a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I have been digging through my box of old recipes for cold weather. I’m pretty sure this one came from Rachel Ray’s magazine a few years back that I changed a bit for me…

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 cups rotisserie shredded chicken
Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened/browned (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the Marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole, spread the rice in an even layer; top with the chicken. Carefully pour the mushroom mix on top. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes.

Discard the foil, sprinkle the Parmesan over top and bake for 5 minutes more or until melted/lightly browned.

Yum! Good quick meal for a cold, winter weekday night :)

It snowed! It’s winter! OK….not really winter (it will be 60 and sunny this week and melting my snow) but I’m excited for even a hint of it! Decided to make some cold weather food to celebrate!

Saw pics from a twitter/Instagram friend who made a zucchini lasagna. Mmmmm. Looked SO good! And I LOVE Italian food. But love it in the way of I-rarely-make-it-at-home-because-I-will-eat-it-all-in-1-sitting kind of way. BUT….zucchini instead of carby-carby-carberson noodles? OK! I can give that a try.

So I used the recipe my twitter friend used and changed it a bit to suit my tastes (my notes in italics):

INGREDIENTS:
4 large zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (I used 5)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced (I DID NOT USE AS I HATE ONIONS)
1 green pepper, diced
8 oz of sliced mushrooms (I ADDED THIS TO THE RECIPE)
Shot of red wine (I ADDED THIS TO THE RECIPE)
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used diced)
2 teaspoon dried oregano
handful of basil, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
handful of parsley, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
red pepper flakes, if desired (VERY MUCH DESIRED)
salt and pepper, to taste
15 oz part skim ricotta
1 egg white
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (maybe a touch more :) )
12 oz reduced fat or part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place sliced zucchini on large non-stick baking sheet (or 1 coated with non stick cooking spray.) Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help dry out the zucchini a bit. This is a critical step. I did 20 minutes and it was perfect.

While the zucchini noodles are roasting, you can make the sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and peppers and cook a few minutes until veggies start softening and garlic is fragrant; stir occasionally so that you don’t burn it. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce REALLY thickens up! Season with salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat to cool. While it was simmering, I also added a splash of red wine (more like a shot-of-sherry-Mork-does-Julia-Child style!)

Zuchini lasagna 1

In a medium bowl, combine egg white, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch nonstick baking pan (or coat regular pan with nonstick cooking spray.) Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on. Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with mozzarella.

Ready for the oven!

Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake for 15 (I did 20 actually) minutes longer uncovered.

Baked!

It is SOOOOOOO good! So good!!!! Totally making this again!!

This is the original link for this recipe (which itself is based off another): http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2014/08/healthy-low-carb-zucchini-lasagna-spicy-turkey-meat-sauce/

And hat tip to @kerotab on twitter and Instagram who enticed me with this recipe and sent me the link!

I LOVE chicken enchilada soup. As long as it’s not packed full of onions, it’s always delicious. I was thinking it would be a yummy thing to make on a snowy, winter day. And in my slow-cooker that I haven’t used all winter yet. So I searched the interwebz for delicious-sounding recipes and found 2 that I mixed together and changed a bit to suit me.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (11 ounce) diced tomatoes (1 recipe called for Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chiles but I wasn’t sure if I’d like that – spicy?)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts
2 cups petite corn (frozen is fine)
1 can black beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (crush it up)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
tortilla strips, for serving
sliced avocado, for serving
(p.s. Both recipes also called for a diced yellow onion but yuck. If you did want to use that, it gets cooked with the red pepper and garlic and added when you add them.)

Instructions:

In a skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to your slow cooker. Then mix in the cooked peppers and garlic.

Cook on low 6 hours stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Stir the cheese and sour cream into the soup (let’s face it – I “accidentally” didn’t measure these precisely and erred on the side of a little extra for these 2!) Shred the chicken/cut into bite-sized pieces and add back to the cooker. Taste and season as needed. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

Serve garnished with more cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips and avocado.

YUM!

YUM!

IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!! I highly recommend this recipe for a simple, winter recipe.

Cut up 4 Smoked Andouille chicken sausages. Browned in 2 tbsps of vegetable oil for about 20 mins over medium-low heat.

Made a package of Zatarain’s Dirty Rice and tossed in the sausage about 15 minutes into simmering.

Voila – delicious and SUPER easy Sunday night dinner on a cold night while watching Peyton’s team dismantle Tom’s team (so far at least..17 – 0 in 2nd quarter! Gisele is not pleased….)

photo-8

And since Peyton is a Louisiana boy, this dinner works :)

It’s getting colder as winter slllooowwwly starts arriving. I was in the mood for something hearty but trying not to down bowlfuls of pasta :) Came across a recipe online (that I changed a little for me) that sounded good but also no fuss:

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef (I used 90/10)
3/4 cup uncooked regular oats (I used organic steel cut oats but I can’t imagine it actually matters other than overpaying)
1/2 cup milk (I used non-fat as that’s what I had in the house)
2 tablespoons minced onion (I used dried as I don’t like onion much or to dice it)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce ( used the Heinz Chili Sauce as original recipe mentioned it and all others at store seemed way too hot for me)
3 cheese slices, cut into 1-inch strips (I used American cheese since it’s the meltiest…although not entirely sure of it’s authentic cheeseness ;))

Preparation
Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Make sure you mix it really well (I used my hands after multiple washings before and after!)

Place in a 9x5inch loafpan.

Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes. Pour chili sauce over meat loaf, and bake 20 to 25 more minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center.

Arrange cheese slices in a crisscross pattern on top of meat loaf (I turned off the oven but left it in there to melt the choose some.) Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

This turned out really tasty! I haven’t had meat loaf in a really, really long time but I am now a fan of this one. I had it alone, but can imagine it would be even yummier with mashed potatoes and gravy :) Mmmmmmmm. Actually I paired with a nice glass of red wine which made it almost fancy ;)

A good, simple winter recipe! Plus leftovers!

20131118-170819.jpg

I’m always looking for yummy recipes that will work for tailgating. Has to be easily transportable, eaten easily while hanging out and preferably little mess (at least once in the Candlestick parking lot!) Oh! And also very yummy :)

Have never done chicken before. Honestly my go-to is cheeseburgers because cheeseburgers are delicious. Two weeks ago I decided to use the advice from some food guy on Yahoo about cheeseburgers and use 80/20 meat, American cheese and squishy white bread buns (no pretzel bun, ciabatta, etc etc.) Frankly, I’ve never done that. I always buy 93/7 meat and use cheddar, blue cheese, or some such other yummy cheese. BUT, this guy’s point was make the cheeseburger the way it is meant to be made. You don’t eat them every day so when you do, make them right. He was right – DELICIOUS!!! I will make them that way for tailgating from now on.

But I digress….I wanted to try chicken this time so went on a search for a tasty chicken recipe. Found this one on the Food Network – Dirty P’s Garlic-Ginger Chicken Thighs:

Ingredients

2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill

NOW…I changed the recipe to this (for my tastes):

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger (used Gourmet Garden ginger paste found in the produce section)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (used Odwalla)
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill (I used spray on grilling spray stuff…highly technical)

I hate onions (unless deep-fried into rings in which case they are OK especially when dipped in ranch!) so they had to go. And I just can’t eat chicken skin unless way deep fried KFC style. So skinless as well as boneless chicken for me…

Directions

Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, juice and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. (I marinated for about 5 hours before cooking.)

Preheat a grill to medium high and oil the grate. Grill the chicken skin-side down until marked, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 more minutes. (here is where I changed it – since I have skinless chicken cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, flip and 2 more minutes, and then repeat. So cooking for 8 minutes total. BUT, the key was making sure the grill was HOT. In making this at home for a 2nd time my grill was heated to 500 degrees.)

When I went to Safeway to buy chicken for the tailgate, the checkout guy was probably 20 yrs old at most. There was a HUGE notice at checkout about the chicken as there was a recent Foster Farms salmonella scare. When I asked half-jokingly “what do I need to know about this chicken?” he responded “cook your chicken. simple. people don’t cook their chicken and then go around blaming other people for their own stupidity. it’s not filet mignon people. it’s chicken. not supposed to be pink.” I left that in all lower case because he said it so fast, and in such a thick country accent, that I had no response other than a heartfelt smile and a “You are completely right.” Nice to know there are some people out there that I agree with.

Anyway….I digress…..again….

Let the chicken rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

This was SO good. So, so good. Also – FULLY cooked but not dry. Pay attention people. Yummy. Both at the 49ers tailgate and tonight. Very glad I found the recipe and will use it often! And not just for tailgating :)

chicken

It’s Oscar night!! Not sure what that has to do with eating (absolutely nothing, zilch, zero, nada) but I decided to make this since the chicken has been in my freezer for a couple weeks :) Call me glamour-puss! I found this recipe in a magazine and then changed it to suit my tastes…

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
About 1 lb of skin-on chicken drumsticks
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 cloves garlic (about 1 head)
2 lemons (finely grated zest of one, juice of both)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound frozen corn, thawed
3/4 cup whole milk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons flour. Add to the skillet and cook, turning, until slightly golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice and turn the chicken to coat. Transfer the skillet to the oven; roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the corn and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon flour, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

I am pairing it with some Moet & Chandon Imperial as Moet seems to be the Hollywood bubbly of choice and this was already chilled in my fridge :)

I love watching the Oscars. Even though I love to make fun of celebrities too. Mostly because I think actors taking themselves SOOOOO seriously is rather amusing…but LOVE the outfits :)

It was stormy, cold and rainy this past week and I thought some chili sounded delicious! Plus it’s been forever since I used my slow cooker. I am not a super spicy food person nor do I like all sorts of stuff in my chili. Probably considered boring by some, but I like to think of it as simple :)

I found several recipes over the years and kinda sorta combined them/mutated them to my own tastes. I have decided that I like this recipe better than my previous version:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (I have found I actually really like turkey chili)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1.25-oz.) envelope chili seasoning mix (I know, I know…cheating but basically chili powder, cumin and pepper I think)
1 (12-oz.) beer (I am not a beer drinker so I just picked a wheat-free pale ale – up to you)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese (some people like chopped red onion – YUCK. But if I serve at a football party, I will put out for others like a good hostess along with oyster/soup crackers. Plus I’m sure you could add sorts of things to it if you wanted: onions, peppers, different meat as you cook it.)

Preparation:

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.

Stir in beer, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the beer to simmer in with the meat but not overcook.

Spoon mixture into slow cooker; stir in corn and next 3 ingredients until well blended. Cover and cook on LOW 6-7 hours.

Serve with desired toppings.

Now, it’s not entirely homemade because I used a seasoning packet plus canned tomatoes. Too bad, It’s chili. I wanted it to be easy-peasy and cook all day for me! I made it yesterday and ate some last night and it was delicious! But I am pretty excited to have it for dinner tonight! You know it will taste even better :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I am very thankful for a lot of things in life and won’t list them here. And even though I lost Angelus this year, I have to remember to be thankful for all of the smiles he brought me every single day for 11.5 years. And Storm is still happy and relatively healthy (his arthritis bugs him but he still motors around.)

I was not in the mood to cook a turkey or even the fixins’ (OK, I do want a vat of mashed potatoes and gravy but I almost always want that!) I saw an ad that AMC was going to run The Godfather all day so I decided on an Italian Thanksgiving! I am making a yummy bolognese:

http://a99kitten.com/?p=2029

In the Sierras with some red wine, some Corelones, maybe some Dean Martin later (but NOT his Christmas music – that’s tomorrow!)

All good :)

“Why are you bothering me?”

I have never made soup before (besides using a can opener that is!) Also, when I say homemade, that does NOT mean I made my own stock. That’s just silly IMO unless making homemade chicken noodle soup. I found 2 yummy looking recipes for Broccoli Cheddar Ale soup. I kinda sorta combined them/tweaked the ingredients and recipes a little for my taste:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 medium red onion, minced very, very teeny tiny as I hate biting into onions
4 whole green onions (I trimmed them down to about half size. Again..not an onion fan)
2 whole garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches of broccoli (I only used florets)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon 
sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 bottle (12-ounce) ale (I used a Pale Ale)
2 cups skim milk (although might try with full fat milk next time)
2 cups chicken broth (1 cup reserved)
4 – 4.5 cups grated sharp cheddar

Instructions:

Add the oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and cook until the onion is translucent, add the green onion and garlic, dry mustard, a small pinch of sea salt, and a crank of fresh ground pepper. Saute for slightly longer until green onions get soft.

Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring so it is well incorporated.

Pour in the beer and cook until the liquid reduces by half (about 5-6 minutes)

Whisk in the milk, 1 cup of stock, and broccoli.

Continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

Use a blender (got to use my immersion blender for the 1st time!) to blend the ingredients until you have the consistency you want (chunky broccoli or creamier)

Add the grated cheddar in batches, stirring frequently until it melts (keep the soup at a simmer – don’t allow it to boil)

When all of the cheese has melted, check for consistency – if you would like the soup a bit thinner, add the reserved stock.

I added a sprinkle of shredded cheese (yes…more), a few croutons and parsley (solely for presentation) and it was YUM!

One thing to note is that it is pretty salty. 4.5 cups of cheese can do that. I would probably try using whole milk and make sure the chicken stock is low sodium next time. I love salt but if anyone is salt-sensitive, they might find it too much. But I think adding thicker milk might counteract that, as well as low sodium stock. So might adding less cheese but whatever. :)

I had leftovers so I am currently warming some up for lunch today! Yumyumyum