Sweet Cooking

Archive for the ‘Just Good Food’ Category

Those were the days….

In Baby food, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I took a little blog trip back in time to see what I was cooking last fall. Wow. We ate well back then. Wow.

Apple Pie

Vegetable Soup

Pumpkin Bread

Halloween Bark

Now, it’s a struggle to get dinner on the table. I must admit we’re eating pretty simple these days. Think roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and rice. Pork tenderloin, quinoa and a salad. It’s not bad food, it’s just not that interesting. Not blog worthy. I’m going to have to get organized if I want to spice things up. I need to make weekly meal plans, shop once (okay, twice), and use the weekends to make something that I can freeze. I recently made a batch of My Dad’s Turkey Chili, and it’s been lunch all week. It’s so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer. I really need to do more of that.

I’ve also been busy cooking for the baby. She is eating pureed fruits and vegetables now, and I’ve been making some of her food.

This is butternut squash. You halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in a pan of shallow water until it's soft.

Then you puree it and freeze it in these little trays. It's kind of fun and really easy to make her food.

Apples. They are her favorite.

Enough baby food…I do believe that butternut squash is too often overlooked. It’s such a nice side dish. I can’t remember what I had with this, but I remember loving the squash.

Peel the squash and then cut it into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Then roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir occasionally. It will be tender (you can easily pierce it with a fork) when it's done.

My next post is going to be about the world’s largest veal chop and then I’ll be bringing you a super chocolate chip cookie and pumpkin swirl brownies!


Asian Rice with Shrimp and Snow Peas

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on October 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

The babe and I have been on a world tour. Four days after we came home from California, we went to Alabama. It was wonderful to see family and friends. And it was fantastic to see Auburn beat Florida! However, all the traveling has meant not much cooking.

But I did manage to bust this dish out for dinner recently.

You can find the recipe here. It’s simple and tasty. Not the most exciting dish, but if you like Asian flavors it’s worth a try. It makes great leftovers too. Have a great weekend everyone!

Panko Crusted Salmon

In Just Good Food on September 30, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The meatballs are done. Now we’re back to more crusted food. One of my friends recommended this recipe to me. It’s from Ina Garten, and she is basically flawless. All of her recipes seem to turn out great. This one is no exception.

Start by making the panko crust.

Coat the salmon with a little dijon and then rub the crust on. When I'm doing crusted food, I always really make sure the crust is adhering well. Really press it on there.

Cook and serve with a green salad or vegetables of your choice. I did a weird saute of sugar snap peas and mushrooms.

Next post will be a cookie!!!! It’s been so long, and I promise that this one is worth the wait. Have a great weekend everyone!

Meatballs Part III

In Just Good Food on September 26, 2011 at 8:58 am

That’s right. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I promise this is my last meatball related post. Read part I and II if you are just now getting on the meatball train.

Even Dan and I can’t eat all of our meatballs. And he eats like an animal. What do we do with the leftovers? Meatball subs, of course!

Start with a good loaf of Italian bread.

Warm your leftovers on the stove and then put meatballs and sauce in between two slices. Doesn't get any easier than that!

Dan likes to dip his sandwich in a little extra sauce before each bite.

As an alternate, you can do an open face sub. I ate mine this way (trying to limit my carbs).

Here are links to the recipes I use:

Meatballs – please note that I do not make giant meatballs as the recipe suggests. Although, I think that would be good too.

Sauce – This is my favorite sauce recipe to date. If you don’t have time to make sauce from scratch, I suggest using a jar of Rao’s Marinara. It’s delicious.


Meatballs Part II

In Just Good Food on September 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

As promised, I’m bringing you more meatballs! So….read part I and get caught up before moving on to this post.

To thaw your meatballs, just put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours. It should be noted that you don’t need to freeze the meatballs. If you want to cook them all right away, by all means, please do. There are 2 methods to cooking meatballs:

1. Brown in pan/oven and then put them in sauce to finish cooking.

2. Skip the browning and just put them into the sauce.

I have done it both ways, and I do prefer my meatballs using method #1. However, it takes longer and requires one additional pan to be cleaned. Pre-babe I would do method #1. Post-babe I am more than content to use method #2. If I ever have another baby, we’ll just eat the meatballs raw.

This is what I call "hot tubbing". Basically, you let the meatballs "hot tub" in warm sauce until they are done. I would say about 45 minutes.

Make the pasta of your choice. I used a fresh pasta that I can't remember the name of now.

Once the meatballs are ready, toss the pasta in with the sauce and balls.

Delicious! Top with a little fresh parmesan and serve with a green salad and a loaf of Italian bread.


Meatballs Part I

In Just Good Food on September 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

Dan is so excited. I’m making meatballs. I think it’s his favorite dish ever. When I make meatballs, I go ahead and make a huge batch. It’s not that hard to double the recipe and they freeze really well.

Start with a combination of meats. I use 1 pound each of ground sirloin, pork and veal.

This is the recipe I use. Please note the red wine stain on the card. Always, always have a glass of red wine while making meatballs.

I used the mini prep to chop the onion, garlic and herbs. Then add that to the meat with the breadcrumbs, eggs, salt and pepper.

Using your hands, mix everything together. It's a dirty job. Just don't think too much about it.

Then form the mixture into meatballs. This recipe, when doubled, makes about 50 meatballs. Mine were slightly smaller than golf balls.

I froze the meatballs on a cookie sheet and then transferred them into containers. I will be bringing you Meatballs Part II and Part III soon!

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

In Fruit, Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 14, 2011 at 7:58 am

I’ve been doing a lot of “crusted” dishes lately. I really like this one! The original recipe was actually for a peanut-crusted chicken, but I had pistachios and used them instead.

I suggest using a food processor or mini-prep to finely chop the pistachios. There is also one slice of whole wheat bread in there. This literally takes less than 30 seconds.

Once that is done, simply dredge the chicken in the pistachio mixture.

Make the pineapple salsa. I didn't use a red onion in my salsa because I forgot to buy one. I hate it when that happens.

Cook the chicken and you're done! Tasty, easy and not a lot of clean-up. The perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Cajun Style Peel and Eat Shrimp

In Just Good Food, Miscellaneous on September 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

This is a great recipe. I doubt you’ll find any true Southerner who doesn’t like this one. I know some people don’t like to peel shrimp and get their hands all dirty. Boo hoo. Believe me, there are some diapers that are a lot worse than shrimp peels. Just suck it up and get in there. No reason to let a little shrimp peel stand in your way of a delicious dinner. Put a roll of paper towels on the table and peel your little heart out.

Here are the ingredients. Please note I used fresh thyme instead of dried thyme. I also used fake garlic instead of real garlic (which was what was on hand - gasp).

Mix all that up with the shrimp.


Bake in individual foil packets. Soooooo easy!

Serve this dish with a loaf of bread (the juices are great for dipping), a green salad and some cold beers. This is a spicy dish….you might want to scale back on the red pepper and tabasco if you are spice averse. Enjoy!

Herb Roasted Mini Potatoes

In Just Good Food on August 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

Are you ready for Autumn? I am. I want to wear jeans and boots. I want to watch football. I want to have my morning coffee outside and not be sweating. I want to buy cute fall clothes for the babe. I am sooooo ready.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog since it’s inception, you’ll know that I love “mini” food. I especially love small potatoes. They are so cute and tasty.

I bought this potato mixture at Whole Foods. It was called a "Pee Wee Pack of Potatoes". How cute is that?

I did tweak this recipe from Cooking Light some. I used rosemary instead of tarragon and chives. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, and it screams “Autumn” to me. I love the way rosemary smells – the apartment smelled so delicious while I was roasting the potatoes. This recipe is super easy. Just follow the instructions and you’ll have an incredible side dish. They go with anything (chicken, beef, lamb, fish, cookies, whatever). I even tossed these in a salad the next day – they are great cold too!

I really like the dijon and rosemary flavor combo.

I was recently in Alabama visiting my family. The babe, Dan and I all had a wonderful time at Lake Martin. It’s such a beautiful and special place. And this is big news:  you can now get a latte in Alex City!!!! Go to Coffee and Cakes Cafe in the Queen’s Attic and you can get a really good latte. It made my whole trip! Additionally, while I was downtown, I shopped at Cloud Nine and Carlisle Drug Store. They both have some really cute baby clothes. If you live in/near Alexander City you should go check it out.

While I was home (2 days longer than I had planned thanks to Irene) my mom and I did some great cooking. So stay tuned for delicious peel and eat shrimp, fruit cobbler, faux banana ice cream and oven baked okra. Have a great Labor Day!!

Parmesan Crusted Flounder

In Just Good Food on August 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

This blog entry is going to be quick – just like the recipe! I have been making this flounder for several years. It’s tasty, incredibly easy and not a lot of clean up. Follow the recipe from Cooking Light.

Start by making this mixture of mayo, green onions and parmesan cheese. Then spread it all over the flounder.

Then make this mixture of breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat) and dried herbs.

Sprinkle the coated fish with the breadcrumbs and herbs then bake at 400 degrees until flaky.

I like to broil the fish at the very end to get the topping nice and crispy.

I serve this flounder with sauteed spinach and wild rice, but it would be great with almost anything. Enjoy!