Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

Opening the freezer today I saw that there were about 10 bread bags with 2 end pieces in each. I laughed, knowing that Rob used them to 'test' spaghetti sauce, but this was a little much! Grabbing all of the bags, except one, I quickly planned the dessert for the night.

What a great dessert! Nothing should ever go to waste and here's a perfect use for those ends.


4 cups diced bread (you can mix any types together)
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups nonfat milk
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips
one medium very ripe banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Use non-stick spray on a 9x9 pan. Spread diced bread in pan.

Mash banana, add sugar, milk, vanilla, egg whites, chocolate chips and mix thoroughly. Pour custard mixture over bread.

Press down on bread so that each pieces gets the custard mixture on it.

Bake for 35 minutes checking to be sure that chocolate does not scorch.

Cut into individual portions and serve warm with ice cream, fresh berries or alone!

Serves 9 generous portions.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seafood Paella with Mushrooms & Artichoke Hearts

This hearty, colorful dish demands attention and praise. I will be making it tomorrow and would love to see you join along with me!
A quick note: all of the seafood, mushroom and artichokes are optional. You can choose to use a smoked turkey sausage, chorizo or even Serrano ham. It's up to you!


10 mussels, scrubbed
10 clams, scrubbed
10 pieces of shrimp, shelled/de-veined
1/4 lb squid, cleaned and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 peppers (bright colors!) chopped
A handful each of crimini, oyster & shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 lb manchego cheese, grated
4-6 strands saffron
3 cups short-grained rice (I used short-grained brown rice)
6 cups of chicken and/or fish stock
1 can artichoke hearts
1/2 tsp sea salt crystals
3/4 cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/4 butter (or butter substitute such as margarine)
*optional: Serrano or habenero pepper, seeded, diced small

This will easily serve 8 people.

Since I just got done making and eating this I can give a few words of 'what I would and wouldn't do in the future'. First, I wouldn't bother with the squid or oyster mushrooms. Couldn't even tell they were was there! Second, I would definitely use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 fish stock.

I really enjoy Single Pot meals...and this one takes a front row on the favorites list. It's VERY rich so I will only be able to have it occasionally. That being said, the recipe is still healthy and okay to serve when you feel like it! :)


Start by dicing your onions, peppers, tomatoes, squid (if you still want to use it) and mince the garlic (use the garlic press for this recipe!) Chop up your basil and strip the thyme off the stems. Slice your mushrooms and cut artichoke hearts in half.

Steam clams and mussels until they just begin to open. Set aside.

With a mortar and pestle, mash 6-8 strands of saffron, add 1/2 tsp sea salt crystals and 2 Tbsp parsley. Mash thoroughly. Add a spoonful of water, mix and set aside.

In a 6 quart Dutch oven, put butter and EVOO and turn heat to medium. Allow oil and butter to heat up so that it's nice and hot. Add onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. Allow to cook until everything begins to soften (approximately 4 minutes). Add artichoke hearts. At this time add squid and cook for 5 minutes (if not using squid, skip to next step).

Add 3 cups of rice, mix to coat all rice with oil and cook for 4 minutes.
SLOWLY add 6 cups of broth and then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add saffron mixture to to Dutch oven. Turn heat down to low and simmer until rice absorbs 90% of the broth. Five minutes prior to finish add shrimp, clams and mussels. Turn off heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I'm incredibly proud to announce the Grand Opening of

Les Morceaux

Click Here for website

This bold new artist, Joan (pronounced Jo An) Tagorda, is loaded with talent and has been accepted to show her elegant and fun new line at the Unique LA ( show on April 24 & 25!

Support new businesses by women and check out her beautiful work.

I'm personally impressed by the maturity of her pieces coupled with a refreshing youthful tone.

I'm a fan and supporter!