Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Sorry I have been bad about posting.  There are just a few weeks until the wedding, and wedding related tasks have been taking up a lot of my time!  This is a meal I made a couple weeks ago.  Charles really liked it.

You will need:
Boneless Chicken Thighs
Goat Cheese
Frozen Spinach (defrosted)
Italian Style Breadcrumbs
Olive Oil

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Combine the equal parts goat cheese and spinach.  Microwave for about 15 seconds and stir together.  Then use to stuff the chicken thigh.

Step 2:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs.  Then dunk in the egg, and coat in another layer of breadcrumbs.

Step 3:
Brown the chicken on both sides.

Step 4:
Then bake for another 30 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turkey, Pesto, Provolone, Tomato Panini

I am very lucky to have a panini press at work.  If you don't have a panini press, toaster oven, or George Foreman Grill at your office - I think you should consider bringing one in.  I have found that I end up bringing lunch to work more often because I love having toasty warm homemade sandwiches.  This saves me lots of money, and is much healthier than going out for lunch.

This sandwich is one of my favorites.  Last Sunday I made a bunch to bring to work for lunch during the week.  Pesto is very flavorful and a little bit goes a long way.  This is a healthy and delicious lunch that I look forward to eating.

You will need:
Bread or a Tortilla
Low Fat Pesto
Sliced Turkey
Provolone Cheese (I used Reduced Fat)

Step 1:
Assemble the sandwich leaving the tomato on the side.  Wrap up an bring to work.

Step 2:
Add the tomato to the sandwich and then toast it on a panini press or in a toaster oven until hot and browned.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Strawberry Pie

Dear Readers,

I am going to give you some dating advice.  Yes, I know this is old fashioned, but one of the ways into a man's heart really is his stomach.  Last night I made Strawberry Pie and brought it to a party.  One guy's reaction to trying the pie was to ask if I am seeing anyone.  I broke the news to him that I am getting married in 7 weeks, but tried to soften the blow by saying that the pie is really easy to make.  He wasn't the first guy to try to ask me out based on my cooking skills.  So readers, if you are single, and looking for love - bring this pie to a party.  Maybe it will help you find love.

100% of the credit for this pie recipe goes to my Mom, Mary Ann.  Mom - please please don't be mad at me for sharing your top secret pie recipe with the world

Seriously, this pie is magic.  Promise me you will make it.  It is one of my best recipes.  My friends always get so excited when they hear that I am making it.  Please share you pie stories in the comments!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
You will need:
1 quart hulled fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsps corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
9 or 10 inch cooked pie crust - I buy the Pillsbury frozen pie crusts - no assembly required
Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Whipped Cream
Small carton of Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar

Step 1: 
Bake the pie crust following the instructions provided.  Sometimes I put chocolate chips in the pie crust just before I take the pie crust out of the oven.  Then spread the chocolate around to coat the bottom of the crust.  (Coating the crust in chocolate prevents the crust from getting soggy if you aren't going to eat the entire pie right away).  My friends really liked the chocolate, try it.

Step 2:
Set aside the 8 ripest berries.  Slice the rest of the strawberries.  Place them in the bottom of the pie crust.

Step 3:
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, crush the 8 ripest berries - a potato masher works really well for this.  Add the sugar, corn starch, salt, lemon juice, and water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.  Boil one minute.  Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  The pour the mixture into the pie crust - on top of the sliced strawberries.  Chill for at least one hour.  

Step 4:
Top with whipped cream.  Combine 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp sugar.  Use electric mixer to whip.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chicken Marsala

I hope that everyone had a lovely Mother's Day!  I flew my Mom to Chicago to visit me.  Several of my girl friend's Moms came to Chicago as well and we all walked in the Y-Me Breast Cancer together.  Then we had a great bunch that my friends Jen and Jenn hosted.  We ended the day at my place where I hosted our weekly Sunday Night Dinner.  I was so excited to cook dinner for both my Mom and my friend Dre's Mom Fay, who is also this blog's biggest fan!

After some careful consideration, I decided to make Chicken Marsala.  As I have explained previously, when I am hosting a dinner party, I prefer to do the majority of the cooking the day before.  I have several recipes that I think taste better when they are made the day before that are perfect for this purpose.

This recipe does take a while to make, and even longer if you are making it for 12 people!  It is definitely worth the time though!

Total time: 2  hours
You will need:
3 pounds Chicken Breasts
1 cup Flour (seasoned with Salt and Pepper for dredging)
1 large Onion
1 12 ounce packaged of sliced mushrooms
1 bottle Marsala Wine (available at Whole Foods)
3 cloves Garlic
Olive Oil
4 Eggs
1 Lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon Flour

Step 1:
Heat a large skillet and saute the onion in butter and olive oil.  Once the onion has softened, add the mushrooms.  Once the mushrooms are soft, add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Then add in 1/4 cup Marsala Wine.  Saute until the wine has been absorbed.  Set aside.

Step 2:
Quarter the chicken breasts.  Then beat the eggs in a bowl and add juice from 1/4 of the lemon.  Prepare the seasoned flour.  Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add enough butter and olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour, then the egg, and then back in the flour.  Then cook until browned.

Step 3:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Place the browned chicken in a greased casserole dish.  Then slowly pour the rest of the wine in skillet you used to brown the chicken.  Add the tomato paste and 1 teaspoon flour.  Stir quickly so the flour does not clump.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits of chicken off the bottom of the skillet.  Stir until the sauce boils.  Add the onions and mushrooms and then let boil for another 2 minutes.

Step 4:
Pour the sauce over the chicken into the casserole dish.  Let bake for 1 hour or until the chicken is fully cooked.  

** I serve this dish with egg noodles.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caroline's Chicken

I call this Caroline's Chicken because the recipe came from Caroline.  I realize that chances are that Caroline got the recipe from her mom Malley, or someone else, but I still like to call it Caroline's Chicken even if it isn't completely accurate.

Caroline made this for one of the first Sunday Night Dinners I attended.  She gave me the recipe and I have made it several times.  It is one of those easy recipes that requires few ingredients that I usually have on hand.

You will need:
Chicken Breasts
2/3 cup White Wine
1 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup Fat Free Sour Cream
8 ounces Sliced Mushrooms
1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the wine, soup, and sour cream together.

Step 2:
Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil and quickly brown the chicken.  Then add to a baking pan.  Once all of the chicken has been browned, pour the mushrooms over the top of the chicken, then pour the wine, soup, and sour cream mix over.

Step 3:
Bake for 25-45 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken is.  Bake until fully cooked.  I always serve with rice pilaf.

Chicken, Cheddar and Mustard Sandwich

I have recently started having Peapod deliver my groceries to me on Saturday mornings.  I can't believe it took me this long.  I live in Chicago - in an area without any grocery stores nearby.  I don't have a car because I hate driving.  So I had been spending a couple hours every weekend traveling to a grocery store on foot or via public transportation, buying groceries and then either cabbing it or walking home.  I was only able to buy as much food as I can carry - so I would have to go to the store a few times a week.  Finally I realized how silly this is, and had Peapod come to my door with my groceries.  Getting those couple hours back on the weekend is great!  They have early delivery times - so the eggs arrive in time for breakfast.

Having a once a week grocery delivery forces me to be a little more organized.  I have to figure out what I want to eat for lunch during the week and add it to my order.  I have become obsessed with the bakery bread from Peapod - it is so delicious!  I have been making these sandwiches for lunch.  Today it is sliced turkey with mustard and cheddar.  Last week it was turkey with cheddar and avocado.  We have a toaster over at my office - which definitely makes my lunches better.  A toasty warm sandwich is the perfect lunch for a 41 degree day.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Steak and Eggs

What do you do with leftover steak and mashed potatoes?  Make steak and eggs for breakfast!  I used the mashed potatoes to make potato pancakes, and I reheated the steak.  I paired it with a couple poached eggs, and it was quite the filling breakfast!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Saturday Lunch

This is my favorite weekend lunch!  I am obsessed with brussel sprouts.  I just discovered them about a year ago when my friend Dana made them for me.  Now I eat them at least once a week.  On weekends I love to have a side of sprouts with a sandwich.

The sandwich is turkey, cheddar, tomato, and avocado on toasted fresh bakery bread.  The load of bread is huge - the plate in the photo is a dinner plate, yet half of the sandwich fills the plate!

The brussel sprouts were sauteed in butter and olive oil until browned, and salted generously.