One of my favorite restaurants is Carabba’s – and every time I have been, I have ordered Chicken Bryan. It’s so good – after trying it, you won’t be able to convince yourself to order anything different! One day I was craving Chicken Bryan, so did a little research and combined a bunch of different “copy-cat” recipes I found online to come up with this one!! A few people have even told me that they like this recipe better then the meal they get at the restaurant. I have made it with both wine and apple cider vinegar, and while I prefer the wine, the apple cider vinegar still tastes wonderful. This is really an elegant meal, great for family dinners or perfect for entertaining.
I’m baaaaack! I could give you countless excuses, instead – I’ll give you an amazing recipe. Even though I haven’t been posting – I’ve been cooking! I’ve discovered some great recipes this last month – can’t wait to share them!
These really are delicious. These could be a great appetizer, but they are filling enough to eat as a meal. Make sure you have nice crisp lettuce to go along with it. If you cook any type of Asian foods, you probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry!
Mom, let me know how it tastes with chicken!
These are delicious, and healthy! As usual, I snuck in some fresh spinach which added a lot of nutrition, flavor and color to these burgers. The day after I made these, I saw a similar recipe on a blog I follow – but it also had sun-dried tomatoes mixed in! I thought that would be sooo yummy. Next time, I’ll try it out!
This recipe is courtesy of my friend, and my husband’s crush, Rachael Ray. I saw this on her show last week – moments after I saw that Albertson’s was having a sale on salmon. Fate, I know! This is the first time I have tried one of her recipes – and I’m glad I did! With the base of the sauce being maple syrup, at first I was afraid that it may taste a little like French-toast-fish. But the syrup added just the perfect amount of sweetness, and did not overpower the taste of the salmon at all. This is a perfect main dish for a “fancy” dinner – that really only takes 10 minutes or so to prepare.
You spend 5 dollars every time you splurge on these at the grocery store, but with a trip to your local oriental market – you can make so many more of these with that 5 dollars!! Plus, they will be fresh – and made exactly how you like them. The main ingredients (nori, sticky rice, crab, and rice vinegar) also will keep well for months and months. Just stick the crab in the freezer, the rest in the pantry and all you need to pick up are a few vegetables to make them again!
These aren’t as tricky to make as you may think – but I included a few more pictures in this post for those of you who have never made them before. If my instructions aren’t clear enough for you, there are lots of movies you can find via google or you tube that will help you out too!!
First, you will want to cook your sticky rice. I just did mine in the rice maker. When it is done, stir in the rice vinegar and sugar. Stir it well. Then, spread it out on a large plate or baking sheet so that it can cool quickly.
While the rice is cooling, prepare your vegetables. You will need to cut these into long thin strips. Your avocados can be a little bit bigger, but you still want them to make sure and slice them length-wise. Like this:
Now, you have two options for rolling your California Rolls, innie (with the rice inside) or outie (with the rice outside.
If you are going to roll them innie, take a full sheet of nori (dried seaweed) and pat the rice down almost all of it, except for the last inch/1 1/2-inch or so. The rice should be about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. I like to keep a little dish of water close by to dip my fingers in. The sticky rice is actually really sticky, but you can keep the rice on the nori, instead of your hands by keeping your fingertips wet. After spreading the rice, you can then sprinkle the it with sesame seeds, if you’d like.
You will then place a few strips of each of your vegetables, one half strip of crab and a thin line of cream cheese in the center of the rice, in a long stacked line. It will look like this:
Then, use your bamboo mat to tightly roll your California roll. Be careful not to roll the plastic wrap inside!
When you get to the end of the roll, wet down the part of the nori without rice with water. This will help to seal the roll. When you are done, it should look like this:
Tzatziki (Tsa-Zee-Kee) is another one of Vahe’s favorites. I’ve heard others call it cucumber sauce, but tzatziki is just so much more fun to say. This is a Greek sauce with a yogurt base. We make this a lot, and so the other night I measured out everything I was putting into the bowl so that we could have a standard recipe – and thus, this recipe! This is a great dip, sauce, dressing for basically anything. It tastes very fresh and healthy. Vahe loves it with bread, on salads, with meat, anything. We also have been using it as a sauce when we make shawarma – and so far, it’s everyone favorite! Make sure to use fresh dill, and a real lemon for the best taste!
Ok, I’ll admit it – I’m scared of dill. I’ve never eaten a pickle. And, never tried tzatziki. But, everyone else that we have made this for loves it, and prefers it to the tzatziki that they have bought in the store! I’ll take their word for it, and maybe yours too. 🙂
I get a “recipe-of-the-day” email from allrecipes.com and this soup recipe was one from last week. I had never cooked with leeks before, so I thought I would give it a try. Vahe would eat soup everyday if I made it, but my soup-making variety is definitely lacking. So, I really am trying to find new (and unique) soup recipes to add to my little collection.
Anyways… I made my own variation of the recipe that was sent to me and LOVED it. I think that leeks are going to be a new staple for me! I am not a huge onion fan because their taste is so strong and I just don’t love their texture (unless they have been cooked very well, or chopped very small), but leeks are a perfect substitute! They taste like an onion, only very mild and fresh (fresh like: cilantro or cucumber fresh – what’s the word I’m looking for?). Anyways – I am going to try to start substituting leeks for onions in some of the dishes that I make to see if I like the change!
Back to the point… this soup is EXCELLENT. I just can’t get over how much I love the flavor of the leeks. The white kidney beans and spinach (another one of my favorites) compliment the taste really well too. It’s a simple soup, with not too many ingredients, and it is wonderful. This could also easily be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken stock for vegetable. Try it out!
This recipe is my version of my mom’s version of her mom’s recipe. It is great over pasta, used in lasagna, or for a healthier (& gluten-free, Michelle!) version – I love it over spaghetti squash.
Here’s an easy way to prepare spaghetti squash: cut your squash in half, then place it flat-side down on a baking sheet lined with greased aluminum foil. Bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until it is tender. Cool, then shred the squash from rind with a fork. Season with salt and pepper (and maybe a little butter :).
Really, if you have never tried spaghetti squash – you have to! It is a great alternative to pasta because when topped with this spaghetti sauce (or any other sauce, really), has such a similar taste, appearance and texture as spaghetti noodles! I bet you could even trick the kids into eating it…
P.S. This sauce will freeze great! This recipe makes way too much for Vahe and I to eat before it goes bad, so I divided it into three – two bags in the freezer, the rest for dinner and leftovers!
Ok, finally got this on here. Soups like this are hard to write recipes for, because they really are based on personal preference and what you have in the fridge! This is how I like to make my vegetable soup – like I said, totally based on preference and what veggies you like! I love the flavor of onions, peppers, and celery, but am not a fan of their texture or crunch. So, I chop them up super small, saute them, and then make sure to cook them the longest so that they almost dissolve into the stock. I LOVE zucchini and yellow squash, so they are really the base of this soup. I also really, really hate soft vegetables in soup. So I make sure to undercook mine just a bit so that they still have a little crunch, and so that the leftovers won’t turn into a puree when reheated. Vegetable soup is a wonderful, filling, cheap, and very nutritional meal. Only 80 calories a serving for all those vitamins!