Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Side Salad

I'm always trying to find different salad dressings that I love besides Ranch. I found this dressing made by Kraft called Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan and I do like it a lot! I decided to make a salad out of it with what I had on hand. It consists of the following:

Leafy green lettuce
Feta Cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing

Very Delicious. Here are the results:

Chicken Parmigiana

I'm all for simple dinners that taste delicious! Some recipes for chicken parmigiana are too time comsuming. This one from is very simple. I like to use Hunt's pre-made sauces. Although I usually like the chunky vegetable one, for this recipe I like either garlic and onion or four cheese flavored sauce.

Chicken Parmigiana

1 egg, beaten
2 ounces dry bread crumbs
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
2.Pour egg into a small shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then into the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
3.Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 7x11 inch baking dish. Place chicken over sauce, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top and return to the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Here are the results:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuscan Lentil Stew

My dear Mom gave me a little crock pot cookbook from Pillsbury the other day. I love using the crockpot and quickly thumbed through it to see what I could make with the ingredients I had on hand. This stew turned out pretty good. It was a recipe I'd make again but nothing that blew me away. It was very flavorful and reheated nicely too. Good way to get your lentils in also.

1 1/4 cups Progresso chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup dried lentils, sorted, rinsed
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (I used red because it's all I had)
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes,undrained
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes(I omitted because I'm a sissy)
fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded

Spray 4-to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix all ingredients except spinach and cheese.
Cover, cook on Low heat setting 8-10 hours.
Stir in spinach. Cover about 5 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Here are the results:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Banana Ice Cream Shake

I love it when I can find a recipe for things I have on hand and I don't have to rush out to the store. I had some bananas I had to use and decided a shake sounded good. I've tried to make a lot of Banana flavored shakes but they never turn out just right. THIS recipe, however, was just perfect. (I put my changes in bold)

Banana Ice Cream Shake
1 banana, peeled and chopped (I used 2)
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
2 egg white (I omitted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a blender, combine banana, ice cream, milk, egg white and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Here are the results:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

I have started cooking again! Hallelujah! I took such a long break because I had morning sickness for about 3 months straight and nothing ever sounded good to me. It's good to be back.

The very first thing I cooked, I have mentioned before here on my blog, it's Homemade Chicken Fettuccine and it was fabulous if I do say so myself. It's very simple and a co-worker, who claims to be a novice cook, saw it on my blog and made it and loved. So try it out if you haven't yet.

For Christmas Eve, I decided to do something special for my husband and I. I had cooked this lamb chop recipe once before on Easter and it was fabulous! Lamb chops, the Lamb of God, there's some symbolism right? Anyways, it was SO delicious. Definitely a five-star recipe in our book. The only problem I have is actually finding lamb chops at the store. Shallots can be somewhat difficult also and the only place I could find both was at Reams.

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
4 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter

  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.
  3. Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. If you don't, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.
The picture really doesn't do it justice. I should have taken a picture with the whole plate. I served it with red mashed potatoes and a salad.