Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marmalade Chicken

A day spent in the garden results in a slapdash dinner but that doesn't mean it can't taste good...

I made up a salad with my mango vinegar dressing and twice-baked potatoes (both recipes provided in earlier posts) and BBQ'd boneless skinless chicken breasts.  You could also grill these if you don't BBQ.  Once the chicken is almost cooked through, I spread my marmalade mixture over it.  It makes a lovely glaze.  It's simple - for 2 chicken breasts, I stir 2 tablespoons of marmalade, 1 teaspoon of orange liqueur and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh chives.

Enjoy this and forgive me if I don't post for a bit but I need a new stove.  Going out shopping after work tomorrow for a new one, stay tuned.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes - diet dessert (an oxymoron)

I bought the new Cook Yourself Thin cookbook.  I've only tried a couple of recipes so far but they've both been good so it's worth a try...

Fuchsia cupcakes with meringuey frosting...

3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup grated fresh beets, raw and peeled
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp red food colouring
2 tsps cocoa powder
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 muffin cups.  In the mixer, add eggs, sugar and salt and beat until pale yellow and doubled in size.  Then add beets, flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder.  When I make this next time, I will increase the cocoa powder - maybe to 3 tsps.

Mix until well combined - then add buttermilk and red food colouring.  Beat til smooth and then spoon into muffin cups.


3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a double boiler and beat until peaks form.  Refrigerate for an hour before icing cupcakes.

Definitely NOT a guilty pleasure - YUM!

Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

Tonight was our girls dinner - some good food, a lot of wine and a few laughs...the menu tonight was Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad and Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I apologise for the "entree" or finished product picture - I was too busy eating and drinking and talking to take good pictures but I can assure you that it tasted better than it looks.

second helping


1/2 cup low fat mayo (salad dressing)
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsps lemon juice
2 lg cloves of minced garlic
8 cups romaine lettuce (about 1.5 heads)
2 boneless chicken breasts
3 cups dried pasta, rotini or bowtie
4 slices of cooked bacon

This recipe serves 4 for dinner.  I start by frying the bacon and making the croutons.  Cut cubes of bread and toss with olive oil that's been warmed with cloves of garlic (discard the garlic).  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Next make the dressing - stir mayo, Parmesan, milk, lemon juice and garlic together and it will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Wash and tear up the lettuce and grill the chicken breasts (season with salt and pepper only).  Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Boil the pasta until al dente.  Toss it all together and serve.  Enjoy!

Beer Can Chicken

If you're looking for an easy BBQ dinner, buy a beer can chicken rack.  It is crazy delicious - crispy skin, juicy meat and little effort.  Add a salad and some garlic roasted potatoes and you have simple dinner.  I make a rub with a couple of tsps of ground sage, a couple of tsps smoked paprika and a tsp of dried savoury as well as salt and pepper. 

Preheat your BBQ, put a half can of beer in the stand (you can drink the other half while you're BBQing!), put some cloves of garlic in the pan and some fresh rosemary or thyme if you have it.  Put the chicken on the stand and rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.

Put the chicken on the BBQ.  I usually use a 5 or 6 lb chicken, the temp on the closed BBQ gets to about 400 degrees and it cooks for about an hour or so.  I check it a time or two to make sure it's browning nicely but it really doesn't need to be watched.  If the leg jiggles freely in its socket after an hour or so, it's ready.  Let it rest on the cutting for 5 to 10 minutes and carve it up!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vegetable (not Vegetarian) Pie

Hi everyone!  I haven't been posting lately.  I've been a little busy (and not cooking as much the last couple of weeks) but Blogger has been down too so I'm posting the vegetable pie I made last night.  It was great and even better cold the next day for lunch.  You missed the lasagna and banana-pecan muffins I also made this week but they will come around again on the menu sometime soon.

Shopping List

double pie shell
a large carrot
bag of fresh spinach
4 or 5 thin slices of sweet onion
3-4 slices of deli ham
about a cup of grated cheddar cheese
4 eggs
2 Tbsp cream
salt and pepper
your herb of choice

Peel and slice carrot coins - as thin as you can so they cook.  Place these in a single layer on the bottom of the pie shell.  Beat your eggs and cream together with seasonings.  You can always use fresh herbs but this is a time that I don't mind using dry.  I used savoury for this recipe - that and dill are my favourites with eggs but you can use what you prefer.  Pour enough of the beaten egg over the carrot slices to just cover.

Next you should layer your slices of sweet onion and spread half of your grated cheese over the pie...

Then layer your slices of ham...

Prepare your spinach.  I wash it well and put it in a large bowl in the microwave and zap it til cooked and softened.  Squeeze the water out of your leaves (after it cools) and layer over the ham. I used about 3/4 of the bag of spinach.  It really cooks down to a small amount.  Don't miss cooking your spinach or you will have a soggy mess on your hands.  Years ago when it was expensive to get fresh spinach in the winter, I used to use frozen spinach for this recipe.  Just thaw completely and squeeze all the water out.  Gently pour the rest of your egg mixture over the spinach and top with the remaining cheese.

Top with the second disk of dough, seal edges and cut vents in top.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Turn the heat down to 375 and bake 35 to 45 more minutes until golden brown.  This is a great recipe for brunch, lunch or dinner - very versatile.