Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Double-baked potatoes

A really yummy side dish, or you could have it as a meal for lunch!

Large potatoes for baking (however many you need)- wash and scrub well
salt & pepper
chopped boiled broccoli, or sliced sauted mushrooms
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream (optional)
olive oil

-Bake potatoes in the microwave until fully cooked (it takes about 5 minutes per potato)
-Heat oven to 375 degrees
-Let potatoes cool for about 10 minutes
-Place potatoes on a baking sheet
-Rub the potato skin with olive oil and some salt (so you can eat it after it's baked the second time)
-Carefully cut out a wedge from the top of the potato (this is in order to empty out the inside of the potato while keeping the shell/skin in tact)
-Empty as much as you can from the inside of the potato, leaving some of the potatoe attached to the skin so it doesn't fall apart, and place it into a bowl
-Add butter, milk, salt, pepper, broccoli or mushrooms, cheddar cheese and mix well
-Repack the now mashed potatoes into the potato shells (it'll be more than what you took out, don't worry you can just pile it up high)
-Re-bake the potatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes
-Serve immediately, you can add sour cream on the side if you like

You can always prepare the potatoes ahead of time and bake them right before you're ready to eat. You can also top them with more cheddar cheese on top towards the end of the baking.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Easy Beef Stroganoff


1/2 pound of sliced beef fillet
3 tablespoons light sour cream, brought to room temperature
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth (you can make it by boiling water with a bullion cube)
1 medium sized box of sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt & pepper

- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, add beef. Saute until beef is no longer red, then add the onions. Saute for about 2 minutes then cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and let the beef cook until it's tender. You can add water to it every now and then so it doesn't burn. Add a little bit of salt and pepper after the meat is cooked.
-Add mushroom and saute until the mushrooms are cooked, set aside in a separate bowl.
-Melt butter in skillet, add flour and mix well (on medium-low heat)
-Add chicken broth gradually until you have a nice thick sauce, lower the heat. Add meat and mushroom mixture. Stir in sour cream gradually (one tablespoon at a time), don't bring the sauce to a boil after this point because the sour cream will curdle.

-Enjoy this delicious dish with some white rice, egg noodles, pasta, or mashed potatoes! :)

Dana's special pasta

(sorry, I couldn't think of a better name hehe)

1 box of farfalle pasta (the bow-tie kind)
1 medium sized carton of heavy cream
1 small broccoli bunch, chopped into small pieces (don't use the electric chopper though)
2 large garlic cloves, pressed/minced
a handful of sundried tomatoes in olive oil, finely chopped (this time use the chopper)
1 medium box of small white mushrooms, sliced
6 chicken breast cutlets, marinated in zesty italian dressing, grilled, and sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt (to taste)
Parmesan cheese (to taste)

-Boil pasta as directed on box, rinse lightly when done, reserve 1 cup or 2 of the pasta water
-Melt butter in pan (I use a large stainless steel pan), add garlic and saute for a few minutes. When garlic starts to brown, add sun dried tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes or so. Then add broccoli and mushrooms, salt, and olive oil.
-Cover and let the veggies cook until they are done.
-When veggies are cooked, add the pasta to it and mix well.
-You can set everything aside at this point until you are ready to serve the food.
-When ready to serve, turn on the heat (medium-high), add heavy cream and half a cup of pasta water.
-Bring the sauce to a boil then lower the heat. You can add more of the pasta water if you want to increase the amount of sauce.
-Add parmesan cheese and mix into the pasta... let it simmer until the sauce thickens...
-Finally add the sliced chicken and mix into the pasta. Let it heat up for a couple of minutes and serve!

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Banana Cream Pie

1 package of instant vanilla pudding (you'll need two cups of milk to make it)
3 medium yellow bananas (not too ripe but just right)
a few drops of lemon juice
cool whip
graham cracker crust (you can get the ready made crust or make it yourself)

- slice bananas in a bowl and then sprinkle with lemon juice and mix well (this is to prevent browning)
-Spread bananas over the crust, mix pudding and pour it over bananas.
-Chill for half an hour
-Take the pie out and spread cool whip on top
-Keep refrigerated until ready to serve...

this is a super easy, delicious, and light dessert. Everyone who tries it loves it... give it a try and let me know what you think! :)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shrimp Scampi

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound of pasta, of half the box (any kind you like), save 1 cup of pasta water after it's boiled
salt & pepper
1 cup steamed chopped broccoli (optional)
Parmesan cheese

-Put some salt and pepper on the shrimp and set aside

-Start to boil pasta, remember to save 1 cup of the water after the pasta is done. Drain the pasta and set aside.

-In another pot or pan, heat olive oil and place butter to melt. After the butter is melted add the garlic (be careful because garlic burns easily)... before the garlic becomes brown add the shrimp and stir fry until the shrimp turns pink (fully cooked). Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and pasta water and heat the liquid through, once it comes to a boil bring down the heat and add the pasta and broccoli. Stir everything together and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Add salt, pepper and lemon juice if you feel it needs more.

-Serve immediately and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese...

enjoy! :)

PS: This will make enough food for 3-4 people depending on portions. You can also substitute capers for the broccoli if you like.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Couscous with a vegetable-chicken sauce

If you're bored of eating rice, couscous is a great alternative. Just make the couscous out of the box and eat it with this nutritious sauce.

Here's the recipe for the sauce:

- 2 or 3 chicken breast cutlets, sliced or chopped into cubes
-1 large onion, cut the onion in half vertically, then lay each half on the cutting board and slice it into thin strips vertically as well.
-1 medium sized green zucchini, copped into half circles
-1 medium sized yellow zucchini, chopped into half circles
-1 medium carrot, cut it in a way that's easy to eat like thin strips
-1/2 can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas, I like the goya brand
-salt and pepper
-1/2 can tomato sauce
-curry powder
-some oil

-Heat oil in pot then add chicken, when chicken turns from pink to white add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook until the chicken is slightly browned.
-add veggies and cook for a couple of minutes, then add tomato sauce, curry powder (to taste), and the beans... and add about 1/2 cup of water...
-Bring it to a boil, then let everything cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or so.. stirring it every now and then so it doesn't stick

when all the veggies are cooked through, you are done!

enjoy with the prepared couscous... :)

When I made this it was enough for my husband and I, we also had some left overs that came in handy for lunch the next day.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Delicious Okra (bamia) with white rice

This is one of my favorite recipes and it's one of the easiest. I won't tell you how to make the rice but here's the Okra recipe:

1 bag frozen okra, thawed (preferably the one sold in the Arab stores because the okra is smaller and tastier)
1 large can of petite diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste
1 chopped green bell pepper (big pieces)

-heat oven to 375
-Combine: Okra, olive oil, salt, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic in an oven safe pan.
-Bake for about an hour and a half, until everything is cooked through...
-Enjoy with some white rice and then make dua for me! hehe :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped (I prefer using frozen artichoke from Trader Joe's, thawed)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

-Preheat oven to 350. Mis all ingredients until well blended.
-Spoon into 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish
-Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. (sometimes it takes longer than 20 minutes)

Enjoy with some yummy Tortilla chips or with some veggies! :)