Saturday, June 27, 2015

The mother of invention...

   What happens when you buy too much margarita for the Girls Night In? Probably most of you would say there is never too much margarita for anything that involves bunch of girls... but we really had too much and nobody wanted to finish it (I think we are getting older or wiser... probably just older). Anyways, I had at least half a bottle of a ready-to-drink margarita left and I was wondering what I could do with it... so naturally I decided to use it for cooking some pork! Isn't it what you would do? Oh well... I might just be "different"! Besides margarita is not really my drink of choice anyways... so I had to come up with a creative use of the leftovers. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, so I "invented" Margarita Braised Pork Loin recipe and here it is:


* large pork loin (3-4lbs)
* 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 2 cups margarita drink
* 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tsp rosemary
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* salt and pepper


1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Season pork loin with salt and pepper on both sides and transfer into the Dutch oven - cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until browned.

2. Slowly add margarita and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes until all the alcohol cooks out. Be very careful adding the alcohol as it may over-boil.

3. Add Worcestershire sauce and water until it comes up to half of the loin.

4. Cover the meat with onions and garlic, sprinkle with the rosemary, close the lid and transfer into the 330F oven. Braise for 3 hours and let it rest for 15-20 minutes outside of the oven before serving

   Yum, yum! Rich, savory meat with a tiny hint of sweetness, soaked in luscious sauce. Super tender pork, that can be cut into slices or just shredded depending on your preference. I think it was a very successful use of the leftover margarita!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

You could've fooled me!

   If you know me, you know how much I love potatoes. Not French fries, not chips.... the REAL potatoes, mashed, baked, cooked or roasted, I love them all! But unfortunately, plate full of potatoes is not your friend when you are trying to lose baby weight (and some of the pre-baby weight that stuck around, too). I kept hearing about the mashed cauliflower tasting almost the same as mashed potatoes, but I didn't even bother to try it... because let's be honest, I did not believe that anything can be as delicious as mashed potatoes. But after much consideration, I decided to "sacrifice" myself for the blog readers and give it a try... Wow, what a delicious dish! No, seriously, you need to try it! Don't wait as long as I did, you will love it!


* 2 medium cauliflowers, cut into florets
* 1 cup cheddar cheese
* 1 tbsp coconut oil
* 2 tbsp milk
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* salt


1. Cook cauliflower in salted water until fork tender (for about 25 minutes). Drain.

2. Transfer hot cauliflower into food processor, add all remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Depending on the size of the food processor, you might have to divide everything in half and then combine.

   So creamy, so cheesy, so flavorful! There is no bigger potato snob than myself, but I will be honest with you ... you could've fooled me into thinking that I'm eating potatoes here... maybe!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pick a side.

   Ever wondered what makes the steakhouse spinach so good? The answer is: cream and butter! Yes, I said cream and butter! Were you expecting me to say "love" they put into making it? No! If you want creamy, decadent, velvety creamed spinach, you need to invest in a "few" calories! Just skip the baked potato or have a smaller piece of meat and just enjoy this delicious spinach dish! Actually, the title should say "Pick THIS side", because it really is one of the best side dishes you can have. And if you worry about all the fat, just think about how much fiber, iron and vitamins you will get with it! It's worth it!


* 20oz fresh spinach
* 1.5 cups cream
* 5 tbsp butter
* 3 tbsp all purpose flour
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* pinch of nutmeg
* salt and pepper


1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach for 2 minutes. Drain on the colander and squeeze all the excess water.

2. Make bechamel sauce: in a saucepan melt butter, add flour and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for 5-6 minutes until sauce is really thick.

3. Transfer drained spinach into the food processor and pulse until almost pureed.

4. Add spinach to the bechamel sauce, mix until combined, cook for additional 1 minute. Serve warm.

   My husband's first reaction: man, it's so cheeeeeesy and delicious! No, there is no cheese in it... just the love, I mean butter and cream! Just go for it, splurge a little.


Saturday, June 6, 2015


   I've been craving Indian food for a while now but somehow every time we go out we end up anywhere but an Indian restaurant. So I got tired of waiting and decided to take matters in my own hands and make my own chicken korma (favorite Indian dish ever). Delicious and tender chicken, creamy and flavorful sauce (made out of my favorite nuts - cashews) and wonderful aroma of all the spices. It's a serious dish and it's very hard to stick to only one serving! It really was a hit in our house, my husband loved it (and probably ate half of it by the time I was done taking pictures for the blog) and Christopher devoured his first Indian dish like a pro!
   Recipe makes ... probably anything from 4 to 8 portions, depending on how much you love Indian food.


* 4 chicken breasts
* 1 large onion
* 2 garlic cloves
* 5oz cashew nuts
* 1 cup milk
* 15oz tomato puree
* 6oz plain Greek yogurt
* 3 tbsp olive oil
* cilantro for garnish

*1 tsp of each:
   - turmeric powder
   - garam masala
   - coriander powder
   - cardamom powder
   - ground ginger
   - curry powder
   - salt
* pinch of cinnamon


1. Place coarsely chopped onion and garlic in the food processor and blend until pureed. Transfer into non-stick pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
2. In the meantime, combine all the spices in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add cubed chicken breast and toss everything until every piece of chicken is coated with spices.
3. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and add spiced chicken. Cook everything for 3-4 minutes. There will be some almost burned looking crust on the bottom of the pot, but it's all good. Add 1 cup of water and cook for a minute or so until water evaporates.
4. Add cooked onions and tomato puree and mix to combine. Scrape bottom of the dish to remove all the "burned" spices and mix them into the sauce.
5. Place cashew nuts and milk in the food processor and blend until it forms very smooth paste. If it's too dense, you can add a little bit more milk. Add cashew paste to the chicken and cook everything on a very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
6. Add Greek yogurt, cook for 1 more minute, garnish with cilantro and enjoy with Basmati rice!

   I could eat this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner.... no kidding! Sometimes I make it with chicken tights rather than the breast - it's really good as well. To be honest, you could probably put a piece of shoe lether in this sauce and it would be delicious!