Monday, April 11, 2011

Warm Torellini and Cherry Tomato Salad

No need to adjust this recipe! (Well, maybe less arugala but that's it!)This recipe is not kidding when it says yields 6 servings.

If you are looking for a nice light pasta meal, check out this Cooklight's recipe!! I couldn't resist and had to go back for seconds...and thirds! :) Enjoy!!
YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch-long) slices fresh asparagus (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups trimmed arugula
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (3 ounces) pregrated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Monday, January 24, 2011

White Bean Chicken Chili

Welcome 2011! It has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and write a blog. One of my resolutions this year was to better organize my days, weeks, months to make sure things were getting accomplished both at home, work and my personal life. Being a working mother definitely takes a lot of organization and planning! Take each day as it comes.....that saying just won't work these days!

Here is a recipe that I found on the FoodNetwork website and of course I tweaked it! This has a nice smokey flavor with lots of spice. This recipe says it makes enough to serve 8, I would say more like 12. I think this is a recipe that can also be made in a crockpot over night!

White Bean Chicken Chili

2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
5 garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup vegetable oil
1 whole roasted chicken, chopped
8 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon old bay seasoning
¼ teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/3 can of a 7oz can chipotle in adobo, chopped
4 tablespoons chicken base
1 pickled jalapeno, chopped
3 cans cannelloni beans (white kidney beans)
2 cans butter beans
1 can great northern beans
2 packages of mushrooms, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
Sour cream (for topping)
Cilantro (optional for topping)
Cheddar Cheese (optional for topping)

Saute onion, celery, and garlic in oil until tender in a large stockpot, about 5-10 minutes. Add chicken, water, bay leaf, chilies, oregano, cumin, dry mustard, basil, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, chicken base, jalapeno and mushrooms. Simmer for 1.5 hours. Add the drained beans and heavy cream - simmer 30 minutes or until the beans are tender and warm. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and cheddar cheese.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

It's 4:30am and I don't think I got a lick of sleep last night between not getting comfortable, Mark snoring extremely loud, and the baby waking for her bottle. So the coffee pot is on and I'm going to take some time to watch some bad movie starring Ricki Lake and blog!

I often crave Mexican Food and the standard American style tacos don't always cut it for me. Don't get me wrong, I love the quick taco night with all the fixin's, but this recipe is just as quick and easy. I was entertaining some lovely ladies when I first tried this recipe a few months back. It is now one of my favorites! Unfortuntately, the recipe I found is no longer online so I can't give credit to the person that orginally gave me the idea. I adapted it to my own flavors from the original. I guessed at the recipe when I last made it, so exact measurents aren't perfect (but who likes to follow specific rules anyway!) It's cooking, enjoy being creative!

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas
* 12 Tortillas (love you Ali)
* 1 Roasted Chicken pulled apart and diced (approx 2 cups)
* 4 oz cream cheese (I use light cream cheese)
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
* 2 tsp. cumin
* 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (add more or less, see below)
* 1/4 cup green chile salsa (any type of salsa will do)
* 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a prepacked mexican blend)
* Salt, for added flavor
* 1 can of green (or red) enchilada sauce

Start by mixing together the cream cheese and sour cream until soft and blended in a large bowl. Stir in the salsa and cilantro. Once well blended, add in the remainder of the ingredients. I always taste the mix before filling the taco shells. The cream cheese and sour cream will reduce the amount of heat from the cayenne. If you taste it and it doesn't have enough kick for you, add more until it has the heat that you like. I sometimes will add in some hot sauce for extra kick.

In the bottom of a large glass pan (9 X 13) pour a thin layer of the enchilada sauce. This will help to make sure the enchiladas don't dry out. Place a generous amount of mixture onto the tortilla and roll up, place seam side down in the pan. Add more enchilada sauce on top and a sprinkle with a thin layer of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until cheese is melted and starts to slightly brown.

Next recipe is a vegetarian recipe!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beef Stew

It's 9pm on a Sunday night and literally the first time I have sat down with peace and quiet for days! Mark and Brianna are both sound asleep in bed. I promised in my last post that I was going to cook something with barley. I have never cooked with barley before, so this called for a new recipe. However, with an 11 month old daughter who has recently learned how to throw a temper tantrum, it has been was not the best week for researching something new. Instead, I adapted one of my older recipes.

It was 6am Tuesday morning and I was up and ready to get my day started. The baby thankfully had an early morning bottle and snuggled back into bed for some sleep. I quickly cleaned the bathroom (I have found that if I take 15 minutes here and there to do cleaning, I end up having a somewhat clean house). I then hopped in the shower, got dressed, and headed to the kitchen to start some coffee. With a caffeine buzz started and the clock just rounding 6:30am, I decided I would start dinner! Yep, 6:30am and dinner was started. I dug out the crockpot again and got to cookin!

Beef Stew
This recipe will serve about 12 people. The beauty of stew is that you can freeze it.
- 3 lbs of stew meat (I used a chuck roast, cubed)
- 1 pkg of celery, chopped (about 8-10 stalks, or 2 cups)
- 1 pkg pre-sliced carrots (to save me chopping time! also about 2 cups)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 64 oz of beef broth
- 1.5 cups of good red wine (whatever you have on hand)
- 2 cups of barely
- Seasonings: I use whatever I have in the cupboard but that would include
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
* 1 tsp (or a pinch) of cinnamon, adds great flavor
* 2 tsp Rosemary, add more or less to your liking
* 2 tsp Thyme

Other things you can add but I didn't have on hand
- Potatoes (I used barely instead of adding potatoes)
- Zucchini
- peas

To the crockpot throw in your vegetables first and add meat on top. Add spices. I tend not to measure on spices. Don't be afraid to experiment and use more or less to what looks right. I find it hard to over season a beef stew. Add the wine and broth until the meat is almost covered. Turn on low/warm and let cook all day. I added my barley just 1 hour before serving or you can add right away.

I tend to leave my meat in big chunks and then flake it apart in the last hour or two of it cooking. It will be so tender and juicy that it will just fall right apart.

The entire family was in heaven as we walked in the door from work and smelt the beautiful aroma of the stew. I even shared some beef stew with Brianna. The meat and vegetables are so tender that they are easy for her to eat.

Stay tuned for my Enchilada recipe. My bedtime is approaching (yes, I do go to bed at 10am!) :) For those of you who have read and tried my recipes it makes my day when I hear you have tried them!!! Good night everyone.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pulled Barbecue Pork

Another week has flown by and I haven't posted any of the delicious things that we have made for dinner! This post is a simple one. A crockpot delicacy, if you will. I needed something quick and easy tonight. The crockpot is one of my favorite cooking tools! It makes life so easy (especially when the rest of life is going a million miles a minute.) Let's face it, although we would all like to cook a nice gourmet meal every night, reality is that few of us have the time or the energy. With a 11 month old daughter, extra time is non-existent for me! So tonight is a simple 2 step meal.

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Pork Loin (I used 2lbs)
- Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce (1 small container, about 2 cups)

Place pork loin in crockpot and place on high until pork falls apart (4-5hours). I like to add a splash (1/3 cup) of beef stock or water to help the pork stay moist. Pull meet apart with a fork. Once pork has fallen apart add barbecue sauce to taste. I like to use the Sweet Baby Rays as it is my favorite, but use any flavor that you like.

Serve on a fresh bun.

I bought some barley at the store today. I haven't ever cooked with barley, so I am hoping to add a new recipe to the menu and have something exciting to blog about next week!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Curried Zucchini Soup

This recipe was something new for us tonight. I had way too many zucchini sitting in the fridge. I was going to make zucchini bread, but 1. I don't like to bake and 2. if I am going to spend time in the kitchen I better make dinner not just snacks. So I hopped onto my favorite website to see what I could find. This is a new recipe, and I can't take credit for it's creation but it will be added to the rotation of dinner recipes that I make!

Curried Zucchini Soup
Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and chopped
- 3.5 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Chopped cilantro, garnish

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. That's right you start again with the UNDERWEAR (I'm telling you, every good meal starts with the Underwear - aka onion and garlic). Add the garlic and onion, stirring until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and cayenne, stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (I used more than a pinch of cayenne as I like the extra kick. I would wait until the end of the recipe to add additional spices so you taste it to find what it needs). Add the zucchini, reduce to medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the zucchini is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat. With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup. Return to medium heat and stir in the cream, Simmer for 3minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

This soup may be served hot or cold! Garnish with cilantro. Recipe suggests serving with toasted pita, I suggest a crispy french bread warm out of the oven.