Whole Foods Crab Cakes

Yesterday I touched on the fact that I find cooking for one less than ideal. Though I don’t enjoy cooking for myself nearly as much as I enjoy cooking for others, I have perfected a few meals for one that I simply adore.

One of my favorite spring/summer meals is crab cakes from Whole Foods. Though they come packaged in twos, I usually ask them to split a pack since I just need one. They always happily oblige. This saves me money and from having to eat the same meal two days in a row. One crab cake usually costs about $6.

Of the two varieties usually offered, I prefer the Maryland Blue Crab Cakes. I don’t remember the name of the other one, but I’ve tried it and found it a bit spicy for my taste.

I usually sear both sides of the crab cake on the stove then pop it into the oven for 10-20 minutes. Served with a light, summery salad (like the strawberry vinaigrette salad pictured above), this meal is both quick and easy to make. And at only 330 calories, it is a marvelous meal option for those trying to stay slim during swimsuit season!

{Photo by: Kendall Shiffler}

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Kendall's Menu for the Week

I love to cook for other people, but when it comes to cooking for moi, I just can’t ever seem to find the motivation. Frozen dinners, cereal and sandwiches are the usual fare when it comes to dinner at the Shiffler abode. In an effort to cook more and ultimately, eat healthier, I’ve added a line up of food blogs to my Google Reader repertoire. This week’s menu includes recipes from and inspired by some of my new favorite recipe blogs!

Monday

This Monday it is my turn to host the girls for The Bachelor again. This season each of our hostesses has been really good about offering up healthy fare — a stark contrast to our cupcake and pig in a blanket filled seasons past! With a long day at work and little time for pre-party prep I oped to prepare an easy crockpot meal I’ve posted about before. Black Bean Crockpot Chicken can be served in many healthy ways. I’ll be offering up corn tortillas for those who want to make tacos and fresh greens for the taco salad types.

The appetizer, Creme Cheese Sausage Dip, I admit, is a bit less calorie conscious, although I did choose to use light creme cheese which make it a little better! I made the dip a few weeks ago and froze it, so again, no prep time.

Wednesday

I’m guessing I’ll have leftovers from Monday night’s meal so I planned my next cooking venture for Wednesday. This easy looking vegetarian recipe comes from No Eyeballs Please, a blog by one of my fellow GHS alums, Danielle. She recently launched her blog where she posts recipes that are “always vegetarian and occasionally vegan.”

Danielle’s Lemony Creamy Linguine is one of the many recipes I have slated to try out. I love that there are very few ingredients, making it an easy and affordable meal. (Just the kind I like!) I haven’t tried this recipe before so I’ll report back on how it goes. It sure looks delicious though!

Friday

My last recipe of the week was inspired by the Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers recipe on Keeping up with the Joneses. I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers and don’t have the time or motivation to make my own mashed potatoes, so I sought out a similar roasted chicken recipe. A quick search and I came up with McCormick’s Rosemary Baked Chicken with Potatoes recipe. I love that it has few fresh ingredients, because who knows if I’ll actually get to this recipe this week!

Do you plan your meals for the week in advance? If so, what’s on your menu for the week? Do you actually cook or opt for frozen meals?

{Photo Credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 }

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Chicken Crescent Rollups

Let’s be honest, I’m not a great cook. Sure, I have a slim stock of sure fire recipes I’ve mastered, but beyond that my kitchen creations are only as good as the recipes I work from.

I’d been in sort of a cooking rut until my friend Alison shared a recipe for Chicken Crescent Roll-ups on her blog, Ross Ramblings, a few months back. The cheap ingredients and simple instructions seduced me into stepping out of my kitchen comfort zone and trying something new. I mean, nothing with that much cheese could possibly be bad, right?

That’s correct. Beyond being absolutely delicious, the recipe is sinfully simple! I made it for Ryan and we both gobbled it up. Plus, we had plenty of leftovers for the next day’s lunch.

Check out the full recipe after the jump. And don’t forget to subscribe to Ross Ramblings. Alison is full of great recipes and DIY projects!

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Hot Dog Condiments

Unlike hot dogs and ketchup, sangria and empty stomachs are not a good combo. Knowing we were in for a two-hour premier I wanted to serve substantial food beyond the usual appetizers.

Hot dogs were the obvious entrée choice and I’ve been dying to do mini mac & cheese for a while. I also dreamed up Bachelorette themed cupcake toppers so I rounded out the menu with a sweet cupcake finish. Throw in some chips and a veggie tray and voila… a perfect dinner for 10 in front of the TV! Pictures and recipes after the jump!

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Black Bean Crockpot Chicken

Until yesterday chile con queso was the only “dish” that had ever been cooked in my crock pot. My sister is a huge fan of crock pot meals and she and her college roommates are constantly coming up with great recipes. I wasn’t quite aware that you could cook anything but pot roast (which I don’t like) in a crock pot so when my mom emailed me this recipe I was excited to try it! See the recipe after the jump.

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Easy to try potpies!

I rarely cook and when I do I scarcely venture outside of my four favorite no-fail recipes. When I emailed my friend a link to the Best Chicken Recipes on RealSimple.com and told him to choose one I knew I would be up against a challenge as I had only attempted one recipe on the list before and it didn’t turn out all that well. Luckily, the potpie recipe turned out to be as simple as it purported, and it was incredibly delicious. I recommend this recipe to anyone; see it after the jump!

Easy as 1,2,3,4!

When trying a recipe for the first time you learn a lot. Here are my lessons learned:

  • It is hard impossible to find small round aluminum foil pans. In a survey of Wal-mart, Target and Albertsons, none of these major retailers carry potpie-suitable foil pans. Your best bet is to buy some inexpensive ramekins. I bought mine at World Market for $2.99 a piece. Note: The ramekins I purchased did not say “oven safe.” I took a chance and they held up well and we had no problems.
  • Pie crusts are round. When you cut them into quarters you end up with pie shaped pieces of dough. You can easily make them round by balling up the dough then flattening and shaping with a rolling pin. This helps them to fit in the round bowls better which makes for prettier pot pies.
  • There are several types of frozen mixed vegetables. When I was at the store I could only find “California Mixed Veggies” in the freezer, so that is what I bought. The carrots were great but it was a little unusual having broccoli (which wasn’t that bad) and cauliflower (yuck!) in a potpie. From now on I’ll hold out for a more traditional potpie mix (carrots, peas, celery and onions). In fact, the recipe was so good, I might even splurge and buy fresh veggies! Note: On Monday, after I had already bought my ingredients, I received my February Real Simple which gives a “healthier” pot pie recipe that includes measurements for fresh veggies. I’ll try and post it when I get a chance or just pick up a copy of RS on the newsstand.
  • You have to cook the chicken. I am not a great chef so when I try a new dish I follow the recipe to a tee. Unfortunately this recipe did not actually instruct me to cook the chicken. It merely says to use “cooked chicken” in the ingredient list. I had the entire potpie mixture ready to go before I realized this. (Actually, I didn’t realize it; my mom just happened to stroll in and ask if we were making vegetarian pot pies!)  Thankfully I had the chicken thawed and just had to throw a couple breasts in boiling water.
  • Other tidbits: Here are some other recipe tweaks that we made on the spot. I’ve included my suggestions on the original recipe below in blue. (1) One can of Cream of Chicken soup makes for a very dry mixture. We added another half a can to make a more traditional potpie mixture. (2) Go ahead and add another 1/4 cup of milk to balance out the extra soup. (3) Two boiled chicken breasts turned out well. For more chicken, add a third.

Despite the seemingly long list of lessons learned the pot pies turned out fabulously! They were delicious and we ate every last bite! I can now add a fifth recipe to my repertoire of never-fail crowd pleasers. We refrigerated the two not eaten last night and I will soon go home to heat one up for lunch! Don’t you just love leftovers?!

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