Week 9, Recipe 1: Puerto Rican Spaghetti with Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Daisy Martinez in Rachael Ray's February 2010 magazine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large chicken drumsticks and thighs (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound spaghetti
For a change, shred the chicken before arranging on top of the pasta.


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and add to the skillet. Cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and add the bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and any juices; lower the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the cilantro; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente; drain. Top with the chicken and sauce.
Results:  Just okay.  Too tomatoey.  Probably the fault of the paste.  It needed different flavors in it.  I should've followed my instinct and put in my Italian seasonings.  I subbed parsley for cilantro.  The red peppers were really yummy.  I used angel hair because I love the taste!  I served it with fresh Italian bread topped with butter and garlic salt.  That bread was amazing.  Am I turning into a bread person?  Or just a fresh bread person?  Figures.  Me and my expensive tastes.


Week 8, Recipe 3: Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers with Roatan Rum Punch

Burger recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray via her mag in August 2007
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (about a palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (about 2/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (about 1/3 palmful)
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce
Swap it
Use a warmed pita pocket in place of the toasted roll.


  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and garlic and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor along with the tahini, lemon peel and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Season the baba ghanoush with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lamb, parsley, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Form into 4 patties.
  3. In the skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat until rippling. Add the burgers and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes each side for medium-rare.
  4. Slather each roll top with the baba ghanoush. Set the burgers and lettuce leaves on each roll bottom and cover with the roll tops.

    I had a horrid time finding tahini. I have some now but didn't when I made this recipe. The eggplant mix was still good. I won't call it baba ghanoush since I didn't have tahini. The burgers were yummy! I would've liked more of some flavor, though. I used parsley, mint and dill. Should've used more dill I think.

    Roatan Rum Punch recipe from Food'o del Mundo
    Dark rum (we use Bacardi O and/or Bacardi Select)
    Fresh pineapple juice
    Fresh orange juice
    Fresh grapefruit juice
    Any other fresh juices you want to add

    Results: I used pineapple nectar, oj & light rum but thought the color wasn't pretty enough so I added grenadine.  DELICIOUS!!


Week 8, Recipe 2: Balthazar Brioche French Toast

I bought this AMAZING brioche at the Dekalb Farmer's Market (aka my ATL 2nd home) and knew I had to make french toast.  Can I tell you this bread is so amazing that I ate a slice by itself driving back to Gainesville?  I don't even like bread like that.  Anyway, this recipe is from Martha Stewart's site.

Serves 4 to 6
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 loaf day-old brioche or challah bread, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup Clarified Butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Syrup, for serving
  • Fresh fruit or crisp cooked bacon, for serving (optional)


Week 8, Recipe 1: Spicy Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches

I've been wanting to try out some interesting breakfast recipes so I did that this week with some yummy results. :)  This recipe courtesy of my favorite girl, Rachael Ray's mag (October 2007).
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 4 large slices crusty Italian bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large poblano chile, seeded and chopped
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Swap it
Use zucchini or onion in place of the chile.


  1. Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Spread one-quarter of the goat cheese on each slice of bread. Place on a baking sheet and bake until bubbly, 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring until the eggs are scrambled, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top each toast with the scrambled eggs.

    Results: MMM!  I really liked these!  I of course halved the recipe served them with bacon.  I know it looks crazy with the eggs all of the place but scrambled eggs don't play nicely for food photography so deal with it!  Lol.