Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cinnamon Raison Bread French Toast

I posted an entry about French toast a while ago, but had some difficulty with the bread for some reason.

Here it is again, but I used cinnamon raisin bread this time and left out the bananas.

Click on the link above for the previous post to see the recipe.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dinner Party Meal

The Dishes:
  • A smothered chicken of sorts that I first pan seared and then let cook in a light chicken gravy.
  • Rosemary roasted potatoes that I coated with olive oil and seasoned with fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Fresh green beans in a lemon dressing from before.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pasta w/Meat Sauce, Spinach and Mushrooms

I think that by now, you all have noted my love of (relatively) simple, yet satisfying pasta dishes. What I love about them most is that they can serve as a vessel for just about whatever ingredients you wish to include. A well constructed pasta dish can combine all of the food groups into one hearty, delicious bowl.

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • seasoned salt
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 pint (8 oz) carton of baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 package of fresh spinach
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil (it was what I had in the cupboard)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 box of pasta
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
In a large skillet, begin to cook the ground beef and season with seasoned salt, garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Allow it to brown for a few minutes, and then add the cleaned and chopped mushrooms. Continue to cook together for a couple more minutes until the mushrooms are pretty much cooked through. Add the fresh spinach and a few swirls around the pan of balsamic vinegar. Let the spinach wilt and then toss in the crushed tomatoes. Taste and adjust as needed with the seasonings from before or more balsamic vinegar. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes so that the flavors can combine before adding in the freshly cooked pasta. Mix in some parmesan cheese along with the pasta and sauce. Serve and garnish with extra cheese (if desired).

And let's all be real here. Everything is better with some extra cheese on top.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baked Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Peas

By now, I think you all know how much I enjoy making beautifully baked chicken. And as much as love it, baked chicken can only take you so far sometimes. Therefore, it's a good idea to switch up the side dishes now and again so that you don't get tired of having the same meal time after time. Here I serve it up with mashed sweet potatoes and peas dressed up with a little something extra.

Chicken: Coat the meat (I used thighs) in olive oil and season with garlic salt, pepper, marjoram, rosemary and ground coriander. Then place it in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes (or until done).

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Peel and cut the potatoes. Place in a pot and fill with cold water to cover the spuds. I originally salted the water when cooking, but I've since learned that salt should be added at the end. Once the potatoes are cooked, salt to taste and mash with butter. (Everything's better with butter.)

Peas: I started with frozen peas and cooked according to the directions on the package. And then to do something a little different, I added a pinch of salt and a cap full of apple cider vinegar for a little extra pizazz.

Many will tell you that you eat with your eyes first. Therefore, it helps to make your food look pretty. (Look at all of the nice colors in the pictures here - doesn't it make you hungry?) Also, a good food experience makes use of as many of one's senses as possible. I don't think that anyone would argue with taste being the most important one to get right, but smell, texture, sight, and sometimes even sound can all play a role. I encourage you to play with some of the other senses when planning your next meal.