April 24, 2010

Spring Asparagus
























































While grocery shopping in the produce section, Kelley and I saw a fresh batch of asparagus. It was a spontaneous purchase but totally worth it!

After cooking the asparagus, I blanched them in a bowl by shocking them in ice cold water for a few minutes. This helps to keep their bright green color and crispness.

After being inspired by Virginia Tech’s West End dining hall (the BEST college dining hall I might add!) I modified a sauce I found online to drizzle over the asparagus.

SAUCE:
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
DIRECTIONS
  1. Boil vinegar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce heat by half, about 3 minutes. Pour vinegar into a large bowl. Whisk in oil, mustard, and garlic. Season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.
  2. Drizzle sauce over asparagus and serve.

February 9, 2010

Saints Superbowl Sunday 2010!















Hot Ham and Cheese Spread (Kraft foods)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 slices Oscar Mayer Smoked Ham, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • Green onions
  • RITZ Crackers
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients except crackers; spread into 9" pie plate or 2 cup baking dish.
  3. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  4. Serve with crackers.
  5. Top with green onions just before serving.
Since I was making this dish vegetarian, I left out the ham. I also did not have cayenne pepper, so I substituted crushed red pepper flakes. I added a few bits of diced tomato on top for more color!


January 13, 2010

Cilantro & Garlic Stuffed Chicken



I follow Ivanka Trump on Twitter (@IvankaTrump) and she had posted this recipe! It sounded so amazing that I made it less than one week later! I did a few modifications (Italicized)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Lemon juice and zest
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make a slice lengthwise through the middle of each breast taking care to not cut in half.
  2. Crush the garlic into a bowl with a garlic press or mash with the flat edge of a chefs knife to make a paste. (I used a garlic press)
  3. Mix in two liberal pinches of Kosher salt.
  4. Spread the garlic paste on the inside of each breast and pack in the chopped cilantro.
  5. Season each side with salt and pepper. (I made mine in the oven- not stove top, so I only seasoned the one side)
  6. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high. (OVEN: pre-heat to 350°F. I drizzled olive oil on top of the chicken breasts and then did a few more sprinkles of salt for a bit of crispiness)
  7. Cook chicken on each side until golden brown and until juices run clear. (OVEN: 350°F for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown)
  8. Plate and squeeze fresh lemon juice over breasts and top with a bit of lemon zest
As a side, I used a recipe I found in Real Simple Magazine (February 2010 issue)
Orange, Olive, and Red Onion Salad
  • Slice 4 oranges into bite size chunks
  • Thinly slice some red onion
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and black olives (I left the olives out)
  • Season with salt & pepper
  • Mix with tongs and serve!

January 6, 2010

Cheesy Potato-Corn Chowder

Mom left this recipe out for me to make for dinner. It smelled so delicious that I had to sample a few spoonfuls... you know, to make sure it was safe enough for the rest of the family to eat! I made a few substitutions that you'll see in italic. It is delicious!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 7 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut in ½-inch cubes
  • 1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs roasted garlic
  • ½ tsp each salt & ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cans (7oz ea.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 4 scallions, (¼ cup optional) finely chopped (substituted 1 yellow onion)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, place potatoes; add just enough water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain. Reserve 1 cup potatoes; return remaining potatoes to saucepan. In small bowl, mash reserved potatoes with fork; return to saucepan.
  2. Stir in broth, garlic, salt & pepper (and onions). Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; cook uncovered for 2 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, stir flour into milk with wire whisk until well mixed. Add milk mixture to potato mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in cheeses and corn until cheese is melted.
  4. To serve, ladle chowder into bowls; top with scallions.