Saucy Baked Chicken Legs With Olives and Tomatoes

My wife found this recipe on Real Simple and we have had it a couple of times now. We also did the same recipe and substituted Pork tenderloin. In all cases the meal was delicious and easy to prepare.


  • 1 pound of plum or small tomatoes ( I used grape tomatoes), halved if large
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 8 cloves of garlic ( I used 4)
  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 bone in, skin-on chicken legs (recipe picture shows leg with drumstick and thigh, I used drumstick only)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Bread for serving ( We had biscuits)


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F with rack in highest position
  2. Toss the tomatoes, olives, garlic, oil and thyme in 3 quart baking dish
  3. Season the chicken with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Nestle the chicken, skin side up, in the vegetables
  4. Bake until chicken is browned and an instant read thermometer inserted in thickest leg (avoiding the bone) registers 165 degrees F, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with bread
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Flaky Mushroom and Gruyere Tarts

We got this recipe from the magazine Real Simple. We tried it last night and really enjoyed it. A light enjoyable vegetarian dinner. It is one we will be adding to our favourites.


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thawed
  • 4 tbsps of olive oil ( I used canola)
  • 10 ounces of assorted mushrooms sliced ( such as button, cremini, shitake, oyster etc)
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces Gruyere or sharp white cheddar, grated ( 1 cup) ( I used Gruyere)
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces mixed greens ( 6 cups)
  • 2 radishes thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold the pastry and cut into 4 squares
  2. Place the squares on parchment lined baking sheet and using a fork prick the dough all over.
  3. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsps  of the oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add the mushrooms and shallot with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
  5. Cook tossing occasionally until the mushrooms are browned, 4 – 5 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute.
  7. Dividing evenly, sprinkle pastry squares with half the cheese leaving a 1/2 inch border on each.Top with mushroom mixture and remaining cheese.
  8. Bake until pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. In a large bowl, whisk mustard, vinegar and remaining 2 tbsps of oil and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
  10. Add greens and radishes and toss to coat.
  11. Serve tarts with the the salad garnished with the chives

Here are a couple of pictures showing the pre baked result and the finished meal

mushroom tarts before baking

mushroom tarts finsihed

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Steak With Potato Salad and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

We haven’t tried this recipe yet but it is on the menu for tomorrow. This recipe came from an old issue of Real Simple.

[Update 2014-09-05] We tried this with beef tenderloin, and it was delicious! We’ll definitely make this meal again. You can see our dinner in the photo at the end of this post.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound small red potatoes ( about 12)
  • 3 1/2 tsps of Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground Black pepper
  • 4 small steaks (such as Newport, Flat, iron or Top round. I will use Tenderloin)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 small Boston lettuce, torn (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of olive oil ( I will use canola oil)


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for until tender 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool, use a fork or your fingers to break the potatoes in half.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season steaks with 1 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of pepper and cook to desired doneness, 4 to five minutes per side for medium rare. ( I will grill the steaks on BBQ).
  3. In a large bowl combine blue cheese, vinegar, remaining 1/4 cup of oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add lettuce and potatoes and toss to coat. Serve with the steaks.

steak with blue cheese potato salad

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Marinated Flank Steak

We got this recipe from Rick Gallop’s “The G.I. Diet”. We had not had this dish for a while and made it again last night. It was excellent — as good as we remembered.


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound of flank steak


  1. Combine soy sauce, orange juice, oil vinegar, garlic, ginger and mustard in a bowl.
  2. Whisk ingredients together and add flank steak to bowl or place steak in plastic bag and add marinade. Put into refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours turning meat occasionally.
  3. Preheat oiled grill to medium high.
  4. Discard marinade and place steak on grill and close cover. Cook turning once for about 8 minutes per side for medium rare or until desired doneness.
  5. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil for 5 minutes.
  6. Slice thinly across the grain and serve


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Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Strawberry Sauce Recipe

Deb found this recipe on Taste of Home and suggested we try it. We had some strawberries and most of the other ingredients.

The recipe is a little complicated to make, at least the first time! It requires some juggling, as you go from step to step. The dinner was worth the effort though — it tasted delicious, and will definitely be made again.

You can see a picture of our dinner, at the end of the recipe.


  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions


  1. In a large saucepan, combine broth, 1 cup strawberries, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Strain mixture and set aside liquid, discarding solids.
  2. Sprinkle pork with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown pork on both sides. Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add broth mixture to the same skillet; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth and gradually stir into skillet.
  4. Return pork to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and pork is tender. Serve pork with sauce. Top with feta cheese, onions and remaining strawberries.

Yield: 8 servings.

pork with strawberries

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Chili Shrimp and Coconut Risotto

We got this recipe from Real Simple and as we were in the south decided to try it. All the ingredients were easy to find.  While in Hilton Head we had it couple of times and we really enjoyed it. At home ingredients especially the chili paste and shrimp deveined and peeled were a little harder to find but the meal was just as tasty. A note for preparation I generally do the rice earlier in the day and store in the fridge.




  • 2 Tbsps of olive oil
  • 1 pound of shrimp deveined and peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic ( if chili paste has garlic omit this ingredient)
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt ( I used sea salt)
  • 2 Tbsp chili paste (we use 1 tbsp)
  • 1 14 ounce can of coconut milk ( I used lite coconut milk)
  • 4 cups of jasmine rice. ( on one occasion I used sticky rice)
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and salt and cook until the shrimp is pink and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  3. Add chili paste and coconut milk to the pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add rice, bean sprouts, scallion, lime juice and shrimp and cook until heated through, 3 – 4 minutes, Serve garnished with basil leaves
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Hearty Salisbury Steak

We got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine. We really enjoy it and it is easy to make. Here is a picture of the Taste of Home version.

Hearty Salisbury Steaks Recipe


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed saltines ( 15 crackers) (I substitute 1/2cup of Panko bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute ( I substitute 1 egg beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 envelope of reduced sodium onion soup mix
  • 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
  • (I also add 1 tbsp. of creamy horseradish sauce sometimes)


  1. In a large bowl combine onion, saltines or Panko, egg substitute or beaten egg, pepper, horseradish if using and beef, mix lightly and form into 5 patties.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil medium heat. Add patties; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove patties and keep warm; discard drippings. (if using extra lean this step may not be necessary).
  3. In a bowl combine water, soup mix and flour and blend. Add mixture to skillet bring to a boil. Return patties to the skillet if they were removed cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes and favourite vegetable for a delicious meal. (Also good with scalloped potatoes)
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