Archive for the ‘garlic’ Category

There is this amazing bakery in San Diego that I LOVE, Bread & Cie.  Along with super delicious bread and pastries, they have a cafe where you can get sandwiches, soup, breakfast, etc.  I always get the breakfast pizza, always.  I crave it.  But it’s so hard because they stop selling it around noon, and it’s really hard to get up and at ’em before noon on the weekends for us.  I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to try and recreate this, but I finally did, and with stellar results!

This is almost an exact copy, except my version has pizza sauce on it, only because I just used a premade frozen cheese pizza from costco.  it would be very easy to make with homemade dough, too.

What you need:

  • A cheese pizza, or prepared dough brushed with olive oil and mozzarella cheese
  • 2 – 3 eggs
  • Scallions, chopped up
  • Garlic, minced or sliced
  • Bacon, I used about 2 pieces for one pizza
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper

What you need to do:

  1. Pre-cook the bacon.  I prefer cooking mine in the oven, but it doesn’t really matter.  To bake the bacon, put bacon on a cookie sheet, or in a pyrex, and bake at 400 for about 12 – 14 minutes (if you are cooking it for real, cook it for 20 mins).
  2. Lower oven to recommended temp for your premade pizza (or 450 for homemade).
  3. Chop up bacon, scallions, garlic, etc.
  4. Crack your eggs directly on the pizza.
  5. Top with all other toppings.

    Ready to bake

  6. Bake the pizza.  Start checking on the pizza after 15 or 20 mins.  Bake until the eggs look fully cooked.

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I hosted Thanksgiving this year, for the first time ever.  I was pretty excited because I have been wanting to try making cheesy pumpkin dip for at least two years, but it’s not really something you can make and bring to someone else’s place.  This dip is pretty simple, but it is so ingenious (not to mention tasty) that everyone will be chattering about it all afternoon.

What you need:

  • A sugar pumpkin (or two, we had 9 people, double the following for two pumpkins)
  • Bread, any kind really, about 4 slices
  • Garlic, minced
  • Italian seasoning, just a pinch or two
  • Nutmeg, about a teaspoon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces cheese: I used cheddar cubes and grated romano
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • crackers, crostini, etc for serving

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut the top off the pumpkin and keep it.  Scoop out the seeds, but no need to worry about all the stringies as long as the seeds are gone.
  3. Cube bread and cheese.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the following together: bread, cheese, spices. garlic, breadcrumbs, basically everything but the cream.
  5. Add mixture into the pumpkin, and really pack it in as much as you can.
  6. Add heavy cream to pumpkin, put top back on pumpkin (I secured mine with toothpicks).
  7. Place pumpkin in a dutch oven, or pyrex dish that you don’t mind serving it in and bake for 60 – 90 minutes.
  8. After it’s done, stir up the dip, and scrape the inside of the pumpkin to get the pumpkin meat off.  Stir again, then serve!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  Here are some more pictures of some of the other stuff I served.

Creamed corn w/ parmesan

Simple salad with home made croutons

Garlic red mashed potatoes

Green beans sauteed in bacon fat, topped with parmesan and bacon bits

honey glazed carrots


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Baked Shrimp & Chickpeas

I have had a giant can of chickpeas sitting in the cupboard for at least 6 months since I went crazy in the canned food section of Smart & Final.  It worked out because I also have been meaning to try out this recipe from Food Network Magazine!  This is a really simple one to crank out for a weeknight dinner.  If you happen to have frozen shrimp (which defrost super quick), you probably have everything on hand to make it, too.

What you need:

  • 2 normal (15 oz) cans of chickpeas, or one gigantor (29 oz) can
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds of shrimp, raw & peeled
  • as much garlic as you can stand, for me this was about 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 lemon’s worth of zest
  • 1 lemon’s worth of juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like things
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 or so of breadcrumbs
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • lemon wedges for serving

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.  Add to a large baking dish (I used a 9×13 pyrex) and spray/drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt.  Make sure they are arranged in a thin layer.  Bake for 20 – 25 mins.
  3. While the chickpeas are baking, marinate the shrimp in the lemon juice and zest, red peppers, the garlic and a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
  4. When the chickpeas are done, add a layer of the shrimp and any extra marinade on top.  Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.  Bake for another 7 – 8 minutes.
  5. When it’s done baking, take it out of the oven and top with the parsley.  Serve with lemon wedges for more juice to taste.

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If you didn’t already realize I love garlic, then you may not be a very good reader.  So here is my newest obsession to use up the huge bag of garlic I always buy at Costco.  The uses are probably endless, so let me know if you come up with any gems!

What you need:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of garlic
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

What to do:

  1. Put everything in a bowl and mix it together.  That’s it.  I used my kitchenaid stand mixer, which worked beautifully.  

What you can do with the garlic butter:

  • Make garlic bread: spread butter on top of french bread and bake for 10 minutes

    Before baking

  • Add some acid and use as a marinade
  • Spread on top of fish before baking (deliiiiiicious)
  • Put a few dollops on top of veggies before sauteing, roasting or steaming
  • Add some to rice before cooking
  • Eat it with a spoon, hah, kidding!

Here is the finished product of garlic butter tilapia and garlic butter roasted veggies

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So I don’t eat beef, and so really hadn’t had any meatballs since I was ten maybe.  Then last New Year’s Eve, we had a party and I decided to make turkey meatballs for my Italian themed appetizer spread.  I don’t know if it is because I just forgot how magnificent meatballs are in general, or if these ones are just super amazing, but they are REALLY delicious, and you should try them.  Much like my favorite biscuits I almost always have a stock of these puppies in the freezer, ready to make a quick dinner of meatballs at a moment’s notice!  It’s just so much easier/ cheaper to buy the huge pack of ground turkey at Costco, make a bunch of meatballs and throw ’em in the freezer for later.

What you need:

  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey/ chicken
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 – 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5-6 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

What you need to do:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place the meat into a mixing bowl, and season with salt, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.
  3. Add the milk, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Mix until evenly blended.
  4. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, and place onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, 25 minutes.

Note: Make sure the baking sheet is greased, and it helps just place the meatballs on a sheet of foil on top of the baking sheet.

Ready to bake OR freeze for later

If you are going to freeze them, freeze them after you roll into balls.  Bake them straight from the freezer, but you will need to at least 10 minutes to the baking time.

Meatballs served with polenta, parmesan and some marinara sauce


Also this is totally unrelated to food or recipes or anything, but I will be out of town for almost three weeks, so don’t expect any posts until late September.   I will be eating and drinking my way through Europe, so I will take lots of photos of all the delicious-ness  and post upon returning.  Hope you don’t miss me too much!

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Saffron Rice

I have had little bulbs of saffron sitting at the back of a kitchen cabinet for over 2 years, untouched.  I don’t know why it seemed so intimidating.  But I finally used it!

I made the rice in my rice cooker, so I basically just threw everything in and felt proud of myself for finally using the saffron.

What you need:

  • Saffron threads, anywhere from 5 to 15
  • Chicken stock.  It depends on how much rice you are making because you are using chicken stock instead of water in the rice cooker
  • Rice!  I used jasmine.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
  • Minced garlic, your preference
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon

The ONLY thing you need to do besides throw it all in the rice cooker, is steep the saffron threads in warm water or chicken stock.  I used hot tap water, and steeped it for about 30 minutes.  I know it’s hard to see because, or course I grabbed the orange bowl, but you can tell that the water gets a dark orange color.  After the saffron is steeped, throw the threads and the steeping liquid in the rice cooker with the rest of the ingredients.  Make sure you add the appropriate amount of chicken stock for the amount of rice.

Then you get to sit back and do whatever you like.  Like maybe grill some shrimp and zucchini.  When it’s done, it’s such a pretty yellow color!

Grilled shrimp + zucchini on top of saffron rice

P.S. Happy August!

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OHHI.  I know it’s been a few weeks, and I have really been trying to post once a week or so.  But I haven’t been cooking any new/ cool recipes lately because we got a gas grill for our tiny balcony, so I have just been a marinade queen.  I thought I should at least share my lazy marinade ideas with the world.

For a marinade, you just need something that tastes yummy, and then something that is acidic.  It is way cheaper (and usually healthier) to make your own, rather than buy the pre-made ones.  A lot of the items needed for a good marinade should already be in your kitchen right now, anyway!

Here are some easy ideas… They are all starting points which can be added to, changed around, etc.

  • Lemon or Lime juice (or even OJ!) + garlic + italian seasoning/ basil/ thyme
  • balsamic vinegar + olive oil + black pepper
  • toasted sesame oil + soy sauce or teriyaki + ginger + garlic
  • BBQ sauce (obvi).  My new fav is the Stone Levitation BBQ sauce from Carlsbad Gourmet
  • Italian dressing (whenever I get low on a bottle I just use it as a marinade to free up fridge space) + garlic paste (easiest to steal from your local middle eastern eatery)
  • tequila + lime + a teeeeeny bit of cayenne + salt + pepper
  • buttermilk + lots of garlic + paprika + salt + pepper

I don’t eat beef, so these are all for chicken and seafood, but would probably work well for a lean cut of pork.  TIP: prepare marinade before you throw your protein in the freezer (if you buy in bulk or buy a bunch when it’s on sale like I do!) and marinade the protein while it’s freezing/ defrosting.  Just make sure you label what the marinade is 🙂

Also one of my fav easy grillin’ sides is a delicious veggie (such as zucchini, asparagus, carrot, squash, brussel sprouts) marinaded in olive oil + salt + pepper.  I usually just use a shallow bowl or pyrex dish and let it soak for up to an hour before grilling.

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