Olive Oil

Zucchini Bruschetta

My favorite thing about life is probably food. Definitely food. Especially fancy food. Even more, I love when you can make fancy food yourself. And if we’re going to go even further, I REALLY love when said "fancy food” is super easy to make and takes about .5 seconds.

Zucchini Bruschetta
Zucchini Bruschetta

Bruschetta is just so delicious and whenever you make this for your friends, everyone will see how un-basic you are. Because of your refined tastes and skillful culinary talents.

Zucchini Bruschetta

6-8 Campari Tomatoes

1 Zucchini, diced

¼ Cup Purple Onion, finely diced

½ Tablespoon Fresh Basil, minced

½ Tablespoon Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. If you cannot find Campari Tomatoes at your local grocery store, Roma Tomatoes will do just fine. Personally, I have recently discovered the magical taste of Campari's and I just want everyone to know.

Combine the rest of the ingredients with the tomatoes. If you do not have access to fresh herbs, about 1 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning will get you by.

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Give your Bruschetta a quick taste test and add more EVOO, Salt & Pepper, if needed.

Chill in the fridge for about an hour and serve with crostini or toast.

However, be sure and grab a bite ASAP because it probably won’t last long. And if you're thinking, "I can probably just get one back of crostini toast because that will be enough." Go ahead and slap yourself for being stupid.

You’re welcome!

Garlic & Parsley Mashed Cauliflower

I love delicious food. It’s not a secret. I'm not ashamed. If I didn’t, I would still weigh 135 pounds. Like I did in college. And I don’t miss that at all. I love my lady lumps. They are a part of me. They make me like Fergie and Beyonce but white and with better hair.

...Right?

Whatever. I really just love delicious food, especially when it’s not as sinful as it tastes.

This is a take on several recipes I’ve tried. I now pronounce the winner: This recipe.

Try it. You’ll love it. Lurve it, even. Just don't fall in love with me cause that could get messy. image

Garlic and Parsley Mashed Cauliflower

1 Head of Cauliflower

1 Bay Leaf

2 Cloves Garlic, whole

2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 Cup Grated Swiss Cheese

¼ Cup Parsley, chopped

Remove the florets from the head of cauliflower and separate them into individual pieces, as much as you can. Throw them in a pot with the a bay leaf, oil, and garlic and cover with water. Don’t be tricked, the florets will float. Just make sure you have enough water to not evaporate out and leave you high and dry.

Pun intended.

Season the water with a little salt and pepper and bring to a boil, covered for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. When you’re satisfied with the tenderness of the cauli’, drain the mixture really good and remove the bay leaf.

You’re going to want to drain it super good or the “mash” will be kinda soupy. NO ONE LIKES A SOUPY MASH.

Run the cauliflower through a food processor with the garlic cloves mixed in. When you remove the lid from your food processor, prepare for a heavenly smell. It’s like Jesus’ armpits, I bet. So holy.

Transfer back to the soup pot or a kitchen-aid mixer bowl and mix in the cheese and parsley. At this point, take a little taste test and add salt & pepper as necessary.

If you’re feeling adventurous, fill green bell pepper halves with the mash and grill until the pepper is tender. I swear to you, it’s my new favorite thing.

Happy Eatings!

 

Baked Zucchini Ribbons

To me, nothing says “SUMMERTIME DELICIOUSNESS HAS ARRIVED!!!” like fresh vegetables. Along with grilling, it is definitely one of my favorite parts of warm weather. Top Five. Easy.

This is a recipe I have done several times. It’s a great go-to recipe if you find yourself in a time crunch but still want to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor.Baked Zucchini Ribbons

Baked Zucchini Ribbons

1 Whole Zucchini

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Italian Parsley, roughly chopped

Chop off the very end of the zucchini. Using a mandolin slicer, or a vegetable peeler, cut the vegetable into slices that are super thin.

1 zucchini will make about 2 servings. So, double or triple as you feel lead.

In mixing bowl, toss the zucchini with all the seasonings and oil and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, or longer depending on how soft you like the zucchini.

This also works great with yellow squash and maybe a slight drizzle of balsamic vinegar or fresh parmesan Baked Zucchini Ribbonscheese.

Never have you ever had a tastier side that took less than 20 minutes from kitchen to table!

Southwestern Chicken (Tortilla) Soup

Let’s get real: I don’t know where you’re at in life. However, knowing the luck I usually carry to casinos…I’m going to bet you’re reading this on your iPad from a beach somewhere, while someone named “Julio” brings you a fruity drink. And you might be slightly annoyed because “Jose” or whatever forgot you said “no sugar on the rim” and your sunglasses might be just slightly smudged from sand that’s so fine and soft that it blew up in your eyes when a gentle breeze blew by 5 minutes ago.

Well, I’m really sad for your first world problems. I really, really am. But if you’re in Texas, chances are, it is snowing heavily and people everywhere are driving like they got their licenses never.

So, join with me in your sorrow and do the only thing that will make your bitterness fade away (besides wine).

Soup with me.

(“Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa begins to play but they’ve replaced “Shoop” with “Soup”)

Southwest Chicken (Tortilla) Soup

2 Large Chicken Breasts

1 Bouillon Cube

4 Cups Water

1 Bay Leaf

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 Medium White Onion, diced

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

1 Jalapeño, diced and seeded

1 Can Diced (or Stewed) Tomatoes

1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Can Corn, drained and rinsed

1 Teaspoon Each: Salt, Pepper, Oregano

In a somewhat large pot, pour water over the chicken breasts and bouillon cube. Toss in the bay leaf and olive oil and bring to a boil until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. As much as possible, keep the pot covered because we are gonna want to use this delicious broth later.

In a separate stew pot, combine the onion, pepper and jalapeno with a little Olive Oil and begin to sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender. At this point, I like to toss in the seasonings as well. The heat slightly intensifies the flavor but that’s just me.

When the veggies are tender, pour in the tomatoes (with juice) and the rinsed beans and corn. I rinse them because canned vegetables always have a ton of sodium. Who needs that in their lives? Definitely not those prone to heart issues. And that’s the truth.

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, shred that mamma-jamma. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you can do this in about 23.7 seconds by using the “paddle” attachment with your kitchen-aid mixer. If you don’t believe me, I really don’t care because I am smart (sometimes), I am kind (ish), and I am important (all the time).

Toss in the shredded chicken and add as much broth as you like (sans the bay leaf, cause yeah), until you reach the appropriate balance of “hearty” and “soupy.” Bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer until you're ready to dive in head first. Except don't do that because you might burn your pretty little face.

This is excellent with or without tortilla strips. Either way you “soup” it, just trust me. You’ll be happy.

Chicken & Dumplings Florentine

Remember how I hate Chicken and Dumplings? Well, I do. I do not remember ever liking them. It’s a real thing. However, I really love me. So, when someone asks me to make Chicken and Dumplings, I am going to make it in a way that I know I will like.

It’s just more convenient that way. Everyone ends up happy. I know what people need.

And seriously, it’s the polar vortex. Or, snowpocalypse, if you prefer. And I do.

And, whenever it is the snowpocalypse, you just need soup. So, don’t object. Try this recipe and warm your soul.

Chicken and Dumplings Florentine

2 Chicken Breasts

Salt & Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Bay Leaf

Oregano

Garlic Powder

2 Carrots, diced

2 Celery Stalks, diced

½ White or Yellow Onion, diced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

¼ Cup Flour

Chicken Broth

Italian Parsley

Fresh Spinach

Start by boiling the chicken along with the bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. This gives it a tremendous flavor. Especially when boiling chicken without bones, this makes for a really good broth. When the chicken is cooked through, chop it into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Sauté the vegetables with the minced garlic and about 2 tablespoons Olive Oil until tender and translucent. Stir in the flour and allow it to thoroughly cook out. If not, your soup will be chalky and gross and you will be a failure. No one wants that.

After the flour is mixed in and cooked, gradually stir in the chicken broth. I personally like to gather as much of the left over seasoning on the side of the pot as possible but remove the bay leaf. Because, obviously. Stir well until you have your desired consistency. If you like it to be a little less thick, you can add a little water as well. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to boil lightly for about 5-10 minutes while stirring every once in a while. If you like the dumplings cooked into the soup, use this recipe and add them in uncooked dollops at this point. If not, bake them in the oven like I did and pour your soup over them when you're ready to eat. It’s basically perfection.

Once the soup has been boiling for a bit, turn down to a simmer.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to eat, stir in a handful of fresh spinach and a bit of chopped Italian parsley. I like both a lot, so...you do you.

This recipe is delicious and I hope you like it!