Tag Archives: chobani

A Relaxing Wine Night

Oh the joys of Saturday!!! 

It’s a relaxing cloudy/rainy morning here in Richmond but I’m okay with that… for now 🙂

I’ve been lounging around looking through some recipe books for the upcoming week and watching tv, no complaints here!

Speaking of lounging, last night The Man and I decided to get our lounge on at a wine bar just down the street which we really like, The Wine Loft.

We had some yummy pours as well as a light appetizer before heading home.

P.S.  My IPhone definitely didn’t take good pics in the darkly lit room!

 This was a red blend of four different wines and was deelish!

The Man enjoyed a local Kluge Cru (Charlottesville, VA) which is actually a Chardonnay that has been blended with brandy and then aged in Jack Daniels barrels, it is AMAZING when served over ice.

Woah 19% alcohol though 😉

Caramalized onion and mushroom flatbread – holy yum!

Definitely one of my favorite places to celebrate the end of a super busy work week 🙂

We also made a stop at World Market (my obsession?) for this new wall hanging for our living room…

And yes, our walls are blue!  Love it.

Today I have a few things planned, including getting my hair did, finding a yummy appetizer to make for Super Bowl Sunday and then having Fanatic Mom and Dad over for a belated birthday dinner!

A fun recipe awaits….. 😉

Before I go, let’s get into another one of the new Cho flavors, which continue to impress me.

The lemon was next on my to-try list and I gobbled it up yesterday afternoon!

Kind of reminded me of some sort of lemon pie/dessert, but once again not super sweet and with a little bit of that “pucker” that you’d expect from a lemon.

I liked it.  I liked it alot.  I kind of wanted to dip a sugar cookie into it.  Don’t ask why, it just sounded so good 🙂

Overall, here’s my ranking of the new flavors:

1.   Black Cherry

2.  Mango

3.  Lemon

I’d have to say that pineapple is still by all time #1 favorite, but these are some great other flavor options to mix things up!

Next up:  Chobani Champions!

Note that I received all of these Chobani products for free.

Happy Saturday!!


Cheesy, Buttery Eggplant & Clam Casserole

Oh a late night last night at work it was… but at least it’s Friday now!!!

After I got home wayyy later than the norm, I still didn’t have a definitive dinner plan… busy day = no time to think about food = sad Steph 😦

I did, however, have a few ingredients that I knew I wanted to use up in the kitchen so it was time to get creative!

Like I said before, I must think I live during the Great Depression or something with the way I make sure nothing goes to waste 😉

Remember Sunday’s Eggplant Moussaka?  Well there happened to be an overabundance of eggplant that needed using ASAP. 

But I just wasn’t in the mood for your classic combo of eggplant and tomato…

Enter:  canned clams.

Ahhh, I remember when I used to be a bit scared petrified? terrified? of these lil’ suckers… that was until I made this recipe and my whole was life turned upside down.

So here’s the dish I came up with after doing some online research… I’d call it a medley of many recipes all turned into a CookinFanatic style dish!

I’d also call it a tastebud surprise, because I must admit, my expectations were low.  But this dish really came through and surprised me as a total winner! 🙂

Cheesy, Buttery Eggplant & Clam Casserole

If you’re looking for a deliciously different way to use eggplant, seriously consider trying this ya’ll.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the wonderful combination of flavors.

And don’t worry – even though the recipe name uses “buttery”, there is only 2 tblsp in this whole dish and the flavor permeates throughout!

  • 1 eggplant, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic,chopped
  • 1 can clams, partially drained
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed bread (got an old loaf?)
  • 1/3 block mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Start with chopping up your eggplant and boiling (in salted water) for about 8 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and set aside.

Next saute the onions in 1 tblsp butter for about 7 minutes, or until tender.  Add the garlic during the last minute or so.  Don’t forget some black pepper too!

Next in go your partially drained clams plus the other 1 tblsp butter.  Cook for another 5 minutes over medium.

At this point get all the other ingredients ready, including chopping the bread and shredding the cheese.

Spread a thin layer of butter in a baking dish (use the stick and rub a thin amount) and layer in the bread cubes.

Then add the cooked eggplant on top.

Next it’s time to assemble the clam “sauce.” 

Stir in the flour and let soak into the clam, onion, garlic, butter mixture.  Then stir in the milk until a thick and gorgeous sauce forms. 

Turn down to medium low if things get too bubbly.

Now the luscious clam sauce gets draped over the bread and eggplant layer, partyyyyy time.

All finished off with a layer of shredded cheese!

Let this sit for 5 minutes so that the sauce will soak through to the bread cubes, then place into a 375F oven for 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown and bubble.

Oh the smell of butter and onions and garlic baking away in your kitchen will just make your mouth water!  Or maybe that’s just me?

Let it cool for a few minutes and then dig in 😛

The bread soaks up all of the wonderful clam juice and luscious creamy sauce while also getting a lovely crisp against the buttered baking dish edges… oh this was such a warm and delicious treat!

Imagine:  the texture of stuffing meets the flavor of these clam stuffed mushrooms then all draped with cheese.  I mean, what’s not to like?

Like I said, expectations on this dish were low… but man oh man, did it excite those tastebuds!

Made this side of sugar snap peas seem a lil’ less exciting if you know what I’m sayin’ 😉

But definitely didn’t make this morning snack of another new Chobani flavor any less exciting!


Surprisingly not my favorite fruit ever, but I really enjoyed both the flavor and texture of this new Cho flavor.

There were sweet, soft pieces of mango throughout without too much sweetness.

It wasn’t anything like I expected but I really liked it, more than I thought I would considering my feelings about mango! (feelings about mango? who says that?)

I’d go back for more… of both the eggplant casserole and the mango Chobani… that is all 🙂


3 Ingredient Fix

What’s better than a 5 Ingredient Dinner?!?!

I’ll tell you… a 3 Ingredient Fix! 😛

I took the easy route last night and made one of my go-to favorites…

The simple combination of mac n’ cheese + chicken sausages + frozen veg is one that I’ve been throwing together for years now, and it never fails to dissapoint!

Plus these Lou’s Chicken Sausages really impressed last time around so I was excited to try the Aged Provolone version… which I must say are pretty awesome!

Simply cook these over medium-high in a bit of cooking spray until browned on the outside, then slice thin.

Then prep your macaroni according to directions.

Cook the broccoli in the microwave while the pasta cooks, then give a quick chop.

Add the broccoli and sliced chicken sausages to the finished mac n’ cheese and give a good stir.

Sea salt and black pepper also necessary in my opinion 🙂

Plus an unseen hot sauce topping… hot sauce on mac n’ cheese is just tooooooo good!

To go with this easy meal I prepped up a simple n’ spicy side salad (say that 5 times?! haha)

Fanatic Mom was nice enough to share some of her homemade salsa with us today and I thought it would make such a fun salad topper!

Boy was I right.

Let me tell you, this salsa is no joke.  Spicyyyyyyyy and wonderful 🙂

Overall such a fast n’ easy meal to throw together which was awesome for last night since I had some yoga to tend to and some American Idol to watch.

Priorities people.

But before I go, how about those new Chobani flavors?!?! 

Today I tried the Black Cherry and must say that I really liked it!

It was no where near as sweet as I had anticipated it to be (not sure why I thought that, guess because cherry flavored food is usually really sweet?) and had almost a tangy flavor.  I really really really liked this one 🙂

Doesn’t beat my #1 pineapple love, however I’m pretty confident that it’s tied up at #2 along with raspberry…

Now onto the lemon and mango which I’m so curious about!

Have a great Thursday everyone 🙂  Can you believe this week is almost over already? Wow did it fly by!!!!

Spicy Chicken & Tomato Orecchiette

Last night, after a long & busy day at work, I just couldn’t wait to get home and get in the kitchen for this dinner idea!

So normal, right?

Guess that’s what makes me the CookinFanatic? 😉

Since I didn’t have a workout on the agenda, I poured myself a glass of wine and got started!

Dinner’s inspiration came from two sources: 

(1) The Pioneer Woman’s Linguine w/ Chicken Thighs and (2) Epicurious’ Orecchiette with Rabbit, Tomato and Basil Sauce

Don’t worry, NO rabbits were hurt during this process, that’s’ just not my thing 🙂

What is my thing is a hearty flavorful chicken thigh.  I couldn’t have put it any better than PW:

I’m with ya sister!

Chicken thighs.  Putting the chicken breast to shame in the flavor department since… forever? 😛

So here enters a sort of fusion of the above two recipes, and what I think turned out to be a dish full of flavor.  Perhaps  close to being chicken cacciatore’s long lost twin?  Well, close, but not quite!

Spicy Chicken & Tomato Orecchiette

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 large cloves (or 3 small cloves) garlic, chopped
  • 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh basil (I used the frozen fresh from our garden)
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes (these had basil/oregano)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • about 10 oz. orecchiette (2/3 of box)
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve

Have you read this article out about the increased amount of BPA in canned tomatoes?  I really need to get back in the habit of using the Pomi boxed version which I adore (only ingredient: tomatoes)!  Next time… 

The beginnings of this dish are your basic sauté of the chopped chicken thighs in 1 tblsp olive oil. 

Be sure to season with salt and pepper too!

Once the chicken has browned a bit, remove from the pan. 

Add the onions and green peppers to the same pan, they will cook in all that wonderful-ness that the chicken left behind.

Cook the veggies until tender, about 8 minutes.

Also add in the garlic towards the end.

Now splash in a healthy pour of white wine (for the pan and for the cook, ya know?!) and let this do it’s thing for another 5 minutes or so.

Add the chicken back to the pan…

Then the tomatoes and water…

Plus the spices…

P.S.  If you use tomatoes that don’t have any seasoning already, I’d increase the amount of oregano and basil in this dish.

Turn this down to medium-low and let simmer away (covered) for 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is done cooking and the flavors have blended. 

While you’re waiting on the sauce, go ahead and boil your pasta according to direction.

I just love this little orecchiette pasta!

Once the pasta is done cooking you are ready to serve up your meal.

Oh the thick, dense pasta with the hearty yet light chicken sauce all topped with some grated Parmesan (which were more like Parm crumbles??) was just glorious!

It had a good hint of spice which was a perfect balance to the rich chicken meat.  We devoured this one!

I would have never thought of putting chicken thighs in a pasta sauce like this but let me tell you friends, it works 🙂

And now I’m off to think about my mid-morning snack already…

Is anyone else as excited as I am about these new Chobani flavors?!?!?!

Black Cherry. Mango. Lemon.  Yes please 😛

Reviews coming soon!

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone.

Have you tried the new Chobani flavors?  Which ones?  Thoughts?

A Wonderful Reward!

So glad to hear how many of ya’ll enjoy a delicious pierogi too! 

How about a lil’ chili making tonight?  Alrighttttt 😀

So while the pierogi making madness was going on yesterday, Fanatic Mom and I managed to get a great pot of chili going mid-afternoon just in time for it to have hours to cook & get all sorts of delicious for a family dinner.

This recipe definitely tops my list of ground beef chilis that I’ve made thus far… which I think I say every time, but that’s good, improvement makes me happy!

Starting with ground beef, onions and garlic.

Followed by kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and a guallijo chile.

Spice selection included Mexican oregano (love! and yes, it’s different from “regular oregano” and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t before 🙂 ), cumin, chile powder and black pepper.

There was also some beer in the mix, lager to be exact, which I think went perfectly!

The chili simmered for close to 4 hours while we finished up our pierogi making adventure, an occasional stir and large spoonful “sample” was of course necessary throughout that time as well 😛

To go with our chili there was some necessary cornbread.

Bob’s Red Mill products never disappoint, at least in my experience.

This cornbread was a hit!  Mini-fanatic takes all the credit for this one too, she did a great job 🙂

There was also a side salad to round out the meal.  Gotta have those vegetables!

The dressing included a new favorite of mine.

You may remember the cherry swiss pizzettes from last Sunday’s family dinner?  Well these cherry preserves were perfect in mixing up a sweet n’ tangy vinaigrette with some balsamic and olive oil 🙂

This dressing would also go perfectly with a salad topped with bleu cheese & dried cranberries me thinks.

We served the chili “buffet style” and everyone got to pick their fixin’s!

Diced onion, shredded cheddar, hot sauce (unpic) and Greek yogurt to top!

If you’ve never tried plain Chobani in place of sour cream then you’re definitely missing out… just sayin’ 😉

The flavors of this chili had so much time to really develop over the lengthy cooking period, and develop they did! 

It was a hit, deliciously warm & comforting, everything a chili should be 😀

Cornbread on the side and now we’re talkin’!


Such a wonderful reward after a full day in the kitchen.

Plus I definitely find chili to be a great choice for entertaining on a laid-back Sunday!

What’s your favorite go-to dish for casual entertaining?

“The Latest” Chili

  • about 1.5lbs ground beef (I used 85/15 from Whole Foods)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 small/medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 large cans (28oz. each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tblsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 guallijo chiles, seeds removed
  • 2 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp. chile powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • black pepper
  • 1/3 can Lager (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil

Cook the onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes, add ground beef and continue cooking until almost browned.  Add garlic.  Using a spoon, remove any extra grease that has cooked off during the browning process.

Using a blender, combine 1 can of the tomatoes with the guallijo chile and blend until smooth.  Add this to a large pot along with the other can of tomatoes, drained beans, tomato paste and ground beef mixture. 

Add in seasonings according to your taste.  Always best to start with less and then add more later if you want.  I started with 1 tsp. of each and then adjusted a couple hours into cooking.  The flavor will change as it sits & cooks, Mini-fanatic couldn’t believe how much the flavor changed from hour 1 to hour 3 of cooking – but it happens!

Bring to a boil then turn down to medium-low and cover.  Let the chili simmer for as long as you have, more time = more flavor.

Serve with toppings of your choice 🙂

Casserole Comeback!

Oh do I have a great one for you tonight! 

I made this dish up yesterday afternoon and stashed it away for a quick dinner tonight since I knew I wouldn’t have much time to cook after work today (workout night!)

Not only that, this made two small casseroles so I have one stashed in the freezer for a fast meal at a later date too 🙂

Love that!

I also incorporated Greek yogurt into this recipe, I mean, can you believe it? 😉

None other than my favorite Chobani too of course!

So here you go, if you’re looking for an easy make-ahead meal(s) that also tastes deelish, you’re in for a treat!

Green Chile Chicken Casserole

Note:  this recipe made two small casseroles, each one serving 4 nornal dinner portions.  Feel free to make one large casserole with twice the layers if you’d like, it just may take a bit longer to bake!

Does anyone else feel like casseroles are becoming retro-cool?  The dishes that our parents used to eat growing up finding their way back onto the dinner table…

Perhaps it’s the cold weather that’s driving my attention towards these warm comforting meals?  Or perhaps it’s that they are just too darn easy and too darn good to pass up!

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cooked & shredded (unpictured)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz. can diced green chiles (unpictured)
  • 1 container plain 2% Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 3/4 large block cheddar, grated
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Start by cooking your chopped onions in some olive oil, until they become translucent but not browned. 

While the onions are cooking away, poach your chicken breasts in some boiling water until cooked through.

I used just under a pound of thinly sliced chicken breast so this was fast – about 6-7 minutes.

Then shred using the 2-fork method.

At this point you are ready to combine your casserole “filling.”  Into a hot pot goes the cream of chicken soup, cooked onions & chicken, diced green chiles and finally the Greek yogurt.  Stir to combine & season with salt & pepper.

Let this heat over medium-low, covered, for just about 5 minutes to let all the flavors get happy.

Now it’s time to assemble this easy casserole.

You’ll need your shredded cheese.

And corn tortillas.

Like I said, I made two smaller casseroles out of this.  So split the ingredient list above down the middle.

Casserole #1:

Spray baking dish with some cooking spray, then layer 4 corn tortillas on the bottom.

Top with a thin layer of the chicken mixture.

Then repeat.  Another layer of corn tortillas and chicken.

This is a double decker kinda deal 😛

NOTE:  If you don’t want a crunchier tortilla bottom I would spread an additional layer of the chicken mixture in the pan before adding the first layer of tortillas.

Topped off with shredded cheese.

Into a 350F oven for about 40 minutes, or until cheese gets a bit browned (that’s how we like ours at least, you can do less time if you don’t).

Day-ahead dinner done.  Check!

Into the fridge until tomorrow you go 🙂

Casserole #2

This one I made to store in the freezer for a later time. 

I layered exactly the same as shown above, except this one I did not bake.

I simply covered it, labeled it and popped it into the freezer.

See you soon lil’ casserole! 😉

Alright enough talk, let’s eat already!

After work today all I had to do was pop the pre-cooked casserole into a 350F oven, covered with foil, for 30 minutes until warmed through and the cheese melted.

Take 1.

Take 2.

Take 3.

And don’t forget your greens!

So what was the verdict on this casserole?

The Man and I both loved it!!!  The flavor was spot on.  The bottom layer of tortillas got nice n’ crispy while the top was ooey-gooey and cheesy 🙂

He couldn’t believe there was yogurt in there either… honestly, either could I?!

I can’t wait already for this dinner’s twin that’s stashed away in the freezer!!

Not only was this casserole convenient & delicious, it’s also pretty darn good for ya.  Swapping a high-protein, low fat Greek yogurt for sour cream not only lowers the fat & calories but also amps up the protein. 

I’ll call this a make-ahead dinner win!

Yum 😀

Special Visitors!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I hope that ya’ll are having a great day and looking forward to the holiday weekend 🙂

Well I’m going to keep this short, but I will tell ya that it’s definitely exciting!

If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that I have alluded to some “special visitors” coming to town tonight….


I’ll give you a little hint 😉


To say that I’m excited would be an understatement!!!!!!

I better get crackin’ at work so I can get home for a last minute house clean-up 🙂

More to come….. !

Workouts I’m lovin’ this week: