Posts filed under ‘Craving Ellie in my Belly’

[Note to self]

December 18, 2008 at 6:27 am 5 comments

CEiMB #10: [Ratatouille Tart]

I’m backkkkkkkkkkkk….

I missed last week but I am back on the Ellie train this week. I wasn’t sure what to make of this week’s recipe. All vegetables, no meat, no bread?? NO BREAD?! At least it had cheese. Cheese makes everything better. I admit I had to restrain myself from putting more cheese. Come on people! 3oz of cheese is just TOO little! Hmmm… maybe thats why *I* am not so little? HAHA

Thanks to my good friend, Nina from The Wiivers, for hosting this week. I am so glad I forced suggested that she join CEiMB with me. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she picked a veggie dish. She’s a veggie freak! (Said with love, Nina!) Check out what the other Ellies thought of the tart too!

Note to self: Next time you label a picture make sure you realize that some abbreviations are better left… un-abbreviated.

I sent a couple pictures to my friend and her first reaction was “RAT TART”?!?!


Lesson learned.

Recipe from Foods You Crave, Ellie Krieger

Makes 8 servings

* Nutritional Analysis/serving—
Calories 220; Carbohydrates 18 g; Total Fat 14 g; Saturated Fat 3.5 g; Protein 6 g; Fiber 3 g; Sodium 240 mg


For crust
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup whole-grain pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons water

For filling
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup) (I used 1 shallot)
Cooking spray
1/2 pound thinly sliced eggplant rounds (about 1/3 medium eggplant)
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds (about 8 ounces)
3 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves (I used 1/2 cup basil instead)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


To make crust—
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine cornmeal, pastry flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to incorporate. Add butter and oil and pulse about 20 times, until mixture resembles small pebbles. Add water and pulse until mixture forms a loose dough. Remove dough from processor and press into bottom and about 1/8-inch up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a detachable rim. Press aluminum foil into the bottom and sides of the pan on top of the dough and weigh down with uncooked rice or pie weights. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove rice and foil. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until no longer shiny and wet. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make filling—
Increase the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat; saute shallots until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Spray 2 baking trays with cooking spray. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini and tomato slices on the trays in a single layer and brush with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast the vegetables until soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables from oven and cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Lay the eggplant slices in 2 layers on the bottom of tart; cover with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and some of the shredded basil. Add the zucchini and shallots, top with another 1/3 of the mozzarella and basil, then the tomatoes. Top with rest of the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and vegetables have further wilted. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and cut into 8 slices. Serve warm.


Husband rating: A-
He really liked the “innards” but wasn’t a fan of the cornmeal crust. He asked if I could make it next time into a pizza but I think pizza dough kinda defeats the “healthy” purpose, no? HAHA

Wifey rating: A-
Ditto hubs.

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

December 11, 2008 at 7:28 am 12 comments

CEiMB #9 [Jewel Roasted Vegetables]

Alternative post title: The Jewel Roasted Vegetables That Almost Were But Weren’t.

Sorry to our host this week, Marie from A Year At Oak Cottage. I had all intentions of making it. I wrote it on my weekly menu. I even bought all the ingredients but just couldn’t get it done in time. Stuff happens… Thats all I’ll say about that.

Check out what the other Ellie-istas thought of the vegetables. I haven’t read a bad review yet! And for recipe that involves cooking with brussel sprouts, that’s saying something!

Next week: Cornmeal-Crusted Roasted Ratatouille Tart pages 98-99

December 4, 2008 at 6:48 am 5 comments

CEiMB #8: [Mac & Cheese]

This will be short and sweet b/c I am headed down to the hot tub to end my Thanksgiving vacay. You are so jealous right now aren’t you?

Made it for Thanksgiving.

Family had mixed reviews. Some liked it. Some didn’t go back for seconds. But I can’t really blame them when they had a choice of other more… ahem… unhealthy options. Its hard to make something healthy for a holiday thats all about caloric overindulgence you know? ::burp::

Thanks to my good friend, Beth from Supplicious for hosting this week! Check out what the other Ellie-istas thought about their Mac and Cheese too!

Recipe from Foods You Crave, Ellie Krieger

Makes 8 servings

* Nutritional Analysis/serving—
Calories: 392; Total Fat: 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 18 grams; Carbohydrates: 56 grams; Fiber: 3.5 grams


Cooking spray
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash (I used frozen 16oz butternut squash cubes that I defrosted and then pureed)
2 cups 1% lowfat milk (I used fat free milk)
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1-1/3 cups)
2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.


Husband rating: A-/B+
He liked it but its not his favorite mac & cheese version.

Wifey rating: B/B+
I thought it was a good healthy alternative to mac. I liked the butternut squash addition but I like my mac with more cheesy goodness. I suppose that defeats the purpose of healthy, no? HAHA

Next week: Jewel Roasted Vegetables page 244

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

November 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm 14 comments

CEiMB #7: [Oven Fried Chicken]

<— Isn’t my new CEiMB badge so cute?

I’ve been using Ellie Krieger’s book cover for my last few CEiMB posts but when Natalie, CEiMB’s fearless leader, put out the creative call to all members about coming up with a logo, fellow Ellie-istas, Holly and Leanne answered. I couldn’t decide which one I liked better; they were both so adorable so I decided to use both! Holly’s in my sidebar and Leanne’s in my posts. Done and done. Everybody wins. Thanks for playing. HAHA

This week the Ellie-istas are cooking up some Oven Fried Chicken hosted by my Beantown homegirl, MacDuff from Lonely Sidecar.

I love fried chicken. And waffles. Waffles? Yes I said waffles. There’s an awesome chicken and waffle house near T’s work called Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Can you say major heart attack on a plate? But its INSANELY good. I could die happy eating that as my last meal. Of course since its so good that its bad (why are all my favorites in that category?), I don’t eat fried chicken very often. Can Ellie come up with a healthier version?

Things have been a little hectic at my house these last few days so I tried to remember if I had 4 chicken breasts in my freezer and was certain I did so it was never added to the grocery list. Last night I found out that I guessed wrong and came up 2 short. What’s a girl gotta do to find 2 more breasts? Now I know I could have halved the recipe again but I was poking around in the back of the freezer and… AH HA … there were 2 orange roughy fillets “chilling” in the corner. I thought about it for a minute, shrugged and said… “Why not? I like fish sticks!”

Check out the Craving Ellie In My Belly blog for all the other chickies and their chickens too.

(Hey MD I keep meaning to ask you what your blog name is in reference too? Curious CB wants to know!)

Recipe from Foods You Crave, Ellie Krieger

Makes about 6-8 servings
Serving size: 1 breast half or 2 thighs

* Nutritional Analysis—
Calories 270; Carbohydrates 21 grams; Total fat; 5 grams; Saturated fat 1 gram; Protein 33 grams; Fiber 1 gram; Sodium 590 mg


1/2 sleeve (about 20) whole-grain salted crackers, pulsed in a food processor until fine (about 1/2 cup)
2-1/2 cups corn cereal flakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 egg whites
1 cup lowfat, plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil cooking spray
4 medium sized skinless chicken breasts and 4 skinless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry (about 3 1/2 pounds chicken) (I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts and 2 orange roughy fillets)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil.

Combine the crackers and corn cereal crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Reserve.

In a large bowl, combine egg whites, yogurt, Dijon mustard, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture.

One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cracker mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife.

(I served with asparagus and mashed potatoes.)

[NOTES: I baked the boneless skinless chicken breast for about 45 minutes and the orange roughy fillets for about 20 minutes]


Husband rating: A+
I was a little nervous b/c he’s not a hot-spicy food person and I forgot to the cut the cayenne pepper but he raved about the chicken and the fish. Not surprisingly he preferred the chicken over the fish by a little bit. What can I say? He’s a breast man. He still called dibs on the leftover fish fillet for his lunch though.

Wifey rating: A+
The chicken was good but the fish was delish esp with a little ketchup! Tasted like a healthier fish stick. I love fish sticks. The sesame seeds, corn flake, cracker coating was AWESOME. It smelled amazing pre- and post-baking. I am totally making the fish one again. Now question is… does Ellie have some healthy “chips” to go with it??

Next week: Macaroni and Four Cheeses page 168

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

November 20, 2008 at 7:27 am 18 comments

CEiMB #6: [Portobello Lasagna Rollups ]

Did you know that creminis were baby portobellos?


What do ya know. Learn something new everyday…

I wonder if there was a hidden camera on me at the grocery store while I was in the mushroom section. I wouldn’t be surprised if I showed up on some blooper show tomorrow. I swear I was staring at all the mushroom varieties for a good 10 minutes, repeating all the names on the packaging to myself. Most of us are use to ppl talking to themselves nowadays b/c of the handsfree bluetooth thing but since I wasn’t wearing my bluetooth (it annoys me so I rarely wear it), I bet I could have been a candidate for a straitjacket.

CB (muttering): Shiitake, cremini, porcini, button… Where the H-E-double-hockeysticks are the portobellos?
T (nagging): Just pick one and let’s go home.
CB: But I need portobellos and I don’t see it. The recipe says “portobello”. It’s even in the title!
T: Just pick one and let’s go!! NOW!!

Finally I went home defeated with some buttons.

Note to self: Do not bring husband to grocery store again.

But who should come to my rescue but fellow Ellie-ista, Holly from Phe/MOM/enon, explaining the whole cremini-portobello developmental stages. Armed with my new mushroom knowledge I went back to the grocery store and guess what…? They had portobellos. Of course they did…

Thanks to this week’s CEiMB host, Marthe from Culinary Delights for picking this recipe. Also {{golf clap}} for CEiMB’s new leader, Natalie from What’s For Supper?, for taking over the group. Check out the new website and see what the other Ellies thought of this week’s recipe!

(Recipe from Ellie Krieger, Foods You Crave | photos from me!)

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 2 lasagna rolls

* Nutritional Analysis—
Calories 500; Total fat 18g; Saturated fat 7.5g; Monounsaturated fat 4.3g; Polyunsaturated fat 1.2g; Protein 26g; Carbohydrates 56g; Fiber 12g; Cholesterol 76mg; Sodium 1110mg


12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
2 tsp olive oil
12 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups Easy Tomato Sauce or store bought marinara sauce
15oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup (3 oz) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 375F

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain well and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp of the salt stir 1-1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, a few turns of pepper and the nutmeg. Spread 1 cup of the remaining tomato sauce on the bottom of the 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread about 1 tbsp of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1-1/2 tbsp of the mushroom mixture, then roll the noodle and stand it up or lay it down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles, ricotta mixture and mushroom mixture.

Spread the remaining 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella, cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.


Husband rating: A+
He raved as soon as he walked in to the house and got a whiff of the lasagna baking in the oven. While he was eating he gave it a thumbs up and said “Iz um wood sauna woes!” (translation: This is some good lasagna rolls!) HAHA

Wifey rating: A
I had high expectations for this one. Its pasta, cheese and mushrooms. Three of my favorite things and it did not disappoint. Love the spinach filling and the mushrooms gave it a great complimenting flavor. Definitely will make again!

Next week: Oven-Fried Chicken page 213

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

November 13, 2008 at 12:56 am 28 comments

CEiMB #5: [Turkey Roulade]

Man I am stuffed.

Get it.

We made turkey and stuffing.

Huh huh?

Sometimes I crack myself up. HAHA

This week’s Ellie-istas are cooking up some Thanksgiving inspired dinner (anything with turkey is Thanksgiving inspired to me) hosted by Holly from Phe/MOM/enon (isn’t her blog name so clever??).

Now I bet your first question was my first question when I started reading the recipe. What is roulade? Right? Get out of here! Me too!

The word Roulade originates from the French “rouler” meaning “to roll”. Typically, a roulade is a European dish consisting of a slice of meat rolled around a filling, such as cheese, vegetables, or other meats. A roulade, like a braised dish, is often browned then covered with wine or stock and cooked. Such a roulade is commonly secured with a toothpick or metal skewer, piece of string or spinach.
(Source: Wikipedia)

… and thats exactly what I cooked. Turkey stuffing swiss roll thingamajigger.

All kidding aside. I am not sure if everyone has seen the latest news about Craving Ellie in my Belly but long story short Leigh is offering the group up to someone else to take over for her own reasons. I have been thinking about it but I know it takes alot of time and dedication to organize a weekly event so I am not sure. What do you all think? If anyone is interested, please email Leigh about it. I would really hate to see such an amazing group end…

Turkey Roulade w/ Apple Cider Gravy
(Recipe from Ellie Krieger, Foods You Crave | photos from me!)

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 2 slices of turkey roulade and 1/4 cup gravy

* Nutritional Analysis—
Calories 400; Total fat 12g; Saturated fat 1.5g; Monounsaturated fat 6g; Polyunsaturated fat 3.5g; Protein 50g; Carbohydrates 24g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 117mg; Sodium 371mg


1 (2-1/2 pound) skinless turkey breast, butterflied (I bought two 1lb turkey breast instead)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided (I used olive oil)
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1-1/2 cups), plus 1 cup sliced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
5 slices day-old whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, cubed (about 2 1/2 cups) (I used plain bread crumbs)
1/3 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp fresh crumbled sage or 3 tsp dried, divided (I used dried rosemary)
2-1/2 to 2-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup apple cider (I used Martinelli’s apple-cranberry)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water


Place the turkey breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness of about 3/4-inch. Set aside while stuffing is prepared.

My meat mallet looks exactly like my trusty rolling pin. Crazy huh?

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the cranberries in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat, drain and reserve. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook, stirring, until onions are golden but not charred, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add bread, cranberries, pecans, 2 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried sage and 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock, depending upon consistency of stuffing; (you want the mixture to be moistened, but not too wet, since the turkey will release moisture when cooked). Cook over low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, remove from heat.

[NOTES: This recipe makes a MEGA amount of stuffing. Next time I’ll probably half the stuffing recipe.]

Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the turkey breast. Spread the stuffing on the turkey, leaving about 1-1/2 to 2-inches uncovered on all sides. Roll up and secure tightly with kitchen twine, trying to keep all stuffing intact.

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large Dutch oven or medium-sized roasting pan until hot. Sear stuffed turkey breast on all sides until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add sliced onion and 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, cover tightly and roast in the oven until turkey reaches 160 degrees F when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into inner layer of meat, about 60 to 65 minutes. Remove the turkey breast from oven and transfer to a cutting board to rest.

[NOTES: I roasted my 2 little turkey breasts for about 45 minutes.]

To make gravy—
Add apple cider, 1/2 cup chicken stock, vinegar and remaining sage to the onions, chicken stock and juices in the roasting pan, bring to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by 1/3. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes more. The gravy should not be thick, just slightly thicker than a jus. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Makes 1 1/2 cups gravy.

Remove twine from turkey breast and slice into 1-1/2-inch thick pieces. Serve with gravy.


Husband rating: A+
T said told me this is his favorite Ellie dish so far and said it was like Thanksgiving come early. He’s so cute.

Wifey rating: A
I am not a turkey+stuffing fan but this was REALLY good. Love the stuffing and the flavors of the gravy with the turkey. I am sure I’ll make this again.

Next week: Portobello Lasagna Rollups with Easy Tomato Sauce pages 152-153

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

November 6, 2008 at 1:17 am 22 comments

CEiMB #4: [Sweet & Sour Brisket]

Hello my name is procrastination. I try to be on time but I am just not that person. I am always fashionably late. I don’t do it on purpose. It just happens. And it bugs the crap out of my husband. Mr. On-Time-All-The-Time.

So… apologies to this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly host, Natalie from Whats for Supper, about my tardiness. Although technically its barely 9pm in CA so I am actually on time. Yup. Thats justification for ya.

Ok first things first. I am pretty meticulous about having everything I need for whatever I am cooking that week. I pride myself on never having to make a quick run to the grocery store b/c I forgot something. I hate that. Its enough to make me not wanna cook if I forget something. Imagine my look of horror when I opened my pantry to find apple cider vinegar and see white vinegar, red white vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar but no FREAKING apple cider vinegar. This can’t be happening… ::shaking head in disgust::

I never knew there were so many vinegar options and of course the one I need isn’t there. UGH. Since I wasn’t in the mood to give up my parking space to go to the grocery store for a stupid bottle of vinegar I started thinking that most wine connoisseurs drink red wine with red meat right? April, tell me I am right, please…? So I decided to just go with the red wine vinegar and hope for the best.

Funny thing about brisket. I am pretty sure I’ve never eaten it before. You’d think being a former Texan that I should have but I moved when I was 5 years old and I doubt that its in a 5 year old diet. Unless maybe you’re a true Texan? HAHA

Since I’ve never eaten brisket, I know my brow was furrowed in confusion staring at the deli counter looking at the tiny labels. (Could they make those labels any tinier?) Thats when a nice butcher man took pity on me and asked me if he could help and he actually said “… b/c you look lost.” LOL. After he pointed me in the right brisket direction and told me that I’d love brisket, I went home feeling more worldly, now that I knew what brisket was. (Pssst. Its cow boob.) I am sure you can sense it too… in my writing. Am I right? I thought so.

Sweet and Sour Brisket
(Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s Foods You Crave page 186 | photos from me!)

Makes 10 servings
Serving size: 4-ounces brisket plus 3 tablespoons of sauce

* Nutritional Analysis—
Calories 360; Total fat 12g; Saturated fat 4g; Monounsaturated fat 6g; Polyunsaturated fat 1g; Protein 46g; Carbohydrates 14g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 94mg; Sodium 330mg


One 3-pound beef brisket, first-cut or flat-half cut, trimmed of any excess fat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce, preferably no-salt-added
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water (I used water)
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/3 cup raisins (I substituted with craisins)
5 black peppercorns (I omitted)
1 allspice berry**


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Pat the brisket dry and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or braising pot. Sear the brisket until it is browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the brisket to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot and cook the onion, stirring a few times, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the vinegar, the raisins, peppercorns and allspice and stir to combine well. Bring the mixture to a boil, return the brisket and any accumulated juices to the pot, spoon some of the tomato-vinegar mixture over the brisket, cover tightly, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the brisket is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

[NOTES: I don’t have a dutch oven (its on the xmas list!) so I seared the brisket, cooked the onion and garlic and made the sauce per instructions in a saucepan, spooned about 1/2 into my crockpot, put the brisket in next and then spooned the rest of the sauce over the brisket and cooked on high for 3 hours. Thanks Beth for the suggestion!]

Remove the brisket from the oven, transfer the meat to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes or, if serving later, cover and refrigerate the meat and sauce for several hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve, cut the meat against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar into the warm sauce. Return the slice brisket to the sauce until heated through, then serve.

(I served with garlic mashed potatoes and parmesan asparagus.)


Husband rating: A+
He walked into our home and said “I can smell that down the hall. Gimme some!” While he was eating, he raved the whole time. Loved the sweet and sour flavors and asked for all leftovers for his lunch tomorrow. I have a feeling this is going on the regular rotation. HAHA

Wifey rating: A/A+
The house smelled so good and my tummy was growling as it cooked. When it was time to eat Ellie didn’t let me down. It was so yummy. I am glad I decided to cook the whole brisket b/c we barely had any leftovers. It was THAT good.

Next week: Turkey Roulade w/ Apple Cider Gravy pages 220-221

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.
** One teaspoon ground allspice is equivalent to approximate 5 whole berries. If you need a substitute for allspice combine equal parts of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper. (Source: Gourmet Sleuth)

October 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm 8 comments

CEiMB #4: Islack

You know the Islack right? Its Iphone’s cousin and Ipod’s sister’s nephew’s wife’s brother’s love child.

My brisket is defrosting right now and should be ready for me to cook up at when I get home. I shoulda made it last night. I know. I know. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. But hear me out. T offered to take me out to dinner last night. Whaaaaaaat?? I was shocked. We rarely go out to eat on a weekday. So it was either spend 3 hours making brisket *OR* eating Oggis (pronounced: Ohgeez) cheese stix and bbq chicken pizza. Obviously thats a no brainer. Cheese stix ppl! Let me emphasize again. Cheeeeeese stix.

While you’re waiting for my brisket to defrost and slow cook, check out what the other Ellie chicks (Still waiting on some guys. *hint-hint*) thought of their brisket.

I’ll be backkkkkkk…

October 30, 2008 at 7:19 am 4 comments

CEiMB #3: [Banana cream pie]

Ok I am just gonna come right out and say it.


Sorry banana lovers. I am not a banana fan. I think its a texture thing. Also could be b/c my earliest memory of eating a banana was the taste of it coming back up with chunks. That just aint right. Long story short. I was young (think still-carrying-around-a-binky young) and sick and my mom thought a banana would be better for my upset stomach than crackers. Its smushy and fruit is good for you, right? Wrong.

But my hubs loves bananas and not wanting to be a Ellie party pooper the 3rd week, I made the damn pie. Is that taking one for the team or what? HAHA.

Thanks to our host this week, Heather of Randomosity and the Girl. Well… actually my hubs thanks you. As for me? I didn’t wanna be left out of the cream pie party so I made one sans bananas. Drizzle with a little caramel and its all good. Caramel makes everything better. Mmmm…

Check out what the other Ellie-istas thought about the pie. We’re up to 11 members now! Wanna join? Email our Ellie-licious leader, Leigh, to sign up! We’d love to have ya!

(Recipe from Foods You Crave page 276 | photos from me!)

Makes 1-9inch pie plate (8 servings)

* Nutritional Analysis/serving—
Calories: 215; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 4 grams; Carbohydrates: 32 grams; Fiber: 1.5


For the pie crust
cooking spray
14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
2 tablespoons butter, softened

For the filling
1-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sliced banana (3 medium bananas)

For the whipped cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust—
Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a food processor, process graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and 1 tablespoon of water, and process until the crumb clumps together. Press crumb mixture into bottom of pie plate and about 1/2-inch up the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then let cool.

[NOTES: I used 2-4inch springforms and 4 cupcakes liners.]

To make the filling—
Put the gelatin in a small bowl; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup of sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl lightly beat the milk and eggs together. Add the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk so the flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla extract and gelatin. Set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the sliced bananas on the graham cracker crust and pour the pudding on top. Place in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours.

To make the whipped cream—
Whip the cream with an electric beater. When it is about halfway done, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, then continue whipping until fully whipped. Put the whipped cream in a plastic bag, concentrating it in 1 corner of the bag. Snip that corner off the bag and squeeze the whipped cream out of the bag in a decorative pattern around the pie.

Husband rating: A
He was a little impatient and kept bugging me about when the pie would be ready. He’s usually banana dessert deprived b/c I am not a banana fan so he was excited. Ellie didn’t let him down. He really liked this “healthier” version alot!

Wifey rating: A
I liked mine sans banana. The cream filling and crust were yummy. Not my favorite pie but worth making to save some unwanted calories and get your pie fix. Adding caramel may have defeated the purpose a little though. HAHA

Next week: Sweet and Sour Brisket page 186

Side note: I bought my brisket already. Did you know brisket was beef breast? Not me! My butcher edumacated [sic] me. More about that next week. HAHA

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

October 23, 2008 at 7:58 am 22 comments

CEiMB #2: [Steak Tacos]

I made it! I made it! Its only 8pm in California so its still technically Thursday.

I am back again with my cooking group, Craving Ellie in My Belly and it was my turn to pick! It was a crazy time choosing the recipe I wanted to cook b/c I just got the book the day that Leigh said I had to make the decision right now, this very second… Ok maybe not that dramatic but it was a little stressful.

There are so many recipes in the book that I want to make: Peanut butter smoothie, Chicken sate, Asian summer rolls, Crab salad in wonton cups, Portabello panini, Spinach & artichoke dip, Tortilla soup, Clam chowder, Thai beef salad, Linguine w/ shrimp, 4-Cheese macaroni… (You are totally drooling, right?) But when I got to the Steak Tacos and saw the picture, I knew that this was gonna be my pick.

I love everything about it. Being a California girl, you have to love avocados. I think its a law. Avocados and flip flops. I am pretty sure I took an oath at one point. I wasn’t too sure on the cucumber but I love cucumbers so I believed deep down in my belly that Ellie wouldn’t go wrong pairing it with avocado. Some Ellie-istas weren’t keen on the cilantro, but I LOVE cilantro! The more the better. I think I used the whole bunch in my salsa and tacos.

Ok before I go any further, I have to admit something. It will be our little secret ok?

I used flour tortillas and… sour cream too.

I tried the corn tortilla but there’s just something about flour tortillas. I think that thin layer of white powder that most people assume is just excess flour is really crack. Seriously…

PS. Why do we call it “red cabbage” when its clearly purple?

PPS. I janked copy and pasted the recipe from Leigh‘s blog so if there are any typos its her fault. Thanks.

Steak Tacos w/ Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
(Recipe from Foods You Crave page 184-185 | photos from me!)

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 2 tacos+1/3 cup salsa

* Nutrition analysis/serving—
Calories 407; Total Fat 16; Saturated Fat 4; Protein 21; Carbohydrates 42; Fiber 8


For steak
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1-1/4 lbs top sirloin steaks (about 1-1/4 inches thich)
Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas (I used flour tortillas)
3 cups shredded red cabbage (I used 1/2 a head of cabbage)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

For cucumber-avocado salsa
1 medium English cucumber, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped, or to taste (I used 1 jalapeno)

[NOTES: Salsa recipes makes alot so next time I’ll probably 1/2 it.]


To make steak—
Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and preheat it over medium-high heat or preheat grill.

[NOTES: I baked in my oven, no preheat, broil setting 500F, on a broil pan about 5-7 minutes each side.]

Combine the spices in a small bowl and then rub the mixture into both sides of the steaks.

Broil the steaks for about 5 minutes per side, turning once, for medium rare or to your desired taste. (Prepare the salsa below while the steak is broiling). Remove and allow to sit and rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin slices.

Props to my hubs who was in charge of steak-cutting. Ellie notes in her book that slicing meat thinly makes the portion of meat appear more plentiful, making it more satisfying. <— Good tip!

Warm the tortillas by placing them on a hot skillet or grill for about 30 seconds, turning once, or you can place 6 tortillas at a time between two moist paper towels and microwave for about 45 seconds. Wrap them in a cloth napkin to keep warm.

To make salsa—
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve within an hour of preparing.

Top tortillas with cabbage, steak, salsa and a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and serve.


Husband rating: A+
He raved the whole time and requested dibs on all leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.

Wifey rating: A/A+
I was pleasantly surprised about the cucumber-avocado salsa. At first I was hesitant but after a few bites I was hooked! That steak was tender and so good. Cabbage added a great crunch with every bite. Definitely will make again.

Next week: Banana Cream Pie page 276

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

October 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm 21 comments

CEiMB #2: To be continued…


I haven’t made it yet.

It’s on the menu for tonight’s dinner so check back later for some tasty tacos!

In the meantime, go check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought about it.

October 16, 2008 at 6:31 am 6 comments

CEiMB #1: Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf

I know what you’re thinking.

You gotta be kidding, CB? Another foodie event?!!

I am totally psychic right? … and you would be correct. Just call me FEA (foodie event addict). I am ok with that.

Craving Ellie In My Belly is the brainchild of foodie friend, Leigh of Lemontarlet and the Dust Bunnies, and her desire to balance out the desserts from our Tuesdays with Dorie baking group with something healthier. I can definitely get behind that! I love me some Dorie desserts but my love handles are getting lovelier by the week if you get my drift… LOL

The rules are pretty simple. If you wanna join in the Ellie fun, email Leigh with your info. Tell her CB sent ya! ::wink::

Ok. Let’s talk about Leigh’s pick for our first CEiMB recipe. Let’s talk meatloaf.

To be honest I can’t remember the last time I ate meatloaf. Maybe even never. *gasp* I know. Can you believe it? So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this recipe. Ground turkey breast, Worcester sauce, ketchup? Whaaaaaat? This aint *MY* momma’s meatloaf. Well actually my mom was more of a casserole cooker. I think its a mom talent to be able to turn anything into a casserole. Am I right? HAHA

I served my meatloaf with mash potatoes and broccoli. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Kinda like pepperoni on a pizza.

(Recipe from Foods You Crave page 216 | photos from me!)

Makes 8 servings

* Nutritional analysis/serving–
Calories: 205; Total Fat: 3.5; Saturated Fat: 0.5; Protein: 32; Carbohydrates: 13 grams; Fiber: 2 grams


3/4 cup quick cooking oats (I used old fashion oats instead)
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 lbs ground turkey breast (I used 1-1/4 lbs instead)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used 1 whole red pepper)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1-8 oz can no-salt-added tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk and allow to soak while you get the rest of the ingredients together, at least 3 minutes.

[NOTES: Since I used old fashion oats, I let it soak for 15 minutes.]

Thinly slice one-quarter of the onion into rings and set aside. Finely chop the rest of the onion.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, oatmeal mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 F, about 1 hour.

[NOTES: I baked for 1 hour and 20 minutes.]

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.


Husband rating: A
T likes meatloaf. Who knew? I didn’t! HAHA. He raved about this recipe and liked it better than his mom’s. Now that’s saying something!

Wifey rating: A-/B+
I think the recipe itself is great but I am just not a meatloaf person. C’est la vie.

Next week: Steak tacos w/ cucumber-avocado salsa page 184-185

* Nutritional information for original recipe. It does not include my changes and/or substitutions.

October 9, 2008 at 12:49 am 12 comments

Thank You Sponsors!

Copyright Registered & Protected

Creative Commons License
Photos, Original Recipes & Text ©iheartfood4thought 2007-2009 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. If you repost any material from this blog, please give credit by including a link back to me. Thank you!

Hits since Dec 2007

  • 239,930 dirty dishes

Tweet Tweet

Badge designed by SiahDesigns

Click the banners

Current reading

The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas

website counter