Currently obsessing on...

My new cherry pitter (my fingers are grateful)
Using the crockpot
St. Andre Triple Creme Cheese (I like this too much)
Walking at night (seriously soothing)
Warm blankets (I'm freaking cold)
Using gift cards
Eating mindfully
Pureology Conditioner
Pinkberry (my probably shouldn't have but gonna anyway treat a small is 3 servings for me)
The Farmer's Market
Middle Eastern Food
Strawberries and Green Grapes
Maximum Protein Powder Smoothies
Quail Gardens
Scentade Aromatherapy Inhalers (I love the stress relief one)
The Amazing Race
An old "friend"

A few new recipes

Thought I would share a few new recipes I've been eating and enjoying lately. Hope you like them...

Shelly's Pesto Chicken & Veggies

1/2 yellow onion, diced
4-5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 boneless, skinless breasts, sliced into strips
1 cup yellow summer squash, sliced
1 cup zucchini, sliced
artichoke hearts, 1/2 of a 13.75 oz. can (non-marinated type), chopped
4 Tablespoons pesto sauce
1/4 Cup chicken broth
olive oil
For marinade: 1/4 cup Italian dressing

Marinate chicken in Italian Dressing for at least 4 hours in refrigerator. Discard excess marinade. Saute the onion till slightly golden in a touch of butter and olive oil. Remove from pan, set aside. Drain chicken from marinade but do not rinse. Saute marinated chicken till golden. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms, squash, and zucchini and steam saute till fork tender. Add chicken and onions back to pan. Add artichoke hearts and pesto sauce and stir till coated. Add broth and heat through stirring occasionally about 3 minutes. Serve.

Notes: This is yummy just as it is or for non-ops you can serve this over penne pasta. I get my artichoke hearts and pesto sauce from Trader Joe's. I use 1/2 of the can of artichoke hearts and 1/2 of the container of pesto (the kind you find in the deli case... Buitoni also makes one found in most supermarkets by the fresh pasta that would work fine)

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1/2 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with 1/2 the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, the yellow onion and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper and thyme. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place in a roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter.

Awesome Crockpot Pot Roast

3-4 pound boneless Chuck Roast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package Lipton Dry Onion Soup mix
1/4 cup white wine
1 whole onion sliced

Optional: The last hour of cooking I sometimes add the following:
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen carrots
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

Place a 3 or 4 pound boneless Chuck Roast in a frypan and brown both sides about 5 minutes a side. Place the brown meat in a crockpot and add a can of undiluted cream of CHICKEN (yes chicken) over the top of the roast and spread it around just the top. Then empty a package of Lipton dry Onion Soup mix over the cream soup and don't mix it. Drizzle 1/4 cup of white wine down the side of the crockpot (don't leave this out the alcohol cooks away but is key for the awesome gravy). Place onion rings on top. Close the lid. That's all there is to it!! Don't add any additional water either. Cook on low for about 7 hours. Delish and so is the gravy!!

For non-ops you can serve this over noodles but I have been enjoying it with a side of sauteed spinach.

This is a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken or my perfect roast chicken (recipe above)

Chicken, Tomato & Zucchini Gratin

1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dry
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange half the zucchini slices in the bottom of a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Cover zucchini with half the chicken. Layer 1/2 the tomato slices over the chicken. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the parmesan. Sprinkle with 1/2 the garlic and thyme and salt & pepper to taste. Repeat layers. Drizzle with olive oil and top with remaining cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until zucchini is tender.

Spinach Gratin

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions (1 large)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cups milk (I do it with all milk)
1 1/2 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (2 (10-ounce) packages)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk (I use all milk) and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere (or Swiss) on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.