Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
beef fajitas with corn salsa, black beans
sesame chicken, rice, broccoli
crab ravioli with peas
lasagna Bolognese, salad
Hula chicken sandwiches, salad
pizza pizzas
out to Sweet Basil

Friday, May 29, 2015

Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips
I was planning on serving sugar snap peas, but that morning Miss F whined that she didn't want them for dinner. So I picked p a couple zucchini at the store and decided to make zucchini chips instead.  Miss F was not excited about zucchini either, but she tried a couple.  She has been in a food funk lately, I am not sure what is going on.  I thought these were an easy summer side and I really enjoyed them.   Any tips for kids who are reluctant to eat their veggies?  Miss F likes green beans, broccoli and peas...not much else.  These were inspired from Ellie Krieger.
Zucchini Chips

2 zucchini, cut into ¼” slices
¼ cup grated Paremsan
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spray the zucchini slices with the cooking spray. In a shallow bowl, stir together the Parmesan and bread crumbs. Coat each zucchini slice with the breadcrumb mixture and place on the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the zucchini chips are crisp.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beef with Broccoli

Beef with Broccoli
Beef with Broccoli

1 pound flank steak
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water

¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 slices fresh ginger
2 cups small broccoli florets
½ small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch dice

Slice the steak across the grain into ¼” thick strips. In a bowl, stir together the cornstarch, salt, sugar, baking soda and water. Add the sliced steak and toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a one cup measure, whisk together the broth, oyster sauce, dark and light soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. When the oil comes to temperature, add the garlic and ginger, sauté for 30 seconds. Add the steak and sauté for two minutes more. Add the broccoli and onion and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes more. Lower the heat to medium-low, pour the sauce over the beef and broccoli, stir well to coat. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Greek Salad

Greek Salad
I love Greek salad. I have been so lucky to receive a ton of lettuce from my mom's garden. Neither of us are sure what kind of lettuce it is, but it is delicious and perfect for Greek salad. No one else at dinner would touch the salad. I can usually count on C to have salad and Miss F to at least eat the lettuce. But this night, they were both too into naan and chicken souvlaki to have any.  I will be making this salad often this summer, hopefully with tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, though I doubt the lettuce will make it much longer once it starts getting Houston hot.  The dressing is adapted from Ina Garten.
Greek Salad

1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup good olive oil
4 cups chopped lettuce
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
¼ cup feta, crumbled
Handful of black olives

Add the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to the bowl of a mini food processor. Stream in the olive oil with the processor running. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, feta and olives. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicken Piccata with Lemon Noodles

Chicken Piccata with Lemon Noodles
Miss F has been obsessed with cooking shows lately. Her favorite by far is Pioneer Woman. We saw this recipe on her show and she wanted to make it for dinner. Miss F loves anything with lemons, after juicing the lemon for this dish she ate the remnants. She was a huge fan of the pasta. I made some changes from the original recipe because I didn't see the need to sauce the noodles twice. I really liked the addition of cream to the piccata sauce, but doesn't cream always make everything better?  Miss F refused to try the capers, even though I am sure she would love them because of her affinity for tart things.  Her loss, all the more capers for me.
Chicken Piccata with Lemon Noodles

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon drained capers
16 ounces linguine

Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 second. Add the broth, wine and lemon juice, whisk and scrape the bottom of the skillet, reduce by half. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the cream and capers. Prepare the pasta per package instruction. Toss the drained noodles with the sauce, serve with chicken on top.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Chocolate M&M Bites

Chocolate M&M Bites
I let Miss F what kind of cookie she wanted for her lunch box for her last week of Kindergarten. I cannot believe that in five short days she will no longer be a Kindergartener. She has blossomed so much and she adores school, she is quite sad that the year is coming to an end. She is ready to start first grade straight away! I am looking forward to a fun summer with her, filled with lots of peanut butter based desserts. She isn't allowed any peanut or nut products at school, which eliminates so many favorites. She wanted a chocolate cookies with M&Ms. I had made M&M blondies recently and I think those were her inspiration.  I adapted the recipe from Tastes of Lizzy Ts.
Chocolate M&M Bites
makes 32 cookies

½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cups M&M chocolate candies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla together until it is light and fluffy. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, stir well to combine. Stir in the M&Ms gently. Drop the cookies by the tablespoon full onto Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, cool on a wire rack.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Crockpot Creamy TexMex Chicken

Crockpot Creamy TexMex Chicken
As soon as I saw this recipe on Cheese Curd in Paradise, I knew that it would be a huge hit with C and Miss F. This is exactly the kind of meal they love and I was not wrong. Miss F helped shred the chicken and she couldn't resist stealing a taste.  This is also one of those meals that isn't pretty, but it is delicious.  It is very easy, the most complicated part is cooking the rice.   And on that note, why is rice so hard for me to cook?  I have always had trouble with it.  I never seem to get it right, I always have rice stuck to the bottom of the pan, no matter what.  Any great rice cooking tips?
Crockpot Creamy TexMex Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black beans
1 can of Rotel, diced tomatoes with chiles
1 package frozen corn
1 packet taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups cooked white rice
½ cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 avocado

Put the chicken in the bowl of the crockpot, top with the black beans, Rotel and corn, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the top, stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot, shred with two forks, then stir it into the beans, tomatoes and corn. Cube the cream cheese, add it to the crockpot and stir until it has melted into the chicken. Serve over rice topped with shredded Colby jack cheese and sliced avocado.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin
This was not at all what I originally planned to make last Friday, but I am so happy I ended up switching up the plan. I had a ton of fresh rosemary on hand and this was the perfect way to use it up. The garlic and rosemary paste permeated the pork while it roasted, the whole house smelled incredibly (to me, not so much to C.)  Pork loin is usually on super sale every other week it seems, I usually buy one and break it down into two or three roasts.  This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit.
Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 2 ½ -pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the garlic and rosemary all over the pork. Place the pork, fat side down, in the prepared pan. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn fat side up and roast 25 minutes more until the pork reaches 155 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/3” slices and serve.
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
Miss F would be happy eating meatballs nearly every meal. She loves to help make them, working methodically to roll each one into an identical ball.  She and C both requested spaghetti and meatballs, I have been wanting to try this recipe from Tide and Thyme for awhile. I  have plain gelatin on hand for my go to short rib recipe, so that intrigued me.  I think Miss F ended up eating nearly 10 meatballs, not so much of the pasta.  I love the pasta, not so interested in the meatballs.  We make a great duo.
Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the meatballs:
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices of bread, pulsed to crumbs in food processor
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil, for pan frying

For the sauce and pasta:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves , minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Sprinkle the gelatin over it, let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the beef, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper. Using a small disher, scoop out each meatball and roll to about 1” in diameter. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet, heat over medium high. Once the oil comes to temperature, add the meatballs in a single layer. Fry, turning several times to brown all sides. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the pasta per package instructions.

For the sauce, discard oil in pan, leaving behind any browned bits. Add olive oil along with garlic; sauté, scraping up any browned bits, just until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, bring to boil, and simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil; add salt and pepper to taste. Add meatballs and simmer, turning them occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm over low flame. Add the prepared spaghetti to the pan, toss well to coat. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Chicken Pancit Canton

Chicken Pancit Canton
Canton noodles are my most favorite noodle. Our grocer sometimes has them in stock, but I can always count on Ranch 99 for having a huge selection of Canton noodles. So when my mom wanted to go to Ranch 99 to get some dishware, I knew I would get at least a couple bags. The noodles are traditionally served with shrimp, but that wouldn't fly with C. I found this recipe for chicken and adapted it a bit to better suit my taste. This dish is amazing. It is a perfect weeknight meal and you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand, it would be great with carrots, zucchini, broccoli or even yellow squash.
Chicken Pancit Canton

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
½ small onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup snow peas
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
8 ounces canton noodles
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 lime

Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté for 20 seconds. Add the chicken, sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and snow peas, sauté for 3 minutes more. Pour the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar over top. Toss well to coat. Add the noodles and chicken broth, simmer for 5 minutes, until the noodles have softened. Serve with lime wedges.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Crockpot Barbecue Pork Ribs

Crockpot Barbecue Pork Ribs
I will confess that I have never made ribs before. Even though they are my most favorite barbecued meat. When I saw a full rack of ribs for under $3, I knew ribs were going to be attempted at my house. Even though we don't have a barbecue grill. My mom has always boiled them for a few hours, then finished them off in the oven or on the grill. I had a busy day, so tending to a boiling pot for a few hours wasn't going to work. I adapted a recipe from All Recipes, it was really quite easy. And the ribs couldn't have tasted any better.  I used bottle barbecue sauce because I am tired of C whining that the homemade kinds makes the house smell too vinegary.  I will definitely be buying ribs again, though I am hoping for more great sales on them this summer.
Crockpot Barbecue Pork Ribs

1 full rack of ribs, broken down to fit into the crockpot
½ cup water
½ onion, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
your favorite barbecue sauce

Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the crockpot, layer the ribs on top. Layer the onions and garlic on top of the ribs. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet, discarding the onion slices. Brush the barbecue sauce all over the ribs to coat. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, serve.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Fresh Strawberry Muffins
Once again, we headed to Froberg Farms to do some prime strawberry picking. Miss F had a half day of school for Field Day, so after the events (her pink team was second to last, but first in spirit) we headed down to Froberg to meet Grammy. We picked three huge buckets of berries and Miss F requested muffins for her lunch box. Problem was, the only recipe I have calls for cream cheese, which I didn't have. So Ina Garten to the rescue! These muffins were spectacular. Miss F enjoyed them so much, we made a second batch after we were done with the first.  We may not even have enough berries to make strawberry jam this year.  Maybe we will have to go and pick some more.
Fresh Strawberry Muffins

1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup diced fresh strawberries
¾ cups sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a 2 cup measure, whisk together the milk, egg and butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the milk mixture into it. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the strawberries and sugar. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Calzones

Calzones
C and I visited New York to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We visited the Transit Museum in Brooklyn and realized that it was the first time we had ever been to Brooklyn, it was exactly as we expected it to be.  After visiting the museum, we decided to find pizza.  C and I always disagree on toppings, so I just ordered a slice while he had a calzone.  His calzone looked so delicious, I knew I wanted to make them when we got home.  We each were able to personalize our calzones with our preferred toppings and it was a huge dinner success.  I used Wolfgang Puck's pizza dough recipe, just divided it into four to make four calzones.  Miss F loved assembling them and was a big fan of her personalized calzone.
Calzones

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees )
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing the pizza crusts
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
20 slices pepperoni
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 mushrooms, quartered
1 tomato, seeded and chopped

1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

In the bowl of the stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Add the honey and stir together, let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, then the flour and salt. Use the dough hook to knead at low speed for 2 minutes. Turn up the speed to medium and knead 5 minutes more. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead by hand for 3 minutes more. Oil the mixing bowl and return the dough ball to it, tossing well to coat with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour in a warm spot. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each by gently pulling the dough and tucking it underneath the bottom of the ball. Roll the ball on a smooth surface until it is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes more. The dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Press out each dough piece on a lightly floured surface, gradually spreading each into a circle 8" across. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on half of each circle, then top with pepperoni, bell pepper, mushroom and tomato. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of each, then fold over to create a half circle. Press the edges to seal. Transfer the calzones to the preheated oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown.

While the calzones are baking, simmer the crushed tomatoes over medium-low heat with the Italian seasoning. Serve the calzones with tomato sauce on the side.
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