Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lunch today

Today I sliced up the chicken left over from the Chicken Cordon Bleu, toasted some whole grain bread and made a sandwich.  I put some honey mustard on  the bread, with a few pieces of lettuce and my sliced up, cold chicken/ham/swiss cheese and it was delicious!

I'm not a big fan of left overs, but in a time crunch lunch, it was delicious!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Din Din!

I love Chicken dishes.  I feel like there is no way you can screw up chicken (well unless it's undercooked and you get sick and die, but I'm not that bad of a cook haha).  I love it in many variations.

Tonight, I thought I'd give Chicken Cordon Bleu with garlic mashed potatoes a try.  I know, I know, not really demonstrating any skill here right?  It's a basic dinner, but is always delicious.  I cooked it toight and it was pretty delicious.  I made 4 servings and tried to feed the family, but no one likes to try new things so I ate alone and now have a ton for sandwiches I guess.

Here's the recipe I use:
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Ready in: 45-55 minutes
Servings: 4

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices cooked ham
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
honey mustard (sometimes it's good mixed with a drop of brown sugar)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 7x11 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2.Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness.
3.Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with a toothpick. Place in baking dish, and sprinkle chicken evenly with bread crumbs*.
4.Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven, and place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each breast. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove toothpicks, and serve immediately.

* If you choose to go with bread crumbs.  I'm not a fan so I use a sweet honey mustard.  It's even delicious is you mix some brown sugar into the mustard.  Use a basting brush to coat the chicken.

Creamy Garlic Potatoes
6 medium Russet Potatoes
4 Tbsp. Margarine or butter
1/4 to 1/2 C. Milk
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
Garlic to taste (I prefer using a garlic powder because it's easy to mash in and always in  the cupboard if we don't have fresh)

Wash potatoes thoroughly, cut into uniform pieces, and drop into salted boiling water. Cook potatoes until they are fork tender. Take potatoes out of boiling water and drain. Peel most of the potatoes, make sure you leave about one fifth of the area not peeled. Place potatoes into bowl with other ingredients and mash the potatoes. I would not use an electric mixer; you do not want to take all of the lumps out, if you do, just be careful not to totally mash the potatoes. Makes 4 servings.

Potato Hint: If you want really great tasting mashed potatoes, do not boil them, bake them. Baking brings out a a great roasted taste.

Pita Chips

So I'm a snacker.  I love crunchy snacks.  Chips are probably my most favorite snack and I can easily polish off a large bag before I realize I have.  I'm trying to gear my taste buds away from the delicious treats, but I can't.  I will always be a potato chip person.

I've recently discovered the delicious Pita Chip.  I like them because (1) I can make them at home with ingredients that are lying around (2) they are healthier; and (3) I find that after I cook and clean, I'm not all that hungry anymore.

Here is one of my favorite ways to make Pita Chips:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Ready In: 17 minutes

3-4 pita bread pockets
1/4 cup olive oil  (I like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Bertolli)
1 teaspoon of Oregano
1.5 teaspooon of garlic powder
1/2 paprika
Parmesean Cheese to taste (works best with powdered cheese & not fresh)


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Cut each pita bread into triangles and seperate them (split pocket open/in half).
3.In a small bowl, combine the all ingredients. Brush each triangle with oil.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn easily!

These are delicious on their own or with dip.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am the domestic mess

For the past 2.5 years I've been dating Mike.  Mike is in the military and has been for 10+ years.  Prior to enroling in the Forces, he went to George Brown where he received his Culinary Degree.  During his teenage years and into his early twenties, he worked in some of the most famous, elite restaurants in downtown Toronto.

All throughout our relationship he has pushed me to cook more, be more involved in the kitchen, and to try new things.  I'm fairly hesitant when trying new foods becase (a) I'm extremely picky; and (b) I grew up in a house where variety was not the spice of life.  As a child, dinner's were always plentiful, but mainly consisted of Shake & Bake chicken, mashed potatoes and canned veggies. I became almost immune to the bland tastes and become increasingly more picky with what I would eat.

Once I got to university I had no choice but to eat what was being served in the caf, regardless of what it was.  I quickly learned the greatness that was a hot pot.  Also, the greatness of having a Chinese neighbor with a rice cooker.

Mike and I love making dinner together.  It is one of our favorite things to do together after spending so much time a part.  I've quickly developed a love for cooking, and even though I'm not the greatest or best chef in the world, it's usually edible!

This blog will be a collection of some of our favorite things to cook together and some things I was able to master on my own while he was away.