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Showing posts from January, 2008

Feta & Basil-Stuffed Chicken

***I had some chicken and extra feta cheese left over from making the Greek Chicken Pasta the other night. I was looking for a good recipe that would use it up, and this one was perfect! Brad and I love dishes with feta cheese...this one is no exception. I came across this recipe in Julia Tyler's food blog on The Nest. A link to her blog is below...Thanks Julia!*** Ingredients: 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 1/4 cup dry, seasoned breadcrumbs 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese 1/2 tsp. dried basil Vegetable cooking spray 1 1/2 teaspoons butter Directions: Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs. Spoon 1 tablespoon of cheese onto each piece of chicken, and sprinkle basil on top of cheese. Fold chicken in half. Place folded breast halves in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place a few slices of butte

Greek Chicken Pasta

***Okay, this is one of my new favorites....I loved it!!! I served it with garlic twist breadsticks.*** Ingredients: 1 pound uncooked pasta 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 can diced tomatoes 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons lemon juice OR white cooking wine 2 teaspoons dried oregano Herb seasoning to taste (I used McCormick's Grillmates Garlic & Onion Medley) salt and pepper to taste Directions: Place chicken breasts in oven-proof baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with your choice of herb seasoning. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes at 375 degrees, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, an

Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Roll-Ups

***I have one word for this recipe - YUM! I served it with penne pasta tossed with garlic and parsley, as suggested by the magazine.*** Ingredients: 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese 1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped 8 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/2 pounds) 1/2 lb. deli-sliced provolone cheese 1/4 cup E.V.O.O. Directions: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease the foil. Place the beaten eggs and bread crumbs into separate shallow bowls. In another bowl, mix the ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes. Dip the chicken cutlets into the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs and place on a work surface. Place a slice of provolone and a heaping tbsp. of ricotta mixture on each cutlet. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Place the chicken roll-ups side by side on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake until the chicken is g

Garlic Shrimp

***You can serve this shrimp with crusty bread for dipping in the richly flavored, leftover olive oil.*** Ingredients: 7 medium garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. large (31-40) shrimp; peeled, deveined 8 tbsp. E.V.O.O. 1/2 tsp. table salt 1 tsp. paprika 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves Directions: 1. Mince 3 garlic cloves with chef's knife or garlic press. Toss minced garlic with shrimp, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. 2. Thinly slice remaining 4 cloves of garlic. Heat the other 6 tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until garlic is tender but not browned, 2-3 minutes. If garlic has not begun to sizzle after a few minutes, increase heat to medium-high; add shrimp with marinade to pan in a single layer. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and parsley. Cook shrimp, undisturbed, until oil starts to gently bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, flip shrimp and continue

Nacho Spuds

***Okay, these may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but they are worth every calorie! Brad loved them....I'll definitely be making these again.*** 2 large baking potatoes (1.5 pounds total), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds 2 1/2 tbsp. E.V.O.O. Salt & Pepper 1/2 lb. lean ground beef sirloin One 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed 2 tbsp. taco seasoning One 8 oz. package shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups) 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise Sour cream and shredded lettuce, for serving Directions: 1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp. olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the beans, taco seasoning

Chicken, Spinach and Feta Quesadillas

If you like to eat at Zoe's Kitchen, you'll like these! Zoe's Kitchen has a spinach & feta quesadilla...Brad has gotten them the last few times we've been, and he LOVES them. This recipe is very similar...I just added chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. If you haven't noticed, I've been on somewhat of a sun-dried tomato kick lately...I love them! They added the perfect amount of sweetness to this recipe. Ingredients: 8" Flour Tortillas 1 Box Frozen Spinach Feta Cheese, crumbled Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped Baked Chicken Tenders, fully cooked and chopped 1 - 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (E.V.O.O.) Salsa, for dipping Salt & Pepper for seasoning Directions: Bake chicken according to package directions. When chicken is fully cooked, chop into small pieces. Season with salt & pepper. Next, put frozen spinach in a medium saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze excess water out of the spinach. Place a tortilla on

Chicken & Rice with Rosemary, Garlic and Basil

We got SNOW today! I couldn't believe it....snow in was beautiful! I thought this dish would be the perfect meal on a cold, snowy day. Growing up, this was always one of my favorite things my Mom made...she still makes it every once in a while. It's a "comfort food" in my book! I took my Mom's recipe and jazzed it up a little by adding some herbs and garlic. I didn't really measure a single thing while making this. I just eye-balled all the ingredients, so please feel free to do the same....adding more or less of whatever you like. The finished product was really, really good though. Here's what I did: Ingredients: 1 Whole Chicken, small 3-4 cups Chicken Broth 3-4 cups water Extra virgin olive oil (E.V.O.O.) 1 tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped Basil, dried 2-3 tbsp. Garlic, minced 2 cups rice Salt & Pepper for seasoning Directions: Remove skin from chicken and rinse. Place chicken in slow-cooker. Add chicken broth and water. There should be e

Dijon-Pecan Tilapia

I made this tonight for dinner, and it was so good! The dijon mustard gave it a nice flavor. I also liked that it's opposed to fried, so it's a little healthier than the pecan-crusted tilapia that I posted recently. INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup brown mustard, such as French's Bold 'n Spicy (I used Grey Poupon Dijon mustard) 1 pound tilapia fillets, if frozen, thaw 1/4 cup chopped pecans, finely chopped ***I tweaked this recipe a little bit by adding a splash of lemon juice to the mayo/dijon mixture. I also sprinkled dried parsley on the tilapia before adding the pecans.*** DIRECTIONS: Lightly butter a large, shallow baking pan, such as a jelly roll pan. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and mustard. Using paper towels, pat fish lightly to dry. Arrange fish fillets in prepared baking dish. Spread mayonnaise mixture over each fillet. Sprinkle each fillet with chopped pecans; press down gently. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 12 to 15 minutes, unt

Italian Baked Chicken and Penne

This turned out to be a very simple dish that I threw together while babysitting my beautiful little niece, Dakota. She seemed to like it too. =) Ingredients: 1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)...I used penne pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes) 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice 1 cup shredded mozzarella 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and gar

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic

***This is just a simple side dish that I make often. I served it tonight with some of the left-over pork chops stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. I also served garlic breadsticks with grapeseed oil and mixed spices/herbs for dipping. Yum-o!*** Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds small new red potatoes (about 15), chopped 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Serve hot. These can also be chilled and served with fried chicken or ham. Source: Paula Deen - Paula's Home Cooking

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

***This was really yummy! I saw Giada make it a couple of days ago on Everyday Italian , and I knew I wanted to give it a whirl. The Dijon mustard and sun-dried tomatoes really make this recipe pop. It wasn't very difficult to make. The best part is, the recipe makes enough for 4 servings, so it looks like Brad and I will have it again tomorrow night.*** 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese 1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese 4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 1/2 lemon, zested 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-drie

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

2 cups butter, softened 2 3/4 cups sugar 6 large eggs 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/8 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (I substituted the nutmeg with cinnamon) 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla extract Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Combine flour, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition just until mixture is blended. Stir in vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack. Source: The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Penne with Oven-Roasted Chicken, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Macaroni Grill Style)

Brad and I had dinner with some friends recently at Macaroni Grill. I had their "Penne with Oven-Roasted Chicken" and fell in love with it. After that, I started on a mission to try and replicate the recipe. The final recipe that I used is a combination of several that I found. I think it comes extremely close. This is our new favorite....Brad loved it! I'll definitely be making it over and over. The sun-dried tomatoes are the best part. Now I want to try and find other recipes that incorporate them. Giada made sun-dried tomato/spinach/cheese stuffed pork chops today on Everyday Italian. I'll probably give those a whirl in the next week or so. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1/2 cup drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, with 1 Tbsp oil reserved 16 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, sliced diagonally into 1/2” pieces 2 - 2.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 cup chicken br

A Sunday Snapping Photos

Well, I have to admit...I didn't do a bit of cooking today (unless throwing together some chicken salad sandwiches counts). However, I did manage to snap a few neat shots in the kitchen...that counts, right? I got brave and tried out Brad's macro lens. Here are a few of the results: A girl can't have a "Sugar & Spice" food blog without taking a picture of some sugar and spice...! An addiction of ours....Starbuck's coffee... My beloved cookbook collection... I really liked this one....I think it's a neat shot of "Black Betsy." =) I did get a new cookbook today...I'm excited to try it out. It's this one:

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

I made this for dinner tonight, and the results were a pleasant surprise. The pecans added the nicest good! If you like fish, you have to try this. The fish just melts in your mouth. I did not have any bread crumbs on hand, so I had to leave those out. It turned out yummy anyway. Ingredients: 1/2 cup pecan pieces 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup flour 1/2 cup reduced-fat milk 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute) 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt 1/4 cup canola oil Steps: 1. Chop pecans finely (like coarse bread crumbs). I chopped mine in the food processor; combine with bread crumbs in medium bowl. Place flour in second medium bowl. Blend milk and egg together in third medium bowl. That's Sal holding my IPOD...he's a big help! =) 2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium 1–2 minutes. Sprinkle both sides of fish with Lawry's seasoned salt. 3. Dip fillets in flour (coating both sides) then dip into egg mixture (allowing excess to drip off). Fi

Cheese Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts

1 14-16 oz. package cheese ravioli (frozen or fresh) 1/3 cup olive oil 1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts, roughly chopped 1 clove garlic, sliced 2 tsp. lemon juice Kosher salt and pepper 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ***I added some baked chicken to this recipe to give it that extra something .*** Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 3 tbsp. of the cooking water. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, the parsley, and the reserved cooking water. Add the ravioli and toss to coat. Divide among individual plates and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Source: Real Simple magazine

Coconut Cream Cake

I just finished making this cake for Brad's birthday tomorrow. I usually make a carrot cake, but he wanted something a little different this year. He requested a coconut cake, and I couldn't think of a better place to find a good recipe than Southern Living . They seem to have the very best cakes. I can't wait to try this tomorrow! I'll post more pics once we cut it. I hope it tastes as good as it looks! 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring (I couldn't find this at the grocery store, so I substituted it with a little extra vanilla extract) 1/2 cup water 1 tbsp. sugar Coconut Frosting 3 cups flaked coconut Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning

Red Lobster Style Cheese Biscuits

If you go to Red Lobster mainly for the biscuits (like me), then you will love these. They taste just like the real thing. 2 cups bisquick 1 cup cheddar cheese 2/3 cup milk ¼ tsp. garlic salt 4 tbsp. butter, melted ¼ tsp. parsley Preheat oven to 450º F In a large mixing bowl, combine bisquick, cheese, and milk. Mix together until a soft dough forms then beat vigorously for 30 seconds. On an ungreased baking pan, spoon the dough onto the pan in small balls. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them though, they tend to bake quickly! While they are baking, combine the melted butter, garlic salt, and parsley. Once the biscuits are done cooking, brush the butter mixture onto the biscuits while they are still on the baking pan. Best served when warm. If you want, mix in a pinch of garlic salt and parsley into the dough before baking. This little addition makes the recipe even better! Source: Betonya Hunt - Thanks Betonya!!! =)

Chocolate Peppermint "Sprinkles" Cupcakes

Okay, these cupcakes aren't exactly made from scratch, but I felt that I simply had to include them in this blog. If you haven't heard about a little place called Sprinkles Cupcakes out in Beverly Hills, then you are missing out. A woman named Candace Nelson started Sprinkles and it has quickly become a huge hit...the bakery even has a big celebrity following. We don't have a Sprinkles in Birmingham...maybe one day. Until that day, we will have to settle for buying the mix and making them ourselves. The mix came in a cute little tin with very detailed directions. The only place that you can purchase it is Williams-Sonoma....that I know of. I recently made the Chocolate Peppermint flavor....I also have the Red Velvet mix, which I will post pics of when I make it. So, if you're craving a cupcake anytime HAVE to try these....they're de-lish!