Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27th Round-Up!

Can you believe next week is April already?! Where does the time go? Hopefully spring has sprung in your little corner of the world and your March is going out like a lamb!  

Lets see who cooked with Tyler this week and what they made:

Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs made Tyler's Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich. A "mean grilled cheese maker" herself, Nancy found Tyler's take on this classic to be more creative than traditional. The sandwich "fit the bill for a melty, toasty, savory sandwich" and she loved the combo of the basil and tomatoes with the gooey cheese and crusty bread.

Finding herself with more time and a bigger kitchen at home in New York, Joanne from Eats Well With Others, decided to attempt last month's optional challenge Potato Gnocchi with Peas, Prosciutto, and Ricotta on her vacation. (Brave girl!)  Although her family is full of picky eaters, they cleaned their plates and there were no leftovers; the ultimate success!

Deciding to "step away from the deep fryer" and try a healthier classic, Jenny from All Things Edible, made Tyler's Chicken Parmesan this week. She doubled the sauce based on the recommendations of her fellow TFF friends but found the dish to be a bit boring for her taste buds. It did get eaten by her family, but Jenny wanted a little something more. (Does that mean a return to the deep fryer next week?)

Natalia from Gatti Fili E Farina took the challenge this month and made Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. Natalia used flakey cod filets and thanks to Tyler, she discovered the wonders of panko for the first time. Even better, her kids loved the tacos too!  We will be including her tacos in the challenge round up during the first week of April. 

Although Amanda from Oddball Oven Mitt calls Tyler's Beef Goulash a "disaster" for her, she isn't blaming Tyler, it's the meat she bought that did it. (You can read all the beef trials and tribulations on her post!). She ended up with a somewhat soupy dish, which she served over rice. The good news is that although she didn't find it to be something she'd make for company due to it's appearance, it tasted great!

Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies went all exotic and Middle Eastern this week with her Roast Chicken with Moroccan Spices and Tabbouleh Salad. Simple, sweet and savory spiced, the chicken was "delicious" and Natashya served it over rice to soak up the juices. Also on the plate, Tyler's tabbouleh with crunchy veggies. Combined it was the perfect healthy, economical meal and a "winner" at her house.

Making the "turf" component of Tyler's version of surf and turf (the lump crab meat required for the "surf" is a bit too hard to find in her neck of the woods), Pam from Sidewalk Shoes has a gorgeous Roasted Tenderloin of Beef to share this week. She loved the "pure genius" of Tyler and how he has the tomatoes roast in the oven right along with the meat after it is browned. Pam says this tasty steak is "mighty fine" on it's own, no crab salad required!

Heather from girlichef, was feeling a bit run down and sleepy this week and wanted a simple Tyler recipe, so she chose his easy Chickpeas Marinated in Olive Oil, Whole Cumin, and Chile. (Tyler ended up eating three bowls of these in Valencia). Although she didn't eat as many as Tyler, Heather found these "tasty little morsels" be the perfect snack and recommends pairing them with some wine or beer.

A low-effort dessert that tasted delicious was what Karen from Something Sweet by Karen was looking for this week and she found it in Tyler's Strawberry-Lemon Puddings. Using some simple store-bought ingredients this dessert goes together quickly and easily. Karen says it is "just like a traditional strawberry shortcake but with lemon thrown in the mix."  She found the lemon curd whipped cream really rich and "to die for." Yum!

Kim from Stirring the Pot made two Tyler recipes this week with mixed success. His Lamb Shank Stew with Russet Potato Top, wasn't really "up her alley" in terms of the flavors and she found the potato top to be a bit hard. This is her least favorite Tyler dish so far.

On the other hand, Kim found Tyler's Bourbon and Chocolate Pecan Pie to be one of the best pies she has made in awhile. She calls this pie "rich, decadent and sinfully delicious" and recommends that you have people to share it with so you don't eat it all yourself! 

Andrea from Nummy Kitchen, went for a classic this week, making Tyler's Macaroni and Cheese. She jazzed it up by using some spring-like flower-shaped pasta and even served her kids their mac & cheese in some adorable little flowerpots (how cute is that!?!). Andrea says this is a good, basic macaroni and cheese that would be a great starting off point to personalize with different cheeses or  a breadcrumb topping.  

At my blog, Kahakai Kitchen, I went "totally tropical" with my TFF entry this week, making two recipes from Tyler's last visit to the Oprah show; his Tropical Popcorn and Tropical Smoothie. I loved the sweet, salty and crunchy combination of the popcorn mix and the , thick, fruity smoothie was a great accompaniment. This is a fun, healthy and tasty snack that both kids and adults will love!

Jackie from foodwanderlust made Tyler's Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken accompanied by his Smashed Broccoli and Garlic. The chicken turned out to be "the star of the show", it was moist and flavorful and the aroma while cooking was "tantalizing." Jackie didn't really love the smashed broccoli, although she found the flavor combination great, she thinks she is probably a "crunchy broccoli type of girl"

Since they are big calamari fans at her house and she found it on sale this week, Michelle from Big Black Dog decided to make Tyler's Calamari Fritti. She found Tyler's version "delicious" and loved the Smoked Jalepeno Aioli too. (Since one sauce would be plenty, she didn't try the Tomato Basil sauce). It was a big hit, giving Michelle both a great dinner and a good experience making calamari for the first time!

Megan from My Adventures in Baking has the comfort food going on this week, making two Tyler recipes. To use up some of the potatoes from one of the 20 lb Costco bags she keeps buying, Megan made Tyler's Crisp and Creamy New Potato Pie. The kids found the idea strange at first, but they loved the pie as a side dish for dinner and with eggs for breakfast the next day.

Tyler's Chocolate Pudding was also a big hit at Megan's house. The kids liked the mild chocolate flavor!

Reeni from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, also took up the optional challenge this month and made Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. Reeni was never a big fan of even the thought of fish tacos but Tyler's may have converted her; she loved the crispy panko and chili mayo. Instead of Tyler's Mango Salsa, Reeni whipped up her own super spicy Creamy Ancho Chili Slaw to go with the tacos. (So far these fish tacos are proving to be a big hit! They will all be featured again in the challenge round up).

Hannah from Sweet Cupcake Torture tried the ever popular Tyler recipe, My Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookie. She calls these "ginormous" cookies "amazing" and "delicious!" and a must try for anyone who loves big, chewy chocolate chip cookies. (She notes that there is a video of Tyler making these cookies on Food network in case anyone needs a Tyler fix!) Since Hannah says this is her "second favorite" cookie, I want to see her number one favorite as it must be out of this world!

An unfortunate mandoline incident (I have been there and ouch!), prevented Christy at Enjoying My Favorite Things, from photographing and posting Tyler's Kettle Chips as planned. Instead, she offers a warm bowl of Tyler's comforting Chicken Noodle Soup. To make it healthier, she used less tortellini and swapped out the meatballs for some shredded rotisserie chicken. Christy says this is "a great chicken noodle soup!"

Wow! A great turn out for Tyler Florence Fridays this week and lots of delicious recipes to share. Thanks to everyone for cooking along with Tyler and TFF!


There is still a little time left for Megan's Challenge, our optional bonus challenge for March.
Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos are a sure bet for kicking off Spring and they are getting rave reviews from everyone who has made them!
Click here for details.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1st Day of Spring Round-Up!

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. ~Nadine Stair

Happy first day of Spring! Here's to barefootin' in the garden and in the kitchen, no matter what tricks the weather plays on us!

Rain or shine, wind or calm, we can always count on the fabulous participants of Tyler Florence Fridays to cook up some delicious dishes. This week we welcome a new member, Amanda of Oddball Oven Mitt. Thanks for joining us, Amanda.

Amanda kicked off her TFF with her take on Tyler's Ultimate Pizza Margherita. This was a hit with the kids and Amanda was happy to have a new dough recipe to play with.

Andrea of Nummy Kitchen made these delicious looking Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze. Andrea turned the oven down a touch to get that perfect, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside texture that we all love so much.

Deb of Kahakai Kitchen made Salmon in a Couscous Crust this week, celebrating healthy living with her omega-3s and whole wheat! She loved the combination of flavours and textures in this dish, and looks forward to playing with the recipe some more. She does have lots of couscous left over.. guess what's for lunch?

Donna of My Tasty Treasures made Chicken Marsala (ala His Hotness). This one was so well received that her fire-fighting hubby gave it ten stars. High praise indeed! Donna is also celebrating her first give-away, so go on over and enter.

Heather of Girlichef made Tyler's Pulled Pork Barbecue and, while she loved the pulled pork part, was not thrilled with the sauce. If you happen to love a vinegar sauce, this is for you - otherwise, substitute your favourite bbq sauce for this recipe. This one feeds a crowd, so was great for March Madness.

Jenny of All Things Edible submitted her take on Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos. She made a peppery fruit salsa to go with it and used a combination of tilapia and sole for her fish. Us Canadians have to be creative with our ingredients! The fish tacos will also be included in the challenge round-up in the beginning of April.

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina made Tyler's Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar Sauce with great success. She loved the batter and looks forward to frying vegetables with it too. I loved this one too, now I am hungry for it all over again.
Love the presentation in the paper!

Over at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, I made Tyler's Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. I loved the fresh flavours, and the fact that this recipe had beets in it! A twist on the norm, to be sure, but very tasty indeed.

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes made this beautiful Tyler's Ultimate Green Salad. Pam was feeling kind of "nutty" this week (hee, hee) and loved the textures and flavours in this mix of fruit, nuts, veggies and herbs. What a way to celebrate the end of winter!

Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice made this gorgeous luncheon of a Pretty'n'Pink Strawberry Salad and Mozzarella Pesto Grilled Cheese. "This one had the perfect amount of butter-fried crunchiness and melted, molten mozzarella oozing out the cracks speckled with the pumpkin-arugula pesto I made last week." Were there ever more delicious words?
This looks straight out of a magazine, I need to figure out how to wrangle myself a lunch invitation...

Susy of Everyday Gourmet made this delicious Chicken Pot Pie to help her family get better from their end-of-winter colds. It did the trick and was tasty, warm and comforting as well. Perfect kitchen therapy!

Kim of Stirring the Pot made this cute little Buttermilk Pie with Whipped Honey Creme Fraiche. She did find that she had to cook it a little longer than the recipe stated, but was very pleased with the results.

Kim also made Tyler's Pulled Pork with Homemade Barbecue Sauce, served on a Parker House Roll with a side of California Peach, Shaved Fennel, Mozzarella and Crispy Prosciutto Salad. Whew! That is one ultimate Tyler feast! She was thrilled with how both dishes turned out. Tyler has yet to disappoint Kim!

Leanne of Enjoying My Favorite Things made this awesome Peach Bourbon Cobbler from her new book, Dinner at My Place. Leanne had family drop in just at dessert time (how did they know?) and the cobbler managed to disappear in record time... that's the thing about grandparents, you have to watch them every minute!

Megan of My Baking Adventures made Tyler's Spring Rolls for Spring Cleaning. A perfect way to keep your energy up for the annual overhaul of the closets, and great for after schools snacks as well.

Michelle of Big Black Dog also tried her hand at Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos this week, and was happy to have the opportunity to try a new kind of seafood. Skate was on sale and ended up being the perfect fit for these popular tacos. Michelle loved this dish, and even used the leftover mayo for a cole slaw - good thinking!
This fish taco submission, plus all the others, will be included in the Challenge Round-Up in the beginning of April.

Thanks for all your great cooking this week - what an awesome selection of dishes and some great inspiration to lead us into the weekend.
Don't forget about Megan's Challenge, our optional bonus challenge for March.
Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos are a sure bet for kicking off Spring.
here for details.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13th Round-Up!

Did you catch our guy Tyler on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Wednesday?  He was there with Iron Chef Cat Cora and The Take Home Chef Curtis Stone, helping families without much cooking knowledge make economical meals at home, and was looking as cute as ever. The Chefs "moved in" which actually meant they just hung out for two days at the viewers homes. As I was watching I kept thinking; what if he came to one of our houses? Probably not a good idea because there are a few homes where he would never be allowed to leave and the rest of us would never see Tyler again. (I won't name names but you know who you are...Donna!) If you didn't get a chance to watch, you can see excerpts and the recipes from the show at the Oprah site here.  

We are lucky to have two new members this week Jackie of foodwanderlust and Heather of girlichef. Be sure to stop by their blogs and welcome them!

So, who made it into the kitchen with Tyler this week?

Kim from Stirring the Pot whipped up two Tyler recipes this week. First was Tyler's Arugula, Fennel and Grape Salad. Kim found it light and tasty and says she lost two pounds that week. 

However she got the 2 pounds back with the Grilled Flat Bread with Caramelized Onion, Gorgonzola Mascarpone, and Crunchy Red Grapes. (That title is a mouthful on its own!) She found it "unique and flavorful with tons of textures and addictive".  

Kim really enjoyed both of these dishes and would recommend them for anyone looking for a little something different.

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes loved the fact that Tyler's Chicken Breast with Orange, Olives and New Potatoes is a recipe that has only seven ingredients and also that it starts on the stove and finishes in the oven for perfect and easy cooking. She found it very tasty and that the chicken was cooked perfectly with a hint of orange flavor. Sounds like a keeper recipe!

Joanne from Eats Well With Others thinks that it doesn't hurt to add a little bit of Tyler to every meal, so she made his Creamed Spinach as a side dish for some zesty baked tofu. She found the spinach recipe "super good and easy". Joanne made a couple changes to the recipe, lightening up the cream and swapping out the onions for the favorite trick of restaurant chefs, shallots. (A tip she picked up from reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential). 

Also finding Tyler to be a handy go-to guy for great vegetable side dishes is Kristen from Sogkonnite Living who made Tyler's Broccoli, Parmesan and Lemon to accompany a Mushroom Chicken Divan for dinner. The broccoli is roasted in the oven, then sprinkled with cheese and broiled until the cheese makes a crisp shell, Kristen and her family found it "very good".

Making baked goods for a recuperating friend, Donna from My Tasty Treasures chose Tyler's Chocolate Banana Bread this week. She found it to be a simple recipe, loaded with chocolate and banana flavor, and would be great with a cup of coffee. This recipe has gotten the thumbs up from a few of our TFF participants so it is one for the "must try" list.

One of our new members, Jackie from foodwanderlust, chose another Tyler favorite bread, his Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter. Since brunch is one of her favorite meals and she loves to bake, this was a great recipe to start out with. She found the bread a bit dry, but loved the subtle coconut flavor and plans to throw in some chocolate chips the next time she makes it because (and I second this opinion), "almost anything is better with chocolate chips mixed in the batter!"

Karen from Something Sweet By Karen, introduced Tyler to George, whipping out her trusty George Foreman grill to make his Mozzarella Grilled Cheese sandwiches to use up some of the massive parsley bunch in her fridge. She and her boyfriend really enjoyed them, and she even woke thinking about them that night and again the next day so they will be a new addition to her "list of regulars"  

Our other new member, Heather from girlichef, kicked off her TFF journey with his quick and easy Toasted Almonds in Chili Oil. Heather likes some heat, so she found the nuts a little less hot than she was expecting so next time she makes them, she is going to add a bit more chili and maybe some kicked up habanero salt too.

Another popular recipe with TFF participants has been Tyler's My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies and Michelle from Big Black Dog found that she just had to make them too. Whether it was the weather, her mood or hearing so much about them, Michelle just went for it. Unfortunately she tried to substitute Splenda for the white sugar for diet purposes and it totally changed the texture, making them not chewy. Her plan for next time is to leave the sugar in and have everyone eat them in moderation.

Reeni from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, fell in love at first site with Tyler's recipe for Ravioli Stuffed Acorn Hearts with Mozzarella Cream Sauce. Reeni made a couple swap outs, lightening up the cream and using ravioli instead of the tortellini Tyler uses. The cheesy, herbed sauce gave the acorn hearts a "toasty, bubbly, melt-in-your-mouth finish". They look decadent and delicious.

Fried chicken on her brain and an extra carton of buttermilk in her grocery cart, made it fate that Jenny of All Things Edible make Buttermilk Fried Chicken this week. She was happy with how the crispy, delicious chicken legs (her family's favorite piece for fried chicken), turned out. She also made Tyler's Cherry Tomatoes with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing to go with the chicken and found the dressing a bit strong for her taste but she loved the pairing of arugula and tomato.

Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, had chicken on her mind too and made Tyler's Chicken and Coconut "Paella". Tyler called this recipe "paella" because of the cooking style, the ingredients are more Island/Indian than Spanish. Natashya amped up the spices to give it even more heat and flavor and found it to be a delicious and aromatic one pot meal. After a long days of errands and chores, it and a few beers was the perfect dinner.

At Kahakai Kitchen, I used Tyler's recipe for Japanese Beef Broth to make a delicious and hearty Beef Noodle Bowl. What Tyler calls a standby recipe from his "cheat sheet", pumps up the flavor of low-sodium beef stock by simmering with mushrooms, spices and kombu (dried seaweed).  I added thin-sliced beef, veggies and udon noodles for a warming and tasty bowl of noodles. Yum!

Natalia of Gatti Fili E Farina was delighted to make Tyler's Pan-Roasted Salmon with Roasted Root Vegetables and Lentil Stew from some salmon her Mother-in-Law brought. She really loved this rich dish with the flavorful lentils and the slightly tangy from the vinegar, caramelized vegetables. Natalia recommends any of the components of this dish, either together or individually, feeling they could stand on their own.

Andrea from Nummy Kitchen has had her eyes fixed on Tyler's Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars for quite some time as she loves the lemon/blueberry combination and cheesecake. She got even more excited reading the recipe and finding out how easy they were to make in the food processor. Andrea loved the fact that they are not as sweet as some cheescakes and thinks they would be the perfect brunch or party dessert.

Megan of My Baking Adventures found her "mojo" this week with Tyler's Tacos Carne Asada. Trying to move her kids to taco fillings beyond ground beef, Megan found this recipe for marinated flank steak to be quick, easy and very delicious. It even had her kids running back to the cutting board for more little bites.  Sounds like a winner to me! 

Hannah from Sweet Cupcake Torture was also tempted by Tyler's Chocolate Bananna Bread recipe. (Tyler and chocolate is a lure that few TFF members can resist!). She found the bread to be great-- both chocolaty and moist and she might throw in some peanut butter the next time she makes it for a different twist. 

Note: Due to scheduling, the round up is being posted a bit early today. If you have a TFF entry posted for this week, send it in with photo and link to the post, by the regular time (3:00 PM EST), and it will be added in as soon as possible.

Another wonderful selection of recipes, both old favorites and new ones.
Thanks to everyone who cooked along with us this week. 
Don't forget about Megan's Challenge, our optional bonus challenge for March. 
Tyler's Ultimate Fish Tacos are a sure bet for kicking off Spring. 
Click here for details.