Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipe #106: Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Reduction

Two new recipes in one day!  I'm on a roll, getting comfortable in my new kitchen.  My latest copy of Cooking Light magazine had a feature on all cuts of lamb and how to cook them, and I realized I've never made lamb.  Actually, I wasn't even sure if I've had it before.  I'm so glad I tried, because these were so good!  Kind of like steak, but a little different flavor.  I found this recipe on (of course!) and it had such great ratings, I had to try.  Nick said it was a "high-class" dinner.  It was quite easy to make, too!  So herbal and fresh, and you feel kinda fancy eating it...

I love taking pictures in natural daylight again!


  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.
  3. Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. If you don't, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve. 
Note:  I served these over a bed of spring leafage!  Side of mashed sweet potatoes.  These chops are small, bone-in, so I recommend two per person.

Recipe #105: Field Grade Spaghetti Sauce

I didn't have much time to plan a meal for six people, but I knew that pasta would be the best solution, and I've always wanted to try a good hearty meaty sauce.  I did a little hunting on and found this awesome one, which features cinnamon.  I love it, and I think everyone else enjoyed it too, judging by the clean plates.  This fed me, Nick, my sister, one of my best friends, my uncle and my grandma!

The pictures aren't that great because I forgot to take pictures before we started eating, but you get the idea.  I can't wait to eat the leftovers!



  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can canned mushrooms, drained  (I used 2 cans)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground allspice  (I didn't have this)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large skillet, brown the meat with the garlic over medium heat. Stir in the wine; simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in dry onion soup mix, mushrooms, basil, salt and pepper, cinnamon, allspice, parsley, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Cover pan almost completely, allowing space for steam to escape, and simmer 1 hour. Add additional water if needed to prevent sticking.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What recipe number am I on again? Ahh, #104: Easy Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Here, this one's easy.  Fry up bite-sized cut up chicken, breaded in Panko bread crumbs in butter until fully cooked.  Pour some buffalo or mild wing sauce over them, heat through, and serve in a burrito-sized tortilla/wrap of your choice with ranch or similar dressing, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, whatever your heart desires.  Easy and good imitation of bar food!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Kitchen

Well, it's been a couple weeks since we received the keys to our house, and immediately the kitchen was the focus.  We saw the potential in this when we saw the house for the first time, and it turned out just how we liked it!  It has a cut out to the family room, and to the back is the dining room.  The door next to the pantry goes to the basement.  Nick just has to fix a tiny leak that's evident by the rag under the dishwasher, and we're done!