Entree

Grandma’s Meatballs & Pasta Sauce

Homemade pasta sauce may take a bit of time, but besides time it’s incredibly easy to make! Stir it up, add some meatballs and let it simmer.

Grandma Snow's Meatballs & Pasta Sauce 1

Got plans this weekend? You do now! Time to make some homemade pasta sauce compliments of Bob’s Italian grandmother. For dinner one day, he pulled out his trusty family recipe-binder and whipped up a batch of his grandmother’s pasta sauce complete with some huge meatballs. The meatballs were cooked in the sauce which helps marry the flavors of the two together. Most of the sauce was then canned but some of it was served over spaghetti with the meatballs on top. The meatballs were even stuffed with gouda because, well, why the heck not?

Grandma Snow's Meatballs & Pasta Sauce 2

One year ago: Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Three years ago: Berries & Cream Granola

Four years ago: Bridal Shower
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Black Bean & Chorizo Soup

This comforting black bean soup is pumped up with spicy chorizo and is quick & easy to prepare, making it the perfect weeknight meal for a cold evening.

Black Bean & Chorizo Soup 1

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I cooked from Nicole’s blog, Hapa-tite. Her cooking passion involves the mixing of different food genres together in order to create one fantastic meal, because as she so well stated “that’s how some of the best dishes (and peo­ple ^_^) are made!”. Which leads me to the first recipe that caught my eye on her blog which was her Soy-Glazed Burgers. I will be adding that to my menu plan very soon. Other potential recipes to appear in my kitchen include Rhubarb Ginger Crumble Bars and Pistachio, Cranberry, and Crystallized Ginger Cookies.

Black Bean & Chorizo Soup 2

The recipe I first had to try was this fast and easy black bean soup. Since I moved back to Ohio from Tennessee during the coldest temperatures of the year, I’ve been in desperate need of comforting soup to warm me up from the inside. After seeing chorizo in the ingredient list for this soup, it was promptly added to the menu. The flavors from the chorizo blended exceptionally well with the rest of the soup, little to no salt was necessary, and made it heartier than a typical black bean soup. Cooked rice or quinoa could also be added if you need more oomph. In fact I may try just that next time because I am definitely going to make this again.

One year ago: Three Cheese Chicken and Artichoke Bake

Three years ago: Almond Cherry Chip Blondies

Four years ago: Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
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Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Avoid boredom and change up your salad routine with a sweet and spicy peanut dressing, crunchy peanuts and chow mein noodles. 

Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing 1

With my new kitchen still not fully situated, baking has been thwarted. But that may be a good thing until I can get back into my regular gym routine. Yes I am still slacking on the decision as to which gym to join. I think it is partly due to knowing that gyms always get crazy busy in January and if I wait a little longer maybe it’ll die down. In the mean time, I’ve started jumping on the healthier eating train (to balance out those Taco Bell trips). To satisfy the sudden onset of a Thai craving I made this salad full of chicken, carrots, red bell pepper, peanuts, and chow mein noodles. Then top it off with a sweet yet spicy peanut dressing.

Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing 2

One year ago: My Dad’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two years ago: Mini Meyer Lemon Sticky Rolls

Four years ago: Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque
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Orange Pecan-Crusted Chicken

This oven-fried chicken is packed with flavor while remaining light on your waistline. Crispy, spicy, and citrusy. Perfect served with a spinach salad.

Orange Pecan-Crusted Chicken

Nut-crusted chicken is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken. This obsession started when I first made this recipe with my friend Brandi years ago, pre-blogging years. While unpacking, sifting through a pile of recipes long forgotten, I rediscovered this guy and it quickly was thrown onto the menu. This time I combined it with another one of my favorite chicken-cooking techniques: oven-frying. The result? Crispy, citrusy, spicy. Serve along with a spinach salad and it’s healthy dinner time!

P.S. The Weber root beer gets special mention for being one of the best root beers I have had from my Seattle root beer shopping spree. I still need to unpack all my bottles to fill in more of my root beer collection list.

One year ago: Cream Cheese and Bell Pepper Stuffed Chicken

Three years ago: Buttermilk Pecan Waffles

Four years ago: Spaghetti with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
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Rosemary Mac & Cheese

What’s better than creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese? Add rosemary and discover  how one little herb can transform this classic comfort food.

Rosemary Mac & Cheese

Remember when I told you about how Kita and I visited Peabody in Seattle? And the first thing we did was go to Lunchbox Laboratory to stuff our faces with burgers and get boozy milkshakes? Well, we had some killer rosemary mac and cheese with our meal and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since (along with pretty much everything else we ate during our visit). Adding rosemary to mac and cheese may not be the first thing you think of, but tastes like it was meant to be there all along. After much reminiscing of my taste buds, I finally gave in and made a homemade version, adapted from the Brussels sprout mac and cheese that I adored.

The mixture of white cheddar, goat cheese, and Parmesan in addition to the rosemary in this version is a force to be reckoned with. I was also really pleased with how well it reheated. I think the goat cheese helped with preventing the cheese sauce from separating, as it often does with homemade mac and cheese made without the use of processed cheeses.

One year ago: Eggnog Dip

Three years ago: Red Velvet Truffle Stuffed Funfetti Cupcakes
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Christmas Wreath Pizza Ring

Turn your pizza into a Christmas wreath with the help of refrigerated crescent roll dough. Stuff with your favorite pizza toppings for a tasty and festive appetizer.

Christmas Wreath Pizza Ring 1

When it comes to making homemade pizza I’m all about homemade pizza dough, as made evident by the many different pizza dough recipes I have shared. It’s just too easy! In the time it takes my oven to preheat, the dough has risen. However, I have yet to try my hand at homemade crescent dough – now that intimidates me. So to make this festive pizza ring resembling a Christmas wreath I went ahead and bought 2 cans of refrigerated dough.

This Christmas wreath pizza ring would be a great idea for a holiday party. I brushed it with pesto to give it a green hue and cut the bottom of a bell pepper out to look like a red ribbon. Inside it’s stuffed with cheese, pizza sauce, and three meats: pepperoni, Italian sausage, and prosciutto. Place a bowl of pizza sauce in the middle and it’s ready for the table!

Christmas Wreath Pizza Ring 2

One year ago: Eggnog Snickerdoodle Blondies

Four years ago: Brownie Covered Oreo Pops
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Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

Weeknight meals don’t have to be boring. Try this apple cider glazed chicken served with browned butter rice and toasted pecans. Ready in the time it takes to cook rice.

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

If you are a ZipList user, you should have received an e-mail notifying you that starting tomorrow they will no longer be supporting their recipe box and shopping list platform. If you haven’t already you can transfer your saved recipes to the Epicurious Recipe Box and save all your shopping lists and recipes to your computer. Visit http://www.ziplist.com/savemyziplist to save your shopping lists and recipes.

What does this mean for The Spiffy Cookie? As you may have noticed, I have stopped adding the ZipList button to my recipes. However, I have always included a “Print/PDF” button at the bottom of every recipe as an easy way to print or save as a PDF. I have a file folder on my computer with subfolders for various food categories as if it were a digital version of a recipe box on my desktop, but instead it is filled with recipe PDF files. There are also options at the bottom of each recipe to share via various social media. Pinterest is a useful tool for organizing a virtual recipe box as well and it’s accessible from anywhere.

Feel free to practice saving, printing, and/or sharing on the recipe I am sharing today. It’s an easy weeknight meal for chicken with an apple cider glaze and rice tossed with toasted pecans and browned butter.

One year ago: Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Three years ago: Breakfast Pizza

Four years ago: Fortune Cookies & Baked Oatmeal
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Easy Chicken Curry

Need an easy chicken curry recipe in a hurry? Throw together this yellow chicken curry dish with potato, carrot, and onion for a quick weeknight meal.

Easy Chicken Curry

Evidently, a year ago I had already busted out the eggnog in my baking. I can barely wrap my head around the fact that it is December already let alone bust out the eggnog. Did you know that this time last year I was only 10 days away from graduating with my PhD? I had already defended and passed my dissertation in September but awaited the ceremonial part. Maybe I should plan something special for my 1 year graduation anniversary… more of that later.

Let’s make curry. This recipe is fairly quick and easy, making it a good weeknight meal. Just don’t do what I did and completely forget to add the onions. While eating it I sat there pondering why it didn’t taste quite right, as if something was missing. Oh look there’s the onion I was supposed to chop up and cook in it. And you better believe I cooked up that onion and stirred it in. I have to admit however, that this was not my favorite curry recipe. It was pretty good but I think it would have been better if I had made it with coconut milk. The evaporated milk just didn’t have the depth of flavor I was looking for, so next time I will try coconut milk and have reflected this option in the ingredients.

One year ago: Eggnog Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Swirl

Two years ago: Hot Cocoa Blossoms

Four years ago: Latkas

EASY CHICKEN CURRY

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 lb. baby red skinned potatoes, quartered

2 carrots, peels and sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Chobani)

1 (14 oz.) can evaporated milk (or coconut milk)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken and cooked until no longer pink. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  2. To the same skillet, add about tablespoon of oil followed by the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add curry powder and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in yogurt and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Stir in salt, pepper, and chicken. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro, if using.

Source: Adapted from Semi-Homemade, September/October 2010.

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Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil

Jazz up your Thanksgiving leftovers with this soup using leftover turkey, homemade stock, fresh ginger, wild rice, and basil. So good you’ll want to set aside turkey to make it.

Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil 1

You know you are a food blogger when: you are cooking leftover Thanksgiving recipes before Thanksgiving even occurs because you cooked your Thanksgiving turkey 2 weeks ago. Ah yes the constant dilemma of living up to a month ahead of the holidays. I sometimes feel like the retail stores, pushing Christmas before we’ve even started putting together Thanksgiving plans. But when it comes to recipes, what good is the recipe for the turkey made on Thanksgiving Day posted the day after Thanksgiving? Are your really going to remember to dig out that recipe next year? So the recipes for turkey and all the other usual suspects seen on Thanksgiving tables are posted a at least a week in advance providing time for you fine readers to prepare your own Thanksgiving meal, whether you are hosting or just bringing a side dish or dessert.

Gingered Turkey & Rice Soup with Basil 2

Of course one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! And my favorite thing to do with leftovers year-round is to repurpose them into an entirely new meal. Last year I threw together a quick single serving turkey noodle soup using leftover veggies, turkey, and even gravy watered down and used as the broth. This year I waved my jazz hands around a bit and made a gingered turkey soup with wild rice, homemade stock, and basil sprinkled on top right before serving (adapted from a recipe I recently saved on Girl Carnivore). The ginger was such a fantastic addition to the flavors of this soup and quickly became my new favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.

How do you like to use your Thanksgiving leftovers?

One year ago: Egg in a Hole Waffles

Three years ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
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Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast

Set aside your sweet french toast and pile up on the savory for breakfast with this ham florentine stuffed french toast. Like a a grown-up ham and grilled cheese sandwich, but for breakfast!

Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast 2

Welcome to this month’s installment of The Secret Recipe Club. This time around I was assigned to Ros’s bog The More Than Occasional Baker! I somehow managed not to cook one of Ros’s desserts. I could happily get lost in all of her amazing flavor combinations with things such as Crystallized Ginger and Beer Cake, Marmalade Chocolate Croissant Pudding, and Pear Walnut Cake. Be sure to stop over and check out her blog!

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Sometimes happy coincidences happen when you don’t fully read recipe instructions. Usually unhappy things, but sometimes good. For example, even though I read the title of this recipe on The More Than Occasional Baker and saw the word “baked” I most definitely whipped out the skillet and went to town before I could correct myself. Apparently I was so excited to try a savory stuffed french toast, drizzled in maple syrup, that I didn’t want to wait for it to bake! I am one of those people that loves sopping up the remnant syrup on my breakfast plate not with my pancake, but with my sausage or whatever other breakfast meat I’ve got going on, so the idea of syrup on this savory stuffed french toast pulled me right in and it did not disappoint. I do like the idea of baking it with some extra cheese on top though, cause when is that ever a bad thing?

And yes I drank wine with my french toast. Don’t hate, I developed a weakness for Gewurztraminer. So very unlike me loving a white, but I do enjoy my whites sweet, while my reds are dry.

Ham Florentine Stuffed French Toast 1

One year ago: Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Two years ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Three years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Four years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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