Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sally's Magic Chicken

When I was in the hospital after surgery last month, a good friend showed up at our house with dinner for my family--twice during my 5-day stay. One of the meals included chicken drumsticks with a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. After returning home, I thanked her for the meals and asked for the recipe for the "Magically Delicious" chicken, because all my kids had been raving about it. That's when she looked embarrassed and told me that her husband had picked up the chicken all prepared and ready to bake at a local grocery store. Then she decided to figure out how to make it herself.

A few weeks later she showed up at choir practice with a half-full jar of the Secret Ingredient: Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce.  That's pretty much all it is:  just this sauce, poured over chicken drumsticks and baked until done.

This is a simple, can't-miss, 3-ingredient chicken dish.

Get the recipe with nutrition information at Cook and Count!

We served it with sauteed broccoli rabe and red potatoes with parsley.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beef Paysanne

This is a dinner I've been making for years.  It's a great way to re-invent leftover pot roast; I always make enough pot roast for two meals and freeze half of it so we can have this dish sometime down the road.  Freezing hint:  add some beef broth or some of the pan juices to the freezer container along with the meat to help keep it moist.

Get this recipe with nutrition facts at Cook and Count!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vietnamese Tacos and an OXO Good Grips Giveaway

This recipe has all the necessary qualities for a fun family meal:  it's easy to make, it tastes great, everyone can customize his own meal, it's super-healthy, and what's more fun than dinner rolled up in a nice warm tortilla?  My whole family (and two dinner guests) loved these Vietnamese Tacos!  I found the original recipe in the April 2012 issue of Southern Living and modified it slightly.


2 1/2 pounds sirloin steak (London Broil)
6-inch flour tortillas
1 bag Cole Slaw mix or 3 cups shredded cabbage and carrots
2 scallions, sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin


Get this recipe (with nutrition facts) at Cook and Count!

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 TBL sugar
juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper

Marinate steak for 8 to 24 hours.  Mix dipping sauce and chill until ready to serve.  Grill steak until done, discarding remaining marinade.  Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Slice into thin strips and serve in warmed tortillas with dipping sauce and vegetables.

This made a great and easy meal with a side of salad, steamed rice and a raw vegetable platter.  Everyone used the extra dipping sauce on the raw vegetables (it was particularly delicious with cucumbers.)

Slicing those cucumbers was really easy thanks to a cool kitchen tool from OXO Good Grips!  I used the Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer to make short work of that job.  This slicer was easy to hook over the top of a bowl, and the cucumbers were sliced in no time at all.  With a carefully-designed finger guard, I never had to worry that I'd slice off a fingertip or knuckle on the mandoline blade.

It was easy to adjust the thickness of the slices with a nonslip knob located on the side.  The thinnest slices were practically transparent--there's no way I could have done that with a knife.

I've also tried this slicer with onions and it made that chore quick and easy.  There's no better way to get paper-thin onion slices to top burgers or sandwiches.

This mandoline is dishwasher-safe (top rack) and the finger guard fits over the blade for safe storage of this handy kitchen tool.  It's going to be well-used in my kitchen this summer!

Thanks to OXO, I have a Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer to give away to one reader!  It's easy to enter this giveaway.  Simply leave a comment on this post, making sure there's an email address where you can be reached.  For one extra entry, "like" Mom's Fridge on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did that.  The contest will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, May 24 and the winner will be chosen and notified on Friday, May 25.  Because of the holiday, the winner will have until 11:59 PM EDT on Tuesday, May 29 to respond.

I received a Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer to try out for the purposes of this review and giveaway. The winner of the giveaway will receive an identical product. I did not receive any other compensation from OXO or any other source. All opinions are mine. UPDATE: And the winner is...comment #5, Jamie! The winner will be contacted via email as described above. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Time to Make a Plan

I'm always comforted by having a weekly dinner-menu plan in my back pocket.  Even if I change my mind about what we're eating, or the order in which we eat it, it's good to know what's in the plan and that we have the ingredients in the house to make those dishes.

That said, I haven't had a menu plan in four weeks.  Four weeks ago today, I was in the hospital for major surgery.  Thanks to my hardworking family and many wonderful friends and relatives, I haven't had to worry too much about dinner.  I can cook it again, as long as someone else retrieves ingredients or equipment that is stored below waist level (it's also easier if someone else does the oven work.  I'm not bending too comfortably just yet.)  But it's lovely to be able to cook again.

Yesterday, Middle Sister asked if her friend could come over for dinner tonight.  Not a problem.  This morning I texted her while she was on the school bus to ask if her friend was, indeed, coming--just so I could get a head count for dinner.  When she answered "yes," I replied, "Any requests?"


Maybe that's a compliment to my cooking (does it all really taste so good that you're happy for whatever I serve you?)--but in some ways, it's frustrating.  Food is a big part of how I love my family.  I enjoy making dinners that they like to eat.  And sometimes I'd like to know what they'd like to eat.

Remember, you have ONE MORE DAY to enter the Sweet Eats cookbook giveaway!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Variation on a Theme: Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Vegetables

One of the best things you can keep in your freezer is a bag of frozen, deveined shrimp.  I buy them when they go on sale.  It's easy to take out as many as you need for a particular meal.  Spanish Garlic Shrimp is a longtime family favorite.  

Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Vegetables

Get the full recipe and nutrition information at Cook and Count!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Sweet Eats

Not every family has to worry about a loved one who has food allergies or sensitivities.  For those who do, cooking, dining and shopping can be a huge challenge.

Marcia Slawson has experienced firsthand what it's like to try to tempt a young child on a wheat-free diet.  Her extensive trial and error with recipes and ingredients led her to write two versions of her dessert cookbook, Sweet Eats.

Sweet Eats is full of recipes with familiar names--but with a "healthy twist."   If you, a family member, or friend must eat gluten-free or if you wish to incorporate more whole grains into your diet without sacrificing delicious and familiar desserts, Slawson's cookbooks will show you how.  Each and every recipe has been modified to include gluten-free flours or whole grains (depending on the edition), natural low-glycemic-index sweeteners and healthy fats.

Whole-grain and gluten-free ingredients can be pricey and sometimes hard to find.  The last thing you want to do is experiment on your own with expensive ingredients--or waste your time and gas running to several stores in search of a single item.  Slawson has done the legwork here as well.  Sweet Eats lists brand names and sources for many of these ingredients, even recommending certain brands that work best in particular recipes.  You'll also find cooking, preparation and storage tips for these foods and ingredients.

For more information on this book or to order your own copy of either the Spelt & Whole Grain or Gluten-Free edition of Sweet Eats, visit Mom's Healthy Eats.  These cookbooks are available as e-books only.  You can even preview 3 free recipes from the book!  And don't miss the blog, where you can learn about healthy habits and ingredients.

I've been offered a copy of Sweet Eats to give away to a lucky reader!  To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on this post answering the question:
What do you think is the biggest challenge in dealing with a food allergy or sensitivity?
You can get a second entry by tweeting about this contest!  Make sure to leave a link to your tweet and your Twitter username in the comments.

One entry set per person, please.

This contest will run through midnight EDT on Tuesday, May 15.  A winner will be chosen and announced by Friday, May 18 and will have 72 hours to respond to an email announcement.  The winner will get to choose either the Spelt & Whole Grain OR Gluten-Free edition of this handy cookbook!

I was provided with an e-book copy of Sweet Eats for the purposes of this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions are mine. UPDATE: This contest is now closed and we have our winner! It is commenter #1, Mary Ellen! She has been contacted via email and has chosen the Gluten Free edition of Sweet Eats.


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