Tag Archives: dinner

Day 22: Honey Garlic Chicken

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It’s Monday and almost the end of March! I can’t believe almost a 1/4 of the year has already flown by and I can’t wait for it to officially be summer. I’m ready for some consistent warm weather! Last week we were blessed in NY with weather in the 70’s and for some reason a cold front has decided to come through this week. I don’t like waking up to 30 degree weather! Never have, never will. I need to be in warm environments because I get cold way too easily, plus I packed up all my winter clothes.

I start my new job on Wednesday, so I took advantage of sleeping in today as with my new job I’ll have to be at the office at 8am. I haven’t had early mornings like that since I quit teaching last year, It hasn’t even been a year since I was waking up every morning at 5 am, but I’ve already become accustomed to sleeping in and waking up at 7:30 am! Needless to say, Wednesday morning will be tough. Besides sleeping in today, I literally did not leave my apartment all day. It was really windy and although the sun was out, it was still too cold to enjoy the weather. Instead, I watched movies and did an in-home workout focusing on my legs and abs. Tomorrow I’ll hit the gym or Central Park to get in some running. Today I also cooked!

For Day 22 of the Pinterest Project I made Honey Garlic Chicken for dinner. This recipe was originally for pork chops, but since I’m not a big pork chop eater I substituted it with chicken. Plus, I had two chicken breasts that I needed to use up that expire in a few days, so this recipe was perfect for those! This recipe was originally pinned from the website ‘Spark Recipe’ which is a healthy recipe website. I cut this recipe in half to account for the fact that I was using less meat as the original recipe was for 6 pork chops.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic. Coat chicken in mixture or if you have more time, marinate chicken in mixture for 6+ hours before cooking. Set aside leftover honey mixture for basting.

Put chicken breasts in baking dish that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through, basting two times with remaining honey mixture.

As you can see from the picture, I paired my chicken with a side of garlic spinach which was super easy to make. (Sautee one clove of garlic in olive oil until browned, add 2 cups spinach and cook until it wilts –  only takes 5 minutes.)

This chicken was amazing! I know I’ve said that a about a few of the recipes I have made lately, but seriously this was really good. This chicken was one of the most moist pieces of chicken I have ever had in my life, literally. The chicken had a subtle honey garlic taste and was just oozing with juice when I cut into it.

It went perfectly with the spinach for a light, healthy meal. This recipe will definitely be one that I make for a long time! I might even end up trying it with pork chops, like the recipe was originally intended for. We’ll see if I feel up to it, but if it tastes anything like this chicken, then I’m sure I’ll end up enjoying it.

And Mom, when I come in town for Easter weekend I’ll cook this for y’all and give you a break from cooking dinner one night. Trust me, y’all will love it! 🙂

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Day 20: Cheese Enchiladas and Day 21: Awesome Legs Workout

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It’s been a few days since I have posted anything, so let me catch you up on what’s been going on! On Friday I found out that I got a job offer from a  company that I had interviewed at on Tuesday, so that was really exciting! Plus, I’m getting a huge pay increase, which makes the new job even that much more exciting. I start on Wednesday!

My old office gave me some flowers as a going away gift. Look at those yellow roses…they made me think of the Yellow Rose of Texas!

Ok, onto the Pinterest Project and I actually wrote this post out last night after eating, but for some reason the darn thing didn’t save and I was too tired to rewrite it, so I figured I’d just post days 20 and 21 together!

Yesterday was Day 20 of the Pinterest Project and I made Cheese Enchiladas! I’m not a big enchilada eater, but when I do eat them I want them to be spicy! My favorite homemade enchiladas growing up with some that my mom made and she accidentally messed up the recipe causing them to be spicier than normal. To this day my brother and I still talk about those enchiladas and how they were the best ones my mom ever made.

This enchilada recipe is actually one that I have been making for the last year, and I have pinned it on Pinterest. It is a cheese enchilada recipe that I adapted from the March 2011 issue of Martha Stewart’s ‘Everyday Food’ magazine. [Sorry mom – I took this one to NY with me!] I changed this recipe up by making it a little spicier!

Cheese Enchiladas with Tomato-Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

Tomato-Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce, depending on how hot you want it (I use Frank’s)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Enchiladas

  • enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use Mexican blend)
  • diced onion, avocado, cilantro or sour cream (optional), for serving

Directions:

Sauce

In a blender, combine 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, onions and jalapeno. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. In a medium pot, heat oil over high until shimmering. Add tomato mixture and simmer, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in thyme, vinegar, sugar and hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 4 days.) Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Enchiladas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce into 9 x 13 baking dish. Working with one tortillas at a time, sprinkle cheese down the middle of tortilla. Roll tortillas around cheese and arrange, seam side down. [From the picture below you’ll see I had to use two smaller baking dishes as I don’t have one that is 9 x 13.]

Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

 It doesn’t take long at all for these enchiladas to bake! Corn tortillas are still nice and soft and with the extra cheese on top, they’re nice and cheesy!

I made some fresh guacamole to go along with these spicy bad boys. If you don’t like spicy enchiladas, then leave out the hot sauce and the jalapeno. If you end up doing that, then you’ll have a tomato tasting sauce, which will be much more bland.

Don’t those look so good! They were amazing and spicy, which is just what I wanted!

Apart from making these enchiladas yesterday, I went and saw the Hunger Games in the morning!! I was so excited to see the movie and overall I thought it was pretty good. I was actually surprised at how much they left out from the books, but they did get a lot in in 2 1/2 hours. I’ll be interested to see how the next two movies are since I think those books (especially Mockingjay) were pretty graphic and intense!

Today I was super lazy! I actually ended up watching movies most of the day and eating leftovers. The only active thing I did today was for my pinterest project, which for day 21, I did the Awesome legs workout that I had repinned to my fitness board. This leg workout is supposed to tone up your legs and make them summer ready in just 5 minutes a day, and apparently you see results in as little as 10 days! This workout was originally pinned from the website, ‘T-tapp’. There are 3 phases to this workout and you do 2 reps of each phase, eventually working up to 3 reps per phase.

Unfortunately I am not able to upload all of the pictures that show exactly what you are doing, so it is imperative that you go to the t-tapp website to see the movements. You are basically lying on your back with your legs in the air and are bending your knees (one at a time) while tightening your muscles.

This wasn’t a hard workout, but I already have pretty strong legs from running and years of swimming and water polo. If anything I think I’ll feel it more in my lower abs from holding my legs up in the air. On the website, they stated that this helps the muscles in your legs be longer and leaner, which is the result I’m looking for. I’m planning on incorporating this into my workout routine since it only took 5 minutes, so we’ll see if I get longer, leaner muscles as opposed to them being bulkier. Wish me luck!

Day 18: Fried Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich

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I’m sure you have realized by now that at least once a week I eat breakfast (i.e. eggs) for dinner. I honestly would probably do it much more often than that, but I’m sure y’all would get tired of reading about it and that wouldn’t really fit into the premise of the Pinterest Project.

For Day 18 of the Pinterest Project, I am making a Fried Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich, or as I like to call it a Fried Egg BAT. When I originally repinned this to my ‘recipe’ board, I didn’t realize that I was just repinning a picture and not a link to an actual recipe. Luckily the name of this sandwich speaks for itself, so it wasn’t too hard to wing it.

Fried Egg BAT

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread (I used Ezekiel 4:9 whole wheat bread)
  • 1 slicing or beefsteak tomato
  • 2 pieces of bacon or turkey bacon (I opted for the lighter turkey bacon)
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • non-stick cooking spray or 1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook bacon according to packaging. [I had 2 pieces of leftover turkey bacon for the other night, so I just reheated that in a frying pan for a few minutes.] Toast 2 pieces of bread in toaster and set aside on plate.

Starting at one end of the tomato, cut 2 or 3 slices off about 1/4 inch thick. Discarding end piece and set aside slices. Cut avocado in half and put away the half with the seed for use another day. Peel remaining half of avocado and slice. You’ll only need about 4 thin slices.

[Look at that avocado below! I have the hardest time finding ripe avocados in NY, so I was super excited when I picked this baby up today! There’s nothing better than a perfectly ripe avocado :)]

Heat frying pan on medium and spray with cooking spray or put olive oil in pan. Crack egg into pan and cook until desired doneness. [I personally like my fried eggs over easy.]  On one piece of toast, layer turkey bacon and fried egg and layer tomato slices and avocado on the other slice of toast. Salt and Pepper as desired.

Close the sandwich up and enjoy!

I know I say this a lot about, but this recipe was really good! I mean, I guess it should be since I’m picking out recipes that I would want to eat! I’m a pretty picky eater, but I at least know what I like. This sandwich was a little messy because of the juice from the tomato and the yolk, but it was totally worth it. The toast was a little more done than I typically like, but overall it was really good.

If you cook the bacon in advance, then you could make this for a quick breakfast before work! Plus, it’s relatively healthy. You’ve got your protein from the turkey bacon and egg, good kind of fat from the avocado slices, carbs from the whole wheat bread and some tomato slices for your veggies. I’d say this sandwich is way better than any breakfast sandwich you’re going to get from a fast food place!

One bite in and it was so good!!!! Try it, you’ll love it!

P.S. My abs are like seriously burning from yesterday’s 300 workout. I definitely need to incorporate that routine into my weekly workout schedule. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you can read about it here.

Day 16: Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

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Day 16 of the Pinterest Project is already upon us and I have decided to make Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce for dinner! When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. I love jalapenos and everything spicy for that matter. The spicier the better, if you ask me! This recipe uses Jalapeno Kettle Chips, which are so good. I don’t eat potato chips often, but when I do Jalapeno chips are one of the few kinds I really like to eat.

This recipe is a little different from the one that was originally posted on Pinterest from the blog “My life as a Mrs.”  If you look at her recipe, you’ll see that I made my chicken into strips instead of keeping it as breasts. I thought it was be easier to dip the chicken in the homemade jalapeno ranch sauce, then to drizzle it on top of the breasts.

Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • 5-6 hot pickles jalapeno slices, finely chopped

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts or tenders (about 1 3/4 – 2 pounds total)
  • 1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash cayenne

Directions:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

Mix all ingredients together (adding additional buttermilk until desired consistency). Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish or baking sheet for chicken. In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, salt and cayenne. If using chicken breasts, pound out chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness and cut into strips. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, tossing well.

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess buttermilk. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated.

Place chicken in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

35 minutes later and the chicken was done. Honestly I don’t know how I feel about this recipe. I was a little frustrated while making it. The chips weren’t sticking to the chicken as well as I had assumed it would and since I cooked my chicken on a baking sheet, the bottom wasn’t as crispy as the top. Also, for some reason chicken looks pink in these pictures, but it was fully cooked!

My favorite part of the recipe was the homemade ranch dipping sauce. It gave the chicken a completely new flavor which was good because I thought the chicken was too bland. I could hardly taste the jalapeno chips and instead it just tasted like baked chicken with a few crunchy things on it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with this recipe and I probably won’t make it again. Maybe it would have turned out better if I had followed the directions exactly and cooked chicken breasts, but who knows. The only thing I  for sure will make again is the dipping sauce. I think it would be really good with some buffalo wings or even over a salad – it would give it a really good kick! The pickled jalapenos in it made all the difference.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and get a better result!

Day 13: Mexican Egg Skillet

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Last night as I was typing this blog, my internet stopped working and wouldn’t work for the rest of the evening, so sorry for the delay in posting!

It’s day 13 of the Pinterest Project and I’m making Mexican Egg Skillet for dinner! As I told y’all last week I love eggs, so I’m really excited about trying this recipe and eating some eggs tonight for dinner. I did make a few changes to the original recipe to give it my own flavor and fit my tastes! This recipe is adapted from the Mexican Egg Skillet recipe found on the blog “Pennies on a Platter.” If you look at the original recipe, then you’ll see the changes that I made.

Mexican Egg Skillet – serves one

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tortilla (corn or four)
  • Adobo seasoning, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Salsa (I always use Pace Picante)

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sautee onions for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add tomatoes and cook until tender. Season with Adobo, salt and pepper.

Push veggies to the side of the skillet to make room for the eggs. Crack two eggs into the skillet and cook until desired doneness. I cooked mine for 6-7 minutes until the egg white was completely set. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the eggs and vegetables. Cover the skillet with a lid for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve over a tortilla and top with salsa, if desired.

As you can see from the above picture, I also added some salt and pepper to the top of my eggs before adding the cheddar cheese. I was really glad that my eggs didn’t become scorched considering I cooked them without flipping them for so long!

I loved the way I changed up this recipe. I served it up with a side of spanish rice and it was amazing. I literally was making noises while eating this meal because I loved it so much. It was like a veggie breakfast taco but with sunny side up eggs instead of scrambled. Seriously though, I was  saying ‘mmmm’ the entire time I was eating this. I was being ridiculous! But look at that food, how could you not love it??! Try it, you’ll be glad you did, especially if you like breakfast!

Day 11: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

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It’s the start of a new week and a beautiful week at that. Although the first day of spring is still 8 days away (March 20th) today is finally a gorgeous day in NYC. It’s partly cloudy and in the 60’s, which reminds me of the few nice days you get in Texas. Even yesterday the weather was finally warm enough to enjoy going outside and trust me, the streets were packed! I’m praying that this weather holds up because it’s the first nice weather we’ve had since the fall. No lie, for the past 4 1/2-5 months it’s been cold, overcast and non-stop rainy! In other words, it’s been miserable outside! I’ll be glad to finally be able to get back out to Central Park for a run!

For Day 11 of the Pinterest Project, I’m making Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes for dinner! This recipe was pinned from the blog ‘Skinny Taste’ which I’m sure you’ve heard of because their recipes are all over Pinterest! This will be the first Skinny Taste recipe I’ve tried and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a basic pasta with fresh tomatoes in lieu of a rich tomato sauce, which I’m looking forward to trying. It also helps that one serving of this pasta is only about 330 calories, which is way less than most pastas!

Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes – serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti (the recipe recommends high fiber or low carb noodles)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large frying pan on high. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging, making sure to stir occasionally. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta cooks, heat same frying pan on high heat. Add olive oil to skillet and saute garlic until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta is too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while I was making this meal because I got a really late start to dinner and my phone was about to die so I need to charge it! So, the only picture I have is of the finished dish.

For a low-calorie, light dish this was actually pretty good. If you’re looking for pasta that isn’t too heavy and has a subtle taste, then this is a good dish for you. The strongest flavors I could taste were the fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. For my pasta, I didn’t need to add any of the reserved pasta water as my pasta wasn’t dry. Everything was thoroughly coated in the olive oil and garlic.

As a side, I made some garlic bread to go along with this dish. I sautéed some french bread in a skillet with a little olive oil and then rubbed the top of the bread with a garlic clove to give it a subtle garlic taste. Eat a helping of this dish with a piece of garlic bread and you’ll be set for the night.

Day 10: Migas

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Today is officially day 10 of the Pinterest Project, one day late that is. For those of you who are regular readers, I skipped a day yesterday. I know I shouldn’t have, but this past week was very tiring, and I needed a day to just relax. Plus, I read almost 250 pages of Mockingjay, so creating something was one of the last things on my mind. Tonight before bed, I’ll finish the last 40 pages of Mockingjay, but you’ll hear about that tomorrow.

Migas are on today’s menu. These aren’t just any Migas though, they’re my Migas that I posted to Pinterest. Coming from Texas I LOVE TexMex and Migas is one of my favorite brunch items to eat. They’re really easy to make and they have one of my favorite ingredients in them – eggs!

Migas with Turkey Bacon (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 pieces of Turkey Bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tortillas (flour or corn) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of Milk
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a frying pan, cook Turkey Bacon as directed on packaging. When fully cooked, remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate. [I had 6 pieces of Turkey Bacon left, so I ended up just cooking all of them because they were about to expire, but only 4 are used in the Migas.]

In same pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned and translucent (about 4-5 minutes). When fully cooked, remove onions from pan and set aside.

 In same pan, add remaining olive oil and cook tortilla pieces until they are brown and crispy (about 4-5minutes). I used four tortillas, but you can use corn as well.

Whisk together eggs and the splash of milk into a separate bowl. If you don’t have milk, you can use water – both of these help make the eggs fluffier. Break the bacon into smaller pieces and add bacon pieces and onions to the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture over tortilla pieces and cook until the egg has set.

 Once eggs are done, divide onto two plates and top with shredded cheese. I also like to add salsa to the top of my Migas. Pace Picante is some of my favorite salsa to eat on eggs and that’s what I added! Add some hash browns or home fries and you’ve got a TexMex brunch!

I was only able to eat like 4 of my fries before I was just too full! These Migas are some of my favorite things to cook! They are so tasty and amazing! Try them out and you’ll love them!

Day 8: Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for lettuce wraps. There’s something about eating warm chicken wrapped in a cold, crisp piece of lettuce that is just so satisfying and tasty! Plus they’re made with fresh ginger which is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with because I love the smell of fresh ginger! So, for day 8 of the Pinterest Project I am making lettuce wraps and the recipe that I repinned is originally from the blog ‘She wears many hats.’

Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

For stir fry sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For Cashew Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb. total), diced
  • 8 leaves of green leaf or iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For the stir fry sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, making sure the brown sugar dissolves. Set aside to use later.

For the Cashew Chicken:

Heat oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add the diced chicken cook until browned (about 4-5 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oil and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to remaining oil and cook until golden brown and tender. Add stir fry sauce mixture, browned chicken and cashew to the pan. Saute mixture for a few minutes and then remove from heat.

Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Add your favorite hot sauce and/or cashews and enjoy! Makes 6-8 lettuce wraps.

I added a premade Satay Peanut Sauce from Trader Joe’s to the top of my lettuce wraps. It added a sweet, nutty taste to the already spicy taste of the chicken. It was so delicious and good and I devoured 3 lettuce wraps before I even realized it.

This is a recipe that I’m definitely going to keep on hand. It only took me about 30 minutes total to make these lettuce wraps. Not only were they easy to make, but they weren’t too heavy which is perfect for dinner. The last thing you want is a heavy meal a few hours before you go to bed. I thought about making a side of rice to go along with this, but I’m glad I didn’t. Try this recipe out and you will not regret it!

Day 4: Pizza Dip

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Day 4 of the Pinterest Project is here and I decided to make Pizza Dip for dinner. You’re probably thinking dip for dinner, but that’s not a real meal and I know it isn’t, but that’s what I wanted! I spent most of my day today running errands and finishing the first book in the Hunger Games series, so I wanted to make something easy. I’ve seen this recipe everywhere on Pinterest for the last few weeks and since it is so popular, it seemed like a good recipe to try out.

Pizza Dip – I must admit that I was a little weary about trying this recipe because I don’t like cream cheese, sour cream or mayonnaise. I know, I’m weird like that, but foods that are sour or creamy like these disgust me. Also, I’m not a big pepperoni eater, but you could really add any topping to this pizza dip. I’m just going into this hoping that it really tastes just like pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (recipe at bottom)
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano. Spread mixture across the bottom of a pie plate evenly. Spread the pizza sauce over cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano onto of sauce. Top with pepperoni slices. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and is golden brown. Eat with toasted slices of french bread.

Pizza Sauce – I personally thought this was a little too watery and thin and it looked more like tomato soup, rather than pizza sauce. I would recommend using a pre-made pizza sauce, like the one that Trader Joe’s offers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant for about a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to pan. Simmer over low heat until it thickens for about 20 minutes. Let cool before adding it to the dip. Yields 2 cups.

I must admit, that when I pulled the pizza dip out of the oven after over 20 minutes of it cooking, the first words that crossed my mind were EPIC FAIL. My pizza dip did not look anything like the picture on the blog ‘Closet Cooking.’ The cheese was melted, but not golden brown and the dip did not look like it had set – it just looked too  runny. Like I said earlier, I thought the recipe for the pizza sauce wasn’t a good one. It was just too watery and it definitely affected the consistency of the pizza dip. Also, the base mixture of cheese and mayo just looked disgusting when I spooned some of the dip onto my bread. Some of it had clumped together and reminded me of little bits of cottage cheese, which I also find absolutely disgusting. Because I spent time making this dip, I ate some of it, but I tried to eat the top part mainly consisting of the sauce and cheese. Overall, I was not impressed with this recipe and will not be making it again anytime soon. If you have any suggestions or if you did something different and yours turned out better, then let me know!

Day 1: Ranch Turkey Burgers and Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries

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Today is officially day 1 of the Pinterest Project! For my first official project, I am making Ranch Turkey Burgers with Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries courtesy of the blogs ‘laaloosh’ and ‘playing with sugar.’  I’ve got my girl, Adele, playing on my itunes in the background, so let the cooking begin.

Ranch Turkey Burgers – For all you healthy eaters or weight watcher participants, this buger is only 3 points.  If you add a bun, then obviously you add more points. Although I’m not a point counter myself, 3 points doesn’t seem that bad, right? Below is the original recipe.

Ingredients:

As you can see, everything I used I got from Trader Joes except for the Hidden Valley Ranch Mix. TJ’s is the best store on the face of the earth – the prices there are ridiculously cheap and everything is fresh and amazing.

 Once you have all your ingredients, combine everything into a bowl. The only thing I did differently is I used a garlic press and pressed the garlic as opposed to mincing it. I LOVE garlic and wanted to have a stronger garlic taste in my burgers.

Directions:

Once the ingredients are mixed, form four patties. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray or use olive oil to coat the pan. Cook the patties until they are completely done. It took about 20 minutes total to cook the patties. I had the burner on low as I did not want to burn the patties.

Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries – Since you typically eat fries or onion ring with burgers, I figured I would try these baked fries. They were really simple and easy to prepare, but they took a little while to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of medium russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 TBSP of Kraft Parmesan Style Grated Cheese

I changed up this recipe a little bit. First off, I did not have Rosemary and honestly I don’t really like it in food unless I’m eating italian, so I omitted it completely. Instead of Old Bay Seasoning I used Don’s speciality meats seasoning from Louisianna! My good friend, Amy introduced me to this. For those of you from the south, Don’s is a cajun seasoning, kind of like Tony Chachere’s, but better! I also used 4 potatoes, instead of 3. I don’t have a peeler, so I cut the skin off the potatoes and added an extra potato since I knew I would be wasting some of it. Also, I tried to find potatos that were relatively flat and rectangular like to make it easier to cut the skin off.

Directions:
Preheat the oven 425 degrees. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/8ths and place them on a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Mix all the spices and parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Take a large, freezer size ziploc bag and put all the potatoes in it. Add the spices mix and the oil to the bag. Seal the bag tightly and shake all the ingredients up, making sure that everything is distributed evenly. Dump the potatoes onto the cookie sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes and then flipped them and baked them for 20 more minutes. I did not have aluminum foil, so I coated the cookie sheet with cooking spray and my fries turned out a little darker because of that, but they were still really good. Also, after they were done, I sprinkled a little more Don’s on top of them.
For the burger I used Martin’s potato bread buns and I topped my burger with avocado slices, grilled onions and bar-b-que sauce! Being from Texas, I can’t have a burger without some good old fashioned bar-b-que sauce.
The burger and fries were amazing – especially the burger. That recipe will definitely become a staple in my recipe book. Day was a success! Stay tuned for what tomorrow brings…