Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Five Course Dinner

I thought I'd share a few pictures from our very first, VERY successful five course dinner party we hosted last Friday night. Course recipes coming soon of course!

Wine and Cheese

Balsamic Greens with Cold Strawberry Soup

Creamy Chicken and Prosciutto Pasta

Marinated Flank Steak with Panzanella Salad

German Chocolate Cake

Edible Cookie Dough

Not that all cookie dough isn't edible, but this is little number is "acceptably" edible to those that frown upon the raw egg thing. No eggs, no butter, just a little something to scratch that itch that can't be scratched any other way. Don't worry about getting the ingredient amounts just right because these cookies are not meant to be baked. Simply throw the following ingredients in a bowl, mix 'em up and SCRATCH away. Enjoy!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons milk
Dash of salt
Dash of vanilla extract

Mix and eat. Yes, it's that simple to scratch that itch.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quinoa Fruit Salad

For those that haven't given quinoa a try, the time is now my friends. Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, looks like a grain, is prepared like a grain, but is actually a seed. This protein-packed seed is inexpensive, easy to prepare and extremely good for you. If you love a hearty breakfast such as oatmeal or cream of wheat, here's a more summery alternative for you.

While I frequently bake and enjoy my "Paula Deen style" sweets loaded with cream, sugar and butter, I also take pride in a healthy lifestyle full of balance. To balance my fat-packed indulgences (see nearly every recipe I've posted thus far), I counter them with healthy eats and lots of exercise. This sweet, fruity salad was my breakfast this morning and proved to be high protein indeed as my stomach didn't growl once before lunchtime as it usually does around 10:00am. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry quinoa (bag your own in the health food section of your grocery store, it's way cheaper than buying the pre-packaged stuff)
Plain greek yogurt, non-fat
Seasonal fruit (berries are my favorite)
Honey or agave nectar

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of water with one cup of quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let cool (or run under cold water if you're really hungry, impatient or both like me).

Mix equal parts of quinoa and greek yogurt together and top with your favorite fruit. Sweeten to taste with honey or agave nectar. Depending on the amount and type of fruit use, you may not need a ton of extra sweetness.