Monthly Archives: December 2011

Mini Apple Pies

Who doesn’t enjoy a mini pie? I whipped these up in about 20 minutes for a party and they were yummy! I of course used store bought crust because, let’s face it, I avoid baking at all costs and I certainly don’t do crust. As far as apple pie goes, this is a pretty standard variety — which was exactly what I was craving.

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Sage-Scented Veal Burgers with Fontina and Honeyed Squash Rings

Ok, so, I’m a total hypocrite. I politely turned down some beautiful imported foie gras on Christmas Eve due to “philosophical objections”….meanwhile I had this veal burger on my menu plan for a week. I’m not exactly ‘pro-veal’, but I eat it a few times a year. Also, have I mentioned how much I love cows? I do. Life is hard. BUT, this burger is SO GOOD, and dare I say, worth the guilt. The acorn squash drizzled with honey was amazing on this burger, which tastes like a giant, tender meatball covered in cheese.
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Parmesan-Onion Crusted Chicken

Gawd, I wish this wasn’t as tasty as  it was! Since I’m apparently a huge food snob, the idea of this recipe was something totally eye-roll worthy. I mean, it comes from the Hellmann’s website. But tonight, I wanted something different to do with the chicken breasts I had defrosted and this recipe that I had seen on the blogosphere came to mind. I figured, what the heck. And the result? Seriously, the tastiest chicken I have had in a long while. Moist, rich tasting — and with the addition of the, gasp, onion soup mixture — SUPER flavorful. Try it when no one’s looking — it’s delicious. 🙂
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Kale and Potato Salad in a Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

This salad is DELICIOUS. I love how I feel after I eat a ton of dark leafy greens — like you just did something good for yourself. It doesn’t hurt when they’re tossed in a flavorful, creamy vinaigrette using greek yogurt, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and grainy mustard, either. Oh, and toss it all with some teeny tiny potatoes and bacon. Eat your greens!

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Eggs on a Cloud with Bacon and Chives

I yanked this recipe out of my Rachael Ray mag yesterday (no judgment) and knew that I would make it right away. At first I thought it was an egg perched on a biscuit (nothing wrong with that), but as I read the recipe, I realized the yolk was atop a pile of whipped egg whites. Egg whites! Brilliant.
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Pan-Roasted Chicken Leg and Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts

So over Christmas I got some heat from a few family members about slacking off on my blog. I was a little taken aback…I mean, I feel like I cook almost every damned day, but I guess it’s true — I’m definitely not posting as frequently. I think this is partly because I really actually like my favorite recipes and tend to make them over and over again, but also because if I’m trying to eat healthy, who wants to see/read about a boring dinner salad? Or, conversely, when I talk about eating healthy then cave in and make an ohmygodsogood mac & cheese, do I always post that? Nopers. These reasons, along with my growing photo snobbery, perhaps are why I’m not posting as frequently. Quality, not quantity, maybe? Anyway, I’m gonna try to keep it real.

For instance, this recipe. Roasted chicken with some simply roasted brussels and some fried gnocchi. The brussels — a super basic Ina Garten recipe in my head. The gnocchi — something I saw on Nigella’s show a long while back that suddenly popped in my head tonight. Probably not something I would normally have posted. Not that it wasn’t really delicious (which it was!), but it just seems like such a simple meal. I didn’t really follow a recipe for any of the dishes (but can vaguely remember the origins), it was a bit of on-a-whim meal. That said, my cousin’s voice still lingered in my head and I decided this was the kind of dish that I used to post at the start of this blog — in fact, these were the types of dishes that I started this blog for. To document, file away for future reference as something I would certainly like to make again. Well, consider it posted and filed. 🙂
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Festive

This is what my weekend looked like: Many, many mini muffins for the staff at work, old school tori amos, mini christmas tree, football, general merriness.

Greek Meatballs with Egg-Lemon Sauce

Around 3pm today I was hit with a strong craving for greek food, but since my favorite greek restaurants are both 45 minutes away from my home, I would have to come up with other options for this weeknight. My specific craving was for roasted lamb and rice with egg lemon sauce. While there was no way I was going to pull off a roasted leg of lamb on a Monday night after work and the gym, I could definitely do meatballs. I learned how to make Avgolemono soup at a cooking class last Spring at Eurostoves, I figured that if I thickened it up it could definitely work as a sauce for the meatballs. I was right! This definitely hit the spot for tonight, I will definitely need to hit up the Olympia or Phoenician restaurants soon!

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Pappardelle with Scallops and Arugula

I had purchased some big fatty scallops on a whim since Brian has been hinting at a craving for, like, forever. I was a little disappointed when I couldn’t find anything interesting to do with the scallops after a quick search online (i.e. anything besides pan-searing them). I ended up finding this recipe on marthastewart.com, a resource that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The recipe seemed to be lacking a little something, so I threw in a chopped bunch of arugula to spice it up a bit. Next time I might even add a second bunch because of the wilt factor, along with a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Overall, this pasta dish really let the flavors of the scallops shine, and for this, Brian was grateful.

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Mini Lemon Rosemary Muffins

So, it’s safe to say that I’m mildly obsessed with this flavor profile (lemon/rosemary). These mini-muffins (of which I made 100!) are savory and just a little bit sweet, totally delicious, and will make excellent gifts.

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Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Cheddar Grits and Roasted Asparagus

Usually I’m pretty modest (if not critical) when eating my own food, but tonight, I can honestly say that this dinner was something you could easily find in a restaurant — and it’s so basic. I had some chicken breasts staring at me from the fridge (what a conundrum) so I pulled out my trusty 3-ring binder of recipes and looked for something to cook under the “chicken” tab. This binder contains both tried and true recipes, and also new recipes that I want to get to eventually.  I wanted something comforting enough to block out the “order pizza” chant that was in my head since about 3pm today. But, since we’re trying to watch what we eat, I wanted whatever we made for dinner to be fairly healthy and also pretty straightforward. While starches are a bit of a no-no for us right now, these fluffy, creamy, cheesy grits sure are a lot better than a large pizza. This is harm-reduction at its best. Like how I justified that?

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Chicken Sausage with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

Update: I made this again because it was so yummy and I wilted in a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach. Even tastier!
Now this is one we will be eating probably once a week from here on out. It’s so easy, made with ingredients we almost always have on hand, and is totally delicious. We used a spinach, fontina, and roasted garlic chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s (so good), but any ol’ pre-cooked sausage would probably be great too. Next time I might mix in some baby spinach at the end for extra veg factor.

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Cornmeal Crusted Salmon in Basil Mussel Broth

I wanted something that was relatively healthy but still felt like somewhat of a treat suitable for the oh-so-coveted weekend. This was the perfect thing.
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Grilled Pierogi with Kielbasa

Even though I am half Polish, I didn’t grow up eating a lot of Polish food. I don’t think I had a pierogi until a few years ago even. Why I have had a kielbasa and pierogi craving for the last couple of weeks is beyond me, but I’m glad I did because this recipe is delicious!

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Cheeseburger Soup

Ever have a cheeseburger craving that just won’t quit? MAKE THIS SOUP. It tastes EXACTLY like a cheeseburger, but is much better for you. This recipe makes a ton, but it you freeze some leftovers, you can have a cheeseburger whenever you like. 🙂

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