Saturday, June 11, 2011


A few weeks ago, we all made Dessert recipes.  The swap was hosted by the lovely Laki.

lauandjohn07 made a recipe from Laki's blog, Death by Chocolate Trifle.

She had this to say:

I substituted fresh whipped cream for the Cool Whip and I made milk chocolate mousse instead of the dark. I took it to a bbq yesterday and it was the belle of the ball. Very yummy and rich, there were no leftovers.

melbride2005 made a recipe from LisaD, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

 Lishie0729 made melbride's Fresh Peach Cake.

lmary0504 made a recipe from smallbutfeisty's blog, Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies.  She had this to say:

I got smallbutfiesty's rasberry cheesecake brownies.  They were fab!  My oven sucks a little bit though and I should have increased the cooktime a bit so they came out a little too mushy in the middle for me, but we ate the border of the pan LOL!

smallbutfeisty made ddelo23's Caramel Banana Ravioli.

HarrietNJMommy made LovinLivvy's Oreo Cheesecake. It was good!
There were only 2 things I did different. My pan was a little smaller, so I just baked it for a couple minutes longer to set and when I crushed the leftover cookies, I didn't have enough to sprinkle over the top - I think I crushed them too much.

Luvin*Livvy made Lishie's S'mores Bars.

ddelo23 made lmary0405's Cracker Candy.

And our hostess, Laki,  hasn't yet blogged her recipe, which was for a Crunch-bar pie from Laurms - it originally called for Andes candies, but I used Crunch bars instead.  I made it last night for a BBQ w/ friends and it was so good!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Asian Swap

Melissa made Won Ton Soup.

Kelly was challenged to try a Thai recipe.

Lisa made a quick and yummy meal, Chinese Beef with Noodles.

Christina had a few missteps,  but came out with a good result anyway, when she tried Malaysian Chicken Pizza.

Lishie modified her recipe to suit her family's needs to make Crock Pot Asian Beef and Noodles.

Mrs.angel2003 made Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce, and doesn't have a blog.  She had to say:

Even though it looked complicated at first sight, it was actually really easy to make!  I didn't have rice wine vinegar so I just omitted it and it was fine.  I really liked the tastes of everything - it was so rich in flavor!  Tasted just like a restaurant meal.  But I definitely should have followed Kelly's change and used iceburg lettuce instead of Boston Bibb lettuce.  The Boston Bibb was WAY too flimsy and the lettuce wraps were impossible to eat :(  I ended up having to cut it up and just eat it all with a fork.  Overall, it was enjoyable.  

Trish B98 made Sauteed Tilapia with Honey Ginger Dressing, and said:
It was so good and (according to my husband, the weeknight cook of the house) very easy to make!  We loved it especially since we're both trying to lose weight and it ended up being really low in points on WW!  We only had one change - DH left the tilapia at the store so I had to go back and get more fish, but they were out of tilapia when I went, so we used cod instead.  
 It's a definite make again!!

akayf  made Gianna's General Tso's Chicken!
DH and I loved it.   DS isn't a big chicken eater but he enjoyed the sauce over rice and broccoli.   This was so easy to make and since I usually have all the ingredients on hand, it is going into my mental file of go-to meals for those days when I have very little time to cook.   the only thing I changed was I used sesame oil instead of peanut oil because I don't like peanuts(or peanut oil!)    
General Tso's Chicken  -- Gianna (Luvin*Livvy)(Weight Watchers)

  • 3/4 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • tablespoons sugar
  • tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoons peanut oil
  • medium scallions, chopped
  • medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or dried chili, minced
  • lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • cups cooked white rice, kept hot
  • Directions:

    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Total Time: 30 mins
    1. 1 In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside.
    2. 2 Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
    3. 3 Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
    4. 4 Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken and sauce and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.
    7. Gianna found a recipe to add to her weekly rotation, Ginger, Scallion, and Garlic Shrimp.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Chicken Recipe Swap

    A few weeks ago, ~LisaD~ hosted a chicken recipe swap.

    Gianna and her husband enjoyed a mushroomy recipe, though her daughters wouldn't even try it!

    Vicki made a recipe for Chicken Pizza Burgers.

    Christina made a decadent seeming Weight Watchers recipe.

    Pam made a recipe worthy of a special occasion.

    Lauren's recipe made an easy and delicious meal that inspired her to try making it with different additions.

    Melissa found a way to lighten up a classic dish and was really happy with the results.

    Elisha made a version of Chicken Cacciatore very similar to the way she usually makes it.

    Our hostess, Lisa, found a recipe that earned two thumbs up for her husband, who is usually not very happy with home cooked chicken dishes.

    Kelly found a recipe that challenged her comfort zone, and was happy with the results.

    akayf made a submission by Lisa, Chicken with Cherry Tomato Sauce.  She doesn't have a blog, so this is what she had to say about it:

    We all loved it!   This was so easy to make and so tasty.   I made some spaghetti and tossed it with some garlic sauteed in olive oil as a side.     For DS, I cut up a little bit of the cooked chicken, mixed it with the cherry tomato sauce and put it over the pasta.   He gobbled it up.    
    This meal was so quick and easy to make.   I had dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.    DH's comment was this recipe is a keeper!!!!! Thanks Lisa!!!!!

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Sandwich/Panini Recipe Swap

    Lishie0729 made Emeril's Chicken Salad

    LaKi made Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

    MrsKellyT143 made "Graceland" Eggplant Paninis

    ~LisaD~ made Cuban sandwiches

    Melbride made two types of paninis

    smallbutfeisty made Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

    oct11bride2003 made French Dip sandwiches

    PumkinPamcake made Thanksgiving burgers

    HarrietNJMommy made Jammin Salmon Burgers.  She doesn't have a blog, but had this to say about Vicki's Recipe:

    I just had Vicki21's Jammin' Salmon Burgers - I like them. I think next time I might try adding something to give them more of a "kick". Maybe more cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce.
    I am not really a fan of cooked salmon, but these were really good. I ate them like burgers! And I loved the dill mayo! YUM!

    Thanks for a recipe. I'm going to "recycle" this one and make it often!

    Luvin*Livvy made tuna salad.. and chicken salad!

    Grilling Recipe Swap

    Welcome to the first roundup post of the new recipe exchange for the NJ Nest board!  This time around, we shared grilling recipes.

    Melbride made grilled pizza a few different ways, on an indoor grill.

    Lishie0729 made a flank steak similar to the one she submitted.

    LaKi put her own spin on Cheesey Stuffed Tomatoes

     smallbutfeisty tried a new meat on the grill

    oct11bride03 made a delicious sandwich with her selection

    Melanie2003 doesn't have a blog, and had this to say:

    Grilled Chicken Thighs and Roasted Tomatoes
     and apparently, I need to get a blog!! I was going to take photos to post here, but we were hungry and it was a work day (so already a later dinner) - see the pictures on the link of the original!
    So here's my take - DH and I liked it! We often grill boneless chicken thighs, so I figured we'd be comfortable with this.DD was fine with the chicken, but requested ketchup - pretty normal for her.
    The marinade was simple, and different for us (because it didn't come from a bottle). I was nervous since DH doesn't like lemon flavored anything, but he liked it and suggested we go a little heavier on the lemon and garlic next time (I might have used a package of thighs that were 1.8lbs instead of closer to 1.5). I'd even consider adding some parsley to it to match the tomatoes. I grilled it 4 min per side, which was perfect (heat all the way up - beautiful grill marks).
    The tomatoes were a welcome new recipe - I really liked them. It's not something I would have ever made on my own since my gang only eats tomatoes that are pureed in pasta sauce or from a jar of salsa. But they were part of the recipe, so I made them and also made steamed broccoli thinking my crew would need a veggie side. I forgot to get fresh parsley, so I subbed dry. The biggest bonus was that DDand DH both tried the tomatoes. DDwas not a fan; DH took a few more servings (this man won't even eat a slice of tomato on a sandwich and always picks it out of salads!)
    I served this with a box of pine nut couscous. A 5 minute dish that you don't need to keep an eye on is always nice.
    And as suggested, I opened a bottle of sauvignon blanc that I had in the house. It was a little old and not very good - I'd like to try the one suggested on Laki's blog next time though! 

    HarrietNJMommy also doesn't have a blog, but guest blogged for Lishie!  Link here 

    MrsKellyT143 made chicken skewers, and looks forward to a side dish she was also given for another day.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Chocolate Soup

    Chocolate Soup (chpmnk1015)
    (I got it off the food network- spam
    on the street.)

    4 1/2 cups whole milk
    1 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
    10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    5 tablespoons cornstarch
    5 tablespoons cold water
    Mini chocolate biscotti, for garnish
    Fresh raspberries, for garnish
    Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

    In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the whole milk,
    sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla bean. Bring the mixture almost to a
    boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let it steep for 20
    minutes. Strain and return to the pan. (Rinse and dry the vanilla bean and
    save it for another use.)

    Put the pan on low heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate
    melts. Combine the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Add the slurry a
    little at a time, whisking constantly, until the soup is thick and smooth.
    You will know it is ready when the bubbles are gone and the chocolate has
    thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with biscotti, raspberries, and mint

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Chicken Tortilla Soup (akayf)
    Serves 6-8

    8 corn tortillas
    Cooking spray
    1 ½ Tbs. plus 1 tsp chili powder
    1 Tbs. vegetable oil
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into ½ cubes
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1 onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tbs. ground cumin
    ¼ tsp ground red pepper
    3 cans chicken broth
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can corn, drained
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut 4 of the tortillas into very thin strips and place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tsp of chili powder and ¼ tsp of salt. Toss to coat and bake until crisp (10-15 minutes). Set aside when done.

    2. While the strips are baking, heat oil in a large pot on medium high. Add chicken and cook until juices run clear. (about 5 minutes) Remove chicken and set aside.

    3. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to pot and cook until they soften(about 5 minutes) Stir in spices and then add broth, tomatoes, corn, and beans to the pot.

    4. Cut remaining 4 tortillas into thin strips and add to pot. Stir in chicken and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium.

    5. Top each serving with some of the baked tortilla strips.

    Notes: If I don’t have any cumin or ground pepper, I just add extra chili powder to spice it up. I never measure the spices either; I just season to taste. Also, if you get the diced tomatoes with green chilies or jalapeƱos, it adds an extra kick to the soup