Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

best banana muffins.

{don't even think about substituting applesauce for fat in these!}


1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter, melted

sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. combine bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla, and melted butter in a large bowl. fold in flour mixture and mix until smooth. scoop into greased or lined muffin pan. bake ate 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

makes 12 muffins. 187 calories. 5 grams of fat.

{and worth every single calorie!}

Margherita Pizza

Phillip and I recently returned from New York. We ate the most delicious pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy. When I was flipping through my Food Nanny recipe book (I bought it at Swiss Days last year and LOVE it!), I noticed this recipe and thought it was very similar to what we had in NYC. I made it for my family and we gobbled it up fast. It was delicious. I also used her Basic Pizza Crust recipe and did half flour half wheat and it had such a good honey wheat flavor. The only thing it was missing was the wood burning oven taste. So simple, so fresh, and pretty fast. Once my tomatoes and basil start growing this summer, I know I'll be making this a lot.

2 pounds of very ripe Roma or Hot House tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. olive oil
8 oz Mozzerella Cheese thinly sliced
2 T. freshly grated imported Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 pinch of course salt and ground black pepper
14 count small basil leaves torn into pieces (I like to stack, roll, and cut)

Oil the pizza pan(s) and set aside. Prepare the pizza dough, roll it out, and place it in the prepared pan(s). Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dice the tomatoes (I like them pealed), discard the seeds, and combine with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 c oil in a bowl. Spread over the crust. Bake for 15-20 on the lowest oven rack. Remove pizza from oven and arrange the mozzerella and Parmesean. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with additional olive oil. Return to oven until bubbly, 5-10 minutes. Top with basil and serve immediately.

For the Basic Pizza Dough recipe, go to the Food Nanny Blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Creamy Broccoli Soup by The Food Nanny

Dinner #6: Creamy Broccoli Soup
Time: medium
Price: $

My thoughts: A tasty take.  What makes this soup so super creamy is it's secret ingredient, also known as one of my favorite foods: cream cheese.  At first I wasn't sure what kind of flavor cream cheese would give this soup . . . but now I know: creamy. And delicious.  Go figure.  My other favorite Broccoli soup is this one here.  But they are so different in their own good that I'll be making both from now on.  Really yummy people, give this one a try.

What I loved: not only did I love the cream cheese, but I also loved how easy and cheap this meal was.  You can use freeze nearly all the ingredients which means one thing: convenience.  And as a mother of three that word is extremely liberating.

ingredients (you might want to half this)
6 cups water
2 pounds frozen Broccoli, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
10 chicken bullion cubes
1/2 cup butter
9 T flour
2 pkgs cream cheese
4 cups milk

Bring water, broccoli, carrots, and bullion to a boil, cook for 15 mins.  Melt butter, flour, and cream cheese in a sauce pan while your broccoli is cooking.  The cream cheese mixture will be a paste.  Slowly add the milk.  Cook on low heat until thickened.  Add to veggies to broth.

So believe it or not, but I've cooked way more than I've blogged.  I've come to find out that it's really hard and time consuming to blog everyday.  Note to self: next time just blog a summary at the end of my challenge.  Every day is too much. ;)  But I will finish this one out!

Monday, May 9, 2011

white chicken chili.


basically this recipe rocks. a great rainy day recipe, and lucky you, it's a rainy day!

2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of chicken taco seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped {1/2 cup}
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 {14 oz} can chicken broth
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground red pepper {cayenne}
2 cans {15 oz each} white cannellini beans, drained
1 can {4.5 oz} chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 container {6 oz} greek fat free plain yogurt, can be replaced with sour cream

in a 4-quart saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. rub chicken with taco seasoning and cook with the onions and garlic 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. remove the chicken from the pan and shred with a fork. add the shredded chicken back to the saucepan and stir in remaining ingredients, except cilantro and yogurt. heat to boiling. reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. remove from heat; stir in cilantro and yogurt or sour cream. serve with additional yogurt/sour cream and chopped cilantro, if desired.

i didn't stir in the cilantro because my husband doesn't like it. i just served it on top of mine.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes and Magleby's Buttermilk Syrup

I don't have very good photos for this one. I made them away from home, so only had my phone to take pictures. The pancakes were posted by Pioneer Woman this week.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

1&1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
1 T baking powder
3 T sugar
1&1/2 c evaporated milk (more if needed)
1 whole lemon (juice and zest)
1 egg
1&1/2 t vanilla
2 T melted butter
1 c blueberries (or more)

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in one bowl
Mix evaporated milk, vanilla, lemon juice (I used 1&1/2 juice lemons because I like lemon) and lemon zest in another bowl - this mixture should sit for at least 5 minutes. After waiting the 5 minutes, add the egg, vanilla and melted butter.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Gently add the blueberries.
Cook pancakes in a skillet or on your grill. Because they are sort of thick (remember how much baking powder you added?) - I put a lid on my pan as I cooked them to help them cook all the way through.

My cousin made buttermilk pancakes and syrup for us a few weeks ago. I about died. SOOOO good. So I tried the syrup with these pancakes as well. Still good.

Magleby's Buttermilk Syrup

1 c sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
3/4 c butter
1 T corn syrup
1/2 t baking soda
1 T vanilla

My cousin warned me to use a TALL pan. I am really, really glad I listened. Even with the baking soda, this syrup rises and rises.

Combine the ingredients and boil the for 5 minutes.

This is after boiling and cooling.
But you can see the sides of the pan,
that the syrup rose to the very top.

This makes a lot of pancakes. Bring your appetite. You will want to keep eating more.


Lasanga Rolls-Ups with Asparagus and Broiled Tomatoes

As given, this is a vegetarian recipe - I added sausage when I made it though. This is also a great recipe if people are coming to dinner who avoid dairy. Usually cottage cheese is OK for sensitive stomachs, and in this recipe, the main cheese is a sauce you pour on top, so they don't have to pour the cheese atop.

Salt and pepper
Lasagna noodles
1 lemon
2 T olive oil
16 mushrooms, chopped (I used fresh)
1 lb ground sausage (Italian or breakfast depending on taste preference)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used 4)
4 tomatoes
1 box frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry (I used fresh spinach which I chopped into thin strips)
1/4 t nutmeg
2 c ricotta cheese (I don't like ricotta, I use cottage cheese)
1/2 heavy cream
8 oz gorgonzola cheese

In a big pot, cook the noodles. Set a colander or steaming pot on the top that you can use to cook the asparagus with the steam. The asparagus will be served at room temp, so don't worry about cooking it so early. Squeeze the lemon over the asparagus and set aside. (I did cover it to keep a little heat in.) Drain the noodles and set aside. It was a lot easier to roll with dryer noodles.

Place an oven rack in the top spot. Preheat oven to broil.

For the stuffing, brown the sausage and set aside. Then add olive oil to a pan to cook the garlic, onions and mushrooms and first until onions and mushrooms are cook (5-10 minute). Add spinach and cook for one minute. Add salt and pepper and the nutmeg. Add the ricotta cheese and remove from heat. (I remove from heat after adding nutmeg and in a bowl mix the veggies, sausage and cottage cheese.)

Start the sauce now. Heat the chicken broth and cream to a boil. Add Gorgonzola cheese, melt cheese and return mix to a boil. Once comes to a boil reduce heat to low.

Wash tomatoes and slice in half. Set in baking dish (I used a pie dish). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in oven under broiler and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven.

Set noodle on counter
Set mixture onto the noodle (not a lot)

Roll noodle

And set the finished rolls on a plate.

You can pour the cheese sauce over all the roll-ups or I put the sauce in a gravy boat and each person poured the amount they wanted on their roll up. Serve with the asparagus and broiled tomatoes.


Chicken Breast with Crab and Artichoke Stuffing

The name of this recipe actually begins with Creole Chicken Breast. I thought I had the needed seasoning to make this a "creole" dish, but I couldn't find it. So I made due. Still really yummy.

1 to 1&1/2 lb chicken breast (I used two chicken breasts, and sliced three thin cutlets from each)
Salt and Pepper
A few pinches of poultry seasoning (I did not use this)

2 green onions, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finally chopped
2T olive oil
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I have the big Costco jar. I used about 1&1/2 c)
1/2 c chicken broth
8 to 10 oz crab meat (I always use real meat, I don't know if this will work with imitation)
2 sliced white bread, toasted and buttered (I used 4 slices)
1 t old bay seasoning (I didn't have this. So I added Cajan seasoning and freshly ground peppercorn)
Salt and pepper to taste

Creole Sauce
1T olive oil
1 pat butter
1 c dry sherry (I didn't have this either)
1 c chicken broth (I used the rest of the can, about 1&1/2 c)
1T cornstarch

As I mentioned above, I sliced the chicken breasts into thin, flat slices. And set aside.

Add olive oil to a pan and saute the green onions and celery for about 3 minutes. Add the cut up artichoke hearts and the chicken broth. Cook for about a minute. Add the crabmeat and heat. Cut the toast into cubes and add to pan. Add seasoning and cook until stuffing is moist.

Roll the stuffing into the chicken. I used toothpicks to keep them rolled.

Add butter and olive oil from the sauce to the pan. The instructions say to cook the chicken in the pan and cook for 2 to minutes per side. Rolled with toothpicks, there are quite a few "sides". I cooked the chicken thoroughly on each side.

Don't rinse out the pan after cooking the chicken. Add the wine and/or broth to the pan. Once comes to a boil, reduce heat and add cornstarch to thicken. I then put the chicken back into the sauce so serve.


Thai Turkey Burgers

When I told my cousin we were having Thai Turkey Burgers, his asked:
First: Does it have peanut butter?
Response: No.
Second: Does it have carrots?
Response: No.

I know, it doesn't have some of the common ingredients found in most Thai food, but we still liked them. This is not a meal that is good reheated though. So only make the number of burgers you need. The sauce can actually be used for salsa with chips at another time.

1 fresh pineapple, cut up
1 T sesame oil
1/4 t crushed red peper
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped (I used 1/2)
2 T brown sugar
10 to 15 fresh basil leaves (I only had 10 so I also added about 1T dried basil)

1&1/3 lb ground turkey (I only used 1 lb)
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated or 2 pinches ginger
2 cloves minced garlic (I used 3)
2 T soy sauce
2 t curry powder
2 green onions, finely chopped
Rolls ( I used ciabatta)

Place the sliced pineapple into a food processor and chop until a coarse, chunky texture. (I love my food processor, but I don't have the best touch yet for only coarsely chopping something, so I chopped it by hand.) Heat the sesame oil in the pan and add the crushed red pepper. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add pineapple and cook until warm. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cook for two more minutes. Remove from heat and add basil. Set aside until burgers are done. (allow to stay warm)

Mix the turkey, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, curry, salt and green onions. Form hamburger patties and cook in skillet until fully cooked through. The recipe says 4 minutes per side. I covered the pan to keep heat in, but still cooked for about 6 minutes per side. I made sure they were fully cooked.)

Serve on rolls of choice (I toasted ours) and top with warm salsa.


Rachel Ray's Lazy Sister Ria's Chicken

So I've been cooking a lot again, so posting has been delayed. I've moved on to a Rachel Ray cook book I received for Christmas a few years ago. These are NOT thirty minute recipe (they are not even labeled as such.)

We all really liked this. I had been gone most of the week and didn't go shopping. I needed to make something for Sunday dinner and this recipe was made up of things I had in the house. I will, as usual, put the changes I made in italics.

My Sister Ria's Lazy Chicken,
or My Lazy Sister Ria's Chicken

1&1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets - thinly sliced or pounded breast meat (I used 2 chicken breasts, I thinly sliced the chicken into pieces.)
Balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 medium white potatoes, thinly sliced (I used russet because it is what we had in the house. I used 4, I did not skin them, only washed them and sliced them.)
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced (I used 1/2 of a large red onion, because that is what I had.)Montreal Steak Seasoning, to taste (I used quite a bit)
1/2 c white wine or chicken broth (I ended up using chicken broth and 2 cups - a whole can)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced (I didn't have a zucchini)
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
10 leaves fresh basil (I used more like 20 leaves)
2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 to 2/3 c shredded Italian-type cheese (I used mozzarella)

Coat the chicken with balsamic vinegar. Heat 1 T olive oil in a deep skillet (you'll use the same pan for all the preparations.)
Brown the chicken for two minutes on each side. I cooked it longer, I cooked it until the chicken was fully cooked.
Remove chicken from pan.

Add 1T olive oil to pan and lay potatoes and onions in the pan. Sprinkle the veggies with the steak seasoning and pour about half of the broth over the veggies. Cook until veggies are soft, but not fully cooked. Add the chicken and pour the tomatoes on top. And finally sprinkle the basil and oregano atop. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until veggies are fully cooked.

Sprinkle with cheese. The recipe says to set the pan under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese. I just put the lid back on the pan and set it on the table. It was melted be the time we sat down to eat.

Yum, yum!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Roast Chicken with Gravy by The Food Nanny

 Dinner #5: Roast Chicken with Gravy
Time: Long
Price: $$$$

My thoughts:  Surprisingly easy!  Not to mention really good.  I'm not gonna lie, it was my first time ever having cooked a young chicken.  Poor thing. I was kinda freaked out touching it before it was cooked, thinking "this was once a young chicken not too long ago."  But I succeeded in setting my emotions aside and savored it's deliciousness once cooked.

What I loved: That I can now cook a bird on my own.  I think that officially makes me a mom. Does it not? And I loved making homemade gravy from it's drippings . . . man, call me Betty people! And of course we loved the leftovers.

1 whole young roasting chicken, 5-6 pound
1 pinch seasoned salt
1/4 flour
1 pinch lemon pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Discard any giblets and wipe the chicken inside and out with a damp paper towel; discard the towel immediately. (This is the preferred way to "rinse" a chicken, for food safety.)  Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan or 9x13-inch metal baking pan. Sprinkle the chicken with lemon pepper and seasoned salt.  Roast uncovered 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, basting with the pan drippings during cooking if desired.  Or pour a little chicken broth over the chicken a couple of times to keep it moist.  Check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer.  The chicken is done with the thigh juices run clear with pricked with a fork, or at 170 to 175 degrees.  If you like the dark meet falling off the bone, roast until  the thigh registers 180, but at this point the breast meat may be dry.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while making gravy: leave the juices in the baking pan.  Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth to the juices.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, make a paste of 1/4 cup of chicken broth and the flour.  Stir until smooth. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring the juices and brother to a boil.  Add the paste, stirring constantly with a whisk for 2 min or until mixture is thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add more past if the gravy is too thin, or add more broth if too thick.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Breakfast Casserole by The Food Nanny

Dinner #4: Breakfast Casserole
Time: medium
Price: $

My thoughts: Had I not messed up? Probably pretty good.  I'm a dummy and when halving the recipe I forgot to half the sodium.  Instead of only using 1/2 can of the condensed cheddar soup . . . oh I used the entire thing.  And I'm pretty sure I over salted as well.  Leaving this dish saltier than the Great Salt Lake itself.  Eghads.  But my cute husband had two or three servings anyway and said I "did a good job, maybe just less salt next time."  Problem is I've now ruined it for me, so I don't know that there'll be a next time.  However, having said that, my husband thinks it would have been one of his fave dishes had I not over salted.  So you decide.

What I didn't love: the texture of the condensed soup. But again, I added too much.  So totally my fault for this one.

ingredients (already halved)
14 oz frozen hashbrowns
1/4 t garlic salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet, prepare hashbrowns as directed by package. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Top with soup.  Set aside 1/2 cup bacon; sprinkling remaining bacon over soup. In a bowl, whisk eggs. In another skillet, heat butter until hot.  Add eggs; cook and stir over medium heat until nearly set.  Spoon over bacon.  Sprinkle with cheese and reserved bacon.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 min or until cheese is melted.