Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back to the Basics

Tonight I'm having a friend over for dinner. I'll post a round-up of that later. This morning I made a strawberry pie for it, since today is National Strawberry day. For Sweetnick's ARF today I'm going back to a basic technique...baked potatoes. We used to do potatoes in the microwave. Then my dad was introduced to what we call "Cammy's Potatoes." It's an easy way to bake potatoes and make the skin have a wonderful flavor...that's where all the nutriends are anyway, right?!
Cammy's Baked Potatoes
cooking spray
Season All or Tony's
aluminum foil (NO, you won't eat this!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potatoes, remove any sprouts, poke with a fork. Spray each potato with cooking spary and season liberally with Season All or Tony's. Wrap the prepared potatoes in foil and place in oven. bake for 1 hour or slightly longer, until tender. Unwrap and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

My dad likes butter, salt, and pepper. Mama likes sour cream. Roomie likes cheddar cheese. You can also make it high in ARF foods by adding things like tomatoes (or even salsa! Yum!), broccoli, onions, etc.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roasted Chipolte Raspberry Pork Salad

Rachel, at Rachel's bite, is hosting a leftover's made new event. When I went to see my parents after my horrendous round of tests, we had pork loin. I picked that because I knew that it would give me leftovers to bring back with me. One night I decided to make a salad out of this. What to put on top was the question. I didn't really want normal dressing, so I pulled out the Roasted chipolte Raspberry sauce that I bought at World Market. It turned out so yummy. As this is a salad, it's not really a recipe, but the combinations I used were great. Check out Rachel's site next week for other great recipes.

Roasted Chipolte Raspberry Pork Salad
fresh spinach
handful of mushrooms
pineapples (this was left over too!)
halved cherry tomatoes
feta cheese
left over pork loin
a drizzzle of roasted chipolte raspberry sauce

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cooking with Claire

So, the dinner thing with Sunday school ended up being REALLY small. Only one person came in addition to my teacher. It was still fun. I did stuffed peppers and banana white chocolate cream pie. Mr. Ray, SS teacher's husband, told her the next day that he really liked the peppers, so i think they will be using the recipe. She made a simple salad of Romaine lettuce, strawberries, and balsamic vinegarette. It was perfect! The banana pie is one that I made up. It's nice and light with good flavor combinations. Because it has bananas in it, and the tomatoes and peppers are full of anti-oxidants, this is my entry for Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Be sure to check out the other recipes later tonight. I'm sure I will...after I get back from seeing Elton John's Aida!!!

Stuffed Peppers
2-3 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1 cup long grain and wild rice*
2 T onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed (use garlic powder if you don't have this)
dash Cayenne pepper
2 T cooking sherry
salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped provalone cheese + more to top peppers (unchopped)
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes (optional if you are allergic!) :-)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers and reserve (chop in small pieces). Cut the peppers in half and place in boiling water. Parboil for 10 minutes. In a skillet brown the meat. Remove and drain. Saute onion, garlic, and the chopped tops of the peppers. cook rice. Stir together meat, rice, onions, and cheese. In a casserole pour the tomatoes. Place parboiled peppers on top. Fill each pepper half with rice and meat mixture. Top with slices (doesn't have to be the whole slice) of cheese. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

White chocolate Banana cream pie
1 chocolate pie crust
1-2 bananas (2 if small)
1 heath bar, chopped (or toffee pieces - Bits O' Brickle)
1 4-serving white chocolate pudding (I use sugar free)
1 cup milk
1 container cool whip

Mix together pudding and 1 cup milk. Put in refrigerator to set. Cut banana into pieces and layer on the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle some of the heath pieces over this. When pudding is set, fold in 1 cup cool whip. spread over the top of the bananas. Put in refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with remaining cool whip and sprinkle the top with the remaining heath pieces.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chicken and Mushrooms

This is something I made many weeks ago and just haven't posted yet. I found the recipe over on My Sister's Kitchen. I made a few changes but it turned out GREAT and I will definitely make it again. I didn't have the wine, so I used sherry. You could probably even cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and serve with pasta or rice. Laura says that she sometimes uses it in crepes.
Pounding the chicken makes the meat cook quickly and really makes it tender. I put my chicken on top of saran wrap and then covered it with saran wrap. I don't have a meat tenderizer or mallet, so I used a rolling pin. It works well.

Lemon Mushroom Chicken
4 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless, pounded to uniform thickness
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 TBSP olive oil (I didn't measure this, just did the around the pan thing!)
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 c. flour (I didn't use all of this, just lightly dredged the chicken)
1/2 c. dry white wine (I used sherry)
Pound the chicken breasts on a cutting board or as described above. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Sautée the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sautée until soft. Add the lemon juice and stir for a minute (sizzle, sizzle!). Remove the onions and mushrooms with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil/juice as possible.
Dredge the chicken in the flour until they are coated well. Place them in the skillet and let cook over medium heat until done. When the chicken is done, remove from pan to a plate.

Put the mushrooms and onions back in, and pour in the white wine (or sherry). Stir with a spatula for several minutes, scraping any extra flour off the bottom of the pan. When the sauce starts to thicken, remove pan from heat. Pour sauce over the chicken pieces on the plate and serve immediately.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Almond Day

Yesterday was National Almond Day, so I decided to make some cookies in honor of this. I had seen a recipe for peanut butter chip cookies by Peabody. It called for pecans but I changed it to almonds. Even though it used butter, these cookies came out great. They have crunch to them but don't fall apart and aren't hard. They are really kind of like a sandie. I definitely recommend them!
Peabody's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cake flour
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz. peanut butter chips (I used 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used toasted almonds, chopped)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugars for about 3 minutes. add eggs separately. Mix dry ingredients together. Add slowly to creamed mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Place on baking stone or sheet by tablespoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Suggestions needed!

Saturday my Sunday School class is having an event called "Cooking with Claire." I am the chef and make dinner for everyone with recipes provided. I am doing stuffed peppers but am at a loss for what to serve with them. Anyone have ideas? Nothing fancy really needed! I'm ready for your suggestions!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day! These are from my Mama! I love tulips!
Every year, my mom and I used to get together and make Valentine's cookies for her children's choir at church. Well...since my parents moved to TN, i can't exactly just drop by to make cookies. But I still wanted to continue the cookie tradition AND Mama had given me some Valentine's cookie cutters. SO, I decided to go in search of a good sugar cookie recipe (the one I used at Christmas was not so good) and make some cookies for my medical school class. Well, I found the perfect recipe. My classmates enjoyed the cookies as did my M1 buddies. What better than a Valentine's cookie to break the bore of a neuropathology lecture!? Sugar Cookies from The Cookie Bible
1 cup butter flavor shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4-5 cups AP flour (I used 4 1/2)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
Cream shortening and sugars together until well mixed. Add milk. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture slowly. Wrap in saran wrap and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough into manageable portions. Flour your working surface. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin. Roll the dough until 1/2 inch thick. use cookie cutters or a biscuit cutter to make cookie shapes. Place on cookie pan and put in oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until slightly browned.
To decorate you can sprinkle with colored sugar prior to baking or spread with icing after they have cooled. Above all...enjoy and share with someone you love!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fishy Stuff

I was going to post a modification of one of my cookie recipes yesterday, but I haven't gotten the picutres yet, so that will have to come later. Friday we had my dad's pizza...and it turns out that it was pizza pie day! Apparently we celebrated and didn't even know. It had pineapple, canadian bacon, mushrooms, black olives, and mozzarella. Yum!

Last week I cooked NONE...tests consumed me, so I lived on eggs and fish. Nothing fancy. However, this dish, that I made two weeks ago was a little fancier. It is a baked salmon recipe that I found on My Kitchen in Half Cups. It is really a pretty dish, quite colorful, and tastes great! The only "problem" to my tastes was, once again, crunch veggies. Maybe I would start roasting the veggies a little earlier than putting the fish on. I served this with roasted sweet potatoes...I actually ate some of them. Because of all the veggies, this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF.

Baked Salmon
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red/purple onion, chopped
several carrots, diced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
salmon filets (I used frozen - 1 bag from kroger)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place prepared veggies in the bottom of a baking dish. Place salmon on top of veggies. Bake for 40 minutes. I pulled it out about 30 minutes in a seasoned the fish.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
sweet potatoes

Peel potatoes and slice into 1/4 slices. Put in a single (as best you can) layer in the bottom of an oven safe dish. Spray with cooking spray or some olive oil. Season to your liking. I cooked this with the fish for 40 mintes and it worked well. If alone, I cook at 400-450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until fork tender.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Birthday Dinner

Well, being in medical school means lots of tests...and they dont ask you when you want them! SO, even though today is my birthday, I have to study for my two remaining (of five) tests this week. However, I have some great friends and we had a dinner party last night. Here is my birthday dinner:

I forgot to take a picture of the wonderful angel food cake with strawberries that my roommate put together, but it was SO good! This plate includes poppy seed chicken (which I had been wanting and they didn't even know!), brown rice (yes, five-minutes because the guys didn't realize that brown rice takes 40 minutes to cook!), green beans with mushrooms, corn, and roll. The whole plate was prepared by some fantastic guys who I am so thankful for! No, the dinner wasn't specifically for my birthday but it fell at the right time...so I'm calling it my birthday dinner! Now back to pathology of...you don't want to know!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Banana Bread from friends

I mentioned a while back that I got a new cookbook from my wonderful friend, Sarah. We have been friends since we were probably about 2 years old!

Anyway, because I'm in an "I need a hug" mood because I'm tired from exams, etc...I dedicate this post to Sarah and our friendship!!! :-) Despite the menus we had at her house (fried spider legs, boiled frog eyes, etc) this cookbook has some good recipes. I've only tried one so far but look forward to more! So...here is the recipe for Best Banana Bread from The Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Entertaining with Friends cookbook. Because it has wonderful bananas in it, this is my entry for Sweetnicks ARF Tuesday. Check her site for more great recipes. I'm also entering this for Lady Lunchalot's Banana Sunday. Check out her celebration of the "return of bananas" to the land down under!

Best Banana Bread
3 medium or 4 small ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine ALL ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned and a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted into the center. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the bread.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I have been overwhelmed with tests! Had one on Friday and have a national board in Microbiology coming up on Tuesday, followed by 3 more tests, one each day, until Friday. What a great way to celebrate my birthday this coming Wednesday...yuck! Oh, well...that's what comes with medical school!
Here is a quick and easy crispy fish. I think that if you like the texture of fried fish but don't like that it's fried (for example, with wonderful Southern catfish!) this would be a great option to try. I used tilapia but am pretty sure that other types of fish would work well, except maybe flounder (too light of a taste) and salmon! I served this with broiled zucchini...a family favorite. Just cut zucchini in half lengthwise, season with salt and black pepper, place in toaster oven (that's what we use but you can use an oven if no toaster oven is available) set to 450 or broil and cook until tender to fork. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.
Baked "Fried" Fish
2 T mustard*
1-2 teaspoons honey
cornmeal seasoned with Season All**
3 fish filets***

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix together mustard and honey. Season cornmeal and put in a large "flat" bowl. Spread mustard mixture over both sides of filet. Dip filet in cornmeal using your "wet" hand. Flip filet and place on a broiler pan or in a glad dish. Repeat with remaining filets. Bake in oven for 12 minutes or until fish flakes.

*Not toally sure on these amounts but it's a good guess!
**I probably used about 1 cup of cornmeal but had a lot left over. Just be sure there is enough to cover the bottom of the bowl.
***Obviously you can use more fish but change the amounts of mustard so that you have enough.