Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tomato Simmered Chicken

Ok, so I totally just made up the title of this recipe, because I sort of made the recipe up. A few years ago, I came across a similar recipe online somewhere. Between now and then, I've misplaced the recipe and have had to modify it to what I remember it to be. I was in the mood for something healthy since I had cookies for breakfast and a candy bar for lunch. Awful diet, I know! I also was in a little bit of a hurry, I remembered this recipe being quick, and I was correct! This dish is that easy token meal you can make when you need something nutritious and quick!

Pack of chicken breast tenderloins
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 scallions, cut into small pieces
3 T butter
2-3 t garlic salt
1 T salt
3 T Italian seasoning
In a large skillet or wok, add 2 T butter and chicken. In a separate smaller skillet, add 1 T butter and scallions. Saute scallions on low heat. Don't burn. Cook chicken in skillet until no longer pink in the center (about 10 minutes). Add entire can of diced tomatoes, both salts, Italian seasoning, and scallions. Cook over low heat for 7 minutes. Serve.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

I have been obsessed with everything pumpkin this fall! All year, I have been waiting for an excuse to break out the pumpkin recipes, and I finally have one! The trees were particularly beautiful this weekend in our neighborhood, so I felt motivated to cook. I don't have any special pumpkin pie recipes, so I just used the one on the back of the Libby's pumpkin can. I bought a pie crust at the grocery (my next mission is to make my own crust). I didn't want to get ahead of myself and be overly ambitious with a 100% homemade recipe :) I was a little nervous about making a mostly homemade pie, but was presently surprised on how easy this recipe was.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. POUR into pie shell. BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Source: Libby's

Monday, October 19, 2009

Panini Sandwiches

Panini sandwiches are a weekend lunch favorite at the Day house. I've experimented with a several meats, cheeses, spreads, veggies, and breads. I have a panini iron, and if you don't have one, you need to get one! They make the best sandwiches ever. You can be a crappy cook, and with a panini iron, you can make anything taste good!

2-3 of your favorite meats (I used turkey and big peperoni)
Your favorite cheese (I used reduced-fat swiss)
Your favorite spread (I used pesto sauce)
Your favorite veggies (I used lettuce and tomato)
You favorite bread (I used whole grain homemade oatmeal)

Layer all ingreds except veggies on bread and assemble sandwich. Spray panini iron and heat sandwich to your desired "crunchiness". Remove sandwich and add veggies. Wa-la! Too easy!

Pumpkin Bread

I want to start this with a disclaimer - this pumpkin bread was not the most appealing thing (visually) that I have ever made. But...it was very good! I ran into problems cooking the bread (it took longer than the recipe called for). I think I open and closed the oven too many times and the bread sunk slightly in the middle. I also made 4 mini loafs which turned out very well (too bad I didn't get a picture of those). I will definitely make this recipe again this fall, but this time I'll spray my pans better!
3 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7 x 3 inch loaf pans.
Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl. Mix in pumpkin puree and water. Stir together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until just combined. Divide batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour. Cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My favorite fall treat by far is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I discovered them about 10 years ago when my sister was trying out recipes and made them for our family. Ever since then, my whole family has loved these awesome treats! Sometimes we will even make them at Christmas and give them out to friends and family. I love these cookies year-round, but there is something special about the fall that makes these cookies especially appealing. After eating a half dozen of these in one sitting (I know, oink oink!), I am ready to carve that pumpkin sitting on my front porch!


1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Mix in a large bowl, pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. Blend well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Stir into pumpkin mixture, add the milk. Blend well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Use teaspoon to drop cookies on baking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes.

*NOTE: Do not over cook these! Check frequently!

Source: All Recipes

Paula's Baked Ham & Cheese Chicken

I really like Paula Deen and I think she makes normal, everyday foods (unlike a lot of the tv food chefs). I have tried a few of her recipes already, and really enjoyed this one. Chicken and ham are my two favorite meats, so I knew this would be a hit even before I tried the first bite. The recipe is super easy (just like all of the others)! It tastes like yummy, cool weather comfort food. I really like the seasoning flavor as well. It's very lightly breaded, but very heavily yum-o!

4 chicken breasts (I used very big chicken breasts from a family-sized chicken pack)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Paula Deen House Seasoning (I didn't have this and left it out)
2 eggs, beaten
Hot sauce (only used a few shakes)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Greek Seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated Parmesan
Olive oil (didn't use - see note below)
4 slices ham (I bought the small packs of mini ham steaks)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (I used dried)
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Greek Seasoning: 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Dredge the chicken breasts in flour seasoned with House Seasoning, then dip in egg wash with hot sauce, to taste, then dredge in a mixture of bread crumbs, Greek Seasoning, and Parmesan. Brown the chicken on each side in a skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat. After frying, transfer chicken to a sheet pan. (**NOTE: I didn't fry the chicken...to make it healthier, I just sliced the chicken in half and baked in at 375 degrees for 15 minutes**) Top with 1 slice of ham, 1 teaspoon chopped parsley and 1 slice of mozzarella cheese. Place in oven at 375 for 10-15 minutes, just until cheese melts and starts to get bubbly.
Source: Paula Deen

Mexican Chicken

I wasn't going to post this recipe because it was not my favorite, but Chris really like it, and one of his co-workers saw him eating it for lunch one day and asked for the recipe...so here it is! I am not a huge fan of hearty creamy anything, and this dish is hearty and creamy.

1 10 3/4 -ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 10 3/4 -ounce can cheddar cheese soup
1 10 3/4 -ounce can cream of mushroom soup (I used another cream of chicken instead)
1 10-ounce can tomatoes
1 whole chicken, cooked, boned, and chopped or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken
1 package flour tortillas
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*I used the low fat version of the soups and cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the three kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken.
In a greased 13 x 9- inch pan, layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture, beginning and ending with tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

Source: Paula Deen

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fresh Green Beans

I'm always looking for tasty vegetable recipes, and thought this recipe for green beans looked perfect. The recipe is so stinkin easy...I even took a shortcut and bought a bag of pre-washed fresh green beans at the grocery (so I didn't have to take the ends of off green beans myself). It took me about 5-10 minutes from start to finish. Super easy. Super cheap. Super healthy.
1-2 shallots, well chopped (I used one but will probably use 2 next time because I loved the taste of the shallot. The original recipe calls for leeks but I have no idea where to find those at the grocery)
1/4 cup fresh dill, well chopped
3/4 pound green beans (or one bag), tops and tails trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt (I used regular salt)
Start by boiling beans in hot water for a few minutes (or microwave in bag according to directions like I did).

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the shallots. Stir until the shallots are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the shallots are golden. I stir every minute or two in the beginning, and more often as they brown using a spatula. Stir in the dill, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes - just until the the beans brighten up. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately.

Monday, October 5, 2009


With the fall already here and the unseasonably cool weather, I felt a big bowl of warm chili was the perfect dinner idea! Boy was I right! I've been looking for a great chili recipe and really enjoyed the one I tried. I was a little worried because Chris isn't a big chili eater, but this recipe has quite a few veggies for chili. He ended up loving it! (He's such a good sport!) To complete the meal, I went out and bought a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread at a local bakery. It was definitely the perfect compliment to the meal. Maybe in the future as my cooking skills improve, I'll be able to make my own bread! This recipe made a huge batch, which was perfect for us. I froze about 1/3 of it for future nights when I'm scrambling for dinner and put the rest in a container in the fridge for leftovers this week.

*Chris doesn't like super spicy, so I modified the recipe a little to make it less spicy. It still was fairly spicy though*

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce (I used medium sauce)
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped (I left this out)
1 tablespoon bacon bits (I left this out)
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer
1/4 cup chili powder (I used about 1/8 cup or less)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I left this out)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos® (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese (for topping)

1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
Source: Annie's Eats

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

This weekend I decided to stock up on food for the week (since I don't like cooking very often after working all day). I came across this great Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats. I'm always looking for good chicken recipes, and I'm always trying to think of something else for Chris to eat for lunch besides his usual turkey sandwich! (On a side note...I have another great chicken salad recipe that I'll post later. I can't decide which one I like better, but this one is definitely good)

I left out the pecans, and only put about half of the mayo and yogurt in (I don't like overly creamy or mayo-tasting chicken salad). I also made my chicken salad with shredded chicken since I like the texture better. (To shred chicken, just boil it in hot water for about 1.5 hours and shred with a fork after it's tender) Once again, I doubled the recipe so I have a large stash for the week!

*I really need to learn how to make these pictures look more appetizing!*

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

4 cups of cubed cooked chicken

1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1 rib celery, finely diced

2-4 T finely minced shallot

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt

3 T red wine vinegar

2 T minced flat-leaf parsley

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Serve.

Source: Annie's Eats

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Homemade Vanilla Fro Yo!

Even though last night was a cool fall night, I made homemade vanilla frozen yogurt. I found this recipe that looked really good, plus I have a Cusinart Ice Cream Maker that I needed to get some more use out of. This honestly was the easiest thing I have ever made. All of the recipes I make require little to no skillzzz! There are only 3 ingredients, but you must have an ice cream maker to do this. I'd recommend you get one if you don't have one. Also, it's a great wedding gift (that's how we got ours)!

Here is the recipe (also from 101 Cookbooks)

Frozen Yogurt (Similar to Pinkberry's in NYC)

3 cups Greek-style yogurt (you must use Greek-style or it won't work)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla (if using). Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Blend in ice cream maker until thick, which is about 15-20 minutes. Also, don't forget to freeze your ice cream maker before you do this (like me, DUH!)

*Put any additional add-ins you want like raspberries, blueberries, cut up candy pieces, peaches... I decided to leave mine plain and make yummo sundaes.

**This only makes about 3 servings. Double if you have more people (or big eaters).