grilled chicken kebabs with pineapple salsa

I was looking for something different for a Saturday dinner and for something that I could grill on our new stove-top grill pan. I found this recipe for grilled chicken kebabs with pineapple salsa in my database, which originally appeared in Shape magazine in September 2010.

pineapple chicken kebabsThe marinade called for pineapple, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper pureed in a blender. The salsa consisted of diced pineapple, tomato, spinach, garlic, cilantro, and salt. I omitted the cilantro and salt in the salsa. I cooked the chicken on the grill pan along with pineapple pieces, forgoing the skewers. I also cooked rice as a side, which turned out to be completely unnecessary.

It made for a very tasty Saturday evening dinner.


Manhattan clam chowder

Manhattan clam chowderTerry recently said that she wanted to have Manhattan clam chowder, so I pulled up this recipe from my database, which originally appeared in the Cooking Light issue of May 1999.

It’s really quite straightforward, calling for garlic, a chopped and peeled baking potato, oregano, black pepper, diced tomatoes, and clam juice along with the clams. Terry added cumin and chili powder and a couple of slices of microwaved bacon.

I took care of the garlic bread. It made for a really nice dinner on a cold evening.


chocolate chip cookies

I originally had this chocolate chip cookie recipe in my bulky three-ring binder, and it got transferred to my Living Cookbook database when I made the conversion. It’s from the old Yahoo Vegetarian Group and was written by the group owner, the incomparable Donna.

I followed Donna’s ingredients, but went my own way with the instructions.

The ingredients:

¾ cup sugar
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

chocolate chip cookiesThis time around I doubled the batch. I was making the cookies for Terry’s physical therapy team after she completed treatment.

I mixed all of the dry ingredients in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and then threw in the wet ingredients. I next added the chocolate chips and then walnuts which I chopped using the chopping attachment for my immersion blender.

I used a soup spoon to place the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and baked at 375° for twelve minutes.

They turned out great!


crock pot whole chicken

I have written about this before, but it bears revisiting. This is an incredibly simple way to get multiple meals. The great thing about cooking a whole chicken in your slow cooker is that you put the chicken in the crock pot and turn it on. It’s (almost) that simple. You don’t need to add any liquids because the chicken provides plenty of liquid.

crock pot whole chickenMost recently I bought a six-pound chicken at the grocery store. I pulled out the giblets and the neck and I rubbed it with a combination of za’atar seasoning and smoked paprika. I really prefer the Trader Joe’s whole chicken without the giblets, but the nearest Trader Joe’s is half an hour away in a very congested shopping district. I simply don’t have the culinary skills to work with those parts. (I can’t help but think of the Dan Aykroyd parody of Julia Child on Saturday Night Live: “Save the giblets!”)

I cooked the chicken on low for eight-and-a-half hours. Next time I need to remember to rub the spice mix under the skin. Otherwise it turned out great.

The chicken cost a little less than twice what we pay for a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. We generally get two meals out of a rotisserie chicken. This one yielded four: that evening’s supper plus three bags sealed up in the FoodSaver and put in the freezer. The math certainly works.

I have a number of recipes in my database that call for using rotisserie chicken. The crock pot chicken is, certainly, a perfectly fine substitute for that, and I don’t have to worry about going out and finding a rotisserie chicken. I just pull it out of the freezer.

There’s a lot to be said for chicken in the slow cooker.


tortilla soup

tortilla soupTortilla Soup was a Mexican remake of the Taiwanese (I believe) film Eat Drink, Man Woman. What was interesting to me was that aside from some changes in cultural references, it was almost a line-for-line remake.

That’s not what I’m talking about here, however. I’m talking about Terry’s tortilla soup. She has made tortilla soup before, but not this particular recipe.

The recipe called for rotisserie chicken, breast and thigh. I had made chicken on our stovetop grill a couple of nights before, and I had extra, we she used that. It specified a poblano chili, but the store didn’t have that so I bought another variety. The recipe included onion, which she omitted as Terry is allergic to onion. She did, however, throw in some frozen corn.

The result was a really tasty winter’s evening meal.


scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese

eggs with salmonTerry and I don’t buy smoked salmon very often. We were spoiled by the marvelous product by (what I believe is) the late, lamented Creekside Smokehouse in El Granada on the San Mateo county coast. Every once in a while we do buy it, however, as we did to make and take salmon and cream cheese crostini to my brother’s house for Christmas.

We had salmon and cream cheese left over. What to do with it?

When we lived in Silicon Valley, that is actually in Silicon Valley and not the far suburbs of Gilroy, we would often have Saturday breakfast at Hobee’s, a Bay Area chain focusing on healthier fare. My favorite dish, other than their marvelous coffee cake, was their scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

You know what? Terry makes that dish just was well as Hobee’s did. It’s a special treat for me.


buttermilk-hot sauce brined chicken

I took some liberties with this recipe.

buttermilk-hot sauce chickenI made the marinate pretty much as specified, with buttermilk, hot sauce, brown sugar, and pepper. The recipe said to marinate for twenty-four hours, I marinated for six. The recipe called for skin-on, bone-in breast and leg quarters. I used boneless breasts. The recipe specified cooking on an outdoor grill over indirect heat. I used our stovetop grill pan and because I used boneless breasts cooking took only several minutes, rather than the hour and fifteen minutes as stated in the recipe.

I made the baste more or less as specified with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and butter.

The result turned out quite well.