So I just read an article a few days ago about some hot foods in 2012. I figured I would share them with you today so you could get a leg up on the other foodies around town. I read the article on Nutrition Unplugged website. Don't let the name fool you. It isn't about healthy food or anything. While I am prepping, chopping, and baking for a few friends that are coming over tonight I wanted to talk about a few of the highlights on the list.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
|Cheddar Jalapeno Bagel.Cheeseburger.latte.cucumber mule.mushroom pizza|
Greetings from Boston,Massachusetts! Toby and I spent two days of our vacation in our favorite hotel, The Omni Parker House. This hotel is amazing. It is one of the most historic buildings in Boston. It was still decorated for Christmas and was so beautiful. Plus it is near some of the best restaurants in Boston. I'm salavating.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Just a reminder, I had the privilege to write a guest bog for the amazing blog Oh Shine On. These are my new favorite holiday treat, The Melting Snowman cookies! If you have the week off spend some time to make them with someone you love! And don't forget to check out some of Katie's amazing posts on Oh Shine On!
Here is the direct link to the recipe on her page
The day after Christmas. wow. It is now the day after Christmas and I am sitting on my couch in PJ's and I have no desire to move from my current state. Except to maybe get some more food. Now, while I am cozy and sitting let me tell you a bit about my Christmas day.
Monday, December 26, 2011
First off, "Merry Christmas Readers"! I hope you all had amazing holidays with your families and got everything you wanted this year! Today I want to talk about my Christmas Eve Celebration with my family and the yummy coconut shrimp I made. Traditionally my family eats lots of fish on Christmas Eve. This year we got "creative" with the seven fishes. We had coconut shrimp,crab cakes, and sushi. That's right. Can you picture a bunch of Italian people eating sushi on Christmas Eve? Classic. I think it makes things a little different. Plus who eats salted cod or eel anyway? Here is the recipe for coconut shrimp that I used from Paula Deen. I usually use panko, but I realized I had no breadcrumbs at home! There is no way I was going to the supermarket with it being so close to Christmas and all so I drove to my sisters and stole whatever breadcrumbs she had on hand. Regular breadcrumbs it is. I served these little morsels of goodness with an orange marmalade sauce Yum.
Coconut Shrimp with Orange Marmalade
·2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
·2 cups bread crumbs
·Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
·2 cups all-purpose flour
·4 large eggs, beaten
·24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
·Vegetable oil, for frying
·1/2 cup of orange marmalade
·1-2 tsp of dark rumDirections
In a large bowl, combine coconut and bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumb mixture into 3 separate bowls. Dredge the shrimp in flour and shake off excess. Next, dip the shrimp thoroughly in the egg and rub against the side of the bowl to lightly remove excess. Finally, coat the shrimp thoroughly with the bread crumb mixture. Lay out the shrimp so they do not touch on a parchment-lined baking sheet or platter until ready to fry. In a large Dutch oven, heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the shrimp in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Be careful not to overcrowd shrimp in the oil while frying. Drain on paper towels.
For the Dipping Sauce: heat the marmalade in a small saucepan over low heat. Thin with rum as desired.
Friday, December 23, 2011
How have I not made these before? I love chicken alfredo. What a fun new twist! My husband Toby told me at 3pm on Monday that he had a pot luck at work the next day. Right....Ok. It didn't help that the amazing people in his department were already bringing pulled,pork,enchilladas,chilli, desserts. I had zero ideas. So I took to the internet to see what I could bring. Then I hit the mother load. Chicken Alfredo Stufed Shells. The original recipe did not have broccolli or bacon in them, but I figured it couldn't hurt. These would even be great with artichokes and spinach too.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
|Chef Sousa in action|
I was super excited to go to the gnocchi making cooking class at Trio Restaurant (http://www.trio-ri.com/) in Narragansett, RI this week. Darci and I have been to a few of the cooking classes there and they are so much fun! For $20 you get a glass of wine and a great class (with samples of course.) Past classes have included: pie making, pizza making, ravioli making, and what I think was the best so far, gnocchi.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I was very excited to help my friend Julie make these chocolate morsels of decadence this weekend for her family's annual cookies swap. We scoured the internet for the perfect recipe and we came across Rachael Ray's Hot cocoa cookies. They are chocolate cookies with pieces of molten chocolate stuffed in and a marshmallow on top. Once we found this recipe there was no need to look further.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So as I explained yesterday, today we (myself and Three Desert Films) will be releasing my first ever cooking demo just in time for the holidays! I know what it is like to host a holiday party and you tend to stick with what you know how to cook (chips and dip or crudite platter etc.) Don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong with these, but let’s branch out a bit, shall we? I also wanted to make this video in case people are stuck in a pinch. One of your appetizers was just incinerated in the oven; you forgot some ingredients for your bruschetta. It happens.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
|My and Kevin the awesome camera man/director|
Today I want to talk about this awesome project I have been working on with my friends who are a part of the film group, Three Desert Films. They helped me film my first cooking video! We did two videos. One making easy holiday party snacks! We made spinach and feta puff pastry bites! Yum! Then we made some fun a festive holiday cocktail, sweet & Spicy eggnog with Spice Box Whiskey!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Let me start this post by saying these delectable cakes were quite possibly my first kitchen disaster. I was really excited to try the recipe since I love quinoa so much, but I was nervous. The first time I saw quinoa I was thinking “what the heck is quinoa and how do I even pronounce it?" Well, its a super grain and its pronounced “keen-wah”. If you’re looking for a highly nutritious carbohydrate you have found it in quinoa. It has a pretty similar nutritional profile to that of brown rice except it’s slightly higher in overall protein content.
So you can understand my excitement when I saw this take on quinoa cakes (similar to crab cakes.) You could also use it between two burger buns, which I’m sure would make a great veggie burger. Below you will find the recipe I used which I modified after my "kitchen disaster."
Thursday, December 15, 2011
|How Cute is this Little Guy??|
I love sugar cookies. I remember making them every Christmas with my Mom. We had such a blast. My new obsession is Pinterest. Has anyone ever been on this website? OMG. It is amazing. You can pin things literally for HOURS. It has given me so many ideas for things I want to make and other DIY crafts I need to try during Christmas break.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Very Happy to announce I will be working with Three Desert Film to be shooting my first ever cooking video featuring some quick tips for panicking holiday hosts! Stay Tuned! If you have any suggestions for Holiday cocktails or easy appetizers to feature leave a comment!!
Three Desert Films: Foodie Special: So we are happy to announce that we have teamed up with Leanne Johnson @tiniest_bean to film our first ever foodie special and just in time ...
Posted by Leanne at 4:49 PM
So I have been wanting to go to the Blue Plate Diner for a long time now. I have heard rave reviews from locals that have had amazing meals there.When the Newport & Bristol County Convention & Visitor's Bureau asked me to write a piece on a restaurant in Newport & Bristol County area this was my first choice.I decided to go with my friend Darci after work on a Friday night.Can I just say what a breathe of fresh air it is to have a upscale diner in Middletown amongst a strip of franchised food chains. Check out their blog if you get a chance. Great local sweepstakes and events! Visit them at: http://blog.gonewport.com/
Monday, December 12, 2011
My last days in Paris were amazing. Toby was not working anymore so we had time to spend together- and boy did we ever. Marjorie, Toby an I went to Momantre, which has a beautiful town on a hill and a huge church that has the most amazing view of Paris below.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Day 2. Marjorie and I called today the day of deals. We started the day off at the Eiffel Tower where we got an awesome crepe ( Marjorie got chestnut and I got lemon and sugar.) Both were delicious. Great snack. We then made out was to the Arc de Triumph.
Posted by Leanne at 5:52 AM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Just an FYI- my iPad is being weird in France and all of these pictures/posts may come out weird!
Today was the most amazing day. I basically grazed all day on savory and sweet. I could have cared less about calories and just cared about eating the most amazing things in sight. And so it started....
Monday, December 5, 2011
In honor of my foodie extravaganza to Paris this week I thought I would do a montage of my favorite foodie adventures so far. Anywhere I go I tried to order food that I cannot get anywhere else or that is popular in that area. The trips I have included in this post are the London, and Australia. These two have been my most recent trips and they were foodie adventures indeed.
Posted by Leanne at 1:15 PM
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Alcohol + Cake= Amazing Idea. Toby and I found a cookbook entitled Booze Cakes. They had me at booze. The book is filled with great recipes like margarita cheesecake ( made with tequila) and jello shot cake. Genius. Saturday night I was invited to a Christmas party with some work friends ( Thanks Geoff and Jason!) I wanted to bring something delicious and alcohol ridden. This fit the bill pretty easily!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
|As little as two ingredients. SO EASY|
I am super exciting to be writing this post because I got a great lightbulb moment from the foodie talk show The Chew. Let's start with the simple,easy(and might I mention cheap)holiday gift idea for friends and family. Today the show featured easy and inexpensive holiday gifts. One great idea they presented was FLAVORED SUGARS! I know. How have I not done this before?
Posted by Leanne at 12:17 PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
So I had extra ricotta from the lasagna I made Sunday and I had no idea what to do with it. I searched for recipes and found these little babies. I adapted these from Giada's De Laurentiis's recipe. Her recipe had almond extract,which I love,but I didn't have any. I did however have lemon extract. I love lemon and there was already lemon zest in it so it was perfect. I used that instead. I also didn't have almonds so I omitted. whatever- cook with what you have right? I also ended up cutting the amount of sugar in half. They tasted great without it. I also added this awesome strawberry preserves from the Loveless Cafe ( what's up Nashville????)The combination of lemon and strawberries was delish. If you have fresh fruit by all means add it in! Can I just say these may be my new guilty pleasure. They are a cross between a scone and a muffin. The lemon extract was a nice added touch to the batter. To bump the yum factor up a notch I made a lemon icing with confectionary sugar and lemon juice. People- make this icing. Tart.Smooth.Delicious. These are great for breakfast or a brunch for a crowd. They would be cute as mini muffins also. Enjoy!!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
|Ain't that a pretty Picture...|
A Banh Mi is a yummy delicious sandwich that have been rising in popularity in the past few years in the U.S. I have seen them on food trucks and cooking shows on the Food Network. Banh Mi basically means Vietnamese baguette sandwiches. They usually have pickled carrots and cucumbers, cilantro and thinly sliced meat. I saw a recipe for pork meatballs on a baguette in a sort of "Banh Mi" style. I had never tried this so I figured I would go for it. The ground pork happened to be on sale at Whole Foods ( Score!!) and I had most of the condiments at home already. Toby and I found this awesome baguette at Whole Foods so this was starting off successful.
Monday, November 28, 2011
So I racked my brain all day Sunday trying to figure out meals Toby and I can eat together. To some of you this may sound crazy. To others that know my husband ... well.. you get it. The problem isn't eating together necessarily.... We eat together almost every night if we are at home together. The problem is eating the same thing at dinner time. Toby could eat the same thing every day, three times a day for a year and he probably wouldn't care. He likes what he likes ( pizza, cheese steaks, steak, salmon etc) and I am ok with that. I am always wanting to try new recipes, but he isn't really into my likes ( HOLY MEXICAN!)We are both used to making dinners for one from living on our own and we know what we like. Being newlyweds, I really want to make an effort to cook more dinners Toby likes so we can eat the same thing.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
|My Family's Favorite Leftover|
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! This is one of my favorite holidays because it involves mashed potatoes. One of my favorite all time meals. My job this Thanksgiving was to make the appetizers. And what a wild ride this took me on. I waited until the last possible moment to buy the groceries. By the last possible moment I mean THANKSGIVING MORNING. I drove around for an hour to 5 different super markets and all were closed. I have my sister on the phone calling up other local markets and finally I found one small specialty shop that was open. THANK GOD. The only problem was that they had nothing that I wanted to make my appetizers with. Ok- time to improvise. I felt like I was on that show Chopped. So I quickly gathered groceries and ran home because I only had an hour to cook!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
|Best ingredients EVER|
Ok- I know breakfast for dinner is not an inventive idea. Plenty of people enjoy breakfast for dinner. I have never been one of those people. I like breakfast, but I am not in love with the idea of breakfast. I invited Kait over for dinner Sunday night and I thought about what I could make all day. For some reason nothing was sounding good to me. It was possible I was being lazy, but nothing was coming to me. Then- I Had It!!! Breakfast for Dinner. I had been craving french toast lately, but I only had regular wheat bread. Bleh. Good for sandwiches, but not french toast!I toyed with the idea of cream cheese and strawberry stuffed french toast. That idea led me to- Nutella Stuffed French Toast. So maybe this isn't even breakfast for dinner. Dessert for dinner? Probably closer to what we ate. Kait and I stuffed ours with strawberries also and it reminded me of the nutella and strawberry crepes at the Creperie. Love the combination.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
So I have been in charge to make appetizers this year for Thanksgiving and I came across this Cooking Light article. I love this magazine and love their recipes. I find that many of them are just as good as their full fat counterparts. Check these out and see if you will make any on Thursday!Let me know if you do! I will have a full report of what I make on Thursday( with pictures!)
|I find this picture HILARIOUS|
On Sunday when my Mom and I made our meatballs we also made a gravy. This sauce was enough to for about 16 meatballs in it and two pounds of pasta- Just enough to serve a small army probably. My Mom said it is just as much work to make a small sauce as it is a large one so it is easier to make one large sauce and freeze the rest for another time. It makes sense. I will use that advice. Also- I prefer a lot of sauce with my pasta because I love it, but traditionally in Italy pasta is not drenched with sauce. Go with what you like.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
|My Awesome Mom!|
So my mom's meatballs are my favorite in the world. I know many other people feel the same way. I have never had a meatball that was better either in a restaurant or at someone's house.Growing up ( like many other Italian kids) my mom made meatballs every Saturday. I would wake up to the smell of meatballs that were being fried up with love. That would be my breakfast - and I loved it. I thought this would be a great time to do some cooking with my mom and share her recipe with everyone that way you are able to make great meatballs like her.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Since I have not stopped talking about Nick’s on Broadway since I went a few weeks ago Darci, Jen and I decided to have an after work outing there so they could experience it for the first time. It was another rainy day in Rhode Island, but we didn’t care. We were determined to make it to the restaurant and eat an amazing meal.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
|Warm & Delicious!|
I was super excited to try this recipe because ,well like you all know I love Mexican food and since it is getting colder a warm soup seemed to be the best way to stay warm and cozy.
I already had a good amount of the ingredients for this in my pantry and what I had to buy at the market wasn’t expensive at all so that was perfect. I omitted chicken because I don’t love chicken in soup, but the original recipe had it. I wish I added one more can of black beans so if you don’t use any meat I would suggest using two cans of beans. I went a bit crazy at Trader Joe’s when I was shopping for this and got an awesome guacamole kit, which I am hoping to buy every week. It had everything I needed and it was so cute all in one package. I also bought a mirepoix mix because I was too lazy to chop up onions, celery and carrots. The recipe didn’t call for it, but I thought it would make a nice addition. Like almost all recipes I use I just add whatever I have on hand that makes sense and make substitutions when necessary.
|Seriously- how cute is this??|
I have had a long standing promise to Jon Pereira since June that I would make him Chicken Parmesan and have yet to fulfill my promise. Jon reminded me that it was his birthday yesterday and that it was the perfect time to make him this amazing Chicken Parmesan. I’ve been dragging my feet to long on this so Jon will have Chicken Parmesan on his birthday. What a great birthday present!
Monday, November 14, 2011
My new favorite winter treat I tried this weekend has to be Starbuck's salted caramel hot chocolate. Holy crap. This is simply devine. It is chocolatey and the caramely ( yeah I know that's not a word ). The slight sprinkle of sea salt totally puts it over the edge. And for all those people who don't like drinking their calories (except for alcohol of course) I got this "skinny" which means it was made
with sugar free syrup and skim milk. You can't even tell the difference. Calorie counters rejoice!
with sugar free syrup and skim milk. You can't even tell the difference. Calorie counters rejoice!
I LOVE mac & cheese. It is one of my go to meals mainly because you can add whatever you like to it or whatever you have on hand and it will turn out awesome. I made this recipe the night before because I was having dinner with Brittany ( my best friend, almost sister, wife in a past life etc.) I haven't seen her in awhile so I was excited to see her new pad, new dog Marley and to eat this yummy concoction.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
So this weekend I made the trip from Rhode Island to Long Island,NY for a weekend of food and wine tasting. Friday morning I loaded up my suitcase ( brought a big luggage because I knew I would be coming home with more than what I came with. ) I caught the Ferry from New London,CT and an hour and twenty minutes later I was in New York! This part of Long Island was beautiful. A quaint, beachy town that is bustling in the summer and sleepy in the winter.
|My First View of Long Island|
Thursday, November 10, 2011
|Look at that sweet goodness!|
Toby woke up Sunday morning with a hankering for caramel corn. Seeing I now have this awesome blog we figured we would attempt to make it ourselves. Trying to use whatever we had in our pantry we found a recipe that fit exactly what we had and Boom! We had Caramel Corn. I didn't realize until half way through the recipe was for honey popcorn, but it tasted just like caramel corn and hey it uses no corn syrup so health nuts rejoice! Toby has become somewhat famous for his home made popcorn. I cannot tell you the last time we bought microwave popcorn. To be honest this is 1,000 times better!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
|The Finished Product! Delish!|
Need I say more? I like red velvet in any form. Much like Mexican food, if I see it on the menu at any restaurant there is a 99% chance I will eat it. Red velvet cupcakes,red velvet cake. This is the first time I have seen red velvet brownies and what better time like the present to make these babies. I saw them on Stumble Upon and for those of you that have not been on this website. Stop now. Don't sign up. You can spend hours "stumbling" and it is horrible for productivity. However- If you do happen to join stumble upon please stumble my humble blog ( shameless plug.)
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I recently discovered using a slow cooker to make meals ( thanks Renee!) Well really, I stole the slow cooker that Toby got for Christmas..... hey he can use it still. I am newly obsessed with the food blog "What's Gabby Cooking thanks to my Zite app on my iPad. We oogle her recipes at work all the time and she makes about 50 different types of guacamole. This chick is good in my book.
Monday, November 7, 2011
|Fried Zeppole with Chocolate Espresso Sauce|
Happy Monday Everyone! I saw Mario make these little babies on The Chew a few weeks ago. They looked so great and reminded me of little donut holes. The chocolate espresso dipping sauce didn't hurt either. The process to make these started Saturday when I was already in dough making mode from our pasta making. I made this in my kitchen aid mixer,which made this fairly easy. You are supposed to let the dough sit overnight in the fridge so if you are going to make this please plan for that. The dough is very loose so it needs time to set overnight.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
|Our Pasta !|
I got the idea to make fresh pasta from a class I went to with Jen and Darci at Trio Restaurant in Narragansett,RI. We made butternut ravioli and they were amazing. This class totally inspired me and made it look easy to do( or easier than I thought it would be anyway.) So this weekend Toby and I embarked on a new era in our cooking. Fresh Pasta. The dough was the part I was most worried about. The chef at our class made it clear if it was too wet it would not bind and too dry it would taste good, but would be hard to handle. Geez- Dammed if you do,dammed if you don't.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Toby & I started Friday night date night when we got married and so far it has been such a blast. We switch off every Friday with who plans the date. We keep it a secret until we get to the place which always keeps it exciting! So if you don't know it is Newport Restaurant Week November 4th to the 13th. I planned last night's date and decided to try out Spark. I have heard rave reviews( thanks Darci) and figured it would be a great time to check it out. During restaurant week you get a three course meal for $30 per person. This makes it a great time to check out restaurants you have never been to or more expensive ones you usually don't go to ( 22 Bowens anyone??)
Friday, November 4, 2011
So can I just say how excited I am to blog about where I went to dinner last night? My friend Kaitlin and I had a date at Nick’s on Broadway in Providence, RI. I have wanted to eat here for so long and just never made it to the dining room. Might I add I did some reading on Nick’s website today and I found out that recently, Nick’s has been named “One of the Worlds Best Restaurants” by Fodor’s International Travel Guide for the third year in a row. One of the WORLD’S best restaurants in the smallest state in the United States! I don’t know about you, but I am proud. Let’s not forget that the head chef Derek has been nominated (twice) for a James Beard Rising Star Award.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
|On Our Honeymoon in Australia|
|Just Became Mrs Johnson|
I wanted to take a quick moment to wish my husband "Happy 4 Year Anniversary!" ( Of being together, not married since we just got married two months ago yesterday.) We were laughing about this last night, but our first date was to the Olive Garden. We chose the Olive Garden because when we first met we both said we have ever gotten one thing there- The Garlic & Herb Chicken Con Broccoli. So we went there on our first date and we both had it. :) Toby, thank you so much for supporting me every day ( especially with this blog) and thank you for putting up with me taking pictures of food every day and making you help! Love you!
Posted by Leanne at 12:21 PM
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|Toby said this picture was creepy. I like it so I included it!|
The perfect side to tomato soup is of course... Grilled Cheese! There are so many different ways you can make a grilled cheese. Some of my favorite combos are:
- Brie and Apple
- Sharp Cheddar and Tomato
- Fontina,Pear & Prosciutto
- Spinach,Artichoke and Swiss