Monday, August 30, 2010

Feta Chicken and Zucchini

I thought it was going to rain this afternoon so I'd be safe using my oven. It didn't and now it's hot in the apartment but the dinner was soooo good! Half of my children really liked it.

Feta Chicken with Zucchini
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium zucchini
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) crumbled Feta

Heat oven to 400° F. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a roasting pan. Remove the zest from the lemon in thin strips. Thinly slice the lemon. Place half the slices in the pan.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on top of the lemon slices and season with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt.

Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. In a bowl, combine the zucchini, pepper, and the remaining oil, lemon slices, and salt; toss. Spread the zucchini mixture around the chicken and sprinkle the Feta over the top.

Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes.  Divide the chicken, zucchini mixture, and lemons among individual plates.  I served this with a side salad and a roll for the kids.

Fiber: 1.2

Menu Plan: Aug 30 to Sept 5th

Last week's menu didn't go as planned...hubby worked late a lot and I ended up ordering a pizza Friday night because I was too sick to cook. We loved the Cinnamon Bread that I made anding forward to cooler temps so we can do more baking.

What are you looking forward to making this fall?

Feta Chicken with Zucchini (from last week)

Red Beans and Rice

Grilled Chicken and Salad

Bronco Thursday
Pork Roast in Crockpot
Scalloped Potatoes

Calzones at The Calzone Factory

Spicy Pork Stir Fry with Green Beans


I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie this week...check out all the great menus!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cantina Tacos from Taco Bell

I was so sick yesterday...

Today I didn't even want to eat but my husband suggested Taco Bell and I thought what the works for a hang over why not give it a try.

I saw that they have these new Cantina Tacos and you can get a combo to try all three kinds.

They are GREAT! It felt like I was eating something fact it's similar to something that I make for my family all the time. Plus, they give you a little wedge of lime to squeeze over your food. SO FRESH!

I just looked up the nutritional info and two out of three of these are very healthy. The one that isn't as healthy...I didn't like anyway. Skip the Carnitas one.

click on the image to see bigger

The steak one was my favorite and for 160 calories and 2.5 g of fat...I don't think you can go wrong!

*This is not an ad for Taco Bell...I just liked it and wanted to tell you about it.  Taco Bell didn't pay me  or give me free tacos. **

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cinnamon Bread

Yesterday...I was sitting at my desk reading twitter when my new best friend Ree tweeted that she was enjoying some delicious Homemade Cinnamon Bread. Over the weekend, my new best friend Ree started following me after I made some witty commentary about her fallen tree. And because I asked her.

Ree doesn't know it yet...but we have a lot in common, but in reverse. She went from being a city girl to a country girl and I did it the other way around. I used to live in the country and deal with cows on my porch. Oh...those were the days.

It was only 56 degrees in Denver yesterday so as I scanned the list of ingredients I decided that I would also make this bread. I'm going to tell you right now that this takes all day. Dough has to rise twice. But it's worth it and it will teach your preschoolers a lesson in patience.'s not ready yet.

I had a situation where I couldn't find my rolling pin.  I believe it's packed and in the basement storage I used a can of beer from the fridge.  Sorry your beer is slippery honey!

Homemade Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Ree...The Pioneer Woman

1 cup Milk
6 Tablespoons Butter
2-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 whole Eggs
⅓ cups Sugar
3-½ cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
⅓ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Egg And Milk, Mixed Together, For Brushing
Softened Butter, For Smearing And Greasing

Melt the butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don’t boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle (don't dump it in) yeast over the top, stir it gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the salt and half of the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for eight to ten minutes. If dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.

Warm a metal or glass mixing bowl by running hot water into it, so it’s warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for at least 2 hours.  Let it sit longer if you can.

Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a  rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you’re going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.

Grease a loaf pan with softened butter. Place the dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together an egg with a little milk, and brush over the top of your bread. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven. Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool. Slice and serve with butter.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan: Aug 23-29

On my old blog...I used to post my menu every week and link up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.  It was a great way for me to really plan for the week...and find lot's of wonderful tried and true recipes.

I think today is the perfect time to get back into this habit!

Monday: Grilled Chicken and Salad

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Wednesday:  Qudoba...BOGO coupon!

Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Salad

Friday: Pork Roast in Crockpot, Scalloped Potatoes, Peas

Saturday: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage

Sunday: Feta Chicken with Zucchini (from Real Simple Magazine)

Boy....that was harder than I thought!  I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of menu planning because my husband's new job is preventing him from eating with us at night. I'm really bummed about this....but it can't be helped.

For more great recipes...go to Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Finding Joy

I used to have a food blog called Tales From The Fridge.  I deleted it several months ago while under the influence of Percocet, after having my wisdom teeth removed.  Not a smart move...but I'm guessing my wisdom was removed with my teeth.

I've felt more regret for that decision than I have for just about anything in my life. My excuses consist of living in Utah where everyone eats canned and dried food, becoming bored with cooking for two preschoolers who thought everything I made was gross and my ongoing attempt to lose weight.

Well....things have changed a little bit.  My kids are allowing me to feed them more regular food, I've moved back to Denver and I've learned that I can eat what I like in small quantities.

Something else that has changed is the size of my kitchen.  It's tiny.  I think people call them galley kitchens but that might be pushing it with this one.

This kitchen has a 1 person occupancy.

When I first saw this kitchen (I rented the apartment without seeing it) I didn't know if I should donate all my cookbooks and Kitchen Aid Mixer to charity or buy a Julia Child cookbook!  My thoughts were if Julie Powell can cook awesome recipes in a sh*tty little apartment kitchen then so could I.

"Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It's not what I thought it was. I thought it was all about-I don't know, confidence or will or luck. Those are all some good things to have, no question. But there's something else, something that these things grow out of. It's joy."
— Julie Powell (Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen)


Cooking, baking and discovering new recipes...has always brought me joy. Until it didn't. I want to feel the joy again. Our reason for moving back to Denver is for hubby's dream job. His joy! It's time for me to find mine again.

The urban dictionary describes a foodie as a person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food , and finds great enjoyment in top notch ingredients and preparation. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob.

I can relate to Julia Child's story...meeting her husband and then having him introduce her to a world of wonderful food. Because that is what happened to me. I was just a country girl when my husband found me and now I love food and discovering things I've never tried before.

I credit him with my love for great food.