Thursday, September 16, 2010

Turkey Burgers and Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad


The September 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine is loaded with "147 recipes and tips for the fast, healthy cook".  I've turned down the corner on just about every other page and look forward to testing out all of these fast, healthy recipes.  First for testing was Lamb and Turkey Pita Burgers.  Ground lamb is not something I store in my freezer, but I do always have plenty of ground turkey.  All of the other ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in your pantry which is why this is a great recipe to have in your last minute dinner file.  What makes the burgers different from other turkey burgers is tomato paste and spices-ground cinnamon and ginger.  Oh, and the yummy lemon and cayenne mayo sauce is just an excuse to ask for seconds!  Of course you can always substitute the mayo with Greek yogurt and if you like lamb, stick with the original recipe.  Ground turkey is on sale at both Dominick's and Sunset Food's.

I served this with Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad, a recipe I created after hearing about eating shredded brussel sprouts from a friend.  I love roasted brussels sprouts which can take a long time to cook.  The most time consuming piece of this recipe is shredding the brussels sprouts.  You could save time by using a chopper or food processor, but thinly slicing with a sharp knife works best.  Shredded brussels sprouts and shallots are lightly sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper, then dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.  Sauteing the sprouts caramelizes them same as roasting but because they are shredded your cooking time is reduced by about 30 minutes.  This is perfectly delicious with just the lemon vinaigrette, but if you wanted to take it over the top you could add toasted pecans right before serving, or saute the sprouts with cooked chopped bacon or pancetta and dress with a honey Dijon vinaigrette.

Lamb and Turkey Pita Burgers
(picture copied from site)

Wilted Brussels Sprouts Salad

1 pound brussel sprouts, shredded
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lemon

Saute brussels sprouts and shallot in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes or until sprouts wilt slightly and begin to caramelize.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  In a large bowl add zest and juice from one lemon.  Whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to zest and juice in a slow steady stream until mixture is emulsified.  Add brussels sprouts and shallots to the bowl and toss in dressing.  May be served warm or at room temperature.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Red Curry Peanut Sauce

This recipe from the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit is not to be missed!  There are a ton of peanut sauce recipes out there, but the difference here is in the curry paste.  It is sauteed with fresh garlic, ginger, and onion before adding peanut butter, coconut milk, stock, and lime juice to finish the sauce.  Curry paste adds a wonderful layer of flavors with green or red chili, lemongrass, coriander, cumin and other ingredients that gives anything you add it to that little something extra.  We enjoyed the Red Curry Peanut sauce with sauteed shrimp and rice noodles, but it is perfect for a barbecue.  Make the sauce in advance, grill any kind of meat on skewers and serve with reheated sauce.  Guests will think this is just another satay platter, but soon will be looking for anything to use as a vehicle for eating more sauce!  





(picture copied from link)

 Curry paste is easily found in the grocery store Asian food section in a red and green version.  I think one is spicier than the other, but either will work with this peanut sauce.  I recommend Jif Natural peanut butter.  I am thrilled they finally came out with a product that doesn't contain hydrogenated oils and it as smooth as the original.  No clumpy "all natural" peanut butter that is stored in the refrigerator and it is about half the price of some it's competitors.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Best Gazpacho


     Tomatoes are in abundance in most Chicagoland gardens and one of my all time favorite tomato dishes is gazpacho.  Ever since I tasted the first crop of baby heirlooms in my garden I knew I had to find the perfect gazpacho recipe for these amazing little fruits.  There are many different versions of the soup, including pureeing the ingredients with day old bread, adding cheeses or olives for a Greek version, and spicing things up with jalapenos and Mexican spices.  This recipe, from the master of mastering the art of cooking, Food Network's Alton Brown's gazpacho is the one that spoke to me the most.  It is a basic gazpacho with with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and red bell peppers, but he takes it over the top with chile peppers, cumin, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce.  I can't say enough about the Worcestershire in this.  You would never know that it was in there, but with every bite you are asking yourself, "what is that something extra in here?"!  I topped it with steamed, marinated shrimp.  Marinate cooked shrimp for at least 30 minutes in lime juice, chopped chile pepper, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Shrimp is currently on sale at Dominick's.

Gazpacho

**Alton Brown flash steams his tomatoes for easy peeling.  This seems like a daunting extra step, but was really very easy and made a big difference in the soup.  No slimy skins here-only yummy bites of meaty tomatoes!  My soup is a little darker than most gazpacho because of my heirlooms which have a mix of dark red and green pulp.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner-Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil and Trader Joe's Cinnamon Buns


     Summer officially ended for us today as we headed back to school and back to the grind!  This first week of school, most of us have high hopes that this is the year we become masters in time management.  Everyone will get out of bed early enough to calmly dress and enjoy a hot meal.  You will plan a weekly menu and only go to the grocery store once a week, allowing for more time at the gym between drop off and pick up times.  After school activities will be scheduled so that you are not racing from here to there with tired children who really just want to go home and watch TV.  Finally, there will be a nightly "Family Dinner", with everyone present and a healthy, home cooked meal.  By the time Labor Day arrives we realize that we are back in the grind and back into the same old rat race as last year!  Breakfast becomes obsolete and take out, delivery, and frozen pizza quickly become the only thing served to the one or two family members who show up at the table.

   I definitely fall into the "there's no time to cook, just throw a pizza in the oven" trap when our schedule gets crazy.  One night last week, after a late evening at the pool, I started for the freezer when I realized there was a quick cooking, healthier option in the refrigerator.  EGGS!!  They cook in less time than frozen pizza and I could easily make a kid and adult friendly entree.  I scrambled eggs with some goat cheese, topped the adult servings with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden, and served it with steamed broccoli.  For dessert, Trader Joe's canned cinnamon buns, which baked in the oven while we enjoyed our eggs. 

    I realize breakfast for dinner is not a new concept.  I have many Facebook friends who have proudly announced "Cereal and Merlot!" in their evening posts.  It just seemed appropriate, during this transition from lazy days to crazy days, to remind everyone of this simple substitute for the fast and frozen food standby.  


Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

10 eggs
2-4 ounces goat cheese(depending on how cheesy you like your eggs)
1/4 cup milk or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
chopped heirloom tomatoes
chopped fresh basil

In large bowl whisk together eggs, milk or water, salt, and pepper.  Add goat cheese to eggs and lightly whisk.  Melt butter in a large skillet on medium to medium low heat.  Add eggs to melted butter and fold with a rubber spatula until desired doneness.  Top with chopped heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.  

**Combine goat cheese with softened cream cheese to make more kid friendly**

Trader Joe's Canned Cinnamon Buns
(photographed immediately after frosting!)



I have never longed for canned cinnamon bun before, but I can't stop thinking about these swirls of deliciousness.  They are packaged the same as other commercial canned buns, but are made with only all natural ingredients.  That means butter, sugar, more butter, more sugar, and cinnamon.  These will become a staple in your refrigerator for special treats or when guests come to town.  Just another reason to love Trader Joe's!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ziti with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola Sauce Revisted

I first posted this recipe back in December and because it is such great recipe I thought it was worth a re post!  Also, I have these amazing baby heirloom tomatoes from my garden that I have been wanting to cook with pasta.  This dish can only be made with fresh tomatoes, making it perfect for my babies.  A quick saute of halved cherry tomatoes in garlic and red pepper, combined with a light, but rich tasting sauce of Gorgonzola cheese and low fat milk.  All of this added to my kids favorite dinner, pasta, and in a matter of minutes we have dinner!

Ziti with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, and Gorgonzola 
Cooking Light Magazine



Shrimp is currently on sale at Dominick's and tonight I added sauteed shrimp to our ziti.  Saute shrimp on medium high heat with olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp has just turned pink.  Remove from pan and continue with ziti recipe.  Return shrimp to pan with Gorgonzola sauce and ziti before serving.  
The original recipe uses fresh spinach.  I didn't have spinach, so I served it with steamed broccoli and topped off the pasta with fresh basil.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Garlic Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Zucchini Salad

     Every week when my husband requests pork tenderloin for dinner so that he can use the leftovers for his brown bag lunch, I have the same thought.  What can I possibly do with this pork that I haven't done a hundred times already!  After deciding not to go with one of our many favorite rubs or marinades, I usually hit the Internet in search of something new.

     I have exhausted most of the pork recipes on Epicurious and Food Network's websites so today I sought help from one of my favorite bloggers.  Deb, author of the famous blog, Smitten Kitchen, has been writing for a few years and has a large index of mouth watering recipes and food photos.  

     On Deb's blog, I found this recipe for Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers.  She adapted it from a Bobby Flay recipe and then I adapted it to accommodate my sparse pantry.  Below is the link to both Bobby and Deb's recipes, which are almost identical.  Both use a flavor packed combination of whole grain and Dijon mustard, garlic, honey, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and paprika, but Deb took it another level by adding fresh rosemary.  I loved the rosemary, don't leave it out!  I substituted honey with brown sugar and white wine vinegar with Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar from Trader Joe's.  (If you have never tried this vinegar, you must!)  I can't compare the recipes having only eaten my version, but this glaze was fabulous.  Perfect for grilled meats and would take roasted potatoes to a whole new level!

     I served the pork with oven fries and Zucchini Salad, a recipe that I have been meaning to share with you for months.  I found this on a vegan website and adapted it to use in a class I was teaching to middle schoolers.  I have since made it again, with a group of families at a public library, and both sets of pupils were very pleased with the recipe.  It is beyond simple, incredibly fresh tasting, and hard to believe you are eating raw zucchini!  This is your last minute side dish to go with all grilled meats and for lightening up heavy pasta dishes.  Zucchini is in abundance in all of the grocery stores and farmer's markets right now, so take advantage of the seasonal treat!

Garlic Mustard Glaze

Bobby Flay

Deb, Smitten Kitchen

I marinated the pork for 30 minutes in 2/3'd of the glaze and saved the rest for basting and to serve on the side.  


Zucchini Salad

2-3 small zucchini, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
zest and juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and zest, and garlic.  Whisk in olive oil in a slow steady stream until combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add zucchini ribbons and red onion to lemon vinaigrette and gently stir to coat.  Marinate for 20-30 minutes before serving. 


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizzas

Here is a great recipe for kids and adults that you can throw together on the grill while everyone enjoys playing in the yard.  Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza is featured the Food Network Magazine September issue and may also be found on their site.


When you read the recipe it will seem like there are too many steps, however it really is simple.  Grilled pizza dough topped with cheese, seasoned grilled chicken, salsa, and a delicious lime, chili avocado mixture.  What makes it appear to be more involved is that the original recipe uses a homemade taco seasoning and store bought pizza dough.  I skipped both of those steps and used Trader Joe's Taco seasoning and Flat Out Flat breads.  The pizza dough is probably way better than flat breads, but I was on a time crunch and just used what was available.  I also added a mock sour cream that consists of Greek yogurt, lime zest and a little lime juice.

And, if you are going out to do your big Sunday shopping tomorrow head to Sunset Foods where Miller Amish boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale for $2.99/lb.  Miller is one of my favorite locally sold poultry brands.  They advertise a hormone, antibiotic, and steroid free product that reminds me of the chicken found in grocery stores of old.  Smaller breasts, great flavor and cooks up perfectly.  While you are shopping you can also stock up on Sargento cheeses(you will need it for the pizzas!) and Didier Farm corn, a few other items also currently on sale at Sunset.  

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grilled Curry Flank Steak and Thai Coconut Chile Noodles

I was searching for a recipe to use the remaining coconut milk from Chicken In Peanut Sauce recipe posted Monday and found this on Epicurious.  Grilled Mahi Mahi with Thai Coconut Sauce was very appealing, yet also familiar.  I had already marked this recipe in my July issue of Bon Appetit.  So, if not once, but twice I was smitten with this recipe, then I should just get out the coconut milk and chiles!

My plan was to follow the recipe as written, but substitute Tilapia and serve it with rice noodles and steamed broccoli.  Mahi Mahi is wonderful, but Tilapia is much less expensive (almost free at Costco!) and one of my freezer staples.  I started making the sauce and realized I had no Tilapia or any kind of seafood in the freezer.  The next best option was to quick thaw a flank steak in the microwave and figure out some sort of rub that would complement the sauce.

I knew I wanted a curry flavor on the meat so I started with that and added anything else from the spice cabinet that sounded yummy.  Below is the recipe and I think it is delicious!  I'm not sure it really complemented the coconut sauce, but wanted to include it because it was that good.  It would make for terrific kebabs and bring something totally unexpected to your next barbecue.  Serve it with flat breads and a yogurt sauce-your guests will be in heaven!

Grilled Curry Flank Steak

1 tablespoon curry powder (I used Red Curry Powder)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground chile pepper 
1 teaspoon salt
1 1-2 pound flank steak

Combine curry powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, ginger, black pepper, chili pepper, and salt in a small bowl.  Pat flank steak dry and rub both sides with spice mixture.  Grill seasoned steak on medium high heat, 5 minutes per side for medium rare.  Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes.  Cut thinly across the grain of the meat and serve. 

If you're lucky some of the juices that spill from the meat will be absorbed by the rub, creating sort of a sauce on the plate.  I was trying not to lick the plate!

Thai Coconut Chile Noodles
adapted from:

This sauce is amazing!  So light and refreshing, and bursting with flavor from serrano chiles and lime juice.  I added cooked rice noodles to the reduced sauce to serve with the flank steak, but I'm sure the original recipe is fabulous.  I would try it with any kind of seafood and brown rice for a quick, healthy dinner.  

Monday, August 2, 2010

Spring Rolls with Chicken in Peanut Sauce and Fresh Vegetables

If you haven't picked up a copy of Taste of Home magazine, do so the next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store.  A friend gave me a subscription for Christmas and I love it.  It is full of many different types of recipes written by Home Cooks.  Some may even live in your neighborhood as they have a long list of volunteer contributors from all over the country.  It's comforting knowing that if "Beth" from Picknee, Michigan can throw together a delicious meal, then so can I!

"Beth"'s recipe for Sara's Summer Rolls is delicious and just what I'm looking for each month when I tear into a new issue.  Unfortunately, Taste of Home only publishes some of their recipes online, requiring a code from your magazine account to access all of their content.  So, I'm going to share my version of Sara's Summer Rolls, which includes "Beth"'s very easy chicken in peanut sauce recipe.  Who doesn't love a good peanut sauce?  This cooks in minutes, can be made ahead, and is very light making it perfect for spring rolls and/or bean thread noodles.  I made the chicken and sauce before we went for an afternoon swim and when we got home I only had to cook noodles and let the children assemble the rolls.  They were more excited about the noodles, but had fun playing with rice paper and that was enough to encourage them to try the rest.

I used baby Asian greens in the rolls because my garden is overflowing with them, but you can use whatever you like.  Zucchini and summer squash are on currently on sale at Dominick's.  Shred either or both with a box grater and drain some of the water from the vegetables before adding to spring rolls.

Spring Rolls with Chicken in Peanut Sauce and Fresh Vegetables

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1-2 cups bean thread or cellophane noodles, cooked according to package instructions
rice papers
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped fresh baby Asian greens or baby spinach 

In a large skillet, combine chicken, water, coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, minced ginger, garlic, and lime juice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Soak rice papers in warm water until soft, 15-30 seconds, then spread out on a plate or cutting board.  Add a small layer of cooked bean thread noodles, 1-2 tablespoons of cooked chicken in peanut sauce, and a tablespoon each of carrots and greens to one side of soften paper.  Begin to roll by gently pulling up that side over the chicken and vegetable mixture, then fold over ends and finish rolling.  Serve with Thai dipping sauce if desired.

Thai Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes(optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Serve with spring rolls.  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrating Summer with Fresh Produce! Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad, Watermelon Cucumber Salad, and Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

As I mentioned in previous posts I am very fortunate to have a plot in an organic garden.  This is my first attempt at gardening and although I'm pretty sure the other plot owners talk about me, and my weeds I am scared to pull because I'm convinced they are amazing crops waiting to sprout, I am loving having so much fresh organic produce in my house.  We are also fortunate in this area to have multiple Farmer's Markets.  In yesterday's paper, Sunset Foods advertised their own market, with produce from Didier Farm's, held every Saturday through August in their store parking lots.  Below are three great fruit and veggie recipes I tested this week that will inspire you to get out to the market, or in your garden and enjoy one of the best parts of summer-fresh produce!

Cucumber and Cantaloupe Salad
Food Network Magazine July/August 2010



Dominick's advertises their "Locally Grown" section of the produce department.  I haven't seen it in person, but the ad was nice and at least they are trying!  Cantaloupe is on sale through next week.


I didn't make the hens.  I'm sure they are delicious, so if you try it let me know.  Look within the recipe for the instructions for the salad.



Watermelon, Cucumber, Jicama Salad
Epicurious


 There are a ton of watermelon, cucumber salad recipes out there.  This is a good one and I simplified it for an outdoor gathering with kids and adults.  Marinate the watermelon and cucumbers in lime juice and zest, and separate on a platter with small feta cubes.  Top the entire platter with chopped fresh basil and serve with toothpicks so that guests are free to make skewers with all, or some of the ingredients.



Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
Cooking Light August 2010


Some of the best corn I've tasted was grown in Springfield, Illinois.  Even though soup is not what you crave on a hot day, you will find yourself finishing off the pot in no time!  It is surprisingly light and because there are no potatoes in the mix, you don't get that starchy taste found in most chowders.    


**all pictures were copied from websites with links to recipes**

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kid Tested and Approved Baked Fish and Chips

Here is a link to a recipe from the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine.  Baked Fish and Chips caught my eye immediately because I always get excited about a good french fry, and when I saw that the recipe was Food Network's attempt at cutting half the calories of the yummy English Pub dish, I knew I had to try it.  I have tried many a baked breaded fish and chicken and most of the time the crust burns or never really gets crispy.  This defeat usually sends me belly up at a bar and grill begging for a basket of fried deliciousness!  Not so with this recipe due to a special ingredient: Rice Krispies.  I know corn flakes are often used in mock fried chicken recipes, but I've never seen Rice Krispies.  It definitely makes the dish, creating a nice, crispy crust on the fish without overpowering the delicate meat.

The fries were also delicious, but the real star for me was Food Networks lightened up tarter sauce.  The base of the sauce is  nonfat Greek Yogurt, a food item I absolutely cannot live without, flavored with relish, lemon juice, and Tabasco.  I'm not really a fan of tarter sauce, but I loved this fat free version and will make it myself from now on.

The best part about this recipe is that not only did all three of my children eat their fish without any persuasion, two of them asked for seconds and one of them ate it again for lunch the next day!  For this reason alone I give it 5 stars and suggest you give it a whirl.  Maybe try adding some spices or Old Bay Seasoning to the dry, crushed Rice Krispies, or to the fish before dredging and it will be more adult friendly.    

BAKED FISH AND CHIPS

Food Network Magazine
July/August 2010

Fat Free Tarter Sauce
(Not featured online, copied from magazine)

2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
splash of lemon juice
splash of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and chill 10 minutes. 

**Picture copied from Food Network website** 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Jicama Times Two

     Jicama is one of those vegetables that I love to eat, but forget to put in my grocery cart.  Last week, I made a special trip to Whole Foods and brought home a giant jicama that inspired a delicious salad and yummy slaw worthy of posting.
     Jicama is perfect in salads because it absorbs dressings well, taking on whatever flavor you infuse, yet stays crispy and refreshing.  The first recipe below is a meal in itself with jicama, black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onion, and cilantro, tossed in a chili lime vinaigrette.  The slaw(pictured above) compliments grilled meat well with layers of textures and bright flavors.  Shredded zucchini, carrots, chopped jicama, and red onion dressed in lime zest, juice, cumin, and olive oil.  A great use of all the zucchini that is bursting out of the garden right now and much more flavor than the mayonnaise based, cabbage slaw you find on most barbecue tables.

Black Bean, Jicama, Corn, and Tomato Salad

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed(or fresh, cooked, removed from ear, and cooled)
1/2 large jicama, peeled and cut into small cubes
1-2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine black beans, corn, jicama, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro.  In a small bowl, whisk together zest from 1 lime, juice from both limes, honey, and chili powder.  Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add to salad and toss well.  Set aside for 30 minutes to let flavors absorb in salad or refrigerate for later.  


Zucchini and Jicama Slaw
(pictured above with grilled barbecue chicken)

2 limes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 large jicama, peeled and cut into small sticks
3 medium zucchini
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


In a large bowl whisk together zest from 1 lime and juice from both limes, sugar, and cumin.  Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add jicama sticks to dressing and set aside.  Shred zucchini with the large hole side of a box grater.  Press out water in zucchini in between a few paper towels.  Add zucchini, carrots, red onion, and cilantro to jicama and dressing mixture.   Toss well and enjoy!

**This slaw would be fabulous in fish tacos!!  Grill some Tilapia and serve with slaw in warm tortillas-yummy!!** 

And yes that is boxed macaroni and cheese in the picture.  Trader Joe's Wisconsin Cheddar which I think is a little bit healthier than other commercial brands?  It's the mac-n-cheese that gets the kids to the table, making it easier for me to get them to try the chicken and slaw.  Whatever works, right?!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Arugula and Broccoli Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Here is the recipe for a pasta salad I made tonight that my husband said is the best salad he ever ate!!  Maybe he was just really hungry, but I also thought it was very tasty and perfect for a hot summer night.  I threw together some arugula from my garden, steamed broccoli, whole wheat pasta, tossed them in a lemon vinaigrette, and topped it with a handful of pine nuts.  Great layers of flavor and textures, and so refreshing!  The only thing missing was shaved Parmesan cheese, which I will add next time.  Since this is the best salad my "until we are parted by death" dining partner ever ate, I'm thinking there will definitely be a next time!


Arugula and Broccoli Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 14 ounce box whole wheat pasta(penne or bow tie preferred)
1-2 cups steamed broccoli
1-2 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Lemon Vinaigrette
1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
juice from 2-3 lemons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook pasta according to box directions.  While pasta is cooking, make vinaigrette.  In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt.  Whisk olive oil into mixture in a slow, steady stream.  Set aside.  Drain cooked pasta and run under cold water until pasta has cooled slightly.  Add cooled pasta, cooled steamed broccoli, and baby arugula to the lemon vinaigrette and toss gently.  Top with pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.

Adjust the amount of lemon zest and juice to your taste.  I love tart flavors, but you may prefer a more mild vinaigrette.  

**I love dishes like this because I can easily set aside plain pasta and broccoli for my kids before I create a meal that my husband and I will enjoy.  One day their taste buds will catch up with ours, but for now I let them enjoy their version of a simple dinner!**








Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pan Seared Tilapia with Thai Basil Dipping Sauce and Quinoa with Asian Greens, Leeks, and Shiitake Mushrooms


In May I spent a wonderful afternoon with a great group of volunteers digging up weeds, breaking up cement like soil, and laying compost for the Nurture Grow Your Own Food Garden.  Plots in the garden were given to families from the Northfield Township Food Pantry that completed programs with Nurture last year, and ten percent of the crops are donated to the food pantry.  The following week, seeds were planted and since then more volunteers have been working hard to help our plots flourish.


I am very fortunate to have my own plot and recently harvested enormous crops of Asian greens, also known as Mizuna and Red Asian Mustard Greens.  At first I used them as you would in a salad, with red peppers and a peanut dressing.  I thought they were delicious, but then read up on these mysterious greens and learned that they are most often cooked in a stir fry or as a warm, wilted salad.

Below is the recipe for Pan Seared Tilapia and Quinoa with Asian Greens, Leeks, and Shiitake Mushrooms that I tested tonight.  It was hit with the husband!  The children of course were less excited about our "fresh greens from the garden!", but still enjoyed the fish and quinoa.  The greens cooked up very nicely and I love the way the quinoa absorbs all of the rich flavor from the mushrooms and soy sauce, brown sugar, stock, and red pepper flakes added to the mix.  Really, the best part is knowing that a portion of our dinner came from our little plot at the Nurture Grow Your Own Food organic garden!  

Thank you to all of the hard working Nurture volunteers who have been sweating it out for the last few months.  I can't wait to see what we get to harvest next!


Pan Seared Tilapia with Thai Basil Dipping Sauce and Quinoa with Asian Greens, Leeks, and Shiitake Mushrooms

For the Tilapia:

4 Tilapia Filets
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

In a small bowl, combine chili pepper, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Rub mixture on all four Tilapia filets.  Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium high heat.  Cook filets in pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily.  In another small bowl, combine soy sauce, lime zest and juice, and basil.  Pour over cooked fish or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.  

For the Quinoa:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 leeks, whites and light green parts sliced thinly lengthways
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups asian greens, roughly chopped
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 - 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper
1-2 cups cooked quinoa

Rinse sliced leeks in a bowl with cold water to remove any dirt from inside.  Pat dry with a towel and add to olive oil heated in a large pan on medium heat.  Add sliced mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, or until the leeks begin to look slightly translucent.  Add garlic and greens and saute for 1 minute.  Add soy sauce, brown sugar, stock, red pepper, sesame oil, and salt and pepper.  Cook covered for 3-5 minutes.  Add cooked quinoa and stir to combine.  Check for flavor and add more soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper, or salt and pepper if desired.  

For more information on Nurture and the Nurture Grow Your Own Food Garden, please visit the website at www.nurtureyourfamily.org   

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken and Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix


Recently, I was shopping at Trader Joe's and one of their friendly associates introduced me to Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix. I wasn't as excited as when I first heard about their jarred Lemon Curd, but when I read the ingredients I knew it was going to be a new staple in my pantry. Unlike other packaged taco seasoning mixes Trader Joe's brand is all natural ingredients with no added chemicals or msg. All of your favorite southwestern spices mixed together with sea salt and contained in a small packet for only $.79!

I tried it for the first time with this recipe for Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken that is adapted from a recipe found on a Facebook slow cooker recipe page. It is yummy and an easy way to create, healthy, flavorful chicken that you can use to make 2 or 3 different meals in one week. Start off only using 1/2 of the taco seasoning packet-it is spicy!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 28 ounce jar salsa(mango or peach preferred)
1/2 package Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix
1 cup water or low sodium chicken broth

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken, shred with a fork, and return to slow cooker. Stir to combine and serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables.

Great for a low fat dinner with brown rice, or serve with whole wheat tortillas for tacos, or on top of Trader Joe's Multi grain tortilla chips and topped with cheese and black beans for nachos, or on mixed greens with avocados and roasted corn for a southwestern salad.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Lasagna


I have said before that I love to eat lasagna, but not so much a fan of the cooking process. So, I was thrilled when a friend from church sent me this Weight Watcher's recipe for Slow Cooker Lasagna. There is still some pan cooking involved, but all in all this is a very easy and tasty lasagna recipe. My husband said it was the best lasagna he's ever had!


Just a few notes: The recipe uses no cook pasta. I used whole wheat lasagna noodles which I boiled briefly because I was afraid they wouldn't cook within the 4 hour cooking period. They were a little mushy so I'm thinking I could have just skipped that step and put them in dry. Also, I added some chopped sun dried tomatoes to my sauce and a little goat cheese to the ricotta, mozzarella mixture, both of which I already had in my fridge. It just made for a richer lasagna, but I'm sure the original is great on it's own.

Don't miss this one!! A great use of the slow cooker without producing a large pot of mushy meat in a sauce. What a nice way to end a busy day-a piping hot plate of comfort food and you barely lifted a finger!

**picture copied from Weight Watcher's website**

Monday, February 22, 2010

Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze and Sweet Potato Barley Salad


One of my oldest friends sent me this recipe for Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze which I have been waiting to try. Since salmon is on sale at both Dominick's and Sunset, this was the perfect week to test and post this dish. Whole ground mustard, sour cream, honey, and dill are mixed together then placed atop salmon fillets, which are finished with a layer of crushed buttery crackers before baking. Delicious!!!! And, so easy to put together making this a great weeknight dinner dish.

I served this with Sweet Potato Barley Salad, a recipe I recently made for a tasting/mixer Nurture hosted for Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. I realize sweet potatoes and barley doesn't sound exciting, but it is a tasty salad and was a big hit with the starving, beer drinking students. Who knew barley could be a suitable substitute for chicken wings?!

Steamed sweet potatoes cubes, fresh veggies, barley, and black beans are dressed with a lime, chili vinaigrette and the result is a refreshing and very satisfying salad. Make this on Monday and enjoy it all week for lunch or snack with no extra Weight Watcher's points or calories wasted.

SALMON WITH HONEY MUSTARD GLAZE
(Thanks, Karen!)

2 salmon fillets (about 8 ounces each), skin removed
3 tablespoons ground mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
3 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
8 buttery crackers, crushed (I used whole grain Ritz)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Place salmon on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine mustard, sour cream, honey, and dill weed. Spread over the salmon fillets. Top with crushed crackers just before baking.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through and flaky.

NURTURE'S SWEET POTATO BARLEY SALAD
**see blog entry from 1/10/10 for more info on Nurture**

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup cooked barley
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon honey
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Steam sweet potato on a steamer rack in a large pot for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Do not over cook! Mix together lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, honey, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add cooked barley, black beans, red pepper, red onion, cooled sweet potatoes, and chopped cilantro and combine gently. Serve warm or at room temperature.

**I love making salads like this because I can set aside individual parts for the kids plates. Tonight I served them plain barley(they were told it was rice), chopped veggies, a few black beans, and small pieces of fish. My son loved the fish and they all loved the barley. Not one had a clue they were eating such a healthy meal!**

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Deals for the week ending 2/24 and Dinner Menus, Including Pork Chops with Mango Salsa


I have been getting lots of great recipes from friends lately and am excited to give a few of them a try this week. Please send more recipes!! I love hearing about what other people are cooking and your tried and true dishes. Here are the highlights from this week's sale flyers and a few borrowed dinner ideas.

SUNSET FOODS:

Porterhouse Steak $5.99/lb (save $6.00/lb)
Boneless Pork Chops $2.99/lb
Whole Fryers $1.29/lb (save $.70/lb)
Ground Round $2.99/lb (save $1.00)
Norwegian Salmon Boneless Filet $8.98/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Cauliflower $.99/lb
Broccoli $.99/lb
Zucchini $.99/lb
Sweet Potatoes $.79/lb
Bosc Pears $.99/lb

And, Prince pastas, Red Gold Tomatoes, Brownberry breads, Minute Rice, Palermo frozen pizza, Tropicana orange juice, Skinny Cow Ice Cream products, and...

Prepared/Deli Section
Roosevelt Meatloaf $3.98 each (save $3.00)
Southern Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins $1.99/lb (save $5.00)
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes $2.98/lb (save $2.00)


DOMINICK'S:

Pork Loin Chops $.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Norwegian Salmon Filets $5.99/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Perdue Ground Turkey 2 for $5.00
Jumbo Cantaloupe Melons Buy 1 get 1 free
Cauliflower $.99/lb
Bosc Pears $.99/lb
Large Mangos $.99/lb


Dinner Menus

Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze and Steamed Broccoli
(recipe later in week)

Pork Chops with Mango Salsa
**Mangos are on sale at Dominick's and a fun substitute for the pineapple**

Slow Cooker Lasagna
**Can't wait to try this! Who doesn't love a good weight watchers recipe, and it's for the slow cooker, yeah!!**

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato Barley Salad
(recipe posted later in the week)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pork and Sweet Potato Tian

Here is my favorite slow cooker recipe for making pulled pork barbecue. Staying true to my North Carolina roots, I use a vinegar based sauce and try to recreate that delicious pulled pork I grew up enjoying. I don't have a smoker, which is one reason I cook this in a my slow cooker. If you do have a smoker, first of all I'm jealous, and secondly you should stick to the original recipe I found on the Food Network Website.


You will lose the smoky flavor from cooking this in a slow cooker, but the barbecue flavors are still there and the pork is tender, moist and falls apart with the lightest touch of a fork. And, as I have said before, why would you pass up an opportunity to use your slow cookers?!

I served this with a Sweet Potato Tian, which shouldn't be missed! Found in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living, this is a great new way to cook sweet potatoes. Thinly sliced potatoes are baked with leeks and grated apple, then topped with Gruyere cheese. The flavors are fabulous and your kitchen will smell amazing. I've made this twice in two weeks! Recipe not posted on Martha's website yet-maybe in March?

SLOW COOKER BARBECUE PORK

2-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed
16 ounces apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red hot sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1-2 cups water or chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Liquid should come to top edge of pork. If not, add more water or chicken stock. Cook on low for 8 hours or until pork pulls apart easily. Shred pork in slow cooker with sauce and serve.

**If you prefer a thicker sauce, add bottled barbecue sauce to slow cooker. I recommend Sweet Baby Rays original barbecue sauce, or marinade. I think I usually add a little anyway just for the extra flavors!**


SWEET POTATO TIAN

2-3 sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, cored and grated
1-2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only,
halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick and rinsed well
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss together sweet potatoes, apple, leeks, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 9 x 12 inch oval or 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread into a thin layer and cover with parchment-lined foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 400. Remove, uncover, and top with Gruyere. Bake until bubbling and top is browned, about 30 minutes.

**I used a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes, but a regular sharp knife is fine. I set aside some of the sweet potatoes to bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet for my kids, who will eat sweet potatoes, apples, and cheese, but not in casserole form. I used shallots the first time I made this and it was just as delicious as the leek version!**


Monday, February 15, 2010

Crispy Onion Chicken




One of my favorite new friends sent me this recipe for Crispy Onion Chicken last week and I had to try it. Chicken baked with a Worcestershire, mustard, butter sauce and French Fried Onions, this is one of those good old recipes that was probably found in a 1970's Better Homes and Gardens magazine, then later published over and over again in school and church cookbooks. It takes no time to put this dish together and is made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The chicken is moist and flavorful from the sauce and yes, crispy from the fried onions! I couldn't find Durkees French Fried Onions so I splurged and used Alexia Onion Strips, a tasty treat not to be missed, and I think it made the dish. They are thicker than Durkees so crush gently in a Ziploc bag before adding to chicken.


I was told by my friend that this freezes well-prepare and freeze before cooking. A great dish to keep on hand for those last minute meals or deliver to a friend in need!

CRISPY ONION CHICKEN

1/4 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
1 1/2 cups French Fried Onions

In a small bowl, stir together the butter, Worcestershire, ground mustard, garlic salt, and pepper. Arrange chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle half the butter mixture over the chicken. Top chicken with fried onions. Drizzle with remaining butter sauce. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

**I don't have garlic salt, so I used garlic powder and ground sea salt**

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sausage, Cannellini, and Kale Soup


I've posted this, not because all of the ingredients are on sale right now, but because it was so delicious and the perfect recipe for Trader Joe's shopping. Someday I would like to do a cost comparison between Trader Joe's and the other grocery stores. I feel like I'm saving money by shopping there, but my bill is rarely less than $100 every time I go! Is it because I stock up on the items I know are less expensive, like nuts, cheese, frozen items, cereal, natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, dried fruit, and, of course, wine? Or is it because I buy too many of their yummy treats just because I can't resist? Not sure, but I do know that there are certain items that are best purchased from Trader Joe's. I mentioned a few above, and a few others are found in this soup recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine. Great magazine, btw-expensive, but loaded with great recipes!

It was featured in an article with recipes that can be both vegetarian or meaty. In this case you cook the soup separate from the sausage, then add the sausage to the bowl right before serving. I loved the flavors in this soup and it was very easy and quick to put together. I started making it at 4:45, while my kids where playing rocket ship with the dining room furniture, and by 5:30 the rocket ship was dismantled and we were seated for dinner.

Here is the link to the original recipe.

To make your soup even more delicious, and your life a little easier, use these items from Trader Joe's. Pre-chopped onion, celery, carrot mix(found in produce section), pre-washed and chopped Southern Greens mix, 1 package Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage, and 1 package Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage. All of the other ingredients may be found at Trader Joe's so this is your one stop shop. I served it with their Multi Grain Baguette.

**Roast sausage meatballs in a 400 degree oven on Silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheets for 15-20 minutes, or until browned on edges. The easiest way to cook meatballs-no standing over a hot, greasy pan!**

Picture copied from Fine Living website. Our soup was gone before we had a chance to get out the camera!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Deals for the week ending 2/17 and Dinner Menus, including the very kid friendly, Winter Fruit Pasta Salad


Lots of specials on steaks, lobster, flowers and sweet treats for Valentine's Day. I thought about posting a romantic dinner menu for the big day, but have decided that all of you home cooks deserve to take a break from your kitchens! I say tell that special someone you are always cooking for to take you out or bring home a feast from Cafe Lucci in Glenview. Consistently delicious food and great take out service!


Here are the highlights from Sunset Foods and Dominick's sale flyers and a few dinner ideas.

SUNSET FOODS:
Premium Angus Beef Filet Mignon $19.99/lb
Boneless Pork Tenderloin $3.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Plainville Farms Marinated Turkey Tenderloins $4.99 each (save $2.00)
Live Maine Lobster $11.98/lb
Boar's Head Buffalo Chicken Breast $8.98/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Asparagus $2.99/lb
Strawberries 2/$5.00 1 lb package
Pink Lady Apples $1.39/lb
Organic Sweet Potatoes $1.29/lb

Also, Haagen-Daz ice creams and yogurts, select varieties of General Mills, Quaker, and Kashi cereals, Barilla Pasta Plus and Barilla Pastas, Yoplait yogurt, Home Run pizzas, and many more great deals!

Easy Weeknight Sunset Dinner:
Blackened Catfish with Succotash and Cajun Southern Cole Slaw
**Discounted prices in the Deli Department!

DOMINICK'S:
Rancher's Reserve Beef Rib eye Steak $4.99/lb (save $4.50/lb)
Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb (save $3.50/lb)
Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast $1.69/lb
Boneless Pork Tenderloin $3.99/lb
Asparagus $1.99/lb
Fresh Express Salad Kits $1.98 each
Red or Green Seedless Grapes $1.99/lb

**Also a Buy One Get One Free Event on Jennie-O ground turkey and marinated turkey tenderloins, select Oscar Myer and Hormel products, and more!


DINNER MENUS:

Roasted Marinated Turkey Tenderloin with Winter Fruit Pasta Salad
**Both Sunset and Dominick's have marinated turkey tenderloins on sale
Sunset also has discounts on Barilla Pastas**


Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Barbecue with Sweet Potato Tian
(recipe posted later in week)

Crispy Onion Chicken with Steamed Asparagus
(recipe posted later in week)

Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup(with or without sausage)
**Made this for dinner last night and it was fabulous!** More later..


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spicy Shrimp and Rice Soup-Again!


Last week I posted a link to the recipe for Spicy Shrimp and Rice Soup. I'm posting it again to make sure you don't miss this one and to add my two cents on this big bowl of yummy.

It is a super simple, delicious and healthy recipe. Shrimp sauteed with red pepper flakes, garlic and oil are added to a pot of boiling broth, water, and instant rice, then served with limes, jalapeno slices, cilantro and tortilla chips. This is a great last minute dinner for adults and I think it can be tweaked a little for the kids.

My kids love soup and rice, but not soup with rice and shrimp! To make this more kid friendly, saute the red pepper flakes and garlic in the bottom of a large pot for 1 minute, or until the garlic is fragrant, then add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add instant rice, preferably brown, and shredded rotisserie chicken and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Save the spicy toppings for the adults and maybe offer the kids a little shredded cheese.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Treats


Here are a few recipes for yummy Super Bowl munchies. Party on!!

1 minute Trader Joe's Easy Guac/Salsa Dip

1 avocado
1 jar Trader Joe's Garlic Chipotle Salsa

Cut avocado into small pieces and place in bowl. Add salsa and combine. Mash avocado slightly if you prefer a less chunky dip. Serve with Trader Joe's Multigrain Tortilla Chips

**If you've never tried Trader Joe's Mulitigrain Tortilla Chips, now is the time!! I can't live without them and prefer them to regular tortilla chips. Sure, it's still a chip, but at least these have a little fiber!

Broiled Buffalo Chicken Wings

Once upon a time my husband and I would play "Bar". I would fry up chicken wings while he watched, waited for a freshly fried and sauced wing, and drank cold beer. Those were the days before children, when I was a low carb lover and fried wings were almost considered healthy? I haven't seen my fryer in years and when I saw this recipe for Broiled Wings I was intrigued. Ina uses the same sauce I used to make for my fried wings, but there is no fryer mess or gallons of oil. It is all about the sauce-Franks Red Hot all the way and a good blue cheese dip. Definitely give this wing recipe a try.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Chili
**See 11/12/09 Post for this recipe**

I made this super easy chili again the other day and my husband says it's the best chili he's ever eaten. I love it because it is so easy to make and for the low calorie, low fat factor. Why would you pass up an opportunity to use your slow cooker?!

Best Box Mix Brownies and Peanut Butter Icing

1 package Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

Prepare brownies according to box directions. Either cook in a Pyrex dish or spoon into greased mini muffin tins and bake according to time and temp on box. When cooled top with peanut butter icing.

This icing is the my all time favorite. It is so rich, creamy, and delicious you will want to skip the brownie and eat it with a spoon.

Original recipe found on Food Network Website.

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Deals for the week ending 2/10 and Dinner Menus, Including Spicy Shrimp Soup


It's all about Super Bowl Sunday this week so in all of the grocery stores look for discounted prices on chips, crackers, salsas, beer, and other munchies. I don't follow football at all, and actually have no idea who is even playing this weekend! I do love a good party and of course the yummy treats that are in abundance at Super Bowl gatherings.

Here are the highlights from this week's grocery store sale flyers and some healthy dinner menus. Look for a not so healthy Super Bowl menu later in the week.


SUNSET FOODS:
Cooked Tail-On Shrimp Medium $7.98/lb (save $4.00/lb) Jumbo $9.98/lb (save $5.00/lb)
Baby Back Ribs $3.99/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Premium Black Angus Beef Boneless Strip Steak $7.99/lb (save $5.00/lb)
Farm Raised Golden Tilapia $6.98/lb (save $2.00/lb)
D'Anjou Pears $.99 each
Cantaloupe $2.99 each
Avocados $.69 each
Discounted prices on Organic Mandarins, Navel Oranges, and Broccoli

Deli/Prepared Food Department:
Pulled BBQ Pork $7.98/lb
Beef Chili $5.98/qt.
Corn Chowder $5.98/qt
Seafood Gumbo $5.98/qt

*Sunset has the best prices and largest selection on super bowl party goods so don't miss the deals!

DOMINICK'S:
Large Raw Shrimp $5.99/lb
Rancher's Reserve Beef New York Steak
96% Lean Ground Beef $2.99/lb
Perdue Lean Ground Chicken $2.99 each
Brocolli $.99/lb
Large Avocados $.88 each
Red or Green Seedless Grapes $1.99/lb
Cantaloupe 2/$5.00


DINNER MENUS:

Spicy Shrimp and Rice Soup

Chicken Spanakopita Burgers

Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans, and Rice

Grilled Steak with Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

**Season steak with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Grill on high or sear both sides in a pan and finish cooking in a 400 degree oven.