Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicken Parm Burgers and Fries

SP loved these so much the last time I made these chicken parm burgers I decided to put them on the menu again.

Since I had so many chicken breasts in the freezer I wondered if I could make my own ground chicken. I looked online and it sounded like people had success using a food processor and chicken that wasn't completely defrosted. I have to say, it worked rather well - a few quick pulses and the cubes of chicken were the perfect texture for making into burgers. Unfortunately one pound of chicken breasts didn't seem to equal one pound of ground chicken so I ended up with only 3 burger patties instead of 4. Poor SP had to buy lunch the next day.
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Caprese Spaghetti

We needed a quick dinner last Sunday because we'd spent the weekend down in Baltimore visiting one of my friends from college. I had a ton of tomatoes from my garden that needed to be used up, plus plenty of basil, so I thought a caprese pasta sounded perfect.

While the water boiled and the pasta cooked I chopped the tomatoes, diced a ball of fresh mozzarella and shredded some basil. I tossed everything together with salt, pepper and a little oil. SP thought this was the essence of summer in a bowl.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pepperoni Pizza

Another Pizza Friday pizza, this one with pepperoni:

SP recently found that our supermarket carries the same brand of pepperoni they use at one of our favorite pizza (actually tomato pie) places. I can't say I noticed a huge difference when it was on the pizza, but it sure tasted good.
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spicy Chicken with Spaghetti in a Garlic Lime Broth

I saw this recipe on my friend Mary Ellen's blog awhile ago and have been meaning to try it. I'm sorry I waited so long. It was absolutely delicious.

The sauce is positively drinkable. I could have had just the pasta and sauce and skipped the chicken. Not only was it delicious it was a cinch to make. It's definitely going on my regular rotation.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Pineapple Chicken Salad

Yet another one from Annie's Eats, this time for one of my staples these days - chicken salad. This pineapple chicken salad:

... was so good I had it three days in a row. I think I doubled the recipe because it made a ton more then I usually end up with. I never used to like pineapple but these days I find that I'm loving the juicy sweetness. This is one I'll make again and again.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicken Lo Mein

This recipe for chicken lo mein is another I saw over at Annie's Eats.

I don't know how many varieties of lo mein noodles there were at the store, but SP bought the wide noodles. I wasn't a fan of the texture (too broad for me) but the rest of the meal was delicious. Next time I'll use more mushrooms, though. I cut up one large portabello cap and the pieces all but disintegrated in the sauce.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Burger

I had some leftover blue cheese in the fridge so I decided to make blue cheese and caramelized onion burgers.

I used meatloaf mix (since I have to cook meat all the way through using the mix keeps the burgers moist), mixed with an egg, bread crumbs and chopped parsley and basil from my garden. I slow-cooked some thinly sliced onion until it was soft and sweet and topped each burger with some of the onions before adding crumbled blue cheese. I used foil to make a tent to melt the cheese and served the burgers with lettuce and tomato.

Delicious and easy. I love the tang from the blue cheese and the sweetness from the onions. Making new and different burgers is a lot of fun.
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Shrimp Boil

We had my parents over for dinner on a recent Sunday and I wanted to do something different. When I was a kid my mom would make artichokes and the three of us would sit around the table peeling off the leaves and dipping them in melted butter. Since I've been on an artichoke crazy I thought it would be a fun trip down memory lame (and a chance for SP to experience a real artichoke).

These were a little small, which ended up working perfectly as an appetizer before dinner. I started by cutting the end off the stems and then peeling the outer layer off so we could eat them later. I cut the very top off the artichokes and then trimmed the top off each leaf. Once they were trimmed I put them in a pot with a steamer basket and cooked them for about 45 minutes.

For the shrimp I left them in the shell and used the recipe on the back of the Old Bay seasoning - water, vinegar, Old Bay and shrimp boiled together for about 5 minutes.

I also cooked 4 ears of corn that SP asked me to cut in half to more closely resemble a true shrimp boil. We layered newspaper on top of the table to keep with the same theme. It was a ton of fun!

My plate with some shrimp, corn and a baked potato:

I baked the potatoes at 450 degrees for about an hour.

My stepdad made dessert:

... brownies with ice cream topped with a raspberry. I was so full by the time we got to dessert that I couldn't finish my entire serving, but it was delicious.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Breakfast at Home

I had to do my gestational diabetes test on a recent Thursday, so I scheduled the appointment in the morning so I could eat breakfast at home. I know what you eat the day before the test doesn't necessarily guarantee a passing grade, but I knew eating half a bagel with cream cheese and a large OJ (my usual weekday breakfast) wasn't going to do me any favors. At home I could slice up a tomato, half an avocado and scramble one egg:

Not only did it make for a colorful breakfast, it was delicious. I wish I could eat that way every morning.
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Mac & Cheese with Stewed Tomatoes

I had some milk to use up so I made a large batch of mac & cheese. In college I loved when they served mac & cheese for lunch partly because it was amazingly good and partly because it was always served with stewed tomatoes. I bought two cans of stewed tomatoes to try to recreate the effect.

While the mac & cheese was as delicious as always, the stewed tomatoes weren't that good. I think I might need to try making my own. I love this innards shot because you can see the gorgeous, crispy breadcrumb topping:

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan

We love this recipe for chicken tikka masala. It's flavorful, easy to make and delicious every time.

Unfortunately I can't really eat spicy food right now and the japaleno I used in this recipe really packed a punch. It was yummy to eat but my body wasn't happy later.

We always talk about buying naan to have with the chicken tikka and I finally remembered to get some. For store-bought it was OK, didn't have that great char flavor but it worked well to sop up the sauce and tame the heat.
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Chicken Gyro Repeat

SP loved the chicken gyros so much he said I could make them every week. I did put two weeks in between but these are so good I really think I could eat them once a week and be happy.

This time I served the gyros with fries. Greek salad is delicious but I love dipping the fries in tzatziki and they take up less stomach space then the salad. The gyros are really the star of the meal.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Taco Burgers

I've been into easy meals this summer. The two things I keep gravitating towards each week are different recipes for chicken salad and burgers. I saw this recipe for Taco Burgers over at Vintage Victuals and the picture alone sold me.

An innards shot to show the layers of meat (I used meatloaf mix), cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato, and guacamole:

These were incredibly messy but so good. I think I need to try making flatter patties because even though they start out flat they always puff up, which makes it harder to keep the toppings in place. Usually I poke a hole in the center but I keep forgetting.
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Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

I saw this white pizza recipe on my friend Jenn's blog. I've been on a huge artichoke kick lately so I was anxious to make this.

SP usually isn't a fan of white pizza but he said this was pretty good. I think next time I'll make it with red sauce to satisfy him.
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Friday, August 07, 2009

Gorgonzola Burgers

This was one of those meals that was supposed to be something else and then necessity forced me to improvise. Thankfully it all worked out and we had a delicious dinner.

I had planned to make Rachael Ray's Gorgonzola-Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato Gravy and mashed potatoes, but when I got home I realized the recipe called for two pounds of meat and I'd only defrosted one pound. After talking it over with SP I decided to make the recipe into burgers instead. The results were delicious, one of the best mistakes I've ever made.

Look at that gorgeous gorgonzola melted on top of the burger. Yum!

I made the burgers like I would have made the meatballs but instead of stuffing them with the cheese I flattened them into patties and served them on toasted buns with lettuce and tomato. SP really wanted the mashed potatoes so I kept those even though I don't think they go well with burgers. For some reason SP loved the potatoes, couldn't stop talking about how they were the best mashed potatoes I've ever made. Go figure!
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Spicy Pork Po' Boys

I'm loving Annie's Eats these days...here's another recipe I saw on her blog.

The Spicy Pork Po' Boys were easy to make but a huge pain to eat. Everything fell out of the roll. The flavors of the pork were too subtle with the sauce kinda overwhelming everything, but I still enjoyed this meal.
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad

Another recipe from Annie's Eats, this time for chicken salad.

I made a few modifications (using walnuts instead of pecans, subbing sour cream for the yogurt). This was delicious but I served it on the wrong kind of roll. It was too doughy and overwhelmed the chicken salad. SP transferred his serving to toasted bread and it seemed to work better (and then I followed his lead for lunch the next day - a vast improvement).
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Pepperoni Pan Pizza

I resurrected the pan pizza because I was craving it a few weeks ago. I really layered on the pepperoni:

I love this recipe - simple and comes out perfect every single time.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scallops and Asparagus with Cheesy Orzo

I saw this recipe on Elly Says Opa! and thought I'd make a variation of it using scallops and orzo.

My dish turned out to be a far cry from Elly's, but it was still delicious. I seared the scallops and made the cheesy orzo with pecorino instead of goat cheese (which would have been better but I was trying to use up ingredients, not buy more).
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Chicken Gyros and Greek Salad

This recipe for chicken gyros has been making the rounds on my cooking board for weeks. Not only is it easy to make but the results are absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious.

I'm sure fresh pita would be even better but SP managed to find some really good pita at the supermarket, the pocketless kind like the recipe states. Mmmm. The tzatziki is addictive. I marinated the chicken overnight for added flavor and juiciness (and because if I marinated it when I got home we'd be eating at 10pm).

I served the gyros with Greek salad:

I mixed chopped romaine, feta, kalamata olives, chopped tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers together with red wine vinegar, oil, and oregano.

Chicken Gyros
Elly Says Opa!

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/2 batch of tzatziki
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onion
4 (pocketless) pitas

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the broiler (or grill, or pan on the stove). Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Meanwhile, heat your pitas. Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions.


1 32oz. container of plain Greek yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, seeded
3-5 cloves garlic–depending how garlicky you like it, crushed
1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
salt and a little pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Peel and seed the cucumber. Shred the cucumbers and then squeeze in a towel to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible.

Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight, if possible, or at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Portobellos Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella

Another recipe I saw on Annie's Eats, this time for Portobellos Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach and Mozzarella.

It looks gorgeous but this was not a winner, unfortunately. I should have known better...it just isn't our style of cooking/eating. I also used flavored chicken sausage and the smell was really bothering me when it was cooking (in that evening sickness way it used to bother me in the first tri).
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Chicken Parm Burger and Fries

I saw this recipe for Chicken Parm Burgers over at Annie's Eats and knew SP would love them.

The burgers did not disappoint. Easy to make and delicous to eat.

Chicken Parmesan Burgers
Annie's Eats

For the burgers:
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
Salt and pepper

For serving:
Pasta sauce
Mozzarella or provolone cheese (sliced or shredded)
Sautéed mushrooms (optional)
4 hamburger buns

In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients for the burgers. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Form the mixture into 4 patties. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.

Preheat the broiler. Spray the broiler pan with cooking spray. (Alternatively, cook the burgers on an outdoor grill or grill pan.) Broil the burgers for 4-6 minutes on one side, then flip and broil for 4-6 more minutes on the other side until fully browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven, top each burger with pasta sauce and cheese. Place back under the broiler for 30-60 seconds until the cheese is melted. Top with sautéed mushrooms if desired, and serve on toasted hamburger buns.
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Meat and Veggie Skewers

I love grilling skewers of meat and veggies. I skewered up some zucchini, grape tomatoes and red onion:

... along with steak for SP and chicken for me:

I marinated the chicken in pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and cilantro with a little oil, salt and pepper. The steak was marinated in oil, salt, pepper, garlic and cilantro. I let the meats sit for about 6 hours to really soak up the flavors.

I love this Thai pineapple rice although I always say I don't know what makes it Thai:

The veggies on the grill:

Veggies ready to be eaten:

My plate with two chicken skewers, rice and veggies:

Always a delicious, simple meal.
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Monday, August 03, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

I wanted a breakfast to use up the leftovers from our BBQ dinner so I reheated some corn fritters and toasted the biscuits, cooked up some bacon and scrambled eggs:

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BBQ Chicken Dinner

My apologies - I'm so far behind it's overwhelming.

We invited our friends C & D over for a cookout back in early July. SP's been craving barbecued chicken so I boiled a cut-up chicken and some chicken thighs and finished them on the grill, basting with BBQ sauce:

He's also been asking for my corn fritters so I made a double batch of those:

Just look at that delicious golden-brown color and crispy edges:

These were sweet and addictive. I think D had about 5 or 6. SP made his drop biscuits:

...which are always yummy and buttery. C & D brought a delicious strawberry shortcake for dessert:

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