Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Baked Yellow Squash Chips

I had a couple leftover summer squash to use and thought this would be a fun way to eat my vegetables. Plus I had leftover Cotija cheese that I needed to use which replaces Parmesan well.  I liked these little bites.  Of course, everything tastes better with Parmesan bread crumbs, right?  Zucchini would work well for this recipe too.

Baked Yellow Squash Chips

2 yellow squash or zucchini, sliced into 1/4"-1/2" rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Panko or regular breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Cotija cheese this time)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top.  Lightly coat rack with cooking spray.

In one bowl, combine squash and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and seasonings.   Dip the slices of squash into the breadcrumb mixture and coat on both sides, pressing to make it stick.  Place the squash in a single layer on the wire rack.

If desired, lightly spray the squash with cooking spray to ensure a crunchier texture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chips are a golden brown.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Grilled Tandoori Chicken and Zucchini

It was another gorgeous evening to fire up the grill.  I decided to grill chicken because I thought it would be a good accompaniment for the leftover mango salsa in our fridge.  And because I wanted something green on the plate, we grilled up some zucchini spears too.  Most of the tandoori marinade fell off while grilling, but the flavor still remained.  The photo really doesn't do justice to the tender flavorful chicken that resulted.  I liked the grilled zucchini as well.

Tandoori Chicken Breasts
from Weber's Best Summer Grilling Recipes magazine

1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Blend together all the marinade ingredients and put in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the chicken and seal the bag, turning to distribute the marinade all over the chicken.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning occasionally.

When ready to grill, remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade.  Grill over direct medium heat until the chicken is done and no longer pink in the middle, about 8-10 minutes, turning once.

Grilled Zucchini   
Cut a zucchini lengthwise into quarters to make long spears.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a little lemon zest.  Grill for a minute or two on each side until crisp-tender.  Sprinkle with a little more lemon zest if desired.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Coconut Rice and Tropical Salsa

Ever since I tasted coconut rice at Emeril's Delmonico restaurant in New Orleans, I've been wanting to give it a shot at home.  I found this recipe online, and went for it.  The grilled marinated fish was good, the salsa was excellent, and the rice was just okay.  It didn't have enough creamy sweet coconut flavor that I remember from my dining experience.  I think next time I'd add the entire can of coconut milk and cut back on the regular water.  Although the ingredient list looks long, the recipe was quick and easy.  We also grilled some fresh asparagus since it's in season right now.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Coconut Rice and Tropical Salsa
Recipe from Emeril Lagasse (Food Network)
4 servings

1/2 cup sliced yellow onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch cayenne
4 mahi-mahi fillets, skin on (6-8oz each)

Coconut Rice:
1 cup coconut milk
1&1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup long grain white rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Tropical Salsa:
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno
pinch salt

In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients.  Add the fish and spoon the marinade over the top. Cover and refrigerate for up to one hour.

Meanwhile, to make the coconut rice, combine the coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add the rice, stir well, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 20-24 minutes.  Let sit off the heat for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the cilantro.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

To make the salsa, mix together all the ingredients.  Let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend.

Preheat a grill and lightly oil the rack.  Place the fish on the grill and cook, skin side up, until marked, 1-2 minutes.  Flip the fish and cook skin side down until the fish is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes depending on thickness.   Place fish over rice and top with the salsa.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spicy Grilled Chicken with Baja Black Beans and Rice

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It's been awhile since I've posted a recipe.  We decided to be festive today and make a Mexican-inspired dinner.  Despite the name, I didn't think the chicken was overly spicy; it was just the right amount of heat.  I liked the veggie-filled rice too.  Overall, a really flavorful and filling dish and easy to prepare and relatively quick to cook.

Spicy Grilled Chicken with Baja Black Beans and Rice
Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens:Ultimate Mexican magazine
Makes 4-6 servings

1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch salt and pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (~1&1/2 lbs total)
2 cups broth
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup canned black beans
1 can (14.5oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (4oz) diced green chile peppers
1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
1 cup chopped zucchini (1 small)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
crumbled Cotija cheese (optional)
avocado slices (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients.  Sprinkle over all sides of the chicken breasts and rub in.  Set aside.

In a 4-quart Dutch Oven or pot, combine broth, corn, beans, tomatoes, chiles, and rice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes.  Stir in the zucchini and cook for 3-5 more minutes.  Stir in cilantro.

Meanwhile, grill the chicken breasts on a lightly greased grill rack over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center (160º).   Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Slice the chicken and serve with the rice mixture.  If desired, top with Cotija cheese and avocado.