Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

My kids crack me up.  Yes, there are times when I have had enough, and I just snap, but sometimes the things they say are just too much.  Last month when we were with my father-in-law, my youngest was playing a guessing game with him.  She wanted him to guess the person she was thinking of – he happens to be a very famous person, with a very big job.  She said, “His first name begins with a B, and his last name begins with a B.”  At first we thought we knew who it was, but when she told us the last name began with a B, we were all stumped.  After a few more clues, we were sure she was talking about the President.  We asked, “Are you sure his last name begins with a B?”  She said, “Yes, Barack0 Bama.”  I swear I could not stop crying, I was laughing so hard.

Now back to food…I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I knew it would be risky.  Squash is not a fan favorite among the little people of the house.  I decided I wasn’t going to let that stop me though.  If it was tasty enough, they would love it.  I happened to make it one night when my older one was not home for dinner – which sometimes helps my younger one to be more adventurous.  I served the soup, and my husband and I loved it.  It had a really nice tomato flavor, and chock full of stuff – chicken, squash and couscous – with this lovely cinnamon flavor.  It was even better than I imagined.  Then came the moment I was waiting for – she was all excited to have soup for dinner, and took a bite, and actually went in for another.  After a few bites she said, “Mommy, I wouldn’t say I hate this.”  Well, that is better than the alternative.  She didn’t eat a ton of the squash, but managed to eat around it and got lots of chicken, couscous, and soup.  At least we avoided the cold cuts…success!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup uncooked couscous
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind

Preparation

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook for 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Add cumin, cinnamon, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add butternut squash and tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in Chicken Stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in couscous, salt, and zucchini; cook 5 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove pan from heat. Stir in chopped basil and orange rind.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

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Chicken with Olives and Lemons

Lately I haven’t had as much time to make dinner.  Work has been keeping me very busy, and keeping me from getting home at my usual time.  I am still managing to cook almost every night, although I have had to dig into my freezer stash a little more than I would like – for some reason I feel a lot better when the freezer is completely full of frozen meals that I have made – just in case I happen to need them.  Well, when I get home at 6:30pm and the kids are starving, isn’t that what the meals are there for?  I guess I am afraid of the day when I go downstairs, and the freezer is bare.  Unfortunately that is going to happen fairly soon…

I have been behind in pretty much everything lately, including my magazines.  I think this recipe from Cooking Light is a couple of months old, but it is a perfect dish to make when you get home from work late, but you want to cook something quick.  I loved the lemons on top, and the salty olives were a perfect accompaniment.  The kids were not crazy about the chicken only because they thought the flavor was a little strong – but with some rice, my husband and I thought it was a great weeknight dinner, that I was able to serve within 45 minutes of coming home.  Now if only I could figure out how to get more food into that freezer downstairs…

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, halved crosswise
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Shake to coat chicken. Marinate 15 minutes at room temperature. Arrange chicken mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano and the next 4 ingredients (through shallot); top with lemon slices. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven. Preheat broiler to HIGH.

Place chicken 3 inches from broiler element; broil on HIGH for 3 minutes or until chicken is browned and done.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken with Olives and Lemons

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Meatloaf Cupcakes

Remember when I posted these, and wrote about the instant aversion my kids have towards meatloaf?  They can’t get enough meatballs, but when I use that same recipe and make a loaf out of it, something happens.  Well, I just solved the problem for all the mothers out there looking to get their kids to eat meatloaf.  MEATLOAF CUPCAKES!!!!

The other week a friend of mine at work came by to tell me about this awesome bakery in Chicago, called the MeatLoaf Bakery.  She described the meatloaf cupcakes and instantly my mind went racing – mostly to the decorations.  Bacon, chives, shredded cheese, black olives, a ketchup dollop on the top – I just couldn’t stop myself.  Then reality set it – but would my kids actually get into this?  Oh boy did they ever.  They begged me to make them every night for weeks, until I finally got up the nerve.  Mostly I was concerned about piping the mashed potatoes, I wanted to make sure I make them creamy enough, yet mildly stiff, so that they would hold their shape perfectly.  Mashed potatoes were never my strength.  Well – I went with two recipes from Cooking Light (adapted slightly), and they were winners.  The kids loved EVERYTHING about these cupcakes – they even ate the mashed potatoes which I have never been successful at getting them to eat.  These were just about the greatest dinner ever.

So – for all your Moms out there – this one is definitely for you.  Please make them with your kids and watch them inhale the meatloaf – be sure to take pictures, so people believe you.  I never would have believed it myself…

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 pieces of bacon cooked and them chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put potatoes into a ricer for best results.  Return potato to pan. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir with a spoon to desired consistency.  If they are not creamy enough for you, add up to 1/4 cup more milk – although they need to be stiff enough to pipe on top.

Put the potatoes into a pastry bag with a wide star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf.  Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and chopped chives.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Meatloaf Cupcakes

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Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce

I feel like I keep harping on this subject – but I swear, this has been the worst summer in the 15 years I have lived in Seattle.  We are back into red right now though with temperatures reaching into the high 70s, and you can hear the cheering from miles away – but unfortunately it came a little late this year, and it doesn’t look like we are going to have many cherry tomatoes to enjoy.  My husband always planted a variety – some cherries, some big mamas, and some in between – but we always loved the cherries the best.  Finally a couple of years ago – he made a big decision…the garden would only have cherry tomatoes.  Why not grow just the good stuff?  I thought we would be missing out – that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy that wonderful tomato sauce, or make salsa – but I was surprised.  I could do all that with the cherry tomatoes, and they actually made everything taste sweeter and better!

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it sat in my pantry for quite a while waiting for the cherry tomatoes to turn ripe, when I finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  I had to go to the market and actually pay for them.  At least I was able to find them at the farmer’s market, where they looked reasonably fresh – although they were probably driven in from eastern Washington.  Needless to say, this chicken dish was amazing.  So sweet and delicious – the tender pieces of chicken took on that wonderful flavor, and it was just a party in my mouth.  Even the kids liked the chicken, although I had to remove the tomatoes – but no problem at all, that meant more for me.  I served this with some rice, and just scooped the leftover tomatoes on top of the rice – they were ridiculous.  So if you live in a place that had a hot summer – and you are wondering what to do with all those cherry tomatoes – look no further…here is the recipe for you…enjoy!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf  parsley

Preparation

Mash butter, garlic, marjoram, and paprika in a small bowl to  blend. Season marjoram butter to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt 1 tablespoon marjoram butter in a medium heavy skillet  over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet,  cover, and cook until no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate. Tent chicken with foil to keep  warm.

Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook,  stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add  remaining marjoram butter to skillet. Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices;  stir 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato sauce  over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken Breasts with Tomato

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Chicken and Carrot Stew

I was stuck inside a conference room all day today with no windows.  In a way, it would have been nice to look at the partially blue sky.  When I finally left the building, I decided not to put my jacket on because, after all, it is June.  That was a mistake – even with as nice as it was outside – it was still freezing.  Ok, so maybe not literally freezing, but certainly not a week away from summer weather.  Yes, in the Pacific Northwest, we call this Junuary.  The most dreaded month of the year.  The month when you finally start wigging out because of the weather.  At least in my family.

We moved here from Denver, one of the sunniest places in the US, and the first year we were here, I thought my husband was going to pack his bags and run back.  We have lasted 15 years, and I have no intention of ever leaving (except to go live in France that is…) – but every year June starts to wear me down.  What gets me through it?  Cooking.  At least when it is cool out, I still feel like cooking in the kitchen, and turning on the oven.  After all, we don’t have air conditioning when it does actually get warm out.

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and even though it is technically not stew weather – it is here.  I really had no intention of posting this one, but it was my family that convinced me.  They loved it – all of them, especially the girls.  They even ate the cooked carrots, which is virtually impossible to get them to do.  The flavor of this stew was wonderful, and it really wasn’t too rich – even with the heavy cream.  It was a perfect meal to serve in Junuary.  For your sake, I hope you are firing up your BBQ – but if you get the urge to cook inside, or if you happen to live somewhere like me – here is a recipe that will make you smile.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1/4-inch-thick rounds peeled carrots  (about 3 medium-large)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2  medium)
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping  cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon  mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (for  garnish)

Preparation

Cook carrots in large saucepan of boiling salted water 3  minutes. Add leeks to pan with carrots and cook until carrots are tender, about  3 minutes longer. Drain; set aside.

Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black  pepper. Whisk flour, thyme, and paprika in medium bowl. Toss chicken in flour  mixture. Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add  chicken to skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add wine;  boil until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Scatter carrots and leeks over  chicken. Add broth, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15  minutes. Add cream and mustard. Stir until sauce thickens slightly, about 2  minutes. Season sauce to taste with sea salt and pepper. Transfer to large  shallow bowl. Scatter parsley over and garnish with thyme  sprigs.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken and Carrot Stew

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Thai Chicken Salad

Salad, greens, ruffage, or as my step-father calls it “The Silent Killer,” based on Jeffrey Steingarten’s book “The Man Who Ate Everything.”  Yes, I read the book, but I didn’t believe it.  I cannot live without salad – it is my stand-by lunch every day.  I cannot get enough greens, as I like to call it.  There is something about that fresh crunching sound that really invigorates me.

Every summer we have one or two weeks when it is so hot, you don’t want to turn on the oven or the stove.  Occasionally it gets too hot to even grill outside – of course as I sit here on this sunny day in May when it is barely getting out of the 50s, I can’t ever imagine that will happen again.  Unless I have just ruined it for us, yes, it does eventually get warm – at least for a few days.  I remember my husband saying that a good hearty salad would be perfect on those hot days – thus avoiding the oven, store and grill.  So, when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – I decided to give it a try – just to see if this would make the mark.

Let me first start out by saying that I made enough salad to feed a small army – but it was delicious.  The dressing was light, yet potent enough to give it a wonderful peanut flavor.  The sprouts made it slight bitter, but I loved that – and the red peppers added a touch of sweetness.  The fresh lime though really made the salad.  I ended up squeezing a few extra sections onto my helping, and it was just the touch it needed.  This summer, when you don’t feel like cooking – go and get yourself some cooked chicken from the market, and whip this one up – it will fill you up, without creating any heat!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4  lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool for 2 minutes. Pour warm coconut milk mixture over lettuce mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts; serve with lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Thai Chicken Salad

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Baked Pasta with Spinach and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is definitely a fan favorite in our house, although my kids prefer the kind made out of a box that sits on the shelf in the pantry.  Ok, yes, I have to admit, in a pinch it is not bad – but definitely not something I would choose to eat.  Mac-n-cheese is not just for kids though – you can definitely find it on the menu of trendy restaurants, but usually they have some fancy type of ingredient mixed in to make it “different” – like truffles – and yes, who wouldn’t fall in love with truffled macaroni and cheese?  Believe me, I have – and it is incredible.  The crazy thing, my daughter was the one that ordered it, and she couldn’t get enough – this was after she complained that she didn’t want truffles in her macaroni and cheese – she just wanted it plain.  I was actually hoping she didn’t like it – more for me!

Whenever I find a mac-n-cheese recipe in one of my many food magazines I read, unless it has seafood in it (because of my allergy), it automatically goes into the “make me” pile in the pantry.  I would say that I am batting at least a 500 when it comes to the “adult” versions with my kids.  I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and even with the spinach, I decided I might have a chance.  The final product was not a home run with the kids – but after I ate their spinach – they at least ate the noodles, and loved the topping.  As for me – I loved it, the fresh lemon zest gave it a real unique flavor, and the spinach made it colorful as well as giving it a little extra nutritional value. It was a mild cheese sauce, which is probably why the kids did so well with it.  So, if you are not into mild sauces, make sure you use a fresh and potent parmesan.  But, if you are looking for a substitute for the box on the shelf, this is definitely a great option…

Ingredients

  • 10 ounce casarecce pasta or fusilli (short twisted spaghetti)
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Let stand for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain pasta mixture well.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk and wine; cook 8 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and rind. Remove from heat; stir in pepper. Add pasta mixture to onion mixture, and toss gently to coat.

Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of panko breadcrumbs over pasta, and top evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Sprinkle the remaining half of panko breadcrumbs over cheese. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Serves 6

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Baked Pasta with Spinach and Cheese

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Broccoli-Cheese Soup

I love experimenting with ways to get my kids to eat their vegetables.  Pizza is definitely a good way – but I have found that soup and smoothies is another one.  One day we happen to be at Cost-Co when they were demoing the Vitamix blender.  The man behind the counter was just about to make a “Princess and the Frog” smoothie.  Of course the kids were intrigued.  Anything that has the word princess in it gets their attention.  So we decided to watch him – he threw in a banana, a whole orange (with just the orange skin removed), some grape juice, pineapple, and a ton of spinach.  Yes, the smoothie was green.  But, they both tried it and LOVED it.  I seriously almost walked out that way with the Vitamix, but decided my Waring blender would work just fine – I just have to peel the orange though.

Then there is soup – both my kids love carrot soup, and even pumpkin soup – as long as there are no distinguishable vegetables in sight.  So, I saw this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, and I decided I must give it a try.  The soup was delicious – both of my kids ate it – and although my younger one was not super crazy about it, she did manage to eat most of her bowl.  What I liked most about the soup was how creamy it was without using any milk or cream.  The cheese gave it a great flavor, and as the recipe mentioned, by cooking the broccoli to death, it really takes most of the bitterness out. I felt good that night when they went to sleep that they had gotten a well-balanced meal…without any grape juice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick-slices
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • pinch or cayenne pepper
  • table salt
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine, plus extra for serving

Preparation

Heat butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes.  Add 1 cup of water and baking soad.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.

Add broth and 2 cups of water and increase heat to medium-high.  When mixture begins to summer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.  Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Transfer soup to a medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to the Dutch oven, and place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Adjust consistency of the soup with up to 1 cup of water.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.

Serves 6.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Broccoli-Cheese Soup

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Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis

It has been a little while since I tried to pull meat loaf past my kids.  It is hilarious how they love hamburgers and meatballs, but when it comes to meat loaf, there is an instant aversion.  I am not sure what it is about it – but I need to get them over the hump.  Meat loaf is just so easy – much easier than making a bunch of meatballs, and more flavorful than normal hamburgers.  Plus, I don’t have to have buns around – although I was seriously thinking about serving this meat loaf on a bun, just to see if they would notice…but I know better than to try that one.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and the word “minis” caught my eye.  Maybe if I made mini meat loaves, instead of one big one, they would think they are just huge oblong shaped meatballs?  So I tried it, and it worked.  It also could have been the cheese chunks in the middle – cheese is like butter in my house – everything is better with cheese.  So I wouldn’t say that my girls were telling me this is the best meal they have ever had, but they did eat everything on their plate – which is definitely a compliment.  Oh, I should also let you know – since they are both anti-condiments – I didn’t put ketchup on theirs, and that also helped.  So – at least now I know the secret of making meat loaf for kids – it’s meat loaf minis!

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  fresh breadcrumbs (about 1 ounce)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2  cup  ketchup, divided
  • 3  ounces  white cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1  tablespoon  prepared horseradish
  • 1  tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2  pounds  ground sirloin
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.

While breadcrumbs cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining ingredients. Shape into 6 (4 x 2-inch) loaves on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; spread 2 teaspoons ketchup over each. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until done.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis

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Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

Chicken shows up on our dinner menu at least once a week, more often than not, two times.  I love how versatile chicken can be – I can make fajitas one night, and lemon chicken the next – and it is a completely different meal.  Unfortunately though, my kids are not as thrilled as I am.  I often get, “We always have chicken…”  Or, sometimes I get, “Of course we are having chicken, what else is new?”

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light and for some reason it stayed in my head – without even ripping it out of the magazine and putting it in the pantry.  The other night, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner – and when I looked in the refrigerator, there were two items that called out to me – chicken and sage, left over from a chicken saltimboca I made the week before.  This recipe seriously took me no more than 10 minutes and we were sitting at the table enjoying our meal.  The kids loved it – and what is not to love – everything is better with butter…everything.  So what do you think is for dinner tonight?

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 sage sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Preparation

Place each breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan.

Add butter and sage sprigs to pan; cook over medium heat until butter browns. Discard sage. Add shallots and thyme; cook for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; cook for 30 seconds. Serve with chicken. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Sautéed Chicken with Sage Browned Butter

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