Food Network’s Iron Chef Kevin Rathbun’s restaurant-Rathbun’s in Atlanta

While in Atlanta last week, I went to “Rathbun’s”, a very cool, sexy restaurant, in Inman park which is definately worth checking out. You may have heard of Kevin from the Iron Chef on the Food Network or in one of his reviews about his success in publications such as Oprah, Esquire, USA Today or Travel and Leisure. All of his accolades are well deserved! Everything on the menu is worth a try, but save room for dessert. This Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie is out of this world. For more information on Rathbun’s check out www.rathbunsrestaurant.com/. His other restaurant, which I can’t wait to try is “Kevin Rathbun’s Steak” and don’t miss his “Krog Bar”, at the same location.

 

You will want to savor every bite in this delectable dessert-the infamous Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (without any cream)

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I was at the grocery store yesterday (imagine that), and Campari tomatoes were buy one, get one free (run to Publix now). It inspired me to share with you my favorite Roasted Tomato Basil Soup recipe. This is so easy to prepare and bursting with flavors. And for those of you watching your weight or don’t like creamy soups, this soup has no cream, milk or half-and-half.

 

Roasted Campari Tomato-Basil Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

2 (16-ounce) containers compari tomatoes, cut in half

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 cups chopped yellow onions 

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, undrained

1 cup finely chopped fresh basil

4 cups chicken broth

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Toss together the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil and chicken broth. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

If you’re wondering what Campari tomatoes are, here is what they look like: 

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Election Night Party

Raspberry Lemonade from Sunset

   My friend called me yesterday, and said she was having an election night party and asked me what should she serve? I was stumped at first as her ideas were muffalatas and shrimp creole or pizza and lasagna. This was going to be a casual party with friends and children so it got me thinking…

   For those for McCain, I think Tex-Mex would be a great way to go so try my fajitas and guacamole with margaritas, rice or a salad, and you’re all set. 

   And if you’re pulling for Obama, I hear it’s Chicago deep dish pizza or chili that are his favorite foods. Since this election is so special and unique, my suggestion is to come up with something for everyone, so I hope you will enjoy some of my patriotic favorites.

 

Raspberry Lemonade

This recipe is so great, and kids love it! My son decided to take this on all by himself. You may want to double this recipe as it only serves 4.

Yield: Makes about 4 servings

Preparation

To make In a small bowl, with a potato masher or spoon, mash 1 cup rinsed fresh raspberries (6 oz.) with 2/3 cup sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Press through a fine strainer into a pitcher (at least 1 1/2 qt.); discard seeds. Stir in 1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses.

And the celebration begins….

 

Honey Chiptole Barbecue Sandwiches

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches from Cooking Light

This recipe yields slow-cooked barbecue flavor in less than an hour. The sandwiches need to be broiled at the last minute.

Yield: 4 sandwiches (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Ingredients

1/2  cup  water

1  teaspoon  ground cumin

4  garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast

1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1  teaspoon  ground cumin

1/2  cup  canned tomato puree

1/4  cup  cider vinegar

3  tablespoons  honey

1  tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce

4  (1 1/2-ounce) sandwich rolls

2  ounces  Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced

4  (1/8-inch-thick) slices red onion

Preparation

Combine water, 1 teaspoon cumin, 4 sliced garlic cloves, and chicken in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Drain, and place chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken across grain into thin slices; keep warm.

Remove 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 2 chipotle chiles from can; finely chop and set aside. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomato puree; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens to a pastelike consistency, stirring constantly. Stir in reserved 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, 2 chopped chipotle chiles, vinegar, honey and Worcestershire. Add sliced chicken to sauce; simmer for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Preheat broiler.

Split rolls in half; arrange in a single layer, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Remove top halves of rolls from baking sheet. Divide chicken mixture evenly among bottom halves of rolls, and top chicken mixture evenly with cheese. Broil chicken-topped rolls 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; top with onion and top roll halves. Serve immediately.

Red White and Blue Potato Salad

This recipe uses a trio of potatoes, but use all of one type if you prefer. Blue potatoes are starchier than the others and tend to bleed, so cook them separately. If you need to, prepare this dish a day ahead, but add the blue potatoes just before serving. If your potatoes are larger than the ones we call for, cut them to a uniform size.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

2  cups  fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)

2  cups  small red potatoes, quartered (about 10 ounces)

2  cups  small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 ounces)

1/4  cup  finely chopped red onion

2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley

1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill

1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives

3  hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped

1/4  cup  red wine vinegar

2  tablespoons  olive oil

1 1/4  teaspoons  salt

2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

1  garlic clove, minced

Preparation

Place fingerling and red potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl.

Place blue potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives, and eggs to bowl; toss gently.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Fajitas and Guacamole: Say No More

I thought I would start off the week with some options if you would like to cook easy Mexican dishes. Some of my friends eat Mexican every Sunday night, and I have others that have a standard Thursday which is “Mexican night” at their house. With all of the recipes I have to develop and test, I don’t really have the flexibility for a specific night of the week to be the same on a weekly basis. However, my kids love fajitas and guacamole, and they always look forward to “Mexican night” at our house. Feel free to substitute or add chicken, shrimp or more vegetables for the Fajitas below.

 

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound Ribeye Steak (May substitute strip, sirloin or shell)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 medium-hot Poblano pepper (dark green and triangular)

1 medium yellow onion

8 fat-free flour tortillas

tomatoes, optional

Preparation

1. At least two hours before dinner, dust a 1-pound ribeye steak with freshly ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in refrigerator so spice flavors can penetrate the meat.

2. Cut the peppers into large segments, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut onion into thick slices, making sure not to pull onion rings apart.

3. Prepare grill and adjust heat accordingly.

4. Place peppers and onion slices on grill and cover. Roast peppers by turning frequently until they are covered with dark spots, but not burnt. Cook onion slices until brown, being sure not to char. 

5. Remove peppers and onion slices from grill. After allowing the peppers to cool 3-4 minutes, pull off the waxy-papery skins. Slice the peppers crosswise into strips. Next, take the onion slices and break into rings. Mix the peppers and onions in a serving bowl.

6. Place ribeye on grill, turning frequently. 

7. Warm eight fat-free tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp.

8. After cooking, remove steak from grill and cut diagonally into thin slices. Roll several slices of steak and a share of the peppers and onions into tortillas and serve.

Cooking Tip: It is important to let the dry rub of spices penetrate the meat. It not only tenderizes the meat, but also adds extra flavor. For a short cut, peppers don’t have to be peeled.

Cooking Tip: To help keep the meat moist when grilling, use the cover on your grill during part or all of the cook time to help lock in flavorful juices. If your grill doesn’t have a cover, improvise by putting a large, disposable foil roasting pan over the food.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Laura’s Lean Beef http://laurasleanbeef.com

Best Guacamole Ever

This is one of my favorite guacamole recipes.

Prep: 15 minutes

Yield: about 3 cups

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Preparation

1. Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

 http://foodtv.com

Chai Butterscotch Cookies Oh My

I am truly not a butterscotch fan, but I am a fan of these! I developed this recipe for “Real Butter’s” holiday recipes, and when I handed them out to friends, they begged for the recipe. I wasn’t willing to share until now. So here it goes: drumroll…for all those who asked me for the recipe.

This recipe is so simple. You can prepare the dough in no time at all and let it sit at least one hour. I have made the dough a day ahead, and it works perfectly! Adults and kids alike will love these simply super cookies. Try them and see for yourself.

 

Butterscotch Chai Cookies

 Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients:

 2 cups all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

11/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch chips

Cooking Directions:

 1. Whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl; set aside.

 2. Cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and combine until blended (do not over-mix). Fold in butterscotch chips; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

 3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

 4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape dough into 2-inch balls (tablespoon scoop) and arrange on baking sheet 3 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and just set. Let stand 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack.

Leigh’s Favorite Simple Chocolate Cake

   Okay, I will first tell you that this cake is SO GOOD! I am a full-time Recipe Developer for national food magazines and food companies, but I promise this cake is worth a try! For those of you who are in a huge hurry, just need a break or want something their kids can make, but here is the new version!

   My daugther Leigh, who is 9-years old, made the cake from the box instructions, and she was amazed she could make this on her own. After that, I discussed with her how this cake could be better. Basically we added added chocolate syrup and deleted some of the water.

Here’s is new version. No one will ever know that this cake was made from a cake mix (although I do love you Duncan Hines)! www.duncanhines.com

Gather these ingredients:

Combine 1 (18.25-ounce) package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2/3 cup chocolate syrup and 2/3 cup water and follow package directions for spraying and flouring the pan as well as mixing. Bake according to package directions. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

To make your own chocolate sauce drizzle, melt 1 (8-ounce) package semisweet morsels with 1 tablespoon milk. Place melted chocolate in a zip-top plastic bag and cut a hole in the bottom corner of the bag and drizzle over cake.

And here it is! I know Leigh went a little overboard with the powdered sugar, but all is well! Just remember one thing! This is best served with a glass of cold milk!

Leigh and Me Cook

   Many of you who have read my blog today asked about what “Leigh and Me Cook” is…..

   Leigh is my 9 year-old daughter who I call little “Martha”. Leigh is ahead of her time and passing me by quickly. She makes her own smoothies everyday, homemade omelets cooked to order, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and wonderful chocolate-dipped strawberries. She can cut garlic and fresh herbs just as well as I.

   The recipes filed under this category will be recipes or products that Leigh loves and can make all by herself with minimal assistance. I thought those of you who have children might love some of these ideas to get your kids cooking and interested and knowledgeable about food.

   I have to be honest. Some days she “shows” me up in the kitchen which can by a little scary! She loves the pizza and crust in today’s earlier blog, and she recommends it highly! 

Look for her Simple Chocolate Cake coming soon! A good friend of mine (who has exceptional taste in food) calls it “AWESOME”!


Easiest Pizza Ever

It’s pizza night, and everyone loves it! My favorite new crust is quick, easy and delicious! It’s Pillsbury® refrigerated thin pizza crust. Just unroll, add your favorite toppings and bake, and you’ll have fresh, homemade thin crust pizza just the way you like it. It makes a rectangle pizza so enjoy having square pizza slices for a change.

Here is the pizza crust. If you like Pillsbury’s original crust (which makes great pizzas on the grill by the way), you will love this if you’re a fan of thin crust pizzas.

www.pillsbury.com

Molten Lava Cookies

You will love these cookies for the holidays or anytime of the year. These cookies were inspired by my love for molten cakes, but they are very simple to prepare and come out fabulous!

This recipe can be found on www.allrecipes.com and http://wisdairy.com

Molten Lava Cookies

“These pillowy-soft, brownie-like cookies are made possible with real butter and a chocolate lava center made with semisweet and dark chocolate melted with vanilla.”

RECIPE RATING:

The reviewer gave this recipe 1 stars. This recipe average a 5 star rating.

 


  
PREP TIME  30 Min
COOK TIME  11 Min
READY IN  41 Min

SERVINGS: 24

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped dark or semisweet chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
  • Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla; mix until combined.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Using your thumb, press a thumbprint into the center; fill with a piece of chocolate and fold dough over to cover chocolate.
  4. Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are firm and tops are soft. Remove cookies to a cooling rack; dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm, if possible. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  5. To reheat cookies, place cookie on microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 5 seconds, or until cookie is slightly warm

 

 

Nutritional Information
Molten Lava Cookies

Servings Per Recipe: 24

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 205

  • Total Fat: 9.3g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Total Carbs: 30.1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3g

Fennel Pistachio Cookies

Welcome to my first blog where I will talk about great recipes that I have either created or love and are worth sharing. Check out this innovative cookie! You will love them! I promise! Let me know what you think. This recipe can also be found on www.allrecipes.com and features Real Butter.


Fennel Pistachio Cookies

“Butter makes this simple drop cookie soft and rich while pistachios give it an unexpected crunch. Lemon rind and fennel seeds round out the cookie with a citrusy-anise flavor.”

RECIPE RATING:

The reviewer gave this recipe 0 stars. This recipe average a 0 star rating.

PREP TIME  15 Min
COOK TIME  10 Min
READY IN  25 Min

SERVINGS: 36

  Nutritional Information

Fennel Pistachio Cookies

Servings Per Recipe: 36

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 124

  • Total Fat: 6.6g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg
  • Sodium: 111mg
  • Total Carbs: 14.9g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.5g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto or almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped, plus extra for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar; mix well. Add egg; beat well. Add amaretto, lemon zest and fennel seeds; mix to combine.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture; beat well. Stir in pistachio nuts (dough will be stiff).
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. If desired, flatten balls slightly and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to cooling racks and cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.