Recent Recipes

Mango Curry Chicken (freezer meal)

Comments (0) | Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bear with me as I plan on attempting to improve my food photography skills. I've always concentrated on the taste and not so much the look. But as I continue with the blogging I've realized that presentation plays a huge part in a recipe's appeal. It's the reason I tend not to post unless I have a photo. But quality is where I fall short... I have a goal to improve... and I may someday reach it :)

As I've posted with a few past recipes, I absolutely LOVE to make meals to freeze. The convenience of pulling a homemade meal from the freezer is absolutely priceless to me. Of course I have my "go-to" freezer meals. The ones I know the family enjoys... ones that are easy to assemble and taste good too. So for this last freezer meal making mission I ventured out with a new one and was pleasantly surprised.

I will say that you need to have a bit of a taste for curry. While it's not overpowering, it's definitely there and, if you enjoy it, lends a nice touch to the flavor combo of the dish. Just whip up a batch of rice and some veggies and you've got yourself a gourmet meal!

Mango Curry Chicken

1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch ground cloves
4-5 chicken breasts cut lengthwise into thirds
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup store-bought mango chutney (such as Major Grey's)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken. Stir well to combine. Label and date a one-gallon resealable freezer bag. Place chicken and curry mixture in bag and seal. Freeze for up to three months.

To Cook: Thaw completely. Place chicken mixture in crockpot on LOW setting for 4 hours. OR Heat a skillet over medium heat, place chicken mixture in skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice and sprinkle with chopped cashews and chopped cilantro, if desired.

*Recipe courtesy of Dream Dinners by Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna*

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Raspberry Strippers

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I didn't give them the name... this is truly what they're called. And in all honesty, I just love answering when someone asks "oooh... what are these?"

One of my absolute favorite Cooking Light cookie recipes. A delicious shortbread type of cookie, filled with raspberry jam (in this case I used my mama's homemade peach raspberry and the recipe even says that apricot jam works well... really just use your favorite!) topped with an almond drizzle. I always make a double batch as these cookies tend to disappear fast!

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Taco Seasoning and Mexican Rice

Comments (2) | Wednesday, October 12, 2011

While reading a friend's blog, I ran across her posting for a DIY taco seasoning and realized it was the perfect time for me to post the one that I use. Especially since tacos were on the menu for the week anyway. I suppose it's true that making your own seasoning is healthier... no MSG and all that. But the truth is that I went searching frantically for a recipe when I was browning meat for tacos one evening and realized I hadn't bought any packaged seasoning. And so this became my go-to recipe and I now prefer it to the store-bought stuff. The Mexican Rice is a perfect pairing to any Mexican meal and tastes just like the stuff in the restaurants. Here's a secret *it's incredibly easy too!*

Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. each cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, sugar and cornstarch
1/2-3/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Brown 1 lb meat (I use lean ground beef or turkey.) Drain if necessary. Add seasoning and 1/4-1/2 cup water to meat. Heat 1-2 minutes longer or until slightly thickened.

Easy Mexican Rice

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup long grain rice
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup tomato sauce

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and cook until lightly browned. Add water and remaining ingredients. Cove and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

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Southwestern Eggs Benedict

Comments (2) | Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I've never poached an egg before. That's right... despite my culinary prowess, I have never... poached... an egg. But not for lack of faith. I knew I could do it. I just had to find the perfect recipe as I'm not one for poached eggs for an everyday breakfast. Joe's birthday seemed the perfect opportunity. I had torn this recipe out of one of my foodie magazines and had been waiting for the perfect time to try it out. He was thrilled and completely satisfied of course... he's always been my biggest fan.

Southwestern Eggs Benedict

4 medium red potatoes, cubed
3 Tbsp. water
1 small sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
2 tsp. olive oil
4 bacon strips, chopped and cooked
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup (or a little more :) shredded reduced fat mexican cheese blend
1 Tbsp. chopped green chilies

1 Tbsp. white vinegar
4 eggs
chopped plum tomatoes or prepared pico de gallo

Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until tender; drain. In a large skillet, saute pepper and onion in oil until onion is tender. Add the potatoes, bacon, salt and pepper; saute 8-10 minutes longer or until potatoes are lightly browned.

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for one minute or until thickened. Stir in cheese and chilies; cook and stir until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, place 2-3 inches of water in a large skillet with high sides; add vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently. Break cold eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup or saucer; holding the cup close to the surface of the water, slip each egg into water. Cook uncovered until the whites are completely set and the yolks are still soft, about 4-5 minutes. Divide potato mixture among 4 plates. Using a slotted spoon, lift eggs out of the water. Place on potato mixture. Top with sauce and tomatoes or pico de gallo.

*Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking*

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Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

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The flavor for this pork was so intense and delicious that when Joe gave his praises for a dinner well done, I had to brag about the fact that I had mixed up the spice rub myself (from a recipe of course.) He was thoroughly impressed and continued to rave about the tenderness and flavor. The kids devoured every bite too, along with the steamed zucchini and cranberry couscous that accompanied it.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/4 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup uncooked couscous

In a small bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients (with only 1/2 tsp salt, through cumin.) Reserve 1 tsp. of the spice blend and set aside. Rub the remainder over the pork tenderloin and place in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat gas grill to medium-high heat. Lightly coat grill rack with oil or cooking spray. Grill 14-15 minutes, turning twice, or until internal temperature registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Place chicken broth and onion in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in reserved rub, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, cranberries, and couscous; remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with pork.

*Recipe courtesy of Family Circle magazine*

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Herbed Cornmeal Crabcakes and Artichoke Spinach Salad

Comments (0) | Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh heavenly dinner of all dinners. This was fantastic. But as good as the crab cakes were, the ironic part was that the salad was probably the highlight of the meal. The roasted sweet potatoes were a great compliment to all the flavors as well. Such an accomplishment to create such a well rounded meal!

Herbed Cornmeal Crab Cakes

Cornmeal Coating:
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Crab Cakes:
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup minced chives
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. tartar sauce
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. celery salt
2 (6-oz) cans crabmeat, drained and flaked, cartilage removed
2 Tbsp. canola oil

In a shallow bowl, combine cornmeal coating ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, combine crab cake ingredients through celery salt. Fold in crab. Shape into 8 patties; coat with cornmeal mixture.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook crab cakes in oil for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Spinach Artichoke Salad

Combine 8 cups fresh baby spinach, 14-oz can water-packed artichoke hearts (chopped), 1 cup dried cranberries, 3/4 cup candied walnuts or pecans (found in the nut aisle specifically for salads) and 4 chopped green onions. Toss with 1/3 cup reduced fat raspberry vinaigrette (I used Annie's brand). Sprinkle with 3/4 cup crumbled feta. YUM!

*recipes courtesy of Taste of Home and Taste of Home Healthy Cooking*

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Hummus and Pita Chips

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I've been wanting to try this recipe that I came across in the Disney Family Fun magazine and finally got up the motivation (and the supplies) to do it. Brendan was incredibly excited about making the hummus but even more so about homemade chips!


1 lemon
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
olive oil and chopped parsley for garnish

Slice the lemon in half and juice it. Measure 1/4 cup juice and pour into blender or food processor. Add chickpeas, tahini, vegetable oil, cumin, cayenne, salt and water. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally. (at this point Brendan exclaimed "Mommy look! It's starting to look like real hummus!") Transfer to a small bowl or shallow platter and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and set aside. (it can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours.)

Pita Chips

6 pita breads
1/4 cup olive oil
garlic salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Separate the two round halves by poking a hole in the seam and tearing along the edges. Use small cookie cutters or cut into 2-inch squares. Place on baking sheets and brush tops (or spray with olive oil sprayer) with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for 7 minutes or unitl lightly browned. Let cool on pans on wire racks. Store leftovers in resealable bag.

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