Sunday, January 17, 2010

So simple...sooo good!

Last night, Lani & Chad called and invited themselves over after dinner. :-) Since we both had plans of just staying home and relaxing, we decided why not do it all together. So, I said I needed to come up with a quick dessert we could have. Lani found this recipe and emailed it over to me...and surprisingly, I had all of the ingredients on hand. When they got here, she and I made it together and threw it in the oven. It turned out awesome. It was very easy to make and it was delicious. We had it with vanilla lowfat frozen yogurt. I will definitely make this again.

Mixed Berry Crisp
Source: Epicurious

2 - 12oz bags of frozen mixed berries, unthawed (I used one 16 oz bag)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tbsp lemon juice (omitted because I didn't have)
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger (omitted)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, diced (I used light)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine berries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to blend well. Transfer berry mixture to 9" glass pie dish. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, spices and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping holds together in small moist clumps. Sprinkle over berry mixture.

Bake until berry mixture bubbles thickly and topping is golden brown, about 1 hour (I baked for 45 minutes). Let stand for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. **top with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream!

Grilling - Steak & Potatoes

In my Taste of Home magazine, I saw a recipe for marinated chuck steak. However, when I went to the grocery store, they had no chuck I bought a london broil hoping it would turn out ok. It actually turned out pretty good but I'd still like to try the recipe with chuck steak like it calls for. Mike grilled it for us along with some asparagus. I baked sweet potato fries too and they turned out awesome.

Marinated Chuck Steak

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 lbs boneless chuck steak
In a large ziploc bag, combine the first seven ingredients. Add the beef; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Drain and discard marinade. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; medium, 160 degress; well-done, 170 degress). Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes
olive oil Pam
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degress. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut into strips. Grease baking sheet with Pam; spread sweet potatoes out and spray with Pam; sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

This week's menu consisted of bbq chicken sandwiches, salad with crispy chicken tenders, and marinated london broil.

My cousin, Amber, suggested I try this recipe out. Although we thought it was good, it was more tomato-based than I had hoped. Next time, I will add more liquid smoke to make the bbq flavor stronger. I used whole wheat potato rolls for the sandwiches.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Source: Food Network

1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14oz) low-sodium tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 whole rotisserie chicken or 3 chicken breasts - meat shredded into thin strips
6 whole wheat hamburger rolls

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper, and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken, return to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Loaded Potatoes!

Last night we headed over to our friends' house for dinner and to meet their new baby, Kaylee. I offered to bring a potato dish and decided on this loaded red potato casserole that I saw in my Taste of Home magazine. I knew there would be no way to go wrong with it. And, I was right! Absolutely delicious and very simple to make. Of course I got it all finished and then rushed out of the house so we would be on time...and I forgot to take a picture. So, this picture is from Taste of Home, but it pretty much looked the same (except their picture is way better than mine would have been).

Loaded Red Potato Casserole
Source: Taste of Home

16 small red potatoes (3lb bag of petite red potatoes)
1/2 cup milk (I used fat free)
1/4 cup butter, cubed (I used light)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (6oz) shredded cheddar, divided (I used 2%)
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon (I used 4 slices of turkey bacon)
1 cup (8oz) sour cream (I used fat free)
2 tbsp minced chives

Place potatoes in dutch oven (a.k.a. big pot) and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Mash potatoes with the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese and the bacon.

Dollop with sour cream; sprinkle with chives and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yields 9 servings.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet Mustard Chicken

I have to admit this wasn't a completely NEW recipe, but I'd only made it once before and that time I made it according to the recipe, using pork. It was absolutely delicious and I decided to give it a try with chicken. The result was great. I do think, however, that the pork hold the marinade flavor better but I would still make it again with both pork and chicken. The marinade mix seemed very odd to me but it really turns out delicious. Mike also grilled zucchini and corn on the cob for a delicious and very healthy meal.

Sweet Mustard Chicken (or Chops)
3 or 4 chicken breasts or pork loin chops
1/2 cup mayo (I used light)
1/4 packed brown sugar
1/4 cup prepared mustard (I used spicy brown)
2 tsp seasoned salt (I just used kosher salt)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
In a small bowl, mix mayo, brown sugar, mustard and salt. Whisk in vinegar. Pour into a large ziploc bag; add chicken or pork. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
Discard marinade. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer says 160 degree, turning occasionally.
Yields 4 servings.

Goal for the New Year!

One of my goals for the New Year is to update my blog regularly. Going along with that is to plan a weekly menu of meals each week - and 2 meals should be new recipes that I've never tried before...since I have hundreds of recipes that I've pulled from my cooking magazines and printed from online sources. So, I did pretty well the first week of the new year.

My weekly plan was:

Monday - DYOD (do your own dinner) since we were both working later
Tuesday - Nut Crusted Tilapia, brown rice and roasted baby carrots - NEW
Wednesday - Tacos (with ground chicken)
Thursday - Sweet Mustard Chicken, zucchini and corn on the cob (all grilled) - NEW
Friday - out to dinner with friends

So, here are the recipes for the 2 new dishes. First up....

Nut-Crusted Tilapia

1 cup of finely chopped pecans
4 tilapia fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs)
milk (used fat free)
flour (used whole wheat)
salt and pepper
canola oil

Season both sides of fish fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour first, then milk, then coat thoroughly with pecans. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fish until just done, turning once (about 5 mins total).

Serves 4

Roasted Carrots

Toss with olive oil until lightly coated. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary (or thyme). Spread out on baking sheet. Bake on 400 for 20-25 minutes or until desired tenderness.