Posted in Asian, Weight Watchers, WW Freestyle

Traveling the World One Recipe at a Time

I have been enjoying traveling the world. Maybe not traveling as much as experiencing the world through the articles of people, places, and food found in Christopher Kimble’s Milk Street Magazine. And in my journeys, I have learned many things about other cultures and people, and have tried some really great recipes. Quite a few of them keep showing up on my table or are shared at parties.

milk street cover

The newest issue is out, and my copy already has many tags on its pages. As my custom, I will use the recipes as jumping off point and tweak them to fit my eating style and pantry. That’s why there are so many amazing dishes out there to try. Everyone has their own spin and that keeps life interesting. Hope you enjoy my take on this yummy dish inspired by Asia flavors.

Vietnamese Meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs
• 1 pound lean ground pork or ground chicken breast
• 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
• 6 minced green onions
• 3 tablespoons water
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground pepper
• 2 teaspoons cooking oil
Salad
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• Pinch of salt

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, mixed together ground chicken, cilantro, green onions, water, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper until well incorporated.
2. Form into 20 meatballs, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until bottoms are golden. Turn and continue to cook until all sides are browned.
4. In a medium bowl, toss carrots with lime juice and salt.
5. Serve meatballs alongside carrot salad. Yum!
6. Enjoy!

meatballs


If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold,
it would be a much merrier world.
J.R.R. Tolkien


Weight Watcher Freestyle Friends: Five meatballs and ¼ salad equal 4 Smart Points when made with pork. One Smart point when made with chicken breast. Enjoy!

Posted in Easy Cooking, What's for Dinner, WW Freestyle

Cheesy Comfort

Easy Cheesy Lasagna

Need something satisfying and easy for a weeknight supper. This will do the trick. I have made this for years, and it always pleases. It is a great dish to serve to company, take to a party, or share with a friend who is need of a meal. I have included the changes to make it Weight Watcher friendly.


Easy Cheesy Lasagna

4 servings
Ingredients
• 1/2 pound Italian Sausage *See note
• 2 cups pasta sauce, I used Classico Tomato & Basil
• 5 no-boil lasagna pasta sheets
• 2 cups cottage cheese, I used nonfat. Ricotta can be used if you prefer
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, I used nonfat
Instructions
1. In a medium saucepan, cook sausage. Add pasta sauce and heat.
2. In a medium bowl combine cottage cheese, egg, basil, and parmesan cheese.
To assemble:
1. Spread ½ cup of sauce in bottom of 6×9 inch casserole.
2. Place one pasta sheet in middle. Don’t worry. Sheets expand during the cooking process.
3. Spread about ½ cup of cottage cheese mixture on sheet.
4. Top with about ½ cup sauce, sprinkle with ¼ cup of mozzarella.
5. Top with another pasta sheet, cottage cheese mixture, and mozzarella. No sauce in this layer.
6. Repeat layer 1 and 2.
7. Top with remaining pasta sheet, sauce, and ¼ cup of mozzarella. If using nonfat mozzarella, lightly spray with cooking spray. This will help the cheese melt.
8. Tightly cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
9. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Life is a combination of magic and pasta.

Frederico Fellini


*Weight Watchers on Freestyle: I make my own Italian sausage by adding Italian sausage seasonings to ground chicken breast. See recipe here. I add 1 pound of it to this recipe to increase the protein and flavor. If you use this method, your lasagna will be 8 Smart Points. If making your own sausage seems like too much I would suggest using ½ pound turkey Italian sausage for 2 extra Smart Points per serving. It would also be quite tasty without the sausage if you prefer. Enjoy!

Posted in Only Eat the Good Stuff, What's for Dinner, WW Freestyle

Dinner on the Quick: Balsamic Apple Pork Tenderloin

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I have a new gadget in my kitchen. Well, maybe not exactly new. I purchased a counter top pressure cooker last year, and I stared at it quite a while before I actually put it to use. The delay probably resulted from my upbringing as a child. I was well-versed in the dangers of pressure cookers as a child. I remember wondering each time my mom would use it whether it would result in an explosion. Lol!

Today’s cookers are much safer and easier to use. Once I used mine, I realized what a wonderful gadget it is. I have only made a couple of things so far, but I can already see what a benefit they are. Meat can go from freezer to finished in no time. And those same meals you cook in the crock pot for hours, can be done in thirty minutes.

Here’s what I tried last night.

Balsamic Apple Pork Tenderloin
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice or chicken broth
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 springs thyme

To finish

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Turn on sauté function and heat. When hot, add oil.
  2. Brown tenderloin on all sides. Approx. 2 minutes per side. Remove tenderloin to plate. Set aside.
  3. Add onion to pot and cook until tender, stirring frequently.
  4. Add garlic. Stir.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar. Stir.
  6. Add juice/broth, apple, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Stir well.
  7. Add tenderloin, nestling in the mixture. Cancel sauté function. Place lid on cooker and lock. Close steam release vent. Press cook. Adjust time to 10 minutes. Longer if meat is frozen: 15 minutes. When cycle finishes, let pot rest in the warm function for 15 minutes.
  8. Release any remaining steam and remove lid. Check internal temperature of pork for doneness: 140 degrees F.
  9. Remove from pot and cover with foil to keep warm.
  10. Switch on sauté function. Add butter and incorporate.
  11. Remove 1/3 cup broth, whisk in cornstarch, and return to pot to thicken sauce.
  12. Turn off pot.
  13. Slice meat and top with sauce.
  14. Enjoy!

No pressure cooker? This recipe can be made in the crockpot or the oven. Just adjust times accordingly.

Weight Watcher Friends: This has 5 SmartPoints if made with chicken broth, 6 with juice. I used beer which doesn’t add any points to the overall dish.

Good food ain’t cheap and cheap food ain’t good.

Posted in Eat the Good Stuff, What's for Dinner, WW Freestyle

Taco Tuesday

Grilled Chicken

This week when Tuesday arrived, tacos were on my mind.

I don’t know if Taco Tuesday is a thing other places across the country, but here in SoCal it’s pretty popular. So, instead of heading out to the local taco place, I thought I would just create some at home.

So glad I did.

I tried a new recipe for a Mexican chicken marinade and was it good. Even though the recipe called for fresh lemon juice, I used the “from concentrate” I had in the fridge. It turned out fine, plus made it effortlessness to prepare. The grilled chicken that is the result is pretty delicious. You don’t wait until Tuesday to try it. Any day could use a little extra yumminess. And don’t forget to invite your friends. They’ll thank you.


Mexican Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

¾ cup lemon juice, I used a combination of lemon and lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pounds chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken breast

Instructions

  1. Mix juice, oil, salt, pepper, and oregano into a large zipper bag.
  2. Add chicken and marinate for thirty minutes or longer.
  3. Grill chicken until done, 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer.
  4. Enjoy!

 

I’m trying to eliminate negativity from my life. Therefore, Mondays are now “Taco Tuesday Eve” until further notice.

Posted in Matters of the Heart

Friends Around the Table

 

new dishes

Exciting things are happening in the Schell household.

Some of you may have heard we have purchased a house near our children in Oklahoma. (See my post Adventuring On) We are pretty excited to be the owners of red dirt and look forward to experiencing all that comes with it.

We just made our very first purchase for our new place—we bought dishes. How can you provide hospitality without the right tools? I can’t wait to serve a meal around our table there. That is what will make the new house a home. (Don’t worry SoCal friends. We are not moving. We are just expanding our borders to include the Midwest.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in California . . . 

we are hosting a small group of friends who gather once a month to fellowship, share a meal, and discuss a portion of the Bible. Our discussion will be on the stories found in Luke 8. I always look forward to our time together. It not only strengthens my knowledge of God and His Word, but also my connection with the other people around the table. This may be why the Bible tells us to “always be eager to practice hospitality”. (Romans 12:13) Good food and good conversation go hand-in-hand in developing good friendships.


Here is the recipe for what I am fixing for dinner tonight. It is easy and delicious. Perfect for your next dinner party. Don’t hesitate to invite others to your table. Relationships have a way of growing strong there.

Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided, I used 2 teaspoons
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken pieces, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic bowl. Add chicken and marinade for a few minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook until chicken is browned. Remove from pan and finish cooking in a 400 degrees oven.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook until browned and released liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme. Heat and reduce slightly. Place chicken on serving dish and top with mushroom mixture. Enjoy.

Note: I chose garlic mashed potatoes to serve this with, but rice or noodles would work, too.


Olive oil and balsamic vinegar shops have been popping up everywhere offering a variety of flavors. This would be a good dish to try some out.


Good food and good company are two of life’s simplest yet greatest pleasures.

Posted in What's for Dinner

Smoky Pork and Beans Chili

https://thepartysinthekitchen.me/2018/01/31/smoky-pork-and-beans-chili/

I don’t always know in the morning what I’ll be in the mood for at the end of the day. Sometimes, I just opt for throwing some meat along with a little broth and salt and pepper into the crockpot and wait for inspiration to come. That is how this recipe came about. I started a small roast cooking and then did some investigation into my options. Originally, I thought maybe green chili pork, but it got pushed aside for this recipe. It’s still pork and chilis but taken up a notch with the smoky flavor of chipotles.

This isn’t quite as easy as coming home to a fully cooked crockpot meal, but with fifteen minutes of prep and thirty minutes of simmer time, you can have something pretty yummy on the table. Just add some cornbread, tortilla chips, or crusty garlic bread for a hearty and satisfying dinner.


Smoky Pork and Beans Chili

Ingredients
• 1 ½ pounds pork roast
• ½ cup chicken broth
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 1 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce
• 1 ½ dried oregano
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, rinsed
• 1 15-ounce can corn
• 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Sliced green onions or chopped cilantro for serving
Instructions
1. Place roast and broth in the crockpot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat shreds easily. The pressure cooker will also work here.
2. On medium heat add oil to soup pot; heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chipotle, and oregano. Cook the mixture, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in beans, tomatoes, and the shredded pork; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
6. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion greens or cilantro and serve. Enjoy!


One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
Luciano Pavarotti


Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points per 1 1/2 cups.

Posted in Asian, Beef, Main Dish

What’s for Supper: Korean Beef

Korean Beef Genny

Many times, we opt for the ease of someone else’s kitchen like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, or even our favorite Asian place. But in just a few minutes, you can have something pretty yummy without the drive-thru. This is a very easy recipe my daughter, Genevieve, whipped up after working her eight for the day. It can be on the table in no time, and is very tasty week night treat that is quicker that calling for takeout. Enjoy!

Korean Beef

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef, Genevieve used 93/7
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, Genevieve used Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 16-ounce coleslaw mix
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste. Garlic chili paste would be good here, too.
  • 3 green onions-scallions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook ground beef over medium heat in pan coated with cooking spray.
  2. When meat is almost finished push to one side, add sesame oil, then garlic and ginger.
  3. Cook only for about a minute, then stir into meat.
  4. Mix together soy sauce and brown sugar. Add to pan with meat mixture.
  5. Add coleslaw mix. Cook until wilted.
  6. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
  7. Serve with cooked rice. My favorite is Jasmine. Or this is also a good filling for lettuce wraps.

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.
Paul Prudhomme


Genevieve Hays is a corporate trainer for Walmart, who on her off time enjoys recreational cooking. She also has a home business making custom aprons. Her motto: Every girl needs practical and pretty aprons for those every day battles. You can check out her wares on her Facebook page Apron Armor or at her Etsy store Apron Armory.

Note for Weight Watchers:This is a 6 Smart Points recipe. If eating with rice, count accordingly.