Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Potato and Sausage Dinner

Another winner!  Actually, I like this one better than the Apple Chicken and it was easier too (or at least faster).

Today's recipe experiment (also from

Potato and Sausage Dinner (2 servings)

2 medium red onions, peeled & diced
6 oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced (I used chicken sausage, it's what I had on hand)
1/2 of an onion, sliced
1/3 c FF chicken broth

Microwave potatoes 3-5 minutes or until tender.
Brown sausage in pan on med heat.  Remove sausage and set aside.
Add onion & potatoes, cook 5 minutes.
Return sausage & add broth.  Cook until most liquid is reduced.

I don't usually like carrots, but I followed the plan and I actually really like these!

Glazed Carrots (4 servings)
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled & sliced
4 tsp lemon juice
4 t honey
2 T light margarine (I used butter, it's what I had on hand, but I only used 1 T)
dash of cinnamon

Steam carrots for 10 minutes or until tender.  Heat remaining ingredients and toss with carrots.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Chicken in the Slow Cooker

I'm a sucker for meal planning and diet websites, it's not good!

The latest -

I heard about it through Groupon and signed up for the Portion Control menus.  The options look pretty tasty!  I made my first recipe tonight and it came out pretty good!

Apple Chicken
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 t dried thyme leaves
1/4 t salt
2 T brown sugar
1 T butter melted
1/2 of an onion, thin sliced
1/4 C FF Chicken broth (I made using a bouillon cube)
2 T apple juice
1 green apple, sliced
1/4 C chopped pecans (I left this out)

Sprinkle chicken with thyme, pepper & salt.  Place onions in bottom of slow cooker.  Top with chicken.
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, butter, broth, and juice, mix well, pour into slow cooker.
Cover, cook on low 5 hours (or high for 2 hours).
Stir in apples, cover and cook 1-2 hours on low (or 30 minutes on high) or until chicken is cooked and apples are tender.
Sprinkle pecans on top and divide into 3 services.
Serve each over 1/2 rice and broccoli

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful everyone made it here safe and sound. 

Slightly less thankful that I haven't slept more than 2 hours since Tuesday night, but what're you going to do?  That's the deal when traveling with an overactive doggy!

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Honey Mustard Baked Chicken

I don't remember where I got this recipe, I've been making it for years.  This has been one of Brad's favorites of the few things I know how to make since we started dating (11.5 years ago!) and he requested a variation for his birthday dinner.

Here's the original recipe:

1 chicken (3lbs), cut up - I always use chicken breasts or whatever I have on hand.  I've never made 3lbs worth!
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted - scale to reflect the amount of chicken you're using
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat over to 350.  Place chicken pieces in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.

2. Combine butter, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Spread over chicken.  Bake 1 hour, basting pan juices every 15 minutes, until chicken is tender (watch closely if you're not using the full 3lbs of chicken, probably won't take this long!)

For tonight's variation, I dredged the chicken in the honey mustard mixture and then breaded with Panko breadcrumbs before baking.  Be sure when you serve it to scrape up the drippings in the baking dish to serve with the chicken, so good!

I served it with Brad's favorite broccoli dish on the side: Caramelized Broccoli with Garlic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Installment #3: What are you thankful for?

Today I'm thankful for my family.  My biological family is pretty small and spread out, but I'm lucky to have wonderful in-laws that I actually get along with.  I'm very thankful for that and very much looking forward to spending Thanksgiving in PA with the crew!

Happy Birthday, Brad!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Installment 2 of my "what are you thankful for" series...

Today I'm thankful for the positive people.  The ones who greet you with a sincere smile and have an uplifting impact on your day.  There is so much negativity in the city, in my job, in the news, etc, that it's really hard to keep a positive outlook.  I try but it's somewhat against my nature.

So, today I'm thankful for those positive people out there that remind us that there is good in the world.

How about you - what are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Week!

What are you thankful for? 

I'm going to try to post one thing I'm thankful for each day this week (might get tough once we get to PA, we'll see).

Feel free to chime in with what you're thankful for as well, we need some comments on this blog!!

#1 - I'm thankful that my friends and family got through Super Storm Sandy safely and without major loss or damages.

PARTY!!! (with recipes)

Last night R and I threw and awesome party to celebrate M getting her PHD.

We rock at science!!  Or at least decorating with science related stuff.

Awesome scientist cake from The Iron Tomato
And, what everyone's been waiting for - recipes for the best party food EVER!

New for this party, and instant success, Bodacious Bean Dip (from

2 (14 ounce) cans fat-free refried beans
1 (14 ounce) can corn
1/3 cup green onion
2 1/2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning (I use Pampered Chef Southwest seasoning)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Combine all ingredients except the cheese into a greased 2 - 3 1/2 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes and then on high heat for another 30 minutes OR on low heat for 2-3 hours.
3. Add cheddar cheese for the last half hour on low heat.
4. Serve with tortilla chips or as a filling for warm flour tortillas.

I didn't add the cheese, kept it Vegan for R.  It was still really tasty, cheese isn't needed.

Crockpot Meatballs

1 Bag Swedish bite size frozen meatballs (I use whatever frozen meatballs I find at the store, doesn't seem to matter)
1 Cup A1 Sauce
1/4 stick butter
2 T brown sugar
3 T Sour Cream
2 1/4 Cup Ketchup

Defrost meatballs in crockpot.  
Heat Sauce in saucepan and pour over meatballs
Leave on crockpot on warm

I like to serve these with some dinner rolls so people can make mini meatball sandwiches if they want.  
I got this recipe from someone on a chat board I belong to.  I'm not sure where it originated.

Spiced Beef Empanadas (also good with turkey) from

1 T Olive Oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef (80 to 85% lean)
1/3 cup golden raisins (I leave these out)
2 T ketchup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 store bought refrigerated rolled pie crusts (a good brand, not store brand)
1 large egg, beaten
Sour Cream for serving
Heat over to 375.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the (raisins), ketchup, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or glass), cut out circles from the pie crusts.  Divide the beef mixture among the circles, brush the edges with water, fold in half and press with a fork (or fingers) to seal.  Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with the egg.  Bake until golden, 20 - 25 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.

NFL Player of the Week

Maybe I should start calling this "NFL Player of Every Other Week!"

Two again this week, I was in VA for our nephew's baptism last weekend, so at least I have an excuse for not posting (sort of).

First, by request, Jason Witten, Tight End for Cowboys.

Not a bad choice, Dr. M!

And choice number 2 this week, Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver for the Steelers. He has a pretty sweet smile.  Oh, and he's awesome.

Trip to VA to Meet our Nephew

Last weekend we finally made it down to meet our nephew, N, who was born in June!  We're bad aunt and uncle.

N was baptized, so we went down to do the family thing.  The kiddies are very cute and growing up so fast!

N, Seriously, check out those ears!!  Too cute
Big Sister C.  Not sure why but this is how she smiles for pictures!
A better one with Grandma.
We also went to the Reston Zoo.  It's a good place for entertaining the kids, but I just felt bad for the animals.

That didn't stop me from posing as a sheep, though.

Me, as a sheep :)
We also got to have dinner with C & T, who we hadn't seen in much too long.  We went to Fords Fish Shack in Ashburn, VA.  If you have a chance, go, it's so tasty!  Definitely get the Maine Chips as an appetizer. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Did you vote?  I did and thereby earned the right to complain for the next 4 years, regardless of who wins.  My polling place didn't have stickers though.  So sad :-(

Did you know:  In the 2008 election, more than 100,000 write-in votes were cast and recorded for a scattering of other candidates (not listed on the ballot of any state), including 62 votes for "Santa Claus" (in ten states) and 11 votes for "Mickey Mouse" (in five states).  (Wikipedia)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

NFL Player of the Week

This week I've gone a slightly different route for my player(s) of the week.  I saw a segment on the news about Tony Gonzalez, Falcons tight end, and his work with Shadow Buddies.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City QB,  works with them as well.

Very cool!