Food made easy for busy moms.

Nutella Dumplings May 6, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 5:20 am
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This might quite possibly be the easiest dessert and the most yummy.  If you enjoy Nutella, you are already on board for this dessert.  For those of you that have never discovered this delicious spread, you are in for a treat.  Nutella is found by the peanut butter at the grocery store and is a hazelnut chocolate spread.  It satisfies any craving you might have for chocolate and is great with Ritz crackers or pretzels.  (Obviously satisfying both my sweet and salty taste buds.) Make as many or as little of these as you want.  The skies the limit!

Square wonton wrappers
Nutella spread
Canola oil
Powdered sugar

Heat canola oil in a heavy stock pot over medium high heat.  Take a wonton wrapper and place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center.  Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper with warm water using your finger.  Gently press the edges together to create a triangle.  Be sure that the dumpling is completely sealed; fried chocolate is not pretty and doesn’t smell very good, speaking from experience.  Test the heat of the oil either by dropping the end of a wooden spoon in the oil and if it creates bubbles your oil is ready.  Another method is to take a small part of a wonton wrapper and drop it into the oil.  If the wrapper immediately floats to the top and starts bubbling, the oil is ready.  If the wrapper drops in the oil, you will want to wait a few minutes and then test the oil again.  Once the oil is ready, reduce your heat to medium so your oil doesn’t get too hot.  Drop the dumplings in the oil, no more than four at a time.  Fry until lightly golden brown and place on paper towels to drain.  Allow to cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar.  Serve as is or with a scoop of high quality ice cream.  Enjoy!



Filed under: Turkey,What's for Dinner? — alaskafoodmom @ 3:03 am
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I received this low fat recipe from my cooking extraordinaire sister-in-law, Alex.  This is a great recipe that give you lots of flavor and satisfies.

1 lb ground turkey breast
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 packet Good Seasons Italian Seasoning mix (save the other half for next time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together by hand and shape into a loaf on a baking sheet.  The loaf should be about 4 inches wide by about 8 inches long and about 1 inch tall.  Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool and slice loaf.  Serve in Greek flat bread or Naan bread* with tzatziki sauce (recipe below), sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and sliced red or sweet onion.

*Warm flat bread in a dry frying pan on the oven over medium heat until just warm and pliable.

Tzatziki Sauce
2 cups Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1/3 English cucumber, shredded or finely chopped
Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon dried mint, or 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

Mix ingredients together and allow to mingle for at least an hour in the refrigerator.


Rustic Italian Chicken May 4, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Comfort Food,What's for Dinner? — alaskafoodmom @ 7:04 am
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I created this dish recently after craving something comforting and looking at a whole chicken in my refrigerator.

Afterthought: Some additions to this dish that might step it up a notch on the comfort factor is to add in a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans or white beans and whole pitted kalamata olives just before placing into the oven. Finish the dish with shredded fresh basil and/or coarsely chopped flat leaf/Italian parsley.

Whole chicken cut up and extra fat removed
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Garlic, granulated
Italian seasoning
½ cup flour
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion in large chunks
1 red pepper in large chunks
¾-1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large cast iron pan or heavy bottom, oven safe pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning.  Dredge chicken in flour and tap off extra.  Add chicken to hot pan and brown on both sides.  Add onions and peppers and continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in Marsala wine and tomatoes with juice.  Continue to cook until sauce is boiling.  Transfer pan to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until onions and peppers are soft.  Serve with pasta or wild rice and garlic bread to sop up juices.


Asian Cabbage Salad

Filed under: Retro Dishes,Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:57 am
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This is a salad that my mother would make when I was growing up.  This is what I lovingly refer to as a “retro dish”.  I have updated it a bit from the original with the addition of sesame oil which gives the salad a more nutty flavor and using rice wine vinegar in place of regular vinegar.  This is great side dish with chicken teriyaki or salmon patties.

1 medium green cabbage coarsely shredded
1 bunch green onions sliced
½ cup dry roasted sliced almonds
3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 package chicken Ramon noodle packet with seasoning packet

In a serving bowl mix together seasoning packet from Ramon with canola oil, sesame oil and vinegar until seasoning is dissolved.  Add in shredded cabbage and green onions, toss until coated with dressing.  Add in almonds, sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Crush Ramon noodles and add just before serving to the salad.


Three Bean Salad

Filed under: Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:54 am
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This salad is a wonderful pairing with grilled salmon and can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week.

1 can dark red kidney bean, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch green onion, sliced (white and green parts)
½ – ¾ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, sometimes referred to as Italian parsley
2 lemons
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a serving bowl combine the three beans, green onions and chopped parsley.  Squeeze the juice from the two lemons over the beans.  Add in the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and lightly toss the salad together.


Cucumber Tomato Salad

Filed under: Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:53 am
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1 English cucumber peeled and sliced
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes chunked
1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise*
2-3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a serving bowl add mayonnaise and whip with a wire whisk until smooth.  Start to incorporate in the vinegar until smooth and the dressing is the consistency that you want.  Add in cucumbers and tomatoes and lightly toss.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

*Canola mayonnaise has half the fat than regular mayonnaise and contains less preservatives and sugar than low fat or fat free mayonnaise.


Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Filed under: Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:52 am
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This picture is an alternate to the recipe listed below. I couldn’t find cherry tomatoes or marinated mozzarella balls at the store. So, I did some substitution with whole tomatoes and a ball of fresh mozzarella cut up. Add in the fresh basil, omit the olives and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. Still the same great recipe, just a bit different. Give both a try.

1 pint grape, cherry or heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 container marinated mozzarella balls, drained
½ cup whole pitted kalamata olives or quality Greek olive mix
2 bunches fresh basil sliced*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar**
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Add tomatoes, drained mozzarella, olives, and basil to serving bowl.  If tomatoes are large, slice in half.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste and lightly mix the salad.

*To slice the basil, remove the leaves from the stem and stack on top of one another.  Roll the leaf stack and run your knife through the stack to create ribbons.

**Aged balsamic vinegar is well worth the price that you will spend for it.  You want to look for balsamic vinegar that has been aged for a minimum of 10 years and expect to pay $15-$20 for a bottle.  This will be an ingredient that you will have in your cabinet for a long time and can make or break a dish.