Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter

From www.gimmesomeoven.com (with some notes from me). The original is here. What we really liked about this recipe was that: 1) it's really, really easy; 2) it looks fancy; 3) it's kid friendly so our four year-old ate it.


18 to 20 ounces store-bought tortellini or ravioli, whatever flavor (I used a 25 oz bag, as that is all the store had)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I increased to 8 Tbsp because I had a bigger bag of ravioli, but it was way too much. Stick with less.)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (buy good quality!)

1/2 teaspoon salt (Too much. I'd use 1/4 tsp, but I don't like things too salty).

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or pine nuts)--I used almonds

1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions (generally about 2-3 minutes until tender, but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally. Drain the tortellini.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown (and begins to give off a nutty aroma) turn off the heat and remove from the burner. Let cool for about 1 minute. Then gradually (and very carefully!) stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter and gently stir until combined. Sprinkle nuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quinoa Chili

Here's a nice vegetarian chili, whether your family goes meatless all the time or just wants to try something new. I stole it from a friend's blog (katewangsgard.blogspot.com) and she has lots of other vegetarian recipes you can check out. You can also check there for a picture :)

2 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
- Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender

2 t. salt
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. cinnamon
- Add above ingredients; saute for 5-10 minutes

2/3 c. quinoa
- Rinse quinoa and stir in

1 c. frozen corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 c. water
- Add above ingredients; simmer together for 20 minutes

2 cans beans
- Add beans to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes

Can be topped with your typical chili toppings - cheese, corn chips, sour cream, etc. One final note, the quinoa really does need all 35 minutes (at least) to cook fully, so don't skimp on the simmering time. Last time I made this the quinoa was still a little hard, so I would recommend covering the skillet while simmering and adding a little extra water if needed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Peasant Bread

I just saw this same recipe posted already! Sorry. But try it, it's delicious!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chick-Fil-A Sandwich (pretty darn close to the real thing)

Me again. :)  Someone asked me to post the Chick-Fil-A recipe I made the other night.  You will be shocked at how close this really does taste to the real thing.


  • cups peanut oil
  • egg
  • cup milk
  • milk (for dipping chicken)
  • cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • tablespoons salt
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • plain hamburger buns
  • tablespoons melted butter
  • dill pickle slices
  • Directions:

  1. 1 Heat the peanut oil in a pressure cooker to about 400°F. (I just fried mine in a saute pan on the stove top)
  2. 2 In a small bowl beat the egg and stir in the milk.
  3. 3 In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and pepper.
  4. 4 Dip each piece of chicken in milk and roll in flour mixture until completely covered.
  5. 5 Drop all 4 in cooker.
  6. 6 When steam starts shooting through the pressure release, set timer for 3 minute. (IMPORTANT: DO NOT CLOSE STEAM RELEASE. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS!)
  7. 9 While chicken is cooking, spread a coating of butter on the face of each bun.
  8. 10 When chicken is done, remove it from oil and drain on paper towels.
  9. 11 Place two pickles on each bottom bun, then top with chicken and top bun.

And here is a link to the recipe I used. 


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mango Salsa (or "my summer BBQ stand by side dish"

Here is the recipe for the mango salsa that I brought to the BBQ the other day. It is one of my favorites in the summertime. It comes from a recipe for chicken sandwiches that are also heavenly and I highly recommend. I will post the link to the recipe at the end of the post.

1 Medium tomato, chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (I leave this out - not a fan of onions)
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, seeded minced (sometimes I leave this out)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 T fresh lime juice
2 mangoes, diced

**post edit - I also throw in an avocado or two.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Cream Muffins

Ah, spring! One of the best things is when the strawberries are plentiful and affordable in the grocery stores and farmer's markets. This is one treat we make every spring and they are very tasty. I think they're probably more cupcakes than muffins, but we'll keep the muffin title so we can still have them for breakfast!

Strawberry Cream Muffins

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar, divided

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup half-n-half cream

1 cup finely chopped vanilla or white chips

2 Tbsp brown sugar

In a small bowl, toss strawberries with ¼ cup sugar; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cream. Stir in chips and reserved strawberries.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Combine brown sugar and remaining sugar; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Quick bite: Instead of strawberries, try fresh blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries or cranberries. Dry or cooked breakfast cereals, wheat germ, granola and nuts also make scrumptious additions to many muffins.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grilled Cheese Margarita

I came up with this idea when I didn't want to join my kids for some ramen noodles for lunch. It's so simple that I don't know why I've never thought of it before.

2 slice of sandwich bread
2 thin slices of mozarella cheese
1/2 a small tomato
sprinkling of basil leaves
sprinkling of garlic powder

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Put one slice, butter-side down on a hot griddle. Add one slice of cheese, sliced tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic powder, then the next slice of cheese. Top with the other slice of bread, butter-side up. Toast on each side!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Empanada Gallega

Jenny asked me to post this recipe. We had these when we were traveling in Northern Spain and so I found a recipe to make them at home.

  • YIELD: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)



  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika or hot paprika
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (or you could use ground pork)


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (eggs are small here so I have to use two)


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 2 cups red bell pepper strips
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped Spanish serrano ham or prosciutto (about 1 1/2 ounces) –I only use this if I happen to have some in the fridge)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Dash of crumbled thread saffron
  • Remaining Ingredient:
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • To prepare the meat, combine the first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and add the pork to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  • To prepare the dough, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine the water, the oil, and egg in a medium bowl. Gradually add the oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly until smooth. Divide dough in half. Cover with plastic; let rest about 30 minutes.
  • To prepare filling, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the pork mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 5 minutes or until pork loses its pink color. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato, ham, wine, and saffron; cook 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Working with 1 portion of dough at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 13-inch circle on a floured surface. Place 1 portion of dough on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spoon filling onto dough using a slotted spoon, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place remaining portion of dough over filling. Pinch edges to seal. Cut several slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown; cool. Cut into wedges.

Source: Cooking Light AUGUST 2001