Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pam Wamsley's Casserole

I got this one from my aunt, who got it from her friend Pam Wamsley. My uncle has heart issues, so my aunt modified to reduce the fat and cholesterol a bit. I'll put in the original ingredients, along with her modifications....

- 2-1/2 to 3 pound chicken, cooked and off the bone (or take the easy way like me, and cook up about 2 pounds of chicken tenderloins)
- 1 12-serving package of Stove Top stuffing mix
- 1 can cream of chicken soup (use low-sodium, low-fat, or whatever version)
- 1-1/2 sticks of butter (margarine)
- 1 cup sour cream (fat-free)
- 1-1/2 cup chicken stock (2 chicken bouillion (sp?) cubes dissolved in 1-1/2 cups boiling water)
- canned cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, melt the butter, then stir in stuffing. Mix well, do not add water. Spread 3/4 of this mixture in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Lay pieces of chicken on top.

In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, soup, and just 1 cup chicken stock. Pour or spoon over the chicken and stuffing.

Spread the rest of the stuffing on top, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of stock on top.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Serve with cranberry sauce on the side. (In my opinion, the cranberry is necessary. Its sweetness/tartness really complements the dish well.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pizza Pasta Salad

I made this one up, but I'm sure I heard from somewhere that you could do it. Anyway, I don't like traditional pasta salads, and I was in the mood for pizza. This stuff is good.

- cooked pasta (we had two partial boxes of rotini and bowties, but use whatever you've got)
- pepperoni (we got a log(?) of pepperoni, sliced it thickly, and then cut each slice into quarters, but if you've got slices, just cut 'em up)
- mozzarella cheese, diced (big or small, whaever you'd like)
- 1 small can of sliced olives
- Italian dressing

Mix everything in a big bowl, using enough dressing to coat, but not get soupy at the bottom. Chill and eat. Delish!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sour cherry-fruit slump

The picture accompanying this article looked so good I wanted to lick the page. I decided instead to make the recipe, and had to restrain myself from licking the hot goo out of the pan right now.
I've discovered (I think, anyway) that tart and sour cherries are the same thing. I'll be picking many, many pounds of these suckers on Sunday, and freezing them so I can eat this all year round. This time, I used canned pie cherries in water, and they worked just fine. I also used some blackberries left over from last year's picking (left them frozen and threw them in the pan) and a handful of fresh blueberries I had.
Enough talk. Cooking instructions now.

from Eating Well

3/4 cup sugar, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
4 cups fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained) pitted sour cherries)
1 3/4 cups blueberries, blackberries and/or chopped (unpeeled) purple plums

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Sources)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into bits
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, plus more as needed (I used regular 2% milk, because that's what I had)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for garnish

1. To prepare fruit: Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a 9- to 10-inch non-reactive deep-sided skillet or 3-quart wide-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven . Stir in cranberry (or orange) juice and lemon zest, then the cherries and other fruit. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar if desired.
2. To prepare dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add butter and oil. Using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, mixing with a fork just until incorporated. The dough should be very soft and slightly wet; if necessary, stir in a little more buttermilk. Let the dough stand for 3 to 4 minutes to firm up slightly.
3. To finish: Use lightly oiled soup spoons to scoop up the dough, dropping it in 8 portions onto the fruit, spacing them evenly over the surface. Return the slump to the stovetop and adjust the heat so it simmers very gently. Cover the pot tightly, and continue simmering until the dumplings are very puffy and cooked through, 17 to 20 minutes. Cut into the center dumpling with a paring knife to check for doneness. Let the slump cool on a wire rack, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dumplings. Serve warm.

Per serving: 301 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 2 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 295 mg sodium; 178 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv). Exchanges: 1 fruit; 2 other carbohydrates; 1 1/2 fat; 4 Carbohydrate Servings.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

berry cobbler

My friend and I used about a third of the eight pounds of strawberries we picked this weekend to make this cobbler...

from the Best Light Recipe

This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13x9 inch dish -- you may need to increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure not to combine the wet and dry biscuit ingredients until the filling is ready. Before you assemble the filling, first taste the berries. Add the smaller amount of sugar if the berries are on the sweet side, and more sugar if the fruit is tart.

30 oz (6 c) blueberries, rinsed and picked over
1/4-1/3 c sugar
2 T juice from 1 lemon
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t ground cinnamon

1 c (5 oz) unbleached flour
3 T yellow cornmeal
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 c buttermilk
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon

1. For the filling:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fruit filling ingredients together in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the fruit releases its liquid and is hot and bubbling around the edges, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. For the biscuit topping:
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cornmeal, 1/4 c of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter and vanilla together; set aside. In a third small bowl, mix the remaining 2 t sugar with the cinnamon; set aside.

3. When the filling is ready, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined and no pockets of flour remain. Remove the cobbler filling from the oven and stir. Pinch off 8 equal pieces of the biscuit dough and arrange them on top of the hot filling, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with the cinnamon sugar.

4. Continue to bake the cobbler until the biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through and the filling is again hot and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack for 15 min before serving.

Strawberry variation:
Follow the blueberry cobbler recipe, making the following changes: Substitute 2 quarts strawberries, rinsed and hulled, for the blueberries. Omit the cinnamon. Substitute 1 t vanilla for the lemon juice.

herbed zucchini noodles

The best thing about this was the zucchini shaved with the vegetable peeler -- the texture was different and a little odd, but I liked it.

from Calorie Commando, a Food Newtork show I've never heard of

2 large zucchini
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
4 ounces egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Parmesan, freshly grated (I used like 7 times this much. :) )

Carefully drag a vegetable peeler the length of the zucchini to create long strands. Discard centers with the seeds.

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat with the butter. Add the zucchini and quickly toss to coat with the butter. Add parsley, thyme, oregano, and lemon pepper. Toss again and warm through, about 1 minute. Add the egg noodles. Toss once again until pasta is warmed through but zucchini remains crisp tender. Taste and adjust flavor with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Toss again and serve warm.

thai-style stir-fry with shrimp

My first time ever cooking shrimp: a success! This was really simple and surprisingly good.

From the website of the farmshare we belong to:

6-8 oz rice noodles
1 lb. stir fry greens
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs. fish sauce
2 tbs. hot sauce (Asian type)
2 tbs. sugar or honey
2 tbs. oil
12 medium shrimp (or substitute chicken or tofu)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic

Prepare Asian noodles (rice can be substituted).

Make sauce by combining vinegar, fish sauce, hot sauce and sugar. Heat wok over medium heat and coat with oil. Sauté onions and add garlic. Add sauce and heat to simmering point. If using chicken, add next and cook until done. If using tofu or shrimp add and stir quickly until coated; add other ingredients. Cook until shrimp is pink and greens are wilted. Do not overcook shrimp.

Serve over noodles. Garnish with uncooked stir-fry greens and lime wedges.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mango sorbet

We dusted off the ice cream maker yesterday and tried our hands at some mango sorbet. Yum. We didn't do all the fancy freezing in the shell bit, but I'm sure it'd be pretty.


4 ripe mangoes (about 3 1/2 pounds total)
1 cup Simple Syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

Using a sharp knife, remove the 2 flat sides of each mango, cutting lengthwise alongside pit and cutting as close to pit as possible so that mango flesh is in 2 large pieces. With a spoon carefully scoop flesh from mango sides into a blender, leaving shells intact. With a knife cut remaining flesh from pit and add to blender. Add syrup and lime juice to blender and purée until smooth. Put mango shells on baking sheet and freeze while making sorbet. Freeze mango purée in an ice-cream maker. Scoop sorbet into frozen shells, mounding slightly, and smooth surfaces. Freeze filled mango shells at least 6 hours, or until frozen hard. Frozen sorbets in shells may be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and kept in freezer 1 week.

Marinated Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Relish

We'll be eating this one later this week.

from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup diced peeled mango
1/2 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
To prepare salmon, combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate 10 minutes, turning occasionally. While fish marinates, heat grill pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bag, discarding marinade. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. While fish cooks, prepare the relish. Combine mango and the remaining ingredients. Serve over fish.

Linguine with red clam sauce

I was a little afraid of the anchovies in this one, but it turned out really well.

from Rachel Ray's Express Lane meals

Coarse salt
1 pound linguine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 3 turns of the pan
One 2-ounce can flat anchovy fillets, drained
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine (a couple of glugs)
Two 14-ounce cans whole baby clams in juice, 1 can drained
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (2 handfuls)
Grated lemon zest, for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente.
2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add the EVOO (3 turns of the pan) and the anchovies and cook until the anchovies melt into the oil.
3. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the onion, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the wine and cook 1 minute, then stir in the clams with their juice plus the drained clams. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute to concentrate the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste the sauce before seasoning it; there's so much salt in the anchovies and clams that you may not need to add any).
4. Drain the linguine, return it to the pot and add the sauce. Add half the parsley and toss. Adjust the salt and pepper and plate the pasta. Garnish it with the remaining parsley and a little lemon zest.

pan-fried onion dip

I will try to clean up the sidebars and add all the new recipes sometime this week. Maybe I can get Gwen to help. (nudge nudge)

from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa cookbook

2 large yellow onions
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Cut the onions in half, then slice them into 1/8-inch half rounds. Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper and saute for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until the onions are browned and carmelized. Allow the onions to cool.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings.
Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Spinach Orzo Stuff

This isn't really a recipe, but something I've made a couple of times recently and Gwen asked me to post the "recipe."

I just made some orzo pasta. While it was cooking, I sauteed some chopped garlic in olive oil, and then added spinach and artichoke hearts. I used frozen for both of those, because it's what I had, but any kind would do. When it was all finished, I threw it together in a big bowl and added diced tomatoes and feta cheese and mixed it all together. Tasty. :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

fennel cyooleeeeee...fennel cyoolaaah...

...a knapsack on my back!

two yummy fennel recipes:

roasted root veggies
1-2 lb. root veggies of choice chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
(sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, shallots, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, etc)
1 fennel bulb, rinsed and chopped into 1/2 chunks
1/2-1 garlic bulb, broken up into cloves, skin-on
toss with olive oil, salt & pepper
sprigs of thyme or rosemary

Spread in a roasting pan and place in 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Toss veggies, add a liberal sprinkle of parmesan and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
Serve with fresh crusty bread.

(I did it in a casserole dish and everything but the onions and fennel came out the texture of baby food, but I loved it. The only challenge is making sure you're watching out for garlic skins.)

fennel slaw
(on the Ocean Mist fennel bulb wrapper)
2 fennel bulbs
2 oranges
1/3-1/2 C bottled sweet poppyseed dressing
salt & pepper
Rinse fennel and cut bulbs in half.
Slice thin crosswise (perpendicular to the stripes in the bulb)
Zest oranges, then peel with knife and cut into 1/2 inch sections, working over the bowl to save the juice.
Stir dressing into reserved juice and zest. Add sliced fennel and toss.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate up to several hours in advance.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I raided Ernie's brother's garden this morning before we left to come home...and he kept telling me to cut down more dill, which was seriously taking over the entire plot (and was taller than The Gabs).
So, what to do with all the dill? I'm going to use some tomorrow to stuff a whole tilapia we bought this weekend -- we're going to stuff the fish with dill and lemon, and then grill it.
But seriously? That doesn't even dent the amount of dill I've got. Anyone have any suggestions? He said I could dry it, but I'd prefer to use it fresh if I can, I think. He'll be coming at the end of the month, and said he'd bring me more then. :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Zucchini Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

From: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

Hey! I finally cooked something again that turned out good! This dish was very tasty. It was written as a vegetarian main dish, but I think it would also be very good as a side dish.

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock or reduced-sodium broth
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, finely chopped
4 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/3 cups arborio rice
16 sun-dried tomato halves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh marjoram, or 1/2 tsp dried
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley to garnish

In medium saucepan, combine the stock and tomato juice: Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Saute the shallots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and wine. Cook until the zucchini is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice. Cook, stirring about 1 minute.

Add 1 cup of the stock mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and marjoram. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the stock is absorbed before adding more, until the rice is just tender. Total cooking time should be about 25-30 minutes. Stir in the cheese and pepper. Serve at once, garnished with parsley.

Makes 4 entree servings, 1 1/2 cups each (7pts), or more servings as a side dish.

** Notes: I didn't have any marjoram, so I used thyme instead. Also, I didn't want to open a whole bottle of wine to use 1/2 cup, so I just used 1/2 cup of vegetable stock instead of the wine. The flavor was still very good.