Fresh Corn OFF The Cob


Fresh Corn

Believe it or not, I’ve never stripped corn to get fresh kernels… until today. I came across a recipe for linguine with fresh vegetables, which included corn, and although it looked delicious, I’ve been veering away from pasta as of late. So, I thought I’d make the corn and either eat it solo or add it to a salad. This is a quick and easy recipe, which yields super yummy corn!

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the leaves and “silk” from the ear of corn, then chop off the pointed top and stalk. Use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels — either stand ear upright on its base and shave downward, or lay on its side on a cutting board to slice off the kernels.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add corn, garlic and salt and pepper to pan.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3-5 minutes until tender.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

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Baked Kale Chips


Baked Kale Chips

In keeping with the theme of my last post, I’m sharing this tasty little snack I made for a second time yesterday. I love that the kale gets crispy like potato chips, yet are so much healthier. There are numerous things you can add to them… lemon juice, paprika, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, garlic, etc., so go ahead and experiment!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 6 oz.) kale
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Kale before baking

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs.
  3. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a bowl then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper for easier clean up).
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until crisp.
  6. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

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Cornish Game Hens


I decided to go a little non-traditional this Thanksgiving, and make cornish hens instead of turkey. I’ve never made them before, and am so glad I did… they were truly incredible. Seriously. I combined two recipes, one was for a turkey breast, and have to say, it’s a brilliant combo. I will tell you there are a lot of ingredients, but don’t shy away because of that… there’s a rub for the bird, in addition to what’s put in the cavity, so it’s really pretty straight forward. I’m giving you the recipe to make two hens, so if you just want to make one, simply divide everything in half.

Cornish Game Hens

Ingredients

For The Cavity

  • 4 cloves garlic (2 for each hen) + 8 additional cloves garlic for arranging around hens
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (1 per hen)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half (1/2 onion per hen)
  • 4 lemon wedges (2 per hen)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (1 per hen)

Herb Rub Mix

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

For Basting

  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Season hens with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff hens with cavity ingredients.
  4. Generously rub herb mix all over hens and underneath skin.
  5. Arrange 8 garlic cloves around hens in small roasting pan (you don’t need a rack).
  6. Add some chicken broth to pan. I didn’t measure but made sure the bottom of pan was covered.
  7. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Combine wine, chicken broth and olive oil in a bowl.
  9. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. and pour basting liquid over hens.
  10. Baste every 10 minutes, and continue roasting for 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear.

* To make a gravy/sauce, transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a saucepan, and boil until liquid reduces to a sauce consistency, about 8 minutes. 

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3 Easy Methods for Baking a Potato


This post might be elementary to a lot of you, but there was a time when I wasn’t entirely sure how to make a baked potato to achieve the results I wanted (crispy skins). I love a good baked potato, and while my favorite is a twice baked all loaded up with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream, I rarely eat it that way merely because of all the calories. But, I will indulge from time to time. So, normally, I just add a little butter, salt & pepper. Listed below are three ways to make them.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s essential to remember to wash the potatoes and prick them many times with a fork. If you forget, you may have a little explosion in your oven or microwave.

Front: Regular, baked potatoes. Back: Twice baked.
  1. Oven-Baked Potatoes: Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork. Lay them directly on the oven rack or place them on a baking sheet, and cook for 45-60 minutes, until their skin is crispy and sticking one with a fork meets no resistance. End Result – crispy potato skins.
  2. Potatoes Wrapped in Foil: Follow the same directions as for oven-roasted potatoes, but wrap the potatoes in foil before cooking. End Result – a softer skin and the potatoes stay warm in their foil if you’re not eating right away.
  3. Microwaved Potatoes: Follow the same direction as for oven-roasted potatoes, but  place all the potatoes on a microwave-safe dish and microwave at full power for five minutes. Turn them over and microwave for another 3-5 minutes. If still hard in the middle, microwave in additional 1-minute bursts until cooked through. End Result – super-fast cooking time with soft skins.

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Steak Marinade


If you’re searching for an extremely tasty and easy marinade for your steak, look no further! A couple of weeks ago, I posted a recipe by Paula Deen for another marinade which is really good, but may just like this one a little bit more. I made this last week to use on some tri-tip and it was amazing, and just whipped up some more to marinate a Rib-Eye… can’t wait to cook it up for dinner!!

Marinade in the blender

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or red wine)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 (1 lb) steaks

Note: For my dinner tonight, I only had one rib-eye (approx. 1 lb.), so used about half of the marinade and froze the remaining to use another time.

Makes almost a cup

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients (except steaks) in a blender (or food processor), and blend until smooth.
  2. Place steaks in a large, resealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour marinade over steaks, seal and refrigerate for about 3 hours.
  4. Take steaks out from fridge and let them come to room temperature (30 min-1 hr.) *
  5. Remove steaks from bag, discarding remaining marinade.
  6. Cook on a preheated grill brushed with oil on high, for about 7 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness is achieved, or place in a skillet, over medium-high heat for same amount of time as above. (I cooked my tri-tip on top of the stove).

* It is always best to cook meat from, or near, room temperature. This will help the meat cook consistently across the interior by reducing the amount of time that it takes to cook the meat. But… I have cooked them after just a few minutes of sitting out, and they’ve come out delicious. 

Marinated tri-tip steaks

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Cranberry Ketchup


If you like cranberries and ketchup, you will love this condiment. I just tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and knew right then, I would be making it very soon. As I mentioned in my previous post, it was on a turkey burger I had, and added tremendous flavor. My recipe isn’t an identical replica of what I tried in New York, but I am really very pleased with how it turned out! I’ve already been enjoying it with some sweet potato fries. YUM!

Cranberry ketchup and sweet potato fries

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) jellied or whole berry cranberries sauce (I had this on hand – next time will use 1 bag (12 oz.) cranberries)
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice *

Directions

  1. Using a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil and 3 tablespoons water, and cook onion until tender.
  2. Add cranberry sauce (or cranberries), tomato sauce, sugar, cider vinegar, and allspice.
  3. Turn up to high heat, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. If using cranberries, make sure to mash them while stirring.
  5. Spoon ketchup into jar or bowl (it will thicken a bit as it cools), cover and refrigerate until chilled.

* If you don’t have allspice, you can make your own by using 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves and 1/4 tsp. ginger. Mix well. This will give you one teaspoon of the equivalent of allspice.

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Herbs de Provence Roasted Vegetables


I’m a huge fan of veggies, and always looking for new ways to prepare them. Just recently, I made a ginormous salad to bring to a party and had a ton of leftover vegetables. My first thought was to simply make a salad, but then I decided that cooking them in some fashion was more appealing. Obviously with all of the cooking/baking I do, I have a pantry-full of herbs and spices, so I took a look to see which ones I wanted to use, and ran across my Herbs de Provence, containing rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, sage and lavender. If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend you do! This recipe is super easy, healthy, delicious and can be varied to suit your taste or what you have on hand. If you’re not a balsamic fan, you can substitute lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • Approximately 12 cups vegetables, chopped * (I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, peeled garlic cloves, red potatoes, cucumber and grape tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp. Herbs de Provence
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables, set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper.
  4. Toss together with the veggies to coat well.
  5. Lightly grease a large roasting pan with cooking spray and spread evenly, in a single layer.
  6. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.

* I chopped the potatoes and carrots smaller so they wouldn’t require additional cooking time. However, if using larger pieces of root veggies, you can roast them first in the oven for a few minutes to ensure even cooking.

Before going into the oven

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