Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baked Egg Boat

Weekend time!  This is a working weekend - we are getting new landscaping and we are doing some of the prep work ourselves.  Yesterday we worked on moving stones and taking out bushes plus spent much time on digging out big roots!  Luckily Kristina and her husband are here today to help us so I made a hearty breakfast to keep them working hard... and me, well, I be helping again after my appointment at the salon :-)

I found this egg recipe.  You will notice how purdy these ones look... I'm not sure what I did wrong but mine did not seem to bake well so I ended up taking it out of the oven, scrambling the eggs and putting it back in a new loaf of bread and baking for about 10 minutes.  The worker bees loved it - the filling was delicious and I will definitely be making it again though I will need to figure out where I went wrong.

 Wonder how we will all feel on the sore meter on Sunday??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta

Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta
Here's a tasty dish that combines a bit a summer with a bit of my favorite... pasta!  The chicken is grilled and added to the remaining ingredients with a creamy white sauce. It comes close to an alfredo type dish and is quite tasty...

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light

I changed up the recipe by using shallots instead of garlic and since I didn't have the whole milk, I substituted 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup skim milk - that should equal whole milk, right :-)  I also love the color and flavor from the baby spinach. 

Hope you enjoy it if you try!

Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta Serves: 4 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 30 minutes
Recipe : Adapted from Cooking Light Sept 2012

-2 6 oz boneless chicken breast grilled and sliced thin
-8 oz linguine
-2 T olive oil
-1 tsp minced shallot
-3 T flour
-1 cup Whole milk
-1 cup chicken brother
-3/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
-4 cups fresh baby spinach

1. Season chicken with S&P and grill until done; let sit 10 minutes then slice thin
2. Cook pasta as directed and set aside and keep warm
3. In large skillet add olive oil, heat then cook shallot and flour for about 1-2 minutes stirring constantly
4. Add milk and broth with a whisk and simmer for 2 minutes then add cheese and stir until melted
5. Add spinach and additional S&P until spinach is wilted
6. Add pasta and chicken and serve!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Pie

Regent Apple Pie
 Well, it's the end of the weekend...we kept busy with house projects including me painting our dining room (again) though it has been about 5 years since the last time!  We also had a frost last night... it got down to 31 chilly degrees.  The Fisherman cleaned out what was left of the garden and picked some apples from our tree.  The midwest has had it tough with apples this year - a late frost in the spring killed some of the buds, a couple major storms knocked the apples off, and the ones that did come in aren't looking too great.  Luckily we were able to get about 50 and I had a request to make a pie.  I was happy to oblige!

I pulled out a tried and true recipe from my 29 year old Betty Crocker cookbook.  As you can tell, it is quite used.

 Our apples are the variety called Regent... good eating and baking apples.

 I also use the crust recipe from the same cookbook but I almost double it to ensure I have enough dough.  I'd rather cut some off (and make sugar cinnamon sticks with leftovers) than not have enough.

The apples were peeled, chopped and then mixed with a sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg mixture

Placed in crust and dotted with butter

Top crust on and ready to bake...

About 50 minutes later, it's done!

After dinner and while watching the Emmy's, we had a slice (or two :-)

So good and really hit the spot! 

Also, my friend Julie@This Gal Cooks is having a giveaway this month.  Stop by here and enter to win and also wish her Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trip to the Farmer's Market

Last weekend I went to our local farmer's market...I may be going back tomorrow!  I love seeing people buying local products and the fresh fruits, veggies, etc. that are available... anybody want to tag along :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turkey Cutlets with Cranberries

Turkey Cutlets with Cranberries
Well, I guess it is getting to be that time of year when fall-ish type dishes look appealing in cookbooks.  I love summer, had fun this summer, grilled out a lot this summer but now I'm ready for some comfort type meals.  I found the perfect new cookbook (well, it looks more like a magazine) and its called America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two.  Yep, that's us - empty nesters and pretty much an empty fridge most of the time!  I don't tend to keep much around unless I'm cooking and know we are going to eat it.  When the guys and dolls come home, well then I stock up a bit more!

I really liked how quick this dish came together and it looks pretty fancy, right?  It only took about 20 minutes so this is another one to add to your "after work and I don't have a lot of time to make something" list.

Recipe Source:  ATK Cooking for Two 2012

I served this with potatoes that I had gotten at the farmer's market but think rice (my fav Uncle Ben's 90 second) would have been a better choice - I could see this served over it with the yummy juices flavoring the rice.

The potatoes were pretty good ... I roasted them in the oven with fresh rosemary, olive oil, sea salt and fresh pepper

What's your favorite part of fall?  Curious minds want to know!  I like the clean air and watching the leaves turn...also I tend to bake more - especially with apples from our tree.

Turkey Cutlets with Cranberries Serves: 2 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 20 minutes
Recipe : ATK Cooking for Two

 -3 T flour
-2 6 oz turkey cutlets pounded ¼” thick
-S&P -1 T olive oil Sauce:
-1 T olive oil
-1 shallot, sliced thin
-1 garlic clove minced
-1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
-1 tsp flour -3/4 cup red wine
-1/2 chicken broth
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1 tsp honey

1. Cutlets-place flour in dish. S&P cutlets and then dredge in flour shaking off excess
2. Heat oil in 12” skillet until hot. Add cutlets and cook about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown – only turn once. Transfer to plate and keep warm
3. Sauce-add olive oil and cook shallots about 1-2 minutes until soft. Add garlic and thyme and cook 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Whisk in remaining ingredients and cook until slightly thickened. Season with S&P and serve over cutlets


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

4 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Four Cheese Mac and Cheese
If you could love a meal, what would you pick?  Is it possible to be in love with macaroni and cheese?  I think I am!  This was the most luxurious and palate pleasing dish...  It has four cheeses - gruyere, monterey jack, blue cheese and romano - I wondered if it might be too much as I was preparing it but no, it was just right- great combo!  It even has some fresh grated lemon zest, which for me as a lemon lover, really set it over the top... 

Recipe Source:  slightly adapted from Fine Cooking Fresh

Throw the calorie watching out the window, grab a fork and dig in - it's the cheesiest!

Luxurious 4 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese Serves: 8 Calories: 710 Prep Time to Table: 20 minutes prep plus baking time
Recipe : Slightly adapted from Fine Fresh Cooking

 -3 cups whole milk
-4 Tbs. unsalted butter
-1/2 medium onion, finely diced
-1 bay leaf
 -1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
-1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce; more to taste
 -5 oz. Gruyère, coarsely grated (about 1-3/4 cups lightly packed)
 -8 oz. blue cheese crumbled (about 2 cups)
-1 lb. dried penne rigate pasta
 -1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
-11 oz. Monterey Jack, cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
-1 T dried parsley
 -2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
 -2-1/2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated (scant 1 cup) 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put a large pot of well-salted water on to boil.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat to just below a simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and cover to keep hot. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften and becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, whisking frequently, until thickened and smooth. Season the white sauce with 1 tsp. salt, pepper to taste, the nutmeg, and the Tabasco. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the Gruyère and blue cheese. Cook the pasta to al dente, following the package directions. Drain well and return to the pot. Toss the lemon zest and half of the Monterey Jack into the pasta while it’s still hot; add the cheese sauce and quickly toss to combine. Stir in the parsley and thyme and transfer half of the pasta to a large (3-quart) shallow casserole or lasagna pan. Sprinkle with the remaining Monterey Jack and half the Parmigiano; top with the remaining pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano and the breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbly and golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: even if you half the recipe, still use the same amount of breadcrumb.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Salsa Time!

How to make your own salsa
I was in the mood to do the salsa this weekend (no, not the dance-that wouldn't be a pretty sight!).  Salsa making was something that I did yearly up until about 3 years ago.  I had a partner in crime and we would get together because as anyone knows that makes it - it is labor intense with all the chopping and prep work (we would make about 40 pints and split the proceeds). 

Other than tomatoes, we didn't plant stuff for a "salsa" garden this year so off I went yesterday to our local farmer's market.  I love going there and seeing all it has to offer especially the fresh veggies and fruit.  I scored some peppers, onions, cilantro and garlic.  It smelled heavenly in my market bag

The first thing I did was to chop all the above - be sure to wear gloves!  Most important if you don't want your hands to burn for hours.

Next I prepped the tomatoes that The Fisherman picked from our garden.  It is getting to that time of year where the tomatoes are just about done and with the temps at night supposedly going in the 30's this week, they probably won't survive too well.

For how I prepped the tomatoes . I do it the same way.  Once they are peeled and quartered, I put them in a colander to let some of the juices drain out.  Then I put the tomatoes in a food processor and chop a bit - I still leave some chunks because I use an immersion blender at the end of the cooking process to chop up the peppers and tomatoes a bit more.

 Here is the recipe that I have been using for years that includes how I process the pints.
(printable recipe)

Dig in!

And one of these days, who knows, maybe I will follow this "recipe"!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rosemary Fig Port Chicken

Rosemary Fig Port Chicken
This dinner was at the request of The Fisherman.  Since I've been blogging and cooking up some new meals (since Feb. 2011), I hardly ever make the same thing twice... you know - so many recipes, so little time!  When I asked him what he would like repeated, he selected this one...said it was one of his favorites.  Happy to do so... now you need to do some providing for the family when you go fishing tomorrow... don't let those walleyes get away!  We need fish for our Christmas Eve dinner.

Recipe Source:  MyRecipes

This dish is definitely easy to do and very company worthy.  I paired it with some 90 second Uncle Ben's rice and steamed broccoli (this entire meal is calorie friendly too).  Give it a try!

Rosemary-Fig Chicken with Marsala Serves: 4 Calories: 330 Prep Time to Table: 25 minutes
Recipe : Oxmoor House

- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic power
-½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
 -butter flavored PAM spray
-2/3 cup fig preserves
-1 tbl minced fresh rosemary
-6 tbls marsala or other sweet red wine

1. Pound chicken breasts to ½ inch
2. Sprinkle salt, garlic power and pepper evenly chicken and coat chicken with PAM 3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-heat heat. Add chicken; cook
3 minutes on each side or until browned
4. Combine preserves, rosemary and wine in a bowl; add to chicken stirring gently
5. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook 5-6 minutes or until chicken is done. Uncover and cook 1 minute over medium-high heat or until sauce is slightly thick. Serve with sauce over chicken

Notes: This is good served over long grain and wild rice