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Archive for April, 2010

Tonite I will start out my post with a confession:I hardly ever use a grocery shopping list. It’s amazingly uneconomicical (is that a real word?) and causes me to walk up and down each and every aisle looking at each and every row of food, taking me a couple of hours to shop for groceries for two people. I secretly (not so secretly now) love this task. I have a very hard time buying things for myself but I can lay down at least $100 at the grocery store every week…easy. It’s weird and sick but I can’t help it.
One of the ridiculous things I do is walk around and try to think of different recipes just by looking around and deciding what looks good that day. So, this week I saw chicken, mushrooms,garlic,mozzarella cheese, and Alfredo sauce. This allllll lead to me deciding I should try to out do the Pizza Hut pasta bake that mike,Andi,Bren,The Husband, and I had recently.
I browned the chicken with some onion and lotsa,lotsa garlic, olive oil, sliced mushrooms and red pepper flakes. I added a about 1/2 jar of premade Alfredo sauce and…..more garlic and pepper. I let all of this simmer while I had bow tie pasta cooking and added then added the pasta to the chicken and sauce when it was just short of “al dente”. Then I put the whole mixture in a baking dish and covered it with mozzarella and baked it all in the oven for about 15 minutes.
It turned out to be hot, bubbly, spicy, cheesy, tasty little dish! It definitely had a more homemade taste than the Pizza Hut and was made spicy-just the way we like it!! This was a really easy recipe; actually made in about 30 minutes last night AFTER we had dinner-I just didn’t bake it until tonite after I got off work! Great meal to make ahead if you work late like me!!
I think you should all try your hand at some creativity at the grocery store. Take a couple of hours one of these days to walk down every aisle at walmart or crest or buy for less and be inspires to try something fun!!!

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Homemade Chicken Potpie

Meal cost for 4 people = $15.00.

For some reason tonight I was looking for some comfort food. Something we could sit back and enjoy while we watched the Thunder game. The potpie turned out to be the “bomb” and the Thunder got totally bombed. I actually can’t wait till one of those cold winter Oklahoma nights to make this again. Add a side of mashed potatoes and its nothing but good old grandma cooking (without the grandma).

Preheat oven to 400. Season 2 chicken breast halves (not boneless) with S&P on both sides and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake the chicken for 30 minutes and then set aside to cool. Once they are cooled, discard the skin and shred the chicken off the bone.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add 4 sliced carrots, 1 finely chopped medium onion, 3 sliced celery stocks, and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme. Add S&P and cook until carrots are crisp-tender (8-10 minutes). Add 1/4 cup flour and cook another minute, then slowly stir in 2 1/2 cups 1% Milk. Simmer and stir this until the mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and add peas, corn, shredded chicken and 2 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir until combined and taste to see if you need or want more S&P.  Pour filling into a baking dish. The quantity of corn and peas is really up to you depending on how much you like either. I bought a small frozen bag of each and used half of each bag.

The topping uses 6 sheets of phyllo dough. Take 2 sheets of phyllo dough and place them  over your mixture. Brush the top with olive oil and add 2 more sheets. Brush on more olive oil and add 2 more sheets. Brush olive oil on top and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you tuck the sides in so the phyllo dough stands up around the baking dish.

You could also make this in individual baking dishes if you have them. Just cut the phyllo dough to fit.

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This morning/noon; I woke up with a growling stomach (I don’t know how-after an AMAZING steak dinner last night) and I automatically took a mental inventory of my fridge and pantry and decided I needed to make a serious Saturday breakfast. In my fridge I had onion, bell pepper, shredded cheese,bacon,eggs,butter,milk,garlic and in the pantry some potatoes. I saw all this as Cheesy Bacon 3 egg omlettes and homestyle potatoes. I’ll admit-I’m not the best omlette maker; I heard that the perfect omletter actually does not have any brownness on it at all-mine are Always brown on the outside,I actually like it that way-but I don’t do it on purpose 😉 I sauteed the bell pepper,onion, and garlic in extra virgin olive oil first because I don’t really love raw onion or bell pepper on an omlette..and I added the garlic just bc I love garlic-even in eggs.
I mixed 3eggs for each omlette with sour cream,butter,milk,S&P,a little cheese and the sauteed onion/bell pepper/garlic mix. Dropped all that in my pan that was greased liberally. I let it cook til almost done and then dropped a big handfull of cheese and 3 strips of bacon each in the middle o the omlettes and kinda just flipped one side over. The potatoes were just cut into small pieces tossed with olive oil and Cajun seasoning salt some onion and bell pepper and slipped into the oven-I put it on a higher heat so they would get kinda crispy like they would if you fried them. By the time The husband was up-breakfast was done and he proclaimed that this breakfast was better than Jimmy’s Egg–his favorite! Ahhh,success. Good way to start the day!!

P.S. We love adding hot sauce to most everything…so we added it to the omelette when I was done!
P.p.s. I never know how to spell Potatoes bc when I was little and learning how….Dan Quail messed it all up for me. Sorrrrrry 😉

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On our first night back reunited after The Husband and I’s trip to Italy, Mike and I decided to make the Yogurt Marinated Chicken with Asparagus and Watercress from the April Rachel Ray mag. I was actually pretty excited to try something marinate in yogurt. The recipe called for Greek yogurt-which I’ve seen in alot of recipes but never tried. I expected a nice tangy flavoring-something kind of different and exotic. The recipe also called for ground corriander and watercress-both of which I’ve never used either! I mean…this was an adventure in the making!! We made our usual trip to good ol Crest and of course they didn’t have watercress and only had a $7 bottle of ground corriander. This recipe had some SERIOUS expectations before we even started! With a tsp of $7 corriander…this recipe was gonna have to change my life for me to be happy. Unfortunately for Miss Ray, I feel that this recipe bombed. It was edible….but BORING! I was really Hoping the yogurt marinade and ground corriander were going to bring some kind of ethnic flavor alive in this dish and I couldn’t taste either….it just tasted like chicken. Boring. I would only reccomend trying this recipe because Mike has a whole bottle of $7 corriander at his house that you could have a tsp of for the recipe.

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Meal Cost for 2 people = $5.00

Tonight I had school after work, so I got home late and the Thunder vs. Lakers playoff game was about to start. Andi and Brennan had eaten on their way back from the PCN baseball game, so I was cooking for myself tonight. I wanted something quick so that I could watch the game (Thunder Won!!). I opened the Martha Stewart iPhone App and the daily recipe was Spanish Tortilla with Bell Pepper. I noticed it had Hot Sauce in it, so I knew that was my game plan. I went to the store and spent $5.00 – seriously! The recipe below is for 4 people. I cut it in half when I bought my ingredients since it was just for me.

Preheat oven to 375 then peel and slice 1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes. Thinly slice 1 medium onion, and thinly slice 1 red bell pepper after you remove the ribs and seeds.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium. Toss in your veggies and stir to coat with the oil. Season with “S&P”, then cover your skillet and cook until the potatoes are crisp-tender stirring occasionally.  Once your potatoes are ready, uncover and cook off excess liquid if any.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a bowl 8 eggs, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or more).  Season with S&P and then mix in with your vegetable skillet. Once it has coated all your veggies, use the back of a spatula to flatten the mixture.

Bake in the oven until your Tortilla is set. Should take about 12 to 16 minutes. Slice and garnish with more parsley and hot sauce. 

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I have two things I have to share before I get to my recipe. Go Thunder! Ok, that was #1. Second, my sister (Christy, just in case you didn’t know) just got back from a 10 day trip to Italy and she brought me a block of pecorino cheese. This is it sliced in half before we ate some of it. So I just wanted to brag a little bit.

Meal cost for 4 people = $19.00

Tonight I cooked the daily recipe from the Martha iPhone app. The title is long, but it only took 20 minutes to make. You can probably use any type of pasta for this recipe. I like penne rigate because it is easy to stick a fork into and eat. Your not trying to roll it up on your fork like you have to with spaghetti or linguini. The vegetables could be substituted if you don’t like asparagus or snow peas, you could try broccoli or green beans.

Boil salted water in a large pot, and add 12oz of pasta. Look on the package and cook it for 5 minutes less than al dente. Most pasta packages you buy at the store won’t have a cook time for “Al dente”. They usually will have cook times for VERY FIRM, FIRM, and TENDER. Cook your pasta for 5 minutes less than the FIRM time.

Pasta cooked “al dente” should require some chewing but not crunch or stick to the teeth when chewed. The firm texture should allow you to taste some of the pasta’s flavor. Overcooked pasta tends to be mushy and flavorless.

Once your pasta is ready, add 1 pound asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Then add 8 oz of snow peas and 1 pound shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook your shrimp once you add them to the hot water or they will become chewy.  You need to pull your pot off the heat as soon as you see them start to curl. I overcooked my shrimp this time around. You can tell because they are in the shape of an O, which means Overcooked!! Make sure you only go 2 minutes. They will continue to cook in the next steps of the recipe.

Save 1 cup of your pasta water and drain the rest. Return your ingredients to the pot and add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Season with “S & P” and mix to combine. Then gently mix in 4 oz Feta Cheese and 1 cup thinly sliced mint leaves. 

You can eat it like this, or you can start to add your reserved pasta water a little at a time until you find a consistency you like. The pasta water should mix with the oil and cheese and make a light creamy sauce. I suggest not using more than a 1/2 cup.

 

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Last night I tried a recipe that Mike and I were contemplating making on our sibling cooking night but didn’t make bc two of our critics are a little sensitive to the spicy stuff. By sensitive I mean-wimpy ;).
The recipe is from last months Rachel Rachel Ray magazine and caught my eye because of the pineapple. I LOVE cooked and grilled pineapple for some reason. I especially like it when the dish is savory or spicy and u mix the sweetness of the pineapple in and that is exactly what this recipe does!! The recipe origianlly calls for a whole jalepeno but I left that part out to see just how spicy jerk seasoning is so that I could tell Mike if he could make it fo the wimps or not. Leaving the jalepeno out is actually a really great idea if you have picky eaters who can’t handle the heat. The jerk seasoning wasn’t really spicy at all; in fact I ended up having to add red pepper flakes at the end because it wasn’t quite spicy enough to me with the sweetness of the pineapple.
The Verdict: The Husband really loved it!! I also lived it! It was a perfect mix of sweetness and spicy for us! Sometimes I feel that Rachel Rays recipes can be hit or miss but this recipe was really great!! I would definitely suggest trying it!!

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