Monday, November 9, 2009

Skillet Chicken Souvlaki

It was one of those nights where neither of us felt like making dinner. I flipped through a few magazines and came across this recipe. It was quick, easy and tasty.

1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (we used a red pepper instead)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup grated English cucumber
1/4 cup 2% Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken, garlic, and oregano; cook 30 seconds.

Combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt). Serve chicken mixture with yogurt sauce, warmed pita, and tomato slices.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crispy Breaded Shrimp With Garlicky Beans

This was a pretty easy recipe. The original recipe called for rosemary, but I'm not a HUGE fan of rosemary so I used thyme that's what I had on hand anyway. I also didn't have any arugula either, so I just made a salad to go with it.

1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (thyme)
kosher salt and pepper
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, chopped
1, 19-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches arugula, trimmed

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the breadcrumbs, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the breadcrumbs are crispy, 10-12 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula, and toss to combine. Divide the beans among individual plates and serve with the shrimp. Sprinkle any extra breadcrumbs from the pan over the top.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Honey Glazed Salmon

I found this recipe browsing through the Cooking Light website. I love salmon so I can pretty much eat it any way it's cooked. This was pretty good. I thought it was an interesting combination of ingredients.

2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tbsp. chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
Thyme sprigs (optional)

Prepare grill or broiler. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Brush honey mixture over skinless side of fish. Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Butternut Squash Pizza

This was really good and only used a few simple ingredients. If you like butternut squash, I highly recommend you try I didn't follow these directions exactly because I used the cooking directions on the pizza dough instead. I didn't raise the oven to 450 degrees either...glad I didn't because it probably would have burned otherwise.

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled
1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1-pound package refrigerated pizza dough
1 tbsp. cornmeal
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh ricotta

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1-inch chunks. Place the squash and onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Clean the baking sheet and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Place the dough on top. Scatter the squash and onion mixture over the dough, sprinkle with the thyme, and add dollops of the ricotta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Slice into wedges.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grilled Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Avocado-Lime Salsa

Jim finally found some flank stead, so I decided to give this recipe a try. I can't tell you how many cooking shows and recipes I see that call for flank steak, yet I can never seem to find that cut at the store. Is there another name for it? Anyone know? I would greatly appreciate any info on that. Anyway, I had cut this recipe out of my Cooking Light magazine awhile back and decided to give it a try. Nothing fancy and was pretty good.

1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. grated lime rind
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray

1 cup diced peeled avocado
3/4 cup finely chopped tomato
1/3 cup finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. grated lime rind
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas - I used flour tortillas
2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage

To prepare steak, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak. Rub chili powder mixture evenly over steak. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

To prepare salsa, combine avocado and next 7 ingredients (through pepper sauce) in a medium bowl. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon steak mixture evenly over each of 8 tortillas. Top each taco with 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 cup cabbage.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Classic German Potato Salad

Jim found this recipe in our local newspaper. I didn't think I liked German potato salad, but this was good stuff.

2 lbs. redskin potatoes, cooked, cooled and sliced
1 tbsp. canola oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 tbsp. cooked bacon bits
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cider vinegar
4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

In a large bowl, place the cooked, sliced potatoes.

In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon bits and saute until onion softens, about 4-5 minutes. Place onion-bacon mixture on top of potatoes and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and flour until dissolved. Add the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, dry mustard, salt and pepper and continue to whisk until combined. Pour the vinegar mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbly; boil and stir for one minute. Pour sauce over potato and onion-bacon mixture and gently stir to coat. Serve warm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shrimp and Asparagus of my favorite things. Add in some shrimp and pasta and you got a yummy meal! We served it with butternut squash. Another easy recipe to prepare.

1 pound fresh asparagus
1 (16 oz.) package egg noodles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup butter - I only used a few tablespoons of butter
1 tbsp. lemon juice - I used lime juice instead
1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced - I only used a handful of mushrooms since I don't really like them
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, boil or steam asparagus in enough water to cover until tender; chop and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to full boil, place the pasta in the pot and return to a rolling boil; cook until al dente. Drain well.

In a large saucepan, saute garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden brown. Place butter and lemon juice in the saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted. Place the shrimp in the saucepan and cook until the shrimp turns pink. Place the mushrooms and asparagus into the saucepan, cook until mushrooms are tender.

Toss the shrimp and vegetable mixture with the egg noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Seared Tuna with Wasabi-Butter Sauce

I know, I know. It's been FOREVER since I've posted anything over here. I seriously don't know where the time goes. But anyway, let's get back into it. Jim made this dinner and O.M.G. So good!! He also brought me was a good day.

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar - we didn't have any so used rice wine vinegar instead
10 oz. white wine
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tbsp. wasabi paste, or to taste (Jim ended up adding a little more)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil, or as needed
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
6 (6 oz.) fresh tuna steaks, 1 inch thick - we only had two steaks

Combine the white wine vinegar, white wine and shallots in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Strain out shallot and discard, return liquid to the pan.

Stir the wasabi and soy sauce into the reduction in the pan. Over low heat, gradually whisk in butter one cube at a time allowing the mixture to emulsify. Be careful not to let the mixture boil. When all of the butter has been incorporated, stir in cilantro, and remove from heat. Pour into a small bowl, and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush tuna steaks with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the hot skillet, and sear for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook, this fish should be served still a little pink in the center. Serve with sauce.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spice-Rubbed Salmon

Another quick and easy salmon recipe. I don't have any creative chit-chat to add so onto the recipe...

2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. packed brown sugar
4 5-oz. skinless salmon fillets (we only had 2)
1 small cabbage, cut in 6 wedges (I used half a head and cut it into 4 wedges)
2 to 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 large carrot (I used baby carrots)
Orange wedges

In small bowl mix chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Rub spice mixture on salmon. Brush cabbage wedges with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

On charcoal grill (we used gas), place salmon and cabbage on greased rack of uncovered grill, directly over medium coals. Grill salmon 4 to 6 minutes for each half-inch of thickness or until it flakes when tested with a fork, turning once halfway through cooking time. Grill cabbage 6 to 8 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, peel carrot and cut in wide strips. Remove fish and cabbage from grill. Coarsely cut cabbage; combine with carrot and 1 to 2 tablespoons remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with oranges. I also added some homegrown tomatoes to my plate. So good!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sausage and Lentils

I like lentils but don't use them that often. I had taken some spicy turkey sausage out for dinner but wasn't really sure what to do with it. Then it dawned on me that sausage and lentils would be a tasty combination. I've seen a lot of lentil recipes use bay leaf when cooked but I didn't have any. So feel free to add that in if you want. I used a whole package of lentils and I believe the package said to use about 4 cups of water for the entire package. I had to add a little more at the end of the 20-30 minute cooking time because they were still a little hard for my taste, but everything turned out beautifully.

1 package Jennie-O spicy turkey sausage
olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1-2 carrots (or enough bite-size carrots), chopped
1 package lentils
1 bay leaf (optional)
4 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped

Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and brown sausage on all sides.

In the meantime, in a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, celery and carrots and saute until tender. Add in the lentils, bay leaf and water. Cook for about 20-30 minutes.

When the sausage is finished cooking, slice into bite-size pieces. There should now be yummy bits left in the bottom of the skillet. When the lentils are finished cooking, add them to the skillet along with the sliced sausage to mix in the bits of yumminess on the bottom of the pan and to flavor the lentils a little more. Season with salt and pepper, add in the fresh parsley and enjoy!

Shrimp Tacos with Citrus Cabbage Slaw

After getting home from vacation and dealing with the issues with our cat, everything had just been so busy so we were in need of a quick meal. I started going through the oodles of recipes I've cut out over the past year and came across this one. Quick and yummy.

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. sour cream
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 small cabbage (8 ounces), shredded
1 cup corn kernels (from 1 to 2 ears, or frozen and thawed)
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
8 small flour tortillas, warmed

In a large bowl, whisk the orange and lime juices, sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cabbage, corn, and jalapeno and toss to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the shrimp with the tortillas and the slaw.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blackened Salmon Fillets

Since someone had to make the daily visit to the vet for Cheeto, we decided that I would take Cheeto and Jim would stay home and make dinner. Well Jim found this salmon recipe and it was so good! There's nothing better than a delicious piece of salmon. Add some home-grown green beans and YUM!

2 tbsp. ground paprika
1 tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
4 salmon fillets, skin and bones removed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a small bowl, mix paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, white pepper, black pepper, thyme, basil and oregano. Brush salmon fillets on both sides with 1/4 cup butter (Jim used olive oil), and sprinkle evenly with the cayenne pepper mixture. Drizzle one side of each fillet with 1/2 remaining butter (olive oil).

In a large, heavy skillet over high heat, cook salmon, butter side down, until blackened, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn fillets, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue cooking until blackened and fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Once again I was in a baking mood, but I didn't want anything really super sweet. We had a bunch of blueberries and I came across this recipe on the Food Network and thought it was perfect. It's really good too!

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Pasta with Zucchini and Chickpeas

So apparently this is a Real Simple magazine recipe, but I was unable to find it through their website. I just did a web search for zucchini and chickpeas and came across a few other blogs that said it was from their magazine. Then I found the actual recipe here. Well wherever it came from, it was delish and really quick to make.

12 oz. pasta - I just used spaghetti but it called for linguine
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 small zucchini cut into thin half moon slices
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, tossing often, until just tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic and red pepper and cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the zucchini mixture.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mexican Style Goulash

I found this recipe and it seemed to get some good reviews so I gave it a shot. I didn't have tomato sauce so I used some beef broth to make up for the loss of liquid. I also ended up adding some bell pepper and RedHot sauce to give it a little kick, but it was quite tasty.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion,
1 red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (I used one can)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup beef stock
1-1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
RedHot sauce to taste
2/3 cup uncooked macaroni (I used rotini)
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (I used pepper-jack cheese)

In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and bell pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beef stock, corn, water, chili powder, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil. Add RedHot sauce to taste. Add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Avocado Pasta Salad

I wanted to make some sort of cold salad with avocado to go with our chicken, and this is what I came up with. It was really good and made for a nice lunch too. I found a dressing recipe with lime in it to help with the oxidation of the avocado...or so I thought. The avocado turned brown the next day so I'm thinking next time I'll toss the avocado with the dressing first, THEN add the rest of the ingredients. I mean, it's not that big of a deal but it tends to not look too appetizing.

1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1-2 avocaods, large dice
4-5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
chopped fresh parsley

salad dressing:
2 limes, juiced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
about 20 grinds fresh black pepper
1 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

Cook the pasta according to the package. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Dice the avocado, add to dressing and toss. Run the pasta under cold water to cool off; drain. Add pasta to bowl along with artichoke hearts and feta cheese. I added about a handful of chopped fresh parsley as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

I love this salad! It's basically just a massive amount of veggies on top of some lettuce with a grilled chicken breast on top, but it's fantastic! Oh and use whatever dressing you want. I think I went with Raspberry Vinaigrette this time.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
smoked paprika
salt & pepper
lettuce of your choice - we used Romaine and Spinach
2 slices American cheese
2 slices provolone cheese

2 hard boiled eggs

Coat the chicken breasts with salt & pepper and smoked paprika and grill; let sit 5 minutes then slice. Arrange the lettuce on 2 plates. Place 1 slice of the American cheese and 1 slice of the provolone cheese in the middle of each plate of lettuce; place warm chicken breast on top of cheese so it begins to melt. Then add the sliced hard boiled egg and veggies of your choice. We had carrots, cucumber, beets and bell peppers. Top with dressing of your choice.

Cod in a Packet

Jim threw this together. We had some cod which he coated with olive oil, salt & pepper, paprika and added some fresh thyme. He sliced up some peppers and onions and added everything to a foil packet and tossed them on the grill. Not too much to it really and somewhat similar to another foil packet we made. We served it with some brown rice...quite the healthy meal.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I realize that probably everyone and their mother has made garlic mashed potatoes at some point in their cooking, but these were so good!! Jim found the recipe. We scaled it down from 100 servings to 4 servings and it turned out great. Sometimes scaling down a recipe doesn't always work, but in this case it did. The only thing Jim added was a little bit of milk. I think next time I'd like to try it again, cutting down the butter and adding sour cream. Needless to say, we'll be making these again!!

2 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
4 ounces butter, room temperature

2 ounces Romano cheese, grated - we used Parmesan
1 tbsp. and 2-3/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano

Place the potatoes and garlic in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes for about 20 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain. Stir in butter, cheese, salt and oregano. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer.

Spicy Tomato Glazed Chicken

This is a really quick glaze to put together and it gives the chicken a little kick. Jim said it just tasted like ketchup, but the pieces I had tasted like more than that. I think the chicken needed to be on the grill a little longer to let the glaze really form a crust, but our grill is on it's last leg and likes to burn things lol.

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Cook 2 pounds of poultry, meat, seafood, or vegetables on a lightly oiled grill. When the food has 5 to 10 minutes left to cook, baste it with the glaze and turn it frequently to create a glossy crust.

Tips: Glazes make great dipping sauces to serve at the table along with your food. Simply make a little extra and set aside before grilling.

Resist the urge to apply a glaze early in the cooking process: The sugars in the sauce will burn before the food cooks through.

Best With: Turkey cutlets, bone-in chicken pieces, burgers, and salmon.

Pork Tenderloin in Bourbon

Jim found this recipe for the pork loin we had in our freezer. He let it marinate overnight and then cooked it on the grill. I know the picture doesn't look like much, but it was pretty good. And then we used the leftovers for pork tacos later in the week.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, halved
3 pounds pork tenderloin

Mix together soy sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, and garlic. Pour over pork, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Remove pork from marinade, and place on rack of shallow roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F/71 degrees C.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grilled Marinated Shrimp

So we decided that shrimp was on the menu for tonight and we began our search of the Internet for a recipe. We had to use what we had in the fridge so we were a tad limited on ingredients. Well I found this recipe and it turned out so good. I didn't have lemon so I used lime instead, and I also cut the original recipe in half since we were using 1 pound of shrimp. We served it with some brown rice and fresh green beans. It was the perfect filling, light meal.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. hot pepper sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached

In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon (lime) juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt and black pepper. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chicken Braised in White Wine

So it was one of those nights where I thought Jim was in charge of dinner and he thought I was in charge of dinner. We both knew that bone-in chicken breasts were defrosted and ready to be cooked but neither of us had anything planned. Luckily I already had this recipe from Katie over at Good Things Catered printed out and I knew I had everything for it, so Chicken Braised in White Wine was the meal for the night. We only had two chicken breasts so I cut everything in half (except for the flour mixture since these were really big chicken breasts). I really like using the dutch oven. It's relatively easy cleanup and in all reality, it doesn't take that long for chicken with bones to cook.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tbsp, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large bone-in chicken breasts
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 oz white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1-2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl (Ziploc bag), combine 1/3 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil to almost smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes (I added a little more olive oil too). Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, to reduce, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add the garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the chicken is very tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and plate chicken, potatoes and mushrooms. Place Dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp. of flour and whisk to combine, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes (I had to add a little chicken broth since I wasn't left with much liquid). Pour thickened braising sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

It was Jim's turn to come up with dinner. We had already taken some Jennie-O hot Italian turkey sausages out of the freezer so that's what he had to work with. Well he found this recipe and it turned out really good! The recipe actually calls for sweet sausage and we used hot, so I would like to try this out with the sweet sausage next time. And the recipe also calls for heavy cream but Jim decided to use Half & Half worked fine.

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk
sweet Italian sausage - we used hot in links but we just removed the casings
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream - we used Half & Half
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

We needed a side dish and had some fresh green beans, but I wanted to add a little something to them. I just get sick of the same old steamed green beans after awhile. I found this recipe and it was so good! Definitely a keeper!

3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. garlic chili sauce
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. canola oil - I used olive oil

Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

It was a night where I really didn't feel like putting all that much effort into dinner. Jim was taking his 3-4 hour "nap" after work in order to stay up for a Wings game so I was on my own. This is what I came up with. All the measurements are approximate since I basically just threw a bunch of veggies on a pan and roasted them.

2 handfuls baby carrots
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1-2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta, cooked (I used rotini)
Parmesan chese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and get the water boiling for your pasta. In the meantime, prepare all vegetables and place on a baking sheet. Liberally coat the veggies with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix around to ensure veggies are coated with oil. Place in oven for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes is up, stir the veggies around. Place back in oven and cook for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how tender you want your vegetables and exactly which vegetables you used (you can use anything really). Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to the cooked pasta and mix. I added fresh basil and a little Parmesan cheese to mine.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creamy Shrimp with Corn and Bacon

I love making shrimp dishes. They come together so fast so they're great meals to make on nights when you don't have much time. I found this one in my Real Simple magazine and knew it was one I wanted to try. It was delish!

1 cup long-grain white rice - we used brown rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 tbsp. spoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 10-ounce package frozen corn

Cook rice according to whatever type you are making.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, let cool, then break into pieces. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp, corn, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon; serve over the rice.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dijon Mustard Chicken Fricassee

Another recipe found in the Cooking Light magazine. A note - factor at least eight hours into your prep time for the chicken to marinate in the herb-mustard mixture. We only had two chicken breasts, so everything was cut in half. Here is the full recipe. Also, we used dried thyme instead of fresh since that's all we had on hand. This was really yummy!

1/8 cup Dijon mustard
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine mustard, 1/2 tablespoon parsley, 3/4 teaspoon thyme, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; toss well to coat. Chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon parsley and remaining thyme. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm. Cook sauce, uncovered, over medium heat 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Gingery Shrimp and Couscous

So I'm an idiot and erased the pictures from my camera before I was able to download them, so all I have is the picture from the website. They were such pretty pictures too! lol, oh well. Moving on...if you like ginger, this is a must try recipe! We didn't have the snow peas that it called for, but we used some cut-up frozen asparagus instead. It was delish!

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
1 cup white wine
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces snow peas, cut in half on the diagonal - we used asparagus instead
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped - we left this out
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 10-ounce box (1 1/2 cups) couscous

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Nestle the shrimp in the onions and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Divide the couscous among individual bowls and spoon the shrimp and snow peas over the top.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I had the urge to bake yesterday and remembered this recipe that I clipped from my Better Homes and Gardens magazine. These were really good. I didn't have wheat germ, so I just left that out and we don't really like nuts in our cookies, so I left that out too.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Stir in rolled oats, flax seed meal, wheat germ, chocolate, cranberries, and walnuts (dough will be a little crumbly).

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

I found this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine and it was the perfect afternoon snack today, along with some guacamole.

1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
Dash of crushed red pepper
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of ground red pepper

Place garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, black beans, jalapeño pepper, and crushed red pepper; process until smooth. Spoon bean mixture into a medium bowl, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with ground red pepper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Poached Salmon Salad w/Beets

So I found this recipe in my Real Simple magazine and it seemed real simple to it? OK, moving on...Jim made this tonight while I was out "running" and when I came home the house stunk SO BAD like vinegar! So of course I immediately thought that dinner was going to be horrible. Boy was I wrong! There are some really strong flavors going on in this dish but it was so good! Our dressing was a little strong but it might have had something to do with the fact that the horseradish we used was JUST opened and that it says extra strong or something on the side of it. Yeah, Jim didn't notice that when he bought least that's what he says. Oh and we couldn't find water cress so we just used spinach instead. We also used the rest of the salmon fillet from the other day. Try this recipe!

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed
kosher salt and pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. prepared horseradish
2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed (about 6 cups) - we used spinach
3 medium beets, peeled and sliced paper-thin - we used canned sliced beets
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

Place the salmon in a large skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4 cup of the rice vinegar and water to reach halfway up the salmon. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the salmon is opaque and beginning to flake, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a fork, flake the salmon into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, horseradish, the remaining 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In individual bowls, combine the spinach, salmon, and beets. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the dill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ancho Grilled Salmon w/Sweet Potatoes

So this is an old recipe I clipped from a Better Homes and Garden magazine, who knows how long ago, so there's no link to it. But, it was really good and a fairly quick meal to put together. We bought a whole salmon fillet and just cut off what we wanted to use for this recipe. So in reality, we didn't have the 4 pieces it was asking for. It turned out fine though.

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ancho chili pepper or chili powder - we used the ground ancho chili pepper
4 5-to 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets

Preheat broiler. Scrub potatoes. Halve lengthwise; cut in 1/4-inch slices. Place on greased rack of unheated broiler pan. In bowl, combine sugar, salt, cumin and chili pepper. Coat potatoes with cooking spray (or we used olive oil) and sprinkle both sides with half the spice mixture. Broil 4 inches from the heat 10 minutes (ours took about 13 minutes) or until tender; turn once midway through cooking.

Meanwhile, rinse salmon; pat dry. Sprinkle with remaining spice. In skillet, cook fish in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat 8 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork; turn once midway through cooking.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grilled liver sausage sandwich

Jim was so proud of his creation and I'll give that to him since it was quite yummy...and I hate mushrooms! Another thing about Jim is that he loves his mustards. I swear, every other week he comes home with some new mustard that he just had to try. Well this particular one is called Kozlik's Canadian Sweet & Smokey mustard.

sliced mushrooms and onions, sauteed
2 slices of pumpernickel bread
a few slices of smoked liver sausage
1-2 slices of Colby cheese
sweet & smokey mustard

First Jim sauteed up a little sliced mushrooms and onions. Then he assembled the sandwich and grilled it up like you would a grilled cheese. Not rocket science here, but I definitely thought the sandwich was blog-worthy :o)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I was in the mood for baking and had some pretty sad looking, really ripe bananas hanging out in my kitchen, so something with banana in it was what I was going to make! I found this recipe and thought it would be perfect. A little banana, a little chocolate, what could be bad about that? Mine turned out a little darker than I would have liked, so I probably didn't need the full hour of baking time, but it's still delicious! The only slight changes I made was that I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour, and I only used 2 bananas instead of three, since that was all I had.

1-3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 heaping c. chocolate chips
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 large extra ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan. In medium bowl, combine all flour but 2 Tbsp, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Whisk to combine and set aside. In small bowl, combine remaining flour and chocolate chips, tossing well to combine and set aside. In bowl of stand mixer, combine shortening and sugar. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vanilla, then banana to mixture and combine well. With mixer on low, add flour mixture until just combined then fold in chocolate chips. Spread into loaf pan, tap to remove air pockets, and place in oven to bake. Bake loaf in oven for 1hr or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sausage and Pasta Bake II

This recipe is pretty much the same one as I made before, but this time I attempted making my own sort of Alfredo sauce to go along with I added in some asparagus.

1 bunch of roasted asparagus cut into bite size pieces
1 package hot Italian turkey sausage - of course regular Italian sausage will work as well
1 pound pasta of your choice
1-2 cups fresh spinach

3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups cheese (we used 8 oz of cream cheese and the rest Parmesan cheese)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. In the meantime, heat up a skillet, remove the casings from the sausage and add it to the skillet. Cook the sausage until there is no more pink.

For the sauce, add the butter and flour to a sauce pan and whisk on low heat until the mixture just starts to turn a light brown color. Add in the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. (In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box). Once it thickens a little, add in the cheeses, salt, garlic powder and black pepper and whisk to combine.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot adding the spinach so it begins to wilt. Also add in the roasted asparagus. Once the sausage is cooked, add it to the pot with the pasta, spinach and asparagus. Stir in the Alfredo sauce. Transfer the mixture to a 13x9 baking dish and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Add parsley for garnish if you'd like. Enjoy!

Chicken Couscous Pita

This meal was quick and easy and utilized some leftover couscous we had in the fridge. I didn't really follow any recipe, but this is what I threw together.

First we marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Newman's Own Lighten Up Light Lime Vinaigrette and cooked them in the oven. Then I took the leftover plain couscous, heated it up in a pan with some chili powder, cumin and black beans.

I took a pita, cut it in half and split it open. I smeared a little sour cream in there, added the couscous mixture, some sliced chicken, avocado, spinach and cheese. Quick, easy and tasty!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lemony Shrimp With White Beans and Couscous

This one is definitely a keeper! So quick to put together and so good!

1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbsp. unsalted butter - I used olive oil instead
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in the couscous and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and let sit off heat for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork before serving. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter (olive oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and scallions and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until they begin to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, parsley, lemon juice, the remaining butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the couscous.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cuban-Style Pork and Rice

We had some boneless pork chops in the freezer but pork is so boring sometimes. I knew I wanted to add a lot of flavor and this dish did the trick! I pretty much followed the recipe, but there were a few slight changes I made. I left out the rum, used chicken stock rather than broth, didn't use shrimp, used a can of artichokes and left out the roasted red peppers. I also changed up the cooking time a little since I didn't use the shrimp. Below is what I did.

1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup
lime juice
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp. minced garlic plus 2 tbsp. chopped garlic, divided
2 tsp.
fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly
ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds boneless
pork chops (3/4-1 inch thick), trimmed, cut into cubes
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups arborio rice or short-grain brown rice
28 ounces chicken stock
1 cup
canned diced tomatoes diced
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed
1/4 tsp. saffron threads
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered

Combine paprika, lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin in a medium bowl, stirring to make a homogeneous paste. Add pork and stir to coat. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork, leaving any excess spice mixture in the bowl to add later. Cook the pork, stirring, until just cooked on the outside and the spices are very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

Add onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until well coated with the onion mixture. Stir in broth, tomatoes, capers, saffron and any remaining spice mixture. (If using brown rice, also add 3/4 cup water now.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes for arborio, 30 minutes for brown rice.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Add the pork back in and stir artichokes into the rice. Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sausages with Garlic Quinoa

I was hoping to make garlic lentils since I thought we had them, but of course we were out. So I decided to use quinoa instead. The sausages were just some chipotle chicken sausages I had picked up at Trader Joe's...they were okay. And of course we served it with our favorite...roasted asparagus.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 fresh bay leaf
4 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

sausages of your choice

In a pot, bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. In a shallow pasta bowl combine the garlic and about 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil and let stand 15 minutes.

Place sausages in a small pan and add 1/4-inch water and 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, a little drizzle. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat to medium-high. Let the water simmer away 8 minutes or so, then crisp the casings 3 to 4 minutes more.

When the quinoa is done, and all water has absorbed, remove from heat, and remove bay leaf. Toss the hot quinoa with garlic oil, parsley and salt and pepper and serve.

Sweet and Sour Shrimp Stirfry

This turned out way better than I expected, so that's always a good thing. I pretty much followed the recipe for the sauce part of it but I added in way more veggies than it called for and left out the cherries and green onions. I also doubled the sauce since I did add in a lot more veggies. Below is what I used.

12 tbsp. chicken stock
6 tbsp. ketchup
6 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp. pineapple juice
4 tbsp. vinegar
4 tsp. soy sauce
1.5 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 pound
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger (I didn't have fresh)
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2-3 tbsp. peanut or
vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 red bell pepper cut into strips

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup pineapple chunks

To make the sauce, in a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of stock, the ketchup, sugar, juice, vinegar, soy, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper flakes. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the remaining stock and stir to dissolve. Set aside. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the ginger, garlic, and remaining pepper flakes. Set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.

Heat a large wok over high heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides and bottom of the pan. Add the shrimp, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the onions, peppers, broccoli and carrots and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the pineapples. Cook until the sauce is thick, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and serve over rice.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

This was a pretty easy dinner. I just threw together some baby carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and chicken in a dish and baked it. Simple and good!

3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
2 handfuls baby carrots
3 potatoes, cut in large pieces
2 onions, cut in large pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
about 1 cup chicken stock

I wanted to put something more than salt and pepper on the chicken so I found this:

4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

I also added olive oil to the rub to make it more of a paste

I rubbed the spice paste underneath the skin as well as on top, put everything in the dish and popped it in a 350 degree oven for about and hour and a half. I had it covered with foil for the first 40 minutes and then removed the foil, but I think if I would have just left the foil on, it wouldn't have taken so long. Either was pretty good.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quick Barbecue Chicken

I came across this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine and it looked pretty easy so we gave it a try. It was really good!

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast halves
Cooking spray

Prepare grill. Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat; rub spice mixture evenly under skin over meat. Lightly coat skin with cooking spray. Place chicken, breast-side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°, turning twice. Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Remove skin; discard.