Browse Tag: recipes

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler (Let the Good Times Roll)

j0384906I love all things sparkly and Mardi Gras is all about sparkle and glitter and feathers and beads!  Mardi Gras is the celebration of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season for Catholics.  It is the last day of Carnival and revelry before the season of penance begins.  No Mardi Gras is complete without the King Cake.  You may want to try this one.

Recipe: King Cake


1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon water
colored sugar in green, yellow and purple 


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

3. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.

5. For filling, combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.

6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle with colored sugar crystals and ENJOY!

Lessons in Time-Saving Food Prep: Frozen Meatballs

Kitchen, kid, chef.There are times when I want something home made and yet I want to put out zero effort. Since I’ve been put on timeout on the Sam’s Club chickens (I’m only allowed to bring one home every other week now), I had to find another multi-meal, quick prep option. My solution: meatballs!

I used to have to make them from scratch and freeze them myself (I have a rocking recipe that include spinach) because Mr. Rinaldi does not eat beef, pork, or any other red meat. So if we wanted turkey meatballs there was labor involved.

I have since discovered Tyson, Butterball, Jenny-O and Foster Farms all produce turkey meatballs. Here are some quick recipes – less than 30 minute to table. You can go turkey, beef, or homemade and freeze your own. Just make sure the meatballs are precooked.

Meatball Pizza: Use a Boboli pizza crust, a shmear of sauce, a bit of cheese and some fresh mushrooms and/or roasted red peppers, add some thawed and sliced meatballs – pop it in the oven at 475° for 15 or so minutes and you have dinner.

Summer Green and Meatball Soup: In a large pot, simmer 6 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed), 4 to 6 cloves of chopped garlic and some whole meatballs, add 4-8 cups of any combination of the following torn into bite-size pieces – spinach, escarole, chard or kale (remove any tough stems). Simmer until meatballs are heated through and greens are wilted. Just before serving add 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to the pot, season with salt-and-pepper to taste – optional Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Sweet-and-Sour Meatball Mess: When I got the recipe for this one after trying it at a potluck years ago I couldn’t believe it. Take a medium pot and toss in enough meatballs for 3 to 4 servings, add 3/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup grape jelly and 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice. Heat through the simmering. Serve with crusty bread and crudités.

Red Curry Meatballs: In a large skillet sauté one sliced onion, one sliced zucchini, 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and a sliced red or green bell pepper in olive oil until tender. Add 2 tablespoons red curry paste and one can of coconut milk. Add the meatballs and season with salt and pepper and cilantro to your taste. Serve over rice or noodles.

Meatball Bahn Mi: Heat the meatballs in the oven, on stovetop or in micro. While meatballs are heating mixed together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (available in Asian markets or ethnic food aisle at your grocery), and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Spread on a split baguette and top with sliced meatballs, shredded carrot, cilantro sprigs and thinly sliced radishes.

What are some your favorite time-saving recipes?

Lessons in Health and Wellness: Juicing

succo di sedano nel bicchiereYou might be surprised to know that some days it’s just too much effort for me to chew. No, I mean it. Taking the time to stop what I’m doing, prepare a meal, serve the meal, chew the food and clean up the mess … well, some days it’s just too much effort.

For that reason, I love juicing. Currently on my kitchen counter is an Omega vertical juicer, a NutriBullet and a Vitamix, residing side-by-side in peaceful harmony.

Each one serves a different purpose. My personal favorite – and the one I use 90% of the time – is the Vitamix. I like juicing with whole foods. I like fiber. That may be TMI, but that’s what I like. Whether you decide you want to do whole foods juicing or regular juicing depend on what your outcome is.

If you’re looking to improve your nutritional intake or you’re looking to give your digestive tract a break, then regular juicing is where you want to be. That’s where my Omega comes in. Clean juice with minimal pulp and maximum nutritional value. But truthfully it can be a lot of work too. You have to prep and cut the vegetables and fruit, juice the lot, disassemble the juicer and clean it thoroughly, dry and reassemble.

If you’re looking to add more fiber and nutrition to your diet (this juice keeps you fuller longer) then hit up the Vitamix. Less waste than traditional juicing, smaller amounts of ingredients to use and easier to clean. The challenges are that it’s noisy – really noisy – and it takes up a good deal of real estate on the counter.

Finally, the NutriBullet. It’s almost as convenient as a Vitamix, and almost as efficient, but with smaller footprint and a bit quieter. This is the one that goes in my bag when I travel and don’t feel like schlepping the Vitamix.

So what is juicing? It’s the extraction of juice from fresh whole fruits and vegetables. Since no heat or processing is applied, all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and biophotons are preserved. The resulting raw juice is a powerhouse food for your health.

Incorporating raw foods into your diet by juicing will provide lasting benefits including:

  • Rapid and more complete absorption of vital nutrients
  • Improved immune system, mental clarity, energy and overall health and wellness
  • Improved patient outcomes with many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, chronic pain and fatigue, arthritis, diabetes and fibromyalgia
  • Greater likelihood of meeting the recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables

Invest in a juicer you’re going to use. Consider ease of overall use and cleaning. While you may not be excited about broccoli, lemon and ginger juice in the beginning, eventually you’ll want to lean more towards vegetable (especially dark leafy greens) and become less reliant on fruit for flavoring your juicing. You will also want to use organic produce as much as possible. Start by adding at least one green juice a day, you’ll see what I mean. Then on days when it’s too much effort to chew you’ll have a healthy solution.

Here are some of my favorite juice recipes. Most can be adapted for either whole foods juicing or traditional juicing:

  • 1 whole grapefruit peeled and pith removed, 1/2 cup of pineapple, 4 to 5 kale leaves and a small handful of mint
  • 2 oranges peeled, 3 to 4 kale leaves, one garlic clove peeled, pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper and a pinch of allspice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, small handful of flat leaf parsley, small handful of spinach, one whole lemon or lime (peeled if whole foods juicing) add a dash of hot sauce
  • 1 whole cucumber, handful of flat leaf parsley, handful of spinach,1 green apple,1 inch slices of ginger, 1/2 a peeled lemon or lime
  • 2 green apples,1/2 peeled lemon, handful of whatever green you have on hand

You may need to add water or ice if you’re doing whole foods juicing to thin the texture for drinking.

Share your favorite juice recipe with me.

Detoxing your body, your mind, and your home and beauty products – listen in: 


Lessons in Leisure: Quick Dinners and Snacks

Various breadsI love bread. All kinds of bread. But I think my absolute favorite is a crusty French baguette. And over the last 10 years most markets offer either a fresh, ready-to-go, or pop-in-your-oven version.

One of our favorite dinners around the Rinaldi household – when takeout just doesn’t feel right and I flat out am not going to cook – is baguette rounds, olives, cheese and a bit of fruit. For me, this is heaven. It’s quick, simple and doesn’t require making a mess of the kitchen.

Other ways to enjoy baguette rounds:

  • Fig jam, gruyere and baby arugula
  • Toasted with a rubbing of fresh garlic, ripe tomato and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Slathered in olive oil, sprinkled heavily with pecorino Romano cheese, coarse grated black pepper and a few chunks of oil packed sardines on top
  • A smear of pesto and sliced hard-boiled egg
  • Toasted and a light smear of fresh, mashed, ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon and slices of cold, poached shrimp
  • Unsalted butter, minced cornichons, and thin slice dry salami
  • And when all else fails – a good slathering of peanut butter and jelly.

Give some of these a try, let me know what you think.

Listen in: Nutrition Simplified: What You Need to Know (mp3)

Copyright Kimberly Rinaldi 2014

Lessons in Healthy Eating: My Current Kale Favorites

I love my greens. From green smoothies with avocado, and green juices with parsley and chard, to just plain wheatgrass shots. I love greens!

Since I do the cooking in our house, we eat a ton of vegetables. The problem is that my darling Mr. Rinaldi does not have the same affinity for all things green. In fact, sometimes I get to listen to how much he dislikes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and most of all kale. Rather than arguing about it, I’m always looking for new ways to reintroduce these items in a way that he’ll find palatable and – dare I say – tasty.

Here are a couple new ways I’ve introduced kale into our diet:

KaleKale and Sausage Soup
8 ounces of thinly sliced garlicky sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large chopped onion
2-4 garlic cloves minced
4-6 chopped potatoes peeled or scrubbed well
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces

Directions: Sauté sausage, onion, garlic and potatoes in soup pot over medium to high heat, stirring often for 5 to 8 minutes. Add pepper flakes and broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add kale and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Note: Sometimes I replace potatoes with lentils.

Kale, Olive and Red Pepper Frittata
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sliced onion
1 large sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
8 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheese (I use a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan)
1/2 cup sliced olives

Directions: In an oven-proof frying pan sauté onions, mushrooms, and red peppers with olive oil and butter until soft and slightly browned. Add kale and a quarter cup of water, continue cooking and stirring until wilted and tender. Whisk eggs and half of cheese with salt, pepper and olives. Reduce pan heat to medium. Spread veggies as an even layer on the bottom. Pour in eggs, making sure olives are evenly distributed. Continue cooking on medium until sides look set (top will continue to be wet), about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Place under broiler until lightly browned and firm, top with chili flakes. Can be eaten hot, room temperature, or even cold.

Get more greens in your life. Hear from Dr. Linda Marquez-Goodine.

Listen in:

Copyright Kimberly Rinaldi 2014