Sunday, June 29, 2008

No-guilt muffins

The butter was added for aesthetic purposes....they're not so guilt-free with a big blob of butter :)


1 1/3 cups Flour
3/4 cup oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp cooking oil

1. Lightly spray 12 muffin tins.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
3. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients
4. In small bowl combine egg, applesauce, milk, honey and oil
5. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined
6. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from tin.
8. Serve plain or with butter and jam!

Mango Salmon and Indian rice pilaf

Grilled Salmon with Indian Flavors and Fresh Mango Chutney
from Cooks Illustrated

If your fillets are less than one and one-half inches thick, decrease the grilling time by roughly thirty seconds per side. If using a gas grill, heat it for ten minutes and then grill the salmon over direct heat for four to five minutes per side. To test fillets for doneness, either peek into the salmon with the tip of a small knife as described below or remove the salmon from the grill and squeeze both sides of the fillet gently with your fingertips (raw salmon is squishy; medium-rare salmon is firm, but not hard).


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 mango cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Grilled Salmon

vegetable oil for grill grate
4 salmon fillets (center-cut), each 6 to 7 ounces and 1 1/2 inches thick

Ground black pepper
1. For marinade: Mix vegetable oil, gingerroot, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and cayenne pepper together in shallow bowl; set aside.2. For chutney: Mix mango, lemon juice, and cilantro in small bowl; set aside.3. Ignite enough charcoal briquettes or hardwood charcoal to fill slightly less than two shoeboxes, and burn until completely covered with thin coating light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Marinate salmon while coals are heating. Spread coals in single layer to make medium-hot fire (judge by holding outstretched hand 5 inches above coals for 4 seconds; if you cannot make it the full 4 seconds, fire is too hot). Position grill grate over fire and rub cooking area of grate with oil-dipped paper towel wad. ***You may bake or broil these as well instead of grilling. 4. Generously sprinkle each side of fillets with pepper. Place fillets in an oiled grill basket, if you like. Place fillets skin side down on grill grate; grill until skin shrinks and separates from flesh and turns black, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip fillets gently with long-handled tongs or spatula; grill until fillets are opaque throughout, yet translucent at very center when checked with point of paring knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and serve with mango chutney.

Indian-Spiced Rice Pilaf with Dates and Parsley
from Cooks Illustrated


1 1/2 cups basmati rice or long-grain rice
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion , minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (found at world food stores, it's a lot cheaper than at the grocery store)
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Place rice in medium bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches; using hands, gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat four to five times, until water runs almost clear. Using a colander or fine mesh strainer, drain water from rice; place colander over bowl and set aside. 2. Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil, covered, in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt and season with pepper; cover to keep hot. Meanwhile, heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat until foam begins to subside; add onion and sauté until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom to sautéed onion; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Add rice and stir to coat grains with butter; cook until edges of rice grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir hot seasoned water into rice; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Off heat, remove lid, add dates and parsley (do not mix in), and place kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan; replace lid. Let stand 10 minutes; fluff rice with fork and serve.

Chicken Roll ups

For the roll portion you may use prepared crescent rolls in the tube or homemade crescent rolls. This is pictured with the homemade kind, but be sure to roll it thin enough bcse mine were a little too thick.

2 cans crescent rolls, or 16 traingles of homemade dough
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
8 oz softened cream cheese
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 small can mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper to season

Gravy: 1 can chicken soup and 1 can chicken broth
Topping: 1/2 cup melted butter and an herb mixture of herbs de Provence (or Italian) and grated Parmesan cheese


1. Boil chicken and shred.
1 a. Saute vegetables until tender.
2. Combine all other ingredients with chicken.
3. Roll out crescent, place about 1/8-1/4 cup in the center and roll it up with the small end on the top.
4. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
5. Rub with melted butter and sprinkle herb mixture on top.
6. Cook on 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
7. While cooking, heat up gravy on stove. Pour over cooked rolls.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

It's crucial to cook the pasta until tender--just past the "al dente" stage. In fact, overcooking is better than undercooking the pasta. Whole, low-fat, and skim milk all work well in this recipe. The recipe can be halved and baked in an 8-inch-square, broilersafe baking dish.


Bread Crumb Topping
6 slices white sandwich bread (good-quality, about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces

Pasta and Cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni, or any pasta
1 tablespoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
5 cups milk (see note)
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , shredded (2 cups)

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)

1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese

or use any combination of cheeses

4 slices bacon, fried and drained, broken up

chopped tomato
1 teaspoon salt
1. For the bread crumbs: Use any oldish bread you have on hand. I used Costco's Parmesean cheese bagels. Break them up and chop them in a food processor.

For the pasta and cheese:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander. Now fry bacon. Once it is cooked, set aside. Then In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using), Worcestershire sauce and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes. Add bacon crumbles. 4. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve. Garnish with fresh chopped tomato and dried or fresh basil. It adds a nice fresh flavor.

Recipe adapted from Cookillustrated Classic Macaroni and Cheese recipe

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Bobby Flay's lime-cumin coleslaw recipe

We didn't have the pepper or red onion and it was still good...though I'd recommend following the recipe. It make a ton!

BBQ Chicken in a slow-cooker

**I halved the recipe for 2 large chicken breasts--enough for 4 sandwiches.
--I love this recipe bcse it's easy and you can use frozen chicken!!! I cooked it on low, reviews suggested cooking on high made it too dry. If you find that during cooking it's ready to shred, then shred, cook about 1 hour more, and turn to serve/warm so it doesn't overcook.
--I did not have Italian dressing so I just added about 1/4 cup olive oil, couple tablespoons red-wine vinegar, some Mrs. Dash, 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, salt, and some garlic powder.

Serve on Ciabatta bread. And if you buy them from Costco use the leftover rolls to make the overnight French toast!

One chicken--2 recipes

First, check out this website called for pretty pictures of yummy food. My friend Rachel posted it on her blog.

The first combination of recipes makes 2 different dinners. I forgot to take pictures.

The first found from (we have a subscription and have found fabulous recipes from this magazine/website).

French Chicken in a Pot

Check out the link to find the easy recipe. Eat it with potatoes and veggies and your done.

***A note on dutch ovens. You don't have spend 100's of $'s on one. Just go to Walmart or somewhere else and buy a 6 or 6.5 qt one made by Lodge (about $50) or Tramontina ($40). CI tested them both against Le Creuset's model (which we bought on eBay). They are both enameled cast iron, thick bottomed and have tight fitting lids. They are really handy to have!***

Then the next night use the leftover chicken meat, leftover broth and perhaps veggies and make this Simple Chicken Pot Pie (also from Cooks Illustrated). I did not add the Sherry, used green onion bcse it was all I had and used a Pilsbury frozen pie crust instead of homemade.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Left over Enchiladas

If you have left overs from the Cafe-Rio Salads make Enchiladas!
Here is a great recipe to some homemade enchilada sauce. Just roll up the pork, beans, and rice in homemade tortillas. Top with with the sauce and shredded cheese. Garnish w/cilantro.