Monthly Archives: July 2009

Thursday Menu: Marinated Chicken and Grilled Potatoes

Just in time for the weekend, Thursday Night Menu.  On the board tonight:

  1. Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts
  2. Corn on the Cob (pull husks back, clean off silk, wash, pull husks up & grill-yum!)
  3. Grilled Potatoes
  4. Ambrosia 

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts                            

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts            
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice       
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine (non-alcoholic is ok)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic

zip lock bag             

Add all ingredients into zip-lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight.  Grill (or roast in the oven at 375° in a large baking dish).  15 minutes each side, 185° internal temp. When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear for 5 minutes each side, cook additional 10 minutes, then move away from high heat for rest of cooking time.

To make ahead, add chicken and marinade ingredients together and freeze.  Pull out and thaw in the refrigerator the night before. 

Grilled Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 to 2 tbsp butter
  • parsley or chives
  • salt & pepper


Thinly slice each potato, layer one on each piece of foil, then layer sliced onion and parsley or chives. Melt butter and add garlic, drizzle equally over each potato. Wrap and seal foil.  Grill, turning halfway through (about 15 minutes each side).  Cook until potatoes are tender and onions crispy.


Mix pineapple, sliced banana, orange slices, grapes & shredded coconut with 4 oz ginger ale.

Shopping List:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 oz grape or cranberry juice       
  • 4 oz soy sauce
  • 4 oz wine (non-alcoholic is ok)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 8 oz fresh pineapple
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 2 oz shredded coconut
  • 4 oz ginger ale

 Also: crushed garlic, butter, parsley, chives

This is from the free week of menus from What’s 4 Dinner Solutions.


This week…

So Farmer’s Market Week seemed to be a success.  Oh great.  Now I have to think of some clever theme for this week, huh?  Well let’s see…I got nothin’!  No seriously, nothing.

I’ll post some good grilling recipes this week.  And as soon as I have time,  I want to do a few recipes based on food found in novels.  Until then….

Farmer’s Market Week: Collard Greens with Bacon

Here’s the final recipe for Farmer’s Market Week.  Collard greens grow like weeds in the garden.  Luckily they’re easy to cook up any day.

 Collard Greens w/ Bacon:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or spinach)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet, saucepan, steamer

Wash collard greens.  In skillet, cook bacon till crisp, remove, cool and crumble.  In bacon drippings, sauté onions, remove. In saucepan, place steamer and enough water to come to the bottom of the steamer, add greens and steam until tender.  Mix honey & vinegar, and a little of the bacon drippings if you like.  Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Farmer’s Market Week: Pear-Raspberry Salad

Fresh and fruity.

Pear-Raspberry Salad:

  • 8 oz walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz baby greens
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

baking dish & serving bowl

In baking dish, toss walnuts with oil, soy, ginger, salt & garlic.  Heat in a 250° oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are crisp. In serving bowl add lettuce.  Seed and slice pears, add to lettuce, along with raspberries, bleu cheese, & walnuts.  Toss with dressing.

Farmer’s Market Week: Green Beans w/Red Peppers

Here are some new flavors to try with fresh green beans.

Green Beans w/Red Peppers:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced in strips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz sliced black olives
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

steamer & saucepan 

Place steamer, in saucepan, with just enough water to come to the bottom of the steamer and add beans.  Steam beans until tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain beans and set aside. Heat oil in saucepan, sauté pepper & olives for 1 minute, toss with beans, lemon and pepper flakes.

Farmer’s Market Week: Black Bean Salad

This week I’ll post recipes that take advantage of what’s fresh at local farmer’s markets around the country.

Black Bean Salad:

  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, torn
  • 14 oz black beans, drained 
  • 8 oz sweet corn, cooked and cooled (or substitute canned corn) 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp water, more as needed
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz shredded cheddar

serving bowl & blender 

In serving bowl, add lettuce, beans, corn, pepper, tomato & onions, toss well.  In blender, add cilantro, water, vinegar, chili powder, salt, pepper and blend.  Slowly add oil and blend until smooth.  Pour over salad and toss.  Garnish with cheese.  Serves 4

That was fun…

Yesterday I had the opportunity to post a menu and recipe on Balloon-Juice.  It was fun for me.  When I first started What’s 4 Dinner Solutions, it was so much fun, creating recipes, sending them out and getting feedback from my recipe testers, sending them to my new members and getting emails back saying nice things.  I got to exercise my creativity and help people who felt intimidated in the kitchen.

Now, 4 years later, I still love running my web business, but I have a cookbook full of recipes and menus.  We no longer have recipe testing parties, where I feed very kind and patient friends sampler platters of recipes, eagerly awaiting their feedback.  It took a while to convince them that I wanted honest opinions, that my feelings would not be hurt if they panned a recipe.  I felt it better to have it happen among friends, so I didn’t sent out something awful to unsuspecting members.  I wanted the recipes and menus to be simple, full of flavor and as fool-proof as possible.  I like to feel I’ve achieved that goal.

After John asked me to post a menu, it started a whole lot of conversations at work, where the guys I work with were eager to share their favorite recipes with me.  And last night, with the posters on Balloon-Juice, the fun was back.  It like a virtual recipe testing party.  I look forward to hearing their feedback as they try last night’s menu.  That’s what this is all about for me.  And I also picked up a few new recipes from posters!  We have a lot of fun over there, talking politics, pets and food.

Okay, I’ll be looking for some Farmer’s Market recipes to post this weekend.  If you haven’t visited your local Farmer’s Market,  it’s great fun, supports the local economy and is filled with mouth-watering food.  Head out this weekend, you won’t be disappointed.

Until then…

Something New and Fun

I’ve been asked to post menus for a cooking club over at Balloon-Juice.  So on Thursdays I’ll be posting an entire menu, recipes and shopping list.  Pop over to B-J, because they are sure to have some additional recipes and great comments (warning, some can be a bit risqué).

I’ve tried to tailor this to what is fresh at this time of year.  Peaches are plentiful in Colorado right now, which is how this recipe was originally born – what to do with all those peaches!

Here’s this weekend’s menu (serves 4):
Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Chutney
Peas* in Butter
Sliced Melon

Grilled Pork Chops w/Peach Chutney:                        

  • 4 pork chops, medium thickness
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup Peach Chutney

Mix together garlic, salt, pepper and oil and brush over both sides of chops.  Grill over medium-high coals for 5 to 7 minutes on one side, turn and top with ¼ of chutney on each chop.  Grill additional 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked to desired doneness.  Serve immediately, with additional chutney if desired.

Peach Chutney:

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

Shopping list:

  • 4 boneless pork chops (medium thickness)
  • 2 large peaches
  • 4 green onions 
  • 4 oz golden raisins
  • 16 oz peas*
  • couscous (usually a 6 oz box works fine)
  • favorite melon

Also: crushed garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, chili powder

 *it’s been cool enough here for peas to still be in the garden, but if not, go for whatever is fresh – green beans, squash or a fresh salad.

Fajita Steak Salad

Here’s a  secret to make this an easy, tasty, hot day salad.  Mix marinade, add meat and freeze until you are going to do some grilling.  Thaw, add peppers to marinade, let marinate 30 minutes, then grill along with your other meal, let cool and slice into strips and refrigerate.  They will refrigerate for up to 3 days.  When you’re ready to make the salad, the meat and peppers are already cooked up, sliced and ready to go.  Quick and easy for a hot summer night.

Fajita Steak Salad:

  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 lb sirloin
  • 1 ea. Red, yellow & green peppers, quartered
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • 12 oz spring greens or 1 head leaf lettuce

serving bowl

zip-lock bag

Mix together garlic, limejuice & cumin.  Set aside 3 tbsp.  Combine remaining marinade, sirloin and peppers and marinade overnight.  Mix together the 3 tbsp of marinade with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, mixing dressing well and refrigerate until served.  Remove steak & pepper from marinade and grill steak for 3 to 5 minutes each side for rare, grill peppers, turning frequently, careful not to burn them.  Remove to a plate, let cool slightly while adding onions and greens to serving bowl.  Cut steak & peppers into strips, add to salad and toss with dressing.

Watching Chef! and looking forward to Julie & Julia

Lenny Henry as Chef Gareth Blackstock
Lenny Henry as Chef Gareth Blackstock

I’ve been having some fun watching Chef! these days.  A great UK series that ran for 3 seasons.  Lenny Henry is Chef Gareth Blackstock, the best chef in England and quite cantankerous.  Funny and smart, most of the action takes place in the kitchen of the restaurant he and his wife own.  If you need a good laugh and love cooking, check it out.

I’m also looking forward to Julie & Julia.  Based on a woman who cooked all of Julia Child’s recipes in 1 year and blogged about it, mixed in with the life and times of Julia Child.  I grew up watching Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet.  I’m hoping the movie is a fun as their shows.  I’ll let you know. 

Meanwhile I look for some recipes this week where you won’t have to heat up the kitchen.  Until then….