mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

pomegranate salad July 31, 2006

Filed under: salads — girlymama @ 7:02 pm

this is a salad that a friend made for me and its AMAZING! i am a huge spinach fan and pomegranates are one of my favorite things and then you add bacon… well, you don’t get much better.

pomegranate saladBaby spinach
White mushrooms, washed and coarsely chopped
6 strips of bacon, fried until chrisp, then crumbled
seeds of 1 pomegranate
chopped walnuts
1 avocado, coarsely chopped(I don’t add this, since I’m not a huge avocado fan)

1/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable – not olive)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp bacon grease
I’m not sure of amounts – I just very scientifically add things until the salad looks balanced and pretty. If you are using pre-cooked bacon, just leave the grease out of the dressing.

recipe origin: not sure!


grilled herb shrimp July 28, 2006

Filed under: main dishes — girlymama @ 3:58 pm

this is so, so, so, so good. really. one of my favorite things to eat ever. and thats saying a lot!

Grilled Herb Shrimp
Serves 6
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup good olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled (tails left on) and deveined

1. Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, basil, mustards, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.  Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to two days. 

2. Prepare grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking.  Skewer the shrimp and grill for 1 ½ minutes on each side.

recipe origin: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!


lamb kabobs July 27, 2006

Filed under: main dishes — girlymama @ 9:11 pm

we love lamb. we love kabobs. we l-o-v-e ethnic foods. so this is one of our favorites. its super easy and guests love it. you can get a good price on lamb at Sam’s or Costco. but if you want to splurge and go to a butcher, they’ll trim and cut it all up for you, so its even easier!

Lemon Garlic Lamb Kabobs

1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, well-trimmed and cut into cubes (about 1-inch)
8 thin lemon wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4-8 garlic cloves, minced (we like lots of garlic, but that’s just us!)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta Dipping Sauce (optional)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add lamb to marinade and let marinade for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate and marinate overnight – much better!)
2. Heat grill to high. Soak bamboo skewers for at least 15 minutes in water to prevent burning. Place 4-5 pieces of lamb and 2 lemon wedges per skewer. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook, turning occasionally, until done (about 8-10 minutes total).  For extra flavor, squeeze grilled lemon wedges over the lamb before eating.
4. The original recipe calls for a Feta Dipping Sauce. Sometimes I serve it, sometimes I leave it out. No one misses it.

Feta Dipping Sauce
2 oz feta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
fresh parsley

1. Puree in blender with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

recipe origin: Everyday Food Magazine


three bean salad July 26, 2006

Filed under: salads,vegetarian — girlymama @ 7:31 pm

i love this. i saw it in a magazine and made it, but found some of the measurements to be waay off. they had way too many fresh herbs. yuck. but i adapted it and now its a fav.  easily the best bean salad recipe i’ve come across.

Three-Bean Salad
makes 4 to 8 servings

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can other bean (black, cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (flat-leaf best, but Italian okay)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Serve at room temperature.

recipe origin: adapted from recipe in Real Simple


yum July 25, 2006

Filed under: gotta try this,salads — girlymama @ 4:52 pm


have you tried this salad dressing? amazing! delicious! yum! it also works great to toss into an asian-inspired pasta salad or as a marinade.

its just so good! thanks to my friend kim for introducing me to this. i will be forever grateful!!!!


fruit smoothie July 21, 2006

Filed under: bevvies,breakfast — girlymama @ 2:17 pm

my kids and i have these almost every morning for breakfast. yum.

Fruit Smoothie

1 cup plain yogurt (i use low-fat 1%)
1 cup frozen fruit (blueberries are my favorite. girls prefer raspberries because they make it pink!)
1 banana
Put in blender and blend until smooth. Add some ice to make it thicker, if you wish.

while doing a horrible diet (south beach), i made some without the banana for me and added splenda. didn’t taste too bad. for diet food, that is.


fresh tomato pasta July 20, 2006

Filed under: pasta,vegetarian — girlymama @ 12:36 pm

this is a huge hit with the kiddies, who absolutely adore everything pasta and love those “baby tomatoes”

fresh tomato pasta

serves 4

angel hair pasta (i recommend this.)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 teaspoon dried oregano, parsley, Italian seasoning (whatever you like best)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the angel hair according to package directions until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, spice you picked, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring, until the tomato juices run, about 3 or 4 minutes.

3. Add the drained angel hair, basil and 1/4 cup Parmesan to the skillet and toss to combine.  Serve with more cheese, if desired.

**This is GREAT recipe to use up leftover chicken!! Just chop and throw it in with the tomatoes and it will heat right up!

recipe origin: adapted from recipe in Everyday Food Magazine.