Tuesday, September 4, 2018

homemade blueberry cheesecake ice cream

My friend Shonda made this and it rocks!  So much so that my husband was ready to go out and get a "real" ice cream maker- the kind that uses ice and rock salt. :).  It's rich and creamy and beautiful to look at.  Too bad I didn't get a pic with the graham cracker crust sprinkled on top.  Just imagine it.  

homemade blueberry cheesecake ice cream (my friend Shonda)
prep time: 30 minutes
total time: 6 hours

blueberry sauce:
1 1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if you live in Oregon you'd better use fresh!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

graham cracker crust:
1 prepared graham cracker crust (what a relief!)

cheesecake ice cream:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 small  package instant cheesecake pudding mix

Place blueberries in a medium-sized sauce pan.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.  Pour into a small container, cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Should take 1-2 hours.
In a large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups sugar, whipping cream, milk, vanilla and cheesecake pudding mix.  Whisk it to combine.
Pour into the ice cream maker and mix according to package directions.  If you have a machine that only makes 1 quart at a time, mix it in two batches.
Take a premade graham cracker crust and break it into chunks with a butter knife.  When the ice cream is done churning pour it into a two quart-sized containers.  Drop spoonfuls of the blueberry sauce over the top of the ice cream.
Sprinkle the graham cracker crust over the top.  Swirl it all together with a butter knife.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

grilled caprese chicken

Hall of Fame.  No question about it.  So simply yet so satisfying.  I think it was the fresh garden tomatoes and fresh basil.  And cheese.  Cheese makes everything wonderful.

grilled caprese chicken (slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used shredded mozzarella)
4-6 small chicken breasts
4 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
for serving:  baguette

In a small bowl, combine the basil, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Stir in the oil until it is thoroughly incorporated.  Transfer 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to a bowl and toss in shredded mozzarella, coating the cheese.  Set aside.  Reserve the remaining vinaigrette for the cooked chicken.
Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken and tomatoes until the chicken is browned and cooked through and the tomatoes are lightly charred.  Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter.  Top with the tomato slices and cheese.  Tent the chicken with foil.  Let the chicken reset for 10 minutes.
Serve with a baguette.  The leftover vinaigrette is great on top of the chicken or to dip the bread in.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

store bought favorite: schultz's cooking hot sauce (green chili lime)

I am so happy I found this sauce!  I used it to marinate some chicken for grilled chicken tacos and it was SOOOO good!  I used 1/2 cup per 6 chicken breasts and I've made it twice already within the last week and a half.  Definitely worth the $4.50 or so that I paid!

store bought favorite: schultz's cooking hot sauce (green chili lime)
Marinate the chicken for a few hours (like I did the first time) or overnight (like I did the second time).  Grill the chicken then slice it.  Put chicken in corn or flour tortillas and all your favorite fixings.  Don't forget my new favorite thing to put in tacos- cotija cheese!! :)

easy ratatouille

My husband grew some beautiful tomatoes so I've been trying to incorporate a lot of fresh tomatoes into our meals.  I adapted this recipe to do so and it's delicious!  Even the kids didn't mind eating all these brilliant vegetables with their keilbasa sausage on the side, of course.

easy ratatouille (adapted from i heart nap time)
4 fresh tomatoes, diced into medium chunks
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 summer squash, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
dried thyme
parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the tomatoes over the bottom of a 9x9 dish.  Stir in the onions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Layer the zucchini and yellow squash.  Fill the red pepper in the gaps.  Drizzle the olive oil on top.  Sprinkle thyme and remaining salt and pepper over top.
Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

store bought favorite: patak's concentrated curry paste (hot)

This curry is delicious!!  It's the perfect amount of spice for me.  Next time I'll add some sliced carrots and celery but other than that, its just right.

store bought favorite: patak's concentrated curry paste (hot)
Super simple recipe on the back of the jar:
Saute some thinly sliced beef with sliced onions.  Add 1-3 tablespoons concentrated curry paste and 1 cup water.  Simmer for an hour.  Serve over rice.

Friday, August 10, 2018

baked chicken meatballs

Yesterday afternoon when I wasn't sure what to make for dinner I was glad I had picked up a tray of ground chicken because I put it to good use trying out this recipe and it was great!  Every meatball got eaten up and we really enjoyed the new sauce I picked up when I was trying to kill time while my girls were in art class (2 hours in the grocery store- it's amazing what you'll find to try!).

baked chicken meatballs (pinch of  yum)
1 pound ground chicken
1 egg
12 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and a little cooking spray.  Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Roll the mixture into about 30 small balls- I made 27.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Serve with a dipping sauce.  We used a spicy sauce I recently found- Schultz's Cooking Hot Sauce, Spicy Original.  It's kind of like a Red Hot but more thick and flavorful.  If you like really spicy then it's for you!

Friday, July 20, 2018

blueberry chicken chopped salad

We picked some blueberries today and as we were paying for them I picked up some recipes.  This recipe looked great and I already had chicken cooking in the crock pot.  It was meant to be!  It was so good my husband rated it Hall of Fame.

blueberry chicken chopped salad (adapted from OregonBlueberry.com)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced (I used the crock pot)
2 heads romaine lettuce, finely chopped
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans
2/3 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup blue cheese
dijon vinaigrette, see below

dijon vinaigrette
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.  Serve immediately.