Friday, October 16, 2009

Chicken With Grapes

This was my dinner from Thursday night.  It is a recipe that my wife got off the Food Network website.  I believe it is from Rachael Ray.

The original recipe calls for it to be served with couscous and roasted asparagus.  She sometimes serves it with the roasted asparagus, but she always ends up serving it over rice.

Below are the ingredients and instructions.

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grainy, stone ground mustard
  • 1-1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Place flour in a shallow dish.  Season chicken with salt & pepper and dredge in flour and place in the pan.  Cook the chicken 7-8 minutes until browned.  Add wine and scrape of browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles for 30 minutes.  Add stick to skillet.  Combine cream and mustard and add to the stock.  Add grapes to the pan and turn chicken with grapes to coat and combine with the sauce.  Simmer 5 minutes over low heat.  Serve over rice.

A glass or two of the wine used to cook this dish tops it off perfectly.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Red Meat & Prostate Cancer

red meat in our kitchen (for the first time?) ...Image by sean dreilinger via Flickr
A few weeks ago, I made the decision to try to eat better and lose some weight.  I am eating a lot more fruit and salads.  For breakfast, I usually have a few pieces of fruit.  Lunch consists of a salad and a can of tuna.  My snacks have gone from candy bars, chips, and cheez its to granola bars or nuts.  I have even cut way back on my alcohol consumption, because I found that if I had more than a couple glasses of wine I would find myself chowing down on junk food.  So far, it has been working as I have dropped about 10 pounds in three weeks.

Another thing that I have to be concerned about is prostate health.  I am currently taking Avodart for an enlarged prostate.  My father has also suffered from an enlarged prostate, elevated PSA levels, but thankfully no prostate cancer

So it was a little disconcerting to see the news the other day that the American Journal of Epidemiology has released a study linking consumption of red meat and processed meat products with an increased risk of prostate cancer in men. They also found an increased risk when the meat was prepared on a grill. Red meat has also been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer. 

Now, I like a good steak as much as the next guy, but in light of this study, I should really should cut back on the amount of red meat I eat.  Currently, I probably have red meat at least twice a week.  I don't think I could ever completely give it up, but I should cut back to no more than once a week.  Another new dietary goal to shoot for. 
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Eclipse Breeze Exotic Berry & Exotic Mint Chewing Gum

I have a pretty cool job.  Each of the last two years, I have been able to attend the All Candy Expo in Chicago.  There, I get to see all sorts of different types of candies and snacks.  In my dealings with different manufacturers, I get to try all sorts of new products.

One of the more recent items that I have gotten to try is a new chewing gum from the Wrigley Company.  They have introduced two new varieties of their Eclipse chewing gum; Eclipse Breeze Exotic Berry and Exotic Mint.  The thing that makes these gums different from other gums that I have tried is that they contain the spice Cardamom.

Cardamom is used as both an spice and flavoring in cooking and as an herbal medicine.  As an ingredient it is used primarily as a spice in Indian food.  In medicine, it is used to treat infections in the mouth and gums and as a breath freshener.

The cardamom gives these two gums a unique flavor that has a spicy and herbal taste.  The flavor lasts a long time and leaves you with a fresh taste in your mouth.  It is probably safe to say that the cardamom flavor isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed it.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Prosciutto Wrapped Breadsticks

My family watches the Food Network on a regular basis.  My 15 year old autistic son is particularly fond of the competition shows like Iron Chef America.  My wife is constantly looking for new recipes to try out on me to change up our daily meals.

One of the recipes that she had found was a Prosciutto-Wrapped Breadsticks from Giada de Laurentiis. The dish is really intended to be an appetizer.  My wife would occasionally make it whenever she would fix a spaghetti dinner for us.  Every time she did, I would comment that  I could have it as a meal with a salad.  Last week she made them with a ceasar salad for dinner. 

The breadsticks are fairly easy to make.  The only ingredients needed are a can of refrigerated breadstick dough, grated parmesan cheese, and sliced prosciutto.  You take each strip of dough and roll it in the parmesan cheese. Then you twist the dough into sticks.  Wrap each breadstick in a slice of prosciutto and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or golden brown.  They are simply delicious.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bertolli Garlic Shrimp, Penne & Cherry Tomatoes

Here is another dinner for two that I recently found in the frozen food section of the grocery store.  Like I said previously, the quality and variety of frozen food that is available these days continues to improve.  It is so quick and easy to get a high quality meal to the table.

Bertolli Mediteranean Style Garlic Shrimp, Penne & Cherry Tomatoes is one such meal.  The dish consists of penne pasta, shrimp, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes in a light and tasty garlic sauce.  All it takes is about 8 minutes in a skillet and dinner is ready to be served.  I have tried other garlic shrimp dishes, but this one is my new favorite.  I really enjoy the tang that the cherry tomatoes add to it.

Bertolli has developed several different frozen entrees.  Some are skillet meals like the garlic shrimp, and others are oven baked dinner kits.  You can go to their website to see the wide variety they have available.  While there, you can print a coupon good for $1 off any Bertolli frozen meal.
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