Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recent Readings

I realize it has been a LONG time since my last post but I thought better late than never. So ever since I got a Kindle for my b-day I have been reading a lot more. Maybe it is because reading on a Kindle is so easy and makes the books go by even faster than a regular book. In any case, I have really enjoyed some of the recent readings I have gotten through and thought I would share. First off was the Hunger Games trilogy. An exciting futuristic set story full of adventure, survival and even a little romance. The second is Water for Elephants. This was a beautifully told story taking place in the 1930's circus scene (and better yet, the movie is starring Robert Pattinson!!). I will always be on the lookout for more good reads so what are your recommendations?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Paprikash

This is a recipe from my Everyday Food magazine, made it tonight and it is SUPER yummy (and easy too!) A nice change from basic chicken dinner . . .

4 chicken leg quarters cut in half at joint, about 3 lbs (I already had about 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs in my freezer and used that, it was enough)
salt and pepper
2 tsp veggie oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 tbs paprika
3 tbs all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 lb wide egg noodles
1/2 sour cream or thick plain yogurt

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high heat. Cook chicken skin side down until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, 6 more minutes. Transfer to plate.

Discard all but 1 tbs fat from pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and cook stirring frequently scrapping any brown bits with a wooden spoon until begin to soften. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently, about 3 min. Add paprika and flour, season with salt and pepper and stir constantly until paprika is fragrant and mixture begins to stick, 1 min. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil over high. Return chicken to pot in a single layer skin side up and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large port of boiling salted water cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles and divide among four bowls. Top with chicken. Stir sour cream into sauce then ladle over the chicken and noodles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New to Yoga

So yes it has been a VERY long time since my last post but I thought I would write tonight because I have recently discovered the wonderful world of yoga and just needed to share. This new revelation was largely inspired by my very dear friend Valerie who has been practicing yoga for 8 years and through her blog made me curious. I always thought yoga was too laid back to be a good workout mainly because I considered a good workout to involve sweating a lot. I also thought you had to be really flexible . . . boy was I wrong!! After only 2 classes I have already begun to feel the burn, feel so relaxed and have also surprised myself as to how far I can stretch my body!! I also have to give props to my neighbor Sarah for being my partner in crime during this new revelation. All in all, I am determined to keep yoga as a part of my fitness regimen and continue to challenge myself. So thanks to Val for the motivation, I love ya girl!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes

Another fabulous and healthy weeknight dinner with lots of flavor and easy ingredients!! This will yield about 4 servings and I made it with Herbed Quinoa.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
1 (11-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
couple pinches of red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates, garnish with additional parsley, and serve.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

1 cup of small pasta (elbow macaroni or mini farfalle work really well)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (I usually use 2 breasts)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I usually use a lot more because we like cheese so just add what you want)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (you can also use dried parsley if you have it)
(if you have dried oregano and basil, I use those too . . . about a tsp or so of each)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbs butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender stirring occasionally (check the directions on the box for time). Drain the pasta and put in a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley (and any other dried herbs), salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place mixture in a baking dish sprayed with Pam.

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Garden

My Little Garden

Basil and Parsley . . . Cilantro in the small pot

Hopefully there will be some tomatoes blooming soon!!

Finally I got around to planting my garden for the summer. It is very small as I only wanted to grow herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) and tomatoes for cooking. My goal is to 1) not kill it and 2) see how things go and perhaps expand next year. Here's hoping my black thumb has turned a bit green!!