Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spanish Chicken and Potato Roast

This dish came my way via Food Network Magazine, and it was incredible.  Normally, I wouldn't try onions on their own, but after tasting these babies along with everything else, I dared, and it was wonderful... the onions were so sweet and delicious, they were a-ok all by themselves.  The potatoes were awesome; light and fluffy inside with a nice crunch outside.  The chicken was great, too!

I'd never have considered making roast chicken on a weeknight, but this is how ya do it, and do it well:

Spanish Chicken and Potato Roast Source  Food Network


  • 1 1/2 pounds large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (5 to 6 thighs)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 lemons (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
  • 2 large or 3 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced


Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Place a large cast-iron baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 500 degrees F. Put the potatoes, garlic, olive oil, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large microwave-safe baking dish and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, pierce the plastic in a few places with a knife and microwave 8 minutes to partially cook.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add 2 tablespoons parsley and the lemon juice; toss to coat. Set aside.

Remove the hot baking dish from the oven; carefully add the potatoes and spread in an even layer. Scatter the onions on top. Roast until the potatoes start to brown, about 12 minutes.

Flip the potatoes and lay the chicken pieces on top, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl; return to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 12 more minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

This week's recipe swap was a Celebrity Chef recipe.  I am so happy to have received a veggie side dish, since I'm always looking for great and easy ones.  I was sad to see it was asparagus, because while I love it, my husband won't eat it and I had a feeling my children would react the same way.

I thought this was delicious and couldn't possibly have been more simple.  Of course my husband didn't take any, but my children had no choice.  My 2 year old, who won't even try many foods, ate about one stalk while my 4 year old ate a few bites, especially after I called them "Truffala Trees."

Thank you so much to Dawn for this easy recipe from Ina Garten, and Sarah for hosting the swap.  Check out Sarah's blog for the whole Recipe Swap run down!

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Source:  Ina Garten via Simple Gourmet Cooking

2 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place asparagus in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle asparagus lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the asparagus and return to the oven for another two minutes. Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice and serve with lemon wedges.

Adapted from Ina Garten

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff

This may not look pretty, but it's quite delicious.  And so, so easy to make.  The original recipe calls for egg noodles, which makes complete sense in a stroganoff, but I was out of them so served over rice. 

My entire family enjoyed this one, except the 4 year old, who claimed he wasn't at all hungry, though he did try all parts of his dinner.

Make this!!

Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff Source:365 Days of Slow Cooking via Lauren's Kitchen
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp dehydrated onion or 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the chicken, onion, mushrooms, cream of chicken soup, and tomato sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Shred the chicken and add in the parsley, sour cream and salt and pepper. Stir and turn to HIGH. Let sit without lid for 10-15 minutes. Serve over egg noodles.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday:  BBQ Mushroom Portobello Quesadilla
Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad
Wednesday:  BBQ Chicken Burger
Thursday:  Bangin Good Shrimp
Friday:  Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza
Saturday:  P.L.A.T. Sandwich with Onion Rings

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Poverty Meal

In my home, it is difficult to make budget meals.  Typical budget meals include pasta and sauce or ground beef or beans or some combination of the three, and all these are on my husband's "do not prefer" or "will not eat" lists. 

So when I found this meal on, I figured it would be a good one to try.  It seemed really familiar, like something my mom made when I was a kid, inexpensive even with changing the ground beef for turkey, and delicious.

This wasn't a super success for us, and I think it has to do with the whole wheat pasta more than anything.  It was an off texture for me, and it could probably have cooked a little more; maybe next time I'll cook the pasta a little before tossing it in with the other ingredients, just to take out a little bit of the bite.  Or maybe it calls for regular pasta or a different shape.

Don't make the mistake I did though and avoid using a cast iron skillet!  The crud was so cooked on, I had to scrub the pan with salt for at least half an hour!


  1. 1
    Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
  2. 2
    Brown ground beef and drain.
  3. 3
    Add ground beef, tomatoes, water, raw macaroni, salt and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. 4
    Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
  5. 5
    If desired, top with Parmesan cheese.
  6. 6
    Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Not So Sloppy Jes

This is a recipe I've made a ton of times, and I know I've posted about it many times too, but I discovered that there are no photos to accompany it.  I love this one, and this might have been the first time I've made it with actual ground beef rather than turkey or chicken, and even my beef disliking husband liked it.

I generally use about half the recipe for dinner, saving the rest for a future taco night.  It works really well in both methods.

Give this a try; you'll never go back to that Sloppy Joe in a can again!

Not So Sloppy Joes Source:  Real Simple


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • clove garlic, minced
  • red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cinnamon. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.
  4. Spoon onto the buns. Sprinkle each with the Cheddar and top with a dollop of the sour cream.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mushroom Bolognese

Always on the quest for meatless Monday meals (and even more so during the Lenten season), when I saw this recipe on Christine's Kitchen Chronicles, I figured it would be an easy and big hit.

It may well have been a big hit had I made it as written, and I do intend to do that in the future.  As I made it, however, it was kinda a flop.  My first possible mistake was omitting the meat, and I think my second was using plain white mushrooms.  I think the biggest problem, however, was the kind of red wine I used, Beaujolais Nouveau.  I think its flavor was too distinct and strong and overwhelmed the flavor of the mushrooms.  When I make in the future, I think I'll try it with a Cabernet or Chianti.

Mushroom Bolognese Source:  Christine's Kitchen Chronicles


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (optional)
  • 5 c. finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1/4 c. pasta water
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley or basil chiffonade
  • Few shakes of cracked red pepper (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, salt, pepper, and ground beef.  Cook for 10 minutes or until beef is browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add in tomato paste, wine, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  
  3. Meanwhile, make the pound of pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/4 c. pasta water.
  4. Stir in the oregano and Italian seasoning.  Stir in pasta water.  Spoon over hot pasta and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
**This sauce can be frozen for up to 6 months.  Great for a make-ahead meal!**

Source: As seen on and adapted by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks from Cooking Light

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meatless Monday: White Cheese Spinach Lasagna

Sloppy Presentation, Yummy Dinner
When I stumbled across this recipe from Does Not Cook Well with Others, I knew it was a "must-make."  My 4 year old is going through a phase where he doesn't want marinara on his pasta or toppings on his pizza, so when I read her story about her requirements as a kid, it resounded!

When I make this in the future, I will use only one package of spinach, a second clove of garlic, and perhaps some mushrooms.

I ran out of regular lasagna noodles, so threw in some no boil on top.  Bad move!  Don't do it!  They didn't cook properly and were awful!

The original recipe called for chicken, but I had a hard time fitting all of it without the chicken in the 9x12 pan!  It was delicious without the chicken, and I imagine it would be great with it too!

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Adapted from Does Not Cook Well with Others


  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Dried basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to salted water to boil, add lasagna noodles, and cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer and stir for one minute. Mix in the broth, milk and cream, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute while stirring. Add in 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  3. Coat 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray, and spread ⅓ of the cheese sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay three lasagna noodles over the cheese. Then layer the ricotta, and sprinkle with black pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Arrange 3 more lasagna noodles over the chicken, then another ⅓ of the cheese sauce, then the spinach, then the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan. Arrange the remaining 3 lasagna noodles, then spread the remainder of the cheese sauce over the top.
  4. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is lightly browned and bubbly.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday-- White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Tuesday--Meatloaf, by request
Wednesday--Sloppy Joes
Thursday--Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff
Friday--Mushroom Bolognese
Sunday--Easter!  Not sure what we're doing; a trip to a diner is likely.
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