Showing posts from August, 2014

Citrus Couscous

I've had a few boxes of plain couscous in the cabinet for a while now.   Previous attempts at using it wasn't greeted by much enthusiasm from anyone but myself.     In an effort to start clearing my pantry out, I searched through MasterCook to see how I could use some up.   

I settled on this recipe from Cooking Light, but played a little loosey-goosey with it.    First, I don't ever remember to buy green onions, and on the rare occasion I do, my menu plan gets moved around and they go bad before I can use them.    I substituted Penzey's dried chives, about a tablespoon.    I also used dried parsley, about 3/4 of it stirred into the mixture when it called for it, and the rest over the top when it hit the plates.    I used half the zest from the orange, next time I'd use it all.    I used 2T of lemon juice, because I didn't want the rest to go to waste.    Normally I'd pour any leftovers into an ice cube tray, freeze completely and then put it in a ziploc …

Creamy Chicken and Herb Skillet

Been feeling like fall here in New England the last week or so.    It's making us all start to crave comfort foods.    I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and I thought it would make a great meal for us.   I used chicken tenderloins, about 1 3/4lbs.    I upped some of the ingredient amounts for the sauce because I was going to serve it with pasta and wanted plenty to coat it and the chicken too.     I used a 6.5oz container of Aloutte cheese, it was all I could get my hands on.   I wish I could keep fresh herbs and things in the house, but I never have them on hand when I need them.    I used dried tarragon and shallots (I reconstituted them slightly by soaking them in chicken broth/lemon juice).  

This was so fast to come together, and both guys had seconds, which is a rarity here.    On a 1 to 10 scale, they both gave it a 9.5, and asked that it be made again.    Huge thanks to  Kristen at Iowa Girl Eats for this new family favorite!   This is my second hit from her blog, and believ…

Meatball Patty Melts

Rainy, cool day yesterday.     We've had pasta a few times already this week, but I couldn't shake the craving for meatballs.    I ran across this recipe on Pinterest from the Taste and Tell blog, and the amazing pictures had me hooked.  

I made a few swaps, first being that I somehow managed to buy chicken stock 3 weeks in a row, but no beef broth.     I had a 14.5 oz can of Diced tomatoes with herbs on hand,  I tossed that and all the other ketchup ingredients into the food processor and gave them a whirl.      My guys don't like super spicy, I used just a few flakes of the crushed red pepper, and I never ever have fresh basil in the house, so I used dried.   

I doubled the recipe for the burgers.  I rarely can get any kind of onion by my guys, so my go to is dried minced onion from Penzey's.  Since it was grated in this recipe, next time I may give it a try with the real thing.   I used my square burger press to make enough patties for dinner, and then the remainin…

Buttermilk Brined Chicken Salad

Chicken on the grill is my nemesis.    I always seem to overcook it.    I saw this recipe on the Eating Well web site, and it just looked so delicious and easy.    I brined the chicken for about 7 hours, and it was good.   Next time I'd probably do the full 12 hrs.    I had 4 breasts in the package, and no two were the same size, so I was creative in placing them around the grill where I knew the hot and cooler spots were.     I checked to make sure they were cooked through with an instant read thermometer, pulling them each when they were 160ยบ.   Carryover cooking took care of the rest. 

For the salad, I had some baby spinach to use up, and sliced up some red onion.   I drizzled the dressing over the chicken, took my photo and then tossed everything with the greens.     Absolutely fantastic summer meal!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                  Buttermilk-Brined Chicken Breast Salad

  2               cups  buttermilk
  2        tablespoons  sugar
  1                     sha…

Grilled Zucchini Rolls

My son is suddenly open to trying veggies in all kinds of ways.  So in the spirit of "striking while the iron is hot", I've been making veggies in all kinds of ways   LOL   Some of our last farm trip included some zucchini, and it's pretty easy to get him to eat veggies in sweet stuff like breads, so wanted to try something a little more savory.    

The verdict?  These are a little fussy, but if you've got everything ready to go, it goes quickly.   Jake helped with the layering of the spinach and basil and the rolling.    In the end, he ate 2 and he liked them.    Woo hoo!

With ImageWithout Image Grilled Zucchini Rolls ingredients:3 zucchini (about 1/2 pound each) -- sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices1 tablespoon olive oil1/8 teaspoon salt1 Pinch freshly ground black pepper1 1/2 ounces reduced-fat soft goat's cheese -- used 1/3 less fat cream cheese1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley leaves -- used dried1/2 teaspoon lemon juice2 cups baby sp…

Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

My husband loves fudge.   There's a place in Maine called The Candy Man that makes the most amazing fudge.   We even used it as our wedding favors.    Tim's been craving that fudge for a while, but we've been too busy to make the drive up there to get some.    I found this recipe and though I've had terrible results with fudge in the past, I gave it a go.

Absolutely no changes to the recipe.   The flavor is excellent, and I liked it a lot better by the second day.    Is it as good as The Candy Man's?  No, but it was close and for this week, good enough.    I think it might have done with another minute or 90 seconds of beating with the wooden spoon.   Thank you so much to Book_Worm at Allrecipes for sharing this one, which I found through KitchMe.   

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

  2                cup  white sugar
     1/2           cup  cocoa
  1                cup  milk
  4               tbsp  butter -- or marg…

Herbed Tomato Cucumber Salad and Spicy Lemon Basil Chicken

Can't believe that it is already August, this summer just continues to fly by!   One of the good things about August is that tomatoes are hitting the farms here in NH.    I had this recipe for Herbed Tomato Cucumber Salad in my to-try file, and it made a perfect side dish in this warm weather.    My only changes were white wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar, I already have 2 or 3 other kinds in the cabinet and I didn't want to buy another one.      This would also be great with halved cherry tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes.

I had taken out thin sliced chicken breasts without any real idea what to do with them.   I was puttering around I realized I hadn't filed my printed/tried recipes into my big binder, and while I was doing that I ran across the Spicy Lemon Basil Chicken.    Last time I had rather large chicken breasts and I had to finish them in the oven, but these thin sliced ones would be perfect.     Minor changes to this recipe, subbing jarred garlic for fresh and…