Brussels sprouts tossed with an olive oil, brown sugar combo produce a delicious, caramelized vegetable side dish. I have been adding bacon or pancetta to my normal recipe to achieve a smokey flavor. The charred edges of the sprouts coupled with the crispness and saltiness of the meat creates a deeper flavor than plain roasted sprouts. What a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving table!
Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts With Bacon or Pancetta
1-1/2 lbs. brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved 4 strips bacon or pancetta, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes 2 tbsp. Olive oil 2 cloves garlic, oven roasted in foil until softened and then finely chopped. 2 tbsp. cumin 2 tbsp. brown sugar 1/2 lemon, to squeeze for juice Fresh grated Parmesan Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Add chopped bacon or pancetta to a frying pan and cook until crispy.
In the same pan, add roasted garlic and cook for a few minutes.
Add olive oil, cumin, and brown sugar.
Completely coat sprouts with the pan mixture.
Place brussels sprouts on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Squeeze lemon and sprinkle with salt and pepper .
Cook for 16-20 minutes, until softened but firm. (Test by piercing with a fork.)
I am totally shocked when people ask me, “What is Sriracha?” Sriracha is America’s #1 condiment! According to the Huy Fong Food Co., Sriracha is made of sun ripened chiles ground into a paste with garlic.
The fight was over by the end of May. The Sriracha plant, 1, the eyes and nasal passages of residents, 0.
I have created an amazing spicy, sweet sauce using a Sriracha, honey, brown sugar base. Since being featured by Emeril Lagassee on Good Morning America, fans have asked that I simplify the recipe for a quick sauce. I have been experimenting with the base ingredients and the result is an intense, flavorful 3 ingredient sauce!!
Here is the full recipe: Parmesan Princess on GMA
Spicy Sweet -The Perfect Sauce!
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. Honey
2 tbsp. Sriracha
Dissolve brown sugar in water. Stir until smooth.
Mix in other ingredients.
Use sauce as Marinade.
Add additional sauce to browned pork, fish, chicken, etc. To create a saucy layer.
Spicy Sweet Sauce will not disappoint! Try it today!
Many of you are asking me for gluten free recipes and substitutions. Chickpea Flour is my newest gluten free favorite! With an earthy, sweet taste, this gluten free flour creates delicious pizza dough, muffins, cakes and sweet potato falafel balls!
Chickpea flour gets sticky. Be sure to wet hands before trying to mold it and grease your baking vessels well before baking. It will stick!
Supercharged Sweet Potato Balls
3 sweet potatoes, peeled (see directions)
1/2 cup kale, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup chickpea flour
1 tbsp. Cumin
1 tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tbsp. Chia seeds
1 tbsp. Sesame seeds
(Long method, shorter method, shortest method.) Bake peeled sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 400 degrees and mash or microwave peeled potatoes 10-12 minutes and mash or mash drained potatoes from the can.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix in kale, flour, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.
Wet hands and roll mixture into 1 inch balls.
Sprinkle on chia seeds and sesame seeds.
Spray baking sheet with Pam.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees or until the sweet potato firms.
Quinoa is a superfood packed with nine amino acids making it a complete protein. Although this is common in meats, plants do not typically contain complete proteins. Quinoa comes most commonly in red, black and white. Quinoa has a nutty taste and the white cooks the fluffiest with a more rice-like texture.
I frequently substitute quinoa for meat, as well as rice. Give your family a healthier alternative and more energy!!
Superfood Quinoa Eggplant Involtini
(Inspired by Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia)
2 Medium eggplant, slices 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup quinoa
1-1/2 cup water
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tbsp. Aroma seasoning by Ciao Pittsburgh (OR 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tbsp.parsley)
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add quinoa.
Cook on low heat until water is absorbed.
Add tomato paste, spices, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Coat a baking sheet with olive oil, place eggplant slices on sheet and brush tops with olive oil.
Bake 15 mins. or until eggplant is softened.
Let cool and stuff with quinoa mixture. (Place mixture in the middle and roll.) You will be surprised by the malleability of the eggplant after being baked.
Coat a casserole dish with olive oil. Place rolls in a single layer, drizzle olive oil on the tops, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Take foil off for the last 5 minutes.
Serve as a side dish or with a salad or vegetable!
Sometimes lettuce is overrated. Although I am a sucker for traditional leaf lettuce, spring mix, “rabbit food” salads, I always spice them up with fun toppings such as cranberry, pecans, and crumbled blue cheese. Need a salad change? Hold the lettuce!
Perfect for entertaining, a veggie stack or veggie and cheese stack with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar is easier to serve and easier for your guests to eat!
Did you know cutting salad greens is a major dining etiquette no no? Proper salad eating etiquette is to shove the leafy lettuce in your mouth and chew with puffed cheeks while spatters of sticky dressing cover your entire mouth area, cheeks, and probably make their way up a nostril or two. Sounds perfectly proper to me! This comes from the past when knives were made from steel or iron and could react with the vinegar from the dressing. Today, cutting huge pieces of lettuce is acceptable one piece at a time; however, chopping your entire salad is still frowned upon.
Etiquette expert Nancy R. Mitchell, The Etiquette Advocate, shows us how…
Here is a basic Caprese salad I love to serve because it looks beautiful and tastes delicious!
Tomato Mozzarella Caprese Salad
Makes 6 individual salads
5 vine ripe tomatoes, slices 1/4 inch thick
1-1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella sliced 1/4 inch thick.
12 fresh basil leaves
Olive oil to drizzle
Course salt and pepper
Layer the slices starting with the mozzarella, following with a tomato, and then a basil leaf.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper!
Try saying that one five times fast! My foodie friend @NickyDCooks is responsible for my dinner tonight! She made zucchini blossoms for dinner and her action photos on twitter got me in the mood! I had to make some form of fried zucchini!
Parmesan Pecorino Panko Pan Zucchini
2 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick rounds
1-1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
Set up an olive oil plate to dip zucchini.
Mix the Panko breadcrumbs with chopped rosemary, freshly grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper.
Set up breadcrumb bowl.
Dip zucchini slices and flip in olive oil to coat.
Dip zucchini slices in Panko breadcrumb mixture and flip to cover both sides.
Heat your biggest pan on medium heat.
Add coated zucchini rounds to the pan, flipping when golden brown.
Hola! We have just returned home from Riviera Maya, Mexico’s Ocean Coral and Turquesa H10 Resort and Spa in Puerto Morelos! Wow!
What an awesome trip! Great company, fabulous weather, and amazing authentic food!! Don’t let anyone tell you not to travel to Mexico because it is unsafe, you will get sick, or the food is bland. All not true, IF you spring for a great resort!
Kevin and I vacationed in Mexico 10 years ago and we were in the bathroom the ENTIRE trip, but we paid $600 each for the whole week all- inclusive with flights. Oops! We learned a valuable lesson on that trip and we laugh about it now!
One afternoon I had the pleasure of assisting the chefs who were making authentic Mexican guacamole! Here is the recipe!
Makes 12 servings
6 Avocados- called aguacate in Mexico
3 Lemons, limon
4 Tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small Chile habanero- pepper
1 cup chopped Cilantro
1 cup pico de gallo
1/4 cup beer, Cervesa in Mexico
Salt and pepper- to taste
Scoop out avocado and add to a large mixing bowl by cutting in half and pitting.
(Save avocado skins and pits.)
Add chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
Add pico de gallo.
Squeeze the lemons halved into bowl.
Mix well, smashing and smushing avocado.
Add pico de gallo.
Add finely chopped chile or habanero pepper.
(Shave some lemon flesh from a squeezed lemon onto chopped pepper to mute the heat.)
Add beer and salt and pepper a few splashes/pinches at a time to taste.(The chef’s “perfect consistency” was a bit runnier than I am used to. The addition of the beer maybe?)
Mexican Guacamole Secrets Shhhhh…
1. Keep the pit and leave it in the bowl. It keeps the avocado from browning.
2. Keep the avocado shell/skins to use as cute serving pieces. They are the perfect size for guests to fill with chips or a scoop of guacamole!
3. Mexican chefs keep gum readily available to chew while chopping onions. No tears!
4. In Mexico, their limons are our lemons. Small but green and sweeter. Mexican limes are much bigger and more tart. The chefs I worked with only used the small ones for the guacamole, equivalent to American lemons.
5. Mexican chefs? sip tequila on the rocks not in drinks. (Not sure what this had to do with making guacamole, I forget.)
The boho chic Coachella style channels a modern Woodstock vibe with cutoff jean shorts, crop tops, floral and braided headbands. For those of you who don’t know, the Coachella Music and Art Festival is held annually in Indo, CA, and consists of two weekend-long concert line ups! Celebrities flock to the hip collision of music, art and food!!
Ok, What about the food? Well, I hope you aren’t thinking all hotdogs, hamburgers and funnel cake! Coachella food style is also chic, and like the fashion, trend-setting. “Foodie heaven” is the term used by the LA Times. The food vendors cover everything from vegan, kosher and gluten free to pop-up restaurant fare, fine dining and international staples.
The Coachella food trend we will see on hip and trendy dining menus are Arepas! Eaten daily in South American cuisine, arepas are a flat bread made with ground corn flour and are eaten as bread or stuffed with cheese, avocado, jelly or jam. The Coachella favorite? An arepa stuffed with mozzarella and grilled…a Venezuelan grilled cheese!
Arepas are already finding their place on high end restaurant menus in San Francisco, New Orleans and New York City! Bobby Flay likes his stuffed with octopus and lobster salad! Ok, let’s start simple.
Here is an arepa recipe adapted from Tyler Florence’s Food network recipe! I like this one because it is simple with only 4 ingredients and other than being lightly browned in a pan, the Arepas are baked!
Coachella Mozzarella Arepas
1-1/2 cups Arepa flour (Precooked corn flour found in Latin American grocery stores or sub white cornmeal)
1-1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. olive oil, for pan when cooking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Slowly add water and tsp. oil and mix until dough forms.
Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
Remove dough and knead, make sure the surface and your hands are moist with water.
The dough should be moist and easily malleable, but not sticky.
Separate dough into 4 balls.
Form flat round cakes 3-4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick.
Add oil to the pan on medium heat and lightly brown both sides.
Place Arepas on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or “until they make a hollow sound when tapped.”
Slice in half or cut a slit in one side and stuff with mozzarella while hot!