Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bon Voyage Soup

This looks very similar to my New Orleans Bean Soup. We are leaving on vacation for 3 weeks and I was trying to clean-out my refrigerator.  I had two sweet potatoes, a large onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 6 carrots, 1/4 head of cabbage, about 2 cups of cooked pinto beans, a carton of chicken stock, a can of diced tomatoes, and about 10 chicken tenders in the freezer. I added a little oil in the bottom of my dutch oven, added the onion and garlic. Then started adding carrots, sweet potato, and cabbage.   I let these cook about 15 minutes while I browned the chicken in a separate pot. After the chicken was done, I added that to the pot along with the pinto beans, chicken stock, and diced tomatoes.  It cooked another hour until the vegetables were fork tender.  I was a little surprised that it turned out so good.  Jud made some cornbread and that was dinner.  Oh, I also added 2 limes that I cut in half.  It added a little something that I really liked.  My refrigerator is ready for us to leave on vacation.  I'm ready and packed.  I just have to wait until my ticket says it is time to go.  Bon Voyage. See you in 3 weeks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicken Parmigiana

4 whole boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed and Pounded Flat
1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 whole medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup wine (white or red is fine)
3 can (14.5oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pound thin Linguine
Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate. Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside. At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente. Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm. Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste. Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lighten-Up cheesy Pastitsio

This recipe made enough for two good-size meals. Jud liked it better than me.  At least I have one in the freezer for another time.  I love when that happens.  This recipe comes from Eat Yourself Skinny - blog

Printable Recipe:

8 oz. uncooked penne or rotini pasta
Cooking spray
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
1/2 tablespoon olive oil- I didn't use this because I cooked my onions and garlic with the meat.
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fat-free milk
1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz fat-free cream cheese
3/4 cup (3oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat broiler.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat and drain. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan and saute for about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan and drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan. Swirl to coat then add onions. Saute for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beef; sprinkle with salt. Stir in milk, tomatoes, and cream cheese, stirring until smooth; bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.
Spoon pasta mixture into a 13" X 9" broiler-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Broil 4 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!

Lemon Basil Chicken

I used chicken tenders for this recipe instead of whole chicken breasts. I made 7 which was just about perfect for 2 people. I got this recipe from:

Printable Recipe:

5 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup white wine (chose whatever wine you like to drink)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 large bunch of basil, julienned and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice of one lemon
To obtain more flavorful and juicer meat, always brine in advance. This is a tenique I just tried for the first time and I noticed a HUGE difference. For boneless, skinless chicken breasts you only need to let the chicken brine for 30-60 minutes. In a large plastic bag (or glass bowl or dish) , pour 1 quart of cold water, 1/2 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well, place chicken in bag and let sit for 30 minutes- 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and let cook for about 1 minute, you don't want to burn the garlic. Remove from heat. Stir in wine, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken breasts in a baking dish. Season breasts with salt and pepper. Pour lemon basil sauce over chicken and bake 30-40 minutes. Keep covered and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tacos Al Pastor with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Jud grilled a whole pork tenderloin and I cut it in half.  The first night, we had pork tenderloin with the pineapple salsa, corn, and carrots.  Two nights later, I cut the pork in bite-size pieces and made tacos. I was out of pineapple salsa and didn't want to make another trip to the grocery store, so we just put the pork on a tortilla and ate it. Just a quick easy supper.

Ingredients for the pork:
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Ingredients for the Salsa:
4 (1/2 inch thick) slices fresh pineapple
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
8 lime wedges
1. To prepare pork, preheat the grill to high heat.
2. Mince chipotle chile. Combine chipotle and oil in a small bowl; rub evenly over pork. Combine oregano and the next 4 ingredients (through black pepper). Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork, and let stand for 30 minutes. Place the pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 145 degrees. Remove pork from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Coarsely chop pork; keep warm.
3. To prepare salsa, place pineapple on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 5 minutes on each side. Coarsely chop pineapple, and place in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeno); toss to combine.
4. Warm the tortillas according to package directions. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and divide pork evenly among tortillas. Top each taco with about 3 tablespoons salsa. Serve with lime wedges.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Broiled Tilapia with Tomato-Caper Salsa

The tilapia was great, but the salsa was the star of the meal. We ate every bite of the salsa. It would be good on pork or chicken also.
This came from Cooking Light - December 2005

Ingredients for the Salsa:
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
Directions for Salsa:
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.  Set aside.
Directions for the Fish:
Brush fish with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Arrange fish in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4-8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with the salsa.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thai Chicken Wraps

 This is a really good Chicken Wrap that would be good for lunch or dinner.  This comes from  I found him on pineterest.

Printable Version:  Thai Chicken Wraps
Ingredients for the Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Ingredients for the Veggie Saute:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
To Wrap:
6--12-inch tortillas
3 cups warm, cooked Jasmine rice (Any rice will do)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Chopped roasted, salted peanuts
For the Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Combine garlic, pepper, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture onto both sides of the chicken. Preheat the broiler to high (or use a gas or charcoal grill) and broil (or grill) the chicken about 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and tent with foil. Let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
Combine all the peanut sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, cabbage, carrots, ginger, and garlic. Saute the mixture, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp tender. Place a scoop of warm rice on a tortilla. Top with sliced chicken, sauteed vegetables and sprinkle the roasted peanuts and green onions on top. Drizzle peanut sauce over the top. Roll up tightly and serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Double Orange Glazed Pork Chops

I made these a while back and I didn't think they had enough orange flavor.  I think I used prepared orange juice instead of fresh squeezed. This time I used 4 oranges and zested two of the oranges to pump-up the flavor.  I cut off the white part and used my juicer. Much better this time. This comes from Paula Deen of Food Network.

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1  center-cut bone-in pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together the orange juice and marmalade.  If you choose to add the zest of two oranges, you add it here. Set aside.
Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chops with the salt and pepper. Add the chops and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 6-8 minutes total. Transfer the chops to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of drippings from the skillet and add the orange juice mixture. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is reduced and slightly syrupy, 6-8 minutes. Return the pork chops to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, turning the pork chops a few times in the sauce.
Transfer the chops to a serving dish and drizzle with some of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce into a bowl and serve alongside the chops.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Power drink

On mornings that I don't cook breakfast, I have this simple drink that I mix in my blender.  It lasts me about 3 hours and then I need a little fruit until lunch.

8 oz almond milk
1 Tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon protein powder
1/4 cup frozen fruit
4-5 frozen banana slices -When my bananas get to the point of needing to be used, I cut them in rounds and put them in a plastic dish in my freezer.

Blend until smooth.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthy Chicken

This recipe comes from Celebrate San Antonio Cookbook.  When Jud and I came to San Antonio 14 years ago to pastor Woodland Baptist Church, we were given this cookbook.  It is a fond memory to cook from this book.  It calls to put this over rice.  I can't imagine that a rice farmer's daughter would have no rice in her pantry, but that is exactly what happened.  I know, I should be sent back to the farm for such silliness, but I put it over some bow tie pasta and it was fine.  Really dad, it was fine. I cut the recipe in 1/2.

4 chicken breasts, skinned and cut in 1/2 inch cubes  I didn't do this.   As you can see, I wanted mine whole.
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
2 cups chopped tomatoes, peeled  If you place them in boiling water for 30 seconds they will peel easily
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
fresh ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped parsley
In a large skillet, heat oil and saute onions. Add mushrooms, garlic, celery, oregano and basil cooking for 1 minute. Add green peppers and cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add wine, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and mix well. Set aside. In another skillet, heat 1/2 the margarine and add half the chicken and sprinkle with black pepper and salt. Cook over high heat, stirring until pieces are lightly browned. Do not overcook. Set aside and repeat with remaining chicken.Place all chicken in skillet and pour sauce over chicken stirring gently to combine. Simmer 1 minute. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mirror Redo

This is the mirror with the corner pieces glued
in place.  Be sure to tape them until the glue sets.
What has been cooking the last few days at the Edwards' you may ask.  O.K. so you didn't ask. I'm telling you anyway.  I saw a great idea on Pintrest and decided to try having my mirrors framed in the bathroom.  I had that ugly builders mirror in both of the bathrooms.  I'll spare you looking at them both, since that are just alike, same molding and everything. This is where I got the how-to

This is the molding and corner pieces
I choose to use. I bought the kind you
paint yourself.

This is the finished mirror in the
master bath
This is the finished mirror in
the guest bath.

Of course, when you redo the mirrors, you see that you need to redo the wallpaper.  I would love to take it all down and just paint, but talk about a big job.  Don't know if I'm ready to take-that-on.
One thing that they didn't tell you in the tutorial from diy was that there are mirror clips that you have to notch around. I also had those ugly rosettes they screw on the mirror.  Fortunately, I got new counter tops and they had to remove the mirrors anyway. So they glued them on the wall and put the clips on the top and bottom.  I also need to tell you that I didn't do this myself.  I have a handy-man that does many of those kinds of jobs around The Edwards' house.

Salisbury Steak

I found this recipe in my "Healthy Meals for Hurried Families" by Jan Tilley.  Jud loves the Salisbury steak at Luby's so I thought I would try this recipe. I really liked the onions and gravy.  I made my own gravy and I will tell you how I did it after the recipe.

Printable Recipe
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef (I only used 1 pound and I had 4 nice-size patties. Plenty for two meals)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup saltine cracker crumbs (I used Ritz crackers because that is what I had)
1 egg slightly beaten
2 tablespoons 1% milk (use whatever you have)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (.75oz) mushroom gravy mix
1. In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, onion, cracker crumbs, egg, milk, salt, and pepper, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
2. Shape hamburger mixture into 4 (1/2" thick) patties
3. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place beef patties in skillet; cook 12-15 minutes or until centers are no longer pink, turning once.
4. Use same skillet with pan drippings to prepare gravy mix according to package directions, drizzle over steak and serve. (My meat was so lean, I didn't have any dripping.  So I added about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the same skillet. After that has heated, I added about 1 tablespoon flour, mixing and then adding about 1 1/2 cups of water.  Allow to boil and thicken.  If you wanted to add mushrooms, I would add those before I added the flour.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicken Taquitos - Baked

I have become addicted to Pintrest.  I found a food blog that I really like. I got this recipe from there. It is   I have never been very fond of taquitos because they are fried and not healthy, but these are really good and make enough for several meals for Jud and me.  I think I may use some of the filling tomorrow to put on hoggie sandwiches. Who says they have to go in corn tortillas and baked.  Not me. 

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts to equal 2 tablespoons
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (Mel makes large batches of chicken in the crockpot with chicken broth and salt, shred it and freeze it for meals like this) (I used some left-over grilled chicken and put it in the food processor to make fine pieces. It was great)
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (use pepperjack if you like a little heat)  I did this
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. In a medium-size bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese. Mix to combine well.
You can prepare this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the refrigerator.
Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwafe for 35-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don't crack while rolling. I put one at a time and microwaved for 20 seconds. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (A few of Mel's wanted to rebel and come unrolled so he stuck a toothpick through them to keep them right and tight).
Place filled taquitos seam-side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch each other. When ready to bak, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher  salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. Taquitos can be dipped in salsa, sour cream, gucamole, or any other combination you can dream up (Mel's kids like ranch dressing - go figure).

This is what I did with the left-over taquito mix

I just took the mixture that I had left-over from the taquitos and put it in the poblano that I cut in 1/2 and removed the seeds and vein. I baked it for about 25 minutes and then poured some of the green salsa mix over and cooked it an additional 5 minutes.  I think I liked it this way better than the taquitos.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Russian beef stroganov

This recipe comes from my Celebrate San Antonio cookbook that I got when we moved to San Antonio.  The fruit salad I got from pintrest. It is just grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.  The dressing is honey and lime juice mixed and poured over the fruit.

Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon sugar, divided use
2 teaspoons salt, divided use
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
4 cups onions, sliced in rings
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 pounds filet of beef, I just used stew meat and it worked out great
1 cup sour cream
In a bowl, combine mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon hot water. Form a thick paste. Let mixture rest at room temperature. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, saute onions and mushrooms and cover pan and cook on low heat. Stir occasionally simmering for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are soft. Drain in colander and discard liquid. Return vegetables to skillet and set aside. Cut beef to make 1-inch cubes.  The stew meat is already cut in small pieces. In a separate skillet with 2 tablespoons of hot oil, fry meat until lightly browned. When cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and add to vegetables.  At this point I let the meat and vegetables simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours so the meat would be tender.  Stir in salt, pepper, and mustard mixture. Stir in sour cream, one tablespoon at a time and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes or until sauce is heated thoroughly. Serve immediately. This recipe is very similar to an original Russian recipe!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pirate Cake Pops

I got this idea from Pintrest and decided to make them for my grandsons' 5th birthday party. I found a picture on pintrest and just tried to copy it.  You can order them from Etsy, but they are pretty expensive. If I had it to do over, I would not do these. It is so much trouble, and he told me last weekend, after I had bought the stuff to make them, that he didn't like cake pops.  Go figure.

The first thing you do is make the cake of your choice as directed on the box.  He wanted strawberry so I bought the cake mix and canned icing.  After the cake is baked you break it up in a bowl and add the icing from the can.  I just did a little at a time, because I wanted to make sure I would have enough icing to do 25 cake pops.  After mixing it well, form them into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. I like them small so that each pop can be put into your mouth in one bite.

Put some sticks in the cake pops and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes.  While the pops are in the freezer, melt the white and red chocolate bark in separate bowls.  Remove the pops one at a time and dip them in the white chocolate. I tried to just cover the bottom part of the stick with the white chocolate so that the top part would not have a double layer of chocolate.  Let the white chocolate harden while you make the remaining pops. You can stick each one in a piece of styrofoam to allow the chocolate to harden. After the white chocolate hardens, dip the top part for the bandanna in melted red bark.  You will want to tilt the top part so that it is not straight across. While the bark is still wet add the dots for the bandanna. I bought multi-colored dots and separated them out for a while, then I decided multicolored would be just fine. I ran out of white chocolate bark and decided to melt some semi-sweet chocolate, but it didn't harden as easily as the bark.

After the bandanna has hardened add the eyes and patch in a tube of black candy writer. I bought mine at a cake decorating place.  You can go on pinterest and type-in pirate cake pops for a better picture.
I decorated the square piece of styrofoam like a pirate ship and push the cake pops into the ship.