Lemon Pepper Chicken

Hello there–  There are a few reasons I love this chicken:
#1. It’s delectable.
#2. It’s pretty on your plate with steamed broccoli and a chunk of crusty bread.
#3. I can put it on the table in about 30 minutes.
#4. Luckily, I had all the ingredients in the kitchen (no trip to the market)
#5. I get to pass the recipe on to you…

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN
2 medium chicken breasts
2 tab. olive oil
garlic salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash of red pepper
2 tab. lemon juice (1 small lemon)
1/3 cup red onion, chopped fine
lemon slices for garnish

Filet the chicken breasts slicing them horizontally to make 4 flat servings.  Liberally sprinkle both sides with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken.  Cook on high heat just 2 or 3 minutes on each side until the chicken is well browned.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In a container with a tight fitting lid,  shake together the chicken broth, garlic, red pepper, lemon juice and cornstarch until it is well blended.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In the skillet, saute the red onion a couple minutes until it turns tender (add a splash of oil if the pan seems dry).  Then pour in the chicken broth mixture and stir 3 or 4 minutes until it thickens.

Nestle the chicken back into the sauce (or put them both in a baking dish if your skillet is not oven proof)– and cook the chicken 15 to 20  minutes, until the chicken is tender,  in a 350 degree oven.

While that’s cooking, slice your remaining lemon and brown it in the pan juices in the skillet for a couple minutes.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, serve it up on a platter, grind on a bit more black pepper and add the lemon slices as garnish.  Serve any extra sauce on the side.   Delish!

Cozy Lentil Soup

IMG_2488Hi everyone– It rained!!  It finally rained– all through the night and pounding showers early this morning.  Our drought riddled yard was soaking it up.  The suns come out now, but there are still drips dropping from the trees and drops speckling our windows.  All at once, everything feels so fresh and new.

Just the day for some lentil soup.  Love this because it’s so easy– Ten minutes to throw it into the pot and then just wait while it simmers for half an hour.  And bacon.  It has bacon.
It makes a nice big potful– we’ll be having leftovers in lunches this week…

COZY LENTIL SOUP
4 strips of bacon
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2  14 oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with onion & garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 cups lentils
salt & pepper to taste

granish–sour cream, cilantro or green onions, chopped, freshly ground pepper

Cut the strips of bacon into small bits.  Brown them in the bottom of your soup pot.  Remove them to a paper towel.  Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

Heat the olive oil in the pot.  Drop in the onions and cook until they are translucent.  Then add in the garlic and peppers and cook 3 minutes more.

Add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin paprika, cumin and lentils.  Simmer on low for 35 to 40 minutes until the lentils are tender.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Put the bacon back in just before serving.

Serve it up hot topped with a spoonful of sour cream, and a little something green for pretty.

Simple Brussel Spouts

IMG_8464Hi there– I have to admit, I’ve not always been a Brussel sprout lover.  On my first acquaintance with them, they were tough little balls, slightly bitter and just too much to chew.  But Larry, the vegetable lover convinced me over time to give these guys another chance.  I’m glad.

I like this recipe because it’s quick, tasty and colorful on your plate– easy to put together while you’ve got other parts of a meal to attend to.  I’ve changed my Brussel sprout ways…

SIMPLE BRUSSEL SPROUTS
12 plump Brussel sprouts
3 tab. olive oil
garlic salt to taste
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, chopped

Cut the tough stem end off the Brussel sprouts and slice them into slivers.  Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and drop in the Brussel sprouts.  Cook them in the oil, stirring and salting with garlic salt–just enough to wake up their flavor.  When they are tender enough to eat, but still a bit crispy (about 4 or 5 minutes), stir in the peppers and cook 2 minutes more.

Serve them up warm– We added them to plates of bar-b-qued chicken and roasted potatoes…  Enjoy!

Confetti Baked Eggs

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Hello there– Last week we had a Thanksgiving breakfast with friends.  We talked and sang and prayed and were hopeful and thankful together.  If was a fine morning.  Everyone brought food to share and here was our contribution to the table– eggs with peppers.  Hope you shared dear times of thanks with people you love…

CONFETTI BAKED EGGS
5 eggs beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 cups grated cheddar-jack cheese
1 cup red, green, orange bell peppers, chopped fine
4 oz. black forest ham, cut to bits.

IMG_5946Whisk the eggs until they are foamy and then whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the cottage cheese, cheddar, peppers and ham.  Spoon it all into a 9″ baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake it up at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 20 minutes more.  Serve it piping hot and puffy from the oven.

Pork with Peppers

IMG_4598Hello all–  When I make it over to Sprouts to shop, it’s hard to resist those piles of colorful bell peppers.  They practically “give them away” compared to my normal grocers (The problem with being “old” is that you remember when peppers were 15 cents each!).  So sweet and bright, I just can’t pass them by.  SO-here’s my chance to use all those pretty peppers, in a quick-fixing week night dinner.

PORK WITH PEPPERS
2 cups brown rice
1 tsp. salt
1 pound pork loin chops
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 cups bell pepper, mix of green, red, orange & yellow, cut in strips
1/4 cup sliced red onion
a couple shakes of garlic salt
1 cup water
14 cup soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup green onion, sliced

Put the brown rice on to a low simmer with the salt and 2 1/2 cups of water.  Cook 30 to 40 minutes until it is tender*.

Cut the pork into nice little bite size pieces.  Heat the oil in the pan on high and drop in the pork.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cook just 4 or 5 minute until it is browned around the edges.  Remove it from the pan.

In the pork drippings stir the bell pepper pieces and onion just 2 or 3 minutes until they soften, but not long enough for them to lose their color. Give them a touch of garlic salt while they’re cooking.  Remove them from the pan too.

In a container with a lid, shake together the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and garlic.  When it’s well blended pour it all into the skillet with the residue from the pork and peppers.  Stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.

Mix in the pork, the cooked peppers and the green onion in with the sauce.  Warm it all up again on medium heat just a minute or two.  Scoop the rice onto a pretty platter and top it with the pork and peppers.  Pass out the chop sticks and eat!

*Or used white rice– Decrease the water to 2 cups.  Plus 1 tsp. salt and simmer for just 10 minutes.

Pineapple Cole Slaw

IMG_4557Hey there– If you search for cole slaw in that little search box over there, you’ll find we’ve eaten quite a few around here.  I do love that cold, crunchy, sweetish stuff!  And here’s a version that’s bright and has a lovely light flavor.  We had it with curried pork burgers last week– enough sweet to balance out the spicy.  I liked it a lot.  Hope you do too.

PINEAPPLE COLE SLAW

dressing:
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
2 tsp. vinegar (I like tarragon)

Mix is up in the bottom of a large bowl and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Crunchy parts:
8 cups cabbage, chopped to small bits
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup orange bell pepper, chopped fine
16 oz. can pineapple rings, drained well and cut to bits

Cut these ingredients all up and dump them in on top of the dressing.  Mix it so everything is coated with the sauce and set it in the fridge to get nice and cold.

When you’re ready to serve it up, stir up that bowlful again because the dressing tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl.  Enjoy!

Easy Eggs with Peppers & Kale

IMG_3457Hi all–  My mom came for breakfast to see all my China pictures.  Only a mom would volunteer to sit through all 406 of my favorite pics!!  But first we started out with some muffins and eggs.  I love this fool proof recipe– tender with a nice little kale and pepper bits thrown in.  It’s a standby “friends for breakfast” recipe.   I think you’d like it too.

EASY EGGS WITH PEPPERS & KALE
5 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (8 oz.) small curd cottage cheese
1 cup colby jack cheddar, grated
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped to bits
1/2 cup orange bell pepper, chopped to bits
1 cup kale, chopped fine

Beat the eggs and then stir in the flour and baking powder.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and spoon it all in to a 9″ or 10″ pie pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Pop it into a 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and bake 20-25 minutes more.  It’s that easy!

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