Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grilled Lemon Chicken

This is a healthier take on my
Lemon Chicken that I make at least once a month, and it was delicious. I am so happy that we gave this a try, it will be a perfect for those hot summer days when cooking on the stovetop or in the oven makes your house way too hot. Not to mention it is even quicker to I love BBQ's! Cody said that he might even like this recipe better than the original version, which was a massive shocker to me!

Grilled Lemon Chicken
Printable Version

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
6 Tbsp. soy sauce (or All Natural Bragg Liquid Aminos to be gf)
Salt and Pepper

Soak chicken breasts in soy sauce for at least 30 minutes. Coat each side with salt and pepper and grill.
Serve with rice and lemon sauce (below).

1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup water

In medium saucepan mix together sugar and corn starch. Then add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Cook until thickened.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crispy Potatoes

These little gems were perfect for a scrumptious side dish, and are similar to my Grilled Potatoes. My hubbs would eat meat and potatoes for every meal, so I have to figure out a way to mix it up a little bit, and these were just right. They are perfectly tender on the inside because of the "steam" step in cooking them, and also have a delightful crunch from the butter and baking. I think they would be perfect to serve to children because of their small bite size pieces as well!

Crispy Potatoes
Printable Version

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the potato cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the water, stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the potatoes until the water evaporates, about 3 or 4 more minutes. (Every 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid long enough to stir the potatoes so they don't stick.) Lower the heat to medium, and saute another 1 to 2 minutes until all traces of water are gone. Toss in the butter and stir to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the potatoes are crisp and browned to your liking, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on how dark you want them. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and serve.

Serves 3.

Recipe From: Melissa d'Arabian

Chicken a' l'Orange

This was a delightfully easy meal, with easy cleanup, and extremely tasty. Now that is what I love! Easy, Easy, and TASTY! I am really loving Melissa d'Arabian's recipes, she won The Next Food Network Star and I was gunning for her the entire time! Yes! Each week I am excited to see what she makes next, her meals are always family friendly and CHEAP! This meal had a ton of flavor, and the honey really tones down how strong strait OJ can be. I hope you give it a try and learn to love her recipes as much as I do! (And P.S., I think this chicken would be DELISH marinated and then grilled...mmmm!)

Chicken a'l'Orange

Printable Version

Salt and pepper

3 skin-on bone-in chicken breast halves(I used skinless, boneless and it worked great)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

4 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Liberally salt and pepper the chicken breast halves. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken, skin side only, until brown and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the orange glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the orange juice concentrate, honey, and salt and pepper, to taste, over medium heat, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Turn the chicken over and saute for 3 minutes, with skin up. Transfer chicken to pan with the skin side up and pour glaze over the top. Place the pan to the oven. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, brushing on more glaze halfway through, about 15 minutes in total. Remove the chicken breast from the bone and slice the meat on the bias. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve.

Serves 3.

Recipe Adapted From: Melissa d'Arabian

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

North African Boulettes

Looks gross, tastes great! I wish there was some way to make this meal look better on camera, but if there is, I couldn't figure it out! This meal was SOOO delish! I can't wait to make it again. I can still taste the flavors in my mouth and it has been and hour since I ate it. Honestly, I can't explain the flavor, I know, I know, that sucks! All through dinner my hubbs and I were trying to think of how to explain it, and this is what we came up with, "have faith"! Have faith in me that this meal is GREAT! Enjoy! (Yes, "Boulette" means meatball, but the word "meatball" doesn't really work for my family, and Boulette seemed to be the perfect word to mask it!)

North African Boulettes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1 (14-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes, blended
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt and ground black pepper

To make the sauce, in a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and white wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Simmer to blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


1 egg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup finely ground rolled oats
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking

1 cup cooked couscous

To make the meatballs mix the egg and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the ground beef and oats, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands into very tight circles, make about 32 meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter.

In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat, and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over Couscous.

Serves 4.

Recipe Adapted from: Melissa d'Arabian

Monday, August 17, 2009

Penne Gorgonzola Chicken

Where to begin...this dish was creamy and simply delightful! Every bite of this meal was a new flavor explosion, I now LOVE gorgonzola cheese. I have a feeling that because of this dish I will now be googling other meals with this creamy, flavorful cheese just so I can eat more of it! I was very nervous at first when putting such a strong flavored cheese into this simple meal, but it turned out ten times better than I imagined. It was a 15 minute meal, too, which adds even more to the love factor. My hubbs loved it just as much as I did, which is definitely saying something! (Too bad we can't eat this every week...the butter and cream are a killer combo! hehe!) Enjoy!

Penne Gorgonzola Chicken

Printable Version

1 chicken breast

7 oz. penne pasta

1/4 C. butter 

8 oz. heavy cream

2.5 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled 

1/8 C. shredded parmesan

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill. Slice into thin strips. Bring water to a boil and add pasta. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt butter in saucepan, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute being careful not to let the butter burn. Slowly add cream and heat to a low boil to reduce, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat, add gorgonzola, parmesan, and nutmeg. Stir until melted. Serve sauce over noodles and top with chicken.

Serves 2.

Recipe From: My Kitchen Cafe

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Need a girls night out, or "in", actually? This is the perfect meal for an all-woman evening! It feels healthy, light, and fresh. The lemon adds the perfect flavor in combination with the sweet garlic and creamy parmesan. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit that I took! My husband, however, did think it was much to "girly" of a use it to impress the girls, not the boys!

Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

3 tsp. garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound penne pasta
3 ounces baby spinach, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Meanwhile, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1/2 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through.

Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

From: Melanie

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sticky Coconut Chicken

Have you ever heard of Rumbi Island Grill? If I wouldn't have been in the kitchen preparing this, I would have thought I was at the restaurant being served this dish! This chicken was the most perfect tangy BBQ meat I have ever had. The calm coconut flavor barely comes through in the chicken, until combined with the glaze...they each make one another shine! I know that I am going to alternating when making this dish between serving it with rice and omitting the rice and serving the chicken on a toasted bun with pineapple and plenty of the delicious Make-The-Meal glaze!
Sticky Coconut Chicken
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
3/4 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes for about four hours. Grill on barbecue.
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp. water (to thicken)
While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Add cornstarch/water mix. Once it starts getting thick, immediately take it off the heat. The glaze will continue to thicken while standing. Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice. Top chicken with remaining glaze...this is very important, the glaze makes this dish!
Serves 3.
Recipe Adapted from: My Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Four Cheese Baked Ziti

I love cheese. I love pink sauce. I love garlic. I love ziti. Therefore, this meal was right up my alley. However, I know that it will be right up EVERYONE's alley that tries it! This was definitely a all-time, definitely going on my "meals to impress the in-laws" list! This homemade pink sauce(tomato and cream sauce) was to die for...I will definitely be using it in other pasta recipes. Give this a shot...preferably when you are having company, they will love you!

Four Cheese Baked Ziti
Printable Version

8 oz. cottage cheese
8 0z. ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
10 oz. ziti or similar pasta (like penne)

Pink Sauce
2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (7 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (pureed)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream (or substitute whole milk but increase the amount of cornstarch to 1 teaspoons and the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, egg and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, about 7 minutes (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain pasta and leave in colander. Do not wash the large pot.

While the pasta is cooking, place garlic in skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir in the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, sugar, basil and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Take off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir cornstarch into heavy cream and transfer mixture to the now-empty large pot the pasta cooked in. Set the pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not skip this step!) Remove pot from heat and add tomato sauce mixture and stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.

Transfer half of pasta mixture to a 8X8-inch baking dish. Drop cottage cheese mixture by spoonfuls over bottom layer of pasta. Pour the remaining pasta mixture over the top. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Adapted from: All that Splatters and My Kitchen Cafe

Jerk Chicken Marinade

I don't know where to begin. This meal was out of this world...and even better because my hubbs surprised me with it! I came home from a killer long day at work an he had it all ready to BBQ. I am usually a little skeptical about marinades, I always feel like I put so many flavors into it and barely any of them come through after my meat is cooked. This was absolutely NOT like that. Every spice and sauce in this marinade came through and I was in heaven! My favorite part was the slight cinnamon that popped through out of nowhere. I can't even tell you enough to MAKE THIS RECIPE....PLEASE!!!

Jerk Chicken Marinade
Printable Version

8 chicken breasts
1 1/2 Tbs. ground allspice
1 1/2 Tbs. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. ground sage
1 Tbs. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. garlic powder
1 1/3 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup orange juice
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
a dash onion powder
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Mix all ingredients together. Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours prior to cooking. (We threw it on the BBQ, but in the winter I plan to bake it in the oven or slice it after marinating, sauteeing in a pan and putting it on rice or into tacos! I can't wait!)

Adapted from: Blue Heaven Restaurant