Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Peppers, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Brush lightly with olive oil and Season with:
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano

In a skillet on medium-high heat, sear chicken on 1 side for 3 minutes. Turn and cook on other side for 1 minute. Transfer to a 9X13 baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

(while chicken is cooking in oven)
1.5 Red Bell Peppers (or yellow or orange), thinly sliced in strips
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
1.5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat a Tbsp Olive oil in skillet chicken was in. Add peppers, onions, and rosemary and saute for 3 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add chicken broth and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes until broth is reduced.
Stir in vinegar and increase heat to medium high. Cook 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/3 cup milk
3 tbsp marscapone cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cube potatoes. Place in boiling water, cover, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.

Drain potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and mash potatoes to desired consistency.

1/2 package of frozen broccoli (1 bunch fresh)
Place in microwaveable dish, and 2 tbsp water
Cover and microwave 3 minutes until steamed.
Drain. Add 1 tsp butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Rating: DELICIOUS!! We can not wait to have this again! The peppers and chicken both turned out sooo yummy. We can't wait to make these peppers and put them on a pizza!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


This recipe comes from my friend Ann. Yummy!

4 small to medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 3 really large ones)
1 small onion, diced
1 big jar of Pace Picante Sauce
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 pound (about 3 cups shredded) monterey jack cheese
10 corn tortilla shells (soft ones)

Cut chicken into large chunks (each breast can be cut into 4 pieces)
Place chicken in pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat, simmer about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Drain chicken and cool. Shred chicken (pulse on food processor or use a chopper). If you don't have either of those, cut the chicken into a fine dice.

In a skillet, saute onion in a little bit of olive oil until onion is translucent (about 3 minutes).

To the skillet, add the chicken and 2/3rds of the jar of picante sauce. Turn heat to low and melt the cream cheese in.

Turn off the heat and fold in 3/4ths of the monterey jack cheese.

Heat corn tortillas in microwave (stack on plate, cover with saran wrap, 60 seconds)

Lay tortillas out on counter and spoon filling down center of tortilla. Roll tortillas, placing seam side down in a 9X13 pan. Place tortillas tightly next to each other.

Pour remainder of picante sauce over top of tortillas and spread with spoon. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Rating: You will be making these over and over again, guaranteed! They are awesome!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Greek Chicken, potatoes, Greek salad, pita, hummus

6 chicken thighs, skin removed (leave on if you don't mind the calories)
6 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed.

Brine the chicken for 8 hours in: 4 cups of water + 1/2 cup kosher salt + 1.5 tbsp greek rub + 1/2 cup of vermouth (optional). Remember in brining to dissolve the salt fully before adding the chicken. Also, if you use table salt instead of kosher salt, you only need to use about 1/4 cup (it's denser and "saltier").

I use pampered chef's greek rub which can be found here:

If you don't have a greek rub, use 2 tsp dried oregano + 1.5 tsp onion powder + 1.5 tsp garlic powder + 1 tsp salt

Remove chicken from Brine and pat dry. Sprinkle a little more of the greek seasoning directly on chicken.

Place chicken in a large roasting pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Spray potatoes thoroughly with non-stick spray. Season with salt, pepper, and some of the greek rub. Spread the potatoes around the pan with the chicken.

Optional: drizzle lemon over everything.

Roast at 400 for 40 minutes, turning chicken every 10 minutes and stirring the potatoes.

Lettuce, spinach leaves (because we like the added nutrients), cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, feta cheese. Use the greek rub to make a simple oil and vinegar dressing if you like (or it's flavorful enough without dressing!).

We purchased our pita and hummus from the store. We heated the pita on our bread stone while the chicken was roasting (last 10 minutes of roasting time).

Rating: Pretty darn good. We'll definitely eat this again. During the summer, we'll opt to grill the chicken instead of doing it in the oven!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ravioli Toss and Spinach Salad

1 18-20 oz. package of ravioli (frozen or refrigerated; I used Louisa frozen beef)
1/2 pound of green beans
1/2 cup of thin sliced sun dried tomatoes, chopped up
1 lb (about 4) plum tomatoes, chopped up (since tomatoes are not in season, I used 1 can of diced tomatoes)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
Parmesan Cheese

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Toss the green beans into the water during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

In a bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, plum tomatoes, vinegar, and garlic.

Drain the ravioli and green beans and add them to the tomato mixture. Toss well. If you sun dried tomatoes were packed in water instead of oil, add about 2 tbsp olive oil. Otherwise, the oil from the tomatoes will do the job.

Top with Parmesan cheese as desired.

SPINACH SALAD: combine spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese for a nice side salad to this dish. Use a flavored vinegar to dress it (I use a blackberry vinegar) and you won't need any oil. Super healthy!

Rating: This tasted even better after the pasta sat in the tomato mixture for awhile. I'd almost suggest making it a day before! It was pretty tasty and a nice diversion from the usual red pasta sauce. We'll definitely make it again!

Rye Bread Pizzas

OK, we didn't have these for dinner, but I made them for a party recently!

2 lbs pork sausage (medium spice)
1 big block of Velveeta Cheese (I use roughly 3/4's of it)
1 tbsp steak sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 can pizza sauce (I use contadina)
Parmesan cheese
2 packages of party rye bread

Brown pork sausage on medium heat, breaking it up constantly as you cook it.
Reduce heat to low
Chunk up the velveeta cheese and melt it into the sausage
Add steak seasoning and ketchup
Turn off heat and let mix thicken slightly as it cools.

Place party rye breads on cookie sheets (cover sheet w/ foil for easier clean up)
Top each rye bread with the sausage/cheese mixture.
(if mixture hardens too much while in the pan, turn the heat on low and let it loosen up again)
Take pizza sauce and spoon about 1-1/2tbsp on top of each pizza
Sprinkle each one with parmesan cheese

FREEZE the pizzas in the freezer before cooking them. This is *crucial* otherwise, your pizzas will run all over the place when they cook.

Bake at 500 for about 12-15 minutes (keep an eye on them)

Rating: Who doesn't love this classic St. Louis treat?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mapled Pork Chops, Winter Squash, Green Beans

Maple Pork Chops
4 pork chops (boneless or bone-in, I used boneless)
-season with salt and pepper, sear on medium heat for 4 minutes/side

Remove chops from pan and cover loosely with foil.
To pan, add:
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots + tbsp butter and saute until carmelized
1/2 cup chicken broth/stock
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
Let sauce reduce a little

Place chops back in pan and heat for about 1 minute on low heat

Maple Winter Squash
12 oz. package of cooked winter squash
1/4 cup of chicken stock/broth
Grate a little orange rind in (1/2 tsp?)
1/2 tbsp butter
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
tsp of maple syrup
Cook on stove top on low heat until heated through

Green Beans
1 package of frozen petite green beans
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/3 can of stewed tomatoes, roughly chopped (minus juice)
Salt and Pepper

Saute shallot in a little butter/oil for a minute or 2. Add chicken stock, green beans, stewed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until green beans are at desired consistency.

Rating: We really liked the winter squash. The green beans are an old favorite french recipe. The sauce on the pork chops wasn't my favorite but it was alright and I'd probably have it every now and then for variety.