Chicken, spinach, and mushroom crepes

5 05 2008

Yesterday I was finally back in the kitchen!  We needed something yummy to fill out bellies since we spent the day doing work at the house.  We ripped up the carpets, removed hundreds of staples from the floor, took out all the tack strips, and started the kithen demo.  I didn’t realize how much fun doing all that would be.  It’s so exciting to see huge improvements after just one day.

Anyway, I digress… Back to the food!  Here’s what I made last night:

Those are chicken, spinach, and mushroom crepes from Cooking Light.  We both thought they were good, and I thought they were very comfort food-ish without all the calories.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to make crepes, but now I’m ready to make breakfast or dessert with them.  They’re so easy!

Overall, the whole recipe was very easy to make, and I’m sure I’ll make these again sometime.

Chicken, spinach, and mushroom crepes
Cooking Light

Ingredients:

 Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 Basic Crepes (see following recipe)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers

Directions:

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sliced onion and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms release their moisture and darken. Stir in chicken, green onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and spinach.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to pan; stir with a whisk until blended. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk; cook 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture over chicken mixture; stir to combine.

3. Preheat broiler.

4. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture in the center of each crepe; fold ends and sides over. Place, seam side down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle crepes evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield – 5 servings (serving size: 2 crepes)

Nutritional Information:

CALORIES 411(30% from fat); FAT 13.8g (sat 6.7g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 40.1g; CHOLESTEROL 164mg; CALCIUM 308mg; SODIUM 719mg; FIBER 3.7g; IRON 3.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.9g

Cynthia Nims , Cooking Light, JUNE 2006

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May 4 – May 9

4 05 2008

I haven’t been cooking lately, because we’ve been really busy with the house closing and a few sticky events leading up to the closing.  Everything worked out fine, and now we’re the proud owners of our first home.  And now that things have quieted down slightly*, I’m ready to cook! 

*Things have not quieted down.  Things are busier than ever, but I want/need/am craving the relaxation that comes along with cooking.  So even though we’re busy packing, making home improvements, and working, our bellies will be filled with some healthy home cooked meals. 

Here’s the plan for the week:

Sunday – chicken, spinach, and mushroom crepes
Monday – lemon garlic shrimp skewers
Tuesday – rosemary garlic chicken and roasted potatoes
Wednesday – macaroni and cheese (a great lower calorie recipe)
Thursday – tilapia parmesan
Friday – leftovers





Update

29 04 2008

Okay, here’s the scoop.  Today is my birthday.  I’m 28!  I had a wonderful day, and now I’m sleepy but still ready to explain my lack of food blogging.  So here goes…

Life is BUSY.  Here’s what my week looks like:

Monday – birthday (yay, yay, yay!)
Tuesday – helping my sister-in-law and her boyfriend move into their new apartment
Wednesday – doing a final walk through of our (almost) house and meeting with our lawyer, aka mother-in-law
Thursday – CLOSING!
Friday – retirement party

…and the weekend is already filling up.  So, as you can see, I don’t have time to cook and blog this week.  Boo.  It makes me grumpy.  But I promise to cook my little heart out very soon, so stay tuned for something yummy to appear on your screen soon.  🙂





Nothing blog worthy…

22 04 2008

I haven’t been cooking anything blog worthy these days, because things have been pretty busy.  This is what I ate for dinner tonight.  Enjoy the picture of my almost-finished dinner until I have time to post something more spectacular!

Salmon + pasta + snap peas + garlic + extra virgin olive oil  + a very tired kindergarten teacher = a quick, easy dinner that was just delightful to my waiting belly*

* Belly is a kindergarten term, of course. 





It’s a beautiful Sunday!

20 04 2008

Today is just perfect.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the spring flowers are blooming everywhere.  Days like this make me incredibly happy.  I don’t even care that it’s the last day before break!  To celebrate this beautiful day, I decided to finally make this chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve been hearing about for months now.  It’s from America’s Test Kitchen, and apparently these are the absolute best. 

Well, first – the recipe called for a lot more chocolate chips than what I’m used to (not a bad thing!).  Second, I usually make much smaller cookies, and third, I’m surprised at how these turned out.  They were a little crispy on the outside but chewy and soft on the inside.  I’m not a fan of the crispiness, and I’m thinking that I might have left them in for a bit too long, even though I watched them like a hawk. 

I think I need to try these again sometime.  I used salted butter instead of unsalted – will that make much of a difference? – and I skipped the salt that the recipe called for because of this.  Hmm.  I’m not complaining, because these cookies were great, but I didn’t like them as much as my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, which, I have to admit, is the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse semisweet chocolate chips.  Hey, why change a good thing, right?  I’ll try these again sometime and report back…

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 T. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine dry ingredients; set aside.

3. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. 

4. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.

5. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined.  Stir in chips. 

6. Roll scant 1/2 cup dough into ball.  Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves.  Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball.

7. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are soft and puffy (15-18 minutes). 

8. Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool. 





Oatmeal apple cinnamon muffins

20 04 2008

Last night I felt like baking, but I didn’t have any butter left in the fridge.  I decided to check out my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and I found a muffin recipe that called for oil instead of butter.  Then I saw that I could add oatmeal in place of some of the flour (healthier, right?!), and I decided to chop up an apple and throw that in there, too.  I also threw a teaspoon of cinnamon in there for some extra flavor.

They came out great!  Nice and light and perfect for breakfast.  There’s nothing really special about them, I suppose, but they took me all of 10 minutes to make, which is pretty special all in itself.  😉 

Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Muffins
adapated from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook 

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 medium apple, peeled and cored, then diced – I used an Empire apple.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Grease twelve 2-1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and oatmeal.  Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

4. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

5. Fold in the diced apple.

6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.





Blackberry scones

13 04 2008

My mom, sister, and niece are coming to visit tonight, and I wanted to make them something special.  My sister has already requested salmon cakes for dinner (see salmon cakes post), and I thought I would whip them up something to snack on and/or have for breakfast. 

I had been eyeing the blueberry scones in Katie’s blog (another food blogger) for awhile now (www.goodthingscatered.blogspot.com), and I thought today would be the perfect day to make them.  I didn’t have any blueberries in the freezer, but I did have blackberries.  Why not, right?  I’ve never baked with blackberries before, and oh my goodness!  They turned the dough a very bright purple/red color.  They taste good though, so no complaints here. 

My pictures aren’t the greatest, but it’s about the taste of the scones, not my photographic abilities!

I recommend you slather on some butter while you’re eating these. 

…but not THAT much!  I scraped some off before I ate that bite.  Don’t worry.

I also recommend that you sweeten them up a bit by dusting on some powdered sugar.

Or just eat them plain with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.  Heck, or even a glass of wine.  Everyone needs wine!

Here’s the original recipe for blueberry scones:

Oh – and a couple notes…

a) I used whole wheat flour because I was all out of regular flour.

b) I didn’t have half-and-half, so I used 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. heavy cream.  I’m not sure how much that affected the recipe.

c) I had to actually post a message asking Katie if the blueberries (blackberries in my case) needed to be frozen or thawed.  She assured me that they needed to be frozen.  So glad I asked.  I was about ready to defrost the whole darn bag before using the blackberries.  (Thanks, Katie!)

d) Click on the link to take you to Katie’s blog and check our her scones.  They look much more delicious than mine do! 

Blueberry Scones
from www.goodthingscatered.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

2 c. flour plus 2 Tbsp, plus 1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, plus 1/2 Tbsp, chilled
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 c. half and half, chilled
2/3 c. frozen Maine wild blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. In small bowl combine frozen blueberries and 1 Tbsp flour and toss to combine.  Place blueberry mixture back into freezer.

3. In large bowl, combine flour (2 cups plus 2 T.), baking powder, sugar and salt.

4. Take butter out of fridge, cut into chunks and add to flour mixture.  Cut butter into flour until pea sized or smaller.

5. Add vanilla and half and half and mix in with a spoon until just barely incorporated.

6. Take blueberries out of fridge and knead into mixture until mixture forms a ball of sticky dough.

7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and pat down into rough 9-10 inch circle.  Cut into 8 triangles and place triangles onto prepared baking sheet at least an inch apart.

8. Take 1/2 Tbsp butter and cut into 8 small pieces.  Place one small piece of butter on top of each scone.  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.