Simple Spaghetti Squash

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If you haven’t cooked with spaghetti squash – you are seriously missing out!  It is such a simple process, I was amazed.  To cook the squash, all you have to do is cut it in half and drizzle olive oil over each half, and sprinkle salt and pepper.  Then place face down onto a baking sheet and cook for about 45 minutes, at 350 degrees.  After it has cooked, to check if it is done you can stick a fork in the top of it.  If the fork goes through the skin you can remove it from the oven.  Then flip it over (put a paper towel in your hand to help with the heat) and use a fork to get the middle out.  If cooked correctly it should come out in perfect strands, just like noodles! (see photo below) Continue reading

Salmon: Suddenly A Favorite

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I have always been a salmon lover, Jamie not so much.  So when we started dating there wasn’t a lot of salmon cooked.  He does like teriyaki sauce – I was determined to make him like salmon.  I assumed he had a bad experience with not good salmon, so I was ready to change his mind about one of my favorites.  I decided it to pair it with something enticing like teriyaki sauce and throw in an extra bonus – homemade teriyaki sauce.  To make a long story short – he loved it!  Definitely going to try out another salmon recipe to keep his mind in a positive place about the wonderful pink fish. :) Continue reading

A “Healthy” Classic Caesar Salad

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When Jamie and I first started dating and we went out to dinner, Jamie would order a caesar salad before his entree every single time.  Little did I know at that time, but it is a Warden boy thing to do.  The first time we went out to dinner with his brothers they all ordered a caesar salad before their entrees, and continued to do so every other time we went out to dinner.  I now know that it is a fact that the Warden boys love their caesar salad and since the key to a mans heart is through his stomach – I knew I had to master it. Continue reading

Homemade “Healthy” Caesar Dressing

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Recipe for perfectly healthy caesar dressing (approved by the Caesar Salad Dressing Expert)

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves (can use less, I just LOVE garlic)

A few grinds of sea salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt

A squeeze of Dijon mustard, about a teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste, or to taste

A couple grinds of ground pepper

4 teaspoons macadamia oil (can use olive oil)

2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese

Directions

Mince garlic into a bowl and add salt, smash together with a spoon to create a paste.  Add lemon juice, greek yogurt, mustard, anchovy paste, and pepper, whisk to combine.  Slowly drizzle oil while whisking constantly.  Add cheese and whisk to combine.  Taste and add anything it needs additionally.

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Soufflé Success

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I have seen chefs on TV cook soufflés a lot, and one day I decided I was going to do it!   As I always do I first researched a couple different recipes and took the things that I liked from them.  Martha Stewart has some of my favorite recipes to make – they are easy to follow and allow for a little creativity as you go.  I had to cook the soufflé at Jamie’s house because their oven had a window – very important to only cook a soufflé in an oven that has a window.  Before Jamie and I lived together he lived with two guys – Matt and Jason.   It was the perfect place to cook something sweet while they all watched football.  However, it didn’t take Jamie’s attention off of me – he took a photo of me watching the soufflé to make sure it did not sink in.

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(fingers crossed the whole time – and I even used Dexter to help me watch)

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“The Best Meatball!” :)

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Super Bowl was here again and neither one of us had a specific team we were rooting for, but of course we were still celebrating with friends, drinks and food.  Since we are on this health kick recently (aka wedding diet), I wanted to make something that we could eat without feeling guilty about it.  Of course I went the first place I always go – the Internet.

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The Whole Bird :)

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Jamie and I love to watch the cooking competition shows (like Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Chopped, Master Chef) and on one episode of Top Chef, Emeril (a judge at the time) cooked a whole chicken and he rubbed the herbs under the skin.  I thought this was so cool and told Jamie that I was going to try it.  Then a couple weeks later I was at working thinking about what I was going to cook for dinner and all of a sudden – I knew I had to try it.

I researched different ways that people were stuffing they’re chicken and chicken skin – Beer Can Chicken looked awesome, but that’s a story for another day.  I didn’t use a specific recipe – I ended up pulling different things from a couple recipes and making my own version. (always turns out better)  On my way home from work I went to the store and bought my first 5lb. chicken and assorted veggies (leeks, potatoes, carrots) to lay in the bottom of the pan.  My fiance and I are the only ones in the house, but luckily his business partner was over.  I told them I was going to cook a whole chicken and I needed them to eat it.  Of course, no problem.

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The First Meal!

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It finally came time for me to cook for Jamie. He had cooked for me a couple times and I figured I could return the favor. I wanted to find the most delicious thing to cook and totally knock his socks off.

For Christmas I asked for a 5 quart Dutch Oven (You might know them as the Le Crueset, really expensive ones). Anyways, my mom did a little research and found an even better one at World Market…and its even red!  When I finally got it down to LA with me I could not figure out what to do with it other than make soup. I asked my boss, Kate, who you will hear about a lot in this blog, as she is an absolutely fantastic cook and has lots of recipes and tips.  She gave me a recipe for Braised Short Ribs and told me it was so easy.  I could put it in the oven, go to bed, and 8 hours later I would have the most delicious meal.  Well, leave it to me to make it more difficult.

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