Thursday, April 30, 2009

CEIMB: Turkey Meatballs with Quick and Spicy Tomato Sauce and Linguine

The recipe this week was chosen by Oddball Oven Mitt. I thought this was a great recipe that was really simple to make.

I used ground turkey breast which was somewhat of a mistake because it made the meatballs a bit dry. Also, I used one 28oz can of crushed tomatoes - they weren't fire roasted because such combination did not exist at the Publix. I also used one small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Also, in place of the chipotle, I used cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. I pretty much followed the remaining parts of the recipe!

Notwithstanding all of the chopping, this was a really easy recipe to make. It was very flavorful and very filling. I served it over linguine. I wish I liked wheat pasta, but I just don't. It always turns out gummy -- like overcooked pasta. Yuck!

Thanks for choosing a great recipe this week! I will definitely be making this sauce again. Next time though, I will probably skip the meatballs and just put the meat in the sauce.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CEIMB: Balsamic Chicken with Spinach and Couscous

The recipe this week was chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights. I was really excited about this recipe because (1) it sounded great; (2) it looked incredibly easy (which it was); and (3) I have not eaten or cooked couscous so I was excited to give it a go.

I followed the recipe for the most part. I added more garlic than the recipe called for. Also I used regular spinach because I'm frugal and didn't want to fork out the extra dollar for baby spinach. Besides is there really a difference between spinach and baby spincach (other than the size of the leaves?) Also, I used the entire can of tomatoes in the balsamic sauce, doubled the balsamic vinegar, and added a bit of red pepper, salt and pepper to the sauce as it was cooking. Ok, so maybe I didn't follow the recipe at all!
With respect to the couscous, I used the extra chicken broth to make the couscous and I thought it turned out great (granted, I assume I majorly cheated by using 5 minute couscous!) But once again, having never eaten real couscous, I really didn't figure I would be able to tell the difference!

The result -- I loved the couscous. Its definitely something I will make regularly as a side dish for dinner. The balsamic chicken was just so-so for me. I thought it really lacked flavor. In fact, the only flavor I got from the dish was in the spinach. So, the recipe as a whole was somewhat of a disappointment. I can't wait to see what everyone else thought and what people did to jazz the recipe up a bit.

Thanks Marthe for picking the recipe this week and introducing me to couscous!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CEIMB: No Post this week :(

This week's recipe of Lamb Stew with Orange was chosen by Confessions of a Novice Baker. While, I am sure this dish is lovely, I just couldn't force myself to make it - mostly because I am just not a lamb eater! Check out all the CEIMB blogs to see what others thought of this recipe.
And for the record, I have not been completely lazy this week. Last night I cooked filets with blue cheese butter. The blue cheese butter made the steaks (which I just seared on the stove, and then finished them off in the oven/ broiler). No pictures of the steak because by the time it was ready I was starving... literally. For dessert, I made a pear tarte...crisp...giant danish?? I have no idea what to call this creation. And, it really was a creation as there was no recipe involved.
For the filling, I used cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, vanilla powder, orange marmalade and a dash of sugar. I topped a piece of puff pastry with the filling, covered with slices of fresh pears, and then topped with a sprinkle of sugar and some more orange marmalade. It was delicious!
Pre-baking (and also pre-marmalade and sugar topping)

A slice of the finished product!

Friday, April 10, 2009

CEIMB: Salmon with Sweet and Spicy (burned brown sugar) Rub

I'm very late posting this week due to a hectic week of birthday celebrations (happy birthday to me!), travel and going to see Wicked (again)! But, I finally had time to cook last night!

This week's recipe of salmon with sweet and spicy rub was chosen by Pam of Lobsters and Fishsticks. This was the first time I have ever cooked salmon. Salmon is one of those fish that I always thought was too fishy and therefore, would never order it out, much less cook it! Well, after reading what everyone had to say about the recipe and how this fish was not fishy with the rub, I decided to give it a go! Besides, who doesn't love when dinner is ready in about 5 minutes flat! Granted, the quick cooking time was a result of letting my pan get WAY TOO HOT! Hence, the slightly (ok, very charred) sugar on top of the fish. I definitely lost some of the rub's flavor with the charring, but thought that the fish turned out great! It was a very satisfying meal and definitely felt healthy! I really liked the flavor of the rub and I will definitely make this again. Next time will try to refrain from burning the heck out of the poor piece of fish!

Thanks Pam for picking a great weeknight recipe! Oh, and side note -- if you have never seen Wicked, you should definitely try to catch the show while its on its second national tour! I saw it 3 years ago in Atlanta and it was even better the second time around!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CEIMB: Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

This week's recipe was chosen by You Eat Now and it was so good! I guess I first have to admit that I LOVE hot wings! I love hot wings so much that once my friend Laura and I went to Hooters one Friday after work to get wings! Seriously, its an obsession. I used to make hot wings all the time. Not so much anymore though because they are SO UNHEALTHY, plus I really have to stay away from fried food.

So, this recipe was the perfect thing to satisfy the void in my life left by the loss of my dear friend Hot Wings.
I followed the recipe except for substituting red wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar. I must admit, I was a little bit skeptical about the blue cheese dressing. Not only am I a lover of hot wings, but I also love blue cheese dressing. Every now and again I splurge and get blue cheese on a salad or can even be found eating strait blue cheese!
After mixing up the dressing, I thought it was very "yogurty". All that yummy blue cheese and all I could taste was the durn yogurt. Side note, have you all bought more plain yogurt since joining the CEIMB blog than you had previously bought in your whole life?? Maybe its just me. I love yogurt, but I always buy flavored yogurt. Plain yogurt = blah!
Anyways, back to the dressing. I was skeptical. Well once the chicken was marinated in hot sauce (yum), broiled and added to the delish salad with lots of celery, I definitely couldn't taste as much of the yogurt in the dressing. In fact, I thought the combination was just plain fabulous! I will definitely be making this recipe again!