Saturday, December 25, 2010


Yum, this recipe is way better than my other lasagna recipe! Here it is:

Some tips/reminders:
  • The order of layers is sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, noodles, sauce, mozz & parmesan
  • You can make this dish with or without beef and it will still be good
  • It's best to soak the noodles first in warm water and use good mozzarella cheese cut in chunks (rather than shredded). 
  • bake covered for 30 min and uncovered for 30 min in 190 C oven
  • cheese mixture is:
    • 2 egg, beaten
      2 lbs (1 kg) ricotta cheese
      8 oz (225 g) mozzarella cheese, cubed
      2/3 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano
      1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red wine sauce for steak

So, I used to be a vegetarian, then I was a vegan, then back to vegetarian for several years.  When I was pregnant with my first child I added organic chicken to my diet for the extra protein (I still only eat organic chicken.  No exceptions).  Now I am pregnant with child #2 and my iron is so low, despite taking multiple supplements, so my only hope at this point is eating red meat! Anyway, today I had steak and made the most beautiful red wine sauce for it.  It was to DIE for! The steak was only so-so, but when I figure out how to make it properly I will post a recipe.  Anyway, the sauce was so easy and it's Jamie Oliver: 

After removing your steak from the frying pan, all you do is add a couple of chopped shallots and fresh sprigs of thyme to the pan.  Cook for a few minutes and add about a glass of red wine and a couple of large pats of butter.  When the wine is reduced by half, add a couple of more pats of butter and the juices from your resting steak and remove from heat.  This sauce is seriously amazing!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chicken & black bean quesadillas

I didn't take a picture this time, but I will next time.  I got the recipe from here, but made a few modifications.  It was SO good!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced 
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 (400 g) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 8, 8 inch flour tortillas
  • sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, for serving


1. Sauté the chicken with chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper in olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until browned all over. Add capsicums and onion and sauté until chicken is cooked through and veggies are softened. 
2. Add black beans and cream cheese. Cook until melted together. Remove from heat. 
3. Place four tortillas on the countertop. Spread with chicken mixture. Top with cheese. Place remaining tortillas over top, to cover.  Or, just use one tortilla and fold in half.
4. Cook on a grill over medium heat for a couple of minutes on each side until tortillas are crispy and cheese is melted. Alternatively you can cook these individually on the stove top over medium heat in the same fashion.
5. Cut each quesadilla into 6 pieces. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Serves: 4

Friday, October 1, 2010

Salmon, shrimp, and corn chowder

This was freaking amazing.

Recipe: Salmon, Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Adapted from, original author Mary Karlin
Serves 2 to 4

2      Tbsp olive oil
1      stalk of celery, cut into 1/2" slices
2      unpeeled small red potatoes, cut int 3/4" cubes
1/2    tsp salt
1/2    tsp ground white pepper
2-3   green onions, coarsely chopped, including the green parts
1       ear of corn, cut out the kernels
2       cups fish or chicken stock
1/2    cup half and half  (or heavy cream)
1       lb salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 1" pieces
8-10  shrimps, shelled
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
2       Tbsp minced fresh dill

  1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the celery for 2 mins. Add potatoes, salt and pepper and cook, saute and stirring occasionally for about 3 to 5 mins.Add green onions, corn and 2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 12 mins or until the potatoes are almost tender.
  2. Add half and half, uncovered, simmer until potatoes are completely soft, about 3 mins. Stir in salmon, shrimps and lemon zest. Simmer gently until the seafood are cooked through, about 3 to 4 mins. Add more stock as needed. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle dill on top when serve. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010


I've made paella several times, but this recipe is definitely the best I've made! I found this recipe here, but made a few modifications. Here are some helpful tips to making a great paella. 

  • 25 threads saffron, crushed (a heaping 1⁄4 tsp.)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs 
  • 750 g extra-large head-on shrimp in the shell (I de-shelled them)
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 4 medium tomatoes, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, cored and chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba (I used arborio)
  • 1/2 c peas
What you do:
  1.  Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Brown the chicken in a 16″–18″ paella pan with a bit of olive oil and s&p.  Finish it off in the oven if it's not cooked all the way through and set aside.
  3. Heat 1/2 c oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, lightly salt, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add paprika, tomatoes, garlic, capsicum, and onions to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture and broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–12 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly).  Add peas towards the end.
  6. Reduce heat to low, add reserved shrimp and chicken.  Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mushroom, spinach, & asparagus pasta

YUM! Very very creamy, but chock full of healthy veggies!  A great, filling vegetarian dish!
(recipe from Sunset Magazine)

  • whole-wheat pasta
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  pound  sliced mushrooms
  •  170 g cream cheese
  • 1/2  cup  milk
  • 8  cups  lightly packed spinach
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
1. Boil 2 qts. water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add garlic and mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for another 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and milk and heat until boiling, stirring often. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour over pasta. Sprinkle with chives and serve with parmesan on the side.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Even better chicken noodle soup!

I just came across this recipe on tastepotting, and it looks even better than my chicken noodle soup!  I can't wait to make it next time!  The only problem is that it take A LOT longer than my version! But looks a lot tastier!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

Mark and I are both sick at the moment (I'm on the mend, but Mark is still pretty sick), so it was the perfect time to make my mom's famous chicken noodle soup.  It was so good!  It really hit the spot!

  • Whole Chicken
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 fingers full of Tarragon
  • 3 fingers full of Parsley (fresh is best)
  • Parmeson cheese (optional)
  • Extra chicken stock (optional)
  • Rice or noodles
 What you do:
  1. Put a whole chicken in a large pot.  Cover chicken with water and turn heat on medium.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, Salt + pepper to taste (you need a lot of salt for flavour!), tarragon, parsley, and 1 tblsp parmesan cheese.
  3. Add more chicken stock if you would like a richer stock. 
  4. Bring to boil, then simmer with lid on (or a little less than a simmer) for about an hour.
  5. Cook rice or noodles in a separate pot
  6. Strain soup into a big bowl
  7. Take chicken out and cool then remove chicken from bone (shred with a fork).
  8. Put chicken back into stock, add some of the rice or noodles and reheat if cold
  9. I serve it with a little more parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. (it’s better than adding salt)
  10. ENJOY! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recipes I want to try

Garlic-parsley butter
Roast tomato, leek, and orzo soup
Summer vegetable cacciatore

And I made this Asian chicken and mushroom dish last night.  It was pretty good, but not good enough to warrant a blog post about.  I might make it again if I happen to have all the ingredients on hand, but it's not good enough to be added to the rotation. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spring Green Risotto

All I can say is WOW!  This is dish was surprisingly tasty!  I found it here.  I thought that I hated leeks, but I think I actually love them.  Also, I normally hate lemon in my cooking, but the lemon in this recipe is just subtle enough to add a nice fresh flavour.     

 What you need:
- about 6 cups chicken broth/stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1 lb (400g) asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 oz. (250 g) frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
 What you do:
  1. Like all risotto, you want to start by heating the broth — bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer and let it hang out while you’re cooking. This will ensure that all liquid additions during the cooking process are already hot so the rice cooks correctly. 
  2. In a pot large enough to cook all the rice (remember, it’s going to grow as you cook it), heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots and leeks with a little salt and pepper until tender, about five minutes. 
  3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat all the grains with butter, cook for about one minute. Next, begin adding liquid, starting with the wine. Stirring constantly, let the wine simmer until it has evaporated almost completely, about three minutes. 
  4. After the wine has evaporated, begin adding the broth, a half cup at a time, letting it evaporate almost completely before each addition (this should take three to five minutes per addition). Make sure to stir constantly throughout the cooking process. 
  5. After the third liquid addition, add the asparagus and continue cooking like normal. Once the rice has been cooking for 15 minutes, stir in the peas, lemon zest and more salt and pepper.
  6. Continue adding liquid and stirring until the rice is tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes after the first liquid addition.
  7. Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the lemon juice, mascarpone and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

shredded chicken tacos

These are seriously awesome.  You will not be disappointed!  It's extremely important to have all the toppings though, because the cold guacamole really balances out the spiciness of the chicken.

Shredded Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts & 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Add water to cover completely. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Partially cover and turn down to a steady simmer. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and cool.

Shred the chicken with a fork or your fingers.

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans (or black beans, but they don't have them in Australia)
  • ~1 teaspoon mexican chili powder
  • ~1 teaspoon cumin
  • a few shakes cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for a couple minutes. Then add in the garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more until the onion turns translucent. Add the black pepper and oregano and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the tomatoes, juice, chicken stock, beans, and spices. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to half, about 8 minutes. Salt the sauce. Add in the shredded chicken and stir. Cook for a minute until the chicken has warmed up.

Guacamole (mash all together in a bowl)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • a few shakes of lemon juice
  • a few shakes of cumin
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • Salt (a lot of salt)
  • freshly ground pepper
** Load the chicken into hard taco shells (make sure to bake taco shells in oven for a few minutes so they get nice and crisp) and top with guacamole, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.  You can also add shredded cheddar, but I forgot this and it was still amazing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Baked oatmeal with fruit

This recipe is extremely yummy!  I found it here and have made a few adjustments.  

  • 1 1/4 cups fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2  large eggs 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cups butter, divided 
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats and it was great)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (I forgot this ingredient and it was still good)
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 tbsp.  brown sugar
What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180 C).
  2. Melt butter; pour 1/4 cup into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle fruit and 2 tbsp of brown sugar on top of the butter. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, eggs, remaining butter and vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  5. Pour over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp. of brown sugar.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes (20 min if you used quick oats), or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk or cream. I topped it with a dollop of vanilla yogurt and it was fantastic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 chicken breast, seasoned with salt & pepper, cooked (I boiled the chicken in water) then cut or shredded into bitesized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 C water (may not need)
 What you do:
  1. Cook the chicken before proceeding with the next steps.  Chop up the mushrooms and shallots.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn the heat to low.  
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is rippling, add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast (and stir occasionally) for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Begin sautéing the mushrooms & parsley in butter and olive oil at the same time as the next step. 
  4. Add 2 ladles of the warm chicken broth to the rice and stir until the liquid evaporates. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take about 20 minutes. (I ended up having to add an additional 1/2 C water at the end to get the rice soft enough. If you need to add much more than 1/2 C, I would use broth as opposed to water to maintain flavour).
  5. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, stir in the mushrooms; season with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. During the last minute of cooking, stir in the cheese and butter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beer marinated chicken tacos

These are seriously AMAZING!  What a find!  I think what makes them especially good is that the chicken is grilled on the bbq, or perhaps it's the guacamole, I don't know, but the whole thing is just so good.  I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise.  Here is my rendition of this recipe:

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the marinade
1 cup dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo (I had to use gluten free beer and it was still fantastic)
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups of your favorite guacamole
~ 8 taco size corn or whole wheat tortillas 

optional toppings:
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese
diced tomatoes
shredded lettuce

What you do:

1. Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

2. Remove chicken from the refrigerator while lighting the grill.  Grill chicken until fully cooked and browned on both sides. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thin strips.

3. While the chicken is resting, warm tortillas on the grill until pliable, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. To assemble, pile with chicken slices,
spread a heaping spoonful of guacamole along the middle, add sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Enjoy the best tacos EVER! 

note: I forgot to take a picture, so I will replace this one the next time I make this awesome dish!  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Some more recipes

Been browsing tastespotting again.  Here are some more recipes that I will eventually make:
Sticky coconut chicken
Creamy lemon fusilli
Roasted chicken and brie sandwich

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Creamy Salmon Spaghetti

I don't know why I never posted this before.  It's just so good!  I actually invented this recipe myself when I was pregnant.

  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles (use enough for 4+ portions)
  • 500 g heavy cream
  • 3 portions of salmon
  • 150 g spinach leaves
  • ~1 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
What you do: 
  1. Preheat the oven to about 390 degrees F (200 C) and get the pasta water started.
  2. Grate black pepper over the salmon and bake in a glass dish until done.  It usually doesn't take very long (maybe 15 minutes).  Cut one in half to check if you are unsure.  Don't overcook!  When pasta water is boiling, add spaghetti and cook until done.
  3. While the salmon and pasta are cooking, get the sauce started: stir the grated parmesan cheese in with the heavy cream in a small pot.  Keep adding parmesan cheese to taste and stir until thoroughly melted and warm.  
  4. Wilt the spinach leaves in a frying pan with some butter, salt, and pepper.   Chop up the salmon into bite size bits. 
  5. Stir together spaghetti, cream sauce, salmon, spinach, and some black pepper.  
  6. Serve with steamed asparagus and enjoy! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Recipes that are coming up...

 I've been browsing tastespotting and have found a few recipes that I'm going to try in the next week or two:
Beer Marinated Chicken Tacos
Portobello Burgers
Scallops & Shrimp over Linguine with Baked Feta

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Portuguese Chicken

I just made my portuguese chicken recipe again and it was really fantastic.  So easy and tasty!  Check it out here!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes

 I got this recipe from here.  to die for! 

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or use dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 kg russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar & parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 c). Meanwhile, melt butter in large Dutch oven (or large, heavy-bottomed saucepan) over medium-high heat until foaming subsides, about 1 minute. Add onion and saute until it turns soft and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream, milk, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a light simmer, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with some resistance), about 15 minutes.
2. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Transfer potato mixture to a 3-quart gratin dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around sides and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chicken with Tarragon, Gruyère & Mushroom Cream Sauce

I got this recipe from here, and let me tell you, it was fantastic!  I made several alternations, but it is essentially the same thing. The flavours work so well together.  I ate mine over mashed potatoes, Mark had his over pasta.  We both loved ours.  I served it with a side of baked asparagus.  This one will definitely be added to the rotation!

  • 500g of white mushrooms 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • ~ 1 tablespoon dried tarragon (season to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
What you do:
1. Heat a large, deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. They should sizzle right away. Sauté for about 4 minutes each side. Remove them from pan to a plate.
2. Add butter and mushrooms and S&P to the pan and sauté mushrooms until they just start to release their liquid, about 4 minutes.
3. Add white wine and simmer until reduced, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the heavy cream, corn starch mixture, and the tarragon and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice and blend well. Add the grated Gruyère and stir constantly until melted and blended in. Season again with salt and pepper.
6. Return chicken to the pan. (While the chicken was sitting, it sweat out a lot of juices. I added these back into the sauce). Stir to coat chicken and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve immediately over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sticky Chicken Legs II

After cooking this dish several times, I have modified it slightly and now it's perfect!  The secret to ultimate stickiness is to actually have more ketchup than honey.  I figured this out after many trials and errors!


  •  chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • several shakes of Worcestershire sauce (gluten free of course!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to about 350 F (180 C).
  2. Mix all of the ingredients up in a bowl.
  3. Line the legs up in a roasting pan or glass dish (8 legs should be enough for 2 ppl) and brush the sauce all over them. If you don't have a brush, then dunk the legs in the sauce. I find that the sauce sticks best to the legs when they are dry. So, after washing the legs in water, dry them off with a paper towel.
  4. Bake in a hot oven until done! It usually takes about 30-40 minutes in my oven. You might want to cover it for the first 15 minutes with tin foil, and leave uncovered for the rest of the time. Leaving it uncovered increases it's stickiness, which is key to the yumminess.
  5. Serve with baked corn on the cob and either roasted potatoes or brown rice.
  6. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recipes that are in the queue to try

I browse all the time for new recipes.  Tastespotting is a collection of gourmet recipes that people submit from their food blogs.  Every recipe is pretty much guaranteed to be a winner.  Here are a few that I found recently that I will be trying very soon:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baked Chicken Penne Pasta

This was such a good dish, very sim­ple & yet every bite packed a full punch.  The best part is the crispiness on top!

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Table­spoon of Olive Oil
2 Zuc­chinis
1 Onion
3 Cloves of Gar­lic, crushed
4 Toma­toes
1 Tbs of dried basil
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rose­mary
Penne Pasta
mozarella cheese

What you do:
  1. Start brown­ing your chicken in the cast iron skil­let with olive oil.  As your chicken cooks, dice zuc­chini into small cubes and chop onions.
  2. Once your chicken is cooked, shred it right in the skillet.
  3. Now add in all your your veg­eta­bles except the toma­toes. Let all the other veg­eta­bles come together & soften for about 5 minutes.
  4. THEN add your toma­toes includ­ing all the juice from the toma­toes. Mix every­thing together & then add in your all the sea­son­ing ingre­di­ents. Let every­thing sim­mer together for about 10 minutes.
  5. While these items are com­ing together boil your pasta. Once your pasta is down boil­ing, drain it & pour it right into the skil­let.  Mix every­thing together.
  6. Top with 1 cup of moz­zarella cheese or fresh moz­zarella slices & slide it under the broiler until the cheese browns. Brown the cheese as much as you like. It is much tastier the crispier it is!
recipe from here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brazilian Style Chicken

Once again, no photo.  I promise I will take one and add it to this post the next time I make this dish.  Anyway, here is this recipe for this simple, tasty weeknight dinner:

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • brown rice
  • broccoli
What you do:
  1.  Start cooking the rice.
  2. Score the skin on the meat with a sharp knife.  Sprinkly the chicken all over with salt and pepper.  Place large heavy frying pan on medium-high heat.  Drizzle oil into the hot pan and add the chicken, skin side down.  Cook for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown all over.
  3. Transfer to a plate and add onions to hot pan.  Sauté for a bit and then add garlic, capsicum, and tomato.  Sauté for a few minutes until capsicums have softened slightly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Return chicken to pan and add 1 cup of white wine.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Serve with brown rice and steamed broccoli.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Grilled Balsamic Chicken Sandwiches

This chicken is AMAZING! I was a bit weary at first because I thought the chicken would taste like balsamic vinegar, but it doesn't at all. I guess the vinegar taste gets cooked off.  Recipe courtesy of my mom:

  • chicken breasts, cut in half
  • tomato, sliced
  • red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into rings
  • red onions, cut into rings
  • mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly 
  • hard rolls 
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • crushed garlic
  • red onion, chopped
  • oregano
  • basil
What you do:

Mix up the marinade ingredients in a bowl.  Just eyeball it, there should be enough to cover the chicken.  Stab the chicken with a fork and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Throw everything on the BBQ and grill until done.  The tomato doesn't take as long, so put that on towards the end.  Towards the end, put sliced cheese on the chicken.

Load up the sandwiches on the buns: chicken with cheese, grilled onion rings, grilled capsicum rings, grilled tomato slices.      

Serve with a side of mixed salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and oil.  Enjoy! Yum!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Portuguese Chicken on the BBQ

We recently bought a BBQ and wow, it has changed my life!  This has expanded my recipe repertoire immensely!  Tonight we had portuguese chicken.  This recipe is incredibly easy and surprisingly tasty:

  • Lots of crushed garlic
  • Olive oil (a lot of it)
  • a few squirts of lemon juice
  • A lot of Portuguese chicken rub (in the spice aisle)
What you do: 
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and brush onto chicken liberally.  Let marinate for a few hours (at least 1 hour).  Cook on a hot BBQ until juices run clear.

Serve with...

Mexican Rice
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, depending on the saltiness of the broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • frozen peas
In a pot, saute the olive oil, onion, and garlic.  Add rice, canned tomatoes, spices, chicken stock, and water (I never measure anything out, so you will just have to experiment.  Just keep adding water if it gets all absorbed and it's not done yet).  Adjust the spices to taste as you cook.   About half way through, add the peas. 

Corn on the cob
Shuck the corn. Put corn on a square of tin foil. Top with freshly ground salt and pepper and a large square of butter. Wrap the corn in the tin foil (1 corn per foil square). Grill for about 15-20 min or until done. 

Friday, February 5, 2010


Of all the vegetarian chili recipes I have made, this one is definitely the best.  You can even add meat if you wish.  It's even better the next day!  The recipe calls for a slow cooker, but I don't have one, so a regular dutch oven worked perfectly!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 medium red or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large yellow capsicum, seeded, cored, diced
  • 1 medium green or red capsicum, seeded, cored, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into coins
  • 2 cups butternut quash, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28-oz. (800 g) can fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 1 15-oz. (425 g) can red, black or white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • A dab of sour cream or Greek yogurt, if desired
  • a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, if desired
What you do:
  1. Pour the olive oil into a slow cooker or Crock Pot. Add the garlic and onion and stir to coat. 
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients. Break apart the tomatoes a bit. Cook on low or high according to the manufacturer’s instruction for your particular make and model.
  3. Before serving, taste for seasoning adjustments- add a bit of raw organic agave nectar to tone down the heat. Add lime juice to brighten the flavors.
  4. Omnivores add your favorite cooked organic sausage, browned grass fed organic ground beef, or cooked free-range organic turkey or chicken pieces, if you like.
  5.  Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream
  6. Serve with either: cornbread, pieces of wholemeal toast, or over top of a baked potato.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash

Yum! This one is a winner! It is very similar in taste to my chicken with creamy mushroom wine sauce, which can be found here.

Serves 4
  • 1lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-size wedges (about 2 large ones)
  • 2 tbsp butter, plus more for toast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into bite-size slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 oz. cooked whole chicken, shredded (about 2 cups) **see below
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 to 6 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted (or your choice of bread)-optional
  • cranberry sauce-optional
What you do:
  1.   Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Add the butter, onion and celery to skillet; cook until slightly softened, 9 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. 
  4. Add the chicken, potatoes, cream and stock, simmer until the sauce is creamy and the vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. 
  5. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Spoon mix onto buttered toast and drizzle with sauce. (I added cranberry sauce to the toast and skipped placing the hash on the toast.)
** How to cook a whole chicken to perfection: (this is for shredded chicken)
 Cook the whole chicken in a big pot of water with celery, carrot, onion, peppercorn, sea salt, parsley, tarragon, and bay leaf.  Cook until the meat starts falling off the bone.  Strain the chicken and the broth.  You can save the broth, and chop up the veggies for soup or as stock for later.  Shred chicken with a fork.   

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spinach Bisque

Another good one from Tastespotting!  Very filling! I prefer my broccoli and potato soup, but Mark prefers this.

Servings: 6 servings
  • 5 oz (140 g) fresh spinach, julienned
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cup half and half
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cup cheese, your choice
What you do:
  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat melt butter and olive oil.  Add onions and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  
  2. Whisk in cornstarch- the mixture should turn into a paste.  
  3. Add 3 cups chicken broth and spinach into pot and simmer until spinach is tender.  
  4. Add half and half, cheese, and salt/pepper.  
  5. Continue to let Bisque simmer, never bringing to boil.  If soup is too thick, add the remaining cup of chicken broth.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes.  
  6. Serve with sprinkle of Parmesan. Bisque is better and slightly thicker the second day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

Here is my latest creation!  It's quick and easy, and of course tasty!
  • 2 cubed large chicken breast pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • ~ 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • Oyster sauce (recipe below, if you don't have store-bought) 
  • butter
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 eggs 
  • chopped up veggies: 1 small broccoli head, 2 small zucchinis, 1/2 medium onion, sugar snap peas, 2 carrots
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce  
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
What you do:
  1.   Cube 2 uncooked chicken breast into little pieces and seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a tablespoon of oyster sauce. Heat up butter with sesame oil, then add minced garlic with the chicken. In a wok or cast-iron skillet, cook the meat until it is no longer pink (about 5-8 minutes).
  2. Add scrambled eggs to the meat. Cook for 3-4 minutes
  3. Add veggies and some soy sauce and sauté until cooked through
  4. I mix in 2 cups brown rice.  Add the rest of the oyster sauce and stir fry until light golden brown.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Enjoy! 
Homemade "Oyster" Sauce (w/o oysters)
adapted from various sources

2 overflowing Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
a few shakes of ground ginger

Add all the ingredients together, and stir them well. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds.