Meet the Sullivans: October 2010

October 31, 2010

Seasame Brown Rice Salad

Here is what you'll need: 
1  cup  long-grain brown rice
2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2  cup  shredded carrot
1/3  cup  sliced green onions
1/4  cup  dry-roasted peanuts, divided
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2  teaspoon  salt
2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
4  teaspoons  canola oil
1  teaspoon  dark sesame oil
2  garlic cloves, minced

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool.

 Shred the carrot. 

 Chop the chives, peanuts and cilantro.

 Squeeze lime. 

 Chop garlic. 

 Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

 Boil chicken, transfer to cutting board and chop.

 Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 teaspoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine.

Whisk oil & juice mixture and pour over rice mixture. 

 This was good. It reminded me of fried rice, only healthier.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce

Recipe from Cooking Light
 Here is what you'll need: 
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1  tablespoon  reduced-fat sour cream
1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice
1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
2  tablespoons  2% reduced-fat milk
1  large egg, lightly beaten
1  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2  tablespoons  butter, divided
6  tablespoons  finely chopped drained bottled roasted red bell peppers
2  teaspoons  water
1  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
1  teaspoon  minced fresh garlic
1/2  teaspoon  hot sauce

 Preheat oven to 350°.

 Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pockets.

 Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish.

 Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pockets.
 Working with 1 chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour,
 then dip in egg mixture;
 dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture, and panko.
 Don't substitute the panko for regular breadcrumbs. The panko adds crunch and great flavor!
 Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; place skillet in oven. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, bell peppers, water, Worcestershire, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook until butter melts. Remove from heat.

 I chopped the bell pepper pretty well but it still was pretty lumpy, so I threw it in the mini-prep for a little bit.
 Remove chicken from oven.
 Add hot sauce to pepper mixture.
Served with sweet potato fries and asparagus.

We liked this chicken a lot. The buffalo sauce wasn't spicy enough for us, so make sure you add extra hot sauce if you like things hot!

Pumpkin Pudding, fail.

recipe from Cooking Light Holiday Special 2010
 Last Sunday I attempted this Pumpkin Pie Pudding. I am sure it would have been delicious if I had followed the directions to a tee, but I tried to substitute the cornstarch (because I forgot to buy it at the store) with flour. No bueno. Maybe someone else will learn from my mistake!

 Here is what you'll need: 
1/2 c sugar, divided
2 tbsp cornstarch (very important!)
1 3/4 c low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 c canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 
Cooking spray
1/4 c chopped walnuts
dash of salt
1/4 c heavy whipping cream

 Combine 6 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp cornstarch in a med sauce pan over med heat.
 Combine egg and milk together in a bowl and whisk together. 

 Gradually add milk to sugar mixture stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. remove from heat.
 Combine pumpkin...
 and the next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a bowl...
 stirring well.
 Place pan over low heat. Slowly add the pumpkin mixture to the milk mixture,
 whisking constantly. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, or until heated through. Do not boil.
 Divide pudding evenly among 4 dessert bowls. I used mugs.

 Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
 For nuts; line baking sheet with foil and coat foil with cooking spray.
 Place 2 tbsp sugar, walnuts and a dash of salt in a small nonstick skillet.
 Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and is golden. Stir frequently to coat nuts.
 Transfer to the baking sheet and cool.
 Place whipping cream in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
The recipe is so simple and I am sure it would be really great. I might actually attempt it again.

October 26, 2010

Halloween / Birthday / Come See Our Place Party

This Thursday October 28th is my birthday. Growing up I always had Halloween costume birthday parties. Every year I have celebrated the day in my adulthood I have avoided having any kind of Halloween themed party...until this year!

As you know, Keith and I recently moved, and we really want to show our place to all of our friends. We also thought with Halloween being Sunday and my birthday on Thursday, we could combine all three. It is going to be a laid back party (no costumes!) with about 10-15 people..but there is no reason we can't add some bits of Halloween here and there.

I've picked out a few fun and easy Halloween recipes and fun things:

Clockwise from top left: 
Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread -Keeping Up With the Joneses
Swamp Sangria -Martha Stewart
Mummy Dogs -Southern Living
Savory Pumpkin Puffs -Martha Stewart
Glittered Pumpkins -Martha Stewart

I'm going to be putting it all together on Saturday with the help of my sister. Seems easy enough, but I think I may have a lot on my plate! I still might add some sweets to the mix, so you'll just have to come back to see how it all turns out. 

An early Happy Halloween to you all! 

October 25, 2010

Menu Monday 10/25

Happy Monday! 

Last week was SO busy. We moved all weekend. Sunday was our first night in our new "home" and we have spent most of our free time tying up all the lose ends, getting those little things we've realized we don't have but need, having family or friends over, etc., that I have been whipping up dinner in the kitchen without taking many pictures.

The weekend was wonderful because it was the first time we could really enjoy and take in our new space and I was able to take some time Saturday to flip through all the recipes I've been wanting to try and plan our weekly menu. We have another busy week ahead and here are the things I will be whipping up in the kitchen:

All recipes are from Cooking Light.

clockwise from top left:

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce- I meant to make this a few weeks ago, but because of our move I never got around to it. My husband is a big fan of Buffalo Sauce'd anything so I really had to make this for him. I am serving it with brussel sprouts and baked sweet potato fries. Keith was home today, so he cut up the sweet potatoes before I got home (sweet husband!). 

10/26 We had this for dinner last night. It was really good! The panko makes all the difference. I chopped the red peppers really, really finely but they still barely resembled a traditional buffalo sauce...even after I threw it in my Cuisinart mini-prep. I suggest doubling the blue cheese stuffing and the hot sauce (if you like it spicy).

English Cottage Pie- We will be at Keith's mom's house one night this week to watch our favorite shows together so I'm going to fix this the night before to take over there and pop in the oven. Last week we did take-out but this is healthier and more cost efficient.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding- Looks delicious! I especially like the presentation and it doesn't sound too difficult. 

10/31 This was not difficult to make, but I once again learned that following the directions is very important. I substituted flour for the cornstarch which resulted in the pudding never solidifying. Needless to say we never tried the pudding. 

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts- This should be healthy and refreshing after all of the hearty comfort food we have been having lately.

This was really, really good. I will be making this again and again. 

October 19, 2010

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Every year for the past 6 years Keith and I have been together we have been going to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. Anyone who lives in our area knows that there are only two ways to get in and out of Half Moon Bay--one is a somewhat curvy highway that turns into a rural one-way road, the other is 20 minutes north and much more treacherous.

Despite all of these difficulties Keith and I still love to go to the festival every year. We eat pumpkin pancakes, shop the booths and get pumpkins from Pastorino's Farms (the people who did our wedding flowers) on our way home.

The prize winning pumpkin

Our friend Jackie and her beautiful blown glass pumpkin


Our pumpkins: one Cinderella, a few sugar pies and a couple others