Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quick Easy Delicious Meals + Marathon Cookies!

I swear I've cooked in the last few weeks, I just haven't blogged much about it.  I have made some gems so here's the highlights.  I made these before the New Year so they are not exactly healthy.  I will tell you that my recipes in 2011 will focus on more healthful, less fattening ingredients.  As I mentioned before, I have joined my companies Biggest Loser competition and I am determined to lose at least 10 pounds. The competition is based on both your body weight loss percentage and body fat percentage.  Which I think is pretty cool because if you lose body fat, you are getting in shape and getting healthy for the long run not just for a couple months to win a competition. 

Back to food, Kimmy asked me to post about Healthy Recipes and I will create a page of my most healthful recipes I've made, but most of these recipes will not be included.  So enjoy something different in January: Tasty recipes that are probably not the healthiest.

  First I made Chicken with Boursin Mushroom Broccoli Cream Sauce inspired by Baked Bree. I saw this recipe and I couldn't wait to try it.  And let me tell you, it was delicious and super easy.  And utilized my favorite food: cheese.  I know I just told you I was going to cut back on my cheese intake and I will, but not until January! (I made this dish before the first of the year!) I mean boursin cheese sauce with mushrooms and brocolli? What could be better.  Super simple weeknight meal.
(PS- I can NEVER spell brocolli right, seriously two c's, one l, are we sure? )
Chicken with Boursin Mushroom Broccoli Cream Sauce
inspired by Baked Bree
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used Chicken Tenders)
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1 Tablespoon butter
1 minced shallot
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup crumbled Boursin cheese (Garlic and Fine Herbs)
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chicken broth
couple splashes of milk
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1 package of brown rice (I use Uncle Ben's 90 second microwavable rice)
Pretend this a picture of chicken cooking in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook until brown and turn over, about 5 minutes.  
Flip over and reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook about 8 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep warm.    Add the mushrooms and butter to the pan. Add the shallot and cook until it begins to soften, about a minute. 
Add the wine to the pan and scrape up all of the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the wine cooks almost all of the way out. Then add in the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes more. Take the pan off of the heat and whisk in the Boursin cheese and parsley. If the sauce is too thick add in some milk and stock.  Mix together.  Season with salt and pepper. Add back in the chicken.  Microwave the :90 second brown rice and place a 1/2 cup on both plates.  Add the chicken and broccoli and mushrooms and serve.
 This was the easiest, most delicious meal I've created in awhile.

For Christmas, my MIL bought me a Rachael Ray Cookbook  When I first started cooking 6 years ago, RR was my-go-to-cook.  Now I can barely stand her, but she does still have some interesting twists on dishes. 

So I made Rachael Ray's Shrimp Scampi.  This was soo flavorful and pretty easy!  And it utilized one of my favorite ingredients: anchovies. Have you tried anchovies?  If you like salt, don't be scared!  They are just salt nuggets!  And if the fishy thing scares you, they melt into the oil and you can no longer tell what they were... I'm telling you, don't be scared!
Shrimp Super Scampi
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 anchovies
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 stems oregano, leaves stripped and finely chopped
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used medium pre-cooked)
1 pound linguini
1 lemon
1 cup basil leaves, about 20, torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, torn into pieces ( I used bagel thins)
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add anchovies, garlic and crushed pepper to the pan and cook until anchovies melt into oil, a couple of minutes. 
Add herbs and wine and reduce for 1 minute then melt butter into sauce.
Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.  Add shrimp to sauce and cook for a few minutes then add in the pasta. Add in zest and juice of 1 lemon and basil, season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve directly from pan with hot, crusty bread or whatever you got.
 Loved this dish!  Mainly because I love salt and the salt intake with the anchovies makes it pretty amazing!
In the book was another funky RR recipe:  Fajita Chilaquiles Casserole. It's like eating all the fun of a fajita in a casserole.  And bonus- I didn't have to buy any of the ingredients! This was a fun dish to make and eat.
Fajita Chilaquiles Casserole
4 flour tortillas, cut into thick strips
cooking spray
1 tablespoon (a palmful) onion powder 
 1 tablespoon (a palmful) garlic powder 
1 tablespoon (a palmful) ground cumin 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 tablespoon (a palmful) chili powder 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
Salt and ground black pepper 
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons oil, divided 
1/2 bottle Mexican beer 
1 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced  (I used yellow)
1 red onions, thinly sliced 
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated  
2 limes 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley 
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese 
On a baking sheet, toss tortilla strips with some cooking spray and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. 
Toss halfway through the cooking time so they get brown on all sides. When you remove the tortilla strips, switch on broiler and place rack in middle of the oven.
In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, oregano. Season meat with salt and pepper then toss with spice rub to coat evenly. Place a large skillet over high heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the meat to the pan and sear until golden brown and cooked through, for a few minutes. 
Add the bottle of beer to the pan and cook to reduce, 2 minutes. 

While the meat is cooking, place a second large skillet over high heat with 2 turns of the pan of oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the peppers, onions and garlic to the pan, and cook until brown around the edges and tender, 3-4 minutes. 

Add the zest and juice of 1 lime, chopped herbs, salt and pepper to the pan, toss to combine and reserve.When everything is ready, toss the meat, pepper and onions, and toasted tortilla strips together into a casserole dish. Top with the cheese and melt under the broiler.
I kept going back for more, it was so good!

And finally, I BAKED!  Yep, I made cookies and I didn't mess them up!!  About a month ago, my bloggie friend Liz at Little Bitty Bakes sent me the most amazing cookies I've ever had: Marathon Cookies.  What is a marathon cookie you ask?  A Cookie with 26 ingredients!  Oh yes.  It was good timing to make them since I just got my official Marathon Certificate!

I switched out some of Liz's ingredients for what I had and what I liked but I did use 26 ingredients.  Look below.  Wet ingredients, dry and an entire tupperware container full of goodies!

Marathon Cookies
Makes about 18 large cookies
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 3 eggs
  7. Two ripe bananas, mashed
  8. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  9. 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  10. 1 cup quick oats
  11. 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  12. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  13. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  14. 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  15. 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  16. 1/4 cup mint chocolate chips
  17. 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  18. 1/4 cup almonds
  19. 1/4 cup chopped pretzels
  20. 1/4 cup chopped fruit trail mix
  21. 1/4 cup chopped dried apple rings
  22. 1/4 cup reeses pieces
  23. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  24. 1/4 cup chopped dates
  25. 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  26. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; mix until creamy.  In separate bowl, stir flour, graham cracker crumbs, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing until combined.  Fold remaining ingredients into cookie dough.  For large cookies, use a 2 1/2-inch cookie scoop to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 12 to 14 minutes, until deep golden brown and cooked through.
So yeah, they're cookies, but they do have some healthy ingredients right?
I had a bunch of people tell me these cookies rocked... so... maybe I can bake?? Maybe.

Got any delicious healthy recipes for me to jump start my healthy cooking in 2011?  Link them in the comments!


  1. I have been wanting to make the marathon cookies, but keep putting it off because I did not want to buy everything. Good idea to switch some things out!

  2. Mmm, I love the substitutions you made - and I also love that you numbered the ingredients :) As always.. your dinner creations are mouth-watering!

  3. love the food here!!! and love the new header! =)

  4. I didn't know it was possible to bake cookies with 26 ingredients. I'm not sure I'd have the patience for that.

    What I do have patience for is shrimp scampi! it's one of my go to meals but I don't think i ever documented it on the blog. Also, the Boursin sauce sounds phenomenal, i love Boursin!

  5. Wow. Marathon cookies is right!
    The broccoli dish sounds great!

  6. I love the marathon cookies with 26 ingredients!! SO cute :) Your chicken and broccoli recipe looks great. I'm more of a baker than a cook, but I made a healthier version of broccoli cheddar soup recently from a recipe from

  7. yeesh - those cookies look hardcore but I like 'em! Very appropriate name :) Everything looks really good, as always. I'm excited to check out your new recipes this year. Good luck with the challenge!

  8. I can never spell broccoli right either! I always have to think about it. All of this looks great! I can't even tell you how many cookies I am surrounded by right now. You should definitely come over. :) I think I saw your name on the BFBLaunch party list. Hope to meet you then!

  9. Marathon cookies look amazing! I am a terrible baker, but I keep trying. Luckily, my family isn't picky at all!

  10. Love the 26 ingredient marathon cookie idea!