Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe~ Tortellini Po' boy with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

This would be our last big meal of the week until we're moved and settled in our new place of residence. Sunday is the official day of our final walk through, and thoughts of second guesses. So I decided we should go out with a bang and make our last thought-out meal one to remember. 

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the typical "Shrimp Po' boy Sandwich". I'm not a big fan of this New Orleans favourite, but I love the idea. Toasty bread. Creamy sauce. Crunchy lettuce. What's not to love? In my case, shrimp on bread just isn't my thing. So with careful thought for a great substitute, the idea of fried mini tortellinis came to mind and sounded perfect. Toasted bread, smothered in a rich roasted red pepper and basil aioli, had my mouth watering at the thought. The trip to the store couldn't come quick enough, but it was worth every bit of wait, and more, after I sank my teeth into this amazing sandwich. 

Tortellini Po'boy with Red Pepper Aioli

The process

Tortellini Po' boy with Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Aioli


1 80z package of Barilla three cheese tortellini 
2 cups fine shredded radicchio
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 hoagie rolls, toasted
1 garlic clove
canola oil

Aioli recipe follows 


Cook tortellini as directed on back of package, reducing time to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put panko crumbs in resealable bag. With a slotted spoon, and in batches of four, spoon the cooked tortellini from the water into the bag of crumbs; shake it around and with clean hands transfer the coated pasta to a plate. Finish remaining batches and set aside. 

Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in nonstick skillet on medium/high heat. Add the pasta in batches of four again until crispy and golden on the outside. Transfer crispy pasta to a paper towel lined plate. Add more oil as needed and finish remaining tortellini.  Note: Don't over crowd the pan otherwise it wont brown-up even.

Meanwhile, cut each roll in half lengthwise, scoop out some of the flesh, and with broiler on medium, toast just until golden and crisp. Cut a whole garlic clove in half and rub on the bread when in comes out of the broiler. 

Aioli sauce

In small mixing bowl mix 1/2 cup mayo with 1/4 cup, chopped fine, roasted red peppers. Add a handful of basil, and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix well.

Assemble sandwich: Spread each roll evenly with sauce. On one half top with a mound of crispy tortellini. Finish with a handful of shredded radicchio.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recipe~No-Guilt Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

In an effort to simplify meal times around here (while packing) I was excited to start with breakfast since it seems to be the easiest meal of the day, right? One would think. In the case of Avery, choosing a breakfast item is without-a-doubt the hardest for her. I offer eggs~ it's too chewy. I offer cereal~ it's too boring. I offer toast~ it's too crunchy. Who's child is this anyway? 

I decided to do some research and discovered that in the past when offered things like....Harvest bread, Banana bread , and of course Lemon poppy seed scones, I often got a look like this

Otherwise, she looks like that

On top of my own cravings for lemon baked goods, and my desire to keep the choices healthful, I thought muffins would be the perfect quick breakfast in times of disorganized madness. 

No Guilt Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tb wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat plane organic yogurt
  • 2 Tb melted butter
  • 2 Tb unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Combine the flour, wheat germ, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium size bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, yogurt, butter, applesauce, lemon zest and lemon juice. Blend well and pour over the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Do no overmix!
  4. Spoon batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups; about 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.

Note: Perfect for freezing and a great grab and go breakfast.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To keep or not to keep....

We're in full packing form over here at the L.G.E.W. house hold. We made tremendous progress this past weekend loading and packing, and the only thing stopping me now is my 5 year old who's needs can't wait. What with school, work, bible study, meals in between, and an occasional shower it's any wonder I have time to pack. 

As I mentioned before the papers seem endless, and quite frankly most of my time is spent sorting through each document, each receipt, and every and any kind of Avery's art work. Today was no exception, but only that you get to hear about it and see why my job as a mom is so brutal. 

You see "Miss Cant-throw-away-anything" protests with tears if I'm caught with a handful of her goods headed for the garbage. You would think I was throwing out her blankie from birth as she comes tearing across our repulsively dirty carpet ready to tackle me to the repulsively dirty linoleum floors. Come to think of it, she did protest today. 

She protested with courage. 

She protested with honor. 

She protested for any 5 year old with mamas as mean as me.

Case closed.

Two more rooms were cleared.

Twenty more boxes were filled.

And at the end of a hard days work we still manage to come together. Fancy table or not, fancy meals or not, paper plates or not, and remember this one thing........

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. Being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" Phil 4:11-12

I'd say this is plenty.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recipe ~ Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole~MY WAY

As I mentioned a couple days ago, we are in the midst of making changes. Ave and I are thankfully feeling better and our road to recovery couldn't come at a better time. We realistically have 4 weeks to be moved and settled before "the big move" (which I'll soon explain) takes place. 

In the meantime, what I thought would be a smooth and somewhat organized packing experience, has turned into this whirl wind of disorder. The papers alone floating around this house is enough to keep me busy for a month. And enough to drive me insane! I catch myself standing at one end of the house in this crazy googly eyed gaze, unsure of myself, and unsure of where to start. It's taking every bit of resistance I have to not want to throw it all away and just start fresh when the time comes. Unfortunately though money doesn't grow on our trees, and a packing company is out of the question. Although's just not an option. 

With that said (because I'm sure you needed to know all that) I can't resist my need to cook. I'm forced at this point to use up almost every food item in my pantry/fridge before moving, but I'm also determined to make sure whatever I'm cooking is of quality, and I can be proud of.

This past weeks meal was exceptionally good, but more important, I was satisfied with the fast preparation.  And, I eliminated that much more from my extremely packed kitchen. Yay for me!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole


3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 can green beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz can light cream of chicken soup
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350

In large saute pan cook diced chicken, onion, and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper, until chicken is no longer pink inside. Combine this mixture along with the other 6 ingredients in large bowl. Pour in medium size casserole dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle panko crumbs over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden. 


Monday, April 11, 2011

Somethings Brewing~

Hello to you all! 

I thought you deserved some sort of explanation for my absence lately. I have sincerely missed catching up with you and reading all your amazing recipes and life's occasions, hearing from you, and of course posting. With bad colds running through our family, and moving out of our house on the horizon, it hasn't left me much time for anything but trying to get better and packing like a crazy lady. Fancy meals and baked treats have been the furthest thing from my mind.  Shorty after my last update Ave was invaded with a cold that soon turned into a mild pneumonia leaving us cooped and home bound for 5 days. I unfortunately got the bug, but thankfully avoided the pneumonia part. We're slowly getting better and I'm hoping to return soon with details and pictures of our new adventure. 

As you can imagine when your packing all your stuff not much is left to work with, especially in the kitchen department. I have decided to keep my slow cooker at hand and a couple pots and pans. My desire is to share at least something while we press forward, and inspire someone with similar circumstances. Change is never easy especially when we're not guaranteed the next moment. We're walking in faith and hopeful at the outcome. I'm excited to see how everything unfolds and how God will see us through this experience. I'm also thrilled (whomever it may concern) to keep you updated and share some fun posts in the meantime. 

Thank you for all your support.

With love


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Recipe~Chipotle Mexican Stew

Goodness gracious it's been awhile since my last post. I'm feeling a bit rusty and since far to much life has happened in the last seven days, I wont exhaust you with all my troubles. Or triumphs for that matter. I have many. Another time though.

I haven't been cooking all that much in the last few days. Mostly due to late work nights but also because my fridge was simply sparse. We had many-a-nights standing over the island eating a medley of leftovers and pickles and cheese. I'm okay with that except when I do finally get myself back in the game, I come at full force, and a few extra pounds heavier. 

Let's cut the mumbo-jumbo and discuss the real reason for today's post. This incredible  recipe is so stinkin' good that I've already had it twice in the last month. It can be done two different ways; with beef or chicken. It can also be served over "sweet potato mashies" or "basmati brown rice". Both are great (potatoes especially) it just depends on your mood. I prefer chicken, and my "mood" was rice, but make this for your liking. I only ask one thing, and that's that you do make this and you make it ASAP.

Chipotle Mexican Stew


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) fat removed and cut into 1 inch cubes 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 red peppers, cut in 1 inch pieces 
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups quality low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from chipotle peppers
cheddar cheese
sour cream


Combine flour, cocoa and chili powder in zip-lock bag. Add chicken and toss to coat evenly with flour mixture. Remove chicken and reserve any excess flour mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Brown half the chicken and remove from stockpot. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding remaining 1 tablespoon butter, if needed. Remove chicken from stockpot; season with salt and black pepper.
Add bell peppers and onion to the stockpot and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, broth, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, beans, and reserved flour mixture. Return chicken to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Serve over rice (or sweet mashed potatoes) and top with cilantro, cheese, and sour cream.