Sunday, October 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken and Edamame in Spicy Coconut Broth

Tonight I decided I was going to make dinner last minute, so I grabbed some ingredients and threw them into the crock pot.  I literally only put two chicken breasts, a frozen bag of edamame, half an onion, two apples, a can of coconut milk, and a teaspoon of chili powder into the crock pot and cooked it.  I had a minor problem in that since the edamame was frozen, I couldn't really shell them, so then We had to shell them while eating, and it was super annoying.  Oh well.  It still tasted good!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Edamame in Spicy Coconut Broth
Slow Cooker Chicken and Edamame in Spicy Coconut Broth

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 bag frozen edamame, shelled
1 onion, diced
2 apples, diced
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. chili powder

Place everything in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Fettuccine with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta

Okay, so the title makes this meal sound much fancier than it actually is!  Tonight I had to work until 5:30, so I needed a very quick weeknight meal, and this was the quickest one I could think of!  (It actually would have been quicker, but I cooked the chicken breasts whole instead of cubing them first.)

Chicken Fettuccine with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta!

Chicken Fettuccine with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta:


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 box frozen spinach
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
4 oz. feta cheese
1 Chicken flavored Pasta Side
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper

Cook the chicken and flavor with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  (I actually used Paula Deen's house seasoning because I already had it made up, but obviously you can just use the ingredients separately.)
Cook the pasta according to the directions.
Once chicken is cooked, add tomatoes and spinach to the chicken pan to heat them up.
Add chicken mixture and feta to a bowl and stir.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple Crisp

In keeping with the fall theme for dinner tonight, I decided to follow it up with a fall inspired dessert, apple crisp!  The recipe I found was SUPER easy and required very little skill, but turned out awesome!  The recipe was supposed to be for individual apple crisps in ramekins, however, I don't have any, so I cooked it in a 9'' cake pan.  The only problem I had with that idea was that everyone wanted more!

Apple crisp- pre oven

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Five apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients for the filling together.  Place into sprayed 9'' cake pan.
Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl.  Blend butter into the mix to form pea size lumps.  Stir in pecans and sprinkle over filling.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Adapted from The Neely's

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup

Today I really wanted to get into the fall spirit, especially because I had guests over for dinner!  I decided to make a butternut squash soup but take it to the next level with this recipe I found that also included apples, cheddar cheese, and bacon!  First, I cooked down the apples, onions, squash, and some butter.

All sorts of fall vegetables!

After I cooked them down, I added the broth, milk, and some cider.  I brought the soup to a boil and then simmered it for a while.  Then I added a brick of extra sharp cheese!

Before pureeing the soup!

I was supposed to puree the soup in a blender in batches, however, remember when I chopped up the rubber part of my blender?  Yeah, so, in following my mom's advice, I used my hand mixer and pureed it the best that I could.  It wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, but it still tasted good, so that's fine.

Post pureed soup!

After pureeing the soup, I cooked up some bacon for the garnish... aka the best garnish I have ever heard of.

Mmm, bacon!

After the bacon was finished, I cut the bacon into smaller pieces and let the guests sprinkle however much bacon they wanted to top their soup.  I also cut up some really yummy Italian bread for dipping, delicious!

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup

Apple, Cheddar, and Squash Soup

4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 white potato, diced
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, chopped and peeled
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. sage
2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup apple cider
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
6 strips bacon

Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onion, apples, potato, and squash.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.  Stir in sage and flour.  Add cider and increase heat to high, stirring, until thickened.  Add the broth and milk, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until potato is soft, 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in medium skillet until crisp, draining on paper towels.
Increase heat to medium and add the cheese to the soup and stir until melted.  Puree in a blender in batches, until smooth. (Or use an immersion blender)  Garnish with bacon.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Apple Casserole

Today I was in a autumn-y mood, so I decided to see what recipes I could find with sweet potatoes and sausage and found this.  After running to Target to get some apples, I was ready!  (I need them anyway for my dinner on Wednesday, so it worked out well.)  First, I cooked the sausage and then just layered in sweet potatoes and apples.  I topped it with brown sugar and some milk and baked it and I was all done!

The casserole before it went into the oven!

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Apple Casserole.  
If I make this again, or if you attempt it, I would suggest adding more brown sugar, so there's an even coat and to add a little more milk than called for.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Apple Casserole

1 lb. hot sausauge
2 sweet potatoes
2 apples, sliced
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425.
Cook sausage until lightly browned.  Drain and place in bottom of greased dish.  Slice sweet potatoes 1/4 inch thick and place on top of sausage.  Add apples on top of potatoes and top with brown sugar and milk.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Recipe adapted from

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Christmas Chili

Today I decided to make chili.  I didn't realize all of the vegetables I used were red and green until they were in my crock pot, so I decided to name it Christmas chili.  I combined a couple of recipes into my own for this one.  First, I cooked down some onions, celery, garlic, and green peppers.  Once they were soft, I added ground turkey.

All of my green (and white) vegetables!
While they were cooking, I turned on my crock pot and added one can of chicken broth, two cans of diced tomatoes (with green chiles), and one can of red kidney beans.  After the turkey had cooked most of the way through, I added that and the vegetables to the crock pot as well.  To finish it off, I added a mixture of chili powder, Italian seasoning, cumin, and garlic.  I also added the rest of the tomatillo salsa I made the other day.

Even my crock pot fit the theme!
I cooked the mixture on high for two hours, stirring occasionally.  To serve, I threw some mozzarella cheese on top.  Next time, I will add a little bit more seasoning.  I actually used the seasonings that my mom uses in her white chicken chili recipe, but that has green chiles in it, so it doesn't need as much.  Here's to next time!

Christmas Chili
Christmas Chili

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (14 oz.) can red kidney beans
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cilantro
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
Toppings: Shredded cheese, sour cream

Add vegetable oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook for about 3 minutes, until slightly soft.  Add pepper and celery.  Cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add ground turkey, cook about 5 minutes, it's okay if it is still a bit pink, you will cook it more in the slow cooker.
Meanwhile, add all other ingredients to slow cooker.  When vegetable and turkey mixture are done, add that to the slow cooker as well.
Cook on high for about 2 hours.
Top with whatever you like.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Hot Dogs, and Parsley

Today I decided to use hot dogs as my protein in dinner because they are super fast, mostly because they're already cooked.  I had success with the last time I used hot dogs with my pasta dish and this one turned out relatively successful.
I didn't have some of the ingredients because the tomatoes I bought last week had gone bad so I used canned tomatoes and I also used dried parsley instead of fresh.  It turned out okay, however I didn't feel like there was enough sauce to cover the amount of pasta used.  Next time I would add a can of sauce as well.
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Hot Dogs, and Parsley

We had a candlelit dinner!
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Hot Dogs, and Parsley

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 pound hot dogs, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 pound dried spaghetti
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and, when hot, add the onions, cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes (not the juice) and cook 2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir to coat evenly.  Add 1 cup water and tomato juice and stir well.  Add the hot dogs and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the hotdogs are heated through.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for about 8 minutes. (The pasta should be very al dente.)  Remove the pasta from the cooking water and add to the pan with the hot dog sauce.  Stir well to coat.  Season the pasta with salt and garnish with cheese.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chorizo, Potato, and Pepper Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

So once again, I cooked Mexican food courtesy of Rick Bayless.  I feel like we always have chicken, so I decided to go the sausage route tonight; the recipe calls for chorizo, however I didn't have any, so I just used Italian sausage.
First, I started making the tomatillo salsa.  It's supposed to be pureed, however remember when I chopped the rubber part on my blender?  Yeah, it's still broken, so I just kind of mushed it together.

Roasting the tomatillos.

Tomatillo Salsa
Next I cooked the sausage, peppers, and onions together in a skillet.  Then I grated some potatoes and added that to the mixture.  After those cooked down, they were ready!

Sausage, peppers, and onions.

The addition of the potatoes!

Chorizo, Potatoe, and Pepper Tacos!

Chorizo, Potato, and Pepper Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

12 oz. chorizo (sausage), casings removed
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium poblano pepper, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, grated
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
12 tortillas, warmed
Tomatillo Salsa
4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down.  When the tomatillos are well browned, 3-4 minutes, flip.
Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes.  Add the jalapeno,  cilantro, and 1/4 cup water.  Blend to a course puree.  Pour into a bowl and add extra water if necessary.  Rinse onion with a strainer and add to the salsa. Season with salt, about 1/2 tsp.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chorizo, stirring frequently and breaking up the clumps.  Cook until chorizo is half cooked, about 4 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring almost constantly, about 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the grated potatoes over the mixture.  Continue to stir frequently, and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 5 minutes.  Taste and season with salt, if needed.
Scrape mixture into a bowl and add cilantro.  Serve with warm tortillas and salsa.

Recipe adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

So today I decided to make a healthier choice and use spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti.  I cut the squash in half, sprinkled some salt and pepper on, and roasted them for about 45 minutes.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
I made the sauce from scratch, just adding random spices that I thought sounded good: garlic, onion flakes, Italian spices, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Next I cooked some chicken with red peppers, onions, and red pepper flakes.
Chicken, red peppers, and onions.
Then I added the chicken concoction to the sauce, let it simmer for a little bit and scooped it on top of the squash.  It turned out great, with a little kick from the red pepper flakes.  Yummy!

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Red Sauce
Spaghetti Squash with Chicken

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 chicken breast, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. onion flakes
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut spaghetti squash in half and sprinkle inside with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, add tomato puree, garlic, Italian seasoning, onion flakes, and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan.  Heat on low until spaghetti squash is done.  (The longer it cooks, the better!)
As sauce and squash are just about done, add olive oil to medium frying pan.  When hot, add chicken and peppers.  Flip everything over after about 3 minutes.  Cook until chicken juices run clear.
After spaghetti squash comes out of oven, let cool and use a fork to scrape the squash out of the skin.
Serve the chicken and peppers over the spaghetti squash with sauce over top.