Thursday, December 31, 2009


Another homemade pizza:

... with pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives:

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Food from Friends

Our next-door neighbor, K, brought us some food a few weeks ago:

From the top, going clockwise: pulled pork, mac and cheese, green beans, squash, Parmesan chicken and roasted potatoes.
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rigatoni Woodsman-Style

SP vaguely remembered this recipe from when I made it last year, and after a quick look through my blog he asked that I make it. I did a quick inventory of the freezer and pantry and realized we had everything I needed to make Rigatoni Woodsman-Style:

It was just as delicious as we remembered, with just a slight kick from the sausage. I don't know why this is so tasty, but it definitely is.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Onion Chicken, Au Gratin Potatoes and Green Beans

We had leftover French's onions from Thanksgiving. I was looking at the can and saw a recipe for onion chicken that sounded super simple - coat chicken in egg and crushed onions and bake.

I have a confession to make - I've been cheating these days. SP found these Betty Crocker casserole potatoes and I fell in love with them. Simple to make and they taste pretty darn good. I'm also into steaming veggies in the microwave, especially since our supermarket was practically giving them away at Thanksgiving. One day, when Baby Girl is older and I can really get back in the kitchen, I'll go back to my old way of cooking but for now we had a delicious meal in no time flat.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Robin

We took Baby Girl out to dinner recently and thought Red Robin would be a safe bet since they're so kid-friendly. We brought the camera in the hopes the robin would be there, but since he wasn't I decided to grab a shot of my delicious burger:

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Turkey Day! Yes, I know this post is a little late but things are hectic around here, as you can imagine. This year we decided to keep things very low-key. We still went to my parent's house, but SP did some of the cooking (veggie sides and dessert) and my mom did the turkey and the rest of the sides. It was a great time and Baby Girl slept through the whole meal, allowing everyone to enjoy a hot meal together.

Here's the turkey, fresh from the oven:

And here it is after my stepdad worked his carving magic:

Glorious, fluffy mashed potatoes:

SP made the stuffing, with a little help from me:

...with a hint of apple from apple cider. Delish! He also made green bean casserole:

Yes, it had cream of mushroom soup, but the beans were fresh. Cranberry sauce:

Glazed carrots:

... were the surprise hit of the year. It was a simple recipe using brown sugar, sherry and baby carrots and butter. Plenty of gravy made from the turkey drippings:

The table all laid out:

My plate with lots of everything.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Next year maybe Baby Girl will be helping out in the kitchen.
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Caramel Apple Walnut Pie

This year we had planned to host Thanksgiving dinner for the family, but things have been so crazy we just couldn't do it. SP and my mom decided to split the meal, each taking a few dishes to make so neither was overworked. One of our items was dessert, a Caramel Apple Walnut Pie:

Normally I don't like pie (I'm not a fan of chunks of cooked fruit) but the apples in this pie cooked down to be almost like applesauce, which was perfect.

Caramel Apple Walnut Pie
Makes 8 servings

8 tablespoons butter, divided use
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups thinly-sliced apples
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 soft caramel candies
1 unbaked pie crust
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Add the apples and cook until soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in corn starch, vanilla, and caramels. Place crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Mound the apple caramel mixture into the crust. Melt remaining butter. Mix in flour, brown sugar, and walnuts. Top pie with mixture and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara

One of the first real meals I cooked post-baby was spaghetti carbonara, a dish I absolutely love, make often and haven't had since before I got pregnant.

Just look at that pan full of goodness:

I have to say, this was one of the best versions I've made, perfectly seasoned and utterly delicious. I was bad and used a full pound of bacon and 4 small onions to ensure there was plenty of both in each forkful.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009


This is actually a meal I cooked post-baby! My mother-in-law and my mom were over for dinner so I made two pizzas - pepperoni and olive:

... and mushrooms for SP:

It was good to get back in the kitchen.
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Postpartum Sushi

During the first week we were home with Baby Girl my dad and stepmom came to visit. I had been craving sushi throughout my pregnancy and they were nice enough to indulge my craving once I was able to have it again.

My dad and I split this order of spicy tuna, spicy rock roll, tuna and avocado, Godzilla roll and SP got an eel and avocado roll.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Artichokes with Mashed Potatoes

Unfortunately I have no idea where I got this recipe for creamy chicken with artichokes, or any recollection of whether we liked it or not. Whoops!

I assume we liked it since it has artichokes and we all know how much I love artichokes. I just wish I knew where I got it so I could link to it. If you read this blog and this is your recipe, please let me know.

Creamy Chicken with Artichokes
Slightly Adapted from Pleasure Cooker

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can chicken broth
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add wine, broth, garlic and artichokes to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. If sauce needs to thicken, mix 2 tablespoons of broth with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and add to sauce. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Serve sauce over chicken.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vegetable Soup and Sandwich

I made a big pot of the vegetable soup from our Titanic meal so that we'd have some for dinner and I could freeze the rest.

I also made sandwiches to go with the soup:

... our favorite Cubans on regular bread instead of the good rolls.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Peanut Chicken with Noodles and Veggies

I'm starting to get back into blogging, slowly but surely. I have a bunch of photos saved but no clue when I made the various meals.

We love cold sesame noodles but I don't see them as a full meal. When I saw this recipe for Peanut Soy Chicken, Cold Noodle, and Veggie Bowl I thought it would be the answer to that problem. It certainly looked good:

... but the flavor was a little lacking. We love an overwhelming peanut butter flavor and it just wasn't there. It also made a ton of food, so if I made this again I'd cut the recipe in half.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby Girl Has Arrived

I know it doesn't look like anything has changed around here since blog posts have been published daily, but Baby Girl arrived on Oct. 10, 3 weeks early. Since then I've been living in the fog of new parenthood, trying to figure out this little person who hates to eat, loves to sleep (except at night) and has just generally turned our lives completely upside down.

Obviously this means I won't be publishing any new updates for awhile. I do have a few photos on my camera from before I went into labor, but turning those into posts will have to wait until I have a better handle on things around here. These days it's sleep when the baby sleeps, eat when you have a spare second and let everything else fall by the wayside.

Speaking of sleeping when the baby sleeps, I'm going to finish my apple cider donut and glass of cold milk and join my husband in some much needed sleep. I hope my regular readers will stick with me through this tough time. I promise to return when I can. In the meantime, please wish us luck. Parenthood is the hardest thing I've ever done. No one can prepare you for it.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

SP asked for Buffalo Chicken Pizza one recent Friday and I was happy to oblige.

This time I didn't have any Marie's dressing but I did have some leftover blue cheese. I shredded mozzarella and Swiss cheeses and layered half of both down on the rolled out dough, then topped it with poached chicken (my new favorite way of cooking chicken since it stays super juicy and tender), chopped scallions, the crumbled blue cheese, a few splashes of Frank's hot sauce and the rest of the cheese.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

As I recently said, I love casseroles for their ease and because they can be so darn good. This recipe for Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole was not only easy, it was really tasty.

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole
Erica's Kitchen Adventures

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb diced ham
2 cups poached, shredded chicken breast (1 lb chicken breasts)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 14 oz can chicken broth
3 cups cooked rice (1 cup uncooked rice)
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or Swiss

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic, chicken and ham and cook for another 5 minutes until heated through. Add the butter and cook until melted, then stir in the flour, salt and pepper until combined. Slowly stir in the chicken broth, then mix in the rice.

Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is browned and the dish is bubbling hot. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chile Cheese Chowder and Sandwiches

Even though spicy food gives me serious heartburn these days I couldn't pass up the chance to make this chowder recipe from Elizabeth's Edible Experience.

It was easy to make and very spicy, but delicious. I opted to puree the soup with my immersion blender because I didn't want us chomping down on bits of poblano pepper. To go with the soup I wanted to make panini using some ciabatta I had in the freezer. I layered the bread with mayo, cheddar cheese, arugula, turkey and monterey Jack cheese, then pressed the sandwich down on a griddle with a baking sheet weighed down by two cans of tomatoes.

The bread got a little too crispy but the sandwiches were still good.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Casserole

I love casseroles. Not only are they easy but they're also very comforting as the weather gets colder.

This one was really good. Just look at this crispy breadcrumb topping:

Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Casserole
Adapted from Savory Safari

1/2 pound egg noodles
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion, diced
10 oz. mushrooms
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 box frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung dry
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups poached chicken (1 lb chicken breasts), shredded
4 slices fresh bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Cook egg noodles until just tender, leaving some bite. Drain and toss with olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add in thyme and white wine and cook until nearly evaporated. Add chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and reduce slightly.

Turn heat to low and whisk in cream. Slowly return sauce to a low simmer and reduce again slightly. Add spinach to the sauce and warm through. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, chicken and noodles. Turn the mixture into a greased 2 1/2-qt casserole dish.

Tear bread into pieces and pulse in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add in melted butter and pulse to combine. Toss with cheese in a small bowl, and top the casserole with the mixture. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until heated through and breadcrumbs are brown.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Loaded Baked Potatoes

I wanted an easy dinner one night and had two broccoli crowns to use up so I thought loaded baked potatoes would be perfect.

I microwaved the potatoes, although baking in the oven would be better. I also steamed the broccoli in chicken broth and cooked the bacon in the toaster oven until it was crispy. Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream rounded out the potatoes. These were amazingly good for being so simple.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Creamy Tomato and Onion Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

I had tried to make this dish awhile ago and finally got around to it recently. It was amazing!

I find Rachael Ray recipes to be hit or miss bu this was definitely a winner. The meatballs were delicious, with a slight bite from the blue cheese. But the gravy is what really made this dish fantastic. It makes a ton of sauce so next time I'll cut the recipe in half (reflected in the recipe below). The mashed potatoes were great for sopping up the sauce and you can't go wrong with crispy steamed green beans.

Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Creamy Tomato and Onion Gravy
Modified Slightly from Rachael Ray

2 - 2 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 handfuls plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped sage leaves (can also use dried)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Gorgonzola
1 tablespoon butter
2 bay leaves
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place meat in a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, add in garlic, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs and sage. Mix meat, roll into 8 large balls and arrange in a baking dish. Make an indentation half way into each ball and fill the cavity with some Gorgonzola. Seal completely and bake until golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a sauce pot over medium heat, add bay and onions and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and tomatoes and heat through, stir in cream, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to thicken slightly 8 to 10 minutes.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beef Enchiladas and Sour Cream Rice

One Friday SP thought he had to work late so I decided to make myself a special dinner. Turns out he didn't have to work as late as he thought so we both got to enjoy this meal of Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas and Mexican Sour Cream Rice:

I love this recipe for enchiladas and always use the sauce recipe no matter what kind of enchiladas I'm making. They're simple to make and always delicious. And the rice never fails. I served the enchiladas with sour cream and guacamole. It was a wonderful end to a long week.

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas
Everyday Food

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 small canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Make filling: In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°. (If freezing, don’t place any sauce in baking dish; see To Freeze, below left.) Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside.

Make enchiladas: Stack tortillas and wrap in paper towel. Warm in microwave, 10 seconds or until pliable. Fill each with a heaping 1/4 cup beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Note: To freeze: Make sauce and enchiladas; arrange enchiladas in baking dish without sauce (so tortillas dont become soggy). Place sauce in an airtight container. Cover dish with plastic wrap and foil. Label, date, and freeze enchiladas and sauce. Use within 2 months; bake without thawing (see opposite page).

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 450°. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dish. Pour sauce over top, and sprinkle with cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; serve.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pan Pizza

SP had to work late one night so I decided to make myself pan pizza.

I opted for plain since I love plain pizza and because we didn't have any toppings. It was crispy and delicious.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Wraps and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

We love buffalo chicken sandwiches and since I had some leftover tortillas I thought I'd make wraps.

I coated the chicken in cornstarch and egg before shallow frying so they'd be nice and crispy before tossing them in Frank's hot sauce and butter. I spread the tortillas with homemade blue cheese dressing (mayo, sour cream and crumbled blue cheese), and layered in chopped iceburg lettuce and chicken pieces. They were delicious but the wraps were difficult to eat - sandwiches would have been better.

For the potato salad I followed a recipe I found on, but made a few changes (see below):

It was creamy and delicious, with great blue cheese flavor. It isn't a recipe I'd make all the time but I'll definitely make it again soon.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad
Modified from

1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
3 green onions, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped

Combine white wine, Dijon mustard and cider vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with cold water. Boil until tender. Drain. Place on a baking sheet and toss with the white wine mixture. Put in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add remaining ingredients, mix with potatoes and adjust seasoning. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.)
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Tomato Skillet

I don't usually cook with "cream of" soups but I made an exception this time for Cheesy Chicken Tomato Skillet:

The recipe comes from my friend Brooke's blog, although I made a few modifications, mainly doubling using a half pound of pasta for leftovers. It was creamy, cheesy and delicious.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Titanic Dinner

A few weeks ago our friend C & T invited us over for a Titanic Dinner. They had been to a museum in NYC and bought a book about the final meals on the Titanic. T opted to do the third class menu, which included a delicious vegetable soup:

... pork roast with mushrooms, boiled potato, peas and biscuits:

Dessert was actually plum pudding, but since none of the recipes sounded good T subbed one of our favorites, sticky toffee pudding:

Everything was delicious, although the biscuits weren't so good. Luckily T bought some rolls as well. I took these pictures using her light box and I think they came out pretty good.

Here's the recipe for the vegetable soup:

Titanic Veggie Soup

2 tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
1 cup celery
1 cup carrot
1 potato, peeled and cubed
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups of chicken or veg stock
2 cups white kidney beans drained
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup asparagus tips
2 cups shredded Swiss chard or spinach

Melt butter, stir in onion, celery, potato, carrot, garlic, oregano, thyme and bay leaf for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in stock, boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until veggies are tender

Meanwhile: drain and rinse beans. Stir beans, corn and asparagus into veg mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and tender. Stir in Swiss chard or spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
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Friday, October 09, 2009

Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

I had half a bagel leftover from the week so I decided to make an open-face breakfast sandwich:

I scrambled one egg and cooked a slice of bacon, then topped the toasted bagel with both and covered them with a slice of American cheese. A quick bake in the toaster oven and breakfast was served.
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Pizza Friday

Once again I'm insanely far behind in posting. I've got a ton of photos to go through and posts to write. Here's a recent pizza from Pizza Friday:

This one has pepperoni, sausage and black olives. It was absolutely delicious. SP was running late and I ended up preheating the pizza stone in the oven for about an hour, which resulted in a perfectly crispy crust.

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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.
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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.
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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:

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