Saturday, September 11, 2010
Barefoot Contessa's Tuscan Lemon Chicken
(I saw her make this on her show and promptly looked up the recipe!)
I usually serve it with this:
Pioneer Woman's Fettuccine Alfredo
Along with a big green salad.
However, tonight Lee's parents are coming over and since his dad just had quadruple bypass surgery about 4 weeks ago - he shouldn't eat things such as Alfredo! So tonight it's steamed green beans, fresh bread, and a big salad.
In all honesty, I should be eating less Alfredo as well since I just had a slight jump in my weight, but... but... it's so good! I am guessing we will use leftover chicken on Monday night and I will make the alfredo and all will be good in the world.
The salad cancels out the bad stuff, right?
If baby brain doesn't take over, I will take a photo of the chicken and post it later on.
But... we'll see!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Husband: Do we have anything to make for dinner?
Wife: I think we have some odds and ends, but I don't really know. (i.e. can't we just go get something? like pickles?)
Husband: Hmmm well what's in there?
THEN you make a dinner that he LOVES with crap from the freezer. He is going to get spoiled!
Homemade spaghetti sauce
I thawed the chicken for about an hour in some water in the sink. Once it was thawed I put salt and pepper on it and started it in the skillet in a little oil.
Once the chicken was nice and browned and almost finished, I removed it from the pan. At this point I had water almost to a boil. I threw the green beans into the skillet with the chicken jus and the oil and let them get going.
I thawed the sauce in the microwave in a bowl while all this was going on.
Once the water was boiling, I tossed the ravioli in the pot and put the chicken back in the skillet to finish cooking.
The finish product came out like this:
And dammit, it was really tasty.
Now he will expect magic meals to appear on the table with no grocery shopping all the time!
Last Friday, Lee and I decided we wanted some yummy steaks for dinner. Lee stopped on the way home to get the steaks and I went rummaging through the pantry to see what I could throw together on the side..
Red bell pepper
HEY! Roasted veggies it is!
I turned the oven on to 425 degrees, tossed the potatoes, onions, and bell pepper chunks in a little olive oil, ran outside and snipped some rosemary, and minced the garlic and tossed it all together. Whala! 35 minutes later the veggies were soft and flavorful.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I made lasagna for Lee's mother's birthday dinner. I would have loved to have made my mom's, but hers is a 2 day affair and I didn't have the time for that. Instead I looked to my next source for home cookin... Pioneer Woman!
I didn't get a photos during all the commotion, but it turned out pretty much like her photo...
Make this. Then eat the leftovers.
Pioneer Woman's Lasagna..
For dessert I made brownies with a salted caramel sauce (much like these) and they were wonderful as well!
All in all, great dinner. And great left over!
Monday, May 31, 2010
We have aquired many gizmo's and gadets the last few weeks.. one being an Ice Cream Machine... they were half off at SurLaTable... and in purty colors. AND you got a $15 gift card! Um,..yes!
I chose the happy green color. I started with a vanilla base.. and then added about 6 thin mint cookies... Sorry for the blur - i may or may not have been hopping up and down when I took this...
Nom nom nom..
For Memorial Day BBQ at lee's parents - i will be making homemade blackberry cobbler..
I wonder what Pioneer Woman is making?
And the sprouting baby is this size this week. (a plumb)I hate the word fetus. Ick.
I also had some left over mushrooms from the truffle pasta and added that in.
Whala - spaghetti for one (and 1/2? 1/4? it's the size of a plum so...)
We sat outside for about 5 hours, listening to music, talking, and eating.
A wonderful southern meal of bbq chicken, potatoes, and baked beans.
No i didn't make them, too short of notice, but the Bush's worked just fine...
These potatoes are a bit of a family tradition when grilling. I used my veggie chopper from Williams Sonoma to get the potatoes chopped the same size, then used it to spare my fingernails from jalapeno juice!
Basically, you take about 5 or 6 good size potatoes (yukon gold is what i used. russet will work too) and chop them into cubes. Lay out a good about of foil to make a pouch for all this, and put the potatoes inside. Then dice about 1/2 an onion (or more depending on your eye and mood) and throw those in the mix. Dice one or 2 jalapenos (no seeds!!! unless you want some extra heat) and add those to the potatoes and onions. Mix around a little to get everything incorporated. Pour about 1/4 cup of water into the pouch. We have found this keeps everything from sticking. Then season with salt and pepper, and I added a little Cachery's (cajun seasoning). I also cut up about 1/2 stick of butter and layered that on top. Close up the pouch and throw it on a hot grill for about 30 minutes. You can move it over to indirect heat while grilling your meat, it should be fine. This is why you want the cubes smallish, so they cook quickly.
Lee did all this on a charcoal Weber, and it was some of the best chicken he has made in years. It was nice to get off the gas grill (since it's broken!) and get some good ole fashioned charcoal grilled bbq chicken.
So when I DO cook, I am trying my best to go for stuff I haven't made before.
Of all places, I found a recipe at the grocery store when a lady in a kiosk was making that something that smelled wonderful. Then she said the word "truffle" and I halted in my tracks and went to see what she was up to.
Tuscan Pasta with Truffle Cream
um, YUM! I grabbed the recipe card and set about making this at home for Lee, but with my own added twists.
Ingredients:8oz pasta (whichever shape, I used a small curly pasta, but Fettucini would be yum...)
1/2 jar White Truffle Cream
1 shallot, finely chopped
8oz (1 cup) heavy cream
2 chicken breasts
1/2 package mushrooms
Start your water for boiling, adding a little salt.
Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat with some EVOO. Season chicken with salt and pepper, maybe a little Italian herbs. Cook in skillet until just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes each side.
Remove chicken and throw about 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook until soft and browned. Add truffle cream and stir to blend.
(check on your water about now...)Add heavy cream and lower heat to medium and cook until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.
Slice chicken and add back into mixture and stir well to incorporate, cook until chicken is heated through and done.
Drain pasta and ladle into bowls. Top with chicken mixture and watch as your guests eyes roll back into their heads!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies
Makes 8 oversized brownies
Chewy, big enough to share!
1/2 cup of butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 8 muffin cups.
(note: i only had a 12 cup cupcake pan, so mine were a little smaller...)
Microwave 1/2 cup butter in a heatproof bowl to melt. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Add sugar and cocoa, stir. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add flour and stir until smooth. Spoon batter into cups.
Using a small spoon, make a depression in each portion of batter about 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch deep. Spoon 1 tbsp Nutella into each.
Bake about 20 - 25 minutes and cool on wire rack.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sorry. got excited.
Lee is in a conference all week until at least 10pm each night so I am left to eat simple food. I am positive one night will include PW's Bacon Spinach Salad.. but otherwise I see alot of soup and GRILLED CHEESE's in my future this week.
Oh, other than Tuesday when Carl is cooking for Donald's birthday.
But seriously, the rest of the week - GRILLED CHEESE!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So last night as an early birthday, I made him meatloaf, potatoes, and green beans.
I thought it was one of my best meatloafs so far...However, no matter how yummy the meatloaf may be...
Do NOT serve it to your husband the very next night after you made a Julia Child recipe. Just doesn't have the same ring to it...
(and I ran out of bacon for the green beans since I used it all the previous night. oops.)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
This week Lee and Bo built a garden bed. Then Saturday we went to Lowes and spent a bazillion dollars on dirt and compost. After filling in the bed, Donald and I ran up to Home Depot and got the veggie plants. Lowes sucks at plants, btw.
Here is the finished product!
Last year, we tried bell peppers and that didn't work out. So if it looks like we have alot of onions, well that is something I buy every trip to the store so I thought it would be nice to pluck one out of my own garden! We have 4 different types of tomatoes - Early Girl, Beefsteak, Cherry, and Solarfire.
The radishes are seedlings, so we'll see if they pop up or not!
I already had the rosemary in another pot and transplanted it. I am hoping it is really happy in this spot!
Teddy was a major helper:I will keep taking progress photos as things begin to bloom!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Most of the recipes I cook are from magazines or the internet, and then I start messing with them to make them my own. But I normally need the recipe right in front of me because I don't really memorize things.For instance, I have made my chocolate chip cookies about 1 billion times, still need the recipe.
I have a knife magnet over the oven and all it holds is one knife. I have a chip clip that for some reason unknown to me, has a magnet on it.
AHA!The chip clip now holds the recipe above the oven for quick reference!
Like that pink paper? We bought that 5 YEARS AGO to make programs for the wedding.
And I still have a good 50 sheets. So i print stuff on it that I am trying. If it works out, I re-type it into my cook book format and it goes in my binder.
The binder... that is a post for another time...
Oh and about 5 minutes after I took this photo I broke the pretty measuring spoons hanging on the cabinet.
It's been that kind of weekend folks...
Anyway, the recipe up there is Pasta with Bacon and Peas.
Verdict: good. Something happened and it got a little dry - like the cream didn't really coat the noodles. But, it was tasty and I may try it again.
However, it was similar to a wonderful Pioneer Woman recipe, Pasta with Mushrooms... so maybe these recipes should get married? Just add a few peas to Pdub's recipe and you got it!
But we don't like the burbs.Not to live there and drive in from anyway.
So when we got this house, I knew that with the kitchen size and living room size, we would be happy here. Through bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations, and misc house issues and tasks, this little house has really become ours. All that is left is to paint the brick and put in a new driveway.Here is my kitchen "BEFORE":Original 1954 cabinets and counter (yellow tile!). I livened it up with some blue paint, that I quite honestly miss a little! It was fun! We took down the big upper cabinets and put up shelving so display my bright plates. Notice: No Dishwasher.
I had been using my butcher block on the right side of the oven before for extra counter space. Now that I have real counter space on that side now, I can use this for it's intended purpose! My grandfather built it by hand and I love it. I wanted the open look of the shelving but EGADS the dust it accumulated! So glass doors helped with that feel. Originally the little upper cabinet by the back door should have had glass but something happened when putting up the cabinets. So this is my cook book cabinet. This is one of the original photos I took after it was done. There are dog food containers under the butcher block now, and blinds over the windows, but this is my home. I am in here about 75% of my time. Watching tv, cooking, baking, cleaning, drinking coffee. It's MY ROOM. Next thing we need is a new dining table. We are thinking of the pub height, but then the bench wouldn't be sat on... hmmmm....
While I long for a spacious master bedroom that I can put a pretty chair in to sit on and put on shoes... I will settle since I have my kitchen.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is one of Lee's favorite stir frys, and he loved the sesame noodles on the side as a change to rice.
5 chicken thighs, cut into chunks/strips (i had from the freezer)
1 red bell pepperbok choy
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
For the sauce:
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
And for the noodles:
(Pioneer Woman's Sinfully Good Sesame Noodles!)
Start by getting everything cut up and ready to go, that way you aren't rushed..Mix your sauce as well.
Start your water for the noodles, and mix your sauce.
Next, put the oil in the skillet and let it get a little hot, then throw in the chicken. Add a little salt and pepper. Let the chicken get nice and browned, then remove to a bowl.
Next add in the onion and bell pepper. Once that gets a little softened, throw in the garlic, ginger, and bok choy. Your house will start to smell gooooood!
(check on your noodle water!)Once that is all softened and wilted (about 5 min), and just about ready to serve, throw the chicken back in. Let that get heated back up and toss in the sauce. It should start to thicken nicely.
By now the noodles should be done, so toss them with your sauce in a large bowl.
Serve a little of the noodles in a bowl with the stir fry on top.
(Sorry, didn't get a photo of it in the bowls. I was hungry)Note: this was all stuff I had around the house. Throw in green beans, carrot, whatever you have into your stir fry. Mine is never the same way twice!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Wednesday we had folks over so I made another crowd pleaser. This one is easy to make, although keeps you running around alot, and looks like you worked really hard.
Another Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meal..
Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Sausage Meatballs
- 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 tub bocconcini, bite size fresh mozzarella in water
- 2 pounds Italian hot or sweet fresh chicken, turkey or pork sausage, bulk if available
- 1 1/2 pounds broccolini
- 1 head garlic
- 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or milk
- 1 tub grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 tub good quality fresh pesto from the refrigerated cases of the market
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Quarter baby potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then salt water and cook until tender, about 12 minutes.
While potatoes come up to a boil, place a nonstick baking sheet alongside a mixing bowl. Remove 12 pieces of bite sized mozzarella from the water and set on work surface. Remove sausages from casings, if bulk not available, and place in a bowl. Combine the meat into a single mound then score it into 4 sections. Each section will yield 3 large sausage meatballs. To form each ball, take a handful of meat and wrap it around a piece of mozzarella. Roll 12 balls. Wash up. Coat balls with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through and evenly browned.
While the balls are cooking, trim ends of clean broccolini and scatter evenly over a baking sheet. Grate or chop 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and drizzle the broccolini and garlic with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and roast 12 to 15 minutes to crisp the broccolini tops.
While the broccolini is roasting, add tomatoes to a small pot or skillet, mash with a potato masher and season with salt and pepper. Heat over medium heat then simmer to reduce about 8 to 10 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the hot pot to dry them out a little. Mash the potatoes with 1/2 cup stock or milk, 1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese, a few generous handfuls, lots of black pepper and a little salt.
Turn the heat off the tomatoes and stir in 1/2 cup prepared pesto.
Serve three cheese-stuffed sausage balls with tomato-basil sauce on top or underneath, cacio e pepe smashed potatoes and broccolini alongside.**I have found it really hard to find just plain chicken sausage. So I have substituted this with ground turkey (just made a regular meatball recipe) or beef. I will say, I don't think the beef is the best way to go at all. And if you find the sausage, it's the best way to go.
This photo is from the website, but I made it exactly as it is stated above, but forgot to take a picture because we were hungry!
For dessert I made Strawberry Parfaits:These are easy. All you do is take heavy whipping cream and add a few teaspoons of sugar and whip until thick (but don't make butter!). Then you make a smaller batch with a little extra sugar and 2 teaspoons (or so) of cocoa. I just added until it tasted the way I wanted. Then you just layer with strawberries. It is nice and light(tasting) and doesn't make you feel full like chocolate cake.
Though I LOVE chocolate cake...
Anywhoo, my friend Jimmy made these for us once, using Splenda. However, I was out of splenda.
Still was yummy!
I really did.
And I was so busy I couldn't post about it!
Sunday: I made Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast. Holy crap it's good. I have made it a good 5 times now. Perfect Sunday meal.Monday I made: Beef with Spicy Cocoa Gravy. I found this in a cooking light magazine many moons ago and it's always a hit.
Here is the recipe:
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons oregeno
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ pounds cubed steak
½ cup flour
½ cup onion chopped
½ cup green bell pepper
½ cup red wine
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, fire roasted if you can find them
2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
Egg noodles to serve underneath….
Combine cocoa and all spices. Toss with beef in a bowl. Remove beef from bowl, leaving left over seasonings. Add flour to bowl, add beef and toss again.
Heat a little olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add beef and sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Remove beef from pan. Add onion and green bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes. Add red wine and tomatoes, cook 3 minutes. Stir in beef broth, some salt and pepper, and return meat to pan. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Wonderful on a cold night!
Then on Tuesday night I whipped up another recipe that is a favorite around here. It's a Rachael Ray actually. I have found that her "30 minute meals" from Food Network are better than her show (please stop with the burgers already!) and her books.
Italian Barbequed Chicken
- 4 bone-in chicken thigh and leg or chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 2 teaspoons grill seasoning
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 thick cut slices pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 to 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup quick cooking polenta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmiginao-Reggiano
- Torn fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, and grill seasoning. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the chicken a few minutes on each side to put some of it's flavor and drippings into the pan then transfer to oven and roast 15 minutes more or until juices run clear. Meanwhile, add 1 more tablespoon olive oil to the pan and cook pancetta or bacon, if using, until crisp. Add onions, garlic and rosemary, cook 5 minutes then add the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock, reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer 5 minutes more.
Bring remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and milk to a boil, whisk in polenta and season with salt and pepper. Whisk polenta 2 to 3 minutes until it thickens, stir in butter and cheese, remove from heat.
Remove chicken from oven and turn in barbecue sauce. Fill shallow bowls with polenta Top with chicken, spoon extra sauce over chicken and garnish with some torn basil leaves.
I served this with Orzo, rather than polenta. But it's good either way.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This week I made my speedy version of Tortilla Soup. Lee LOVED it.
Weeknight Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 store bought rotisserie chicken, shredded.
1 cup frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, sliced and seeded
1 teaspoon poultry season
1 teaspoon cumin
1 zucchini diced small
1 onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and diced
28 oz can tomato puree
5 cups chicken stock
In the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven, drizzle a little olive oil and sautee onions and garlic, until onion gets soft. Add in vegetables and seasoning and peppers. Cook until veggies are softened. Add in tomato puree and chicken stock and bring to a bubble, simmer 20 min. Salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and simmer 10 more minutes, to let chicken heat through.
Serve in a deep bowl with tortilla chips in the bottom, sprinkle cheese on top!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
It was pretty tasty, but needed some spice, maybe a good squirt of Siracha or a spoon full of garlic chili sauce.It was perfect to get rid of some chicken wings I have had frozen a good while. They weren't as sticky as the photo in her magazine but trust me, they were messy enough!
Lee said "I knew you were the one when I saw you eat wings like a man at Sports Shack."
Awww, true love right there folks.
I served BBQ Meatballs (thank you Pioneer Woman), stewed green beans, and steamed fingerling potatoes.
Looks like she felt the need to re-post this recipe this week. They really are that good. The thing I do different is that rather than pour the sauce on top, I dab them about 20 minutes into the cooking, then again before serving. I mean, why waste this awesome sauce getting charred on the bottom of the casserole dish right?
(my thighs agree!)
For the green beans, I just diced some onion, garlic, tomato, and bacon - sauteed it all in a sauce pot until soft, then threw in green beans and about 2 cups (or almost enough to cover the beans) of chicken broth and let it cook, nearly an hour. Lee likes his green beans totally soft and almost mushy. Quote: "Always make these green beans. Always."
Potatoes - simmered in a steam basket on the stove about 1/2 hourish. Served with a little butter.I had a little meat left over so I froze it for an emergency or something.
Mom wanted to drink the bbq sauce out of the bowl, it is THAT GOOD! I substitute 1/2 of the ketchup called for with chili sauce. It just adds a little something (to my thighs).