New Wine Down and Write event on Instagram!

In order to participate in last night’s “virtual” Wine Down and Write, hosted by the lovely Yolande Clark Jackson, I had to create an account in Instagram. Was pretty simple, praise God…..I confess I am a bit technologically challenged, but I found myself starting to post pictures, and having fun, as I was taught how to be concise, precise and to the point in my English high school class.

As it is a “Wine” Down and Write event, I decided that I needed to set my own stage for the class, so I came up with some yummy sustainable appetizers (aka whatever I found in my fridge!) for the glass of Liebfraumilch that I would be enjoying during the class.

Chopped some sharp cheddar cheese and built my own “building block” with fresh pineapple, and with leftover chicken and spicy crackers, dipped them in garlic hummus. Fresh strawberries did the trick as a fresh dessert, accompanying the glass of Liebfraumilch….the best Riesling ever!

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20 Minute Green Lunch!

What happens when I’m hungry, want a light lunch and it needs to be healthy, green and quick?

I run to the freezer! I knew I had chicken breast strips, but also pulled out a bag of frozen spinach, riced cauliflower with garlic, and another of broccoli.

Cooked the chicken stovetop with the freshly squeezed juice of 3 lemons, cracked peppercorn and sea salt, and then mixed together the spinach, cauliflower and broccoli with 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and Voila! After chopping the chicken and allowing it to hang out with the veggies, I had my light green healthy lunch finished and ready in 20 minutes!

The great part about this meal is that it will keep well in the fridge or freezer.  If you make a larger amount, you could actually portion it out for your lunch for the week or dinners, with a nice green salad.

 

 

Tomato, Carrot and Onion Couscous…..with Chicken and a Zucchini side dish, accompanied with a Bacon Cheese Biscuit!

ImageIt was the perfect afternoon to make some home-made comfort food!

I took one tomato, four carrots and one large onion, chopped them all and broiled them with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for about 10 minutes.  Then they went into a pot with one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, along with some sea salt and pepper, and about two cups of low sodium chicken broth, and allowed it to cook for at least one hour for the flavors to come together.  In the meantime, I took chicken thighs, and broiled them covered in that vegetable mix for approximately half an hour, till the chicken was cooked through completely.  Found a box of couscous, which was placed in a pan and covered with approximately one cup of the vegetable mixture; the couscous cooked rather quickly.    

While the chicken was cooking, I took out two cups of all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/4 cup of chopped unsalted butter, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and about 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese and mixed it well.  Lightly tossed some sea salt on top of the mix and a dash of black pepper and kneaded the mix well together, and then with a rolling pin, rolled it out and decided to make unstructured biscuits and just took pieces of the mixture and stretched it out with my hands. No cookie cutter for this cheesey biscuit!

The best part of this meal? I’ve got left-overs!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Orange Chicken cooked in a Balsamic Vinegar & Whisky Tomato Sauce

ImageStill wondering what kind of a dessert I will make this weekend for Mother’s Day, I knew that before coming up with a new dessert recipe, I’d have to feed myself a meal, so surfing through the fridge, opted to try making something different to cook chicken in:

tomato sauce

James Dean whisky

1 orange

balsamic vinegar (the good kind!)

I made a sauce of sorts with the ingredients previously mentioned and the chicken went on top…..cooked it well through for at least a good 20 minutes, till it was amazingly aromatic.  I don’t drink whisky, but I love using it for sauces…it just brings a new flavor profile to the chicken and the aroma coming from my kitchen was making me drool……

So while the chicken cooked, I sliced eggplant, breaded it into a Panko-parmesan mix, with a bit of salt and pepper, and broiled it with a slice of tomato on top.  Took the remaining cup of Valencia rice, and cooked it in two cups of low salt chicken broth, and after the chicken cooked through, took some of the sauce and put it in the rice…..dare I say that the rice was absolutely yummy?  It was……amazingly delish!

 

Sriracha-Kimchee & Louisiana Hot Sauce Marinated Chicken!

ImageYes, I like to live dangerously!!

Having purchased a bottle of Sriracha and another of Kimchee sauce, I decided to mix it with Louisiana hot sauce!  If you’re wondering if I tried it before I marinated the chicken, I will tell you that all I had to do was lightly sniff it and almost choked in the process!

So I added in fresh lemon and lime juice, chopped some onions, found some bacon and decided to add that in to cut the spice a bit, and baked it on low for about 2 and a half hours.  Let me tell you that it did not take the roof off my mouth!  Because it cooked on low and for a while, it really gave the chicken a lovely crunchy taste….really good with asparagus, lightly cooked in 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter with fresh lemon juice……so good!

Can’t wait to go now and have some leftovers……. 

What goes in couscous? Everything but the kitchen sink!

If you’re hungry and you want a fast meal, make couscous! This is the fastest meal that you can put together, especially if you have some left-over chicken. Image I typically use low-sodium chicken broth, as well as all different kinds of vegetables, to add flavor and texture to the couscous.  In this case, I had tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers.  They were chopped, and after the couscous cooked in the boiling low-sodium chicken broth, everything plus about 1 cup and a half of leftover chicken was placed in one big bowl and mixed together with 2 tablespoons of light Italian dressing.  I really like my couscous salad cold, so I will keep it in the fridge for at least a good half an hour before it is served.

And if you have some olives….chop them up and include them in the cold couscous salad. They will add another level of flavor to your salad! 

Tomato Soup-Rice Broiled Green Pepper with Peppercorn-Cumin-Coriander Chicken

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What to do with one cup of leftover tomato soup? Why, simply liquify yellow and green zucchini in half a cup of low sodium chicken broth, place one cup of that vegetable mix into the tomato soup, bring to a boil and place one cup of arborio rice, letting it cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  I found a green pepper in the fridge, filled it with this awesome mixture, sprinkled it with a about a tablespoon of parmesan cheese and placed it in the oven to finish cooking with the peppercorn, coriander with cumin broiled chicken!!!

Leftovers rock!

Strawberry-Tomato Soup with Broiled Chicken infused with an Espresso-Kosher Salt Rub!

 

ImageRemember that awesome tomato soup I made on Friday afternoon?

For a special Sunday lunch, I took one pound of fresh, bright red strawberries and pureed them with 1/3 cup of the awesome tomato soup, and placed it to chill in the freezer.  I adorned it with some grape tomatoes, broccoli and three Awesome Garlic Parmesan Pretzel Crisps, made by Snack Factory.  These chips are totally awesome…and go so well with strawberry-tomato soup, which by the way could be enjoyed before, during or after lunch!  The light garlicky tomato soup, accentuated with the pureed strawberries made my taste buds feel like they were at a disco! So much flavor dancing all over my tongue….severe yum factor!

Had chicken in the fridge, so out it came…and unbeknownst to me, opening my cupboard I reached for the espresso….even though it did not seem to make any sense, I took kosher salt and therefore created my first espresso and kosher salt rub for chicken.  Let me tell you….the awesome perfume of espresso with chicken wafted throughout my kitchen, making me salivate, as I waited for it to cook.

Zucchini and broccoli, lightly tossed with a just a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, really good balsamic vinegar and kosher salt made a great side dish.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!!!!

SO EXCITING THAT THIS HAS BEEN FRESHLY PRESSED!!!!!

A Healthy Alternative for Brunch after a good Insanity Workout!!!

Another morning workout left me wilting and soon after I had to run to the kitchen to see what I would come up with in order to re-fuel this body.  Out of the fridge came:

2 eggs

asparagus

1 tomato

chicken

1/8th cup crumbled bacon

and from the cupboards, salt and pepper.

Heating a pan on high, after a light olive oil spray, went the asparagus with tomato, a dash of salt and black pepper, which I allowed to cook for about 5 minutes.  While that was cooking, I whisked the two eggs with the crumbled bacon and cut up some leftover baked chicken (half a cup, cubed).  As soon as the asparagus was cooked, in went the chicken and the eggs and everything got cooked together. When the eggs were done, I integrated them together and you could say that I created my own style of “fritata” with these healthy options.

I found that I had some flat bread in the fridge, so out came one which was placed on the plate and the veggie mix went on top.

It was healthy and delicious!

Contemplate the thought of a Ginger, Apple and Onion sauce with Chicken……severe YUM Factor!!!

If you’re tuning in today, you might wonder what is going on….chicken again???!!  But this chicken is really delish.  Definitely different and so, oh, very tasty.

Publix, my local supermarket, did have a special sale on chicken, so I stocked up!  Before starting my Insanity workout, I took the chicken out to defrost and get ready for the next adventurous recipe.  Once I finished another crazy workout, now fully energized I went to the kitchen and started rummaging through my fridge.

Out came two onions, one apple, and 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.  Got the butter melting and then chopped the onions and the apples and let them cook together for a good 10 minutes, shaking in about 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger and a dash of salt.

Once that started bubbling, I placed chicken thighs right on top of the mix, and poured 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar on top, covered the pan, and let it cook on high for about half an hour.  Midway through (after about 15 minutes or so), I turned the chicken over and placed some of the onions and apples on top.

After it had been cooking for the half hour, I took 8 oz of peas and poured them in, letting them soak in the goodness of the onion/apple sauce for about five minutes.

And then I dived in! Wow….talk about flavor…..such yumminess…..it was absolutely mouth-watering delicious, and so easy to make!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Have a blessed evening….

P.S.  Check out the following website for a wonderful networking opportunity for those that are in the media, that will be taking place April 28th in Orlando, Florida.

www.mediaartsentertainmentconvention.com