Showing posts with label My Recipes For Success. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Recipes For Success. Show all posts

Homemade, Healthy, Yogurt-based Salad Dressing. Undressed.

I turn into my grandmother when I tie one on. An apron. I hear her guide my hand over the salt, Not too much, she says. As I stir, I check my arm to see if it has her adorable wiggle waggle yet.

In an effort to delay that jiggle, I work out and eat healthy. I cook as much as I can, using natural products unencumbered by additives. I lived through the eighties so there are enough chemicals bouncing around my in body from the disco daze. To make it to and through my eighties, I'm especially mindful of the ingredients in any prepared foods I buy.

This easy, healthy salad dressing recipe is a staple in my fridge.

Chilled Avocado, Cucumber, Wasabi, Yogurt Soup

We're all looking for happiness. I have a recipe for it. 

Chilled avocado, cucumber, wasabi and yogurt soup. 

The first cold soup happened in Tulsa, where a benevolent hostess overlooked a hillbilly guest's drinking of the finger bowl. Soon after, hot potato purée was turned into fashionably refreshing cold vichyssiose and began flowing like champagne. Food fashion has advanced.

Gone are the days when serving a bowl of broth in summer is the cuisine equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day. (Which is okay, btw.)

Recipe: Brie and Grape Quesadillas -- Touchdown!

Are you ready for some football... food? Fall is here and our bikinis are packed away It's safe to eat again.

Brie and Grape Quesadillas. A fruit and cheese platter is a good party food; but game-distracted guests can fumble the elements. They maul your cheese and drop grapes that roll under the couch. This recipe is an inventive way that seals the meal and has them eating out of the palm of their hand.

This easy creation lets you spend more time with your company. If you're a pro-athlete looking for recipes simple enough for your mid-season or post-prison cookbook -- this one's for you. Rachel Ray called it "Even too easy for me".

Recipe: Lone Star Poblano Burger (As Seen On TV)

I created the hamburger.

Ok, I created my Lone Star Poblano Burger for Chili's and competed with it on the television show On The Menu. Chili's Head Chef Stephen Bulgarelli puts the cool in culinary. He asked us to conceptualize a burger with spicy, smoky, Southwestern flavors. Mine delivers that, but it didn't win.

Best thing about coming in 2nd? I won the right to share my recipe with you.

The flavors of Tex-Mex run through my body with the strength and constancy of the Rio Grand. I was born in Lubbock, Texas—in fact, five generations of my ancestors were born in Texas. I live in LA; but Texas roots live on in my diet.

On The Menu: The Reality of Getting On A Reality Show. (Part 1 of 2)

Cooking on TV can help sell my book. Getting on TV is hard.

But I believe in myself. And in chances. I get an opportunity to step toward my goals -- I take it. I got on TNT's new reality cooking competition series, On The Menu.

I just wrote The Pink Marine, a memoir about my time in Marine Corps boot camp. Writing a book is hard. As difficult as completing recruit training. I thought finishing the book meant the process was over.

But like I learned in the Marines, there's always another battle. I typed "The End", turned the page and met a new challenge: Marketing. Marketing is hard.

I've built one of the most globally recognizable brands with millions of built-in customers that guarantees success in everything I do. No I haven't. But I love hard work.

Recipe: A Gnocchi for Nicole

 I love to celebrate an entire day preparing food. Some days I'm an old woman rocking on a porch, knitting dinner. I can be the pitcher of tea steeping in the sun for hours. Other times I'm an octopus -- reaching, chopping, grabbing, opening, rushing and plating in a blur.

When time is tight, I reach for prepared and fresh ingredients. In under an hour my Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes is ready to shake onto your plate -- with one hand tied behind your back.

USMC Chow: The Tale of Shit-On-A-Shingle

Fairy tales burn life lessons deeply into our psyche, from which we freely draw. I used the adventures of Goldilocks to conclude that military food isn't doing anyone a flavor. 

That little blond girl sneaked in those Bear's house, much like I did the Marine Corps. Just as she sampled the entire family's porridge hoping to find one that was just right, I cut my Baby Bear military chow teeth on the fine cuisine of Parris Island.

This food's too wretched. 

Next, I continued my culinary tour with stints at Officer's Candidate School, brilliantly split into two summers to sample more basic training fare. At Mama Bear Camp Geiger, I shoved my pride down and my plate away.

This food died for my country. 

Then finally, for the giant Papa Bear bowl -- I trudged on to the tables of Quantico, VA, full of high hopes and in better boots only to be shocked and awed at their ill attempt at good taste.

This food's just not right.

For an amuse bouche some tough doc cupped my balls and told me to cough.  

Recipe: Thai Curry In A Hurry

Here's a fast and impressive recipe that packs exotic, Far Eastern flavor in a bowl -- in just a few minutes.

This simplified Thai curry recipe reminds me of the Cambodian dancers I saw in Siem Reap. They expressed nuance and skill in their intricate movements.

There's a history to the dancers. Long ago, one dark night, neighboring Thai warriors slipped into Cambodia and kidnapped the dancers. When the soldiers returned with their lovely bounty, the demure Thai people gasped --the performers were topless!

That same spicy thrill can be yours when you whip off the lid to this delicious and incredibly easy recipe --- Coconut Curry With Shrimp or Scallops.

If you can stand the heat -- get in the kitchen. And if you're in a hurry to conquer entertaining: This is for you.

Recipe: Goat Cheese and Beet Salad (Defending Against The Red Scare)

Maybe you can't squeeze blood from a turnip; but twist a vivacious beet into a long-stemmed martini glass and you'll get a glamorous dose of a sexy redhead, straight up.  Roast that beet -- and it gets too hot to handle. When eating delicious food I think back on my time in the Marine Corps...

When the Marines took me on fun, 15-mile forced marches, with each step I knew I was coming closer to a fantastic meal. But not from their kitchens.

The Drill Instructors sang ditties to keep us in step, with lyrics such as Every day's a holiday, every meal's a feast. With every left-right-left I dreamed up recipes using good old Red, White and Blue as my inspiration. I made up recipes that included do-ahead elements so I'd have time to polish my boots and clean my M-16.

A Beet and goat cheese salad is a thrilling, hard-charging start to a dinner and gets your heart pumping. You can easily adapt and conquer to serve this at larger party and feed your army. Most of the elements are made in advance. You'll set the stun gun to fun and wow your guests. They'll remember your party the next day, I guarantee it.

Both beets and goat cheese can be acquired tastes, and since you must be 18 years old to enlist -- this dish is a better fit for adult audiences. Plus, beets can slip out of your hands and stain your white shirts.

I invite you to get comfortable and enjoy the show. Like strip-tease artiste Gypsy Rose Lee performing for the troops singing, Let me entertain'll have a real good time with these freshly roasted, gorgeous, voluptuous, full-bodied beets. Goat cheese is the creamy cashmere coat that warms this dish right into your grateful, patriotic heart.

Extreme Makeover: Pizza Recipe Edition

I know people that are hungry to meet a man. Once they do, they try to mold him into what they secretly desire, or will accept. They buy him clothes, manscape him, have feelings meetings, and drag him through a museum hoping that culture will hop off a wall and stick to his body. Never mind that he might be totally fine in his current, unwashed state.

Those wanting change must themselves be willing to change. I was a Marine; we're trained to adapt and conquer; to kill with our bare hands if we run out of bullets. Not that I've needed to call on that skill, but I can de-bone a chicken in seconds.

Recently, I hungered for a bagel; but didn't have any. You know that anxious feeling when you're really, really ready for a bagel -- or a relationship -- in your life? I promise not to mess it up this time by slicing it too thin on one side and smothering it with cream cheese, or feelings meetings.

I had all the usual bagel toppings: salmon, onion, goat cheese, avocado -- but no bagel. At first search, my kitchen yielded nothing except despair and batteries. Then I opened the freezer and grabbed a frozen pizza.

Could I take this pizza outside the box and make it over into what I needed?

Green Hornet: Brunch By Default
Poached Eggs, Shrimp, Polenta & Spinach

One man's loss in my gain.

I'm standing at the Whole Foods butcher's counter waiting for him to grind some buffalo. (That's no euphemism for sex, they were out of pre-ground bison so I had him chop up some steaks for my fancy-ass meatloaf recipe which you can find here.) I have to wait, so I use my time wisely to Instagram a cute baby licking the wall. He was left unattended in his cart.

The butcher hands me my buffalo and I head off to my happy place: The cheese aisle.

I heard some guy sharply yell, "Hey!"

But I don't respond to that, so I keep walking. Plus I could see the Brie and I do respond to that.  

"Hey you, excuse me!" The voice gets a little louder and closer. My Marine Corps strut is halted by a startling hand on my shoulder. First I think I'm busted by the Cheese Police. If I ever want to see my abs again I'm not supposed to be within twenty feet of this area.

Recipe: Not Your Mama's Meatloaf

Ever see a really adorable kid, then look at his not-so-cute parents and wonder how this happened? Sometimes the mixing of plain old average gene pools results in a splashier, infinity-edge cement pond.

Meatloaf doesn't have to be a dreaded slice of dry, tasteless hamburgler of an afterthought of a meal. With a bit of imagination, chopping, and a few extra steps you can turn your family's ho-hum dinner frown upside down.

Like a trailer mom slapping lipstick on a pageant toddler, I doll up basic meatloaf in 10 easy steps.

Recipe: Lemon Pasta with Parmesan & Basil

Ever make the wish as you drain the last drop of Chardonnay -- that your loneliness will disappear too?

This simple yet impressive recipe personifies that ubiquitous line in a personal ad: I can easily switch from blue jeans to a ball gown. 

 It's a bowl of Martha Stewart's class with Rachel Ray's sass.

Lemon pasta with basil and Parmesan.

Recipe: Easiest Impressive Home Cooked Dinner, Ever

I realize that's a big title to claim, and one that will open this forum up with literally thousands of questions, arguments, and rampant finger pointing and put me up for more scrutiny than the hairstyles of the mid-70's.

Looking for a terrific way to serve an impressive main course that's mostly prepped in advance, leaving you more time to spend with your guests? This recipe is for you.

If you've invited boors over, may I suggest you serve roasted boar. Boar/boor takes hours of constant attention, giving you a great excuse to be away from your guests and time to contemplate how to avoid inviting such cretins over ever again. This is a terrific time to drink too much in private as well! Falling down is a great diversion.

The recipe/dish I'm featuring is poisson en papillote for those of us who speak French. For me, fish in parchment paper. Each guest is served a packet" and every aspect of this meal is simple -- preparation, cooking, serving and cleanup. Let's be honest, I often treat my dirty dishes like boring people, I just toss 'em in the trash. There's always more plates. And people.

For this dish, I use halibut or sea bass; however, you have to remove bones from sea bass. Not fun, unless the servants leave a straggler bone in the fish and you get to beat them later. I try not to miss those sessions and keep a roll of nickels in my oven mitt.

You can prepare the paper packets hours before. Put them in the fridge to keep until ready to bake.

If your first course is my chilled avocado, cucumber, yogurt and wasabi soup, make that in advance. Then all you need to do to get ready of this dinner is throw on a frock, drag some lipstick across your mouth, and greet your guests. But that's just me, you ladies might have a few more steps to get ready for guests. Get your Chardonnay on, update your Facebook status that you are super excited and about to have #, #, #, and # over for dinner. Don't forget to promise pics later. But don't ever post them. People hate that.

You needn't worry about dessert, one of your guests is bound to show up with squished cupcakes that appear a little licked. Or most of a German chocolate cake from Safeway that "was just about to spoil and we only ate one piece off it".

What you need (for this dinner, not for life in general):

Parchment paper cut into 20" sheets, folded in half.
One Leek per serving. The white part and about 4 inches of the green, sliced into thin ribbons (think Angelina Jolie's arms).
Fish. About palm size portion (not munchkin-size, not big-ass; now think Brad Pitt).
Lemons sliced in rounds.
Carrots sliced thin and sauteed in balsamic till almost tender.
Fresh tomatoes cut in quarters, added to the carrots in balsamic near the end (not of the world).
Asparagus added raw (you guys are still thinking about Brad Pitt, huh?).
Oyster mushrooms (cause they're curly and interesting). Also raw.
Thyme. I get it. it's a bitch plucking all the tiny leaves off. Just throw some sprigs on top.
Salt and pepper. Not the rap duo, the spices.
Truffle oil (Get over it, if you can afford to guests over you can spring $14 bucks for a tiny bottle of the stuff). Or EVOO.

Saute the leek ribbons in a small amount of butter and olive oil until limp. Drain on paper towel (or rub the excess oil on your body as moisturizer #SpaTip).

Cut the folded parchment paper into a heart shape. Open your heart, and place a mound of the sauteed leeks  on one side of the paper.

Place the fish on top of the leeks. Salt and pepper that layer. It takes 16 pinches to equal a teaspoon of salt, and you must season each layer of food, to properly season throughout.

Then add the sauteed carrots and tomatoes, some asparagus spears, top with the mushrooms, throw a few sprigs of thyme on, and drizzle it with the huile de truffe.


Close the open side of the paper with little folds to seal it up. Pretend you're in the Japanese Royal household - if any steam escapes the pouch during cooking, you'll have to perform an act of hari kari (leaning onto the bizness end of a big knife until you die).


The packets don't have to be sealed, just crimp closed.

Place in a pre-heated (400 degrees) oven and bake for 15 minutes. Just enough time to serve your chilled, pre-made soup.

Remove the packets from the oven, slide onto the plate, and serve. You get to sit your ass down and pretend to enjoy your guests.

Your guests rip open the packet like a savage, and devour.

Cleanup s a breeze! When everyone's finished, clear the table Simply slide the entire remaining packet into the compost/trash/out-the-window/dog's dish, or whatever disposal method you're currently using. You barely even have to wash the plates. In fact, sometimes I don't.

To review: You make the fish packets in advance and place them in the fridge. Remove 30 minutes before your dinner prep, place on counter to take the chill off before you put them in a hot oven (380 degrees) for about 20 minutes. Slide on plate, tear into packet, slide paper in the trash.

You've spent less time in the kitchen that Sarah Jessica Parker, and come off as an entertaining genius.

Move on to dessert. You've been so worry free you've had time to ponder that age-old question: Who licked the frikken cupcakes?!