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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Recipe Revisit: Cookies and Cake

Looking back at some of my older blog posts, I see how horrible the pictures were. They were taken using a point and shoot when I had zero knowledge of anything photography related. I am going to try and slowly remake the recipes with the worst pictures and update them. Recently I have updated two delicious sweets both by the Pioneer Woman.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake - decadent and rich, this is sure to be great for your next BBQ.

Molasses Cookies - chewy and soft on the inside with plenty of sugar and spice.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken and Artichokes with Wine Sauce

I found this recipe on the cooking blog Proceed with Caution. It was simple to make and tasted great. I loved the "breading" on the chicken and the mushroom artichoke sauce. Next time I might even throw in some capers. I served this with the best broccoli ever.

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 8 or 9 ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved lengthwise (I used canned)
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

In a shallow dish, stir together flour, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper; reserve one tablespoon of flour mixture. Coat chicken in remaining flour mixture.
In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once. Remove chicken from skillet; cover and keep warm. Drain off any excess oil in skillet.
In the same skillet, cook mushrooms and artichoke hearts in hot butter over medium heat for 3 minutes or until artichokes are tender.
In a small bowl stir together reserved flour mixture, wine, broth, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add wine mixture to skillet. Cook and stir until liquid becomes bubbly and starts to thicken. Cook and stir for a few more minutes while sauce continues to thicken. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.
Servings: 4


Linked to EKat's Kitchen Friday Potluck and Simplicity Photography Challenge: Food


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eggs Baked with Spinach and Feta in Tomato Shell

I found this recipe on NPR and thought it would make an excellent breakfast. Unfortunately, my tomato shells completely fell apart in the oven but they still tasted great.

4 large ripe tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium eggs
4 tablespoons feta cheese
1 pound spinach

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off tomato tops and set aside (may be used later as garnish). Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the tomato and scoop out insides, creating a tomato shell. Sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper and turn the tomatoes upside down on a towel to dry and drain out any excess liquids.

In the meantime, steam or saute the spinach. To steam, fill a pan with a thin layer of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the burner, add the spinach and cover the pan until the spinach wilts. Drain out excess water once the spinach is cooked. (Note: I sauteed the spinach by heating olive oil and garlic in a pan and then adding spinach until just wilted and finished with a little bit of fresh lemon juice).

Stand the tomatoes right side up in a pan, and place approximately 1/4 cup spinach into the bottom of each, pressing down to make room for other ingredients. Break an egg inside each tomato shell. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and feta cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.



Friday, May 21, 2010

Project 365: Week 20



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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fun with Photoshop

I just downloaded a free trial of Photoshop CS5 and am having fun fooling around with it. The possibilities are endless (and somewhat overwhelming), but like all things, I'm sure mastering it just takes practice. Years and years of practice. Anyway, I want to start editing my 365 photos somewhat to begin learning Photoshop. I used some pre-set actions and basic editing functions then played around a bit with the images and here are the results.












Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brazilian Feijoada

This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Jillian, who loves Brazilian food. I also had some help from my friend Jen who used to live in Brazil and gave me some great tips for this recipe. It was great to try because I have never made anything like this before. It's very inexpensive and quite good! I served it over rice and with orange slices at Jen's suggestion. She also suggested collard greens as a traditional side dish for this meal. Thanks so much for the recipe, Jillian! Also, thanks to my mom for my new dutch oven!

1 lb black beans
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 lb hot smoked sausage links, cut into 3/4" pieces
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste
Orange slices for garnish

Cover beans in a generous amount of water and soak overnight. Drain the beans and place in a dutch oven. Cover with water by 3 inches. Add bay leaves and salt, to taste.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer until beans start to get soft, 2 to 4 hours. Add additional water, as necessary, if beans begin to turn dry. I actually had too much water and had to remove some after they finished cooking.

Saute the meat and onion until thoroughly cooked and onions begin to turn soft and translucent. Add the tomato and saute another minute or two.

Add mixture to beans and cook for 30 minutes.

At this point I still had a lot of excess liquid in the pan, so I removed most of it and let it cook down, uncovered at slightly higher heat for about another 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaves, adjust salt to taste, and serve over rice with orange slices.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Orzo Pilaf

This was a great side dish, I highly recommend it! Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe.

3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound orzo pasta
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the orzo and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Simmer the orzo and broth uncovered, stirring now and then to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pot, about 8-10 minutes, until the orzo is tender. The orzo mixture should be thick and syrupy when it is finished cooking – not dry. If it seems as though the orzo isn’t finished cooking but looks dry, add 1/4 cup chicken broth and continue to cook.

When the orzo is tender, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the green onions and cheese. Add the pepper and additional salt to taste, if needed. Garnish with additional green onions and serve immediately to prevent drying out.

Servings: 6
Calories: 137


Monday, May 17, 2010

Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

This was a solidly good Cooking Light recipe. Easy to make and the stuffing and dressing were excellent. I served it with Orzo Pilaf.

Cooking spray
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, diced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, tomatoes, and spinach; sauté until moisture evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses and rind.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper over pork. Arrange pork on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Combine remaining 2 garlic cloves, juice, mustard, and oregano in a bowl; stir well. Brush half of mustard mixture over pork. Broil 6 minutes; turn pork. Brush remaining mixture over pork; broil 2 minutes or until done.

Serves: 4
Calories: 232


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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Greek Salad

Lately I have been throwing together salads with my own make-shift dressings. I wanted a Greek salad to go with the Mediterranean Red Snapper and this turned out quite yummy.

Mixed baby greens (I used baby spinach)
Reduced-fat feta cheese
Tomatoes, diced
Kalamata olives, pitted
Red onion, thinly sliced
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
White vinegar
Dried parsley
Dried oregano
Garlic powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place a handful of greens in a bowl and top with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and onion. Squeeze lemon over each dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and oregano. Drizzle with EVOO and vinegar.

Calories: roughly 166


Friday, May 14, 2010

Project 365: Week 19

C + C Marriage Factory: May 2010

C + C Marriage Factory