If you are frustrated trying to decide what to have for dinner every night let me help. On Friday, a shopping list for the next weeks meals is posted. Visit http://www.CarriesCooking.com/ each day and your dinner frustrations will be over. I hope you join me for this free, time and money saving guide.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Maple-Glazed Barbecue Chicken

1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat grill.
  2. In small bowl, stir together all glaze ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Brush chicken generously with glaze.
  5. Place chicken on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals; cover grill.
  6. Cook 8 to 12 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once and brushing occasionally with glaze.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Salsa Chicken Picante with Lime

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 lime, thinly sliced
cilantro sprigs


  1. Pound chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. In shallow dish, stir together salsa, mustard and lime juice.
  3. Add chicken; turn to coat.
  4. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  5. Remove chicken from salsa mixture; reserve mixture.
  6. Add chicken to skillet; cook 4 minutes or until browned, turning once.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  8. Add reserved salsa mixture; simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and marinade is reduced to a glaze, turning once.
  9. Serve chicken garnished with a dollop of yogurt, a slice of lime and a sprig of cilantro.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roast Chicken with Herbed Butter

5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon rosemary, dried and crushed
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 great big, roasting chicken, rinsed, patted dry
3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
14 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup chicken broth (canned or otherwise)


  1. Mix butter, chopped herbs, fennel seeds and salt and pepper in bowl, blending well.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Starting at the neck end, slide fingers under skin of breast and upper part of legs, loosening the chicken's skin.
  4. Spread 3 tablespoons of the herb butter under the skin of the breast and of the upper leg meat.
  5. Place chicken on rack in large roasting pan.
  6. Put the onions around your buttered bird.
  7. Season liberally with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  8. Roast chicken 30 minutes.
  9. Add garlic cloves to pan and brush the chicken with some of the reserved herb butter.
  10. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  11. If the bird is getting too browned, flip the bird, which also helps the juices run to the breasts, keeping it juicer.
  12. When the chicken is finished, remove from the pan and set on a plate.
  13. Set the roasting pan over medium-high heat and add broth and wine; bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits.
  14. Remove any visible fat with a spoon.
  15. Pour juices into medium saucepan.
  16. Stir reserved 1 tablespoon herb butter and flour in small bowl to smooth paste.
  17. Bring pan juices to a simmer; and whisk in the butter-flour paste.
  18. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened, whisking almost constantly, about 4 minutes.
  19. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper: Serve with sauce.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stuffed Chicken Caprese

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 (1 oz) slices mozzarella cheese
8 large basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup torn fresh basil


  1. With small knife, make horizontal slit in chicken breast to create pockets, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  2. Sandwich 1 cheese slice between 2 basil leaves; stuff into pockets.
  3. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.
  5. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  6. Add oil; heat until hot.
  7. Cook chicken 5 minutes; turn.
  8. Scatter tomatoes over chicken; sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  10. Cook, covered, 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
  11. Sprinkle chicken with torn basil.
  12. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oaty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulates sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
3/4 cup each chocolate chunks and plain M&M's
1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and sugars in a bowl with mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt until blended.
  4. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour to blend.
  5. Stir in oats, 1/2 cup each of chocolate and M&M's, and 3/4 cup of pecans.
  6. Drop heaping Tablespoons (or use a small cookie dough scooper) 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Stick the remaining chocolate chunks, M&M's and pecans into tops of cookies.
  8. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meatball Soup

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
3 teaspoons oregano, divided
salt and pepper to taste
3 cans beef broth
1 (28 oz) can Italian-style tomatoes
6 carrots, diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 small onions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons thyme


  1. Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, half the grated Romano cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl and blend well.
  2. Wet your hands and shape mixture into little meatballs, about an inch in diameter.
  3. In a dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat.
  4. Cook onions, garlic and carrots till soft, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add beef broth to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat.
  6. Drop in the meatballs and cook 5 minutes.
  7. Add canned tomatoes, thyme and remaining 2 teaspoons oregano.
  8. Reduce heat to medium.
  9. Simmer soup uncovered until meatballs and vegetables are cooked through and tender, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon, about 40 minutes.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls.
  12. Sprinkle with remaining Romano cheese and serve.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Citrus-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pound pork tenderloin


  1. In shallow glass baking dish, stir together all ingredients except pork.
  2. Add pork tenderloin; turn to coat all sides.
  3. Cover; refrigerate 1 to 3 hours to marinate, turning occasionally.
  4. Heat grill.
  5. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade.
  6. Place pork on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals; cover grill.
  7. Grill 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center, turning once.
  8. Remove pork from grill.
  9. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Slow Cooked Chicken and Rice

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 packages (6 ounces each) wild and long grain converted rice mix with seasoning packets
2 1/2 cups water
1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed broccoli cheese soup
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1/2 pound processed cheese spread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes


  1. In a 4 quart or larger slow cooker, combine all the ingredients; mix well.
  2. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 pound Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, like Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed
1 can (10 oz) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
8 slices Bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled


  1. Combine ingredients in microwaveable bowl.
  2. Microwave on High 5 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 minutes.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips and cut-up vegetables.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


1 pound boneless skinless chicken
1 onion, thinly slice
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon oil
10 flour tortillas (7-inch)


  1. Slice chicken into 1/2-inch strips.
  2. Place the chicken in the slow cooker.
  3. Top with the onions and peppers.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, lime juice, and oil.
  5. Pour over the onions and peppers.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, serve a few pieces of chicken and vegetables on a flour tortilla.
  8. Wrap the tortilla around the contents and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Choosing Your Apples

Is it hard to keep track of all the different apples. I found this great list with a few of my favorites.

breaburn - crisp, juicy with spicy-sweet flavor
empire - juicy, sweet-tart, all purpose apple
gala - super-sweet, crisp, also great for snacking (my favorite for a snack as I have a sweet tooth. I also like to use it to make apple sauce, it is so naturally sweet, no need for sugar.)
golden delicious - yellow, multipurpose; sweet, mellow flavor
granny smith - green, very tart, great for cooking or snacking
mcintosh - tangy and tender, great for cooking or snacking