Quick and Easy Recipes

I made the easiest best dinner the other night. Chicken breasts and pineapple slices thrown on the grill. That’s it! It took all of 15 minutes and almost no mess at all! I tell you, I am not good at the fast, healthy meals. I often want to go to In-n-Out. Or McDonalds. But then I feel so GUILTY! I know that a little preparation would solve my food problems. I used to buy a bunch of cooking magazines, but now I know I’ll never look through them to find a recipe. I always go online. One favorite spot for quick and easy recipes is ivillage.com/food. I like this site because it has recipes from Southern Living, Cooking Light and All You. It also has this function where users can add a “twist” to the recipe – a comment right on the recipe about the changes they made to make the recipe better. I need all the help I can get! Here are some favorites:

Grilled Chicken Fingers with Manchurian Sauce – chicken fingers in any form are a big hit. Chicken fingers that don’t require oil, bowls of flour, big crazy messes are a big hit with me.

Fruit kabobs – everything is more fun on a stick!

Black Bean Nuggets with avocado dipping sauce – yummy! I leave out the chili powder and hot sauce and my son gobbles them up.

There are a couple new ones I want to try – more kid recipes of course, because that’s the picky audience around here. Like maybe the Salmon Fishcakes or the Pumpkin Fritters.

I actually love to cook and try new recipes. But where do people find the time? And I always seem to be missing one ingredient. That is a bummer.

Anyway, being more prepared with healthy, easy to prepare food on hand is a constant goal. I thought I’d write it here to keep me honest. So let’s make a goal – one new healthy recipe a week. Easy enough, right? We’ll see!

Reality (TV) Check

So You Think You Can Dance

I seem to be out of the loop this week because my sister was in town. Somehow, my Tivo didn’t record the results show, and I missed Jimmy being voted off of SYTYCD. I am suprised at this – I wish I could have seen his solo. I was not surprised at Faina.

And going way back to last Wednesday – is Hok’s partner the most annoying girl on the planet? I guess we get used to the mature teenagers like Jordin Sparks, so when someone sounds their age (i.e., Jaimie), they sound stupid. I think I just love Hok so much that I want his partner to be someone like Sabra or Sara. I like those girls. And doesn’t the fact that Sabra has only been dancing 4 years inspire you? It’s like, man, I could get there in4 years! Not really, but it’s nice to dream. Anyway, I think Jaimie is really good – I just don’t like her interviews. And it’s sort of impressive that she still has such big boobs after dancing for so long.

America’s Got Talent

I basically hate this show, but did you happen to see the karate guys kicking ass to music? Very impressive.

My Life on the D-List

Ugh – sooo sad. I loved Kathy’s dad. I was crying and crying. And how funny was it that she was asking Jackie what lesbians thought were funny. Can’t wait to see how the candyman works out. Watch this show, already!

Top Chef

Not sure what happened here – I think my Tivo didn’t record it or something. Sad. I’ll just have to find one of the million times Bravo reruns things so I can watch last week’s episode.

On the Lot

I deleted this one from my Tivo – sooo boring.

Did I miss any? What are you watching? In other TV news, I’m totally loving Army Wives on Lifetime and The Closer on TNT.

My favorite hamburgers…

My sister and her friend were staying with us all weekend. It was fun and a little exhausting. Thursday night, we went to Hollywood to watch an episode of the new Bill Engvall Show being filmed. (Airs on TBS in mid-July – also starring Tim Meadows!) We had a fairly successful cookout on Friday night, then we went to see some SoCal sights on Saturday. Sunday, they were headed to San Fran for another adventure.

I have to admit that my sister wears me out. We have a somewhat tense relationship, that we both try pretty hard to sugarcoat with niceness. We both had a few drinks on Friday night, and some of the niceness wore away, and the tension flared. Note to self: don’t mix alcohol with sister :) I’d like for it to be more real, but I don’t really think that’s in the cards for us.

For the cookout, I made my favorite kind of burgers…here’s the recipe:

In a food processor, mix:

  • 1 egg
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup (or more) of cilantro
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • a shake or two of Tabasco

Pour all that into 2lbs of hamburger and mix with your hands. Make patties and grill. I made this up myself, and I only put measurements on it for recipe’s sake. I really just toss a bunch of stuff in the food processor. This little mix works even better with turkey burgers, because we all know they have no flavor of their own.

Crockpot Cooking

reynolds slow cooker linersDoes anyone use those Reynold’s slow cooker liners? If not, you should – I think that was the best feeling every, lifting that dirty bag out of the crockpot and knowing I didn’t have to let anything soak, and didn’t have to scrub anything. Highly recommended! Here’s what I made yesterday for dinner:

Garden Vegetable Tabboleh Stew

  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut in half longways and then sliced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 box tabboleh mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Layer everything in the crockpot in this order: onions, carrots, green beans, zuccini, green onions, chick peas and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle box of tabboleh mix (with seasoning) evenly over the top, then pour water and olive oil over tabboleh. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with sour cream and mint.

I skipped the sour cream and mint, and served it with tortilla chips.

Yum! And no clean up! Thanks to my handy crock pot liner!