Thursday, April 15, 2010

the famous roasted red pepper dip

I started making the roasted red pepper dip about 4 years ago.  I had just gotten married and was excited to be hosting parties in my new home.  The dip, which is so easy to prepare, got rave reviews and soon became my signature dip.  Rarely is there a party at my house without the famous roasted red pepper dip.  Served in a red pepper or a simple dish, it is the perfect accompaniment to veggies or grilled crostini.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2/3 cup of mayonnaise
olive oil

Quarter the red pepper and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. At this point, you can remove the skin, but I prefer to leave it on.

In a blender, drop in the garlic and blend. Add the red pepper and blend again. Add the mayonnaise and blend a final time. Ready to eat!

Friday, April 9, 2010

prawn curry

I am a huge fan of prawns so naturally, one of my favorite curries is prawn curry.  Thankfully Q is a huge fan as well, making it an easy excuse to have it often.  I tried a different recipe this time, one from my mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook.  Try it out, you'll love it!

Prawn Curry
2 TB oil
2 onions, sliced
1 lb. prawns
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. garlic
pinch tumeric
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
2 tomatoes, blended (or 1/2 c. crushed tomatoes)
1 TB tomato paste
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB garam masala

Saute the onions in the oil until soft and translucent.  Keep the heat on medium-low and add the shrimp.  Add the ginger, garlic, tumeric, coriander, cumin, tomatoes and salt and let the shrimp continue to cook.  Once the shrimp are done and you have reached the desired consistency, add lemon juice and garam masala and serve!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

good food, good friends...dinner at olive garden.

It had been a while since we had spent time with some of our dear friends.  Life just seemed so busy and weekends were filled with errands and family commitments.  Tuesday was the perfect day to get together for dinner at Olive Garden.

It had been a while since I had been here and I had forgotten about the wait there always seemed to be for a table.  I guess our 35 minutes wasn't as bad as another group who had been given an estimate of an hour and a half!

We started off our meal with warm breadsticks and the signature salad.  Q was all over the breadsticks and loved the tangy dressing on the salad.

Hubby and I shared the lasagna frittas to start - parmesan-breaded lasagna pieces, fried and served over alfredo sauce, topped with parmesan cheese and marinara sauce.  This appy was delicious but also very rich, we couldn't finish the serving.

Our main meal was the new grilled steak fonduta - Grilled lightly seasoned steak medallions topped with caramelized shallot-butter, served with curly mafalda pasta tossed with balsamic onions in a four cheese fonduta sauce.  This dish was delicious!!  The steak was wonderfully seasoned and the cheesy pasta was the perfect accompaniment.

Our friends had the stuffed chicken marsala and the chicken and gnocchi veronese - both of which looked delicious.

Sadly I forgot my camera but managed to capture a few fuzzy shots on my blackberry.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 4, 2010

brie and chocolate...a decadent combination!

I had the perfect sandwich yesterday.  Brie and chocolate!  Now I know some may never accept such a combination but it definitely deserves a try.  The creamy, rich brie paired with the sweetness of chocolate, then grilled to perfection - the perfect sammy for fans of sweet or savory.  Top it off with a tall glass of milk and you've got the perfect snack!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

coo coo for kuku paka

My husband loves indian food.  Its not one of my favorite things to cook but I do feel such a sense of accomplishment when I do and it turns out.  This past weekend, I made for the first time, kuku paka - chicken in a coconut curry sauce.  Chicken, tender potatoes and boiled eggs in a creamy yet mild curry - yum!

This was a hit with both husband and Q....definitely a make again meal.

Kuku Paka
3 TB fried onion (or 1 small onion, sauteed)
3 pounds of chicken, cubed or in pieces
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp each of garlic, ginger, cumin powder, coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
4 potatoes, cubed
2 1/2 cups of water
2/3 pkg of pure creamed coconut mixed with 450 ml of water (you can use a can of coconut milk instead)
4 boiled eggs

Mix together the onions, chicken, tomatoes and spices and cook for a few minutes on medium heat.  Add the potatoes and water and cook on medium heat until chicken is done.  Add the coconut and continue cooking until the curry has reduced.  Add eggs.

Garnish with parsley or coriander.  Enjoy!
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