Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pasta Salad

1 ~ 16 oz. package pasta (suitable for pasta salad)
2 ~ 10oz. jars Trader Joe's Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Tapenade
1 ~ 6 oz. Trader Joe's Crumbled Feta

Cook pasta according to directions.
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
Toss in Tapenade and Feta gently.
Chill in the refrigerator and serve.

***I got this at our local Tader Joe's and it is so yummy. Next time I make it I think I will add some chicken and veggies to make a cold summer salad meal.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas

These are my favorite homemade enchiladas...
They seem to dirty every pan in the kitchen and aren't a quick dinner, but yummmm...
(From Light & Tasty)

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup water
5 tsp. minced garlic, divided
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 tsp. canola oil
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each ground cumin and dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup fat-free milk
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided

In a saucepan, bring the chicken, water and 2 teaspoons garlic to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken; reserve liquid. Cut chicken into thin strips. Set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add remaining garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add chilies and seasonings; saute 1 minute. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in 1 cup chicken broth, milk and reserved liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Combine 1 cup of cheese sauce and chicken; set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining chicken broth. Dip tortillas, one at a time, in hot broth just until limp, about 4 seconds on each side. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon green onion. Roll up and place seam side down in a 13x9 inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Pour remaining sauce evenly over tortillas. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with remaining green onions. Yield: 6 servings.
Two enchiladas... 418 calories, 15g fat, 6g fiber

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Red Velvet Cake...just in time for Valentines Day!

I gave this recipe to my friend Meghan who is the dessert cook extraordinaire, she made this as cupcakes and said they were amazing! I am planning to try and bake one tomorrow in honor of the day of love!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes
Makes: a 2-layer cake


For cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese (room temperature) [Meghan said they used ff cream cheese and it did not work]
1 pound butter (4 sticks), softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Garnish (optional):
chopped pecans

Heat oven to 325
Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Combine remaining cake ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add dry ingredients - slowly! - to bowl, until fully combined.
Pour into 2 cake pans (9-inch round) greased with vegetable oil. Bake in oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until cake pulls away from pan. Cool for exactly 20 minutes.
Make frosting, meanwhile: Combine cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer set on medium. Slowly add confectioners' sugar until frosting is at desired sweetness and smoothness. Add vanilla.
Frost top of one layer. Cover with second layer; frost its top, then work your way down sides.
Garnish with chopped pecans. Serve.

*I belive this is off the charts for Weight Watchers points...but it could be an exchange for the chocolate you would probably eat. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Low Fat Bran Muffins

These are yummy healthy muffins (2 points for the Weight Watchers)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups POST 100% Bran Cereal
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in large bowl. Mix cereal, milk and sugar in another bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg and applesauce. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Spoon batter into muffin pan which has been sprayed with no stick cooking spray, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Egg Substitute

I found this idea in the Light and Tasty magazine...
To make your own egg substitute:
In a small bowl, combine 3 egg whites, 2 tablespoons of instant nonfat dry milk powder, 1 teaspoon of water and 2 to 3 drops of yellow food coloring (this is optional). Mix well. One serving (1/2 cup) is equivalent to 2 eggs.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Thyme in the Kitchen goes low brow - Dirt Cake

We have a restaurant here in Boise called Donnie Macs that features "Trailer Park Cuisine". We had an enjoyable "Friday Night Fun Night" a couple weeks ago. They have an old car hull in the middle of the restaurant with a table inside and we were lucky enough to get seated in the car. The kids loved it bouncing on the single wide seat w/o car seats or seat belts and hanging out the windows. By now you are wondering what my restaurant review has to do with Thyme in the Kitchen. Well, I thought I could add some low brow recipes to mix it up. Hopefully, I won't be banished from the blog but I suppose I might be chastised by Queen Dana. Sally Ryan gets credit for being my introduction to this Epicurean delight.

Flowerpot Cake (aka Dirt Cake)
Serves 10 to 12

1 medium-size flower pot (about 8 inches in diameter works well, or use two small pots about 6 inches in diameter)
1 garden trowel
3 large gummy or plastic worms
plastic flowers
1 16-ounce bag Oreo cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 4-serving-size boxes instant chocolate-fudge flavor pudding
3 cups milk1 12-ounce tub whipped topping, thawed

Crush cookies until they resemble potting soil, set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Set aside. Combine pudding mix and milk until well blended, then fold in the whipped topping. Gently fold cream cheese and pudding mixtures together.
To put the cake together, layer 1/3 of the cookie crumbs followed by 1/2 the pudding mixture, 1/3/ of the crumbs, the rest of the pudding mixture and topping with the remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate 10 to 12 hours. About 1/2 hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and decorate with flowers. Serve by digging out portions with the trowel.

I have a couple more up my sleeve so stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This is another favorite of ours. It is easy to make, tastes great, and quests think you have outdone yourself. I have stolen the recipe from the Scharffenberger website and it appears they have stolen it from David Lebovitz. I was reading online about this cake. David Lebovitz wanted to name the cake in his book, Room for Dessert, the Chocolate Idiot Cake but he couldn't convince the editor. He argued that, "Any idiot could make it and it takes an idiot to mess it up."

It looks like there are a number of good recipes from the Scharffenberger website but this has been our tried and true. Obviously, the recipe calls for Scharffenberger chocolate which is a bit on the expensive side. I think they carry it at Trader Joes (we have yet to get one in Boise despite hundreds to thousands of Boisians lobbying for one). As I recall it was like 14$ worth of chocolate to make a cake. I have tried it with other chocolate and you can tell the difference. So, if you are feeling rich and decadent this is the recipe for you. A little bit goes a long way as it is very, well....... rich and decadent.

Recipe by David Lebovitz (from Room For Dessert)

9.75 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate
7 ounces (two sticks minus 1 tablespoon) butter
5 eggs
1 cup sugar

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, and line the inside with a round of parchment paper.
Set a large bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Cut the butter and chocolate into small pieces and put them in the bowl to melt, whisking occasionally.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar in another bowl. Thoroughly whisk in the melted chocolate.
Pour the chocolate batter into the cake pan. Place it in a larger baking pan, and pour in warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cake appears to have set and when you touch the center, your finger comes away clean.
Remove the cake from the water bath and cool completely before serving, plain or with gently whipped cream. This cake can be refrigerated for several days.
Serves 12 -14.

P.S. You can also make this for a topping or a bottoming. I find it is extra work and I just do a dusting of powdered sugar on the top which makes a nice contrast. I have done the Creme Anglaise and it is good.

Crème Anglaise
1/2 vanilla bean, split
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt

makes 2 1/2 cups

1. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk in a heavy saucepan. Add the vanilla bean pod and the sugar and heat until the milk is warm but not simmering.
2. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath--a bowl partially filled with ice, with another bowl nested inside it. Lightly whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl, then gradually add some of the warmed milk, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
3. Cook over low to moderate heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, always scraping the bottom, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
4. Immediately strain the cooked custard through a fine sieve into the bowl set in the ice. Stir the creme anglaise with a clean spatula to cool it down. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Crème anglaise will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Easy Hearty Corn Chowder

This is an easy way to make great corn chowder, pair this with hot crusty bread for a winter warm up. I invented this recipe and fail to measure most things I invent, so make adjustments as you feel necessary...

1 box Imagine Creamy Sweet Corn soup (I get it at Trader Joe's)
1-1 1/2 lb bacon (depending on how bacon-y you want the soup)
1/2 med yellow onion
6-8 small yellow potatoes
1/2 bag frozen sweet corn
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cube potatoes and put in a glass dish, slice butter over the top and season with salt and pepper. Cover and microwave 7 minutes on high.

Cut bacon into small pieces and chop onion, saute in stock pot while potatoes are cooking. Add potatoes and corn, to bacon and onions, saute until corn thaws, onions are translucent and bacon is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add creamy corn soup and let simmer 15 minutes.

Serve with hot loaf of crusty bread.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hey Dana,
I think I'm in!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

These are pretty good peanut butter cookies and the kiss inside adds a little surprise!

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 block (1/2 cup) butter
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 or 3 dozen Hershey’s Kisses (or your chocolate of choice, e.g. Droste pastilles)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream sugars, butter, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add dry mix in little by little to sugar-peanut butter mix. Shape batter into little balls, burying a kiss in each (the batter will be soft and greasy). Roll in white sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, or until done. Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to wire racks

Chicken Parmesan

This chicken is so good... it is from Weight Watchers. We used spaghetti sauce once instead of tomato sauce which added points, but gives it more flavor. We also use the chicken tenders from Costco which are much smaller than the whole breast. You also don't have to pound the tenders as they are already pretty thin. (for those of you who want to know the points it is 5 points for 1 4-oz. piece or 3 of the tenders)

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly pounded (four 4-oz pieces)
2 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  • Dip chicken in egg whites, and turn to coat. Then mix bread crumbs with Italian seasoning and dip chicken in bread-crumb mixture; turn to coat thoroughly.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet; add chicken. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink in center, about 4 minutes per side; place on paper towels to drain.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of sauce into prepared baking dish; place chicken in dish and pour remaining sauce evenly over chicken. Sprinkle with cheeses and bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


In my first year of college I lived with my mothers college roommate and her husband. One of the things I loved about living there was Marion's Granola. I have since been making my own from her recipe. It is healthy (better then Capt. crunch) and tasty. My sister has requested I post it

Mix together in a large bowl

4 cups oatmeal
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup bran
1 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cups walnuts chopped
1 1/2 cups almonds chopped

Mix in

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup raisins
1 cup oil (vegetable not motor) my first batch didn't turn out quite right
1 cup honey

You can add other things if you like but this is what I usually have in our Granola. It is handy if you have a store with the ingredients in bulk. I shop Winco and they do have everything in bulk or just about.

Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for one hour and then turn granola put back in and cook until brown. It seems to be another 45 mins and check it. My wife likes the chunks so I let it cool before I take it off the pan. Don't let it cool too long or it is hard to get it off. I put it in a large zip lock bag. this recipe makes 2 3/4 full bags.

This granola is of course good as morning or anytime cereal. We also like it in yogurt, on ice cream, or as a snack by the handful. Warning in our household this lasts for at most 1 week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lemon Bars

These are our favorite Lemon Bars ever! They are Susan Branch's from her Sweets to the Sweet cookbook...

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. unbleached flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter an 8" square pan. With an electric mixer, cream all ingredients till soft and smooth. (Or, in a food processor, till it forms a ball.) Press dough evenly into pan and bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping.

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
powdered sugar

With electric mixer, beat eggs well and gradually add sugar, until mixture is thick. Gradually add remaining ingredients, except powdered sugar. Continue beating till crust comes out of the oven. Pour lemon mixture over hot crust, return it to oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes till top is golden. Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edge. Cool 20 minutes; cut into squares, remove from pan and sift over powdered sugar. This recipe is easily doubled--use juice of 2 lemons, but zest from only 1. Second baking time should be increased 3-5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kitchen Tips .....

The Tips are a good idea, too. The hard-boiled egg & grater works. I use a potato masher with my hard-boiled eggs & that works great, too.

Here's another: if you don't want to use flour for thickening in stews & soups, add 1 or 2 tbsp. of tapioca. Works good and it's never lumpy.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

We're a small household here (2) and this makes only about 8 small pancakes. But they're quick & no leftovers. We have it alot.

(Picture & recipe from "Light & Tasty" magazine")

In a small bowl, whisk together:
1 egg
1/2 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
1/2 cup fat-fat milk
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour yogurt mixture into the well; stir until moistened. Gently fold in 1 cup blueberries.

Pour batter onto a hot griddle coated with nonstick cooking spray. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancake; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with more blueberries & lemon yogurt to put on top.

Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwiches


2 C chicken (or turkey), chopped
½ C celery, chopped
½ C cashews, chopped
½ C mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dill weed
salt (to taste)
grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
garlic salt (to taste)

(Spread between croissant halves not too far ahead of time so that the sandwiches aren’t soggy.)

Friday, January 5, 2007

Kitchen Tidbits...

I thought we could also share kitchen tips here as well.
So, my first tip that I learned this week is from Marilyn D. We were making egg salad sandwiches and she grated the boiled eggs. Yes, she *grated* them! It worked like a dream and then it was all uniform and easy to work with...

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Thanks Andrea for this recipe! Delicious! I am still in the mood for holiday baking and this fills the spot...
Originally from Cottage Living Magazine

1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/4 plus 1/8 t salt
1 1/3 c sugar
1/3 c canola oil
1 c plus 1 1/2 T canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour loaf pan. Sift together first 5 ingredients; stir in salt. Combine sugar, oil, pumpkin in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until smooth. Add egg, beating until well blended. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating at low speed until blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 5 minutes or until loaf is golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan.