Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Okra Stew

Okra Stew with Chicken
1 bag frozen okra
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 quart chicken stock
Small bottle barbeque sauce (about 1 cup)
2 Cups shredded chicken (a rotisserie from the grocery store would be perfect)
2 slices bacon or 1/4 pound sausage
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Brown sausage or bacon in large pot and break into small pieces. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until tender. Pour in stock, barbeque sauce, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add vegetables and chicken. Bring to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. That is it. Ready to serve!
Great with corn bread or over rice!

You could add beef or pork instead of chicken.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Granola Bars

Crunchy Granola Bars:
5 cups granola (premixed or your own combination)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup peanut butter (I like to use all natural)
3 tbs light corn syrup
5 tbs honey
1 tbs water
(1/4 cup brown sugar if putting together your own granola)

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into 9x13 dish lined with parchment paper and lightly press. Bake until golden brown 12-15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Cut into bars, usually 12. Individually wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Bake

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice bake:
1 large onion
2 gloves garlic
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups rice (i like to use half brown rice)
3 cups water
2 cups cheese
1 tbs butter
1 tbs cornstarch
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
thawed or fresh broccoli florets 6-8 oz

Preheat oven 375 degrees
Cook rice according to package direction, but add bouillon cubes, 1 whole garlic glove and half the onion to the water.
In a large frying pan, heat a little oil and saute diced garlic glove and diced remaining onion. When browned add tbs butter and let melt, then add cornstarch and cook couple minutes. Turn heat to high and add milk. Let simmer 1 minute then reduce heat to low. Add 1/2 cup of cheese into sauce and stir. Pour Rice into large bowl, then broccoli, then sauce, 1 tsp salt, tsp pepper, and mix till combined and dump into casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese begins to brown and bubble.

Make this a meal by adding shredded chicken.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flank Steak and Grilled Potato Salad

MMM. This was a great summer meal. My husband loved it and I hope you do too. I used half of flank steak from my trip to sams that I had stored in the freezer in portions for 2.

Flank Steak:
1 piece flank steak
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a plastic bag rub together and refrigerate for 2 hours or all day. Heat grill and cook steak each side for 3-4 minutes for medium. Remove and let rest 10 minutes. Cut at an angle in thin slices and serve.
*Flank steak cannot be cooked well done or it will be tough*

Grilled Potato Salad:
3 medium baking potatoes
1 tbp dijon mustard
1/2 tbs honey
1 tbs balsamic vinegar (I like to use white, but use what ever you have)
1 tbs olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
1 slice bacon
1 garlic glove
1 small onion

Put potatoes whole in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until butter knife goes in smoothly but sticks when you pull it out. Remove from water and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking; cook chopped bacon, onion, and garlic until tender and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together dijon, honey, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil until well combined mix in bacon mixture and let sit.
Slice potatoes in 1/2 slices and toss in oil to prevent sticking on grill. Lay onto grill and cook 5 minutes each side, until completely cooked through and crisp grill marks. Remove and add to dressing and bacon mixture. Toss and cover with plastic wrap to let flavors marry.
Serve along with steak and enjoy!

I usually boil and cut the potatoes, and make the dressing and bacon mixture while my steak is coming to room temperature. Then I put the potatoes on the grill, then the steak, after 3 minutes flip the steak, then potatoes. After 4-5 minutes remove steak and let rest while potatoes finish another minute. Let potatoes sit with dressing 5 minutes while steak is still resting. Then everything is ready to serve at the same time.
Bon Appetit!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shrimp Pasta

This time I also used some spicy italian chicken sausage just because I had it. If you don't use sausage add more shrimp. This took about 20 minutes to make and is super flavorful and delicious. It would also be great with chicken. I used whole wheat pasta, but regular is fine.

1/2 pound whole wheat thin spaghetti
10 shrimp (defrosted and shell removed)
2 links spicy italian sausage
1 can diced italian tomatoes
1/2 package dry pesto mix
1/4 cup milk

cook pasta according to directions on box. Meanwhile brown sausage in a pan and then drain but don't remove brown bits from bottom of pan and don't turn down the heat. To pan add diced tomatoes and using a wooden spoon rub bits from bottom. Add pesto mix and milk and let simmer till thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in sausage and shrimp. Pour over drained pasta and let sit 5 minutes so noodles can absorb sauce.
Bon Appetit!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Sunday my husband wanted something other than a sandwich for lunch. I had not been to the grocery store and the bread a little old for a sandwich. So I thought of making a Monte Cristo which is a ham and swiss sandwich dipped in an egg and milk mixture then pan fried.

Make a sandwich with ham, cheese, mayo and little mustard
Beat and egg and 1tbs milk little salt and pepper in a shallow bowl
Heat 1tbs butter in pan on medium high

Dip sandwich into egg mixture flipping a few times then place in hot pan. Cook until brown about 3 minutes and flip. Cook other side until brown.

Perfect for brunch!

Oven Fried Fish and Spicy Grits

I love fish and grits, perferrably fried fish, but hate to think about the fat and hate more for my kitchen to smell like grease for days. I have a recipe for oven fried fish that is great. Paired with my spicy grits, this is a comforting meal.

fish of your choice (I have used catfish, tilapia, cod, mahi mahi)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs beaten with 2 tbs water
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko
3 tbs blackening seasoning
salt and pepper

Turn oven on 400 degrees and put rack at top level.
3 shallow dishes
    1. mix flour and 1 tbs seasoning
    2. mix beaten eggs and 1 tbs seasoning
    3. mix bread crums, parmesean cheese, panko, and 1 tbs seasoning
Brush baking sheet with oil generously and put in oven to heat.
Dry fish well, dip in flour, shake off excess, dip in egg, shake, dip in bread crumb mixture and lay onto hot baking sheet. Repeat with each fish and then place on 5 minutes, then flip each piece and put back in oven for 5 more minutes.

If you don't mind frying... use this preparation and just put in a shallow fry.

2 cups quick grits
6 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 can rotel
3 handfuls shredded cheddar.
1 tbs butter
1tsp pepper
1tbs salt

Bring water and milk to a boil. Add grits, salt, pepper, and rotel and return to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and let simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add butter and let simmer 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. If to thick add more milk. Add cheese and after 5 minutes turn heat off then serve.
Grits should be creamy and tender.
*Tip* when you first add the grits to the water, use a whisk to make sure you have no clumps. 

Sam's Trip

Yesterday I went on my quarterly trip to Sam's. The purpose is to get enough meat and fish to last at least 4 months. This sounds like it would be expensive, but I spent about $70 and alot of food.

Flank steak= cost $16 for 4 meals
9 Tilapia filets = cost $10  for 2 meals 
1 bag frozen tilapia breaded with italian seasoning for those quick nights cost $10 for 4 meals
Cod loins= cost $13 for 4 meals
frozen shrimp = cost $12 for 4 meals
bag frozen skinless chicken breast = cost $13  for 6 meals
pork loin = cost $12 for 4 meals

We eat meat and vegetables about 4 nights a week, the other are a salad or sandwich or out to dinner and sometime just for one of us. So this usually last me about 3 months. Compared to by meat regularly at the grocery store, go once like this to Sam's or Costco is a huge savings. Even the chicken is almost half the price.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coconut Cake

I love coconut cake and a recipe from Paula Deen is my favorite but takes a long time to make. I have made a shorter version that everyone goes crazy over.

1 package white cake mix
1 can coconut milk

1/2 unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup vanilla yogurt (I just use a container that I would eat)
4 tbs milk

Buttercream Icing from store (Publix has fresh made in bakery)
1 tbs coconut extract
2 cups coconut flakes

Follow directions according to cake box, but instead of water or milk use coconut milk. Bake in 2 round cake pans sprayed with nonstick spray and dusted with flour. Cool completely. Place one layer in center of cake stand.
*Tip* slide wax or parchment paper under edge to catch any icing and coconut, when you remove it your cake stand is clean!

Mix all ingredients for filling together. With the end of a wooden spoon or a wooden skewer punch holes in top of cake. Pour half filling onto cake and work into holes. Repeat with second layer.

Mix coconut extract into butter cream and then spread onto cake generously. Sprinkle coconut flakes on top of cake and press into sides.

Remove wax paper.
Bon Appetit!!

I have an idea for next time I make this cake that I want to share. I want to prepare instant coconut pudding to pile between the layers. I think it would be really good. For those of you who try this before I do. You would need to reduce the amount of liquid called for in the pudding to make sure it gets really thick and do it ahead of time so it has time to thicken and get cold. I like this cake cold anyway, but if you used the pudding it would have to stay refrigerated.
Let me know what you think!!

Honey Mustard Chicken and Steamed Cauliflower

Last nights dinner had to be quick. I always have a meat ready and this time it was chicken. I put together this quick marinade in the mourning and when I got home from work it was ready for me to cook. I just paired the chicken with steamed cauliflower (recipe found under steak dinner entry just substitute for broccoli).

3 chicken cutlets
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs honey
1 tbp oil

Put ingredients in plastic bag and let marinate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Heat 1 tbs oil in fry pan and cook chicken 5 minutes each side.

Super easy and delicious, Great for kids if you use chicken tenders!!

Breakfast Casserole #2

I had to make another breakfast casserole. This time for my husband and his friends for the weekend at the hunting club. This one is different than what I made for the church brunch (by the way a friend who was there said he didn't get any because it was gone!!) This was is more practical made with white bread and regular milk and canadian bacon

2 packs canadian bacon
14 slices white bread
3 cups milk
5 handful shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
6 eggs

Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, 1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Line a 13x9 baking dish with 8 slices bread. Layer with canadian bacon, then 2 handfuls of cheese. Remaining bread, layer of bacon. Pour milk mixture slowly over layers. Cover with foil and press down to allow milk to cover all of the bread and release. Top with remaining 3 handfuls for cheese and back cover for 40 minutes. Remove foil and back uncover 20 more minutes or until browned.

This recipe feeds 8, perfect for a week of breakfast for 2 of you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Every week I have that pile of left overs and things that have to be cook before they go bad. One way I make use of those items is with a soup called Ribollita. It is a variety of vegetables and even left over bread and it is delicious and satisfying. You can really put whatever you want in the stock, any left over vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, celery, spinach, cabbage, kale, wheat bread, white bread, old biscuits. You name it, is will probably work.. ask me if you are not sure!

The base is the same
4 slices bacon chopped (can even use ham if you add a little oil with it)
2 bulbs fennel chopped thins
2 onion chopped thin
6 cloves garlic or lots of garlic powder (1 tbs)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 28oz can italian tomatoes (diced, whole or stewed) can use regular and add italian seasoning.
1/2 cup fresh basil or 2 tsp dry
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or use bouillon cubes and water)

3 cups vegetables (fresh or frozen anything goes)
4 cups green (spinach, cabbage, kale, collards, etc...)
1 or 2 cans of white beans or red kidney beans if you have them (rinsed and drained)
4 cups bread cubed
parmesan cheese (optional)

Render bacon in large stockpot. Add fennel and onions and cook till tender. Add vegetables, tomatoes, greens, stock, and everything else except bread and basil, and beans. cook for 10-12 minutes add rest of ingredients and cook 10-12 minutes more. serve with sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Spicy Cheese meatloaf

1 pound ground beef (whatever your preference)
4 oz cream cheese broken into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 gloves garlic diced
1 large onion diced
4 stalks celery diced
1 can tomatoes with green chile
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 ketchup
Preheat oven 400 degrees. Saute onions, garlic, celery until softened then drain tomatoes (reserving liquid) and add to saute pan. In a large bowl add vegetables, beef, eggs, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese and cream cheese, salt, pepper, chilli powder, and cumin. Combine using hands until and then form into a loaf in a deep baking dish. 

Cook for 40 minutes. Mix tomato juice and ketchup and pour over top of meatloaf, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 10-15 more minutes or until internal temperature is at 180 degrees.

Flank Steak stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, and sun dried tomatoes

Who ever said steak dinner had to be expensive?! This recipe is great for a romantic dinner for 2 or for an impressive dinner for a group. Flank steak is so inexpensive. On the quarterly trip to Sams or Costco, it is always on my list. You buy the pack with 2 huge pieces of steak for around $15. This can be 4 meals for the two of you or enough to feed 8-10 with this recipe.

2 large Flank steaks
olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder
fresh spinach
8 oz package goat cheese (with herbs or plain and sprinkle in italian seasoning).
sundried tomatoes dry in salad section (something under fresh tomatoes)
                   *you can buy them packed in oil if you want
1/4 cup hot water
wooden skewer soaked in water or metal skewers

The most important thing is to tenderize by pounding the steak till its about 1/4 inch thick. Rub generously with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Next, place tomatoes in a bowl and pour hot water to cover. Let stand 15 minutes then drain and give a rough chop.

Heat grill to medium high

Lay flank steak out and spread goat cheese lengthwise evenly on both pieces. Thickly layer spinach, then layer tomatoes. Roll up tightly like a pinwheel seam side down. Before cutting insert skewers, to make center of each slice. (Inserting them first helps hold everything together while cutting). With a very sharp knife, gently cut between each skewer. It is very important that the slices are the same thickness so they cook evenly. (My end slices are always thicker, and I like to secure the end flaps with a toothpick to keep everything from falling out).
Time to grill. Place steak on hottest part of the grill and cook 4 minutes each side. Remove skewers carefully and serve.

If you like sauce to go with recipe, reserve a couple tbs of the goatcheese and the water from the sundried tomatoes and melt together in a pan, add some chicken or beef broth and let simmer till desired thickness.

I made this recipe for supper club a while back and they loved it. I served it with crock pot mac and cheese and string beans.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Once again I had to go to someone else's house for dinner last night. I brought crock pot macaroni and cheese. The easiest, cheesiest, most delicious mac and cheese.

8oz box elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 eggs beat
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
12 oz regular milk (fill evap milk can)
16 oz shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper

Mix all ingrediants together, pour into crockpot and cook for 3-31/2 hours on low and enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cream Cheese Brownies

I had to take a dessert to a 31 party on Saturday. I wanted to take something simple but not the ordinary so I decided on cream cheese brownies. I used Ghirardelli boxed browning mix and made a cream cheese topping to swirl into the batter. Super easy!

Make brownie batter according to package directions.
Pour batter into a pan.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 package (8oz) softened cream cheese with 1tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 cup sugar.

Dollop cream cheese mixture ontop of brownie batter and take a knife and swirl down the length on the pan then across the pan until the cream cheese is swirled throughout.

Bake according to brownie package directions and enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

I recently signed up for a cooking service at my church. My first assignment is to make breakfast casseroles for the leadership brunch this saturday. I love breakfast casserole and make it regularly for my husband and I. When I cook for other people calorie count goes out the window soo my usual made with canadian bacon, whole wheat bread, and 2% milk was not cutting it for this brunch. I came up with a recipe using buttermilk biscuits. I hope you like it!

8 refrigerated or frozen biscuits cooked to package directions
4 pieces white bread
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 eggs
1 pound maple sausage
salt and pepper
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown sausage in a pan and break into small pieces. Cut biscuits in half. Preheat oven 350 degrees

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, cream, 1tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. whisk together well. You don't want any egg whites in clumps. Now it time to assembly

In a casserole pan (it can be 13x9 or a smaller deeper one) layer bottom half of biscuits to completely cover (tear and stick into crack) top with layer 1/3 of sausage and 2 handfuls cheese. layer bread slices (not to cover, just to act as filler because this casserole likes to sink in the middle), sausage, then cheese, layer biscuit tops (dont worry about covering just arrange to look pretty) sausage, then cheese.
Pour egg mixture slowly over layers making sure to touch every inch. Lay foil over and press down to make sure liquid covers biscuit tops. (let them absorb a little then release) let sit for a few hours or over night in refrigerator or cook immediately. Cook covered with foil for 35 minutes, the uncover and cook for another 30 minutes until browned and when you pull at the middle no liquid bubbles out. Remove from oven let sit for 10-15 minutes to set and enjoy.

There are so many ways to make a breakfast casserole. It can be frenchtoast, chocolate, fruity, spicy, savory, less fattening... if you have and idea it will probably work. If you would like some more versions from me please leave a comment and I would love to share more.
Bon Appetit!! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Moon Pies

I was looking in the september issue of Food & Wine, along with tons of great recipes, there is one for chocolate peanut butter moonpies! My family is going to the mountains so I going to make these to send with them. The recipe makes fresh marshmallows but I used marshmallow cream you buy at the store. I am working on an alternative dough that will be easier (I'm thinking store bought snickerdoodle will work good).

2 sticks unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg,
2 1/4 cups all purpose plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt

marshmallow cream
4 ounces chocolate chips melted
1 cup chunky peanut butter
plus more for dusting
cocoa and cinnamon for dusting

Beat butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat at medium high until fluffy (3 minutes). Beat in vanilla and egg. Add flour and salt. Beat until soft dough form, but do not over beat. Divide the dough and pat into 1/3 inch think square, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven 300 degrees. rolls out dough on a floured surface to 1/8 thick. Stamp out rounds using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, (i usually use drinking glass about the same diameter). Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  (reuse the extra but first chill again in refrigerator). Chill the cookies on baking sheet 10 minutes then bake in top middle of oven for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Spread peanut butter on half the cookies and melted chocolate on other half. Ket set a couple minutes the spoon a large dollop of marshmallow cream in center on one half. Put halves together and press till marshmellow is at edge. Dust with cocoa, cinnamon, and powder sugar.Wrap individually and let set for 2 hours (cookies with soften).
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hall's Chophouse

Last night we had a company dinner at Hall's Chophouse. The best steakhouse in Charleston. For anyone who has not been there and those planning to visit Charleston, eating there is a MUST! There were 11 of us so I got to taste what everyone else ordered and all was delicious. Hall's has quickly grown to be the favorite of locals. When you walk through the doors you are welcomed by a smooth voice playing the piano and the hospitality of the entire Hall family. Even though they meet and greet hundreds everyday, they make you feel like an old friend genuinely delighted to have you come for dinner. Once seated, we were presented with the specials, Hall's cuts of highest quality beef. The variety ordered by my group included the rib eye aged for 45 days, petite filet oscar style, filet mignon with a horseradish cream sauce, roasted chicken, and filet of rib eye.  For Appetizers we had a seafood platter that included fresh oysters, rock shrimp, and crab legs. Choosing a salad is just as exciting as the beef. I had an amazing roasted beet salad with apples and a warm brie dressing. It was perfectly delicious. Others order the Hall's chop salad and the wedge salad which they devoured in delight. Fried green tomatoes and lump crab cakes were also enjoyed. Our steaks were served perfectly cooked and the family style sides were the perfect compliment; creamy mac and cheese, huge sweet potato fries, sweet and sour collards (amazing, unlike any you have ever tasted), and local butter beans. For dessert we had a praline cup filled with key lime ice cream, a peach and blueberry cobbler topped with vanilla bean ice cream, soft chocolate fudge with berry compote and fresh whipped cream, banana spilt, and vanilla bean creme brulee. They perfect ending to a perfect meal. That was not my first time at Hall's and it definitely won't be my last.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuna Salad

Yesterday, My husband and I went out on the boat with some friends. I wanted to take something hassle free and filling with us so I thought tuna salad for sandwiches would be perfect. Tuna Salad can be so boring but I think a couple ingredients like pickle relish and boiled eggs give it a major flavor boost.

6 small cans tuna in water
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp pickle relish
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 dashes onion powder
2 hard boiled eggs diced

Drain tuna and break up with fork. Add all the ingredients except eggs. and mix well. I like to use a fork to keep the mixture from being dense. Once combined check taste for salt and pepper. Fold in eggs. Chill before serving. If mixture dries out, mix in a little more mayo.

Cottage Cheese Muffins and Salmon BLT

I went out to supper with friends last night, so I did not cook dinner. I had a pint of cottage cheese I needed to use so I was thinking about how I could use it for breakfast. I have an amazing recipe for sour cream muffins. Since cottage cheese has alot of the same consistency and versatility I used that recipe to make a new one. Definitely a weekend calorie splurge.

The Muffins:
2 cups self rising flour
1 stick melted butter (prefer unsalted)
1 pint (16oz) cottage cheese

preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together till a wet sticky dough. Drop into muffin pan (little or big). bake until brown about 10 minutes. Taste best hot and I like to eat mine with jelly.

For those who would like to try the original sour cream muffins'
2 cups self rising flour
2 sticks melted butter
1/2 pint sour cream

The same as above.

I do not like to waste food so I always try to use my left overs mostly for lunch. I used they left over salmon to make salmon blts. What made this more than an ordinary salmon sandwich was the spread I made.

1 Tbs mayo per sandwich
1 tsp dry pesto mix

spread generously onto 2 pieces toasted bread
pile salmon is large chunks
top with 2 pieces crispy bacon (i like to use turkey bacon)
lettuce, then tomato.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tarragon Salmon

On my quarterly trips to Sams or Costco I always get a large filet of Salmon, ( they also sell Steelhead trout which is just like Salmon but usually cheaper. I just get the one less expensive and wild instead of farm raised). When I get home, I cut that one filet into 4 section, each section serving 2. The whole filet usually cost around $11-13. A great value!! I prepare Salmon several ways, my favorite had always been with dill and salt, but lately I have a new favorite which I had last night. Tarragon Salmon with a mixed greens salad

Preheat oven 400 degrees
Sprinkle Salmon (skin on) with salt, pepper, and tarragon (1 tsp for 2 servings)
place salmon on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray skin side down
Cook for about 15-20 minutes until the color has lighten all over.
Remove and let rest 5 minutes covered with foil. 

For the salad I made a dressing to compliment the fish
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp tarragon
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil

mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl till combined, vigorously whisk in oil until well combined and all one mixture. pour over mixed greens salad mix. Toss and Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Parmesan Spinach Omelet

Last night we went out for sushi. So instead of no post I figured I would share my breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Poptarts and Cereal are not enough in my house. I usually cook an egg sandwich, something high protein and low fat. You have to remember that when you wake up you may not feel hungry, but your body is starving! It hasn't eaten for 12 hours or more, usually. Your metabolism is running slow so eating a greasy fattening meal such as sausage, bacon, or a buttery muffins will be immediately absorbed as fat. You must eat lean protein to give you metabolism some thing to work on and give it a boost for the rest of the day. Eating something like a biscuit or muffin isn't good, because the carbs and sugar give your low blood sugar a spike that leaves you feeling tired in a couple of hours. This morning I made a spinach and parmesan cheese omelet. Here is how:

2 eggs per person (like to do 1 egg and 1 egg white or you can use eggbeaters)
1 cup fresh spinach (pull big stems off)
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
parmesan cheese (fresh grated) or any white cheese you have on hand
1 tsp water per 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs with salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and water. Cook spinach in a oven proof saute pan or omelet pan on medium just till warm and starting to wilt (add non stick spray if needed). Pour eggs on top of spinach and stir to distribute evenly. Once bottom has set, 1-2 minutes, put pan in the top of oven to cook the top, another 2 minutes or until no jiggle. Add cheese to melt. remove and slide on the plate and fold over. Wa-la a perfect delicious and healthy omelet to start your day right! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Steak Dinner

Every 3-4 months I go to Sams or Costco and stock up on fish, chicken, steak, pork tenderloin, and shrimp. I spend about $100 and when I get home I divide and freeze in portions for 2. Every morning I can grab a perfect portion of meat out of the freezer, put in the refrigerator, and when I get home from work it is ready to cook. Yesterday morning I pulled out Filet Mignon. One tip I always turn to is when cooking rich foods, such as a filet, you can go smaller in portions. I usually get 6 oz filets, which doesn't look like much, but when paired with a larger helping of vegetables you have a filling, satisfying meal without loading up on fat and calories.  Here is how i made it.

(2) 6 oz filet mignon sprinkles with salt, pepper and garlic
Heavy Skillet lighted rubbed with butter
1 tsp oil

side: steamed broccoli florets (frozen or fresh)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees. In the heay skillet, heat oil. When hot add filets (if doesn't immediately sizzle, not hot enough). cook 4 minutes each side or until browned. Put whole skillet in oven middle rack and bake for 10-13 minutes for medium. When steak has reached desired doneness, cover with foil (but allow heat to escape) and let it rest on counter for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile for broccoli, put about a 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the cayenne in the bottom of a medium saucepan. add 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water (about 1/2 cup) and add whole bag of broccoli (usually 9-12 oz). Turn on high and let steam for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

It is said that vegetables lose their nutrients when boiled, so I always broil, steam, grill, and add lots of spices in order to get the most of my food with out adding calories.

If you are the type of person (like my husband) who thinks steak sauce is a must. Avoid the calories and sugars in store bought sauce and make you own. Here is how:

Remove steak from skillet. Put skillet on burner on medium, add 1 cup stock (chicken, beef or vegetable) or 1 cup water and a bouillon cube to hot skillet and stir scrapping all the brown bits from bottom of skillet. (you can do half wine and 1/2 stock if you'd like) bring to a simmer and reduce liquid by half. salt and pepper to taste. spoon over steak. 

I would love to hear from anyone who reads and/or tries my recipes!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just the Beginning...Chicken and Tomatoes with Brussel Sprouts

I recently decided to blog about cooking. For my first post I want to introduce myself. I am Michaele (pronounced Michael) from charleston, South Carolina. I'm married to an amazing husband for 2 years and have the best dog in the world, a chocolate lab named Georgia (after the Bulldogs!! Go Dogs!!). My stress relief, my hobby, my enjoyment (aside for serving my Heavenly Father) is cooking. I love it!! I love the instant gratification of serving something delectable. I love sharing what I make with friends and family. I feel that everyone has talents and a means to serve others, I believe mine is with food. So I wanted to share it with whoever would listen, or in this case read. Nothing I do is hard!! NOTHING!! I have a full time job and an active social life, but I still cook 5 or 6 nights a week. Something simply, delicous, reasonably healthy, fast and affordable. All of my friends ask me for recipies or ask how I know what to buy at the store and how to plan dinners? This is my effort to show what I do and show that anyone can do it!! I promise. Take last night for my first shared recipie. It was super easy and probably cost $5 to serve my husband and I!!

Chicken Topped with Tomatoes side of brussel sprouts.
2 Frozen Chicken breast or 4 Chicken Cutlets
3 clove garlic or garlic powder
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic
1/2 bag thawed brussel sprouts or buy fresh cut in half
1 slice bacon cut into bite size pieces
salt and pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Defrost chicken or by fresh and lightly salt and pepper both sides. In a fry pan render bacon for about 5 minutes on medium low heat, add 2 gloves chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes until softened (or sprinkle powder generously over sprouts once you add them to bacon) add sprouts and toss in bacon fat until all are coated (if they look dry add a little oil and toss). Then dump sprouts onto large baking sheet in 1 layer and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees close to top.

Meanwhile, Heat 1 tablespoon any oil you want ( I use extra light Olive oil or canola oil) in same pan. Add 1 chopped garlic glove (if using garlic powder sprinkle it on the chicken generously). Add chicken to pan (if doesn't immediately sizzle then pan is not hot enough) cook chicken about 5 minutes each side or until browned. Then add can of tomotoes and cook 10 -15 miutes until some of the liquid is evaporated.

Pull brussel sprouts out of oven and chicken serve with chicken topped with tomotoes.

You will find that I do not cook alot of Carbs with my dinner, exept for the occasional pasta dish. But if you find a starch completes your meal, keep those minute rices on hand or that pasta in box for a quick starchy side.