Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Guacamole

I threw this together one day and it has evolved into a party favorite.
What you need.
4 avocados
1 lime
course salt
roma tomato (or any other type)
taco seasoning or fiesta ranch (I like both)
3 green onions

Put the avocados in first then smash them up. Dice up everything else and throw it in. Slice the lime and squeeze the juices in and mix. Add salt and seasonings to your liking and BAM, you are all done. The lime isnt just for flavor but helps the avocado from turning brown and so does the avocado seed which also looks cool as a garnish, if you are into that. Which being a manly man I am NOT. HAHA.

Something Quick, Easy, Healthy, and a little different.

This is pretty easy to make. I love grilled sandwiches, from peanut butter and jelly grilled to ham and cheese. I decided to make these one day when searching for something to grill in a sandwich from the fridge. I started with just Mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. I spice it up a little with some cajun spice on the tomato. Then one day I decided to add some avocado to the mix. I really love these easy and quick sandwiches.

Chicken Tikka Masala

A few months ago Brianne and Tom were coming for the weekend. I told them we could eat like kings, and let me know what they would like, meaning things that I already cook. Well Tom called me up a few days before coming wanting me to make a favorite dish they had while living in England, Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan Bread. He even gave me links to the recipes from video jug! Ha! We tried the recipe, and it was okay.

Well just a few weeks ago I came across this recipe and had to try it. It was to die for! Loved it! I want to make it for everyone. I love to cook for people, even though I'm not into hosting and entertaining. You can go to the original website to see the step by step instructions and pictures, but I'll post it on here as well. Along with the Garlic Naan Bread I made.

Chicken Tikka Masala

3-4 Chicken Breast
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
6 Tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
28 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 large Onion
4 cloves Garlic
2 inch chunk Fresh Ginger
Garam Masala
Ground Coriander
Kosher Salt
2 cups Basmati Rice


Fresh Cilantro
Chili Peppers
Frozen Peas

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with some kosher salt. Next sprinkle them on both sides with some coriander and cumin. Then coat the chicken breasts completely with the plain yogurt. Set the chicken on a metal cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet and place it about 10-12 inches below broiler for 5-7 minutes per side*. Watch carefully so as not to totally char the chicken. It should have slightly blackened edges. Remove from oven.

Next dice the large onion. In large skillet melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and saute until they are slightly browned. As your onions cook, mince the garlic. Next, cut off the outer skin and mince or grate a 1 by 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions. Also throw in about 1 tbsp. salt.

Next you are going to add about 3 tbsp. garam masala spice. And if you like it hot this is also when you'll add your hot chili peppers**. Serranos work well. Now add the diced tomatoes. Continue cooking and stirring, scrapping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add about 1 tbsp. sugar. Let this mixture simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.

To a rice cooker, add 2 cups basmati rice, 4 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. ground turmeric and 4 cups water. Cover, turn on your rice cooker and walk away. If you don't have a rice cooker, cook your rice as usual, just make sure it's basmati rice.

After the tikka masala sauce has had a chance to simmer for a little bit, add the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Now, chop your chicken breasts in chunks and stir them in the tikka masala sauce. A handful of fresh chopped cilantro is a nice addition if you like cilantro***. You can also throw in some frozen peas to the cooked rice, give them a stir, and allow the heat of the rice to cook the peas. It tastes great and gives another nice dash of color. Serve the rice with the Chicken Tikka Masala on top.

*The chicken took WAY longer to cook for me. I just kept turning them every 5 minutes until they were blackened.

** I didn't add peppers to mine and it was still hot enough for me. Matt could have had it hotter, but still really liked it.

***I forgot to add cilantro and it was still good. I remembered in the middle of the night and had to force myself back to sleep. With the leftovers, I mixed in cilantro and it was awesome!

Garlic Naan Bread

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on tray. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2-4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

* I think it could use twice the garlic, if you're a garlic fan. Also we added garlic to the butter as well. Yummy!

** You can also cook this in the oven at about 300 degrees for 10 minutes or so. That's how we cooked the naan bread the first time we made it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baked Ziti

1 pound dry ziti or penne pasta
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 lb. ground beef (or Italian sausage)
2 jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz. provolone, sliced
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 C. mozzarella

1. Cook pasta until al dente (8-9 minutes)
2. Brown onion, garlic, and meat. Add sauce and simmer 15 min.
3. Combine pasta and meat sauce.
4. Preheat oven 350 degrees, and butter a 9x13 pan

1. Pour 1/2 ziti and meat sauce in pan
2. Cover with slices of provolone
3. Cover provolone with sour cream
4. Pour last of ziti and meat sauce in pan
5. Top with mozzarella

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

I have a picture of this, but I can't find my camera attachment thingy. Anyway, this is super easy and really good.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Creamy Tomato Penne

I feel torn between posting here and my Chlarson Family blog, so I'm just posting both places. I'm just figuring people don't look at both, so it won't be like I'm repeating this. Although I am going to copy and paste this so it will be exactly the same!
I got this recipe from Pioneer Woman. I love her site and read it all the time now, I think what draws me in regularly are her giveaways. She gives away Kitchen Aids, to cameras, to $250 gift cards. It's amazing, and I'll never win, but I can't help trying! This recipe has shrimp in it, and I'm not a seafood fan, let alone I barely eat meat, but I had to try it for Matt, and it just looked plain good! I really liked it, but eventually had to sift through the shrimp. It would be good with chicken too, although I still wouldn't really eat the chicken. I would also like it without any meat!
Creamy Tomato Penne

1 Pound Shrimp
3/4 Pound Penne Pasta
Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 8oz. Can Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper

Cook the Penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse *under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 Tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple of minute until just opaque. Do not over cook them. Remove them to a plate and let cool for a few minutes.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.

In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsps. butter and 2 Tbsps. Olive Oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute,
stirring occasionally. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces and set aside. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit, add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low sodium chicken broth instead (about 1/2 cup).

Now add and 8 oz. can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup off heavy cram. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer while you chop your herbs. About a Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley and about the same amount of chopped basin or if you're feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Zuppa Toscana

I love Olive Garden during lunch. Mike and I always get the soup and salad combo. Mike gets the Pasta Fagioli and I get the Zuppa Tuscana. It’s so yummy. However, I think I have found a better replacement. It’s not as spicy as Olive Garden’s, but I prefer it less spicy (you could definitely spice it up if you want). It was a real hit with Rose.

Zuppa Tuscana

1 package of Jimmy Dean sausage
1/2 small onion chopped
2-3 celery chopped
Olive oil
4-5 Russett potatoes cut in bite size chunks
3 cans chicken broth
1 pint half/half milk or cream
1 cup chopped Kale
Garlic Salt

In large stock pot cook sausage until crumbly and drain off fat. Set meat aside and sauté onion and celery in pot with olive oil until tender. Add potatoes and chicken broth and season with garlic salt. Cook until tender then add the half and half and kale simmer until thoroughly heated. Serves about 8.

Okay Matt...it's your turn.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I have to talk a little about my favorite beverage. Mexican Coke or Hecho en Mexico Coke. It's so good. You will never be able to drink any other kind of Coke again. That's really all there is to say. Go to Costco and buy it.