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Showing posts from August, 2016

7 Healthy Recipes Using Fresh Bell Peppers

I love bell peppers - stuffed, raw, made into a sauce. They're really versatile. Here are some really great ideas to use bell peppers. I have made something similar to the Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce. It goes great with pasta and Italian sausage. Roasted red bell peppers also make a great dipping sauce for fried mozzarella, instead of the classic marinara sauce.



7 Healthy Recipes Using Fresh Bell Peppers:



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Chicken and Rosemary Meatballs with Sautéed Tomatoes and Spinach

I've been thinking about this one for a while, but have only recently gotten around to making it. I wanted to try something different with meatballs besides beef and veal. I haven't tried it yet, but I would imagine this would go great with lamb in place of the chicken. I'm a big fan of the lamb and rosemary flavor profile.


For the Sauce:


2 Garlic Cloves - Minced1 14.5 oz Can Diced Tomatoes1 Bunch of Spinach - Rough ChoppedSalt & PepperPastaOlive Oil
Sauté the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until light brown. Add in salt and pepper and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce reduces. Stir in the chopped spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. 

For the Meatballs:
1 lb Ground Chicken1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary - Chopped1 Teaspoon Water1 EggSalt & Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This best done by hand. Roll the mixture in to balls a little bigger than a golf ball. If t…

Recipes for a Single Mom - Part 1

Back in college I worked at Starbucks. One of our semi-regular customers was a single mom looking to cook some healthy meals for her kids. She really had no idea where to start, so I offered to share a few recipes with her. Some of them were recipes I already had, and some were new ones I wrote for her. I'll be doing a series on these recipes in the next few weeks.

The first recipe I gave her was for my Chicken Florentine. You can find that recipe here.

The second recipe I gave her was for Lemon Chicken with Red Wine Tomato Sauce.


The Recipe:
2 chicken breasts2 large lemons, juiced1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a ½ teaspoon1 garlic clove, minced4 roma tomatoes, diced1 small portabella mushroom, diced1 bushel fresh basil, chopped1 teaspoon crushed red pepper1 cup red winesalt and pepperrigatoni Marinate the chicken in the lemon juice with salt and pepper for about thirty minutes. Remove the chicken from the lemon juice and lightly brown in a sauté pan in a ½ teaspoon of olive oil.

In…

Avocado Chile Burger with Crispy Onion Straws

This recipe goes back to my days as the Houston Barbecue Examiner. In honor of Hatch Green Chile Month we used hatch green chiles instead of the serranos and jalapenos. I'll post both recipes below.


The Original Recipe:


2 pounds ground beef 3 serrano peppers, seeded and minced 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional)salt and pepper to taste1 avocado, pitted and sliced1 onion, halved and sliced½ cup flour½ cup breadcrumbs1 tablespoon cornstarchsalt and pepper1 egg½ cup milk peanut oil
Combine ground beef with peppers, garlic, salt and pepper and divide into four equal patties. For a more southwestern flavor, add 1 teaspoon of ancho chile powder. The secret to a good, juicy burger is to get a good sear, so make sure the grill is hot. To reach desired doneness without burning, it may be necessary to move the patties away from the heat after both sides have been seared.

In one bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. In a seco…

Guinness Beer Batter

Over the weekend we had a fish fry with some of the fish I caught in Hackberry. Some friends came over and helped us eat all the food. We kept it pretty simple. Just fish and some fries. I like to use a doubled up brown paper bag to shake the fish in the seasoning. Everything turned out great, and I have been able to enjoy some leftover fish for lunch a few days this week. There is even talk of using some of the extra fish for tacos later on this week. The picture below is from this weekend, which makes me wish I was better aboutt taking pictures back in school.


I was looking through old recipes and came across a Guinness beer batter I had for one our of big fish fries back in college. I remember it turning out really well and really need to try it again. One thing I remember is that it has a tendency to stick to the basket. We got around that by dropping the basket in the oil first, and then dropping each piece of fish in the oil individually. The recipe itself was inspired by the fi…

M&M Cookies

It's been raining quite a bit here the last few days, so the boys haven't been able to play outside. It seems that they live for the outdoors, so they've been handling it pretty well. Last night I decided to do something special for them and bake some cookies. They even got try some of the batter! I was looking for chocolate chips in the pantry, but I ended up having to settle for M&Ms. This recipe is adapted from my Anyone Can Cook book. It makes about 12 cookies.


The Recipe:
1/4 cup butter - softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup m&ms

Mix together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and baking soda with a hand mixer or stand mixer until combined. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly mix in the flour until combined. Stir in the m&ms. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 - 10 minutes.






Quick and Easy Way to Dice an Onion - 4 Easy Steps

I can't point fingers because I used to be in the same boat, but I see people all the time who struggle to dice an onion. I watch them want to peel the onion, cut in half, cut it in to strips, and then try to dice each strip. That's too many steps, takes way too long, and is really just too complicated.


I like to start by cutting off the ends of the onion. Then I cut it in half, perpendicular to the cuts I made on each end. At this point it should peel pretty easily. The onion skin should come off fairly easily. Now place it fat side down. This is the side that was once the middle of the of the onion. The  two ends of the onion should be on either side. Now cut the onion into strips about 1/4 wide, without cutting all the way to the other side. This will help hold the onion together for the next step. Now rotate the onion 90 degrees. Cut through all the strips you just cut. The knife will be cutting perpendicular to the strips you cut in the previous step. You will still have…

Paper Co Coffee - My Old Stomping Grounds

Yesterday I had the privilege of making the trip over to Paper Co Coffee, my old stomping grounds. Well, sort of. I used to work there some years back, sort of. When I worked there it was called Taft Street Coffee.

Paper Co Coffee is located inside of a church in Houston called Ecclesia. For many years their home was at 2115 Taft Street. I worked in the coffee shop and music venue for a few years back in the early 2000's. Now located in the First Ward, all proceeds go towards assisting the homeless get a meal or simply a place to belong.

I arrived at 1100 Elder and walked around the building to try to take it all in and then went inside to get my fill. I grabbed a latte and walked the halls of the new building looking at the art on the walls, which I was glad to see as a carryover from the old space.

The coffee beans are roasted in house, which is a huge plus. My latte was full flavored and really didn't require any sugar or flavoring to be the perfect cup of coffee, just wh…