Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth's mom

1 10 oz package frozen chopped broccoli, cooked
1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked chicken, sliced or chopped (I used Tyson's pre-cooked grilled strips)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.

Place broccoli in bottom of a 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Place chicken over broccoli. Combine soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry - pour over chicken. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serves 4.

This is a recipe my mom made for us all the time when I was growing up. Like her, I omitted the breadcrumbs because I don't think the recipe needs it. It's a great, fast weeknight recipe and is very easily doubled.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Original Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flours, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg, beat. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet (I used parchment paper).

Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

This is a halved version of the cookie recipe found on the back of Tollhouse chocolate chips. I don't always have good luck with substituting whole wheat flour, but the chocolate chips offset the "wheaty" taste. Halving the recipe was very easy as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano

Chicken Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella
Adapted from Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats

2 TBS olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped (I used bottled)
3-4 TBS all-purpose flour (I used 4 but would have been fine with 3)
2 eggs
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup fresh flat-leafed Parsley leaves, chopped
2 lbs chicken cutlets (The original recipe calls for turkey cutlets which my grocery store did not have, so I used chicken breast tenderloins)

1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup pesto sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

For the grape tomato topping, preheat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, salt, pepper. Cook
until the onions are translucent, 2-3 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, set up the breading station for the chicken. Place the flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, thoroughly beat together the eggs with a splash of water. In a third shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and parsley. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides and turn lightly in the flour. Thoroughly coat the cutlets in the eggs and then in the breading, and add to the hot oil. Cook the chicken in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate lined with a paper towel.

To the skillet with the onions, add the grape tomatoes and stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock has reduced by half.

Preheat the broiler.

Arrange the cooked cutlets on a cookie sheet. Top each cutlet with a little of the warm tomato topping, top that with pesto, then top that with mozzarella. Place the cookie sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese warms and melts but has not browned.

Serves 4.

I'm not a huge fan of Rachael Ray recipes because they seem to involve too many things happening at once, at least for me. I've made this one before though and the outcome is worth it! We ate it with bruchetta using pesto Patrick brought back from Italy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple Crunch Pie

Apple Crunch Pie

From Gooseberry Patch Fall, Family & Friends

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
5 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
9 inch pie crust
Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, chilled

Mix together ingredients until crumbly.

Whisk sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in apples; spoon into pie crust. Top with crumb topping. Bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Serves 6-8.

This pie is delicious! It tastes almost like an apple cobbler, but as a pie. Topped with vanilla ice cream, it's a perfect fall dessert.

Italian 3-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Italian 3-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Adapted from Gooseberry Patch Fall, Family & Friends

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I used bottled garlic)
2 cups hot water
12-oz can tomato paste
1 TBS instant beef bouillon (All I had were beef bouillon cubes, so I mixed one with hot water and used part of that)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
16-oz container reduced fat cottage cheese
8-oz pkg shredded 2% mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg, beaten
24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked

Brown turkey, onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano; simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Stir together cottage cheese, one cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stuff cooked shells with cheese mixture; arrange in a greased 13x9 baking pan. Pour turkey mixture over shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese melts. Makes 6-8 servings.

This is one of the best stuffed shells recipes I've ever made or eaten. Past recipes have called for stuffing the shells with a meat/cheese mixture, and I definitely prefer this version with the meat mixture on top. We can't wait to heat this up for leftovers all week!

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

From Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 TBS vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups chopped pecans

Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, and zucchini; add vanilla. In a separate large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except nuts. Add to zucchini mixture; stir in nuts. Pour batter into 2 lightly greased 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans. (I only have 9x3 loaf pans, so I used those.) Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Makes 2 loaves.

This bread came out incredibly moist and delicious. It's pretty sweet as far as zucchini bread goes, and could probably stand to have 1/2 cup of sugar omitted if you wanted it a little less sweet. I froze one loaf to enjoy in the future. My favorite way to eat zucchini bread is with cream cheese spread on top!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

Pork Chops Stuffed With Feta and Spinach

From Cooking Light April 2007

Yield: 4 servings (serving size = 1 pork chop)

Cooking spray
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided (I'm lazy and buy minced garlic in a jar)
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
5 sundried tomatoes, packed without oil, diced
1-10 oz. packaged frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup crumbled reduced fat feta (I used fat free feta)
3 TBS block-style fat free cream cheese (I used Kraft reduced fat because I can't stand the way fat free tastes)
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind (after reading the reviews on I omitted this)
4-4oz. boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed
2 TBS fresh lemon juiced (I used bottled because again, lazy)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried oregano

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, tomatoes, and spinach; sauté until moisture evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses and rind.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper over pork. Arrange pork on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Combine remaining 2 garlic cloves, juice, mustard, and oregano in a bowl; stir well. Brush half of mustard mixture over pork. Broil 6 minutes; turn pork. Brush remaining mixture over pork; broil 2 minutes or until done.

I served this with a simple salad. The filling in the pork is excellent and Patrick wants to try it in steak roll-ups sometime. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I used 2 TBS of Dijon mustard rather than 2 tsp by mistake, but it was perfect. The "sauce" would probably be good on salmon as well. I broiled one side of the chops for 6 minutes and the other side for 4, but it probably could have stood a few more minutes in the oven. Definitely something I'll make again when we're getting tired of chicken and beef.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oatmeal-Spice Cookies

Oatmeal-Spice Cookies

Adapted from Cooking Light September 1997

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup stick margarine, softened
3 TBS light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. Combine brown sugar and next 6 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, and beat mixture at medium speed until well-blended. Stir in oats, cranberries, and chocolate chips and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in flour mixture.

Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray (I used parchment paper). Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (mine needed more like 12) or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from pan and cool on wire racks.

Cookies store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

The original recipe called for raisins, but the substituted combination of cranberries and chocolate chips is excellent! I'm sure these will not last very long in our house.

French Toast

French Toast

From Sunset Magazine

2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 TBS vanilla
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
cooking spray
8 slices bread
powdered sugar

In a shallow bowl, whisk to blend eggs, egg whites, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Lightly mist a 10-inch by 15-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray.

Soak bread thoroughly on each side, a few pieces at a time, in egg mixture.

Place pieces slightly apart in a single layer in baking pan.

Bake in a 500-degree oven until toast is golden on bottom, about 5 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn slices over and bake until other side is browned, about 3-4 minutes longer. Transfer to plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Who doesn't love French Toast for breakfast? The spices and vanilla made this especially good! The only bread we had was light wheat, and it definitely was not thick enough for this recipe. Next time I'll probably buy thick bread from the bakery section of the grocery store.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stove-Top Lasagna

Let me begin by saying that my first recipe post is a fail because I have no pictures to post. Better luck next time!

Stove-Top Lasagna
Adapted from Betty-Crocker Quick & Easy Cookbook

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar chunky tomato sauce (I used Ragu Chunky Tomato, Basil, Onion)
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
3 cups egg noodles (I used Ronzoni Whole Wheat Egg Noodles)
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I used Kraft 2% Shredded Mozz.)

In a 12-inch skillet (or Dutch oven, which I will not possess until Christmas), cook turkey and onion over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Stir remaining ingredients except cheese into turkey. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender (it was more like 15 minutes for me). Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 2 minutes.

This was a wonderful comfort food meal, made a bit healthier by the ground turkey (orignial recipe called for beef), whole wheat noodles and reduced fat cheese. At first I was worried that the noodles wouldn't soak up enough water (the original recipe called for mini lasagne noodles which I could not find in Farm Fresh or Kroger). The added simmering time seemed to do the trick though. We will definitely make this again as a good fall/winter meal. It was just as good heated up for lunch today!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

First entry!

We moved to Williamsburg, VA in August 2009. While the 'Burg is a lovely location in which to go to college or retire, for a 20-something newly married couple the entertainment options run out quickly. So, we decided to start a food blog. The idea came about after discovering that the owners of our house left behind their grill for our use, and Patrick created what we referred to as "grilling masterpieces." After exclaiming between bites that we should have photographed our plates, the idea of starting a food blog seemed like a good one.

So, here we go. One of us makes a minimal mess in the kitchen and creates food art. The other one uses every pot and pan, flings food about, occassionally breaks down into hysterics, and loves a good casserole. We'll let you guess which one is which, but it's not going to take long to figure it out.

As a result of this blog, we'll be treadmill shopping this weekend.

Elizabeth & Patrick