Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mango Chicken

When Mason and I were living in Utah, his cousins had us over for dinner. They made this dish and we were hooked. We make it all of the time. It is healthy and DELICIOUS!! Enjoy!


3-4 chicken breasts
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce
1/3 c. pineapple juice
1/3 c. honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
black pepper to taste

(Keep 1/3 c. for basting)


1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, diced (squish out seeds)
5 green onions, chopped
½ c. cilantro leaves, cut with kitchen shears
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (put sandwich bag over hand to take seeds out)
juice of 1 lime

Marinate meat for approximately 6 hours. Grill meat, while basting with extra sauce. Make salsa right before serving. Serve meat with salsa on top.

Note: Leftovers are excellent on salad with Brianna’s Poppyseed salad dressing.

Menu 9-27-09

On the menu for us this week:

Sun- baked potato bar, BLT salad, caramel apple turnovers

M- breakfast for dinner

T- stirfry

W- chicken and pasta alfredo with veggies

Th- lemony chicken over mixed greens

F- roast and mashed potatoes

Sat- pizza?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Carrot Cake

I have never been a huge fan of carrot cake, because of all the chunks. I was intrigued when I saw a recipe that called for carrot baby food. I liked the puree idea, but jarred baby food just tastes NASTY and that won't do.
America's Test Kitchen came to the rescue again. I've made this cake twice in the last couple weeks. Grating the carrots takes a little while... I'd be interested to see how the food processor does.

Carrot Cake

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 C. veg oil
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9 by 13 cake pan with veg oil spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the eggs and sugars together in a large bowl until frothy and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 1 min. While whisking, slowly add the oil until the mixture is thoroughly combined, about 1 min. Whisk in the flour mixture til no streaks remain. Stir in the carrots. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until center of cake is done, 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack about two hours. Run a knife around edges of pan, invert the cake on a cooling rack, peel off the parchment, then invert again onto a serving platter.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 T. unsalted butter, softened
1 T. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar

Mix the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla with an electric mixer til combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix til smooth. Frost, and dive in!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Lady and Sons

A couple weeks back, Kelli and I went to Florida to visit Mason, Amanda and Jonah (our brother and his family). At the top of our to-do list was a road trip to Savannah, Georgia to dine at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. It was a Saturday, and they were booked for lunch and also dinner. But Mason worked his magic on the hostess and within a few minutes we were seated. :) Just being there was so very fun. The staff was outstanding- so friendly. I don't know quite how to say this, I feel as though I am betraying Paula, but our meal was just OK. It was right up there with Chuck-O-Rama buffet. I am so glad we did it, just to say we did. All around our meal was a fun one, just not THE most delicious. We were spoiled the rest of the trip by Amanda's exceptional cooking, which IS something to write home about. I'm hoping she'll post her Mango Chicken recipe for us... whaddaya say Mandy?
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manicotti with Spinach

This one's a family favorite. Yum yum.

Manicotti with Spinach

1 box (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells
2 C shredded Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz) marinara sauce
1 C. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. half n half

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse and drain well.
2. In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend, the red pepper, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic and egg.
3. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Mix remaining sauce with half n half then pour over manicotti.
4. Cover tightly with foil; bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend and 1 C. parmesan. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
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9-20-09 Menu

Here's what we're having for din din this week:

Sun- Pasta al Forno, spinach salad, rolls, coconut chocolate chip cookies

M- double decker tacos

T- hawaiian pizza (kid's request)

W- chicken salad sammies

Th- penne with roasted veggies

F- taking advantage of AZ Restaurant Week

Sat- leftovers?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Strawberry Crunch

This is one of the yummiest desserts ever! The combination of flavors is unbelieveable. Any chocolate chip cookie will do, but my favorite recipe is from here.

Strawberry Crunch

8 oz. fresh strawberries
3 chocolate chip cookies
1 heaping tsp. orange zest
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. melted butter
vanilla yogurt ( I used Strauss because it's really runny- perfect for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sliced strawberries, orange zest, and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the strawberry mixture into an oven-safe dish and crumble the cookies on top. Drizzle melted butter all over and bake for 7 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla yogurt drizzled over the top. DIVINE!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 C. oatmeal (Blend in blender or food processor until powdery)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 4 oz. Hershey’s bar (grated)

Cream together butter & sugars. Add eggs & vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together flour, oats, salt, baking powder & baking soda then add to butter/sugar mixture. Stir in chips & grated Hershey’s bar. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart for 8 minutes @ 375.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Menu, Sept. 13

Found these funny sammies and thought I'd pass them along.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Sun- brocooli chicken casserole, fresh fruit and coconut dip, caesar salad, cornbread, banana cream pie

M- roast chicken, balsamic roasted carrots and potatoes

T- taco salad

W- chicken pot pie

Th- tostadas with homemade refried beans, tamale griddle cakes


Sat- ???
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Restaurant Week

Arizonans, it's that time again! Chris and I are at a loss as to which restaurant to try. Roy's, Flemings, Ocean Prime, Cowboy Ciao, and The Green House are all on our to-try list. The website has all the info you'll need. Hooray!
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Eating Out

My husband has had the opportunity to be a part-investor in a new Phoenix restaurant that opened last week-
St. Francis. It's been in the works for a while so it was fun to go get the grand tour and try out the food. Aaron Chamberlin is the owner/chef and he is awesome! He has had several highly acclaimed restaurants in New York, San Fransisco, and was part of the opening team that started LeGrande Orange, Chelsea's Kitchen, and Radio Milano here in the valley. The restaurant itself was an old brick building that they renovated and they did an outstanding job. The architecture is amazing and there are lots of really cool details. St. Francis is a must-try.!

Important Notes:

*the rustic wood-burning oven
*the glass garage door downstairs that opens up to an outdoor courtyard
*kids under 6 eat free
*the custom bathroom sinks
*the chalkboard
*the crispy fingerling potatoes with lemon aioli
*romaine hearts and spring vegetables with buttermilk cheddar dressing
*the pepper crusted flat-iron steak
*the sticky toffee pudding with sweet cream gelato

Go here for the full menu. I'm sure we'll see you there, we're going tonight for the third time this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad

Been craving this ever since first-cousin-once-removed Steph posted about it. SO flavorful and yummy.

BBQ Chicken Salad

1 large bag romaine lettuce
1 cup frozen white corn, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans - drain & rinse
2 cups pepper jack cheese - coursely grated
3 medium tomatoes - diced
2 avocados - diced
juice of 1/2 lime - drizzle over avocado

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Best Foods™ mayonnaise
1/2 package Hidden Valley™ ranch dressing mix

2 lbs cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's or Trader Joe's Bold and Smoky are our picks)

Make ranch dressing, chill. Toss chicken with barbecue sauce.
On a large platter, layer lettuce, corn, black beans, cheese and tomatoes. Top with warm barbecued chicken and avocadoes. Serve immediately.

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