Recent Recipes

Defeating the Nemesis and Taking Care of Trash

Comments (0) | Tuesday, March 23, 2010

As I mentioned in my post last night, I think that boneless, skinless chicken breast is the enemy. I know, I know...it's healthy...blah, blah. I don't care how "healthy" you tell me it is, I think it's BORING. And by boring, I mean super boring. I would rather eat shoe leather.

So that said I challenged myself to make something that remained healthy, but tasted as little like shoe leather as possible. Of course...the answer was clear...cheese. Cheese makes everything better. I would put cheese on Cheerios if I could.

On the side I continued with my salad success, making a strawberry spinach salad...so yum! I mean, I run the risk of being hungry in an hour due to the lack of carbs, but hey, the hubby was super pleased...the food tasted good and fit in his diet.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 lemon
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 c. sliced almonds - toasted
1/4 c. red onion - sliced thin
16 oz. strawberries - sliced
crumbled feta

Mix vinegar, juice of 1 lemon and sugar in small mixing bowl until sugar dissolves. Add oil and poppy seeds. Set aside. Meanwhile, toast almonds in pan over medium heat, tossing frequently. Place spinach in salad bowl. Top with strawberries, almonds, onion, feta. Top with dressing when ready to serve.

This is a great salad for the spring. Strawberries are sweet and the combo of the berries, onions and feta creates a party in your mouth.

Veggie Smothered Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Italian dressing (I used the Four Seasons mix at home - better than the bottle)
1/2 large red onion - sliced 1/4 in. thick
1 green pepper - sliced
10-12 button mushrooms - sliced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
garlic powder
sea salt
8 slices provolone cheese
Marinate the chicken in Italian dressing for 2-4 hours. When ready to begin cooking, slice onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in Pyrex baking dish with remaining marinade, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper and place in oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, saute veggies in butter and olive oil over medium heat until tender. When chicken is almost done, pull out of oven and top with 2 pieces of provolone cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Like I said, cheese makes everything better and this is no exception. And the mound of veggies on top acts like a side dish in an of itself. It's perfectly easy, quick and delicious.

On a side note, I need to talk about my recent purchase...I don't know about you, but I love recycling but hate that you need to separate the recyclables from the trash. I mean, I am sick of tripping over brown Trader Joe's paper bags! So I have been on a mission to get a trash can and recycling bin all contained in one unit. Well, I found the best thing to happen to my kitchen since the cast iron skillet. It's the simplehuman Deluxe Rectangular Recycler...so awesome! Yes, it is a little pricey but so worth it for my sanity...I'm in love! Check it out...

Ahhhh....food therapy complete...and some trash therapy too...

Read More......

Rainy Day Dinner

Comments (0) | Monday, March 22, 2010

I have been pretty remiss in my postings over the last week. Between working and babysitting an 18 mo. old for 2 days, I have been beat. I am also coming to terms with the fact that I am going to be 30 in 48 hours, so I had to prove to myself that I could drink like at 21 year old....well...I can't. And to top it off, my 62 year old father is in better shape then I am...we played golf on Saturday and I felt like a cripple by 8PM...Dad was ready for round 2 on Sunday. Between the beer and the sore muscles, I seriously was in bad shape. Needless to say, all of this lead to me being a pretty lazy cook.

I had great intentions for dinner tonight, but the cold rain got me down. Maybe the rain should get me down more often, because I whipped up a fab salad, sausage sandwiches and chocolate pudding pie. I know, I know...chocolate pudding pie?! I don't eat sweets! But this is a family fave that I got an uncontrollable craving for...it had to be done.

The sausage sandwiches were definitely not the star. I mean, I cut up a red and green pepper in strips, cut up an onion in strips and added a jar of sauce and a package of sausages...let it cook on low for 3 hours and dinner is done.

The salad on the other hand was pretty awesome, if I must say so myself. I constantly find myself in a 'salad rut'. Greek, Caesar, wedge...I mean, I'm not very original. But this one may have brought me out of the darkness.

Warm Goat Cheese Mixed Green Salad
1 log herbed goat cheese
2 eggs - beaten
1/2 c. bread crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 bag mixed greens
6-8 mushrooms - sliced
1 shallot (or 1/2 red onion) - sliced thin
3/4 c. dried cranberries
1 lemon
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic - minced or grated
1/2 - 3/4 c. olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. Borsari seasoned salt (recommendation from my fellow blogger Elizabeth Hardy)
fresh ground black pepper

Cut the goat cheese into 1/2 inch slices (the best way to cut is with dental floss). Dip into eggs then breadcrumbs. Place on plate and refrigerate until ready to use. Mix greens, mushrooms, shallot and cranberries in large salad bowl. For the dressing, mix the dijon, balsamic, garlic, oil, rosemary, seasoned salt and pepper. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.

When just about ready to eat, heat 3 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat. Place coated goat cheese in pan. Flip after 2 minutes. Place on top of salad. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Pudding Pie
1 pre-made pie crust (I used Pillsbury from the refrigerated section)
1 package of cook and serve chocolate pudding
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar

Cook pie according to directions on package. Let cool. Cook pudding according to package. Pour pudding into cooled pie crust, reserving about 1/4-1/2 c. Place heavy whipping cream in chilled bowl (I put in the freezer for 30 mins). Add 2 tbsp. powdered sugar. Whip until stiff. Add in the remaining pudding and mix until incorporated. Top pie with whipped cream.

I feel like this meal got me back in the groove. But, my nemesis, boneless skinless chicken breast is defrosted in the fridge. That said, I need to get creative before tomorrow night. Maybe I will stuff them...maybe I will fry them...who knows...but you will! Check in tomorrow night!

Ahhhh....food therapy complete!

Read More......

Hitler vs. Mussolini

Comments (0) | Monday, March 15, 2010

So everyone knows that I am the epitome of WASP. I mean, my idea of a home cooked meal very rarely included anything involving pasta or red sauce. I was definitely more in the camp of meat and potatoes...Hitler would have been proud, but, I married a Mussolini, so I had to catch on quick.

Most cooking has come pretty naturally to me, but Italian proved to be a challenge. My husband will admit that I have earned my strips when it comes to Auntie's meatballs (recipe to be released at a later date...if approved), baked ziti and lasagna, but my first batch of eggplant parm was a disaster. "The eggplant is too thick", "my Mom used to peel the eggplant", "my Aunt's wasn't this soggy"...yeah, ummm...one piece of constructive criticism would've been enough...thanks.

So this time I sucked up my Berlin Wall loving pride and called my mother-in-law for some tricks...the result...perfectly delicious eggplant parm...

Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant
sea salt
2 large eggs
2 c. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil
1 ball fresh mozzarella
1 jar marinara sauce (I used a jar from Trader Joe's and added in garlic powder, salt, pepper and parm cheese)

- 1 day before preparing the eggplant parm, slice the eggplant into 1/2" slices. Place a layer of paper towels onto a cookie sheet then place sliced eggplant on top. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. This will release the water and dry out the eggplant. Place paper towels on top. Let sit overnight. On the counter top is fine...they do not need to go in the fridge.

Day of cooking
- Place shallow pan on stove over medium - medium high heat. Meanwhile, place 2 eggs in shallow bowl and 1 1/2 - 2 c. of seasoned bread crumbs in another shallow dish. Coat shallow pan with 1/4 in. vegetable oil. Turn on oven broiler to high.

Dip eggplant in egg then breadcrumbs. Place in hot oil. Let cook 1-2 minutes/side until golden brown. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on plate covered in paper towels. Return to baking sheet. When all pieces are cooked top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted. Top with sauce and serve.

I served this eggplant parm with a side salad topped with onions, fresh mushrooms, celery and dressing of your choice.

It only took 5 years of being together for me to earn my honorary Italian card. I wish for none of my friends and followers to have to wait this long. Use this trick and you are sure to make a crispy and tasty eggplant parm that the most devout Italian will enjoy. Matt said that this gave him the same satisfaction as pasta with none of the carbs...totally worth it!

Ahhhh...food therapy complete.

Read More......

PA Dutch!

Comments (0) |

I don't know about all of you, but pork and sauerkraut was a staple on New Years Day in my house. Just like I don't think that you should reserve roast turkey for only Thanksgiving, I definitely don't think that pork and sauerkraut should be limited to a day when most people are so hung over that the thought of vinegar flavored cabbage makes them sick. However, I do find this meal to be polarizing...people either love it or hate it. Matt, for example, was quite quick to say that he was not a fan...that was until he tried my super simple recipe.

I mean, this recipe is so simple, it's almost criminal.

Pork Roast w/ Sauerkraut
1 - 3 lb. pork roast
1 bag of sauerkraut (do not use the can stuff!)
garlic powder

Place garlic powder in crock pot. Sprinkle roast generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Place roast on top of sauerkraut in crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Mashed Potatoes
5 russet potatoes
1/2 stick salted butter
1 Tbsp. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. sour cream

Peel potatoes and cut into even size cubes. Place potatoes in a pot of salted, cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cook for 10-20 mins (pierce with fork to check for doneness) and drain. Return to pot. Add butter, cream cheese, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Use potato masher or beater to mix to desired texture.

I served this with a cold broccoli salad. It is sweet, salty and super yummy. A very nice change from the standard salad selection.

Broccoli Salad
2 bunches broccoli tops
10-12 slices of bacon (cut into bits and browned)
2/3 c. raisins (I do not like raisins so I excluded them)
1/3-1/2 c. finely diced onion
1 c. mayo
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar (I used balsamic to increase the sweetness)

Trim broccoli to size of your liking...I cut to bite-size pieces. Mix vinegar and sugar until sugar is mostly dissolved. Mix in bacon, raisins (if using) and onion until incorporated. Add broccoli. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours to overnight.

This meal was a nice change and a great meal on a cold Sunday night. I have to say that I am definitely ready for spring so I hope that this is the last time that I eat this meal until 1/1/11, but it certainly is a great crock-pot meal.

Read More......

"Chuy" on This!

Comments (0) | Friday, March 12, 2010

For those of you that haven't been lucky enough to visit or live in Dallas, Chuy's is quite possibly the best Tex-Mex restaurant on the planet. Between the queso, jalapeno ranch dressing, chuychangas and homemade tortillas, it is a fat girl's dream...well, it's this fat girl's dream. I find my love for tex-mex rather strange considering that the only "mexican" I grew up with was fajitas and tacos (seasoned with a packet from a box), but this love is deep. I mean, really deep. I am constantly trying to replicate my favorite tex-mex meals. And with my birthday coming up, I really think that the best gift in the world would be the aforementioned combo from Chuy's.

Realizing that is an impossibility, I was determined to create a meal that would make even the biggest Tex-Mex fan proud. Considering that I am the only Tex-Mex lover in the house, I would say the mission was accomplished.

Chicken Enchiladas served with blue chips and a side of Chuy's Jalapeno Ranch (well, a close adaptation anyway)....

Chicken Enchiladas
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
10 small flour tortillas (most enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, but I don't really like them, so use whichever you prefer)
16 oz. sour cream (separated into 2 - 8 oz portions)
1 bunch green onions - sliced (use white & green part)
2 - 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
2 c. Mexican mixed cheese (separated into 2 - 1 c. portions)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. chicken stock

Drizzle preheated skillet with vegetable oil over med-high heat. Add chicken, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook until all sides are brown, about 7-10 mins. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 degrees and mix sour cream, green onions, chilies & cheese. Set aside. When chicken is done cooking, add chicken to sour cream mixture, stir. Spray a pyrex baking dish with nonstick spray. Place 1 tortilla on cutting board. Place a portion of the chicken mixture in a line on the tortilla. Roll tightly and place in baking sheet, seem side down. Continue until all 10 tortillas are rolled.

In another skillet (I cleaned out the one I previously used and re-used it) melt 1/4 c. of butter over medium heat. When melted, add 1/4 c. of flour. Stir constantly until smooth. Add in 2 c. chicken stock, 8 oz. of sour cream & can of chopped green chilies. Continue to stir until thick. When thick and creamy, pour over the top of the rolled enchiladas.

Bake for 20 mins. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve while hot.

Chuy's Jalapeno Ranch
I have to say this was close but not quite...I am going to work on it some more and will let you know how I make out. Either way, it's still a delicious dip or salad topper!

1 quart mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped jalapeno
1 cup green tomatillo sauce
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 (1 ounce) packets dry ranch dressing mix

Mix first 5 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Stir in ranch mix with a whisk. Chill and serve (I ate with Blue corn tortilla chips)

This menu definitely cured my immediate need for all things Tex-Mex but I have to admit, it just isn't the same. Honestly it just reaffirmed my need to plan a trip back to the land of warm nights, flat lands, southern drawls and Chuy's y'all!

Ahhh...food therapy complete.

Read More......

Even a Blind Squirrel Gets a Nut...Sometimes

Comments (0) | Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And even Matt cooks dinner...sometimes....

That whole "work" thing that I keep mentioning continues to put a kink in my dinner regimen. I go down to my office/basement/pool table area (as Cheryl calls it) at around 8:30 and next thing you know it's 3PM! I'm way behind...I used to start planning dinner the second that I got hungry...usually at about 8:39 AM. But things have changed. And to add insult to injury, my poor little doggie Abby needed an emergency trip to the vet. The little bugger has an ulcer in her eye and has to wear a CONE on her head for the next week! Breaking my heart! I need to learn how to handle this. But today I came up with the perfect solution...come up with a meal and have someone else cook it! Genius! I can't afford a personal chef, so my husband was going to have to work.

So I look in the fridge and see the defrosted flank steak. Usually I make a batch of fajitas or marinate the steak for at least 8 hours, but I wanted something different. I am not Italian...in fact, I am the antithesis of Italian, but sometimes I can come up with a good one to represent for my hubs...tonight it was Brasciole. I have to say, with only a little direction, Matt whipped up a great meal, which only proves that anyone can do it.

Italian Brasciole
1 flank steak - pounded to 1/2 in. thin
1 bag frozen spinach - defrosted and drained (to drain spinach use either a cheese cloth or triple-layered paper towels and squeeze out all liquid)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
Montreal Steak seasoning
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Peppers
Granulated Garlic
Fresh mozzarella
2 cans tomato sauce (or 1 jar of your fave sauce)
2 cans diced tomatoes
Olive Oil

Pound out flank steak (place on a cutting board between 2 pieces of Saran Wrap) until 1/2 in. thick. Sprinkle with Montreal, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella and spinach. Roll up length-wise as tight as possible. Secure with either cooking twine or toothpicks.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with olive oil. Sear all sides of the steak until brown (about 1-2 mins/side). Meanwhile add sauce to a dutch oven. I seasoned my sauce with italian seasoning, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, sugar, pepper, crushed red pepper and diced onions...you can season to your taste. Once all sides are browned, place roll in sauce. Bring sauce to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce to low and let cook for 2-3 hours. This cooking process with make a tough cut of meat super tender and delicious.

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a huge fan of meals that are basic that can be totally changed to fit your taste or mood. For example, this brasciole can be stuffed with red peppers, ricotta, prosciutto, asparagus, Xanax....you name it, you can use it.

I served with a Caesar salad and buttered spiral noodles (butter, s&p, garlic powder & parm). It was an Italian meal that will make a true Italian or true WASP proud. And to make it even better, all I had to do was eat it! So yum!

Ahhhh...food therapy complete!

Read More......

Grilling and Chilling

Comments (1) | Monday, March 8, 2010

The move back to Philly from TX has been a pretty swift kick in the butt. Considering that this is the snowiest winter on record in Philadelphia, it's been quite a reality check. A reality check that has reaffirmed my commitment to live in a warmer climate and my hatred for the cold. But today brought "spring like conditions" (at least that is what you northeasterners call it) leading to a major craving for fire. Yep, that was it, the age old tradition of throwing cold red meat onto hot coals until nice and warmed through...it was burger time.

I find that burgers are commonly under-appreciated. They are not typically treated like the blank canvas that they are...beef, poultry, fish...the creativity is limitless. But after months of being locked in the icy tundra known as Philadelphia, tonight I wanted a traditional burger and these did not disappoint.

Barbecued Cheeseburgers
1 lb. ground beef (I like something with a nice fat content like 85/15)
1/2 tsp. montreal steak seasoning (more if desired)
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 medium onion - finely diced
4 english muffins

Preheat the grill on medium. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until incorporated. Divide into 4 even pieces. Flatten into patties. I prefer them on the thinner side. Once you make the burgers into the desired size, make a slight indent about the size of a quarter in the middle of the patty...this will keep them from puffing up in the middle. Place burgers on the grill. 4 minutes/side for medium. Add cheese 2 mins. into second side cooking. Serve on toasted english muffins.

I served with a greek salad (lettuce topped with red onions, black olives, hard boiled eggs & feta cheese and a sprinkle of italian seasoning...top with oil and vinegar)

I seriously couldn't have paid for a better burger. It totally cured the craving and completely escalated my desire for an outdoor kitchen in a warm locale...whose with me???

Ahhh...food therapy complete.

Read More......

Home Cooking

Comments (3) | Sunday, March 7, 2010

I had a great weekend of family time, which is a huge accomplishment, to say the least. Most times when you get more than 2 Clem's in a room, it is a recipe for disaster. God knows there is not enough room for all of our opinions. But, it was Morgan's birthday so we all were in the mood to celebrate. It was probably one of the best family times that I can remember...no drama, no BS, just good times and good food...and no, I am not talking about the hot dog at 2am Saturday morning or the Wendy's late nite last night.

Unfortunately for me Morgs went to back to Bah-stan today, but I still was able to throw together a dinner worthy of a family of 4. Tonight we stuffed our bellies with Eye Round Roast, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli & cauliflower.

Most people get immediately turned off by Eye Round roast. It has a reputation for being dry and tough. But, with the right method, even this cut of meat can be tender and delicious.

Eye Round Roast
2-3 lb. eye roast
salt (I always use coarse sea salt)
pepper (fresh cracked)
garlic powder
3-5 garlic cloves (peeled)

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place room temperature roast into roasting pan. Using a paring knife, pierce 3-5 holes the roast and place garlic cloves inside. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt, pepper & garlic powder. Once the oven is preheated place the roast into the oven, reduce to 475 degrees and let cook for 7 mins. per pound. When the time expires turn the oven off and leave the door closed. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Let the roast remain in the over for 2 1/2 hours. I know that this sounds so strange and my Dad told me that I was crazy, but this is absolutely the best way to cook this meat. It comes out tender, delicious and a beautiful medium-medium rare.

Use the pan drippings to make a gravy.

pan drippings
3/4 c. beef stock (or water) - more as needed
2-4 tbsp. flour - more as needed
1-2 beef bullion cubes

Place baking dish over a burner on medium-high heat. Add beef stock and wisk...this will remove all of the "goodness" from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp. flour (or wondra). It should begin to thicken. You can continue to add water and flour to add volume and thickness. Add bullion for more "beef flavor". Please note, it is super salty so start with a little and then add more...

Gravy is a game of trial and error. Don't get discouraged if the first couple of times don't come out quite as good as you would hope. Just keep playing with it...you will get it!

Veggies and Cheese Sauce
Broccoli and/or cauliflower
Velveeta cheese

The ratio should be ~6:1:1 (6 parts velveeta, 1 part milk, 1 part butter). Place in microwave in 30 sec. intervals. Stir in between. Add more milk to thin, more velveeta to thicken. This stuff is great on veggies or as a homemade mac and cheese.

I served this dinner with a caprese salad (tomato, fresh mozzarella & basil) drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Both of the items on this menu may take some "playing with" but you have to start somewhere, right? We are all back to the grind tomorrow but I have some good recipes planned this week, so keep checking in....I'm off for a night-cap of oreos and milk.

Ahhh...food therapy complete!

Read More......

Roll Me Up

Comments (1) | Thursday, March 4, 2010

The past 2 days have been a complete beat-down. I have been working some crazy hours, which, I have to be honest, I am not used to anymore. But, no excuses, a girl's gotta eat, right? And when I am stressed, I want something GOOD, not fish, not a lame salad...I want something that is going to make the soul sing. So I look in the big cold box (for the 30th time today) and all I see is CHICKEN...let me tell you, I'm not hearing any songs from boneless-skinless chicken breast...uh uh, no way. As a matter of fact, that would be last on my list for "soul singing" food, but I poured a glass of wine and worked with the hand I was dealt. I looked through my recipe box (BTW - everyone needs one) and it hit me...chicken filled with ricotta cheese. On the side I made some yummy green beans with bacon and onions (not nearly as bad for you as it sounds).

Honestly, with my energy level I could have done a good batch of toaster waffles, but why should everyone else suffer for my inability to handle work, right?

So, here we go...

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Roll-Ups (adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 lg. eggs
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 - 2 tbsp. sun dried tomato paste (the recipe called for 1 c. sun dried tomatoes in oil. I hate the texture so I went with the paste)
4 chicken breasts - pounded. (Instead of pounding them flat, I butterfly them first, then pound them)
1/2 lb. provolove cheese
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ricotta & sun dried tomato paste. Dip chicken in egg then breadcrumbs. Place a slice (or 2) of provolone and a heaping scoop of ricotta on the narrow side of the chicken. Roll up and secure with a toothpick if necessary. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes.

This chicken recipe is awesome. It is kind of like chicken parm, kind of like chicken fingers and a whole lot of yummy! I have substituted frozen, thawed spinach or roasted red peppers or even pesto for the sun dried tomato...this recipe has the flexibility of a Chinese gymnast!

Green Beans with Bacon and Onions
1 lb. green beans
2 slices of bacon - chopped
1/4 med. onion - diced

Boil the green beans for 7-10 minutes in a 10 in. skillet. Drain water and set green beans aside. In same skillet brown the bacon over medium high heat. When the bacon is half-way cooked, add the onions to the skillet. Cook until bacon is crisp. Turn down to medium heat and add green beans back in. Toss and keep warm over medium low heat until chicken is cooked through.

I have gotta say, this recipe is a new one but I will definitely use it again. It made 4 servings of veggies and I only used 2 slices of bacon! Me...I would be happy with a half-pound of bacon and a cup of green beans ratio, but this on still cured my "soul singing" craving.

Tomorrow night we are going out to dinner for Morgan's birthday (happy 23rd little sis) so I am definitely not cooking...and if I do, there won't be a recipe for nuking a hot-dog while intoximicated, so I will see you later! Have a good weekend and push yourself to cook something new...

Ahhhh...Food therapy complete.

Read More......

The Lenten Feast

Comments (1) | Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For all of my Catholic friends, I have a perfect meal for your Friday dinners! Typically the only fish that I like comes in a can or from McDonald's in a yellow wrapper with blue writing, but this recipe was super yummy. The hubs is a huge fan of fish, so this one was for him, kind of...

I made Dover Sole with roasted veggies tonight. I used to always cook veggies on the cook-top, either sauteed or steamed, but roasting takes them to a completely different level. Seriously...it's like the difference between cube steak and filet mignon. While the fish is not quite the table-side de-boning of Dover Sole that I grew up watching my mom eat at the "country club", it is still quite tasty. It's also pretty quick...total meal cooking time was about 30 mins.

Pan Fried Dover Sole & Roasted Vegetables

for the veggies...
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1/2 red onion
1/2 package of button mushrooms (cleaned)
olive oil
seasoning salt

slice the zucchini and squash lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch slices. cut red onion into chunks and quarter the mushrooms. Place onto cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, pepper and seasoned salt and toss. Bake is 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Toss once during cooking. The bottom of the veggies will caramelize and be absolutely delish! You can do this with eggplant, peppers, broccoli, pretty much any veg you want.

For the fish...
6-12 pieces of Dover Sole (2-3 per person)
1 lemon
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 c. chopped parsley

Place fish in shallow dish. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon on top. Let sit for 10 mins. Meanwhile, mix flour, garlic, salt & pepper in pyrex pie pan or shallow baking dish. Melt butter in frying pan over medium-high heat. Take fish filets and dredge in flour mixture. Once the butter is melted and hot, place fish in frying pan. Let cook for ~3 mins. then flip. Cook for an additional 2- 3 mins. Fish should flake apart when done. Place on cooling rack. Repeat until all filets are cooked. Serve fish with a slice of fresh lemon and top with fresh parsley. Serve with roasted veggies on the side.

You won't get many fish recipes from me, but I definitely think that this one is worthy...enjoy!

ahhhhh....food therapy complete!

Read More......

Quick Cooking Turkey Chili

Comments (3) | Monday, March 1, 2010

This week has been tough for me. I am adjusting to working again (thank god), but making it more challenging is that I am also adjusting to working from home. This is all new to me. My whole 'meal-planning' routine is out of whack. I can't tell you how many times a day I stare at the same stocked fridge and swear that there is nothing in there. If nothing is in there then how am I supposed to come up with a creative meal for dinner?! After 20 minutes of open fridge-close fridge, open freezer-close freezer, open cabinet-close cabinet, it came to me...my Dad's turkey chili...so good!

My Dad made this recipe years ago and I have always loved it. But after 4 years of living in Texas, I have adapted it to give it some more heat and a few more spices. Feel free to play around...that's the fun of it all!

Quick Cooking Turkey Chili
1-1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 medium yellow onion - diced
1 green pepper - diced (you can turn up the heat with a poblano or jalapeno)
2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained) - Matt prefers red beans but use whatever you like
1 packet Chili seasoning (I used McCormick's)
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. ancho chili powder*
Cayenne pepper - to taste
Chili pepper - to taste

Saute onions and peppers in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat for ~10 minutes (until veggies are translucent). Set veggies aside. Add turkey to the same pot and brown. When meat is cooked through, add back in onion and pepper mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot & stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to low. Cook for an additional 30-60 mins. After 30 mins, taste and add more heat, salt and/or pepper as desired.

Top with sour cream, scallions, cheese or true TX style, Fritos! My fave is American Cheese...so good! Once the veggies and meat are cooked through you can absolutely put this in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hrs.

Ancho powder is ground ancho (poblano) peppers. Ancho Chili is a dark Smokey chili with a deep rich flavor and mild to medium heat.

Ahhhh....therapy complete!

Read More......

Welcome to Food Therapy!

Comments (1) |

Okay, so I have decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon. I know, I know...blogs are like opinions, everybody has one, but my intention through this blog is to share some ideas, get some ideas and maybe even teach a few things. Whether you become a regular reader or just happen to come across my page by chance, I hope that you can take away something that makes you feel good.

I love all things food...books, magazines, TV shows, bacon...you get the idea. Food is my therapy. Whether it's eating a fabulous meal at a restaurant or more typically, cooking in my kitchen, something about the whole process is good for my soul. All of this, mind you, is much to my husband's dismay. Don't get me wrong, the man likes to eat and loves my cooking, but he would be happy with a smoothie for breakfast, a cheese stick for lunch and a sensible dinner...you can see how this presents a problem for a girl that won't even look at leftovers!

But I have no worries, because there's nothing that a good home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine can't fix. So pop open a good white (or red) and enjoy the food therapy!

Read More......