Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm Baaaaaack!

So, lots going on around here lately.  First, we happily moved into our own home 2 months ago( a small beach shack, but we don't own the land) right now we are staying with my grandmother until my parents return from Canada.  So, rather than cooking for two, we're cooking for three.  I've been pretty good about sticking to good foods, but lousy about taking time to blog and take pics.  So, I'm back with a vengence.  Today's selections are La Baguette's French Onion Soup and Fresh French Rolls.  i took a few pictures as I went along just to demonstrate . Do NOT put this under the category of quick meals, lol.  Here are the recipes as written:

La Baguette's French Onion Soup

Serves 8

6 cups (2 pounds) thinly sliced yellow onions

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc), optional

10 cups boiling chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)

2 teaspoons black or white pepper, or to taste

French-bread croutons

1/2 pound genuine Gruyre or Austrian Swiss cheese, grated

Cook onions in butter, covered, over medium-low heat until moisture forms and onions are transparent but not brown, about 20 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to medium and cook 45 minutes or longer, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and onion's natural sugars caramelize; onions should be dark golden-brown.

Add wine and bring to boil. Add chicken stock; simmer 2 hours, covered with lid partially ajar, on low heat.

Refrigerate, uncovered (to prevent stock from souring) overnight. When cold, skim congealed butter off top.

Before serving, add pepper to taste and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Place broiler-proof bowls on baking sheet. Fill each with soup and top with croutons and a handful of cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Source: La Baguette.
Nutrition data, per 2-cup serving: Calories 216 (39 percent from fat); fat 9.3 g (sat 5.3 g, mono 2.8 g, poly .6 g); protein 20 g; carbohydrates 11 g; fiber 2.3 g; cholesterol 31 mg; sodium 192 mg; calcium 311 mg.

Fresh Baked French Rolls:

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour


In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 1 cup flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oven Baked "Fried" Chicken

I have had this recipe once before, about 4-5 years ago, and I lost it.  It took me forever to remember where I got it from in the first place.  This recipe is from Robin Miller's (Food Network) Quick Fix Meals "To your health" episode:


Cooking spray

2/3 cup instant oats

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 cups frozen green peas, steamed or microwaved until hot


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, combine oats, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Brush each chicken breast with Dijon mustard. Add chicken to oat mixture with tongs and turn to coat both sides. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with peas. Serves 4.

OMG, YUMMY!!  Let me start by saying that the house we moved into does not have a working oven.  Believe it or not, even with me loving to bake, it is not a top priority.  We have all manner of cooking appliances plus a roaster oven (for large jobs) and toaster oven (for little ones).  I baked these in the toaster oven outside (since I didn't want to heat up the whole house) and had to vary the times a bit. The only other variation from the recipe was I used bone-in chicken thighs instead of boneless, skinless breast meat.  Frankly, I can eat only so much chicken breast before it just flat out looses any chicken flavor and becomes cardboard tasting to me.  Sometimes you just hafta switch it up and save calories elsewhere.  DH agreed and would like to add this recipe as a staple :D

PS- just a warning, some people actually tried using oatmeal instead of oats (yuck).  Stick to rolled oats and you should be just fine.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Hamburger Stroganoff

Several things.  One, Blogger has been down for over a day so the oven fried chicken recipe from Wednesday night should be back online this weekend.  Now I know that this is like the third stroganoff recipe, but this is one of my go to recipes which is not healthy in and of itself, but with some substitutions, can be made that way.  Here's the recipe from Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two circa 1968, page 46:

1/2 Cup minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 Cup butter
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbl flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1 (8 oz) can sliced mushrooms
1 can (10 1/2 oz) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 Cup sour cream

Saute onion and garlic in butter over medium heat.  Stir in meat and brown.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and mushrooms.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in soup.  Simmer, uncovered 10 minutes.  Stir in sour cream.  Heat through.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve over egg noodles. 4-6 servings

Substitutions:  First the recipe was halved.  All the substitutions made were to make it healthier rather than for taste preferences.  I used ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I used low fat cream of mushroom soup and sour cream as opposed to the full fat versions.  You would never have been able to tell the difference!  YUMMY :D.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Caribbean Broccoli Chicken Salad

This recipe is from a Publix Apron Meal card.  I took HUGE license with it and only loosely based the salad on this recipe:

3–4 Deli chicken tenders (.75 lb)
1 mango
Juice of 1 lime
1 head Bibb (or iceberg) lettuce
3 tablespoons mango chutney
2 tablespoons peach preserves
3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 (12-oz) bag broccoli slaw
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Cut chicken tenders into thin slices.
Peel and slice mango (1 1/2 cups).
Squeeze lime for juice (1 tablespoon).
Remove lettuce core; separate individual leaves.

Prepare dressing in medium bowl by whisking chutney, preserves, and lime juice until smooth. Stir in yogurt and mayonnaise until blended.
Add slaw, chicken, mango, and raisins; toss to coat.
Arrange lettuce leaves on serving plates and top with salad; sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 470kcal; FAT 14g; CHOL 60mg; SODIUM 700mg; CARB 61g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 27g; VIT A 90%; VIT C 150%; CALC 10%; IRON 10%

There were the following substitutions:I have no mango chutney nor do I like chutney so instead of the chutney and peach preserves, I used mango/passion fruit preserves.  Instead of yogurt, I used low-fat sour cream.  I couldn't find the broccoli slaw so I used cole slaw mix instead and since the hubby hates raisins, I used craisins.
I really liked this one!  It was very light and refreshing but still filling.  This would be a handy recipe to have around for those hot summer days.  I don't know how easy the ingredients are to find outside of the south, but I'd imagine you can make substitutions where necessary


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Zesty Grilled Chops

I can't believe I've been absent from here for over a week.  We went camping this past weekend and I changed schedules this week so I haven't been able to keep up like I should.  Anyway, here are the zesty grilled pork chops with a side of carrots and snap peas.  This recipe is from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious cookbook circa 2007 page 32:

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
6 bone-in pork loin chops (8 ounces each)

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, chili sauce and garlic powder. Remove 1/4 cup for basting and refrigerate. Add pork chops to the remaining marinade; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight, turning once.
Drain and discard marinade from chops. Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 4 minutes. Turn; baste with reserved marinade. Grill 4-7 minutes longer or until juices run clear.
Yield: 6 servings.

The recipe was changed to just two servings.  This was delicious!  Proof positive that sweet and pork go super well together.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I realize this one is no one's idea of diet or healthy eating, but since yesterday was my hubby's birthday, I made an exception for his favorite meal.  I tried to purchase the smallest corned beef I could find, but it was still 5 lbs. The leftovers will be used for his lunch today as hash or a sandwich.  I haven't a clu where I got the recipe, This is just how I learned to make it:

1 Corned beef
4 medium potatoes
4 carrots, peeled
1/2 head of one cabbage

Scrub the potatoes and carrots and cut the potatoes into quarters and the carrots into 2 inch slices.  Place the potatoes and carrots on the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.  At this time you can also take the outer leaves from the cabbage and place those in the slow cooker, or cook them separately. ( I usually cook them separately in a 2 quart, microwave safe casserole dish with about a 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes on high until the cabbage is still green but tender).
Remove the corned beef from wrapper and set aside the small baggie of spices.  Place the corned beef fat side up over the vegetables in the cooker.  Pour enough water into the cooker to cover the beef.  Sprinkle the spices over the top.  Place on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
OK, so I confess...I LOVE THIS MEAL!  Buttery cabbage and fatty corned beef is just delicious.  I shall continue to behave, but this was an awesome little splurge.  I now must ride by bike across the island to visit my folks instead of driving.  Must work this one off!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grilled Mahi-Mahi Sandwiches with Pasta Salad

So we've had a long, exhausting week and since the weather was gorgeous, bordering on hot (84 degrees), we thought we'd have a Florida cookout night.  We went over to my folks where my hubby grilled Mahi steaks for dinner.  The recipe tonight was for 5-6, but can easily be adapted back down to two.  This recipe lies less on steps and a lot more on availability of very fresh seafood.

Mahi Sandwiches:
Fresh Mahi steak, 6oz steak for each sandwich
Fish marinade of choice (we used Grills Seafood Restaurant Tuna Marinade)
Kaiser rolls

About an hour before grilling, place steaks in a sealed container such as a tupperware container.  Put enough marinade in to cover the steaks. Seal and chill in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Turn container over and let rest in fridge for last 1/2 hour.

Cover rack of grill with aluminum foil and spray foil with non stick cooking spray.  Heat grill to medium.  Place steaks on grill and cook for about 7 minutes each side depending on thickness of steaks.  After turning, brush more marinade on steaks.  Remove steaks from grill and toast kaiser rolls.

Serve with aioli **, lettuce and tomato.

**For aioli : combine 1/4 C mayo with 1 Tbsp of chosen marinade.

Pasta Salad:

-8 oz pkg seashell or elbow macaroni
-1/2 can tuna, drained
-Miracle Whip or Mayo
-1 tsp mustard
-Salt & Pepper
-Shredded lettuce, 1/4 head
-1 tomato, diced
-1 tsp sweet relish
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain. Add tuna, mustard, relish and salt and pepper to taste. Add Mayo to moisten.  Fold in lettuce and tomato.  
Chill and serve.
There was no way to go wrong with this one! Hubby got the Mahi-Mahi fresh caught, never frozen just this afternoon.  The dinner was very, very yummy and just perfect for sitting out on the patio with a small breeze.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Liver Stroganoff

Today I was in the mood for something comforting and filling.  I don't have a whole lot of food left and I don't get anymore food until the Saturday delivery, so dinner will be made with what I have left in the freezer and pantry.  I had some chicken livers left in the freezer as well as a little bit of flank steak.  So I used this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cooking for Two circa 1982, page 54:

2 slices bacon
3/4 C sliced, fresh mushrooms
1/4 C chopped onion
8 oz chicken livers, cut-up
1/4 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1/4 C hot water
1/2 C dairy sour cream
1 Tbl flour
2 Tbl dry sherry
Hot cooked noodles
Snipped Parsley

In an 8-inch skillet cook bacon til crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 Tbl drippings in skillet.  Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Cook the sliced mushrooms and chopped onion in the reserved drippings until tender but not brown.  Add the chicken livers; cook 5 to 6 minutes or just til slightly pink in the center.

In a small mixing bowl dissolve bouillon in hot water.  Stir together sour cream and flour in another bowl.  Gradually stir in some of the bouillon mixture into the sour cream mixture.  Return all to the mixing bowl.  Stir in the sherry.

Add the sour cream mixture to the liver mixture in the skillet.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  Serve the liver mixture over hot cooked noodles; garnish with the crumbled bacon.  Sprinkle with the snipped parsley, if desired.  Makes 2 servings.
Substitutions: We only had about 4 ounces of liver and 4 ounces of beef so we used both instead of just liver.  The bacon was turkey bacon and instead of parsley, we used green onions.  This was served with a side of buttered broccoli.  YUMMY-YUMMY-YUMMY!

For a thrown together meal on a work night, this was pretty quick and comforting. I would like to have this one again relatively soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mexican-style Chicken roll-ups with Mexican Corn

I had a rather long day today and this was a nice, quick, easy meal for two.  The Chicken recipe is from Cooking Light '87 page 52 and the Mexican Corn is a family recipe given to me by Aunt Carolyn (it's sooooo good!):

Chicken recipe:


8 boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds), skinned
4 canned whole green chiles, halved and seeded
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 8 strips
2/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup skim milk
Vegetable cooking spray
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup commercial picante sauce
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Trim excess far from chicken.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheers of waxed paper, flatten to 1/4 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Place a green chile half and one strip of cheese in center of each chicken breast half; roll up lengthwise, tucking edges under.
Secure with wooden picks.
Combine breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
Dip chicken rolls in milk; dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well.
Place chicken in a 12- x 8- x 2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until chicken is done.Place each chicken roll on 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, top each with 1 tablespoon picante sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt.
Serve immediately. Yield 8 servings

Mexican Corn recipe:

8 oz - package cream cheese
1/4 lb butter softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
3 (16 oz) cans white shoepeg corn
1)Stir softened cream cheese and butter together.
2)Add remaining ingredients and mix.
3)Pour into a 2 Qt casserole and bake at 350 for 30 mins.

As far as serving size goes, I quartered the first recipe and halved the corn recipe.  Here are the substitutions...I used some canned, chopped green chiles instead of whole, seeded chiles and  salsa instead of picante. Also, I hate yogurt on my food...I like it alone, but leave it off my dinner!  I used light sour cream instead.  I knew the corn was awesome but the chicken was just terrific!  I highly recommend this one!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crab Mornay

1/4 C water
1/4 C Chablis or other dry white wine
1/2 tsp chicken-flavored bouillon granules
dash of white pepper
1/2 C sliced mushrooms
1 Tbl sliced green onion
1/4 C skim milk
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 C shredded swiss cheese
1/3 lb lump crabmeat paprika

 Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms and onions. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 1minute or until mushrooms are tender.

 Combine milk and cornstarch, mixing well; add to mushroom mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; add cheese, and stir until melted.  Stir in crabmeat.  Spoon into custard cups or ramekins.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Broil 2 minutes or until hot.  Garnish with green onions. Serves 2.

153 calories a serving
YUMMY!  My only complaint is that it didn't make more...which I suppose would just kill the reason for all this portion control, lol.  I used canned crab (cuz it's cheaper) and I did use the skim milk as directed.  It was a tad loose so I would say maybe whole milk would be better.  Very good though and a lot quicker and easier than I first thought.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunny Vegetable Pasties

I got this recipe from watching the Cooking Channel's Caribbean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots.  These just looked so ...sunshine-y!  It took me a long time to find the recipe he did on the show that didn't get Americanized by the show afterward....then I had to convert the amounts.  Took an hour, lol.  Here's the recipe:

-1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
-1 1/2 Cup carrots, also cut in 1/2 inch pieces
-3 Cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1.2 in pieces
-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled, grated
-4 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro leaves
-4 green onions, finely chopped
-1 (8-ounce) can corn, drained
-1 cup Colby (or other orange) cheese, grated
-2 - 4 tsp salt
-1 Cup flour, plus extra for dusting
-1½ tsp ground turmeric
-pinch salt
-1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
-4-5 Tbsp cold water
-1 egg, lightly beaten

1)Preheat the oven to 400F. For the filling, place the pieces of pepper, carrots and butternut squash into a deep-sided, lidded pan. Add enough boiling water to just cover the vegetables. Cover the pan with the lid and return to the boil. Boil for four minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, then drain well. Transfer the drained vegetables to a large bowl and add the remaining filling ingredients (thru 2-4 tsp salt). Mix together until well combined, then set aside until completely cool.

2)For the patties,mix together the flour, ground turmeric and salt in a bowl until well combined. Add the butter cubes and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, stirring the mixture with a spoon, until it comes together as a dough. (You may not need to use all of the water.) Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3)When the pastry has chilled, roll it out onto a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4in thickness. Cut six to eight 3in discs from the pastry using a cookie cutter or upturned glass. Divide the filling mixture equally among the pastry discs, covering only one half of each disc and leaving a 1/2in border at the edge of each.

4)Brush the edges of the pastry discs lightly with some of the beaten egg, then fold the free half of each disc over the filled half and press down the edges to seal using a fork. Brush the tops of the patties with the remaining beaten egg. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the patties onto it. Bake the patties in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown.
This was served with my hubby's specialty, grilled sliced pineapple :D!!  You can see where the pasties get their name, they look so colorful and sunshine-y.  A few changes were made; I did not have fresh ginger so I used some ground ginger. I forgot to use the cilantro and I did not use yellow pepper because I hate bell pepper.  These were really yummy and filling.  I can't say I'm a huge turmeric fan, but it didn't overwhelm the whole pastie.  As usually, whenever I make pasties, turnovers or filled cookies, I ALWAYS end up with WAY MORE filling than I could ever use to fill the pastry.  Frankly, I gave up trying to figure out what I did wrong.  I'm thinking of cooking down the leftovers and making soup. This is a great recipe, but takes an hour or so of prep work, so I would not make this on a weeknight, personally.

Friday, February 18, 2011

German Beef Salad

This is actually a diet and microwave recipe.  This is from the Better Homes and Gardens Quick and Easy Diet Recipes circa 1989 page 116:

3/4 lb beef top round steak
1/2 C frozen, diced onion
2Tbl cooking oil
1 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl cornstarch
1 tsp instant beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 C water
1/4 C vinegar
1 16oz can sliced potatoes
6 oz fresh spinach

Trim fat from beef.  Thinly slice meat across the grain into bite-sized strips.  In a 2-quart microwave-safe casserole combine meat and frozen onion.  Microwave, covered, on 100% power for 3-5 minutes or until meat is done, stirring every 2 minutes.  Drain off liquid.  Set meat aside

For dressing, in the same dish stir together next 5 ingredients.  Then stir in water and vinegar.  Cook, uncovered, on 100% for 3-4 minutes until thickened and bubbly, stirring after every minute.

Drain potatoes.  Add potatoes and meat to dressing.  Then cook, covered, on high 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Meanwhile, clean and tear spinachto make about 5 cups.  Place in a large salad bowl.

Add hot potato-meat mixture to spinach and toss lightly until coated.  Serve immediately, Serves 4.

I halved the recipe and instead of fresh spinach, I used the other half of the frozen spinach from last night. This was OK, but sort of bland.  I even used a little salt and pepper that wasn't in the recipe.  Like I said, this was OK but I probably won't be making it again.  I did like the fact it was prepared entirely with the microwave so I didn't have to heat up the house.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spinach-Stuffed Pasta Shells

I was craving this one.  It's a bit of an indulgence for us at 561 calories a serving, but since the only other thing we've eaten today was a peanut butter sandwich, I think we're all right.  This is from Better Homes and Gardens Great Cooking for Two circa 1992 page 110:

16 packaged jumbo pasta shells or 8 packaged manicotti
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 beaten eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese


1 Cook pasta. Drain immediately. Rinse with cold water; drain well.
2 Meanwhile, drain thawed spinach well, pressing out excess liquid.
3 For filling, combine eggs; ricotta, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese; half of the Parmesan cheese; and the spinach. Spoon about 3 tablespoons filling into each jumbo shell or about 1/3 cup filling into each manicotti shell.
4 Place 4 jumbo shells or 2 manicotti shells into each of 4 individual casseroles. Top with sauce; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 2 casseroles immediately; freeze remaining casseroles as directed.
5 Makes 4 servings. To Eat Two: Bake 2 of the casseroles, covered, in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until heated through.
6 To Freeze Two: Seal, label, and freeze 2 of the casseroles for up to 3 months. To serve, bake 1 or 2 of the frozen casseroles, covered, in a 375 degree F oven about 1 hour or until heated through.

The recipe is for 4 servings because it assumes you will freeze two.  We just cut the recipe in half.  Yummy, Yummy, yummy!  I used jarred spaghetti sauce instead of making it fresh.  I had some left over from the eggplant parmesan.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Porcupine Balls

OK, so this is one of my favorite recipes...usually Mom makes it.  After this, you'll see why.  This is from  Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two cookbook circa 1964 page 96:

1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 C uncooked rice
1/4 C milk or water
2 Tbl chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp garlic salt
dash of pepper
1 Tbl shortening or drippings
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 C water
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix beef, rice, milk, onion and seasonings.  Form into 4 medium balls.  Fry in melted shortening, turning frequently, until light brown (but not crusty) on all sides.  Add tomato sauce, water and worcestershire sauce. Mix well.  Cover.  Simmer 45 minutes over low heat.  Add a small amount of additional water if liquid cooks down too much.  makes 2 servings

This would be a good time to discuss following directions.  I forgot to add the milk when making the balls so they fell to pieces when I tried to turn them.  I added a bit more rice, and more water and turned my porcupine balls into porcupine roadkill.  On the plus side, still tasted awesome!


Taco Night

I forgot to post this last night.  We wanted something quick and easy and since we were going to eat in front of the TV ( a no-no btw).  Taco night it is! This recipe is from Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two cookbook circa 1985:

1/2 lb ground beef
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 Tbl instant minced onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
dash pepper
4 or 5 taco shells
1/2 to 3/4 shredded lettuce
1/2 C shredded cheddar
1/2 C chopped tomato
taco sauce (optional)

in an 8-inch skillet, cook and stir meat until brown.  Drain off fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, onion, garlic salt, chili powder and pepper.  Siimmer uncovered 15 minutes.

While meat mixture simmers, heat taco shells as directed on package.  Fill taco shells with meat mixture.  Top each with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  Serve with taco sauce.  Makes 4-5 tacos.

We used flour tortillas but frankly I prefer hard shells.  There were no substitutions, but you can, of course, use ground turkey instead of beef if you choose.  This was served with refried beans sprinkled with cheese and taco sauce.  Very yummy and quick!  The best part is with the recipe just for two, I don't have to worry about eating too many ( I have room for 15 tacos if I'm not paying attention).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We had a lovely, quiet Valentine's Day at home and my wonderful hubby made dinner for us.  He bought me a beautiful long stem rose with baby's breath and made quiche with a big salad for our romantic meal. Here is my hubby's quiche recipe:

-4 eggs
-1 C milk
-1 C shredded cheese
-1 Tbl flour
-salt and pepper
-2 tsp dill weed
-add ins of choice
-frozen pie crust
1)prebake pie crust per directions on package. in a medium bowl, beat 4 eggs. Slowly beat in milk until fully incorporated. Add in salt, pepper, and dill weed.

2)In a separate bowl, combine cheese with flour to coat. Add cheese to egg mixture. If adding vegetables, add them to egg mixture and pour into crust.

3)bake in a 375 oven for 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serving Suggestions
I usually add shallots, and different kinds of cheese
Since it's his recipe, he didn't make substitutions other than separating the pie dough into two individual dishes and dividing the filling between the two.  He stated he had to cook them about 10-15 minutes longer for the centers to set properly. This was very light yet filling.  Perfect for a late evening meal :D

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

OK, so I am having some cardiac issues which necessitated a trip to the hospital.  They found a blood clot. My cholesterol is nice and low as is my blood pressure (normally). I have a follow up with my regular doctor to see if any changes in lifestyle are needed.  Frankly, I'm eating well so I don't think the diet will need to be altered.  So until I find out for sure what's up, I will continue to make my meals as planned :D.

I don't really have a recipe I follow for this one.  I learned this one from a friend and is a go to recipe.  I was in the mood for this one today.:

1 medium eggplant
1 C Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup spaghetti sauce of choice
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
shaky cheese

Wash off the eggplant.  Slice very thin, leaving the peel on.  Dredge the slices in egg and then breadcrumbs.  Pan fry over medium-high heat.  Drain slices on paper towel.  Place slices on a broiler pan , cover each slice in shredded cheese and broil for a minute until cheese is melted.

Serve over spaghetti with warmed spaghetti sauce.

I served this with a big tossed salad with poppy seed dressing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

So today was the last of the groceries day, lol.  Hubby went out and did a little emergency shopping to get us through to the weekend. Tonight's recipe is from a Publix Apron's Meal.  For those of you who do not live in the eastern USA, Publix is a Supermarket and every wk the food demonstrator makes one of these meals to sample.  they also give out recipe cards to go with the meals...

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lemon
1 1/2 lb tilapia fillets (thawed)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 teaspoons flour, divided
Large zip-top bag
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup white wine

Chop parsley; cut lemon in half. Set both aside.
Check fish for bones (wash hands).
Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place seasoned salt and 3 teaspoons flour in zip-top bag; shake to mix. Add fish to zip-top bag; seal tightly and shake to coat.
Place 1 tablespoon butter in pan, then add fish; cook 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter to center of pan. Turn fillets, using spatula, and distribute butter under each fillet. Cook 3 more minutes or until fish is golden and flakes easily. Transfer fish to serving plates.
Add wine, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon flour to pan; squeeze juice of lemon into pan. Heat and stir 1–2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and serve butter sauce over fish.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 270kcal; FAT 12g; CHOL 95mg; SODIUM 520mg; CARB 5g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 34g; VIT A 8%; VIT C 10%; CALC 2%; IRON 6%
So the hubs and I can't always agree :D.  I really liked this and him...not so much.  He's not the biggest fan of fish and he thought this was too lemony.  I really liked it.  I served this with orzo and asparagus.  I might make this again for a lunch for myself, but not for dinner for the two of us.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Crab Skewers with 3 Bean Salad

This was perfect for a lovely, warm afternoon.  The Skewers are pretty much straightforward (no recipe but by memory) and the 3 bean salad recipe is from :

about 18 shrimp
lumps of crab or lobster meat

peel and devein shrimp.  Layer 3 lumps of crab and 3 shrimp on each skewer.  Sprinkle both sides with jerk seasoning and grill over a medium-high grill, turning once.

3 Bean Salad:

1/8 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 ounces wax beans
1/8 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon celery seed

Mix together green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, onion, sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Let set in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

This was just perfect and refreshing!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Skillet Beef and Potatoes

My Mother-in-law just sent me some new cookbooks!  Cookbooks are my own personal type of heroin.  I will never be able to have enough cookbooks :D  Thank you SO much, Paula!  So tonight's selection is from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious circa 2007, page39:

3 medium potatoes, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons garlic pepper blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Place potatoes, water and salt in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 6-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.
Season beef with pepper blend. In a large skillet, stir-fry beef and onion in 2 tablespoons oil for 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Meanwhile, in another skillet, stir-fry potatoes in remaining oil for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in beef mixture. Sprinkle with rosemary. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: 1-1/2 cups equals 320 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 487 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein

Substitutions: We halved the recipe.  We only used a 4oz steak instead a half pound. Also, I wasn't sure what they meant by "Garlic Pepper Seasoning" so we used garlic powder and black pepper.  We went a little heavy with the pepper.  Looking back, I should have used Nature's Seasoning. Other than that, the meal was delicious!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Picatta-Style Pork

So I refused to make the hubby cook every defeats the purpose :D.  Tonight I decided to try my hand at Picatta-style pork (I know it's spelled wrong, but that's how it is in the book).  This is from Better Homes and Gardens: Great Cooking for Two page 28:

8 oz pork tenderloin, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 Tbl water
1/4 tsp instant beef or chicken bouillon
nonstick spray coating
2 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl butter
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
dash pepper

place each pork slice between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  Working from the center to the edges, pound the pork with the flat side of a meat mallet to 1/8-inch thickness..  Remove plastic wrap.

combine water and bouillon; set aside.  Spray the unheated rack of a broiler pan generously with the cooking spray.  Arrange pork slices on broiler pan; brush generously with bouillon mixture.  Broil pork 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes per side or until pork is slightly pink and juices run clear, brushing pork frequently with bouillon  mixture to keep moist.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, butter, mustard and pepper.  Heat through over low heat, using a fork to mix well.

To serve, transfer pork slices to individual plates.  Spoon sauce over pork.  If desired, garnish each serving with a lemon peel strip if desired. Makes 2 serving.
Substitutions: I used 2 boneless pork chops instead of a loin.  The only other change made was I think I got dyslexic and broiled for 3-4 minutes instead of 2 on each side. It actually wasn't too tough.  Tasted delicious and fresh as well!  This was incredibly quick and easy to top it off.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Onion-Stuffed Sirloin with Mushroom Saute

Yet again, the hubby decided to cook dinner for us.  Hmmm...maybe he should start writing the blog :D.  Anyhoo, this recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens: Great Cooking for Two (circa 1992  ) page # 10:


1/2  of a small  onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1  clove  garlic, minced
1  tablespoon  margarine or butter
1/8  teaspoon  lemon-pepper seasoning or pepper
1  8-ounce  boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1-1/2 inches thick
3/4  cup  sliced fresh shiitake or other mushrooms
1  tablespoon  margarine or butter
1  teaspoon  cornstarch
1  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
1/2  teaspoon  instant beef bouillon granules
1  tablespoon  dry red or white wine
1. For stuffing, in a small saucepan cook the onion and garlic in margarine or butter until onion is tender but not brown. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon-pepper seasoning or pepper. Set aside.

2. Make a pocket in the steak by cutting a deep horizontal slit. Spoon the stuffing into the pocket. If necessary, secure opening of the pocket with a wooden toothpick.

3. To grill, place steak on the rack of an uncovered grill. Grill directly over medium-hot coals to desired doneness, turning once. (Allow 14 to 18 minutes for rare, 18 to 22 minutes for medium, or 24 to 28 minutes for well-done).

4. Or, to broil, place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat to desired doneness, turning once. (Allow 14 to 18 minutes for rare, 19 to 22 minutes for medium, or 23 to 28 minutes for well-done).

5. Meanwhile, for mushroom sauce, in a small saucepan cook the mushrooms in margarine or butter until tender. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, and 1/2 cup water. Carefully add to the saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in wine. To serve, cut steak in half. Transfer steak halves to individual plates. Pour sauce over steak. Makes 2 servings.

Menu Suggestion: Grill new potatoes to round out the meal.

nutrition facts
Servings Per Recipe 2 servings Calories319, Total Fat (g)18, Saturated Fat (g)5, Cholesterol (mg)76, Sodium (mg)504, Carbohydrate (g)12, Protein (g)27, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
No substitutions per se, but the choices used were red wine, pepper instead of lemon pepper, and the mushrooms were morel mushrooms (my uncle grows them). Also, we used two 4 oz steaks instead of one 8 oz steak.  Wow.  My man keeps hitting it out of the park!  This honestly tasted like a restaurant meal.  This wasn't a special occasion, but you could easily use this for a romantic evening or any occasion.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken Livers Veronique

So for the last couple days my big brother was in town from Colorado.  We ate over at my parent's house so I wasn't doing any cooking :D.  Today of course it was back to work.    Now I will tell you I enjoy the odd chicken liver in a dish, but I have never had a meal starring this ingredient and thought this might be the meal that i wouldn't be able to eat.  We are adventurous sorts and wanted to try new things, so here we went.  Darling hubby followed the directions and made this while I was working.  Here's the recipe as it originally appeared (the serving size is actually for one so we doubled it) in Better Homes and Gardens Meals for One or Two circa 1978, page 11:

1/4 lb chicken livers
1 Tbl sliced green onion
1 Tbl butter
2 Tbl dry white wine
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
dash pepper
8 seedless green grapes, halved
hot cooked rice

Halve chicken livers.  In a small skillet, cook livers and onion in butter for about 5 minutes or until livers are just barely pink inside.

Combine wine, cornstarch, salt and pepper; add to chicken livers.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in grape halves.  Serve over rice

Makes 1 serving

Substitutions:  We didn't have any grapes so we didn't use any.  Hubby sprinkled some balsamic vinegar on top at the very end before serving.  Also, we use brown rice instead of white.

Yummy.  Seriously...this was SO good.  I am as surprised as anyone.  I figured it would be good to get my iron up (I've been anemic for years and even after the tumor was removed I'm still a little low on iron) so I would stomach it.  It was delicious!  I highly recommend this to anyone who has a kind, understanding, adventurous spouse.  Ironically enough, hubby said he loved this and would really like to have it again.  One of the pluses, is for a pound and a half of chicken livers, I only spent $2.09.  A rare thing to have a meal for so little.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Individual Beef Wellingtons

OMG...I mean seriously OMG!!  I know it seems odd that I am posting anything on my wedding anniversary evening, but seriously, I just had to share how incredibly AWESOME this meal is.  Hubby decided a while ago to make our anniversary meal and this is the meal he picked.  Beef Wellington with green beans andgarlic and herb mashed potatoes. This is from the Light Cooking for Two book page 85:

Olive oil-flavored vegetable cooking spray
1  cup  sliced fresh mushrooms, minced
1 1/2  teaspoons  minced green onions
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks
1/2  teaspoon  coarsely ground pepper
4  sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms, green onions, and salt; saute 8 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture from skillet, and set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of each steak with pepper. Coat skillet with cooking spray; place over high heat until hot. Add steaks, and cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove steaks from skillet; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a damp towel (keeping remaining phyllo covered). Lightly coat phyllo with cooking spray. Top with another sheet of phyllo, and coat with cooking spray; fold in half crosswise, bringing short ends together. Place 1 steak 3 inches from one end of phyllo. Spoon half of mushroom mixture over steak. Fold short end of phyllo over mushroom mixture; fold lengthwise edges of phyllo over steak, and roll up, jellyroll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sheets of phyllo, mushroom mixture, and steak.

Lightly coat phyllo packets with cooking spray; place, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories:306 (33% from fat)
Fat:11.2g (sat 3.5g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g)

The only substitution was instead of phyllo, he used croissant roll dough. Hubby stated he had it in the oven for only about 10 minutes because of the different dough.  So, um...maybe a bit higher on the calorie scale.  Who cares?  This was a special occasion :D.  Definitely try this one, y'all!


Individual Shrimp Casseroles

We had these last night and I didn't get around to posting until this morning.  This recipe is again from the Light Cooking for Two page 111:

5  ounces  orzo, uncooked
1/2  pound  unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp
Olive oil-flavored vegetable cooking spray
1/4  teaspoon  olive oil
2  teaspoons  minced garlic
3/4  cup  peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato
1  tablespoon  dry white wine
1/2  cup  shredded fresh basil
1 1/2  teaspoons  chopped fresh oregano
Dash of freshly ground pepper
1/4  cup  crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Set aside, and keep warm.

Peel and devein shrimp; set aside.

Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic, and saute 30 seconds. Add tomato, and saute 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp and wine; saute 2 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and pepper; saute 2 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.

Combine shrimp mixture and orzo, stirring well. Spoon mixture evenly into 2 (2-cup) casseroles coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with feta cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 500° for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information
Calories:394 (15% from fat)
Fat:6.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g)

To start with, I could not find my individual corningware so I had to use soup bowls.  No substitutions were made.  We didn't even have to use a bunch of bowls and mess up the kitchen. I thought it was incredibly yummy but the hubby thought the feta was too strong of a cheese for this recipe. It's ironic since I'm the one who an't stand feta, lol.  We both agreed that fresh parmesan or even Gruyere would have been better (milder).  I will definitely make this again!

On a side note, tonight is our anniversary and the hubby is making beef wellington!!  I'll post the recipe and review tonight :D.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bouchee A La Reine

Another long crappy day.  This is a pretty quick, easy goto recipe. This is my mom's recipe that serves (I think) 6.

-2 lbs of scallops (fresh fish market)
-1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms, fresh
-2 boxes (12) Pepperidge Farm Patty Shells
-Swiss Cheese ( enough to sprinkle on top)
-1 stick of butter (no margarine!)
-3 heaping Tbl flour
-half and half
-1 Tbl chopped parsley

1 - Simmer the scallops cut in pieces slowly in a seasoned broth (shrimp broth). Make a Bechamel sauce; combine flour and the stick of butter in sauce pan. Add 3 - 4 Tbl of scallop broth. Add half and half stirring until sauce is smooth and thick.
2 - Cut mushrooms in small pieces and cook in some butter and a little salt. If they get too juicy, drain. Add the mushrooms and scallops to the Bechamel sauce. Add parsley.
3 - Bake the shells according to the package directions. Remove tops and a little of the dough from the inside to make room for the filling. Fill with the sauce, sprinkle with cheese and replace the tops. Return the to the oven just to melt the cheese.


OK, substitutions...we didn't have any pastry shells so we just used wheat toast.  Also, I didn't have enough cheese (my fault). Other than that, this is a delicious, quick meal.  As always, 5 stars

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baked Tilapia

So, not to be all whiny, but I still feel absolutely wretched.  Darling hubby took pity (again) and made dinner tonight.  We were both very weak and considering take-out but two things stopped us.  One, we have $3.23 to our names and two, we really want this new diet to work.  Hubby baked a few tilapia fillets and made a side of rice-a-roni.  Delicious and lowfat, too.

2 tilapia fillets
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp parsley
4 Tbl butter

Preheat oven to 350. combine all seasonings in a small bowl.  Pat fillets dry.  Sprinkle both sides of fillets with seasoning. Place fillets on greased, shallow baking dish and place two pats of butter on each fillet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

This hit the spot!  After a very horrible day, this is just what I needed!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Korean-Style Beef Bowl

Yummy-yummy!  On first glance, this looks good but kind of plain.  Not at all.  The recipe listed serves 4 so you'll need to half it. This is another one from Pampered Chef's 29 Minutes to Dinner page 93:


2 Green onions with tops, divided
1 lb (soo g) skirt steak
2 Garlic cloves, pressed
3 tbsp (4S mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (lS mL) sesame oil
1 tsp (SmL) coarsely ground black
1 tbsp (lS mL) sugar
1 tsp (SmL) vegetable oil

1 cup (2S0 mL) uncooked jasmine rice
2 Medium carrots
2 cups (soo mL) bean sprouts


1. For steak and marinade, thinly slice green onions using Santoku Knife, reserving 1 tbsp (lS mL)
of the tops for garnish; place remaining green onions into Classic Batter Bowl.

2. Cut steak crosswise into 2-in. (s-cm) pieces. Slice each piece into thin strips, cutting against the
grain (see Chef's Corner); add to batter bowl. Press garlic over beef. Add soy sauce, sesame oil,
black pepper and sugar; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Meanwhile, for vegetables, peel carrots; discard skin. Continue peeling carrots to make long
ribbons. Place ribbons into ice water until ready to serve.

5. To finish steak, add vegetable oil to (12-in./30-cm) Skillet; heat over medium-high heat
1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add beef to Skillet in a single layer and cook undisturbed
2 minutes or until beef is brown. Stir; cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until beef is no longer
pink. Remove from heat.

6. Remove rice from microwave and fluff with a fork. To serve, divide rice among serving bowls and
serve with beef, carrots and bean sprouts. Garnish with reserved green onion tops.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 410 ; Total Fat: 20 g ; Saturated Fat: 7 g ; Carbohydrates: 29 g ; Protein: 28 g ; Sodium: 790 mg ; Fiber: 2 g

Very little on the substitution front.  I didn't have any sesame oil so I just used regular veggie oil and I used brown rice instead of jasmine.  This was SO easy and delicious!

Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Soup

So today is going to be a two-fer.  I will not bore you with the details, but today has been a VERY bad day.  I am feeling worse as opposed to better and hubby  volunteered to make us soup for lunch. He said since we have the leftover chicken, he would look for a good recipe calling for some of our leftovers.  Well, he went to and put the ingredient list of :chicken, artichokes, and tomato paste.  This is the recipe that popped up (changed to servings for 2 instead of 8):


1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), snipped into small pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 clove cloves garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 (13.75 ounce) can artichoke bottoms, drained and chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 8 servings.

Place the dried mushrooms into the boiling water and set aside until softened, about 20 minutes. Once softened, squeeze excess water from mushrooms and finely chop. Reserve the mushroom-flavored water.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes per side. Once cooked, set aside.

Pour chicken broth into a large pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and reserved mushroom liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped mushrooms, artichokes, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, and white wine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes; add to the simmering chicken broth.

Slice the grilled chicken breasts into strips and stir into the simmering soup. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 254 | Total Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 37mg
Several changes were made for convenience sake.  He used the extra chicken breast from last night.  The only sun-dried tomatoes we had were jarred in oil (used those).  Instead of chicken broth, he used beef broth and no lemon juice. We didn't have any porcini mushrooms, so he used regular, white mushrooms. I don't know if its just because I feel lousy, but this hit the spot and was very yummy!.  It made exactly 2 servings which was just perfect.  He was able to use the extra artichokes and chicken from last night as well as some leftover tomato paste. (Nice clean refrigerator now :D )

Monday, January 24, 2011

Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

OK, so this was my first day back at work since I came down with pneumonia. The part that really sucks is I still have it. It made for a long day and I was having difficulty talking towards the end of the day.  I was worried there was no way I was going to be able to make dinner tonight.  The hubby was busy all day and also was trying to clear our storage out this afternoon so there was no way I was going to ask him to do dinner as well.  I found this recipe in a Pampered Chef cookbook 29 Minutes to Dinner on page 15.  Here's the recipe as written:


3 small red potatoes
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 oz/125-175 g each)
2 tsp (10 mL) Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil, divided


1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped artichoke hearts (about 2 hearts)
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) mayonnaise

1. Preheat broiler on HIGH. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into quarters. Place potatoes, water and salt into Small Micro-Cooker; microwave on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, for artichoke topping, chop artichokes and parsley using Santoku Knife; place into Small Batter Bowl. Grate cheese using Microplane Adjustable Grater. Set aside 2 tbsp (30 mL) for later use; add remaining cheese and mayonnaise to artichoke mixture and mix well.

3. Flatten chicken to 1/2 in. (1 cm) thickness using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1 tsp (5 mL) of the seasoning mix.

4. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil to Stainless (10-in./25-cm) Skillet (do not use nonstick cookware); heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Meanwhile, add remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) of the seasoning mix to potatoes; stir to coat.

5. Place chicken and potatoes, cut side down, into Skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden brown. Turn chicken and potatoes over; cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink.

6. Remove potatoes from Skillet; set aside and keep warm. To finish chicken, spread artichoke topping evenly over chicken; sprinkle with reserved cheese. Place Skillet as close as possible to heating element (2 in./5 cm); broil 4-6 minutes or until topping is deep golden brown and internal temperature of chicken registers 170 F (77 C). (Watch closely. If topping starts to brown unevenly, adjust accordingly.) Carefully remove Skillet from broiler. Serve chicken with potatoes.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 14 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Carbohydrate 21 g, Protein 34 g, Sodium 1280 mg, Fiber 3 g

So here were my changes: I omitted the potatoes outright and served with pasta salad instead. I do not have their rosemary herb seasoning so I used a sprinkle of rosemary, salt and pepper. I did not used fresh parmesan...I used shaky cheese :D.  OMG, this was SO YUMMY!!  I am definitely going to make this again! It was easy, delicious and most of the ingredients you probably already have on hand.  Speaking of which, I still haven't mastered the buying for two so I have a half can of artichoke hearts and one extra chicken breast that I cubed and cooked up for something later. I'll see if there's a recipe out there that I can try in the next few days with some of that.  Anyway, this was a winner and my only complaint was the broiler heated up the house too much...this is Florida and it was a bit too warm in the kitchen. My last suggestion is to use fresh chicken.  I have been using giant bags of frozen chicken breasts for years and was so used to it tasting like sheets of cardboard, I forgot what real chicken tastes like.  A big bonus of cooking for two is I don't NEED to buy the big bag...I can just buy what I need.