June 30, 2012

Cornmeal Crepes with Ricotta Blueberry Filling and Family Celebrations

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So much has been going on here in our humble little home in Albany, NY.  So much that it is slightly overwhelming and tiring and has sapped my energy or should I say "desire" to turn my computer on at night.  I've been a lazy "iPhone poster" who doesn't care much about her spelling mistakes when it comes to posting.  No, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the tiny lettering is blurred by my old vision in anyway.  *wink*!

June 27, 2012

Velvet Shrimp

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This is a recipe from years ago out of what was formally Light & Tasty Magazine and I believe is not Healthy Cooking - a Taste of Home magazine.  I used to make this dish often but since moving to Albany hadn't done so....and that has been almost 2 years ago already!  Time sure does fly!  I have blogged this before, but  because it was in my early days and the photos weren't spectacular, I decided to blog it again with some new photos!

 This is a creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy dish and I'm so glad that I remembered and made it again as it is one of Grumpy and my favorites.  This is also my submission to this week's Presto Pasta Nights event.   This week's round up will be hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.  Make sure to check her site out on Friday, July 6th, 2012 to see the round up of pasta loving meals!  If you are interested in joining in, you can find the guidelines for submission on the Presto Pasta Night webpage.

Velvet Shrimp

Slightly spicy, creamy, and cheesy pasta dish that is sure to please!!
  • 12 oz uncooked linguine
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1-1/2 cups fat free half and half
  • 3/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella  cheese
Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter for 1 minute. Stir in seafood seasoning; cook 1 minute longer. Add shrimp; cook for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove and keep warm.Combine flour and cream until smooth; stir into skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheese just until melted. Return shrimp to the pan and heat through. Drain linguine; toss with shrimp mixture..
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

June 05, 2012

Quick and Easy Chicken Alfredo

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Weeknights sometimes just have to be easy.  Sometimes I don't have a clue what I'm doing for dinner until I actually get home from work.  The night I made this was one of those nights in particular.  My day was so busy that I didn't have time to think about dinner until I was driving home.  Fortunately I had some chicken cutlets thawed in the refrigerator, so I at least knew I would be doing something with chicken.  I started to think about what I could do when I remembered I had some fat free half and half in the fridge too.  Hence, quick and easy Chicken Alfredo became our dinner that evening!

 I am submitting this post to this week's Presto Pasta Nights.  This week the host will be by the founder of Presto Pasta Nights, Ruth of  Once Upon a Feast.  You can join in by sending your submission to Ruth.  You can find the guidelines on the PPN website.  Ruth is also looking for some future hosts.  Let her know if you would like to participate and host a week of PPN!  If you love pasta as much as I do (and several other's who participate) you don't want to miss out!

Quick and Easy Chicken Alfredo

A low fat, quick and easy alfredo recipe for those busy weeknights!
  • 1 lb Chicken Cutlets, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup grated parmsean cheese
Cook pasta according to package.

While pasta is cooking, In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot.  Add garlic and stir fry one minute.  Add chicken pieces and cook until pieces are no longer pink.  Add salt and pepper to season.

Mix half and half and cornstarch together until combined.  Add to chicken.  Heat and stir until sauce begins to thicken.  Stir in cheese.  Toss in drained pasta, garnish with parsley and serve.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

June 04, 2012

Falafal Salad

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When I was working at Clarkson University, there was a faculty member who's spouse brought falafal to one of our departmental parties.  That first taste had me hooked.  I absolutely loved it and wanted to know how to make them!  The faculty's spouse invited me to their home and she showed me how to do so.  I felt like I had a pretty good lesson considering they were from Jordan and I was getting an authentic recipe!  I did make them once after I was shown how but didn't really make them more than that because Grumpy would not eat them.

Then, just a few weeks ago when I was assigned my blog for the Secret Recipe Club for the month of June, I found a falafal recipe that was very unique in the fact that it was cooked in your crockpot!.  Amanda, who is the author of Fake Ginger was my match for this month and when I received her name, I never imagined I would be making falafal from her blog; mainly because she has several other items on her blog that I have pinned and want to make!  I expected I was going to be making her Bang Bang Shrimp recipe that I have had saved forever.  While I'm sure its an awesome recipe and I still plan to make it, I decided that it just didn't fit our lifestyle right now.  When I read how easy the recipe for crockpot falafal sounded I couldn't resist.  I decided then and there I was making that and it was going to be my lunch!  I didn't bother sharing with Grumpy because I knew he would say no anyway, which more than makes me happy since I get to have them all to myself.  :-)
Amanda has been around in the blog world a little longer than I have been.  She mentions that she likes it when her hubby is away because it gives her the opportunity to make things that she likes to make but her hubby doesn't care for.  The exact same thing I look forward to!  We both belonged to Tuesday's with Dorie and Daring Bakers way back in the beginning (and which I dropped out due to gaining weight being a negative side effect!)

This is definitely a great way to make falafal without the frying, I loved it and will be definitely be making it again and again!  Thanks Amanda for having such a terrific blog and sharing your recipes with us!

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Falafal Salad
Falafal patties made in the slow cooker and used to create a delicious salad.
  • 2-1/2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Falafal Dressing:

  • 1 cup fat free yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain chickpeas and place in food processor along with next 8 ingredients (onion through lemon juice) and pulse until mixture starts to come together but still is slightly chunky.  Transfer chickpea mixture to mixing bowl and mix in flour and baking soda.

Place about 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bottom of crockpot (I used my large oval crockpot).  Using a large cookie scoop, scoop falafal mixture and then form into slightly flattened balls with floured hands.  Place in crockpot and spray tops lightly with cooking spray.  Cover and let cook on high  2-3 hours.

Amanda instructed to use a little more oil than I did and I did follow her instruction to not turn the falafal over half way.  They browned perfectly and were delicious!

Make dressing by blending together yogurt, tahini butter, lemon juice, garlic, and salt.  
To serve, place about 2 cups of chopped lettuce in center of plate. Place 2-3 falafal on top of the lettuce bed and arange chopped cucumber and chopped tomato around the lettuce bed.  Drizzle with Tahini-Yogurt Dressing and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.  Makes 12 falafal patties.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4

June 02, 2012

Beijing Beef Sliders with Broccoli Slaw Topping

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Grumpy and I love The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook's Beijing Beef recipe.  I had been thinking for a while how flavorful a burger would be made with the sauce for the recipe mixed into ground beef.  Then, I happened to notice that Price Chopper Supermarkets was sponsoring a Burger contest on their Facebook page.  I thought "why not?"  Whether I win or not, I wanted to create this burger anyway, so I entered it and if I were to win, well that would make me happy.  If I don't win, I will still be happy because I found a flavorful new way to make a burger!

As I thought about creating this burger, I knew that just regular ketchup, mayo, pickles would not be right for a topping.  It needed something with some vegetable and some crunch.  I wasn't sure about mayonnaise, but I sampled a little of my burger sauce mixed into the mayo and I knew that it was going to work.  I went with broccoli slaw with the mayo flavored with some of the beijing beef sauce ingredients.  I loved this slider!   The recipe is made for the BBQ Grill using the Cuisinart Nonstick Slider Grill Basket but you can also use the George Foreman Mini-Burger Slider Insert (which I have and love for rainy days!)

The burgers are moist, flavorful and 2 are a serving.  Yes, just two.  Restaurants overserve everything and when they give you 4 sliders as a serving, they are giving you way more than you need.  I made due with just one burger and an ear of corn, some sugarfree icecream sandwiched between a large graham cracker (broke in half) and still managed to stay under 500 calories for my dinner.  It would be just slightly over 500 calories for two of these burgers.

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Beijing Beef Sliders with Broccoli Slaw
Flavorful moist little burgers with an Asian flair!
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons soy or maggi sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar blend
  • Asian Broccoli Slaw:
  • 1-1/2 cups broccoli slaw mix
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon soy or maggi sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons splenda (regular)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
To make broccoli slaw: in 1 cup measure combine mayonnaise, vinegar, soy sauce, splenda (or sugar) and black bean garlic sauce. Pour over broccoli slaw and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make burgers:
Mix sauce mixture into ground beef until combined. Divide into 8 slider sized burgers (about 1/4 cup of beef mixture).

Grill burgers 3-4 minutes on each side over medium low heat.

Serve with topped with Asian Broccoli Slaw.Note:  I use Martin's Whole Wheat Potato Slider buns.  They are the BEST!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings (2 burgers = one serving)

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