Food Network Fool

About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grant's Clam Chowder

My dad has perfected his clam chowder recipe over the years.  I have never tasted any that could top his.  Give it a try - it is the best!  He uses it for their traditional Christmas Eve dinner, along with yummy rolls for dipping!
 
Ingredients
2 Quarts (6 – 8 Servings)
6 Quarts (20  -24 Servings)
diced bacon
3 ounces (about 4 slices)
12 oz package
diced onion
1 medium
2 large
diced celery
3 stalks
9 stalks
diced new potatoes (blanched)
¼ lb
¾ lb
flour
1/3 cup
1 cup
butter
3 ounces (3/4 stick)
2 sticks
heavy cream
1 quart
3 quarts
half & half
½ cup
12 ounces
chopped clams (fresh, frozen or canned)
1 ½ cups
4 ½ cups
clam juice or nectar
10 ounces
1 quart (32 ounces)
fresh garlic
2 cloves
6 cloves
white pepper
Pinch
¼ teaspoon
Black pepper
Pinch
¼ teaspoon
Cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon
¾ teaspoon
Fresh Marjoram
1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons
Chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons
6 teaspoons
Italian seasoning
1 teaspoons
3 teaspoons
Dill
¼ teaspoon
¾ teaspoon
Fresh Thyme
½ teaspoon
1 ½ teaspoon
Bay leaves
2
6
Chopped fresh parsley
1/8 cup
½ cup
  • Cook bacon until transparent. Easiest to cut into small pieces with scissors before cooking and cook in pot that you will use for the rest of the ingredients
  • Add butter, onions, celery and all the seasonings except dill and parsley.
  • Cook until tender.
  • Add flour and cook for another 3 - 4 minutes over low heat.
  • Add all dairy products, and clam nectar.
  • Heat just under boiling point.
  • Steam potatoes and cool.  You can also cut them into small pieces and microwave for about 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped clams and potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil slowly and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Add dill and parsley.
Notes: 
  • 1 can (51 oz.) of Seawatch Chopped Sea Clams from Costco = about 4 cups of clam juice and 3 cups of chopped clams.
  • 3 small cans of clams yields 1 ½ cups clam juice and 1 cup of clams.
  • An 8 oz serving = about 355 calories

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Black and White Creme Brulee (from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

prep: 10 min. cook: 1 hr., 10 min.
other: 8 hrs., 5 min.

Creme brulee sounds fancy, but it's really a simple custard with a crunchy sugar top. In this version, chocolate adds an extra layer of flavor. If you're entertaining friends, get a kitchen torch and let them brulee their own dessert.

2 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons light brown sugar

Heat 1/2 cup whipping cream and chocolate morsels in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts. Cool slightly. Pour mixture evenly into 6 (6-ounce) ramekins. Set aside.

Whisk together remaining 2 cups whipping cream, egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and vanilla until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Pour evenly into prepared baking dishes; place dishes in a 13- x 9-inch
pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1/2 inch.


Bake at 275° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool custards in water in pan on a wire rack. Remove custards from pan; cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon brown sugar over each custard; place custards in pan.

Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat until sugar melts. Let stand 5 minutes to allow sugar to harden.

Yield: 6 servings.

Per serving: Calories 617 (66% from fat); Fat 45.4g (sat 26.3g. mono 14.4g. poly l.7g); Protein 3.4g; Carb 50.6g; Fiber 1.7g; Chol 304mg; Iron 1.4mg; Sodium 47mg; Calc104mg

Friday, July 2, 2010

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SWIRLED ICE CREAM WITH VANILLA WAFER COOKIES (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 6

Peanut butter and jelly infused into ice cream? Yup, and it's a slam dunk! Use your favorite preserves (raspberry, blackberry, orange marmalade) instead of grape, if desired .
••
3 cups low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
1/3 cup grape jelly or jam or strawberry preserves
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
12 vanilla wafer cookies

Combine the ice cream, jelly, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Gently stir to combine, leaving streaks of jelly and peanut butter throughout the ice cream. Spoon into dessert bowls and garnish with wafer cookies.

Total Time: 10 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

PREP POINTER:
Soften the ice cream in the microwave on 50% power for 15 to 30 seconds.

GOOD HEALTH note:
Opt for light or low-fat ice cream and, per 1/2 cup serving, dodge about 75 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 6 grams of artery-jamming saturated fat.

FROZEN YOGURT WITH CINNAMON-SPIKED BLUEBERRY SAUCE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 8

Use this sauce recipe as a base for all future sauce creations. You can make it with any berry variety or diced fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, and even citrus. Using confectioners' sugar does double duty; it adds sweetness while helping to thicken the sauce. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs when you want to impress someone.
••
Two 10-ounce bags frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups vanilla frozen yogurt

Combine the blueberries, confectioners' sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the frozen yogurt into dessert bowls and top with the blueberry sauce.

STORAGE SAVVY:
This sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Reheat the sauce in the microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH. You can also make a double batch and freeze leftovers in freezer bags or plastic containers. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.

Total Time: 10 minutes
PREP TlME: 5 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 5 MINUTES

CHOCOLATE FROZEN YOGURT WITH CHUNKY ROCKY ROAD SAUCE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4

You probably already have these ingredients in your pantry. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, just dessert, and sometimes that means taking what you have and mixing it all together! The sauce is also phenomenal spooned over sliced bananas .
••
1/2 cup chocolate syrup or chocolate fudge sauce
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup yogurt-covered raisins
2 cups chocolate frozen yogurt or chocolate ice cream

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate syrup and peanut butter. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, until warm. Stir in the marshmallows and raisins.

Spoon the frozen yogurt into individual dessert bowls, then spoon the rocky road sauce over the top and serve.

Total Time: 5 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

CHERRY PARFAITS WITH CANDIED NUTS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 6

I use cherry pie filling for this dessert because, quite frankly, I never use the stuff to make a pie! But it's so wonderful and convenient that I felt compelled to find a use for it! Parfaits aren't just easy, they're fun to look at. If you're looking for an arts-and-craft project for your kids, look no further: they love layering the colors into tall glasses. You can also substitute blueberry or apple pie filling, canned pumpkin, or regular pudding .
••
1 1/2 cups canned cherry pie filling (look for it in the baking section of the supermarket)
1 1/2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt or light ice cream, softened slightly
1 1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping or whipped cream
3/4 cup candied nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts) 
 
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the pie filling into each of four tall glasses. Top each with 2 tablespoons frozen yogurt. Repeat with the remaining pie filling, then the remaining yogurt. Spoon whipped topping evenly among the glasses, then sprinkle with the nuts.

GOOD HEALTH note:
Frozen yogurt and light ice cream dish up about 120 to 140 calories and 4 grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving. The same amount of regular ice cream has 184 calories and 12 grams of fat.

Total Time: 10 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

QUICK FIX IT YOUR WAY:
You can assemble this dessert (everything but the nuts on top) up to 3 days in advance and store upright in the freezer (cover the tops of the glasses with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil). Pull the glasses from the freezer a few minutes before serving, then top with the nuts.

"LEFTOVER RICE" PUDDING WITH CINNAMON AND RAISINS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4

Rice pudding is so warm and soothing. What's not wonderful is slaving over a hot stove to get to it! This Quick Fix version is the perfect recipe for leftover cooked rice. In fact, it's so delicious, it's worth making extra rice just for the dessert.
••
2/3 cup low-fat milk
1/2 of an 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
2 cups leftover cooked rice (regular or quick-cooking)
3/4 cup dark raisins (we like Craisins)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk and cream cheese until blended and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then continue to simmer until the liquid reduces and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve the pudding warm, at room temperature, or
chilled-every way is delicious!
"RICE PUDDING IS SO WARM
and soothing."

Total Time; 15 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES

QUICK FIX IT YOUR WAY:
Store leftover rice in freezer
bags or plastic containers in the
freezer for up to 3 months so
you can make this dessert any
time. There's no need to thaw
the rice before cooking.

TOASTED ANGEL FOOD CAKE WITH FUDGE-RASPBERRY SAUCE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 8

Angel food cake is amazing-so light and airy! Even better? You can buy it premade from the grocery store. I like to cut the cake into cubes and toast it to bring out even more sweetness. I also worship chocolate, so drizzling it over the cake is right up my alley!
••
Cooking spray
1 prepared angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups store-bought chocolate fudge sauce
2 cups frozen raspberries (not in syrup; don't bother to thaw)


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Arrange the angel food cake cubes on the sheet and bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the fudge sauce and raspberries in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the raspberries break down and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Place the angel food cake cubes on dessert plates, cover with the chocolate sauce, and serve.

Total Time: 10 minutes
PREP TIME: 3 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 7 MINUTES

PLUM PIZZA WITH RICOTTA, APRICOT PRESERVES, AND PINE NUTS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4 TO 6

This dessert pizza layers together sweetened ricotta cheese, fresh plum slices, apricot preserves, and toasted pine nuts. It's an excellent choice for entertaining.
••
One 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
4 ripe plums, pitted and thinly sliced
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Unroll the pie crust on a large baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and confectioners' sugar, then spread all over the pie crust to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Top with the plum slices, making slightly overlapping rows. Warm the apricot preserves in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, then brush over the plum slices. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top. Bake until the crust and pine nuts are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Total Time: 20 to 22 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
WALK-AWAY TIME: 10-12 MINUTES

GOOD HEALTH note:

Plums are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and fiber. As is true of all nuts, pine nuts are a good source of heart-friendly unsaturated fats.

VARIATION:
Can't find ripe plums? Substitute canned peaches or pears or fresh nectarines and slice as directed.
You will need an 11- to 15-ounce can or 2 to 3 nectarines.

APRICOT PUFF- PASTRY TWISTS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4 TO 6 (ABOUT 3 TWISTS PER SERVING)

Next time you make your way down the freezer aisle, grab a box of puff pastry. You won't believe how simple it can be to whip up a sensational and impressive dessert with just two ingredients. Use any filling you want, not just apricot preserves (orange marmalade, raspberry preserves, apple butter, and Nutella® would
all be fantastic).

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 14 x 17 inches. Spread the preserves over one-half of the dough to within 1/4 inch of the edges. Fold the dough in half over the preserves, like a book. Pop the "book" in the freezer for a few minutes for easy cutting.

Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick ribbons. Take each ribbon by the ends and twist into a corkscrew. Arrange the corkscrews on a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and press down the ends against the sheet (this prevents them from untwisting during baking). Bake until puffed up and golden brown, about 10 minutes. These twists are super warm or cold.
••
GOOD HEALTH note)
Apricots are one of the best food sources of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that's essential for healthy skin and good vision.

Total Time: 20 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
WALK·AWAY TIME: 10 MINUTES

STORAGE SAVVY:
Be prepared for drop-in guests: make a big batch for leftovers. Store them in plestic bags at room
temperature for up to 1 week or in freezer bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. If desired, you can recrisp them in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

BROWN SUGAR-GLAZED PINEAPPLE WITH TOASTED COCONUT (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4

There are few things better than a perfectly ripe pineapple. The problem is, sometimes it's hard to find a perfect one. This recipe is ideal whether you've found the pot-of-gold pineapple or not. Brushed with brown sugar and then topped with coconut, it's an excellent way to end a meal. It's also amazing with a scoop of
vanilla ice cream.
••
Cooking spray
12 pineapple rings (fresh or canned in juice)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Arrange the pineapple slices on the sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Brush the mixture all over the pineapple rings. Sprinkle the coconut over the tops. Bake until the coconut is golden brown and the pineapple tender, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Total Time: 15 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
WALK-AWAYTIME: 10 MINUTES

TIME SAVER tip:
Buy pineapple already cored and peeled from the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. Cut the pineapple crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices if it's not already sliced.

COCONUT RICE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4

In the time it takes to make regular quick-cooking rice, you can add a few ingredients to make an ordinary side dish an extraordinary one. Throw this together the next time you make rice for a stir-fry!
••
One 14-ounce can light or regular coconut milk
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
2 1/4 cups quick-cooking white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the coconut milk and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

STORAGE SAVVY:
Double the batch and freeze leftovers (in freezer bags) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on LOW. then reheat for 3 minutes on HIGH before serving.

Total Time: 10 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
WALK-AWAY TIME: 5 MINUTES

VARIATION:
For added coconut flavor, add 2 tablespoons shredded coconut iust before serving. You can also toast the coconut on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

BALSAMIC ROASTED ASPARAGUS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

SERVES 4

Total Time: 15 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
WALK·AWAY TIME: 10 MINUTES 

If you've never tried roasting asparagus, now's the time to preheat your oven. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the asparagus and caramelizes the exterior. This is excellent with chicken, beef, pork, fish, pasta, and even egg dishes such as quiche, eggs Benedict, and omelets.
••
Cooking spray
1 large bunch asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Arrange the asparagus on the sheet and spray them with the cooking spray. Brush the vinegar all over the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Roast until crisp-tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

PREP POINTER:
To remove the woody ends from asparagus, hold each stalk by the ends and bend until it snaps where it wants to. To save time, do that with one stalk and then use that stalk as a guide to line up the remaining stalks-slice the ends with a sharp knife.

GOOD HEALTH note: 
Asparagus beats all other vegetables when it comes to folate, providing 60% of the RDA in one 5.3-ounce serving. Asparagus is also a good source of potassium and fiber.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CHICKEN CURRY WITH CHICKPEAS AND TOMATOES (Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)


THIS RECIPE IS MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (please see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE in the "Entrees" section). 

SERVES 6

A real curry dish would ideally cook all day long. Since I rarely (if ever) have that luxury, I found a Quick Fix solution that delivers the same flavors. The leftover chicken is jazzed up with chickpeas and a creamy curry-cilantro sauce. I like to serve this over rice or couscous with steamed asparagus or zucchini on the side. Curry in a hurry, now that's a weekday solution!
••

3 cups quick-cooking white or brown rice 
3 leftover roasted chicken breast halves (see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE) 
Two 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
Two 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained 
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream 
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Cook the rice according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, using a fork, pull the chicken meat from the bone into shreds and place in a medium saucepan. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, and cumin and mix well. Set over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and simmer until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and simmer 1 minute to heat through.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over the rice.

Total Time: 15 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 5 MINUTES

GOOD HEALTH note:
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a rich source of heart-protective folate, iron, and vitamin 8-6. 

THAI CHICKEN SALAD WITH PEANUTS AND LIME (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)


THIS RECIPE IS MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (please see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE in the "Entrees" section). 

SERVES 6

I love this combination: sweet and salty peanuts, tart fresh lime juice, and colorful vegetables. The chicken adds a dash of protein to round out the meal. It's light and refreshing and works with beef, pork, and shrimp, too. I like to serve crunchy sesame breadsticks on the side.
••

3 leftover roasted chicken breast halves (see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter 
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
1 1/2 cups diced celery 
1 1/2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped 
1/3 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts) 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
6 cups chopped lettuce (such as romaine, Bibb, red leaf, Boston) 
1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts 


Pull the chicken meat from the bone and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and sesame oil. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Fold in the celery, red pepper, and scallions until well combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. (At this point, you can refrigerate the chicken mixture for up to 3 days.)

Place the lettuce on a serving platter or individual plates and top with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the peanuts just before serving.

Total Time: 10 to 15 minutes
PREP TIME: 10-15 MINUTES

GOOD HEALTH note:
To cut out about 6 grams of fat per serving, substitute reduced-fat peanut butter for regular.

CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM, QUESADILLAS (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)


THIS RECIPE IS MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (please see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE in the "Entrees" section). 

Total Time: 16 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 6 MINUTES

SERVES 6

Turn this assembly-style meal into a family event by letting each person choose what they want inside their own quesadilla. When kids get involved, they're more likely to try new flavors and eat their creations. Just make sure the cheese is melted and gooey and you'll get kids to eat practically any vegetable that's stuffed inside!
Serve these with a mixed green salad sprinkled with fruit, nuts, and cheese for a complete meal.
••

Cooking spray 
3 leftover roasted chicken breast halves (see ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE) 
12 8-inch flour tortillas 
3 cups sliced mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, cremini, oyster, porcini, portobello, etc.) 
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese 


Coat a large griddle or skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat to preheat (a griddle will take slightly longer to preheat, so if you plan to use a large skillet instead of a griddle, wait until your quesadillas are assembled before preheating the pan).

Using a fork, pull the chicken meat from the bone in shreds. Arrange the tortillas on a flat surface. Top one tortilla with an equal amount of chicken, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and sprinkle with shredded cheese (1/3 cup per tortilla). Top with a second tortilla. Place the quesadillas in (or on) the prepared pan-however many will fit-and cook until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side.

Cut each tortilla into four wedges and serve.

QUICK FIX IT YOUR WAY:
You can assemble the quesadillas in advance, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for
up to 3 months; thaw in the refrigerator or microwave for a few minutes on LOW before cooking.

RED POTATOES WITH CAPERS, TOMATOES, AND ONION (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)


SERVES 6

Have you noticed that red potatoes run the gamut in terms of size these days? Some spuds are golf ball-size while others rival a large Idaho. Don't fret-buy what looks the freshest (or what you can buy in bulk). 

This is an excellent side for roasted meat dishes (chicken, pork, veal, beef) and is also tasty alongside eggs. 
•• 
9 small or 6 medium red potatoes, cut in half (or quartered if slightly bigger) 
3/4 cup drained capers 
3/4 cup diced ripe tomato 
1/3 cup minced red onion 
2 1/4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Set the pan over high heat, bring to a boil, and boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 8 minutes. 

Drain and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. While they are still warm, add the capers, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, and thyme and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

STORAGE SAVVY: 
You can make this dish up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled, at room temperature, or warm (reheat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on HIGH). 

Total Time: 18 minutes 
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES 
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 8 MINUTES 

TIME SAVER tip: 
Cut larger potatoes into 2-inch pieces to speed up your cooking time and to make them more bite-size. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH SMOKEY APRICOT SAUCE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

THE PORTIONS YOU ARE COOKING IN THIS MEAL ARE MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (listed the paragraph below).  ESSENTIALLY YOU ARE MAKING ENOUGH OF THE MAIN INGREDIENT SO THAT THREE OTHER COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEALS CAN BE COOKED UP QUICKLY.  NOW THAT'S USING LEFTOVERS!

Total Time: 45 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
WALK-AWAY TIME: 35 MINUTES

SERVES 6

The simple sauce for this chicken has such an incredible aroma and flavor, it's hard to believe it's made with three simple ingredients that you may already have in your fridge. If you have orange marmalade instead of apricot preserves, that works, too. In fact, any fruit preserve will work. Liquid smoke seasoning is sold near
the Worcestershire sauce at the grocery store. Enjoy this meal tonight and later in the week (or month!) by making Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas, Thai Chicken Salad with Peanuts and Lime, and Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Tomatoes. Serve this dish with Red Potatoes with Capers, Tomatoes, and Onion (see "Sides") - make the side dish while the chicken cooks.
••
Cooking spray
15 skinless bone-in chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups apricot preserves
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke seasoning 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and arrange in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the preserves, soy sauce, and liquid smoke until well blended, then pour over the chicken. Roast until the breasts are cooked through, about 35 minutes.

Serve six chicken breast halves with this meal and refrigerate the remainder up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

INGREDIENT note:
Bone-in chicken is often less expensive than boneless chicken. Thing is, the money saved at the market could be time lost in the kitchen when it comes to prepping. I like to save the bone-in chicken pieces for recipes like
this-those that cook the chicken with the bone. It's much easier to pull meat from a cooked chicken breast than a raw one!


QUICK FIX IT YOUR WAY:
If you prefer, you can cut this recipe in half (cook 7 chicken breast halves instead of 10) and make tonight's recipe plus 2 of the 3 morph recipes with the leftovers.

STORAGE SAVVY:
To store the leftover chicken, you can set the breasts on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer until they're frozen solid, then pop them all in one big bag and pull them out as you need them. Or place two breast halves each in smaller zip-top plastic bags so you can just grab a bag and go. Remember to date and label your bags.

PORK SLOPPY JOES (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

THIS RECIPE IS MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (please see BALSAMIC ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN in the "Entrees" section).

SERVES 6

I must admit, I'm known for my Sloppy Joes. It's almost expected that I bring a batch to any gathering of friends (except maybe a beach party). I typically use ground turkey breast but I've been known to use leftover pork and other shredded meats to make Joes in minutes. If you're already out of pork for the week, simply brown a batch (about one pound) of ground turkey or chicken breast or lean ground beef. When you're ready to serve, break out the big rolls and even bigger napkins-this is one delightfully messy crowd pleaser.
••
4 1/2 cups shredded leftover pork (see BALSAMIC ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN)
Two 14-ounce cans petite-cut diced tomatoes
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
6 kaiser rolls 

In a large saucepan, combine the pork, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, liquid smoke, basil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Set the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the corn and simmer 5 minutes to heat through. Spoon the mixture onto rolls and serve hot.

Total Time: 22 minutes
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TIME: 2 MINUTES
WALK-AWAY TIME: 10 MINUTES

GOOD HEALTH note:
To add vitamin C (and some terrific green color), add one seeded and diced green bell pepper when you
add the corn.

PORK FRIED RICE (from Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals)

THIS RECIPE IS MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THREE OTHER MEALS (please see BALSAMIC ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN in the "Entrees" section).

SERVES 6

Total Time: 20 to 24 minutes
PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES
ACTIVE COOKING TlME: 10-14 MINUTES
WALK-AWAY TIME: 5 MINUTES

Just because the word "fried" is in a dish, it doesn't mean you actually have to fry anything. I don't like grease in my arteries or on my stove-top. In my lightened-up version of fried rice, I saute vegetables in a little peanut oil and then add incredibly flavorful hoisin sauce, rice, and leftover pork. Since the rice is uncooked, it absorbs all the flavors of the veggies, sauce, and pork while it cooks to tender perfection. If you want to cut calories even further, instead of whole eggs use 4 egg whites or 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute.
••
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking white rice
1/3 cups hoisin sauce
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups diced leftover pork (see BALSAMIC ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN)


3/4 cup frozen green peas





Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add  the eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through and scrambled, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggs to a plate and keep warm.   

To the same skillet, still over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to coat with the oil. Add the hoisin and stir to coat the rice. Add the broth, pork, and peas and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand until the liquid is absorbed and the rice tender, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the fried rice to individual plates. Chop the cooked egg into small pieces and sprinkle over the rice just before serving.

GOOD HEALTH note:
To eliminate about 40 calories and 10 fat grams from the dish, substitute 1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute for the 2 large eggs.