Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Panini Delight

I love me a good panini! If you do not have a panini maker, invest in one! I seriously think it makes any sandwich taste better. I got this recipe from Cristina Ferrare who has an amazing cooking show on OWN.

Apple, Brie & Arugla Panini
Rosemary Bread (I bought this at Central Market, however you can use ciabatta or sourdough bread as well)
1/4 cup of olive oil
8 ounces of brie cheese
2 Granny Smith apples (or any green apple)
4 Tbsp of Honey
Yield-3-4 sandwiches

1. Peel and core both apples. If you want an inexpensive and awesome peeler, I recommend this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It actually makes peeling apples fun!

NOTE-apples will turn brown almost immediately. You can prevent this by tossing them with lemon juice.
2. Drizzle both sides of the bread with olive oil (front and back).
3. Top one of the halves of bread with a few slices of the brie cheese.
4. Cover the brie cheese with apple slices and drizzle with honey (1 Tbsp).
5. Add a handful of arugla and put the other slice of the bread on top of the arugla. 
6. Your sandwich is now ready for the panini machine (preferred) or toaster.
Repeat steps 2 thru 6 to make additional paninis.
Unfortunately I did not take a picture of how amazing the inside of this panini looks. I served it with strawberry salad (recipe to come), apple slices, and Kettle Baked Chips (Salt & Fresh Black Pepper flavor).

Most of my meals usually include a meat but this would be a great option for meatless Mondays or if you are a picky eater like my cousin (you know who you are)! My husband and I have not conformed to the trend of meatless Mondays but I think it is a great idea. Happy Hump Day!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grilling at its best-Lamb Chops

For those who doubted me about this blog, I hope I am proving you wrong with my second post!! Although I would love to write about the drama that unfolded last night on the Bachelorette, I am going to restrain myself and share with you one of my favorite meals. This meal does require you to use the grill so either learn how to light the grill or find yourself a handy man! 

1 package of lamb loin chops (usually 4-5 to a pack)
***Beware, do not buy the rack of lamb. I have made this mistake and it was costly. You only need the lamb loin chops which should be pre-packaged in the meat section of the supermarket. 
Whole Carrots (should be about $2)
Asparagus ($3)
Spring Salad Mix
Cherry tomatoes (I buy cherub tomatoes and they are usually expensive at $3.99 but totally worth it)

Lamb Chops
1. Season lamb chops with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides (NOTHING ELSE).
2. Grill for approximately 4 minutes on each side (keep in mind all grills are different though). 

Roasted Carrots
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash carrots thoroughly and dry with paper towels.
3. Slice whole carrots in half as best as you can. Be sure to not chop off your finger. I have had a few close calls!
4. Lay carrots out on baking sheet. I always cover my baking sheets with aluminum foil for easy clean up. 
5. Generously drizzle all of the carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle the carrots with fresh rosemary if you want!
6. Cook for a total of 10 minutes. In order to make sure the carrots do not stick to the foil, move the carrots around with a spatula after the carrots cook for 5 minutes.
Use this same recipe to make roasted asparagus (do not use the fresh rosemary).

I served my lamb chops with carrots, asparagus and a spring salad mix with cherry tomatoes. I also threw together some watermelon and feta cheese to add a touch of sweet to this meal. This was ALOT of food so you could split this meal into two separate ones. All in all, this meal is very simple and one that anyone could make! I am on a cooking kick so stay tuned for more recipes to come....
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Am I serious? Best Enchiladas Ever

After months of talk, I have finally started my own blog. I want to use this blog to share with you everything from cooking to cleaning to traveling. I am not a good writer so bear with me. For those of you who do not know me (I hope I get some new followers), I currently live in Austin, Texas. I just got married 7 months ago and moved from New York 11 months ago! It has been a crazy and exciting year. While living in New York my husband and I made it a goal to never eat at the same restaurant twice. Hence, I never learned how to cook. Now that I live in Austin with far less restaurants to choose from, I have taken up cooking as a hobby.

For my first post, I want to share with you my favorite and easiest recipe to make, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. This recipe actually comes from the side of the Old El Paso Green Chile Sauce Can! However, I have tweaked this recipe to make it a lot healthier!

1 lb cooked of uncooked chicken breasts (NOTE-you can buy an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
1 pack (8 oz) light cream cheese (1/3 fat cream cheese will work)
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1 package (12) white corn, whole wheat or flour tortillas (get the larger tortillas otherwise the tortilla will break)
2 cans (10 oz each) of OLD EL PASO green chile enchilada sauce
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
3/4 cup of cheddar cheese (low fat)
Cilantro (for garnish)
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly grease rectangular pyrex dish.
3. Use a skillet with olive oil and cook chopped yellow onion for 3-4 minutes, don't let it turn brown.
4. Add cooked chicken, chilis and cream cheese. Reduce heat to medium, cook and stir until blended and melted.
5. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll and place seam down on baking dish.
6. Pour old eld paso enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese (NOTE-i only used one can of the enchilada sauce but the recipes calls for 2, it just depends how many enchiladas you are able to get out of the mixture).
7. Put casserole into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
8. Garnish with cilantro.
Makes about 8 enchiladas depending on the size of tortillas you buy.
If you buy uncooked chicken, season it will olive oil, kosher salt, ground pepper, smoked paprika, and bake it at 375 degrees for 20-30minutes. i really think it is easier to buy a rotisserie chicken that is already cooked.

Serve with black beans (drained) with corn and mexican rice (box kind). Keep in mind though that a lot of the boxed rices are loaded in sodium so make sure to look at the sodium content before you buy the rice if you do not want to have high blood pressure!
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