stick o' sausage: turkey & pepper skewers and roasted asparagus with dijon-lemon sauce

>> Friday, March 26, 2010

the last meal in this week's series was by far the best and my personal favorite. nothing screams spring more than grilled veggies and meat on a stick. and really - who doesn't love anything on a stick?  i jazzed up these traditional kabobs with a non-traditional pesto sauce to give them that extra oomph.

adapted from food network
2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
1 16 oz package turkey kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1 cup heirloom tomatoes
3 tablespoons evoo
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup chives
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

soak 10 skewers in water for at least 15 minutes - this will prevent them from burning. preheat grill pan to medium high (you can do this outside on a real grill too if you want).

toss the bell peppers, sausage, onion and tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon evoo and s&p. thread onto the skewers, alternating the sausage and vegetables. grill, turning the skewers every so often for about 6 to 7 minutes. meanwhile, puree the parsley, chives, garlic in a blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water and s&p. brush the skewers with some of the pesto and continue to cook, turning, until the tomatoes are tender and the sausage is charred, about 6 to 7 more minutes. before serving, brush skewers with remaining pesto. 

i roasted up these asparagus to round out the meal. i loved the flavor combination between the tangy lemon zest and juice paired with bitterness of the dijon mustard. get the recipe here.


gourmet grub: artichoke, proscuitto & arugula pizza and spring salad with pistachio-crusted goat cheese

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

do you ever get tired of eating the same kind of pizza? this week i was in the mood for something different and stumbled across this gourmet recipe. all of the ingredients complimented each other exceptionally well. between the salty prosciutto, lemony peppery arugula, pungent pesto and buttery marinated artichokes you could seriously eat this whole thing up.

(adapted from cooking light)

1 ball whole wheat pizza dough
2-3 tablespoons store bought pesto
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (a little more if you're love cheese)
4 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup arugula leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

position oven rack to lowest setting. preheat oven to 500 degrees. roll out dough on counter (into a circle or rectangle/square) and place on non-stick baking sheet. spread the pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pesto. place baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 5 minutes. remove pizza from oven.

arrange artichokes on pizza and top with sliced prosciutto. sprinkle with parmesan. return pizza to the bottom oven rack; bake an additional 6 minutes or until crust is browned.  the cooking time will depend on the brand of dough you buy.  for best results, follow the directions on the package. in a small bowl, mix lemon juice with arugula. when pizza is finished cooking, garnish with garnish.

i served a simple salad alongside with pistachio-crusted goat cheese balls.  it couldn't have been easier and look how beautiful and elegant they look! in a mini food processor, coarsely chop shelled pistachio nuts. form mini goat cheese balls in hands and roll in evoo and then nuts until well coasted.


california dreaming: avocado blt sandwiches and 3 bean pesto salad

>> Wednesday, March 24, 2010

for some reason this meal reminds me of a typical west coast menu even though i've never even been there. but just go with me on this one. there isn't a real recipe for the avocado blts. we all know how to make these classic sandwiches.  you can switch out any ingredients and experiment to your liking.  i chose turkey bacon, added grilled chicken, used argula for that peppery bite and spiced up some light mayo with hot sauce.  

now for the 3 bean salad - i got the inspiration for this recipe from whole foods.  every time i go there, they have this amazing salad with edamame, string beans and chick peas. i've been wanting to try my own stab at it and i think it turned out pretty good {if not better}.

2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained
2 cups edamame beans
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons evoo
1/4 cup asiago cheese

mix pesto, evoo, balsamic vinegar and s&p in food processor.  pulse until it has turned to the consistency of salad dressing.  if it too thick, add more evoo.  in a large bowl, mix together the beans, parsley, cheese, dressing and s&p.  chill for 20 minutes in fridge before serving for best results.


this week in the kitchen

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

with spring around the corner, this week's menu is focused on vegetables, healthy eating, and big flavors.  are you excited, foodies?  stay tuned!

avocado blt sandwiches and 3 bean pesto salad

sausage & pepper skewers and roasted asparagus with dijon-lemon sauce

artichoke, proscuitto & arugula pizza and spring salad with pistachio-crusted goat cheese

(photo credit -


the finer aspects of dc

>> Friday, March 19, 2010

this post is dedicated to all of those people who haven't made dc their home sweet home. slowly, i have been collecting photos from around the area, proving what a fun place the nation's capitol can be to live.

so we don't have the option of seeing celebrities on the streets, but we do have celebrity impersonators willing to sell you something off their truck.

we have regular street (or should i say boat?) performers. this guy highly entertained me with his shirt tag hanging from the armpit.

we have cougars. and lots of them. the dating pool is strong.

the nation's capitol is run by some of the smartest individuals. just look at their fine work. notice anything?

in today's economy, we have some of the best sales around.

my fellow dc-ers,  i encourage you to go out this weekend and see what fun things you can find and report back. maybe, just maybe, we can convince everyone to move here. {ahem. sis...please come back}

happy weekend, friends.


fan mail: recipe success

this was me the other day when i was pleasantly surprised to get a sweet email from our reader, amy.

i'm making your chicken cacciatore tonight. your instructions seem perfect for a non-cooking sis like myself. can't wait to report how it goes.

we love to hear feedback on anything we share on our little project here. no joke - it makes us want to quit our day jobs and make blogging our full-time careers. (we're currently accepting financial backing. peg? BE? are you there?)

amy reported back the next day with this photo and message:

i did it! i did it! with your blog as my sous chef, i made delicious chicken cacciatore!! sis -  you and your recipes are the bomb diggity!

so glad it was a hit, amy.  keep the success stories coming.
and of course, i always welcome more feedback/suggestions/comments/gripes (i suppose) at

(photo credit -


mediterranean marvel: couscous stuffed chicken

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

i was just telling sis about this post and she goes, "more couscous? you are the only person i know who eats couscous". on that note, i promise to try experimenting with new sides dishes...but for today, we're sticking with the plan and couscous it is.

this recipe comes from guy fieri over at food network. i ended up doubling the sauce recipe because it just didn't seem like enough. i also forgot to add the butter, but ended up liking it without the extra calories. the sundried tomatoes and olives really jazz up the couscous - perfect balance of a salty and sweet bite.

don't have couscous on hand? any grain will do. quinoa would be a great substitute. i also secured the chicken with toothpicks to keep the stuffing from falling out.

the recipe is too long for this post, but you can head on over to food network to check it out.  eat up!


cheesy delight: bacon, ranch and chicken mac and cheese

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

this month's cooking light magazine arrived in my mailbox last week and i felt like a fat kid hyped up on candy. i frantically tore through that bad boy, ooo-ing and aah-ing over every page, all while trying to catch the drool dripping from my mouth. this recipe immediately caught my eye because i obviously love ranch and bacon. the serving size is 2 cups and it rounds out to be about 500 calories.  you definitely don't need 2 cups to fill you up and when served with a side salad, its a great dinner option.  it's always nice to feel like you're eating something bad, even if you're not.

source: cooking light
8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
2 slices turkey bacon
8 oz chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 cups skim milk
1/3 cup condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup shredded six-cheese italian blend (such as Sargento)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese

cook pasta according to package directions; drain. cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. finely chop bacon; set aside. increase heat to medium-high. add chicken to drippings in pan and sauté 6 minutes or until done. melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. add italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and s&p, stirring until cheese melts. stir in pasta and chicken.

preheat broiler. spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-jack cheese. broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
(photo credit -


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