Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jalapeno Chicken Sandwiches

What does summer mean?  LOTS of grilling!  I like these sandwiches.  To switch it up a bit I'll omit the chipolte mayo, grill some onions and add some cheddar cheese and bbq sauce to each.  Also, I don't always include the jalapenos on the sandwiches.  It depends on how crazy hot the marinade is.  Our jalapenos from the garden are wicked hot.  The store ones not so much. 

Don't forget to grill the roll--spread some butter/butter spray and a dash of garlic powder on each...mmmm!

Jalapeno Chicken Sandwiches
adapted from Sherry's Jalapeno Steak Sandwiches (from the Cooking Light board)
serves 6

 6 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Jalapeno Peppers, cut into rings (seed if desired)
1/3 c. Olive Oil
1/3 c. Lime Juice
3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
4-5 medium Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips or cubed
6 Whole Wheat Sub Rolls, cut in half lengthwise
1/3 c. Low Fat Mayo or Sour Cream
1 tbsp. Ground Chipotle Powder*
*or 1/2 tsp. of cumin & chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cayenne
Sliced Red Onion
6 slices Cheese, optional (I use whatever cheese I have in the fridge - provolone, cheddar, colby, swiss, etc)

In a large ziplock bag combine garlic, jalapeno, oil, lime juce, mustard & salt. Add chicken, seal bag, turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Stovetop:  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (I add a bit of olive oil). Remove chicken & jalapenos from marinade, discard marinade and cook chicken/jalapenos over medium-high heat until chicken is done, stir occasionally. When chicken is done, remove it from the pan to a serving bowl.  (I just scoop the chicken & jalapenos out of the bag, you get some sauce/marinade and that's ok. Sometimes I pour a bit of marinade in the pan to give it some extra sauce).

To Grill:  Heat your grill over medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken breasts until done.  If you choose, place the jalapenos (and onions if you wish) in a grill pan and cook those on the grill too.  Or you can cook the peppers on the stove.

While meat is cooking, combine mayo or sour cream with seasonings. Toast the sandwich rolls (either in the oven, the stove top or on the grill). 

To assemble the sandwiches - spread mayo/sour cream thinly on both sides of the cut rolls. On the bottom half, place cheese then divide onion among rolls. Top with chicken & jalapeno, replace tops & serve.

Country Ribs

Sunday’s dinner was Country Ribs and Mac N Cheese. I love to cook my Country Ribs the following way:

4 lbs Country Ribs (bone in or boneless)
1 bottle Dr. Pepper
Small onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed with skins removed
Liquid Smoke, 2 tsp (I just shake it really good into the pot)
BBQ Sauce (We’re digging KC Masterpiece Kansas City Style right now)

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Sear ribs on all sides. Dump the soda, onion, garlic and smoke in the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until fork tender (about an hour). Heat oven to 400, put ribs in baking dish, baste on all sides with BBQ sauce. Bake 20-30 until bits of brown appear/sauce gets sticky. The other thing to do is to finish them on the grill.

I also will do this with frozen ribs, I’ll cook them in the pot for 1.5 hours or more.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Weekly To Do List--Part 1

Here is My Weekly To Do List.

I have started trying to be more organized!  :-)  One thing I did was go to Money Saving Mom and download some of her awesome forms.  One in particular caught my eye--her Weekly Cleaning List.  I changed it up a bit and added everything I do on a daily basis plus chores of the day and what's for dinner.  I print it out every week and hang it on the fridge.  It's a nice reminder of what needs to be done and what I am going to make for dinner.

You can click the link above and look at my list.  It's just an example--I add/rearrange as I need to!

My daily chores include:

Before Breakfast:
-Make the Bed.
-Walk the Dogs.

After Breakfast:
-Shower & Dress
-Thaw Dinner
-Unload & Load Dishwasher
-Start Laundry if on Daily List

After Lunch:
-Take Dogs Out
-Pick up Living/Dining Room

Before Dinner:
-Walk dogs/Exercise 30 minutes if not done
-While Dinner is Cooking:  Daily Chore

After Dinner:
-Clean Up Dishes/Load Dishwasher/Run
-Finish Daily Chore
-Laundry:  Fold & Put Away

Next is what I do for "chores of the day".

TMTT--Banana Cinnamon Chip Cake

I love looking at the recipes from TMTT, there's a great group of bloggers there that share some yummy recipes!  Check out Lisa's Strawberry Cupcakes, I'm drooling. 

The second recipe I tried this weekend was Banana Cinnamon Chip Cake (from Two Peas and Their Pod). We always have bananas around (Small Fish loves them) and this is delicious! Keep an eye out for cinnamon chips (usually located right by the chocolate chips) at your local store.

Banana Cinnamon Chip Cake
from Two Peas and Their Pod

3 very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cinnamon chips

For topping:
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.

Add ¾ cup of the cinnamon chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining ¼ cup chips.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chicken Parm Subs

Happy Monday! Nah, who am I kidding—when is Monday ever good? The Fish had a job interview today though, so at least that was a good thing on this Monday!

Recipe Roundup from the weekend:

Friday, I made Rachael Ray’s Chicken Parm Subs. Mmmmm, good! She gets on my nerves sometimes, but there are a few of her recipes I really enjoy (like Steakhouse Shepherd’s Pie.) My kind of recipe, quick and easy. I made the meatballs, stuck them in the convection/toaster oven to bake (so as to not heat up the house—I have a Cuisinart large convection toaster oven that I adore—I comes in handy when cooking for the two or three of us) and put the sauce on the simmer. We walked the dogs, and I finished off the subs with cheese under the broiler.  Definitely hanging on to this one!

Here’s the recipe!

Chicken Parm Meatball Subs
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I had a lb, I made 16 meatballs)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend
1 large egg
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I used half this and half shredded mozz)
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
Handful of chopped parsley leaves (omitted)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling plus, plus 3 tablespoons, 3 turns of the pan
2 large cloves garlic, cracked from skin and split
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, a healthy couple of pinches
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
8 to 10 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded (I used dried Italian Seasoning)
4 (6 to 8-inch) crusty sub rolls
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (I used mozz)
* I also added additional seasonings into the meatballs, garlic powder, onion powder and Italian Seasonings. To the sauce I added more red pepper (we like spicy) and additional seasonings (such as a pinch of parm and sugar) to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place chicken in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, half of the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and a serious drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix the meat and form 12 large meatballs. Squish the balls to flatten them a bit like mini oval meatloaves. Be careful not to form the balls wider than your bread. The flattened balls will stay put on your sub, no roll-aways! Bake the meatballs 15 minutes until golden and firm. Switch the broiler on.
While the meatballs bake, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and cook 5 minutes then remove the cloves. Add crushed red pepper flakes then tomatoes and stir in the chicken stock. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes, adjust seasonings and stir in the basil. Reserve a extra sauce for dipping on dinner table.

Remove the meat from oven and loosen with a thin spatula. Turn meat balls in sauce.

Cut sub rolls making the bottom a little deeper than the top. Hollow out a little bread and lightly toast the sub rolls under broiler. Fill the bottoms of the breads with flattened balls and sauce. Combine the provolone and remaining Parmigiano. Cover the subs with cheese and return to broiler to melt the cheese until golden.