Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grilled Chicken, Baby Arugula and Wheat Spaghetti

I had some baby arugula laying around in the frig and needed to use it before it wilted and went bad. I don't know what is it about arugula but I am addicted to it. I love it on sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, etc.  Okay...Okay! back to cooking because I can on and on. So, I decided to ask hubby to make his delicious grilled chicken, while he did that I prepared the garlic olive oil. Gotta love the team work, right! Then I cooked the wheat spaghetti al dente and tossed everything together. Try it, it's a very simple recipe.

Grilled Chicken, Baby Arugula and Wheat Spaghetti 
(tossed with garlic olive oil)

8 grilled thin boneless chicken breast (cut)
5 oz bag of baby arugula
8 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 box of wheat thin spaghetti
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)

Add olive oil and garlic to a small sauce pan and cook on low making sure not brown. When garlic is soft and very fragrant, remove from heat. Cook pasta al dente. Toss pasta with arugula, chicken, and garlic olive oil. Top with cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Eve Family Celebration!

After attending Watch Night Service on New Year's Eve my husband and I hosted a family celebration with a selection of bites, laughs and thanking God for seeing us through this year. In the African-American Community, Watch Night Service has added importance and history because of the gathering of slaves on  New Year's Eve, in 1862, to await the news of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863. During the Watch Night Service we celebrate and give thanks to God for what he has done in the outgoing year and praying for the upcoming year.
New Year's Eve Family Celebration Menu

I tried to snap a quick shot before the eating began. The menu consisted of ground turkey pastellios, prosciutto and arugula on whole wheat pizza, octopus salad, honey-garlic wings, turkey sliders smothered in bbq sauce and my husband's coquito (puerto rican egg nog) it's a family secret YUMMY!

BBQ Sauce Turkey Sliders

BBQ Sauce Turkey Sliders
makes approx. 12

2 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I make my own from day old bread)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Martin's Famous Whole Wheat Potato Rolls  (the ones for sliders)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine ground turkey, 1/2 cup chopped onions, ketchup, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper in a large and mix (don't over mix). Line baking sheet with foil. Using a large ice cream and scoop ground turkey out on baking sheet. Flatten each burger (not too flat). Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Don't over cook. While cooking add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and the rest of the onions and cook until translucent. Pour a jar of original bbq in a sauce pan and simmer. When burgers are done add to sauce. Brush inside of buns with extra virgin olive oil and lightly brown under broiler. Assemble sliders and stand back and watch them disappear!

Octopus Salad

8 cans of octopus (Goya brand octopus in garlic sauce only!)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 orange pepper (chopped)
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
1 small red onion (chopped)
Juice of a lime
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Open and drain octopus. Add to a large glass bowl. Add all ingredients and toss. Then refrigerate for at least an hour.

Honey-Garlic Wings

Honey-Garlic Wings

20-30 prepared crispy fried chicken wings (sorry! can't give you my recipe)
10 gloves of garlic (minced)
2 cups of honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Add olive oil to sauce pans. Heat pan to medium. Add garlic and cook but do not brown about 5-7 minutes. Add honey, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Be careful sauce may boil over and cause a mess. Remove from heat and allow to cool.   Toss with your prepared chicken wings. They can be very addicting, ask my sister the chicken wing Queen.

Ground Turkey Pastelillos

Ground Turkey Pastelillos
approx. 20

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup olives and pimentos (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 medium green pepper (chopped)
1 tbsp of Sofrito
1 packet sazon
2-8 oz can of tomato sauce
2 pkg of small Goya discs

2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 
Canola Oil for frying

Add olive oil to saute pan. Brown ground turkey. Add onions, garlic and peppers and cook until onions are translucent. Add olives, tomato sauce and sazon. Cook until sauce has reduced. Allow mixture to cool completely before preparing pastelillos. Lay one disc on a flat surface apply 1 tbsp of mixture in the center of disc. Form pastelillo by folding disc over mixture, like a turnover. Pinch close and secure by pressing edges with the back of a fork (dip fork in water if dough gets sticky). Assemble pastelillos on a sheet pan lined with foil or wax paper. If you are not frying right away, cover and refrigerate until. Prepare deep fryer or pot with canola oil, enough for deep frying.  Deep fry pastelillos being sure not to crowd pot.

Fry pastelillos until they are golden brown or begin to float. Drain excess oil and serve. Great with some hot sauce.

Add 1 tbsp of mixture to center

Pinch close

Secure closure by pressing with back of fork

Deep fry and enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Whole Wheat Waffles

I tried to create a healthier waffle. I know it looks like a lot of butter but if it helps its smart balance LOL! Sorry for the photo from my phone. They smelled so good I totally forgot about taking a proper photo so I snapped one with my phone in the middle of eating. My husband and I enjoyed this recipe and I hope you do as well.

Whole Wheat Waffles
Makes 4 servings

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp wheat germ
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup smart balance, melted
Pure Maple Syrup

Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high.
Whisk the flour with the oats, sugar, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then add the milk and smart balance. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, to make a batter. Do not over mix batter! It's alright if there are some lumps.
Ladle in the right amount of batter, approximately ½ cup ensuring to cover evenly. Cook until crisp and inside is cooked through. My waffle iron is the flip type and has a timer. I usually set time for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Serve warm with pure maple syrup. Also try them with fresh fruit or powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fish Tacos

I really don't have too much to say about this dish except that my husband loves it! Anytime I give him a choice of what's for dinner and one of those choices is fish tacos, there is no question he will always choose fish tacos. Hmmmm! unless I am making the traditional Puerto Rican meal which is Pernil (roast pork shoulder) and arroz con gandules (peas and rice) with a tossed salad than the poor fishy fishy has no chance.

Fish Tacos
makes about 8-10

1 lb frozen tilapia (thawed)
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tbsp adobo seasoning
1 tbsp old bay seasoning
salsa (recipe below)
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
shredded lettuce
avocado (cubed)
sour cream
shredded cheese
corn tortilla
hot sauce (optional)
canola oil (enough for deep frying)
cast iron dutch oven

Prepare salsa. Cube avocado and toss with the juice of one lime. This technique prevents the avocado from turning brown. Arrange all condiments in individual serving bowls (cheese, lettuce, salsa, avocado and sour cream).
Preheat oil in dutch oven. Cut tilapia in half lengthwise. Mix flour, corn meal, adobo and old bay seasoning in a storage bag. Add fish and toss making sure fish is completely coated. Drop fish in oil and cook until golden brown and crispy. Drain fish and place on a paper towel covered plate to catch excess oil. Preheat tortillas in microwave in a moist paper towel for 2 minutes.
Take a tortilla and add a piece of fish. Then start the assembly line with salsa then lettuce, cheese, avocado, sour cream and a splash of hot sauce (optional). Trust me you won't stop at one. Enjoy!


5 plum tomatoes (seeded and chopped)                      
1 small red onion (chopped)
1/4 cup of cilantro (chopped)
1 jalepeno (seeded, deveined and chopped)
juice of 1 lime
olive oil

Add all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together. Cover and refrigerate. Taste even better the next day.

Banana Pecan Bread

What to do with very ripe bananas? Why not make banana nut bread. Here is my version of banana nut bread. As some of you know I prefer pecans but you may substitute pecans for the commonly used walnuts.
Remember the original BeefSteak Charlie's? They had the best banana nut bread. It was moist and had just the right amount of sweetness. I would smother my bread with lots of butter. Boy! was it good (as I begin to drool) Okay! back to my recipe. In this recipe I used very ripe bananas, you know when the bananas are black? Rather than throwing them out I used them in this recipe "waste not want not" I guess!  At 1 am I found myself baking while my husband was sleeping......what I should have been doing but couldn't. At least he had a treat in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. I actually prefer the very ripe bananas. The flavor was right on! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Banana Pecan Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3 very ripe bananas (they should look black)
1 stick of butter (melted)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/8 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 to 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl mash bananas. Pour melted butter in mashed bananas and mix. Add egg,cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and brown sugar then mix. Finally sift flour, baking soda and salt and add to mixture and mix but don't over mix. Fold in pecans. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack. Pop bread out and place on a serving platter and Enjoy! Tastes even better ice cold. Great with coffee, tea or simply a glass of ice cold milk.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Granola Recipe

I have finally did it! After several attempts I have created a granola recipe that I am happy with. This granola is so versitile, you can eat it as a cereal, snack or a healthy dessert with frozen yogurt.


4 1/2 cups rolled oats (make sure not the instant)
1 cup wheat grem
3 cups pecan (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tbsp smart balance buttery spread
1 1/2 cup of honey or (1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried chopped dates

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine oats, pecans and coconut in a large mixing bowl. Melt honey, water, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, smart balance spread and brown sugar in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Heat until brown sugar fully melted. Making sure not to boil and stir constantly. Add honey-sugar mixture to oat mixture and mix until completely coated. Spread mixture out onto a parchment covered sheet pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break up granola and toss with cranberries and dates. Enjoy!

Strawberry Galette

What to do with extra strawberries you ask? Think outside the box and make a Strawberry Galette. A Galette is a flat round or free form crusty tart. There are sweet and savory galette, most commonly is the fruit galette. You can  use a store bought refrigerated pie crust such as Pillsbury or make your own.  I opted  not to use basil cream and fried basil leaves of course the choice is yours. I think the galette is great on it's on. You will enjoy this recipe because of the flaky crust and the filling not being too sweet. Not to mention the smell throughout your house as it's baking. Enjoy!

 Strawberry Galatte 
by Martha Stewart
Serves 6 to 8
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 18 to 24 large fresh basil leaves
  • Sugar, for sprinkling
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Make the basil cream: Combine cream, basil, and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 hours for a more pronounced basil flavor). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add mascarpone, and whisk until medium peaks form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.
  2. Make the fried basil: Heat oil in a deep skillet to 325 degrees. Fry basil, a few leaves at a time, for 12 seconds. (The leaves will cause the hot oil to spatter; step away from the pan while they cook.) Drain leaves on paper towels, and let cool completely. Sprinkle both sides of the leaves with sugar. (Basil can be stored at room temperature overnight.)
  3. Make the dough: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  6. Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm with basil cream and fried basil.