Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Couscous

Hello everyone– This recipe started with a cookbook from the library shelves and a big bundle of cilantro.  I picked up Half Baked Harvest from the new book shelves at the library.  It’s beautiful.  I started to bookmark things I’d like to make and it’s pretty much every recipe!

And then my dear buddy Janet showed up at my door with a huge bouquet of cilantro from her garden and this recipe from the book came to mind.

It’s spicy and so flavorful.  Easy–since Larry is the one who cooks it on the grill!  And the couscous is moist and crunchy and a little sweet from the apricots.  I think you’d really like it…


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. powdered ginger
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup couscous
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped to bits
1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

cilantro sprigs
lemon slices

In a zip loc bag, combine the garlic, ginger, 2 tab. chopped cilantro, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon zest and juice.  Squish the bag until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Cut the chicken to skewer size pieces and add to the bag.  Zip it and squish the bag until the chicken is all coated.  Let the chicken marinate in the spices at least an hour up to 10 hours.

Thread the chicken onto 2 or 3 skewers.

Just before you grill the chicken, make the couscous.  Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan.  Remove from the heat and add the couscous.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the oil, apricots, almonds and 1/4 cup cilantro.  Cover to keep warm while you grill the chicken.

Grill the chicken 10 to 12 minutes until the outside is charred and the chicken is cooked through.

On a pretty platter spread the couscous and top with the chicken skewers.  Garnish with cilantro pirgs and lemon slices.


Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon

Hi friends– End of the weekend here.  How was yours??   Friday night the young moms from our table at MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) came over and we cooked dinner together.  So fun!!  And we sat and talked til after 11:00.  Love those girls.

Besides that we had a couple quiet days–lots of reading and long walks.  And here is a good dinner idea for a lazy Saturday supper.  With a big salad and some rice, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.

1 pound filet of salmon
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup butter, melted
juice of 1 lime
3 tab. honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Line a baking dish with foil and spray it with cooking spray.  then set your salmon filet in the center of the foil, liberally sprinkling on salt and pepper.

In a bowl, mix the melted butter, lime juice, honey and minced garlic.  Spoon it over the salmon and fold the sides of the foil up over the salmon.

Bake it up at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon).  Then turn on the broiler and cook 2 or 3 minutes more to crisp the stop.

Put it on a pretty plate and sprinkle the cilantro on top to serve it up nice and hot.

Salmon with Coconut Milk Cilantro Sauce

Hello friends– We’ve hit deep summer here.  Those blazing days when the flowers are drooping in the front yard and our ice tea consumption takes a steep rise.  So we are sitting down to easy meals that take a minimal amount of stove time and are satisfyingly light.  Here’s our dinner this evening…

4 salmon filets
2 tab. olive oil
garlic salt & freshly ground pepper

1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/2 cup sliced green onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup coconut milk
A dash of salt to taste

garnish: lime wedges

Heat a nonstick skillet with the olive oil. Liberally sprinkle garlic salt & freshly ground pepper on both sides of the salmon. Then lay them into the hot skillet.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side (depending on how thick the filet is).

While that is cooking, combine the cilantro, green onion, garlic, cumin, lime juice and coconut milk in a blender (or use a stick blender)– until it makes a smooth sauce.   Taste and add a dash of salt if needed.

Place the hot salmon on a plate and spoon over the sauce.  Serve it with a chunk of sturdy bread and a bright salad for a quick summer supper.

Lime Cilantro Chicken Tacos

Hi there friends– Truth be told, we eat Mexican-ish food 2 or 3 times a week around here.  I’ve never met a food I didn’t like folded into a tortilla.  How about you?? I have a feeling we’re not the only ones.

So when I found this super easy way to come up with a potful of spicy chicken (thank you Pinterest)– that could top a tortilla any number of ways, I couldn’t wait to try it.  And it was delish!


2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup chicken broth
to finish it off: 2 limes, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Taco ingredients:
street size corn tortillas (or whatever is your favorite!)
chopped lettuce
chopped cilantro
grated cheddar jack

Drop everything into a pot and bring to lowest simmer on your stove top. Cook for an hour (maybe a little more depending on how big you cut up the chicken chunks).

With a slotted spoon remove the chicken to a plate and shred it with 2 forks.  Scrape it all back into the sauce in the bottom on the pot and let the chicken soak up all the juicy sauce.

Serve with warm tortillas, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, avocado…  The list is pretty endless– just pick the taco ingredients you have on hand!

P.S –The recipe I worked from said to dump it all in crock pot and let it cook– 3 to 4 hours on high– or 6 to 7 hours on low.  Alas, I don’t own a crock pot, so you get my stove top version–or you can crock pot it yourself!

Roast Sweet Potatoes with Feta, Cilantro & Walnuts



Hello there– Is there anything homier than a piping hot sweet potato?  One winter when we were visiting our son in China, there was a man on the street roasting hot fragrant sweet potatoes– the perfect street food to counter the winter chill.

So this is my not so Chinese version of a hot from the oven sweet potato–salty feta, flavorful cilantro and a little walnut crunch against the sweet flesh of the potato– pretty perfect.  We had them them for dinner with just a salad, but they’d be a nice side dish with ham or even chicken.  Good fall/winter food.

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
drizzle of olive oil

Cut the sweet potatoes horizontally and brush the cut sides and the skin sides all with olive oil.  Set them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Pop them into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes (until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork).

Take the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn them over, cut side up. Scrape the flesh with a fork to expose the interior of the potato.  Salt & pepper the potato.  Top them with the garbanzos, feta & walnuts and return them to the oven for 10 minutes.

Take them out of the oven and transfer the sweet potatoes to a pretty serving dish.  Drizzle with old oil and garnish with the cilantro.  Eat them piping hot from the oven.  Enjoy!!


Avocado Green Sauce


Hi all– If you love Mexican food as much as we do, I think you will love love this green sauce!  It’s the best all purpose sauce– on tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chicken, fish and just for chip dipping…  And so delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it!!

Got this scrumptious green sauce from Melody on her friendly Texan blog– Meals with Mel. She’s a pro when it comes to Mexican dishes.  And this is one our favorites!!

7 oz. can salsa verde (I like Hedrez brand)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, peeled & pitted
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whip until it’s smooth.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

P.S.  The recipe I worked from called for 2 cans of salsa verde and optional jalpeno or serano pepper– You might want to spice it up, but this version is just spicy enough for me.


Thai Peanut Chicken


Hey all– Did you grow up on a regimen of lunchtime peanut butter sandwiches? They were pretty standard around our busy house for us 4 little kids.  (thanks Mom) I think that must be why I pretty much love an recipe involving peanuts, peanut butter, peanut sauce…  So when I saw a version of this recipe, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  And I wasn’t disappointed–so rich and peanutty with a just little spice!

2 chicken breasts (no bones,no skin)
3 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce*
2 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. peanut butter
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped fine

Cut the chicken breasts horizontally the flat way, to produce 4 chicken fillets.  Heat the oil in skillet and then add in the chicken breasts.  Salt and pepper them a bit and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they are nicely browned and cooked through. Remove them from the pan.

Into that same skillet, mix in the Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger and garlic.  Stir it together on low heat.  Add in the water and bring it to a low simmer.  Stir in the peanuts and cilantro.  Then add the chicken back to the skillet to warm it and coat it with sauce.

Serve the chicken on a platter with brown rice (that’s what I did tonight), white rice, any whole grain or rice noodles…
We added a quick spinach, peach & pecan salad on the side.  Dinner!

*The recipe I worked from called for about five times that much Thai sweet chili sauce, so adjust it to your own heat preferences!!


Pork & Sweet Potato Thai Curry



Hello all– Last weekend we got a Friday afternoon call from Micah, Jodi and the girls saying they were coming down for the weekend.  Love that.  It was a pretty tranquil visit.  No big outings or even trips to the yogurt shop.  We just stayed around the house and played and talked.

The grand-girls and I made a birthday cake since it had been Jodi’s birthday that week.  And I had gotten a new little table and chairs from Ikea for our backyard and you know what that means!!–construction!  So Micah and Jodi pulled out all the pieces and put them together, while I cooked up lunch.  (thanks you two!!)  And this is what we ate, out in the sunshine on the new table. I thought it was rather delicious.

2 cups brown or white rice
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin chops, cut to smallish chunks
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to small chunks
3 tablespoons curry powder
14 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach, cut to shreds

to garnish:
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Put the rice on to cook according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Then drop in the pork and stir to brown all on all sides– about 5 or 6 minutes.  Remove it from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan cook the onion just until it starts to brown and then all in the sweet potatoes and curry powder.  Stir it up until the sweet potatoes and coated with oil and curry.  Then pour in the coconut milk and water.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Then return the pork to the pan, as well as the spinach.  Let it simmer a couple minutes and the sauce will thicken.

Layer the curry with white rice and sprinkle on the chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve it nice and hot.  Enjoy!


P.S. Here’s a couple obligatory grand-girl pics.  Charlotte putting candles on the cake and Maryann creating a ball gown on her sister Jobay from from discarded Ikea packaging and scotch tape– Jobay was pretty patient while Mary colored marker hearts all over the dress!
IMG_4161     IMG_4165


Peanut Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

Hello all-  I have a new favorite soup.  Love this savory bowl of stew– right up there with steamy pozole or a spicy cup of chili.  It has some of my favorite flavors all simmered up together– sweet potato, curry powder and surprisingly peanut butter!  –with just enough red pepper to give is a little bit.

The recipe I worked from said it was a stew from west Africa.  It’s just different and so delicious.  I’m imaging a tableful of friends over to try it out on a chilly evening soon.

1 medium sweet potato
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (1 roasted chicken)*
1 cup peanut butter
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 tab. curry powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper**
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish

Cut the sweet potato into large chunks, and cook them in the microwave 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender, but firm.

Then in a soup pot, mix the chicken, peanut butter, tomatoes, curry powder, red pepper and chicken broth.  Bring it to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to eat, shake the cornstarch along with 1/2 cup water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup and stir about 3 or4 minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

*You can cook up your own chicken, but I am happy to pick up one all cooked for me at the market.
**I thought this was plenty of spice, you can add more to taste if you like a real kick.



Roast Tomatoes & Salmon

IMG_2409Hello all– I have to admit we have a sad crop of tomatoes around the Sittig house this year.  But thankfully, we have friends and neighbors who are happy to share their abundance of ripe juicy tomatoes, including these sweet mini cherry tomatoes.

With a salad of bright greens, a chunk of sturdy bread and a tall glass of something cold, it makes a fine end-of-the-summer dinner.

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp honey
1 tab. red wine vinegar
1 pound salmon filet
1 cup smallish cherry tomatoes
salt & freshly ground pepper

Mix the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, paprika, honey and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lay out the salmon on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the tomatoes on and around the salmon.  Liberally salt & pepper the salmon & tomatoes.

Drizzle the 3/4’s o the cilantro mixture over the salmon and tomatoes (save the rest).

Then pop it into a 300 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon.  Cook until the salmon is flakey and the cherry tomatoes pucker & burst.

Lift the salmon onto a serving plate and drizzle on the remaining cilantro mixture.  Enjoy!

Sweet Asian Coleslaw

IMG_1843Hello all–  I know it’s long past now, but did you have a festive 4th?  We met up with a group of old friends for our annual potluck at the Keys (thanks Jeff & Betty!).  Everyone comes in the door with an armful of food to contribute and there is just a whole lot of lazing around the backyard and long conversations with friends.

The yard is situated on a hill above the high school where the city fireworks are lunched so at 9:00, Jeff cranks up the blaring patriotic music and we watch the show in the sky.  It’s all good old fashioned fun.

And our contribution to the meal– this colorful coleslaw.  I hope you like it.


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 to 2 tsp. soy sauce

1 small green cabbage, cut to shreds (about 8 cups)
1 cup red cabbage, cut to shreds
1/3 cup red bell pepper, cut to small bits
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, cut to small pieces
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 green onions, cut in small slices
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 tab. sesame seeds

Whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar and soy sauce, beating until it’s emulsified, all blended.

Mix together the 2 cabbages, red & yellow pepper, carrot, green onion and cilantro.  Pour in the dressing and toss it to coat all the ingredients.

Just before you’re ready to set it on the table, mix in the almonds and sesame seeds.  Happy eating!!

Chili Rub Pork with Orange Cilantro Sauce

IMG_9366Hello all–  Here’s a simple supper– just a few ingredients and you can make it up in 15 minutes– about as long as it takes to simmer up some cous cous or a pot of rice to go alongside.

P.S.  I’ve been accused (by a near and dear family member) of over coloring my photos!!  But believe me this sauce is this real vibrant green!  It will brighten your day (and your pork chops!!)

1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
8 thin pork loin chops
a big splash of olive oil
2 tab. chili powder
2 tab. brown sugar

With a blender (or sick blender), whirl together the cilantro, orange juice and the 1/4 cup oil for the sauce.  Set aside.

Stir together the chili powder and brown sugar on a flat-ish plate.  The press the chops into the chili/brown sugar mixture to coat them.  Heat the splash of oil in a skillet and then drop in the chops 4 at a time (unless you have a really big skillet that can hold them all!) and brown the just 1 1/2 or 2 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are.

Serve them hot drizzled with the cilantro orange sauce.  Enjoy!!




Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad

IMG_8785Hi all– Summer is already upon us here–none of the usual “June Gloom” — cloudy overcast, so you long for summer to kick in.   The days are hot and sunny and just asking for a cool summer salad with dinner.  I think this one fills the bill.


2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tab. lime juice (1 large lime)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut to tiny bits
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tab. olive oil

2 cucumbers, sliced thinly
4 tab. cilantro, chopped

Combine the garlic, lime juice, red pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil in a container with a tight lid.  Shake the ingredients until they are blended.

In a bowl toss the cucumbers with the dressing and then stir in the cilantro.  Serve it up cold for a fresh summer salad.

Mexican Pizza

IMG_4537Hi all– Do you have the “packing a lunch for work dilemma”?  Heading to the teacher lunchroom after a busy morning with the kids, I’m longing for something more than a soggy sandwich.  That’s why I love leftovers!  Little packages of last night’s dinner lined up in the fridge to see me through the week.  And my favorite is pizza, popped in the toaster oven and warm for lunch together with all the teacher friends talking through their mornings.  So here’s my dinner tonight– and leftovers for lunches all week!


Crust (makes 2 crusts):
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water*
1 tab. sugar
2 tab olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Let the yeast dissolve in the water and then stir in the other ingredients.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes (you can add a little more flour if it feels too sticky)  and stretch the dough onto 2  12″ pizza pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put them in a warm place to rise while you do the rest of the prep.  (I turn the oven on for just 3 minutes, then turn it off to warm it a bit and set the pizza crusts in there to rise).

Toppings (enough for 2 pizzas):
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. Mexican style hot sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 oz. cheddar, grated
2 roma tomatoes, cut to small pieces
1/2 cup red onion, chopped to bits
1 cup frozen (or fresh) corn, defrosted
1/2 cup orange bell pepper, cut in small pieces
1 cup cooked carnitas meat in small bits*
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine

Stir together the oil, garlic and hot sauce.  Spread it over the crust with the back of a spoon (try not to flatten the crust too much).  Then sprinkle on the mozzarella and cheddar.  Layer on the tomatoes, onion, corn, pepper, carnitas and cilantro.

Pop the pizzas into a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is cooked through and brown around the edges.

*I used leftover carnitas from a taco dinner with friends.  Bits of leftover chicken or beef would be just dandy.  Or make the pizza without meat for Mexican veggie pizza!


Cilantro Lime Rice

IMG_2065Hey there–  Do you like to eat at “Chipotle” as much as I do?  We usually get dinner out somewhere on Friday nights.  It goes like this.  Larry picks three eating out possibilities and I narrow down to one of those.  If Chipotle is on the list, that’s usually where I want to sit and eat.  Love those veggie burritos!  And the rice.  I’ve been making this rice for a few years and it’s the closest thing to the that Chipotle cilantro rice.  We had it with the Orange Chipotle Chicken I posted yesterday.  Easy and the flavor is buenisimo!

1 1/2 cups rice
3 cups water
splash of olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 chipotle pepper, seeds removed and minced fine*
1 large lime, just the juice
1 tsp. olive oil

Cook the rice with the water, splash of olive oil and 1 tsp. salt according to the directions on the package.  While that’s cooking use a food processor or stick blender to pulverize the cilantro, onion, chipotle pepper, lime juice and 1 tsp. olive oil.  Then when the rice is cooked thoroughly stir the cilantro mixture into the rice.  Done!  That was easy.

*I’m always careful to remove ALL the seeds, since I’m a wimp about hot peppers.  If you like less heat, just use half a pepper.  Be sure to mince it to a pulp…

Lime Cilantro Dressing


Hi all–  Well, I guess I don’t need to tell you how to put together a taco salad.  You’ve probably made more than a few of them yourself.  That’s what we had for dinner.   But you might want to know about about the creamy green dressing we slathered on top.  It’s a kind of ranch dressing with a spanish accent!  Pretty and delicious all in one jar.

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1 tab. lime juice (about 1 lime’s worth)
1/2 tsp. finely grated lime peel
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tab. tarragon vinegar*
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt

This couldn’t be easier.  Just drop all the ingredients into a blender or grind them with a stick blender til smooth.  Viola!

*I love tarragon vinegar–not too sharp, lovely flavor.  You can use whatever your favorite vinegar happens to be.


P.S.– And what was in our taco salad?  Layered on a platter, there was, lettuce, cilantro, black beans, corn, tomato, red bell pepper bits, jicama, leftover roast chicken, avocado, cortijo cheese and, of course, the dressing!  Along with a hunk of cornbread, it’s dinner!

Thai Chicken and Noodles

IMG_8015Hi all– Love this spicy, flavorful dish because it’s so bright and colorful!  And it has some of my favorite flavors– garlic, cilantro, peanuts…  It goes together quickly.  Just add a bright salad and it’s dinner.

2 tab. canola oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bits
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
zest of one lime
2 tab. rice vinegar

Combine the oil, dashes of salt and pepper, garlic, cilantro, lime zest and vinegar.  Put the cut up chicken into the mixture and coat it thoroughly.  Let it marinate 20 to 30 minutes.
Then saute the chicken in a nonstick pan until pretty and browned.

8 oz. chinese noodles or thin spaghetti noodles
dash oil
2 tab. canola oil
1 tab. fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a small pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce*
1 tab. rice vinegar
2 green onions, green and white parts sliced thinly
salt & pepper to taste
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook the noodles with the dash of oil and salt, according to package directions.  Heat canola oil in a pan.  Add in the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes.  Cook 2 minutes.  Then mix in the broth, chili sauce, vinegar, green onions.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Next add in the cooked, drained noodles.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, mix in the carrot, peanuts and cilantro into the noodles and top it all with the cooked chicken.

*I use 1 tab. Thai chili sauce because I’m a wimp.  If you like spicy, add another!

Bar-b-que Chicken Pizza

IMG_8258Hey there–  When Laurel popped in for Christmas time this year, this was the first meal I planned to make for her.  It’s been a Laurel “fave” for a long time…  I’m remembering this recipe came round about years ago from my “cousin” Brenda– who is a wonderful cook and a great blogger-encourager.  Thanks Brenda.

BAR-B-QUE CHICKEN PIZZA (makes 2 12″ pizzas)
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water*
1 tab. sugar
2 tab olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Let the yeast dissolve in the water and then stir in the other ingredients.  Knead 3 to 4 minutes (you can add a little more flour if it feels too sticky)  and stretch the dough onto 2 12″ pizza pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put them in a warm place to rise while you do the rest of the prep.  (I turn the oven on for just 3 minutes, then turn it off to warm it a bit and set the pizza crusts in there to rise).

1 cup bar-b-que sauce (We like Hunts Honey Hickory)
1 large chicken breast
1 tab. olive oil
1 16 oz. ball mozzarella
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Filet the chicken breast, cutting it horizontally to make two flat pieces.  Brown it with a little olive oil in a saute pan. Then cut it to nice little bits.  Grate the mozzarella (please, don’t use the pre-grated mozzarella in a bag.  It has a coating that’s not cheese).  Then spread the bar-b-que sauce over the two crusts.  Sprinkle on the cheese, the onion, the cilantro and chicken.  Pop it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, just until the cheese starts to brown a bit around the edges.

Eat it piping hot with a bright citrusy salad.  A meal that makes Laurel happy!  And I like that.

*Someone told me the perfect water temperature is–warm enough for a baby’s bath.



Green Chili Chicken and Rice

Hi you all–  Hmmmm… I guess this is a pretty mundane name for this new recipe.  Mexican chicken casserole crossed my mind.  But really, do you think anyone in Mexico ever made this dish?  I wanted to be more descriptive– something like “Cheesy, chicken and cilantro with black beans, corn and chills, rice casserole!”  But no.  Honestly, if you can think of a snappier name, let me know.  I’m working on it…

But it actually does taste pretty delicious– has lots of ingredients at the top of my yumm list–so honey and comfortable.   So here it is:

2 boneless chicken breasts*
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 cup sour cream**
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 /2 cup salsa***
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar****
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Put the rice on to cook with 3 cups of water and the salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on the lowest heat you can muster for 20-25 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile cook and cut up to bits the chicken.  Then throw together the chicken, rice, corn, beans, sour cream, chills, salsa, 1 cup cheese and most of the cilantro (reserve a bit to sprinkle on top when this comes out of the oven).  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  When it comes out, sprinkle on a handful of the remaining cilantro and voila!

Now I have a too long list of ingredient footnotes:
*I just had a couple cups of leftover roasted chicken I took off the bone and cut up.  You could buy precooked chicken to make the process faster (and the original recipe called for “instant rice”–faster as well).
**We use nonfat sour cream and it works just fine.  I know. Real sour cream is just creamier, but we like nonfat for most everything.  But don’t give menon fat cheese, please.
***Your favorite salsa– I used La Victoria mild green salsa.
****I love colby jack cheese– nice orange cheddar for color, but with the jack it seems to melt so well.

Nice Rice

Hello all–   I had a couple pork loin chops for dinner tonight, but no plan for what to serve alongside them.  So I poked around in the fridge and found the end of some cilantro, a couple green onions and a red pepper– good enough for a lovely little bowl of rice.  It turned out just fine–

1 cup white (or brown) rice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped finely

Cook the rice with the salt and water– just ten minutes after it starts to simmer (but 15 to 20 minutes longer for brown rice).  When you’re ready to serve it, stir in the cilantro, green onions and red pepper and then turn it out into a pretty bowl to set on the table.  Isn’t that easy?  and nice.