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Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Harriet Van Horne


Chicken Pot Pie...

All of the men in my life love this stuff!

You'll need:

1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breast cubed. (I like to buy chicken breast tenders because they're easier for me to cut into cubes, you can, of course, start with whole breasts though.)
1 1/2 cups slices carrots
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
a dash or two of black pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 9' unbaked pie crusts

Mmmmm..Pie: Preheat your oven to 425.
Place chicken, peas, carrots and celery in a sauce pan, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes.
Drain and set aside.

In another sauce pan cook the onions in butter over medium heat until they're soft and translucent, then stir in the flour, slat, and pepper. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and milk and simmer over medium to low heat until thickend, then remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Pour the chicken mixture into the bottom pie crust, pour hot mixture over that and cover with the top pie crust. Seal the edges and cut off excesses crust. Cut several small slits in the top pie crust to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, let it cool for about 10 and serve it!

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Avocados...in general

I really like to use avocado in cooking, there are a lot of healthy benefits to using avocado, and it tastes here great.

Check out this link...This site offers a lot of information about avocado varieties, recipes and nutrional facts. =)

http://www.avocado.org/about/variety_chart.php

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Rainbow Salad (because it's colorful!)

I like to pack my salads with a lot of flavor and textur. I really just like to throw in whatever raw veggie sounds good at the moment. This is the salad I had for dinner tonight!

You'll need:

baby spinach leaves- whole, they're small leaves
a head of romain lettuce- chopped or torn, whichever you prefer
2 roma tomatoes- diced
1 green bell pepper- chopped
1 cucumber- sliced or chopped
half a red/purple onion- finely chopped
carrots- I like to do mine shaved...it keeps the salad light
mushrooms- sliced
avocado- cubed

Toss it: Combined everything in a bowl and toss it. It's that simple.

I like to use a simple dressing made from a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinager on this salad.

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Coconut Crusted Tilapia

I'm not big on frying foods...in fact I -never- eat fried foods but I came up with this for those around me who'd like something other than grilled fish all of the time. =D For being a fried fish this comes out rather light and is really nice with steamed squash and asparagus.

You'll need:

4 Tilapia fillets
4 eggs (to lower calories simply use only the egg whites instead)- lightly beaten
4 cups dry, unsweetened coconut
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sea salt
a little vegetable oil for frying


Let's go fishing: Rince fish fillets and pat dry. Mix flour and coconut together in a flat dish. Rub sea salt into fish fillets and coat in beaten eggs and then place in coconut and flour to cover. Place in frying pan with heated oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until crust is golden brown.

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Ricotta stuffed chicken breasts

This dish is excellent with lightly steamed veggies!

You'll need:

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 tub of ricotta cheese
1 clove roasted garlic
2 green onions- chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Mmm mmm Chicken: Preheat oven to 420.
Between two sheets of wax paper, use a rubber mallet or other meat tenderizing tool to gently pound chicken into quarter inch thick sheets. This takes patience. If you hit the chicken too hard it will tear. Go slowly and use a consistent amount of pressure.

Place ricotta into a blow and stir in garlic, salt, and chopped green onions, place in microwave for 30 seconds to make cheese smooth.

place ricotta mixture on chicken sheets and roll. Place rolled chicken breasts into baking dish. Using a brush, coat outside of chicken with a little olive oil. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

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I'm warning you now, this is the richest alfredo sauce known to man and it should be consumed rarely with extreme caution. =D Seriously though, a little goes a long way so you should be good as long as you don't over do it. It's good to keep the rest of the meal simple with this sauce...just pasta and a lite salad will do it.

You'll need:

1 cup flour
1 cup butter
4 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. garlic
1 cup shaved Parmesan
1 cup cream cheese

Make it saucy: In a sauce pan melt butter slowly for about 1 minute (don't burn it!). Stir in flour slowly, stirring until the flour has absorbed the butter. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring continuously until combined. Stir in cream cheese until melted into the sauce. Stir in Parmesan very slowly. If you go too fast the Parmesan will get lumpy.

Pour immediately over cooked pasta and serve.

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Yogurt Chicken Marinade

I really like Indian food and they use a lot of yogurt in their cooking. I really love how you get a good mixture of cool flavors with warm, spicy flavors in Indian cooking. With that in mind I thought I would try mixing something cool with something a little spicy for a chicken marinade and I think it worked out pretty well.

You'll need:

1 pint plain yogurt
3 tbsp. Zatarans Creol Seasoning (I also like a combination of a tsp. paprika, a 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, and 1 tsp. salt instead)
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or 8 to 12 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders

To marinate: simply place the chicken in a bowl, cover with yogurt and stir in seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

I think this chicken is best grilled and served over Jasmine or brown rice with black beans.

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Spicey Pasta

I threw this together one evening out of random things we had around the house. Turns out it makes a pretty good side dish to go with chicken or salad. =)

You'll need:
1 pound wheat (or regular) linguini
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 oz. chopped mushrooms
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregeno
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
dash of salt

Get to it: Cook pasta as directed, strain and immediately stir in olive oil. Add garlic, basil, oregeno, and crushed red pepper, stir until well mixed. Over low heat add tomatoes and mushrooms stirring continuously until everything is heated and you're done.

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Avocado Hummus

My favorite way of using this hummus is on sandwiches but it's also good with tortilla chips or pita bread.

You'll need:

1 cup chick peas
1 medium avocado
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Let's make hummus: throw all of these ingredients into a food processor and simple blend until smooth and enjoy! Easy, easy!

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Strawberry Yum Yum Pie

It should be noted that I'm _not_ trying to make the rest of the world fat with the food I'm posting recipes for. Flavorful food, even rich food can be healthy when it's made with good, fresh, ingredients and eaten in proper portions. Having said that, I give you the Strawberry Yum Yum pie, in honor of my youngest sister who adores this treat.

Serves: 8

1 bar of dark chocolate
1 pound fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 powdered sugar
2 bars Philidelphia Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

1 9' pie crust (you can use a simple pie crust recipe or get a frozen pie crust from the grocery store.

Do it, do it: Preheat oven to 450. Take pie crust and cut a slit in the center to allow heat to escape. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a mixer beat cream cheese for 1 minute on high. Bring speed down to medium and slowly add powdered sugar, beat until combined. Slowly add 1/3 cup heavy cream. Once all the cream has been added turn the mixer back up to high and beat for 1 minute. Bring speed down and add vanilla, mix until combined. Poor mixture into cooled pie crust and chill for 30 minutes.

Slice strawberries and place in bowl. Cover with sugar and let sit for 15 minutes.

Cover chilled pie with strawberry slices, top with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.

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