Sunday, February 20, 2011



I have received such wonderful feed back from so many of you that I decided that I am most definitely going to continue blogging and to do so I needed a site that allowed me more freedom and you an easier way to find the recipes you are interested in. 

Tonight I made a delicious Dijon & Maple Glazed Pork Chop with homemade Rice Pilaf & Roasted Carrots.  To see that meal as well as all the recipes that have been posted here and all the recipes that will be coming in the future please join me at:

- Jillian

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sautéed Asparagus

Sometimes the best tasting recipes are the simplest, and quite honestly I think Sautéed Asparagus is one of these great simplicities in life.  This is most definitely a recipe where a stalk or two may be missing by the time the rest are done, after all the chef has to ensure the quality right?

Sautéed Asparagus:

     1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus
     2tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
     Salt & Pepper

Rinse your asparagus and break off the thicker, white end of the asparagus and discard – this may seem like a waste but it is bitter and tough and will not be worthy of eating. Heat up olive oil on a large skillet pan over medium heat.  Once the oil has heated up lay the asparagus in the pan, roll to coat in oil then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  I like to stay at the stove while these are cooking and rotate with a spatula every 30 seconds so all sides get evenly cooked.  You will know it is done when the asparagus goes from a dull green to a vibrant green, a fork inserted in the center of the asparagus should still find a little bit of resistance to break through the skin but will then pass easily through the remainder of the stalk.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Take on Buffalo Chicken & an experiment: Cauliflower Pancakes!

Do you love Buffalo Chicken but hate all the calories and fat associated with it?  I had a friend in college make a version of this about 8 years ago and I have modified it to be even tastier.  You also get a brief work out prepping the chicken!

New Take on Buffalo Chicken:

     2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
     1/2C Fat Free Catalina Dressing
     1TB Red Hot Minced Cherry Peppers
     2-3 Shakes Red Pepper Sauce
     Salt & Pepper
     1/4C Blue Cheese Crumbles

The first step in this recipe is to pound the chicken down to approx 1/4-1/2” in thickness.  I like to do this using 2 sheets of wax paper with the chicken in between and a meat mallet; I then pound the thick end of the chicken until the breast is a uniform thickness.  Once the chicken is of a uniform thickness I sprinkle with salt and pepper and set to the side.  In a measuring cup mix the Catalina dressing, cherry peppers and red pepper sauce.  This mix will make a moderate heat sauce, you can add or subtract peppers and pepper sauce to meet your own desired spice level.  Evenly brush the sauce on all sides of the chicken and place the chicken on top of a wire cookie rack on top of an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350° for approximately 15-20 minutes, approximately 5 minutes before the chicken is finished baking spread 2TB of blue cheese crumbles over each chicken breast and complete baking.  Let sit approximately 2-3 minutes before serving.

Cauliflower Pancakes

A week or so ago I posted Zucchini Pancakes, a few weeks before that I saw a recipe on for cauliflower fritters and I thought “hey I could probably lighten those up even more and use a recipe similar to the zucchini pancakes” and then the idea for Cauliflower Pancakes was born.  Tonight was my first attempt at them and I would say it was a pretty good success, you still get the great nutty flavor of the cauliflower with an almost quiche like quality of the egg, while the butter helps create a nice crisp on the pancakes.  I may try to make with 1 egg and less flower next time, but they may not hold together well without the additional filler.

Cauliflower Pancakes:

     1lb Raw Cauliflower
     Salt & Pepper
     2 Eggs
     5-6TB Flour
     1tsp Baking Powder

Rinse the cauliflower then slice into 1/4" sections and place in a steamer basket and steam until the cauliflower is able to be easily broken with a fork.  Remove to a large mixing bowl and break down the cauliflower into small pieces using the back of a fork to “mash”.  Once the cauliflower has stopped steaming, add beaten eggs, salt and pepper and stir to evenly coat, then add remaining ingredients and stir.  Spray a skillet with Pam and add 1tsp of butter to the pan over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, carefully add the batter to the pan, I used a 1TB scoop to make even size pancakes, you will need to spread the batter out slightly so it is an even thickness.  You will see the batter start to cook from the top side, once it is no longer wet flip the pancake and finish cooking. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shrimp Creole

Want a great, healthy, spicy seafood dish filled with vegetables? Then you are in the right place!  This dish is a wonderful mix of sweet shrimp in great spicy tomato broth with the crisp bite of sautéed vegetables.

Shrimp Creole:

     1lb Shrimp
     1 Onion
     1 Green Pepper
     1 Red Pepper
     2-3 Celery Stalks
     1 Bay Leaf
     1tsp Parsley
     6oz Tomato Paste
     2C Water
     2tsp Beef Bouillon
     Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
     1/2C White Distilled Vinegar
     1/2C Water

Chop all the vegetables into even pieces and in a large sauce pot sauté with butter, bay leaf & parsley, once the veggies are no longer raw add water, bouillon, old bay to taste (start with 1tsp and as it cooks decide if you want to add more) and tomato paste.  Bring up to a simmer and let boil on low for a half an hour. 

Make sure shrimp have been de-veined and are still in their shells, if frozen thaw in cool water and drain.  In a large sauté pan mix water, vinegar and 2TB Old Bay and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp in a single layer into the pan and stir.  Flip the shrimp after 2 minutes and continue to cook another 1-3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through – if your pan is small you may need to cook the shrimp in batches, just remove the first batch and add the second.  Once the shrimp have cooled off enough remove the shells and if you would like cut into pieces that are the same size as the vegetables.

Once the sauce and vegetables have cooked for 30 minutes add the shrimp to the sauce and stir to heat through. 

I like to serve this over rice, but it would be okay on its own, with couscous as well as grits or polenta

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Food Tip: Mayonnaise

Love the taste of real mayonnaise but aren't a big fan of all the calories?  I have found that mixing in equal proportions your favorite mayonnaise with Daisy's Light Sour Cream really cuts down on the calories but still gives you the great taste of mayo.  I like to mix 1/2C of each and keep in a container in the refrigerator so I don't have to mix it each time I want to add it to a sandwich.  Give it a try and see what you think!

Shepherds Pie

What is better than a warm comforting Shepherds Pie on a cold windy day?  This recipe started out as a Weight Watchers recipe that I have modified to have a little more taste but is still pretty healthy and easily serves 4 and could stretch to 6.  Many thanks to my friend who helped me make last nights dinner a success!

Shepherds Pie:

     1lb Lean Ground Beef
     1 Onion Chopped
     2-3 Carrots Sliced Thin
     2-3 Celery Stalks Chopped
     3/4C Frozen Peas
     3/4C Frozen Corn
     1tsp Minced Garlic
     1TB Olive Oil
     1tsp Worcestershire Sauce
     1TB Crushed Rosemary
     1.5tsp Crushed Tarragon
     1 Can Beef Stock
     1/3C Water
     2TB Corn Starch
     3-4 Large Red Potatoes
     1/2C Sour Cream
     1TB Butter
     Salt & Pepper

Wash and cut the potatoes into 1/2" cubes and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch – I prefer to leave the skins on my potatoes but feel free to peel them if you are not a fan of skins in your mashed potatoes.  Place the cut potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil.  Cook potatoes until a fork can easily pass through the cubes.  Drain potatoes, return to the pot, and add: salt, pepper, sour cream and butter to the pot and mash to your desired consistency. 

While the potatoes are cooking brown the beef (you can also use a pound of ground turkey) in a large sauce pot, drain the meat and keep to the side.  In the sauce pot add olive oil and garlic to the pan over medium heat.  Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant than add carrots and let them cook for a few minutes, then add onion and celery, salt and pepper.  Let these vegetables cook for 2-3 minutes then toss in peas and corn, rosemary and tarragon, stir and then add the beef stock to the pot, stirring and bringing up to a low simmer.  While the pot is coming up to a simmer, mix water and cornstarch together, once the pot is simmering add the corn starch mix to the pot and allow to thicken, add the beef back to the pot and the Worcestershire Sauce and stir until the liquid has become a thick gravy coating.
Pour the meat and vegetable mix into a 13x9 pan and evenly spread mashed potatoes on top of the mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes start to brown on top.  You may want to put a sheet of tin foil under the pan as the gravy will bubble up through the potatoes and sometimes will bubble out of the pan.

Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.  This is most definitely a recipe that gets even better on the second day and reheats very well. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hearty Chili with Vegetables

This chili recipe is my fathers, he has passed it onto me and now I am passing it onto you – secrets and all!

     Dad’s Chili:

     1lb Lean Ground Beef
     1 16oz Jar Salsa
     1 Onion
     1 Bell Pepper
     1 Can Diced Tomatoes
     1 Can Kidney Beans
     1 Sm. Can Mushrooms
     3 Cans Tomato Sauce
     1tsp Cayenne Pepper
     1-2 TB Chili Powder
     1TB Liquid Hickory 
     2TB Minced Cherry Peppers

Brown the Beef (you can also use a pound of ground turkey) in a large sauce pot, drain the meat and return to the pot.  I like to add the seasonings to the meat first, and then add vegetables, tomatoes and beans ending with the tomato sauce after the veggies and meat have had a chance to get warm.  Bring the chili up to a boil and reduce down to a low simmer.  Let cook for at least 2-3 hours on a low simmer until the vegetables get soft, stirring occasionally.  This can also be made in a crock pot, you first need to brown and drain the meat, then place in the crock with the remainder of the ingredients and cook on low for 5 hours until veggies are soft, stirring occasionally.

This chili freezes very well and only gets better with time.  If you are not a very big fan of spicy I suggest leaving out the Minced Cherry Peppers, and only using 1TB of Chili Powder.  You can always add more later to meet your tastes.

I like to eat my chili with a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, but you may dress yours up however you would like it!