Last week, Paul and I along with a couple our kids went down to the city (OKC) for dinner and movie night. We chose Kitchen 423 for our supper and they did not disappoint. I ordered Field Bean Soup and the Harvest Market which was made up of three of their signature side dishes. I enjoyed Crispy Cauliflower with Smoked Cheddar Fondue, Roasted Beet Salad, and Roasted Sweet Potato with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Burnt Honey. All I can say is yum. We finished with Buttermilk Pie. It was so good I made it again at home for a gathering of friends. It is one of the easiest pies you can make. Five minutes to oven. Creamy and sweet, it has a little crust on top that reminds you a little of Crème Brulee. Serve with a little whipped cream for additional goodness.
• 3 eggs
• 1 ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup butter melted and cooled
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup of buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• Pinch of salt
• 1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Melt butter and cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar.
4. Whisk in flour, buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest, ground nutmeg, and salt.
5. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40-45 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in refrigerator.
Cut my pie into four pieces. I don’t think I could eat eight.
There are days when I don’t quite know what to do for dinner. Instead of putting it off until later to decide, I get started by popping some chicken breasts or a small roast into the crockpot. By afternoon, the meat is cooked and all I have to do is make a few additions , making it a quick fix dinner.
Here’s what I made yesterday. By evening, the chicken was ready and waiting to be shredded up. It just needed the sauce and the noodles. In 15 minutes, dinner was ready. And oh, was it delicious. I hope you give it a try.
Creamy Paprika Chicken
• 1 8-ounce package of egg noodles
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 16-ounce package sliced mushrooms
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 1 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 cup milk
• 1/3 dry white wine, optional. Replace with milk.
• 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Keep warm.
2. Stir together paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper in small bowl.
3. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and mushrooms, and sauté 8-10 minutes or until onion is tender.
4. Stir garlic and the spices into onion mixture; sauté 2 minutes more.
5. Add soup, milk, and wine, and bring to boil, stirring frequently.
6. Add shredded chicken and give it stir.
7. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is heated through.
8. Serve over cooked noodles.
Dinner is where the magic happens in the kitchen.
My daughter and I are currently writing a cookbook. It all started with the idea of giving her son’s soon-to-be bride the family recipes. It has since turned into a serious project and will be available sometime in the fall. This week we are working on a section we have named What to Eat Before You Eat. It will contain starters and snacks that will satisfy your appetite until the “real” meal comes. Egg Rolls are something that everyone has their own version they like. Our family keeps it pretty simple using pork sausage, cabbage, carrots, and onions. Although we prefer fried, you can also bake them. Just spray them with a little oil and bake at 400 degrees until browned.
- 1 pound pork sausage
- drizzle of oil
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- soy sauce, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- oil for frying
- Cook sausage in large skillet until no longer pink. Remove from pan onto paper towels to drain some of the fat.
- In the same skillet add a bit more oil if needed. Cook cabbage, carrots, and onion until tender. Return sausage to pan and stir to incorporate. Add soy sauce and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat.
- Fill and roll the egg roll wrappers, using scant 1/4 cup of filling for each roll. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, place the wrapper with one corner of the diamond closest to you. Place scant 1/4 of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Roll the corner closest to you over the filling. Brush the top corner with water. Fold in the sides of the wrapper and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed. Press to seal, set aside, and continue with the remaining ingredients.
- In a skillet set over moderately high heat, heat the oil and sauté the egg rolls until golden brown on all sides, using tongs to turn them.
The sharing of food is the basis of social life.
When I was a little girl, my Aunt Mikki came to visit us all the way from Japan. I wasn’t sure where exactly Japan was, but I knew it was far, far away. While Aunt Mikki was with us, she prepared Chicken Chow Mein for our family. The whole process included a trip to the market for fresh ingredients and a lot of chopping. I have loved Chicken Chow Mein since that day. I cook it often for my own family. It’s one of those dishes everyone around the table stops talking and just eats. My Auntie’s version included crispy fried noodles. I now make it with regular boiled noodles and sprinkle some wonton strips or sliced green onions to add some crunch. I also use cabbage in place of bean sprouts because it is more easily available, but you can certainly use bean sprouts if you desire.
Chicken Chow Mein
• 2 pounds chicken breast sliced in 1-inch strips
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoon mirin or sake
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons minced ginger
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
• 3 tablespoons oil, divided
• 1 onion, sliced
• 2 ribs celery, sliced on diagonal
• 2 carrots, sliced
• 2 cups chopped cabbage
• 8-ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and drained
Serve with soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, sliced green onions, fried wonton strips.
1. In a medium bowl mix together soy sauce, mirin or sake, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and chili paste. Add chicken to marinade while you chop the vegetables.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to large skillet or wok. Add ½ the chicken and quickly cook. Remove from pan. Repeat with second half. Set aside.
3. Heat last tablespoon of oil in skillet. Quickly cook the vegetables, starting with onion, celery, and carrot. Adding the cabbage after vegetables soften a bit.
4. Return the chicken to the skillet with the vegetable mixture.
5. Add spaghetti and toss.
6. Serve with desired toppings.
“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”
Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)
Weight Watcher friends: 7 Smart Points. If you use edamame spaghetti you can take it down another point. It has 24 grams of protein and only .5 grams of fat and 3 sugars. It has 4 Smart Points for a 2-ounce serving. I used the Seaport Farms brand.
Growing up, my mom baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies quite often. Perhaps the oatmeal made it seem the cookies were just a little bit healthier. I tend to agree, yet I don’t have any scientific evidence to back it up. But joy does add to your life and chocolate chip cookies do bring a little joy to those who love them. This recipe has a bonus of extra protein from the peanut butter bringing them to an even higher ‘good-for-you’ level. “Wink, wink.”
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: Not exactly sure. People keep coming by and eating them. Maybe 6 dozen 1-tablespoon size.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside
- In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter together until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Strap sides and beat again to combine.
- Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on low until combined.
- With the mixer on low speed, add oats. Once the oats are combined, add chocolate chips. Mix just until everything is combined. The dough will be thick and somewhat sticky. Cover and chill dough for about 20 minutes up 4 days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Use 1-2 tablespoons of dough to form balls. Place on cookie sheet leaving enough space for the cookie to spread out while baking.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Centers will be soft.
- Remove from oven. Allow cookies to sit on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.
Today me will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant in which case me will eat a cookie. ~Cookie Monster
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.
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.
• 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
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• Pinch of salt
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!
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold,
it would be a much merrier world.
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!
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
• 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
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.
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.
*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!