Monday, May 30, 2011

Puffed French Toast

The Sodahls were on breakfast at the cabin this weekend - so figured we couldn't go wrong with bread and sugar!!  And as my nephew Vince said "THESE ARE SOOOO YUMMY!!!"  It was a HUGE hit!!  Hey sibs - have fun on the ride home with your kids....they are all hyped up on sugar!!

Makes 12 triangles - OBB

2 eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
12 slices Texas style toast, cut in half diagonally

Cinnamon Sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/4 inch of canola oil over medium heat.  Heat the oil to about 375 degrees.  Test the oil heat by flicking some water into the frying pan.  If it sizzles it's just right.

While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, flour, and baking powder together in a shallow dish or pie plate.

Working quickly, take each half slice of bread and dip both sides in the mixture.  Don't allow the bread to become too soaked in the butter.  Gently shake the bread to remove excess batter and place in hot oil.  Cook, until puffed, golden brown, and a nice, crispy crust has formed on each side (probably 3-5 minutes per side; you really need to babysit them and make sure they're cooking correctly.)  and then remove the oil and drain on a paper towel.  While cooking remaining French toast, keep cooked pieces warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature it will go.

When ready to serve, roll each piece in cinnamon sugar.  We made up Strawberry Sauce also, and drizzled this on top!!

Strawberry Sauce

Made this to go with Puffed French Toast - and it was great!!  Figured this would be awesome to drizzle over ice cream, waffles, pancakes, or cheesecake!!  Super easy and yummy!!
Makes 2 cups of sauce - OBB
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and roughly chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla

Combine berries, sugar, and vanilla in medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly and breaking strawberries up with a wooden spoon.

After 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool before blending.  When cool enough, transfer the mixture to blender and pulse until desired consistency is reached.  Refrigerate unused sauce for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Slow-Cooked Pork Sliders and Easy Slaw

We spent Memorial Day weekend up at the cabin - so we are always looking for good recipes for the whole group!!  These were super easy and YUMMY!!!  We used Famous Dave's Tangy BBQ sauce and Devils Spit....I preferred the Spit :)
Serves 6-8

3lb pork roast
1/3 cup pork rub
1/2 cup water
ciabatta rolls
favorite BBQ Sauce

10 oz bag of coleslaw
1/2 cup light mayo
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper

Sprinkle pork loin roast with pork rub.  Brown pork loin in a preheated skillet with 2 teaspoon oil for 3-4 minutes on all sides.  Transfer pork to a 4-quart slow cookers; add 1/2 cup water to skillet, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.  Pour over roast.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for 4 hours.  Place pork roast on a cutting board and allow to cool slightly.  Shred using 2 forks.  Return the meat to cooking liquid and keep warm.  Spoon pulled pork onto bottom halves of ciabatta rolls, top each with a spoonful of your favorite BBQ sauce and a dollop of slaw and top with roll.

Slaw: combine coleslaw, mayo, cider vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Whooo oh so good!!  This was AWESOME!!  Figured you could add some garlic, pine nuts, and some lemon juice to add a little variation of this.  Maybe even some raisins or something would be good too!!  Must try!!
Serves 6-8 - OBB

4-5 cups broccoli, cleaned and stems trimmed
3 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place broccoli on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and then toss to combine and coat each piece.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the baking sheet in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until stems are golden brown and slightly crisp looking.  Remove broccoli from oven and immediately sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Toss and serve.

Glazed Pork Chops with Apricot Ginger Sauce

Just got back into town, so found a quick and easy recipe to make before we head to the cabin tomorrow (sorry miss Graycie!)  Ross said "um this might be my new favorite meal"....nice!!  Made this with Oven Roasted Broccoli - really good match!
Serves 4
3/4 teaspoon salt / pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 boneless loin pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick each
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup bottled apricot preserves

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  While the pan is heating, combine the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder.  Sprinkle half of spice mixture evenly over one side of pork chops.

When pan is hot, add the olive oil.  Place pork, spice side down, in the hot pan.  Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on the top of the pork chops.  Cook the pork for 3 minutes and then flip and cook 3 additional minutes.  Remove the pork from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter.  When melted, add the garlic and ginger.  Saute for 30 seconds while stirring.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and continue to simmer for 1 minute.

Whisk in the preserves.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and return the pork to the pan.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through to an internal temp of 160 degrees.

Remove from heat and let the pork chops rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve over white or brown rice and spoon the sauce from the pan over each piece of pork.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roast Chicken and Veggies

I kind of have a weird thing with handling raw chicken - so the fact that this was a whole chicken was really gross...I got over it quickly when I had to put stuff into the cavity of the chicken....again - use gloves.  (Jenn - just another time I used my rubber gloves in the kitchen - I love them sooo much!!)  But for real - check this dish out fancy does that look ?!  This was almost too easy to look that hard :)  You must try it - sooo yummy!!  I cut up all the chicken and threw it right in there with the juices / tasty!!!
Serves 2 - Bride and Groom Cookbook

3 carrots, cut into thirds
6 small red potatoes, quartered if large
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 6 wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil
salt and pepper
1 chicken (3-4 lbs)
1 lemon, quartered
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Put the carrots, potatoes, and onion in 9x13 glass baking pan.  Toss the veggies with 1 tablespoon of butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread veggies to the edges of the baking dish, making room for the chicken.

Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard (this should come in a bag so don't panic).  Rinse the bird under cold running water - and pat dry.  Put the garlic cloves on the bottom of the open space in pan (prevents them from burning if chicken is on top).  Put the chicken breast side up, in the center of the baking dish,.  Brush the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.  Season the cavity and skin generously with salt and pepper.  Put the lemon quarters and rosemary sprigs inside the cavity.

Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven - using tongs, tilt the chicken, pouring the juices from the cavity onto the veggies.  Shake to coat.  Baste the chicken with the pan juices.  If the bird is browning too quickly, cover with foil.  Continue roasting until the chicken is a deep golden brown and the juices run clear when the tip of a knife is inserted into the thigh joint, or until instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh, away from the bone, registers 175 degrees; 25-30 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.  Using the back of the spoon, mash the garlic and squeeze some lemon into the pan juices.  Toss the juices with the veggies.  Carve the chicken and serve with the veggies alongside.  Drizzle any remaining juices over the chicken.

NOTE: One way to serve roasted chicken is to carve all the meat from the bones after the meat has rested and chop it into bite-sized pieces.  Then return the meat to the garlicky, lemon pan juices, re-season it with more salt and pepper, and toss with the veggies.  This way, every last bit of the chicken is well seasoned and moist throughout (breasts included).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

We just got back from New York - and we had some Philly Cheesesteaks at Yankee Stadium that tasted like beef stroganoff, so I was totally craving the real thing!!  I've made/posted this before - but wanted to try a healthier/different recipe.  Got this from OBB cookbook - and it was really good!!  Super easy to make - and has easy ingredients!!  Really liked the steak instead of hamburger...and the sauce was amazing.  Fresh mushrooms really made a difference too!!
Serves 4
1lb top sirloin or tenderloin steak (I used tenderloin)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon butter
8oz sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules, beef base, or one bouillon cube
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
egg noodles / rice

Slice steak into strips 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches long.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, over medium heat and then add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan.  Saute for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and onions are tender.  Remove mushrooms, onions, and garlic from pan and set aside.

Slightly increase the heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan.  Add beef and saute, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until pink is no longer visible.

While the beef is cooking, whisk water, bouillon, flour and Worcestershire sauce together until smooth.  Add this mixture to the beef and return the mushroom mixture to the pan as well.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes to thicken.  Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pineapple Bacon Burger

YAY!!!  It's grilling season and it's the perfect night out!!  I just LOVE it out here :)  So glad I saved this meal for when Mr. Rossy could be home....we LOVED IT :)  Putting pineapple, bacon, and BBQ sauce makes my tummy happy!!!  We made this up with some  Italian Fries - but I think it would be good with a salad or some fruit too!!  (maybe a little healthier!)

Serves 4 - OBB

1lb ground beef
salt and pepper
high quality BBQ sauce
4 slices pineapple
4 hamburger buns
8 slices bacon, crumbled
1 Hubby Grill Master

Preheat the grill to medium-high or about 400 degrees.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper (and we did Lawry's).  Gently combine with our hands, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Divide the meat into four portions and shape each portion into a patty.  Grill patties for 5-7 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached.  While burgers are cooking, brush each side with BBQ sauce once.

During the final minutes of cooking, lay pineapple slices and buns flat-side down onto the grill and heat them until they are heated through.  The buns should be lightly toasted.

Remove burgers, pineapple slices, and buns from the grill.  Place burgers on buns and then top each burger with a slice of pineapple and 2 slices of criss-crossed bacon.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce and serve immediately.

Italian Fries

More fries....hehe....these weren't as awesome as some of the other fries I have made - BUT they were still really good.  I would recommend cutting them more french fry style cause then I think they will get more crispy!!  Go good with any burger or sandwich!!
Serves 6 - Mad Hungry

6 potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strip, soaked in cold salted water
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (or combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil)
2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 6 cubes
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels.  Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes.  Overlapping is fine.

Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes.  Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top.  Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese.  Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.

Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total.  Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Salad with Strawberries and Feta

Miss Genva came over for dindin tonight, and since it was GORGEOUS outside and we didn't feel like working out - we thought we would eat healthy instead!!  (we totally were going to run and eat burgers/fries - see tomorrow's menu since it was thawed out!)  Anyways, salad was amazing and a must try!!  You can totally use crumbled bacon instead of the candied walnuts...but they are Oh so good!!  :)
OBB Cookbook

Salad greens
Crumbled feta cheese
Thinly sliced red onions
Sliced strawberries
Candied pecans or walnuts (see below)
Grilled chicken breasts (optional)
Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

Candied Pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sugar

Candy the nuts......combine the walnuts and sugar in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Stir constantly....after a few minutes, the sugar will look very fine and then a few after that, it will start to liquefy.  This is when you have to stir and scrap!!  Make sure everything gets stirred around or you will burn something!!  The syrup will begin to darken and will coat the nuts.  When they reach golden brown color, remove from heat - stirring constantly as the nuts begin to cool.  After a few minutes, spread candied nuts onto a greased piece or wax paper or a greased cookie sheet.  Let cool - set aside

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

Just another excuse to use my dressing holder :)  I made this to go with the Summer Salad with Strawberries and Feta I made tonight. 

I've also made this dressing to go with this salad: Hawaiian Turkey Burgers & Candied Walnut Salad .

I'll try to come up with other suggestions for the vinaigrette as the year goes on!!
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. honey
1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (really, that’s pretty optional; it all goes in the blender)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 c. canola oil

In a blender - combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper and mix on high.  Then while blender is running - add oil in a steady stream.  Store in nifty container (I got this at Crate and Barrel and I LOVE even has a little stir stick in it so you just have to squeeze the handle and it does it for you!!)  in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  Shake well before serving.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baked Chicken with Honey and Mustard Glaze

So I requested the cookbook Mad Hungry - Feeding Men and Boys from the library like 6 months ago, and it's finally my turn!!  So expect to see some recipes from that the next 3 weeks....haha.  How awesome idea is it to borrow cookbooks from the library...then if you don't get through them all - just photo copy and return!  ahhh awesome.  SO anyways - I'm totally not a fan of eating chicken off the bone, but I have to say - if the prep work is this easy, then I guess I can take the time during the meal to pull off all the fat!  This was all right - very "manly" - but not the best chicken ever....
Serves 4 - Mad Hungry

8 chicken thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon (juiced)  **Anna taught me a good way to juice a lemon - take the lemon and roll it under your hand back and sort of helps break it up so when you cut and squeeze - it juices really easy and you don't have to be so manly strong :)
salt and pepper
fresh herbs (I used thyme)

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (I used Dijon)
2 tablespoons honey
a little olive oil
salt and pepper

Marinate the chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs, for at least 1 hour and up to a day in advance.  Preheat oven to 375.  Rub a baking pan with olive oil and place thighs skin side down.

Bake for 25 minutes and turn skin side up.  Bake for 10 more minutes.  To make the glaze, add mustard, honey, and oil in a bowl in that order.  Whisk - add salt and pepper - whisk some more.  Apply glaze to chicken and broil for 5 minutes.

Take out and let rest for a second and make sure you save all those yummy juices that collected in the pan.

Ginger Garlic Glazed Green Beans

Yup - it's green beans're fine :)  These would be really good with Thai or Chinese could even steal the sauce idea and stir fry a bunch of different veggies too.  Super good and really easy!!
Serves 4-6 Mad Hungry

2 teaspoons peanut of veggie oil
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, half sliced and half minced
1lb green beans, rinsed and stemmed, with water still clinging to them
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the oil, ginger, and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Raise the heat to medium-high, add the beans and sliced garlic, and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup water to the pan.  Cook for another 4 minutes, partially covered.  With 1 minute left, add the soy sauce and sesame oil and swirl around he pan to form a glazy sauce.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chicken Marsala with Mustard and Mascarpone

So had Miss Anna over for dindin tonight, so thought I would whip up some yumminess for my special lady!!  This was super good!!  We both went back for seconds....even after we said we shouldn't :)  Super easy too - the mascarpone cheese is the key and so is the marsala wine, so don't cheap out - it's worth it!!
Serves 4 - Giada Family Dinner Cookbook

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 cup (8oz) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 oz dried fettuccine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side.  Set aside.

While the chicken cools, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onion and saute until it is tender.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate.  Add the wine and simmer until is is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the mascarpone and mustard.  Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/3 inch slices.  Return the chicken to the skillet.  Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain.  Toss with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Using tongs - mound the fettuccine on plates.  Spoon chicken mixture over and serve.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Turkey Garden Crunch Sandwich

One more sandwich this week....yummmmmmyyyyy!!!  I'm obsessed with horseradish/dijon!!!  This was nice cause I mixed up the grapes, celery, apples, and green onions all together at the beginning of the week - then just had to spoon the mixture onto the sandwich each time I made one!

Makes 4 servings - Kraft Food&Family Magazine

1/4 cup halved red grapes
1/4 cup chopped granny smith apples
1 chopped celery stalk
1 tablespoon sliced green onions
Horseradish sauce
Dijon mustard
4 sandwich thins
4 pieces lettuce
4 slice Kraft Bacon Cheddar cheese
7.5 oz Oven roasted turkey

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big-Island Hammy Sammy

Someone ate my lunch meat......BUT I still was able to make a couple amazing sandwiches!!  So I hate eating the same sandwich every day of the week - so I was up for the uniqueness of these two sandwiches for lunch this week.  Super good - and was fun to mix it up and have some different flava for lunch!

Kraft Food&Family Magazine

2 slices honey wheat bread
1 tablespoon chipotle flavored reduced  fat mayo
1 slice cheddar cheese
2oz ham
1 tablespoon drained/crushed pineapple
1 thin red onion slice, separated into rings
1/4 cup fresh spinach

Monday, May 9, 2011

Maple Glazed Spiced Carrots

So I've made carrots before - and I think I burnt them....these were actually better and super easy to make!  The spices all came together to make it super yummy!  I'm totally not a fan of eating carrots - unless they are I've never really like cooked carrots, but try this out - it's super good!!
Serves 2 - Bride and Groom Cookbook
3 medium carrots (about 8oz total); peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine the carrots, water, butter, maple syrup, the 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice, the curry powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a small nonstick saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid has reduced to a glaze and the carrots are tender, about 8 minutes.  Just before serving, adjust seasoning by adding more lemon juice and salt if necessary.

Skirt Steak with Lemon and Chili-Roasted Potatoes

So the steak was "eh" - no flavor and I wouldn't "make" the steak again....however, the potatoes were super yummy!  I sprinkled a little Parmesan cheese on top of those - and it was perfect!  I would for sure make up the potatoes again - probably a different steak - with some actual marinade loveliness :)  I made this with Maple Glazed Spiced Carrots - perfect meal!!
Serves 4 - Real Simple Cookbook
1 1/2 lb new potatoes, halved
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
8 springs fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
1 lemon, quartered

Heat oven to 425.  In a roasting pan, toss the potatoes, oil, chili powder, thyme, salt, pepper.  Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and crisp.  About 45 minutes - transfer to plates.

Heat broiler.  Wipe out the roasting pan.  Season steak with salt and pepper and place on roasting pan.  Broil the steak to the desired doneness, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve with the potatoes and lemon.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake

So I wanted to try something new for Mother's Day.....and it was a bit of a disaster!  :)  Good thing my in-laws are awesome.....So when it says to let it cool - um, let it cool....if not - you will get a bundt "pile" like my picture.  Still tasted awesome!!
Tiffany's blog

1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup milk
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

Soak poppy seeds in milk for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in poppy seed mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ravioli with Peas and Shallots

What what - pasta it is!!  Can't go wrong with noodles stuffed with cheese :)  It was really good - the shallots were key.  I didn't actually have lemon zest, but I think I would try that next time.  Maybe add some mushrooms or something too ??
Serves 4 - Real Simple Cookbook

1 1/2 lbs cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 (10 oz) bag frozen peas
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt and pepper

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the ravioli.  Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 2-3 minutes.

Add the peas, lemon zest, reserved ravioli water, salt, and pepper.  Cook, partially covered, until the peas are heated through, 3-4 minutes.  Divide the ravioli among bowls and top with the pea mixture.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cheese ball and Dip

Grey's night wouldn't be complete without P's famous cheese ball!!!  This is super good!!  She has a nifty little thing to chop the nuts - but I just take a meat tenderizer and smash those suckers :)

Pineapple Cheese Ball (Thanks P)

2 - 8(oz) cream cheese
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 1/2c chopped nuts
Ritz crackers

Mix all ingredients in order except 1/2c nuts.  Shape into ball - roll in remaining nuts.  Serve with crackers!
Three Onion Spread
12 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large red onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tub (8 oz) soft cream cheese with chives and onion
Assorted crackers

Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Stir in parsley and cream cheese until smooth.  Spoon into serving dish - serve warm or cold with crackers.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

So it was Grey's night at P's house made up a new app - and it was yummy!!  It was HOT HOT HOT - but yummy if you like it spicy!  Super easy to make and loved by all.  I ran out of cheese mixture - so I would maybe double that and then you can really stuff the jalapeno's full - cause the filling is the best part!!
Makes 24 - Gina's Skinny Recipe
12 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
4.5 oz light cream cheese
5 medium scallions, green part only sliced
2 oz shredded low fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
1/2 cup panko crumbs (found next to the other breadcrumbs)
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper
spray oil

Preheat oven to 350.  I wore rubber gloves to cut the peppers - didn't want my eyes to burn when I took my contacts out later.  Scoop out the seeds and membrane.

Combine cream cheese, cheddar, and scallions in a medium bowl.  Combine panko, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another bowl.

Fill peppers with cheese filling with a small spoon.  Dip pepper in beaten egg whites.  Then put into panko mixture, using a spoon to make sure all the seasoning doesn't fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Spray a baking pan with oil spray.  I lined my pan with parchment for easier cleanup.  Lightly spray the peppers with a little more oil spray.

Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until golden and cheese oozes out.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa and Blackberry Syrup

I just feel so fancy like when I cook meals like this....haha.....makes me feel like a chef when it's all pretty like!  This was super easy - and quick and really good!!  I just made this up with some white rice - and I was full!  AND still had some leftover for Sir Ross when he comes home from work!  Do it up :)

Serves 3-4

Mango Salsa:
1 1/2 cups diced mango (about 1 large mango)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon seeded and chopped jalapeno Chile
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blackberry Syrup:
3/4 cup raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons seedless blackberry preserves
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 pork tenderloins (about 12 oz each)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons veggie oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

To make the mango salsa: combine the mango, red onion, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno, the lime zest, the 2 teaspoons lime juice, and the salt in a medium bowl.  Let stand, covered, at room temp.

To make the blackberry syrup: Whisk together the vinegar, preserves, and salt in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on the reduction during the final stages to avoid over-reducing or burning.

Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat.  Add the pork and saute, turning as needed, until golden, 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Roast until pork is just cooked through but is still pink in the center - about 8-12 minutes.  Should register 150 degrees.

Transfer the pork to cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes, then slice on the diagonal.  Fan the slices on a serving plate, top with mango salsa, and drizzle with the blackberry syrup.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Black Bean Soup

So we all decided that this was our ALL TIME favorite soup E-V-E-R!!!  It's a MUST TRY!!!  It also added another kitchen item to my "wish list" - because having an immersion blender made this dish SOOO easy.  So RoRo - I want an immersion blender please :)
Makes 8 cups - OBB
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs)
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3.5 oz can green chilies
2 cans low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
1 lime

Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese, chopped cilantro, limes

Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat.  When pan is warm, add olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 mintues.

Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth.  Stir to combine and then add salt/pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

Simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Remove from heat - and remove bay leaf from soup.

Place soup in blender (you could use an immersion blender in place of this step).  Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape.  Puree soup until completely smooth.  Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved.  Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

Ladle into bowls and top with toppings.  Serve with extra lime wedges.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Cookbook club tonight and we "slurped up some soup"  :)  This was SUPER awesome - but VERY spicy!!  Not the "every spoon makes my mouth burn" kind of spicy, but a "whoo - this has a kick and I LOVE it" kind of spicy!!  The best thing about this is you can make the  Grilled Taco Chicken - Taco Salad the night before for dindin - and then use the leftovers for this amazing soup!!  I'm a sucker for leftover meals!!
Our Best Bites

1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 cans chicken broth
1 15-oz. can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers (if you’re scared, try serrano peppers; they’re milder)
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (3-4 limes). Don’t even think of buying the stuff in a bottle.
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Store-bought tortilla chips, or 2-3 corn tortillas, plus oil for frying
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 c. cilantro

Early in the day, begin marinating the chicken. Right before you start preparing the soup, start grilling it.

In a large stockpot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and minced jalapeno and cook a few minutes more until pepper is softened and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes.

While soup is simmering, juice the limes and set aside. Start preparing the toppings: grate the cheese, chop the cilantro, cut up the avocado, and fry the tortillas. Right before serving, add lime juice and chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into the bowls and add desired toppings.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grilled Taco Chicken - Taco Salad

I have cookbook club tomorrow - and we are making soups!  The Chicken Tortilla Soup calls for "1 recipe of Grilled Taco Chicken" - so I figured it would be perfect to make it the night beforehand as a meal - and use the leftovers for the soup tomorrow!!  I used the chicken in a "taco salad" - but you could use with tacos, burritos, or just with rice and a veggie.
Our Best Bites

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 juicy limes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper

Place the chicken breasts in a heavy-duty zip lock baggie.  Squeeze limes over chicken.  Add splash of vinegar and the minced garlic.  Seal the bag and shake to distribute the marinade.  Marinate for 4-8 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees).  Combine chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper in a small bowl.  Remove chicken from bag and discard the used marinade.  Rub the spices into the chicken.

Place chicken breasts on the hot grill.  Grill for 7 minutes, turn, and grill for an additional 5-7 minutes (5 for smaller chicken breasts, no longer than 7 minutes for larger ones.)  Remove from heat to plate and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


Grilled Taco Chicken
Shredded lettuce
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
Black olives, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Mix and enjoy with Doritos -- mmmmm yummy!!!