June 27, 2010

... a couple changes to the ol' blogaroo

Hello!  Just wanted to pop in to say that I've made a couple of changes to the blog.  Nothing drastic, but hopefully helpful.

First off, the layout has changed.  If you read my blog in a reader, you probably won't see any difference, and really, if you read it on my site, it's not a huge difference either.  Just some color, borders, and organization.

Also, I've added labels so hopefully that'll make it easier on you if you happen to be searching for a particular recipe.  If you think I should add additional labels or you want me to make a recipe for something specific, please let me know.  I'm always looking for suggestions!

And finally, I've made it so that you can print the recipes from a web document rather than directly from the blog with all of the pictures.  Towards the end of the post where I list the recipe, the title of the recipe is a link.  Just click that and you can print away.

Hope you had a great weekend!

June 18, 2010

... Spiced Chicken with Couscous Salad

I'm not sure what it is with me and couscous, but I can't get enough of it!  Maybe I should go to Greece... do I have roots there?  It certainly wouldn't hurt to go find out, right?  

Besides being delicious and easy, it goes so well with lots of different things... chicken, burgers, just on its own.  The flavors on the chicken in this recipe weren't spicy as in "hot" but smoky and warm and the grill just added to that (even if it was a gas grill...)  Toss in a few pieces of warmed pita bread and you'll be thinking that you'd like to accompany me to Greece.

serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup couscous
3/4 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 pound snap peas, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season the chicken with the paprika, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes per side; transfer to plates.

Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl.  Add 1 cup hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.  Add the tomatoes, snap peas, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss to combine.

Slice the chicken and serve with the couscous.

Taylor's Notes:
Other than the ingredients, I didn't follow much of the recipe.  For the chicken, I rubbed the breasts with a little oil and coated each side with smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.  I grilled them instead of cooking them in the skillet and after 15 minutes, they were perfectly cooked and super moist.  

I made the entire box of couscous - about twice as much as the recipe calls for - because it's so great to have leftover.  For the whole box, I just added 2 cups of hot water, covered and fluffed after the water was absorbed.  Other than bagged salad, it's about the easiest salad to make and you really can't even compare the flavor.  I added feta cheese this time, and... yum!


June 6, 2010

... a trip to the lake

We decided to take an impromptu trip to the lake for the weekend and it turned out to be the best decision.  Bright blue sunny skies and super clear water of the perfect temperature, you really can't beat Tablerock Lake... even the dogs agree!

Since it was just the two of us and we only had one night, we decided to do dinner up right.  A couple of filets, fresh veggies and delicious multi-grain bread.  

When you're at the lake, you might as well take advantage of the great weather and views and cook on the grill.  Enjoy a cold beverage while the coals are firing up and in no time you'll have a great meal to celebrate a great day.

Taylor's Notes:

There really isn't much of a recipe here and although it was a perfect meal for the lake, it could be made just as easily and deliciously right in your own backyard.  Kudos to you if your backyard is a lake!  Sigh...  

The steaks came from Price Chopper (Certified Angus bacon-wrapped filets from the butcher) that we just added a little olive oil and s&p to before throwing them on the grill.  Toss green beans and sliced baby bella mushrooms with sliced garlic cloves, olive oil and s&p and wrap in foil.  The steaks only took about 10 minutes on each side - for medium - and the veggies took about 10 minutes total.  We sliced and buttered the bread, wrapped it in foil and placed it on the grill, too, for about 15 minutes.