Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Penne and Broccoli

This was so simple, fresh and quick. Next time I'll probably throw it a bit more garlic. I only used 1/2 cup pasta water and will probably use more next time as well.Penne and Broccoli

From: Family Friends and Food

1-2 broccoli crowns, cut into bite0-sized pieces
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 dashes red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last five minutes of cooking, toss the broccoli in and they will finish cooking at the same time. Drain, reserving 1/2 -1 cup of the pasta water.

While the pasta is cooking saute your onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil. Toss the broccoli and pasta with the onion mixture. Add the pasta water as desired. Finish off by tossing with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cajun Chicken

This has a bit of kick even though I cut down on the spices a bit for the kid's sake. They both still ate it and liked it. My 3 year old said that it made his tongue bleed, lol. But he asked for seconds. We just made sure to serve it with milk.

Also, I didn't use the directions from the original recipe as I wanted this to be a super quick and easy recipe. I changed it up a bit to simplify.Cajun Chicken

From: Eat For Dinner

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 Tbs. olive oil
8 Tbs. lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cayenne pepper (I only used 1 tsp.)
2 tsp. dried basil
6 cloves garlic, crushed


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

Combine all ingredients except for the chicken and rice in a small bowl. Mix well. Pour the seasoning mixture over the chicken, turning the chicken to coat. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the chicken at 10 minutes. Serve over Rice.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ukrainian Style Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Ukrainian Style Sweet and Sour Meatballs

From: Eat For Dinner

1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 Tbs. cornstarch

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey (I used 1 lb. of meat and used beef)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I didn't use quite this much as I cut down on the meat and I don't like my meatballs really dense)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well. Fry or bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. (I opted to bake mine.) Put the meatballs in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in the top of a double boiler; heat to boiling and cook until well blended. (I don't own a double boiler and while I have used the two pot method in the past I didn't feel the need and just used a regular pot and it was fine.) Pour the sauce over the top of them and roll the meatballs around to coat. Bake for 30 minutes. (I had to stir my sauces up a little again as they had started to separate.) Serve over rice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Apricot Orange Cream Scones

Apricot Orange Cream Scones

From: Mom ... aka Ruth Solter

2 cups flour
3 Tbs. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup white vanilla chips
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs. orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt, mix well. Add apricots and vanilla chips, mix well. Add heavy cream all at once. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 6-7 times or until smooth. Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6" rounds. Cut each into 4 wedges. Place 2" apart on your cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice to create a glaze. (I add in a little orange zest here to for a little stronger orange flavor.) Drizzle over warm scones.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet Root Soup

My husband gave me a kind of weird look at first because this soup looks like baby food. Trust me, this is fantastic. This didn't make a ton, so I would probably double the recipe next time as we like to have some leftovers.Sweet Root Soup

From: Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine

1 med. red onion, chopped (I think I only used about 3/4 of the onion)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. mild curry paste
1 tsp. honey
3 1/4 cups vegetable broth
salt, pepper, sour cream and chopped cilantro leaves for serving (The sour cream and cilantro are an absolute must!)

In a large pan or soup pot, saute the veggies in the olive oil for about 15 minutes or until soft. Stir in the curry paste and honey, cook 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Put in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Artichoke Stuffed Shells

These were fantastic and my 18 month old couldn't get enough of them.
Artichoke Stuffed Shells

From: Eat For Dinner

1 (12 oz.) box jumbo shells
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lg. yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-10 oz.) pkg. frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped (I used canned artichokes)
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped
5 cups Arrabbiata sauce (Sorry in advance for this long side note: I didn't know what this was so I googled it. I came upon WiseGeek . I learned that this sauce was a marinara that was given a spicy flavor by adding hot peppers, so I just bought Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce which was a pasta sauce with peppers and spice etc. It was fantastic. I would say that you could likely just use your favorite pasta sauce though.)
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and partially cook until it is tender but still very firm to the bite. Make sure to stir occasionally so that the shells don't stick together.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is done. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with 1 cup of arrabiata sauce. Take the shells in the palm of your hand and stuff with with a large spoonful of turkey mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish. (The original recipe said it makes about 24 shells, but I had about 30 overstuffed shells).

Drizzle the remaining arrabiata sauce over the shells and top with the mozzarella. Bake for 2o minutes.

(I didn't try freezing it but the original recipe says it freezes well which I can believe, so here are the directions.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for up to 1 month. To bake preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese begins to brown, about 60 minutes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreos

From: Nosheteria

For Chocolate Cookie:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lg. egg

For the Cream Filling:

1/4 unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Put oven rack in the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix all of the dry ingredients for the cookies. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2" apart. (The first batch I used bigger amounts of dough and it was really to much. I really do recommend using a tsp. measure as it really helped to get uniform sized cookies.) With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes (I did about 7-8 minutes and think that next time I'll do more like 6-7. I really liked the ones that came out still a tad chewy yet still had crunch and baking them for 9 minutes they were all crunch.), rotating once for even baking. Set cookie sheets on a rack to cool.

To make the cream filling, place the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl and beat at a low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.

Assemble the cookies by placing a teaspoon sized dollup of the cream in the center of one cookie and the pressing the second cookie on top.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Honey Lime Chicken

This ended up being a super quick fix the way I made it. I decided making it the way I did was going to be quicker, easier and just as delicious as the original recipe. So if you want to see the original recipe, go the the blog link below. I am posting it as I made it.Honey Lime Chicken

From: Big Red Kitchen

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3/4 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. lime juice
zest of one lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together except for the chicken.

Place chicken strips in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Pour honey/lime mixture over the top of the chicken, spooning some sauces over all of the chicken.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve chicken over rice, spooning some of the honey/lime sauce over the chicken and rice.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Terriyaki Turkey Sliders

These were fantastic. My 3 year old was particularly happy to be having "hamburgers". (I apologize for the sort of out of focus picture but sometimes I'm dumb.)Teriyaki Turkey Sliders

From: Big Red Kitchen

1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey breast
3 slices bread, crumbled (I just stuck them in my food processor and pulsed them a few times)
2 Tbs. dried chopped onions
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger

Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until blended. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. You will find the meat mixture sticky and gooey so I used two spoons to work a ball of meat onto the griddle then flattened with a greased spatula. Make 16 small balls in all and grill on both sides for about 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Each patty should be about 2 1/2 inches across. (I started out doing this and it was 1. taking too long, 2. making too much of a mess and 3. If you didn't know I'm lazy. So I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and took a cookie sheet and covered it with foil. Then I spread the meat mixture out on the cookie sheet to my desired thickness. I baked the meat for about 25 minutes. Then slice the meat into square burgers. Voila) Serve on mini buns or mini potato rolls. Serve with favorite condiments. Makes about 16 sliders.

*The ones that I made it the pan were only slightly more desirable than the baked ones, so go on ahead and be lazy.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

I was a little skeptical of these because it used a few ingredients I have never used before, but that is why I wanted to try the recipe. They were fantastic.Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

From: Dine and Dish

1 head romaine lettuce or Boston Bibb or butter lettuce
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 hoisin sauce
2 tsp. minced pickled ginger
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
Asian chile pepper sauce (I used sriracha)
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not to tear them. Set aside.

In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 Tbs. of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef back into the pan and mix together.

Line lettuce leaves with desired amount of meat mixture. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito and eat.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easy Batter Fruit Cobbler

Easy Batter Fruit Cobbler

From: All Recipes

4 Tbs. butter
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups of sliced fresh peaches or nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries... you get the idea. (can also use frozen)
1 Tbs. sugar
Vanilla Ice cream or cool whip

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put butter in an 8-inch square pan; set in oven to melt. Remove pan from oven when butter is melted.

Whisk the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pout patter into pan over the butter. Scatter fruit over the batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbs. of sugar.

Bake until batter browns and fruit begins to bubble, 50-60 minutes. Serve warm with cool whip or ice cream.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Toss

Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Toss

From: Dine and Dish

5 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbs. lemon juice
3 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 lb. thin spaghetti

In a large skillet, saute onions and garlic in butter and oil until tender. Stir in the chicken, lemon juice, parsley, seasoned salt and lemon pepper. (I think next time I will add in a little bit of chicken broth or reserved water from the pasta and maybe up the seasonings so they don't get washed out from the extra fluid, just because I would have liked a little bit "more" with the pasta, though it was still great the way it was) Saute for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Add to the chicken mixture and toss to coat.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chicken and Corn Laksa

I apologize for another soup recipe, but I have really been into soups lately. This is one of those recipes that looked yummy when I saw the picture in a magazine and then as I was making it, I was seriously questioning if we were going to be going out to eat that night. LOL. So be warned, about half way into making this soup you may think twice, but when it all comes together, you will be a very happy person. Chicken and Corn Laksa

From: Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine

1/4 lb. thin rice noodles (I couldn't find any where I live so I just used thin spaghetti, but definitely needed to make more than 1/4 of a lb. I probably ended yup making about 1/2 lb.)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. mild curry paste
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup frozen or canned corn (I will surely use more next time)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. lime juice
Cilantro leaves, thinly sliced red chiles and lime quarters for serving

Cook the noodles according tot he package instructions. Drain and divide among bowls.

Saute the onion in the oil for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, curry paste, and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute more. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. (This is where I started questioning the recipe)

Add the corn, peas, chicken and scallions. Simmer for 3 minutes until everything is hot. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice.

Ladle the soup over the noodles. Top with cilantro leaves, extra scallions, thinly sliced red chiles and lime quarters.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Taffy Apple Pizza

I made this for my husband and all of his buddies a while back, but of course I had to try it first. I have to admit that I had a hard time letting him take it. Rather, I wanted to sit down right there and gobble up the entite thing by myself and pretend that I never made itTaffy Apple Pizza

From: unknown

1 pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 med. granny smith apples, peeled & sliced
1 cup lemon-lime soda
ground cinnamon
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup copped peanuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough onto a pizza stone. Bake 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen from the stone with a serrated bread knife. Cool completely.

Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl, mixing until smooth. Spread over top of the cookie.

Dip apples in soda to prevent browning, arrange over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Microwave caramel topping on high fro 30-45 seconds, or until warm. Drizzle over apples. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Honey Baked Apples

I had some fresh cranberries in my fridge and decided to find a yummy recipe for them. So of course I did what I always do when I'm in search of a recipe with one specific ingredient; I turned to AllRecipes. I was not disappointed. These were fantastic, but I have to warn you, you MUST have vanilla ice cream with them. The first night I only had whipping cream and so I used that and they were good, but the next day I bought some ice cream and had one after lunch. It makes a WORLD of a difference.Honey Baked Apples

From: All Recipes

6 green apples
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbs. honey
vanilla Icecream

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Core the apples, peel the top third of each apples. Place them in a baking dish and fill the centers with as many cranberries as you can fit.

Meanwhile, stir together the water, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and honey. Once it comes to a boil, pour the mixture over the apples.

Bake for 1 hour, basting with the juices ever 15-20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creamy Vegetable, Orzo and Potato Soup

This was to die for. We had plenty of leftovers and I was sad when they were all gone. Both of my boys ate it willingly and then asked for some for lunch the next day when I pulled out my leftovers. It will surely be a repeater for us.Creamy Vegetable, Orzo and Potato Soup

From: Picky Palate

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced parsnips
2 lg. carrots, peeled and diced
3 lg. stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 lg. red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbs. flour
4 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth, divided (can use vegetable broth to make it truly vegetarian)
1 cup orzo
4 cups potatoes, diced
2 dashes Tabasco hot sauce (I used about 2 times this amount to make it just right. Jason added more to his bowl after the fact as he likes his really spicy)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. (I don't have a dutch oven, sniff sniff, so I just used my heavy soup pot.) Saute parsnips, carrots, celery, onion and the bell pepper for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir and cook for 1 more minute. Slowly stir in 3 of the cans of broth. Increase heat to high until soup starts to boil. Add the orzo and potatoes, reduce heat to medium-high and let cook for 8-10 minutes or until orzo is al dente and potatoes are fork tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in the last can of broth, season with Tabasco, parmesan and additional salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until ready to serve.