Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Distract the Neighbors Grilled Chicken
Ina Garten's Macaroni and Cheese
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Ina Garten's Flag Cake
Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese
Slow Cooker Country Style Pork Ribs with Sauerkraut and Apple
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
4 servings - 5 WW pts per serving
1 tsp garlic infused oil (I smashed a garlic clove, placed it in hot oil until fragrant, 30 seconds)
4 strips bacon (I used center cut bacon)
4 (4 oz) chicken escalopes or boned and skinned breast halves
1/3 cup white wine
Put the garlic oil in a skillet and add the bacon. Fry until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon to a piece of foil, wrap it, and set aside.
Fry the chicken about 2 minutes per side, making sure the pan is hot so the chicken will take on a bronze color.
Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Quickly crumble the bacon into the skillet, then pour in the wine and let it bubble up. Pour over the chicken pieces and serve.
I have to admit that it went against all my cooking instincts not to season the chicken, but I wanted to experience this dish as Nigella envisioned it. The result: a bland, nothing-special piece of chicken. I didn't think anything that had garlic and bacon and wine in it could be so insipid, but this dish proved me wrong. I'd rather eat a plain, grilled chicken breast and forego the dirty skillet and stovetop. I'm afraid this is 2 out of 2 Nigella recipes that were just plain forgetable. I'll try one more time, but 3 strikes and you're out--of the rotation, that is.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tbs strawberry preserves
1 tbs butter, melted
additional white sugar, for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 X 4 inch pan.
Press half the can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer.
Cover the cream cheese mixture with several tablespoons of a good strawberry preserve.
Unroll the second half of the can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down.
Brush the melted margarine over the top layer. Combine about 1 tbs sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ sticks salted butter
¼ c white sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
6 oz good quality dark or semisweet chocolate chips
For the caramel filling:
Preheat the oven to 300F. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and place the dish inside a larger poaching pan. Add water to poaching pan until half way up sides of baking dish. Bake for 60-90 minutes (no need to stir) until thickened and caramel in color. Transfer to a bowl and beat until smooth.
For the shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the flour and mix until just combined. Press the dough into a buttered 9 by 9-inch pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread and let it set and cool completely. Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave, then spread it over the cooled caramel. Allow the chocolate to set completely before cutting into 18 pieces. 6 WW pts per cookie.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Makes 10 - approximately 8 WW pts per empanada
2 cups diced cooked turkey, white and dark meat
1/2 cup chilled gravy
1 pkg Goya discos for empanadas
1 cup mashed potatoes, divided
1 cup stuffing, divided
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp cold water for glaze
Mix the turkey with the chilled gravy in a small bowl. Place the discs on a work surface. Spoon about 2 tbs mashed potatoes onto half of each round, press lightly to flatten, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Top with 2 tbs stuffing, then a small mound of the turkey-gravy mixture. Brush glaze around filling on 1 pastry half. Fold plain pastry half over filling, stretching dough to cover. Seal edges with fork tines. Repeat with all discs. Brush with the egg white glaze and cut small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Transfer the empanadas to 1 or 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Or, you may freeze them at this point to bake at a later time. Serve with cranberry sauce on the side.
I had to taste just one of these little treats and it was absolutely delicious. I'm quite certain it would be just as delicious with the puff pastry. I split mine in half and stuffed some cranberry sauce into each half while they were still hot. I loved the crunch of the shell contrasted with the soft, moist stuffing and mashed potato base. The bit of gravy was more than enough to keep the turkey moist as well. I plan to serve the rest of these at my Christmas party as one of my appetizers.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The concept was simple: you send a box of "stuff" to someone and someone else sends a box of "stuff" to you. But this was no ordinary "stuff." Stephanie's strategy was one we could all appreciate during this most hectic time of year. Choose 5 indulgences--your 5 Calgon moments, if you will--a little care package that will help a blogger friend destress.
It was a challenge to narrow down the list of indulgences, but I put my package together and headed off to the post office to mail it yesterday. Imagine my surprise when my own BBM package was there waiting for me. Misty of Mischief-making probably has all her holiday gifts bought and wrapped if this is any indication. I couldn't drive home fast enough to open my package of indulgences.
Misty took the concept one step further by selecting one indulgence for each of the 5 senses (great idea, Misty!). Her indulgences were a feast for the eyes (a wonderful pair of sparkly earrings for those holiday parties);the ears (a CD of classical music to enjoy as you undwind from holiday preparations); the nose (a terrific bath set featuring pomegranate fig creams and soaps); touch (a light as a cloud blue scarf); and, of course, taste (yummy Ghiradelli squares which Misty recommends frozen).
Misty and Stephanie at their respective blogs. A big hug to you both for making yesterday so special.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Makes 6 cups; NI per 1/3 cup is 73 cal, 6 g fat, 4 g carb, 33 mg sodium, 3 g protein
5 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 head garlic, halved
12 cups chicken broth
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
We enjoyed this hearty corn chowder with meatloaf sandwiches (you MUST try the recipe for mini meatloaves posted on 11/2/09). I will definitely make it again and may try adding some crabmeat next time. It fit well into my Weight Watcher plan and was very filling.
Be sure to stop over at Dining with Debbie to see all the wonderful soup and chili and other slow cooker yummies linked there.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
If you're a regular reader, you know that dark meat rules in our cabin in the woods. Next to the stockpile of pork loins in my freezer are packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. As an aside, if you are a fan of this part of the chicken, learn from my experience and buy them in Shoprite as opposed to Price Chopper. Shoprite does a far better job of removing the fat than Price Chopper does.
Tonight's entree is low in fat and high in fiber. It's a way to have what's good about the taste of fried chicken without the fried part. The corn cake side dish is incredibly low calorie for a generous serving and is the perfect accompaniment to chicken. Rounded out with a tossed salad and some broccoli, it was a satisfyingly delicious Weight Watcher's dinner for a mere 7 points.
The recipe for the chicken is from WW's New Complete Cookbook.
Makes 4 servings - 3 WW points per serving
2 tbs orange juice (I had some navel oranges and juiced these)
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole wheat cracker crumbs (I used Kellogg's multi-grain crackers)
1 tbs grated orange zest
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 (3 oz) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, mustard, and salt. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cracker crumbs, orange zest, shallot, and pepper.
Brush both sides of the chicken with the mustard mixture, then dredge in the crumbs, pressing the crumbs to both sides so they adhere. (I like to refrigerate for a half hour before baking)
Place the chicken on the baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Turn over and bake another 15-20 minutes. You may want to do what I did and make a double batch.
The recipe for the corn cakes was suggested by one I found on the Weight Watchers' website, but I didn't have fresh corn so I substituted canned white corn. I didn't have any red pepper, so I just omitted it.
Makes 4 servings, 3 corn cakes per serving.
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1 can white corn
3 scallions, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbs all purpose flour
Whip the egg whites until glossy, but not stiff.
Beat the egg yolk with a fork, then add to the corn. Mix in the scallions, salt, and pepper, then the flour.
Fold in the egg whites.
Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray over medium high heat. Using a 1/8 cup measure, measure out 6 corn cakes. Do NOT press down. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until bottom has browned. Turn over carefully and cook for 3-5 minutes on the other side, until browned.
The corn cakes may be held in a 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve them.
I can guarantee that we'll be eating this meal at least bi-weekly. The sweetness of the orange juice combined with the slightly sweet Kellogg's wheat cracker crumbs worked beautifully with the Dijon mustard. This crust made the chicken thighs even moister than usual. The corn cakes, while not the same as my corn fritter recipe, were almost souffle-like. The scallions worked well with the corn to produce a tasty side dish.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
If you're a regular reader, you know that I always have a few of those pork loins in my freezer. Last month they were on sale for $0.99 a pound, so I stocked up. This simple Weight Watcher recipe relies on two of my favorite flavor enhancers: fresh rosemary and garlic. Accompanying this flavorful herbed pork loin are roasted sweet potato wedges, which are also brought to life with fresh rosemary. Rounding out the meal was steamed broccoli and a tossed salad with red onion, tomatoes, and cukes.
Rosemary and Garlic Grilled Pork Loin
5 WW points per serving
1 pound(s) lean pork tenderloin, use one whole loin
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium garlic clove(s), crushed
2 Tbsp rosemary, fresh
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
Place pork on a large sheet of plastic wrap. In a small bowl, mix together oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, crushing rosemary slightly with a spoon as you mix; spread mixture over pork, covering entire surface. Wrap loin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (and up to overnight).
Prepare grill for medium-hot indirect cooking or preheat oven to 425°F.
Remove plastic wrap and place pork on grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until a meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F, about 25 minutes. Or indoors, place tenderloin in a shallow roasting pan and roast until internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 20 minutes. (Note: Pork loin can be pink and juicy inside and be fully cooked, but it is important that the internal temperature be at least 160°F.)
Remove pork from grill or oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Yields about 3 ounces of pork per serving.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
2 WW points per serving
2 large sweet potato(es), washed and patted dry
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 item(s) rosemary sprig, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Cut each potato into 8 lengthwise wedges and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and dried rosemary. Roast for 15 minutes; toss and roast until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
Spoon potato wedges onto a serving plate and garnish with fresh rosemary. Yields 4 wedges per serving.
This delicious meal "cost" me a mere 8 points (5 for the entree, 2 for the starch, and 1 for the vinegarette I used on my tossed salad), a true bargain and one I hope will result in less of me at Saturday's weigh in.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I must confess that it wasn't until I'd read about her sister Sandy a few times that I realized she was talking about Sandra Bullock. Well, duh. That recognition only made my read that much more enjoyable, though I'll also confess that I was waiting for the chapter about that enigma, Jesse James.