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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

POM Wonderful Recipe Contest Entry: Marcona Almond Encrusted Chicken Tenders with a Creamy Pomegranate dipping sauce

I am entering the POM Wonderful Blogger recipe contest, that I learned about from the foodie blogroll, who is also having their own contest involving POM Wonderful. I have posted my recipe here, cross your fingers!!! The Pomegranate Dipping Sauce is not too sweet and has a nice tangy taste. It pleased the discriminating palate of the husband. This recipe would be great for a party as an appetizer, or served with vegetables and cous cous as a main meal. It is easily made ahead up until the chicken going in the oven, and the sauce is versatile. I think the sauce would also work over pork loin.

Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

1 and 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small shallot, sliced thin and separated into rings
1 tsp. sugar
the zest of one orange
1/2 C. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
POM Wonderful Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Melt butter over medium heat and add shallots and sugar. Saute over medium low for approximately 8 minutes, stirring frequently until caramelized. During the last minute, add orange zest and continue stirring.

Add POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice, mustard, nutmeg, and cardamom and whisk to combine. Simmer over medium heat about 8-10 minutes until reduced slightly and syrupy. Add heavy cream and whisk until combined. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Take off heat, taste and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This sauce can be made a day in advance, and is easily doubled for a larger recipe. Garnish with Pomegranate seeds, and serve with Marcona Encrusted Chicken Tenders (recipe follows).

Marcona Almond Encrusted Chicken Tenders

1 and 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 C. finely chopped Spanish Marcona Almonds
1/2 C. Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 C. honey mustard
1-2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine breadcrumbs, and almonds in a shallow dish. Brush a thin coating of honey mustard on the chicken tenders and coat completely in almond breading mixture.

Place wire cooling rack over baking pan or in Large Baking dish, and place encrusted chicken tenders on rack. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven), mine took 25 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. If desired, broil for one minute to further brown the coating. Serve with Creamy Pomegranate Dipping Sauce (recipe above). Chicken can be breaded a few hours ahead of time and placed in fridge until ready to cook.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bake sale

Here are some pics of our bake sale for Breast Cancer Research

Breast Cancer Bake Sale

We did Denim Day on Oct 24th at work and I decided to do a bake sale that day too all to benefit Breast Cancer Research. The staff at my job were sooo generous in both their donations to our bake sale and to denim all we raised over $260! I was so thrilled! One of my best friends lost her mom to Breast Cancer at a very young age, and because of that this cause is so close to my heart. I was inspired by Katie #s, and here is her recipe that I used for my cookies, that sold sooo quickly! I didnt make them that big, but I thought they were perfect!
White Chocolate Chip Pink M&M Cookies

Orig ATK (lifted from Katie102006)

2 Cups plus 2 Tbsp All purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter , softened (orig called for melted and cooled until warm)
1 C brown sugar packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, 1 yolk
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
1 C pink m & m s
1 C white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk dry ingredients together, set aside. Mix butter and sugars together until thouroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until blended.

Add dry ingredients and beat low speed until just combined. stir in m & ms and chocl chips.

Put by Tbsp onto baking sheet. Bake about 17 minutes .
Makes 4 dozen

Monday, September 29, 2008

black bean pasta salad

I love pasta salad, and I think the addition of black beans really makes it heartier and healthier. I usually use whole wheat pasta or enriched pasta (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest or Ronzoni smart taste are the best).

Black Bean Pasta Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 jalepeno, chopped (seeds and all...leave seeds out if you are fraid)
2 T red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/3 C chopped cilantro
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C frozen sweet corn (it will thaw out quickly)
1/2 C salsa
3 Tbsp low fat mayo
1 Cup uncooked pasta (I used spirals)
2 C shredded colby jack or pepper jack cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse until cool. While pasta is cooking whisk together EVOO, vinegar, mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper, and mayo. Toss Black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalepeno, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, and salsa. Toss drained pasta, black bean mixture and dressing mixture. Fold in cheese. Voila!

Cremini Mushroom Lentil Soup is getting to be soup weather, and I had a bag of dried lentils in my what is a girl to do?! Make up a soup recipe! it was really good, sorry the pictures look like puke!

Cremini Mushroom Lentil Soup

1 T Evoo
small vidalia onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz) pkg cremini mushrooms (also baby bellas), roughly chopped
1/2 C dry sherry, divided (NOT cooking sherry)
5 C Chicken or Vegetable stock (not broth)
1 and 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp curry powder
crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
1 med red potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
1/4 C half and half
1 Tbsp Butter and 1 Tbsp flour for roux (optional thickener)
Immersion Blender

Heat oil in over med heat. Saute onion about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add mushrooms, and sherry, salt and pepper and 1/4 c dry sherry and raise to med high heat. Saute 6 minutes and add carrots, stir and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add lentils and stir and add chicken stock, bay leaves, curry powder. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to med and simmer about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer another 20 minutes, until potatoes and lentils are tender. Remove bay leaves and puree some of soup with immersion blender (this will thicken it slightly). Taste and add seasonings if needed. Add half and half and stir. I love thick soups, so I melted some butter in a small pot over med and add flour and whisk to make a roux. Cook a few minutes until golden and no longer smelling like flour. Add ladle of soup to roux and whisk. Turn off heat, add roux mixture back to soup and whisk. Adjust seasonings and add crushed red pepper if you like. Let sit to thicken about 10 min on low heat. Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt dolloped on top.

healthy homemade macaroni salad

I just have to warn you that I like my macaroni salad on the dry side (I am not a mayo person), so add more mayo if you really like it.

1 (14.5 oz) pkg macaroni elbows (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste)
2 and 1/2 Cups low fat mayo
2 T cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 C shredded carrot
1 and 1/2 C chopped celery
2 tsp mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp onion powder

Cook pasta according to directions and drain, do not rinse (dressing will not stick as well). While pasta is cooking mix, mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss dressing with warm pasta (absorbs some of mayo). Fold in carrots and celery.

Easy Blue Cheese Dip

OK, you will laugh, but it is this easy:

Blue cheese crumbled (however much you want)
16 oz Low Fat Sour Cream
salt and pepper to taste

mix all ingredients and enjoy with veggies or on a burger. I say however much you want because some people like it really cheesy (like me)

Beer Cheese (it is a fon-do!)

OMG this is so addicting, I did not even know how good it was going to be. People were literally cleaning the crockpot with their fingers! I made this for my housewarming party, and had breadcubes for dipping, but you could use tortilla chips and veggies, pretzels, whatever tastes good with cheese! I made this on the stovetop and then kept it warm in the crockpot on the keep warm setting. This dip is even great once cooled and you spread it on crackers and bread. ***Photo is not mine, I found it on google from

Beer Cheese Fon-Do!

1 loaf crusty white bread (like sourdough), cubed
1 Tbsp butter
1 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz Velveeta, cut into cubes
8 oz low fat cream cheese cut up
1 T. spicy brown mustard (like guldens)
1 C Colby cheese, shredded
1 C pepper jack cheese, shredded
12 oz can beer (use a lager or darker beer)
few dashes hot sauce (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

melt butter over med heat and saute garlic 1 minute. add velveeta, cream cheese, and mustard, and stir constantly til melted. Add shredded cheeses and keep stirring. Add beer a little at a time, stirring each time until combined. I used almost the entire bottle (except for about a swig), keep adding until it is the consistency you want. add hot sauce and salt and pepper. Pour into crock pot and put on low for about 20 minutes, then switch to keep warm. Serve with dippers.

Housewarming Party

So we had a housewarming party this weekend and it went great! Everything happened so fast I didnt get pics of the food, just the firepit, living room and some of my crazy friends!
Here was the menu:


Beer Cheese with bread cubes for dipping
baby carrots and snap peas with easy blue cheese dip
purchased hummus and pita chips
purchased mexican 7 layer dip with tortilla chips
purchased frozen mini phyllo quiches


Hot Dogs and Burgers
Homemade Macaroni Salad


Toasted Marshmallows
Purchased cookies
Pumpkin Dip with gingersnaps

***Recipes for the following can be found in my blog under housewarming: Beer Cheese, easy blue cheese dip, homemade healthy macaroni salad, and pumpkin dip. If you don't know how to make smores, then stop reading this right now and google it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I think these are similar to Hello Dolly bars. I first got a taste of these in a cookie exchange at work and I am not sure where she got the recipe from, so sorry for no credit....but these are so great and very easy. No picture yet, Ill take one when I make it again!

Makes about 20

1/2 C butter
1 and 1/2 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 C milk chocolate chips
1 C peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter over low heat. Place crumbs in a 13X9 inch pan and pour butter over them. Pour condensed milk evenly over that. Sprinkle chocolate and peanut butter chips over milk mixture and press down firmly. Bake 25-30 minutes.

grilled chicken and potato salad (healthy)

O.K. so is everyone as sick of hot dogs and hamburgers as I am....ok so I am not sick of hot dogs because I LUV then...but here is a recipe for a great chicken marinade (courtesy of my mom) and a low fat Potato Salad, which I modified from a cooking light recipe I found a long long time ago!

Garlic Rosemary Marinade for Chicken

1/2 C fresh lemon juice
1/4 C plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp minced rosemary (fresh)
2 Tbsp Fleur de sel (which I think is fancy for sea salt)
2 Tbsp Cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and marinade chicken for 20 minutes. I think my mom used about 2 lbs. chicken breasts. Cook on the grill until no longer pink inside.

Creamy Dijon Potato Salad

2 and 1/2 lb. med size red potatoes
1/4 C scallions, sliced thin (green part only)
1/2 C. low fat mayo (Hellmans only!)
1/4 C plain low fat greek yogurt
1/4 C. low fat sour cream
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp prepared mustard ( I used a french dijon, use what you have on hand)
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or apple cidar vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp pepper
2 C chopped celery

Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces (leave skins on). Place in large pan and add water to cover. Bring to boil (I usually salt the water). Simmer 20 minutes approx (or until potatoes are tender). Drain. While potatoes are cooking, mix dressing ingredients in small bowl. Combine mayo through pepper and whisk together until combined. Add celery and scallions and fold in. Toss with potatoes gently until coated. I do this while the potatoes are warm still, because they absorb some of the dressing and it makes it more flavorful I think. Cover and chill. I like to make this the night before, because then it is chilled fully and I feel like it tastes better the next day. You can serve it the same day, but I would chill for at least 4 hours. Makes 8-10 servings

Tortilla Espanola

Eggs aren't just for breakfast anymore! So while in Spain I had this fabulous tapas called Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omlet), but it is not like our omlet, it has lots of potatoes and you serve it like a pie (cut into wedges). It is an easy and affordable meal. I could eat it for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. We had it with a nice side salad for dinner. I made my own recipe because so many I found online were laden with so much oil. Mine is a little different from the traditional, but tasted just like the ones I had in Spain.

Tortilla Espanola

1/2 C. EVOO
1 large sweet onion, chopped finely
1 lb. bag already shredded potatoes (Simply Potatoes)
salt and pepper
5 large eggs
1 tsp half and half
1/2 C. Colby Cheese, shredded
nonstick foil and cookie sheet or plate to invert it onto

Over med to med high heat saute onions in olive oil in large nonstick frying pan, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and saute another 10 minutes, stirring frequently (don't brown), add salt and pepper to taste. While potatoes are cooking whisk together eggs, half and half and salt and pepper, add shredded cheese. Once potatoes are done add a large spoonful to egg mixture and stir (to bring the eggs up to temperature). Add remaining potato mixture to egg mixture and mix well. Pour back into pan and pat down until it is flat and even on top. Cook on med to med high heat about 12 minutes. Put nonstick foil on a large baking sheet or very large plate. Place foil side down on top of pan and flip omlette over and slide uncooked side down back into pan (I needed help for this part, it is very heavy). Cook another 8 minutes. Put new foil on baking sheet and slide omlette onto it. Let rest 2 minutes, and then cut into wedges. Serve with salad and toast. Great with ketchup or hot sauce (or sangria)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

Ok, so my friend from work, Faith, gave me some lovely eggplants from her I have never made stuffed eggplant before....but this was so good! The filling was soooo flavorful, you don't even miss the meat! The only prob I had was the "shells" were not as cooked as I would like them to be. I might boil them next time....if she has more eggplant I will try it again this week. But the filling was so dang good that I would just make that!
***if the eggplant is too firm, just eat the filling, that is what I did***
Karen's Stuffed Eggplant

2 med sized eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
3 T olive oil
1 med Vidalia onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C Chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 oz red wine
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 C toasted pine nuts
1/3 C fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade
3/4 C Panko (japanese) bread crumbs
1/2 C Parmesan (generous 1/2 c)
few Tbsps vodka sauce (premade, jar)
3 slices part skim mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Scoop flesh out of eggplant, leaving 1/4 inch shells. Drizzle eggplant "boats" with olive oil. Place Eggplant "boats" in baking dish over nonstick foil in oven for 30 minutes or so (until fork tender).

Chop eggplant flesh finely. Heat 3 T olive oil over med. heat. Saute onion for about 10 minutes. add garlic and saute another minute. Add salt and pepper. Add chopped eggplant, chicken stock and wine and saute 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and cook another 5 minutes. Filling should be tender, if not keep cooking until it is.....eggplant takes a really long ass time to get tender. Once tender, add breadcrumbs and parmesan. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon mixture into eggplant "boats" press and form into domes. Drizzle olive oil over top and bake for 45 minutes. Add vodka or tomato sauce and sliced mozzerella and broil 5 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer Strawberry Crisp

I was inspired by Katie #s (as always) to make a nice summery crisp. I bought a jumbo container of strawberries at Costco, so I thought that would be good. I used her recipe for the topping as a guide(it is not exactly the same), and made up mine for the filling. It was soooo good!

Strawberry Crisp


5 Cups Strawberries, washed, hulled, sliced
1/2 C sugar
1 T orange zest
juice of 1/2 orange
1/8 C Gran Marnier (or other orange liquer)
1 T cornstarch


1 stick butter, chilled and cubed
1 C flour
1/2 C oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1/4 of orange

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all filling ingredients and pour into baking dish. In med bowl add all topping ingredients and combine with a pastry cutter, 2 knives or a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling in baking dish. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Smells like strawberry jam is cooking!

Simply Dish

So some of the meals I am going to post pictures of I have no recipes for...I went to this Simply Dish Party a few weeks ago. It is a place where you pre order your food from their monthly menus and then go that night and prep all of it. You can get 6, 9, or 12 meals, each serving 4-6 people..most serve 6 or more (burgers you can make what size you want). Anywhoo, we all brought wine and food and you go from station to station and prepare everything and put it in ziplocs. All the stuff you need is at each station (recipe, all ingr, measuring spoons, cups, and pre measured meat and sides for some) there is a sticker at each station with directions for cooking that you put on the ziploc. You just need to make sure you have lots of room in your freezer. You can split meals in half for no extra charge (i.e.: split 6 chicken breasts into two bags of 3). for 6 meals (serving 24-36 ppl) I paid $169 and since the host got 10 people signed up we each got three free meals. So, in two hours I prepped 36-54 meals and it was only $169. I think I will do this a few times a year. It makes things so easy you just take it out of the freezer the night before and follow cooking directions. The food I ordered was beef satay, chicken cozumel, strip steaks, parmesan chicken tenders, buttermilk chicken, stuffed burgers, and greek turkey burgers. Everything I have had so far was delicious! Here is the website if you live in the NJ area:

Reason why I have not blogged

We bought a house and moved in about 3 weeks ago. Our first (and hopefully last) house. So since May I have been either packing or moving or painting or weeding. Here are a couple of pictures of our little house. Hope you enjoy. I have been taking pictures of things I am cooking and will be all updated tonight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cheddar stuffed cilantro jalepeno turkey burgers with cilantro cream --mucho spicy!

That is a mouthfull and so are these burgers! These are so great!!! I got the ground turkey from Wegmans. We like things very spicy, but if you dont, the burgers and sauce can be tailored---take the seeds out of the jalepenos or use less.

1 lb ground turkey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Jalepeno, finely chopped
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
salt and pepper
8 cubes colby cheese

Cilantro Cream Sauce:
1 Jalepeno, chopped
1 C sour cream
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 C fresh cilantro

Process all ingredients for cilantro cream sauce in blender or food processor. Cover, and refrigerate.
Mix all ingredients for burgers, excpet colby cheese, in a bowl. Form into 4 burger patties. Place 2 cheese cubes on each burger and fold over and re form into patties. Grill or cook in pan until done. We cooked in pan and they took about 4 min each side. Serve on toasted buns (we used english muffins) with american cheese and cilantro cream sauce. Please comment if you like!

Greek Pasta Salad

This was inspired by a Bobby Flay recipe. This makes a LOT:

Greek Pasta Salad
3/4 lbs pasta spirals or elbows (I use Ronzoni Smart Taste)
1 large cucumber, seeded, and chopped
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
3 T dijon mustard
1/2 C olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and cool. Combine cooled pasta, cucumber, scallions, and tomatoes in large bowl. Place dill, vinegar, olive oil and mustard in blender and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over pasta mixture and stir well. Gently fold in feta cheese. This salad is also great mixed with shredded cooked chicken or would be great with a can of drained and rinsed white canellini beans.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Rotisserie chicken breast (3-4 C), cooled and shredded
1/2 C light mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 C Craisins
1/2- 3/4 C diced celery
onion powder to taste
salt to taste
dill to taste
thyme to taste

mix all ingredients together.

Chicken Satay with Peanut sauce

I use bottled Peanut Sauce, but wanted to make a yummy marinade for the chicken. This would be even better on the grill, but I did it on the stove. I sliced the chicken breasts into strips and put them on skewers, but you can use chicken tenders also. Even without the peanut sauce they were so great!

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

1lb chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 bottle House of Tsang Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce (found in Thai aisle).
1/2 C chopped dry roasted peanuts lightly salted kind.
3 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 C Tamari soy sauce
1 T lime juice and zest of 1 lime
3 T olive oil
Cayenne (to your liking---we like it spicy--few shakes)

Soak wooden skewars in water at least 15 minutes (during marination time)
Combine all marinade ingredients and put chicken strips or tenders in marinade, cover and put in fridge for about 15-20 minutes. Skewar each chicken strip or tender. Cook in pan on med for about 2-3 min on each side (until no longer pink inside). Serve with peanut sauce for dipping with chopped peanuts.

Tequila and Lime Grilled Chicken

I got the original recipe from Katie#s:
I made a couple of changes and I cooked it on the stove (we dont have a grill). Here it was AMAZING! And nice and spicy! I was looking for a great recipe for Cinco de Mayo (late on the BUs). I only used 1 lb of chicken and had lots of extra marinade (dont mix it all in, save it and you can use it on more chicken, shrimp, etc)

Tequila and Lime Grilled Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts (thin sliced)
1/4 C tequila
1/3 C fresh lime juice
1/4 C olive oil
1 C fresh cilantro
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Jalepeno, sliced
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin

Add all ingredients except chicken to food processor and blend well. Add chicken to marinade (like I said this makes extra so I put the chicken in a dish and poured just enough marinade to cover the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (not too much longer because the lime juice will cook the chicken and make it tough). I cooked on the stovetop in a pan on med about 3-4 min on each side, until no longer pink inside.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Morton's Tri Tip Steak

This comes already marinated from was great!!! I made a mushroom sherry cream sauce.

An approximate recipe for the mushroom sherry cream sauce

2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 pkgs baby bella mushrooms (baby portabella), sliced
dry sherry (enough to cover the mushrooms (1/2 cup????)
Heavy Cream (1/2 Cup??)

Saute Garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir. Add sherry, and cook until most of liquid is cooked off. Add Heavy cream until it seems right (I know that is no help, but I didnt measure it.). About a 1/2 cup or so. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over sirloin.

Key Lime Pie

You can also add shredded coconut to the crust recipe (only if you are sure your guests or you like it). I would use 1/2 cup if you are going to use it.

Key Lime Pie

1 and 1/4 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 C chopped Macadamia Nuts
1/4 C sugar6 Tbsp Butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and press into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Pie Filling:
14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 C key lime juice ( I use Nellie and Joe's)
1/4 c Cream cheese (can use low fat)

Combine ingredients until smooth with hand mixer. Pour into cooled pie crust and bake 350 for 15 minutes. Chill at least 3 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Berries with Limoncello

This is a Cooking Light Recipe. I served it over Lemon sorbet. I bet you could incorporate it into a martini. Only 136 calories!

Berries with Limoncello

2 C fresh raspberries
2 C fresh blackberries
2 C fresh strawberries
1 C fresh blueberries
1/4 C sugar
1 T grated lemon rind
2 T lemon juice (fresh)
2 T Limoncello
1/2 C. torn mint
Combine first 8 ingredients in bowl. Let stand 20 minutes, stir in mint with spatula. serve over lemon sorbet.

Vegetable Lasagna

This is made with a bechamel sauce, but not as bad as most, I used skim milk (you would never know). Wegmans makes fabulous fresh lasagna sheets that you dont even need to cook, just assemble the lasagna. It is a little time intensive, but worth it!!!! You can do it hours ahead and keep it in the fridge and bake it later. I used Broccoli and Carrots, but you can use whatever vegetables you like.

Vegetable Lasagna

Bechamel Sauce (makes approx 5 cups)

5 Tbsp Butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 Tbsp flour
5 Cups skim milk
3 Tbsp Cream Cheese (can use low fat)
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Melt butter over med heat, and saute garlic 1 minute. add flour and whisk, cook until golden and flour smell is gone (about 3-5 minutes). Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until smooth. Allow to thicken (5 or so minutes). Keep whisking to keep it smooth. Add Parmesan, mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh Lasagna sheets (depending on the size) enough for 6 layers.
5 Cups Bechamel sauce
1 and 1/2 of 10 oz package of frozen chopped broccoli, steamed and drained
1 pkg shredded carrots (10 oz)
Parmesan cheese, shredded (approx 1 and 1/2 cups)
Butter to dot the top of the lasagna

Preheat oven to 350 F. No need to boil lasagna sheets if they are fresh. Layer 2 ladels bechamel sauce on bottom of pan. Place lasagna sheets on top of sauce to fit pan. Place a layer of broccoli, lyer of bechamel sauce, layer of parmesan. Repeat with pasta sheets, layer of carrots, layer of bechamel, layer of parmesan. Repeat so there are two layers of broccoli and two layers of carrots. Place lasagna sheets over top. Pour remaining bechamel sauce over top, layer parmesan cheese. Dot with butter and Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes *uncovered*. Turn on broiler to brown top (make sure you watch closely). let sit about 3 min. before cutting.

So I made dinner for my parents and In-Laws

It turned out so great! I did it two nights in a row...the first night the menu was:

various appetizers
Vegetable Lasagna (with a white sauce) and steamed green beans
Berries in Limoncello over lemon sorbet

the second night:
various appetizers
Tri Tip Steak (bought at Costco, already marinated) with a mushroom sherry cream sauce
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Homemade Key Lime Pie
Going to put the recipes next.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My New Everyday China

It was sort of an impulse buy at Linens N Things, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE anything beachy, and I dont really like our china (our set is plain white), I always use these two blue flowered plates you always see in my blog because I like them more), but this will be enough china to use for company. I had two girlfriends over for dinner last night and here were my place settings...nothing fancy, but I love my new plates!

I am inspired by Katie #s

I frequent a message board where someone we call Katie#s has this great blog called The Hyper Homemaker: and she has these great tips and everything....anyhoo....she does something called 15 minute friday, and she does a different small chore or thing that needs to be done that will take about 15 minutes. Sometimes it is something that you would never realize only took about

15 minutes and now it's done. I have a long list of things to do around the apartment that never seem to get done, so she has inspired me to take 15 minutes out of my day (if able to) and either do one of these things or work on it for 15 minutes. I did my first 15 minute project yesterday....recovered my dining room chairs, finally!!! I have had the fabric for about 6 months or more and just never get to it. They really came out great, and I didnt time it, but I am sure it did not take more than 15 minutes. So thank you Katie!!!!!! Here are the results:



This is a list of projects I want to work on:
Cleaning husbands office (will take multiple 15 minute days)
our bedroom closet---organize, donate clothes we dont wear
Finish recovering chairs (there are two in the basement)
Dust the newly recovered chairs
Organize recipes in personal cookbook
Clean oven
Organize laundry room
Hall closet (this is my version of Monica Gellar's Messy Closet)
getting together a list of recipes I want to try