Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roasted Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

*adapted from cooking light's quick-roasted cherry tomato sauce

last week i served this with parmesan chicken tenders...it was so fresh, summery & lite! i always love using fresh tomatoes to create a delicious sauce & this recipe nails it.

i'll be in 100+ degree las vegas for the next 8 days so my husband shugart & spice will be neglected. try picking up a few different veggies at a farmers market & making something new!


{roasted cherry tomato spaghetti}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes {best to get red & yellow ones}
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 box of wheat thin spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • parmesan cheese, shredded

1. pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. in a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes & a pinch of salt. stir to coat & spread in a baking pan. bake for 15 minutes, or until some tomatoes start to char.

3. as tomatoes are baking, bring salted water to bowl in a large dutch oven or pot. when boiling, add noodles & cook until al dente. drain spaghetti in a colander over a large mixing bowl & reserve 1 cup of cooking water. add noodles back to pot & add remaining teaspoon olive oil. toss to coat.

4. when tomatoes are cooked, add to noodles. add 3 tablespoons of cooking water to baking pan & scrape pan to loosen brown bits. scrape into noodles. bring pot to medium-low heat & slowly add cooking water back into noodle mixture. stir in between & add as you see fit. i like a lot of sauce so i added about 3/4 cup of water. top with parmesan cheese & additional basil. serve warm!


Parmesan Chicken Tenders

*adapted from ina garten's parmesan chicken sticks

i always have a good, hard laugh when i watch the barefoot contessa on tv. i mean, ina makes some bomb ass recipes but her life is just sooooo not realistic!! she's always trotting around the hamptons, picking fresh herbs, sending jeffrey to fetch a complimentary bottle of wine to the penne alla vecchia bettola or hanging with her gay friends sipping pomegranate cosmos in her perfectly clean, organized kitchen. i do love you ina. i'd really love if you'd have me to the hammies for a fabulous summertime alfresco lunch.

today, i was in search of a dinner recipe that aided in reinventing the chicken tender. i can bet that ina threw this recipe together when her grandchildren were in her care...while i got tyson chicken tenders formed into something that resembled a nugget, ina's grandchildren snacked on freshly fried parmesan chicken tenders with a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce, all washed down with a homemade strawberry limeade.

either way...these are dinner suited for a 30-year old or a 2-year old!


{parmesan chicken tenders}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4
  • 8 chicken tenders {or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts}
  • salt & black pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1. place chicken breasts on a plate & pat dry. season with salt & pepper & set aside.

2. on a plate, mix flour, salt & pepper {about a 1/2 teaspoon of each}. set aside.

3. in a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs & 1 teaspoon water until a bit frothy. set aside.

4. on another plate, mix together breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese. set aside.

5. add 1 tablespoon olive oil & 1 tablespoon butter to a large skillet. bring to medium heat. start with one chicken tender, dredge in flour mixture, dip in egg wash & dredge in breadcrumb mixture. add to skillet. continue with 3 more until you have 1/2 of your batch in the skillet. cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until crispy & brown. remove from skillet & place on a plate.

6. add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil & butter to pan. swirl to melt & continue with the remaining 4 chicken tenders as mentioned in step 5. enjoy hot out of the pan!



Monday, May 21, 2012

One Pot Wonder: Creamy Italian Sweet Pea Chicken

*recipe adapted from boss sanders



monday monday.

monday is always my day to get back on track. this usually involves a good sweat, a healthy meal & a bed time of 9:30pm. it's my day to re-charge & re-boot the system. if i'm feeling extra organized, i throw something in the crock pot for an even simpler dinner plan. this creamy italian chicken has been making the photo rounds on pinterest so i decided to give it a try. i made a few adjustments to the recipe, added a veggie & it was a big hit around our house.

enjoy...it's almost tuesday!


{one pot wonder: creamy italian sweet pea chicken}


ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4

  • 8 chicken tenders {or 4 chicken breasts}
  • 2 cans campbells healthy request cream of chicken soup
  • 1 {8 ounce} package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese {softened}
  • 1 packet dry zesty italian dressing 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 {12 ounce} package frozen sweet peas {optional}
  • noodles or veggies for serving


1. in a crockpot over low heat, add all ingredients thru salt. allow to cook for 4 hours or more.

2. in last 30 minutes before serving, shred chicken with 2 forks.

3. this step is optional but for those that love a veggie tossed in, pease are the perfect addition! de-frost sweet peas by placing them in a colander & running hot water over. drain & add peas to chicken &mix.

4. serve over noodles or steamed veggies topped with a pinch of red pepper flakes & shredded parmesan cheese! enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Asian Turkey Meatballs





ahhh asia. i have no desire to go there but every desire to indulge in their cuisine. every. single. night. sushi, noodle bowls, stir-fry's, moo-goo this, moo-gah that....i seriously have an obsession with asian food. and since my hubs isn't so obsessed with it, i've had to learn to bring it to our dinner table so he has no choice but to eat it, smile like he likes it & then make a pb-bananna sammy after. kids these days...

in addition to my love of asian cuisine, is my love of meatballs. {mini meatball slidersmozzarella-stuffed meatballsitalian meatballsallison's meatballs.} so behold a combo of the two...an asian meatball! these are great served alone as an appetizer, whipped up for a weekday snack or served in a bowl of asian noodle soup {more to come on that}!


{asian turkey meatballs} 

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6

  • 1 1/4 pound lean, ground turkey {not turkey breast-it will be too dry}
  • 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons egg white mixture {or 1 egg}
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 4 green onions, green parts chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 drops sesame oil {optional}

1. pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.

2. mix all ingredients & form into small meatballs. place in a greased baking dish {pyrex will work best}.

3. cook for 15 minutes, or until cooked through & the tops are starting to brown. enjoy with a soy dipping sauce...

{soy lime dipping sauce}

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, chopped

1. mix all ingredients & drizzle over meatballs. serve extra dipping sauce at room temp. enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orange Vodka Spritzer


i've posted before about my affinity for la croix sparkling waters...refreshing & calorie-free...they are my summer go-to! and when the clock strikes 5, they also get kicked up a bit from their non-virgin friend, vodka. this light, bubbly bevvie should be served with a splash of good orange juice...not the "from concentrate" business. done and down the hatch. yum!


{orange vodka spritzer}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 1
  • 1 can la croix pure sparkling water
  • 1 1/2 jigger quality vodka {or not if you prefer a headache}
  • 1/4 cup quality orange juice {simply orange is my go-to}
  • 1 slice of lime or orange

1. in a 12 ounce glass, mix 1/2 can soda, vodka & orange juice. stir to mix & garnish with a fresh lime or orange wedge. enjoy!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tortilla Pizza



if there's something i look forward to every day, on every road trip & in between every meal...it's a snack. when that craving creeps up, i need something that's readily on hand, requires quick assembly & is hopefully healthy {which is why the girl scout delivery we just received is not doing a body good right now}. 


today, on a 5-hour car ride back from hilton head island, the conversation of pizza came up. we probably talked about italian food & pizza for a good hour. i was craving it. i needed it. and so became the tortilla pizza; ingredients were all on hand, it called for quick assembly & it was surprisingly healthy {220 calories for one tortilla pizza}! not to mention it was delicious!


and based on what i had on hand, one would be inclined to think i had a kid in the house. nope. just a 30 year-old hubs who loves his string cheese snacks!


{tortilla pizza}


ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 1
  • 1 high-fiber, low car tortilla {my favorite are OLE!}
  • 1/4 cups marinara sauce
  • 5 pepperoni slices
  • 1 stick of lite-skim string cheese

1. pre-heat oven {or toaster oven for quicker cook time} to 375 degrees. 

2. place tortilla on a plate & spread the marinara to your little hearts desire. place 5 pepperoni slices around perimeter. pull string cheese into long strands & cover pizza.

3. cook for 8-10 minutes {or until cheese is bubbly}. slice & enjoy!

*lastly, phillip phillips was back in my hometown this weekend for his american idol homecoming concert. check out the photos below some of my friends posted on facebook....






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Margarita

*today's recipe: {strawberry margarita}

well...it happened again. i traveled like a mad woman the month of april {for work} & neglected all of you.

i know. i realize. i get it.

you were waiting with baited breath for a daily post. well, i'm happy to say...


anyway, i second my friend over at bbt...how in the HELL is jessica simpson STILL pregnant?! i know this is a food blog & all but my god. i'm wondering if this is all just a jenny craig/weight watchers joke on the world?! beef her up, slim her down to her daisy duke days day? i have to say, i do miss the dumb nick & jess days of newlyweds. ahh...what might have been.

now i just need a drink to cap off this tuesday....a frozen drink to combat what is going to be the worst summer i've ever lived through. my car temp reader told me it was 93 degrees today. NINETY-THREE. that a girl may.

that. a. girl.

make it 2 'ritas....i'm enjoying this view.

*we're having our deck treated...and what a treat it is!


{strawberry margarita}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 2-4


1. mix all ingredients in a blender. remove popsicle sticks from popsicle. duh.

2. serve with a slice of lime...enjoy!

*one pitcher makes 4 servings...200 calories per serving.
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