Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recipe #18: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

Oh man. These are awesome. That's all I have to say. Yes they have a kick to them, but no, they're not too hot. I found this recipe on, and I only made half for my first batch.


25 jalapenos
2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4c sundried tomatoes (not oil packed), chopped
1/4c fresh basil, chopped
salt, to taste
1lb bacon


Split the jalapenos lengthwise and clean the seeds out of them. Set aside.

Mix the garlic, sundried tomatoes, basil, and salt with the cream cheese thoroughly. Pack each side of the cleaned out jalapenos with the cream cheese mixture. Put the jalapeno back together, wrap with a slice of bacon, and toothpick into place.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. I put them on a cookie cooling tray on top of an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet to allow the bacon fat to drip. Flip them over halfway through baking.

Broil for 3-4 minutes until the bacon crisps and the peppers brown a little.

Note: The original recipe intends these to be grilled, but I haven't tried cooking them that way yet.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recipe #17: Rosemary and Lemon Roast Chicken

This is one of my favorite recipes. Not only does it turn out excellent, it is a great example of a really easy recipe that looks like you've slaved over it for hours when it's done. It's a combination of techniques I've learned from a cookbook I received for my wedding and recipes I've read online.


1 whole fresh roaster chicken, approx 4lbs
1 lemon, quartered
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Minced garlic, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preferred vegetables (I always use redskin potatoes -about 6, quartered- and carrots come out excellent, skin left on and cut into large pieces. Onion cut into large chunks is very good too.)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the bag from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out, pat dry, and salt and pepper the cavity. Insert lemon quarters (2 will probably be all you can fit) and 2-3 sprigs of rosemary. Place in a 9x13 casserole dish. Baste all over with olive oil. A basting brush works best. Salt and pepper the skin lightly. This will help create the golden glowing skin.

Combine all of the veggies, garlic, and more salt and pepper to taste in a bowl with olive oil and coat thoroughly. Place these around the chicken in the casserole dish.

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven and tip the chicken so the juices run out, then rebaste with the juices. Put back in the oven for another 35 minutes.

When complete, take the chicken out and let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Here's a link suggesting how to cut a roast chicken apart for serving:

Enjoy with the veggies and any other sides you might like!

(Check out those roast carrots!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Recipe #16: Beef Tips and Noodles

So simple, so good, and the leftovers are really good too!


1-1.5lb sirloin, cubed
2 (10.75oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1.5 packets of beef with onion soup mix (Lipton)
2 (4.5oz) cans mushrooms (or comparable amount of fresh mushrooms, sliced)
2c water
1 (16oz) package egg noodles (you can buy these in a whole grain version too)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix soup, soup mix, mushrooms, and water in a 9x13 casserole dish. Put the beef tips in, coating thoroughly. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Before completion, cook egg noodles according to package directions. Serve beef tips over the noodles.

Variations could include seasoning and browning the beef first, adding garlic, or making this in a crock pot.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recipe #15: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not a "sugar" person or a "chocolate" person. I prefer cheese and fatty bar food and salty snacks. Yet sometimes I feel the need to attempt a batch of cookies or dessert, especially if it's in the evening and I'm bored. I don't have much luck with baking, but this recipe left me with 41 perfect, super chocolaty cookies. It's copied directly from and I used wax paper to line the cookie sheets.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recipe #14: Chicken Riggies

This is the recipe that started my cooking obsession. Christmas season of '08, I watched Rachael Ray make this during her TV show, and I found myself drooling. It looked so easy to make (which it is!), so I scrounged up the recipe from, and the rest is history. The recipe is copied from the site, with my changes at the end. Here's a shot of my first attempt:

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders, 1 package
  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1 package
  • Black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
  • 2 large or 3 small cubanelle peppers, seeded, chopped
  • 3 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 6 hot cherry peppers pickled in jar, in Italian section of grocery stores
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cream, eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to pass at table

Bring a pot of water to a boil for "riggies". Salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: you will need to reserve cup of cooking water just before you drain the pasta.

Trim up the thighs and chop all the chicken into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large high sided skillet over medium-high to high heat.

Add chicken to hot pan and brown all over, 7 to 8 minutes then remove. Add onions, 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, cubanelle peppers then season with salt and pepper and cook 6 to 7 minutes to soften then add roasted red peppers. Cut tops off the hot peppers and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon then chop the hot peppers and add them to the skillet. Stir in tomatoes and add chicken back to the sauce. Bring sauce to a bubble then stir in some starchy cooking water from the pasta - about a cup, then add the cream, twice around the pan, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer a couple of minutes. Add pasta and 1/2 cup cheese and toss to combine.


1. I use other types of short pasta (like penne, in the following picture) if I want.
2. I use roasted red peppers from a jar. You can find these in the same area as olives at the store.
3. I use sweet cherry peppers instead of hot.
4. I add green pepper if I can't find enough nice cubanelles.
5. I use 1.5lbs chicken tenders instead of half thigh meat.

Here's a version using penne:

I'm sure if you want to spice this up, any hot peppers added to the recipe will turn out great.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Recipe 13: Carmelized Chicken

This is a really simple recipe that I found on and used the suggestions of the other visitors to the site to adapt to chicken breasts. The original recipe is intended for chicken wings, but this version is amazing. The flavor is something like a honey teryaki, and the chicken comes out so tender!


4 chicken breasts, seasoned with black pepper
3/4c ketchup
3/4c honey
1/2c soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (or more) of hot sauce


Combine the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, garlic and hot sauce in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on the stove- cook to reduce a couple minutes.

Place chicken in a lightly greased 9X13 casserole dish and pour the sauce over the chicken. Place in a preheated oven @350 and bake for 40 minutes. Serve and pour some of the extra sauce over the chicken.

The result was sweet, a little spicy, and really tender:

I made a side of Uncle Ben's wild rice (quick cook recipe) with some added frozen veggies. This recipe is definitely a keeper!