Tag Archives: Olive oil

Caesar Salad

28 Jul

It’s been a salad-for-dinner type week at my house! My AC went out, so there was no cooking allowed. Plus, on holidays that allow fireworks, people in my neighborhood go crazy! We are total cheapskates and don’t ever bother purchasing our own. There really is no point! We just set up our lawn chairs and rotate as necessary – there are fireworks going off everywhere! My three year old is the most excited about the fact that she is not afraid of fireworks this year. People probably think she’s terrified because she runs around screaming like crazy. But she’s just so darn happy to enjoy them. 🙂

Fireworks are awesome (especially since aerials are legal now!), but they make for some late nights for little people ’round my house. But how do you say no? Especially since the booms would keep them up anyways? Plus we hit the water park, went horseback riding, ran a marathon…ok…just kidding. But we are worn out! And sometimes get distracted until everyone is way too hungry to wait for dinner to take forever to make. Anyone else run into this issue during the summer? Too much of too many good things…at least you can’t get too much of this too good salad. Whip it up, and enjoy it sitting in your lawn chair while you watch other people’s pyrotechnic displays.

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup olive oil

2-3 Tbsp milk (if needed)

8 oz chicken breast

1-2 heads romaine lettuce (about 12 cups chopped)

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender and process until smooth. With blender running on low speed, slowly pour olive oil in a steady stream just until fully incorporated. Only if needed, add milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is reached. Place 1/2 cup dressing in a zip lock bag with chicken and marinate at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Place remaining dressing in refrigerator to chill.

Salad:

Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through. Wash lettuce and chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss with Parmesan cheese and prepared chicken (can add croutons). Toss with dressing, to taste.

 

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

25 Nov

My parents and my husband’s parents both live nearby; this means two Thanksgiving dinners. No complaining here! We had our first one last night, and I ate myself sick. So many good things to eat, not enough room for it all! But I did my best to fill every crevice of my stomach…over-flowing, I’m sure, into other organs as well. All in the name of good food.

This chicken wasn’t on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, but it might make it next year! Who knew ridiculously tender chicken only required 4 ingredients?

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Ingredients

1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breast

4 tsp seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven 425^ F. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.

*Original recipe found here: http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/60027340/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo-recipe/

Marinara Sauce

25 Sep

Sometimes jarred spaghetti sauce is a little disappointing when it comes to flavor. If I wanted to eat straight tomato sauce, that’s what I’d buy. It’s great when homemade can taste so much better and not really take much more effort!

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Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can of crushed tomatoes in puree

1/4 cup water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp basil

1/8 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Adapted from: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/copycat-papa-johns-pizza-recipe.html

Garlic Herb Rice

31 Aug

If the world ever ran out of rice, my family might die. My kids might be ok – they are young enough that they would learn to adjust. But my husband, he’d be a goner for sure. I like this rice because it’s simple – surprise! 🙂 It’s kind of like a homemade version of Rice-a-Roni, but better than the boxed version, of course. I find the boxed mixes tend to have a mushy texture, so homemade wins hands down in my book. And it’s a nice little departure from just plain white rice on those night you feel like being a hair more adventurous.

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Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 cup uncooked rice

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic

1/4 tsp basil

1 (14.5 oz) can of chicken broth

Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add rice, onion powder, garlic, and basil. Stir occasionally until rice is slightly browned – about 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth. Let mixture come to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

Garlic Basil Pizza

25 Aug

My family and I just got back from an awesome weekend spent at the Rockin’ R Ranch. This was our third time visiting the secluded Antimony, UT dude ranch, and we’re already counting down the days until we can go again. My four year old worded it the best: “I don’t want to go, Mom! We’ve only been here a minute!” I whole-heartedly agree. Trail rides, canoeing, corral training, bucking barrels, tubing down the river, archery, treasure hunt and coloring for the kids, candy cannon, brand new baby donkey to ooh and ah at, ATV’s, no internet or TV…and the food. Oh, my friends…the food. Nothing at the Rockin’ R is gourmet – it is down home cookin’ and down right delicious. The best part? Someone else cooked it. 😉 We got home to the kitchen that I didn’t quite get all the way tidied before we left, and I looked at my husband and said, “Remember how we just spent two days in a beautiful place, riding beautiful horses, and had all our meals cooked for us? Let’s go back.” The smells that come out of that back kitchen are stomach-rumblimg good, regardless of the fact that you just ate three times more than you usually do and are stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey – you still would happily eat more as long as it tastes as good as it smells. The first night they had some sort of blueberry spice cake that I may have to try to steal the recipe for. Top that off with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy…it was good stuff. Aren’t you all sad you didn’t come with us?

We got home (it’s a three hour drive for us) and of course the kids were starving, and I was still musing on the fact that small town living is starting to sound really good if I can have someone cook all of my meals…when “Pizza!” interrupted my day dream of rotisserie chicken and garlic toast. My kids always want pizza. The funny thing is that, I think I’ve mentioned the difficulty that my kids have with pizza – namely the sauce. They all hate marinara sauce! So their ‘pizza’ is really bread with cheese on it which I think is terribly boring. Unless its alfredo pizza. I like alfredo, but I also like to have a variation every now and again. I found this white pizza sauce recipe and it was a big hit. It’s also fast and easy (just how I like it) and helped me ease back into the fact that I am still the one responsible for cooking in my own home. Sigh.

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Crust:

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

4 Tbsp oil

2 cups water

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp yeast

Mix sugar and 1 cup hot water; add yeast and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Add final cup of water (you may not need the whole cup) and mix until dough forms a ball (should be sticky – not too dense). Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise a second time. Roll out on floured surface, then form pizza rounds. Tip: cover baking surface with corn meal to prevent sticking. Cover with sauce and cheese (can add other toppings like grilled chicken, etc). Bake at 400^F for 20 min, or until cheese is melted and crust is cooked through. Yield: 2 pizzas

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Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp basil, minced

1/2 cup pizza blend cheese (pre-grated mix)

Heat butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add milk. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.

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Curly Parmesan Cheese Potatoes

22 Aug

My oldest started first grade today. She put on a brave face, but I know she was nervous! I’ve lost my little helper too – I may never get to shower again (someone needs to explain to my baby that five minutes is not a nap). I don’t have anyone to talk to him while I steal a few minutes! The other two girls aren’t quite as helpful. They sure try to be, but he sees them coming and starts to cry in anticipation of their loving affection. 🙂 Who’s idea was it to educate our children anyway?!! Alright, I guess that’s the over-protective, one-kid-lonelier mommy in me talking. I’m excited for her to come home and tell me all about her first day!

Since, against my will and despite my best efforts, my kids are growing up, I’m posting a grown-up version of french fries. They are baked, so maybe just a little better for you. 😉 Fancy taste, fancy presentation, and with only four ingredients…works for me.

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Ingredients:

4 medium baking potatoes

1/4 cup butter

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400^F. Peel, core, and slice potatoes to create long spirals (can do regular fry cuts if you don’t have a spiral corer). Place in baking dish. Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over potatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 35-45 min or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned.

 

Lower-Fat Alfredo

8 Aug

I exercised tonight – sweated it out for a good half hour, drank tons of water…and then promptly ate some Oreos. So, in penance, I’m posting something low-fat. 🙂 Well, low-er fat! The funny thing is though, I really don’t like the full-fat version of this recipe. It’s too buttery for me. So, I only make the lower-fat version based on taste and not nutrition (Oreos people…after exercising…). It’s way better than the jarred version of Alfredo you can buy at the grocery store, it’s simple to make, and you can eat a few Oreos with it and not feel as guilty. Win – Win if you ask me!

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Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and heat through – do not boil. Yield – 4 servings.

Roasted Tomato Soup

1 Aug

Yesterday, baby woke up from his nap and was making it very clear that he wanted to be picked up. Problem was, I was busy cleaning up a rather large pee accident and couldn’t get him just yet. I noticed my four year old head upstairs and a minute later, baby quieted down. When I finished up, I headed to the nursery and found her standing by his crib, singing him a song with her finger stuck in his mouth. She was my thumb sucker, so to her, a finger to suck on is the answer to all the world’s problems. And it worked! And it was so sweet…until she woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and sore throat. A little trip to the doctor, and we’re nursing a case of good ol’ strep throat. Sigh. Suddenly that finger in the mouth is causing me stress. Here’s hoping that good intensions kill germs.

So, it’s a get-well-soup kind of day. I’m not really a huge fan of tomato soup – I guess I should say canned tomato soup. Bleh. But I got talked into some tomato soup at Zupas one time and loved it! This Roasted Tomato Soup is the closest I’ve gotten to that – it has a nice, hearty flavor that screams Fall (I know it’s only August, but good soup is good soup…crank up the a/c and pretend it’s cold out).  Super yummy with grilled cheese sandwiches!

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Ingredients:

6 cups (3 pints) cherry tomatoes

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped onion

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp thyme

1 cup whipping cream

Heat oven to 400^F. On a baking sheet, combine cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and spread them in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes until they are shriveled with brown spots, about 35-45 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the butter and the remaining Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened – about 6 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice, broth, thyme, and the roasted tomatoes, including any liquid on the baking sheet. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 40 minutes.

Using a food processor or blender, puree the soup until it’s smooth. If pureeing while hot, make sure you only do small amounts at a time and hold the lid on with a large towel or hot pad – the steam will make the lid pop right off! Return it to the pot and stir in the cream. Without letting the soup boil, warm it over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming.