Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

So D either developed or just never expressed his dislike of lime juice.  If something calls for 1 TBSP, he seems to half it and even then his review of whatever is, "Too much lime."  I don't think that can be possible so it makes things interesting.  Anyway I came across this recipe and said, "Lemon juice and it's different."  So we tried it.

Different is an apt description.  It wasn't bad.  It wasn't great.  It was different.  I thought there was too much lemon.  Our avocado was mushy so we put it in the dressing.  Well, avocado, lemon and thyme...well it's different.  I could have again, but definitely not with anything involving cumin.  Of course, I could see subbing cumin in for the thyme and it would be less "different."


Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

From Damn Delicious
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings

12 ounces elbows pasta
5 slices bacon, diced
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and thyme in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, avocado, lemon-thyme dressing, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, garnished with thyme. Adapted from The Cozy Apron

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls

So I pinned this recipe when I first got on pinterest, of course thinking, "Who in their right mind would make Hamburger Rolls?"  Then in the spring, I started growing jalapenos and started thinking it wasn't a bad idea.

So I showed D, and he said, "You're making them, right?"  Of course.  So I did.  They took awhile (mostly waiting time), but were pretty easy to make.  Of course I had no idea how sticky the dough was supposed to be and was sure I messed up, but I kept going.

They were a little flat, but I think I punched them too low.   They were roll-like in consistency, easy to slice, and held up to a chicken burger with salsa and guacamole.  I would make again.

We had with Green Chili Chicken Burgers.

Photo by ALB

Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls

Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast (I used a packet of Fleischman's yeast...didn't measure)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 large jalapeños (seeds and ribs removed), finely chopped (I used 2 because they were homegrown and spicier than the grocery stores)
1 cup hot water (100-110 F) (I boiled it and then let it sit for a few minutes)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature (Divided)

Add the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, cheese and jalapenos to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Beat briefly on low speed to combine.

Dry ingredients mixed

In a measuring cup, whisk the water, oil and 1 of the eggs together until combined (I didn't see the 1 and used both eggs...make sure to tempure the eggs and water if you didn't take the temperature of the water, as to not cook the eggs). With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients and continue mixing until the dough comes together (you may need to scrape down the bowl once or twice). The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and cling to the bottom – you may need to add a little flour or water to achieve the right consistency (every time I’ve made this recipe I’ve needed to add 2-4 tablespoons of flour). Knead the dough on low speed for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl.

Dough prior to rising

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 75-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to your work surface and divide in half. Divide each of the two pieces into 4 or 5 equal pieces, depending on whether you want oversized or more traditional rolls. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Space the rolls about 1/2 to 1-inch apart – you want the edges to bake together in the oven.

Cover the pan with a damp towel, and allow the rolls to rise for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make egg wash. Brush the rolls with the egg wash.

About to go in the oven

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are deep golden brown.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls cool for at least 15 minutes.

Store in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature, or wrap tightly and freeze.

Makes 8-10 rolls

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pinto Bean and Hominy Salad

So earlier this year I noticed I can't eat grocery store bakery cookies (think the cookies in the clear plastic containers).  I don't know what they put in them (Publix, Sam's, Kroger, Costco), but an hour after eating one, I'm doubled over in gut-wrenching pain.  The solution?  Make my own cookies and stop eating theirs. 

Well come spring, I noticed the same thing was happening with corn.  Not with HFCS, but ears of corn, frozen corn, canned corn and popcorn  (doesn't matter organic or non).  This is not good as I love corn, and a lot of foods we have involve corn.   I thought about substituting hominy in some recipes to see if it was the shell, but never got around to it. 

Lo and behold, Homesick Texan goes and posts this recipe.  And we finally got around to planning to have it.  It was really good.  I love pinto beans and all the flavors meshed well.  Definitely will have again, especially since I was left gut-pain free.

We had with left-over Jalapeno and Beer Brined Pork.

Pinto Bean and Hominy Salad

From Homesick Texan

Photo by ALB

4 cups cooked pinto beans, drained or 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can hominy, drained
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered or 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil (used 3)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled or 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, add the pinto beans, hominy, red onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, red bell pepper, and jalapeño. Toss until well combined.

Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and smoked paprika. Pour over the beans and stir until evenly distributed. Stir in the Cotija or feta cheese. Add salt to taste.

While you can serve it immediately, it tastes better if covered and chilled for at least an hour.

Nutritional Information from My Fitness Pal (6 Servings)
Calories: 237; Carbs: 29; Fat: 9; Protein: 7; Sodium: 526; Fiber: 8

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

I'm always looking for new ways to make cauliflower and broccoli because they are my favorite 2 vegetables.  I believe NCBeaches posted this to her Pinterest page, and I repinned it.  If that's not the case, I don't know where I found it. 

Anyway D made it, and it came together very quickly.  He thought it tasted like sweet vinegar and I thought it tasted like Russian Dressing.  Both of us liked it but neither tasted the Old Bay (so maybe more next time?).

We had with Bottle O' Beer Chicken Thighs
Would have again.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

Photo by ALB

Number of servings: 4
Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 slices bacon, cut in small pieces, cooked to crisp
1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (we used Hellman's)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay (perhaps use more)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place the bacon, broccoli, cauliflower and onions in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, vinegar and Dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to make an emulsion. Mix in the mayonnaise and seafood seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss.

Nutritional Information from My Fitness Pal
Calories: 140; Carbs: 13; Fat: 9; Sat Fat: 1; Protein: 3; Sodium: 627; Fiber: 2; Sugar: 6

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta

So a couple of years ago, the only place we could find gnocchi was at the Dekalb Farmer's Market.  Even Whole Foods didn't carry it.  Since then, we never really ate it because it was so hard to find.  However, I've notice that Kroger started carrying it.  Then CL emailed me this recipe. 

I shared with D and we decided to have it.  It was really good, although there is a strong vinegar flavor, which D looked at me oddly when I said that.  It must be the lemon juice.  I still tasted it in the left overs, but like I said, I liked it.

Would have again.

Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta

Photo by ALB

Pancetta is cured unsmoked Italian bacon available at the grocery deli counter. It gives this elegant dish a deep, savory note. If you can't find gnocchi, substitute another short pasta.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups gnocchi mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Total:30 Minutes

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmesan cheese

1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep warm.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

3. Add shallots and asparagus to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add gnocchi, pancetta, reserved cooking liquid, juice, salt, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Serve with cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 277; Calories from fat: 21%; Fat: 6.5g; Saturated fat: 3.1g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g; Protein: 11.2g; Carbohydrate: 43.7g; Fiber: 2.6g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Iron: 2.6mg; Sodium: 932mg; Calcium: 110mg

Cooking Light APRIL 2008

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Bread

Another Pinterest find.

When I saw this recipe, it reminded me of the Basic Beer Bread Recipe that we make, but slightly different.  I saw in the original blog that buttemilk was subbed for the beer, but I decided we should sub the beer back.  So we did. 

D made it.  There was some issue of it coming out of the pan, so I suggest Parchment Paper or grease the hell out of the pan.  Also it was a little doughy even thought the toothpicks came out clean when testing.  So I suggest 55 minutes. 

The taste was outstanding, and we both had trouble with not eating more than 2 pieces.  We had to quickly wrap up the rest.  I'm guessing it is 16 servings but I think we sliced ours thinner so we will have more. 

Overall, I would have again.

Photo by ALB

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Bread

Servings: 16
Adapted from Call Me PMC

8-10 slices bacon, after cooked and chopped you'll need 2 cups
3 (363 grams) cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup diced jalapeno, this will be about 1 large jalapeno, I diced seeds as well
2 cups mild cheddar cheese
12 ounce beer (Used Budweiser)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees

2. Spray 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray (or use Parchment Paper).

3. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon and cheese. Stir to combine.

4. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine. (You can use a mixer for this, just be careful not to over-mix.)

5. Add cream cheese mixture, 1 tablespoon oil and beer and mix until just combined, don't over-mix.

6. Pour mixture into loaf pan.

7. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until top is browned (Probably bake 55 minutes next time).

8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack, cool 5 minutes before removing.

9.Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo by ALB

Nutritional Information from My Fitness Pal
Calories: 223; Carbs: 21; Fat: 11; Protein: 8; Sodium: 478; Fiber: 1

Ingredients Used
Smithfield Bacon - Hometown Original, 8 slices (19g): 400 Calories
Generic - All-Purpose Flour (Cup), 3 cup: 1,365 Calories
Kroger - Baking Powder, 3 teaspoon: 0 Calories
Spices - Salt, table, 1 tsp: 0 Calories
Domino Sugar - White Sugar, 6 Teaspoon: 90 Calories
Aldi - Fit & Active - Light Cream Cheese, 8 oz: 560 Calories
Peppers - Jalapeno, raw, 1 pepper: 4 Calories
Kroger - Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese 8 oz: 880 Calories
Budweiser - Beer, 12 oz. (355g): 145 Calories
Oil - Vegetable, canola, 1 tbsp : 124 Calories

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta

This is one of those recipes that seemingly looks good.  And if you use high quality ingredients, maybe it is.  However we used regular quality ingredients and it was bland and watery.

I wanted to like it, but every bite had water from the tomatoes in it, and it leaked into the rest of the dish.  Even the leftovers had water (the pasta didn't absorb it).  I think it would be better with hot sausage, but I don't think it is worth the effort to try again.  

Next time, if I want tomatoes and sausage and pasta, I'll go with Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Sauce.

Fresh Tomato, Sausage, and Pecorino Pasta

Ripe, summer tomatoes are juicy and delicious in this pasta dish, with no seeding or peeling necessary.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups pasta mixture, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 tablespoon basil)
Total:40 Minutes

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 389; Fat: 10.7g; Saturated fat: 4g; Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g; Protein: 21.6g; Carbohydrate: 53.5g; Fiber: 4.5g; Cholesterol: 27mg; Iron: 3.3mg; Sodium: 595mg; Calcium: 159mg

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2009

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chicken with Italian Sweet-Sour Fennel

This recipe intrigued me, because I am only familiar with dried fennel.  I really never thought about it past that.  I've seen this recipe a few times but I don't like raisins, so I skipped it.  Yet, somehow last week I came back to it.

D looked at it, and we decided to have it this week.  I was upstairs while he was making it (and unaware of what he was making at the time).  I kept thinking we were having sausage. So I was a little bummed when I came downstairs to find Chicken and Onions.  However, onions it was not.  It was the flavor from Italian Sausage.  It was very good.

D made it with rice to soak up the sauce, and we had with Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter.

Chicken with Italian Sweet-Sour Fennel

Photo by ALB

Experiment with fennel—a great source of vitamins and minerals—for a fun new flavor that pairs well with chicken.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet and 1/3 cup fennel mixture)
Total:15 Minutes

1 small fennel bulb with stalks
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup raisins (didn't use)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

1. Mince 1 tablespoon fennel fronds. Thinly slice bulb to measure 2 cups (discard core).

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add fennel bulb to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, broth, raisins, and vinegar; cover and cook 4 minutes or until fennel is tender. Return chicken to pan. Sprinkle with nuts and fennel fronds.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 209; Fat: 5.3g; Saturated fat: 0.8g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.4g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g; Protein: 28g; Carbohydrate: 12.3g; Fiber: 2.5g; Cholesterol: 66mg; Iron: 1.8mg; Sodium: 419mg; Calcium: 53mg

Cooking Light MARCH 2011

Monday, August 11, 2014

Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice

So I liked this.  Everything meshed well.  The only problem with it was that the portion was small.  D said for once that we got 4 servings (a lot of recipes give us 3).  So we'll probably have again.

Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice

Photo by ALB

Forget takeout and cook in with super-fast Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice. A flavorful and sweet sauce is tossed with the chicken mixture with a splash of Sriracha added for depth.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup chicken mixture)

1 cup instant rice
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup dry-roasted cashews, unsalted
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)

1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Combine chicken and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss to coat.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola and sesame oils. Add chicken mixture, and sauté for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Increase heat to high, and add broccoli and the next 4 ingredients (through red bell pepper). Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in cashews.

4. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to chicken mixture; toss to coat. Serve with rice.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 470; Fat: 17.6g; Saturated fat: 2.7g; Monounsaturated fat: 8.7g; Polyunsaturated fat: 4.2g; Protein: 29.1g; Carbohydrate: 50.9g; Fiber: 4.5g; Cholesterol: 49mg; Iron: 3.1mg; Sodium: 638mg; Calcium: 66mg

Cooking Light JUNE 2012

Shrimp and Brie Linguine

Another 5 Star recipe that we didn't like.  On paper, it looked like at least I would.  I love brie, I love shrimp, and everything else (but the olives).  However when it all came together, there was too many textures.  I thought the sun-dried tomatoes and the regular tomatoes was odd.  The basil and the Brie fought each other for the strongest flavor.

Basically, we aren't having again.

Shrimp and Brie Linguine

Photo by ALB

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, if desired
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped (didn't use)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (used 2 TBSP)
8 ounces uncooked linguine
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cube Brie and combine with next 7 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let stand about 1 hour.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Two minutes before pasta is al dente, add shrimp. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Drain pasta and shrimp, and immediately toss with Brie mixture. Serve immediately with fresh Parmesan.

Coastal Living OCTOBER 2005

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Orzo Salad With Zucchini and Feta

So I saw this recipe on Pinterest.  It was a side, but it had a little bit of calories for what I like in a side, so I thought we should add chicken in it, double the serving size and call it a main dish.  I showed D this and he agreed.

We both liked it. He said it was easy.  We both agreed as a side, it would be good with chicken, and is a different take on pasta salad.  We would have it again.

Orzo Salad With Zucchini and Feta

Photo by ALB

Serves 8
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 25m

8 ounces orzo (1⁄2 box)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
kosher salt and black pepper 1 1/4 pounds small zucchini (3 to 4), cut into thin half-moons
8 ounces Feta, crumbled (2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Added 1lb. chicken thighs cut in 1-inch piecees, sauteed with 1 tsp Greek Seasoning

1. Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, red pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the zucchini and let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3. Add the orzo, Feta, and dill to the zucchini mixture and toss to combine.

Make-ahead tip: Make the salad (without the dill) up to a day in advance; refrigerate.

Nutritional Information (without Chicken)
Calories 230; Fat 12g; Sat Fat 5g; Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 503mg; Protein 8g; Carbohydrate 24g; Sugar 3g; Fiber 1g; Iron 1mg; Calcium 152mg

Real Simple, June 2010