Lentil Stuffed Peppers and Delicious Chicken

With a new start to the academic year comes a new commitment to being healthy. On twitter, I’ve found a group of student affairs professionals who are working on staying healthy and commiting themselves to working out, eating right, etc. and inspired by this group, I am doing all of the above.

Tonight’s effort was nearly effort-less as I made a spin-off of Asiago and Lentil Stuffed Peppers, found on Jersey Girl Cooks’ web site. I had made these the first time around a couple weeks ago and frozen the extra stuffing. I took out the frozen stuffing and since peppers had been on sale last week at the grocery store, I stocked up. So, when I got home from work it was pretty easy to slice, wash and stuff my peppers and then throw them into the oven while I worked out for a bit.

I also made a chicken breast to go with it, which I had purchased pre-marinated from Schmidt’s Meat Market in Nicollet, Minnesota. If you are from the area and looking for the best meat market in the state, this one gets my vote. As a family-run business, they are committed to a quality product and these individual serve packaged size chicken breasts were basically perfect!

Overall, it turned out okay, but the lentil stuffing didn’t unfreeze as well as it had pre-frozen. I don’t know that I would freeze it at that stage again. The chicken was delicious!

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A Thank You Dinner

A couple weeks ago I moved. I moved nearly everything on my own, but for a few bigger items, a couple of friends helped me out. So, this morning I finished cooking a meal for them which I will take to them later today. There are a couple of great recipes I want to share…so here’s what I’ve cooked!

My Thank You Dinner:

  • Two types of brats from the St. Joe Meat Market
  • Cheesy Hashbrowns (Our Family Version of the Recipe Below)
  • My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (No Idea where the recipe came from, but it’s below)
  • Kitchen Sink Cookies (Recipe Below, courtesy of The Classic Zucchini Cookbook)

I’m also sharing a recipe for Zucchini Carrot Cake, also taken from the Classic Zucchini Cookbook. I made the cake a week ago to use up some tasty zucchini, as it’s zucchini season here… and now I just need to frost it. Don’t worry! It’s been waiting in the freezer for frosting! I made it a couple times last year and it was delicious! I want to celebrate the end of summer with my students, so I’m taking it to the office tomorrow!

Now, for the recipes:

Family Cheesy Hashbrowns

2 lb frozen hashbrowns

1 can cream of potato soup

1 can cream of celery

16 oz sour cream with chives (my favorite is top the tator)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped onion and green pepper (optional)

12 oz cheddar cheese

Mix all together and put in 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Put crushed corn flakes mixed with butter on top and put in the last 10 minutes until crisp.

Variations: sometimes I add fresh chives to the mixture. I’ve also sautéed the onion and green pepper to cut down on the bitterness a bit.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes a ton!)

2 c margarine

2 c sugar

2 c brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp baker’s mystery flavor

12 oz dark chocolate chip cookies

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

4 c flour

5 c flour

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together salt, baking soda, baking powder. Put small amounts of oatmeal in food processor until it turns into powder. Mix all ingredients together. Add chips. Spoon onto cookie sheet and place 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.

The recipes from the Classic Zucchini cookbook will be added in the future!

Double Irish Chain and a Quilt Along

So, it’s been awhile since I quilted. I’ve made a few small projects over the past year, but for Christmas had received a sewing machine. With it, I made a quilt for my sister for her bridal shower. Since this time, I have not taken a lot of time to really get familiar with my sewing machine. I recently moved and have settled down a bit (and have purchased some great fabric!) and am ready to get my stash down a bit and document my quilting. This is the first part of my documenting it. I will try and share which wonderful online tutorials and quilt-alongs I am doing. Right now I have about 5 projects on hold…but tonight spent a little time working on 2 of them. As a result, I figured I might as well start sharing. I’d love to continue to chat with the quilting world and bloggers out there! I’ll work on the making this blog beautiful, but for now wanted to let you know the two projects on tap at the moment.

1. The Charm Pack Quilt-Along happening at the Freckled Whimsy web site. I’m using some Amy Butler fabrics I had purchased awhile ago and white fabric I picked up at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago. I finished step one tonight and assuming I get my work done tomorrow, I’ll get step two done so I can be all caught up. The fabrics are mostly pastel, from Amy Butler’s Modern lines.

2. A Double Irish Chain quilt. Last spring I had picked up some of Valori Wells’ fabric at the Crafty Planet – an amazing fabric store in Minneapolis and after finishing one pattern, I stopped into Aunt Annie’s Quilts and Silks in Avon with the fabric and after a lot of looking around, they helped me pick out some great fabrics (brown and orange). The strips are sewn together on this one and hopefully this week I will get them cut apart and sew into the larger blocks.

Thanks for reading!

Gwen