Friday, June 18, 2010

Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken with Veggie Saute

Ever since we moved, I've been struggling to get decent dinners on the table. I think I must still be overwhelmed and don't feel like I have it together yet. For dinner tonight, I took a look at my All Recipes recipe box and decided to make this Dijon Tarragon Cream Chicken recipe again.

I have not been good at getting a variety of veggies incorporated into our meals either. To accompany the chicken, I made a veggie saute of asparagus, yellow squash, and red potatoes.

Both turned out great! I made a couple modifications to the chicken recipe: I added some white wine to deglaze the pan, and I didn't have fresh tarragon so I used a teaspoon of dried tarragon instead. From start to finish, it took 30 minutes.
Veggie Saute
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Baby red potatoes, diced
Asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
Yellow squash, sliced
  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add garlic and potatoes and saute over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add asparagus and squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute for 3 minutes.
This veggie saute is very flavorful. I loved it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ravioli with Tomato Artichoke Sauce

Monday was a long day and I needed a quick and easy meal. One of my favorite go-to meals for days like this is ravioli -- the stuff in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I happen to get mine at Costco and love their Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli. I usually just do a jarred sauce when I make it, but I decided it was time to make my own sauce from scratch. So I did! It tasted great -- I am really pleased with how it turned out, and from here on out, I'll be using fresh romas or cans of tomatoes to make my own sauce.

It seriously only took maybe 5 extra minutes of hands on time, and the sauce was ready by the time the water for the ravioli came to a boil and I cooked the pasta. Served with salad greens, this was a great and balanced meal!

Ravioli with Tomato Artichoke Sauce
1 Family size container of refrigerated ravioli
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce (such as Hunts)
2 cups roma tomatoes, chopped, or same equivalent in canned tomatoes
1 T Italian seasoning
2 t dried basil
1 t onion powder
1/2 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1-2 T fresh basil, chopped
  1. Heat pot of water for ravioli and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and add minced garlic. Saute for a minute or two over medium heat. 
  3. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and dried basil. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer.
  4. When the water is boiling, add some coarse ground salt and then add ravioli. Cook according to package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, add the artichoke hearts to the sauce and cook through.
  6. Plate and serve with fresh basil on top.
Notes: I added some shredded carrots to the sauce as well to sneak in some extra veggies. Try using whatever you have around -- carrots, zucchini, onion, etc. I love the taste of fresh herbs. I cut down on the cost of them by growing a mini herb garden in my kitchen window sill!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homemade grenadine

Tonight I made homemade grenadine -- you know the stuff, the "cherry" flavor they add to a Coke at a restaurant, the red stuff in a Shirley Temple and numerous alcoholic drinks. The kind you can buy at the store is basically corn syrup with red food coloring in it. Not exactly the most appetizing.

Why did I decide to make grenadine in the first place? Well, it's kind of silly. I really like Cherry Coke. I LOVE Cherry Coke. However, I don't tolerate caffeine very well. So I came up with the idea of buying caffeine free Coke at the store, and then adding my own grenadine to it to make it a Cherry Coke!

Funny fact: real grenadine is made from pomegranate juice! No lie! So that's what I used to make it: POM and sugar. You simply boil the POM juice down to about half, then add sugar and dissolve. That's it! two parts POM, 1 part sugar. I used a 16 oz bottle of POM and 1 cup of sugar.

I may try this with cherry juice in the future and see how that tastes compared to the pomegranate juice.

The result? Great! I haven't done a side-by-side taste test, but it tastes good to me!