Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Tequila Lime Chicken

I'm still loving quinoa and recently picked up this month's issue of Fine Cooking magazine, which includes an article celebrating avocados and this recipe for Quinoa Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds and Lemon Cumin Vinaigrette. It is one of those salads you make on Sunday and spend the rest of the week with your fork in the bowl! Fine Cooking gives instructions for cooking quinoa on the stove, but I used my rice cooker. The quinoa cooked while I prepped the rest of the ingredients and tried to entertain my kids and I didn't have to worry about it burning on a hot stove.

I've also added a link to Ina Garten's Tequila Lime Chicken recipe because I think it would be a great compliment to this salad, and because Amish skinless, boneless chicken breast is currently on sale at Sunset Foods for $2.99/lb.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Deals for the week ending 2/3 and Zucchini Black Bean Burgers

Here are the highlights from this week's sale flyers, dinner menus, and a recipe that has been the highlight of my week.


Wild Caught Mahi Mahi $9.98/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $2.99/lb (save $3.00/lb)
Niman Ranch Top Sirloin Steak $4.99/lb
Red Grapefruit $.99/lb
Cara Cara or Blood Oranges $1.39/lb
Cauliflower $1.39
Fresh Express Baby Blend Salads 2/$5.00

From the Deli: Italian Turkey Meatloaf $4.98 each (save $2.00)
Roasted Root Vegetable Medley $4.98/lb (save $2.00/lb)

Also great deals on Frigo cheeses, Flav-R-Pac frozen veggies, Sun Maid Raisins, DiGiorno Pizzas, Select Quaker 100% Natural Cereals, Annie's Macaroni and Cheese, Frank's Sauces, Ortega and French's Taco products, and much more.


Safeway Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.97 (save up to $2.02/lb)
93 % Lean Ground Beef $1.99/lb (save up to $2.00/lb)
Boneless Beef Marinated Petite Tenders $5.99/lb
Jenni-O Ground Turkey $4.99 each
Asparagus $1.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Mangos $.99/lb
Cucumbers $.69 each
Avocados 2 for $3.00

**And a very noteworthy 30% off ALL WINES!!!**

Jennie O Marinated Turkey Tenderloins $6.99
Jennie O Ground Turkey $3.99
Avocados 10/for $10.00


Turkey Burgers with Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette
(recipe found in Feb/Mar issue of Fine Cooking, posted later in week)

Chicken Paillards with Avocado and Pomegranate Salsa
(also from Fine Cooking, posted later in week)

Chili Rubbed Steak Tacos

Zucchini Black Bean Burgers
(recipe below)

This week I started teaching cooking classes to students at Dawes Elementary School, where for the last four years they have been growing a garden and participating in the Slow Food in Schools, Farm to Table project. In my "Cooking Up Wellness" classes we are celebrating fruits and vegetables by making Zucchini Black Bean Burgers and Tomato, Corn, and Mango Salsa. The recipes are simple, affordable and now kid tested and approved! I am loving cooking with these amazing kids and after a successful first week, I encourage you to try making these burgers with your children.

Zucchini Black Bean Burgers

1- 15oz can black beans (or chickpeas)

2 zucchini, 7-9 inches long

1/4 cup ground rolled oats or breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Wash and drain the black beans and place in a medium sized bowl. Using a potato masher, crush the beans until they form a paste. Lay out 2 paper towels. Shred zucchini on paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels, pressing down to drain off water from veggies. If you find there is still a lot of moisture to them, repeat process. When they no longer release moisture, add to bowl with black beans, along with ground oats or bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. Use hands to incorporate all ingredients evenly, adding more breadcrumbs if too wet. Create ¼ inch - ½ inch thick patties of the vegetable mixture and cook in a saute pan on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until brown, flip, then about 5 minutes more, until brown on other side. Serve warm on burger buns with preferred condiments.

Corn, Tomato, and Mango Salsa

1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained of juice, or 1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 mango peeled and chopped

juice from 1 lime

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped

salt and pepper

1-4 ounce can diced green chile, drained of juices or 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

Place corn and drained tomatoes in a bowl. Peel and chop mango into small cubes, being careful not to cut into seed at center. Add lime juice, red wine vinegar, cilantro and desired amount salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together and serve. If you prefer spicy salsa, add seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper or 1-4 ounce can diced green chili, drained of juices, to bowl and mix before serving.

Food for Thought: A small fast food burger contains 250 calories, 9 grams of fat(including 3.5 grams of dangerous saturated fat), and only 2 grams of fiber. Zucchini Black Bean Burgers contain less than 200 calories, 5 grams of fat(less than 1 gram saturated fat), and a very high 5 grams of fiber. Both burgers cost around $1.50/per burger, but Zucchini Black Bean Burgers are the clear choice for a low calorie, low fat, and high fiber, healthy meal!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rick Bayless' Baked Fish with Roasted Salsa and Potatoes

Rick Bayless is a master of Mexican cuisine and one Chicago's most famous chefs. Frontera, Topolobampo, and XOCO, Rick Bayless' Chicago eateries, are packed every night with lines out the door! After my first dinner experience at Frontera, including the best mole and margarita I've ever tasted, I had to have a copy of his cookbook, Mexican Everyday.

In this book, I found many surprisingly easy recipes, including this one for Jalapeno Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes. His original recipe, baking mahimahi on top of a layer of sliced new potatoes, and covered with canned roasted tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and jalapeno juice is simple enough, but Rick's simple, simple version is below. I have cooked it both ways and really why would you add the extra step of opening two vessels when you can open one jar of your favorite salsa?! I used tilapia, but any type of skinless fish filets would work with this dish. Not sure about salmon, but maybe with a mango salsa?


4 medium (1 pound total) red skin potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 4-5 ounce (1-1 1/4 pounds) skinless fish fillets
(mahimahi, halibut, black cod, oh so affordable tilapia-in my case!)
1-16 ounce jarred salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop sliced potatoes into a microwaveable 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat, then spread the potatoes in an even layer. Microwave on high until the potatoes are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Lay the fish fillets in a single layer over the potatoes. Pour salsa over top of fish and potatoes. Bake for 15 -10 minutes, until the fish flakes. Serve with potatoes and salsa.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa

In case you haven't figured it out, pork tenderloin is my family's favorite entree and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, An Occasion to Gather, Milwaukee Entertains, from the Junior League of Milwaukee. Great, fresh flavors and so easy to make, Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa, is a keeper! The original recipe called for fresh pineapple, but I used peaches. If you don't have fresh fruit, I think canned pineapple, peaches, or jarred mango will work as well.

Pork Tenderloin and peaches are currently on sale at Sunset Foods.


2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger root

Peach Salsa
2 cups chopped fresh peaches
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the tenderloin, arrange the tenderloins on a rack on a broiler pan. Mix the brown sugar, Dijon mustard and ginger root in a bowl. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the tenderloins. Roast at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. While pork is roasting, make salsa. Combine peaches, bell pepper, jalapeno chili, green onions, cilantro and brown sugar in a bowl and mix well.
After pork has finished roasting, let rest 5 minutes, then slice and serve with salsa.

**You can store whole pieces of ginger root in your freezer. When ready to use, let thaw a little so that you can cut off a smaller piece for grating, then peel and grate desired amount. Jarred ginger is also a great time saver, but will cost you. Fresh whole pieces of ginger root sell for a couple of dollars less than minced ginger in a jar.**

Friday, January 22, 2010

Deals for the week ending 1/27 and Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta and Pine Nuts

I have had a crazy week, so I cooked a few recipes from posts past-Grown up Beanie Weanies, Brisket with Barbecue Beer Sauce, and Turkey Lasagna. Just as delicious as before, and those meals fed us for days. Here are the highlights from this week's sale flyers and a few dinner ideas, including a recipe I created the other night for Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta, and Pine Nuts.

Boneless Pork Tenderloin $2.99/lb (save $3.00)
Norwegian Salmon Hand-cut Steaks $7.98/lb, Boneless Fillets $9.98/lb (save $2.00)
Split Chicken Breast $1.99/lb (save $.90/lb)
American Gulf Shrimp Medium 26-30 count $6.98/lb (save $3.00)
Spaghetti, Acorn, or Butternut Squash $.89/lb
Broccoli $.79/lb
Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes $.59/lb
Fresh Chilean Peaches and Nectarines $1.99/lb

Easy Weeknight Dinner
Sunset Spa's Spinach Stuffed Salmon $15.98/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Winter Hash $4.98/lb (save $2.00/lb)

Also look for deals on Edy's Ice Cream, Progresso Soups, Kashi Bars, Tropicana orange juice, Home Run Pizzas, Ronzoni Pastas, and more!

Rancher's Reserve Beef Porterhouse Steak $6.99/lb
Fresh Perdue Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $6.99/lb
Fresh Tilapia Fillets $5.99/lb
Iceberg Lettuce $.99 each
X-large Russet Potatoes $.99/lb
Mangos $.99 each
Sweet Blueberries $.99 each (save $3.00 each)


Oven Baked Fried Chicken with Steamed Broccoli and Roasted Potatoes
I will be trying this recipe for the first time, but you really can't go wrong with Ina!

Pan Seared Salmon on Baby Arugula
or with
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta, and Pine Nuts
(see recipe below)

Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa
(recipe posted later in week)

Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes
(original and easy modified version by Rick Bayless posted later in week)


Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta, Pine Nuts

1 spaghetti squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup low fat or fat free feta cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into strips
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and place cut side up on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Add olive oil in a slow and steady stream to bowl until ingredients are emulsified. When squash has cooled slightly, scoop out and discard seeds. Scoop remaining spaghetti squash into bowl with red wine vinegar mixture. Add sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and pine nuts and stir to mix. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

**This is my version of a pasta free, pasta salad. Spaghetti squash is currently on sale at Sunset Foods**

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Deals for the week ending 1/20 and Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine

I have to admit that I wasn't really inspired by the sale flyers this week. I've listed the highlights below and a few dinner ideas, but I think I might spend the next few days cleaning out my freezer!

I've also posted the link for Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine, a Food Network recipe that is truly unique and delicious. Ellie Matthews won Food Network's Build a Better Burger 2 Challenge and $50,000 with this burger, and after watching the episode I had to try it. Ginger, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, sriracha sauce, star anise and peanut butter combined with ground meat, grilled and topped with lime, basil mayonnaise. Hard to imagine how it will taste, but I can tell you Ellie won $50,000 for a reason! It really is one of the best burgers I've eaten and has become a regular meal in our house.

Whole Fryers $.99/lb (save $1.00)
Niman Ranch Boneless Chuck Roast $4.99/lb
Ground Chuck $2.49/lb
Red Grapefruit $.99/lb
Sweet Potatoes $.79/lb
Organic Baby Leaf Salad Blends $2.99 each
Sweet Grape Tomatoes $1.99 each
Sunset Spa's Poached Salmon with Orange Basil Relish $4.98 each (save $1.00)
Sunset Spa's Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes $4.98/lb (save $1.00)
Sunset's Warm Mushroom Salad $7.98/lb (save $2.00)

Look for sale prices on Barilla pastas, canned tomato sauce and paste, Kraft cheeses, Dannon and Oikos yogurts, Weight Watcher's products, and more.

Rancher's Reserve Boneless Top Round London Broil $1.99/lb (save $3.30/lb)
Fresh Perdue Whole Chicken $1.29/lb
Fresh Norwegian Salmon $5.99/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Fresh Lean Ground Beef $1.69/lb (save $1.30/lb)
Fresh Express Complete Salad Kits $1.98 (save $1.51 each)
Fresh Green Beans $1.49/lb
Ruby Red Grapefruit 2/$1.00
Red Roma Tomatoes $1.49/lb
Fresh Strawberries, Blackberries, or Blueberries 2/$6.00


Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans
**Ina Garten is the queen of roasting. For me there is no better source**

Filipino Style London Broil and Mixed Greens Salad

Simple Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 cup-2/3 cup olive oil

Whisk together dijon mustard, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil, in a slow steady stream, until ingredients are emulsified. Serve with fresh greens.

Grilled Pork Burgers Indochine

**I substitute the pork with ground turkey because that is what I have in my freezer, and ground chicken would also work. Definitely substitute most, or all, of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt to save calories with the dressing.**

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Down Home Surf and Turf

It is that time of year, when we haven't seen the grass for a month and a high temperature of 25 feels balmy, that I long for a visit to the south. No travel plans in sight, so I have to bring the south here with a little down home cooking. Here are the recipes for both Barbecue Steak and Low Country Shrimp with sauteed Soycutash. For the steak, I used a simple rub that I've posted before, but changed just a few ingredients to compliment the beef. The shrimp is a classic-boiled with Old Bay Seasoning, which some southern grocery store butchers will steam for you in the store while you shop! Finally, Soycatash is a Trader Joe's product that I can not live without. It is a combination of frozen corn, edamame, and chopped red bell peppers. Steamed, sauteed, added to soups or salads, eaten frozen(my kids favorite!) Soycutash is a modern and healthier version of the "mixed vegetable" that most of us have buried in the back of our freezer. Tonight I sauteed the mix with red onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a splash of red wine vinegar. If you seek a heartier side dish, cook diced new potatoes for a 5-10 minutes in a saute pan with olive oil before adding Soycutash and other ingredients.

1 2-3 pound flank steak
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Mix brown sugar, paprika, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, ground chipotle chili pepper, and salt in a bowl. Rub flank steak with spice mixture, covering both sides of meat. Grill flank steak on medium high heat for 7 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, cover plate with foil, and allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes for a medium rare center. Slice thinly, cutting against the grain of the steak, and serve.

*Flank Steak is currently on sale at Sunset Foods*

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp with shells and tails
4-6 cups water
1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning

Bring water and Old Bay Seasoning to boil in a medium to large sized pot. Pot should be 2/3 full of water, leaving room for shrimp. When water reaches a rolling boil, add shrimp, stir, and cook for 3-5 minutes until shrimp are opaque and pink. Remove shrimp from water with a strainer and serve with lemon wedges, and favorite cocktail sauce.

*Shrimp is currently on sale at Dominick's*

Sorry, no pic of the shrimp. I did make it tonight, but they were gone before we were able to get the camera ready!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nurture Your Family and Slow Cooker Quinoa with Broccoli, Swiss Chard and Leeks

For the last six months I have been volunteering with an amazing organization, Nurture, that "combines philanthropic giving with hands-on teaching, providing limited-resource parents with tools to help them stretch their food dollars in a meaningful and healthy way".

We are working with families from a local food pantry, elementary school students in after school programs, teenage mothers, etc. The list is growing and I am proud to be a member of this incredible organization. Please check out the website for program information, volunteer opportunities, recipes, the Nurture store, and our donation section, where you can purchase cooking tools for the participants of our programs.

Most recently, I tested a two quinoa recipes for Nurture, including the Black Bean Quinoa Salad I posted Friday, and a slow cooker recipe with quinoa, broccoli, and greens. I loved both recipes and am thrilled to have been introduced to quinoa! After it's cooked, quinoa takes on a similar shape to couscous, but has more depth in texture and flavor, making it perfect for salads and the slow cooker recipe below. Most grocery stores carry quinoa, but Costco sells a 4 lb bag of Organic quinoa for $6.00. I have been cooking with that bag for weeks and still have plenty to use.

1 bunch swiss chard
8 ounces frozen broccoli
1 medium leek (white and tender green parts)
1 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 cup dried shitake mushrooms(optional)
1 1/3 cups quinoa

Trim ends of swiss chard stems, slice thinly then coarsley chop(should equal 6 cups). Cut leeks thinly, crosswise, and swish in a bowl of cold water to remove grit. Place chard, leeks, broccoli, chicken broth, vegetable oil, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ginger powder, mushrooms(optional), and quinoa in slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high, or 3 1/2 hours on low, until vegetables are crisp tender and quinoa is soft and fluffy, not mushy.
**Substitute vegetable oil with sesame oil and drizzle more sesame oil on top right before serving if desired**

Trader Joe's Southern Green Mix is perfect for this dish!! It is a combination of Collards, Turnips, Spinach and something else, but is pre-chopped and sells for less than $3.00/bag. The first time I made this, my husband told me that he wanted to eat it everyday. I wouldn't say that he is a whole grain, greens lover, so this was a huge compliment!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Deals for the week ending 1/13 and Honey Mustard Marinated Chicken with Black Bean Quinoa Salad

It's all about fulfilling those New Year's resolutions for eating healthy and exercising more and fortunately the grocery stores on on the same page. Most of the sale flyers for this week posted deals on healthy cuts of meat, low fat dairy products and some produce. Here are the highlights.

Flank Steak Premium Black Angus Beef $4.99/lb (save $5.00/lb)
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders $4.99/lb
Fresh Broccoli $.99/lb
Fresh Express Blends Salad Mix 4.5 -6 oz bag $2.59 each
Bartlett Pears $.99/lb
Ruby Red Grapefruit 5 lb bag $3.49

Also cottage cheese, orange juice, yogurt, Healthy Choice frozen dinners, Wasa crackers, and many more items on sale to help you shed the pounds.

Rancher's Reserve Beef Top Sirloin Steak $2.99/lb (save $4.00/lb)
Jumbo Raw Gulf Shrimp $5.99/lb (save $8.00/lb)
Whole or Sliced Button Mushrooms 10/$10.00 (save $10 on 10)
Fresh Express Salad Blends Buy One Get One Free (save $2.99 on 2)

Also great deals on Dominick's Eating Right brand, including pastas, frozen meals, salad dressings, and bag salad.


Barbecue Steak with Lemon Broccoli and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
(recipe posted later in week)

Honey Mustard Marinated Chicken Tenders with Black Bean Quinoa Salad
(recipe below)

Low Country Shrimp and Sauteed Soycutash
(recipe posted later in week)

Brocolli, Chard Quinoa with Leeks
(recipe posted later in week)


The original recipe, found on, calls for pork tenderloins. Chicken tenders are on currently on sale at Sunset Food's and this marinade is perfect for chicken and pork. I didn't have time to marinade our tenders(like 15 minutes!) for very long tonight and it was still delicious. Thinning the marinade with a little more oil and vinegar, would make a great honey mustard vinaigrette for salads.


1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup finely chopped red or yellow pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Lime Dressing
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 5 limes
1 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ground cumin
5 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse and drain quinoa with a fine strainer and place in a rice cooker. Fill cooker to the "2 cup line" for white rice. Cook on white rice setting and fluff when finished cooking. While quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl toss drained and rinsed beans with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked quinoa, corn, bell pepper, jalapenos, and cilantro. In a small bowl mix together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking until ingredients are emulsified. Add dressing to quinoa, black beans mix and toss well.

**If you don't have a rice cooker follow cooking instructions on quinoa package**

This is unbelievably healthy and the kind of dish that will only get better with age. Make this and you will have a week's worth of lunch in the fridge-and no guilt!

**Picture posted above copied from

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Burgers and Chips-Nothing More Simple Than That!

I have been cooking this week, but have had no time to write or take pictures of our feasts. I will post some of the yummy and very healthy meals we've been noshing on later, but for now here is my Classic Burger recipe. There is nothing to it because the star is the ground beef. I only use organic grass fed beef, sold at Costco for much less than the grocery stores in a set of three individually sealed 1 pound packages which are perfect for freezing. Grass fed beef has tremendous flavor, is very lean, and doesn't require a ton of extra condiments to create a delicious burger. I'm not strict about cooking with only organic products, however for the low price and great quality, I can't resist. Tonight I served my classic burgers with homemade baked chips (leftover new potatoes that I didn't use in the Brunswick stew last week) and steamed green beans. I am very proud to say that my entire family devoured this meal and I even heard "dinners tastes a really good" a few times!

1 pound grass fed ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

With your hands, gently combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Do not overwork meat. Divide mixture into quarters and make 4 patties 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. For medium to medium well, grill on high 3-5 minutes per side, remove and let rest 10 minutes. If using an indoor grill pan cook on high 3-5 minutes per side, move to plate and wrap plate in foil, allowing the burgers to rest for 10 minutes. You can also place indoor grilled burgers in toaster oven set at 150-200 degrees for 10 minutes to reach medium well to well done temps.
Serve with your favorite condiments.

4-5 new potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper and mix together with hands, until potatoes are coated. Arrange in a single layer again and bake for 30 minutes, or until browned on edges. Flip chips 15 minutes into cooking.

**Picture posted above features the burger on an Arnold's Sandwich Thin, with melted blue cheese, red onions, and Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce-my husbands preferred condiments.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew is a southern classic that I crave on cold days like today. Sweet barbecue flavors slow cooked with meat and vegetables-I'm instantly transported to the south! There is a debate over whether this recipe originated in Virginia or Georgia and the main ingredient was either squirrel or rabbit. I lived over the bridge from Brunswick, Ga for a short period so I will give them bragging rights, but I say no thank you to critters in my stew!

I grew up with Can Opener Brunswick Stew that is very good and easy, but impossible to make in Illinois. None of our local grocery stores carry one important ingredient, canned Brunswick Stew. In my search for a homemade recipe, without squirrel or rabbit, I found two slow cooker versions published by Southern Living. Both are delicious, but I combined the two to get what I consider to be the perfect Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew.


3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium sized new potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 9 ounce package frozen lima beans
1 9 ounce package frozen corn
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
10 ounces bottled chili sauce(heinz or store brand)
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons butter cut up into pieces

Season trimmed pork with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Add chopped onion and potatoes, frozen lima beans and corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, chili sauce, worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, tabasco sauce, and butter. Cook on low 10 hours or on high for 5 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred. Add shredded meat to slow cooker and stir. Serve with corn bread or a biscuit!

Here are the links to the original recipes if you would rather try those. I have had them both and one is with pork and is sweeter, the other with chicken and is ready in 4 hours.

Easy Brunswick Stew

Chicken Brunswick Stew

**Picture posted copied from Southern Living**