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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ughghghgh!  Another cold and rainy day!  Rather than BBQing chicken breasts, I decided to whip up an easy chicken parmigiana – using stuff from the pantry.  Super easy to make – here’s my recipe:

Pantry Chicken Parmigiana
4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Marinara sauce:
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1tbsp balsamic vinegar

 In your food processor, pulse bread crumbs, parmesan & spices and pour into a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs.  One breast at a time, dip into the chicken breasts into the egg mixture and then into the crumb mixture to coat both sides, even pressing into the chicken.  Set chicken aside, and get your pan ready.  In a large, non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil.

Add the chicken into the hot oil (still on med-high) and brown on both sides.  Don’t be tempted to flip too early b/c your coating will stick to the pan if it’s not ready!  And there ain’t no going back when that happens!


Once both sides are golden brown, remove chicken breasts and set aside.  In the same pan, add the tomatoes, garlic, onions and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 mins.  Did I mention that you need to preheat the oven to 375degrees?  Get that on the go too.  If you would rather, use a jarred sauce and skip this step altogether!  My recommendation: PC Brand Sweet Basil Pasta Sauce.

Spread the sauce in a baking dish and arrange the chicken breasts on top.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and some parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375 for about 25 mins.  Serve over whole wheat pasta.  Or skip the pasta and serve with a salad.

Shove in the oven for about 25 minutes!

Dinner was a big hit – kid and husband friendly!!  Not even a speck of left-overs and I even forgot to take a picture of the finished dinner!


Yesterday I planned out the meals for the week; I knew that I wanted to do pork chops tonight, but I needed a kid-friendly recipe… hmmm what to do?  Normally I like to have a spicy kick when I put some pork on my fork, but kids aren’t always down with that!  Soooo I looked around the kitchen and here’s what I came up with:

BBQ Apple Lime Pork Chops!
4-6 centre cut chops
1 apple juice box (200ml)
juice of large lime
1tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce

Nice grill marks Hot Toddy!

Put the chops in large ziplock bags – double bagged even b/c sometimes those pork bones cut plastic…. Mix the rest of your ingredients in a bowl then add to the bag.  Marinate overnight in the fridge.

Shrum’s chops – they’re from Stettler and sell at the RD Farmer’s Market every Saturday.

 Go to bed and get some sleep – you know you’re not getting enough!  Next day, get your grill going, medium high – maybe about 400degrees.  Transfer the chops to grill and grill as you like, but reserve the marinade!  Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then simmer on medium until the sauce has reduced by half. 

Keep watch b/c that brown sugar likes to bubble quickly!!

You’re going to serve this with the chops – deeeeeelish!!!  Once you’re done grilling the chops, remove from grill, put on a plate and tent for about 5 minutes under some foil.  Serve with whatever turns your crank! 
This recipe would also taste great served spicy, so you could add some jalepenos into the marinade if you want to kick things up a notch!

Nothing better on a hot weekend than a Mexican Fiesta!  This time, Mari is the hostess, but I still decided to whip up a few creations to take to her!

First up, my take on a Southwestern Black Bean Salsa!

1 can diced tomatoes, well drained
1 cup whole kernel corn (from a can, from frozen, or better yet – grilled on the cob and then cut off!)
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
juice of a lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 large jalepeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped fine
1/4 tsp sea salt

Can be found in the ethnic aisle of Superstore! 
Freeze unused peppers and sauce and use for a chili another time.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cover.  Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve with tortilla chips! 

Todd hates black beans, but said he loves this salsa and will now eat black beans if presented in this format 😉

The other fun thing I made for the Mari Party is a batch of Cocoa Chile Truffle Brownies.  I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for something to do with the bottle of Cocoa Chile Blend powder that has been staring at me from my spice cupboard for the last year!  These brownies are awesome, they have a very subtle spicy after-taste – should be a nice finale to a Mexican Feast. 

Sweet AND caliente!

I’ll be drinking more of the Skinny Girl Margarita, hopefully we don’t have another repeat of the Lacombe Corn Maze!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

A couple of days ago, I received the September issue of Everyday Food; omg I am in love with this issue!  Sorry Martha, the last few issues have been major duds, but you’ve totally redeemed yourself with September!  Way to go!

Tonight I made the Grilled Honey-Mustard Chicken with Onions & Spinach Salad – using delicious chicken breasts from Big Bend Market.  So good and it even makes enough left-overs for pitas tomorrow!

I added mango instead of tomatoes!

After dinner, Erin & I went for a mini-run at Heritage Ranch, and I came home to whip up a batch of Zucchini, Banana & Flaxseed Muffins!

Can’t wait… want to eat NOW
mmmmm…. served warm with butter = heaven!

Since Martha’s crew did such a good job with their recipes this month, I didn’t need to monkey around with anything!!  (except when I ran out of honey and subbed in Agave Nectar) 

Go pick up the September issue of Everyday Food – there are so many awesome recipes this month – definitely worth the $4.50!!!

On a hot day, there is nothing better than a bbq’d burger!  And for a healthier version, I decided to whip up a batch of my delicious buffalo burgers… and then negate that healthy choice by frying (yes FRYING!) a big batch of sweet potato chips.

(…amazing!  also, remember those zucchini pickles?)

1lb ground buffalo (I got mine from Shrum’s Meats at the RD Farmer’s Market)
3/4 cup oatmeal, pulsed thru the food processor
1/2 sweet onion
3 cloves garlic
1tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1tbsp hot sauce (Louisiana, Frank’s, Tabasco, whatever ya got)
fresh ground salt & pepper
4 slices gouda or any one of your fave cheeses
4 grainy buns & burger fixins

the goods

First pulse the oatmeal and add to a big bowl.  Next, add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the bison, to the processor and puree.  If you don’t have a food processor, then use your box grater for that onion b/c you will want it practically liquified.  Add the goo to the bowl with the oatmeal and blend.  Add the buffalo.  Mix well (don’t forget to take your rings off!!)  Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal parts, have your cheese ready.  With each portion, make 2 skinny patties, adding your cheese in the middle and then flattening the 2 patties into a normal size patty.  It’s not that complicated, just my instructions suck!!

Grill as normal on medium high – though watch your back because there is not a lot of fat, so you will want to get a good sear on before flipping that first time!

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and washed and then sliced thin on a mandolin
lots of canola oil
lots of fresh ground sea salt

Fill your frying pan about 1/2 inch deep oil.  Heat on med-high till the oil has tiny bubbles – TINY not boiling.  Add a layer of chips – don’t over crowd your pan.  In batches, cook the chips till golden and slightly puffy – you’ll know when you see.  Transfer to a cookie sheet that has been lined with paper towels.  Salt and let cool.  Transfer to a metal bowl.  Keep cooking those chips and be careful – keep the temp on med-high (it’s a 7 on my crap stove).

Be careful!
Delicious end result!  And cheap to make!

One day I’ll try to make some beet chips!  Enjoy this delicious bbq and let me know if you like the flavors – if you’re not into spicy, you could switch out the hot sauce for dijon mustard.

What to do with a ton of strawberries when you’re racing against time to use them before they turn to rot?  Make super easy freezer jam (or fridge jam).  First thing you need to do is buy a pkg of Bernardin Sugar Free Freezer Jam Pectin, some plastic freezer containers and some strawberries.  That’s it. Follow the simple instructions on the container and in about 5 minutes you will have 4x250ml containers of delicious jam!

Step 1: Wash strawberries
Get your stuff together!

Add pectin to mashed strawberries and follow instructions – no cooking!

Enjoy on warm buttered toast!

I made a little treat for me and Hot Toddy – served on mini ciabatta breads with a slice of Carmelis Misty soft-ripened cheese that we purchased in the Okanagan.

I love steak.  It’s simple as that!  Even though a good steak will taste great grilled “naked,” I love experimenting with making marinades.  Here’s my super easy marinade that I made today for some delicious beef tenderloin steaks (and could be used for buffalo, venison, chicken, or even portabello mushrooms)

Grilling Marinade:
4 steaks of your choice – I used beef tenderloin steaks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until slightly emulsified.  Add your meat and marinate in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.  Take your meat out of the fridge about 30 mins before you grill.  Get the grill nice and hot and then call Todd to bbq your steaks b/c I screw them up every time haha.  When you take them off the grill, let them rest under a foil tent for 5 minutes before serving.

Because Todd and I are living modified paleo, I served our tenderloins on a bed of wild arugula & spinach medly (no extra dressing required) with grilled veg on the side.  No carbs!  We also cracked a bottle of wine (ok some carbs!) that we got on our recent wine country adventure: Cedar Creek Estate Winery Syrah – great pairing!!

Me and Cousin David at Cedar Creek winery

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