Friday, December 5, 2008

Turkey Tetrazzini

To make use of some of our left over Thanksgiving turkey we decided to make some delicious Turkey Tetrazzini. I say "we" but it was really the man of the house who made this dish! My Nana used to make turkey tetrazzini all the time, I swear she'd roast a whole turkey just to make tetrazzini. She used spaghetti, but Emeril's recipe called for egg noodles. This dish wasn't exactly like Nana's, but it was definitely tasty!

Start by sauteing the red bell pepper and onions in butter in a large dutch oven. Add garlic, mushrooms, Essence, and thyme. Cook until mushrooms are soft...about 6 minutes. This part smelled great!
Sprinkle with flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and chicken stock and cook stirring until smooth, about 2 more minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

After the sauce has thickened add the cooked egg noodles, turkey, parsley, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir until mixed. Transfer to a buttered baking dish. And here comes my favorite part....
Cover the whole thing in crushed potato chips (for those of you who live in New England--my favorite kind of potato chips are Wachusett Brand. I really like their sour cream and onion, but we used their regular flavor here...they are small bags and are usually sold 2 for $3. Can't go wrong). Bake the whole thing uncovered at 375 for 3o minutes or until bubbly and golden brown! This was a winner at our house. We ate the entire thing! For the complete recipe, click HERE.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

BB; Mexican Chicken Soup

This week's Barefoot Bloggers challenge was Ina's Mexican Chicken Soup chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats. I have made other versions of similar soups in the past, but this one is probably the best. It was perfect for the rainy New England weather we've been having.
The soup starts with carrots, celery and onions sauteing in a pan. Let that go until the onions brown. Then add garlic for 30 seconds, then proceed and add tomatoes, chicken stock, jalapeno peppers, cumin, coriander seed, (I skipped the cilantro), and fresh corn tortilla strips. Let that simmer for 25 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, roast chicken breasts in a 350 degree oven. The recipe calls for bone in, skin on breasts, but after my husband went to two stores to find them with no luck, we used boneless, skinless breasts. They worked fine. After the chicken is cooked, shred and add to soup. I think the breaking down of the tortillas added to the depth of the soup. We ate this Monday night, Tuesday night and I brought a little for lunch on Wednesday. Thanks Judy for picking a great recipe for before Thanksgiving....easy and not too heavy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Bake Chocolate Cookies

So, this isn't the prettiest picture and with it almost my bedtime (9pm...haha) this is all I'm going to upload. I needed a quick, finger type dessert option for Thanksgiving, and No Bake Chocolate Cookies came to mind. These are so easy and require no electric mixer or oven. Perfect for making while the little one is sleeping.

No Bake Chocolate Cookies:

In a sauce pan melt 1 stick of butter, two cups of sugar, 1/2 cup milk, and 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add 3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Stir to combine and drop onto waxed paper covered cookie sheets. Let rest until set. Enjoy!
They are perfect with a nice gallon of milk!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cowboy Spaghetti

This is a Rachael Ray recipe, that believe it or not, I had never made before having it at a friend's house for dinner. We instantly loved this dish and had to make it at home. The spaghetti is tossed in a sauce with ground meat, fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, hot sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and tomato sauce. To finish the dish toss with crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and scallions.

The sauce has a nice flavor, different from your traditional spaghetti sauce. And, as you know, anything tastes better with bacon! We used Pastene brand spaghetti and if you've never tried the Pastene line of pastas, you need to. So worth the little extra money. I highly recommend making this dish. Our almost two year old loved you know it's good. You can find the recipe in its entirety HERE.

Friday, November 14, 2008

BB; Herb Roasted Onions

This week's challenge for the Barefoot Bloggers was chosen by Kelly of Baking with the Boys. She chose Ina's simple and delicious Herb Roasted Onions. I had every intention of making these yesterday and actually posting them on the "due" date, however, when I got home from the grocery store I realized, much to my dismay, that I had forgotten a bag of food at the store. I frantically called the this bag also contained a few new spice containers which cost a pretty penny....they had my bag...phew! So, I went back today and retrieved my bag, which also contained the onions and lemon. So, there you have it, one day late! Moving on...I want to thank Kelly for picking such a great, easy recipe. These smelled great and now so does my house.
The onions are tossed in a marinade consisting of lemon, mustard (I used a stone ground variation), fresh thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and oil. Then the onions are roasted in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. After removing them from the oven, drizzle with left over marinade. We had already eaten dinner by the time I made these, but we did still snack on a few bites. Thanks, Kelly!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken Chili

Last weekend's dinner was another Ina favorite; her Chicken Chili. Once we found and tried this recipe a few years back, it has become a staple in our house once the weather starts to get a little cooler. This chili is lighter than its meat and beans counterpart, so have an extra helping!

Onions are sauteed, then added to them is garlic, red and yellow peppers, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, crushed plum tomatoes, and basil. This simmers for about 30 minutes then baked, shredded chicken is added and simmered for 20 minutes. It comes together easily and makes enough for company...

...or for left overs the next night! We enjoyed ours topped with sour cream and shredded cheddar. If you haven't made this recipe yet, you really should. A+ Ina!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Well, the day is finally here....Halloween! We did a costume run though last night (you can see the jammies sticking out the bottom). The "baby" is 21 months old and is a bat this year. I must have taken 10 pictures and most of them were of him crying because he thinks he's ready to use the camera...silly man! Hopefully he scores mommy and daddy some good candy tonight!

And for food....this dish is from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals cookbook. It's called Sesame Ginger Pork with Soba Noodles and it's delicious and quick to prepare. It calls for soba noodles but I use whole wheat spaghetti instead and have had great results. I also double the water chestnuts because I like them. Everything else is pretty much the same. So, if you like pork, ginger, sesame, soy sauce and noodles...this dish is for you!
Have a great Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

7 Things Meme and an Award

I want to thank Cat, of the Cat's Pajama's for tagging me with a 7 Things Meme. After some careful consideration, here are my results:

7 things I’ve done before
1. Worked at an embroidery shop
2. Played college field hockey
3. Pierced my nose, belly button, tongue and got a tattoo (the only thing remaining is the tattoo)
4. Touched a car cigarette lighter to see if it actually gets hot (it does!)
5. Made my little sister eat dog food
6. Cut 14 inches off my hair and donated to Locks of Love
7. Given Birth

7 things I do now
1. Work for a fortune 500 company
2. Take care of my husband, dog and toddler plus work full time
3. Read CNN on a daily basis
4. Take a commuter bus to work to save on gas and pollution
5. Vacuum my house every day
6. Sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at least 50 times daily
7. Read food blogs and magazines

7 things I want to do

1. Completely remodel my kitchen
2. Eat more fruit and vegetables
3. Own a Mercedes
4. Go to Hawaii
5. Read more books—or at least one book
6. Make a scrapbook
7. Help my husband build a brick oven in the back yard

7 things that attract me about the opposite sex
1. Strong commitment to all things
2. Desire to succeed
3. Playfulness
4. Gray hair
5. Sense of adventure
6. Always having an answer to all my silly questions
7. Willing to admit and correct mistakes

7 favorite foods
1. Chimichangas
2. Sweet and Sour chicken from my favorite Chinese restaurant
3. Spaghetti and meatballs
4. Nachos
5. McDonald’s milk shake
6. Cereal
7. Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes

7 things I say most often
1. Come on
2. Seriously?
3. Yikes
4. Bummer
5. I’m going to punch you in the gut bag
6. This may or may not hurt
7. You’re on my short list

And, I'd again like to thank Cat for giving me the I Love You This Much Award! Cat's blog is always filled with great recipes and she's not afraid to share a story or two! I love reading her blog, and if you don't already read it, check it out HERE! So, with that said, I'd like to pass this award on as well as tag the following with the 7 Things Meme. I read these blogs on a daily basis. They are wonderful and inpirational. Check them out!

Courtney of Cooking Up Family

Josh and Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod

Melissa of It's Melissa's Kitchen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Last week while reading Prudy's blog Prudence Pennywise (as I'm sure many of you read as well) I was inspired to make her Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chicken. I have said this before, and I'll say it again, I'm always looking for easy to prep recipes during nap time, that still taste great and aren't cold by the time the husband gets home. After running to soccer then the grocery store I was able to whip this up in no time. Thanks, Prudy! This recipe is a winner.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chicken (tacos) from Prudence Pennywise. You can find Prudy's exact recipe HERE, as well as check out her mouth watering photos. For my measurements see below:
3lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
Two cans petite diced tomatoes in their juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon (eyeball) crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon (eyeball) cumin
1/2 teaspoon (eyeball) chili powder
Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on bottom and season with pepper. Stir in tomatoes, brown sugar and spices. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high4-6 hours.
I served ours taco style with corn tortillas and all the taco fixings. I've made enough chicken to use in several other dishes for the remainder of the week.
So, thanks again Prudy for another fantastic dish. This one will be a keeper at my house!

Monday, October 27, 2008

BB; Vegetable Pot Pie

Last week's Barefoot Bloggers Challenge was Ina's Vegetable Pot Pie chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. This was a perfect choice. When I originally saw this recipe in my cookbook I was a bit apprehensive because I'm not a fennel or asparagus fan. But, after deciding to give this a go, a few substitutions later, we had the perfect Sunday lunch.
Our filling consisted of the following right from Ina's recipe, potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, pearl onions and sliced onion. We chose to omit the fennel and substituted green beans for the asparagus. We also left out the Pernod, used MUCH less butter and fat free half and half in replace of the cream. The end result....a perfectly golden delicious pot pie...and it didn't even need the meat! Thanks Deb, for choosing such a great recipe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Here I go again, posting another half eaten picture, and come to think of it, this picture is horrible. It doesn't do justice to this wonderful (and easy) soup. This Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup comes from the Cooking Light Magazine and we've made this at least ten times. With the temps dropping to almost freezing in these parts nothing warms you up at night like a nice bowl of homemade soup.

This soup is a take on the classic, using a rotisserie chicken (if you don't have left overs), carrots, celery, onion and egg noodles. A little evaporated milk is added at the end to boost the creaminess. This makes for great lunches--so I always make extra. Be sure to serve with some nice crusty bread. You can find the recipe in it's entirety here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Chicken

This has got to be one of the easiest meals to prepare and the results are fantastic. This recipe comes from the Everyday Food Magazine by Martha Stewart and we've made this several times. I am constantly looking for quick meals I can prepare during "nap" time that will hold until the husband gets home at night. This one does the trick.

All you have to do is mix dry beans with a jar of salsa, a few chipotle chiles (I like to add a little extra of the smoky sauce), flour and a cup of water in the bottom of your slow cooker. Then arrange boneless, skinless chicken thighs on top. On top of chicken dump chopped onion, and red pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. That's it! Dinner in a snap! You can find the entire recipe here, in case you didn't like my "mix this", "dump this" version.

I served mine with low fat sour cream on top, but I bet this would made a great nacho topping!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Real Spaghetti and Meatballs

A friend of mine recently had a new baby girl so we decided to make them a big batch of the Barefoot Contessa's Real Spaghetti and Meatballs, because if anyone knows, new baby means zero time for cooking. We of course, couldn't make Kim a batch of meatballs without making a batch for ourselves. Being married to an Italian man, I've had my fare share of meatballs, but this recipe has won our hearts and we've been using this recipe only for a few years now.

The only substitution we make is with the bread crumbs. It calls for 1 cup of white bread crumbs, we use Panko instead. I find the Panko lead to a moister ball.

So, if you haven't made these meatballs yet, you need to. We've made them in various sizes for spaghetti and meatballs, appetizers or for sub sandwiches. My almost 2 year old couldn't stop walking around the house saying "meatball" all week. He'll be sad to find out I ate the last two while he was taking a nap!


Friday, October 17, 2008

My New Favorite Salad

Last weekend we went to a family birthday party and were instructed to bring a salad. I feel like I'm always making the same type of salad, and this one is really no different, but was so good we had it again this week for dinner.

It's very simple...lettuce (I used a spring mix), chopped walnuts, cubed sharp cheddar (VT preferably--only because that's where I grew up), sliced green apple (to keep the apple from turning brown squeeze a little lemon juice on top), shredded chicken and the best part....drum roll please....crumbled bacon with a few shallots thrown in the grease at the last minute! Yum!

I could eat this salad every day. I'm sure everybody has a variation of the same salad, but thought I'd share this one anyway. I didn't make the dressing homemade but opted for this Newman's Own variety...Raspberry & Walnut Vinaigrette. The dressing is wonderful, I highly recommend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BB; Butternut Squash Risotto

So, this recipe comes a week late and the sad thing is I actually made this probably a month ago! I've been really behind with posting. Anyway, last week's Barefoot Bloggers dish was Ina's Butternut Squash Risotto chosen by Rachel of Rachel Likes to Cook. I did make a few changes. First, I skipped the Saffron and added a little fresh Sage instead. And I also omitted the Pancetta as I forgot to buy it at the store. Needless to say with with the changes I made this still turned out fabulously. We ended up eating it with some shredded chicken from a store bought rotisserie about easy dinner!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Cat of the Cat's Pajamas for giving me the "I Love you this much Award".

If you haven't checked out Cat's blog you need to. She cooks up some fabulous dishes and her stories always have me wanting more. Thanks, Cat!! I plan to pass this award along soon, so be on the look out!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

The most recent issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine is full of great fall recipes. I chose to make the slow cooker pot roast first. This recipe was a cinch. The vegetables (I added potatoes to the veggie list) are layered on the bottom of the crock pot, the meat placed on top, a drizzle of Worcestershire Sauce and that's about it. Let it cook for 6 hours and ta-da, dinner is served. It's done nothing but rain in New England for the last 4 days so this--make your house smell good all day--dinner was perfect. The recipe can be found HERE, and I would highly recommend making this!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pecan Squares, Delish!

For a dinner party this weekend I couldn't resist making the Barefoot Contessa Pecan Squares. These squares are so decadent and delicious you'll want to make them over and over. I'm addicted! I halved the recipe and it still called for 5 sticks of butter, so if you're on a diet, these are NOT the squares for you. For the rest of us, easily tempted folk, give these a try. They come together pretty easily and if you have some extra time, dip the ends in melted chocolate for an even grander finish! You can find the recipe HERE.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Just in the nick of time! I finally got the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup made, and it's not even midnight! Chelle of Brown Eye Baker chose this Barefoot Bloggers recipe and being a big time NON-lover of mushrooms this soup turned out pretty good. I debated making a substitution, but I simply ran out of time so I halved the recipe and made it as is. This recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, which I received from my husband on my recent birthday, so I was happy to finally crack it open. I will probably not be making this recipe again, as for my strong mushroom dislike, but it was worth the challenge and I'm sure my husband will love a bowl when he gets home tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Barefoot Thursday

A busy few weeks at our house led Thursday to creep up on needless to say we haven't made the cream of mushroom soup. Last week was exterior house painting and this week has been catching our breath week. Keep an eye out this weekend for the soup. I look forward to reading all the other Barefoot Blogs to see how you all did!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BB; Grown Up Mac and Cheese

This week's Barefoot Bloggers challenge was the Barefoot Contessa's Grown Up Mac and Cheese chosen by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl. I am a self professed cheese lover, and this mac and cheese was good (I had to omit the blue cheese) but I don't feel like it really stood out as I was hoping it would. The bacon added a nice touch though. So, don't get me wrong, this is a good recipe, just not a gold medal winner. You can find the complete recipe HERE.
First you start by cooking the bacon in the oven. This is a mess free way to cook bacon--no messy splatter on the stove. While the bacon is cooking, boil the pasta and make the rue.

Add the warm milk, cheeses (cheddar and Gruyere--I omitted the blue cheese due to pregnancy), salt, pepper, nutmeg, crumbled bacon and pasta. Give a good stir.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with bread crumbs and fresh basil. This recipe calls for making two individual size dishes, but for the sake of left overs (I can't believe I'm saying this) I doubled the recipe and used a large casserole dish. I also forgot to buy white bread so I used Panko bread crumbs mixed with the basil. They added a nice crunch.

Like I said, this was a good recipe and I would recommend making it, the bacon added a nice smoky depth. All mac and cheese wins in my book. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yum Yum Yum

With my 30th birthday one day away, I decided to make myself (and family) some of the best looking brownie treats I had seen in a long time. I took this recipe from Peabody and I believe she adapted it from Buttercup Bakes at Home by Jennifer Appel. These are some of the best tasting bars I've had. They start with a layer of brownie, then have a layer of marshmallow, followed by a layer of chocolate, peanut butter and Rice Krispies. Finger Licking Good!

Recipe for Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars:

Brownie Ingredients:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients:
7 ounces mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup Jif peanut butter
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 ½ cups Rice Krispies

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate, butter, and ¾ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set Aside.

In a large bowl, place the eggs and whisk thoroughly. Add in the sugar and vanilla.

Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well. Fold in the remaining ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and even with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of the pan comes out with moist crumbs.Remove the brownies from the oven, and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.

While the brownies are baking, place the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until melted.

Remove from heat, add the cereal,and mix well. Allow this to cool for 3 minutes or so.

Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting. Makes 12 3×3-inch bars.

These were belly aching good! I highly recommend.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Broccoli Gratin

The latest addition of the Everyday Food Magazine published by Martha Stewart featured broccoli. I enjoy eating broccoli but sometimes a little cheese helps it down the hatch! When I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. It was simple to prepare. It called for only 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, but coming from someone who professes to LOVE cheese I needed to add a little extra! This was a perfect side dish and a great way to use broccoli that is headed towards its last viable days in your fridge. Enjoy!

Serves 6
3 slices white sandwich bread (I used about 1.5 cups of Panko breadcrumbs instead)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (I used 2 cups whole milk and 1 cup skim)
2 heads broccoli (about 2 pounds total), florets finely chopped, stalks peeled and finely chopped
1 cup shredded white cheddar (4 ounces) (I added about 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in upper third. In a food processor, pulse bread and 1 tablespoon oil until large crumbs form; season with salt and pepper (I melted a tablespoon of butter and mixed in the Panko, this saved me from having to get out the food processor). Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Whisk in flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; add broccoli. Reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup cheese (plus the Parmesan).

Transfer mixture to a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish; top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake until breadcrumbs are golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

And here's a picture of my tired sous chef...long day in the kitchen buddy??