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Monday, January 28, 2013

Raclette awesomeness!

Raclette Plate

So a while back I bought Bob a raclette set for his birthday.  (Yes, his birthday is in July.)  Anyway, we hadn't used the raclette and it was sitting in the corner of the office looking sad and neglected so we decided to finally use it.  Had I known how awesome the raclette set was it would never had sat abandoned for so long.  

I had purchased the Swissmar KF-77041 Gourmet 8-Person Raclette Grill because I figured if we were going to have a raclette set, we were going to be having raclette parties. And we will definitely be using this for parties.

We decided to start our raclette adventure with a typical dinner for just the two of us. We purchased some French raclette cheese from 24th Street Cheese in Noe Valley. To go with our cheesy awesomeness we picked up some gherkins (little pickles, but let's be honest, saying gherkin is so much more fun) pickled carrots, salami, fingerling potatoes, portabellinis (little portabello mushrooms, they're soooo cute), zucchini, broccoli and some olive sourdough bread.

We boiled the fingerling potatoes in some salty water while the raclette grill heated up. We also sliced up mushrooms, salami, and zucchini so we could easily grill our yummy food. And then, we feasted like kings! While our zucchini and mushrooms were grilling, we placed small pieces of our cheese in the little shovels that go with the raclette set, so it could get all melty and delicious. AFter our cheese had melted we could easily pour it all over whatever it was we wanted to eat. It was fantastic! And because you melt the cheese as you go it was always gooey and hot.

Raclette Set Table

I was so impressed with our raclette grill that the next morning I used it again to make breakfast sandwiches. I cooked some bacon on it first. After the bacon was done and set aside, I fried a couple of eggs, grilled the bread, and melted the cheese in the little shovels. I was able to quickly build us bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. I felt like a genius.

My favorite thing about the raclette set is that the grilling top has two options: a flate griddle, or a grill top. AND I can easily remove the grill top and clean it in the sink with out having to worry about a chord or plug. The heating element is totally separate making clean up super easy!

I can't wait to use the raclette set again!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spicy Chicken Soup (with black beans and hominy)

Confession: I subscribe to the Rachel Ray magazine, "Everyday with Rachel Ray," and I love it.  I absolutely love it because all the recipes give me ideas for my own recipes.  Tonight I made a delicious stew/soup thing that was originally a soup in the latest issue of "Everyday."  I wanted to make it a little heartier and more main course so I made adjustments and voila!  It's fantastic, and less than 400 calories a serving- well before you add cheese.  

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This recipe serves two people for a very filling dinner. I like to cook it in a crockpot so it's about 6 hours of cooking time.

What you'l need:

  • ¾ lb chicken breast
  • 1 can white hominy
  • ½ cup dried black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I like mine with garlic)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeƱos

To be fair, you could probably use canned black beans, but I like that I can get a smaller portion from the dried black beans, and you only need to prepare in advance just a bit.  (Just soak the black beans over night in cold water and you'll be good to go.)

Place all the ingredients in your crock pot, make sure your chicken breasts are covered with the juices and everything. Cover the crockpot, set it to low and BAM, in 5 hours you can eat. Before serving use a couple of forks to pull the chicken so that it's distributed evenly throughout the stew/soup.

We like to add a little bit of shredded jalapeƱo jack cheese to the top just to add a little extra kick, but it's really good on its own.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want to it. Corn, peppers, other kinds of beans you name it, the world is your oyster. Now get cooking!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Powdered Peanut Butter

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Say what?!  That's right, I have discovered powdered peanut butter and I'm not looking back.  I was a little skeptical but holy moly do I love peanut butter and powdered means a whole new world of inclusion when it comes to the yummy goo.  


Betty Lou's Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter is fantastic. So far I've only had it on ice cream but my imagination is limitless. I can incorporate the powder into any kind of baking, I can use it in stir-fries, I could even add it as a salad topping. I could of course always use it as regular peanut butter and put it on a sandwich, but where's the fun in that? I seriously cannot wait to use powdered peanut butter in everything I cook.

And as a bonus, it's 45 calories for 2 tablespoons which is WAY lower than regular peanut butter.

I bought mine at Molly Stone, but I'm sure that any kind of healthy store would have it. I can't truly describe how wonderful powdered peanut butter is, you'll just have to try it yourself!