Archive for July, 2014


Shrimp Avocado and Tomato Salad

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Ingredients:

1 lb. medium shrimp (boiled, tails removed and chilled)

2 avocados (sliced)

1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes (sliced) *any tomato is fine

1 tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped)

1 tsp. sea salt

olive oil and red wine vinegar (*optional)

Directions:

1. Line platter with avocados and tomatoes. Place shrimp on top.

2. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh parsley.

3. Drizzle with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar.

*Optional: You can top with a dressing of your choice.

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Dark Chocolate Walnut Cookies

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Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

6 oz. dark chocolate morsels (get a good brand)

3/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

sea salt (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Put parchment paper on baking pans.

2. In a bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, brown sugar and butter. Beat until creamy.

3. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.

4. Slowly beat in dry ingredients into egg mixture.

5. Add chocolate and walnuts. Stir it in with a wooden spoon gently. Make sure it is well mixed.

6. Using a heaping tablespoon and place on baking pan. (about 2 inches a part) You can make them large like I did. (see photo)

7. Optional: Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each cookie.

8. Bake cookies for about 12 minutes. If you made larger cookie bake about 15-16 minutes. Use a toothpick to test if they’re baked.

*Makes about 2 dozen if you use a tbsp. for each cookie.

Edamame and Cranberry Pasta

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Ingredients:

1 lb. penne

1 cup edamame

1/2 cup red bell peppers (chopped)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup red onion (chopped)

1/2 cup corn

1 clove of garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1.  In a large skillet put olive oil. Add garlic. Brown for a minute and add edamame, red bell pepper, cranberries, red onion and corn.  Sauté for 5 minutes. Add sea salt and mix all together.

2. Pour over cooked pasta.

*Parmesan cheese on top is optional.

Turkey Bolognese

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
4 garlic cloves  (minced)
1 carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
1 celery stalk  (finely chopped)
1 pound shredded cooked turkey
3 cups marinara sauce or
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
Sea Salt and  black pepper

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté  about 4 minutes.

2. Add the carrot and celery and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the turkey and saute 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce.

4. Lower  the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

5. Stir in the basil. and season with a little sea salt and black pepper.

6.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes on a low heat.

*Serve over pasta or brown rice. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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Ingredients:

2 pounds of yellow potatoes
2  cups  all purpose flour
1  tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Peel  potatoes and place them in a steamer for about 30 to 40 minutes until tender.
2. Use a potato ricer to mash potatoes.
3. Add salt to the flour. Then add some flour to the potatoes to absorb the water .
4. Put potatoes on a floured board and use your hands to mix in the remaining flour.
5. Knead in the flour and potatoes until it forms a firm dough.
6. Form some of the dough into a ball and roll into a long rope.
7. Cut into one inch pieces and press lightly with a fork.
8. Place the potato gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water until the gnocchi floats to the top. Remove the potato gnocchi with a slotted spoon. It should take about two minutes.

Sauce ingredients:

2 lbs.  plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium sized yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic  (chopped)
4 leaves of fresh basil
1/4 cup of fresh parsley ( chopped)
3 tbsp. of tomato paste
1/2 cup of red wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dry oregano

Directions:

1. Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and submerge in boiling water for around 3 minutes.
2.Remove the tomatoes from the water and place in a bowl of ice water.
3. Peel the skin off the tomatoes, slice in half and scoop out the seeds.
4. Chop the tomatoes.
5. In a large skillet sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for 3 minutes.
6. Add in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. (don’t let it burn)
7. Stir in the tomatoes, red wine, basil,  and oregano.  Simmer for 30-35 minutes.

Pour sauce of gnocchi. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh basil

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Ingredients:

1 lb. penne

1/2 lb. asparagus (tough edges cut off)

1 large butter squash (peeled and cut into mini cubes)

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. dry parsley

parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large bowl put asparagus and peeled butternut squash. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle with seas salt and parsley. Mix well.

2. Pour on to a baking pan. Drizzle a drop more olive oil on top.

3. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. (You want the vegetables to be tender.)

4. Cook pasta to desired taste.

5. In a large skillet, put 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Brown garlic for a minute. Add butternut squash and asparagus. Stir. Add another pinch of sea salt.

6. Drain pasta well. Pour butternut squash and asparagus on top.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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Ingredients:

4 large slices of sole

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. sea salt

2 avocados sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  In a large baking pan put 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle thyme and sea salt on sole. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.

Serve with sliced avocado and homemade hummus. (recipe below)

Hummus: Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) can of chick peas (drained)

4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. tahini

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse slowly. You can add, if needed, another tbsp of olive oil while it is mixing. It should be smooth and creamy.

Serve right after making or refrigerate. Serve with pita bread.

 

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

2 cups cake flour

3 small packages of Birthday cake M&M’s ( small 1 serving packages)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

chocolate icing (of your choice)

chocolate sprinkles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In one bowl, add cake flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

2. In another bowl, cream butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

3. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir well.

4. Gradually add buttermilk. Use a mixer to blend together until creamy. Add in 2 packages of Birthday Cake M&M’s. Stir gently.

5. Use a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Fill half way.

6. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes. Test with toothpick to see if done.

7. Let cool and decorate with icing, sprinkles, and Birthday Cake M&M’s. (A dab of whipped cream in the center is optional)

Makes about a dozen average size cupcakes.

*If you can’t find “Birthday Cake” M & M’s, regular M & M’s are fine.

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If you’re looking for two hours of pure entertainment, then Broadway’s  “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”, may be for you. This years Tony award winning best musical stars Bryce Pinkham. I stopped by backstage to congratulate the talented and very kind actor. Check it out at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

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A wonderful day at “30 Rock”, where I had lunch with the lovely Meredith Vieira. We spoke about teaching, food, “The View” and her upcoming talk show, which debuts on September 8. I hope everyone tunes in.