Monday, December 21, 2009

Enchilada Soup

My upstairs neighbor made this for us the other night, delicious!

Chicken Bouillion Cubes
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Cans Corn (drained)
2 Cans Black Beans (drained)
2 Cans mild gree enchilada sauce
1 can diced green chiles

Boil chicken with water and boullion cubes. When done take chicken out and dice, keep the water. Put the chicken back in the water and add rest of ingredients bring to a boil...

Um she doesn't put on there how much water or how many chicken cubes....I am guessing maybe 5 cups of water and 5 bouillion cubes..?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Honey Lime Enchiladas- four stars!

Adapted slighty from Mykitchencafe

This was easy and very yum, even with my questionably old tortillas : ) Seriously, yum, this is what I will make when I have to take someone dinner next. All you ladies in TX who are having babies, make this for yourself and pretend its from me : )

Honey Lime Enchiladas

5 Tbs honey
6 or 7 Tbs Lime juice
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder

1lb chicken, cooked and shredded (you can use 3 chicken breasts if you want, I used a rotisserie chicken...yum)
8-10 flour tortillas
1 lb monterey jack cheese, shredded (I used sharp cheddar)
1 C sour cream
16 oz green enchilada sauce

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least half an hour, the longer the better ( I just did half an hour and it was great!). Pour about half a cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on the top of enchiladas (I think I used way less cheese than what the recipe calls for, not sure, I just used what I had!). Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the sour cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 dgs for thirty minutes until brown and crispy on top.

* Freezable meal: freeze prior to baking. To bake, preheat oven to 350 dgs and bake enchiladas, covered (without thawing first) for one hour. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer, until brown and crispy on top.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yummy Stew!

Jim joined the biggest loser club online (and it's working!). So, we have been trying some of their recipes. This is a stew that we find super yummy, especially because our family loves sweet potatoes.


INGREDIENTS


* 1 tablespoon whole grain oat flour

* 1/8 teaspoon garlic power

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* Pinch of ground black pepper

* 1 pound top round steak, cut into 1" cubes

* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

* 8 ounces button mushrooms, halved

* 1 onion, chopped

* 1 tablespoon minced garlic

* 1 teaspoon dried thyme

* 2 cans (14-ounces each) lower-sodium, fat-free beef broth

* 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

* 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes





In a medium resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the beef and shake the bag until all the cubes are coated. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Set a large nonstick soup pot over medium-high heat until it is hot enough for a spritz of water to sizzle on it. Add the oil. Add the reserved beef cubes to the pan in a single layer. Cook for about 1 minute per side, or until browned. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and scraping any browned bits from the pan bottom, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is tender.

Add the broth and carrots. Increase the heat to high. When the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low so the mixture simmers gently. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Add the potatoes. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the beef is fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Yield: 9 Servings; Serving = 1 cup




Adapted by Chef Devin Alexander, The Biggest Loser Cookbook, Rodale 2006.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What We've Been Eating

This is going to be a week of trying new recipes. When I sat down to make my menu for the week I ended up picking five recipes we've never had before. I guess I'm bored with my regular repertoire?

Anyway, here's what we've had thus far:

Easy 4 Cheese Pasta Bake

It was really simple and Aaron and I both really liked it. Plus it made a lot. Like..A LOT. I probably have two more dinners worth in my freezer, which makes meal planning for the next couple weeks that much easier (and cheaper). If you make it, make sure you do three packed cups of spinach. I didn't, and ours had very little green. It could have supported a heck of a lot more. I served it with a green salad and homemade raspberry applesauce and it was perfect.


Broccoli Pasta Sauce

Wes was the one who ended up really liking this. Which isn't surprising since he loves broccoli with all his little two year old heart. Aaron and I both thought it was fine, something kind of fun and different for a change. I'd add more garlic if I made it again and lots more salt and pepper. It was just kind of bland. Also, I ended up adding some chicken stock and then some of the pasta water to thin it out to more of a sauce consistency and it was still fairly thick. I served it with these rolls (except I made them with half wheat flour) and steamed asparagus. The rolls were excellent, I'll definitely make them again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Because I know you care....


I love making rolls, and they were soooo tastey : )


And isn't the pie pretty? Here's the story, I was in charge of bringing the whipped cream for everyone, and I didn't bring enough so my mean, mean, mean sister only let me spread it on half of my perfect pie : ) But that half looked really pretty ; )

Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Pie

And my meager holliday offerings?

Two pies from the Pioneer Woman, and rolls. of course.

They were delicious, especially the chocolate curls on top of the pie. But seriously if you have to make one choose that chocolate cheesecake.

Key Lime Pie

and

Chocolate Pie

I even made the chocolate curls, the chocolate curls! It was so pretty.

Okay and word to the wise, you may want to not eat the key lime pie with the chocolate pie, it does weird things to your tastebuds. Just seperate them by like ten minutes or something, or eat the lime one first.

I am always surprised how easy pies are to make, give these ones a shot, they were yum!

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie-- ATTN RALPHIE

You will LOVE this pie. I didn't even make it. I made two other yummy pies, but someone made this one and it was to. die. for.

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

1 1/2 C Vanilla Wafer crumbs (about 36 wafers)
1/3 C confectioners sugar
1/3 C Hershey's cocoa
1/3 C margarine or butter, melted
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 C (6oz) semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 dgs. Combine crumbs, sugar, cocoa, and margarine; press firmly on bottom and up side to rim of 9" pie plate. In mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk then melted chocolate chips. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Pour into prepared crust and bake 30-35 minutes until center is set. Cool. Chill thoroughly. Garnish as desired.

Yum-o.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin pie trick

This is a great way to get a nice consistency - and a way to save a bit of money - with your pumpkin pie this year. Follow the directions for Libby's pumpkin pie - but use powdered milk instead of canned evaporated milk. I use a 2 cup pyrex measurer. Fill the measuring cup to 1 1/2 cup line with powdered milk, then add water until the liquid reaches the same 1 1/2 mark. Mix well - then gradually add to your pie mixture. It seems to combine the pie a little better and keep it at a creamy custardy consistency without any curdling. It works really well for us. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup- yum


Blaine, who is not a fan of soup, just called over from the kitchen "oh man, this is so good, I am licking the bowl like it's cake batter". That's right! Delicious Broccoli cheese soup with no velveeta!


I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Another great one from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com


1 can chicken broth (or I just used chicken base and 2 C water)

1 small onion, diced


1/3 C flour

1/4 C butter

pepper to taste


2C milk (I used 1%)

1 1/2 C shredded chedder cheese (the sharper the better, I had some extra sharp...hot dang it was good)

1/2 C shredded swiss cheese

steamed chopped broccoli (I totall forgot to chop it, whoops)


Simmer chicken broth and onion for 15 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken. Next add chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve.


I had no gumption to make bread bowls tonight but it would have been awesome with them. Enjoy!

Chicken Artichoke Calzones

I got this recipe from a posting made on Kayla's other cool recipe blog (www.recipemamas.blogspot.com. They were definitely a crowd pleaser.

We had these for dinner tonight and they were SO GOOD and so easy. Easier still if you had some leftover chicken, which we never ever have.

Pizza dough (I doubled this recipe and made 4 honkin big calzones)
shredded mozzarella cheese
cooked chicken (I just boiled some)
pesto
chopped artichoke hearts (I bought a giant jar at Costco, anyone have any other atrichoke heart recipes for me to try??)
olive oil (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 500. Put cookie sheet (or pizza stone, if you're fancy) in while it preheats. Divide pizza dough in half and roll into 7 or 8 inch circle. Spread each with pesto, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Add mozzarella, chicken and chopped artichoke hearts to one half. Fold other half over and fold edges over to seal. Transfer to hot cookie sheet, brush with oil, and bake for 13-15 minutes

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Homemade caramel in 15 min

We had this at our super saturday and it was amazing, so I thought i would share.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Karo Syrup
1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar

Melt butter over med/high heat, add syrup and brown sugar and bring to a boil, boil 1 min. add milk, bring to a boil, remove from heat.

Slice up apples and pour lemon juice on the top so they don't turn brown, then just dip in the caramel. You can add a little extra by having nuts or chocolate sprinkles to dip in too. This was so good, everyone loved it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cauliflower Soup

I have a little secret shopping job that I do once a month at a local soup and sandwich shop. Sorry to be so vague, but I've been sworn to secrecy ;). Anyway, the last time I was there I got cauliflower soup, it was delicious! And then a couple days ago cauliflower was on sale for cheap at Macey's. So I found a knock off recipe and made it tonight, it was really yummy! And woohoo...I even took my very own picture of the soup. Knock yourselves out!
Posted by Picasa
Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup
2 Tbs margarine or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
2 C milk
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 C shredded cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
1 C pepper jack cheese
In 4 quart saucepan, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 C water; add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. In blender ( with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and 1 1/2 C cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with remaining cheese to serve.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alfredo Pasta bake

I got this from this blog http://eoberrys.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes
I hate bottled alfredo sauce but this was actually way good. I added a little extra milk in mine just to make sure it wasn't dry.

Alfredo Pasta Bake
(Source: Amber's Delectable Delights)
Ingredients:
8 oz pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup mushrooms
1.5 cups chicken, cooked and shredded or diced
1 jar alfredo sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls butter
Directions:- Preheat oven to 350 degrees- Coat the bottom of the two small or one medium baking dish with a thin layer of alfredo sauce. In a medium bowl, mix the pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, chicken, garlic and alfredo sauce until combined. Place mixture into baking dish and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter on top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Rachel's notes-I like to use Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce. And when I bake it I wait until it starts bubbling and then I turn on the broiler for just a few minutes just to brown the cheese, just don't burn it. Burn=no good.
I also don't follow this recipe to the "T". If I think it needs a little more of this or that I add it. Just don't use too many noodles. I usually don't use the whole package of refrigerated noodles if you use too many noodles add more sauce otherwise it won't be very moist. Okay enough of this. If you try this let me know what you think. I love Ambers blog (which I got from Tia's blog) I have gotten about 4 recipes from her that my family love. Sigh... I wish spell check would work.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ahem.

I have an announcement.

I got a new camera! And having a new camera and hopefully a new computer sometime in the next few days means that maybe I can put pictures on the computer and it will take less than six months for my computer to load them!

And if that happens then maybe I can post pictures of the recipes I make...you know, like a real recipe blog.

In honor of that I took a picture of something I made the other day.

It looked disgusting.

But maybe it will look better on a full screen. I dunno.

Just sayin'...to all you nay sayers who won't try a recipe just because it doesn't have a picture...you better start thinking of another excuse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Grilled Basil Shrimp

Jim got some shrimp from the meal deal at HEB the other week and we were having a BBQ yesterday, so he looked up a recipe himself and made a marinade. (The shrimp he bought were unpeeled, so he had to do that himself and it did smell up the kitchen, but the end result was worth it.)

Here is the recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basil-Shrimp/Detail.aspx

We didn't change anything from the recipe except that we didn't have white pepper, so we just used black. I haven't bought much shrimp to make at home because I'm never sure just how to cook it, but this was yummy and certainly something we will do again.

4 stars

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Best Baklava

I saw someone post a recipe link on here for Baklava, and thought I would share my recipe. I've oohed many people with this, and although it might *look* complicated, it really isn't too bad. Just make sure to read through the directions completely before starting. This is my FAVORITE dessert/treat during the holidays!


Ingredients you will need:
1 lb walnuts - Finely Chopped (I used pecans, they taste WAY better, but a bit more expensive. Then, I put them in my food processor and chop until they basically turn into nut dust.)
1/2 C. Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1.5 C. Butter (3 sticks), Melted
1 Package Frozen Phyllo Dough (16 oz) Thawed
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Water
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice (I never have this stuff on hand, so I don't use it)
1 C. Honey (Net weight 12 oz.)
1/2 tsp Vanilla


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The steps:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Combine and set aside walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of a 10x14" (about 1-2" deep) pan with melted butter.
Open the phyllo dough and layer 6 whole leafs (or 12 half leafs) in the pan, buttering each layer as you go. (The edges will extend over the side.)
Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
If your phyllo dough comes in full sheets, cut the remaining phyllo dough in half.
Layer 8 half sheets -- butter each layer. Each sheet will be an inch or so short, so stagger the sheets from corner to corner to cover the whole pan. I use a pattern so I don't forget how many layers I've put down, but it's even easier if you have a friend help!
Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
Repeat 8 sheets and walnut mixture twice. You will end up with 4 layers of nuts.
Layer the remaining half sheets on top -- butter each layer.
Brush the top with the remaining butter.
Trim the edges off.
Cut halfway through the layers, into small pieces, usually cut into triangles or slanted rectangle shapes. This is done now since it will be very fragile after it's been baked. Go here to see a diagram of how to cut it.


Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.
15 minutes before the baklava should be done, mix 1 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in a sauce pan.
Cook sauce over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the honey and vanilla, and stir until well blended.
Remove the baklava from the oven and finish cutting through the layers.
Pour the sauce over the hot baklava.
Cool. Let it sit for at least 24 hours (lightly covered -- but not in the refrigerator)

A nice way to serve individual pieces is to put each one into a muffin cup that has been partially flattened.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Some of you may remember me making these (like all the time) when I lived up there! I have been making these and packaging them into snack size zip bags and putting into the freezer to make preparing school lunched cheaper and quicker.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

1 c. margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. nuts or raisins (optional)

Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Mix in flour and baking soda.
Stir in oats and raisins/nuts; mix well.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Yields approx. 4 dozen

*Cookies will look flat, don't worry, that's how they are "chewy". Also you can use butter, although I've found that turn out differently, still good though.

Syrup-less Waffles

My solution to less mess breakfast before school:




Waffles

3 eggs
1 TB vanilla
1 TB baking powder
1/2 c. sugar (only 2 tsp. if you're eating with syrup)
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. flour
1/2 bag mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and cook in heated waffle iron. I like to dust the top with powdered sugar, my kids don't though.

For Chocolate dessert waffles: add 1 oz. melted chocolate and nuts if desired

7-Layer dip or Taco Casserole

My friend makes this and serves for dinner. I never thought of 7-layer dip as a maindish, but it was fabulous!

7-layer dip:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 c. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
salsa (I replaced the tomatoes and salsa with a can of Rotel)
1 container guacamole (I make mine homemade)
mozzarella
black olives
Tortilla chips or wraps

Brown 1 lb ground beef and drain.
Add about 1/2 pkg taco seasoning (no water, though).
Meanwhile, spread 1 can refried beans into 9x13 pan.
Ground beef goes on top of that.
Mix together 1 c. sour cream with 8 oz cream cheese and then spread on top.
Next goes on 1 can diced tomatoes (drained) plus some salsa (as desired).
Then 1 container of guacamole
Top with mozzarella and sliced olives.

Bake 350 for 30min.

I like to serve with Hint of Lime chips, but my hubby likes to scoop his out into a tortilla for a burrito.

White Chicken Chili






1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 med onion chopped
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T. vegetable oil
3 cans great northern beans
1 can chicken broth -regular small size can
1-2 small cans diced green chilis
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. black pepper
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. whipping cream


Place vegetable oil in cooking pot. Add chicken and chopped onion and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Drain and rinse beans and add to pot. Add all other ingredients to pan except for sour cream and whipping cream. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add sour cream and whipping cream and serve.(Can use canned chicken for the chicken and omit the first step.)

For the beans I couldn't find canned, so I bought dried (which are cheaper anyway) and then cooked them on my own, according to package directions. It takes about half a small bag of beans, and they take about 2 hours to cook on the stove.


*Top with cheese, tortilla chips or avacodo. I served along side cornbread.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Frozen Peaches

I know peach season is technically over, but I thought I would share one of our favorite ways to preserve peaches!

4 c sugar
2quarts water
a can of frozen lemonade
a can of frozen orange juice

mix all together and add your peeled, sliced peaches. Then scoop into baggies and freeze.

This year I cut the sugar in half. Obviously, it's not as sweet, but we still love them! So, give it a shot. Next year. When there are actually peaches to can.

Pesto Pizza w/ Pinenuts and Feta

I finally made a pizza that wasn't a total disaster! I think part of it is that I always make pizzas on a cookie sheet and they always get kind of soggy. Whatever : )

This was seriously the best pizza I've ever made, and possibly the best one I've ever eaten!

1 batch pizza dough
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (I used the Lemon Garlic Chicken)
Pesto
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 red onion, cut in slivers
1-2 large tomatoes sliced (I used grape tomatoes cut in half)
Shredded mozzarella (to your liking)
Toasted pine nuts (to your liking)

Preheat pizza stone (I preheat my oven and pizza stone at 475 degrees for at least 45 minutes before baking the pizza so the stone is nice and hot). Roll out prepared pizza dough and place on pizza peel (or on pizza pan if you aren't baking it on a pizza stone). Top pizza dough with the pesto, spreading liberally to outer edges of dough. Layer on additional toppings to your liking (I like to reserve some of the toppings and put them on top of the final layer of cheese) and bake for 8-10 minutes until nicely browned.

I have no pizza stone, so I baked on a cookie sheet for like 13 minutes and used this crust recipe!

3 cups flour, more or less
1 tablespoon honey, heaping
1 tablespoon oil, heaping
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, let stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven before baking pizza.) Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a bit then put into pan (or use a pizza peel and pizza stone). If baking in a sheet pan, bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes. Makes 1 large pizza.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tastes like Noodles

I made this for dinner Monday night. So good. It really does taste like Penne Rosa from Noodles & Co., just not quite so spicy. I guess you could just add more red pepper flakes if you want it spicier. We loved it, even the kids.
It's from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com too.

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese
adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes
**The original recipe only used 8 ounces of pasta. I knew that wouldn't be enough for our family so I adapted the recipe to make more for my family. It makes for a very full skillet, but if you have a 12-inch skillet, it should still be big enough. This serves 4-6. If you don't want to make as much, scale down the amounts in the recipe.**

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (penne makes a great substitution - I've used both with great results)
4 1/4 cups water2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream (I used half and half, couldn't tell the difference)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago was the cheese in the original recipe and can be interchanged, but I always have parmesan on hand so I used that)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.Uncover and return the heat to medium-high.
Stir in the cream, parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mini Vegetable Cakes

These are a great way to get veggies into your kids when they aren't big fans of veggies. I can guarantee you there is no way my kids would knowingly have eaten beets, but chopped up small (use a food processor!) they didn't even care! And *I* personally wouldn't have liked to eat them either (seriously, I'm worse than my kids sometimes) but these were acutally tasty! Give em a try sometime you're feeling adventurous. (Credit to parents.com for yet another recipe that I'm posting).

Combine half an 8-1/2-ounce package corn-muffin mix with 1 egg white and 3 tablespoons water. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded zucchini and 1/2 cup chopped canned beets. Drop batter by the tablespoon into 2 tablespoons hot canola oil. Cook 2 minutes; turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until browned.

cheesy italian tortellini

I thought this was yummy. it is a meaty sauce which is what my husband likes, and the kids all ate it, so it is a keeper for me.

Cheesy Italian Tortellini

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Hours 15 Minutes

Ready In: 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 6
"A delicious marinara sauce is cooked all day in the slow cooker. When it' s time for diner, just throw in some tortellini, and sprinkle with cheese. When the noodles are cooked -- pass around the bread, and enjoy!"
Ingredients:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced

tomatoes, undrained
1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated or fresh
cheese tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Directions:
1. Crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain.
2. Combine the ground meats, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours.
3. Stir in the tortellini, and sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes on LOW, or until the tortellini is tender.

Beef and Vegetable Deliciousness

The "real" name of this is "beef and vegetable potpie", but it isn't a pie and is much yummier than it sounds. So I renamed it. We give it lots of stars (especially for being chock full of veggies) and it is pretty easy too.

Olive oil
1 lb ground sirloin
2C chopped zucchini
1C chopped onion
1C chopped carrot
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 (8oz) package pre-sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2C dry red wine
1/4C tomato paste
1 1/2tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2tsp black pepper
1 (14oz) can beef broth (I don't use this much- only about 1/2-3/4C so that the topping doesn't get soggy)
2 Tb corn starch
2 Tb water
1 (11oz) can soft bread stick dough- use Italian flavored!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat some olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add beef, cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Set beef aside and wipe drippings from skillet. Heat a little olive oil in pan. Add zucchini and next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Saute for 7 min, or until soft. Return beef to pan. Stir in wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and beef broth. Cook 3 min. Mix 2Tb cornstarch with 2Tb water, then add mixture to the pan. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Spoon beef mixture into an 11x7 inch baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Separate bread stick dough into strips. Arrange strips in a lattice fashion over beef mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until browned.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chicken Gyros, yum!

Okay, I don't know if it is the fact that I have a bazillion kids or what, but these took me ALL day to make! Well, not really but it felt like it. And part of it is that I had to go to the store a hundred times....because I got greek yogurt, but then it turns out it was honey flavored and then I took it back but they didn't have any greek yogurt at the other store and so on and SO forth. But the good news? SO TOTALLY WORTH IT! These gyros were so yummy!



And should I really keep going on this recipe blog? Because I totally am just trying out all of the yummy recipes from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com, which is where I got this recipe : )



* oh and here's my thoughts on the yogurt thing. I was scared to strain the yogurt because I have an irrational fear of cheesecloth, but turns out that greek yogurt is hard to come by in these parts (except honey flavored) and also turns out that my mother in law has cheese cloth on hand. I only strained it for like...two hours? and it wasn't that scary. So go ahead and strain your yogurt, or I bet the world wouldn't end if you didn't. It's good sauce. You should definitely double the tzitki sauce too!



*I served these with hummus (one can chickpeas, 1/4 c olive oil, a little lemon juice, garlic and salt all blended up together) and feta salsa! Excellent combo!



Chicken Gyros adapted slightly from Annie's Eats (originally from Elly Says Opa!) **Keep in mind this recipe requires straining yogurt which may take overnight and marinating chicken which will take 1-2 hours so plan ahead!**



Makes enough chicken and tzatziki for approximately 4-6 gyros.



For the tzatziki sauce:

16 oz. plain yogurt (not fat free unless it is Oikos or Fage or another Greek-type yogurt)

1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (I used 1/2 of an English cucumber)

2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Extra virgin olive oil



For the chicken:

4 cloves garlic, smashed

Juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed



To assemble:Soft wrap bread (or pita bread)Fresh tomatoes, seeded and dicedRed onion, sliced thinTo make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. (You won't believe how much liquid drains from the yogurt - it makes the yogurt much thicker and creamier. If you want to splurge on Greek yogurt, like Oikos or Fage, you won't need to strain it like this.)Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. (I sauted them in a hot skillet.) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions

Soft wrap bread - pita bread

I used this soft wrap bread recipe for chicken gyros (will post that recipe in a moment). Can I just say this was the best bread I have ever made? SO YUMMY. Do yourself a favor and double if not TRIPLE the recipe. I want to figure out how a person can freeze bread dough or something because it would be so nice to have these on hand. I made mine in the morning and was dying to try one before dinner so I had one with butter and honey, sweet mercy.

We each only got one for dinner because the recipe only made eight. And that was so so so sad.

Seriously, double the recipe.


Got this recipe from www.mykitchencafe.blogspot.com

Soft Wrap Breadfrom King Arthur Flour
*Makes about 8-9 breads
3 to 3 1/4 cups (12 3/4 to 13 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) boiling water1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) potato flour OR 1/2 cup (5/8 ounces) potato buds or flakes (I used potato flakes)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon instant yeast*

Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough.Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it's not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky (the dough is fairly stiff, so don't be worried - just be careful not to overflour the dough). Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour (I let mine rise up to 2 hours).Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for about 1 minute per side (I cooked mine about 2-3 minutes per side and they didn't dry out), until they're puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag.*This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don't have to knead liquid into the dough. If you really prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the potato flour mixture. It'll be somewhat "slippery" at first, but will knead in and eventually become smooth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coconut Lime Chicken Soup

Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Ingredients
1 2- to 2-1/2-lb. deli-roasted chicken
1 15-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups water
1/4 cup lime juice (2 medium limes)
3 medium carrots, thinly-sliced diagonally (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Thai seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. salt
Thai seasoning blend (optional)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

(We served over rice)

Directions

1. Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Shred chicken. In large saucepan combine shredded chicken with coconut milk, water, lime juice, sliced carrots, soy sauce, the 2 teaspoons Thai seasoning and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 8-10 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.

2. To serve, sprinkle bowls of soup with additional Thai seasoning (this is spicy - so do this at your own discretion) and cilantro. Pass lime wedges.

(Traditionally, you wouldn't do this, but we like to add rice to our coconut soup -- it makes it easier for the kids to eat and it helps fill you up too.)

This recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens. Fast, easy, tasty. We're trying to expand our kids palate, so this was good to try to introduce our kids to other foods. It's a keeper for us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tex-Mex Stew

This recipe was adapted from the parents.com website. We ALL liked it (and that says a lot because my kids are terribly picky).

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11 ounces) corn niblets, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel or generic)
1 can tomato sauce
1 packet onion soup mix
2-1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon ground cumin + a couple shakes
1/2 teaspoon salt + a couple pinches
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano + a couple shakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (only used 2 shakes total)
a couple shakes of cinnamon
shake of garlic powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

1. Brown beef with green peppers in 5- to 6-quart large, deep pot over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes, breaking up meat with wooden spoon but leaving some large pieces. Drain fat.

2. Add beans, corn, tomato & chilis, tomato sauce, soup mix, 2 cups water, cumin, salt, oregano, cayenne & cinnamon. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir 1/4 cup water into flour in small cup until smooth. Stir into stew; cook until thickened, about 1 minute.

We served with tortilla chip scoops. I've edited this post with some of the seasoning tweaks that I think really make the dish -- the cinnamon I think really brought out the flavor. Sorry the measurements aren't exact -- that's how I cook. It's good and it's EASY and it's fast.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicken and Waffles

(but not together, unfortunately)

We made this cayenne rubbed chicken with avocado salsa last night and both loved it. It's really pretty too..lots of nice color in one dish. With a few colorful sides it could be a meal for company pretty easily.

Then, this morning, I made these whole wheat waffles. They really are whole wheat too, you don't have to do the half whole wheat/half AP flour thing, so they're decently healthy and full of fiber. They turned out really well and my white bread husband who resents my need to have everything be brown and wheat said, "they could be better but they're pretty good." Which is rather high praise for wheat anything coming from him. We had them with strawberries and vanilla yogurt on top. So good!

I got both recipes from Janssen.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

Thanks again mykitchencafe.blogspot.com

3 cups shredded or cubed Lemon Garlic Chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) package tube pasta (I used rigatoni)
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS
In a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.

Stir chicken into cooked pasta, along with the cream, parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

*I think your waistline might be happier if you use half and half instead of cream, but I didn't this time and it was so delicious! Very awesomely paired with the lemon garlic chicken I just posted.

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

Thanks Allison for introducing us to mykitchencafe.blogspot.com, I love it!

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts (I usually cut really thick chicken breasts down to thin them out and make the pieces a little smaller so they absorb the marinade better)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite sized pieces and add to desired recipe (I'll be sharing a few with you soon). Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight.


*I cubed my chicken and let it marinate for 6 hours, also since I had cubed it, I grilled it in a pan rather than on the grill. Then I used it in the lemony pasta recipe that I shall post momentarily. I loved the chicken and I made lots of extra so I can use it in some other stuff!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

yummy Tomato chicken and rice

I don't know what this is really called, but I am not that good with coming up with names, so call it whatever you want- either way I love it, it is simple, easy and very tasty.

1 can V8 juice
1 can tomato soup
3\4 cup Italian dressing
1 tsp chili powder (or more)
salt and pepper to taste
mushrooms (optional)
2 large chicken breasts

Throw it all in the crockpot and cook for 4-6 hours. shred chicken. serve over cooked rice.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So Easy Chicken Parmesan

I really don't enjoy cooking, but I do enjoy eating.... that means I usually try to make easy meals. Anyway, here's an easy Chicken Parmesan recipe, from the Kraft foods magazine a year or so ago.

1/4 c. Italian dressing
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 chicken breasts

Combine dressing and cheese in a Ziploc baggie. Add chicken and coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and the coating is a little crispy.

We eat it with spaghetti, but you do whatever you want to do.

Shrimp with Coconut Curry

This was awesome. Thanks to whoever it was that told Kristi about this mykitchencafe blog. I'm trying another one of her recipes tonight!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ramen Skillet Dinner

This is fast, easy, and with the exception of the stir-fry sauce, I usually have all the ingredients. Start keeping stir-fry sauce on your always-have condiments list and this is a sure thing!

1 lb ground beef
2 1/2 c. water
2 packages Ramen noodles (one needs to be oriental flavor, although I've used beef and liked the result just fine)
1/2 c. stir-fry sauce
3 cups frozen veggies (I usually use broccoli, carrots & cauliflower mix)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef; drain. Add water, the oriental seasoning packet (note: you only use one seasoning packet, so it doesn't matter what the other one is), stir-fry sauce and frozen vegetables; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover & cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Break up Ramen noodles; add to skillet. Cover; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until sauce is of desired consistency, stirring occasionally and separating noodles as they soften.

Yield 4 (1 1/2 cup) servings (although we always have leftovers and they're so yummy)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Divine Breasticks

Allison brought these over for dinner the other night! They were the best breadsticks I have ever had!


Divine Breadsticks
1 ½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 T Butter for the pan

Mix all ingredients (except butter) and knead for three minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt desired amount of butter on baking pan (the original recipe called for 1 entire stick of butter - that was way too much for my taste - I use a couple tablespoons). Roll out dough about 1/8-inch thick and cut into strips. Place in butter and put close together. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

* she got the recipe from a blog called mykitchencafe.blogspot.com and said she really likes the blog

Fruit dip

I was at a baby shower the other day and they had this really yummy, light, fluffy fruit dip. I asked Sarah how to make it and she said it was just light cool whip mixed with a little thing of yogurt. Isn't that crazy? It was the best fruit dip I've ever had and I didn't even have to feel guilty because it had so few calories. I can't remember the flavor of yogurt she said she put in it, but mentioned you could try any flavor. Easy easy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Slow cooker chicken taco soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

- i thought this was good and a nice alteration to your regular taco soup, I also had everything in my pantry to make it already which is always great.

"You can call this soup or chili, but either way it is wonderful! This recipe is also very adaptable to your personal taste. I recommend using Bill Echols Taco Seasoning from this website. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if you like. I hope you enjoy!"
RECIPE RATING:
This recipe has been rated 2,021 times with an average star rating of 4.7
Read Reviews (1,622)
Review/Rate This Recipe
PREP TIME 15 Min
COOK TIME 7 Hrs
READY IN 7 Hrs 15 Min



* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
* 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
* 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (or chicken broth)
* 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
* 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
* shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
* sour cream (optional)
* crushed tortilla chips (optional)




DIRECTIONS

1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Artichoke Pesto Calzones

We had these for dinner tonight and they were SO GOOD. This recipe is going on The List of Foods We Need to Eat Frequently. Definitely good enough for company. I might even give it 4 stars.

Pizza dough (I used my favorite recipe and got 2 calzones out of it)
shredded mozzarella cheese
cooked chicken (I used leftover from this recipe)
pesto
chopped artichoke hearts (I used about half of one of the little jars from our local grocery store..they come packed in oil and seasoned and are goooood)
olive oil (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 500. Put cookie sheet (or pizza stone, if you're fancy) in while it preheats. Divide pizza dough in half and roll into 7 or 8 inch circle. Spread each with pesto, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Add mozzarella, chicken and chopped artichoke hearts to one half. Fold other half over and fold edges over to seal. Transfer to hot cookie sheet, brush with oil, and bake for 13-15 minutes.

Recipe adapted from here by here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cilantro Chicken

I got this recipe off of Holly's blog (thelauritzens.blogspot.com). It was easy and delicious! I served with rice and beans! Thanks Holly


Cilantro Chicken

2 T lime juice

2 T vegetable oil

1 T honey

4 chicken breasts

1 C finely crushed tortilla chips

16 oz. thick-n-chunky salsa

2 T minced fresh cilantro ( I am certain I used a lot more than this!)

1 C shredded Monterey Jack Cheese ( I used pepper jack)


Combine lime juice, honey, and oil. Dip chicken in lime juice mixture then coat with crushed chips. Place in ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake uncovered @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until juices run clear. Combine Salsa and Cilantro. Pour over and sprinkle with Cheese, bake for 20 more minutes or until the cheese melts. (*I think this even tastes better with sour cream added when serving!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Torta Rustica

This is from an evening cooking class I took recently. From the handout:

A fabulous main course, easy to make, and freezes well. Add whatever cheese-vegetable-meat combo you want and bake in your pizza crust until done. Serve warm, room temp, or cold. Store it well covered for up to two days in the fridge, or seal and freeze. Good with black olive bread, a leafy, mixed greens salad and some black olives.

THE RECIPE:

One recipe for pizza dough
1/4 cup olive oil, mixed use (maybe not this much)
1 onion, hcopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 large tomatoes, sliced, or 2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb fresh, cleaned, spinach
1 lb eggplant
1 lb thinly sliced proscuitto, or ham, or cooked Italian sausage if desired
1 lb red peppers
1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb mozzerella, sliced

Cut eggplant lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices. Soak in salt water for 20 minutes. Pat slices dry with paper towel, line baking sheets with parchment paper, brush eggplant slices with olive oil and bake in a 425F preheated oven for 10 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.

Saute the onion, peppers and garlic in 3 TBS olive oil until tender.

Reduce the heat to medium, add mushrooms, basil, oregano, and salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and mushrooms are limp.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roll out 3/4 of the dough into a 16 inch circle, approx. 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough in a 9x3 spring form pan, allowing a 1 inch overhang all around the pan. Layer each ingredient in the pan as desired, or dump them all in at once. Spinach does not need to be cooked prior to putting in Torta. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle to fit the top of the Torta Rustica. Lay it over the top and fold up the overhanging dough, crimping them together to seal the edges. Make 4 small slits in the top to let steam escape and brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired (do desire this!). Place the Torta Rustica in the preheated oven and bake for one hour. Let cool to room temp before cutting (with serrated knife) and serving. Serves 12.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pineapple chicken skewers

"Skewered chicken tenders are brushed with a tropical mixture of pineapple juice, brown sugar and soy sauce, and then they're grilled. That 's all it takes to make these scrumptious kabobs."
Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light soy sauce

2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins or strips
skewers
Directions:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.
4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely.

I made these for Justin's party and they were a hit! very easy too. I marinated the chicken overnight though and I put the pineapple on with the chicken, i am sure you could add other vegis on there if you want. One can of pineapple yields enough juice for the recipe too. You could also serve this with rice and use the marinade as a sauce, just make sure you boil it good since the raw chicken was in it.

Sherbet slushy drink punch thingamaroo

I served this at a baby shower last night, people love it! Especially me.

Frozen lemonade concentrate- don't mix in any water
Raspberry sherbet
Package of frozen raspberries or strawberries- thawed
Ginger ale (or probably Sprite or whatever)

Mix it all together : )


this is a great base recipe for success. I got rainbow sherbet and frozen strawberries. Everyone loves it, especially me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Asiago sun dried tomato pasta

I thought this was very tasty and a different flavor than your regular white sauce and pasta dish, I took some suggestions from the reviews and I marinated chicken in Italian dressing overnight and I added 1 cup of cheese instead of a tablespoon. I also put less green onion in than it called for and a little bit of fresh ground pepper, oh and I used 1 cup of milk and 2 cups cream because i ran out of cream. YUMM!oh- I also cooked the bacon in a deep skillet, drained the grease then cooked the sauce in that to give it some extra flavor.

* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cube chicken bouillon
* 1 tablespoon Asiago Cheese (i used the italian mix with like different cheeses)
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with equal parts water
* 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
*
* 1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
* 3/4 cup bacon- crumbled
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 cup diced red onion
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 cup chopped green onion
* 1 pound grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced( i used tenders)
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley



1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook 2 cups cream until just bubbling. Watch carefully, to ensure that it doesn't boil over. Stir in bouillon and Asiago cheese. Stir with a whisk until dissolved. Add cornstarch mixture, and simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside, or cover and refrigerate for later use.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute red onion until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic and cooked bacon, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in green onions, chicken and 1 cup cream. Cook, stirring, until cream is heated through. Add Asiago cream sauce, and heat through. Toss with cooked pasta until evenly coated, and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Asian Orange Chicken

I thought this was really good, it is a little sweet and a little spicy. The only change I would make to the recipe is at the end instead of adding the chicken to the sauce I would put the chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over the top so that the breading wouldn't fall off. Definitely worth making and I will make it again for sure. Here is the link if you want to read the reviews
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?RecipeID=61024&servings=4

"Enjoy delicious citrus chicken marinated in lemon and orange juice with brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It's terrific served with rice."
Ingredients:
Sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into
1/2 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions:
1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Thick and Chewy Double (or Triple) Chocolate Cookies

If you liked those brownies I posted recently, you will love these. I might even like these better than the brownies. I am all about the decadent desserts lately, huh? You'd think I was pregnant or something...

This is another one from my America's Test Kitchen cookbook.

This makes about 3.5 dozen cookies (or 4 dozen if you add the chocolate chips)
(I often half the recipe because even just one of these cookies seriously mean business)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I have used about 2 2/3 cups chocolate chips when I was out of bar chocolate, but bar chocolates have a better fat content for this application)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder (For SOME reason, I don't have any of this in my home ;) I skipped it.)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Triple chocolate option (but who WOULDN'T want to add this??? seriously, not "optional" if you ask me): 12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
2. Melt the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from heat OR to melt in microwave, heat at 50% power for 2 minutes, stir, then continue heating at 50% power for 1 more minute and then if not completely melted, heat an additional 30 to 45 seconds at 50% power. Beat the eggs and vanilla lightly with a fork, sprinkle the coffee powder over to dissolve (if using), and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 seconds. Beat in the sugars until combined, about 45 seconds; the mixture will look granular. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined, about 40 seconds. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer at low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overbeat. If using chocolate chips (YES, YES), use a wooden spoon to stir in now. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, about 30 minutes. (Unless it is summer in Texas, in which case, about never. This will just be a very messy endeavor, but it's worth it!)
4. Meanwhile, adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (Unless your other two cookie sheets are dirty and you're too lazy to wash them. Then just use one. The benefit of using just one sheet is that you're spared moving the sheets around part way through baking and you have more chances to fine tune your baking time. If you half the recipe like I did, two sheets mean they all cook at once, so if you decide you took them out a touch too soon, oh well. No second chance for you! But one sheet means second chances. I suppose the down side is that you spend more time with your oven heating up your house. Can you tell I'm not handling the heat well lately?) Leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each ball, scoop the dough onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets with a 1 3/4 inch spring-loaded ice cream scoop (I don't have this size scoop, so I just estimate a really really heaping scoop with my regular cookie dough scoop. Good luck.)
5. Bake, reversing the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until the edges of the cookies have just begun to set but the centers are still very soft, about 10 minutes. (Resist the urge to bake the cookies longer than indicated; they may appear underbaked at first but will firm up as they cool.) Cool the cookies on the sheets about 10 minutes, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a wire rack, and cool to room temperature; remove with a wide metal spatula (or my greedy, greedy hands were all I needed).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saucy/Sassy Pork Tacos

I saw this on Food Network, didn't really remember what Sandra Lee called it. But it was pretty tasty!

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 onion
taco seasoning
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 small can enchilada sauce

1. Sprinkle pork tenderloin with some of the taco seasoning and brown both sides. (I just did it in a skillet on my stove)
2. Mix enchilada sauce, cilantro, onion, and more taco seasoning (1 tbsp?) in a 13x9 pan.
3. Add tenderloin to pan and coat all sides with enchilada sauce mix. Cover with foil and bake at 350 until done (30-40 minutes, or maybe longer. Just make sure it's cooked)
4. Cut the tenderloin into strips, the size you'd want if you were eating them in a taco.


serve in tortillas with typical taco toppings-- tomatoes, lettuce, etc.
We were out of tortillas so we ate it taco salad style and it was still delicious. My husband said something like "the only problem with this meal is that I don't know if you could duplicate how good it is."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Whole-Wheat Banana-Strawberry Muffins

Well, would you look at that. I made something that wasn't an America's Test Kitchen recipe!

Mimi's Giant Whole-Wheat Banana-Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (some reviewers said the recipe was too cinnamon-y, so I halved this since sometimes I find too much cinnamon flavor distracting)
  • 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries (I used the fresh strawberries I had going bad on my counter, which was the inspiration to try this recipe. I cut them into fairly small chunks - like half inch-ish cubes - per suggestions of some reviewers.)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 large muffin cups, or line with paper liners. (I used regular sized muffin cups and filled them pretty much all the way. They don't rise a ton. Ended up with 16 muffins total.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and bananas. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; Stir into the banana mixture until moistened. Stir in the strawberries until evenly distributed. Spoon batter into muffin cups until completely filled.
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly. Cool before removing from the muffin tins.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Southwestern Egg Rolls - FOUR STARS

Holy cow these were amazing. Seriously.


* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 Chicken breasts
* 2 tablespoons minced green onion
* half a red pepper minced
* 2/3 cup frozen corn kernels
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained OR some chopped fresh spinach (two handfuls?)
* 2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
* 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/3 teaspoon salt
* 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
* 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used pepper jack)
* 5 (6 inch) flour tortillas
*


1. cube chicken and fry in 1Tbs oil until juices run clear. Take out of pan and shred or mince into smaller pieces.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.
3. Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack or Pepperjack cheese so that it melts.

4. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks (or not if you don't have them:) I just squeezed them tightly together in the pan). Spray medium dish with cooking spray arrange eggrolls in dish and spray top with cooking spray.
5. cook uncovered for 15 minutes in 425dg oven

I tried to list the recipe as I made it the original recipe can be found here . I think it would be awesome that way, we just don't do much deep frying in this house.

And you must serve it with this sauce!

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomatillo salsa
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor (um, I placed it in a bowl and used a fork, but whatever). Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a serving bowl.

Whoa nelly, this was seriously so GOOD! They could easily be made vegetarian as well.

YUM.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recipe Exchange

Not really a recipe, but some good advice.

I am an avid www.allrecipes.com user, I recently discovered a tool on that site that has changed my life.

From the main page click on the "recipe exchange" link. This is a forum where people can request recipes, etc. First of all, I think there are like hundreds of women who sit on the site and wait for questions to be asked because every time I ask a question I get about ten responses in about ten minutes, it's amazing. I love it. Some of the questions I've asked...

"What's a quick healthy lunch?"

"I have a ton of mushrooms and a ton of spinach, what are your favorite recipes that use those?"

"I really like this recipe (link to recipe for santa fe veggie wraps)...what's your favorite similar recipe"

I ask a question like this and then ten minutes later I have a weekly menu all lined up, and I didn't even have to do anything hard.

Sometimes I scroll through and see what other questions people ask. Some people ask things like "what is your favorite recipe ever" and then there are 200 responses of the best recipes ever, it's so awesome. Go try it.

Fudgy Triple-Chocolate Brownies

These are the best brownies I've ever had. I'm not exaggerating. Moist and fudgy without being underdone and without the chemically taste and slightly weird texture of box mix (bleh). The recipe is, of course, from America's Test Kitchen. Don't be scared off by the amount of text below. They come together fast and easy.

Makes 64 1-inch square brownies. These brownies are very rich, so the recipe says to cut them into small squares for serving. (I am a glutton, so I cut them into more like 1.5-inch squares and got more like 30-40 brownies out of the batch)
Either Dutch processed or natural cocoa works well in this recipe. (I used my cheaper stuff to save money and they were still incredible!)

Ingredients:

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I was out of this and still wanted to make these, so I used a little less than 1 cup of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips tend to have a lower fat content to help them maintain their shape, so they're less ideal than true baking chocolates, but the recipe seemed to turn out more than fine.)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fold two 16 inch pieces of foil lengthwise to measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (overhang will help in removal of baked brownies). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. (Note: I forgot to spray the pan first, so I only sprayed the foil. No negative effects noticed and less clean up! YAY! Plus I was lazy and just fit one layer of my extra wide heavy duty foil into the pan rather than making the 2 perpendicular strips. Also seemed to work just fine.)

In a medium heatproof bowl set over pan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread into corners and level surface with a rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch (or more gluttonous like me) squares. (Do not cut the brownies until ready to serve; brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.) (But you know, I was a rebel and cut them up last night anyway and the taste today is still TO DIE FOR.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tea's Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake

We had this for dinner tonight and we all enjoyed it. It's fairly healthy and decently tasty (though you will definitely want to add some salt). Nothing special, but a nice weeknight dinner.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

2 c whole wheat rotini pasta

9 oz broccoli florets

1/2 c onions, chopped (the recipe list includes these onions but never says when to add them)

1 tbsp butter

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

4 oz 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel Cream Cheese

1 c low sodium chicken broth


Cut raw chicken into bite size chunks. Cut broccoli into bite-size florets.

Heat oven to 375. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, adding broccoli the last 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add cream cheese; cook and stir on low heat 1 minute or until cream cheese is melted. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.

Drain pasta and broccoli. Add to chicken mixture, mix lightly. Spoon into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.

Bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve.

Serves 4.


Recipe originally found here. Site includes nutrition information.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cheeseburger Soup

* 1 lb. ground beef
* 3/4 cup chopped onion
* 3/4 cup shredded carrots
* 3/4 cup diced celery
* 3 T. butter or oil
* 3 cup chicken broth
* 4 cup diced potatoes
* 1/4 cup flour
* 8 oz. Velveeta cheese
* 1 1/2 cup milk
* 1 t. basil
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* salt and pepper

In a stock pot, brown beef, drain, rinse with hot water, and set aside. Saute onion, carrots, celery and basil in same pan about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and add broth, potatoes and beef. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. Serve.

This is a recipe from menus4moms.com but I really liked it, it was so easy, and the kids all liked it too. Definitely a keeper.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Leftover Rice Pudding

We had a bunch of rice leftover from our dinner tonight, and that happens a lot. So rather than put it in a tupperware and have it sit in the fridge for a week before I throw it away, I decided to look up stuff to make with it. I decided on rice pudding. I one time tried to make rice pudding from scratch and it was a total and complete disaster. So I was nervous. The good news is that it turned out great! And now I have an easy thing to do with all of my leftover rice!

Leftover Rice Rice Pudding

2 cups leftover cooked white rice
3 cups milk (any kind)*
1/2 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
pinch nutmeg, optional

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the vanilla and raisins. Cook until just about all of the milk is absorbed (30-45 minutes, depending on how absorbent your rice is). Stir in cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if using.
Divide rice pudding into individual serving dishes serve warm or chilled.
Makes 4-6 servings.

*Note: Sometimes I add an extra 1/2 cup of milk, if the rice seems unusually firm or dry, to make it creamier. Feel free to add a bit extra if the pudding is not as creamy as you like it. You can use nonfat, lowfat, whole or soy milk in this recipe.

-------------

Note from Kristi: Raisins? Ewwwww. No way. And I just did cinnamon rather than cinnamon and nutmeg. It was yummy and it's what the kiddos are going to be eating for breakfast tomorrow. Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Light Lemony Pasta

2 b/s chicken breasts
1/4 C lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic
cream/half and half/ whole milk (one of these, not all)
salt
pepper
pasta
chicken broth
mushrooms (optional : )
lemon zest (grated lemon peel)


Bring water in a pot to boil and add chicken bouillon (or just boil chicken broth instead of water). Cook your desired pasta type (we used spaghetti) for the recommended time.

Meanwhile cube up the chicken and mixed in a bowl with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Then grill up the chicken and towards the end of it grilling put in a couple handfuls of mushrooms (or you could choose some yummy vegetable, like broccoli or peas or something or nothing if you want).

When chicken is cooked through dump in about a cup of cream or half and half or whole milk (I had half and half, so I used that and it was perfect) and put in about 2 tsp of lemon zest (I have no idea how much, I just grated the rind from one small lemon). Let it thicken up and then throw on a handful of parmesan (if you want, which I am not sure why you wouldn't want to but...). Serve

It was really good and flavorful and delicious! Hope you enjoy. It could easily be done with shrimp instead.

Also....speaking of chicken broth. Have you ever gotten the "chicken base" at Costco? It's like three bucks and you keep it in your fridge and I love it so so much more than bouillon or canned broth. Look into it, it's by the spices!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Croutons

My life is forever changed because of Janssen's croutons. She makes them herself. With her bread that is getting "questionable". Actually I think she may use regular bread but I used my questionable bread and it was awesome.

Per Janssen's instructions

Cut bread in squares

put in bowl

drizzle with olive oil

put on salt, pepper and italian seasoning

stir

bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Or in my case 400 for however long I had until the rest of dinner was ready.

They were awesome. Give it a try!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I made these sunday and i was a little skeptical because they were made with whole wheat- but they were delicious! So whole wheat means you could technically eat them for breakfast!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


72 -96 cookies

* 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
* 4 large eggs
* 3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 5 cups rolled oats
* 3 cups whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Beat together the butter or margarine, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
2. Add oats, flours, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
3. Bake at 325°F (170°C) for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ina Garten's Creme Brulee

I've made this a couple times now and I officially love it. I made it for Janssen this weekend when she was here and it got her stamp of approval, so I feel confident passing it on.

I don't have enough ramekins for this recipe, so I poured the mix into two 1 1/2 quart baking dishes. The baking time ended up being about the same.

I just do the sugar under the broiler...it's not quite the same as with a torch, but it's still really yummy.

Recipe here.

Blueberry Lemon Cake


Janssen made this for Easter dessert and...whoa baby. Serve with a little ice cream and then contemplate how you can every repay me for sending you this recipe.




2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
Nonstick cooking spray, for pan
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.
In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.


Janssen made a lemon glaze to put over it which is just a little lemon juice mixed with powdered sugar. DELICIOUS!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cherry Chicken lettuce wraps ****

I got this recipe from my sister in law, and we thought it was delicious, justin even ate it and he considers lettuce "rabbit food". The reviews say it tastes just like PF changs, but I have never actually had them there, but either way they were way good. I did not do the recipe like it says though, it was recommended that I make them according to the viewers reviews, I will post the link if you want to read all the suggestions, but here is the real recipe and I will put the notes after.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cherry-Chicken-Lettuce-Wraps/Detail.aspx


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon honey

1 pound dark sweet cherries, pitted and
halved
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup toasted and sliced almonds
12 leaves of lettuce
Directions:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ginger and chicken and saute until cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce and honey until mixed together. Add chicken mixture, cherries, carrot, green onion and almonds; toss together.
3. To Serve: Spoon 1/12 of the chicken/cherry mixture onto the center of each lettuce leaf; roll up leaf around filling and serve.


Changes:
Mix 3/4 cup shredded mushrooms and 1 can drained chopped water chestnuts with the chicken before cooking. Cook them all together. (After the chicken was cooked I chopped up the chicken/mushroom/water chestnut mixture pretty small cuz i guess that is how they do it at PF changs). Omit the cherries. Double the sauce ingredients (but omit the honey) and add 2 Tbs of soy sauce. Add 1/2 tsp garlic powder and some red pepper flakes (to taste)_ to sauce. Use the freshest, crunchiest inner lettuce cups for best flavor (some recommended bib lettuce, but we like the crunch of the iceberg lettuce. It was pretty easy to prepare too.. oh- one more thing, I didn't want to pay extra for toasted almonds so i just bought the regular sliced almonds and toasted them in a pan with sugar until the sugar melted on it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Surplus

Okay, here is a call out for recipes. I went to Costco and now my fridge is overflowing with
1-strawberries
2-blackberries
3-spinach
and
4-mushrooms

so...what is one of your favorite recipes that uses one of those items?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Berry Torte

Kristi asked about this one, so here it is:

(So a REAL torte is suppose to use little or no actual flour, but oh well.) This looks fancy, but is SUPER easy and tasty.

Berry Torte

1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 pint berries (Any kind works but they should be reasonably bite-sized. I usually use blueberries or blackberries. They can be fresh or frozen and there's no need to thaw.)
dash salt
lemon juice

Cream 1 cup sugar and butter. Mix in flour, baking powder, dash of salt, 2 eggs, and the almond extract. Place into a greased and floured 9" spring form pan. Cover entire top surface of batter with berries. Sprinkle some sugar and lemon juice on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove spring form and serve warm or cooled.

May be frozen after a quick cooling. Defrost then reheat for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Easiest Chicken Pot Pie Ever

This is my friend's go-to frozen meal for people who have had new babies/deaths in the family/surgery/etc. She's brought it to me several times and I've always loved it, so I finally asked her for the recipe. Turns out it's pretty much the easiest dinner ever.

One can cream of chicken soup
One can chopped chicken
One can diced potatoes
One can sliced carrots
One can peas
One can any other vegetables you'd like to sneak in
One splash milk

Open and drain chicken and veggies. Stir together with cream of chicken soup and add milk until you reach your desired consistency (a couple tablespoons does it for me).

You COULD pour it all into and top it with a homemade pie crust (I like Pioneer Woman's pie crust recipe..it has never let me down) but my friend buys pie crust shells at the store and a sheet of refrigerated pie dough to top them with. I did a combination, using a store bought shell and topping it with one of my PW frozen dough discs. Whatever floats your boat.

Bake at 350 for one hour and enjoy! OR cover with foil and freeze it. When you're ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge at least most of the way and then bake at 350 for an hour (maybe a bit longer, depending on how frozen it was). Cover the pie crust edges with foil if necessary to keep them from over browning.