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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go Green Sammies! Rachel Ray

4 Servings

Prep 20 min (plus marinating)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Grated peel of 1 lime plus juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper
Four skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 deli slices pepper jack cheese
2 avocados
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
4 hamburger buns or crusty rolls, split and toasted
1 head bibb lettuce or green leaf lettuce
Tortilla chips, for serving
1.In a shallow dish, combine the EVOO, cilantro, scallions, thyme, lime peel, half of the lime juice, and the hot sauce; season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2.Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 12 minutes. Just before the cooking time is up, top each breast with a slice of pepper jack cheese.

3.In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, red onion, tomato, jalapeños, garlic, lemon juice and remaining lime juice; season with salt.

4.Top each bun bottom with lettuce, a chicken breast, a mound of guacamole and a bun top. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Nothing beats a delicious cheeseburger. Except one topped with an over easy fried egg! OK, if you have had this, you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, you have to try this! I experienced this for the first time a couple of years ago at a restaurant called Fat Burger. Yes, Fat Burger. They have the oddest things to put on a burger. I saw the egg, and was not impressed. However, my husband had ordered it. One bite and I was hooked! Yummo!


1 pound of ground beef
1 Tsp. onion powder
1 Tsp. of garlic powder
1 Tsp. of mustard
2 Tbsp. of steak sauce or worcestershire sauce
1 Tsp. of steak seasoning

Fold the seasoning into the beef until it is mixed well.

Divide the beef into 4 equal sections. Using your thumb, create an indentation in the middle of each patty. This helps the patties keep their shape on the grill.
Cook the patties over high heat. You can cook them over a grill or a barbeque. Close the lid, and grill for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them. Hamburger meat contains a lot of fat which can cause flare-ups and burned burgers. Flip the patties only once and let them to cook another 5 minutes, or until they've reached a desired doneness. Add cheese during the last minute if desired. Remove the patties and turn the heat to low. Toast the hamburger buns for 30 seconds. Add your favorite toppings. Pictured, a over easy egg, onion, pickle, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Nuggets

What kid doesn't like chicken nuggets. OK, I admit it. I LOVE chicken nuggets. But the so called "all white meat chicken" found at many restaurants is a mystery. When you bite into the nugget you are often disappointed. Do you wonder where this mystery meat really came from?! It is usually warm, bite-size, and sort of white. Did you know that depending on the price, water can be a replacement for chicken to make the nugget cheaper and soybean is also often used as a chicken substitute! Well, I like to make my own nuggets. They ARE made with ALL white meat. They are juicy and MUCH healthier than these mystery nuggets.

1 pound of chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
3 eggs (or egg beaters), whisked
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of canola oil

1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of plain bread crumbs
1 package of dry hidden valley ranch seasoning packet

Dip each piece of chicken in the egg than in the breading. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. This will help the breading to "set" so it does not come off during the browning process. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown the chicken on all sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake the nuggets at 350 for 12 minutes. Once removed from oven, salt and pepper to taste while still hot. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

A Funky Find for Your Kitchen

I first saw this odd item on The Rachel Ray show. It was on a segment of "Stump the Rach". With the 20th season of Survivor pitting the show's greatest heroes against its villains, Rachael is excited to see her friend Colby back in the challenge. Rachael loves to challenge Jeff when he comes on our show, so for his fifth visit(making him our most-frequent guest!) Rachael invites him to play her favorite game -"Stump the Rach!"

It's never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. But a silicone pod is another thing entirely.

One glance at the alien-like foodpod from fusionbrands and you'll know you've got something new and different on your hands. It's fanciful. It's futuristic. But most of all, it's functional.

The nonstick silicone cooking container can corral a dozen eggs, several heads of broccoli or pounds of shrimp for boiling, blanching or steaming. Once the food is cooked, remove the pod from the water using the handle and let drain.

Because the pod's flexible, it'll fit in any size pot and fold up for easy storage. And the handle has a clip that attaches to the side of the pan, making it easy to grab when needed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the foodpod has landed.

Add the foodpod to your kitchen by visiting

Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes

What could be more of a comfort food than Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes?!! Yum.

The term "pot roast" can be used to describe either the cut of beef or the cooking method. A pot roast is usually browned then covered and braised with vegetables in some liquid. After cooking, the remaining liquid is often thickened or cooked down to make a gravy or sauce, and the meat might be served with potatoes or sliced and served over noodles. Pot roasts can be cooked on the stove top, in a crock pot or in the oven.


2 pound chuck roast
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. of pepper
1 Tsp. of garlic powder
2 Tbsp. of canola oil
1/2 pounds of baby carrots
2 small onions, sliced
1 can of beef broth
3 Tbsp. of flour

In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium. In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub the mixture on the roast. Brown the roast on both side in the dutch oven. Once brown, remove. Add the carrots, onions, and beef broth. Return the roast back to the dutch oven. Cook at 325 for 3 1/2 hours. Remove the roast and vegetables. Place the dutch oven on stove top over medium heat. Add flour to thicken sauce. Cook until thick. Add more water if needed.


2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
4 cloves peeled garlic, smashed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and garlic leaving just enough water in the pan to cover the bottom. Return the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Add the butter and mash until melted. In the microwave, heat the milk until just hot, but not boiling. Stir into the potatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Super-Cool Heart-Shaped Tomatoes

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves.

You prefer a more low-key approach, showing your love through your cooking. And now you've found a cute and creative way to help get your message across.

Using the Snap 'n Shape, you've grown a garden full of tiny heart-shaped tomatoes, ready to be tossed into salads, hidden in lunches or sliced and used as a romantic pizza garnish.

These small, hollow, heart-shaped molds clip onto the stems of young fruiting cherry tomato or other small-vegetable plants, like cherry peppers. As the vegetables grow, they take on the form of the molds. When you're done with one batch, you can move the reusable molds to new plants.

Each order comes with 10 Snap n' Shapes and a bonus packet of cherry tomato seeds.

Let love grow.

Order the Snap 'n Shape online at

Courtesy of FOOD NOW!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The New Cancer-Fighting Superfoods

Having trouble eating your five to nine servings of fruit and veggies a day? This may motivate you: If we all got our daily dose, there could be 200,000 fewer deaths from cancer every year. Fortunately, you aren't limited to a lifetime of broccoli. These six fruits and veggies offer just as much powerful protection for your breasts and the rest of your body—and they'll help fight diet boredom too.


A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that artichokes had the highest antioxidant capacity of 40 vegetables and herbs tested. "Like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, artichokes are rich in flavonoids, which help slow the growth of breast and other types of cancer cells in lab studies.


High in polyphenols and vitamin C (both antioxidants), this fruit helps fight breast cancer. "Dozens of lab and animal studies show that pomegranates may halt the spread and recurrence of the disease.

Bok Choy

This type of Chinese cabbage is milder then green cabbage or kale, but like those veggies, it's packed with isothiocyanates. "These sulfur compounds help your body convert some of the estrogen it make into a weaker form, which helps protect your breasts," says Karen Collins, P.D., a nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research. Don't overcook bok choy; that reduces its anticancer properties.


Lycopene, a strong antioxidant, is what gives tomatoes their red color. "It plays a major role in helping cells communicate, mainly by rallying healthy ones to band together and kill a "sick" cell that could become cancerous," says Steven Pratt, M.D., the author of SuperHealth. But keep in mind that your body better absorbs lycopene from foods when they're cooked and served with a little bit of fat.

Swiss Chard

"Swap Swiss chard for spinach and you'll get similar amounts of important antioxidants-like vitamin C, bet-carotene, and lutein-which fight cell damage and strengthen your immune system," says Shin. But this dark, leafy green is less bland, so you get a flavorful boost when you add it to pasta dishes, soups, and stir-fries.

Purple Grapes

"Resveratrol, which is found in red and purple grape skins, is a plant estrogen, and getting enough of it can lower your breast cancer risk because it blocks the effects of the stronger estrogen your body makes," says Pratt. It also boosts immunity and fights cell-damaging free radicals.

Information provided by

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tuna Noodle Casserole

One of the childhood dishes I remember is tuna noodle casserole. I think every child in Rural Valley had to have grown up with this dish. It is healthy (for the most part) and very cheap to make. What could be less expensive and full of protein than a can of tuna! I varied the dish a little by adding pimientos and some parmesan cheese. Simply delicious!!

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 C. milk
2 Tbs. chopped pimientos
1 C. frozen peas
2 cans tuna, drained
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 C. medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 Tbs. dry bread crumbs
1 Tbs. butter, melted


Stir the soup, milk, pimientos, peas, tuna, cheese, and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Bake the tuna mixture at 375°F. for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Stir the tuna mixture. Mix the bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the casserole. Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thai Chicken

Once a week, I try to introduce new flavors into our family menu. These new offerings to the family are not always received with great enthusiasm. However, this one seem to strike a home run. Everyone loved it and asked for seconds. This recipe can be varied in spice depending how hot you like it.

Thai cooking is based on a fusion of strong flavours. The five flavours of Thai cooking are spicy (pet), sour (brio), salty (kem), sweet (waan) and bitter (kom). These flavors are combined to produce dishes of startling intensity that burst onto the taste buds. Thai dishes are generally eaten with rice or noodles to disperse the intensity of the flavours.

2 lb. chicken legs or chicken thighs
1/3 C. green onions, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. hoisin sauce
2 Tbs. peanut butter
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 Tbs. fresh coriander, chopped


In a bowl combine; green onions, garlic, hoisin, peanut butter, ginger, soy, sesame oil, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Arrange chicken legs in an oven proof dish. Spoon sauce over the chicken. Bake in 375 degree degrees oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and cooked. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander. Serve with rice.

courtsey of

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Clean Your Body

Spring has arrived along with Spring Fever. The desire to clean your house and your body. Months of covering up in sweatshirts is over....reality sinks in when you attempt to put on your favorite shorts. So, I have been heading to the gym. I feel more energized and it is great reconnecting with my old workout friends. When I arrived home, I was doing some cleaning so I put on The Doctors. I occasionally will pick up some very helpful information when I actually listen. Well today's episode caught my ear. I had to sit down and listen.

Top Ten Spring Foods

What you put on your plate can help or harm your internal organs. The Doctors and Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention, showcase the wonder foods that can improve your body from the inside out.

1. Dandelion
Dandelions have been used for centuries to treat liver problems. The weed is rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as beta-carotene and antioxidants. Taking a dandelion supplement can help improve production of bile in the liver.

2. Ginger
Ginger root, a diuretic, helps the kidneys flush toxins from the body.

3. Blueberries
Blueberries are the ultimate brain food. The tiny fruit packs a big punch with the highest concentration of antioxidants per serving among fruits. They also helps boost neuron signals in the brain.

4. Salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids, the unsaturated fats found in salmon and other fatty fish, help reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week.

5. Avocado
Avocados are high in vitamins C, B6, E, K, as well as potassium and copper, all of which work wonders for the skin. The fruit helps restore hair’s luster as well. See how to make your own avocado hair mask!

6. Spinach
Spinach is high in the carotenoid lutein, a natural antioxidant that can help protect the eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration and other diseases.

7. Broccoli
Broccoli helps condition hair. The vegetable is high in vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce sebum, an oily substance secreted by hair follicles to keep it healthy and shiny.

8. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which help build muscles.

9. Jalapeños
Jalapeños contain capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers that has potent antibacterial properties. Capsaicin stimulates secretions that clear mucus from your nose, which relieves nasal congestion and helps fight and prevent sinusitis, or chronic sinus infections. See the sinus buster in action!

10. Celery
Celery is one of the best foods for teeth. The amount of chewing required to break down the crunchy vegetable increases the production of saliva, which helps destroy bacteria that cause plaque.

11. Sunshine
Sunshine is not a food, but it is the best source of vitamin D, which is produced in the body in response to sunlight. Without vitamin D, our bodies cannot properly absorb calcium, and our bones become weak and brittle.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mexican Pasta

This meal is sure to satisfy even your most finicky appetites. If you love tacos, this is your meal with a healthier twist. I use whole wheat pasta instead of taco shells. I also used a roast for the meat, but you could certainly use hamburger or chicken! For the meat, I use whichever roast is on sale that day. For this particular recipe, I used a sirloin tip roast. They were BOGO so I couldn't pass it up!


Meat Sauce
3 pound roast
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
1 small onion, diced
4 gloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of chilies
1 bottle of beer (corona works well) & 1 cup of beef stock or 2 cups of beef stock
2 Tbsp. of canola oil
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. of coriander
2 Tbsp. of cumin
1 Tbsp. of cracked black pepper

1 package of pasta (whole wheat penne used here)

Allow your roast to come to room temperature. About 20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, coriander, cumin, and black pepper. Mix and rub on all side of the roast. In a dutch over, place 2 Tbsp. of canola oil. Heat on medium high for 2 minutes. Brown the roast on both sides. Set roast aside. Add the tomatoes, garlic, beer & stock, onions, and chillies. Mix well. Return roast to the dutch oven. Liquid should cover the roast entirely. If it does not, add beef stock to just covering. Place the roast, covered, in a 325 oven for approximately 3 hours. When done, shred the meat with two forks. If meat does not tear apart easily, place back in the over for an additional 35 minutes. Keep the roast in the dutch oven as you shred because the juice will absorb with the beef. The shredding process takes a little while, be patient. It is worth it. Once you shed the meat, place the lid back on the dutch oven to keep the sauce warm.

Boil your pasta in heavily salted water according to the packages direction. For whole wheat, about 11 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Ladle in about 1/2 of the sauce and mix.

To serve, add additional sauce on top and add your favorite taco toppings! Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, and jalapenos.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry~

The temperature is warming up. Spring is in the air. Time for outdoor walks, cook-outs, and inevitably ~ Spring Cleaning. Here are some helpful tips on cleaning your pantry. These tips courtesy of Good House Keeping Magazine.

Know what you have, when to use it, and when to toss it~

Good for 6 months
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Brown Rice and should be kept in an air tight container. This one surprised me.
Oil, unopened!. Once open, use within 3 months or store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Peanut Butter

Good for 1 year
Flour and should be stored in an air tight container. Whole wheat flower is good for only 6 months.

Good for more than a year
Canned goods (discard if can has leaks, rust, or large dents)
Dried beans
Sugar, white. Brown sugar should be used within 6 months
Vinegar, unopened. Once opened plan to use within 6 months.