Tag Archives: dinner

My Greek Inspired Chicken Dinner.

19 Mar

Tonight’s dinner was my version of a Greek inspired dish. It was simple and full of flavor. I simply took 2 chicken breast and sliced them so that they were about 1/4 inch thick. Then I lightly seasoned the chicken. You can use your favorite seasonings. I used a combination of black pepper, paprika and sea salt. I also added a little of the Wegmans Basting Oil. I actually used this basting oil for almost all of my dishes.

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I then sautéed it in extra virgin olive oil. I cooked the chicken for 5 minutes each side until it was golden.

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I then wrapped it aluminum foil and put it in a 400 degree oven and let it cook for another 10 minutes. While the chicken was cooking in the oven, I threw in the naan bread. Note, I literally threw it in the oven directly on the racks and let it stay for 3-5 minutes until it was golden brown.

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The chicken and naan were cut and placed on a platter that included cucumbers, brushetta, feta cheese, pesto and grapes. I also served a side of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf. The combination was a flavorful and enticing to the tastebuds.

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Hey all I just want to say thank you to all who read my little blog. I promise to try to keep it update. Please go to my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pennylovesblog and hit like to stay update of all my dinner creations. I love your feedback and discussions. So please go to my Facebook page and hit “like” http://www.facebook.com/pennylovesblog . Thanks so much:)

Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf: A Whole New Way To Enjoy Whole Grains

19 Mar

Today I had a pleasant culinary surprise. I tried this Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf and it was delicious. I was nervous about it being dry and rock hard. However, it was quite tasty. Now, I did boil it in chicken broth and I also added a teaspoon of the Wegman’s garlic parmesan cheese finishing butter. So, I definitely think doing those things added flavor. I also cooked it for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 25. It ended up being a tasty side dish and a nice healthy alternative to white rice and pasta.

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Savory & Juicy Salmon

9 Nov

Tonight I thought I would make salmon for dinner. However, I wanted to change it up a little. I wanted it full of savory flavor with a light sauce to keep it juicy. Typically, I either make it on the grill or throw it in the oven. Both produce great results. However, tonight I thought I would try a slightly different cooking technique. If you want to try this recipe you will need the following:

Preheated oven to 425%

SALMON:
1lb salmon
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon *Basting Oil
1 Tablespoon mixed seasoning (pepper, salt, herb blend)
Parmesan Cheese

SAUCE:
1/3 Cup Broth
1/2 Tablespoon Flavored Butter
1 Pinch of your favorite seasonings

Take 1lb of fresh salmon and lightly seasoned it Wegmans basting oil, lemon & garlic seasonings & cracked pepper.

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Then put 1TBS of Olive Oil in a skillet & once it was hot put the salmon in the skillet. Cooked the filets for 1.5 minutes on either side.

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Take the salmon out of the pan & placed on a aluminum foil (feel free to use your favorite casserole dish or oven pan, I was in a hurry. Lol) sheet. Topped each filet with Parmesan cheese. I used enough to just cover each filet.

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The filets were put into the 425 degree oven and cooked them until they were firm and flaked easily, between 10-12 minutes.

While the fish is cooking take 1/3 cup of chicken broth and added 1/2 tablespoon of shallot & garlic flavored butter. I also added a pinch of lemon pepper & Montreal steak seasonings. This was stirred & then microwaved for 30 seconds or until piping hot.

Once the salmon is done, pour the sauce on top and viola, this entree is done.

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The salmon was served with quinoa and corn on the cob.

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Shrimp And Veggies: Quick, Healthy And Delicious

19 Jul
 
 

So tonight I decided that “Darn gone it! I am going to somehow find time to workout, spend time with my girls and make a healthy dinner.” Now, all of this would need to be done after I got home from work (around 5pm) and before my girls went to bed (around 7:45pm).

Well, I worked out…. for a mere 30 minutes. I spent quality time with my girls….I count the time spent in the car. I also made a yummy healthy dinner and it only took about 20 minutes. Which leaves me 10 minutes to write this recipe post. Which, will then leave me just enough time for….uuummm my other half (wink). Whew, a woman’s work is never done.

So anyway, this is a recipe without many rules. Just veggies, shrimp, a little flavored oil and a dash of seasonings. Now, you will notice that I used the oven to make this dish. I know you are saying “What! It’s 90 degrees outside, I’m not turning only oven”.

Well, being able to throw food in the oven is a great way to cook dinner without standing over the stove. Thereby, giving you more time to do something else. Like, practicing sight word flash cards with a 5 year old who’s looking forward to starting Kindergarten in the fall. Or, playing dollies with an almost 2 year who likes to simply rip the clothes off of the dolls, put them back on and then start all over again.

I digress, let’s get back to the food. I love this recipe because it’s healthy, tasty and filling. In case you are wondering about the pine nuts, I used them because I like the crunch it gives to the recipe. You can also top this with a little shaved or grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. If you live near a Wegmans I would definitely recommend purchasing their Basting Oil. This oil is a great substitute for fresh herbs. I would prefer fresh herbs and the basting oil but if you don’t have the herbs this oil still gives you a great infusion of flavor in your recipe.

ROASTED SHRIMP AND VEGGIES

1 pound Shrimp (cleaned, deveined and shell off)
1 pound Vegetables (I used asparagus and zucchini)
2 tablespoons Wegmans Basting Oil (or you can use EVOO and just add an extra clove of fresh crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon of fresh or dry herbs)
2 cloves of fresh crushed Garlic
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings (a blend of salt, pepper & italian herbs)
1/4 cup Pine Nuts (completely optional)

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

Place shrimp and cut vegetables in a bowl.
Mix in oil and seasonings.
Spread mixture in a aluminum foil lined pan.
Top with pine nuts.
Bake for 7- 10 minutes (depending on size) or until the shrimp turns pink and the flesh is opaque.
Stir the shrimp and vegetables so that all the flavors blend together and serve.

This dish is great by itself or for a heartier meal add in a side of pasta.

Sorry this is the only picture I have of this dish. It was consumed so fast I didn't have time to take pictures of it on the plate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like a carpenter needs their tools, every cook should have their arsenal of kitchen favorites. This is one of mine. Look for a future post about all of my favorites.

 

 
 

Getting Rid Of Leftovers

15 May

So, I had a busy day today and finally arrived home with a growling belly. There’s something you should know about me. When I’m really hungry I get frustrated. And, there’s no greater frustration than not having something satisfying and ready to eat.

Well, that was me today. I looked in the fridge and saw nothing that immediately called me out. Penny, Penny, eat me. That’s what I wanted to hear but I wasn’t hearing it.

I saw some spinach and shrimp hiding in the corner. I had made that for dinner yesterday and served it with rice. It was good yesterday but I just didn’t feel like eating it again today. There was also some leftover brushetta that I had used as a dip for my favorite blue corn chips. However, I really wasn’t in the mood for dipping. There was lunch meat and I always keep an assortment of cheeses (fresh mozzarella balls, cheddar, parmesan, etc). Again, not really hearing Penny, Penny, come eat me for dinner.

There was plenty of food in the fridge but nothing was really seducing my taste buds. Just when I was about to give up, I thought I would peep in the fridge. That’s when I noticed a single Garlic Naan Bread. For those who may not know, Naan Bread is Indian style Tandoori flat bread. While it’s usually served as a side item at many Indian recipes, I like to use it to make pizza.

That’s when it all hit me. Ohhhh, what if I took the fresh Mozzarella cheese balls and sliced it and placed it over the pizza. Then I decided to spread some of the Spinach and Shrimp on top of the Mozzarella. Shoot, while I’m cleaning the fridge, why not throw that Brushetta on top of everything. Finally, I topped it all off with a little Cheddar Cheese.

My little creation was then thrown in a 425 degree oven for about 10-15 mins until the pizza got a nice golden brown.

I had to hurry and snap the picture because it was pretty much devoured after that….Don’t judge me:)

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A TABLE FOR TWO, WITH DINNER PREPARED BY YOU. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

8 Feb

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular date nights of the year. It’s the special day when couples can get dressed up in their latest appealing finery, sit across a table from each other and emote love for one another. Maybe there will be quick kisses or hand holding and even timid, shy glances, barely seen through the soft glow of the candlelight that flicker in the middle of the table. Or, maybe the date is spent at a play, dancehall or concert. The choices are endless for those wanting to celebrate their love with a night on the town.

However, maybe you are interested in staying home, making your own special dinner and checking out the latest video via Netflix. Personally, that’s what I like to do. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the idea of Valentine’s Day. And, I absolutely love going out to a nice restaurant and having a wonderful dinner. If you know me or even from reading my posts so far, you know that I take the art of “wine & dine” quite seriously. Good food, great ambiance and impeccable service are all things I enjoy immensely when dining out. Which, may be the reason I just prefer not to have a romantic dinner in a restaurant on the busiest day of the year. So, for the last few years I have made my own special meal.

THE MENU

So for this year I might try something different. I’m feeling inspired by a Hawaii themed restaurant I recently went to. Therefore, I’ve decided that the main course will be Mahi Mahi with a fruit salsa on a bed of garlic spinach. As a side dish I will add some of Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend (A blend of Israeli Couscous, Tri-Colored Orzo Pasta, Split Baby Garbanzo Beans & Red Quinoa). I’m thinking the colors will be quite pretty on a white plate. My hubby is not really into desserts. So instead of a dessert I’m going to serve this dinner with a special drink. You can’t have a special dinner without a special drink. So this year the drink will be ……French Martini. It’s sweet, it’s red and it has champagne in it. If that doesn’t say Valentine’s Day, then what does?

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE

1 bag of spinach
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 a package of Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoon Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

4 3-4oz pieces of fresh Mahi Mahi
Pan Searing Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Basting Oil

1/4 Cup Mango
1/4 Cup Granny Smith Apple
1/4 Cup Red Onion
1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Tablespoon Lime juice
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-2 Tablespoon Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon combined salt & pepper

THE DRINK (French Martini)

2 Shots of Chambord
2 Shots of Vanilla Vodka
2 Shots of Pineapple Juice
A splash of chilled Champagne

DIRECTIONS

1st place fish in a large ziplock bag. Pour the Basting Oil over the fish and lightly season with salt & pepper. Be careful not to over season as the pan searing flour has seasoning already in it. Let fish marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Then chop all of your fruit and onions into small cubes. Add in chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, orange juice and salt and pepper. Stir, making sure all ingredients are well blended. Cover and refrigerate.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Take your fish and coat with the pan searing flour. In a non-stick pan heat the oil. Once oil is hot, place fish in pan and sear fish until it is a light golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes on each side). Remove fish from skillet and place in another pan (or do what I do and use aluminum foil) and put into the oven. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes or until fish has an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

While fish is continuing to cook in the oven, you can start on the pasta. Bring 1cup of broth to boil. Add in the 1 tablespoon of oil and the Parmesan Cheese. Then add the Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Since the spinach takes the least amount of time it is the last item you will work on. Pour the 1/2 cup of broth into the skillet and once it starts to simmer add spinach. Cook spinach until just wilted.

Now that dinner is pretty much almost done, don’t forget to make the special drink. (I won’t forget as it is my favorite part, haha)

Mix the Chambord, Vodka & Pineapple Juice in a shaker with about 1 cup of ice cubes. Pour the drink into two chilled martini glasses. Leave about a 1/4 inch of space for the Champagne. Then top off the drink with the chilled Champagne. (Note: I suggest you buy the mini bottle of Champagne so you are not wasting an entire bottle for this recipe).

Ok, so finally you are ready to plate everything up.  Take your steaming fish out of the oven and add the beautiful multicolored fruit salsa on top of it.  Add your a heaping serving of the superfood otherwise known as spinach and then add a serving of the pasta on the side.  Serve with a chilled glass of the French Martini and enjoy.

Now, to make this a really special event you can dress your table with pretty linens and even add some beautiful flowers. However, I must admit, I just scrubbed all of the remnants of my kids arts and crafts off of our kitchen table and said Bon Appetit to my hubby….and kids. Yes, the kids shared the special meal with us. Only their special drink was simply pineapple juice. Hey, Valentine’s Day is for the ones you love and just like my husband, my kiddies are certainly my loves! 

                                                                                         BON APPETIT & HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY