Monday, January 28, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Once a month I get together with my mother-in-law (Julie) and sister-in-law (Jenn) and we have a luncheon. We each make dishes we have never tried before. One person makes a dessert, another a salad (fruit or veggie) and the person making the main dish has the luncheon at their home. Today it was my turn to be the hostess. I found this recipe on, but it was meant for the Microwave. I baked it in the oven instead and it turned out to be an 'A' on my rating scale. I will definately make it again.

Ingredients for TWO people:
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (consider doubling sauce if you are a sauce person)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Combine tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Simmer on stove. Set aside
2. In a bowl, combine the crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Dip the chicken into the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes, uncovered, turning over each chicken breast after 15 minutes.
3. Pour tomato mixture over chicken when there are about 7-10 minutes remaining; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until meat juices run clear.

Serve with pasta, salad (or veggies) and bread sticks.

I did not have any Italian seasoning, but again found a recipe for Italian seasoning on

1 TBSP basil
1 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP rosemary
1 TBSP marjoram
1 TBSP thyme

I used our hand wheat grinder to grind it up. Wow! It is potent - tastes fresh too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Anyone Like the Olive Garden?

I stumbled onto this website -- it is the actual Olive Garden Website, with a collection of their recipes. My family loves Italian -- so we will be trying a number of these I'm sure! Check it out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pesto Smashed Potatoes

1 ½ pounds small red-skinned potatoes
Salt, to taste
½ c. chicken broth
½ c. store bought pesto

Cut larger potatoes in half and leave small potatoes whole.
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water’ bring water to a boil.
Add salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Drain potatoes and return them to hot pot. Add chicken broth and smash the potatoes up.
Add pesto and smash to desired consistency. Serve hot.

Rachael Ray
Yield: 2 servings

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

1 ½ to 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 stems fresh rosemary, leaves stripped (2-3 T leaves)
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 T. grill seasoning blend (ex. Montreal Seasoning by McCormick, or salt & freshly ground black pepper)
½ c. dry white wine or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Arrange chicken in a baking dish.
Add garlic, rosemary, EVOO, lemon zest, and grill seasoning.
Toss chicken to coat, then place in oven.
Roast 20 minutes.
Add wine/broth and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices, then spoon over chicken.

Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer, then remove chicken from oven. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the chicken pieces.

I like to serve with mashed potatoes. After stirring my chicken in the "marinade" once it's stood for that last 5 minutes, I add the juices to my mashed potatoes and mix. SO good!

Rachael Ray
Yield: 2 servings

Italian Chicken Chili With Pancetta Croutons


· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
· 1/3 pound pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick and finely chopped {italian bacon, if you can't find that, use regular bacon - that's all I've ever used}
· 3 pounds ground chicken
· 2 onions, chopped
· 2 carrots, peeled and grated
· 6 large cloves garlic, 3 grated and 3 crushed, divided
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
· 1 bay leaf
· 4 jarred roasted red peppers, drained
· 1 quart chicken broth
· 4 to 5 sprigs thyme
· 2 tablespoons (a couple palmfuls) chili powder
· 2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) sweet, smoked paprika
· 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (eyeball it)
· 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
· 1 loaf crusty bread (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch squares
· 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place a large, heavy pot over high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add the pancetta and cook until brown and crispy, 3-5 minutes. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

Add ground chicken to the pot with the pancetta drippings and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, breaking it up into pieces with a wooden spoon.

Add the onions, carrots, grated garlic and bay leaf to the pot and cook until browned, about 8 minutes more. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then stir in the balsamic vinegar, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

While the veggies are browning, puree the roasted peppers in a food processor. Stir the puree into the pot then add the chicken broth, thyme sprigs, chili powder, paprika and allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the fat from the surface, if desired.

While the chili is simmering, place a small skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, butter and crushed garlic cloves, and cook 2-3 minutes.

Place bread in a large bowl. Pour the garlic butter evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the reserved pancetta, Pecorino, rosemary and lots of pepper over the bread and toss to coat. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden and crunchy, tossing occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool.

To serve, remove bay leaf and thyme springs from the pot. Ladle chili bowls and top with a handful of the pancetta croutons.

Yields: 6 servings {I needed to serve more, so I added 4 more cups of chicken broth to the above ingredients and it still came out perfect! seasonings and all...}
Rachael Ray

Smoked Turkey Wrapped Asparagus

12 asparagus spears
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 thin slices smoked turkey (about 1/4 pound)
12 chives, optional

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break the woody end off each asparagus spear and peel the outermost layer off the lower 3/4 of the spear with a vegetable peeler. Place asparagus on a large plate, drizzle with the olive oil and toss gently so the oil is evenly distributed. Slice each slice of turkey lengthwise into three strips.

Wrap one strip of turkey around each asparagus spear, leaving the tips of the asparagus unwrapped. If using, tie a blade of chive around each wrapped spear.

Place the wrapped asparagus on baking tray and bake for12 minutes, turning once.
Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger
Yield: 2 servings (6 pieces per serving)
Nutrition Information per Serving
Calories: 114 ~ Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram ~ Protein: 13 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams ~ Fiber: 2 grams

Barbecue-Roasted Salmon

Cooking spray
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, chili powder, lemon zest, cumin, salt, and cayenne.

Using tongs, add salmon fillets to the prepared pan. Pour the orange juice mixture over the salmon and turn to coat both sides.

Roast for 15 minutes, until a fork can be easily inserted into the salmon.

Food Network
Show: Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller
Episode: To Your Health

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Roasted Broccolini & Beans

2 bundles broccolini, trim off ends
1 pound string beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Arrange broccolini and beans on a cookie sheet. Coat the vegetables in oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 to 18 minutes, until nutty and crispy at edges.

Rachael Ray, 2007
Show: 30 Minute Meals
Holiday Cheer
Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Inside-Out Sausage Chops

2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick (ask your butcher for these)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (I use more because I love them!)
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, preheat 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Season the pork chops with salt and freshly ground black pepper, transfer to the hot pan and sear until brown on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side.

Transfer the chops to a sheet pan and allow them to finish cooking in the oven about 10 minutes (if using thinner chops, reduce your cooking time). Once the chops are cooked through, cover them with foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.

In the same pan the chops were cooked in, heat the remaining tablespoon EVOO, about one turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, fennel seed, garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until tender. Tent the onions with a piece of foil as they sauté so they slightly caramelize.

To serve, place one pork chop on each plate and top with caramelized onions and a sprinkling of shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Serve the roasted peppers alongside.

{I cooked this in the crockpot - replacing the oil with broth and it turned out SO good and tender.}

Rachael Ray
Yields: 4 servings

Friday, January 4, 2008

4th of July Breakfast Casserole

This is the casserole my Mom would always make for the 4th of July breakfast with our church. Just eating it makes me want to hop on my decorated bike and cruise around the park in parade fashion with the other kids.

K, not really... but it's good and super easy. And SO good when you're feeding a large group for breakfast.

1 ½ lbs. sausage
9 eggs
Grated cheddar cheese
3 c. milk
3 slices bread, cubed
1 t. salt
1 ½ t. dry mustard
1 can chopped green chilis (optional)

Brown sausage. Mix all ingredients. Pour into 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour.

Spanish Rice

½ onion, chopped
1 bell pepper
Garlic clove
1 c. long grain rice
1 can diced tomatoes w/ juice
1 t. chili powder
¼ t. cumin
½ t. salt
1 ½ c. beef broth
1 can black beans

Sauté onion, pepper and garlic clove together in some EVOO.
When it’s tender add the remaining ingredients boil and then simmer until the rice is tender. I usually wait to add the black beans at the very end just so they heat through because they’re already cooked. But either way works fine. And you may need to add more water if your rice doesn’t get as tender as you want it before the liquid is gone.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is a recipe my sister-in-law gave me when I first got married. I usually half it for my family.

6 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 crown broccoli, cut into small pieces

Cook these separately while I am putting together the soup base, which is

1 c. butter
1 c. flour
1 medium onion, chopped
8 c. milk
4 c. cheese

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Put in the onion and flour. Stir in the milk and continue to stir so it doesn't scald. Add a small amount of cheese and see if it melts. If it does, add the rest of the cheese. If it doesn't, let it get a little hotter. Continually stir until it starts to lightly boil. Remove from heat. Add vegetables. My kids like it with Ritz crackers. If it is too think, just add a little water.