Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Eggplant Parm

I went to the grocery store this past Wednesday. The produce section looked like a wasteland. There was a special on zucchini, squash, and eggplant. All of whose spots were empty. I managed to get some baby eggplant at the same price as the adult ones. The baby ones were priced almost twice as much. I ended up buying 6 of the baby ones. Here is my recipe for eggplant Parmesan.

1 lg eggplant or 4 baby ones cut into 1/2 inch discs
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs beaten
1/4 c milk
Spaghetti sauce 2 cups
1 can diced tomatoes drained (I used zesty)
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare the eggplant by either soaking the slices in milk for a half hour or put the pieces in a colander salting them and making layers. Make sure to put a plate underneath the colander as it will release it's juices. The milk method also takes out some of the bitterness but if you use the salt method make sure to rinse the pieces well.
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the breadcrumbs and half of the Parmesan cheese together. Heat 1 inch olive oil in a large pan. In batches coat each piece of eggplant with the egg and milk mixture. Dip into the breadcrumbs. The oil will be ready for the eggplant when it begins to ripple. Brown the pieces on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove to paper plates lined with paper towels to remove the excess grease. Add one half of the spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Layer the pieces of eggplant on top of the sauce. Make sure to squeeze the eggplant in so it touches the sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 35 minutes or until tender. I served mine with some spaghetti noodles.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Easy Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie

Last night I made one of my family favorites. Easy Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie.

1 container Pillsbury biscuits
1 1/2 c frozen mixed veggies
2 microwaved potatoes diced
1 pkg or can of gravy of gravy or use gravy recipe following this one
2-3 boneless chicken breasts diced
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 and once heated put biscuits in for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet. Microwave 2 potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes being sure to poke holes in the potatoes. Remove from oven and dice. They will be very hot so be careful!  I like the taste of regular potatoes but you may omit them if you wish.
Saute chicken until no longer pink about 5-6 minutes. Add the frozen mixed veggies. Pour the gravy into the chicken and veggies. I like to use a casserole dish.  Heat till veggies unfreeze. Top with pre-heated biscuits and bake for 15-20 minutes till the biscuits are baked through. Each person gets 2 biscuits and the chicken gravy mixture.

Home made gravy

2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter
1 c chicken stock
salt and pepper

Heat the 2TBSP butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour when the butter is bubbly. Use a whisk to incorporate the flour into the butter. Let brown for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and continue to stir getting all the flour lumps out. Season with the salt and pepper and bring to a boil. The gravy will thicken upon boiling.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday Poached Eggs and Last Night's Dinner

This morning I had my second attempt at poaching eggs. I used a different pan this time. I made sure to put vinegar in the water (1 TBSP) and used a coffee cup to slowly pour the eggs into the water bath. I then let them sit there for a minute. Alton Brown from Foodnetwork says to let them go for 4 minutes. I cooked mine for more like 8. They were a bit firm on the outside but runny on the inside. I served them with some home style fried potatoes and toast. On paper plates because who wants to do dishes on a lazy Sunday?
Last night was a old favorite from Rachael Ray. I have modified it to my liking but am using Rachael's general idea. Here is my modified version:

Mexican Deep Dish Cornbread Pizza
2 packages Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 c frozen corn kernels

1-2 lbs ground beef
2 TBSP Mexican chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
S& P
1/2 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
1 small onion diced
1 cup salsa reserve 1/2
1 c shredded taco cheese
1 diced zucchini
1 diced yellow squash
2 Roma tomatoes diced

Pre heat oven to 400. I made this in a cast iron skillet. Oil the skillet or use Pam to coat it. Mix cornbread mixes, two eggs, and milk with whisk until combined. Add frozen corn kernels and stir into the batter. Pour into cast iron skillet and bake until set about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime brown meat and chopped onion draining grease and seasoning with salt along the way. When browned remove to a plate and brown the zucchini and squash in the remaining grease from the hamburger. When soft add the hamburger back to the skillet along with the jalapeno. Add 1/2 of the salsa to the meat mixture. Remove cornbread from oven. Pour the reserved salsa over the cornbread spreading out like you would pizza sauce. Next add the meat mixture and diced tomatoes. Top with the cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes until the cheese has melted. You can add whatever veggies you like as long as you saute them beforehand. Makes 8 servings but I can usually squeeze 10 wedges out of it.

Easy Meat Loaf Muffins

1-2lbs ground beef or turkey
1 onion diced
1 box Stovetop stuffing mix
2 eggs
1 cup water
Salt and pepper

Set oven to 350. Combine the ground beef, onion, stuffing, and eggs. Start adding water to the meat mixture. You may not need the full cup. You want to make sure everything is moist. Add salt and pepper. Use Pam to spray the inside of a 12 hole muffin tin. Fill the tin with the meat mixture. I top mine with ketchup but you can also use tomato sauce. Bake for 35 minutes until no longer pink. I also drain the muffin tin of the grease before serving. Each serving is 2 muffins.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Greek Style Chicken with Feta and Kalamata Couscous

I was going to save this for Sunday dinner but I was at the point I really needed to use my chicken or freeze it. I did both. I used the breasts and drumsticks for my Greek style chicken and froze the thighs and wings for Arroz con Pollo later on in the week. For the recipe I also roasted a few potatoes in the pan with the chicken. I originally was going to make rice pilaf as a side but it didn't make it into my cart.

2 large chicken breasts
2 drumsticks (or use one fryer chicken)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice (bottled) plus
1 whole lemon juiced and sliced
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper
6 potatoes quartered with skins left on

Pre-heat oven to 350. In a small bowl add olive oil, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and mix. Run chicken under water and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Wash and quarter the potatoes. Add potatoes to the bottom of a roasting pan and pour 1/4 of the oil mixture over the potatoes. Place Chicken pieces in between the potatoes and baste the chicken with the olive oil/lemon mixture. Top with the lemon slices. Place in the heated oven. Continue to baste the chicken every 15 minutes with the marinade. The chicken breasts I used were really big so I had to bake them for a hour and 15 minutes but you may start checking your chicken for doneness at the 45 minute mark. It is done when the juices run clear and the meat is a temp of 160 degrees.  Also when you baste the chicken give the potatoes a turn and salt them.

Feta and Kalamata Couscous

10 Kalamata olives (pitted are best)
1/4 c feta cheese
1 c couscous
1 c chicken stock
1 TBSP butter
pinch of salt and pepper

Boil the chicken stock. Add couscous and cover. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes fluff with fork and add butter, feta, and Kalamata olives. Serve with the chicken.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oldie But Goodies

My Grandma always used to make cabbage rolls when I was little. Unfortunatly she never left any of her recipes to me so through years of development I figured out a easy comparable sauce for my stuffed peppers. My mom used to use minute rice but I learned how to make long grain rice and have never looked back. That and I have about 15 more pounds of long grain rice to use!

Here is my recipe

4 medium sized green peppers(or one per person)
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup cooked white rice
1 small can Campbells tomato soup
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
2 TBSP vinegar
1/4 cup water
Salt and Pepper

In a medium pan boil some water. Core and seed the peppers removing the membranes inside with a spoon. Use tongs or a fork to submerge two peppers at a time in the boiling water. Boil for about 10 minutes turning once so both the bottoms and tops have had time to soften. Remove peppers and drain on a paper towel. Let cool.

Pre heat the oven to 350. Mix the ground beef, rice, salt and pepper until combined. You can use more or less rice depending on the consistency you like. My hubby doesn't like the actual pepper so I put the meat on the side for him. Stuff the peppers to the top with the meat rice mixture.

Stir together the tomato sauce, vinegar, tomato soup, and water. Pour into a casserole dish. Add the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce. Top each pepper with some of the sauce. Bake for a hour. With a larger amount of meat in each pepper you may need to slice them in half to check for doneness. We like to serve them with buttered bread to sop up the juice and some rice on the side.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Indian Is What's for Dinner Tonight

I tried out some recipes from Aarti Party on the food network. I made a yogurt and cucumber salad and these pita pockets stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts, parsley, tomato, and onion. I served it with a side of chicken flavored couscous.

Here's the recipe from


Cucumber and yogurt salad


  • 2 cups plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt
  • 2 cups grated English or Persian cucumber (unpeeled)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus a little freshly ground black pepper if you like. Stir, chill, and serve.

Lebanese style Pita Pockets (Arayes)


  • 1/2 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small tomato, diced finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 pieces pita (whole wheat or regular), cut into quarters
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the onions, garlic, and parsley until finely minced. Remove to a large bowl and add in the beef, tomato, garam masala, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season with salt. Mix with your hands until well combined.

Arrange the pita quarters on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill each quarter with about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture, flattening it out so the filling is even. Brush each quarter on both sides with a little olive oil. Sprinkle salt on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Pitas should be browned and crispy.

At the 10 minute mark I flattened them out with my spatula and flipped them over. I used the yogurt and cucumber salad as a dip. Everyone loved them!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Sunday Food

Well to go along with the awesome Packer win I made some awesome food! Appetizers were fried pickles
Pineapple Terryaki Crock Pot Chicken Wings over rice
Buffalo Chicken dip(HOT) made with Franks Hotsauce

We also had a cheese plate and cookies for dessert.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sticker Shock.. Plus Menu for the Next Few Days

I haven't been to the store for two whole weeks plus we were snowed in for a few days. It gave me the chance to clean out my pantry and freezer. My bill was really high today but I had to restock on everything. I saved nearly $70 in manufacturer coupons and store coupons.

There was also a lot of buy one get one free like febreeze(which was also on clearance,) Oral-B spinbrushes BOGO, and deodorant BOGO. I also used my Bath and Body Works Groupon and got 9 things for $15! It came last night! That included 2 candles, 4 antibacterial soaps, and 4 lotions. So I am pretty well set. I won't need hand soap or deodorant until next year lol!

The Plan for the next few days
Homemade French Onion soup (I divide it up and use it in pot roasts etc...)
Grilled chicken Romaine salads
Superbowl Sunday: Crock pot terryaki pineapple chicken wings, crockpot meatball subs, buffalo chicken wing dip made with blue cheese, canned chicken and Franks Hotsauce, and Bloody Marys.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Terryaki Crockpot Chicken Wings for the Packer Win!

I posted this on the We were talking about what we are making for the Super Bowl. I am making Terryaki Chicken Wings among other things. Here is the recipe.

Crock pot Terryaki Pineapple Chicken Wings

1 3lb frozen chicken wings defrosted(defrost overnight in fridge or microwave)
1/4 cup-1/2c terryaki sauce like Kikoman or La Choy
1 can pineapple tidbits or crushed undrained
sesame seeds for garnish
white rice cooked (optional)

Preheat oven to 425. Lay a sheet of tinfoil over a baking sheet. Place defrosted chicken wings on a baking sheet. Put in heated oven for 15-20mins. This gives them a crust so they won't fall apart in crock pot.
Dump wings and excess juices in crock pot and add undrained crushed pineapple and terryaki sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours on high or until done. Remove from pot and top with sesame seeds. I like to serve this over white rice too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tex-Mex Calzones for a Quick Dinner Tonight

I got this one in my inbox from and it turned out really good so I wanted to share.

Tex Mex Calzones
8 oz ground turkey (I used hamburger)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 green and red pepper chopped
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup picante sauce

2 garlic cloves minced
1 11 oz pizza crust(I used the Pillsbury thin one)
3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese
cooking spray
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 425. Heat a large non-stick skillet to med high. Add ground turkey or beef. At this point I add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the bell and red pepper. Heat til veggies are halfway soft and meat is browned. Add the seasonings and picante sauce.  (I also drained the meat several times of grease.)

Unroll and divide the pizza crust into 4 6x4inch rectangles. Stretch the dough out to make it as big as possible. Place the meat mixture in half of each square. Top with a pinch of the cheese.  Fold over making sure none of the filling is on the edge you want to fold over on. With a fork prick holes in the top of each. Spray the top with cooking spray.
Bake for 12 minutes or until browned. Serve with sour cream.

This recipe was easy and filling and best of all I had everything I needed on hand.