Sunday, September 26, 2010

Slow Carb Diet: Eating Out

I love to eat at restaurants! We eat out quite a bit and I was so excited the other night when we went to The Elephant Bar and I found something that I could eat on the Slow Carb Diet!

It's called the Kona BBQ combo platter! It consists of ribs, chicken and shrimp with a side of beans. It's also supposed to come with rice but I asked for extra veggies and the one's that came were so good!

Another great plus...this meal is so large that I took half of it home and ate for another meal.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cookbook Review: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

I got this cookbook yesterday and I spent the evening and most of this morning reading it from cover to cover.

Yes, that's right.  From cover to cover.  If you aren't familiar with The Pioneer Woman...but really, who isn' should know that she is a ranchers wife living in Oklahoma with her Marlboro Man and her 4 kids.  And a bunch of cows, horses and dogs.

It's not just a's a story/picture book about her life on the ranch and the people she shares it with with recipes thrown in.  It was a joy to read! 

Her recipes are for the most part simple good food.  Nothing fancy...because she lives on a ranch!  I read some of the recipe titles out loud to my husband and we're excited to cook some of the dishes together....if we can both fit in the galley kitchen!

You'll be seeing some of her recipes here....stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Slow Carb Recipe: Ham Hock and Navy Beans

I'm trying the latest diet craze called The Slow Carb Diet. I've tried every diet known to man and I didn't want this one to be left out so I have to give it a go. So far...I haven't lost much weight, but I feel better and I'm sleeping better.

Carbs just might be evil.

My taste tester (my husband) really liked this meal and he didn't even add anything to it. I do think he missed having bread with it but he'll get used to it!

If you want to know more about the plan that I'm following, you can check out my fitness blog...Fat to Fit Mommy.

 Ham Hock and Navy Beans

4 (1/2-pound) ham hocks, scored
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onions
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 pound navy beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ham hocks, onions, celery, bell pepper, carrots, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and bay leaves, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the navy beans and stir. Continue simmering over medium-low heat for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the beans are almost cooked and ham hocks are very tender. Season with salt and continue cooking 15 to 30 minutes, until beans are done and ham hocks are beginning to fall apart.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sketch Wine Bar

I turned 40 years old on Saturday. My husband bought us tickets to the opening night performance of Dead Man's Cell Phone at the Curious Theater and when I was looking for places to grab a bite to eat beforehand...Sketch Wine Bar came up.  Located in the Baker Historic Neighborhood of Denver, Sketch is a fun little neighborhood bar with a small patio.

It sounded like the perfect place because it's a wine bar that serves cheese and sliced meats and I love cheese. When we arrived we discovered that it was happy hour and it lasted until 7pm! Awesome!

After spending 4 years in Utah behind the Zion felt naughty to sit in front of this wall of wine.  I adjusted and enjoyed discovering a new favorite wine with the help of Ben who gave me a sip of a couple choices to pick from.  I decided on Layer Cake Shiraz which seemed appropriate for my birthday and my husband tried both the red and white Sangria.  Just a note here to let you know that after the second glass of Magic husband agreed to take me to Italy.  If you want something from you husband...take him to Sketch for a couple drinks!

They have a nice little seating area but we sat a the bar.  We loved the simple lines and color scheme.  It feels classy and special without feeling stuffy.  And the staff made us feel like we were regulars.

We tried two kinds of meat.  We loved both of them...but I really liked the taste of the capers with the Caropccio of Beef. And those skinny bread sticks are a great accompaniment.

Jamon Serrano
Carpaccio of Beef*
Carpaccio of Beef
We ended up trying all of the cheeses that they had available that night and our favorites have a * next to them.  The Delice De Argental was so creamy and buttery!  I can't wait to try and it find it at one of the local cheese stores.

Manchego El Toboso from Spain
Aspen Ash Goats Milk from Longmont Co
Bleu De Lacquein from France*
Roomano Pradera from Holland
Delice De Argental from Bourgogne, France*
Lamborn Bloomers Goats Milk from Basalt Co
Sheep Riccota from California*
Vella Dry Jack from Sonoma California

Bleu Cheese

Delice De Argental

Sketch Wine Bar ended up being the perfect way to begin our evening and we wish we had a hip, neighborhood bar like this near our home.

Sketch is also open for breakfast and makes a great cup of espresso according to the tattooed woman that sat next to me at the bar that didn't know what a sister wife was.  Also, Wednesday is Wino night with Happy Hour all day long and a DJ playing at 9pm.

Sketch Wine Bar
11 W. 1st Ave
Denver, CO 80223

Sketch on Facebook
Sketch on Twitter

Sketch on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marco's Coal Fired Pizza

On Saturday we went down to see my husband's new office and we decided to try one of the restaurants that he walks past every day.

My children love pizza so that is always one of our first choices when choosing a restaurant and we wanted to find a replacement for our favorite Utah pizza joint.

I was pleasantly surprised with Marco's Coal Fired Pizzeria.  It's not your average's gourmet with the finest ingredients. See the menu here.

I convinced my husband that we should try the Staten Island Pie...Genoa Salame, Fresh Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and San Marzano tomato sauce.  We asked for Prosciutto to be put on it too and it was amazing! 

Coal Fire Oven
My favorite bites were one's that had a piece of fresh basil on it....and the freshly grated parmigiano and red peppers.  Perfect! 

They also brought out balls of pizza dough for the kids to play with...we appreciated this so much!

I was thrilled to see that they had Prosecco on the wine menu and the addition of this Italian sparkling wine to my meal made it feel like a party!

My husband tried the Guava Mojito and he liked how refreshing it was.  He claims he can make these at home.  I'm going to insist that he does!

Guava Mojito

They also have an adorable outdoor patio with a fire pit.  I would have loved to sit outside but it was 90 degrees and our children were already melting.

Marco's Coal Fired Pizzeria
2129 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

Marco's on Twitter

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

It's been awhile since I cooked something that I absolutely loved and couldn't wait to make again. I've been trying to come up with recipes that are inexpensive to make and that will stretch into several meals. This is my new favorite!

All of the ingredients came to $11.01 and that comes $3.67 per meal. You have no idea how excited that makes me! I wish I had a picture...but we were so excited to eat that I didn't get to take one. Next time...

Red Beans and Rice
adapted from Tyler Florence

1 pound dried small red beans, picked over and rinsed.
2 smoked ham hocks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Red Pepper Sauce
2 Andouille sausages, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 cups cooked white rice

Place the dried beans in a large pot and cover with water. Soak the beans overnight.

Drain the beans and return them to the pot along with the ham hocks, adding just enough water to cover (about 2 qts). Add the onion, celery, green pepper, cayenne, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and several shakes of red pepper sauce. Stir to combine and then simmer, uncovered for about 2 and a half hours. Add about a cup of water towards the end.

Mash about a cup of the beans to make the broth thicker. Toss in the sausages and cook for another 30 minutes to heat them through. Adjust the seasoning (more cayenne) if needed. Serve the red beans in a bowl with white rice, corn bread and a beer.