Friday, December 31, 2010

Greek Seven Layer Dip

Picture and recipe from
Made this yummy appetizer yesterday, loved it! And the best news is that you can print a coupon out for hummus and get it free at Smith's! Woot. Hey maybe there is a market for a recipe blog that is also a deal blog...hmmm. Anyway, this is a fun twist on seven layer dip, and supposedly it is better for you than refried beans, sour cream, and cheese : )
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened ( I used low-fat)
1 tsp dill weed or Greek Seasoning (salt free) - I just used the dill
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 C hummus (really easy to make yourself if you don't want to buy it)
1 c seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c seeded, diced tomatoes
1/2 c chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c chopped green onions
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese (oh. my. gosh. I totally forgot to put this in mine. That is so lame)
1/8 c minced fresh parsley
With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta, and parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh veggies, and/or flatbread.
I have to admit I just shed a tear typing this recipe and realizing I forgot to add feta. So lame. Everyone loved this dip! I was afraid the flavors would be too bold for some, but it got an enthusiastic thumbs up from all! Also, I bought the kalamata olives at an olive bar in the grocery store and five minutes after I put them, in their fancy container (clearly marked $8/lb) Blaine called in from the other room "hey! You weren't saving those olives for anything were you?". He was totally feeding them to our children. Apparently he thinks it is normal for me to buy fancy olives in fancy containers to feed to the riffraff who would probably prefer cheez-its. Sigh. So clearly mark your olives ladies and gents. Maybe lock them up.
And don't forget the feta. Ugh!
Happy New Years!

Bread Dip

Every once in a while when I feel like I am getting too skinny for my own good (haaaahahahahaha) I put some olive oil and salt in a dish and dip bread in it, it's so good! Yesterday though I wanted to ramp up the compexity of my simple little dip. I stumbled across this recipe and I loved it! I couldn't take a picture of it without it looking really weird, so I used the recipe from allrecipes, which also looks kind of weird : )


Olive Oil Bread dip

1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon crushed dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1.Pour the olive oil onto a salad plate. Use a garlic press to press the garlic cloves onto five different spots on the plate. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the oil and garlic. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and oregano. Season with black pepper.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

We're on this kick at our house to eat a real breakfast most days. This was a yummy one I found through

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.Stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, lightly beat together the milk, egg, pumpkin, and oil. Stir flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, blending just until moistened. (the reviews said to let this sit for 15 minutes for the oats to moisten up. I did and they turned out perfect.)

2.Heat a lightly greased griddle over medium high heat.

3.Pour batter, 1/3 cup at a time, onto the prepared griddle. Make a jack-o-lantern face in each pancake with the chocolate chips. (I didn't make jack o lantern faces. I just added the chocolate chips in the batter right before I cooked them.)  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 5 minutes per side.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My New Favorite Healthy Eating Cookbook

My sister introduced this to me. She was ailing (not from cancer), with no appetite - until someone made her something from this cookbook. Every recipe I've tried so far has, like she experienced, been chocker-block full of flavor.

Here is one mmmm recipe I made last week:

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Ginger Meatballs
Serves 4

1 pound ground organic dark-meat turkey or chicken (I used regular ground turkey and it was fine)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced small
Sea salt
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 large celery stalk, diced small
2 cloves garlic, mined
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
8 cups Chicken magic Mineral Broth (page 55) - or store-bought organic chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into quarters, for garnish

To make the meatballs:
Line a sheet pan with wax paper. Combine the turkey, ginger, garlic, parsley, salt, cayenne, egg, and rice in a bowl and mix with your hands or a spatula until well combined. Don't overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be tough.

Wet the palms of your hands so the mixture doesn't stick, roll it into 1-inch balls, and place them on the prepared pan.

To make the soup:
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1/4 tsp of salt and continue sauteing for about 3 minutes.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 7 1/2 cups broth and another 1/4 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, then gently transfer half of the meatballs into the simmering broth. (Refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use later.) Cover and allow the meatballs to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes more, then stir int he parsley and basil. Serve each bowl garnished with a wedge of lime.

Variation: If you aren't a pea person, use this recipe as an opportunity to get some dark leafy greens into your life. Simply replace the peas with 1 cup of baby spinach leaves.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months

Per Serving: Calories: 210; Total Fat: 7 g; Carbs: 23g; Protein: 15g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 380mg

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Balsamic Chicken Pasta with Fresh Cheese - repost

*picture and recipe credit once again to Perrys Plate

Kayla posted this recipe in October and I kept meaning to get to it but, let's be honest, I have a thing about goat cheese. Finally though I just sucked it up and made it and Oh. My. It was so delicious. Blaine came home from work yesterday and said, "I know I had it for dinner yesterday and lunch today but I am kind of disappointed that you aren't making that pasta again for dinner tonight."

For reals.

Anyway, I wanted to do crazy things like add mushrooms to it but I was scared to do that on the first go around. But since my husband now craves this daily I'll get to that real soon for sure : )

Balsamic Chicken Pasta with Fresh Cheese
from: Kayla and Perrys Plate

8 oz Linguine (I used fettuccine)
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
3 whol Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C Fresh Basil Leaves, Thinly Sliced, Divided (I can guarantee I didn't have a whole cup and therefore I did not divide them, I just mixed all in with the dressing, I am sure the pasta would only be better with more basil, but don't sweat it if your tiny (yet very expensive) package of basil doesn't make a whole cup)
2 cups Shredded, Cooked Chicken (I cooked mine on the george foreman with salt and pepper, you could easily omit the chicken though and still have an awesome dish!)
1 cup Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls, Haved OR Regular Mozzarella Cut into 3/4 inch cubes (is it just me or are mozzarella balls gross? I used a brick-- way happy with the result)
1/2 C Goat Cheese Crumbles- I bet I used less than this, just because I had a tiny taste of the goat cheese before I put it in the pasta and about yacked. I am not sure what magical thing happens to the cheese when you toss it around with all of these other ingredients, but all of the sudden it not only becomes tolerable but very, very, VERY good.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. Saute bell pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until limp, about 10 minutes (or half that in my case)

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in oil. Stir in 1/2 C of basil

Place pasta, chicken, cooked peppers, mozzarella, goat cheese, and remianing basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to coat.

Serves 4.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Parmesan-Garlic Tilapia Sticks

Photo and Recipe from

So I didn't tell my kids that these were fish, and I am pretty sure they thought it was chicken, but regardless, they loved it! I made these on a night when I was going to be gone for dinner but Blaine was going to be home with the kids and they were a major hit.

I don't know why no one has told me about panko bread crumbs before, but they are awesome. It's kind of like getting to eat fried food without actually frying it. They cost slightly more than regular bread crumbs but give the food a completely different taste/texture. I can't wait to try them again

Parmesan-Garlic Tilapia Sticks
by Natalie @

1 lb tilapia or any other firm, white fish such as cod
1 egg
1/4 C buttermilk (we used regular milk and it was fine)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
A couple big pinches of salt and pepper
Dipping sauce - Natalie suggested marinara, we used ranch, certainly you could make up your own dipping sauce. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Preheat oven to 425 dgs. Cut fish into 1/2-inch strips and sprinkle a little salt on both sides.

In a small shallow bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk and pressed garlic. In another shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs, cheese, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.

Dip the fish sticks into the wet mixture, letting the excess liquid drip off, then coat in braed crumb mixture. Lay on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining fish sticks. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. If you want them golden brown, broil them for the last minute of baking time.

Serve with sauce of your choice

Makes 3-4 servings

Monday, December 6, 2010

Linguine with Clam Sauce

What a perfect way to break a fast, we loved this fast, easy and very tasty pasta!

Recipe and Photo from: Annie's Eats

Linguine with Clam Sauce

12 oz linguine pasta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams, juices reserved
1/2 c heavy cream (or half and half)
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain will

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat until the butter is completely melted. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until golden and fragrant, about one minute. Add the reserved clam juice to the pain, bring to a simmer, and reduce by about half. With the heat on medium-low, stir in the clams and the heavy cream. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Portion the pasta into warmed serving bowls. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve immediately.

A few notes from me :

I sauteed some mushrooms in a little butter and oilve oil and added on top of the pasta as well, yum.

Also what I loved about this recipe was that you could actually do the sauce prep while the pasta was cooking. Usually I have to prepare sauces before hand, but truly you can make the sauce in the 9 minutes it takes to cook the pasta

Also though....if you cook the pasta and have a little bit of work left to do with the sauce (I decided last minute about the mushrooms) and you strain the pasta and put the strainer so it is hanging on the top of the pot and you put the pot back on the stove. Well. Just make sure that you turned the burner off. Yeah my strainer totally melted all over my pan. On the bright side I now have a stock pot/strainer combo, with a nice side of melted plastic carcinogens. Sigh.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas


1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (14.5 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1 small can diced green chilies
Shredded lettuce

1.Spread about 2 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Combine soup and sour cream; stir in chicken. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup down the center of each tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with onions, olives and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, sprinkle lettuce around enchiladas if desired.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grilled Malibu Chicken

*Picture credit to Perrys' Plate!

Sad times at the Bassett house in June when we moved to our new place, we tried to have some family over for a bbq and it turned out that wrapping our grill in plastic wrap, shipping it across the country and then keeping it stored for a year somehow broke it. It was a sad, lonely, bbqless summer. The good news is that you get to know your neighbors real fast when on your second day living in your new place you have to go door to door with a plateful of raw meat asking to borrow a grill. Oh yeah, that's how friends are made.

Anyway, I've learned to work with my George Foreman and I have one of these on my Christmas list, so hopefully the sob story won't continue much longer.

I made this Malibu Chicken from Perrys' Plate on Sunday, it was delicious, mmmmm. Perfect easy meal.

PS I hope you appreciate the recipes I put on here, because somehow copy and paste is disabled on our computer so I painstakingly retype each recipe, by hand, for you.

Grilled Mailbu Chicken
From Perrys Plate via Patio Dadio BBQ via Tasty Kitchen...please someone repost this on their blog so I can be added to the geneology of the recipe.

6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 T Montreal Steak Seasoning, or BBQ seasoning
12 slices deli thin ham (thin)
6 slices canned pineapple
6 slices swiss cheese
1/2 c pineapple juice (from the can)
4T butter, melted
1 T plain yellow mustard
1T honey
1 T molasses ( I used brown sugar)
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 t chili powder

Season both sides of each breast with the BBQ/Montreal Steak seasoning, cover and refrigerate at least an hour (whoops, I did not cover or refrigerate and still tasted fine!)

Combine the butter, pineapple juice, mustard, honey, molasses, worcestershire sauce and chili powder in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth, set asaide.

Prepare your grill for two zone cooking (direct and indirect) at medium-high heat (about 400 dgs) . Or if that last sentence makes you panic, turn on your grill pan to medium high heat. Or plug in the George Foreman

Quickly grill one side of each braest and each pineapple ring over direct heat until they are seared and have nice grill marks (doesn't happen in the George Foreman, sorry peeps), about two minutes. Flip each breast and ring, brush with the sauce, and cook another two minutes.

Move the chicken to the indirect part of the grill (or a not so hot part of your pan) and brush the top of each with sauce. Top each braest with two slices of ham and drizzle the ham with the sauce. Put a slice of cheese on them and a pineapple ring on each braest and drizzle again with the sauce. Continue cooking with the grill lid down (or cover with aluminum foil) until the intermnal temperature reaches 160dgs, about ten mninutes.

Serve with another drizzle of sauce.

* I have raw chicken issues so I divided my sauce in two bowls, one to use to drizzle the raw breasts and stuff and one to serve the chicken with. Do what makes you happy.

Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing

I LOVE stuffing. With a deep and abiding love. It's kind of weird because I hate soggy bread. Anyways, I nominated myself to make the stuffing this year for Thanksgiving and it turned out really well and left me wondering why I don't make stuffing as a side dish more often. I's easy, it's tasty and...yeah..mmmmmm

Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, ends trimmed and sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2-2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 loaf (1lb) sourdough bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 jars (6oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 3/4 tsp dried
salt and pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Toast chpped bread in a 400 dg oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes

In a frying pan over high heat, cook mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic stirring often, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about ten minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Add a bit of broth to pan ( a few tablespoons) and stir to scrape up browned bits. Add to bowl.

Pour two cups broth into bowl and add bread, artichoke hearts, parmesan and spices/herbs, mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Add beaten egg and mix into stuffing.

Preheat oven to 350 dgs and spoon stuffing into a 9 x13 casserole pan. For moist stuffing, cover with foil or for crusty stuffing (yes, please) do not cover. Bake until hot or lightly browned, about 50 minutes.

Can make up to one day ahead-- make stuffing, put in dish, cover and chill. Allow one hour to bake.