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!