Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leftover Magic

There are times dishes made with leftovers just may surpass the original in satisfying the family. Diva says not to think in those terms though. Diva says just think of it as a double blessing instead! When leftover dishes do worked your "leftover magic".

Chicken from last night's chicken soup turned into Chicken Verde Casserole. Flour tortillas, salsa verde, chicken and cheese. Simple, indeed. Using the best of those few ingredients and you have simply magical!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mom's Intuition

A mom just knows when her family needs homemade chicken soup...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Italian Salsa Verde

Vibrant green and packed with flavor, Italian Salsa Verde is one of Diva's favorite. When you see Italian Salsa Verde -- it is easy to mistake it for pesto, but the absence of nuts and cheese and its fresh acidic tang marks the sauce in decidedly different ways.

To be honest, Diva seems to make it different every time -- depending on which fresh herbs are handy and more of one or another, but the formula basically remains the same: Fresh herbs, anchovy fillets, red wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. There are times Diva adds scallions to the mix, uses less garlic and may add only one anchovy fillet instead of two, but however you make it -- it will add the "wow" flavor to your dish.

Diva loves to serve it over grilled skirt steak marinated in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, the juices of lemon, lime and orange and the zests of the citrus used as well. Grilled Skirt Steak with Italian Salsa Verde is always a success for any party Diva has. It's also great with shrimp, fish, grilled chicken, grilled veggies and grilled tofu. Yesterday, Diva used it as a spread in the Roasted Chicken Sandwiches with arugula, provolone and tomatoes she made for son's baseball game picnic. Once again, Italian Salsa Verde came to the flavor rescue.

Here is the version Diva made yesterday:

Italian Salsa Verde Recipe

2 cups Italian parsley, roughly chopped

2 cups basil, roughly chopped

1 cup mint, roughly chopped

2 fillets, anchovy

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tbs. red wine vinegar

1 tbs. lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are finely minced. With processor running, slowly add olive oil until salsa verde is thick and emulsified. Adjust sea salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ball Game Picnic

Little league night games. Need Diva say more? The choice for most moms is concession stand or a late dinner after game with homework, bath, etc. still on the to-do list that makes for a late night and cranky children. Groan!

Don't get Diva wrong though -- we are blessed with, Rosemary, our concession stand guru. The woman makes homemade frijoles every weekend, so that the kids can have homemade tostadas and bean burritos. She also grills burgers and dogs to order. There is no Rosemary for weeknight games though and that leaves candy, fake cheese nachos and delivery pizza for our concession stand options. Sigh.

Last week, by the time Diva got the children to the Mexican restaurant for dinner after the game -- things were already starting to unravel -- needless to say, by the time we got home, Diva was in need of a cocktail or two.

So, this week, Diva decided to pack a picnic dinner for the night game. Diva roasted off some chicken breasts to slice for Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwiches with Italian Salsa Verde. A few slices of provolone, tomatoes and baby arugula rounded it out. Simple, but nice and tasty enough to make the game picnic seem like we were at an outdoor summer concert series. Ah, much better. Throw in Kettle chips for some crunch, mixed Spanish olives, berry fruit cups Diva packed into individual containers and little mini chocolate bars and well...somehow it all seemed so civilized. That is, until Diva stared out into the field and saw how much scrubbing she would have to do tonight to get the stains out of her son's uniform.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Drive-by Crepes

Will brake for crepes. The crepes theme continued this weekend with a quick stop for crepes after the Culver City Car Show. Vintage cars & crepes -- who knew?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Creamy Pesto Shrimp Recipe

Jo from YOUR DINNER PLAYBOOK has featured one of Diva's recipes on her blog. Thanks, Jo. Check out her blog featuring weekly menu planning for all you busy moms out there -- or just pop in to check out some of her recipes for dinner planning inspiration.

This coming week, she is featuring recipes from the Real Women of Philadelphia contest -- yes -- recipes highlighting Philadelphia Cream Cheese. You can get the recipe for Diva's (Monica Olson) Creamy Pesto Shrimp on her site this week along with some other great recipes -- including Jo's recipe for Fried Mac n' Cheese Balls.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


Ooh la la. It was one of those days where inspiration was needed; something to change it up a bit. Then it came, go seek inspiration from Julia Child. Really -- we all know that blog had been done. Sigh.

Diva decided to let the book tell it -- pick a page and see if there was inspiration to be had. Crepes, it was. Diva had a sneaking suspicion that her daughter may have had a hand in that as she loves crepes (and you better pronounce it right to her as she attends a French school), but Diva knew better.

If an artist needs a canvas to paint; a starting point for creativity to spring forth out into the world, then crepes serves the purpose of a canvas to a cook; the blank space waiting for some love. The ideas started flooding in and Diva's mind started to wander off to other recipes she was thinking about as well. After all that -- Diva decided to use what was available in the house to fulfill crepe destiny and made Crepe-a-dillas with prosciutto and fontina and Nutella Crepes with raspberry coulis. Thanks, Julia!