Monthly Archives: June 2013

Thai Pizza

If I really love a food, I am going to put it on a pizza. I’ve made all kinds of  pizza’s like Mexican Pizza, Cheeseburger Pizza, Chicken Fajita Pizza and even Philly Pizza. I like pizza. A lot.

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This pizza Blew. My. Mind.

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It has lots of great C ingredients: cheese, chicken, cashews and cilantro.


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Roasted chicken (or a rotisserie) gives this pizza more sustenance but you could certainly go vegetarian and never miss it.

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The base, under the cheese, is a sweet chili sauce. (looks kind of slimy here, but it’s all good)

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I get mine from Trader Joes and love it.

Layer with:

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cheese, chicken ,

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and peppers, then bake.

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This pizza has a sauce that is super easy.

When the pizza gets out of the oven,

slice it,

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top it with cilantro, cashews, sauce and a squeeze of lime. Add a little sriracha, if you please .




for the pizza: 

4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1 pizza dough

2 cups cooked shredded chicken (roasted or rotisserie)

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, roughly chopped

1 (8 ounce) block of mozzarella cheese

instructions and directions: 

heat oven to 350 degrees. spread dough evenly over a silpat on a cookie sheet. par bake for 7 minutes. remove from oven.

spread dough evenly with sweet chili sauce. spread with cheese and chicken. top that with red bell pepper.

bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese starts to get golden.

slice pizza and sprinkle with cilantro and cashews or peanuts. top with sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.

for the sauce: 

1/2 of a (13.5 ounce) can of coconut milk (regular or light will work fine)

2 tablespoons of red curry paste (i use Thai kitchen)

1/3 cup of  almond butter or natural peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

instructions and directions: 

mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan. simmer over medium low,  until just bubbling for about 3 minutes, whisking the entire time! you don’t want it to burn to the bottom of the pan.

pour into a bowl and let cool for 15 minutes to thicken. spoon over pizza.


Italian One Pan Pasta and The Weekend

I hope your weekend was full of yummy things!

My weekend food coma began with with a trip to The Smiling Elephant with my ex co worker turned actual friend. It was Thai at its best (in Nashville at least) with company at its finest.

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Gai Yang

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Cashew Chicken

Saturday got off to a good start with the Franklin Farmers Market. If you are local and you haven’t been, you should check it out.  It’s a great place to bump in to people you’d be glad to see 😉

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under the pavilion

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produce vendors

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food trucks

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a lady with a parasol

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That night started off with a  delicious dinner at Fat Bottom Brewery.

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This place is becoming one of my staples. It has great beer (i like the Black Betty-Black IPA) and good fresh options for the munching.  (I do wish they had all their beers at one time)

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Sunday I packed up a cheese plate and  headed off to an outdoor concert here, to listen to a Beatles cover band.

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It was a great way to cap off the weekend and there was quite the suburban turnout.

Friday night was spent laying low. I know most of you have probably seen the Martha Stewart “One Pot Pasta” recipe flying around Pinterest and other blogs lately. If you’re like me though, you have wondered, does it actually work? So, in the spirit of easy Friday night meals, I decided to test it out. The verdict?

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 Yes! Yes it does!

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This pasta was pretty magical actually.

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You really just throw everything in. (I carefully placed everything in there all neat and pretty for you but next time I will just be throwing.)

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Once the water starts boiling, it is ready in 9 minutes.

No, way! YES.WAY.

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I bought one of the little organic basil plants at the grocery store. I know, I’m a sucker but I can’t grow basil to save my life and the plant lasts longer than the stems that are already cut.

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It seems to me that making it all in the same pan without draining the starchy liquid, made this recipe creamy and taste like it might be full of bad things. When in actuality, there isn’t anything bad in there at all.

The End.

Italian One Pot Pasta


12 ounces dried linguine

12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

1 large yellow or white onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

4 1/2 cups water

Parmesan cheese, grated

instructions and directions: 

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight/tall sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

White Bean and Arugula Salad

Do you have words that you think are fun to say? I do. Bumblebee, Purple, Piccadilly, Hippopotamus,  Kumquat and Arugula-just to name a few.

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This arugula salad couldn’t be easier or tastier and now it is fun to say too.  If it were any more fun to say, it would be  a Purple Arugula Salad with Kumquat Piccadilly Vinaigrette.  Instead it’s a White Bean and Arugula Salad with a Maple Lemon Vinaigrette. But it’s still easy.

With only 10 ingredients and nothing to cook, you’re ready in a snap.

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Arugula is such a nice lettuce for salad and has a slightly peppery taste.

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Throw all the salad components into a bowl.

The white beans give the salad a creaminess. The red onion adds a crunch and the capers give a zing of saltiness.

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The vinaigrette is simple but has a brightness from the lemon and some sugar from the syrup.

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Toss everything together to coat.

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You could top this salad with lots of different proteins. I picked a crab cake (the Harris Teeter seafood department makes great ones) this night, but I have eaten it with a steak, chicken and pork tenderloin before. You could serve it alone or as a side too. It is a very versatile concoction.



5 ounce container of arugula

1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans

1/2 of a small red onion, very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed and drained

the juice of 1 large lemon (3 TBSP)

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons of olive oil


fresh pepper

instructions and directions: 

in a large bowl, toss together: arugula, onion, beans and capers.

in a small bowl, whisk together: lemon juice, zest, syrup and oil. season with salt and pepper.

drizzle over salad and toss to combine. serve chilled.

from giada delaurentis

BLT Chicken Burgers-A Heartier Take on a Classic

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I have to work every day, since I am not independently wealthy. This is naturally a bummer but during the summer, when the days are longer and time is meant to be spent outside, I have a habit, in the evenings,  of pretending I am on vacation or that it is actually Saturday.

This means doing things like hiking,  going to the pool for the afternoon on Tuesday or finding a patio with refreshing libations.

Wake up, go to work, vacation, repeat. It helps my life feel less monotonous.

I will say though, that my summer world, sort of pushes back dinner time, since I can’t start cooking until the tropical paradise charade for the day, has ended.

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This recipe recently helped me  get food on the table in a hurry, which helps in my summer goal of having dinner ready before 9 🙂 Yes, 9. A goal I sometimes fall short of.

Give me a break. I’m on vacation.

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the sauce

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tomato topping

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onion rolls

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chicken burgers

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a heartier take on a classic

BLT Chicken Burgers


1 pound ground chicken

1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

15 twists of freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, divided

1/3 cup mayo

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cavendar’s Greek seasoning

4 onion rolls, warmed for serving

8 pieces of bacon, cooked to be crispy

tomato, for topping

lettuce, for topping

instructions and directions: 

Heat grill to medium high.

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, garlic, cheddar, 1/2 of the parsley, salt and pepper. Shape mixture into 4 patties.

In a small bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice and the other half of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook burgers on the grill for 5-6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through and juices are clear.

Smear mayo mixture on the warm buns and layer with  burger, bacon, lettuce and tomato.

adapted from sunset

Grilled Sirloin with Anchovy Butter

Another weekend of fun has come and gone but not without some evidence in photos.

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Here is Friday night’s view at the vineyard.  This wine was great too. My very technical review of it was that it was dry and fruity, without being sweet.

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The night involved swings

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and a picnic of  “to go”  salads…..



and sushi

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On Sunday night I had my parents over for dinner and fired up the grill.

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Speaking of grills, we made Grilled Sirloin with Anchovy Butter a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it.

I know that you are probably running away from the computer right now because I said “anchovy”. Don’t be a wuss, you’ll love it.

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the recipe suggested this side dish, so I tried it too

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In addition to the broccoli, I made spicy sweet potato wedges

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The anchovy butter was really savory and couldn’t have been easier to make


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 a perfect medium rare

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you just slice the filet and drizzle with the butter!

I got this idea from an old Cooking Light magazine. I didn’t change a thing and I made the broccoli that goes with it. Follow this link for the recipe!

Who Wants a Drink?-Citrus Vodka Soda with Cilantro

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It’s Friday people. Hopefully it is time for you to do whatever the hell you want to do, for the next two days 🙂 . For me, that will include a visit to this local winery, relaxing by the pool,  a french toast breakfast and this cocktail.

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I’ve tried this drink with several different sodas and so far, Trader Joe’s Italian Grapefruit Soda and Izze’s Grapefruit Soda are my favorite.  The drink isn’t too-too sweet but if you wanted to cut down on the sweetness, you could leave out the St. Germain. Regretfully, if you do that you will also miss out on elderberries.

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It might sound strange to use cilantro in a drink but it adds a nice fresh flavor and I like to think this drink goes well with the meals I cook that have Mexican or Thai flare.

It’s really refreshing and great for summer.

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Citrus Vodka Soda with Cilantro


1 shot of your favorite vodka

2 small sprigs of cilantro

2 lime wedges

6-8 ounces of grapefruit soda (i use trader joes or izze)

1 teaspoon st germain (from the liquor store)

ice (i used 6 cubes)

instructions and directions: 

Combine ice, one lime wedge and cilantro in a stemless wine glass or short tumbler. Swirl to gently muddle. Add vodka, st germain and additional lime. Top with soda and stir.

Simple Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

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I think this might be considered a variation of one of my favorite pasta dishes, Straw and Hay? But without the spinach pasta. Although, come to think of it, that would also be delicious.

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This recipe is indulgent, by using cream, but just a little so it is nowhere near as bad as you would expect from the way it tastes!.

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soften shallots

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add peas

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toss to coat

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plate and serve!

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We topped with some roasted mushrooms, just for fun because we’re wild and i think it ended up being my favorite part!



1 9 ounce package fresh fettuccine

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas

8 slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces total), roughly torn into large pieces

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)

sea salt

fresh pepper

instructions and directions: 

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream and peas. bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer until peas are heated through, 3 to 4 minutes if thawed, 7-8 if frozen. add prosciutto and stir.

Meanwhile, in salted water, boil noodles according to package instructions.

Stir in lemon juice. Pour pasta into sauce and add Parmesan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough reserved pasta water to thin sauce as desired. Top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

adapted from Martha Stewart