Category Archives: Recipe

Crab & Avocado.

So, I said I had a recipe with Crab Meat and Avocado…so, here it is!  I found this recipe as I was perusing a Food & Wine Magazine.  So glad that I tried it out!

Chile-Lime Crab Salad with Tomato and Avocado


  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used Canola Oil)
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 2 Avocados, diced (1/2 inch)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, cut into four 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the olive oil, vegetable oil, jalapeño, chopped cilantro, honey and garlic. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, toss the crab with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, gently toss the avocado with the red onion and 2 tablespoons of the dressing; season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a tomato slice on each plate and season with salt. Top with the avocado and the crab and garnish with the cilantro. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and serve with tortilla chips.

What is your favorite way to enjoy crab meat?


Daily Dose of Lycopene.

Hey everyone…sorry I haven’t been updating lately. I do have some really great recipes to share. Today i’ll share with you a simple and delicious recipe that you will make over and over again. It is perfect for this time of the year as it features tomatoes! I have to thank Todd’s Dad for sharing this recipe with me. Todd’s Dad calls this a pasta salad…however it is not your typical pasta salad…it is better! You can enjoy this pasta dish at room temperature or warm…I prefer it at room temperature.

Bow-tie Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce


  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces bow-tie pasta
  • 1 package (4 ounces) goat cheese crumbles
  • Garnish: basil sprigs


-Combine the first 7 ingredients.  Cover; let stand 1 hour at room temperature.

-Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve tomato mixture over pasta; sprinkle with goat cheese. Garnish, if desired.

Click Here to read more about the health benefits of Tomatoes!

Tomatoes are perfect this time of the year.  I used to hate tomatoes when I was younger…thankfully I have grown to love them!

Do you like tomatoes?  What is your favorite tomato recipe?

Stay tuned, later this week I have a recipe to share with you that involves crab meat and avocado…which happens to be a perfect combination.

Another year older.

Today is my 23rd Birthday!  Nothing really special going on today…but tonight I am going out to dinner in Philadelphia with my family & Todd…which I am very excited for.

As I sat down to write this post I checked back on my old blog to see what I was doing this same day last year.  It’s kind of funny because I am doing the same types of things I did last year…such as running, making a green monster, making a type of avocado salad, fruit picking…the only difference is now I am not preparing to go to Europe!  Guess I haven’t really changed much over the year. haha.

Today I went Cherry Picking.  It was really hot and I had to keep moving this 8 foot ladder around to different trees so I could reach the cherries…it was quite tough but I got some cherries…

They’re actually really, really good too…nice and sweet!

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but last weekend I bought something really cool for myself.  I’m not usually one to buy a lot of things for myself, especially something this expensive.  Todd actually helped me out though as part of my birthday present.  I’ll save what I bought for another post!  Now on to some good eats…

Yesterday I made this delicious Avocado Salad…I’ve actually made it a few times this spring but I finally remembered to take a picture so I could share the recipe.  The recipe is actually Ina Garten’s (the Food Network: Barefoot Contessa)…she calls it a Guacamole Salad…but I prefer to call it an Avocado Salad.  Either way it’s really, really delicious, so try it out! I ❤ Avocados.

Serves 6 appetizer portions or 3-4 Entree Portions

Avocado Salad


  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced


Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

**Note: I added a handful of chopped cilantro.  I also probably did not use quite as much Olive Oil as she suggests…I did not measure, I just estimated.  I have also made this recipe using grape tomatoes and other times using fresh jersey tomatoes…I think this salad comes out much better using the local tomatoes…so if you have a farmers market with fresh tomatoes…use them!

Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese.

Well, I certainly haven’t updated in a while!  Sorry about that.  This past Monday I finished my first year of graduate school so I was really busy writing papers and all of that.  It feels great to be finished and now I only have one more semester left.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it before on my blog, but I am a huge Philadelphia Flyers fan…have been for years.  I’m not sure if any of you have been following along with the NHL playoffs, but the flyers were I think the 5th team ever to force a game 7 after trailing in the series 3-0.  My sister and I decided to buy tickets for the game Wednesday night when the Flyers tied the series at 3.

We had a great time and I am so happy that we decided to go.  All of the fans were going crazy and my throat was killing by the end of the night.

Other than that, I went strawberry picking…probably my favorite thing to do this time of the year.  haha.  Fresh Jersey Strawberries don’t even compare to the strawberries you find at the food store.  They are so much juicier and sweeter.  I went with my sister and between the both of us we picked 20 pounds of strawberries!!!

Me with my case of strawberries

Christina with her case!

Yum.  We will definitely be eating every single one of them as well.  I bet they will be gone by the end of the weekend!

How could I forget??  My cousin Michael and his wife Kim had their first baby on Wednesday as well!!!  They had a little girl, Elizabeth Catherine Chait.  She is 7.5 lbs. and 20 3/4 inches.  She is a lucky little girl…Mike and Kim will make amazing parents!!! 🙂  My sister and I went to go visit them this week and I held her!  haha I was so scared since she is so tiny and delicate.

Mommy & Baby

The baby came a little earlier than they had anticipated…just by about a week.  Everything worked out great and both Kim and baby Elizabeth are very healthy!!! 🙂

I’ve been making some really great food lately too.  I will share a couple of recipes with you over the next few days.  Today I will share with you a recipe I actually got from my boyfriend’s brother.  He made this for us a couple of weeks ago and I loved it, so I decided to give it a shot myself.  He based his off of a recipe he found on Smitten Kitchen.

Fusilli with Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese

This recipe is SO simple and delicious.  It is really quick and easy to make.  You will love it.  It has quickly become a favorite of mine.  Thanks for introducing this recipe to me Evan!


  • 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried fusilli (corkscrew) or farfalline (butterfly) pasta
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish/baking sheet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish/baking sheet.  Gather all of the tomatoes in the center so they are all touching.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a pan, sauté garlic and olive oil.  Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.
  • Combine the pasta, tomato mixture, and spinach.  Garnish with basil and sprinkle with Goat Cheese.

You really must try this recipe.  I love how something so simple can taste SO GOOD!  I am really disappointed that I do not have the pictures to share with you!!

Tomatoes coming out of the oven.

Tonight my family and some friends are coming over and my sister and I are making homemade pizza, salad, and strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.  We already made the sauce and the dough.  Everything looks delicious!  We are going to be watching Game 7 of the Flyers vs. Bruins.  It all comes down to this one game.  Who will move on to the next round of the playoffs and who will be hitting the golf course?  I have a lot of faith in the flyers…I really think they can win tonight.  Let’s Pray.

Lemon Braised Artichokes over Pasta

Yum!  I have got a good recipe for you pasta lovers out there.  This is Michael Chiarello’s recipe for Lemon Braised Artichokes over Pasta.  This was my first time cooking with whole artichokes (I normally buy the canned or frozen kind).  It was sort of challenging at first; but, after viewing several youtube videos on how to cut an artichoke, I was fine!  I would definitely recommend that you try using real artichokes.  However, in a pinch you can substitute frozen or canned artichokes–obviously, you will not need to cook them as long.  Either way, you will love this recipe…at least I did!  It’s a delicious light pasta dish perfect for spring.

Lemon Braised Artichokes over Pasta

Serves 6.


  • 1 lb. Fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups spinach, stemmed and washed
  • Lemon Braised Artichoke Hearts, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


Cook fettuccine according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. When garlic is golden, add the oregano and broth. Bring to a simmer, stir in the spinach to wilt. Add the artichokes. Drain the pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour over the artichoke mixture and toss with the parsley and butter and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Lemon-Braised Artichoke Hearts


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1/8 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup white wine)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • small pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium to large artichokes


Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium nonreactive saucepan.  Mix well and set aside while preparing the artichokes.

Snap outer leaves from an artichoke.  Cut off the top half, and then use a paring knife to trim down to the heart, rubbing cut surfaces with the lemon half as you work to avoid discoloration.  Cut the heart in half and scrape out the choke with a spoon.  Cut each piece in half again.

As each artichoke heart quarter is completed, immediately turn it in the marinade to coat completely.  When all the artichokes are trimmed, put the pan over high heat and bring to a boil.  Pour the artichokes and marinade into a baking dish (or cook them in saucepan if it is ovenproof), cover with foil, and cook until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.  Make sure you cook your artichokes long enough, otherwise, they could taste bitter! Remove from the oven and let cool in the cooking liquid.

Grain Lovin’

I wasn’t too sure what to make for dinner tonight.  For some reason, I was craving grains & sweet potatoes.  So I decided to create a grain & veggie dish.  I love meals like this but I hardly ever make them.

I used a combination of Pearled Barley, Medium Grain Brown Rice, and Bulgur Wheat.  I cooked the Pearled Barley in Chicken Broth instead of the usual water and it really gave the barley an AWESOME taste.  It smelled awesome cooking on the stove too.  I highly recommend trying this out!  It will work great with rice and any other grain you are cookin’ up.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.  I chopped the parsnip and sweet potato and tossed them in olive oil, kosher salt, rosemary, thyme, and sage.  I  also sliced red onion and added it to the baking sheet.  Cook for about a 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, cook all your grains on the stovetop.  Once cooked, combine all of the grains in a bowl and top with sweet potato mixture.  Add olive oil and mix.  I also added some chickpeas which I toasted up in a pan with olive oil.

I made quite a lot, but that’s okay…it will make good leftovers!


Whole Wheat Penne with Green Beans, Lemon, & Ricotta

Hello everyone!  I hope that everyone is seeing nice weather, because the Philadelphia area sure is and I am loving it.  I just can’t wait for it to warm up a bit more.  I love the warm weather!  This past Sunday I had an 18-mile long run…my furthest so far for this training cycle.  The weather was PERFECT.  So many people were walking, running, and biking on the trail and there were tons of rowers out on the river.  Beautiful day.  My run went just as well as the day and I felt so good!  I just love those runs where everything clicks!  I was having such a good time and felt like running forever….well maybe not forever.  But anyway, I was very happy with how that run went and I am feeling really good today.  It doesn’t even feel like I ran 18 miles yesterday.  I ran it a bit faster than I would have liked to have but it was so hard to slow myself down when I was just feeling so good!  I ended up running the first 10.8 miles in 8:32/mile and the last 7.2 miles in 8:14/mile.  Next week I have a cut back week and I plan to slow it down a bit for the long run because the following week I have my first 20 miler!  I am so excited for BOSTON! woo. woo.   Now onto yummy food…

While browsing around Target the other day, I saw that Giada De Laurentiis has a new line of products out.  On the back of her Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, I saw a recipe that looked pretty good–so of course I tried it out!

Whole Wheat Penne with Green Beans, Lemon, & Ricotta

Makes 6-8 Servings.


  • 1 package whole wheat penne rigate (1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound French Green Beans, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Options that I added: Basil, Parsley, & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  Transfer the hot pasta to a large bowl and add the ricotta.  I seasoned the ricotta with salt & pepper.  Toss to combine. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add green beans, garlic, salt and pepper; saute for 4 minutes.  I also added crushed red pepper flakes.   Add reserved pasta cooking liquid and continue cooking until tender, about 4 more minutes.  Add the ricotta-coated pasta to the pan with the green beans; toss to combine.  Add tomatoes; toss gently.  I seasoned with basil & parsley.  Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with lemon zest.

I thought that this was a great recipe.  Although, I did think it was missing something so that is why I added the basil & parsley.  Does anyone have any other add-in suggestions to give this dish more of a kick??  Otherwise, this dish was awesome.  Very simple, fresh, healthy, and quick to make.  Enjoy!!