Tag Archive | Dinner

Talin’s Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe

I would like to introduce to you a very healthy, flavorful, Couscous Salad recipe, which is full of essential nutrients, which will get your taste buds active and will want the whole salad bowl to yourself. Yes, it is that good! Couscous is one of my favorite things to add to vegetables, and add so much flavor with it. Excellent choice to serve at dinner parties, or regular dinners, for lunch, for dinner, anytime. Here is The Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe.

Couscous Salad Recipe
Serves: 4 or more. depending on how much quantity you would like to prepare. play around with the amount of ingredients to your desire.

Ingredients…
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups pearl couscous
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
• 1 full cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
• 1 large tomato, diced…. preferably tomato on a vine…
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs (any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, arugula, basil, dill or mint)
• 1/3 cup raisins or more to your tasting
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted or not. you can just add them in.
• Freshly ground black pepper and salt

To Prepare follow these instructions…
1. In a large saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add couscous and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain with a strainer — preferably thin holed strainer so the couscous will not fall through.

2. While the couscous cooks, in a small bowl, mix the oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Add cooked and drained couscous to a large bowl, and then, pour dressing over warm couscous, mix well. Let it cool completely
4. After cooled completely, Add cucumber, tomato, herbs, raisins and walnuts to the couscous and stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper as needed.
5. Enjoy it when its cold – cover then refrigerate, about 1 hour. Better to eat cool…
Bon Apetit!

Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Recently, I discovered an incredible, wonderful and not to mention great looking chef on television on CBC. I was flipping through the channels one time and I really enjoy cooking shows, so I stopped on CBC’s channel while I saw this cooking show, and I saw that it was In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita, so I started to watch his cooking show, and I automatically knew it was a show I would like then I began to love it. I cannot wait to watch his show daily and especially, by the way Chef Stefano explains the way to cook food, incredibly easy methods, very tasty, full of flavour foods of which I like. I love to cook myself and I can tell that he is not afraid of adding a lot of flavour and he is always enthusiastic and excited when it comes to food.

This past week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Stefano Faita during his chat that he had set up for his fans to ask him questions, and he gave me tips and tricks on what to do with stir fry when it becomes too liquidy, to always make sure my wok is hot and to make sure the liquid from the meat and vegetables dry out before putting in the soya sauce or whatever seasoning , and I had also asked him how to make pasta from scratch and he explained it to me thoroughly and I got to see his recipes and he answered me so quickly because it was an hour chat with him. He seems to be such a great person all around and I am so glad I got that moment to talk with him. I’d love to meet Chef Stefano Faita someday and enjoy his food that he makes with his magic chef hands. I am really impressed, and there are foods and ingredients that I never knew of until I learned them from Stefano. I enjoy chopping, dicing and the way he handles food. He is a natural.

I have learned so much about cooking from him that, I cannot wait to try his recipes at home to feed my family, friends and when people come over whether it’s for the holidays, occasions or for no reason, just to hang out with great company and great food in the mix, that will keep people coming back for more as Stefano says while he is cooking on Television.

You can catch In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita on CBC at 3:30pm Monday-Friday’s  in Canada or you can go to www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen to obtain more information, Stefano’s recipes, and where you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and more. You can also go to a taping of his show and be part of his audience. I wish Stefano Faita the best and May you continue working with those Magic Chef hands that you are so gifted with.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – Love Talin Orfali

It is that time of year again. I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. Just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Years for 2012/2013, and now as 2013 is coming to a close, were doing it all over again with putting up the lights, the decorations, finding that perfect tree, or putting up a tree that has been in storage. I love Christmas time when everywhere is decorated with beautiful colours, beautiful Christmas lights on homes, wrapped presents, ornaments, tinsel, snow globes, candles, manger, stables, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, Snowman, Mistletoe, Cookies and Milk, candy canes, the food, the celebrations, and of course and especially celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men and how Mary was chosen to give Birth to a King.

What are your Christmas traditions in your family? What exciting things do you do? Some families put on Christmas Sweaters, some families play games, and so on and so forth. What do you like to cook and serve to your loved ones? Christmas for me every year is always different, either we have a lot of people come over, some Christmases are spent going to other peoples homes, or going out to a party, so I cannot really say what is tradition with my loved ones, but every year is always different, but we do manage to always find a way to get together. When we do, we love cooking turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, gravy, and other things. I love baking my signature cinnamon cake which people I know love it, so they want more and more of it. It has been such a long time I have not decorated a Gingerbread house, but I think I will do that this year.

I love watching Christmas movies at this time of year like Miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 1 and 2, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, I also love watching the Santa Claus Parade on television. I must have watched Home Alone 1 and 2 8 or 9 times this year alone on TV and I just love that movie especially. There is something about Home Alone 1 and 2, that make you get pulled into it and its so hard to flip the channel. After that Home alone 3-5 was all downhill and I did not enjoy them as much because when you change Characters, when you change the setting, it won’t be the same as the first 2. I know Home Alone 1 and 2 by heart, and if you put the movie on mute, I can say the whole script.

Anyway, lastly, I also want to acknowledge those people who are not so lucky during the Christmas and New Year Holidays, that are alone, but not really alone because there are people in this world that are thinking of them and one of them is me, people who do not have a warm home to go to, those who are less fortunate, those who cannot afford or who do not have enough to provide for their families and I’d like to reach out to all of those people around the world and tell them that I am thinking of them and they are in my heart, mind and soul and my thoughts and prayers are with them all and I wish them the best for 2014 and I hope that they too can have a nice and lovely Christmas. I want them to know that they are not alone and that I am with them all. The presents and Materialism shouldn’t matter, but all that matters is togetherness and creating memories.  I wish everyone peace, harmony, happiness, health, success, and all the great things of life. I wish everyone a prosperous, great, and lovely new year. Many blessings to all and wishing everyone all the best. With love always, Talin Orfali

Kitchen & Time Saving Tips for The Upcoming Holiday’s

It is that time again and it is quickly approaching where we are just a few weeks away from Christmas and New Year holidays, and a lot of people get so frustrated, and are confused with what to cook, what to do to save time in Kitchen and so much more. The Holidays are about spending time with your loved ones, making memories and cherishing precious and personal moments with them and to spend less time in the kitchen, which is why I have these tips and tricks to help you in that department. Well, without further a do, here they are:

— 1 or 2 weeks before your big dinner night with your loved ones, decide on the menu and what you will cook and serve as snacks, as dinner and dessert. We know how hectic it can be to make several types of dishes, but simplicity is key. Do not overload your table with so many options of foods. Limit the amount.

— a week before the big event, do all your grocery shopping. Do not wait until last-minute as that time is to start preparing the day or 2 before, but if they are foods that will need to be prepared on the day of, make sure you start early in preparations.

— If you have more than 10-20 people or more or less, it is a good idea to buy Christmas Holiday style disposable cutlery and plates to set the table or set them to the side like a buffet table along with of course napkins, disposable cups and glasses for juice, soft drinks, wine, beer, alcoholic beverages, so that no washing dishes are involved. Keep the garbage bags on standby where you can get a reach of it quickly. (The only washing of dishes would be servers, and plates, pans that have the food that is cooked from it.

— Before your loved ones arrive, set all the desserts to the side where it will be quick to bring out.

— Do not spend half your time in the kitchen. Besides your loved ones came to get together and spend time together, to see each others faces. Preparation in advance is so important to do. Do not be afraid to ask for help, and delegate tasks for the whole family to do before others start coming over.

— Of course the house should be clean and tidy, use a rug at the front of the door to put people s shoes and organize them so that shoes will not be everywhere. make room in your closet for people’s coats. So take all the coats out that you and your family who live there and take them and put them in another room. If you have enough space for all jackets in your closet, then its all good.

— Before the meal, when people start knocking on your door and come in, have vegetable trays and chips bowls on the table or whatever snacks you will serve, but not over indulge in the snacks so that you have room for the main dinner. Then after the dinner is done, put out the snacks and dessert table. again limit the desserts as well.

— In the kitchen when you are about to start cooking, take out all cooking equipment out and once you use something and will not need it anymore, simply wash them, dry them and put them away, so that you have less dishes to wash later.

— when your loved ones are over, make sure everything is ready, then all you do is just bring them over to the table which won’t take more than 5 minutes, keep the food warm on the oven, until it is time to serve. After serving your food, and after eating, clear the table and of course throw out the disposable plates, cutlery and cups and glasses, then just give the table a quick wipe. Then quickly convert it to the dessert table where everything is self-serve. Also use disposable dessert plates and cutlery as well.

— Leave the washing of the big dishes until later so that you can enjoy your loved ones to the fullest and if people want to volunteer to help you clean and wash, allow them and it will be fun as well-doing things together. just not all on you.

— make the coffee, espresso and put the water into the coffee maker, in advance. after dinner, just press the button and the coffee will start to brew. Also make those disposable cups. Remember less washing the better it is for you.

— decide on decorations on table, centerpieces and theme. I have read that people dress up in Christmas sweaters, and same colours, sometimes people just come in anything.

This is super important if your loved ones have a little too much to drink, do not allow them to drive a vehicle and make sure they stay over, until they are sober to drive again. Do not drink and drive and enjoy the holidays responsibly. You can save your life, your loved ones lives and others lives who share the road with you. When you know there is alcohol involved and you know that your loved ones will drink, ask to collect everyone’s car keys and place them in a basket and put the basket in another room and keep the door locked and when people leave just bring the basket out and let people grab their keys only if they have not drunk. or if they had one drink or something that still gives them the capability to drive.

— When nature calls, some of your loved ones will want to use the washroom. It is a good idea to have paper towels on standby so that your towels won’t be soaking wet when another person decides to dry their hangs, and a couple of rolls of toilet paper on the side, and extra hand washing soap if need be.

That is all for now, but if there is any particular questions you need to ask, do not hesitate to comment or personally e-mail me. You can find my e-mail on my contact me site which is located on top of the page. Thank you and have a great, safe, happy Christmas and Holiday season!

 

Talin’s Seasoned Potatoes With Veggies & Chicken Breast

Today, I am going to be introducing you to My recipe of Seasoned Potatoes with Veggies and Chicken Breast Meal. I have been cooking this for a long time since I can remember, and I love to cook this healthy and great meal. The Potatoes I use for this dish are small to medium White Potatoes. This will make about 4 servings. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

8 White Potatoes – Medium and Small or both assorted. – (Make sure you buy the ones without the sandy feeling. Buy the clean White Potatoes where you can just wash them. ) Do not peel off the skin of the Potatoes. — Make sure they are diced and a good size. Depends on your preference..

2 Green Peppers —- washed and chopped . – Make sure there are no seeds from the Green Peppers.

2 Carrots —- Skin Peeled, then washed, then chopped and keep chopping and making sure they are circles.

2 Red Onions —- Chopped in Stir Fry size — Not too big and not too small.

1 Red Pepper —- Chopped and again make sure no seeds from inside.

2 Tsp — of Seasoning Salt

2 – Tsp — of Mushroom or Vegetable Bouillon Mix

2 – tsp of Rosemary or Sage.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Washed

2 tbsp of Chicken Seasoning

1 tsp of Basil

1 tbsp of All purpose seasoning

—————————————————————————-

To Prepare the Chicken Breast:

In a Oven Pan Spray some Cooking spray, and add about 3 cups of Water.

Then Season your Washed Chicken Breast with the Chicken Seasoning, Basil and All Purpose Seasoning and then immerse them into the water. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Celsius Convection cooking mode – Then put the Chicken Breasts in the middle of the oven and let them cook – which should take about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes to cook — It will come out tender and beautifully done. Remember Chicken must be cooked well done and thoroughly to prevent food borne illnesses.

To Prepare the Vegetables and Potatoes While the Chicken is being Cooked: I say to start cooking the Veggies about more than half way through when the Chicken is Cooking

in a Wok or Non Stick deep Wok, Add 3 tbsps of Olive Oil — Before the Wok gets hot, put the Washed and Diced potatoes, Let them cook for about 10 minutes on Medium High in between, but make sure they are not too mushy. Add the Carrots, Green and Red peppers, then add just 2 tbsp of water, after that Add the red onions, then add the bouillon mix, seasoning salt, and the rosemary or Sage, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Then afterwards you take out the Chicken Breast that is done and then Plate the Potato and Veggie mix together and there you have it. A Meal for 4  – Health Wise. This is an easy and great meal to serve during the week or weekend, however you prefer. Remember you can always add and subtract the ingredients, you can even put more vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower into the mix as well. Depends on your preference. Bon Apetit!

Talin’s Delicious Salad Dressing – Say Goodbye to Creamy!

Hello everyone,

I have started to eat really healthy for the past month and I am experimenting a lot in the kitchen about alternative and healthy ways to eat your food. Now some salads even though they are loaded with Veggies, can sometimes have many calories because of the dressing you put onto your salad. It plays a big part in promoting healthy eating. So, I came up with my very own dressing which is loaded with flavour, No calories and it kicks your salad up a few notches. Not just a notch. Just like Chef Emiral Lagasse would say.  Now it depends on how much Salad you are making, so eyeball how much of the ingredients below as to the quantity. Like say you have more than 5 people to feed or as desired or as you go, but here are my measurements.

Now without further due, here is my flavorful dressing.

Ingredients you will need to mix in separate bowl before adding to your garden salad:

Dry Ingredients:

1 tsp — Ground sumach Sumac (like a purplish/reddish powder)

1 tsp — of Salt

1 tsp — Black Pepper or Cracked Black Pepper.

1 tbsp — Ground Dried Mint

1 tsp — Ground and Chopped Parsley Flakes (You can find it in your spice aisle at the grocery store)

Pinch — of Cinnamon with the tip of your fingers.  Not too much!

half tsp — of Ground Ginger

Liquid Ingredients:

2 — Fresh Lemons — Make sure the skin is bright yellow as we will use some to zest about 1 tbsp worth of zest, maybe just a bit more than cut it in half and squeeze both Lemons well. Make sure you roll it a few times on your counter or cutting board to activate the juices inside and it will be easier to squeeze out with your Lemon squeeze.

3 tbsp — Olive Oil

3 tbsp — of Pure White Vinegar

1 Lime — Squeezed both sides and cut in half — Follow the same concept as Lemon but without Zesting it.

—– **NOTE** You can play around with the quantity and depending how small or big your salad is, make it according to the number amount of servings.

To Prepare:

Mix all the Liquid ingredients first, then as you go, add each dry ingredient separately into the mix and keep mixing it with your tbsp and then let your salad dressing sit for about 10 to 15 minutes until the dry ingredients have settled with Liquid ingredients because you want to let them incorporate with each other. Do not add it into the salad until after you let it sit. meanwhile you wait for the dressing to settle, set the table, do the dishes you took out to make your lunch or dinner so less washing of dishes later and you can get things done quicker after, then by the time you do all that, it will settle in, then you mix it well into the salad, and there you have it. Talin’s Salad Dressing. .

 

Bon apetit!