Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mince & Potatoes

This is a North Eastern dish that my mom made a lot for me when I was growing up. I couldn't get enough of the dish then and I still can't get enough of it now. It's a savory & flavorful dish that I am sure you will be sharing with your family.

2 lbs hamburger (mince)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp Marmite (or 1/2 cube beef stock)
Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp HP Sauce
1/2 boiling water

Brown mince over high heat stiring to break up. Add the onion and marmite. Season with salt and pepper. Add boiling water and stir well. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add a good shake (about 1/2 ounce) worcestershire sauce. Add HP sauce. Check for taste.

Serve piping hot with over mashed potatoes. (I made my mashed potatoes with cream cheese, butter, and chicken stock..yum!)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chicken Piccata

I do my best to not eat a ton of carbs in the evening unless of course I have a race the next morning. When I do have to run I always have a filling meal with lots of protien and carbohydrates. Hey, give your body what it needs, right!?

Tomorrow, one of my friends, Julie, and I are going to be running in her first 5K ever! To help celebrate the event I had her over for a pre 5K meal. On the menu was blue cheese stuffed olives, cheesey garlic bread, angel hair pasta with a lemon-butter chicken piccata - a meal fit for a champion!

3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 pounds, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp sage
3 tbsp butter

In a shallow bowl, combine flour salt and pepper. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, warm 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the chicken, 2 or 3 pieces at a time, and cook, turing ONLY once, until browned and opaque throughout, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and cook loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

In the same pan over medium high heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the shallots and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to cook, stiring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits from the pan, reduce (about 3 minutes). Add the lemon juice, stock, butter, and capers. Cook 4 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Parmesan Chicken

Talk about quick and easy! I had everything in my fridge AND it was preped and ready to go in 25 mintues! To top it all off the chicken turned out fantabulous! It's cheesy, it's crispy, it's creamy all at the same time.

Please pause for a moment of drool.

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used reduced fat - trust me, you wont miss the fat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Combine mayo and cheese in a bowl. Pour bread crumbs on a sepearate plate. Cover the chicken breasts in the mayo and cheese and then roll each breast into the bread crumbs, covering completely. Place in a small lightly greased casserole dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

note : I placed the chicken in the dish the way I took it out of the package (ie, I didn't open the breasts and lay them flat) I ended up having to cook the chicken for 35 minutes. If you open the breasts I think the 20 minutes will be just perfect.

One last note : I am serious with the light mayo part. Try it and if you don't like it let me know and I'll change the recipe...I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tater Tot Casserole

Everyone has that one dish that was a staple in their childhood. For me it was casseroles. My mom always made fantastic casseroles and thus started my fascination with quick and easy meals. This dish is just that and fairly good for you since it regulates the amount of tater-tots you can eat!

1 pound hamburger
3/4 cup (1 bunch) green onion, chopped
1 can green beans, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag frozen tater tots

Spray 3 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread hamburger into dish, covering entire bottom. Top with onions & green beans. (I seasoned with Garlic Salt for taste). Spread cream of mushroom soup over the bean layer then top with tater tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lemon Meltaways

I first tried this recipe about a year ago in a Thursday staff meeting. One of my fantabulous coworkers, Erin, (who also happens to be a fantastic cook) brought in some goodies to keep us awake :). I vividly remember these cookies because it was so refresing to get a cookie without chocolate (every now and then, of course!).

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1-3 drops yellow food coloring if desired

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon juice. Combine the flour and cornstarch. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Shape into two 8 inch rolls. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove to wire racks to cool. For frosting, combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Frost cooled cookies. Makes about 5 dozen cookies, or 2-1/2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Ahh..the goodness that is marshallow fluff! Because sometimes you just have to eat dinner like a true adult!

2 slices of bread
1/8 cup marshmallow fluff
1/8 cup peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful)

Using a knife, spread a generous layer of peanut butter on one slice of bread.

Clean the knife and then repeat with a layer of marshmallow fluff.

Put the two pieces of bread together with the peanut butter and fluff sides facing one another. Cut the sandwhich at a diagonal for easier eating!

I LOVE these. They are especially tasty with a tall glass of milk!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Indian Curry

Last weekend we went to the Clay Pit with a friend. And although it was delish, it was WAY to expensive for my blood. So what was the next best thing? Make it at home! In my opinion this is a mild curry flavor. If you want to make it spicier, increase the amount of chili and curry.

2 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
3 tsp curry powder
1 can diced tomatoe, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground red chili pepper
2 tsp salt
1 pound cubed chicken
1 can light coconut milk

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard & cumin seeds. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the tomatoes and oil with the seeds. Cook about 1 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in remaning spices and add chicken. Cook for about 8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Simmer over low heat for around 10 minutes.

Serve hot, spooned over warm basmati rice. (We actually used a mexican pasta instead and it was just as good - just not authentic).

This recipe is low-cal & high in protien - about 219 calories & 29 grams of protien per 3/4 cup!

Adam's thoughts: "I like me some curry. Lots of flavor, but not overly rich. It's kinda hard to describe curry chicken. You either like it or you dont. It tastes like curry...which is yummy!"

Monika's thoughts: "Uh, yeah..this is a MUCH better option than the clay pit! I also like it because I can control the spiciness. I'm no Indian food expert, but this sure fooled my taste buds. I am going to take this to lunch tomorrow!".

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Plantain Pie with Cheese

Part of my new years resolution was to eat one new fruit or veggie a week. Last week I made brussle sprouts (which I LOVED) and this week I decided to make something with plantains. Unlike bananas, plantains are good through all stages of their ripeness. When they are green they resemble potatoes and when they turn black they get very sweet.

This recipe is a slight adaptation from a Latin dish I found in Bon appetite with a sweet and savory flavor.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large ripe (yellow) plantains, peeled, cut on diagonal into 2 inch long ovals
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1 pound ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup blue-cheese stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped, plus 3 tbls of brine
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baking spice (or allspice)
1 tbls yellow cornmeal
12 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add plantain slices and cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side). Using a slotted spoon, transfer slices to a sheet of foil. Pat plantains with paper towel and cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons oil from skillet for filling.

Line a greased 9 inch pie dish with a single layer of cooled plantains. Using fingers, firmly press slices together to seal any gaps. Set crust aside.

Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Add beef and saute until brown. Add tomatoes, raisins, olives, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, and baking spice and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Crumble half of the queso fresco over crust, then spoon in filling and press to compact. Sprinkle evenly with remaining queso fresco. Bake pie until cheese is melted and filling is heated through, about 20 minutes.

Adams thoughts : "Can't talk eating...I would probably rate this a ten. I love food like this. Mmmm. Mmm-Mmm-Mmm...(eats a few more spoonfuls)...I will have more stuff to add when I am not busy being in flavor country."

Monika's thoughts : This dish really has everything. It gets me pumped for all the tropical food we are going to eat on our honeymoon. I think if someone wants to make some thing a little different than your standard meat & potatoes this will fit the bill.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Play Ball!

I love baseball. It doesn't get much better than sitting in the Texas sun enjoying the excitement of the crowd, the crack of the bat, and a nice and tasty hot dog!

This year was a little different. It was the first year in a long time that I didn't get tickets to the home opener and I was a little bit upset. (Saving for a wedding takes a lot out of your piggy bank). But, no need to fear! If you can't go to the baseball game, bring the baseball game to you!

So we played hookie from work to watch our Texas Rangers and broke out the grill!

On our Game Day Menu:

2 Vanilla Cokes with Ice
Hebrew National 99% Fat Free Hot Dogs
Sauerkraut & Grilled Onions
2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo & Relish
1 Betty Crocker Bake n Fill Baseball cake

This was the first time I used my Bake & Fill cake. I got it for a Christmas present, but had forgot about it in my closet. I'm not posting the recipe for the cake because I just used the standard cake mix. (I did make my own cream cheese frosting.) I'll start testing recipes for future games!

Go Rangers! It's going to be a great season!