Author Archives: The Yummy Notebook

Healthy Garden

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73 East Main St.
Moorestown, NJ 08057
856-234-2522
Free delivery!

This place has all organic, healthy foods and it is delicious! They have breakfast, wraps, pizza (!) and dinners and all are low fat, low calorie, and high protein.

We had the Medditerranean Platter appetizer, consisting of falafal, quinoa tabouli, hummus and wheat pita, and mixed greens with tomato. It wasfresh, flavorful, and satisfying.

I had the veggie burger wrap, which was full of veggies and had a really yummy homemade veggie burger innside, as well as a very light dressing.

The bf had the Rainbow Green warp, which was grilled tilapia and veggies with miso dressing. He loved it, especially the tons of spinach.

Finally, we got the mashed sweet potatos, which are made with honey and cinnamon and served with apple slices for dipping, mmmm.

The prices are reasonable, no more than Chinese food takeout, and the staff is really nice. We will definitely order from here again!

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New Grace Stokes Designs!

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Check out the latest earring styles from Grace Stokes Designs! As you know, Grace is my mom’s very talented friend; I have several of her pieces. Grace handmakes all of her beads out of polymer clay and hand-fabricates the silver. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing any of the designs pictuured here. Prices range from $25-$55.

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Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch Bars

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Another easy crowd pleaser!

Ingredients:
-3 tbs butter
-1 tbs peanut butter
-30 large marshmallows
-6 cups Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch cereal
-1.5 cups milk chocolate M&Ms
-Non-stick cook spray

Directions:
-In a large saucepan, melt butter, marshmallows and peanut butter; stirring until smooth.
-Stir in cereal and M&Ms. Stir to coat.
-Pat mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with non-stick cook spray. (Helpful Hint: Spray your hands, too; it will keep the mixture from sticking to them!)
-When cool, cut into bars. (I flipped the upside down so the non-melted M&Ms were on top.)

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Ultimate Party Meatballs

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The easiest appetizer ever; it is inexpensive and easy to make for a crowd.

Ingredients:
-1 can of jellied cranberry sauce
-1 jar of chili sauce
-2 lbs of cocktail meatballs

Directions:
-In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce and chili sauce. Stir over medium heat until smooth.
-Add meatballs; cover and cook for 15 minutes.

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Simple N’ Delicious Chocolate Cake

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Here is a recipe from our jewelry designer friend, Grace Stokes. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch pan. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add flour mixture, alternating with coffee. Beat until just incorporated.

3.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 226 | Total Fat: 10.4g | Cholesterol: 46mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mustard chicken with rosemary sweet potatoes and spinach with bacon

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Ingredients:
-4 thin cut, boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 cups of honey dijon mustard sauce (you can get it.   premade or make your own)
-1/2 red onion
-2 or 3 strips of thick cut bacon
-4 cups of fresh spinach
-Lemon pepper to taste
-2 large sweet potatoes
-2 tbs rosemary
-4 tbs EVOO
– Course ground black pepper to taste

Potatoes:
-Cut sweet potatoes into cubes and place on a baking sheet.
-Drizzle potatoes with EVOO until coated.
-Sprinkle rosemary on he sweet potatoes.
-Grind black pepper on to of sweet potatoes. Mix to coat.
-Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes

Chicken:
-Place chicken in a deep dish, such as a brownie pan or casserole.
-Pour 1/2 honey dijon sauce over chicken. Flip and coat other side.
-Chop red onion and place on top.
-Bake at 375 for 25 minutes

Spinach:
-Cook bacon in snall frying pan
-Add spinach
-Sprinkle with lemon pepper, mix to coat.
– Cover with a lid and steam for 5-8 minutes.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

This was so good, if I do say so myself! We loved it and aside from the bacon, it was healthy. Also, it was really easy.I will definitely make this again.

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Naked Pizza

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I just tried a pizza from Naked Pizza in Ewing, Nj, and it was delicious! They use all natural ingredients, no chemicals or hormones, skim mozerella, and a crust made with whole grains. It is truly a guilt-free pizza. I loved the fresh taste of the whole ingredients and the fact that there is no extra grease dripping from the slices. Yum!

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Quick Fish Tacos with Rice and Veggies

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After Hurricane Irene hit on Sunday, my family was left without power. I made an impromptu trip down to my boyfriend’s house (he had electricity,) and needed to come up with some dinner quickly! The resuly were some quick and easy fish tacos. They were tasty, very easy to make, and had a lot of flavor and a variety of textures. Even though this was a “throw together” meal, I will definitely make it again!

Ingredients:
-12 breaded fish sticks
-A pack of fajita sized (6″) tortillas
-1 cup of shredded carrots
-1 cup of shredded lettuce
-3 scallions
-2 sprigs of cilantro
-Guacamole (I like Wholly Guacamole)
-Taco sauce or salsa
-1 package of prepared rice (such as Knorr or Goya)
-1 bag of frozen zucchini/squash mix
-1 bag of frozen mixed bell peppers
-2 tbsps Adobo seasoning
-2 tsps olive oil
-1/2 cup water

Directions:
-Prepare fish sticks according to package.
-While waiting for your fish to cook, prepare your rice dish, according to package.
-In a frying pan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil.
– Add your frozen veggies and water to the pan and simmer, with a lid, until thawed and nearly cooked through.
-Add Adobo seasoning to veggies and continue cooking until tender and cooked through completely.
-Remove fish from the oven and place 2 sticks on a tortilla.
-Add lettuce, 3 cilantro leaves, guacamole, taco sauce/salsa, carrots, and scallions.
-Squeeze a lime wedge over your taco.
-Serve with rice and veggies.

Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 2.

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My First Taste of India

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Monsoon Indian Cuisine

Address: 4180 Dearborn Circle

                 Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

Liquor License: No (BYOB)

Reservations: Accepted/Recommended

Dress: Smart Casual

Pricing: $$ (surprisingly affordable)

Website: www.monsoonindiancuisine.com

For years, I insisted that I did not like Indian food. Friends tried to convince me to try it again, and I always had an excuse when, in reality, I had never really given it a chance.  That is, until I tried Monsoon in Mount Laurel, NJ. While getting ice cream one night, we passed a restaurant with really interesting decor visible from the outside, most notably the frosted plate glass windows with East Indian style arches that allowed for a view of the modern dining room. We decided we had to try this place, regardless of my preconceived notions of Indian food.All I have to say is, I am so glad we tried this place, it is amazing! Immediately upon entering, the aroma of spices awakens the senses without overpowering them. The decor is sparse yet modern and intriguing; backlit Indian art pieces intermingled with contemporary lighting fixtures and flooring make for an upscale yet casual dining experience.  While we wish our server had explained more  to us about the food, (since we tried to make obvious that we had never ordered Indian food before,) he was nice and attentive in bringing us anything we needed. Since Monsoon is BYOB, we picked up a bottle of Riesling (which I read online pairs well with Indian food,) and an ice bucket was brought to us immediately.  The menu offered many choices including very reasonably price appetizers (between $4 and $7,) and a several selections of breads and naan.  Monsoon also offers a Tandoori menu; Biryani (long grain rice with spices, mat and raita,) menu;  Non-Veg main course menu containing chicken and lamb; and a Vegetarian main course menu, as well as several tasty and inexpensive desserts (4 of the 5 choices were only $3.95!).  Below is a brief explanation of the dishes we tried; mind you, we had no idea what we were ordering, we simply read the descriptions and decided to take a risk, which made the experience even more fun!

Appetizer:

Aloo Papri Chaat  – Lentil wafers topped with spiced potatoes, chickpeas, and a perfect blend of sauces. ($4.50)

This appetizer was amazing!  I was surprised to taste that is was served cold, but this really made the flavors come out. The dish had a really appealing mixture of textures and flavors; crunchy lentil wafers, grainy chickpeas, and soft potatoes. It also had several sauces, including a dark, sweet tamarind sauce, creamy white yogurt-based sauce, and green cilantro chutney. It really was a treat for the senses, since it had so many elements and yet everything came together so nicely. I would definitely order this again and again.


Bread:

Assorted Bread Basket: Naan, garlic naan, tandoori roti and parantha ($9.95)

It seems  like most of the dishes here have a lot of sauce, so it is necessary to order at least one type of bread to soak it up and believe me, you will want to, since the sauces are so delicious! The naan is crispy outside and chewy inside, warm, and flavorful; perfect for dipping into the savory sauces offered with the main courses! The garlic naan was my favorite, but the naan (flatbread), tandoori roti (whole wheat naan) and parantha (layered whole wheat bread) were also delicious.

Main Courses:

Entrées are serve with basmati rice. I tasted mine, as well as my boyfriend’s dishes, both of which are described below.

Chicken Tikka Masala – Chicken Tikka in an herb-infused tomato gravy ($14.95)

This was my entrée, and it was delicious! It consisted of marinated chunks of chicken (tikka) in a spiced sauce (masala), which had a perfectly balanced amount of spice which left my mouth tin entréegling and wanting more at the same time! The sauce was rich and flavorful and tasted amazing when spooned over the rice, as well as scooped up in a yummy piece of naan. I was absolutely in love with this dish and while the portion isn’t huge, it is rich enough that I was not left hungry after the meal.

Lamb Roganjosh – Lamb curry cooked with cardamom ($15.95)

This was my boyfriend’s entrée and while I just had a taste, I enjoyed that the lamb was well-cooked and the brown sauce had a rich, spicy curry flavor. Also tasty with rice or naan.

Desserts:

Desserts only cost $3.95, so we each got one and tasted the two we ordered. They are the perfect size (just a few bites after a big meal,) and what I liked the most was their authenticity. Monsoon does not offer inauthentic desserts such as American ice cream or cake, instead, desserts are house-made Indian specialties, which, it turns out, are delicious!

Galub Jamun –Milk and flour (like a dumpling,) fried and served in a rosewater syrup infused with cardamom.

This was my choice and it was absolutely fantastic! The dumplings have a fluffy texture once entered into the syrup, which has an exotic, sweet flavor. I was expecting to be put off by the rose flavor, but instead, I was intrigued and really loved the hint of earthiness it gave the syrup. One serving is 3 dumplings, which are small and just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth after a hearty meal.

Gahar Halwa – Carrot pudding with almonds, raisins, and cardamom.

This was my boyfriend’s choice. It was tasty, though definitely not a dessert by American standards. It was a bit heavy and rich, since it’s main ingredient is carrot, but the flavors were really interesting and the texture was chunky and the slivered almonds on top were delicious. Very good, though I preferred my own dessert.

There is no question that we will return to Monsoon. I have heard that they have a great lunch buffet, so perhaps we will try it out. This was a wonderful choice for our first time having Indian food in a restaurant and I am now officially an Indian food fan!

*Photos courtesy of Monsoon Indian Cuisine