Sep 22, 2011

Pinterest = Delicious

Have you joined the Pinterest army? Are you pinning in your sleep?

If you use Pinterest, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

If not? Then prepare to be initiated into this quirky, fun, highly-addictive culture of pins, boards and re-pins, from which your world will never be the same.

Pinterest is an enormous online pin-board. A place to keep the mountains of links, photos and ideas you find online. In addition to the things you pin, you have the ability to see what others are pinning, follow their pin-boards and re-pin others’ pins. You can click here to get the lowdown.

Why am I singing the praises of Pinterest on Simple . Chic . Savory, a cooking blog? Because there are bucket loads of amazing recipes being pinned and shared. The site features a search tool which you can use to search for anything—including recipes. If you’re like me and e-mail yourself recipes or bookmark them in your web browser, Pinterest is also a great alternative. You can create pin-boards to organize your recipes in one place online.

Follow me on Pinterest at

Sep 13, 2011

Insanely-Easy Oven Fried Chicken

Easy, delicious and quick. This chicken was perfect.

Insanely-Easy Oven Fried Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 2 egg whites, beaten lightly
  • 3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spread thin coat of olive oil in bottom of baking dish
  • On one plate, place lightly beaten egg whites
  • On a separate plate, mix potato flakes, salt, Mrs. Dash and pepper
  • Dip chicken into egg whites and then into the dish containing the potato mixture.
  • Place in the coated baking dish
  • Using either a kitchen oil sprayer or simply a drizzling method, lightly spray the top of the chicken with a bit of olive oil (this helps it crisp and keep from burning)
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is fully-cooked

Sep 11, 2011

Coconut-Garlic Shrimp and Rice

Coconut-Garlic Shrimp and Rice

This recipe was inspired by a dish I recently saw online. The idea of the flavors really spoke to me, so I played around with some ingredients and ended up with a fantastic, one-pot meal. Beware sensitive tongues, it was a bit spicy. You could certainly omit the red pepper flakes and it would be much more mild. Enjoy!


2 tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper, chopped

1 banana pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup chopped onion

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried cilantro

Sea salt

1 pound pre-cooked shrimp (thawed)

14-ounce can of coconut milk (reduced fat)

14-ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chilis

1 ½ cups instant brown rice


In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add green peppers, banana pepper, garlic and onion. Sautee for 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, cilantro and salt. Stir to combine. Add shrimp, coconut milk, diced tomatoes and brown rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while covered for 20-25 minutes until you reach a stew or jambalaya-like consistency.

Sep 6, 2011

Currently Craving

Here are a few things my kitchen is currently craving:

These adorable condiment spoons from Crate and Barrel.

Epicurean Pizza Cutter from Williams Sonoma. We make pizza nearly weekly and I love the idea of slicing it with this rustic tool.

The ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer. Today is National Coffee Ice Cream Day. Pretty sure this would be amazing for whipping up a cold treat. It's always a good time for ice cream.

Vintage kitchen towels. I have a set my husband's late grandma made for us and I cherish them. However, I just can't bring myself to use them. Perhaps I'll try to make a set like these for myself.

Aug 16, 2011


I wanted to share my new-found love for orzo. It's such a versatile, satisfying side dish. I can't believe I've waited so long to try it.

So far, we've made it adding Italian cheeses; served it cold as an orzo salad; and prepared it (as seen above) mixing roasted red peppers, olive oil, sea salt and feta.

I don't generally follow a recipe, but I plan to do so and share them here. I simply follow the cooking suggestion on the package and get creative with whatever add-ins I happen to have in my fridge and pantry.

I hope you'll find this suggestion useful, as the same old sides can leave a lot to be desired. Do you have any orzo recipe suggestions? I would love to hear them.

Skillet Rosemary Chicken

I would like to thank the ultra-fabulous website, Pinterest, for bringing this recipe into my life. If you haven't checked out Pinterest, I would highly recommend it.

The recipe comes from a blog called Minimally Invasive. It was simply delicious and will definitely be making future appearances in my kitchen.

I modified the recipe a bit, as we're a "no-mushroom" family. I added more potatoes instead.

Skillet Rosemary Chicken lightly adapted from Food Network

3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
Kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)
ounces cremini mushrooms, halved (I left these out and added more potatoes!)

Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet, place chicken over mushrooms and potatoes and drizzle with any marinade remaining in the bowl and the juice of the remaining lemon.

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Aug 10, 2011

Blond Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting

This Blond Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting recipe is from my Betty Crocker Cookies cookbook, and can also be found online.

This is the second time I've baked these blondies and they are without a doubt, a new favorite in our home.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. In ungreased 13x9-inch pan, spread batter evenly.
  2. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  3. In 2-quart saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter over low heat. Stir in 2/3 cup brown sugar; cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk; cook until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing well with spoon after each addition, until smooth and spreadable. If necessary, add more milk, a few drops at a time. Spread frosting over brownies. Immediately sprinkle with pecans. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.
Makes 36 brownies

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving (1 Brownie)

  • Calories 150
    • (Calories from Fat 50),
  • Total Fat 6g
    • (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g,
    • Trans Fat 0g),
  • Cholesterol 25mg;
  • Sodium 80mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 23g
    • (Dietary Fiber 0g,
    • Sugars 19g),
  • Protein 1g;

Aug 9, 2011

Mango Salsa

This recipe couldn't be easier. It was really just an experiment. An experiment that turned out deliciously!

Here are the ingredients I used--all of which I totally eyeballed, so measurements are approximate. This is definitely a forgiving, adaptable recipe, so play around with more or less of certain ingredients, depending on your taste.

Two mangoes, finely chopped.
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped OR several slices of the "jarred" variety of jalapenos, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Juice of half a fresh lemon
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy. Beware, this stuff is addictive!

Jul 4, 2011

Great Gadget: Julienne Peeler

I am loving my Zyliss Julienne Peeler! A sucker for any type of kitchen gadget (especially gadgets that come in bright colors!), I had to try this when I saw it at my local Marshall's store.

It will give you a great Julienne cut on nearly any veggie. I've found it especially helpful for carrots. You can purchase it a number of places online, including The Gourmet Depot.

Happy Fourth of July!

Jun 28, 2011

Homemade Calzones

There really isn't a recipe attached to this dish, I just made it up as I went. And it was delicious.

I started with a bag of dry pizza dough mix, which made two calzones. Next, I rolled out the dough (preparing it according to the package) into two large ovals. Toward the end of the oval, but not too close to the edge, as you'll want to allow room to close the calzone, begin adding fillings. I used pizza sauce, mozzarella, browned ground turkey, Italian seasoning and garlic, onions and red peppers which I had lightly sauteed first. Fold one end of the dough over the other (the end with the filling) and close by crimping the edges with a fork. Finally, I sprayed the outside with olive oil and baked at 400 degrees until lightly golden. I also misted my calzones with more olive oil about half-way through the cooking process.

These calzones were delicious, simple and can be made with any combination of ingredients. Get creative!

Grands! Monkey Bread

Photo above courtesy of Grands!

This is not a low-cal recipe. Or fancy. But it is delicious. The recipe is courtesy of Grands! and can be found here. This is a great dish for breakfast when you have house guests. It's quick, easy and doesn't leave you doing a ton of work in the kitchen while your guests chit-chat. I've made it several times and it never fails. Enjoy.

Grands! Monkey Bread
Prep Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Min

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired (we have a raisin-hater in our house, so we leave these out!)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. 2 Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces. 3 In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces. 4 Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (1 Serving)

* Calories 450
o (Calories from Fat 200),

* Total Fat 22g
o (Saturated Fat 11g,
o Trans Fat 4 1/2g),
* Cholesterol 30mg;
* Sodium 890mg;
* Total Carbohydrate 58g
o (Dietary Fiber 0g,
o Sugars 31g),
* Protein 5g;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Jun 27, 2011

Fruits and Vegetables: What's in Season?

If you're like me and can't get enough fresh fruits and vegetables, you may want to check out's list of what's in season during the months of June, July and August. I've brought the list to my blog just for you:

  • Apricots
  • Asian Pear
  • Beets
  • Black Currants
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Breadfruit
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Cantaloupe
  • Casaba Melon
  • Champagne Grapes
  • Chayote Squash
  • Cherries
  • Cherries, Sour
  • Corn
  • Crenshaw Melon
  • Crookneck Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Durian
  • Eggplant
  • Elderberries
  • Endive
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Green Beans
  • Green Soybeans (Edamame)
  • Honeydew Melons
  • Jackfruit
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Key Limes
  • Lima Beans
  • Limes
  • Loganberries
  • Longan
  • Lychee
  • Manoa Lettuce
  • Mulberries
  • Nectarines
  • Olallieberries
  • Okra
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peaches
  • Peas
  • Persian Melon
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Sapodillas
  • Sapote
  • Shallots
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar Apple
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatillo
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Winged Beans
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Zucchini
I'll take some of each, thank you.

May 2, 2011

Banana Bread Muffins

This recipe is from a Cooking Light cookbook I've had for ages. The recipe makes the bread in a loaf pan, but I put mine into muffin tins. I like the portability (and one-portion mentality) the muffins provide. The bread had great flavor and wasn't dry despite being "light." Enjoy.

Classic Banana Bread (Muffins!)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 350°.
-Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
-Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. -Cool completely on wire rack.

Cooking Light

Burger and Fries Night

I crave hamburgers. What I don't crave? The pounds eat-in or drive-through burgers can pack on. Try creating your own "Burger Night" at home instead. You'll save money and calories.

For your burger:
  • Try to use the leanest ground beef or turkey possible. (I like 93/7)
  • Look for reduced-calorie or whole grain buns. Sara Lee makes some great 45-calorie buns!
  • Toppings! Get creative with your toppings. Try pickles, lettuce, gourmet mustards, low-calorie cheese or other veggies.
  • To make healthy fries, cut baking potatoes into sticks (I like skins on!)
  • Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  • Drizzle or spray with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with pepper and some Mrs. Dash or salt.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Apr 26, 2011

Easy Beef Stroganoff

This is my own recipe for Beef Stroganoff. With a little experimenting, I finally found a version I love. It's hearty and provides a home-cooked, I-worked-on-this-all-evening taste without all the work! I served mine over whole wheat penne with a garden side salad. Enjoy.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef stew meat (pre-cubed)
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups light sour cream
2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Pre-cooked egg noodles or whole wheat pasta (to accompany Stroganoff)

Season beef with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to season the oil and cook until golden. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about five minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside in a bowl/plate. Add the onions to the pan. Cook until lightly-golden, stirring and adding 1/4 cup of beef broth to deglaze the pan (pick up all the delicious bits stuck on the pan!). Stir in the remaining broth and add the beef with any of its juices to the skillet and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir in the sour cream. Next, while still simmering/boiling, add the dissolved cornstarch and begin to stir. This should thicken the sauce. Stir in the Italian seasoning. Serve over noodles.

Apr 20, 2011

Sage Pork Chops

Sage Pork Chops
If you love pork chops, I urge you to try this recipe. If you don't love pork chops, I urge you to try this recipe.

Forget tough, chewy pork chops. This recipe is one we make on a regular basis and they always, always turn out moist and tender.

I've served this dish with potatoes, Brussels sprouts and steamed vegetables in the past. Any of those sides make good company.

The recipe comes from

Sage Pork Chops


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 center cut bone-in pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  1. Combine the salt, sage and black pepper in a small bowl and rub on both sides of the chops. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute the chops for 5 minutes per side, or until well browned.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate small saucepan over high heat, combine the water and the bouillon and stir until bouillon dissolves. Add this to the chops, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer chops for 45 minutes.

Apr 11, 2011

Recipes and Inspiration

Looking for recipes and inspiration? Finding that you know which dish you'll be fixing based on what day it is? It can be difficult to get out of a cooking rut.

When I need recipes or simply inspiration to cook, here are a few of my favorite resources:

Websites . Recipes are submitted by users and you can sort by highest rated dishes . Great recipes from great chefs . Healthy, easy and I love the beautiful recipe pics . If you're looking for something a bit different or more gourmet . Great recipes from a site started by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond

Magazines and Print
Food Network Magazine . Glossy photos, great recipes
Cooking Light . Lightened-up versions of great meals
Taste of Home Magazine . Loads of recipes, tips and info
Cookbooks . I scour every cookbook I can get my hands on

Apr 6, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is yet another divine recipe from Skinny Taste. I made this for a dinner party with friends and have now made it twice (making it into my meal rotation means high marks). When I first baked this, I was worried about it being cooked all the way through. If you use a meat thermometer, you shouldn't have any worries. I cooked mine for the allotted time and until the internal temperature reached 160 degrees and it comes out perfect every time.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Makes: 12 pieces • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5.5 pts
Calories: 222.7 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 28.4 g • Carb: 5.2 g • Fiber: 0.6 g

* 4 chicken breast halves
* 2 large eggs
* 1 tbsp water
* 3/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs (I like 4C)
* 12 slices thin lean deli ham
* 12 slices reduced fat Swiss cheese (I used Sargento)
* salt
* spray oil
* toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350°.

Slice chicken breast halves into thin cutlets. I usually get 3 thin cutlets out of one breast half. Pound them to make them thinner if you wish. This helps when you wrap the cutlets.

Cut each slice of cheese into squares and stack on top of each other. Place a slice of ham on top of the chicken, top with cheese and wrap chicken around to completely cover cheese, using toothpicks to secure. (Make sure no holes so cheese doesn't leak out) Season with a little salt.

Whisk egg and water to make an egg wash. Dip chicken into egg wash, then breadcrumbs.

Spray cookie sheet with oil and place chicken on cookie sheet. Lightly spray chicken with oil and bake about 25 minutes, until cooked.

Apr 5, 2011


If you're not much of a baker, muffins are a great (easy) way to expand your skills. When I first began cooking and baking, I experimented with a few muffin recipes. One of those being Morning Glory Muffins. These are incredible and make excellent breakfast treats.

If you're not much of a baker, muffins are a great (easy) way to expand your skills. When I first began cooking and baking, I experimented with a few muffin recipes. One of those being Morning Glory Muffins. These are incredible and make excellent breakfast treats.

Morning Glory Muffins

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/4 cups white sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups shredded carrots
* 1/2 cup raisins (I used Craisins)
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
* 1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, coconut, and apple.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
For something new, I recently tried a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe. I. Am. In. Love. These were fantastic. My husband, who is a discriminating "sweets" eater, absolutely loved them.

* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2 eggs
* 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Nutritional Information open nutritional information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 197 | Total Fat: 7.7g | Cholesterol: 35mg

Both recipes come from

Asian-Glazed Chicken

This recipe comes from one of my all-time favorite websites: Not only is it healthy and simple, but it is absolutely delicious.

The only modification I made to the recipe was to add a bit of cornstarch (dissolved first in water) to the sauce to allow it to thicken faster at the end of the recipe.

I'd also love to try this with chicken breasts, rather than the drumsticks. It was divine.

Asian Glazed Drumsticks
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks Points: 5 ww pts
Calories: 213 • Fat: 4.7 g Protein: 27.5 g Carb: 12.7 g Fiber: 0.4 g
  • 8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • Pam spray oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Apr 2, 2011

Chicken with White Beans and Brown Rice

This has been--by far--one of the best Mexican-inspired dishes I've made in a while. I made the recipe for two, but it can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more. I highly recommend topping it with the sour cream, which added a cool, creamy element to the dish's spice. Enjoy.

Chicken with White Beans and Brown Rice
Servings: 2

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large (or two small) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16 ounce) can Northern beans (drained)
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup brown rice (cooked according to package—enough to make two servings)

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add red pepper flakes.
2. Next, add onion and garlic, cooking until onion is tender.
3. Add chicken and stir until cooked.
4. Lower heat to medium, and add oregano and cumin. Cook for about one minute.
5. Add beans, chicken broth, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Use a spatula to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the skillet (this will give your bean mixture flavor!)
6. Heat through, stirring occasionally.

Serve over the rice you pre-prepared. Eat as-is or top with a dollop of sour cream and some green onions.

Mar 28, 2011

Simple Shepard's Pie

This is a healthier version of traditional Shepard's Pie. I baked this on a chilly evening and it couldn't have been more delicious.

Shepard's Pie

  • 4 large potatoes, cubed, boiled and drained
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika (for topping)
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 can green beans (I used french cut), drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • salt and pepper
Boil potatoes in water until cooked. Drain, then mash with with the chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large pan begin to brown meat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Before completely cooked, add onion, garlic, celery and carrots (allowing to begin cooking a bit before going into the oven). Continue to saute until meat is thoroughly cooked. Add flour, salt and pepper to the meat and veggie mixture and mix well. Add the green beans, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, and thyme and mix well. Simmer on low for 3 to 4 minutes.

Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before digging in.

Mar 17, 2011

Asian Slaw

I found this recipe in the Parade section of my Sunday newspaper. It was simple, delicious, healthy and pretty. I thought it was even better the next day.

Asian Slaw


4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1⁄3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1¼ tsp Asian sesame oil
½ tsp sriracha (see below)
¼ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp sesame seeds or chopped peanuts (optional)

1. Toss cabbage, carrots, onion, and salt in a bowl. Season with pepper.
2. Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, sesame oil, sriracha, and sugar until smooth. Taste; add pinch of salt if needed.
3. Pour dressing over shredded vegetables and toss to combine. Serve slaw immediately or chill for a few hours, tossing again before serving. Finish with a shower of sesame seeds or some chopped peanuts, if desired.

Serves: 4

Per serving: 70 calories, 8g carbs, 1g protein, 3g fat, 360mg sodium, 2g fiber, no cholesterol

Thanks to Parade for the great recipe.

We served ours as a side to grilled Asian chicken kebabs with red peppers. My husband used Hoisin sauce to brush them with before grilling.

I must have been too hungry after we grilled them, because the only photo I took was before they went on the grill!

Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Making homemade strawberry sauce is simple. I like making my own because it's so simple and I can experiment.

Start with a few cups of strawberries--or any berries for that matter--in a saucepan.

Add a half-cup of granulated sugar, two tablespoons of water and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract.

Stir until combined. Heat over medium burner until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer--stirring occasionally, until berries have broken down and sauce has thickened.

You can serve this hot or put it in a container in the refrigerator to chill. I really like it hot over angel food cake with whipped topping. Enjoy!

Feb 24, 2011

Simple Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a misunderstood vegetable. To many, their name evokes thoughts of strong-smelling, mushy, over-cooked little veggies their mother (overcooked) and fed to them as a child.

If it's been a while since you've met a Brussels sprout, I challenge you to do so with the following recipe. Easy, delicious and quick, this recipe will change the way you think about these tiny, green friends.

If that isn't enough convincing, Brussels sprouts are also a great source of nutrition. Check out these stats from Nutrition benefits: Low fat; saturated fat free; very low sodium; cholesterol free; low calorie; good source of dietary fiber; high in vitamin C; good source of folate.

Simple Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced (remove the hard end with your knife first)
1 large shallot, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet on medium heat . Add Brussels sprouts, shallot and garlic . Sautee for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently until sprouts are slightly softened but still hold a bit of crunch (they should retain a pretty green color) . Be careful not to overcook . Add salt and pepper to taste . Serve and enjoy

Jan 25, 2011

Tangy Guacamole

Lately, I've been wrestling with finding a satisfying guacamole recipe. And at times I've felt like I was wrestling in it (because it can be messy, get it?).

Both my husband and I really like a basic, tangy guacamole. Not too complex, not too spicy. After some experiementation, I think I've got it. Enjoy.

Simple . Chic. Savory Tangy Guacamole

Four ripe avocados (taken out of skin, pit removed)
1 medium shallot, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Salt (to taste, I added about 1/2 to 1 tsp)
Pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl, add all ingredients. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. (I like mine fairly smooth) . Enjoy with tortillas, on top of burgers or with a spoon (yes, it's that good!). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Jan 21, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Restaurant-Style Salsa

Nope, this isn't my recipe, but it's the best salsa I've ever made at home. It's easy, quick and you make it in the blender.

Trust me. You'll need a second bag of tortilla chips.

Get the recipe here.