Thursday, June 30, 2011

EveryDay with Rachel Ray

Let me say this first - the chef is not a fan of Rachel Ray's recipes. He says they are always one too many ingredients and that time spent on the recipes is at least doubled from what the recipes notes. SO even though I was fully aware of this I could not resist the recipes in the new "EveryDay with Rachel Ray" magazine's issue - especially the "Your Weeknight Meal Planner" - it is fantastic!!! It's like it was made for ME, well, my taste!

Let me introduce you to summer perfection of - "mozzarella and grilled pepper salad with croutons". It was truly great - summery, fresh, soft and chewy - a little bit of everything for everyone. To make it more fauxfoodie friendly, the chef marinated a chicken breast in mojo dressing and grilled it to perfection to complement the salad. I believe the salad is meant to be the complete meal, but in fauxfoodie fashion, we needed something a little more.


This is how we eat these days - one of us is holding/feeding Mili-Mali, and one of us is enjoying dinner....


Serves: 4 Prep: 20 min Grill: 15 min (double the time)

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup EVOO
3 bell peppers (mixed colors)
1/2 pt. grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 large baguette, sliced crosswise into 3/4 inch thick slices
8 oz mozzarella cheese cubed
1/3 cup torn basil leaves

Recipe:
1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and EVOO. Let sit while you prep and grill the bell peppers.
2. pre-heat a grill to medium-high. Cut the bell peppers into flat panels. Lightly oil the grill grate and grill pepper pieces, covered and turning occasionally until just softened about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, onion and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
3. brush the bread slices on both sides with the garlic oil. Grill, turning once, until well marked and toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cut into large cubes.
4. Stir the remaining garlic oil into the salad. Add the croutons, mozzarella and basil; toss.

Run don't walk to make this salad, you certainly won't regret it - I promise you!

So onto the baby stuff - have you ever wondered how things change when the baby comes - mobile entertaining home office after hours looks something like this...


I got everything I need - my trusted bouncy chair, mac, iphone, water bottle, external hard drive oh and the baby!!!! It works quite well and everybody's happy - baby, mommy, mommy's boss = the work gets done)!!!

I think some work is waiting for me....

xoxo, The Faux Foodie Girl


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dinner time

Almost every night, just in time for dinner, Mili-Mali decides she would like our full attention, so tonight's dinner photography is brought to you by the Chef.


Tonight on the menu - lightly breaded chicken, vegetable medley and roasted onion potatoes - quick and easy dinner that created a lot of dishes. Even I had to wash some tonight, which is quite unusual for the chef.

WHile chef was making dinner and taking photos, I was busy keeping the fussiness under-control and the sous-chef out of the kitchen. 



I am feeling really tired tonight, so I am off to bed until the next feeding - which I am hoping will be around 4am... wish me good luck.

xoxo, The FauxFoodie Girl

Morning Perfection

I am not sure that there are words to describe the warmth and love i feel when looking at this picture.... morning perfection!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congrats to my....

Last Saturday, my little brother got married...we weren't able to physically attend the wedding, but we are fortunate enough to live in the time of the modern technology. Thanks to SKYPE and my brother's great friends - we were there...


I really wish I was able to attend - family, friends, and food - all my favorite things. Luckily he is now visiting with his family and we will celebrate while they are here. Congratulations little bro - I'm so proud of you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Father's Day

The best daddy ever!
Happy First Father's Day
love, Mili - Mali
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One of Those Days/Nights

I had one of those nights...actually it was one of those days that required

one of these
 and one of these

It's still not over so I can't really say I have survived, but Nestle Drumstick and a bowl of cherries certainly made it easier. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sneak Peak of Good Eats

It's been a week of amazing eats - well, two weeks. I just haven't figured out yet how to post all the delicious eats, take care of Mili-Mali and all the other things I need to take care of during the day. So here is the sneak peak of good eats. Recipes and details to follow...I hope!

General Tso's Chicken

Granola Greek Yogurt Parfait

Lemon Chicken with Avocado-Black Bean Salsa

Orzo Risotto with Spring Greens

Flax Oatmeal with Fresh Berries and Peanut Butter

Spring Mix-Arugula Turkey Sandwich

Lox Cream Cheese Bagel

Raspberry Bars

My Firsts

*

Today marks some of my firsts... I woke up this morning and decided to leave Mili-Mali with the chef and embark on my first run in 10 1/2 months. I was slow, very slow, but I felt amazing while running and after.  It's been so long since the last time I ran that I wasn't sure if I will know how to, but just like riding a bike, once you learn something you never forget. 

I have a goal in mind - 5K for 4th of July and I would like to finish within 35 minutes - wish me luck!!!

Today also marks my first day back to work. I am excited and nervous. Suddenly leaving Mili-Mali with someone else feels so strange. But I miss work, well money making work, because being with Mili-Mali at home is certainly work - a lot of HARD work.  I often wonder could I be stay at home mom but i don't think that is for me.

So off I go to reconnect with my emails, to-do lists, projects and coworkers - it feels as a first day of school and I have picked my outfit just right!!!

xoxo, The Faux Foodie Girl

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Menchie's Addiction



We went out for ice cream last night - not just any ice cream - it was menchie's. I don't know how to control myself once I get there.

I had raspberry blackberry tart (for good measure;) cake batter and country vanilla.

Toppings: kit Kat, twix, mini peanut butter cups and strawberries.

As soon as I was done eating I felt sick - hello sugar overload!!!! Will I ever learn!?! Good thing is I want to go back there tonight - just for the tart. Yeah right who am I kidding???!!

I am in love with their new spoons - guess what - I kept mine;)

It's time for breakfast - I want something sweet.....

Xoxo, the Faux Foodie Girl

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dinner with Bobby Flay





We had a tough day on Monday. But Monday to Tuesday night was worth all the screaming moments. Mili-Mali only wanted to be held and nothing made her happy, until bath time. It was the first time she had a real bath. All those sponge baths just don't count. End result - calm and sleepy baby. She loved it. I even think she was smiling.

Just before the bath we went for a really nice sunset walk. Walks do absolute wonders for my soul. I think Mili-Mali also enjoys them. She loves the motion that's for sure. We just need to work on that Mamaroo motion;)


As you might remember I celebrated my birthday in April - all month of April and one of many amazing gifts that I received was an espresso machine (thank you mom, dad, Nenad, Steph and Lorraine). It took me months to find the right one and it finally arrived last week. But since I've been a little busy with the newest addition, on Monday I finally made my first cappuccino. It was divine!!!! I can never go back to no foam espresso drink...

The milk froth was perfect - I can't get enough of it. I am still not 100% sure what I am doing so I am keeping the old machine around for the emergency needs of coffee. And these days we need a lot of emergency pick-me up!!!




The pre-made lunch worked out perfectly. Finally around 2pm i was able to steal 2 minutes to myself - sit down and enjoy a healthy lunch. It was so easy - i added a boiled egg, salmon, oil and vinegar and voila - perfectly satisfying and healthy lunch served within minutes. I will definitely continue with prepared lunches. It takes about an hour to prepare everything on Sundays, but it's well worth it to be ready during the week. Time is precious - but this is worth every minute of it.


So there was some more holding, whining, crying, smiling and next thing you know it was dinner time. Since I seem to be on a kick lately of eating with the celebrities, Monday night's guest was the grill master - Bobby Flay. It was a quick and rich dinner. The chef said if it wasn't for the side salad he thought he was having breakfast ;)

Spring Mix Salad + Fried Egg + Prosciutto + Cheddar Cheese Fresco Crostini *


INGREDIENTS:
1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/4' slices
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices of thinly cut prosciutto
2 tbsp unsalted butter4 large eggs
5 cups of spring mix1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes
Salad dressing: 2 tbsp of olive oil, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, 1 spoon of mustard

1. Preheat oven to 375F2. On a baking sheet, drizzle bread slices with 2 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast until lightly golden brown (10-12 min). Top each with a slice of cheese, return to oven, and bake until cheese is slightly melted (5 minutes)3. Heat up prosciutto until golden. Transfer to a place ine with paper towels4. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook until whites are set and yolks are runny 93 min).5. While eggs are cooking, whisk vinegar, oil, balsamic and mustard in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add spring mix, onion, and tomatoes, gently toss.6. Divide salad among 2 plates, top with bread, prosciutto and egg.

*Source- InStyle June 2011

Soon after dinner, the Sous-Chef also got a bath and I think, I can't quiet remember I also passed out.... Monday was a long time ago....

xoxo, The Faux Foodie Girl

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nutty Dinner

I didn't have a good day today - I felt like crap - fever, stomachache, just not myself. Thankfully my mother-in-law is in town and she took care of Mili-Mali all day, so I could take a nap, rest a bit and just do a couple of things around the house.

The obligatory daily Mili-Mali photo!!!! The only time she was in her playpen today - she was so alert and watching her mobile and listening to the music. Don't you just love those eyes?

Dinner today was a combination of "Power Foods" book recipes and "Everyday with Rachel Ray" magazine. It was quite a nutty dinner too - walnut crusted chicken with cashew-pesto pasta. If I were feeling better this would have been a great meal - but my taste buds just weren't cooperating. I would highly recommend making this meal when the in-laws are in town and you want to impress them!
Walnut Crusted Chicken Breast Ingredients

2 slices whole-wheat bread, dried

1/3 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large egg white

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless (6 to 8 ounces each)

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Lemon slices, for serving

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine bread, walnuts, and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Process until fine breadcrumbs form. Transfer to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat egg white until frothy.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each breast into egg white, letting excess drip off, and then into crumb mixture, pressing to adhere.

Read more at Wholeliving.com: Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breasts

Cashew-Pesto Pasta Ingredients

One 12-ounce box farfalle pasta

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pints grape tomatoes, halved

Salt and pepper

2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup roasted cashews

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 clove garlic

Juice of 1/2 lemon


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to

package directions until al dente. Drain, return the pasta to the pot and toss with 2 tablespoons

olive oil. Cover to keep warm.


Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt

and pepper. Roast in the oven until wrinkled, about 12 minutes.


Using a food processor, finely chop the parsley, cashews, parmesan, garlic and lemon juice.

With the machine on, slowly add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and process until smooth; season

with salt and pepper.


In a serving bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes and pesto. Serve with more parmesan.


Even though I wasn't feeling the best, I still had some room for a dessert - strawberries and cream puffs. Strawberries were a bit bitter, but a great combination with fluffy and sweet cream puffs.


Something new that I am trying this week are prepared salads. I put together the base - spinach, spring mix, peppers, alpha sprouts, tomatoes, and mushrooms. So when lunch time comes, all I have to do is add protein, cheese;) and some carbs. The choices of proteins this week are - Nova Scotia Lox, Sardines and Chicken breast. I really hope this prep will pay off and i make a healthy choice when I reach for lunch during the day.


Doesn't my little "army" of salads look cute!?! I am armed with healthy choices:)


It's time for me to get some sleep as I get the second shift - goodnight....

xoxox, the Faux Foodie Girl

Weekly Menu

I am trying to establish some type of routine since this is a new week and a new beginning for the Faux Foodie Household. Mili-Mali and I will be on our own during the day, but I have to say I actually look forward to that time with her.

I took some time yesterday and created a menu for the week. May I add that it looks great. So here is what we will be feasting on - hope you'll like!

SUNDAY: Cashew-pesto pasta + walnut crusted chicken

MONDAY: Arugula Salad + fried egg + prosciutto + cheese on a crostini

TUESDAY: Grilled pork chops + quinoa + bean salad

WEDNESDAY: Orzo risotto with spring greens

THURSDAY: Fresh corn with avocado + scallions + spiced scallops

FRIDAY: Steph and Sam are arriving (my sister in law and her daughter) - so who knows....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mili-Mali's Restaurant Outing

Hey hey hey, look who spent some time in the Mamaroo this morning!?! Mili-Mali was in it for almost 45 minutes and seemed to enjoy it. Small victories, people, small victories. I am on the mission to prove to the chef that the Mamaroo was worth the purchase...

My day started early and well. I ate a bowl of cereal rich with antioxidants - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, goji berries, a spoon of chocolate peanut butter and ground flax seeds.
I've been experimenting with lighting when photographing food and it looks like patio sunlight is perfect. I still have so much to learn, but I'm really proud of the little things that I am applying to get a better photo. I really wish I paid better attention in my photography classes - I would have been a pro by now.

The next step will be to actually do a little photo touch-up before I post the photos. Everybody needs a little touch up, including my photos... Have I mentioned to you that I really want a CANON Power Shot - my SLR is too bulky to carry around all the time.


Today we reached a milestone - Mili-Mali's first restaurant visit and she was fantastic!!!! We went to the Village Tavern and requested outside seating as we are still hesitant taking her inside - too many germs, people and smells.... Our server was great - very accommodating, fast and had some great suggestions about keeping the baby cool and germ free - thank you Jessica.

For an appetizer, we had fried calamari with sweet and spicy tomato sauce. It wasn't the best calamari - it was overcooked, hard and crunchy. Could have probably done without it, oh well, you live and learn.


My main course was the entire reason why we came to the Village Tavern - Steamed Mussels. I have seen this dish so many times on the menu and thought of ordering it, but always chose the safe choice [read: crab cake sandwich]. But tonight I decided to make a bold move and try something new. Oh am I glad I did - they were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G - buttery, salty and juicy.

They were so good - finger licking good. The crosstinni with parmesan cheese and parsley were also great - dipped in the broth - yum, yum, yum - very salty, but real good.

It's been a long day of errands running and baby entertaining. I went to 7 different stores in 3 hours while chef entertained Mili-Mali. May I add it was a very successful 7 stores visit - I got everything on my TO DO list done for today, and now I am pooped.

Have you ever seen a cuter baby sleeping? No need to answer this!!!!! She is the cutest and I am not biased at all, at all ;)
To continue with the cuteness, I leave you with this little cute face - Sous-Chef helping with the breakfast - you bet ya she got some - who can resist this face!!!!


Have I mentioned that while my parents were here they revived my garden and brought all the plants to life....


I really need to make sure to keep it alive - it's so nice to sit on the patio and enjoy the the greens. I am tempted to go out and buy some more...

Mili-Mali is calling - it's feeding time....good night!