Hi and thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Tina, I am 42 years old and married to a wonderful man named Robert. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area with my husband and our two pugs, Koko and Lucy and a special kitty, named Trixie.

I am of Italian decent and love to cook not just for my family but for everyone! I have a lot of weeknight dinner guest and try to keep it casual but delicious! My Mom passed away a few years ago and was my great teacher.

In 2012 I have changed the way I eat. A real lifestyle change to be healthier, eat a nutrient dense diet and remove all processed foods, refined flours and sugars from our diet. I do cook a lot healthier than my Mom did and do a lot more vegetarian meals, poultry and fish. I'm trying to find a way to keep the traditions of family, friends and good food in my house always.

I plan to post my weekly menus, update with new recipes, health information and articles and how to eat mostly organic in an economical way. I will also periodically post personal updates of my journey to regain health and hope.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Beer in the Butt Chicken

Last year I saw a chef on television make beer can chicken and have been wanting to try it. Robert and I were at Williams-Sonoma and saw this contraption and had to buy it.

You don't need this $30 Veritcal Chicken Roaster..you can simply make this dish using a beer can...but if you know me..you know I can't pass up a new cooking gadget.

We made our first beer can chicken and it was awesome! Better than I expected. Unfortunately, we were so excited to eat it..we never took photos! So, I will show you some of the ones from Williams-Sonoma until we make this again..which will be very soon.

Beer In the Butt Chicken
1 whole chicken approximately (4-5 lbs)
1 can of beer
1 cup of BBQ Sauce (we used Jack Daniels Spicy)
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Chili Powder
4 Tbsp. Olive oil
Pre-heat grill to medium high.

Prepare chicken by rinsing it thoroughly inside and out and let it rest to room temperature. Pat dry and then coat chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder and rub in generously.

Pour half of the beer into the BBQ Sauce the other half of the beer into the cup on the roaster.
Place chicken atop roasted and then onto in-direct heat on grill. Close lid and allow to cook for 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, baste with beer/bbq sauce every 10 to 15 minutes until chicken reads 170 degrees in the thigh. (Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.)

Grilled Veggies
1 Red bell pepper
1 vidalia onion
3 potatoes
4 green onions
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Chop veggies into bite sized pieces, coat with olive oil and season with salt and/or pepper.
Place veggies on the outside of roasted after the first 30 minutes of cooking. Toss every 15 minutes or so until dish is complete.

This Week's Menu 6/15/08

So, I've decided to make a menu this week and I am going to try to stick with it. You will see that Robert and I are trying our best to eat healthier, lighter and utlizing more natural products. I heard a great grocery shopping tip this week. Only shop the outer aisle of the grocery store...avoid going up and down the inside aisle. So you hit produce, bakery, meat/fish, and dairy. If you only shop the outside aisles..you also miss out on rice, beans and oatmeal...but you get the idea.

Sunday - Beer Can Chicken and veggies on the grill, included herbed potato packets.

Monday - Black beans, rice and fresh pico de gallo

Tuesday - Grilled Mojo Chicken Salads

Wednesday - Pasta with roasted garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and broccoli

Thursday - Turkey Kielbasa with baked beans

Friday - Baja Fish Tacos with left over black beans.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eat at Moes!

So, when I was in North Carolina my psudeo-cousin Christine Buff (Di Ceasar) took me to a place called Moes Southwest Grill. It is kinda like Baja Fresh and Chipotle and very good. We both said...we hope these come to Ohio someday...and someday is here. Moe's has opened across from the Parma-town mall on Day Dr. Robert & I took my nephews Jacob and Zach and we each had a burrito. We all enjoyed ourselves and the variety was good that even though each of us had a much different taste, we were all satisfied with our creations.

Moes is great for budget minded and quick dining. It is upscale fast food...but the food is fresh tasting and the staff very friendly. I would reccomend Moes if you want something fast and as an alternative to Chipotle or Baja Fresh for mexican express.