Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lobster Bisque

Luke and I went to Chicago this past April for a long weekend.  We had a great time and ate at some really great restaurants.  One night for dinner, instead of ordering an appetizer we both had a bowl of soup.  The soup of the day was lobster bisque.  This is something I had never had before and I absolutely loved it.  I decided, this can't be that hard to make, so I looked around to see if I could find a recipe.  The below is what I found.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup cooking sherry

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 can (6 ounce) tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 5 cups milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lobster claw, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • Directions

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the chopped onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine and sherry. Cook and stir until the liquid has reduced by half. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring to ensure there are no lumps. Once a thick paste has formed, stir in the tomato paste, then pour in the chicken broth and milk. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper, seafood seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and green onion.
    2. Cook and stir over medium heat until the bisque begins to simmer, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lobster meat, and reheat before serving.

    Nutritional Information

    Amount Per Serving  Calories: 281 | Total Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 42mg

    I love making soups so this was not difficult to do at all and it tastes great.  I added some chopped up mushrooms to cook with the onions, because I love mushrooms and onions together.  I also didn't have any cooking sherry, so I used 2 different kinds of wine, a dry white, like the recipe calls for, and white zinfandel in place of the sherry. This makes a decent batch and is delicious each time you have it.  It's really great served with grilled cheese as well.  ENJOY!

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011


    Since I like to cook and bake so much, I usually offer to bring treats to work if it's one of my co-workers birthdays.  Yesterday was such a day.  My co-worker, Jeff, asked if I could make baklava.  I had no idea what this was when he first mentioned it, but doing some reseach, I found this recipe.  It is really simple and incredibly delicious!  I recommend melting the butter and brushing it on the phyllo dough.  This will save you time and a mess.

    Servings Per Recipe: 18

    1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough (thawed)
    1 pound chopped nuts
    1 cup butter (melted) 
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup water
    1 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup honey

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
    2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
    3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
    4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
    5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

    Nutritional Information
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 393
    Total Fat: 25.9g
    Cholesterol: 27mg
    Sodium: 196mg
    Total Carbs: 37.5g
        Dietary Fiber: 3.1g
    Protein: 6.1g

    Everyone I work with said this was the best baklava they had ever tasted.  I couldn't believe how easy it was to make.  This is one of those recipes where it looks like you spent all day in the kitchen making it, but you really didn't! :)  ENJOY!

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry

    My husband loves stir-fry and I'm sure he wishes I would make it more often.  I usually don't have all the vegetables I want to put it on hand so when I do, we both really get a craving for it.  This is just something I threw together really quick based on ingredients I already had.  No measurements, just tossed together.  I'll try to put some measurements around this so it can be recreated by one of you.

    4 chicken breasts, cut into bit-sized pieces
    1/2 c. reduced sodium soy sauce
    2-3 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
    black pepper
    garlic powder
    minced onion
    minced garlic]
    4 Tbsp honey
    1/2 bag frozen broccoli florets
    1/4 bag frozen mixed vegetbales
    2 C minute rice

    Mix together soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, pepper, garlic powder, onion, garlic and honey.  Add the chicken, toss so chicken is coated evenly.  Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet and add chicken; cook through.  Add frozen vegetables, continue to toss until vegetable are cooked.  Cook minute rice according to package directions.  Toss with chicken and vegetables or serve stir fry over the rice.

    This is a great one dish meal.  You get everything you need, protein, vegetables and a starch.  This has really good flavor and I am looking forward to making it again.  ENJOY!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Throw-Together Macaroni Casserole

    This is a quick and easy meal to throw together for your family on busy nights.  To me, this is a yummier version of Cheesy Hamburger Helper.  I got this from a friend of mine, who's mom used to make it when she was growing up.

    2 boxes Macaroni and Cheese
    1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
    1 can cream of chicken

    Prepare macaroni and cheese according to box directions.  Mix together the hamburger, macaroni and cream of chicken.  Heat through and serve.

    This meal is so easy to prepare and I'm sure everyone in your family will love it.  I served this with some fresh green beans.  It makes great leftovers for your lunch the next day as well.

    I continue to participate in the Brown Bag Challenge that is being sponsored by the Healthy Eats Blog at  It has been a great way to make sure I always bring something from home to eat for lunch.  I am hoping to make this habit and continue brown bagging my lunch even after the month of September is over.  This is a great way to save money and control your calorie intake and portion control.  ENJOY!

    PS I finished my first 5K on 9/10/11.  I finished in 47 minutes.  I walked most of it but end up running about the last half mile.  My goal for next year is to run the entire thing.  Time to get back in the gym and continue with my healthy makeover!

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Simple Quiche

    I have joined a challenge for the month of September called the Brown Bag Challenge.  This challenge is being sponsered by the blog Healthy Eats at  The purpose of the challenge is to encourage everyone to bring their lunch to work Monday-Friday.  This challenge is encouraging everyone to eat healthier and save money, by avoiding eating out at lunch. 

    Everytime I make supper for Luke and I, always try to make sure there will be at least 2 servings of leftovers for lunch the next day; one for me and one for him.  I was on the phone with my friend Caitlin last night and she was in the process of making a quiche similar to this recipe for supper and subsequent lunches this week.  This reminded of a recipe I have and like, but haven't made in awhile. 

    This is a great recipe to use ingredients you have on hand.

    4 slices turkey bacon, cooked and diced
    1 can chicken, shredded
    1 c. mushrooms, canned or fresh
    1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
    1/2 c. onion, chopped
    4 eggs
    2 c. milk
    1/2 c. biscuit baking mix
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper

    Sprinkle bacon, chicken, mushrooms and onions in the bottom of a greased 9" pie plate.  In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk together; add cheese and remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.  Pour into pie plate over bacon mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until center tests done.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Makes 8-10 servings.

    Nutrition Facts
      9 Servings
    Amount Per Serving
      Total Fat9.9 g
         Saturated Fat4.5 g
         Polyunsaturated Fat1.3 g
         Monounsaturated Fat3.5 g
      Cholesterol114.6 mg
      Sodium556.7 mg
      Potassium197.1 mg
      Total Carbohydrate9.1 g
         Dietary Fiber0.7 g
         Sugars3.3 g
    Protein13.4 g

    This is a great recipe and the leftovers will be great for breakfast or lunch.  It's also healthy for you as well.  Enjoy!