Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Alive!

Let's pretend like it hasnt been as long as it has been since I last posted. Lots of things going on at our house and, well, I have been lazy as well :) I am re committing to regular posting so please stay tuned. Here are a few of the things I have been working on lately..enjoy!

Pasta Carbonara

Chicken Tamale Bake
Cooking light

1 box of cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk
2 cups cooked diced/shredded chicken
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 tsp cumin
dash of cayenne
10 oz can of enchilada sauce
low fat or ff sour cream

Preheat oven to 400. Spray 9x13 with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine cornbread mix, milk, egg, 1 cup of the cheese cumin, cayenne until moist. Pour into baking vessel and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and poke holes all over cornbread. Pour can of enchilada sauce over surface. Top with chicken and remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes and let set for 5 before serving!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've been tagged!

No food updates for a while but I have been tagged by Leslie! Here ya go girl-sorry it took so long :)
5 Joys
1. cooking
2. laughing till it hurts
3. my dog barking in her sleep
4. spending time with my husband
5. skinny days

5 Fears
1. Dying
2. Heights
3. clowns
4. losing someone close to me
5. crashing airplanes.

5 Obsessions
1. checking email
2. clipping and using coupons - it's a sport
3. RB
4. mad men
5. diet dr pepper

5 Surprising Facts
1. My first job was at (gulp) McDonalds
2. I have never eaten crab legs or lobster
3. I do not have pierced ears
4. I eat most everything with a fork-sandwiches, sushi, ribs. I just dont like eating with my hands I guess

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hello Heaven

I have been toying with making crab cakes for some time but was somewhat intimidated by the little critters. I have heard horror stories of people spending a lot of money on fresh lump crab only to have thier little cakes fall apart and quickly turn to hash! This recipe from Paula Deen came highly rated on the food network site and it turned out very good. The key was the making them ahead of time and then giving them some time to chill and get firm before pan frying. I did not have any trouble at all wtih them falling apart. They appear light but in reality they are pretty rich. We sampled some today after the Chiefs game (win!) and we had a hard time finishing one each!
The sauce is really good too. Its garlicy, lemony and the perfect freshness to go with the dense crab cake. I will definately making these again and I think they would be great in mini form for appetizers!

Lemon Dill Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Crab Cakes:
3 tablespoons butter
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
Cayenne pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound white or claw crabmeat, picked free of any bits of shell
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Refrigerate until chilled. The sauce will thicken as it chills.

To prepare the crab cakes, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until the pepper is limp, approximately 3 minutes. Add the cream, mustard, 1 egg, parsley, cayenne pepper and 1/2 cup bread crumbs, to taste, and mix well. Gently fold in the crabmeat.

Form the mixture into 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs with the Parmesan. Pat this topping onto both sides of the patties. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Using a skillet, combine the oil and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Saute the crab cakes in the hot oil-butter mixture for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. These crab cakes can also be baked for 7 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

To serve, spoon a dollop of the lemon dill sauce along side each crab cake.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pasta Carbonara...and a plug

In an effort to try and take some pressure off of me this week, I focused on making easy meals this week. I am doing a romantic dinner for two for a client and its takes a lot of planning and list making to ensure I have everything covered and make it a great experience. I even set up my table today to play with the layout, so no we don't always eat with a formal table :) I am trying to plan our household menus better lately and make less trips to the store. I almost always have what I need to make carbonara so tonight was a perfect excuse! I guess I should technically call this rotini carbonara because thats the only type of pasta I had on had today but it worked out beautifully! I mixed a few recipes together to balance. The cooking light recipe was just a tad too..well, light. Tyler Florence had a wonderful recipe on FN.com but it was too...wonderful. This one tasted great and we didn't miss any of the indulgency that is carbonara.

Rotini Carbonara

8oz rotini pasta
4 slices of bacon
clove of garlic chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup of parmasan cheese plus more for serving
Fresh parsley for garnish

Bring a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, trim back with kitchen shears into large sauce pan and cook until crisp. Remove from heat and add garlic.
In a small bowl whisk eggs and cheese together. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. When pasta is al dente, drain and put into pan with bacon and garlic. Mix to coat pasta. While pasta is still hot, pour egg and cheese mixture into pasta and stir for a minute to cook the egg. Serve immediately and garnish with extra cheese and parsley!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breakfast Break

Nothing fancy today, just a reminder that biscuits and gravy are the best thing ever and you should treat your family to this treat at least once a year! Its a great way to dirty every dish in your kitchen, eat then lay around in your pj's the rest of the day! You can always have me do it! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lighten Up!

Ah the infamous alfredo sauce..packed to the gills with the heart stopping stuff we all love. Most alfredo sauces have at least one stick of butter and two cups of cream. Tack on all the cheese and you are definately not talking about a figure friendly dish! Because of its high fat and calorie content, its not a regular at our house. I would be stricken with guilt for weeks over the event and my arteries would punish me as well. BUT when you get that craving for something it just will not go away until the need is met and I had that this morning. I considered making the original roman fat laden sauce for my dinner tonight-then I looked at my gutter and thought again. I made a low fat alfredo a few years ago-in fact it was my second blog entry in my old blog. The picture was fuzzy, the lighting was bad and the pasta was meh too. Here it is!

I knew it could be better so I whipped this up. The original recipe is from cooking light and I have to say they did a damn fine job of reinventing the alfredo sauce. Its thick and creamy and cheesy just like you expect it to be, but minus most of the guilt. I don't think that anyone would notice the difference between the real deal and this version. It has only ONE Tablespoon of butter and uses low fat milk. The key to the sauce is the cheese you use.
Maybe its the guilt I was craving because after dinner I still wanted a fried ice cream blast from Sonic :)

Fettuccine Alfredo w/Chicken!
Adapted from Cooking Light

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz package of sliced bella mushrooms-sauteed (optional)
2 T Cream cheese
9 oz of fresh pasta (or the dried-we like the fresh)
1 1/3 cups of 1% milk
1 T of butter
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of parmasan cheese-grated
fresh cracked pepper
1 T all purpose flour
chopped parsley for garnish

For the chicken: preheat oven to 375. Lay breasts on a baking sheet. Drizzle each with olive oil and then salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for about 35 minutes.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
***I also reserved a cup or so of the pasta water to use after I mixed the pasta in to make the sauce silky. Start slow-I think I used 1/4 cup all together

Friday, August 1, 2008

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice

I don't have a lot of experience with asian cuisine. To me, when I get a craving for this fare its just a hell of a lot easier to cruise down to Bo Lings and let them do the dirty work! I try to make something new every week or so and this recipe struck me as interesting. I am not a fan of RR, but her recipes are usually point on and very tasty! I loved using some different ingredients and spices that I don't normally get to use. This was really good and we had lots of leftovers :)

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice
Courtesy of RR
3 3/4 cups water
2 oranges, zested
2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds chicken breast tenders, 2 packages, sliced on an angle into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium yellow skinned onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, quartered and sliced
1 cup shredded carrots, store bought, or 2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, cut on an angle into 2 inch pieces
1 cup snow peas, a couple of handfuls
Satay sauce:
4 rounded tablespoonfuls chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons dark soy, Tamari
3 tablespoons honey
1-inch ginger root, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 orange, juiced

2 ounces (1/4 cup) chopped peanuts or nut topping, available on the baking aisle
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Heat water with orange zest to boiling. Add rice, return to boil, stir. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook rice until tender, 18 minutes. Fluff with fork.
For stir-fry, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add chicken, garlic and onion, stir-fry 3 minutes. Add remaining veggies and stir-fry 5 minutes more. Heat all ingredients for sauce together in a small pot over low heat, stirring the sauce until all ingredients are combined. Transfer stir-fry to a large platter and pour sauce evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle the platter with chopped nuts, cilantro, and basil. Serve jasmine rice in a separate dish with an ice cream scoop to serve the rice with -- it makes perfect, pretty, round portions of rice on the dinner plates.