Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday's Feast #158

Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

My husband

If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

Jerusalem, Israel

What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

Hmmm, I'd have to say our wedding. :)

Main Course
If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

I wouldn't say it's a stunt, but I would do as much volunteer work with 3rd world countries. Not to get publicity, but because you seem to have easier access when you're a celebrity.

What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

I don't think there is an ideal age really. When a person feels ready and is responsible enough to have a child then that should be the right time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cheesy Chops with Potatoes

Cheesy Chops with Potatoes
Courtesy Good Food Magazine

This was dinner tonight and it was so good! I was a little skeptical because the recipe called for wholegrain mustard (which I dont care for any type of mustards), but it added a deep flavor. I left the chops under the grill longer than required because I like the cheese to be really toasty, almost burnt. The cheese from the pork chops oozed down into the potatoes, which was an extra treat.
Patrick's review: Definitely an A. (he just didn't like the onions) He didn't know what I did with the mustard but it was "kicking" (in a good way). Hey- I just write what he says. LOL He also ate up all of the veggies. awwww bless his cotton socks.
6-8 large potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced (I sliced them big so DH could pick them out)
splash of cider, wine, water, or stock (I used chicken stock)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 pork chops
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
few dashes of garlic powder
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (I substituted Dijon Mustard)
3 tbsp milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the potatoes, onion, liquid and oil together in large flameproof casserole. Season if you like (which I did- salt, pepper, garlic powder), then bake for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes start to brown. Lay the chops on the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes more.
2. Mix the cheese, mustard and milk together. When the chops have had 10 minutes in the oven, spread the cheese mixture over them and switch the oven over to grill. Place the pan under the grill and cook for about 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the potatoes are golden and crispy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Grilled Steaks
Corn on the cob

Salmon Piccata w/linguine
Garlic Bread

Cheesy pork chops with potatoes
Steamed Broccoli
Caesar Salad


Date night out

Roasted Chicken w/ garlic mushroom sauce
White Rice
Green beans

Baked Egg Omlette

I made this for my dear hubby for breakfast this morning. We had several ingredients in the fridge that were going to go bad soon. So I crossed my fingers and put this together. Pretty good if I do say so myself. Im not much of a breakfast person, but I really enjoyed this. I guess Patrick liked it as well. LOL He only had 3 servings. So, here is the recipe. I hope I didn't leave anything out! Enjoy!

1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
1 1/2 ounces milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
5-6 mushrooms
1/2 sm. pkg sandwich ham, chopped
5 eggs
small handful chopped cilantro
small handful chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cheddar cheese, shredded

Saute scallions and garlic in oil and place on the bottom of an oiled casserole dish. Mix milk, sour cream, eggs, herbs, and s & p. Place mushrooms and ham in casserole. Pour egg mixture on top and cover with cheddar cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream. Mmmmm hmmmm good!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday's Feast #156

Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?
I would like Salma Hayek to narrate. I absolutely love her!

Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence.
Can anyone send him endless whiskey sours? (Whoo that was tough!)


If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?
1920's... I love everything about it, especially the fashion.

Main Course
Name a song that brings back memories for you.
Wind beneath my Wings by Bette Midler. It reminds me of the times my Mom and I would watch Beaches over and over.

Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?
Definitely warm water.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chicken with Creamy Bacon Penne

Can I just say- Oh My Goodness!! This was a great easy meal. We both loved the bacon flavor of the sauce. I changed up the recipe I bit. I think if I would have followed the recipe as it was there would not have been enough sauce and it may have been a bit bland (so I added salt, pepper and garlic). The chicken was very juicy and tender. :)
Courtesy Good Food Magazine
Chicken with Creamy Bacon Penne
2 tbsps olive oil
2-4 skinless chicken breasts (I pounded them out)
4 oz smoked bacon, chopped
4 tbsps white wine (I used about 1/4 cup chicken stock)
4 oz frozen peas
5 tbsps double cream (I used about 10 tbsps)
2 cups cooked penne
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt & Pepper
1. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick frying pan, add the chicken breasts and scatter with bacon and garlic. Leave to cook over a high heat for 4 minutes.
2. Turn the chicken over in the pan, give the bacon a stir, then pour the wine/stock and let it bubble over a high heat until it has virtually evaporated. Now add the peas, cream and penne, season with S& P and stir well. Cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through.

Seafood Risotto

Courtesy Good Food Magazine
Easiest-ever Seafood Risotto (and it is!!)
25-30 minutes, Serves 4
Review: Patrick gave this a B. He said he liked it, but it wasnt the best he's ever had. I think it lacked a little flavor too. So next time I may add some garlic, salt and pepper. The rice came out a bit dry so I added more fish stock towards the end which made it very creamy. I did like this receipe because it was so simple to make. I've never actually used the microwave to make an entire meal, so it was kind of relaxing as well. :)

1 onion, finely chopped
1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
1 tsbp olive oil
300g/10oz risotto rice
500ml/18fl oz fish or vegetable stock
300g bag frozen seafood mix (squid, mussels, shrimp)
100g/4 oz frozen peas
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1. Tip the onion and fennel into a large microwave bowl, toss in the oil and microwave on High for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, pour over stock and cover the bowl with a plate. Microwave on High for 10-15 minutes more or until the rice is just on the verge of being cooked.
2. Stir in the seafood and peas, cover and continue to microwave on High for 2 minutes until the rice is cooked. Stir in the parmesan and lemon juice and leave to stand for a few minutes. Spoon the risotto into bowls and scatter with parsley and lemon zest.

Easy Cream Cheese Dip

My Mom usually makes this for me (it's my fav). For some reason whenever she makes it, its just so much better. Miss you Mom!

Cream Cheese Dip:

1-2 pkgs sandwich ham, diced
2 pkgs cream cheese
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
Mixed Seasonings (I buy the Mrs. Dash seasoning- its a white powder, but isnt salt)

Combine all ingredients and set in the fridge until chilled. Serve with crackers. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Just got back from our trip - Burger King Baby!!!


Out for Sushi
(We were supposed to be in Dublin with work)

Chicken with Creamy Bacon Penne


Pot Roast


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tuna Casserole

Since we're going out of town I haven't been to the grocery store this week. I wanted to use up items from our pantry that have just been sitting around. So, I threw together this Tuna Casserole.

Patrick's review: B (only a B!!!!) lol He said it needed more cheese (which it did) and he wanted more bread crumbs. I thought it was a bit bland so next time I'll add even more spices to it.
Here's what I threw together.
2 Cans chunk tuna
1-2 Cups elbow macaroni, cooked per pkg directions
1 Large cream of mushroom soup
1/2 Cup milk
4 Tablespoons sour cream
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Few dashes of Tabasco
Salt & Pepper
Sharp cheddar cheese
Bread crumbs
1 pkg frozen vegetables (carrots, green beans, asparagus)

In a large bowl combine tuna, cream of mushroom, sour cream, milk, vegetables. Add spices to taste (onion, garlic powders, salt, pepper and Tabasco). Heat this mixture in the microwave for about 2 minutes on high. Mix macaroni and tuna mixture in a casserole dish, fold in cheese. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in oven (uncovered) at 350 for approx 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Well, it happened again. Patrick will be out of town until Thursday, then we are off to Venice!!! I can't believe our first year anniversary is here already! So this week I don't have anything planned. If I come up with something "special" I will post it... so be sure to check back. Have a great week! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

I have to say, this is the first time I've made pork chops and eaten every single bite. They were very juicy! I served the chops with homemade mashed potatoes, green beans with shallots and garlic spinach. Next time I may serve the chops over angel hair with a cream sauce.

Patrick's review: A+ The pork chops were phenomenal. The breading was light and flaky and the pork was very succulent. Greens were as good as greens can be. (he doesn't like veggies)
Parmesan crusted pork chops (Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentils)
3-4 pork chops
2 eggs
Italian breadcrumbs (I used regular breadcrumbs and added oregano & thyme)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (fine)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. The pork chops we bought were thick so after cooking on the stove for about 5 minutes on each side I popped them into the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. I think this got the juices flowing too. :)
Garlic Spinach:
Saute about 6 chopped garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add spinach, salt & pepper, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover and cook for approx. 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Drain the spinach and top with butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of salt.

Eggs Benedict

I made Eggs Benedict this morning for Patrick's welcome home breakfast. It was was yummier than it looks. I added salmon to "kick it up a notch" and used bagels instead of English muffins. GOOD STUFF! I didn't make my own holladaise sauce this time, but I will when I make it again. Also didn't have any parsley to sprinkle over for color. Man- did I drop the ball this time! LOL *I've started a grading system with his highness so I improve my culinary skills. :)
Patrick's review: A+ very tasty!!! (went back for seconds) The salmon add the extra richness to the dish.
poached eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1-2 toasted bagels (or English muffins)
smoked salmon
holladaise sauce mixture
Fill non-stick cooking pan halfway with water, add tsp vinegar
Bring to a simmer and slide in egg - cook until egg whites are cooked
Place 2 or 3 pieces of salmon on top of bagel, add egg and drizzle with holladaise sauce
A little rich, but "delish". Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday's Feast #155

What is your favorite kind of pie?
Frito pie- yummmm!


Name something that made you smile this week.
A life long friend of mine got married this week unexpectedly. How romantic!

What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid?
Take a cold shower and sit in front of a fan. Great way to get pneumonia!!! LOL

Main Course
You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up?
Definitely the guest bathroom. I'd buy a new vanity and lighting. That should be $999.99 haha

Fill in the blank: My _________ says __________, but I __________.
My brain says to get my lazy butt off the couch and excersize, but I don't listen.

Check out more FF's here

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I finally made Ceviche

I am eating it as we speak... I'm addicted now. It is sooooo good! I love the cilantro and lemon smell. Recipe is below if you are interested.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chicken with Tomatoes

This is super simple and "delish". Sautee 2 minced garlic cloves with 1 small diced shallot in about 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 5-6 pieces of chicken, cover and cook for approx. 10 minutes. Add a can of diced tomatoes (one with herbs), cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles. I used regular boiled rice and added a few tsps of butter and pepper.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Chicken Salad

I made this chicken salad for the first time andI have to admit... it was just "ok". I added avocados and I think it helped a little bit. It just seemed blah to me. Maybe next time I'll add grapes and nuts. :)


I love ceviche in any form. I first tried a version of ceviche that actually had raw ground beef in it (well, it was "cooked" in the lemon juice). A friend of mine was making it for me and the entire time I was thinking, uh, I am NOT eating that!!! Well, I tried it and LOVED it. I make it all kinds of different ways now. So I am giving you the "normal" way I make it, but there are so many ingredients you can take out or add.

2 large tomatoes, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 red onion or bunch of green onions, chopped
2-3 large lemons
2-3 large limes
jalapenos (# depends on how spicy you likey), minced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 pkgs salad shrimp
4 avocados, diced
Salt to taste
tub of lump crab (some other ideas are squid, tilapia, mussels)

Combine tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapenos, garlic, shrimp and crab in a large bowl. Squeeze in juice of lemons and limes until all ingredients are covered. Add salt to taste and refrigerate until chilled. Gently mix in avocados once ready to serve. Add a bit more lemon or lime juice to make it look (and smell) fresh. Serve with tostados or chips. Enjoy!!

Menu Plan Monday

I wasn't going to plan a menu this week since Patrick is out again. But then I figured I would do a "Menu for One" since all I do is eat junk while he is out. he he


Leftover Ceviche

Crab Cakes
Mixed Veggies

Cereal (LOL)

Out of town

Out of town

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Roasted Chicken

I made roasted chicken tonight with roasted potatoes and baby squash. Look how juicy the chicken looks. That, my friend, is the breast meat. :) I mix butter with thyme and garlic and stuff it under the breast skin. Also smear some butter mixture around the legs and wings. Season the outside of the chicken with salt & pepper. Roast chicken about an hour @ 350 and let sit for 20 min before serving.

Roasted Potatoes- drizzle olive oil and sprinkle rosemary over cubed potatoes. Cook @ 350 for approx. 20 minutes (turning once half-way)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Stuffed Chicken

I have strayed from the menu plan this week. We've been in town most nights, but I made sure we stayed in one night so I could make stuffed chicken breasts. Yummm!

Just cut a slit half way through the breast then pound the chicken out to make it flatter. I season my with Mrs. Dash All Seasoning and Olive Oil. Then stuffed the chicken with swiss cheese, spinach and lemon. Served with mushroom rice, corn and salad.