Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Meatloaf, from Carrie

I go about making my meatloaf like this:

Take one pound of ground up meat (tonight is turkey), add 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, some garlic powder, black pepper, 1 small can of green chilies, 1/4 cup bbq sauce. Smoosh it all together, dump in a loaf pan and cook at 375 for around an hour.

Meatloaf, from Stephanie

Last night I made meatloaf. Here's an approximation of what I did.

In a large bowl, combine

1 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1/4 large sweet onion, minced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten half to death

4 tsp worcestershire sauce (I just shook it for a while)

1ish tsp oregano

1ish tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp sage

3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (because I had it around)

1/3 to 1/2 cup ketchup

1.3lbs meatloaf mix - a preprepared meat product available here, a mix of ground beef, pork, and veal

salt and pepper

Mix ingredients with hands (I have gloves... phew) and form into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350F (180C) for about an hour (I cooked it until my meat thermometer read 170F).

At this point you can eat it, or top with a coating of barbeque sauce or ketchup and return to oven while you round up the kids, cats or clean plates. Let it rest a moment before cutting.

Spanakopita, from Nastia

Pies have a great part in Greek tradition, we make them for holidays, funerals, memorials, Christmas, Easter, as a main dish as an appetiser, or as a dessert. There are also sweet pies, such as Bougatsa (cream pie).

I made Spanakopita (Spinach pie) yesterday, with home made leaves and fresh spinach. For a big pan you will need:

750gr Flour for pies (26oz, or 1.6lbs, approx. 6 cups)

1 kg (2.2lbs) fresh spinach

5-6 fresh onions (the green ones)

about 100gr (3.5oz) anise finelly chopped

500gr (17.5oz, a little over a pound) feta cheese

2 tbsp vinegar

olive oil

Cold water/salt pepper

In a large pan fill with water until in the middle, wash the spinach thoroughly and add to the cold water, light the kitchen scald the spinach in hot water until soft (dont boil the water and make sure the leaves are nice and green, not over boiled) take off the spinach wait a little and then squeeze all the water out.

In a pan put some olive oil, the onions (chopped) and the anise, stir fry, add spinach and mix well, add salt and pepper, turn off the heat and leave the pan without cover.

Prepare the leaves.

Make a dough with flour, water, and vinegar, has to be soft and not sticky, if the water is cold the dough is better, separate in 18 small balls. Using a rolling pin make small pitas puting three of them one over the other with olive oil in the middle (Pita-oil-pita-oil-pita) that will give you six triplets of pitas. sprad olive oil in a pan, preheat the oven at 180C (I think 350F)

Take the first triplet and with the rolling pin make a big pastry leaf (must cover the pan), put it in the pan, spread olive oil make second leave, spread olive oil, make third leave, add the spinach mix and feta cheese crumbs until well covered, continue with the rest of the leaves (three at bottom three on top) Turn the leaves edges on the inside of the pan (they make a yummy crust after bake) Spread olive oil and some milk on top of the pie and cut it in square pieces.

Bake for an hour or until brownish.

Tip in order to prevent the leaves from sticking on the kitchen counter you can spread some corn flour on the counter.

Tip, if you use cold carbonated water for the dough it will become more crunchy.

Tip, find a rolling pin that suits you I prefer something like this


which is made of wood but a plastic one will do the same job.

(imperial measures are editor's estimates - results may vary)

Pseudo-Greek Feast, an idea from Heather

Pseudo-Greek Feast

pita chips & hummus - both store bought... I know how easy they are to make, but I already had them at home and I decided late in the day what I was cooking

- Salad of halved grape tomatoes, kalamatas, cubed cucumber, feta, & olive oil vinaigrette
- Chicken, marinated in olive oil, mint, oregano (both dried, not fresh), salt, pepper, garlic; basted with a mixture of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and broiled (i.e. in the oven with the heat coming from the top of the oven - I know they call this grilling in the UK so I don't assume it means the same to anyone). I used to always grill them, but I'm the worst griller ever. It came out really well - so delicious!
- served chicken with tzatziki, which I made by mixing drained plain natural yogurt, grated & drained cucumbers, and a little salt, mint, garlic, and lemon juice. I don't know if the mint is common, but I love it.
- roasted vegetables - this is nothing I've ever had at a Greek restaurant or in Greece, but I love it and think it goes well. (I used to grill these too, but, again, I suck.) I did zucchini, yellow/summer squash, baby portobello mushrooms, and yellow pearl onions, with olive oil, pepper, and oregano and just stuck them in a roasting pan in the oven until they were tender and juicy

Everything was really nice except for the salad because the dressing was just too tangy and acidic.

A note from Nastia, our resident Greek: VERY GOOD HEATHER, a real Greek dinner. Just one tip. Don't put vinegrette on tomato salad just plain olive oil and oregano, it tastes better. Also, don't put lemon juice in Tzatziki because it messes with the yoghourt, some oil will do.

Turkey Fajitas, an idea from Carrie

Dinner tonight is fajitas made with turkey breast strips pre-marinated by Stoney Brook Farms. Yum! Of course all the trappings: beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, etc....I'm so excited!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Italian Baked Chicken, an idea from Karli

Tonight we had chicken, carrots, and green beans. I covered the chicken with Italian dressing and baked in the oven. When it was done, I topped it with mozzerella cheese and put it back in the oven just until the cheese was melted. It was YUMMY!!

Oven Fried Chicken, from Karli

Oven Fried Chicken

Coat chicken with Bisquick (I usually season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder). Melt 2 TBS butter in baking dish and lay chicken in butter. Bake at 400° until chicken is cooked through. You may need to turn chicken once, depending on the type of pan you use, to make it crispy all over.

Broccoli Beef Bake, from Karli

Broccoli Beef Bake

  • 1lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 package Lipton rice & sauce, any flavor
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 package frozen broccoli florets

Brown ground meat and cook rice according to package. Mix all ingredients in casserole dish and bake at 350° until heated through.

Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole, from Karli

Cheesburger Macaroni Casserole

  • 1lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 box Shells & Cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package Lipton onion soup mix, beef & onion flavored bouillion or package of seasoning packet from beef Rice A Roni

Boil noodles and brown ground meat. Mix all ingredients together in casserole dish and bake at 350° until cheese is melted.

Caribbean Bananas, from Tintin

Caribbean bananas for dessert:

1 tbsp butter(unsalted)

2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

125ml/ 4 fl oz orange juice

1 tsp soft dark brown suger (or I use palm sugar)

Melt butter in a skillet. When it is sizzling, add banana slices and cook for about one minute, until slightly softened. Add orange juice, then sugar. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula and cook for a few seconds, just until the sauce is thickened and bubbling. Serve warm with a little whipped cream, natural yoghurt or creme fraiche.

Serves 2 little boys and a Mummy (I get the rejects/overboards/leftovers).

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie, from Dani

Chocolate oatmeal no bake cookie

2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 Cup evaporated milk
4oz butter
1tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)
2 cups of quick oats

Conbine cocoa, sugar, milk, butter and boil. Turn down and add vanilla, pecans and oats.

Sometimes you have to add more oats than it calls for, so be prepared with some more near by.

Peanut Butter Fudge, from Dani

Peanut butter fudge:

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1c marshmellow fluff
1c peanut butter
1tsp vanilla

Boil the sugar and milk. Remove from heat. Stir in the other stuff. Pour in a buttered glass baking pan

Swedish Brown Beans, from Allison

Swedish brown beans

1 1/2 cups dried navy beans, soaked
1 1/2 tsps. salt
2 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Cook the beans as you normally would either in the crockpot or on the stove (it's about 6 cups for on the stove, I'd use less for crock pot cooking). Add the rest of the ingredients about 1/2 hour before you finish cooking and stir them in. If there's not enough liquid, add more, if there's too much, just boil it off for a bit.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tribal Ratatouille, an idea from Sue

You could always use the squash, zuch's, and peppers in a tribal sacrificial dance if they go bad.....Just smother them over your body, start screaming "Ratatouille" and dance in front of your gas stove.

(Seriously, how could this NOT get posted?)

Borracho Beans, from Carrie

Borracho Beans
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, washed
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer ( I prefer light beer, some prefer dark)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chopped stewed tomatoes
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers (I prefer 1 fresh chopped pepper)
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped (I just used the pre-chopped jarred stuff)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (sometimes I skip this)
  1. Soak beans in water overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, drain beans, and refill the pot with the chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans with 2 inches of liquid. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Stir the beans once in a while to make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Stir beer, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and cilantro into the beans. Continue to cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
  4. With a potato masher, crush the beans slightly ( I always take some out, crush them and then add them back in) to thicken the liquid. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with sour cream and cheese

It makes a lot and is always great as a side dish, but it can also serve as the main dish as a Mexican-type chili.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Best Tortilla Soup, from Heather

Best Tortilla Soup

1 tblsp vegetable oil [increase to 3 if needed]
8 (soft) corn tortillas, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock [broth is fine]
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 to 6 cooked chicken breast halves, shredded (about 2 cups)

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro, and onion. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat. Garnish with
monterey jack, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips

Serves 6 (1.5 cup servings)
5 WW points with reduced oil, not counting garnish

Option: at end add lime juice & cilantro. Add corn. Replace chicken w/black beans.

NOTES: To make it quick, I often use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. And I can't imagine 4 - 6 breast halves could only = 2 cups like the recipe suggests. The tortillas you put in in the beginning really dissolve in the soup, making it not quite thick, but not at all like a brothy soup.

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables, from Heather

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

¾ cup coarsely chopped sweet red pepper

½ cup slivered fennel bulb

2 Tbsp chopped ripe olives

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 ½ tsp olive oil

12 small round red potatoes, quartered

3 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp minced fresh sage

½ tsp coarsely ground pepper

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp paprika

2 (4-oz) skinned, boned chicken breast halves

vegetable cooking spray

1 ½ tsp olive oil

2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth, undiluted

Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; toss well, and set aside.

Combine sage and next 3 ingredients and rub over both sides of chicken breasts. Coat a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray; add 1 ½ tsp oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken breasts; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, and set aside.

Remove skillet from heat. Add vegetable mixture to skillet; stir well. Return chicken breasts to skillet, nestling them into vegetables; bake, uncovered, at 450degrees for 20 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from skillet; stir vegetables, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen browned bits. Return chicken breasts to skillet; reduce oven temperature to 375degrees, and bake 15 additional minutes.

Spoon vegetable mixture evenly onto 2 serving plates, and place a chicken breast half on each plate. Add chicken broth to skillet; bring to a boil over high heat, and cook 1 minute, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen browned bits. Spoon sauce evenly over chicken. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 1 1/3 cups vegetables, and 3 tablespoons sauce).

Calories 403 (24% from fat); Protein 33.6g; Fat 10.6g (sat 1.6g); Carbohydrate 45.0g; Fiber 5.0g; Cholesterol 66mg; Iron 6.1mg; Sodium 490mg; Calcium 107mg

NOTES: I make the au jus thing about half the time - it's good with or without it. Also, I always make more than what's called for because it is so good. I brown the chicken in a skillet and then transfer it and all the veggies to my enormous turkey roasting pan. If I do make the au jus, I just stretch the roasting pan over two burners on the stove. I've made this for just about everyone I know and they have all loved it.

Also, I use more olives proportionally than called for - always kalamata, never chopped. I use any sized & shape red potatoes I have and just cut them to the size I want. And I use dried rosemary and sage. I made in in England this summer with fresh herbs from my brother-in-law's garden and I don't think it made any difference.

Beef Tenderloin Rub, from Lisa

Beef Tenderloin Rub

1 Tbsp. granulated garlic or garlic salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1-1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

(yes, I know it's not a marinade, but it kinda fits)

Anise's Fast Fiesta Soup, from Sarah

My friend gave me the base recipe, so we all call it "Anise Soup" - but it's after the friend, not the herb. She calls it Fast Fiesta Soup.

2 cans diced tomatoes with jalepenos, drained

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

One block of firm tofu

Sliced olives

a few dashes of cayenne pepper

Put everything in a big pot and cook it on medium-lo for about half an hour. Help the tofu along a bit by poking at it with your spoon when your stir - it ends up breaking apart into small pieces, not entirely melting in like soft would.

Serve in bowls topped with shredded cheese and sour cream. Mmm, the sour cream is a must. Not because it doesn't taste good without it, but because it tastes heavenly WITH.

Tacoritos, from Carrie


1 lb ground beef
1 onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 bag of shredded cheese
1 package of soft flour tortillas
sour cream
(lettuce and chopped tomato if desired)

In a sauce pan combine both soups and the enchilada sauce. Whisk together and simmer on low until blended and saucy!

In a skillet add chopped onion and ground beef.
Cook and then drain.

Use a 9x13 pan. Take a tortilla and put some ground beef and onion in there. Fold it or roll it over and place in the pan. Keep doing this until the pan is full. Dump any left over beef on top. Pour sauce mixture on top. Top with cheese. Bake in oven at 350 until the cheese melts, about 10-20 min. Serve with sour cream. You can also serve it with lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

Crockpot Beef Fauxganoff, from Amy

Put a tri-tip in the crockpot.

Cover with some cream of mushroom soup.

Cook for 6 hours on low (I should have gone a little longer so it would have shredded.)

When done: Cook egg noodles, and saute some mushrooms. Combine w/some butter and pepper

Add cornstarch to "gravy" in crockpot to thicken.

Serve meat and gravy over noodles.

Call it the poor man's...something. I'm sure it's similar to something real. It's not too shabby though!

A White Fish idea from Sarah

Whenever I cook white fish, (unless I pan sear it) I coat it in finely chopped walnuts or pecans, either bake it or panfry it, and serve it with a yummy fruit salsa (pineapples, strawberries, blueberries, a little jar salsa shocked, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.

Suggested by Mandy - New Potato Curry

New Potato Curry (Judith Finlayson's 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes)

2 T clarified butter or veg oil
1 lb small new potatoes
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp curry, preferably Madras
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked peperrcorn
1/2 c water or chicken stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 chopped cilantro

Heat butter or oil over medium high heat. Add potatoes and cook just till they begin to brown. Transfer to slow cooker.

Back to stove, reduce heat to medium, add onions and cook till softened. Add garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add water or stock, bring to a boil and pour over potatoes.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 till the potatoes are tender. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.

Rabbit Stifado (Stew), from Nastia

Here is a Stifado (Stew) recipe with rabbit. Its concidered to be one of the best Greek dishes


1 large rabbit, jointed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (balsamic also works nicely)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small cinnamon stick (about a 3-inch length)

salt and black pepper
4 whole allspice
1 sprig rosemary
2/3 cup red wine
1 1/4 cups hot water
11/2 lbs white pearl onions, peeled,left whole
Rinse the rabbit pieces and place them in a mixing bowl together with the bay leaves and vinegar; mix well and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnigh; remove the rabbit from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  1. Heat half of the olive oil in a large saucepan until hot, add the rabbit and fry the pieces until quite brown on all sides; add the tomato paste, bay leaves, sugar, garlic, spices and the hot water.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil mixing well then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan; add the onions and sauté gently for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, until golden all over; after the rabbit has been cooking for 1 hour, add the onions and oil from the frying pan to the saucepan; combine, then re-cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes; fish out the cinnamon stick, allspice berries and rosemary sprig.
  5. Note: This can be served with pasta, noodles, rice or oven-roasted potatoes, but my personal favourite is homemade french-fries, which taste delicious dunked in the spicy sauce.

Souvlaki, from Nastia



  • 2 1/2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Greek oregano (rigani)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine (or good red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


In a bowl, pour wine (or vinegar) and oil over the pork and toss to coat. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano, and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    Note: If using vinegar, do not marinate longer than 2 hours or the meat can absorb too strong a vinegar taste.
    If using wine, the meat can be marinated for up to 2 days as long as salt is also used.

Using 8 inch skewers, thread approximately 6 pieces of meat on each. This should make about 12 skewers.

Grill the meat turning until well browned, about 15 minutes. Serve on the skewers with a squeeze of lemon.

    Note: If using a gas grill, use wooden skewers. If using a charcoal grill, use metal skewers. If broiling in the oven, use either, but wooden skewers should be soaked in water for several minutes before using.

Yield: serves 3 (4 skewers per person) as a main dish.

As a meze: To prepare this recipe as a meze, use smaller skewers (5-6 inches long) and put 3-4 pieces of meat on each to make approximately 20 skewers.

Taste tip: If you have the spice sumac in your cabinet, rub a little on the meat before adding marinade ingredients.

Pastitsio, from Nastia

My big fat Greek Pastitsio recipe

(imperial measures are editor's estimates)

500gr (16oz) of really big pasta (Spaghetti No 1 or penne) I prefer Penne because it’s easier to cut

¾ kilos (1.65lbs, or 1lb 10oz) Minced meat, one quarter kilo (1/2 lb) of pork and half a kilo (1 lb) of beef (No lamb)

About 350 gr (12oz) tomato sauce (if you can make it yourself from fresh tomatoes even better.

Two large onions finely chopped

Two tablespoons of margarine and some olive oil

For Beschamel Cream

Two fresh eggs

About four full tablespoons of flour

500 gr (about 18oz, a little over a pint) fresh milk

One tablespoon of margarine




Bay leaves

Some hard cheese to put on top


Boil the spaghetti in salty water until al dente put a table spoon of olive oil in, strain spaghetti but keep moist separate in half.

Put the margarine and onions in a pot stir fry until they get brownish, add mincemeat and stir fry until there are no clots (must look almost cooked) add tomato, salt, pepper, some cinnamon, two bay leaves and a glass of water and cook until there is more mince than water (cooking time differs) Remove the bay leaves.

On a medium size pan put half of the spaghetti at the bottom, then all the mince and then the other half

In a small pot put margarine to melt and then add flour cook a little and then add milk start stirring at the same direction until it gets creamy (must be a little thick ) take off the stove and put the eggs in a plate mixing well.

Add a table spoon of the cream to the eggs, stir a little and then put the mix back in the cream. Stir until it becomes a soft and nice cream.

Put the cream on top of the spaghetti and add some cheese crumbs on top. Prefer a hard cheese such as parmesan. Bake until the top gets brown and enjoy. (Not very hot oven about 180C (350F))

We like red wine along and tomato salad with feta cheese and olives.

Frozen Chicken Fix, an idea from Shauna

If you have frozen chicken tenders, put them in a skillet with some EVOO, put the lid on, and they'll be done in 10 min. If you use frozen chicken breasts, it takes 20 min. Turn them once, and if they look dry, add some water or chicken stock. Flavor how you want. I believe these directions are on the bag of chicken..

Chicken Barbeque, ideas from Mandy

A bottle of good BBQ and frozen chicken breast, cooked all day and shredded, makes a passable sandwich.

I like it more as a pizza, with colby jack cheese and chopped scallions. I love cheese, though.

Risotto, from Sarah


This is a pretty basic recipe, but I like my small modifications so I'll share.

Cook 1 cup arborio rice, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, and sliced mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat until the rice is slightly brown. Add about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of white wine, lower heat a bit, and stir. (Wine's optional).

In the meantime, heat up about 3 cups of chicken broth (or veggie broth if you swing that way). Once the wine is absorbed, pour the broth about 1/2 a cup at a time. Stir. Each time you add broth, add one of the following: carrots, peppers, asparagus, olives. Stir. Keep stirring. At the end, add walnuts, a dash or two of Worchestireshire sauce (either for chicken or meat, both are good), and a few sprinkles of lemon juice. Stir in some parma cheese and some shredded muenster.

Sarah's Sensational Fruit and Walnut Salad, from Sarah

I don't really believe in measurements for cooking, so you'll have to figure it out for yourself!

Sarah's Sensational Fruit and Walnut Salad

Sliced strawberries
Mandarin orange slices
Jicama (sliced thin)
Green peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Spinach or green leaf lettuce (or both!)
Goat cheese crumbles (or better yet, crumble some yourself off the block)

Goes GREAT with Brianna's Blush Vinaigrette - yum! You can use almonds or some other nut if you prefer.

Fridge Cleaning Pasta, from Stephanie

Wine makes a great addition to the sauce, white or red. The chicken I had was (George Foreman) grilled with italian dressing, so I added some dressing to the veggies as they cooked.

Fridge Cleaning Pasta

olive oil
1/2 small onion, sliced into thin crescents
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced chicken
1/2 16oz jar of alfredo sauce, approximately
1/4 cup half and half, cream, or milk

8oz cooked pasta, still a little chewy or slightly undercooked

Sautee onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil and butter until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft. Add chicken. Tilt pan to separate juices and pour alfredo sauce into juice, mixing. Add half and half to jar of sauce, tighten lid, and shake. Pour into pan and mix everything together. Allow to bubble and reach desired consistency - a little thinner than a regular alfredo. Add pasta to sauce pan and let mixture heat through. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Spinach and Olive Pie, from Allison

Spinach and Olive Pie

1 prepared pie crust
1 10-oz package fresh spinach (really all sorts of greens work here), finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese
2 beaten eggs
salt and pepper

Start the pie crust according to "open pie" directions. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash the greens if they haven't been washed, but dont' dry them. Heat the oil in a wide skillet over fairly high heat. Saute the onion with the garlic, bay leaves, and pepper flakes until the onion begine to color a little, about 4 minutes. Add the greens and cook until tender, 8-12 minutes, turning them as they cook. If there's a lot of moisture when they're done, press it out with the back of a spoon. Mix this with the olives and cheese and put it in the pie crust. Beat the eggs and pour over top. Cook until the pie looks done (eggs are set, etc).

Suggested by Sue - Kimbap


Suggested by Sue - Chapche (Mixed Vegies with Beef)

Chapche (Mixed Vegies with Beef)

Gimbap, from Sue

*These should look like sushi rolls using the same seaweed, rice and rolling technique, but the ingredients are different*
*This serves 2 people but gives you an idea about what it is and how to make it*

Preparation (It will take about 15 minutes)

  1. Cut the carrots into long thin slices. (I need 6 sticks.)
  2. Rinse the spinach and parboil it in boiled water. (For 1 minute)
  3. Put the spinach into a bowl. Add 2 sprinkles of salt and 1 dash of sesame oil on spinach then mix it well.
  4. Beat one egg in a bowl. Fry the egg in a pan and make the egg stick by rolling it. (It is better if you can make it thin.) Do the same with rest of the eggs.
  5. Cook the carrots, with a little oil.
  6. Slice cucumber to sushi length like Carrots.
  7. Put all the ingredients on one plate. It makes it easy to roll.
  8. Add 2 dashes of sesame oil and 2 sprinkles of salt on the rice. Mix it well.
  9. During the process of no 4 and 5 use the same pan, don't rinse or wash it.

Making (It will take about 10 minutes)

  1. Place one sheet of seaweed on the bamboo mat.
  2. Put the rice on the sheet. You need to spread it thinly.
  3. Put carrot stick, meat, takuwon, egg stick (all one each), and some spinach in the middle of the rice.
  4. Roll it.

Japchae, from Sue

I realize that there are no measurements, but everyone makes it differently so I figure a little trial & error never hurt. I got this from my MIL who is a great cook.

Shiitake mushroom
Soba sauce (see below)
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
Cane Sugar
Yellow Onions
Soy Sauce
Chop Shiitake into slivers w/out the stem
Parboil Spinach and rinse in cold water
Finely julienne carrots
Mince 6 cloves of garlic w/ a little water
Finely shred meat into long pieces
Mix meat, garlic, sesame oil, olive oil, soba sauce and cane sugar.
Soak Glass vermicelli noodles overnight and add a little Soy Sauce for color.
Slice 1 yellow onion thinly
Slice Spinach
Fry meat mixture
Add Mushrooms when meat is half cooked
Add a little Olive Oil to frying pan
Take meat and put it on a plate
Fry Carrots and Onions w/ a little Olive Oil
Add Spinach after a couple of minutes (keep separate in pan)
Top Meat w/ Spinach
Top w/ Carrots & Onions
Fry glass noodles in a little oil
Add water sparingly (when noodles stick or get crispy)
Mix everything together
Chicken Stock
Water (same amount as stock)
1 Carrot
1 clove garlic
1 piece of ginger (size of a clove of garlic)
1 tablespoon of Bonito Flakes
1/2 Yellow Onion
Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 30 mins.
Sieve and keep broth (discard ingredients).
Lasts 2 days in fridge.

Suggested by Heather - Falafel-Stuffed Pitas

Falafel-Stuffed Pitas
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2003

The patties will seem small when you're forming them, but they fit perfectly in the pita halves. To prevent the falafel mixture fom sticking to your hands, dip them in water before forming the patties. Look for tahini near the peanut butter and other nut butters.

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
1 garlic clove, minced

Remaining ingredients:
4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
8 curly leaf lettuce leaves
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato

To prepare falafel, place first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process mixture until smooth. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions, and shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until patties are browned.

To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, and 1 garlic clove, stirring mixture with a whisk. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini sauce into each pita half. Fill each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, and 2 patties

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)

CALORIES 403(28% from fat); FAT 12.6g (sat 1.9g,mono 5.6g,poly 3.9g); PROTEIN 15g; CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 188mg; SODIUM 901mg; FIBER 6.8g; IRON 4.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 59g

Summer Strata, an idea from Heather

I made something called summer strata.... it's kind of like a casserole with caramelized onions to line the bottom of the dish and then you make little rows of tomato, zucchini, & summer squash and sprinkle it all with fresh parmesan and thyme and stick it in the oven.

Paedakia (Goat Ribs), an idea from Nastia

Greek Alert!! Tonight is Sunday and our dinner is

Goat ribs (very famous in Greece) marinated in lemon and virgin olive oil with oregano and pepper, with fresh potatoes in the oven, backed with lemon juice, virgin olive oil onions, garlic and oregano. Greek feta cheese and fresh tomato and cucumber salad.

Goat ribs in Greek are called Paedakia (Pa-ee-da-kee-a)

Baked Potato Salad, from Karli

Editor's note: Can anyone explain the name of this dish?

Baked Potato Salad


  • 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 10 slices cooked bacon, crumbled


  1. Place the potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, half of the onions, and half of the cheese. Gently stir in the cooled potatoes. Top with remaining cheese and onions, and sprinkle bacon bits over the top.

Roasted Chicken, an idea from Shauna

Okay, the second chicken is in the crockpot. I put a packet of italian seasoning on it, and some garlic cloves inside.

Fruit Salad, an idea from Carrie

Some sliced bananas, strawberries, grapes, oranges.

Bisquick Pot Pie Variation, an idea from Stephanie

I like the bisquick meal that's the pot pie, except I change it. The key is to use Cream of Celery instead of chicken. Also, I don't like pie crusts so those are right out. So basically I put leftover meat, a can of condensed soup, a can of milk, peas (a given) and whatever other vegetables might be lying around, bring that to a boil in an oven safe dish (or be prepared to transfer), make up the biscuit top and dollop it on, and bake until the biscuits are done.

Spanakopita Burgers, an idea from Allison

Dinner tonight was a spanakopita burger sort of thing (the patties were turkey, spinach, oregano, feta, garlic and onions) with olives and mustard on the burgers, and roasted sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Crockpot Pork Chops, an idea from Carrie

I'm doing pork chops in the crockpot. I browned them in the skillet with a little oil then put them in the crock. Then I added thinly sliced Gala and Granny Smith apples that I had tossed with lemon juice, cinnimon and brown sugar.

I'll probably serve it with stuffing and corn.

Carrie later added: It did turn out pretty well. The only thing I think I would have done differently is add a bit of white sugar towards the end so the apples were a bit sweeter and then right before serving I should have pulled out the chops and used an immersion blender to puree the apples and juice, adding a bit of corn starch to thinken it up a bit. It would have worked as a topping for the chops a lot better that way. As it was, the sauce was kind runny.

Mac and Cheese, from Lisa

My mac & cheese is to die for. Literally. It must have 80 gms of fat per serving.

Boil a one pound box of elbows or other appropriate mac & cheese noodle.

In a bowl, mix 1 brick of cream cheese, half stick of butter, half cup of milk, garlic powder, essence of emeril, salt, pepper. Microwave for 30-60 secs so that it thins out and can be stirred, a little bit thinner than sour cream, not as thin as milk. Then I add 1.5 lbs of shredded cheese--today I used pepper jack, it's all I had.

When you stir in the noodles they should be wet and cool--you don't want the cheese to melt while stirring it all together. Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes.

Turkey Thing, from Stephanie

Turkey Thing

1 can swanson's chicken broth (that's 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 c sliced celery
1 can cream of mushroom healthy request condensed soup
1 can cream of celery healthy request condensed soup
1/3 c sour cream
1 c diced cooked turkey (about 50% light 50% dark meat)
1/2 c melted butter
6 to 8 oz pkg seasoned bread stuffing mix (I used family size stove top)
shredded cheese
seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Combine mushrooms and celery with chicken broth and let simmer briefly to pre-cook vegetables. Add soups and turkey and let the mixture bubble but not boil (med heat). Meanwhile, combine melted butter and stuffing mix in 2.5 quart dish. Add sour cream to soup mixture and stir well, then stir into stuffing mix. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until it gets hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with a little cheese (I used about 2 handfulls of colby jack) and seasoned breadcrumbs (2 smaller handfuls). Let the cheese melt in the oven, then remove. Eat.

Chuckwagon Pot Roast, from Angie

The way I cooked it is called "Chuckwagon Pot Roast" in our recipe book. First, brown the roast in 3 Tbsp. oil. Brown it on each side and the ends, too. Then take the roast out of the skillet, and use oil/drippings to make gravy. Add 3 Tbsp. flour,stir it until it browns, and add 1 cup water and 1 cup milk. Cook until it thickens. Then I add Kitchen Bouquet to make it brown, but that's not part of the recipe! (The recipe does call for adding a beef boullion cube to the gravy.)

In roast pan, put roast and 2 medium onions (quartered) and carrots, if you like. Pour gravy over roast and vegetables. Cover, and cook at 350 for oh, a couple of hours. Then, add potatoes (I like peeled whole potatoes) about 2 hours before you are ready to serve.

Check on it in the middle and make sure there's still plenty of liquid.

Usually, it turns out pretty good. DH usually takes it out of the oven and takes out the meat and veggies, pours the gravy back into the skillet, and makes more gravy. I don't know exactly how he does that, though, sorry!

I know roast can be done in the crockpot, I've tried it with cream of celery soup and it wasn't too bad.

Mexican Lasagna I, from Amy

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb ground beef, turkey, chicken, tofu crumbles
1 med. onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup salsa (jarred or fresh, I've used both)
1 can diced green chiles
1 can corn
10 corn tortillas (I've also used taco shells and tortilla chips too)
1 can refried beans
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar/mexican blend, you can bypass the cheese for those that can't have it)
9x13 pan (or whatever size...)
preheat oven to 350

Brown meat and onions, drain. Add taco seasoning and water according to directions, add salsa and bring to a boil. Simmer until it thickens. While simmering, add corn and green chiles to meat. (I also add olives, green/red/yellow peppers, whatever I have on hand if I'm in the mood.) When done, layer a few tortillas in the bottom of the pan, then cover with 1/2 the beans, they 1/2 meat mixture, then 1 C. cheese. Do another layer of tortillas, beans, meat, and cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes until done or cheese is melty and bubbly.

Italian Sausage Casserole, from Carolyn

Here's a favorite that I got from my mom, which she created and called "Italian Sausage Casserole". This recipe is written in my usual "just throw some stuff together" style. Sorry, I don't measure, I just cook.

Cook up Italian sausage (pork, turkey, or soy-based), a nice marinara, and some pasta (rotini works best, penne will do).

Mix 4-6 cups of shredded mozzerella, one container (pint???) of ricotta, one egg, one cup grated parmesan, and garlic and Italian herbs to taste.

Layer the ingredients in a casserole dish in the following order: sauce, pasta, sausage, cheese... until you fill the casserole or run out of stuff. The top layer should be cheese!!

Bake in the oven, um, until it's done.

Dressed Up Cous Cous, an idea from Carolyn

I had cous cous from a $2 mix made by Near East. It is soooo good. It was just five minutes in the microwave in a covered casserole: water, seasoning mix, and added peas, broccoli, and raisins. Then I pulled it out of the microwave, added the cous cous and (again, my addition) cut up tofu, and let it sit with lid on for five more minutes. Voila, dinner.

Baked Salmon, an idea from Jim

Lately I've been baking the salmon with plenty of spicy stuff (Tony Chacheries or however the heck you spell it), and then offsetting that by basting it with a 50/50 mix of honey and Fijian Rum (gotta find something to do with that). It's awesome, and the honey/rum mix makes for a nice little snack while it's cooking....

A Gnocchetti idea from Carolyn

We (the dog and I) had gnocchetti tossed in olive oil, garlic, and parsley.

Pork Loin, and idea from Carrie

I've also got a pork loin in the crock pot for tonight!

I rubbed it with oil, garlic and cumin.

In a few hours I'm going to add a mixture of diced tomatillos, cliantro, lime juice, garlic, salt & jalapeno peppers. Yum!

I'll let it cook for a few more hours and then serve it with rice and beans!

Pork Chops, an idea from Karli

This pork loin had an undetermined fate, but this is how it was prepared.

OK, I've got the pork in the crockpot. I seasoned the chops with garlic and onion powder, sprinkled brown sugar over the top, put some pats of butter on top of that and then sprinkled with soy sauce. It's been cooking only about an hour and already smells delicious!!

Thai Chicken, an idea from Sarah

Tonight I made the Thai chicken dish I mentioned. Sauteed chicken, green peppers, bamboo shoots, carrot matchsticks, mushrooms, and cashews in a sauce of red curry paste, coconut milk, fish oil, and brown sugar, over cellophane noodles.

Carrots and Asparagus, and idea from Amy

I steamed some asparagus and baby carrots and did butter, lemon, and tarragon over them.

Roasted Crockpot Chicken, an idea from Shauna

I put the chicken in the crock pot for 8 hours, on low. I put some poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and butter on the chicken, and let er rip. No water! It created so much juice on it's own it was grossly fascinating. I basted it twice while cooking. My complaint was that it wasn't seasoned enough and it was suggested to put spices (maybe a bunch of whole spices in a cheesecloth bag?) in the cavity. Or do a rub under the skin.

White Pizza Dip, from Sarah

In a baking dish or casserole, combine...

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb & Garlic

2/3 cup chopped spinach (I use fresh baby spinach chopped in the food processor)

1 egg

8 oz. sour cream (you can use light)

8 oz. ricotta cheese (you can use part-skim)

2 oz. shredded mozzerella (again, part-skim is fine)

2 oz. shredded cheese for tacos, or Mexican cheese, or just cheddar works fine

2 dashes worchestershire sauce

Top with another 2 oz. of mozzerella

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. You can brown the topping cheese under the broiler if you like after that (when I do it, it always gets too hard to pierce with a chip, though).

Beware doubling the recipe - it comes out a little too thin. I think one and a half eggs might be the trick.

This is usually a big hit.

Rice-A-Roni Dressed Up, an idea from Carrie and Karli

Rice-A-Roni mixed with ground beef. Yum!

Karli suggests that melting cheese into the mix is also good.

A dessert idea from Heather

For dessert we have lowfat vanilla yogurt with fresh blackberries, raspberries, & mango. YUM!!

Another salad idea from Heather

I will make a salad of spinach, spring greens, roasted red peppers, avocado, cucumbers, maybe chicken, maybe walnuts, maybe shaved parm, & store-bought sundried tomato vinaigrette. I always add some chopped cilantro (and parsley if I have it, but always cilantro).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Applesauce Pork Chops, an idea from Carrie

I think I'll dash them with cinnamon and smear applesauce on them and bake them in the oven. We'll also have au gratin potatoes and green beans.

Faux Quiche, an idea from Lisa

My quiche is not really quiche. It's basically a scrambled egg pie with asparagus or broccoli or spinach in it. But we like it.

I buy refrigerated pie crusts, I think they're Pillsbury or something. I just push them down into the pie pan, fill with whatever I have on hand--asparagus, broccoli, cheese, spinach, bacon, etc. Then I whip up the 6 or 7 eggs in my kitchenaid, on high for almost a minute. I've found that by hand doesn't really work well. I add a teeny tiny bit of milk. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and watch it--my oven is funky.

Roast chicken marinade from Heather

Marinade I used for my roast chicken a couple of days ago:

1 lg garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp honey (I used packed brown sugar)
1/8 tsp ground ginger (I used bottled minced instead)
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp allspice
generous pinch of cumin

I think I will up those spices to at least 1/4 tsp each next time.

Psycho Chicken from Heather

Psycho Chicken

1 Whole chicken (a small one-- what are they, like 3 1/2 pounds?)
Approx 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Approx 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed
Approx 1 tablespoon cider or malt vinegar
Dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works well)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Clean chicken and remove giblets. Hack chicken all over with the tip of a sharp chef's knife to make gashes. (Invariably I find the music to the shower scene in Psycho running through my mind, thus the name, Psycho Chicken-- and lest you think I am thoroughly deranged, this manner of slash and season is actually very common in Cuban cooking.)

2. In a small bowl, mix together thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar, and slather liberally on chicken, taking care that mixture gets into slits in the meat. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan (if you don't have a rack, no biggie-- throw the thing directly into the pan) and roast about 2 hours until golden and fragrant, basting every twenty or thirty minutes with a splash of wine and any juices in the pan. Your house will smell wonderful.

3. Now this is the crucial part, which will make or break the entire dish: If this is cooked properly, your chicken should be running with wonderful juices as you carve. Dredge each slice of carved meat in those juices before placing on platter-- the juices are loaded with garlic and herb flavor.

Suggested by Heather - Roast Chicken with Spicy Herbed Olivada

I've made this one only once and it was absolutely delicious. I did not rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil. I don't know if it was because I skipped that step, but the chicken sputtered like you wouldn't believe. Smoke was pouring out of the oven. I'm surprised no one called the fire dept. (It absolutely could have happened because I didn't realize some cheese had dripped in the oven the night before, but the chicken also sputtered... maybe it was a combo effect.) I would definitely make this again.

Bon Appétit/March 2003
Linked from epicurious.com

Makes 6 servings

A classic roast chicken enlivened with an herbed olivada (olive paste) that is rubbed under the skin. The olivada can be prepared one day before you cook the chicken. What to drink: A crisp white wine or a light, fruity red works well with this menu. For white, Pinot Grigio is a great choice; for red, try a Valpolicella Classico.

1-1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives (about 8 ounces)
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 7-pound roasting chicken
1/3 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup (about) low-salt chicken broth

Combine olives, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper in processor. Blend until olives and garlic are chopped finely. With machine running, add 4 tablespoons oil through feed tube and blend until coarse paste forms. (Olivada can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.)
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Starting at neck end of chicken, carefully slide hand under skin, loosening skin over breast, thighs, and top of drumsticks. Spread olive paste as evenly as possible over meat under loosened skin. Rub outside of chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Fold wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place chicken on rack set in roasting pan.

Roast chicken until skin is golden brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Using carving fork, tilt chicken to empty juices from cavity into pan. Place chicken on platter; tent loosely with foil.
Pour pan juices into 2-cup glass measuring cup; spoon off fat that rises to top. Add wine and enough broth to juices to measure 1 1/3 cups. Pour liquid back into same roasting pan. Set pan over 2 burners and boil until sauce thickens and reduces to 3/4 cup, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper; pour into gravy boat. Serve chicken with sauce.

Suggested by Heather - Roast Chicken Provençale

I make this one pretty often. It's very tasty.

Roast Chicken Provençale
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2002

Thinking of roasting a chicken? Think big. Large roasters have a greater proportion of meat to bone, and leftovers are a time-saver. Look for herbes de Provence, a combination of dried herbs (basil, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme), in the spice section of supermarkets. Rubbing the flavorful paste under the skin means even though the skin is discarded, the meat keeps the flavor.

2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (7-pound) roasting chicken
1 small onion, quartered
Cooking spray
1/3 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; mash to a paste consistency.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin. Place onion in body cavity. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with string.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Insert a meat thermometer into breast, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 400° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 180°. Remove chicken from pan. Cover with foil, and let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.

Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 5 minutes (the fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

Place pan over medium-high heat. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; add butter, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Serve sauce with chicken.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 4 ounces chicken and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

CALORIES 204(37% from fat); FAT 8.4g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 1.7g); PROTEIN 28.2g; CHOLESTEROL 86mg; CALCIUM 25mg; SODIUM 433mg; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 1g

Roasted chicken, an idea from Nastia

Try opening small holes in the meat, using a REALLY sharp knife. Then put half garlic clove in the hole. It does not explode and if you like garlic it tastes yuuummyyy.

Roasted chicken, an idea from Heather

I only ever put the herbs, marinade, whatever under the skin. We don't eat the skin anyway so it's a waste otherwise. I don't even find that flavors it enough for me though so my next cooking gadget is going to have to be one of syringe type thingies to inject marinade straight into the meat. I tried to do it the other day by poking a couple of holes in the breast and putting it in with a baster, but that just made a big, explosive mess. I have a few really nice herb mixes and marinades for roasting chickens.

Stuffed Shells, an idea from Stephanie

Half cook the shells, stuff with ricotta, egg, and parmesan mixture (w/parsley) and cover in sauce, then mozzarella cheese, and bake for a while.

Roasted chicken, an idea from Stephanie

When I roast a chicken I usually rub in some garlic and herb Mrs. Dash (blue lid) on the skin with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and squeeze half a lemon over it, then throw the lemon into the cavity, cover and roast until it's done. I take off the cover near the end so it gets pretty.

Lemon Butter Chicken Pasta, an idea from Amy

Tonight I threw in some angel hair pasta, sauted some chicken in olive oil. Made a sauce out of 1/3 C. butter, juice of half a lemon plus some zest, garlic, coarse salt and pepper, and parsley (which I happened to have in the fridge for some odd reason.) It was pretty darn good and took about 10 minutes to throw together.

Garlic Sauce from Nastia

Here is the garlic sauce recipe I promised.

1 ¾ pounds boiling potatoes

6 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups 1/2-inch diced French or Italian bread, crust removed

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt to taste

1. In a large pot, place the potatoes in cold water to cover by several inches and turn the heat to medium. Once the water begins to boil, about 20 minutes, continue to boil until a skewer glides easily through the center of each potato, another 25 to 30 minutes. Peel the potatoes once they are cool enough to handle. Pass the potatoes through a food mill or colander

2. Pound the garlic in a mortar until mushy. Add the garlic to the potatoes, mixing well. Soak the bread cubes in a little water until sodden, then squeeze the water out. Pass the bread through the food mill or colander. Blend the bread, potatoes, and garlic together with a fork in a mixing bowl.

3. Slowly pour the olive oil and vinegar in a steady stream as you continue beating with a fork until the mixture has the consistency of a thick mayonnaise. Do not do this in a food processor because the potatoes will become gummy in their over processing. Season with salt and refrigerate until needed.

Tip. add some walnuts also with the potatoes, or dont use any bread, just some walnuts and more potatoes.

Its VERY good with fried fish, beet roots, on toasted bread and with fried zuccini and fried eggplants.

Leftover-busting Enchiladas, an idea from Stephanie

I added refried beans, black beans and corn because they were all lurking in the fridge needing a way out. Enchiladas in this house otherwise consist of seasoned meat (chicken in this case) with added cheese rolled up into flour tortillas, lined up in a baking dish, and a can of red sauce dumped over them and shredded cheese on top.

Salmon and salsa, an idea from Carrie

I like to top my salmon steaks with a little fresh salsa (not the bottled stuff - I buy the deli kind) and a little lime, then bake in the oven....yummm!

Carrie later had salmon again and added:

This time I'm topping it with a yummy fresh mango salsa (nothing out of the jar for us!)

Diced mango, red pepper, red onion, lime juice, cilantro and ginger!

Crockpot Barbeque Ribs from Rachael

Crockpot Barbeque Ribs

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, crumbled

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 cup chili sauce

1/4 green onions, chopped

4lb spareibs, cut into individual ribs

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except ribs. Dip each rib into sauce or brush on both sides.

Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour remaining sauce over ribs in pot. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours.

Suggested by Stephanie - Artichoke Spinach Dip

Artichoke Spinach Dip

I mix it all together before cooking; the directions are kind of ambiguous at that point. Also, it's really worth roasting the garlic since roasted garlic has a very different flavor than raw garlic. Don't skimp on the alfredo (pass on the Ragu, go for the Classico), it makes a big difference.

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
  3. In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
  4. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

Suggested by Amy - Shrimp and Lemon Risotto

Shrimp and Lemon Risotto
A recipe from the American Heart Association

Vegetable oil spray

1 medium leek, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1 cup Arborio rice or medium-grain rice (about 8 ounces)

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic white wine

8 ounces bay scallops, rinsed

8 ounces medium shrimp in shells, rinsed, peeled, and deveined

3 ounces fresh snow pea pods, trimmed and halved crosswise

1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped

3 tablespoons grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel

Grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Spray a medium saucepan with vegetable oil spray. Cook leek and garlic over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until leek is tender.

Add rice. Stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add 1 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining chicken broth and wine. Increase heat to medium and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly (some liquid should remain). Add scallops, shrimp, pea pods, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes (rice should be just tender and slightly creamy).

Stir in 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, basil, and lemon peel. Heat through. Serve immediately. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Cooks Tip on Risotto: For proper consistency, carefully regulate the cooking temperature so the risotto boils lightly, not vigorously. If the liquid is absorbed before the rice reaches the just-tender stage, add more broth, wine, or water, a little at a time. Arborio rice is usually used in risottos, but you can substitute a medium-grain rice if you prefer. It wont be quite as creamy, however.

Suggested by Lisa - pulled pork packet

I like the McCormick packet for pulled pork, I think you could use it with turkey. It's just a seasoning packet that you mix with ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar. I've used it with pork and with beef.

McCormick Pulled Pork BBQ packet

Southwest pasta, an idea from Carrie

Tonight's dinner is....... penne pasta tossed with diced roasted red peppers, corn, black beans, Aidelle's turkey and chicken meatballs (chipotle flavored), and crumbled queso duro blanco! Yum!

Pizza dough from Allison

This makes enough for two pizzas that fit on baking sheets, although people's tastes in thickness and other things vary, so see what it does for you. Feel free to alter it -- I make it a bit differently every time and pizzas seem to taste completely different when I leave dough and stuff for the sitter, I don't know why. For sauce I just open an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, pour it in a small skillet, dump some oregano onto it and let it bubble until it looks like pizza sauce to me.

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 tsp yeast (or one packet -- I just buy my yeast in a jar)
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups + of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (the best, in my opinion, is the King Arthur white whole wheat if you can get it....that stuff rocks! I don't have a reliable source because I'm too lazy to mail-order it.)
2 Tbsp + of olive oil

Put the yeast and sugar together in the warm water, stir and wait for it to "bloom."

Mix the rest of the ingredients in (if it's too wet, add more AP flour, not more WW -- I find that if I go above 50% WW it messes with the texture too much for my taste) and knead for about 10 minutes. At this point I spray with canola oil, put a moist dish towel over the large bowl it's going to rise in, and put the dough somewhere warm for at least an hour. My favorite spot is in the microwave with the door ajar....Then I split in half and spread it into pizza rounds on baking sheets that have been dusted with cornmeal.

I cook my pizzas for about 9 minutes at 475 degrees F.

Ziti, an idea from Stephanie

Last night our friends came over with ziti - pasta, sauce, ricotta, hamburger and spinach. The spinach made a great addition!!

Combine prepared pasta, ricotta cheese, browned ground beef, and (thawed and drained from frozen) spinach. Bake.

Suggested by Heather - Broccoli and Cheese Soup

The soup uses processed cheese, which I would balk at normally, but it works. Also, I don't do the 1/3 in the blender part at the end - I just use my immersion blender and make the whole thing smooth. I've made it for a few people and everyone has loved it.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002

Processed cheese melts beautifully, giving this soup a smooth texture and mild flavor.

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

CALORIES 203(28% from fat); FAT 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 15.6g; CHOLESTEROL 24mg; CALCIUM 385mg; SODIUM 897mg; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21.7g

A salad idea from Heather

Combine spinach, cucumbers, avocado, pear, berries, walnuts, and cheese (I would use gorgonzola, but family prefers fresh shaved parmesan or Dubliner) and fruity vinaigrette (store bought this time).

Greek holiday food from Nastia

Next big food event is March 25th (It's a national holiday and we celebrate our fights against the Ottoman empire) Traditionally we eat fried cod with Scordalia which is a very thick sauce made by garlic, olive oil,vinegar, walnuts, and bread or potatoes, it's VERY spicy and requires a good teeth brushing afterwards.

Roasted rabbit, an idea from Nastia

Tonight - Rabbit with potatoes in the oven. Roasted in a metal pot we call gastra (dont know the English word) with fresh lemon juice, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, oregano and olive oil.

Crock pot chicken tortilla soup from Heather

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

4 chicken breast halves
2 15-oz cans black beans, undrained
2 15-oz cans Mexican stewed tomatoes, or Rotel tomatoes
1 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot, whichever you prefer)
4-oz. can chopped green chilies
14 1/2-oz. can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheese

1. Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in large slow cooker.

2. Cover. Cook on LOW 8 hours.

3. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite-sized pieces. Stir into soup. (I shred the chicken.)

4. To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese.

Suggested by Heather - Beef Daube Provençal

Beef Daube Provençal
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

This classic French braised beef, red wine, and vegetable stew is simple and delicious. The flavor and texture allow you to keep it warm for your guests. Buy a whole-grain baguette, bagged salad greens, and bottled vinaigrette to round out the meal.

2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)

Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.

Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hour

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup stew and 1/2 cup noodles)

CALORIES 367(31% from fat); FAT 12.8g (sat 4.3g,mono 5.8g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 29.1g; CHOLESTEROL 105mg; CALCIUM 76mg; SODIUM 776mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 4.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.4g