Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paleo Diet Shepherd's Pie

Hey friends, I made the most amazing comfort food dinner last night- Shepherd's Pie. It had all the flavor but none of the fat and carbs. It felt really good feeding my family a decadent dinner that was good and good for them. This is a great recipe to when you want to squeeze more veggies in your diet without boring yourself. For those of you on Paleo, Weight Watchers, Atkins or whatever waistline watching you are trying, this recipe is sure to fit right in!

Jen DePalma's Shepherd's Pie (Paleo Style)

For the base
1lb of organic grass fed ground beef
4 carrots diced
1/2 red onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 celery diced
1 cup of frozen peas and carrot mix
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of skinny Gouda cheese (shredded)  or your favorite low fat cheese (shredded)

For the Cauliflower Mash Topping
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of chicken broth (low sodium)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp of butter

For the Base
Saute veggies in olive oil 8-10 minutes
Add in ground beef cook 10 minutes or until almost cooked through- set aside

For the Cauliflower Mash
Steam Cauliflower in chicken broth until soft (8 minutes)
Transfer to blender, add in parmesan cheese & butter
Puree 5 minutes or until smooth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In Casserole dish add meat and veggies
Top with Cauliflower Mash and sprinkle with Skinny Gouda/ Shredded Cheese

Bake 10-12 Minutes then set oven to Broil and brown Shepherd's Pie 4-5 minutes or until golden and bubbly

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monster Mash, Death by Chocolate Cake- Halloween Dessert

Happy Halloween my friends. We have one more day to enjoy the spooktacular festivities. Here's what I'm serving up at tonight's Halloween Birthday Bash, Monster Mash Death by Chocolate Cake. Happy Hauntings!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tomato Recipes

As you know it's my first year growing a veggie garden. Let me show you all the fun ways I've been using my tomatoes



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Harvest Time, my favorite time of year. Today I'm sharing with you my scrumptious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that can be baked as tiny cakes or pour into a loaf pan for pumpkin bread. It's moist, with a hint of autumn spice , walnuts and chocolate chips for chew. It's healthy too!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Wet Ingredients
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1 7oz container of Fage 2% greek yogurt
2 whole organic eggs
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of canola oil
Dry Ingredients
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line muffin pan with liners
In a large mixing bowl whisk together wet ingrediets
in a medium mixing bowl whisk together dry ingredients
Fold Dry ingredients into wet ingredients
Fill muffin tins and bake for 17-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Homemade Chicken Parmigiana

Hi Friends, this heatwave has not kept me out of the kitchen even though the barometer has been hitting 100 degrees almost everyday this week! I'm turning out my homemade chicken parmigiana. It's authentic, homey, flavorful &familiar. My secret, lots of Parmesan cheese in the chicken cutlet egg batter! First I fry up a batch of delicious chicken cutlets using Italian breadcrumbs. Next I smother them in homemade marinara sauce perfumed with tons of basil & parsley from my garden. It's topped with fresh mozzarella and even more Parmesan cheese. Then covered with foil & popped into a 375 degrees oven until the cheese is melty & bubbly. Enjoy in Cheer & Good Company!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Homemade Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Summer is here and my garden is producing an array of beautiful veggies. One of my favorite recipes to make with bountiful and beautiful produce is Minestrone Soup. My minestrone soup is hearty, flavorful and so good for you, loaded with summer squash, carrots, celery, peas, beans and potatoes makes for one filling meal. Even if you don't have a garden to pick from I am going to give you a supermarket ingredient list that makes for a quick fix. Today I am adding Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini to round out this meal into a one pot dinner winner recipe.

Jen's Vegetable Minestrone &Tortellini Soup- Serves 8

1 can of crushed canned tomoatoes
3 cerey stalk chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 carrots chopped
2 potatoes diced
2 zuccini chopped
1 can chick peas
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 bunch of parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bag of cheese tortellini
1 bunch of parsley chopped

In large stock pot heat oil
Saute veggies (except potatoes) 3-5
Add in crushed pepper & canned tomatoes
Add in potatoes
Cook 35 minutes then add Tortellini
Cook 5 minutes more
Serve with Grated Parmesan Cheese and garnish with parsely

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Italian Sausage & Peppers

With the abundance of sweet summer peppers popping up in my garden there is one recipe my family and I just can't get enough of- Good ol' Italian Sausage & Pepper Hero. One of the simplest, most delicious dishes you could ever make. Three simple ingredients, sweet red peppers, red onions and sweet Italian sausage. I've fine tuned this recipe to make it a tad bit healthier, less oily and even more delicious! Sop of all the succulent pan juices with a big hunk of Italian Bread and a better dinner has yet to be done!

Jen's Italian Sausage & Peppers- Serves 4
2lbs of red Peppers- thinly sliced
3 large red onion- thinly slice
2 lbs of Sweet Italian Sausage

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Season sliced peppers & onions with salt & pepper and drizzle of EVOO
Add to roasting pan,  sealed tightly fitted with lid - bake 40 minutes or until soft
On Separate baking sheet roast sausages until 3/4 way cooked, appx 20 minutes
Remove sausage from oven, cool slightly and slice
Add sliced sausage to peppers and onion. cook 30 minutes with lid on
Remove from oven and Serve!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Easy Canapes

I'm hosting a casual cocktail party tonight and serving up my easy elegant canapes.On this platter I have a mix of stuffed mushrooms which I prepped last night and popped into the oven 25 minutes before my guests arrive. Along side my spectacular shrooms are Smoked Salmon and Dill canapes, simple and sophisticated. who says entertaining is hard!

Death by Chocolate Trifle

Summer is here! Weekend BBQ's, Pool Parties and Picnics, good times are ahead. Summer is short so don't waste your time looking for the perfect dessert to bring along. My Death by Chocolate Trifle is a DePalma Family favorite and soon will be yours too! Layers of Crumbled Chocolate Cake (Box cake mix is just fine), Followed by Chocolate Pudding (Instant not Cook &Serve), Sliced Banana and topped with Cool Whip. Continue the layers and chill overnight. Best served cold from the fridge with a tall glass of ice cold milk this a recipe kids and grown up are sure to love!

Crispy Crab Cakes

Summer is Here! It's a beautiful day in NYC. Although I can't make it to the shore I sure can bring the shore to me with my homemade crispy crab cakes. My crab cakes are made with whole lump crab, you want find any fillers here! Slightly binded with breadcrumbs and flavored with dijon, a little cayenne pepper a dash of hot sauce salt and pepper then coated in egg wash and dredged in panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. Fresh Fabulous Fish everyone is sure to love!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Carmine's Restaurant, Atlantic City Best Meatballs Ever

Meatballs at Carmine's or what was left!
I'm Italian, I know a good meatball. Never have I ever in my life eaten a meatball better than my grandmother's- until Saturday. Until Saturday, I have never in my life ordered meatballs in a restaurant, I refused to, my grandmother's couldn't be beat. Saturday, while visiting Atlantic City, my family and I had the pleasure of dining at Carmine's Restaurant located inside The Tropicana. We started with ordering the meatballs off the appetizer menu. These are no appetizer size meatballs, they are huge and there's plenty of them. There were six to be exact but not a single bite was left on the plate. The meatballs were absolutely amazing, everything a true authentic meatball should be- soft when you cut into it but not mushy, flavorful, mouthwatering and the sauce the are simmered in is full bodied and fantastic. All you need is a bib and a good piece of crusty bread, which if you ask the waitstaff a few times they will eventually bring out. The service at Carmine's AC  is nothing to brag about. The food makes up for it, everything we ordered was delicious- penne vodka, chicken francese and sauteed spinach.  Dishes are served family style and you really do need a big Italian family to eat it, the platters are huge, really huge. The menu says platters feed 4-6 people I say more like 10 people seriously. So make sure you go with a group or not and have plenty of leftovers win/win! Carmine's is my new favorite place to eat in Atlantic City and once you give it a try I'm sure it will be yours too! I found the recipe online for Carmine's Meatballs but a fellow diner told me he tried the recipe at home but it didn't come out the same maybe you will have better luck!
Carmine's Recipe Link

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Honey Citrus Drizzle and Ginger Veggie Rice

Coconut Shrimp is one of my favorite appetizers. Succulent Shrimp battered in crispy, crunchy, sweet coconut flakes. Such richness comes with spoils, there's nothing healthy about fried coconut shrimp so tonight I'm revamping my recipe and making Baked Coconut Shrimp with a Honey Drizzle! All the flavor none of the guilt. Although when company comes over I'm still making the fried the stuff!

Baked Coconut Shrimp
2 lbs of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 flour
2 tsp of paprika, 2 tsp of garlic powder
1 egg beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray
Season shrimp with salt and pepper
Mix spices with flour
Dredge shrimp in seasoned flour then egg then cocnut
Line Shrimp on baking sheet
Bake in over 15-20 minutes until cooked through and crispy

Honey Drizzle
1/4 cup of organic honey (use local when possible)
1 tbsp of mustard
1 tbsp of teryaki sauce
1 tsp of crushed pepper flakes

Whisk ingredients and drizzle over cooked shrimp

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shrimp & Farm Fresh Vegetable Stir Fry, Todd English / HSN Green Pan Review

Hi Friends! Today I'm killing 2 birds with 1 stone by reviewing the Todd English Hard Anodized by Greenpan while discussing my latest farm fresh recipe. Talk about a rush hour meal this dish was done in 10 minutes (I chop fast) and partly becuase my Greenpan cooks so well. After fighting traffic I want a quick easy no fuss dinner. Low and behold I have farm fresh zucchini, peppers, onions and garlic in my fridge. A bag of frozen shrimp is a staple in my freezer. I quickly chopped all the veggies and lightly sauteed on high heat in my GreenPan Sautepan. After about 8 minutes I added in the frozen shrimp, put the cover on and in two minutes the meal was done. The zing of the fresh ginger makes all the difference. I had the leftovers for lunch and they certailny taste better the next day.

As for my Todd English Hard Anodized by GreenPan I purchased the pan on a whim from HSN - buy one get one free for $39.99, free shipping and flex pay! How could I say no? The pan is very good, evenly distrubutes heat, sears beautifully for a non-stick pan but (there's always a but) it does not clean as beautifully as shown on tv. Unfortunately, I have some staining in my pan that just refuses to come off- bummer. Otherwise if you can get the same deal I recommend ordering (only if you get the same deal).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Be on Foodnetwork, New Food Blogger Demo Tape

Here's my demo tape for a casting call on Food Network- whatcha think!

Blackstone Steak House Review

Hey friends last Sunday my family and I celebrated my mom’s 65th Birthday at Blackstone Steakhouse, Long Island. We were a party of 7 so I was able to try many of the dishes. D├ęcor of a typical steakhouse but slightly more inviting with a crackling fireplace and dim lighting.
Since we arrived early for our reservation we started with the Sangria at $15 a glass (slightly pricey for sangria). For starters we ordered the lobster macaroni and cheese it was very rich but not the best I’ve ever had. The birthday girl had a lobster bisque which was slightly overpowered by the dubious amounts of heavy cream. I would have liked to see chunks of lobster in the bisque as well.

Now to the Main course, I ordered the daily special Artichoke Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with sauteed broccoli rabe and tomatoes. It was absolutely wonderful, my taste buds were in heaven. The fish was moist and had a beautiful sear. The artichoke and breadcrumb topping was divine, they really should make this dish a staple on the menu. I fancied a few bites of petite filet mignon but I felt it lacked flavor. In my opinion, definitely stick with the fish at this steak house.
Truth be told we ordered just about every dessert on the menu:
Hot fudge banana split sundae served atop a warm brownie with Praline crunch- devilishly delish. Worth every penny and calorie!

Home made donuts topped with white chocolate shavings and raspberry coulis- good but oily. Although I’m really not a donut person so make what you will.

Homemade Canolis- good but nothing I can’t pick up from a local Italian bakery.
The service was great although it did take about 45 minutes for our food to come out. I would certainly go back to Blackstone Steakhouse as it’s a tasteful place to get together but it ain't cheap. Overall my mom enjoyed her 65th birthday celebration so the evening was hit. Good Job Blackstone Steakhouse. Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Shortcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting and Vegan Chocolate Ganache

One of my favorite clients is vegan. I love preparing fun and fabulous dishes for her exciting events. However this time she threw me a curve ball, the request was for a decadent dessert that had to be chocolate and of course had to be vegan. With the help of vegetable oil, vegan cocoa powder and a bit of vegetable shortening I was able to create my Vegan Chocolate Shortcakes- devilishly delicious and 100% vegan! Who says you can't have you cake and eat it too!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Silent Post for the victims of Boston Marathon

Peace, Love, Forgiveness and Strength to the city of Boston today and all those affected by by the bombings. May we pray for humanity, wisdom and strength. One nation under God.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Italian Easter Bread- Buona Pasqua

Easter has and always will be one of my favorite holidays. Growing up we had the best Easter holidays any child could dream of- candy filled baskets, a feast of lasagna, ham, meatballs and endless desserts. The one dish that made the Easter table so festive was the Easter Bread. We didn’t call it Italian Easter Bread because we are Italian so to us it’s just Easter Bread (there’s no other kind). The best part of Easter for us was the Easter Egg Hunt! We looked forward to that hunt all year long. Novelty eggs filled with pocket change and if you were lucky dollar bills! With that, Here is my recipe for Italian Easter Bread, Buona Pasqua!

1 package rapid dry yeast
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
 1 ½ cups of warm not hot milk – appx 105 degrees
1 tsp salt
4 cup all purpose flour
½ cup of golden rasins
Egg wash- 1 egg plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Add eggs, sugar , salt and yeast to mixer fitted with dough hook
Mix 2 minutes add in milk and raisins
Slowly add in flour, you may need to use more than 4 cups depending on humidity. Knead in machine 7-10 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky.
Add dough to well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or dish towel. Put in warm, draft free area to proof, appx 1 hour.
Take dough out punch down and divide into three parts. Roll each part out to form three long ropes. Pinch ropes together at top and braid.
Form a circle and allow to proof 1 hour again
Brush with egg wash
Place dyed eggs into seams of braids and bake at 350 degrees appx 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Ready to Rise

Three Ropes
Braided Bread
Bread Before Rising

After 2nd rising

Ready for Oven

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Krispy Rice Treats

Easter's almost here , one of my favorite holidays! As kids we had the best Easters, egg hunts, candy baskets, easter outfits & more candy! This year I'm paying homage to a whimisical simple treat your kids& the kid in you will love.... Bunny Krispy Treats!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sausage and Spinach Quiche

Who doesn't love quiche? An elegant, easy dish  perfect for entertaining. My Sausage and Spinach Quiche is a cinch to put together and showstopper on the table. It's just in time for Easter or perfect potluck bring along.  Using a ready made pie crust is a serious time saver:
 Sausage and Spinach Quiche
5 eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
3 Italian Sausage Links,
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
 1 9 inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 375
Beat cream, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper
Remove Sausage links from casings and brown in saute pan. Set Aside
Layer Spinach on bottom of pie crust, then add cheese and layer in sausafe.
Pour cream and egg mixture into pie crust and bake for 35 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Poached Chicken Pasta Salad with Warm Dijon Vinaigrette

I'm always looking to put new spins on old faves. Tonight I just do not feel like running to the market before I get home. Super Storm Saturn is supposed to hit I'm sure the supermarket is just crazy right now. Since Sandy, New Yorkers really panic when a storm hit and the market and gas stations are the first places they hit to get last minute goods.Instead,  I will be scrummaging through my pantries and putting together a meal. When I came up with Poached Chicken and Pasta Salad with Warm Dijon Vinaigrette.
I love making dressings from scratch and my homemade dijon vinaigrette is one to brag about. I like using apple cider vinegar, good quality dijon and Garlic Infused extra virgin olive oil. I whisk together my warm dressing and set aside. Next I poach chicken breasts which I  toss with the warm vinaigrette and cooked pasta. Add in a few pantry staples like black  olives and chickpeas a little feta cheese for flavor and fresh herbs for good season.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wenonah Elementary School Fundraiser- Gertrude Hawkins Sale

Help support Wenonah Elementary School of Lake Grove, NY by placing an order through Gertrude Hawkins. You  can help support our students without ever leaving your home by opting to have the goodies delivered directly to your doorstep! Goodies for a good cause!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Desserts- Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispy Treats

Here's the perfect Valentine's Day sweet treat for your Valentine. Easy, Sweet and almost too cute to eat- Almost!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Frank & Beans with a Twist

Well Nemo hit NY last night and I am snowed, cooking up a storm! I was looking for a satisfying belly filling meal when I dreamed up this beauty. I was set to make pasta fagioli but peering into my fridge I saw a pack of hot dogs & knew they were meant to be so much more. My husband loves hot dogs so I always keep a pack on hand and he loves pasta. I conjured up the perfect meal garlic, olive oil, capers, beans & frankfurters. It's a tasty tastebud pleasing meal. Perfect for a snowy day like today

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Calorie Saver Coleslaw

Not sure if you folks know this about me, I don't do creamy. No creamy dressings, no creamy salads no creamy spreads until now. I love using greek yogurt to remake classic creamy faves and today I'm serving up my Calorie Saver Coleslaw. Crispy crunchy coleslaw mix dresses with a creamy ranch dressing. it's fabulous! Only 3 ingredients, non fat greek yougurt, 1 packet of ranch seasoning and 1 bag of coleslaw. Mix ranch seasoning with yogurt, pour over coleslaw, mix and serve! pair wit grilled shrimp for a healthful and satisfying meal!

National Pancake Day

Serious Sticky Situation