Monday, August 27, 2012

August 26- Hosting BBQ Night!

Last night's supper was a team-effort. We hosted two other couples for one of our first dinner parties, since moving into our new place. Barbecue sounded like a good choice, considering the beautiful weather we've been having and the fact that it seems that just about everyone likes a little BBQ. Our dear friends provided drinks, chips, yummy guacamole, and baking a delicious cake (True friendship is being willing to turn on the oven in the middle of August). I made beans, whipped up the homemade salsa, and cooked refried beans. Everyone pitched in, but I would say that the hero of the night was my husband, Chris.

Chris is seriously King of the Grill. When the idea of a BBQ came up, he excited explained the perfect cut of meat, marinade, etc. At the time, it all went over my head. I'm no meat master and was in much need of a lesson in marinades, tenderizer, and beef cuts. "Just tell me what to buy. I buy, and you can be the Meat Master," I told him. We make a perfect time. The carne asada was delicious and everyone loved it! I'm convinced he can do anything. :)


Carne asada, warm tortillas, homemade salsa, guacamole, chips, and iced tea; 
The perfect farewell to summer meal. 

...I think they liked it >>

Friday, August 24, 2012

Something to Tweet About

Tonight for supper is up and running on Twitter!

August 24- Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I love chicken salad sandwiches but, considering the high-fat high-calorie ingredients, most health-conscious foodies consider them a splurge. Tonight I whipped up a tasty, high-protein health-ified version of this classic favorite. Served on a whole wheat English muffin, alongside fresh bing cherries.

Apple Chicken Salad
(I improvised as I went and didn't use measurements...I apologize if it's a little vague. 
Trust yourself and just add what looks right.)
Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 small container plain Greek yogurt
1 small Granny Smith apple
1 large stalk celery, chopped
4 small fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
a dash of onion powder

Toss ingredients and serve on a roll, toast, crackers, or over spinach. 

(It makes several servings, but you could eat the entire bowl 
for 375 calories. How's that for lightening up?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22-Beef Fajitas

Beef fajitas. Served with warm flour tortillas, corn, beans, and homemade salsa. Mmm mmm.

Beef Fajitas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1.5 lb beef
1/4 cup water
1 packet fajita seasoning

1. In a large skilled, heat olive oil. Add onion and bell peppers. Heat until onion is browned. Remove from skillet.
2. In the same skillet, cook beef. Drain excess fat.
3. Return vegetables to the skillet, with water and seasoning. Bring to a boil and heat through.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19- Salsa Explosivo

This recipe was given its name for a reason. No, it is not for the spicy firework of a kick that goes off in your mouth (although you can make the recipe as hot as you want, depending on how well you seed the peppers). In reality, this tasty little dip was named for the way the mom's original recipe blew up in my face (not literally, thankfully) when I tried to make it on my own. 

A few lessons learned in the process...
1. When making salsa, be sure to test your food processor before you chop your veggies. This will ensure that your food processor works. 
2. When you receive a kitchen appliance as a wedding gift, be sure to use it within 90 days of purchase so that you can return it if it does not work. 
3. The troubleshooting hotline for most kitchenware companies are closed on the weekends. 
4. Blenders are good for more than smoothies and breakfast shakes.
5. When disaster strikes, put on a smile and make do with a good backup plan. 

Despite the blowup, it tasted good in the end. 
A little thinner than I usually prefer, but the flavor was still right. 

Salsa Explosivo
6-8 medium-large tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
4-5 yellow chilies
2 small green chilies
1 small onion
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup water
salt to taste

Use a food processor (or your faithful blender) to shred ingredients. 
To ensure desired chunkiness, shred ingredients separately and combine into large bowl. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16- Lemon Broccoli Chicken over Rice

Another weeknight family favorite, served over rice. 
Lemon Broccoli Chicken over Rice
1 tbsp oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 can of Cream of Broccoli Soup
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8tsp pepper
4 thin lemon slices

1.) In skillet, in hot oil, cook chicken 10 minutes until browned.
2.) Combine soup and milk; Stir lemon juice and pepper. Pour over chicken. Top with lemon slices. Reduce heat to low. Cover; Simmer 5 minutes until tender. 

Served with steam rice and broccoli.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14-Mini Turkey Meatloaves & Green Beans

Trying new recipes is fun, but it's also nice to have a good collection of go-to favorites. I like mini meatloaves for several reasons. 

1. You can jazz it up with different seasonings and mix-ins, for a slightly different version each time. 
2. You can use ground turkey. 
3. Easy clean up while the loaves bake. 
4. They are cute.   

Here's another one worth repeating.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves
1.25lb lean ground Jennie O turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp & 1/4 cup ketchup, divided
1/2 onion, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
garlic power

Preheat oven to 450. Combine ingredients, using only 2tbsp ketchup. Divide mixture into a cupcake pan. Top mini loaves with the rest of the ketchup. Bake 25 minutes.

Served with rice and green beans. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6- Easy Kung Pao Chicken

Nothing beats takeout...except homemade takeout. 
We both had multiple servings, making this easy recipe a sure winner. 

Easy Kung Pao Chicken
Original Recipe from
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I doubled the red pepper and was glad I did...1 tsp will make it about as spicy as the takeout version.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tsp vegetable oil (I cooked mine with olive oil)
1 large onion, chopped 
2 small green bell peppers, chopped
2/3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts

1.) In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, ginger, sugar, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, garlic and water. Transfer 2 Tbsp. of the sauce to a medium bowl; add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.

2.) In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, warm 2 tsp. oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the chicken and cook until meat loses its pink color throughout, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. 

3.) Add remaining 1 tsp. oil to the same skillet and heat until hot. Add onion and bell peppers, and stir-fry about 5 minutes. (Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. water if skillet is dry.) 
To save time, I did steps 2 and 3 simultaneously, in two separate skillets. 

4.) Pour remaining stir-fry sauce over vegetables and boil 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet along with peanuts and heat through. Serve over jasmine rice.