April 29, 2010

Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 (6 oz) boneless salmon filets
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Prepare the rack of a boiler pan with cooking spray.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper and place on broiler pan. Whisk together the brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon mixture evenly over the top of each filet.
Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

If your house has issues like mine (my smoke detector likes to go off when the broiler is on despite having a clean oven), you can easily cook this at 450* checking for doneness after about 12-15 minutes. May need extra time depending on thickness.

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April 27, 2010

Spicy Roasted Chicken Legs

Well, my version that we happen to love!

Chicken drumsticks (however many you want)
Olive oil
Sriracha hot chili sauce  (find it in your grocer's international food area)
Dry seasoning(s) of your choice (I used garlic and wine seasoning this time)
Gallon sized ziplock bag

Amounts are going to vary depending on taste and how many drumsticks you're cooking. Don't skimp on the oil since that helps so much in browning. I added the oil, hot chili sauce, and seasoning to the ziplock bag. Mixed well. Then I added the chicken and kept mixing till all was coated well. And since I don't like chicken skin period, I took all the skin off the meaty part before adding it to the ziplock bag. 

Cook on a baking rack on a sheet pan at 400-450* for about 30-45 minutes. If you don't have a baking rack, just turn them over halfway. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it's cooked all the way through. When I cooked these I also baked artisan bread in the same oven, so I had the chicken in at 450* for 30 minutes. Excellent!

April 26, 2010

Menu: April 25 - May 6

Sunday Dinner: country style ribs, corn, and au gratin potatoes
Monday – Friday Meals:
            1. Salmon with brown sugar glaze, steamed broccoli, and rice
            2. Spicy roasted chicken legs w/ frozen veggies and artisan bread loaf
            3. Tacos
            4. Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina with sautéed yellow squash and artisan bread loaf
            5. Chicken quesadillas
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Waffles
Saturday Dinner: out to eat/menu make up day
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: Cinnamon apple dutch baby
Monday – Thursday Meals:
            1. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
            2. Hamburgers on homemade buns and zucchini chips
            3. Pineapple pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn
            4. Baked tilapia and yams

April 16, 2010

Menu: April 16-23

Friday Dinner: Spaghetti w/ Italian sausage and zucchini
            Dessert: Blackberry Cobbler (but with less sugar this time!)
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: muffins and eggs
            DH request: Homemade salsa
Saturday Dinner: Homemade pizza
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: leftover muffins and pizza
Sunday Dinner: Spiced Beef Kabobs, veggie kabobs, and potatoes
Monday – Friday Meals:
            1. Tortellini with Fresh Vegetables
            2. Calzones
            3. Lettuce Wraps
            4. Cheesy chicken and rice casserole
            5. Leftovers/menu make up day/chicken nuggets, tater tots, and frozen veggie

April 09, 2010

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips

2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
¼ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 425*. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Place zucchini rounds in a separate bowl with the milk.
Dredge slices in bread crumb mixture and planed on a sheet pan lightly sprayed with oil.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning over once at 15 minutes.

I was able to prepare these in the time it took to preheat the oven, which is great in my book! I found them to be really tasty. In the future I will probably experiment with different seasonings to add to the breadcrumbs to add more interest.

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April 07, 2010


I've tried a few other recipes that are similar, but I always come back to this version. It's the best!

3 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

Stir the dry ingredients together. Then rub the butter into the flour until it looks like cornmeal (fork will work or a few pulses in a food processor). Then add the milk and stir. Don't all it all right away incase you don't need it all (I almost always do though). The dough will be thick and sticky. Scoop out of a bowl and onto a floured surface. Do a couple of light kneads and pat it out with your hands to 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Flour a glass (or a biscuit cutter if you're fancy) and cut the biscuits out. Put on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with butter or oil if you want darker golden biscuits. Baked at 450* for 10-15 minutes.

The trick is to handle the dough as little and as lightly as possible, so no rolling and no heavy kneading!!!

For buttermilk biscuits, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and substitute buttermilk for the milk.

Lemon Chicken

14 oz boneless chicken thighs
2/3 tsp salt
2 tsps water
6 tbsps corn starch (or potato starch if you have it)
oil for frying (as required)
7 1/2 tbsps sugar
6 tbsps lemon juice
4 tbsps rice vinegar
6 tbsps water
2 tsps corn starch (or potato starch)

Score the chicken using the tip of a knife, making incisions in places where the flesh is thick. Put the chicken in a dish and sprinkle the salt and 2 tsps of water over the chicken. Can easily add other seasonings of your choice. Leave the chicken skin-side down to marinate for 10 minutes. Coat all of the chicken except the skin with the 6 tbsps starch.
In a separate bowl mix the sugar, rice vinegar, and 6 tbsps water. Add to that the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add the 2 tsps starch and stir thoroughly until it dissolves.
Line a deep dish with paper towels to absorb excess oil after frying. Put enough oil to deep-fry the chicken in the pan and heat it to 350*. Put the chicken in the hot oil and fry, turning it over occasionally. Fry the chicken for one more minute after it begins to float to the surface to ensure that it cooks all the way through. Place the chicken on paper towels and allow the oil to drain off. Leave it to sit for 2 minutes to let the juices settle.
Put the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. Place it over moderate heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, then remove it from the heat.
Cut the fried chicken in half lengthwise, then cut cut the chicken horizontally into 3/4" strips. Arrange the chicken on a serving dish and pour over it the hot lemon sauce.

We love this dish, but it's really the sauce that makes it so good. So if you're not into the fried chicken part, feel free to make the sauce and pour it over a healthier cooked chicken. :D

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Corn Soup

7 oz creamed corn (can also puree regular corn for this recipe)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
sugar (pinch)
1 beaten egg
4 tsps corn starch (or potato starch if you have it)
2 tbsps water

Put the corn starch in a small bowl and dissolve it in the water.
Put the chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the corn to the boiling stock and sir it in thoroughly. Season with salt and sugar. Bring soup back to a boil.
Stir the dissolved starch again. Add it a little at a time to the soup, stirring until it thickens.
Add the beaten egg a little at a time while the soup is boiling. Stir using large, circular motions. Once the egg has spread throughout the soup and has started to set, turn off the heat.

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Bolder Burgers (for 2)

1 pouch of StarKist Tuna Creations, Herb and Garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup non-fat ranch salad dressing
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Combine tuna, 1/4 bread crumbs, salad dressing, and egg in medium bowl. Mix well. Form into 2 patties; coat each side with remaining bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Recipe easily doubles.

DH did not like these, but he did eat them. I thought they were okay. Not great, but okay. It is different!

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April 05, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

Basic recipe - can easily change this for your own needs!

1 lb smoked sausage (I like turkey sausage)

1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 or 2 cans of beans (kidney beans are what I use most often)
Worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
salt and pepper to taste

First, start your rice cooking. Follow the package directions or be lazy like me by using a rice cooker.
Chop the onion and bell pepper as large or as small as you like.
Cut the smoked sausage into rounds.
Cook the sausage, onion, and bell pepper in a large sided skillet. If it’s not nonstick you might want to use a bit of olive oil or butter.  Continue cooking till the sausage has started to brown and the onions have become opaque. Then add the beans (liquid and all). If you love beans, go with two cans.  Bring to a simmer. Add in Worcestershire sauce to taste. I use at least a tablespoon personally. Add salt and pepper to taste. When rice is done cooking, add it to the skillet. Mix well. 

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April 04, 2010

Real Food!!! Menu: 4/3-4/16

A couple of notes. First, I am not trying to lose any weight at all right now. If you're looking for menus where DH and I were losing weight, you'll have to review past menus from August through January. I lost 20 pounds during that time frame! :D Remember that portion control is key, so we often had leftovers for lunches. Also note that I am no longer working, so my menus won't have as many quick meals during the week as it used to. I have the time to cook, so I'm going to try and do more than I've been doing for the past couple of months. Hopefully not working will mean I will get more new recipes and pictures up in the coming weeks. :)

Saturday Dinner: Chicken parmesan, herb pasta, and sauteed zucchini (did not get to make it yet)
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: cereal
Sunday Dinner: macaroni and cheese, pork tenderloin (in crock pot with Corky's BBQ sauce from back home), steamed broccoli, best ever pound cake with strawberries
Monday – Thursday Meals:
            1. leftovers
            2. Grilled chicken sandwiches and oven baked zucchini fries
            3. Cheesy tuna noodle casserole
            4. Santa fe foldover
Friday Dinner: Beef Fajitas
Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: homemade biscuits and eggs
Saturday Dinner: Stuffed chicken wraps (with spinach, black beans, rice, salsa)
Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: applesauce pancakes (freeze leftovers)
Sunday Dinner: out to eat/leftovers/menu make up day
Monday – Thursday Meals:
            1. Bratwursts, fried squash, and baked potato chips
            2. Baked fish and yams
            3. Red beans and rice w/ turkey sausage
            4. Spaghetti w/ chicken and zucchini
Friday Dinner: Calzones