©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



United Tastes of America with Jeffrey Saad

I am so happy to see Jeffrey Saad on the Cooking Channel!  I was really pulling for him on The Next Food Network Star Season Five.

He now has a show called United Tastes of America.  If you have the Cooking Channel, go and check it out.

Oh and I also noticed that Kelsey from season four now has her own show on the Cooking Channel.  Her show is called Kelsey's Essentials.

So who is looking forward to season seven?  The season will premier on Sunday June 5th.

More info on wiki.

Chicken, Sausage and Peppers

This was what we were originally going have during our Lady and the Tramp movie night.  I made spaghetti and meatballs instead.   So I made this for dinner last night and had a couple of nice crusty/chewy slices of Italian bread with it.  The recipe came from the March issue of Food Network Magazine.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut into chunks (I used a mix of both)
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 small onion, chopped
2 Italian green frying peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Woodbridge Pinot Grigio)
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 jarred pickled cherry peppers, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons liquid

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until golden, about 2 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then toss with the flour in a bowl; add to the skillet and cook until browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Add the onion, peppers, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and cook 3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits; bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until the sausage and chicken are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken, sausage and vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon. Increase the heat to high and stir the parsley and cherry peppers and their liquid into the skillet; boil until reduced by one-third, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture.

It was very yummy and very light.  This is a definite keeper!


Caprese Salad

This was our first course last night for our Lady and the Tramp dinner and movie.  You just can't beat the taste of fresh mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

2 large beefsteak tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella (I forgot to go to the Italian market on Friday, so I just picked up some BelGioiso fresh mozzarella and it was presliced)
12 large basil leaves
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Cut tomatoes into thick slices.

Layer them in a circle alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella. Shiffonade the basil and sprinkle over the top of the salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Mmmm it was really good!

Sharing this recipe here:
Seaside Simplicty Wanted Salads
Melt in your mouth Monday #21


Spaghetti and Meatball Cake

Spaghetti and Meatball Cake from Food Network Magazine.

1 18.25-ounce box chocolate cake mix (plus required ingredients)
2 16-ounce tubs vanilla frosting (and a bit of chocolate icing)
2 to 4 drops yellow food coloring 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (used a tiny bit of Wilton Golden Yellow)
1 16-ounce bag frozen strawberries, thawed
White chocolate, for grating

Make two 8-inch-round chocolate cakes as the cake mix label directs; cool completely. Crumble 1 cake into a bowl. Squeeze a handful of crumbs into a 2-inch ball; roll between your hands until smooth. Repeat to make 2 more cake balls.  (I added some chocolate frosting to help the balls stick together)

Sprinkle some of the remaining cake crumbs on a clean surface. One at a time, roll the cake balls in the crumbs, pressing lightly to coat. If necessary, moisten the cake balls with water to help the crumbs stick.

Assemble the cake: Put the remaining whole cake on a serving plate or cake board. Spread about 1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting on the cake with an offset spatula; run the spatula around the sides to make it smooth.

Arrange the cake balls on the cake. Mix the remaining frosting, the yellow food coloring and cocoa in a bowl; transfer to a pastry bag with a small round tip. Pipe the yellow frosting around the cake balls in a figure-eight motion to look like spaghetti.

Make the strawberry sauce: Puree the strawberries in a food processor until slightly smooth with a few chunks. Spoon 1/2 cup strawberry puree around the meatballs to look like sauce.

Grate white chocolate on top of the cake to look like parmesan cheese. Serve the cake with the remaining strawberry puree on the side.  (will do that right before serving)

Sharing this recipe here:

Melt in your mouth Monday #15
Joy of Desserts


Key Lime Pie Ice Cream, I found this recipe and it was Cooking Light July, 2004. I have modified it a bit.

1 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup bottled Key Lime Juice, (Nellie and Joe’s)
½ cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 graham crackers (1 ½ sheet) coarsely crushed

Combine the first five ingredients in the mixer and mix well. I did add a drop of green food coloring since Victoria said that limes were green.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and mix using your manufactures directions.

When done freezing, pour a ¼ cup into snack size Gladware containers and sprinkle the ice cream with the crushed graham cracker crumbs and place into freezer.

This recipe is a WINNER!!!!

This is an old recipe that was on Master Chef Victoria's blog.  I am reposting it here without her pictures.


Dinner and Movie Night

Our next dinner and movie night will be this Saturday night and I changed the theme.  While looking at the March 2011 issue of Food Network magazine, inspiration hit!  There is a really cute cake that looks like spaghetti and meatballs.  When I showed Miss V she laughed so hard and said "We need to make that!"

Hmm spaghetti and meatballs...we immediately thought of Lady and the Tramp.  I just looked through the magazine for dinner ideas since I really didn't want to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner too.

So here is the little invite/menu I made up.

I was originally thinking of French food and Beauty and The Beast, but you never know when inspiration will strike!  Plus I just couldn't find any really good dinner ideas, do you have anything to suggest???

This summer, I would love to hear about more friends doing dinner and movie night with their families.  It is a great way to have a nice dinner at home and spend special time with your kids.


Despicable Me Movie and Dinner Night

Last night was our second dinner and movie.  First I really love the movie and the Minion cupcakes were cute!

I took the easy way out and bought most of the meal.


I also found, but didn't even eat them last night, way to full from the pizza.



Now trying to decide what our next Dinner and Movie night will be and when.  If you haven't done this with your children/grand children/nieces and nephews, you should!  It is so much fun!

Minion Cupcakes

I first saw these on Emilie Handmade and then again Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  I knew they would be perfect for our Despicable Me Dinner and Movie night.

I did things a little differently from both sites, just to make it a bit easier on me.

Wilton Black Edible Food Marker
White Smarties
Twinkies, I didn't even know where to find them in Walmart and Miss V didn't even know what they were.
Wilton Black Icing in tubes (I used two)
Wilton Tips #4 and #45 I think (it is a basket weave tip)
1 can of white frosting
Blue food color, I used Electric Blue by Americolor.

The pictures are pretty much self explanatory.

I used the basket weave tip to pipe on the goggle straps, with the flat side out.  I used the small round tip to make their smiles.  I did try hair with the same tip, but it didn't look so cute.

So I found some chocolate Jimmies in my sprinkle cabinet.

Miss V and six of her minions!

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

I needed a batch of cupcakes for Despicable Me Dinner & Movie and didn't really want 24 so I went in search of a recipe on the Wilton website.  Miss V loves chocolate and mint and the recipe said it would make about 18 cupcakes.

2 cups (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon mint extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter together either in microwave oven or on top of range over low heat. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into electric mixer bowl. Add sugar; beat until well blended.

Beat in eggs, one at time. Add vanilla and mint extract. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.

Add remaining flour and water; mix until smooth.

Fold remaining cup of chocolate chips into batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.

Well the recipe made 21 really big cupcakes.  They tasted fantastic though.  Now on to the fun of turning them into MINIONS!


I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth

Sorry for the lack of updates, I have just been making repeat meals.  BUT!  I do have something special planned for Saturday night.

Miss V has been asking for another Dinner and Movie night.  So....our theme and movie is


Herbs...and Miss V's Tomato Plant

I don't know what happened or where time has gone this spring.  I usually have an herb garden growing by now.  The only thing I picked up a while back was a basil plant.  It is cheaper to but the plant than those over priced little packets at the grocery store.

I do have a Rosemary bush...yes bush!  It is was getting so big that I had my husband trim it this weekend.

Before (May 4, 2011)


A few years ago I planted the Rosemary, Oregano and a few other herbs.  We found out that Oregano is an invasive species and it took over from one end of the pool cage to the middle where the Rosemary is.  So we had to rip it all out.  Nasty stuff!  From now on it stays in pots!!!

Speaking of my basil, this year I didn't repot it.  Every time I do I forget to water it or I let it go so long and it starts to flower.

I did have a funny surpise on Sunday morning.  We headed out the front door and what did I see in one of my pots.....Basil from last year.  See...I forgot to water it and it dried out so I just pulled the dead plant out and put it in the yard waste barrel.

Miss V wanted a BIG tomato plant this year and to keep it on the lanai.  Every year she gets a plant and we put it out back and either rabbits or squirels eat it.  So far we have already picked one tomato.  Now it is LOADED with tomatoes.  It also is so big that we put a couple of plant stands around it to keep it up off the ground.

I am so excited!  We planted a Dwarf Myer Lemon (I think) tree a few years ago and it doesn't set fruit for the first few years.  Anyway, I noticed that it has 4 little lemons starting.  Yikes!  I better read up on them to see if they need any special care.

Are you growing and fruit, veggies or herbs this year?  If so what???

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