Monday, April 15, 2013

Quick BBQ Sandwiches

This recipe came out of a Cooking Light Magazine and was featured in the "Budget Cooking" section.  Gotta love that, right?  With the price of groceries (and everything else) these days, it's always nice to make a meal that can feed your entire family and not break the bank.  This meal (corn included) feeds 4 people for under $10.  Nice!  And if you can find the tenderloin on sale (or buy the 2-pack at Costco and save one for later) then it would be even more budget friendly!  For the delicious corn you see pictured, you just brush it with olive oil and grill it then sprinkle with smoked paprika.)  This recipe also included a homemade slaw, but we love Katie's Homesyle Mustard Slaw in a jar so that what we used instead.  Plus, I like to take some shortcuts when cooking weeknight dinners because I'm usually cooking with little ones at my feet.  You moms know how it is...weeknight cooking can be hectic!  A little shortcut never hurt anybody!

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce (we use low sodium)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Cooking Spray
4 Hamburger buns (I like whole wheat)

What You'll Do:
Preheat grill to high heat.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
*Reserve 1/4 cup ketchup mixture, set aside.
Add pork to remaining ketchup mixture, turn to coat pork.
Place pork on grill rack covered with cooking spray.  Cover and grill 5 minutes.
Turn pork over and grill for 6 more minutes.  Thermometer should register 150 degrees in thickest portion.
Remove pork from grill and let rest 5 minutes.
Cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
Arrange buns, cut side down on grill rack covered in cooking spray.  Grill until golden brown and toasted.
Divide pork evenly onto buns and top with 1 Tbs reserved ketchup sauce.

*Make sure you remember to reserve some of the ketchup mixture!  I failed to do so and ended up having to take what the pork marinated in and boil the you-know-what out of it so that we could use it as a sauce.  It didn't kill us, so I guess it was okay...but I did create an extra step for myself.

Barbecue Turkey Meatballs

I've been trying to make healthy substitutions lately, and ground turkey instead of beef is one of them.  Pretty much anything that I would have made with beef, I now use turkey.  It honestly tastes just as good to me, and my family likes it just as well too.  I ran across this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and loved that it was so simple.  My kind of recipe!  It has smoked paprika in it, which is a spice I did not have in my pantry.  In the past, whenever something called for smoked paprika, I would just substitute regular paprika for it.  This time, I decided to buy some to see what all the fuss is all about.  So glad I did!  That stuff is amazing!  The night after I used it in this recipe, I sprinkled it on some grilled corn on the cobb.  OhMy!  MmmMmm!  But, I digress...Mashed potatoes go great with these meatballs because of all the sauce.  Not the healthiest choice (especially since mine are laden with butter and sour cream), but so dang good.  Everything in moderation, right?

What You'll Need:
2 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 (14.5 oz) can Rotel
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
3 Tbs Italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbs chili powder
Cooking spray

What You'll Do:
Place first 6 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Combine turkey, breadcrumbs and chili powder in a large bowl.  Using wet hands, shape into 16 meatballs.
Heat a large skillet over med-hi heat.  Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.  Add meatballs and cook 2 minutes, browning on all sides.
Add tomato mixture to pan and bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes or until meatballs are done.

Green Beans Almandine

I was watching a cooking show one and the chef made these.  My mouth was watering and I couldn't wait to make them!  I've made them several times since and they are so delicious.  It takes your standard, boring green beans to a new level.  You'll never look at canned green beans the same! I just kindof throw all of this together, so my measurements aren't set in can adjust to your liking, or the quantity you need, but here's an idea of how to make them...

What You'll Need:
1 lb. Hericot Verts (long skinny green beans)
Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Butter
1/4 Cup Toasted Almonds (slivers or chopped)
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

What You'll Do:
Blanch the hericot verts.  (Put them into boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, drain and plunge into ice bath to stop the cooking.)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add your olive oil and butter.  Once butter has melted, put in your drained hericot verts and toss.  Cook until they are al dente.  (They should have a bite to them...don't kill them with heat and make them limp.  That would be sad.)
Remove from heat and add in your toasted almonds and lemon juice. 

Easy Mexican Casserole

Sometimes, you just need a warm, gooey, comforting casserole.  And sometimes, you just crave Mexican food.  So, a Mexican Casserole definitely hits the spot when those times come!  The best thing about casseroles are that they feed alot of people, so when my In-Laws come to dinner, that's usually what I make.  That, and the fact that they are so dang easy to throw together.  You can't go wrong! 

What You'll Need:

1 pound lean ground beef

2 cups salsa

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, drained

3 cups tortilla chips, crushed

2 cups sour cream

1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

What You'll Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Stir in salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in beans, and heat through.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread crushed tortilla chips in dish, and then spoon beef mixture over chips. Spread sour cream over beef, and sprinkle olives, green onion, and tomato over the sour cream. Top with Cheddar cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Roasted Salmon with Soy Marmalade Glaze and Soba Noodle Salad

I am a fish lover.  Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, Grouper, Tuna, Salmon...I love them all.  I love them just about any way you can prepare them.  From a simple piece of grilled fish to crab stuffed fish with a yummy sauce on top.  Mmm...put it in my mouth, yum!  I think alot of people are intimated by the thought of cooking fish at home.  Really, I think fish is one of the easist things you can cook at home.  Honestly, you can even put it in a dish with some butter, lemon slices, salt and pepper, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and microwave it for 10 minutes.  I'm serious!  You can microwave fish and it's still good.  Don't be intimidated people.  Just try it!  This particular recipe uses salmon and is Asian inspired.  Salmon is SO good for you!  It is loaded with protein and muscle-building amino acids and it's high in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.  So you can feel good about eating this!  You start out by baking this fish and then broiling it. Watch it closely once the broiler is on so they don't burn!!! Don't go outside to take a picture of your kids only to return to a smoking kitchen and black salmon...which is almost what happened to me!  I served it with Edemame (you can buy it in the freezer section and steam it in it's own bag or just slightly boil it and then sprinkle on salt) and Soba Noodle Salad (recipe follows).  So, who needs that overpriced Asian restaurant with the long wait when you can cook Asian in your home?  I would end this post with some cool Japanese word, but I don't know any...

What You'll Need for the Salmon:
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 1/2 tsp. lower sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets with skin on
cooking spray
2 Tbs. thinly sliced green onions (I omitted b/c we don't care for them)
4 lemon wedges

What You'll Do:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine marmalade, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl.
Arrange salmon fillets, skin side down, on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Brush fillets evenly with half of the marmalade mixture.
Bake at 450 for 4 minutes.
Heat broiler to high (do not remove fish from oven); broil fish 6 minutes.  (Watch closely so they don't burn under broiler!!!  Don't go outsid
Spoon additional marmalade mixture onto fish and broil an additional 3 minutes or until desired doneness. 
Sprinkle with green onions and serve with lemon wedges. 

What You'll Need for the Soba Noodle Salad:
4 ounces Soba Noodles (you can find these on the Asian aisle)
1 1/2 Tbsp. lower sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper (julienne is just a fancy word for cut into long, thin matchstick strips)
1/2 cup julienne-cut snow peas
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (again I omitted this)

What You'll Do:
Cook Soba Noodles according to package, omitting salt and fat.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Drain well.
Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, lemon juice and crushed red pepper in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Add noodles, red bell pepper, snow peas and green onions and toss well. 

Kefta Kebabs w/Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad

I first saw this recipe in a cooking light magazine.  It reminded me of the kebabs that my best friend's mother used to make for us when we were kids.  They were from Iran and I loved eating at their house because her mom would make tradition Persian food which was so delicious and unlike anything I had ever had before.  OhMyGoodness...the yellow rice with the crusty bottom to it was to die for...oh how I could tear some of that up right now!  I really need to learn how to make that.  Um, sorry, I totally got off topic.  I tend to do that often when thinking about food...  Anyway, these kefta kebabs are actually Moroccan and are made of ground beef or lamb and typically mixed with cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander and parsley. Cinnamon, hot ground pepper, and mint leaves are nice additions as well.  I planned on using a combo of beef and lamb to make these, but the lamb was $9.99 lb. so I passed and used beef only.  Traditionally, the meat, spices and herbs would be passed through a meat grinder together.  While I do have a ton of kitchen equipment, a meat grinder is not one of them.  So, I just used a bowl and spoon and a little elbow grease.  Ugh, I've always hated that term.  Elbow grease?  Gross!  I served these kebabs with a Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad which could not be a better compliment to the meat.  Ya know what's really good the next day with the leftovers?  Get a wrap ( I like the FlatOut Spinach wraps) and put the meat and pepper tomato salad in it and wrap it up.  Score!  Also pictured here is Zucchini Rice.  Could not be easier!  Just prepare your rice as you normally would.  Then grate a zucchini into it.  Yup, that's all folks!  What an easy way to add veggies to an otherwise boring side dish.  Hope you like this one as much as my family and I do!

What You'll Need for the Kefta Kebabs:
1 lb.  ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)

1 medium onion, chopped very fine
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (optional)

What You'll Do:
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and leave for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to blend. The kefta is then ready to shape and cook.

To make kebabs, take small amounts of kefta and shape them into cylinder or sausage shapes. Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold in the skewer.  (I have also just made these as patties like you would a hamburger.)
Cook over hot coals, approximately five minutes each side. (It may take less or more time, depending on how hot the coals are, and how thick you shaped the kefta.) Watch the kebabs carefully, so you don't dry out the kefta.

What You'll Need for the Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad:
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

*2 roasted green peppers, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 to 3 teaspoons vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

What You'll Do:
Place the tomatoes, roasted green peppers, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate if you won't be serving the salad right away.
When you're ready to serve the salad, add the salt, pepper, cumin, oil and vinegar. Toss or stir gently.
You can eat this salad with a spoon, but it's also delicious scooped up with a piece of crusty bread.

*To roast the peppers, just hold them over an open flame, rotating them to char all sides.  Once they are nice and black, put them in a ziplock bag.  They will steam in the bag and the blackend skin will release.  Use the bag to rub off the skin.  Take out of bag and proceed to take seeds out and chop. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

What's better than warm tomatoes smothered in parmesan cheese?  Not much!  These took about 3 minutes to assemble and only 10 minutes to cook.  I bet you already have everything you need to make them too!  Love that! 

What You Need
Tomatoes (duh)
Shredded Parmesan
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Oregano (okay maybe you don't have this in your fridge, but I supposed dried oregano would be ok too)

What You Do
Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into approximately 1/3-inch slices. Place them on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper (season according to your taste). Drizzle with some olive oil and bake until tomatoes are tender and the cheese is melted, for about 10-15 minutes.

Coconut Oil, amazing stuff!

Have you ever heard of coconut oil?  Have you tried cooking with it?  Were you surprised, like me, that it comes in a solid form?  I expected it to be a liquid like olive oil or canola oil.  Weird!  My friend, Lana, introduced this to me.  She owned a gym at the time and is super knowledgeable about all things good and bad for you.  Not to mention she has a banging body...if I didn't love her so much, I'd hate her!  She's a good friend though, and the reason she told me about it is because she knows how worried I am about developing Alzheimer's.  It runs in my family and my mom is currently in the last stages of it.  Bless her heart.  Don't get me started...I won't be able to finish this post through tears.  Anyway, coconut oil is believed to fight Alzheimer's along with a myriad of other things from relieving stress, to preventing wrinkles, softening your hair and incresing motabolism.  In an nutshell, it's some crazy good stuff that you need to go buy today!  Surprisingly, it has no flavor.  It's not going to make your food taste like a pina coloda.  Slather it on toast, bake with it, sautee your shrimp in it or just smear it on your face.  It's up to you.

Not your usual boring Eggs

I've been trying to eat healthier lately...  I jump on the eat healthy & excersise bandwagon about every April.  The thought of bathing suite season puts a lump in my throat, like most other women I know.  I swear, flourescent lighting in dressing rooms should be against the law.  Anyway, eggs get boring, right?  My kid's pancakes with Nutella always look and smell so much better than the thought of cooking eggs (again).  So, this morning, I added a few simple additions to my eggs in the hopes of making them at least a little less boring.  I think it worked!  Oh, and that whole grain toast has a smearing of Coconut Oil on it instead of butter.  Have you tried coconut oil?  That post is coming up next!

What you Need
Red Bell Pepper
Fresh Herbs (whatever you have, I used oregano and basil)
Cheese of your choice (I used Swiss this morning because my Goat cheese smelled funky)

What You Do
Scramble up your eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the fresh herbs.
Put a little coconut oil (or butter if you don't mind the extra blubber on your thighs) in a sautee pan and add the bell peppers. 
Once the peppers are soft, pour in the eggs with herbs and stir around with a rubber spatula.  Once they begin to set a little, add in the cheese. 
When your eggs are set and the cheese has melted, you are good to go! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Okay, so, what could be bad if it has bacon in it, right? This dip has only 4 ingredients so it truly could not be any easier. Gotta love that, right?! I served it in a bowl full of chopped iceburg lettuce and served it alongside pita chips. Mmm, mmm!
What You'll Need:
1 cup Mayonaisse
1 cup Sour Cream
1 lb. Bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
2 Medium Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Lettuce for garnish
Pita Chips for dipping
What You'll Do:
Mix first 4 ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with lettuce and pita chips.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon Pepper Chicken

This recipe was given to me by my sister when I was first moving out on my own. I had asked my sisters for the easiest recipes they had and this was one. I've made this chicken more times than I can count since those early days of learning how to cook. The best part is the lemony, peppery butter that is in the foil when you open it. I pour it over rice and it is delicious!
What You'll Need:
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
What You'll Do:
Lay out pieces of foil (however many breast halves you have). Place a couple of pats of butter on each piece of foil. Place a piece of chicken on top of the butter. Sprinkle generously with lemn pepper seasoning. Put a couple of more pats of butter on top. Fold foil into a pouch and cinch tightly. You may want to double wrap with foil. Place foil packs into a casserole dish (just in case of leaks) and bake on 350 for about 40 minutes.

Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches

If you like smoked salmon, you'll love these little sandwiches. The herb butter makes them extra special. This recipe came from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa. She used square pieces of bread and cut them into triangles which is even prettier, but I couldn't find the perfect bread so I just improvised!
What You'll Need:
Herb Butter:
1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced scallions
1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
1 Tbsp. minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Loaf dense 7-grain or health bread, 1/4 inch slices
8 slices smoked salmon
What You'll Do:
Combine all the butter ingredients in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until well blended, but do not whip.
Spread butter on 4 slices of bread, top with a slice of smoked salmon then finish with another piece of bread on top. Refrigerate until butter is very cold and then slice each sandwich in half.

Caprese Skewers

This is a very simple appetizer! Tasty and pretty too! I made these for my best friend's baby shower. They were one of the fastest dishes we prepared that day and, I thought, one of the prettiest!
What You'll Need:
Small fresh mozzerella balls
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
What You'll Do:
Marinate the tomatoes, mozzerella and basil in a mmixture of the EVOO, vinegar, salt and pepper for a couple of hours. Alternate ingredients onto skewers.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chocolate Eclair

Make this dessert one time, share it with your friends and be prepared to make it again and again and again! That's how good this dessert is! People will either want you to make it for every get together or will want the recipe from you so they can make it themselves. The great part's really easy to prepare and you already probably have most of the ingredients needed to make it.

What You'll Need:
(Chocolate Sauce)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
(Pudding Mixture)
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
8 oz cool whip

Graham Crackers

What You'll Do:
Put all chocolate sauce ingredients into a small, heavy pot on stove. Melt over medium heat, stirring often. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Make sure not to scortch the chocolate. Remove from heat and allow to stand for a few minutes. It will thicken slightly as it cools.

In a very large bowl, mix together the instant pudding and milk with a whisk. Fold in the cool whip with a spatula.

In a 9 x 13 pan, put a layer of graham crackers on bottom. Next, add a layer of pudding mixture. Top pudding with layer of chocolate sauce. Repeat layers so that you end up with 3 layers. You should end up with chocolate on top.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BBQ Bacon & Cheese Fudburger

Hello yumminess! Is that a word? This recipe comes from an issue of the "Puck Fudder" that I was browsing through at Fudpucker's Restaurant a couple of years ago while at the beach. This burger is so delicious, definitely the best I've ever made at home. The BBQ sauce and bacon add a special touch to the burger, but what really makes it special is the basting sauce. Everyone in my family polished off their burgers in no time...even my almost 2 year old! I halved this recipe and it made 4 burgers. Also, I used regular salt and pepper and our favorite BBQ sauce since I didn't have the Fudpuckers brand. I served these burgers with grilled corn on the cob and guacamole with tortilla chips.
What You'll Need:
(Burger Mix)
2 pounds ground chuck
2 Tbsp. onions, finely diced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh garlic, finely diced
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. fresh ground sea salt
(Basting Sauce)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. granulated garlic
What You'll Do:
Combine burger mix ingredients in bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Combine basting sauce ingredients in bowl, mix thoroughly and set aside.
Pre-heat chargrill on high until very hot as you'll want to sear in the flavors as quickly as possible. Remove the burger mix from refrigerator and form into patties.
Place patties on pre-heated chargrill. (Do not press with spatula as this will dry them out and cause them to stick.)
Cook burgers for approximately 2 1/2 minutes and then brush with basting sauce. Flip burgers over, brush with basting sauce and cook for another 2 1/2 minutes or until done to your satisfaction. Remove from grill and garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon, Crazy Mother Pucker's Original Formula BBQ Sauce and other accompaniments of your choice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Sorry, no picture yet! I'll post one the next time I make it. This is a really quick and easy breakfast casserole to throw together and I love that you can make it ahead of time and that it freezes well. I served it with fresh fruit and muffins. (One note...I think 45 minutes is a little long for this. Mine was just a tad bit over done. Next time, I will start checking it after 35 minutes.)

What You'll Need:

2 C. Milk
8 Eggs
6 Slices Bread (torn into small pieces)
1 lb. Sausage
1 c. Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp. Salt
Pepper to taste

What You'll Do:

Brown sausage and drain well. Lightly beat eggs and add sausage, cheese, bread, milk, salt and pepper. Place in casserole dish and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (see note above).

If you make this ahead of time, you should freeze it as soon as you make it. Then, the night before you need it, place in refrigerator to thaw. Then, cook as directed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumkin Spice Muffins w/Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my very favorite things about the arrival of Fall is cooking with Pumpkin. I lurve me some punkin' flavored desserts!!! Pie, cake, pancakes, muffins...bring it on! I got this recipe from Ree Drummond who writes my favorite food blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks at You have GOT to check out her blog. It is incredible! Everything I've made of hers is fab so I was not suprised when these muffins came out great too. Of course, the cream cheese frosting takes them over the top and makes them out of this world good, but the muffins would be great for breakfast/brunch if you leave it off. Now all I need to go with them is a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Yum!
What You'll Need:
(For the muffins)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional!...I omitted these)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
(For the Frosting)
1/4 cup softened butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
What You'll Do:
(For the Muffins)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease 12 muffin tins.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until all incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla.
Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins. Fold gently until mixture is just combined.
Pour into greased muffin pan—batter hardly ever fills all twelve unless you keep it down to 1/2 full.
Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon-sugar over the top of each unbaked muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. Ice with cream cheese frosting.
Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Spread onto completely cooled muffins, or place into a large pastry bag with a large star tip and go crazy!
Store in fridge, as icing will soften at room temperature.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Breast over Creamy Polenta

Oh wow, this was soooo yummy! My friend (thanks Kelly Martin) recommended this recipe to me and I am so glad she did! It comes from Robert Irvine with the Food Network. The pesto makes the chicken very flavorful and the polenta...mmm, mmm good! I've always loved polenta, but had never made it before. Oh my goodness, it is so simple to make! It's actually easier than making mashed potatoes because you don't have to peel potatoes! This polenta was soooo creamy and delicious...I couldn't get enough of it. I used smoked gouda cheese instead of the cheddar so it had a nice, smoky flavor to it. I omitted the scallions because we aren't big fans of scallions. For the chicken, I used boneless, skinless breasts. While they were fine enough, the next time I make this I will definitely do as the recipe suggests and use chicken with the bone and skin so that it will be more tender and juicy. Alright, so, if you want to impress someone with your culinary skills, make this recipe!!!

What You'll Need:

(For the Chicken)
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 (6-ounce) chicken breasts, with wing bone, skin on

(For the creamy polenta)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup freshly shredded Cheddar
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
Freshly ground black pepper

What You'll Do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the pesto crust:
Blend sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves and basil leaves in a food processor. Stir in Parmesan and add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside briefly. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken breast with pepper only. (The Parmesan in the pesto will provide salt.) Brown both sides of chicken, beginning with skin side first. Coat chicken with pesto and roast in oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until fork tender.
For the polenta:
Combine chicken stock and cream in a large heavy saucepan. Heat to a gentle boil over medium heat, being careful not to burn. While whisking constantly, gradually add the cornmeal in a thin stream. Once cornmeal is incorporated, keep heat low and continue to whisk until mixture is slightly thickened and creamy. Stir in butter and Cheddar and allow cheese to melt. Season with pepper, (and salt if needed). Spoon polenta onto serving plate, top with chicken breast and garnish with chopped scallions.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pasta Ponza

Oh my! I think I have just found my new favorite quick & easy pasta dish! It's definitely in the top 3 anyway! This recipe comes from Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network. Tomatoes, capers and cheese...that's really about it...what more do ya need? My 16 month old polished off an entire plate, my husband had seconds and my 10 year old had three helpings! That's enough to make me want to make this dish pretty often. I couldn't find yellow tomatoes so I used all red, I used rotini instead of ziti and I used fresh basil instead of parsley. Next time, I'll half the recipe because a pound of pasta is way too much for my family. It would be the perfect amount for a dinner party though.
What You'll Need:
Butter for greasing
2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

What You'll Do:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Torte

If you like cheesecake and peanut butter, you will love this dessert! The crust is really just refrigerated cookie dough which makes it super yummy and fairly easy. This is a very rich only need a very small piece to satisfy your sweet tooth. It's also really pretty once you slice it! I got this recipe from

What You'll Need:
1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated choc. chip cookie dough
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup semisweet mini choc chips
1 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

What You'll Do:
Heat oven to 350. In ungreased 9 or 10 inch springform pan, break up cookie dough. Press dough evenly into bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar and egg until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of choc chips and 1/2 cup of peanuts. Poor over cooled crust, spread evenly.

Microwave butterscotch chips on high for 1 minute, stirring twice, until melted and smooth. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining choc chips and peanuts.

Bake 30-40 minutes longer until edge is set but center is still slightly jiggly. Cool on cooling rack 10 minutes. Run knife around side of pan to loosen torte. Carefully remove side of pan. Cool 1 hour and then refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

To serve, cut torte into wedges. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

French Chicken Breasts with Orange Tarragon Sauce

Okay, so this is one of the more fancy dishes on my blog. I usually make things that are quick and easy...especially for weeknight meals...but, I had bone-in breasts and tarragon so I needed to do something with them. I'm glad I did! I found this recipe on The sauce is amazing! My husband liked this as much as I did and I'm sure I'll be making it again. I wouldn't say this is a complicated recipe, really, just a little more involved than most of my others. I actually messed up the sauce on my first attempt and had to re-do it. I let it reduce too long and it pretty much dissipated in the pan. Good thing it only requires 4 ingredients! Also, this recipe states that the chicken only needs to be in the over for about 15 minutes...mine actually took about 30 minutes. Stick a meat thermometer in it and take it out when it reaches 165 degrees. I made this recipe for just the two of us using only two breasts. I cut all the other ingredients in half and actually wished I hadn't of because I would have loved more of that yummy sauce to pour over rice.
What you'll Need:
8 chicken breasts, skin on and wing bone attached
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs tarragon
4 TBS unsalted butter, cut into bits
What You'll Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and place it over high heat for 2 minutes.
Season the chicken breasts with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and place 4 of the breasts in the pan skin side down. Sear for 1 minute or until the skin is crispy and a golden brown. Turn the breasts and sear 1 more minute.
Remove to a baking dish and repeat the process with the rest of the butter, oil and breasts. Place the baking dish into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add orange juice, chicken broth, and tarragon to the hot skillet. Cook until reduced by about 3/4 (sauce should coat the back of a spoon). Right before serving, whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.

Chicken Salad w/Grapes, Pecans & Tarragon

The BEST chicken salad I have ever had...period! I am super picky about chicken salad. Honestly, I just don't usually like most people's chicken salad. This is Ina Garten's recipe, back from when she used to cater and I just don't think it gets much better than this. Roasting the chicken with the bone and skin keeps it super moist and the fruit and pecans add just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. I omitted the walnuts and doubled the pecans. Make sure you toast them first...makes a big difference! I like to eat this chicken salad with a side of honeydew, but it would be fantastic inside a soft croissant, nestled inside some fresh butter lettuce, wrapped in a tortilla or stuffed in some pita bread. Just be careful...this stuff is addictive. I ate it every day for three days straight for lunch!

What You'll Need:
2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (1 1/2 pounds)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup walnuts halves
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
1 cup green grapes, cut in 1/2
Lettuce leaves, for serving

What You'll Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.
When the chicken is cool, remove meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into a 3/4-inch dice.
Meanwhile, place the pecans and walnuts on a separate sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in half the chopped tarragon leaves.
Place the diced chicken in a bowl, add the pecans, walnuts and grapes. Pour the dressing over the chicken and toss well. Sprinkle the remaining chopped tarragon leaves on top, and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

Dill Potato Salad

I saw Ina Garten make this on the Food Network and craved it every day until I finally made it myself. It is so yummy and creamy and easy to make. I made a few changes: I used regular milk instead of buttermilk, I omitted the celery and I used regular mustard instead of whole grain. It was still delish!

What You'll Need:
3 pounds small red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk, milk, or white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

What You'll Do:
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. (As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing.)

Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

My friend, Deana, made this for girls night once and I fell in love with it. It's so simple to throw together. I've made it several times since. It's a great summer salad! I'm not including amounts for the ingredients because you can just use as much or as little as you like depending on your taste and how much salad you need. Oh, and you can buy resealable packs of bacon pieces which means you don't even have to get out a frying pan. Yes!

What You'll Need:
Baby Spinach
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Bacon, crumbled
Strawberries, sliced or quartered
Pecan Halves or Pieces
Mandarin Oranges
Newman's Own Raspberry Walnut Vinagrette

What You'll Do:
Throw it all together, of course, and then just toss in dressing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Sorry that there is no picture of this! We dug into it before I thought about it. This is great for parties...a sweet little ending. You can roll it in chopped pecans at the very end if you wish, but I chose not to. Goes great with graham crackers (plain, cinnamon or chocolate) or those little graham cracker sticks would be perfect too.

What You'll Need:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened (not margerine)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

What You'll Do:
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars. Stir in chocolate chips.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Place mixture in plastic wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for 1 more hour.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

OMG!!! That's really all I can say! Try these and you WILL be hooked! I got this recipe from my friend Carla, but also from this amazing blog: These were a big hit! And they only have 3 ingredients! Seriously! I'll be making them again and again I'm sure. A word to the wise, however, make sure you wear gloves when you take the seeds out. I didn't and my fingers burned for two days...not to mention what it does to your eyes when you touch them. OUCH! They were worth the pain though!
What You'll Need:
Cream Cheese
Center cut Bacon
What You'll Do:
Cut the Jalapenos length-wise. Take out the seeds and the veins.
Smear lots of cream cheese inside each half.
Wrap each jalapeno with a slice of bacon.
Bake for 20 minutes on 375 degrees. If the bacon isn't crispy, put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Yum-O!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crock Pot Chili

This chili is rich and satisfying and the crock pot makes it so simple. I combined two recipes to make it my own. We eat it with good ol' saltine crackers, but it would also be great with cheese, sour cream, and fritos!

What You'll Need:
2 lbs. Ground Chuck
29 oz can Tomato Sauce
29 oz. can Kidney Beans (with liquid)
29 oz. can Pinto Beans (with liquid)
1 can Rotel
1 c. Diced Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Diced Celery
2 tsp. Cumin Powder
3 Tbs. Chili Powder (I would do a little less next was too spicy for my daughter)
1 1/2 tsp. Black Ppepper
2 tsp. Salt
Water (about 1/2 cup-1 cup...eyeball it)

What You'll Do:
Brown the meat in skillet over medium heat, drain.
Put all ingredients in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on Low 10-12 hours or High 5-6 hours.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicken 'n Bacon Ranch Pizza

Pillsbury was nice enough to send me free products to experiment with and their pizza dough was one of those products! This is a great, quick & easy pizza to make...especially since you don't have to make your own dough. If you love bacon and ranch (who doesn't?) then you will love this pizza! Thank, Pillsbury, for the free food and for this recipe!
What You'll Need:
1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated thin pizza crust
1/2 cup ranch dressing (I use the Hidden Valley that you make from the packet)
2 packages (6 oz each) refrigerated cooked Italian style chicken breast strips, chopped
4 slices crisply cooked bacon, coarsley chopped (I used 6 slices)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded mozzaerella
What You'll Do:
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 15 x 10 inch or larger nonstick cookie sheet.
Unroll dough on cookie sheet; starting at center, press dough into 15 x 10 inch rectangle.
Spread ranch evenly over dough. Top with cheeses and remaining ingredients.
Bake 13-16 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Pepper Steak

This is really called Green Pepper Steak, but my husband and I prefer red bell peppers so that's how I made it! You probably have almost everything you need to make this already in your pantry. I only had to get the meat and bell pepper. I love that everything goes into one pan...makes for easy clean up! It was really yummy and I'll definitely be making this again.
What You'll Need:
1 lb round steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup oil
1 cup green onion, sliced (I omitted this)
1 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup water
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
What You'll Do:
Cut steak into thin strips.
Combine soy sauce and garlic. Add meat, toss and set aside.
Heat oil over med-hi heat and brown meat.
Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Turn heat up and add onion, pepper and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes until crisp tender.
Mix corn starch with water, add to pan, stir and cook until thickened.
Add tomatoes and heat through.

Oven Roasted Tilapia & Veggies with Lemon Herb Butter

This is a very light and tasty dish that is so easy to prepare. It goes great with a side of can pour the lemon butter over it. This recipe originally comes from the "Fresh Fish Cookbook", but my friend Scott Dickenson gave it to me. Thanks Scott! It's a new favorite of mine now!
What You'll Need:
1 ½ pounds of Fresh Tilapia (4 each 5-6 oz filets)
1 each Tomato (sliced in 8 slices)
1 each Zucchini (med sliced)
1 each Yellow Squash (med sliced)
1 each Lemon (sliced in 8 slices)
To taste Italian seasoning
To taste Salt and Pepper
4 Tbsp Butter
2 cups Cooked Rice
4 sheets Aluminum Foil (approx 12-16 inches long)
What You'll Do:

1. Lay four pieces of foil out on counter top or work table.
2. Place two slices of tomato in center of each sheet, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the Zucchini and Yellow Squash into four portions, and place over the top of tomatoes. Try to keep them as flat and evenly spread out as possible so they will cook evenly.
4. Season the vegetables with Italian seasoning.
5. Place the Tilapia on top of the vegetable stack. Place 1 Tbsp butter on top of fish.
6. Season lightly with Salt and Pepper, and same seasoning you used on vegetables.
7. Top with two slices of Lemon. Form a pouch with Foil and crimp edges, forming an envelope or bag.
8. Place in 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. (It took about 40 minutes for my fish to be done!)
9. Remove from oven and open foil; use caution as steam will be trapped in foil. Serve the Tilapia and vegetables over cooked rice. Make sure to spoon liquid from bottom of foil over top of the fish and vegetables.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gourmet Mint Brownies

These brownies are some of the best I've ever had! My friend, Amy---check out her great blog--- (, made these for a baby shower that we hosted and everyone loved them. We couldn't stop eating them! They are so moist and flavorful...and you can tint the mint filling any color you want to go with different themes. Be careful...they are addictive!

What You'll Need:

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp mint extract
4 drops green food color**

1 cup margarine or butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour

2 tbsp margarine or butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp water
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

What You'll Do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9 inch pan.
In small bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Add 1 egg, mint extract and food color; mix well. Set aside.
In large saucepan, melt 1 cup butter and 4 oz chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in 2 cups sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour; mix well. Spread in greased and floured pan. Carefully spoon filling over brownie mixture. Lightly swirl filling into brownie mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
In heavy saucepan, bring 2 tbsp butter, corn syrup and water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add 2 oz chocolate; stir until melted. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Frost cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

This is a super fast little side salad. You can use any tomato that you like...cherry, roma, ugly, vine-ripe...whatever is most tasty at the time. As with most things that I throw together quickly, I have not listed amounts for ingredients. Just add as much or as little to suite your tastebuds!

What You'll Need:
Tomatoes, halved or sliced
Cucumber, cut into chunks
Red Onion, sliced or chopped
Balsamic Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

What You'll Do:
Put all veggies into a bowl. Drizzle on EVOO and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes

I know, I know...everyone has their own perfect way of making good ol' mashed taters. So, I thought I'd share mine too! Amounts of ingredients are not listed since I just eyeball everything as I go, but you get the idea. I usually allow one potato per person if they are on the larger side...maybe 2 per person if they are really small...the potato, not the person...LOL! I crack myself up!

What You'll Need:
Potatoes, Scrubbed and Peeled (I like Yukon Gold or Small Red Potatoes)
Heavy Cream
Sour Cream
Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

What You'll Do:
Boil the potaotes until tender. Drain.
Add the butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the potatoes and mash. I usually mash by hand using a masher for a creamy, dense consistency. I somtimes throw everything into the mixer for a more whipped consistency.
(Of course, nothing makes mashed potatoes better than a little gravy on top. I like to use the juices from Paula Deen's pot roast...recipe follows.)

Pot Roast

This is Paula Deen's Slowcooker Pot Roast and let me tell is a winner! It is sooooo tender and flavorful. Definitely a comfort food. Goes great with mashed potatoes because of all the "gravy" that is left behind. Although Paula's recipe does not call for them, I added baby carrots to mine. Also, I cut this recipe in half since I was only making it for 3 people. There was plenty and we even had leftovers. Follow the recipe below as is if you are serving a crowd though. Your husband will love you for making this...and I'm thinking it could definitely impress the in-laws too ;-)

What You'll Need:
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Chardonnay

House Seasoning:
1 cup Salt
1/4 cup Pepper
1/4 cup Garlic Powder

What You'll Do:
Sprinkle roast on all sides with house seasoning.
Using a skillet (*I use cast iron) over high heat, sear roast until brown in oil.
Place roast in a slow cooker and layer onions, bay leaves, crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup.
Add the Chardonnay and cover with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. (*I do not completely cover with water because I like a thicker gravy in the end...just cover half way.)
Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fried Fish Sandwiches

I used Tilapia for this sandwich, but any white fish would be great (grouper, flounder, etc). The sauce that I threw together was so simple, but very tasty. Next time, I will make twice as much because we could hardly taste it because of all the other ingredients. They were still yummy though! I'm not using exact measurements because you will need more or less of the ingredients depending on how many filets you are frying.
What You'll Need:
Fish Fillets
Vegetable Oil
Bread Crumbs
Garlic Powder
1/2 a Lemon
Morton's Seasoning Salt
Kaiser Rolls or Hoagie Buns
What You'll Do:
To make the sauce, combine mayo with lemon juice and seasoning salt. Stir well.
Season the fish fillets with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (I keep a container of these 3 already combined...Paula Deen's House Seasoning.)
Dredge the fish through the flour. Shake off excess.
Dip the fish into the milk.
Next, put the fish into the breadcrumbs and press them in firmly to both sides. (I like Panko bread crumbs.)
Let the fish sit for about 10 minutes after coating...may want to put into fridge.
Heat the oil in a skillet (I use cast iron) over med-hi. The oil should be very hot.
Place the fish into the hot oil and fry on both sides...about 3 minutes or until flaky.
Butter and toast your buns while the fish is cooking.
Spread the sauce over the buns and add desired toppings such as tomato and lettuce. Place fish on top. Enjoy!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Marsala

My sister gave me this recipe. It is Carabbas-style chicken marsala and is really, really good! It does require quite a few ingredients, but once you get's really nothing more than throwing a bunch of stuff together in a pan and simmering. To make things easier and for timing purposes, I prepped all the ingredients first (dice the proscuitto, mince the garlic and shallots, measure out the liquids, combine spices for rub, season the chicken, etc.) This made it much easier for me to ensure that the chicken, the sauce, and my sides would all get done at the same time. Carabbas also serves a sirloin marsala which is fabulous, so I think I will make this sauce with steak next time. *I used 3 slices of proscuitto because I love it so much. I served this dish with baked potatoes and salad.
What You'll Need:
Marsala Sauce:
1/3 cup butter
1 slice prosciutto, diced
2 teaspoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 4-ounce cans sliced mushrooms (drained)
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Chicken Spice:
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 chicken breasts
What you'll Do:
Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.
Turn heat up to medium/high to sauté the prosciutto in the melted butter for about 2-3 minutes (be careful not to burn the butter).
Add shallots and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.
Add marsala wine, simmer for another 30 seconds or so, then add mushrooms (drain off liquid) and black pepper.
Simmer over medium/high heat for 5 minutes.
Dissolve corn starch in chicken stock. Add stock to the saucepan and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Add parsley and cream to the sauce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until thick.
Remove pan from the heat, then cover it until needed.
Preheat barbecue grill on high heat.
Combine ingredients for chicken spice in a small bowl. Use your thumb and fingers to crush the spices in the bowl to make a finer blend.
Brush each chicken breast generously with olive oil.
Sprinkle spice blend over both sides of each chicken breast and grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done. Give chicken a one-quarter turn on each side while cooking to make criss-cross grill marks.
Serve entree by arranging each chicken breast on a plate. Spoon one quarter of the marsala sauce over each serving of chicken.