Archive | February, 2012

Orange Roast Chicken

28 Feb

Here is a FABULOUS healthy weeknight dinner!!! The best part about this is you can make the marinade in 10 mins (TOPS) the night before and marinade the chicken all night and all day the next day. Then just pop it in the oven when you get home from work and let it bake while you do stuff around the house!

I stumbled upon this recipe on foodgawker. It looked simple and I had an abundance of Honeybell Oranges so I was looking for good orange-based recipes to use them up.

Just a couple ingredients

Mincing Garlic

This recipe is simple, delicious, and pass-on worthy. I have already made it four times since the beginning of January and tweaked it slightly along the way.

Beautiful Honeybell from Florida

Ready to Marinade

You can make this the night ahead, marinate the chicken overnight, and just put it all in a baking dish and bake it so it’s perfect for a lovely weeknight dinner. I roast 2 thighs and have one for dinner and save the next one for lunch the next day! I remove the skins and enjoy the delicious orange sweet garlicky flavor.

Mmmmmm delicious!

Orange Roast Chicken

Chicken for 4 people (leg pieces, drumstick, and thighs)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 orange, juiced (I used 4 tablespoons of juice)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon honey

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Blot the chicken on a paper towel, absorbing any excess moisture.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Generously season the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken into the marinade. Marinate overnight or for a few hours.

Place in a roasting pan with juices and roast for 45 minutes. If you can, baste the chicken once or twice. If not, no biggie.

Note: I usually double the recipe just to ensure there are plenty of juices to spoon on top of chicken on your plate!


Bulgar and Bean Chili

26 Feb

My girlfriend, Tara Sandusky, turned me on to this dull-sounding chili. And I have to tell you that this chili ROCKS!!!!!!! It is so versatile and tasty – you can tailor it to your needs/likes. If you dont like corn or dont like beans, remove it and add other things. I almost always add in a diced red pepper for some color and crunch.

Pot o' Chili

However, there isn’t much spice/kick to it. If you don’t like a lot of spice, then you don’t have to do anything. I like some heat, so I just added more pepper seeds and half of a habanero pepper until I tasted it and it was to my liking. Other than that, it’s simple simple simple and full of flavor and veggies.

All the ingredients you need for this meal



Bulgar is in the grain family. It looks like a small seed, and when it cooks in liquid, it fluffs up a bit. It contains a good amount of protein so it’s the “meat” in this chili. You can find it in your supermarket amongst the rices, grains, and quinoas.

Oh, and I am not a vegetarian – nor do I lspecifically ook for vegetarian recipes. But I can’t say no to this one – it’s just too yummy and full of nutritious goodies! Speaking of being nutritious, this is also a weight watcher recipe so you KNOW it’s healthy and low in fat.


You can make a big pot of it and portion it out into Tupperware containers and stick it in the freezer to pull out for lunches.

My chili at work with a quarter lemon poppyseed muffin

Bulgur and Bean Chili

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup(s) onion(s) (chopped)
  • 2 medium poblano chile, or cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cup(s) water
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked bulgur
  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup(s) yellow corn, fresh or canned
  • 15 1/2 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, garlic and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add water, tomatoes and their puree, bulgur and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in corn and beans (and a bit of water if chili seems too thick); simmer, covered, over medium heat, until corn and bulgur are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  6. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving. And it’s a WW recipe, so it’s 5 WW points per serving.

Kale Chips

21 Feb

Wow. Everyone said that these were easy and addicting, and I didn’t believe them. They couldn’t have been easier to throw together, and they are so light and crispy. I cant wait to make another batch……

Simple IngredientsMixing olive oil with Kale

I admit, I messed up the first batch. I accidentally used too much olive oil and salt – and they were inedible. So I immediately made another batch and paid attention to the little amount of olive oil needed and tiny bit of salt.


They were delicious crispy bits and so light and delicate to handle. But a healthy snack!! If you enjoy the taste of roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts, then you will LOVE these.

Baked crunchy light bites

Kale Chips


1 bunch (about 6 ounces) kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl or baggie then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I needed two because mine are tiny; I also lined mine with foil for easy clean-up but there’s no reason that you must). Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Family Cookbook

20 Feb

Family Cookbook - Cover

As I’ve talked about previously, my mom put together Family Cookbooks for my brothers and I that includes all of our old family favorite recipes, recipes from our ancestors, and also recipes that we have contributed. She took Vera Bradley large notebooks, put our names on the covers, and photocopied almost 100 of the same recipes. One of the most PRIZED recipes is my Grandmom’s Apple Pancake recipe.

Inside Cover - Grandmom's Pancake recipe

But she also included some other fun things like prayers, inspirational quotes, and pictures of all of us eating!

Quotes and PrayersOld family pics - early days

She covered every category – appetizers, sides, veggies, breakfast, and desserts.

Sample Recipe Spread

Some recipes I had never seen before – and some I was overjoyed to have the official copy of.

More old pics - looks like my 1st birthday eating cake

There couldn’t have been a better present to give all of us. I’ve cracked my cookbook open SEVERAL times. Sometimes I just get it out and look at it a couple times. It’s fascinating and it brings back memories from family get-togethers.

Grandmom Kriz’s Apple Pancakes

20 Feb

I’d like to start this blog off with my Grandmom’s Apple Pancakes. Growing up, it was an absolute TREAT when Grandmom Kriz would make us her apple pancakes. She had the recipe memorized and she tweaked it along the years. It started off with sliced apples, but by the time I was little she had started to grate the apple. She used vegetable oil (and a pat of butter) so that the pancakes would puff up a little bit. They were delicious bites of apple-y heaven!

Mmmmm, Apple Pancakes

Grandmom's Recipe

My grandmom lost most of her eyesight when I was about 12 or so. She lived on her own and was able to make meals, but she wasn’t going to extra lengths anymore. I  still remember the last meal my grandmom made me in her kitchen when she moved to the little house next to my dad’s office – Chicken a la King. I think the last time I had her pancakes I was probably 10 or 11. She gave the recipe (when she still had it in her head) to my mom and my older brothers. Everyone lost their recipes! No one could find them….

The ingredients

My grandmom came to live with us when she was 92 and died when she was 96. We still didn’t have her apple pancake recipe. We would allllllllllways talk about her apple pancakes through the years at family gatherings. My brothers and I all had our special memories of her making them for us, what her little kitchen looked like, and our visits at their house on G street in the Juniata section of Philly. I think a lot of my friends also often heard me talk about the pancakes wistfully….

This year, my mom was cleaning out some old recipe books that she hadn’t looked at in years, and stumbled upon my grandmom’s apple pancake recipe. She held onto the recipe in secrecy and started compiling a family cookbook for each of my brothers and myself. The Family Cookbook includes all of our favorites that my mom used to make growing up, plus some great recipes that my brothers and I have contributed and made over the years as well. She gave them to us on Christmas this year and as we opened them, on the very first page on the inside cover was Grandmom’s Apple Pancake recipe. It was one of the most touching moments I’ve had in a long long time.

My Grandmom at Christmas in 1995

Grandmom Kriz’s Apple Pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tblsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small apple; peeled, cored, and grated
  • Dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make as you would regular pancakes – except use Vegetable Oil plus a lil butter in the frying pan. This will cause the pancakes to puff up when cooking. Top with syrup and/or butter!

The raw batter with grated applePancakes sizzlin.....Sizzlin' Pancakes

Apple Pancakes

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