Grilled Chicken with Crazy Rice – Part 1

29 04 2009


Um, this dish is good.  REALLY good.  Trust me.  I would never lie to you.

I recently came across another new blog called My Italian Grandmother.  Here’s how the blogger, Michele, describes her content:

“This blog is a tribute to my Italian Grandmother Emilia who everyone called Nanny…whether she was theirs or not. Nanny passed away at the age of 98. This is my attempt to keep her memory alive, through stories, recipes and photos. She certainly passed along her love of cooking to me and I will share recipes and stories (inspired by her and others) with you here.”

I love the concept and I’ve bookmarked several recipes from her blog.   The other night I had the opportunity to try one out. As the weather gets warmer (or flipping hot if you are not used to SC heat), I am drawn to dishes with lots of fresh veggies.  This one really caught my eye and it turned out absolutely delicious.

In Part 1 I’ll tell you how to make this Crazy Rice which you could pair with many other things.  The way that WH and I eat, it could be it’s own meal.

imgp2840Michele’s original recipe calls for brown rice, but I used white as it’s what we typically have on hand.  Michele’s recipe is also made to serve probably 4 to 6, but I halved everything.  The basic gist is chopping up lots of fresh veggies, including Campari tomatoes (which are SO GOOD.  First time eating this specific tomato and it’s the best I’ve ever had!).  Anyway, you chop them up and saute/cook veggies then add wine and reduce.  Stir in the cooked rice and you’re ready to go!

Crazy Rice

[only slightly adapted from My Italian Grandmother]

Serves 2


  • 1 boil-n-bag rice (or whatever rice)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 to 5 small Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/8 c. diced red bell pepper
  • splash of dry white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 c. parsley herb blend (from a tube)


  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in skillet and saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil.
  3. Once soft, add zucchini and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomoatoes and cook down, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add wine and reduce.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  7. Add cooked rice and toss with vegetable mixture.
  8. Note: If you use a fair amount of oil in the beginning and/or wine and/or tomatoes, it should not be dry.  If it is, Michele suggests adding more oil.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll share my version of the chicken recipe!


Important Updates

28 04 2009

I’ve had a good run of posts for the past several days and I’m happy about that!  There are a couple more to come this week, but as you will notice, there have been no Tour posts.

I’m not abandoning it at all, but the past month has been very busy for WH and I.  As I mentioned, we have bought a house and it’s moving a long fine, but it does take up some time.  We are planning/shopping for some renovation projects, shopping for a new washer/dryer, preparing for home repairs and keeping the termites from eating our house!

As if our life isn’t hectic enough, we adopted a dog!  We’re really excited about this, but of course this means a lot more of my time and attention being devoted to something other than my blog (the horror!).  As you know, we have a cat and we want to make sure they are introduced properly and get comfortable with each other and that the dog feels safe and secure while both WH and I go to work each day.  We’ll be picking up our new pet later this afternoon and I can’t wait to post pictures!

On a side note, I am having to take a break from Barefoot Bloggers recipes as well.  I’ll try to pick up in May again as well (if they don’t kick me out!).

I hope to pick up the Tour again in May, but Closing on the House may get in the way of that.  I’ll keep you informed.  In the meantime, I’ll continue with my normal recipe posts as I have time.  Thanks for following!

Roasted Potato Wedges

27 04 2009

The final part of my multi-dish meal: potato wedges.  This one comes from Pioneer WomanRoasted Potato Wedges is probably the only recipe of PW’s I’ve made because she does things that I think are kind of complicated.  I’m just not up to par with her yet!  But this one I could totally make.


Clearly from the pictures, I cooked mine a little too long.  So go look at PW’s pictures instead because they are beautiful.


Since you can basically make these babies anyway you’d like, I sprinkled with minced garlic and paprika then topped with chopped rosemary when done.



I loved them even with their little over-cooked edges.  Delish.


Garlic Green Beans – Tour Recipe BONUS!

26 04 2009

Another dish from Loves To Eat, our very first Tour Stop!

I love garlic and I love green beans  so the moment I saw these green beans posted on Karen’s blog I knew I had to try them.  I finally got a chance the other night when I made my fabulous multi-dish meal!

A very simple recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, just trim green beans and boil with salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in pan and saute slices of garlic for 30 seconds.


Add green beans and saute another 3 minutes. Serve warm.


Italian Minute Steaks

25 04 2009

A few nights ago I made dinner and juggled 3 different (and new) dishes.  It was a proud moment.  Exciting too, since I’m getting to cook a lot of things I’ve been saving from other blogs.  Dinner included recipes from Just the Two of Us (JT2OU), Loves To Eat and Pioneer Woman.


It was fabulous.

JT2OU offered the main dish for dinner: Italian Minute steaks.  I’ve never cooked with beef cube steaks before, but I loved how quick they cooked up.  The toppings were very flavorful as well.    It’s so easy and was really low-maintenance once you put everything in the skillet so it made my multi-tasking simpler.


Just season the beef cube steaks and cook, turning once.


Top with pasta sauce, green peppers, onions, more pasta sauce, and grated parm.


Cover and simmer.



Italian Minute Steaks

Serves 2!


  • 2 beef cube steaks (4 oz. each)
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 c. tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
  • 1/2 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/4 c.)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated parm


  1. Season beef steaks with lemon-pepper seasoning.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook steaks about 10 minutes, turning once, until brown.
  4. Pour half the pasta sauce over steaks.
  5. Layer onion and peppers on top.
  6. Pour rest of the pasta sauce over vegetables.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese and reduce heat to low.
  8. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

Source [19]

Zucchini & Mushroom Saute

24 04 2009


I found this quick and easy recipe on a new blog I’ve been checking out: Savor the Thyme.  I definitely recommend it. This is super simple and literally took 5 minutes.


Just chop the zucchini, buy pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms and, if you are really lazy like me, buy a tube of Thyme herb blend.


Saute and eat.  This was so freaking good.  The herbs really make it pop.  Check out Savor the Thyme for exact directions.

Macaroni and Cheese

23 04 2009


FINALLY!  A homemade macaroni and cheese that I actually like!  And I like it a lot.  It will definitely be my go-to mac & cheese (m&c) now.  I love m&c to be thick and creamy and rich.  This recipe delivers.

It also gave the me the opportunity to really learn how to make a roux.  My previous experiences have been Rachel Ray versions.  And of course everything is done super fast in her recipes so I have always rushed the roux.  Patience totally paid off and the roux came out fabulously.  I was so excited!


I’ve never baked m&c before either and of course that helped make this dish totally delicious.

Thank you Just the Two of Us.

Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 2!


  • 1 c. uncooked elbow macaroni (I used corkscrews)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (I ended up using a little over a Tbsp to help the roux along)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mustard (I used Dijon since I had it on hand)
  • 1/8 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (W sauce)
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 3/4 c. shredded cheddar (I used more like 1 cup.  I love cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook and drain pasta as directed.
  3. In saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
  4. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, and W sauce.
  5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in milk.
  8. Heat to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  9. Boil and stir 1 minute and remove from heat.
  10. Stir in cheese until melted.
  11. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce.
  12. Pour into ungreased baking dish.
  13. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Source [19]