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April 30, 2009

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Mexican — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 5:16 am

These Sloppy Joes have got some heat behind them!  My mouth was still feeling the heat after I was done.  My husband called it a slow burn!  In any case they were great and a new twist on the traditional family recipe.  I saw this in Cooking Light and knew it had to be added to the menu for a fun Friday meal.  My husband was even home for dinner that night so it was even better.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  I added some water to the mixture at the end to thin it down a little.  I’m always amazed when a recipe tells you how many servings you should be able to get out of it, but when you look at it all cooked up all you can do is laugh!  Wow!  Honestly, this served about 3 people instead of 4 or 6.  You have been warned.  My husband isn’t a huge fan of onions, especially when they are so large and cooked so there were more for me.  I thought the onions gave it a nice touch.  From what my husband reports it was great as leftovers too.

Enjoy!

100_3792

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/2  cups  presliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1/2  cup  prechopped green bell pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 5  (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted

Preparation

1. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

2. Remove 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 1 chipotle chile from can; chop and set aside. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in chopped chipotle chile, adobo sauce, tomato paste, and next 3 ingredients (through tomato sauce); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun, and top evenly with onions and top half of bun.

Plate with pickle chips and a simple slaw. Combine 1/3 cup canola-based mayonnaise, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add 3 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw, tossing well to combine.

April 24, 2009

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Mexican, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:52 pm

I must admit that when it comes to food I judge a book by it’s cover and it’s title too.  I saw this in Cooking Light and knew I had to make it.  Every time I picked up the magazine I was drawn to the recipe.  I think knowing that I had chicken breasts in the freezer helped me to decide that I would add this to the menu for the week.  I was looking forward to this meal the whole week!

This recipe was so easy to put together.  I loved that I didn’t feel rushed when I was prepping it.  The marinade for the chicken was wonderful and smelled great.  The salsa was so easy to toss together.  I chopped a little extra cilantro and added it to the salsa.  I couldn’t resist trying a spoonful of the salsa.  I could have eaten the whole bowl!  When the chicken was cooking I was thinking about how delicious a margarita would have been with this meal.  Too bad I didn’t have any of the makings!  Drinking by myself wouldn’t have been much fun either!  My husband is working nights right now but that will hopefully change soon!  I was so thankful that I have a great grill pan for my chicken!  It made wonderful marks.  I think this would work out great on the grill too.  I served my chicken with some Spanish rice.  I suggest you make this for your family or even company.

Enjoy!

100_3789

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

source:  Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Chicken:
  • 2  tablespoons  minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Salsa:
  • 1  cup  chopped plum tomato (about 2)
  • 2  tablespoons  finely chopped onion
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  avocado, peeled and finely chopped

Preparation

1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl. Add avocado; stir gently to combine. Serve salsa over chicken.

April 21, 2009

Broccoli, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stromboli

Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Pork — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 1:04 pm

I saw this recipe in my Everyday Food magazine and folded down the corner to remind myself to come back to it in a week or two.  I have made stromboli before and have even had them in New York and they were delicious.

To me this recipe was a bit lacking.  I think it needs more spices.  I will probably make those changes if I make it again.  I did make a few changes in the recipe.  I used pizza dough that was  bit different than what you get in the roll in the refrigerator section, instead I used pizza dough from Trader Joes.  I love that stuff!  I also didn’t use the salami the recipe called for, instead I used chopped up ham that I had left over from Easter.  As I’m writing this I’m also starting to wonder what the stromboli would be like with chopped spinach instead of broccoli.  Hmm!

Enjoy!

100_3763

Broccoli, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stromboli

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1 package (1 pound) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella (6 ounces)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Divide dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch out each piece, first to a 3-by-4 inch oval, then to a 6-by-8-inch oval (let dough rest briefly if too elastic to work with).
  2. Place broccoli in a strainer, and press to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a double layer of paper towels, and pat dry.
  3. Dividing evenly, scatter broccoli over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, top with mozzarella, salami, and 1/2 cup marinara.
  4. Starting at a shorter end, roll up each stromboli, and place, seam side down, on baking sheet. Using the tip of a paring knife, cut two slits in the top of each. Brush with oil. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve stromboli with 1/2 cup marinara for dipping.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:47 pm

I made these last week for a student in a class that I’m teaching one day a week.  He was done with the class so I wanted to bring something to congratulate him but also to celebrate.  He is a senior in high school and has decided to go to my alma mater next year.  Go Eags!  The class is 14 weeks long and most students come 14 weeks in a row, others come sporadically.  In the class I’m teaching the students about making good choices, social skills and how to manage their anger.  I was going to give this student a choice of  cookies but time got away from me so I decided to go with the classic and always safe, Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have another student who is about to finish the class soon too.  I will probably give him a choice of cookie recipes.

When I decided to make chocolate chip cookies I knew that I wanted to try a different recipe (usually I use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag).  This time I chose to consult my Martha Stewart cookies cookbook.  I knew their had to be a recipe in there!  I was in luck!  These turned out just like the title  says, soft and chewy!  They are definitely being added to the cookie repitore!  I’m still trying to replicate the delicious Mrs. Field’s cookies.  That might take some time.

I don’t have a picture of the cookies.  I’m assuming you know what chocolate chip cookies look like but also the whole batch is gone.  I took half to class and kept the rest here.  We made fast work of them!

Enjoy!

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

source:  Martha Stewart Cookies and Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

April 16, 2009

Slow-Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Mexican — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:54 pm

My husband is a self proclaimed chili officiando.  When he was in college he lived on tortilla chips, chili (out of can) and Mountain Dew.  Sounds like a bachelor huh?  He would  still eat that every day if  I would let him!  I buy all that for him when he needs a treat!  He has some things that he’s picky about, I won’t bore you and list them all but big pieces of tomatoes are on that list.  So that makes a lot of the classic home made chili recipes a bit difficult to make for him.  When he tried this recipe he said that he may never he canned chili again.  He liked it that much!

This chili was delicious!  The pieces of beef were so tender that they nearly fell apart in your mouth before you could chew it.  I love my slow cooker.  This recipe was so easy to throw together and forget about.  I made this before I taught my night class and it was great to come home to.  I thought that it would be really spicey with the amount of chili powder but it wasn’t that spicey.

I told my mom about the recipe and she was interested because she isn’t a fan of ground beef.  If that is you, I suggest you try this recipe.  It does make enough for 4 people so double the recipe if you intend on making it for a crowd. This would be great with some corn bread too!

Enjoy!

100_3757

Slow-Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, for serving

Directions

  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine beef, tomato puree, beans, onion (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish), garlic, chili powder, 2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 8 hours). Serve chili topped with sour cream and reserved onion.

April 15, 2009

Linguine with Spring Vegetables

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:40 pm

I spotted this recipe and I knew I wanted to try it.  My mom had even shared some of her asparagus that she found on sale.  My husband is not a huge fan of it so this was a perfect vegetarian meal for me to cook for me.  I loved the combination of all the vegetables.  I ate this as leftovers for lunch for 2 days last week.  It reheats wonderfully.  I added some Parmesan cheese on top it was even better.   The only part of the recipe that took some time was cutting all the vegetables.   I suggest you try this if you are looking for a great vegetarian meal.

Enjoy!

100_3754

Linguine with Spring Vegetables

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 1 pound asparagus (tough ends removed), cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise (quartered if large) and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas (stem ends trimmed), halved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves

Directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 4 minutes short of al dente; add asparagus, zucchini, and snap peas. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta mixture, and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, bring cream and butter to a simmer. Toss in pasta mixture and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce (it will thicken as it stands). Season with salt and pepper, and top with tarragon.

April 7, 2009

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 11:00 am

Like I usually do when I’m making the weekly menu I  browsed through my newest issue of Everyday Food and looked at the recipes that I had dog eared.  I came across this one and knew I wanted to try it because I had a lot of the ingredients on hand already.  Yeah for saving money at the grocery store later!  Chicken legs were buy one get one free a month or two ago so I had a package of those in the freezer.  I also “thought” I had orange marmalade in the refrigerator.  Much to my dismay, it was apricot preserves.  Oops!  I made a quick call to my mom to ask if there was going to be a big difference or not.  She didn’t think so, so I moved forward.  You see, we have 2 grocery stores that aren’t that far away when there isn’t traffic but with traffic and everyone else just getting off of work, the thought didn’t sound too appealing!  So, when I try this recipe again I will make it with marmalade.

This was my first time preparing bulgur.  I’ve had it at my sister-in-laws house though.  Finding it in the store was a bit of an adventure.  I thought that it might be in one of 3 spots.  It might be with the pasta, who knows, or the rice, makes sense to me, or in the organic section.   Ding ding!  It was in the organic section of the grocery store.  Now, I just need to find more recipes to use up some more of what I have leftover.  I guess it’s time to consult the back of the package or maybe my collection of cookbooks! I also loved how quickly the bulgur cooked up, much faster than rice!

After looking at my pictures I think that I needed a green vegetable or even a salad to go with this.  Next time I will add something.  I was also impressed with what little time it took the chicken to bake.  The recipe was almost exact.  Most recipes usually require more time than they specify is needed.  I will make this again.

Enjoy!100_3750

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Carrots and Bulgur

source: Everyday Food and Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, arrange chicken in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes. Brush with half the marmalade, and rotate sheet. Continue to roast, brushing once more with marmalade, until chicken is browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  2. While chicken is roasting, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add bulgur and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low; cook until bulgur is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with bulgur.

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Filed under: Bread, Breakfast, Fruit — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 10:43 am

I’m always on the prowl for new recipes with bananas and I found a good one this time.  When I saw that the title had both banana and peanut butter I knew it was going to be good!  These came together very easily.  I loved the hint of the banana and peanut butter tastes in each bite.  In my opinion these are not a light and fluffy muffin.  One muffin will do just fine for me!  My husband tested a muffin the night I made them and he also agreed that he didn’t need to eat more than one because he was full!  Usually we can eat 2 muffins for breakfast.  Another thing that I loved was that the recipe didn’t use a lot of peanut butter like peanut butter cookies usually do.

Enjoy!100_3743

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

source: Baking Bites

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 med.)
6 tbsp peanut butter (pref. creamy)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, peanut butter and buttermilk until very smooth, making sure all egg has been well-incorporated. Pour into flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, filling each just about up to the top.
Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12.

April 3, 2009

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

Filed under: Main Dish, Pork — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:56 am

When I was planning this week’s menu and looking through Everyday Food I came across this recipe.  I also remembered that I had a lonely pork chop in my freezer.  Perfect!  I made the vinaigrette recipe but only used 1/4 cup of it on the pork chop.  I only let my pork chop marinate for an hour but I can see how it would be even better if it sat for even longer.  The vinaigrette was very easy to put together.  I think it would be great on chicken or maybe even steak.  As I’m looking at the recipe in the magazine I noticed that they suggest pairing it with a spinach salad.

Enjoy!

100_3740

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

source:  Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 4

Directions

  1. Place pork in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over pork, and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day).
  2. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Remove pork from marinade (letting excess drip off); place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil, without turning, until opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes (if chops are browning too quickly, turn them). Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Filed under: Chicken, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 10:45 am

I spotted this recipe in my Everyday Food magazine and knew I wanted to try it.  I also knew that I would have to make some modifications or changes because of one of the ingredients, mushrooms.  My husband is not a fan and rather than watch him pick them out I decided to divide the sauce in half once I was to the point when I was supposed to add the mushrooms.  The recipe makes enough for 8 people and you are supposed to put the casserole into 2 casserole pans.  So it worked out perfect. I loved the taste of the sun-dried tomatoes and the mushrooms in this recipe.  My husband has been taking his part of the casserole to work for dinner this week.  He says it’s still great!

Enjoy!

100_3736

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Serves 8

  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.
  7. Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.
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