Monday, September 21, 2009

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad

Brett's favorite salad in the whole world is a caesar salad. I never had the guts to make a homemade caesar salad because of the anchovies, but now there is a new alternative. Pam Anderson shared her recipe on the Pioneer Woman with no anchovies! Yum. It was good - especially the homemade croutons.

Pam’s Simple, Scrumptious Caesar Salad
Pam Anderson on the Pioneer Woman
Serves 4-6


Garlic Croutons
3 - 4 cloves garlic
A generous 1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 packed cups 3/4″ bread cubes, cut from a good-quality baguette or Italian loaf
Large pinch of salt

3 romaine hearts (outer leaves discarded), torn up in pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
5 tablespoon pure olive oil (I use 1/4 cup extra light evoo)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling.
1 - 2 cooked chicken breast, chopped


Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. With motor running, drop garlic cloves through feeder tube of a food processor fitted with the steel blade to mince. (A blender works as well.) Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil through feeder tube as well. Continue to process so that garlic releases its flavor into the oil, about 30 seconds. Strain garlic from oil through a fine-mesh strainer; reserve half of the garlic for dressing.

Increase skillet heat to medium. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle garlic oil evenly over bread, along with big pinch of salt; toss to coat. Add bread cubes to hot skillet and toast, turning the cubes and shaking the pan often, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Return croutons to bowl and set aside to cool while preparing salad.

Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Whisk lemon juice, mayonnaise, half the reserved garlic, and Worcestershire in a small bowl. Drizzle lettuce with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss lightly and carefully. (Clean hands work well.) Drizzle lemon mixture over lettuce; toss again. Sprinkle Parmesan over greens; toss again. Sprinkle croutons over the salad; toss and serve, sprinkling each portion with a little more Parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I have always wanted to make these, and I'm glad I chose this recipe! It's Todd Wilbur's version of P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps. So good! When I was making the special sauce, I had my doubts, serious doubts, but it was delicious! :o)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur
Serves 2-3

3 Tbsp oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnuts (about half of a 5 oz can)
2 mushrooms
3 Tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame or peanut oil
1 Tbsp hot mustard
2 tsp garlic and red chile paste
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

Stir Fry Sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp hoison sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Bring oil to medium high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Saute chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken from the pan and cool. As chicken cools, mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas. (Also mince garlic and chop onions.) When chicken is cool, mince it.

Turn the heat back onto medium and prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, hoison sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in the wok/frying pan. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan. Saute the mixture for a couple minutes.

Get another frying pan and add the sugar, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice, sesame or peanut oil, hot mustard, and garlic chili sauce to make the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps. I thought this is too water-y, so I added 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in some water. Stir on medium heat until thickened.

Serve chicken mixture in lettuce "cups" and top with "special sauce."


We had Brett's brother, Chris, over for dinner. This only made enough for 6 lettuce wraps, and the boys were still hungry. (I'm not really sure why I didn't double the recipe.) Brett said he was going to make a salad with the rest of the lettuce. This is what he brought back to the table for us to eat.

:o) He made one for each of us, and he demanded that we take a picture and write about it in my blog.

1/2 peeled head of iceberg lettuce
3 squeezes of Kraft Ranch dressing (he told me to say Hidden Valley, but he used Kraft)
3 small handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese

Cut the lettuce into thirds. Put one squeeze of ranch dressing on each lettuce chunk. Drop one small handful on each lettuce chunk. Eat with hands.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup
Serves 4

4 cups canned whole tomatoes
4 cups tomato juice
4 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken base
12-14 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup butter (I usually use 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, tomato juice, and chicken stock paste in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. (I cover mine so that I don't get tomato juice all over the stove/floor.) Cool slightly, then using a wand mixer, process with basil until smooth. Return to saucepan and add butter, stirring over low heat until melted and fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

**You can add 1 Tbsp sugar to the tomato soup, juice, and chicken stock to calm down the tangy-ness of the tomatoes.

Target 9/15

I got all of this at a regular old Target. We don't have a Super Target here in College Station. :o( It's okay though. I can still do most of Target's deals here. I got all this for $6.31.

Deal: Buy 5 Kashi Cereals for $2.88 each, get a $5 Target Giftcard

I bought 5 for $2.50 each (price-matched at Walgreens - just bring in the ad)
-five $1.50 coupons from here, here, here (IE), here (FF), here ($1), or $2 vocalpoint coupon (I just got mine in the mail after I went to Target).
=$5 or free after the giftcard!

2 Kellogg's Poptarts, $1.46 each

-$1/2 coupon in 8/2 Kellogg's insert (inside the SS insert)
-two $0.75 target coupons
=$0.21 each

2 Market Pantry Cheese, 8oz, $1.79 each
-$1/2 Target coupon
=$1.29 each

2 Kraft Cheese, 6oz, $1.52 each
-$1/2 coupon in 8/9 RP (expires today)
=$1.02 each

Tide Stain release, 20 oz, $3.79
-$1.50 coupon I got in the mail
-$1.50 8/23 RP (Target coupon)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chipotle Mexican Grill Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice

One of my favorite fast food restaurants is Chipotle. I always get their barbacoa. I found a copy-cat recipe of their barbacoa and cilantro-lime rice, and I made it last night. It is pretty close! I used a slow cooker instead of cooking it on the stove. Here is what I did.

Chipotle Barbacoa
Serves 8

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 chipotle peppers, canned (the cans usually say "in abodo sauce")
4 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 lbs chuck roast
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

Make adobo sauce by combining vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and clove in a blender or food processor and puree on high speed until smooth.

Trim the fat from the meat, and then slice the roast into 6 smaller pieces. Sear all sides of the chunks of meat in 2 tablespoons of oil until browned. Put meat in the crockpot. Add the adobo sauce on top of the meat, pour in the chicken broth, and add the bay leaves. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. At the three hour mark, take the lid off and shred the beef with two forks. Cover and cook for the last hour.

Chipotle Cilantro-Lime Rice
Makes 6 cups of rice

3 cups water
2 cups converted rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice

Make the cilantro-lime rice by combining water, rice, butter and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice is done stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep rice covered until you're ready to assemble the burritos.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Walgreens 9/6

Walgreens "paid me" $2 to buy this.

Buy 2 Glade Collection (2 oz.) candles at $2 each, Get $1 Register Rewards
-use two free candle coupons from the 8/9 SmartSource insert
=FREE after coupons, plus get $1 Register Reward

Buy $15 worth of Starbucks Ice cream, Get $5 Register Rewards
Buy 5 pints of Starbucks Ice Cream at $3 each
-use 4 $2/1 coupons from the 6/21 SmartSource insert and one FREE Startbucks Ice Cream coupon from Facebook
=$4 after coupons, plus get $5 Register Rewards, therefore FREE plus $1 overage!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CVS 9/5

I got paid $1.50 to buy all this. :o) This is for the 9/6 - 9/12 CVS ad.

Schick Slim Triple ST3 Disposable Razors 8 ct $6.99, Earn $4 in ECBs (Limit 1)
-$3 coupon from 8/16 SS insert
=FREE after coupon and ECBs

Scope Outlast 750ml or Crest with Scope Outlast Toothpaste 5.8oz $3.49, Earn $2.50 in ECBs (Limit 2)
-$0.50 coupon from 8/30 P&G insert (for toothpaste not mouthwash)
=$0.49 each after coupon and ECBs (toothpaste)
OR =$0.99 each after coupons and ECBs (mouthwash)

Schick Quattro for Women Razor B1G1 FREE, $9.99
-two $4 coupons from 8/23 SS
=$1 each after two coupons

Poise 10 ct, $2.49
-FREE Poise CRT (I got it from the machine when I got to CVS)

**I got a $5 off of $30 purchase in my email to use this weekend only. Check your email! (That's how this was a money maker. I would have paid $3.50 for all of this without the $5 off coupon.)

Moroccan Chickpea Chili

Moroccan Chickpea Chili
Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups water, tomato paste, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and juice.

Calories: 215 (23% from fat)
Fat: 5.5g (sat 0.4g, mono 2.9g, poly 1.9g)
Protein: 7.7g
Carbs: 36.3g
Fiber: 9.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Iron 3.4mg
Sodium 534mg
Calcium 102mg

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

Another successful Indian recipe! I altered the original recipe to make it healthier, less saltier, and not so spicy. My nose didn't even run with the amount of heat below. :o) To make it spicier you can double the cayenne pepper and/or garam masala.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4

1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp garam masala
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups fat free evaporated milk, half and half, or cream
1 tomato, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients: yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, garam masala, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.

Preheat a grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. If you have a meat thermometer, it should be at least 150 degrees F.

Melt olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and evaporated milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Italian Toss

This is one of Brett's and my mom's favorites. It is like a rigatoni version of lasagna with a hint of sweetness.

1 16-oz box rigatoni noodles
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 lb grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 lbs ground beef (or 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb hot sausage)
1 large jar of Prego (or your favorite sauce)
2 eggs, beaten

Cook and drain the noodles. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and let cool. Melt the butter or margarine and add the brown sugar. Coat the noodles with the butter mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top and mix. Add beaten eggs to ground beef. Combine the noodle mixture with the hamburger mixture. Mix in half of the jar of Prego. Put in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Pour the rest of the Prego over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

**This sauce is really good.

The Pioneer Woman finished her cookbook!!

Ah! This is so exciting. Her book is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at a reduced price. It comes out October 27th! She's also doing a book tour and coming to TEXAS. Too bad she's not coming to Houston, but she is coming to Austin and Dallas. I might just have to go to Austin on December 3rd. I'm like one of her biggest fans. If you haven't tried her recipes or gone to her website, you need to, like right now.

her "book trip" schedule.