Kitchen figured that out for me!


It just so happens that a week ago today I treated myself to a waffle maker in order to satisfy a *major* waffle craving. For some reason I’m having more cravings now than I did when I was pregnant. Waffles…Mushrooms……go figure!

When we were growing up, my mom always picked one weekend day and made a special breakfast for us kids. It was such a treat to be woken up with pancakes…waffles…french toast or an egg breakfast! So, I’ve decided that I am starting this same tradition in my own household.
To celebrate a 6 hour stretch of sleep last night, (Thank you Mr. Cooper!) I decided to make a special breakfast to celebrate. And here we have it!

who ever thought to beat egg whites?

the batter

pumpkin waffle!

Can you tell that I enjoyed them???

can you tell I liked it?

Pumpkin waffles…worth waking up for!

You can find the recipe here

***I mixed in a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin butter in the maple syrup I heated up to make an extra pumpkin-y syrup! Next time I will probably half the recipe as we had about 6 leftover waffles. It’s cool though…my freezer will hold take care of them for me until I get my next waffle craving. ***

Thank you Deb! I didn’t have to waste pumpkin puree thanks to you!

November 14, 2008

Crantastic Cranberry Bread!

I bought some cranberries at Trader Joe’s yesterday.

i bought cranberries!

I washed them:

i had my own cranberry bog for 2.5 seconds

Made a cranberry bread recipe with them:

dry ingredient party

sir mix alot

So look what popped outta the oven!

crispy crunchy top

The huge piece I cut distracted me from photographing…

so this is all I have to show you at this moment!


Crantastic Cranberry Bread

(adapted from Everyday Food Magazine)

-4 tablespoons melted butter
-1 12oz. bag fresh cranberries
-2 cups flour, spoon & leveled
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-1 large egg beaten
-1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for the top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×5 inch capacity loaf pan. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar & other dry ingredients together. Whisk mixture and set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg; then add buttermilk and melted butter. Stir to combine. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and whisk well to combine. Fold in cranberries.

2. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with the turbinado sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This should take 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Invert loaf onto a rack. Turn right side up and let cool completely. (I kinda cheated cuz I was too anxious to try it…shhh)

Many people have asked me how I am able to do so much in the kitchen while being a new mom. Well to answer you’re question- I have a little help! When Casey isn’t around to hold/cuddle the bebe, I use the detachable seat for Cooper’s swing and take it wherever I’m working. I put him on the kitchen table and he watches his momma run around the kitchen making a mess.

He will always get first dibs on licking the beaters when he’s old enough to!

Oh… and while I’m on the topic of Cooper, I thought I’d let you know that he started smiling on Tuesday 11.11.08

And I’ve been smitten ever since!