Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ugly Sweater Party & Sunday Dinner

Yo Yo Yo! 

Happy Holidays everyone. I'm ready to pump out a 4 day boozy week and then enjoy 10 days off. Bring on some free time (aka no work)!

Anyway, this weekend I went to an ugly sweater party at my friend Koryn's house. I was too busy shoving my face to take any food shots but she had quite the spread. Buffalo chicken dip, spinach dip, meatballs, mini pizzas, pigs in a blanket, mini tacos, veggies, and endless desserts...

Also in the mix was a baked brie I brought over. Again, forgot to snap a picture, but it was bangin' me.

After making my self sick eating too much last night, I woke up this morning in need of a nutritious home cooked meal. I had most of this in my house already and stopped by the store to get a few more things. In roughly a half hour, I cooked up a fab meal for 1...and I'll be enjoying the leftovers all week for lunches and probably dinners too...

Balsamic Honey Glazed Chicken, Caramelized Onion Quinoa, Lemon Pepper Green Beans, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup chicken brother
2 Tbs honey
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 pat butter

Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.  In skillet, melt butter and add olive oil.  Add chicken, and cook 5 - 7 minutes on each side until cooked all the way through.

Remove chicken, place on a plate, and cover with tinfoil.

Put balsamic, honey, lemon juice, garlic, and chicken broth in skilled and let thicken up for about 5 minutes.  Scrape any leftover bits with a spatula.

Pour sauce over chicken.

To go with my chicken, I cooked up a quick batch of quinoa with some chicken broth and caramelized some onions.

I also had a handful of fingerling potatoes laying around which I tossed in olive oil, salt,  pepper, and roasted.

Lastly, I steamed some green beans and tossed them in lemon pepper spice from Trader Joe's.

So, there you have looks super ambitious but really its super easy.

Off to watch the Next Iron Chef finale!  Who are you rooting for??

Monday, December 12, 2011

Looks like Chili

See?  I told you I'd be back more often...I know, I're thrilled.

Anyway, the other morning I was doing some blog reading and stumbled on this recipe from Cara's Cravings.  I adapted it slightly based on what I had in my house, but I pulled this together pretty quickly and it was awesome!  Not really a chili in my book, but it looked and tasted like one with half the calories and fat.  Sweet.

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili with Swiss Chard and Butternut Squash

1 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 Chile pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5oz of turkey chorizo
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1lb peeled, diced butternut squash
2, 15oz, cans reduced sodium black beans
14oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 large bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

When oil is shimmering, saute onions and peppers until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. 

Add the garlic, chorizo, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for one minute more, stirring.

Add butternut squash, black beans, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high. When mixture comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid and add the swiss chard, stirring as it wilts in. If the chili seems dry, add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for another 5 minute, until chard is tender.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

This was super flavorful and light at the same time.  For a big bowl of chili, it kept me full without weighing me down.  The Greek yogurt was a great substitution for sour cream, and added an interesting flavor.  I added some crumbled tortilla chips the next day which made it even better.  I will definitely be making this again!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This Turkey is Still Giving

I realize I'm a few weeks late on my Thanksgiving post but since I'm still eating my leftovers in the form of this turkey soup, I figured it was okay to still share this recipe with you!

Last year I attempted to create turkey soup from the leftover turkey carcass from our Thanksgiving dinner.  The end result is what I would call...well...a turkey failure.  I'm not going to get into the details, but it wasn't good.  So naturally, this year I claimed redemption.  And what a redemption it was (insert roommates head nodding in agreement here).

I was too busy perfecting the soup to take snapshots of each step, but if you follow the below recipe, I assure you that you won't care you missed the pictures.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup


1 turkey carcass (with all meat removed)
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 onion, quartered
2 celery stalks
4 peppercorns
2 bay leaves

3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced (I had frozen pearl onions so I threw those in)
3 celery stalks, diced
1 cup small baby potatoes
1 cup butternut squash, diced
1 cup turnips and parsnips (I bought Trader Joe's pre diced mixture)
soup noodles of your choice
reserved turkey leftovers (cover your leftovers in an airtight container with a few teaspoons of gravy so it doesn't dry out)
1 bay leave
parsley for topping


For Broth:
Add celery, carrots, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves, turkey carcass in a large stock pot and fill with water until carcass is mostly covered with water.  Turn heat to high, bring to boil.  Reduce heat, simmer and cover for 2+ hours.  The longer you simmer the flavors together, the better your broth will take.  Mine simmered for close to 4 hours.

Remove carcass, and strain soup with cheese cloth to make sure you don't get any unwanted turkey bits in your broth.  Discard veggies, peppercorns, carcass, and bay leaves.

For Soup:
Add diced celery, carrots, onions, butternut squash, turnips, and parsnips into stock pot.  Add turkey broth and simmer until veggies are tender.  Add turkey to reheat.

Place noodles in a bowl, pour soup over, and enjoy!  Sprinkle with parsley for topping if desired.

This was delicious!  The potatoes were perfectly cooked with a crunch on the outside and warm potato center.  The pearl onions added a different texture than I usually use in my soup and the butternut squash made it extra colorful.  I enjoyed this for lunches for almost a week and have some more in my freezer for upcoming cold months.

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Root Vegetable Fall

Fall is officially here, which means I'm officially back in blog mode!  It was a very busy summer, which is why you didn't see me much, but I promise I'll be back at it again soon.

Of course my first welcome back post was soup, I mean cmon now!  One of my favorite things about fall (aside from my birthday (in exactly approximately 6 days from now)) is all of the delicious fall flavors.  Personally, fall is my favorite season.  I love all the earthy vegetables, pumpkin flavoring, and of course the breezy cool weather.  

Anyway, last Sunday as the rain started and the patriots lost, I dusted off my favorite cookbook and got to work.  I noticed I had a number of ingredients for the Farmers' Root Vegetable Soup, so I figured I'd cook up a big batch that would last as lunches and dinners for the upcoming week.  The outcome was and flavorful.

(Sorry about these pictures, for some reason they look awful and pixilated (Shan, thats for you)).

1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
5 ribs celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
6 carrots, peeled and diced
3 large yams, peeled and diced into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
3 cups turnips, peeled and diced into chunks
1 bulb celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into chunks
14 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken)
1 bunch fresh dill
1/4 cup orzo (the original recipe didn't call for this but I thought I'd add a little orzo to make it a meal)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the onion, celery, fennel, carrots, yams, parsnips, turnips, and celeriac in a large stockpot.

Add the stock.  Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add the dill, salt, and pepper.

Easiest soup ever!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pool Parties and Peach Crisp

I realize I'm a little delayed in this post but I've been a very busy chick the past few weeks.
My apologies for the neglect.

Anyway, over the 4th of July, my friend Allison hosted her annual pool party in which she asked me to bring a dessert.  It was going to be a gorgeous weekend and I wasn't feeling something heavy and chocolaty (shocker, I know) so I searched online for the perfect recipe.  When I stumbled upon this in Cooking Light, I knew it would be a hit.

I also knew people wouldn't be very hungry after devouring the other food her mom usually prepares like delicious and perfectly cooked turkey kielbasa bites with yellow mustard.  And her famous raspberry vinaigrette marinated chicken salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, and pears.  (Are you drooling yet?)  Or beer basted brats w/onions and peppers.  Oh my.

Anyway...back to that crisp I mentioned...

Peach, Plum, and Apricot Crisp


4 1/2 cups sliced peaches
2 cups sliced plums
2 cups sliced apricots
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
Cooking spray
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 2/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted (I used margarine)
4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream (we had chocolate chip ice cream...yum!)

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400

Spoon fruit mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 35 minutes or until bubbly.  Combine oats and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl.  Drizzle with melted butter (or margarine), stirring until crumbly.  

Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit.  

Bake an additional 15 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly.  Serve warm with ice cream.

I was in such a rush to get out the door and catch the rays, I didn't get any pictures of us actually digging into this deliciousness, but I assure you it lived every bit up to its expectations.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brussels, Sausage, and Squash

What up!  Happy pseudo Tuesday people.

I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day weekend filled with delicious food, fun, friends, and family.  I headed out to Atlantic City with one of my best gals.  While I was too busy drinking tanning to take pictures of our food, I did manage to capture a few shots of the fun.

My losings...formerly known as winnings

 Free bloody mary's on the plane?  OK!  (obv we have the essential plane reading materials as well)

Hotel beach umbrella's

Swanky (yeah, I'm pushing it) roof deck pool

That was my weekend, but yesterday it was back to real life and back to the eats!

I got home from work pretty late and wasn't in the mood for anything complicated (nor did I have time to grocery shop) so I went through my fridge and found enough ingredients to make an adaption of Cara's Cravings Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Winter Squash and Apple Chicken Sausage.

I made some slight revisions but it was pretty tasty for a Tuesday.

3/4 lb butternut squash, diced (I used frozen because its what I had)
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 links jalapeƱo chicken sausage, diced (I used Trader Joes brand)
3/4 lb brussels sprouts
pinch each of smoked paprika and nutmeg
Place the squash in a microwave-safe dish, add a splash of water, cover, and cook on high for about 2 minutes. (you may want to cook for longer if you're using fresh squash)

Wash the brussels sprouts, remove any yellowing outer leaves, trim, and slice into ribbons.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat and add the steamed squash with a pinch of salt. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until nicely browned. 

Add the sliced chicken sausage, cook 1-2 minutes more, and then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Add remaining 2 tsp olive oil to the pan, turn the heat up just a bit, then add the brussels sprouts. Season with more salt and a pinch of smoked paprika and nutmeg. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, until nicely browned in spots. 

Add the squash mixture, toss together and heat through. 

Serve immediately. 

I'm enjoying these leftovers today as lunch while I type this post.  Delicious!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kitchen Proof

Since I was MIA for almost 3 months with alleged "kitchen repairs", I feel like its only right if I show you my new and improved kitchen makeover!  Unfortunately, I don't have a before picture to show you, but the after pics should wow you enough to forgive me.  Lets do this!

Here's the wide shot.  I know, close your jaw.  Its beautiful.  Seriously though, we tore up the floors, cabinets, counter tops, appliances, lights, and repainted.  So its really a brand new kitchen.

Close up of the stove.  Yes, thats an electric stove top with a warming drawer below.  Yummy.

Kitchen sink shot.  Exciting!

Dishwasher (and my coffee mug that I think matches because it too is stainless steel)

Fridge...sorry, flash went a little crazy here!

And there you have it folks.  Tour de Felcher's kitchen.  More food fun to come.