Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre

April 18, 2014 - Written by Diana

Since it’s National Garlic Day on April 19th, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor.  Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it.  I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it.  We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious. Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre is something your family would enjoy too.

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre Ingredients:

Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top.  Roll the chicken up around the asparagus.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done.  About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.


Turkey Roasting

November 15, 2013 - Written by Diana

Delicious Moist Turkey

Turkey is one of the easiest things to cook, the main problem is taking it out on time so that it stays moist and tender.  To that end, pay attention to roasting times and pop up thermometers.  Get a meat thermometer and make sure you check the temp with that after the pop up – pops to be sure.  Follow these suggestions for a wonderful tasting roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving (or even not Thanksgiving) bird.

Suggested temp 325 degrees.

8 – 12 lbs  3 1/2 – 4 hours
12 – 16lbs 4 – 4 1/2 hours
16 – 20 lbs 4 1/2 – 5 hours
20 – 24 lbs 5 – 6 hours
Subtract a half hour if it is unstuffed.



Another method of cooking a turkey is deep frying.  However, any type cooking directions that includes keeping a fire extinguisher nearby makes me shake my head.  I’ve heard it’s really good that way though and very moist.

For Big Green Egg lovers, here are directions to cooking a turkey on the BGE.

Of course, if you wait too long and you’re too tired, or you have to work, or you just don’t want to spend all day cooking or working on a turkey.. there’s always the supermarket pre-ordered, pre-cooked ready for pick up.



This is an updated repost from 2008.




Beef Tenderloin with a Mushroom Wine Reduction

February 22, 2013 - Written by Diana


Beef Tenderloin Over Creamed Kale

Beef Tenderloin Over Creamed Kale

My husband picked up a Dry Aged Beef Tenderloin from Bluescreek Farm Meats this week and I knew it was the beef we could use for a special dinner.  I was looking forward to trying out the tenderloin – which I’ve never cooked before. I love an opportunity to try out something new, but it can be a little scary trying out something new when you know if you mess up. That’s it, we’re eating it anyway because we spent the money already. This one though, this was a big winner.

I researched the best cooking methods, and there was a consensus that high heat quickly was the way to go.  I couldn’t use salt, because my husband is on a low sodium diet and meat carries its own sodium, so I wanted a way to keep it moist and flavorful but without added sodium.  I decided to try out my dehydrated mushroom powder on the tenderloin.  Last year I took mushrooms, dehydrated them, and then pulverized them to make it into a powder.  I think mushrooms in gravy compliment steak. I mixed up some garlic powder, paprika and the mushroom powder, and then smooshed it up with some softened butter.  My steak had been sitting out coming to room temperature, which helps it to become soft and pliable.  I took the butter paste and rubbed it all over the steak.

The biggest hurdle to this perfect meal – was my husband didn’t know exactly what time he would be leaving work since he had to work on a project later than usual.  His task was to call when he was leaving work.  In the mean time, I put my cast iron grill pan into the oven and let it heat up at 450 degrees.  As soon as he called, I put a few pats of butter in the pan and placed the tenderloin on top  and put it into the oven.  I set the timer for 17 minutes because I was going to check the internal temperature at that time to see what the internal temperature was. My creamed kale was ready in a glass dish so that it would be tossed into the oven while the beef was resting.  I sliced shallots,  mushrooms and a couple of green onions and set it aside.

When the timer dinged, I checked the beef tenderloin and it was 135 degrees.  I have seen suggestions for 120, but my husband won’t eat rare meat or medium rare, medium is the lowest he would be happy with.  I took the tenderloin out and stuck it on a separate plate with an aluminum tent over top.  Then I added the chopped mushrooms and shallots and a couple of tablespoons of butter into the pan the beef was cooked in, on top of the stove over a low temp.  The mushrooms and shallots were sauteed until soft, removed from pan and set aside.  A cup of wine was added to the pan and simmered until reduced by half.  When it was reduced by half, the mushrooms and shallots were added back in and sauteed for about a minute.

Place the Creamed Kale on the plate, slice the beef tenderloin on an angle, place on top, and spoon the mushroom wine reduction over top.  My goodness this is good stuff.  The beef was pink, soft, tender and delicious.  Wow, that was good.

Beef Tenderloin with a Mushroom Wine Reduction
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Beef Tenderloin cooked uncovered in a cast iron pan in high heat. Pan sauce with mushrooms, shallots and red wine reduction. Serve over creamed kale, creamed spinach, polenta or mashed potatoes.
Recipe type: Beef
Serves: 3 - 4
  • 2 to 3 lb beef tenderloin
  • butter
  • 2 tsp dehydrated mushroom powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • shallots
  • mushrooms
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
  2. Let Beef tenderloin sit out to come to room temperature.
  3. A couple of softened pats of butter should be mixed in a small bowl with mushroom powder, paprika and garlic powder.
  4. Smoosh and mix the butter with the mushroom powder and spices until it is all mixed in as well as it can be.
  5. Take cast iron pan and melt 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
  6. Rub the smooshed butter all over the tenderloin - massaging it well.
  7. Grind fresh black powder over top.
  8. Place the tenderloin in the cast iron pan and place into the oven uncovered.
  9. Set the timer for 15 minutes and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. If you like your beef rare - take it out when the internal temperature reaches 125.
  10. My husband likes it medium so, I took it out at 135.
  11. Remove the tenderloin to a plate and tent with foil.
  12. Slice mushrooms and shallots.
  13. Place the cast iron pan back on the stovetop and melt 2 tsp butter in the pan.
  14. Saute the mushrooms and shallots in the pan until soft and remove them from pan and set aside.
  15. Add 1 cup red wine, scrape the bits off the bottom and reduce the wine by half.
  16. Add the mushrooms and shallots to the wine and saute for a minute.
  17. Place the tenderloin over top of the creamed kale (or spinach, or polenta, or mashed potatoes) spoon the mushrooms, shallots and sauce over top.
  18. Grind a little more pepper over top.


Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese

December 5, 2012 - Written by Diana

Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and CheeseThis is my way of dealing with my husband’s new low sodium diet – by coming up with new ways to eat without using salt or high sodium ingredients.  Macaroni and cheese was out, because cheese has too much sodium unless it’s something a little on the bland side like lower sodium Swiss. So, I kicked it up with a Hot Sweet Pepper Relish and Kapow it was tasty without much sodium. This casserole had plenty of veggies, the creaminess of a good mac n cheese, and a nice kick to it. My husband had trouble backing away from the bowl even after eating two plates of it.

This is a much lower calorie version since we can’t use a lot of cheese, and it’s not as thick as a lot of other macaroni and cheese recipes.  I like to add a veggie to my mac and cheese too, so this one had sauteed cabbage and leeks.  I found a low sodium brown rice bread.  The bread was too dry and bland for a sandwich, but toasted, ground up and sauteed in a little butter and sprinkled on top of the macaroni and cheese, it added a nice texture and bit of crunch to the top.  Believe me, bread crumbs was a much better use of the bread than in a sandwich. The photo doesn’t show the bread crumbs, but the next time I did this – I used the bread crumbs and liked it better.  So that’s how I do it now.

Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a lower sodium, lower fat method of cooking macaroni and cheese, with a light cheese sauce and some cabbage and leeks.
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 4
  • Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ounces chevre
  • 4-6 ounces low sodium Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tbs zesty pepper relish
  • 1 tsp stoneground mustard
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • Casserole ingredients:
  • ½ lb macaroni prepared according to box directions
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • ¼ cabbage
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • Crumb Topping:
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs butter
  1. Cook ground lamb, pour off grease and let drain on paper towel.
  2. Cut the cabbage into 1 in X 1 in pieces.
  3. Dice red pepper.
  4. Dice the white part of the leek, removing the green stem and root.
  5. Saute the leek, red pepper and cabbage in olive oil, in a non-stick pan.
  6. When soft and translucent, remove to a bowl, wipe out pan and use for cheese sauce.
  7. In non-stick pan melt butter, add in the flour and combine.
  8. Add in milk and chevre whisking as it thickens.
  9. Chop swiss cheese and add to the sauce mixture, stir in zesty pepper relish, mustard, cumin and paprika.
  10. Whisk it all together.
  11. Add together the lamb/cabbage mixture, the drained pasta and the sauce and toss.
  12. Pour into a casserole dish.
  13. Melt butter and stir in bread crumbs.
  14. Sprinkle over top of the mac and cheese.
  15. Bake at 400 for 20 min or until crust is browned nicely.
I used Wishwell Farms Hot Sweet Pepper Relish in my mac and cheese, but you can take any relish and zip it up a little with some hot sauce. You can sub out a different vegetable for the cabbage. My husband and I like cooked cabbage but you can use any vegetable you like best, just make sure it's mostly cooked before adding it to the mac and cheese. I used stoneground no sodium mustard, but you can use another stoneground, or dijon mustard.



Chicken, Potatoes and Leeks

March 23, 2010 - Written by Diana

Chicken, Potatoes and Leeks          When I walk in the door, my track star son hits me up right away and asks what’s for dinner.  I once told him he had to give me 15 minutes before he asked, but when track season starts, he’s full on hungry. I’m not great at planning, I’m more of a fridge decider.  Hmm, I have chicken, oh and those leeks will go bad if I don’t use them soon.   I’ve got potatoes too, or should I do noodles.  No, did noodles yesterday, go with the taters.  That is how I decide a lot of my meals.  It’s a lets see what I can do with what I’ve got type thing.   So tonight was Chicken, Potatoes and Leeks, because I had it ready to use.  It was also delicious.  I cut the chicken on a bias, kind of in the same shape as the potato slices.  I sliced the leeks into long strips, because I knew they would melt down into leeky smooshiness, so I wanted them in bigger tastier pieces.  This turned into an easy fast one pan meal, with just a few ingredients, and not a lot of prep.



Heat oil, then drop in the chicken, shallots and leeks in a deep sauté pan.  Cook the chicken a couple of minutes on each side.  Layer potatoes in with chicken, leeks and shallots.  Add broth, herbs, salt and pepper and cover with lid until potatoes are soft. 

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice

September 22, 2009 - Written by Diana

My husband snarfed the leftover broccoli from the band competition and asked if we should take it.  I said sure, I can freeze some and use some to make dinner.  He did a little happy wiggle (he does that) and asked if we could have the chicken and broccoli casserole that we love to eat. I told him sure, especially since it’s an easy meal to prepare and really delicious.  There are never leftovers of this. 

I have a small kitchen, so when I pull out my rice cooker I make extra rice and put it in the freezer.  If you have frozen broccoli, and rice, you can defrost them in the fridge during the day to make this a quick and easy dinner to pull together.  This casserole is very customizable, use your favorite ingredients to make it taste the way you like it best.


Chicken, Broccoli & Rice b4 the sauce Ingredients:

1 full size chicken breast

1/2 onion

1 cup cooked rice ( I love a wild rice mixture)

1 cup broccoli

1 can of cream soup (use your favorite – cream of broccoli, cream of chicken, cream of celery, cream of mushroom, etc)

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, colby jack, etc)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray casserole dish with oil spray.  Throw some herbs and spices that you enjoy onto your chicken.  I used thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Slice onion, place onion and chicken onto heated oiled grill pan, or frying pan and cook through.  If your broccoli is fresh, blanch it and pat it dry. If the broccoli is frozen, rinse with warm water and pat dry.  Layer your rice on the bottom of the casserole dish, then place broccoli on top, spread out.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull apart into shredded chunks and layer in and around the broccoli. Whisk together the cream soup and milk in a separate bowl, then pour evenly over the top of the chicken and broccoli.  Top with shredded cheese in an even layer. Place into oven for 20 – 30 minutes until top is melted, and the soup is bubbly around the edges.

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Lamb & Garden Veggies

August 28, 2009 - Written by Diana

Right now we are noshing on the bounty of our garden.  It’s difficult at times to hold back and only put in some of what we have, and not overload the pot.  This has been our best year in the garden since we moved in 18 years ago.  I’m also trying to cut back on the amount of food I cook up for a meal.  There are only 3 of us her, but we do have a tendency to keep eating until the pot is empty.  Maybe by cutting down on what I cook, and adding more vegetables to eat, we’ll be eating a little healthier.  My Lamb & Veggie dinner was delicious with lots of tasty morsels and no leftovers.  The potatoes were baby potatoes – not new potatoes, real live baby potatoes, so cute.

Lamb & Garden Veggies Ingredients:

1/2 medium onion

1 garlic clove

1/2 lb of ground lamb

Handful of baby potatoes, or a couple of potatoes cut up to bite size

1 handful of Swiss chard leaves torn and stem chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fennel and leaves

1 patty pan squash – peeled and chopped



Cook up the ground lamb, garlic and onions, draining the grease, set aside. Boil the potatoes, and the Swiss chard stems until potatoes are soft, drain.  In a frying pan, heat up oil, Throw in chard, fennel and squash.  When chard is wilted, add the rest of the ingredients, pour in chicken broth and simmer until absorbed.  Salt, and pepper.

Sausage & Chard Crustless Quiche

August 24, 2009 - Written by Diana

Sausage & Chard Crustless Quiche I like quiches a lot, but more without the pie shell.  I’m that way with pies too, I like the insides the most. This was our breakfast this morning.  I used some herb garden chevre in it that we got from the cheese guy at the farmer’s market and some gouda (because it’s good-er that way). Quiches are fun because you can change it up a little – put in a different meat, or a different cheese, use some other veggies and it changes the taste for a whole new type of quiche. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Instead of butter, I used an olive oil spray and sprayed a glass pan.  Spray a frying pan with olive oil, tear up chard and sauté the chard and shallots together until wilted.  Take off the heat.  Throw in the crumbled turkey sausage and the chevre.  In a bowl, beat the eggs and the evaporated milk together.  Stir in the sausage chard mixture, add in the gouda, salt and pepper.  Pour into the glass pan and bake in the oven until the egg is cooked through. I think it took 20 – 30 minutes, but my pan was oval and not round, so the mixture spread out more. If you are using a glass pie pan, you might need to cook it a little longer.

Shredded Vegetable Bake

July 28, 2009 - Written by Diana

I tried out this recipe from the Vegan Cook’s Bible by Pat Crocker.  We’re not Vegans, but we do enjoy all different types of dishes.  While my kids and husband are good about trying all different types of meals unlike their friends, they are really great about eating meatless meals.  The Shredded Vegetable Bake was delicious and used vegetables from my garden.  We served it with a tomato, cucumber salad on the side. 

Shredded Vegetable Bake Ingredients:


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly oil 2 9X13 in baking pans. 

In large bowl toss together potatoes, onion, carrot, rutabaga(turnip), bread crumbs, nuts, garlic and oil.  Divide in two and spread in a thin layer on prepared pans.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 min.

Stir and spread in a thin layer again and grind more salt and pepper over vegetables and bake for another 20 minutes.

Divide chickpeas in half and stir into vegetables in pans spreading out.  bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are crisp and lightly browned.


We’ll definitely have this again sometimes. It was delicious.

Ground Lamb & Cabbage Casserole

July 18, 2009 - Written by Diana

Plenty of cabbage growing in the garden this year, so I’m trying it out in lots of different ways.  Ground Lamb from the Farmer’s Market, cabbage from the garden, wild rice from the freezer, and this dinner makes itself in very little time.  Top it off with a little sour cream for a little extra flavor, and the family loved it. 

Ground Lamb & Cabbage Casserole Ingredients:


Sauté the onions and the ground lamb – drain the grease away.  There was a little grease in my ground lamb, but not a lot. Spray a little oil around the bottom of a deep dish baker’s pan or casserole dish.  Dice the cabbage up and line the bottom of the pan. Mix the ground lamb, onions and the wild rice together, along with the salt, pepper, and a generous sprinkling of caraway seeds. Layer on top of the cabbage.  Pour the wine and the stock over the top of the lamb mixture, and use a spoon to slightly stir, trying not to disturb the cabbage too much.  Place in the oven at 300 for 20 minutes – half hour.  You could do it longer if you like the cabbage really wilty, but I like a little crunch so we don’t heat it up too long.  Just before serving, top with dollops of sour cream.  MMMM – good stuff.