Monday, December 31, 2012

Greek Chicken Bread Salad

So I was supposed to make this, but a football game at a friend's house made me get home late.  D made it instead.  He said it was easy.  Both of us liked it a lot.  He said it was more flavorful for dinner than lunch.

Would make again...especially because the rest of the bread was used Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches.We had with Olive-Almond Green Beans.

Greek Chicken Bread Salad

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 4

3 ounces cubed French bread baguette, crust removed
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
1.5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Place baguette cubes on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Broil 2 minutes or until edges are browned, turning once.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 425°.

4. Combine oregano and next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with black pepper and salt. Place chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Place pan in oven, and bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove pan from oven. Let chicken stand 5 minutes; slice thinly across the grain.

6. Add bread cubes, lettuce, bell pepper, pepperoncini peppers, and feta to bowl with oregano mixture; toss well. Place about 1 1/3 cups salad on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 3 ounces chicken.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 325; Fat: 14.2g; Saturated fat: 3.4g; Monounsaturated fat: 8.2g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5g; Protein: 30.5g; Carbohydrate: 18g; Fiber: 1.9g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Iron: 2.2mg; Sodium: 562mg; Calcium: 88mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2013

Olive-Almond Green Beans

D made these with the Greek Chicken Bread Salad.  Of course, he didn't use olives because I despise them.  We were both surprised with the taste because they were extremely buttery, and they don't have butter in them.  Would have again.

Olive-Almond Green Beans

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Photo by: Photo: Johnny Autry/Randy Mayor;
Styling: Cindy Barr/Lindsey Lower
1 pound trimmed green beans
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives (didn't use)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/8 teaspoon salt


Cook green beans in ­boiling water in a large saucepan 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain well. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add green beans, ­almonds, olives, lemon rind, and salt. Cook bean mixture 2 minutes, tossing well.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 129; Fat: 9.2g; Saturated fat: 1.1g; Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0g; Protein: 0.0g; Carbohydrate: 0.0g; Fiber: 0.0g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg; Iron: 0.0mg; Sodium: 254mg; Calcium: 0.0mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2013 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie

I made this and it was very easy.  Well, it was easy once someone at Kroger showed me what Leeks looked like and once my friend told me which side of the leek to use.

Prep went quickly.  It needs a little more salt and pepper but I would make again.

I used matchstick carrots because I didn't know we had regular carrots in the drawer.

Chicken, Potato, and Leek Pie

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
Hands-on:22 Minutes
Total:1 Hour, 5 Minutes

Photo by: Photo: Francesco Tonelli;
Stylist: Philippa Brathwaite
1 slice smoked bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups cubed red potato (about 8 ounces)
1 cup chopped carrot
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced leeks (about 2)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
1 large egg white

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until almost crisp, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high. Add potato and carrot to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.

3. Slowly add broth to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Top with dough, folding under and pressing down on edges to seal.

4. Combine milk and egg white; brush mixture over top of dough. Cut small slits in dough to vent. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until crust is golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 298; Fat: 11.9g; Saturated fat: 4.5g; Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g; Polyunsaturated fat: 3g; Protein: 18g; Carbohydrate: 31g; Fiber: 2.2g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Iron: 2.1mg; Sodium: 561mg; Calcium: 42mg

Cooking Light AUGUST 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ella's Baked Ziti

My brother made this for Christmas Dinner.  I have no clue if it was easy or not. But I do know it was good.  I think it made about 12 servings...

Ella's Baked Ziti

Photo by ALB

1 pound of large ziti noodles
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of Italian Sausage
2 cans of diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 large bottle of tomato sauce (like Ragu or Barilla)
2 boxes of frozen spinach
1 container of Ricotta Cheese
2 pound of mozzarella cheese
1/2 C of Parmesan

Heat oven at 375.
Cook the ziti according to the package instructions.

Brown 1 pound of beef and sausage. Mix in and sautee 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 onion, garlic, 1 bottle of sauce, and oregano.

Microwave the 2 boxes of spinach and squeeze the water out of it.

Mix in with the noodles, along with half the container of Ricotta with the noodles. Then mix in the meat mixture. The rest of the Ricotta can be used for another use.

Layer half in a 9x13-inch pan. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Other half of the noodle mix. Another layer of cheese, and with Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 375 until the cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Ella's Texas Toast

So I rarely ever make Garlic Bread or any semblance of it at home. It never tastes good and always tastes like I have skimped on ingredients. For Christmas, my brother was cooking and told me he was making this recipe from his friend, Ella. I didn't really read the recipe, just got the ingredients (sort of).

The result...I really had to watch what I ate. The bread was so good. D liked it, Bro liked it, and my dad liked it.


Ella's Texas Toast

Toast (and Salad)
Photo by ALB

A loaf of French Bread
1/2C of Butter, softened
2 C Mozzarella
1C Parmesan
Garlic Powder
Oregano or Italian Spices

Heat oven to 375.
Cut the French Bread slice into one-inch slices.
Melt butter in a medium size pot. Dip each slice in the butter on both sides.  Place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Italian Spices. Then put a little mozzarella and Parmesan ( don't put a lot of the Parmesan; it will over-power)
Bake in oven until lightly brown and bubbly, 8 minutes.

Bro's notes: I used oregano instead of Italian spices.  I also could not find French bread so I got Italian bread.

Ezra Pound Cake's Mom’s Monkey Bread

My "work husband" mentioned this recipe. I didn't need to know about this. He mentioned 2 sticks of butter. Surely Ezra Pound Cake had made this. And sure enough, I found the recipe on her site.

I showed it to my brother and to D. They said yes we should have it. So we did. It was really easy to make. I REALLY need to stop looking at EPC if I want to fit in my pants. This was delicious.

Mom’s Monkey Bread

From Rebecca Crump (


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan or tube pan with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cut the biscuits into quarters. Dip each piece in butter, roll it in cinnamon sugar, and place it in the pan. Sprinkle pecans onto the biscuit pieces at random.
Pour any remaining butter evenly over the biscuit pieces in the pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate, and serve immediately.

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Um, YUM!  We had this on Christmas.  D made it on Christmas Eve, and popped it in the oven on Christmas Morning.  Very easy, very good.

I got the recipe from EzraPoundcake. Her website is really evilly good.  I really need to stop looking at it.  HAHA!

Will have again.

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

There’s a lot of sausage and cheese in this recipe, so if you need to dial it back, feel free. It’s meant to be a once-a-year splurge.

From “Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook”

Hands-On Time: 18 minutes; Total Time: 58 minutes, plus 8 hours for chilling
Makes 6 servings


Grease an 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well.
Arrange bread in a single layer in prepared baking dish; top with sausage and cheese. Combine milk and remaining ingredients; pour over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes or until set.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecorino

I saw my friend Delane made this recipe and it intrigued me. Raw Brussels Sprouts? I have just learned to like this vegetable but I never thought about them raw. D and I would have to try them.

Then Christmas Eve happened, and we decided we were going to have a lighter meal since Christmas was going to be heavy. So D grilled some Chipotle Barbecue Chicken, I made some Chipotle Scones, and we made this salad. We found out my dad likes Brussels Sprouts. We will make again.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecorino

Photo by ALB

Recipe by Delane at A Well Fed Life
Makes 6 servings

1/2 small red onion
4 cups Brussels Sprouts (use larger sprouts if possible)
1 tsp of sherry vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grate Brussels sprouts (Delane used a mandolin, D used a food processor).

Grate onion. (I chopped very finely).

Mix together

Squeeze a 1/2 lemon in the vegetables

Add a 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese

Add 1 tsp of Sherry Vinegar

Add 2 TBS of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste and mix well


Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

So D and I work really off hours related to each other. He is usually home for 2 or more hours before I get home. Or I am home 2 hours before he is. So we were looking for something that one of us could make, easily.

So D got to make this. It was really good. I'm glad he cut down the honey because the day after, it got sweeter. The only other thing is he forgot the Sesame, so it was just Honey Chicken.

D cooked it on high for 2 hours. We had with Hot Szechuan Style Green Beans. We would have again.

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Posted by NCBeaches
Serves 4

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup honey (used 1/2 Cup)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 packets minute rice, optional
1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
3 scallions, chopped

Place chicken in Crock Pot and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2 hours. Remove chicken to a cutting board, leaving sauce. Shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside. Prepare rice according to package instructions.

In a small bowl, dissolve 4 teaspoons cornstarch in 1/3 cup water; add to crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. (D put the sauce and the cornstarch into a pot, because our crockpot doesn't get that hot). Cover and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Add cooked rice to 4 plates, top with chicken and spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

The Comfort of Cooking

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tex-Mex Beef Tacos

So I will fully admit, beef tacos aren't usually something you need a recipe for, unless you are me, and can screw up a pot of boiling water.

But lately Mondays have involved me cooking dinner because D has to work the late shift. Yesterday was different as he wasn't getting off work until 10. So I couldn't even just eat a snack and wait for him. I found this recipe and was pretty sure I could handle cutting up an onion. So I put it on the list.

It was pretty easy to make. As usual, the hardest part was timing it with the side (Bacon Chipotle Refried Beans). Everything was in one pan.

It had a lot of taste and spice. I really liked it. I wish the portions were bigger but eh.

I would have again.

Tex-Mex Beef Tacos

Photo by ALB

Add some pizazz to traditional soft tacos by including corn kernels and black beans in the filling. The mixture also works well in crunchy corn taco shells.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 taco)

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 to 3 drained canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
10 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, and beef; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble beef. Stir in corn and next 6 ingredients (corn through chiles). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture into each tortilla.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 266; Calories from fat: 25%; Fat: 7.3g; Saturated fat: 2.7g; Monounsaturated fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g; Protein: 13g; Carbohydrate: 27.6g; Fiber: 4.6g; Cholesterol: 31mg; Iron: 1.9mg; Sodium: 547mg; Calcium: 25mg

Cooking Light MAY 2004

Monday, December 17, 2012

Miso Chicken

This is an odd recipe. It is good, but it got 5 stars on CL and I just didn't think it was *that* good. Miso is an ingredient I have to make a special trip to Whole Foods isn't at my Kroger. So for a trip out of my way, I want exquisite and this just wasn't.

Now if I have Miso on hand (which in this case I did), then I will make this recipe. Or in this case, D will make this recipe.

We had with Broccoli with Caramelized Shallots.

Miso Chicken

If you can't find miso, substitute 2 teaspoons anchovy paste and 1 teaspoon tahini instead. With miso, the darker the color, the more pronounced the salty flavor.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 breast half)
Hands-on:22 Minutes
Total:1 Hour, 22 Minutes

1/4 cup rice vinegar
Photo: Johnny Autry;
Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons white miso
1 1/2 teaspoons chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Place chicken in a zip-top plastic bag. Add vinegar mixture; seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning once.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Remove chicken from bag; reserve marinade. Place marinade in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes or until syrupy, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; divide mixture in half. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Add chicken; sauté 4 minutes. Turn chicken over; brush chicken with half of marinade mixture. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from oven; brush with remaining half of marinade mixture, turning to coat. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 314; Fat: 9.1g; Saturated fat: 1.6g; Monounsaturated fat: 3.5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 3.5g; Protein: 41.5g; Carbohydrate: 15.7g; Fiber: 1.3g; Cholesterol: 99mg; Iron: 1.9mg; Sodium: 608mg; Calcium: 29mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip

Last week I bought a 4 pound beef roast with no clue what I was going to do with it. Later in the week my brother said he was making this. I looked at it and thought I could make it. Then he told me how much he enjoyed it. D and I didn't have a dinner plan for tonight, so I decided I would make it. The prep took less than 5 minutes. Pretty much dump everything in the crockpot and walk away.

I added a few things per my brother's recommendation. D and I had with Tater Tots.

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip

Photo by ALB

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Hours
Ready In: 7 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings: 9 (less since it only calls for 6 rolls, but eh)

"An economical version of an old-favorite sandwich. It is made of rump roast simmered for 7 hours with beef broth, onion soup and beer. The reduced cooking liquid makes plenty of sauce for dipping."

4 pounds rump roast
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth (used Campbell's Beef Consomme)
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (used Guinness Lager)
Added 1 tsp Garlic Powder
Added 1 tsp Onion Powder
Added 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 French rolls
2 tablespoons butter
Added Provolone Cheese
Added 1 onion, sliced, sauteed

1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer (and garlic powder, onion powder and Worcestershire). Cook on Low setting for 7 hours (I cooked for 6.5 hours, sliced the meat and put it back in for 30 more minutes).

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

3. Split French rolls, and spread with butter. Bake 7 minutes, add cheese and cook 3 more minutes or until heated through.

4. Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls (and add onions). Serve the sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Information (without my additions)
Calories: 413; Total Fat: 18.1g; Cholesterol: 96mg; Sodium: 661mg; Total Carbs: 19.6g; Dietary Fiber: 0.9g; Protein: 39.1g


Monday, December 10, 2012

Mario Batali's Ragu Bolognese

So we sort of made the wrong recipe.  A few weeks ago, I decided to look up to see if Mario had a Bolognese Recipe.  I'm not sure why, because I really like Anne Burrell's, but I did.  The one I looked up had both carrot and pancetta.  I didn't save it anywhere.

Finally D and I decided to have it, so I looked it up on Food Network and there was no carrot.  I'm not really sure why that would matter, but it did.  So then I looked it up on epicurous, and it had pancetta. And then it didn't. And then it did. And then it didn't.  So rather than sit down and really read the recipes, I determined I am nuts and that the following recipe must be the one I originally looked at.

D made it, and it was very good. It was on the non-salty side, but still good flavors.  The next day I looked up the recipe to see if there was any nutritional information.  That's when I noticed the recipe called for pancetta and no ground beef. I was positive D put ground beef in it, so I rechecked.  There were 2 recipes on epicurious for Mario Batali's Bolognese and we made the wrong one.

It was a good mistake to make, but now we have to go back and make the one with pancetta.  Oh! The agony.  LOL!
Mario Batali's Ragu Bolognese

Photo by ALB

Servings: 4 people (we used 1 Cup as a portion far have had 4 cups with at least 2 more)

2T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
4 carrots, very finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (used 10)
3/4 pound ground veal
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine (used Pinot Grigio)
1 pound spinach tagliatelli, cooked and drained (used spaghetti)
Parmigianno regianno

Heat the oil and butter in a 6-8 qt heavy bottomed pot,set over medium heat, until hot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garliccook until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 5-10 minutes. Add the meats. Increase the heat to high, and brown the meat stirring frequently for 25 min. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook and stir for another 20 min. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for another 30 min. Add the milk and cook for one hour. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off about 5 min. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding a splash of water if necessary to keep the sauce from drying out.

Season the ragu with salt. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. To serve with pasta add 2 cups of the raguto the tagliatelli and toss vriefly over high heat. Makes 4 servings. The rest of the sauce can be frozen up to 2 month.