Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Cod w/Snow Peas and Tarragon Sauce

First, please forgive me for the long absence.  I've just been sick for several weeks and just about the only thing I've made in the last few weeks is broth.  Okay, maybe some saltines with that.  And sleep.  Sleep Sleep Sleep!!!  I think I've finally turning the corner and last night I made (and ate) the first "solid" food I'd had in quite a while.  And it were good!!!!  I also made some cheese soup to go along with this that I'll post next.  

I love cod.  It's such a nice, mild fish that you can manipulate in just about anyway you want.  Here's a good one.


1/4 cup + 2 T onions, diced
1 T + 1 tsp butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp white wine
3/4 tsp dried tarragon
3/4 cup clam juice or fish stock
3/4 cup half & half
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp flour
3/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp mustard
(sliced red peppers, garnish, optional)

3 cod fillets, 4-6 oz
3-4 oz snow peas, stemmed and stringed

Preheat oven to 400F.  To prepare sauce, saute onions in butter for 2-3 minutes.  Add white wine and tarragon, and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Whisk together clam juice, half & half, and flour.  Add to the wine and tarragon mixture in the pan.  Continue stirring over medium high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Reduced heat to low, and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.  Whisk lemon juice and mustard into sauce.  Season to taste with S&P.

Arrange cod fillets in a buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle w/S&P and drizzle a little white wine over the fillets.  Bake the dish in the 400F oven for approximately 10 minutes  or until it tastes done.  When the fish is ready, add snow peas to the remaining sauce.  Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minutes longer.

Arrange the fish on serving plates.  Top each cod fillet with sauce and snow peas...  garnish with sliced red peppers, optional).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old-Fashioned Foods Ham Salad

OK, you guys probably all know this salad.  I'm pretty sure it's found in any church cookbook and has probably been in your grandmother's recipe box.  Funny, it's something my mom never made it and I don't remember that first time I ever had it.  Probably out of a grocery store deli.  I don't know why I like it, but every once in a while, I just need a fix!

This recipe came from a restaurant I used to work at in Red Wing, MN.  I'll list the recipe as it came to me originally, and in parentheses I'll put the amounts I used.  Also, I used the Barilla brand of small penne (Piccolini?)  I like a LOT less dressing than this recipe calls for, but use the full amount of the rest of the dressing ingredients, especially the white pepper.....adds some good heat to the dressing.


1/2# uncooked pasta (I like Barilla Piccolini "Mini Penne")
4 oz diced ham
4 oz diced cheddar cheese
1/4# (2 ribs) finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

6 oz (1/2 cup) Miracle Whip (I used "Lite")
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (I like it spicier so I use 1 tsp)
1 tsp  sugar
3 tsp yellow mustard
Whisk together the amount of dressing ingredients that suit your taste.  Toss the cooked pasta with the other salad ingredients.  Dress with dressing.

NOTE:  I keep the salad and dressing separate until serving-time so the dressing doesn't absorb into the pasta.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Creamsickle Cookies

It's been such a long time since I've posted a new recipe.  I've been sick, and we're trying to house-train a new dog, and well, I just haven't done much new cooking as of late.  But here's a new one for you!  Lucious, creamy-dreamsicle-like cookies.  Now of course, you could substitute lemon rind for the orange ring.  But these little bites are so yummy.  Give 'em a try.

ORANGEBURST (or Lemonburst)  COOKIES (made 6-7 dozen tsp-sized cookies)

2 1/2 cups AP flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp (I used 1 1/2 Tbsp) grated orange or lemon zest (I used one large orange)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light.  Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add flour mixture until combined.  Stir in orange (or lemon) zest and chips.

Drop rounded tsps onto cookie sheets.  Bake 9 minutes (in my oven....10 minutes got too brown) or until golden brown around the edges.  Cool for several minutes on the sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lindie and New Buddy

This is for Nan, the lovely woman who helped us find The New Girl (shelter-name "Fergie," but we are still undecided).  Nan, this is Fergie's new buddy, Lindie.  They are the Best of Pals!!!!  They play and wrestle all day long!!!!!  And I do mean all day long!!!  Let's just say they sleep very well at night!!!  They're about the same size and look an awful lot alike!  We couldn't have found a better match for Lindie!  They are best buds!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creamy Mexican Chicken

Here is one YUMMY dish for leftover shredded chicken.  I had bought a rotisserie chicken a few days ago, and also had some leftover Spanish rice and refried beans I needed to use up.  I did a search on-line and found this recipe which is really a crock-pot recipe using uncooked chicken breasts.  But I just used my shredded rotisserie chicken, put it in a pot with the rest of the ingredients, enough to melt the cream cheese (1/3 less fat, by the way), then baked it for about half an hour at 350.  Absolutely delicious.  Keeper.


1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 can (15 1/2 oz) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
3 oz sliced, drained, rinsed black olives
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/4-1/2 cup salsa, depending on your choice, hotness or chunkiness
4 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp taco seasoning

OK, this one I simply winged.  I put all this stuff together in a sauce pan and lightly heated until the cream cheese melted (again, I used the reduced-fat cream cheese).  Then, I put it in a small (1 quart? 1 1/2) baking dish and baked at 350 for half an hour.   Perfection!!!!  Serve with Spanish rice and refried beans. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Curried Shrimp w/Wilmington Green Rice

If you love shrimp and if you love a creamy curry sauce, this one is for you!  Absolutely mouthwatering wonderful.  I could just drink this sauce.  And the rice recipe simply sends it over the top.  I am so glad I have some leftovers in the frig!!!!  The rice recipe doesn't say how many servings it would make, I halved it and it was good for two.  So I'm guessing four servings for the rice.    I wish I would have made the whole recipe.  The shrimp recipe I'm posting says it serves eight, but I would guess it's closer to six.  Published in the Chattanooga Times-Fress Press on 5-2-12.


1 cup raw rice (jasmine rice works well)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 Tbsp grated onion
1/2 cup minced parsley
2/3 cup minced raw parsley (I used arugula)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 tsp salt

Prepare rice to make 3 cups fluffy cooked rice.  While still warm, carefully stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into greased  and floured (I used Pam Baking Spray) 2 quart (8") casserole dish.  Bake at 325 about 45 minutes.   Serve hot with curried shrimp.


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp curry powder, or to taste
4 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 tsp lemon juice or sherry (or a Tbsp each of lemon juice AND sherry)
2# cleaned, cooked shrimp

Melt butter over low heat in heavy saucepan.  Blend in flour, salt, pepper, and curry powder.  Stir until mixture is bubbly.

Remove from heat.  Stir in milk.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Cook until thickened.

Just before serving, blend in lemon juice, sherry (if using) and shrimp.

Serve over green rice.    

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thai Chicken Salad w/Spicy Peanut Dressing

Summer is definitely upon us here in Chattanooga.  Temps in the upper 80's, so this means SALADS!!!!  Just about everyday.  And here's a good one.  Oh my, I wish I had more of it leftover (I ate the last for lunch today).  Wonderful flavor, great texture with the peanuts added.  An added bonus: you can make the dressing ahead and even easier, use shredded rotisserie chicken.  Oh, and I just thought, I'd add some diced red pepper to add a bit of color to this delicious dish.  This recipe came from the Chattanooga Times Free Press paper (date unknown).  It does not give the amount of servings, I halved everything and used a 9 oz chicken breast, it came out perfectly.  Recipe below is as published.  I would guess the full recipe would serve 4-5.


5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
table salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
2 Tbsp water
3 small cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I used a little less)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" by 1/2" matchsticks (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater (about 1/2 cup)
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
3 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup chopped toasted peanuts
OPTIONAL:  Diced red peppers

Season chicken with S&P.  Boil chicken until tender.  When cool, tear into shreds.  You'll need about 5 cups, or use fully cooked supermarket rotisserie chicken.  Cool shredded chicken (don't dress chicken when warm-it will absorb too much dressing).

Puree oil, peanut butter, lime juice, water, 1/4 tsp salt, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper in blender until combined.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Dressing made be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated overnight.  Whisk to recombine before using.

Add cucumber, carrot, scallions, and cilantro (or parsley) to vinaigrette, toss to combine.  Add cooled chicken and toss gently to combine, let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with S&P and sprinkle with peanuts.  Serve immediately.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our New Girl!!!!

Meet the newest member of our family, "Fergie" (her shelter name)!!!!  What a sweetie!!!  She's a basset mix and looks every inch of a basset.  Jim had stopped at Lowe's yesterday and noticed that PetsMart was having an adoption fair.  When he came home, he told Lindie he had found her a buddy, a male beagle, about 2-years-old.  I've known for a long time Jim was ready for a new addition (I always am!) so I said "Let's just run over and take a look."  By the time we got there, the dog had already been adopted.  So we cruised through the other tents and there she was!

Such a different experience than with Lindie.  Lindie was so scared when we got her, it took months for her to accept us.  Not this girl!  She sleeps with us, kisses up, and is always ready for food or loving.  I can't wait to get a photo of her and Lindie together as they are so sweet together....just about the same size and almost the same coloring, except that Lindie doesn't have any brown, just white.  

I think we're all going to be very happy together for a long, long time.  WELCOME, NEW LITTLE ONE!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chicken Korma

A classic, traditional Indian dish.  Delicious and simple.  And made in a crock pot!  I had everything prepared the night before and then put it in the slow cooker before I left for work.  I served this simply over brown rice and with steamed green beans.  Recipe courtesy of "More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow" by Stephanie O'Dea.


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into chunks (I used half breasts, half thighs)
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes and juice
1 garlic clove, minced (1 tsp)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (to add later)
cooked white or brown basmati rice for serving

Use a 4-quart slow cooker.  Put the chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add the potato and onion.  Pour in the stewed tomatoes, and add the garlic and spices.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.  Discard the cinnamon stick, and stir in the sour cream or yogurt.  Serve over white or brown basmati rice.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Warm Salmon and Arugula Pasta Salad

This is a recipe my former neighbor and present friend, Pat, shared with me.  This salad is amazing!  I love every ingredient in this salad.  Now that we are quickly approaching summer (temps in the upper 80's and low 90's this coming week), I am resorting back to my salad repertoire.  This is definitely a go-to summer salad.  If you love salmon, goat cheese, and arugula as much as I do, this will definitely be on your menu this summer.


1 1/2# salmon fillet with skin
finely grated fresh lemon zest from one lemon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1# linguine
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half (lengthwise)
1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
5 oz arugula
freshly ground pepper 

Line a large baking sheet with foil.  Rinse salmon and pat dry; place, skin side down, on baking sheet.  Combine half of the lemon zest, coriander, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in a small bowl.  Brush top of salmon with 2 tsp oil and rub with zest mixture.  Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large part of water to a boil; add table salt.  Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.  Drain.

Preheat broiler and arrange rack 4" from heat.  Broil salmon 8-10 minutes for medium-well.   Transfer on baking sheet to rack and let cool slightly.

Peel skin off salmon (discard skin) and flake into a large serving bowl.  Add tomatoes, shallot, cheese, arugula, pasta, remaining lemon zest, 1 tsp kosher salt and 3 Tbsp oil to bowl; toss gently to combine.  Garnish with cheese and season with pepper.  Serve immediately.  


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greek Panzanella

We are definitely entering into summer here in Chattanooga.  This is my Number #1 go-to salad in the summer.  This is an Ina Gartern "The Barefoot Confessa" recipe.  Now I generally use her "Panzanella" recipe, but this  recipe is bumped up a bit making it a Greek version, adding feta cheese and changing the dressing recipe a bit.  Regardless, either recipe is fantastic.  A great entree salad.  So here it is:


Good olive oil
1 small French bread or broule, cut into 1" cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeledc, seed, and sliced into 1/4" thick (or about 4-5 mini/pickling  cucumbers) sliced into about 1/4"  slices
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut into 1/2' cubes


2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil


Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add the bread crumbs and sprinkle with salt, cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned.   Add more olive oil as needed.

Place the cucumber, red and yellow pepper, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.

For the vinagrette, whisk together the garlid, oregano mustard, vinegar, 1 tsp salt and the pepper in a small bowl.  While still whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion.  Pour the  vinaigrette over the vegetables.  Add the feta and bread cubes and mix together lightly.  Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.  Serve at room tempeature.