Archives for category: dinner

Here’s a delicious twist on traditional buffalo wings: marinade wings in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and fresh ginger, then roast in the oven, and finally saute in sriracha, lime juice, and butter.  YUM.

Asian Glazed Wings - simple ingredients and so delicious I am making these again for the second time this week

I adapted this recipe from the 2017 magazine “350-Calorie Meals in Minutes” but added toasted sesame seeds.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 lbs. uncooked chicken wings
  • 1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar (divided in half)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. sriracha
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • optional: chopped scallions or green onions

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. PREPARE THE MARINADE – combine soy sauce, 1/8 c. brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a gallon ziplock bag. Add wings, mix to coat, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour.
  2. TOAST THE SESAME SEEDS – Place seeds in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally (watch closely to avoid burning). Set aside.
  3. TO PREPARE MARINATED WINGS – Preheat oven to 450ºF. Remove wings from the bag and place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Roast wings in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the skin begins to crisp and caramelize.
  4. SAUTE THE WINGS –  In a large skillet, heat butter, sriracha, lime juice, and 1/8 c. brown sugar until melted. Add wings and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce clings to the chicken.
  5. GARNISH – with toasted sesame seeds and (optional) scallions/green onions
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Here’s a simple and delicious recipe I tried: Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs. I adapted it for the slow cooker, and then broiled it in the oven for a few minutes to make the thighs nice and brown. 

Slow Cooker Lemon Ginger Chicken - from Crock Pot to broil a few minutes to crisp

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 8 chicken thighs; bone-in, with skin
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • for garnish: sliced green onions and lemon wedges

WHAT YOU DO:

Finely grate the peel of 1 lemon into a bowl. To this, add ginger and salt. Stir to combine. Rub this mixture under the skins of the chicken thighs.

In slow cooker, combine the juice of two lemons (the grated lemon, plus another lemon), honey, soy sauce, oil, and water. Add chicken, making sure to coat all pieces with liquid.

* tip: I love slow cooker liners. Much easier and faster clean-up afterward.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until internal temperature of chicken reaches at least 165ºF. Once chicken is cooked, preheat oven to BROIL.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place chicken in oven and broil 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown, then remove. Top with green onion slices, add lemon wedges cut from the remaining lemon, and serve.

recipe adapted from bhg.com

Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker liners for Crock Pot recipes

Two-Ingredient Homemade Egg Pasta Recipe

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta Recipe - Just eggs and flour - I will never buy the boxed stuff again.

Here’s a fun and easy recipe: homemade egg pasta. It’s just two basic ingredients: flour and eggs. You can use this to roll out in flat sheets for cutting into fettuccine noodles or tagliatelle. It’s also perfect for filled pastas such as ravioli or tortellini.

The fun part is you don’t even need a mixing bowl – just make a “bowl” out of flour right on your work surface and place the eggs in the middle.

We used a hand-crank pasta machine to roll out the dough. Our kids thought this was great. It was like a PlayDoh Fun Factory – except we got to eat our work.

I cut some of the pasta dough into fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and used a hand stamper tool to make ravioli another time.

Of course there are tons of flavors and liquids you can add to this basic pasta dough: try 6-10 oz. of spinach, or a teaspoon of grated lemon zest and 6 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or even ½ cup dry white wine to your dough while mixing. Herbs and spices (basil, parsley, etc) or even vegetable purees can be great additions.

And if you’re making ravioli or tortellini, there are so many delicious options for the filling besides the usual ricotta: for example butternut squash, mushrooms, blue cheese, etc.

I made the batch in the photos with just plain old, boring, flour, since we have a bunch of it. I do want to try switching up the flour, though, and experiment with cornmeal, rice, semolina, whole wheat, and/or buckwheat.

Anyway, here’s the basic recipe. It makes approximately the same amount as 1 pound of store-bought dried boxed pasta.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour

WHAT YOU DO:

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold the eggs. Add eggs, and any optional liquids or flavoring. Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but do not worry. The next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for 30 to 60 minutes.

ROLL OUT (<– said in my best Transformers voice): Using a rolling pin (and extra flour for dusting) or pasta machine to turn the dough into sheets. Cut into desired shapes, or add filling if you’re making stuffed pasta.

Tip: I sprinkled a tiny bit of cornmeal on the dough before I put it through the roller the first time to keep it from sticking, and I put a tiny amount of cornmeal on the plate for the finished pasta and tossed the noodles around to keep them from sticking. To keep noodles from drying out, cover with a damp towel as you go.

COOK: Bring 6 to 8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (depending on the thickness of your pasta, anywhere from 30 seconds-2 minutes or so). Drain and serve.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta - just flour and eggs - I will never buy the boxed stuff again

 

One-Pot Pork Chops with Matchstick Apples & Warm Greens Recipe

I love one-pot meals! Here’s a twist on pork chops and applesauce – instead of applesauce, julienne an apple into matchsticks and toss with chickpeas and warm arugula and spinach.

This recipe makes two pork chops, but you can adjust it of course to make more.

One Pot Meal - Pork Chops with fresh apples and warm greens - Not your Momma's Pork Chops and Applesauce Recipe!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops (approx. 9 oz each)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 oz. mixture of arugula and spinach, leaves torn
  • 1 Gala apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbs lemon zest (tip: use a rasp grater, or a vegetable peeler to make strips then chop into small pieces)

WHAT YOU DO:

Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt (a teaspoon or so), and season with pepper.

Heat EVOO in a large high-sided saute pan over med-high heat. Add pork chops.

Reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 mins. Flip, and cook 3-4 more minutes. Transfer chops to a plate.

Add chickpeas to pan and cook for 2 min. Working in three batches, add arugula/spinach mixture and cook, stirring, adding additional batches as the leaves wilt. Sprinkle with approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, then season with pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and stir in apple and lemon juice and zest. Serve with chops.

 

Number of Servings: 2

 

recipe adapted from “One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot” Martha Stewart Living

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef Recipe – Here’s a delicious Crock Pot option. You can use this shredded meat on sandwiches, tortillas, as a nacho topping, and more.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Recipe - delicious Crock Pot meal option 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 lbs. chuck roast
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt plus additional if needed, to taste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ c. diced red onion
  • ¼ c. beef broth
  • ½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar

WHAT YOU DO:

1. On a large plate mix together flour, ½ tsp. salt, and pepper. Dredge the chuck roast on both sides.

2. In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add chuck roast and brown for 3-4 min on each side, until both sides are browned and a crust forms.

3. Transfer beef to slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray (or lined with a slow cooker liner).

4. In the same pan used for the beef, sauté garlic and onion until fragrant and onions are translucent (approx. 3-­4 min).

5. Stir in broth and scrape up any brown bits left from the roast. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker with the beef.

6. In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar (tip: use a wet dishcloth or paper towel “nest” under your bowl to whisk with one hand and add ingredients with the other). Pour over the roast.

7. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours (or LOW for 8-10 hours). Flip the roast a couple times while cooking and make sure all ingredients are combined.

8. Using two forks, shred the meat. Add salt. Combine with sauce and serve.

* * * Make ahead option: Cook as instructed above, then cool and freeze into portions. Heat on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 5 hours
Makes 10 servings (1/2 c. per serving)

recipe adapted from organizeyourselfskinny.com

Slow Cooker liners for Crock Pot recipes

Crock-Pot Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker

Pork Chops With Soy-Orange Pan Sauce Recipe

Pork Chops Recipe - awesome pan sauce with fresh squeezed OJ and soy sauce

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3⁄4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (I used an electric citrus juicer to make a bunch of OJ and then saved the rest for later)
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
  • 8 bone-in pork chops

WHAT YOU DO:

Combine juice with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a gallon-size resealable bag. Set aside.

Using a knife, score the pork chops 1/8-inch deep in a criss-cross pattern on each side. Add to marinade bag, seal, and let sit at least 30 minutes.

Remove pork chops and retain marinade.

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the chops a few at a time, in a single layer and saute over high heat for 3 minutes on each side, browning them well. Repeat with all chops.

Reduce heat to low and pour reserved marinade over the chops. Cook until done, approximately 8-10 additional minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Remove chops to a heated platter. Reduce marinade in the skillet to 1/3 cup. Pour over the cooked chops and serve immediately.

recipe adapted from food.com

Stuffed Turkey Breast Wrapped in Bacon

Stuffed Turkey Breast Wrapped in Bacon - baked on top of harvest vegetables

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • coarse salt
  • ground pepper
  • Boneless, skinless turkey breast (approx. 2 pounds)
  • 1 pkg (approx. 12 oz) center cut bacon
  • 1 pound white potatoes (or sweet potatoes), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 carrots (about 8 oz) OR 8 oz. parsnips and turnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces

WHAT YOU DO:

In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Slice turkey breast almost in half horizontally- leave it attached on one side.

Open like a book; season with salt and pepper inside and out.

Stuff turkey with herb mixture and put back together.

Cover with bacon slices, tucking ends under the turkey. Secure with kitchen twine.

Combine vegetables and 1/2 c. water in roasting pan. Place turkey on top.

Cover, and bake at 375°F until thoroughly cooked (juices should run clear when meat is pierced with a knife) and veggies are tender. Cooking time varies, but estimate around 20-30 minutes per pound.

Let turkey rest 20 minutes before slicing crosswise. Serve with vegetables.

Serves 6.

recipe adapted from MarthaStewart.com

Wrap stuffed turkey breast in bacon then secure with twine - bake on a bed of vegetables Boneless turkey breast - stuffed and wrapped in bacon - Because, well bacon

I am pretty excited about Thanksgiving, you guys. The past few years when we have hosted I cheated and ordered pre-made meals from our local grocery store (gasp!). LOL. This year I am going all homemade. Well, except for the pumpkin pies. I plan on making frozen ones and throwing Cool Whip on top. Baby steps, right?!?

Here’s what I came up with.

The menu…

Thanksgiving 2015 Menu

My shopping list…

grocery list THANKSGIVING 2015

Here are the recipes:

Stuffed Turkey Breast wrapped with bacon. Because, well, bacon.

Stuffed Turkey Breast Wrapped in Bacon - baked on top of harvest vegetables

Herbed Mashed Potatoes. You can start these ahead of time on the day before Thanksgiving. Herbed Mashed Potatoes Recipe - Yukon gold potatoes with half and half and butter - So easy and super delicious

Homemade Gravy. I used some of the homemade chicken stock I stashed in the freezer.

Simple Gravy - perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any comfort food recipe

Simple Stuffing with white wine. You can dry the bread cubes and cook the veggies a day in advance.

Simple Stuffing Recipe - so easy but so delicious

Green Bean Casserole. A Thanksgiving tradition. I am going with old school canned soup and canned green beans. Don’t judge. 🙂

Pumpkin pie and whipped topping. Straight out of the freezer section. After all of the other recipes I don’t want to think about baking pies. Did you know you can order pumpkin pies online from Amazon? For the low low price of $55 or so. Um, yikes.

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Stemware Forte Collection

personalized napkins

Lenox French Perle Tidbit

Italian Lasagna with Red Sauce Recipe – I took an Italian cooking class and learned how to make red sauce, and different types of lasagna. The instructor gave us recipes and some cooking tips and then we got to make some and bring them home. YUM.

This was my favorite:

Best lasagna recipe ever - includes freezer instructions - Not sure why but they always taste better the next day as leftovers!

I have since made a bunch of these, and froze some for later. Gotta love freezer meals!

If you want, you could use ground turkey instead; or even vegetables for a meatless option (just saute zucchini, broccoli, and carrots, and use them in place of the meat) and add a little pesto to the cheese mixture.

I used two 8×8″ pans, but if you want to make one batch just use a 9×13″ pan with the same recipe.

When I made the two 8×8 lasagnas, I baked one and froze the other for later.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (or Italian sausage; or a mixture of both)
  • Red sauce (see recipe below)
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups (or more if you’re a cheese lover) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package (approximately 12 oz) oven ready “no cook” lasagna noodles
  • Fresh Italian parsley, to taste, chopped

WHAT YOU DO:

Brown meat in a skillet and drain grease. Stir in the red sauce and heat through.

Combine ricotta cheese, grated Pecorino Romano, eggs, and parsley in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Evenly spread the meat sauce in a the bottom of a 9×13″ pan OR two 8×8″ pans. Layer lasagna noodles on top, then spread on some of the cheese mixture and cover with meat sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella, and repeat for one or two more layers.

If preparing lasagna right away: Bake in preheated oven at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

If freezing for later: Wrap unbaked lasagna in foil/plastic wrap and label. Freeze. To prepare, thaw and bake at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden (cover with foil for the first 20-25 minutes or so then uncover until done).

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

FOR THE RED SAUCE:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pinch of brown sugar (weird I know!)

Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent for 8 minutes or so. Add parsley and garlic and cook just enough to release fragrance (don’t let the garlic burn).

Add red wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, salt, and brown sugar.

Simmer briskly until reduced to a sauce-like consistency and stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Spinach Stuffed Turkey Burgers Recipe - only 225 calories and 9 grams of fat

Here are some turkey burgers I made – stuffed with spinach, garlic, oats, and lemon juice. So easy! You just mash up all the ingredients and form it into patties. I used one pound of ground turkey and made 4 burgers but they were huge, so next time I will probably make 5 or 6.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 16 oz. ground turkey 93% lean
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, torn into small pieces
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Form into patties. (The nutrition info below is for servings of 4 patties)
  • Spray a skillet with cooking spray, or mist with olive oil, and heat over medium heat.
  • Cook until skillet until cooked through and browned, approximately 8 minutes on each side.

Estimated Nutrition Information: Per Serving (recipe makes 4 servings)

  • 225 calories
  • 9.9 grams fat
  • 131 mg cholesterol
  • 8.9 grams carbohydrates
  • 1 gram fiber