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Archive for March, 2008

French Bread Chicken and Cheese Melts

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Chicken, Recipe Categories:, Sandwiches No Comments →

6 servings


  • One loaf French bread, *split the long way, down the middle; then each half cut into thirds, for a total of 6 individual pizza-style portions
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, such as Contadina®
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 pound chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 425º. Place bread cut-sides-up on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bread is lightly toasted. Spread pizza sauce over bread; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet; add garlic and chicken. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Add basil, bell pepper, and onion. Cook until heated through and onion is transparent, about 3 minutes more. Spread chicken/onion mixture evenly over French bread “pizzas.” Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and return pizzas to 425º oven. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from baking sheet with spatula and serve.

Easy Fried Rice

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Rice, Rice and Pasta No Comments →

6 servings

2 tablespoons oil
2 green onions with tops, diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
4 cups already cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon each: soy sauce and oyster sauce, or more to taste
Salt and pepper (optional)

Heat oil in skillet (or wok). Add the green onions (and peas if using them) and cook 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice and cook, tossing well, till heated through and coated–about 2 minutes more. Move rice to side of pan. Add beaten eggs to center of pan and cook and stir until scrambled. Once the eggs are scrambled, break them up and toss to mix with the other ingredients in pan. Season mixture with soy sauce and oyster sauce to your liking. Adjust with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste if you wish.

Note* Diced cooked meats (such as roast pork, ham, or chicken) may be added to this dish, to turn it into a more substantial entree, rather than a side dish. If doing so, add the meat and about 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth to further flavor and moisten the rice.

Quick and Easy Beef and Garlic

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Beef, Dinners No Comments →

4 to 6 servings

1 to 1-1/2 pounds boned sirloin steak, cut into 1/4 -inch thick strips
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups sliced bok choy
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons *low-sodium soy sauce (I like to substitute-in 1 tablespoon of Oyster Sauce, although the recipe as written does not call for it)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine beef and garlic in a bowl, cover and chill for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat a nonstick skillet, coated with cooking spray over medium-heat until hot. Add beef and sauté 5 minutes or until beef is done. Remove beef from pan and keep warm. Combine bok choy and green onions in same skillet; sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 3 minutes more, or until thickened slightly. Mix meat back into pan and serve.

Serve with plenty of fluffy steamed rice or cellophane noodles. (To cook cellophane noodles, just follow directions on the package. You can find cellophane noodles in the oriental section of your market.)

Coriander Seed

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Kitchen Basics No Comments →

Coriander is the seed of Coriandrum sativum, a plant in the parsley family. The seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, and 1/5 inch in diameter with alternating straight and wavy ridges. Coriander is not interchangeable with cilantro, although they are from the same plant.

Ground Coriander seed is traditional in desserts and sweet pastries as well as in curries, meat, and seafood dishes with South American, Indian, Mediterranean, and African origins. Add it to stews and marinades for a Mediterranean flavor.

Coriander is probably one of the first spices used by mankind, having been known as early as 5000 BC. Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC also spoke of it. In the Old Testament “manna” is described as “white like Coriander Seed.” (Exodus 16:31) The Romans spread it throughout Europe and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America

Shoepeg Corn

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Cook's Glossary No Comments →

Once in a while you will see an ethnic or regional recipe calling for the term “shoepeg” corn. Shoepeg corn is a canned white-kernelled sweet corn and if you can’t find it in your market, just substitute the more familiar yellow-kernelled corn instead.

Chili Sauce

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Cook's Glossary No Comments →

A spicy-hot-sauce-blend of tomatoes, chilies, onions, peppers, vinegar, sugar and spices used as a condiment or seasoning or for homemade sauces–not to be confused with cocktail sauce (which looks very similar but has horseradish in it). Find in the ketchup/condiment section of your market.

Pizza Family Night Friday

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Dessert Recipes, Kids in the Kitchen 2 Comments →

“Give young children the opportunity to participate in family decision-making. Their insight will surprise you.” ~Life’s Little Instruction Book

We talk about the importance of our children within our families … spending time with them, nurturing and encouraging them, talking with them and listening to them. Today’s menu reflects another way to include our children on a quality level by letting them help with the “decision-making” about the ingredients and the preparation for a dinner. Friday night can be the perfect time to make dinner a Family Affair for all to participate in and we’ve included 2 easy recipes (a dinner pizza and a dessert pizza) to get you started.


Easy Crescent-Roll Dinner Pizza

makes 1 large pizza


2 packages tube-style refrigerated crescent rolls

1 jar pizza sauce of your choice

12 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese (I like low-fat)

Cooked and crumbled sausage or sliced pepperoni

Pat crescent roll dough out onto a 12 x 16 -inch cookie sheet, patting any seams closed to make one large crust. Spread with pizza sauce, then cooked sausage, then cheese. If using pepperoni, spread sauce, then cheese, then top with pepperoni slices. Bake in 350? oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking


Easy Crescent-Roll Dessert Pizza

makes 1 medium pizza

1 can tube-style refrigerated crescent rolls

8 ounces cream cheese or strawberry cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

Assorted fruits; choose from: fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced kiwi, grapes (halved), drained mandarin orange slices, drained bite-size pineapple pieces

Spread crescent roll dough on a 13 -inch pizza pan, pinching any seams together. Bake in 350º oven until browned; cool completely. Mix cream cheese and sugar together until softened and fluffy; spread on crust. Arrange selected fruits in decorative pattern on top of the cream cheese. Store in fridge till serving time. Cut into wedges to serve.

Chicken Cutlets

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Kitchen Basics 1 Comment →

To flatten chicken breasts for cutlets: place individually between layers of plastic wrap, or in a plastic baggie.  Pound the breast on a flat surface with the back of a heavy wooden spoon (or a mallet made for that purpose) until you reach thickness desired. Remove from plastic and cook according to recipe instructions.  This pounding process aids in both tenderizing the meat and having uniform cooking times for each piece. This process can also be used to form scaloppini, cutlets, fillets, and any boneless meat (such as veal) that you want to flatten for a specific dish.


March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Cook's Glossary No Comments →

A French culinary term, that simply means leafy green herbs or greens that have been cut into very thin strips.

Frosting a Cake

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Cakes No Comments →

One of the most basic tips (and perhaps the most important) is to be sure to let your cake cool completely before frosting!

With a long, serrated knife cut off any “bumps or humps” so that the cake will lay flat on the plate and so the second layer will lay flat on the first layer.

Brush off any loose crumbs before applying frosting.

Use a flexible palette-knife-style spatula to apply the frosting.

Use 1/2 cup frosting for between the layers. Then frost sides and finish with the top last.

For a smooth finish you can dip the spatula in hot water and gently run it around the sides of the cake to smooth the frosting.