Thursday, July 31, 2008

Boy in the Kitchen

Upon getting home from a long day at work, I walked into our apartment to discover Jake in the kitchen! He was cooking dinner. TACOS and Spanich rice!

Jake is a wondeful husband and does so much for me, but rarely cooks dinner as the poor boy is lost when he gets in the kitchen. This is why I was so excited and surprised. He did such a good job with the meal, too. He did all the grocery shopping, preparation, cooking, and serving.

The meal turned out great and he made me very,very, very happy! I'm sure he will rewared properly. ;-)

Oh look, it's us in the kitchen. Our outfits are great!

Special Guest Blog:Chicken Breasts w/ Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic

My ever-so-awesome Knottie friend, Chelsey (chelsmillertobe), is my guest blog contributor today. Chelsey is the bomb and so is her knot bio, check it out. The girl is beautiful and her wedding just screamed romance. And, it seems to me, the girl can cook, too. Way to go, Jason (her hubby)!

Here's Chelsey's recipe for Chicken Breasts w/Basalmic Vinegar and Garlic. The pictures were taken by her too.

This recipe was super easy, and delicious. The best part was I had most of these ingredients on hand and didn't have to run to the store.

Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic from Allrecipes

Ingredients:4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 8 little chicken cutlets, just because that's what I had on hand)

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon butter

Directions:Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes).
Add the garlic. Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms over them. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour this mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve. I served this along with some garlic mashed potatoes, if I had more time I would have also done a green salad. I hate serving dinner without some healthy veggies on the plate. To make the potatoes I just boiled them, placed them in the mixer skin on with some milk, butter, salt, pepper and minced garlic (you could also use garlic salt).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Creamy Parmesan Orzo with Cremini Mushrooms

More carbs for my man! Tonight I tried a recipe I got from fellow June 08 Knottie, Cnstarz. She got the recipe from Cooking Light.

Not only was the recipe easy, it tasted really damn good. Jake sauteed up some asparagus (I'm so proud of the cooking skills he's developing!) and added some olive oil and basalmic vinegar to them.

The recipe called for pine nuts. I didn't have any, so I omitted them and put in some cremini mushrooms to add an earthy flavor.

This is a recipe I will use a lot more. It made a great main dish but would be good as a side dish as well.

Creamy Parmesan Orzo:

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup orzo

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese (I used more than a 1/4 cup--I love cheese)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (also added more)

salt and pepper to taste

toasted pine nuts

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo, and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stire in broth and water;bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and orzo is done, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat;stir in cheese, basil, salt and pepper (and any other add-ins). Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Corn Chip-Crusted Halibut w/ Creamy Salsa and Cilantro

For one of my wedding showers I got this really great recipe box with recipes already in it. Up until about a week ago I hadn't gone through it. Upon reading the cards, I discovered some really great sounding recipes. One of them was this Corn Chip-Crusted Halibut. I love halibut so I thought I'd give the recipe a try.
This was a really quick and easy recipe. Plus, it tasted really darn good! I served it with cornbread and black beans.Im going to try this exact recipe with chicken sometime.

(please forgive my poor photo. I'm still learning to photograph food)
Here's the recipe:
2 halibut fillets
Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 handfuls corn chips
3/4 cup salsa
3 tablespoons sour cream
Fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the halibut on the prepared baking sheet. Season both sides with salt and cumin. Combine the butter and lime juice in a small bowl and drizzle over the fillets.
Put the corn chips in a sealable plastic bag and crush into small pieces. Top each fillet with a thick layer of the crumbs. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake until the fish is opaque in the center, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the salsa and sour cream. Heat until just warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, place the halibut fillets on plates, top with creamy salsa, and garnish with cilantro leaves. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Favorite Quick and Yummy Meal: Lemon Spaghetti

I have a busy life. My husband has a busy life. We both love to eat. Unfortunately, we don't always have time to cook a big gourment meal. Luckily, I have a recipe that taste gourment but doesn't require gourment preparation or cooking skills.

I got the recipe from Giada's cookbook, Everyday Italian. I like to add shrimp to mine. Yummy!

Lemon Spaghetti:

1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.