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: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/ 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 time...it 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 rice...you 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--- (http://abeginnercook.blogspot.com/), 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 you...it 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 started...it'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.

Monday, February 25, 2008


If you can get past the name of this dish...I think you'll really like it! The name reminds me of something you would have thrown together in a bucket in your backyard when you were a kid pretending to cook, but it really is pretty tasty. It's Paula Deen's recipe and, as I've said before, if it's Paula's...you know it's gonna good! Definitely nothing fancy, but sometimes that's just what the doctor orders! I only made half of the recipe (and cut down the cooking time) and it still made plenty. I added a dollup of sour cream before serving and it made it more creamy and rich...I love sour cream!

What You'll Need:
2 pounds lean ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
1 pound ground turkey
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups water
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cups dried elbow macaroni

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

What you'll Do:
In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef and ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sauteing; spoon off any grease.
Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits taste just like the ones served at Red Lobster! So easy to make since you use Bisquick, and you most liklely already have all the ingredients. For the recipe, visit: http://sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com/2008/01/red-lobster-style-cheese-biscuits.html (What can I say? It was a total "SugarandSpice" week for me! Thanks Celeste!)

Nacho Spuds

This was yummy-licious! My daughter loved it too. It's a nice departure from regular tacos and something new to do with potatoes. For the recipe, visit: http://sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com/2008/01/nacho-spuds.html Thanks for another great recipe, Celeste! (Originally from Rachel Ray)
*Suggestion for additional toppings: Black Olives and Zesty Ranch Sauce

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chicken Divan

I got this recipe from "RubyRedBride06" and her great blog: http://sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com/ Thanks Celeste! The recipe originally comes from Paula Deen with the Food Network. I knew it was going to be good...I mean, what does Paula make that isn't scrumptious? I used a Rotisserie chicken from the store. I was worried that it wouldn't produce 6 cups of chicken, but it ended up being the perfect amount. Also, I used Panko bread crumbs because that's what I happened to have on hand. I really like the texture and consistency of them too. I doubled the bread crumb topping too because that's one of my favorite parts of a casserole. This makes alot, so unless you have a crowd, I would half the recipe or make it in two seperate dishes and freeze half.
What You'll Need:
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli, chopped
6 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
What You'll Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the broccoli and put into a bowl with the shredded chicken.
In a seperate bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and chicken. Mix well with a spatula.
Place the mixture into an 11 by 7-inch casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula.
Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rib-Eye Steak with Black Olive Vinaigrette

Most people love a good steak, right? We do too. Especially Rib-Eye...it's our favorite cut. But, this black olive vinaigrette was unlike anything we had ever tasted on steak before. It made it super tasty and extra special. This recipe comes from Everyday Italian with Giada. I saw her make it and knew I had to try it. I adore black olives. If you've ever had a black olive tapanede, this kind of tastes like that...only a little tangier and not as thick. Speaking of black olives...make sure to get really good, Italian black olives. Definitely do not use those little watery things from a can! Giada grilled her steak, but it was way too cold here for that so I seared it and finished it in the oven. I was amazed at how tender it was! I had never cooked a steak like that before, but will certainly do it again!
What You'll Need:
Rib-eye Steak:
1 2-inch rib-eye steak, boneless
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Black Olive Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
What You'll Do:
For the Rib-eye:
Turn on your oven to 400 degrees. Get a cast iron skillet super hot over medium-high heat. It should be VERY hot.
Coat the beef with olive oil and sprinkle with the Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.
In the skillet, sear the steak on each side for about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 8 minutes longer or until desired doneness...depending on how thick the steak is.

For the Black Olive Vinaigrette:
Combine the olives, red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until mixed. Drizzle the oils into the blender with the machine running. Transfer the vinaigrette to a serving dish. Stir in the parsley and serve with the rib-eye.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesean

Couldn't be faster or easier and makes for a nice, elegant side. Pretty healthy too! I like to get the skinny asparagus rather than the big, fat ones because they tend to be more tender.
What You'll Need:
Salt & Pepper
Shredded Parmesean
What You'll Do:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Rinse and dry asparagus. Cut off the woody part at the ends...hold one asparagus on each end and bend it...where it naturally snaps off is how much you need to remove from the rest.
Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook for 8-10 minutes. They should still have some texture to them...should not be mushy.
When they come out of the oven, sprinkle with parmesean.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seared Scallops with Wasabi Mayo

Seared scallops are so easy to make...I don't know why I tend to save them for special occasions. The wasabi dressing with the avocado goes perfectly with the scallops. To make it more of an appetizer, you could get a leaf of Bibb lettuce and place a piece of avocado on it, a scallop, then a drizzle of the dressing.

What You'll Need:
6-8 Jumbo Sea Scallops
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Avocado
3/4 Cup Mayonaise
Juice of Half a Lime
1 Tbsp. Wasabi Paste (more or less to taste)
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

What you'll Do:
Rinse the scallops making sure the "beard" has been removed. Thouroughly pat dry.
Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.
In a VERY hot pan, sear the scallops on one side and allow to cook for about 3 minutes until they loosen from the pan. Flip them over and do the same for the other side.
To make the dressing, combine the mayo, lime juice, wasabi, and cilantro and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve the warm scallops with the avocado on the side drizzled with the wasabi mayo.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

My husband's all-time favorite sweet treat is chocolate covered strawberries. In fact, he loves them so much that we had a tower of them at our wedding rather than having a groom's cake! I made them for him last Valentine's Day and thought I would continue on the tradition this year. They are super easy to make and taste so yummy. It's a nice ending to a romantic dinner. Sure, my white chocolate drizzle may look more like blobs than the professional drizzle you see in the Godiva shop....but, I don't think my husband will mind once he tastes them!

What You'll Need:
Strawberries (ripe and large...stem on looks even nicer)
Milk Chocolate (I use the chocolate that you buy by the pound from Fresh Market, but you can use chips, squares, bars...whatever you like best.)
White Chocolate

What you'll Do:
Gently rinse the strawberries and dry them very well. They should not be even the slightest bit damp. I like to leave the green leaves on.
Melt the milk chocolate. (I just use the microwave on 50% power for a minute at a time, stirring in between. You can use a double boiler if you prefer.)
Dunk the strawberries into the milk chocolate. Put into refrigerator to cool and harden for a few minutes.
In the meantime, melt the white chocolate.
Take the strawberries out of the fridge and, using a fork, drizzle the white chocolate on. This will work best if you lay your strawberries on some wax paper before drizzling so that you can make long, sweeping motions with your drizzle. Then, transfer them to your serving dish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Crispy Fried Chicken Cutlettes

This chicken is great served with freshly squeezed lemon. Although they are fried, the cutlettes are so thin that they don't seem heavy or greasy at all. Pair them with a salad, some corn and/or rice, and you have a great weeknight meal that doesn't take long to cook.

What You'll Need:
4 Chicken Cutlettes (Or 2 breasts, butterflied and pounded thin.)
1 Egg
Flour for Dredging
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
Hot Sauce
What You'll Do:
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium.
Put the flour in a container. Season with salt and pepper.
Crack egg into a seperate container. Put a few dashes of hot sauce into the egg.
Put the breadcrumbs into a third container.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Dredge one piece of chicken at a time into the flour. Dip into egg then into breadcrumbs, pressing them into the chicken.
Add oil and butter to pan.
Put chicken into pan and continue with other pieces.
Cook for about 4 minutes. Flip and cook other side for about 4 more minutes.
Place cooked chicken on a wire rack after removing from pan so that they don't get soggy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Italian Panini

Oh My!!! I think I could eat a panini every day of my life and not get tired of it! Of course, you can make them with just about anything that you love...turkey, roasted peppers, pesto, artichoke hearts...but I love it this way because it reminds me of a panini that ate while in Italy. It was in one of those fabulous little cafe windows and I couldn't resist. Eating one at home just makes me smile remembering how great it tasted while I walked the streets of Venice!
What You'll Need:
Good bread (Ciabatta, French Loaf, Italian Loaf, Baguette)
Fresh Mozzerella
Fresh Basil
S & P
What You'll Do:
Slice the bread in half long-ways.
Add the proscuitto, salami, cheese, basil, and tomatoes to the bread, layering any way you like.
Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P.
Drizzle a hot panini press, grill pan, or griddle with some olive oil. Put the panini on the pan and press with something heavy. (I just use a heavy cast iron skillet on top of the panini to press it down).
Cook for about 3 minutes then flip to cook the other side.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I combined several recipes to make this one my own. I love the smoked gouda in this...it gives it such good flavor. I really think, though, that what makes a pizza great is its crust. I just used a Pillsbury pizza dough from a tube that I rolled out, but I think it would be much better with a homemade dough or one that you buy from a local pizzeria. For the BBQ sauce, I used a combination of Sticky Finger's North Carolina Sweet and Stubb's Original. Use whatever you like best.
What you'll Need:
Pizza Dough
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. smoked gouda, shredded
1-2 cups shredded mozzerella
2 oz. bacon bits
Small can pineapple tidbits
1 bottle BBQ sauce
cilantro, chopped
What You'll Do:
Prepare your crust according to directions. (I drizzled my store-bought crust with EVOO and baked it on 400 for about 8 minutes.)
Put a little oil in a pan and sautee the onion and garlic over medium until soft. Add the cooked, shredded chicken, bacon bits, and about 2/3 of the BBQ sauce and heat through.
Pour the remaining BBQ sauce on the crust and all the chicken mixture on top of that.
Add the pineapple and sprinkle the cheese all over.
Bake for about another 10 minuites until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle cilantro on top.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

This is (yet another) quick and easy meal that I like to cook during the week when I'm too tired to spend hours in the kitchen. You can make your own pesto, but the kind I buy in the jar is great and saves alot of time and dirty dishes! Any pasta would be good with this, but I like Pene b/c it's holds the sauce well.
What You'll Need:
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 lb. Chicken (breasts or tenders), cut into medium sized chunks
Mini Pene Pasta (I used about 1/2 a box)
1 Jar Pesto
What You'll Do:
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Boil pasta to al dente in salted water.
Cook chicken in the oil until no longer pink.
Add 1-2 Tbsp. of the pesto to the chicken. Stir and cook over low heat for a couple of minutes.
Drain pasta and add to the chicken. Stir and let everything cook together for a few minutes.

Crispy Sauteed Potatoes with Rosemary

I'm always trying to find new things to do with potatoes, and these were really good. The funny thing is that once I tasted them, I realized that I grew up eating potatoes cooked this way. My mom used to make them all the time. She would always serve them with pinto beans, turnip greens, and cornbread...a true Southern country dinner. I served them with grilled porkchops and they worked just as well!
What You'll Need:
1-2 lbs. red or white potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
What You'll Do:
Place potatoes in a pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and simmer until nearly tender (about 10 minutes). Drain.
Heat oil over med-high heat in a large non-stick skillet for 3-4 minutes.
Cook potatoes in the oil, tossing from time to time, until they are nicely browned all over (about 15 minutes).
Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Omelet...My Way

When I'm really hungry in the morning, nothing satisfies me like an omelet. Also perfect for weekend mornings when you get to sleep in and be lazy after breakfast! Of course, you can put anything you like in your omelet, but this is how I like mine. I think the only difficult part to making an omelet is learning how to manuever the pan so that all the egg cooks, yet stays together. I think the only way to get this down pat is to practice it alot. I was so excited when I learned to flip the omelet over in the pan just by using a swift flip of the wrist! But, even if it doesn't look perfect when it's done (and you can see from the picture that mine tore a little too) it's okay....it'll still taste great!
What You'll Need:
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Butter
Salt & Pepper
Shredded Cheddar
Roasted Red Peppers
Bacon, crumbled (or bacon bits)
(Mushrooms are also great, but I didn't have any)
What You'll Do:
In a bowl, wisk the eggs with some salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in an omelet pan.
Pour the eggs into the pan and let set on the bottom for several seconds. I like to use a rubber spatula to lift and push the eggs around a bit, allowing the uncooked egg on the top to run to the sides and bottom.
Once all the eggs look cooked, put the cheese, bacon, peppers, and capers in a small pile on one side of the omelet.
Fold over the other side on top of the ingredients.
Let cook for a few seconds while the cheese begins to melt and everything gets warm.
Using a quick, swift flip of your wrist, flip the omelet over so that the other side can cook for a few more seconds (or just turn it over with your spatula!)