Monday, February 28, 2011

Kale Chips

Lately I have heard a lot of people talking about eating Kale and Kale Chips.  So I thought I would give it a shot. It sounds like people mainly just keep it simple with olive oil and salt, so I decided to do the same.  They surprisingly turned out delicious.  Crunchy, light, salty, and good flavor.  I definitely recommend trying them!  But just be warned, they are a little addicting... I have made them 3 times in the past 2 weeks!

Kale Chips
From: All Recipes

1 bunch Kale
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.   Rinse and thoroughly dry.  Then cut the main stem off of the stems and cut leaves into small pieces.

2. Place on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Toss with olive oil and sea salt, back at 30 for 10-15 minutes until leaves are crisp and edges start to brown. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seared Sirloin with 'Shrooms

In the summer any steak we have is usually cooked on the grill.  In the winter though we like to make this steak on the stove a lot.  It is quick, easy, and delicious.

Seared Sirloin with 'Shrooms
From: Men's Health

2 Sirloin Steaks
1/4 cup red wine or chicken stock
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 clove garlic - minced
salt and pepper

1. Sear the Steaks in a skillet on medium high (about 2-3 minutes per side), seasoning each side with a pinch of salt and pepper as the other side cooks.  Remove the steaks from the skillet, and reduce the heat to medium

2. Put Olive oil, thyme, and garlic in the skillet, stirring frequently and scraping with a spoon to release the brown bits left behind by the meat. (about 30 seconds)

3. Add the stock and mushrooms, stirring often until the mushrooms soften (about 3 minutes)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sesame-Soy Salmon


 This was the very first recipe I made when I got my Cast Iron Dutch oven from my mom a while ago.  I saw it first on Ashley's blog and thought it looked delicious and realized it was in the cookbook my mom gave me (Glorious One-Pot Meals).  I made this again yesterday and realized that I never posted it when I made it the first time. I love making the entire meal in one pot (and I especially love using my cast iron dutch oven) and this one was really tasty. I was surprised at how light it was as well as how well the avocado worked with the Asian flavors. I might double mixture that gets put over top for flavor though next time to amp it up a little.

Sesame-Soy Salmon
From: Glorious One-Pot Meals and Ashley

2 1/2 tsp sesame oil or canola oil spray
1 cup jasmine rice
1/2 to 3/4 pound salmon fillet
2 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/8 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 avocado, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Coat the inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with 2 tsp of the sesame oil or spray with canola oil.

3. Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.  Tip the rice into the pot.  Add 1 cup plus Tbsp water (or broth) and stir to make an even layer.  Place the salmon in the pot and scatter the carrots on top of the fish.

4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining sesame oil, the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour half of the mixture into the pot

5. Layer in the cabbage and top with the avocado.  Pour the rest of the soy sauce mixture over the top.

6. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chocolate Lava Cakes

I made these for Valentine's Day this year.  I happened to have all the ingredients in the house and I figured if I was going to make a dessert on a weekday, when better than on Valentine's!  I got this recipe from a coworker and I have made it a few times, but never took any pictures.  Of course this time I took pictures, but I ended up over cooking the cakes a little too long so the lava wasn't flowing quite as much as it had in previous times, but still very delicious!!!

Chocolate Lava Cakes
From: Kelly

4 Tbsp Butter (room temp) - 1 Tbsp to grease the muffin tins
1/3 cup sugar and more for tins
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Melt in the microwave in 20 seconds intervals until fully melted)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter tins, sprinkle w/ sugar and tap off excess

2. In bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. With mixer on low, beat in flour and salt until just combined, scraping down sides as needed.  Fold in melted chocolate

4. Divide batter among 6-8 muffin cups.  bake just until tops are set (9-11 minutes)
- VERY IMPORTANT - As soon as the tops are set, it's done.  It won't look like a cupcake or anything.  It should ooze chocolate when you cut into it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guac 'n Roll

My sister-in-law, Olga, gave me this recipe from her Hungry Girl book.  I am a sucker for anything with avocados, and especially love guacamole, so this was right up my alley.  This adds peas to the mix to make a little more, it is also a little creamier with the addition of the greek yogurt.  I liked it,  but I also like my old standby Guac Recipe!

Guac 'n Roll
From: Olga from Hungry Girl

1 15oz can peas, drained
1/2 cup mashed avocado (about medium-small avocado's worth)
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt
4 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
Optional: chopped cilantro or jalapenos

1. Place drained peas in a medium bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork. Add avocado and mash.

2. Add all other ingredients except tomatoes, onions and optional items continue to mash until blended.

3.Stir in the tomatoes, onions and if you like, some chopped cilantro and/or jalapenos.  Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Last year I made a Red Velvet Cake for Valentine;s day.  I was going to post it, but to be honest, who wants a red velvet cake recipe the day after Valentine's day? So I was going to post it in time for this Valentine's day, but I realized I don't even remember what recipe I used!  Then I remembered the cake didn't turn out as great as I had hoped.  The cake ended up a little dry, and I added so much red food coloring and it still wasn't a red as I had hoped (although the homemade cream cheese frosting was as good as ever!).  So here is hoping your red velvet cake turns out better than mine! If you have a fool proof recipe for this, please let me know.  Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken with Olives

I LOVE any kind of olives, so when I saw this recipe for Chicken with Green Olives on the Pioneer Woman, I knew I had to try it.  Plus I got to use my Dutch Oven which I adore using.  This was darn easy and really hearty. I will definitely be making this again!

Chicken with Olives
From: Pioneer Woman

4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 pieces Chicken (I used Legs only) with skin
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 whole Green peppers, seeded and chopped into large pieces
1 28oz can whole tomatoes, completely drained and juice squeezed out, chopped (I only had a 15 oz can, so I added a couple fresh tomatoes)
1 cup white wine (or Chicken broth)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup Whole Green Olives
12 oz weight Linguine, cooked All Dente and Drained (I used whole wheat noodles)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Remove chicken to clean plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium.  Add onions, garlic, and green bell pepper to the pan.  Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour in wine and stir.  Add Chicken pieces back to pan, cover with lid, and place into the oven for 45 min.

3. Remove pan  from oven and remove lid.  Add whole green olives and heavy cream (drizzle evenly over the top).  Put on lid and shake the pan to 'stir' in the cream.  Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Remove from oven and keep lid on until ready to serve.

4. Place pasta into a large serving bowl or onto a large serving platter. Arrange chicken pieces on top of the pasta, then pour all of the sauce over the top.  Can sprinkle with minced fresh parsley and parmesan, if desired (I didn't have any, so I didn't sprinkle anything on top and it was still delicious)!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Wienies

Eet Smakelijk (dutch phrase meaning eat well and with taste) is a dutch cookbook from Holland, MI - where I grew up. You can see it in the ingredients pictures below. It has quite a lot of Dutch recipes and one I found for meatballs but re-purposed it for the cocktail wieners.  They are quite tasty, very easy and a great appetizer for a Super Bowl party. :)

Sweet and Sour Cocktail Wienies
From: Eet Smakelijk

Lil't wieners cocktail wieners
Grape jelly (12 oz jar)
2 jars Chili sauce

1. Heat Jelly and Chili sauce and bring to a boil.

2. Add Wienies and simmer for 20 min.  (all can be done in slow cooker if desired)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three Amigos Chili

This is another recipe from the Men's Health Abs Diet.  It was a great light turkey chili with a lot of protein. Great for a wintery blizzard like we just had here in Chicago!

Three Amigos Chili
From: Men's Health Abs Diet

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with Jalapenos
1 can (10 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10oz) Black beasn, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 oz) Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Hot sauce (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 3-5 min. add turkey and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 min.

2. Add the tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, and spices.  Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve with hot sauce and avocados if you had them (like we did!).


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