- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.FAKOYWxZ.dpuf Simply Rice and Beans: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Smoked Turkey and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

For a while now,  I wanted to make Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I wanted to change a couple of things in the recipe.  I wanted a healthier version without sacrificing flavor. Chicken cordon bleu  usually has a bread crumb crust and is stuffed.

 I decided to make it without the bread crumbs and use low fat cheeses.  Making small changes to food we enjoy eating will eventually pay off.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash

Since the Fall season started, I've been in the mood to cook Squash.  This squash is called Sweet Dumpling.  It has yellow skin with bright orange or deep green stripes.  It's super cute and flavorful when baked in the oven. The flesh is starchy with a slight corn flavor.  This size is perfect for stuffing too, but I decided to just glaze it with some honey and roast it in the oven.

You can find this squash right in the produce section of your supermarket.  During this time a year, you can find them pretty much anywhere. 

Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds.  I kept the seeds, I'm going to dry them and hope that I can grow a plant next year.

I am super happy with the results..the honey gave the squash a nice glaze.  The Sweet Dumpling is living up to it's name, it's really sweet and delicious.


2 squash cut in half, remove and discard seeds
1 tsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of honey

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F

Season the squash with olive oil and salt.  Place on baking sheet with skin side up.  Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes  remove from the oven and flip the squash, brush  with honey and put back in the oven, now skin side down, and bake for another 15 minutes, until tender and the honey has caramelized.  Enjoy with your favorite side of protein.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apple Cake

For the last couple of years, I've made this cake for Thanksgiving.  Super easy to make and it's really delicious.  The original recipe calls for caramel on top, but I think that it would make it too sweet.  The cake is super moist and delicious, a sprinkle of confectioners sugar it's all it needs.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Candy Apples

With all of the apples I got at the farm I decided to make some Candy Apples.  Candy Apples take me back to when I was a kid.  Growing up in Connecticut, every 4th of July the carnival would come to town.  My two favorite things at the carnival were the fried dough also known as funnel cakes with confectioners sugar and the candy apples. 

A Day at the Farm Apple Picking

During this time of year, I love going out to the farm to pick apples right from the trees, and buy pumpkins to decorate my home.  I had called my sister in South Carolina and asked her to find out where we can go apple picking in her area.

We decided to head to South Carolina for the weekend in search of apples and pumpkins.  We ended up in York, SC, at Windy Hill Orchards.  This is the same area where I had gone peach picking a couple of months ago.

We were really excited to spend a day with the family.  I love this time of the year, and this was the perfect thing to do on the day before Fall season began.

As we enter the first thing I noticed was this scarecrow..it looked a little drunk.  You can make your own scarecrow and take it with you for $10.00. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary and Garlic

Lately, I have been cooking like a mad woman.  Cooking and baking is what I love to do.  There are so many dishes that I one day would like to make and share with you.  Cooking for me is like therapy to my soul.  My mom was an excellent cook and so are my aunts.  I take after them.

My mom used to make chicken and pork in many different ways. From her, I learned that you can take the most inexpensive piece of meat and transform it into a delicious dish.

Today, I decided to make Roast Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary and Garlic.  Perfect combination of flavors.  I love rosemary and garlic together, the more garlicky the better.

My hubby likes pork, but he likes it better with some kind of sauce.  So, I decided to make this pork tenderloin with a side of  roasted sweet potato rounds, and make a gravy out of the juices from the pork loin.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Penne Rigate Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

My husband and I went to lunch with a couple of friends and we had an awesome time. I had a very light lunch and by 6 o'clock I was already starving.  I wanted to make something quick and so I went for Penne Rigate Pasta and Turkey Meatballs.

These meatballs are made using lean ground turkey meat instead of ground beef and veal.  It's a healthier choice and I love the fact that the turkey is not really greasy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Simple Brown Rice

Brown Rice has become a staple in my house.  Coming from a Puerto Rican household..rice is an every week, maybe twice a week dish. But, I wanted to start eating healthier, and brown rice is so much better than white rice.

Recently, I started eating brown rice.  The first time I made it I was happy with it..but it was missing something.  The flavor I was looking for was not there.  I also wanted the rice to come out soft and fluffy and not hard and dry.

I came up with this recipe and it worked for me.  Adding the red peppers and the chicken bouillon made a big difference in the taste.  The cooking process took a little longer that regular white rice, but at the end it was worth it.  Now I'm making this rice at least once a week. 


 2 cups of brown rice
1/4 cup of chopped red peppers
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1/2 packet of chicken bouillon
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt to taste

In a saucepan on medium heat add the peppers, tomato paste, chicken bouillon, chicken broth, water, and olive oil.  When it starts to boil add the rice and salt to taste.

Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.  Set to simmer and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. Stirring again after 15 minutes. After that, DO NOT uncover the pot until the rice has already been cooking for at least 30 minutes. Check on rice, if it's still a little hard cook a little longer.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

I'm always looking to create good and simple recipes.  These Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds could not be any simpler, and full of taste.  Instead of mashing the potatoes, I decided to just cut them in rounds and season with a little olive oil, salt and garlic.

During this time of year I like to cook different kinds of vegetables.  I love sweet potatoes, squash, rutabagas and parsnips.  These vegetables are always great as a side dish.

The sweet potatoes were tender inside and slightly sweet.  This was a great change from just baking them whole, because it created a soft crust that was full of flavor from the garlic.  

I love the colors, bright orange with these yellow marks...Perfect for this time of year.


3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2  pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F

Spread the sweet potatoes in one layer in a shallow baking pan. Combine the olive oil, minced garlic and salt, and spread over the sweet potatoes.  Make sure to season all of the rounds.   Bake until golden, for about 20-30 minutes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blackened Grilled Pork Chops

I couldn't make up my mind on what I wanted to cook today.  Chicken seems the obvious choice...but I wanted to make something that had a little spice to it..not too much.  I'm not a fan of extremely spicy foods, but a little kick, I'm okay with.

Once again, I pulled out one of my Cooking Light cookbooks and I came across this recipe.  The recipe I found was actually for Blackened Chicken, but I didn't want to make chicken.  So, I decided to make Blackened Grilled Pork Chops.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Low Carb Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries

While sitting outside on my back deck this past weekend, lost in my own thoughts, I was thinking how good it would be to have a nice slice of cheesecake and a cappuccino.  For a minute I thought, Dulce de Leche cheesecake would be so good...Yeah right!  No, I need to make something that I won't feel guilty about eating..maybe a low carbohydrates cheesecake.  Yes!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Low Carb Chicken Quesadillas

This past Saturday night my husband and I couldn't decide on what to eat.  Do we go out or stay in?  My husband was extremely tired and I really didn't feel like going out.  I decided to make Chicken Quesadillas.  Simple and quick.  While my husband slept and my doggy chewed on a bone, I started cooking. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

I have been collecting cookbooks for a few years now, I have over 250, not counting magazines.  A week ago I started checking out one of my Cooking Light cookbooks.  I came across many recipes that I would love to create.

This recipe I found in the cookbook. I had been looking for a great Thai beef marinade for a little while, and this one just caught my eye.  The only change I made was I substituted the fish sauce for soy sauce. 

The top sirloin steak comes out tender and juicy and the taste is just amazing.  I decided to go a healthier route and use bibb lettuce as my wrap, but you can certainly use flour tortillas if you like.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Roasted Salmon with Black and Cannellini Beans Salad

I started this week thinking that I need to get back to eating healthier. It's always great to have a balance on what you eat. There is a perception that healthy foods are bland and just plain awful...but that is not true.  Through the years, I have been able to transform certain dishes I enjoy eating, by making them my own. Substituting certain ingredients in the recipes is key.

Watching what you eat does not have to be boring.  This Roasted Salmon dish with the Black and Cannelini Beans was just perfect.  Exactly what I needed to start my week.

This roasted salmon was full of flavors. I had just gone to the supermarket, and so it was really fresh. When cooking seafood, I personally like to go to the market that same day and see what they have.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creamy Caesar Salad

There are times when I just want a nice salad for lunch or dinner.  No meat...just some greens and a good salad dressing.  This salad dressing is creamy and full of flavor.  The more it sits in the refrigerator the better it gets.
Make it a full meal by adding some chicken or steak.  A couple of years ago I went to a restaurant that had the caesar salad with fried calimari on top..that was a great salad. 

This creamy caesar dressing does not have raw eggs in the ingredients.  I really don't think that it needs it.  I have also made this dressing without the anchovies.  But the anchovies do give it a nice taste. The garlic and the lemon juice really come through. 


2 hearts of romaine lettuce
croutons-your favorite one
2 whole anchovy fillets
1 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese plus a little extra
2 garlic gloves minced
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of mustard-grey poupon
dash of salt
black pepper

For the dressing place the anchovies in a blender or food processor.  Add the garlic, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and mustard.  Combine well, then add mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Pulse the processor or blend for a few seconds. Scrape the sides and make sure all of the ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready, cut the heart of romaine lettuce and place in a bowl.  Drizzle the salad dressing over the lettuce and finish off with some croutons and some more parmesan cheese over the top.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Double Pie Crust

Making pie crust can be tricky at times.  As much as I bake, I am always afraid of making pie crust.  About 8 years ago, I made an apple pie and the crust was so hard, one of my brothers was trying to eat it and was trying to cut a piece with the fork and the pie just fell to the floor.  OMG..until this day every time I think about it, I just crack up.  But since then I have come a long way.  Now, I can make a good pie crust.

Making a really good pie crust is about the ingredients being really cold.  The butter and the water must be cold, and not over mixing it too.  Put some ice in the water, and let it sit a minute or two. 

This recipe is actually really easy, specially if you have a food processor.  The food processor does all of the work for you.   At the end you will have a buttery and flaky crust.

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
2 sticks of butter cold
1/4-1/2 cup of iced water

Food Processor:

Add the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor.  Pulse for about 10 seconds to mix well.  Add the butter and pulse for about 15 seconds.  Add about 1/4 cup of water, slowly until the dough starts to come together when pinched.  Add remaining water if necessary.  Do not pulse for more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough into your counter, turn into a ball and divide into two equal pieces. Flatten into a 5 inch disc. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

To roll out, flour your counter lightly.  Roll out to fit an 8 or 9 inch pie dish. To keep the dough from sticking, and get an uniform thickness, keep lifting and turning after each roll.  When you get the desire size, roll the pastry dough onto your rolling pin and place on baking dish. Dusting off any excess flour.  Never pull the pastry dough as it will shrink.  With your fingertips lightly press the dough into the pan. Flute the edges of the pastry.  Pastry dough is ready to use.

By Hand:

In a bowl mix together the flour, salt and sugar.  Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter, fork or rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the butter until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time.  Mixing gently until you are able to make a ball. Handle the dough as little as possible.  Split the dough in half and flatten each piece into a 5 inch disc. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

To roll out, flour your counter lightly.  Roll out to fit an 8 or 9 inch pie dish. To keep the dough from sticking, and get an uniform thickness, keep lifting and turning after each roll.  When you get the desire size, roll the pastry dough onto your rolling pin and place on baking dish. Dusting off any excess flour.  Never pull the pastry dough as it will shrink.  With your fingertips lightly press the dough into the pan. Flute the edges of the pastry.  Pastry dough is ready to use.

Source: Joy of Baking

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Roasted Baby Potatoes

I had made some bake chicken and I really didn't want to make a big side dish.  So I made these small baby potatoes, and it was just perfect.  They are the perfect size and full of flavor.  I added the parmesan cheese and a little butter and they turned out really good.

You can have fun with these..add some rosemary or garlic, even onions.  Cut them in half and add some cheddar cheese and bacon. You won't feel guilty eating these baby potatoes, they are simple but delicious!!

1 1/2 pounds of small baby potatoes
2 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp of olive oil

Set oven to 375 Degree F

Place potatoes on a baking dish and coat the potatoes with one tbsp of olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Check them to make sure they are cooked all the way thru.  Place potatoes in a bowl and add the butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. combine well.. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Garlic and Lime Grilled Chicken

The end of summer is right around the corner, but that does not mean that we have to stop grilling.  I will be grilling until the cold weather begins.  So for now I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can.  This garlic and lime marinade is excellent on wings too.  The combination of the lime and garlic is perfect.  The chicken was so juicy and tender and the lime flavor gave it a nice kick. I highly recommend this recipe.

I'm a chicken breast kind of girl, but my husband likes dark meat. These chicken quarters came out so delicious that I saw my husband taking out the BBQ sauce, and I told him to put it away.  The lime came thru so good...I didn't want to hide that flavor with BBQ sauce..my husband agreed. 


4-6 pieces of chicken quarters
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp of olive oil
6 garlic gloves minced
juice of 3 limes

Wash and clean the chicken. Set aside.  In a small bowl mix all other ingredients, it will become a paste like texture.  Rub the chicken with the paste, specially under the skin.  You can marinade the chicken the night before and refrigerate. Set the grill on low to medium heat and cook on both sides, turning the chicken a couple of times.  Cook for about 25-30 minutes or until juices are running clear.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

Every time I visit an Italian restaurant the first thing I do is look at the menu to make sure they have Chicken Parmesan listed.  I've been to many Italian restaurants but, I always go back to my two favorite locations.

My first choice is Prime Italian on South Beach Florida.  Their Chicken Parmesan is to die for.  The chicken breast is pounded very thin with a nice crust. My second choice is La Torreta, in Weston Florida.  This is a family own restaurant, and their Chicken Parmesan is really tender, cheesy and simply delicious.

This Chicken Parmesan recipe is one that I have done many times.  This is a classic Chicken Parmesan recipe that you are going to really enjoy.  The chicken is very tender with a nice crust and the homemade sauce just makes it even better.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blueberry and Raspberry Pie

Baking is one of those things I obviously love to do.  But, there is something about baking a fruit pie, that is just so satisfying and the whole house smells delicious.  Who doesn't love pie?

I made this blueberry and raspberry pie in no time.  If you like, you can substitute the blueberries and raspberries for blackberries, strawberries, apples, peaches or any other fruit you like.  Have fun and make it your own.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Marinara Sauce

This marinara sauce is super easy.  Whether you are making chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, this is the perfect sauce.  This is my go to sauce specially when I'm running behind and I just want to throw something together.  I'll make some meatballs and boil some pasta and I'm done.  In less than 40 minutes I have a full meal on the table.

A good pasta sauce does not have to simmer all day. 

1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 med size onion chopped
2 bay leaves
2-28 oz cans tomatoes, crushed
bunch of fresh basil
1 tbsp of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Coat a saucepan with 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium heat, add the garlic, onions and bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fresh basil, sugar and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick. Simmer and keep warm.

Blueberry Danish

I wanted to make something with the fresh blueberries I bought at the market.  First, I thought blueberry pancakes..and then I saw this recipe for danishes, perfect!! I took a shortcut on the pastry dough and bought it at the market. I cooked down the blueberries, with water and sugar.

The danishes came out delicious, nice and flaky.  These danishes can be made with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries too.  You can also mix the fruits and make them even better. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blueberry and Raspberry Compote

I couldn't resist not getting these blueberries and raspberries at the supermarket.  The vibrant colors and the freshness of the berries made me want to get them and bake something.  Not sure what..maybe pancakes or some type of cake, pastry or even as topping on ice cream.  I know I can use them for many things and before they start to get bad, I decided to cook them down and refrigerate. 


1 cup of blueberries or raspberries
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

Mix all ingredients in a small pot. You can mix the fruits if you like, or cook separately.  Cook on medium heat, bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes. Then take off heat.  Refrigerate.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Guacamole is very popular at my house when we are having taco night.  But, I also enjoy guacamole on my burgers.  Over Labor Day weekend I made some fresh guacamole and put it right on my burgers.  The lime and onions in the Guacamole with the burger is such a great combination, you should try it.

Sometimes I make the guacamole a little chunkier, but this time I wanted to make it creamy.  I think it lasted about 10 minutes on the table..it was that good.  Adding the lime not only helps the avocado from turning color, but it also gives it a wonderful flavor. 


3 avocados
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt to taste
2 tbsp of lime juice

Halve the avocados, remove pit, and scoop flesh into medium bowl.  Mash the avocados lightly with a fork, add the cilantro, onion, jalapeno, garlic and salt.  Combine well. Sprinkle with the lime juice.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chunky Salsa

Over Labor Day weekend I decided to make some fresh salsa.  There is nothing better than making your own.  This homemade salsa was a hit.  We had it with some tortilla chips.  I made it mild not too hot, but if you like a little kick then add as much jalapeno as you want. 

I wanted the salsa to be chunky and so I cut the tomatoes a little bigger.  Some people might say that this is more like Pico de Gallo.  Both have basically the same ingredients, except that salsa has more liquid than Pico de Gallo.  Salsa is what I set out to make..but I understand if you want to call it Pico de Gallo. 


1 1/2 Pounds tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2-6 tsp lime juice (2 limes)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
sugar to taste

Set a colander inside a bowl and drain the tomatoes for about 20 minutes.  As the tomatoes drain layer onion, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic on top.  Shake colander to drain off excess tomato juice. Discard juice.
Transfer tomato mixture to bowl and add lime juice, salt and pepper and toss to combine.  Add sugar to taste and additional lime juice to taste before serving.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Deep Fried Flounder and Shrimp

These flounder filets were covered with panko and fried.  Panko is a Japanese style breadcrumb used as a coating for deep fried foods.  Panko makes everything nice and crispy, you can use it on shrimp, chicken and pork chops.

I fried the flounder in a deep frier.  The crust was extra crunchy,  and the flounder was very tasty.  What I like about flounder filets is that they don't taste fishy.


4 flounder filets washed and patted dried
1 1/2 pounds of shrimps cleaned and deveined 
1 cup of panko
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1 cup of milk

In a bowl mix the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Dip filets in milk then into the mixture of spices.  I used a deep fryer, but if you don't have one use a frying pan.  Heat oil to 375, very hot but not smoking. Drop filets into the dip fryer. Cook for about 2 minute until they are nice and golden brown.

Do the same for the shrimps, dip them in the milk and then the panko. Fry them for about a minute, until golden brown.  I really enjoyed these shrimps..this is the way I like them.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Grilled Kabobs

Labor Day weekend is the final weekend of summer.  Grilling is a must.  I decided to make some grilled sirloin steak kabobs, but you can make them with pork or even chicken.


2 pounds of beef sirloin steak cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 soy sauce
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of one lemon
green and red peppers cut into 2 inch pieces
onion cut into 2 inch pieces
zucchini cut into rounds
squash cut into rounds 
skewers (soak in water for about 1 hour)

Place the beef sirloin steak cubes in a  plastic resealable bag.  In a bowl mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper and lemon juice.  Pour into the bag, make sure to cover all of the meat with the marinade.  Let marinade overnight or a minimum of 2 hours before grilling. 

Preheat grill to high heat.  Thread steaks, green peppers and onions.   Then thread the zucchini, squash, onions, and peppers.  Separating the vegetables is better because they will cook quicker.  Cook the beef kabobs on the grill for at least 10 minutes, turning them a couple of times on each side.  Cook the meat to your desire doneness. Baste with your favorite BBQ Sauce.

Cook the vegetables for about 6 minutes total. Turning them a couple of times on each side.

Tip: Soaking the skewers in water will prevent them from burning during grilling.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Black and Cannellini Beans Salad

This Black and Cannellini Bean Salad is a really nice side to any dish.  Eat it alone or with your favorite protein. The combination of the beans with the grilled corn and grilled veggies is very flavorful.  

This is my favorite bean salad, it's just delicious!!

I grilled the corn and the veggies on a stove top grill, so even in the winter you are able to put this salad together and enjoy it. 

1-15 oz can of black beans rinsed
1-15 oz can of Cannellini beans rinsed
2 corn on the cob
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 red pepper sliced
1 med size onion cut into 1/4 inch slices
small cucumber cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbps of olive oil
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

In a bowl mix together the black beans, cannellini beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and chopped cilantro.  Set aside.  Brush the corn, onions and red peppers with one tbsp of olive oil.  Cook the corn on the grill for about 12 minutes, until lightly charred.  Turning a couple of times on all sides.

Grill the onions and red peppers for 6 minutes, until lightly charred.  Turning after 3 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Cut kernels from cob and coarsely chop the onions and peppers. Add to the beans mixture. Finish with one tbsp of olive oil, lime juice and salt.  Combine well.  Enjoy!!