Sunday, August 29, 2010

Honey Garlic Roast Chicken

I'm sure there's a time and a place for complicated foods, but I'm a believer that most of the time simple is best. This is a great recipe to feed the whole family, with some left over! I love taking the leftover chicken and putting it in a quick, weeknight chicken noodle soup. It's also great for sandwiches and salads for work lunches. If you've never cooked a whole bird before, fear not! Just have a little patience, baste every 20 minutes, and you'll be so impressed with yourself! It's a beautiful sight to pull the whole, browned, succulent bird out of the oven.

The flavor of the chicken with the honey and the garlic is incredible. I mean, I tore off a drumstick like Fred Flinstone and took care of it! The sweetness of the honey makes the skin irresistible, and the garlic brings out the savory flavors of the chicken.


Whole chicken (cleaned and trussed)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. After cleaning out the insides of the chicken, pat it with a paper towel and salt and pepper the outside and inside.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, honey and garlic. Spread evenly over the outside of the chicken.
4. Bake for 1 1/2 hour, or until inserted thermometer reads 170 internally. While baking, baste every 20 minutes or so to ensure the chicken stays moist and the flavors soak in.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I think I may have magic zucchinis. I buy a box on Saturday (grocery day), and it doesn't matter if I make zucchinis every day, I still seem to have some left the next Saturday! I don't know what they're doing in there...breeding like little bunnies? Either way, this is a great way to use up that wonderful summer vegetable. I can't take credit for this recipe; it is from the Slice of Feist blog. Overall, the muffins are very rich. They're not frou frou chocolate cupcakes, so if you really need to fill that chocolate void, these are for you!


INGREDIENTS: (makes 7 jumbo muffins)
1 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oil (I used half olive oil, half canola...because I only had a quarter cup of each! Eek!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Either oil or line the muffin tin.

2. In one bowl, mix (with an electric mixer) the brown sugar, white sugar and oil. Once these are fully incorporated, add in the zucchini, eggs and vanilla. Mix until well-incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and chocolate.

4. Combine the wet and dry and pour into the muffin cups, until they are 3/4 full. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yaki Udon with Beef

Here is a nice little quick weekday meal! I had two leftover eye of round steaks, and needed to put them to good use. I adapted the recipe from soy and pepper with some changes made. I didn't have any sake or mirin on hand (gasp!), so I used sherry. Basically, any sweet wine will do. This meal is definitely not your typical overly sweet, overly oily "lo mein" at Chinese restaurants. You can really substitute any veggie you would like; I just had broccoli on hand.


2 bunches of udon noodles
12 oz steak
beef marinade: 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp sherry, 1/2 tsp corn starch
1 head of broccoli (or whatever vegetable your heart desires!)
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

1. Marinate the steak for a few hours or overnight.

2. Cook the udon noodles as directed on the package. While they are cooking, combine the soy sauce, sherry, worcestershire sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.

3. To toast the sesame seeds, heat a thick pan on high and toss them in dry. They will turn brown. Set aside.

4. Cook the beef in the marinade and the oil

5. In a separate pan, cook the broccoli in 1-2 tbsp oil, until tender

6. Once the noodles, beef, and broccoli have finished their separate cooking, place them all together in a large pot and pour the remaining sauce combination over them. Stir well. Serve with the toasted sesames sprinkled on top.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vegan Mango Bread

Who says vegan baking can't be just as wonderful as non-vegan? I have been getting a few requests for vegan and vegetarian recipes, so here's a good start! The only unusual thing about this recipe to make it vegan is to replace the eggs.
This bread has the delightful combination of an amazingly moist center with a PERFECTLY crunchy outside! I was actually a little concerned at first because it seemed like the crust got crunchy right off the bat (10-15 minutes into baking), but I was so happy to find a wonderful outside crisp. The mango flavor is definitely apparent throughout the bread, but it's not overpowering. The teaspoon of ginger does wonders for accentuating the flavor.


-for the egg substitute: mix together 3 oz water, 3 tbsp oil, and 2 tbsp baking powder.
-3/4 cup canola oil
-2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 1/2 cup diced mango

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Oil a loaf pan
3. Whisk together the egg substitute and oil in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar.
5. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix well and then add in 2 cups of the mangoes. Spread into the pan and top the mixture with the final 1/2 cup of mangoes.
6. Bake for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Basic Barbecue Sauce

I wanted to try my hand at making a simple, basic barbeque sauce that I could go back in and add different flavors in for different dishes (ie mango, peach, chipotle, honey, etc). I am probably the vice president of the Barbeque Sauce Fan Club, with my husband as president. We could drown in that stuff if someone let us! With that being said, I'm excited to make this again and again, tweaking it until it is perfection.

As for the below recipe, there's nothing terribly unusual about it---not too sweet, not too hot, not too vinegary; it's just right for that summer grilling!


1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup worcestershire
2 teaspoons chili powder

1. Heat oil in a thick saucepan. Mince onion and garlic. Add to oil and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add in the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chocolate Pancakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter sauce

I don't even need an explanation for this one. Chocolate AND pancakes??? What more could you ask for?



For the pancakes:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1. Combine the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. Whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla and melted butter. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until JUST COMBINED. Don't overmix unless you want chewy, tough pancakes.

3. Cook on a medium-high griddle or pan with 1 tsp of oil or butter. About 1 minutes on each side.

For the sauce:
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (or whatever kind of chocolate you have)
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp butter

Heat ingredients over low in a saucepan until melted and smooth. Lick the spoon, and then apply to pancakes. : )

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chicken Parmesan: the remix!

I think Chicken Parmesan is one of those recipes that appeals to everyone. I wanted to make it for dinner without all of the fat that is found in a restaurant Chicken Parm. In other words, cut down on that breading! I wanted to focus on the protein and those classic flavors, without the excess oils. This version gives a minimal (but satisfying) breading, but doesn't cut back on the flavors!

In addition to cutting down on the fat, I wanted to cut down on the carbs with the usual pasta. Trust me, carbs are my bffs, but my husband is trying to cut down as much as possible, so I comply....sometimes. : ) In order to do that, I made a zucchini "pasta". This way, we were able to have something filling and fresh which resembles pasta! Also, this was a great way to use up the huge box of zucchini I got at the farmer's market.

The thing I noticed most about this recipe is the moistness (is that a word?) of the chicken. Totally flavorful, and the breading along with the sauce keeps all the moisture in the chicken. I could only finish half of mine because it was so filling!



Chicken parmesan:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cups tomato sauce or marinara (I just used a jarred marinara)
1 cup mozzarella (I would recommend the fresh, but only had shredded in my fridge!)
2 tbsp olive oil2 tbsp parmesan
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
1/2 tbsp parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1. Heat oven to 350

2. Mix together the oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, and breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot (little waves should appear in the oil). Brown each chicken breast on each side, heating about 1 minute on each side.

4. Pour the tomato sauce in a glass or ceramic pan. Place chicken on top of oil the tomato sauce, and top each breast with one tbsp of parmesan and one tbsp of mozzarella. Cook for 15 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Cheese should be melted and chicken should be cooked through.

5. Place chicken on top of zucchini "pasta" (see below) and pour tomato sauce on top of chicken.

Zucchini "pasta":Take 3-4 small zuchinni and use a apple peeler to peel the zucchini lengthwise. In a large pan, place the ribbons of zucchini and 1/3 cup water. Cover for 5 minutes until the zucchini is soft. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated. Toss with a sprinkling of parmesan and salt. I've also added marinara before, which makes it even more sneaky. : )