Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Venison Sausage - serves 4

Ok, this picture isn't that great but like I tell my kids who whine about doing chores, get over it.  It's been a CRAZY month, hence not much blogging time.  I've catered several gigs, dealing with end of school activities (a room mom) (which for us, the end is May 26th!), had a Backyard Dinner (you should sign up for the next one in the fall!), planning my son's 12th birthday, my husband's 49th birthday and on top of all that, cry at the drop of the hat because my son is entering junior high in the fall (can someone grab me a Kleenex?).  So, dinner has to be on the fly and for me, healthy. 

Which leads me to this dish that even had my husband liking kale!  In fact, he said I can cook it anytime as long as I cook it this way!  It's the little things that make me smile and this is one of them.  Kind of like buying running shoes and I had the EXACT amount of CASH!  I was giddy and the sales guy thought I was a complete dork, liking using way to many explanation points in this write-up.  Now I have new running shoes and my husband likes kale.  I must reflect on these moments as I watch my first-born graduate from the 6th grade.  I will not be shaken!


3 sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 head of kale, stems removed, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 pd of venison sausage (I used chipotle from KUBY's in Dallas or any sausage will do)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Using a baking sheet, line with foil and spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, to coat.  In another bowl, toss kale and sausage. Pour potatoes onto baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and push to one side of baking sheet,  Add kale and sausage to other side and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve all together in bowls.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spinach Pesto Pappradelle with Shrimp - serves 4

This is one of those meals that you fix when it's fun to see the expressions on others faces as they eat it.  "Spinach?", they say.
"Yep, spinach", I reply.
"No, way", they say.
"Way."  I've never had it before, at least I don't think I have and I decided it would be fun to try.  I've done all sorts of pestos ranging from the typical basil to arugula.  This is no different.  Just fix like you would any pesto, using either pine nuts, or as I did, walnuts.  Then, not only do you get the vitamin packed greens, but the heart-healthy nut option as well.  So, even if you hate Popeye, like me, this too shall make you strong.


1 bunch of spinach, preferably organic
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all of the above, through the red pepper, in a blender or Cuisenart.  Blend until grainy, adding olive oil in a slow stream.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add to your favorite pasta and top with "flash" fried shrimp (add a little olive oil to a saute pan, heat until shimmering, and add fresh shrimp), coated in Panko (as pictured) or plain.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Any Day is a Good Day for Pound Cake - serves 6

I must confess, I hate baking.  I'd rather do 50 loads of laundry than bake any type of dessert/sweet.  I don't even eat sweets (does chocolate count?) yet being in the catering business I have to bake.  If asked, I typically cook up something easy, nothing I can ruin.  That's the thing about baking.  If you mess up, you have to start all over again whereas in cooking, you can always fix it.  Sure, I could buy "store-bought" but that is against all my principals.  (My friends are now rolling their eyes...)  I don't care how good Sara Lee's cake is, I just won't have it in my kitchen nor serve it to a client.  Unless you're my husband.  He'll eat anything.  He's the "Mikey" of our generation.  Only thing is, he loved this pound cake.  Homemade and made with Greek yogurt and olive oil opposed to sour cream and butter.  I tried to substitute the sugar for Agave nectar and honey but it came out flat.  So sugar it is and pure goodness even a baker and my husband would enjoy.


3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Greek yogurt, plus more for garnish
3 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Seasonal berries for garnish

Cream together sugar and olive oil, add the egg yolks one at time; beat well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and Greek yogurt. Into a separate bowl, sift sifted flour, salt, and soda. Add sifted dry ingredients to batter; beat well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the cake batter. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake at 300° for about 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done.  Cut equal slices, add additional yogurt and berries to garnish.