101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: December 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

101s Top Ten and Year in Review - 2012

Welcome to my yearly top 10 and year in review.

First the high points for the blog.
  • Growth 300% with milestones of 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 page views.
  • Affiliations with Maratha's Circle and ZipList
  • Professionally designed logo (I couldn't help but tweet it some myself)
  • My new DSLR. I love toys
Now the Top Ten. As I always say, it is a little like picking a favorite child. My theme this year is tasty, easy and fool-proof. Not a bad theme...

First Honorable Mention- some of my favorites

Easy General Tso Chicken
Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread
Guacamole - Fresh and Simple

Homemade Cinnamon Candied Nuts 

 Now the Top Ten in Reverse Order

 10) Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

This is still somewhat of a work in process. A new version soon... but gets great reviews and very easy.

9) Iowa Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

I love this. Extremely tender with great taste.

8) Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks - The Art of Drummies

I do this over and over and over.

7) Kick Tail Taco Soup in a Crockpot

A great crock pot chili/soup with kicked up taste. Not wimpy.

6)  Crispy Smashed Potatoes

One of the most popular recipes of the year. An easy and great side.

5) Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bacon Wraps

The go to dish to pass for parties at our house. What could be better, bacon that is sweet and spicy.

4)  Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

This has my wife planning Mexican Buffet parties just to show this off.

3) Oven Baked Blackened Tilapia

Not your wimpy tasting fish. Kicked up and tasty. Extremely easy and fool-proof. And did I say healthy...

2) Parmesan Mayonnaise Baked Skinless Chicken Breast

Continuing on the easy and fool proof theme, we have our Christmas dinner this year, give it a try and you will do it over and over.

1)  Pan Seared Oven Roasted Filet Mignon 

It is almost impossible to beat a really good filet... For that special meal. Also easy and fool proof.

That's it. All are tasty and all fit this year theme of tasty, easy and almost fool proof.

My Other Top 10 Lists

The Top 10 For 2010 - Part 1 - The Most Popular

The Top 10 For 2010 - Part 2 - My Picks

Top Posts For 2011


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef

A slow cooker easy recipe that will give you a very moist and flavorful shredded Mexican beef that is perfect for any Mexican dish – nachos, tacos, burritos or enchiladas. The cooked roast will literally fall apart making a moist and juicy shredded beef.

Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

One Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese

One pot, stove top, no precooking the pasta plus it's creamy and very tasty.

I needed a simple side dish for my chicken salad lunch. I had seen this technique/recipe around several places but I'll give the inspired by to Stephanie at Plain Chicken with her One Pot Mac and Cheese which was adapted from whiteonricecouple.com.  If you need a mac and cheese recipe, Plain Chicken is the go to blog.

Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Giveaway - and Thank You for the visits

As a special thank you to all of you and in celebration of 2,000,000 page views, I'm giving away a cookbook. The obvious choice is America's Test Kitchen's Cooking for Two 2012. It just seems appropriate don't you think.

I know the 2,000,000 is just the blogger count and not the most accurate. See widget lower left.

The rules and how to enter:

There are always rules in life.
1) The giveaway is open to USA and Canadian residents. The Canadians seem to always be left out due to customs issues. Well we Michiganders will not stand for it I say (this time at least). Since I'm buying the book from Amazon and directly shipping to you (read lazy me), I can order from Amazon.ca if needed (I hope).
2) You must be 18 years of age or older.
3) Enter through the Rafflecopter giveaway widget below. This is a must along with the required comment to enter.
4) Leave a comment on this post of 20 words or more with seasons greetings and what is your favorite recipe/food that makes you think of the holiday season. Remember to also so the Rafflecoper widget. Just commenting is not entering.
5) Only one entry per person/email. Duplicates will result in all being deleted.
6) Any post/entry with a link to anything other than a food blog or a recipe will be deleted and not eligible for the giveaway. Bah humbug to you...

Starts at 12 AM EST 12/18/2012 and ends at 12 AM EST 12/24/2012

Do not forget to do both the comment and the Rafflecopter widget

Good luck and Happy Holidays. Again thanks for the support.

FCC disclaimer: I'm paying for it myself.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Easy Chicken Salad

A very tasty lunch for the busy holiday season. Your eating in 10 minutes with minimal work. Sometime you will need a fast lunch on the run and this was one of those days. I had forgot to plan for lunch. I had no supplies. So to the pantry was raided. I emerged with a can of chicken. How odd...

Inspired by Martha Stewart's Classic Chicken Salad with a few minor changes

Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Parmesan Mayonnaise Baked Skinless Chicken Breast

Parmesan Mayonnaise Baked Skinless Chicken Breast from 101 Cooking For Two
The new leader for recipe of the year. This chicken has everything. It's extremely moist, great taste, a little crunchiness and it is SIMPLE. My wife has changed the Christmas menu from my 5-star Chicken Parmesan to this recipe.

Start with some mayo. You could use lower fat if you wish here. Some recipes use zero fat Greek yogart as the base instead. Add some Parmesan and seasoning. Coat some well trimmed skinless boneless chicken breasts and  then sprinkle all sides with some Italian bread crumbs. Bake and you're in chicken heaven.
Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things: Foodie Edition

'Tis the season as they say. Who can't use a few gift suggestions for the foodie in your life or if you're the foodie, a few last minute additions to your list... OR just gift yourself.

Here are a few of my favorite food thingy bobs. 1 to 5 in reverse order but I love them all.

All the links to the products are through my Amazon associate account. All profit from my Amazon account from these products through Dec. 31, 2012 will be donated to DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also, I will match that amount personally (up to $500)

 Please Support Your Local Children's Hospital

5. Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Skillets 

Your foodie will love cooking with cast iron. The original non-stick cooking. Go for the 12 inch if your not sure of the size to buy.


4. Victorinox 47521 10-Inch Chef's Knife 

A great bargain for a wonderful knife that comes 8 or 10 inch models (get the 10). This is the knife that American Test Kitchen uses in their kitchen.


3. Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board 

These are "grrrreeaaat". They don't seem to dull the knife like glass. And are much safer than wood. You can keep them clean easily. Dishwasher or bleach spray and you're safe. I have 2 of all sizes. The large ones are great over the sink.


2. Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker 

I love coffee and maybe it doesn't meet your definition of cooking but it's in mine. Have fresh ground coffee every morning without fuss and muss. I wore one out and I'm on my second one.

1. Thermapen - Instant Read Thermometer  

If this is within the budget, it is a MUST HAVE. I know $100 seems like a lot but really a great thermometer. It will make an OK cook into a really good cook. This is really the secret of my success.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Handy Substitutions

With all the holiday cooking to come, we will all be found short of an ingredient or two in the "heat of battle". Here's a live line for you.
The first of my online cooking reference section.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weeknight Baked Chicken Parmesan

A very easy weeknight chicken Parmesan. With a very moist and tender chicken and a tasty cruchy topping, this may be just what you're looking for.

I started with a very popular recipe from Food Wishes. The idea is to smoother skinless boneless chicken breasts in some marinara sauce then top with Parmesan, mozzarella and some garlic croutons. I cut the recipe in half... we are cooking for two here. I added a bit more cheese than "half" a recipe would call for but the recipe reflects the half. I love crusty cheese on my Italian.

Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Candied Nuts

Don't you just love the smell of the candied nuts at the mall or at a fair. I always have a hard time resisting.

These will make the perfect "hostess gift" for that holiday party. And nobody will believe you did it yourself at home. What could be better? Plus it's an easy cook. A 2/10 (maybe a 1/10) skill level. It's time to impress your friends with you cooking ability.

Click to Read More and Get Recipe

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