Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pork Stir-Fry [Low-Calorie]

(low-calorie: about 350 per serving)

8 oz pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
3 Tblsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 Tblsp cornstarch
1 Tblsp honey
1 Tblsp tomato paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of black pepper
2 tsp canola oil, divided
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 Tblsp minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen snow peas or green beans
1 cup carrot strips
2 Tblsp sliced scallions
2 tsp black and/or white sesame seeds

  • Combine pork strips and 1 Tblsp soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate while preparing sauce.
  • Stir together remaining 2 Tblsp soy sauce, broth, sherry, cornstarch, honey, tomato paste, 1 tsp garlic, ground ginger, and pepper.
  • Preheat a wok over medium-high heat. Hold wok away from stove, spray wok with nonstick cooking spray. Return wok to stove top.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in wok. Stir-fry half of the pork until it's cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Remove pork to a plate. Stir-fry remaining pork; remove to plate.
  • Add remaining 1 tsp oil to wok. Add 1 Tblsp garlic and fresh ginger; stir-fry 10-15 seconds. Add snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Return pork to wok; add sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, 1-2 minutes. Add carrots; heat and stir 1 minute.
  • Serve stir-fry over white or brown rice; garnish with scallions. Sprinkle each serving with sesame seeds.
recipe directly from CuisineLite magazine, Spring 2013 edition

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday {w/linky}


This past weekend was the Annual "Father-Daughter Dance" here on post. My daughter looks forward to this all year around!

My loves!

Walkin her to the car--such a gentleman! 

Reminds me of this:

~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

Balsamic Steak with Fruit & Gorgonzola

(low calorie: about 222 per serving)

1-1/2 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into six 4-oz filets [or use a pre-cut lean beef steak]
1 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
1 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tblso strawberry jam
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
6 Tblsp Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 Tblsp fresh basil, minced

  • Season filets with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high. Add filets; sear 2-3 minutes per side for medium. Transfer filets to plate; tent with foil.
  • Add vinegar to the pan; cook until liquid is reduced by half, 5 minutes. Whisk in jam; stir to dissolve.
  • Serve steaks with balsamic sauce, strawberries, and Gorgonzola; garnish with basil.
recipe directly from CuisineLite, Spring 2013 edition

Monday, February 25, 2013

Coq au Vin [slow-cooker]

[slow-cooker recipe]
(low-calorie: about 326 per serving)

1 8-oz package mushrooms, halved
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1-1/2 cups frozen pearl onions [or 1 white onion, cut into big chunks]
Non-stick cooking spray
5 to 6 large cooking thighs, skin removed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry red wine [or red cooking wine]
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tblsp tapioca
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tblsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 cups hot cooked whole grain wide noodles

  • In a 4-5qt slow cooker, combine mushrooms, carrots, and onions. Set aside.
  • Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs with 1/4 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add chicken thighs to skillet, meaty sides down. Cook about 6 minutes or until brown, turning once. Add chicken to cooker.
  • Add wine to skillet; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits from bottom and sides of skillet. Remove from heat. Stir in broth, tapioca, vinegar, herbes de Provence, garlic, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Pour over chicken in cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 5-1/2 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 hours. [I recommend the high-heat setting. The carrots will still have a little bit of a bite to them still!]
  • Sprinkle with parsley; serve with noodles.
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens "Skinny Slow Cooker" magazine, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Perfect Salad

I've been on a really big "Salad Kick" lately, and have found the perfect way to create a delish salad that can be changed and has a huge variety of choices. Its much better than the bland old lettuce with bottled dressing with preserves and unwanted ingredients.

Start with the basics. From there, learn your favorite combinations. After the image, I've listed my favorite combinations that I make the most.

My favorite:

  • Olive Oil + Apple Cider Vinegar + Dijon + Honey + Salt + Strawberries + Feta Cheese
  • Clementine Olive Oil + White Wine Vinegar + Dijon + Honey + Salt + Oranges + Blue Cheese
  • Olive Oil + Red Wine Vinegar + Dijon + Honey + Salt + Apples + Gorgonzola Cheese

Get creative! And remember, Feta cheese goes with everything! Its my favorite cheese, but don't forget to try Asiago Cheese, Gorgonzola, Blue Cheese, and even Goat Cheese (with honey).

You can also find many flavors of Olive Oil and Vinegars. "O Olive Oil Company" has some amazing choices, but many brands have infused Oils and such.

Always taste-test your dressing before tossing with the salad, and adjust ingredients to you liking!

Please Pin It on Pinterest to share this around! It would be greatly appreciated! =)

Friday, February 22, 2013

FBF: "Green" Containers/ Jello Shots


click on image to see full post from 2/20/12

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Greek Lamb and Feta Lasagna

(low calorie! about 321 per serving)

2 tsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1-1/2 Tblsp garlic, minced
1 Tblsp fresh rosemary, chopped
9 ounces lean ground lamb
9 ounces ground pork [or lean ground beef]
1-1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
Cooking spray
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
3 Tblsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through pork); cook 14 minutes or until lamb and beef are browned, stirring to crumble. 
  • Add stock to pan; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  • Combine ricotta and rind in small bowl. Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture over one side of each lasagna noodle.
  • Spread 2 cups tomato mixture in bottom of an 11x7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles, ricotta side up, over tomato mixture; top with 2 cups tomato mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with 2 cups tomato mixture. Sprinkle evenly with feta cheese. 
  • Cover with foil; bake for 40 minutes. 
  • Remove foil; let stand 10 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with rosemary.
recipe directly from CookingLight magazine, Marsh 2013 edition 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday {w/ linky}


Nothing really exciting going on I'm just lookin back at a few pictures.

This is Reggie as a baby.

This is Reggie, skinny.

This is Reggie, fat.

I will be collecting W/W badges this week to add to a page on this blog. If you'd like for me to make sure I get yours, please leave a comment letting me know you have one. I would appreciate if ya'll would grab my w/w badge as well!
~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sweet Potatoes w/ Crispy Prosciutto


1-1/2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato (1 large potato)
2 tsp olive oil
1 slice prosciutto or 1 strip bacon, diced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tblsp chicken broth
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tblsp fresh parsley, minced

  • Cook sweet potato in a pot of water until fork-tender, 6-8 minutes; drain.
  • Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto, cook until crisp, 3-4 minutes. (if using bacon, omit oil).
  • Stir in garlic; cook 2-3 minutes. 
  • Stir in broth and salt; cook until broth evaporates, about 5 minutes. 
  • Garnish sweet potatoes with parsley.
recipe directly from Cuisine Lite Spring 2013 magazine

Friday, February 15, 2013

FBF: Tender Chicken


click on image to see full post from 2/16/12

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chicken w/ Blueberry Sauce & Blue Cheese


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tblsp shallots, minced
1/4 cup dry Maderia or sherry
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp crumbled blue cheese

  • Pound each piece of chicken between plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/2 inch using a meat mallet. After pounding, cut each chicken breast into 2 pieces. 
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken on both sides until cooked through, 6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; tent with foil.
  • Saute shallots in pan with 1 tsp oil over high heat, 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with Madeira, cooking until liquid is nearly evaporated.
  • Add blueberries; simmer until berries start to burst, about 2 minutes. Add broth, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Crush blueberries with a potato masher; simmer 2 minutes.
  • Place 2 chicken pieces on each plate. Top servings with blueberry sauce; garnish with blue cheese.
recipe directly from Cuisine Lite Spring 2013 magazine

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (w/ Linky)


I went to one of my dearest friends' wedding this past weekend (I was a bridesmaid!) and they had this photo booth set up at the reception....showing some of my favorites!


Don't forget to enter in the "Loving Giveaway" and get a chance to win some AMAZING prizes! Many ways to enter too!

~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

Spring Greens Salad w/ Fennel & Avacado


1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (9oz) bag spring greens
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed of feathery stalks and thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 Tblsp unsalted sunflower seed kernels

  • Make the salad dressing: in a small bowl, whisk the mustard, honey, salt and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • In a large bowl, combing spring greens, tomatoes, carrots, avocado, fennel and cucumber. Lightly toss to combine. Drizzle with some of the dressing, toss and taste, repeating until all ingredients are lightly coated.
  • Top with sunflower seed kernels and serve immediately. 

This recipe can be found in this amazing cookbook:

And don't miss a chance to enter this amazing giveaway! SOOOO many ways to enter!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cinnamon-Scented Roasted Chicken with Apples

In a review of a recipe from one of the giveaway prizes....


3 red apples, sliced
2 tblsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (3-1/4 to 2-1/2 lb) whole chicken

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Spread apples out on a baking pan.
  • Combine butter, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Wash chicken and blot dry. Using poultry shear or knife, remove the backbone of the chicken. Place the chicken split-side down on the apples.
  • Rub 1/2 the butter mixture on the chicken underneath the skin, and then rub the remaining butter mixture over top of the skin.
  • Roast the chicken until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F, about 40 minutes [I had to cook it more like 60 minutes].
  • Tent the chicken to keep warm and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Cut chicken into pieces and serve with apples and the juices.
This recipe can be found in this amazing cookbook:

And don't miss a chance to enter this amazing giveaway! SOOOO many ways to enter!

Friday, February 8, 2013

OXO Cookie Press

As part of the fabulous giveaway, OXO sent a few of us their cookie press to try out and to create a recipe to share with all our wonderful readers.

My first impression (to be honest here) I was was a little bummed they sent a cookie press. I have one already, another popular name brand. And I wasn't that fond of the brand I put it in the back of my cabinet and haven't used it since. So getting the OXO cookie press, I knew I had to create a cookie, as we promised on receiving their product. (So I did!)

First of all, I absolutely loved seeing all the different shapes that came with the basic set, but they also sent an additional case with more about SWEET! The kit came with a little instructional booklet that had a few recipes in the back. Out of experience, I knew I had to stick to something close to those to make sure the cookies kept their shape after being pressed on the pan. Kinda like making sure you use a good shortbread cookie recipe for cookie cutters.

So I dove into the kitchen and came up with a simple solution. I used the provided "Butter Cookie" recipe and then ADDED a kool-aid packet to change up the flavor. It worked! And there are SO many options! [recipe posted below]

After making the dough came the cookie press. I loved how easily the device came apart and together, and there wasn't any tiny pieces to try to keep up with. The entire device was very simple, easy to use. The shape disks were the winners here....the "other" cookie press disks had angled holes so it had to go in the press the right way otherwise it was all a mess. OXO created theirs without having to worry about that. (except the "words" disks...but those are easy to figure out which way to put in in order for it not to come out backwards) So that is definitely a plus!!

The device was so easy to "load" and then to use. Every single "click" there is a cookie. Its actually a really cool device, and so many options and designs to choose from. And however not all the parts are dish-washer safe, the "major" playing components are. But it was easy enough to clean by hand that I didn't need to stick it in the washer anyway.

So over all, I LOVE this cookie press. The other one I have is going to the thrift store. There are so many different flavor combinations I want to try, so it will be on my counter for a while. But here is the recipe from the booklet plus the koolaid pouch.



1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet kool-aid, your choice of flavor [I used black cherry! yum!]

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, continuously beating. Beat in kool-aid packet until well blended.
  • Gradually add flour, beating until well incorporated.
  • Place dough in cookie press with desired disk. Press dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges. Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking time. [I didn't, and they still turned out fine!]

My favorite disk was the rose one! Add sprinkles before putting them in the oven for a special touch!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Loving Giveaway (Feb 7th-14th)

Welcome to A Loving Giveaway!

Hosted by:

Ground Beef BudgetCookin' for my CaptainNoshing With The NolandsCrispy Bits & Burnt Ends, and Knead to Cook.

Five Bloggers have come together to bring you one huge giveaway! Below you will find 10 wonderful Gifts, for 10 lucky winners! We have a diverse assortment of goodies, so we are sure you will find something you want to win! US Residents only (sorry!).

Prize #1

Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Baking $9.99 US Yankee Publishing Inc.

Prize #2
Noshing With The Nolands Apron $28.95

Prize #3
Silpain Half Size, Measuring 11 5/8 by 16½ inches, $26.70 US

Prize #4
One case of single serving Chobani yogurt $15.00

Prize #5
Taste of Treme Cookbook $21.95 US Ulysses Press

Prize #6
Savory Pies Cookbook $16.95 US Ulysses Press

Prize #7
Fresh and Healthy Dash Diet Cooking Cookbook $17.95 US Ulysses Press

Prize #8
OXO Cookie Press $29.99 US

Prize #9
$25 Walmart Gift Card

Prize #10
$50 Williams Sonoma Gift Card

Giveaway starts 2/7/13 at 12:01 AM, and ends 2/15/13 at 12:01 AM.
All of the prizes are listed on the Rafflecopter form below, and all winners will be chosen at random. Entering the giveaway qualifies you to win any of the prizes. There is not a way to enter to win a specific prize. a Rafflecopter giveaway Mandatory Entry must be completed, or all optional entries will be rendered invalid. The number of eligible entries received, determines the odds of winning. By entering, you are giving permission to use your email to contact you in regards to prizes. Your information will be protected and never shared. Giveaway is open to US residents only. All entries will be verified. Winner will be selected in a random drawing. Winner will be notified by email, and have 24 hours to respond with shipping information. If no response after 24 hours, a new winner will be selected. The winners of this contest will be announced within 14 days after the contest end date. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in associated with Twitter, Facebook or any other entity unless otherwise specified. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Disclosure: All prize shipments will be handled independently by the contributors and/or sponsors.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (w/ linky)


Meet my cat, Duke. I just happen to catch him at the perfect moment!
I need the "PERFECT" caption for this! Help me! (please??)

Please come back on the 7th for a giant "Loving Giveaway" and get a chance to win some AMAZING prizes! Many ways to enter too!

I didn't like the new layout of "inlinkz" last week, so I switched it back to the "normal" view!
~Please follow Cookin' for my Captain via GFC, FaceBook or Networks Blog!
~Leave a comment if you're a new follower, so I can return the follow!
~Grab the WW button if you want to...
...and add your "Wordless Wednesdays" up below!

Apple, Gouda & Mozzarella Toast


(This are estimated measurements! Easy to adjust according to the # you make)
4 slices whole wheat with grains bread
3 Tblsp butter, melted
6oz fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
1 honey crisp (or Fuji) apple, cut into thin slices
2 (sandwich size) slices of Gouda cheese

  • Turn on the broiler, normal heat.
  • Baste one side of bread with butter. Place on a cookie sheet, butter side up. Broil bread until lightly toasted and brown (less than 1 min).
  • Turn bread over, baste with more butter. Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on each piece. Broil until cheese is slightly melted (about 30 seconds).
  • Lay slices of apple on top of mozzarella cheese, and top with 1/2 slice of Gouda cheese. Broil until Gouda cheese is melted (less than 1 min).
  • Serve immediately. 
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