Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Black and White Wednesday and One Year Blogiversary!

Little Pots of Olive Oil

It is hard to believe, or maybe not, that on August 31, 2010 I published my first blog post.  I started this blog as a creative outlet, a way to share recipes with family and friends, to share vacation food experiences, and as an impetus to work on my photography skills.

During this year I've published 263 posts; tried a bunch of new recipes from other bloggers, cookbooks, recipe sites, and magazines; improved the quality of the photos somewhat  (but not as I had hoped); and met (either on line or in person) some great people who are also interested in food, recipes, and blogging.  I've entered and won some contests, placed in the finals of others, published a recipe in a magazine, attended a blogging conference, joined Twitter, created a Facebook page for Eat Little, Eat Big, written a couple of cookbook reviews, participated in new product marketing and blogged about the products, and created some of my own new recipes.  

Starting with my hubby, Mom and kids as my followers, the blog now has 62 followers via Google, 110 via Facebook, and 417 via Foodbuzz-with some duplication between the groups.  I have a "blogging buddy"-mutual online support and encouragement-thanks Steph!

I've participated in a few blog hops and on line culinary photography events.  I've submitted images to some "food porn" sites-and yet to have any accepted!  Oh, not true.  The site that takes all the rejected stuff from the other sites accepts everything I send!

I've tried publishing Monday through Thursday, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and various other permutations.  I've done photo Friday-my "Picture This" postings where I had planned to really work on the photography skills, but didn't!  Right now I'm enjoying these Black and White Wednesdays postings.

For a while I was sharing what I was finding on other blogs and on the internet once a week with you but haven't done that lately.  I do enjoy that feature on other people's sites-I mean the internet is sooooo big, we can't find all the good stuff on our own, right?  So look for that feature to return this fall.

It's been a fun year.  I'm still enjoying blogging.  I like the progress I've made this year with Eat Little, Eat Big and hope to progress further in the upcoming year.  Thanks for tuning in!  If you have suggestions, constructive criticism, or ideas for this year feel free to share them in the comments.

Submitted to Black and White Wednesdays

Monday, August 29, 2011

Recipe for Orzo with Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Olives

Here’s a quick, easy, and tasty side dish for those dog days of summer.  It goes great with grilled fish or pork chops.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Trip to Eataly

We were very fortunate earlier this year to take a trip to San Francisco, New York and Atlanta.  San Francisco to see friends and visit some of the old 'hood, New York to explore with friends from Maui who were also in the city, and Atlanta to see family and attend a blogging conference.  We had some amazing food experiences along the way, one of which I want to share with you today.  A trip to Eataly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Recipe for Slow Cooker Steak Sammies

Here's another good recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.  I'm all in to quick and easy these days and this recipe hits all its marks.  Two ingredients in the slow cooker (plus salt and pepper); seven hours later-a flavorful, aromatic, tender pile of beef and peppers just waiting to be plopped on some healthy whole wheat buns with some provolone or pepper Jack cheese.  Yummy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe for Godiva Chocolatier French Vanilla Coffee Adult Milkshake

How about a frosty, creamy adult beverage to cool you down?  Thanks to the kind folks at Godiva Coffee and the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, we were treated to two bags of Godiva Chocolatier Coffee.  These coffees are inspired by Godiva's most popular truffles and make a lovely cup of coffee.  In our care package was a bag of French Vanilla Coffee and one of Chocolate Truffle Coffee-the kitchen smelled amazing when making morning coffee!  This recipe is for a poolside creamy iced drink or an after dinner drink in lieu of dessert.  It's decadent!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Recipe for Indian Spiced Beans

A few months ago I saw a couple of mentions of the Secret Recipe Club but didn’t really have time to look into exactly what it was all about.  Until now.  How it works in a nutshell is you sign up to join and are assigned a different blog each month (from another participating blogger).  Once you receive your assignment, you choose any recipe to make from that blog.  The secret part is that participating bloggers don’t know who is cooking from their blog or what is being made until the assigned day. 

Today is the day, and I am featuring a recipe from the blog Beantown Baker.  Jen is the author and lives in Boston with her hubby and two cats.  She loves to bake as you could probably guess but also features other recipes on her blog.  Since Mr. ELEB and I are still trying to recover (ie lose the weight we gained) from our (not so) recent SF/NY/Atlanta trip, and because I’m trying to cook more Indian food, I chose this interesting bean recipe rather than one of her delicious sounding desserts.  However, I’d encourage you to check out Jen’s blog for some decadent cupcakes!

Yield: 3 servings
Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves


  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over med-high heat.
  • Add onion and sauté until translucent.
  • Stir in the minced garlic and garam masala.
  • Cook for one minute. 
  • Stir in the beans, tomatoes, ginger, and salt.
  • Simmer for fifteen minutes. 
  • Pour in coconut milk.
  • Heat until warmed.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

This is a great, quick recipe for when you want something flavorful but easy to put together, especially if you are on an Indian food kick like I am!  I stayed pretty true to the original recipe.  I used cannellini rather than pinto beans but as Jen noted, any bean will work.  I also omitted the small amount of sugar in the original recipe, used fresh instead of ground ginger, and used light instead of regular coconut milk. 

Check out all the other recipes that were made as part of the Secret Recipe Club.  I can’t wait to see what someone picked to make from Eat Little, Eat Big!  

Printable Recipe

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe for Chicken Vindaloo

Indian dishes are something we really enjoy eating.  How about you?  I've been trying to cook more Indian recipes at home and with that in mind, I bought some Vindaloo Spice Mix at Penzey's when I was at their retail location in Menlo Park last month.

This probably wouldn't be considered a traditional dish which most references say includes potatoes, not beans or tomatoes, but I wanted a one-pot dish, didn't want potatoes, and had green beans to use.  I used the directions on the Penzey's package for general guidance and then went my own way!

If you want to mix your own spice from scratch, here is an ingredient list I found on e-How.  In Penzey's mix: coriander, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, mustard, cayenne pepper, jalapeno, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, cloves.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Recipe for Figs with Spiced Mascarpone Cheese

It's a rare thing, in my experience, to see figs on Maui so when I saw some recently I grabbed a basket.  Now what to do with them?  I wanted something simple and something that would complement the not-too-sweet taste of the figs.  I also wanted a little bit of decadence.  I thought about something with goat cheese and figs, which I've had in restaurants and know is a good combination.  Not really what I was aiming for, though.  I thought of Chef Dennis's mascarpone cheesecake recipe and thought "Brilliant!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recipe for Chai Oat Smoothie

One of my sons gave me a smoothie book last Christmas, "Supercharged Smoothies" by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford, Chronicle Books, 2010. They have a recipe in the book for "Cha Cha Chai" - a chai and fruit blended drink. I thought it was a great idea to use chai in a smoothie so I made a simple one using homemade chai concentrate and oats. If you missed my post about adding oats to smoothies, here it is.

Homemade chai concentrate

Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

  • 1 cup light vanilla soy milk
  • ½ cup chai concentrate
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Ice for serving (optional)
  • Cinnamon stick for serving (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients except ice and cinnamon in a blender until frothy.
  • Serve garnished with cinnamon (optional).
  • Serve over ice if desired (optional).

If you are a fan of chai, give this a try-I think know you'll love it!

Printable Recipe

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipe for Ground Turkey, Black Beans and Rice Mexican Casserole

Staring at a package of ground turkey breast, I was pretty uninspired...until I remembered reading about a chicken and black bean casserole Jenny recently posted on her blog, Picky Palate.  I love food bloggers!  I changed things up a pretty good bit and loved the results.