Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken in Garlic Sauce

I found this recipe on iVillage, and thought it was not only simple, only used one dish, and tasted pretty good. it paired perfectly with Crash Hot Potatoes.


15 garlic cloves, unpeeled (didn't have any, so I used dehydrated minced garlic, seemed fine)
1 TBsp butter
1 cup apple juice
4 chicken breasts, with skin and bone (I used boneless/skinless, but I think I'll try bone-in next time. Plus, bone-in is usually cheaper and I never have good recipes to use it with.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 TBsp chopped thyme (I used dehydrated and decreased amount)


-Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Parcook the unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling salt water for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold, running water and peel. Set aside. (I skipped this, since I didn't use fresh)

-Heat the oil and butter in a shallow flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the skin is deep golden brown. Turn over, add the apple juice, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, then bring to a simmer. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with a knife.

-Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and half of garlic cloves to a deep platter and keep warm. SKim fat form the cooking juices, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, crushing the garlic into the sauce with a spoon about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

-Add the cream and cook for 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the casserole and baste. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve immediately.

The only thing I will do different next time is let the sauce cook down longer, I would have liked it thicker.

Cheesy Stuffed Shells


1 16oz container of low fat cottage cheese
1 10oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach (for our family we omit the spinach)
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, drained
1 26oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato chopped


Heat oven to 400. Mix cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 c. mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning, spoon into shells. Mix sauce and tomatoes spoon 1/2 into 9x13 dish. Add filled shells, top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake 25 min. Top with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 2 min.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

California Rolls, yum!

*Photo from

When I lived in Austin once in a while (okay well, once) we had a pre-birth (of Ivy) party and Gretchen made these yummy California Rolls. I thought I didn't like oriental type food until I had these. I ate about ten, which is saying something since when I made them last night Blaine could only eat about four (they are super filling). My rolls didn't turn out looking as pretty as Gretchen's did, but they tasted great and were surprisingly easy to make!

Japanese Sushi Rice (Vinegar Flavored Rice)

by Gretchen Smith

Note: Sushi simply means “cold rice.” This recipe for sushi rice said it was specifically for Maki-zushi (California roll style sushi) but can be used for other sushi.



2 ½ cups short grain rice (short grain or medium grain important so it will stick together, I usually use Calrose rice)

2 ½ cups water

2 ½ inch strip of konbu (I don't usually bother with this – I can't really tell a difference if it is left out) Konbu is a long dark brown to grayish-black seaweed, sometimes simply called kelp. The seaweed is sun-dried and folded into sheets. Konbu has a natural white-powder covering that delivers flavor. Therefore, the surface should be lightly wiped off, not washed.

Vinegar Dressing:

4 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. plain rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt


1. Cook the rice the same as you would normally would (rice cooker or stovetop). The only difference is that you add the konbu and boil it together with the rice. The konbu should be removed as soon as the water reaches a vigorous boil. Take the konbu out quickly so the lid can be replaced as soon as possible.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients to make the vinegar dressing, making sure the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

3. After turning the heat off for the rice, allow the rice to steam an additional 10 minutes, then empty into a large, flat pan or tray. (If you're not a perfectionist, a very big will do just fine.)

4. Sprinkle the vinegar dressing over the rice. While using a fan or blow dryer on cool setting, mix the rice in a cutting motion (to keep from mashing the rice grains) with a wet wood or plastic spatula. Quickly cooling the rice gives it a glossy texture.

Serves 4 people

Japanese Maki-zushi (California Roll Style Sushi)

by Gretchen Smith

Note: A variety of fillings can be used for sushi, so feel free to experiment. The following is a list of the ingredients I usually use because they are more traditional and easier to find and prepare.

5 sheets toasted nori (dried seaweed)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

soy sauce


imitation crab (I use the “leg style” kind that comes rolled in plastic and separates into long thin little strips)

To prepare ingredients for center of rolls:

1. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon sugar and a dash of soy sauce. Cook egg like one large pancake. Cut into ½ inch wide strips.

2. Cut up the cucumber into ¼ strips, removing the seeds.

3. Separate the crab strips in half.

To make the rolls:

1. Place nori shiny side down. Spread 1/5 sushi rice on nori evenly over the nori, leaving 1 inch uncovered at the top.

2. Place ingredients in horizontal strips on sushi rice closer to the bottom than the top. Moisten fingers in vinegar water and run along the exposed leading edge. Roll the nori into a roll.

3. Using sharp knife cut roll into slices. Wipe knife with wet cloth after each cut to keep it from sticking to rice inside the roll.

4. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Other possible fillings:

- dried Chinese black mushrooms, softened, cut into strips, cooked into soy sauce and sugar

- boiled spinach w/ soy sauce

- daikon or radish sprouts

- pink powder/flakes made with sugar and fish (I forget what this is called)

- cream cheese

* When I made them I used avacado, cucumber, and imitation crab for the filling, and then I added some cream cheese should do that, just cut it in to thin strips and roll it up with your rolls.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls

These were very easy and very delicious!
Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls
*Makes 12-16 Rolls
1 recipe roll dough (that yields about 12 rolls) I used this recipe for roll dough
12 oz cream cheese, softened (let's be honest, I only used 8 oz)
1/4 C (1/2stick) butter, softened
2 C chopped ham (leftover ham or deli ham works great - I used deli)
1 1/2 C finely chopped broccoli
2 C shredded cheese (used cheddar)
1 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 C finely chopped green onions
Follow the recipe for your roll dough until the dough has risen. Punch down the dough and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Spread the rolled out dough with the butter/ cream cheese mixture. Top with ham, broccoli, cheese, parmesan cheese and green onions. Roll the dough up (think like cinnamon rolls), pinching the seam to seal (hint, that step is important, I kind of forgot and that was a mistake). Slice the roll into about 1 inch segments. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until nearly doubled and bake at 350 dgs for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly. [Note: I thought I was special and didn't need to let the rolls rise a second time, not so! Let them rise and life will be better - the second batch that had to rise turned out a lot better).
This was great and delicious and easy, just remember to start early enough so your dough can rise twice before you are hoping to eat!