Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beef with Snow Peas

When this recipe was recommended to me last week I was dissappointed that I has already done my food shopping! It looked so good and right up our alley. I immediately put it on our menu for this week and it was as good as it looked and sounded. Super simple and quick too! We had leftover fried rice so I served it with that, but it would be awesome over white rice too. The sauce was delish.

Beef with Snow Peas
Recipe from Pioneer Woman


1-½ pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package directions


In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Challenge: Take Out At Home

My friend and fellow blogger, Christina from Tales From the Mad Men Kitchen posted a challenge on her blog. This challenge was to create dishes that we would traditionally order from a Chinese take out restaurant.

When I looked at the challenge from Food.com, I was torn between two of my favorites - Sesame cold noodles and chicken fried rice. So, I made both! I used different versions of both dishes, Tyler Florance's sesame noodles and my own version of chicken friend rice. Enjoy!

Cold Sesame Noodles

Adapted from Tyler Florance


1/2 pound Thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal oelek
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together. In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over medium-low flame. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook and stir for a minute until soft and fragrant. Mix in the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has smoothed out. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with the sesame seeds.

Chicken Fried Rice


1 tbs oil
1/2 lb chicken tenders, cut into small slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot
3 cups cooked brown rice
3 eggs
6 oz can chopped water chestnuts
Soy sauce to taste
2 green onions, chopped


In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until almost tender, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and grate in carrot. Saute until chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 mins. Add rice and stir until incorporated. Crack eggs into a seperate bowl and whisk. Stir into rice mixture and scramble. Drain water chestnuts and add to rice. Add soy sauce to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions.
Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

I was really excited for the recipe swap this week. The theme is Asian and I love cooking Asian food. I was happy to get a Thai dish since I do not have that much experience with Thai food. Also, it is from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes and she is great! The original recipe calls for shrimp, but since I am allergic I used chicken instead.

At first I was little concerned while it was cooking because the smell of the fish sauce was so overwhelming. Fortunately, Gina mentions this in her post so I kept plugging away and hoping for the best. It turned out good. I wouldn't say it is my favorite dish, but it was yummy. Thank you Lisa, for sharing this with me!

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken
Adapted from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes, by way of Lisa's Cooking Adventures


1 tsp oil
4 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb chicken tenders, cut into chunks
6 oz light coconut milk
2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste


In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add scallion whites and red curry paste and sauté one minute. Add chicken and garlic, season with salt and cook about 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and mix well. Simmer about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat, mix in scallion greens and cilantro. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Overnight Oatmeal

I use my crockpot all the time for dinner, but never really thought about using it to make breakfast. But why not? 8 hours overnight and voila! breakfast is ready! Sounds good, right?! I came across a blog called Weelicious and she had a "how to" video for making crockpot oatmeal. I love steel cut oats, but don't make it as often as I should because it is time consuming to do on the stove.

This was the perfect solution. I started my crockpot at 11pm right before going to bed and it was perfect by 7am. I happened to be up at 5 after feeding the baby, so I gave it a good stir and added a cut up banana for the last 2 hours.

Overnight Oatmeal
Recipe slightly adapted from Weelicious


1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 banana, cut into chunks (optional)


Add water and milk to crockpot. Stir in oats, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add banana or any other fruits or nuts towards the end of the cooking time. Serve with a little brown sugar or splenda.

***UPDATE I have been enjoying this for several days after making it. I usually reheat the oats with a splash of fat free half and half, then sweetening it with blue agave. Great breakfast!
Monday, March 21, 2011

Zucchini Chips

Is it hard for you to get your kid to eat veggies? I usually resort to bribes to get Cecily to eat them, but it wasn't necessary with these! She gobbled them up.

They were Allison's idea and they were so good!!! I served them with these turkey burgers .

Zucchini Chips


1 Zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thin
1 egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 450

Mix the Parmesan and panko together. Dip zucchini slices in egg and coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Please on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes


Run from Winter 10k Race Report

Sunday morning I ran the Run from Winter 10k at Duke Island Park. It was a beautiful morning, cool and crisp 50 degrees. Perfect running weather!

That morning I was feeling very tired since it was Cecily's 5th birthday on Saturday. We spent the day in NYC at the American Girl store and had an amazing time! We were all beat from such a fun filled day and I was regretting signing up for a race the next morning.

I am so glad that I didn't bail on the race because I had such a great run! I felt good the entire time and ran faster than I had expected. My pace lately has been very slow (and I am normally pretty slow) so running with 11:30 splits the whole race was really good for me. Up until yesterday, I also hadn't run more than 5 miles since having Finn.

The course was nice and flat on paved trails. It was very scenic as well. I finished in 1:11:50, not too far off from my 10k PR. I was thrilled!

Here are my splits:

Mile 1 - 11:27
Mile 2 - 11:45
Mile 3 - 11:38
Mile 4 - 11:28
Mile 5 - 11:49
Mile 6 - 11:14
.2 - 9:53

This race has made me excited for all the spring 5ks coming up! I know I can crush my last time!

Cecily and Kit
Finny Boy

Zach and C

Monday, March 14, 2011

French Onion Mac 'n Cheese

Week 4 of the recipe swap...holy yummy mac 'n cheese recipe!!! I was going to try to eat only a little bit of this (I halved the recipe) but that went out the window after the first bite. Whats not to love, it combines two of my favorite things - french onion soup and mac 'n cheese!

I know people have mixed feelings about Rachael Ray, but I happen to love her and most of recipes. I will definitely make this again.

French Onion Mac 'n Cheese
Recipe from Rachael Ray

4 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate or whole wheat penne rigate pasta
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 pound gruyère cheese, shredded
(I used swiss)

1.In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, thyme and bay leaf for 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook until the onions are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and discard the bay leaf. Reserve the skillet.

2.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

3.In the reserved skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Lower the heat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted.

4.Combine the onions and sauce with the pasta and toss well.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Pizza Burgers

Whipped these babies up for dinner tonight, and they were a hit all around. Even Finny loved little bits of the burger!!

The burgers were super moist and were great dipped into some extra sauce on the side. Great way to use leftover homemade marinara!

Chicken Pizza Burgers


1 Lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parm
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
fresh black pepper

1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 sliced reduced fat provolone cheese


Preheat oven to 375

Mix all ingredients together except provolone cheese and sauce. Form into 4 burgers. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes. Switch oven to broil. Spoon marinara sauce over burgers and cover with a slice of cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Serve on toasted hamburger rolls.

ZACH'S RATING - **** 1/2

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perfect Pot Roast

Pot roast and the crockpot seem to go hand in hand, yet when I've made it in the past there always seems to be something that isn't quite perfect. Its usually very heavy and way too rich, even for my taste (and I like rich food on occasion!)

This was the exception. It was the perfect pot roast. Tender and flavorful, and the sauce was a delicious au jus, without being a super thick gravy. This will definitely be my go-to way to prepare it from now on.

The only problem with this dish is that I made it on Ash Wednesday. Woops!!

Perfect Pot Roast


2.5 lb chuck roast
2 tbs olive oil
12 oz bottle of beer
12 oz bottle of Chili sauce
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup baby potatoes

salt and pepper


Heat olive oil on medium high heat. Season roast with salt and pepper and sear on all sides. Place in crockpot. Add all other ingredients and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

ZACH'S RATING - **** 1/2
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prosciutto and Spinach Quiche with Potato Crust

I'll admit it, I am a little slice happy since purchasing a mandolin slicer this weekend. I wanted to make a quiche for dinner tonight and thought a potato crust would be a great excuse to slice away! I looked around online for some recipes, and settled on this one from For the Love of Cooking. I heavily adapted the filling but used this method for the crust.

It was good, but not great. I wanted the potatoes to be much crispier and think that if it was done more like a fritatta in a pan and then baked, it would be better. I wont give up on this one, I think it can be great!

Prosciutto and Spinach Quiche with a Potato Crust
Adapted from For the Love of Cooking


2 medium potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 oz prosciutto cubed
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tbs olive oil
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375. Arranged potato slices on greased pie plate and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside

Heat pan to medium heat. Add olive oil and saute prosciutto until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Add onion and cook until caramelized, about 5-8 minutes.

Combine milk, eggs, prosciutto, onion, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach and salt and pepper. Pour into potato crust and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until set. Allow to cook for a few minutes before slicing.

The potato crust

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Week 3 of the recipe swap and I got super lucky again! I am sitting here in a major food coma after eating way too many of these delicious and rich potatoes. Saturday nights are usually my splurge night, so this meal was perfect (there will be no weight watchers points for this one!) I served the potatoes with grilled flank steak and steamed asparagus. The only change I made to the original recipe was adding a handful of shredded cheddar to the top of the casserole dish before baking. Added a nice crispy, cheesy crust.

These would be perfect for a special occasion dinner, over the holidays, or just a nice dinner party with friends. And it gave me the perfect excuse to buy a mandolin slicer which I have been wanting for awhile!

The theme this week was side dishes. I shared the recipe for caramelized green beans.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
Recipe very slightly adapted from


4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, sliced into rings
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, plus more


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.

2.Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and sprinkle with a handful of cheddar.

4.Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

ZACH'S RATING - **** 1/2
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