March 24, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

For those of you who have been following along on Snapchat and my Insta Story, you know what the current state of affairs is in my home. We are living in total chaos right now during a kitchen and main floor renovation. No one said this was going to be a walk in the park, but we have learned to manage without a kitchen, and to be honest, I’m quite proud of US. Here are a few things we are doing to get us through the next few months.

1) We set up a “mock” kitchen – The location of this kitchen is in our boy’s old bathroom upstairs. Well? There’s a sink, a counter, a toilet and a shower in there, so what more did we need? Nothing.
2) Our new pantry area – We placed boxes of the contents of our cupboards and flatware drawers in my youngest son’s old bedroom. Perfect space to store all the large tubs of dry goods, sauces, oils, cleaning equipment etc. (My first thought about using our every day dishes was NO WAY. Why not just live on paper plates for the next three months? That didn’t bode well when you actually have to cut something on your plate and you saw right through it to the table. Besides, it wasn’t an eco-friendly idea anyways…despite the fact that I’m a total lazeball when it comes to doing dishes without a dishwasher. God, I’m spoiled.
3) Cooking with no stove – Yes, we have NO STOVE, but the good news is we have a fridge, microwave and I bought a hot plate for my food videos, so basically we are GOOD to go. The microwave comes in handy for reheating meals and the hot plate is just the best thing on earth for making everything from stir-frys to soup.
4) Our new dining room – We set up a bridge table and two folding chairs in my office/studio. It’s fine, with the exception of the days where we had the heat turned OFF by the contractor and sat shivering with a small space heater at our feet while eating our dinner.

This turkey vegetable egg drop soup is the easiest reno recipe ever. Everything is made in one pot on the magic hot plate and voila…….you have a meal in a bowl. In fact, you have a meal that you can actually eat right out of the pot – to save yourself from cleaning the bowl!

TURKEY VEGETABLE EGG DROP SOUP

– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 medium onion, minced
– 1 clove of garlic, minced
– 1 large carrot, chopped
– 1 large tomato chopped
– 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or boxed organic
– 1 cup cooked turkey, shredded
– 2 eggs, beaten
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
– 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

1) In a medium pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic. Saute for another minute. Add chopped carrot. Add chopped tomato. Continue to saute for a few more minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add shredded turkey. Remove from heat. Start stirring in a soup in a circular motion. Slowly drop beaten eggs. Stir for about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chopped flat leaf parsley and grated parmesan. Top with additional parmesan and parsley!

Click here to see a quick run through of these steps!

See you next week!
debi @simplybeautifuleating
S
imply Beautiful Eating

xx, Debi
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March 22, 2017

Chef Luke makes Boobie Frieda’s “Flatzy” chicken

If you ask Chef Luke what he wants to eat for dinner on any given day he will say FLATZY CHICKEN!  Actually he won’t say it…he will scream it. Hands down my Boobie (Grandma) Frieda’s “Flatzy” chicken is the best. What does “Flatzy” mean? Flat. That’s right she took that word and made it Yiddish. That’s what she does with most words adding a Y or A at the end. For the sake of this post you can call me Serinka. That’s what Boobie calls me. Now let’s make some Flatzy Chicken!

Here’s what you’ll need…
1 package of chicken cutlets
2 eggs
Breadcrumbs and/or Cornflake crumbs
Corn oil for frying

-Crack 2 eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk
-Pour bread crumbs mixed with corn flake crumbs onto a plate
-Take one package of chicken cutlets and FLATTEN them with a mallet on a plastic cutting board
-Heat corn oil in a frying pan or electric frying pan
-Dip the chicken into egg before coating both sides of the chicken evenly with breadcrumbs
-Ask an adult to gently drop the chicken into the pan of hot oil
-Cook for 2-3 minutes per side
-Remove from pan and drain on paper towel

Follow Chef Luke on the Little Miss Party YouTube channel! He’s always cooking up fun, kid friendly food!

Video by Maggie Antalek
Photos by Abby Copleston

xx, Seri
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March 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Green isn’t limited to shamrocks and leprechauns. At this epic spread, it’s the inspiration for a healthy, yet hearty lunch that offers a spread of crudités with green goddess dip, mini fruit-topped pavlovas, and iced green tea.

Here’s what comes to mind when I think about St. Patrick’s Day: loads of green food, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and of course, leprechauns. Even if you’re not Irish, you can create, style, cook, bake and host a gorgeous and elegant St. Patrick’s Day party!

This table offers a lush meets luxe dining experience. Think green and leafy intertwined with white and gold accents for your table settings. In keeping with the traditions of this theme, I used all of Martha’s recipes to blend together a wonderful, healthy lunch for family and friends.

One of the most eye-catching details at this table? The four-leaf clover napkins! Since this holiday is always fun and festive, I wanted to try my hand at napkin-folding. The only problem I have with this type of challenge is following instructions. This was a perfect job for my husband to tackle. (I bet you didn’t know that he is an expert napkin folder. Now you do!) He has so much more patience when it comes to tasks like this, it’s wonderful. Here’s how!

One thing I loved doing for an anniversary party I hosted recently, was a DIY garland for the table runner. It was super easy, reasonably priced, and packed a punch as a focal point for a simply beautiful centerpiece. For this garland, I included frisée (pronounced “free-ZAY”), which is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale green or yellow-ish leaves. I created the garland with an edible factor, which is also appealing to the eye.

Let’s get back to the food. I chose these recipes carefully, based on three ingredient colors: green, white, and a pop of gold. For a quick appetizer, I created a wonderful crudité platter with green goddess dip.

My main course dishes were super healthy, green, and packed with protein. A warm quinoa and chicken salad, baby bok choy with ginger and garlic plus a refreshing salad with buttermilk dressing.

Don’t forget a signature mocktail. I served a cool and refreshing iced green tea with cucumber, which paired perfectly with the meal.

Lastly, dessert was easy: mini pavlovas garnished with fruit and a fresh herb that kept the St. Patrick’s day theme going — green grapes, kiwi, and mint.

Wishing you a pot of gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

Here are some quick tips for hosting this party:

Get festive with your food, think green and clean.

Showcase your creativity by cutting foods into pretty themed shapes. For example, a green pepper sliced width-wise looks exactly like a shamrock or four-leaf clover.

Give your tablescape a focal point, like the DIY garland.

Incorporate traditional with a modern twist: a four-leaf clover napkin, gold drinking straws, confetti and a menu filled with color themed food.

Include a signature “green” drink.

Have fun!

Credits
Author/Photographer/Stylist: Debi Traub | @simplybeautifuleating created exclusively for

Martha Stewart Living

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Florals: Irene’s Floral

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

View all recipes by clicking on the pictures above

xx, Debi
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February 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Okay guys. This maybe wasn’t such a good idea but I don’t want to discourage you from attempting to make your own (supposedly easy) Chinese dumplings.

Reason being is that these are a huge “patchka” (literal translation: to mess around with food or a project)

Think of these as a culinary challenge to your dexterity and patience.

Have you ever watched professional chefs make dim sum dumplings? Truly an art.

They take the dough, stuff it, seal it and steam the dumplings efficiently. Within seconds, they have mastered hundreds of precisely made dumplings. That being said, they do this for a living. Day in and day out. THEY ARE DUMPLING  MAKERS.

I had a few factors working against me when I tried these. One being that I’m not Asian and have never made a dumpling before (hang on, I tried making what we call “Jewish wontons” once and experienced the same result….crappy kreplach. Secondly, for a change I was in a hurry to make and photograph these in time for the Chinese New Year. Do you know what happens when you rush? Besides breaking into full on shvitz (sweat) here’s a list of my excuses……

#1.

I didn’t feel like making my own dough. Already, that’s a problem and classified as a cop out for authentic dumplings.

#2.

Although I’m pretty good with my hands, the majority of these SO CALLED dumplings fell apart as soon as I steamed them. Not pretty, not pretty AT ALL.

#3.

I ate the ones that fell apart so no one would witness aftermath of the exploded dumplings. Not a great idea since I was trying to hide the disaster and therefore couldn’t eat dinner seeing as I WAS STUFFED to the gills with dumplings. A full out giveaway that “something went awry” with my experiment.

I came to the conclusion that it’s much easier to go out for Dim Sum and I plan on doing that in the future.

Have I scared you enough to look away from this blog post?

Nah.

Check out how nice they are……..(I mean, see how nice the ones that turned out look?)

The truth of the matter is, practice makes perfect and the next time I tried making these I used yoga breathing to get through the process and they were STELLAR.

almost forgot something. The dipping sauces. I wanted to make MY own and I did. What I didn’t do was write down the recipes for each one. Brilliant right? I’m going to do my best to remember what was in them but just in case I forgot an ingredient please forgive me. I’m blaming it all on the dumplings.

CHICKEN & BOK CHOY CHINESE DUMPLINGS

– ½ lb ground chicken
– ¾ cup baby bok choy, steamed and finely chopped
– 2 tablespoons, chives finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
– 1 garlic clove, finely minced
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
– ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
– 1 package round wonton wrappers (you can find these at an Asian supermarket)
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, if pan frying
– black and white toasted sesame seeds for garnish
– Additional chopped chives for garnish

1) Combine the ground chicken, bok choy, chives, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, vinegar, and pepper into a medium bowl until well blended.
2) Place wrappers on a work surface lined with parchment paper.
3) To assemble the dumplings place ½ tablespoon of filling per wonton.
4) Rub the edges of the wrappers with water using your fingertip.
5) Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, and pinch the edges to seal. (here’s where you need to be very careful, make sure those edges are tightly sealed otherwise you will end up with E.D.S. – Exploded Dumpling Syndrome.
6) Now you can either steam or pan fry the dumplings, here’s how:
7) To steam the dumplings, add about 1 to 2 inches of water into the bottom of a large pan and bring to a boil. (I have a double decker bamboo steamer and I make sure not to submerge the bottom layer of the steamer into the water)
8) Layer the steamer baskets with vegetable leaves (I used bok choy) to prevent the dumplings from sticking.
9) Place the bamboo steamer over the water and cook for about 10 minutes or until the dumplings are fully cooked.
10) To pan fry the dumplings, add oil to a pan and sauté dumplings for 2-3 minutes on one side until golden brown. Add in some water (3-4 tablespoons) and place a lid over the pan to steam. The dumplings should be done once all of the water has been absorbed. Garnish with additional chives, chopped peanuts and serve with dipping sauces. Makes about 24 dumplings or in my case 15 due to E.D.S.
11) Serve with dipping sauces and garnished with sesame seeds and chives

GINGER SOY DIPPING SAUCE

– 1⁄4 cup light soy sauce
– 3⁄4 tablespoon rice vinegar
– 1 teaspoon honey
– 1 minced garlic clove
– 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
– 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
– 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

Whisk all ingredients and serve.

SZECHUAN PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

– 2 tablespoons peanut butter
– 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
– 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
– 1 teaspoon sriracha ketchup
– 3 – 4 tablespoons water
– 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts

1) In a small microwave-safe bowl, add hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons of water, peanut butter, and sriracha ketchup. Mix to blend ingredients.
2) Microwave on high for 20-25 seconds. Remove from microwave, and use a fork to combine ingredients together.
3) If sauce is too thick, add 1-2 additional tablespoons of water to achieve a thinner consistency.
4) Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve as dipping sauce.

FIERY THAI DIPPING SAUCE

– ½ cup water
– ¼ cup rice vinegar
– ¼ cup white sugar
– 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
– 1 ½ teaspoons red chili flakes
– ⅛ cup water
– 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1) Combine water, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
2) Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 5 minutes, keep stirring so it doesn’t scorch.
3) In a cup or small bowl, make a slurry of the cornstarch and ⅛ cup water.
4) After the sauce has simmered for 5 minutes, slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture.
5) Bring the sauce to a boil and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6) If the sauce isn’t as thick as you want, boil for another minute or so.
7) Serve as dipping sauce.

xx, Debi
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January 13, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I’m sorry but it’s hard.

Every week I go through the same drudgery. What to do for an easy weeknight meal? And what about all those pots, pans and utensils? Wash and dry, wash and dry, wash and dry. Ugh  MAKE IT STOP!

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That’s why this one pan meal is so great   I’m just going to refer to it as Four Breasts and a Pan (rated PG 13 because, well, there are naked breasts involved).

I featured my tablescape last week, which included a fresh greenery garland complete with lemons and limes. Do you know how many lemons and limes were on that table? An obscene amount. What was I supposed to do with these afterwards?

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Well….

When life gives you lemons you clearly need to make a sh&*t load of chicken or one big ass lemon pie. I opted for the one pan meal deal because, frankly I have had my fill of sweets in the past few weeks. Speaking of which, I received a gift of cookies from my son’s future mother-in-law and was methodically going through the tin night after night. It contained some of my favourites from the past years, and to be honest, once I get a hold of these I count the days until I get another delivery next year. Now, here’s where the story begins………you knew I would have a story with these cookies right?

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My first mistake was leaving the container in full view on the counter. Not to say I don’t share, but what I should have done was clearly mark the “no touch ones” in the container or better yet, separate them and HIDE them for ME.

I know what you’re thinking. SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH.

This is what I have to say to that.

I DON’T CARE.

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Where am I going with this? Oh ya. I went down to make myself a nice cup of tea the other night, which included a sweet treat from “the container”. When I opened “the container”, this is what I saw……

Crumbs. Just crumbs.

And then, I turned to glare at my husband, who sheepishly looked up at the ceiling lights and tried to ignore me.

Only 341 more days until those cookies come around again Steve…..ONLY 341.

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How did I get from breasts to cookies? Oh ya, I opted for this fairly healthy meal because:

A. It’s easy to make.

B. It’s got chicken in it.

C. There’s only one pan to clean up afterwards and,

D. I used a few of the lemons up so there was no chance of me making something sweet and fattening with them.

ONE PAN LEMON CHICKEN WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS

-4 small skinless & boneless chicken breasts (about 1lb )
-½ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
-½ cup panko crumbs
-¼ cup parmesan cheese
-juice and zest of 1 lemon
-about 4 small lemons sliced
-½ teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon of any poultry seasoning (I used an herb one)
-fresh thyme sprigs
-4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
-2 tablespoons honey (I used organic Manuka)
-2 cups small brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half
-additional oil for drizzling

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1) Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with oil; set aside.
2) Cut chicken breasts in halves then into long tenders about 2 inch wide. (or you can also buy chicken tenders to save yourself from cutting them)
3) Combine the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese one a plate and set aside.
4) Combine the lemon juice, zest, oil, honey, garlic powder, and seasoning in a shallow bowl.
5) Dip chicken pieces one at a time in the lemon oil mixture then into the breadcrumbs and place the tenders on the baking sheet. Top chicken with fresh lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs then drizzle with remaining lemon oil mixture.
6) Add the brussels sprouts to the pan. Lightly drizzle the chicken and brussels with a tablespoon of oil. Then sprinkle the brussels sprouts with additional parmesan cheese.
7) Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until chicken is golden and and brussels sprouts are tender.

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See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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