Tuesday, December 21, 2010

.green beans.

The perfect side dish, to any holiday meal. Enjoy!

1 bag of green beans
4-5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

Put all ingredients in a pan heated to medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

.homestyle turkey.

This was my first thanksgiving married, but actually my second time cooking thanksgiving by myself. I found this recipe at allrecipes.com (LOVE). This recipe was super easy and yummy. Perfect recipe for the first timer!

1 (12 pound) whole turkey
6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cups warm water
3 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add to pan if they are anyone's favorites.
Place turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides between the skin and breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.
In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.
Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

.tex-mex corn chip chili.

I love chili and this recipe was so simple and tasty! I found it in Rachael Ray's magazine. Great for those cold rainy nights :)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
one 15-ounce can black beans
one 15-ounce can pinto beans
one 10-ounce can tomatoes
one can green chiles
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
12 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
one bag corn chips, such as Fritos

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the beans, with their liquid, and the tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the cilantro, then top with the cheese, cover and let stand until the cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes. Place a handful of corn chips in each bowl. Top with chili and serve.

Monday, December 13, 2010

.spinach & artichoke dip.

Another amazing dip that I have made several times already. Served with a french baguette :) Enjoy! (excuse the bad picture, I realized I hadn't taken one after it was already half eaten..opps!)

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 (12 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup canned chopped jalapeno peppers, drained
1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the green chiles, Parmesan cheese, artichokes, peppers, and spinach. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until slightly browned, about 30 minutes.

.jalapeno popper dip.

Found this wonderful recipe on a blog and just can't get enough of it! Really does taste like a jalapeno popper. Enjoy :)

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeƱo peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeƱos, and shredded cheeses. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined. Spread the mixture into a baking dish (approximately 9 x 9-inches).
In a second bowl, combine the Panko and Parmesan and stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is golden. Serve warm with baguette slices, vegetables, etc. as desired.

Monday, December 6, 2010

.artichoke chicken 2.

This is my second artichoke chicken recipe, but completely different than the first. I found this in Rachael Ray's magazine. I actually like the first one better because it has cheese (my fav) but this recipe is much healthier! See which one you prefer!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 chicken thighs
1/2 pound orzo
1 can of artichoke hearts
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill (i used dried dill and it was just fine)
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 jarred hot cherry peppers, thinly sliced, plus 2 TB of their liquid (I couldnt find these so I used pepperoncini peppers)

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt, place in the skillet skin side down and cook until golden-brown, about 7 minutes on each side; transfer to a place. Reserve the skillet.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the orzo until al dente, about 5 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons dill.

In the reserved skillet, cook the onion and garlic in the chicken drippings over medium heat until softened, 7 minutes. Add the wine, chicken broth and cherry peppers and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining dill and hot pepper liquid. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer until heated through, 1 minute. Transfer the orzo to a platter and top with the chicken and sauce. Enjoy!

.tuna casserole.

I know this picture is not the most flattering, but it really was delicious! The hubby absolutely loved it, which made me proud because I just tossed together this meal because I was too lazy to make something fancy. So quick and simple. Enjoy!

1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles (or other pasta that you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen green peas (I prefer green beans, so I cut them up and used them instead)
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles, onion, 1 cup cheese, peas,pepper, tuna, soup. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and top with bread crumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, November 29, 2010

.taco soup.

This is the perfect recipe for those cold winter nights that we have been having. This recipe was sent to me by my friend Erin (thank you!), and I have already made it twice already. Its SO good and I especially love all the toppings you can put on it. I'm getting hungry as I type..anyways..I cut some of the recipe in half and it still made a ton of leftovers. Enjoy! (if you want to freeze leftovers for another day double the meat, tomatoes and corn)

1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 cans of corn
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 small can of diced jalapenos mild or chili peppers
1 package of Taco seasoning
1 package of Ranch seasoning

Cook the meat and onions until meat is brown. Then add all cans and DO NOT DRAIN any of them, then add packages of seasonings. Heat until boiling and serve. Can be served with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and onions for toppings. Enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

.eggplant roll-ups.

I found this recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine. They were a little more difficult than I would have preferred but they tasted so great I will definitely make this recipe again. And it is vegetarian!

1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 8 slices.
salt and pepper
4 large eggs
3/4 cup store-bought pesto
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese (i did not use this because i couldnt find it)
1 cup store bought marinara sauce

1. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and 4 tablespoons pesto. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumbs.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the eggplant until golden, 2 minutes on each side, using the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and 3 tablespoons pecorino-romano; season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining pesto on each eggplant slice and top with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Roll up each slice. Bake until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a toothpick, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer. Serve the roll-ups with the sauce and remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

.cottage cheese enchiladas.

This amazing recipe is from my friend Shawna. For my bridal shower I was given recipes from everyone that came and I am just now starting to go through them (im horrible I know). It was so simple and delicious. The picture posted is from the before, because I forgot to take an after picture. Also, the original recipe calls for red enchilada sauce but I prefer green. Use what you like :) Enjoy!

1 TBSP veg. oil
2 skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can green chile peppers
1 package Taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pinch ground pepper
2 cups cottage cheese
corn tortillas (about 12)
2 cups of shredded monterey jack cheese
1 can of red or green enchilada sauce

Heat oil in skillet over med. heat. Add chicken, onion, peppers and saute until brown. Add your taco seasoning according to package directions.

In a separate bowl mix sour cream and cottage cheese with salt & pepper. Stir.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Assemble the enchilada by heating tortillas until soft. Place a spoonful of meat mixture and cottage cheese mixture and add some shredded cheese. Roll them and put them in a baking dish. Top with and remaining sauce and cheese. bake for 30 mins. or until cheese bubbles.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

.portobello, broccoli and red pepper melts.

I found this recipe on another cooking blog annies-eats.com. Her pictures are just amazing, I almost wanted to steal hers instead of using my own! I need to start learning how to use the hubby's camera stat. This meal is vegetarian and SO delicious. Enjoy!

1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper
4 portobello mushrooms (stems removed), sliced ½-inch thick (I only used 2)
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced ½-inch thick
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 thick slices country bread
2-4 oz. provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat a broiler with a rack placed 4 inches from the heat source. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the broccoli on the baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Broil until the broccoli begins to brown, tossing once or twice, about 4-6 minutes.
Add the sliced mushrooms and peppers to the pan with the broccoli and toss to combine. Broil, tossing once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes more. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place the slices of bread on a work surface. Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the garlic-mayo mixture. Top with the cooked vegetables, then the cheese. Line the baking sheet with a new piece of foil. Transfer the assembled sandwiches to the baking sheet. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2-4 minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

.greek pesto pasta salad.

I invented this pasta salad for a work potluck. I had no idea what to bring and was too lazy to go to the store so I got the idea to make a pesto pasta salad and just toss in whatever veggies I had on hand. Then after adding all the ingredients it seemed very greek so thats where it got the name. Im officially obsessed with this salad and made it to weeks in a row because I just couldn't get enough! Enjoy!

I package of bow tie pasta (Farfalle)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
4 tablespoons of pesto
1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped katamala olives
1 package of salami chopped
Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste
Italian Seasoning to taste
Feta cheese (optional)

Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain when done and rinse with cold water. Add olive oil and pesto, mix well. Mix in the veggies and seasoning. Top with feta cheese if desired. Enjoy!

.pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

This is my favorite fall treat to make because it's not only simple but makes the house smell so delicious! I get the mix from Trader Joe's and stock up because they do not see the mix year round. Follow the directions on the box and add chocolate chips at the end for the extra touch. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

.artichoke chicken.

This recipe involves some of my favorite items and took almost no prep time. A new favorite for sure! I found the original recipe on allrecipe.com and after looking through several of the reviews on the dish I made my own changes accordingly. Enjoy!

1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
garlic powder (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Panko or breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and pepper. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture. Top with panko or breadcrumbs.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

.m&m and kit kat cake.

I have lately been intrigued by cake design and how fun it can be. Anyone who knows me is probably laughing at this because I have absolutely NO sweet tooth what so ever! So when a co-worker/forever friend's birthday came I volunteered to bring the cake to work for her. I asked her what her two favorite candies were and she said m&m's and kit kats. I wish that I could take all the credit for this amazing cake, but I literally googled "m&m kit kat cake" and this was the first hit I got. Gosh I love the world wide web.

("embrace the checkbox" is a joke with my friend since she is now entering into the next checkbox when she fills out forms the 25-30 age range)

One box of cake mix or you can make your own, again I dont bake so I used a box :)
One container of frosting or again you can make your own.
1 big bag of M&M's
1 bag of snack size kit kats (put in refrigerator beforehand so they dont melt when you touch them)

Bake the cake according to directions on the box or your own. The cakes need to be placed in 2 round cake pans. When they are done and cooled use a knife to cut them level. (Make sure they are shorter then the height of the kit kat bars) Place a layer of frosting in the center of the cakes to attach them. Frost the entire cake and place kit kat bars in groups of 2 around the cake. Then place m&m's on top and around the plate for decoration. Wrap a ribbon of your choice around the entire cake and enjoy!

.garlic marinated steaks.

Words do not even describe how AMAZING this marinate is! Normally I am not a huge fan of marinates because they take so much time and I can normally not taste them, but this was so so delicious (and my husband is excellent on the bbq so that helped :) I only marinated it for one day and next time I will do it for two. It does taste super garlicky so if you are not a fan of garlic this is not the recipe for you. Enjoy!

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 (1/2 pound) rib-eye steaks

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, olive oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Place steaks in a shallow glass dish (I used a ziplock bag) with the marinade, and turn to coat. For optimum flavor, rub the liquid into the meat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Discard leftover marinade.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

.blueberry banana bread.

I usually get so mad when the hubby does not finish all the bananas that I buy him for his smoothies..however this time I decided to get creative. This bread was SO delicious! It tasted great fresh out of the oven with a little bit of butter right on top. I will never get mad at him again for not finishing bananas! (side note: unfortunately this bread was so good, when we left the house bella decided to open the tupperware container that it was in and eat its contents, she is very skilled..and we are very very sad)

3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, oil and water. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and walnuts. Pour into greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Monday, October 18, 2010

.gnocchi with shrimp, asparagus, and pesto.

I got this recipe from a friend who made this for her husband and posted a picture of it on facebook. It looked so amazing I had to give it a try. I had never tried gnocchi before and its pretty tasty and super easy to make. The original recipe is from Cooking Light, I changed it a bit and instead of making my own pesto I used already made pesto from my favorite...Trader Joe's. I am posting the original recipe with instructions to make the pesto. If you choose to just buy it, ignore the pesto instructions. Enjoy!

2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped

1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons preshredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add gnocchi to pot; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and shrimp to pan; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain. Add shrimp mixture to gnocchi. Add ready made pesto or follow directions below to make the pesto.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended. Add salt and basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

.grilled zucchini & yellow squash.

These are my new favorite vegetables! The picture does not really do them justice to how completely amazing they tasted, they look a little burned because I like thing extra crispy :) Bobby and I were fortunate enough to work with a family that had a vegetable garden with plenty to spare! We ate these veggies daily with many of our meals and never knew we would love vegetables so much!

Yellow Squash
Lemon Pepper
Seasoning Salt

Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Season with Lemon Pepper and Seasoning Salt. Grill on a frying pan until lightly browned. Using butter instead of oil. Serve with your favorite meal and enjoy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

.parmigiano-reggiano crusted chicken piccata.

This recipe was AMAZING!!! I found it in Rachael Ray's magazine. I changed the recipe a bit to make it more practical. Also the original recipe contains capers, with I omitted because I did not have them and it tasted just fine :) The only thing that gave me problems was when I cooked the chicken the oil splashed everywhere, even though I did not even use the full amount, so make sure you have some sort of splash screen to prevent the major ouch! I will make this again soon!

1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 sliced lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
5 oz. baby spinach

1. Place the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place 1 cup cheese on another plate. Working 1 cutlet at a time, coat the chicken with flour, then egg, then cheese, pressing to adhere. Transfer to plate.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then the pasta and cook until al dente, 3 minutes. Drain, reserving a ladleful of water.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, over medium heat. Add the chicken ad cook, turning once, until deeply golden, 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the sliced lemon, garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and parsley and cook until reduced, 1 minutes. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer.
4. Stir the chicken broth into the sauce for 1 minute. Stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon juice. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken. Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and cook until wilted. Add the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and toss. Serve the pasta with chicken.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

.chili cheese fries.

One of my most favorite guilty pleasures...To save time I bought frozen french fries from Fresh & Easy. (I was really impressed by these, they were super yummy) I also bought two cans of already made chili (one with beans and one without) If you have more time feel free to make the chili from scratch. Hopefully ill be blogging a chili recipe soon. Enjoy!

French fries
Chili of choice
Cheddar cheese

Make french fries according to package directions. Top with chili and cheese! YUM!

.salmon fillets over couscous.

The hubby loves salmon, and I have been wanting to try couscous for the longest time! I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com Im not a huge fan of salmon, but this was a great meal and couscous is SO easy to make, and quick too! Enjoy!

Olive oil
2 (4-ounce) pieces salmon
House Seasoning, recipe follows
Couscous, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to glass pan and place the salmon. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top of the salmon and sprinkle with the House Seasoning. Top with pads of butter. Wrap in the foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of couscous.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

2 1/4 cups water or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
10 ounces couscous
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup green onions

Combine water or chicken stock, salt and butter in a saucepan, over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Add diced tomatoes, crumbled feta, and green onions. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve hot or cold.

Monday, September 13, 2010

.chicken & broccoli with orange sauce.

I saw this on the Rachael Ray Show and it looked SO good! Its so yummy and healthy at the same time. She used Broccolini, but I used regular broccoli, either way would be good. Enjoy!

2 1/4 cups chicken stock, divided
1 cup Texmati rice or white rice
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 large bundle broccoli, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, white or dark meat
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil, divided
1 inch ginger root, grated or finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup Tamari, soy or low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Bring 1 3/4 cups stock to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook 15-18 minutes until tender. Add the scallions and fluff with a fork.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil for the broccoli.

Meanwhile, thinly slice thighs or, if using breast meat, butterfly each breast into cutlets, then thinly slice. Season sliced chicken with salt and pepper.

To boiling water, add some salt and broccoli. Parboil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes then drain, run under cool water and reserve.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. To the very hot pan, add chicken and stir-fry until golden, no more than 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and reserve. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, along with the ginger and garlic. Stir 30 seconds then add soy, marmalade and remaining 1/2 cup stock. Add chicken and broccoli back to pan to heat until sauce is thickened.

Serve over rice!

.stuffed sausage and peppers with orzo.

This is my current favorite meal! I have made it for so many people already, but have taken forever to blog about it because its a long recipe to type out. I'm lazy, this I already know :) This meal is so simple to make and can even be enjoyed out of the pepper if you wish. The original recipe is out of the "Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Cookbook." I really wanted to put something in bell peppers (because I LOVE them) so I choose this recipe. Its so yummy! Keep in mind that this recipe serves 6...I love leftovers of this so if you only want to make a little you can cut the recipe in half. Enjoy.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
green bell peppers with the tops cut off/seeded (optional)
1 pound of Italian sausages, casings removed (trader joe's has an amazing hot italian sausage thats great)
4 large, ripe plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cups orzo pasta
black pepper
Parmesan cheese

In a 6-8 quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and pepper are tender and the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up any clumps, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, and broth and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the orzo pasta, cover, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta has a soft and creamy texture, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stuff bell peppers with orzo and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and then enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

.hamburger salad.

This is the quickest, healthy and hearty meal anyone could ask for when they have no time to cook. We always keep frozen hamburger patties in the house, along with spinach salad so this one is simple. YUM!

hamburger (frozen or fresh)
salad dressing of choice (i prefer thousand island)
spinach salad
shredded cheese (optional)

Cook hamburger to desired preparedness. Chop and place on top of salad with desired salad dressing. Top with cheese, sliced onions and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

.chop chop chop.

This is my new favorite tool! What on earth was i thinking trying to chop everything by hand, geez it took forever! This one is made by my love Martha Stewart, found at Macy's for only $15. woo!

Monday, August 16, 2010

.open-faced chicken parmesan sandwich.

SO quick, SO easy, SO delicious! Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 loaf whole-grain Italian bread
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
4 5-ounce cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the broiler
Slice the bread in half lengthwise, then in half again crosswise so you wind up with 4 pieces. Scoop out the bread to remove the soft inner portion. Place the bread scooped side up on a baking tray. Spoon 1/4 cup of sauce into each piece of bread. Lay a piece of chicken on top and cover with 1 cup of spinach leaves. Pour another 1/4 cups of sauce on top of the spinach, then sprinkle each sandwich with 1/4 cup of mozzarella and 1 tablespoon of parmesan. Broil until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is bubbly and browned. 4 to 5 minutes. Enjoy!

.chicken tortilla soup.

I was craving this soup from one on my favorite restaurants but did not want to spend the money and energy to go out. After looking this recipe up on allrecipes.com I discovered that I already had all the ingredients so I could easily make it :) I did not have corn tortillas so I used tortilla chips that I already had and just crushed them up. Im sure it would be even better with the real tortillas. Also, you can add much more chili powder and cumin if you like the flavor much stronger like i do :) Enjoy!

1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 (6 inch) corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked

In a large stock pot heat oil. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro and onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves and chicken stock. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add salt and cayenne. Simmer for 30 minutes remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Heat through and serve.

.cucumber & tomato salad.

I was introduced to this simple and refreshing salad through a family that I work with. It is so simple and delicious. Great for those lazy and hot summer days and even better if you can get some fresh tomatoes and lemons from a neighbors garden :)

1 cucumber
2 tomatoes
2 lemons (or to taste)
Salt to taste

Cut vegetable into cubes and add lemon juice and salt to taste, mix. Add cilantro on top. Enjoy!

.grilled corn and shrimp chowder.

I LOVED his soup! It came from my "Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Cookbook." I did change some of the recipe to make it simpler and serve less people. Instead of shucking 3 ears of corn, I just used some frozen corn from my favorite Trader Joe's, im sure a canned corn would also work fine. Good luck and enjoy!

3 ears of corn, shucked
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely choppe
2 cups of red potatoes, peeled and cute into 3/4-inch dice
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
3 bottles (8 oz.) clam juice
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Bring a saucepan to medium heat, melt the butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onion, celery, potatoes, and bell pepper and cook. stirring occasionally, until softened, 10-12 minutes. Add the clam juice and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the corn and cream, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Tabasco sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

.skewers & bacon wrapped hot dogs.

Nothing like a fun summer bbq. My friend Megan suggested we wrap hot dogs with bacon and it was so good and easy! For the skewers I marinated them in Kikkoman roasted garlic teriyaki sauce. The last pictures is a fun hot dog man for the kiddos!

.chicken katsu.

This meal took some work to make but it was SO worth it! I did not have a meat mallet so I just cut the chicken sideways to make it thin.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed

1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder (i used mustard)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour, egg and panko crumbs into separate shallow dishes. Coat the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg, and then press into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides.
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the hot oil, and cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve over a bed of rice.


This is my mom's famous curry recipe. I love curry and this recipe can easily be adapted with your favorite vegetables. The curry mix that she buys is called Golden Curry. It is in a green box in the asian food section. I have seen it at Fresh and Easy, and some other grocery stores. So tasty! Serve over rice.

beef or chicken cut into cubes
1 potato cut into cubes
1-2 carrots cut into cubes
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped (optional)
3-4 pieces of fresh minced garlic

1. stirfry meat and onions in oil
2. add garlic and stirfry
3. add carrots - when carrots are heated through add potatoes and stirfry until potato edges look cooked
4. add boiling water (just enough to cover all ingredients)
5. let boil ~10-15 mins (if any meat/fat bubbles remove/skim off top with spoon)
6. add curry sauce mix 2-3 cubes or to taste. Mix continuously on low fire.


.mandarin orange chicken.

This is my favorite "lazy day" recipe. I get the chicken from Trader Joe's for only $4.99. You can fry, microwave, or bake the chicken. I always bake it so that I do not need to add any extra oil. Just follow the directions on the package and serve over rice. Yummy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

.pastrami & avocado sandwich.

I made this one day for lunch when I couldn't decided what to eat. I knew I needed to finish up these ingredients, then I got the bright idea to grill the sandwich in a pan. Omg. Best idea EVER! So yummy!!!

Meat of choice
Bread of choice

Assemble to your liking and cook on pan over medium-high heat turning once. Enjoy!

.garlic-basil shrimp.

I love love shrimp. This recipe was such a quick meal and tasted so good! I always keep frozen shrimp in the house from Trader Joe's. They have amazing frozen shrimp for only $5.99 its a great deal and one package is enough for at least 2 separate meals! Try it out!

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound large shrimp
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 cups cooked orzo pasta

Cook Orzo according to directions on box.
Then heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, then add the shrimp and cook, turning over once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook just until heated through. Serve with the orzo.

.greek pitas.

Another lovely meal from my "So Easy" recipe book. This recipe was so simple and refreshing. Plus the hubby loved it so that is always a bonus. It is especially nice on a hot summer day, as is everyday in southern california. Enjoy!

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 whole wheat pita breads
2 large pieces of romaine lettuce, torn in half
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
3/4 pound thinly sliced roasted turkey breast

In a bowl, combine the feta cheese and yogurt with a fork, mashing any large chunks of cheese. Stir in the lemon juice, oregano, lemon zest, and pepper. The spread will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To make a sandwich, cut a pita in half to form 2 pockets. Line each pocket with half a lettuce leaf. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of feta spread into each pocket. Then fill fish about 6 cucumber slices and 2-3 slices of turkey. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

.berry parfaits.

This recipe is from my 5 ingredients or less cookbook. I am not a huge dessert person...I have almost no sweet tooth, its so sad I know! However, I actually like this one because it includes yummy fruit and really can be made with any fruit depending on the season and perfect for those hot hot summer days!

2 cups of blueberries
2 cups of raspberries
Vanilla ice cream
whipped topping

Spoon half of the raspberries into parfait glasses. Top with half of the ice cream and half of the blueberries. Repeat layers. Top with whipped topping.

.cracked pepper potato chips.

These were so tasty, also from my "So Easy" recipe book. However, when I made these I didn't cut the potatoes thin enough and cook them long enough. So they did not really taste like chips but were still good and probably much healthier than the store bought ones. I also added some extra garlic..because I like it :)

2 large russet potatoes sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with the oil and pepper until well coated. Arrange the potato slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet; use 2 baking sheets if necessary. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until chips are crisped and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, season with salt, and cool.

.shrimp roll.

This is an AMAZING and easy recipe from my "So Easy" recipe book. I love this book and everything I have made from it has been simple and great. This book also has great pictures which I love! Good luck! These are best with cracked pepper potato chips, I will post that recipe next :)

1/3 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 chopped scallion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound cooked shelled shrimp
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 whole-wheat hot dog buns
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Stir together the yogurt, mayo, celery, scallions, and lemon juice. Fold in the shrimp and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use. Just before serving, open the hot dog buns and brush the inside with olive oil. Heat a pan over medium high heat and grill the bread, cut side down, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Fill each with shrimp mixture and enjoy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

.parmesan steak fries.

I love love love fries. These fries are actually much healthier than my favorite McDonald's fries..They take much longer to make, but I figure if I must eat fries, and I MUST, then parmesan steak fries are the way to go! These are a great addition to any burger (as pictured with my fav blue cheese burger) and fabulous for the summer. Enjoy!

cooking spray
2 large russet potatos (about 1 1/2 pounds total) unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Cut each of the potatoes in half lengthwise. Rest each half on its flat side and cut each half lengthwise straight down into 4 even slices. Put the potatoes into a medium-size bowl and toss with the oil and seasonings.
Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the potatoes with cheese and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown; there is no need to turn them. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

.chicken & fettucini with pesto.

I found this recipe in either Glamour or Cosmopolitan.. I can't really remember which. The original recipe makes it with spaghetti, but I like fettucini better, im sure you could use any pasta of your choice. I made this with my friend Lauren and we decided it needed a lot more pesto than the recipe calls for, so just add as much as you need to taste. I also like to cook the whole wheat pasta a little longer than the recipe calls for to make sure its tender enough (whole wheat pasta is so tough!) Have fun!

4 oz. dry whole wheat pasta of your choice
2 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp. pesto sauce
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. shredded parmesan
basil (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, place a saute pan over medium heat.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. When pan is hot, gently lay cutlets in middle of pan. Cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or until the meat in the thickest part of the cutlet is not pink. Let rest for a minute; slice crosswise.
4. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.
5. Toss pasta with chicken, pesto, olive oil and enough cooking water so that the pesto spreads evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle Parmesan and basil on top.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

.portobello mushroom burger.

This is my new favorite burger...Im actually not much for meat and love mushrooms so when my friend Val introduced me to this burger from Cheesecake Factory (which is fabulous) I was hooked! This burger is great for vegetarians and is made so quickly. I would also highly recommend honey wheat buns from trader joe's :) It pairs nicely with homemade parmesan fries..recipe for this soon to follow. I made this meal for my mom on mother's day and she loved it!

4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 (1 ounce) slices provolone cheese
Sliced tomatos
Grilled red onions
Spinach salad (I use this in place of lettuce)
Mayo, Mustard, & Ketchup to taste

Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. (I do this all in a frying pan)
Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.