Monday, June 29, 2009

Delicious Summer Salad

Hubby and I are on a eat-more-veggies-and-less-meat kick these days. It's also been crazy crazy hot here in Los Angeles, so I find myself craving salads that require as little use of my stove as possible. This salad goes excellent with a crisp, light white wine such as Synergy Blanc from Novella Vineyards (a whopping $4.99 at Trader Joes).

CKS Note: I used a large red pepper instead. It gave the salad a lot more color and tasted just as good. I also didn't have time to refrigerate the salad before serving, but I still gobbled it up!

Tortellini Asparagus Salad

18 ounces tortellini, refrigerated
1 pound asparagus spears, chopped
1 large yellow pepper
1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely shredded
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook tortellini according to package direactions, adding asparagus and sweet pepepr the last minute of cooking; drain. Rinse tortellini and vetetables with cold water; drain again.

2. For dressing, in a screw top jar, combine lemon peel, lemon jice, oil, mustard, surgar, salt, and garlic. Cover and shake well.

3. In a very large bowl, place tortellini and vegetables. Add dressing, toss to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in cheese, green onions, and nuts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Coming up!

Last weekend I learned how to make wontons from scratch. I love wontons, particularly wonton soup, so this was very exciting for me. I'm still sorting out the pictures and the videos so I will post something soon. In the meantime, here's a picture to get your mouth watering.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ham and Asparagus Frittata

Ham and Asparagus Frittata

Extend whole eggs with egg whites for a generous serving size. Serve the frittata with fruit and toasted English muffins and jam for an Easter brunch for two.

2/3 cup chopped 33%-less-sodium ham (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat Jarlsberg cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
2 large eggs
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices asparagus
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat broiler.

Combine ham, cheese, black pepper, salt, egg whites, and eggs, stirring well with a whisk.

Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and asparagus; sauté 3 minutes. Add egg mixture; reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, 3 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Wrap handle of pan with foil; broil 3 minutes or until egg is set. Cut into 4 wedges.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)

CALORIES 251 (33% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 3.4g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.1g); IRON 2.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 247mg; CALCIUM 373mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9.6g; SODIUM 791mg; PROTEIN 31.3g; FIBER 2g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2004

Ham and Asparagus Frittata from Cooking Light

Mango Salsa

Another Treat from Don's Bday Party

Mango Salsa

You'll also love this salsa served with beef, fish, shrimp, or tortilla chips.

This recipe goes with Macadamia-Mango Chicken

2 ripe mangoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced*
1 medium-size red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients; cover and chill at least 2 hours.

*1 (26-ounce) jar refrigerated mango slices may be substituted

Yield: 2 cups

Southern Living, JULY 2002

Pair-o-Normal Game Hens with


Simple. Beautiful. Delicious. I made this for Don's Birthday.

Guacamole from Southern Living


Prep: 10 min., Stand: 30 min. While storing in the refrigerator, keep your guacamole from changing color by placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture.

5 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
3/4 teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips

1. Cut avocados in half. Scoop pulp into a bowl, and mash with a potato masher or fork until slightly chunky. Stir in chopped red onion and next 4 ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to touch mixture, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.

Cilantro Guacamole: Mash avocado, and stir in ingredients as directed. Stir in 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro and an additional 1 Tbsp. lime juice. Cover mixture, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Yield: Makes 3 1/2 cups

Southern Living, MAY 2007

Sliders with Shallot -Dijon Relish

I'll never eat another regular sized burger again. These sliders are to die for.

Sliders with Shallot-Dijon Relish

These mini-burgers make fun and tasty appetizers. Although we enjoyed them on Parker House rolls, they would also be tasty on small dinner rolls or sweet Hawaiian bread rolls.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons butter, softened
8 (1-ounce) Parker House rolls
16 dill pickle chips

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and sirloin. Divide meat mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Lightly coat both sides of patties with cooking spray. Place patties on grill rack; grill for 3 minutes on each side or until done.

3. Combine shallots, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and butter in a small bowl, stirring well. Cut rolls in half horizontally. Spread shallot mixture evenly over cut sides of rolls. Layer 1 patty and 2 pickle chips on bottom half of each roll; top with top halves of rolls.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 slider)

CALORIES 167 (37% from fat); FAT 6.8g (sat 2.6g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.8g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.2g; SODIUM 404mg; PROTEIN 10.8g; FIBER 1g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2008

Sliders with Shallot-Dijon Relish from Cooking Light

Braised and Beautiful

Love this recipe for whole chicken pieces. Delicious, tender, and falling off the bone!

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Braised and Barbecued Chicken

Recipe courtesy Carol Daggers, Wilmington, Delaware

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 2 pounds)
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
    • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 regular-size bags quick-cooking rice, uncooked
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onion, green tops only


    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute 6 minutes, turning once.

    Combine fruit juices in a large bowl. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon juice mixture until smooth; set aside.

    Stir soy sauce and next 6 ingredients into remaining juice mixture; pour over chicken. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes, turning chicken after 20 minutes.

    Prepare rice according to package directions. Keep warm.

    Uncover chicken, and stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

    Spoon rice onto a serving platter; top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with green onions.

    "The recipes for this program, which were provided by contributors and guests who may not be professional chefs, have not been tested in the Food Network's kitchens. They have been tested in the Southern Living Test Kitchens. All brand names have been removed from these recipes, which originally appeared on"

    Pan-Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Molasses

    Pan-Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Molasses from Cooking Light

    This is a delicious treat although Pomegranate Molasses or concentrae is a bit difficult to find.

    Pan-Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Molasses

    One of the flavors often found in pinot noir is pomegranate, which inspired me to create this easy dish. The sauce is based on pomegranate molasses, a thick, savory syrup used in Middle Eastern cooking that acts as a fascinating bridge to the pinot noir. Look for pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern markets. Serve with a simple side dish of steamed asparagus and roasted onion wedges. To prepare the onions with the pork tenderloin, remove pork from pan after browning on all sides. Cook the onion wedges in the pan for one minute, then return the pork to the pan and bake as directed.

    1 cup less-sodium beef broth
    1/2 cup pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
    2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
    1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 tablespoon butter

    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
    Cooking spray

    To prepare sauce, combine broth and the next 4 ingredients (through honey) in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat 30 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from heat; strain over a bowl. Discard solids. Add butter to the molasses mixture, stirring with a whisk until the butter melts.

    To prepare pork tenderloin, preheat oven to 500°.

    Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine salt, five-spice powder, and pepper; rub evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan, and cook 1 minute, browning on all sides. Place pan in oven; bake at 500° for 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink). Let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice pork, and serve with sauce.

    Perfect wines: Sanford Pinot Noir 2001 "Santa Rita Hills" (Santa Barbara County, CA), $26. This wine's beautiful flavors of earth, pomegranate, grenadine, mocha, and cherry preserves come into focus when you serve it with the pork tenderloin and pomegranate sauce. The sauce also mirrors the wine's wonderful silky, plush texture. As a less expensive alternative, consider the Echelon 2002 Pinot Noir from the Central Coast of California, about $12.

    Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces pork and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

    CALORIES 220 (29% from fat); FAT 7.1g (sat 3.2g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.6g); IRON 2.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 81mg; CALCIUM 37mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.1g; SODIUM 404mg; PROTEIN 25.2g; FIBER 0.1g

    Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2004

    Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds

    Although the raspberries went moldy before I had a chance to make the salad, I still used this dressing on some spring greens with spicy almonds and the result was excellent.

    Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds

    Raspberries add bright color and several good-for-you nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Chives, members of the onion family, add phenols and flavonoids.

    5 cups gourmet salad greens
    1 3/4 cups raspberries (about 1 [6-ounce] container)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons honey
    1/2 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    6 tablespoons Sweet Spiced Almonds

    1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Arrange 1 cup salad on each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon Sweet Spiced Almonds.

    Yield: 6 servings

    CALORIES 84 (45% from fat); FAT 4.2g (sat 0.3g,mono 2.4g,poly 1.3g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 47mg; CARBOHYDRATE 11.2g; SODIUM 123mg; PROTEIN 2g; FIBER 3.8g

    Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds from Cooking Light

    Greek Chicken Breasts

    My new favorite recipe for whole chicken breasts.

    Greek Chicken Breasts


    4 bone-in chicken breast halves
    8 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    4 lemons, thinly sliced
    16 to 20 kalamata olives, pitted
    1 (4-ounce) container crumbled feta cheese
    Garnishes: lemon slices, fresh oregano sprigs

    Lift skin gently from chicken breasts without detaching it; place 2 garlic cloves under skin of each breast. Replace skin.

    Rub breasts evenly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.

    Place lemon slices in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and arrange chicken breasts over lemon. Sprinkle olives around chicken.

    Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until done. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with feta cheese. Garnish, if desired.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Southern Living, JANUARY 1998

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

    Taking Cindy's advice I looked up the sales at my local VONS and based my meal plans off of what I saw. This recipe is based on that decision, and it was so good! Squeezing the oranges over the finished chicken gave it a savory sweetness that would have been sorely missed otherwise.

    CKS note: I left the chicken in for 1 hour, 15 minutes to get it up to 165 degrees with the meat thermometer. I left out the red pepper flakes just because the only ones I had were spicy.

    * 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
    * 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    * 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    * 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    * 3 tablespoons olive oil
    * 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, plus 12 whole cloves, unpeeled
    * 1 small navel orange, halved
    * 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
    * 1 10-ounce package button mushrooms, caps quartered


    * Heat oven to 400° F.

    * Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a roasting pan.

    * In a small bowl, combine the thyme, red pepper, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.

    * Brush the chicken with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with the chopped garlic and spice mixture. Arrange the whole garlic cloves and orange halves around the chicken. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

    * Meanwhile, place the green beans and mushrooms on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining oil and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Roast until the mushrooms are cooked through and the beans are lightly browned, stirring once, about 15 minutes.

    * Divide the chicken and garlic among individual plates and squeeze the roasted orange halves over the top. Serve with the green beans and mushrooms.