Thursday, April 28, 2016

World's Best Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.
  3. Place chicken breasts into 9×13 greased baking dish. Season with salt & lots of pepper. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. Make sure each breast is coated.
  4. Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Season with chopped rosemary.
Notes: Not the world's best chicken if you don't care for Dijon mustard. To be honest I'm not even sure I'd choose this recipe over any of the other baked chicken recipes we've tried. But maybe you'll like it more. Check out the photos at the source - they are more appetizing than what I was able to capture. We didn't have any rosemary to garnish it with.

Source: Freshdreamer

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Russian Cabbage Pie


For the filling:

1 head cabbage (medium), cored and chopped
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs (hard-boiled)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg (raw)

For the batter:

3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
pinch salt

For the Filling:
  1. Cook the cabbage and onion in butter over medium-high until softened. A large wok works best. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper as you work (if it's bland now, it'll be bland later!). The wilting process takes about 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat as you go to prevent burning. Stir occasionally.
  2. Set the hot mixture aside to cool. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375F and grease an 11x9-inch baking dish.
  3. Once the filling has cooled to luke-warm, stir in the chopped hard-boiled eggs and the raw egg to bind.
For the batter:

Add the eggs, sour cream, and mayonnaise to a medium bowl. Stir until smooth, then add the dry ingredients.

To assemble and bake:
  1. Spread a little less than half the batter evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon on the filling.
  2. Top the casserole with the remaining batter, adding it in dollops evenly across the surface and smoothing it with the back of a spoon or spatula to cover the entire surface.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and shiny. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing so that it holds its shape.
  4. Serve room temperature or warm. Serving suggestion: serve with a bit of sour cream on the side.
Notes: We all really liked this! Similar idea to the Cabbage Buns recipe we have occasionally. The recipe calls for a 11x9 dish, but since we don't have that size, we used a 9x13. I think ours turned out a little flatter than the source for that reason. Check out the source link for step-by-step photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chicken Mole Poblano

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
1/2 dried chipotle chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (scant tablespoon)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 oz. bittersweet, semisweet, or Mexican chocolate, chopped coarse
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish, toasted
Salt and pepper
3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts, legs, and/or thighs), skin removed, trimmed


  1. Toast anchos and chipotle in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 6 minutes; transfer to plate. Add oil and onion to now-empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and toasted chiles and cook until chocolate is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomatoes, raisins, almond butter, and sesame seeds and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sightly thickened and measures about 3 1/2 cups, about 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to blender and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; loosen with water as needed before continuing.)
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in shallow baking dish and cover with mole sauce, turning to coat chicken evenly. Bake, uncovered, until breasts register 160°, and thighs or drumsticks register 175°, 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from oven, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and serve.
Notes: I had a Mexican roommate in college that used to make a delicious mole. Not sure if I enjoyed this one as much as his, but it was still tasty. More flavorful, I think, than our other mole recipe we've tried.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Skillet Lasagna

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
Table salt
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb meatloaf mix* (or ground beef)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

* meatloaf mix = combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, sold prepackaged in many supermarkets


  1. Pour the tomatoes with their juice into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 4 cups.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the onion begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  3. Scatter the pasta over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juice and the tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover, and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.
Notes: Not to be confused with Easy Skillet Lasagna. I think we liked this one better.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Scrambled Egg Pizza

1 16-oz loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
1 cup chopped zucchini or green sweet pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp cooking oil
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled.


  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll bread dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer dough to a greased 13-inch pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Prick dough generously with a fork. Bake in a 375° oven 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook zucchini, mushrooms, and crushed red pepper in hot oil about 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender. Remove zucchini mixture and drain.
  3. In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and milk. In the same skillet melt butter over medium heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge. Using a large spatula, lift and fold partially cooked egg mixture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but is still glossy and moist. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the hot crust. Top with scrambled eggs, zucchini mixture, bacon, and remaining cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes more or until cheese melts.
Notes: Interesting pizza recipe. I really liked it. Another variation to add to our options when making homemade pizza.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

For the casserole:

1 whole cooked chicken, bones removed, meat diced or shredded (rotisserie chicken is excellent, should have 5-6 cups)
1/2 pound very thinly sliced deli-style honey ham, rough chopped
1/4 pound thin sliced baby Swiss cheese

For the sauce:

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the topping:

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Put cooked shredded or diced chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Rough chop the ham and scatter it over the top of the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.
  3. To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Do not brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and white pepper. Bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.
  4. To make the topping: Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium sized microwaveable bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and stop once it’s melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir in the panko bread crumbs, seasoning salt and crushed dried parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
Notes: Not quite as tasty as regular style chicken cordon bleu or the slow cooker variety, but still an interesting dish. And a lot easier to make.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque

2 large sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
1 4-oz can diced green chiles, preferably hot, drained
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 15-oz can vegetable broth
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
* Freshly ground pepper to taste
* Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

  1. Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger and allspice. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Add half to the pot. Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter. Puree until completely smooth. Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine. Thin the bisque with water, if desired. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Notes: I found this recipe while perusing a recipe site related to a new wellness program at work and requested it for the menu. Then I ended up making it. It was no surprise to me that I really really liked this recipe. I'm pretty sure I ate all the leftovers by myself. My kids don't like sweet potatoes (crazy!) so we didn't tell them what was in this until they had tried it. They still found it a bit too spicy. 

Source: Zipongo

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

L.A. Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

1 lb 2 oz ground pork
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt

To serve
hamburger buns
arugula leaves
roasted red pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
sweet potato fries (see below


  1. Put the pork, onion, fennel, breadcrumbs, egg, and parsley in a large mixing bow. Season well with salt and pepper and then use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. Shape the mixture into four patties, then cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the patties and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.
  3. Place the patties in hamburger buns and top with arugula, roasted pepper and a few slices of red onion. Serve with sweet potato fries.

2 lb 4 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Toss the sweet potato with the olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Scatter them in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the fires are golden brown.


Notes: I think this was my first pork burger. I liked it. Maybe not as much as southwestern chicken burgers, but still tasty. We didn't have arugula, but it worked with lettuce.

Source: Simple Honest Food, pg 109.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chicken a la Gloria

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and filleted in half lengthwise 
1/3 cup of flour 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons of butter 
1 (8 oz) container of sliced fresh mushrooms 
1/2 cup of sherry wine 
1 small can of condensed cream of mushroom soup 
1/2 cup whole milk 
6 slices of Muenster cheese 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish 
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Spoon flour onto shallow dish or pie plate. Coat both sides of chicken with flour; shake off excess.
  3. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides. (You don’t need to cook the chicken completely because it will finish cooking in the oven.) Transfer chicken to 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
  4. Place butter in same skillet; let melt over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown. Stir in sherry; cook and stir for additional 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in soup and milk; mix well. Cook until thoroughly heated.
  5. Pour mushroom sauce over chicken; top each piece of chicken with one slice cheese. Fold cheese in half if it is too wide for chicken piece.
  6. Cover dish with foil; bake 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn oven to broil setting. Remove foil from dish; broil 1 to 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven; set aside to cool slightly.
  7. Top with parsley.
Notes: I made this for Mother's Day 2015 and am just now getting to posting the recipe. I remember really enjoying this and we need to have it again. Soon. We don't have sherry wine so I imagine I just used water instead. Also, I don't remember if I had Muenster cheese or used something different.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

2 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb fresh or frozen spinach-and-cheese ravioli
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Put a pot of water on to boil. Place sliced zucchini in a large colander and set it in the sink. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Pour the ravioli and cooking liquid over the zucchini in the colander.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic and salt together in a small bowl with a fork to form a coarse paste. Combine half-and-half and flour in another small bowl and place near the stove.
  3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost completely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the flour mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Gently stir in the ravioli and zucchini, basil and pepper. Divide among 4 plates. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
Notes: I think Brittany liked this one more than I did. The sauce ended up being a bit too thick and didn't have quite enough flavor for me. But it was still good. We don't have dry white wine, so I'm not sure what Brittany used instead (if anything).

Source: Zipongo