Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Version of Giada's Orechiette

I had some leftover Mascarpone so I decided to make Giada's Orechiette with Sausage with a few adjustments. I nixed the beans and doubled up on the sausage cuz we're meatlovers and used Italian pork sausage instead of the turkey. I also added garlic, hot pepper flakes and replaced the pasta water with white wine for more flavor. The result was a super meaty and creamy dinner!

Monday, July 30, 2012

No Shame in Using the Blue Box!

If I had all the time in the world, I'd love to make everything from scratch every night. Unfortunately I work fulltime and I'm lucky if I can get dinner on the table before 9pm. That being said, I'd still like us to have something homemade instead of takeout so I get help from convenience items like good old Kraft Mac and Cheese. I know some of you will think less of me for using the boxed stuff but I'm only human and there are only 24 hours in my day! Besides, it's not like I don't jazz things up like tonight's Crab Horseradish Mac and Cheese. Doesn't look anything like the boxed stuff, now does it? It's got crabmeat, horseradish cheddar and baked with a crusty breadcrub topping! Not bad for 30 minutes in the kitchen!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bon Appetit-Inspired Vietnamese Dinner

Tonight's yummy Vietnamese dinner was inpired by a recipe I saved from Bon Appetit for Pork and Lemongrass Meatballs. I made a few changes and served them on top of rice noodles instead of in lettuce cups. I also skipped the dipping sauce and made something creamy to go on top. In came out amazing and I couldn't have made it without my go-to staple, Gourmet Garden Lemongrass in a tube. I swear they're such time-savers!


1/2 lb ground pork sausage
2 Tbsp lemongrass, divided
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 c onions, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 heavy cream
Rice noodles, for serving


1. In a bowl, mix together the pork, 1 Tbsp lemongrass, fish sauce, garlic powder and sugar. Roll into 6 golf-size balls.

2. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Brown meatballs 5 minutes on all sides. Remove and keep warm.

3. Turn heat down to medium-low and add onions. Cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and remaining Tbsp lemongrass. Cook for 1 minute.

4. Pour in heavy cream and bring mixture to a boil. Add meatballs back and cover. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 10 minutes. Serve over rice noodles with sauce drizzled on top.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lone Overdue for Panini!

It's definitely been a while since I made Panini for us so I decided to dust off the Panini Press on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. These feature roast beef, ham, tomatoes and a yummy combination of Smoked Gouda, Horseradish Cheddar AND Swiss Cheese. Can't beat that!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crabby Pad Thai

My hubby LOVES Pad Thai and over the years, I've made the dish enough to kinda just wing it. Tonight, I made a version with Imitation Crab (another one of his favs!) and it was a yummy Asian feast! It was also really quick to put together, which is a life-saver on a busy weeknight.


1 Tbsp oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
6 dried chiles
1 Tbsp grated ginger
4 green onions, chopped (+ more for garnish)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz Imitation crab, chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
8 oz rice noodles, cooked according to package directions


1. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook until set. Remove and cut into pieces.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in another pan over medium heat. Add the chiles, green onion and ginger. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add garlic and cook another minute.

3. Add crab, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Stir to combine and heat through. Stir in noodles and eggs. Serve garnish with more green onions.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Real Simple Real Fast Chicken Curry

I've been saving this Southern Indian Chicken Curry from Real Simple for a while now and finally made it tonight. I took even more shortcuts by using frozen cooked chicken strips and canned peaches. Yes, I found a way to make "Real Simple" even more simple! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can't Go Wrong with Heinz Ketchup!

My hubby has LOVES Heinz Kechup so I knew any recipe from their website would be a winner. Tonight, I made Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese and he could not have loved it more! As for the processed cheese spread, I used a combination President's Pub Cheese with Horseradish and shredded Cheddar since the idea of Velveeta has always scared me. (Come on, shelf-stable cheese? Gross!) The meal came together in no time and I can't wait to dig into the leftovers!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Giada-Inspired Lamb Lollipops

A while back, I watched Giada make her Lamb with Honey and Mascarpone and loved the idea of the sauce. My hubby's a big fan of lamb lollipos so I sliced the rack of lamb beforehand, which also meant the meat cooked in just minutes on the grill pan. To make sure that the lamb came out as tender as possible, I quickly marinated the lollipops in a mixture of lemonade and olive oil. (Yes, you read that right, I said lemonade, not lemon juice!) The result was a mouthwatering Sunday night feast of flavorful lamb topped with the most decadent sweet and creamy sauce served over couscous!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Simple Yet AMAZING Lobster Tails!

When you have something like huge lobster tails, simplicity is the way to go. Tonight, I took the meat out of the shells and poached them in butter. Yup, that's it, just melted butter. I served them over couscous, topped with my go-to Blender Hollandaise Sauce kicked up with cayenne. The most AMAZING way to start the weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicken Saté Sauté isn't just FUN to Say!

I came across this recipe for Chicken Saté Sauté and couldn't help myself cuz I'm just a sucker for fun names! Thankfully, it also turned out to be a very yummy meal! I loved the combination of peanut butter and curry, giving the dish that Saté flavor. I served the chicken over Thai rice noodles to go along with the Asian theme. Quick and easy on a busy Wednesday night!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Last of my Cube Steak

I bought Cube Steak for the first time a while back and did a lot of research on how to cook it. Most of the recipes were for Chicken-Fried Steak which we really loved but I also found this recipe for Salisbury braising the meat nice and slow. I thought I'd give it a try and it turned out REALLY good! I served the meat over Polenta and hubby was very impressed since he claims he doesn't like Cube Steak! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Idea of Goulash is Different than My Hubby's

My hubby and I often have different definitions when it comes to food. For example, the first time I made Scones, he was expecting fried dough and I disappointed him with my baked version. Tonight, I informed him that I was making Goulash and he was surprised to find something that didn't resemble Sloppy Joe on top of Macaroni, which he grew up eating. My Goulash was more "Traditional", which is a Hungarian meat stew on top of noodles. I've actually researched for a while for the perfect recipe and came up with my own.


1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp paprika
1/2 lb boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Sour Cream, for serving
Egg Noodles, for serving

1. Combine cornstarch and paprika in a bowl. Add pork and toss to coat. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

3. Turn heat down to medium-low and add butter. Once butter melts, add onion and brown for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add tomatoes, broth and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil and add pork back. Cover and simmer until meat is cooked through, 10 minutes.
5. Discard the bay leaf and serve over noodles with sour cream on top.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mumbi-Italiano Night!

I've been saving Arti's Meatball Curry from her Mumbi-Italiano Night episode for a while now and finally made them tonight. They were just as good if not better than I imagined! I mean, you can never go wrong with meatballs at our house but add a coconut curry sauce and they're just amazing! I used canned green chiles instead of the serrano cuz that was what I had on hand and also substituted parsley for the cilantro since my hubby's not a fan. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe and we were very pleased! I served my meatballs over rice to soak up all that yummy sauce. A perfect Friday the 13th meal!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Tex Mex Porkchop Feast!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Tex Mex food at our house so tonight I decided to make one featuring some big O porkchops. I served them over my go-to easy Fiesta Mexican Rice Mix. Or course, no Tex Mex feast would be complete without some sour cream and cheese on top right?

Ingredients: (for 2 hungry people)

2 bone-in porkchops
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c onions, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c salsa
1/2 c heavy cream
Sour cream, for topping
Mexican shredded cheese, for topping
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Mexican Rice, for serving


1. Season porkchops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add porkchops and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

2. Turn heat down to medium and add onions, cumin, chili and chipotle powders. Cook for 5 minutes and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute and stir in salsa. Bring mixture to a boil and add porkchops back. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer until porkchops are cooked through, 10 minutes. Remove porkchops to serving platter.

3. Turn heat up to high and add heavy cream. Boil until sauce is thickened, 5 minutes. Pour over porkchops and top with sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions. Serve with Mexican Rice.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Saved by the Canned Mushroom

Fresh mushrooms seem to go bad on me before I'm able to use them all so I always canned ones around. I'm not partial to any brand since they pretty much all taste the same so I just get whatever is on sale. The great thing about canned mushrooms too is that they're already cooked so you can just add them at the last minute and don't need to wait for them to soften unlike fresh ones. Tonight, I made my version of Joelen's Chicken with Mushroom Balsamic Cream using chicken leg quarters instead of breasts so they took a bit longer to cook. I served them over couscous, my favorite quick-cooking side dish and it was a comforting and yummy dinner!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Comforting Braised Pork Chops on a Monday Night!

Mondays are pretty hectic for the both of us so I like to end them with a comforting meal. Tonight, I made Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Apple Sauce and Braised Carrots and it couldn't have been more appropriate! There's something about the combination of pork and apples that just reminds me of fall so I served them with Mashed Sweet Potatoes. A yummy and comforting way to start the week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Watching The Chew at the Gym Paid Off!

I was thrilled when they replaced All My Children with The Chew and watch it religiously during my lunch-time workouts. Tonight, I made Michael Symon's Goat Cheese Mac with Roasted Chicken and it was a definite winner! I've never cooked much with Goat Cheese so I was really looking forward to trying this recipe. It came out amazing! I used the spread from Trader Joe and it was creamy and had just the right amount of tang.Some people don't like Goat Cheese (which I honestly don't understand) but we love it on everything from crackers to salads and now, Mac and Cheese!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Meatballs Mexican-Style!

My hubby just got back from a weeklong trip in Asia so he requested something Mexican for dinner. I gladly obliged with Mexican Meatballs and my go to (microwaveable) Fiesta Rice! It's got LOTS of kicked up flavors from Chipotle, Cumin and Chili Powder and cooled off with a dollop of sour cream. What can be better on a Friday night right?


1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chipotle powder 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1/2 c salsa


1. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl. Form into about 8 golf-size meatballs.

2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown 5 minutes on all sides. Remove and set aside. 

3. Add onion and sauté until they just start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chipotle, cumin, chili, tomatoes and salsa. Stir to combine.

4. Bring sauce to a boil and add meatballs back. Turn heat down to low and simmer 10 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

5. Serve over rice and garnish with sour cream, green onions and shredded Mexican cheese.

Friday Treats from The Pioneer Woman

I've been saving this recipe for Blueberry Mini Muffins from The Pioneer Woman and decided to make them for this Friday's treats. OMG they were just as yummy as they looked if not more! Only changes I made were using butter instead of shortening and Blueberry-Infused Craisins instead of dried blueberries. Reasons being that I had both on hand and didn't need to run out to the store, which is really important on a busy Thursday night! They were a total hit at the office and everyone seems to love the occasional switch up from Cookies on Friday!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Saying Good Bye with Pollo Asado

My hubby's leaving for work again so I wanted to make his favorite Trader Joe's Pollo Asado for a dinner before he took off. It was super quick and easy and as always, the flavors were amazing! I served the chicken over some cheesy Mexican rice (basically just rice that I jazzed up with tomatoes, chili powder and cheese) and of course I had to top it off with a dollop of sour cream!

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