Monday, May 20, 2013

grilled chicken with lemon-cucumber relish

This was so good we had it two nights as a row.  Not leftovers; I made it fresh two nights in a row.  My husband and oldest LOVED it.  It's incredibly healthy and flavorful.  I love it when those two adjectives collide.  A very nice springtime or summertime entree.

grilled chicken with lemon-cucumber relish (slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, May 2013)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 medium seedless cucumber, chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 large tomato chopped (1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (I omitted)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon milk

Brush chicken breast halves with olive oil; sprinkle with ground cumin, salt and pepper.  Grill on a covered grill directly over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes until done, turning once.
Meanwhile, for lemon-cucumber relish, in a medium bowl combine cucumber, tomato, onion, lemon peel, lemon juice and garlic; stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, honey, and milk; stir to combine.  Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

stuffed graham cracker cookies

Does anyone else remember these from their childhood?  My grandmother used to make these every time she had leftover icing from sugar cookies or from frosting an angel food cake.  Either I had never thought to make them for my kids or I did think of it but didn't actually do it but I should have- my kids thought they were scrumptious.  And they're so easy!!

stuffed graham cracker cookies (Grandma Betty)
leftover icing
graham crackers

Break the graham crackers into pieces.  "Sandwich" the icing between two graham crackers.

What I have to say- My grandmother always used to make squares, not rectangles. ; )

Thursday, May 9, 2013

thai chicken and noodle salad

Wow!  I anticipate we'll be eating a lot of thai chicken and noodle salad this summer.  It's really yummy, light and cool not to mention healthy- way more fantastic than I thought it would be.  I reduced the sugar in the recipe by a lot and I thought it was downright perfect.  My husband enjoyed his with rice noodles and I enjoyed mine with whole wheat angel hair pasta.

thai chicken and noodles salad (Martha Stewart)
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise (I sliced while slightly frozen)
spicy asian dressing (see below)
coarse salt
3 1/2 ounces Chinese rice noodles, broken in half if long
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, red pepper flakes and sliced green scallions for garnish

spicy asian dressing
4 thinly sliced scallion whites
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce (whoa!  I missed that part completely!!)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (I used 1 teaspoon but keep in mind I forgot the soy sauce!)
1 tablespoon lime juie
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

Place chicken and half of dressing in a resealable plastic bag (reserve remaining dressing).  Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Transfer to a platter.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Working in batches, cook chicken until cooked through and browned.  Transfer to platter on top of noodles.
Top with carrots, cucumber and basil.  Drizzle with reserved dressing and sprinkle with garnishes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ranger cookies remade

This post is for my husband.  I take that back.  It's for me so that I can remember to make these for my husband.  My friend Gillian made these for us weeks ago and my husband went crazy for them.  He poured himself a tall glass of milk and I sat in awe as I watched him dunk bite after bite after bite.  He doesn't even like all!  He said it had something to do with the rice krispies.  I say it was the M&Ms (he can't fool me).

ranger cookies remade (my friend Gillian)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 1/3 cups flaked coconyt
1 cup M&Ms

Beat butter 30 seconds.  Add sugars, baking powder and baking soda; beat till combined.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can.  Stir in remaining flour.  Stir in cereal, coconut and M&Ms.
Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375 oven about 8 minutes or till edges are golden.  Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute.  Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.  Makes about 54.

thai red curry and beef soup

This soup is fantastic! I wish I could say it was a family favorite but my youngest two stuck with plain noodles this time...which is okay with me because now there are plenty of leftovers for my lunch today.  I kept the noodles separate because I anticipated my younger two would prefer plain noodles.  Next time I will also make some whole wheat angel hair pasta for me to put in my instead of the rice noodles.  Excellent soup.

thai red curry and beef soup (adapted from Real Simple,  March 2013)
8 ounces rice noodles
1 pound thin sliced sirloin steak, cut into strips (I used 2 pounds)
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, cut in half then sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (we didn't have any)
1 tablespoon lime juice
fresh basil

Cook noodles.  Brown onion, sweet potato and steak in oil.  Add chicken broth, coconut milk, red curry paste and fish sauce.  Simmer until potato is tender, 8 minutes.  Stir in the noodles and lime juice.  Serve with fresh basil.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

paleo southwestern grilled chicken salad

I made this salad for lunch today between making two batches of homemade strawberry jam.  I did not expect this salad to be so good.  Take a look at the ingredients.  So simple with no added oil or fat yet it was bursting with flavor.  I wasn't sure about the canned tomatoes but trust me, it works!  This salad has a kick to it which I enjoyed but if you're not into spicy I would shy away from Rotel tomatoes.
P.S.  I'm not sure I should admit this but this salad served!  Followed by a whole wheat bagel.  Obviously I am not a paleo dieter.  But you don't have to be one to enjoy this salad.

paleo southwestern grilled chicken salad (adapted from Makobi Scribe
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups romaine hearts, thinly sliced
1 medium Hass avocado, chopped (I used half to cut down on fat)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 can Rotel "mild" tomatoes with green chiles 

Combine lime juice, garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add avocados and stir gently.  Toss romaine in gently until completely covered with sauce mix.  Plate the salad and top with the grilled chicken.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

homemade chocolate wafer cookies

My friend Janet made these chocolate wafer cookies and they're sooo good!  They're very soft which I didn't expect.  They're kind of like brownie cookies.  She suggested putting ice cream between two cookies which would've been fantastic but we didn't have any ice cream.  Next time, because there will be a next time. 

homemade chocolate wafer cookies (seeded at the table)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Combine the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until incorporated.  Pour in the milk and mix until just combined.
Transfer the dough to a clean workspace and form into two 1 1/2-inch logs.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use a serrated knife to slice the dough into 1/8-inch disks, working with one log at a time and keeping the other in the fridge until ready to slice and bake.  Place the discs on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  Allow the cookies to cool on the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

What Janet has to say- her logs were 2-3 inches in diameter, not 1 1/2 inches.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

egg roll manicotti

So clever.  So easy.  Everyone in my family loved it and ate a lot of it.  Score!  My oldest daughter and I made it together in about 5 minutes. Five minutes!  This recipe is a keeper.
Our family went out to dinner last night and my oldest daughter ordered baked manicotti and it was so delicious we were inspired to try this simple recipe.  Pastini's served theirs with red sauce and marinara sauce so we tried that with one pan.  Yum!

egg roll manicotti (adapted from Plain Chicken)
15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
16 ounces low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons parsley (I used freeze dried)
1 package egg roll wrappers, about 21
32 ounces spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, garlic powder and parsley.  We actually ended up putting in 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt thinking it was the cottage cheese!  Fill each egg roll with 3-4 tablespoons of filling and roll.
In 9x13 and two 8x8 pans, pour a little sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Place rolled manicotti seam side down in dish.  Top with remaining sauce and extra mozzarella cheese.
Bake covered for 20 to 25 minutes.

What I have to say- with so many pans of manicotti you can freeze one or two of them and enjoy some now and some later!