Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chicken Finger Parmigiana

The kids have been off with the husband for the past few days and to welcome them home I decided to make some baked chicken finger parmigiana. This is a super simple recipe and works great for a healthier version of chicken fingers too.

Baked Chicken Parmigiana

6 chicken tenders

1 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup of marinara sauce

1 egg beaten

salt and pepper to season

1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup of parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place bread crumbs in a bowl and in another bowl add the beaten egg. Dip chicken tenders in egg, then dip in bread crumbs, place on cookie sheet and bake for 14 minutes. In a shallow baking pan spread some marina sauce, place chicken tenders in dish, cover with cheese and more sauce. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and chicken is fully cooked.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mexican Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Salad

Like I said in the wine post, it was girls night so we decided to go south of the border for our flavors and attempt a recipe that my husband makes much better than I do. I will have to update this post after he makes it one night so I can figure out what he does differently with the marinade, but for now here is my version.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 bottle of Mexican Beer (I recommend Pacifico)

1 lime

1/4 cup of coarsely chopped onion

1/4 cup of Tapatio

In a large bowl combine beer, hot sauce, and onion. Cut lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into beer mixture and add the lime halves to the mix. Taste and if flavors are all present add chicken. Cover bowl and marinade overnight. Heat grill on high and cook chicken for around 10 minutes on each side. Serve with black bean salad.

Black Bean Salad

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of frozen or fresh corn

1/2 cup of diced red onion

2 serrano peppers, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, diced

the juice from 2 limes

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate, serve when cool.

Wine Tasting

On Saturday night a friend and I were having a girls night and decided to try some wine that was recommended by a helpful employee at the local wine shop. Our meal was grilled Mexican chicken with a black bean salad. We were recommended a Chenin Blanc, and a Vouvray. The first wine we tried was Biltmore Estate's 2007 Chenin Blanc. This wine is a sweet wine that most recomend for dessert or sipping however, the sweet flavors of pineapple, banana, pears, and spices make this a fresh and fruity wine that is a great accompaniment to spicy foods. If you are able to find a bottle of this, give it a try. The 2007 Vouvray from Bougrier Depuis is very similar to the Chenin Blanc (duh, same grape) but the flavors of the two differ greatly. The Vouvray is more melon, peach and grapefruit. These are two wines that I would definitely try again and would also recommend to those who do not really like wine as the sweetness helps these goes down smooth.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Easy Canapés

Trader Joe's has a great new product, Blue Cheese with Roasted Pecans dip. I love the flavors of this and felt that this would make a great canapé.
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
2 Pink Lady apples, Sliced thin and cored
3 pieces of Organic Arugula for each piece of bread
2-3 dried cranberries for each piece of bread
1 package of Trader Joe's Blue Cheese and Roasted Pecan dip
Using a butter knife, spread dip on each piece of bread, add arugula, top with apple and sprinkle with dried cranberries. Serve.


We had a 20 degree drop in temperature and now that the weather is in the 60's I finally got to make my soup. It rained all day yesterday and I thought that this would be the perfect meal. I looked at tons of recipes and wound up making my own based on Julia Child's recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Here is my recipe, I hope that you get a cold day to enjoy it on.

French Onion Soup

5 onions, sliced into thin half moons
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 pinches of sugar
¾ cup of vermouth
2 tablespoons of flour
1 quart of beef broth
1 quart of chicken broth
8 springs of thyme
1 whole clove of garlic smashed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place butter and oil in a 4 quart pan and heat on medium low, when butter is melted add onions and cooked covered for 15 minutes. Uncover onions and stir in sugar. Raise heat to medium and cook stirring regularly until onions are caramelized and have a deep golden brown color. Add flour and stir for 3 minutes. Pour in vermouth and deglaze pan.
Add thyme, salt, pepper, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat add garlic and simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours. Check flavor season again if needed. Remove from heat, and serve with Gruyere topped garlic baguette slices.

Gruyere Topped Garlic Baguette Slices

1 baguette, sliced into 1 inch thick slices
1 clove of garlic
2 cups of shredded Gruyere

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Rub slices with garlic clove, top with cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

1 Steak 2 Meals

Last week was pretty crazy around here. I barley got a chance to cook what I was hoping to so instead of the promised salads, here is the first of one night of cooking equals two meals posts. This features a kid friendly steak and fries meal, plus a great summer salad that can be used in various ways.

Grilled Steak to Pita Pocket

When looking to feed just myself and my son, I like to make simple meals that appeal to a 5 year old, yet are fun for me to eat to. my son loves steak, so I fired up the grill, seasoned the steak and made a simple meal.

2 8oz. New York Strip

1 teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

Heat grill on high. Cook steak for 3 minutes on each side. Let it rest, slice and serve half of one steak to each person. Reserve extra steak for meals the next day. Serve with Garlic Fries.

Garlic French Fries

1 package of frozen french fries or microwaveable fries (use enough to serve 2)

1 teaspoon of parsley leaves (fresh or dried)

1 to 3 pinches of garlic powder or 1/2 clove of diced fresh garlic

Salt and Pepper

Cook french fries according to package directions. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley. Mix well and optionally add some grated Parmesan cheese.

Left Over Steak Pita Pockets
2 Pitas, Sliced in half
1 steak, cut into thin slices
4 teaspoons of Mediterranean Humus (available at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup of Greek Vegetable Salad (recipe follows)
Open 1 pita half and add 1/4 of humus to pita. Add steak and veggies. repeat until each pita is filled.
Greek Vegetable Salad
1 English Cucumber, peeled and sliced in to 1/4 inch thick slices
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
2 to 3 tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/3 cup of Greek Salad Dressing (I like Kraft for this)
In a large bowl add all ingredients an mix well. Cover and place in fridge overnight. Serve with Crumbled Feta.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too Hungry

I do not know if I am the only food blogger who has this problem, but lately with my crazy schedule and two kids to take care of, but by the time I have finished cooking, I am too hungry to take pictures. I have made some great food lately too. I made some Mexican Chicken on Cinco De Mayo, a Greek grilled steak with a cucumber, tomato, and red onion salad, a grilled lemon chicken with a snow pea and avocado slaw (recipe available at served with a great Sauvignon Blanc, made some inari (yumm), and found a great new website for helping pair food and wine, Yet each time i prepared a great meal my rumbling stomach and my five year olds "Mommy, I 'm hungry" gave me no time to take a picture. I am hoping that this does not become a habit. I love taking pics of my food, I love sharing my creations, and hoping that other enjoy them enough to try them too. So I am going to be taking a new approach to my cooking, I am going back to menu planning. I love just being hit by a craving for something and creating a meal around it, but I think that the running around to grab ingredients is getting to be to time consuming. So, for you dear reader here are some things to look forward to: Salads, lots of them, all that fit different cuisines, new product tasting, some semi-homemade meals, finger food meals for baby, and quick and simple dinners. I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts and I know you will love some of the salads that are coming up. I promise that these will be great meals that will give you something refreshing and light to serve on the upcoming hot summer days.

The Drama of it All

So, Oprah announces free a KFC meal deal to get people to try the new Kentucky Grilled Chicken that the company is offering. Websites get bogged down, coupons, do not get printed, KFC runs out of chicken (which the company does not foresee), and now there is a rain check that will be good only on certain dates. Really people, all this over free food. Is our economy so bad that people need these coupons to feed their families? Has it gotten that bad for KFC that they need Oprah to get people into their restaurants? To be honest, I tried to get a coupon, that would have gotten me to at a KFC for the first time in almost 10 years. I am curious about the new product, it would have been nice to try it without paying, I may still try the product anyway, but on one condition. KFC responds to my complaint about the coupon printing problems. I downloaded the needed software, pressed print and what do you know, nothing happened. I filled out a complaint form, and was told that I would be contacted shortly, I am curious on how shortly this will be. I am sure I am not the only American with this problem, what is the company going to do for us? I only hope that the chicken is worth all the hype.