Lightened Up Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine. New Music From Cajsa Silk.

Lightened Up Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine


I’ve never had the Cheesecake Factory’s Fettuccini With Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes. A quick nutrition search revealed that the dish comes in at a whopping 1,830 Calories. I’m sure it is delicious, no doubt with an abundance of cream and cheese in the sauce, but I like the idea of making a lighter version at home.

I came across this copy cat version that the creator raved about. Any dish with sun-dried tomatoes, fettuccine and garlic gets my attention right away anyhow, so I gave it a try.

And I loved it.

The sauce turns out thick and creamy with Greek yogurt and light sour cream doing the honors to add richness. This recipe did not include chicken, but you can always add some.

Lightened Up Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine
Lightened Up Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine


¾ pound dried fettuccine
1 cup reserved pasta water
4 Tbs olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
3 Tbs tomato paste
½ Tbs granulated sugar
½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup light sour cream (don’t omit or sauce will curdle)
1½ cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Some snipped spinach leaves, to garnish


1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fettuccine. Cook according to directions on the box then drain (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water) and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and sour cream. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sundried tomatoes. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Stir until well combined.

5. Slowly add the yogurt and sour cream mixture, then whisk briskly to combine well. Allow sauce to simmer and thicken for about 5 minutes.

6. Season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste, then add the baby spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, add the cooked pasta and turn off the heat. Toss to coat the pasta. If the mixture seems too thick, then slowly add some of the reserved pasta water. (I like my pasta un-tossed for no good reason)

7. Top pasta with crushed red pepper flakes and some snipped spinach.
Serves 4

Recipe from Table For Two

Lightened Up Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine

A light song goes well with a light dinner. “Relentless Delight” is the new single from Stockholm based Cajsa Siik. Can’t help tapping my toes to that relentless beat.

Check out Cajsa Silk on her Website, where you can learn of upcoming Swedish tour dates. The music will be available for sale and download everywhere on September 1, 2014.


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Garlic Bread. Gorgeous New Music From Emily Scott With The Fell Down Trio.

Garlic Bread

This is one of the best recipes for garlic bread that I have tried. The cheese and parsley balance the garlic flavor and are what make this bread stand out from the rest. And all that butter keeps the center of the bread soft and tender while the edges crisp up in the oven. So easy and so good.

Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread


1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


1. In a small bowl, combine butter, cheese and garlic. Brush over cut sides of bread; sprinkle with parsley. Place, cut side up, on a baking sheet.

2. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes.

3. Slice and serve warm.

Serves 8

Recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine
Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread

Saw this tweet this morning:

“If you are in a gin-drenched haze right now with an old book perched on your tummy, here’s my record, it’s for you”.

Well, I’m currently gin and book free on this weekend morning, but this record by Emily Scott….HOLY! It is for me.

‘Stray Light’ is a collection of super sparse, achingly beautiful songs that highlight Ms. Scott’s elegant voice with just a string trio to accompany it.

“How The Moonlight” is my favorite, so far, because I just adore the way King Creosote’s vocals blend with Emily’s. The strings here are particularly gorgeous.

Check out Emily Scott on her Website, where you can buy her music.


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Crisp Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies. Catchy New Music From Jesse Macht.

Crisp Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies


Especially when they are Giants, like these Chocolate Chip Cookies. The crispiness comes from using melted butter and having no egg in the dough.

Crisp Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crisp Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 cups (280g) unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (220g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (80g) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
250g (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (4oz) pecans, coarsely chopped


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. The dough will look crumbly. Mix in the water. The dough will become soft and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 3 inches (7.5cm) apart. Gently press the cookies to flatten them slightly, to about 3/4 inch (1.9cm) thick.

6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops are evenly lightly browned and have a few cracks, about 17 minutes. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

7. Store cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Makes about 15 cookies

Recipe from Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans
Crisp Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Suitcase Heart” is the first single from the upcoming album of the same name. Jesse Macht’s soft, smooth vocals are lovely in this catchy tune.

Check out Jesse Macht on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates. Keep tuned there for where to buy the album, due out in September.


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Slow Cooker Picnic Chicken. New Psych Rock From Sky Picnic.

Slow Cooker Picnic Chicken

There is something about this recipe that is so irresistible to me. The humble combination of pickle relish, Dijon and mayo coating tender chicken thighs is fantastic. The slow cooker means a cool kitchen, too, in the middle of a hot summer.

Slow Cooker Picnic Chicken
Slow Cooker Picnic Chicken


4 large chicken thighs, with skin
¼ cup dill pickle relish
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup chicken broth
Additional relish to garnish, if you like


1. Rinse chicken well; pat dry. Place in a greased 5-6 quart slow cooker skin side up.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. When well blended, stir in the chicken broth. Mix well.

3. Pour sauce over the chicken.

4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until chicken is tender, but not dry. Really good served over rice.

Serves 4

Recipe from Moms Who Think
I made the dish again with skinless thighs and it was just as delicious, but looked a touch washed out.
Slow Cooker Picnic Chicken

How about joining me on a psychedelic musical picnic?

Check out Sky Picnic on the band’s Website, where you can learn of some upcoming gigs in Brooklyn and buy their music.


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Shrimp And Bacon Pizza

Shrimp And Bacon Pizza

Shake up your pizza night by serving this different and delicious version. Shrimp and bacon are the unexpected and indulgent toppings along with some garlic, onion and a healthy dose of mozzarella. Bellissimo!

Shrimp And Bacon Pizza
Shrimp And Bacon Pizza


4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
12 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb pizza dough
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs minced chives


1. Preheat oven to 500℉.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until partially cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

3. In a small bowl mix shrimp, onion, garlic, and oil with some salt and pepper.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet or a pizza stone.

5. Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, then top with shrimp mixture and bacon pieces.

6. Bake until shrimp is cooked through and crust is golden, about 15 minutes.

7. Sprinkle with chives and cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4

Recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine
Shrimp And Bacon Pizza
Shrimp And Bacon Pizza
Shrimp And Bacon Pizza
Shrimp And Bacon Pizza

“Hey Ho. Let’s Go!”

And now they are all gone.

I saw the Ramones in a tiny club in Rochester, NY, back in the early eighties. They were brilliant live, bursting with energy and iconically clad in black leather.

No cover comes close to the original Ramones, but I did come across this early eighty inspired, dancey version of ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ that I quite like.

Check out Drop Out Orchestra on Facebook and Soundcloud, where you can get their music.


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Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread. Terrific New Song From The Travelling Band.

Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread


I’m one of those people who believes that chocolate belongs in banana bread.

Dark chocolate chunks? Well, that is even better. And raspberries? Wow! I had never thought of combining raspberries with banana. And since raspberries and chocolate are such a glorious combination, this bread is just chock full of goodness.

It is pretty hot in my kitchen being it’s smack in the middle of July, so I liked serving the slices of bread cold so that the chocolate was not gooey.

Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup halved raspberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.

4. Stir in the flour mixture; just until moist. Do not over-mix. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then gently stir in the raspberries. (Sprinkle a few additional chocolate chunks and raspberries on the top to make it look pretty, if you like.)

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Recipe from Recipe Boy
Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
Raspberry- Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

‘Passing Ships’ is brand-spanking new from The Travelling Band. It’s from their third album “The Big Defreeze” due out next month.

Love at first listen. It’s been on repeat since I heard it for the first time this morning.

Check out The Travelling Band on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming UK tour dates and buy their music.


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Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce And Asian Watermelon Salad. New Music From EVVY.

Grilled Steak with Cilantro Sauce And Asian Watermelon Salad

I know…completely ridiculous, but I love the pronunciation.

I also love this savory watermelon salad. I have never had anything quite like it and was surprised by how well the melon tasted with all of the herbs and Asian spices. Refreshing and different.

A good dish to serve with the salad are these simply grilled steaks served with a light and tangy sauce heavy on the cilantro, garlic and mint.

Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce
Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce


2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon plus 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
2 cups olive oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 pounds beef flat iron steaks or top sirloin steaks (1 inch thick)


1. Place herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor; pulse until herbs are chopped. Gradually add oil, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper flakes, processing just until blended.

2. Sprinkle steaks with remaining salt and pepper. Grill, covered, over medium heat 6-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness. Cut steaks into 1/4-inch slices; serve with sauce.

Serves 8 ((3 cups sauce)

Recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine

Asian Watermelon Salad
Asian Watermelon Salad


2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Juice of 3 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (2 -inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons cocktail peanuts, roughly chopped
2 Tbs crispy chow mein noodles


1. Whisk oil, shallot, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and jalapeño in a large bowl. Add the watermelon and toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes.

2. Add the cilantro, basil, mint and 2 tablespoons peanuts to the salad and season with salt; toss to combine. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon peanuts and the chow mein noodles.

Serves 6

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine
Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce And Asian Watermelon Salad
Grilled Steaks with Cilantro Sauce And Asian Watermelon Salad

“Collide”, the new single from NY-based EVVY, would work well in a BBQ party playlist. Pleasant with a loping beat, it feels summery.

Check out EVVY on her Website (Oh, did I mention that this girl is gorgeous?!). Her music is available for free download on Soundcloud.


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