Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When will I learn?

Will I ever learn??? I was out of the den for just a couple of minutes when this happened. Amelia told me she was a tigress - roar!!! We are still trying to get all the makeup off. Again, she had to admire herself in the mirror for a few minutes before we could start the cleaning process!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recipe Round Up - Spinach

Spinach and Goat Cheese Penne
1 pound penne pasta
2 garlic cloves
4 ounces goat cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook about 12 minutes.
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, lemon juice, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.
Place the remaining spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta on top the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.

Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 clove garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes(in oil), diced
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese - room temp
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Splash white wine

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the spinach, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic together in a bowl.
Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the chicken. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture.. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
Warm  1 tablespoon olive oil 
in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Put chicken in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes.Keep warm. Spoon some sauce over the chicken before serving.

Asian Salmon over Wilted Spinach(sorry no pic!! was too hungry to stop and take one!!!)
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
4 salmon fillets
4 teaspoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
8 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 lime, quartered
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Cut 4 (12-inch-square pieces) of aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Working with 1 foil sheet at a time, place the foil sheets on the work surface. Place 1 1/2 cups of spinach in the center of each foil sheet. Top with a salmon fillet. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of Marsala, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil over the fish and spinach. Gather the foil sheets over the fish. Fold in the foil edges and pinch tightly to seal. Place the foil packages on a heavy large baking sheet.
Bake until the spinach wilts and the fish is just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Open package and squeeze the lime juice over the fish. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Popeye the Sailor Man

So, I have been called out.... by more than several people now. Friends, co-workers, and even family. Over my taking a "sabbatical" , and not posting any recipes lately. Well, I have been informed that "lately" has really been a couple of months. Whoops. Its not that I haven't been cooking, but I have been lazy or busy - whatever you want to call it!!!! I could give you some excuses, but we are all in the same boat. Busy with life, busy with family, busy with job, busy with trying to find time for ourselves etc,etc. I will make you happy (maybe) and post a couple of recipes soon. They all have an ingredient in common - SPINACH!!!! My fav - seriously. I used to eat it as a snack when I was young. And, yes, I do realize that is not the norm. I promise you these recipes will change your opinion (if its a bad one) about spinach. They are super yummy!!! We are always trying to eat healthier and make good food choices, so I hope I can help you enjoy it more!!!
 Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium. There is just sooo much you can do with it. Why wouldn't you want to eat more!!! I will try to convince you with the pictures and recipes in my next post!!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas Fun!

You can now call her DJ AM
Most everyone knows how much Amelia loves to dress-up. It is an all day affair at my house - from the moment she wakes up. Literally. Christmas morning was no different, of course! We got to see Amelia in her cute Christmas PJ's, then Amelia as Cinderella, then Amelia as a Bride, and finally Amelia as Ariel. She spent a good 45 minutes "swimming" around on the floor. Thought my little sweetie was going to fall asleep right in the middle of all her hard swimming. She loved all her new outfits and have grown especially fond of the bride one which she wants to change into when she wakes, when she goes to bed, etc. 
Taking a swim across the floor
Admiring herself in the mirror - no shocker there
Impromptu dance courtesy of new Scary Singing Barbie Head(see 2nd pic below)
Her new Chihuahua
Scary Singing Barbie Head
Her Barbie Dreamhouse