Category Archives: Dinner

Garlic Lime Chicken – or – “Don’t you wish you were coming to my house for dinner?” Chicken


This was very easy and crazy good.  I think the addition of the lime juice in the middle of the cooking really helped make this some of the most moistest (say that five times fast) chicken I have ever cooked.  I am going to totally cook this one again – and you should too!

I found it at :




–         ¾ teaspoon salt

–         ¼ teaspoon black pepper

–         ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

–         1/8 teaspoon paprika

–         ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

–         1/8 teaspoon onion powder

–         ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

–         ¼ teaspoon dried parsley

–         4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

–         2 Tablespoons butter

–         1 Tablespoon olive oil

–         2 teaspoons garlic powder

–         3 Tablespoons lime juice



–         In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley.  Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of the chicken breasts.

–         Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté chicken until golden brown.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3 Tablespoons of lime juice.  Cook about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce, until chicken is cooked all the way through.


It Is Chili In Hawaii!



It has been heating up here in Tennessee this week, but I am not going to let anything stop me from celebrating autumn – even if I have to do it in shorts and a t-shirt.  Are you looking for a mix of cool and hot?  Try this Hawaiian Chili.  It is different, but it is pretty darn good!   This makes a big pot of chili – perfect for freezing some leftovers to enjoy when it finally does get cold again.




–         2 pounds ground meat – we used turkey

–         2 onions, chopped

–         2 red peppers, seeded and chopped (I only had one red and one green, so we used that)

–         2 (16 oz) cans of stewed tomatoes with juice

–         2 (15.5 oz) cans of kidney beans, with liquid.  * If you don’t eat beans, just leave them out – you won’t miss them.  I’ve been experimenting with adding them back to my diet in limited amounts, but you do whatever your heart desires!

–         1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce

–         1 (16 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained

–         2 tablespoons chili powders

–         2 teaspoons of salt – if needed – I recommend you taste it first.


–         Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, add ground meat (use oil if needed) and cook until barely pink, stirring to break into small pieces.

–         Stir in onions and bell pepper, cook until the meat has brownd and the onions have softened and turned translucent.

–         Add spices.

–         Add stewed tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and pineapple chunks.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least ten minutes.

–         Enjoy!

Stuffed Eggplant (Part Two of my Dracula Dinner)

More Halloween goodness!

If you believe Halloween is all about peanut butter taffy and weird chocolate candy which I *swear* is not the same as the regular recipe (damn you, fun size Snickers!) – well, take heart (lol!). Because there is so much more Halloween food to be had.

Back to the “Food of Dracula.”

I loved Paprika Hendl, and that was a simple if not easy dish, but I was more challenged by the description of “Egg-Plant Impletata.” Google was of little help. It turns out that “impletata” just means “stuffed” in Romanian (well, according to the internet, anyway – any Romanian readers care to correct me?).

So, there are approximately *no* Romanian eggplant recipes out there, but there are lots of Turkish and Italian stuffed eggplant recipes. Dracula describes the eggplant thusly:

“Egg-Plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call ‘impletata.'”

I weeded through several recipes and kind of decided “forcemeat” meant “sausage.” I hobbled together some recipes, and this is what I prepared:


2 Medium Eggplants
1 pound of Italian Sausage
4 garlic cloves, minced
Some basil
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

First, I sliced the eggplant, scooped out the middle, then salted the pieces and the shells for 30 minutes.

Second, I rinsed the eggplant, mixed it with the sausage, garlic, basil, tomatoes, and salt and pepper, then stuffed the shells and baked them in a pan greased with olive oil at about 350 for about 30 minutes.

Here’s what they looked like when they came out of the oven:

It was FABULOUS – but I don’t know how it would freeze, as we had no leftovers.

We also enjoyed the plum brandy of Hungary – suggested by Count Dracula himself!

Paprika Hendl

Happy late Halloween!

I re-read Dracula this autumn (after 17 years!), and I was surprised to see how much food is featured in this classic novel.   Jonathan Harker travels east into Hungary and then Romania, and he is fed by innkeepers and later by Count Dracula himself.  The descriptions of food were so striking that I formed the idea to try to cook the food from Dracula.  What a creative idea, right?
Turns out I was not the first person to think of this – just Google “recipes from Dracula” and you will see what I mean!

But anyhow . . . I and some friends did make several dishes from Dracula with great success.  My favorite was Paprika Hendl, aka Chicken Paprikash.

I make paprikash all the time – and I mean all the time.  I make ground turkey meatballs and saute them with bell peppers, onion, and garlic, and throw in a little paprika and coconut oil.  Perfectly yummy.  But I’ve never actually followed a recipe for paprikash until now, and the difference was amazing!

I just took the first google hit on “chicken paprikash” and cooked it up, but I did add a bit more Hungarian paprika than called for.  I am a paprika affectionato since The Moosewood Cookbook taught me to make Hungarian Mushroom Soup back in the ’90s.  Yum!   You must invest in a good smoked paprika.   Here’s my suggestion:

Basic grocery-store standard paprika will not do for paprikash!

Then, I just followed this basic, buttery, recipe:


2 to 2 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces, preferably thighs and legs
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 pounds yellow onions, (about 2-3 large onions)
Black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1 teaspoon (or to taste), hot paprika or cayenne
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream

Salt the chicken pieces well and let them sit at room temperature while you cut the onions. Slice the onions lengthwise (top to root).

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. When the butter is hot, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and place them skin-side down in the pan. Let the chicken pieces cook 4-5 minutes on one side, until well browned, then turn them over and let them cook 2-3 minutes on the other side. (Take care when turning so as not to tear the skin if any is sticking to the pan.) Remove the chicken from the pan to a bowl, set aside.

Add the sliced onions to the sauté pan and cook them, stirring occasionally, scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Add the paprika and some black pepper to the onions and stir to combine. Add the chicken broth, again scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and then nestle the chicken pieces into the pan, on top of the onions. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces). When the chicken is cooked through (at least 165° if you use a thermometer, or if the juices run clear, not pink when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife) remove the pan from the heat. (If you want, you can also keep cooking the chicken until it begins to fall off the bone, which may take another 30 minutes or so.)

When the chicken is done to your taste, remove the chicken from the pan. Allow the pan to cool for a minute and then slowly stir in the sour cream and add salt to taste. If the sour cream cools the sauce too much, turn the heat back on just enough to warm it through. Add the chicken back to the pan and coat with the sauce.

I used chicken breast, and I added spinach, because everything is better with spinach.

The bad news – this made my teeny apartment smell like onions.  I woke up the next day smelling like onions.  I probably still smell like onions.

The good news – it was fabulous!   I actually have made this twice in a week.  Here it is cooking and plated up:


Turkey Pumpkin Chili



I don’t know about you guys – but it is suddenly cold here in Tennessee.  As in, “I sure could go for a bowl of chili” cold.  Also, it is right before Halloween, so I have pumpkin on my mind too.  Solution?  Turkey Pumpkin Chili.  It is as good as it sounds!  I found the recipe at




–          2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

–          1 small yellow onion, chopped

–          1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped

–          2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, and finely chopped

–          2 cloves garlic

–          1 pound turkey meat

–          1 can (14.5 OZ) diced tomatoes with their liquid

–          1 can (15 OZ) pumpkin puree

–          1 cup water

–          1 tablespoon chili powder (I used 2 tablespoons – but we like things spicy at my house)

–          1 teaspoon ground cumin

–          ½ teaspoon salt (you could leave this out and it would still be fabulous)

–          Ground black pepper to taste

–          1 can (15 OZ) kidney beans, rinsed and drained.  (Don’t eat beans as part of your paleo/primal diet?   No worries – just leave them out.)


–          Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until tender – about 5 minutes.  Add turkey and cook until browned.  Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, and spices.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and add beans.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and serve.

We had leftovers from this meal.  My bet is that it freezes beautifully – even more to look forward to on the next cold night!

The Barefoot Contessa’s Perfect Roast Turkey!



Susan here – sorry I have been gone so long.  The kids have started back to school and I have been busy finishing my third novel.  I have really been needing some easy meals that would make wonderful leftovers.  I know it isn’t Thanksgiving yet, but trust me when I say it is time to roast a turkey!  This was the first one I had ever tried on my own, and if I can do it, you can too.   This turkey was moist and gently flavored and beautiful. The house smells fabulous while the turkey is roasting, plus you have enough food to invite your friends and family to dinner.  What more could you ask for? 



–         1 stick of unsalted butter

–         1 lemon, zested and juiced

–         1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

–         1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)

–         Kosher salt

–         Freshly ground black pepper

–         1 large bunch of fresh thyme

–         1 whole lemon, halved

–         1 Spanish onion, quartered

–         1 head garlic, halved crosswise





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves to the butter mixture.  Set aside.

Take the giblets out of the turkey (don’t forget whatever it is that is stuffed in the front  – I did.)  Wash the turkey inside and out.  Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry.  Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.  Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity.  Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and garlic.  Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey about 2 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh (I used a meat thermometer to double check for doneness).  Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving to grateful friends.


I found the recipe on the Food Network Website:


Zucchini “Comfort” Noodles


I haven’t posted for a long time, and in case anyone’s reading this, I apologize.

In some ways, I have been distracted by the sad goings-on in Libya and other spots, but in other ways, I have been doing really well.

I wanted to do this blog to learn new recipes, but the last few weeks I’ve been happy to rely on old (new) standards – Alton Brown’s Pot Roast, Melissa Joulwan’s “You’re the Tops” Tuna Salad, PaleOMG Carrot Cake Pancakes, and some old standbys which I haven’t posted:  Cheeseburger Salad and Turkey Paprikash.

Still, I did recently try a new recipe.  I got a gift of lots of zucchini (and for you whose gardens are still producing, keep me in mind!), so I made zucchini noodles.  And these were *wonderful*.  I made them twice in a week.

Comfort Noodles

This recipe is not quick, but it is easy.  From the website:

2 small zucchini, julienned (about 2 cups) [Julienne peeler is essential.]
generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon almond flour or almond meal
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 eggs, scrambled
a handful of fresh parsley, minced for garnish (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste


1. Place the julienned zucchini in a colander or wire strainer and toss with the salt until coated. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to drain excess water, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels. (You may be tempted to skip this step; I strongly advise against it. This step insures tender, rather than watery, noodles.)

2. While the zucchini is sweating in the colander, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the almond flour with the coconut oil, sprinkle it with a smidgen of salt, then sauté in the pan, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and save for garnish.

3. Return the pan to the heat and add the zucchini noodles. Sauté until just tender, about 1-2 minutes. Push the noodles to the side of the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low. Wait a minute; it’s essential that the pan cools down before adding the eggs. Add the olive oil and garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds, pour in the eggs and allow them to cook until just beginning to set a tiny bit. Mix the zucchini noodles into the egg and continue to stir gently and continuously until the egg is set and clinging to the noodles. Taste, then add salt and pepper to your liking.

4. Serve noodles in a deep bowl and sprinkle with the almond flour crumbs and minced parsley. Slurping and ridiculously big bites heartily encouraged.

Here are my results!