Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trying New Things

Last week I stumbled on a recipe blog that I REALLY like. It is called "The Cozy Apron". The recipes all sound SO good and are worth scrolling through the long narratives to get to them. Thankfully you can go right to a recipe index and zoom in on the things that really sound good to you.  I saw two that really spoke to me because I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand and begging to be used. I HIGHLY recommend these recipes. They are delicious, fairly easy to prepare and perfect for the Fall and Thanksgiving season. Click on the recipe titles to be magically transported to the full recipes! The first recipe I tried was Autumn Lasagna with Creamy Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic sauce with Sage Seasoned Ground Turkey, Spinach and Mozzarella Cheese. It's a mouthful I know but so delicious!

Actually, now that I think about it, I may have forgotten to add the sage. Oh well, it was still really good. The squash sauce was so good I ate the extra the next day like a really thick soup. MMMMM! husband, true to form and fearing that which is not familiar, poo-pooed it at first but was quickly converted to a lover of this dish in one bite. My only disappointment was that the fresh lasagna sheets that I bought during my last trip to NYC had molded so I had to use the dried boxed stuff for this preparation. Never fear for I shall return to Little Italy and make this again with the good fresh stuff. I

The second Recipe I tried was Golden Torn Bread Dressing with Four Cheeses and Spicy Italian Sausage. I was planning on roasting a chicken so it seemed like the perfect time to try it. Look how yummy this looks!

I pretty much stuck to the recipe as is but I did add a small finely chopped carrot to the vegetable mix. I like carrots. I also did not make the cream gravy, opting to make a simple pan gravy since, by than time, I had already been cooking for half of the day, LOL! WOW, it was good! So good that I have decided to make it again for Thanksgiving instead of the traditional boxed stuff that everyone loves so much. This recipe makes quite a lot so be sure to invite friends and family over to partake in it! Enjoy!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cabbages Cabbages YUM, YUM, YUM; Cabbages Cabbages GIMMIE SOME!

So, my final CSA share came with a HUMONGOUS cabbage in it. I LOVE cabbage although nobody else in my house does. Well, I aim to change that! First I made soup, oh lord did I make soup! About 2 or so gallons to be exact and I STILL had cabbage left! Then I made some Caramelized Cabbage with Speck over Cheesy Polenta and I STILL have cabbage left! That last bit i indent to use to make the polenta again because it was just that good! Comfort food at it's finest and perfect for a chilly Fall afternoon. I think you should try them both!

Erika's Fall Cabbage Soup for a Crowd

2-3 Tbs oil (vegetable, olive, whatever)
2-3 lbs Sweet Italian Sausage, crumbled
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 large cloves garlic
4 large celery stalks, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
3 large cans tomato puree
1 bottle apple juice (medium sized)
1 head cabbage chopped
1 pound carrots, sliced thin
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
Salt to taste

Saute sausage, onion, garlic, celery and pepper until sausage is cooked and vegetables are soft. Add tomato puree and apple juice and bring to a simmer. Add cabbage, carrots and Italian seasoning and allow to simmer, covered, until cabbage is soft. Salt to taste.

This tastes even better the second day!

Caramelized Cabbage with Speck over Cheesy Polenta

2 Tbs oil
4-5 slices speck, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch dried rosemary
2 Cups chopped cabbage
2 Tbs white wine
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 C polenta
2 Tbs butter
1 Cup chicken broth
1 Cup half and half
2-3 oz cheese (I used cheddar and Gruyere), grated
Salt to taste

For the Cabbage

Heat the oil in a wide, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the speck, garlic and rosemary and saute until the speck is crispy and the garlic is soft. Add the cabbage, and wine and toss to coat thoroughly. Continue sauteing until cabbage begins to caramelize, adding a little more white wine whenever the cabbage seems too dry. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl over polenta.
For the Polenta

Add butter and chicken broth to a stock pot and heat to a boil. Add polenta and half and half and reduce heat to a simmer stirring constantly until polenta it soft. Stir in cheese(s). Salt to taste


Thursday, October 31, 2013


So next week is the last CSA pick up. WAAAH! Oh, how I will miss those glorious fresh organic veggies every week. In fact, last week I bought tomatoes for the first time in months! It felt strange to say the least. This weeks (and last weeks) share we were gifted with stalks of brussel sprouts. Such a strange looking veggie. Now, I am still on the fence when it comes to these things. I WANT to like them. They look like little cabbages and I adore cabbage, so why do I find it so hard to like these? My mother makes them every Thanksgiving and try as I might I can't seem to get past the bitterness. Well, let me tell you these sprouts were NOTHING like my mothers! First of all they were very small, maybe the diameter of a dime with the larger ones at about quarter size. Size must matter because they were not bitter like I remember my mothers giant Thanksgiving brussel sprouts to be. Because they came straight from the farm, I  soaked them overnight in cold water with a splash of cider vinegar. I am not sure if the vinegar did anything or not but it sure smelled good. Then I boiled them in salted water until they looked done and drained them in a colander. While they were draining I made a quick sauce using a half a block of reduced fat cream cheese, about 1/4 of a container of sour cream and maybe a half cup of milk. I melted this all together over very low heat in a saucepan and added most of a packet of ranch dressing mix - not all of it. I didn't want it too salty. Then I returned the brussel sprouts too the pan and stirred it all together. It was rich but really, really good! In the future I think an addition of crumbled bacon would really elevate this dish to another level. But, I have to say it went well, as is, with last nights meatloaf.

Brussel Sprouts in Creamy Ranch Sauce

2-3 cups small brussel sprouts
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3Tbs salt
4 oz cream cheese (reduced fat will work)
1/2 cup sour cream
half cup milk (any fat content is ok)
1 package ranch dressing mix
Cooked crumbled bacon (optional)

Place Brussel sprouts in a large non-reactive bowl and cover with water. Add cider vinegar, weigh brussel sprouts down with a plate and soak overnight.
Drain and transfer to a medium sized saucepan. Add water to cover and salt.
Boiled them in salted water until tender and drain.
Return saucepan to stove and over low heat combine cream cheese, sour cream and milk. Stir frequently until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Add ranch dressing mix in increments, tasting for desired level of seasoning..
Return brussel sprouts to the pan and stir to combine.
Add crumbled bacon if desired.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tomato, Tomato, Tomato!

Between the delicious big boys coming from the CSA and what i am getting from my own garden, I am once again inundated with tomatoes! It's not a bad situation to be in by any means! I think I will be bringing out the canning supplies any day now! YAY! In the meantime, I have been cooking with those bad boys as much as possible. This weekend was a new experiment that was an instant hit....French Tomato Tart! YUM! The recipe called for goat cheese, which I didn't have, so I subbed with fresh mozzarella. I think a well drained ricotta or farmers cheese would also work superbly! I plan on making this tart a few more times and experiment with it since it seems so variable and adaptable. I recommend you try it while to big red beauties are in season!

French Tomato Tart

1 unbaked pie crust (store bought or homemade)
One unbaked tart dough (see recipe, below)
1 Tablespoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon mayonnaise 
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
8 ounces (250 g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
1 1/2 tablespoons quality honey
Preheat oven to 425 F
Line the bottom of a tart pan with the pie dough
Mix mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Spread an even layer of mustard/mayo mixture over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with the honey.

Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Tomato Time

That's right folks! The tomatoes are starting to come in! I have been getting large ones from my CSA for the past few weeks and now the cherry tomatoes in my garden are ripening like crazy! So last night I tried an new recipe and it was GOOD! Of course the husband turned his nose up at first - he fears the unknown - only to proclaim it's deliciousness after the meal was done. MEN! LOL! My step daughter said I had to make this every time she came over for dinner. LOL! So here it is: Balsamic roasted tomatoes with spinach, prosciutto and mozzarella!

Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes with Spinach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella

 2-3 ripe summer tomatoes, sliced into thick rounds
Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Frozen or fresh spinach, chopped (squeezed dry if frozen)
2-3 thin slices of prosciutto
Fresh mozzarella, sliced

Pre heat oven to 400 F

Marinate tomato slices in the balsamic vinegar for at least 30 minutes
Lay tomato slices in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet
Pour vinegar marinade over tomatoes
roast for 20 minutes
Remove from oven and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning
Top with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella
Return to oven and roast another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melter and starts to brown (You can use broiler to brown cheese as well)


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Eggplant are Here!

I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I was to arrive for my CSA pick up and find that the eggplant had produce faster than anticipated in the sweltering heat we have here in Connecticut! YIPPEE!!! Why am I so excited you ask?? Because in that basket were a bounty of Japanese eggplant! The absolute most necessary ingredient when making Mamma Agata's Eggplant Parmesan a.k.a. the greatest stuff on earth! I had the good fortune to attend her cooking school while vacationing in Italy last year. It seriously was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Worth every darn penny! As part of that experience she shared with us her recipe and preparation tips for her eggplant Parmesan. While I can't divulge her recipe - you will have to buy her cookbook for that! I can give you a few secrets. The first and foremost being that Japanese eggplants are a MUST! They are long and skinny and have better flavor and texture and less water. Second tip, go sparing on the sauce! Unless, of course, you WANT a soggy mess. Third tip, and this is a no brainer - always use the freshest high quality ingredients that you can find, within your budget (Hey, I work for a living too). And for your viewing pleasure I do have photos of my magnificent and oh so delicious eggplant that I will post next week!

Chiara (Mamma Agata's daughter) Presents the Eggplant Parmesan Ready for Baking! And here is mine (wish I had that lovely deep glass baking dish of hers)!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Damn this July 4th holiday was a sizzler! I mean HOT - mid90's and HUMID! Lucky for me my brother has a little pool that is perfect for cooling down. Especially since our central air shit the bed (GRRRR). We had a great holiday and hope you all did too. I cooked up a storm for our little party but by far these spicy sausage balls we the biggest hit. Hubby said they were "gangsta". I am not quite sure what that means but it must be good because he asked me to make them again on Sunday! LOL!

Spicy Sausage Balls

3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick or Jiffy)
1 pound uncooked Hot Italian Sausage
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can fire roasted diced green chiles
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Allow sausage and cheese to sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before preparing.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine sausage and biscuit mix, using hands or a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Once ingredients are combined, add cheeses, chiles, milk and spices. Mix well with hands until completely combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop or a heaping teaspoon, portion mixture and shape into balls, about 1” in size. Place them on parchment paper.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce (marinara, ranch, even enchilada) for dipping. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A New Take on Pasta

So, I subscribed to the Gourmet Food Box via, the Fancy. It is actually pretty good and thus far I have been pretty happy with it. Basically, they charge you $40 a month (plus s&h) and every month they ship you a box of gourmet food samples. Now, unlike other similar deals, when I say samples, it is actually a full sized product. Generally the retail value of the stuff in the box exceeds the $40 (plus s&h). What's cool about it is that it is full of random items that either are not available to me locally or are somewhat strange and probably not something I would buy if left to my own devices. BUT now I get to play with my food. On my first delivery, I had a jar that was damaged and the seal had broken so I could not use it. It was a butternut squash pasta sauce. I contacted Fancy and since they could not replace the item, they gave me a $10 gift card. I understand they have limited quantities of products but damn that sauce smelled good and I REALLY wanted to try it. So, I wrote down the ingredients on the jar and made my own version. It was delicious! So good that I wanted to drink it! Try it, I think you will like it too!

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

1 butternut squash
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
2-4 cloves garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1 jar roasted red peppers (about 12 oz)
1 can tomato paste
1 can chicken broth
3/4 c light cream
a few sprigs fresh parsley and basil
salt to taste

Halve squash and remove seeds.
Roast in a 350 degree oven until flesh is soft
While squash in roasting, mince onion, celery and garlic and saute in sauce pot with olive oil until soft
Add flesh of the squash, peppers, tomato paste,chicken broth and fresh herbs to the pot.
Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
Add cream and salt to taste.
Let simmer a few minutes and serve with pasta.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Heat Is ON!

It is the first week of June and we have already had our first official heat wave! Let me tell you the past few days have been BRUTAL! To top it all off I had to attend a wedding AND bring a dish! Thankfully the bride requested that I make a pasta salad so the only real cooking I had to do was boil the noodles (Thank Goodness!). Now, I new the wedding day was going to be 90+ degrees and I would be riding my motorcycle down so absolutely no mayo would be going into this salad. I also new I was going to make a LOT so I had to keep it in budget too. I decided to try out a new recipe and I really liked it a lot - Southwestern Pasta Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love fresh veggies and the the dressing made for a tasty, yet light and refreshing salad. I don't know how everyone else liked it but I don't really care either! I ate a ton of it! LOL!

Southwestern Pasta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

2 boxes Orzo Pasta
sea or Kosher salt


3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cayenne/red pepper (or more)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 small red onion, diced
2 cans sweet corn kernels, lightly steamed
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions in plenty of salted water to al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking make the dressing: whisk oil, lime juice, honey, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, salt and pepper together. Taste and tweak if needed. Cover and store in refrigerator.

3. Drain pasta and rinse to cool. (TIP: I like to put the onions in the colander and drain the pasta over them to blanch them quickly and remove some of their bite.) Add to a large mixing bowl along with the onion, corn, beans and tomatoes. Add dressing and combine well. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Store tightly covered in refrigerator; toss well before serving.

Monday, May 20, 2013

And now for something completely different

Lot's of graduations this weekend. While I am proud of the many graduates, I also am feeling a little sorry for them as getting on a career path these days is nearly impossible. But hard work and tenacity will pay off in the long run so good luck. Although I missed the many graduation celebrations I did manage to prepare these Seafood Salad Filled Cucumber Cup appetizers for some friends. The whole chip and dip thing gets so tired so I wanted to try something new. I was worried though, because I really do not enjoy seafood at all so I didn't know if these would taste good to others or not. I tried to taste it myself but, seriously, I do not care for seafood. I am happy to say that they were very well received and people were texting me for the recipe. So, before I forget, here is my best recollection of what I did. LOL!

Seafood Salad in Cucumber Cups

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound bay scallops
1 can crab meat (I used claw meat)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lemon
1Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 C minced vidalia onion
1/4 finely chopped celery
1 Tbs dijon Mustard
1/2 C mayo
1 tsp celery salt
1-2 Tbs dried tarragon
handful of chopped fresh parsley

3 english cucumbers

Preheat oven to 400. Toss shrimp and scallops in olive oil and juice from 1/2 of the lemon. Spread on a baking sheet and roast 5-8 minutes or until opaque. Let cool.

When the shrimp and scallops are cool place in a food processor, with all of the pan juices, and pulse until chopped. Be careful not to overdo it. Mix with remaining ingredients and the juice from the remaining half of lemon. Refrigerate overnight

Slice cucumbers thickly (about 2 inches). Use a melon baller to scoop out flesh leaving some at bottom and along sides. Fill cups with seafood salad and serve.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You Can Never Have Enough!

Meatloaf that is! This variation was inspired by a delicious looking recipe I saw on the blog Bite by Michelle. I had gone to Arthur Avenue with my girlies and stocked up on all sorts of Italian specialties including some HOT Italian sausage. Now, when I went to use the sausage it looked and smelled VERY spicy. For those of you that know me or read this blog much, my hubs has quite the tender palate. He will eat spicy foods but they have to be very sissy versions for him to enjoy. I took one look at this sausage and knew he wouldn't enjoy it. I remembered Michelle's meatloaf and said, "A-HA", I can tweak that to use this sausage. Thankfully, it all worked out and, even though the meatloaf was still a bit spicy, it was tame enough for everyone to enjoy. Success!

My Modified Michelle's Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh good quality bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bloody Mary mix
1/2 cup dry white wine
large bunch fresh basil leaves
6-10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a large mixing bowl combine ground meats with eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, garlic, juice, wine and seasonings

Place mixture on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.

Pat mixture out onto a large rectangle about 2 inches thick

Sprinkle meat with sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves and 3/4 of mozzarella.

Roll up jelly-roll style and pat ends to seal shut

Roast 1 hour

Top with remaining mozzarella cheese until melted

Let sit 10 minutes before slicing

Serve with marinara sauce

For the record, the leftovers made awesome sandwiches the next day!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lidia Bastianch Inspired Dinner

I have to admit that I love the way Lidia Bastianich cooks. Every now and then I catch her show "Italy in America" on public television and she always is cooking something right up my alley. A few weeks ago it was a chicken with prosciutto any provolone cheese that looked divine! Now, I had already missed the first part of the show so I didn't get the entire recipe but after a pretty exhaustive search on the Internet I was able to find it. I am not sure if my cooking method is exactly the way she did it since she was at the last few steps when I started watching but all I can say is that it came out SO good! Cooking the chicken with the fresh herbs in place imparts a lovely flavor that is really quite tasty. One thing I did realize is that smoked provolone is sure hard to find in my area! I even went to Manhattan and couldn't find it! BUT... regular provolone didn't disappoint so if you can't find smoked, don't sweat it. I will continue my search and am sure I will get my hands on some eventually and will let you know how it compares. So for now, be assured that this recipe, even without the smoked cheese, is quick and easy to prepare for a delicious weeknight meal and is sure to please. I think I served it with a side of fresh green beans. It was delightful.

Lidia Batianch's Chicken with Smokey Provola

2 chicken breast halves (I like to fillet mine into 2 or 3 cutlets rather than Pound them out)
8-10 fresh basil leaves
6-8 slices prosciutto
6-8 slices smoked provolone cheese
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 C sweet Marsala
1/4 C white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet
Place basil leaves on the chicken cutlets and cover with slices of prosciutto
Place chicken, prosciutto side down, in skillet and allow to brown
Carefully turn over chicken ans brown other side - Use tongs to keep herbs and prosciutto in place
Remove from skillet as set aside
Deglaze pans with wines and return chicken to skillet, prosciutto side up
Place provolone on top of prosciutto and cover pan.
Cook until provolone is melted and chicken is cooked through
Remove chicken and simmer pan liquids to desires consistency. Pour pan liquids over chicken to serve.
Salt and pepper to taste

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Breakfast

OK, I have been meaning to make a pot of green chili for a LONG time now. I LOVE this stuff, like mad crazy! The catch is that since moving back to New England you cannot find it ANYWHERE! The only option is to make it yourself! Traditiona chili verde calls for pork but I wanted to try a little something new (partially because this may be an entry for the Hood Cook-off this year). My local butcher (Westchester Market in Colchester, CT) makes all sorts of sausage varieties in their top notch meat department. One of my favorites is a spicy chipotle version. I thought this would be great in chili verde and I was not disappointed. This recipe makes a HUGE pot of the stuff and is great for smothering just about anything or eating straight out of the bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some warm tortillas. I shared it with my brother and his girlfriend over breakfast burritos Superbowl Sunday morning. We all were literally grunting with joy while we scarfed it all down.

Breakfast Burritos Smothered in Chipotle Chili Verde
Chipotle Sausage Chili Verde
3 lbs Chipotle Sausage
1 large white onion, diced
4 medium-large anaheim peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 medium-large poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 cans Kuners Black Beans with Chili Spices (undrained)
1 can Kuners Diced Tomatoes with Chili Spices
2 cans Rotel Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro
2 cants Rotel Tomatoes (Traditional) any heat level you like (I used 1 mild and 1 regular)
5 small cans prepared salsa verde ( I think mine were 7oz cans)
1 box chicken stock
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
2-4 Tbs Masa Harina
Sour Cream
Remove sausage from casings and add to you largest stock pot with chopped onion. Saute until sausage is browned and onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro and masa harina. Let simmer on low heat until sausage is tender. If chili it very watery, in a small bowl combine masa with warm water to form a thick slurry. Turn up heat on chili and add masa slurry to thicken to desired consistency. Add cilantro and serve with a dollop of sour cream!
Breakfast Burritos
1 lb breakfast sausage
1/2 lb parboiled white potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
8 large eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk
4 flour tortillas
4 cups chili verde (heated)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
OPTIONAL: Shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, sour cream, avocado slices
In a large frying pan saute onion, potato and sausage together until sausage and potato are browned and onion is soft. Add egg mixture and continue to saute until egg is cooked. Place cooked egg mixture into flour tortilla and roll into burritos. Pour hot chili verde over burrito, top with cheddar cheese and place under broiler or in a hot over to melt cheese. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and avocado if desired. Enjoy!

Don't bury me, I'm not dead yet!

LOL! I am here! So sorry to have been away. Again, life gets crazy sometimes. On top of that I have been observing a low carb diet in order to shed some pounds so my cooking hasn't been all that interesting. I do have some recipes to share though, and hope to catch up soon. I even have a picture or two! WHOA! First and foremost is my chicken enchilada stuffed peppers. I adore Mexican food so I had to come up with something that would deliver the flavors I crave in a low carb package. I came up with this and I have to say that it satisfied my every craving!

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
(Serves 2)

1 Tbs olive oil
1 red bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and diced
1/4 c chopped onion
1 small can diced green chilies
1/2 Tbs cumin
1/2 Tbs chili powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 can prepared enchilada sauce (if you make your own, YAY you!-use it!)
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
OPTIONAL: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, avocado slices and sour cream

Place cored bell peppers in a shallow baking dish, set aside
Heat oil in a saute pan and add onion, green chilies and chicken
Saute and add cumin, chili powder and Cayenne pepper.
Continue sauteing until chicken is fully cooked and onions are soft.
Fill peppers with chicken mixture - pack them full!
Pour enchilada sauce over and around filled peppers
Top with cheddar cheese
bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes or until peppers soften.

Garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, avocado slices and sour cream.