Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roasted Red Potatoes

The Hubs is a Meat & Potatoes kind of guy. Since we got married (almost 5 years ago), I have convinced him to venture out and try (and like) many new foods, vegetables included. However, deep down inside, I know his still loves his meat & potatoes the best. A couple time a month, I'll make these Roasted Red Potatoes. They go well with just about any meat and they are SUPER easy.


* Small Red Potatoes
* Olive Oil
* Fresh Herbs - Basil, Thyme, Sage
* Coarsely Ground Salt
* Black Pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Wash potatoes & cut into bite sized pieces. Finely chop herbs.

3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil & herbs.

4. Add potatoes & toss to coat.

5. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking dish or cookie sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and lightly with pepper.

6. Roasted at 450 for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 min.

My Tid-Bits:

* Ingredient Proportions - When I make these for just the 2 of us, I use 2 to 3 Tbsp. oil and 1.5 to 2 Tbsp fresh herbs.

* Herbs - You can really use any herbs that you like. Rosemary & oregano are both also excellent choices. And if you don't have fresh herbs, dried herbs work just as well. For 2 people, still use 2-3 Tbsp. oil, but only 1/2 tsp. of each herb.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lime Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Weekend before last, I went home to see the folks. It never fails that when I leave, I have an HEB bag full of goodies from mom. Some are homemade, others are things she found at the grocery that she thought looked good or things she had left over from a party. This time my goody bag contained a bag of Tostitos Hint of Lime tortilla chips. At the time I didn't know what I would do with them.

Fast forward to this past weekend when I decided it was time to actually organize my recipe book. It was a mess! It was full of torn out pages from magazines, print outs from the internet & post-it notes with recipes in barely legible handwriting. As I punched holes & put things in there appropriate category, I came across a recipe torn out of an old Southern Living for Lime Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders that called for Lime Tortilla chips!! Eureka! A use for my mom's gifted chips!

So I made them last night. I'll be completely honest. They were good, but really needed some type of dipping sauce.


* 2 large eggs
* 1 (2-lb.) package frozen chicken tenderloins, thawed
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 3/4 cups finely crushed lime-flavored tortilla chips
* Garnishes: fresh cilantro sprigs, lime wedges


1. Preheat oven to 425º.

2. Put Lime Tortilla chips in a ziploc & crush to tiny pieces. Pour crushed chips into a shallow dish.

3. In another shallow dish, whisk together eggs and 1 Tbsp. water until blended.

4. In a third shallow dish, combine flour, salt & pepper.

5. Dredge each tender in flour; then dip in egg mixture, and dredge in crushed tortilla chips.

6. Place chicken on a lightly greased wire rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

7. Bake at 425º for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.

My Tid-Bits:

* I only used 5 chicken tenders, but the same amount of everything else.

* When it comes time to prepare the tenders, it's easiest to line up your dishes and the baking sheet so you can transfer from one to the next easily.

* Like I said, the tenders were good...they were very crisp & I liked the texture. However, they could have used a bit more flavor. Next time I will serve with some type of ranch or creamy cilantro dip.

* See the potatoes in the picture above?? I'll tell you how I make those next time.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub

While cleaning out my freezer last week, I discovered a pork tenderloin I had purchased at HEB some time ago, tossed in the freezer & forgot about. For some reason, Pork Tenderloin isn't something I make very often. I'm not sure's relatively easy to make & The Hubs loves it! So when I discovered the tenderloin (and looked at the date), I thought " I'd better cook this."

I looked online for a recipe & this Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub from Ellie Krieger on had great reviews. I did as many reviewers suggested & made a sauce to go with it.

The final result was YUMMY! And I'm not even a huge pork fan.

Tenderloin Ingredients

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander (I didn't have this, so I used rosemary)
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* Salt
* 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled & cut into thirds

Sauce Ingredients

* 2 to 3 Tbps. flour
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1/2 cup water
* 2/3 tsp. chicken bouillon


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients such as garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme and salt. Stir mixture with a fork until all the ingredients are well combined and they form a seasoning. This will be used as a rub to ensure the pork is well seasoned throughout.

3. Sprinkle the rub over the tenderloin with a dry hand, then rub the pork with the seasoning over both sides of the meat, pressing gently so the seasoning adheres well to the tenderloin.

4. Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap & let sit for 30 min.

5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the minced garlic and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. If garlic starts to burn, remove from pan.

6. Put tenderloin in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, searing each side using tongs to turn the meat.

7. Transfer meat to a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes.

8. Remove from oven, cover with foil & let rest for 5-10 minutes.

9. While the tenderloin is baking, make your sauce. Add 2 to 3 Tbsp. flour to the pan drippings & stir with a whisk to create a roux.

10. Add white wine, water & chicken bouillon. Stir well. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Lower heat under pan to the lowest setting & let sit until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. If sauce gets too thick, add a bit more water.

11. To serve, slice tenderloin at a diagonal and drizzle with sauce.

My Tid-Bits:

* I didn't have coriander, so I subbed some rosemary. It was a good choice, although next time I'll only use 1/2 tsp. of rosemary.

* Meat thermometers are for the birds! Everything I read online said to cook the tenderloin until internal temp was 140. Mine never read above 128, but somehow my tenderloin was a bit dry. Just stick to cooking it for 20 minutes (or a bit less if you like it more rare).

* The sauce was DARN GOOD! You must make the sauce. If you don't have any oil left in your pan after you're done searing the tenderloin, add a tsp. or a pat of butter before adding the flour for the roux.

Now I'm off to get ready for our dinner out tonight. IT'S THE HUBS BIRTHDAY!!! Happy Birthday, honey! Love you.

And yes, I made carrot cake. :) It's not a birthday without a cake.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Red Pepper Pesto & Shrimp Grilled Pizza

When my June/July issue of the Rachel Ray Magazine came in the mail this week, I was really excited to see that it was all about grilling. The Hubs & I love to grill and are always looking for new ideas. I haven't made it all the way through the magazine yet, but I've seen several things worth trying.

Last night, I decided to try one of the recipes from the magazine - Red Pepper Pesto & Shrimp Pizza. It was a little bit out of the box & I wasn't sure how it was going to be, but what's life without culinary risk? (And there is always a Little Caesar's $5 pizza waiting for us around the corner if its a total disaster). Luckily, the pizzas were REALLY good.

As I sometimes tend to do, I changed the recipe up a bit - really just made it a bit easier. Rachel's recipe (which I would link to, but it's not on her site yet) called for you to grill & remove the skins from 2 red bell peppers. I cheated and used roasted red pepper from a jar. is the recipe with my tweaks.


* 1 jar roasted red peppers
* 20 - 25 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
* 2 small cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
* 3/4 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup thinly sliced
* 1 tbsp. lemon juice
* 1 (12 inch) french baguette - split horizontally, hallowed out & halved crosswise
* salt & pepper


1. Preheat the grill to a medium heat. Then hallow out the baguette halves.

2. In a bowl, season shrimp with salt & pepper and toss with 2 tbsp. EVOO & 2 cloves of garlic.

3. Put shrimp on skewers & grill for 2 minutes per side.

4. Using a food processor, puree 2 or 3 roasted red peppers, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup basil leaves & lemon juice. With the machine on, gradually add 3 tbsp EVOO. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Spread the pesto on the hollowed out sides of the baguette halves.

6. Top with shrimp, then sprinkle on remaining mozzarella cheese & thinly sliced basil.

7. Arrange on the cooking grate, close lid & grill for 5 minutes to melt cheese & heat through.

8. Serve with a salad, corn or grilled veggies.

My Tid-Bits:

* Yes, I like my corn OFF the cob. Otherwise, it gets all stuck between your teeth & that's just annoying.

* Shrimp are very easy & quick to grill. When skewering them, be sure to either double skewer or put skewer through the body & tail. Otherwise, the shrimp will spin around on the skewer when you try to flip them.

* Feel free to add other toppings such as diced, grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, etc.).

* Be sure that the bread doesn't burn while on the grill. If it starts to burn, turn down the heat or move the pizza to part of the grill with indirect heat.


If it seems as though I've been sharing a lot of shrimp & fish recipes lately, its because that's what I've been cooking...and for several reason. First shrimp & fish defrost & cook fast. And lately, I need fast. Secondly, we've been trying to eat less red meat. The Hubs would eat red meat every meal if I let him. He likes chicken, but not more than once or twice a week. And he feels as though a meal is not complete without some type of meat. So that leaves me with seafood. If you're not a seafood fan (like my good friend, B) try subbing chicken for the seafood.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flounder with Tomato Basil Couscous

Last night, I finally had time to prepare a real dinner at home for The Hubs. I had just one problem. Although I went to the grocery store twice last week, neither time did I buy groceries for OUR house. So I had to make due with what I found in the freezer & pantry. From frozen flounder fillets, a box of couscous & a few other kitchen staples, I managed to make a pretty good dinner.


For the Couscous:

* 3/4 cup plain couscous
* 3/4 cup chicken stock
* 2 tsp. EVOO
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or chopped fresh tomato)
* fresh basil, chopped (about 4 big leaves)
* juice from 1/2 a lemon

For the Fish:

* fish fillets (I used flounder, but any white fish would do)
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1 tsp. lemon pepper
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
* 2 Tbsp. EVOO
* lemon juice for serving


1. In a saucepan, bring chicken broth, 2 tsp. EVOO & salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous & lemon juice. Remove from heat, cover & let stand for 5 minutes.

2. After 5 minutes, stir in the chopped basil & tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Recover & let stand until ready to serve.

3. In the meantime, combine flour, lemon pepper, salt & garlic powder in a dish or on a plate.

4. Heat 2 Tbsp. EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Dredge fish fillets in flour mixture and add to pan. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.

6. To serve, top couscous with fish & a squeeze of lemon juice.

My Tid-Bits:

* Be sure to check the directions on your couscous box. You may need to adjust the amount of chicken broth/water.

* Use as much or little of the tomatoes & basil to flavor your couscous to your liking.

* I normally would had served this with a real vegetable, like green beans, but again...I need to go grocery shopping.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Morsel FOR Mom

Since Mother's Day was yesterday, I thought I'd change my Monday Morsel From Mom to Monday Morsel For Mom & share with you all the Mother's Day lunch we made yesterday.

The intent was for me to make lunch for my mom; however, my mother can't just stand around and watch other people cook. She has to join in. (All of my friends are laughing right now because I'm the exact same way. I can't help's genetic). So instead, I made lunch WITH my mom. And it was GOOD!

I came up with a (relatively) healthy menu & bought all of the ingredients. Mom, The Hubs & my dad all pitched in to help prepare. (Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture).

The Menu:

Tzatziki with Pita Chips

A trio of grilled kabobs
* Garlic Jalapeno Shrimp (from this recipe)
* Filet Mignon
* Italian Chicken Breast

Grilled Vegetables w/ Fresh Herbs
* Squash
* Zucchini
* Mushrooms
* Eggplant
* Red Onion
* Red & Green Peppers

Spring Salad with Strawberries, Pecans, Almonds, Feta & Raspberry Vinaigrette

Dinner Rolls

Raspberry Tiramisu

At some point, I'll share the recipes fro the salad & tiramisu because both are definitely worth passing along.

But today, I want to share the Tzatziki recipe from Barefoot Contessa that I used. You may recall that I first discovered Tzatziki at Chef Geoff's on our D.C. trip. It is probably one of the most healthy dips you can find & it's full of flavor.


* 2 (7-ounce) containers Greek yogurt (recommended: Fage)
* 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
* 1/4 cup light sour cream
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Place the yogurt in a medium bowl.

2. Grate the cucumber on a box grater and squeeze the grated cucumber with your hand to remove some of the liquid.

3. Add it to the yogurt along with the sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt and pepper and stir.

4. Serve with pita chips, cucumber slices, carrots...anything good for dipping!

My Tid-Bits:

* I used the 2% Fage Greek Yogurt & Light Sour Cream

* By using these ingredients, this recipes yields 8 servings with only 47 calories and 1.6 grams of fat per serving. You won't find many other dips that low in calories or fat.

* When grating the cucumber, use the larger side of the grater to make cucumber shreds. I actually only used about 1/2 the cucumber to mix into the dip.

* When adding the salt, add 1 tsp. and then taste it with your dipping medium of choice. I was serving this dip with pita chips that were already a bit salty, so 1 tsp was plenty.

* This is definitely a recipe that I will continue to use for get-togethers, showers, etc.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Confession: I Don't Always Cook A Real Dinner

My apologies for my lack of sharing recipes lately. I've been so busy with work, travel & baseball, the only meals we've eat at home have looked like this....

Or this...

And on a really good night, like this...

turned into this...

Shrimp sauteed with garlic, salt & pepper served with Pasta Roni & bagged salad. Ready in under 15 minutes!

I promise to be back next week to share more recipes & finish up my posts about my trip. (I haven't even gotten to the part with the Amish buggies, yet)!

In the meantime, I'll try to feed The Hubs a respectable meal.