Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pork Chops with Cherry Chutney

Looking for Something Unexpected? 
Spice up the Usual Chop with a Burst of Fresh Summer Flavors. 
I was feeling creative in the kitchen and decided to mix some fresh summer fruit into the usual Chop. The flavors were fresh and bold, sweet and savory, pure deliciousness! Be sure to make the chutney at least 30 minutes ahead of time in order to let the flavors meld.


The Chutney Deets 
12 Red Cherries Pitted and Quartered (about 1/2 cup)
3 Sweet Baby Peppers Diced
1/2 Shallot Finely Sliced
2 Basil Leaves thinly ribboned (roll leaves and thinly slice into ribbons)
1 TBS Lime Juice
1 TBS Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper to Taste (1 tsp sea salt and 1 pinch fresh pepper)


The Chutney How To
Chop ingredients and combine in a bowl
Add Lime Juice, Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper
Allow to rest for about 30-45 minutes so flavors can meld
Once flavors have concentrated Toss into sauce pan for 2-3 minutes for a quick saute
Now on with the Chops
I prefer Center Cut Boneless Chops
Season with Salt and a Touch of Pepper
Heat Fry Pan over medium; add a touch of EVOO
Sear Chops on Each Side for 3 Minutes
Remove from Heat and Allow to Rest
Top Chops with the Cherry Goodness
Add a Grain like Wild Rice or Quinoa and a nice Salad and Dinner is Served.


Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fresh Lemonade a Toast to Summer!

Happy First Day of Summer! What's one sure fire way to make it feel like summer? Lemonade! Lemonade is simple to prepare and is a crisp refreshing treat even on the hottest summer nights. I prefer my Lemonade a little on the tart side, so if you've got a real sweet tooth, add a bit more sugar. Here's the How To on my favorite summer drink.
The Deets
7 Lemons for juicing (approximately 1 1/4 Cups Lemon Juice)
1 Lemon for looks
2 Cups Warm Water
3/4 Cup Sugar (I like mine tart - if you want it sweeter add more sugar)
2 Cups Ice
The How To
Juice your Lemons - Remember  if you are using a juicer the lemons need to be peeled or the juice will be bitter
Mix the 2 cups of warm water and sugar to create your base
Add Lemon Juice to sugar water base
Mix Well
Add 2 Cups of Ice
Slice remaining Lemon and add it to the lemonade
Let sit until 1/2 of Ice is melted
Enjoy Your Summer!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bagel Sandwiches for a Quick Fix

Sometimes we all need an easy dinner.
Tonight was one of those nights.
So CarboLoading Bagel Sandwiches it is.

The Deets
(for 2)
2 Bagels (Einstein Brothers Whole Wheat)
Thick Cut Chicken (I used Carving Board Turkey)
Extra Sharp Cheddar
Spicy Sprouts (Alfalfa & Radish Sprouts)
Spinach
Tomatoes
The Assembly 
Toast Bagels
Add Cheese while Bagels are hot to melt it a bit
Add toppings
Serve with Salad, Kale Chips or another healthy side and dinner is served.

Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Breakfast Scramble

Summer is almost here, flavorful, fresh produce is abundant and fresh light dishes are on my mind.  This time of year makes me crave healthier food, full of fresh flavors!  Even Breakfast gets a quick fresh overhaul. Today's dish: Vegetable and Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs.

The Deets for One
2 Eggs
6 Mushrooms Roughly Chopped
1 Large handful of Fresh Spinach - Chopped
1 Large handful of cherry tomatoes Quartered
1/8 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
1 TBS Milk
Salt to Taste

The How To
Sear Mushrooms until desired doneness (I like mine cooked well)
Add Spinach and Tomatoes for a quick Sear
In a Bowl Scramble Eggs and Milk
Add Goat Cheese
Add to Pan over Medium Low
Scramble for 3-4 minutes or until Eggs turn white
Plate, Pray & Enjoy!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Cafe Nova

It's been far too long since we did a restraunt review - so back to the roots of the Dining Diva we go for a delicious Lunch at Cafe Nova!

Here's What we ordered:

We started with the Super Nova Salad; a salad of field greens, crumbled blue cheese, dried cherries, walnuts, and a light strawberry vinaigrette
Then we were surprised by a gourmet tot - Yukon potato, sharp cheddar and black forest ham tater tot with a touch of ranch dressing- by far the best tot I've ever had! + who doesn't like a bonus appetizer?

Salmon club, fresh grilled salmon on brioche with baby spinach, tomato, bacon, lemon caper aioli. I would rate the salmon club a 6/10 on the Diva Star-studded scale. It was ok, the salmon was a little over done, but it had good flavor.
The Chicken sandwich on a kaiser bun with melted brie, mango chutney. The Chicken Sandwich was Delish! The chicken was cooked perfect, brie - how can you go wrong with brie? and the chutney was fantastic! The Chicken Sandwitch gets 8/10 Diva Stars! 
Nova mac & cheese a penne pasta cheddar and parmesan mac with tomato toasted bread crumbs. I L-O-V-E - Love Mac & Cheese! The Nova Mac did not disapoint! It was rich and creamy and hd just the right "bite" to it.  The Nova Mac was out of this world and earns  9/10 stars.
Overall Nova is a Diva Do - The lunch specials are a great value, the staff is friendly and attentive and the food is far better than your run of the mill lunch rush. So if you're in the area give Nova a try.