Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cake Decorating

I have only decorated a couple cakes in my life time. It is not really something that interests me other than for the kids birthdays. Andrew J turned 1 this weekend and we had a little shin-dig for him. I made sort of a safari type cake and thought I'd share it with you. I was pleased with how it turned out!


Okay, it seems the majority wants to skip December. I am kind of with Staci, we are all going to be cooking in December anyway but I am not traveling and I know that adds stress. Alyssa brought up not wanting the blog to go inactive, I really agree with that. How can we make sure that we don't lose steam with an entire month off? Carrie mentioned posting treat recipes (Chic Chefs to Beautiful Bakers! HA!), what does everyone think of that? I like that idea.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meatloaf! Thumbs up from the kiddos!

So we as a family really like meatloaf. It's always on the menu through the fall and winter, like Eva said it's the ultimate comfort food. We typically do cheesy mashed potatoes with meatloaf and green beans but the girls have been partial to peas lately so that's what we did. This was the first Chic Chef meal that they ate every single thing! So their rating would be a full on 4 stars. I had never done oatmeal before as we usually do bread or bread crumbs. I liked the oatmeal but even though I did 2 fisfuls to the 1 suggested it still could have used a little more as I like it a little firmer. Also I really really really missed the glaze that we usually do and I must say Nikki next time you make your Moms you should do a ketchup based glaze and you'll know what I'm talking about :) That said I think what I've taken away from this recipe that we will add is the oatmeal aspect. Good job Nik!

I'm really close to being all caught up!

So I got off work on Thursday night and went to QFC so i could make up before we start up again. So Thursday night we had meatloaf. It was also my first time making it myself. I think it turned out very well. Nathan said that it was better then my mom's! I did add a little too much oatmeal but it still was good. Friday during Carson's nap i got the chicken ready for the Jooieh Kabab. It was all really easy to get together except for the fact the i forgot the lemon juice and had to squeeze out 2 lemons to get enough juice. Now a swear to you i read the recipe for the rice a few times and for some reason i never processed the 35 minutes it needed to cook again. So we eat in shifts but it was still VERY good. I will for sure make it again as well. Carson just loved eating the "balls" (tomatoes). On Saturday Carson and I had leftovers for lunch and the plan was to make the Greek burgers for dinner but Nathans computer died and what was promised to be a 20 minute trip to the computer store ended up being an hour and 20 minute trip our Greek burgers changed to Red Robin burgers. So i will try again with the Greek burgers someday soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meatloaf . . . who knew?

I have NEVER made meatloaf before . . . can you believe it? Thank you, Nikki, you'll go down in history as the person who got me to try it for the first time. I made it early in the evening and my husband had finished the whole thing by the time the night was over. Don't worry, I got a slice of it, too.
I was impressed with how fast I was able to put it together. I think I had it all together and in the oven in five minutes. That makes it a winner right there!
I can't get garlic salt here, so I used garlic and salt. Mine turned out crumbley but I liked it that way. I think I've always steered away from meatloaf because it seemed like a thick, dense loaf of mystery meat. But having put it together myself so that I knew what was in it, and given the texture of it, I enjoyed it.
Who knew I could make meatloaf (and enjoy it, AND get my husband to not only eat it but enjoy it as well)?!
It disappeared before I even remembered to take a picture of it. Oh well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Now we're cooking!

Now that I am back in my own place and using my own kitchen stuff again I am cooking up a storm! I have made fresh bread daily for the past 5 days and am certain it will be the undoing of my weight loss! I was so excited to make my first dinner in our place that I took pictures to sahre with you ladies! I made homemade pasta with a zucchini, tomato and mint sauce! It was delicious!

Trying to find a place to dry pasta in a tiny kitchen was a bit challenging, but a little improv and we were in business! and yes, you are suppossed to ignore the dirty dish in the sink!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Dates

I have followed Staci's suggestion of switching up the order of our roster (except my position, I have already picked a recipe and would be broken-hearted if I had to wait! :) ). I also took the liberty of skirting the holidays, I assume that is what everyone would prefer...? Let me know if anything needs to change!

Catch up--not to be confused with ketchup

I have realized that I never made a review for Tish's shrimp, I already knew I was late for Nikki's meatloaf, and I have one for Alyssa's kabab. Soooo...

When I made the shrimp the first time I didn't bbq it. I also was at home alone with Anders and he was not having a good night. I really didn't like it at all and I was so disappointed because it sounded so good. A week or so later I went to Rachel's and we made it one night for dinner. It was SO good. I don't know if I did something wrong the first time or if the bbq made that big of a difference. (I think that also my stress level played a part in it. I actually relaxed the second time) I really do think that bbq makes a huge difference, though. I loved the mix of flavors and next time I might make it spicier.

The meatloaf was a good base recipe, I thought. To be honest I needed a little more pizazz! I added some Colby jack cheese and that was ok but next time I make it I think I am going to dress it up a bit with Gruyere, breadcrumbs and scallions or something like that. I really love meatloaf though so this was a great idea Nikki. Especially starting out the cooler season. It gets me in the mood for comfort food.

Jooieh Kabab- Very satisfying meal. Mark and I both really enjoyed it. What I liked most about it was that it had simple flavors. We tend to try to make things bigger and better all the time trying to create something fresh and new. This was classic food and there is a reason that classics are classic. Even though it was simple I did feel like it had an Iranian feel to it. (not that I really know that much about Iran and their food, but it did.) I really can't wait to make this again. Oh, by the way, I LOVE butter and this meal had A LOT of butter in it so that must be why I loved it so much. The rice was delicious! I wish that I could make rice like this every time but I better not!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh My Yummmminess!

We had Alyssa's Jooieh Kabobs last night and they were ggooooddd! I love the oniony, buttery, lemony mixture. I chopped the onions up real fine with my chopper so some of them stuck to the chicken even after I put them on the skewers. Once they were grilled they added a nice little crunch every once in a while.
I was expecting the rice to be flavored more buttery but in the end, I am glad it wasn't. What a great new twist on chicken and rice! Seriously, it is already on my menu for next week! Andy and the kids really liked it also. Abigail had seconds of chicken and thirds of rice, AJ had seconds of both! Also, it was really good all mixed up today for lunch! This is a certain repeat! Thanks for sharing, Alyssa!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Okay, I think the consensus is for round two to have the theme 'Soup/Stew & Bread'! Yeah! I love that idea! So sorry to see Stacy go... I think we all understand. Let's get started the beginning of October... watch for the new schedule!


Okay, Nikki, I did the meatloaf just like you said. I had a hard time doing this because my mom's meatloaf is the recipe I use and we love it. But I decided to give it my undivided attention. The only thing I did was I added a 'Rachel' size handful of oatmeal - not a 'Carol' size handful! I still think it was a little soft. We missed the glaze that my mom's recipe has. All-in-all, it was gooo-ooodd! I served it with the traditional mashed potatoes and green beans! Everyone really enjoyed it!


Greek Food

Well, I am a Greek food fan. I like gyros with the lamb and sauce and everything. Unfortunately I did not like these lamb burgers. I am sorry... I don't think anyone has ever said they didn't like one of our recipes. I loved the Greek salad though!!!
Eva and I made this recipe, back when it was Greek week. I haven't posted because we took a picture and I have not gotten a chance to post the pic. So here I am weeks later and I still haven't posted my review. I figured I'd go ahead and post my review without the pic because I don't know if it'll happen with the pic! Sorry Eva! I will definitely make the Greek salad again - what a hit!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Carrie, I can't believe you posted the eggplant massage picture! Everyone else looks like Martha Stewart and I look like a creep!

Oh man.

Well, girls, I'm afraid I just can't keep up. I'm back in school, my jewelry business is steady, and I still have these three little kids that always seem to be needing something. :) I will definitely continue to make these recipes, but probably at a much slower pace than all of you and I probably won't be able to post recipes anymore. All this to say, you better kick me out of the club. Sorry. This has been a lot of fun, and like I said, I'll probably make stuff when I have time and will comment on it. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meatloaf and Burgers!

I am soo sorry for being so behind! I have been cooking but with moving and everything else in my life I haven't posted in awhile! So, here is my combined review!

I love love loved! the greek meal! I am not a lamb fan and never seem to cook greek so this was a nice stretch for me! I actually followed this one to the "t" a very new thing for me! I think this would be good without the bun and use the pattys with some kind of yummy pan sauce to transition into a winter food..... hmmmm things to work on!

And who doesn't love meatloaf? This is very similar to the way I have made meatloaf so I was excited to see a comfort food at this point! I made this as one of my first meals in my own place and so enjoyed it that it was also my breakfast the next morning!

Fabulous job!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fabulous Food and Drinks in Vegas!

Serena's incredible Dessert! We all ohhahh and ate it up!

We ate so much incredible food, everyone did an amazing job cooking!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jooieh Kabab (Skewered Grilled Chicken)

This recipe is from Iran. I adapted it from Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Tess Mallos. My goal in deciding on a recipe was to post something that would be quick, delicious and realistic for those of you who have children and/or busy lives. I make this all the time and although you have to think ahead because it is marinated, it is very simple and very quick. The chicken is the main recipe. I added a couple side recipes that are just suggestions in case you want an idea. I am only holding you to the chicken, though. This chicken is great with a green salad as well.

Jooieh Kabab (Skewered Grilled Chicken)
1.5 to 2 lbs chicken (I use breasts)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 large yellow onion, grated or finely chopped
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp paprika

1. Cut the chicken into equal size pieces (I do them in about 1.5 inch cubes).
2. Combine lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in a glass or ceramic bowl.
3. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat. Allow to marinate for several hours (I do this the night before or in the morning).
4. Prepare grill or preheat broiler (I have only made this on the grill, but suspect it will be good under the oven grill as well).
5. Thread chicken onto skewers.
6. Combine butter and paprika and brush over chicken.
7. Place chicken on grill rack or under broiler, basting frequently until done

Serves 6

Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

Whatever amount you like

Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and thread onto skewers if necessary. Brush with melted butter and cook on grill or under broiler until skin blisters and browns lightly.

Chelou (Steamed Rice)

8 cups water
2 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water

Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice and salt and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes, then pour immediately into a large sieve and drain.

In a small saucepan, heat butter with 1/4 cup water until bubbling. Pour half of the mixture into the saucepan which was used to boil rice and swirl the pan to coat the bottom and sides.

Spread half the rice in base of pan. Add remainder of rice on top in a mound and make a deep hole in the center with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining butter mixture over the top.

Cover rim of pan with a doubled kitchen towel or two paper towels and place lid on firmly. Cook rice over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook for 35 minutes longer.

Serves 6

Monday, September 8, 2008

Round Two!

Okay Chic Chefs! Let's talk about round two. I think we should start the beginning of October and maybe have a loose theme. For example soup and bread or comfort food or something like that. What do you think?

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Recipe Pick: My Moms Meatloaf

I'm picking meatloaf because I love my moms and I have never made it on my own before, so what better time then with you ladies. I know it is not much of a summer pick but it is 60 some degrees out and I don't feel very summery right now! The other thing is I got the recipe from my mom and she does not measure anything so here it goes!

What you will need ! (in my moms own word!)

Hamburger meat- a pound or so
2 Eggs
1 onion (add to your liking)
Garlic salt (to your liking)
Pepper (thanks Mom)
Ketchup (about 1/2cup but maybe a little more)
Hand full of oatmeal

Add all together in a bowl and mix well. You might need to add more ketchup and oatmeal to make it stay together better. Make into a loaf and place it on a broiling pan and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or so. We serve this with either a green or Cesar salad and a bake potato.

I hope you ladies enjoy this as much as i do! Happy meatloaf making!

Staci's Recipe Pick

I'm behind! I know a lot of you relate. Summer is unpredictable for us in a good way in that sometimes it's to nice to cook!

Anyway I loved the bread salad, it was a great change and I will absolutely make it again. The chicken was good as well though mine wasn't overly flavorful, I can't remember though if that was my fault......I didn't do the mushrooms because J and I are not big mushroom fans. We also added pasta with homemade pesto, but that was mainly for the girls since I wasn't sure they would like the salad. Unfortunately because we don't own a grill we decided not to attempt the grilled banana splits :( I'm very sad about that but thinking we may have to make them in VEGAS!!! Yum!

Great summer menu Staci!