Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Louisiana Chicken Pasta

I saw this recipe for Louisiana Chicken Pasta over at Annie's Eats and thought it sounded delicious.

It certainly looked good but it ended up being way too heavy and rich. I think the problem was that I didn't need to add the cornstarch to thicken the sauce but I did anyway, despite my better judgment. Unfortunately it made the sauce gloppy and thick. Next time I'll just leave that step out and let the starch from the pasta thicken the sauce.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Skillet Beef Stroganoff

We love this recipe for Skillet Beef Stroganoff.

Even though I've been off mushrooms for this entire pregnancy I still enjoyed this immensely. It's just so satisfying.

Skillet Beef Stroganoff
Slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen Easy Skillet Suppers

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or meatloaf mix
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 pound wide egg noodles (3 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid until cooked through, then remove to a bowl.

2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet until shimmering. Cook mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds, then add both broths and the brandy, and return beef and accumulated juices to pan.

3. Stir noodles into beef mixture, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Off heat, stir in sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Pin It!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken, Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes

I was looking for a way to use up some arugula when I remembered this recipe for
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken, Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. It was so delicious the last time I made it that once I put it on the menu I couldn't stop thinking about eating it.

Just look at this delicious filling spilling out from the cut chicken breasts:

Pin It!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

My love affair with chicken salad continues. It's just such an easy weeknight meal.

This time I made SP plain chicken salad (just chicken, mayo, salt and pepper) since that's what he prefers. I mixed my chicken with chopped celery, scallions, grapes, chopped walnuts, parsley, salt and pepper. I served our sandwiches on toasted bread. Delicious and easy.
Pin It!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicken and Artichoke Saute

One of SP's coworkers gave him this recipe for me when he told her I was really into artichokes these days. I can't believe I waited so long to make it. This was outstanding, a perfect dish in every way. I can't wait to make it again.

I served the saute with mashed potatoes. I don't know why but lately my mashed potatoes have tasted amazing. SP always comments that they're very potato-y, which sounds funny but when you can really taste the potato in the mash it makes you realize how many times you haven't tasted it. Just look at this pan of deliciousness:

The printout I have doesn't say where the recipe is from, but when I Googled it I found an identical recipe posted on the UK version of Allrecipes that says it's from Readers Digest, so I'm going with that. I made a few modifications, the big one being using chicken breasts instead of thighs because I prefer white meat.

Chicken and Artichoke Saute
Slightly adapted from Readers Digest

4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dried thyme
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans artichokes (canned in water), drained and halved
2 red peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
4 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Place the flour, thyme, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag and shake well. Add the chicken to the bag and shake until they are lightly and evenly coated. Remove the chicken to a plate, shaking off any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large pan over moderate heat. Add the chicken and saute for about 5 minutes on each side, moving around occasionally, until golden brown. Continuing cooking for 10 minutes or until the juices run clear when they are pierced. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Pour off any excess oil from the pan, leaving just a film, then add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds, stirring. Add the artichokes and red peppers, and saute for 3–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers are tender. Stir in the black olives. Add the wine and allow to bubble, stirring, until it has evaporated. Stir in the stock, lemon juice and lemon zest, bring to the boil and cook until reduced by about half. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken back to the pan to heat through in the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice to sop up the delicious sauce.
Pin It!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Summer Cookout

A few weeks ago I realized I hadn't made a single beet, goat cheese and arugula salad this summer. After making it every week for pretty much the entire summer of 2008, I was shocked that I hadn't been craving it this year. I asked SP to buy a bunch of beets and set about making a meal to go with the salad.

In addition to the beet salad I asked SP to get fresh mozzarella for caprese salad:

SP's coworker brought us two gorgeous homegrown tomatoes that I used in the salad, along with basil from my garden. For the beets I cooked them on the stove in boiling water until they were tender, then tossed them with thyme, chopped shallot, lemon juice, and oil. When it was time to serve I crumbled goat cheese over the beets, which sat on a bed or arugula:

We also had cheeseburgers to round out the meal, but the focus was squarely on the fresh, summer vegetables.

Pin It!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Funfetti Cupcakes

I wanted to bake something fun a few weekends ago, so I asked SP to pick up a box of Funfetti cake mix and frosting at the store. It's just so fun with the colorful sprinkles both in the cake and as a colorful finish.

I know I've said here many times that I'm not a baker, so forgive me for using such a shortcut. I have to say, though, I really love the flavor of boxed mix and canned frosting. It's the stuff of my childhood and while homemade is good, for me there's nothing like this stuff.

Pin It!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

I love making a hearty Sunday breakfast. These days I've been into scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and sausage:

This time I chopped parsley and scallions to mix with the potatoes and onions. It's an Ina Garten recipe and I find the freshness from the parsley and the fresh, mild onion taste from the scallions goes perfectly with the soft potatoes and sweet, mellow onions.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pepperoni and Olive Pizza

A recent pepperoni and olive Pizza Friday pizza:

I love making homemade pizza. It's simple, delicious and very satisfying.
Pin It!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Patty Melts and Tater Tots

We enjoyed the patty melts so much that I made them again the following week, this time with frozen tater tots on the side.

These were pretty greasy and rich, which made them a little heavy on the stomach. Delicous, but I think it'll be awhile before these reappear on our menu rotation.

Pin It!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pineapple Chicken Salad

I love this recipe for Pineapple Chicken Salad, although I still haven't found a good way to photograph it.

Pin It!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo with Broccoli

I saw this recipe for Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo with Broccoli on my friend Colleen's blog. SP is a huge fan of orzo and I had some shrimp I wanted to use up.

Broccoli is usually one of my favorite veggies but I haven't made it in awhile. I know tastes change in pregnancy and I didn't realize I was off the broccoli until we sat down to eat. The original recipe doesn't call for it and I should have left it out. Other then that the recipe was delicious. Next time I think I'll add a little cream to make the sauce a little richer.
Pin It!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas and Sour Cream Rice

I love this recipe for sour cream rice so much that I made the quesadillas just for an excuse to pair them with the rice.

I slow-cooked some onions and sauteed chicken for the quesadillas, which were held together with pepper Jack cheese and cheddar. I also diced some tomatoes from my garden to go with a healthy dolop of sour cream. But the real star is the rice - I love the cheesy, slightly spicy rice with bursts of corn when your teeth sink into a kernel. Delicious.
Pin It!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Burgers, Chips and Corn Fritters

We had a few ears of corn leftover so I decided to make corn fritters for dinner. I wasn't sure what to serve with the fritters but decided we should enjoy burgers while the weather is still good.

I love these corn fritters:

The trick is to put the batter in the pan and walk away for about 10 minutes. You want the fritter to get golden brown and that'll never happen if you mess with it.
Pin It!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my quest for banana recipes I also came across this one for Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies. I baked a batch on a recent Sunday for us to enjoy during the week.

The cookies are seriously addictive. I could have eaten about 4 in one sitting even though they were incredibly rich.

I love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate and peanut butter and banana so combining all three made perfect sense. I can't wait to make these again. Just writing this blog post is making my mouth water.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly Modified from Cathy's Kitchen

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 banana, sliced
15 teaspoons peanut butter (give or take)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes, up to one hour. This is a very important step, so don't skip it. The butter in the dough needs to firm up again or your cookies will spread in the oven.

After the dough has chilled, use a small cookie scoop to make mounds of dough on the cookie sheet. Using the back of the scoop, make a dent in the top for the banana slice. Place a slice of banana, then place about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the banana slice. Scoop another dough ball, flatten and mound on top. You should have a big dough ball now.

Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes approximately 15 giant cookies.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

I had a bunch of bananas to use up so I went searching for banana recipes in some of my favorite blogs. This recipe for Banana Sour Cream Pancakes looked like a delicious Sunday breakfast.

I wish there had been a little more tang to the pancakes but overall they were delicious. I'll definitely make these again.

Pin It!

BBQ Chicken, Baked Potato and Corn

We had some leftover chicken thighs in the freezer from the last time we made BBQ chicken. I served the thighs with corn on the cob and baked potatoes:

Unfortunately it rained the night I was planning to grill the chicken so we had to cook the chicken on our indoor electric grill.

I poached the thighs first for about 45 minutes and then put them on a smoking-hot grill to get a little char before basting with BBQ sauce. The chicken didn't get the same smokey flavor from the charcoal but it was still tasty.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pepperoni Pan Pizza

I love this recipe for pan pizza, although it does get a little greasy.

I made this for myself last week when SP was out one night. I had to swap Thursday and Friday's menus, which ended up working out well since the pizzas are easy to make. He brought the leftovers for lunch the next day, but it's never as good as the first day.
Pin It!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Patty Melt and Fries

One of SP's favorite ways to eat a burger is a patty melt. I've never had one in a restaurant but it always looks good when he orders one. Since I've been experimenting with burgers lately I thought I'd give the patty melt a try.

I used regular white bread since we wouldn't go through a whole loaf of rye and I made my patty melt with American cheese instead of the more traditional Swiss that SP had. I used meatloaf mix (my standby these days) for the burgers and slow-cooked two onions for the topping.

It's hard to tell from the pictures but there was a ton of gooey cheese on the sandwich. The sweetness from the onions was a great contract. I loved this sandwich, especially dipped into ketchup. Yum!
Pin It!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Shrimp Primavera

We had some shrimp in the freezer and we were both craving summer vegetables so SP asked me to make a shrimp primavera.

Since it was raining all weekend we weren't able to grill the shrimp and veggies, so I roasted them instead. I cut up carrots, zucchini, yellow squash (a special variety that was on the sweet side) and onion. I tossed the veggies with olive oil, herbs de provenance, salt and pepper before roasting them at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. While they were cooking I cleaned the shrimp and roasted those for about the last 10 minutes the veggies were cooking. I also halved some grape tomatoes and added those in raw when I tossed the pasta with the veggies and shrimp. A sprinkling of grated cheese finished the dish.

I really liked the simple summer flavors of this dish but it was a little too sweet for me because of the yellow squash SP bought. If I'd known it was going to be that sweet I would have left out the carrot.
Pin It!

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I've been off bacon for awhile so we picked up some breakfast sausage instead for a hearty weekend breakfast.

I scrambled some eggs (SP had his topped with melted Swiss cheese), made breakfast potatoes and browned the sausage. Delicious!
Pin It!

Friday, September 04, 2009


I just love the presentation of these tacos:

... even if they are incredibly messy to eat. We each got an order of three tacos for lunch while we were running errands recently.

They forgot to give us forks so we needed to be hosed down after we finished eating. I love everything about these tacos except the ground beef isn't really seasoned well. Our favorite Mexican place makes a better seasoned ground beef taco, but they don't include any toppings except shredded lettuce and cheese. Thankfully this place gives you two difference sauces to put on the tacos, which helps in the flavor department.
Pin It!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Trip to Sonic

I've been seeing commercials for Sonic for years even though the closest one to us was 70 miles away. I heard their marketing strategy is to imprint the brand in your subconscious so if you are ever traveling and see one you'll want to try it. This also works for if one eventually opens near your house - all the hype has already been built up so they have very little work to do to get you to the store.

Then about 6 months ago not one but TWO Sonics opened within 15 minutes of our house. Score! A few weekends ago we went to one for a quick burger fix. We'd been once before about a month before the recent visit and I was mad that I'd forgotten my camera. This time I brought it along and got a shot of my cheeseburger:

Just look at that glistening, greasy bun. Their burgers are delicious but I shudder to think of how unhealthy they are. I got a combo that included the burger and fries:

I also got a cherry limeade, which is perfect for cutting the buttery, fatty goodness. I love eating in the car with the windows rolled down. Such a fun summer treat.
Pin It!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Curry Chicken Salad

I love curry chicken salad and I'm really loving making something as simple as chicken salad once a week. There are so many flavor combinations but SP loves the curry.

Sorry for the weird picture. I staked both halves of the sandwich one on top of the other to try to find a good angle for the photo. It's hard to capture a sandwich the way I want to so it shows off the filling.
Pin It!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Artichoke Alfredo Pasta

I've been craving artichokes lately and this recipe for Artichoke Alfredo Pasta is always so satisfying to me.

SP isn't a huge fan so I don't make it often but he's being nice to me lately. :) I love the big chunks of artichoke and the flavors of the cream and lemon juice. Such a delicious, if indulgent, meal.
Pin It!