19 December 2009

Delicious Ratatouille

So I decided that I felt like trying Ratatouille. I have to admit it is because of the Disney movie. So I did a google search on Ratatouille, and after weeding through websites about the movie, I found a couple recipes. The recipes for this dish are almost all the same, same ingredients but some recipes had it as more of a stew rather than a bake (yup, like what was in the movie). I wanted to do a bake, so I picked a recipe from Allrecipes. This dish was very good on its own served with some steamed white rice, but would be really good paired with some kielbasa or another type of sausage.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I used about 4 tbsp because the eggplant sucked it all up)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese (I used about 1/3c to cut back on fat)
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced (I used 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash)
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 c sliced fresh mushrooms (I used whole shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of casserole dish with 1tbsp of the olive oil (I used my Pyrex glass deep pie dish and it was perfect).
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until it is lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  • Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle some of the parmesan cheese over eggplant. Layer zucchini/squash in an even layer over the eggplant. Lightly salt and sprinkle more parmesan cheese. Continue layering in this fashion with onion, mushroom, bell pepper and tomatoes covering each layer with salt and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

17 December 2009

Lebanese Chicken with Curry Couscous

OMG... this was absolutely the most fantastic chicken dish I have made in a really long time! I am stuffed, but still drooling at the thought of making this again. Rob thinks that it needs some spice to it, but I found it to be just perfect. I cheated with the couscous and got Far East Curry Couscous... perfect substitute and much quicker to make than curry couscous from scratch.

Please, if you are reading this... you absolutely must try this recipe... I want to make it again tomorrow!!! LOL

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast (I made 2, recipe calls for 4)
  • 1/3c chopped onion (I used white onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2tsp finely shredded orange peel
  • 1/2c orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice (I added a dash extra because I love the allspice)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Orange wedge and mint leaf (optional)
  • In large skillet cook chicken, onion, garlic and butter over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until chicken is brown, turning once. Add orange peel, orange juice and salt to the skillet, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon and allspice onto chicken and add some to the juice mixture, drizzle honey over chicken and into juice. Simmer on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced to a glaze type consistency.
  • Make couscous while chicken cooks
  • Serve a small mound of couscous with chicken breast on top and drizzle with extra sauce (I made enough sauce for the full recipe and Rob and I ate every bit of it... if you like saucier chicken then maybe add a touch more orange juice, honey and spices).

15 December 2009

Chicken with Saffron Cream Sauce

This is my recipe of the week, well, until Thursday when I make Lebanese chicken with couscous. This recipe is from Better Homes and Garden and is fantastic. There are a lot of things going on with the cream sauce, but it isn't overpowering at all. My only suggestion, if you don't like a tomatoey sauce is to cut back to 1 to 1.5 teaspoons rather than 2 full teaspoons... that's my plan next time around! Oh, and I used boneless chicken breast rather than chicken pieces (thighs, drums and breasts).

Here goes...

  • 2 1/2 to 3 Lbs chicken pieces (thigh, breast, drum) I used 2 large boneless chicken breasts instead
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf (whole)
  • Pinch of Saffron threads
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, cook chicken in hot butter for about 5 minutes on each side until it is browned. Drain off any fat (no fat if you use boneless chicken breast)
  • In small mixing bowl, while chicken cooks, combine whipping cream, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and Saffron. Mix well with whisk.
  • Pour cream mixture over chicken in skillet. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked to 180 degrees. Remove chicken from the skillet and keep warm. Boil sauce gently for about 5 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. Discard the bay leaf.
  • To serve, arrange chicken on platter (or plate) and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
I served this with chicken flavored rice and fresh asparagus (steamed). I spooned a little of the leftover sauce over the asparagus. Delish!

11 December 2009

Christmas is coming...

This year is a harder year at the Ahlgrim house with the economy tanking so bad. So, this year for Christmas, rather than spending hundreds of dollars we don't have on gifts people won't like, we decided that baking is the way to go! I will be blogging this weekend as I make and can strawberry jam, candied apple jelly, and make chocolate truffles, rice crispy treats and chocolate chip cookies.

Recipes to follow!!!

10 December 2009

Ginger Chicken Noodle Bowl

I got this recipe off Better Homes and Gardens website. Again, this is a stock picture... mine really didn't look this pretty. I personally think this recipe could have used a little more of the stir fry sauce (which comes in an 8oz bottle for about $2.99) and a little more ginger.

2c dried Chinese Egg Noodles
1/4tsp Ground Ginger
1/3c Bottled Stir Fry Sauce
1c Fresh Sugar Snap Peas (cut up)
1c Sliced Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms
1sm Sweet Red Pepper, chopped
2tsp Peanut Oil for cooking
5oz Cooked Chicken Breast, Sliced (about 1 cup)
2tbsp Broken Cashews

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Mix ginger into the stir fry sauce, set aside.
  2. In large skillet cook peas, mushrooms and sweet peppers in hot peanut oil over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add cooked noodles, chicken, stir-fry sauce and cashews. Toss together and heat through.

Yield 3-4 Servings.

Peppered Bacon and Tomato Linguine

The photo is a stock photo... I couldn't find my camera. This dish is very good with a little grated parmesan cheese on top. Mind you, it is not low-cal considering you add some of the bacon grease to the pasta.... but it is so worth it.... delicious! (from Allrecipes.com)

1lb Peppered Bacon (diced)
1/4c Chopped Green Onion
1tbs Garlic (minced)
2cans Diced Tomatoes
2tsp Dried Basil
2tsp Salt
Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
2 packages Linguine Pasta
1/4c Grated Parmesan Cheese

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserve drippings and set aside.
  2. Saute green onion and garlic in bacon drippings over medium heat for one minute. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt, bacon and ground black pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta using package directions
  4. Toss hot pasta with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Yeild 8 Servings

The Kitchen is DONE!!!

Well, I now have a new kitchen to call my very own. It is so gorgeous I can't stand it! 1 year of blood, sweat and tears and it was very much worth it in the end. Now that the kitchen is done I'll start blogging more (actually, 2 recipes to follow this).

The above pictures are not the best pictures, but it shows the new countertop and tile backsplash and new home for my Kitchenaid, my awesome silverware drawer and our new table!!!

14 September 2009

Holy Crap!

I can't believe I haven't been on here since December 2008!!! What is wrong with me? Oh, I know... we've been remodeling our kitchen so I stopped blogging during that process... well, we're almost done with the kitchen so I'll start blogging again at that time!