Weekly Recipe Attempt: Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller

fishI've been eating healthy now for a couple of weeks and it's easier that I thought it would be.  OK I fell off the wagon and ate pizza on Sunday, but I'm blaming that on my brother.  He insisted.  The way I see it, though, if I keep eating meals like the one I'm talking about today, I can afford to have a slice of yummy pepperoni every once in a while.

Weekly Recipe Attempt: Broiled Tilapia with Horseradish and Herb-Spiked Mayo

Now I'm not really a big fish eater, but I want to be.  It's so healthy and easy to broil fish, and this recipe was no exception. 

I know what you're saying, "it has mayo on it!  How is that healthy?"  I'm defending the mayo by stating that I used fat-free mayo.  I also only used a dollop of it on the fish, so one dollop isn't going to kill me.

This recipe was great.  I still love all things chicken and the occasional slab of beef, but the fish was a lovely little change of pace.  And if you're afraid of fish, try tilapia.  It didn't smell fishy at all.  I know they tell you it should smell like the ocean, but this didn't really smell like anything.  It tasted fresh and lovely.

I give this recipe an 8.  And that's no fish tale, my friends.  OK that was a really bad joke.  I apologize.


Celebrate your 2008 resolution with the Food Network!

champThis year I resolve to be…healthy. Resolving to lose weight has never worked for me, so I’m taking a cue from both Giada and Rachael. All things in moderation. I’m also going to exercise, when I can, and drink water a lot.

If you’re like me, and you’re resolving to be healthier in 2008, you’re not alone. In fact, FoodNetwork.com can help you get there.

They have ideas to get on the healthy track, not the dieting track. Learn how to stock your pantry with better choices. Count the calories you burn in a day with the calorie tracker and get healthy recipes from Ellie Krieger.

It’s a fact that Americans are becoming increasingly unhealthy. Let’s all resolve to try and eat a piece of broccoli with dinner or walk to your boss’s office as opposed to calling her on the phone from 5 feet away. We can all live a little healthier. We just have to put a little effort into it.


Weekly Recipe Attempt: Boy Meets Grill

shrimp2During this blistering heat wave in Orange County, it was just too hot to cook inside.  It was also too hot to cook anything that took a long time.  I saw this recipe on good old FoodNetwork.com that seemed perfect.

Weekly Recipe Attempt:  Ginger-Soy-Lime Marinaded Shrimp

I usually chicken out when it comes to shrimp.  I've always used pre-cooked shrimp, which works great for shrimp cocktail, but ends up making grilled shrimp that tastes like leather.  I decied to try cooking the shrimp from raw shrimp.  And boy did I make the right decision.

This dish was incredible.  No leather taste here.  And, believe it or not, I even used the left overs in a salad for lunch the next day. 

It was quick and easy.  It was light in flavor and calories.  It was perfect for the heat, and will be perfect for any last, end-of-the-summer barbeques that you plan on throwing.

I give this recipe a 9 out of ten.


Labor Day recipes from the Food Network

Looking to cook this Labor Day weekend?  Don't just get burnt from too much sun, have a sizzling backyard BBQ with help from your favorite Food Network chefs.

Recipes like these from Grill Master Bobby Flay will wow your guests:

And georgeous summer cocktails from the Food Network Kitchens will cool them off:

To plan your BBQ the Food Network way Click Here!


Weekly Recipe Attempt: Throwdown with Bobby Flay

slawCole slaw has a special place in my heart.  No, I'm not kidding.  When I was 4, I was in the hospital over Christmas due to some asthma complications.  I don't really remember much about it, or anything really, except for one nurse and one special night. 

The nurse came into my room one night, and my dad was there with me, so he can attest to this story's authenticity.  She asked me if I wanted anything to eat and with a smile said, "anything you want, we'll get for you."  So naturally, being the weirdest kid ever, I said that I wanted cole slaw.  I kid you not.  She said, "anything," and I said, "cole slaw."  And by golly, she got me that cole slaw and man it was delicious.  So, in an ode to that, and because it's summer, I bring you Bobby Flay's version of cole slaw.

Weekly recipe attempt: Napa Cabbage Slaw

This recipe caught my eye because it was cole slaw with an Asian twist.  Instead of salt, there was soy sauce.  Instead of hot sauce, there was chili oil.  Instead of red wine vinegar, there was rice wine vinegar.  It was a fresh little salad to have with my hot dog. 

I have to admit, I used green bell peppers instead of red because the green were on sale, and I had regular peas so I used them instead of snow peas.  I know regular peas taste nothing like snow peas, but I like regular peas and I'm the one making the salad.  You can use snow peas in your own salad.

I give this recipe a 7.  I liked the fact that it didn't use a lot of mayonnaise, so it's pretty healthy, but it didn't hold a candle to that bowl of cole slaw I got in the hospital when I was four.  But then again, maybe no slaw ever will.


Food Network's Burger Bonanza!

I was craving a cheeseburger last Friday, and unfortunatley decided to drag my brother into the craving as well.  He has a grill so I brought over some hamburger and made cheeseburgers.  I always do this.  I get an idea in my head and think that it will be everything I think it will be, get too excited, and throw the recipe together.  The burgers were bad.  They were like hockey pucks on buns.  Yuck.

I should have been prepared.  I should have looked at the Food Network website.  They have a splendid little section on the front page that's all about burgers, hence the "Burger Bonanza!"

Burgers aren't simple.  They take preparation and forethought.  I know Rachael Ray makes it look easy, but she has billions of burger recipes and makes them all the time.  People like me who eat burgers once in a blue moon need help.

The Burger Bonanza rescues the dullest burger by offering creative things to put on the burger such as:

It also has step by step videos of burger handling grilling.

It's a great site to get you in the mood for summer, and burgers!


Weekly Recipe Attempt: 30 Minute Meals

sconesAre you looking for a last minute Mother's Day gift?  Why not make something for you mom?  Try these scones from Rachael Ray, and mom might just forget that you forgot her on her special day.

Weekly Recipe Attempt: Rosemary and Ham Scones

I think that scones are a lovely little homemade surprise for mothers, or brothers, or birthdays or whatevers.  They're also very easy to make.  I settled on the ham ones because I had some ham.  I also made this recipe my own by adding cheddar cheese.  I just thought it needed a little extra something, and I didn't have an orange or sugar, so I made it more savory this way, too.

I made mini ones, since I've never made mini ones, and I think I liked them better in small form.  When it comes to baked goods, I can only handle small bits.  Big scones are a bit much for me, so I made the small ones.  But if you like bigger scones, and size matters to you, by all means, bake the big ones.

I give this recipe an 8.  I might bump it to a 9 if you give it as a present.  People love these little things.


Weekly recipe attempt: Emeril Lagasse

potatoesFirst off, I have to apologize.  I made this recipe for my family at Easter and I was going to post this immediatley after that, but I couldn't.  You see, I started a new job last week, and at my new job I actually have a pretty full day.  This isn't much of an excuse, but it's better late than never, right?  Now onto the Easter (or I guess we can call it Sunday Supper) recipe.

Weekly Recipe Attempt: Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

I know the picture looks like a big pot of goo, but it tasted absolutley delectable.  It was a bit like goo (I added extra cheese) but it was delicious goo nonetheless.  I usually take the Sandra Lee approach to all recipes, but this time, I decided my scalloped potatoes were going to be from scratch, as opposed to a box.  The jury's still out as to which one is better.  The ones from the box are pretty darn good.

Emeril's recipe in particular caught my eye because of the short list of ingredients.  Seven.  Seven things go into a pot and they bake in the oven.  Pretty simple.  Even I couldn't screw this up, and I didn't.  I would, if I were you, I didn't so let's not be lemmings, follow the directions when they tell you to put the potato layers into a flat baking dish.  I had just bought a new cooking pot thing (red receptacle in the picture) as a present to myself for my new job and really wanted to use it.  This caused the goo to be more gooey as opposed to the usual little crunchy topped scalloped potatoes that you usually get with these types of dishes. 

All in all, I give this recipe an 8 out of 10.  It was good, and accompanied the ham very well, but it wasn't great.   It was easy, but I still had to slice a whole lot of potatoes without a mandolin.


Weekly recipe attempt: Everyday Italian

chickenIn an omage to your pick for the hottest female chef, I thought it would be very fitting to pick a recipe from among the lovely Giada De Laurentiis' repertoire of recipes.  That is where I started for my selection and to narrow it down, I had to face something.  An addiction that I have.  My name is Jessica and I'm a grocery-store-a-holic.  I vowed this week to break my frequent grocery store going habit and select a recipe that only used items that I currently have in my fridge or freezer.  So, ladies and gentelmen, I found the perfect recipe.

Weekly recipe attempt: Chicken Florentine Style

Off the bat, I knew that I would have to go with a chicken dish.  My freezer is littered with frozen chicken pieces of every shape and kind.  I also knew that buried somewhere in there was some frozen spinach.  I always have that on hand because one day someone on the Food Network told me to always have it on hand.  These are the two main components in this dish.  You probably picked that up already from the title - Chicken (has chicken) Florentine (has spinach). Ta dah!

Miraculously I had some shallots and a smidge of white wine in my fridge.  I think the wine had been in there for a while, but since I cooked it with other stuff, it seemed fine.  I had some half and half from my morning coffee, which I used instead of whipping cream.  It worked just fine, too.

I did not, however, have any parsley.  But the way I see it is that herbs enhance a dish and while they may be delicious, they do not make or break something.  If I were to run to the store to grab some parsley, I would come back with potato chips, frozen corn dogs and tater tots, all the while forgetting the herbs.  So you see, they never would have made it into the pan in the first place even if I took the effort to go out and buy them.

I really liked this recipe.  Not only was it a new way to eat chicken, but it made me eat spinach as well.  I don't usually use spinach as my main side dish, I mostly put it in stuff like eggs to sneak it into my diet.  But when you put sauce over anything, you have an instant hit.

I give this recipe a 9.  It was simple, pretty, healthy (try using fat free cream and cooking spray in lieu of some of the butter), and delicious.  Once again the beautiful Giada proves why she is number one in our hearts and on our tables.


Weekly recipe attempt: Food Network Kitchens

soda breadI just want to preface this week's attempt by saying, I'm not a baker.  I wanted to make something Irish because it's St. Patrick's day tomorrow and fable has it that I've got a little Irish in me.  I thought this might help in the baking process, but I was wrong.  I usually opt for the traditional corned beef and cabbage, but this year, I thought that I would mix things up a bit.  I think next year I'll go back to the beef.  Here's what happened.

Weekly recipe attempt: Irish Soda Bread

As you'll see from the picture, this looks like a big lump of dough.  And well, it is a big lump of dough.  It's supposed to look like a nice, round ball of dough with an X on the top.  My interpretation of, "using a sharp knife cut a 1/4-inch-deep "X" into the top of the dough to let the fairies out," apparently wasn't quite what I was supposed to do.  I made the cuts too deep, and ended up with the lump.  By golly, there wasn't a fairy left in that dough.

It didn't taste bad, but the recipe yielded a big loaf.  My plan was to give some of it away to friends and family for St. Patrick's Day, but there's no way I'm giving out this mutant bread to anyone now.  I'd have to insist that it tastes better than it looks and then watch as they tentativley bite into it.  It would be painful for us both, and I don't want to put anyone through that. 

I will have to say this.  This recipe led to my first experience with currants, and I loved them.  Good thing, too, because I have a lot leftover from this recipe. 

I'm giving this recipe a 6.  Maybe it would be higher if I made it properly, but I really wasn't that much of a fan in general.  I gave it an extra half point for the currants.

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