Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chile Rellenos Casserole

I found this one in my newest Cooking Light cookbook. I think it was a pretty good recipe although because of the long time it takes in the oven, I don't think I'll be adding it to the rotation. But if you are looking for an almost carb-less Mexican recipe this was pretty darn good. BTW, no picture... it looked gross!

1 lb ground turkey
1 cup chopped shallots
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
2 (4-ounce) cans whole green chiles, drained and cut lengthwise into quarters
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded light Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup corn, drained
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups skim milk
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites

Cook turkey and shallot in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine chicken mixture, cumin, and next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Stir well, and set aside.

Arrange half of green chile strips in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish; top with half of cheese. Spoon mounds of bean mixture onto cheese, and spread gently, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge of dish; top with corn. Arrange remaining chile strips over corn; top with remaining cheese. Set aside.

Combine flour and salt in a bowl; gradually add milk and hot sauce, stirring with a wire whisk until blended. Stir in eggs and egg whites; pour over casserole. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set; let stand 5 minutes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pesto Rotini with Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Peas

All you Barefoot Bloggers out there inspired me to do a pesto. I actually had some frozen in my freezer from some I made a month or so ago. I made a little more quickly tonight to add to the quantity and then just threw in ingredients as I felt fit. It really turned out great and besides me heating up our already hot kitchen, it made for a great Saturday night meal. Paired with some pinot grigio, and I'm in heaven! This recipe will easily serve 4 people, we now have a lot of leftover.

About 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, washed (I put them in a bowl of water to shake off all the dirt)
1-2 TBSP of olive oil
1/4 cup parm cheese (fresh of course, not in the green can)
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium if possible
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 fat free half and half (for creaminess)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients into a food processor until well blended. You don't really want any chunks!

Sausage and veggies:

3/4 lb whole wheat/whole grain rotini (I use Barilla), cooked according to the box directions, omitting salt and fat
1 TBSP olive oil
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
3/4 lb. turkey sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup baby bella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a heated pan, coated with the olive oil, cook the shallot and garlic about 5 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, being sure not to burn the garlic. Add in the turkey sausage and as you cook it break it up into bite-sized pieces. Once the sausage is no longer pink, add in the mushrooms and cook about 3 minutes. Add in the sundried tomatoes, cook another 2 minutes. Add in the pesto and a ladle of the pasta water. stir well and cook another 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and add into the pesto/sausage mix. Combine well and serve. Top with a tablespoon or so of parm cheese. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bedroom--Almost Done!

Yay for us! New bedroom furniture and blinds. The furniture is from Bob's (don't ask me the name, I have no clue haha!) The blinds we found at Home Depot but bought them online at for $200 less than HD wanted. That's right bargain shoppers, go me! They are actual wood, by Bali. We're really happy with how our bedroom has turned out. All we neeed now is some pictures!

PS, don't mind the footprints on the bed, that's just our little peanut dog walking everywhere.

Warm Asian Noodle Salad with Tofu

Another big hit. DH and I loved it. And we even ate with chopsticks. The sauce definitely had a kick, which we like, got protein from the tofu, and the crunch of the celery really brought everything together.

1/4 cup, all natural, reduced fat peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 tsp. hot chili sauce with ginger
1-1/2 tsp sesame or olive oil
1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

1-1/2 packages of plain ramen noodles or 1/2 lb. spaghetti
1-1/2 cups, shredded carrot (about 2 carrots)
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/2 block of firm or extra firm tofu, sauteed in a pan until brown

To prepare the sauce, combine all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well with a whisk

Cook the ramen noodles or spaghetti according to the package directions. Add in the carrots and celery add the end and let stand for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water for the sauce. Place pasta mixture into a large bowl with the bell pepper and onions. Combine the peanut sauce and water with a whisk; pour over the pasta mixture and toss. Serve warm.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Pizza... again!

I just wanted to repost this because we made it again last night and again I still think it's better than the restaurant version, even with a premade crust. So here's the link to the original recipe. We are time savers during the week so premade crust is the only way for me to go. Last night we had trim to paint in our bedroom and it was a perfect, quick dinner. This time though we used a Pillsbury crust and prebaked it for 5 minutes. We also sprinkled fresh oregano and basil on top. Music to my mouth!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Product Review: Maybelline Mineral Power Liquid Foundation

Advertising actually worked on me! Background: I desperately needed new makeup and although I am (until now) an exclusive Clinique girl, I was in Target and figured I needed to buy something fast and so I started scouring the aisles. I really didn't want to make that extra trip to Macy's and upon remembering the commercial for the Maybelline Mineral Power Liquid Makeup, I decided to take a chance and buy it.

And I am happy I did. It provides great coverage and blended right in with my skin. My problem lately with Clinique had been the jawline makeup line (a big NO NO) and finding the right color for my skin tone. This makeup took those worries away. No jawline issues, my skin tone is evened out, and it's light--doesn't even feel like I'm wearing makeup. It was so easy to put on and doesn't require a huge amount, just a little dab for the entire face. Plus, the price $8.99 versus $20 for the Clinique stuff. I think Maybelline scored a winner with this one. I would definitely encourage my fellow ladies to try it out. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

French Onion Soup

I am so glad I finally was able to make this. I LOVE FRENCH ONION SOUP. But before I tested it out on my family who also loves it, I had to test it out on D and I first. My new crocks have been staring at me since they were delivered and they are so happy to be used. Another wonderful Williams-Sonoma purchase. I'm all smiles!

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 Vidalia onions, sliced finely
3 shallots, sliced finely

1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup white wine
6 cups of beef broth
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons butter
French baguette, slice
Jarlsberg cheese, sliced (Guyere is preferred but the store didn't have it that day)

Heat butter in a large dutch oven and sautee onions for 10 minutes on medium-high heat or until soft. Stir in sugar, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Increase heat to medium-high and sautee for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Stir in wine and cook for 1 minute. Add broth/stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours.

Preheat broiler. Coat with some butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light) and garlic powder. Toast baguette slices for 2-3 minutes.

Place soup in oven-safe crocks. Place toasted baguette slices on top of soup. Place cheese slices on top of the baguette. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted.

We finally painted!!

After months of trying to find colors to paint our bedroom, we finally did it! Since we moved on February 29, it's been on our minds but we could never decide. After combing through Home Depot and Lowe's we decided to visit our local Benjamin Moore store on my Mom and Dad's suggestion. They had some great brochures that showed us how to pair colors and we even picked one we found in there, something we probably never would have thought to choose. We covered up that terrible pink and got some gorgeous colors that remind us of the ocean. Westminster Gold and Jamaican Aqua. I have to send a shout out too my mother in law and father in law Lois and Fred who came over and helped us enormously. Even through the heat and humidity they were troopers. Without them, I'd have jagged edges (Lois is the edging queen!) and we'd still probably be painting. THANK YOU!! Here's some pictures. We are now able to schedule our furniture delivery and we'll have a real, grown up bedroom.... at last.

Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings (Shu Mai)

I recently purchased a bamboo steamer, courtesy of a Williams-Sonoma gift card I got for my birthday (thanks to the Cwieka's!!) and so I bought wonton wrappers a few weeks ago with the idea to make chinese dumplings. Well, I finally got around to it today after being sick most of the week and I must say, my first foray into dumplings was pretty darn good. I would add some shredded carrots to the recipe next time to give it more taste and crunch but I did really like these. I got the recipe from and will definitely use it for a basis again.

Working with the bamboo steamer was really easy too. You just line the bottom with parchment paper careful not to cover all the air holes so that the steam can still circulate. Fill a wok with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. When the water boils, put the steamer in the wok. Make sure the bottom of the steamer doesn't touch the water. If it does, just pour some out. You may need to add more water as you steam, depending on how many batches you make. For this recipe, I had to reload the steamer 5 times. It really is a cool process. I love it.

1/2 pound of ground chicken (I used chicken breasts and ground it in my food processor)
5 precooked shrimp, diced (I used the frozen kind and just defrosted it)
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (I would use more next time)
1 TBSP rice wine
1 TBSP soy sauce
24 wonton wrappers
1 egg beaten

In a bowl combine the chicken, shrimp, green onions, ginger, rice wine and soy sauce.

On a clean, flat surface, lay out the wonton wrappers (I worked with 6 at a time). Top the wrapper with about a tablespoon of the mixture. Brush the edges a little of the egg and bring the corners up together to form a dumpling.

Steam the dumplings for about 10 minutes and remove immediately. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I used sesame ginger. YUM!

I am submitting this one to Joelen's Asian Appetizer Adventure here!