Chicken Cacciatore

I've had a couple of recent successes! I served this with a combo of mashed sweet potato/regular potato.

Serves 4

Hands-on Time: 45m

Total Time: 1hr 50m


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (Oops, I accidentally used rosemary - apparently that's actually the species growing by my kitchen window.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes (I don't remember the exact variety of canned tomatoes that I bought, but it was equivalent to tomato paste.)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Working in batches, lightly coat the chicken with the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add some of the chicken to the pan. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

3. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for 10 minutes. Crush the tomatoes and stir them into the vegetables. Add the wine and the remaining salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

4. Add the chicken, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and serve on individual plates.

source: realsimple.com


Black Beans & Rice

Simple, healthy, tasty - not much more to say than that! I used olive oil instead of cooking spray, brown rice instead of long-grain rice, and a can of diced tomatoes (drained) instead of tomato sauce.



  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. In a nonstick skillet that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute the onion, green and red peppers, garlic, basil and pepper until tender. Stir in tomato sauce. Add beans, rice and vinegar; heat through. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with cheese.
Nutritional Analysis: One 1-cup serving equals 175 calories, 396 mg sodium, 1 mg cholesterol, 32g carbohydrate, 10g protein, 2g fat.

source: allrecipes.com


Halibut with Radicchio

It has been a while since I encountered a recipe that knocks my socks off (you might have noticed since I haven't posted for 3 months). But wow! Red cabbage is my new BFF.

When I read "orange juice" as an ingredient I was thinking OJ but then I thought maybe they mean the juice of an orange - so that's what I used. See, cooking is confusing. The thyme I used is from a pot of herbs I'm growing outside my back door - so exciting!

I don't know what radicchio is and the grocery store didn't have any signs for it so I bought red cabbage. They might be the same thing - I could probably google it - but the red cabbage was wonderful even if it wasn't supposed to be used. And it should be cooked longer than the recipes says - it takes a long time to get really wilty and yummy. I served it with brown rice.

Also, the fish should be added back into the pan at the end for a bit because it takes a while for the red cabbage to cook and the fish gets cold by then.

Makes 4 servings

Hands-on Time: 20m

Total Time: 40m


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large head radicchio (about 8 ounces), quartered and leaves separated


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the halibut with the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the orange juice, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and radicchio and cook, stirring, until the radicchio is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the orange juice mixture. Serve with the halibut.


If you prefer, you can make this recipe with tilapia or some other firm white fish. If the fillets are too large for the skillet, simply cook them in 2 batches.

Nutrition Per Serving:

Calories 274; Fat 11g; Sat Fat 1g; Cholesterol 54mg; Sodium 465mg; Protein 36g; Carbohydrate 6g; Fiber 1g

Real Simple, March 2009


Chicken & Veggies w/ Mashed Orange Potatoes

Apparently my roommate is a rockstar chef and didn't think to mention it to me. She came up with an exquisite culinary creation on the fly last night and has given me permission to post it to 'in the kitchen' so it can live on forever. (I'm now pushing for an 'in the kitchen with sarah' but we'll see - cross your fingers.)

1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
2 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 onion, cut in large pieces
2 large chicken breasts, cut in thirds

a cereal bowl of water
2-3 TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp curry powder

Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over the chicken/veggies. Bake at 400-degrees until done, about 40 minutes.

2 sweet potatoes
1-2 regular potatoes
2 carrots

Peel. Boil until soft. Mash.

Serves about 5.


Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy - I had no idea. I made it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was much better than canned. The recipe is a work in progress - I'm not sure I have the exact combination of spices down yet - but here's the general idea.

  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water

1. Rinse cranberries.
2. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 5 -10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thickened.
3. Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.

A note about spices -
Fresh, whole spices are supposed to be best. You can buy whole nutmeg and cloves and grind them in a coffee grinder, if you want to get fancy-pants.


Thanksgiving '08 Sweet Potatoes

Before I forget - here is this year's attempt at the elusive -perfect- mashed sweet potatoes. But I think I might be getting closer.
Happy Thanksgiving!


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Put sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until tender. Drain sweet potatoes; add heavy cream, ginger, maple syrup, sea salt, and nutmeg. Mash until smooth.

Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a baking dish, bake uncovered at 350-degrees until warm, roughly 30 - 40 minutes.

Serves 6.


Spring Minestrone

Isn't life amazing? I have these moments, every now and then, when I find something that fills up my heart and I am so grateful, overjoyed that this new discovery - be it a song, a poem, an artist, (a soup) - is going to be with me forever.

So it is with Spring Minestrone.

I checked out Heidi Swanson's book, Super Natural Cooking, from the library and this recipe is my first try. She also has a website (with beautifully photographed edibles) that I am just dying to explore - 1o1 Cookbooks.

Love. ♥

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup medium-grain brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
  • 8 spears asparagus, trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes and serve immediately; this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.

Serves 4

Recipe notes:
I had no asparagus or peas in stock so I used about 2 c. of snow peas. There is a recipe for vegetable stock in the book but I used a bouillon cube instead (much less work) and no basmati either - Uncle Ben's long grain brown.