Category Archives: J’s favorite

Pasta Frittata

When J was in kindergarten this was his favorite food.  Recipe from Rachael Ray.

7 large eggs

3 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces (about 1 cup)

1/2 to 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

s & p

2 T olive oil

1/4 lb (about 1 cup) leftover cooked pasta, preferably with sauce

1. Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and parmesan; season with s & p.

2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until the edges begin to firm up. Using a wooden spoon, draw the cooked egg edges toward the center of the pan, letting the raw egg run to the perimeter of the pan. Continue until the frittata is almost set but still slightly runny in the center, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the edge of the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Filed under Breakfast, Eggs, Italian, J's favorite, Use of Leftovers, Vegetarian Main Dish

Baked Mahi-Mahi

I made this last night for dinner and everyone–including our finicky baby–liked it. 

On a 12″ square of foil, drizzle a little olive oil.  Place mahi-mahi fillet (thawed, if frozen) onto the foil and flip so it is coated on both sides with the oil.  Sprinkle on some bay seasoning (or other seasoning) and some Parmesan cheese.  Close foil over the fish to make a little packet.  (I made four fillets, so four packets.)  Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes until fish is completely white and flakes easily with a fork.

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Filed under Basic Cooking, Fish, Healthy, J's favorite, Kid friendly, Mike's favorite, Quick

How to Roast a Chicken

I never roasted a chicken until I tore this article out of Health magazine in 2007.  By Peggy Knickerbocker.

3.5 to 5 lb roasting chicken, preferably  natural or organic

1 tsp kosher salt

2 rosemary sprigs

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 T olive oil

Step 1: Wash & Salt

When you get your bird home, unwrap and rinse it inside and out with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle it all over with 1 tsp kosher salt.  The salt makes the meat tender and enhances the flavor (and doesn’t make it salty). Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to roast (up to 1 day).  Bring the bird to room temperature an hour before roasting; then put the fresh rosemary and garlic in the cavity. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper.

Step 2: Preheat & Roast

Heat oven to 450. On the stovetop, preheat a cast-iron skillet  large enough to hold the chicken over medium-high heat. (I just wrap the handle of a heavy duty skillet in foil.) Add olive oil to the pan, and place the bird, breast side up, in the pan. Then place the hot skillet on the middle rack of the oven. (For an easy side, toss new potatoes or red creamer potatoes in a little olive oil and add them to the skillet after about 20 minutes.)  Roast about 1 hour for a 3.5 lb bird and up to 90 minutes for a 5-pounder.

Step 3: Test for Doneness

After about 50 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh; it should reach 180. Two other quick tests for doneness: Wiggle a chicken leg; if it’s loose, it’s done. Or cut into the crease where the thigh meets the body; if there are no signs of blood and the juices are clear the  bird is done. If it’s not done, continue to roast another 10 minutes or so.

Step 4: Rest & Carve

Put the chicken on a cutting board with a lip so the juices won’t overflow, and let it stand 10-15 minutes. Then sprinkle additional black pepper over the top and carve, starting by removing the thighs and legs and then the wings. For the breast, carve from the outside to the inside, in thin even slices.

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Filed under Basic Cooking, Chicken, Healthy, J's favorite, Mike's favorite, Potatoes

Crunchy Oven Fried Tilapia

One of the few types of fish I like.  The first time I ever had tilapia was in Uganda!

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

pepper

2 egg whites

1 lb tilapia fillets

1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed

1. Heat oven to 450.

2. Sift or stir flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish; set aside. In a bowl, beat egg whites until white and frothy. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs with cornmeal and basil.

3. To bread the fillets, dip first into flour, shaking off any excess, then into egg whites, then into bread crumb mixture.

4. Spray a shallow baking dish with Pam. Lay fillets flat in the dish, tucking any thinner ends or edges for more even cooking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Filed under Fish, Healthy, J's favorite

BLD Carbonara Pizza

We really like this Rachael Ray recipe.  (I love pretty much anything with “carbonara” in the name.)

1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature (Trader Joe’s has great pizza dough, including whole wheat)

olive oil for drizzling

1/4 lb pancetta, chopped

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese

2 large egg yolks, beaten

1 clove garlic, grated

pepper

1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded provolone cheese

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)

1. Heat oven to 450. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Place the pizza dough on the pan and stretch into a large round or rectangle. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and partially bake until puffed and golden, about 8 minutes.

2. In a small skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until crisp, 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add the ricotta, pecorino romano, egg yolks and garlic to the pancetta; season with pepper and stir to combine.

3. Spread the ricotta mixture over the partially baked pizza dough, leaving a 1/2″ border all around. Top with the provolone. Bake until the crust and topping are golden and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Scatter the parsley on top and cut into wedges.

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Filed under Italian, J's favorite

Baked Slow Cooker Chicken

This is the way I always cook a chicken before using it in chicken pot pie.  I also cook it just for eating, since J loves it so much. My mother-in-law gave this to me from All Recipes, submitted by ‘Cotton’ Couch.

2-3 lb whole chicken

1 tsp paprika

s & p

1. Wad 3 pieces of foil into 3-4″ balls and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Rinse chicken, inside & out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika, and place in the slow cooker on top of the foil balls.

3. Set the slow cooker to high for 1 hour, then turn it down to low for about 8-10 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

*Weird confession: I hate handling whole chickens like this because they remind me of babies. (I like babies, though. I just don’t like crossing babies with crockpots.)

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Filed under Basic Cooking, Chicken, Crockpot, Healthy, J's favorite, No oven necessary.

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Our Favorite)

We have a very old electric ice cream maker and have tried many different flavors & recipes over the years.  Once we discovered this recipe, though, we stopped making anything else!  It is sooo creamy and delicious.  My mother-in-law found it on All Recipes, submitted by Darryn M. Briggs.

2 cups 2% milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp peppermint extract

3 drops green food coloring (optional)

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (chop in food processor)

1. In a large bowl, stir together milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Ice Cream, J's favorite, Mike's favorite