Thursday, May 31, 2007

Beans, beans, good for your heart
--Bar-B-Q Baked Beans

Bar-B-Q Baked Beans
The Ugly Binder, from

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained I used 2 cans of pintos
1 (15 ounce) can lima beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
3 slices bacon, cut in half I pre-cooked it in the microwave

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a medium baking dish, mix kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, great northern beans, chili sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and molasses. Top with bacon.
Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until thick and bubbly. I cooked mine in the crockpot for a few hours on high.

This recipe is from but I'm pretty sure I got it from someone on a message board. I think the same person posted it at allrecipes. I've made these beans several times for my big summer cookout and there are usually only 1 or 2 servings left from a crockpot full of beans ( I usually at least double the recipe). I added an extra can of beans, just because I had an extra can, so the beans aren't as saucy here as they would be if you followed the recipe exactly.

This recipe isn't as sweet as a lot of baked bean recipes. Don't get me wrong, I love sweet baked beans too, but this spicier version just seems to go over better with a crowd. People seem to love the variety of beans in this recipe too.

I guess it's time to start planning my cookout. It won't be until August but I can already tell that this summer is going to fly by in the wink of an eye.

Blast From The Past: Cauliflower with Garlic and Bread Crumbs from June 2006. That's my favorite way to make cauliflower.

Question of the Day: Do you make baked beans? How do you make them?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A surprise ending
--Caramelized Pork Slices

Caramelized Pork Slices
Taste of Home Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 (1 pound) pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch thick slices
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt I used 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Flatten pork slices to 1/2-in. thickness. In a nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil over medium-high heat. Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute garlic for 1 minute; stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, molasses, salt and pepper. Return pork to pan; cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until pork is no longer pink.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (3 ounces glazed cooked meat) equals 200 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 74 mg cholesterol, 355 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 24 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

I was a little bit worried while making this. I thought it was going to be too sweet and I thought the molasses flavor might be too strong. But, what do I know? It all came together nicely in the end. The pork was coated with a slightly sweet sauce but it wasn't overpowering. The garlic and the pan juices mellowed it out. This was very good for something so fast and simple to put together.

On Friday, I made my first trip to the 'auction' (farmer's market) since last year. I wasn't sure that I was going to make the trip so I had already purchased my produce for the week. This was just a scouting trip and oh my, did they have a lot of nice looking produce and plenty of plants too.

What did I end up buying? Cookbooks! I try to stay away from them but it's impossible. The used book man had lots of them to choose from and the prices were good. Now I'll be tempted every time I go to the auction and I plan to get there often.

Blast From The Past: Pork Steak Diane from November 2006. I forgot all about the cookbook that recipe is from. It's so small - it gets lost.

Question of the Day: Do you visit any sort of farmer's market on a regular basis?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm back!
--Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia

Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia
Baking From My Home To Yours Copyright 2006

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put a 9-inch square baking pan on a baking sheet. Pyrex was suggested so I used my 11x7-inch Pyrex.

Whisk the flour and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the butter in the bowl and top with the chopped chocolate. Stir frequently until the ingredients are just melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. I used the microwave on half power, stirring every few minutes until the butter and chocolate were melted and smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and whisk gently just to incorporate it, then remove the bowl from the pan of water. Stir in the vanilla and transfer the warm chocolate to a large bowl.

Put the remaining 1 cup of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl and, using a whisk, stir in the eggs. Switch to a rubber spatula and, little by little, add half of the sugar-egg mixture to the warm chocolate, stirring very gently but without stopping – you don’t want the heat of the chocolate to cook the eggs.

With the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the remaining sugar and eggs on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until they double in volume. Using a spatula and a light touch, fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture, stopping just short of blending them in completely. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the batter and delicately fold them in, working only until the disappear. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until the top looks dry. I baked mine a bit longer (my pan was smaller). Poke a thin knife into the center and take a peek; the brownies should only be just set and still pretty gooey. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.

The brownies are fragile and best cut in the pan. Cut into 18 1 1/2x3-inch bars.

I still have one more day off from my 'real' job but I couldn't stand to stay away from my blog for one more day. I will say that my time off has not been in vain. I've accomplished quite a bit in the past few days. Unfortunately, there is always more work left to do around the house, isn't there?

Yesterday I did take the day off to enjoy Memorial Day with my family and I brought these brownies along with me. I thought I had overbaked them. I get nervous when told to leave a baked good 'gooey' and I cooked these until there was just a bit of moist batter left on the tester but when I cut into them I couldn't imagine them being more perfect. Even the end pieces weren't overbaked, a problem I often encounter with brownies.

I made these in a Pyrex which I then just covered and took to the cookout. I think these are probably best served out of the pan like that because they're so fudgy that they're sort of messy to cut and handle. They can be cut and arranged on a platter if you're careful.

Do I have to tell you how intensely chocolate these were? Personally, I thought these were some of the best brownies I've ever made. Even my nephew who I almost never see eat, was eating these brownies.

Blast From The Past: Brownies from last August. That was King Arthur's recipe that I intially wasn't all that thrilled with but my guests scarfed them down.

Question of the Day: Did you miss me while I was 'gone'?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Say good-bye to salmon
--Glazed Salmon

Glazed Salmon
The New Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook Copyright 2002, 2006

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, lime juice, and mustard. Marinate the salmon in the sauce in the refrigerator for several hours, or until ready to cook.

In a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, cook the salmon on each side, 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown, crispy and just cooked through. Transfer salmon to a platter.

Add the remaining honey glaze to the skillet and simmer, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Return salmon to the pan, heat thoroughly, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 272 cal, 35g pro, 19 g carb, 6g fat, 0g fiber, 88mg chol, 400mg sodium

Last night my husband nicely asked me to stop making salmon. He asked very nicely so I know he was serious. If he had been rude about it he knows he would fine himself eating salmon everyday. I'll stop making salmon but I'm going to try other fishes, even though at one point he generalized and said that he didn't like fish but I've seen him eat fish in the past.

His request had nothing to do with this recipe - he just doesn't care for salmon. He wasn't happy from the moment he saw salmon on this week's menu. This recipe was fine - not a standout but perfectly fine. I don't know why I chose a pan-fried recipe - the stink bothers me so much.

I'm taking a long, long weekend so I may be MIA for a day or two. Or maybe not. I'm taking the time off to get caught up with things and my blog is the one thing I'm not behind on because it's an escape from everything else. So, it would probably be a good thing to step back from it for a few days but I really don't wanna!

Blast From The Past: Easy Cream Puff Cake from last May. I made that for a Memorial Day cookout last year and it was a big hit. I'm thinking about making it again, yet there are so many new recipes out there I still haven't tried.

Question of the Day: Are there any foods you don't make because there are other people you cook for that don't care for them?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A so-so sandwich and a story
--Barbecue Pork Sandwiches

Barbecue Pork Sandwiches
501 Delicious Diabetic Recipes Copyright 2000

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
Vegetable cooking spray
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ cup no-salt added tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons granulated brown sugar substitute I used regular brown sugar
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium Worcestershire sauce I used regular Worcestershire
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Dash of hot sauce
4 reduced-calorie whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted I forgot to toast my buns

1. Trim fat from pork. Cut a slit lengthwise in each tenderloin to, but not through, bottom; place between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to ¼-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Cut into 4 cutlets.
2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add oil. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add cutlets, and cook 3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove cutlets from skillet; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Coarsely chop cutlets. 3. Wipe drippings from skillet with a paper towel. Add tomato sauce and next 7 ingredients to skillet. Bring to a boil; add chopped pork. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often.
4. Spoon ½ cup pork mixture over bottom half of bun.

Yield: 4 servings Per serving: 257 cal, 19.2 g carbs, 28.2g pro, 6.7 g fat, 83 mg chol, 1.9g fiber, 494mg sodium

Yikes! That picture looks almost menacing. Sorry, some things just do not photograph well.

This was okay, just okay. I thought the balance of sweet versus tangy was fine. It was salty enough yet even with the regular Worcestershire sauce, still not as salty as I'm probably used to. So I wasn't sure if it just lacked salt (which I adapted to rather quickly) or if it needed a shot of cumin or other seasoning. Or maybe it didn't need anything. This is one of those recipes that I would prefer to have on a white roll so maybe that's what felt 'off' about it. Wheat rolls just don't work for me for some things. Like hot dogs. I just can't do hot dogs on wheat rolls.

I was planning on making Indiana Breaded Pork Tenderloin sandwiches from American Sandwich but then I found out my blood pressure was kind of high so I had to call that splurge off (they're pan fried). I had a funny story to go with the pork tenderloin sandwiches too. Guess what? I'm going to tell it anyway.

Years ago, I travelled from Philadelphia to Iowa for the day, with six other people. It was a work trip. One gentleman on the trip was just one of those people that rub everyone the wrong way. We'll call him Joe (because that was his name). On our return trip, we found ourselves waiting out a storm in a restaurant located in a small airport in Iowa. Joe ordered one of those breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches that are famous in the midwest. If you've ever seen these sandwiches, you'll know that the pork is pounded so thin and wide that it ends up just hanging out of the standard size round sandwich roll. Joe took one look at this huge thing and exclaimed there was just no way he could eat that all by himself and asked if anyone wanted to 'share' it with him. Someone in the group said sure and Joe promptly cut off the extruding piece of pork and handed it over. No bun, just the piece of pork that was hanging out of the bun. He did say 'share' and not 'split' but still, I think sharing a sandwich implies that some of the bun will be shared. Don't you?

Joe wasn't with the company much longer after that. What it really came down to was that no one liked him. If only he had cut that sandwich down the middle, he might have had at least one friend in the company.

Blast From The Past: Glazed Pork Tenderloin from March 2007. That's a great pork recipe.

Question of the Day: Do you like to try local foods when you travel?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

An old favorite, lightened up
--Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks
Fry Light, Fry Right! Copyright 2004

4 medium-sized zucchini
Canola cooking spray
1 tsp. minced or chopped garlic
1/3 c. egg substitute I used a real egg
1 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1 c. Italian-style breadcrumbs

1. Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise and widthwise. Then cut each of these pieces into 4 sticks. You should have 32 sticks.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat cookie sheets or a large nonstick jelly roll pan with canola cooking spray.
3. Place the garlic, egg substitute, and mayonnaise in the food processor and blend well (or use an electric mixer); spoon into a shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.
4. Dip the zucchini, one by one, into the egg mixture first then into the breadcrumbs mixture to coat well. Place the coated sticks on the prepared cookie sheet or pan.
5. Spray the tops of the zucchini sticks with canola cooking spray. Bake in center of the oven for 12 minutes or until the outside coating is nice and golden.

Makes 8 servings (4 sticks per serving). Per serving: 56 cal, 3g pro, 9g carbs, 1.2g fat, 1mg chol, 1.5g fiber, 219mg sodium

I can remember eating fried zucchini in Denny's with friends after spending the night out on the town. I think this is one dish that is just as good lightened up. Back in the day we ate this with ranch dressing but I dipped these in no-salt-added ketchup, something new for me. It's surprisingly good. It's still loaded with high fructose corn syrup but it uses potassium chloride instead of salt (sodium chloride). Is that better for you? I haven't figured that out yet. I'm still researching it. If you know anything about this, let me know.

I was pleased to finally find a good use for reduced-fat mayonnaise. I really can't stand the stuff straight but it works well in this recipe.

This is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday. Zucchini packs a decent nutritional punch compared to it's calorie content.

Don't forget to sign up for the cookbook giveaway this month.

I wish I could think of something else to say but I'm cutting back on caffeine and I can barely keep my eyes open. Thinking is a real chore.

Blast From The Past:Ditalini With Zucchini from February 2006, a simple but tasty zucchini recipe.

Question of the Day: Have you ever used the 'oven-fry' method for anything?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Not quite doughnuts
--Devil’s Food Cake Doughnuts

Devil’s Food Cake Doughnuts
Fry Light, Fry Right! Copyright 2004

1 ½ c. unbleached white flour
1 c. granulated sugar
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. water
2 tbsp. canola oil (plus more oil for preparing pans)
3 tbsp. fat-free or light sour cream
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 340 degree F. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the doughnut cups with canola oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add the water, canola oil, sour cream, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Fill the prepared doughnut cups almost to the top. Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let cool before removing from the pan and/or glazing.

Makes about 12 doughnuts (full-size - I made 24 mini-doughnuts and 12 farm animals). Per 2 unfrosted donuts: 286 cal, 4 g pro, 57 g carbs, 5.3 g fat, 1 mg chol, 2 g fiber, 410 mg sodium

Vanilla Glaze

1 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. water
½ tsp vanilla extract I thought that was too much - the vanilla flavor was too strong

Combine powdered sugar, water and vanilla in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

Okay, I won't lie to you, these weren't as good as a fried doughnut but what is? These weren't bad but let's face it - they're little cakes, not doughnuts. They started to get a bit sticky after a while. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices when you're trying to eat healthier (not that I often eat real doughnuts). They get extra points for being cute.

So, I still haven't found the optimal recipe for my mini-doughnut pan that. I suspect a rich, dense pound cake-like recipe might be best, yet not all that much better for you than frying.

We're not eating healthy enough on weekends. I need to put more effort into planning weekend meals. I just never know for sure if we're going to be eating at home on the weekends.

I don't feel as bad about my grocery bills anymore. I was picking up a few things yesterday and the woman in front of me was spending over $220 on a cart of food smaller than I usually buy. Sure, she likely was shopping for more than one week and who knows what she had in there. I noticed bottles of detergent, marked-down beef, a frozen pizza, lots of fresh produce and a bottle of self-tanner - hell yeah I'm nosey! It just brought home to me that fact that it's not just me - grocery prices are much higher than they were a few years ago so I can't keep comparing what I'm spending now to what I was spending a few years ago.

I just now realized that Blogger changed things around and made it the default to not allow new comments. I was wondering why no one had anything to say on Friday. I don't know why they're fooling with stuff like that when they have so many other quirks they need to iron out.

Blast From The Past: Marinated Barbecue Chicken from July 2006. I served this at our big cookout last year and it got a lot of compliments.

Question of the Day: Have you noticed an increase in grocery prices?

Friday, May 18, 2007

More meat! More meat!
--Marinated Flank Steak

Marinated Flank Steak
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook Copyright 2006

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger or 1 teaspoon ground I used jarred grated ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh lemongrass or grated lemon zest I used lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dry sherry there were only a few drops left in the bottle so I used some white wine
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. To prepare the marinade, in a gallon-size zip-close plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, honey, ginger, lemongrass or lemon zest, garlic, sherry, and crushed red pepper; add the steak. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air; turn to coat the steak. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, overnight or up to 24 hours. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before broiling.
2. Preheat the broiler. Discard the marinade; pat the steak dry with a paper towel, then drizzle with the oil. Broil 3 inches from the heat, turning once and sprinkling with salt on the cooked side, about 4 minutes on each side. Season with the pepper. I forgot to add the salt and pepper - didn't miss it. Transfer the steak to a cutting board; let stand 2-3 minutes, then cut on the diagonal into 12 slices.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 207 cal, 10 g fat, 4 g sat fat,
0 g trans fat, 44 mg chol, 390 mg sodium, 1 g carb, 0 g fiber,
26 g protein, 7 mg calcium (5 WW points)

This was definitely a better use of the $7/pound flank steak than the Stuffed Flank Steak. Unlike last time, none of this steak ended up in the trash can. In fact, I didn't know if there was going to be enough to go around since my son kept chanting 'more meat! more meat!' I've made similar marinades but I think the lemon zest is what made this one a stand-out. This was the first grilling of the season. The grill is out there all year round but I haven't touched it since last year.

I'm a little upset that this was so good - I'm going to want to make this more often but the meat is so pricey and for some reason, the local supermarkets don't carry that cut of meat. Costco is the only place I can get it.

Yesterday I found out that my blood pressure is yet again creeping up. I used to have excellent blood pressure but that was when life was stress-free (i.e. before motherhood). I'm going to cut out caffeine as much as I can, and cut back on sodium. I can't think of anything more difficult to cut back on, diet-wise, than sodium. Don't expect to see major cutbacks in sodium right away.

Blast From The Past: Spanish-Style Linguini from November 2005. I've been out of anchovy paste for some time now. I need to pick up a tube of it. It's good stuff.

Question of the Day: What is the most expensive dish in your repertoire?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Speed counts
--Pork Tenderloin Diane

Pork Tenderloin Diane
Taste of Home Family Collection Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley I only had dried

Cut tenderloin into eight pieces; place each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper and flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

Melt butter in large skillet, cook pork for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. I cooked this much longer. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.

To the pan juices, add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard, stirring occasionally. Pour over pork and sprinkle with parsley .

Serves 4.

This recipe had a couple of things going for it - I had all of the ingredients on hand and it wouldn't take as long to cook as an entire pork tenderloin. Although it took longer to cook than the directions said it would (even though my pork looked about as thick as the pork in the picture in the cookbook), it was still faster than waiting 45-60 minutes for a whole tenderloin to cook in the oven.

The sauce was almost too tart yet it was still appealing to me. I think a pat of butter would have rounded it out but I didn't want to add more fat. I really enjoyed this but, heck, it's hard to screw up pork tenderloin.

I'm in the mood to cook this weekend yet I have so many other things hanging over my head. Perhaps that's why I'm in the mood to cook - it's a great escape. I can start thinking out Memorial Day too. I don't think I'm hosting anything but I'm sure I'll be celebrating somewhere.

Blast From The Past: Bobbie’s Bars from September 2006. What I wouldn't give to have one of those bars sitting in front of me right now.

Question of the Day: What dish do you most like to see at a cookout?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Salsa - not just for tortilla chips
--Bayou Chicken Pasta

Bayou Chicken Pasta
Taste of Home Family Collection Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup each chopped green and yellow pepper I used green and orange peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Hot cooked pasta I used Dreamfield spaghetti

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute onion, celery and pepper in oil for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add chicken and garlic powder; cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Stir in salsa.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir into the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add the parsley, salt and hot pepper sauce; mix well. Serve over pasta.

Yield: 4 servings.

Salsa is definitely a good ingredient to keep on hand for a quick meal. You can mix it with just about anything and end up with something pretty good (if you like salsa). What was nice about this recipe is that it's made with basically all pantry staples (I even keep peppers in the freezer).

This cookbook was from the library but I wouldn't be surprised if this recipe was also in one of the other Taste of Home cookbooks that I own. Just like the Favorite Brand Name collection of cookbooks, I really like the Taste of Home cookbooks but you'll find that they all have a lot of the same recipes in them.

I can't believe that May is halfway over. This year is flying by.

Blast From The Past: Beef Tamale Skillet Meal from last month. That's another quick salsa recipe.

Question of the Day: Did you watch the Gilmore Girls finale last night? Did you cry?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yes, dammit, potatoes ARE good for you!
-Righteous Red Potatoes

Righteous Red Potatoes
Biker Billy’s Hog Wild On A Harley Cookbook Copyright 2003

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 medium-size red potatoes, quartered

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, paprika, rosemary, salt and black pepper, stir well to mix, and microwave at half power for 1 minutes or heat in small saucepan over medium heat.
3. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add the flavored oil, and stir well to completely coat the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Pour the oil remaining in the bowl over the potatoes. Bake, turning a few times, until golden brown, 60 to 75 minutes. I didn't cook them nearly this long. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Almost every time I check my stats, I see that someone reached my blog through a search query asking if potatoes are good for you. Are there many people out there wondering about the nutritional value of potatoes? Is it the same person asking over and over? I have no idea but it amuses me.

I'd just like to set the record straight that in moderation, potatoes are a healthy food choice. I think they've been getting a bum deal lately, along with other starches. The key is to eat potatoes in moderation and to eat them without the addition of unhealthy fats (french fried or smothered in butter and sour cream).

Due to time constraints, I cooked these potatoes until they were tender but not quite crispy. This was fine though because the garlic didn't get bitter as it sometimes can during oven roasting.

This is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-a-Day Tuesday because, POTATOES ARE GOOD FOR YOU.

This cookbook is from the library and it actually has a nice variety of recipes. Definitely a must-have for anyone into Harleys and cooking.

Blast From The Past: Grilled Potatoes with Olive Oil and Thyme from January 2006 - the original 'potatoes ARE good for you' recipe.

Question of the Day: What type of potato (Russet, red, etc.) do you buy most often?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Muffins for the teachers
--Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Baking: From My Home to Yours Copyright 2006

¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. I sprinkled a bit of sugar on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

I decided to make muffins at the last minute for my son's 'teachers' (he attends a daycare center) and this recipe that I had just seen posted at Cook. Craft. Enjoy. immediately came to mind.

Unfortunately since I gave them away to the teachers, I only tasted a small sample that I baked off in a custard cup. I know I enjoyed it and I can say that these muffins are intensely chocolate but I wish I had been able to sample an entire muffin. Or two. I'm going to have to make these again because I want my share!

Not much else to report this Monday morning. We spent the weekend visiting mothers and grandmothers. I didn't cook a thing.

Blast From The Past: Chicken Enchiladas from September 2005. I don't make this heavy version of chicken enchiladas anymore but I won't lie - I'd eat them up if I could do it without guilt.

Question of the Day: How did you spend Mother's Day?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Even simpler than yesterday's recipe
--Barbecued Sausage Pieces

Barbecued Sausage Pieces
Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook Copyright 2000

1 lb. smoked sausage I used turkey smoked sausage
1 cup hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1. Cut sausage in ½-inch pieces. Brown in skillet. Place in slow cooker.
2. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over sausage.
3. Cover. Cook on Low 2 hours. You don't need a slow cooker for this - the sausage can just be slowly simmered in the sauce. It wouldn't take long for the sausage to heat up and release some of it's flavor into the sauce.
4. Serve over rice or noodles as a main dish or with toothpicks as a party snack.


I know, this isn't very 'fancy' but we liked it. It's high in sugar, obviously, but I used turkey sausage and served it over Uncle Ben's Rice, which I've heard is one of the better white rices, in terms of GI rating. I just couldn't see serving this over brown rice. I rounded it out with some corn on the cob and salad. Not the healthiest meal, but it was easy and it was frugal. I got the smoked sausage on a BOGO free deal. My husband usually pours barbecue sauce over just about everything anyway so I saved him some effort too.

There's not much else to say today. I picked up groceries last night and just beat the rain. Why don't all groceries stores build a slight overhang out front so that when it rains, you can pull up your car and load it without getting wet? Also, there should be a law against building a grocery store parking lot on an incline. If I had a nickel for everytime I had to chase after my cart as it careened towards the road, I'd have several nickels.

Blast From The Past: Lumberjack Hash from April 2006. That recipe will probably be on the menu again soon. The oven will be going on hiatus when the hot weather comes.

Question of the Day: What's your favorite stove-top meal?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

So simple
Skillet Chicken Parmigiana

Skillet Chicken Parmigiana
Betty Crocker’s Best Chicken Cookbook Copyright 1999

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 ¼ pounds)
1/3 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cups spaghetti sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

Flatten each chicken breast half to ¼-inch thickness between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper. The breasts I buy at Costco are thin enough that I didn't need to pound them. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture.

Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of chicken pieces are cut. Pour spaghetti sauce around chicken in saucepan; heat until hot. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 440 cal, 18g fat, 150mg chol, 980mg sodium, 31g carbs, 2g fiber, 41g protein

I happen to be a big fan of chicken parmigiana in just about any form. As you can see, it's quite simple to make this dish using just a skillet - a real bonus in warm weather. I'm all about simple dinners these days. And I got to use my new Microplane to grate the cheese - another bonus. This really hit the spot.

I'm actually chomping at the bit to cook yet I lack the time or energy. This time of year, it doesn't seem right to be stuck in the kitchen. I know, I can grill outside, but everytime I plan a grilled recipe, the weather refuses to cooperate. Maybe I'll get to make something a bit more involved this weekend.

Blast From The Past: Beef Tacos from May 2006 - I may do tacos again next week. I might try them with ground turkey instead of beef.

Question of the Day: What did you have for dinner last night?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Eating healthier
--Citrus Grilled Fish

Citrus Grilled Fish
The Good Carb Cookbook Copyright 2001

4 firm-fleshed fish steaks or fillets (5 ounces each), such as tuna, salmon, mahi mahi, grouper, or amberjack I used salmon fillets

1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill, thyme or oregano I used dill
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a shallow nonmetal dish and stir to mix well. Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate until ready to cook the fish.
2. Place the fish in the dish and turn to coat all sides with the marinade. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for 1-2 hours.
3. Grill the fish, covered, over medium coals, or broil 6 inches under a preheated broiler for about 5 minutes on each side or until the meat is easily flaked with a fork. Baste with the reserved marinade during the last few minutes of cooking. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings Per serving: 170 cal, 1g carbs, 63mg chol, 2.5g fat, 0g fiber, 33g protein, 278mg sodium, 25mg calcium GI rating- very low

I'm adding fish into our diet. I used to make shrimp quite a bit but now that my son is eating along with us, and has food allergies, I avoid shellfish. In the past, I usually made salmon just for myself but now it's a family affair.

It's pretty hard to mess up salmon. It would be just fine with some salt and pepper but a light marinade or sauce doesn't hurt. This marinade was just right - it added just a hint of extra flavor to the salmon.

Yesterday I heard it was Teacher Appreciation Week, so last night I made muffins for the teachers at my son's daycare center. I hope they were good - I didn't get to taste them. I wasn't sure how many staff members would be there so I didn't sample any of them (I made jumbo muffins). I finally made my favorite Lemon-Ricotta Muffins again and I have no idea if they were as good as the first time. I know one thing - they were more lemony than that last time - I could have zested lemons all night with my new Microplane zester.

Blast From The Past: Maple-Glazed Salmon from March 2006 - another tasty salmon recipe.

Question of the Day: Do you own a Microplane zester? If not, what do you use to zest citrus?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Here's a quick casserole while I prepare my acceptance speech
--Atalissa Pizza Casserole

Atalissa Pizza Casserole
The All-American Truck Stop Cookbook Copyright 2002

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained I cooked the meat with the onion, pepper and garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms, drained
½ cup chopped pepperoni
½ cup sliced black olives
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups cooked noodles I used Dreamfield penne and more than 2 cups
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, except the mozzarella. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Maybe because I cooked the vegetables with the meat, I didn't need to cook this as long. When done, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and let melt.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

I know, almost every casserole I make looks the same. My husband took one look at this and said 'I love that' and I asked him how he knew that since I had never made this recipe before last night. Yeah, I'll give him a break - I have made similar casseroles. Hey, I'm feeding a 3-year old here. I have to keep it real.

This was very good and certainly had that pizza taste but it was way too salty. I usually keep the actual salt out when there are so many other salty ingredients but I forgot this time. I was also a bit heavy handed on the Parmesan cheese, thanks to my new handy-dandy Microplane. I've been wanting one of those for so long but Amazon was nevering offering free shipping for these when I looked and I rarely get into a good kitchen supply store. I finally got my hands on one and I can't believe I've lived this long without one. That has got to be one of the handiest kitchen gadgets - a must have for anyone who uses citrus zest or Parmesan cheese. Well worth the $12.99 I paid.

I love this cookbook but I wish all of the recipes were scaled down to family proportions. So many of them can literally feed a truck stop full of people. It's still kind of fun though, even though I've never eaten at a truck stop in my life and I practically drive by a very good one every day.

Now for some shocking news - I'm on the list for the Blogger's Choice Awards. How exciting! Okay, there are hundreds of food blogs on the list but it doesn't take much to make me feel special. I'm going to look at this with the same competitive spirit I had during high school track and field and cross-country - I don't want to come in last! I always considered myself a winner if there was at least one person crossing the finish line behind me. If nobody votes for me, I'm going to have to break down and vote for myself.

Blast From The Past: Creekside Spanish Rice, also from this cookbook, from October 2006.

Question of the Day: Do you make many casseroles?

Monday, May 07, 2007

May 2007 Cookbook Giveaway

This month I'm offering America's Quick Cuisine to one lucky winner. I've made a few recipes from this cookbook already:

Broiled Flank Steak
Chicken Pasta Italiano
Crumb-Coated Dijon Chicken
Eggplant with Crispy Coating
Pasta Pilaf
Pasta With Chicken and Prosciutto
Simple Sukiyaki

If none of those recipes appeal to you, there are over 793 others to choose from. The recipes aren't complicated:

There are plenty of pictures too. This is one of those books that practically everyone will find something they like in it.

This is how it works - just leave a comment on this post. I just need an e-mail address (if your profile links to an e-mail, you don't need to type it out, I'll find it). Entry is open until the last day of the month. First chance I get after that, I'll draw the winner. Then I'll contact the winner for a mailing address and then I mail the book! I'll pay the shipping, of course. I'll open this to everyone - in or out of the U.S.

I've received some some weird hits, resulting from queries on common e-mail extensions, hitting the cookbook giveaway posts. Probably someone trolling for e-mail addresses so feel free to modify your e-mail address when you leave it, using 'at' instead of @ and 'dot com' instead of '.com', etc.


The winner is Alisha!

Cleaning out the freezer
--The New York Reuben

The New York Reuben
American Sandwich Copyright 2004

Russian Dressing:
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
A dash of Louisiana-style hot sauce

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Yield: enough for 4 to 5 Reubens

2 slices of quality Jewish rye bread
¼ pound thinly sliced corned beef
2 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon Russian Dressing
¼ cup sauerkraut

Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place the first slice, buttered side down, in a frying pan. Pile on the slices of corned beef and Swiss cheese, spread with Russian dressing and add the sauerkraut. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side up. Cover and grill slowly over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the bread is toasted golden brown. Uncover, turn the sandwich over, increase the heat to medium high, and grill until golden brown on the second side. I used the GF grill. Cut sandwich in half and serve immediately with kosher dills or “half-sours” (partially dilled pickles).

I've made grilled Reubens before but I didn't get a chance to blog about them. I had some corned beef and some sauerkraut in the freezer from the last time I made these, right after St. Patrick's Day. Last time I used St. Paddy's Day Rye but this time I used store-bought rye bread.

I made two for my husband and one for myself. He only ate one at dinnertime so I was already thinking about having the leftover one for lunch the next day. A few hours after dinner, my husband was hungry again and asked if I was going to take the Reuben for lunch. Now, usually these conversations end with me telling him to go ahead and eat it and I find something else to take for lunch. Not this time! I held on to the Reuben.

This is my second time checking out this cookbook from the library. There is one sandwich recipe per state and this is New York's sandwich obviously. It's a fun little book.

I still haven't heard from April's cookbook winner. I'll contact the winner again but if I don't hear from her (or him) in a few day's, I'll have to pick another winner. Stay tuned for May's cookbook.

Blast From The Past: A&W Coney Island Chili Dog Sauce from March 2006. That's my favorite hot dog chili - I need to make another batch soon.

Question of the Day: How often do you eat some type of sandwich for dinner?

Friday, May 04, 2007

A lighter version of potato salad
--Austrian Potato Salad

Austrian Potato Salad
Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cook Book Copyright 1975

6 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced and cooked
¼ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons snipped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

In a bowl place potatoes, onions, parsley, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat wine vinegar, olive oil, and mustard; mix well. Pour over all; toss lightly. Chill thoroughly, Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Serves 8.

I had a lot of red potatoes to use up (buy one get one free) but I didn't want anything too heavy. This was a nice alternative to a heavy mayonnaise-based potato salad. I'd rather have Hellman's but swimsuit season is around the corner. I'd much rather have this potato salad than one made with fat-free or reduced-fat mayo. It had a pleasant tang - not too strong. The garlic mellowed overnight (I made it a day ahead).

Tomorrow is the yard sale and I still have so much to do but it's sort of a game with me to see how little time I can put into this yard sale. I mean, I don't expect to make that much money so how much is my time worth?

I'm trying really hard to weed things out of my kitchen but it's so hard to give up anything cooking-related. I have things I haven't touched in years but the possibilities are still there. I'm afraid that if I make too much room in my kitchen, I'll just fill the empty space up with new stuff.

Blast From The Past: Horn and Hardart’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese from November 2005 - definitely one of the best mac 'n cheese recipes I've made, if not the very best.

Question of the Day: Do you tend to accumulate things or keep things to a bare minimum?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Plan B
--Honey-Mustard Pork Chops

Honey-Mustard Pork Chops
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook Copyright 2006

4 teaspoons honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cider or wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 (6-ounce) bone-in loin chops, 1-inch thick I used boneless loin chops

1. To prepare the marinade, in a small saucepan over low heat, heat the honey until it liquefies. Stir in the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper; cool to room temperature.
2. Place the pork chops in a gallon-size zip-close plastic bag; add the marinade. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air; turn to coat the chops. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the chops from the refrigerator 30 minutes before broiling.
3. Preheat the broiler. Discard the marinade. Place the chops on the broiler rack and broil 3-4 inches from the heat until cooked through, 6-7 minutes on each side.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 178 cal, 3g fat, 10mg chol, 124mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 26g pro, 27mg calcium

I had originally planned on making a slow-cooked pork chop recipe with these pork chops but I chickened out. Boneless pork loin is as tricky as boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. You'll find plenty of recipes for boneless chicken breasts to be cooked in a slow cooker but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I have a sick kidlet this week so I didn't have much time or energy to search for a replacement recipe. I grabbed this simple one. It was very good - the chops were moist and flavorful yet they didn't really taste like honey-mustard. It's not necessarily a bad thing when a marinade only gives meat a mild flavor but if you're looking for a strong honey-mustard flavor, you won't find it here.

The recipe I decided not to use was from a library cookbook. When I checked it out, the librarian told me that the book was a favorite with the ladies who worked there - they all take turns checking it out. And not one of them has made anything from it! I laughed, because it was at least the second time I checked out that book (a 5-ingredient slow cooker cookbook, from BHG, I think) and I hadn't made anything from it either. I still haven't, even though I was pretty determined to do it, just so I could tell the librarian that I made one of the recipes. It's a pictureless book but there's an appeal to the simple recipes. I can't quite figure out why the recipes aren't getting used. For me personally, although the recipes are 5 ingredients or less, it seemed that most of the ingredients were things I didn't keep on hand - canned soups, frozen vegetables, cuts of meat outside my usual repetoire.

I'm not finding a lot of recipes to make from this Weight Watchers cookbook. I'm not sure what makes it 'complete'. Most of the recipes are a bit fancy for my house. There are probably some gems in there, I just need to find them.

I'm going to do the April cookbook drawing later today. I didn't forget.

Blast From The Past: Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze from September 2005. I bought salmon at Costco last week, in an attempt to add more fish to our diet.

Question of the Day: How often to you cook fish at home? What types of fish do you make?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I messed up. Or maybe not. --Bistro Chicken and Garlic

Bistro Chicken and Garlic
The Sonoma Diet Cookbook Copyright

1 bulb garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine I used white wine


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Separate cloves of garlic, discarding small papery cloves in center. Trim off stem end of each garlic clove, but do not peel. (This will facilitate squeezing garlic from peel after it is cooked.)

2. In a large ovenproof skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves and chicken. Cook about 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, turning chicken and stirring garlic cloves once. Sprinkle chicken with basil, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt, and pepper; transfer skillet the oven. Bake, covered, for 12 to 15 minute or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170°F) and garlic is tender. My chicken was thin so I didn't cook this as long.

3. Using a slotted spatula, transfer chicken to a serving platter, reserving juices in skillet; cover and keep warm. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl; set aside for 1 to 2 minutes to cool slightly.

4. Add vermouth or white wine to skillet. Squeeze softened garlic from skins into skillet; discard skins. On rangetop, bring to boiling over medium heat; reduce heat . Boil gently, uncovered, about 6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Pour garlic sauce over chicken. If desired, garnish with herb sprigs.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 185 cal, 5g fat, 66mg chol, 197mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 27g protein

This didn't turn out exactly as I expected. There was no picture in the cookbook so I'm not really sure what the finished product was supposed to look like. I think the garlic should have softened into mush, as roasted garlic usually does, but I couldn't risk drying out my chicken so I took this out of the oven when the garlic was softened yet not quite at the mush stage. It was still very mellow and sweet. I just sort of smashed it up in the wine, which pretty much evaporated and left me with a topping of smooshed up garlic to put on the chicken. Was it supposed to be a sauce? I was ready to file this in the disappointment file but it was really good.

This was very simple, as I find many of the recipes that go along with some of the latest diet trends. Simple in a good way. If you have some nice chicken breasts, you really don't need to gussy them up too much.

I've been having a heck of a time tracking down garlic. The grocery store had a basket of sprouted garlic, and most of the heads weren't even together anymore. I mean, it's been an ongoing problem, getting decent garlic, but this was the worst I've seen. I ended up picking up a bag of garlic in Costco which wasn't too bad - the cloves seem to be smaller than what I'm used to but at least so far I haven't seen any of it sprouting. I figure even if I only use a portion of that bag of garlic, I'll get my money's worth out of it.

This is one of my newest cookbooks. The recipes are a bit fancy yet not complicated. I haven't really studied it fully yet so there isn't much more I can say about it right now but so far, so good.

Blast From The Past: Spicy Vegetable Quesadillas from September 2006. I almost forgot about those. I really liked them and I need to make them again soon, adding some jalapeƱos from my freezer stash. I haven't grilled quesadillas in quite a while.

Question of the Day: Have you had any trouble finding healthy garlic in your local stores?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why don't I just marry her?
--Stuffed Flank Steak

Stuffed Flank Steak
The New Holly Clegg Trim & Terrific Cookbook Copyright 2002,2006

1 red bell pepper, roasted or jarred peppers, drained I used jarred
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach I could only find a 6-ounce bag
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 pounds lean flank steak, butterflied
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the roasted pepper, spinach, garlic, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and process until chopped into small pieces and well mixed.

Place the mixture on the flank steak. Starting with the long side, roll the steak up jelly roll style. Season with the salt and pepper. Secure with a toothpick. I tied it.

Place in a baking pan, and bake for 45 minutes. I cooked it 10 minutes longer. Slice into pinwheels, and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. Per serving: 343 cal, 40g pro, 9g carbs, 16g fat, 2g fiber, 93mg chol, 361mg sodium


Yes, more Holly Clegg. I decided to make this knowing I could get flank steak at Costco and also knowing that it was expensive. Had I realized just how expensive (close to $7 per lb), I probably wouldn't have planned to make this, but I was already committed by the time I saw the price.

I was surprised that I didn't get as much of a jelly roll appearance as the picture in the cookbook. I probably needed to do a better job of butterflying my flank steak and even though I used less spinach than the recipe called for, I think there was too much stuffing. The flank steak I used was smalled than 3 pounds. I had to cook this about 10 minutes longer. It was hard to tell if it was done. It came out perfectly - pleasantly pink. It was a nice piece of meat but, yikes, almost $7 per pound??

As far as flavor, I'm not sure. I don't eat a lot of spinach so I wasn't sure if I was tasting the spinach or if I had overdone the garlic (my new garlic press is just too much fun). It had a very strong flavor but I enjoyed it. I wouldn't serve this for a romantic dinner - the garlic doesn't mellow out very much.

***Warning the rest of the story may nauseate some people***

My husband had an emergency dental visit on his way home from work before having this for dinner. As soon as he got home, I headed out to the gym. Since it was way past his usual dinnertime, he was overly hungry and it seems that he put the entire rest of this stuffed flank steak on his plate. When I got home, I saw that most of it was in the trash. A big hunk of $7 per pound meat. In the trash. I think it was a combination of his very sore mouth,the spinach (not something he's eaten very much of in his lifetime), and the strong flavor. I didn't really expect him to eat much of it but I didn't expect to find it in the trash. Did I mention it was almost $7 per pound for the meat???? There had to be over $5 worth of meat in the trash. Waste, waste, waste. As if I weren't spending enough time stopping the 3-year old from throwing things in the trash that don't belong there.

With the spinach, red peppers and garlic - this is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday.

Blast From The Past: Beef Kabobs With Oriental Sauce from June 2006. I loved these when I made them. I'm anxious to make them again and see if I love them just as much as the first time.

Question of the Day: Are you wasteful or thrifty?