two skinny jenkins

090513 – lasagna
090513, 10:08 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

lasagnaAt long last… my ‘famous’ lasagna recipe!  A few people have been, ahem, pestering me to post this one.  It tastes better than it looks – promise!

this was originally my uncle’s recipe and i had to improvise the quantities.  He is one of those cooks who magically throws ingredients together and makes it come out just right.  I think this tastes a like his, but was a tad watery, probably from the frozen spinach i used.

  • 1 lb ground beef (we use Laura’s 92% lean)
  • 1 T evoo
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 32 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 1 t mustard powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 t sugar
  • 4 C spinach (i used frozen- it was all i had on hand)
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (no boil) lasagna noodles
  1. brown ground beef in a large saucepan, rinse and drain.  heat oil in the saucepan and saute garlic and onion.  before adding the tomatoes, slice them into chunks using a sharp knife in the can.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  3. add the tomatoes, fennel, mustard powder, onion powder, basil, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil.  stir in meat and continue simmer.
  4. mix ricotta cheese, thyme and 1/3 C of mozzarella cheese.
  5. layer, starting with sauce, then noodles, ricotta mixture, and spinach.  Repeat, finishing with noodles, then sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese.  I like to sprinkle a little exra basil on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

090507 – chickpea pasta + parmesan pull-aparts
090507, 8:57 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , , , ,

090507 - dinner

THE PASTA – is a Shape Magazine dish, which i adapted in a few ways.

  • 8 oz. farfalle pasta
  • 2 T evoo
  • 4 C baby spinach
  • 1/3 C packed golden raisins (not just for color – the flavor is better)
  • 1 3/4 C chickpeas (approx. one can)
  • 4 oz. feta cheese (about 1/2 C)
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • S + P to taste
  • chopped walnuts if desired.
  1. cook the pasta to al dente.  drain, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  2. while the pasta is still hot, add spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins.  put the cover back on to help the spinach wilt a little.
  3. when the pasta has cooled, add the feta and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with walnuts if you like.

THE PULL APARTS – recipe was found on – and they were just as good as i had hoped.  Joe observed that they taste a lot like cheeze-its, but have the texture of a bialy.

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F), divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into T pieces and softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.Whisk together flour (2 1/2 cups), cheese, and salt, then mix into yeast mixture along with remaining 1/3 cup warm milk at low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape dough into center of bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch down dough (do not knead) and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Arrange rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  5. Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.) Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes.

090504 – baked olive chicken
090504, 9:37 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

straight from the oven chicken, brn rice + mango salad

this chicken is sooo  good.  we found grape tomates on sale at the store yesterday and this recipe was the first thing that we both thought of.  the mangos were also on sale (50¢ apiece!) and made a good salad with spinach, feta, and almonds.

recipe posted on 090407

090418 – asparagus pasta
090418, 9:46 pm
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH | Tags: , , ,


Last week Carolyn bought two bunches of asparagus, we ate one as a side with chicken but had one bunch left. We’re racing a triathlon tomorrow, so we wanted something high in carbs but we needed to use the asparagus before it went bad. This pasta was the logical choice. I’ve made it before, and it is tasty and super quick.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1/2 box of pasta, we use angel hair
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes – petite diced is the best
  • olive oil
  • dried basil

Get your pasta water boiling in one pot.  In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over med-high heat. Once hot, put the minced garlic and about a tablespoon of dried basil (fresh would be better if you have it) in the skillet. Cook the until the garlic is golden brown.  Once brown, turn the heat down a bit and pour in your cans of diced tomatoes. They have a lot of juice and will taste better if you let it cook down a bit, about 10 minutes.

Once your water is boiling, put in your pasta. You want to put the asparagus in with the pasta with about 4.5 minutes to go, so watch the timer. Cook the two together until the pasta is al dente and the asparagus is done, but not mushy. Drain in a collander and the pour into the skillet with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix well and serve with grated parmesean.

090417 – pizza nite
090417, 10:50 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,


i finally branched out and tried a new recipe.  i keep meaning to start dough the night before, but rarely do. this recipe turned out very bready, especially at the edges, so if that’s what you like, enjoy.   one change that i would definitely make if using this recipe again is to add a bit more oil.  i found the end result to be a little on the bland and dry side.  either glazing the shaped crust, or adding an extra 1/8-1/4 cup on the onset could correct this.  thanks to the pizza stone, the center and the bottom were still nice and crunchy.  all i have been striving for (in both my pizza and bread dough) is big air bubbles.


  • 3 t heaping yeast
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 4 C flour (half white, half white-wheat)
  • 1t heaping salt
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1/4 C olive oil


  1. pour 1/2 C water into measuring cup and mix in yeast and sugar and let sit for 3-5 min.
  2. mix flour, salt, oil, and remaining water in a large bowl until well combined, then add yeast mixture.
  3. kneed dough on lightly floured counter for 8ish minutes or until nicely homogenized and elastic
  4. cover with saran wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
  5. punch down (lightly with fist), cut in half, and gently form into balls
  6. let sit for 45 min covered (will nearly double again).  put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 550°
  7. shape into pizza on a piece of parchment paper, slide onto pizza stone and bake for 6 min

i only reccomend using 2-3 toppings (in the photo are sun-dried tomato, kalamata olives, and thinly sliced onion).  for a simple (and cheap) sauce, i used 1/2 can of diced tomatoes, garlic powder or salt, dried basil and oregano, and a bit of balsamic vinegar, then blended it al in an immersion blender.  i like to sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the pizza as well.

090415 – ethiopian night!
090415, 10:08 pm
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mmm… butter.  niter kebbeh (clarified butter) is the foundation of all good Ethiopian cooking.  well, that and injera (bread made from teff flour), which serves as both the plate and utensils (and spice moderator).

  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 4 T finely diced onion
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. melt butter over low heat in small saucepan.
  2. add spices and bring to simmer for 30 minutes
  3. strain spices from butter with cheesecloth (i used coffee filter basket) and refrigerate to solidify


joe and i started eating ethiopian in college at a local restaurant, and have always gotten the vegetarian combo.  usually this is a selection of the following; spicy lentils, collard greens, stew, yellow lentils, and salad. i have taken to making spicy lentils and collard greens beause they are always my favorite.

  • 1 C red lentils
  • 1 C diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C niter kebbeh
  • 1 1/2 T berbere spice
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 1/2 t paprika
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 C vegetable broth
  1. bring 3 C water to boil in medium saucepan, add lentils, and cook 25 minutes, or untill water is fully absorbed
  2. meanwhile, heat niter kebbeh in frying pan and sautee onion and garlic.


  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • 1 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 T niter kebbeh
  1. cut stalks from green leafs, trim ends, and chop into pieces. loosely chop green leaves.
  2. heat niter kebbeh in large pot, saute stalks and onion until onions are translucent.
  3. add leaves and cook down at medium-low heat for 45 minutes, or until desired tenderness.

090413 – baked gigantoni
090413, 10:33 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


this was originally intended to be an omnivorous dish, with pepperoni, but i left think it was very tasty without. The way i made the recipe it should yield 1 (big) dinner and two lunches for two active people.  It took a little while to cook, but there is so little prep time that i got in 20 miles on the trainer while making dinner!


  • 1/2 package of gigantoni (or ziti)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 24 oz. jar pasta sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • dash of red pepper (probably 1 t)
  • 18 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 C mozzarella cheese


  1. combine sauce, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic and pepper in medium saucepan and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. cook pasta al dente according to directions, drain, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  3. preheat oven to 350°  and combine cooked pasta with ricotta cheese, 1/2 C mozzarella, and 1/2 of sauce in a baking dish.  Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  4. bake for 30 min. and let cool for 10 (perfect time to make side salad).

090407 – amazing chicken + stuffed mushrooms
090408, 2:13 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,


this was shockingly simple and the best chicken i have ever made. until tonight, my best chicken recipe was my mom’s 40 clove chicken. tonight’s recipe is from my mother-in-law, so i guess the competition is on!  It was great with a bed of brown rice

amazing chicken ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, trimmed and halved
  • 16 kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 T capers
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 T olive oil

amazing chicken directions:

  1. preheat oven to 475°
  2. salt and pepper both sides of the trimmed chicken
  3. heat oil in medium, oven proof skillet on high heat until shimmering
  4. toss 1 T olive oil with capers, olives, and tomatoes
  5. pan fry one side of chicken until golden brown (about 4 minutes)
  6. add tomato mixture to pan and bake in oven for 16-18 minutes, until tomatoes are done

stuffed mushrooms


  • 12 mushrooms, stems removed and set aside
  • 8 sun dried tomato halves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 C diced onion
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/3 C breadcrumbs (seasoned)
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 T warm water


  1. bake mushrooms, top up, on parchment covered baking sheet for 9 minutes
  2. chop mushroom stems and saute with garlic and onion in small saucepan until onion is soft (about 5 minutes)
  3. mix together onion mixture, and remaining ingredients except Parmesan.
  4. drain mushrooms and stuff with mixture
  5. bake for 17 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

090331 – bruchetta
090331, 9:12 pm
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH | Tags: ,

Unfortunately the bruschetta was so good that it didn’t last long enough to photograph. Honestly. but, it was the best bruschetta i have ever made. the grape tomatoes and splash of balsamic make ALL the difference.


  • leftover bread from the 090326 post
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 scallion minced
  • 1-2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1T basil
  • 1t oregano
  • 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (or thin sliced ball)
  1. slice bread into 1/2 (or 3/8) inch thick slices, using a grilling brush, lightly coat with olive oil, and spread out on baking sheet.
  2. turn oven to high broil.
  3. broil bread 1- 1 1/2 min on each side (just wait till bread smell comes from the oven).
  4. combine chopped tomato, vinegar, salt, basil, oregano,and let sit for 5- 10 minutes.
  5. saute scallion over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes.
  6. add onion to tomato mixture, add spoonful on top of each piece of toast, and a slice of mozzarella.
  7. broil for 2-3 minutes, waiting till cheese begins to brown.


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