I was on Spring Break (I'm a teacher) and had all sorts of plans for blogging and reading and cleaning and projects. And I would have done all those things if I hadn't been watching lots of TV, hanging out with friends and family, eating Easter cookies, and playing Scrabble with Sonny. And you know what? I have chosen to embrace the laziness and not have guilt over all the things I didn't get done this week.
I did do some cooking and tried a few new recipes. Here's a sampling of what I've been cookin' up in my kitchen these days...
~This can be filed under "Quick and Easy"~
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 (6 oz.) can pineapple juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 4 salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
- Additional orange zest for optional garnish
- Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/4 tsp of the salt in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to the pan and cook 3 minutes. Turn fish over and place in the oven.
- Cook in oven for a minute or two until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with orange zest if you desire.
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds quartered Yukon gold or red potatoes (about 4 cups)
- Cooking spray
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian parsley)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees (because I made these with the salmon, I lowered the temperature so that the salmon wouldn't get overcooked...it worked just fine at 400).
- Combine garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.
- Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drizzle remaining olive oil evenly over potatoes in a large bowl and toss to coat (I actually just toss them in oil directly on the baking sheet).
- Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet (coated with cooking spray) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden. Combine reserved garlic, parsley, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle garlic mixture over potatoes.
~This is delicious and beautiful..I wish I had taken a picture~
- Loaf of Italian Bread
- Butter for spreading on bread
- Thinly sliced Prosciutto
- Apricot Preserves
- Goat cheese
- Heat up a panini press or a skillet over medium high heat
- Spread butter onto two slices of bread. On the other side of one slice, spread apricot preserves. On the other side of the second slice, spread goat cheese.
- Put a few slices of prosciutto onto one slice and put together to make a sandwich (buttered sides on the outside, obviously).
- Place sandwich on panini press or skillet and let cook until golden brown and crispy. Then flip to cook the other side.
- Let cool for a minute so that the preserves don't burn your tongue! (I learned this the hard way)
~I served this with Cumin Roasted Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans~
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth*
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp lime juice, divided**
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp butter
- Pound chicken breasts so that they are 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from pan and keep warm.
- Add broth, sugar, 2 tbsp lime juice, and mustard to pan. Cook over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Combine 2 tbsp water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to pan and stir well with a whisk.
- Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Whisk in 1 tbsp lime juice and butter, stirring until butter melts.
- Return chicken to the pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 5 minutes).
**I got limes at Produce Junction for very cheap
Recipe taken from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007
~A great way to "turn up the volume" on roasted potatoes~
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Cut 2 large unpeeled baking potatoes (I used Yukon gold) into chunks or 1/2 inch slices.
- Combine 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a bit of salt and crushed red pepper into a bowl.
- Spoon mixture over potatoes and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden.
My very good friend, Mary Beth, came to visit on Friday. She and I were roomies in college and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I served up some Island Chicken with fresh pineapple, Roasted Vegetables, and Couscous. When dessert rolled around, I enjoyed making her uncomfortable by forcing her to pose for a picture.
~Doesn't Mary Beth look happy?~
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Scant 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 whole large egg and 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 whole milk
- Mixed berries mixed with a bit of sugar to serve alongside (I did strawberries and blackberries)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter a 9 inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment. Lightly dust with flour. (You don't have to do the parchment paper, but it ensures that it will not stick).
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add whole egg, yolk, zest, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
- At low speed, mix in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches (by thirds)
- Spread batter in cake pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden toothpick comes out clean (35-40 minutes). Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack.
- Serve with mixed berries.