Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lemon Basil Chicken and Rice

I love this recipe! I believe it originally came from Southern Living. You can cook the chicken breasts whole, but it's so much quicker to cut them into bite-size pieces before cooking!

Lemon Basil Chicken and Rice

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped basil
3 chopped green onions
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon hot oil
Hot cooked rice

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, blending well. Add chicken and chill for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Cook the chicken in 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Pour reserved marinade through a wire, mesh strainer into skillet. Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes until chicken is done. Serve over hot cooked rice and enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mmmmmmm...Pear Bread...

I couldn't find my mother-in-law's recipe and they're out of town, so I found this recipe on I made a few changes, but I think it turned out great! I used 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil instead of 1 cup oil. I also used walnuts instead of pecans b/c I like them better and they were on sale!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Slow Grilled Shrimp with Israeli Couscous

Another recipe from my recent Seafood 101 cooking class! The shrimp didn't stand out much, but it went perfectly with the couscous! I'll definitly make this for my next party! This was to serve 4 people, but can easily be multiplied for your needs.

Israeli Couscous

3/4 cup Israeli Couscous
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup Feta, crumbled
1 tbsp Italian parsley finely chopped, reserve stems
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Olive Oil to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring to a boil 2qys heavily salted water and add couscous. Remove from heat and cover for 15-20 minutes until couscous is al dente., drain remaining water and allow to come to room temperature or chill completely.
Combine couscous with all other ingredients and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Parmesean (and Pecorino) Chicken and Rice

This recipe is from Cooking Light, but I swiped it from!
It was really good and soooo easy! When I went back to the kitchen to clean after we ate, I was in shock to find one pan and 1 spoon to clean. Usually, after trying a new recipe, I come back to the kitchen and every dish I own is there to be cleaned! I didn't have enough Parmesan, so I used what I had and supplemented with pecorino romano. Turned out great!
Parmesan Chicken and Rice(Source:
Ingredients1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used dried onion)
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (I used 2 cloves fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio-it's what I had opened!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice (I used one bag of boil-in-bag rice, uncooked)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (I used some pecorino)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken; sauté 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in rice and broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese and parsley.
Yield 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 395(18% from fat); FAT 8g (sat 2.8g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 29.9g; CHOLESTEROL 57mg; CALCIUM 171mg; SODIUM 656mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 44.4g

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Coriander Crusted Sea Scallops with Hatch Chimichurri

So, two dear friends bought me a cooking class for my birthday and I finally got to attend this week. I chose Seafood 101 at Central Market. I just want to get more comfortable cooking seafood and this was a great learning experience! The food was too good not to share, even though I didn't necessarily cook it!

Coriander Crusted Sea Scallops with Hatch Chimichurri

8 u-10 scallops

1/2 tsp corriander seed

1/2 tsp cumin seed

Grapeseed Oil

Salt and Pepper

Creme fraiche in squeeze bottle

Finely chopped cilantro

Course grind coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and press each side of the scallop in the mixture.

Sear scallops over high heat in a little grapeseed oil, 1 minute per side.

Hatch Chimichurri

1 roasted hot hatch pepper, seeded and rough chopped

1 roasted mild hatch pepper, seeded and rough chopped

1/2 small shallot

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tsp champagne or white wine vinegar

2 tsp honey

Extra virgin olive oil for smothness

salt and pepper to taste

Blend all chimichurri ingredients and let set at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.

Spoon 1-2 tbsp chimichurri on small round plate in a thin layer. Place scallops directly from pan onto chimichurri.

Squeeze small dollop of creme fraiche on scallop and press a cilantro leaf in for garnish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Coffee Cake Muffins

I found myself with a free hour and the urge to bake, so I flipped through my Better Homes and Garden's Cook Book and decided I had most of the ingredients for their Coffee Cake Muffins. I left out the ginger...

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Grease 12 2 1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside; preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. For topping, combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, white sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Cut in the 1/4 cup butter until this mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4. In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk. All egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Batter should be lumpy.

5. Scoop 1/2 the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each one 1/3 full. Top with 1/2 the topping mixture, the remaining batter and the remaining topping. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until wooded toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack and serve warm!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sinful Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

If a restaurant serves fettucinni alfredo, I'm probably going to order it. I always feel guilty since I know it's fattening, but I'll feel even more guilty now. This dish was amazing, but I felt so bad eating it, actually knowing what went into it because I made it. 12 TABLESPOONS of BUTTER!!! Yikes! The garlic cheddar biscuits didn't help any!
Fettucinni Alfredo from Giada DeLaurentis
1 package fresh fettucinni
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 T lemon juice
1 clove of minced garlic
12 T unsalted butter
2 cups grated parmesean
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Stir the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and garlic and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the pasta and toss. Add the Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
I grilled chicken breasts to top the pasta with...there had to be some redeeming healthy-factor to this meal!
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
I had a recipe, but I ended up just kind of improvising here since there were just 2 of us (and I still had too many biscuits)!
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Mix well, form biscuits on cookie sheet and bake according to Bisquick directions at 450 degrees for around 10 minutes.
Melt 1/4 cup butter. Add a little garlic powder, onion powder and parsley. Spread over cooked cheddar buscuits.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Texas Sheet Cake

My neice Jade and I whipped up a Texas Sheet Cake for my mom's birthday cause it's her favorite! It turned out fabulous and was a big hit!

I stole the recipe from a fellow Nestie's blog..

Creamy, Green Chile, Chicken Enchiladas

These aren't original and they do actually use canned ingredients, but you can make it all from scratch if you're so inclined. I don't have an exact recipe, but here is what we do for these yummy enchiladas...
De-bone one rotisserie chicken from the store (we use Honey Jalapeno flavor)
Mix shredded chicken, one 8oz package of cream cheese and 1 small can of chopped Hatch green chiles over medium heat until cream cheese is melted and it all is well blended.
Pour half a can of green enchilada sauce of your choice in the bottle of a casserole pan. Spoon chicken mixture into the center of a (preferably homemade) tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in casserole dish. Continue until all chicken mixture is used. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas and top with Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is all melted!
Yummmmmmm!!!! We serve with Spanich Rice.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


WOW!!! These are too good to be true! I just sat outside the oven door and stared because they just looked so perfect! My dog even agreed and swipped 6 of them off the counter while they were cooling. He later came to regret that decision...poor thing....

Here is the recipie from

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Puffy Tacos

I've been craving puffy tacos for a few weeks, but I've always been to nervous to try it for myself. It wasn't the easiest thing I've ever made! I totally screwed up the first few, but by the end, the last few actually resembled taco shells! They turned out pretty good!
I found my recipes from The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh
Puffy Taco Shells (Puffy, Crispy and Crazy)
2 cups Masa Harina
1 teaspoon salt
Peanut oil for frying
1 1/4 cup warm water (I think I ended up using 2 cups)
Combine Masa, salt and warm water and mix until smooth dough forms. Knead until flexible. Pull off pieces of dough abd roll into golf ball size pieces.
Place ball betewwn 2 pieces of plastic and flatten with a tortilla press. The ball should be around 4 1/2-5 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
Fill a skillet with 1 inch of oil and heat to 375 degrees.
Slip a tortilla into the hot oil and, with a spatula, baste hot oil over the top until the tortilla puffs up. After 1 minute, flip it over and use the spatula to crimp the tortilla in the middle to form a u-shape or boat shape (I found the boat shape MUCH easier) and continue frying for 1 minute. After a few minutes it should hold it's shape. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately!
Taco Filling
The recipe says this is spicy, but I'll definitly double up on the chiles and seasonings next time!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced (I used 2 and it still wasn't enough)
1 serrano chile, stemmed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the onion until it begins to wilt. Add the meat, sear and break it up until all the pink is gone. Add garlic and chili and cook until the garlic is soft, around 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and a tablespoon of water, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes until well blended.
Serve over taco shells and top with desired ingredients. Our choice was lots of shredded cheese and some sour cream for DH. We also had some Spanish rice on the side. Wonderful!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Smothered Pork Chops

We tried Tyler Florence's Smothered Pork Chops last night. They were very yummy! The picture I took was before I poured extra gravy over the dish since I figured it would look prettier :) The gravy was wonderful, though. My dogs were certainly appreciative that there was extra gravy to liven up their dog food, too! The only thing I'd change next time is to use a little more spice. Maybe more cayenne and garlic powder!

Smothered Pork Chops Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence; Food Network

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in (I used boneless)

1/4 cup olive oil - You could get away with a little less

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup buttermilk

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess. Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

I was a little lazy and served the pork chops with instant mashed red potatoes. They were sooo good, though! Give me a break...I don't even get off work until after 7pm, so some things have to be instant!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Simpsons....The Feast...

So, I didn't cook any of this, but it was too yummy not to share! Last night we went to a Simpson's Movie Feat. Basically, you watch the movie while you're served a fancy 5 course meal, complete with alcohol! What could be better? Well, I'm not exactly the Simpson's freak that DH is, but the movie was funny enough. The food, however, was amazing!

I really wish I had pictures, but we were in a dark theatre, so the menu descriptions will have to do. Trust me, though, it all looked and tasted awesome!!!

Amuse Bouche:
Chief Wiggum's Chili
A Roast Fresno chili stuffed with 5 chile-chili. (Very Hot)
Paired with: Duff Ice

Blinky With Tamacco Sauce
Halibut roast in a Boggy Creek Farm smoked tomato sauce with caviar and white asparagus eyes. (Sooooo Goood)
Paired with: Duff

Pinchy In a Bathtub Broth
Poached lobster in shellfish consomme with leek, celeriac and carrot. (Yummmmm...)
Paired with: Duff

Marge's Pork Chop
A grilled, bacon wrapped, Homer-sized pork chop in Marge's special pork spice blend with a caramel dipped apple, Moe's million dollar birthday fries and roast corn. (This was huge and wonderful. I was so full at this point!)
Paired with: Duff Stout

The Ultimate Donut
Mmmm...Sacrilicious, Donut Casserole, thousands of doughnuts in a casserole soaked in cream and pressed into one, topped with pink icing and sprinkles. (I love donuts, but can never eat more than one. This was like the equivalent of, like, THREE and I polished it off!)
Paired with: Raspberry Duff

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

We were going to do smothered pork chops tonight, but DH informed me that we're having bacon-wrapped pork chops tomorrow, so I threw together the garlic, lime chicken at the last minute. I really liked it! I didn't find it spicy at all, though. Loved the limeyness! I decided to make zucchini instead of broccoli and I served it on the side b/c I didn't think DH would like it. I just roasted it it in some balsalmic vinagrette.
Spicy Garlic Lime Pasta (Source: Amber's Delectable Delights)
1 cup chicken broth
1.5 tbls lime juice
1 tbls corn starch
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried parsley
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
1 tbls butter
Few drizzles of olive oil
8 oz pasta
1-2 cups broccoli florets
Optional - Parmesan cheese for topping

1) Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 5 minutes of pasta cook time add the broccoli into the boiling water. Drain. 2) Mix together all the sauce ingredients (chicken broth through parsley) and set aside.3) Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add bite size chicken pieces into heated pan. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Pour the sauce ingredients into the pan with the chicken and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened. 4) Toss cooked broccoli and pasta with the chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I just added Foodie Blogroll!

With help from the gracious Queen (, I've added the Foodie Blogroll to my little blog. It's a great way to find other food blogs and find some great tips and recipes!!! Check it out!

Garlic and Herb Oven Fried Halibut (or in this case...Talapia)

I'm usually scared to cook fish b/c I don't want to mess it up, but this recipe in Cooking Light looked relatively easy. I gave it a shot and it turned out great! I used Talapia since Halibut was more expensive and if I was going to screw up a fish dinner, I didn't want it to be an expensive one! Next time I'll get smaller fillets, but that's about the only change I'd make. I served it with our favorite Near East Pecan Garlic Wild Rice. We couldn't finish it all. That's usually not an issue for either one of us!

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place egg whites and egg in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 fish fillets; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fish. Bake at 450° for 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 293(29% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 1.4g,mono 4.9g,poly 1.8g); PROTEIN 39.4g; CHOLESTEROL 90mg; CALCIUM 89mg; SODIUM 446mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 1.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.2g