Thursday, February 27, 2014

greek chicken pitas










Hall of Fame!  Tonight's dinner was exactly what I needed and it helped that my preteen was playing Imagine Dragons really loudly.  Everything was just right from the Greek flatbread to the chicken to the yogurt dill sauce we got from Costco.  Easy dinner.  Delicious dinner.  Great background music.

greek chicken pitas (chicken recipe adapted from food network)
3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
Papa Pita Greek Pita flat bread, 100% whole wheat (it was so soft and yummy)
feta cheese
Skotidakis dill & cucumber greek yogurt dip (from Costco)
red pepper, sliced
lettuce
tomato

Put lemon juice, oil, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and cilantro in a blender.  Marinate chicken for 30 minutes before cooking.  Cook over medium high heat until golden brown.
Slather dill & cucumber yogurt dip on a flat bread.  Add chicken, feta cheese, lettuce, tomato and sliced red pepper.  YUM!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

dinner menu for the week of february 24










dinner menu for the week of february 24

sunday homemade baked creamy chicken taquitos, refried beans with melted cheese, strawberry shortcake
monday grilled cajun chicken caesar club sandwiches, seasoned fries, apple slices
tuesday homemade sausage & egg mcmuffins, fruit salad
wednesday chicken quesadillas, carrot sticks, pineapple & grapes
thursday greek pitas, cucumber & tomato salad, clementines
friday take-out calzone, green salad, cup of mandarin oranges
saturday creamy southwestern shrimp, pasta, buttered and seasoned peas

no new recipes this week- nothing jumped out at me so we're sticking with the"tried and true"!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

dinner menu for the week of february 16










dinner menu for the week of february 16

sunday pulled pork on rolls, sweet corn, strawberry banana smoothies
monday grilled herb garlic chicken kabobs, grilled asparagus, tabouleh
tuesday creamy mexican chicken soup, salad, cup of mandarin oranges
wednesday blt sandwiches, baked potato chips, blueberry banana smoothies
thursday burese chiciken curry (new recipe!), basmati rice, roasted zucchini
friday lettuce wraps, fried rice, frozen blueberries
saturday take-and-bake rancher pizza, carrot sticks, apple slices

Thursday, February 13, 2014

store bought favorite: home chef collection tandoori marinade









This tandoori marinade is excellent.  So good that I'm going back to Natural Grocers today to pick up a few to have on hand.  We enjoyed our grilled tandoori chicken in some whole wheat flatbreads from Trader Joe's with their garlic cucumber sauce.  I could eat these every meal for a week.

store bought favorite:  home chef collection tandoor marinade 
"a classic marinade created with vinegar, lemon juice and chilies to impart exotic flavors to foods"
brand:  sukhi's gourmet indian foods
ready to use marinade, just add yogurt
gluten free
serves 8 to 10
1 gram fat, 15 calories per serving, no sugar

Blend 2 tablespoons yogurt and tandoori marinade.  Marinate overnight.  Broil or barbeque evenly on each side until cooked.  Garnish with cilantro and lemon slices.  Serve with naan bread or over rice with chutney....or do what we did and enjoy it in a flatbread with garlic cucumber sauce or a cucumber dill sauce.

Monday, February 10, 2014

cuban pork sandwich










I've always wanted to try a cuban sandwich and tonight was the night.  They were a hit.  My family enjoyed theirs on nice fresh ciabatta rolls but I had mine on a toasted whole wheat english muffin.  My youngest daughter asked if we could have them again tomorrow- I think it was the roll that won her over.
Next morning important update:  I just had a sandwich using my leftovers but with sweet pickle relish instead of the dill pickle.  This took the sandwich to almost Hall of Fame!

cuban pork sandwich (adapted from Women's Day)
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 1/4-inch thick pork cutlets
1 medium onion, sliced
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
8 thin slices black forest ham
4 ciabatta rolls, split
sliced dill pickles
light mayo
mustard

Heat grill.  Mix the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; sprinkle over both sides of pork cutlets.
Grill cutlets and onions 3 minutes, turning cutlets and onion slices over once, until cutlets are cooked through and onions are slightly charred and crisp-tender.
Fill each roll with 2 slices each cheese and ham, 1 cutlet and 1/4 of the onions and pickles.
Return to grill for 1 or 2 minutes to melt cheese, if desired.

What I have to say-  As the cutlets and onions grilled, I opened up our ciabatta rolls and laid them on a cookie sheet and put a slice of Swiss on each then baked them at 300 degrees.  When the cutlets and onions were finished cooking I put the sandwiches together.



chocolate peanut butter chip cookies









I have cooked up a storm over the past few days!  I've been eyeing the bag of peanut butter chips in my pantry for a while now and decided this could be the perfect recipe for today, after all this recipe got 5 stars on allrecipes and my oven was still hot after baking these.  They cooked up beautifully and who can resist chocolate and peanut butter?!

chocolate peanut butter chip cookies (allrecipes.com)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) package Hershey's peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter, shortening, white sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth.  Beat the first egg into the butter until completely blended then beat in the vanilla with the second egg.  Mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt in another bowl; mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just incorporated.  Fold in peanut butter chips, mixing just enough to evenly combine.
Drop spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until cookies are set, about 8 minutes.

store bought favorite: chile & roasted garlic mexican cooking sauce












When I was browsing the Grocery Outlet I saw this cooking sauce packet and decided to give it shot for .99 cents.  Now I know I need to go back and grab a dozen more!  I cooked up some sliced chicken breast in the cooking sauce and we put the chicken on tostadas and in burritos.  Delicious!

store bought favorite:  old el paso chile & roasted garlic mexican cooking sauce
 All you do is brown your chicken then add the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.  Have all your tostada embellishments ready- shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sliced olives, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.   

Sunday, February 9, 2014

dinner menu for the week of february 9










dinner menu for the week of february 9

sunday chicken tostada bar, grapes & pineapple, frozen peppermint pie
monday cuban sandwiches (new recipe!), pretzel chips, clementines
tuesday tandoori chicken wrap with cucumber dill sauce, apple slices, frozen blueberries
wednesday pasta fazioli soup, rolls
thursday easy chicken curry with vegetables (new recipe!), brown basmati rice
valentine's day cajun chicken pasta, caesar salad, sparkling apple cider, assorted chocolates
saturday chicken quesadillas (new recipe!), sweet corn, cup of mandarin oranges

sweets for my sweethearts
grandma's heart shaped iced sugar cookies
double chocolate mint brownies (but pink peppermint icing instead of green mint icing)
mom's chocolate surprise cupcakes with hershey's perfectly chocolate icing
rich chocolate chip toffee bars

Saturday, February 8, 2014

snowy snow cones












My kids always expect dinner, scriptures, dessert.  Tonight's dessert turned into a PARTY when we made real snowy snow cones!  My kiddos used regular snow cone syrup until I realized we didn't have any sugar free for me so I pulled out the Torani's.  They were SOOO good!  

snowy snow cones
fresh snow
Torani's syrup- the fruity flavors and vanilla are yummiest for snowcones
snow cone holders & straws'

Fill the snow cone holders with snow.  Use a wooden spoon to pat the snow down and shape the top into a round, beautiful mound.  Pour on the syrup! 

store bought favorite: curly's hickory smoked baby back pork ribs









Ribs that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth...these are outrageously good.  Ours are in the oven right now and they smell incredible and are making everyone hungry.  Just don't cook them as directed.  Cook them the way my parents taught me.  See below.

store bought favorite: curly's hickory smoked and seasoned meaty baby back pork ribs
Get them at Costco.  Tip:  They're on sale right now.  I think they cost $12.95.  The directions will tell you to cook them at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Don't do that.  Instead do this:

Heat your oven to 300 degrees.  Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil.  Place the ribs on the foil then cover the cookie sheet with foil.  Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours.  Enjoy and don't be ashamed to lick your fingers...you're in the privacy of your own home for Pete's sake.

Friday, February 7, 2014

one pot spicy chicken with rice









This was on our dinner menu for this Saturday but we unexpectedly got a big dumping of snow- enough for school to be cancelled for two days so I needed some good comfort food.  Comfort food this is!  I loved it.  It's spicy yet the orange peppers and dried fruit give it just the right amount of sweetness...and you only have to dirty clean one pot.  It's a one pot wonder!

one pot spicy chicken with rice (adapted from epicurious and  everybody likes sandwiches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large chicken breasts, filleted
ground cloves, sprinkling
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup dried fruit (I used a mixture of raisins, craisins and dried apricots)
4 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sambal olek (garlic chile sauce)
1 cup brown jasmine or brown basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and pepper then lightly with ground cloves.  Add chicken to skillet and saute until brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to plate.
Add bell peppers, onions, fruit, bay leaves, garlic and sambal olek to pot.  Saute until veggies begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add rice; stir 1 minute.  Press chicken into rice.  Add 2 cups broth; bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, adding more broth if dry.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

creole chicken wraps












I posted this recipe a few years ago and forgot about it because it was tricky to find so I thought it was time to update this super yummy recipe.  Back when we tried it the first time we declared it Hall of Fame and it was just as good this time around.  It's definitely the sauce.  This time for the sauce I used half light mayo and half nonfat sour cream and it worked like a charm for a lower fat version.  Last night my husband made an enormous wrap and said it reminded him of The Laughing Planet which is a total health conscious, earth conscious, hippie place to eat...which is a compliment to this recipe.  Every time we leave that restaurant I think to myself, "Man am I healthy...now let's go to Yogurt Extreme!"

creole chicken wraps (Food Network Magazine, October 2011)

 For the Rub:
 2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the wraps:
1 cup mayonnaise ( I used 1/2 cup light mayo)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
vegetable oil for the grill
4 pieces flatbread (we sometimes use whole wheat pita pockets)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 Maui onion, thinly sliced
8 romaine lettuce leaves

Make the rub; mix all the ingredients in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Prepare the wraps: Whisk the mayo and 1 tablespoon of the rub in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat a grill to medium high. Toss the chicken with rub. Oil the grill; grill chicken until marked, about 6 minutes. Turn and grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Wipe the grill clean and brush with more oil. Lay the bread dough on the grill, then brush with the spiced mayonnaise and top with mozzarella. Grill until the bottom is marked, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Slice the chicken and arrange down the center of each piece of bread. Top with the tomatoes, onion and lettuce. Roll up and wrap with parchment paper or foil to seal.




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

store bought favorite: pappy's garlic herb seasoning












Sometimes you don't realize how much you depend on something until you don't have it...or you're out of it.  I've been out of Pappy's for over a week because I forgot it the last time I went to the grocery store.  It's my go-to seasoning when I grill chicken and I grill chicken at least twice a week so I can have it on hand to toss into a salad for lunch or whatever else I'm in the mood for.  I use it all the time on veggies too.

store bought favorite: pappy's garlic herb seasoning
The ingredients are simple- salt, pepper, garlic, onion, sugar, tarragon and basil.
No preservatives.  It is recommended for use on meat, fish, poultry, bread, pasta, eggs, soup and vegetables. 

slow cooker creamy mexican chicken with rice soup









This soup is a variation from my creamy chicken corn chowder recipe and it was delicious.  All I did was change the brand of picante sauce and replace the corn with brown jasmine rice AND cook it in the slow cooker which made it super easy to make.  I was perfectly happy with this soup and served it with quesadillas.  Oh, one more thing- I only used half the amount of cream cheese and the good news is it wasn't missed.  I am glad to have enough leftover for lunch today!

creamy mexican chicken with rice soup
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 package light cream cheese
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups La Victoria picante sauce
3 frozen chicken breasts
1 (4 ounce) can green chiles
1/2 cup brown jasmine rice
cheese for sprinkling, optional

Put the chicken, broth, onion, garlic and green chiles in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 6 hours.  Add cream cheese and brown jasmine rice and continue to cook for a couple more hours.  Remove the chicken and shred.  While the chicken is out, use a whisk to mix up the soup making sure to break up the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the shredded chicken.  Serve with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.



Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add broth, cream cheese, corn, salsa, beans and bring to a boil.  Add the chicken and heat until chicken is hot.
You may serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, etc. but I thought it was perfect without (and fewer fat grams and calories!).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

dinner menu for the week of february 2










dinner menu for the week of february 2
sunday grilled basil beef, garlic sage potatoes, petite peas, orange wedges
monday pizza, carrot sticks, applesauce
tuesday creamy chicken corn chowder, salad, frozen blueberries
wednesday creole chicken wraps, clementines, baked potato chips
thursday yakisoba chicken & vegetables, apple slices
friday spicy chicken with rice (new recipe!), garden salad
saturday curly's hickory smoked baby back ribs, corn, salad, frozen blueberries

dinner menu for the week of january 26th










I like to post my weekly dinner menu in the kitchen but I'd like a way to organize them so here we go- the first of my weekly posting of my dinner menus.

week of january 26
sunday skillet chicken with mexican green rice, petite peas, frozen blueberries
monday loaded breakfast casserole, applesauce, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins
tuesday grilled burgers, green beans, lemonade
wednesday pizza, salad
thursday chicken breast with tomatoes, buttered pasta, petite peas
friday sausage tortellini soup, salad
saturday russian pelmeni, green beans, apple slices