Monday, February 23, 2009

Herb-Mustard Marinade

We use this marinade to coat pork chops which we place in a roasting pan and bake at 425 degrees for 25 mins. The recipe book where we found it states that you can also use it on grilled chicken. Just coat the poultry with the marinade during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

In addition, though the recipe calls for fresh parsley, we have replaced it with dried (fresh can be a little pricey) and it tastes the same to us! Just remember the exchange of fresh to dried herbs:
1 tbsp of fresh = 1 tsp of dried


2 tbsp creamy Dijon-style mustard blend
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tbsp water
1/8 tsp ground red pepper


1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Easy!!! Woo hoo!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Olive Chicken with Herbs & Lemon

This is another great recipe sent to me by Allison. Here is what she wrote:

"Ok - this is quite possibly the simplest and yummiest meal I've ever put together. I didn't measure anything - just estimated, threw it together and let it sit while I heated the skillet and browned the garlic and onions."


1 chicken breast (the full heart shaped piece!) sliced or chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup fresh green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
~1/4-1/2 cup red onion, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt (to taste)
Ground pepper (to taste)
Dried basil (~3 tbsp)
Ginger powder or fresh (~1 tsp)
Olive oil


1. Marinate chopped chicken in olive oil, basil, ginger, salt, pepper and lemon zest.
2. Heat skillet on med., then brown onion and garlic in olive oil
3. Add chicken to skillet.
4. For the last 3 minutes, add olives (to warm, don't add to early so it doesn't absorb raw chicken juice)
5. Serve like stir fry: over rice, next to noodles or as the center of a grilled sandwich!

Thanks for sending me this yummy dish!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sicilian Penne w/ Swordfish & Eggplant

This is a recipe I found on the Food Network. I was a little leery at first, but after we finished making it, we LOVED it! This recipe is 4 - 6 servings and we always have a ton leftover which is why I think it makes a great recessipe - just be careful microwaving fish at work! :) We were able to find frozen swordfish at Trader Joe's that were relatively inexpensive.

**Please note that Japanese eggplant is different from American eggplant. American eggplant is typically what you find in grocery stores. Japanese eggplant is much smalller and thinner. We used American eggplant for ours because we couldn't find the Japanese one. Since we have yet to use the Japanese eggplant, I cannot comment on the taste difference; however, we really enjoyed this with the American one. If you choose to make this substitution, one American eggplant is sufficient!**


1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
4 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut lengthwise, then into squares
1 pound swordfish steaks, skins removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups halved teardrop or cherry tomatoes (red, yellow, or a blend)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to pkg instructions. Drain pasta.
2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1/4 cup parsley.
3. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 - 2 mins. (I always found the wording "fragrant" a little odd because, believe me, it is frangrant as soon as it hits the skillet!) :)
4. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 mins. Remove eggplant mixture from the pan and set aside.
5. Season the swordfish cubes with salt and pepper.
6. Using the same pan, over med-high heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and cook the swordfish until opaque, about 5 mins.
7. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated, aboiut 2 mins.
8. Turn off heat.* Add tomatoes, eggplant, cooked pasta, the remaining 1/3 cup parsley and stir.
9. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.** Stir to combine.

*I usually do not turn off the heat at this point, as I like my tomatoes a little more cooked.

**This is another step I typically do not do , as there is usually enough of a sauce to evenly coat the food.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Simple Veggie Sides

Many of our side dishes are cooked in the same way... and they are delicious! For best results, use fresh, not frozen, veggies! Here are a few variations of the same theme:


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash asparagus and trim ends.
3. Spread out the asparagus evenly on a baking sheet (or in a pan).
4. Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
5. Bake for ~15 minutes, rotating occasionally.
6. (optional) When finished, lightly drizzle 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette over asparagus for another variation.


Keep Step 2
3. Heat skillet to med. Place asparagus and 1 - 2 garlic cloves in a pan.
4. Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
5. Saute to taste.


*Thanks to Jennifer for this one! It is excellent! I didn't even know I liked cauliflower or Brussels sprouts (next recipe) until she made them for me.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
3. Spread cauliflower evenly in a baking pan.
4. Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
5. Bake for ~60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Brussels Sprouts

*Thanks again to Jennifer for this one!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and cut Brussels sprouts in half.
3. Spread out evenly in a baking pan.
4. Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
5. Bake for ~60 minutes, stirring occasionally.


*Thanks again to... Jennifer!

1. Wash and remove the tough center stalks of the kale.
2. Heat skillet to med. Place kale and 1 - 2 garlic cloves in a pan.
4. Lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
5. Saute to taste.

In addition, we use this style of cooking with frozen carrots and broccoli we keep on hand for something quick and simple! As you can see, this works for lots of yummy veggies. Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nital's Famous Salad Dressing

Allison and Nital made this for us one time and we loved it! It is a really light dressing that is perfect when you are in the mood for a great salad. Allison makes the dressing in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup (and the ingredients are written to match) so that it is easy to pour when you are finished.

I loved the instructions she sent me, so I am keeping them (see below)!


3 heaping tbsp of horseradish mustard (good brand: Maille)
pour balsamic vinegar over mustard to 1/2 cup mark
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
3-4 quick shakes of garlic powder
3-4 quick shakes of salt
17 cranks of pepper grinder (start with 10, add to taste)
1 tbsp of lime juice (optional)


Stir like a crazy woman (or man) and enjoy!

Allison wrote, "We prefer this dressing over a simple salad of lettuce, red onions, tomatoes and croutons."

Thank you both for sharing your recipe!

Jennifer's Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Asparagus Pasta

This recipe is one of our favorites! Jennifer made it for us one time and we end up eating it at least once every other week. It is easy to make and super yummy! The sun-dried tomatoes must be the ones that are in the jar of olive oil. Trader Joe's sells a jar where the tomatoes are already cut julienne style. The chicken is not necessary but it makes a great meal.


8 oz penne pasta
1 pkg asparagus, cut into penne pasta sized pieces
~20 pieces sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, cut into penne pasta sized pieces
olive oil
1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
bread crumbs


1. Saute breaded chicken in a little bit of olive oil, turning once so it is fully cooked.
2. Meanwhile, bring water for pasta to a boil.
3. Remove chicken from pan and place somewhere to keep warm.
4. In same pan add a little more olive oil and some oil from the sun-dried tomatoes container (this will end up coating the pasta as a sauce).
5. Saute asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes on med. heat. Cook to taste.
6. Drain pasta and add to pan with asparagus and tomatoes. Stir until pasta, asparagus, and tomatoes are well blended.
7. Serve with chicken!

We have found that we like this meal with chicken that is thinly sliced.

Thanks, Jennifer, for this great recipe!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Add Your Own?

Interested in adding your own yummy recipes here? Email me the recipe so I can add it!

Chicken Cacciatore

AKA: Kitchen Catch A Tory (as Allison and I used to call it...) :)

This meal is pretty simple (and cheap) to make and can last for a week as leftovers - YUM! We have always made this meal in an electric skillet, so that is how I have written this recipe.


1/4 cup oil
8 - 10 skinless chicken thighs
flour w/ little bit of salt & pepper
1 med onion, cut in pieces
2 green peppers, cut in pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz
2 cans tomato sauce, 15 oz
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cooking sherry


1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in skillet ~250 degrees. (We use EVOO)
2. Dip chicken thighs (~8 - 10) in flour w/ little bit of salt and pepper. The chicken should be skinless and we use boneless ones, too.
3. Brown chicken in oil (cook 15 minutes on each side). Remove chicken
4. In same pan cook 1 med. onion (cut in pieces), 2 green peppers (cut in pieces), 2 cloves garlic (minced) until tender, but not brown.
5. Add 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz), 2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz), 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 pepper, 2 bay leaves, 1/4 cup cooking sherry.
6. Return chicken to skillet.
7. Simmer approx 15 mins. Turn chicken and cook another 15 mins.
8. Serve with rice!

For this meal we usually make about 3 cups of rice and serve it by placing the cacciatore mixture over top of it.