Monday, November 23, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

To my meat eating readers, here is my solo chicken recipe! I had made a friend's Cacciatore slow cooker recipe a while back ( and really enjoyed it, but tonight I didn't have time for a crock pot. So I looked up the regular recipe and thought I couldn't go wrong with Giada! I rarely cook chicken, and when I do, I always seem to overcook it (partly why you don't see more chicken recipes on my blog, I can ruin even the best of recipes by overcooking it). Tonight, however, it was perfect. Adam took one bite and said, "you have to put this on the blog!" I wasn't planning on blogging tonight, so I forgot to take a picture until it was too late. Sorry, next time I make it, I will add one : )

The best part is that we only used 2 chicken breasts an had a TON of sauce left over, so I am debating on putting it on a homemade pizza for tomorrow's dinner, using it as a simple pasta sauce, or adding to vegetarian chili. Either way, the sauce was really good and I am sure will be even better tomorrow in a new creation.

Chicken Cacciatore
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

4 Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 Tb. olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen red and yellow chopped peppers from T.J's)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 cup Chicken broth
3 Tb. capers, drained
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly in flour.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, add the bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add wine and simmer for about 3 minutes until it has been reduced by about half. Add the tomatoes with juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken to the pan and coat them with the sauce. Simmer on medium low heat for about 20 minutes until chicken has been cooked all the way through.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon sauce on top of chicken and garnish with chopped fresh basil. I served this tonight with a simple salad and garlic bread.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mamma's Spiced Oatmeal

We just had the best bowl of oatmeal EVER this morning! I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but it was that good! Owen asked for oatmeal for breakfast, so I thought I would do it a little different today. I have made it 100's of times with bannana's and peanutbutter, or yogurt and blueberries, or applesauce and almond butter, which are all very good, but today had a fall flair to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Owen said "MMMMMMM" after every bite, I am not kidding!

Mamma's Spiced Oatmeal
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
3/4 cup spiced apple cider
dried cranberries
sliced almonds
1 apple, cored and diced
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 Tb. wheat germ

Place all ingredients except the apple sauce and wheat germ in a small pot over medium heat. Stirring occassionally. When cooked to the consistancy you like, take off the heat and mix in the apple sauce. Sprinkle with wheat germ and enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a freshman in college, I lived about 7 hours away from "home." So, my Mom would often send me care packages of my hometown newspaper clippings, sweet letters, and almost always, homemade cookies! My friends would "happen" to drop by when they saw me bringing a box back to my dorm room, knowing that Mom's cookies would be looming! Although they were all good, I think the favorite was Oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip. You can't go wrong with three of America's favorite cookies all rolled into one, right?
I have been thinking about these cookies lately, so, I found a wonderful recipe with more whole grains and a bit less sugar, but you would never guess. They are just as good as Mom used to make!

Whenever I pull out my large white mixing bowl, Owen either says "pancakes!", or "waffles!" or "cookies!" and he likes to mix, mix, mix. He is my little "helper" in the kitchen. He often creates more of a mess than helps, but he sure does have fun doing it!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies;
Recipe by, Stephanie Gallagher
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
3/4 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup butter (room temperature)
1/3 Cup Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup chocolate Chips
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients. In a larger bowl, beat the remaining ingredients (except for the chocolate chips and raisins) with an electric mixer. Stir in flour mixture until a dough forms. Add chocolate chips and raisins.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart. Press down using the back of a fork in a criss cross pattern. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

Stuffed Pattypans with ricotta-corn filling

You can easily make this with large zucchini's as well (Suzanne, that's a hint for ya!). I had never even heard of pattypan squash until last year when my Mom decided to grow them in her garden. I got some in last weeks CSA from Fairview Gardens and found the perfect recipe for them in my gianormous cookbook, Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon. It was super easy to make and really really good! Really.

Stuffed Summer Suns: Pattypans Baked with Ricotta-Corn Filling
Recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon.

1 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 to 6 4-inch pattypan squashes
1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
1 large egg
1 tsp. sugar or honey
1 fresh tomato (out of season now, so I used 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes, drained)
1 cup corn kernels
2 Tb. pesto (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400
Slice the pattypans horizontally through the middle. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out flesh leaving 3/4 inch thick sturdy shell. Or if using zucchini, slice the long way and scoop out the flesh making a "boat." Reserve the flesh and finely chop.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until has softened slightly and is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped squash flesh, and stir fry until it begins to lose it's raw look, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the ricotta in a medium bowl. Add the egg and sugar, beating well. Stir in the tomato and corn, along with the onion-squash mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring well. Divide this mixture equally among the squash shells. (there may be extra filling, just bake by itself in a ramekin or small oven safe dish). Sprinkle each shell with Parmesean cheese

Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Place the stuffed squash in the prepared dish. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the filling is slightly browned and firm, 15-20 minutes.