Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I know! I know! About darn time!!!! I am loving these recipes this round but have been lazy at posting my reviews!!! So here we go.....

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas
Although this isn't my favorite enchilada recipe I will probably make it again. I love the depth of flavor the cinnamon, choc, and olives added. I was a bit hesitant when I read the recipe but ended up enjoying it. I am a bit traditional and seem to prefer a simplier version of enchiladas though. I will say that the family I work for also had this for dinner one night (I do the cooking) and they LOVED it!!!!

Pork and cabbage Yakisoba
YUMMY!!! I did cheat on this a bit by using a "coleslaw" mix of pre chopped cabbage and carrots so the proportions may not have been exact but, I liked it. I love the sauce that this made! It had really yummy flavor and wasnt just the saltiness of soy! I think next time I will add a few more veggies and probably some water chestnuts or nuts on top to give a bit of crunch!

Stovetop Chili Mac
This is another recipe that made me stop and reread wondering if it would go over well in my family. IT DID!!! My daughter loved it!I love how easy it was! Definitely a make again meal!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Enchilada Review - Tisha

I made the Chicken & Green Olive Enchilada's for a small dinner party last night, and they were a hit! I loved the mole sauce, particularly because canned enchilada sauce has just not been appealing to me lately. I was really skeptical about the pimiento-stuffed green olives, but they added nice flavor. I used rotisserie chicken, which definitely cut down on the prep time. I think these would be good served with a tomatillo salsa. I will definitely be using this recipe again in the future - thank you Eva!
PS - I made this for dessert, and it was easy, tasty and pretty! Subbed granny smith apples for half of pears:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stovetop Chili Mac

This recipe is from Everyday Food Mag.  Our family LOVES this and it's so easy because I usually have all the ingredients on hand.  It says it serves 4 however I am able to feed the 5 of us with this recipe.  I have made is several time as it reads but the last time I added a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all, for just a bit more of the chili influence and we really liked it that way too.  Enjoy!


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck (85 percent lean)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
  • 1 small zucchini, diced medium
  • 2 ounces cheddar, grated (3/4 cup)


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium. Add garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent, 3 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, add beef, and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add corn and zucchini and cook until zucchini is crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice, bring to a simmer, and cook until mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among four bowls, top with meat sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yakisoba with Pork & Cabbage

I'm so sorry I missed my posting date, but I'm going to embrace the "better late than never" philosophy and post it now! I discovered this recipe online from the New York Times about a year ago, and I've been making it regularly since. It is simple, flexible (I've substituted bell peppers, kale, and red onion), and it's got a salty tangy-ness that I love! I prefer to use the fresh yakisoba noodles in the produce department of the grocery store (which eliminates step #1), but I'm sure others would work well too.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween from me and my pumpkin friends!

Yakisoba With Pork and Cabbage
6 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles, or 10 to 12 ounces fresh
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 pork chops, thinly sliced
1 small head Napa or savoy cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons mirin, or a bit of sugar
Few drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 bunch scallions, chopped, white parts only.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it and add noodles. Cook until just done, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water. Toss noodles with sesame oil to keep them from sticking together, and set aside.
2. Put peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add ginger and cook, stirring, until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork and cook for about 5 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink and is starting to brown around the edges.
3. Add cabbage and carrots to skillet and stir; sprinkle with salt. Continue to cook until vegetables soften, adding a bit of water as needed to keep them from sticking.
4. Meanwhile, stir together in a small bowl ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mirin and Tabasco. When vegetables are soft and any liquid has evaporated, add noodles and sauce to skillet. Toss to coat everything well and cook until noodles are warmed through. Serve, topped with chopped scallions.
Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas Review

Hey, I never said my pictures were going to be good, or particularly appetizing. It's just fun to see them!

I really liked this recipe. It's not the "enchiladas" that I was craving, though. It's a whole different enchilada! Haha. Anyway. It's the mole base. I actually loved it but using mole makes this a totally different dish. This mole recipe is going to be my go to, if I ever need to make mole. It was so delicious and the flavor was surprisingly complex and deep. I'm actually convincing myself, as I type, to make this again. Soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas

Ever since the beginning of September I have been craving cool-weather food, especially enchiladas. This is not unusual for me. I have not been indulging, however because here in the Willamette Valley we have had a super late summer. (whoopie!) I am on a quest now to find the yummiest enchilada recipe. I found this one on, which is on the top of my list for places to search for always delicious recipes. I certainly hope this doesn't let me, or you, down. I'm making this tonight!

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas
  • 1 4 1/2-pound chicken, quartered
  • 4 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons (about) olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • 16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced


Place chicken and broth in heavy large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes. Cool chicken in broth. Strain broth and spoon off fat; reserve broth. Remove chicken skin and bones; discard. Shred chicken coarsely; transfer to large bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cover. Cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour; stir 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in 4 1/2 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed.

Spread 1/3 cup sauce in each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Mix 1 cup sauce into chicken. Arrange 8 tortillas on work surface. Spoon 3 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon olives, 1 tablespoon onion and 1/4 cup chicken over center of each. Roll up tortillas. Arrange seam side down in 1 prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, 1 1/2 cups cheese, olives, onion and chicken. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover sauce and enchiladas separately; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes (30 minutes if chilled). Remove foil and bake until sauce bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Garam Masala Lentils

This was good. It was very simple, which I liked, and tasted delicious. My family liked this as well. I couldn't help but feel like it was missing something though. I don't know what because I'm not super familiar with Indian food, but it's like it was 2-D and I really wanted it to be 3-D. I suspect that a little playing around with spices would possibly do the trick. I like Rachel's idea of experimenting with different vegetables, although I did like the potatoes and peppers just as it called for. I would try it again, for sure.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Garam Masala Lentil Review (Severns)

I will start by saying that I did not follow this recipe exactly.  I used it as a place to jump off from.  I know, I know... that is not what we are suppose to do.  However, one night I was really craving the spices and lentils that come from this recipe and decided to make it even though I didn't have all the ingredients.

To start, I did not have potatoes so I made the recipe with only the lentils.  From this point I actually made the entire recipe the way it said except instead of the peppers I used zucchini and carrots.  Peppers do not go over well in this house (as much as I continue to try) but carrots and zucchini are favorites.  I topped each bowl with the almonds and golden raisins.  I served this stew with soft chewy Italian bread.  It was a hit!  There was enough that I froze the left overs and will have another meal some evening I haven't got time to make dinner!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chic Chef Favorites????

So, I am just wondering what recipes you ladies are finding to be yoru favorites from our chic chef repetoire. Besides recipes you have posted which ones do you find yourself going back to get again and again? Likewise, As we move forward what types of recipes are you wishing you had?

Garam Masala lentils and potatos

I made this for the family I work with last week and they found it to be yummy so I wanted to try it myself! I love how hearty it is and that it gave me another recipe to use the garam masala I bought for one of our other recipes and thought you ladies may enjoy it as well! It is a vegetarian dish and makes quite a large pot. They served it beside some basmati rice although that wasnt really neccesary.

1 lb brown lentils
1 1/2 lbs russet potato, peeled and diced
2 onions, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
2 yellow or red peppers
1/2 c cilantro
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1.In large Saucepan combine 4 cups water, lentils, potatos, onions, diced tomatoes, salts,garam masala, cumin and pepper. Cover reduce heat to med low and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. stir occaionsally. Add yellow or red peppers and simmer additional 5 minutes. stir in cilantro and sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Late & Over-Loaded!

Hey Gals & Readers!
I have updated the schedule. It was never my intention to take such a break but I think everyone needed it this summer, I know I did. Here's to another Fall of favorites!

How about some updated chef photos??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beet and Goat cheese risotto

Hi ladies,
I realize everyone has some big "life" stuff going on so we aren't on a rotation but I found this recipe and IT IS FABULOUS!!!!! So, I wanted to post it and hopefully you will have a chance to try it and let me know what you think! It is stunning to look at, absolutely delicious and unlike any risotto I have made in that you add all the liquid at beginning and just stir occasionally which makes this a incredible easy risotto recipe as well! ENJOY!


¼ cups Butter
2 whole Beets, Chopped Small
1 whole Onion, Chopped Small
1 cup Arborio Rice
3 cups Stock (Chicken Or Vegetable)
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt And Pepper, to taste
½ cups Goat Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the beets and onion, and cook for 8 minutes (stir to allow the onion to caramelize). Mix in the rice, broth, and balsamic vinegar. Increase the heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the goat cheese. If you are not a goat cheese fan, you could substitute feta cheese, but trust me, the goat cheese really enhances the flavor of the beets. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

From a Prodigal Chic Chef....

Hello Ladies.....

I just realized today, I have been so busy with work and life that I've forgotten about every blog I'm a part of :( I know I have been away for a while but was wondering when you start the next round if I could be a part of the Chic Chefs again?
I hope you are all doing great and the receipes look delicious!!!
serena :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lemon Basil Chicken review- Cahill

This is going to be short and sweet! WE LOVED THIS! Not sure how you could go wrong with pasta, cream, basil and chicken so I wasn't surprised! My only regret is that I don't have a grill yet for the new place and had to cook the chicken on the panini grill which loses some of the flavor of grilling but still very good recipe!

PS haven't forgotten the bronco burgers but still rounding up the ingredients and definitely a grill for those!!! Sounds amazing! can't wait!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Lemon Basil Pasta Review (Severns)

Okay, well, I wasn't planning on making this recipe tonight but realized I had everything except the correct pasta cut. So I used Fettuccine instead and didn't mind it at all. I liked this recipe, especially how easy it is. I don't relate with needing to thin the sauce... Our sauce was on the thin side. Everyone liked it but Andy & I did agree that it was too lemony so next time will use less. I probably used more basil than called for but we love basil and it was good.

Easy. Common ingredients. Yummy. FIVE Thumbs Up!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tisha's Grilled Chicken & Lemon Pasta Review

Great dish - perfect easy, fresh, summery meal. This was my first grilled chicken of the season, and boy was it tasty. I'm so proud to be grilling independently now - it's so simple with a gas grill, I don't know why I always relied on Jeremy to do it. Anyways, I made the pasta exactly as stated in the recipe except for subbing milk for 1/2 and 1/2, which worked just fine. The amount of lemon was perfect. Don't skimp on the basil - the flavor and visual appeal of the pasta is greatly enhanced by it. Served it with a side salad and bread (and prosecco). When I asked our dinner guests for any suggestions for my review, they just said, "Yummmmmmm." Thank you for sharing, Carrie!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

I Lurve the Pioneer Woman's site. We have done several of her recipes and none have ever been a dud. I thought this looked yummy and springy and best of all easy! We actually do not eat much maybe twice a month so I was looking for a pasta dish and this fit the bill! Hope everyone enjoys!

Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta



  • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

Posted by on July 21 2010

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken Review (Severns)

Tonight I made this recipe and was very excited about it because it sounds so good and Andy has been craving Asian food. I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of adding a bit more chicken stock because I wanted extra sauce. I am so glad I did that! I wanted to heed Staci's suggestion of cutting the soy sauce however, I really wanted to make the recipe as is the first time. Next time I will cut the soy sauce in half. It really was too salty and everyone at the table agreed.

As far as my own observations and amendments for next time. I will use more ginger because of my families preference for ginger and I will use more orange juice and possibly some zest. I could not detect the orange flavor at all. Overall, this recipe is good and I will make it again - I love how easy it is! FIVE thumbs up!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bronco Burgers

Since life is a bit unpredictable right now I thought I'd post early rather than take the chance of forgetting altogether!

This recipe has converted me to a burger lover! As you all know, I am not a big meat eater. I have always appreciated a cheeseburger - if - it was a really good quality, cooked just right burger. Well, thanks (once again) to, I have found the burger my stomach was always searching for!

A couple of notes: The recipe calls for quantities that make 4 large burger patties. If I am making this recipe just for my family I use 1 - 1 1/2 pounds of meat and make the patties a bit smaller. Also, the kids aren't keen on heat so I completely de-seed and de-spine the jalapeno and it's not hot at all - don't skip the jalapeno! ALWAYS eat this burger with a cold beer.

Bronco Burgers

2 fresh jalapeno peppers
2 pounds ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 egg
2 tablespoons steak sauce, (e.g. Heinz 57)
2 tablespoons minced white onion
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1/2 pinch dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons crushed Fritos® corn chips
4 large potato hamburger buns
4 slices cheese

Directions: Preheat a grill. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the chopped jalapenos, ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, steak sauce, onion, hot pepper sauce, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and Fritos®. Divide into 4 (or however many) balls, and flatten into patties.

Grill patties for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, or until well done. Remove from the grill and place on buns. Top each one with a slice of cheese. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ginger Orange cashew Chicken ~ Cahill

We made this last night for dinner and it was good! The contrast of spicy ginger with sweet orange juice was fabulous! The sauce was thick enough to stay on the dish and soak into a bit of rice without being to heavy. I made snow peas to serve with it and Katrina and I both ate it up. Next time I will probably cut the soy sauce in half and increase the broth a bit to see if that cuts down on the salt which was a bit over powering. It is definitely a keeper!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BBQ Ribs (Severns)

OK, so here is my debut post (in Rachel's place of course), but luckily for me, Rachel had a function to go to and me and the kids got to enjoy this yumminess all by ourselves. The only variation I made was due to the fact that I had no garlic salt, thus I used 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp salt (which kind of doubled the amt called for, however no ill effects were noticed. I also thought it weird to only put in a half a cup of cola because with the amt of ribs, it seemed that not very much of the ribs surfaces were in contact with the cola, and I know that cola kind of tenderizes the meat in a way. all that to say I will probably double the cola amt the next time and see what happens. I only used 3/4 cup sauce as that was sufficient to coat the ribs. As far as tasty yumminess, two thumbs up. The kids were laughing at how messy my hands were as I was cutting meat off the bones for everyone, and they were eating it literally faster than I could cut. Very good. Definite repeat.

Cola BBQ Ribs - cahill

Finger lickin Good!!!! I did this recipe with my sisters family since 3 lbs of ribs for 2 people may be a bit ridiculous. Everyone enjoyed them! I would probably cut back a bit on the brown sugar as they were a bit sweet for my tastes. HOWEVER, my sister who typically avoids meat, went back for seconds. I love how simple this is and the little cola made ribs super tender! Yum!

Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken

First of all, I am so sorry to be posting this so late! I realized today that I was due to have posted a recipe on Sunday - yikes! But as they say, better late than never. This recipe accompanied my organic produce box that travels from Washington to Juneau every week to give us tasty, fresh fruits and veggies. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it sounds delicious! Happy cooking!

Ginger Orange Cashew Chicken

"A one pan dish, the sauce can easily be doubled and then used to cook and coat quartered baby bok choy, snap peas or wilted spinach or other greens as a bed for the chicken. Remember to get you pan hot before sautéing the chicken, heat the oil to just below smoking for good browning."

2 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

All-purpose flour for dredging

2 T olive oil

1 T finely minced ginger

1/2 cup roasted cashews (to roast, bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10 min. at 375 degrees)

4 scallions (white and green parts), cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 orange for juicing, (blood oranges are wonderful for this but any will do)

1/2 cup chicken stock, or more as needed

Steamed white rice for serving

Pour the flour onto a plate or small bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over high heat until hot but not yet smoking. Place the chicken pieces evenly distributed around the pan being careful to not splatter the hot oil. Let the chicken cook, without stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. When brown, flip and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, toss in ginger, scallions and cashews, agitating the pan quickly for 30 seconds until the ginger becomes acutely aromatic. Add the soy sauce and squeeze in the juice of the orange. Toss the pieces to coat all with the sauce. Pour in the chicken stock - add more, if necessary, to almost cover the chicken. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Pour the chicken and sauce over rice and serve.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ham & Cheese Bake Review (Severns)

"Oh My Wonderful Goodness".
That was the comment that came out of Andy's mouth around the mass of food when he first bit into one of these sandwiches. I have to admit I was skeptical right up to the first bite. After that bite I lost the skepticism and liked this recipe. I made everything according to the recipe but will use less poppy seeds in the future; there were definitely too many. The kids all liked these too and we didn't have any leftovers! (I halved the batch) FIVE thumbs up!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cola Barbecued Ribs

This is so tasty and I find my mouth watering as I'm writing about it. 'nuf said.

3 1/2 lb pork spareribs or loin back ribs

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon hickory smoked salt or garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup cola

1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Trim excess fat from ribs. In a small bowl mix brown sugar, hickory smoked salt, and pepper; rub mixture into ribs. Cut ribs into 2- or 3-rib portions. Place ribs into cooker and pour cola around ribs.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.

Remove ribs and place into shallow baking pan. Drain liquid from cooker and discard. Brush both sides of ribs with barbecue sauce. Return ribs to cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs.

Cover and cook on low for another hour or until ribs are glazed and sauce is disired consistancy.

This is from a Betty Crocker Slow Cooker book.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh Boy.

This was so delicious. Nothing left to say. Well, ok I do have a few things to say, I guess. I wish that it wasn't drenched in butter so that I could eat it every day. It's perfect for parties! Take note of that, because they are small and so yummy and you could even make them into little appetizers by cutting them in quarters and sticking a toothpick in them. We had company and I served these and everyone loved them! I stuck to the recipe and I'm glad I did. I am so glad I have this recipe up my sleeve. YUMM!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ham and Cheese sandwich bake

Well, here we go!! To kick off this round of recipes I wanted to find something easy, affordable, different and kid friendly. So, I called my sister in the midwest and asked for her latest potluck find and this is the recipe she suggested. I feel a bit guilty that this is too "simple" for our blog but, it seems all of our favs here are! I love that I usually have the ingredients on hand or can adjust how many to make. She said it was a great brunch idea but honestly, I am thinking a quick weeknight dinner if paired with a soup or salad. can't wait to try it myself and hear your takes on it!

Ham and Cheese Sandwich Bake

12 small servings

1/2 c. butter
2Tb. brown sugar
1 Tb poppy seeds
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb prepared mustard

12 "cocktail" buns (small round dinner buns)
12 slices deli ham (or leftover ham)
12 slices swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 325
spray 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray

bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiled turn heat off and let cool while assembling sandwiches.

place one slice ham and one slice cheese inside each bun and arrange in the pan.

pour cooled sauce over the top.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temp.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Schedule!

Alright, I have posted the new schedule! We are on to the next exciting round of Chic Chefs. I decided to change up the order more than ever. Let me know if you need a switch! Happy Cooking!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

squash and parsnip pasta

Honestly, I tried this one with MUCH reservation and was right,. not my favorite. Having said that...KATRINA LOVES!!!!! LOVES THIS!!! I will be making this again and often i think! It is a great recipe, super easy, and fairly healthy! She is for the most part against eating meat (silly child) and LOVES squash so this was a hands down kid approved fav! I on the other hand am not a squash fan and I hate parsnips so i am certain that is the only reason I wasn't blown away by this. It smelled delish! The other thing I loved about this is that it didn't separate when reheating the leftovers. I would love to experiment with this with different types of squash and see how it changes the recipe. Thanks Tisha for making my little girl soooooo happy! She begs for squash and now I know what to do with it!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Anybody ready for our next round? Make a comment to let me know who's in and who's out. We'll post the new schedule soon...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MMMMM meatball review

This poor recipe! I know I rarely make any of our recipes EXACTLY as written and this was no exception. As some know I am in the process of packing for a move and clearing out ingredients and in that spirit I made these recipes tonight with a few alterations.

I enjoyed the dinner! I had the meatballs/carrot rice/ and added sauteed asparagus with onions and mushrooms. I thought it was super easy, very fast and satisfying. I don't think it was my favorite meatball recipe but I will certainly make it again. I also agree with the review that I was craving a sauce of some sort to accompany it, not at all because it was dry or needed extra moisture just for a that extra touch. I have a sauce in mind that I will try with this and if it adds to it then i will share with all!

So, for the meatballs, I didn't have fresh bread crumbs so used some out of the freezer. I used an all natural (pickaboo??) hot sauce, frozen cilantro, all white meat ground turkey, and I added dry onion as well as scallions. I mixed the meatballs up before work and cooked it for dinner. The extra time for flavors to mix was great! I did the rice as written.

So, what I would change? I think using veggie or chicken broth to cook the rice in would be fabulous. I also am tempted to replace the water for the bread crumbs with soy sauce and then omit the salt. I think I would add a hint of ginger as well. Thanks for the recipe! I love new takes on meatballs!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Asian Meatballs Review (Severns)

WOW! I really wanted to start my post with that word.

This recipe is unlike any meatball recipe I have ever made. I will most definitely make these again. This time (in Oregon) Mom and I teamed up and got some help from Victor also. We followed the recipe exactly and served the meatballs up with the carrot rice - and the table went silent. I did wish for a bit of a sauce or even just a bit of goo so I think next time I will experiment with the drippings. I really don't even want gravy just a little something.

On a side note, my mom is allergic to gluten so we used some crumbs from a left over gluten free biscuit and there wasn't much difference. It certainly didn't stop Victor from eating the remainder of gluten free meatballs!

Chili and Beer Bread Review (Severns)

Last week when we were in Oregon Eva and I teamed up to make these two recipes. We were slightly short on time and responsible for 4 children so instead of the ideal situation in which we worked together on both recipes, we divided and we conquered! Both recipes were very good and I will most likely make both of them again.

I am the one who made the bread and really stuck to the recipe. The one thing that differed was (due to tight scheduling) we did not allow the bread to cool at all after it came out of the oven. As a result it fell apart in large pieces when we attempted to slice it. But other than that it was perfect, delicious and GONE!

The chili exceeded my expectations. Eva stuck to the recipe and it was very tasty. I love that you can taste the beer in it. I'll let her give the details of which beer she used. I am not much of a chili fan however I will use this recipe next time Andy requests chili. Oh, we ate it right after making it but Andy ate it the next day and of course it was much better. Yumm!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Butternut Squash & Parsnip Baked Pasta

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to share my recipe with you, a different take on pasta from Cooking Light magazine. I haven't made it in a while, but it has been on my mind - especially as I have seen cubed butternut squash in the stores lately - a nice shortcut to preparing this meal. I enjoy finding recipes that are hearty and filling without always having meat. I hope you and your families like this one!

Butternut Squash & Parsnip Baked Pasta

Serves 4

1 TBL olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (1/2 inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (I either buy pre-cubed/peeled squash or bake my squash in the oven and dice it after it has softened up. I find peeling and slicing a raw squash to be a nearly impossible feat!)
1 cup chopped parsnip
1 TBL chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried sage
1 TBL chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated parmesan cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 TBL butter
2 TBL all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil in a nonstick skilled over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add squash and parsnip; saute 10 minutes. Stir in sage, parsley, nutmeg, allspice, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper; remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Combine squash mixture, pasta, and 1/4 cup cheese in an 11X7" baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing gently to combine.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add reserved cooking liquid; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Pour milk mixture over pasta mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes (I found mine was done in 20) or until lightly browned.