Monday, January 28, 2008

Homemade Applesauce

This past fall I got the idea to make homemade applesauce for my husband because he loves applesauce. I had never made it before, nor had it in recent memory. I really don't know how they sell the bottled stuff after eating this. First of all my husband floated through the house by his nose when he came home from work and immediately appeared in the kitchen to find out what I was making. Second, this is exceedingly easy and pretty quick too. Third, it just tastes darn good, and I don't even like apples! I am putting this recipe in my blog today because I am going to make it tomorrow when I make porkchops. I have been looking forward to having porkchops all week but since I have been fighting the cooties (I am a drama queen I am going to milk these cooties for all they are worth!) I haven't felt like eating or cooking. I am going to serve the porkchops with the applesauce and the brown rice pilaf that I recently blogged. I think all the flavors will combine really well. Anyways, on to the recipe. I found it at as I do many of my recipes.


Recipe courtesy Cathy Lowe

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 McIntosh apples, cored, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until apples become very tender, about 30 minutes. Applesauce may be left lumpy or mashed with a fork to become smoother

A Love Letter to my Kitchen

Dearest Beautiful, Yet Tiny Kitchen,

How I have missed you these past five days that I have been fighting the cooties. I have missed your shiny stainless pots and your lovely speckled fake granite counter tops that I lovingly picked for you. I miss all my new Christmas presents stored away in your cabinets and drawers and, well, who am I kidding... sitting on those gorgeous counters. I long for the beautiful ebony refrigerator that dispenses the water I love so much and holds my favorite ice cream. Our time apart shall go on no longer. I will see you tonight. How does 6:00 work for you?

The Diva

p.s. On the menu tonight is Philly Cheesesteaks with green beans and corn on the cob. Can't wait! Or maybe meatball subs. Something to use subrolls before they go bad. Hmmmm.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pasta with vodka sauce and sausage

I am still fighting the cooties. :( I thought that I felt better yesterday so I decided to fix dinner. I looked around for a quick dish that would seem hearty and make me feel better. This recipe has roughly a 30 minute prep time. About half way through I regretted the decision to cook. I just started feeling awful! This was good however I wish I would have waited until I was feeling better because I think I would have enjoyed it more. I doubled the recipe because it said it only made one serving. I am posting the recipe the way it was written.

Anyways, here is the recipe from Emeril via

Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Sausage

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005

1/4 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled or chopped
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons vodka
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish S
prig fresh basil, for garnish

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned and all pink has disappeared, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until the sauce reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

Toss the sauce with the pasta to coat evenly and transfer to a pasta bowl for serving. Top with cheese and sprig of basil and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A break from cooking to fight the cooties

Boys really do have cooties, at least my husband does. Michael started coming down with a cold or something the other night and then the very next day I was showing the same symptoms. I told him that while I appreciated him sharing with me, that he could really keep all the germs. So I didn't cook yesterday, instead I went straight home and crawled into bed. When Michael got home from work I begged him to make me some soup (and by make I mean open can, pour in bowl and microwave) and he did. I had some kind of spicy Italian. I've had it before and it is really good. There is just something about hot soup that makes you instantly feel better. I was asleep by 8:30... NyQuil can do that to you!

Hopefully I will feel like cooking tonight. I want to make bow-tie pasta with vodka sauce. We'll see though.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pot Roast so Good it will make you want to sing or dance or both

Our first married Christmas my In-Laws gave Michael a cookbook for Christmas. Mother-in-law really enjoys her version of the same cookbook and it is very handy to have as it explains how to make just about anything you could ever want. Shortly after he received it one of the local stores had roasts on sale so I set off and bought one so that I could make a roast for my new husband, knowing that his new cookbook would surely have a recipe.

It did and I tried it, although I never really followed their list of ingredients, instead choosing to use a seasoning packet made to use for pot roast in a slow cooker. I followed the cooking directions though and always came out with a great roast.

Saturday we were having some really nasty weather. As southerners we aren't used to being cold and don't care for cold weather very much. So when it is cold we require warm, comforting food and if the stove can be on for a good long while to help warm up the house, all the better! I didn't have any of my slow cooker seasoning mix and I was SO not about to go out in nasty weather to retrieve some or risk my darling husband's well being for some stupid spices so I decided that I would follow the recipe exactly, or as exactly as humanly possible for me. :)

When I read the recipe and then looked at the roast package I had an "uh oh" moment. I must say that I consider myself very lucky because my "uh oh" moments are few and far between, but this time I was left scratching my head. My recipe called for a chuck roast between 2 1/2-3 pounds. The roast I had was a Sirloin Tip roast that was a little over 5 pounds. I decided that I would double the other ingredients and slightly increase the cooking time. The recipe calls to cook the roast for an hour, then add the vegetables and then cook for 45 more minutes. I cooked the roast for 1 hour, 15 minutes, then added the vegetables and then cooked for 45 more minutes.

Other changes that I made to the recipe are: I seasoned the roast liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (I use the multi-colored peppercorns because, really, they are cuter and I think that makes me think that they taste better). Then I seared it on all sides (including the sides by using my tongs to hold the roast on its side). I really felt that the recipe needed some garlic and because if some garlic is good, more must be better, I felt like it could use 3 cloves of garlic. I grated the garlic into the broth that I cooked the roast in. I also believe that things that are cooked slowly (like spaghetti and pot roast) need bay leaves. So I threw two in for good measure. Then to finish it off I grated fresh pepper over everything until I thought my arm would fall off because in my rarely humble opinion, there is no such thing as too much pepper. Other than those things I followed the recipe exactly.

Here it is:

Source: Better Homes & Gardens, the big recipe binder cookbook

Beef Pot Roast

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 1 3/4 hours


1 2-1/2- to 3-pound boneless beef chuck pot roast
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon instant beef
bouillon granules
1 teaspoon dried
basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon
1 pound tiny new potatoes or 4 medium potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 pound
carrots or 6 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small
onions, cut into wedges
2 stalks
celery, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Black pepper (optional)

1. Trim fat from meat. In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven
brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Combine the 3/4 cup water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, and salt. Pour over roast. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, if using new potatoes, peel a strip of skin from the center of each. If using medium potatoes or sweet potatoes, peel and quarter. Add potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes more or until tender, adding water if necessary. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter, reserving juices in Dutch oven. Keep warm.

3. For gravy, measure juices; skim fat. If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1-1/2 cups. Return to Dutch oven. In a small bowl stir the 1/2 cup cold water into the flour. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If desired, season with pepper. Serve gravy with meat and vegetables.

4. Makes 8 to 10 servings

5. Oven directions: Trim fat from meat. Brown roast as directed above. Combine the 3/4 cup water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, and salt. Pour over meat. Bake, covered, in a 325 degree F oven for 1 hour. Prepare potatoes as directed. Add vegetables to meat. Cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes more or until tender. Prepare gravy in a saucepan as directed above.

6. Slow cooker directions: Trim fat from meat. Place vegetables in a 4-1/2- or 5-quart slow cooker. Cut roast to fit, if necessary; place on top of vegetables. Combine the 3/4 cup water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, and salt. Add to cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 11 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours. Prepare gravy in a medium saucepan on the range top as in step 3 above. Serve gravy with meat and vegetables.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My dinner for tonight

EDIT: Not only was this meal not good, it was inedible. I warned Michael before dinner that we were trying a new recipe that I had not written tonight so that he could be prepared if it was really bad. It was. Michael couldn't even eat his. I was STARVING so I choked down a few bites of mine. Not only was the flavor atrocious, but it was over-cooked and dry. I followed the recipe exactly, so I'm not to blame for this one. I made cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and cauliflower with cheddar cheese on top to serve with this. The chicken was so bad that we lost our appetites and neither of us ate much of anything. Even Isabelle (our Jack Russell Terrier) wasn't even thrilled with the chicken and only reluctantly ate it.

We ended up eating cheesecake for dinner a couple of hours later once we re-gained our appetites.

A while back I bought about one million bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts on sale. I individually bagged them and threw them in the freezer thinking that one day I would find a way to use them. I decided last night that I wanted to use them for dinner tonight and set out to find a recipe. I had NO clue what I wanted to make but I knew I wanted it to be relatively healthy as we had been eating more of Michael's style food, which is kinda junky and high fat & calorie.

I found this recipe on It had received really good ratings so I thought I would give it a try. I haven't made it yet, but I will let y'all know how it turns out. I'm not sure what I am going to serve with it yet, but I am wanting some broccoli and I have several potatoes that need to be used so I might make rosemary roasted potatoes and broccoli with cheese to serve with this.

Oven Fried Chicken IV
· 2 cups low fat sour cream
· 4 cloves garlic, minced
· 6 chicken drumsticks
· 6 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
· 4 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
· 4 tablespoons crushed dried rosemary
· 3 teaspoons dried sage
· 3 tablespoons garlic powder
· salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a cooling rack on top of a large cookie sheet. Spray the rack with vegetable cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream and minced garlic. In another bowl, stir together the cornflake crumbs, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the sour cream mixture, then roll in the cornflake mixture. Arrange chicken pieces on top of the cooling rack.
3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until meat is no longer pink, and juices run clear.

Cheese Fries

Friday night Michael and I had Philly Cheese steak sandwiches and cheese fries. I used Steak-ums for the cheese steaks and just cooked the meat with some Worsheshire (sp?) Sauce to add some flavor. I served on toasted sub rolls with peppers & onions for me and Provolone cheese for both of us. That was a really quick and yummy dinner. I was perusing Publix's website for ideas the other day and came across a recipe for cheese fries that sounded really easy and yummy. They were absolutely delicious and we had the leftovers heated up in the oven for lunch the next day. I used "Buffalo" seasoned fries and they had a nice kick that went really well with the cheese and ranch dressing that I served on the side. Make these! You won't regret it.

Cheese Fries


aluminum foil

16 ounces frozen seasoned French fries

1–2 fresh chives (optional)

3/4 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1 tablespoon cooked bacon pieces

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread fries on foil and bake 15–20 minutes until golden.

2. Rinse chives and chop finely.
3. Remove fries from oven. Lift corners of foil to gather fries into center, making a mound. Sprinkle cheese, bacon, and chives over fries. Return to oven 1–2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops and Brown Rice Pilaf

Saturday night I wanted to make something low effort and yummy for dinner. I had been wanting to try Giada Di Laurentis' recipe for Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops for a long time and it just so happened that I had all the ingredients, so I decided to give it a try. I wanted to make something different for the side and wanted to use the brown rice I had just bought so I did a search on and found the Brown Rice Pilaf recipe. Both were delicious and we will definately be having them again. I added golden rasins to the rice while it cooked and added toasted pine nuts after cooking like the suggestions said. Next time I would add the rasins but I wouldn't add the pine nuts because Michael didn't like them, and I didn't really think that they added anything to the meal. I sauteed a small diced onion in the butter before adding in the rice and I think that added a really good flavor to the rice as well. I also served this with corn (for Michael) and steamed green beans for me. Very good!

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

2 large eggs
1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

So I use recipes as guidelines in my cooking and most of the time don't even really read them. Oops. I just read the recipe because when I cut and paste recipes into blogger it smooshes everything together and then I have to decide logical places to divide the ingredients and the steps. I didn't dip the chops in egg at all, and I mixed the parmesan cheese and the breadcrumbs together and then just pressed that into the pork chops. So if you don't want to use egg you could do it that way. I didn't have any trouble with my crust sticking, but maybe it would have been thicker if I had followed directions. Oh well.

Basic Long-Grain Brown Rice Pilaf
From Food Network Kitchens

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup long grain brown rice (about 6 1/2 ounces)
1 (2-inch) strip fresh lemon peel
2 1/2 cups water, or vegetable broth, low sodium canned or homemade (I used 1/2 stock & 1/2 water)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid, over medium heat. Add the rice and lemon peel and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water and add salt to taste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until all the water has been absorbed by the rice, about 45 minutes. Please don't lift the lid to give a peek or stir or the rice will not cook evenly.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes?{once again, no peeking. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Cook's Note: Zip up this basic pilaf with one of these easy variations: Add a handful of raisin or apricots to the rice with the water. Add chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts and caramelized onions during cooking or to already cooked pilaf. Add chopped fresh herbs and peas to cooked pilaf.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Polenta, or Italian style grits

When Michael and I went to Italy in 2004, we noticed that many of the restaurants had dishes that came with something called Polenta. We were told that Polenta is like what southerners call grits. I had to try it to see if it could compete, and it was very good. Last night I had breakfast for dinner and wanted some grits, but discovered that I was out. I did have some corn meal though and I had seen Chef Hottie, oh I mean Tyler Florence make polenta out of corn meal. So I went to to search for a recipe and this is what I came up with. I halved the recipe, but I had to keep adding liquid because the "grits" were getting very dry. I would estimate that I added at least another 1/2 cup of water. Watch these carefully as they have a tendancy to burn on the bottom. These were good, but not as good as grits. Next time I will see if Paula has a reicpe for grits.

From Food Network Kitchens

2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium canned

2 cups water
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or a combination of Pecorino and Parmesan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the chicken broth and the water to a boil.

While whisking constantly, slowly pour the cornmeal into the hot liquid. Stir in the salt.

Lower the heat to cook the mixture at a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cornmeal is creamy and not grainy, about 30 minutes.

Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in the cheese and the butter. Serve.

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Spicy Onion Rings

I am not sure what I did wrong with this recipe, but the batter did not stick to the onion rings very well. I solved this by pouring some of the batter down over the onion rings in the skillet and then I swirled the onion rings in the batter while it was crisping up. That helped to coat the onion rings, but it also meant a big pile of stuck-together onion rings, which I didn't mind.

I used a Peru sweet onion for the onion rings and used my new mandoline to slice them very thin. I will be making these again as they were very good!

Spicy Onion Rings
Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Lowe (from

2 large yellow onions (Spanish)
1 12-ounce can beer
1 cup of flour, sifted

Slice off ends of onions and peel off the skins. Slice into 1/2-inch rings. Place rings in a bowl of ice water and let sit.

In separate bowl whisk together beer and flour. Season with salt, cayenne, and a dash of Tabasco. Whisk together.

Dry onion rings on paper towels then dip into batter. Heat oil in a large kettle to 375 degrees. Dip dried onion rings in batter. Fry onion rings until brown and crispy. Serve

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tortellini and Panchetta Tomato Soup

Tortellini and Panchetta Tomato Soup
Source: Me with inspiration from Giada Di Laurentis

1/2 cup Campbell's Tomato Soup Concentrate
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasonings
1/4 inch thick slice Panchetta (at my deli that is .09 lb) cubed
1/2 cup dried tortellini cooked to al dente (for me that was 5 minutes, which was about half of the time suggested on the package. I have no idea why it was so fast other than that I was cooking a fraction of what was in the package) I used Barilla Spinach and Cheese Tortellini
Water to boil tortellini
Salt for the water used to boil the tortellini
Grated Parmesan cheese to top


1. Brown cubed panchetta in a pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Meanwhile bring water to a boil for the tortellini and salt the water.

2. Combine the tomato soup concentrate, the milk and the Italian seasonings in a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel to prevent splashing. Microwave on high for three minutes.

4. Cook tortellini until al dente and then drain.

5. Put cooked tortellini and browned panchetta in the tomato soup and then top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

This is very good and simple. The whole thing from start to finish took about ten minutes. This would be great for a weeknight meal with a simple spinach salad or for a weekend lunch.

I sent some to work with Michael the next day to eat for lunch. I went ahead and combined the soup, Parmesan and panchetta but kept the tortellini separate in a baggie because I didn't want them to get soggy. Here are the directions I sent with Michael for re-heating: Microwave Tomato Soup on high for 2 1/2 minutes. Add in tortellini and cook for 30 seconds on high.

Michael does NOT like hot foods so I wanted to make sure that the soup didn't get too hot for him to eat because I didn't know if he would have enough time on his break to let it cool to a temperature that he could handle. I would have microwaved it for one minute after adding the tortellini.

Michael didn't eat this because apparently he doesn't like tortellini that has cheese in it because he says it usually contains Ricotta Cheese, which he does not like (even though he likes the very similar cottage cheese). Is there any type of tortellini that doesn't have cheese in it?

I think that adding wilted spinach to the soup would also be really great.

Hope you enjoy!

A post for Danielle

Recently we went over to visit some friends at their apartment and brought dinner along with us. Michael made my cheesy ham and potato casserole (like scalloped potatoes with cheese & ham) and I made some Italian style green beans. One of our friends asked for the recipes so here they are:

Italian Style Green beans a la Jennifer

Source: Me!

1 package frozen Italian style green beans

Water to boil them in (I probably used a quart)

1-2 tablespoons (depending on size of pan) olive oil to coat bottom of skillet

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons pine nuts (not roasted, raw)

salt and pepper to taste

grated parmesan cheese to top


1. Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan. Once boiling add green beans and boil until just not frozen. That was probably about three minutes for me. Meanwhile preheat skillet over medium to medium high heat (depending on your stove)

2. Drain green beans. Add olive oil to hot skillet. Allow to heat up. Add in green beans, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until done. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and serve.

Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole

The edited recipe that will not make Michael want to pull his hair out the next time he makes it.


2 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

3 medium onions, thinly sliced ( usually leave this out because Michael HATES onions and complains about them and then I sprinkle some minced dried onion flakes on each layer of potatoes but Michael went ahead and used the "real" onions)

boiling water

1 T salt

6 T butter or margarine

4 T flour

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp Paprika

4 1/2 c milk ( I usually use 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 4 cups of milk but Michael got confused and used 1/2 milk and 1/2 heavy cream which is basically half and half)

2 cup shredded cheese (Michael used Colby Jack, I usually use half Colby Jack and half Cheddar)

1 slice of center cut ham steak, cubed (or about 1/2 pound of leftover ham)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put a big pot of water on to boil the potatoes and onions in.

2. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and paprika until smooth. Slowly add in milk while wisking. Cook over medium until just boiling. Stir about ever minute or so while you work on the rest of the steps. Once it is bubbling, add one cup of the cheese and stir until melted. Sauce should be pretty thick and smooth.

3. Spray a three quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and onions. Boil in the big pot mentioned in step 1 for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Do not cook until tender or they will fall apart once they have more cooking time in the oven.

5. Drain potatoes and onions.

6. Layer 1/3 of the potato onion mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with 1/3 of the cheese sauce, 1/3 of the ham and 1/3 of the reserved shredded cheese. Repeat 2 more times.

7. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until top is browned and potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.


I cook this on the top shelf and put a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf because this tends to boil over in the oven.

I tried skipping step 4 (boiling the potatoes and onions before putting them in the casserole dish) once and this did not work. The top of the dish got burned and the potatoes never got done.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Drool worthy chicken

This is another apron's recipe from Publix. I am a huge fan of their recipes because they taste yummy, are easy to prepare and have very detailed directions that are easy to follow. My husband refused to even try a bite of this chicken so I made it on a night that he would be working late I halved the recipe and then ate the leftovers for lunch. This is very filling. I served it with wild mushroom risotto. I made it from a mix that I got at Target. I though the flavor of the risotto was very good, but it was just WAY too salty and I had not added any salt at all. Of course Michael loved it (he tried a bite when he got home) since there is no such thing as too much salt for him, so I am going to send it as lunches for him and I will just add some cooked chicken to it and he can heat it all up together.

Anyways, here is the recipe for the chicken copied directly off of apron's website.

Sun-Dried Tomato Artichoke Chicken

Ingredients1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

large zip-top bag

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons canola oil (I used olive oil because it was closer and I am lazy and didn't want to dig through cabinets)

1/2 cup white wine

6-8 sprigs fresh thyme (rinsed)- I used dry and added it in at the same time I added in the wine.

1 lemon (for juice, rinsed)

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts (drained)

1/3 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks; place in zip-top bag (wash hands). Add flour; seal bag tightly and shake to coat.

2. Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken (wash hands); cook 2-3 minutes, turning once, or until chicken begins to brown.

3. Stir in wine (this is when I added the dried thyme that I used instead of the fresh); reduce heat to medium-low and cook 2-3 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove stems from thyme, reserving leaves only.

4. Squeeze juice of one-half lemon over chicken; stir in remaining ingredients (except thyme and cheese). Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to accurately ensure doneness.

5. Remove chicken from heat; stir in thyme (if you are using fresh) and sprinkle with cheese. Serve.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 420kcal; FAT 20g; CHOL 115mg;SODIUM 470mg; CARB 14g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 40g;VIT A 8%; VIT C 25%; CALC 6%; IRON 15%

Oh and I meant to tell you I am LOVING all of my new handy kitchen gadgets that I got for Christmas. My lemon hand juicer thingy is the best thing ever. I get so much more juice out of a lemon and it is easier. Plus by flipping up the other side I can use it to juice limes too! Woo hoo! Oh and my handy new microplane makes grating parmesan cheese on top of dishes super easy and fast. I absolutely LOVE it!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The benefits to having a cooking blog

Right now I am at work and it is my husband's day off so he is at home. We have plans to go over to a friend's house at 6:30. We don't think that we are having dinner over there so we need to eat before we go. However, I get off work at 5:00 and then would have to drive home. I would get home about 5:15 and then it would take me about 20 minutes to prep dinner and put it in the oven and then it has to cook for 30 minutes. So it would be 6:05 when dinner is ready. Michael is the world's slowest eater so it would take him at least 15 minutes to eat and then it would be 6:20 Our friends live 30 minutes away so that means the earliest we could get there would be 6:50, if all of my math is correct.

But, because I have a blog with the recipe for my cheesy ham and potato casserole in it, my husband can get on his computer, or more likely his Wii browser, and look up the recipe and make it so that it is ready when I get home. No digging through cookbooks and searching for recipes because it is clearly labeled in my blog.

How great is that?

By the way, hi honey and thanks for making dinner.

The Diva