Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Friday!! I am SO pumped for the holiday weekend! We have so much going's going to be a blast for sure.

Now, I like to dedicate weekends of this type to ALL KINDS of amazing foods.  Whether it be new things that I am bringing to the table or awesome dishes my friends cook up.  Dan and I have plans to attend several different Memorial Day parties and I have some great ideas I plan to try out...but before that, I want to share some old favorites.  These are two recipes that I go back  to time and time again AAAND they are SUPER easy!!

First, here's my favorite Turkey Panini.  Sounds boring...but it's so not!

Ta da!  How good does that look? Super easy's what you need:

A hearty bread (Here I used Aunt Millie's Crunchy fave if I'm going full-on carb)
Cheese (of your choice...I used reduced fat, shredded colby jack)
Mayo (I used reduced fat...can you see a pattern yet?)
One wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb wedge
Slivered Almonds

I layered them in this order: Shredded cheese, avocado slices (I used one half for one sammie), handful of slivered almonds, tomato, turkey, lettuce, Laughing Cow Wedge and mayo.  I layer them like this because the shredded cheese, avocado, and slivered almonds like to try and escape. If I layer like this and place the 'sam cheese side down first, these slippery ingredients tend to mesh together and less is lost :-)

I get a little bit of EVOO hot on a grill pan and put the sandwich cheese side down. 
Now, I don't have a panini press.  Neither do I expect to have one in the near future.  So what I do is put my CLEAN cutting board on top of the sandwich and then top that with a heavy jar of some sort (think big salsa jar, big can of get the idea)  It gives the sammie the perfect squish.  Of course, there comes a point when you need to flip it....but it doesn't take too much skill ;-) 

Next up is my slow cook spicy chicken.

This really could not get any easier.  And it's SO versitile! Here's a peek:

Ok. Not too appealing in a picture, but I promise it's SUPER scrom.

All you need is chicken breast, taco seasoning and salsa.   .... That's it.

That's it!!
I dump it all in my trusty crock pot and cook it long and low.
This batch cooked for about 6 hours.  After six hours on low, I pull it apart with two forks.  This COULD be the last step, but I like to let it soak in the juices for another hour (I set my 'pot to warm at this point).

I have used this chicken for SO many things.  I use it for tacos, enchiladas and my super awesome Mexican lasagna (more on that later).
The best part about this is you can adjust it however you'd like.  I use medium salsa with hot taco seasoning.  Certainly you can use whatever level of spice you want.  Once, I tried it with this great black bean salsa.  Like I said, so versitile. And amaze with a cold beer.

Well, that's what is on tap for us tonight!!  Can't wait to see all of the awesome dishes that will be brought to the table this Memorial Day weekend.  Hope your table is just as exciting!!

Have a fun and safe weekend

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Tuesday!  Tonight we celebrate the final week of this season's American Idol...Goooo Phillip Phillips!

Honestly, Dan and I are trying to make the most out of the groceries that we buy.  Too often I'll find myself throwing out half a pound of turkey or dumping most of the milk down the drain.  So, we are trying to plan our week night menus so that that doesn't happen.

Tonight I made Alfredo Chicken with Potatoes. Super easy!! Probably not the LOWEST fat...but I tried!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start off with some cheese (I had a brick of peccorrino on hand) and some seasoned croutons.  I LOVE using croutons as bread crumbs!

I used about half the bag of croutons here.  I also added a nice sized cube of the cheese (I would have used ALOT more if I didn't have a wedding dress to fit into soon). Then I popped in one clove of garlic, just for good measure.

Pulse until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Next for the chicken.  I used some BIG chicken breasts.  Looking back, I would have definitely preferred using fillets. Definitely.

I whacked the chicken with a mallet to pound them down a bit.  (Yes, yes I know you're supposed to use wax paper.  I was careful not to incorporate plastic into our chicken)

Season both sides of your chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

Next was the most tricky part (and luckily, it isn't tricky at all!)

First off, get a big skillet hot with some olive oil.

Next, dump some alfredo onto a plate (I used the one pictured above..they DO make light alfredo sauce!)

Dump your breadcrumb mixture on another plate nearby.

Swish your chicken around in the alfredo, covering entirely.  Next, swish it in the breadcrumbs, again, covering entirely.  Into the pan it goes! Then on to your next piece of chicken! 

Now they sit happy in the pan for 5-7 minutes on each side.
After they are nice and brown, stick them uncovered in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Put the cover one for about another 15-20 minutes (until chicken is done).  Otherwise it could get horribly dried out.

Here was our side for the evening.  It was just frozen parmesan potatoes I picked up at Trader Joe's.  They had them out at a sample once and I loved them!  Just sautee these up!

Ta-da!  They wound up being quite scrom (and made the apartment smell amaaaaze)....but like I said, next time I will use fillets or even tenders...these guys were just a little too thick for me.

Let me know if you try it!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Post

Hmm..first post. 
 Let's start with breakfast.

This morning I made a breakfast casserole for my fiance and I.  We have a BIG afternoon: going to the Cubs/White Sox game!  We needed some serious fuel.

After scouring my pinterest page searching for something other than scrambled eggs and toast...I came across these tiny mini muffin cups.  Awh, how cute!  Sadly, I would need to eat at least 20 of them to feel satisfied. Hm. What to do...
I started with four red potatoes, sliced thin.  I wished I had some frozen hashbrowns or AT LEAST a good grater....alas, my knife worked just fine.

So, I lined my little casserole dish with potatoes that I had seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary.  Then, I drizzled them with some extra virgin olive oil.

These guys went into a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes.


I got some turkey bacon cookin up in the skillet. (I don't eat red meat, pork, most seafood...etc.  Basically, I will only eat chicken and turkey.  I AM dabbling in seafood these days...but I am finding I am quite picky.)

It was just my fiance, Dan and I (plus my 8X8 casserole) so I only used a half dozen eggs. Obviously, if you are entertaining alot of people, you'd need more eggs.
Then I had some fat free half and half on hand (that was not yet expired--what luck!) and I added probably about 2 good tablespoons.

These are what I used to season my egg mixture.  Now, I was TOTALLY wishing I had some asparagus or broccoli to throw in there...sigh.

Those potatoes felt like they were taking I washed some dishes. ;-)

Bacon is done and cooled! I tore it into bite sized pieces and threw it in with the egg.

FiNALLY the potatoes were done. I added in some reduced fat colby jack. Be as liberal as you wish.

On goes the egg!  The bacon was being a pain and didn't want to swim freely in the egg mixture.  I used a fork to distribute the bacon a little better.

Into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (I checked it a buncha times.  Just make sure nothing is wigglin.)

Voila!  The eggs should appear springy and spongey.

I served it with a nice big hunk of homemade French bread, Louisiana Hot Sauce and ketchup.

DELISH! It was fabulous AND not too heavy.  The extra virgin olive oil on the potatoes made the pieces slide right out of the dish, too.

Like I said, I wish I had some great veggies to put in there.  And I could have done without the rosemary.

This dish is something I call Scrom.  You might have seen the following pictures around the internet:

A few years back, when I discovered this "om nom" craze...I started using it when I would eat something particularly, well, nom.  Soon, "nom" evolved.  If I ate something ESPECIALLY nom, it turned out to be "nombly."  Nombly evolved into the even more desirable, "scrombly" (which I think I created out of nom and scrumptious).  Then, one day...I must have eaten something SO amazing, all that came out was, "Scrom." 

So, scrom, to me is the utmost wonderful compliment I can give to a food.  If I say something is scrom, you KNOW it's good.

Sometimes, my fiance will say, "So, is it scrom?"  and I will reply with, "Meh, it's pretty nom, but not scrom."

Now, I know this sounds absolutely off the wall...but it's catchy! Try it, rate the next food you eat.  To say that something is scrom is quite fulfilling. :-)

If you try my recipe, PLEASE let me know what you think! I would love feedback and/or different things you add or take out.

Thanks for reading~