Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Party

Ahi Tuna Sashimi and Fresh Edamame
Cheese Pizza and Homemade Pretzels
Steak Napa Cabbage Rolls and Italian Stuffed Meatloaf
Peanut Butter Mousse
A little damage done but its all good, cleaned up now, sun is shining...well until this weekened when Katia comes to visit :).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Typical Weekend Filled with Food and Fun!

Boston’s own North End is known in the summer time for its street fairs and festivities. Our family loves going to the North End for the Italian feasts. This weekend we went to the Fisherman's Feast…and we ate our way through the streets.

They have street food like you wouldn't believe. They have Italian food (obvi) such as pasta dishes, salads, fresh seafood and our favorite, arancini. They had Mexican and Brazilian barbecue, place that sell desserts, yummy cocktails and smoothies and fried food like you have never seen it before.

The streets are pretty crowded and it gets a little load (you know with all us Italians..) but so worth it! Another great day with great people!

click here to learn more about it:

 My dress conveniently had a pocket to hold me beer while I ate an arancini (Rice Ball)
 Raw Bar and Fried Oreos..great combination in my Belly

Homemade street food...Fried Dough!

1 store bought pizza crust cut into small pieces
2 cup vegetable oil
1/4-cup sugar
nutella or chocolate or sauce of choice for drizzling

Heat oil on medium heat in a 12 inch sauté pan. When oil is hot, drop dough 3-4 at a time. Fry on one side for about 2 minutes, flip over and fry another minute. Remove from oil and lay onto a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle fried dough with sugar and or cinnamon (your choice) and drizzle with topping of choice.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

exciting, but somewhat unnecessary...

As we all know and are saddened by, Border Books Store is closing...

On Friday night on a hunt for a birthday present for our little 1-year-old cousin, Phil and I made our way to Borders at Legacy Place. Already aggravated with trying to find a parking spot, walking into Border with its chaotic distribution of books doomed us to be unsuccessful, but with some patients I found a few classics. After this, Phil went our separate ways; I moseyed over to the cooking and health section and he to the sport section.

5 New Cookbooks for 30ish Bucks!

Gotta go...making a cinnaman latte and starting some reading J


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Delish and Healthy Summer Appetizer

Vegetable Spring Rolls with Spicy Sesame Dipping Sauce

1-package spring roll wrappers (also can be called rice wrappers)
2 carrots
1 medium cucumber
2 peppers (color of your choice)
1 bunch of chives or scallions
1 bunch cilantro

Wash all vegetables. With a sharp knife julienne the carrots, peppers and cucumber; also roughly chop cilantro and chives. Fill a large bowl or plate with water and dip one wrapper into the water for a few seconds until softened. Lay the wrapper on a flat surface and in the center place 2-3 carrot pieces, 2-3 cucumber pieces, 1 pepper, and a sprinkle of cilantro and chive. Fold over each end and tightly roll the wrapper (like a burrito). Press seam to close and lay on a plate until serving. If storing over night, cover with a moist paper towel.

Spicy Sesame Dipping Sauce

¼ cup sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp chili paste
½ tsp sesame seeds

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and serve.

****This video will help you with you Julienne-ing skills….

Monday, August 15, 2011

Saturday Food Adventure...

Welcome to Federal Hill, the little Italy of Rhode Island. On Saturday, Megan, Phil and I decided to venture here to have a little food adventure.

There are all kinds of little specialty store and shops, in this one we were greeted by the world's largest vine ripened tomato! This thing was huge...look at it compared to the (normal sized) cherry tomato.

We had a great lunch..and a beatiful glass of sparkling Prosecco, perfect on a hot summer day!
Our next stop was Venda Ravioli ( This is one of our favorite places in Federal Hill. It advertises itself as "Rhode Islands Italian Grocery store" and that it is. They have beautiful Italian specialty items, wonderful cheeses from all over Europe, yummy oils and a variety of decadent prepared foods.I would have loved to share more photos with you but upon snapping this amazing picture of the cheese case I was told "no pictures allowed" L....bummer. I guess you will just have to check it out yourself, so worth it!

Then we had Cappuccino and Yummy cupcakes. Megan and I both got Chocolate..her was sprinkled with chocolate chips, mine with a gummy worm and Oreo cookie crumbs!


All our groceries...most improtant and exciting find of the day was the individual "snack" portions of nutella, only the best things ever invented by Italian people!

Caio Bella!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

10 Satisfying Snacks for around 100 calories!

Snacks are something that should be part of your every day life. Every day I counsel clients and talk about eating small meals and snacks throughout the day. “Six meal eating” is a form of eating that incorporates healthy snacks in betweens meals, usually cutting back hunger at meal time which may inturn promote weight loss or weight maintenance.

In my experience when people are asked about snacks their idea of a snack foods is usually carbohydrates. Crackers, chips, pretzels, and the list of packaged and processed foods go on and on. When I think if snack I think of fresh ingredients like fruits, vegetable, nuts or seeds, cheese or yogurt, etc. A snack food should be healthy, it should consist of some carbohydrate, some proteins and some healthy fats. When your snack consists of all these food components they are satisfying, keep you full between meals and are friendly to your wasteline.

1. Popcorn – fresh/air popped popcorn is a great snack, it is crunch and satisfying and did you know what it’s considered a whole grain? 1 cup of popped popcorn is only 50 calories. Add a little bit of salt or other seasonings and you’ve got satisfying and delicious snack.

2. Fruit Smoothie – Simple blend about 1 cup frozen fruit with a ¼ cup of juice or milk and you’ve got a sweet snack for about 100-120 calories. For a boost of protein add a little bit of plain yogurt or silken tofu. For a hidden vitamin boost add a handful of spinach (they’ll never know!)

3. Veggies and Dip – crudite isn’t only for the holidays, cut up some peppers, carrots, broccoli or your other favorites and dip away! (Homemade dips are the healthiest, use low fat sour cream mixed with a little bit of milk, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper and you’ve got homemade ranch dressing, serving size is about 2 tbsp)

4. Cottage Cheese – ½ cup low fat cottage cheese is a great snack. Its plain flavor can be mixed with fruits for something sweet or veggies for a savory satisfier.

5. Hard Boiled Egg – simple as that a hard-boiled egg is only about 70 calories and the protein in eggs is the highest-quality protein found in any food.

6. Mini Quiches – quiches are a great breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Because they are so versatile you really can add anything you want to them. Instead of making your quiche is a pie crust, make them in your muffin tins. Simply oil the muffin tin, pour your egg mixture and bake. They will be a great pop in your mouth snack.

7. Ants on a log – remember this one? Ants on a Log traditionally are celery stalks filled with peanut butter topped with dried fruit (usually raisins). Now our supermarkets conveniently sell individually portioned peanut butter packets that are great for on the go dipping. Another variation would be celery stalks filled with cream cheese topped with sliced green olives…yum.

8. Nuts – go nuts with nuts…nuts are a great, I am a big fan of almonds, cashews, pistachios, and more. The serving size for nuts and seeds is about a palm full (usually translating to about 1/8 cup). Nuts have lots of healthy fats that are great for our heart but we do have to be careful of portion sizes with these yummy treats.

9. Chickpea or Bean “Nuts” – when roasted in a hot oven, chickpeas and white beans get super crispy and crunchy. They are a great substitute for nuts and are low in fat, loaded with protein and fiber. Serving would be ¼ cup

10. Chocolate covered Banana – I saved the best for last. I know for me something sweet is almost always necessary. This sweet treat will more than satisfy your craving. Simple cut a large banana in 3 pieces, pierce each banana piece with a popsicle stick and set aside. Melt some chocolate and dip the bananas (optional but really yummy when sprinkled with coconut or crushed walnuts). Lay onto a piece of wax paper and freeze. Yup…this is right around 100 calories!

 Homemade Soy Nuts
 Chickpea and White Bean "nuts"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This weeks featured CSA farm share

This weeks CSA farm share was pretty good, I have to say as much as I love beets and summer squash I am getting a little bit sick of them. My signature dish of the summer I would have to say is grilled zucchini and summer squash, every family member of mine who has been invited for dinner knows that it is always part of the spread...this week I refuse to grill it, I will find another way to cook the summer squash babies I received today in my share!

I was more than excited when I saw the bucket of okra at my pick up. To my surprise a lot of people were asking questions about this yummy pod; "How do I cook this?, Do I peel it?, What does it taste like?". Okra is really yummy in my opinion, we grew up eating okra in sauces and stews and sauteed. I guess for someone who is eating okra for the first time would have to acquired a taste for it. When cooked, okra gives off a "goo" or "slime" for lack of a better way to explain it. No, it doesn't sound too appetizing but it actually comes in very handy in certain dishes, especially because the "goo" acts as a thickening agent for soups and stews.  The okra today at the pick up came in all sizes, really tiny ones and really big ones, I would assume the bigger they were the more tough the pod would be on the outside..I decided to take some medium sized pods. The first thing I thought of when I saw them was pickles! Pickled die for.

Pickled Okra (with garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes)
Little Cukes
Carnival Peppers and Heirloom Tomatoes
 Summer Squash and Chives
 Melon and Blueberries
 Pretty Melon

Monday, August 8, 2011

Food Fit for a King...

All over the world, people have different traditions. Most traditions revolve around food or involve food in some way. It doesn't matter what country you live in or what language you speak, food is an important part of life and family. America, the home of fried potatoes and fast food...unfortunately to us in our Country the moto is the bigger the better, the saltier the better, the greasier the other parts of the world chefs and home cooks explore natural flavors, they appreciate the flavor of meat, they utilize fresh herbs and spices, they welcome the flavor of the ocean from fish. I learned a lot about that this weekend and grew a new appreciation for fresh food.
My cousin Ze comes to visit my family from Portugal a few times per year, the last time she visited was for Phil and my wedding (last September) so because it was such a busy time, we didn’t get to spend to much time with her. When we heard a few weeks ago that she was coming, we were more than excited! This year we were even more eager for her to arrive because we heard that she was coming with her Nephew Hugo.

We had the pleasure of meeting them for dinner on Thursday night after their arrival. We went to the Outback Steakhouse (doesn’t get any more American than that for Hugo’s first American meal huh!?) We chatted about life, work, family, and food. We found out that Hugo and Ze love to cook at home as well, but it seemed that their techniques and food preference were quite different, not only because of different traditions, but because of what is available in Europe. They love nuts, seeds, fresh produce and especially fish. We love fish too, but in Portugal when they cook it, it is the fish in its entirety; with head, with fins, with eyes…

My parent’s house in Marshfield is right near a little local fish market…and we were up for a challenge J

My mom bravely went in on Friday afternoon and requested a whole fish. At first the fishermen were a little skeptical and confused on what she would want with a whole fish but they did a beautiful job preparing a fresh caught haddock for the challenge.

he he
Seasoning with fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt
Hugo and Ze, so proud of their creation...the fish has a blanket of onion, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, seasalt and white wine
 I know it looks a little scary, but oh man was it good....

We also had lots of other treats throughout the day...between my parents, Hugo and Ze, my sister and myself, we certainly made a feast fit for a king.

 Mahogany Clams and Figs with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
 Grilled Squash and Zucchini - Green Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella with a fresh pesto Vinaigrette (made with farm fresh basil)
So tired from the marathon of eating...
Sunday was a rainy day. What better way to spend it that with Poker games like Texas Holdem and with snacks...

 Fresh Tuna Salad- Bruchetta              
 Grilled Peaches topped with Vanilla Bean Ice cream and Cinnamon
Salted Caramels 

If you would like any recipes or tips on where to find these treat, please post a comment or send me an e-mail!