31 March 2010

Funny April Fools Day

From Denny: Check out the latest Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets! Here are a few of the funny quotes:

* April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. - Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894

* Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. - Mark Twain

* A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool, usually has his suspicions. - Anonymous

* Politicians never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. - Thomas Reed

* Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. - Chinese Proverb

* Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side. - Jewish Proverb

Hike on over to The Social Poets to enjoy a funny video, funny photos, and - I totally guarantee you haven't seen this fashion outfit - it's the weirdest fashion statement yet. Not even Lady Gaga wore this crazy thing! :)

Check it out the full post of laughs: Funny April Fools Day - Cheeky Quote Day 31 Apr 2010

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

30 March 2010

Chef Rocco Dispiritos Cheap Yet Healthy Comfort Food

From Denny: The Early Show on CBS runs this segment called "Chef on a Shoestring" where the challenge is to prepare a three course meal for four people that costs under $40.

Celebrity Chef Dispirito has appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" TV show and has a new best-selling cookbook called "Now Eat This: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All under 350 Calories." When we think of comfort food we usually don't think of the word "healthy." Well, Chef Dispirito will prove comfort food can be healthy with fewer calories and a lot less expensive! His cookbook is already topping the New York Times sales charts.

Recipes featured from his cookbook:

Wedge of Lettuce with Bacon and Blue Cheese
Charred Beef Burgers with Baba Ghanoush
Sweet Potato Fries
Peach and Blueberry Cobbler With Ginger And Cinnamon

Discounted over at my Amazon book store - Now Eat This: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All under 350 Calories by Chef Rocco Dispirito

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Food Facts from Epicurious.com:

Baba Ghanoush: A Middle Eastern puree of eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It's garnished with pomegranate seeds, chopped mint or minced pistachios and used as a spread or dip for or Middle Eastern Flat Bread.

Blue Cheese: This genre of cheese has been treated with molds that form blue or green veins throughout and give the cheese its characteristic flavor. Some of the more popular of the blues include dana-blu , gorgonzola, roquefort and stilton. Blue cheeses tend to be strong in flavor and aroma, both of which intensify with aging.

Heirloom seeds (heirloom tomato): The advent of mega-agriculture in America has seen the gradual depletion of ancient varieties of native non-hybrid plants. Unfortunately for those who appreciate full-flavored fruits and vegetables, produce-seed conglomerates focus only on those strains that have mass-market appeal - which means they're beautiful and hardy, but not necessarily the best-tasting.

Fortunately, about 25 years ago some dedicated individuals began saving what they could of the remaining open-pollinated (without human intervention) seed varieties, which have become known as "heirloom seeds." Among the many heirloom fruits and vegetables grown today are beets, carrots, corn, dried beans, lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes. As the public becomes more aware of these wonderful alternatives, farmers are also becoming more interested. Heirloom produce can be found in some specialty produce markets and farmer's markets.

Wedge of Lettuce With Bacon and Blue Cheese


1 small head iceberg lettuce
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
1 large heirloom tomato, cut into large dice
3/4 cup of 3-Grams-of-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing or Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
6 tablespoons crumbled reduced- fat blue cheese, such as Treasure Cove
6 tablespoons real bacon bits, such as Hormel Real Bacon Bits
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut the iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges. Place 1 wedge on each of 4 salad plates, and top each wedge with some red onion and tomato. Drizzle each wedge with blue cheese dressing, and top it with crumbled blue cheese and bacon.

Season the salads with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Charred Beef Burgers with Baba Ghanoush


1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons 5% Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole-Grain Flourless Burger Buns
Nonfat cooking spray
12 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef, formed into 4 patties
1/2 cup "Russian Island" Dressing or store bought reduced-fat Russian dressing
4 slices heirloom tomato
4 slices red onion
4 leaves romaine lettuce, broken in half


Char the eggplant over an open flame, rotating it often to cook evenly, about 20 minutes. The skin should be completely blackened and the flesh should be cooked through.

Place the eggplant in a bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap (to steam off the skin), and set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Then remove the charred skin with a paper towel, leaving the flesh behind.

Chop the eggplant with a knife until it is a thick and chunky puree. Mix the eggplant and the yogurt together in a bowl, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat.

Split the buns in half, and spray the split surfaces lightly with cooking spray. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the buns, cut sides down, and the burgers on the grill. Allow the buns to char slightly, and then transfer them to a platter. Cook the burgers for about 2-1/2 minutes per side for rare.

To assemble the burgers, spread the bottom buns with some of the eggplant mixture. Place the burgers on top, and then top each burger with some of the Russian dressing. Pile the tomato, onion, and lettuce on the burgers, and set the bun tops in place. Serve.

Sweet Potato Fries


2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Sweet paprika
Cayenne pepper


Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch-wide sticks. Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand for about 20 minutes to release some of their moisture.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and set it aside.

Spread the potatoes out on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Then place them in a large bowl, and spray them with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the thyme and salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne to taste. Spread the potatoes out on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the fries until they are golden and tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler With Ginger and Cinnamon


Nonstick cooking spray
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated Splenda
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar, such as Sugar In The Raw


Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Spray a 7 X 11-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peaches, blueberries, the 1/4 cup Splenda, and the 1 tablespoon baking mix. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons Splenda, the remaining 3/4 cup Bisquick, and the ginger, cinnamon, and milk. Stir until the mixture forms a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls of the dough evenly over the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the sugar over the dough.

Bake the cobbler until the fruit is tender and the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Breaking down the cost of the meal:

Steakhouse Salad

iceberg lettuce $1.99
red onion $.80
blue cheese dressing $1.49
blue cheese $2.99
bacon bits $1.99
total $9.26

Beef Burgers & Fries

eggplant $1.69
Greek yogurt $1.33
burger buns $3.19
ground beef $2.49
russian dressing $1.00
heirloom tomato $2.99
red onion $.80
romaine lettuce $1.49
sweet potatoes $1.49
thyme leaves $1.29
total $17.76

Peach & Blueberry Cobbler

peaches $2.24
blueberries $2.50
splenda $3.29
Bisquick baking mix $1.19
ginger $.25
turbinado sugar $2.49
total $11.96

His grand total: $38.98

Discounted over at my Amazon book store - Now Eat This: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All under 350 Calories by Chef Rocco Dispirito

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

29 March 2010

Awesome Sauces 4 Louisiana Seafood

Boiled crawfish photo by adie reed @ flickr

From Denny: Spring is here in Louisiana and summer will be on its heels. The crawfish are in season and the shrimp, well, Gulf Shrimp are awesome any time from Louisiana to Mississippi to Florida. We prefer to eat local and are proud of our seafood. We are especially proud of our oysters for which we developed the pasteurization process to kill off potential dangerous bacteria. Because of this relatively new pasteurization process you can dine on raw oysters year round - if they are certified Louisiana oysters.

Compiled here are a number of simple seafood sauce recipes to enjoy on your seafood this spring and summer, whether you like raw oysters, boiled, fried, baked or broiled shrimp and crawfish. Remoulade, Creole and Cocktail sauces are very popular here. We will even take the last recipe of Beurre Creole sauce and layer it over a perfectly grilled steak. Lump crabmeat sauces are often combined with steak in our restaurants.

Recipes Featured:

Red Remoulade Sauce
Cajun Style Remoulade Sauce
Cajun Hot Sauce
Louisiana Traditional Creole Sauce
Louisiana Spicy Creole Sauce
Oysters Rockefeller Sauce
Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
Cocktail Sauce for large group
Cocktail Sauce
Beurre Creole


From: wafb.com (TV station)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Yields: 2 Cups

This Creole-style rémoulade is thought to be the original Louisiana version. This sauce can be served over shrimp, lump crabmeat or salad.


1 cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup Creole mustard
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup minced celery
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp paprika
salt to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste


In a large ceramic mixing bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar and Creole mustard. Whisk until well blended. Mix in green onions, parsley, celery and garlic. Add paprika for color. Continue mixing until well blended. Season with salt and hot sauce. Cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and allow to sit overnight.

Shrimp Remoulade at Tujaques, photo by gary j wood @ flickr


From: Wayne Allen @ Cooks.com


1/4 of a large red pepper
1/2 stalk of celery
1 green onion (including all the green)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 tbs of Dijon mustard
2 tbs of ketchup
2 tbs of horseradish
a couple shakes of worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins brand is best)
a couple shakes of Tobasco bramd hot sauce
2 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Puree in food processor or blender until smooth.


From: Cooks.com



2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. bell pepper, chopped
1 green raw jalapeno pepper with seeds, minced
1 clove garlic, minced


1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. red (cayenne) pepper
1 c. fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 c. seafood stock or shrimp stock
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook about 3 minutes. Add the seasoning mix and stir well. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and bay leaf, cover, and bring to a boil. Add the stock and brown sugar and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 15 to 20 minutes.

Use this sauce for a shrimp and rice dish: Add the 1 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined shrimp and bring the mixture back to a boil. Cover, cook about 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Serve the shrimp on top of a mound of rice surrounded with sauce. Serve with lots of cold beer.


Yield: 2 cups


2 tbsp. chopped green onion
2 tbsp. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried sweet basil
16 oz. can low sodium tomatoes, undrained


Saute onion, green pepper and mushrooms in oil over low heat 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with fish, chicken or beef.


For: Fish or roasted meat

From: Cooks.com


3 tsp. melted butter
2 bell peppers, chopped fine
1 finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 (#2 1/2) can tomatoes with puree
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 diced chili peppers


Boil 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring with wooden spoon. Sauce is placed over meat in a flat dish in refrigerator overnight. Then, when ready, cook meat as desired.

COCKTAIL SAUCE for boiled shrimp

YIELD: 4 1/2 cups - for serving a large group.


2 c. ketchup
2 c. chili sauce
1/4-1/2 c. prepared horseradish (we like the cream variety at our house)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. cider vinegar (we prefer fresh lemon juice)
6 drops Tabasco sauce (we like Louisiana Hot Sauce brand, less vinegary, and we use more since it is not as hot as Tobasco - about 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 c. finely minced celery
1/4 c. finely minced onion


Mix together and refrigerate. Use for all seafood cocktails.




1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c. lemon juice (or less)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. horseradish
6 tbsp. minced celery
3 tbsp. grated onion (or less)
1/4 tsp. salt


Chill. Yields 1 1/2 cups sauce. 1 cup sauce will serve 4 to 6 cocktails.

SHRIMP COCKTAIL SAUCE - tomato sauce version


1 small can tomato sauce
Dab of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Dab of Garlic salt
1/2 bottle cocktail sauce
Picante sauce to taste
Creamy horseradish to taste

DIRECTIONS: Mix all together.

Oysters Rockefeller Sauce

PREP TIME: 1 hour


This, the most famous of all oyster dishes in Cajun country, was first developed at Antoine’s Restaurant, by Jules Alciatore in 1899. Named Rockefeller because of its incredible rich flavor, the original recipe included no spinach.


1 dozen shucked oysters with liquid
1/4 pound butter
1/4 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
½ cup chopped green onions
2 tbsps diced garlic
1 cup cooked frozen spinach (thawed)
1 tbsp flour
1 pint heavy whipping cream
½ ounce Pernod or Herbsaint
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce
salt and cracked black pepper to taste


In a two quart sauce pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Sauté onions, celery, green onions and garlic, approximately three to five minutes or until seasonings are wilted. Add cooked spinach, and using a metal spoon, chop well into the vegetable mixture. Cook until spinach is hot and well incorporated into seasonings. Add flour and blend well into mixture, being sure to remove all lumps. Add whipping cream and oyster liquid, stirring constantly until sauce is thick and bubbly. Add Pernod, sugar, Worcestershire and Louisiana Gold. Continue stirring until all is well blended. Season to taste using salt and pepper. To ensure a sauce-like consistency, additional cream or water may be added. Continue to cook approximately 10 minutes, add oysters and cook 5 minutes. Pour the contents of the sauce pan into a blender and puree on high speed. Serve 2-ounces of the Oysters Rockefeller Sauce with your favorite trout, chicken or veal dish.

Beurre Creole

PREP TIME: 15 Minutes


This sauce is excellent over broiled or sautéed fish or grilled shrimp.


8 ounces unsalted butter, chipped
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 thin lemon slices
¼ cup jumbo lump crabmeat
¼ cup diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp sliced green onions
8–10 whole peppercorns
1 whole bay leaf
3 whole basil leaves
1 tsp tomato sauce
dash of Louisiana hot sauce
salt and cayenne pepper to taste


In a sauté pan, combine wine, lemon juice, lemon slices, crabmeat, tomatoes, garlic, green onions, peppercorns, bay leaf and basil over medium-high heat. Sauté approximately 3 minutes or until juices are rendered into the pan. Add tomato sauce, blend well into mixture and continue to cook until juices have been reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons. Swirling pan constantly, add a few chips of butter at a time until all is incorporated. Do not use a metal spoon or wire whisk as hot spots may develop and butter will separate. Season to taste using hot sauce, salt and pepper. Serve as is, or strain if desired.

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

28 March 2010

Weekly Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 28 Mar 2010

From Denny: This funny polar bear says it all: Whew! Time to take it easy after a long harsh winter!

If you are a blogger like me with the Blogger platform at blogspot.com, and you haven't already heard about it since it came out a couple of weeks ago, you might want to check out this new feature from Blogger: Blogger in Draft. I spent the entire weekend playing around with the possibilities and decided to change over to this new dashboard and template offerings.

Blogger has come out with some outstanding new templates and the ability to widen margins of all your columns to imitate the old stretch template or create your own ideas of what appeals to you. Be as creative as you like! Read that as embedding videos and cartoons will now work better. Before, if you had a background from somewhere else - like I was doing - you had to reduce the width of your template down to the Minima template offered by Blogger. Then you could not run the cartoons at all as they were chopped off on the right side.

You now have many choices of how to arrange your columns just like a newspaper. There is a good variety of stunning backgrounds from which to choose - and believe me I've been choosing all this weekend for 12 blogs! :) I would like to see them expand their background choices in various colors and genre but what they have offered so far is plenty for most bloggers.

What am I still looking for from Blogger? To the folks at Blogger: I'm looking for more seasonal choices that have a sophisticated look, peaceful or spiritual, as opposed to just fun or downright cheesy. Backgrounds tailored to writing, poetry, art and literature other than the standard stack of books would be great - like beautiful calligraphy pens and parchment papers, stylized handwriting or fonts offered on the background and for the blog. You might want to consider backgrounds of America's cities like New Orleans and others for those of us with regional food blogs.

I'd also like to see the ability to post headlines and 200 word summary excerpts of up to 10 posts per page so people could easily choose what they want to read much like Wordpress already offers. Scrolling at the top of the page or at the header of the most recent posts would be cool like you see at newspaper sites online. Dreamer, that's me! So far, Blogger is on a roll so keep up the good work, guys! Oh, and if you could ever get that Google Connect or Followers Gadget to work with Google AdSense ads on the same page it would be much appreciated too.

On to the posts of the week and a few extra recipe posts from the past two weeks in case you missed anything good! :) Finally got caught up over at my science blog this weekend with some interesting stories so be sure to check out their offerings. Please bookmark this post to catch up on all the interesting news, great recipes and beautiful photography in our world! :) Enjoy...

The Social Poets:

51 Funny Political Cartoons - Sex Scandals, Rove, Obama, Health Care, Tea Party - 27 Mar 2010

Release Your Dreams and Spring into Life poem - Libations Friday 26 Mar 2010

Bullying Death Threats Against Congress Because of Health Care Law

Origins of the Funny Easter Bunny - Cheeky Quote Day 24 Mar 2010

Senate Parliamentarian Rules Against GOP to Stop Passed Health Care

Fleecing America: Political Hypocrites Drenched in Stimulus Money

Roundup of Late Night Comedy - 22 Mar 2010

The 11 Choices poem - Libations Friday 19 Mar 2010

Funny Late Night Comedy Roundup - 15 Mar 2010

41 Post Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 21 Mar 2010

Dennys Global Politics:

How New Health Law Affects You, Comics Review The News, Tea Party Antics - Headlines 26 Mar 2010

Health Bill Bounces Back to House for Final Push - Headlines 25 Mar 2010

More Hideous Molestation Sex Scandals - Headlines 24 Mar 2010

Sweeping Health Care Reform Signed into Law Today, Headlines 23 Mar 2010

The Soul Calendar:

Now Peru Faces Water Wars From Climate Change

Come to Iceland: Experience Living With a Volcano in Your BackYard

Moon Water: Order Up Your Cocktail Today

Check Out This Tripping New Look for the Milky Way

New Finding Under Antarctic Ice: Stinky Greenhouse Gas Ready to Go Boom

Friday Trivia: 14 Useless Random Facts

The Healing Waters:

Good News: 12 Year Old Walks to Raise Awareness About Homeless Kids

Good News: How New Health Care Law Affects You, Marines Rescue Tangled Seal

Good News: Afghan Orphanage Female Director Honored

Beautiful Illustrated Quotes:

Does Your Life Feel Like a Disaster?

3 Quotes About Facing Tough Times

Food Blogs:

Louisiana Crawfish Etouffee From Lafittes Landing

Kid Chefs Offer Tasty Recipes 4 Sandwiches Adults Will Like

New Orleans Recipes: Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Jambalaya, Sazerac Cocktail

Super Bowl Food: Jumbo Shrimp and Gouda Grits

Chef Sandra Lees Quick Baby Back Ribs

7 Easy Recipes for Relaxed Weekend Food

5 Super Easy Chocolate Desserts: Only 5 Ingredients

Gorgeous Whiskey Chocolate Brownies

Moistest Low Cal Chocolate Cake, Pesto Veggie Lasagna, Quick Salad

Spring Food: Chef Kellers Marinated Skirt Steak, Ice Cream Sandwiches

Easy Rich Yellow Loaf Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Photo blog:

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Blues in Our World

Photo History: 1st Lady Gowns, Michelle Obama Donates Hers

Photography, Beautiful Metaphor for Life: 17 Boats

Only White Theme: 26 Photos

16 Beautiful Creative Angel Photos

10 Make You Think Fantasy Photos

30 Funny Creative Animal Ads

Humor Blogs:

Funny Comics Review The News - 26 Mar 2010

Outrageous Dog: Chews Car Bumper Off Police Car

Funny Rules of Chocolates, Origins of the Funny Easter Bunny

Funny Video: Movie Trailer 4 Death at a Funeral

Friday Trivia: 14 Useless Random Facts

Funny Sarcastic Sayings 4 Any Day

Funny News: Italys World Slow Day

Weird News: Watching Porn in Church

7 Funny Quips 10 Mar 2010

8 Funny Quips

*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!
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