Friday, June 29, 2012

Its FINALLY Friday!

Maybe its just me but this week seemed to snail on by...

Last night a few of us went bowling and Brian came over for dinner before hand. I hadn't made this recipe in a while and I knew he was a big fan so I decided to make garlic chicken. 

WARNING: You WILL need a breath mint after this meal! 

Garlic Chicken

What you need: 

- 3 pieces of chicken 
- 4-5 large fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup of EVOO 
- 1 tsp salt 
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 Tb Marjoram (can also use oregano)
- 2 Tb lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray glass pan with cooking spray for easier clean up. In a glass measuring cup add garlic and fill with EVOO until it reaches 1/4 cup. Add salt, pepper, Marjoram, and lemon juice. Use a fork to mash garlic and mix together ingredients. The longer you let this mixture sit the stronger it will become. Place an equal amount of mixture onto each chicken and pour remaining oil on top. Cook the chicken for 34 minutes or until it begins to brown. 

Heres the before and after of the chicken- the garlic stays on pretty well!

I served the chicken with a spinach salad and some mashed potatoes. 

Mashed potatoes: 

What you need:

- 4 large potatoes cubed
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup of  skim milk
-1/2 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
- Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and peel any bad parts of the potatoes. Cube the potatoes in order to increase cooking time. Boil water in a large pot and place potatoes in. Cook for about 14-16 minutes or until you can place a fork through the potato. Drain water and put cubes in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper and mash potatoes. Add butter and continue to mash. Lastly add your dairy and mix into potatoes. The yogurt really helps to make the potatoes creamy and is a lot healthier then sour cream. 

I purchased this butter at the farmers market- the company is actually from La Crosse!

What's a dinner without a little wine? 

Hope you stay cool this weekend! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feeling like mexican?

Want to make something Mexican but don't want plain old tacos?

Then I have the recipe for you... 

Lately I have had a lot of Italian food so I decided that needed to change. I went to an all day Honeywell training for work and I would lie if I said my mind didn't wonder off a few times in the afternoon. I planned out my whole meal in my head and was eager to get to the store for the missing ingredients. We had chicken fajitas and homemade salsa!

These recipes are pretty easy but they do take a little prep time. If you are going to make them together, I suggest doing the salsa first so it can sit and marinate for a while. I made a double batch of both recipes so there would be lots of leftovers!

What you need:
-3 large tomatoes
- 1/2 Tb onion powder
- 1/2 Tb salt and pepper
- 1/2 Tb jalapeno powder ( you can also use fresh jalapenos or red pepper flakes)
-1/2 Tb garlic powder
- 1/2 Tb oregano

Chop the tomatoes into cubes and add spices.. Yep thats it!

For the Fajitas: 

What you need:
-1 Lb of chicken, sliced in small strips
-1 onion, sliced into rings
- 1 bell pepper (color of choice)
-2 Tb olive oil, divided

-2 Tbsp chili powder
-1 Tbsp salt
-1 Tbsp paprika
-1 Tbsp sugar
-½ tsp garlic powder
-½ tsp cumin
-½ tsp cayenne
-¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 flour Tortillas

Heat 1 Tb of olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add strips of chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and warm remaining 1 Tb of olive oil. Place onions and peppers into skillet and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Put the chicken back into the skillet, add water and spices and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes. Add mixture into tortilla and serve. 

Damian helped me chop the veggies!

We warmed up both corn and flour tortillas

We served a little store bought guac and chips with the meal for a wonderful Mexican fiesta!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Perfect Sunday Afternoon

I think I have found the perfect Sunday afternoon activities. 

After a great night with friends at Tony's house in Plymouth, Sunday needed to be a day of relaxation! Damian, Eric, and I headed to Lake Nakomis for a few hours to catch some sun. It was the perfect temperature to just sit in the water and enjoy the thousands of little kids running around. Working in an office all week has caused me to miss the outdoors a lot, so I'm always craving some sun time. On our way home, Damian's parents called to see if we wanted to have dinner with them at Sea Salt Eatery. I've wanted to try this place for a long time so I was very eager to go. Sea Salt Eatery is located in Minnehaha Park, right next to the falls. 

The way this place works:
1. You wait in a line (we waited about 30 minutes)
2. Order and take a table number
3. Sit outside in any outdoor area around the place
4. Eat delicious seafood from Costal Seafood that is flown in fresh daily

What could be better? 

The great thing about this place is that they serve beer by the pitcher and full bottles of wine, have live music and is home to the cutest puppies in minneapolis. The food was phenomenal, which is saying a lot because seafood and Minnesota are not generally used in the same sentence.

Heres a run down of what we ate. 

Damian had the fish po' boy served with a pickle and slaw.

I had the crab cake sandwich, which was probably one of the best crab cakes I've ever had!

On top of these, the Ahi burger, the fish tacos, and the peel and eat shrimp that his parents had were all delicious. The one downfall of this place: don't go there if you are in a time crunch. We arrived there around 5:45pm and didn't finish eating until almost 8 because this place was so popular!

On our way back to the car, we checked out the falls!

Hope you had a great weekend! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My favorite fast snacks

Ever feel hungry but don't want to spend a whole lot of time cooking anything?

I don't generally keep a lot of junk food snacks around the house, well frankly because I would probably eat them. Instead I try to have a few things laying around that don't take too long to whip up. 

Introducing... The Cucumber Salad

This is one of the most simple recipes I know, and Caitlin's FAVORITE! 

- 3 large cucumbers (or 5 small ones, I prefer small because they have more flavor)
- 3 green onions
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbps lemon juice
- a little bit of sea salt and pepper 

Chop cucumbers in small cubes. For this recipe, I only use the bottom end of the onions, meaning the white part and around 2 inches of green. Slice thin small pieces of onion. In a bowl, combine cucumbers, onion, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

This can be eaten right away but I suggest letting it sit for a few hours to let the onions settle in. 

This recipe may take a few minutes to make but it sits really well! I usually make a ton of it and eat it all week, the longer the cucumbers sit in the dressing, the better it tastes!

I also wanted to share my favorite snack. This can be eaten for breakfast, with lunch, or anytime you are hungry! 


Doesn't that look delish?

It's as simple as adding your favorite granola, yogurt (in my case greek yogurt is my fav), and fruit. 

This is one I had with my lunch at work, hence the keyboard!

Hope your staying cool during this heat wave!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What is a saturday without BBQing?

So just like almost every other saturday since it started to get warm, we decided to grill. 

We usually grill everything: burgers, brats, ka-bobs, chicken, and steak! I got over to Caitlin's on saturday morning and she greeted me with the idea of having steak for dinner. We usually don't try and spend that much but with our full time jobs, why not? We headed over to Von Hanson's and picked up some delicious steaks! This place has every meat you could ever want at fairly competitive prices and same day freshness. We got the pre-seasoned ones because we were unsure how much time we would have to marinate but I highly recommend the seasoning they use. We paired the steaks with a salad, baked potatoes, and corn on the cop with Eric's special recipe.

Boy were these babies delicious.

Yes we were classy and drank 40's with our meal...

I went to the farmer's market last weekend in Saint Paul so I had a ton of leftover veggies. Salad's are my specialty so I whipped one up with:

1- Head of lettuce (I mixed Romaine and Spinach)
1- Cucumber
3- Green Onions
4- Whole carrots
1/2- yellow pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Dressing- It was a mixture of spices that were added to oil, vinegar, garlic, and lemon juice

The corn was made with a butter, parsley, chives, and fresh garlic paste. After cooking them on the grill most of the butter melts off but the corn is so juicy you do not need to add any toppings after they are done!

I added some blue cheese crumbles on the steak per Caitlin's request!

I do have to say, this was the perfect meal before a night of dancing! Happy Father's day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

American Fun.

Its always a beautiful night for a Twins Game!

I love target field!! 

Last night we went to the twins vs. phillies game. After an extemely long week it was exactly what i needed! Caitlin's work has season tickets so she was able to snag four. The weather was awful and it rained all day yesterday right up until the game, just in time for us to enjoy it. Here's a picture from the last game we went to.

Well as you can probably figure, the twins lost...  That's ok because the food completely made up for it! If you don't know this already, Target Field has some pretty great food. After a few smells walking to your seat its almost impossible to resist the urge to not get something. 

This is what I had: A footlong hotdog with all the fixings! (Grilled onions, sauerkraut, and ketchup) I usually have the Italian sausage but I was too hungry to find that stand.

This is only half its size!
               I wanted to have a taste of something else but since the hotdog was so filling, I guess I will have to wait until next time. 

     We tried to take a group picture and this is what we got... I think Brian's face is priceless. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The start of something good!

Well it would only be fitting to start my blog with an amazing recipe.. on the GRILL! 

Last night was the perfect "cool" Minnesota weather night, sunny with a high of 70 degrees, perfect for grilling! I was craving ginger pork burgers (recipe to come) but since I had pork chops the night before, Greek burgers it was. I apologize in advance for my awful pictures but quite frankly, we were starving! Oh and i cant figure out how to change the direction of those other ones.. I'm working on it!

                                  After a very long and tiring Monday this was the perfect meal!

                                                                   I love a lot of sauce!

Here's the recipe: 

Serving size: 4 burgers
- 1 lb of ground beef (also works well with lamb or turkey)
- 14 oz plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of sour cream (optional)
- half of a hothouse cucumber, chopped small
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- a handful of fresh dill
- a handful of chopped fresh mint
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- half of a container of feta cheese (about 2.5 oz)
- 1 tbsp oregano
- sliced red onion
-lettuce pieces
- 4 pita bread or rolls

To make the pattys: 1 lb of ground beef will generally make four burgers. Knead the meat with a little salt and pepper and a generous amount of oregano (they have to be Greek somehow!). Form medium size patty's and set aside.

To make Tzatzizi cucumber sauce: In a large bowl combine yogurt (if use plain non Greek yogurt the sour cream is recommended, the grocery store was out of Greek yogurt, crazy i know, so i used regular), sour cream, garlic, cucumber, lemon juice, dill, mint, salt, pepper, feta cheese, oregano. Stir it all up and let sit for 20 minutes.

We used buns because they were fresh but recipe recommends using cut open pita bread.
Compile burger, lettuce, onions, and a little sauce for a delicious meal!

We served grilled asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash on the side that was seasoned with salt pepper and lemon juice!

Up this week: Twins game Thursday!