Delicious Distractions to get us through the days.

Simple recipes for those with simple chef skills.

Prime Rib: Don’t be scared! August 31, 2009

Filed under: Dinner,Holiday,Themed Post — christinedel @ 11:45 pm

Prime rib is one my husband’s favorite dishes.  For a while now, I have been wanting to try to make it. But I was scared. I didn’t want spend that much money on a dish only to mess it up. I decided to give it a try and hope for the best.

And am I ever so ecstatic I got over my fear and ended up making one of the best meals ever!  Sadly, restaurant prime rib will no longer be so glamorous.  And to top it off, I roasted it in the toaster oven! Oh yes, the mighty toaster oven wins a point against the oven once again.

When purchasing this meat from the butcher, you will not be able to buy a “prime rib” cut. You will need to ask for either eye of rib, rib roast, or standing rib roast. These cuts may be both bone in or boneless. The “prime” in prime rib described the grade of meat as in Prime, Choice, or Select.  Very confusing, I know, but once you roast it, cut it, and serve it, only then does it becomes a prime rib cut.

Roasting and baking are considered the same method of cooking. The only difference is the item you are cooking. Think baked ham, roasted turkey, baked cake, roasted almonds.  It’s just the nuances of the English language.

prime rib 1

Serves about 5


  • 1 (4 1/2 pound) prime rib roast
  • 4 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees. (I live where it’s HOT, so running an oven for 2 hours is not something I want to do.)
  • Place the fat side of the roast up in the pan.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients together and spread over the roast.
  • Cook the roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove roast and place a meat thermometer in the center of the roast.
  • Now place the roast in the toaster oven and bake until the thermometer reaches 145 degrees for medium rare, about a hour and 45 minutes.  Remove roast and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Or if you are slightly more daring and want a better medium rare, remove the roast once the temperature reads 135 degrees, about 95 minutes.  Let the roast rest for about 15 minutes until the meat reaches 145 degrees.

Hint: Once the meat is removed from the oven and you let it rest, the meat will continue to cook. So taking the roast out early will allow the meat to rest and come up to optimum temperature

Due to the garlic being so close to the heating elements in the toaster oven, it did burn a bit. But this made no ill affect on the out come of the over all taste of the prime rib. The garlic was actually quite enjoyable toasted like that.

prime rib 2


Hubby- 4 stars all the way!

Me- 4 stars absolutely. Way more easy than I ever thought it would be.


Chicken Milano May 5, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 1:17 pm
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Oh my goodness this is one of our most most favorite dishes.  Whenever we go to restaurants I know I can always count on this dish to be good.  So when I found this recipe I thought I’d give it a try and I hoped for the best.  And heck ya it is one of the best ever.  Although, I swear it changes flavors every time I make it, it still is yummy. So why not give it a try and tell me what you think.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 3 ½ stars Me- 3 ½ stars

Serves 2  Ready in 40 minutes

  • 1 pot and 2 pans (yup it’s dishes time! Who ever eats it will gladly do the dishes for you).
  • 1 cup of bowtie pasta per person
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil (or to taste, but please don’t use sweet basil and don’t use the finely chopped stuff either)


  1. Get the pot of water for the pasta started now.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sauce pan.  Once melted, add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Simmer this concoction for about 10 minutes.
  3. Your pasta pot should be boiling by now, so put those bowties in to cook.
  4. Go back to the other pan and add the heavy cream to the concoction and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  I like ours thick so it might take 10-15 minutes.
  5. Now on to the chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.  In the third pan, warm the oil over medium heat and saute  the chicken.  Cook until the inside is no longer pink.  Sometimes, this is when I cut the chicken into bite size pieces and throw them into the cream sauce.  But only if your sauce is getting thick but now.
  6. By now your pasta should be done cooking.  Drain and mix with the cream sauce.  Add the basil and stir everything together.
  7. Enjoy!


Tortilla- Cooked over the open flame. April 23, 2009

Filed under: Themed Post,Travel — christinedel @ 1:00 pm
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OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!  Do you even really realize how good one of those tastes?  Well, you might if you only get to have one every few months I like do.  I get to right now because I am back in California introducing our four month old to our families for the first time.  While doing this, we get to eat at all our favorite places and the ones we miss oh so much.  I just can’t wait until I get to eat fresh never-before-frozen chicken, ah yummy.   But for now I will revel in the fact that I just had an awesomely fantastic cooked tortilla over the open gas range.

Oh the simple pleasureful flavors in life.


Oven Baked Pork Chops March 10, 2009

Filed under: Dinner,Pork — christinedel @ 10:54 pm
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This recipe is all about the stuffing mix.  If you have a favorite stuffing then you need to use it.  We used a herb seasoned stuffing mix and it was phenomenal!  But once again with most pork dishes the pork is a bit bland.  Ya, not something you are supposed to saying when promoting a recipe but this is all about learning and changing the recipes as you see fit.  We do have a favorite stuffed pork recipe that is by far 4 plus stars but I haven’t shared it with you yet, I will eventually. I have included what I would do differently with this recipe to help make the pork taste better.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 2 stars Me- 2 stars (has potential see alternate steps)

Serves 2 Ready in 30 minutes

  • 2 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup of herb seasoned dry stuffing mix


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix the egg, milk, and pepper together.  Crush the stuffing mix slightly so no huge pieces remain.
  3. Dip the each pork chop in the egg mixture then coat with the stuffing.
  4. In an 8 x 8 inch pan, place butter then pork chops.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes turning half way and until no pink remains.

Second option for cooking (which I will try next time we eat this):

  1. After dipping and coating of the pork chop I would place the chop in a large skillet with a can of beef broth and ¼ cup of red wine.
  2. Simmer until the chop is cooked through about 10 minutes, flipping half way.
  3. This will make the stuffing soggy but it still tastes good.

Sides: Roasted Garlic Couscous

Our comments:

Hubby- Needs a sauce (it would have a sauce if we used the alternative recipe).

Me- Awesome use of the stuffing.


Chicken in a Lemon-Wine Sauce March 9, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 9:09 pm
Tags: ,

For some strange reason several of the recipes I pulled out over the past two weeks have included lemon.  We are not much of a lemon flavored fanatics nor are we all that much into anything citrusy.  I don’t even like lemonade (well only if I am eating spicy Mexican and my mouth is on fire). But for some reason this flavor has caught my attention so I decided to try out the following recipe.

It’s a light and fluffy battered chicken coupled with a low-key lemon flavor and white wine mixture.    Once again the hubby said it tasted like a crepe.  Maybe it’s the lemon thing again or maybe his taste buds are crazy off kilter.  Who knows about that but what we do know is that this particular recipe was a nice change to the heavy cream sauce chicken dishes we normally would eat.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 2 stars Me- 2 stars

Serves 2 Ready in 35 minutes

  • ¼ cup of flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 10 ounce can of chicken broth (this yields plenty of sauce, so if you are serving more than 2 people don’t double this amount)
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour then dip in the egg.  To me this is totally backwards but it works.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the chicken until almost cooked through and place the chicken in a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  4. Combine wine, broth, parsley, salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice and heat over medium low heat.  Stir slowly until butter has melted completely.  Add the cornstarch slowly, constantly stirring until sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Pour the sauce over chicken and cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.
  6. Enjoy!

Sides: We served it with corned cooked on the BBQ.  OK side but we could have combined something better with it.

Our comments:

Hubby- tastes like a crepe.

Me- Less lemon = better.  Sauce might be better a little thicker.


Bacon Ranch Chicken March 4, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 8:10 pm
Tags: ,

This was surprisingly better than I thought it was going to be.  All the ingredients sound good but the soy sauce just threw me.  We served it with Texas toast and edamame.


Rating out of three stars: Hubby- 3 stars Me- 2 ¾ stars

Serves 2 Ready in 35 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of ranch dressing
  • ½ cup of shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • ½ tablespoon of parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sear the chicken breasts on each side, 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Place chicken in an 8×8 inch pan.  Brush a layer of soy sauce on the chicken followed by the ranch dressing.
  3. Top chicken with a layer of cheese, onions, and bacon strips.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Garnish with parsley.
  5. Enjoy!

Our comments:

Hubby- The bacon is a good touch.

Me- More ranch, yummy bacon.  I think it would be good on some sort of specialty toasted bun/bread thing.


Mexican Lasagna March 3, 2009

Filed under: Dinner,Ground Beef — christinedel @ 11:39 pm
Tags: ,

As with most Monday through Fridays the afternoons are spent on the neighbor’s front porch.  One topic we hit on about the time the husbands are due home is “What’s for dinner?”  One neighbor said its either Mexican Lasagna or something thing else.  So inspired by her and the fact I needed to cook my ground beef asap I cooked this up.


Rating out of 3 stars: 2 ¾ stars

Serves 2 with no sides or 3-4 with sides

Ready in 45 mins


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • half a red onion chopped
  • half a pack of taco seasonings (or to taste)
  • one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions
  • one 8 oz can of tomato sauce (optional for a more wet meat)
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • pepper to taste


  1. Cook the ground beef with the chopped onions until the meat is almost cooked through.  Drain.  Combine the meat and onions with the taco seasonings, diced tomato can, and extra sauce if desired.  Set it to simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the mozzarella and eggs.  Add pepper to taste.
  3. In an 8×8 inch glass pan, line the bottom with a tortilla and spread a third the egg and cheese mixture on top of the tortilla.  Add half of the meat mix on top of the cheese. Repeat the three layers and top off with the remaining cheese.
  4. In a preheated 350 degree oven bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.
  5. Enjoy!

Our comments:

Hubby- He had a dinner meeting so he only had a spoonful but it said to be good.

Me- Maybe a little cheese mixed into the meat.  And more cheese. I like cheese.


German Crepe Flavored Chicken March 2, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — christinedel @ 5:18 am
Tags: ,

Maybe it is the fact we have been living on tiny Pacific islands for the past two years combined with not being able to get to normal American restaurants that makes my husband believe this chicken recipe tastes like the German Crepes he eats for breakfast.   Because he loves his German crepes so much, I aptly named this recipe after his taste buds.  Maybe everything does taste like chicken.  Or maybe, after eating only frozen chicken for so long, chicken starts tasting like anything and everything.   As for me…it just tastes good.  Boy, I sure do miss fresh chicken right about now.  Great, now I am a little homesick for California.  Enough of this, let’s get to the food.


Rating out of 3 stars: Hubby 3 stars  Me  2 ½ stars (has potential)

Serves 2 Ready in 30 mins


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup of garlic and herb flavored bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 tablespoons off butter
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • dill weed to taste


  1. Dredge the chicken in the egg and then cover with the bread crumbs.
  2. In a large deep skillet heat oil over medium head.  When heated cook chicken for about 10 minutes or until juices run clear.  Flip chicken half way through.  Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. In same skillet on low heat, combine lime, butter, onions, and dill.  Once it starts to boil remove from heat and spoon over chicken.
  4. Enjoy!

Our comments:

Hubby- more chickie please!  Oddly good.

Me- less dill = better… yet oddly good.