two skinny jenkins

090701 – Crostini
090701, 10:46 pm
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Duo Crostini

Ever since i was little, i have preferred to eat like a bird… just a little bit of everything.  Just ask Joe about my peppermint patty eating technique!  I am a big snacker and I love to have little bites of things for dinner.  I am a big fan of tapas-style eating.  So, when Joe and i have leftover rustic bread, i jump at the chance to turn it into crostini or bruschetta.

Crostini Di Firenze Recipe

  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 pound (frozen!) strawberries
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  1. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices, discarding the two end slices. Grill the bread over a gas grill or electric grill, or toast the bread in a toaster or conventional oven. Turn to grill or toast both sides, if necessary.
  2. Peel and finely mince the garlic. Place the garlic in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well to blend. Set aside.
  3. Rinse the strawberries and drain thoroughly, then remove and discard the leaf caps. Coarsely chop the strawberries (about 1/4-inch pieces) and place, along with the juices, in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Core and seed the tomato and finely dice it. Add the tomato and any juices to the strawberries as you chop. Rinse and dry the mint leaves and finely chop them, adding them to the bowl.
  5. Just before serving, whisk the oil mixture to recombine and add it to the strawberry mixture. Stir well. Place the toasted (or grilled) bread on a serving platter and spoon 2 heaping teaspoons of the topping over each bread slice. Allow the slices to stand for about 5 minutes so the juices can penetrate the bread, then serve immediately.
  6. Each serving has about 75 calories (40 percent from fat), 3 grams fat (0.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 1 gram protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber and 85 milligrams sodium.

Beef + Caramelized Onion Crostini:

  • 1 loaf rustic bread, thinly sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C dry red wine
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1 piece (24-ounce size) beef tenderloin
  • 2 T blue cheese for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil. Place on a sheet pan and grill until crispy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the onions, wine, vinegar, brown sugar, and honey. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until the sauce is the consistency of marmalade.
  4. Grill the beef tenderloin, turning to mark all sides, until medium rare, about 10 to 15 minutes total. Let rest for 10 minutes, then thinly slice the meat. Place a slice of beef on each crostini and top each with a teaspoon of onion marmalade and sprinkle with blue cheese.

With the crostini we had truffle and mushroom risotto (packaged truffle risotto to which i added sauteed porcini mushrooms) and a salad.


090614 – Chicken Kebobs
090614, 9:04 pm
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Beach dinner #1 – marinated chicken + cherry tomatoes + red and green peppers + mushrooms + onion

Well yesterday, it was our turn to make dinner at the beach. We made some kickin’ chicken kabobs in a chili-lime marinade along with veggie kabobs. The following makes enough marinade for enough chicken for four. I doubled it for the 7 of us.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together then add chicken cut up into skewer sized pieces (~1 breast per person). You could probably get away with marinading for a couple hours, but the longer the better. Meanwhile put your wooden skewers in a pan of water. I’m not sure why you’re supposed to do this, but I’ve seen it in many places. Must be something to do with keeping them from burning on the grill. Just before you get ready to cook them load up the skewers.

You can serve these by themselves or with vegetable kabobs. We made vegetable kabobs of onions, red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. I cut them up and tossed with some olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

When your kabobs are ready cut throw them on your preheated grill. Put the chicken on the middle where its hottest and the vegetables on the periphery. Doing it this way they should both be done about the same time.

090601 – Monday Pizza
090601, 8:56 pm
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Funky Pizza

we broke our friday pizza tradition last week because we went to a friend’s house for a double dinner date.  We have a wedding rehearsal dinner coming up this friday, and i just couldn’t bear the thought of no pizza for two whole weeks!

Last night i started a new batch of Bread Baker’s Apprentice pizza Napoletana dough [right after i finished the Brioche (our little kitchen never  gets a break)].  The recipe yields 6 personal crusts (i usually have 1/3 left over anyway).  Today, i decided to get a little inventive with the toppings. See the dough recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

Sauteed baby bella mushrooms (with garlic) + chopped dried figs + thinly sliced onion + 1/2 t sea salt

it sounds really sorta strange, but it was REALLY good.  the figs and sea salt were a nice combination.  I sauteed five baby bella mushrooms with a clove of garlic in about 1 t olive oil for 5-7 minutes.

090407 – amazing chicken + stuffed mushrooms
090408, 2:13 am
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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.