Thursday, July 31, 2008

Green Beans with Shallots

It's fresh green bean time. They are so fast to prepare, and taste delicious. Here is one of my quick recipes.

Green Beans with Shallots

1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 shallot
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Trim ends of green beans.
Saute shallot in oil for about 2 minutes.
Boil beans for about 5 minutes.
Drain beans and place in skillet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Crash Hot Potatoes

I have been wanting to make these potatoes ever since I saw them on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. Everyone who has tried them has really enjoyed them. You can find her recipe here

Crash Hot Potatoes

Baby Red Potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
herbs of choice (I used fresh chives)
sprinkle of cheese
sour cream

Boil red potatoes until fork tender (about 20 minutes)
Place on baking sheet that has been drizzled with oil.
Place potato on sheet and mash with a potato masher.
Mash once in one direction, then rotate 90 degrees and mash again.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh chives and cheese.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

BBQ Pork Spareribs

I love BBQ ribs, but had never made them before. They were on sale this week, so I knew I had to give it a try. They turned out so tender they were falling off the bone!!! I will make these again. My husband can now die a happy man.

BBQ Pork Spareribs

Dry Rub
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

1 rack pork spareribs (about 4 lbs)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Mix ingredients for dry rub together.
Pat ribs dry and rub spice mixture on both sides.
Refrigerate ribs for about 8 hours prior to cooking.
Cook ribs at 325 degrees for 2 hours wrapped tightly in foil.
Preheat grill to 350.
Remove from ribs from foil.
Coat ribs with barbecue sauce and grill on each side for about 10 minutes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chocolate Trifle

Here is another weekly recipe from the Weekend Warriors. I made this for a going away party for a couple of people at my work. I was unable to taste the dish due not having everyone there at the same time for the party, so I left the dish. I did try the pudding filling and it tasted great!! The recipe was from

Chocolate Trifle

19.8oz package brownie mix
3.9oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup water
8oz container whipped topping
12oz container whipped topping
1.5oz bar chocolate candy

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely.
Cut brownies into 1 inch pieces.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk.
Mix until smooth, then fold in the 8oz whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of pudding mixture, and half of the 12 oz whipped topping.
Repeat layers.
Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish.
Refrigerate for 8 hours prior to serving.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Green Curry Chicken with Zucchini

I found this recipe on Liz's Cooking Blog. She has many great recipes. I have been craving some good Thai food, and the idea of using zucchini sounded great. This dish really hit the spot!!

I also used some fresh basil from my mother-in-laws herb garden (now only if I could just get mine together).

Green Curry Chicken with Zucchini

1 14oz can lite coconut milk
3 tbsp green curry paste
1 lb chicken breast, cut in large pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 Thai chilies, finely diced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
small handful of fresh basil

Serve with cooked rice.

Add curry paste to large wok over medium-high heat, and stir until fragrant.
Add 3/4 of can of coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil.
Add chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, the rest of the milk, fish sauce, sugar, zucchini, and chilies to wok.
Continue to boil for 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the zucchini are tender.
Stir in basil leaves, and serve with rice.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Turkey Sausage & Arugula Pasta

This is another recipe from my cooking group Weekend Wizards. I really liked this pasta dish. It was from Eating Well. Here is the original recipe with my changes noted.

I have submitted this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights at

Turkey Sausage & Arugula Pasta

12 oz whole-wheat short pasta (I used 13 oz Rotini)
8 oz hot Italian turkey sausage links, removed from casings (I used 19 oz package)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups arugula, or baby spinach (I used 5 oz arugula)
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (used grape tomatoes)
1/2 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesean cheese, plus more to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I omitted this)

Cook pasta according to pasta directions (mine was 14 minutes).
Keep 1/2 cup pasta water.
Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked for about 7 minutes. (I drained most of the grease).
Stir in garlic, tomatoes, and arugula and cook for about 3 minutes.
Whisk together the cheese, salt, and pepper with 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water.
Toss mixture with pasta and sausage mixture.
Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grilled Pizza

I have been wanting to make grilled pizza for awhile. I will definitely be making this again!! Just be sure to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to assemble the pizzas. I made 2 pizzas. During the making of the second one, I had to be pulled away from the grill for a few seconds and slightly burnt the bottom. Luckily it was still edible. The meal came together quickly by using canned pizza sauce, and pizza dough that was previously frozen. It's a great way for me to get dinner on the table for a night when I work late, am on call, and my husband has an evening class.

Grilled Pizza

2 frozen pizza doughs (thawed in fridge overnight)
1 can pizza sauce
1 red bell pepper
1/4 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch fresh basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Prep all ingredients so that everything is ready for the pizzas to be assembled.
Cut the pepper and onion into thin strips.
Mince the garlic.
Roughly tear the basil (or roll together in a bunch and make thin slices for basil confetti).
Preheat the grill to medium high.
Spray the grill with cooking spray(carefully) or drizzle the dough with olive oil.
Place the dough on grill.
Allow to grill for about one minute, or until the first side has a few grill marks.
Flip dough over, and begin to assemble pizza.
I added the sauce, onion, garlic, peppers, cheese, and some of the basil.
Grill until the cheese had melted.
Make sure to check the bottom of the crust to make sure it isn't burning.
Remove from grill and sprinkle with the remaining basil.

Hot Crab and Cheese Dip

I wanted to use up some leftover cheese in the refrigerator. I came up with this spicy and cheesy dip.

Hot Crab and Cheese Dip

1 8oz package imitation crab
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup colby jack cheese
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
1 tbsp diced green chilies (canned)
8 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)

Mix all of above ingredients into oven safe dish.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
I served this with wheat crackers and tortilla chips.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Slow Berry Cobbler

I made this for a new cooking group I joined. Its called the Weekend Wizards. The first recipe selected was a berry cobbler that bakes in the slow cooker. I'm not really a cobbler fan, but I think the recipe is a good one!
Here is a link to the original recipe by Paula Deen.,,FOOD_9936_78776,00.html

For the fruit filling:
2 12 oz bags of frozen berry medley
2 fresh peaches
1 cup fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking mix

For the topping:
1 cup baking mix
1 cup regular quick cook oats
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix fruit ingredients and place in slow cooker.
In separate bowl mix topping mixture and place on top of fruit.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

I submitted this recipe to Fruit Frenzy Blogging Event hosted by the fabulous Joelen. Check out here blog

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crab and Shirmp Pasta

I had some leftover imitation crab to use up from making sushi. I added it to my standard garlic shrimp pasta that we have at least twice a month.

Crab and Shrimp Pasta

1 lb spaghetti
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp tuscan spice blend
3/4 of package of imitation crab meat
1 lb shrimp
Pecorino Romano cheese to garnish

Prepare pasta as directed on package.
Add oil and butter to large saute pan.
Finely dice garlic, and add with red pepper flakes and spice blend.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Dice the crab and add with shrimp to saute pan.
Cook until the shrimp turn pink and curl up looking like the shape of a C.
Drain pasta and add to saute pan.
Combine pasta and sauce.
Serve with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Cheese and Fruit Plate-with wine of course

This fruit and cheese plate could be a meal on its on, but my husband also needed the tilapia sandwiches I served with this. I used Gouda cheese, Bartlett pears, and wheat crackers. The wine was a Mandolin Pinot Noir. The wine is from Monterey County in California. The wine paired wonderfully with the cheese. The wine had a fruity quality to it, but was a nice balanced wine.

Curry Chicken Salad

I purchased some chicken breasts on sale, and wanted a nice way to spice them up. I grilled up two packages and used one for the chicken salad.

Curry Chicken Salad

1 lb chicken breasts
1 stalk celery
1 scallion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grapes
1 cup mayo (I used fat free)
2 tsp curry powder (use more or less to taste)
serve on buns or on lettuce

Finely dice celery, scallion, and walnuts.
Slice grapes in half.
Dice the chicken into small chunks (use may also just shred the chicken by hand). Add chopped ingredients to mixing bowl with mayo and curry powder.
Mix until uniform.
I prefer this to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors blend together.