Dinner: Ultimate Garlic Bread

I’m a little behind on Sunday’s post all the time so I figured that I’d go for a quick and fun post: a new recipe post!! They are making a comeback slowly but surely, which is good because I like the feeling of having accomplished good food or trying out new stuff.

I’m not sure about all of you but my husband LOVES Garlic Bread and I mean like cheesy garlic bread. The moment I saw this recipe, I knew it was one I had to do. Plus, we had just bought lactose-free cheese so for once, I can actually get in on the lovely snack/meal. I ended up using this for lunch a few times.

I saw this recipe on Popsugar Food in this video. They take full credit for the attempt of this recipe.

My recipe does have a few modifications and it will be at the bottom as usual.

First of all, here is how it turned out.

Ultimate Garlic Bread

Now for the modifications to the recipe:

  • Melba Toasts turned into breadcrumbs instead of Panko breadcrumbs
  • Lactose-free Cheese (Allegro brand) instead of all cheese ingredients
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk instead of whole milk

The recipe says that it makes two servings, however I made smaller portions and ended up with double the amount. These Ultimate Garlic Breads are a little more complicated to make than then regular bread because you have to first make the chicken, let it cool off before cutting and then make the dough, put it together and back into the oven. It is incredibly cheesy and I have to say grating cheese is something I am the worst at (but that is really just my own problem and not the recipe’s fault). However, if you happen to want to give up halfway and just pull out the chicken breasts and eat that, I can totally understand that because I kind of wanted to also because they look delicious alone.

With that said, this recipe did take me a little while because I paired it with another recipe. I’m a fantastic multitasker in many many other scenarios in life except for two places and that is cooking (not baking) and gaming. However, I did manage to get this recipe done in a really long time and I blame my skills on it. However, this is a much more time consuming recipe but the payoff is worth it. This Ultimate Garlic Bread is packed with a ton of flavor from the chicken to the extra cheesy filling and topping. It isn’t a light meal so I’d suggest to cut it in strips or something and eat it like that. The video suggests to use marinara sauce to go with it. I haven’t tried it with that pairing yet.

Bottomline: The Ultimate Garlic Bread takes a little more time to put together but is well worth the effort.

Dinner: Pork Chops & Potatoes in Tomato-Basil Sauce

We’re back again with another recipe.  I don’t do a whole lot of improvisation but you know, buying groceries are expensive and I’m trying to use what I have at home to work something out.  One thing my house has a lot of is potatoes.  My friend gave me a ton so now we’re working hard on finishing it all up.  We tried to mix things up a little last weekend and ended up with this little pork chops and potatoes dish.

Super uncreative name but here we go…

Pork Chops and Potatoes in Tomato-Basil Sauce

pork chops potato tomato-basil sauce


6-8 pork chops
(you  might want to use a bigger oven dish than this one)

5-6 medium potatoes

1-1/5 cups tomato sauce
(we used Classico Tomato-Basil and Sundried Tomato mix)

minced garlic
Italian seasoning

bay leaves, to garnish

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven at 400F.
2. Layer pork chops at the bottom.
3. Pour the sauce over the pork chops.
4. Layer sliced potatoes on the top.  Try to keep it basted in the tomato sauce.
5. Season on top with minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Put the bay leaves on top, if you choose to.
6. Place it in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes. Be sure to check whether the pork chops and potatoes are cooked through if you need to add a little more time.

Pork Chops Potato Tomato Sauce

I like quick dinner solutions.  Usually anything with baking is quick because preparation is about 15 minutes or something. Cutting the potatoes take the longest.  Unless you want to peel it, then it’ll take even more time.  Mine was in there for a little extra time so it ended adding a little bit of crispiness to the top of the potatoes.  It worked out pretty well. Honestly, I had my doubts especially because it didn’t look that appealing but the results worked good.  The pork chops flavored well with the tomato sauce.

For something thrown together with leftover sauces in the fridge and adding some meat and veggies, it was a really good mix. I was pleased with the results.

If I were to change it up, I suggest to use less pork chops and layer with more thinly sliced potatoes and only one single layer. Just little tips to think about when putting this together if you give it a go. Any sauce works as long as you like it.  If you change the sauce, you should go with some matching seasoning.

How do you like to make pork chops? What do you suggest to use up those potatoes?

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken!

I’m back with recipes!  Its been way too long. I have never felt this great to be back into the cooking and baking.

First up was from two weekends ago, I made Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken otherwise called “The Roastess with the Mostest” from Looneyspoons Collection.

When in doubt, I always make some chicken and when you have a whole chicken, you just mix up some marinade and pour it over the chicken and stick it in the oven.  When you do recipes like that, its really the marinade and seasoning that makes all the difference. This one was quite different actually. It was fun to explore into the fresh herbs as seasoning.



1 whole chicken (about 4lbs/1.8kg)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary

1 tbsp minced fresh thyme

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp each salt and ground black pepper

1 tbsp  lemon juice

1. Move oven rack to bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 425F.  Place a small rack inside a roasting pan.  Pour 1 cup water in pan.  Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels

2. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, brown sugar, rosemary, thyme, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to make a paste.  Set aside.

3. Squeeze juice from lemon inside cavity of chicken. Rub reserved paste over surface of  chicken, and using your fingers, carefully rub paste between skin and meat on breast and thighs.

4. Place chicken on rack breast-side down.  Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and flip over.  Add a bit more water if it has evaporated.  Return to oven and roast for 35 to 40 more minutes, depending on size of bird.  If chicken browns too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.  When cooked, legs should move easily in sockets and thigh juices should be clear (not pink) when pierced with a small knife.

5. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

This is already modified to how I did it.  The original recipe has the marinade with 1 tsp grated lemon zest mixed in before you set it aside.  Also, if you have a lemon, you could use freshly squeezed lemon juice into the cavity and then use the rest of the lemon and sit it into the cavity and then tie the legs up before you place it in the oven.  I would assume this would give it more of a zesty taste.

This chicken is very tender.  I’ve never baked chicken where there was additional water at the bottom of the pan to evaporate.  I think its what makes it less dry. The way I did it was more herb roasted tasting than lemon.  I actually don’t mind that as I’m not particularly into the zesty taste, either is my boyfriend so I think it worked well.

Pan-Fried Asparagus!

Do you like asparagus? I LOVE them.  I only started trying these out last year when my mom first made them but man, are they ever yummy?

I decided last night for the weekly cooking that I’d go ahead and give it a shot.  I found a really nice recipe for it, but instead of baking it since the oven was lining up with too many dishes to heat up and cook (we made oven-baked ribs on Sunday also).  I would’ve posted up the ribs also but I really winged it.  I didn’t have any more rib sauce so I just used all sorts of spices.  It actually turned out pretty amazing. Maybe next time!

Back to the asparagus, here it is (you’ll find the recipe below):

The recipe was mostly inspired from Looneyspoons Collections by Janet and Greta Podelski, original recipe is called “Britney’s Spears” (Haha!)  The one I post up below will be what I did since I did make several changes.  I’ll tell you after the recipe.


Makes 6 servings


1 1/2 lbs (680g) asparagus

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground  black pepper

1/4 cup water


1) Prepare the asparagus by trimming off the tough ends.

2) Heat olive oil in pan on medium setting.  Arrange asparagus in a single layer (as much as you can) and move it around so it doesn’t burn.

3) Mix in garlic with asparagus.  When the garlic starts turning yellow, pour in water and put the cover on.  Let it simmer for about 2 mins or until the water has mostly evaporated.  Remove the cover and mix in salt and pepper.

4) Cover the pan for another minute till the water evaporates and it starts sizzling.  Remove the cover and make sure that it is cooked thoroughly but  still firm (not too mushy).

5) Arrange cooked asparagus on a plate and serve!

This was relatively easy to make.  I had one worry was that I wasn’t sure how to determine whether the asparagus was cooked too much or too little.  My asparagus was cooked perfectly by the way.  The taste was pretty good also.  I’d probably decrease the amount of oil.  You shouldn’t have that problem though.  I had more oil than mentioned because I had prepared it to go in the oven then changed my mind last minute.  Nonetheless, it tasted pretty good.  I was happy with my first attempt with asparagus and I think it’ll hit the dinner table more frequently.

The original recipe was to be roasted in the oven with garlic and oil then sprinkle on salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Then top it with crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese.  I think that would taste pretty good too.  I didn’t have any balsamic vinegar so I didn’t even season with that.  As for cheese, I can’t eat that so I’m pretty sure my house has limited supplies of that as well.

This is my first (or second?) attempt at writing directions for recipes, still so hard.  If there are any problems or anything is not clear, feel free to ask me in the comments.

I’m still a beginner at making asparagus.  Is there any other ways to prepare it that you’d suggest? Any other seasonings that would taste good?

Sunday Cooking Part 2: Strip T’s (or should I say Strip C’s?)

As a side for my Minestrone Soup (featured yesterday, link provided here as well), I made a dish my new cookbook (that I just bought on Saturday) called Strip T’s.  Wait, lets backtrack, my new cookbook is amazing….it has the wittiest names for the recipes.  I’m still reading through it and it just doesn’t stop cracking me up.  On top of that, it has healthy and delicious-looking recipes. Even the ones with out the pictures of the end results, the ingredients just make it all look fantastic. I seriously can’t wait to try out some more of the recipes.

Okay, back to my Part 2.  So what are these Strip T’s you all may ask? Its turkey strips, of course.  Did any of you guess? Maybe you want to take a guess at which cookbook I have.  I’ll be telling you that in just a bit. Just let me clarify, mine were Strip C’s.  I’m not an expert at making turkey and they aren’t available all the time at the grocery stores so I went with chicken instead.  The chicken strips are coated with coconut shred and sesame seeds.

So lets take a look at what it looked like:

It got a bit burnt on the sides but it was still tasted pretty good.  Note to self, I need to work on multitasking while cooking multiple dishes. Not too bad, right? So you interested in trying this out, here’s the recipe right below.  Its from my new cookbook, as mentioned before: The Looneyspoons Collection: Janet & Greta’s greatest recipe hits plus a whole lot more! by Janet and Greta Podleski.

Strip T’s



1 egg

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 lbs (680g) boneless skinless turkey breast, cut into strips (about 1×4 inches)


2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon each salt, garlic powder and onion powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


1/2 cup plum sauce

1/3 cup unsweetened frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

1 1/2 teaspoon each yellow mustard and cornstarch


1) In a large bowl, whisk together egg, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil.  Add turkey strips and (using your hands) toss to coat with marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or longer if possible).

2) Meanwhile, place coconut and sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat.  Cook until golden brown, stirring frequently.  Be careful not to burn them! Transfer toasted coconut and sesame seeds to a small pie plate or shallow dish and let cool.  Add bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper.  Mix well and set aside.

3) Prepare sauce by combining all sauce ingredients in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until sauce is bubbly and has thickened.  Keep warm.

4) Preheat oven to 450F.  Working one piece at a time, shake excess marinade from turkey strips and roll in crumb mixture.  Make sure strips are well coated with crumbs.  Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat with remaining strips and coconut mixture.  Spray tops of strips with a light coating of cooking spray.  Bake on middle oven rack for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven and gently turn pieces over.  Spray other side with a light coating of cooking spray return to oven and bake about 4 more minutes, until coating is lightly browned and turkey is cooked through.

5) Serve strips with warm dipping sauce. Enjoy!

What did I do different?  Well, there is a few things as always.  For one, as mentioned, these are Chicken strips so I used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  As for the coating, you will notice that mine doesn’t cover the meat completely and thats because I somehow couldn’t find any breadcrumbs at the grocery so I just took bread and broke it into little pieces.  It did do the job just not as fine as the ready made breadcrumbs.  I’ll have to work on that.  Also, instead of the seasoning they asked for (salt, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper), I went straight to use our own spices which already has salt and pepper and a few other ingredients in there.

Aside from that, I didn’t make a sauce and just had it like that.  I’m not a huge fan of plum sauce.  I have to admit Walmart didn’t carry pineapple juice concentrate so I had to skip it.  I wasn’t ready to test out how berry punch concentrate (or iced tea concentrate) mixed as the sauce would be and I’d doubt it’d taste too good mixed with the other sauce ingredients.  If  I had guests, I’d definitely make it though.  It does look like a good mix, especially since they added in the pineapple factor to it.

As for the marinade, it was pretty straightforward (similar to how I marinade my chicken) and I didn’t do any changes to it except for changing the meat.  I did cut too much meat so I ended up frying the rest. This is how that turned out:

Not too bad for my Sunday meal, right? I thought so too.  So before we end this off, the experience of my new cookbook is pretty awesome. If you happen to go past any bookstores, you should give it a read.  They have some little fun facts and cartoon drawings to match the funky names.  Here’s a little fun fact for coconut, it doesn’t only help your body burn fat but it also helps you feel full longer.

Such a motivator to cook when you know what you’re cooking is healthy also!