Saturday, February 28, 2009

Corn Dogs

When I saw this recipe I just knew that I had to try it. Both Tab, Jason and I love corn dogs, so this one called to me. It was well worth it. It was a total hit with my boys and we loved them too.

I have to add this just because it made me laugh. As I was getting ready to label the post, I was completely stumped as to what I should classify hot dogs under in the meat area. I just couldn't put it under beef or ground beef. Perhaps I should add a mystery meat section. LOL. Corn Dogs

From: senSAAtional favorites: just what the D.O.ctor ordered

1 gallon oil, for frying (I didn't use anywhere near this much oil)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder (I skipped on this, I thought it might be a bit much for little mouths)
1 lg. jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
8 oz. cream-style corn
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 Tbs. cornstarch
8 hot dogs
wooden chopsticks or skewers

Heat oil to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, combine the jalapeno, corn, onion and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir only enough times to bring the batter together; there will be lumps. Set the batter aside and let it set for 10 minutes.

Scatter the cornstarch on a dry plate. Roll each hot dog in the cornstarch and tap off any excess. Transfer enough batter to fill a large drinking glass. Refill the glass as needed. (I tried this but found that dipping them into the batter in the bowl was a ton easier and less messy.) Skewer each hot dog with your chopsticks or skewers and quickly dip in and out of the batter.

Immediately and carefully place the hot dogs in the oil to cook. Cook until the coating is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a little and dry.

I put that these freeze well. I froze them after cooking because my hot dogs hadn't been frozen prior to cooking. Had they been frozen beforehand, I wouldn't have frozen them. I also didn't eat them after being frozen, but my boys still devoured them and that was a winner for me. It made for a quick lunch.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hawaiian Haystacks

The first time I ever had Hawaiian Haystacks was about six months ago. I was pretty skeptical about them, because the thought of eating cream of chicken soup mixed only with chicken broth isn't very appealing to me. However, after I tried them, I fell in love. It's a very fresh meal, and once you add all the toppings, the blend of flavors is divine. The best part is that you can leave whatever do don't want out and you don't have to go by the amounts here. You just make enough for your family.
Hawaiian Haystacks


2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth or water
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed (leave the chicken out for a vegetarian dish)
4 cups cooked rice
chow mein noodles
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1 jar pimiento, diced

Combine soup and chicken broth in saucepan. Add cooked chicken and simmer 8 to 10 minutes until heated through. On serving plates layer all ingredients. First, stack rice, chow mein noodles, chicken and gravy. Then add tomatoes, celery, green peppers, and green onion. Top with pineapple chunks, cheese, more chicken and gravy if you want, almonds, coconut, and pimiento.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tomato Basil Orzo Soup

This was so "fresh". It's the only word I can use to describe it.

Tomato Basil Soup with Orzo

1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 c orzo
1 c chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot (I used 4 1/2 qt) and saute garlic until fragrant. Add broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add orzo and simmer for ~10 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Stir in basil, salt, pepper, and parmesan, and simmer ~3-5 minutes more. Delicious with crusty bread.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quick Weeknight Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

If you've ever been to P.F. Changs, you've probably enjoyed their chicken lettuce wraps. They're famous.

And I've tried to make them before. I didn't have ground chicken, so I spent forever chunking my chicken up into the tiniest pieces. NOT WORTH IT.

These are traditionally served as an appetizer, but we eat them as a main dish. So, I listed them under both.

These are SO, so fast. When I make my menus, I don't assign any particular meal to a day. I just go with what works on that day. Sometimes I have more time to cook and sometimes not. So, on my list of meals for the week (two weeks), I am sure to write behind the meal name an approximate time it takes to make said meal. This one gets 1/2 hour. Love it!

Quick Weeknight Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup finely chopped onion
1 lb ground turkey breast
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 12 oz bag of Broccoli Slaw (my Walmart carried it!)
1 small can drained, slightly chopped water chestnuts
½ Cup Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Approximately 15 Butter Lettuce leaves (we use romaine)

1. Place oil into a large 5 qt skillet or other large pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Brown and crumble until cooked through.

2. When turkey is cooked, stir in broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Serve spoonfuls inside lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Glazed Pork Chops

These were so good that we actually had them two weeks in a row and no one complained!

Glazed Pork Chops

from Everyday Food

4 bone-in pork chops (about 9 ounces each)
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, combine sugar and Dijon. Place pork on sheet; season with salt and pepper. Broil until pork begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes; spread sugar mixture over top. Broil until glaze is browned and pork is opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with potatoes and green beans.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cheese Soup

I have been searching for a good cheese soup recipe for a while that I just can't live without. This one definitely hits the spot. I also recommend cutting the recipe in half because it makes a ton. I made Italian Bread Bowls to go along with this thanks to my sister's previous post. I lucked out and my bowls had no problem rising.

Cheese Soup

From: Sharing Our Best York I-Relief Society-Debbie Rucker

1 1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cups cooked potatoes, diced
4 cans chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups half and half
1 cup Bisquick (or other brand of pancake mix)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne

Cook celery, onions, carrots, and potatoes in butter until tender. Stir in Bisquick and spices. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth. Heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute. Reduce heat. Add half and half and cheese. Heat until cheese is melted. Serve in bread bowl.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

From: Mom aka Ruth Solter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 lemons (use grated zest and juice)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup poppy seeds

juice of one lemon
a little zest (optional)
powdered sugar

Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat eggs thoroughly and add to butter mixture. Add poppy seeds, lemon zest and juice from one lemon to butter mixture.  Combine flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture, stirring until combined.   Add half and half and stir until well blended.  Spoon into well greased muffin tins or use muffin liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Don't let the muffins get too brown.

Glaze: Combine the juice of 1 lemon, additional zest if desired , and about 1/2 cup or more of the powdered sugar to brush on as a lemon glaze while muffins are still hot.  It works best if you just dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze for a nice even coating!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I'm sorry, I know that it is nowhere near the time of year for this type of a meal, but I saw that I had the corned beef brisket in my deep freezer and then my pregnant craving went into overdrive. Corned Beef and Cabbage

From: The Domestic Goddess

1 (5 1/2 lb.) corned beef brisket
2 Tbs. pickling spice
1 lg. orange, sliced in rounds with peel
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 lg. onion sliced
1/2 cup cold water
6 Tbs. butter, divided
1 lg. head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 golden delicious apples, cored and quartered with peel
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with alumninum foil, leaving enough extra extending over the edges to cover and seal in the roast.

Rinse the brisket and pan dry. Rub with the pickling spice (I usually use a little extra) and place in prepared pan. Arrange celery, orange and onion slices on and around the brisket. Pour in 1/2 cup cold water. Wrap the foil over the roast, tightly sealing the edges so it is completely encased in foil. Bake for about 4 hours or until the meat is tender.

About 45 minutes before the roast is done, heat 3 Tbs. of butter and 1/4 cup of water in a large pot. Add the cabbage and apples; cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Occasionally shake the pot so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Serve with remaining butter and sliced corned beef. ( I like to scrape out the mushy insides of about half of the apples and mix it in with the cabbage before serving.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sloppy Joes

These aren't just any Sloppy Joes. These are the sloppy joes of your dreams. I'm telling you, once you try them you'll never go back to the same old run of the mill "Slop Slops"(as we call them in my house) that you've been making.Sloppy Joes

From: Unknown

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. heaping brown sugar
1 Tbs. vinegar
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt

In a large skillet, combine ground beef, onion and green pepper. Cook until ground beef is browned. Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Serve on lightly toasted (or not) hamburger buns.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti

Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti
From: Better Homes and Gardens

8 manicotti shells (I only use 6 because I really like to stuff them)
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs margarine or butter
2 Tbs flour
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup cup dry white wine (we used apple juice, but it would probably taste better with wine)
1 beaten egg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup snipped parsley
1/4 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain. For sauce, in a saucepan cook onion and garlic in margarine till tender. Stir in flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Add swiss cheese and wine; stir till cheese melts.

In a bowl stir together egg, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, peel, and nutmeg. (I added about 1/4 cup more ricotta cheese) Fill manicotti with ricotta mixture. Arrange in a baking dish. Pour sauce over filled shells. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or till hot.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken

From: McCormick

1 1/4 tsp. lemon and pepper seasoning salt (I honestly don't measure and probably used more)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbs. butter
1 cup baby carrots, quartered lengthwise (I never buy these because regular carrots are cheaper. I just cut the carrots up into skinny matchsticks)
1/3 cup sliced green onion
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbs. flour
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp. parsley flakes

Rub lemon and pepper on chicken. (I use less chicken and cut it into bite-sized pieces and just sprinkle heavily with the lemon pepper.) In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute chicken 7-10 minutes per side or until done; remove from skillet. Keep warm.

Add carrots and onions to skillet. Saute 2 min. Whisk together broth and flour. Pour over vegetables; bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add sour cream and parsley. Simmer for 2 minutes. (Add chicken back into pan if using bite-sized pieces.) If using whole breasts, Spoon sauce over chicken.

When I make it with the bite-sized pieces of chicken, I place a spoonful of chicken onto the rice and then spoon some of the veggies and sauce over top.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Potato Pierogi

These are just fantastic. We love them. They are a nice light meal.Potato Pierogi

From: Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
4 Tbs. butter
3 small onion, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 pkg. pot sticker (gyoza) wrappers (won ton wrappers work too)

Serve With any or all of the following:
3-5 green onions thinly sliced or 1/4 cup chopped chives or 2 tbs. chopped parsley or additional fried onions
Sour Cream, melted butter or balsamic vinegar

Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet and cook the onions until soft and lightly browned, darkly browned in spots. Mash potatoes, then mix in onions and cooking butter. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Line cookie sheet with wax/parchment paper. Working one at a time, brush the edges of the wrapper with water and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold the dumpling in half, pressing the edges together to seal. place dumplings on the cookie sheet.

Heat a tiny bit of oil (1-2 Tbs.) in a non-stick skillet, add dumplings in a single layer. When they are golden and in spots browned, turn and brown on the other side. Add enough water to equal about 1/4" or less in depth. Be careful not to add too much. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes. Remove lid and check for doneness. Pierogi should be tender but not mushy.

Dip in and top with desired toppings. My favorites are sour cream with diced green onions and basalmic vinegar. Jason likes to douse his with balsamic vinegar.

To Freeze: Place prepared pierogi's in a freezer bag prior to cooking. When ready to use, thaw and cook as described above.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pakistani Kima and Indian Chapati

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous curry.Pakistani Kima and Indian Chapati

From: Fun Foods on a Budget

1/2 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Dash each pepper, cinnamon, and ginger
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 potatoes, diced (I used 3 small, and next time will likely use 4)
2 cups frozen peas

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup hot water or as needed

Brown ground beef in a large skillet with garlic and onion. When meat is browned, stir in curry powder, salt, seasonings, tomatoes, potatoes, and peas. (I didn't drain the water and fat from the meat first but will next time.) Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, add a small amount of water if necessary.

While Kima is simmering, make the Chapati.

In a bowl mix the flours and salt. Stir in oil and enough water to make a soft dought hat is elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough until smooth.

Divide the dough into 8 parts. Roll into balls and let rest for a few minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the balls of dough until very thin. (I found the thinnest ones turned out the best.)

Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot; lightly grease. When the pan is hot, put the chapati on it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds. (I had to leave mind for several minutes) Flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.

Serve Kima with Chapati.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chicken with Apricot, Maple and Mustard

I know that the title sounds like a weird combination, but it is great.Chicken with Apricot, Maple and Mustard

From: Unknown

1-2 lbs. chicken, cut into strips
1/3 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp. dried tarragon or sage (I used sage because I had it on hand)
Paprika to taste

Place chicken strips in a 9x13 pan. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour oven chicken, turning to coat. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve over Rice, spooning sauces over the chicken and rice. (My sauce this time turned out super watery and runny because I didn't let my chicken completely thaw before putting it in the pan. The chicken still tasted great but there wasn't enough good sauce for the rice. Note to self, make sure to thaw chicken entirely first.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Honey Mustard Grape Chicken

This is a perfect and light summer meal, but every once in a while I have a hankering for some good freshness during the winter.Honey Mustard Grape Chicken

From: Unknown

8 boneless chicken, thighs, pounded thin ( I used chicken breasts)
1/2 cup honey mustard

Grape Salsa:
1 med. cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 cups red or green grapes, halved
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest (optional)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

Brush both sides of chicken with honey mustard, set aside. Grill chicken and serve topped with grape salsa. (I obviously didn't cook my chicken like this. I do this during the summer, but during the winter when it is way to cold to barbecue, I chop my chicken into bite sized pieces and Throw into a hot frying pan and squirt the honey mustard over the top and let it cook in the mustard that way. It still tastes great.)

In a medium bowl, stir together ingredients for the salsa. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stuffed Chicken Siena

WOW! This is definitely a new favorite. I was a little worried while I was cooking the sauce as it smelled quite olive-y and I'm not a huge fan of Calamata olives. It was amazing though. It all fit together perfectly. And the chicken....oh, the chicken. WOW! My 3 1/2 year old and 17 month old were both begging for more. Jason wasn't home for dinner this night and so I set a half of a chicken breast aside for him (we don't usually feel the need to eat an entire breast). After Tab and Benton ate what was on their plates, I started giving them bites of my chicken. After I ate all of my food they started pointing at Jason's. The poor guy only had about 1/4 of a chicken breast left when he got home and that is because I finally told the boys enough was enough, NO MORE. So needless to say, this was a BIG HIT.Stuffed Chicken Siena

From: senSAAtional favorites: Just what the D.O.ctor ordered

Chicken/Cheese Filling:
1/2 cup smoked gouda , chopped
1/4 cup fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. green onions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
2 Tbs. heavy cream
4 (8 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterfly cut.

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. garlic, chopped
2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces (This was my favorite part of the sauce and will probably add a bit more next time)
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup green olives with pimento, chopped
1/4 cup small capers, rinsed
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1 (29 oz.) can tomato puree
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (Don't leave these out or I promise you will be sorry)
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tbs. fresh basil, chopped

1 lb. pasta, cooked to desired doneness

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients, except chicken in a mixing bowl, until well blended. Divide cheese mixture between the four breasts. With each breast open place filling on one side and then fold the other side of the breast over the top. Place stuffed chicken in a greased 9x13 pan. Refrigerate and put in the oven while your sauce is simmering for 30 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until juices run clear.

Heat olive oil in a small sauce pot; add garlic and saute for 1 minute, do not brown. Add bell peppers and saute until crisp-tender. Add olives and capers and stir. Add red wine and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients except basil and pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. At this point you can put your chicken in the oven. Add basil to sauce and stir well. Remove sauce from heat. Place on chicken breast on a mound of cooked pasta on each plate. Spoon sauce over chicken and pasta. Garnish with additional chopped fresh basil.