Monday, June 30, 2008

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

So tonight was the first dinner I cooked for Anthony and intern Stephanie.
I made a creamy chicken lasagna! I thought it tasted fabulous. Anthony was a little skeeved by the mushrooms and thinks spinach would be better. You could really toss whatever veg you like in this. Its the creamy mixture and the tomato sauce that really made it taste fabulous.

This recipe is from one of the fabulous people of the internet.

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

9 no-boil lasagna noodles (I actually used regular noodles and boiled them while the chicken breasts were boiling)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package baby bella mushrooms (I used more like a half a package but it was a big box)
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boxes cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
ground black pepper
1 jar favorite sauce

Boil the chicken until no longer pink, about 20 minutes, then chop or shred. Saute mushrooms and onion in olive oil until soft, adding minced garlic at last minute. In large bowl, combine chicken, sauteed veggies, cream cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, garlic powder and pepper. Dissolve the bouillon cube in 1/4 cup VERY hot water, and add to chicken mixture.

The sauce that was creamed was ultra fabulous. Intern Stephanie said it smelled fabulous

Spread 1/3 of tomato sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan, and top with 4 noodles. Spread half of chicken mixture on top, then 1/3 of sauce, the noodles, then rest of chicken mixture, then noodles. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, then uncover for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My best cookie recipe

From Martha Stewart of course!

Martha Double Chocolate Cookies


* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 pound good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt 4 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.
2. Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.
3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (cookies should be soft). Let cool on parchment on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Game Night Food

We are invited to a game night and I said I'd bring taco dip and a dessert. I have made the taco dip several times before. The first time I ever ate it was at a nest get together and I got the recipe from the host. I HATE cottage cheese, but I like this dip :)

Taco Dip from Stephanie Palmer

8 ounces small curd cottage cheese
8 ounces softened cream cheese
small bottle taco sauce (not salsa)
handfuls of cheddar cheese
chopped lettuce
chopped tomato
chopped onion
(Use whatever taco like toppings you want)

Mix the cream cheese and cottage cheese together and smear into the bottom of a pie plate.
Pour the bottle of taco sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture
Add handfuls of cheddar cheese on top of the hot sauce
Top with whatever taco like toppings you want!
Chill in the fridge before serving. It makes the flavors blend

For dessert I decided to try a recipe I've had for years and have never made. It seemed like it would be more summery than a bunch of chocolate stuff. Cool Whip cookies. You can make them out of any flavor cake mix, I did orange but you could do lemon or strawberry. I'm not sure if I'll make this cookie again. It depends on if DH and others like it. I think I would have liked making cupcakes with the cake mix following the instructions on the box better and adding a cream cheese frosting. mmmm

Cool Whip Cookies


* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 2 eggs
* 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
* 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Beat together the whipped topping and eggs together. Add the lemon cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be thick.
3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 8 minutes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Levante's in Bethesda

So one of Anthony's coworkers invited us to join them for her husbands birthday dinner. We had never been to Levante's before and it sounded like food we'd like.

We had a semi large group of about 8-10 people but the waitress seemed good

Anthony and I ordered this appetizer
Levante’s Cigars
Cheese pastries of Feta and dill wrapped in phyllo and deep-fried

It was yummy and came with a cucumber yogurt sauce for dipping. There were 4 cigars on the appetizer and it was perfect to share between two people.

I ordered a special that was beef and lamb with tomato sauce and some garlic white sauce. It came on top of cubed bread. I thought it was weird to have just a big pile of meet for the entree and no sides, no rice, or vegetable. The presentation was not so great. You couldn't tell what meat was where, it was all just thrown on the plate. The meat was good enough, it was just like shaved gyro meat, and we have a favorite Greek restaurant for that.

Anthony ordered the Kofte
Grilled ground beef with Mediterranean seasonings,
served with Tsatziki

at least his did some with a side (rice, fries your choice)
and some vegetables like green beans and a few carrots.
It was like three thin meat patties on a plate. He said he liked it though

The bad news is when it came to the bill everyone looked at what they owed and wrote their name, credit card, and total on the back of the bill.

Turns our we were $22 short and the waitress was pissed and was telling her manager she needed help etc.

I will not go back to this restaurant again. The food was not that great, good, but it's food we can get elsewhere, and the problem with the bill at the end was really annoying. It was not handled correctly. I left unhappy thats for sure.

If you are interested in visiting Levante's here is the website address