Friday, September 11, 2009

Another use for pesto

Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce

We love this simple pasta recipe-
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 4 cubes (1/2 cup) frozen Basil Pesto
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap.With a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound chicken to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet; cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice each piece across the grain into 4 or 5 strips; cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat pesto over low until liquefied. Stir in cream; heat until warm.Toss pasta with reserved cooking water and half the sauce. Divide among shallow bowls; top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining sauce.
From Everyday Food, September 2005

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

Trying out this new recipe tonight-


  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pans
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese


1. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and jalapeños until bubbles form along the edge of the pan. Remove mixture from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain and discard jalapeños.

3. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the strands out of the skin and into a large bowl.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in flour and salt and cook, whisking, until flour smells cooked (like piecrust), about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in jalapeño-infused milk while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture over squash and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken Mozzerella Panini

Here's what's cooking this week:
Slice a loaf of focaccia in half (ciabatta works well too) .

Make the sandwich:

Spread bread with pesto (store bought or this homemade). Top with two grilled chicken breasts thinly sliced (I marinate them with some balsamic salad dressing and rosemary).

Add sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and red onions.

Brush a grill pan with olive oil. Preheat to med. high and weigh the sandwich down (I sit my heavy dutch oven right on top, some people use a brick wrapped in foil).

Turn sandwich and grill until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simple Vinaigrette

Here is my new favorite vinaigrette -perfect for a simple green salad.

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons of olive oilWisk together and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making Pesto

I'm making pesto to stock my freezer for easy fall dinners. If you don't have basil in your garden, now is a great time to buy it at the farmers market. This recipe has never failed me. (I'll share a couple of dinner recipes using this pesto in the next couple of days)
Makes 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil; add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool, then pat basil completely dry in paper towels.
  3. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately, or freeze. To freeze, spoon pesto into an ice-cube tray (2 tablespoons per cube); cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a resealable plastic bag; keep up to 6 months. Defrost pesto at room temperature, about 20 minutes (or at 30-second intervals in the microwave). Mash with a fork before using in recipes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Georgia Peach Cupcakes

We just had a "peach" party for our little Georgia. We served homemade peach ice cream, but of course she still needed a cake!

I used a cake mix. There I said it and I'm not ashamed. It was moist and it only took 5 minutes to make, but I always make homemade frosting. This recipe turned out great with a subtle peach flavor. I think you could substitute any fruit (Strawberries? Bananas?)

Peach Buttercream:

¾ cup butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup peach puree (fresh peaches pureed in the food processor)

A few drops of lemon juice to keep the peaches from turning.

Vanilla, to taste

Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add peach puree and vanilla and beat again until smooth. I added just a touch of yellow and red food coloring to enhance the color.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pork Chops

First of all, I have to apologize for not having a picture with this post. I forgot to take one the other night when I mad these and then I assumed there would be one on the recipe page, no such luck. I hate posts without pictures so sorry ladies!

I had some really thick-cut pork chops in my freezer that I've been wanting to cook and the last time I made them they were just okay, so I was on the hunt for a new recipe. During Thanksgiving my sister-in-law told me that she had great luck brining pork chops (I brined the Turkey's, per my brother-in-law's advice) so I thought I would brine these chops! Well, this recipe is awesome, a really simple brine and they only have to stay in it for 2 hours (any more and he says they get mushy). It's a Tyler Florence recipe, which are usually pretty good. Here is the link if you want to try them. I didn't have raisins so I used cranberries, but they were juicy and moist, which is sometimes hard for pork chops to be especially when they're this thick! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Banana Muffins

This muffin recipe has become a family favorite- feel free to customize to your taste (you could leave out the coconut or walnuts, or even add raisins).

Here's the link: Ina Garten's Banana Crunch Muffins

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ina's Grilled Asian Salmon

I tried a new recipe tonight. As usual with Ina's recipes- I cut it in half. It was really good- even the boys loved it!
1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on (about 3 pounds)

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking.
While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits. Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.