Monday, February 28, 2011

Cheddar Biscuits


I’ve started wearing my glasses again.

I have no idea whether my prescription is right or not… it’s been a year since I’ve been to the eye doctor but I’ve been getting headaches after spending time editing photos and reading blogs.

So back to the glasses it is.

The reason I stopped wearing my glasses in the first place was because Griffy got his hands teeth on them about a year ago and made them the most expensive chew toy. Ever.

The lenses are scratched, the frames are bent and an ear piece is missing. But I’m wearing them.

Why am I telling you this?

Because despite the return to wearing my glasses, tonight, I could not believe my eyes.

biscuit2 When I walked in the door tonight, there was a large package waiting for me. A package I wasn’t expecting. I cautiously opened the package tore the box open. Sitting in a sea of packing peanuts, A HD FLIPCAM!  I had pretty much forgotten that I had entered a contest through Food Buzz's Tastemakers Program to make a video using Newman's Own products! I’m psyched to share my recipe proposal with all of you but I have to get busy because the video is due by THIS Friday.

My elaborate dinner plans went out the window. After all, I have some serious brainstorming to do. Dinner quickly became my leftover sweet and spicy vegetarian chili. (Don’t forget, voting for this recipe opens tomorrow 3/1 at Marx Foods!) But I’ve had my eye on these biscuits.

Mine were not vegan, I used skim milk and cheddar cheese. I omitted the sugar and garlic salt too. They were delicious. Amazingly flakey and perfectly cheesy. You MUST make these.

biscuit3 And a warning, as soon as these are done cooling, store them somewhere out of sight. Don’t even think of leaving them on the stove-top like I did. Why? Because you will be tempted to break off a crumb every time you walk by them. Trust me on this.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes


I like strawberries AND champagne but the idea of drinking strawberry champagne just didn’t enthuse me. What does one do when they don’t want to drink a particular booze [this bottle was given to me with the intentions of me finding a good use for it] they cook with it! I’d call that a good use for it.

cupcake3 Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes adapted from Love and Olive Oil


  • 1 1/4 C. AP Flour
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t. Baking Powder
  • 1/3 C. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/3 C. Strawberry Champagne
  • 1/3 C. Strawberry Puree
  • 3/4 C. Sugar
  • 1/3 C. Unsweetened Apple Sauce (to replace Vegetable Oil)
  • 1/2 t. Vanilla Extract

For Frosting:

  • 1 C. Strawberry Champagne
  • 1/2 C. (1 Stick) Unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into Tablespoons
  • 2 C. Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 8 oz. Fat-Free Cream Cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk together almond milk, champagne, strawberry puree, sugar, apple sauce and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Fill paper liners with ~1/4 C. of the batter (about 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until set. Transfer cupcakes to cooking rack.

To make the frosting, bring champagne to a simmer in a saucepan. Allow champagne to reduce to about 2-3 T. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add champagne and mix. Finally add block of softened cream cheese and beat until the desired consistency is reached. Transfer frosting into piping bag (or Ziplock bag with corner cut off). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Makes 12 regular size cupcakes.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Vegetarian Chili

It’s that time… I present you with my entry for:

Capture at Marx Foods!

yes1 I was sent a box of ingredients to choose from and ultimately chose Tepin Chiles and Dried Tart Cherries.

yes2 yes3Sweet and Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Serves 8-10

  • 1 28 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28 oz can Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15 oz cans Organic Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 c dried, Sweet Cherries, roughly chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 4 c Vegetable Broth
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1 T Tepin Chili Powder (Recipe Below)
  • Pinch of Salt

In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of broth to a boil. In a heat-safe container, soak dried cherries in heated broth. Set soaking cherries aside while you prepare the Garlic, Red Bell Pepper and Onion.

In a large pot, add beans, tomatoes, garlic, red bell pepper, onion and remaining 2 cups of broth over medium heat. As broth cooks off a bit, add dried cherries in the broth they have been soaking in. Add cumin, chili powder and Tepin chili powder. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Allow chili to thicken for about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream, Greek yogurt or cheese.

638Tepin Chili Powder

Toast 1 T Tepin Chiles in dry pan. Watch carefully so they do not burn. After about 7 minutes, remove from pan and place in heat safe container. Allow to cool and then transfer them to spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder. Save unused chili powder in an airtight container. 641 This was some of the best chili I’ve ever made. The combination of the sweetness from the cherries and the heat from the Tepin Chiles was outstanding. Those little chiles are HOT! Though it’s a quick heat, it definitely encouraged me to slow down and take smaller bites. Soaking the dried cherries is key here for the chili to really take on their flavor. And with three different beans in this chili, there was absolutely no need for an additional protein. Though I hope warmer days are on their way, in the meantime this is a great chili to warm up with!

Please return to Marx Foods to vote for your favorite recipe (hopefully mine!) starting on March 1st! If you know me, it could mean you are one step closer to an unforgettable summer bbq (courtesy of my winnings).

A special thanks to Marx Foods again for sponsoring this challenge and supplying me with fabulous ingredients to create this delicious dish!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Reads

Since I’m not taking any classes this semester, my textbooks are gathering dust taking a break. Since I don’t often find much time to read for pleasure when I have school reading to do, I’ve been taking advantage of the time to catch up on fun reads. Not that I’m saying that 200 pages about the function of the hyoid bone isn’t a “fun read”. Wait, that’s exactly what I’m saying. However, in case your interest has been piqued…

hyoid boneBut we can talk more about that later. In fact, your hyoid bone plays an integral role in your ability to speak. That was my summation of those 200 pages I previously mentioned.

Moving right along… a recent great read:

lovedlost  I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

She’s hilarious. Really, the stories of her relationships will crack you up. And there are awesome recipes scattered throughout. I honestly was reluctant to return it to the library even though I finished it two weeks ago, so I held onto it until today… the due date. Go. Read. It.

And then, because no great Young Adult series passes this girl by…

hunger gamesYou better believe I’ll go see the movie. And they better cast some cutie as Peeta Melark. Or else. But seriously, I was amazed by how much I enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful right up until the end. Well actually, it left me in suspense but that’s because it’s part of a trilogy. And yes, I do have a hold on the next book at the library.

I’ve started a new book but I’m not far enough into it to tell you what I think yet so I will save it for later.

Until next time… (which will be fairly soon because I have a recipe to share!), happy reading!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken Spinach-Artichoke [Dip] Pizza & GIVEAWAY Winner

First off, my apologies.

The giveaway DID end on February 15th (Tuesday) but I completely forgot to choose a winner. Well, I did just ‘select’ a winner using


And the winner is:


Joanne! Send me your address girlie and your Green Giant Prize Package compliments of MyBlogSpark will be on its way!

Tonight’s pizza (pizza on Friday night is pretty much a ritual of mine) was inspired by whatever I could find in the refrigerator. My two starting ingredients: Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (previously frozen because it’s so great I stock up) and a chicken breast.

After scouring (and throwing out too many expired condiments – I’m such a hoarder) the fridge shelves, I found some leftover Spinach-Artichoke (from Valentine’s Day dinner) and immediately knew this was going to be part of my pizza. The dip was home-made, though not by me (yes – by my Valentine !), so I can’t provide you with the recipe but it was cheesy and delicious.

DSC06483 I won’t give a recipe (because I didn’t really make anything per say) but basically my pizza was:

1/2 ball of TJ’s WW Pizza Dough

1/4 Spinach and Artichoke dip (warmed from fridge for maximum spreadablity – totally a made-up word)

1 sm. can of mushrooms, drained (what can I say, sometimes I’m a lazy girl… and canned ‘shrooms don’t have the “Earth-funk” taste that fresh do, IMO)

~ 1/4 Part-Skim Mozzarella, shredded

~6 oz Chicken Breast, cooked and shredded

Garlic Powder (optional, I cooked my chicken with it)

Onion Powder (optional, see above)

Flour for dusting, my pizza peel, my hands and my “rolling pin” aka empty wine bottle (cleaned to remove hair and dust bunnies)

Pile it all on rolled out dough. Dip then chicken, ‘shrooms. Top with cheese. Bake on pizza stone (optional) pre-heated to 425 degrees in oven.

Serves 1-2

Happy Friday (and long weekend if you are so lucky) and here’s a question, what has your ‘most innovative’ pizza topping ever been?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I’ve Moved

Hiiiii friends!

I’ve moved to wordpress. Please update your readers, blogrolls and bookmarks.

Lemongrove Avenue

See you over there!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Smoke Alarm Soup and a Giveaway

DSC06418No one was harmed in the making of this recipe. Just my cookbook. A total loss. I thought it could be salvaged but after taking a swim in the sink (my first reaction upon finding it up in flames) and suffering some major charring, it smelled like a fire-pit and so did the entire apartment.

DSC06416 The pup was super concerned. So concerned in fact he didn’t have time to fix his deep-cut v-neck or make sure his ear wasn’t flipped backwards.

DSC06404 At least the soup was a success. And now we aware that out smoke detectors need new batteries. And putting cookbooks on flat-top stoves is never a good idea. Deep v-necks aren’t either.

DSC06403 Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted from The Hungry Girl Cookbook)

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast cooked, shredded
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper

Optional garnishes: Sour Cream, Cilantro, Shredded Cheese, Tortilla Chips

In a medium pot sprayed with Pam, cook onions, garlic, seasoning and spices over medium heat until onions soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the corn and diced tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add chicken, jalapeno and lime juice. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, top with desired garnishes. Serves ~4.


So I promised a giveaway… here it is!

green giant-4-web

MyBlogSpark contacted me to see if I wanted to do a Green Giant sponsored giveaway for my readers and of course I accepted. The prize pack includes:

  • Insulated Tote Bag
  • Serving Bowl
  • Serving Spoon
  • Pedometer (!!!)
  • Coupon for FREE Green Giant Product

They also sent me the same prize pack and I’ll tell you right now, it’s pretty awesome. I LOVE the bowl and can’t wait to use the insulated bag this summer for cook-outs or transporting my favorite beverages.

I was sent the Broccoli & Cheese Sauce to try which I mixed with a serving of whole wheat pasta for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that was filling yet relatively low in calories.

To Win:

1. Leave a comment telling me which vegetables you often buy frozen (if any).

2. Tweet about this giveaway, “Green Giant Giveaway: @lemongroveavenu Smoke Alarm Soup and a Giveaway” and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

3. Follow me and leave another comment letting me know

4. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know

I’ll pick a winner using on Tuesday 2/15.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas, a contest and a GIVEAWAY!


I can’t tell you where I’ve been or why I haven’t posted lately. And I don’t mean that in a “if I told you, I’d have to kill you” sort of way. I mean that in a “I’ve been excruciatingly lazy” sort of way. So for that, my apologies. And though tasty, my comeback recipe isn’t extravagant by any means but these chickpeas are full of flavor and addicting.

DSC06442 If you’re more civilized refined than myself, you may choose to scoop these into a small dish for yourself (much to the appreciation of your fellow partygoers). Though not at all necessary if your friends don’t care about where your hands have been. Not gonna lie, part of me just wanted to show off my new pretty red condiment spoon.

Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas


  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 T extra virgin lime olive oil (if using regular olive oil, add a few t of lime juice)
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1 t cayenne pepper

In a bowl, mix chickpeas, olive oil and spices. Let marinated for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment, spread even layer of chickpeas. Roast for 25-35 minutes, checking and mixing every 8 minutes or so.

Chickpeas are ready once outside is crispy but inside is still soft.


Remember back in November when I participated in The Recipe Impossible Challenge hosted by Joanne, one of my favorite bloggers, and Marx Foods?

Well, I didn’t win. BUT, I did win a giveaway sponsored by Marx Foods for 24 Quail! I received them back in December and have been excited about sharing the dishes created using them. But that’s not what this is about. Because I won that giveaway, I was made eligible for another Marx Foods sponsored recipe contest, this one called The Ridiculously Delicious Challenge.

This one works a bit differently in that I have to initially tell all of you what fantastic treats I would choose as my prize should I win the contest. Marx Foods supplied us with a list of the potential prizes and instructed us to choose 3. ‘Twas not an easy task, I want to try so many of them but I narrowed it down.

My first choice was a no-brainer. The Specialty Sausage Sampler is an essential ingredient in a “Farewell to Winter Sausage Party” I’d like to host. Get your mind out of the gutter, it would truly be an event to celebrate the delightfulness of the product of efficient butchery.

Specialty Game Sausage Samplercred

With varieties like these?!:

Venison Sausage with Merlot & Blueberries
Lamb Merguez
Buffalo Sausage with Chipotle Chilies
Duck Sausage with Foie Gras & Sauterne Wine
Duck Sausage with Orange Liquor
Rabbit Sausage with White Wine
Wild Boar Sausage with Cranberries & Shiraz

Smoked Duck Sausage with Apple Brandy
Elk with Pear & Port Wine
Pheasant Cognac
Wild Boar with Roasted Garlic & Marsala
Venison with Red Wine & Demi Glace

I mean!!!

Next up, Wild Pink Salmon Fillets. Why? Well, first of all, I consider Salmon to be the sexiest fish in the sea. Look at it,

Bulk Pink Salmon Fillets

Don’t even tell me you disagree. As a lover of mostly all fish, Salmon is and will always be, the first one I’d choose to bring home with me. What a better complement to my Sausage Party than some sexy Wild Pink Salmon. You’re nodding your head now. I’m thinking of a preparation of grilling on a cedar plank? I’ve been promising such a thing to my veggie roommate since we moved in together back in April.

Lastly, since it wouldn’t be a true meat party without more meat, I’d love to add the Kobe Beef Sliders to the Menu.

Bulk Kobe Beef Sliders

The many ways I can prepare these is mind-blowing. I’ve professed my love for sauces before and that would come into play big time here. Perhaps a Wasabi Aioli? Some chipotle ketchup? Or some marinated mushrooms? Most likely, all of those and more.

I hope that I can share another fun recipe with you using products supplied by Marx Foods!

In the meantime, click here, scroll down to The Goodie List, and leave a comment telling me which 3 goodies you would choose!

Also, check back for a fun giveaway later on this week!