Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Goddess Dressing

When I took my first bite of this salad, I said "it tastes like a garden"!! This dressing is full of fresh, bright flavors and a little goes a long way. I had never had Green Goddess before, but now I know I will be having it again! My salad has red peppers (you can probably find those peppers in almost every recent dinner meal--always on special at our local grocer!), chicken, cucumbers, mixed field greens, and BLUEBERRIES!! I love the little sweetness that the blueberries add to a salad (they're also really good with balsamic vinegar-based dressings).
I got this recipe from Macaroni and Cheesecake, and it's an original Ina Garten recipe. I didn't have anchovy paste, so I know I missed out on a layer of flavor, but I have bad memories of anchovy paste, including the tube bursting from the back end and going all over my clothes and hands and smelling like it for about 24 hours. yuck. I'm sure the anchovy paste would add a great depth to your flavor if you are up for it!

Green Goddess Dressing

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions (used chives from my back porch instead!)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (Ina's original calls for basil rather than parsley/cilantro, which I think would be AWESOME!)
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove chopped garlic
1 tsp anchovy paste
1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4-1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Chop all herbs. (I'll admit it, I didn't chop anything--just tossed it all in the Magic Bullet and it did the work for me). In a blender (or MB!), combine all ingredients and blend until you reach a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The dressing should be kind of a creamy avocado color.

from Macaroni and Cheesecake

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Tequila Burgers

This great summer recipe came from Loves to Eat, a great source for clean eating recipes. We obviously aren't clean eaters, but I like to throw in as many colors and healthy recipes into our meals as possible!
I'm sure you could leave out the tequila, but I still have the same bottle from at least a couple of years ago that I only use occasionally in recipes, so I used it in this. Made a real dent using a whole tablespoon...
I really liked this recipe and am excited to have leftovers for lunch with a salad. I enjoyed mine topped with sauteed red bell peppers, lettuce, a thin spread of sour cream, and a few drops of hot sauce. Lots of layers of flavors with the cilantro and lime in the burgers, also. These were easy to make ahead and just broil when I was ready. You could certainly make these up the day before and have dinner already prepped for the next night!
And keep scrolling for culinary school pictures if you're interested!!
Chicken Tequila Burgers
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (had to leave this out so Norris would eat them, but I think they would be great in these!!)
2 chicken breasts, about 1 lb total
4 tbsp cilantro
zest of 1/2 lime
1 oz. tequila
dash of soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
buns, lettuce, peppers, or whatever you'd like to top them with!!
Preheat broiler on high.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine garilc, jalapeno, chicken breasts, cilantro, and lime zest in a food processor. Pulse until the chicken is ground and looks uniform.
Add in the tequila, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and panko. Pulse until combined well.
Form 4 patties and place them on prepared baking sheet.
Broil burgers for about 6-7 minutes on each side.
Serve with your preferred toppings.
We received our class pictures from the second year of culinary school and they were fun to look at! I didn't take a single picture with my own camera this year, which was silly now that I think about it. I will remember next year!!
Left: preparing mirepoix on stocks day; Right: sifting ingredients on baking day

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Shrimp Rolls

This was one of my most favorite dishes in a while! They taste just like summer to me...soo good!
I would guess these are called "summer" because they use fresh sweet corn and pesto. BUT, you can freeze your corn on the cob while it's good and sweet AND freeze your basil, so really, this can be a year-round recipe even using fresh ingredients!! Even Norris, who wouldn't even try my pesto chicken panini last week, really enjoyed this recipe made with pesto. It gives it such a fresh flavor.

This winner is from Rachael Ray's magazine. She suggests serving it on hot dog buns or over greens (which would also be good), but I served it on broiled Nature's Own whole wheat sandwich thins and thought they were great that way! (good open faced if you want to cut out one side of the bread). Try this while that basil in your backyard is still going wild and the farmers are still selling corn on the roadside!!

Summer Shrimp Rolls
from Rachael Ray Magazine from last summer
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)--I boiled this for about 8 minutes before using in recipe to make it a little more tender
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup pesto
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped (I just sprinkled on top, since I am the only pepper eater in my household)
3 scallions, thinly sliced (I left out, but I'm sure they would be good)
salt and pepper to taste
your preferred delivery method, whether it's buns, sandwich bread, greens, or just a plate!! I broiled Swiss cheese on Norris' slices of bread so his also had a cheesy flavor on it, but I definitely don't think cheese is necessary.
Combine the mayonnaise, pesto, and lemon juice and refrigerate.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and stir until cooked. It should be opaque/pink...will only take a few minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and stir in corn. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then combine with pesto mixture. Sprinkle with the red peppers and/or scallions and serve.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Salad Dressing

Another simple salad dressing that's hardly a "recipe", but if you're still eating dressing from a bottle, come on over to the other side! All you need is a few ingredients and a mason jar!!
Simple Salad Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
~1/4 tsp Key West seasoning (combo of lemon peel, basil, and garlic mostly)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in jar. Screw lid on TIGHTLY and shake it up!!! Store in fridge for about a week.
In dog news, can you tell that they really get along well??? :) Not a hug!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Puffy Pizza Casserole

It's no secret that we love our homemade pizza in this household, but I wanted to try something new. A Year of Slow Cooking is a great resource during the school year as it has all slow cooker recipes (and so much variety!!). She cooks all gluten free, so check out her site if that applies to your family also!

Norris really loved this--he wants me to make it again tomorrow. He said it was like "pizza and dumplings" I cooked the ground beef and made the tomato sauce the night before so that all I had to do on the night I wanted to make it was to pour it all in the crockpot and turn it on! It takes 4 hours on high, which is a strange amount if you work until 5 or so and don't have a chance to go home to turn it on. But for me, it was perfect and ready at around 7:30! (a little late, but it was Norris' late class night). I would cut back on the salt a bit next time, but wouldn't make any other changes!!

Seriously, casseroles and enchiladas make the worst pictures, and they taste great!

Slow Cooker Puffy Pizza Casserole

from A Year of Slow Cooking (I wrote in my changes; click the link to see original recipe)
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
homemade spaghetti mix packet (recipe below)
1/2 tsp oregano
15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup AP flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
20 pepperoni slices
Spaghetti sauce mix:
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
Cook meat with onion and garlic, then drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, water, and spaghetti sauce mix. Allow mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. (at this point I put it in the fridge until the next day)
Spray 4 quart slow cooker and pour meat sauce in bottom.
Combine flour, eggs, milk, and cheese in separate bowl, then pour on top of meat sauce. Top with pepperonis and cover with lid. Cook on high for about 4 hours, until the top becomes light golden brown and the bread layer begins to pull away from the sides.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crispy Honey 5-Spice Chicken

I have to get it out there: I had dark chocolate with strawberries for lunch, a couple of bites of ice cream for a snack, and I'm going to help at a cupcake class tonight. I need to see this picture with vegetables in it to remind myself to get back to those! I'm sure my guaranteed stomachache from the sugar and caffeine will help me get back to regular habits tomorrow, too!!

Anyway, this was really good and as I was eating it, I was thinking this would be great for people with kids as a healthy chicken nugget when all your kids want to do is go through the McD's drive thru. But hey, I don't have kids, so I don't know how hard it is to actually take care of other humans plus make them meals!
Give your cooked chicken a thin drizzle of honey right before eating!

Crispy Honey 5-Spice Chicken

adapted from Stephanie Cooks (check out her post for a ginger variation and different coating)

2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup honey, plus extra for drizzling
2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 pound boneless chicken tenders, cut into "nuggets"
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 slice whole wheat bread, processed to crumbs
1/2 cup bran flakes, processed to crumbs (you can use whatever combo of coating you want, but I wanted to add in some fiber with the bran)
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

Combine buttermilk, honey, 1 tsp of 5-spice powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, and chicken in a Ziploc or container and marinate at least 2 hours, or overnight. (I marinated about 24 and got some really tender chicken!)
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Combine panko, 1 tsp 5-spice powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, seasoned salt, breadcrumbs, cereal crumbs, and flour in a Ziploc. Remove chicken from marinade and toss to coat. Lay out on baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and coat once more with nonstick cooking spray.
Serve with a drizzle of honey!

Edit: I had this for leftovers THREE times and it was great each time! For a crispier "crust" leftover, heat it in the oven. I thought it was fine heated in the microwave at work, though!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tilapia with Lime-Jalapeno Butter

Still trying to clear things out of our freezer and refrigerator! The ironic part has been that I've made some of the best meals we've had lately while trying to "get rid" of things! I love this fish with the lime-jalapeno butter on top. It only has a light coating and then a little of the butter goes a long way, so while it might not be the healthiest way to consume fish, it can't be the worst either. Balance it out with a serving of vegetables and it's a great meal.
Pan Seared Tilapia with Lime-Jalapeno Butter

3 (4 oz) skinless tilapia fillets
1/4 tsp salt + pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (mixed together)
~2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tbsp butter (room temp)
2 tsp minced red onion
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp minced jalapeno
salt and pepper to taste

Combine butter, onion, zest, juice, jalapeno, salt, and pepper and put in the refrigerator. I like to form a ball by wrapping it with plastic wrap before I put it back in the fridge.
Pat tilapia dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly in seasoned flour mixture.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat until sizzling (not smoking!!--you should see ripples in it, but no smoke coming from it). Saute the fish, flipping after 2-3 minutes or after the underside is light golden brown. The total cook time for both sides should be around 5-6 minutes.
Serve with a small dollop of lime jalapeno butter--it will melt right across your fish and give it fantastic flavor!

adapted from this epicuriuos recipe and a recipe from Bonnie!

and because I think this is funny...trying to pick up the dogs. This is how we weigh them (Bear now weighs 70 lbs, Bruno 65!) Bruno is not a fan of getting picked up, but Bear LOVES it just like the big cow that he is!

okay, Bear looks GIGANTIC in this picture!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I think almost everybody likes ranch. I know we like it in our household! I have tried the fat free varieties and have wound up throwing away whatever food I put it on because it just tastes so fake. This light homemade ranch dressing has a great rich flavor that develops over a few days. I tried it on Sunday right when I was making and admittedly almost threw it away. When I tried it on Tuesday, I loved it! It just needed time for the flavor to develop!
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

3/4 cup light sour cream

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice
about 1 cup buttermilk
1 small bunch chives
small handful parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
a couple sprigs of fresh dill, or about 1/2-3/4 tsp dried
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender (another thing the Magic Bullet was good for, except I could only fit about 1/3 of the recipe). Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Store in refrigerator.
from Annie's Eats (originally from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Garlic Shrimp Linguine

Best meal I've eaten in a while! If you're gluten free, at least try the shrimp and sauce....incredible! Of course, most things made with real butter are incredible! I used the pasta I got from the farmers' market, a basil garlic flavor that was really great with this sauce. I could have eaten the whole pound of shrimp, but fortunately for my cholesterol, I did not. I sauteed some green beans for a side and they were good mixed in, too. One more great part of this is that it took me less than an hour including peeling shrimp, cleaning and trimming green beans, measurements, eating, AND clean up!

Garlic Shrimp Linguine

~10 oz uncooked linguine
1/4 cup butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup white wine (I used tree free chardonnay, since we had some of a bottle sitting around that I needed to use up in something)
~1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (don't use the powdered stuff! add more to your own taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or about 2 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of raw shrimp

Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add garlic, wine, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer mixture for 7-8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings after the sauce has reduced some.
Crank the heat to medium high and add the shrimp. Cook until shrimp is pink (~4 minutes).
Toss with pasta and serve. Top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese if you like!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cranberry Coleslaw

This was a good way to get even more veggies in my diet this week after having fair food this weekend! Crisp and refreshing AND doesn't taste mayonnaise-y!!:) Be sure to scroll down for the little gem at the bottom!
Cranberry Coleslaw

1 lb bag of coleslaw mix (I used broccoli slaw instead)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice (I used wwv)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
~1/4 cup dried cranberries
~2 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds or slivered almonds (I used sliced almonds)

Combine yogurt, honey, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seeds. Stir in coleslaw and cranberries. Refrigerate before serving (keeps up to 4 days). I recommend topping with almonds at service time to keep them crunchy, but if you don't mind them soggy, toss it all together!

from Foodie with Family
At the fair this weekend, there was a baby miniature horse--just about three weeks old! It was smaller than our dogs, but a HORSE! So cute.
Here it is with mama, who is also a miniature horse, so you can see how small the baby was! Don't you love mama's haircut???

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

24 cookies

1 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I obviously skipped this part!)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
Form into balls of about 1 tbsp dough. Place on ungreased cookie sheet with about 1 inch between them. Use a fork to press the tops of the dough balls down to form a criss cross pattern.
Bake for about 9 minutes. Cool on pan for about 2 minutes, then move to cooling rack.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Champagne Chicken

Some good friends of ours got married a couple of weeks ago, and we had friends come stay with us. They brought a bottle of celebratory champagne and wound up leaving about 1/2 the bottle in our fridge. I had to find a use for it, and remembered seeing this champagne chicken. It was really good--no overwhelming champagne flavor, just a slightly sweet sauce that went awesome with some salty mushrooms and a little whole wheat pasta.
Champagne Chicken

from The Rookie Chef

serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
~1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
scant 1/2 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups champagne
1 cup whipping cream (I used half and half with about 1 tbsp flour whisked in, since that's what I had)
1 tsp ground rosemary

Pound chicken flat, then dredge in flour/salt/pepper mixture.

Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Melt butter and olive oil. Add chicken to pan and saute 5 minutes. Pour in champagne, turn chicken over, and allow to cook for about 15 minutes. Whisk in cream and rosemary and allow to cook until sauce is thick. Serve chicken with the sauce.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

I have had some leftover Kraft Caramel bits sitting in my pantry and I noticed the expiration date was fast approaching. I love oatmeal cookies, so I went in search of something to use both oats and caramel and came across these. (I found it really funny to find these cookies with a stick of butter on Spark People..but hey, everything in moderation, right??:) They're great both warm from the oven and once cooled. I was afraid the caramel would spread a lot, but it only spread a little and then cooled nicely back into the bits of caramel throughout the cookie. I'm sure these will be well received this racing weekend :)

Vanishing Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

from Spark People
(this is a half recipe; makes about 18)

1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oats (original or quick)
1/2 package Kraft Caramel Bits

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream together melted butter and sugars. Add egg and beat. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add in flour mixture in two stages, mixing thoroughly each time. Stir in oats and caramels.
Drop rounded tablespoon size dough balls onto ungreased parchment or Silpat at least two inches apart to leave room for cookies to spread. Bake 10 minutes. When you take cookies out of oven, use the edge of a knife to reshape the edges where caramel spread. Cool on sheet pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Earlier this summer, I needed a couple of mason jars. Norris brought home a case. I was kind of excited about the excess so I could try something new in them. I spent Saturday morning at the Old Town farmers' market with my grandma and aunt and finally found some tiny pickling cucumbers! This recipe comes from Delicious Meliscious. They taste just like those deli pickles you get with sandwiches! (the ones I always like to steal off your plate if you don't want it :)

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh dill
cucumbers cut into spears or cute little pickling cucumbers

3 cups water
6 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp kosher salt

Combine brine ingredients and let dissolve. Place some dill in the bottom of the jar, then fill jar halfway with cucumbers. Lay more dill on top and finish packing. Pour the brine over the top, making sure it covers all of the cucumbers. Sprinkle garlic and whatever other seasonings you like on it. Store for 2 days in refrigerator before eating.

**I love these, but Norris doesn't like them. I love cucumbers; he doesn't. (so if you don't like cucumbers, you might not like these. I learned this deductive reasoning in 9th grade geometry:)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicken with JalaPeach Sauce

For Christmas every year, my aunt buys me a subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray, which I think is a fun magazine to read. I always tear out recipes to put in my folder to try out, and remembered this one the other day when I was looking for something to make with the great peaches in the stores right now. You could use any dry rub on your chicken that you like, but I just did salt and pepper on them because I was cooking for one and really just wanted to try the sauce, so the chicken was just the delivery method!:) RR suggests chicken wings and grilling the meat while basting with the sauce, which I'm sure would be wonderful! I just used chicken breasts and cooked them stovetop, basting with sauce every time I turned them. Very good! Loved the spicy/sweet of the sauce!

Jala-Peach Sauce

1 pound peaches, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 pickled jalapeño chile, stemmed, plus 3 tablespoons pickling juice (or use fresh plus a splash of white wine vinegar) (I used more like 2 tbsp of the juice here...didn't want to run the risk of it being too vinegary)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Using a food processor, puree the peaches, pickled jalapeño and juice, the honey, mustard and worcestershire sauce; season with salt. At this point, you can add more sweet or spice, depending on your tastes. Pour one-quarter of the sauce into a large bowl and the remaining sauce into a small bowl.
(at this point, I cooked chicken breast tenderloins stovetop and basted with the sauce) Here are the grill instructions:
Preheat a grill to medium heat. Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper and coat lightly with cooking spray. Arrange on oiled cooking grates and grill, turning occasionally, until no longer raw on the outside, 6 to 8 minutes. Brush the wings generously with the larger amount of reserved sauce. Grill, continuing to turn occasionally, until deep golden-brown and just charred in parts, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss the wings with the smaller amount of reserved sauce. Transfer to a platter.