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 allrecipes.com.

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:

Allrecipes.com . Recipes are submitted by users and you can sort by highest rated dishes
FoodNetwork.com . Great recipes from great chefs
Skinnytaste.com . Healthy, easy and I love the beautiful recipe pics
Epicurious.com . If you're looking for something a bit different or more gourmet
Tastykitchen.com . 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 AllRecipes.com

Asian-Glazed Chicken

This recipe comes from one of my all-time favorite websites: Skinnytaste.com. 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.