Monday, December 30, 2013

Butternut-Squash Crumble

D made this. I have no clue if he liked it because all he did was bitch about what it looked like. I liked it. I think my brother liked it. D didn't think it looked like the picture on Martha Stewart. Just typing that makes me laugh. Also he put it in a dutch oven and there was no way in such a deep pan it would look like anything resembling a Martha Stewart picture.

Regardless, I would have it again. It was sweet from the squash and savory from the crust.

Butternut-Squash Crumble

Squash in the Red Pot
Photo by ALB

You can make this recipe through step two up to one day in advance; cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The crumb topping can also be made one day ahead; store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

From Martha Stewart Living

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for dish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 small butternut squash (about 4 pounds total), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large egg yolks
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch round gratin dish; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the squash, and season with coarse salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to prepared dish. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and remaining squash, and transfer to prepared dish. Set aside.

Step 2: Reduce heat to medium; add remaining tablespoon oil and the shallots to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to baking dish along with parsley and stock; stir well to combine. Cover dish tightly with foil, and bake, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, place flour, sugar, thyme, and table salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together the yolks and 3 tablespoons ice water in a small bowl; add to flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. If crumble is too dry, add remaining tablespoon ice water.

Step 4: Remove the squash from oven, and remove foil. Arrange the crumble on top. Return to oven, and bake until the topping is golden brown and the squash is very tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

This recipe needs a little help.  It is good, but it needs some more flavor.  D and I had it with the Guinness Chicken, and it had a good consistency, just not a lot of taste.  I think it needs some more salt, maybe some garlic (D put garlic powder on his leftovers), and some more pepper.  Or maybe our seasoning was too old/stale.

Still I liked it enough (I love Broccoli and Cauliflower) that I would play with the recipe.

Flavored Bread Crumbs
Add fresh garlic to the onion mixture
Use a better Parm Cheese
Add more Italian Seasoning, pepper and Garlic Salt
Add some salt

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

Photo by ALB

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Serves: 10

This creamy casserole can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and then baked just before dinner. Using frozen vegetables makes this dish a cinch.

1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Italian Seasoning , divided
1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 package (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground
1 1/4 cups milk
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, cubed


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning in small bowl. Set aside. Cut up any large broccoli or cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, remaining 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Add milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Add vegetables; toss gently to coat. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with crumb mixture.

3. Bake 40 minutes or until heated through and top is lightly browned.

Nutritional information
Total Calories: 179; Sodium: 432mg; Fat: 11g; Carbohydrates: 13g; Cholesterol: 31mg; Protein: 7g; Fiber: 3g

Make Ahead: Unbaked casserole may be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bake as directed.

Recipe by McCormick

Oven-Roasted Guinness Chicken

So I forgot to get a picture of this coming out of the oven. Oh well.  It was pretty good, but a little too heavy on the salt.  And forget about making a gravy, unless you are one of those people what can eat salt straight from the can.  Still the chicken was good. 

I would have again.

Oven-Roasted Guinness Chicken


6-8 servings

2 cloves garlic, minced
Photo by ALB
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt, divided
10 oz Guinness beer
5 lb whole chicken
2 rosemary sprigs

1. combine garlic, rosemary, parsley, soy sauce, pepper and 1½ tsp of salt in mixing bowl

2. stir in Guinness and set aside

3. rub remaining salt in cavity of chicken

4. slide 2 rosemary sprigs under the skin above the breast

5. tie chicken legs together with twine

6. place chicken in medium roasting pan, breast side up

7. pour marinade over chicken and cover with foil

8. refrigerate overnight, rotating if possible

9. preheat oven to 350 degrees

10. bake chicken covered 1 hour, then remove foil and baste

11. continue baking for an addition 30 to 60 minutes or until temperature reaches 165 degrees (test temperature in meatiest part of the leg, avoiding the bone)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa Fe Chicken Dip Recipe

I really need to get off Pinterest.  Another recipe found there, originally from Diddles and Dumplings.  At least I make things only for holidays (or weekends, or football games, or...)

Anyway, I can't remember if my brother or I found this recipe.  But it just sat there, pinned in my untried section. I'm not sure why.  Being as we are having 2 Christmases, D and I decided to make this for lunch for our Christmas.  It was really good.  Especially because we may have indulged in too many beverages the night before so this was REALLY good.

I would definitely have again.

Santa Fe Chicken Dip Recipe

Photo by ALB

2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded)
1 (10 ounce) can of Ro*tel Original
1 cup mayonnaise (used Helman's Light)
1 large chipotle pepper (packed in adobo)
2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans
3/4 cup sweet corn
8 ounces Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor (or blender) combine chipotle pepper and mayonnaise. Set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, place shredded chicken. Add Ro*tel and cook for a minute. Place cream cheese in pan and melt completely. Add chipotle mayonnaise, stir and combine. Turn off heat. Stir in black beans, corn and cheese. Pour into a large baking dish.

Bake, uncovered for 15-16 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe yields about 6 cups.

Berry Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

So I thought this would be different than it was.  D and I decided to make it because sugar, cream cheese and berries?  A cheesecake filling on bread?  Wow!

Except it is not.  It was rather tart (which was fine) and liquidy (don't use more fruit than called for).  So making it was a complete mess.  D and I made it together which was good because I think both of us would have lost our minds other wise with a purple ooze that was all over the kitchen.  Still the result tasted good.  Just not cream cheese-y.

Not sure if we will have again.

Berry Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

Photo by ALB

2 (11 ounce) packages Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
1/2 cup strawberries (used raspberries)
1/2 cup blueberries (used black berries)
3 tablespoons sugar (you need a lot more sugar)
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, room temperature

Helpful Tip: Don't have fresh berries? Skip the sugar in the filling and swap in ¾ cup of fresh jam instead.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray an 11-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray and set aside.

3.  Place all berries, cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon of sugar (a lot more) into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes).

4. Lightly flour a surface, and roll out both pieces of Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough, side by side.

5. Spread both dough pieces evenly with the cream cheese mixture, leaving a 2-inch border of dough around the cream cheese.

6 Roll up both dough sections into a log -- jelly-roll style.

7. Trim off the ends of each roll to make them neat, and then, Cut each roll into 15 1-inch pieces.  (Neat...hahaha...we had a lot of unused dough which is more a thing of Pillsbury, not the recipe...that dough is a bitch to get out of the tube).

8. Place each piece of dough into prepared round or bundt pan (didn't step 2 say Springform pan...that's what we used), placing them side-by-side in concentric circles until entire pan is filled.

9. Sprinkle dough with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake for 35 minutes or until bread is lightly golden.

10. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

So D and I got back from Los Cabos this week (well he got back last Thursday and I got back day we'll have compatible work schedules).  Being that I spent a week eating Mexican food, I thought we should have Tortilla Soup for Christmas Eve Dinner (or chili).  D thought so too.  But then I saw I had pinned this to my Pinterest page.  I showed him and he said ok. It is from the Blog, I wash You dry.

It is supposedly a take on Chili's Enchilada Soup.  I think I went to Chili's in 2004.  So I couldn't tell you, since I can barely remember what happened yesterday.

It's very delicious.  A tinge of heat but nothing to make you get up and get a glass of milk.  I would have again.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Photo by ALB

Yield: makes 12 1-Cup Servings
Recipe slightly adapted from Just a Pinch

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup Masa Harina (found in the Mexican isle of your grocery store)-- Used Corn Meal
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes
1 (15oz) can RED enchilada sauce (used 19oz can)
8oz Velveeta cheese, cubed (used 2% Velveeta)
3 cups chicken, shredded (I buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli and pull the chicken off the bones)

Tortilla strips (we used Tostitos because we had them for another recipe)
Sour cream

Heat a LARGE (12 quart preferably) pot over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onions and spices and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the Masa harina with 4 cups of chicken broth and whisk until combined. Pour mixture into the large pot, and stir constantly, cooking, for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will become thick.

Pour in the remaining chicken broth, enchilada sauce and crushed tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil.

Add the cubed Velveeta cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in the shredded chicken.

Serve topped with sour cream and tortilla strips. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
(from My Fitness Pal, excluding Sour Cream and Tortilla Strips)
Calories: 219; Total Fat: 8 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 40 mg; Sodium: 866 mg; Potassium: 187 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 19 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 4 g; Protein: 16 g

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

This was good, but to be honest, it wasn't the greatest potato salad I've every had.  It lacked salt and with a pack of that's kind of hard to say.

It wasn't bad.  I've eaten left overs with no issue, but it just wasn't my favorite.

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Salad

From This is My Key West

8 medium Russet Potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
Chives, to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Wash and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Cover with water and boil until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Do not overcook!

2. Drain and cool the potatoes. I put them in a separate bowl and once they cooled enough I put them in the fridge to cool all the way. This gave them an excellent texture and prevented the dairy ingredients from getting hot or the cheese from melting. If you are serving this salad hot then you don’t need to cool the potatoes, just skip step 2!

3. Mix the mayo and sour cream together in a bowl. Add to the potatoes, then add the onions, chives, and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste – I use a pepper grinder and a sea salt grinder for EVERYTHING so I never know exactly how much of either I put in. I think the taste is far superior to just using regular table salt and pepper.

4. Top with extra shredded cheese and bacon and serve!

Beef Enchilada Dip

I have to think about this one.  D made it.  My brother had made it before and said to add cumin.  So D did.  It was really good meat sauce, but I didn't find it a "great" dip.  Perhaps since I'm a cream cheese girl, I thought it needed to be thicker (and maybe it needed cream cheese).  I'm not sure.  The taste was really good, and the next day wrapped in a tortilla and made into an enchilada it was delicious.  But as a dip, yeah, I'm thinking not so much.

Beef Enchilada Dip

Prep time: 3 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 13 mins

Beef Enchilada Dip makes a perfect warm, meaty, cheesy and delicious dip. If you love enchiladas, then this dip is definitely for you! Get this simple beef enchilada dip for your next event.

Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Serves: 8

1½ – 2 pounds ground beef
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups enchilada sauce
(add in some cumin or taco seasoning)
(Maybe add in some cream cheese???)
2 cups grated Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese
Sour Cream (optional)
Tortilla Chips (optional)

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain. Add in onion and garlic (and cumin) and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in enchilada sauce and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow cheese to melt, about 3 more minutes.

Top with sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Samoa Bundt Cake

I love Samoa Girl Scout Cookies.  When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, of course I had to go look.  It looked kind of hard and involved.

Then I thought about when I could make it.  Thanksgiving, of course.  Because after all, I was only running a half-marathon.  There would be no stress of people coming over, 3 dogs, a long run, or anything else.

So I decided to make Wednesday night.  It actually wasn't hard, just long.

I was worried about making the Dulce de Leche.  I have no interest in boiling a can of Condensed Milk in a crock pot or a pot of boiling water.  I'm sure it works if you keep watching it.  It's the "keep watching" part that I was worried about it.  I found Dulce de Leche at Kroger and the local Mexican Grocer.  I bought that.  That saves a lot of time (between 4 and 10 hours).

Then I got all the ingredients together for the Cakes, and made them.  The Brown Sugar batter was A LOT thicker than the Chocolate Batter.  I was a little worried but it came out fine.
Some of the ingredients
The cake ready to go in the oven

The frosting was simple to make.  My first batch of toasted coconut took 6 minutes like the directions said.  The 2nd batch, after 7 minutes, it still wasn't brown.  I took it out anyway.  I'm not sure what went on there.

Assembling it (after everything cooled) was pretty easy.  I decided to spread the chocolate from the center instead of striping the cake.  That way there was more chocolate.

D, my brother and I ate it on Thanksgiving.  After 10 seconds, I wondered how I didn't have any left and they still had it on their plate.  It was sweet, but not overpowering.  In the morning, I know my dad ate 2 pieces.  So we all enjoyed it.

Final Product: Photo by ALB

Samoa Bundt Cake

From Betsy's Life.


For the Brown Sugar Batter
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk

For the Chocolate Batter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup + 2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 T cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water

For the Frosting
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (Substitute canned dulce de leche)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 T vanilla extract
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup toasted coconut

For the topping
1 1/2 cups toasted coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

Create the Dulce de leche frosting (if using canned dulce de leche skip this step)
Place the whole, unopened can of condensed milk in your crock pot and submerge in at least 3 inches of water.
Cook on medium for 10 hours or on high for 7.
*Alternatively, boil the whole, unopened can on the stove FULLY SUBMERGED AT ALL TIMES for 4 hours.
Let it cool.

To make brown sugar batter
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs, one a a time, beating well after each addition
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Alternate adding the flour mixture and whole milk to the butter mixture, one at a time, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Set batter aside

To make the chocolate batter
Cream sugar and oil together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg, vanilla, and milk
In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until well combined.
Carefully stir in boiling water

Make the cake
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Grease and flour a bundt pan well.
This is a marble cake. Pour some of the brown sugar batter into the pan, then top it with some of the chocolate batter.
Alternate until both batter bowls are empty.
Tap bundt pan on the counter a couple times to remove bubbles.
Bake approximately 50 minutes or until skewer inserted in center comes out clean. (Original directions said 1 hour but both Betsy's blog and I had finished cake at 50 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool entirely.

Make the frosting
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until desired color is reached (about 6 minutes)
Beat cooled cooked condensed milk (or dulce de leche), butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt for 3 minutes.
Add in 1 cup toasted coconut.
Chill for 1 hour

Assemble the cake
Frost the cake with dulce de leche frosting
Toast remaining coconut and press into the sides and top of the frosted cake
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring frequently.
Place melted chocolate in a pastry bag with a small tip or ziploc bag with a corner cut out about 1/4 inch up from the corner, and drizzle stripes on the cake.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

D made this.  I don't know why we never thought to make this.  It has all things I love. 
He doubled the recipe.

Make it now.  We had with Roasted Chile Lime Cauliflower.

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Serves 2
Photo by ALB
Highly adapted from Allrecipes, via Sunny Side Up in San Diego

 1/2 cup panko
2 tsp. canola oil
1.5 – 2 tsp. taco seasoning
1 egg
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used 2%)
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
2 chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 375 and place an ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking dish. Spray with cooking oil.

In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the panko with the canola oil. Cook, stirring often, until the panko is golden and crispy. Place in a shallow bowl or dish. To the panko, add the taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In another shallow bowl or dish, lightly beat an egg. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños.

Using a small utility knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, or horizontally slice the chicken through the center, until it is almost butterflied. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between each chicken breast’s pocket. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.

Dip the chicken pieces one at a time first into the egg, and then into the panko mixture, making sure to coat the chicken completely. Place the chicken on the prepared baking rack and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Roasted Chile Lime Cauliflower

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I really can't remember if it was on a friend's page or it was a suggestion because I liked something else. Anyway the pin links back to Laaloosh.  Anyway,  D and I decided to have it.

It definitely has a kick to it.  But we both liked it.  We had with Jalapeno Popper Chicken.

Will have again.

Roasted Chile Lime Cauliflower

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Serving size is about 3/4 cup

Photo by ALB

1 medium/large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 tsp chipotle chili powder (use 1/2 - 1 tsp if you don't want heartburn and to need a glass of milk)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
2 green onions, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and mist with non-fat cooking spray.

Lightly mist cauliflower florets with non-fat cooking spray or an olive oil mister.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Place cauliflower on baking sheet and place in oven. Roast until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and place cauliflower into serving bowl. Top with green onions and squeeze fresh lime juice all over the cauliflower.

Nutritional Information:
36 calories; 0g fat; 7g carbohydrates; 2.5g protein; 3.5g fiber

Laaloosh, August 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese

So this recipe got awesome reviews on CL. Maybe by people with no tastebuds. It was BLAND, BLAND, BLAND.

The chicken sausage...well we couldn't find that flavor, so we got Italian flavor. I'm wondering if chicken sausages, no matter the brand, always taste like hot dogs.

8 oz of uncooked pasta equals 4 Cups on a good day. D said it took 11 oz to get 5 Cups.

Basically, we just didn't like this recipe and never need to have it again.

Stovetop Sausage Mac and Cheese

It seems everyone loves mac and cheese. This quick and easy pasta toss combines three types of cheese, plus sausage, for creamy yet hearty texture and flavor. For a more colorful version, stir in spinach.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

4 ounces chicken and sun-dried tomato sausage (such as Gerhard's), chopped
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup (about 1 1/3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)...haha more like 11 oz.
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheeses, onion powder, and garlic salt; cook 3 minutes or until cheeses melt, stirring constantly. Stir in pasta. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 433; Calories from fat: 29%; Fat: 13.9g; Saturated fat: 7.8g; Monounsaturated fat: 3.8g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g; Protein: 23.6g; Carbohydrate: 53.1g; Fiber: 2.7g; Cholesterol: 56mg; Iron: 2.4mg; Sodium: 538mg; Calcium: 340mg

Cooking Light APRIL 2007

Monterey Chicken

My brother made this awhile ago and told me it was really good. So D and I decided to try it. We went back and forth on the diced tomatoes and green chilies. I said we should use Rotel, and D said we should try it as is and go from there. Being that I'm always the one to say to try as is and go from there, I couldn't argue with him for using my words.

So D made it. He said it was pretty easy. We used bacon instead of bits because I don't care for bacon bits.

We both liked it except we thought the diced tomatoes were odd. I again mentioned Rotel. D mentioned adding fresh tomatoes at the end, which I think would be good too. So now we have to have it again to try out the fresh tomatoes.

Would definitely have again.  We had with roasted green beans.

Monterey Chicken

Photo by ALB

adapted from My Baker Lady

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup bar-b-que sauce
1/4 cup real bacon bits (used 2 slices of bacon, chopped)
1 cup cheddar/monterey jack cheese, shredded (used Mexi-blend Cheese)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained  (Next time use Roma tomatoes)
1 5 oz can fire roasted green chiles (next time don't really need...or a fresh diced jalapeno)
sliced green onions
salt  and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. I cut mine in half lengthwise first, giving me 8 pieces. But they were HUGE breasts. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Over medium high heat (using either a non-stick skillet or a Foreman-type grill) grill chicken until no long pink (be careful not to overcook it) and place on baking sheet covered with foil.

3. Combine tomatoes and chiles in a bowl. Top each chicken breast with one tablespoon barbeque sauce, 1/8 c. cheese, 1/8 c. tomatoes/chilies (skip), green onions and one tablespoon of bacon bits. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes). (Take out and add tomatoes)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

If you have an hour, and a lasagna/brownie pan, you can make this (and if someone is home while you are on your work commute home so they can take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator).

First, do not use fat-free cream cheese.  Personally, I hate the stuff because it has a chemical tang to it that doesn't taste right.  However, I had opened the 3rd box of CC when I noticed all the boxes said Fat Free.  I may have said a few expletives.  I thought about where this dish was going and should I go to the store and get regular or reduced fat, and decided at a tailgate where lots of beer is consumed, that FF would be ok.

After they were done baking, I tasted one to make sure the tang wasn't too bad.  I could taste it, but decided they were definitely edible and would be 10000 times better had I used the right cream cheese.  I came back from the tailgate with 2 left.  So they couldn't have been all that bad.

Photo by ALB

Because of the incredible ease, I will definitely make these again.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

A classic! A favorite! And incredibly delicious! This simple Chocolate Chip Cheesecake is sure to become your standard.
Photo by ALB

From Mr. Food
Serves: 15

Cooking Time: 45 min

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (16.5-ounce) rolls refrigerator chocolate chip cookie dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until well mixed; set aside.

Slice cookie dough rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange slices from one roll on bottom of a greased 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish (I used a metal pan and sprayed the hell out of it with PAM); press together so there are no holes in dough. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over dough; top with remaining slices of cookie dough (this part was a bitch...cut slices, and then roll them into balls and press them in the palms of your hands and then put them on the cheesecake.  Made it much easier.)

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden and center is slightly firm.

Remove from oven, let cool, then refrigerate. Cut into slices when well chilled.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pork Vindaloo

This is one of those deceiving Crock-pot recipes.  You have to prep it all and cook it before you dump it into the crockpot.  Luckily D was home and noticed this rather than try to assemble it at 5am.  (I knew you had to assemble, but thought he knew).

So I got home from the gym and this was ready.  It was really good.  Not very spicy which kind of surprised me because our Shrimp Vindaloo is.  The pork was very tender.  The mustard seeds and tomatoes were broken down as well.  The only thing I would add is a squeeze of a lemon over the dish at the end.  It needed a tang.

Update: The last time we had this, the tomatoes and onions did not break down at all. I think it will be a long time before we have it again.

Pork Vindaloo

Photo by ALB

Seasoned with ginger, garam masala, mustard seeds, and cumin, this fragrant Indian-spiced pork loin braises in a tomato-based sauce. The low-and-slow cooking method renders the pork melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture, 1/2 cup rice, and 1 teaspoon cilantro)

1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomato (about 1 pound)
3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a meduim bowl. Add pork, tossing to coat.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until pork is lightly browned on all sides. Place pork in a 4-quart electric slow cooker.

3. Add onion and garlic to pan; reduce heat to medium, and sauté 5 minutes or until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in flour. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add tomato to onion mixture. Spoon onion mixture over pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until pork is tender. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cilantro.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 379; Calories from fat: 0.0%; Fat: 7.2g; Saturated fat: 1.9g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g; Protein: 38.4g; Carbohydrate: 36.2g; Fiber: 2.7g; Cholesterol: 95mg; Iron: 3.1mg; Sodium: 279mg; Calcium: 43mg

Oxmoor House SEPTEMBER 2012

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust

D and I found this recipe after finding the Pork with Lemongrass Stuffing Recipe.  I naturally assumed Lemongrass was sold in a bunch like green onions or celery, so I wanted to use it up.  I was wrong in my assumption but pretty glad to have made the mistake.  This was really good.

We were a little worried, as we both tasted the marinade before D put it on the chicken.  I told him it was salty.  D loves salt, so he just thought I was being overly-dramatic. Then he tasted it, and his eyes bugged out too.  He said he didn't even use all it called for.

But after grilling, you really didn't taste it, so all was good.  We had with Spicy Cauliflower.

Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust

Photo by ALB; Tongue by McMenamin

Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
Serves 12

Before chopping the lemongrass, be sure to cut off the spiky green top and enough of the bottom to eliminate the woody core. Peel off a few of the outer layers until you’re left with just the tender heart of the stalk.

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass (from about 2 stalks)
12 fresh basil leaves
3 Thai bird chiles, 2 jalapeños, or 2 medium serranos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt (used 1 TBSP)
2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 to 5-1/2 lb.), trimmed (remove the tenderloins if still attached)
2 limes, cut into wedges for serving

Combine 1-1/4 cups of the cilantro with the coconut milk, lemongrass, basil, chiles, garlic, salt, brown sugar, pepper, and coriander in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Arrange the chicken breasts in a nonreactive baking dish or other vessel large enough to accommodate them in a snug single layer. Pour the marinade over the breasts and turn to coat them well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Heat a gas grill to medium high or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Grill the chicken (covered on a gas grill) until it has good grill marks on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken (cover a gas grill) and continue to cook until firm to the touch and completely cooked through (check by making a slice into one of the thicker breasts), 5 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
Calories (kcal): 240; Fat (g): 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): 3; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 510; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 0;

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

We had this as a side to Grilled Thai Chicken Breasts with Herb-Lemongrass Crust.  D didn't leave it in for the full 40 minutes because he thought it would get soft and he likes hard-roasted cauliflower.  I don't have a preference.

The taste was really good and complemented the Chicken very well.

Another find from Pinterest.  The recipe came from A Couple Cooks.

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Photo by ALB

Serves 4 as a side
From A Couple Cooks

One head cauliflower
One lemon
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Mince the four garlic cloves. Zest the lemon. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoons paprika, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

2 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower onto the sheet. Mix with lemon zest, garlic, and spice mix. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Stir to coat evenly.

3 Bake for about 40 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.

To serve, squeeze on some fresh lemon juice and add a bit more kosher salt to taste. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information from MyFitnessPal
Calories: 86; Carbs: 14; Fat: 3; Protein: 5; Sodium: 307; Fiber: 6

Ingredients used for NI
Cauliflower - Raw, 1 head, large (6-7" dia)
Lemon Zest - Lemon, 1 Tbsp
Generic - Fresh Garlic Clove, 4 Clove (3.0 g)
Spices - Cumin, 2 tsp
Spices - Coriander, 2 teaspoon
Spices - Paprika, 1 tsp
Mccormick - Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, 0.5 tsp
Morton - Coarse Kosher Salt, (1/2 tsp)
Oil - Olive, 2 tsp

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thai-Style Peanut and Panko-Crusted Pork Chops

My friend Nicole pinned this to her Pinterest Page.  I saw it. It looked good.  I showed it to D.  He agreed.
Nicole got it from My Gourmet Connection.  The note said it was adapted from a recipe created by Chef Jeffrey Fuelo for a 2007 Peanut Advisory Board contest.

We weren't sure how lemongrass was bought, but you can get it at Whole Foods by the stalk.  So that was good.  We never looked at Kroger to see if they had it (we had eye doctors appointments and the eye doctor is 2 doors down from the WF).

So I came home from work and D was finishing this one up.  He didn't look unhappy, so I considered that he thought it probably medium hard to make (stuffed meat isn't something that I would try, so I would think it was hard).  The taste was really good.  Between the color of the stuffing and the taste, it was like a blast of goodness in your mouth, but being that it was Thai-like, there was no heat, surprisingly.

I would definitely have again. We forgot to put a side on the menu list, so we had with rice.

Thai-Style Peanut and Panko-Crusted Pork Chops

Photo by ALB

4 thick (1-inch) boneless pork loin chops
3/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
Coconut (or vegetable) oil for frying (used vegetable)
Lime wedges

For the stuffing:
3 cloves garlic
1 slice fresh ginger (about 1-inch diameter, 1/4-inch thick)
2 stalks lemongrass (lower portion only), roughly chopped
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, loosely packed
1 teaspoon coconut (or vegetable) oil (used vegetable)
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Trim any excess fat from the edges of the pork chops and, using a sharp knife, cut a pocket into each, leaving about 1/2-inch of the meat intact around the edges.

Place the peanuts in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of coarse crumbs. Transfer to a shallow dish (a pie plate works well), add the panko and combine well.

Place the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, coconut oil and fish sauce in the processor and pulse until the mixture forms a thick paste.

Fill the chops with the stuffing mixture and secure with toothpick if necessary.

Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish. Carefully dip each pork chop in the egg mixture, then place in the peanut-panko mixture and coat thoroughly on all sides.

Film the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops, turning carefully, until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Cover the pan loosely with foil and place in the oven until the pork is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes longer.

Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lime wedges and steamed jasmine rice.

Makes 4 servings

Adapted from a recipe created by Chef Jeffrey Fuelo for a 2007 Peanut Advisory Board contest.

Nutritional Information from MyFitness Pal
Servings: 4
Calories: 376; Carbs: 17; Fat: 20; Protein: 31; Sodium: 763; Fiber: 3

Ingredients used for Nutritional Analysis
Farmland Pork - Pork Loin Chop Boneless, 16 oz.
Peanuts - All types, dry-roasted, with salt, 3 oz
Kikkoman - Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs, 0.75 Cup
Aldi - Goldhen - Farm Fresh Eggs, 1 egg
Friendly Farms (Aldi's) - 2% Reduced Fat Milk W/ Vitamin A&d, 0.13 cup (240ml) (couldn't get a smaller portion)
Oil - Vegetable, canola, 1 tbsp
Generic - Fresh Garlic Clove, 3 Clove
Ginger root - Raw, 2 tsp
Fresh Herb - Lemongrass - Raw, 2 Stalk
Cilantro - 1 Cup, 0.75 Cup
Oil - Vegetable, canola, 1 tsp
Generic - Fish Sauce, 1 tbsp

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cuban Roast Pork (Lechon Asado)

So my coworkers and I went to a Cuban restaurant.  I was going to get my usual Cubano, when I saw a roast pork dish.  It was the same cost, so I tried it.  It was a sour, citrus taste with pork.  It tasted a lot like lime with something else.  I was sad when they took my dish away.

Back at work, I asked my coworker what it was called for the umpteenth time.  "Lechon Asado," he said.  I found a recipe on Closet Cooking, where I always find hit recipes (as opposed to misses), and showed D.  He said ok.  Of course we didn't read the instructions about the marinade until we were to have it, so we delayed it a day.

We searched Whole Foods and 2 Krogers.  No Seville Oranges (for that matter WF has a horrible Latino section).  So D made the juice himself, according to CC's directions.  I had to make the actual meal because D was at work (meaning I had to put it in a roasting pan and turn the oven on.).  D probably was laughing because he got lots of texts about the marinade. It smelled so good and flavorful it really took me all I could do not to taste it, since the raw pork had been in it (D used all the marinade and didn't set any aside).  I actually contemplated would food poisoning be worth trying the raw pork marinade. In the end, my sanity won.  So after I let the crust crunch up, I poured the half of the marinade on the pork. 2 hours later I poured the rest.  I'm not sure what the point was, but it seemed like a better thing to do than to pour it down the drain  (note: due to a food poisoning experience on another dish, I don't ever boil a marinade after the pork has been in matter what the directions say).

So after 5.5 hours, the temperature had reached 190.  I let it rest.  D took over cooking the Cuban Black Bean Soup.  And he pulled the pork.  It didn't pull all that well, so he chopped it.  I really wish he would slice because I am not a total fan of meat mash, which is how I view chopped meat.  I managed to pull out all the chunks he missed for my meal.  The taste was outstanding.  I would definitley have again.  I think it would be even better with uncontaminated marinade.

Cuban Roast Pork (Lechon Asado)

From Closet Cooking
A Cuban style slow roasted pork marinated in a super tasty sour orange and garlic mojo sauce.

Servings: makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

1 bone in, skin on pork shoulder about 4-5 lbs
20 cloves garlic
Photo by ALB
Pork prior to being chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour (seville) orange juice (or 1 cup orange juice + 1/2 cup lime juice)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 large onion, sliced

Directions (Oven Version with Crackling)
Puree the garlic, onion, sour orange juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, place 2/3 of the mixture into a large sealable bag with the pork and marinate in the fridge overnight.
Pull the pork out of the fridge 1 hour before roasting, take it out of the bag, set it with its skin side up, wipe the skin dry and let sit for 1 hour.
Score the skin in 1/2 inch intervals and rub salt generously into the skin.
Place the pork in a roasting pan, skin side up, roast in a preheated 450F oven for 20 minutes or until the skin has become crackling, ie it has become golden, hardened and crispy.
Reduce the heat to 325F and roast until the pork reaches 170F for slicing or 195F for shredding, about 2-3 hours or 4-6 hours respectively. If the skin starts to get too dark tent it loosely with foil without folding the edges over to prevent steaming. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes, remove crackling and cut into small pieces, discard any extra fat and then slice or shred the pork. Remove the fat from the juices and serve with sliced pork or mix into shredded pork.
Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of the juices from the roasting pan in a pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and saute until tender and caramelized, about 7-10 minutes.
Serve the pork with the caramelized onions and remaining mojo.

Directions (Slow Cooker Version)
ALB's note...I would try making the cackling skin like above and then doing the slow cook part.
Puree the garlic, onion, sour orange juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, place 2/3 of the mixture into a large sealable bag with the pork and marinate in the fridge overnight.
Place the pork in a slow cooker/crock-pot with the skin side up along with the marinade and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Let the pork rest for 15 minutes, discard the fat layer and then shred the pork.
Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of the juices from the slow cooker/crock-pot in a pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and saute until tender and caramelized, about 7-10 minutes.
Serve the pork with the caramelized onions and remaining mojo.

Tip: Mix some mojo into the pork after pulling it; man is that mojo ever good!

Cuban Black Bean Soup

I liked this recipe because you add the "accessories" at the end.  Because we were having with lechon asado, I really didn't think the soup needed ham.  I'm not going on a quest to find pumpkin seeds, which I don't like anyway.  And D can cut up red onion for his own and not contaminate my soup.

I made the beginning parts of this; meaning I cut up green pepper, shallots, and onion, and dumped 12 cups of water into a pot with black beans and bay leaves.  The rest D did.  It was pretty easy, but without the accessories a little bland.  D and I discussed putting a ham hock in it next time, and my friend Delane gave me a recipe that split the water with chicken broth.  So both are possibilities for the next time.  (Yes there will be a next time).

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Photo by ALB,
sans ham and pumpkin seed

Inspired by his Cuban mother's black bean soup, Chef Douglas Rodriguez of DeLaCosta restaurant in Chicago developed the robust flavor in this recipe for people who didn't have money to spend on meat for stock. Here we use both fresh and dried oregano because each imparts a different flavor to the final dish.
Yield: 10 servings

2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black beans
12 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light sour cream
10 teaspoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2 medium)
Lime wedges (optional)

Place bay leaves and beans in a Dutch oven. Add 12 cups water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender (it ended up being 3+ hours), stirring occasionally.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, chopped onion, and shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and fresh oregano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place vegetable mixture in a blender; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Puree until smooth.

Add vegetable mixture, sugar, and salt to beans; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Combine avocado and juice; toss gently. Ladle 3/4 cup bean mixture into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture, about 3 tablespoons red onion, 2 tablespoons ham, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkinseed kernels, and about 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño pepper. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information (with everything) 
Calories: 344; Calories from fat: 31%: Fat: 12g: Saturated fat: 3.4g: Monounsaturated fat: 5.7g: Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3g: Protein: 18.6g: Carbohydrate: 43.9g: Fiber: 14.7g: Cholesterol: 14mg: Iron: 6.1mg: Sodium: 637mg: Calcium: 110mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2008

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

So we went to the grocery store the other day and I saw ground lamb. And wondered what lamb chili would be like.  I kept thinking about that.  Then CL emailed out this recipe.  Well, how bad could it be with lamb?

I told D I would make it.  I got sidetracked sitting on the couch and I never made it.  Fast forward 2 weeks, and our dinner plans were foiled by an overnight marinade.  Well, let's have this.  D was a little confused at the lack of time involved.  He agreed to add the lamb.

It was pretty good.  The flavors are strong, and with the lamb it was more like 5 servings than 4. We didn't have lemon, which we actually think you really do need.  I would have again, but it is like stuffed peppers.  I probably will only do 1-2 servings of it before I'm tired of the flavor.

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

Photo by ALB

This recipe—packed with chickpeas, canned tomatoes, carrot, celery and onion—proves that you don't need meat for a satisfying and filling chili.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Total:36 Minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil
Add 1 pound of ground lamb, browned
1 cup prechopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups water, tomato paste, chickpeas, and tomatoes (and lamb); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and juice.

Nutritional Information without lamb
Calories: 215; Calories from fat: 23%; Fat: 5.5g; Saturated fat: 0.4g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.9g; Protein: 7.7g; Carbohydrate: 36.3g; Fiber: 9.8g; Cholesterol: 0.0mg; Iron: 3.4mg; Sodium: 534mg; Calcium: 102mg

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2007

Shrimp Vodka Pasta

I liked this a lot.  D made it while I was getting my haircut.  The portion size was big and I liked the creaminess.  He said it was easy to make.

Would have again.

Shrimp Vodka Pasta

A simple vodka-marinara sauce is tossed with refrigerated fettuccine and sauteed shrimp and for a quick and filling one-dish entree.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
Hands-on:18 Minutes
Total:18 Minutes

9 ounces refrigerated fettuccine (used 12 oz dried) 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Photo by: José Picayo
1/3 cup vodka
1 1/3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Cook pasta per directions. Drain.

2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté for 4 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan.

3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Carefully add vodka; cook 1 minute. Add marinara, 1/4 cup basil, cream, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Stir in pasta and shrimp. Sprinkle with remaining basil.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 427; Fat: 12.6g; Saturated fat: 4.9g; Monounsaturated fat: 4.8g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g; Protein: 24.6g; Carbohydrate: 60.1g; Fiber: 2.4g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Iron: 2.2mg; Sodium: 632mg; Calcium: 65mg

Cooking Light APRIL 2012

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chupe de Pollo con Chipotle (Chicken Chowder with Chipotle)

So this is an odd little soup.  Why?  Well it isn't really a chowder, or at least what I think of as chowder. More of a chicken soup with lots of stuff in it.  It is really good and the chipotle gives it a kick.

D thought it was weird to blend up the onion, carrot and celery.  

We both liked it. We each had 2 servings.

Chupe de Pollo con Chipotle (Chicken Chowder with Chipotle)

This hearty chicken chowder makes enough to feed a crowd and is simple to prepare on a weeknight.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup and 1 lime wedge)

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 medium red potatoes (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (15.5-ounce) can white or golden hominy, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 lime wedges

Remove 1 chile and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Finely chop chile; set chile and sauce aside separately.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped chile, onion, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 7 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, and cool slightly. Shred chicken with 2 forks; cover and keep warm.

Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place one-third of broth mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed broth mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure in two more batches with remaining broth mixture. Return pureed broth mixture to pan. Stir in potatoes and hominy; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in chicken and cream; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in reserved adobo sauce, tomato, cilantro, and salt. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 246; Calories from fat: 23%; Fat: 6.2g; Saturated fat: 2.3g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g; Protein: 24.5g; Carbohydrate: 21.8g; Fiber: 3.5g; Cholesterol: 60mg; Iron: 1.7mg; Sodium: 672mg; Calcium: 52mg

Cooking Light DECEMBER 2004

Chipotle Bean Burritos

D made these, and I got to assemble mine.  First, I always over-pack a burrito so they were a little messy. But the taste was really good.  I would definitely have again.

Chipotle Bean Burritos

Add guacamole and chips to this hearty vegetarian dish for an easy Mexican meal.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 burrito)
Total: 30 Minutes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Photo by: Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner;
Styling: Jan Gautro
1/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained
3 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
6 (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas (such as Mission)
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3)
1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons light sour cream

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

2. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 361; Fat: 10.3g; Saturated fat: 3.8g; Monounsaturated fat: 3.1g; Polyunsaturated fat: 2g; Protein: 16.8g; Carbohydrate: 52.2g; Fiber: 11.4g; Cholesterol: 19mg; Iron: 3.3mg; Sodium: 735mg; Calcium: 395mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2010

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chicken Verde

So this is just an odd recipe in terms of prep.  We knew that it was a short crockpot cook time so that we couldn't have it during the work week.  So it became Sunday Dinner.  No big whoop.  But D said you had to do a lot before even getting the stuff into the crockpot.  And then you get home, there was more.

I'm not going to complain.  I really liked it.  He thought it was kind of a pain in the ass.  But whatever. There was lots of flavor. I would definitely have again. But I may have to make it.

We had with Refried Beans with Chipotle and Bacon.

Chicken Verde

Make your friends "green" with envy at your slow cooker savvy by serving up this savory Southwestern-style entrée, loaded with tomatillos, onion, and roasted poblano and jalapeño peppers. Corn tortillas and a simple green salad round out the menu.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 3/4 cup sauce, and about 1 tablespoon cilantro)

5 poblano chiles (about 3/4 pound)
4 jalapeño peppers (about 4 1/2 ounces)
5 1/2 cups chopped tomatillos (about 1 3/4 pounds; about 16 small) (used a 28 oz can because Kroger didn't have fresh)
2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
1 tablespoon sugar
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
6 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned (used 10 bone-in thighs because Kroger's breasts looked scary big)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you have to use 1/3 Cup if you want 6 servings and 1 TBSP/serving)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Place poblano chiles and jalapeno peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles and peppers; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Chop poblano chiles. Finely chop jalapeno peppers.

3. Combine poblano chiles, jalapeño peppers, tomatillos, and next 4 ingredients (through green chiles) in a large bowl.

4. Sprinkle chicken with cumin and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken to pan. Cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place chicken in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken. Pour tomatillo mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.

5. Remove chicken from slow cooker; keep warm. Pour sauce into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until reduced to 4 1/2 cups.

6. Serve chicken with sauce. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 282; Calories from fat: 0.0%; Fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 0.9g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7g; Protein: 37.1g; Carbohydrate: 20.6g; Fiber: 5g; Cholesterol: 86mg; Iron: 2.4mg;Sodium: 168mg; Calcium: 55mg

Oxmoor House SEPTEMBER 2012

Monday, October 28, 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower and Buffalo Chicken Bites

So I hate Buffalo Wings. For a long time I thought it was the sauce. And then I had Buffalo Chicken Dip. It wasn't the sauce. It was the wing. I don't see the point. Put the sauce on a normal piece of chicken and fine. But it is too much work and too much calories for that little bit of payday.

So lo and behold I found this recipe on Pinterest from my friend Nikki. It can be attributed back to Persnickety Plates.  I told D I was making this.  Then I thought that we probably should have some meat, so I picked up some chicken breasts to make into bites.  I actually made most of both recipes.

Make the Cauliflower first, so that you don't cross-contaminate with the chicken.

The outcome...we devoured everything, but I liked the cauliflower better.  It melted in my mouth.  D liked it. Since chicken is his favorite food, I didn't bother to ask him if he liked it better.  We definitely would have again.

Buffalo Cauliflower and Buffalo Chicken Bites

Photo by ALB

Serves: 2-4 as an appetizer (or 2 if you're eating it for dinner as a meal)

1 head of cauliflower
(1 lb of skinned, boneless chicken breast if you are doing chicken bites, too)

For the batter:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank's Wing Sauce (or Frank's Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
(Make again if you are making Buffalo Chicken Bites)

For the buffalo sauce  (if you are making the Buffalo Chicken as well, double this part.)
1/4 cup Frank's Wing Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons salted butter, melted (this was originally 3 but I lowered it)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray, and set aside.

Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces.

In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients. It will be fairly thick.

Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.

Prep the chicken the exact same way (you only need to cook for 8 minutes)

In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.

Once the cauliflower are done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.  (D and I dipped the cauliflower).

Put back into the oven and bake for 7 more minutes, until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy. (We poured the remaining sauce all over the chicken and stuck it back in, about 5 minutes).

Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy!

Nutritional Information from My Fitness Pal
Servings 2
Buffalo Cauliflower
Calories: 249; Carbs: 38; Fat: 9; Protein: 9; Sodium: 1156; Fiber: 10

Buffalo Chicken Bites
Calories: 416; Carbs: 22; Fat: 11; Protein: 55; Sodium: 1444; Fiber: 3

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

So I mentioned the other day (either here or on Facebook or outloud) that I am partial to Creamy Mac and Cheese versus Mac and Cheese Casserole (the kind with egg).  Don't get me wrong, I'll eat my weight with either.

Anyway, Homesick Texan posted a new recipe. I read it. It was the Creamy version.  And it has bacon. I must have it!

D said ok, but we both agreed to no cotija because it is a pain in neck to find, and it is too much  for the amount we will use before it goes bad. Plus since it was labeled as optional, well that was fine too.

D made this.  It was thick and creamy.  Unfortunately, I seemed to bite down on a big piece of garlic in my first bite so that's all I tasted.  When I said it was overpowering garlic, D looked at me like I had 4 heads.  He said the chipotle was awesome. I asked what chipotle?  I still liked it, but I need to have it again.  The texture was excellent.

So now we have to have again, so I can verify it was as good as he said.  The horror!!!!

Update: D made this with 2 cloves of garlic.  It was very good.  We had with the cotija cheese because we actually have a bag of it.  You should make this.

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Photo by ALB

(Adapted from the NY Times)

2 cups of dry elbow pasta
2 cups of milk
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 chipotle chile in adobo
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
Pinch of cumin
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups of shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack
1/4 cup of crumbled cotija cheese (optional, but delicious!) - didn't use
4 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon of butter

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-inch square or round baking pan with the butter. Add the dry pasta.

In a blender, mix together the milk, cottage cheese, chipotle chile, mustard powder, garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper until it’s smooth. Pour mixture over dry pasta and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.

Stir in two cups of the shredded cheese, cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil and stir the macaroni and cheese a couple of times. Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and chopped bacon and cook for another 25 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with cotija and serve.

Nutritional Information (from My Fitness Pal)
Servings: 4
Calories: 617; Carbs:54; Fat: 26; Protein: 40; Sodium: 1759; Fiber: 3

Kroger - Elbow Macaroni Noodles, 2 c (dry): 800
Friendly Farms (Aldi's) - 2% Reduced Fat Milk, 2 cup: 240
Kroger - Small Curd Cottage Cheese, 1 cup: 220
Embasa - Chipotle Peppers In Adobe Sauce, 2 tbsp (31g) with sauce: 15
Spices - Mustard seed, yellow, 1 tsp: 15
Generic - Fresh Garlic Clove, 1 Clove: 4 Spices - Cumin, 0.13 tsp: 1
Kroger - Shredded 2% 4 Cheese Mexican Blend, 3 cup: 960
Butter - Salted - Butter-salted, 1 tbsp: 102
Spices - Morton's Iodized Salt, 1 tsp: 0
Spices - Pepper, black, 1 tsp: 5
Kroger - Fully Cooked Bacon - Kroger, 4 Slices: 107

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

So when Cooking Light arrived at our house this week, the cover was of this gorgeous soup.  I instantly had to have it.  Then I saw it was Sweet Potato and went boo.  Sweet Potato Soup? Still, Sweet Potato Soup?  It sounded kind of intriguing.  I mentioned it to D and he said ok.  I think he was kind of intrigued too.

I'm not sure how hard it was but it was ready by the time I got home from work. We both liked it but decided it would be good as a first course, like if you were having Thanksgiving and were tired of the Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows... you could serve this.  D said he would be interested in replacing the cumin with thyme.

We only got 4 servings (2 Cups each).  We didn't have a side.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup)

2 pounds sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 2 large)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)

1. Place potatoes, cut sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch microwave-safe baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cool slightly; discard potato skins.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 1 minute or until translucent. Stir in cumin and red pepper. Add stock to pan; bring to a boil. Place half of sweet potato and half of stock mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters); blend until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining sweet potato and stock mixture. Stir in salt. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls; sprinkle cooked bacon and Parmesan cheese evenly over top. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 233; Fat: 6.2g; Saturated fat: 2.1g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g; Protein: 10.7g; Carbohydrate: 33.9g; Fiber: 5.1g; Cholesterol: 12mg; Iron: 1.4mg; Sodium: 530mg; Calcium: 123mg

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

(Crockpot) Buffalo Chicken Pasta

So I found this recipe on Pinterest. It links over to

D and I talked about making it and decided ok.  Except we forgot to prep it/talk about it the night before. So looking at the recipe while at work, it didn't really seem that it needed to go into the crockpot, so we adapted it. I offered to help make it but D told me to go run.  So I did.

I'll put the original directions in with mine in paretheses.  I would have again.  D said he would make it in 2 separate containers next time (so again, not in a crockpot) so he could have blue cheese.  I did notice he put hot sauce on top of his portion of the cooked product.

The Nutritional Information may be a little off.  Frank's Wing Sauce is 0 calories for 1 TBSP.  But I figured it isn't that off, because you're having between 1.5 and 2 TBSP depending on your serving size.

(Crockpot) Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Photo by ALB

Preparation time is 15 min
Makes 4-6 servings (5 1-1/2C Servings)

1 pound · Chicken breasts, bite-sized pieces (used boneless, skinless thighs)
Salt and Pepper
1 can · Cream of chicken soup (used Campbell's Healthy Request)
1/2 C Hot sauce, like for buffalo wings (Used Frank's Wing Sauce)
1 1/2C Shredded mozzarella cheese (Used Kroger Italian Blend Shredded Cheese)
1/2 C Crumbled blue cheese (Used Kroger Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese)
3 cup Uncooked penne pasta  (Used Kroger Brand)
1 1/2 cup Sour cream (Used Kroger Brand Reduced Fat)

1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and put in crockpot. (or season and saute in a pan with some cooking spray.  Cook penne and drain).

2. Add soup and hot sauce. Stir.  (Mix all ingredients and put in a casserole pan).

3. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours.  (Bake at 350 for 25 minutes)

4.  Stir in cheeses and sour cream. Turn off crockpot. (Take out of oven and rest for 5 minutes)

5. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain. Add to crockpot.  (No number 5 with oven directions).

6. Stir well and serve!

Nutritional Information (from My Fitness Pal)
Servings : 4
Calories: 653; Carbs: 54; Fat: 33; Protein:46; Sodium: 1734; Fiber: 3

Servings : 6
Calories: 435; Carbs: 36; Fat: 22; Protein: 31; Sodium: 1156; Fiber: 2

Kroger - Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, 16 oz: 440
Campbell's - Healthy Request - Cream of Chicken Soup - Condensed, 1 container (1 3/10 cup (120ml) ea.): 150
Frank's - Red Hot Wings Buffalo Wing Sauce, 8 tbsp: 0
Kroger - Penne Rigate, 3 cup (56g) dry: 800
Kroger - Sour Cream - Low Fat, 24 TBS: 540
Kroger - Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, 1.5 cup: 540
Kroger - Authentic Mexican Blend All Natural Cheese, 1/2 cup: 140

16 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings)