Maple syrup isn't just for pancakes

>> Sunday, March 14, 2010

Today is absolutely gorgeous outside! This is truly the perfect Texas Spring day. I started off the morning with a nice stroll through the neighborhood with a cup of coffee in hand. The flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding out and the grass is a lemony-lime green. I love it!  Because I'm leaving this perfect weather for the warm weather of Puerto Rico this week, so I don't have much food in the house. Hungry after my stroll, I searched the pantry for my options.  Oatmeal caught my eye as a cozy curl up on my patio in the shade with my favorite pair of sweats on to further take in the day meal. Yes, that's exactly what I did.

I don't buy the flavored little packets of Oatmeal because I prefer to do it myself. I poured a good little bit of oats in a bowl (my eyes are always bigger than my stomach because I forget how filling this stuff is), then added in a couple spoonfulls of soft brown sugar and a shake or two of cinnamon.  A little water, a quick stir and into the microwave the bowl went. I rarely use my microwave but it is perfect for cooking up these oats. Two minutes, stirring at the half mark, and you have a hot bowl of goodness.

Now, if you think Maple syrup is just for pancakes you are quite mistaken. I use it in my cooking often, especially with meats, but a drizzle over Oatmeal is just divine. You can skip all the butter and enjoy the natural sweetness of this great combination. 

Mmmm, mmmm, I'm off to garden. Enjoy your Oatmeal, and your day!

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Pollo embanado (breaded chicken)

>> Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I will be heading down to Puerto Rico next week with a group of friends and have spent the evening finalizing our plans. Getting in the spirit, I pulled out my Puerto Rican Cookery cookbook to find a little recipe for dinner. I didn't have much to work with in the house but came across pollo embanado, which is a delicious breaded chicken.  All you need for this quick little meal is:

Chicken breasts
Bread crumbs
2 eggs
Plain white rice
Green peas
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Paprika

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, coat the chicken thoroughly with bread crumbs. In a seperate bowl, crack your eggs and add a pinch of salt and mix.  Dip your bread crumb coated chicken in the egg and place in greased baking dish.  Crack with a bit of pepper and pop in the oven for 40 minutes. 

(About 20 minutes later) Prepare the rice according to package directions.  Spice it up with a bit of salt, pepper and paprika then skip the butter later.  Throw some peas on to cook when the rice is nearly done and you will have a complete meal.  Plate all the food and enjoy!!

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Simple salmon

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

Over the last week, the kitchen hasn't seen much of me. Work has been busy and I had too many plans over the weekend, but tonight, I'm back. For dinner, I cooked up a simple salmon which I paired with orzo and asparagus.  All you need is:

Salmon
Asparagus
Tri-colored orzo
Parsley, chopped
Scallions, chopped
Butter, 2 tablespoons, melted
Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the salmon with your salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil, and sprinkle with one clove of chopped garlic. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare the orzo according to package directions.  Trim the asparagus ends and cook over medium heat in the large skillet. Add the remaining garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt and cook until tender.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, salt and pepper.  Drain the orzo and add the buttered parsley and blend. Serve the fish with the orzo and asparagus, top with scallions and enjoy!

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Dry rubbed baby-back ribs

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

For dinner this evening, I pulled together a finger-lickin' meal that was a pure crowd pleaser.  Baby-back ribs and corn on the cob is always a delicious option if you don't mind getting your hands a little saucy.  So I put away the cloth napkins and pulled out the paper towels to serve up this recipe for you to enjoy right now.

All you need for this simple dish is:

4 cloves garlic, choped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 racks baby-back ribs
4 cobs of corn, shucked and halved
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. 

Rub the spice on the ribs and let sit for 10 minutes.  Place on a baking sheet and cover with foil and pop in the oven.  Let cook for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cut the ribs apart. Put back in the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, to prepare the corn, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add the corn ears and let cook for 5 minutes, until tender.  Drain and transfer to a serving dish.  Pour the melted butter over the corn and sprinkle with the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Enjoy!!

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