BAKED FRIES WITH GARLIC SAUCE

Baked Fries with Garlic Sauce and Oregano. Baked potato wedges served with garlic hummus tahini Oregano sauce. These Garlic Fries are super addictive and just like the deep fried Mediterranean Garlic Fries. Add vegan feta if you like. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Snack Recipe.

Every time I am around Bellevue, I remember how much I like the food at Garlic crush and pick up a falafel sandwich and their garlic fries sans feta. They are fries, all fried, crisp and hot dripping with this garlicky tangy dressing. Its one of those once a while indulgence like fried Samosas.

Most days we pick up the just fries for the road. I have no clue why I always get hungry as soon as I am in the car. Even if it is right after a heavy lunch. 5 Minutes into the drive, I will get an urge to munch. It probably runs in the family. Or so Mom says. I cannot imagine how she handled 3 constantly munching kids while driving them around :).

I decided to so something about that craving with a baked version. I feel much happier eating this and my tummy thanks me too! for several reasons including homemade is always better/fresher. These baked garlic fries take just a few minutes to throw together. Chop up potatoes, toss in oil and bake. Cook some chopped garlic to golden. Blend the sauce + garlic and keep ready. Dress (the fries) and impress. For variation, use baked sweet potatoes or root vegetables.

INGREDIENTS
For the Fries:

  • 2 large russet potatoes cut into thin wedges or fat match sticks
  • 2 to 3 tsp starch like arrowroot or flour
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp or more dried oregano, or use fresh

Garlic Tahini Hummus Sauce:

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp hummus (or use cooked chickpeas + lemon juice)
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 to 3 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste (1/4 to ½ tsp)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp or more dried dill or parsley
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp water as needed to thin
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or oregano for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bake the fries: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Chop the potatoes. Press a paper towel on the potatoes to absorb excess moisture if needed.
  2. In a large bowl, add the chopped potatoes and toss in flour/starch. Then add oil and mix in. Sprinkle will salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and mix in.
  3. Spread the potatoes on parchment lined baking sheet with atleast a ¼ inch between them. *Parchment papers have oven safe temperature mentioned on them. Do not use parchment with temp rating lower than 425. Bake on a greased baking sheet instead.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the sheet around and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until golden/golden brown on most edges. do not over bake to too much brown as the potatoes get bitter when burnt.

You can find complete recipes of this BAKED FRIES WITH GARLIC SAUCE in veganricha.com

Seafood Risotto

I was recently contacted by the folks who work for an Italian cookware brand, Lagostina. They were having an exclusive blogger challenge/giveaway where they would gift me, and one of my lucky readers their beautiful La Lagostina Risottiera (risotto pot) a retail value of (199.95)

They asked if I could create a winter risotto recipe using the pot and to give an honest review, I thought about it for less than a second and said Yes!

Since it’s the holiday season with Christmas around the corner and New Years right behind I decided to make a seafood risotto with lobster, scallops and shrimp, why not, it’s the holidays and besides, this would be perfect for any special occasion.

I have to tell you I was blown away by the high quality of this pot as soon as I took it out of the box and felt the weight. The lid is beautiful, made of solid cherry wood on the top with the word risotto carved into it, the bottom of the lid is made of heavy stainless and guess what, you can flip the lid over and use it as a trivet! It definitely passed the beauty test, now to see how it cooks up my risotto.

Ingredients

  • Serves 2
  • 1 pre-cooked whole lobster using the claws and tail
  • 8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 large scallops
  • all seafood should be pre-cooked and diced into chunks
  • 1½ quart of seafood stock, either store bought or make your own by simmering water with shrimp and lobster shells, onions, celery, peppercorns and a little thyme, then straining twice.
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 large shallots
  • ¾ cup of Prosecco or white wine
  • 1 cup of canned or fresh diced tomatoes, drained of wet liquid
  • parsley
  • olive oil and butter

Instructions

  1. Cook the shrimp and scallops on a foil lined sheet pan, drizzle seafood with some garlic infused olive oil and a small handful of chopped parsley, roast at 425 degrees until pink and translucent, maybe 10 minutes, let it rest.
  2. Break down your whole lobster tail, removing the shell from the claws so they stay in tact, remove the shell from the tail and cut into chunks, place all the lobster meat into the juices of the cooked shrimp and scallops on the sheet pan.
  3. Place a knob of butter and a good drizzle of olive oil into the bottom of the risotto pot.
  4. Add shallots and cook until they soften.
  5. Add rice, stirring until coated and hot.
  6. Deglaze with the Prosecco or white wine.
  7. When liquid is absorbed then start adding your simmering warm seafood stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until it gets absorbed, then add another ladle full.

You can find complete recipes of this Seafood Risotto in prouditaliancook.com

CHEESECAKE FACTORY RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE RECIPE

I have another fabulous copycat recipe for you today; Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake Recipe.

This Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake Recipe is the next addition to my #FoodIsLove blog series.

The Cheesecake Factory knows how to come up with fabulous, decadent cakes and cheesecakes. This dessert is one of my favorite’s to order there, but it’s definitely a treat to have only once {or twice} a year. I served this cake at a dinner party and everyone loved it, it was a real show-stopper! Let me show you how to make it.

CHEESECAKE FACTORY RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE RECIPEINGREDIENTS
CHEESECAKE:

  • Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RED VELVET CAKE:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 2½ cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
  • Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.
  2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
  3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not overheat).

You can find complete recipes of this CHEESECAKE FACTORY RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE RECIPE in foodfolksandfun.net

BASIC CHICKEN BABY PUREE

This puree isn’t going to win any beauty pageants, that is for sure. It will however win first prize in the taste category, because this puree is a taste winner!

Now, I never thought I would say that out loud about a chicken puree – chicken puree tasting good?!?!

It’s a new one for me!

Usually the thought of any sort of pureed meat gives me the heebie jeebies, but the thought of pureed meat in a jar sitting on a grocery store shelf usually pushes me waaaayyyyy over the edge and into another world of jeebies. Meat at room temperature in-a-jar is just not right.

The thing is though, meat is super good for baby. Beef, chicken, pork, liver, fish, etc, all have essential vitamins, iron, zinc, fat and protein that baby needs in order to thrive. Any meat puree is a great puree for one of baby’s first foods.

So my mission – to make meat purees that actually taste good! Like really good! Like good enough that when you lick some off the spoon you will not flinch away in horror, you will dip that spoon back into the blender and eat a couple more spoonfuls before you even start to feed baby.

Touch mission, or so I thought.

The key, I found out was not to overcook the chicken. To make this simple puree, I gently simmered some chicken breasts in chicken stock (broth would also work) with a little parsley until the chicken was juuussst cooked through. You do not want to overcook the chicken here, that will leave it hard and chewy. We want tender and juicy for this puree. Once blended, the puree has enough flavor to actually taste like warm comforting chicken puree. It almost tastes like blended chicken noodle soup.. almost. The great thing about this chicken puree, is that while it has a ton of flavor it is still flexible enough that you can mix it with any fruit, vegetable or combination puree you want, because let’s be honest, you probably won’t be serving this puree alone to your baby for every meal. This puree is meant to be mixed into your favorite purees that you already have on rotation.

Mission of making an amazing chicken puree for baby – accomplished!

BASIC CHICKEN BABY PUREEIngredients:

  • 1 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cubed
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I used low sodium)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cubed chicken, broth and parsley to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until you reach your desired consistency, adding more stock in 1/4 cup increments if needed.

You can find complete recipes of this BASIC CHICKEN BABY PUREE in babyfoode.com

Chicken Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo

Chicken Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo-A rich, flavorful gumbo  with authentic flavors –  loaded with chicken, sausage, shrimp and crab legs.  Simply Delicious.

I Heart Gumbo! It just blends right in with my African Cuisine -spicy, substantial, well seasoned, full of amazing ingredients … I have got to say the combination is right on point. Now how could anyone not want to make this ?

Don’t let the ingredients list scare, making gumbo is simple and straight food and is no more complicated than making stew. After you get past the stirring (making the roux) everything else is a breeze. This gumbo is loaded with hearty pieces of chicken thighs, smoked sausage, crab legs and shrimp. The key to a great gumbo is the roux- a roux is basically equal parts of oil and flour, stirred together to eliminate the floury taste. With gumbo the stirring is prolonged to achieve a chocolate color to intensify the flavor the stew.

Chicken Shrimp & Sausage GumboIngredients

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 8 oz. Smoked sausage
  • 2 pounds chicken skinless chicken thigh
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 14oz. can tomatoes(chopped)
  • ½ pound crab legs
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning.
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder or 1 cube
  • 1-tablespoon thyme fresh or dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1-tablespoon gumbo file
  • 10 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch
  2. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, and then remove. Set aside
  3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan combine melted butter, oil and flour until smooth.
  4. Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 20-30 minutes or until it turns a rich dark brown color – just like chocolate. Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn.
  5. When you have achieved your desired color. Remove from stove and let it cool.

You can find complete recipes of this Chicken Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo in africanbites.com

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE DREAM BARS

Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars – a graham cracker crust, fresh strawberries, a creamy strawberry cheese layer, strawberry creme pudding, topped with whipped topping. These are the perfect dessert to make when strawberries are in season!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost the middle of April!

I’ve been busy getting my taxes finished up and working on some behind the scenes of the blog which is why you haven’t seen me post for the last week or so.
But I’m BAAAACK!!! And I can’t think of a better dessert to return with than these Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars. They are fantastic, especially if you’re a strawberry lover!

They’re another NO-BAKE dessert that’s easy to put together.
The bottom layer is a graham cracker crust that you pop into the freezer for 30 minutes to set, a layer of sliced strawberries, covered with a strawberry cream cheese layer, a strawberry creme pudding layer (that I neglected to photograph – I suppose I was just so excited about these bars that I forgot that layer!), and then topped with a whipped topping.

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE DREAM BARSIngredients

  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs, plus additional for topping
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 16-ounces fresh strawberries, divided
    (you’ll need 4 for the cream cheese layer and 5 whole for decoration)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 3.4-ounce package Strawberry Creme Pudding
  • 4-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 fresh strawberries, mashed
  • 1 recipe of Stabilized Whipped Cream or 1 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip, divided

Instructions

  1. Set 5 whole strawberries aside for decoration. Mash 4 of them for the cream cheese mixture and then slice the remaining strawberries.
  2. Prepare an 8 X 8 baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Press into the prepared baking dish, and place into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes to set.
  4. In a small bowl mix the 1 1/2 cups milk with the package of strawberry pudding. DO NOT use the two cups as directed on the package. We want a firmer pudding. Refrigerate until ready to use.

You can find complete recipes of this STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE DREAM BARS in 365daysofbakingandmore.com

Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna

Recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna – Don’t you love quick and easy dessert recipes, especially ones that don’t even require an oven! This is a great dessert for everyone,no matter what the occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Nutter Butter Cookies
  • Cool Whip or whip your own fresh whipped cream (1 cup cream plus a drop of sugar for sweetness)
  • peanut butter cups
  • ½ cup peanut butter, melted in microwave
  • 1 box instant or regular vanilla pudding, prepared according to package

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with Nutter Butter Cookies.
  2. Top with a drizzle of the melted peanut butter.
  3. Add ½ the pudding.
  4. Add half the cream. (I like to use a pastry bag so it is pretty but you can spread it if you prefer.)
  5. Top with chopped peanut butter cups.
  6. Repeat the layering!

You can find complete recipes of this Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna in flavorite.net

CINNAMON TWISTS

Sweet little cinnamon pastries with a secret ingredient. And yes, they are still low carb and grain-free. Happy breakfast!

Oh, oh, this mozzarella dough. Honestly, this stuff is a total low carb game changer for me and I am having way too much fun messing around with it and creating new keto recipes. It’s not perfect for everything but it sure works like a charm for any kind of pastry or pizza dough. And it still just startles me that it’s made with mozzarella cheese. Like, seriously. Who sat down one day and said to themselves “I am going to make low carb dough out of cheese and see if it works”? Because while I am incredibly creative and innovative with my recipes, I am also quite certain I never would have thought of this. But that’s the nice part about the low carb recipe creation world. We can all learn from each other and build on each other’s work.

This dough isn’t exactly tricky to make, but there are some tricks to getting it right. And so, at the request of several readers, I have created a video that walks you through the steps. This is for a sweet version of the dough, but the same tips apply to the savoury version too, you simply leave out the sweetener.

Now that I’ve made several recipes with it, I have learned a few things. First of all, don’t roll your dough out on parchment paper. It’s much too springy and it pulls and wrinkles the paper so that you end up with creases in your dough. Turn it out onto a silicone mat or even right onto the counter, if you need to. Then you can top it with parchment and roll it out that way. Also, if your dough is a little too sticky to work with, dust it with almond flour and knead that in a bit until it firms up.

And one reader gave me another little trick that saves one step and one bowl, and that is to melt your butter right in with your mozzarella. Less mess and less to clean up afterward! That worked beautifully for me in these low carb cinnamon twists.

These little pastries make a wonderful breakfast treat. I’ve made them several times and my kids keep asking me to make them again. So if you’ve been itching to try the low carb mozzarella dough, just dive right in. I hope you find my video and all of my tips helpful. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp granulated Swerve Sweetener
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Water

Instructions

Dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking mat with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, and baking powder. In a large saucepan, melt cheese and butter over low heat until it can be stirred together.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Stir in almond flour mixture until dough comes together (keep heat on low). It will still have some large streaks of cheese. Turn out dough onto a silicone mat or directly onto a kitchen counter and knead until uniform (this only takes a little kneading).
  4. Cover with parchment paper and roll out to a 10×10 inch square. Brush with half of the melted butter.

You can find complete recipes of this Cinnamon Twists in alldayidreamaboutfood.com

WHITE CHOCOLATE-CREAM CHEESE MOUSSE

In this updated take on a classic French dessert, cream cheese adds stability and a pleasing tang, which balances the sweet white chocolate without overpowering it.

In this updated take on a classic French dessert, cream cheese adds stability and a pleasing tang, which balances the sweet white chocolate without overpowering it. This recipe first appeared in our December 2012 issue along with Ben Mims’s story Beyond the Pale.

WHITE CHOCOLATE-CREAM CHEESE MOUSSEIngredients

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese and vanilla seeds in a large bowl, and beat on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream, and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes more; set aside. Place salt and egg whites in another bowl, and beat on medium-high speed of a hand mixer until soft peaks form; while beating, slowly add sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  2. Place white chocolate in a medium bowl over a 4-qt. saucepan of simmering water, and cook, stirring constantly, until just melted; remove from heat, and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour white chocolate into cream cheese mixture, and fold with a rubber spatula until almost combined; add beaten egg whites, and fold gently until just combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 3⁄4″ tip, and pipe into serving glasses; refrigerate until set before serving, at least 2 hours.

You can find complete recipes of this WHITE CHOCOLATE-CREAM CHEESE MOUSSE in saveur.com

Mexican Vegan Vegetable Stew

This vegan vegetable stew is made with potatoes, corn, carrots, and celery simmered in a slightly spicy, tangy tomato base. A flavor-packed, low-calorie dinner that just happens to be vegan.

Happy Monday, all! We are on week number two of March Meatless Monday Meals and today’s recipe is one that brings back so many busy-college-student memories. Remember last week in my Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce post when I mentioned I was vegan for a while in college and survived on vegan hot dogs and oreos?

That’s not 100 percent true. I also had this Mexican Vegan Vegetable Stew.

I must have made this stew at least twice a month, and at the time, it was God sent. It’s the type of recipe that get’s better with age, so I could make a pot on a Sunday and happily eat it all the way through Friday with nary a complaint.

Seriously, by the time Friday rolled around, I would practically be licking the bowl after I finished the last spoonful because I was so sad to see it go.

The garlic, cumin, and chili powder give it an intense (but not insanely spicy) flavor, that deepens and matures the longer it sits and its tomato base is tangy, sharp, and perfectly offset by the mild vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1-inch thick
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 (15oz) can corn, drained
  • 2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook until nearly translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until garlic is lightly golden and the spices aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  2. The pot will be quite hot, so have your broth ready to pour in so your garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add broth, tomato paste, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook at a low boil for 20 minutes.
  4. Add corn and tomatoes. Bring stew back up to a boil and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

You can find complete recipes of this Mexican Vegan Vegetable Stew in bakingmischief.com