Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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And Then There Was Light

This is entry one thousand and two. Gee I can go on can't I?
Weekend was good. First time in months I haven't been completely exhausted no matter how much sleep I get. And I learned two things:
1. Don't drink wine that has Santa on the label. It didn't taste bad but it wasn't good either. And what a wicked headache within an hour of drinking it.
2. Don't grab the handle of the skillet you just pulled from the oven. We made three recipes this weekend that involved cooking stovetop first and then finishing in the oven. I knew this rule already but apparently I needed a reminder.
We took the kids to the park on Sat because it was sunny and relatively warm out. Pictures on the gallery under February 2006 album and carousel pics from last weekend are under the January 2006 album. After lunch they went down for naps. Keegan boycotted his and instead played quietly until it was time to leave. I dropped him at Tom's and met my mom at the spa. She loved her bodywrap/vichy shower and my hot stone massage was fabulous. There were stones all over me and between my toes and then she used them to perform the massage itself.
When I got home Jeff had made dessert and prepped dinner. We ate after putting Isabelle to bed. It was the best recipe from cooking light we have ever made. I mean amazingly good. I will post it separately if anyone is interested. After dinner (and vengeful Santa wine) we watched "Lord of War." Oh and Jeff gave me a peppermint foot rub. So just about a perfect day. Sunday wasn't as warm so we played indoors after breakfast. They headed home and I did the usual lineup of laundry, dishes, getting ready for the week before Keegan came home.

Saturday lunch: Prosciutto & Gruyere Stromboli (Easy, kid friendly and you can makeup all your own variations)
Saturday dessert: Pecan Bar Cookies (Not as soft as we expected but still good)
Sunday breakfast: Oven-Puffed Pancake (We served with strawberries and powdered sugar)
Sunday lunch: Chicken-and-Brie Sandwich with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (OMG gooey yummy goodness)

Prosciutto and Gruyère Strombolis

This is no ordinary ham and Swiss. These five ingredients come together quickly to yield a tasty Italian sandwich.

1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated French bread dough
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 cup trimmed arugula
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425°.
Unroll dough onto a baking sheet; pat into a 14 x 11-inch rectangle. Cut dough into quarters to form 4 (7 x 5 1/2-inch) rectangles. Top each rectangle with 1/2 ounce prosciutto, 1/4 cup arugula, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Beginning at short side of each rectangle, roll up the dough, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of rolls). Arrange rolls 4 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 roll)
CALORIES 275(28% from fat); FAT 8.5g (sat 4.4g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 14g; CHOLESTEROL 24mg; CALCIUM 158mg; SODIUM 754mg; FIBER 1.5g; IRON 2.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g
Katherine Cobbs
Cooking Light, AUGUST 2004

Pecan Bar Cookies

Though these delicate cookies have a crisp outside, they are soft inside.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until well combined. Add maple flavoring and egg; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; stir until well combined. Stir in pecans. Spread mixture evenly in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Remove from pan, and drizzle with melted chocolate. Cool completely.

Yield: 12 servings
CALORIES 210(36% from fat); FAT 8.4g (sat 3.3g,mono 3.4g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 2.7g; CHOLESTEROL 28mg; CALCIUM 37mg; SODIUM 190mg; FIBER 0.8g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.6g
Lorrie Hulston Corvin
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2004

Oven-Puffed Pancake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon butter
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through egg white); stir until moist.
Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour batter into pan; cook 1 minute (do not stir). Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Cut into quarters; serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings
CALORIES 141(28% from fat); FAT 4.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 5.2g; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 48mg; SODIUM 222mg; FIBER 0.4g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.9g
Cooking Light, MARCH 2001

Chicken-and-Brie Sandwich with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

A good balsamic vinegar makes all the difference in the roasted tomatoes, whose heat will immediately melt the soft Brie. There's no need to cut the rind off the Brie, since it's edible.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread, cut in half horizontally
3 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 300°.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes; cook 4 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Sprinkle tomatoes with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Wrap handle of pan with foil; bake at 300° for 15 minutes. Keep warm.
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over top half of bread loaf. Spoon tomatoes evenly over bottom half of loaf. Arrange Brie over tomatoes; top with chicken. Combine 2 teaspoons oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add spinach, tossing gently to coat. Top chicken with spinach mixture; replace top half of bread. Cut loaf into 6 pieces.

Yield: 6 servings
CALORIES 440(25% from fat); FAT 12.3g (sat 4.2g,mono 4.9g,poly 1.9g); PROTEIN 34.3g; CHOLESTEROL 78mg; CALCIUM 119mg; SODIUM 826mg; FIBER 3.9g; IRON 3.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.7g
Cooking Light, JUNE 2001

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