Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

When I found out that Oprah was holding an open casting call/audition for her new “Own” television station, I couldn’t wait to apply!  I’ve spent the majority of my life dreaming and telling everyone my grandeur ideas.  But, I have a bad habit of not following through with those aspirations.  This year, I decided to turn over a new leaf and take action.  No more wasting time dreaming about what could be.  Instead, I want to take the steps to make those dreams a reality.

In order to portray who I am while showing my culinary point of view, I had to come up with a recipe that would essentially be “Katie on a plate” (in less than 3 minutes!)  With my food, I really value using seasonal, local ingredients in recipes that are packed with flavor yet still healthy (without being diet food).  For my featured recipe, I wanted to come up with something that utilized seasonal vegetables with other ingredients you can find at any grocery store.

I love these tomatoes because you can mix up the stuffing and use tons of different ingredients to switch up the flavors.  They work great paired with a salad for a light summer dinner, or you can make a big batch as a side dish for a large crowd.

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BBQ Oysters with Garlic-Sherry Butter Sauce

June 17, 2010 by Katie  
Filed under Appetizers, Seafood

If actions speak louder than words, and a picture is worth a thousand words…well then I must be a chatterbox! Truth is, I’ve never been that good with words. There are so many people out there who I admire that have the most amazing voice and tone with their writing. Me, on the other hand, not so much. In fact, when it comes to any sort of confrontation, I shrink into a blubbering idiot. I’m much more comfortable letting my actions do the talking for me. And that means letting my food speak for itself.

This is another dish that really defies words. Mostly because you’ll be too busy cramming these into your mouth to bother with speaking. Why waste precious time talking (or in my case typing) when you could be slurping the sweet garlic-butter out of the oyster shells?

My rockstar sister-in-law Megan is the mastermind behind this recipe. She’s always entertaining at her house and this is the go-to appetizer that wows her guests every time. So you can rest assured that if you make this at the next BBQ you go to this spring you’ll be a rockstar too.

Oh and if you thought you didn’t like oysters before, I guarantee this will change your mind. Heck, I’d eat rocky mountain oysters if they were smothered in garlic-sherry butter and cheese.

Here’s some tips for the Oyster Newbie
-Try to buy them the day you’ll be eating them
-Store them on ice in your fridge
-smaller oysters are more tender
-if the oyster is already open before you start, discard it b/c it’s probably either dead or may carry unhealthy bacteria
-rinse the sealed oysters under cold water and scrub them to remove dirt
-they’re excellent with a bubbly glass of champagne!

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Creamy Parmesan Polenta

April 25, 2010 by KatiesCooking  
Filed under Vegetarian

Here’s the recipe for the parmesan polenta I cooked up to go with my Balsamic Glazed Roast Chicken.  Polenta couldn’t be easier to make which is why I love it so much.  It even gives couscous a run for its money when it comes to simplifying a week-night dinner.  Polenta happens to go especially well with tender braised beef too.  I’m practically drooling just thinking about it.   But on this particular night, I made it to pair with some roasted chicken and broccoli and it soaked up the juices perfectly.

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