Cooking and Chef Recipes
Show-off Shrimp and Penne
Divas of Dish
For some, March Madness might refer to college basketball – for the divas, it’s a time of year when we’re pulled in a dozen directions. And when there’s not even time to dash through the grocery’s express lane, here’s a quick one-dish dinner you toss together with staples every diva should have on hand. (A well-stocked pantry beats the drive-through any afternoon.)
Stock up on dry pasta, canned tomatoes, olive oil and fresh garlic. Keep a stash of kalamata olives, feta cheese and decent bottle of white wine in the fridge. In a pinch you could forego the frozen shrimp, but they elevate this dish to star status. The only ingredient you need to grab fresh is parsley or basil, which easily grows in a back-porch pot.
This is a breezy recipe to double if you need to cook for a crowd. You may want to add a few tablespoons of your best-quality olive oil just before serving, or some extra feta cheese.
Divas of Dish Pucker Up to Kiss February Goodbye with Simple Lemon Curd
Pucker up, it’s Valentine’s Month. For the divas, February is a month for romance – not just one day, but all 28.
And while we shared a hot chocolate with tequila for Valentine’s Day, this sweet ending hits the other end of the dessert spectrum with tart Florida lemons to wow your love’s taste buds (and cause a little pucker).
This recipe comes from “Field to Feast, Recipes Celebrating Florida’s Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans,” shared by Central Florida farmer Dale Volkert from Lake Meadow Naturals. His farm-fresh eggs are the base for this simple lemon curd. You can add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste, but we like the tang. Use any leftover lemon curd the next day on your morning toast.
Sexy-Mexi Haute Chocolate with Tequila
Originality is always a challenge for Valentine's Day. Those 24 hours to express our love, libido and a weakness for chocolate. No one could say no to Champagne and two dozen long stems, but kudos go to the guy (or gal) who can think outside the heart-shaped box.
Consider a hot and sexy cocktail to wow the current love of your life. Mexican hot chocolate, spiked with cayenne, cinnamon and tequila is sure to breathe fire into any Valentine's Day rendezvous. This steamy, adults-only version of haute cocoa creates the ultimate mini-picnic idea. Pack a thermos and take a dreamy stroll along the shoreline. Or cuddle up at home and let passions burn before a roaring fire. To amor!
Moroccan Harira from Divas of Dish
It wouldn't be January without a healthy recipe to celebrate the new you in a new year. A trendy fusion of all things super-food, perhaps from an exotic place redolent with warm, earthy spices served up in a warm, earthen bowl.
Crafted to feed the hungry souls after the day-long fasts of Ramadan, Harira is a satisfying Moroccan soup of colorful red lentils and chick peas. This flavorful, fiber-rich version, retro fitted to suit ingredients available here at home, comes together in about an hour. Its lemony, tomato broth is spiked with fresh cilantro and parsley, as well as vermicelli to add a bit of bulk. Ground cumin, golden turmeric, cinnamon and ginger lend complex flavors with a simple teaspoon or two, as well as life-affirming antioxidants. Pass with a basket of warmed wholegrain pita.
Divas Get Mean, Green to Fight Fudge Pudge
Post-holiday pudge is part of the New Year for the divas, but we’ve got a powerful weapon to fight back in a ladylike manner: our kitchen blender.
Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried sipping a meal instead of using a fork or spoon. A blender packs a mighty punch when it’s full of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes from fresh fruits and veggies. Each day we substitute a meal on a plate, usually breakfast or lunch, with a meal in a glass and feel surprisingly satisfied (and a tad slimmer).
And don’t let the green scare you – this drink packs a punch with kale, but the apple, orange and lemon juice give it a sweet sparkle.
Here’s an easy start to 2014.
Divas of Dish
After creating countless thank-you feasts for their children’s elementary school teachers, Anne-Marie Hodges and Pam Brandon began compiling recipes and tips, and created their cookbook in 2004, Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas: Stylish Recipes and Saucy Secrets for the Everyday Gourmet was born in 2004. Along with delicious recipes, the book is a tale of food and friendship that began with a grass-roots crusade to uplift the status of dedicated teachers at Hillcrest Elementary in downtown Orlando.
Since the debut of the cookbook, Anne-Marie has married and moved to Phoenix (now Anne-Marie Denicole), and Pam, a resident of Winter Park, has written two cookbooks for Disney Publishing (Delicious Disney and Delicious Disney Desserts) and has a third Disney cookbook that will be in bookstores in 2010.
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A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.