Monday, January 30, 2012

Braised Chicken and Artichokes

I can't believe January is almost over already, the month has flown by. Today I will share another recipe from Sunset Quick Cooking for Two, my Goodwill score.

recipe from Sunset Quick Cooking for Two

You really don't need a lot of ingredients for this meal, but it has a lot of great flavor and textures.

You need some mushrooms, chicken thighs, chicken broth, marinated artichokes, tomato paste, onion and balsamic vinegar.

lobed onion
Look at that awesome onion, I just love food.

Slice it up

chicken leg parts
I get my chicken from the Asian market so its not always perfectly cut thigh meat, which is totally fine with me.

artichoke marinade
Instead of oil, you want to put some of the artichoke marinade in the pan.

in the pot
Drop in the chicken and brown it on all sides.

browning the chicken
Looking good! Once they are browned, get them out of there.

lots of mushrooms
Add in the mushrooms and onions and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring while they cook.

chicken broth and tomato paste in
Add in the tomato paste, more artichoke marinade, and the chicken broth, give it a stir.

almost ready to eat
Put the chicken back in and put the artichokes around it. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and put a lid on it. Let it cook for about 15 minutes.

getting delicious with the vinegar
Pull the chicken out again and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Let this cook for about 2 minutes and you are ready to serve.

Braised Chicken and Artichokes
Now there is really no way to make this look good that I could find, so here it is. Trust me, it is delicious. I had leftovers so the next day I turned it into a soup by chopping up the chicken and adding about a cup and half of broth.

Leftovers as soup
Delicious! I love to take leftovers and make them into a quick and easy soup.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Favorite Things #5 - Wings!

One of my favorite things in the world is chicken wings, I love them. However, eating fried wings all of the time just isn't something I can do if I want to still be able to fit in my clothes.

I was quite pleased when I saw a good baked wing recipe on My Bizzy Kitchen, a blog I read often.

Now the site has a great home made sauce recipe, but I like mine with just good old Franks Red Hot...

Oven baked chicken wings

If you are a fan of wings go visit her site and give them a try.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Asian Slaw with Coconut Peanut Topping

I hope you are all having a nice start to your week! Congrats to anyone who is a Giants or Patriots fan, it should be a good Super Bowl this year. Of course it would be better if the Steelers were in it, but I guess we can give some other teams a turn.

This week's recipe comes from Sunset's Quick Cooking for Two, which I picked up at Goodwill after having it on my Amazon wish list for months. I love when stuff like that happens.

Asian Slaw with Coconut Peanut Topping

Lets gather up some ingredients!

The recipe called for a couple of different types of cabbage and carrots, I went the lazy route and just bought a bagged cole slaw. You will also need some oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, cumin, chili oil, lime, coconut, peanuts, garlic and green onion. The recipe also called for cilantro but you will never see that being used by me on this blog. Ever.

So lets start to prep, I don't put anything on the stove until I am totally ready.

green onion
Chop the green onion.

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, garlic and ginger. This will be your dressing.

Now we can move to the stove.

pan ful of yum
Get the oil, lime juice, coconut, cumin and peanuts in a pan over medium high heat. Keep these moving around so you don't burn it.

When it is toasty get it off the heat.

crunchy veggie bowl
Pour all your veggies in a bowl.

getting good
Pour on the dressing and give it a good toss. You are ready to serve!

Asian Slaw with Coconut Peanut Topping
This can be a great side dish or a main dish salad. The flavors are perfect together and the salad has just the right amount of crunch. I will definitely be making this again.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Favorite Things #4 - My Husband

About a month ago our microwave broke, right in the middle of cooking some pasta. This is the same day our garage door broke as well. We got the garage door fixed right away and a new microwave arrived and then sat in the garage. I didn't miss it and neither did the husband. We finally got some help to install it tonight and we have a new microwave...who knows when it will actually get used.

BUT I want to say that while my husband may be the most frustration inducing eater on the planet, he is pretty darn awesome. He made sure everything with the installation was perfect, cleaned up after, and then reinforced the exhaust pipe.

Tom and Tanner working hard

Of course you can see he did have some highly qualified help :)

If you have a great husband, give him a hug and tell him Thank You for just being awesome. Life is too short not to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs

I have made these ribs a couple of times and I cannot tell you how easy they are. This is not a single portion meal but that is just because I love the leftovers too. Preheat your oven to 400 and lets get started.

simple ingredients
You just need the ribs, some grill seasoning, salt and whatever sauce you like. I love Sweet Baby Ray's sauce.

spice rubbed
Rub the meat with your grill seasoning and salt.

rubbed up and ready to bake
Put it on some nonstick foil and get it in the oven. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, then give it a flip and leave it in for another 20 minutes.

Let the rack rest for about 5-10 minutes and then we make the cuts!

Chop it into individual servings.

Get the ribs in the crock pot and drown in the sauce. Pop on the lid and put it on low for about 6-8 hours.

Crockpot Baby Back Ribs and Couscous salad
I served them up with some couscous salad which didn't turn out that great, but the ribs were DELICIOUS! I hope you give them a try and that you like them as much as I do.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Favorite Things #3 - the Joe installment

So this week my favorite things are all about Joe. Not my super sweet and awesome dog Joe Stains but these Joes...

two of my favorite things right now!

If you don't know, I am an avid reader, last year I read 73 books and I hope to do more this year. I have read all of Robert Crais's books and this is a novel about one of his characters, Joe Pike. I recommend the Elvis Cole series (where Joe Pike was first introduced) if you haven't already read them.

The other Joe is Trader Joes, one of my favorite places on earth. If you are fortunate to have one near you I urge you to go grab a bag of these baked onion rings. If you have other snackers in your house you must then hide them. My husband and I each get a bag when we go because we both love them so much.

What are you reading right now that you think I might like? Any Trader Joes items you love that I should check out?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Snack Bars

So this recipe is a little different than what I usually make on the blog. These are snack bars you can make out of some cereal and a few other ingredients. I am not a big breakfast person so these were nice to have around over the holidays when I was headed out a lot to shop and do errands.

The recipe is from Betty Crocker's Just the Two Of Us cookbook.

You will need some brown sugar, peanuts or any kind of nuts you like, honey, cereal, peanut butter and some cinnamon. The great thing about these bars is you can really just use whatever you like in them.

Chop up your nuts.

brown sugar
Measure out your tightly packed brown sugar.

sweet spot
Get it in the pan with the honey.

Get it just to boiling over medium heat and then remove it from the burner.

this looks like heaven
Stir in the peanut butter and the cinnamon. This looks like a pan full of sweet delicious heaven to me and it smells amazing.

add in the remaining stuff
Stir in the cereal and peanuts until everything is coated.

making Peanut Butter Snack Bars in pyrex
Press it all into a greased loaf pan and walk away! I let mine sit for about an hour before I cut into it.

one giant snack bar
I flipped it out of the loaf pan and had a giant snack bar!

Peanut Butter Snack Bars
They fell apart a little bit and were sort of messy to eat, but they were so delicious. I want to make them again with total and cranberries instead of the raisins. You could kick these up by adding flax seed as well for added health benefits.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Favorite things number 2

Today while cleaning the garage I found some old flyers from some shows I went to many years ago. I had so much fun going to shows with my friends back in the day, now I am lucky if I get to a couple a year. I guess I am getting old because they just aren't that fun anymore.

BUT here are some that were totally awesome...

This was amazing
This was a weekend show that I was able to go to on my first visit back to PA after moving to AZ. It was such a great show and I saw it with some of my best friends.

Probably my favorite Weston show
The band Weston is my favorite band EVER. This show was in the town where I grew up and went to college. The last band was actually my boyfriend of the time's band.

What are some things you liked doing when you were younger but now just don't have the same appeal?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hungry Girl's Big Bad Burger Wrap

It is the start of a new year and everyone wants to eat better. I recently watched the Hungry Girl show on the Food Network and really liked all the tips and tricks she had for being smart about the food you eat. I picked up her cookbook of 200 things under 200 calories (not the exact name but close enough) and made these wraps and now my husband makes them at least once a week.

Big Bad Burger Wrap

Most of these ingredients you probably already have. You need ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, pickles, fake burger, whole wheat wrap and some Laughing Cow Cheese.

Get your tortilla in the microwave or toaster oven and mix up your sauce.

burgers cooking
Cook the fake burger on the stove or in the microwave.

Smear the cheese on the warm tortilla.

chopped meat
Chop up the burger.

Big Bad Burger Wrap
Put everything on the tortilla and roll it up. It is ready to eat!

Big Bad Burger Wrap
Not the most attractive thing I ever made but it was tasty, quick, and not that bad for me! The fact that my husband now makes it for himself is also testament to how good and simple it is.