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This recipe came with its own crust recipe, but to save time, I used a sheet of puff pastry and cut it to fit the baking dish. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Filling:
3 cups Chicken Stock, divided
2 1/3 cups cubed red potato (about 1 pound)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) sliced carrot
2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup chopped shallots or onions
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup frozen petite green peas
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Dash of black pepper
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons 1% low-fat milk
Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare filling, bring 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add potato and carrot; cook 2 minutes. Drain mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 3 minutes. Lightly spoon 1/2 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup Chicken Stock; stir with a whisk. Add to skillet. Stir in potato mixture, reserved cooking liquid, chicken, peas, 3/4 teaspoon salt, thyme, and pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Spoon chicken mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Please puff pastry on top of mixture and press edges. Cut 5 slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape. Gently brush crust with milk. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

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I made this last Friday night for dinner and I ate it through Wednesday! I makes a ton and is a great remedy for the winter!

French Onion Soup – From CookingLight

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly vertically sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onion
4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups less-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.

Preheat broiler.

Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.

Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

I have to admit I’m a novice when it comes to cooking pork, but this straight-forward recipe came highly reccommended and it was awesome!

I hope you enjoy it!

Oven-Fried Pork Chops

4 (5-ounce) lean center-cut loin pork chops (1/2-inch thick)
1 egg white
2 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Cooking spray

Trim fat from chops; set chops aside. Combine next 5 ingredients in a shallow bowl; stir with a wire whisk. Combine breadcrumbs and paprika in a shallow bowl. Dip each chop into egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place chops on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in a shallow roasting pan. Back at 350 degrees for 25 minutes on each side or until done.

This easy soup was a hit in my house. Mr. Hillman’s Helpings said it was the best soup I’d ever made!

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in 2-inch chunks (about 3/4 pound)
1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges (about 14 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remaining ingredient:
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preparation

To prepare relish, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare soup, combine carrots, sweet potato, and onion on a jelly-roll pan; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, stirring after 15 minutes.

Place vegetables, broth, and ginger in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place half of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl; repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 4 bowls.

Hello!

Summer is the best time for a good old fashioned barbecue. The fruits and veggies that are in season during the summer (watermelon, corn, tomatoes, etc… ) are the perfect accompaniments to your feast.

My friends and I had a barbecue on Memorial Day, which I began to blog about here. Below are some of the other fabulous dishes we made to round out our meal.

Enjoy!

WATERMELON SALAD WITH MINT LEAVES – Courtesy of the Food Network
Serves 6

1 (5-pound) watermelon
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 whole mint sprigs

Separate the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.

BARBECUE TURKEY BURGERS – Courtesy Cooking Light
Makes 4 Burgers

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbs. barbecue sauce
2 tbs. dry breadcrumbs
2 tbs. mustard
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground turkey

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Divide into 4 equal portions and grill for 7 minutes on each side.

Bon Appetit!

Sincerely,

Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings

Hello!

My name is Lauren Hillman and I’m a food enthusiast. I love everything about it; eating it, making it, learning about it, buying it – you get the picture.

I started cooking regularly when I was a sophomore in college, but I really didn’t get going until after I graduated. My eyes glued to the Food Network, I would watch Rachael Ray, Emeril and the rest of the gang well into the night.

I love to use new recipes that are easy to make on a weeknight after a long day of work. I tend to use a published recipe, however I make shortcuts here and there to save time or if I don’t have a particular ingredient.

I started the “Hillman’s Helpings” e-mail newsletter for friends and family a few months ago to help other 20-somethings get over their fear of cooking. I found that a lot of my friends were stuck in a cooking rut, or just didn’t know they could actually enjoy it!

I try to make the recipes as easy, quick and healthy as possible so as not to discourage anyone.

I decided to start this blog as compliment to my e-mail, and also to share thoughts on the wonderful world of cooking. Enjoy!!

Lauren