June 25, 2009

gimme your best 30-min recipe

this past week we've just happened to have some of my favorite recipes, so i thought i would share them all. sorry to be a blog hog...but they're all good stuff!

also, you'll notice that two (three if you count the bonus recipe at the end of the "baked fish yummy" post) of the recipes i posted are dinners that can be ready in under 30 minutes. what's your favorite quick meal? please share!

baked fish yummy--less than 30 minutes!

the previous owner of our house gave us some tuna he caught himself off the coast of san diego…so i tried this recipe and liked it lots.

juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 oz fresh fish (ahi tuna, salmon, mahi-mahi), cut 1 ½ inches thick
½ tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp (or more) worcestershire sauce
1 scallion, chopped
1 tsp spicy mustard

heat oven to 375. melt butter and sauté garlic 1 minute. add honey, Worcestershire and mustard and cook another minute. add lemon juice and pepper and let sauce cool 10 minutes to thicken. put fish in a greased baking dish. pour sauce over fish, then salt, the basil and scallions. bake 10-15 minutes (depending on how rare you would like the fish).

p.s. and if you just happen to have WAY too much fish to eat and it's the second night of tuna steak and you don't think you can do one more (even though it was yummy), but you don't want to waste it, you can make the following tuna casserole and be really worried you'll have to feed it to the dog, but then be pleasantly surprised when it's actually quite tasty:

(sorry i don't have precise measurements because i just sort of threw everything in and hoped for the best)

3/4 package egg noodles, cooked til nearly done
1 celery stalk, sauteed in cooking spray
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 - 3/4 can of milk (using the dirty mushroom soup can)
a handful of canned mushrooms
a handful of shredded cheddar cheese
3 slices of whole wheat bread made into crumbs
1ish tbsp butter, melted
oh yeah, the tuna--cut it up and put in whatever amount looks good

mix everything together except bread crumbs and butter. mix together bread crumbs and butter. put the tuna mixture in a greased baking dish. top with bread crumb mixture and bake @ 375 for about 20 minutes. not bad for the not-so-great reputation the tuna casserole has been given. our girls ate it up!

lentil soup with spinach

i find this is a good way to use up extra tomato paste and spinach of which i always seem to have a bit extra after making other things during the week.

1 C lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp oregano
3 tbsp tomato paste
6 C liquid (4 broth, 2 water)
1 ½ tsp wine vinegar
½ bunch spinach, chopped

put all but spinach and vinegar in a soup pot and simmer 2 hours. puree half, add spinach and cook 30 min then add vinegar.


if you don’t like the stuff i put in it, the base ingredients are still a great place to start to build your own granola. in fact, i just made some today with nothing in it but the oats, rice krispies and some toasted almonds.

10 C oats
3 C rice krispies
1 C wheat flour
cinnamon to taste
½ C unsweetened coconut
½ C sunflower seeds
1/3 C green pumpkin seeds
1 ¼ C oil
1 ½ C honey
¾ C water
½ C raisins
½ C chopped dates

combine dry ingredients except raisins and dates. heat oil, honey and water until it boils, stirring. pour over dry ingredients and mix until it’s all coated. place on two cookie sheets and cook @ 300 for an hour to an hour and a half, rotating the two pans between the top rack and the bottom rack every 15 minutes. after it’s cool, add the raisins and dates.

bocconcini with tomatoes and prosciutto bruschetta

i just hosted a baby shower and therefore had a reason to make one of my favorite appetizers. this was passed on to me by megan, by the way, so thanks, megan, for a fabulous recipe!

1 lb bocconcini (bite-sized mozzarella balls), or fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ in cubes i actually found pearl-sized balls this time and they worked perfectly!
1 lb grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ C olive oil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
¼ C chopped sun-dried tomatoes
½ C chopped roasted red pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp (or more) chopped fresh basil
½ tsp salt
1 baguette

toss everything (except baguette, of course) to combine. slice bread into 1 in pieces, sprinkle with garlic salt and broil on both sides until golden brown. let the baguette slices cool before serving.

*i always make this without the roasted red pepper because peppers make me ill. and i’ve made it without the prosciutto and fresh parsley and it’s still yummy. if the budget is tight, you can use regular mozzarella, but it will change the flavor quite a bit…and in my opinion, you simply cannot make this without fresh basil—dried just won’t do in this case. enjoy!

June 24, 2009

che bella notte pasta--only takes 30 minutes!

this is my favorite dinner. it can seem gourmet, there are myriad variations...and i timed myself the last time i made it and it literally took me 33 min, start to finish.

10 oz pasta (i’ve used farfalle, rotini, ziti, penne, capenelli)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (or more) capers
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into medallions
1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 C chicken broth
½ C sun-dried tomatoes, julienne
½ C heavy cream
¼ C grated parmesan cheese

cook pasta as directed on package. in the meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. add garlic, capers and chicken. add basil and red pepper. cook for about 4 minutes to brown (don’t overcook—it will continue cooking in the sauce!) add broth and tomatoes. simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. take off heat and stir in cream and cheese. pour over pasta and enjoy.

*i rarely actually make this with chicken—it’s great without it. super yummy to add any combination of the following: roasted pine nuts; diced fresh tomato; steamed zucchini, mushrooms asparagus, yellow squash, spinach, eggplant; and i always sprinkle fresh shredded parmesan over the top.

*i’ve also tried it with just milk and/or half and half and non-fat half and half to be easy on the arteries. nothing is as good as the real thing, but if you’re gonna skimp, skimp using the non-fat half and half (and you’ll need to add some salt). i hope you love it and eat it as much as we do!

million dollar muffins

i LOVE, LOVE these muffins! have some yogurt on the side and you've got the perfect breakfast. they stick with you and they're perfect for taking on a camping or hiking trip.

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 C oil
2 C grated carrot
1/2 C coconut
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C undrained crushed pineapple
1/2 C raisins

dry stuff, then eggs and oil, then everything else. bake @ 350 for 20 min. makes a few more than a dozen.

*i rarely put the nuts in and they're fine without the coconut, too. the last time i made them, i increased the whole wheat flour to 1 C and reduced the all-purpose to 1 C. it worked well. i'm sure you could add applesauce and reduce the oil a bit if you wanted.

June 16, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

This is Geraldine Madariaga's recipe, so maybe some of you have it. They are seriously the best cinnamon rolls ever. Just made them and thought I would post it in case some of you don't have it.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups (maybe a little more) flour
Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, margarine, salt, eggs, and flour and mix well. Put in bowl; cover and let rise about 1 hour. Roll dough out on a greased surface, approximately 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (medium-hot oven).

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Spread softened margarine evenly over surface of dough, then sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over surface. Roll up and pinch seam. Cut slices 1 3/4 inches thick. Let rise in greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

1/2 stick margarine, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
Combine icing ingredients and beat well with electric mixer until very fluffy. Spread on rolls.

Magelby's Syrup

This is BEST syrup in the universe!

Magelby’s Syrup

1 stick butter

1 c sugar

½ c buttermilk

1 Tbsp Karo Syrup

1 Tbsp vanilla

Bring ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and add ½ tsp baking soda. Stir vigorously with a whisk. The soda makes syrup puff up. Let stand for 10 minutes and microwave before serving.

June 08, 2009

Chicken in a Bag

Here's what we had last night. This is a favorite that I make once or twice a month because a) whole chickens go on sale for really cheap all the time and b) it's fail-proof--I've never had it turn out anything short of delicious.

Chicken in a Bag

1 whole chicken (usually 4-5 pounds)
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
spices: basil, thyme, tarragon, paprika, cayenne pepper
brown paper bag

Remove extra parts (heart, neck, liver, etc) from chicken and rinse the whole bird. Rub the salt and garlic into the inside cavity. Poke holes in the lemon, squeezing some juice into and onto the chicken. Put the entire lemon into the chicken. Place the whole chicken into the brown paper bag and fold down the top to close. Place the bag onto a cooking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for one hour. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another hour (or until done, depending on size of the bird). Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before carving.

A few notes: No, the bag will not catch on fire, although sometimes you can smell the paper browning. Also, the timing is pretty flexible. I've done 1 1/2 hours at 450 and 30 mins at 350 or vice versa, and it has still turned out. I've also cooked a 15 pound turkey this way (increasing the time quite a bit) using an onion instead of a lemon and it was fabulous.

June 06, 2009

ribs, barley pilaf and spiced red cabbage

tonight we had yummy dinner. i thought i'd share.

this is a recipe i got out of a book my mother-in-law gave me when we got married. i haven't tried this recipe before. i've had better sauce, but this was still tasty enough. p.s. don't actually eat the lemon, it's just for added flavor.

3-4 lbs spare ribs in pieces
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced

salt ribs; place in shallow roasting pan, meaty side up. roast @ 450 about 30 min. Drain excess fat. top each piece of ribs with a slice of lemon and onion.

basting sauce

1 C ketchup
1/3 C wor. sauce
1 tsp salt
2 dashes tabasco sauce
1 1/2 C water

bring sauce to a boil and pour over ribs. lower temp to 350 and bake til well done, basting every 15 min, about 1 1/2 hours.

i got this recipe from barleyfoods.org i added some pieces of steamed asparagus--i thought steamed spinach would have been good, too--and some great northern beans as well. hearty. i might experiment with it next time to spice it up a bit, but it was still yummy. p.s. i would saute the green onions on their own and add them after the barley is cooked.

1/2 cup sliced fresh button mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup pearl barley
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in saucepan; add mushrooms and sauté until limp. Add barley, broth, green onion and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over pilaf and serve. Makes 4 servings.

this is from rachel ray. i really like this recipe. i've mixed it up in the past by also adding a bit of brown sugar and some golden raisins. it's good either way.

1 small or 1/2 large head red cabbage, shredded
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
1 cup apple cider or juice
1/4 cup grainy mustard

Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add cabbage, caraway, paprika, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally 2 to 5 minutes, until tender. Stir the apple cider or juice together with mustard and pour over red cabbage. Stir to combine 1 minute then turn off heat.

what did YOU have for dinner?