Thursday, June 28, 2012

Easy Chicken Parmesean

I had a request recently to make something a bit more "kid-friendly" and simple since so many of the recipes I post on here are spicy or have a multitude of ingredients that aren't in your average family kitchen. So here is a healthier, simpler, kid-friendly version of chicken parmesean. It's not fried, does not require that much time or that many ingredients, so it'd be perfect for a quick family meal on a busy weeknight. That's how it worked for me and my family of 1. During a crazy work week last week, this was a perfect fit.

Easy Chicken Parmesean (serves 4)


  • 1 lb chicken cutlets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 TB garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, basil and parmesean cheese in a bowl. Mix.

Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture.

Place chicken on baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Flip cutlets over and bake for another 10 minutes. Then spoon tomato sauce on top of each piece, spreading evenly. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Return to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with pasta and salad (if you can convince your kids to eat their greens!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mocha Brownies

Brownies as bribes. That's what this recipe boiled down to. I wanted to make something sweet to help cushion the blow of projects upon projects at work, and help celebrate some birthdays. I'm not much of a baker...I much prefer to make something salty as opposed to sweet. However, one thing that is pretty easy to make is a good batch of brownies. I decided to forego the box mix (because who are we kidding, I couldn't put that up here as something I made this week!) and make one from scratch. I decided to try this recipe that I originally found on my friend Nick's blog ( that he made from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook a few years back. Nick's version called for twice as much icing as I used, but considering a half batch of icing contained 2 cups of powdered sugar and a stick of butter, I figured I would be doing my diet a great disservice by loading these with iciing. So call this a "lighter" version if you will.

I also argued that they could count as a breakfast food since they contained coffee. Don't judge.

Mocha Brownies


  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Mocha Icing:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed dark coffee, cooled to room temp


Add butter and sugar to a bowl and beat it on medium speed with a mixer. After a few minutes the mixture should be light and fluffy.

Carefully and slowly melt chocolate in the microwave on low in 30 second increments. It took me about 2 minutes to melt it.

Add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and mix together. Then mix in chocolate and vanilla.

Mix in your flour in a few batches. Just mix enough so the flour is incorporated.

Bake the brownies in a 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Let brownies cool completely to room temperature before frosting them.

For frosting, mix butter, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl until well combined. Then stir in brewed coffee and mix until it's light and fluffy.

Frost the brownies. Chilling them in the refrigerator will help firm up the brownies and make them cut more easily. Enjoy for breakfast. Or whenever you need a coffee/sugar kick.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Food Porn: Eastern Market Ravioli

When I first moved to DC, I used to date a guy who lived near Eastern Market. I am grateful to him for introducing me to this neighborhood of the city as because it has become one of my favorite spots to go on the weekends during the summertime.  And while that relationship didn't last, my love affair with Eastern Market (8 years and counting) is still going strong.

In addition to an outdoor flea market and farmers' market, there is an indoor area with vendors who have been selling their products in the market for decades, some dating back to the 1920s. One of these vendors makes amazing homemade pasta, offering an array of raviolis.

I try a different type each time I visit. They offer everything from meat to exotic cheese to chocolate-filled varieties. This particular weekend I went with a type filled with asparagus and gruyere cheese. I served this with a vodka sauce and a green salad. So if you ever find yourself down by Eastern Market, try out the pastas!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Korean Beef Tacos

In DC, food trucks have been taking over some of the metro stops near the Mall, which is a welcome change of scenery from the federal cafeterias and what they pass off as good food. Every so often I can escape my desk long enough to walk over to one of these trucks. In the interest of time, I typically go for whatever has the shortest line. A few weeks ago, this was the Korean taco truck. The tacos I had there (beef and chicken) were very flavorful and I was a big fan of the slaw they topped each taco with. So when I found this recipe, I decided I would attempt my own.

The marinade for the meat turned out very well and I found that I had all of the ingredients already in my fridge and/or cabinet. My only change to this would be to get the pre-packaged cole slaw and add the slaw mixture to that directly, as opposed to buying the napa cabbage. Not only would it have been easier and cheaper, I think it would have been a bit better.

Korean Beef Tacos (serves 4)


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 TB lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 TB chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 TB fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB dark sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 TB sliced green onions
Pickled Cabbage
  • 3 cups chopped napa cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 TB lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 tsp chile paste


For pickled cabbage, place cabbage in a medium bowl with garlic. Bring vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chile paste to a boil. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cabbage; toss. Let stand at least 30 minutes.

For tacos, combine sugar, soy sauce, chile paste, lime juice, oil and garlic in a shallow dish. Add steak to dish; cover. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Remove steak from marinade, and discard marinade. Thread steak onto 8 (8-inch) skewers; sprinkle with salt. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Grill tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until lightly charred; keep warm. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and divide steak evenly among tortillas. Top tacos with cabbage and sprinkle with onions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders

I am not a fan of salads. I'll be the first to say this. I tend to find them boring and I can rarely eat them more than two days in a row unless what I've put in them has changed drastically. Having said that, I was looking for something that I could make that would work on salads, as well as on its own. I had some left over walnuts from a recipe a week or so ago, so I managed to use up some of those, and come up with these tasty tenders in the process!

I cut the recipe in half, so you can easily double this for larger portions or more people. For the salad, I served them on a bed of spinach, with tomatoes, cucumbers and light honey mustard dressing.

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders (serves 3-4)


  • 1/8 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 3/4-1 lb of chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 TB grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary leaves (optional) 


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicken Saltimbocca

I'm a big fan of pork products. This probably stems from the fact that I have more of a salt tooth than a sweet tooth. (the exception to this being kettle corn-love the salty sweet combo!) Prosciutto is one of my favorite pork products and I had a little left over from the salad I had made last week so I used it to make an old favorite-chicken saltimbocca. This is a very easy recipe to make in a pinch, and takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. I served it with sauteed baby squash and zucchini from the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market. I made a slightly healthier version using a bit less flour and butter, but here is the full-fledged, awesome recipe courtesy of  the infamous The recipe also includes a white wine reduction sauce for the chicken.

Chicken Saltimbocca (serves 4)


  • 4 chicken cutlets, pounded evenly
  • Prosciutto di Parma, sliced (but not too thin). About 2 oz should do it
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TB fresh sage, diced
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 4 TB butter
  • 3 TB chopped parsley


Pat any excess water off of chicken. Then, dip chicken in flour, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh sage.

Add a slice of prosciutto on top of the side of the chicken that you sprinkled the sage on. Press down on it so it sticks to the floured cutlet.

Heat up the oil in a large skillet. Place the cutlets prosciutto side down first and cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and cook on the other side for another 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cutlet.

Once the chicken is done, place them in a dish in the oven set at 200 degrees to keep them warm. Meanwhile, pour white wine and lemon juice into the pan you used to cook the chicken, scraping any of the bits off the pan to sit in the liquid. Let this simmer for about 4 minutes and then add butter, 1 TB at a time. After simmering for a few minutes, you'll have a light sauce. Add the chopped parsley right at the end. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Food Porn: The Fishbowl

This week's edition of food porn is brought to you by my 10-year college reunion. This past weekend, I traveled to Dayton, Ohio to relive my college days. The food: Milano's subs and BW-3 wings. The place: the student neighborhood affectionately known as 'the ghetto' and the surrounding bars whose soundtrack made it feel as if time had stood still (read: "Ghetto Superstar," "Don't Stop Believin'," and "Crazy Game of Poker" on repeat.)

Little did I realize my little blue dress would be the
perfect accompaniement to the beverage of choice.
After a party in the pub on campus, we traveled in droves to a place we frequented back in the day. This place was a bar stumbling distance from campus known as "The Fieldhouse." I had been to this bar many times while at Dayton, and had celebrated many 21st birthdays there (including my own). This bar is most known for a concoction known as the fishbowl.

I'm not quite sure what goes into a fishbowl, but they are usually bright blue or a Hawaiian punch red, and is served in a plastic fishbowl with several bendy straws. Because you have to share a fishbowl. Seriously. Or you will die. To make a fishbowl, the bartender basically combines every type of liquor behind the bar. And somehow it works. And it tastes amazing.

Fish bowls are for sharing.

One of the other dangerous aspects of the fishbowl is you're never really quite sure what is in it, and your decision to get one is usually the result of porch drinking in the ghetto (or in our case, trying to relive 2002). This sweet nectar always seems like a good idea after drinking the Beast for a few hours.  I'm sure the fishbowl has brought people together, broken them up, and caused a few too many sorority girl throwdowns. The fieldhouse fishbowl: Poor Life Choice. Which leads you to make even poorer decisions. Like going to Tim's. But that's a story not fit for this blog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chopped Cherry Chicken Salad

As I mentioned earlier this week, I wanted to keep things simple this week. My refrigerator/freezer crapped out on me a week ago so I lost a lot of my pre-made meals and other goodies when my freezer thawed out. Fortuantely it has since been repaired, but this is the type of week I would have relied on my pre-cooked meals to get through. Lots of work, social events and travel make it hard to commit to cooking as much as usual. So in the spirit of my friend Nick's cookbook (available for sale on Amazon...check out for more information), I took a rotisserie chicken and repurposed it another way. This recipe is one of four chicken salad variations that Nick includes in his book. My apologies for the less than appetizing photo, but I swear it was very tasty! :)

Chopped Cherry Chicken Salad (serves 4-6)


  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 2/3 cup of greek yogurt (Nick used mayo, this was my variation)
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup walnut or pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shallot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 TB fresh tarragon or thyme
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Toss everything together and taste. Seriously, chicken salad is ridiculously easy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad with Arugula and Asiago

This weekend I hit up two farmers' markets picking up a nice array of fruits and vegetables including arugula, baby squash and zucchini, sweet cherries, grape tomatoes, and sourdough bread. While I took a lot of time walking to these markets and picking and choosing what would work for meals for the week. That is where the complexity ended for me this week. I decided to go the easy route on cooking and took the lead of my friend Nick, of, and the approach of his new cookbook, Cornerstone Cooking.

In his book, Nick shows you ways to make a basic dish and then repurpose the leftovers. Because let's be serious, trying to fit in work, exercise, play and everything else can be enough to squeeze into a week, much less cooking. This was one of those weeks that I knew I was going to be busy (and heading out of town for the weekend) so I didn't want to overload my fridge with leftovers, to spend more than 30 minutes any given day to cooking.

One of the cornerstone recipes in Nick's book is your basic rotisserie chicken. In an effort to save time (and as I mentioned above, I was feeling lazy), I decided to pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I used this chicken to make two of this week's recipes. The first of which is this salad. The second I will post on Wednesday (hint: it's from Nick's cookbook!)

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad with Arugula and Asiago (serves 6)



  • 2 (1-ounce) slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 TB extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 oz very thin slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 oz baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup shaved or shredded Asiago cheese
  • 8 oz shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 425°.

    Place bread cubes on a baking sheet, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Add basil and garlic powder; toss well. Place bread mixture in preheating oven; bake for 8 minutes or until crisp.

    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add prosciutto; sauté 4 minutes or until prosciutto is crisp. Drain on paper towels.

    Combine remaining 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons oil, juice, and salt in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Place arugula, half of cheese, and juice mixture in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 6 plates; divide chicken, prosciutto, tomatoes, remaining cheese, and croutons evenly over salads.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Sausage and Spinach Rice Bowl

    I'm a fairly recent convert to Cooking Light magazine. I've been a subscriber now for several months and I've been very happy with the recipes I've made out of the magazine. I wasn't always so enthusiastic about this magazine as my limited experience with Cooking Light was from a 5-ingredient cookbook I had bought years ago on discount at Border's. Yes, back when Border's was the place to go. I should have realized that since it was in the bargain bin, it wouldn't be one of the best purchases, but I was cheap and trying to eat healthy. It's no brainer that recipes comprised of only a few items don't tend to be the most flavorful, but I tried just about every recipe in that book...and wasn't crazy about any of them.

    Fast forward several years later and I'm in the grocery checkout aisle and I see an issue of Cooking Light magazine with some awesome looking food on the cover. I picked it up and after perusing its contents, had a change of heart. So now I'm a subscriber and a believer. The good thing about Cooking Light in its present form is that while it is light, it doesn't sacrifice flavor like some of their recipes back in the day. Having said that, some may feel these recipes aren't super healthy, but I think they strike a happy medium.

    Last week I made one of the recipes in the section 40 Meals under 40 minutes. I've made a few of these before and have been happy with each one, not just due to taste, but they actually are able to be made in under 40 minutes. This one took 20 minutes from start to finish. Take that, Rachel Ray.

    Sausage and Spinach Rice Bowl (serves 3)


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 6 oz hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup of shredded or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Directions:

    Cook rice according to directions.

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and pepper; cook 4 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add spinach; cook 30 seconds or until spinach begins to wilt, tossing constantly.

    Stir in rice; cook 1 minute or until heated. Sprinkle with cheese.