Friday, September 28, 2007

Chicken Chili

Since it's cold and rainy and the hubby is away (he doesn't like beans) for the weekend I made this chicken chili with beans. It was oh so good and heated me up since we haven't turned on the heat in the house yet. I only made this for myself so if you're making this for a family you will want to double it. :) Simple, easy and delish.

Chicken Chili with Beans
Courtesy Nicole

1 can cannelloni beans
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatillos
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cups chicken broth
6 pieces chicken tenders
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
sour cream

Saute garlic and onion in the butter add diced chicken. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes until browned on each side. Add chicken broth, beans, tomatillos, cumin, salt, pepper, milk and 2 tablespoons of sour cream. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until reduced. Top with cilantro and sour cream. Enjoy!

Friday's Feast #162

How are you today?
A little lazy today. It's cold and rainy and all I want to do is sleep!

Name 3 television shows you watch on a regular basis.
I'm all about TV. Here are a few favs... Barefoot Contessa, Sex in the City, Everybody Loves Raymond

What’s the scariest weather situation you’ve experienced?
When I lived in Memphis with my good friend Jill (about 10 yrs ago), we were sharing a room in her parents 2 story house upstairs. There were bad thunderstorms the entire night. Around 2am I think the roof almost lifted up! I was so scared that I ran downstairs yelling for Jill's parents. (I forgot my dear friend upstairs) Now it's a joke with her family how I left Jill to be taken away by a tornado.

Main Course
If you could wake up tomorrow morning in another country, where would you want to be?
Back in the US at my Grandma's house with my family.

What do you usually wear to sleep?
I know this is TMI... I usually go to sleep in a large shirt, but in the mornings I usually end up without it. hehe

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shrimp Alfredo Fettuccine

Oh-my-goodness this was to die for. Very rich and tasted just like restaurant alfredo. I won't make it again for a long time though since it's so rich. This time I added marinated shrimp, but next time salmon sounds like a winner.
Shrimp Alfredo Fettuccine
Alfredo courtesy Giada De Laurentils
Shrimp courtesy Nicole
Alfredo Sauce:

18 ounces fresh fettuccine
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (yes, that's right 12 TABLESPOONS!)
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (I just used bottled)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper (I used black pepper)

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.
Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
I marinated 2 pkgs of cooked shrimp in some Thai chili, cilantro, garlic, lemon with salt and pepper for about an hour. Once the pasta was ready I heated the shrimp up in the microwave and served over the pasta. Yummmo!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baked Parmesan Fish

I wasn't quite sure if I'd like this very much. I usually only like pasta if it has a sauce. But to my surprise it was quite tasty. The recipe calls for angel hair pasta (which I love) but, as with several other things, I can't find it here so we had to use regular spaghetti pasta. I served it with roasted sweet potatoes with garlic sauce.

4 ounces Angel Hair Pasta, cooked
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 3 thyme sprigs, crushed without the stems
4 (6-ounce) white fish fillets
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup mushroom caps, halved
1/2 cup green onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the Parmesan cheese, flour, and thyme in a paper bag. Individually coat the fish by gently shaking the fillets in the bag; reserve the coating ingredients in the paper bag.
Place fillets in a baking pan with rack, bake for 20 minutes. The fish fillets are done when they flake apart with a fork.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the yellow onion, mushrooms, green onions and garlic until the onions are tender; stir frequently. Seasoned with salt and pepper according to taste.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Chicken Mole with Rice

Taco Salad


Date Night


Roasted chicken
Roasted Vegetables with rosemary sauce
Mixed Salad

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday's Feast #161

What is your favorite type of art?
Hmmm, I'm not really into art so I have no clue... whatever is pretty. lol

When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it?
I got a free lunch a few months ago when I was in Dallas. My boss paid for it.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you?
Whoa. I'd have to say 9.9999 hehe Im pretty emotional and sensitive.

Main Course
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails?
Most of my working day is responding to emails... I'd have to say about 6-7 hours.

To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat?
We like it cold in our house... it usually stays at around 68

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Left over chicken soup

Patrick's Birthday :)
Hobo mini meat loaves
Mac and cheese

Chicken Milan

Salmon Piccata

Out of town

Out of town

Out of town

Saturday, September 15, 2007

40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken

The picture doesn't do it one bit of justice, but this take on Ina Garten's 40 cloves of garlic chicken was FAB. This was a first timer for the both of us so I am not quite sure how it was supposed to actually taste, but the way it turned out suited us just fine. Below is my take on the recipe.... enjoy!

3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
1 family pack chicken thighs (about 6-8 pieces)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons dried thyme
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 1 cup chicken stock and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme and bay leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken to a platter. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining chicken stock and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Add the chicken back to the pot and heat through. I served this with white rice and green beans.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stuffed Shells

Have you ever stuffed a shell? It's not as easy as it looks, but the outcome was excellent. It was a bit rich for me so I only ate half of my serving. Patrick wanted the garlic cheese biscuits as well but I said no way... TOO MUCH CHEESE! This is the second recipe of Giada de Laurentils that I've tried and have loved. She really knows what she's doing!

Stuffed Shells
Courtesy Giada De Laurentils

Shells: 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo shells pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound thick-cut pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (or regular bacon)
2 pounds frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
1 cup grated asiago cheese (I used a store bought Italian mixture)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter 1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cream
2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the shells: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.

For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 cups asiago cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.



Uh-Oh! Recipe looks interesting but you're missing an ingredient? Maybe this list can help.

Baking powder: 1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for each teaspoon of baking powder.

Beer: Use apple cider or beef broth

Bread crumbs: Use an equal amount of crushed crackers or oats

Butter: You can substitute an equal amount of regular margarine, but not light versions, whipped versions, or vegetable oil spread. You can substitute shortening, although the taste won't quite be the same. If the recipe calls for melted butter, you can also use vegetable oil.

Buttermilk or sour milk: For each cup, add 1 Tbs lemon juice or white vinegar to milk and let stand a few minutes. Or use yogurt.

Cake flour: 1 cup regular flour minus 2 Tbs will work out about the same as 1 cup of cake flour

Corn syrup: For each cup add 1/4 water to 1 cup granulated sugar.

Eggs: 1 Tbs. soy flour plus 1 Tbs. water for each egg. For baking, you can try substituting 2 Tbs mayonnaise for each egg.

Honey: 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup water or apple juice

Lemon juice: use an equivalent amount of white vinegar

Lemon zest: 1/2 tsp lemon extract for every teaspoon of zest

Mayonnaise: Use an equal amount of yogurt, sour cream, or cottage cheese blended until smooth. If you have some mayonnaise but not enough, use up what you've got and then use the substitution for the rest.

Poultry seasoning: 1/4 tsp thyme and 3/4 teaspoon sage for each teaspoon

Pumpkin or apple pie spice: For each teaspoon, use 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice and 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Self-rising flour: Add 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to each cup of regular flour.

Shortening: If you're baking and a recipe calls for shortening, you can usually substitute an equal amount of butter or margarine successfully. Don't try to use the whipped, light margarines, or vegetable oil spreads. If the recipe calls for melted shortening, you can use melted butter or margarine or a vegetable oil.

Sour cream: Use plain yogurt instead.

Tomato juice: For each cup, use 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water.

Tomato paste: For each 1/2 cup, use 1 cup tomato sauce cooked uncovered until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Tomato sauce: For each cup, use 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water.

Wine: For red wine, substitute beef broth, tomato juice, or water. For white wine substitute grape juice, apple juice, chicken broth or water.

Yogurt: Use sour cream instead.

In Loving Memory

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Brussel Sprouts

I remember when I was around 5 or so I sat at the kitchen table for hours until I finished the brussel sprouts my Mom served me. I don't remember if I ended up eating them or not, but I do remember trying to put them in a napkin and into my shorts pocket. All my life I've avoided them, except for tonight. The other night Ina Garten made them on her show and made them look so delicious. So, I made them tonight and they looked pretty, but I tried to put them in a napkin and put them in my pocket again. I just don't like the taste of brussel sprouts! I didn't like them when I was 5 and I don't like them when I'm 29! So, if you likey them, here is a pic and the recipe. I definitely won't be making them again and I know this won't hurt Patrick's feelings.

2 tablespoons good olive oil
6 ounces Italian pancetta or bacon, 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (2 containers), trimmed and cut in 1/2
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 3/4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth

Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper to the fat in the pan and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the raisins and chicken stock. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry, add a little chicken stock or water. Return the pancetta to the pan, heat through, season to taste, and serve.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Garlic Cheesy Biscuits
Courtesy Paula Dean

OMGOSH... these are soooooooooooooo good! And super easy! I will definitely be making these again soon. They almost taste like the Red Lobster biscuits.

1 1/4 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup water

Garlic Butter:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I just spread vegetable oil with a paper towel on the pan) Combine the biscuit mix and cheese in a small bowl. Add the water and stir just until combined. The dough will be slightly moist. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the biscuits are firm and beginning to brown. While the biscuits are baking, make the garlic butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley flakes. Mix well. As soon as you bring the biscuits from the oven, brush them with the garlic butter using a pastry brush.

Menu Plan Monday

Left over pot roast
Left over Brussel sprouts
Roasted potatoes

Mixed vegetables

Chicken Tetrazini (recipe below)

green beans
mushroom rice

Date night- hubby's taking me out
(I guess I need to tell him!) hehe

mashed potatoes
mixed veggies

Homemade chicken soup (recipe below)
Thanks to Laura for hosting Menu Plan Monday. Check out her site and other recipes here!
Chicken Tetrazini:
1 family package chicken thighs
angel hair pasta, cooked per package directions
1 small onion, chopped
1 large can cream of mushroom & chicken
1 small can evaporated milk
shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
bread crumbs
In large saucepan melt butter, add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes
Add cream of mushroom, chicken broth and 1/2 can of evaporated milk
Once heated through add cooked noodles and incorporate sauce
Mix in about a cup of cheddar cheese
Transfer to casserole dish and top with more cheese and bread crumbs
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly at 180c or 350f
Chicken Soup:
4-6 pieces chicken thighs/legs
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2-3 potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup rice
1 small can tomato sauce
6-8 cups of water
Boil chicken in water with bouillon cubes
Add potatoes, rice, carrots and celery
Cook until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes)
Salt to taste then
Add tomato sauce and cabbage. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Hmmmm mmmm good!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chicken and Rice Bake

I didn't feel like cooking tonight (for once) so I put this together in a casserole dish and threw it in the oven. Patrick said it was very tasty and even had two servings. Next time I will precook the rice and add the chicken towards the end so it will be a little juicier.
Chicken and Rice Bake
Courtesy Nicole
4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom & chicken soup
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup long grain rice
frozen vegetables (I used 2 small packets)
cheddar cheese, shredded
season to taste with the following:
onion salt
garlic powder
black pepper
Mix soup, broth, rice and vegetables together in casserole dish and season to taste. Place chicken breasts on top of mixture. Bake in oven at 180 c for about 20 minutes. Add shredded cheese on top of chicken and cook for additional 5 minutes. That's it! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Seafood Quesadillas

Oooohh wheee!!! These were really good! I didn't go by a recipe (I don't think it even requires one). The only difficult part of making these were trying to flip them over in the pan without everything falling out. Good times... lol By the way, the ingredients below are only what I used, of course you can make it any ole' way you like. Oh and another cool thing about quesadillas... you can put what each person likes in their own quesadilla. So if you like onions you can stack them up and the fussy ones can stay away!

Patrick's review: "Switch off your phone cause you don't want anyone calling while you are eating this." LOL his reviews really crack me up
Seafood Quesadillas
Courtesy Nicole

Button mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 types of shredded cheese (cheddar & leicester)
Flour tortillas
Kielbasa sausage, diced
4 garlic cloves
onion powder
poultry seasoning
Sautee mushrooms and onions in a little oil, remove to a bowl
Cook shrimp, sausage, garlic and spices until shrimp is pink
Layer cheese on one piece of tortilla, then add other ingredients as you like
Add more cheese and top with other piece of tortilla
Heat a bit of oil and butter in a non-stick pan
Place the quesadilla in the pan until one side is lightly brown and repeat with other side

Serve with guacamole and sour cream

Mexican Chicken

This is my absolute favorite. My Grandma made it for us growing up then I learned how to make it. I haven't posted it on the blog because my fussy dear husband doesn't care for it. (The red sauce puts him off) LOL Anyway- here is the recipe. When I get home next month I'll make it and post a photo. Enjoy!

1-2 pkg chicken, shredded (I think it's best with dark meat, but use whatever you like)
I've also used rotisserie chicken in this and it's SO good!
1 can taco sauce
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom sauce
1 cup chicken broth
shredded cheese (Mexican style is good)
1-2 bags fritos crushed

Mix sauces, shredded chicken and a bit of the broth together in a large bowl
Layer like a lasagna
First layer - chicken sauce mix
Second layer- fritos
Third layer - cheese
Layer as many times as possible and top with cheese
Bake in the oven at 350 until bubbly hot (usually around 20 minutes)

PS- Double the recipe for more than 4 peeps.

Right after I posted this recipe I found this website So, that means I'll be able to make Mexican dishes now. YAY!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oops I won't do it again......

Awww look how excited I was about the Sesame Chicken. I even took a picture of the prep work! I followed this recipe almost exactly as directed. I tripled the sauce (and added honey) because I most of the reviews said that it lacked sauce and it was still dry!!! Also, someone mentioned to coat the chicken with corn flour and egg, which I did. So I have no idea WHY it didn't turn out all that good. Maybe my expectations were too high. I know it wasn't from lack of love because I gave this dish my heart and soul. lol I mean, the dish overall had a good taste, it was just different and not at all what we expected. I was so looking forward to my favorite Chinese dish. Maybe it was because I used ground ginger, not fresh? Or maybe I shouldn't have taken that reviewer's advice and coated the chicken? Oh who knows.... all I know is it's sitting in the refrigerator waiting for a remedy. So, I'm on the lookout for a new Sesame Chicken recipe. If anyone has an idea please pass it my way. I'd be oh so grateful!

Look how pretty it looks!!! Why oh why couldn't you be as good as you look?

Monday, September 3, 2007

White Sauce Stroganoff

I borrowed this from Edibles and Economics. DH loved it! I added cream cheese, poultry seasoning and regular salt since I didn't have garlic salt. This was simple and "delish". Enjoy!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I'm very excited about this week's menu. I can't wait for Wednesday's sesame chicken. I've searched several Chinese restaurants here and nobody makes it. So, I am trying it myself. I'm going home in October for a few weeks and will have some family recipes up. (can't make them here cause I can't find the ingredients) I can't wait for that either!! Thanks to Laura for organizing Menu Plan Monday. Check out other great recipes here.

Mixed Vegetables

White Rice

Seafood Quesadillas
Homemade guacamole (recipe below)

Leftover Night

(I'm making this on the weekend....Just in case I mess it up we can go for Chinese)

Grill Hamburgers
French Fries (aka Chips)

4-5 avocadoes
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
salt to taste
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Smash avocadoes in a mixing bowl
Mix in tomatoes, onion, lemon zest, cilantro and lemon juice
Salt to taste
Top off with a bit more lemon juice (do not stir again)


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Garlic Chicken Fried Chicken

I originally planned to use this recipe but changed it quite a bit.

We both really liked it. Especially with the garlic mushroom sauce on it. This meal was simple and fast clean up.

4 teaspoons garlic powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin

1. In a shallow dish, mix together the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika, bread crumbs and flour. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.

2. Instead of frying the chicken I baked it in the oven around 350 for 15 minutes.