Thursday, June 25, 2009


Since moving to California.. I have found a very swanky little place that is very popular to go to for dinner and drinks. Its FABULOUS. I was there last night celebrating my 4th anniversary.. and I ordered my favorite drink.. a Mojito. Luckily I was at the bar and I got to watch her every move.. so now I know exactly how to make it at home. Of course I have to share! These are the best Mojito's I have ever tasted. Very refreshing, not too sweet. Yum yummy!!

You'll need;
a tall glass
1 tsp sugar per drink
mint leaves- about 4 per drink
2 red grapes per drink
4 lime wedges per drink
Rum.. 2 shots per glass
club soda
a muddle if you have it.. or something to do the job
a shaker or another glass

In tall glass add rum, 1 ts. sugar, 2 red grapes, mint leaves and 2 lime wedges. Muddle until nice and smashed. Add ice and dump into a shaker and shake until chill. Dump back into your tall glass. Top with club soda until full. Squeeze remaining 2 lime wedges into the drink and use as garnish. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bruscetta Pasta Salad

I was craving Bruscetta today.. and since I am trying to get bikini fabulous, I didn't want to eat the bread. So I ate pasta instead. I don't really know how to justify the pasta being better than the bread.. but in my pea brain, it was. is. isn't, but whatever...

2 cups uncooked pasta

2 small(er) tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 medium basil leaves, chopped

1 small can marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

2 tbs finely chopped onion

4 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs (ish) red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese, about a hand full.

*If I would have had goat cheese on hand, I would have crumbed some up and added to the salad as well. Just a thought.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until just under al dente.. the pasta will continue to cook as well as plump up with the dressing. In a medium-large bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and dump the warm pasta into your bowl and dressing. Coat pasta. Add remaining ingredients and chill. Or eat it right there. Whatever makes you happy.

Warm Goat Cheese Salad

Ina Garten does this fried goat cheese.. and its delicious. So I took her recipe and added my own salad ingredients.. it turned out awesome! I served this with grilled chicken breast. I only did 4 fried goat cheese cubes, so you'll have to adjust the recipe to your family size.

Fried Goat Cheese:
Seasoned dry bread crumbs. I use a mixture of dry seasoned bread crumbs and panko bread crumbs. I like the texture this creates.
1 egg, beaten
sliced goat cheese, about 1/2 inch thick, well refrigerated.
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
Dip the sliced cheese in the egg. Remove and roll in bread crumbs. Put on a rack and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet to medium-medium high, until just under smoking. Add the goat cheese and cook each one quickly, until browned on outside, but not melted on inside. Remove and drain.
For the salad I grilled red peppers, onions and asparagus. I arranged the salad using baby spinach, but mixed greens would be better I think. I made a dressing using olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. This was very easy and very good for our hot, California summer nights!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

chicken salad

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4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
2 tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 tbs. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup small-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup green grapes, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
*and a note: If my husband wasn't allergic to onions, I would have thrown in a green onion or two..
It is so easy to make this salad using either regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or canned chicken. I'll tell ya though.. the roasted chicken adds a whole world of flavor.. you will never get that from canned or boneless/skinless chicken. It's well worth it, I promise.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.
When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into a 3/4-inch dice. Place the chicken in a bowl; add the mayonnaise, Dijon, tarragon leaves, celery, grapes, almonds, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss well.
adapted recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, Food Network