Tuesday, May 11, 2010

School is coming to an end...

14 School days left in the year! Where has the time gone?! I am looking forward to mornings of sleeping in, but am not quite ready to let my kiddos become first graders. This is such a busy time of year though, which explains the lack and brevity of my updates : )

Dinner with one of my favorite friends a few weeks ago

EG making a wish
Playing with her daddy

EG cheesin' at bathtime

From EG's bday back in April: This might be my new favorite picture...they keep saying we're quite a bit alike : )

A few recipes...very yummy ones!
Granola (I like this one a lot!)
Adapted from Alton Brown (Food Network)
* 3 cups rolled oats
* 1 cup slivered almonds
* 1 cup cashews
* ½ cup sunflower kernals
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add cranberries and mix until evenly distributed.

Pasta Primavera

From the Kitchen of Emeril Lagasse
1 pound rotini or penne pasta
5 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped red onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for the pasta water
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound zucchini or yellow squash (or a mixture of both), halved
lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch half-moon pieces
(about 4 cups)
2 cups frozen mixed peas and carrots
1 cup diced canned tomatoes, with juices
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for
1/2 cup thinly sliced basil (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
(I marinated two pieces of chicken in Italian dressing and cooked them in a skillet before starting the pasta. After cutting it into strips, I added it into the pasta)
*Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and
cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 /4
cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
*While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a 14-inch sauté
pan over medium-high
heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until soft, 4
minutes. Add the 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and garlic, and
cook for 1 minute longer. Add the squash and continue to cook, stirring as needed, for 2 minutes. Add the peas and carrots and
cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook,
stirring, for 2 minutes.
*Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the sauce and
cook until the pasta is heated through and the ingredients are
well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in
the Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil, if desired. Then drizzle with
the extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish with more cheese, if desired,
and serve hot.

Chicken With Lime and Avocado Salsa

Rocco DiSpirito
4 chicken cutlets (or two boneless, skinless breasts, halved)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium red onion, cut in thin strips
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
*Preheat grill pan over high heat.
*Coat chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously
with salt and pepper.
*Add to grill pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes each side or until no pink
*Meanwhile, in large bowl combine avocados, tomato, onion,
jalapeno, lime juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
*Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Serve with chicken.
*Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.
With the chicken, I made mexican rice and used the Goya black bean recipe
Black Beans
4 tbsp EVOO
1 cup onion chopped
½ cup green pepper chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. 13 oz can black beans
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp White cooking wine
*Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
*Add onion, pepper and garlic; cook until tender (5 minutes)
*Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Garlic and Herb Chicken Dinner
4 Chicken breast
1 can of green beans (drained)
1 large russet potato peeled and sliced
1 stick of butter
1 package garlic and herb seasoning (dry salad dressing mix)
*Preheat oven to 375
*In a 13x9 pyrex dish, place chicken breasts, potato slices and green beans.
*In a small bowl, melt stick of butter and stir in seasoning
*Pour seasoning mixture over chicken, potatoes and green beans
*Cover with foil and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Carolina and I made hummus and pita chips the other day!

* 3/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
* 5 garlic cloves, peeled
* 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp salt
* 1⁄4 tsp black pepper
* 2 (19 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1. Place first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.
2. Add juice and remaining ingredients; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Pita Chips
Pita bread
Olive Oil
Greek Seasoning
* Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
*Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet.
*Cover lightly in olive oil, then sprinkle with Greek Seasoning
*Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.

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