Saturday, October 11, 2008

3- citrus Salmon, from Joanne

3- citrus Salmon

- Oven at 350

- Line rectangular pyrex dish or cookie tray with foil and lie salmon skin side down
- squeeze the juice of one lemon, lime and orange over the salmon
- sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper
- close foil around salmon, so the fish and juice is inside a closed, foil "bag"

bake until cooked medium (approx 20 mins)

Serve with pesto noodles and salad (I cook some spaghetti and toss in a store bought pesto sauce). Maybe leave some noodles plain for the kids?

I really like this recipe because it's EASY. The salmon essentially poaches in the juice so it's nice and tender.

Kebobs, an idea from Carolyn

I like to marinate chicken with teriyaki, wine (usually just sherry, but feel free to play), and garlic. Mushrooms get the same treatment (but in a separate container). Then I usually add cherry tomatoes, onion, and zucchini. Serve with rice, maybe a salad or a fruit salad.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas, an idea from Kris

I made chicken fajita quesadillas tonight. We had BBQ'd some bone in chicken breasts night before last with just some creole seasoning sprinkled on them. We had 2 breasts left over (we bought a 5 pack and cook 'em all, knowing we'd have an epiphany of something to do with the leftovers).

I took the chicken off the bone and chopped it up. In a pan, I sauteed a diced onion. When it was soft, I added a diced yellow pepper and diced red pepper as well as the chicken. I then added a can of fire roasted green chilis 1 tsp of the creole seasoning I used on the chicken, and the juice of 1 lime. I let it cook together until hot and the liquid had evaporated. I have a waffle iron that has a griddle on the opposite sides from the waffle-y part, so I flipped them both over to make a sandwich press. I put a tortilla on the bottom, spread some pepper jack cheese, topped with veggie/chicken mix, more cheese and another tortilla. I closed the griddle and let it cook until the tortillas were toasty. Cut them into 4ths and served the wedges with sour cream and salsa. They were damn good. I'm having leftovers for lunch at work tomorrow!

Suggested by Rachael - Marlboro Man's SECOND Favorite Sandwich

Lemon-pepper chicken with peppered bacon and cheese.

Suggested by Carrie - Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I found this recipe on line, so that's what I'm going by ....

It went well. The chicken came out nice. I just made the chicken breasts stuffed with thinly sliced green apple, cheddar cheese, a few garlic bread crumbs, salt, pepper and a dash of allspice. Fried them up in a little butter, then added a little chicken stock and white wine and simmered them for 15 minutes.

They came out juicy and flavorful. It think it would make an awesome fall dish with the allspice in there, but it was still a good dinner for our guests. I served it with rice pilaf and steamed sugar snap peas.

Chicken Cordon Bleu, from Karen

It's a decent amount of work with the pounding of the chicken and the rolling/toothpicking. But it's so fancy and delicious!!! It tastes incredibly rich, but Ive made the recipe healthier.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 boneless chicken breast for each person. 1 slice of proscuitto and swiss cheese per breast.

Pound chicken breasts flat. Place 1 slice of proscuitto and swiss on each breast and roll tight, securing with toothpicks.

Roll each breast in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika.

Brown breasts well on all sides in olive oil in a large deep skillet or pan with lid(original recipe calls for a sick amount of butter!).

Add 1 cup white wine, and 1 chicken boullion cube or 1 teaspoon "better than boullion" chicken flavor.

Stir to dissolve, and cover pan. Simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice.

When done, remove breasts. Add 1 cup skim milk (original recipe calls for heavy cream! WTF!!) and whisk with flour (3-4 tbs?) to thicken.

Serve with rice and steamed veggie, and enjoy how insanely good it is!!


I did most of Karen's steps except that I took the chicken out of the pan after I browned it, added chopped onions to the hot pan and sauteed them for a couple of minutes. I then added the white wine (I used Reisling - I would recommend NOT doing that. It was too sweet. Next time, a chardonnay), bouillion, about 3/4 cup water and 2 big TBSP dijon mustard and 2 TBSP butter/ I mixed that well, then added the chicken back into the pan to finish cooking. When the chicken was done, then I added about a half cup milk and the flour like Karen suggested. It thickened up nicely and was pretty good. Again, next time I'll plan ahead and buy Chardonnay. The Riesling made it too sweet. But, overall it was really good... my daughter helped me make it and she was really proud of herself.

I made Karen's cordon bleu last night! It was yummy!

I'm lazy though. I never pound my chicken flat enough to do the pretty roll. If I were to do that recipe again, I think I'd just slice the chicken to make a pocket, stuff it, then close it with a toothpick. I think the cheese would be less likely to spill out that way, too.

Pepper-jack turkey burgers, from Kris

I'm making pepper-jack turkey burgers tonight. I have no idea how they will turn out. I found a recipe in my Weight Watchers book, tweaked it a bit - so we'll see what happens. I've never made burgers before with cheese in the burgers. Apparently it is supposed to help keep the turkey burgers more moist....

- 1 lb turkey breast, ground
- 1 large garlic clove finely minced
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
- 1 TBSP A-1 steak sauce
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese

Mix and grill. Serve topped with a little more pepper jack on toasted buns. I plan on serving it with some lettuce fresh from my garden.

Chopped Salad, from Stephanie

Chopped Salad

1 head romaine lettuce
a small bunch green onions
diced cooked chicken
gorgonzola cheese
about 6 slices bacon
2 seeded plum tomatoes

(I leave off the tomatoes because I don't like them, but today my husband is getting 3 halved cherry tomatoes in his because I grew them.)

Chop all ingredients until they are just the right size. Everything should be about the same size except the cheese, which is its own size, and the lettuce will likely be a little bigger. The onions can go a little smaller because they are strong.

Now for the dressing. Mix these ingredients in a jar and shake to mix.

1/2c. balsalmic vinegar
3/4c to 1 c. extra virgin olive oil (Start with 3/4 and go up to taste.)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 pressed garlic cloves

Dress the salad, toss and serve.

Suggested by Kris - Strawberry Gelato

Oh dudes.

I made the yummiest strawberry gelato. I got it from the cooking light compilation recipe book I have.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups lowfat buttermilk
4 pints fresh strawberries

Put water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place strawberries in blender and puree. Pour buttermilk into large container, add strawberry puree and sugarwater. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions.

This was so yummy. Each 1/2 cup has 100 calories and 0.8g fat. The strawberries we used were incredibly delicious. I think that I would reduce the amount of water/sugar to maybe 1 cup water and 1.5 cup sugar, because it was a bit too sweet. I also added about 1 tsp vanilla extract to the mixture. Instead of pureeing all of the strawberries, I kept about 8 out and chopped into pieces to have going through the gelato. It was really really yummy and refreshing!

Grilled Apples and Sweet Potatoes, from Amy

I'm going to make apples and sweet potatoes on the grill. I got the recipe from, but I don't remember amounts or anything.

2 sweet potatoes diced
1 apple, peeled and sliced
brown sugar
ginger (I'm adding ginger...I just like it)

mix everything in a bowl and wrap into 2 or 3 foil packets. Grill over medium heat about 20 minutes (or until sweet potatoes are soft) turning every 5-7 minutes.

Carrie's take on Beef and Pepper Sandwiches

This recipe and Amy's Beef and Pepper Sandwiches are very similar, but Carrie does a few things differently.

Beef Roast sandwiches....

~ 1 Beef Roast 2-5 lbs ( I always wait until a roast ... any cut... is on sale. This time it was a shoulder round roast, 3.5lbs for 1.99 a lb .... normally $6.50 a lb)

~ 1 16 oz jar of whole pepperochinis

~ A bit of garlic (jarred minced, fresh minced or whole clove)

~ Salt and Pepper

~ Cheese

~ Rolls

Throw the roast in a crock pot (after you trim the fat a bit) and sprinkle some salt and pepper in there, open jar of pepperochinnis and dump the whole thing in, stems, juice and all). Add garlic. Cook on low 7-9 hours.

Now, there are several ways of finishing the meat. I remove the roast into a shallow pan, shred it, add the pepperochinis and shred them up a bit too, mix it all together and add a fair amount of the juice from the crockpot to moisten it up......

Some people just like to shred the roast right there in the crockpot in the juice. I'm sure that's fine but it might make the meat more soggy on your sandwich than I prefer.

......Take buns or hoagie rolls, top with beef mixture and your selection of cheese (I use Pepper Jack) and melt the cheese under the broiler.

Eat the best friggin' sandwich you've ever had.

Cook's Note:
I always make sure to buy a bigger roast than we need because the leftover meat is so good! Sometimes we chop it up and make nachos out of it, or make tacos out of it, or beef encheladas.... the yumminess is endless.

Chocolate covered cherries 2.0, from Dani

Chocolate covered cherries 2.0

2pts heavy whipping cream
1 can cherry pie filling
Chocolate syrup
Cocoa powder

Combine the whipping cream and chocolate syrup in a large bowl. Beat on high/medium-high for a minute or two and then add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and continue to beat until you've got whipped cream. Stick it in the freezer to chill. Heat the pie filling until it bubbles and then spoon some of it into a bowl and put the chocolate mousse over the top. A little bit of the mousse will kinda melt into the cherries because they're hot, but that just makes it even better.

Surf and Turf Salad, from Dani

Surf and Turf Salad

1 head of green butter lettuce
1/2 of an english cucumber
1lb fresh shrimp peeled and deveined
1lb steak. Whatever you like or have on hand is fine. I use whatever is on sale.
Garlic powder
Black Pepper

Tear up the lettuce and cut the cucumber into small pieces. Cube the steak into bite sized pieces. Get the skillet good and hot while youre cubing the steak. When the skillet is hot, drop in the steak and season it well with the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness. Remove the steak and set aside. Do the same thing to the shrimp (hot skillet, salt, pepper, garlic).

I put each meat in its own bowl beside the salad and let everyone do what they want to with it.

Chicken Pasta Salad, from Mel

Last night I made chicken pasta salad.

1 bag brown rice tri-color pasta (this is what we had on hand. Can be substituted with whatever [substantial - like bowties or gimelli or strozzapreti or rotini] pasta you want. No more then 16 ounces.)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup light/reduced sodium soy sauce
3 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 clove garlic and/or 1/2 shallot
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground (or jarred ground) ginger
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2/3 cup vegetable oil
(optional) 1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1 bag frozen peas and carrots (usually only store brands makes these, for some reason)
(optional) 1 can water chestnuts
1 pound chicken breast or 1 bag morningstar farms meal starters "chicken" (we prefer the veggie chicken.)

Boil pasta until al dente. Set aside to cool.

While the pasta cooks, put rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and garlic or scallions into a food processor. Blend until sugar is dissolved. SLOWLY add in veg and sesame oil to emulsify. Once emulsified, add cilantro and blend until finely chopped.

In a frying pan, cook chicken (or warm veggie chicken through) and season with some black pepper and garlic powder, if desired. Chop into bite size pieces and set aside.

Steam peas and carrots per bag recommendation.

Once all ingredients are cooked, blend emulsion again if it's begun to separate at all.

In a large container with a tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients. Cover and shake. Cool in fridge. (I like to shake it about every 45 minutes or so for the first few hours.) This CAN be eaten warm, but is best cold several hours after making, or the next day. The majority of the sauce should be absorbed by the 5th or so hour after making.

Korean-style Bulgogi, from Rachael

Korean-style Bulgogi

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sambal
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 lb ribeye steaks, cut into 1.4 inch strips
salt and pepper
sliced scallions
toasted sesame seeds

Preheat grill to high. Simmer sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and sambal together in small saucepan over high heat.

Combine water and cornstarch in small bowl, then whisk into sauce.

Return mixture to a boil and simmer 1 minute; remove from heat, set aside.

Season ribeye strips with salt and pepper; grill two minutes per side, then toss in two tablespoons dipping sauce.

Arrange strips on two plates and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

I have not been able to find sambal. :( I am going to try the recipe without it and know that it would probably be better. I happen to have everything else on hand so want to try it anyway.

Cook's Note:

The bulgogi got mixed reviews. My husband gave it two thumbs up but I wouldn't make it again. The sauce just wasn't my thing. I think it was the sesame oil.

Cheese grits, from Allison

Cheese grits
serves 4

1 cup stone-ground grits
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
a touch of Tabasco sauce

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour in the grits and salt. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn the heat down as far as it will go and cover. Stir pretty often (every couple minutes or so), and cook for about 40 minutes, maybe longer. At the end, stir in the cheese and Tabasco sauce. Serve hot.

Sesame Crusted Pork Chops, from Rachael

Sesame Crusted Pork Chops

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
4 boneless center cut pork chops
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (I am leaving these out)
1 teaspoon orange marmalade, divided
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Preheat oven to 375. Mix salt with five spice powder and sprinkle on both sides of pork chops. Combine both types of sesame seeds in a shallow dish. Brush one side of each chop with marmalade and coat that side in seed mixture. Saute chops, seedside down, in oil in a large oven proof sautee pan over medium heat. Cook until golden, 3-4 minutes, then turn chops over and trasfer pan to the oven and roast until cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil, from Amy

Gemelli with Yellow Squash, Peas, and Basil (I have no idea where this came from. A friend made it at dinner club a couple of weeks ago.)

*coarse salt and ground pepper
*8 oz gemelli or other short pasta
*3 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
*1 pkg frozen peas
*4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
*1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
*1/2 c grated parm
*1/2 c torn fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente. Add squash and peas. Cook until squash is tender-crisp. Reserve 1/2 c pasta water, drain and return to pot.

2. To mixture in pot--add butter, lemon juice, 1/4 c parm, and 1/4 c pasta water. Season w/ salt and pepper, and toss to combine. If needed, add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta. Stir in basil, and sprinkle w/remaining parm.

Suggested by Rachael - Vaquero Steaks with pepper relish and goat cheese and Chimichurri Bread

Another Cuisine at Home recipe.

Vaquero Steaks with pepper relish and goat cheese and Chimichurri Bread.


3 teaspoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons each: paprika, cumin, oregano, black pepper
salt to taste
4 sirloin steaks

Prepare grill to high. Combine brown sugar and seasonings in a small bowl; transfer 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture to a large bowl for the pepper relish. Rub remaining mixture over steaks and set aside until ready to grill.


2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 each: red pepper, yellow pepper roasted, seeded and diced
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
1/4 goat cheese, crumbled

Whisk vinegar, Dijon, and sugar together with spices in the bowl. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly, until blended. Add peppers and scallion, toss to blend.

Grill steaks on both sides to desired doneness. Remove from grill, let rest five minutes, serve with relish and goat cheese.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon each: oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt to taste
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 baguette, halved horizontally

Preheat grill to high. Mash butter, Parmesan, herbs, pepper flakes, garlic, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in parsley. Spread butter over cut sides of baguette, then grill, buttered side down until toasted.

Suggested by Rachael - Huli Huli BBQ Chicken

Huli Huli BBQ Chicken

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger (I always sub powdered ginger :-[ )
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste (I left this out)

Whisk all ingredients together. Marinate chicken in half of the mixture in a large resealable plastic bag for one hour. Reduce remaining mixture in a saucepan over med-high heat until thickened, 5 minutes. Set aside for basting.

The recipe calls for grilling the chicken but I am going to bake it in the oven, basting often.

Suggested by Rachael - Crispy Fried Chicken

I am trying a fried chicken recipe from allrecipes.

1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

Take your cut up chicken pieces and skin them if you prefer. Put the flour in a large plastic bag (let the amount of chicken you are cooking dictate the amount of flour you use). Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper to taste (paprika helps to brown the chicken).

Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk then, a few at a time, put them in the bag with the flour, seal the bag and shake to coat well. Place the coated chicken on a cookie sheet or tray, and cover with a clean dish towel or waxed paper. LET SIT UNTIL THE FLOUR IS OF A PASTE-LIKE CONSISTENCY. THIS IS CRUCIAL!

Fill a large skillet (cast iron is best) about 1/3 to 1/2 full with vegetable oil. Heat until VERY hot. Put in as many chicken pieces as the skillet can hold. Brown the chicken in HOT oil on both sides. When browned, reduce heat and cover skillet; let cook for 30 minutes (the chicken will be cooked through but not crispy). Remove cover, raise heat again and continue to fry until crispy.

Drain the fried chicken on paper towels. Depending on how much chicken you have, you may have to fry in a few shifts. Keep the finished chicken in a slightly warm oven while preparing the rest.

I am using thighs and drumsticks and I am brining the chicken first. We are going to have green beans and something else that I haven't decided yet with it.

Tomato Salad, from Jenifer

Tomato salad:
Tomato (We have some from the garden, but cherry tomatoes work well as well), chopped
Fresh chives, chopped
fresh garlic, minced
olive oil
Homemade Ital. Seasoning
fresh ground salt and pepper

~ dry chopped tomatoes and place them in a bowl.
~Add garlic and chives
~season them with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and toss.
~drizzle with olive oil. toss

~slice mozzarella ball
~dust with just a tiny amount of salt and garlic powder

~slice open roll
~layer mozzarella
~spoon tomato on top
~serve immediately

For my balsamic vinaigrette I use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard (sometimes brown sugar) fresh minced garlic and salt/pepper to taste. I shake it up in a jar or whisk it in a bowl to combine.

Kid Friendly Variant of Chicken Cordon Bleu, by Jenifer

Kid Friendly variant of Chicken Cordon bleu:

boneless, skinless split chicken breast

white wine
garlic powder
fresh ground pepper
fresh ground salt

Homemade breadcrumbs

organic flour
1 egg
virgina ham
swiss cheese
garlic powder
homemade Italian seasoning
fresh ground salt
fresh ground pepper

half and half
corn starch
salt, pepper

I fork pierce the breasts on all sides and place in a bowl. I cover them with white wine and add the worcestershire (I like the one designed for poultry but will use either), garlic powder, salt and pepper. I allow this to marinate all day (if possible).

In a shallow, wide bowl I place some flour. I season this with salt and pepper and sometimes the garlic powder. In another shallow bowl I place my home made breadcrumbs (that I have ground fine for this recipe). I season this with grated parmesean, italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a final shallow bowl I lightly beat an egg and add seasoning (sometimes a dash of the wine...always salt and pepper...sometimes garlic and italian seasoning).

~Dredge the breast in flour. This will seal the moisture in while the breast bakes and make a crunchy top coating.
~Drdege floured breast in egg mixture
~coat breast in bread crumb
~place a small rectangle of swiss on breast near narrow end. top with small piece of virginia ham and more swiss cheese
~roll breast and keep closed with toothpick.
~Place seam side downon baking sheet
~Bake at 400-425 (you know your oven best) until cooked through (will vary by oven, but generally 20-30 minutes tops)

While cooking make the sauce for topping each breast:
Exact measurements depend upion how much sauce you want- for the two kids I make a small amount
1/2 c 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 lb swiss cheese, sliced then crumbled
corn starch

~On LOW heat warm half and half in small saucepan.
~Add crumbled swiss one slice at a time and stir as you add.
~ remove several tlbs of the heated mixture- add to this 1.5 tsp of corn starch and whisk (you do not want any lumps or bumps)
~return cornstarched milk to pan slowly- stirring constantly
mixture will thicken as it heats- stir as you go along or pass the pot

When you plate your breast, cover it with the yummy cheese sauce. I also put some in a small rameken on the side for dipping

Fresh Bread and Breadcrumbs, by Jenifer

It all starts with the bread. I bake our own breads and will use the ends or last slices of any loaf. I really like the recipes from this website:

I have tried MANy of them...but this is my favorite:

That said, for this recipe we had crumbs from this loaf:

( got this from some website, I think called mealmaster)

Multi Grain Bread:
1/4 oz (2 1/4 tsps) yeast
1 tlb sugar
2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c rye flour
3/4 c wheat germ
3/4 c unprocessed bran
1/2 c dry milk
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 3/4 c boiling water
1/2 c bulgur
1/2 c 7 grain mix (I get this from whole foods- you could use millet or even a 7 grain cereal)
1 tb molasses
1 1/2 tbl oil (original calls for safflower but I have used olive, grape seed, etc)

~Combine boiling water with cracked wheat, 7-grain mixture, molasses and oil. Cool to room temperature.
~Add first 10 ingredients in the order listed to the pan, pour in cooled grain mixture, select white bread and press "Start".
~For a milder taste, use honey instead of molasses.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all ingredients should be at room temperature. This can be mixed on manual of the bread machine. After Second kneading, remove dough from machine, divide into to equal portions and place in small loaf pans.
~Cover and let rise to double, about 45 min to 1 hour.
~Bake at 350 f. for 35-40 min.

I do the whole thing in my bread machine.

Once I have the bread (not stale bread- just not FRESH- you want it when it is dry, not stale) if it is not dry I dry it in the oven. You can do this by laying the slices on a baking sheet in a SINGLE layer (leave a bit of room between the pieces) and baking at 300 for 10- 15 minutes. Be sure to flip them over about halfway through for even drying. Be sure to let them cool before you make the crumbs. here is the easy part- tear into small pieces and whir in your food processor (I leave mine in a coarse state- that way if I need them more fine- as I did for this recipe I can regrind at that time- but if I need them coarse (as when I stuff peppers) they are all set ) I do not season them so that they can be seasoned at the time of use. If you do not have a food processor, you can always use a hand grater (or my frriend tells me she put the tasted slices in a ziploc and rolled glass over them until they were crumbs). These can be stored in a jar, a ziploc in the fridge or even frozen....

Homemade Italian Seasoning, by Jenifer

Italian seasoning "recipe"

I have two recipes I use so I will include both- we dry our fresh herbs and usually make this blend after that:

3 tlbs dried basil
3 tlbs dried oregano
3 tsps dried parsley
1 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

I grind all these in my food processor- though i have been told by my neighbor it would taste better if I would invest in a mortar & pestle setup (maybe I will)- in order to measure the amounts. Once I have the measurements, I shake them all together (with the powdered items) in a small jar or ziploc.

Another one:

1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon savory
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon rosemary
Again- for my fresh dried herbs I use my food processor to get the measurements- then I mix in a jar or ziploc.

I wonder if I could just use the herbs fresh?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Suggested by Heather - Giada's Roman Summer Salad

My friend had us over yesterday and made this really nice salad she saw on Giada deLaurentiis' show called Roman Summer Salad. It was really nice - she sent me the recipe:

Roman Summer Salad

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup pitted green and black olives or calamatta olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. capers drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove minced
8 fresh basil leaves shredded
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound vine ripe tomatoes (about 3) sliced 1/4 inch thick

Cook the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan over low heat until thick, syrupy, and measuring a 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. set aside to cool.Combine the olives, parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl and toss to combine.To serve, layer the tomatoes slightly overlapping, on a serving plate. Spoon the mixture over the tomatoes. Drizzle the balsamic sauce over the salad and serve.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kris's Famous Blackened Fish Tacos, by Kris

Tonight I made my famous Blackened Fish Tacos. My family (well, not my children, but me and my wife) love the fish tacos. I used fresh cilantro from my garden... I call them Blackened, although they are not truly blackened - but I use a cajun spice rub and put them on the grill.

Blackened Fish Tacos:

spice rub:
- 1 tsp course salt (I use sea salt)
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp course ground black pepper
- 1/2 TBSP garlic powder
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil

Mix together in small tupperware (I throw it into a small tupperware with a lid and shake the hell out of it until it's mixed well).

For the tacos:
- Mahi Mahi fillets (I use 1 fillet for 2 tacos)
- 1 fresh lime
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- cajun spice rub (see above)

Cilantro-Lime sour cream
- 1 container sour cream
- juice of 1 fresh lime
- handful of cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Putting it together:
I used Mahi Mahi for my tacos, but any firm white flesh fish will work (cod, halibut, tilapia, blue marlin). Heat the grill on high while preparing the fillets. I put a small amount of olive oil on the fish, then squeeze a lime over them. Rub the oil and lime juice into the fish, then sprinkle liberally with the spice rub (every bit of fish is covered in the spice rub). Turn the grill down to low and cook fish until done (our grill has 3 heating elements, I usually cook the fish in the middle element on low while the 2 side elements are on medium-high heat). Combine all the ingredients for the cilantro-lime sour cream in a blender and mix until it looks like a green cream sauce. Take the fish off the grill when it is done and squeeze more fresh lime juice over them while they are hot.

To assemble the tacos, I put corn torillas on the hot grill for a few seconds each side. Add a small sprinkling of cheese, place 1/2 fish fillet (cut lengthwise) on the tortilla, top with shredded cabbage, cilantro-lime cour cream, some pico de gallo, fresh cilantro sprigs and a fresh lime wedge. Of course, it goes best served with a tall, cold Mexican beer with lime wedges as well.... I hope that you all try it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Granny's Tuna and Shells, from Betsy

It's already so bloody hot I couldn't stand the thought of cooking tonight, so I whipped up a batch of one of my summertime staples. This is my grandmother's recipe. I don't actually measure anything, so play it by ear. Also qualifies for cheap meal status:

Granny's Tuna and Shells

1 pound box medium shell pasta
2 cans tuna, drained
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup Italian dressing
cider vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water

2. In a large bowl, mix pasta with vegetables and tuna.

3. Add the mayo, starting with 1/2 cup, and go until it's as moist as you like. Stir in the Italian dressing. Add a splash of cider vinegar (a couple teaspoons). Season with s & p to taste.

4. Cover and chill for several hours. I like to make this in the morning, so I don't have to turn the stove on when it's hot out.Serve with any snack cracker like Ritz or saltines.

Suggested by Rachael - Crockpot Baked Beans

This is the first time I am trying baked beans in the crockpot; I got the recipe from The Crockery Cook.

1 lb Small White Beans
4 1/2 cups H2O
1/3 cup Molasses
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Onion, chopped
1/4 lb Salt Pork, cubed
1 tablespoon Dijon-style Mustard
1/? teaspoon salt (ed: 1/4 tsp sounds good!)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 13 hours, stirring occasionally.

I got up at 6am when my husband left for work to put them on. I'm hoping 12 hours ends up being enough cooking time. I added a little BBQ sauce.

Onion Rings, from Alison

I had a bunch of sweet onions from the CSA, so I made...

Onion Rings


1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large sweet onion
oil for frying


In a large bowl, beat egg and add milk. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut onion into thick slices.Dip the onion into the milk mixture and then coat with the flour mixture. Repeat (this is important.) Heat the oil to 350 in deep fryer.Fry onion rings, a few at a time...I forget the exact time. It will take a few mins.

**Note-- I doubled the recipe, and it was just enough batter for 3 large onions

Suggested by Rachael - Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Tonight we are trying out Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches from the latest issue of Family Fun. I am subbing beef though because that's what I had.

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger (I am subbing ground ginger)
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
4 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch chunks (I am subbing beef and only using 2 pounds of meat)
10 buns

Add everything but meat and buns to crockpot and whisk to combine. Add meat and coat. Cover and cook meat on low 8 hours.Remove meat from crockpot with a slotted spoon and shred. Return meat to the crockpot, stir in sauce, then serve on buns.

I am making slaw and corn with it.

Suggested by Rachael - Anthony's Lime Chicken with Pasta

Anthony's Lime Chicken with Pasta

I got penne for the pasta. Some of the reviews were saying not to bread the chicken so I may not.

French Dip-ish Sandwiches, from Alison

French Dip-ish Sandwiches


1 can beef broth (I used low sodium)
1 pound sliced deli roast beef
8 slices provolone cheese
4 kaiser rolls, split


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Open the rolls and lay out on a baking sheet. Heat broth over medium-high heat. Place the roast beef in the broth and warm for 3 minutes (I did this in 2 batches). Divide meat on rolls, then top with provolone and the top half of the roll.Bake the sandwiches in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese just begins to melt. Serve with small bowls of the warm broth for dipping.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kris's Couscous

For the couscous, I used a box of Near East plain style couscous and prepared it as following:

- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cups chicken broth with 1 extra bouillon cube thrown in
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 1 10 ounce box Near East plain couscous

In medium saucepan, I sauteed the shallot and garlic in the olive oil. Once the shallot and garlic were soft and fragrant, I added the chicken broth/bouillon cube and brought to a boil. Once boiling, I added the couscous and finished the cooking per package directions...

Chermoula Marinade, from Kris

Moroccan style fish Marinade called a "Chermoula" (thanks to Weight Watchers Cookbook - with a little touch of Kris added).

- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 TBSP lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

The recipe called to put this on whole fish (white flesh fish, recommended red snapper, striped bass or trout). Instead, I put them over some boneless, skinless Mahi Mahi fillets. I marinated them for about 6 hours. Then, cooked them over a medium hot grill. I think that this would be awesome on a Halibut fillet as well.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Suggested by Mandy - Chicken Diablo

Chicken Diablo
Serves 8

For the marinade:
3 ounces blended oil (10 percent olive oil, 90 percent canola)
5 ounces Grey Poupon mustard
3 ounces lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
1 46-ounce can chicken broth
1/4 pound margarine or butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 ounces lemon juice
4 ounces Grey Poupon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the chicken:
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 pounds fresh angel hair pasta

For the chicken:

In a mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate. Can be done 1-2 days in advance, or 2-4 hours ahead. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the chicken flat on a sheet pan for 12-15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked.

For the sauce:

Melt the margarine and whisk with the flour to make a light roux. Heat gently about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. In a separate pot, add mushrooms and lemon juice to chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer, and thicken with the roux, using a whisk to mix. Add remaining sauce ingredients, except the parsley. Keep warm until serving.

To finish:

Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil to cook the pasta. Cook pasta and drain. Toss in a pot with the sauce. Add parsley and pre-plate pasta or pour into a large serving bowl. Top pasta with cooked chicken breasts and garnish with parsley sprigs.

Grilled Veggie Pasta, from Kris

Recipe for grilled veggie pasta:

-spend Saturday morning at the farmers market and get a shitload of fresh veggies that your family loves (today, ours are beets, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, red onions, asparagus).
-slice and marinate veggies with some olive oil, salt, pepper
-grill over medium hot grill in veggie basket until they are done.
-cook and drain 1 pound penne pasta per package instructions
-Mix grilled veggies with pasta, top with parmesan cheese and dressing (recipe to follow).

Serve hot or cold.

Dressing for pasta:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste

In small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and lemon zest and turn off heat. Allow garlic and lemon to cook and infuse into warm oil (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add lemon juice and whisk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta and mix well. This pasta is one of my favorites to make in the summer. It's totally refreshing on a hot summer day. Even if it is served warm! The lemon just wakes up the senses.... I might go try to steal some lemons from my neighbors tree.

Penne Chicken with Asparagus, from Karli

Penne Chicken with Asparagus

1lb chicken breasts
1lb asparagus
1 can diced tomatoes (I actually used fresh grape tomatoes and chopped them up)
1/2lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2cup chicken broth
4oz cream cheese
2cups (dry) penne pasta

Boil pasta. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Brown in olive oil in skillet. Add chicken broth and mushrooms, cook for about 10 minutes (depends on how big the chicken pieces are). Add asparagus, tomatoes, cream cheese and cook for 5 more minutes. Mix with pasta.I added some minced garlic, salt and pepper for more flavor.

Chopped Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette, from Rachael

Chopped Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette

2 Ripe Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup finely chopped Cucumber
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Black Olives
1/4 cup finely chopped Red Onion
3 tbsps White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 head Romaine Lettuce, finely shredded

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, and red onion; set asideIn a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly add oil, whisking to combine. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables; cover and chill 1 hour. To serve, place lettuce on salad plates and top with vegetable mixture.

Ravioli & Sausage Lasagna, from Rachael

Ravioli & Sausage Lasagna

4 links (12 oz) Italian Turkey Sausage
1 jar (7 oz) Roasted Red Peppers, drained and chopped
1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
1 jar (26 oz) Marinara Sauce
1 pkg (30 oz) Frozen Large Square Cheese Ravioli, thawed
1 cup (4 oz) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 tbsps Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 375. You'll need a shallow 2 qt baking dish. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add sausages and cook, breaking up chunks, 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from heat, stir in roasted red peppers and basil. Spread 1 cup of sauce in baking dish. Top with a layer of 12 ravioli, the sausage mixture, then mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 cup sauce, remaining ravioli and remaining sauce. Cover with nonstick foil.Bake on a sheet of foil to catch any drips, 1 hour or until ravioli are tender when pierced. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake additional 5 minutes.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Suggested by Stacy - Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

We had smoked salmon pasta tonight. It was yum. I used canned SS that I got at Trader Joe's. It's the cheap, but good way.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

Suggested by Karli - Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
* 2 pounds tilapia fillets

DIRECTIONS1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Suggested by Heather - Spicy South Asian Roasted Fish

Spicy South Asian Roasted Fish
Jaime Harder, MA, RD , Cooking Light, APRIL 2008

Even though salmon garners the most attention for omega-3 fats, one serving of this halibut entrée has about 0.6 grams, about half the amount of one's daily intake goal.

1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets

Preparation1. Preheat oven to 425°.2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor or blender; pulse 30 seconds or until well combined.3. Arrange fillets in a single layer in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish. Pour lemongrass mixture over fish; turn fillets to coat evenly. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve sauce with fish.

Yield4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

Nutritional InformationCALORIES 213(22% from fat); FAT 5.3g (sat 2g,mono 1.3g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 35g; CHOLESTEROL 52mg; CALCIUM 84mg; SODIUM 710mg; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 5g

Suggested by Mandy - Turkey Jerk Burgers

Here is the recipe for the jerk turkey burgers from last week. The family likes them a lot, though we don't use rolls and I substitute mango for the papaya (I am cheap like that). The squeeze of lime juice is what makes it super.

Turkey Jerk Burgers (swiped from Rachael Ray)

1 1/3 pound ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
1 garlic clove, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1-inch ginger root, grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, a few sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
1 teaspoon allspice, eyeball the amount
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,
freshly grated or ground
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
Coarse salt
Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, for drizzling
1 ripe lime, juiced
4 bib or green leaf lettuce leaves
4 crusty plain or cornmeal dusted Kaiser rolls,

split Papaya Salsa:
1 large, ripe papaya, seeded, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, a palm full of leafy tops, finely chopped
1 navel orange, juiced
Coarse salt

Preheat a large nonstick skillet, indoor grill pan or tabletop grill to medium high heat. Combine the turkey, garlic, scallions, ginger, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Form mixture into 4 large patties no more than 1-inch thick. Drizzle the patties with a touch of oil. Place patties in a hot pan or on a hot grill and cook 6 minutes on each side. Squeeze the juice of 1 ripe lime over the patties before removing them from the heat. Place the cooked patties on bun bottoms and top with lettuce leaves. Combine the papaya, red bell pepper, red onion, serrano or jalapeno, cilantro and orange juice in a bowl. Season salsa with salt, to your taste. Pile salsa on top of the lettuce resting on cooked patties and add bun tops to the burgers. Serve with Chili Lime Avocados and pineapple wedges.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Suggested by Rachael - Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I'm making Sweet and Sour Meatballs tonight.

I got the recipe from that Kraft Foods magazine, my grandma gets it, but the sauce is the same thing I've put on chicken wings before using an Allrecipes recipe.

12 oz frozen meatballs
16 oz stir fry veggies (they called for frozen but I use fresh, pre-chopped and cleaned from the produce section)
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup Catalina dressing
2 tbsps soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in large skillet. Cook over medium/high heat until heated, serve over rice or noodles.

I got reduced fat dressing and sugar free preserves so I will likely add some hoisin sauce or something to help jazz it up. I will also add some red onion to the veggies, wish I had thought to pick up some mushrooms too. The pre-chopped veggies are snow peas, carrots, red cabbage, and broccoli. I'm serving it over Chinese noodles. I have some frozen egg rolls to go with it. Don't judge me, I've made homemade egg rolls and some of the frozen are just as good.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Suggested by Karli - Paprika Chicken with Mushrooms

Paprika Chicken with Mushrooms


* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 pinch garlic powder
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 onion, sliced into thin rings
* 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced


1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast liberally with paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Arrange chicken breasts in the pan, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over, and layer the thinly sliced onions and mushrooms on top of the chicken. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Remove lid, and mix onions and mushrooms into the butter sauce. Reduce heat to low, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

I didn't actually measure out the seasonings, just sprinkled them on the chicken.

Chicken Bean Stuff, from Shelli

Tonight we had chicken/bean stuff in tortillas with Mexican Rice by Goya.

Mexican Rice (chicken flavor by Goya)...make per package instructions.

Chicken Bean Stuff:

1-10oz pkg original roasted chicken shortcuts from perdue (or use fresh chix if you're not a lazy beyatch like me)
1 can Goya black beans, drained, rinsed
Onions & Peppers (chopped--I use frozen...see above)
taco seasoning or Goya adobo seasoning, to taste

Put a tsp or two of olive oil in pan. Cook up onions and peppers along with beans. Season. Stir in chicken, cook until heated through.

Serve in tortillas w/all the usual fixings.

There, dinner's done. It wasn't half bad. I just invented that tonight. Go me.

Suggested by Rachael - Chicken Noodle Soup

I'm making chicken noodle soup tonight. I got the recipe from allrecipes.

1 gallon water
1 (4 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 large onion, peeled and halved
3 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
2/3 bunch celery, leaves reserved
1 pound carrots
3 tablespoons chopped lemon grass (optional) [I leave it out]

1/4 cup chicken soup base
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1/3 bunch celery, chopped and leaves reserved
1 (8 ounce) package dry egg noodles

Place chicken and water In a large pot over High heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, skimming fat as needed, 30 minutes.
Place whole, peeled onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, whole celery, whole carrots and lemon grass in the pot and simmer, covered 1 hour.
Strain broth and reserve chicken. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and cut meat into bite-size pieces.
Return strained stock to pot over high heat, and stir in chicken base, chopped celery and chopped carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Chop celery leaves and stir into pot with the noodles. Simmer until noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes more. Stir in chicken and heat through.

I'm just using chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken.

Suggested by Katey - Lentil Stew with Garlic and Ginger

Lentil Stew with Garlic and Ginger
(from the Good Calorie Diet book-- a good diet for people who eat lots of whole grains and stuff anyway)

8 oz dry lentils, rinsed
4 quarts water
1 T curry powder
2 T Turmeric
1 T Old Bay seasoning
1 t coriander
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
3 T tomato paste

In a big pot, cover the lentils with the water and bring to a boil. Stir in all the dry seasonings, turn the heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Add the vegetables, ginger, garlic, and tomato paste and cook until the yams are tender (about 15-20 mins in my experience). We often leave out the celery cause we don't much like celery, and it's not worth buying a bunch for 2 stalks that don't really add much to the soup anyway.

Serves 8-10... eat it all week!

Great served over brown rice.

Chicken Breasts Pierre, from Karli

We had Chicken Breasts Pierre, rice and broccoli. I found the recipe at and altered it a bit. I didn't bread and quick fry the chicken first, just browned it in a little olive oil before dumping the rest of the stuff in it. I also omitted the celery seed and hot sauce. I think the hot sauce would have been good, but then the kids wouldn't have eaten it.


* 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 pinch ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon mustard powder
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


1. In a shallow dish or bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown chicken on all sides. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels.
2. In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes, water, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, chili powder, mustard, celery seed, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and return chicken to skillet. Cover, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear.

Marinated Flank Steak, from Shelli

I made marinated flank steak! Yum! We're actually having it tomorrow, but I assembled it today.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 can beer

Mix first five ingredients, then stir in beer. Pour over flank steak (mine was about 2 lbs, I think?). Marinate overnight. Can be frozen in marinade and then thawed for later enjoyment.

Grill or broil until medium (can't give you a time since I don't know how thick your steak is).

Slice on an angle against the grain.

Leftovers are great wrapped up in a tortilla!

Super Easy Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings, from Karli

Super Easy Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can chicken broth
2 cans refrigerated biscuits

Place chicken in bottom of crockpot and sprinkle with sage. Mix soup and broth together and pour over chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before you serve, shred the chicken. Cut biscuits into quarters and add to cropot. Stir and cover.

This was so yummy and so easy. We love C&D but I hate making dumplings so this was great!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Suggested by Karli - Kraft's Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I made Chicken Enchilada Skillet from the Kraft Food and Family magazine. Let's see if I can remember off the top of my head....
3-4 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 14oz can chicken broth
1/4 cup ranch dressing
2 TBS flour
4-5 flour tortillas cut into bite size pieces
shredded cheese of choice (I used sharp cheddar)
2 TBS olive oil

Cook chicken in olive oil until done. Mix broth, dressing and flour together and pour in skillet. Stir in tortillas and simmer until sauce thickens. Sprinkle cheese on top, cover with lid until cheese melts.It was very yummy!

I used fat free dressing and 2% milk cheese so it wasn't too bad for us either.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Butter Chicken, from Amber

Butter chicken is chicken in a tomato-based sauce with spices. It is served in Indian food restaurants. I get a pre-made spice kit from the local Indian market. This is what I did:

Mix together 1/2 c. water, spices and 4 table spoons lemon juice.
Marinate 1 lb of chicken breasts (cut into cubes) in the mixture of an hour.
Boil 2 lbs of tomatoes until soft and then separate the skins and seeds.
Cook chicken in the marinade and tomato puree for 20 minutes.
When it is cooked through turn off the heat and add a 1/2 cup milk and a stick of butter.

It is so yummy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cheap Asshole Chili, from Michelle

Turkey chili can stretch like a mo fo.

I use ground turkey. If you use two pounds, you can add one or two cans each of black beans and red kidney beans, a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, chili powder to taste, cumin to taste, and a small can (4oz? 5oz?) of tomato sauce. Throw some chicken stock (or water if it's really cheap asshole time) in it if it's too thick. I've been eating plain old chili all week (over tortillas or a handful of Fritos with a dollop of fat free sour cream).

You can turn leftovers into burrito filling by mixing about 2 c of the chili w/ some shredded cheese (and sneak more cheap veggies in if you want--a cup of succotash (corn and baby lima beans), then put the filling in some flour tortillas, cover w/ more shredded cheese, bake at 400 for about 30 mins (if the chili was previously refrigerated). I like to mix prepared chili sauce w/ sour cream and serve hot.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fresh Broccoli How-To, from Kris


- Broccoli
- water
- butter
- salt

Steam until done (about 3 minutes). Drain, add butter and salt and quickly saute over high heat for about 1 - 2 minutes.

Lemon-Garlic Pasta, from Kris

Lemon-Garlic Pasta

- 1 package spaghetti pasta
- 7 cloves garlic minced
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or thereabouts)

Cook pasta according to package directions, add 1/2 of the minced garlic to the pasta cooking water to enhance garlic flavor. Drain pasta, set aside. In pasta pan, melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add minced garlic, allow to cook (but not burn!) for about 1 - 2 minutes to extract garlic flavor into oil. Add pasta back into pan, add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss well. I like to also add parmesan cheese and sometimes some fresh dill to the pasta as well.

Lemon-Dill Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce, from Kris

Lemon-Dill Salmon:

-1 boneless, skinless salmon fillet (we get the big ones at Costco)
- 2 lemons sliced thinly
- 1/4 stick butter sliced in thin slices
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- aluminum foil to wrap salmon for the grill
- salt and pepper to taste

Lightly spray aluminum foil with cooking spray. Arrange half of the butter slices and lemon directly on the foil. Salt and pepper the salmon, place on top of lemon/butter slices and top with fresh dill. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on grill.

Cucumber-Dill sauce:
- 4 oz sour cream
- 2 TBSP mayo
- 1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber with skin
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
- 1 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
- salt and pepper

Combine above ingredients in bowl and refrigerate.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stuffed Shells, an idea from Rachael

I use half a box of jumbo pasta shells. I stuff those with half a package of JD Italian sausage, half a container of Ricotta cheese, lots of parm, lots of asiago, lots of Romano, basil, oregano, garlic, fresh whole milk Mozzarella, fresh ground pepper, one egg and some sea salt. Cover with a jar of sauce and some more fresh Mozzarella. Bake about 30 mins. This is obviously not helping me get fit, but it is such a comfort food.

Semi-Mexican Feast, an idea from Carrie

Chicken breasts, diced, seasoned with fajita seasoning (McCorrmik) then sauteed in a little oil. Served with a can of pinto beans that have been seasoned with a packet of Goya con azafran and simmered until soft. Cole Slaw.

Chicken and Gnocchi, an idea from Carrie

Oven baked chicken breasts seasoned with Italian seasoning. Served on the side is gnocchi (boiled and then pan simmered in a can of petite diced tomatoes, garlic and olive oil).

Suggested by Betsy - Prairie Land Pot Roast

If you don't get the mag, this is the pot roast that dh was in ecstasies over:

Prairie Land Pot Roast (Kraft Food and Family, Winter 2008, pg. 17)

Prep: 20 min. Total: 2 hours 40 min.

1 boneless beef shoulder pot roast (2 lb.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bottle (8 oz.) Catalina dressing, divided
2 large onions, sliced
2 lb. Yukon gold or all-purpose potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb. carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Season both sides of roast with salt and pepper. Brown meat in large heavy pot or Dutch oven on high heat in 1/4 cut of the dressing, turning to brown all sides. Add onions; stir to brown.

Add remaining dressing potatoes, carrots, and enough water to come three-fourths of the way up meat (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups). Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Remove meat from pan; slice meat thinly against the grain. Serve meat and vegetables topped with pan gravy. Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Suggested by Michelle - Wonton Soup

The Food Network's Wonton Soup from Robin Miller.

Michelle says:
Here's the verdict on the soup: Stuffing and sealing the wontons took about 3x longer than I expected; I needed 8 cups of stock (not 6 per the recipe); and DH said it tasted like "sexed up chicken noodle soup." I don't mind that description b/c it's kinda right (except it was pork, not chicken).

Fake Mexican Rice, from Dani

Last night I made a fake mexican rice to have with our tacos, because we were out of refried beans, and I'm trying to use up some of the stuff in my cabinets before I go shopping again.

1.5c instant brown rice
1.25c water
About 1tsp of hot sauce (I used valentina's, it's in the mexican food aisle)
About 1/4c tomato sauce
2tsp paprika

Just cook the rice like the package directions say, only with a little less water, and then add the paprika, hot sauce and tomato sauce, and cook a little longer (I did mine in the microwave) and then fluff with a fork. Mine tasted almost just like real mexican rice.

Beefaroniesque, an idea from Karli

Last night I tried something that turned yummy. I had some leftover mac & cheese and mixed it with a pound of browned ground beef, a can of diced tomatoes with onions, and seasonings (oregano, basil, garlic, etc.). I put it in a pie plate, covered with mozzarella and cheddar cheese and baked at 350° until the cheese was melted.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cincinnati Chili, from Betsy

Cincinnati Chili

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. spaghetti
shredded Cheddar cheese for topping

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion until golden. Add garlic and saute a minute longer.

Stir in Tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, kidney beans, chili powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, keeping warm.

Serve chili over spaghetti; sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.

(adapted from Saving Dinner, by Leanne Ely. The original recipe also calls for diced green bell pepper, which I omit.)