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Sept 2013 Recipe Line up

After a long summer, the Gutsy Cooks are taking a much needed break in order to prepare for the holiday frenzy that is sure to come at the later part of the year.

Be on the lookout for new recipe line-ups starting in Oct.


August 2013 Recipe Line up

Seriously is your summer just zipping by at the speed of light? Because, our totally is - Tom and I don’t even have the excuse that we use the summer to vacation, we both been working and/or going to school like crazy and barely have time to come up for air.

The last days of summer are upon us and August belongs to Tammy and Greg from The Foodie Couple.  They travel, have the most adorable dog EVER (ok, pssttt. don’t tell Rufus) love Mexico and they cook up a storm as well.

I know that every time I do these posts, I tell you that the host for the month is really bringing their “A” game, but, so help me god, when I see the choices you are sending me its like you all are really trying to top each other out.  And this month Tammy and Greg are challenging us with recipes from my favorite show (theirs too) Top Chef and Top Chef Master. 

In their own words:

We are huge fans of Top Chef. Have watched every season, every episode. The challenges they endure teach us so much about flavor profiles and different cooking techniques. Of course each season we have our favorite chefs too. It’s just good foodie fan fun.

I tried to find a mix of recipes from different seasons and recipes that were not overly complicated or required too exotic or hard to find ingredients. But these are recipes from Top Chef chefs so a few are pretty ingredient heavy.”

Have you seen the new season of Top Chef Master? If you are not, do it, because BRAVO is pulling all the stops with this season twists, and me think its going to be one of the best one yet.  And for real, that Hugh Acheson makes me go all weak at the knees, I can just serve him with whipped cream and .. wait were was I? Oh yes… the choices… 

Week of August 4Kale Salad with Brussels Sprout leaves and Lemon Vinaigrette from Chef Brooke Williamson Season 10 - We were excited to hear that Top Chef would be filmed in Seattle for season 10. We ended up being somewhat disappointed to see so few Seattle food spots highlighted in the season and that the last 4 episodes were actually on a cruise and in Alaska. We felt a bit short handed. Few women have won Top Chef so it was exciting when Brooke Williamson won the season. This is her recipe for a great, bright salad that the judges raved about.

Week of August 11: Grilled Pork Chops with Wild Mushroom Sauce from Chef Marcel Vigneron, Season 2 - Season two became known for the villain chef, Marcel Vigneron. I couldn’t stand his obnoxious arrogance and just rude treatment of others. But the judges consistently loved his food. He is a molecular gastrologist type of chef so typically his recipes didn’t do much to excite me but this looked pretty fabulous.

Week of August 18:  Queso Fundido Burger with Trio of Guacamole from Master Chef Rick Bayless, Top Chef Masters Season 1 - When Top Chef Masters began we were so excited to see so many of our favorite chefs competing against each other. And of course Rick Bayless, Greg’s cooking idol, won the season. This episode where these Master chefs made burgers was so fun to watch to see their creative recipe minds in action. Rick Bayless is our go to chef for recipes that match our favorite flavor profiles. We’ve been to all of his Chicago restaurants and have many of his cookbooks. We know this burger will be a hit.

Week of August 25: Chocolate Cake with Salted Basil Ganache from Chef Stephanie Izard, Season 4 - Stephanie Izard was the first women to win Top Chef. She was our season 4 favorite from the start, likely because she is a Chicago gal who loves to cook meat. We ran into her at the Taste of Washington in 2010 and have eaten at her Girl and the Goat restaurant in Chicago. Our meal at her restaurant was amazing. We are definitely fans. This cake sounded absolutely delish

So are you ready to be a TOP CHEF this month? I do hope all of you step up and give us some amazing dishes and of course enjoy them with your families during the last days of summer.  As always remember to post your recipe links in the comment section of this post or use our Gutsy Cook Pinterest Board.


July 2013 Recipe Line up

Here we are mid year.  I’m sure everyone is saying the same thing.. how that happen? Was it only yesterday we were choosing the month to host here at Gutsy Cooks? 2013 seems to be sneaking up on us.

This month belongs to Marie from Weekend Viands.  Like Raymond, I meet (or virtually meet her) during my Heavenly Cake Bakers phase as we made our way through Rose’s Heavenly Cakes book.  She basically was the brain behind the whole operations and we bonded over our love/hate affair with the piping bag.

She called July as her month and like her Gutsy Cooks peer before her, she is bringing her “A” game to the table. In her own words: 

Attached are my recipes for July’s Gutsy Cooks.  All are from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan.  This is a book I’ve wanted to get into to for a couple of years, but most seemed a little too elaborate for my normal weekday cooking.  I tried to pick relatively simple recipes, but they are a little fussier than the usual casual Italian recipe.  (She reminds me a little of Rose in her attention to detail and her insistence on method). …  The bread recipe (bonus, in case anyone wants to make their own bread for panzanella salad) goes with the salad recipe.  I typed these all directly from the book, headnotes and all, so you can get a feel for her prose.

I’m excited with these options this month, they are shouting at my Italian roots, plus, her line up is pretty awesome and challenging.

Week of July 8 -  Panzanella Salad - I have tried many, in the States, in various South American countries and in my beloved Italy. I have never tried to make it at home since I always been afraid to muck it up.  Marie has given me a challenge, specially if you follow her suggestion and make the country bread - Mantovana Bread recipe. I think she paid attention and tossed it in there just for those of you that wanted to overcome your fear of using yeast.

Week of July 14 - Risotto with Spring Vegetables, Tomato, and Basil - One word - YUM!  I made risotto before, and trust me is less complicated than our heads make it be and oh, so rewarding.

Week of July 21 - Roast Chicken with Lemons - I bet all of us have roasted a chicken and stuffed it with lemons in our cooking lifespan.  But I also bet you, this one will be “the one” that we will keep coming back to over and over again.

Week of July 28 - Scallop Sauce with Olive Oil, Garlic and Hot Pepper - I’m so happy that Marie gave us a “seafood” option.  Italy is not only pasta and meat dishes.  Having lived in a small town on the Adriatic Sea and Sicily, I know what the italians are capable of doing with anything coming from the sea and its glorious! 

So there you have it folks, a pretty good line up this July.  I do hope all of you step up and give us some amazing dishes and of course enjoy them with your families during this summer month.  As always remember to post your recipe links in the comment section of this post or use our Gutsy Cook Pinterest Board.


June 2013 Recipe Line up

Here we are smack in the first month of summer and with it another 4 great recipe line up from our next feature Gutsy Cook – Steph from Orangespoken.  I meet Steph about 4 years ago, she invited me to her holiday cookie exchange and since then we have formed a friendship over Chica Brunches, dinner parties, Trader Joe trips, dirty girl time, divorce, new boyfriends and she held me during my wedding planning – which was no small feat – I had lots of freak out moments. 

If there is anyone gutsier in the kitchen than her I have yet to meet them, this girl can take a recipe and substitute ingredients that I would not even dream about.  She has chosen to highlight other bloggers with her recipe choices and added a very special recipe her mother loved – which I’m crazy about trying. I’m excited to see what she does with her own choices.

So here we go from Steph herself:

Week of June 2Fiyuelos: My mother loved to eat these Spanish pancakes stacked with butter and granulated sugar. As a girl growing up, she’d beg her mother to make them. I remember her referring to the recipe in Clarita’s Cocina as her favorite one. I scoured the web looking for “fiyuelos”, but not even Google was able to track them down. I’ve taken a picture of the recipe straight from my very very old copy of Clarita’s Cocina that my grandmother (Abuelita) passed down to me, in case you don’t have your own copy of the cookbook.

Note from Monica: I have done research and found out that they can go by various names – Fayuelos is one, but their correct name is Frixuelos, which is from the Spanish provinces of Asturias and Leon in the northern part of Spain.  There are tons of different recipes, but they are all pretty much standard – egg, flour, liquor (usually anise), milk whip it up and then cook as you do a crepe.  Fillings are also savory or sweet.

Week of June 9Cedar Planked Salmon and Zucchini Fritters with Tzakizi: I’ve never tried cooking on cedar before and have been wanting to. I came across this recipe and thought it sounded scrumptious (especially the sweet and salty rub!). I’m also a huge fan of zucchini. What better way to use this summer squash

Week of June 16Maryland Crab Cakes: I’m in a love with a very, very picky eater. However, he LOVES crab cakes! This week’s choice is just for him. What kind of dipping sauce will you make to go along with these? I cannot wait to see how gutsy you guys get!

Week of June 23Carnitas Caldo (Carnitas Soup): This recipe from Gimmie Some Oven Blog was a pinned a few weeks ago on Pinterest. It looks scrumptious. Well anything made with pork looks scrumptious, in my opinion. Even though it’s summer, this seems like it could be a fresh, summery soup to try.

Extra Credit!Minny’s Chocolate Pie (minus the secret ingredient): I was a big fan of The Help, and came across the recipe for “that” pie. Of course, the secret ingredient is missing (thank goodness!). I’ve been wanting to make this, so what better way than through the Gutsy Cooks Club!

So there you have it June’s line up.  Remember to come back each week and post your links in the comment section of this post or use our Gutsy Cook Pinterest Board.


May 2013 Recipe Line up

This month Raymond from Your Just Desserts is our feature Gutsy Cook and boy is he bringing it, wait until you see his choices!  I been baking/cooking alongside Raymond for over 3 years - has it been 3 years? Let me tell you he is an amazing baker (and totally more gutsy that I am) and I’m getting to know his style of cooking with our club and I’m loving it.  I hope you will be as exited by his choices for our May Line up as I am. 

Hey Raymond, who knew? I have one of those books in my bookcase!

Week of May 5th - Creamy Asparagus Tarragon Soup from The Celebrate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins

Week of May 12th - Parmesan Souffle Rolled with Greens and Leeks with Red Bell Pepper Sauce from The Earth to the Table Cookbooy by John Ash

Week of May 19th - Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso

Week of May 26th - Tahini Marinated Chicken with Honey, Yogurt and Ginger Sauce from The Olives Table by Todd English

Seriously how good do these sound?

Get ready, set and get gutsy!


April - Bonus: Greek yogurt Cake

I could not resist throwing this one as a bonus.  There is always time for a quick cake to put on top of the kitchen counter so we can snack on.

Leave your links and comments!

Recipe can be found here.


April - W4: Malaysian-Style Mussels

Can you believe that mussels are not one of my favorite seafood staple?  But, this one called out to me, what is the point in living around water and not eating all the offerings of the sea?  How you guys do on this one?

Leave your links and comments!

Recipe can be found here.


April - W3: Sun-Dried Tomato-Parmesan Crips

Did you have fun cooking these? I’m curious to see who took a creative approach to them, since these were basically more like an appetizer/snack dish than an entree.

Leave your links and comments!

Recipe can be found here.


April - W2: Steak Pizzaiola

My “nonna” use to make these, and I looking forward to the results.

Leave your links and comments!

Recipe can be found here.


April - W1: Baked chicken with Honey-Whole Grain Mustard Glaze - LYL

Leave your links! and comments.. cannot wait to see these.