Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wednesday Night Dinner: Salad and Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Sandwiches

This week I decided I really wanted to make salad for dinner, but also needed something to go along with the salad. So I spent most of my Tuesday thinking about what kind of entree would go along with the salad. I finally settled on making this rosemary-garlic chicken, but in sandwich form. This chicken is pretty much the tastiest chicken ever. We put it on rolls with fresh spinach and havarti cheese and it was delightful. I served a field greens with pomegranates salad on the side that was also pretty outstanding.

Field Greens with Pomegranate Salad
field greens
artichoke quarters
red onion
goat cheese
sliced almonds (sunflower seeds would be a good sub)

Toss and serve with balsamic dressing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Restaurant Find: Caffe Boa

Because I was going to be up in the Valley for this wedding, I knew I wanted to hang out with my friend Lauren on Saturday. Lauren found a cute little cafe for the three of us to try on Tempe's Mill Ave. called Caffe Boa. It was fantastic. It was this wonderfully tucked away restaurant, with a super sophisticated feel about it. And the food was amazing. We each ordered a lunch special, a salad and half sandwich or half pasta. I chose Caffe Boa's Greek salad and their meatball panini. Probably the best thing about Caffe Boa is the restaurant's emphasis on organic and local foods. Delicious, good for you, good for the environment? Win. Also, the lunch special was remarkably affordable and the meal was thoroughly satisfying without leaving you too full to move.

Restaurant Find: Rosita's

These are the enchilada-style fries that my friend Helene and I split last weekend when we were in Tempe for a wedding and a visit. We found ourselves wanting Mexican food for dinner Saturday night and the front desk clerk at our hotel suggested this little place called Rosita's, just a couple minutes from our hotel. Rosita's is at University and Hardy, but their website also lists a location in Mesa. While I felt like the rest of my food was fairly average, I would keep coming back just for the fries. They're offered with a red, white or green sauce and we chose white, obviously. I would describe these as a better version of cheese fries and Rosita's will always be a stop for me on a trip up to Tempe.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soy Sauce & Garlic Green Beans

Fresh green beans are the best. I love my mom's green beans and here's my own spin on them. It's pretty delicious and I had them for dinner tonight with some steamed rice and leftover chicken.

fresh green beans
soy sauce
minced garlic
olive oil

Wash and prep the green beans. Heat a skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add a little bit of water and the green beans and cover. Let the water help steam them and cook until tender. Add a splash of olive oil and garlic to saute them in. Then add soy sauce and flavor to taste.

Wednesday Night Dinner: Enchiladas & Eggplant Chips

Whitney finally returned to Wednesday night dinners this week and I let her pick the meal in honor of her return. She chose my Chicken & Green Chile Enchiladas in Sour Cream Sauce and Vanessa's Fried Eggplant Chips.

This time, I added a little bit of cumin to the sour cream sauce and I sauteed the onions in butter before stuffing the tortillas. I also lightly crisped the tortillas in a skillet with melted butter on medium-low heat before I stuffed them. These were definitely the best enchiladas I've made so far.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wednesday Night Dinner Goes Greek

For Wednesday night dinner, I went Greek and made chicken souvlaki, tzatziki sauce, and a Greek salad. It was delicious and Vanessa and I both agreed it was one of our favorite dinners yet. I used a simple Rachael Ray recipe to make the souvlaki as well as her recipe for tzatziki, threw together a Greek salad, and Vanessa used her mom's recipe for breaded eggplant chips. It was a great team dinner this week too as I prepared the souvlaki, Alaina made the tzatziki, and Vanessa made the eggplant chips.

Chicken Souvlaki Sticks
by Rachael Ray
* 16 bamboo skewers
* 3 lemons
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves [I used dried oregano]
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 16 chicken tenders, about 1 1/2 pounds
* 2 cups Greek style yogurt
* 1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Soak skewers in water for about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Combine the zest and juice of 2 lemons, oregano, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a dish. Paste the garlic by mashing it with coarse salt then add 3/4 of it to the marinade, reserving some for dipping sauce. Add chicken tenders to the marinade and season with salt and pepper, turn in marinade to coat, let stand 10 minutes. Thread tenders on damp skewers and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning once, until firm and juices run clear.

While skewers cook, combine yogurt with juice of remaining lemon, remaining clove of garlic, grated cucumber, cumin and salt, to taste. Divide the dip among 4 ramekins.

Serve 5 skewers per person with dipping sauce alongside.

A couple differences to the dipping sauce recipe. We added some feta cheese and only used half a lemon.

Greek salad
red onion
kalamata olives
feta cheese

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pizza Night

I threw a cocktail party as a belated birthday party for my sister last weekend, and for dinner I made an assortment of pizzas. I love buying pizza dough from Trader Joe's; it's just so cheap and makes the perfect-sized pizza. And, it comes in plain, whole wheat, and garlic-herb. I made a regular cheese pizza; Rachael Ray's sundried tomato, chicken and broccoli; and a tomato, garlic, and feta from For the love cooking. As you can see, I adapted the last recipe a little bit and omitted the basil. All were pretty delicious and the party was a big success.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Farmer's Market Find

This is Green Tea with Japanese Cherry. A few weeks ago, my sisters and I went to the St. Phillips Sunday Farmers Market. There's a woman there who sells the most delicious flour tortillas, and I like to try and find some local, fresh vegetables. While we were there, we found a tea purveyor. He had all of these fancy loose leaf teas and my sister and I picked up this one. I used to not be a tea drinker, but now I find that I love it. It's so nice to sit with a mug of hot tea, sweetened with just a tiny bit of honey. This also makes a great iced tea, which is more fitting for the 100 degree-plus weather of Tucson.

Wednesday Night Dinner: Tempura

Brad cooked this week's Wednesday night dinner and prepared us a tempura feast. We had tempura eggplant, potatoes, green bell peppers, sole, and jumbo shrimp served with steamed white rice and I sauteed some green beans in garlic and soy sauce (just so we weren't eating quite as much fried food). And for dessert, Ruth (Vanessa's friend from out of town) bought us some delicious green tea and mango flavored mochi ice creams.