Saturday, March 31, 2012

Berry PamCakes

Pancakes are NOT my thing...I usually make them too runny, break them as I flip them or cook the outside and not the in. Therefore, I have handed that job to my lovely husband who's precise technique makes them fluffy and perfect every time. Well this morning I felt like surprising him with breakfast in bed so I decided to take another stab at my nemesis. I approached them at a different angle in hopes they would come out somewhat decent by making them healthy. So here we go, you be the judge. I still think my husbands are better, but with bikini season right around the corner I am just as happy with these for the time being.

3 Cups of Mixed Berries
1Tsp Lemon Juice
1 cup of all purpose flour (Tip from the Mom Inlaw: try 1/2 cup Wholewheat and the other half All purpose flour to up the fiber)
2 Tbsp Granular Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking powder (I used  baking soda)
1/8 Tsp Salt
1 cup buttermilk ( I used skim milk)
1 Lg egg separated
2 Lg egg whites
1/2 Tsp Vanilla (my addition)
1Tbsp of powdered sugar (for dusting)

Mix berries in bowl with lemon juice, let rest.
Sift Flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into bowl
Combine buttermilk and 1 egg yolk
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients (buttermilk/yolk) & fold in (Add berries here, however I had a blue disaster from the blueberries, So I suggest plopping the berries in the batter when you pour it on the skillet...strike out for me again!)
Fold in two beaten egg whites (beaten to form peaks)

Egg whites beaten, lift them with mixer until they form peaks

Heat up skillet use PAM to grease. I use an ice cream scoop to get even amount of batter for each pancake. Keep warm by sticking them in the oven on "warm"or wrapping a plate in tinfoil. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stuffed Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato

I invited my friend Kim over for dinner and I wanted to make something that was a little more classy and feminine. I decided to make stuffed chicken breast over orzo which is a light, flavorful and makes a beautiful presentation.

Stuffed Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato

1 lb of chicken breast (pounded thin)
1/2 cup of feta
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 chopped scallion
2 Tablespoon of fresh basil chopped
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper

In medium bowl mix to all ingredients are incorporated with each other, feta, sun dried tomatoes, scallion, garlic and basil add pinch of S&P. Take pounded chicken breast and put 2 tablespoons of mixture in the middle of the chicken so each breast has an even amount. Roll chicken and secure with toothpick. In pan heat up EVOO on Med-high heat. Place rolled up chicken in pan and cook until its no longer pink inside. Serve on a bed of orzo with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brett's Breakfast Burrito

My hubby and I were watching Pioneer Woman over coffee  this morning (yes, I DVR all Food Network shows)  and she got us in the mood for some breakfast burritos!  Truth be told I was perfectly happy eating my Mother in-laws banana bread she baked for us, but  Brett saw burritos  and he was locked in.  So being the loving wife that I am, I told him I would  make him his own burrito. It was the least I could do as he did spend all of his Saturday doing house projects.  (Pavlov's law anyone? Reward for doing good :)) Turns out they were pretty darn tasty. Such a yummy and hearty breakfast that gets your day going with the rest of 'dem cowboys!

Brett's Breakfast Burritos
 (Makes 2-3)

1/2 lb of sausage
3  large eggs
2 -3 Tablespoon of cream
1/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tsp of chopped green onion
Few slices of red pepper
Tortillas (warmed up in microwave for 15 seconds)
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
pinch of Salt and pepper

In skillet brown up sausage.  In bowl whisk together eggs and cream and pour into pan on low heat. Stir the mixture so your eggs are nice and fluffy. Once  almost done add salt, pepper and few shots of Tabasco.  Take a tortilla and layer egg and sausage mixture in middle of the tortilla first, then cheddar cheese, pepper and onion. Roll up into  a burrito or taco and enjoy! Yee-Haw!

**Make it healthy use turkey or chicken sausage, egg whites, skim milk and a whole wheat tortilla!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Shallots

We were trying to go somewhat healthy tonight so I tried this new recipe and it ended up being rather tasty. Try it for yourself and see!

Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Shallots
3 tbsp of flour
3/4 tsp table salt divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb of boneless chicken breast
2 tsp olive oil
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 cup chicken both (reduced sodium)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Thyme
2 tsp butter

Dredge chicken in flour, 1/ 2 tsp salt and pepper mixture, Shake off any excess flour and place in heated pan. Cook through and and remove to serving plate, keep warm. Add onion to skillet w/ a little olive oil and cook until lightly browned. Add broth, vinegar and thyme and remaining salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cook until onions are tender. Remove skillet from heat and stir in butter until melted. Spoon sauce over chicken.

4 Russet potatoes cut 1/4 strips
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Spread cut potatoes on pan, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and paprika...mix together. Put in oven at 425 and bake at 25 minutes flipping once.
*I read to soak potatoes in cold water for 30 minutes before making to make them super crisp.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monkey Bread

This is one of my favorite baaaaaaaad breakfast foods. I remember going to IGA in Maine with my Mom and always begging her to buy Monkey Bread. It is so sweet and sugary and everything an eight year old should not have! Well my sister introduced me to a recipe that is easy to make and satisfied my craving for this sweet and tasty bread.  I decided to make it for for Parade Day in Southie, so of course I put some Irish flavor into it by making the frosting green...but that is optional. :) Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350.

3/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
3 cans of biscuits. Each biscuit quartered.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a big zip lock bag and dump in quartered biscuits to coat. Once coated place in coated bunt pan.  They will layer.

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Stick of butter
1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in sauce pan and melt together until it bubbles giving it a stir. Once melted drizzle over bunt pan. Place Monkey bread in oven for 25 minutes, take out and let cool to touch. Then take plate, cover bunt pan and flip pan so monkey bread slides out. Enjoy!

Note: Orange zest would be a nice flavor to add into the sauce! I need to try that next time!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce

It's my birthday... 31*sigh* I don't feel any older...I examined my face in the mirror and I didn't see any new wrinkles. My energy level feels about the same as before (I've always wanted to go to bed at 10pm) and yeah its a little harder to shed the pounds these days...I guess I could blame it on age, but to be honest  I have a feeling it has more to do with willpower. Birthdays now are about  being around family and devouring a delicious meal, enjoying some good wine and finishing it up with a devilish cake. On the menu was a savory pork loin with my mom's cranberry sauce. It was  a huge hit, however be prepared to get your hands dirty. Happy Birthday to ME!

Rub Ingredients (for 1 lb of loin)
Salt (to taste)
1 Teaspoon Sage
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Mix all ingredients in  bowl

Preheat oven to 325 degrees they usually say 30-35 minutes per pound.
Put loin in pan and drizzle EVOO on it, make sure to cover loin with EVOO, the best tool to use? Your hands.  Next use your hands and rub the "rub" (ha!) all over loin.
For 1 1/2  lb should roast should take 45-1 hour minutes, use meat thermometer in thickest part of meat to test, 170 degrees.

While the meat rests (you may want to tent it with tinfoil to keep it warm)

Cranberry Sauce
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Crasins (dried cranberries)
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 Tablespoon of grape jelly

After you pull out the meat to rest on cutting board, pour off fat in pan and leave some juice. On stove on medium-high head add broth, cranberry juice, Crasins. Bring to boil and stir in jelly.  Simmer until mixture thickens (Tip use some cornstarch if it is not thicken if you add a little too much liquid).

Slice meat and prepare on platter pour some sauce over meat and keep some on reserve! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

London Broil

London Broil is something I grew up with so each time I make it I think of my Mom broiling the meat and serving it up with potatoes. At the time I remember thinking..."ugh, not this again" but I think it's a meal you appreciate when you are older. Especially when you realize how cheap, fast and easy it is to make. What I did not know is that London Broil actually refers to the cooking method and is not the type of meat (which is deceiving at the grocery store as they sometimes label the meat in a way you would think it WOULD be called that). The meat used is actually flank steak, which is a lean, flat boneless cut from the underside of the cow. It has tremendous flavor, but must be cooked quickly and cut across the grain.

Work Week Tip:
  • The night before place meat in marinade to tenderize the meat

2 Garlic Cloves minced
1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup of Dry Red Wine
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 1/2 lb of London Broil (Flank Steak)

Mince garlic and combine with Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine, Honey, Soy Sauce and salt.  Put in large plastic baggie along with steak and let sit in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. To broil, let oven heat up on broil and put in broiler pan under the broiler 5-6 inches. Let meat cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes (you will need to flip it in the oven). Be careful not overcook! Let meat sit for 5 minutes and then thinly slice the meat across the grain.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fettuccine w/roasted Chicken and Broccoli rabe

This is a fast, easy meal that is perfect for those long work days when the last thing you want to do is slave over a stove and you don't want to order another pizza. I found this recipe in one of my Giada cookbooks, it caught my eye because I love meals that are quick to make for the work week.  I tested it on my sister's family and my husband. They all gave it a thumbs up and my biggest critic, my two year old niece, sucked up every last noodle (a new trick she just learned from her uncle).

Giada's recipe
1 lb of Broccoli Rabe, trimmed and stalks cut crosswise into 3 inch pieces. (I used regular  fresh broccoli)
1 (9oz) pkg of Fresh Fettuccine (I used box)
1 14 oz of reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons, however I think 3 would have been better)
3 cups of shredded roasted chicken (1 rotisserie chicken will do)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp of Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp of Lemon zest
Fresh Black Pepper

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon transfer the broccoli out into a large bowl. Add the fettucinie to same pot of boiling water and cook, stirring to prevent pasta from sticking. About 2 mintues. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

Meanwhile in LARGE heavy skillet bring the broth and lemon juice to boil. Boil until broth reduces by half, 5 minutes or so. Add the chicken and simmer just until heated through. Add pasta, broccoli, 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese, pine nuts, parsley, oil and lemon zest. Toss to coat adding some of reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season w/ salt and pepper.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cozy Cave

So this is the solution to my last post about the dog being on the couch...the Cozy Cave. I saw it in a magazine and I knew I had to buy it for Diesel, my puggle.  For any of you who have a snuggle bunny at home you neeeeeed this bed. The cozy cave is  a dog bed with a half moon on top so your nuzzler can bury themselves deep into the bed and feel secure and warm during their long snoozes. I can tell you that this product is legit. Diesel is in there snoozn away 20 out of the 24 hours.  He is in complete bliss and his couch days are long over (i think).