Putting together a pot of a beef stew today using grassfed ribeye steak, bacon, Idaho and sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, fresh garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, red wine, fennel, rosemary, bay leaves, and thyme. Besides a good cut of meat, I “foodified” it by searing until carmelization the meat and vegetables in stages, pouring in a half bottle of red wine, and adding a secret ingredient, cinnamon stick. The cinnamon plays off the sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes, and gives the dish a subtle depth of flavor. Now in the oven this goes to cook in a covered Dutch oven pot while I hit my noon hot yoga class. Lord knows I need to get there an extra 30 minutes so I can sweat off this “vacation belly” and get back clean centered from overindulging in tacos and cake in San Diego last week. Lol!
What me and the girls whipped up today, ahead of the storm. Rosemary roasted chicken with roasted veggies and wine gravy, along with sautéed organic French green beans. Simple, clean meal.
Today I started my 21-day no spend challenge which for me entails giving up my joy of eating out (gulp). What they say, to replace a bad habit, replace it with a new good one, so that finds the Foodie in me scouring the Internet and my collection of cookbooks to find “restaurant quality” recipes that I would actually enjoy eating at home.
My appetite came upon a chicken Italian dish that was layered with creamed spinach (my favorite), sun-dried tomatoes (another fave), and pepper jack cheese (bingo, you’re selected!) Lol! I put my spin on the recipe by adding triple Brie cheese to the spinach, searing the chicken before I baked it off (searing adds flavor, right), and putting pats of butter and a swirl of Chardonnay wine in bottom of pan to moisten the chicken as it baked. Then honey load on all the other good stuff and bake it off. My kitchen smelled so good as it was baking I was dancing every time I went to the oven to check on it. As a side dish, I prepared roasted asparagus, but a Cesar salad would be outstanding as well.
Usually Saturdays are my designated “cheat and eat out” day, but I decided after finishing my Pilates workout this morning to come home and fix a deep dish of Eggplant Parmesan, from scratch. Everything in this dish is grain free and clean.
1. Sliced eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil on a baking sheet to bake until a little crisp.
2. Make the sauce.
3. Layer in casserole dish: Eggplant+Grated Parmesan Regianno+Spinach+Mozarella. Repeat one more layer.
4. Bake in oven on 350 for approximately 30 minutes
For all my slow and simmer labor of making the homemade marinara from canned organic roasted tomatoe puree, onions, garlic, parsley, fresh basil, crushed red pepper, black pepper, sea salt, and wine, I have 4 cups to freeze for a future recipe.
Today’s meal was a celebration of love dinner planned for my daughters and I. It was a way to model to them as young women that love is informal and formal, for lovers and singles, and that no matter where you are in life, self-love is the best love, so this Valentine Day is yours to buy a big bouquet of flowers, pull out your best China, and lovingly put your heart and hands into a memorable meal to mark the occasion. There are not many times that I and the girls are off together on a Sunday to enjoy dinner, so today was so nice to be surrounded with laughter and dining on a couple of favorite dishes and new dishes.
Valentine Day is about giving your best to those you hold dear and love. Naturally, I show my love through cooking, so below is all of my love, wrapped up in food form, to my girls. Enjoy!
You know how you are prepping something and you can tell the finished dish is going to be delicious? This is one of those moments. I’m prepping French Butter Roasted Chicken to go in the oven to roast, which I will serve with Smashed Garnet sweet potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan. Here is how I prepped the bird…
Took a whole chicken which I butterflied and patted dry. Carefully under the skin, I stuffed it with a mixture of butter, parsley, rosemary, fresh chopped garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, white pepper, and olive oil and spread it under the skin to cover the chicken. I then slathered the rest of mixture on top of chicken, along with more sea salt, black pepper, rosemary, and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Now here’s the good part. I have the butterflied chicken laying on top of a bed of onions, whole garlic head split in half, and lemon wedges, drizzled with olive oil, so as the chicken roasts those flavors will permeate into the meat and flavor the chicken, and serve as a flavorful base for a white wine sauce gravy I reduce from the chicken juices. A fabulous goof proof way to take chicken to a whole new level. All you do is concentrate on layering the flavors, and let the oven do the magic.