Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rainbow Sammies

I promise one of these times I will post my very own treasured recipes...but as this is a place to share what we're cooking now, I thought I'd share this one that Rach steered me to a while back.  This is so quick and yummy for those last-minute nights. We have it at least twice a month and sometimes even weekly. 

(Here is a link to her post with pics...)


1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 cloves garlic, minced (I usually use 2 all depends on your desire for garlic flavoring!)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 sliced red bell peppers

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 red onion, sliced

1 small yellow squash, sliced

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt & Pepper

1 French Baguette

1 pkg Sun Dried Tomato Feta (crumbled) (I usually use plain feta as that's easier to have on hand)


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix mayo, garlic & lemon juice. Set aside in refrigerator.
Combine all veggies on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss to coat.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until tender.
Turn on broiler. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven.

Slice baguette in half length-wise.

Spread mayo mixture on both sides of bread & top with feta.
Place in broiler for 2-4 minutes.
Top one side of baguette with grilled veggies.

Place other side of baguette on top.

Sooooo  yummy!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

This is a recipe that has evolved the longer I've made it.  It is now perfectly tuned to our tastes and we make it a few times a month. It is pretty flexible so feel free to fiddle with it and add ingredients your family loves.  I usually serve it with rice and green beans.
Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

2 T. butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 t. curry powder
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. lime juice
1/2 t. salt
3 T. Dijon Mustard (I usually go a little short on this, somewhere between 2 and 3 T.)
1/2 c. chicken broth
1-2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. dried cranberries

Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken in oil until brown.  Meanwhile, combine butter, garlic, curry powder, honey, lime juice, salt, mustard, and chicken broth in a saucepan and simmer gently.  Pour sauce over chicken and cook an additional 10-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Add sour cream and cranberries and stir just until hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

I found this recipe on Pinterest and have made it twice in the past week!  I am so loving it.  I was craving something warm and full of vegetables as the weather has started to turn a little cool.  This was exactly what I had in mind.  Tonight, I made it with these Parmesan Knots, which were SO EASY and totally delicious!

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
5 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 t. dried basil
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 t. salt
8-9 oz. fresh or frozen tortellini (cheese or meat filled)
2-3 T. chopped fresh parsley
Black Pepper to taste
*I also added a few cloves of garlic (because seriously what is tortellini soup without garlic?!) and some celery that was hanging out in our fridge.


Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot or large saucepan.  Add the onion, zucchini, and carrot (and garlic/celery, if desired).  Saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes, and salt to the pot.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil.  Add the tortellini and bring the soup back to alow boil.  Cook it for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes longer.  Gently stir in the parsley and pepper during the last minute or so. 

Makes about 5 servings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

I tend to make pancakes about half of the days of the week. I keep oatmeal pancake mix in the fridge and all I have to do in the morning is mix in an egg and buttermilk and cook them up. I love the idea of the kids eating whole wheat, but not of processed store syrup. So I've been making my own syrup and storing it in the fridge and just warming it the morning of. Normally, I do a vanilla syrup but it has corn syrup in it. I love that this syrup has no corn syrup in it. It is so good we dipped apples in it and basically found any excuse we could to put it on something.

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, bring buttermilk, sugars, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. It will bubble up a lot. Hopefully you used a large saucepan like I told you. :) As it cools, the bubbles will go away.

-The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter. I cut back to 1/4 cup to save my waistline and my husband’s cholesterol, but you can feel free to use all of it if you so desire. I won’t stand in your way.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

I have never been a big fish person, but for this recipe, I make an exception.  The tilapia is very mild and when topped with a creamy parmesan coating it is very, very good.  Plus, it is literally done in minutes.  We love to serve this with rice and green beans.

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia
(originally from

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets


  1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brown Sugar Spiced Tenderloin

I was introduced to this by Kylie, and it is one of FAVORITE meals.  It is quick, easy, you can even cook it only dirtying one dish if you season the pork in the same baking dish you roast in. (*I don't have a cast iron skillet so I sear it on the stove, than transfer it to a glass baking dish.) I've prepared this for guests and it is always a huge success. 

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
*Makes about 2 1/2 pounds of pork tenderloin, enough to serve 8 adults*
Rub Ingredients:

2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/2 lb. total), each tenderloin cut into two chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil

Glaze ingredients:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6-8 cloves)
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat the pork with the spice rub. Heat the oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet that is ovenproof (I used my cast iron skillet) over medium high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Brown the pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in the skillet. If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, brown the pork in a skillet and transfer it to a foil-lined baking pan (like a 9X13-inch). I've done both and either method works great.

Stir together the brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat on top of each tenderloin. Roast in the middle of the oven until a thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140, about 25 minutes. Let pork stand in the skillet at room temperature for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise to about 155 while standing. Slice on the diagonal and serve, spooning the sauce from the skillet on top of the pork.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev

Americas Test Kitchen

We made this for dinner the other night when we had company over. It turned out really delicious, the herb butter made this dish. The pieces where I skimped on herb butter were not nearly as good as the ones where I put on the full 1/4 stick. I know, I know. Don't track your "points" on this one ladies.

Unbaked, breaded chicken Kievs can be refrigerated overnight and baked the next day or frozen for up to one month. To cook from frozen, increase baking time to 50-55 minutes.

Servings: 4 servings

8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

bread crumb coating
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts tenderloin removed
1 cup AP flour
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp Dijon mustard
For the Herb Butter: Mix ingredients with rubber spatula until combined. Form into a 3 inch square on plastic wrap; wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

For the Chicken: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees.

Pound the chicken between two sheets of wax paper until 1/4 inch thick. Unwrap butter and cut into 4 rectangular pieces. Place chicken breast cut side up on work surface. season both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 piece of butter in center of bottom half of breast. Roll bottom edge of chicken over butter, then fold in sides and continue rolling to form neat, tight package pressing on seam to seal. Repeat with remaining butter and chicken. Regrigerate uncovered to allow edges to seal, 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate pie plates or shallow dihes. Season flour with salt and pepper, season bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Add mustard to eggs and whisk to combine. Dredge 1 chicken breast in flour, shaking off excess, then coat with egg mixture allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides of chicken breast with bread crumbs, pressing gently so that crumbs adhere. Place on wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Repeat flouring and breading on remaining chicken breasts.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes on wire rack before serving.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lemon Linguine

This recipe came from a cookbook that was put together by all the women in Relief Society when Marc and I were in the UCLA ward.  I have loved it since the day we tried it and it's included in our regular rotation.  Even Emma eats it (well ok, let's be honest, with only a little prodding).  Sorry folks, no picture this time.

Lemon Linguine

1 lb. chicken
1 pkg. linguine
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. green onions
1/4 c. fresh parsley
Lots of Parmesan cheese
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 2 lemons


Season chicken with salt and pepper, cook.  (I usually fry or roast, depending on how quickly I'm trying to get dinner on the table).  Cook linguine.  Cut asparagus into 1" pieces, season with salt and pepper, and roast. 

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil through lemon juice.  Add chicken, pasta, and asparagus.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss.  Top with lots of parmesan cheese.

Just a hint: use fresh ingredients.  Bottled lemon juice and dried parsley will make it sub-par!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grilled Summer Corn & Chipotle Chowdah

Before the summer ended, I wanted to share this recipe for corn chowder.  I looked for a good corn chowder recipe for a long time until I finally came across this one in a Rachel Ray magazine.  I may have torn out the page from the Dr's office while no one was looking (shhhh!  don't tell!), but it was definitely worth it.  Creamy and smoky with a hint of spiciness.  So, so good.

  • Grilled Summer Corn & Chipotle Chowdah
  • Ingredients:
  • 6 ears corn
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as yukon gold, cut into small cubes
  • 2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • One 32-ounce container (4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Lime wedges, chopped flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped scallions and crumbles cotija cheese or queso fresco, for garnish

  • Directions:
  • Preheat a grill or broiler. Grill or broil the ears of corn until charred, 7 to 8 minutes (cover the grill to give the corn a smoky flavor). Scrape the kernels from the cob.  (We don't have a grill so I just roasted them under the broiler for a few minutes until charred).
  • While the corn is charring, in a soup pot, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Add the onion, potatoes, celery and garlic to the pot. Add the bay leaf and thyme, season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes
  • Using a food processor, puree the chipotle chiles. Stir into the vegetables, then stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and keep warm. Rinse the food processor bowl.
  • Add one-third of the corn kernels to the food processor, pour in 2 cups of the soup and puree. Pour the mixture into the remaining soup and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, the cream and reserved bacon and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the chowder in bowls with the lime wedges, parsley, scallions and lots of cheese.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Corn and Avocado Black Bean Taco Salad

Recipe (slightly modified) and photo via Little House of Veggies

We are always looking for new vegetarian dishes...
this one was simple, delicious and perfect for the last days of summer.

Black Beans:
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lime
crack of black pepper to taste

Heat black beans in a medium saucepan on low with cumin, sea salt, garlic power and pepper. Warm up a corn tortilla. Add a little of the black bean mixture, and top with lots of the fresh corn and avocado Salsa. You can add a few drops of hot sauce to this if you want.

Corn and Avocado Salsa:
3 cups frozen (thawed) corn
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup (a few handfuls) of fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, taste and check seasonings to see if any additional salt and pepper is needed.

Serve on top of tortilla chips, Indian fry bread (Navajo tacos) or with tortillas. Other toppings: cheese, sour cream etc.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Creamy Pasta & Chickpeas

I am a huge fan of the "one pot wonder".  This week I decided to share one of my "wonder"ful go to recipes.  It's quick, easy, cheap, and healthy.  We love it!  As a side note the original recipe (shown below) calls for 4.4 ounces of Boursin cheese.  I have recenly been substituting this for Philadelphia Cream cheese cooking cream, Italian herb flavor.  It's twice the size and costs half the price, plus we actually like it better.  It's a winner all around.

Creamy Pasta & Chickpeas

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
8 ounces penne pasta
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 package (4.4 ounces) light, spreadable herb cheese (such as Boursin)
Pinch of nutmeg


Generously coat a medium-size nonstick saucepan with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to pot. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Cook penne in boiling salted water for 12 minutes. Drain; reserving 1 cup pasta water.

Return pasta to pot. Over medium heat, stir in asparagus mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, chickpeas, cheese and nutmeg, adding reserved pasta water as needed to thin sauce. Serve immediately.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Brown Sugar and Ginger Pumpkin Bread

Lately I've been trying recipes from this cookbook, and loving them.  The book is written by a food editor and have yummy flavorful ingredients, without tons of intensive labor.  This weekend we tried thuis pumpkin bread and it was THE yummiest pumpkin bread I've  had.  It was moist and spiced perfectly.  We ate it warm, and it was DElicious.  I made a few as muffins and the rest in my bread pan - both were great. 

2 C white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground dry ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 C packed dark brown sugar
1/3 C canola or vegetable oil
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 tsp ground fresh ginger (optional: I didn't add this)
(1/2 bag Ghiardelli milk chocolate chips - this was my own addition and well worth it. When we ate that warm pumpkin bread with meled chocolate chunks it was soooo good!) 

Heat the oven to 350.  Coat a metal loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, dry ginger, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, fresh ginger, and chocolate chips (if using).  Whisk in the dry ingredients.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

How Long: 1 hour 15 minutes (10 min. active)
How Much: 10 servings

Happy Baking!

Chicken with Apple, Onion, and Cider Sauce

I am a BIG fan of the food network.  Back when Emma used to nap, I would turn it on to see what Ina, Giada, or Bobby Flay were cooking up to help pass the time folding laundry or doing the dishes.  So when I saw this cookbook at BJ's, I could not pass it up!  Every meal I have made out of it has been awesome!  So I thought it very fitting to use a recipe from it for my first post here on Chocolate Thumbprints.

Chicken with Apple, Onion, and Cider Sauce


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 sweet cooking apple, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Place the chicken in the skillet smooth-side down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish and bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes (mine needed a little longer).
Meanwhile, add the onion and apple to the skillet, along with 1 tablespoon oil, if the pan is dry, and increase the heat to high. Cook, tossing, until the onion has wilted slightly and the apple is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan. Let the mixture boil until the vinegar becomes syrupy, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and return to a boil. Cook until the broth reduces by half. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and whisk in the butter.
Remove the chicken from the oven; add any collected juices to the sauce. Divide the chicken among four plates and spoon the apple, onion and pan sauce over each piece. Sprinkle with the parsley.  Enjoy!