Monday, June 16, 2014

Day One-Hundred Thirty-Two - Ice Cream (6.14.14)

Yes, ice cream. We had my nephew's birthday party today and had a later lunch. I enjoyed ice cream with my family before heading back and came home to find that Potter fell asleep and hadn't eaten anything since lunch. Some of these days are just crazy and funny when you realize "Well, yea we had a late lunch, but I was hungry for dinner...just too tired."

Day One-Hundred Thirty-One - Petterino's and Chinese (6.13.14)

Tonight I was down in Chicago with my sisters so I had Petterino's. :) I enjoyed a chicken and mushroom pasta dish which had a wild mushroom sauce. Potter had Chinese - Szechuan Beef.

Day One-Hundred Thirty - Bandung Indonesian (6.12.14)

We still didn't go to the grocery store so don't have an updated selection for dishes. We decided to try take-out from a restaurant we've never had but has great ratings. I had the Nasi Kemangi with Chicken and Potter had the Nasi Super. We also had Lumpia for an appetizer (similar to an egg roll).

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Nine - Subway (6.11.14)

It has taken us 129 days to have Subway for dinner...holy cow! We have continued to have it for lunch many times, but today is the first time we had it for dinner. With summer comes a busier schedule and tonight's choice was the product of one of those evenings. We had an ultimate frisbee game and after enjoying after game drinks we needed something since we didn't have anything at home. We chose Subway and both enjoyed a Spicy Italian sub...mmm.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Eight - Curry Coated Tilapia (6.10.14)


Ingredients
  • 2 6 oz tilapia fillets
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine curry, cayenne and salt.
  2. Spray each fillet with a light coating of cooking spray and then sprinkle with curry mixture. Use your fingers to rub the spices into the fish (do this on both sides).
  3. Cook tilapia about 2-3 minutes on each side or until just cooked through...Enjoy!
Opinions

Potter: This was an interesting dish. It was good and definitely spicy but I felt like it was sort of bland (for lack of a better word), you could taste the curry and spice but there wasn't a lot of depth of flavor. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was good, I just like a little more variety of flavor to my main dish. 

Katie: This dish of tilapia was delicious. The spice snuck up on me in parts but I feel that was due to some of it being thicker in some spots over others. We had the fillets over thai curry rice and mixed veggies which was a good choice. I would recommend this dish as it is flavorful and quick.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Seven - Great Dane (6.9.14)

Ah, we had The Great Dane for dinner again tonight due to being there after our first ultimate frisbee game with our team. We did have different dinners than Friday night though, of course! I enjoyed the Chicken Salad Croissant and Potter had the Madtown Mountie burger (which is a unique burger and just crazy with the toppings!).

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Six - BBQ Pork Chops (6.8.14)


Ingredients
  • 4 (4 oz each) bone-in pork chops
  • Dry rub
  • BBQ sauce
Instructions
  1. Rub the dry rub onto each pork chop.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Spread BBQ sauce on each pork chop.
  4. Place chops onto grill grate and cook through (about 10 minutes).
Opinions

Potter: This was a recipe we used to test my BBQ sauce and rub and boy is it still delicious. Pork chops came out perfect and the rub with the sauce was amazing. The rub got a little bit spicier after sitting in the fridge for a bit, which I loved.

Katie: The pork chops turned out great with Potter's BBQ sauce. The sauce did get spicier with time, but it was still delicious.

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Five - Fish Tacos with Summer Salsa (6.7.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 lb halibut or other meaty white fish fillets
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 can (11 oz) whole tomatillos, drained
  • 4 small zucchinis, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 1/2 tsp coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 (6-in) corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Hass avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the fish in a medium bowl and drizzle with half of the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Using your hands, squeeze the juice and flesh from the tomatillos, 1 at a time, into a medium bowl; discard the skins. Mash the tomatillos with a fork. Add the zucchini, the remaining lime juice, the cilantro and 2 tsp of the salt and toss.
  3. Spread the tortillas on 2 baking sheets and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Remove the fish from the lime juice, pat dry and cover with the spice rub. 
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook fish, about 4 minutes on each side. Break the fish into bite-size pieces and season to taste with salt. 
  6. Arrange the fish in the tortillas with some of the salsa and avocado slices.
Opinions

Katie: The tacos turned out good. During the cooking process I got slightly frustrated with the tomatillos as I wasn't able to mash it enough. I had to ask Potter to help a bit with that. Unfortunately, the avocado we had went bad (bad timing for this dinner this week on our part), so we did not enjoy the slices in the tacos; although they weren't a must, I would still recommend ensuring that ingredient is included.

Potter: This was the first time I've ever had fish tacos (I generally just go with beef or chicken) and they were delicious. This is definitely a recipe I want to play with, maybe add some taco seasoning and a bit of spice. Regardless, the balance of the spiced fish and the salsa was delicious, if you don't like salty food I would cut the salt in the salsa in half. If you like fish tacos give this recipe a try, pretty easy and absolutely delicious.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Four - The Great Dane (6.6.14)


Tonight we were at the Dane for a "retirement" party, so ate dinner there as well. Potter had the Cuban Sandwich and I enjoyed the Mayan Chicken Wrap.

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Three - Crispy Coconut Shrimp (6.5.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Bottled sweet-and-sour sauce, for serving
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • Lime wedges, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse together coconut and breadcrumbs until coconut is in small pieces; transfer to a shallow bowl and scatter a handful over a baking sheet. Set aside. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites.
  2. Toss shrimp with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Working in batches, dip shrimp in egg whites to coat completely; lift from whites (shaking off any excess), and dredge in coconut mixture. Lay on prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a large, deep heavy-bottom pan, heat oil over medium heat until 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Cook half the shrimp, lightly shaking to separate shrimp, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining shrimp.
  4. For the optional sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, mustard and curry powder. Serve the sauce with shrimp; garnish with lime wedges if desired.
Opinions

Katie: This shrimp was delicious. We had sweet and sour sauce and a yogurt-based sauce on the side, but the shrimp was very good just on its own. I enjoyed the flavor compliment the yogurt-based sauce provided to the shrimp much more than the sweet and sour sauce. The sauce did have strong flavor though with the curry and lime. I recommend just trying and eating the shrimp by itself. :)

Potter: This was great shrimp. Better than getting coconut shrimp at a restaurant. I was a bit disappointed in our dips for it but the shrimp itself was great. It took quite a while to but together since I was hand dipping the shrimp in the egg and breading mixture but the actual frying part only took a few minutes. If you have a strainer with large holes or a wide mesh screen you could probably just dump the shrimp in the eggs and then shake them in the breading on the screen/strainer to speed up the process.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-Two - Bean Burritos (6.4.14)


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup rice (brown or white)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp group cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 (10-in) burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salsa and sour cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Add beans and 1 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil , reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in scallions.
  4. Heat tortillas according to package instructions; fill with rice, bean mixture, and cheese.
  5. Assemble: Mound 1/4 cup rice, 3/4 cup bean mixture and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down and prepare remaining burritos.
  6. Serve immediately, with salsa and sour cream, if using, or wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 3 months.
Opinions 

Katie: These burritos were really good. The bean mixture was spicier with some bites then others but overall delicious; it had great flavors. This was my first time wrapping a burrito and it went surprisingly well; it doesn't take a lot and isn't really tricky, but I guess I thought that it would be harder to keep the tortilla tight and not have everything fall out. I had mine with salsa and sour cream and both were great additions as well.

Potter: These turned out great. Good flavor and very filling. You can play around with the spices to give yourself a variety of flavors with this one too, try using taco or fajita seasoning to vary it a bit or cayenne and crushed red pepper to give it some heat. I would recommend mixing the rice with the bean mixture before filling your burritos just to get more even bites.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day One-Hundred Twenty-One - Pork Burgers with Crunchy Apple and Celery Slaw (6.3.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 crisp red apple, such as Gala
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup, optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the pork in a large bowl. Coarsely grate half the apple and add to the bowl along with the thyme, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper; mix to combine. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers, covered, until just cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with fail to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil. Cut the remaining apple into 1/2-in pieces. Add them to the lemon mixture along with the celery, scallion and parsley and toss to combine. Fold in the blue cheese (if using).
  4. Place the burgers on buns, top with the apple slaw and serve with salad, if desired.
Opinions

Katie: These burgers were good. For the slaw, we substituted the crunchy portion of romaine leaves for the celery; it worked out well. The slaw added good flavor but I would have probably put a little bit less lemon zest into the pork mixture as that a stronger lemon flavor that was almost overpowering other flavors. I would definitely make these burgers again.

Potter: This was an interesting take on burgers. Definitely delicious but not as savory as you would expect burgers to be, more sweet and citrusy. It was a great blend of flavors, the slaw was a great balance to the burger patty. 

Day One-Hundred Twenty - Southwestern Chicken Lasagna (6.2.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 (10 oz) package lasagna noodles
Cottage Cheese Mixture
  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp canned diced green chili peppers
Lasagna
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 sweet red or green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz) cans 99%-fat-free condensed tomato soup with 1/3 less salt
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breasts torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz) finely shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sweet purple or green pepper rings (optional)
Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, stir together the egg whites, cottage cheese, parsley and chili peppers in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Lightly spray an unheated large skillet with no-stick spray. Add the onions, chopped red or green peppers and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until tender.
  4. Stir in the condensed soup, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking pan with no-stick spray. To assemble the lasagna, place four of the noodles in the pan. Then spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with half of the sauce mixture, 2 cups of the chicken and half each of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
  6. Repeat layers with the remaining noodles, cottage cheese mixture, sauce mixture chicken, cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with foil. Bake about 50 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. If desired, garnish with the pepper rings.
Opinions

Katie: This is not your typical lasagna, but it was great. The only thing that I may have changed was adding a bit more spice to the dish; however, it still had great flavor and wasn't bland, so that would just be if you also like spice.

Potter: This was a pretty delicious take on lasagna. The taste was similar to enchiladas (I'm sure the enchilada sauce had nothing to do with that) in the shape of lasagna. I agree  with Katie that it could have used a little more spice but I'm sure you all knew that. Try it topped with salsa, sour cream or guacamole for delicious treat.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day One-Hundred Nineteen - Chicken and Asparagus Pasta (6.1.14)


Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 12 spears asparagus, chopped
  • 1-2 chicken breast, bone and skin removed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushroom
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional; we used mozzarella sprinkled on top)
  • 1 medium tomato (optional; use for garnish)
  • Pinch of red or cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-sized cubes and place in skillet with olive oil.
  3. Cook chicken until partially done (white on outsides, about 5 minutes over medium to medium-high heat).
  4. Add asparagus and mushrooms, continue cooking until chicken is done.
  5. Add chicken broth and cover pan, cook until asparagus is crisp tender (about 2 minutes over medium to medium-high heat).
  6. Add pasta, red pepper flakes (to taste), and feta cheese. Remove from heat. Stir.
  7. Serve with fresh diced tomatoes to garnish. Enjoy!
Opinions

Katie: The dish tonight was good. This dish was easy to make, but definitely pay attention when you add the asparagus as it is fairly easy to overcook. When the asparagus comes out crisp tender, it is great (we've previously overcooked asparagus in a different dish)! The dish is also a good one for playing with some flavors as the ingredients are pretty basic, but room to experiment. The mozzarella for feta substitution we did was just fine - instead of stirring in with the dish, we just sprinkled the cheese on top with the tomatoes. Since we like things spicier, I used more than a pinch of pepper but still actually could have used more.

Potter: This was good. Great summer dish, nice light flavors but still filling. We'll be making this one again and I will probably add more red pepper but I like spicy foods. You could definitely do this one with different veggies as well. 

Day One-Hundred Eighteen - Spare Ribs with Rub and BBQ Sauce (5.31.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 rack of pork spareribs (2.5 - 3 lbs)
Rub
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced and crushed into paste
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (if desired, you can cut back on the pepper by only using 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
The sauce recipe was great and Potter decided it was so great he wants to keep it as his secret recipe. What we will say is that it was a sauce that was an awesome balance between sweet and spicy, so go with that type of sauce if you make these!
Instructions

Rub
  1. Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix together to make a paste.
Ribs
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil (make sure you have enough over hang to wrap ribs). Place ribs on foil and coat evenly with rub. Wrap tightly so no moisture can escape (you may want to do several layers). Place on center oven rack and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until tender and meat starts to pull away from the bone. 
  2. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat (or light your charcoal). Remove ribs from foil and coat in sauce. Place on grill and cook 10-15 minutes a side until desired doneness. 
Opinions

Potter: There are just too many good things to say about these so I will start with the one not great thing. They weren't quite as fall of the bone tender as they should have been, make sure to leave them in the oven for long enough. The rub and the sauce came out better than I could ever believe, I didn't want to give you guys the recipe for either one but Katie convinced me I had to give you something. I may have left out a secret ingredient or two for the rub.

Katie: These ribs were AMAZING! I really don't know what more to say.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day One-Hundred Seventeen - Grilled Pork Chops with Spice Paste (5.30.14)


Ingredients

  • 4 (3 lbs total) bone-in pork loin chops
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for grates
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together garlic, oil, sugar, salt, paprika, pepper and cayenne until a paste forms. Coat pork chops with paste and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3).
  2. Heat grill to medium-high; clean and lightly oil hot grates. Grill pork, covered, 5 minutes per side for medium. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Opinions

Potter: These were hands-down the best pork chops I have ever had. They came out super juicy and the flavors were amazing. It had just a hint of heat and sweet but was definitely a savory dish. You should definitely give these a try especially considering how quick and easy they are to make.

Katie: These pork chops were amazing. They were the best at home chops I've had - the flavors were great and the pork remained juicy! I've had comparable/slightly better in a higher end restaurant but I do feel these gave that dish of chops a run for it's money. I definitely plan on enjoying these again and highly recommend to others! :)

Day One-Hundred Sixteen - Pesto Bow Ties with Peas (5.29.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 tube (2.8 oz) Amore Pesto Paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz bow tie pasta
  • 6-7 oz frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated (or shredded) Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Whisk together the pesto paste and olive oil in a large bowl.
  3. Add bow tie pasta, peas, and salt to taste to boiling water.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender yet still firm to the bite. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set it aside (if desired for thinning the sauce). 
  5. Drain pasta and add it to the bowl with the sauce. Toss well, adding some of the hot pasta water as desired to thin the sauce.
  6. Add the grated cheese and black pepper to taste. Toss again. Serve hot.
Opinions

Potter: This tasted pretty good. It was a very quick very easy recipe with a lot of room for options (see Katie's opinion below). I'm a big fan of pesto in general but I've never used the paste before, turns out it tastes pretty darn good. Next time we'll have to try and make our own home-made pesto and see if we can beat it.

Katie: This pasta dish was good. The recipe definitely leaves room for testing out different things. You can use various pastas, green vegetables, cheese and also could add some other spices. It didn't take long to make so it is a good one to have when time is tight.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day One-Hundred Fifteen - Biscuits and Sausage Gravy (5.28.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 tube frozen biscuits (if using smaller tubes, suggest using 2)
  • 1 package breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • Pepper to taste
  • Paprika (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven as directed on biscuit packaging.
  2. Brown the breakfast sausage.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup milk, stir until well mixed and thickening up. Repeat twice.
  4. Add pepper to taste and stir.
  5. Serve gravy over biscuits. Sprinkle paprika on top if desired.
Opinions

Katie: I am a big fan of biscuits and gravy and love making it. It is an easy dish and even though there is your typical recipe as above you have flexibility to shake up the ingredients and try new things. I used hot breakfast sausage for this batch which didn't need any additional seasoning and they turned out great.

Potter: I love me some biscuits and gravy. This batch was delicious, I even had some for leftovers. Super-easy, super-fast recipe. Definitely give this one a try.

Day One-Hundred Fourteen - Chicken Schnitzel (5.27.14)


Ingredients
  • 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups (or more) whole wheat (or regular) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate. Beat eggs and Dijon mustard to blend in a shallow baking dish. Place 1 cup panko in another shallow baking dish, adding remaining 1 cup panko, or more, to dish as needed throughout process. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly; carefully coat with panko, pressing panko gently to adhere to chicken. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat (pan should be large enough to hold 2 breasts). Add 2 chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter to skillet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Transfer chicken breasts to plates and garnish each with parsley and a lemon wedge.
Opinions

Potter: This turned out absolutely delicious. I have no idea what exactly distinguishes schnitzel from fried chicken, maybe is the mustard, but either way this was great fried chicken. Juicy on the inside and amazingly crispy on the outside. I definitely recommend giving this one a try, make sure to watch it fry because it only took about 4 minutes to cook. 

Katie: This dish was great. I really don't have anything to add to what Potter states above as he captured it all. Try it out!

Day One-Hundred Thirteen - Gyros (5.26.14)

We ordered from Athens Gyros tonight. They were delicious and huge. Definitely give this place a try if you like gyros!

Day One-Hundres Twelve - BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (5.25.14)

Day three of our Memorial Day weekend the group meal was barbeque pulled pork sandwiches. They were delicious. We don't have the recipe from our friend, but if we get it we will update this post. It seemed to be a pretty straightforward, simple recipe for pulled pork, but not certain. The flavor was sweeter opposed to spicy.

Day One-Hundred Eleven - Steak Kabobs (5.24.14)

Night number two of Memorial Day weekend was steak kabobs. We didn't grab a picture for this dish either, oops! Take our word for it though, they were well plated and appearance was mouth watering.

Marinade Ingredients
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer (optional)
Other Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 lb top sirloin (could use any meat)
  • 6 bell peppers
  • 3-4 medium onions
  • kabob skewers
Instructions
  1. Cut bell peppers and onions into square pieces (about 1-in x 1-in).
  2. Remove marinated meat from refrigerator and stir.
  3. Assemble kabob by alternating meat, peppers and onions as desired.
  4. Grill kabobs to desired doneness.
Opinions

Potter: They were delicious. We marinated the meat all day then prepped the kabobs with fresh onions and multiple colored bell peppers.

Katie: The kabobs were great! I think the best I've had. Marinating the meat all day definitely paid off and the flavors were awesome. The only thing I would have changed was maybe keeping them on the grill a bit longer to get more char on the edges, but that is a fine line since you don't want to overcook the meat.

Day One-Hundred Ten - Cheeseburgers (5.23.14)

We went up to a lake house for Memorial Day weekend and the first night's group dinner was cheeseburgers on the grill. They were tasty! Sorry, we didn't get a picture of the dish this evening.

Day One-Hundred Nine - Fiery Asian Chicken (5.22.14)


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (you can also substitute a teaspoon of anchovy paste stirred into another 1/4 cup of soy sauce) 
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (you can also use red wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed then patted dry with paper towel and cut lengthwise in half
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the first five ingredients in a medium-sized storage container with a lid (such as Tupperware). Cut the lime in half and squeeze in the juice, then drop in the squeezed lime halves. Stir in the ground cayenne, smashed garlic, and kosher salt. Add the chicken breasts turning each until full coated. Cover the storage container and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat and coat with oil. Cook chicken breasts 15-20 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
Opinions

Potter: This marinade was great. Not nearly as spicy as I thought it would be but still had a great range of flavor. We marinated the chicken overnight so the flavor was well permeated through the chicken. I definitely recommend giving this marinade a try and if you like it spicy add a bit of another hot sauce or more sriracha. I did overcook the chicken a bit though so the chicken turned out dry.

Katie: The flavors were awesome; not as spicy as I anticipated, but that was just fine. Potter did overcook the chicken a bit so it was dry - man, chicken is tricky sometimes!

Day One-Hundred Eight - Diego's Mexican Grill (5.21.14)

It was a gorgeous evening outside so we decided to head to a restaurant with a patio! Neither of us had previously had Diego's and we enjoyed it a lot. Complementary chips and salsa when you sat down and we both enjoyed a Mexican beer we had not had before. The dishes were great - Potter had the fajita combo plate and I had the blackened chicken quesadilla.

Day One-Hundred Seven - Tropical Grilled Chicken Breasts (5.20.14)


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, honey, and red pepper flakes in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Place the chicken on the grill and cook the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Top with cilantro and serve.
    Opinions

    Potter: This was just an ok dish. It could have used a longer marinade time at the very least but the flavors were still pretty light. The chicken did keep from getting dry though, so that was good. All around I think this recipe could use a bit more experimentation before I would recommend it to others.

    Katie: I agree with Potter - this dish just ok. I liked the flavors, but they were just too light. As Potter said, the marinate time should have been longer to get the most out of the ingredients used. If the chicken had marinated overnight I feel that this dish would have been great. Lesson learned for next time!

    Day One-Hundred Six - Indian Spiced Rice with Shrimp and Peas (5.19.14)


    Ingredients
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 1 cup long-grain white rice
    • 1 lb medium peeled and deveined shrimp
    • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • lemon wedges for serving
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
    2. Add the rice and stir to coat in the onion mixture. Stir in 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
    3. Fold the shrimp and peas into the partially cooked rice and cook, covered, until the shrimp is opaque throughout and the rice is tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.
    4. Remove from the heat and fold in  the cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired. 
    Opinions

    Potter: This is very similar to a side I make that I call curried rice. It's a bit fuller in flavor and with the added shrimp much more of a meal. I will say make sure to use fresh shrimp with this recipe, we used the precooked kind and it didn't absorb the spices well. It was still a great meal just could have been better.

    Katie: This dish was great. As Potter said, it was a fuller dish than he usually side (to be expected with be an entree), but definitely go the route of fresh shrimp to avoid the lack of absorbing spices we encountered. 

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Day One-Hundred Five - Lamb Slider Patties with Pomegranate Molasses (5.18.14)


    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, divided
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 pound lean ground lamb
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • cooking spray
    Instructions
    1. Combine 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, mint, and the next 7 ingredients (through garlic); stir to combine. Divide mixture into 16 equal portions; gently shape each into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. 
    2. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place patties on a platter; lightly brush patties with remaining 1 tablespoon molasses. 
    Opinions

    Potter: This dish has a lot in common with the chicken pitas we made earlier in the week. Again, an incredibly unique flavor. This time however I couldn't handle it. It may have been because I was slightly hungover and my stomach just wasn't ready for anything this rich but regardless I did not like this one. Which sucks because we've had some really good lamb dishes so far and Katie did a great job preparing this one, it just wasn't for me. 

    Katie: I agree with Potter that this dish had an incredibly unique flavor. The flavor was also very bold. However, compared to the chicken pitas, I was able to handle this one more. The prep and cooking was straight forward and pretty quick; it took about 30 minutes total. Many cooks out there most likely have this down, but since I am a novice, cooking on the grill pan did have some hiccups. First let me state that I really don't like cooking with oil/cooking spray over high heat...there is just something about it and I haven't quite caught on to doing it well yet. Practice makes perfect (well, better) though. I had to keep a close eye and initially didn't keep the patties on long enough so had to put them on for round two which was a total of about 30 seconds. That effort though did result in some of the patties having a slightly charred outside - oops! I'll keep practicing. All in all though the dish turned out well despite Potter not enjoying the flavor.

    Day One-Hundred Four - Cheese Cubes and Beer (5.17.14)

    We went to Katie's parents house for the weekend to attend her Great Aunt and Great Uncle's 60th wedding anniversary. The end result was a good time, a touch of day drinking and accidentally skipping real dinner after a later lunch. We enjoyed cheese cubes and beer in the company of siblings. :) Cheers!

    Day One-Hundred Three - Arby's (5.16.14)

    It was Arby's. We both had a beef and cheddar sandwich and curly fries. Not healthy, but still always a good choice. :)

    Day One-Hundred Two - Seared Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bacon Saute (5.15.14)


    Ingredients
    • 2 center cut bacon slices, chopped
    • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
    • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated. 
    • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
    • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen sweet corn
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, skinned
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
    Instructions
    1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add shallot and white parts of onions; saute 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in vinegar, corn, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in green parts of onions.
    2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fillets with remaining salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn and cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Divide corn mixture among 4 plates; top with fillets. Sprinkle thyme evenly over fillets. 
    Opinions

    Potter: This was delicious. Yet another simple, flavorful way to enjoy salmon. The blend of the bacon and corn saute was a wonderful accent to the salmon. One of the things that continues to surprise me throughout this adventure is how much flavor you can get from just about any type of meat or fish with just a bit of salt and pepper and searing it. This salmon tasted great with no sauce or special seasonings. 

    Katie: Ditto Potter's opinion. I honestly do not have anything else to add - he was spot on. :)

    Day One-Hundred One - Moroccan Chicken Salad Pitas (5.14.14)


    Ingredients
    • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
    • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
    • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
    • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 6 ounces chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 1/2 cups)
    • 2 pitas, halved
    • 1/4 cup prechopped red bell pepper
    • 4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Place first 4 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Place spinach mixture in a bowl; stir in yogurt, 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. 
    2. Combine remaining salt, juice and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; toss.
    3. Spread 2 tablespoons spinach mixture in each pita half. Divide chicken mixture among pita halves; sprinkle with bell pepper and nuts. 
    Opinions

    Potter: I can honestly say during this whole experiment this was the first dish with flavors I have never had before. I've never tasted anything like this. It took a few bites to get used to it but after that I really actually liked this dish. It's very, very flavorful yet still a light dish, great for a summer lunch/dinner. 

    Katie: This was a dish that had flavors that I also have never had before. The flavors were bold and took many bites for me to get used to it. I do have to say that even then I didn't really enjoy the dish too much. As I do with anything I don't like on the first try, I would definitely be willing to give a dish with similar ingredients/flavors another go, but there will need to be some time before that happens. I agree with Potter though that it is a light dish that is good for summer.

    Day One-Hundred - Filet of Veal with Mushrooms (5.13.14)


    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 pieces thinly sliced fillet of veal (about 5 oz. each)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    • 5 porcini mushrooms, finely chopped (or mushrooms of your choice, we used 8 oz baby bella mushrooms)
    • 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
    • 2 teaspoons brandy or cognac
    • 5 teaspoons heavy cream
    • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
    Instructions
    1. Add butter to a large saute pan. Cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Season veal with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add veal to butter in pan and cook for 2 minutes per side, turning once. Remove to a plate.
    2. Add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Carefully add brandy and cream to skillet. Cook 2 minutes, until sauce is thickened, then return veal and any drippings to pan. Season with remaining salt and pepper.
    3. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.
    Opinions

    Potter: This was a very interesting dish. It was my first time cooking or eating veal. To start we couldn't get filet of veal anywhere, it turns out this is a very expensive cut of meat and slightly hard to find, per the butchers recommendation we used veal chops instead. This did not turn out to be my favorite cut of meat. It was very tender but kind of a squishy sort of tender which really detracted from the flavor. This could be because I unknowingly cooked it incorrectly (though the internal temp was good). All in all I'd say unless you've got money to play with and have made veal before skip this dish, though you could swap out the veal with another cut of meat (pork chops or a flat iron steak) and this would be a very tasty dish.

    Katie: This was my first time eating veal as well and I agree with Potter, it was interesting. It was okay but not my favorite. As Potter said, I would only do this dish if you have cooked veal before.