One Smart Chic

Delicious Food, Crafty Ideas and Rustic Living

Author: Carla (page 2 of 4)

Scampi Dip…warning: you won’t put your toast down!

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Greek Dip: a healthier choice for the playoffs…

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Valentine’s calls for chocolate…

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Crab and Corn Chowder


This chowder is my favorite of all. I’ve always liked creamy chowders more than brothy or tomato ones. Two years ago my husband and I went on a “lunch date” to Hoboken. We always (as many of you know now) like to go to farms and spend our weekends in the country side but we decided to changed it a bit and we picked Hoboken. As we were walking on Newark St. we saw a board outside a restaurant with the specials. Crab and Corn Chowder was one of them. We definitely wanted to try it out. I had the best chowder ever! Many times I feel like people get cheap on the cream and just use corn starch or more flour than the recipe needs to make it thicker and call it chowder. The recipe I’m about to share with you and that I have made many times is thickened just with the cut potatoes that this recipe calls for (potatoes will release enough starch to be used a the thickener element). I also add a little bacon to mine but if you are a “peschetarian” like I used to be you can leave the piggy out!
Here it is:
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 small red pepper chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
3 medium potatoes (red skin preferably) peeled and cut in small cubes
2 bay leaves
2 cups of heavy cream
3 cups of corn (I prefer to boil fresh corn and then scrape but frozen can be used too)
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
8 oz of lump crab meat
1 tbsp old bay seasoning
Salt and pepper
In a pot start sautéing the onion, garlic, celery and red pepper on olive oil. If you wanted to add bacon you will add bacon to the olive oil before the veggies are added and stir for about 5 minutes or until the bacon starts getting crispy. After veggies are getting softer add the bay leaves, old bay seasoning, corn kernels and diced potatoes. Stir and add the broth. Lower heat to medium and let it reduce and concentrate for about 15 minutes. Check if potatoes are cooked and lower heat a little more. The broth should start getting starchy and thicker from the potatoes and the time reducing. Add crab meat and heavy cream and let it reduce for another 7 minutes or so until it start getting right texture. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

White Bean and Kale soup


This is probably one of my favorites! I love kale and after reading about all the benefits it has I try to incorporate it on my family’s diet.  I can probably have an entire post just about kale because it really has so much to offer but I will simplify and just tell you that it is an excellent source of vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol and it’s very low in calories but makes you feel fuller between many others.

The wonderful thing about this soup is that it can be a vegetarian option or not. If you are not a kale fan and prefer other leafy green you can use Swiss chard or Spinach.  I make mine with pancetta, chorizo or kielbasa. You can use ground turkey or sweet sausage if you prefer.

Here is the recipe:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
4 oz of Spanish chorizo (without casing if wanted), Chopped pancetta or Kialbasa (cut in 1/4″ slices)
1 small bunch of kale (center ribs and stems removed and leaves crossly chopped)
1-14.5 oz of canned cannellini beans (drained)
4 cups of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour the olive oil on a pot and add the meat of choice (if you are making it vegetarian just skipped this part). After the meat is browned a little add the veggies (onion, carrot, celery) and the garlic and mix until onion starts getting a translucent color. Add chicken broth, lower the heat and let it reduce so all the wonderful flavors get concentrated (about 15 min) in lower heat. Add the beans and the kale, salt and pepper. Let simmer for a little longer. Serve with garlic toast or buttered bread. Enjoy!

A New Year filled with delicious recipes

imageHappy New Year all! I wish all of you that follow this blog a prosperous 2015. I hope you keep following this year :) I am ready to keep posting new recipes and ideas and have  fun with them.

Winter is here and we can definitely feel it. My husband and I took the kids yesterday for a ride to the beach and we ended up at the Brickwall Tavern in Asbury Park (not many places open on January 1st) but we definitely had a great time. I have to say that I’ve been eating out more than usual this past month. During holidays season we always find a reason to celebrate, right? What I haven’t found is a new selection of soups at the restaurants. Always the french onion, some kind of chicken soup and if it was a seafood restaurant probably a lobster bisque and/or the regular New England or Manhattan Clams. Winter calls for nice hearty soups but with a little change sometimes, don’t you think?  My dear girlfriend Ilona asked me to post soup recipes as well so I think it is a great idea.

You will get 2 of my favorite soups on the next 2 posts: White bean and kale soup and Crab and Corn Chowder.  If you have any requests for other recipes please feel free to leave me a message. Hope you like them as much as I do :)

A new sweet journey

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Wishing you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thanks for stopping by.

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Christmas breakfast is here: rolled french toast!



Probably one of the best memories in my life is what my mom and grandma made for Christmas breakfast. It’s a little different in Peru. We have pannetone and homemade hot chocolate and that is probably still one of my favorites. I feel what makes it taste so good is the story or memories behind it. Every year since I’ve been living in the states I eat pannetone for most of December and my girls love it too. But for their Christmas breakfast they prefer Belgian waffles, french toast, eggs and homemade fries…lol!
This recipe is a twist of the regular french toast. In my opinion a lot more tastier (I’m not a huge fan of french toast because I find them a little plain) but if you think about fresh fruit, Nutella, dulce de leche and fresh spreads this recipe will be the winner on your table! No maple syrup needed…so filled of great flavors already ;)
For 8 rolls you will need:
8 pieces of white sandwich bread
Fruit of preference
Cream cheese
Fruit spreads
2 eggs
3 tbsp of milk
3/4 cup if sugar
1 tsp if cinnamon
Cut the crust of the white bread and press it thinner with a rolling pin. Add your filling of preference and spread then on one border for about 1 inch. Here are some great combinations:
Cream cheese and blueberry or strawberry
Nutella and fresh banana
Nutella and strawberry
Dulce de leche and fresh banana
Roll the bread around the filling. Pass it through the egg and milk mixture and put it on the flat skillet to brown it. As soon as you take it out roll them thru the sugar and cinnamon mix and serve them. Yum!

Honey roasted squash with fresh cranberries



Another great recipe for a side dish. Butternut squash is so delicious and such a great fall/winter vegetable…yum! I never get tired of it. I like it when is made on the sweet side. If a make butternut squash soup I add apple to it, if I make them as a ravioli filling I add a little sugar too and as a side dish I like them roasted with honey. This recipe also has cranberries so it gives it the citrus hint needed to complete a great flavor profile. On top I sprinkle fresh crumble feta cheese or you can change it for goat cheese if preferred. What you need:
1 medium size butternut squash (peeled and medium cubed)
2 cups of fresh cranberries
5 tbsp of honey
1/4 cup of feta cheese
2 tbsp of fresh parsley (I also like it with sage)
Salt, pepper and olive oil to drizzle

Place the cubed butternut squash in a baking sheet pan greased with a little olive oil. Drizzle more olive oil, salt, pepper and 3 tbsp of honey on top of squash and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Add fresh cranberries to the squash and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries start popping and looking like dried cranberries. Pull out of the oven and add the other 2 remaining tbsp of honey. Tossed well. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley and cheese on top right before serving. Enjoy!

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