Friday, September 28, 2007

Chicken with Snap Peas

I cook a lot of fish, chicken and pasta since I don't eat red meat. Because of this I am always looking for new chicken recipes to spice things up and add variety to our meals.

This week I made a new dish called Chicken with Snap Peas.

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces sugar snap peas, cut in half (2 cups)
1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts,
3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon or dill
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1. Whisk broth, mustard, salt, pepper and2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth.
2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook the chicken in two batches, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Increase heat to high; stir the broth mixture and add to the skillet along with snap peas, artichoke hearts.

Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the snap peas are tender-crisp,
about 3 minutes.

4. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the vegetables, and simmer until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in herbs and vinegar.

I did not have Snap Peas so I used Green Beans .
I really enjoyed the flavor of this chicken.
It was a little spicy and creamy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata

How many of you cook breakfast for dinner every once in awhile?
Well, we do at our house.
About once every two weeks I make breakfast for dinner.

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
4 oz of cheddar cheese
8 Mushrooms, diced
4 Links of Sweet Italian Sausage
2 small, white onions, caramelized
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

First slice and caramelize the white onions. The beat the eggs , cream and milk.

Put all the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake in the oven at
400 degrees for 30 -40 minutes .

This next photo is a little yellow because I had the overhead light from the stove on.

Sorry about that!

The caramelized onions and sausage were an excellent combination!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dummy Fudge

Our wonderful Nurse at school, Susan, shared this great recipe for Fudge with me.

This is my first time making fudge and I have to say - it was easy to make and very yummy!
This recipe was taken from Paul Deen on the Food Network.
Luckily, Susan gave me a little tip from past experience to make it turn out great!

Dummy Fudge

1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup pecans (any type of nut will work)

You can mix the nutd in or add them to the top.

Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking dish

Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and condensed milk in double boiler on medium heat.

Once smooth remove from heat.

Add vanilla and nuts.
Pour into baking dish.

Chill in refrigerator until set for approximately 10 minutes.

What a treat!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stuffed Shells

The weekend is a great time to prepare a few meals. I wanted to make something we could have for dinner on Sunday and then freeze the other portion for a later date.

I decided to make stuffed shells because there are so many options for the filling. I selected Three Cheese Stuffed Shells and here is the recipe.

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 32 0z of Ricotta Cheese
12 oz of Mozzarella, shredded
6 oz of Asiago, finely grated
4 oz of Parmesan,finely grated
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
1 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt and pepper
Mix together and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Boil shells but don't over boil.

They are easier to stuff if you leave them aldente.

Pour sauce in the bottom of the baking dish you plan to use.

Stuff shells with cheese mixture and then lay in the baking dish.

Top with a little more sauce and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Potato Chips

The other night I was getting ready to make dinner and I had selected my main item but I could not find a side dish I wanted to make. I kept coming back the bag of red potatoes. Mashed, baked, hash - nope - how about potato chips.
Making potato chips turned out to be easier than I originally thought.

Potato Chips

First, start by cleaning the potatoes.

Thinly slice the potatoes.
Heat vegetable oil.

The oil should be deep enough so that the potatoes can move around freely.

Gently drop the chips in one at a time, leaving room for them to move around.

Take them out when they are the light brown color you desire.

Drain them on paper towels.

It is a good idea to go ahead and salt them now while they still have a little oil on them.

You can really spice them any way you want.

Some people add garlic powder, paprika, or onion salt.

Yum, warm and crispy chips!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Not just Coffee

My husband loves to drink coffee. He swings by Starbucks on a regular basis or his new favorite Rev Coffee House. He likes strong coffee with a little bit of cream. Now, I on the other hand don't care for plain coffee. I like all those other fancy, coffee drinks like iced coffee, lattes and frappuccinos but they seem so expensive.

This weekend I figured it could not be that hard to make a Frappuccino. I took out my blender and started on my mission to make a fancy, coffee drink. First, I had to make some coffee . Then cool it. Into the blender went coffee, ice, heavy cream, chocolate extract, and a little sweet and low. Turn on high and mix.

Here is what I made!

Topped with a little whip cream and chocolate shavings -

now that is the way to drink coffee!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Window Shopping

There may be something wrong with people who window shop for food. I started to question my wife’s sanity and my own sanity on Friday night when we stated to make plans to visit the Georgia Farmers Market in Forrest Park. We had all the fresh vegetables we could possibly use already so Saturdays visit to this market was total tourism! It was as beautiful fall morning, the first of the season. The sun was bright in a blue sky with a surprising cool breeze. This setting can make green onions look like art.

This is perhaps the only place in town to get the full assortment of the bounty found on Georgia’s local farms.

Muscadines were the big surprise. These guys were the size of plums and sweet as candy. The carrots were enormous as well.

We didn’t get to try these, but they look good. The assortment of colors here are as astounding as the sheer size of this place.

The place is full of acres of stalls with vendors selling small bags of agave and pallets of tomatoes. We couldn’t help but leave with a few locally grown tomatoes. Theses turned out the be the best we’ve tasted all season! We (ok my wife) turned these into a tasty treat on pitas with mozzarella and cilantro.

Maybe we’re not crazy after all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stuffed Chicken

Last week a wonderful lady at work gave me some tomatoes, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.
I have been waiting to use the sun-dried tomatoes for a week now but didn't have a recipe.

I was determined tonight.

So I started reviewing recipes that had sun-dried tomatoes as a main ingredient.

I found a great recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen for Stuffed Chicken that had sun-dried tomatoes in it.

So, I borrowed most of her recipe changing a few things like the type of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Chicken Stuffed with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Pesto and Cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 eggs, beaten well
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3oz. finely grated Asiago Cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil pesto

Preheat oven to 350 F. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Put chicken breasts, one at a time, inside a heavy plastic plastic freezer bag and pound with meat mallet or other heavy object until 1/4 inch thick.
Put pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and Asiago cheese in food processor and buzz a few times until mixture is combined but not completely blended.

Spread 1/6 of pesto/basil/goat cheese mixture on each chicken breast. Roll up chicken, starting with smallest end, tucking in loose pieces and securing with two toothpicks.

Put beaten egg with milk, and bread crumbs combined with parmesan cheese into flat dishes. Roll each chicken breast in egg mixture, then in bread crumb/parmesan mixture.

Spray glass casserole dish with nonstick spray and arrange chicken so pieces are not touching. Bake 350 F 50-60 minutes, or until chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch. I recommend you start checking it after 40 minutes, and remove from oven as soon as the chicken feels firm and is slightly browned.

This is a great recipe. The chicken was nice and moist an the inside was packed full of flavor!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Straw Hay Pasta

My Grandma gave me a few of her cookbooks when I was first married.
I guess she thought I needed to learn how to cook - She was right!

I absolutely loved the Anne Willan's Look and Cook books because they give step by step directions with illustrations for each step. I really needed that when I began cooking.

This recipe for Straw Hay Pasta came from one of her books. Of course she mades the noodles from scratch - I just buy the noodles at the store.

Straw Hay Pasta
Sauté one medium white onion in butter
Add diced mushrooms
4 oz of ham, chopped
(you can order a salad slice of ham from deli so it is nice and thick and ready to chop).
3/4 cup of sweet peas
Sauté these items a few more minutes.

Then add:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs honey
black pepper to taste
finely grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Bring sauce to a boil and then let simmer about 3-4 minutes.

Serve over Fettichini Noodles

I think I will submit this recipe to Ruth for her Weekly Presto Pasta Night Event.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmigiana is a popular Italian dish made of chicken breast covered in bread crumbs and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella.

This is a dish I really enjoy eating for dinner but I do not do it often because I feel like the prep time is long.

I start by pounding out my chicken until it is nice and thin.

Then I bread the chicken in Italian bread Crumbs with a little extra parmesan cheese , fresh parsley and fresh basil.

After breading the chicken, lightly fry it in a pan with a little olive oil.

Careful not to over cook.

Then in a baking dish add a little sauce to the bottom.

The sauce can be homemade or your favorite variety from the store.

Add the chicken cutlets to the pan and layer with a little more sauce.

Top with mozarella cheese.

Bake until chicken is completely cooked and cheese is melted.

Now that is Fantastico!!

Potato Smash

Yes, I did say smash and not hash. I don't know why we call it that?!

This is one of those dishes where you can throw almost anything in and it will taste good.

I have been making this side dish for years but each timeI make it I add different ingredients.

Red Potato Smash
Thinly Slice 4-6 red potatoes
1 red pepper
1/2 white onion
vegetable oil
1 tbs Italian seasoning
Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion, peppers until tender
Then remove them from pan and set aside until later
Sauté the potatoes in oil
While cooking the potatoes sprinkle them with the Italian Season, salt , and pepper
When they are tender add the onions and peppers back into the pan.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Don't be afraid to try all different spices and flavors.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Going to a Party?

If you are going to a party this weekend here is a great appetizer to bring.
It is easy and very good.
I served it at our housewarming last March and everyone asked for the recipe.

I found the recipe on the Foodnetwork a while back

Tomatoes and Artichokes Oregananta
2 tbsp olive oil
2tsp minced garlic
6 Roma Tomatoes, seeded an chopped into small pieces
1 can of artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tbsp of Italian dressing mix ( dry package)
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, artichokes, and Italian dressing mix. Heat through thoroughly, about 3-4 minutes. Then add oregano and balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 additional minute.

Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese
Serve on slices of Italian bread that have been lightly toasted.

Very Good!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chicken Soup

I came home for work today with a runny nose and soar throat - not feeling so great! The bad news was that my husband called and he was coming home sick too! Nothing like two sick people in one house.

I thought it was best that I start my evening with a nap. I slept for a few hours. When I woke up I realized that eventually one of us was going to have to cook something for dinner.

When I opened the regrigerator I didn't really see anything that I could make for dinner. I did notice that I had some carrots and celery. Ok, that sounds like the beginning to some kind of soup. I also found onion, corn and chicken broth. Which caused me to conclude - Chicken Soup!

Chicken Soup

Boil water and add chicken, chuncks of onion, one bay leaf, and one tablespoon oregano
Boil chicken until cooked.
In another pan
sauté onions, carrots and celery in oil
add 1 cup of corn

Take the chicken (only) from the other pan and chop into small parts
Add the chicken to the sautéed mixture
Add pepper
1 tbs thyme
1tbs basil
Mix all these ingredients well

Then add 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups water

Let cook an hour or two.
Add noodles last
(allow the noodles to cook until tender)

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!