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Jun 28, 2009

Citrus Rice Salad

From: Giada de Laurentiis


Rice Salad:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Rice Salad:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely, about 15 minutes
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, half of the lemon zest, green onions, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss well.
For the Vinaigrette:
In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.

Trinidadian Chicken Stew

from: Giada De Laurentiis


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 4 small skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water


In a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until very dark, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, 2 tablespoons of parsley, carrots, potatoes, and hot water. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Jun 3, 2009

Basic Dijon Salad Dressing

from my mom

2 T vinegar (red wine or balsamic*)
4 T oil (EVOO or vegetable or canola*)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t pepper
1 t dijon

Combine all in an air tight container and shake shake shake your booty until its all thoroughly mixed.

*whichever you have hanging around your cupboard and/ or you prefer

Baking Powder Biscuits

from Food Network Test Kitchens



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until evenly combined. Rub 2 tablespoons of the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it is completely absorbed. Work the remaining butter into the flour until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Gently stir the milk into the flour mixture with a fork to make a loose dough.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Pat the dough by hand into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. (For a flakier biscuit repeat this folding a second time.) Pat the dough into a 5 by 8-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2- to 3-inch round cutter to make 6 biscuits, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Press together the scraps of dough, cut 2 more biscuits, and place them on the baking sheet.

Make a glaze by mixing the cream and melted butter together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the glaze. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

MY NOTES: I didn't make the glaze and they turned out awesome! My hubs even said, upon his first bite, "Wow! These tastes exactly like the ones my mom makes!" Success!

Parmesan Pizza Crust

from Beth Boyd via Frank Sorelle

makes 2 pizza crusts

2 pkg dry active yeast
2 c warm water
6-7 c flour (i used whole wheat but you can also use all purpose)
2 t salt
2 t sugar
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c vegetable oil
cooking spray
olive oil

COMBINE yeast and water - let stand 5 minutes

COMBINE yeast mixture with 3 cups flour, salt, sugar, cheese and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Then BEAT at low speed until blended

STIR in enough remaining flour to make medium stiff dough

Let RISE 45 minutes or until double in size (don't rush) in an oiled bowl

PUSH it out with fingers and prick with a fork

BAKE, 425 degrees, 8-10 minutes (with olive oil and garlic)

ADD toppings and BAKE 10-15 minutes

ADD cheese and BAKE 5 minutes

NOTES: I am still new at baking so leave questions in your comments and I will try my best to answer them.

Jun 2, 2009

Cilantro Salad Dressing

from: my mom!

Makes 2 cups or 16 - 2 Tablespoon servings. 

3 cloves garlic
1 T ginger
1 bunch cilantro (without stems)
1/2 c lemon juice
1 T vinegar (i used white but you can use whatever you like)
1/2 t cumin
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 or 2 T honey
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c EVOO

Put all ingredients in food processor or blender and turn that puppy on until you have a smooth salad dressing.

This dressing is so addictive you will find yourself eating more salad just for the dressing.

The following nutrition info is for using this as a salad dressing. 

Nutrition Facts

  16 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 116.0
  Total Fat 11.3 g
      Saturated Fat 1.6 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 6.8 g
  Cholesterol 2.5 mg
  Sodium 167.7 mg
  Potassium 33.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 3.4 g
      Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
      Sugars 2.4 g
  Protein 1.4 g

  Vitamin A 1.4 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.7 %
  Vitamin B-6 0.9 %
  Vitamin C 7.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 7.8 %
  Calcium 4.8 %
  Copper 0.9 %
  Folate 1.0 %
  Iron 1.1 %
  Magnesium 0.7 %
  Manganese 1.5 %
  Niacin 0.3 %
  Pantothenic Acid     0.6 %
  Phosphorus     2.7 %
  Riboflavin 1.3 %
  Selenium 1.3 %
  Thiamin 0.5 %
  Zinc 1.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dark Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

from Amy Claire Kingston, who is my hero!

Ingredients for the cheesecake:
1 1/2 cups crushed oreo cookies (about 18)
1/4 cup margarine, melted
3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 (12oz) package dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine cookie crumbs and margarine.

Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

Combine cream cheese and milk, mixing at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Blend in chocolate and vanilla; pour over crust.

Bake at 300 for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing sides of pan.

Spread topping (see below) over top and sides of cheesecake.


Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Orange-Chocolate Topping:
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (6oz) package dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons orange extract

Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate and orange extract, mixing until well blended.

NOTE: This cheesecake wields great power. With great power comes great responsibility. Be wise, my friends. Upon serving this cheesecake you will become very popular. After trying this cheesecake, your nemesis is now your friend, your foe is now your confidant. Tread prudently.