Archive | February, 2019

Oscar Glam

23 Feb

Need a glamorous appetizer for your Oscar Party? Then this show stopper will be on your list. If you have a little time to fuss over making this jam, it is worth it. Have a glass of your favorite Cab ready to go along side this dish and celebrate a win!

Grab a heavy saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of high quality butter, put the heat on low, and lets get started.

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Next, you need one or two vidalia sweet onions and thinly slice them. I like a mandolin to do this job. It is quick, easy, and you’ll get through cutting the onions without shedding a single tear.

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Now toss the onions into the sizzling butter. Add a bit of sugar, salt, red pepper and black pepper.

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Give that fragrant deliciousness a good stir. Now this is when a little patience comes in handy. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and let those onions get golden.

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While the onions are cooking away, its time to get ready for the next step. We will be adding dried fruit, sun dried tomatoes, 1/2 cup of white wine and some rich balsamic vinegar to the onion mixture.

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I used figs this time because I had them on hand, but I have also used dried cherries (my favorite!) and dried cranberries. This recipe is wonderful to customize to your taste. Chop the dried fruit and tomatoes. I used about 5-6 of each.

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After about a half hour its time to take the lid off the sauce pan and let the wonderful sweet fragrance of the onions pleasure your senses. Mmmmmm. After you take that deep breath in, add the tomatoes, fruit, balsamic vinegar and wine. Stir that all together.

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Leave the lid off and let that simmer down. All of the wine will cook off and the onion jam will thicken. When that happens, remove it from the heat and let it cool a bit.

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Get some crackers and some lovely bread ready to nosh. There is one last ingredient to add-bleu cheese. Layer that jam onto a cracker, top it off with bleu cheese and prepare to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Appetizer! Let the show begin!

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What’s for (a diabetic) Dinner?

9 Feb

My folks are coming for dinner. They are 81 years old and my dad is diabetic. If you think trying to get a 4 year old to eat anything other than chicken nuggets is challenging, try teaching an 81 year old how to eat a low carb diabetic friendly diet. Not an easy task. But salmon is on the menu so the meal will be both diabetic compliant and heart healthy.

My mom, a wonderful cook, never made any type of fish, so this was an out of the box meal for my parents. Here is what I used for the salmon-olive oil, sea salt, my favorite mixture of pepper and garlic, a bit of salmon rub, and a lemon.

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I started with lovely Norwegian salmon. A note about salmon-the colder the water in which the salmon is from the more beneficial fat (Omega-3’s) the salmon will have. I cut it into just the right portion size. The salmon is beautifully veined with healthy fat.

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Next I drizzled a bit of olive oil over the salmon and jazzed it up with the seasonings. It needed a slice of lemon-cuz lemon just goes with salmon!

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The oven was preheated to 350 degrees. For salmon, moderate heat for about 20 minutes will cook 4-6 ounce fillets just right. My sweet mother was a willing student while she monitored my culinary efforts-but insisted on a tiny splash of wine while she learned!

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Time to work on a diabetes friendly side dish. How about grape tomatoes and spiraled zucchini? Yup-that’s next.

Put a little olive oil into a sauce pan. Let it warm up a bit, then add a pint or two of grape tomatoes. It’s that simple. Just throw them in and give them a stir. Don’t forget to add a bit of salt and pepper. Let them start to bubble a bit over medium to medium high heat. Stir them every now and again. After a few minutes they will start to break up and get creamy.

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When the tomatoes are luscious and velvety add the zucchini noodles. I have a zucchini spiralizer, but using it for this dinner may have been a bit too much excitement for my folks. I used the time saving precut zucchini noodles instead.

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The zucchini went into the steamy bubbling tomatoes. Add some basil, oregano and parsley or whatever strikes your fancy. A pinch of salt and pepper brings out the flavor, so don’t forget to toss that in too.  I also added 1 chopped clove of garlic.  A bit of garlic never hurt anything.

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A little stir and this was on its way to deliciousness! The warm scents of herbs and vegetables were filling the house. Mmmmm. The zucchini heated through in about 5 minutes, the salmon was out of the oven, and dinner was ready!

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I jazzed up the vegetables by grating a bit of fresh parmesan cheese on them while hot. The filet of salmon with this side dish was so yummy. Take note-this meal is a low carb meal. It’s a great meal if you are on a keto diet or if you have diabetes. I am a low carb eater, so this meal hit the mark for all the beloved folks around my dining room table.

Initially my folks weren’t crazy about what was cooking for dinner. My mom is a 50’s housewife that can bang out an amazing pot roast and mashed potatoes with one hand tied behind her back, and my dad is 100% a meat, potatoes, and corn guy. Yup-heavy on the starch, which is not cutting it anymore with his diabetes. Needless to say this new fangled meal I was cooking up for them was raising an eyebrow or two. I think that they were also secretly wishing they’d had a big snack before coming for dinner. In the end the meal plated up beautifully, was hearty, and enjoyed by all. What are you cooking up? email me at amykgarman@gmail.com on twitter @amykgarman or on instagram at amyklingele