Thursday, June 30, 2011

Artichoke Pasta Salad

One of the necessities of summer? A quick, simple, "go to" dish that is delicious & packed with flavor but doesn't require drudging over the stove, near the oven or even, gasp, over the grill! Our family, including my toddler, LOVES this. I especially love it because it is oh so fast... & yummy! Plus it is great as a side salad for a bbq, since there's no mayo & you can very easily add fresh mozzarella or steamed veggies or roasted red pepper... even grilled shrimp or sliced grilled chicken to the meal!

We love it like this: 

Lemon Artichoke Pasta

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
  • lemon zest/ juice from 2 fresh Lemons (make sure they are not too tart!) 
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 1 TBSP each of fresh, chopped Parsley & Basil
  • 1 lb. cooked Pasta (*I love farfalle for this & this is the ONLY cooking of the entire recipe!)
  • 2 cans of artichoke hearts, I cut them into quarters (you can also used frozen, just thaw & warm in the microwave)

Whisk the olive oil, lemon zest & juice, parmesan, S&P, parsley & basil in the bottom of a large bowl. 
Add the artichokes & lightly toss. When the pasta is cooked, I add it steaming hot & toss all of the ingredients together like it's a salad... The lemon scent wafts from the bowl!!!

And please do not forget to enter my Melissa & Doug GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

baked mini doughnuts

So this week we celebrated TWO birthdays at work, yes, two. Hmmm what to make, what to make...? I've heard lots of talk about doughnuts, especially over at my friend's blog: Stephanie Cooks. I just happened to have this mini doughnut pan amongst my many unique items in my cupboard so I thought... Make Rachel & Nancy baked Mini Donuts!!! I have the belief that great things really do come in small packages :) And I think baked mini doughnuts just about proves it. Yes, yes, it does. Especially when the small items amount to 4 dozen dipped in either white or milk chocolate, topped with sprinkles & non-pareils.

I went ahead & used the recipe, tweaked a tiny bit, that had been listed on the pan, just to get the general feel for amounts, taste, etc. I didn't want to tweak too much since it could be a hit or miss thing. Next time I know what I am going to do differently for a different doughnut so stayed tuned as usual!

baked mini doughnuts

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups ap flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSp shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

Fox Run Non-Stick Mini Donut Pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees & lightly spray the pan. In the mixer on low, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Add the shortening, eggs, milk & vanilla. Mix until well blended. Fill each doughnut compartment in the pan halfway with the batter. *Lishie tip- for this step, I filled a plastic sandwich bag with the batter & snipped a corner off with shears. Then I squeezed the batter into each hole. Bake about 10 minutes until the doughnuts are springy to the touch. Pop out with the assistance of a toothpick & allow to cool.

Repeat the entire process but in between, rinse off the pan with cool water (allowing it to come back to room temperature) & towel dry. 

I yielded 48 doughnuts!

Naked mini donuts!
For topping... Melt chocolate on a double boiler... I melted milk chocolate in one bowl & white chocolate in another. Dip each donut into the melted chocolate them place on a wire cooling wrack... sprinkle with toppings, whatever you like! I used chocolate sprinkles & blue non-pareils but this is where you can be so creative!!! think... rainbow sprinkles, colored sugar, raw sugar, crushed nuts of all kinds, mini m & m's, crushed candy, etc...

The verdict? Everyone that had them said they were really good & they so didn't miss the greasiness of deep fried doughnuts! I think I did good. You should make them- you'll do good too! :)

ENJOY & please do not forget to enter my Melissa & Doug Giveaway!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Melissa & Doug GIVEAWAY!!!!!


Melissa & Doug are a HUGE favorite in our home. We have countless puzzles- chunky ones, noise-maker ones, magnetic ones... Blocks- wooden & nestled... Wooden playsets... Our refrigerater is covered in Melissa & Doug animal magnets, grandma's in dinosaur magnets. Outdoor stuff- a Puppy Dogwin sprinkler & garden tools.

Oh yeah, and Gabriel, my 2 year old tot just happened to get a new Sunny Patch Scootin' Turtle lunch bag! That is quite the coincidence since shortly thereafter, Melissa & Doug sent me these brilliantly-colored sand toys to review then giveaway, I was ecstatic! Why? Because Gabriel loves their products, they make him extremely happy, which in turn makes me one happy mama!!!

Right off the bat, before the toys hit the great outdoors, Gabriel took possession of the nestled Seaside Sidekicks Sand Molding Set... And they became his. He played the "hide-one-under-the-other game". He stacked them. He even took a couple into the bathtub with him. Then after I dried all- toddler & toys, he even brought the twinkle, twinkle little "Star"fish one to bed. Now that is love!
Seaside Sidekicks Sand Molding Set (Gabriel's favorite!)

The 3 sets that have made it outside are great! So colorful & vibrant. These are not your old-time sand toys. They have the old-time quality with added imagination. The Clicker Crab Pail and Scoop is adorable with it's crabby shovel.  With the Seaside Sidekicks Sand Cupcake Set  & Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set Gabriel mirrored his "DeLish" mama in the sand.  For me, Melissa & Doug are smart toys. 


If you want to purchase these items now you can go to the Melissa & Doug website and I will also insert the product page links below to make it easier for you to find them:

Melissa & Doug is giving one very lucky follower of DeLish the chance to win one of each of the 4 toys Gabriel & I  received to review, over a $50 value!
I need over 100 "LIKES" on my DeLish FB page...
You must already "LIKE" DeLish...

For EACH ONE of these, you will be entered ONCE:

(1) COMMENT under this "Melissa & Doug" Blog post here, ON MY BLOG telling me who you would give these cute toys to.

(2) "LIKE" Melissa And Doug on FB & tell them DeLish Sent you (If you are already a fan/"like" them- write on their wall again.)

(3) SHARE this Wall Post on your FB wall & let me know!

The giveaway will end on Sunday July 3rd at 11:59 PM EST


Note: I was not compensated for this review, however, I was provided the products at no charge to complete the review.The views and opinions stated are that of my own and are not influenced by anyone.

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork ~ so easy!

OK, if you read my blog you may have caught on that I do not like taking shortcuts in cooking nor do I like to use packaged goods- mixes, boxed things, etc. But I make an exception for this meal- my slow-cooker pulled pork. Why? because I can overlook the preservatives & sugar this one time for the taste that comes from this as well as the ease. Plus, I only use a little of the reduced sauce on my sandwich, the rest is pure pork. Oh so delicious pork at that!!! I am almost embarrassed to blog this. Almost... try it. Between the simplicity & the quickness + the amount it yields, it just may become a staple in your home. It is a once a month treat in mine. And my Mother & Father-in-law love it. Add the fresh rolls my Father-in-law contributed & you have:

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork
1 pork loin, shoulder or butt*, 4lbs or larger
1 Bottle of BBQ sauce, your favorite flavor*

Squeeze a little sauce onto the bottom of the slow-cooker. Place the pork onto the sauce, then top it with the rest of the bottle. Fill empty bbq sauce bottle with water & add it to the slow-cooker. Cook on LOW, 8-10 hours. Shred & serve.


* Tonight I used a 4 lb. Loin. It yielded 4 heaping sandwiches + extra
* I love Kraft Honey BBQ

It is juicy & delicious. The sauce reduces & caramelizes the outside of the pork. Dollop some on top of your sandwich! Or eat it shredded in tacos, on it's own, etc. It is that good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Easy Corn Bread

Since we got a new outdoor grill, the hubby has been grilling a lot! I love it. Absolutely love it. Well, what goes better with grilled food than corn bread on the side?!

No need to ever buy those little boxes of "quickie" cornbread mix! Why? Because homemade corn bread really is so easy & quick. How easy? Well, if you know how to make pancakes...

Yep, that easy. 

Corn Bread
  • 1 TBSp Butter (to grease the pan)
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 3/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 3 TBSp Sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt (I use Kosher Salt)
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9" round cake pan or a round, cast iron pan

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder & salt. Create a "well", a hole in the middle of the dry mixture. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, I like to use a batter bowl with a spout, whisk together the eggs, milk & oil. Pour the entire egg/wet mixture into the flour/dry mixture "well" & combine it until it's wet... kind of like the consistency of pancake batter (see, I told you!) without the lumps.

Pour the corn bread batter into the pre-greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


This quick bread is yummy enough to eat on it's own (drizzle some honey over it... yummm) or as a side to dinner. This will become a fast favorite at all of your summer BBQs & I think forever :)

*Lishie tips- This batter is versatile too... If you LOVE corn, add 1/2 cup of corn kernels by folding them into the mixture at the end before baking. You can also use it for corn muffins! Just line muffin tins with paper, fill halfway. Or for corn dogs!!... Just add 1/2 seltzer & cut the milk in half. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Melissa and Doug Contest Teaser

Because my blog is more than a cooking log... it's about food, yes, but food & FAMILY, including my toddler... well, Melissa and Doug have provided me with 4 of their new sand toy line to review, with Gabriel, of course! Weather permitting, we will be heading to the beach this weekend. But until then, I wanted to give a sneak peak at my toddler's FAVORITE so far, indoors:

Gabriel LOVES the items as themselves or together. He's using them the EXACT SAME WAY he would the Melissa & Doug Nesting Blocks he adores, stacking them one inside each other... We've also used them as "hats" (this kid has some imagination!) & traced them onto paper! The colors on these toys are so vibrant & eye-catching it is like having the sun inside!!! We cannot wait to get all of the sand toys outside & into the sun & sand for some FUN!

For now, why don't you...

(1) Follow me here...

(2) Stop over to my FB page & say hi!

(3) Stop over to Melissa and Doug's FB page & tell them DeLish sent you...

These "Likes" will all add up as entries later :)
I will have more on the contest after Gabriel & I play, I mean, test out the Sunny Patch items!!!

Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Items

*Lishie Note: I was not compensated for this review, however, I was provided the products at no charge to complete the review.The views and opinions stated are that of my own and are not influenced by anyone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Bruschetta

I made a favorite in our house last night... Chicken Bruschetta. I don't know about you, but I get ideas everywhere for things to make & this one just happened to be a craze on a board I frequent. It's a  on Kraft's Bruschetta Chicken Bake. Thing is, I like to cook with fresh ingredients especially when they are plentiful! So this is my take on it. It's very versatile & I'll give you switch-up ideas after the recipe! This is yummy so make it!!!

Chicken Bruschetta

  • 1 medium to large Tomato, diced small
  • 2 cups of Croutons (made fresh from crusty, stale bread or you can use store bought or a stuffing bag)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or shredded
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TBSp fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Bunch of fresh Basil... 2 TBSp chiffonade & some whole leaves to top
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1-2 lbs. boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Slices of fresh Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
"Grease" an oven baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomato, croutons, parmesan, garlic, parsley, 2 TBSp of basil, & water. Spoon into the baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the crouton mixture. Top with thin slices of fresh mozzarella & full basil leaves.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the chicken is well done. 


*Lishie tips- You can use provolone or asiago cheese... Flavored croutons... Add roasted red peppers or mushrooms or artichokes to the mix. YUM

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pound Cake with Strawberries & Fresh Whipped Cream

Father's Day was very nice, sweet & laid back. We BBQ'd (or should I say, hubby & his father grilled), my MIL made the side salads & I made Pound cake, fresh whipped cream & strawberries.

Right now, the berries are so fresh I wanted to add raspberries, blackberries & blueberries to the mix too but settled on simple, gorgeous red strawberries. Berries are in season, so go for it. No need to make them sweeter- just cut & serve. Whipped up a batch of fresh whipped cream (minus vanilla for this), dolloped it liberally on sliced, buttery pound cake... and I had a happy Father-in-Law who had seconds, when he rarely has a first serving.

Classic Pound Cake, named for its ingredients, a pound of each: butter, sugar, eggs & flour.

Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 TBSp Sugar
Whisk together, constantly stirring (or with mixer on high) until it's stiff & fluffy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chicken, Pepper & Mushroom Tikka Kebabs & Cous Cous

We have a new grill at our home & I am ecstatic... My hubby has been grilling pretty well with it! I prep the food then he cooks it. I do the sides. Oh and desserts (But not in this post!) It was a teensy bit rainy tonight but that did not stop us. Oh no! And why? I also got a new cookbook- "Entice with Spice" by Shubhra Ramineni & I am in love!!! Tonight's dinner was inspired by one of Shubhra's recipes called Chicken & Bell Pepper Tikka Kebabs. This was delicious & a nice change from bbq sauce :)

I make my kabobs, so similar to hers but I add mushrooms for my hubby... And used Shubhra's marinade (with extra reserved for dipping):

Chicken, Pepper & Mushroom Tikka Kebabs 

  • Grill Spray
  • Package of skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 lb. boneless Chicken breast or tenders, cut into 2" cubes
  • 2-3 bell Peppers, sliced into 2" pieces (I used green, red & yellow)
  • 1 Onion, sliced into 2" pieces
  •  Handful white, button Mushrooms
Place the items on the skewers, alternating... I do onion/chicken/onion/pepper/onion/chicken/onion/mushroom/onion/chicken/onion/pepper...

Brush with the marinade (recipe below) & grill till the chicken is cooked well, turning the kabobs... about 8 minutes on each side.

Tikka Marinade

  • 1 TBSp Garlic, minced
  • Zest & juice 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked Pepper
  • 3 TBSp Plain Yogurt

Whisk together all of the above ingredients.

*Lishie tip- Place a small amount of the marinade aside to use to dip the skewers!

As a side, I decided to make a quick cous cous:
Sauteed Pepper Cous Cous
2 TBSp Canola Oil
1/2 of a Bell Pepper, chopped, set aside from above (I used 1/4 yellow & 1/4 red)
1/4 of an Onion, chopped, also set aside from above
1 & 1/2 cups Cous Cous
2 cups Water

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan on Medium heat. Add the onion & pepper & saute until the onion is translucent & the pepper is soft but with some "bite" left. With a slotted spoon, remove it from the pan then drain the oil. Add the water into the pan & bring to a boil. Add the cous cous, shut off the heat & fluff/mix. Cover & set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Add in the sauteed pepper & onion & fluff the cous cous before serving.

And everything was cooked, cleaned & eaten with enough time for some after dinner crafting with G!

Happy Flag Day! 6*14*11
<3 Lish

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

It's another friend's birthday at work & she loves cookies. I mean she eats them almost every day. But, she does not eat chocolate, dark, milk, or white, nor does she eat raisins. That pretty much left me with plain, bo-ring oatmeal cookies. But I wanted something a little more special. These are more cake texture than cookie & have fresh fruit in them. I always recommend these around apple picking season (early Fall) because these are another alternative to the pies, tarts & cakes. And they are also very kid-friendly, mom approved. Well, at least, by this mom!

I really hope Kimberly enjoys these! Happy birthday, Kim!!!

Mrs Fields Apple Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Slightly adapted from Mrs. Field's Cookie Book (I omitted the raisins).

  • 2 1/2 cups AP Flour
  • 1 cup Quick oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 2 tsp Grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup Dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 cup Fresh Apple, peeled and Finely chopped (1 med apple) *I used a Royal Gala
  • *Extra Quick oats (For Topping) *Optional

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, salt, soda, cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest. Mix well and set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Add the egg, applesauce and honey and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture, fresh apple and raisins, and blend at low speed until just combined. The dough will be quite soft.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. If you wish, sprinkle the cookies with oats.

Bake the cookies for 23-25 minutes or until the bottoms are golden.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lemon Meringue Squares

Whisk in background is Gabriel"s first Whisk!
Friends take heed- when you speak, I listen & remember! Father Paul, our Pastor, gave a homily a long while back for & about his dear aunt & how she made him his favorite- Lemon Meringue Pie. Well, this month Father Paul (well, rather Monsignor Paul, although no one calls him that) celebrates his 35th Anniversary of his Priesthood! What a wonderful reason to celebrate  & to bake. Not only did Father Paul marry me & my hubby, but he also Christened Gabriel. So I chose a more portable "squared" down tinier version of the pie! 

Now onto the Lemon Meringue Squares... Problem is, I do not like citrusy dessert. Nope, I do not eat them. (See Key Lime Pie blog post). It's funny because I am from Florida! LOL But not only does this ring true & hilarious but it hinders my "tasting to see if it's ok" skills. So I hope they came out tasty & delish (I think they did from the one I demolished) but I'll have to see! This may be the only recipe I've actually prayed for to come out well ;)

Happy 35th Anniversary of your Priesthood Father Paul!

Lemon Meringue Squares
Loosely adapted from: 
(so loosely, I am re-writing it.)

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBSp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 1 cup Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 TBSp Lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9x9" pan with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray.

With the paddle attachment on the mixer, cream the shortening & confectioners sugar together until light & fluffy. Blend in lemon zest. 

In another mixer bowl, with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks until thick and light.  Then, again using the paddle attachment, add the yolks to the first mixture. Slowly add flour & mix until smooth. Spread and pat this (very stiff) mixture in a thin even layer into the readied pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, using the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, adding sugar gradually while beating,  until the mix is fluffy. Beat until stiff, but not dry. 

Fold in lemon juice a little at a time. Spread over baked layer. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer. Cool & cut into small squares.

*Lishie tip- Cold eggs separate better... Do not get any yolk into the white! And room temperature egg whites, stiffen best! So allow the egg whites to get to room temperature before whisking.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Avocado Love... & Guacamole

I love, love, love avocados. It may have something to do with the fact that we had an avocado tree in our yard growing up in Florida (along with grapefruit, lemons & oranges). And for this reason, I do not subscribe to the "Hass Avocados are best" sentiment. They are wonderful, especially in season (spring through Fall), but each different type of avocado has their own season.

Just know these Lishie tips for picking a delicious, ripe avocado:

1) The fruit should have no visible bruises or marring.
2) If a stem is attached, it should remove easily. This shows ripeness.
3) If, when held & squeezed gently, there's a little give, it is ripe.
4) When you shake the avocado by your ear, it should not rattle. This means it is overly ripe.

This all being said, I LOVE them!!! I make/eat avocado shakes, slices in salad, in sandwiches/pitas... I'll eat slices alone, on their own, like I did growing up. It is Here's my recipe for guacamole. Every one who makes it makes it differently, to their liking. I am not good with spice but do add some jalapenos if you like!

I love my Flip Flop dish too!

  • 4 avocados, cut/pitted
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest 
  • 2 TBSp Lemon Juice
  • a handful of chopped Cilantro
  • 1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • Pinch of Salt

Slice up the avocado into chunks & squeeze the lemon juice over it. Add the zest, cilantro, red onion, garlic & salt. Combine all & serve.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Egg & Hash Nests

The extreme temperatures seem to be finally breaking in the Northeast, thankfully! Here's a tasty "breakfast for dinner" meal I made in the oven. They are little packages of goodness! So yummy & like many of the recipes I make, very versatile (*see tip below)!

Since they can be pre-made, no worries about time! Make a batch of these & you can have breakfast all week or have them for lunch. And I rarely take shortcuts but did this time. How? I used Ore-Ida packaged frozen hash browns. It's just too hot out.

These are also the perfect finger food for little hands!

Egg & Hash "Nests"
Makes 6 Nests
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup Potatoes, cooked & shredded or use my shortcut!
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell Pepper, chopped (I used half yellow & half red)
  • S & P
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Gruyere, grated
  • 1 TBSp Chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.

Spray a 6-cup sized muffin pan with Cooking Spray & set aside.

Combine the potatoes, onions & peppers, S&P in a bowl. Mix. Divide this mixture evenly among the 6 cups of the muffin pan, pushing down to form a "bowl" in each. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes.

While the "bowls" are pre-cooking, whisk together the 3 eggs, then add the cheese. After the 25 minutes, take out the cooked potato mixture & add the egg/cheese mix evenly divided onto all 6 bowls... Place the pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes (Make sure the egg is fully cooked). Top with chives & ENJOY!

*Lishie tip- The versatility of this recipe... You can add cut up pieces of meat: ham, turkey, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pancetta... Corned beef hash! Change up the cheese... swiss, cheddar, parmesan... Switch veggies- squash, asparagus, etc.... Use egg whites instead... Or you could even swap out the potatoes for sweet potatoes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Garden Eats

We live in a unique area of the Garden State (NJ) that is part suburb, part city... Our Bayonne Bridge connects NJ to NYC, Bayonne to Staten Island. We have a small, cute yard. And my Father-in-Law's green thumb manages to grow fresh veggies, fruit & herbs in pots... And still have a garden for his grandson to play in & a patio for us to BBQ & eat outdoors... & Gabriel to play basketball. 

With the high temperatures this week in the Northeast,  we've been grilling all week. Tonight, my hubby grilled his wingettes then slathered them with Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce. We had pasta- light & perfect. But what to have as a salad or to SNACK on?! We always have fresh fruit- Gabriel gobbled his pear dessert. Well, the best snacks are the home-grown variety, what is more organic than that?!

Just take a look at these BEAUTIFUL Sugar Snap Peas 
Bright green...
Absolutely fresh & handpicked right outside. And delicious raw. There's nothing like the feeling of getting your own food just outside your door/window & cooking with it/eating it!

He's inspired me to grow herbs of my own on my kitchen windowsill. And you know what? They are growing!!! I am so excited!!! I give them <3 everyday...


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake + Dinner's Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Ride-Side Up!!! Delish!
My wonderful Mother-in-Law, who never asks for anything, requested Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. I was so ecstatic I cannot tell you! As with all of my desserts, I made it from scratch, using this tried-but-true recipe from Betty Crocker: Betty Crocker Upside-Down Cake

I only changed a couple of small things... I used FRESH pineapple, which made the slices fresher, larger & have a "bite". An 8x8" Pan & I placed the maraschino cherries onto the cake AFTER it came out of the oven (for the nice coolness/cherry on top!). 

PLUS- butter was my starter of choice & I didn't measure out my brown sugar- I generously sprinkled it into the bottom of the pan so that there'd be that gorgeous, dark caramelization you see in the picture above! Yum, yum, yummmmmm. This cake is just sweet enough & perfect on a summer night. And it is so very easy to make- from scratch! Takes only a couple of minutes to put together, then finishes off in the oven...

& *Lishie tip? BBQ the leftover slices of pineapple.... THE.BEST.THING.EVER... The natural caramel of the pineapple when grilled is scrumptious!!!

 Speaking of Grilling...

With the days getting so warm, we'll be grilling a lot! Especially since we have a new grill- woohoo!!!! That means I'll be preparing the fixin's, sides, salads, sauces & dessert while my hubby grills... 

He grilled up some chicken today... & I made some yummy Balsamic BBQ sauce. Just go here for the recipe: Giada's Balsamic BBQ Sauce   

Ummm, have you entered my Melissa And Doug CONTEST yet? What are you waiting for?! Scoot, scoot... go do it! Thank you :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another week's worth of lunches... Vegetarian Style

Vegetables~ They are the star of the week!

First, roast the veggies this same way but do a double batch.


Grill a large batch of veg- coat with olive oil, S & P & grill... yum!

Whatever you do, do not forget to ENTER my Melissa And Doug CONTEST here.

Just throw some water on to boil, make some pasta & mix it up with the veg! Top with some grated parmesan cheese.

~Hummus Pita
Grab a pita, some of the veg & add hummus as the condiment. Makes a great sandwich

Take your blender (counter top or Immersion), add some stock (veg or chicken) & puree the veggies into a soup. Have some crackers & cheese on the side.

~White Pizzettas
Use store bought pizza dough & a Biscuit cutter (or even English muffins) to create individual pizzas, or “pizzettas”. Top with veggies & your favorite meltable cheese. Bake in the toaster oven or the regular oven…
~with Tofu
Do a super quick stir fry with tofu & the veg! Eat with rice or noodles or alone!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Melissa And Doug CONTEST... see inside :)

Good Monday all!!! MelissaAndDoug on FACEBOOK has a GREAT offer going on right now! For every 200 fans I send to them, someone from DeLish will win a sand toy from them! Help me promote their sand toys. 
You have to write a comment on their Facebook wall telling them DeLish sent you. 
Gabriel will also get one too! We LOVE, love, love Melissa And Doug so much. Have a zillion of their chunky puzzles, their sprinkler, their magnet sets... I could go on & on!!! 
I will let you know immediately upon hitting 200!!! <3 Lish

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Angel Hair Pasta

So another Wingsday... Another new try at winging it HA HA HA (I have to laugh since, ick, I don't like the wings!) Well, since I DON'T eat them, I made myself this pasta. Perfectly yummy & healthy for a warm night's dinner.

Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Angel Hair Pasta
  • 2 TBSp Canola Oil
  • 1 small Onion, sliced
  • 1 red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Zucchini, peeled into "ribbons"*
  • 1/2 box Angel Hair Pasta, pieces broken in halves
  • Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, Optional
In a pasta pot, set water to boil. 

In a Medium saute pan, heat the canola oil on Medium-High. Add in the onion slices, S & P & pepper slices. Saute until the veg is soft, but not too mushy.  

When the water boils for the pasta, add in the pasta & the zucchini strips. Cook as per instructions on the pasta box. Zuccini ribbons take the same amount of time. Drain, reserving a 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add in the sauteed onion, bell pepper slices, along with any scrapings/oil in the pan. If needed, for extra moisture, add in the reserved pasta water here. Toss everything together.

Top with the grated parmesan & enojoy! 

*To make the Zucchini Ribbons- Take a Vegetable peeler & peel off the zucchini skin. Then continuously slice "ribbons" of zucchini into a pile with the peeler.

And as for the Buffalo Wingettes? We tried a new Frank's sauce- Buffalo. All I did this time was basted the wingettes in the sauce, Broiled them till very crisp & brown... Flipped the chicken pieces over, basted the other side... Broiled till browned again... & served doused with the Frank's/ I think my hubby loved this method the best so  far. And he loved the Frank's Buffalo Sauce's kick.

Okra Stew

OK, I do not hear too much about okra in NJ... it's one of "those foods" like grits... People in the NE seem to fear it... They say, "It's too slimy". and, I agree, if not done well, it can be slimy- Not too appealing sounding. But when made right, it is so tasty & another healthy, great side option.

Or a hearty, ratatouille-like, vegetarian meal. The okra & tomatoes blend together into a rich flavor & there are no worries about that rumored slime.

Okra is one of those greens that is so good for you. Learn to love it & it will supply you with Vitamin B6 & folic acid.

Okra Stew

  • 2 cups Okra, trimmed & cut into pieces
  • 2 TBSp Cornmeal
  • 2 TBSp Butter
  • 1-2 cups Corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1, 14 oz. can diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Water
  • S & P

In a large bowl, coat the okra with the cornmeal. 

Melt the butter on Medium-High in a large skillet. Add the okra in & brown in on all sides... Add in the corn, tomatoes & water, S&P... Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to Low/ Medium-Low. Cook until the sauce is thick, reduced down, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Lishie tip- Try something NEW today! Be adventurous :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gingery Chicken ~ Slowcooker

So it's back to work after a long, beautiful Memorial Day weekend. I had the prep time so I went ahead & readied this dish for the day back to work. I recently got America's Test Kitchen "Slowcooker Revolution" Cookbook & I was so excited. I love ATK & their recipes are delicious & trustworthy. Plus they explain why some things work & some things do not. This recipe is adapted from one in their book. Since I only have a 6 Quart Crock-Pot, I made 3 split chicken breasts which is enough for our family.

The chicken came out mighty juicy & the sauce is yummy... I made white rice on the side & poured the gingery sauce over it. As another side, I made roasted cauliflower, adding one tsp of fresh, minced ginger to the dressing. Silly me was too tired/too sick- forgot to take pictures of the dish all gussied up! ;) Sorry! 

Slowcooker Gingery Chicken, adapted from America's Test Kitchen

  • 2 TBSp Canola Oil
  • 3 Split, bone-in Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Onion, chopped small
  • 3 large Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 TBSp fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup AP Flour
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 3 TBSp Soy Sauce (I always use low-sodium)
  • 1 TBSp Sugar
  • S & P
  • 2 Scallion stalks, Optional topping

On medium-high, heat the canola oil & brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Do it in batches if you need the room. <<*My crock-pot is stove-top friendly. If yours is not, use a large saute pan.>> Remove the browned chicken pieces. In the same oil, saute the onion till it is clear, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic & 2 TBSp of the ginger... saute for another minute. 

Mix in the flour & cook while stirring for a minute. While whisking, add in the chicken broth & get all of the good, brown bits up! <<*If you are using a saute pan, TRANSFER to the crock-pot now.>> Add in the soy sauce, sugar & S & P & whisk till combined. Nestle in the chicken pieces... 

Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken & place on serving platter. Skim the fatty oil off of the top of the sauce then add in the last TBSp of ginger. Ladle sauce over chicken pieces. Serve the chicken topped with scallions.