I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Salsa Chicken

It seems like everybody has their own version of Salsa Chicken. I read a few different ones, and just sort of threw mine together. It was super easy and very tasty. The chicken was really moist and adding the onions to the slow cooker at the end made them wilt just enough to get rid of the hot raw flavor.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 jar salsa (I used medium spice)
  • 1/2 red pepper (or any color pepper you'd like), thinly sliced
  • a few very thin onion slices
  • flour tortillas
  • cheese
  • 1/2 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T taco or Cajun seasoning

1. Place chicken and salsa in slow cooker for 4-6 hours until thoroughly cooked. Drain excess liquid from slow cooker. Using 2 forks, shred chicken.

2. Add taco/Cajun seasoning, thinly sliced peppers and onions to chicken mixture. Return slow cooker to heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly wilted. Mix in 1/2 can black beans, stirring well to combine all ingredients. I also added another few spoonfuls of salsa to make it a little more wet.

3. Serve in tortilla shells and top with Mexican blend cheese.

** Variations**
You could also add fresh/frozen corn, cilantro, lettuce, cabbage, pinto beans, etc to your tacos. Get creative and use whatever's left in the fridge!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

How good does that sound?! As soon as I heard the name of the recipe, I knew I wanted to try these. They're tart, and sweet, moist and fluffy and just completely delicious. The original recipe can be found here. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, but overall, they are fabulous and a perfect Summer treat.

  • 1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed*
  • 1 white cake mix (I used one with added pudding and they are super moist)
  • 3 egg whites (I only had 2 but they still came out fine)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe lemon buttercream frosting (see below)
* For a less tart cupcake (and these babies do pack a punch), try reducing the amount of pink lemonade. 3/8 cup water and 3/4 cup pink lemonade will cut the tartness. (This is what I used and they are still quite tart! I recommend this proportion of water and lemonade instead of the 9 oz listed above.)


1. In large bowl, add cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil and pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take caution not to overmix so you don't end up with dry cupcakes).

2. Spoon batter into a prepared muffin pan (I used an ice cream scoop to ensure they were all even). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registered "done" in the center. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Once the cupcakes have cooled, prepare the icing and ice the cupcakes.

Lemon Buttercream Icing

  • 3 cups + 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • red food color
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)

1. Add butter, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to a small bowl. Mix on low until combined. Turn speed to medium high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes. (I am not a HUGE fan of globs of icing, so I used a small star tip to ice my cupcakes.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dad's Famous Flank Steak

This is definitely a family favorite. So much so, that even now, when we go back to Maryland, the first meal we request is Dad's famous flank steak. You really need a non-non-stick pan to make this work, as a non-stick pan won't sear the meat nearly as well.

  • 1 flank steak, pounded thin
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • Soy sauce
  • Lawry salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • 2 T butter

1. Pound flank steak so it's an even thickness all around. Pour about 1 T soy sauce on the flank steak and massage it in with your fingertips. Sprinkle liberally with Lawry salt, garlic powder and paprika. Flip over and repeat same seasonings on other side. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

2. In large skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 T butter. Add onions and fry until almost done, but not quite. Remove onions from skillet.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat and melt another 1 T butter. Add flank steak and sear (without moving the meat) for 2-3 minutes. Flip and sear other side for 2 minutes. Add onions back into pan, turn heat to medium low and simmer about 2 minutes per side until desired doneness.

Serve with mom's famous bashed (these are baked AND mashed) potatoes. I didn't have the right dish to make these, so I made steamed broccoli instead.

Menu - August 26th to August 30th

Sunday, Aug 26th
  • Marinated flank steak with steamed garlic broccoli
Monday, Aug 27th
  • Slow-cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos
Tuesday, Aug 28th
  • Homemade mac & cheese and crusty bread
Wednesday, Aug 29th
  • Sesame Chicken and Vietnamese noodles
Thursday, Aug 30th
  • Tilapia Parmesan with salad

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

I got this recipe from my college roommate. I've never made them, but she would always bake these in the middle of the night when we were bored. For some reason, I was craving something chocolatey and coconutty, so I whipped out this recipe and gave it a shot. Oh my gosh, they are delicious! Soft on the inside, slightly crunchy on the outside, and just sweet enough. I used an ice cream scoop and ended up with a dozen cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and coconut. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thai Chicken Curry with Pineapple

As you can see, we love spicy food, and we love pineapple. So anytime I see a recipe that combines both, I have to try it. We used a bag of frozen veggies that contained peas, peppers, onions and broccoli. At first, this looked VERY soupy and I was worried! But after it simmered for about 20 minutes and I added the cornstarch, it thickened up very nicely.

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3/4 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk (I only had 1 cup of coconut milk and it worked fine)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces (I used 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1. Cook and stir the curry powder and curry paste in a saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour the coconut milk into the saucepan and mix well. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar, and 1 cup chicken stock.

2. Place the chicken thighs, peas, peppers, and carrots into the saucepan with the curry sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is cooked though, about 25 minutes.

3. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold chicken stock. Stir cornstarch mixture into the curry. Mix the pineapple into the curry and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or with Naan bread. We had garlic Naan from TJ's! That always makes the meal 10 times better.

Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

Recently we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Old Town, San Diego, when I tried Chiles Poblano for the first time. I was looking for a stuffed recipe that would be similar in taste, simple to make, and completely different from the stuffed peppers Justin is used to. These were VERY tastey. Spicy, but not overly so, and full of flavor from the salsa and beans.

  • 2 large green peppers (We used red)
  • 1/2 jar of salsa (We used fresh salsa -- tastes much better than jarred)
  • 1/2 pack of taco seasoning (We used Cajun seasoning, as that's all I had)
  • 1 8oz can of kidney beans, drained
  • shredded Mexican blend, or Taco blend, cheese
  • 3/4 pound of ground beef
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped

1. Cut peppers in half horizontally, removing stem and seeds.

Brown hamburger, drain fat. Add beans, salsa and taco seasoning and bring to a boil.

3. Stuff peppers with mixture and place in Pyrex dish. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes, until
heated through. Top with cheese and place back in oven for 4-5 minutes.

We served this with a side of Rice-a-Roni's Mexican rice.

I stole this recipe from someone on The Nest, but don't know who. If this is yours, please let me know!

Chicken in Spicy Orange Sauce

This recipe was originally prepared with shrimp, but I used chicken instead. We served it over some Chuka Soba noodles, which are similar to Ramen noodles, and can be found in the Asian section of your local market. Overall, this recipe was good, but needed more orange juice. Next time I think I'd double the orange juice and cut the chili paste down slightly.

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions

1. Place chicken in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Set aside.

2. Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

3. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and chicken is done, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

German Pretzels

Justin is a pretzel fanatic, so we're always trying new recipes to find a perfect one. We have a great bagged mix that we like but this recipe is from scratch. Instead of making pretzels, we made them into pretzel rolls for sandwiches this week. If you don't plan on eating all the pretzels in one sitting, don't bake them with salt. Otherwise the salt will melt and make the bread soggy.

This is probably the best pretzels recipe we've tried yet (at least, the best scratch recipe). I know the recipe came from the internet, but Justin found it, printed it and never told me where.

  • 17 2/3 ounces plain flour (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/8 ounce yeast
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter (soft)
  • 2/3 cup milk, mixed with 2/3 cup water
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 3 ounces baking soda
  • coarse salt, extra

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together and knead to a soft dough, about 10 minutes.

2. Then let it rest in an oiled bowl, covered, until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).

3. Form into 14 bread rolls/pretzels/croissants. Place on baking paper well spaced, and allow to rise again (about 20-40 minutes).
(Ours made 8 dinner rolls)

4. Mix the water, salt and bicarb in a stainless steel pan and bring to the boil. Take it off the heat.

5. Take the risen bread rolls, and using a slotted spoon, dip them one by one in the baking soda, drain well and set back on the paper. (We brushed them with the mixture, as it's much easier than dipping.)

6. Cut slits in the bread rolls with a sharp knife and sprinkle with extra coarse salt.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven.

Bermuda Salad

Today, the temperature is over 90, high humidity and we have no air conditioning. So dinner had to be something light, and uncooked, because it is way too hot to be eating something heavy. This was really flavorful and filling (we had 2 hard-boiled eggs each). We served it with some crusty French bread smothered in Romano cheese.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 pound bacon (I used Bacon Bits instead of real bacon)
  • 1 pound spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1-1/2 ounces croutons
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh mushrooms (I used peppers and scallions instead)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (I used about 1/4 cup sugar and it was fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cider vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared Dijon-style mustard

1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and cool. Once cool, peel and chop.

2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

3. Prepare the dressing in a blender by combining the onion, sugar, salt, oil, vinegar, pepper, celery seed and Dijon mustard. Blend until smooth.

4. In a large salad bowl, combine the eggs, bacon, spinach, croutons and mushrooms. Toss to mix. Pour enough dressing over salad to lightly coat. Toss and serve.

Diet Coke Cupcakes

So I finally decided to try the Diet Coke Cupcakes -- apparently, it's a WW recipe and has become quite popular, even with those not on a WW diet. These came out incredibly soft and fluffy. They definitely don't taste like a typical box mix cake.

  • 1 box of triple chocolate cake mix
  • 12 ounces diet coke
  • 1 large egg white

1. Beat on low for 2 minutes until ingredients are fully combined. Scoop batter into muffin cups, about 2/3 to the top. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Cool completely, then cover with your favorite frosting!

This picture is before they were frosted.

Frosted with a nice thin layer of Grandma's Chocolate Frosting.

Menu - Aug 19th - Aug 23rd

Sunday, Aug 19th
Monday, Aug 20th
Tuesday, Aug 21st
  • Tikki Masala Chicken with white rice
Wednesday, Aug 22nd
  • Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers, with Mexican rice
Thursday, Aug 23rd
  • Thai Chicken Curry with Pineapple, with rice

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Meatball Kebabs

This comes from my college best friend, Peggy. She's also a newlywed, and enjoys cooking easy and relatively healthy meals. Apparently it's a WW recipe, though I'm not sure of the source. I got 15 meatballs out of this recipe, which was enough for 2 dinners and Justin's leftover lunch. They're super easy and fast to make -- we were seeing Jim Gaffigan tonight and had to eat quickly, so this was a nice alternative to stopping for fast food before the show.

  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 pound raw lean ground beef
  • 3/4 ounce romano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 medium garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium red pepper (or whatever color you'd like) cut into 16 chunks
  • 1 medium onion cut into 16 1-inch pieces

1. Soak eight 10-inch skewers in water to prevent them from burning on grill (or use metal ones like I did!).

2. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk; set aside 5 minutes. Heat grill. (I broiled them as I don't have access to a grill.)

3. In food processor, combine beef, cheese, egg white, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Strain bread crumbs and squeeze lightly to extract excess milk. Add to beef mixture and process just until blended.

4. With moistened hands, shape mixture into 16 meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. (I used a cookie scoop for this part -- they were all perfectly uniform.) Alternately thread 4 chunks of red pepper, 4 chunks of onion and 4 meatballs onto skewers, beginning with pepper.

5. On lightly oiled grill (or broiling rack covered in foil), cook kebabs for 8 - 10 minutes, rotating about every 2 minutes to cook evenly. Meatballs should be just cooked through, be careful not to overcook.

We served these yummy kebabs with a side of blanched broccoli, drizled with a butter/old bay/garlic powder mixture. They worked well in the oven on broil, but I think I made my meatballs too big because they were really hard to turn. Still tasted damn good though!

Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Pasta

This is from Allrecipes and just looked good, so I wanted to try it. I love anything with pineapple in it, and the added coconut and jerk seasoning mix caught my eye. Here's the recipe:

  • Olive Oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits with juice (we used chunks, not crushed)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp jerk seasoning mix
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces fettuccini noodles

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir chicken until no longer pink, and juices run clear, 7 - 10 minutes. Stir in pineapple and it's juice, coconut, brown sugar, jerk seasoning, cinnamon, chili powder, red pepper, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 - 10 minutes; drain. Toss chicken mixture with drained pasta.

Catfish Cakes

Being from Maryland, I grew up around crabs and everybody raving about the unique flavors Marylanders use to season them. I can't eat crab, so we decided to try a crabcake but with catfish instead. Here's the original recipe.

  • 1/2 pound catfish
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard, or 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil for frying
Ingredient Modifications
  • 1 Tbsp Mayo -- with 1 1/2 tsp the cakes didn't hold together and were really dry.
  • 2 Tbsp Old Bay -- we like things spicy! The 2 tsp was hardly noticeable.
  • 1 tsp cayenne -- again, we felt like the cakes needed more spice
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz -- any more, and these would've been even more dry.


1. Place catfish in a pan with enough water to cover it about halfway. Bring to a boil and cook until the fish is flakey. Drain the excess water.

2. Cut fish into chunks, basically making it into a mash. Mix in rest of ingredients until well blended, and the consistency of a chunky meatloaf.

3. Heat oil in large heavy skillet (we used a cast iron) over medium-high. Form fish mixture into patties and fry in hot oil. Drain on paper towels, and serve warm.

We served ours with a big salad and fresh corn on the cob. With the modifications, these were really tasty. The 2nd batch we did had the additional mayo and spices, and they were really moist and spicy. I've never had a traditional crab cake, but Justin has, and he said these tasted just as good as the ones he had in Maryland.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Menu Planning: Aug 12th to Aug 16th

This week I am trying 3 new recipes, and cooking 2 classic favorites. Thursday is Jim Gaffigan at Humphrey's at 7:30pm, so we have to eat quick. I'm hoping meatballs on a stick will do the trick.

Sunday Aug 12th
  • Catfish cakes with tossed salad
Monday Aug 13th
  • Curried Chicken with mango, served over brown rice with a side of garlic naan
Tuesday Aug 14th
  • Sweet and Sour Pork over rice
Wednesday Aug 15th
  • Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Pasta
Thursday Aug 16th (Jim Gaffigan at 7:30pm! Wahoo!)
  • Meatball Kebabs served with a side of steamed Old Bay broccoli

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Yakisoba Chicken

We love Asian influenced dishes and this stir-fry dish seemed like a new idea for a typical chicken & veggie wok (OK, we're lame, and refer to stir-fry dishes as a 'wok.' example: Chicken Wok and rice, Beef Wok and noodles..). The recipe calls for 2 TABLESPOONS of chile paste. I love spicy food, but this was wicked hot! Next time, I'd recommend 2 - 3 teaspoons of chile paste instead.

I'm not a fan of rice noodles, as they always clump together and create a sticky gooey mess. They look so good in pictures, but I can never seem to cook them to my liking. Soba noodles aren't quite as sticky and gummy, and to me, the texture is much more desirable. It's very similar to a Ramen noodle and can be found in the Asian foods section of your grocery store.


  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons chile paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 onion, sliced lengthwise into eighths
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces soba noodles, cooked and drained


1. In a large skillet combine sesame oil, canola oil and chili paste. Stir fry 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir fry an additional 30 seconds. Add chicken and 1/4 cup of the soy sauce and stir fry until chicken is no longer pink. Remove mixture from pan, set aside and keep warm.

2. In the emptied pan combine the onion, cabbage and carrots. Stir fry until cabbage begins to wilt. Stir in the remaining soy sauce, cooked noodles and the chicken mixture to pan and mix to blend. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a wicked chocolate craving this evening, so Justin suggested we bake some cookies. I will never pass up an offer to bake cookies with my husband! So I used a recipe that I found in my recipe box. No clue where I got it from, but it's damn good!

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I dropped them by 1/4 cupfuls, as we wanted BIG cookies!)

3. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. For the larger cookies, bake about 12 minutes.

Onion Chicken

The original recipe can be found here. This was suprisingly good! The sauce seemed like it was going to be really sticky sweet, but it was just a tad bit sweet and sorta tangy. Next time I'd add more onions, probably double, but we are super onion fans. Overall, I thought it was good, and I'd make it again! We served it with corn on the cob and a side salad. Yum!

  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary


1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 2 minutes.

2. Add chicken to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove onion and chicken from pan.

3. Add jam and remaining ingredients to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return chicken mixture to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

This recipe is originally from AllRecipes.com. I love making fish, and when it's on sale, I treat us to something different (our budget doesn't usually allow for fresh fish!). With over 2,000 reviews, I knew this recipe had to be a winner! This was delicious and incredibly easy to prepare! The fish comes out flakey and perfectly cooked, with a nice cheesy crust on top.

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil (I used oregano)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt (I used garlic salt instead)
  • 3/4 pound tilapia fillets


1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

I served this with a side salad of butter lettuce and cheese, and some blanched broccoli. The broccoli is blanched for 3 minutes, drained, and drizzled with a mixture of melted butter, garlic powder and old bay seasoning.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dutch Pancakes

These are everything but traditional looking, or tasting, pancakes. With only 4 ingredients, they're simple to make and because they bake in the oven, it's much less hassle than frying traditional pancakes, 3 at a time on the stove.

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter

1. In medium mixing bowl, place first 4 ingredients. Beat with an egg beater on medium for about 2 minutes until frothy and well mixed.

2. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425. Prepare 2 glass 8x8 dishes, or pie dishes, with 1.5 T butter each. Place in oven while it's preheating, so butter gets a nice brown color.

3. Remove pans and pour 1/2 the mixture into each pan. Return to oven and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar and cinnamon for a fantastic breakfast treat!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Menu Planning: Aug 5th to Aug 9th

Each week I do my best to make a variety of proteins for dinner -- chicken, fish, beef, beans, etc. The menus on schedule for this week are:

Root Beer Pulled Pork with a green salad

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan with steamed vegetables

Onion Chicken with sauteed garlic green beans

Pasta with kale and Italian sausage

Yakisoba Chicken with soba noodles

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Everybody on The Nest raves about these cookies! So hubby and I are planning to make them tonight. The recipe is originally posted on AllRecipes.com and has over 1500 positive reviews! To make them even chewier, let them completely cool on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack. Or, refrigerate the dough for 2-4 hours, until completely chilled, before baking.

This is by far, the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever made. The only change I made was using Special Dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet. These are SO good, but quite sweet. 1 cookie is about all we could handle, before running to the fridge for a glass of soy milk.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield 1 dozen cookies

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chili Chicken Kebabs

These simple kebabs are easy to make and quick to cook. Marinate the chicken the night before, so all you have to do is broil or grill the kebabs and dinner is ready!


  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 T honey
  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • red pepper, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, or other veggies of your choice

1. Combine chicken and ingredients through garlic, in zip top bag or plastic container. Refrigerate and marinate at least 1 hour, or overnight.

2. Spray broiler rack with nonstick spray; preheat broiler. Thread chicken and veggies on metal skewers. Discard the marinade.

3. Place kebabs on broiler rack and broil 5 inches from the heat until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes on each side. We also served a Mediterranean couscous on the side.