Thursday, September 30, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I don't think anyone could say that they don't like Mac N Cheese, especially homemade baked mac N cheese. This is some awesome comfort food for a chilly fall evening!
So...onions make me CRY! Big time! Every single time I chop onions I feel like my eyeballs are on fire. And unfortunately, slap chop, you let me down, because I STILL cried! Does anyone have any ideas? Besides buying some onion goggles and looking ridiculous in my kitchen. Or maybe I will just enlist Logan to be the onion chopper...what do you all think?
Alright so this mac n cheese recipe is awesome, however it does take about an hour to complete, with prep and bake time. However, 30 of the min are spent in the oven, so really you spend 30 min actually cooking, not bad at all actually.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb elbow pasta
4 T butter ( I used low fat butter spread)
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) I used 1/4 tsp
1 1/4 cups shredded yellow cheddar
1 1/4 cups white cheddar cheese
8 oz ham, diced into pieces
2 slices white bread
Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta. Meanwhile, in a 5 qt pot, melt butter. Add onion; cook until softened, about 3-5 min. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in the milk until there are no lumps.
Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6-8 min.
Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each of the yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with S&P.
Thank you to Kraft and Budweiser for allowing me to relax while cooking this meal, I didn't have to shred cheese and well a little beer never hurts.
Toss the pasta with the cheese mixture and fold in ham. Transfer to a baking dish. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs. Toss together with remaining 1/4 cup each white and yellow cheese. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden brown about 30 min.
Logan Rating: ****
There is a serious lack of pictures for this meal, so I apologize for that, but it was made in a huge time crunch. I had about 30 min to get this prepped and cooked, and I DID IT! So obviously this is a really quick meal, but it is also a really delicious meal, which just goes to show you don't have to slave for hours in the kitchen to eat great. Just like I've been saying this whole time, these recipes are so simple and so quick, how else could I cook over 120 recipes in less than 5 months? You can do it too!! I served this pork chop with some leftover snap peas and carrots I had, just made a simple glaze, they were delicious! You could also serve this with rice, couscous or an orzo salad. The apricot jam really gives this pork chop an interesting tang and some extra flavor, I encourage you not to leave it out, its totally worth it!
Crispy Apricot Pork Chops
1 T olive oil
2 slices multigrain sandwich bread
4 bone in pork loin chops
4 tsp apricot jam
Preheat oven to 425. Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil; set aside.
Tear the bread into large pieces; place in a food processor. Pulse until large crumbs form. Drizzle with oil; pulse once or twice, just until the crumbs are moistened.
Season the pork with S&P. Spread one side of each chop with 1 tsp jam. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the jam, pat them on gently.
Transfer pork, coated side up, to the baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and pork is opaque throughout, meat should be 150 degrees, about 14-16 min.
Logan Rating: ***
Doesn't this look delicious!? Well if you said yes, you are correct, because it was! Sometimes when I'm cooking meals like this I feel like I'm in a real restaurant...ok so maybe I'm crazy, but look at it, doesn't it look professional!? This was so easy, I'm not kidding and it was actually really nice to have a meal that had no starch. Don't worry though, if you need the starch you could always serve this with some rice. The recipe calls for cod, which is what I used, but you could really use any kind of white flaky fish if you can't find cod.
Cod with Leeks and Tomatoes
2 med leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T olive oil
3 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
4 cod fillets, each 6-8 oz
Preheat the oven to 450. In a 9x13 in baking dish, toss together leeks, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cover with foil, bake until leeks just begin to soften, 8-10 min.
Remove baking dish from the oven. Add the tomatoes, toss to combine. Season with both sides of the cod fillets with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; place on top of veggies.
Cover dish and bake until fish is opaque throughout, 15-20 min.
Logan Rating: ***
Hello to all on this fantastic Saturday morning! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend so far, I know I am. I love to just have a cup of coffee and blog about all the wonderful recipes I have been cooking over the past few days. I'm going to use this opportunity to catch up so hopefully you will enjoy all the food I have to share with you. It is still amazing to me that after this many recipes I haven't tired of this challenge! I think it actually gets more exciting as the challenge goes on. The closer I get to halfway, the more excited I get, what a feat that will be! Anyway onto this recipe, curry chicken, how awesome and easy this recipe was. I think I have mentioned before that we love curry in this house...not that it necessarily loves us, but what can ya do?! Now this recipe did call for curry powder, which confused me because I don't know that I've ever seen mild, med, or hot curry powder. Because of this confusion I used red curry paste that I had in the fridge, let me know if you have any idea what they meant by "medium to hot curry powder". Anyway it was still really good with the curry paste, however I needed quite a bit to make it nice and spicy, I think I used about 1 1/2 T, maybe a little more even. I decided to serve this with some brown rice, but the other accompaniments that they suggest are plain yogurt, raisins, toasted almonds or mango chutney.
2 T all purpose flour
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T plus 2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp medium to hot curry powder
3/4 lb small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 in chunks
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with juice
Place flour on a plate, dredge chicken in flour. IN a large nonstick pan, heat 1 T oil over med heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 min on each side. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
Heat remaining oil in pan; cook onion and garlic, stirring until onion is soft, about 5 min. Stir in the curry powder (or paste) and 3/4 tsp salt; cook for 1 min.
Add potatoes and 1 cup water, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 7 min. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 cup water.
Return chicken to the skillet along with any accumulated juices. Simmer, covered until chicken is cooked through, 12-15 min. Serve hot, with desired accompaniments.
Logan Rating: ***
Thursday, September 23, 2010
While you generally see a frittata on the breakfast table, this one is served as dinner. I try to do a couple of meat-less meals every week, mostly because its cheaper and also because I don't want to be one of those people that eats over 200 lbs of meat a YEAR! Yikes, can you believe that, its 1/2 lb A DAY! So here is an example of a no meat evening in our house. This frittata was pretty good, a little bland, but when eaten with the peppers it really boosted the flavor. This was a nice quick meal, one that you could just throw together after a long day at work or school. And you could throw just about anything in it and it would be delicious.
Potato and Onion Frittata
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 baking potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
5 large eggs
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup whole flat leaf parsley leaves
In a med nonstick broiler proof skillet, heat 1 T oil. Add onion, potato and rosemary; season with S&P and toss to combine.
Cover skillet and cook for 10 min; uncover. Cook tossing until onion and potato are tender, about 5 min more.
Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, parsley, S&P.
Heat broiler, add remaining T oil to veggies in skillet. Pour egg mixture into skillet.
Cook on stove over low heat, lifting mixture a few times around the edges with a spatula to let egg flow underneath. Continue cooking until frittata is almost set in center, about 10 min.
Place skillet under broiler; broil until set and top is golden, about 3 min.
Bell Pepper Saute
2 bell peppers
1 T olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
Remove the seeds and ribs from the peppers: cut lengthwise into strips and halve crosswise. Heat the oil in nonstick skillet over med heat. Add peppers and onion: season with S&P. Cook, until peppers are just tender about 10 min.
Logan Rating: **
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Here is another of my attempts at making homemade pasta. When I make pasta I like to pretend that I come from a big Italian family that makes pasta and jars red sauce together...and then I stop day dreaming and realize I'm making it with my kitchen aide mixer! haha I think it turned out pretty good though , despite the fact that most recipes say if you use fresh spinach the pasta turns out chunky and weird. This pasta was neither chunky or weird, it was merely delicious! I have not, however, perfected exactly how long to boil the noodles so that they are just perfectly al dente...I guess I will just have to keep practicing. This recipe was AMAZING...I thought it tasted like I was at an Italian restaurant or something. Not only was it delicious, but I made it a little more figure friendly by substituting fat free half & half for the heavy cream that it calls for. Saves TONS of calories and fat, and it really still tasted AWESOME! Don't skimp on the walnuts though, they really make a difference with the flavor. Oh and I must mention that if you don't make the pasta and just buy the pasta this meal literally would take you about 15 min to prepare! Sweet huh??!!
Here is the recipe I used to make the noodles...
1 lb spinach linguine
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove
2 cups walnuts (7oz) toasted
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup firmly packed coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Bring water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta; return to pot.
Combine cream, garlic and 1 cup walnuts in a food processor and blend until smooth, season with S&P. Transfer to the pot along with 1/4 cup parmesan, parsley and remaining 1 cup walnuts. Toss to coat pasta.
Logan Rating: ****
When it feels like fall, I cook like its fall. Sad to say that the weather is cooling off and the leaves are starting to change so its time to move from BBQing to roasting again. This meal was so awesome, it really hit the spot for me on a cool evening. In my opinion you can never go wrong with mashed potatoes, so this meal had a leg up from the beginning. Plus, just look at it, you have your carb, meat, veggie and fruit all on one dinner plate, how perfect! ;) Not to mention that it is pork chops and apples, which is always such a great combination. It was definitely a pretty easy meal, however it does take some multi tasking, so read the recipe through a few times before you start and you'll be just fine.
Pork Chops with Apples and Shallots
2 T butter (you could substitute olive oil)
1/2 lb shallots, halved or quartered lengthwise
2 granny smith apples, peeled , cored and cut into eighths
1/2 cup white wine
4 pork rib chops (1/2 in thick, 6-8 oz each).
Heat broiler, set rack 4 in from heat. Heat butter over medium heat and add shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned, about 5 min. Cover the pan and reduce heat to med. Continue cooking until shallots are soft, about 5 min more.
Add apples and wine; cover and cook until apples are beginning to soften, about 5 min. Uncover; cook stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples are tender, 2-4 min more. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.
While the apples are cooking season pork chops with S&P; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cooked through, 3-5 min per side. Spoon apple mixture over chops to serve.
Wilted Spinach with Nutmeg
2 T butter (again olive oil if you prefer)
2 packages (10oz each) fresh spinach, rinsed and tough ends discarded
pinch of ground nutmeg
In a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, melt butter. Add spinach; cover and cook until wilted, about 5 min. Remove from heat. Season with nutmeg and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in pieces.
1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk
2 T butter, cut into small pieces
Place potatoes in a large saucepan; add enough water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; add 1 T salt, and cook until potatoes are very tender, 20-25 min.
Drain; place in a large bowl and mash with potato masher. Add buttermilk and butter, season with S&P. Mash until smooth and combined.
Pork chops & Spinach: ***
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I know you're jealous, it's OK, you can admit it! :) So we had a "color" themed supper club and I decided, DUH rainbow cupcakes! Now I had never made these before, and it was a bit time consuming to lay down all the different layers, but you tell me, was it worth it???? I THINK YES! Not only did these taste delicious, but the look on everyones faces when they bit into them was PRICLESS! Ok ok I know, this is not from the cookbooks, but how could I not share such a wonderful creation with you all! If you love FUN, you will love THESE!
Friday, September 17, 2010
I have to say that one of my FAVORITE things to cook is soup! I think I like it so much because I can throw a bunch of food into one big pot and it always ends up tasting delicious, even if I may have left out or added an ingredient or two. Who wouldn't love that? Now sometimes soups can be a bit time consuming, with all the chopping and stirring and such, but this one really isn't bad. I promise, and have I lied to you yet? Well I hope not at least! This is such an awesome fall/winter meal and it makes a TON of leftover so you can enjoy it for many nights. You can store the soup in the freezer before adding the beans and noodles and then take it out when you don't feel like cooking. When I was testing the flavor of this soup I decided it was a little watery for my liking so I did add about 3/4-1 cup of marinara sauce, which I think really helped. Also because we love a little kick around here, I added about 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, always a favorite. ENJOY!
1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1 carrot, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded
1 T fresh rosemary or 1tsp dried
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5oz)
1 can (19oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz (or more if desired) elbow macaroni
grated parmesan, for garnish
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, leek, carrot, and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, 3-4 min. Stir in zucchini, cabbage, and rosemary; cook, stirring until veggies are coated, 1-2 min. Add tomatoes with their juice and enough water (about 6 cups) to cover vegetables by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Season with S&P. Cook until veggies are tender and soup is thickened, about 10 min.
Stir in beans and pasta; cook until pasta is al dente, 10-15 min. Season with more S&P. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.
Logan Rating: ***