Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fresh Natural Chili Recipe

Created this chili recipe using only real foods it makes a good size pot, great to take for lunch and a couple of dinners thru the week.

Fresh Natural Chili

4 C Pinto Beans Raw
1 lbs Hamburger
1 Bell Green Bell Pepper (Diced)
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic (Minced)
4 Roma Tomatoes Fresh (Pureed)
4 Roma Tomatoes Fresh (Diced)
4 Serrano Chilies Fresh (Diced)
2 Tbs Salt Plus some for boiling beans
3 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Cumon
2 tsp Pepper
5 C Chicken Stock

    In Large pot add beans, fill pot with water and add some salt. Cover and cook on med/high heat for 2 hours. Strain beans and set aside, in large pot brown hamburger. Stir all the remaining ingredients into the pot with the cooked hamburger, bring to a boil and cook for ½ hour. Last add the 5 cups chicken stock, stir and let cook on med heat for 1 hour.

This recipe takes a good amount of time to prepare, thats why its great to make the full batch. Have it ready for meals for a couple days thru the week. I also used all fresh ingredients for my diet to avoid any processed sugars and other added chemicals. If you have a great brand of canned beans or any other ingredient you would like to use just substitute them to speed up the process.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Day 57
15 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

The Safeway grocery store I work at had scallops in the ad for 5 dollars a pound, after some confusion I walked away with 2 pounds for $3.42 don’t ask me how. I wanted to make something with them. Thinking back the most amazing dish I can remember with scallops is a fettuccine alfredo from a little steak house near by called the broiler. I figured I will kick it up a little by trying to replicate their dish with some extra added seafood.

Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo
¼ Cup Butter
1 ½ Cup Heavy Cream
¾ Pound shredded Parmesan
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic minced
¼ Cup onion minced

½ Pound Clams
½ Pound Mussels
¾ Pound Baby scallops
½ Pound Shrimp (I used 26-30 Count)

1 Box Fettuccine Pasta

In Large saucepan add butter, garlic, and onion let cook on med high heat until onion turns translucent. Add the Clams, Mussels, and Shrimp cover and let sit for 6-7 min. As that sits start your fettuccine noodles boiling in some salt water. After the 6-7 min open the pot, the clams and mussels should have opened up. Pour in the heavy cream and salt, give it a few stirs and let it heat until it just starts to boil. Add the parmesan cheese and scallops, stir until the cheese has all melted and you have a creamy looking sauce. Continue stirring every min for about 5-6 min then turn to low and let sit uncovered. Strain the noodles when finished, place a few noodles on a plate. Top with a nice amount of the seafood and alfredo sauce. Serve right away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spicy Chicken Strip Recipe

Day 43
14 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

I told myself I would not eat fast food for a year and I am sticking to that. On occasion I have a little deli food, I want to cut that out to. This does not mean I am eating very healthy it just means I have to fix everything myself, cutting out most preservatives, extra sugars, and chemicals. Since the beginning of the year just cutting fast food out I have lost 45 pounds. But I do have the cravings sometimes for KFC. The following recipe is of a slightly spicy chicken strips recipe I came up with as I was trying to copy their recipe.

Spicy Chicken Strips

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Cut into 1/3 inch thick strips diagonally across the grain)
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 ¾ Cup Buttermilk
1 Tbs Cayenne Pepper
2 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbs Baking powder
2 Tsp Oragano
Enough oil to deep fry in

In large bowl add all ingredients except chicken, mix until you have a thin paste. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, add to the mix. Stir the chicken in until it is completely coated. Bring the oil up to 325 degrees, with tongs add coated chicken strips one at a time making sure not to overcrowd the fryer. Fry for 5-6 min until nice and golden brown, remove and place on a paper towel.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Polenta Recipe

Day 25
14 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

I am back sorry I was not feeling very good for a few days and did not want to focus on anything other than work and sleep. For this recipe I am making polenta, II never heard of polenta before a couple of years ago. It is a very simple dish to make and can be prepared hundreds of ways or just eaten as is. It's also a good dish if you are looking to save some money in the following recipe I use chicken stock but you can use any stock you would like or even just water.

Polenta was originally an Italian word, coming from the Latin for crushed grain. Until the 16th century when corn was introduced to Europe barley-meal and other grains were used for the dish. It was and still is classified as a peasant food. It was often served topped with a sauce, in the 1940's and 1950's it as eaten with just a little anchovy or herring.

Basic Polenta Recipe
6 Cups chicken stock
2 Cups yellow cornmeal
2 tsp Salt
3 Tbs Butter

In large pot add chicken stock and salt and bring to a boil. As soon as water begins to boil slowly add cornmeal making sure to stir constantly, once all the cornmeal is in continue to stir. It should begin to get thick within seconds, continue to stir until you can move your spoon across the bottom and it takes a few sec to fill back in. At this point add butter stir until melted and mixed in completely. Quickly transfer the polenta mix to a buttered dish of sort, it will take the shape of this dish I use a glass pie pan. Let cool for several hours if you would like to cut.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Takeing a few days off to rest

Day 22
13 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

I am starting to catch a cold or something, I am going to take a few days off from posting and get some rest. I will have a new Post by sat night. Check back for the new post. Also check my website and my facebook page Here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Creamed Spinach Recipe

Day 20
13 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

After yesterdays article on spinach I realized I really like learning about the history of food. It is safe to say I will be doing more articles in the near future. I could not help my self from making a spinach dish after all the research yesterday. Cream spinach is one of my favorite sides, unfortunately most places do not serve it.

Creamed Spinach
2 10oz packages chopped spinach
8oz sour cream
2 Tbs butter
1/2 Pound Cheddar Cheese
½ Cup Shredded Parmesan
3 Tbs Minced Onion
1 Tbs Minced Garlic

In med size pot on med high heat add chopped spinach, Onion, Garlic, and butter stir until onions become soft and transparent. Add sour cream and both cheeses, continue to stirring until all the cheese has melted. Serve hot, goes great with steak

If you have any questions or would like to share your recipe please share it in the comments bellow.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Article on Spinach

Day 19
12 Recipes
2 Projects in Progress
1 Restaurant Review
1 Ingredient Article

    I been wanting to learn a little more about the food I eat then just cooking with it. So once or twice a week I plan on giving a break to cooking and focus on researching and learning about different ingredients. I am focusing on spinach this time as its a ingredient I use quite often. 


Spinach was first referenced in persia about 226-640 A.D. and was first documented in 647 A.D. as it was introduced to China from Nepal. It was called and still referred to as the "Persian Green." By the 13th century spinach was used throughout the Mediterranean, by the 15th century it had become a major part of the diet in Mediterranean countries. It picked up its popularity quickly due to it being harvested in early spring when many other vegetables where hard to come by.
 Spinach comes in 3 variety Savoy, Semi-Savoy and Flat Leafed. Spinach true name is (spinacea oleracia) and grows best in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, some varieties can extend into the summer and winter seasons.
Savoy Spinach grows quickly and can take cold better than most types. It has very crinkled leaves that makes cleaning the leaves difficult. A couple types of savoy spinach are Regiment and Bloomsdale.
Semi-Savoy Spinach are usually the best choice to grow at home they have a better disease resistance, the leaves are less crinkly, therefor wash better. The three types of
Semi-Savoy Spinach are Tyee, Catalina, and Teton.
Smooth-Leaf Spinach are the most popular for processed spinach for there flat leaves are easier to clean. The types of smooth-leafed spinach are Space, and Red Cardinal.

     Buying, Storing and Preparing Spinach
When your buying spinach look for crisp, Fresh and green leaves. Try to avoid any spinach that looks like it has insect damage or wilting. Best time to buy is in Spring, Summer and Fall.
You can store spinach by loosely wrapping it is a damp paper towel and placing in fridge for up to 5 days.
There are countless ways to preparing spinach, before you start any of them you should wash the leaves under cold water and remove any excess moisture before serving or cooking.

Spinach is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. It is a great source for niacin, Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Protein along with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, Spinach is also is a very good source for calcium, Iron Magnesium and Potassium. The only down fall is it is High in Sodium.

A few fun facts about spinach
1. It grows very quickly, it can be harvested and eaten within 37 to 45 days.
2. California and Texas produce the most spinach in the United States.
3. Popeye was created do to a German scientist misplacing a decimal point in the spinach's iron content making it 10 times higher than it should have been. The mistake was not found for 60 years.


If you have any questions or would like to give me your input please share it in the comments bellow.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Day 18
12 Recipes
2 Projects in progress
1 Restaurant Review

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone out there.  If you could not guess today I am making corned beef and cabbage. I love this dish so much I stock up on corned beef when its on sell and freeze it so I can have it later in the year.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
1 Corned Beef 3-5 Pounds
6 Large Carrots
6 Red Potatoes (All about the same size)
1 small yellow onion
1 head green cabbage

In a large pot add corned beef and seasoning packet that comes with it. Fill with water to top of pot, bring to a boil and cover for 2 hours. Peel carrots and slice into 1 ½ inch pieces, slice a little bit off two ends of each potato, Slice the onion into large chunks. After the 2 hours add the onion, carrots and potatoes to pot. Turn to med heat and cover back up for 1 hour. Cut cabbage into 4 pieces, add to pot for 15 min. Remove corn beef, slice and serve with a little of each vegetables on a plate.

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If you have a different recipe or would like to give me your input please share it in the comments bellow.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pigs in a Blanket Recipe

Day 17
11 Recipes
2 Projects in progress
1 Restaurant Review

I am going to keep the recipes simple for the next couple of days. Today I am doing pigs in a blanket, a recipe that most of you know or think you know. If you are anything like my friends you each have your own way to make them. I have heard of hot dogs wrapped in croissants, sausage in pancakes, even little smokey's wrapped in biscuits. I am not going to say any of those ideas are wrong …. Wait, yes I am! The true way is to make them with sausage and biscuits.

Pigs in a Blanket
2 Packages 8 ct Farmer johns pork sausage
1 Pack Pillsbury jumbo biscuits

In frying pan cook the sausage until it has a nice golden brown coat. Open the biscuits and cut each biscuit in half. Flatten one of the halves with your hands and wrap around a cooked sausage link and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all biscuits and sausage are done and bake for 10 - 15 min at 350, once biscuit's are light brown remove and place on plate to cool. Goes great with honey mustard dipping sauce.

You can switch out the sausage and biscuits for your favorite types.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shrimp Won Ton Soup Recipe

Day 16
10 Recipes Completed
2 Projects in progress
1 Restaurant Review 

When I was a kid, I would always want to go to Hong Kong restaurant. A little chinese food place in Lakeport CA near where I had grew up. I don’t remember much of what I ate, except 2 dish’s stand out in my memory one was pot stickers, the other won ton soup. As a kid I don’t think I even cared that much of the soup, I was more excited to use one of those big Chinese soup spoons.. Now that its years later I have learned to also enjoy the soup it’s self.  It is a simple recipe, and healthy.

Shrimp Won ton Soup

Won ton’s
½ Pound raw Shrimp
1 Large Carrot
2 Cups napa cabbage
¼ Cup soy sauce
Won ton Wrappers

10 Cups Chicken stock
1 Bok Choy
2 Large Carrots
salt to taste

Add Chicken stock to large pot, Slice bok choy into med strips across the leaves and stems. Chop all the carrots into small squares, place ⅔ of the carrot and the bok choy in pot with the stock. Cover and turn to med high heat. Remove any skin and tail from shrimp and chop into small pieces. Chop napa cabbage into small pieces. In large bowl mix the shrimp, remaining carrots, cabbage and soy sauce. Place about 1 spoonful of the shrimp mixture on each won ton wrapper and fold.
When soup begins to boil, drop in won tons. Do not over crowd pot with to many boil for about 7 min and serve.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Restaurant Review: Sausalito Bakery and Cafe

Day 15
9 Recipes Completed
2 Projects in progress
1 Restaurant Review

On my way home from San Francisco, CA, I thought it would be nice to stop and get something to eat. Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fransisco is the water front community of Sausalito, a town world renown for its food; so you understand picking a place to eat was difficult. With over twenty restaurants in walking distance of downtown, I asked a few of the locals what they recommend. My choice was made. I went to Sausalito Bakery and Cafe, a small restaurant right on the seaside strand in the heart of town.
    As you walk through the doors, you are instantly greeted and taken away by its peaceful and private atmosphere. The lighting was dimmed down, letting the natural light from the sun shine through the front windows. And the tables placed in there own hollows in the back walls gave for a very private and romantic vibe.
   The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. I was able to meet with Fariba Azar, the owner of the cafe, who has been running the restaurant for over 10 years. She had a few recommendations. It was hard to choose, everything looked great. I went with the meat lasagna with a slice of their uniquely made bread pudding. I loved the serving style. Almost everything is prepared and displayed in their cases, so you can have more of a visual as you choose. You place your order and sit down as they prepare your dish and bring it to your table. 

     The lasagna was served piping hot, on a hot plate placed on a square plate for a nice artistic touch, with 2 slices of that famous San Francisco sourdough bread. Everything is made right there in the bakery from scratch using only local fresh ingredients. The lasagna was great with several layers of delicious homemade noodles and sausage, topped with extra feta and mozzarella cheese. The addition of a few Kalamata olives gave the perfect touch to this dish. The bread pudding is the other dish they served. Standing about 5 ½ inches tall was their moist homemade bread pudding topped with hot blueberries and a scoop of fresh whipped and chilled cream. Delivering the perfect combination to end a great meal.
       Don’t think that what I got is all they have, they have a little something for everyone with several vegetarian meals including lasagna and other pastas. Along with pastries and cookies of all types to fresh made drinks and shakes. So whether you are wanting to sit down for a whole meal or just grab something sweet on your way through or sit outside and enjoy the ocean view, Sausalito Bakery and Cafe have something for everyone.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spanish Rice Recipe

Day 14
9 Recipes Completed
2 Projects in progress

Did not get to a post yesterday for anyone that is following. Went to San Francisco for the day, I did review a nice little bakery in Sausalito, so check that out in tomorrows post. Today I am sharing my recipe for Spanish rice, it is really simple and works great as a side for almost any Mexican dish.

Spanish Rice

2 Cups Rice
½ Cup oil
2 Cups Chicken Stock
½ Cup water
3 Tbs Chopped Onion
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Jalapeno (Minced)
3 oz Tomato Paste

Heat oil up in pan on med high heat, add rice to hot oil and stir until rice turns bright white. Strain out oil add rice back to pan with chicken stock, water, onion, garlic, tomato paste and jalapeno. Stir once and cover, reduce heat to med low for about 30-40 min until all liquid is gone. Fluff with fork and serve.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicken Tacos

Day 12
8 Recipes Completed
2 Projects in progress

Not much to explain here, we all know of tacos. I created this dish as a way to use up some extra salsa I had. It turned out so moist and flavorful that every time I make my salsa I put some aside for this tacos. The recipe is not very complex and is more about what you have sitting around so don’t worry if you need to modify it a little.

1 Pound boiled Chicken meat (I use the thighs but any meat is fine just make sure bones are removed)
1 ½ Cups Salsa Quemada (This salsa is my choice as it has a perfect blend of spice and freshness)
1 Tbs Fresh crushed oregano
1 tsp Chile flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbs olive oil

Greens (I used spinach)
Avocado Cut into thin strips

And tortillas (I highly recommend the la tortilla factory hand made style white corn tortillas)

In skillet heat up oil on med high heat. Toss in chicken, chili flakes, cumin, oregano and ¾ cup Salsa. Fry for about 5 min, stirring until most of the moisture from the salsa is gone. Add the remaining ¾ cup of salsa, mix for a min or two to make sure it is hot then place on warm tortillas add your choice of toppings. Makes about 8 tacos.

Hope you enjoy,

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