Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baked Couscous with Tomato and Spinach Pesto

This has been on the menu for a week now - and we finally got around (motivated to eat...) to making it.  It was super healthy - and made you feel great eating it, but it was "eh".  It just didn't have much yeah, I posted it in case others disagree, but I wouldn't make it again....SO "Lisa - don't make this again"  :)
Serves 4 - Tiff blog

10 roma tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1.5 cups couscous (I cooked it in the chicken stock)
1.5 cups chicken stock

Spinach Pesto
1.5 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2  tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
sea salt/cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

For the spinach pesto, place the spinach, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, oil, S&P in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, thyme, oil, S&P in a baking dish and toss to combine. Roast for 20 minutes. Add the couscous and pour over the stock. Cover with foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Top with spinach pesto to serve.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

I need to give Ross credit - I was hanging out with Burkes tonight and I totally thought he would just skip over this and make regular grilled asparagus, but he actually made this and it was great!!  He also said that it didn't take that long and was pretty easy - so YAY - another way to eat asparagus!!
Martha Stewart recipes

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 oz (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lbs asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  On a floured surface, roll the puff pasty into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle.  Trim uneven edges.  Place pastry on a baking sheet.  With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle.  Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2 inch intervals.  Bake until golden - about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere.  Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating tips and ends.  Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until spears are tender, 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chicken Salad Croissants

Rossy is back - and since we were just getting stuff around the house today, figured these would be perfect!  It's super quick to put together, and SOOO good!!  Can't go wrong with chicken salad!!
6 Croissant sandwiches - Sweet Basil

12.5 oz. can Chicken, drained
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 head Romaine, chopped (I stack all of the leaves, slice them in half vertically and then slice horizontally)
1/2 cup Grapes, halved or quartered
1 large Tomato, optional

Mix it all together, spread on croissants, and enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thai Chicken Pizza

Perrine came over tonight for scrapping, so thought I would I make dinner for us!  This wasn't very good....I like everything on there, and it wasn't awful - but I wouldn't make it again.  Figured I would post it though!!

1 Flatbread pizza dough (Rachel uses pizza dough)
Plum sauce
Red Pepper Flakes
provolone cheese
chicken breast
peanut butter
soy sauce
bean sprouts
red pepper
1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons honey
tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Cilantro (for garnish)

Spread the plum sauce on the flatbread or pizza dough, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, cheese, and red pepper. Bake until the cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, cut the chicken up into small pieces about 1/2 inch. Once they are cooked, add some peanut butter and soy sauce to cover the chicken.

Cut up the cucumber into matchsticks and place in a dish with honey and apple cider vinegar. Let it marinade for at least 10 or more minutes.

Once the pizza is done, put the chicken, cucumbers (without sauce), bean sprouts, peanuts, and cilantro on top. Serve warm and enjoy!

Savannah Cheesecake Cookies

Got this recipe from my cousin Jenn - so I thought I would try it out for Miss Genva....which is funny cause at cookbook last night, Genva said "Lisa never has dessert...." but little did she know that I was making her these yummy cheesecakes!!  She liked her surprise - and they were 1. SUPER EASY to make and 2. SUPER YUMMY!! (and this is from someone who doesn't even like dessert....)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
 1 stick butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter in bowl. Press dough into an ungreased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

For filling, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar together in a bowl until smooth, using a handheld electric
mixer; add eggs and extract; beat well. Pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

Cool completely. Cut into squares  before serving. Decorate tops with berries and mint leaves.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken Salad

Had Miss Genva over for dinner tonight - so after we ate almost a whole bag of Cheetos, we looked forward to something a little healthy!!  This was really good - but I would use 1/2 the dressing!  The dressing part makes it not so healthy, so I think cutting that in half would help - plus, it really didn't need that much!  YUMMY!!

3-4 Chicken Breasts, cooked in Teriyaki sauce, sliced thin
1 Large Bag of Spring Salad Mix
1 Can Mandarin Oranges, drained
1 Cup Celery, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Can Pineapple Chunks, drained
4 Green Onions, chopped
1 Cup Raspberries
1 Cup Cashews
Dressing (recipe follows)

In a large platter, flat to spread out, arrange the lettuce with all of the other ingredients on top, leaving the cashews to be added right before serving, so as to not get soggy. Sometimes it's also nice to just arrange the ingredients around the side, so everyone can take what they want if it is being served family style in a casual setting.

Drizzle the dressing and top with cashews, serve immediately.

In a blender combine,
3/4 White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/3 Cup White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Diced, Purple Onion (yes, same thing as a red onion)
1 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Poppy Seeds

Blend the sugar, mustard and white vinegar on high until thoroughly mixed, this should only need a few pulses. Turn off the blender.

Add the purple onion. Turn the blender back on and in a slow, steady stream drizzle in the canola oil.

Add in the poppy seeds and give the blender a few quick pulses to mix in the poppy seeds.

Chill and serve over the salad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Greek Stuffed Chicken

Greek night at cookbook tonight, and we had a BIG group - and it was so much fun!!!  We had 2 newbies - hope you guys come back :)

We started our night off with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus....then had the stuffed chicken with Greek Salad.  I think we are "Greeked" out!  It was all really yummy - these chicken breasts esp!! Feel free to make many varieties of this....we did some without olives....some without can really stuff with whatever you like :)

6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/2 cup of sundried tomato (drained)
1 pkg. spinach
1 cup feta cheese
4 green onions
1/4 cup greek olives chopped (I used kalamata olives)
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste
Greek seasoning

Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Combine all of the other ingredients in a bowl. (you could put the ingredients in a food processor to fully chop and blend all the ingredients together, but I don't have a big one....YET!)

Cover the flattened chicken breasts with the greek ingredients and roll the chicken breasts to make a pinwheel and place toothpicks in to keep the chicken in place.

Wrap each chicken breast in tinfoil and grill until the chicken is cooked through. If you'd prefer to not grill the chicken, you can place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 40 minutes. (No need to use tinfoil if you are putting them in the oven.)

Note: Chicken is a little juicy - so put on a high baking sheet...or beware of basting :)

Greek Salad

It's crazy over here at cookbook.....I was trying to come up with a menu for our April Showers theme, and apparently that was Greek!  haha  so yeah - we made this with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Greek Stuffed Chicken.  This was really good - I mean it's a salad - how can it not be!  But the dressing....hmmmm yummmmmm!!

1 large head Romaine Lettuce
1/2 half red onion, sliced
1 English Cucumber, sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 cup Greek Feta, crumbled
1 tomato, chopped
dash dry dill

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place lettuce in a large bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in a bottle and give it a good shake.  Toss lettuce with about 1/2 the dressing.

Place remaining salad ingredients on top of lettuce, and drizzle with some more dressing.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Cookbook club in the house and it's GREEK night, so why not make our own hummus!!   This was actually really good - I prefer it to store bought hummus actually!!  I couldn't find tahini at Rainbow - they said they didn't carry this had a little bit of a PB taste to it...which is probably why I liked it better :)  Tahini I hear is kinda pricey - so the natural PB is an alternative to this!

AND I used a blender instead of a food processor and it worked great!  (yup....I still don't have a food processor cookbook clubers....)  :)
Makes 2 cups: OBB Cookbook

15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup drained and chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/3 cup tahini (or natural PB)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (or 1/4 heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Serve with: pita chips, veggies, bagel....

Place all ingredients except for the oil and cilantro in the work bowl of a food processor or in the jar of a heavy-duty blender. Process until smooth, then add the oil in a steady stream and process until desired consistency is reached.  Add the cilantro and pulse a few times until the cilantro is evenly distributed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oriental Chicken Spread

BBQ at Monson's house tonight, so thought I would try a new appetizer.  This was really good - however, bad friend fumble on my part because I forgot that Monson was allergic to chicken until I was on the way over to his house!!  (Mental note: if you have friends allergic to chicken....don't make something with chicken...)....anyways - this was great....his ribs he made us were even better!!  Ross and I didn't want to eat anything on Sunday, so that we could still taste the flavor of them :)

2 large cans of chicken - drained
1/2 cup cashews
3 green onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 (8 oz) cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 jar Kraft Sweet & Sour (found in salad dressing area)
Wheat thins

Mix chicken, soy sauce, garlic powder and ginger together.  Refrigerate overnight or 3-4 hours.

Mix cream cheese and milk - spread on plate.

Spread sweet and sour dressing over cream cheese, then chicken mixture, then cut green onion, and top with cashews.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grilled Greek Tacos

Apparently it's GREEK NIGHT at the Sodahls!  P-Ron in the house too :)  I decided to get all fancy with this meal!  You could totally make this really quick by using store bought everything - but I marinaded my own chicken, made up some yummy tzatziki, and cut up all the ingredients (pretty much so I could use my cutie serving platter....hehe)

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade

Ross was at an offsite a couple days this week, so I invited my dad over for dinner (since my mom is out of town too) - and figured we would do up some yummy Greek Tacos.....marinaded those bad boys in this awesome dressing....but you could totally use this on a Greek salad too!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blackened Chicken with Quinoa & Avocado Yogurt Sauce

I was off visiting Kate Bailey (such a cutie!), so chef Ross made up dinner tonight.  He said it was pretty easy - and I liked it cause it used up my leftover quinoa :)  and I finally found a recipe where I actually like the taste of quinoa -- woot woot!!  This was really good - the yogurt sauce totally made the meal for me, so it says optional - but I would make it for sure!!
Serves 2

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
Optional sauce: 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt / 1 avocado

Combine all the dry seasonings (in red above) in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down.

Just place the flesh from an avocado along with two tablespoons of Greek yogurt in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baked Zucchini Chips

We had these yummy and healthy chips with Avocado / Salami Grilled Cheese tonight - super good!!  They do take a little while to cook, so prep ahead of time....and they shrink a TON! so be kind on the seasoning....I think they taste a lot like pumpkin seeds :)


Ingredients:1 zucchini, sliced into thin medallions (thickness of a quarter)
Cooking spray
Seasonings: I used garlic salt / paprika

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, and spray with canola oil.  Set aside.

Lay out slices on prepared baking sheet, and spray tops lightly with additional cooking spray.  Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. (A note on seasoning, however - use LESS than what seems appropriate.  These shrink considerably in the oven, and if you use too much it gets very concentrated.  It's better to end up underseasoning and add more later.)

Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet, and bake an additional 30-50 minutes, until chips are browned and crisped to your liking.  These are best eaten within a couple hours of removing from the oven, as they start to get chewy if left out.

Avocado/Pepperoni Grilled Cheese

We got a little behind on our menu board this week, so we had an easy dinner tonight.....grown up grilled cheese!!  Our panini maker makes some wicked sandwiches, so this was super quick too....good thing too - Ross got to take his "hog" out for a ride faster :)

We had this with Baked Zucchini Chips - cause then we felt more healthy!!  hehe

Avocado, sliced
Tomato, sliced
Mozzarella cheese slices
Pepperoni / Salami

Butter your bread - I start with salami, tomato, avocado, top with cheese and then bread....put on sandwich maker and DONE!!  YUMMY!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spicy Thai Chicken Wings

It's Easter today and since we were having the Glovers over and we had such a large breakfast - we decided to keep it simple and make up some yummy wings!!  These were heaven in your mouth!!  We made these with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing - and it was so, so, so good!!  We only had ours marinade for about 1 hour - so I would recommend longer - but that was the only thing I would change!
Makes 40 appetizers: Party Food

20 chicken wings or drummies (about 4 lbs)
1/4 cup dry sherry or chicken broth
1/4 cup oyster sauce (no oyster sauce - do 2 tablespoons soy sauce instead!)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons grated lime peel
4 medium green onions, chopped (1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Cut each chicken wing at joints to make 3 pieces (thigh, wing, tip - throw tip away....this is just full of lovely fat)

Mix remaining ingredients in plastic bag or large glass bowl.  Add chicken to marinade.  Seal bag; turn to coat.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 24 hours, turning once.

Heat oven to 375.  Place chicken in ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Bake about 20 minutes longer or until juices of chicken are no longer pink.

Blue Cheese Dressing

I'm a ranch girl - I put ranch on my salads, wings, pizza....but lately, I've taken more of a liking to wings with blue cheese - thank you BW3 :)  Figured I would get fancy and whip up some of my own - and it was AMAZING!!!  Especially good with homemade xxx.

OBB Cookbook

1 cup mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip. Just don’t. You may, however, use light mayonnaise.)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
A couple tablespoons of milk or buttermilk (optional)

Combine ingredients...AND DONE!!

If you’d like, thin to desired consistency with milk or buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bunny Rabbit Carrots cute are these?!  :)  One of these bad boys made it into Ross's Easter basket - and the other to my parents for a little treat!!  ahhh I love celebrating holidays!!

Cake decorating bags
Green ribbon

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Southwest Burger

Had miss Kimmy over for dindin tonight, so Ross made us  these YUMMY burgers!!!  They were super good and had a fun twist to your typical burger!!  We made these with Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower....ahhh best dinner ever!!  Super excited to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!  Make double to the Chipotle-Lime sauce too.....ahhh soo good!!

Burger ingredients:
1 1/2 lb ground chuck or ground sirloin
1 1/2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle chili can)
1/4 cup grated onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chipotle-lime Mayo ingredients:
1/2 cup Mayo
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the canned chipotle chilis)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4-6 good quality buns
1 tomato
1-2 avocado
optional: jack, cotija, or queso fresco cheese

Start by making the sauce.  Place mayo, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl.  Now this is the hard part - Stir it all together - cover it and set in the fridge. You can make this part up to a day ahead of time if you want to. And it’s seriously so good I could dip anything in it. Fries, chips… I actually usually double it so I can serve extra on the table.

Now place the beef in a bowl and gently crumble with your fingers. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, grated onion, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, and pepper. Use your hands (yes, your hands!) to gently mix things together. If you go crazy and over-work ground beef it gets a yucky texture. Just mix it enough to distribute the ingredients and call it good.

Divide into 4 patties (or 6 little ones) and place on a preheated grill, indoor grill pan, or skillet.

If you want to top with cheese, do so in the last few minutes of grilling. I’d use jack (not pepperjack), cotija, or even some queso fresco. While the burgers are cooking, toast buns and spread chipotle-lime sauce generously on each side of each bun.

When the burgers are done to your liking let them stand for 5 minutes off the grill/pan and then pop onto your prepared buns. Top with tomato slices, avocado slices, and a crisp piece of lettuce.

If you made extra sauce, serve it on the table so people can slather it on every bite. Just wait until you sink your teeth into this baby!

Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower

Cauliflower....ICK!!  How WRONG I was!!  This was AMAZING!!  I'm even putting it under the Sodahl Fav category too.....yeah, it was that good!!  It's super easy to make too - but it's so tasty!!  Garlic and Parmesan cheese makes me likey cauli!!  hehe

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Apple Romaine Salad

My hubby the chef!!  I haven't felt like myself this week, so Rossy has been the Sodahl chef!  He made up this yummy salad to go with Chicken and Wild Rice tonight, and it was so good!!  The dressing was a little sugar-y, so next time I would only put 1/2 cup sugar..but I was still licking my plate!!
Makes about 8 servings

1 bunch Romaine lettuce
2 apples (cut in bite size – peel apple)
4 oz shredded swiss cheese
8 oz cashew halves

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 ½ tablespoon grated onion (dried onion)
1 cup salad oil or veggie oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon poppy seed

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sherry's Coconut Chicken Salad

Sodahls are celebrating 11 years of "being together" (yeah I count the ENTIRE rel't) :)  We had a great day - and ended with the best meal ever!!

Hey Barb/Stacy - you now can have Franny's/Sherry's Chicken Salad in your house instead of having to go to Sunsets and Maynards -- what what!!  It was almost as good as the real thing too - I licked my plate!!

Super good and surprising quick to make!!  Yummy!!!

2 servings: Restaurant Secrets Cookbook

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
8 oz chicken breasts, boned, skinned, and cut into strips
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with a dash of salt/pepper
Olive oil
8 oz spring greens
4 oz artichoke hearts, quartered
1 large tomato, diced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Honey mustard dressing

Combine coconut and breadcrumbs together.  Dip chicken strips into beaten eggs and seasoned flour.  Press into coconut-breadcrumb mixture; press out with the palm of the hand to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Warm olive oil in frying pan over high heat, add coconut battered chicken to oil frying on both sides until golden brown (approx 1 1/2 minutes on each side).  Remove from pan and let rest for 3 minutes and cut to julienne.

Arrange spring greens, artichokes, tomato, hard boiled egg slices, avocado slices, and shredded cheese on large plate.  Place coconut chicken over greens.  Serve with honey mustard dressing to taste.