Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grilled Chicken with Edamame Skordalia

Recipe name: Grilled Chicken with Edamame Skordalia
Source: Bon Appetit August 08
Servings: 4-6
Cookbook date: Oct 25

1 16 oz bag frozen shelled edamame
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup evoo plus additional for brushing
3 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tbsp freshly grated parm cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves

Cook frozen edamame in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid for skordalia. Meanwhile, combine basil, 1/3 cup oil, and garlic in processor; blend until basil and garlic are finely chopped. transfer 2 tbsp basil oil to small bowl and reserve.

Add edamame, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, parm, and lemon juice to remaining basil oil in processor; puree until mixture is almost smooth, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set skordalia aside.

Prepare barbecue on med-high heat. Brush grill with oil. brush chicken breasts on both sides with reserved basil oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. grill until chicken is just cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Slice chicken breasts crosswise. Spoon warm or room temperature skordalia onto 4 plates. Top with chicken.

Tim here. This dish was very easy to make and super tasty. No substitutions this time so I followed the recipe to the letter. The first time we made it was with chicken fillets rather than chicken breasts and I think we both liked it better with the fillets. Both the chicken and the base taste great and compliment each other.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ideas needed for party food

Tim and I have decided to host an election party, and we'd like to have an array of appetizers on hand for guests to sample. I would love to get recipe ideas from anyone who reads this. Please share with me your favorite recipes to serve to company. Remember, I'm not making any main dishes, but instead will offer small bites of several things. Dessert ideas are welcome, too! Just post your recipes or recipe links in the comments section. I really appreciate your help!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Healthy(ish) Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe name: Healthy(ish) Mac and Cheese
Source: no idea
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: October 15

8-10 oz cooked macaroni
8 oz shredded sharp cheese
12 oz cottage cheese
8 oz plain yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

In a 9x13 pan, stir together cooked macaroni, cheeses, yogurt, Parmesan and salt and pepper. Put foil on top and bake for 30 minutes. That's it!

I made this for the first time last night, and I absolutely love it. I'm not going to tell you that it is the very best mac and cheese that I've ever had, because that's not true. But it is most definitely the easiest homemade macaroni and cheese I've ever made, and given that it doesn't contain any butter or heavy cream, it tastes AWESOME. I suppose it isn't exactly accurate to call this a "healthy" meal, but I really think this is a great recipe to use when you want some comfort food, but you want to skip the guilt that comes from eating something with enough calories in it to sustain you for 3 days straight!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Hi folks,

Sorry that it has been a week largely void of recipes. We've been cooking this week, but unfortunately, we've just been making disaster after disaster. We're headed to Arkansas for fall break this weekend, but when we return I've got several new dishes to try out, and hopefully we'll have better luck next week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cranberry Scones

Recipe name: Cranberry Scones
Source: no idea
Servings: 4
Cookbook date: October 10


2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar


Heat oven to 375. Coat scone pan with cooking spray. Beat egg with yogurt and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter, cutting with a pastry blender until mixture looks granular. Lightly stir in cranberries and sugar. Stir in yogurt mixture with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. Separate dough into eight equal pieces and press into individual spaces of scone pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until medium brown. Let cool 20 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Both Tiffany and I love scones so we were excited to try this recipe. Tiffany had the foresight to soak some dried cranberries to make them plum. She's so smart. Most of the recipes we reference require heavy cream and I was glad to see this absent from the recipe. Even better I was able to substitute low fat yogurt for butter milk. So I was feeling all healthy up to the point where it called for a whole stick of butter. But here is the great thing about it. I didn't feel bad about adding the butter because it didn't have the heavy cream. The scone turned out great and was very tasty. Its a keeper.

Friday, October 10, 2008

meatball sandwich

Recipe name: Meatball Sandwich
Source: allrecipes.com
Servings: Lots
Cookbook date: October 6


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 French baguette
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt, or to taste
  • 1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 4 slices provolone cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, gently mix by hand the ground beef, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Shape into 12 meatballs, and place in a baking dish.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cooked through. Meanwhile, cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the inside to make a well for the meatballs. Brush with olive oil, and season with garlic powder and salt. Slip the baguette into the oven during the last 5 minutes of the meatball's time, or until lightly toasted.
  4. While the bread toasts, warm the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When the meatballs are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the sauce. Spoon onto the baguette and top with slices of provolone cheese. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Cool slightly, cut into servings, and enjoy!
Tim here posting. I followed the recipe for the meatballs word for word. Last time I made this recipe I found the meatballs to be too big so this time I made them smaller. I ended up having double the number of meatballs of the original recipe. The smaller meatballs were easier to manage and made for a lot more sandwiches. Since we didn't have a baguette I just toasted up some leftover hamburger buns.

Both Tiffany and I really liked this one. The recipe for the meatballs is one of the better ones we have tried so far. The leftovers were really good as well. Its a keeper.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sage Scented Sweet Potato Pizza

Recipe name: Sage Scented Sweet Potato Pizza
Source: no idea
Servings: 3-4
Cookbook date: October 1

2 cups sliced sweet potatoes
1 cup sliced onion
1 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste
refrigerated pizza dough
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup colby-jack cheese

Spray an aluminum foil-lined pan with cooking spray. Arrange sweet potatoes and onion on a pan; Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with sage. Roast at 426 10-15 minutes (until almost tender); cool to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a 12 inch pizza pan with cooking spray. Spread dough on the pan. Sprinkle dough with garlic. Arrange potato mixture on dough and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake pizza until crust is browned.

This pizza recipe isn't quite as speedy as I like, due to having to cook the sweet potatoes, let the cool, and then cook the entire pizza afterwards. However, you will most definitely be surprised by how delicious this is! Sage isn't the type of spice that I usually give center stage to in a recipe, so I was concerned that the pizza would taste weird at best. And the taste was different, but very tasty. We forgot to take a picture; sorry!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Loaded Enchilada Casserole

Recipe name: Loaded Enchilada Casserole
Source: Rice and Beans and Other Fine Things
Servings: 8
Cookbook date: October 28

Ingredients (I made a few adjustments from the original recipe)

1 pound ground turkey

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups cooked rice

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

12 corn tortillas, quartered or torn into fourths

1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce

3 cups Colby jack cheese

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 (4-ounce) can chopped black olives, drained

2 tsp dried cilantro or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

  1. Brown the ground turkey, onion and garlic in a large skillet. Drain off grease, then stir in the soup, black beans, rice, canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place half of the tortillas in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan, then drizzle with half of the enchilada sauce evenly.
  3. Spoon half of the turkey mixture on top, then half of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese melts and it's bubbly.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped tomatoes, black olives, and fresh cilantro.

This was superb! Thanks so much to Lorie for posting this recipe! We absolutely loved it. I'd estimate that the casserole cost us between $8-10 to make, but it made 8 very filling and very tasty servings, so it is a bargain meal in our book. If you like Mexican food, this is a meal that will not disappoint. It's only 8am and I'm already looking forward to my lunch break because I get to eat the casserole as leftovers!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chinese Chicken lettuce wraps

Recipe name: Chinese chicken lettuce wraps
Source: adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen
Servings: 2-3
Cookbook date: September 27

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 2-3 tbsp oil, sesame or peanut are nice
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, I use dark
  • iceberg lettuce leaves
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over high heat.
  2. Break up and brown the ground chicken.
  3. Mince all of the vegetables-mushrooms with garlic. You also might want to run your knife through your cooked chicken as well to get the pieces more uniformly sized, you want everything to be texturally at the same fine mince.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. You could also add some red pepper flakes if you want a little spice..
  5. Add your vegetables to the chicken and saute until onions and garlic soften.
  6. Add the sauce and cook and toss for an additional couple minutes. Taste and adjust your salt and seasonings.
  7. Serve with plenty of iceberg leaf “cups.”
Thanks to Chaos in the Kitchen for posting such a fun recipe. If anyone has ever been to P.F. Chang's, you know that lettuce wraps is a signature of theirs. We really enjoyed having our own version at home for a fraction of the price.

Our substitutions/additions: We used ground turkey, and the taste was awesome. I also shredded 4 baby carrots and sliced 1 green onion to add a little bit of color. We used water chestnuts which I finely diced, and we left out the mushrooms, because we believe that mushrooms are nasty.

I made this while Tim was out running errands, and I was glad to have the opportunity to sneak in water chestnuts, which he doesn't like, in general. When he tried the wraps he immediately asked, "What is the crunchy stuff in here?" I made him tell me first if he liked it, which he said he did (!) and then I revealed the secret ingredient. He wrinkled his nose up, and then confessed that water chestnuts were a good thing in this dish. Victory for Tiffany!

Friday, October 3, 2008

CrockPot Breakfast Risotto

Recipe name: CrockPot breakfast Risotto
Source: adapted from A Year of Crockpotting
Servings: 4-6
Cookbook date: September 27

--1/4 cup butter
--3 little apples
--1 1/2 t cinnamon
--1/8 t nutmeg
--1/8 t cloves
--1/4 t kosher salt
--1 1/2 cups arborio rice
--1/3 cup brown sugar
-- 2 cups of milk
-- 2 cups of apple juice

Turn your crock to high and add the butter so it can start melting. Wash and cut up your apples while it begins to melt.

Add the rice to the butter, and stir it around to coat it nicely. If the butter isn't completely melted, don't worry. Mine wasn't either, and it didn't seem to make a difference.

Add the apples, and spices. Stir in the juice/milk.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

I was SOOOO excited to try this recipe from A Year of Crockpotting. It seemed like a perfect culinary introduction to fall weather, which we seem to be having at night now. It made the house smell incredible while it was cooking, too! When it was finally done at the 3 hour mark, and I lifted the lid to check it out, I'll admit that my heart sunk a little bit. It looked so mushy! I was afraid that I'd let it go too long and that now the texture would be too gross to eat. Thankfully, I was wrong! I will say that this is not the best meal to eat if you aren't in the mood for something akin to oatmeal, though it is definitley more firm than oatmeal. But the flavor is just awesome! I swear, it felt like a meal that just hugs you, if you can imagine that. I've had limited success with my CrockPot over the years, but this recipe is definitely a winner. I'll no doubt be adding this to my yearly cookbook!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bacon Chicken Melt

Recipe name: Bacon Chicken Melt
Source: Recipe Zaar
Servings: 2
Cookbook date: August 26


  • 4 slices bacon or turkey bacon
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wrap two bacon slices around each chicken breast.
  3. In a small skillet, place the chicken breast with the bacon and cook until the bacon is done.
  4. Place the chicken into a baking dish and bake for 10-20 minutes until done.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 2-3 minutes until cheese melts.
  6. Top with tomatoes.
  7. For different versions, try adding a sauce like ranch or barbecue or add more toppings like mushrooms, green onions, etc.
This dish was surprisingly delicious. The only thing we'll change when we make it again is that we'll add the tomatoes at the same time as the cheese so that they can warm up a bit.