Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pasta and cheese "cupcakes" {cooking with kids}

This is a fun and easy recipe for parents and kids to do together. Do alittle prep ahead and place all your toppings in small bowls then let the kids assemble them!  Get creative and use any toppings you like, we used broccoli, diced turkey and grape tomatoes.  My guys had a blast and we all enjoyed eating the little pasta "cupcakes" for lunch. Enjoy!

Recipe: (makes 12 cupcakes)
1/4-1/2 pound small pasta, such as Campanelle, macaroni or mini penne, cooked until al dente about 1 min less than package directions
3-4 toppings of your choice
       such as:
       -ground turkey, cooked until browned and no longer pink
       -small cubes of cooked turkey, chicken or ham
       -grape tomatoes, quartered
       -green peas
       -broccoli florets, asparagus, carrots or zucchini: Steam veggies until crisp tender, then place in bowl of ice water to stop cooking, remove and dice into small pieces to fit in muffin cups
1/2 cup shredded cheese such as cheddar or jack
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 plain breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375'F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place all toppings in small bowls and let kids assemble. First fill each muffin cup about half full with the cooked pasta, then top with toppings of your choice.

2. Finish with a sprinkle of the cheeses. Place breadcrumbs in a shaker if you have one or use a spoon and dust the top of each cupcake with breadcrumbs for a tasty crispy topping.
 Watch them bake (optional)
3. Bake at 375'F for 15-20 until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Let cool for about 5 minutes to allow the cheese to firm up and bind the pasta then scoop out your cuppies and serve warm. here for the recipe!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Orange Cashew Chicken {MYOTO}

This is another MYOTO meal, our {lighter} version of orange cashew chicken. I used fresh orange juice and zest to brighten the flavors and add sweetness. Add whatever vegetables you like, broccoli, snow peas or asparagus would be great too. Enjoy!

Recipe (Serves 4)
olive oil
8 boneless skinless chicken tenders (or 3-4 chicken breasts)
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 small zucchini, slided (or any other veggie you like)
1 tablespoon fresh grated gingerroot
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
zest and juice of 1/2 of a large orange
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 Tablespoons Reduced sodium Tamari
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons Potato Starch Flour (or all purpose flour)
1/2 cup toasted plain cashews
sliced scallions or cilantro for garnish

1. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place seasoned side down in a large skillet over medium-high heat, season the other side lightly. Sauté until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165'F about 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the same pan and add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, gingerroot and zucchini and saute until tender about 5 minutes.
3. In a measuring cup mix together the hoisin sauce, orange juice, orange zest, Sriracha, tamari and chicken broth.
4. Once the chicken has rested for a couple minutes, cube into bite sized pieces and return to the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and veggies then pour sauce mixture over and reduce heat to medium. Stir frequently until sauce thickens. Serve over Jasmine rice or brown rice sprinkled with cashews and scallions or cilantro. here for the recipe!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Banana Oatmeal Cookies {Gluten Free}

My hubby has been baking again!  This time he made some delicious oatmeal cookies with a hint of banana.  The banana is unexpected and so tasty, it's like a fusion of a chewy oatmeal cookie and our favorite banana bread.  Enjoy!

Recipe: (makes ~24 cookies)
2 Tablespoons coconut butter (you can find this on the health food aisle of your grocery store)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup banana (~1/2 of a ripe banana)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Pamela's Gluten Free baking mix
2 cups gluten free oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Cream the coconut butter, sugar and brown sugar together in a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.
2. With mixer on medium-low speed add the egg, banana, vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix for another minute. Add the Pamela's GF Baking mix, oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips and mix with a spoon until combined.
3. Scoop 3 tbsp size scoops onto parchment lined air-bake cookie sheets and cook for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes on sheet then move to cooling rack. Enjoy. here for the recipe!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tandoori Chicken {Fake out MYOTO}

This is "fake out" Tandoori chicken, a popular Indian dish that I love. I don't know about you but I don't have a Tandoor oven at home. I tried to replicate the flavor with spices and zippy Greek yogurt and it turned out pretty good, my fam liked it too. Chicken thighs are traditionally used and it really adds to the flavor. This Indian inspired dish is full of flavor and spices without being too spicy. We served ours with some cool apple slaw and soft whole wheat Naan bread, yum!

Recipe: (Serves 4)
6 oz Non-fat plain Greek yogurt (such as Fage brand)
the zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (this is different than regular paprika)
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 green apple, peeled and finely julienned
handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
the juice of 1 lime
2 scallions, fined sliced on an angled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Naan bread

1. Preheat oven to 500'F. In a medium bowl mix yogurt, lime zest and spices together until combined

2. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper then using tongs dip chicken into yogurt mixture on all sides until coated.  Lay coated chicken on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Bake in 500'F oven for 17-20 minutes until blackened and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165'F and juices are clear.
4. For the apple slaw; mix together the julienned apple, tomatoes, lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve chicken hot, topped with apple slaw and with some warmed Naan bread or steamed jasmine rice. here for the recipe!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Blogoversary to Us!

"What's a Blogoversary" you ask? This little recipe blog of ours is one year old today. Yay! We thought we'd celebrate by looking back over the year and reminiscing over our most favorite recipes.  We'd also like to thank you, our awesome readers, for sticking with us.  Here's to another year of tasty dinners.

The recipe that started it all...Sweet potato fries!  I had heard of baked French fries and thought I'd give it a whirl with sweet potatoes and they were awesome!  I posted my little camera phone picture of our creation to Facebook and the comments flooded in. {Hmmm?}

Then we made cilantro lime chicken for a party at our house and several friends, separately, suggested that we start a blog of our recipes.  My hubby, being the techy guy he is, thought it would be great to catalog our recipes digitally and I loved the idea of creating another blog (in addition to our family blog) that was all about food, and the idea was born.  We reference our blog recipes all the time and we are so encouraged and thrilled by the response from our friends, family and all the rest of our great readers who are so kind to follow our little blog and see what we fix up next.

Some of our favorites...
J's Turkey Burgers (see picture in the top right corner of our main blog header)
Homemade Pizza
Vegetable Ciabatta Sandwiches
Banana Bread
any of the soups really, but Turkey Chili is a fav

and a few of your favorites {our most "clicked" recipes}...
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas
J's Spicy Salsa
Honey Lime Chicken with Warm Black Bean Salsa
Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake {Gluten Free}
Lemon Yogurt Cake {Gluten Free}

We'd LOVE to hear from you!  Leave us a comment!  Most of you all email us or tell us your thoughts in person and that's great too.  What recipes do you want to see more of?  We are ALWAYS looking for inspiration and new ideas to keep us excited about cooking, creating and eating {and to keep our little foodie kids coming back for more}! here for the recipe!

Parmesan Thyme Cheese Twists {Party Fare}

I had the honor of helping to host a baby shower for my good friend. This being her first boy after two sweet girls we gave her a "Little Man" themed shower. Going along with the theme of all things mustaches, bow ties and argyle I made these cheese twists to go along with some pesto {bow tie} pasta salad. These are a decadent treat and perfect party fare.

Recipe: (about 30-40 twists)
1 box of frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)
Egg wash: mix 1 egg (or 1/4 Egg Beater's) with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, finely grated (with the small side of your grater or with a microplane)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced (or you may used dried thyme)
freshly ground black pepper

1. Thaw the pastry in the fridge overnight or on the counter for exactly 40 minutes. You want it to be COLD when you work with it. Preheat oven to 375'F. Take one sheet out (leave the second in the fridge until you are ready to use it) and roll it out gently on a lightly floured board until it's about 11-12 inches square.  Brush with egg wash.

2. Sprinkle dough with half of the Parmesan, half of the cheddar and half of the thyme leaves. Be sure to spread toppings out all the way to the edges so each straw is equally tasty.

3. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and roll gently with a rolling pin to press toppings into the dough.

4. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the pastry down the middle in half. Then slice in the opposite direction into one inch strips (each strip will be about 1"x6"). 

5. Using an off set spatula (or your fingers) gently lift each strip from the board, twist gently and place twisted strip on a parchment lined baking sheet. The pastry will puff up but not so much out so you can place them close together on the baking sheet as long as they're not touching. Bake at 375'F for 16-19 minutes until golden. Serve room temperature. here for the recipe!

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