Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I absolutely love these. Since finding this recipe, I haven't made any other type of enchilada. This combines sweet, creamy and a little flair for absolutely incredible food. And the picture doesn't do it justice, especially as it is taken of my reheated leftovers.Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

From: Sister's Cafe

6 Tbs. honey (be liberal)
5 Tbs. lime juice (be liberal)
1 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas
1 lb. monterrey jack cheese, shredded
16 oz. green enchilada sauce (I used almost 2 full 10 oz. cans)
1 cup heavy cream

Cook chicken and shred. Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese for the topping. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy on top.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Russian Refresher (aka Wassail)

This is a great warm drink mix that my mom always made for us growing up. We would come home from school on those bitter cold days and take some hot water add the mix and instantly be warm.Russian Refresher Mix

From: Ruth Solter aka Mom

2/3 cup Tang powder
1/3 cup Country Time Lemonade powder
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

Combine all dry ingredients and store in an airtight container.

To make: Mix 2-3 Tbs. of the mixture into a mug of hot water.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mediterranean Style Chicken

Mediterranean Style Chicken

From: Kraft Food and Family, Winter '09

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1 cup Kraft 5 cheese blend (I just used the parmesan and romano blend)

Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. (I added some olive oil to the bottom of my skillet) Add chicken; cover. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet.

Add tomatoes, olives and lemon zest to skillet. Cook for 4 minutes or until hot, stirring often. Return chicken to the skillet and cook 1 minute or until hot. Top with cheese. Serve hot over pasta such as rotini or penne.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Broccoli with Lemon Sauce

Broccoli with Lemon Sauce

From: Taste of Home, November 2008

3 lbs. fresh broccoli spears
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbs. butter
4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. lemon peel, grated

Place broccoli in a large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat broth and butter until butter is melted. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; return all to the pan; stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Gently stir in lemon juice and peel. Drain broccoli and serve with the sauce.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gingered Chicken

This recipe was sized for two so I have doubled most of the proportions below to make a full meal.
Gingered Chicken

From: Taste of Home, November 2008

3 cups orange juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 chicken breast halves, cut into strips or bite sized pieces
2 Tbs. butter
2 cup uncooked instant rice
2 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Pour half into a large plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.

Drain and discard marinade. In a small skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in butter for 2-3 minutes on each side. In a greased 9x13 pan, combine rice with reserved marinade; top with chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with broccoli, cover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Tomato Soup at it's finest!Creamy Tomato Bisque

From: Weight Watchers

2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 Tbs. onion, chopped
5 chicken bouillon cubes
2 medium tomatoes, pared and diced
1/4 cup margarine
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
1 Tbs. sugar

In a large pot, combine water, canned tomatoes, celery, onion and bouillon. Cover and simmer for 2o minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree tomato mixture. In the same pan, cook the fresh tomatoes in 2 Tbs. of butter for about 5 minutes; remove from pan. In the same pan, melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter; stir in flour. Add cream over low heat; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in bouillon mixture, tomatoes and sugar. Heat through. Do not boil

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart

Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart

From: Taste of Home, November 2008

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium pear, peeled and thinly sliced
4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apricot jam, warmed

In a small mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add flour, beating just until mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a large bowl, combine apples and pear. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and spices; stir in orange juice until smooth. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Add to apple mixture and stir gently to coat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 14 in. circle. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spoon filling over the pastry to within 2 inches of the edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Spread with apricot jam. Using parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool. (I didn't let mine cool. I think I have something against cold desert. Or maybe it is that I don't have the patience to wait for it to cool?)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Eggs with Fried Tortillas & Tomatillo Salsa

This was absolutely amazing. The tomatillo salsa was fantastic. We ate the leftovers with chips the next day. Yum.Eggs with Fried Tortillas and Tomatillo Salsa

From: Eat Make Read

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 flour tortillas
4 eggs
1/4 cup tomatillo salsa

For Tomatillo Salsa:
1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos
1/2 cup white onion, choppe3d
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbs. lime juice
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and chopped
salt to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan. Roll tortillas like cigars and cut into thin slices, about 1/4" thick. Toss in the frying pan and let them get crispy, about 5 minutes. Toss garlic in the pan after the tortillas have been cooking for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, scramble the eggs. Pour over the tortillas and garlic. Add salsa over the eggs. Cook egg mixture for a few minutes and take if off of the heat while the eggs are still shiny. They will continue to cook in the pan, but will retain their moisture. Garnish with cilantro and additional tomatillo salsa.

To make Tomatillo Salsa:

Rinse tomatillos. Cut the tomatillos in 1/2 and place cut side down on a foil lined cookie sheet. Place under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and sugar in a food processor or blender and pulse until all of the ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool in refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

From: Kraft Food and Family, Winter 09

1 1/2 cups multigrain penne pasta, uncooked
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14 1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of a pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta, adding spinach to boiling water for last 1 minute.

Cook and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese.

Drain pasta mixture, return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into a 2 quart baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 minutes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Almond Butter Cookies

Sweet almond love. If you like almond flavored things you will love this.
Almond Butter Cookies

From: Sarah Guymon

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup almond paste (6 oz.)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, almond paste and sugar. Beat in the egg. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll into 1" balls. Place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Crockpot Chicken

This is a yummy and super busy day meal.
Crockpot Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup water
1 pkg. dry salad mix (ranch or Italian)
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place chicken (from frozen) in the crockpot. (I like to use a crockpot liner when I make this. It always seems to turn out better.) Pour seasoning package and water over chicken. Cook on low for 8+ hours or high 3-4 hours. During the last hour of cooking, combine cream cheese, chicken soup and milk. Shred chicken. Pour soup mixture over the chicken and mix. Cook for one more hour. Serve over rice or spaghetti. (We always serve it over rice)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Barbecue Beef Cups

Barbecue Beef Cups


3/4 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tbs. dried minced onion
1 (12 oz.) pkg. refrigerated biscuit dough.
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the cups of a muffin pan. Brown ground beef. Drain excess fat. Stir in BBQ sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat.

Flatten each biscuit and press into the prepared muffin cups. Make sure enough dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each cup. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 3 more minutes.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baked Apples

I remember my mom making these when I was growing up and I just loved them. So I decided to make them for desert recently. This recipe is truly in my mom's style, meaning I haven't listed any proportions because well, that is my mom. If I ever call her for a recipe she tells me oh I just used the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook except I omitted this and doubled that and added this, that and the other. She doesn't understand that she is not using a recipe from that cookbook anymore. And if you ask her for proportions she says oh I don't know, I just throw some in. So true to mom's form...Baked Apples

From: Ruth Solter aka Mom

Apples (I used Macintosh's because I was actually able to find them here!)
butter, melted
brown sugar
heavy cream

Peel a strip from around the middle of your apple, don't ask me why. That is what mom always did. Cut the core out of the middle of the apple. Place apples in a baking dish. Stuff apples with enough brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins to make you giddy. Pour enough melted butter over the apples to wet the sugar mixer and lightly glaze the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cream, some vanilla and some sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk together until thickened. Serve atop baked apples. These are also fabulous served with some good vanilla ice cream

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole

Chicken and Artichoke Casserole

From: The Domestic Goddess

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. butter
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
5 chicken breasts (I surely didn't use this much, I maybe used 1 lb. of chicken cut into bite sized pieces)
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 stick butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/8 cup half and half
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

Saute mushrooms in 2 Tbs. butter. Set aside. Add cut chicken into simmering chicken broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from broth and save 1 1/8 cup. Cool. Arrange chicken in a casserole dish. Top with artichoke heats. Set aside. Melt 3/4 stick of butter, stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in 1 1/8 cup chicken broth and half and half. Cook and stir as mixture boils and thickens. Blend in parmesan cheese and rosemary. Pour over artichokes. Sprinkle mushrooms down the center. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Have I ever mentioned how much I love soup in the Fall/Winter. It just warms you right up. This recipe came from a cookbook that was put together by an online message board group that I am a member of.Chicken and Dumplings Soup

2 1/2 quarts water
2 1/2 - 3 lbs. chicken, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbs. shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk (I always substitute this with 1 Tbs. cider vinegar to 1 cup milk)

Put water in a 5 quart pot. Add raw chicken, thyme, salt, pepper and bouillon. Bring to a simmer. When chicken is done, remove from water and stir in onion, carrots and celery. Simmer until tender.

In a bowl combine dry dumpling ingredients. (I usually make 1 1/2 times the amount because we really like dumplings). Cut in shortening. Stir in milk until ingredients are moistened. Knead 4 or 5 times. Roll dough into "snakes" and pinch off fingertip sized pieces into the boiling broth. Reduce heat to medium0low and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces and serve hot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is perfect for those cold winter months. It makes a ton, so it is a good thing that it freezes well. It is also one of those meals that is even better the second day, so feel free to indulge on leftovers. I don't remember where I got this recipe from. This is pretty much an all day cooking recipe. It is so worth it. It is perfect for keeping your house warm all day. Tip: I usually make the noodles a day or so ahead so that they have time to dry.Chicken Noodle Soup

1 gallon water
1 (3-4 lb.) whole chicken, cut into large pieces
1 lg. onion, peeled and halved
4 bay leaves
15 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch celery (2/3 chopped into large pieces, 1/3 chopped into about 1/4" pieces)
1 lb. carrots, unpeeled, just cut off the ends and cut into a few large pieces
2 stalks lemon grass, chopped (optional- I would put this is if my grocery store carried it)
1/4 cup chicken soup base (can use bouillon)
1 lb. carrots, chopped normally (sometimes instead I just use the large pieces when they come out of the broth and just chop them smaller. This does NOT work with the celery though as it is too mushy)
8 oz. egg noodles (recipe below)

For Egg Noodles:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten at room temperature

Place chicken and water in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim foam and fat as needed. Keep pot on heat and add onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, large chunks of celery and carrots, and the lemon grass in the pot. Simmer, covered for 1 hour.

Strain broth and reserve chicken. Add broth back to the pot and stir in chicken soup base, and chopped celery and carrots. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until carrots and celery are tender.

Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and shred into bite sized pieces. after carrots are tender, add noodles to the pot & simmer until noodles are cooked through. Stir in chicken and heat through.

To make Egg Noodles: In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add eggs and milk. Knead dough until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl about 5 minutes. It is very important to let it rest. On Lightly floured surface (If you flour it to much your dough will slide around making it impossible to roll out.), roll out dough to desired thickness. (I always try to get mine as thin as possible because they taste better and take less time to dry and cook). Cut into desired lengths and shapes. Allow to air dry before cooking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Greek Gyros

These were fabulous. Such a burst of flavor. The only thing I would do differently next time is use my other Tzatziki recipe just because it is a little thicker...but the sauce was still great.Greek Gyros

From: Delectible Delights: A Second Helping of SAA Favorites

Chicken Marinade:
3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 fresh squeezed lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh oregano
fresh marjoram, to taste
dash salt and pepper

1 large red onion, diced or thinly sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
Pita Shells
Feta Cheese

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
fresh dill, minced, to taste (I used quite a bit)
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh squeezed lemon
1/2 English cucumber, grated (keep the skin on)

Marinate chicken for 45 minutes. (I almost never get a head start on dinner and didn't do this and it turned out great.

Saute onions, 2-4 cloves garlic, cumin, oregano, basil and lemon juice until the onion is almost clear. Add the chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Combine Tzatziki ingredients in a mixing bowl. Line your pita shell with lettuce and sauce. Stuff with chicken and feta cheese.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicken Barley Chili

Obviously, we're all quite busy with our lives. I'm sure as soon as Christmas is over we'll have a slew of recipes to share. But for today, I just have this one.

This recipe was great because, I've had this box of Quick Barley at the back of my pantry forever! And it used all things that I happened to have on hand right before payday... how often does that happen?!

Chicken Barley Chili

from Quaker
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15oz can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 15.25oz can corn, undrained
1 16oz jar salsa (or tomato sauce)
1 14.5oz can chicken broth
3 cups chicken breast cooked, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup Quaker Quick Barley
3 c water
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional - but not at my house!)

In 6qt saucepan, combine tomatoes, salsa, broth, barley, water, chili powder and cumin. Over high heat bring to boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, corn and chicken; increase heat to high until chili comes to a boil. Cover an reduce heat to low. Simmer for another 5 minutes, or until barley is tender. If upon standing the chili becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or water until chili is desired consistency. If desired, top with shredded cheese and sour cream (who are we kidding, it's desired!). Makes 11 (1 CUP) servings.

Nutritional Information per 1 CUP Serving:
Calories 270, Fat 4g, Calories from Fat 30, % Calories from Fat 12%, Cholesterol 60mg, Sodium 700mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 32g

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cranberry Scones

This was seriously the most delicious thing ever. I wouldn't recommend making it unless you have plenty of people to share with, because it'll go straight to your hips. I'm fairly certain, this is what we'll be having for breakfast on Christmas morning.

(The above picture does not contain the orange glaze. I hadn't put it on yet.)
I do have to give a shout out to my friend Sarah, the source of this delicious recipe. Thank you for bringing this obsession into my life.

Cranberry Scones

2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, at room temperature

Mix till crumbly.

1/2 c milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix in small bowl. Add to dry ingredients. Mix just until everything is moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Spoon onto a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet in a circular mound. Lightly press 1 pint or less of fruit into the surface of the scone. (I used cranberries, but you could use blueberries, etc.)

1/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T butter
1 tsp orange zest
1-2 T chopped pecans

Pour onto the top and lightly press all around onto the mounded scone. Cut into 8 pieces before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 22 minutes.

Orange Glaze
1 T butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tsp orange juice
2-3 Tbsp milk

Combine ingredients to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over scone when it comes out of the oven. Try not to die of gluttony.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stuffed Green Peppers

This crockpot dish is fantastic. We love it for those busy days. I throw everything together and leave it for the day.

Stuffed Peppers

4-6 green peppers, tops removed, seeded
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen corn, partially thawed
1 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. or more ketchup

Wash peppers and drain well. Combine all remaining ingredients except for the ketchup. Stir well. Stuff peppers. Pour 3 Tbs. of water into stoneware to prevent the peppers from burning to the bottom. Pour ketchup over the peppers. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or high for 3-5 hours.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ground Beef Enchiladas

I usually prefer a Chicken Enchilada, but I was trying to find more uses for ground beef.

The only thing I did differently from her, was that I have a major fear of frying. I'm quite terrified of burning my house down in an oil fire, so I don't fry. I simply steamed my tortillas in the microwave for a couple of seconds and then dipped them in the sauce before filling them.

PW’s Favorite Enchiladas
from Pioneer Woman

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large (28-ounce) can enchilada or red sauce
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a past, cooking for 1 minute. Pour in other red sauce, chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt

Brown meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

10 to 14 corn tortillas
½ cup canola oil

Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas oil until soft, not crisp—about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Sauce (above)
Meat (above)
Tortillas (above)
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out.
Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubble. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cake Pops of Joy and Love

These have been widely blogged about, but I finally got around to trying them. I thought they were delicious, but my friend Melinda thought they were too sweet. Too sweet? Is there such a thing?

You really need to check out this stream on Flickr to see all of Bakerella's incarnations of these. She's amazing.

Cake Pops

from Bakerella

1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake) - I used a Red Velvet cake.
1 can frosting (16 oz.)- I used cream cheese frosting.
Wax paper
candy melts in assorted colors (1 lb. pkg.)
Lollipop sticks - You definitely want the shorter skinnier sticks.
Any other sprinkles, etc you want to decorate with.

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon)Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50).
4. Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
5. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
6. Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don't tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
8. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

I made some of my cake pops square, instead of round, for fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pumpkin Butter

This was absolutely fantastic on toast. I had it every morning for breakfast and a few times in between for a snack because it was so yummy.Pumpkin Butter

From: The Pioneer Woman

1 cup plain yogurt (vanilla works too)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin that I had cooked and pureed and the texture was awesome)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup powdered sugar, heaping

In a small bowl add together all ingredients. Add more pie spice if desired. Serve over hot buttered toast.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sweet & Spicy Chicken for Tacos

These were so amazingly delicious. My children each had two. And begged for more. Next time I make them, I'm definitely doubling the recipe and freezing what is leftover, if any.

And in lieu of a picture of the food, you get a lovely picture of my stuffing my face with the food. Lucky you!

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken
from Prudence Pennywise

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

Coat the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded.) Serve in tacos or however your little heart desires.

Personally, I like olives, green onions, lettuce, cheese, and lots of sour cream.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

From: Dozen Flours

4 cups flour
2 Tbs. cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shortening, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs. mild flavored molasses
2 Tbs. real maple syrup
1/2 cup full fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature, slightly beaten
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups solid packed pumpkin

1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup water, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract (can use clear if you want the filling to be super white)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 8 0z. pkg. cream cheese, softened and cut into several pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup

In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup. On medium speed, beat until well blended and lightened, about 2 minutes, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl at least one time. Reduce the mixer speed slightly and add the sour cream, egg and vanilla, beating until very light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer.

Beat in about half of the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times so release the little pockets of dry ingredients. Beat in the pumpkin just until it's smoothly incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Take your time to beat or stir in the remaining flour mixture, looking for flour pockets. Mix until smoothly incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes, or until slightly firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease large baking sheets with Pam. Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough onto your cookie sheet, spacing cookies about 4" apart. Spray a 3" round cookie cutter with pam and place it over the cookie dough. (I thought that this made way too big of cookies. They were just a little bit smaller than my entire hand! So, I started using about a 1 1/2" cookie cutter and less dough and it was perfect.) With one hand firmly hold the cookie cutter in place while you use your other hand to gently spread the dough out to meet the sides of the cookie cutter. Gently twist and lift the cookie cutter up and away. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until tinged with brown al over and just firm when lightly pressing the center. Transfer the sheets to wire racks and let them cook for at least 2 minutes to firm up slightly. Using a spatula, transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.

In a small measureing cup, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Let stand, stirring once or twice until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.

Fit mixer with whisk attachment.

In a heavy 2 qt. saucepan, over medium high heat, stir the white sugar, corn syrup and hot water until well blended. Continue stirring and raise the heat to hight; bring to a full boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture until it dsolves completely.

VERY cafefully transfer the mixture to your mixer bowl and add the vanill. On medium speed beat for 20 seconds. (I draped a dish towel over my mixer to prevent hot splashes). Gradually raise the speed to higha nd beat until the mixture is stiffened, very white, voluminous and cooled to barely warm. This should take 5-15 minutes. Reduce the spped to low and slowly beat in the powdered sugar.

On medium speed gradualy add the cream cheese, beating just until the mixture is completely smooth. If the filling seems to runny to spread, cover and stick in the fridge until it firms up.

Lay one cookie upside down and spread some of the filling on top. Top with a second cookie, pressing down lightly so that the filling almost squeezes out the sides. This makes a ton, so after giving a bunch away, I wrapped several in wax paper and then stuck them in plastic bags and through them in the freezer. Jason just loves them still frozen, although they can be thawed before being eaten.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Italian Bread Bowls

So, this past week I decided to make the Creamy Broccoli Soup that Jenny raves about. And I just had to have bread bowls. So, I attempted my own. I have to admit that I'm not normally a bread-maker. But I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I'm not sure what I did wrong with these, but they didn't rise as tall as I'd hoped and were therefore not all that great for bread-bowls. But the bread itself was delicious. I think if you're better at making bread than I am, they'd turn out not only tasty, but also functional.

Italian Bread Bowls
adapted from

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups).

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lemon Herb Chicken Ring

Isn't it pretty?Delish!
Lemon Herb Chicken Ring

From: Delectable Delights: A Second Helping of SAA Favorites

2 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan, divided
2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Zest lemon to equal 1 tsp. of zest. Cut lemon into thin slices and set aside for garnishing. In a medium bowl mix lemon zest, red pepper, 2 Tbs. parsley, garlic, mozzarella cheese, mayo, Italian seasoning and all but 2 Tbs. of the Parmesan. Add chicken to mixture.

Unroll crescent dough and separate into triangles. Arrange triangles with wide ends slightly overlapping, in a circle on a large pizza stone with wide ends 4 inches from the edge of the stone and points extending off of the edge of the stone. using a small rolling pin, roll the wide ends of dough toward the center of the stone to create a 5 inch opening in the center. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over dough around the circle. Bring points of the triangles up over the filling and tuck under the dough at the center to form a ring. The filling will show. Sprinking the remaining Parmesan and parsley over the ring.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Garnish with fresh squeezed lemon juice from your lemon slices.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cranberry Orange Relish

I'm not really a big fan of the solid tube of cranberry goo. That's an understatement, but I won't go into it.

But I am a HUGE fan of Cranberries. My mom made this recipe last year for Thanksgiving and it will be a permanent fixture in our Thanksgivings from now on.

Cranberry Orange Relish

1 bag whole cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, seeds and core removed (with peel)
1 large seedless Navel Orange (with peel)
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar

In a large food processor (or in batches) add all ingredients and process till finely chopped. Serve chilled.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fusilli alla Caprese

Fusilli alla Caprese

From: My Kitchen Cafe

1 lb. Fusilli pasta
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (1 pint)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cups fresh mozzarella, diced (I just used shredded because it was what I had)

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta into a large bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The cheese was just oozing out of these. And in my book, oozing cheese is always a good thing. This recipe came from a cookbook the Student Advocate Association (SAA) put together. This is the spouse's group that I am a member of.Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

From: Delectable Delights: A Second Helping of SAA Favorites

3 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I subbed in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt)
8 oz. colby jack cheese
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
French bread
2 Tbs. butter

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheese and garlic salt. Beat until smooth. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread cheese mixture on a slice of french bread and top with the other slice of french bread. Place sandwiches in the skillet and grill until golden brown on each side and cheeses are melted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast with Peaches

This was amazing. We occasionally like to have breakfast for dinner and this one was perfect for it.
Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast with Peaches


8 fresh peaches
1/2 cup sugar
4 pinches ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 loaf french bread
1 cup mascarpone cheese
6 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested
6 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. butter, or as needed
2 tsp. vegetable oil, or as needed

Peel peaches and slice into a heavy saucepan, catching all of the juices. Stir in sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon; cook over medium heat until bubbly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the sauce reaches a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cut off and discard the ends of the bread. Slice bread into 1 1/4" thick slices. Lay slices flat on your cutting board and slice a pocket in each, leaving 3 of the sides intact.

Stir together the mascarpone, powdered sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Scoop mixture into a small Ziploc bag. Cut off the tip of the pag and pipe as much filling into the pocket of each slice as will fit without overflowing.

Whistk together eggs, milk and vanilla in a shallow bowl. Melt butter with oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Dip each stuffed piece of bread into the batter, add to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides. Serve hot with the warm peach sauce.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This was great for one of those busy days that I just didn't feel like putting in the effort for dinner.Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


1 (4 lb.) pork shoulder
1 (20 oz.) can/bottle root beer
1 (18 oz.) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (we love Sweet Baby Rays)
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
8 Hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted (I was feeling way too lazy to toast the buns)

Create a spice rub by combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Rub the spices on the pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker. Poor the root beer over the meat.

Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6-7 hours. Drain.

Pull pork apart using the tines of two forks.

Stir in BBQ sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Korean Style Chili Pork Loin Wraps

These were amazing. My husband was raving about them.

Korean Style Chili Pork Loin Wraps

From: Foto Cuisine

1 1/2 pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs. Sugar
4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced

Hot Sauce:
2 Tbs. Sriracha hot chili sauce
5 tsp. honey
2 tsp. sesame oil

Faux Risotto
2-4 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 cup white rice
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine

1 head romaine lettuce
2 Tbs. sesame seeds, toasted

In a medium bowl, combine the green onions, garlic and ginger. Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil; mix well. Slice the pork into strips and put in the marinade. Place in the fridge covered for 1 hour.

While your pork is marinating, make the dipping sauce. I double the dipping sauce ingredients because we always like more sauce. Mix together the Sriracha, honey and sesame oil.

Melt butter in a pot, then add the rice. Let it sizzle a bit until it is transparent around the edges and a solid white core. Add a little salt and then the broth and wine. Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes. (I had to really play with the liquid amounts. I upped the liquids in the ingredient list above from the original recipe. It was nowhere near enough liquid. I had to check on my rice while it was simmering to adjust the liquid a little bit, but it turned out fantastic)

After the pork is done marinating, heat a skillet to med-high and add in some olive oil until almost smoking, then add the pork after straining off some of the marinade. (I personally like to leave a good bit of liquid in the pan when I'm cooking the pork because it helps to really keep the yummy flavors). Cook pork until done and liquid has reduced to bubbles.

Spoon some of the risotto mixture onto a leaf of lettuce and top with pork and hot sauce. Fold the leaves up like a taco and enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter

These were absolutely heavenly. I didn't make the berry butter with the scones simply because I didn't read carefully before I went to the store. I picked up whole cranberries instead of dried. So I just made your typical powdered sugar glaze.

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter

From: Taste of Homes

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup milk

Berry Butter:
2 Tbs. dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Tbs. powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pie spice, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, pumpkin and milk; add to crumb mixture just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a well floured surface, kneed 10 times. Pat into an 8" circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm w/ berry butter.

Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain and chop. In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and cranberries; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Beefy Polenta Casserole

I love this dish. I can't remember where I got the recipe from ages ago, but it is a winner. The polenta crust doesn't look so fabulous in this picture because I made it too far ahead of time, but it still tasted great.

Beefy Polenta Casserole

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (you know, the powdered stuff)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed to drain
1 jar (14 oz.) pasta sauce, any variety
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Grease a 9" pie plate. Mix cornmeal and cold water in a 1 qt. saucepan. Stir in boiling water and salt. Cook over med-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan until smooth. Spread on the bottom and sides of your greased pie plate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put covered pie plate in the oven for 30 minutes. Cook beef in skillet until browned; drain. Stir in spinach, pasta sauce, marjoram and garlic salt. Pour into shell. Cover and bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake uncovered for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. (umm... yeah, we never wait to cut ours, maybe that is why is doesn't look so pretty.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Creamy Broccoli Soup

That's right folks, it is bread bowl season! This is another one of my mom's recipes. My memory of this dish is interesting. Whenever I think of this soup I remember that it seemed like in high school I was always running to a choir practice or youth activity or track practice, etc. So I remember many times running out the door in the evening and my mom would hand me some of this soup in a big cup and I would "drink" it on my way to wherever I was going. Silly, but that is was I remember. Now, I just love this soup. It is definitely one of those that will warm you on a brisk day.
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Creamy Broccoli Soup

From: Mom Solter

1 1/2 lbs. broccoli
2 cups water
1 lg. stalk celery, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 med. onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbs. margarine
2 Tbs. flour
4 1/2 cups water, divided
1 Tbs. chicken bouillon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
dash ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/2 & 1/2 or whole milk (I always use heavy cream as the thicker the creamier your soup will be.)

Prepare broccoli, cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Cut the stalks into chunks. Cook the stalks with the celery and onion. Heat 2 cups water to boiling in a 3 quart saucepan. Add stalks, celery and onion. Cover and heat to boiling. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Do NOT drain. Place in blender. Cover and blend until uniform consistency.

Heat margarine in a 3 qt saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in broccoli/celery mixture, bouillon, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Heat just to boiling. Stir in cream, heat until hot but not boiling. Add broccoli florets. Serve topped with shredded cheese if desired.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mom's Baked Beans

Now, I know these aren't entirely "from scratch", but my mom has 9 kids. NINE. And little time for bean soaking. But these are delicious and one of my favorite "Fall Foods." The molasses and mustard are what really give it the great taste.

Baked Beans
4-5 strips of bacon (or MORE!! MMM... Bacon!), cut into pieces
1/2 to 1 small onion, chopped
2 cans stewed tomatoes
64 oz of canned baked beans
1/2 to 3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 or less Molasses
1 Tbsp Mustard

Cook bacon and onions over medium heat until onions are translucent and bacon is crispy. Place all ingredients in a large pot on the stovetop. Cook 1 hour on Med-Lo heat, stirring frequently. Place in a 300 degree oven for 1,2 or 3 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour or so.

I wish I'd have had more time to let these cook down longer. Not that they weren't delicious anyway, but they were more liquidy than I usually like.

Also, sorry we haven't been around. Jenny has been out of town in Vegas and also has computer woes. My excuse is less legitimate. I've been in a cooking funk and been really busy with Halloween preparations... we're really into handmade costumes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chicken with Ginger

I was a little skeptical about the size of the chunks of ginger at first, but this turned out great.

Chicken with Ginger

From: Martha Stewart

1 three inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/8" thick matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup sliced scallions

Soak ginger in cold water for 10 minutes; drain.

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. brown chicken in two batches, 6-8 minutes, set aside.

In same skillet over medium heat, cook ginger, onion and garlic, stirring until browned 8-10 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Cook over high heat until thick, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and stir to warm. remove from heat, stir in scallions.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cornflake Crusted Baked Chicken

This is another one of those great quick fixes. My husband really liked this one. it isn't one that I would make for company, but we'll definitely be making it again. The cayenne really gave it some pep.

Cornflake Crusted Baked Chicken

From: Martha Stewart

4 each, bone-in skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large egg
1 Tbs. water
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1 Tbs. water. In a large bowl mix cornflakes with oil, cayenne and 1 tsp. salt.

Dip chicken in egg mixture and then coat in cornflake mixture. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken


Sweet and Sour Chicken

From: Smitten Kitchen

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbs. ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt

Cut chicken into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until browned but not cooked through. Place in a a single layer in a baking dish.

Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.

Bake for 1 hour at 325 degreees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. I think next time I'll serve this over a little rice as this makes plenty of sauce.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This is another great quick fix. I will probably posting a lot of my good quick fix recipes over the next little bit as I've been crazy busy.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cut into bite sized pieces.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat oil in medium skillet until hot. Add remaining ingredients except chicken and rice. Cook until peppers are crip-tender. Place chicken into pan and cook until done. Cook Rice. Serve chicken mixture over rice.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Product Review- Microplane Grater

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned, we wanted to do some other special features, starting with product reviews. This is our first one.

Zesting lemons, oranges and limes on my crappy little zester has been making me die inside. So, finally, after putting it off forever, I got myself to Bed, Bath & Beyond for this sweet little toy. I was so sick of zesting one tiny lemon taking FOREVER and losing half or more of the zest on the zester, or worse, trying to pick it out.

Never again. If zesting is the bane of your existence, much as it was mine, buy one of these. You'll never regret it.

Mine was $15, though I know you can get them cheaper. I was desperate.

I've heard they're also great for hard cheeses like parmesan. Can't wait to use it on that!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

This was so easy and oh so yummy. I love when those two things combine in a meal.

Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

From: Martha Stewart

12 oz. fettucine
1 Tbs. butter
1 shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
3 oz. prosciutto, chopped
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, boil fettucine until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream, peas and prosciutto. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer until peas are heated through, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in lemon zest and juice. Pour sauce over pasta; add parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough pasta water to thin sauce as desired. Serve immediately, topped with additional parmesan.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto

This was a deliciously filling and perfectly "Fall" recipe. I'd never made any kind of risotto before, and it was more labor intensive than I expected, but was totally worth it. I definitely want to try a dessert risotto now.

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
from (I can't remember, but a lot of sources have the same recipe)

6-8 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives or garlic chives

Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding about 1/2 cup of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan.

Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. I could live off of mashed potatoes. My mom would probably tell you that I did when I was a teenager. These are the BEST mashed potatoes ever.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

From: The Pioneer Woman

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and rinsed
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup half and half
salt and pepper
3-5 heads of garlic
olive oil

Cut off just enough of the tops of the garls heads to expose all of the cloves. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bottom of a pie plate and tilt until entire bottom is covered. Place garlic cloves in pie plate, cut sides up. Drizzle the exposed cloves of garlic with olive oil so they won't burn. When in doubt use a little more olive oil! Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like to use Kosher Salt. Cover pie plate with foil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. After the garlic as cooled enough to handle, hold the head from the bottom and gently press the cloves out of the papery skin.

Boil potatoes until fork-tender. Drain water and return pot to the burner, mashing over low heat until a lot of the steam has escaped. Remove from heat. Mash in softened butter, cream cheese, half and half and salt to taste. Dump in 3-5 head of roasted garlic; mash in. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Matt's Quesadillas

Sometimes, after tending to the kids all day, the thought of making dinner just makes me want to go hide in a closet. On those occasions, Matt will lovingly step in and throw something together. Sadly, it's usually inedible. But on Sunday, he nailed it. The prosciutto really adds an amazing flavor to these quesadillas.

Matt's Quesadillas

corn tortillas
green onions, chopped
prosciutto, chopped
miscellaneous shredded cheeses (colby, monterrey jack, swiss, cheddar, etc)
olive oil

Heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of your pan. Place a corn tortilla (and because they're small, we were able to do 3 at once) into the heated pan. Throw down some assorted cheeses, onions and a Tbsp or so of chopped prosciutto. As soon as your cheese is melted, use your spatula to fold the tortilla in half. Cook till lightly browned on both sides, flipping as needed. We ate them plain, but they'd be amazing with some tomatoes or sour cream.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Manhattan Meatballs

The sauce on these meatballs was just too die for. The meatballs on the other hand were just a little thick for my tastes. So instead I substitute my favorite meatball recipe with a few adjustments to make this recipe just perfect.

Manhattan Meatballs

From: Blog Chef

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup milk
10 oz. apricot preserves
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

In a large bowl, combine beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, salt, ginger and milk. Mix together and shape into meatballs.

Place meatballs on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees until browned on top but not cooked through. Once browned place meatballs into a casserole dish.

In a bowl, combine remaining barbecue sauce and apricot preserves. Double apricot preserves and barbecue sauce if you like a little more sauce, you won't be disappointed. Pour mixture over meatballs and bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicken Piccata

Jenny & I both made this recipe this week. And we both LOVED it. It became a contest to see who could post it on the blog first. I won. Neener, neener.

Chicken Piccata
from: Recipezaar

* 2 large lemons
* 1 1/2 lbs chicken cutlets or turkey cutlets or veal cutlets
* salt
* fresh ground pepper
* 1/2 cup flour
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large shallot, minced (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons drained small capers
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Halve one lemon lengthwise and slice one half crosswise into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices. Juice the remaining 1 1/2 lemons to obtain 1/4 cup juice. Salt & pepper each cutlet generously and coat each with flour.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, add 2 tbsp oil, saute half of the cutlets until medium brown (2 minutes per side). Transfer cutlets to warm plate. Add remaining oil and repeat with remaining cutlets.

Add shallot or garlic to pan over medium heat -- saute until fragrant (30 seconds). Add stock and lemon slices, increase heat to high and deglaze pan; simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup. Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup. Remove pan from heat, swirl in butter until it melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.