Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

So it's been about 8 months, but I'm back with one of my favorite recipes from my mother - Chicken Parmesan!

I may not have an Italian bone in my body, but that's okay, because this recipe is pretty easy! If you feel like making a nice dinner or if you just want to eat something totally delicious, try this one out! 

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoonful salt
  • 1/8 teaspoonful black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoonful garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoonful basil
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 8oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoonful butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese (sliced and cut in triangles)
Pound the chicken until 1/4 inch thick. They make tools for this, but I improvised using the back of a knife. (Miraculously I didn't slice a finger off! Maybe my coordination is improving.)

Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then into the crumbs.

Heat the oil until very hot, and quickly brown the chicken on both sides, and then remove to a baking dish. (It is at this point that your kitchen will begin to smell DELICIOUS. Take note.)

After removing the chicken, in the same frying pan, stir in the tomato sauce, basil, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes (or until it is thick). Stir in the butter.

Pour the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Look at all that cheese. AMAZING.
Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and place the mozzarella slices on the chicken. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes longer until the cheese melts!

And enjoy!

P.S. This dish goes delightfully well with fettuccine alfredo. 
I use a really easy recipe from my Aunt June:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package of fettuccine noodles
Using low heat, melt together butter and heavy cream in a saucepan. Cook the noodles as directed. Take the butter and cream off the heat, add the cheese and mix well. Pour and mix over the noodles! Yum, so easy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seared Scallops with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

Hello! In an attempt to mix things up, we tried a new recipe tonight. I have cooked most types of seafood before, but never scallops, so we decided to give it a go! We used the following recipe for seared scallops, and it came out delightful! Also, fun fact: If you do Weight Watchers, this is only 7 PointsPlus!
Recipe from My Gourmet Connection
 Ingredients (serves 4... or 3 if you're my family!)
Seriously, I use ramekins whenever possible. Makes me feel like a real chef!

  • 1 pound dry sea scallops (not the wet ones... they're not natural!)
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (since there aren't many seasonings on this, use a good olive oil!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped (Or, in the interest of laziness, 2 cubes of frozen crushed garlic)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Juice and zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of light cream

Remove the "feet" from your scallops. It's sort of like a little tag hanging off the scallop, but supposedly is NOT great to eat. Luckily they're easy to remove, just pull them off!

Pat the scallops dry (this helps the seasoning stick better). Season them on both sides with salt and pepper, and set aside.

 Add half of the butter and the olive oil to a skillet, and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Then add the scallops in a single layer. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side (I chose 2, since I used big sea scallops). Don't turn them too soon, or you'll miss out on a delicious sear like these ones!

Once they are done, remove them to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you make this sauce.
This part moved quickly, so no time to take pictures! In the pan that you cooked the scallops, add the rest of the butter. Heat until it starts to foam, then add the garlic. Cook until you can smell the garlic (about 30 seconds), then deglaze the pan with wine! Cook another 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice and zest.
If at this point you feel like the sauce is too thin, give it a minute or two to reduce and thicken a little bit. At the end, stir in the cream and remove from heat!

I think these scallops would probably go with any side dish too, since the flavors are simple yet strong! :)
We chose roasted asparagus and a white and black rice medley! Very tasty!

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

English Muffin Bread

Hello, hello!
Lucky me had a day off today, so I decided to try to make some English Muffin Bread! This recipe looked absolutely DELISH so I had to try it for myself! The recipe came from Blisstree, and it was ah-mazing!

I had the wrong sized loaf pans (I only had very large ones!) so the bread came out a little flatter and wider than expected, but it tastes good none-the-less!

Ingredients: (makes 2 loaves - one to eat right away and another for tomorrow, obviously)

Look at that adorable honey bear, he is so excited to help!

  • 5 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoonsful kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 and 1/4 cups warm milk
  • Butter for greasing pans
  • Coarse Cornmeal

Mix the yeast, honey, and water, and set aside. (The warm water activates the yeast which eats up the honey and will get all nice and foamy!)
Om nom nom. Foam.
Sift the sale, baking powder, and flour together. 
Add the milk and 1 cup of the flour to the yeast mixture, and mix well.
Add the remaining flower and beat to create a verrrrrry sticky dough.
Grease the loaf pans with butter and dust them with the cornmeal. 
Divide up the batter between the two pans and let them rise in a warm place.

I put them in a warmed oven for just over an hour - this allowed the dough to rise up!

Then preheat the oven to 425oF, dust the top of the loaves with cornmeal, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

You will get this deliciousness:

Wait until it cools to slice it up and toast it... and then of course, as always, enjoy!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New England Clam Chowder

Hello, reader(s)! :) It's been awhile! 
My apologies for the lack of posts... Things got busy, and this fell by the wayside. But tonight, I'm back! And I come bearing a yummy bowl of New England Clam Chowder!

This has always been a comfort food, and after the 2 feet of snow dumped on us the past few days, I needed a little comfort food! This is an easy, quick recipe that makes a delicious chowdah :)

2 small yellow onions, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons butter
21 ounces of minced clams (with their juices!)
I couldn't find this exact amount of ounces. I ended up with 26 ounces (4-6.5 ounce cans.) No harm in extra clams! :)
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes. 
Or however many potatoes you want! I probably doubled this... but I love potatoes!
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups of milk
1 cup light cream

Fry the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook them over moderate heat until they are pale golden (about 5 to 8 minutes). You don't want to brown them.
This was the only picture I took of the process, because I got too distracted!
After the onions are done, drain the liquid from the clams into the pan. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are nearly tender, stirring occasionally.
I have to use clip art due to my lack of pictures. Hope you don't mind :)
How does a clam make a call? On a shell phone!
Then, add the clams, milk, and cream. Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes, just enough to heat through!

At the very end, add the remaining butter, and stir until melted.

Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with paprika if you want to! At the very least, serve it with some oyster crackers!
And make sure you use the puffy ones, not those silly cracker ones. Good job. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nana's Swedish Meatballs

Good evening! Tonight's recipe comes from my grandmother's kitchen!
This is my lovely grandmother!  
This is one of my favorite recipes! It comes together quickly, and it tastes delicious! It tastes good with potatoes, with noodles, with corn, or whatever you want... the gravy is the perfect topper for pretty much any side dish.

The following recipe is based off of 1 lb of ground beef. We doubled it because we love leftovers, which made about 30 meatballs. It's your call as to the proportions!


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion 
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoonsful flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • Gravy master (we find this in our supermarket near the spice aisle, where they usually also have the gravy packets!)

Mix all of the meatball ingredients thoroughly. 

I decided to be lazy chef tonight and try it in the kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment. Now if only it would shape them into balls too! (First world cooking problems?)
Then, shape them into meatballs.

Melt butter in a frying pan on medium-high, and then fry the meatballs.
Remove them when all sides are browned and set them aside.

In the same pan that you browned the meatballs in, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and milk. Whisk well to avoid flour lumps. 

Cook over medium heat until bubbles.
Add gravy master to thicken and darken, as desired. Mix thoroughly.

Add the meatballs back to the gravy and bring to a simmer to thicken. Cook until warmed through!

P.S. This meal seriously needs crusty bread. I know I often recommend this, but it tastes great when sopping up gravy from your plate! YUM! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Ribs

I love slow-cookers.
I love that I could prepare this dinner at 11 in the morning, and that I had a delicious dinner waiting for me when I got home from work tonight.

Look at them. All cozy in there :)

  • 3 lb baby back ribs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1-2 yellow onions
  • BBQ Sauce
It is at this point that I would like to add that you can use any BBQ sauce you want, or you can make your own. I have historically not been a fan of sauces that are too ketchup-y or molasses-y. I like a sauce that is more smokey, and so I used Bull's-Eye Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce.
The smokey flavor was not too sweet, but delicious!

First thing you need to do is admire your beautiful ribs.
YUM. Yumyumyumyum.
Then you need to take off the gross membrane from the bottom side. This is the stuff that gets stuck in your teeth when you eat ribs! It peels off pretty easily, you just have to get the tip of your knife under the membrane, and then it should just peel right off! (Grab it with a paper towel for a better grip!)
I should note that this hand is not mine. I do not have man-hands. :)

Then, cut the ribs into 3-4 rib sections. Pat them nice and dry, season with salt and pepper, and place on a broiling pan (or a cooling rack on a baking sheet).

Put under a broiler for about 15-20 minutes on each side, until they start to brown up a little.

While the ribs are broiling (and your house begins to smell DELISH!), slice up an onion or two into rings. Put these along the bottom of your slow cooker as a soft comfy bed for your ribs to go on!

When the ribs are done broiling, baste them with BBQ sauce, make sure they get covered, and throw them in the slow cooker. Then go ahead and throw some more sauce on to make sure they are EXTRA covered!

Cook in the slow cooker on high for an hour, then set it to low until they are done (typically anywhere from 8-10 hours total cooking time).
See-you can even SEE how good it smelled!
These ribs came out delightful, literally sliding off the bone! And because there was no membrane, they were not stringy at all. Instead, they fell apart into a plate full of deliciousness!

Served with french fries, corn, or whatever other sides you like!
Importantly, tonight this was served with a Shipyard Pumpkinhead Beer.

I love fall. :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Soft Pretzels

Last night I attempted my first KitchenAid yeast experiment: Pretzels!

Look at them all. Just look at them! YUM!
Yeast always intimidated me. I feel like I never let it rise long enough, or knead well enough. So I was hoping my friend the dough hook would help me be successful!

The following recipe (from Get Off Your Butt and Bake!) is for use with a stand mixer, but you can swap it out for just mixing and hand kneading, especially if you have more kneading confidence than I!


  • 1 and 1/8 cups water (70-80 degrees F)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra to add as you go!)
  • 3 tablespoonsful brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoonsful active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts water (8 cups for those who don't want to do the conversion)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Coarse salt 
  • Egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water)
  • Optional: melted butter
Add warm water and brown sugar in the mixer bowl. Dissolve the sugar quickly (so the water doesn't cool off), and then add the dry yeast.
Let the yeast mixture rest for 2 to 3 minutes. You should see it foam!

That is how you know the yeast is alive and kicking! It's also really cool!
Add 1 cup of the flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well with the dough hook.
Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and continue kneading with dough hook (speed 2 on the mixer) for 5 to 6 minutes. When it is ready, the dough will be elastic and smooth, and shouldn't be really stuck to the bowl. Add additional flour or warm water if needed to help this along. (I probably added another 3 tablespoons of flour!)

Once the dough is done, let it rest in an oiled bowl for about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a warm damp cloth.

While the dough is resting, add the baking soda to the water and get it ready to boil.

Divide the dough into eight balls. I added a little extra flour around the balls, and stuck each one in a ziplock bag. You can also use saran wrap if you want! 

Whatever you use, let the dough sit for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Flour your working surface, and roll each ball into a 20 inch rope. Then have fun and make whatever shapes you want! Or little pretzel nuggets work too.

Drop pretzels into boiling water, one or two at a time (I did one at a time because I was nervous). Boil for about 10-15 seconds (10 for the nuggets). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Place pretzels on greased baking sheets, or if you have a pizza stone, use that! The pizza stone made our pretzels nice and crunchy on the outside!

The next step is where you're supposed to brush the pretzel with the egg wash and then sprinkle with coarse salt. It was about 11pm when I was making these, and accidentally brushed it with the melted butter. Still came out good - but try the egg wash!
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until brown. If you want, here is where you can brush with melted butter.

Let them cool (but not too much - because warm pretzels are just the best!) I like my pretzels dipped in mustard, but do whatever you like! Have fun!

Delightful midnight snack!