Thursday, September 30, 2010


Last night, I cashed in one of our Living Social vouchers and got delivery from Camy's, a local pizza place. I had never tried this place, but was willing to try it since they deliver and I could get a deal through Living Social.
I would advise any Memphis reader against Camy's. The pizza was only okay. Getting Papa John's would be better and cheaper. (Memphis really needs a decent pizza joint!)

I would advise every reader to check out and These sites offer daily deals like 50 percent off at local places.

Tonight, I'm cooking- watch for tomorrow's post to find out all about our delicious supper.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mahogany Broiled Chicken

We were able to have friends over for supper the other night.  I made mahogany broiled chicken and sweet potatoes.  They seemed to like it.  Jacob enjoyed eating his chicken barbarian-style straight off the skewers.  My friend made an awesome peach pie for dessert that I finished for lunch today.  (Thanks, Donita!)

I am always excited to see a new way to fix boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  It is an economical cut of meat that is versatile and easy to prepare.  Yet, it can easily become dry and bland.  This recipe produces chicken that is neither dry nor bland.  It has such a unique flavor and is not complicated. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fettuccine with Tomato and Ricotta Sauce

For supper last night, I cooked some whole wheat fettuccine (we get boxes of these through Amazon subscribe and save) and tossed it with a jar of tomato sauce and 1 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese.  Jacob devoured this meal that took less than 10 minutes to make.  Magical.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moroccan Lentil Soup- Only no Lentils and not really Moroccan

Even though the outside temperature in Memphis was almost 100 degrees, I was wanting some soup.  I had a recipe for Moroccan Lentil soup stored in my favorites on the app that I wanted to try.  The recipe called for some of my favorite spices: cardamom, cayenne pepper, cumin, and fresh ginger.  This had to be good.
Only, Kroger did not have lentils- a seemingly necessary ingredient for lentil soup.  I picked up a bag of split peas instead.  This seemed like a reasonable substitute. 
As many reviewers noted, the spices called for are more Indian than Moroccan.  So, I made some naan to complete the protein of the bean and legume rich soup that smelled delicious as it finished cooking in the crockpot.  (A reviewer on the website said he made the soup in the crockpot, so I did the same.)  
The flavor of the soup turned out to be flat- which was odd given the rich spice content.  It tasted like it needed a ham hock or some other kind of rich, fatty something.  Despite this,  it was still pretty good and obviously healthy. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pasta with Peanut Sauce, Broccoli, and Chicken

I hate buying a condiment or sauce only to use a few tablespoons for a recipe and let the rest of the bottle sit in my refrigerator until it goes bad.  I determined not to let the bottle of peanut sauce I purchased for Thai Tofu Crunch meet this fate.  So, I came up with a unique and tasty pasta dish that also incorporated some leftover grilled chicken from supper last night.  It came together in less than 15 minutes.  I will probably make it again even when I am not just trying to use up leftovers.

12 oz whole wheat fettuccine
3 Tab spicy peanut sauce
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen broccoli, cooked
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Diablo Wrap Attempt, Grilled Plantains, And Banana Cupcakes

This afternoon, I had to cancel our plans to have friends over for dinner because Jacob woke up sick from his nap.  But, since I already had all the food, we went ahead and made the full menu for just the three of us: Diablo wraps, grilled plantains, and banana cupcakes with Nutella/peanut butter frosting.

Recently, Art mentioned his desire to recreate the Diablo wrap, a favorite dish of his served at Cafe Eclectic.  I knew it involved a wrap, chicken, cream cheese, and a spicy sauce.  I thought the Jamaican Style Grilled Chicken recipe I tried about a month ago would be a pretty good base for our attempt at the Diablo.  The distinctly flavored grilled chicken and the unique sauce seemed to be great candidates.   And, the grilled plantains would make an excellent side.

But, my version didn't turn out like the original Diablo wrap.  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the recipe, so the chicken was a bit drier than I would have liked.  And, since I used all the marinade on the chicken, I didn't have any extra sauce left for the wraps.  So, it was a lot less packed with flavor than the original.

I do hope to make the Jamaican Style chicken again, just not with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  It is an awesome recipe.  I might even use it in another attempt at the Diablo wrap.  Until then, Art will just have to go to Cafe Eclectic.

The banana cupcakes were excellent.  Basically, they were little banana bread loaves shaped like cupcakes with frosting- a delicious frosting that transformed the bread shaped cupcakes into treats worth of dessert status.  Yumo!

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground) (I used 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup Nutella.)
  • Chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts (optional)

For cupcakes: 
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Mash bananas with fork in another medium bowl until smooth. Mix sour cream and vanilla into bananas.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with banana-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until blended after each addition. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (generous 1/4 cup for each).
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack and let cool completely.
For frosting: 
Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cupcakes, dividing equally. Sprinkle lightly with chopped peanuts, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mushroom and Spinach Calzones

We had some fellow Bama fans over today to watch the Tide pound Duke.  After the game, we ate calzones.
Usually, my calzones involve everyone getting a hunk of dough and filling it with whatever they want.  But, I came across a tasty looking recipe on the Epicurious app for a Three Cheese Mushroom and Spinach Calzone, so, I gave it a try.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing

  • 1 8-ounce package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms

  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 4 cups (packed) baby spinach

  • All purpose flour (for sprinkling)

  • 1 pound fresh pizza dough (or one 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated) (I made my own.  See recipe below.)

  • 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese, divided (Since Kroger didn't have this, I used mozzarella.)

  • 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and fennel seeds; sauté until mushrooms are brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano; stir 1 minute. Add spinach; stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
    Line rimless baking sheet with parchment. Sprinkle paper with flour. Roll out dough on lined baking sheet to 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons Parmesan crosswise over half of crust, leaving 1-inch plain border. Top with 3/4 cup Fontina, then mushroom mixture, distributing evenly. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 3/4 cup Fontina over mushrooms. Spoon dollops of ricotta cheese over; sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Fold plain half of dough up over filling. Crimp edges tightly to seal. Brush with oil.
    Bake calzone until puffed and brown, about 18 minutes. Brush with oil and serve.

    Calzone Dough Recipe

    2 pkg yeast
    1 cup very warm water
    1/4 tsp sugar
    Combine these ingredients in a small bowl.  Let rest until foamy, about 10 minutes.
    2 cups bread flour
    4 Tab sugar
    2 Tab olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 cup water
    Combine ingredients with yeast mixture in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Stir for a few minutes.  (Or, just combine in a bowl and stir.  Then, knead the dough for a few minutes.)
    Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.   Proceed with recipe.  

    The mushroom and spinach filling was very flavorful and would combine well with most other calzone fillings.  I liked the creaminess of the ricotta cheese in the calzone, but Art didn't care for it.  Apparently, he doesn't like ricotta.  After seven years of marriage, I thought I knew everything about him...

    Back and Better Than Ever

    Since my last post four months ago, my family has had some major changes:

    -  We now have a daughter- Taylor Grace.  She was born on June 16 and is so precious.  She eats a lot, so I know she will enjoy my cooking one day.   For now, I spend a lot of time feeding her and less time preparing labor-intensive meals.

    -  Jacob has become s a very selective eater.  I do not describe him as picky, because he will eat just about anything.  He just has to select when and where he will eat.  Food on his tray often goes untouched during supper and is put in the fridge to be pulled out when he wants it at 9:30am the next day.

    -  Our home office has been converted in to a room for Taylor Grace.  So, our computer is now in the kitchen.  This invasion of my favorite room in the house is surprisingly convenient- reason number one being I no longer have to tip-toe across the incredibly creaky hallway during nap-time to write a blog post.  (Being able to play videos from while cooking is also amazing.)  I hope this improvement encourages more posts.

    - Art and I have recently obtained smart phones.  This virtually unlimited connection with the world has revolutionized our lives.  Among many other things, I have been using recipe apps to easily find new and exciting dishes.  This translates into more new and exciting recipes on this blog. 

    Today's recipe for Thai Tofu Crunch is from the Whole Foods Market app.  This is a unique, easy recipe that is good for a hot summer day.  I doubled the recipe and used a whole container of firm tofu.  I marinated the sliced tofu in 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup soy sauce for 2 hours.  Then, I broiled it for about 7 minutes and let it cool. 

    1 (3-ounce) package uncooked all-natural ramen noodles
    4 to 6 tablespoons prepared peanut sauce
    1 (6-ounce) package cooked tofu, cut into small cubes
    1/2 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1/2 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup frozen small broccoli florets, thawed

    Crumble the ramen noodles into a medium bowl; save ramen seasoning packet for another use. Add peanut sauce and stir to coat well. Add tofu, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli and toss together gently. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving, or transfer to plastic containers and pack in lunches. The noodles will soften somewhat as they soak up the sauce. Keep cold until ready to serve.

    I used a chili peanut sauce which made the dish pretty spicy.  The first night we had it, we made it into a salad and ate it over lettuce.  The second night, we ate it over cooked noodles.  Both ways were good.