Monthly Archives: August 2010

Chicken Skewers with Mustard Dipping Sauce

This recipe was given to me by a member of my bf’s family, so technically it is an old recipe, but this was the first time I had made it, so it is new for me. The marinade for the chicken has soy sauce, vegetable oil, sherry, pepper, garlic and a little brown sugar. I only marinated the chicken for like 45 minutes because I got home from work late, but it’s supposed to be done for a couple of hours. My lovely bf cut the chicken into bite or two-bite size pieces (I hate raw chicken) before putting the pieces in the marinade.

While the chicken was soaking, I made the dipping sauce, which consists of light mayo, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. I only had time to refrigerate it for an hour and a half, but ideally it would be closer to 3 hours. I also cut up green onions, or scallions, into 1/2 pieces and soaked bamboo skewers so that they wouldn’t burn in the oven.

I think put the chicken and the scallions on the skewers, alternating, and put the kabobs on a tin-foil lined broiler pan.

We broiled the chicken for about 7-8 minutes, then took the pan out, turned over the skewers and cooked the other side for a few minutes. While the chicken was cooking, I steamed little red potatoes as well.

We then ate dinner while watching one of our favorite shows…Leverage! It was a lovely night.

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Rigatoni with White Beans and Tomatoes

Williams and Sonoma has a series of books, with each one focusing on a different type of food. The pasta book has this recipe in it. The recipe was really easy to make and only has a few ingredients: pasta, tomatoes, cannellini beans, olive oil, garlic, sage leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe called for 1 lb of pasta but I only added one box (about 390 grams instead of 480). Also, the recipe called for 1 cup of cannelini beans, or 6 oz, and I added an entire can, or about 13 ounces. Thank goodness I made the changes I did because I think that sauce to pasta ratio was actually a little low. I might add a bit of olive oil right before serving just to give it extra moisture.

So basically you cook the sage and garlic in the EVOO, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.

Then I added the cannellini beans and simmered for another 15 minutes. After it was done I mixed the sauce with the pasta and served right away. The recipe said to add salt and pepper to taste. My bf added red pepper flakes because he likes anything spicy…

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Homemade Granola

In an attempt to be healthier, I thought I would try making granola so that when I have the afternoon munchies I can reach for something other than my typical goldfish. I got this recipe at epicurious.com and the ingredients are actually much healthier than most granola recipes I’ve looked at. There is only a little brown sugar and honey, whereas most granolas have tons of sugar, molasses, etc. I was hoping to add dried apricots and cranberries, but I couldn’t find dried cranberries at the grocery store, so I had to settle for only apricots. Also, the recipe calls for unsweetened coconut, but I had sweetened coconut so I decided to just go with that.

Another benefit is that the recipe is super easy to make. It’s like a two step process! You mix all the spices and dry ingredients in a bowl, heat the honey and vegetable oil together, pour the mix over the dry ingredients, put on a tray and bake! I was a little uncertain how long to bake the mix. The recipe said 40 minutes, but after 30 my oats were looking the golden brown and would have burned if I had left the tray in for another 1o minutes. Also after 30 minutes, the oats were still a bit soft so I wasn’t sure what to do. I hate burnt baked goods so I decided to take the tray out.

After baking.

It was definitely a good decision to stop after 30 minutes. The oats hardened after they cooled and had a nice crunch without being burnt. After the oats cooled, I cut up apricots and added them, then put the entire mix in a air-tight container.

This container dwarfs the amount that the recipe makes, I swear it’s a lot!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Everyday-Granola-359317

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Chicken Divan

Or as it is fondly known in my house, Chicken Divine. So you know how there are some dishes that are really really tasty, but look horrible? Fair warning….this is one of those. It’s an old family dish that probably originated as a way to get the kids to have veggies, protein and whole grains….and it worked.

The dish has broccoli, chicken and a curry sauce. The sauce has low-fat mayo, cream of celery soup (the condensed kind from Safeway or Giant, don’t add the water), cheddar cheese, and curry.

I first steam two heads of broccoli for about five minutes (just the crowns), then place the broccoli on the bottom of a Pyrex pan, like so….

While steaming the broccoli, I also boil 4 chicken breasts for about twenty minutes. My bf then cuts up the chicken for me. I am not grossed out by many things in the kitchen and I love the taste of chicken, but I hate handling it. Something about the fat or something totally weirds me out. So after my lovely bf cuts the chicken into bite-size pieces, I put the chicken on top of the broccoli….

Then I put the sauce on top of both (yes I know it’s a little weird looking)…

The pan then goes in the oven (pre-heated to 350) for 35-40 minutes. While the stuff is cooking, I also cook brown rice then serve the sauce mix over a bed of rice…

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Penn Yan Chicken

I think that this recipe was actually originally called Cornell Chicken because my mom’s family was from Cornell, New York. My mom is from Penn Yan, NY so my siblings and I have always known it as Penn Yan Chicken. Usually the chicken is bbq’d, but since I don’t have a bbq, I bake it at 375 for about 35 minutes.

The recipe has vegetable oil, cider vinegar, pepper, salt, an egg, and poultry seasoning. I usually marinate the chicken for about an hour, as you can see below.

I then put the sauce and the chicken in a glass pan and cook the chicken. Usually I serve the chicken with vegetables and some other sides. It has tons of flavor and is really juicy, but is also a much healthier option than traditional bbq sauce.

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Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

So I have to start this post by saying that while I like cooking, I LOVE baking. Because baking is far less productive and far less healthy, I’m trying to find new outlets. Some of that energy is going into trying new cooking recipes, but I’m also trying new breads, scones, and muffins. These scones are my newest non-dessert baking adventure.

First of all, I must say they are absolutely delicious. They are an amazing breakfast, afternoon snack or lunch treat. I think they would also be amazing with tea. The recipe is also a really healthy scone option. There is only a little bit of sugar, some butter, and I used fat free half-and-half rather than regular. The recipe is also really really easy.

I would make a few changes to the recipe. The recipe calls for a food processor, but I don’t have one big enough to handle all of the dry ingredients, so I just used a hand mixer and that worked just fine. The reason these scones are so big is because I made a bit of a boo-boo. I accidentally used a 1 cup measuring scoop instead of a 1/2 cup. They were still really tasty, but huge. Also, the cooking time was way too long, even for my giant size scones. I did 15 minutes to start, and then it said to switch the bottom sheet to the top and the top to the bottom. The recipe then says to do another 12 minutes. I set the timer for 10 minutes, but thank goodness I checked after 6 minutes because they were done and even could have come out a minute sooner.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Blueberry-Oat-Scones-353777

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Lasagna from Scratch

This post was the one promised in my discussion of the spaghetti sauce. One of my favorite things about the sauce is that it makes enough for many meals and lasagna filling. In addition, the sauce is really thick and meaty, so it gives the lasagna some substance. I hate really runny and thin lasagna. I think there should be clear layers the then combine pleasantly in your mouth, not run together in one goupy pile on your plate.

I start of with putting sauce at the bottom of a pan, then put noodles, then a ricotta/egg/ thyme mix, then Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, then sauce, noodles, ricotta, cheeses, sauce, noodles, sauce and Parmesan. This order is a little different than most lasagnas because I like having an extra layer of noodles. I bake it for 35 minutes on 375 then let sit for ten minutes to cool a bit.

This dish is one of the ultimate comfort foods and is amazing for a cold winter night. Because it’s so easy I also make it in the summer, but I would avoid it if you don’t have air conditioning.

yummy yummy in my tummy

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