Chunky Beef Stew

I know that I am not going to get any sympathy from northern blog readers, but it’s been darn right cold in San Diego. It’s actually even been raining quite a bit. But to be perfectly honest, I kind of like it. There is something kind of nice about staying in to avoid the cold, wet weather and making the inside of my house warm and comforting. It also gives me a great excuse to break out one of my favorite cookbooks –  The Ski House Cookbook. Yeah I know, 50 degrees outside (it feels colder with the ocean breeze!) isn’t exactly snow ski weather, but it’s as close as I’ll get in San Diego!

This beef stew is a recipe that I have come back to every year since my aunt gave me this cookbook. One thing that sets it apart is the cooking of the vegetables and stew separately but at the same time. This helps to avoid mushy vegetables or having to keep an eye on the clock to add the vegetables at just the right time to cook them without overcooking them. You’re going to want a fork AND a spoon for this stew so you don’t miss any of the chunky vegetables/meat or delicious gravy.

 

Foil Packet Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans


So, technically, I made this salmon in a parchment packet and not a foil packet (because who runs out of foil? me!), but who’s counting? What really matters is that this dinner was fast, easy, delicious, and nutritious.

When Jesse asked what was for dinner and I told him salmon he got that sad puppy dog look. It’s not that he doesn’t like seafood/fish, he just isn’t ever really excited about it. He definitely changed his look after the first bite. The foil (or parchment) locks in the moisture and the flavor leaving you with a perfectly cooked salmon filet and flavorful green beans.

 

 

Chicken Fajita Pizza

One thing that I made a lot of when we were living in China was pizza. There was actually a Papa John’s pretty close to our apartment, but it wasn’t my favorite and making pizza at home is just fun. There are a endless flavor combinations. Really, if flavors go well together on their own, there’s a good chance they’ll go well together on a pizza.

One day when I was staring at an open fridge, trying to decide on the flavor of day, I came up with this idea for Chicken Fajita Pizza. No, it’s not the first Chicken Fajita Pizza ever made, but I think the combination of my favorite fajita marinated chicken and the Mexican black bean sauce, really made it special.

These photos are actually from the first time I made this pizza (while still living in China) but it’s one of my favorites still. Nowadays, I roll the pizza dough just a little bit thinner and I go a little heavier on peppers and onions, but the basic pizza is still exactly the same!

Now I want to know what YOUR favorite homemade pizza is!

 


 

White Chicken Chili

Do you ever hear about something someone else is having for dinner and immediately wish you were invited? That’s exactly what happened to me when I was reading a nightly “What’s for Dinner” post on a message board that I frequent. Someone said they were having White Chicken Chili for dinner and I.could.not. get it out of my mind. Luckily I have a recipe I’ve been making for years that is easy enough to throw together on a whim.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe my aunt gave me. It happens to be dairy free (for my allergy cousin :)) but it’s still somehow creamy and delicious. The seasoned split chicken breast add a nice layer of flavor and spice level in the chili is completely adjustable.  The ingredient list/directions may seem long, but it’s actually really easy to put together. Jesse wound up working late and when we spoke on the phone and I told him I had a pot of this chili on this stove he got super pumped. I like to think it inspired him to hurry up and finish his work so he could get home and eat!