Friday, April 9, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Bread

photo courtesy of
 After acquiring an obscene amount of lemons from Costco last week I decided I needed to put them to good use before they start to pass their prime. I came across this recipe on The Joy of Baking's site and was drooling simply from the picture. I love the combination of citrus and berries and lemon and blueberry is just a timeless combo that compliments each other so well. This bread had a great texture- light and moist, while also having a great flavor- not too sweet with just a touch of tart. Perfect for the spring weather and it looks really gorgeous too! Give it a shot and see what you think.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Chargrilled and Chimichurried... CHA! CHA! CHA!

As the weather slowly but surely begins to warm up here in Raleigh, I find myself lusting for the simpler cleaner flavors of Spring and Summer. After scoring a couple of beautiful New York Strips at our local Harris Teeter, I thought of the perfect accompaniment for a succulent piece of beautifully bar-b-qued beef- chimichurri. For those of you who aren't familiar with this funky sounding food, prepare to soon fall in love. Chimichurri is a sauce/condiment native to Argentina who's name sounds complicated but in actuality, who's recipe couldn't be more simple- fresh herbs, garlic, and oil. Combine ingredients. Pair with meat. Yum.

The beauty of this fine Argentinian condiment lies in it's pure simplicity. It takes a maximum of 2 minutes to throw together and it goes with just about any meat you fancy. It can be used as a marinade, a sauce, dip or however you'd like, really. The flavor is herbal and bright which leaves it no other choice than to pop in contrast to the rich decadence of meat, especially beef. The base for a chimichurri is more often than not parsely, though I have made it with both mint and cilantro and the result is equally as fabulous. I whipped this particular rendition up in about 60 seconds with a combo of the fresh herbs I had in my garden and grocery store purchased ones I had in my refrigerator. Creativity is not only acceptable but encouraged while making this tasty accoutrement.

As spring continues to play hide and seek with us what could be better than serving a dish that reminds us that the end of all of this winter gloom is near!?! Brush the dust off your BBQ grill and give it a shot this weekend. Trust me when I tell ya that you will be cheering for chimichurri!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Banana Nut Bread- Moist and Delicious the Way it 'Ought to be!

For my first recipe back to blogging I felt like Banana Nut Bread would be a nice warm welcome back. This recipe is adapted from a blog I follow called The Fresh Loaf. Its a lovely site with plenty of bread recipes ranging from bagels to artisan breads. All of which seem easy to follow and straight forward. The recipe I chose used yogurt in place of some of the butter which resulted in a dense and incredibly moist loaf of banana bread that was just the right balance of sweet- the perfect accompaniment for a hot cup or tea or coffee pick me up. I opted to add some walnuts just because I love the nuttiness with the sweet fruity bread but you could really add just about whatever you wanted to this recipe. Its very versatile and would go great with a handful of blueberries or pecans or just about whatever you fancy.

The recipe makes one large loaf of bread  (10" loaf pan) or smaller ones if you choose to break it up. I'm confident that this would lend really well to muffins as well if you'd like something you can prepare and then have conveniently waiting for you when you are on the go. I made one big dog loaf and then just stored it in a freezer bag on my counter top for subsequent snacking. My bake time was just about 50 minutes for the 10" loaf, although you will have to adjust your time based on how large or small you choose to go.

I will certainly be using this recipe again. My banana nut bread is now going on 3 days old and its still just as moist and delicious as it was day one. Give this one a shot- I'm sure it will not disappoint.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm baaaaack.....

So, as many of you know Mrs.Chowbella has been on hiatus since November when the hubs and I found out that we were expecting. As overjoyed as we were to know that we have our own little Chow Baby on the way, my taste buds and palate didn't seem to share the same elation. Much to my dismay I seemed to have lost my enthusiasm for food in general and have since then desperately prayed to all thing holy that it would come back to me so I could continue pursuing my long time love affair with food and be able to blog about it with you all. I am proud to say that after 4 months of  queasiness and an overall "blah" attitude about  my culinary creations, I am BAAAACK!!!!!!

Much has happened since my last post. My husband and I have relocated from the New York City metro area to the deep south- Raleigh, NC. The move brings us closer to family which we are sure will be an invaluable commodity upon the arrival of Baby Bella. We are adjusting to our new lifestyle and settling into suburbia while anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one. I am about 26 weeks pregnant and counting the minutes until our little Baby Bella can join her mama in the kitchen and share in our family's age old food traditions and overall celebration of all things delicious.
I do hope that all of you have been well and are still checking in once in a while. I will more than likely start off slowly posting a few times a week and then hopefully ramp up a bit more once I get into the flow again.

First recipe on the docket- Banana Nut Bread. It doesnt get much more basic and beloved than that!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big News for Ms.Just Chow Bella!

I first would like to appologize for my spotty blogging lately, I realize I have not been posting with the frequency that I normally do but I think I have a good excuse... I'm PREGNANT! Thats right, Chow Babies, I have a little bun in the oven which has been wreaking havoc on my taste buds and stomach alike. I am just about 7 1/2 weeks but the little guy or girl is not yet as crazy about food and cooking as mom. The very odor of cooking food right now is almost too much for me to take, thus the lack of inspired recipes or culinary comentary.

I hope you excuse my temporary absence and if you feel like sharing any morning sickness remedies that have worked for you BRING IT ON!!!! I am also interested in hearing about some of your recipes for anything you may have enjoyed in the queesy early days of your pregnancies. I am really struggling with any kind of meat or protein though I know I need to incorporate more somehow. Mom suggested casseroles- do any of you have some good ones that you'd like to share? Your contributions will be MUCH appreciated!

Thanks so much!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Egg Lemon Soup)

I grew up eating this soup in the fabulous Greek restaurants and at friend's homes that made up my diverse neighborhood. It has become a favorite of mine and reminds me of home every time I make it. I love this soup no matter the weather though its especially comforting when its chilly out. It is easier than is looks and will make a beautiful addition to your recipe box.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken with Yellow Rice

This is an old family favorite in our house. My mom used to make this when we were growing up and we always looked forward to the nights we were having Chicken with Yellow Rice. The recipe could not be any easier and the result is something so saturated with deep wholesome flavor it will have everyone thinking you spent hours slaving over a hot stove. My mom made hers by boiling a whole chicken, then picking it and using the stock in place of water in the rice. I have tweeked it just a bit as I use whatever chicken cut I find on sale in the supermarket that week. For this particular batch, chicken thighs were on sale at my grocery store for $.89/lb so I bought those and roasted them as opposed to boiling. Either was you do it, the outcome remains the same- a delicious complete meal with for well under $2 a serving. Beat that!