Sunday, January 31, 2010

Parmigiano and Herb Chicken Breast Tenders by Rachel Ray

Elise cooked this while I was cooking my Green Pork Chili. I just had to post it because it looked and smelled good and tasted fantastic too!!


  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water


  • 2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 6 sprigs or stems fresh thyme leaves, stripped and chopped, 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, 3 tablespoons
  • 2 handfuls chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Chicken Parmigiano, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a nonstick cookie sheet in oven with a tin foil liner.
Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium to medium high heat.
Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Wash hands. Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs with water in a second dish along side the flour. In a third dish, combine the breading ingredients. Coat chicken in flour, then egg, then bread and cheese mixture. To keep your hands clean, ask for plastic gloves at the butcher counter. To ease your clean up, try using disposable tin pie tins for the flour, egg and bread crumbs.
Cook chicken until deeply golden on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to cookie sheet in preheated oven and finish off for another 5 minutes cooking time. Cook chicken 5 or 6 tenders at a time in a single layer, adding additional oil if necessary. If the chicken begins to brown too quickly lower heat slightly. Serve chicken hot or cold with green salad or, complete as a Parmigiano.

I think we used every pot and pan, every dish, cooking utensil and I think the kitchen was the most used room in the house this weekend.  That's what happens when you're snowed in.  Well, I confess that Elise's cooking is way surpassing mine when I was her age.  She did a great job with this recipe especially with it being her first time.  It was crunchy on the outside, very tender on the inside.  I think she ate it with a honey mustard sauce on the side.  Good finger food and good idea for next Sunday's SuperBowl game!!!  ~ Talk about savoring the weekend, what a weekend it was :)

Green Pork Chili by Bobby Flay

  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
  • 3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 10 flour tortillas, warmed


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the onions, tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet.
Roast until soft and starting to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring twice during roasting.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat. Brown the pork, in batches, until well-browned. When browned, add all of the pork back to the pan and cover with chicken stock. 
Add the roasted vegetables, cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook until the pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
While pork is cooking, place the cilantro in a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water and puree. Remove the pork from the oven and stir in the cilantro puree. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve with warm flour tortillas.

APPROVAL: Good and not what I expected :(
MY COMMENTS:  When the tomatillos, jalapenos, onions and garlic were roasting in the oven and started to do their thing I was all of the sudden taken back to those casita restaurants on the side streets in El Paso,  whew!!! WOW!!  What I would give to be in El Paso right now!!!  My mouth was salivating and my stomach was crying out to feed it but I still had to wait another 2 hrs. until it was ready.  This recipe also reminds me of the Posole Mrs. Roman taught me how to make but instead of using the red chilis I used the green tomatillos and jalapenos but both are a magnificent combination of the pork, onions, garlics and broth.

Don enjoyed it, finished his serving and the rest of mine since I didn't finish it.  It smelled a whole lot better than what it tasted like and just didn't turn out the way I expected.  It was a big disappointment :(    It had a tart flavor to it, I didn't taste one jalapeno nor did it have any kind of "kick" to it.  I have to wonder if it was the tomatillos.  I don't know, maybe any of you Mexicans out there reading this might be able to advise me.  I also ended up using only half of the red onions I grilled.  I just thought it was way too much onion to use in the recipe so I just froze it for another time. The meat was tender and it tasted good but everything else just didn't appeal to me. Don on the other hand, reminded me of the little kid named "Mikey" know the one in the commercial where his brothers give him something that doesn't taste good to them so they give it to the little Mikey who will eat anything and everything at any time.  Well, at least he's satisfied :)

Football:  Well tonight's the Pro-Bowl.  I'm not too excited about it.  I just don't get anything out of it.  I like a well seasoned team.  One that's been together for more than a couple of weeks, one who's  had blood, sweat and tears over a tough win or a heartbreaking loss.  Although, I did enjoy the Senior Bowl last night.  The Chippewa QB from Central Michigan (Lefevre) was fun to watch not only in college but at the Senior Bowl last night.  We followed him since his 2008 season at Central MI.  He really showed up last night ~ even against  Tebow and I believe Lefevre ended up getting the MVP from the game last night.  We look forward to watching him in the pros.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon)

6-ounce chunk of bacon
9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole, 3 inches deep
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
Slotted spoon
3 pounds lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups of a full-bodied young red wine, or a Chianti
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Crumbled bay leaf
Blanched bacon rind
18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock.
1 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered, sautéed in butter
Parsley sprigs
Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardoons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 cups of water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.
Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in the middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in the wine and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If it is too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice and decorated with parsley.
For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
Serves 6.

PARTAKERS:  Don, Elise and I
APPROVALS: Thumbs up, good and savory
If there was ever a time to cook this dish it was today ~ talk about comfort food on a snowy day.  The house was full with savory aromas and my first bite into the juicy, tender beef just warmed my heart.  Don definitely loved it and gave me a thumbs up as he feasted on his seconds.  Elise liked it too but she  didn't touch the beef but only the mushrooms (she's doesn't eat beef).    I pulled this recipe off the internet as I looked for Julia Child's version of the recipe but I tweaked it and kinda altered it.  For instance I used baby carrots instead of slicing just a single one.  I'm not crazy at all over pearl onions (I believe that's what this recipe meant in "small onions") so I just took a regular onion and diced it.    Another dish that I like when in contains the meat (beef) vegetable (carrots) and the starch (rice).   I served it over a bed of plain white rice smothered with the sauce from the beef.   It was fun dish to make especially since I didn't have any else to do (I was done with my cleaning).   Spending time in the kitchen is very relaxing even if my back and feet hurt from all the standing.  Definitely savoring the weekend. 

Snow Day = Pancakes and more

We are snowed in this weekend so to my family and I that means a simple, big breakfast.  This plate has a pancake,  french toast, 1 egg over easy, 1 sausage patty with a cup of orange juice!!! m-m-m-m-m-m!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Raspberry Iced Tea with Fresh Basil

5 cups boiled water
2 bags Raspberry Tea
1/2 cup of Raspberry Syrup
2 cups ice cold water
4 leaves fresh Basil

Steep tea bags in boiled water, let it cool down a bit then pour into a pitcher.  Add sugar (as much as you like) stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add raspberry syrup, ice cold water, fresh basil and ice.  Stir and enjoy.

We got this idea from when Don and I went on a mini-trip to Charlottesville, VA for our anniversary (26th).  We ate out at the Melting Pot.  We ordered a special tea and asked if it could be served without alcohol so they concocted this special tea and we were the first ones to ever try it out.  The manager of the restaurant was so concerned that he brought it himself to see whether we approved or not.   We both fell in love with it from the first sip.  I told him I would try to recreate it at home.  It's not as good but pretty close!!  I gotta admit that yes, the fresh basil was very questionable but it's amazing what a tasty flavor it gave the tea.

I linked to:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meatball Subs

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray cooked by Elise

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
32 min
4 servings



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup (3 handfuls), Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons (several drops) Worcestershire sauce,
  • 1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano or Romano
  • Coarse salt and black pepper

5 Minute Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, (2 turns around the pan)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounces) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 semolina crusty sub rolls, with or without sesame seeds
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag (2 1/2 cups) shredded provolone or Italian 4-cheese blend
  • Shredded basil (sweet) or shredded arugula (spicy) leaves, for garnish
  • Oven fries, as an accompaniment, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of meat. Fill well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, parsley, cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix up meatball ingredients until well combined, yet not over-mixed. Divide mix into 4 equal parts, roll each part into 4 balls and space equally onto a nonstick baking sheet. Place meatballs in oven and roast about 12 minutes. Break a meatball open and make sure meat is cooked through before removing from the oven.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and garlic. When garlic starts sizzling, add herbs and crushed pepper. Allow oil to infuse for half a minute, then stir in the tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are removed from oven.
Combine meatballs and sauce and pile into sub rolls, 4 meatballs per sub. Top with shredded cheese and place under subs under broiler to melt cheese. Top with shredded basil or arugula and serve with a pile of oven fries, recipe follows.

Oven Fries:

  • 4 medium white skinned potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges lengthwise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to coat
  • Grill seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper

Drizzle potatoes with a generous pour of extra-virgin olive oil. Toss potatoes with seasoning blend or coarse salt and pepper. Place potatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and roast 20 minutes or until just tender. Give the baking sheet a good shake after 10 minutes to avoid sticking.
Partakers:  Don,myself and Elise
Approvals:  Great, awesome and good
My comments:  Elise cooked these Meatball Subs for us on Friday, she usually does once a week and surprised us with this delicious meal.  I've never had a meatball sandwich before until I ate this one.  It was SOOOOO delicious.  I especially loved the spiciness (could do without the onions though) along with the toasted buns, italian seasonings, meat, sauce and cheese. M-m-m-m-m.  They're plenty of meatballs left to add to a pot of spaghetti in a couple of days.  Can't wait!!  She made the fries but they weren't ready on time to eat with dinner so I just saved the potatoes to nibble on today :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chipotle Tamale Pie

Recipes courtesy Ingrid Hoffmann
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound, lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chiles, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, from can chipotle in adobo
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) package cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease an 8-inch baking dish with the butter and set it aside.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, the onions, green peppers, and garlic and cook until the turkey is no longer pink and is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and sprinkle the meat mixture with the cumin.

Add the beans, tomatoes, chiles and adobo sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until heated through and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and cilantro.
Spread the turkey mixture in the prepared baking dish, pressing down on it with the back of a spoon to make an even, compact layer.

Combine the cornbread mix with milk and egg. Spread the cornbread batter over the turkey mixture and bake until the cornbread is golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the tamale pie stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Partakers:  Don, Elise and I
Approvals:  The best one so far, good and good
My Comments:  This is such an easy dish to make that I decided to post it during the week.  I got spoiled tonight as I usually don't but Elise browned the meat for me so it was ready to go when I got home.  This is a family favorite and I'm not sure what I did but Don said it was the best one so far.  Elise loves the cornbread part the most and will pick at it when there's leftovers.  I also like the cornbread mixed with the meat, beans and best of all Chipotle Chilis I also topped it off with some leftover Monterey Jack cheese. I cooked it and baked it all in one pot, my favorite 3 qt. skillet.  If you don't have a lot of the ingredients then improvise, that's whats fun about this dish, just add anything tex-mex that you have in the refrigerator.  I didn't have the green peppers and I used gr. beef instead of turkey.  I recommend Jiffy's cornmeal mix in a box.   If you like Tex-Mex food that's quick and easy to make, this one's a keeper!!. ~iSavored during the week :)

FRIDAY 1/22/10 - Leftovers are even better - this is me at work eating some for lunch!! m-m-m-m good!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake with Red Velvet Cake Balls

Recipe courtesy Ruth Kendrick or Bobby Flay - hence the grill

Prep Time:
hr min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
hr min
12 to 16 servings


Fudge Cake:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • 1 1/2 pounds milk chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry flavoring, optional

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 pound milk chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh raspberries, chocolate curls and powdered sugar, for garnish


Preheat a fire or a charcoal grill. Let the fire or grill burn out to coals.
Spray a 12-inch Dutch oven with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, water, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with wire whisk until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Batter will be runny. Place 8 coals under the Dutch oven and 16 coals on the lid, bake in Dutch oven about 50 minutes, or until cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from Dutch oven by placing cooling rack on top of Dutch oven and flipping oven over. Remove Dutch oven. Cool cake. When completely cool, cut into 2 layers. You can use dental floss to cut the cake.
Make ganache by combining all ganache ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until well mixed. Ganache will be about as thick as frosting. If it is too thick, thin with a little cream or milk. Spread onto cut layer. Top with other layer, cut side down.
Make glaze by combining melted chocolate with whipping cream. Drizzle over top of cake and allow to run down sides. Garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Red Velvet Cake Balls
(Recipe soon to come!)

PARTAKERS:  Don, Elise and I and the girls (birthday party)
APPROVALS: Very Good, Pat myself on the back, Awesome!
MY COMMENTS:  Well, I'd like to take the credit for this one but I can't.  Elise had a birthday party to bake for and this is what she made.  All I can say is RAVE reviews!!  It was SOOOOOO good and SOOOOO delicious!  I'm sorry to see it disappear!!  Chocolate + Raspberries = AMAZING!!  Good job Elise!!
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