Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A few things...

i know, i know -- i've been MIA lately. it's not that i haven't been cooking, cause i cook almost everyday. and it's not that i haven't been trying new recipes, cause i try a few new recipes a week. so why haven't i been posting them, you ask?? ~sigh~ i have no idea!
i think that is the beauty of doing this blog with Nancy, she picks up my slack... so now, while she is busy with some family things, i plan to fill in the gap.

Here are a couple of recipes that i made last week that either i loved, or my husband loved.

Chicken & Sweet Potatoes With Shallots

(photo from real simple website)

**This is one that my husband loved. He even reminded me yesterday how much he liked it. I liked it because it was soo easy! and very budget friendly! (my notes are in bold and italicized)

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
kosher salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (each 6 ounces)
4 shallots, sliced into thin rings
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary


  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 14 to 16 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, drain the sweet potatoes, and return them to the pot. Mash with the reserved cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes per side; transfer to plates.
  3. Wipe out the skillet (why on earth would you wipe out all of that flavor?? I de-glazed the pan with a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth, then put a tablespoon of butter in and let it melt. I omitted the remaining oil.)
    and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until the shallots are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. (I know I cooked the shallots a bit longer than it says. I like caramelized onions, so it just sounded like the way to go!!)
    Serve the chicken with the potatoes and drizzle with the shallot mixture.

By Kate Merker, February 2010
Real Simple Magazine, February 2010

Pasta with Gorgonzola & Beef Tenderloin

(photo from goodLife {eats} website)

**This is one that i absolutely looooooved!! I love blue cheese/gorgonzola anything. I love a really good steak. and I love pasta. So, why didn't i think of this recipe? I dunno that answer either... but i am really glad someone did!!
This one, however, is not that cost-effective. it is definitely a dinner that you make on a special occasion, like katie did for Valentine's Day. Or like me, who had extra money in her grocery budget this week, and instead of saving, felt the urge to splurge! (my notes are in bold and italicized)

1 lb. filet mignon, cut into 2 inch medallions (i much prefer a steak... so instead of cutting medallions, i left my filet as 2 steaks)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces uncooked pasta, linquine or fettuccini

Toss the filet mignon medallions (i much prefer a steak... so instead of cutting medallions, i left my filet as steaks) with the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a saute pan, (i used a dutch oven, so that i could put it in the oven later...) heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef. Cook without turning for 2-3 minutes, or until browned. Turn and repeat. (then put the steak in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes) Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. (If you would like the meat more well done, cook for additional time)

Combine the butter through white wine in a saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer and stir in the Parmesan and Gorgonzola. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 2 minutes, stirring to ensure the cheese has dispersed evenly.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and filet mignon (i sliced the tenderloins thinly and placed on top of the pasta) medallions. Garnish with additional Gorgonzola.

Note: just before serving, I threw the asparagus into the pan I cooked the beef in. Sauteed it for a minute, poured a few glugs of white wine, and put the lid on it. After steaming it for a minute or two I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it drizzled with some of the pan drippings you cooked it in. (yummy!)

a goodLife {eats} creation

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu #32

Monday: Turkey Chili

Tuesday: Baked Chicken & Lemon Pasta
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with Carmelized Shallots
Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Thursday: Ravioli with Edamame & Bacon

Friday: Beer Battered Fish with Chile Mandarin Sauce
French Fries

Saturday: Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon
Sauteed Spinach

Sunday: Pasta with Gorgonzola & Beef Tenderloin

Friday, February 12, 2010

Menu #31

Monday: Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter over Tortellini

Green Salad

Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Roast Beef

Carrots & Potatoes

Wednesday: Bistro Chicken

(side ??)

Green Salad

Thursday: Chili Chicken Skewers
Cilantro Pesto

Cole Slaw (with jalapeno ranch dressing)

Friday: Lasagna

Caesar Salad


Saturday: Cinnamon-Spiced Pork and Plums

Mashed Potatoes


Sunday: Chicken Piccata



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

White Bean Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups good chicken stock
1 (18.75 ounce) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes- I use roasted, diced tomatoes
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed- I use fresh cilantro instead
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can white beans- I use white kidney beans
2 ears fresh corn, husked and cut from cob- I use 1 cup of frozen corn when I cant get fresh
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1-2 whole jalapeno's, sliced
1 small red or green bell pepper, chopped, optional

Ideas For Garnish:
sliced limes
sour cream
shredded cheese, my favorite is Jack
thin baked corn tortilla strips
avacado slices
thin sliced green onions

Heat oil, and cook onion, bell pepper (if using) and garlic until soft.
Stir in broth, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, jalapeno slices and all spices, (except fresh cilantro, add this at the very end).
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add corn, chicken, and beans; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with garnish choices

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

This is another recipe served at MOPS. It's delicious!! You can also add fruit. Blueberries and sliced strawberries are my favorite. This is made the night before and soaks overnight.
1 loaf French Bread (13-16 oz)
8 large Eggs
2 cups Half and Half
1 cup Milk
2 tbs. Granulated Sugar
1 ts. Vanilla Extract
1/2 ts. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 ts. Ground Nutmeg
Dash Salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple Syrup, Optional

Slice french bread into 20 slices, 1 inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9x13 inch baking dish, in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat or wisk until blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly.  Spoon some of the mixture between slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, Preheat oven to 350. Spread praline topping (and/or fruit) evenly over the bread. Bake 40 minutes until puffed up and golden. Serve with Maple syrup.
Praline Topping-
2 Sticks Butter
1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Chopped Pecans
2 tbs. Light Corn Syrup
1/2 ts. Cinnamon
1/2 ts. Nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.
Recipe, Paula Deen

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Menu #29

Monday: Chicken Enchilada's
Refried Beans
Spanish Rice

Tuesday: Pork Chops
Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto

Wednesday: White Chicken Chili

Thursday: Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Friday: Out

Monday, February 1, 2010

Salsa Cheese Omelet Casserole

I love my MOPS meetings. I love the friends, fellowship and I love the food!!
Do we have readers that are MOPS Mommies? I'm always looking for dishes to bring.. and here is my favorite egg dish. I got this recipe from my leader, Jackie.. and I have no idea where she got it from, but it's delicious.. and there are never any leftovers. 
3/4 cup Salsa- My favorite salsa to make this with is Salsa Verde. I also like Roasted Chipotle
1 1/2 cup grated Jack Cheese
1 1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
9 eggs
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, diced small
chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Pour in salsa. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the jack cheese, 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and the whole amount of diced cream cheese. Blend eggs and sour cream in a blender. Pour on top. Sprinkle remaining cheese. Bake for 40 minutes, covered. Un-cover, sprinkle chives and bake until center is set and top is slightly brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serves about 12-16 cut in small squares.