Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mediterranean Lemon Chicken

It's been a busy week.

A new branch of my favorite grocery store decided to close it's doors this week.  It's so sad to see such a beautiful store, fully stocked...always...have to close it's doors due to lack of patrons.  This place was never, never crowded.  With 8 checking lanes only 1 was open every time I went with little to no wait in line.

Amazing.  Where do all the people that live in that neighborhood shop?  They must being going to local ethnic stores, or outside their area to another chain grocery store.

So last Wednesday the store advertised 50% off of everything....I mean the store.  OMG...I've stopped by to pick up a few items before the store closed this week and couldn't find a place to park!  Wondering what was going on I spotted the 50% off sign.  NOW the people come.

So there must have been about 200 people in the store shopping.  All the wine, pasta,candy, canned goods etc...the items were endless (and so was the check out line).  Not wanting to fill my house with random items that I have no place to store, I browsed through the items and chose big ticket items I would get the most bang for my buck.  I got Parmesan cheese wedges I can freeze.  Expensive balsamic, sherry, and champagne vinegars.  Various oils such as walnut and hazelnut.  All at 50% off!  I found some specialty gourmet spices such as saffron to add to my cart.  I hit the jackpot!

I can't wait to cook with my new items....but today is not the day.  I spent 45 min in line to check out (I kept saying "is this worth it?")  But what the heck.   I stood there, laughed with the other people in line to pass the time, watching others keep leaving their cart to run and get one more thing!  

So I'm home around 7 pm and I'm tired.  Time for dinner and I want comfort food.  This Mediterranean Lemon Chicken it just what I'm craving.  Easy to make with either chicken tenders or chicken breasts cut into long strips.  A few veggies, some lemon which makes a great sauce, all served over some Basmati rice.  Don't you love the flavor of Basmati rice? This meal will take you to a comfort zone you won't want to leave.


Mediterranean Lemon Chicken

serves 4

2 T butter
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 8 oz pkg sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 T flour
1 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 t lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
1 t fresh thyme, chopped
salt & pepper
cooked Basmati rice

In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and bell pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.  Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add broth, zest, juice, and thyme.  Cook about 4 minutes until thick and bubbly. Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Sever over rice.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Simple Chocolate Chip Scones

I'm up and running out the door early today.

I've got an exciting day planned for myself and MGG.  We are meeting up with some friends and going to the California Science Center to see the Pompeii exhibit.  So since I'm always starving when I wake up I don't usually skip breakfast.  This calls for a quick and easy recipe.

I've got just the thing.  Simple Chocolate Chip Scones. PLUS, these scones are a great grab and go meal. Perfect for today!  MGG loves things that are grab and go so he can snack on them on the road.  

(perfectly light and fluffy scones!)

So with a little help from an all purpose baking mix (I used King Arthur's Flour All Purpose Baking Mix) and some mini chocolate chips (my favorite!) you can have these whipped up in no time.  Plus they taste fantastic!  

Have you tried mini chocolate chips yet?  It is the perfect way of getting that wonderful chocolate flavor you crave but still keeping down the calories, fat and sugars in your food.  I love that!  

So, I'm off.  The scones are baked and packed and ready to go for our day trip to the museum.  They smell wonderful, and (because I couldn't help my self and tasted tested one...LOL!) they are perfectly moist, light and fluffy, and sweet.  A great quick and easy scone to make anytime.


Simple Chocolate Chip Scones

Makes: 1 Dozen

3 cups baking mix (I used King Arthur's Flour All Purpose Baking Mix)
1/4 c sugar or 2 T Splenda Blend
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T Butter, chilled cold, and cut into small pieces
2/3 c fat-free half and half
1 large egg
2 T mini chocolate chips
1 T fat-free half and half (for tops)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl combine baking mix, sugar, cinnamon.  Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two forks, until small crumbs form.  Add half and half and egg and mix until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop mix in about 1/4 cupfuls on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Brush the tops of each scone with half and half.   Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool a few minutes and serve.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fresh Apple Slaw

One of the things I struggle with is changing up my side dishes.

Do you tend to gravitate toward the same ones as well? Well this summer I changing that.

I've made a pact to incorporate new side dishes using fresh summer ingredients. There are so many things to explore but I know just where to begin!

One thing I do on the weekend's is to make a batch of some type of salad for us to eat on during the week. That may be a pasta salad, quinoa, orzo, corn salad, bean salad...etc.

I'm thinking coleslaw this week.  We had a nice basic one for the 4th of July which was great, but I want to change it up a bit.  Make a slaw with a vinaigrette dressing instead of the heavy mayo one.  And...I'll add some apples for some zip.  I just bought some wonderful new apples called "Envy". Outstanding.  Crisp and juicy, with a bright flavor, but not tart.  You must try them if you see them at your grocery store, they are that good.  

So out of this came my Fresh Apple Slaw.  

Perfect for alfresco dining and picnics.

Perfect for summer.


Fresh Apple Slaw

Serves 6-8

1 pkg of coleslaw mix with red cabbage
2 cups of julienne carrots
1 Envy apple, sliced thinly
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine coleslaw mix, carrots, and apples in a large bowl. Whisk together vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt & pepper in a medium bowl.  Toss vinaigrette with slaw apple mixture; cover and chill up to 4 hours.


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