Chicken and Asparagus in Champagne Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces

4 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 large shallots, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1-1/2 cups champagne or proseco

1/2 cup half and half or light cream

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook asparagus over medium high heat 3 minutes or until tender-crisp; remove. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and add chicken to skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat for about 6 minutes, turning once, until golden brown; remove.dd butter to skillet and allow to melt. Add shallot and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add tomato and cook 3 minutes until tomatoes start to break down. Add champagne and bring to a boil.

Return chicken to skillet and simmer for 5 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside. Return asparagus to skillet, stir in half and half and cook just until heated through.

Serve over rice or pasta, and pour a glass of champagne!

If you don't have champagne or proseco, go ahead and use white wine instead. And you can use a small onion and 2 garlic cloves if you don't have a shallot on hand. If you would like the sauce to be a bit richer, stir in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter with the half and half to finish the sauce.

 Recipe By Lauren Dellabella

Irish Stew

An alternative to the Corned Beef and Cabbage, this Irish Stew recipe is very quick, easy and tasty. Give it a try.

4 pounds lamb shoulder, cubed
1 ½  teaspoons kosher salt
½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼  cup vegetable oil
1 small to medium bag of frozen pearl onions
1 small to medium bag of frozen carrots
½ cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups beer
1 tbsp.  chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cans of whole potatoes
¼  cup finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbs. of dried

Season the meat with salt and pepper.
Heat pot over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Working in small batches, sauté the lamb until golden brown in color. Set aside. Add the onion, carrots, and barley to the pot. Stir to coat, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, beer, and thyme to the pot. Return the lamb to the pot, place the potatoes on top and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lamb is fork tender.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva


1 pkg. refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 (6.5 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 C. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. sliced salami, cut into quarters (about 8 slices)
1/2 C. pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/2 C. red or green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 C. red onion, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare pizza crust according to directions. Using
lightly floured rolling pin, roll pizza dough into a 14-inch circle on a pizza
stone or pan.

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade. Lightly brush top of dough with
a small amount of marinade using a pastry brush. Bake crust 8 minutes.
Remove from oven; place on a cooling rack.
Grate Parmesan cheese, sprinkle evenly over crust. Stack salami slices, and
cut into quarters; arrange over parmesan cheese. Slice olives using an egg slicer.
Chop artichoke hearts, bell pepper and onions; sprinkle over pizza along
with olives. Slice tomatoes, layer over vegetables.
Top with mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Balsamic Chicken

6 Chicken Breasts, split with skin on
1 tsp. salt
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
¾ cup of balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. black pepper
1 4.5 ounce can of chopped green chilies

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl add all ingredients except chicken. Blend ingredients well and add in chicken. Coat chicken well and place in baking dish.
Bake until chicken for 50 minutes or until chicken falls off of bone.
 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Cod in Fennel and Tomato Broth

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
1 pound cod

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel and salt and cook for about 10 minutes until the fennel is very tender, but not browned, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomato and continue to cook for 2 minutes to allow the tomato to break down. Add the wine, increase heat to high and allow to boil for 2 minutes, then add the vegetable broth and return to a boil.

Add cod, reduce heat to low. Allow cod to simmer gently for about 6 to 8 minutes or until cod is done (it will flake easily when tested with a fork).

Serve with polenta, rice or crusty bread.

Recipe By Lauren Dellabella

Garlic and Cheese Bruschetta

1 cup fat free cream cheese
6 tablespoons  sour cream
2 tablespoons  mayonnaise
1 cup shredded  Swiss cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced green onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 (1 pound) loaves French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, blend fat free cream cheese, nonfat sour cream and fat-free mayonnaise with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in 1/2 the reduced fat Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, green onions and garlic. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Lightly toast under the broiler. Remove from heat. Spread French bread slices with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese. Broil under the preheated broiler approximately 1 1/2 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and sprinkle with ground black pepper.              
          Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Beef & Corn Bake

          2 lb ground beef
          2 c  noodles; cooked
          1    onion; chopped
          1 c  cheddar; grated
          1/4 c  oil; vegetable
          1 c  corn kernels
          2 c  tomato soup salt - opt
          1/2 ts pepper
          1 ts ketchup

Put beef, onion & oil in fry pan. Stir to break up meat till it browns. Drain off fat. Put meat mixture in bowl. Put corn, soup, salt & pepper & ketchup in bowl. Stir & mix with meat. Cook noodles, drain & combine with all ingredients. Pour into greased casserole. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Cover & bake at 350F for 45 min.

Remove cover & bake till cheese is bubbly.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Quick & Easy Black Bean Burgers

2 cups black beans, drained and mashed
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can just crumble up a slice of bread)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (

1 small clove garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until well combined. Shape into 4 patties. The patties will be very soft. (I found it easiest to gently divide the bean mixture into four balls, add to the skillet and then flatten.) Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and cook patties over medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until browned and crisp. Serve, if desired, with avocado cream.

Avocado cream:

1 very ripe avocado, mashed

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth. A wire whisk will work well, if you want it very smooth process in a food processor or blender.

 Recipe By Lauren Dellabella

Bran-Banana Pancakes

3/4 C. oat bran
1/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 very ripe banana, sliced
1 egg
1 C. milk
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. vegetable oil (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine bran, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. In a blender,
mix remaining ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined;
do not over-mix.

Spray a cold nonstick griddle or frying pan with canola or olive oil and put on
medium heat. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of batter on hot griddle for each
pancake. Cook until bubbles appear and bottom is golden; flip. Cook 1 minute
more. Makes 12.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Delicious BBQ Ribs

I think you can BBQ anytime of the year and I do. This BBQ sauce can be used on many meats. 
3 lbs. of ribs.
1 small Onions minced
2 garlic cloves minced
3 tbs. butter
Zest 1 lemon
1 tbs. lemon juice
2  cups ketchup
1 cup of tomato juice
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbs. dark molasses
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. white vinegar
1 small can of chiptoles
1 cup water

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and add in onions in garlic. Let simmer for 5 minutes and add in all ingredients. Let cook for about 30 minutes and let cool.

Heat BBQ grill. Place ribs in shallow dish and coat with BBQ sauce. Do not place in sauce pan as you might have extra to save for the next time and you do not want the uncooked pork to sit in it.

When BBQ hot cook ribs on each side about 4-6 minutes coating with BBQ sauce as you desire. You can serve some on the side for dipping as well.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Healthy Sugarless Chewy Muesli Bars

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cereal/s of choice, crushed slightly if necessary
(I used Cornflakes and Rice Bubbles)
1/2 cup mixed seeds
(I didn't have any at home so I used more cereal)
1 cup mixed chopped nuts
(I used almonds - roasted, walnuts and macadamias)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup plain vanilla yoghurt
(as fat free and sugar free as possible, this one from Yoplait is my favorite - I had to use some mango one because I didn't have any at home though)
3 generous tbs golden or maple syrup
(I used maple)
1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 1./2 cup dried fruit - add in some desiccated coconut as well if desired (I used a wonderful fruit medley with dried peaches, pears, apples, sultanas and apricots - yum!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line a 20cm by 18cm baking tin
2.Mix all dry ingredients together except dried fruit
3.Make a well in the center of ingredients.
4.Combine all wet ingredients until smooth
5.Pour into the center and stir mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir through dried fruit.
6.Press mixture into prepared tin and smooth - sprinkle with chocolate chips if using
7.Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and feels a little dry to touch in the middle
8.Let cool completely before refrigerating for an hour. Cut into squares and refrigerate for long life or in an airtight container, between pieces of wax paper

  Recipe By Choc Chip Uru

Grilled Cheese and a Burger

Cheeseburgers are one of my favorite things to eat. I crave them all the time and when anyone asks what I feeling having for dinner, I always say, “I want a cheeseburger”.  When I was a kid I never ate grilled cheese sandwiches because my mom didn’t make them for me. She didn’t eat them so either did I. When I was about 30 years old, I tried a grilled cheese and loved it. I thought it would be a fun idea to combine my love of cheeseburgers with grilled cheese sandwiches. You can do anything you want to them, so be creative.

Make a batch of burger mix for as many as you want to make. I usually make a batch and freeze them so they are ready. I pat them much thinner than a regular burger and make them as square as possible so they go to all corners of the bread.

Cheese of your choice, I used American on this sandwich
2 tomato slices

Make your burger first, either in a fry pan or the grill.
Just the same as grilled cheese. Butter both sides of the bread. Layer with ketchup, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. Then what I do with the cheese is take the burger and cover it with 2 slices of cheese. I try and squeeze the edges down to seal the burger in. Place burger on top of the tomatoes and cover with the bread. Place the sandwich in  a clean fry pan with a teaspoon of butter and fry as you would grilled cheese. Let stand for 2-3 minutes and flip over.

Serve with fries, potato or macaroni salad or just a pickle! Yummy stuff.

Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Fettuccine with Ricotta, Tomatoes and Basil

1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
3 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large tomato, chopped

Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package. Return to saucepan. Stir together butter, ricotta cheese and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Toss with hot fettuccine. Top pasta with tomato, basil and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Almond Boneless Chicken‏

I know I have chicken many times a week and I am sure a lot of you do as well.  It’s really hard to come up with new ideas and revamp the old ones.
2  whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned
½  teaspoon salt
1 tb dry sherry
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms (optional)
3 tablespoons chicken fat or butter
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tbs. egg
1 tbs. water
1 cup Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/3  cup toasted, slivered almonds
1  green onion, finely chopped (green and white parts)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and sherry. Set aside 15 min. Prepare sauce: In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth, mushrooms (if desired), chicken fat, soy sauce and bouillon granules. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Let boil 1 minute. Keep warm. Prepare batter: Beat together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, egg and water until smooth. Coat each piece of chicken with batter. Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet or wok to the depth of 1/2 inch; heat to 375 degrees. Cook coated chicken pieces in oil, turning once, until golden – 5-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

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