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Baked Penne with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

This is simply satisfying, and I just had to get this fave dish of mine in one last time before grilling season is here! 


I don’t which I like better ~ the crispy browned bits of pasta sticking to the side of the baking dish or the slightly tangy cheese that’s smothering the noodles. 


This is easy ~ it’s a low-maintenance dish that you can prepare upfront, and then a half-hour before mealtime, pop it into your oven.  The oven time turns it into a savory, deliciousness for your crowd!  If there’s no crowd, the leftovers will be magnificent!





And ~ yet again, I did it, I didn’t pull out the camera until supper was about over ~ sometimes my food is camera shy and just wants to be eaten!




Baked Penne with Tomatoes and Mozzarella


Ingredients:


1 pound penne pasta
Cooking spray
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan


Method:


Cook pasta, al de…

Tangy and a little bit Sweet Balsamic Coleslaw ~ GO CARDS!!!

What is served alongside sandwiches in a little paper cup, always goes to family reunions and company picnics, and generally remains untouched by most people?
It’s coleslaw!   Why does coleslaw get a bum rap?





Coleslaw can be traced back to the ancient Romans, when dishes of cabbage, eggs, vinegar and spices were served.  Years later, the Dutch claimed land in New York, and grew cabbage along the Hudson River.  They shredded their cabbage for a salad and called it “koosla.”
Whether creamy with mayonnaise, sweet with pineapple or savory with bacon, I like about any version.  And, it doesn’t have to be overwhelmed with mayonnaise and sugar to be delicious; this version is the proof.
This vinaigrette combines balsamic vinegar with cider vinegar, sugar, and Dijon mustard for a smooth, tangy dressing.  It’s a colorful coleslaw that is good any time of the year.  For a particularly nutty flavor, use Savoy cabbage instead of green cabbage.





A little sweet ~ a little tangy, it’s delicious! How about …

Mexican-style Chicken Breast with my Taco Seasoning and some March Madness

I love March Madness!!!


Sadly, Duke upset by underdog Mercer ~  Harvard’s victory over Cincinnati ~ Stanford beat Kansas  ~  Dayton upset Syracuse  ~    and so forth…
And no perfect brackets for the Warren Buffet billion-dollar bracket challenge. First off, Louisville was underseeded
And now the craziness has happened
Louisville squares off with Kentucky
the Cards versus the Cats!
Friday night
Crazy!

Pitino can’t let it happen twice in one season!  S0…
GO LOUISVILLE BEAT Kentucky!!!





Now, for the chicken…

Chicken breast is the star on the dinner table endless times because it’s quick to cook, economical, low in fat and calories.  We like chicken and we like Mexican-style food, so this recipe is a win win!

This is a tasty simple spicy chicken dish with salsa and my homemade taco seasoning ~ which is salt-free.  Plus, it’s on the healthy side as it’s baked, and later topped with low-fat sour cream. 



If you’re looking for a new way to prepare chicken breast, and you like Mexican cuisine, chances are you …

Baked Flounder with Cornmeal Coating

Cornmeal and Fish go together like  Peanut Butter and Miracle Whip!   Yum!




This flounder has a crisp crust, not like it’s deep-fried, but crisp enough, without the mess of grease spattering ~ healthier!  It’s simple and makes for a good meal!



Baked Flounder with Cornmeal Coating


Ingredients:


6 flounder fillets
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
Non-stick cooking spray


Method:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a shallow dish, combine salt, pepper, paprika, cornmeal and Panko.
Dip each fillet in milk, dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place fish on it.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily and is golden, turning once.
Serve



ENJOY!

Have a Fantastic Friday!




A Twisted St. Paddy’s Day Side Dish: Potato and Cabbage Bake

Growing up on a farm in Ohio, and later in Louisville, my family never had occasion to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  That all changed years later, after marrying and moving to “Chicagoland.”



45 pounds of vegetable dye colors the Chicago River a brilliant emerald green as it courses through the center of the city, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Chicago is packed with a plethora of Irish pubs and restaurants and there is no shortage of fun and plenty of sights to behold…

It was a memorable St. Patrick’s Day for us years ago when we took our then young teenage boys into the city for dinner.  Revelers, imbibing plenty of green suds, were plentiful everywhere.  It was an “education,” for sure that our sons laugh about now and will never forget.  After hurriedly eating, we headed out to a Bulls basketball game ~ ‘twas the “Michael Jordan era!!!”

Potatoes and cabbage, that popular pairing, is always abundant on St. Patrick’s Day and here’s a twist on it to get your Irish on:

This is a simple de…

Chicken Tetrazzini Lightened Up

I’m always happy to come across a lightened up comfort food recipe! 

Here’s a mouth-watering tetrazzini casserole, minus the traditional heavy ingredients of cream, butter, and a plethora of cheese:  translating, 420 calories, versus nearly 700 per serving.




The creamy key to holding this dish together is the light béchamel sauce of evaporated low-fat milk, light cream cheese and Parmesan.  I substituted Activ spread for butter, then tossed it all with chicken, lots of veggies and pasta for savory goodness.


This is a Cooking Light recipe, which suggests poaching a few chicken breasts, if you don’t have leftover chicken ~ that’s exactly what I did.





The recipe calls for a topping of torn pieces of a French bread baguette ~ I crumbled a few crisp croutons for the job.


It added ½ cup white wine; I omitted it, and raised the chicken stock from 2½ cups to 3 cups. 


It included 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms, I used canned instead.


This is a great delicious twist on tetrazzini.  We reall…

Cod Tacos with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Who doesn’t like a good fish taco?  Especially one that’s topped with grilled peppers and onions!
It took me a while to get on the fish taco bandwagon, but now I’m a happy advocate of it, and like about every fish taco I can sink my teeth into. 




The fish and veggies for these tacos are grilled instead of deep-fried, and served with trimmed-down toppings, without sacrificing flavor. The fish is spicy and the peppers are crisp-tender; near perfect and a simple easy dinner that is filling too.


Whenever, we have some warm weather; probably in June, at this rate, the fish and veggies will be cooked outside on the grill ~ I can hardly wait!






Cod Tacos with Grilled Peppers and Onions


Ingredients:


1 white onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
Cooking spray
1 pound cod
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 flour tortillas
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste


Toppings:


Taco sauce
Jalapeno pepper slices
Shredded lettuce

Pork Chops with Mushrooms in Dijon Sauce, snow...

Go hog wild and try this great recipe for pork chops!



Sear a thick pork chop to retain moisture ~ add some earthy mushrooms ~ drown the aforementioned in a savory Dijon sauce.  The quick pan sauce adds a light flavor to the dish with capers adding piquancy.

The average American consumes approximately 46 pounds of pork a year.  Surprisingly, a pork chop has 65 grams of cholesterol, compared to 72 grams in a chicken breast.  They both contain just 1 gram of saturated fat.

These pork chops are a healthy source of protein, high in B1 vitamin content, and low in saturated fat ~ no added fat here, no creamy sauce.

They should make any pork lover happy!
Pork Chops with Mushrooms in Dijon Sauce
Ingredients:
2 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops, visible fat trimmed
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 cup chicken stock, fat free, low salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
10 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1 tablespoon capers
Cooking spray
Method:
Liberally spra…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






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