Friday, December 23, 2011

Cream Cheese Chicken

My husband went to a super bowl party one year and the hostess made these appetizers of chicken, cream cheese & bacon. He loved it so much he asked me to make them. I decided I would try it as a meal and make it bigger. The first time I made this dish, I realized it needed a sauce. The rest we say is history. My family loves this dish.

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts
Cream cheese
Salt, pepper, parsley
Cream of chicken soup
Water
Butter
Onion – 4 slices, minced

Video:

Helpful Hints:

When your chicken is in the boiler, turn the pan around for even cooking as well as flipping the chicken pieces so that all sides are crisp. This dish can be made ahead of time. Just don’t cook it after you added the sauce.

To make this dish Atkins friendly, just don’t cover it in the cream of chicken soup.

Enjoy, experiment and add your spin to this dish. Always remember to have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Easy Popovers

Instead of using rolls for dinner, these popovers are a delicious substitute. This is an easy recipe that will impress your family and friends.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled

Video:

Helpful Hints:

Correction: On the video I say preheat oven to 450 but the correct temperature is 425. Cook the popovers at 425 for 20 minutes before reducing heat down to 325.

Mix eggs first until they are frothy. Warm the milk and add slowly to the frothy eggs. Then add flour and salt (Also helpful to sift the flour and salt together before adding slowly.)

Popovers are best when serviced straight from the oven, popping hot. They will get dense as time elapses. So serve them as your guest sit at the table. These are also very good for breakfast served with cream cheese and jam or just plain butter. A yummy addition to your favorite cup of coffee. You can add shredded cheese (about 1 tablespoon) to your popovers before you place them in the oven.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Remember to be creative and have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Root Beer Float - Atkins Friendly

I want to thank my friend Ginny for introducing me to this drink. It's easy, simple and yummy. The best part of this drink is if you are on Atkins it is something you can have with no guilt.

Ingredients:

Diet Root Beer
Heavy Cream


Video:


Helpful Hints:


Make sure your root beer is cold. You can use some ice either way but I found when your drink is cold it's better. If you like you can substitute diet cream soda for diet root beer - also very yummy. You can add whipped (which is also Atkins friendly) to top it off.

Just remember to enjoy whatever you make in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pork Stuffing

This is one of my family’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I love Thanksgiving and cooking a big meal for my family. Tom’s mom gave me this recipe and I added to it to make it my own.

Ingredients:

1 box of corn bread/pork stuffing mix
1 lb of ground pork
Pine nuts
Celery 2-3 stalks chopped
Onion – minced
Salt & pepper
Butter

Video:

Helpful Hints:

You can make this the night before, but before placing it in the oven also add about ¼ cup of water to keep everything moist so that your stuffing doesn’t dry out.

Be creative and have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Antipasto Platter

Arranging an antipasto platter can be very creative and fun. It’s a great way to start off an Italian meal and can take place of a salad.

Ingredients:

Fresh mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes
Green olives
Ham/Prosciutto
Bread sticks
Peperoncini
Artichoke hearts
Italian dressing

Video:


Helpful Hints:

Remember to do the bread sticks & prosciutto right before your guests arrive. You can add other meats like pepperoni and other cured meats to your tray. You can add other types of olives, provolone cheese. It can be as complex or simple as you like.

If you’re on an Atkins diet you can eat everything but the breadsticks.

I love how some of you have taken what you’ve seen here and made it your own. Being creative in the kitchen doesn’t have to be scary, it just has to be fun.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be a very simple dish that can go very wrong if you over cook your potatoes. Once you master a basic mashed potato recipe you can be very creative with what you can do with it.

Ingredients:

Potatoes
Salt & pepper
Butter

Video:

Helpful Hints:

Be sure to not over cook your potatoes or else you will have glue instead of fluffy potatoes. It's helpful if you wait until the water boils before timing the potatoes (15 - 20 minutes). Add roasted garlic for added flavor.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative in the kitchen. Cheese and potatoes go very well together so try different cheeses.

Always remember to have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken Francese

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite and it’s easy to make.

One one of our first dates together Tom took me to an Italian restaurant. It was the first time I had gone to one and didn’t know what to order. I didn’t grow up with Italian food and being only sixteen years old my food experience was related to my family. Tom ordered for me. We had Veal Francese. You can make this recipe with veal, but I find that with veal there is a fine between brilliant and shoe leather. It can be overcooked quit quickly.

Ingredients:

Chicken breast
Butter
Lemons
Flour (seasoned with salt & pepper)
Egg & milk (seasoned with salt & pepper)
Oil

Video:


Helpful Hints:

When making this dish for guests it can be done the day before.

Remember to experiment if you like and be creative, but always have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Candy Pies

I’ve recently discovered this website called Pinterest. One of the things I love about it is the food section. I found this yummy recipe called, “Kiss Pies,” by Jenny Flake. (Do check out her recipe of the Kiss Pies. She has great pics.) I would like to thank her for allowing me to use her recipe and feature it on my blog. Please visit Jenny’s blog Picky-Palate by clicking HERE. She has wonderful recipes and she’s very creative. You will love it.

I call them Candy Pies because I used other candies besides Hershey Kisses. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:

Pie dough
Candy – Hershey Kisses, Rolos, Peanut butter cups, etc.
Egg – white part only
Water – 1 tablespoon
Sugar

Video:

Helpful Hints:

Heat oven first to 350 then place the pies in the oven for 20-28 minutes. When making the peanut butter cups – place them “largel” side down on the pie shell. Let the pies cool before sprinkling the powdered sugar.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swiss Chicken

Trying to balance my diet on Atkins has been challenging. The challenging part is coming up with recipes that are tasty and different. I love to experiment in the kitchen which is a good thing. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous.

Ingredients:

Chicken cutlets (chicken breast cut thin)
Italian salad dressing
Swiss cheese
Bacon crumbled

Video:


Helpful hints:
This can be served with fresh vegetables and a salad to keep it Atkins friendly. If you like add your favorite potato or rice dish.

Let me know if you tried this recipe and what you thought.

Always remember to have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

On doctor’s orders, I started the Atkins diet. It’s been good and encouraging. I’ve lost about 25 lbs. It’s a start but there is a long road ahead. One day at a time.

I love cooking but modifying dishes haven’t been easy. This appetizer is very tasty and I’ve made it before Atkins and it’s what I call, Atkins friendly.

Don’t worry. I’ll be making all types of recipes, but if it’s “Atkins friendly” I’ll let you all know.

Ingredients:

Jalapeno peppers
Cream cheese
Bacon

Video:


Helpful hints: Remember you can use small sweet peppers if you don’t like hot peppers. If you remove “all” of the seeds it won’t be very at all.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. No matter what you’re cooking, remember to have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pepperoni Bread

I learned this recipe from a friend when I was living in New York before all the moving around. It's simple and easy. The flavor and taste is amazing.

Ingredients:

Pepperoni
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pizza dough
Flour to dust your work space

Video:



Helpful hints: If you bring the pepperoni bread to someone's home, cover bread in tin foil and reheat when you get there.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crock Pot Chili

I love chili. It’s easy especially when done in a crock pot. It can cook on low for hours and hours.

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomato
Oil
2 tbs flour
Kidney beans
Black beans
Onions
Green pepper
Chili powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
White rice
Shredded cedar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Video:


Helpful hints: Corn bread is delicious with this meal. You can use either corn muffins or corn bread. Chopped avocado is also tasty on top of your chili.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Avocado Salad - Haitian Griot Part IV

Avocado salad is simple and tasty.

Ingredients:

Avocado
Salt
Lemon Juice

Video:


Helpful hints: Steam green beans to finish off this meal.

For me this meal is not complete unless I have all the components. The tastes remind me of my childhood. It’s one of my favorite meals. Try parts of it or all of it.

Just remember to have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Plantains (Haitian Griot – Part III)

This video will show two ways to cook plantains – savory and sweet. The green plantains will be savory and the yellow will be sweet.

Ingredients:

Plantains (green & yellow)
Oil
Salt
Sugar

Video:


Helpful hints:

When frying the green plantains for the first time don’t over cook it but cook it until it is a light golden color. Salt or sugar the plantains when they are still warm to help the salt or sugar adhere better.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rice & Beans (Griot – Part II)

This recipe is one of those staples growing up. My mom made it to eat with other dishes and not just griot. It takes a bit of time and it freezes nicely if you make a big pot.

Ingredients:

Dry red kidney beans
Parboiled rice
Garlic powder, salt, & pepper
Parsley
Oil
Onion (5 thin slices)

Video:


Helpful hints: Make sure your beans are tender by not only doing the “fork tender test” but also tasting one of the beans to make sure it is tender. It may take up to an hour or so to be done. Don’t forget to add water as the beans are cooking because the water does evaporate.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Griot (Haitian Pork Shoulder) - Part I

This classic Haitian dish was a part of my childhood. My mom would make it this way. It quickly became one of Tom’s favorites. This video is the first step to a complete meal. To finish this meal I’ll be posting videos on how to cook: rice & beans, plantains & avocado salad.

Ingredients:

Pork Shoulder
Oranges
Lemons
Water

Video:


Helpful hints: Remember to check on the meat every half hour to 45 minutes. If the juices have dried up add more liquid to keep the meat moist. Turn the pork pieces a few times. Complete process can take about 2 to 3 hours.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tortellini Italiano

I made this dish after watching a cooking show and modified it. That’s one of the things I love about cooking is being creative.

Ingredients

Tortellini
Grilled chicken
Grape tomatoes
Onion
Garlic (3-4 cloves)
Parsley or Basil (fresh)
Salt & Pepper
Oil
Parmesan cheese
Fresh mozzarella

Video


Helpful hints: Substitute different types of pasta for the tortellini. Try it with or without meat. Use shrimp or different types of seafood instead of chicken.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Antipasto Salad

Antipasto means “before the meal” and is a traditional first course of formal Italian meals. I’ve included some of the components of traditional antipasto into salad form.

Ingredients:

Romaine lettuce
Black Olives
Green Olives
Artichoke hearts
Peperoncini
Hard Salami
Mozzarella/ Mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto
Roasted red pepper
Fennel

Video:


Helpful hints: You can substitute pepperoni instead of hard salami. You can add provolone cheese.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eclair Cake

This dessert is low in sugar, low in fat but best of all it doesn’t taste like it. I first came across this recipe from a friend while living in West Virginia. There are two young ladies who help me when I do these videos. One films and the other helps with clean-up (Thanks Candice and Erica). They both couldn’t wait for me to finish so that they could taste it. They loved it. I hope you love it too.

Ingredients:

3 small packets of Sugar-free vanilla pudding
4 cups of skim milk
1 box of graham crackers
2 8 oz tubs of cool whip
2/3 cups Coco powder
Skim milk
Sugar (to taste)

Video:


Helpful hints: Use a sharp knife to shape graham crackers. You can substitute sugar-free chocolate pudding as a variation (I prefer the vanilla believe it or not.) Don’t cover the ├ęclair cake when you place it in the refrigerator to give the coco topping a chance to adhere to the graham cracker and not to the lid you use to cover.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

This is one of my family’s favorite dishes that I make. The kids always request it when they visit. After learning how to make my mom-in-law’s sauce this was the next recipes she shared with me.

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts (cut into cutlets)
Bread crumbs (seasoned)
Egg
Milk
Oil
Sauce (see this video here)
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella

Video:


Helpful hints: Make this dish the day before because it makes the chicken tender sitting in the sauce overnight. You can cook your favorite pasta or ravioli as a side dish. Add just sausage to your sauce to make it easier.

Hope you enjoy this dish.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baked Ziti

When you go to a restaurant and order baked ziti, it usually comes with just sauce and mozzarella cheese. My mom-in-law used rotini pasta instead of the traditional ziti shaped pasta. She liked the way the cheese “hugged” the rotini shaped pasta. You can use different types of pasta and I have but my favorite is the rotini. She also added ricotta cheese. It’s one of my family’s favorite and I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

Rotini (1 box)
Ricotta cheese (2 lb)
Mozzarella cheese (@ 3 cups)
Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley
Egg (1)
Sauce
Meatballs & sausage (cut up)

Video:


You can view my sauce recipe by clicking here.
You can view my meatball & sausage recipe by clicking here.

Helpful hints:

You don’t need to use meatballs & sausage; you can use ground beef & pork to simplify your dish. If you make this dish the day before then it will take longer to cook (45 minutes to 1 hour). You can check it by putting a knife in the center of the dish. If the knife comes out warm then your dish is done.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Meat Sauce

Sauce is one of those basic recipes in an Italian family. I’m not Italian but I’m married to one. When I first got married, my mom-in-law came over to our apartment and walked me through making sauce. She taught me to taste my food as I cooked and adjust my seasonings accordingly. After it was done, she left before Tom got home. She wanted me to surprise him with my dinner and gave us time alone to enjoy my efforts. She was a great lady and I miss her.

I find that two types of meat make a yummy sauce but it’s not necessary. You can use a mixture of ground pork & beef instead of making meatballs & frying sausage. Don’t be afraid to adjust your seasonings as the sauce cooks. Remember it is easier to “add” rather than “subtract” seasonings.

To see the video on how to make meatballs and sausage click here.

Ingredients:

Tomato sauce (3 - 15 oz cans)
Crushed tomato (1 - 15 oz can)
Tomato past (1 small can)
Onion – 5 or 6 slices (minced)
Garlic clove – 2 or 3 (depends on size)
Salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, grated cheese
Meatballs & sausage (or ground beef & pork)

Video:


Helpful hints: If your sauce tastes acidy add a bit of sugar to cut down on the acid taste. The longer you cook your sauce the better the taste. Remember to stir it on occasion.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Meatballs & Sausage

There are many things you can do with meatballs and sausage. I will cover that in future posts. What I’m sharing today is my basic recipe for both. Experiment and add your own touch to the dish.
Ingredients (Meatballs)

Ground beef
Bread crumbs (seasoned)
Milk
Egg
Salt, pepper, oregano
Parmesan cheese

Ingredients (Sausage)

Sausage
Oil

Video:


I hope you enjoyed today’s video. Remember for the meatballs – 1lb of ground beef & 1 egg; 2lbs of ground beef & 2 eggs.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spaghetti Pie

This recipe comes from Tom’s family (on his mom's side of the family). I'd like to thank Uncle Al Gaspari for sharing the recipe. It’s good warm or cold. Tom actually likes it best cold. It’s real simple and makes a nice side to any meat dish.

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Perciatelli (by Ronzoni)
9 eggs
Salt, pepper, garlic, parmesan and parsley
Butter

Video:

This type of spaghetti looks like a straw and Ronzoni is the only brand that I’ve found that makes it.

Preheat the oven to 375 and cook for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheesy Salsa Dip

This recipe came from a friend of mine. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s cheesy. It’s a big hit at parties or when friends are hanging out.

Ingredients:

15 oz jar of salsa
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 package of cream cheese
1 bag of tortilla chips

Video:


Hope you enjoy this dip.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken. It’s also easy to make. I want to share with you a simple recipe and encourage you to change it up a bit. Add your favorite seasonings to the flour to zest up your chicken.

Ingredients:

Chicken (skinned)
Buttermilk
Flour
Salt & Pepper
Oil

Video:


Remember to let your chicken cook until its golden brown before turning. If you want extra crispy chicken – after covering it in flour dip it again in the buttermilk and back in the flour.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saffron Rice

Growing up in my home there was a mix of Haitian and Arabic foods. I didn’t always remember what everything was called, but I knew what was yummy. I don’t have many recipes from my childhood, but the ones I do have I will share.

Today I’m going to share a recipe that came from the Arabic side of the family. I don’t know if you every used Sazon by Goya (it’s a seasoning) but it adds flavor and color to your dishes. My mom would use it in rice. I love Jasmine rice but you can also use white rice.

Ingredients:

2 cups Jasmine Rice
1 packet Sazon (by Goya)
Salt
Pepper
Fresh parsley
Oil
Butter
Onion (5 slices chopped thinly)
1 lb. ground beef
Pine Nuts (as much you like)

Video:


You can try different types of meat instead of the beef. Cube steaks instead of ground works well with this dish.

The rice takes about 20 minutes to cook. After you add the rice to the water lower the heat to medium. When the water evaporates, add 1-2 tablespoons of butter, cover and heat on low until rice is cooked.

Pine nuts need to be watched constantly. Don’t do anything else when toasting the pine nuts because they can burn very easily. Remember to constantly toss or turn them.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Juicy Lucy (Pork) – Part II

I want to encourage all of you to be creative with recipes. Change it up a bit. When I made the Juicy Lucy with beef it got me to thinking about using different types of meat. Tom and I were talking one night and we came up with this version.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground pork
4 slices onion (minced)
Pepper
Oil
Feta cheese
Rolls

Heat your pan, cook for 6-7 minutes on each side and make sure you don’t press the top of the burger while it’s cooking.

Video:


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me.

To make this Atkins friendly eat it without bread. Instead add your favorite vegetable and a side salad.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Juicy Lucy – Part I

I watched a cooking show that featured this unique burger called the Juicy Lucy. Who invented it is in dispute, but the taste is not. It originated in South Minneapolis at either the 5-8 Club or Matt’s Bar. While watching the show it didn’t matter to me who invited it, it looked delicious. She I attempted to cook it.

The ingredients are:

1 lb ground beef (makes 3 burgers)
Cheddar & Provolone cheese
Rolls

Cook on each side for 6-7 minutes. Don't press down on the burger (it will plump) and flip it once.

Enjoy the following video presentation:


What’s great about a burger is making it your way. Add the type of cheese you like. I like mixing two different types of cheese but you may only like one. The same goes for the toppings. You can add tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, mushrooms, etc. I find that with the juiciness of this burger – less is better.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

*To make this Atkins friendly just lose the bun add your favorite vegetable and a side salad.

Up next is Juicy Lucy Part II - my variation made with pork.

© Nadine Zawacki 2011

Video shot by Candice Fowler