Thursday, January 24, 2013

Foods I Fancy

I tend to get on food kicks.  My latest obsession is raw oysters.  Forrest and I went on a date to a local oyster bar for my birthday earlier in the year and it was fabulous.  The oysters were perfection and I loved dining right up at the bar and talking with the "Shuckers".  Well I can't stop eating raw oysters since then, I have probably been back 6 times with anyone I can convince to tag along.  Six revisits is a lot considering my birthday was only three weeks ago and I have a two year old which makes family visits near impossible.

These little food crushes aren't new.  I can remember a time in college where I became infatuated with eating seafood gumbo and I had it for every meal for several weeks.  When I like something, I REALLY like it when it comes to food.  My Mom describes it as extreme, and she tends to believe it applies to other parts of my personality as well - but that is irrelevant (maybe).

This recipe came at a time when I was enamored with the idea of a poached or fried egg on everything.  I just can't get enough of the rich runny yolk and the flavor element it adds to a dish.  This meal was awesome and I loved the addition of the andouille sausage to the grits, oh so Southern!

Pigs in Poke
Adapted from Cooking Light November 2012



  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 ounce andouille sausage, diced and skin removed
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/3 cup of shredded Gouda cheese
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley



1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 3 cups milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Add grits; reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes

or until tender, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cheese.

2. Bring 8 cups water and vinegar to a simmer in a large saucepan.   Crack each egg into a small bowl. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to spin the water into a little cyclone-like formation. Gently slide eggs into water;

cook 3 minutes or until whites are just set and the egg floats to the surface.

Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

3. Divide grits evenly among 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 poached egg; sprinkle eggs evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and parsley.

 Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hot Liquid Food For Me

 We have been having some yucky weather in New Orleans, very yucky - I'm talking cold, grey, foggy and rainy - total soup weather.  I think I have made 3 soups in the last 5 days. I have never been a big tomato basil soup fan, but since I am on a soup roll I decided to give this one a try.  I like the creaminess that the cream cheese adds and I think next time I would blend for longer to ensure more of a smooth consistency, but overall this was a good starter recipe.


Tomato Basil Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light March 2012


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute.

 Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil.


2.  Stir in cheese

until melted.

Place mixture in blender or use an immersion blender (this is easier in my opinion), and blend until smooth.

Return to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to medium-high; cook 2 minutes.

Serve Immediatley.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Across the Pond, and Back

I was fortunate to travel to the UK when I was fourteen and it happened to be the one and only time I had ever eaten Beef Stroganoff.  I actually remember it being a pretty pitiful experience.  I think I recall adjectives like gross, inedible and yucky.  As bad food experiences tend to do, it turned me off of the dish for the last 15 or so years.  I never desired to give Beef Stroganoff another try until I saw this recipe in the latest edition of my favorite magazine.  I considered that I was a picky 14 year old, it was a hotel banquet type dinner and I was in another country (one that isn't typically known for its cuisine).  And not to say that the dish wasn't actually bad, but all of these factors certainly could have contributed to my opinion at the time.  I love beef and mushrooms and sour cream, so I had high hopes that my first impression of this dish would be wrong.  And it was!  I really liked this; it was flavorful, hearty and comforting. 

Beef Stroganoff
Adapted from Cooking Light January 2013


  • 6 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 6 ounces uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 (6-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream 
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley



1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles; cook 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

2. Cut beef across the grain into 1/4-inch-wide strips; cut strips into 2-inch pieces.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until browned.

Remove beef from pan leaving juices in the pan. Add 1 cup onion, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, paprika, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium.

4. Combine 1/4 cup beef broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture,

beef, remaining 3/4 cup broth, green onions and remaining 1/2 cup water to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Cover and cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and butter.

Serve beef mixture over egg noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

Click Here for My Printable Adapted Recipe.