Archive for April, 2010

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I decided to make a salad the other night with ingredients on hand.  It sounded so good in my head.  And I knew I was going to want to share this with you. But one camera is hiding. And the other camera was full and didn’t want any more food. And I was in too much of a hurry to delete the pictures. And my camera phone is broken so I couldn’t even resort to that.

So, I am going to do something very old-fashioned. I am going to just give you a recipe with very little commentary. And I am going to ask you to do something very old-fashioned as well. Read without pictures. I’m sorry, I know this is horrible but I didn’t want to not share at all!

This salad was delicious. It was a filling salad. It would be a good entertaining salad. It’s a good, “I have leftover chicken that I don’t know what to do with” salad. Even Baker Man went back for seconds – so it is a Man-Friendly Salad. I mean, it has bacon after all.

Bag of baby spinach
½ lb of bacon
3 small apples – I used fuji
1/3 large onion, about 2/3 cup chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts cubed
Grated cheddar cheese – optional
Honey Dijon dressing

Start by cooking your bacon. While your bacon is cooking, rinse your spinach and let it dry. Then chop your onion. Core and roughly chop your apples.

Set your bacon on a paper towel to drain. Lightly cook the apples and onions in the bacon grease. You want them to be warmed through and just starting to soften. And you don’t have to use the bacon grease if you don’t want too – it just adds a little bit of flavor but you could skip that and make this slightly more healthy.

As for the chicken, I had left over chicken so I sliced it cold and tossed it in the salad. You could grill, bake, broil, sauté, fry, or cook it just about any way you want to and add to the salad. Or you can buy pre-cooked. The point is, cooked chicken, cut bite size, hot or cold.

Mix all of the prepared ingredients into a bowl and toss. Grate cheese into the salad if desired. Or cube cheese. Cubed brie would be delicious in this salad though I used cheddar. Both work with the other ingredients – just in different ways. Serve with Honey Dijon Dressing.

TOTAL PREP TIME – About 10 – 15 minutes (not including chicken cook time)

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zucchini parmesan
I got home the other night and all I could think about was food. Don’t get me wrong, food pretty much dominates my thoughts anyhow. But this particular night I was hungry too. I had about 15 bazillion things to do in an hour before Baker Man and I had to lead. And one of those things was cook dinner. So I set out on the food but I decided that while dinner cooked, I would cook a little pre-diner snack too, just in case dinner wasn’t ready in time. Cuz you know….since I already had 15 bazillion things to do, what is one more thing?

I tried to mix healthy with less than healthy. I ended up with Zucchini Parmesan. Imagine Chicken Parmesan. Now imagine the chicken is Zucchini. And that is about it.

I started by slicing half of the biggest zucchini I have ever seen in my life. I’m not kidding, I think the thing was the size of a baseball bat. OK, that is an exaggeration but not much. It was Huge! So anyhow. Slice as much zucchini that you want. About ½ to 1 inch thick. Just try to be consistent in your slices. And don’t slice them too thin.
Next prepare your “assembly line”. You are going to want 3 eggs mixed together in one bowl. Panko bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese in bowl two. Your pan heated with a good layer of oil in it. And a plate at the end lined with paper towel to drain the zucchini when it comes out of the pan.
Make sure your pan is hot. When ready to cook, lower heat to medium high. Adjust as necessary while cooking.
Take a slice of zucchini, coat it in egg. Coat it in bread crumb mixture. Put it into hot skillet. Repeat until skillet is full, but not too full. Try not to let the zucchinis touch each other. After about a minute, flip to cook on other slide. The bread crumbs should be browned and sticking to the zucchini. Let the other sides cook them remove to plate to drain.
I would suggest a little more oil than what is show in that picture but this worked ok too. Also, try not to move them around too much while cooking. This can cause the bread crumb coating to come off.
Repeat this process until you have cooked your zucchini. You can serve plain or with a dipping sauce. These were great with a marinara sauce.
My tip, When you make chicken parm, you are supposed to coat the chicken in flour then egg, then bread crumbs. If I had done that with the zucchini the bread crumbs may have stuck a little better.
Even without that step though, I loved the result.

Zucchini Parmesan

1 regular sized zucchini sliced
3 eggs
½ box panko bread crumbs
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oil in the bottom of a frying pan. While oil is heating, set up the following assembly line: sliced zucchini; 3 eggs whisked in a bowl; bread crumbs mixed with cheese in another bowl. Once everything is prepared, lower heat to medium high.

Coat slice of zucchini in egg then dip into bread crumbs. Make sure succhini is fully coated in bread crumbs then place in pan. Repeat until pan is filled but not crowded. Flip zucchini slices to other side after 1 or 2 minutes. The bread crumbs should be nicely browned. Adjust heat as necessary. After slices have cooked on second side for a minute or two, remove to a plate covered with paper towel. Repeat process until all of your zucchini is cooked. Serve plain or with marinara sauce.

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