Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Zucchini Casserole August 27, 2010

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Family,Life,Side Dishes,The Herald Columns,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 10:12 pm

Cooking has always been something that I enjoyed.  Even when I lived alone, I cooked full meals on a regular basis.  By the time I finished eating a 9×13 dish of food meant for a whole family, I didn’t want to eat that food again for about 6 months.  It was worth it to me, however to do that rather than make frozen meals for one all of the time.

When I married Ross, cooking became even more fun.  We cooked together, we ate together and we used up the leftovers together.  Everything about it was easier and much more fun.

Now that Madden is eating “real people food”, cooking is taking on a whole new meaning in our home.  Growing up, meal time was a very special time in our house.  Dinner was the one time of day – guaranteed – that we would all sit down together.  No television, no distractions, just the four of us sitting down and talking.  I loved that and always promised myself that I would carry on that tradition.  Recently, we’ve been able to get that tradition started, and it warms my heart right along with my belly.  We are able to cook meals that we are all able to eat, and we can sit down and eat it all together.  We enjoy our food and we enjoy each other.  It is fun to sit there in a moment and realize that you are living one of your lifelong dreams.  It may be a simple dream, but it brings a smile to my face, night after night.

Zucchini casserole has long been a favorite of mine.  A few years ago I introduced Ross and he loved it as well.  With zucchini being one of Madden’s favorite veggies and with the soft, creamy consistency of this casserole, it is sure to now please our whole family. 

Who knew that a few veggies and a can of soup would help my dreams come true.

Zucchini Casserole

1/2 c margarine

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

4 c chunked zucchini

2 carrots, diced (I have also used a huge handful of matchsticks because it was easier)

1/2 c sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup (use cream of celery/mushroom to make it vegetarian)

1/4 c milk

1/2 onion, chopped 

Melt margarine and stir bread crumbs into margarine, set aside.  Boil zucchini chunks for 5 minutes, drain.  Stir in carrots, onion, sour cream, chicken soup, and milk.  Mix well, then add 1/2 of the breadcrumb mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 8×8 pan or a round baking pan and top with remaining breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

If desired, mix in/top with parmesan or shredded cheddar cheese.

 

Making Up for Lost Time August 17, 2010

Filed under: Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 2:36 am

I try not to have regrets and I really can’t say that I have many in life.  I do however have one big one.

I regret that I spent the first twenty years or so of my life not liking sweet potatoes.

Really?  What was I thinking?  I don’t even think that I actually disliked sweet potatoes themselves.  I think I disliked the idea of them.  I decided at some point that I didn’t like them – most likely without ever having tasted them – and didn’t eat them for years.  Now, I’ve got to make up for it.  I love sweet potatoes.  I love them prepared just about any way, but this weekend we tested out a new recipe.  And I’m a huge fan.  It may be one of my favorite sweet potato recipes yet.

The recipe for Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes is delicious not only because it is a sweet potato recipe, but because it adds a savory flavor to the naturally sweet food.  The mixture of spices is perfect.  Roasted white potatoes with herbs has always been one of my favorites, but for some reason I had never thought of roasted sweet potatoes with herbs.  This recipe will definitely be in our rotation of sides from now on.  It should be in yours, too!

 

Spoiled Rotten November 10, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 2:56 am

Yup, that is what I have been lately.  Ross is the best ever and has not only been planning meals, but grocery shopping for them and cooking them as well… and even doing the dishes!  I wonder how long I can make this last after  the baby is born?

This past weekend, Ross made a super delicious home cooked, comfort food meal.  He made homemade mac and cheese and oven fried chicken.  They were both so very delicious.  The baked chicken had a delicious flavor and was so juicy and tender.  The baked mac and cheese was awesome – we have almost cleaned off the 9×13 dish of it that was made only 2 nights ago!  Ross said that after reading the reviews he doubled the amount of evaporated milk (adding 1 cup total) and added an extra egg as well.  It was perfect.  I loved it and can’t wait to make it again.  It is different than my Mom’s mac and cheese – just different enough that it is worth keeping both recipes in our repetoire!

Tonight, Ross made Curried Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole.  We both really, really loved it.  The mixture of the curry, tomatoes, raisins and cinnamon sound so random, but taste so well together.  Ross used chicken thighs instead of breasts and it was so delicious – and according to him, fairly easy to prepare.  I can’t wait to make this one again very soon. 

It’s been forever since I posted last, and with a baby joining our family on Wednesday at the latest, it will probably be awhile again.  These were all just too good not to share!

 

French Onion Tomato Soup July 6, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes,Soups — lindsayrose @ 4:03 am

We just finished the bulk of our kitchen floors!  It was a project that took the entire long weekend, but is well worth it.  We love them!  Now we just have to re-build the energy to do the living room and hallway.  Then we’ll really  be done!

 

I needed to make a dinner that would be quick and easy since I knew we’d be finishing in the evening.  The stove has been in the hallway all weekend, so we haven’t had a real home cooked meal in days.  By the time we’d get the stove back in the kitchen, there wouldn’t be time for a big meal.  We decided grilled cheese and tomato soup would be quick and easy, as well as tasty.

 

Well, since I haven’t cooked in a few days, I was kind of in withdrawal.  I hopped on allrecipes.com to see if I could find a recipe for a homemade tomato soup that was still quick and easy… and tasty.   I found this one and I am so glad I did.  It was delicious!  The base is tomato juice, but the beef bouillon gives it a hint of a French onion-y flavor, along of course with all of the onions.  A touch of brown sugar adds the perfect sweetness, and the dash of red wine that I added brought a nice flavor.  Broiled with a piece of toasted French bread and some melted mozzarella and provolone, this was the perfect side dish for our grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Onion-Tomato-Soup/Detail.aspx?prop31=1

 

Feta Chicken July 2, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Life,Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 3:18 am

This is really called Broiled Feta Chicken, but I didn’t broil it.  So… it’s just Feta Chicken now.

I pulled out a group made cookbook (some of the best cookbooks ever) from a camp that I used to volunteer at.  The camp is called Camp Good Days and Special Times and is truly one of the most special things I’ve been a part of.  It is a camp for children whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges.  I volunteered there for a week two summers in a row, the first summer during a camp for children with cancer and the second summer during a camp for kids with HIV/AIDS.  It was amazing to me to see the courage that these children had, and so special to see them have a week where they were just like the other kids around them – many bald, sick, etc – but no different from their friends at camp.  I remember actually feeling so guilty that I was healthy.

So, as for the recipe, it was delicious.  Here goes:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced (I used 2)

1 teaspoon rosemary

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Combine yogurt, garlic and rosemary in a shallow dish.  Add chicken, turning to coat.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours ( I poked holes in the chicken first with a fork and marinated it during the day while I was at work).  Let come to room temperature for no longer than 30 minutes.  Remove from marinade, reserving extra.  Preheat broiler.  Line pan with foil.  Arrange chicken, smooth side down, on foil.  Broil 4-7 minutes.  Turn, spooning reserved marinade over chicken.  Crumble feta on top.  Broil just until cooked through and lightly browned, 4-6 minutes.

Ok, so I didn’t broil it. Just didn’t want to do it that way.  So, I just left it in the 8×8 dish that I marinated it in and baked it at 350 for about 45 minutes, spooning marinade over every now and then.  It was so tasty, very flavorful and extremely tender.  I also want to try this on the grill!

Along with this we had some roasted broccoli and Cheesy Polenta.  It was sooooo good.  Only things I changed were to use skim milk instead of whole, to use chicken broth instead of water as some of the reviews suggested, and omit the butter (only because I was out, but it really didn’t need any). 

I’m excited for leftovers tomorrow!

 

Pork Chops and Polenta June 24, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 3:06 am

We tried a new pork chop recipe tonight which ended up being pretty good.  We also had polenta for the first time, which we both loved!

The pork chops were pretty simple – brown them for a few minutes on each side and place in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, squirt some lemon juice on top, and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Mix together a small can of tomato sauce and about a tablespoon of dijon mustard and pour over the top of the chops.  Add about 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.  They weren’t the best things in the whole world, but they were good and I would make them again.  They were quick and easy to prepare, that is for sure.  Here’s the link to the recipe.  I didn’t do exactly everything it said, but it was close…  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Pork-Chops-II/Detail.aspx?prop31=5

 

We bought polenta on a whim at the grocery store awhile back, but I haven’t made it yet.  I decided to try it tonight.  It was simple to make – I just followed the directions on the back of the bag.  It was very tasty with the sauce from the pork chops over it. 

We had this along with some fresh broccoli that I baked with a little garlic and  a little lemon.

 

Tomato Pie – Version 2 June 21, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 3:12 am

Last week when I was searching for the recipe to make this side dish, I found the recipe for this Ham-and-Tomato-Pie.  It wasn’t the one that I was looking for, but it sounded so good to me.  While the first one is mostly tomatoes and zucchini, the one that I made tonight has ham as well, making it more hearty and filling for a main dish, yet perfect for a hot summer night like tonight. 

Here’s the basic idea:  Take a pie crust and spread some dijon mustard on the bottom.  Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of that.  Saute some green onions and diced ham (just to get the water out of the ham pretty much) and put that mixture on top of the cheese.  Top with sliced tomatoes and more mozzarella.  Whisk an egg and some half and half (I used skim milk, and though it needed to cook a little longer, tasted just fine to both of us) and pour on top.  Sprinkle with basil and pepper and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

 

It was so delicious.  We were thinking of different versions we could make while we were eating it and the opportunities are endless!  We had this with a tossed salad and some sauteed asparagus.  It was a fresh, healthy meal that was just right on this crazy hot 100 degree day.