cod fillets with curry powder

Today I made a small change to the pan seared cod fillets recipe, and it was delicious! I added 1 teaspoon curry powder to the flour, salt and pepper. So good!

And it disappeared too quickly to get a photo taken, so instead here is a photo from the original post. Just use your imagination to add a little curry powder to the fish.  🙂

cod (4)

turkey mozzarella meatballs

turkey meatballs served

Previously I posted my recipe for beef meatballs, and since that post they have quickly become one of my husband’s favorite meals, but lately I’ve been making them using ground turkey more often than with beef. Because the ingredients are identical to the beef recipe, I haven’t posted the specific recipe. So today I’m updating the recipe and posting it now.

In the past year and a half I’ve made meatballs about every other week. They are so easy, economical (one pound of ground meat makes enough for over two meals), and delicious.

Another change, other than using turkey, is that I now usually cook the meatballs in the oven instead of on the stove top. Cooking them this way allows me to kind of ignore them for a while, so that I can make the sides or do the dishes or catch up on my shows on DVR.

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Turkey Mozzarella Meatballs

1 egg

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

garlic powder

salt

pepper

2 cups pasta sauce (any kind you prefer — homemade or from a jar), divided

1 pound ground turkey breast

1/2 – 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

olive oil

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Heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, stir together the egg, bread crumbs, seasonings, and 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Mix in the ground turkey, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, and the Parmesan.

(*Note: I do not enjoy mixing raw meat with my hands, and have found that stirring with a large serving fork mixes the meat and ingredients well.)

In a deep baking dish, pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Using a large soup spoon, form the meat into balls about the size of golf balls. From the one pound of meat I get about 15 meatballs.

Place the meatballs into the baking dish and cook for 15 minutes.

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Use a large spoon to gently turn each meatball, then return them to the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and pour the remaining sauce over the meatballs and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, if desired.

Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce is heated and the cheese (if added) is melted. *Note: In the top photo you may notice the lack of cheese. I chose not to put it on this time. 

Enjoy!

 

garlic lemon baked chicken

garlic lemon chicken step 5

In my recipe binder, I have an old recipe that was torn from a newspaper. The recipe is called Bainbridge Island Vineyard Greek Garlic Chicken and it was printed in the Washington Post. I’ve had it in my binder since cutting it out of the newspaper in 2007 yet have never made it. Over six years and it just sat there… waiting.

A couple days ago, as I was planning my weekly meals and making a grocery list, I searched through my binder to get inspiration and to remember old forgotten favorite recipes when I saw this one. Why hadn’t I ever made it? It’s got all the ingredients I love and that I use often: Garlic, olive oil, chicken. I added it to the weekly menu, purchased the chicken and the lemons, and today was the day. This chicken was what’s for dinner.

I didn’t follow the recipe 100%, since I am who I am and find it impossibly hard to follow a recipe exactly as it’s written (thanks Mom!). First of all, I didn’t use 5 pounds of chicken. I’m not sure I’ve ever used 5 pounds of chicken in one recipe. Also, when squeezing the lemons, after the second one I didn’t think it would need the juice from the third lemon, so I left it out (though next time — and there will be a next time — I will try it with three lemons). And then when I finished the sauce, before coating the chicken pieces, I realized it was a lot of sauce, so I put half of it aside to try in another recipe (maybe on a pork tenderloin for souvlaki … yum!).  Finally, instead of using just water, I used milk and some flour to thicken it. (See note below regarding these additions.)

The recipe below is what I made, which is based on the original.

P.S. When I finished the sauce I cut a bite-sized piece of chicken, dipped it in the sauce, and pushed it into my husband’s mouth. Was it good? Did he like it? Did it need anything… more salt or pepper? Here’s what he said after moaning with happiness, “You could put this sauce on a shoe and I’d eat it.” Yeah, so it’s pretty good.

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Garlic Lemon Baked Chicken

3 heads garlic, peeled and chopped and/or crushed (I did half each way)

the juice from 2 lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon course ground sea salt

1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or legs (skin on, bone-in) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon flour* (optional … see note below)

1 cup milk or water* (see note below)

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Heat oven to 375F.

In a bowl, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, pepper, and salt. *You’ll only need half of this sauce, unless you decide to use double the amount of chicken that is listed above.*

garlic lemon chicken step 1

garlic lemon chicken step 2

garlic lemon chicken step 3

In a large baking dish, place the chicken pieces coated with the sauce in a single layer. (You can coat the pieces in a deep bowl, or by placing the chicken and the sauce in a plastic zipper bag.) If using pieces with the skin on, place them skin side up.

garlic lemon chicken step 4

Bake for 20-30 minutes if using skinless, boneless chicken. Bake for 45-55 minutes if using chicken with bones and skin.

Remove chicken from baking dish to serving platter.

Pour sauce from the baking dish into a small sauce pan over medium heat. *Note: If you don’t want all those bits of garlic in the sauce, use a mesh strainer for this step of the process.

If you’d like a thickened sauce, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, add the flour to the milk or water, and whisk well. (If you want it thinner, or to keep it gluten-free and dairy-free, use water only.) Pour this into the sauce pan and whisk to combine. Heat thoroughly while whisking often. It should thicken quickly.

Serve sauce on the side or drizzled over the chicken on the platter.

*Note: If you omit the flour, this meal is gluten-free. Use water instead of milk, and it’s dairy-free.

mini cheesecakes with chocolate cookie base

cheesecake with cookie base

Last month, when it was time to make cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, my insistent soon-to-be 8 year old decided we needed a chocolate cookie instead of the butter cookies we had made the day before. I searched my recipes, but nothing jumped out at me as the perfect chocolate cookie for Santa, so I did the logical next step by going to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. There I found her White Chipper Chocolate Cookies. Perfect! We made a batch on Christmas Eve and we all loved them, as I’m sure Santa did as well, based on the empty plate we found the next morning.

One thing about this recipe: It makes a lot of cookies. At least 4 dozen. Which got us wondering what we could do in addition to regular cookies because even though we’re cookie lovers, even the most delicious cookie can seem boring when you have over 4 dozen of them to eat. My soon-to-be college freshman daughter immediately thinks of cheesecake when we’re brainstorming things to bake. I remembered the other mini cheesecakes she made, the ones with an Oreo as the base. I thought, why not use one of these delicious white chipper chocolate cookies as the base? We were drooling just imagining how yummy it would taste!

So that’s what we did last week. We made the cookies as per Mel’s recipe, and made two dozen as regular cookies.

white chipper chocolate cookies (2)

The remaining cookie dough was put into muffin tins lined with paper liners. We put in one rounded tablespoon of dough into each paper liner. These in the muffin tins we took out of the oven on the lower end of the baking time — just before the 9 minutes were up. (We used 2 pans, for a total of 24 mini cheesecakes.)

cookies in muffin tins

After they were baked and cooled, my daughter made the cheese cake using the basic Philadelphia cream cheese recipe, but halved the ingredients, which ends up being:

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Once those ingredients were blended together, she put a large scoop of this cream cheese mixture onto each of the cookies in the paper liners in the muffin tins, filling them about 1/2 – 2/3 full.

cookie base with cheesecake

These little goodies were baked at 325F for 20 minutes. Once cooled, they needed to be refrigerated for a couple hours before serving.

cheesecake with cookie base (2)

Good news: They were as delicious as I expected they would be! And I think next Christmas Eve we may surprise Santa with one of these mini cheesecakes instead of just cookies. We’ll be the favorite house on his route!

the day after Christmas

day after Christmas apple crisp

Happy day after Christmas!

The best part of the day after Christmas? Well, there are a few things. Firstly, breakfast is leftover apple crisp with a large cup of coffee (see above). Secondly, my youngest son is happily playing with all his new toys and games, while my older kids are happily sleeping until noon. Thirdly, the house is semi-quiet and peaceful and the fridge is stocked full of yummy leftovers (including a ham and orange mustard sauce). In many ways, I’m happier on the day after Christmas than I am on Christmas day, which has turned into a stressful day, now that I’m the grown up in charge of everything (gifts and food and orchestrating happiness for everyone). But the day after, well, that day has turned out to be a lovely day.

The day after the day after (tomorrow) I will make ham & bean soup and scalloped potatoes with ham and my daughter plans to make cinnamon chocolate cupcakes, but today, the day after Christmas, is heated up leftovers from our Christmas day meal. Today started with how we ended our Christmas meal, because it is an upside down kind of day, and I’m perfectly happy about that.

Happy Christmas everyone! And happy day after Christmas to you as well!

candy cane kiss cookies

candy cane kiss cookies (1)

Today I made a large batch of chocolate kiss cookies, but used the Hershey’s Candy Cane kisses instead of chocolate ones. Usually I make a batch of each to give as gifts, but this year we ate all the plain chocolate kisses before I had a chance to make the cookies!

These are very festive and colorful and cheery…. A perfect cookie for the holiday season!

The recipe is the same as for the chocolate kiss cookies — just the flavor of kisses is different — so I’m not reposting that recipe (you can click the link above to go directly there). Instead I’ll offer you the photos from the photo shoot I did this afternoon. Those cookies are so photogenic!

candy cane kiss cookies (7)

candy cane kiss cookies (6)

candy cane kiss cookies (5)

candy cane kiss cookies (4)

candy cane kiss cookies (3)

candy cane kiss cookies (2)

Christmas cookies

It’s that special, magical, yummy time of the year…. Christmas cookie time!  

As Christmas approaches I’m getting my recipes in order and stocking up on flour and chocolate and eggs. During this time of year I like to make lots of cookies and put a few of each on festive trays to distribute to neighbors and friends and teachers.

I don’t make all the cookies on the same day. Instead I freeze some, such as the gingersnaps and butter cookies, as described here.

frozen balls of cookie dough

These are the cookies I’m planning on making for this cookie-giving season:

cocoa cookies

cocoa cookies 6

butter cookies

butter cookies (4)

shortbread cookies

shortbread cookies

chocolate kiss cookies

kiss cookies (6)

hidden kiss cookies

cookie close up

gingersnaps 

gingersnaps

And a non-cookie as well:

candy cane bark

candy cane bark

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Okay, your turn…. What kind of cookies are you planning on making this holiday season? What’s your favorite cookie?