Sunday, January 31, 2010

Maggiano's Little Italy

Late August my husband and I always go to Maggiano's for his birthday. Why? It is by far his most favorite restaurant in the entire universe. I'm pretty sure if we took a trip to Italy he would still like this place's food better than anywhere there. Okay .. a little exaggeration, but you get the point.

Well he brought home a ton of leftovers from his business luncheon today: veal ravioli (shown above), calamari, ziti and creme brulee. YES, I said creme brulee! It's not quite as good leftover but trust me, it doesn't lose any of it's caloric value. That means me and the elliptical have a few after-dinner dates these next few weeks. Oh well. It's worth it to indulge once in a while.

At any rate, this place is always superb. Food is fantastic. Service is usually pretty good. The atmosphere is one of the reasons why we go. They play his favorite dinner date music: swing and big band. He's so adorable sometimes. If you have one of these in your area, you must go for a date, dinner or business meeting. It's perfect!

Service: B+
Food: A
Atmosphere: A+
Wait time: A
Diversity of menu: A
Nutritional value: D (not too many low-cal or healthier options)
Price: $$$

Friday, January 29, 2010

Baked Ziti

I originally was going to make this for my husband's friends that were going to help us move a few weeks ago since it's such a huge dish. Well, our closing was delayed indefinitely and I still had all the ingredients. I knew we would eat the leftovers anyways so went ahead and made it. Plus I fully took advantage of having Brad pre-test it for when we do finally move.

My husband loved it and so did I. What a winner! I might even cut this recipe in half and make in a smaller dish just for us from now on. Now that I have a fabulous new garlic bread recipe I think it will go very well with this. The boys are gonna love this!

Oh and just to give you a visual, here is a picture of my very full 9x13 inch glass dish. I followed the recipe from the website as-is. If you have a deep dish pan, I highly suggest using that.

Baked Ziti
Adapted from: Annie's Eats , originally Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2009

1 lb cottage cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 lb ziti
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20 oz turkey Italian sausage (1 pkg)
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can tomato sauce (28 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp basil (dried or fresh)
1 tsp sugar
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 tsp cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
8 oz low-moisture mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup parmesan together in medium bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until it begins to soften but not completely cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and crumble sausage cooking until nearly brown. Add onion and garlic and continue to cook until sausage is completely browned. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup basil, sugar, salt and pepper.

In small bowl, combine cornstarch and heavy cream. Transfer mixture to now-empty stock pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from heat adding the cottage cheese mixture, 1.5 cups of tomato sauce mixture and 3/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add pasta and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer pasta mixture to 9x13 dish and spread remaining tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil and cook 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and continue cooking another 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and sprinkle with basil to garnish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cheesy Garlic Bread

I feel sorry for my husband. He has had to endure my sad excuse for garlic bread these past few years. I have always wanted a fantastic, but easy garlic bread recipe to make on the side for my pasta dishes. I absolutely love this recipe because it uses ingredients that I keep in my fridge at all times.

I did use too much cheese the first time I baked some. I can tend to go overboard since I do love my cheese. Lesson learned: too much cheese is really too much for this recipe. Just a thin top layer will do. This is so easy (yeah .. I can't say that enough) and it is really inexpensive to make. The amount of cheese called for in this recipe is really too much for my taste so I would really halve it and that would be enough for probably two gigantic loaves of french bread. After two loaves I had lots leftover and had to throw extra chese mixture out. It made me (and my dog) quite sad.

Cheesy Garlic Bread
Adapted from: Pioneer Woman

3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, chopped
salt, dash
1 loaf french bread
1 stick butter
4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix cheeses with mayo and green onions. Add the salt to taste and keep in fridge until needed.

Cut bread loaf in half then lengthwise. In a skillet melt 1/4 stick butter at a time with 1 clove garlic. Place one piece of the loaves face down in the skillet, removing garlic if it browns.

Repeat with remaining butter, garlic and loaves.

Place bread flat side up on baking sheet and spread cheese mixture in thin layer on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Slice and serve.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meaty Rigatoni

This is originally named Pasta alla Marlboro Man. I decided to give it a name that was recognizable. This dish is very meaty and the rigatoni goes well with it. I am more of a saucy-type of gal but it had enough spices in it to satisfy. My husband really loved this recipe. He is a big meat lover so I'm sure that had a little to do with it.

I split the recipe in half and had a ton of rigatoni leftover (I used one pound) so I think that I might use that for my fettucini later this week. I'm all about not wasting leftovers. We even bought a second set of tupperware to match our current set. At the beginning of the week it's hard to find tupperware for leftovers when all my prepped, cut and chopped veggies are in all of them.

Here is the delicious garlic bread recipe!

Meaty Rigatoni
Adapted from: Pioneer Woman

1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tsp ground thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 lb rigatoni

Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir, cooking 1 minute. Make sure garlic doesn't brown. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain as much excess fast as possible and add salt, pepper, thyme and canned tomatoes (with juice). Stir, reduce heat to low and cover pot. Cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook an additional 20 minutes.

During second 20 minutes of cooking meat mixture, cook rigatoni according to package directions. Place in serving bowls and keep warm. Add meat mixture on top of rigatoni and sprinkle parmesan on top. This goes fantastic with garlic bread!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Who doesn't love warm pie for dinner? This is the very first pot pie I have ever made. I have tasted some before but they almost always have peas in them. Anything with peas in it (even just one) makes me cringe. It must be their soft texture. It took me a very long time to warm up to beans for that very same reason. Instead of peas I used corn and loved the texture it had.

My husband didn't tell me before I made this that he doesn't like pot pies either. I was really asking for it making something neither of us have ever liked before. I think with age comes culinary maturity and taste, however. To quote my husband as he devoured his first and second pieces within minutes, "I don't like pot pie but this was great!" I call that a sweet victory.

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from: All-Recipes

1 lb boneless, skiness chicken brests (cubed)
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a stock pot, combine chicken, carrots, corn, celery and add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. About halfway through, heat medium sauce pan over medium heat cooking onions and butter until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Then slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes.

NOTE: You may pre-heat the bottom pie crust (as suggested on the all-recipes site) but it shrunk the crust so I wouldn't suggest it.

Unfold one pie crust into greased pie pan and place chicken mixture in. Then, pour liquid mixture on top making sure nothing overflows. Place second crust on top, flat, and cut off excess dough from edge of pan. Then, fold top and bottom crusts together and into a zig-zag pattern. Cut slits on top crust for ventilation and bake for 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Smoked Sausage

I usually always make this but have never blogged about it. It seemed too simple to do so. My mother used to make this for me when I was growing up every week. It is a quick, easy week night dinner when you are on the go. To me, it is common knowledge how to make this but I had to learn from someone. Maybe other people make smoked sausage a different way. How do you make it?

I usually pair the sausage with a side of macaroni and cheese or some kind of boxed noodles. Like I said, this is a quick week night dinner. Home made isn't usually quick, for me anyways. Also you can use fresh or canned pineapple. I had a fresh one I got at the store this week but we are in the process of moving and wanted to use up the can we had. One less can to carry. I know, it's silly.

Smoked Sausage
Kelly's Kitch original

1 package skinless smoked sausage (2 large links)
1 can sliced pineapple, in juice (or fresh but save the juices)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the sausages in half, then cut them lengthwise so they lay flat. Place them flat side down in an 9x13 glass dish. Pour pineapple juice from can (or fresh) over them. There should barely be enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Then, lay 4-5 pineapples on top of the sausages. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your side dish. I usually go for something with noodles: mac and cheese or a box noodle dinner. Then you can serve both the warm pineapple and leftover cold pineapples with the sausage and side dish.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perfect Chili

This is somewhat of a guest blog entry. This is actually my husband's recipe! Of course, after meeting me he has perfected his previously soupy "chili" recipe though. I like mine really thick and he doesn't so of course as good couples always do, they compromise and this was what we came up with.

It is a little spicy, but not too overwhelming. It has spaghetti noodles although I prefer macaroni (you can choose whatever you prefer). The tomato taste is there but not too much. I love this chili!!! Top it with sour cream and cheese and you have yourself a delicious dinner. Also I usually eat it with crackers instead of a spoon. YUM!

Perfect Chili
Kelly's Kitch original (c/o Mr. Kelly's Kitch)

1 lb ground beef
1 packet chili powder
1/2 box spaghetti noodles (6 oz)
1 can diced, chili-ready tomatoes (14oz)
1 can mild chili beans (14oz)
2 tbsp hot sauce (your choice, we use Franks or Spirulina)
1 can tomato paste (4 oz)

Brown the ground beef in a skillet on medium heat. Meanwhile, boil the noodles on the stove. When the noodles are al dente, pour out most of the water (making sure there is just about 1 cm of water above the level of the noodles). Then add in chili poweder, tomatoes, beans, hot sauce, tomato paste and drained ground beef. Stir to mix well and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-20 minutes while covered and serve immediately.

Top with optional sour cream and cheese but it is good as-is too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spicy Rotini & Shrimp

This was the biggest hit for my husband thus far on this entire cooking blog! He loved how spicy it was and even immediately after dinner scooped up every last morsel to take to work the next day for lunch. Maybe I should have doubled the recipe. Trust me, this recipe is very, very spicy! He and I have very different views on spiciness. He likes it burning his mouth. I don't. I would like to taste my food. I also can't stand as much spice as he can. Well, I guess this will go into the permanent recipe book since he loved it so much! It's defintiely worth a try, especially if you love spicy foods.

Spicy Rotini & Shrimp
Adapted from: Homemade by Holman, originally from Pioneer Woman

1/4 lb shrimp, deveined, chopped into thirds
1/2 box rotini pasta (or similar)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup dry red wine (I used a zinfandel)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste

Cook pasta in boiling water to desired consistency.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute garlic and onions for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the wine and saute another 3 minutes, or until no longer liquidy. Then add diced tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream, simmer another 5 minutes. Add herbs, cooked shrimp, pasta, and salt & pepper, to taste. Toss and serve warm.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

This week has been unneccessarily cold here in the midwest. That means it's soup time! I really like thick, tomato based soups that have a sweet kick to them. I was drawn to this soup since it had a little of everything. I had purchased quite a bit of shrimp this week so it seemed like the perfect recipe.

Now, I have never been the seafood fan. I never really liked any of it as a kid growing up. While in my teen years I started developing a taste for crustations, but still didn't like fish itself. Now I can eat certain kinds of fish and most all crustations. I guess it comes with age (or wisdom) for me. This soup wasn't all I thought it would be so I think next time I will tweak it a little. Like I said, I'm not the biggest seafood fan so maybe a little less shrimp and more veggies next time.

Brazilian Shrimp Soup
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally from Food and Wine

2 tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
dash salt (to taste)
1 3/4 can crushed tomatoes
5 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (in asian food isle, canned)
1.5 lb shrimp, deveined, cut in thirds
black pepper (to taste)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp lime juice

Heat canola oil in large stock pot on medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and cook about 7 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add rice, red pepper flakes, salt, tomatoes and water to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes until rice is tender.

Stir in coconut milk and return to a simmer. Add the shrimp and simmer additional 3-5 minutes to cook shrimp (if not precooked). Stir in pepper, lemon and lime juice. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Classic Fettucini Alfredo

Oh on this cold, wintry, 13-degree, blizard-like night I decided to make something easy but classic. Well my husbands car wouldn't start two days in a row so he was out going back and forth to Auto Zone to test his alternator, battery, etc. I completely spaced at the grocery store this week and bought spaghetti noodles instead of fettucini .. as you can see. Turns out, fettucini sauce and spaghetti noodles taste wonderful together! Although it's not completely classic, it still was a wonderful, warm treat for him to come home to tonight.

This was also the first time I had tackled home made fettucini and my husband had no idea it wasn't from a jar. He absolutely loved it and we will never buy the jar again! Thanks Annie!! I know her recipe also called for home made pasta but we are moving soon so my brand-new Kitchen Aid mixer is still in it's original packaging from Christmas so maybe in a month or so I will tackle home made pasta.

I can taste it all over again.

Classic Fettucini Alfredo
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally Brown Eyed Baker

For chicken breasts: (OMIT for vegetarian entree)
1-2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 tbsp oil

For fettucini sauce:
3 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups parmesan cheese
salt & pepper, to taste

First, boil water stove top and cook noodles to preferred consistency. Meanwhile, cook chicken breasts with oil in a small skillet on mediut heat 3-5 minutes on each side until no longer pink. Slice and set aside. Keep warm.

Then, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and cream, simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook an additional 5-7 minutes until thickened. Mix in cheese until melted and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with chicken on top.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pappa al Pomodoro

Come to mamma .. or is it pappa? This soup was a very hearty, thick tomato based soup that actually had a lot more going on than your basic in-the-can soup. I usually throw some milk, basil and a can stove top but this is so much better!

My husband doesn't always appreciate the finer things in life; he is sometimes set in his old ways. He liked it but wasn't overwhelmed by it's hearty goodness. I, however, felt differently. This is completely worth making even though it is time-consuming and has a lot going on. One thing I did was shorten the length of time it simmered on the stove (turned out fine) and the turkey bacon and bread I baked in the oven burnt so I wouldn't suggest cooking them quite as long as the original recipe. I adjusted mine to reflect this.

Here is what the toppings looked like after the oven. The bacon really didn't survive well. Don't let it get to this point.

When serving, sprinkle the non-burnt toppings from the oven on top.

Pappa al Pomodoro
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

For soup:
1/2 cup canola oil (or olive oil)
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced and quartered
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups ciabatta (or french) bread, crusts removed
1 large can (28 oz) plum tomatoes (or you could use crushed tomatoes)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry red wine (I used a red zinfandel)
3 tbsp basil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

For topping:
1-2 cups ciabatta (or french) bread, with crusts
4 strips turkey bacon, chopped, half cooked
basil, to taste
olive (or canola) oil, to taste

Heat 1/2 cup oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the bread cubes without crust and cook an additional 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor pulse blend the canned plum tomatoes. You can skip this step if you purchased crushed or chopped tomatoes instead.

Add tomato sauce to  pot along with chicken stock, wine, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook additional 35-40 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, coat the bread cubes that have the crusts still attached with oil, basil and add the bacon in too. Place in a single layer on cookie sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it and make sure to not over cook it! It will be done when the bread is golden and crunchy, but the bacon pieces are not burnt.

When soup is finished simmering, mix in parmesan cheese and whisk well for 5-10 minutes to dissolve all bread crumbs. Serve warm and top with bread and bacon pieces.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Potato Soup Plus II

Remember this soup? I made this soup this past fall and my husband wanted to learn to start cooking and how to chop things and such so I figured this would be a great recipe to try again. He thought there were too many potatoes in the last one so we used less. Then we adjusted it as we saw fit for the recipe. The second try was a complete success and totally different from the first trial. I think the Potato Soup Plus II is a definite upgrade!!

Look at my awesome husband learning to peel potatoes!

Then I showed him an easy chopping method .. while I taste-tested a few slices. =)

This version of the soup takes less time than the first and uses less dishes. I followed the original recipe which called to heat the soups and milk on the stove top and then add it to the mixture originally, but this turned out even better. The paprika did come out in small chunks. I didn't realize it was just to taste and for seasoning until it was too late. Oh well. Maybe there will one day be a third trial.

Here is the original photo from the first trial. I think you can tell it's definitely got more potatoes in it.

Potato Soup Plus II
Adapted from: Originally from Easy Slow Cooker Cookbook

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed small
1 cup cubed ham
1 cup broccoli florets, cut very fine
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup
3/4 can chicken broth
2.5 soup cans milk
paprika, to taste

Place all prepped ingredients into crockpot and mix well. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle paprika to taste before serving.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cincinnati-Style Spaghetti

I am always looking for different ways to make pasta, especially spaghetti. Even though we live so close to Cincinnati, I have never actually made this before. I can't even remember the last time anyone has made this for me in the last decade either. At any rate I saw this in my new cookbook I got for Christmas so I had to make it! My husband loves his beans and I love my pasta! Perfect combination!

Cincinnati-Style Spaghetti
Adapted from: Biggest Book of 30-Minute Meals (Better Homes & Garden)

12 ounces dried spaghetti
1 lb ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 (14oz) jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook spaghetti per package directions. Meanwhile, in large skillet cook beef and onion until onion is tender and meat is browned. Drain and return to pan. Stir in cinnamon and chili powder and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling and stir occasionally.

To serve, place warm noodles in bowl, cover with sauce and top with cheese.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Panera Bread

Panera Bread. If you have one of these in your area, you have been there at least a half-dozen times .. or two. This is the perfect balance of soup, salad, and sandwiches to appease any taker. There are so many selections but I usually get the same thing over and over. Sometimes I stray from the norm and this was one of those times. I was pleasantly surprised too and had to write about it.

You would look at my meal and think, "Okay, Caesar Salad: semi-healthy. Whole-Wheat baguette: definitely better than the French baguette they offer. Mac & Cheese: probably not the healthiest." Dead wrong!

Here were the nutrition facts I pulled from the website: (click for larger image)

The french baguette is actually not much different than the whole-wheat except that it doesn't have as much fiber (3g less). Calories and sodium and other factors were almost exactly the same. So I have been thinking this whole time it's healthier!? Yeah yeah .. I know .. it's processed differently in our bodies. Yadda yadda. But it tastes SO GOOD!

Also, I always get the caesar dressing on the side (because they put it on by the gallon I think) and that saves a lot of calories. Doing this will! Dip your fork in the dressing, then some lettuce. You'll be pleasantly surprised at all the leftover dressing you have (and calories saved).

Now for the dreaded mac & cheese! This stuff was superb!! I want to learn to make mac & cheese like this at home. They were advertising this stuff everywhere in the store and it looked so good I had to try it. If I had known it was almost 500 calories .. NO THANK YOU! Other than that, it was fantastic!

All in all a 900 calorie dinner. Made me want to run to the bathroom and purge immediately. I could do it once in a while, but not on a weekly basis or anything.

Food taste: B (too much dressing)
Service: A
Atmosphere: A
Wait time: A
Diversity of menu: B (more of a luncheon place .. not for dinner really)
Nutritional value: D

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chili-Flavored Chicken Soup

The title of this soup made me gravitate towards wanting to make it. That and the simpleness of the ingredients. I never expected what it turned out to be but it was a pleasant surprise. The term "chili" to me means thick, full of beans and filling. This soup is not that at all so don't be fooled by its name.

After eating this soup I was not overly-full nor did I feel like my mouth was burning from too much spice. It was the perfect combination of spices, vegetables and chicken. This is perfect if you have to have a quick meal but don't want something to weigh you down. This has a very brothy, clear base and it's filling but not that pants-button-Thanksgiving-popping full.

Chili-Flavored Chicken Soup
Adapted from: Biggest Book of 30-Minute Meals (Better Homes & Garden)

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (15 oz)
1 can beef broth (15 oz)
1 can chicken broth (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (14.5 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper

In large pot on stove combine all ingredients except chicken and bring to a boil. Stir in chicken pieces and return to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly stirring a few times.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thai Chicken

 ***HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2010 is going to be fantastic! I just know it.***

Throughout the entire process of this recipe I was very skeptical of whether or not it would taste halfway decent at all. Peanut butter, chives, coconut milk? Who would have thought this would go together so nicely! Really it does and is worth a shot in my book. I served this with a side of brown rice (and I started making my brown rice 50/50 with water/chicken broth so it's less dry).

This is defnitely a winner in my book! It has that slight hint of asian cuisine while being easy and quick enough to do yourself at home. This dinner was even so filling I didn't finish my plate! Great for appetite supression if you are looking to lose weight. Email me or comment if you would like the nutritional information!

This is a can of coconut milk. Not too cheap, but not really expensive. Plan two meals to use this in one week so you don't waste it. You can find this in your local supermarket near the asian or thai foods.

Don't skip the peanuts. They really bring it all together.

Thai Chicken
Adapted from: Biggest Book of 30-Minute Meals (Better Homes & Garden)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (medium sized, 1-1.5 lbs)
4 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts (optional to chop them)

In a small mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook chicken breasts until cooked thoroughly. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add green onions to warm skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. Stir in sauce mixture, stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat.

Place chicken on plate and spread sauce over top and sprinkle with peanuts to serve.