Monthly Archives: June 2014

Make it Monday- Pear, Pig, and Fig Flatbread

June 30, 2014

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When Monday rolls around, I’ve usually exhausted all of my meal efforts on big weekend meals and want something quick and simple.  And for us, a lot of times that translates into nachos or flat breads. Here’s the great thing about flat breads- they offer endless possibilities and broil up in about 5 minutes!  I LOVE when a meal hits the table in under 10 minutes!!

Recently I had a Pear, Pig, and Fig flat bread from Bar Louie, which inspired today’s tasty meal.  Here’s my version of the Pear, Pig, and Fig!  Pair it up with a lightly dressed arugula salad (or throw some on top), and dinner is done!  So, put that phone down… toss those take out menus aside… It’s MAKE IT MONDAY!!

(serves 2)
2 of your favorite flat breads-I grab ours from the bakery section of our local grocery store
1 wedge brie cheese, cubed up1 pear, sliced thinly
1/4 to 1/2 cup fig jam
5-8 dried figs, chopped  (Fresh are also divine if you can find them at your store- I quarter up or slice up 3 or 4 fresh figs when I have them)
1 cup shredded pork, thawed (if from frozen)
see recipe for mine here: Crockpot Shredded Pork

Set your broiler to high.  Brush your flat breads with a bit of olive oil.  Broil for 2 minutes to crisp up a bit, then remove.  Top each with fig jam, brie, pear, shredded pork, and figs.  There’s no real rhyme or reason to topping a flat bread- just toss it on there!  Return to broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, until brie becomes melty and delicious.  Top with fresh arugula, or keep the arugula on the side as a salad.  Cut and enjoy!

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s 4th of July Picnic Post, featuring Finger Lickin’ Ribs!

 

Summer Salmon Salad

June 23, 2014

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This weekend summer officially started- school let out, the days stretch out with endless opportunities, and the sunsets even seem to sigh with relief.  It’s in these lazy days where I find myself wanting meals that are bright and fresh.  I find this to be especially true this year, since I’m trying to eat healthy and nutritious for bambino and myself!

So this weekend, I whipped up a Summer Salmon Salad.  Super easy and super delicious.

2 Salmon Filets
2 TBSP Applewood BBQ Sauce
Mixed Baby Greens, Organic and well rinsed.
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 cup corn (drained if canned, thawed if frozen)
Your favorite salad dressing- for this, I like sesame Asian.  Kevin likes to just add more barbeque sauce.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and on a foil lined baking sheet, brush 1 tbsp of barbeque sauce on each salmon filet.  Let them cook for 15-20 minutes.
(Sometimes, I make this step easier and buy Sea Cuisine’s Applewood Smoked Salmon.)
And if you visit their website, you can get a coupon!  http://www.seacuisine.com/coupon/

In the meantime, saute up your 1 can of corn in a skillet over medium heat.  I usually start this when there’s about 8 to 10 minutes left on the salmon, tossing occasionally so they don’t burn.
In the last few minutes, slice your tomatoes and your avocado.

When the salmon is finished, flake it up with a fork.  Assemble your salad, and you’re good to go!

What are some of your favorite summer salads?

 

Southwest Stuffed Avocados

June 8, 2014

southwest stuffed avocadoA quick, easy meal- perfect for a dinner on the deck!

When the sun is shining, and it’s a gorgeous weekend, I try not to spend any more time inside than I have to.  For us, that means quick and easy dinners that taste as fresh and as bright as our sunny evenings al fresco.  Today I’m whipping up these little babies in 15 minutes tops!

Southwest Stuffed Avocados (makes 8 stuffed halves)
1 cup shredded or diced chicken
1 can black beans, drained
1 can rotel with green chiles, drained
2 tbsp taco seasoning
4 avocados, halved and pitted
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together the chicken, black beans, rotel, and taco seasoning.
Add a heaping scoopful of the stuffing mixture into each of the avocado halves.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

That’s it!  Enjoy!
Jenny

 

 

Parmesan Chicken with Linguine in a Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce

June 6, 2014

IMG_0894 Wow- that’s a long title, but it really says it all… golden brown crusted chicken, bright bursts of flavor from sun-dried tomatoes, and a luscious cream sauce.  Best of all, it’s on the table in about 40 minutes start to finish.  If I can make this on a crazy Monday after work, I know you can too!  Go on, impress your family, or save it and really impress some weekend dinner guests!

Starting off with the chicken, create a breading station.IMG_0885  I use paper plates for easy clean up!  In one plate, you’ll need some flour seasoned with salt and pepper.  In the second, crack and whip up an egg.  In the third, combine equal parts bread crumbs with grated Parmesan cheese.  If you have massive chicken breasts, like mine were, go ahead and pound them out a bit- they’ll cook quicker and more evenly.  Then just move your chicken through the breading station, starting with flour, and ending at the bread crumb mix.    IMG_0889Once breaded, pop them into a hot skillet that’s been coated with a swirl of olive oil.  Brown the chicken about 3 minutes on each side. (Note: the second side usually takes a bit less time because the oil is hot and sizzling!)    Transfer to a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

About halfway through the cook time of the chicken, you can start your sauce.

Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 pint heavy cream
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp italian herb paste (usually found in your grocer’s produce section- it’s in a tube)
1 cup grated Parmesan/ Asiago cheese blend
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Start with 2 tbsp butter.  Melt over medium low heat, and once melted, stir in 2 tbsp of flour. Slowly stir in 1/2 of the pint of heavy cream, along with 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp tomato paste, and 2 tbsp italian herb paste.  Stir over low heat, gradually increasing to medium heat.  Add in 1 cup of the Asiago/ Parmesan cheese blend, 2 cups of baby spinach, and 1 cup of julienned sun-dried tomatoes.  Continue to stir occassionally, adding the remaining 1/2 pint of heavy cream bit by bit.  If sauce seems thin, add a smidge more cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce heat to low.  Stir occasionally and continue to simmer on low until chicken is finished cooking.

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For this recipe, I used Bertolli’s fresh linguine found in my grocer’s deli department, but you can use any pasta that you like!  I served it up with the bed of pasta, topped with cream sauce, and then topped with sauced chicken on top of that.  I was really longing for a nice glass of white wine to go along with it, but lemonade was on the menu for me!  If you make this- have  it with the wine for me!
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Enjoy!
J

**Disclaimer: This meal is by no means healthy…but it is healthy for your soul, so eat up in moderation!**

 

Caribbean Citrus Porkchops

June 1, 2014

Caribbean Citrus Pork

It’s been quite a while since a post!  New blog style- new blog web address- Same old me.
A lot has happened over the past few months though!!

Mainly, this Twice Around the Pan lady has got A BUN IN THE OVEN!  After spending much of the first trimester out of my kitchen, I am SO happy to be back in the swing of things.  Not to mention, happy to have the ENERGY to actually cook and write about it!

So, without further delay, the first REAL post on this new beauty of a site:

Caribbean Citrus Pork Chops!

In our house, we eat quite a bit of pork. One- because it’s pretty cost effective at our stores (especially in the big family packs- can you say, Hello Freezer?!) and two- because it’s a versatile canvas for many a meal.  Even so, darling husband and I tend to fall back on a few routine chops that we keep in rotation.  And that’s great, except when it’s not…. and it’s not… when I am bored.  So, what’s a girl to do? I pondered my predicament while mindlessly watching “Caribbean Life” on HGTV, and that’s when it hit me.  We needed a summery, bright take on pork chops tonight!  Into the kitchen I went, opened up the pantry, opened up the fridge, and went about creating something new.

The result?  A bright, vibrant, budget friendly meal that’s on the table in 20 minutes.  That is SURE to get your steel drums playing!

Pork Marinade
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup peach mango juice

Coat both sides of the pork chops in the marinade.  Honestly, I threw them in there for about 2 minutes, and the flavor came through just fine.  If you have more time than that, by all means…
Once coated, I seared both sides in a super hot skillet to get a little color on the chops, then transferred them to a 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  My chops took about 18 this go around.

While they were cooking, I mixed up a citrus salsa for on top:
1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup diced mango
1/4 red onion, diced

Saute together with salt, pepper, a smidge of oil, and some fresh chopped cilantro.

Once the chops came out, each one was topped with a generous heap of the warmed citrus salsa.  I served it up with some simple couscous, but next time, I think I might try these Caribbean baked beans :

http://www.food.com/recipe/caribbean-baked-beans-92462

Until next time…
Jenny