Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pierogie Bake

When I made this last, I said it would be really good with some steamed broccoli.  This time, I did exactly that, and it was delicious.  Even my husband commented that the broccoli was a really nice addition. 

I would have added bacon, but it's in the freezer and I forgot to defrost it, so a slightly vegetarian meal (I did use chicken broth, so not completely).  I also doubled it, which made enough for all of us and some leftovers for a yummy lunch.

Broccoli Pierogie Bake Source: Slightly adapted fromStephanie Cooks, who Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

1 (16 oz) package frozen pierogies
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1t extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup thin sliced green onions
1 small plum tomato, seeded, and diced  (I used an handful of grape tomatoes, which I diced)
Cooking spray

1- Preheat the oven to 400
2- Steam broccoli until tender.
3- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the frozen pierogies in the dish.
4- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
5- Add garlic to the pan, cook for 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese, stirring until it melts. Add the broth, whisking continuously until it's all incorporated.
6- Pour the sauce mixture over the pierogies. Top with the cheddar cheese.
7- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with the tomatoes and bacon, and return it to the oven. Bake for 5 additional minutes.
8- Remove from the oven sprinkle with green onions and black pepper. Serve hot.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Swap: Grilled Chicken Drumettes wth Pineapple Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

I've never heard of a "drumette."  I went to the store and looked for a package of drumettes, and couldn't find any.  I went to another store, and this time I ran into the butcher and asked him.  Many minutes later, I learned that drumettes are a drumstick looking part of the chicken wing; I picked up a package of wingettes, which included the "drumette" as well as the more traditional wing.

I seriously thought they were little drumsticks of some kind when I ordered wings.

This week's swap was BBQ, and I received Jey's recipe for Grilled Chicken Drumettes with Pineapple Pomegranate BBQ Sauce.  I made it on a particularly gorgeous spring day; the kind of day that you just want to be outside and grilling makes perfect sense.

Although it looks like a recipe that would take a long time to come together, it was fairly easy and quick to do.

And it was delicious.  It seems more like an appetizer than a dinner, though we very much enjoyed it as a dinner anyway.  The glaze is perfect on any kind of chicken, and I might put it on baked chicken sometime; Jey mentioned it's really good on burgers!

Thanks to Jey for getting me schooled on what drumettes are and for a delicious recipe, as well as to Sarah for hosting another fun swap!

Grilled Chicken Drumettes with Pineapple Pomegranate BBQ Sauce – adapted from 
by Jey at The Jey of Cooking
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 8oz Can Crushed Pineapple, undrained
  • 1 Cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Package Chicken Drumettes
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute until soft and translucent.  Add in all other ingredients except for chicken drumettes and mix until well combined.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 45 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Place chicken drumettes on the grates and grill 20-25 minutes, turning once, and brushing the sauce on during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Serve with additional sauce on the side.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Margherita Pizza

When it comes to a quick and easy dinner, pizza using pre-made dough is tops.  So, when looking through my blog for a quick dinner, this recipe came to mind, and since the pictures have disappeared, all the reasons came into place.

This is a delicious dinner.  It came together so quickly and inexpensively, it's perfect for crazy weeknight dinners. 

Margherita Pizza Source:  All New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, p 302

1 (10 oz) can refrigerated pizza crust dough (or homemade will work too!)
Cooking spray
1t extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 t balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 c thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13x11 inch rectangle. Bake for 8 min. Remove crust from oven; brush with 1/2t oil. 
Rub crust with cut side of garlic (I use the jarred chopped garlic, so just sprinkled it all over; we love garlic).
3. Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2 border, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 12 min or until cheese melts and crust is golden.
4. Combine 1/2t oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk. Sprinkle pizza evenly with slice basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle vinegar mixture evenly over pizza.
Cut into 8 rectangles.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Yes, it's that time again!  Crazy week here as we work full time and get ready for our 2 year old's birthday party.  In addition, it's my week again for lunch club.

Lunch club is getting dinner leftovers this week.  Monday, I'm going in with leftover French dip and leftover chicken dinner, and I plan to make Spaghetti Pie as well.

Our dinners will be:
Sunday:  Chicken in Mustard
Monday:  Chicken Marsala Casserole
Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken Drumettes (Have to find drumettes!!)
Wednesday:  Caprese Lasagna  (a remake, such a hit!)
Thursday:  Leftover night
Friday:  Pizza
Saturday:  Party!!

What is your favorite meal?  Let me know and I'll add it to the list next week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recipe Swap: Chicken Parm Burgers

Participating in recipe swaps can be kinda tough when the other main eater in the house has so many won't eats that are so common.  Enter the Secret Recipe Club inspired swap; participants can select ANY recipe from the assigned blog to make.

I was excited to received Does Not Cook Well with Others, because I've made one of her recipes once before and not only did I love it and my lunch club ladies love it, but the whole lunch room was telling me how great it looked and smelled.

I was even more excited when I saw that she had a Chicken Parm Burger, which seemed like a super easy take on the chicken parm sub my husband would request for his last meal.  In fact, he was late for dinner, in one of those "Go ahead and eat without me; I'm not sure what time I'll be home" kind of things, so I enticed him with a photo and a note that it was "Chicken Parm Monday!!"  Yes, this is the kind of photo I use to entice my husband home.

Anyway, this was outstanding and so easy to put together--I say this having done so with two kidlets to "mind" and no adult help in said minding... so very Betty Draper of me.

Thank you to Coleen at Does Not Cook Well with Others for sharing the recipe, and to Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking for hostessing another great swap!

Chicken Parmesan Burgers
Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit via Does Not Cook Well with Others


  • 4 Portuguese rolls
  • 1/2c Italian style bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided
  • ¾ cup purchased marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 slices (1 ounce each) mozzarella cheese
  1. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a pie plate, and mix in 2 tablespoons minced basil.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine marinara sauce and remaining 2 tablespoons minced basil. Remove 1 ½ tablespoons sauce to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. To mixing bowl, add ground chicken, ½ tablespoon oil, onion and salt. Sprinkle with pepper, and gently combine. Shape into four patties, placing a divot in the patty. Coat with crumb mixture. Heat marinara sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet. Cook patties about 4 minutes on one side, then flip. Top with mozzarella cheese and cook an additional 3 minutes. Cover and cook an additional minute, until cheese is melted.
  5. Place each burger on a roll, top with a spoonful of marinara, and serve up some delicious!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mint Chocolate Oreo Truffles

When a colleague said her favorite baked good was "anything mint-chocolate," I struggled to decide what to make.  See, I'm in the minority of the world when I admit that I dislike mint.  As a kid, we had Sunday sundaes, and my mom's favorite ice cream was mint chocolate chip--I'd eat it, but I just never liked it, and I still don't.

I turned to the internet and went to one of my favorite baking sites, Brown Eyed Baker, and was super happy to find this easy to make recipe.

These are outstanding, and this is coming from a mint hater.  The cream cheese balances (and makes tolerable) the mintiness. 

Perhaps I need to give mom's favorite ice cream another shot....

Mint Chocolate Oreo Truffles very slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 package mint Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1. Crush the Oreos (pretty much the whole package, minus a handful, will do) until finely ground. A food processor does the best job, but if you don’t have one, throw the cookies in a ziploc bag, grab a rolling pin, and go to town.
2. Transfer 3 cups of the Oreo crumbs to a bowl and add the cream cheese. Using a spoon, press, mix and stir until the cream cheese is completely mixed into the Oreo crumbs and you have a soft, homogeneous mixture. Using a small cookie scoop (or the equivalent of 2 teaspoons), scoop/roll balls of the Oreo/cream cheese mixture and place on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Once you have scooped out all of the filling, refrigerate the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
3. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and shortening in 30 second increments at 50% power, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Working with one Oreo ball at a time, dip it into the melted chocolate, roll it around to cover completely, and then use a fork to remove it from the chocolate, letting any excess drip off. Place the dipped truffle back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all truffles; once finished, return the baking sheet to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.
4. Serve the truffles, or garnish with some melted white chocolate and leftover crushed Oreos. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meatless Monday: BBQ Portabello Quesadilla

This may not be a particularly gorgeous photo, but ohhhemmmgeeeee this was so good.  My husband raved about it, saying, "If this tastes half as good as it smells, we are going to LOVE this."  He was right, too, because it was outstandingly good.  Moreover, it was so fast to put together (a little bit of dicing, but not too much, and the time to grate the cheese), it's a perfect meatless meal!

BBQ Portobello Quesadillas  Source:  Eating Well


  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note), minced, or 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound portobello mushroom caps, (about 5 medium), gills removed, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Combine barbecue sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and chipotle in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion and mushrooms are beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the barbecue sauce; stir to combine. Wipe out the pan.
  3. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla and top with one-fourth (about 1/2 cup) of the filling. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve.


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