Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day #149 - Sub Sandwich


I did NOT feel like cooking tonight.   So I threw together a large sub sandwich.  A large piece of an herb baguette, mustard, pickles, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, turkey breast, and ham.   A handful of Garden Veggie SunChips, and a small bowl of yogurt with frozen peach slices, rounded out my meal.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day #148 - BBQ Wings


Happy Memorial Day!

Instead of making the "traditional" Memorial Day foods of grilled burgers, steaks, or ribs, I stayed indoors and cooked some oven-baked BBQ chicken wings.

I started with a pack of 8 small chicken wings.  I rubbed them with a little olive oil, then coated them in Dove's Sweet N Spicy Cocoa Rub.   I then roasted them in the oven for about an hour at 400 degrees F.   About halfway through cooking time, I coated the wings with some BBQ sauce.   By the time they were cooked, the meat was falling off the bones!!

Along with the wings, I had a little Chex Mix with dried cranberries, in place of chips.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day #147 - Potluck Picnic


Tonight I attended the annual Shakespeare in the Park, here in St. Louis.  This year's outdoor performance is The Taming of the Shrew.  Every year a group of us heads to the park early for a potluck picnic dinner.  This year, our dinner consisted of:
Fresh fruit salad (green grapes, raspberries, blueberries,  pineapple, and mandarin oranges)
Veggies (carrots, celery, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes) with dill dip
Black Pepper tortilla chips with homemade guacamole
Mini sandwiches (ham, turkey, & cheese on little dollar rolls)
Chicken salad (chicken, mayo, grapes, and mandarin oranges) wraps on spinach tortillas
Broccoli salad (broccoli, golden raisins, red onion, sunflower kernels, a mayo dressing, and maybe bacon?)
Chocolate cake for dessert - not pictured here, as we didn't eat it until intermission and it was dark outside.

It was all delicious!! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day #146 - Chicken Lo Mein


Tonight my parents and I ordered Chinese food for dinner.   I chose to try Chicken Lo Mein, instead of my usual favorites.  Along with the lo mein noodles and chicken, the dish also included snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and those little baby corn.   We also had Crab Rangoon on the side.   And, of course, a fortune cookie for dessert!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day #145 - BBQ Pork and Roasted Veggies






Tonight's dinner all started with a craving - a craving for roasted broccoli.  I have no idea where that craving came from, other than it was the only thing that sounded good when I was thinking about cooking dinner.   I had about three-fourths of a broccoli bunch in the fridge, so I cut it into florets and tossed them with olive oil, crushed black pepper, and garlic salt.   Since I needed more to eat than just a few roasted broccoli florets, I pulled out some sweet potato fries from the freezer, and put those on the same stone baking pan as the broccoli.  The fries & florets roasted in the oven for 16 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, I pulled out the leftover pork roast from the fridge, and sliced off a few thin slices.  I reheated these slices with some BBQ sauce that was thinned slightly with a little Cola.  I figured the sweetness would help counteract the heat of the chipotle rub.   I created a sandwich from the BBQ pork using a crusty herb baguette that I bought from the bakery down the street, a few slices of sharp white cheddar cheese, and a few kale leaves.   It made a very good sandwich!  And the roasted broccoli satisfied my very strange craving. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day #144 - Pork Fajitas


Tonight I took some of the leftover Chocolate-Chipotle Pork and turned it into fajitas.   In a small skillet, I sauteed some thinly sliced pork, green pepper, and kale.  I cooked them until the pork & pepper were browned, and the kale was wilted.   In the microwave, I heated two whole grain tortillas.   On the tortillas, I spread a little plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, then topped with the pork fajitas and veggies.   Rolled them up, and they were ready to eat.   The green pepper, cheese, and yogurt helped to calm the spice of the pork's chipotle rub coating.  The fajitas were very flavorable, and a nice change from beef or chicken.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day #143 - Chicken Noodle Soup


Obviously, from the photo above, dinner was neither homemade or spectacular.  It was just a can of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup and some Saltine crackers.

If you haven't heard on the news, the Midwest has been hit with all kinds of nasty storms and tornadic activity recently.   Tonight we had a couple waves of storms pass through the area, so I spent the time between 4-5pm down in my basement.  That alone cut into my dinner preparation time, so I wanted something quick for dinner.   Plus, I am feeling a little under-the-weather today (sore throat and head pressure), so I really wanted soup.  I didn't have the ingredients on hand to make anything from scratch, so I pulled this can out of my pantry.    Simple.

And that was dinner tonight.   With dump cake & ice cream for dessert :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day #142 - Chocolate-Chipotle Pork Roast


 Tonight's dinner revolved around a Rub that I received from my mom.  To be specific, a Dove Chocolate Sweet'N'Spicy Cocoa Rub.  Brown Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Sea Salt, Chiles, Garlic, Onion, & Paprika make up the ingredients list.   At first glance, this rub looks like cocoa powder, and has a slight sense of cocoa.  But then the spices take over.  This was my first time using the rub, so I decided to test it with some pork. 

I took a small pork loin rib roast, seasoned it with salt & pepper, and then covered it with the cocoa rub.  I let this marinade in the fridge overnight, then tonight I roasted it in my oven for an hour.   At the same time, I also roasted some quartered red potatoes and broccoli florets, which I tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

After cooking, I couldn't pick up much of the cocoa flavor from the rub any more, but I did taste the spice part!  It wasn't overwhelming, but it was present.   And actually, the taste of the rub worked really well against the pork and roasted vegetables.

I look forward to trying more meats with this rub!  Thanks, mom!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day #141 - Mustard-Cream Tilapia


Yes, I admit - this is an ugly photo. But trust me, it tasted better than it looks.   Tonight I tried a new recipe that I found on TastyKitchen.com:  Tilapia with Mustard Cream Sauce.   I already had most of the ingredients, which made it convenient.

I thawed out two tilapia fillets from the freezer.  I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and garlic rub.  I sauteed the fillets in a skillet of olive oil over medium-high, about 1 minute on each side.   I added a splash of white wine, and brought it up to a boil.   I then added sliced mushrooms, and a mixture of Dijon mustard and Greek yogurt (the recipe called for Cream).   I covered the skillet, and simmered until the fish was fully cooked.  

While I was preparing the tilapia, I used my microwave rice cooker and steam-cooked some quartered baby red potatoes, about 8 minutes.   I then added some chopped kale to the cooker, and microwaved for an additional 2 minutes.

After removing the fish from the skillet, I whisked together the sauce in the pan and then drizzled it over my potatoes & kale. 

Like I said, it tasted much better than it looks.


Lately, I have had several friends posting delicious dessert pictures on Facebook, and then tagging me in the photos to tempt me with their treats.   Persuasion is a powerful thing, particularly where my sweet tooth is involved.  So tonight, I treated myself to dessert:
 

I made a Black Forest Dump Cake!!   This was another recipe that I found on TastyKitchen.com, and altered slightly.    The original recipe can be found here.

My version is below:

Black Forest Dump Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 large bag frozen pitted sweet cherries (at least 16 oz.), thawed, drained, and juices reserved
  • 1 large jar Cherry Pie Filling (32 oz.)
  • 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix (18 oz.)
  • 1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Cool Whip or Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and  lightly grease (or spray) a 9 x 13 inch pan.   
  2. Spread thawed frozen cherries on bottom, then top with jar of cherry pie filling
  3. Sprinkle the dry cake mix over the filling, then sprinkle chocolate chips and chopped pecans over the cake mix layer
  4. Combine melted butter, reserved cherry juice, and coconut milk.  Pour mixture over the cake.
  5. Bake for 1 hour in the 350 degree oven.   Serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
This is what my cake looked like fresh out of the oven:

It was very difficult limiting myself to just one serving of this cake!!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day #140 - Wendy's


This afternoon & evening, I watched my cousins and aunts dance at their dance studio's dress rehearsal.   In between sets, we all grabbed dinner from Wendy's.   I ordered the Homestyle Chicken sandwich with a small side salad.   Fast food tasted good!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day #139 - Pizzas


Happy Birthday to my cousin, Ann!    Tonight we celebrated her 17th birthday.  Dinner consisted of thin crust pizzas from Imo's Pizza.  I tried two of the three varieties: deluxe, and sausage, bacon & tomato.   My aunt also made a raspberry salad, which consisted of romaine lettuce, mixed greens, almonds, grape halves, green onion (I think), and a raspberry vinaigrette.   She also made a delicious fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust, a delicious cream cheese spread, and topped with strawberries, blackberries, and kiwi.    Dessert was pecan pie and a frozen chocolate pie.  I couldn't choose, so I had a small piece of each.  Yum!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day #138 - Chicken Caesar


Tonight I made myself a Chicken Caesar Salad - Romaine lettuce, chopped endive, diced onion, shredded Parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing, and breaded chicken breast strips.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day #137 - Quick Dinner


Tonight I needed dinner in a flash.  I only had a few minutes to grab something to eat and get back out the door to head to my mom's preschool music program.   So I pulled out a few ingredients and whipped up this wrap.

A whole grain tortilla, spread with red pepper sauce, and rolled around endive leaves, sliced turkey breast, and cheddar cheese.  A handful of tortilla chips and some grapes rounded out my quick dinner.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day #136 - Leafy Green Balsamic Salad






We're heading into the warmer summer months, which means lots of fresh produce and salad fixings.   Tonight I put together this salad using some of the extra greens from my minestrone soup.

Romaine lettuce, endive, and thinly sliced kale, tossed with balsamic dressing, and topped with diced onion, turkey, red pear, chopped walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese.   Sweet, sour, soft, and crunchy.  A good combination.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day #135 - Spring Minestrone Soup


Tonight I tried a new recipe and cooked up a large batch of Spring Minestrone Soup.  I found this recipe at SimplyRecipes.com.  A link to the original recipe can be found here.    Below is the recipe after my modifications:




Spring Minestrone Soup
(adapted from the original recipe by Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, as posted on SimplyRecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 boxes stock (I used 1 chicken and 1 vegetable)
  • 1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 small zucchini, peeled and cut into 1-inch half-moons
  • 2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 pound Ditalini pasta
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish

 

Directions

1 Prep the veggies - Chop the green onions, and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops.  Chop the potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.
2 In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions.  Use a garlic press to add the garlic, or mince very well, and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes.
3 Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid, the Parmesan cheese rind, and the boxes of vegetable and/or chicken stock.   Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, then dump in the ditalini pasta.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
4 Add the zucchini and artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes.  Next, add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 additional minutes.
5 Season with black pepper, to taste.   Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions.  Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.
6  Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese and a large chunk of crusty bread.



This soup was full of flavor and nutritious vegetables, yet it didn't feel too heavy.   You could easily substitute any other springtime vegetables, leave out the pasta, or make other modifications.   Another versatile soup recipe to add to my recipe box.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day #134 - Spaghetti


Spaghetti.  A nice, simple, basic dinner tonight.  No experiments, no strange flavor concoctions.  Just whole grain spaghetti, ground beef, and Ragu pasta sauce.   With shredded Parmesan-Reggiano cheese on top.  Good comfort food.   And let me tell you, it tasted so delicious, I wanted to devour the entire pot.  (But I refrained.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day #133 - Twice-Baked Sweet Potato


Tonight I wanted to use the other half of the sweet potato from Friday night, so I opted to make a twice-baked potato.   Several recipes online called for adding bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream to the mashed potato filling.    I played around with that concept, using the ingredients I had on hand.

I started by heating some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Into the skillet I added a little diced onion and prosciutto.  I sauteed these until the onion was tender and the prosciutto started crisping up.  

I reheated the half sweet potato in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm, then scooped the potato "pulp" from the skin into a small mixing bowl.   I mashed the potato together with a small pat of butter, a spoonful of ricotta cheese, the sauteed onion & prosciutto, and some dried Italian herbs.   Once well-mixed, I stuffed the mixture back into the potato skin.  I grated some Parmesean-Reggiano cheese on top, then cooked it in my toaster oven until the cheese was melted (I used the Medium Toast setting).

Honestly, it was just okay.  Not one of my greatest cooking experiments.

However....my dessert experiment was a HUGE success:


I made a Shortcake using some leftover chocolate chip waffles from breakfast.   I took half of a Cocoa Chocolate Chip Belgian waffle, and split it in half (so I had 2 quarter wedges).   I mixed together 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and 1 tsp of vanilla extract, then spread that over one waffle wedge.  I thawed about 1 cup of frozen strawberry slices, then dumped the strawberries & juice over the ricotta.  Topped it with the other quarter waffle wedge.    Chocolate, strawberries, creamy ricotta.... Delicious!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day #132 - Chicken Sandwich


Tonight I had a breaded chicken sandwich for dinner.  2 slices of toasted whole grain bread, romaine lettuce leaf, breaded chicken breast, sharp white cheddar cheese, thin sliced white onion, and sweet red pepper sauce.   Served with sweet potato fries.    A simple dinner on this lazy Saturday.


And fortunately you can't tell from this photo, but I burned most of my sweet potato fries. I never heard the oven timer go off, so they cooked a couple minutes too long.  Ooops! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day #131 - B.B.B.S.P


Like the title of this one?  It stands for BBQ Beef Baked Sweet Potato.   

I cooked the sweet potato in my microwave, using a nifty object called a Tater Baker.   My cousin Krista gave me one for Christmas.  It looks like a lined, fabric bag.  The directions say to dampen a paper towel, wrap it around the potato, put the potato in the "bag," and then microwave as usual.  I guess it helps steam-bake the potato?    All I know is my sweet potato was cooked through without burning or wrinkling or exploding.  Here is a quick pic of what the bag looks like.  I bet you could find them at craft fairs:

Anyway....  once the potato was cooked, I cut it in half.   Half went onto my plate, and I let the other half cool down so I could refrigerate it.  It was a LARGE sweet potato, and I knew it would be too filling.     I had about a cup of BBQ beef leftover in the fridge, so I reheated that.   The beef went atop the sweet potato half, and I sprinkled it with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese.

A very satisfying dinner, and a nice way to use up the leftover BBQ beef.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day #130 - Whiskey Jack Shrimp Pasta


While organizing my freezer, I came across a box of Contessa brand frozen shrimp. The flavor was Whiskey Jack.  I thought they might work well in a pasta dish, so I boiled a pot of water and cooked some whole grain spaghetti.

In a medium skillet, I heated some olive oil.  I added a couple handfuls of assorted frozen veggies (stir fry mix & roasted peppers), plus the shrimp. I sauteed them together for about 8 minutes, until the veggies were tender and the shrimp was cooked. By this point, the pasta was ready, so I took 1/4 cup of the cooking water and added it to my skillet. This cooked together with the shrimp & veggies to form a sauce with the coating of the shrimp.  After draining the pasta, I added it to my skillet mix and tossed to coat.

The shrimp's sauce had a slight spicy bite to it, but not horrible.  Good flavor. And it was rather quick & easy to throw together.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day #129 - Sweet Pepper Glazed Drummies






Something earlier today put me in the mood for chicken wings or chicken drumsticks - so I settled for chicken drummies.


Sweet Pepper Glazed Drummies
1 dozen chicken drummies or chicken wings
1 cup sweet red pepper sauce  (or sweet pepper jelly)
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
Crushed black pepper
Olive Oil

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.  In large mixing bowl, season chicken drummies with black pepper & Italian herbs.  Add sweet pepper sauce, and toss to coat.
3.  In a 9 x 13 baking dish, drizzle olive oil to lightly coat bottom.   Spread glazed drummies in the pan.
4.  Bake drummies in 375 degree oven for 1 hour, turning over occasionally.

The pepper sauce added a sweet glaze with a slight kick at the end.  They paired perfectly with my sweet potato fries and celery sticks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day #128 - Southwest Meatlof Sliders


This dinner was inspired by the book I am currently reading : Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke.   In the story, the main character is making leftover meatloaf sandwiches on cheesy biscuits.  A perfect idea to use up my leftover mini meatloaves!

2 frozen Grands biscuits, cooked up until fluffy and golden brown
2 mini meatloaves, reheated in the microwave
1 slice cheddar cheese (half on each slider)
2 leaves romaine lettuce
1 smooshed avacado mixed with 1 spoonful black bean salsa

Assemble sandwiches.  Eat and enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day #127 - BBQ Beef


Summer has landed here in St. Louis.  Temperatures above 80, and the start of humidity.    So it's no wonder that I was inspired to have a summery meal for dinner:
Pulled BBQ Beef
Baby Carrots
Chips

The BBQ beef came from the grocery store, so all I had to do was microwave it.   I didn't have any hamburger buns, so I ate it on a hot dog bun.  I started putting down a layer of mixed greens on my bun, to help it from getting soggy, but also add a little nutritional bonus.   I then topped with with a generous helping of the BBQ beef, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese.    The tortilla strip chips were there to scoop up any beef that fell off the bun.  And the baby carrots with Ranch dressing are to represent the vegetable portion of my dinner.

A nice, simple, summertime dinner!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day #126 - Muffin-tin Meatloafs






I made mini muffin-tin meatloafs tonight!  Aren't they cute?  I had a package of ground beef that I needed to use, but I didn't want just hamburgers again.  I thought these would be fun to make and eat!

I mixed in my favorite flavors with the ground beef:  diced onion, diced green pepper, blue cheese, ketchup, salt, black pepper, BBQ rub, and chipotle rub.    And of course, an egg for the glue.
I don't have any bread crumbs (or crackers) in my pantry, so I needed to find something else to substitute.  I did some searching online, and found several recipes using Quinoa in the meatloaf.  I figured I'd give it a try.   I cooked up the quinoa, let it cool slightly, then mixed about a half cup into the meatloaf mixture.

I rubbed the muffin tin with some olive oil, then scooped in the mixture.   1 pound of ground beef made about 8 meatloafs.   I cooked them in a 375 degree F oven for about 35 minutes, until the interior temperature was at least 160.

Cooked up some egg noodles, which I tossed with butter & herbs.

My reaction:  They were a little dry.    I don't know if it was the quinoa, the ratios of the ingredients I added, or the wrong cooking time/temperature.   But the flavor was good!


P.S.   Is the plural of meatloaf, meatloafs or meatloaves?   Neither looks right .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day #125 - Taco Soup: the Rerun



For those who know me personally, you know one of my other hobbies is digital scrapbooking.   And today, May 7th, is National Scrapbooking Day.   So since 7am, I have been busy working on scrapbooking projects, hosting chats, and celebrating this holiday.   Needless to say, I haven't had much of a break to stop and cook dinner. 

Tonight I reheated a bowl of the taco soup (because the crock-pot recipe made enough for a family of 8), and made a small whole grain cheese quesadilla on the side.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day #124 - Ham, Apple & White Cheddar Pockets


Tonight I made my own Hot Pockets.   And here is how I did it:

Ingredients:
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls  (my tube contained 6 crescents)
1 small apple, peeled & chopped (I used a Jazz apple, but any variety could work)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced ham (I used prepackaged deli ham, and just sliced it into strips)
1 block white cheddar cheese (I only used about half of the block.  Enjoy the rest with crackers)
Olive Oil, approximately 2 tablespoons
Assorted spices (I used Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fresh Rosemary and dried Basil), a pinch of each

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 360 degrees F.
2.  In small skillet, preheat olive oil over medium heat.   Add onion, ham, and apples, and sautee until tender.  Season with the pinches of spices, stir, and then remove from heat.
3.  Open tube of crescent rolls, and unroll onto cookie sheet (I used a stone baking sheet).   Press two triangles together to form a rectangle.
4. Cut thin slices of white cheddar cheese, and place 2-3 slices on one half of the rectangle, leaving the edges free.   Top with a large spoonful of the sauteed mixture, then fold over the other half of the dough.  Pinch around the edges tightly.  Repeat with other 2 rectangles.
5.  Using the tip of a knife, make a couple small pokes in the top of the pocket to let out steam.  Bake in 360F oven for 14-16 minutes, or until pockets are golden brown.  (I cooked mine for 16 minutes.  I could have cooked them slightly longer to make them more browned, but I was hungry!)

Serves 3.


I ate my pocket with a small salad that mirrored some of the ingredients from the pocket - mixed greens, romaine lettuce, diced onion, diced apple, sliced ham, honey mustard dressing, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day #123 - Cinco de Mayo


Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

Of course, for a holiday such as this, I had to make something Mexican!  I settled on Taco Soup in my slow-cooker.   I did some searching online, and found several recipes.   They were all pretty similar, typically just one ingredient different among each of them.   After some mixing & matching, here is the recipe I ended up with:

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup
1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 (16oz.) can chili beans
1 (15oz.) can red kidney beans
1 (15oz.) can whole kernel corn
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 (14.5oz) can peeled & diced tomatoes
1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (1.25oz.) packet taco seasoning mix
1 (12.5oz) packet ranch dressing mix

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned.  Drain fat, and set meat aside.
2. In slow-cooker, add all remaining ingredients, including the original juices from each canned item (do not drain or rinse corn or beans)   Add in drained ground beef, and mix to blend.
3.  Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

I served up a large bowl of the taco soup with some shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a handful of Tostitos brand Dipping Strips.   Enjoy with a frozen margarita on the side.

Ole!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day #122 - Chicken & Olive Egg Noodles


After the Greek Quinoa salad and Green garden salads that I've eaten over the past week, I still had a little Feta Cheese and about a dozen Kalamata olives remaining.  I wanted to find a way to use them up, without another salad.  So I decided to experiment adding them into a pasta dish.

I started by boiling some water and adding a couple handfuls of egg noodles to cook.

In a medium skillet, I preheated some olive oil.   I chopped one chicken breast into 1-inch chunks, seasoned with salt & pepper, and sauteed them in the skillet until browned.   I diced about one cup of red onion - half went into the skillet with the chicken, and the other half went into a small mixing bowl.  I took the olives, diced them, and mixed them with the red onion.

Once the pasta was cooked, I took 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and added it to my skillet with the chicken & onion.  I used that to help scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet and form a light "glaze".  I drained the pasta, and then added it back into the pot.  Stirred in the chicken, the diced olive-onion mixture, a palmfull of dried herbs (chive, basil, parsley, garlic), and a couple tablespoons of Feta Cheese. 

It turned out better than I expected.  Could have used some tomato, but I didn't have any on hand.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day #121 - Italian Grilled Cheese


Tonight I made myself a grown-up Italian Grilled Cheese.   Two slices of whole grain bread, filled with layers of hard salami, spinach, prociutto, shredded mozzarella cheese, gorgonzola cheese, and sun-dried tomato spread.   Grilled until toasty.   And served with 4-cheese hard pretzel bites.


P.S. Sorry the pic is so dark tonight.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day #120 - "Triple P" Cavatappi


Admit it, you only came to see what the 3 P's would be.  Right?  Well, the "Triple P" stands for Peas, Prociutto, and Parmesean.

In one medium pot, I boiled water and tossed in my pasta.

While the water was boiling, I preheated some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.   I added some diced red onion, a handful of frozen peas, a couple sprigs of rosemary & sage (to infuse flavor) and some black pepper, and sauteed until tender.   During the last couple minutes of the pasta cooking time, I removed the rosemary & sage, and then added some chopped prociutto to continue cooking with the peas & onion. 

Once the cavatappi was ready, I drained the water and returned the pasta to the pot.  I added a pat of butter and tossed until melted and fully coated.  I then tossed in the peas, onion, and prociutto mixture along with a handful of grated parmesean cheese and a squirt of fresh lemon juice.

Another successful pasta night creation from my kitchen!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day #119 - dinnerless

No blog post tonight.  I never ate dinner.   I was traveling today, and ran into all kinds of flight delay problems.   So I spent all afternoon at the airport, but was afraid to leave the gate area to grab some dinner....particularly since I was trying to fly standby for an earlier flight home.   And the flight was so short, that we didn't even get snacks!  I got home around 8:30pm, and it was too late to eat anything.

After eating out at restaurants for the past two nights, it will be good to get back into my usual cooking routine tomorrow night.