Monday, April 17, 2006

It Was A Great Easter...Thanks To My Friends On The Food Network

This Easter I had a little help from Rachel Ray and Giada DE Laurentiis on the Food Network. Rachel Ray hosts the show 30 Minute Meals which I usually watch daily at 6:00pm & 6:30pm. Giada DE Laurentiis is the host of Everyday Italian at 4:30pm. I tape it everyday and watch it at night. I had family over for Easter and served a Triple M BuddaBall Spiral Sliced Ham, and served one of Rachel Ray's recipes, the Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and two from Giada, Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice and the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. All three recipes were fantastic. I altered them each to my taste.

For the Roasted Potatoes, I used her recipe, only I added sweet potato pieces, which I think really made this dish extra special. As the potatoes roasted the sugars from the sweet potatoes caramelized and added extra yumminess. I also cooked them about 15 minutes longer than she does because I like my potatoes golden brown and crunchy. They were delicious.
The Tomato Stuffed with Rice was as good as it looks. To simplify things, I used Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (Brown Rice). It takes 90 seconds to cook and the brown rice is much more nutricious than plain white rice. For you sceptics out there, you wouldn't even know it was brown rice because there are so many fresh herbs, cheese and seasonings that give it such a great flavor. Trust me. I even left the cheese out of one for a lactose intolerent relative and he still loved it.

When I saw the episode on the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, I couldn't wait to make it. Easter was the perfect reason to try it. Instead of the frozen thawed crust Giada recommends, I used an organic chocolate ready crust. This worked out really well, although I had extra batter which I was afraid would overflow so I made another small square pan. In this pan I made my own crust using graham crackers and melted Smart Balance Spread. I actually liked this one even better. I have to say, the hazelnuts were a pain to peel but I guess it was worth it in the end. The texture is kind of like a peacan pie only a little more dry and dense. Deelish!

If you want to try these recipes, you can click on the underlined recipe names above-they are links. Try my alterations, I think you'll love them!


Jen said...

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
Kick Ass.

You can bring them to work anytime

Thanks Friend

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

Wow - all of that looks so good, but so difficult to make. Is it?

Leigh Gray
P31 Director of Prayer Ministry and Speaker
We are blessed, now live like it!!!

Kevin said...

man... all of that looks so good.

Annie said...

Cooking is only difficult if you go in with the wrong attitude. I like to eat and I like to create things, so for me it's easy. I love to see all the raw ingredients turn into one spectular creation. It's amazing if you think about it. Once all the flavors meld together you have a unique indulgence that you masterminded. Of course practice makes perfect, it will not happen overnight. But start with a recipe using just a few simple ingredients and you'll be surprised at how easy it really is!