Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Monday

Today we got off to a late start because school is in full swing! But do not fret...we cooked up some delicious recipes. It was so nice to cook with the oven on and not sweat to death at the same time. This glorious weather looks like it is here to stay ~ Thank LLBJ.

Chicken Rollatini and ditalini Pasta


* Cooking spray
* 2 pounds ditalini pasta
* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
* 8 ounces thinly sliced ham
* 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
* 4 ounces goat cheese
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cook ditalini according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

Arrange chicken breasts on a flat surface. Top each piece of chicken with ham. Mix together spinach and goat cheese and spread over ham. Starting from the shorter end, roll up chicken and secure with wooden picks. Brush mustard all over chicken rolls and then roll in bread crumbs.

Heat remaining oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken rolls and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Transfer chicken to oven and bake 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken with half of the ditalini. Reserve extra ditalini for another dish.

Spicy Pinto Bean and Tuna Salad with Peperoncini, Tomatoes, and Parsley

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 T peperoncini juice (brine from the bottle of peppers)
1/2 tsp. green Tobasco sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but recommended)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 large peperoncini peppers, stem and seeds removed and finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 cup chopped tomato, drained if the tomatoes are very juicy (I used cherry tomatoes cut in fourths)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 can (5-7 oz) Italian Tuna packed in olive oil

Dump beans into a colander placed into the sink, then rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears. Let beans drain while you mix dressing ingredients.

Mix together the lemon juice, peperoncini juice, green Tobasco sauce, and Spike seasoning. Whisk in the olive oil, then season dressing to taste with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper. (I used just a pinch of salt and about 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper.)

In a bowl large enough to contain all the salad ingredients, mix the drained beans with 2 T of the dressing mixture and let beans marinate while you prep other ingredients.

Cut stem end off peperoncini, remove seeds, then finely chop peperoncini and slice green onions. Chop tomatoes to make 1 cup diced tomatoes, then drain in a small colander if the tomatoes seem juicy. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop enough parsley to make 1/2 cup. Drain oil from the tuna (I just do this by removing lid and using it to press out the oil) then use a fork to break up the tuna slightly in the can.

Add chopped peperoncini, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, and chopped parsley to the bowl with the marinating beans, mix together, then toss with the remaining the dressing. (If you like your salads on the dry side, you may not need all the dressing, but I used it all.) Add the tuna and gently combine with other ingredients, season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and serve.

Cherry Cheese Strugle

Package of Puff Pastry
1 can of cherries
1/2 brick of cream cheese
melted butter

unfold puff pastry and cut each side 1/3 of the way in
fill with desired filling, we used canned cherry pie filling dotted with cream cheese
criss cross the cut pieces to cover the top
brush with egg wash
sprinkle with sugar
bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden

Pizza Casserole
This is a Weight Watchers recipe that is fantastic.
Take one refrigerated pizza crust and line a 9x13 pan, bottom and sides
brown one pound ground beef and mix with one 15oz can of chunky tomato sauce
pour this into the crust and bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees then top with low fat mozzarella cheese for 5 more minutes
It seems really wet but it sets up and is delicious. You can add any vegetables to it and keep it low calorie/fat. We made this a few months ago if it seems familiar.
I do not have a picture but believe me it is YUMMO!

We are so glad it is the end of today...bed time is just around the corner...Can not wait for time alone! I love my kids...but I love peace and quiet too :)
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sick Sister Sunday

We actually cooked on Sunday this week because Monday was full of other running around. I now remember why we don't cook on Sundays - the grocery store was a zoo. I had two recipes that I have been wanting to play with, the first was a Asian Chicken Soup I tasted at a food show, the second was a Seafood Pot Pie. Since there was a chance I would be the only one to like these recipes we also made Macaroni and Ground Beef which is good hot or cold, fresh or the days after. We also made chicken wings and decided it was way easier to just order them next time! Poor Erin was sick this weekend and could not really taste anything so hopefully there will be something left for her when she is back to normal. Monday came and we just had to have something sweet so we made Snickerdoodle cookies too.

Asian Chicken Soup
I just made this up based on what I remembered from the sample that I tasted at the food show.
two large cans chicken broth
half a box of spaghetti noodles
4 chicken thighs
green onions
shitake mushrooms
thai chili garlic paste, about a tablespoon was more than enough for me

I just cooked the spaghetti noodles and chicken thighs (bone in skin on then diced up just the meat) then added everything into the broth till it tasted good.
I will break the noodles next time so they are not slapping me in the face as I eat the soup.

Seafood Pot Pie
I got this idea from a menu somewhere that I was reading, this is what I came up with:
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 pint whipping cream
celery, pearl onions, carrots, peas
shrimp, scallops, crab
saute the veges until soft, saute the scallops until just done, I used precooked shrimp and crab but if you use raw cook those too
stir it all together with the cans of cream of celery soup and the whipping cream and pour into a 9 x 13 pan.
I made a homemade pie crust but you can easily use store bought and cover the dish, brush the top with an egg wash and bake until golden brown and bubblylicous.

Macaroni and Beef
one box elbow macaroni
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 green peppers
2 onions
a couple pounds ground beef
salt and pepper
Brown up the meat with the onions, peppers and salt/pepper
Boil the noodles and stir it all together, super simple and cheap!

The Chicken Wings were both hot sauced and sweet teriyaki sauced, super good just too much work when you can get them anywhere.

Snickerdoodle Cookies:

* 1 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 3/4 cups flour
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 3 teaspoons cinnamon

1. 1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. 2 Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
3. 3 Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
4. 4 Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.
5. 5 Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
6. 6 Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
7. 7 Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.
8. 8 Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.
9. 9 Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.
10. 10 Remove from pan immediately.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor day ! What a great weekend we had along with fabulous weather. We went today to watch the Blue Angles fly over downtown ~ super cool! We hope you enjoy the oh so yummy recipes we made today.

Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing :

1 lb. Ground Turkey
2 tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion
2 cans black beans
1 pouch fat free shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 bottle of Light Catalina Dressing
1 pouch taco seasoning

Brown up the ground turkey and add the taco seasoning per instructions
Add all of the above stated and chill.
You can serve this on top of a bed of Lettuce or serve with Tortillas.

This recipes is super yummy and LOW CALORIES :)

Buffalo Chicken Pizza:

1 refrigerator pizza crust

Left over Buffalo Chicken Wanton filling ( See last week )

1 pouch shredded Mozz. cheese

Pre heat oven 425 and cook for 20 min.

Serve with either blue cheese or ranch dressing.

French Onion Soup:

12 yellow onions
3 cartons of Beef Broth
2 packages of Provolone Cheese
1 French Loaf
Worcestershire To taste
1 stick butter

Saute Onions in butter until transparent
add beef broth to onions and Worcestershire to taste

spoon soup into bowl top with a piece of french bread and top with
provolone cheese...Enjoy!

Chorizo & Clams :

Portuguese Chorizo and Clams

Serves 4 with a crusty loaf on the side

* 4 lb clams*
* 2 links (200 g/ ) Portuguese chorizo sausage
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 large yellow onion
* 3 large (or 4 medium) cloves garlic
* 3 large very ripe tomatoes (450 g / )
* 3-4 waxy white potatoes (600 g/ )
* 2 cups white wine
* 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano (2 tbsp finely minced)
* small handful fresh parsley (3-4 tbsp finely minced)
* salt and pepper to taste
Quarter the onion lengthwise and then slice it horizontally about 1/8″ thick. Mince the garlic, and add both to the oil. Saute the aromatics for 4-6 minutes, or until the onion is golden.

Chop the chorizo into 1/2 rounds and add these to the pot.
Saute the chorizo with the onions until it is starting to brown, which will take about 5 minutes. Be vigilant and keep stirring so that the onions and garlic do not blacken and burn, which will be their tendency. Browned is fine, but burned is not.

Peel the potatoes and cube them into large bite sized pieces. When the chorizo is browned, add the potatoes to the pot and give them a stir.
Cook the potatoes for 3-5 minutes, or until they are golden with that glorious fat released from the chorizo.

In the mean time, finely dice your tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the mix and immediately start to scrape up the flavorful brown bits that have collected on the bottom of the pot. Those bits represent flavor, pure and simple. The liquid from the tomatoes will act as a deglazing agent, which is rather fortuitous.

Finely mince the oregano leaves and discard the stems. Or, if you don’t have fresh oregano, use 2 teaspoons of dried. When the tomatoes are broken down, which will take about 5-6 minutes depending on their ripeness, add the oregano and give things a stir.
Pour in the white wine and seal the pot with a fairly tight fitting lid. Turn the heat down just slightly so that the liquid is simmering, not boiling. Let this cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain the clams and add them to the pot, picking through and discarding any clams that are open and do not shut when you rap them gently on the counter. Give the clams a stir in the flavorful chorizo broth and replace the lid. Let the pot simmer, sealed, for 5-7 minutes. Give the clams a check; if they’re open, perfect! Season with salt and pepper and you’re done. If only about half the shells have opened up, pick out the cooked open clams and leave the rest to continue cooking for another minute or two.

Give the pot a final stir, check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary, and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley right before serving.
Got this recipe from this blog:
I was not 100% happy with the out come but can totally play with the idea and ingredients to make it better next time.

This weeks weather was so super nice and it was nice to cook with the oven on.
Until next week :)