Why another cooking blog?

I decided to create this blog as a way for family and friends to see what I'm cooking and to share interesting food related tidbits I come across.
I'm frequently asked for recipes so I thought this would be a good place to start collecting the old, new, and funky recipes that I have.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Naturally Sweet Agave Glazed Carrots

This is part of my cooking for a month series.
Who doesn't like carrots? I mean they are pretty awesome, this recipe is no different. Tasty, easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to reheat. Tada!
You can find agave just about anywhere now, I get mine at costco mainly because it's a good deal and I never think to look when I'm at the grocery store. Agave can be substituted for honey in equal parts.

Serves 8

2lbs carrots, cut into batons
¼ C water
¼ C freshly squeezed orange juice
3T unsalted butter, melted
2T agave
3T fresh lemon thyme

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine carrots, water, and orange juice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are just tender (remember you are freezing these so don’t over-do it).
Add butter, agave, thyme and cook uncovered, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and carrots are glazed. Season with salt and pepper, stirring one last time. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

To Freeze – pour cooled carrots into gallon size freezer bag.

To reheat – thaw completely overnight in fridge then reheat carrots in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until heated through.

My notes
I don’t know what batons are and I don’t really care. I just diced the carrots.
Good luck finding lemon thyme in your grocery store. I used regular thyme and it turned out just fine.

Make it a Meal Meatloaf

This is a part of my month of meals series. Generally speaking I am not a huge fan of meat loaf. It's just not high on my list of things I love to eat; but! Jeff is a fan of meatloaf and who doesn't want to make their guy happy? So when I saw this recipe in the cookbook I thought, why not?

About little less than half of this loaf fed us for dinner, along with glazed carrots. I'm serving again tonight with the remaining carrots and some mashed potatoes.

Make it a Meal Meatloaf
Serves 8

1lb extra-lean ground beef
1lb ground pork
2 eggs
2T Dijon mustard
1/2C dry whole wheat bread crumbs
3 scallions, minced
2 carrots, minced
1C dried cherries
1T Italian seasoning
Pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a large loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to loaf pan, firmly packing.
Bake for 75 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes then invert to remove from Loaf pan. Allow to cool completely.

To Freeze – wrap meatloaf and freeze

Oven reheat – Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

My notes
Serve with glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. Yum! Jeff was skeptical about this one when I was making it because of the cherries. I have to admit, so was I. However, this turned out quite tasty and all 3 of us enjoyed it. I ground the fatty end of a center cut pork loin for this after talking to my butcher, it’s a versatile cut of meat.  They are usually cheaper than buying pork chops pre-cut and you get 2 smallish roasts after you cut it up. Can you say pulled pork? Mmmmmm

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

(Not My) Mom's Green Chile Chicken Breasts

This is part of my cooking for a month series...
This recipe is from the Make Ahead Meals Made Healthy cookbook; it did not come from my Mom. To my knowledge my Mom has never made Green Chile Chicken Breasts... Just to clear things up.

This is the first recipe I made for my month of meals (I know, I've posted them all out of order). It smelled pretty good coming out of the oven, it's still in the freezer waiting to be eaten*.

Mom's Green Chile Chicken Breasts
Serves 8

8 same size boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 slickes monterey jack cheese
8 whole green chiles from 2 cans
2t hot and healthy spice blend or salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
Slice a pocket lengthwise in each chicken breast and stuff with a slice of cheese and a chile.  Season the outside of the chicken breasts with the hot and healthy spice blend (or salt, pepper, and paprika).

Place chicken breasts in a large baking dish and bake for 35 minutes or until just cooked through.

To Freeze
Set breasts on a baking sheet, freeze until solid and then transfer to a large freezer bag.

To Reheat
Let chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Preheat oven to 375. Place breasts in a baking dish, cover, and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

My notes
*Ok. First things first.... these things are ugly as sin and I don't/didn't want to eat them. I blame my assembly but honestly it's not terribly easy to stuff a whole green chile inside of a chicken breast. Things happened and a mess ensued. Jeff said they were good (he snuck one while I wasn't looking).
I made the hot and healthy spice blend that was listed in this cookbook but looking back it was a waste of time and $. If you really want the recipe comment and I'll post it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fast Fix Zucchini Slaw

This is part of my cooking for a month series....

I like zucchini and I am always looking for ways to add it into our menus. It's a versatile veggie. This dish is perfect for a summer meal, it's fresh and bright tasting.

Fast Fix Zucchini Slaw
Serves 15

6 large zucchini, ends trimmed, coarsely grated or cut into matchsticks
1/2C finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2C chopped fresh dill
1T fennel seeds
1C dried currants
2T white wine vinegar
1T dijon mustard
1/3C extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, parsley, dill, fennel, and currants.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and olive oil.  Pour over zucchini and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

To freeze put the slaw in a 1 gallon freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.

My notes
While typing this up I realized I left the currants out of the recipe. I should probably add them when I thaw out the slaw.
I cut the zucchini into matchsticks but next time I might coarsely grate them, it took me forever! My knife skills need some help apparently.