Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's so cheesy!

Want to know how I made this creamy, dreamy mac 'n cheese that you're looking at? Well, how about if I told you I simply took it out of the freezer, popped it into the microwave, and waited around 6 minutes?!

Scroll down to see just what I'm talking about.

Surprise! I was pleasantly pleased with the taste of this frozen meal.  I don't recall the last time I've had a Lean Cuisine but I don't recall them tasting this good and satisfying.  And it's only 250 calories!  So, if you are craving some good old fashioned comfort food and don't want to break the caloric bank, pick yourself up one of these in the frozen food aisle.
I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Diet, Diet, Diet!

I admit, I have been on a diet as of late.  That's such a dirty word, isn't it? Diet. Yuk. I mean, the word "die" is even in it for goodness sake!  Okay, that aside, I have been loving this app on my iphone called "My Fitness Pal".  It tracks my calories day-to-day, and really makes me stay within my alotted caloric intake. Of course, in order for it to be helpful, you have to log every single, frickin' thing you eat, but, after a couple days, that gets easy and you fall into a routine. So far, I've been logging in for almost 1 month. Woot woot! 
So, I've been craving some yummy-licious fried chicken but of course, just thinking of that would take a huge chunk of my daily calories, so I opted instead for some bake "fried" chicken.  And boy, did I hit a home run with this one. Loved it! I got the recipe from the Once Upon A Plate blog and here it is:

This recipe is good for 2 medium size chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
prepare a shallow baking sheet/dish by lining it with parchment paper or foil. Spray this with a light coating of cooking spray.

Take 3 shallow plates and put the following into each:

Plate 1: 1/2 cup AP flour
Plate 2: 1 beaten egg with a dash of water
Plate 3: 1/2 cup Panko or bread crumbs. Stir in some garlic powder and a tablespoonful or two of Parmesan cheese.

Take your chicken breast and salt/pepper each side. Dip the breast into the flour plate, making sure each side is well coated. Tap off excess flour. Then, dip the chicken breast into the egg mixture, coating entire breast. Then, place breast into Panko/breadcrumb plate, coating evenly.

Place the chicken onto the prepared baking plate and cook from 30-50 minutes, depending on your oven. 

(the original recipe said to lightly spray the breaded chicken breast with some cooking spray before popping into oven but I skipped that).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another use for Vodka

I had this bottle of a lesser name Vodka in my cupboard that I've been wanting to use up.  It was around $5 and it tasted horrid! I've come to learn the finer points of vodka so I recently upgraded to a better brand but still didn't want this one to go to waste.  So...I made this Pasta in Vodka Cream Sauce dish today, originally a Rachel Ray recipe, I've come to find out.

I used a rigatoni pasta...a type I don't normally cook with but one that I thought would be perfect to capture all the wonderful cream sauce. I really loved that this recipe used shallots which adds a bit of subtle sweetness to the sauce. And, though heavy cream is an ingredient, it really is only 1/2 cup for the entire recipe, so don't let that scare you away from making this if you are watching your figure.

Rachael Ray's Vodka Cream Sauce Pasta:


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), once around the pan in a slow stream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
  • Crusty bread, for passing
Serves 4


Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the EVOO, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently sauté theshallots for 3-5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add the vodka to the pan – three turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce the vodka by half, about 2 or 3 minutes. Addthe chicken stock and the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a bubble and reduce the heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. 

While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until it's cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While the pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir the cream into the sauce. When the sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from the heat. Drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce and the basil leaves. Pass the pasta with crusty bread.

Here fishy, fishy...

Today I baked a whole tilapia. It wasn't a major feat since this was pretty easy to do. I bought the tilapia at one of my favorite grocery stores in nearby Altadena called Super King Market.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
Rinse the tilapia under cold water and pat very dry.
Rub about 1 tablespoonful of olive or vegetable oil all over the fish.
Take a sharp knife and slice 3 deep slits on each side of the fish. Place several thin slices of fresh ginger and sliced garlic. Place several slices of fresh lemon into the cavity.
Put the tilapia on a foil lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Eat and enjoy! Bon Appetit.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let's start the year blogging!

It's a new year and a fantastic time to start writing about the things that I love once again. I know it's a poor excuse for being absent, but I've had a rather hectic year. We moved from my condo in Pasadena to a house in Pasadena. The boys and I have been enjoying our new digs and making our house a HOME. Here are some pics of my sweetie pies...

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm baaaaack!!

Ooooohhhh, i'm sorry, i haven't been blogging much, have I? Okay, no excuses, no, 'oh, I've been busy Christmas shopping'...I won't subject you to such lame cop-outs. So let me just jump in here and share with you something delicious that I cooked up tonight when I got home from work.  Spaghetti with kale.  Actually, it was drunken spaghetti with kale.  The drunken because you use a whole bottle of red wine.  Great name, huh?  Great dish too.  Especially on chilly, almost-winter nights like the one we're having right now.  It's been raining all day and when I got home, I felt like something comforting, warm, and high in carbohydrates!  This recipe comes from the one and only Rachel Ray.  Admittedly, Miss Ray is not one of my favorite cooking personalities out there.  She was once cute and bouncy when she first debuted on the Food Network years ago,  but I've grown tired of her sugar and spice and everything nice persona.  But I digress...
This recipe is solidly good and pretty darn quick too. I didn't have pancetta so I used good old bacon instead.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Click here for the recipe.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pizza for my pooches

My friend turned me on to these scrumptious goodies when her pug Kevin turned 4 years old recently.  Made with whole wheat flour, corn meal, cheese, and sausage, I couldn't resist giving them a taste myself.  Tate and Finn loved these and I hope your fur baby will too!

Sausage Mini Pizzas (from the Doggy Dessert Chef website):

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Cornmeal
1 Egg
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Water
Toppings1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Meat Toppings (I used Bacon bits and Shredded Chicken)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Mix dough ingredients togeather in a large bowl until well combined.
3. Knead and roll out onto greased pizza pan and add toppings of your choice.
4. Bake for 25-30 and let cool before serving.