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!