Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seafood Mac n Cheese



Many years ago, back when we were stationed in D.C., I attempted to make seafood lasagna. I don't remember where I got the recipe from, probably Taste of Home since that's all I read back then, but it remains a source of great amusement for my husband. To say it was awful would be a giant understatement. It was (and still is) one of the worst things I had ever made...in my life.

Since then I've been incredibly wary of paring seafood with any type of pasta. I'm not sure why...my cooking skills have improved ten-fold in the 7 years since that horrible dish exited my oven. I'm much more confident in the kitchen (save for baking...all baked goods hate me). There's nothing I won't attempt to make anymore (though I still like to stick with easy recipes cause I'm just that lazy). So I don't know what the deal is.

When I saw this on Martha Stewart's site, I knew I needed to get my big girl panties on and try this. I love mac n cheese, I love seafood, so it had to be made. Luckily this turned out about a million times better than my seafood lasagna (ya know, edible and all), and this is certainly a recipe I'd make again. Just prep everything you need before you start cooking, and this is a pretty easy dinner! I can't wait to move back to CT and try this with lobster. For some reason it's friggin impossible to find fresh lobster meat here in SC.

Of course, the best seafood mac and cheese in all the world is Hancock's Lobster Mac n Cheese, but that's just me. They've kind of ruined me when it comes to lobster mac n cheese...unfortunately the stuff is so damn expensive that I can only treat myself to it a couple times a year. In the meantime though, this is an excellent recipe to have on hand when I'm hankering for some Lobster mac, but don't want to shell out the $$ for my favorite.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Seafood Mac n Cheese'
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Salt and ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish, or crabmeat (or any combination)
4 cups (1 pound) mixed grated cheeses, such as Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, and fontina
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 2 minutes less than al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium in a large saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a medium bowl, and reserve. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.

3. Remove pan from heat. Fold in seafood, macaroni, and cheese; transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish. To the bowl with reserved melted butter, add breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning; toss, and scatter over macaroni mixture.

4. Bake uncovered until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

White Bean Chicken Chili



This is my new favorite dinner. Was it absolutely amazing, and did I love it that much? Well, no...not exactly.

Don't get me wrong, it was really good, and super easy, but Jesse loooooved it. THAT is why it's my new favorite. He has been such an annoyingly picky eater lately that I am all over anything he'll actually eat (except those disgusting Banquet frozen dinners. I'll never be cool with that). This is a super easy dish. It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish, but about 30 of those minutes are spent allowing the pot to simmer.

Heath was out of town when I made this...it makes a lot and since Jesse loved it so much I didn't want to waste the leftovers. Using a trick I saw on Pinterest, I spooned the remaining chili into a muffin tin (sprayed with cooking spray) and stuck it in the freezer. One frozen I popped out each puck and placed them in a large zip-lock bag. Now I can thaw a re-heat as much or as little as I want on nights when he's being a brat about dinner...super handy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'White Bean Chicken Chili'
Source: Adapted from How To Simplify

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups cooked chicken shredded (I shredded a pre-cook rotisserie from the store)
2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can green chilies  (4 oz)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 box  chicken broth (32 oz)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Juice from 1 lime

Directions

1. In a large pot, saute the onion and cook until it starts to become translucent (3-4 minutes).

2. Once the onion is done, add shredded chicken, beans, corn, green chilies (with juice from can), cumin and oregano to the pot. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and then add the chicken broth.

3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the broth to reduce. Add salt and pepper (to taste) and juice from one whole lime.

4. Leave simmering on stove until ready to serve.

Some serving ideas:

Sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded Pepper Jack cheese, avocado or tortilla chips.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Melts



These little melts were a big surprise. The original recipe was for tuna melts, but Heath despises tuna. There's a lot of things he says he doesn't like, but he'll still eat it if it's in front of him, tuna though is NOT one of them. Or brussel sprouts. Woe to the fool who serves Heath Johnmeyer brussel sprouts.

Anyway, I made these for dinner one night after Jesse's practice. They were easy and quick, so they were perfect for T-Ball night when we don't get home till 7:45pm. They were ridiculously good. I ate two and could have absolutely eaten three if Heath hadn't been there.

I will definitely be making this again. It was a great dinner, but would also make a very good lunch. I didn't change anything about the recipe (save for the whole tuna to chicken thing), and I wouldn't in the future. I almost ditched the capers, but decided to keep them. They really aren't that big a deal, so I saw no reason not to include them.

Very happy to have found this. This is a great recipe to have in my collection, especially since it can serve as many or as little as you want, plus it's a super handy 'finger meal' for get-togethers. Thanks Martha! (Oh, and Emeril...since it's his recipe and all :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Chicken Melts'
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

2 cans of chicken, drained (12 oz each)
1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers
4 slices crusty bread
8 thin slices tomato
4 slices provolone

Directions

1. Heat broiler, with rack in highest position.Place bread on a baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from over.
2. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.

3. Spread a little mayonnaise on each slice of toasted bread. Divide tuna salad evenly among slices, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1 slice cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday, May 28, 2012

Classic Caprese Salad



Well, after all the heavy burgers, dogs, chips and cupcakes of this past weekend, I'm going light. This little lunch is so simple and tasty, but also light and easy on the tummy...which I need right now :)

When we were in Virginia Beach about a month ago, we went down to the beach and walked the boardwalk. We stopped at Mahi Mah's for some lunch, but I wasn't feeling very well. I knew I needed to eat something since I hadn't eaten yet that day (which is most likely why I wasn't feeling well!), but the thought of food at that moment made me ill. I ordered this...their 'Caprese Stack'. It was perfect. Totally hit the spot. Filled my belly without making me sick.

Once we got back home I realized just how simple this is to make (my Mom's been eating Caprese panini's for years, but I never thought to make a salad out of it...I know...weird). I stuck with exactly how it was served at the restaurant, but you can drizzle whatever you want over the tomatoes and mozzarella. Most people use Olive Oil, but I've also seen Italian dressing used. Personally, I like the flavor of the balsamic, so I'll stick with that.

Well, have a great week guys, and Happy Memorial Day! Thank you so much to all the men and woman who are serving and have served, including my Husband (Navy), Dad (Navy), Step-Dad (Navy), Grandfather (Army) and Grandmother (Marines).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


'Classic Caprese Salad'
Source: Mahi Mah's Restaurant Virginia Beach

Ingredients

1 ripe tomato
1 fresh mozzarella cheese ball
fresh basil, chopped
salt
balsamic vinegar (or olive oil)

Directions

1. Slice tomato and mozzarella ball into even slices. Chop basil.

2. Arrange tomatoes and cheese, one on top of the other, on a plate. Sprinkle with basil, salt, and drizzle with ether balsamic vinegar or olive oil.



Friday, May 25, 2012

The BEST Chicken Fried Steak (Seriously!)



I realize this is a duplicate recipe (I originally blogged this on September 10, 2010), but it is so friggin good, that I had to re-post it.

Let me just say, I had no intentions of posting this again. I made it last week cause it had been quite awhile since I'd had it (it's one of my favorite meals ever), and was only planning on updating the photos. One bite...that's all it takes. This chicken fried steak is like a party in your mouth. I knew I needed to re-share it.

The breading is so crispy and flaky, and the meat is so juicy and tender...then you add the white gravy? Orgasmic! This is one of those rare times when I actually eat ALL of my dinner.

Every. Single. Glorious. Bite.

Try this! I HIGHLY recommend it.

Ok guys, have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Stay safe, and remember why it is that we have this three day weekend. My thoughts are with the families of those Americans who have lost a loved one to war. Please don't forget the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may remain the land of the free, and the home of the brave. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'The BEST Chicken Fried Steak'
Source: Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients

4  beef cube steaks
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
3 cups vegetable shortening for deep frying

Gravy Ingredients
(If you're not using the packaged gravy)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
kosher salt and ground black

Directions

1. Heat the shortening in a deep skillet.

2. Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in the buttermilk, egg, and Tabasco Sauce.

3. Dredge each steak first in the FLOUR, then in the batter, and again in the flour. Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.

4. Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate with paper towels to drain.

Gravy Directions

(If using the packaged gravy, prepare as directed)

In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk over medium heat. Bring the gravy to a slow boil and cook until thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve.






Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chocolate Banana Split Cups



Having a shin-dig this Memorial Day Weekend? Here's a snack idea! I love Kraft Recipes. Their desserts are always so easy and so tasty. Chocolate pudding and bananas? I'm in!

This is a super quick and easy dessert to whip up and keep in the fridge till ready to serve (don't add the whipped cream to the top till serving time, or it will get all flat and runny). Everyone gets their own individual servings, and, if you serve them in the small clear plastic cups, there's no mess!

One word of advice though...DO NOT use this pudding...


use THIS pudding!!!

 

The 'Cook & Serve' is not the way you want to go with this. I can't imagine why anyone would even need it (for pie filling maybe?). I bought it totally by accident. I just grabbed a box of pudding, not realizing there were two different types. Trust me...you can make this work if you already have it on hand, but it was a pain-in-the-butt! Stick with the regular!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Chocolate Banana Split Cups'
Source: Kraft Recipes

Ingredients

2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding (2.1 oz)
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 cup thawed cool whip
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (if desired)

Directions

1. Beat milk and pudding mix with whisk for 2 minutes. Spoon 1/2 evenly into 4 dessert dishes.

2. Top with bananas, followed by remaining pudding.

3. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Top with cool whip and nuts.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Smoked Salmon Spread



As I've mentioned many times, I love salmon. Salmon fillets, salmon patties, salmon lox, doesn't matter. Love it all. I happened on this recipe while searching for dinner recipes. It looked easy enough, plus I got to break in my brand new handy-dandy food processor, so I gave it a go.

YUM! Cream cheese, horseradish, salmon lox...what's not to love? This whips up in no time and is a great spread for either your morning bagel or as an appetizer to be smeared onto crackers or bagel chips.  Either way, if you're a salmon lover, I highly recommend trying this.

(Oh, and any leftovers can be placed in a covered glass dish and kept in the fridge for about 2 days. You may be able to keep it longer, but I didn't want to push it.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

'Smoked Salmon Spread'

Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz cream cheese
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon red onion, diced
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 oz plus 2 more oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Bagels or bagel chips, for serving

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, capers, red onion, lemon juice, horseradish, and 2 ounces smoked salmon. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds.

2. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining 2 ounces smoked salmon. Top with fresh parsley and serve with warm bagels or bagel chips.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taco Pasta


Hello! Hope you're all having a productive Tuesday. As for myself...no. Not at all. The house is clean, laundry is done, the boy is at school, so I'm pretty much bored out of my mind. I have to make my grocery list for tomorrow, but that's about it till 5pm. Jesse has a T-Ball game at 5:30 (on  Tuesday, yes, it's weird), but it's looking like rain, so I'd be surprised if it happens. Oh well. I could always vacuum...again.

I found this recipe over at Foodgawker. It looked like a spiffed up version of Hamburger Helper, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately I used the 'Original' taco seasoning instead of the 'Mild', so this had a little too much kick for Jesse. I had to make him a PB&J. My fault.

It was good though! Heath loved it, but this is totally up his alley. I liked it. Nothing special...hamburger meat with shells. A good weeknight dinner. I would absolutely make it again (with the mild seasoning, though).

Ok guys, I'm gonna try and finish crocheting this blanket I'm working on. I have so much yarn in my closet I could go into business, so I'm making afghans to try and use it all up before we move. I know I'm only 31, but sometimes I feel like and 80 year old woman...crocheting on her corner of the couch watching her 'stories' :)  (just to clarify, I do NOT watch soaps all day. I watch Looney Tunes, followed by Tom & Jerry. Respectable shows, thankyouverymuch!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

'Taco Pasta'
Source: Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef or turkey
8 oz pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained
1 packet taco seasoning
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

3. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water. Continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with parsley.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings



What better way to celebrate my 200th blog post than with some homemade chicken and dumplings? This recipe was soooo gooood. I've always been afraid to make my own dumplings because I absolutely loath working with dough of any kind. I suck at it. Plain and simple.

This wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be though. Sure, I about had a stroke at the huge mess it made with all the flour everywhere, but once I got past that, this was amazingly good for such simple recipe.

Hubby had absolutely zero confidence that this would even be edible. He looked at the ingredients, looked at the mess on the counter and said when I was ready to order a pizza, just holler upstairs and he'll call. Whatever. I showed him. He ate two bowls, and there were NO leftovers! A rarity in this house.

The key to these dumpling is flour. Lots and lots of flour. When I first tried rolling the dough, it kept sticking to the rolling pin, even though I had floured the pin. I was pissed. I was ready to just toss the whole damn thing in the trash and yell for that pizza. But then I said screw it, and dumped a whole bunch of flour on top of the dough itself and tried again. Genius! It rolled nice and smooth after that.

Once you get the hang of the whole dough thing, this is pretty simple. I will absolutely be making this again and again. I'm still not 100% ok with the mess (I'm a real stickler for 'clean-as-you-go' cooking), but if you have counter space next to your sink, just prepare them there so you can wipe all that flour into the sink. Love this recipe. Once again, thank you Pinterest!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Homemade Chicken and Dumplings'
Source: Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 quarts chicken broth
3 cups cooked chicken
(I shredded a pre-cooked store-bought rotisserie)

Directions

1. In a large pot bring chicken broth to a boil. While the broth is heating up, prepare the dumplings.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.

3. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with (such as a pizza cutter). You may also want to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.

4. Place the mixed dough on the floured work surface and sprinkle a generous amount of flour over top the dough ball. Using a heavily floured rolling pin, roll the dough out thin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings into 2 inch squares (they don't need to be perfect, or even all the same size).

5. To cook the dumplings, use the floured spatula to lift each one from the work surface. Drop the dumplings one at a time into the boiling chicken broth, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on each dumpling will help thicken the broth.

6. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until they're no longer doughy. Add the shredded cooked chicken to the pot and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken is heated.





Friday, May 18, 2012

Wonton Soup



STOP!!!

Before you scroll down, take a look at the ingredients and directions for this recipe and tell me to go screw myself, just STOP! This is actually a pretty easy recipe to make. A little time consuming, yes, but easy. Just do a teeny-tiny bit of planning, and this awesomely delicious soup will totally be worth it.

Now, when I say 'planning', I mean this; decide what day of the week you want to make this (I'm posting it on a Friday since this just screams weekend lunch or dinner). Make the wonton filling earlier that day...I made mine at about 11am, just to get it out of the way. The only work required there is chopping the lettuce, but 1/2 cup is NOT a lot....about 4-5 leaves. I bought a container of sliced green onions in the produce section and opted for ground ginger spice instead of actual ginger (mainly because I forgot to add ginger to my shopping list) so I didn't have any other prep work for the filling. Once the cabbage has been drained of it's water, just mix everything up! You can even do that the night before if you want, then keep the filling in the fridge.

Now...assembling the wontons. This is obviously the most time consuming part. Just follow the directions and work with one wonton at a time. The first couple you do are most likely gonna look ghetto-fabulous, but it's ok. You start to get the hang of it and pick up a rhythm and it goes much faster. The most important thing with this step is to keep the finished wontons moist! I just sprayed a plate with Pam, set each finished wonton on the plate, then covered them with a very wet paper towel. Once they're finished and you begin making the soup, just re-wet the paper towel to keep them moist while waiting for the broth and water come to a boil.

Once that happens you just pop 'em into the water one at a time and they take about 3-4 minutes to cook. I promise, this is not a difficult recipe. The old me would have taken one look at that recipe and ran screaming in terror. But there would have been no need. This recipe is SO good, and SO worth the little bit of effort it takes. I'll of course still get wonton soup from the Chinese restaurant cause I LOVE it, but it's nice to know I have a great recipe on hand to make it at home if I so choose.

Have a great weekend guys...see you Monday!!! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Wonton Soup'
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Wonton Filling

1/2 cup finely chopped Napa cabbage
Coarse salt
1/2 lb ground pork
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger (I used 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Wonton Filling Directions

1. In a medium bowl, toss cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid.

2. Return cabbage to bowl and mix well with pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Soup Ingredients

24 rectangular or square wonton wrappers (3 1/2-by-3-inch)
prepared wonton filling (from above recipe)
2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz)
4 cups water
Coarse salt
3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 to 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Wonton Assembly Directions

1. Work with one wrapper at a time, and keep the rest covered with a damp towel. Spoon one rounded teaspoon of filling in center of a wrapper.

2. With dampened fingers (or a brush), wet the four edges. Form a triangle by folding the wrapper in half over filling, making sure the ends meet and filling is centered; press down firmly to seal.

3. Moisten one tip on long side of triangle. Bring together both tips on long side, overlapping them slightly; press tips together to seal.

4. Fold remaining top corner back. Transfer to an oiled plate; cover with a damp towel to keep moist. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Soup Directions

1. Once wontons are made, set aside (keeping them covered with moist towel). In a large pot, combine broth, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil.

2. Add wontons one at a time; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until wontons are just cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in scallions, vinegar, and sesame oil; season with salt. Serve.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Roasted Salmon with White Wine Sauce


I love salmon. I love this salmon and that salmon, and this salmon is one of my all time favorite ways to eat it. Really though, anyway you make it, I just love it. It's so quick and easy to make, and there are so many things you can do with it.

I noticed this recipe while searching through Martha's various recipe slide-shows, looking for some new ideas. I'm not a big wine kinda gal, but since it was something different from my norm, I decided to give it a try. It was really good. 'Delicate'. That's how I would describe the sauce. It's not thick or overpowering like the Bearnaise sauce I'm use to, but subtle and unobtrusive. There's a definite wine taste, but it doesn't trump the salmon flavor.

Now, when it comes to wine, I am 100% ignorant. I know nothing about wine. In fact, after standing in the wine section of Publix for 5 minutes with my mouth agape and my eyes glazed over, a kindly older woman asked if I needed help. I'm so glad she took pity on me, cause I would have stood there all day. I learned something though (I think, hopefully she knew what she was talking about)...if a wine is good enough for drinking, it's good enough for cooking. So it really didn't matter which wine I choose...they all worked. Since I was cooking with it and not drinking it, I went with something on the cheap end...about $10 (I forget the name of it. I immediately dumped the rest out and threw the bottle away).

I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new. This was very good, and a recipe that would be great for serving company. It looks fancy and sophisticated, yet is simple to make. As long as everyone likes salmon, this one is sure to please.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Roasted Salmon with White Wine Sauce'
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

1. Heat oven to 450. Place salmon on a greased foil lined baking sheet; season with salt. Roast until opaque throughout, about 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until liquid is reduced by half...about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chives; season with salt and pepper.

3. With a fork, gently break salmon into large chunks, and serve topped with white-wine sauce.




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Strawberry Blueberry Stuffed French Toast



Isn't that something right there? Doesn't that look like it would make the perfect Mother's Day breakfast, served to me by my loving son and husband? Yeah, well...it wasn't ;)

I actually made this for Jesse last week as a big 'ol Thank You! for letting me sleep in undisturbed. Thursday's are his day off from school, so I try to sleep a little later. Unfortunately Jesse (who gets up at about 6am and lays on the couch watching Disney Jr.) loves to come in and out of my room telling me all the exciting things Mickey and the gang are up to...as it happens. And since my bedroom door is right off the living room, he comes in a LOT.

However this past Thursday, he didn't bother me at ALL! In fact, I was initially worried. I got up at 6:30 to make sure he was still alive and there he was, lying on the couch as usual. He said I could go back to sleep for awhile, he was ok. So I did. And it was WONDERFUL! *Sigh*...I have such a sweet boy.

So...even though Heath had already given him a small breakfast at around 6am, I decided to make him some stuffed French Toast. I thought of Yammie's recipe that I'd seen a few days earlier and decided to go off that. It was sooooo goooood!!! He dug right into it and ate that whole plate!



I had to make another for myself since he wouldn't share. Didn't care though. With the extra couple hours of sleep I was able to get, I could have cooked all day! :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Strawberry Blueberry Stuffed French Toast'
Source: Adapted from Yammie's Noshery

Ingredients

2 slices of bread
1-2 oz of cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh blueberries and strawberries (or frozen fruit, thawed)1 egg
2 tablespoon heavy cream (regular milk works too)pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Butter for frying

Optional Toppings

Powdered sugar
Whipped cream
Maple syrup
Fresh blueberries and strawberries to garnish

Directions

1. Place cream cheese in a small dish and soften in the microwave (about 12-15 seconds). Mix the sugar into the cream cheese and spread on one side of each slice of bread. 

2. Put the blueberries and strawberries on one slice of the cream cheesed bread and top with the remaining slice.

3. In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg, cream (or milk), salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Soak both sides of the sandwich in the egg mixture for about a minute.

4. Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. Cook the french toast until browned on both sides. Garnish with powdered sugar, whipped cream, additional fruit, and maple syrup.




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BBQ Potato Chip Chicken



Looking for a way to get your kids to eat their chicken? Tell them it's covered in potato chips! Worked for Jesse! We both really liked this. As for Heath, well, it turns out he's not a big fan of BBQ potato chips. Who knew? I think next time I may try covering them with Sour Cream and Onion chips, or Sour Cream and Cheddar. Mmmm...that sounds good. I love Sour Cream and Cheddar chips.

This is a super quick and easy recipe for weeknight cooking. Dip the chicken, bread the chicken, bake the chicken. Simple! I like to cut the breasts into smaller pieces for a few reasons...

1. It's easier to work with.

2. Cutting two breasts into three pieces gives you 6, which makes serving and leftovers for Heath's lunch much easier, plus there's usually a couple smaller pieces for Jesse.

3. They tend to cook a little faster, which is always nice.

Ok guys...hope you all have a great rest of your day. Till tomorrow!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'BBQ Potato Chip Chicken'
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

2/3 cup Horseradish-Dijon Mayo Blend
6 cups barbecue potato chips, finely crusheay
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375. Using kitchen shears (or a knife), cut each chicken breasts into 3 pieces (you can leave the breasts whole if you like. I just prefer to have smaller, more managable pieces).

2. Place mayo blend in a shallow bowl. Place crushed potato chips in another shallow bowl.

3. Dip chicken in mayonnaise blend, then coat with potato chips.

4. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All Images Copyrighted © 2013 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

Monday, May 14, 2012

Strawberry Kiwi Parfait



Good Monday everyone! Hope all you Mama's out there had a nice Mother's Day. It rained here in Charleston. All. Day. Good times. Actually, I had a great Mother's Day. I sat my butt on the couch and didn't do one damn thing all day! Awesome!

Anyway, I bumped into this tasty little snack on Pinterest awhile back. It's been sitting in my Desserts folder for some time. The other day when I was sniffing around in the kitchen during that annoying time of day that's in-between lunch and dinner and you're hungry, but don't want to ruin your appetite, I realized I had everything needed to make this...so I did.

I'll admit, I wasn't really digging the cornflakes at first. I almost left them out cause they just seemed so out of place, but I figured I'd give it a try. SO glad I did! The crunch that they add is really good! You'll definitely want to keep them.

This recipe comes from Jo over at Jo Cooks. She's got a ton of awesome recipes that I can't wait to try. Jo and her husband also have another website, FoodePix, which is just like Tastespotting and Foodgawker, but about 1,000 times less snotty. I've always wondered how many tasty recipes I was missing out on, all because TS or FG didn't like the 'composition'...or the 'lighting/white balance' was just a little off.

FoodePix is not nearly as picky. Don't get me wrong, they don't except everything, but they're much more forgiving. I highly recommend checking them out if you haven't already. Whether you're submitting pics or just browsing the recipes, it's a great site. Just thought I'd pass it along (and no, no one asked me to...I'm just sharing a site that I like).

Anyway, Jo, thanks for the awesome parfait recipe! Simple, quick, healthy and tasty...excellent qualities to have in a mid-afternoon snack!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Strawberry Kiwi Parfait'
Source: Adapted from Jo Cooks

Ingredients

8 strawberries, sliced
2 kiwis, sliced in small pieces
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup cornflakes

Directions

1.In two cups (or two bowls) start by layering with a couple tablespoons of yogurt in each.

2. Continue layering with strawberries, followed by yogurt, kiwi, and then cornflakes.

3. Add yogurt again, followed by cornflakes, kiwi and strawberries.

4.Garnish with mint if desired.




All Images Copyrighted © 2013 The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife