Friday, February 27, 2009

Because I can...

these are the first flowers of spring peeking through in my garden right now. too bad it snowed last night. brrr

i'm adding a little 'home' to this recipe site. b/c home goes with cooking. right?

eric took these poppy pictures from my garden last spring/summer and we got them made into canvas pictures and hung them in the living room. they are right next to a book shelf/console thing we have right when you walk in. i love them!

Baked Penne with chicken and sun dried tomatoes

from martha stewart. i dont' have any pictures of this b/c it smelled so good eric couldn't wait to dig in. this was really really good. and it makes enough to freeze half and you can pop it into the oven from the freezer for a fresh meal later!

6 tbspn butter
1 lb penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally
1/2 c plus 2 tbspn flour
4 garlic cloves
6 cups whole milk
10 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced (i know you don't like these but i wish you did cuz they are good in this pasta!)
1/2 c oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 c provolone (i used mozz cuz that's what i had)
1 cup grated parm

1. preheat oven to 400. butter two shallow 2 quart baking dishes. in large pot of boiling salted water cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente. drain. return to pot.

2. in large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high. season chicken with s/p. cook until opaque throughout. halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise.

3. in 5 quart dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium. add flour and garlic, cook. whisking 1 minute. while whisking gradually add milk. bring to a simmer whisking frequently. add mushrooms and tomatoes. cook 1 minute. off heat , gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup parm.

4. add chicken and pasta to pot. season with s/p. divide pasta mixture between baking dishes and sprinkle with remaining parm.

5. bake uncovered until top is golden and bubbling about 25 minutes. let stand 5 minutes before serving.

to freeze: prepare through step 4. let cook. cover tightly with foil and freeze. to bake: preheat oven to 400. and bake still covered in foil on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1.5 hours. remove foil and bake until golden 15 minutes more.

** this is sooooooo good and makes perfect leftovers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

carrot tea cake with cream cheese frosting

Mixing the cream cheese icing. i think it's fun to see the steps that make the final product. if eric is around while i'm making something i'll start adding more. just for fun.

the finished product

from martha stewart

1/2 c butter, room temp
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
1 c packed grated carrots
1 bar (8oz) cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350. butter and flour 9x5 loaf pan. whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg

2. beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. beat in eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. beat in carrots. gradually add flour mixture. beat just until combined. transfer batter to loaf pan and bake 40-45 minutes. cool completely.

3. make frosting: beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla until fluffy. frost cooled cake.

this was super good! not too sweet, but just enough. makes me want to sit down with a coffee or tea and have it as a snack in the afternoon.

Sloppy Joe Pizza Pockets

from rachel ray.

2 tbspn olive oil
1 bell pepper
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 cup pizza sauce
1 tbspn worcestershire sauce
1 pound pizza dough (i did hand made but the recipe suggested store bought)
2 cups mozz cheese

1. in large skillet heat oil over medium heat. aadd pepper, onion, pinch s/p and cook until softened about 5minutes. add turkey and cook ove rmedium high heat breaking up meat until cooked through and crumbly. stir in pizza sauce and worcestershire sauce. season to taste with s/ p. let cool.

2. preheat oven to 400. lightly grease a baking sheet. divide dough into quarters and working with 1 piece at a time roll out and stretch into 8 inch round. place the rounds on the baking sheet with about a third of each round hanging over the edges of the pan. mound a pakced cup of turkey mixture onto each round, leaving a 1/2 inch border. top each with the cheese and then fold the dough over the filling, crimp the edges together to seal. cut a small vent in the top of each pocket for venting.

3. bake until puffed and golden 15-20 minutes.

yummmy! eric and i had this last night and it was fantastic. no pictures cuz we were in a hurry to go to the banff mountain film fest. we had it today for leftovers for lunch and it was equally as good warmed up in the microwave. plus, darin should like it- it's wrapped! :)

Vegetable Soup with Fennel

Finished Product (eric took these pics)

when we first had this soup I found it somewhat bland. but as i had it for leftovers i started liking it more and more. so don't expect any crazy flavors from this one. it's just a good old standby. and the fennel kicks it up a notch too.

3 tbspn olive oil
2 large bulbs fennel-quartered, cored, and coarsely chopped, fronds reserved for garnish (or taking pictures with)
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery with leafy tops, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
two 32 oz containers chicken broth
1/2 pound egg noodles
2 tsp grated lemon peel (i forgot this part)

1. in soup pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. add fennel, onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaf. season with s/p. cook until veggies are softened 10 minutes. add chicken broth and bring to a boil. stir in egg noodles and cook until aldente, about 10 minutes. discard bay leaf, sprinkle fennel fronds on the soup. add lemon peel

i served it with a buttermilk bread that was good but not great so i'm not posting the recipe.

cooking with Fennel.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Orange-Balsamic Chicken thighs with pecans and Sage butter pasta

since i have left over sage from last week's prune chicken i'm making this tomorrow night:

from Rachel Ray:

1 pound spaghetti
2 tbspn olive oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped ('m using dried )
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c orange marmalade
3 c arugula or baby spinach
4 tbspn butter
1/4 c sage leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 pam cheese
1/3 c honey roasted pecans, chopped (i'm using whatever's in the freezer, just toasted)

1. cook pasta according to directions, reserving 1 cup of pasta water after draining

2. while pasta is working heat olive oil in large skillet. season chicken with s/p and add to skillet. sprinkle the rosemary on top and cook the chicken until crispy and brown 10 minutes. transfer to platter

3. whisk the balsamic vinegar and marmalade ino the skillet, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. lower heat and simmer for 1 minute. return the chicken to pan and coat with the sauce. remove the pan from the heat and stir in the arugula

4. in pasta pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. add the sage and cook until fragrant about 5 minutes. add the pasta and pasta water and toss. add the 1/2 c parm cheese and season with salt. sprinkle the pecans on the chicken a nd serve with the pasta and a little extra cheese.

**well it sounds interesting anyway. you can try it if you want. i kinda like fruity meat from time to time. and the picture looked really good.

well it might help keep you regular..

Chicken with Dried Plum and Sage
from cooking light:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbspn chopped fresh sage, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 c thinly sliced onion (about 1 large)
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c chicken broth
12 pitted dried plums, halved (why don't they just call them what they are- prunes!!)
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. sprinkle chicken with 1 tbspn sage, salt and some pepper
2. heat 2 tsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. add chicken to pan and cook until golden. remove chicken from pan. heat remaining oil in pan. add onion to pan and cook until tender, stir in wine and broth, bring to a boil. add remaining 1 tbspn sage and dried plums (prunes!) to pan. cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. stir in more pepper and the vinegar. serve with chicken breast and 1/2 c sauce.

** we had this last week and surprisingly enough it was delicious! the sage is really tasty and the prunes add just a little something. but if you don't like prunes then i don't recommend making this. we really liked it.

Buttermilk Quick Bread

we had this bread last night with some vegetable soup with fennel that was kinda lame so i'm not posting it. it was like wanna be chicken noodle soup with out the chicken and fennel bulb instead. not worth the effort. anyway, this bread was really good.

from cooking light:

2 c flour
2 tbspn sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c butter, melted
2 large egg whites
cooking spray

1. preheat oven to 350
2. combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. make a well in center.
3. combine buttermilk, butter and egg whites stirring with a whisk
4. add wet to dry and stir just until combined
5. spread batter in 8x4 loaf pan (i used a regular 9x5) coated with cooking spray. bake at 350 for 45 minutes until tooth pick omes out clean. cool 10 minutes and then slice.

i'm not sure how 'quick' this is seeing as it has to bake for 45 minutes, but it's true it doesn't take long to mix up. it was really tender and delicious.

Hot Artichoke cheese dip

i made this a while ago and forgot to post it. yum!!

from cooking light:

2 garlic cloves
1 green onion, cut into pieces
1/2 c parm cheese, divided
1/3 c mayo
1/4 c cream cheese
1 tbspn fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
12 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained (i can never find these. i use the jarred ones, and just put in one jar)
24 slices baguette, toasted

1. preheat oven to 400
2. place garlic and onion in a food processor (i used blender) process until finely chopped. add 1/4 c pam cheese and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). process until almost smooth. add artichoke hearts, pulse until artichoke hearts are coarsely chopped. spoon mix into a 3 cup gratin dish coated with cooking spray (i used corningware) sprinkle evenly with remaining parm cheese. bake at 400 for 15 minutes until thoroughly heated and bubbly. serve hot with baguette.

i think i made a soup to go with this one night and it was really good.