Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Cleaning Time!

Yep, it's that time again! I am doing a full spring cleaning on the house this year including some major decluttering! This house needs this and I need this! I feel so accomplished after a major clear-out that I'm actually excited about this year's spring cleaning. We had a couple things we wanted to do this weekend but I told DH that if we get it all done this weekend we won't have to worry about it next weekend. Wish us luck! In I go!

Fish Tostadas with Chili-Lime Cream

These are definitely going to be a normal dish from now on! I was amazed at the taste combination and can't wait to make them again, even the kids asked for seconds! Do not be put off by the fact that these are fish, they are really fantastic!

1 lb. fresh tilapia or cod fillets
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 lime, halved
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 6-inch tostada shells
2 cups shredded cabbage mix
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced (optional)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

1. Preheat broiler. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon of the chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. For chili-lime cream, in bowl squeeze 2 teaspoons juice from half the lime. Stir in sour cream, garlic powder, and remaining chili powder; set aside. Cut remaining lime half in wedges for serving.

2. Place fish on unheated greased broiler rack; tuck under thin edges. Place shells on baking sheet on lowest rack. Broil fish 4 inches from heat 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness, until fish flakes with fork. Break in chunks. Serve tostadas with cabbage, chili-lime cream, avocado, tomatoes, lime, and pepper sauce. Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4 servings Calories 278, Total Fat (g) 14, Saturated Fat (g) 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 2, Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 67, Sodium (mg) 303, Carbohydrate (g) 17, Total Sugar (g) 2, Fiber (g) 2, Protein (g) 25, Vitamin C (DV%) 25, Calcium (DV%) 7, Iron (DV%) 6, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Chipotle Flank Steak with Black Bean Avacado Slasa

This was absolutely incredible! I was craving it for days after I made it! I wouldn't make any changes to the ingredients or leave anything out, every ingredient in the recipe is there for a reason and you will want to make this again and again!

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 avocado, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed
1 cup finely chopped tomato
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 lb. flank steak (3/4 inch thick)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine all salsa ingredients in medium nonreactive bowl. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

2. Combine all steak ingredients except steak and oil in small bowl. Brush both sides of steak with oil; sprinkle with rub.

3. Heat grill. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or coals 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Slice across the grain into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with salsa.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 340 calories, 18.5 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat), 24.5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 60 mg cholesterol, 645 mg sodium, 7.5 g fiber

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

No, mine doesn't look very pretty but it tasted amazing! It probably would have looked better had I used pork bacon but I used turkey bacon to make it slightly healthier. You will be amazed at how easy this is and how great it tastes!

8 ounces sliced bacon, diced
1 quartered chicken, skin removed (4 1/2 lbs)
8 ounces small mushrooms
1 cup frozen small whole onions, thawed
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon on medium. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet; add chicken and brown on medium-high. Pour off fat.

2. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic to slow cooker; top with chicken. Add wine, rosemary, and salt to skillet; heat to boiling. Pour over chicken.

3. Cover slow cooker; cook on low 6 hours, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Transfer chicken and vegetables to platter; keep warm.

4. Pour sauce into saucepan. In cup, blend water and cornstarch; stir into sauce. Heat until sauce thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil sauce 1 minute; pour over chicken.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thai Shrimp Over Coconut Rice

This is one that I saw in a magazine and just thought, "That looks pretty good" and tore it out and put it in a pile of other magazine recipes. Little did I know how completely amazing this dish would be! It is such a fantastic combomation of flavors, definitely something we will be making for years to come!

1 cup jasmine rice
1 (14-oz.) can lite coconut milk
1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 lb. shelled, deveined uncooked large shrimp (21 to 30 count)
1 lb. green beans, sliced (1 inch) (4 cups)
1 lb. asparagus, sliced (1 inch) (2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1. Place all rice ingredients in medium saucepan.* Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, combine oyster sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and sugar in small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in wok or large skillet over high to medium-high heat until hot. Immediately add shrimp; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp.

3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons canola oil to wok; heat until hot. Stir-fry green beans and asparagus 5 minutes or until bright green and crisp-tender. Stir in garlic and ginger; stir-fry 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in shrimp and oyster sauce mixture; cook until hot. Serve over rice.

TIP *Rice also can be made in rice cooker.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 425 calories, 18.5 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 28.5 g protein, 38.5 g carbohydrate, 215 mg cholesterol, 835 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Mini Taco Bowls

These are super easy and really good! The kiddos always eat these with no complaint and they love that they're "kid-size". Feel free to experiment with the ingredients!

8 flour tortillas (6 inch)
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup ranch dressing

HEAT oven to 350°F. Microwave tortillas on HIGH 30 sec. Press 1 tortilla into each of eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups. Carefully fold back edges of tortillas, leaving opening in center of each for filling. Bake 10 min.

Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in salsa; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 min. Spoon into tortilla bowls; top with remaining ingredients.

Stuffed-Crust Veggie Pie (Pizza)

The finished product

Close up to see the yummy stuffed crust

This was very intimidating and time consuming but the final product was well worth it! You can feel free to experiment with the toppings but I strongly recommend following the recipe the first time. The toppings are not typical of pizza but are suprisingly delicious together! Enjoy!

1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the dough
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the cookie sheet and crust
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium-size green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups broccoli florets
Yellow cornmeal
4 cups (about a pound) grated mozzarella
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 medium-size tomato, halved, seeded, and diced
First, make the dough. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir in the sugar and oats, then set the mixture aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the oil and salt. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for 100 strokes. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes more.

Add the remaining flour, L cup at a time, and beat well after each addition. When the dough is firm and pliable, place it on a floured surface and knead it until it's smooth and somewhat springy, about 8 minutes. If the dough becomes sticky, add more flour as you knead.

Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

While the dough rises, prepare the topping. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them, stirring often, until they are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a plate.

In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and lightly sauté the vegetables for 4 minutes (they should still be crunchy). Transfer them to the plate with the other vegetables.

Heat the oven to 425º. Oil a large cookie sheet, dust it with the cornmeal, then set it aside. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it briefly, then let it rest for 5 minutes.

Roll out the dough so that it's 1/4-inch thick and the size of the cookie sheet. Place it on the sheet. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella along the perimeter of the dough, about 1 inch in from the edges. Moisten the edges, fold them over the cheese, and press to seal them in place.

Spread the tomato sauce over the pie. Add the cooked vegetables and diced tomato. Lightly salt and pepper the vegetables and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese. Bake the pie on the center rack until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and brush the crust with more olive oil. Slide the pie onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool briefly before serving. Makes 8 slices.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving (one slice):
Calories 443
Total Fat 16 g (24% DV)
Saturated Fat 8 g (38% DV)
Cholesterol 30 mg (10% DV)
Sodium 1,107 mg (46% DV)
Total Carbohydrate 55 g (18% DV)
Fiber 4 g (18% DV)
Sugars 5 g
Protein 23 g (46% DV)
Vitamin A (23% DV)
Vitamin C (83% DV)
Calcium (44% DV)

Chicken Lasagna

I have never, and I repeat NEVER, been one to be able to throw a bunch of stuff together and have it actually turn out attractive, good and/or edible. This is the main reason I stick to recipes. So, one night I had chicken defrosted and was craving an Italian dish so I just strated cooking. I'm pretty sure at this point my DH went to the other room to pray that something edible would turn out and he wouldn't go hungry that night. Amazingly I was able to make something that was attractive, good and edible! I have finally come to the point in my cooking where I know enough to actually be able to get to this stage! My mom would be so proud! You can mess with the measurements while making this since I didn't write it down as I went and I'm trying to go off of my memory.


3 cups cooked chicken (while cooking chicken, flavor w/ 1 tsp garlic salt), shredded
1 Tbs. dried oregeno
1 8oz. package of cream cheese (low fat or fat free for a healthier option)
2 cups of shredded Italian cheese blend
2 cups spaghetti sauce (flavor preference is up to you)
6 no-bake lasagna noodles

In a large saucepan on medium heat, mix together chicken, oregeno, cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Put the leftover 1/2 cup of cheese aside. When cheese is melted add 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. Set aside additional cup of sauce.

Spray a medium sized baking dish with cooking spray and layer 3 lasagna noodles, spread half the chicken mixture on top and repeat. Finish off with the leftover cup of sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese (add more iff necessary to cover top). Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Hope this turns out for you like it did for me! Enjoy!

Blue Cheese and Bacon Corn Dogs w/ Blue Cheese Dip

The batter

Ready for the deep fryer

Getting fried

The final product

Now, the recipe calls for them to be cooked in a skillet but we figured they'd cook more evenly if we used a deep fryer. To make it slightly more healthy we used turkey dogs and turkey bacon. These were seriously amazing and I can't wait to make them again!

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. shortening
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup blue cheese
1 egg
3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and finely crumbled or chopped
Oil for deep fat frying
6 jumbo beef franks, cut in half crosswise
12 6-inch wooden skewers
Blue cheese dip (recipe below)

1. In large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a blender combine milk, blue cheese, and egg; cover and blend until almost smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture along with bacon; mix well. (Batter will be thick.)

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat to 365 degrees F. (should take about 15 minutes).

3. Insert skewers into ends of franks. Holding onto skewers, hold franks over bowl of cornmeal mixture. Spoon cornmeal mixture on franks and slightly spread to completely cover. Place coated franks, 3 or 4 at a time, on their sides in hot oil. Turn franks with tongs after about 10 seconds of cooking to prevent batter from sliding off. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Remove and drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Keep warm in a 200 degrees F. oven while frying remaining franks. Serve warm with Blue Cheese Dip. Makes 12 appetizer corn dogs.

Blue Cheese Dip: In medium bowl combine 2/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup dairy sour cream, 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Make-Ahead:Make these fresh. Skewer hot dogs ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Once fried, corn dogs can be kept warm in a 200 degree F oven up to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 259, Total Fat (g) 15, Saturated Fat (g) 6, Cholesterol (mg) 49, Sodium (mg) 564, Carbohydrate (g) 23, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 9, Vitamin C (DV%) 0, Calcium (DV%) 5, Iron (DV%) 9, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere!

My main reasoning for starting this blog is to have one place where all my cooking and crafting attempts could harmoniously join together. Mainly I was tired of people emailing me and asking for the recipe/directions to what I just made and now I can just give them a link! Lol But seriously, I figure if I can pull this stuff off then pretty much anyone can! I've never taken cooking lessons and my creativity in the crafting department is lacking to say the least so if you see it on here, you know it's worth a shot! Thanks for stopping by!