Friday, June 8, 2012

Spicy Mayo Dip

I make all of my sauces, dips, dressings, and marinades from scratch as often as I can.  I have found that by doing so, you stock up on a lot of basic ingredients, and over time, usually have what you need for a wide variety of recipes already on hand.  Plus you are able to tailor the flavors exactly to your family's preferences.

This is one such recipe.  I love anything spicy.  Usually, the more heat, the better!  I was initially looking for a spicy dip for sweet potato fries when I stumbled upon this combination.  

It may look weird, but it is so good!  Not only do we love it as a dip for sweet potato fries, we can use it as a sandwich or burger spread, or even in our crispy chicken wraps.  You can make just the amount you need at whatever spice you like.  I usually use a ratio of ½ C mayo with 1 - 1½ Tbsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.  That seems to satisfy my desire for spice as well as my husband's need to not feel like his mouth is on fire.  The best part is you can play with it until you find the ratio that works for you!

½ C Mayo
1 - 1½ Tbsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Swiss chard is, by far, my daughter's favorite green vegetable.  In fact, every time we have any greens, she says they are just like "switch chard!".  Hey!  She's three!  :)  We have tried a number of ways to cook them, but this is our favorite.  It is so simple and compliments a wide variety of main dishes. 

I'll admit, it took me a long while before I had the guts to try cooking with chard.  I would just look at these giant leaves at our farm stand and be totally lost as to how to eat them.  But I am so glad I finally took a shot.  As a vegetarian, it is important to eat vegetables containing iron.  Swiss chard has a pretty decent amount, so it is a great addition to your diet.  I hope you pick up some swiss chard the next time you are shopping!

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, stems cut out and chopped, greens coarsely chopped separately
1/2 C dry white wine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onion and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chard stems and white wine.  Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chard leaves and cook until wilted.
  5. Stir in lemon juice and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Adapted from DannyBoy

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Product Review

Amy's Quarter Pound Veggie Burger

Having been a meat eater for about a quarter century before becoming a vegetarian, not just any veggie burger will do for me.  For years I had searched high and low for the best veggie burger I could find.  The common complaints I had were the texture and the size.  Can someone please tell me why most pre-made veggie burgers are so small!?!?  After much trial and error, I have found the best frozen veggie burgers!  Amy's Quarter Pound burgers are so delicious!  And as you can see from the photo below, they fill an entire bun!  The texture is the truest I have found, and even my beef-eating husband enjoys these!

These patties can easily be cooked on a skillet or a BBQ.  There is no thawing involved, so they are ready whenever you are!  An important point for me is that Amy's does not use any GMO soy in this product.  In my area, I have only consistently found these at Whole Foods, but they are well worth the extra trip.  If you have been looking for the best veggie burger, or been considering giving it a try, go for the Amy's Quarter Pound burger.  You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fettuccine in Garlic Cream Sauce

WARNING!  This is not a meal to be eaten before a fancy event or first date.  This is a meal to enjoy with family and friends who already love you because... well... garlic may be seeping out of your pores for a few hours.  But if you are anything like me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!  :)  This pasta is certainly not a health food, but it is fantastic!  When I saw my local farm had an abundance of fresh garlic, I knew I wanted to make an obscenely garlicky pasta dish.  This was so delicious!  

I took my basic alfredo sauce and loaded it up with both minced and thinly sliced garlic.  That's it!  It was a very easy dish and so incredibly tasty.  Even my three year old, who usually won't go near a cream sauce, loved it!  I was shocked!  Apparently she inherited my love of garlic.  :)  If you love garlic and pasta, you have got to try this recipe.  It is a real winner!

1 pound of your favorite fettuccine noodles
1 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 Tbsp of thinly sliced and minced garlic
2 C heavy cream
5 Tbsp butter
1C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of nutmeg


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Cook noodles according to package directions while preparing the sauce.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic.  Cook and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the cream and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the cheese and whisk until smooth.  Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the sauce in the skillet.  Toss to coat the noodles.  Serve immediately.

Quick Tip:  on re-heating cream pasta - add a tablespoon or two of milk to the bowl before reheating.  It helps minimize the separation of cream and butter, and gives you a smoother texture.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Menu

What a bounty this week!  We picked up some swiss chard, golden beets, red beets, red leaf lettuce, sweet maui onions, fresh garlic, and strawberries.  OK, I may have gone a little overboard, but everything looked so delicious!!  With this wonderful variety, here is the menu I created for this week.

  • Veggie Burgers with a side of Sweet Potato Fries and Spicy Mayo Dipping Sauce
    • using the lettuce and sweet maui onion

  • Fettucini in a Garlic Cream Sauce with Sauteed Swiss Chard and my own take on the Bagna Calda from The Stinking Rose Restaurant
    • using the swiss chard and a whole lotta garlic!

We will be enjoying the strawberries for dessert (as always!).