Monday, August 31, 2009

Peppers and eggs, Donna's way

This recipe comes straight from my sister, Donna, over at, My tasty treasures, you all know her from her bodacious blog, so funny, so offensive to those who have NO sense of humor and so delicious with all her food. She is not only a great cook, she is a great sister. She has always been there when I needed her, she would do anything for us(and often has), I call her 3-4 times a day, sometimes just to ask a question about something, usually food related, or to chit chat. We are usually on the same page about everything. My kids adore her, my husband loves to bust her chops and she gives back just as good. So think what you will from her blog, but know she is the best person I know!

On to the recipe, this is comfort food at its best and in the most simple form. All you need are the above few ingredients and a skillet and you can have a good for you, creamy and easy to adapt to different things, dinner, lunch or even breakfast.

Peppers and eggs, Donna's way

1 red bell pepper,seeded,sliced, cut in half

1 green bell pepper, seeded,sliced and cut in half

1 onion, sliced

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 eggs

1 tbsp butter

american cheese, 2-3 slices, rippes in thirds, vertically


Preheat oven to 375.

Place peppers, onions and olive oil in pyrex dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together. Toss with hands, they are your best kitchen tool.

Bake till peppers are softened slightly, but still hold shape. This can be done day before, hours before etc.Heat a large non stick skillet. Throw in 1 tbsp butter. Melt.

Add peppers, onion, and oil mixture. Heat through a little.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs to a nice consistency. Add some more black pepper. Little milk or cream. Pour directly onto the peppers in the pan. Immediately, scatter cheese thirds all over the eggs. Let sit 1 minute or 2, then begin to toss gently in the pan.

Cook the scrambled eggs to your liking, I like mine on the well done side. Plate it up, sigh and dig in, you have come home. If this doesn't make you feel warm and cozy, then there is no hope for you. lol

Even better, you can serve this dish solo, or you can serve on sub, or with hash browns, bacon, etc. Can easliy double, triple recipe. Add more peppers if you like. Maybe at your next brunch make these with a side of salsa instead of plain ole scrambled eggs. People will love it, and you can thank Donna for it.

Here we are back in the day, in our nice Catholic school girl uniforms, anxiously awaiting our Dad's promotion . Weren't we cute? It's the uniform. It does wonders. I hope she is not too angry that I showed you all what nice Catholic school girls we were. Catholic School girls, if they only knew......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Easy weeknight Chicken Teriayki

Weeknights are so difficult. I get out of work at 3:00, I come home and then my husband goes to work and I then start my second job as "mom". I have to clean up after the 3 of them, do laundry,dishes, be a referee and on top of that make dinner. I don't know how we moms do it, but we do. Recipes like this help. I got this recipe from a woman who lived in our apartment complex years ago. It is a quick , go to meal. I usually have everything I need for it on hand, and it is made on top of the stove. It is really good, I don't know if it has true teriayki flavor but I like it better than what I get at Shen Wangs for 10.00. Let's get started.

Chicken Teriayki

1 lb chicken cutlets, cut thin and in strips
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove ( I used 2)
1 med onion, sliced into thin rings
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp Guldens spicy brown mustard
1-2 tbsp brown sugar ( I used 2)
1/2 tsp ground ginger


Mix soy sauce,mustard,brown sugar, and ginger in a small bowl.

Whisk together and set aside.

Cut your chicken into thin strips

Set aside, until ready to use.
Cut garlic in half and the onion into thin rings. Heat oil in skillet and add garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes.

Add chicken to the pan. Cook chicken for a little bit.

Add the soy sauce mixture, cover and simmer until sauce thickens and juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

***Double the sauce ingredients, remove cover after 10 minutes to help thicken quicker. Sometimes I use a cornstarch slurry. Remove chicken and keep warm if done before the sauce thickens to your liking.

That's the whole thing, done, finished. Serve over white rice or even better serve it with Donna's special fried rice, this takes it to a whole other level and you know exactly what you are eating and you can control the ingredients. Even my kids like this. So when you are stuck , at home, kids are screaming, the laundry needs to get done, the dishes need to get washed and you are trying to keep the kids from killing each other, give yourself a break and try this quick, easy, delish weeknight meal.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have laundry to fold and put away, because just like washing the dishes, my husband forgets how. It never ends. Keep smiling everyone, keep smiling.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coconut Cashew Crunchers

I have to admit, I am a little biased. I love this cookie. I love the texture, the flavor, the aroma that goes through the whole house as they are baking, and I forgot just how much I loved them because I haven't made them in a long time. My sister, Donna, over at My tasty treasures, mentioned to me the other day that she had mentioned to Cheryl, over at Cookin Dunkin Style, whose blog I adore, that she was telling Cheryl about theses cookies because Cheryl loves cashews.Are you with me so far? So I pulled out the recipe, which comes from Betty Crocker, you all know her, right, and I made them. So good,so chewy, with some cashew crunch in it and on top of that, coconut. I cannot think of a better combo, so Cheryl, this ones for you and that freakin cute dog of yours.

Coconut Cashew Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flaked coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped cashews


Heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, beat sugars,egg,butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until creamy. Stir in flour,baking soda and salt. Stir in coconut and cashews. Usually right about here I would have a picture of the mixture, but for some reason I don't have one. Just use your imagination, thanks.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart onto parchmant lined baking sheet. I used my ice cream scoop.
Flatten slightly. I tried 3x to rotate this dam picture and then I gave up. You get the idea.

Bake 12-16 minutes or until edges are golden brown and your house smells heavenly. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to rack to cool completely.

Did I forget to mention how huge theses cookies are. They are big. I have also done them with a regular cookie scoop, you just have to adjust the baking time, probably to 8-10 minutes, but keep an eye on them. I think I got about 21 cookies out of this.

So here they are in all their glory. Cheryl, I hope you try them and love them .Oooh they really are good. Try them, you won't be sorry. I am running around getting my oldest daughter ready for kindergarten and the bus for the first time, she just started soccer practice, my little one is starting pre-k and is turning 4 soon, so there is a party to plan, and on top of that my house is a mess, so forgive me for this short post. I promise it will get better, just hang in there with me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lemon Garlic Sirloin Tips and Red White Beans

This is another one of those" I just saw it and I have to make it" recipes. Both of them. I saw your friend and mine, Rachael Ray, make these dishes on her 30 minute meal show, this past Saturday and I knew immediately I would have to make them. It is definately a 30 minute meal. It was fast and easy and the flavor combos were great. I, myself , would never think to combine lemon and beef together, but it works. She also made a side dish using cannellini beans and I have to tell you, it was amazing. Simple ingredients lends itself to layers of flavor in these dishes. Let me share them with you. Up first, is the Red White Beans, original recipe here. I didn't stray from her recipe at all. This is it, this is all it takes to make a great side dish.

Red White Beans

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
2(15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained


Heat the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, rosemary and salt and pepper.

Cook the onions until sweet and soft, 8-10 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste for 1 minute. I looove the tomato paste in a tube. So much easier than scraping it out of that abnormally small can.
Add the stock, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low. Adjust seasoning and turn out into a serving bowl. Keep warm until ready to serve. I just kept it on low until the meat was done.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed these. The rosemary and the beans are such a great combination of flavors. I could have just ate these with a big loaf of crusty bread. These are a definate keeper for me. If you try either one of these recipes and I hope you try both, try this dish. You will love it.

Up next is the main dish, Lemon Garlic Sirloin Tips, recipe can be found here. While Rachael was making this, I kept saying to my husband, I am making these tomorrow, it looked that good. Another plus was that it was cooked on top of the stove. It has been so humid here in New York, I was so happy to make something that didn't require me to turn the dam oven on. Here it is:
Lemon Garlic Sirloin Tips
2 lbs sirloin tips ( I had to ask the butcher in the supermarket for these)
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4-5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped ( I used 5)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls
Bring meat to room temperature and pat dry. I left mine on the counter for 1/2 hour and I actually did pat them dry. It is an important step. Also, if you have some pieces that are larger than the others, cut them so they are uniform in size.

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the oil smokes, add the meat and DON'T MOVE IT for 5 minutes. Let it develop that nice crust or caramelization, before turning. Once browned, it should look like this:

Season meat liberally with salt and pepper, add the garlic and toss with the meat for 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the lemon zest and cook for another minute. Add the white wine, this is one of my favorites:

Deglaze the pan. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

It makes a nice little sauce.

I have to tell you the flavor of the lemon and the garlic, mixed with the beef was such a hit with me. I absolutely loved this. I only wished I had bread to sop up the juices from both dishes.

What a messy plating, but it tasted great. I'm sure Racheal won't mind. Whether you like her or not , you will love these two dishes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Almond- Orange Shortbread and Basil Grilled Chicken

It is so hot. It is so humid. It is so sticky and muggy out and I have just about had it with the constant threat of thunderstorms, so I am going to think of Chrsitmas. Christmas means cold weather and snow. It means hot chocolate and presents, but most importantly it means Christmas cookies. This recipe comes from everyday food and I discovered it, I believe, about 2 years ago and it is a definate keeper to my holiday trays. The orange flavor really shines through and the almonds make them look so pretty, and it is a true buttery, shortbread. It hits on all cylinders in my book.

Let's get started, shall we:

Almond -Orange Shortbread
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup sliced almonds
In mixer, beat butter, sugar almond extract until smooth. With mixer on low add flour and zest, until a dough forms.

Gently mix in almonds, by hand.

It should look like this:

Form dough into rectangular log. 12 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. ( keep it clean people, keep it clean. We are talking dough here. lol)

Wrap log in wax paper, I used plastic wrap and freeze.

When you are ready to bake, remove from freezer and let sit for 30 minutes.
Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place on parchmant lined baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes, before transferring to rack to cool completely.

They are just gorgeous and I love that the almonds show through so nicely and when you make them, and I know you will, you will see the little bits of zest show through.

A fantastic addition to any holiday tray, or simply wrap some in cellophane with a pretty ribbon and you have a great little gift for someone special, they better be someone special if you make them these babies.

Up next is a recipe my sister Donna, of My Tasty Treasures, just posted the other day, Basil Grilled Chicken. I was looking for something easy for the grill and this is both easy and tasty. I think this is a Paula Deen recipe, so prepare for butter, lots of butter.

Basil Grilled Chicken
3/4 tsp coarsley ground black pepper
4 skinned chicken breast halves
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, plus 2 tbsp freshly minced basil leaves
5 tbsp butter, melted, plus 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
fresh basil sprigs, optional
Prepare your grill
Get out your fresh basil.
Press the coarsley ground pepper into the meaty side of the chicken breast halves. Stir the chopped basil into the melted butter.

Brush the chicken lightly with this mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter,minced basil,parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together until smoothly blended. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.

Grill the chicken 8 to 10 minutes on each side, basting frequently with remaining butter mixture.

Easy with the flames, Babe, you are not Donna's FFH, who puts out flames for a living and unfortunately, you cannot arrest a flame for burning your eyebrows off.

Serve the chicken with the basil- butter mixture. Garnish with fresh basil, if you choose.
And I would definately take Donna's suggestion and add a squeeze of lemon or lime over the top, just brightens everything up.
Great summer BBQ dish.

135 days until christmas, but who's counting?