Friday, October 30, 2009

New recipes!!

Okay, since Kenton hasn't been all that impressed with the new recipes that we have tried I let him pick one of the recipes this week.

Sweet & Tangy Pork Chops with Pineapple (page 147)

1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

1. Heat the oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chops to the hot pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Add this to the pork in the pan, bring to a simmer, and let simmer until the pork is just cooked through (still slightly pink in the center) and the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Serve the chops with a spoonful of sauce, sprinkled with scallions.

Toasted Coconut Rice (page 261):

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup instant white or jasmine rice
One 14-ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk

Place the coconut in a dry medium saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook until the coconut is golden brown and toasted, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. Add the rice and coconut milk. Increase the heat to medium high, bright to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Heidi's Turkey and Potatoes

Tonight we had the turkey and potatoes. All I could find at my store was turkey tenderloins so we used that and it was marinated already in the package with a rotisserie flavor. I followed the recipe and just used a white cooking wine that I found at the grocery store. I actually used green onions instead of shallots though. I couldn't find fresh tarragon so I bought some dried and just used 1 tspn. I cooked it for about 50 minutes or so and when I took it out of the oven it was pretty runny so I made a quick gravy while the turkey was resting. (thanks to the previous posters who said this would be tasty!). I also fixed some green beans with velveeta cheese (a staple at my house to help Connor and Ashley eat their green beans). I got the usual "fine" from Kenton and Connor ate it holding his nose (this time I got a pic!). Ashley ate most of the meat and some of the potatoes. I thought it was pretty good. I think that the tarragon flavor was a little strong for my family so I might not use that next time and maybe some garlic and basil or something not quite so strong of flavor. I loved the fact that this was so easy to prepare and and you just put it in the oven.

Getting ready to put it in the oven...

Ready to eat...

Connor eating a bite... unfortunately this is how a lot of his bites are eaten.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I made the Turkey on Monday night and it was so delicious.  First of all, my store had only one kind of turkey tenderloin which was in an Italian marinade.  It was on sale for half price so it wasn’t too expensive.  I bought a larger one thinking I would use the leftovers for the salad.   When it came to making the meal it was very easy to put together.  I just followed the recipe exactly except I used extra broth in place of the wine.  I wasn’t sure how to choose the right wine.   Anyway, I was wondering if it was going to be way too much liquid but I faithfully put it in the oven.  I cooked the turkey for about an hour and 10 minutes.  It would have probably been done sooner but I went to get a meat thermometer from my neighbor and by the time we got back that is how long it had been in for.  The extra broth reduced down nicely in the oven.  I had been thinking I would make a gravy out of it but it was a good consistency so I just left it.  Sterling and I were looking through the recipe book recently and realized we had never tried parsnips so we made the sautéed carrot and parsnip side dish from the book too.   This meal was a HUGE hit.   Max and Belle loved it and so did Sterling and I.  The turkey was moist and tender and we spooned the extra broth over the top.  I really liked the way the shallots cooked up over the potatoes as well.  Parsnips taste pretty much like carrots in case you were wondering.    I think the key to the meal being so tasty was that the turkey had been marinated in the extra herbs so that added extra flavor.   I haven’t made the salad yet because all the turkey got eaten between the night we served it and Sterling’s lunch the next day.  Also, we had some cranberries with it. 

Here it is before it went into the oven

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It was oh so tasty but I had to strictly limit the amount I ate since we were doing our P90X workout later than night and I didn’t want to be too full.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leslee and Chelsea’s Meal

Tonight Chelsea came over so we could make the two new recipes.  Some of these ingredients were a little hard to find around here.  I had been keeping my eye out since last Friday for Turkey Tenderloin in all the grocery stores.  Nika suggested that I ask the butcher and so today I gave that a try and it was successful. I guess they just keep it in the back because it is not a super popular.  It was a little pricey so I supplemented it with some chicken breast to make sure there was enough meat to go around. We also substituted apple juice for the white wine, because I read online that was an okay substitution.   I never did find shallots so those were omitted.  The potatoes and turkey/chicken probably cooked for almost an hour because I didn’t think the turkey was done, in the end it probably was because the meat was a bit dry. 

The salad was relatively easy and delicious.  It looked so pretty and tasty all prepared.  We served the dressing on the side so people could add as much as they would like.  It was interesting that the broth was the base and I was a little relived that this dressing didn’t have any vinegar in it.  

Overall the meal turned out great.  Brandon (Chelsea’s husband) suggested that a gravy of some sort would be good to go over everything, and everyone agreed.  I am not sure if we just didn’t put enough liquid in but the meat didn’t have a very strong flavor.  After reading my mom’s review I think it just needed more liquid (we made a lot) and some more salt. I would definitely try both these recipes again in the future making a few adjustments!


Ok, Today was the day to make the Turkey since we have the rest of the evenings this week pretty booked with activities.
I was excited to try this recipe so I could use some of my fresh tarragon from my herb garden. I decided to use Turkey breast and to marinate it in a Braine ( made with the shallots chopped, dry white wine, chicken broth, cider vinegar, fresh tarragon, salt and pepper. I used the Magic bullet to blend it up and it was perfect. I placed the Turkey in a Ziploc bag and left it in the refrigerator all day turning once in a while (Every time I remembered when I opened the refrigerator) I was surprised on the amount of broth!!!! I ended up making gravy and the boys enjoyed it very much over the potatoes, it was very flavorful.

I decided to serve the meal with a salad with pears and blue cheese (From last week). It was perfect. I am not sure when I will make the salad since I won’t be cooking for the rest of the week with Halloween dinners and end of soccer season dinner. I may just have to try it some time after thanksgiving when I get some left over Turkey, I don’t cook Turkey very often.
This sure was an easy dish to make and I would definitely make this brine again and even used it on a whole Turkey, the fresh tarragon is a must.

Jacki’s Review of Turkey, Potatoes, Salad

I made the Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with New Potatoes and Tarragon Broth last night for dinner.  I morphed the recipe as Robin suggested and cooked twice the turkey and made the Turkey-Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Kiwi and Cashews in Honey-Sesame Dressing tonight for dinner.  First I will tell you about the Turkey and Potatoes meal.  I really thought this was a very tasty dish.  The sauce gave both the turkey and potatoes a really nice flavor.  I just substituted more chicken broth for the wine since I know nothing about buying or cooking with wine.  I also forgot to buy tarragon when I was at the store so I just substituted about 1/2 Tbsp of dried basil in place of it – worked great.  I steamed some fresh green beans to go with the turkey and potatoes which made a very satisfying meal.  The turkey tenderloin was very tender and moist and the red potatoes had that satisfying firmness at first bite and then the creamy interior. Rich proclaimed it “ok” – which is probably synonymous for “fine”:)  Sorry my pics are so blurry.

Ingredients assembled

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Ready to go in the oven

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The salad looked beautiful with the fruits and greens and nuts.  The dressing had a really good flavor although I would have liked it to be a little thicker so it could cling to the greens better.  Nika suggested adding a little pectin to make it thicker which I might try next time.  When I made the dressing I didn’t have any honey mustard so I googled it and a couple of the sites I found said to mix 1 part mustard, 1 part honey and 2 parts mayo so that is what I did.  It made the dressing opaque instead of clear but that was fine.  I also just used regular sesame oil instead of toasted because that is what I had.  I guess the toasted sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds and has a stronger flavor.  Rich would have revolted if I just served salad for dinner so I made him some grilled cheese sandwiches and soup (thank you, Progresso!) to go along with it.  As usual, I really enjoyed both of these recipes.  Again, I apologize for the blurry photos.

Ingredients gathered – oops, forgot the greens.

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The dressing is mixed in the measuring glass next to the salad.  I wanted to show how it looked using the honey mustard I made.

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This is the soup and sandwich I added to Rich’s meal.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fish and chips in Oregon

Ok, today we finally had the fish and chips….It sure was a good meal, very easy and quick to make.
I did not have cod fish so I used some Opah ( One of our favorite fish that we always have in the freezer.
I did not get to read everyone's blog until after we had the dinner so I was not sure of what to expect. I decided to cook everything in one dish since I was trying to get dinner ready quickly, Leon and Christopher had to go to a Priesthood meeting and we needed to have dinner ready pronto!!!

I seasoned the potatoes with salt and pepper and olive oil baked it for 10 minutes and placed the fish on top of the potatoes and baked the whole thing for thirty minutes while I made the salad. I seasoned the fish with some garlic as well, the dish seamed a bit blunt to me. + The fish stayed nice and moist but it did not get crispy. Leon and the boys really liked the vinegar honey sauce.
Alexandro enjoyed making the salad dressing and we added a very delicious blue cheese. The roasted tomatoes had a really good flavor but we all decided that the dressing was a bit too strong and next time I will only use half of it the lettuce was saturated in it and we couldn’t really eat very much of it.

Nika’s Fish’n Chips and Salad

I finally got around to trying the recipe.  We had been out of town and I needed to go to the store to get the ingredients, but that didn’t happen until yesterday.  I will start with the salad.  It was pretty good, not the best thing I have ever tasted.  I used an Amish blue cheese from the grocery store here and it was nice and mild so that even Sterling found it to be acceptable.  He like the roasted tomatoes better than regular tomatoes.  Anyway, that was easy enough, although the tomatoes do take awhile to cook. 



Since people had talked about the fish not being crispy I decided to fry part of it.  I never have great luck with frying things and this time was no exception.  It all fell apart in the pan.  The oven baked stuff cooked up fine but wasn’t crispy.  I am not even sure why you put the batter on if its not going to crisp up.  Anyway,  it all tasted great.  Everyone had some and Sterling even wanted (agreed) to take some salad and fish for lunch tomorrow.  IMG_7918


The oven baked fries were good too, nothing spectacular.  IMG_7919


This recipe sounded good on paper but I feel like it failed to deliver its promise of a crispy fish.  I can’t even begin to see how the fish would get crispy with that batter on it in the  oven.   As they say down here in the grand old South “there’s somethin’ not quite right about that.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

2 New Recipes to Try

Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with New Potatoes & Tarragon Broth (pg. 126)

Cooking spray
One 1 1/4 pound turkey tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered (if bigger, cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 shallots chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup educed-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray.

2.  Season the turkey all over with salt and pepper and place in the prepared pan.  Arrange the potatoes all around the turkey, spray them with cooking spray, then season them with salt and pepper.  Arrange the shallots over the potatoes.  

3.  In a small bowl, combine the wine, broth, vinegar, and tarragon.  Pour this over the turkey.

4.  Roast the turkey and potatoes until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey registers at least 160 degrees F, 35 to 40 minutes.  Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes before cutting it crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  

MORPH IT... make a double batch (roast two turkey tenderloins, but don't make extra potatoes and morph the extra turkey into Turkey-Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Kiwi & Cashews in Honey-Sesame Dressing.

Turkey-Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Kiwi & Cashews in Honey-Sesame Dressing (pg. 128)

1 pound cooked turkey breast, thickly sliced
6 cups baby spinach or lettuce leaves
1 cup hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup salted dry-roasted cashews

Honey-Sesame Dressing
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Cut the turkey into bite-size pieces and set aside.  Arrange the spinach on salad plates or a large serving platter.  Top with turkey, strawberries, kiwi slices, and cashews.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour over the salad and serve.

ENJOY!! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jacki’s Fish and Chips, Salad

Last night we had “the meal”.  Everything had a really good flavor and I enjoyed the meal.  I used cod for the fish which worked out really well.  It was fresh and mild.  The batter tasted good but it never really browned up or crisped up like I thought it would.  I guess that is where the frying comes in handy!  I would like to try frying it sometime with the same recipe.  This would be a good recipe to watch Robin make on her TV show to see how she does it and what the finished product looked like.  The fries were good and I liked the honey vinegar – a healthy alternative to tartar sauce.  I really liked the mix of the roasted cherry tomatoes and blue cheese for the salad.  The roasting really brought out the flavor in the tomatoes and I liked the dressing as well.   A tasty meal!  I am looking forward to trying a new recipe next week.

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Heidi's Fish N Chips

Last night we had the Fish N Chips dinner. I didn't fix the sald since I didn't have any lettuce on hand. I used cod for the fish. It was pretty good; however I had a hard time getting the fish to cook evenly. I think that if I fix it next time I will add salt and pepper to the fish and probably fry it. I know that it is much healthier to bake it; but I think that I would like the crispiniess a little better. The potatoes were good although I think that I sliced some of them too thin. Kenton thought that this meal was "fine"... that has been what he has said about all of these but I thought that it was pretty good and would try it again with a few changes. Ashley of course cleaned her plate, no problem and Connor sat and whined at the table and we finally got him to eat about 10 bites after much negotiation.
Good choice Nika! I'll try to fix the salad next week sometime.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Leslee’s “Fish” n Chips

I am not a huge seafood fan and I have never cooked it so I figured I should be brave and try it this week but…I didn’t. I opted for chicken and felt like it worked well.  I used chicken breast but pounded it out a bit to make it thinner. I also used rice flour instead of regular flour to make it gluten free.  I often make fries similar to the ones in the recipe so I was excited to see them in there.  I used a mix of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes to add some variety.  I think I had to bake everything a lot longer than was listed but it was probably because of the chicken. 

The salad was a perfect addition to the main dish.  I used a bigger tomato instead of a grape tomato and omitted the blue cheese. 


Both Sean and I really liked this meal.  Summy was a little disappointed when she realized the chicken wasn’t chicken nuggets. The salad was quite delicious and dressing went perfectly with the tomatoes.  The chicken cooked up nicely but I can see how the coating would work better on fish.  It turned out to be a big and filling meal!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leslee’s Meal

Tonight I made the two recipes from last week, better late then never! I had gotten most of the ingredients early last week but had to check one more store today for rhubarb.  Luckily I found both fresh and frozen, so I opted for the fresh.  I used granny smith apples but I  peeled the first one before I checked the recipe to notice we were just suppose to core and dice.  So I put in one peeled and one non-peeled apple, I am sure it didn’t make a difference though.  I didn’t put the shallots in because I forgot them, or the raisins because Sean doesn’t like them. 


I had a pork loin in the freezer so decided to just use that.  In the end it probably would have been easier to just buy some pork chops.  I sliced it in half to make it cook faster but it still took close to 1 1/2 hrs and turned out a little tough/dry.  Good thing we had the chutney to pour over. 

The brussel sprouts were definitely something I would have never tried on my own and I don’t ever remember having them before. I thought they were pretty good and tasted like little cabbages.  I used a bag of frozen brussel sprouts and a can of tomatoes (I am sure they weren’t as good as sundried tomatoes).  They cooked up nicely and were an easy side dish. 


I served the two with some mashed potatoes and it made a very nice meal.  The chutney was a little sweet/vinegary but I enjoyed giving it a try.  Excellent choices Ingrid and Leon.  I guess I better get started on this weeks recipes now!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Nika’s Try at This Weeks Recipes


Last night I made the side dish to go with a sundried tomato, pine nut  pasta dish I was making.  I used eggplant instead of brussel sprouts because that is what I had.  I would like to try it with the brussel sprouts sometime though.  It was really tasty and I think this is the best way to fix eggplant (well, aside from it being breaded and fried in eggplant parmesan…)  Anyway, Sterling even sampled a little piece and it didn’t kill him so I guess it was good.  Max and Belle tried some to.  Tonight I made the pork dish.    I had some bone-in chops in the freezer so I decided to use those.  Following Ingrid’s example Sterling grilled them.  Belle and I made the Chutney and it was so very very good.  I do not generally care for pork chops, but this made it all fine.  Next time I make pork chops I will definitely serve it with this again.  I think it would be great on any kind of meat and I highly recommend everyone to try it.  I only added about 3/4 of a teaspoon of cumin though and I thought that it was a perfect amount.    Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. 



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Next Weeks Recipes

Here are next weeks recipes.  Don’t worry if you haven’t made the dishes for this week yet, this early posting is mainly for shopping planning purposes.  -Nika

Baked Fish ‘n’ Chips with Honey Vinegar

Coking spray

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

salt and freshly ground black pepper taste

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk 1 large egg lightly beaten

1 1/4 pounds cod or halibut fillets, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Arrange the potato slices on the sheet and spray their tops with cooking spray.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 10 minutes and pull out of oven.  Leave the oven on.

3. Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Whisk in the milk and egg.  Add the cod fillets and turn to coat with the batter.  Arrange the cod in a single layer on the baking sheet with the partially cooked potatoes and bake until the fish and potatoes are golden brown and the fish is fork-tender.  About 15 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and honey.  Serve the fish and chips with the honey vinegar on the side for dunking.


Romaine Salad with Roasted cherry Tomatoes & Blue Cheese

Cooking spray

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup garlic flavored or regular olive oil

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons honey mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking pray.

2. Spread the tomatoes out on the sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle with the salt.  Roast until the tomatoes are browned and slightly shriveled, about 25 minutes.

3.  Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter and top with the roasted tomatoes and blue cheese.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and mustard.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I am so sorry to take so long to post our results this week, I got all the ingredients on Monday and was ready to cook but Leon was stuck at work until late, Tuesday Leon had a meeting to attend after work and since he was the one who selected the recipes I wanted to make it when he would be home. So finitely last night we got to have it made.
Delicious, delicious, delicious…. Everyone loved it. What a pretty dish!!!!
Leon had to go pick up Christopher from soccer and I had to leave before they got home so grilling was the way to go. I purchased some center rib pork chops that were on sale, they were so moist and tender it was perfect.

For the Chutney, I misread the recipe and assumed that I would need both types of apples, I could not find McIntosh so I got some brae burn and ended up using both brae burn and granny smith. I also used the frozen rhubarb. While cooking the chutney I tasted and though it was way too sweet, but when you eat it with the pork it is delicious.
I was anxious to use some sun dried tomatoes that I got in Malta a couple years ago, it has a very long shelf life and I was really curios about the Mediterranean tomato taste. I didn’t realize that the sun dried tomatoes were preserved in sea salt as well as a result the dish was a bit salty, I did not have to use as much sun dried tomatoes, oh well now I know…. I also decided to use some good quality olive oil since to tomatoes had very little oil on them. The rich tomato taste was amazing with the Brussels sprouts.

To serve I decided to pan roast some baby potatoes in olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
I will definitely make this dish again it was so easy and it sounds very gourmet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I am really enjoying trying the new recipes; but if I may make a request/suggestion... Is there any way that we can get the recipes put up the first part of the weekend? I usually try to go to the grocery store on Saturday so that Kenton can watch the kids or at least Ashley. My little monkey girl makes it quite difficult to take her to the grocery store at the present time. If it doesn't work to put the recipes up sooner, I understand too!
We are going to try to do Ingrid's picks this week though!

Jacki’s review of pgs 136 and 245

We (yes, Rich too!) thought these two dishes were delicious!  The “fruitiness” of the chutney complimented the pork perfectly.  And, what a wonderful way to fix Brussels Sprouts.  For the pork and chutney I used all the ingredients asked for except I substituted green onions for shallots.  I used frozen rhubarb because Whole Foods didn’t have any fresh and they usually have whatever produce you could want.  It must be out of season everywhere or something.  But the frozen worked great and it was easier too – already cut up.  If you are not a cumin lover I would suggest using less than the recipe listed – maybe only 1 tsp.  I needed to cook the tenderloin a little longer than she stated in the recipe.  I think I have only cooked pork tenderloin once before but it was very tender and flavorful.  I will definitely use it again.  It was even on sale!  For the Brussels Sprouts and Sun-dried tomatoes I did everything the recipe called for except I cooked it too long and the tomatoes got burned (bummer since they are rather expensive).  The sprouts were ok because I could just peel off the leaves if they were a little charred and some of the tomatoes were fine.  But, the flavor was delicious and next time I will just watch the dish a little more closely toward the end of the cooking time. These two recipes were pretty quick and easy to prepare.   I served the two with some steamed rice and it made the perfect meal.  Hope everyone else enjoys these two dishes also.

I forgot to take pics of the prep so here is an oven shot.

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