Saturday, December 26, 2009


This is a recipe I got from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law Steve and Liz. This is so simple but so good I am sure it will become a favorite. Fantastic with a good bootle of wine and some crusty bread. I think I convinced my family this should be our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, easy to make before or after church, fast and delicious. Plus it fits in with the Feast of the Seven Fishes.


1/4 cup green pepper, diced
2 tbs onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tbs fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 lb firm white fish, I used Tilappia
1 lb mixed seafood, shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, etc.

Saute peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, wines and herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add thicker fish and seafood, let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the smaller pieces of seafood and let them simmer for 5 minutes or until all of the seafood is cooked.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Curried Vegetables Over Couscous

Here is a fast and easy weeknight dinner.

Curried Vegetables served over Whole Grain Couscous

1 tbs olive oil
8 oz cauliflower crowns
4 oz button mushrooms, sliced into 2 or 4 pieces depending on size
1/2 red pepper, cut into small dice
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 moons
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 moons
1 can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tbs curry powder, more or less according to your preference
1/2 cup couscous

Heat olive oil in pan. When pan is hot add cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Cook until they start getting browned. Add the red pepper, squash and zucchini, cook for 2 minutes then add Chickpeas, tomatoes and curry powder. While veggies are cooking make couscous. When Cauliflower is cooked you can server over the couscous.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bistecca alla Pizzaiola

Steak prepared in the pizza style. This was a clean the refrigerator out, because we have to many leftovers and it is time to start baking for Christmas, dinner. It was pretty good but I had to much sauce and the pieces of steak disappear in the photos.

Bistecca alla Pizzaiola

For Steak:
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz steak, I used London Broil, cut into very thin pieces (cut while still a little frozen to get the thinnest pieces)

For Sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs onion, diced
1/2 pepper, diced (I had mini peppers so I used 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange)
4 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
1 14oz can of crushed tomatoes

Heat pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil when pan is hot, then add garlic to pan. After about 30 seconds add the steak slices. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove steak and set aside, throw away garlic.

Add additional olive oil to pan. when oil gets hot add onions and cook for a minute or 2. Then peppers and mushrooms cook until mushrooms start to brown. Add the tomatoes and turn heat down to medium. Put the steak slices back in pan. Cook until steak is warmed through.

I served this over a bed of polenta.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Salmon with Mixed Pepper and Tomato Salad

Here is a dish that I invented this weekend when I looked in the fridge and saw a couple of peppers, a handful of cherry tomatoes and the salmon my wife said she wanted for dinner. Simple, but very flavorful.

Salmon with Mixed Pepper and Tomato Salad

For the salmon:
1/2 pound of salmon
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 roasted yellow pepper, diced
1 tbs olive oil

Heat a nonstick pan to medium high heat. Cover Salmon in olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat in pan until salmon gets crisp on edges then flip salmon over and heat for another minute or 2 until cooked to your desired doneness. Remove salmon from pan and set aside.

Add olive oil, tomatoes and peppers to pan. Cook until the peppers and tomatoes are heated through.

I made brown rice with this. I put brown rice in 4 oz ramekin and then inverted ramekin onto center of plate. When you lift it you will have a nice hill of rice in center of plate. Cut salmon in 1/2 and put 1 piece on the pile of rice, do this for each plate. Then spoon the tomato pepper mixture over the salmon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baked Penne and Cheese

One of those rainy cool days and I was in the mood for some comfort food. My wife and I decided on macaroni and cheese with a good crispy topping. I got this recipe from EatingWell, but this is the highest fat and calorie recipe I have ever seen from them.

Baked Penne and Cheese

3 tbs breadcrumbs
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tbs all purpose flour
2 cups shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1//4 tsp salt
8 ounces whole wheat penne or macaroni

Preparation: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Coat an 8 inch square (2 Quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl.

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup of milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Add milk/flour mixture to milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cottage cheese and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the Cheddar cheese until melted. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, until almost tender. The pasta will bake some more in the oven. Drain and add to the cheese and mix well. Pour the pasta into the baking dish and spread out so it is even. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs.

Bake the pasta until it is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

They say this serves 4, we got about 6 servings out of it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you got the drumstick or whatever piece you dreamed of.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tantalizing Tower of Taste

This dish has sweet and heat and a tower of potato and meat. Chinese 5 spice, chipotle powder, maple syrup, pork and sweet potatoes all combined.

5 Spice Pork with Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

For the potatoes:
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 sweet potato, cut into coins about 1/8" thick Mine weighed about 3/4 lb

For Pork Tenderloin:
1 tsp canola oil
2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
1 pork tenderloin (1 tenderloin from a package of 2) cut into 1/2" coins

For the Sauce:
1 tbs of Maple Syrup
1 tsp of chicken stock
5 spice powder or chipotle powder, depending on whether you want a spicy or sweet sauce Add the amount to your liking

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl place potatoes, oil and chipotle powder toss until well coated. Then spread potatoes on a cookie sheet and place in oven, It should take about 45 minutes for them to get firm and brown on the edges. They will crisp up a little after they are removed from oven.

Place pork coins in bowl with oil and 5 Spice powder, toss until evenly coated. Place them in a saute pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until they reach reach the doneness you like.

While pork is cooking place maple syrup and broth in pan with chipotle or 5 Spice powder and simmer until sauce has reduced.

To assemble lay down a sweet potato chip then a pork coin and drizzle with sauce. Keep doing this until you reach your desired height.

I made brown rice and added chopped mushrooms and herbs to surround the base of the Tantalizing Tower of Taste.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Breakfast in Bread

Every Sunday morning while my wife is getting ready for church I make eggs for breakfast. I try to come up with something besides fried, scrambled and poached. This was my idea for last Sunday, it certainly isn't a new idea, but I haven't tried it in years. If you have ever made eggs in a hole, eggs in a basket or whatever you want to call it you will know that the toast and the eggs don't always cook at the same rate., so you end up with burnt toast and raw eggs. So I cheated.

Breakfast on Bread or the Toastest with the Mostest

1 egg, fried or poached
1 tsp olive oil
1 stalk of asparagus
1 piece Canadian Bacon or about 1 oz of ham chopped
3 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 or 1 tbs of diced tomato
2 tsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 slice of toast
Non-stick spray

This recipe is for 1 egg, you can multiple by however many eggs you are making. You will need a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter, I used round but any shape will do) a little less than the width of a piece of toast. If you have 2 biscuit cutters the same size and shape it will be even easier.

In a pan put 1 tsp of olive oil and heat to a shimmer add the asparagus and ham. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes. cook for another 2 minutes, until ham starts to brown. Set aside.

Start making your egg, if you are frying spray the cutter with the non-stick spray and place with the non-cutting side down in the pan. Crack the egg into the cutter. This will keep the egg shape the same size as the hole in the toast. Start the toast. Cook egg to desired doneness. When egg is done carefully remove egg from cutter. Then use cutter to cut a whole in the toast. Remove the piece of toast that you cut out and put toast on plate. Put egg in the hole in the toast. Now top with ham, asparagus, tomato mixture. Sprinkle the parmesan over the whole toast.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Garlic Basil Shrimp

I got a new cook book, So Easy by Ellie Krieger, and I had to test it out. Well, I kind of tried it out. I tweaked the recipe to make it work for 2 people and added ingredients. Recipes are just guidelines anyway

Garlic Basil Shrimp

1 tbs olive oil
3/4 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup asparagus, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, or adjust to your taste
3/4 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup cooked small pasta, like orzo

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until they are just cooked through. Remove the shrimp and set them aside.

Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to minutes. Add the wine and turn the heat to high. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the basil and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook until shrimp are heated through. Serve over the orzo.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

First I want to thank Drick from Drick's Rambling Cafe for giving me the award. One of the requirements is that you give the award to 7 other people and Drick would be one of my 7 if he did not give it to me first.

The other requirements are that I tell 7 interesting things about myself and that I pass it on to 7 other bloggers.

7 Things about me you might not know:

1. If you read my profile you know that 4 years ago changed my life style and lost 125 pounds. Drick I can help you get rid of that 15 pounds.

2. iBozo, my FoodBuzz name, comes from my 2 dogs, Bo and Zo, not the clown.

3. In college I wrote a paper for a creative writing class that was submitted by my professor to Saturday Night Live as a skit. Unfortunately, it was about a "current event" and by the time I wrote it, they graded it, got my permission to submit and got it submitted to SNL it was about 4 weeks later and was no longer relevant. But at least I wrote a skit for SNL.

4. I like moose.

5. My first cooking memories are of watching Julia Child and Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet) with my dad. My mom only cooked during week, never on the weekends or when we had company. I think everything that she ever cooked involved a cast iron skillet and Crisco.

6. The first actual food I remember my parents making was Christmas candies and cookies. My parents would start Thanksgiving weekend and make different cookies and candies every weekend and some week nights until Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve every square inch of the house was covered with things to nibble on and company would stop by all evening. This is one of the things I miss about Christmas as it was one of the few traditions my parents had.

7. My fantasy food job has changed over the years. I always used to want to be a chef with my own restaurant, but now I think that I would want to be a nutritionist and work with over weight children.

Now my seven Kreativ Blogger awards go to:

1. Frank at Memorie di Angelina. While his recipes are traditional the way he describes them, tells about how his family made the dish and the history behind it are far beyond anything you find in any other blog.

2. Mary at Food o Del Mundo. Mary and gang seem to make just about anything so it is always a surprise to see what food you will find when she has a new post. She was also kind enough to give me a few hints when I was starting out.

3. A fellow North Carolinian gets my next award, Paula, from bell' alimento. Paula's wonderful photography and knowledge of the food and Italian ways is always worth a visit.

4. John from While My Sautoir Gently Sweats. John lives the life that most foodies want to live. He constantly takes cooking class after cooking class and describes them so well. He also has the ability to take interesting photos that capture the essence of what he sees happening.

5. Gareth at Stumptown Savoury. Gareth shares his knowledge from being a professional chef with us and teaches us the tricks of he trade.

6. Linda from Salty Seattle. Her interesting combinations of food like chocolate and garlic gelato and the fact that she would kill her own chicken just keeps bringing me back to see what she will do next.

7. Rebecca at Chow and Chatter. Her recipes and nutrition information make for an interesting read for a former fat boy.

If you decide to accept the award you have to nominate 7 other people, post 7 things about yourself and then post this info on your website.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grilled Chicken Cacciatore

A nice cool fall day, so I decide to make Chicken Cacciatore while watching football. What do you mean it hit 80 degrees and now my wife wants to grill out. Now what? You improvise and make grilled Chicken Cacciatore, turned out to be very good.

Grilled Chicken Caccitaore

2 chicken breasts
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 oz mushrooms, cut in 1/2 or 1/4 depending on size
1 Small Onion, cut into chunks
1 tbs plus 1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbs Italian Seasoning, I used marjoram, oregano, and thyme plus a pinch of red pepper flakes
Rice or pasta to put the chicken on.

Preheat the grill.

Place all of the cut up vegetables in a bowl then add the tbs of olive oil and Italian Seasoning. Toss the vegetables to coat with oil and herbs. Set them aside.

Sprinkle the tsp of oil over the chicken breasts and salt and pepper them.

Now put everything on the grill, I kept the chicken separate from the veggies. Grill until they reach the desired tenderness.

To serve put the rice or pasta on the plate, then the chicken and vegetables.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lemon and Garlic Shrimp

Can you tell who got a really good deal on shrimp a couple of weeks ago?

This is a healthy version of Shrimp Scampi, that I adapted from EatingWell magazine.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and lemon zest, stirring until fragrant. Then add the shrimp and let cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. While shrimp is cooking add cornstarch to chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the shrimp. Cook until mixture has thickened and shrimp have turned pink, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Serve shrimp and sauce over angel hair pasta.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

I remember talking to a guy in an Italian cooking class who told me his mom used to make tenderloin stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan cheese. I decided to try and recreate this dish, only making it a little healthier. I switched to pork tenderloin and cut the amount of parmesan in 1/2. I should have left the cheese with the original amount as 1/4 cup for pound tenderloin was not enough, in fact it seemed to disappear completely. When it was time to add the prosciutto, I was out, so I substituted thin slices of ham. Pork Tenderloins usually come 2 to a package, I just used one of these as it was enough for my wife and I. I served roasted veggies with this so I tossed potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic cloves with salt, pepper and olive oil and spread out on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin, around 1 pound, butterflied so it opens flat
1/2 cup o parmesan cheese, grated
2-3 slices of prosciutto, to cover the butterflied pork tenderloin
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Italian dried herb mixture (if you don't have mix basil, oregano, marjoram, hot pepper flakes)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the butterflied tenderloin and lay the pieces of prosciutto on it. Then cover the prosciutto with the grated parmesan cheese. Roll this up tightly, I didn't tie this but you could. Rub the olive oil over the tenderloin and then cover with the dried herbs. I laid the the tenderloin on top of the vegetables I was roasting. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it in the oven. Uncover the pan after 20 minutes. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until tenderloin is at desired doneness.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spicy Shrimp and Rice

Ever have one of those Saturdays when you look up and see it is time for dinner and you haven't even thought about it yet? I just started grabbing left over ingredients until I was happy with the combination.

Spicy Shrimp and Rice

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs onions, diced
1/4 cup yellow peppers, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
16 shrimp, I used 21-30
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp marjoram
1 cup rice, cooked

Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then add the onions and peppers. Heat until the onions and peppers are soft. Add the garlic and cook until it gets fragrant. Then add the shrimp. Cook for a minute or 2 then add the tomatoes and spices. While the tomatoes are heating up put the rice in a serving dish. When the shrimp and tomatoes are done remove from heat and pour them on the rice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

This recipe is based on a recipe from Michael Chiarello. It is really good, really simple and really fast. Just have all of the ingredients out and ready to go before you start cooking. I would suggest some good crusty bread with this.

Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans

3 cups canned Cannellini Beans
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (I cut back on this a little bit)
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup whole, fresh basil leaves
1 tbs lemon juices
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbs Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling

Drain the white beans and put them in a skillet. (Michael says to save the liquid you drained form the beans and add just enough back to the beans to moisten them. Because this liquid is high in sodium, I added a couple of tablespoons of water.) Add 2 tbs of the olive oil and bring beans to a low simmer. Keep them warm while you prepare the shrimp.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp, cook for 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Remove the shrimp and set aside. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until the garlic browns. Add the chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato and the basil and stir briefly, then add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute and then add the shrimp back to the pan. Toss well and cook briefly to reheat the shrimp. Remove the shrimp.

Spoon the white beans on platter or individual plates. Drizzle them with the best olive oil you have, and then top with the shrimp. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poached Pears

2 Pears and a 1/2 bottle of wine what do you do? Raise the ante and hope to draw a full house? No poach the pears, and you'll have a sure winner.

Poached Pears

2 Pears, peeled but leave the stem in
1 cup wine, I used a Zinfandel Shiraz blend
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves

Put everything in a saucepan that is small enough that the pears will be submerged. If you don't have a pan that will let the pears be submerged then don't worry, just rotate the pears every few minutes to keep the color uniform as they absorb the wine.

While the wine is heating up peel the pears. You can cut a slice off from the bottom so they will stand up without wobbling. If you want to speed things up a little here take a melon baller and scoop out the core of the pear a little. I did not do this and it took about 45 minutes for them to get soft and then the center was still a little hard. By scooping them I think they will soften faster. If you scoop the insides I would serve the pear standing up on the plate instead of fanned like the one in my pictures. The pears in the pictures are still connected at the stem end.

After the pears are soft remove them from the liquid, but let the liquid keep simmering. Let it simmer until it becomes a syrup. Watch this part closely once it becomes syrup it will burn shortly after that. Drizzle the syrup around the plate and/or over the pears. Simple but very good!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Italian meatballs, polpette, are often eaten with spaghetti as every American knows. Unfortunately, no one ever told the Italians this. In Italy meatballs are typically eaten as the main course or in soup. The last time I made meatballs was probably at least 10 years ago. I am sure I went to Betty Crocker I made the standard meatball made with hamburger and Worcestershire sauce. My recipe today is a concoction I made up as I went along, not authentic but a lot closer than the Betty Crocker version.


2 Italian sausages, about 1/2 pound, I used Turkey casings removed and sausage broken up
1/2 pound ground beef, I used a 93% fat free
1 tbs Italian herbs, I used Basil, Oregano, Marjoram and a pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tsp olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a medium size bowl. Be careful not to over mix this, you don't want tough meatballs. After it is thoroughly mixed together take a measuring spoon and measure out an equal amount of meat and roll into little balls. I used a 2 teaspoon measuring spoon. This made 27 meatballs, which was good as it gave me one to test for doneness and taste. Add the olive oil to a frying pan heated to medium. Then add the meatballs, browning them on all sides. This will only take a few minutes with meatballs this size. I then put them in my quick and easy tomato sauce and let them simmer until the pasta was finished cooking. I started the pasta water when I started making the meatballs.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am ready for my close up, Mr. Treadmill

This is not a food blog but a story about my adventure into making a commercial. If you have ever read my profile you will know that I have lost 125 pounds and kept it off during the last 4 years. During that time I used a treadmill as part of my exercise program. Several months ago the manufacturer sent out an email asking for success stories and I sent them mine. Mine was one of 12 selected. On Thursday I flew to Portland OR by way of Houston TX from Raleigh/Durham NC. I guess they thought that it was not enough for me to fly all of the way across the US from east to west but they would send me to Houston so I could fly the US from North to South as well. A total of 5,862 miles in 2 days. I was gone for 36 hours and spent 21 hours in the air or at an airport. Take out 7 hours for sleep and I was in Portland for a total of 8 hours; about 4 of those hours I spent working on the commercial.

We were told to be ready to leave for the location at 6:15 AM. So I set my alarm for 5:15 AM. I am not sure why as my body is still on east coast time so I was up by 3:00 AM. I went to the lobby of the hotel around 6:00 AM and found I was not the only one in our group who couldn't sleep. There turned out to be 3 others: Laura, Perry and Matt. As we waited for our stretch limo to show up we talked about how far we had come. Our limo arrived about 5 minutes later. Our stretch limo turned out to be a Chevy minivan. We drove out of the city to an area I think was called Canyon Creek, but I am not sure. We went to a house high up on the side of a mountain that had a gorgeous view of the valley below. The house matched the view and you could have easily fit 3 of my houses inside of this one. They dropped us off by the pool overlooking the gardens and the vineyard. We waited for a 1/2 hour or so before they were ready to tell us what to do. I got to go first because I had to leave at 10:00 AM so I could get to the airport for my 12 1/2 hour flight home.

A gentleman, I think his name was Scott, walked with me through the gardens and talked with me. Scott had a small video camera that they were experimenting with and I was the first guinea pig.

Then I went to wardrobe, which was a corner of the 3 car garage. We were instructed to bring, workout, casual, business casual and dress clothes. "Critter" the wardrobe wizard, looked at me and said the clothes I had on were good for the interview. She wanted to see my workout clothes. I showed her my t-shirt and shorts and shoes. The shirt and shoes were fine but my shoes had a logo on them so she pulled a pair out of her Target bag (I think this is a hot new French designer). They had a logo on but it was much smaller then the one on my shoes. She took my work out clothes and the shoes and did her magic. She steamed the clothes to get the wrinkles out and painted the logo gray to match the shoe color so it would not stand out. While Critter was working on my clothes I was whisked off to makeup.

Make up was another corner of the garage, that is how I know what Critter did as I could see her the whole time. I cannot remember the makeup lady's name and I wish I could because she was very nice. I now have a new respect for women because sitting in that makeup chair seemed like hours, I think this is because everybody was watching me so they could see what to was going to happen to them. Apparently my eyes needed a lot of work as she spent most of her time poking me in the eye with various sizes and shapes of brushes. After I was sufficiently blinded, I was whisked off to the interview room. This room was on the lower level of the house and overlooked the pool and vineyards. They had 2 cameras aimed at a sofa that was turned backwards. I sat on the back of the sofa for the hour my interview took. They took a while to set the room up after I sat down to get rid of the weird shadows behind me. They removed and added furniture a couple of time to get things right. The room had large windows that looked out at the pool and the mountains in the background, but they put huge black screens over the windows so they could control the light in the room. Finally as we thought we were ready to start the interview the telephone rings. The phones were unplugged and then we were rolling. When the interview was finally over the screens and the furniture were removed so they could bring in the treadmill. I was amazed because when everything was moved I saw about 8 t0 10 additional people in the room that I did not know where there. I saw 3 camera men, Scott and a person who was standing at the edge of the screen who occasionally called Scott over and they whispered back and forth.

While they were setting up the treadmill, I was whisked off for still photos and then back to wardrobe to change into my freshly steamed clothes and painted shoes. After I changed it was back to the room. I only spent about 10 minutes with the treadmill mainly saying my name and the treadmills name. I also had to say a few bullet points about the treadmill. Then I had to go get still photos of me in work out clothes. Then it was all over. I changed back to street clothes after washing my makeup off, or at least I thought I washed it off. Every time I shower or wash I keep finding little spots of makeup that I somehow missed.

By this time it was 9:45 so I got to go grab some breakfast, my first food since I woke up at 3:00 AM. For the record since this is a food blog breakfast was an assortment of things everything from boxed cereal, bagels, pastries, various breakfast meats, breakfast burritos and bananas. Maybe if I would have got there earlier I would have gotten a better selection, but to me it all looked like buffet food that had been sitting out way too long but since we were outside there were no warming lights to keep it warm and nothing was done to make it look appetizing.

Then it was off to the car and back to the airport. Ransom, the lady who got us back and forth to the airport, hotel and shooting site handed me a stack of papers to sign in the car which basically gave the treadmill company the rights to use my story in their ads and website. By the way I got to keep the shoes with the logo painted over. They don't fit very well but since I was making a testimonial ad I can't get compensated so the shoes are my prize. I think I will bronze them and hang my size 12's from my Mini's rearview mirror.

Finally a special thanks goes to Laura Templeton. Laura was one of the other 3 people who were being taped when I was. She had enough foresight to bring here camera and took all of the pictures in this blog, well except the one above that she is in. Thanks for letting me use the photos Laura and congratulations on your weight loss!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scallops with Guacamole and Corn & Rice Salad

This recipe is from southwestern Italy, ok not really but once in a while I have to make something non-Italian to keep the family happy. This one was inspired when I read an article where Bobby Flay was making scallops with avocado puree.

Scallops with Guacamole and Corn & Rice Salad

For the Scallops:
Scallops, I used 4 per person
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Guacamole use your favorite recipe or buy a good pre-made one

For the Corn and Rice Salad:
1 cup of left over rice
1 tsp cumin
1 ear of corn
1 tomato, small dice or cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
2 scallions, finely cut
1 tortilla per person
No Stick Spray

Preheat your grill. While the grill is preheating put rice in a bowl. Cut the tomato and green onions and add to the rice. Mix the cumin in with the rice.

When the grill gets hot throw the ear of corn on the grill and let it get grill marks on all four sides. Remove the corn and let it cool down. While the corn is cooking spray the tortillas with the cooking spray on both sides. Put the tortillas on the grill. When the tortilla get grill marks on one side flip them over and get grill marks on side 2. Remove tortillas from grill. Watch the tortillas closely as they can go from no grill marks to burned very quickly.

Now remove the corn from the cob. Cut the stalk end so it is flat and put that end on the bottom of the rice bowl. Hold the pointy end of the corn and cut the corn kernels off the cob cutting as close to the cob as possible. Mix all of the ingredients together. Place the tortilla on a plate and then in the middle of the tortilla put a large scoop of the corn and rice mixture.

Now drizzle the scallops with olive oil, then sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them. Put them on a hot grill. When the first side gets grill marks flip them over. Be careful not to overcook scallops or they will be tough and chewy. Remove scallops and place on the tortilla around the corn and rice salad mixture. Top with a dollop of guacamole on each scallop or you could spread guacamole in 4 circles around the tortilla and sit the scallop in the center of each guacamole circle.

You could also add a little cilantro to the corn and rice salad.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marinated Olives

This is a simple appetizer that takes very little active time to make.

Marinated Olives

2 cups Kalamata Olives
1 Orange, juiced and zested
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp Lemon Thyme, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Put the olives in a medium bowl and add enough olive oil to cover the olives. Then add enough lemon and orange juice to make 1/2 cup of juice (I usually do 1/4 cup each but when oranges aren't in season I may add all lemon and omit the orange completely). You will need about 2 1/2 tsp of zest. Cut the zest finely so you don't get any long stringy pieces. Mix all of the remaining ingredients in the bowl. Let this marinate for at least 12 hours.

Any one want an extra dry martini with extra olives?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Limoncello Shrimp

Do you ever get a recipe idea stuck in your head, I have cooked it 5 or 10 times in my head. Tonight I finally cooked it. I am glad I did as this has to be one of the best recipes I ever invented.

Limoncello Shrimp

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon thyme, you could use any green herb that isn't real strong flavored
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup Limoncello
1 tsp butter

In a saute pan heat oil. While oil is heating mix the garlic, lemon zest and thyme together. When oil is hot but not shimmering add the garlic mix. Let it heat up until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp. Toss the shrimp to coat with garlic mixture. Cook until shrimp is cooked 3 to 4 minutes depending on size. Remove shrimp from pan. Wipe out any burned garlic. Add Limoncello to pan and let it reduce to about 1/2 the original amount. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Drizzle this over the shrimp. The sauce will be very sweet but when it is added to the shrimp the flavors will balance out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

This dish is a good way to use up leftover vegetables. The ingredients I list below can be changed for just about any vegetables you have in your house. Try for about 4 cups of veggies for 8 ounces of pasta. The recipe below is for 8 ounces of pasta and feed 2 with enough left over for a lunch.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" pieces so you have 1/2 moons
1 yellow squash, cut just like zucchini
1/2 small red onion cut into slices and the rings separated
cherry tomatoes
Mushrooms, cut the hard end off from the stem and then slice mushrooms
1 red pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1" pieces
olive oil, enough to lightly coat the vegetables
1 tbs mixed dried herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, etc) I use dried here because they will be cooked on the grill. If you want to use fresh herbs add them after the veggies are grilled or as you are removing the veggies from the grill.
Parmesan curls for garnish.

Put a pot of water on to boil.
Start your grill.
Chop the veggies. Put veggies in a bowl and sprinkle with enough olive oil on them to coat the veggies. Add the herbs to the vegetables.
When the water boils add salt to the water, it should taste like the sea, I use about a table spoon. Add the pasta to the water. Put the veggies on the grill.
When the pasta is al dente remove it from the water and drain. Toss the veggies with the pasta when they are done. Put in the serving dish and drizzle with olive oil. Then with a potato peeler shave some parmesan cheese curls over the pasta.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lobster Boil

Ok, this one isn't Italian, but it is an American holiday weekend and this is a good easy recipe that can be changed to feed a crowd. You can add additional things like sausage to stretch it out to feed more people. This is one of my favorite meals.

Lobster Boil
4 lobster tails, I used 4 oz tails for this
24 shrimp
4 ears corn on the cob
4 potatoes or 8 small red ones
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning

Fill a large stock pot with water, turned to high so water will boil. Add the red potatoes or if using larger potatoes cut them into smaller pieces and add them. Let them boil 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes start to get soft. Add the Old Bay and the lobsters. After 5 minutes add corn and shrimp and let boil 3 or 4 minutes longer until shrimp are cooked. Drain off water and put the food in a big bowl. Enjoy and put out lots of napkins. You may want to put out butter, salt, pepper for corn and potatoes, cocktail sauce for shrimp and melted butter for lobster. Oh yea, don't forget an ice cold beer.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Grilled Tuna Steak on White Bean Puree

All of the cooking for this recipe can be done on the grill, making it a good choice for those hot days when you don't want to heat up the kitchen.

Gilled Tuna Steak on White Bean Puree
Serves 2
1 can white beans (I used Cannellni, but other white beans will work) drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil plus oil for white beans
2 Tuna Steaks
Juice from 1/2 lemon
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 red bell pepper to roast or 1 from a jar
3 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Get your grill going, while it is heating up mix 1 tbs olive oil and lemon juice in a plastic bag. Add tuna steaks to bag and them marinade. Take the pepper and place it on the grill grate. Turn it as each side get blistered. After the pepper is blistered remove from grill and put in a bowl with plastic wrap over the top. The steam from pepper will make it easy to peel the black skin off from the peppers when you are ready for them. Put the cherry tomatoes n the grill and cook until they shrivel up. Put the tomatoes in a bowel. Take the red pepper and peel it. You will need about 1/2 of pepper. Chop it into a small dice and add to tomatoes. Add 1 tbs of olive oil and and basil.

Put the tuna steaks on the grill and cook to desired doneness. While tuna steaks are cooking take the white beans and puree them in a blender or food processor along with the garlic.

Divide the white bean puree onto 2 plates and spread out in a pattern. Place tuna steak on top of the white beans. Now spoon the tomato red pepper salad over the tuna and around the beans on the plate.