Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Finds - Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple

Welcome to Round 2 of Friday's Fabulous Finds, a time and place where I share with you some food and/or cooking items that I have found and love. Today, I am going to let you in on a little information about me. Maybe even a little too much information, but important information to get you from point A to B. Or point A to today's Friday's Fabulous Find.
Back to information, I am allergic to pineapple. Very sad for me, because I LOVE pineapple....I would have loved to eat it everyday, or at least once in a while growing up....but I couldn't. When temptation proved to be too much and I would indulge, whether fresh or canned, my mouth and tongue would break out in blisters. Bleck, I know. Too much??? Moving on...
About a year and a half ago my hubby and I were whisked away to Hawaii to attend a friend's wedding, so between this:

and this:

and a little bit of this:

I met a wonderful woman from Hawaii at the wedding luau. As I was staring longingly at the hunk-o-pineapple on my plate, somehow the conversation turned to my allergy to pineapple. She informed me that most people who have that type of reaction have no reaction to Golden Pineapple, or Tropical Gold, depending where it was picked. Something about not as acidic and sweeter than normal pineapple. As luck would have it, that hunk-o-pineapple on my plate was indeed a Maui Golden Pineapple. Benedryl at the ready, I took a bite...and....NOTHING! Nothing but the sheer sweet tropical flavor explosion of pineapple. HAPPY DANCE!!!
I enjoyed more pineapple on the island and since back to the mainland, would once in a while find fresh Golden Pineapple at various stores I shopped. But now, behold what I found at Costco a month or so ago...

Needless to say, I bought a box...and another...and another. This stuff is AWESOME! Perfect for stir-fry's, sweet and sour chicken, salads, dessert recipes, and just plain munching on. As a total bonus

That's right, in 100% juice, no sugar added, no preservatives, and of course, high in antioxidants and vitamin C!

As a "got the winter blues" treat, it can't be beat. Thus saith Siggy Suess.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce

Prepare to look like a SUPERSTAR! Yes, I did just say "SUPERSTAR", just try not to sprain something when you kneel on one knee with your jazz hands in the air doing your Molly Shannon pose as you say it. This lovely little beauty is a Cooking Light recipe. Yes, I did just say "Cooking Light", just try not gasp so hard you lodge your gum in your trachea.
Amazing, full of flavor, easy, and HEALTHY....need I say more?! Let's get this show on the road!

  • 4 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 TBSP olive oil, divided
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic, jarred is perfectly fine
  • 1/2 tsp dried Tarragon (you can substitute Basil or Parsley, though I think the Tarragon is so interesting and scrumptious)
  • 1 package, 8 ounces, pre-sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
Combine 1 TBSP flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Sprinkle over chicken, toss to coat.
Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and saute 4 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 TBSP oil to pan. Add mushrooms and Tarragon. Saute for 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute an additional minute or so until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken. Be sure not to burn the garlic (bleck)!
Add wine to pan; cook 1 minute, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Stir in remaining 1 TBSP of flour, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and chicken broth. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
Return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 minute, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Stir in noodles, cook for 1 minute or until noodles are thoroughly reheated. Top with cheese.

Yield: 4 servings
As an added bonus, drum roll please....only 350 calories per serving!
Oh yeah....SUPERSTAR!

This recipe has been linked at:
Mommy's Kitchen
This Chick Cooks
Eat at Home

Food Fact Wednesday - OREGANO

photo credit - Santinha-Casis Possevis
I have decided that on Wednesday's, I am going to pass along information on various foods and herbs that go beyond the recipes we use them in. I will get to the easy ones like garlic and vinegar later. With spring around the corner, many people are starting up their herb gardens, so today, for my first go round, I am going to share some interesting uses for oregano!
Next time you are making something that calls for oregano, here are some tidbits that will be floating around in your brain with each bite:
  1. Oregano has powerful antioxidant and an antimicrobial properties.
  2. Used topically, oregano is one of the best antiseptics because of it's high thymol content.
  3. Apply oregano (dried or oil) to soothe a toothache. I have experienced this one first hand, it works AMAZING for toothaches. Put a pinch of the dried stuff on and around the pesky tooth.
  4. Add to warm water to make a teasan (tea), and it helps soothe coughs and asthma.
  5. Add to a cheese cloth or coffee filter and put in a warm bath to soothe tired achy joints and muscles.
  6. Plant oregano along side beans to enhance their growth. Oregano's potent smell deters insects which commonly infest bean plants. However, it should not be planted alongside broccoli or cabbage.
  7. Oregano reduces swelling and inflammation.
  8. Consuming fresh oregano can also help fight infections such as the flu and colds.
  9. It can soothe bee stings and spider bites (bleck!).
  10. Preliminary tests conducted at Georgetown University suggest that oregano's antibacterial properties rival that of strptomycin and penicillin.

Do you have some non-recipe uses for oregano? If so, please share below in the comments section!

Quick disclaimer, I am not giving medical advice. Please do not use this as a replacement for seeking medical advice. I simply want to pass along some extra health benefits you may not know about in the food that you eat!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Siggy's Skinny They Won't Know it's Not Beef Mac

Well, that title is a mouthful...but it makes me smile, just like this recipe!
This dish is a definite staple in my house, and is loved by all. Even my picky pants niece who doesn't eat anything scarfed it down when she came to visit this summer. It makes a TON, like 2 meals worth, so it would work great as a friendship casserole (make one, give one to a friend) or to stick the other one in the freezer for an easy meal at a later date.

  • 1 pound box elbow macaroni, I use Barilla Plus Whole Wheat Macaroni
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onion, about 1 large onion
  • 1 TBSP chopped garlic
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast. I always end up with 2 1/2 because I buy it from Costco
  • 1 can crushed tomato (28 oz)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (each 14-15 oz)
  • 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup. Sorry, no way around this one.
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups shredded 2% cheddar or colby jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the macaroni to al dente, set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 TBSP olive oil then season and brown ground turkey. Drain meat and set aside. Add remaining 2 TBSP olive oil to skillet, add the peppers and onion, saute until soft. Add garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant. Do not allow garlic to burn, bleck! Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and cheese soup. Stir to combine. Add basil, oregano, and cumin and allow to simmer over medium low heat for a few minutes allowing flavors to meld together. At this point, give it a taste and add your salt and pepper until right for you. Add the ground turkey into sauce. In a LARGE bowl (I said it makes a TON right), combine the macaroni and the turkey sauce mixture. Stir to combine and pat yourself on the back for getting your arm workout in for the day (remember the aforementioned, makes a TON). Spread this mixture into 2 casserole dishes or, as I do, a 9x13 pan and a 8x8 pan. Top with cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Once this bad boy is done baking, if you can still use your arms from stirring this mammoth amount of food, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Finds - Trader Joe's Mandarin Chicken

I have decided that I am turning Friday's into "Friday's Fabulous Finds". A designated time and place where I can share with you some food and/or cooking related items I love, because I like to spread the love. Today, I am featuring Trader Joe's (Ming's) Mandarin Chicken. Let me take a moment to apologize to those who live in Trader-less Joe's areas. I am profoundly sorry for your loss, and especially if you have known and loved Joe in the past. However, for those of you who can visit Joe whenever you would like, I would like for you to do yourself a favor and go pick up a bag of this scrumptious chicken! It is faster than calling for take-out and just as yummy! Add a bag of stir-fry veggies, serve it on rice with a side of potstickers or eggrolls and you have just magically saved at least $30, which according to my girl math is enough to get yourself some Croc flip-flops since summer is coming up!
Please, please, please share with all of us what some of your fabulous finds are in the comment section below! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pina Colada Ice Cream Float

Are you all as Febru-weary as I am? I am so done with winter!!! One time when I lived in Seattle, I was sick of the rain and in order to get myself out of the funk I was in, I had a "Fiji night". I cranked up the heat in my apartment, turned on some steel drum music, and laid out on a beach towel wearing my swimsuit and sunglasses. Sipping on a fruity adult beverage, I was able to relax, unwind, and make through 6 more weeks of winter. Here is a fun beverage loaded with that beachy flavor we could all use right about now. If you would like to make it more adult, I am sure some coconut rum would be fabulous in it!

  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in 100% pineapple juice, no sugar added. I used the Dole Tropical Gold which is AWESOME.
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut extract *
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • 1 liter club soda

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain pineapple chunks, reserving the juice and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned. While pineapple is baking, take reserved pineapple juice and put it in a measuring cup, add water to juice to make 1 full cup. Put pineapple juice/water in a pot along with the sugar. Stir to combine, dissolve, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extract. Once pineapple is roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool, along with the pina colada simple syrup. Once cool, divide pineapple between 4 glasses. Pour 2 TBSP of the pina colada simple syrup over the pineapple in each glass. Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream to each glass and top off with club soda. Once glasses are full, add an additional 2 TBSP of pina colada simple syrup to top. Enjoy!!!

* If you do not like the taste of coconut, like my daughter and husband, then feel free to omit the coconut extract. Up the vanilla extract to 1 tsp and enjoy as a Pineapple Ice Cream Float!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheater Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Yesterday I took the kiddos on our weekly grocery shopping trip. Costco, Trader Joes, and Super Target were graced with our company far longer than I think they hoped or wanted. I had a 9 year old gabbing on and on about her top 10 list for why Jacob is so "hot", not that she even gets what "hot" means, but just to press her point that she is "totally team Jacob". Oh mercy, I am in trouble. I had a 5 year old who thinks all things are for climbing, scaling, balancing on, flipping over, and doing complicated poses in precarious places. I think the Olympics have gone to her head....even though these are the winter Olympics. Ok, I think I am just trying to make myself feel better that she is a wild jungle cat who frequently hisses at people. Not to be topped, my 3 year old was oh-so good at being 3, like crazy overachieving, gold medal good. Screeching, singing "Chuggington" at the top of his lungs, pulling his sister's hair, and perfecting his back seat (cart) driving technique. It made for a very long, exhausting afternoon.
This is one of those tasty quick and easy recipes for those days. Heck it is tasty, quick and easy for any day! You can make 10 of them as easily as 2. As a total bonus, since these look like giant chicken nuggets and my incredibly picky 3-year old gobbles them up. You can call this semi-homemade, almost home-made, I touched it therefore I cooked it, or, as I do, a cheater recipe. It also goes VERY well with the 1/2 bottle of wine I consumed after a day like that, haha!
Here we go!

8 fully cooked breaded chicken breast patties. I used the Tyson brand bag from Costco.
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce. I used Trader Joes Tomato Basil Marinara.
1 box of your choice of pasta. I used Barilla Spaghetti noodles.
1 bag pre-shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 TBSP Garlic Bread Sprinkle. I used the McCormick, but Johnny's has a really good one too.
3 TBSP butter, cubed
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While oven is pre-heating, get a pot of water boiling for your pasta. Bake your chicken patties for 15 minutes. While your chicken is cooking, salt your pasta water and get your noodles cooking. While those 2 things are going, warm up your marinara sauce.
When chicken is done, turn on your broiler. Top each piece of chicken with a spoonful of sauce, spread to cover entire top, then add shredded mozzarella cheese (enough to cover) and a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler to get top melted and slightly browned. Keep a close eye so it doesn't burn.
When pasta is done, drain off the water and add butter and olive oil to coat pasta, add garlic bread sprinkle and remaining Parmesan cheese. Toss together to get all noddles coated. Add a couple of grinds of pepper to finish off.
Serve the chicken with pasta and extra marinara sauce. Round out the meal with some crusty bread and a salad. Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin

This is BY FAR, my favorite pork tenderloin recipe to date. It is simple enough for a weeknight meal, but special enough for company. Pork tenderloin is a healthy and inexpensive cut of meat. I usually get the 2 pack at Costco, so I always have one waiting in the wings. Don't let the combination of ingredients or their simpleness freak you out, I think the flavor fairies do a little dance on this while in the crock pot because it turns into something SPECTACULAR!!! Please, please, please, listen to Siggy Spice and do yourself a favor, make this very soon!
  • 2 - 1 pound pork tenderloins. In case you have never bought them before, there is usually 2 in one pack.
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce, 14-16 ounce can, depending what your grocery store carries
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 TBSP salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Trim your pork tenderloin of any of the silver "stuff" that may be left on the meat. Rinse under water and place in a crock pot. In a medium bowl, combine cranberry sauce, mustard, brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour sauce over pork. Put lid on crock pot and cook on high for 1 hour, then lower the heat to low setting and let cook an additional 4 hours.
ENJOY! Leave a comment and let me hear about your love for this delectable dish!

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Club

This recipe linked at:
 Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck
This Chick Cooks
Eat at Home

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blinged-Out Valentine Rolo Turtles

Mommy's Kitchen had a recipe on near the holidays called Rolo Turtles. I had never heard of them, but seeing we bought a TON of pecans from the Farmer's Market, I thought I would look at it. The basic concept is to put a Rolo on top of a pretzel and bake them for a few minutes, then top with a toasted pecan. Well, seeing that I am a tweaker and all, I blinged them out for the holidays, and did it again for Valentine's Day. The kiddos can make the majority of this, I was just there take them out of the oven, put the pecans on (warm oozy carmel and chocolate and all), and drizzle the melted white chocolate. Even my 3 year old liked counting out the pretzels and putting the Rolo's on top. Total bonus, these are CRAZY good!
  • Pretzels. I use the square waffle ones
  • Rolo's - unwrapped, duh
  • Pecan halves - toasted or any other choice of nut. Cashews or Macadamia nuts would be AWESOME in this too! If there are nut allergies OR you simply don't like nuts, you can substitute Valentine colored m&m's or even Cupid Corn (pink and red candy corn)
  • White chocolate chips
  • Decorative sugar or choice of sprinkley sparkly goodies

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Toast your pecans. Cover a cookie sheet with foil (easier clean up) and place pretzels individually to form one layer only. Place one Rolo candy on top of each pretzel. Bake at 250 degrees for 4minutes or until the candies are softened and glossy. Immediately remove from the oven and quickly place a toasted pecan half on top of each Rolo and push down to squish the chocolate into the pretzel and flatten. THEN, melt some white chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute with a teaspoon of shortening or a splash of milk. Stir every 30 seconds to make sure it is smooth and melted. Pour white chocolate into a small baggie, snip the corner off with scissors and drizzle over the turtles. While the white chocolate is still metly, sprinkle some decorator sugar or sprinkles. Cool for 20 minutes, then place uncovered in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.

Monday, February 8, 2010

PW's Crash Hot Potatoes

So, say "I" if you have never heard of Pioneer Woman...(((chirp, chirp))) Yeah, that's what I thought, of course you have! She ROCKS!
PW's Crash Hot Potatoes are one of those recipes that is truely so simple that you get the taste of the ingredients...nothing processed, nothing over the top or complicated. Simple and delicious. The thing I LOVE about these is the twist on how you cook them. I am a texture person and this not only gives you GREAT taste but you get crispy, crunchy, and tender all in the same bite. Don't let the simplicity of the ingredients make you hesitate. Seriously, try these hot little Austrailian babies!
  • 12 (depending on how may you would like to make) whole New Potatoes (or other small round potatoes. Yukon Gold would be divine!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Rosemary (or other herb of choice) finely minced, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork tender.
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil and place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room in between each potato.
With a potato masher, press down each potato until it mashes slightly (go about half-way to 3/4 the way through the potato). Rotate the masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of eached crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle each potato with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a sprinkle of finely minced Rosemary. Don't be shy about it!
Move oven tray to 2nd-to-the-top shelf position. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mexican Beer Cheddar Fondue

If you are looking for a yummy, easy, last minute add on to your Super Bowl table, look no further! Mexican Beer Fondue is it! In fact you probably already have all of the ingredients at your party or in your fridge.

Hold on tight cause here we goooo!

  • 2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese. You can buy the pre-shredded bag from the grocery store or make your own. If you are feeling especially sassy, add a little pepper-jack to your mix.

  • TBSP flour

  • Bottle of Mexican Beer. Corona works great.

  • 2-3 TBSP salsa or pico de gillo, as hot as you would like it.

  • 1/2-1 TBSP chopped jalapenos (optional, if you like some extra oompf)

Take your shredded cheese and add a heaping TBSP of flour, get all your cheese coated. In a double boiler (or in my case, a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water) start by pouring 1/2 bottle of beer. Once that comes to a simmer, add your cheese and stir constantly. Watch your heat so you don't get that funky cheese separation thing, don't allow your cheese to simmer. Add in a couple TBSP of salsa or pico, optional jalapenos, and viola! You may need to play with the cheese/beer/salsa ratio to get the right consistency. I usually start with 1/2 the bag of cheese and keep adding until it is thick enough to stay on a chip, but thin enough to not break the chip.
And here is the cast of characters who like to take a little dip in the hot tub of gooey cheese deliciousness:

Tortilla chips, Granny Smith apple chunks, carrot bites, celery bites, cauliflower bites, and a variety of cubed bread.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Creamy Sausage Rotel Cheese Dip

Here is an easy, yummy dip just in time for the big game on Sunday! How can you go wrong with sausage, Rotel, and cheese? You can control the level of spice by the type of Rotel and/or sausage you use. This recipe was too big for my little dipper crockpot and too small for my gigantic family sized crockpot, so I made it on the stove in a skillet, set it on the table in the skillet, and then reheated it on the stove again as needed. Sometimes you just have to do a little improv :)

Creamy Sausage Rotel Dip
8 oz cream cheese
1 can Rotel, drained
1 lb breakfast sausage, I used Jimmy Dean original
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Brown the sausage on the stove and drain.
  • Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and can of drained Rotel in a crockpot.
  • Add sausage to top and cook on low for 90 minutes or high for 45 minutes. Stir the sausage into cheese/Rotel mixture until well combined.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
Enjoy! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Honey Lime Enchiladas

As promised in the recipe for the Siggy Spice Up Your Life Mushroom Salsa, here are the Honey Lime Enchiladas! Now, before we go on, I must introduce you to a word you will become quite familiar with on Siggy Spice, TWEAKING. Yes, I am a tweaker, only slightly resembling Tweek from Southpark. AAARGH!!! (((twitch, twitch))) I can't leave well enough alone, I like to add a little here and there to certain recipes to put my spin on them, my tweak if you will. AAARGH!!! (((twitch, twitch))) Ok, enough Southpark impersonations, I don't think it is translating to paper well.

Onto the recipe! I originally saw this recipe on The Sisters Cafe blog and after my tweak, here you have it! It makes more than 1 dish worth, especially the enchilada sauce. I made one dish worth, tossed the remaining enchilada sauce away and am using the remaining seasoned chicken for a salad and quesadillas today. This is an easy, yummy, and kiddo friendly dish. It is a bright and flavorful twist on normal enchiladas. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Honey Lime Enchiladas


  • 1.5 pounds cooked and shredded chicken or pork
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 TBSP honey
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP lime juice
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
  • equal amounts shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, mixed together
  • flour tortillas
  • dollop of sour cream
In a small bowl, mix together the honey, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine. Place that marinade mixture in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Add the shredded choice of meat and shake to coat all of the meat with all of the mixture. Marinade for as long as you can. If you only have 30 minutes, that is ok. If you can have it sitting in your fridge for a couple hours, that is great too!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
To assemble, pour enough green enchilada sauce just to cover a 13 x 9 baking pan that you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Fill the flour tortillas with desired amount of meat mixture, top with desired amount of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, roll up and place in baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together remaining enchilada sauce, a dollop (heaping TBSP) of sour cream, and all the left over marinade from the bag. Since this marinade was sitting in cooked meat, it is totally ok to use. There may not be much of it left, but even a little bit will help tie in the flavors.
Top enchiladas with green sauce, as I said, you probably won't use all of it. I never like to tell people how much cheese they like, so, sprinkle as much cheddar/mozzarella cheese mix as your little heart desires on top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until warm and bubbly. Turn on your broiler at the end just to crisp and brown up the cheese.
Take a bite, put down your fork and let out a good AAARGH!!! (((twitch, twitch))). Sorry, had to do it one more time.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Eat at Home
This Chick Cooks