Saturday, April 30, 2011

slow cooker san francisco chops









I'm from the S.F. Bay Area so naturally when I saw this recipe I knew it was worth trying. The meat is really tender and the flavor is really nice.

slow cooker san francisco chops (blog: My Kitchen Cafe)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
hot cooked rice for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to a slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat untilt he garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate- they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.
Serve the tender chops over rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.

Friday, April 29, 2011

slow-cooker texas chili









This is hands down the best chili ever. Hall of Fame. This chili is bold, rich and full of flavor. The meat is sooo tender. When I eat chili I don't want chili con carne. I want chile carne!
My husband is not a fan of chili but he likes this- hardly your standard chili.

slow-cooker texas chili (Food Network Magazine, September 2010)
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 (4.5 ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chili powder (I always use 1/2 cup)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles
sliced scallions, fresh cilantro and/or sour cream for topping

Toss the beef with 1 tablespoon each brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in batches until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the skillet and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic, chiles, cumin and chili powder and cook 3 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker then add the diced tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Add the remaining brown sugar and serve with scallions, cilantro and/or sour cream for topping and chips if desired.

What I have to say- this isn't a chili you can just sit and eat a whole bowl of. It's very rich so I like to serve it over rice and of course with the toppings mentioned above. Or serve it Chile Colorado Burrito style in a tortilla with its thickened juices (add some Wondra to make it a gravy) over the top. Splendid!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

salmon newburg









If tuna is the chicken of the sea then salmon is the steak of the sea. This dish is extremely rich and absolutely delicious.

salmon newburg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh boneless, skinless salmon
1/4 cup butter
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon crushed dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups of your favorite rice, cooked or pasta

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add salmon and cook until browned and just opaque in the center. In a double boiler, combine butter, milk, egg yolk, basil, lemon juice, seasoning salt, cream cheese and Cheddar cheese. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat (do not boil) until the sauce simmers and is creamy. Place cooked rice or pasta on plates and top with salmon and sauce. Sprinkle with paprika. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

pecan pie muffins









Fresh muffins with only 5 standard ingredients. They really do taste just like pecan pie, my favorite. Time to pack a picnic lunch or dinner!!

pecan pie muffins (cookbook: Paula Deen Celebrates!)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 8 muffin tin cups or use paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Stir in the pecans.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups filling about two-thirds full.
Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with more butter. Makes 8 muffins.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

sesame chicken









I love this recipe!

sesame chicken (my friend Nicole W., recipe found in the Carondelet Ward Cookbook)
12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup oil
1 cup white grape juice
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons ground mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons pepper
8 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients (except chicken). Remove half of the marinade for basting. Add chicken to remaining marinade. Marinate in fridge 6 to 8 hours. Grill over medium heat 6 minutes. Turn and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until done, basting occasionally.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

raclette









My grandmother's father was Swiss (100%) which means that I have a bit of Swiss in me too. I think it's really neat that my grandparents were called to serve 3 temple missions in Switzerland, one in New Zealand and one in Guatamala. I don't remember a lot of details from my early childhood but I remember when I was 4 years old I got to go with my parents to pick them up from their first mission in Switzerland. I remember that I was asleep on the airplane when pizza was served. Even though my parents promised it tasted terrible I never did forget that I missed out on pizza. It was Easter time and when we went to the bank I was given a small egg with a treat inside that I treasured. I remember going to a store to buy clogs and the person at the register gave me a kiss on the cheek. I remember sitting in my grandparents VW camper as we drove along the gorgeous roads of Switzerland and I sat on the back seat drinking from a red or orange polka dot cup while eating "stinky cheese" (Alouette) on crackers. My grandma couldn't make them fast enough for me. I remember going to a castle and being a little bit frightened in one of the dark rooms where people were hung long ago. I remember looking for 4-leaf clovers with my mom on the side of the road and we found one! I remember asking my mom if the brown cows gave chocolate milk. I remember finding Easter eggs on the balcony Easter morning and the little denim purse that was left for me. I went back to Switzerland with a friend at Christmastime when I was 24 to visit my grandparents who were serving their last mission. It was snow covered and majestic and we had a wonderful time. Although I never enjoyed raclette while in Switzerland, my grandparents brought the tradition home with them and we often enjoyed raclette in their home. One of my very favorite gifts from my grandparents is our raclette machine. We pull it out several times each year but not enough so that it loses its special quality.

raclette
raclette machine
raclette cheese (or Havarti if Raclette is too strong for you), sliced thick
red potatoes, cooked
cocktail onions
pimientos
corn
sausages
peppers
mushrooms
etc.

1. Plug in your raclette machine and get it nice and hot.
2. Start grilling your sausages and vegetables on the top tray.
3. Put the cheese into the little trays and put the trays into the raclette machine to melt the cheese.
4. Smash a few red potatoes on your plate.
5. You can either lay the grilled vegetables on the potatoes followed by the melted cheese or the other way around.
It's delicious!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

spicy shrimp and herbed cream sauce over pasta









This recipe is adapted from a recipe my sassy friend Jenn K. Not long after I moved to Hershey she was my visiting teacher. I loved having her visit. She always brought me a card with the visiting teaching message on one side and a recipe on the reverse side. She also brought a delicious treat that I could share with my family. This is a delicious, savory, spicy shrimp recipe!

spicy shrimp and herbed cream sauce over pasta (adapted from my friend Jenn K.)
1 pound pasta (Jenn uses penne)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled/deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 (15 ounce) can Ro-tel tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup clam juice
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pinka nd is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside. ADd the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the broth, clam juice and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

southern ham salad













I've never had ham salad like this before. It's a spicy ham salad and possibly my new favorite use for leftover ham.

southern ham salad (Saveur Magazine, April 2011)
1 pound baked ham, cut into 1" chunks
8 dill gherkins
1 pickled jalapeno (I used a couple hot pickled jalapeno rings, next time I'll use one more)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place ham, gherkins, and jalapeno in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl, along with mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, scallions, celery, onion, salt and pepper; stir until combined. Chill before serving. Serve on rolls, preferably toasted.

Friday, April 22, 2011

egg mcmuffin













I was in the mood for one of these. I rarely buy American cheese (is it really cheese?! Should Americans or foreigners really be eating this stuff?!) but it's a must if I'm trying to recreate a McDonald's delight. I do buy it occasionally for grilled cheese but it's pretty rare. These were a big hit tonight except my kids saw the "cheese" and opted to not have any because they didn't recognize it as cheese. I should be proud. We enjoyed ours with apple slices and I'm about to make myself a plain yogurt and blueberry parfait. You can enjoy your mcmuffin as a sandwich or as a hat.

egg mcmuffin
english muffins, split and toasted
sliced ham, fried in a grill pan (no extra oil necessary)
American cheese
eggs, scrambled and fried then cut into fourths

I know you are too brilliant to need step by step instructions so just take a stab at it.


P.S.  For sausage mcmuffins, buy a pound of light jimmy deans breakfast sausage.  Divide it into 6 equal portions.  Roll into a ball, flatten out and cook.  Place on your english muffin with cheese and eggs.

carrot cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting









When I saw this recipe I knew it was a must for our neighborhood pizza dinner and egg hunt this evening. However, after finishing the cupcakes a few minutes ago I read the email explaining that the hunt is now cancelled due to inclement weather. I suppose we have some deliveries to make before it starts to rain!
These cupcakes are excellent. They are very moist and very, very yummy. In fact, my taste tester nearly inhaled hers and at one point I had to ask her if she was still breathing. These cupcakes are that good. My other little helper came along and dipped his Triscuit into the cupcake.

carrot cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting (blog: Your Cup of Cake)
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated carrots
1/3 cup crushed pineapple (no juice)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt



3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pineapple cream cheese frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs.
Add oil, applesauce, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and beat again.
Stir in carrots and pineapple.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, do not over mix.
Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack and place in sealed containers until ready to frost.
For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter for 7 minutes. Add pineapple juice and powdered sugar. If your frosting is too loose, refrigerate before frosting or piping. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

chicken and ham barley soup









Not sure what to do with your leftover ham bone after Easter dinner? This is the perfect recipe. I know it looks too simple to be good but trust me, this soup is really good. I had to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it!

chicken and ham barley soup (not sure of it's origin, from my cookbook obsessed days in St. Louis)
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 ham bone with leftover ham
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup instant barley
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon salt, optional
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

In a large kettle, cook chicken in water until tender. Add ham bone and ham. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered, for at least one hour or until vegetables and barley are tender.

What I have to say- to get more veggies into our meal, I also throw in half a package of frozen cut green beans.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

chile cheese fish stacks









Delicious. Absolutely delicious. This dish sort of reminds me of a jalapeno popper so of course I had to have two fish stacks. My husband said, "Wow this is good!"

chile cheese fish stacks (I've had this recipe for a while...not sure of the source)
1 1/2 pounds sole or cod fillets
1 (4 ounce) can whole green chiles
4 ounces light cream cheese
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
lemon wedges

Rinse fish, pat dry and cut into 8 equal pieces. Split chiles; discard seeds. Cover 4 pieces of fish with a layer of chiles. Thinly slice cream cheese; top chiles equally with cheese, then with remaining 4 pieces of fish. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, chili powder, and garlic salt. In another bowl, beat egg to blend. Dip each fish stack in egg, then turn in crumb mixture to coat well on all sides.
Place oil and butter in a 7x11 inch baking pan and set in a 500 F oven to melt butter. When butter is melted, swirl pan to combine. Set fish stacks in pan and turn to coat with butter mixture. Return pan to oven and bake until fish is just opaque but still moist in thickest part; cut to test (8-10 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges.

What I have to say- I omitted the butter and simply put some oil in the bottom of the pan and placed the fish stacks in the pan to bake. It seemed simpler and they turned out beautifully.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

white cake with strawberry icing









I wanted to serve something pink at Misty's shower so I decided on this cake. Little did I know this baby has been called "pink" for some time now.

white cake with strawberry icing (cookbook: Paula Deen Celebrates!)
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs

icing
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, about 1 pound
6 ripe strawberries, hulled and mashed
6 whole strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan.
Blend the cake mix, 2/3 cup water, the butter and the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended, about 3 minutes.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when pressed. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
Make the icing: Place the butter and 2 cups of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at low speed until blended. Add the mashed strawberries and mix at medium speed until well combined. Add the remaining 2 cups sugar and beat until creamy and smooth. The icing should be thick enough to stand up on a spoon. If too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. If too thick, add a teaspoon or two of milk.
Frost the cooled cake in the pan. For decorative effect, make swirls in the frosting with a clean spatula. Garnish with the whole strawberries. Cut into 12 to 16 pieces, and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serves 12 to 16.

Monday, April 18, 2011

simple butter cake









My neighbor friend Melissa made this delicious buttery butter cake for our dessert tonight. It was a big hit. We enjoyed ours with fresh strawberries.

simple butter cake (my friend Melissa Y. in Hershey)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided (she used salted butter but omitted the salt)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper or wax paper; spread 1 tablespoon butter over the sides and bottom of the pan.
Combine the granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in a stand up mixer; beat at medium high speed for 5 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on its lowest speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, scraping and mixing until just combined.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack for 5 minutes. Invert pan onto rack and remove paper from cake. Invert again onto rack; cool completely.
Spread remaining 1 tablespoon butter over the top and sides of cake. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut the cake in half crosswise, and place one half on top of the other. Cut into 4 wedges and serve. Melissa served hers as one layer.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

anniversary chicken









Nothing fancy tonight but it tasted good and the kids ate it right up.

anniversary chicken (allrecipes.com)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup teriyaki basting sauce (I used soy sauce)
1/2 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
1 cup shredded Cheddar (I used Mozzarella because I was out of Cheddar)
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup bacon bits (I grabbed mine from the salad bar at the deli)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, and saute 4 to 5 minutes each side, until lightly browned. Place browned chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush with teriyaki sauce sauce then spoon on salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese, green onions and bacon bits. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Garnish with parsley and serve.

monster marshmallow cookies









When I saw the list of ingredients I couldn't resist. Cookies full of crispy rice cereal, oats, chocolate, pecans and marshmallows then topped with more chocolate, marshmallows and pecans? These monsters are incredible! They are for my dear husband who is coming home tonight from a house hunting trip in Oregon which immediately followed his big exam in Baltimore. He had a busy, tiring weekend but the great thing is, we are pretty certain we'll get to move straight into a beautiful home...in seven weeks!! Things are going to get crazy here. More crazy than it has been. I think I'll take a few of these monsters to church today for my kids' primary teachers to thank them for teaching my monsters.
As I was watching these monsters bake I said, "I'm not the best cookie baker. I hope these work." My youngest daughter said "You are the best cookie baker, Mom." She gets an extra cookie for that.

monster marshmallow cookies (Food Network Magazine, April 2011)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup miniature marshmallows

for the topping
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
2 1/2 teaspoons half-and-half
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and both sugars with a mixer of medium-high speed until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.
Stir the oats, cereal, chocolate chips, pecans and marshmallows into the dough with a wooden spoon. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies in batches until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.
Make the topping: Combine the chocolate chips, marshmallows, half and half and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the pecans. Drizzle the mixture over the cookies and let set, about 4 hours. Makes 4 dozen.

What I have to say- You're going to want to double the chocolate topping.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

world's best chocolate fudge









I needed to make something last minute for my husband to give to our friends the Brooksbys but I wasn't sure what I could pull off without much time on my hands. I was so lucky to have exactly 4 1/2 cups sugar, 2 sticks butter and the rest of the ingredients to make the fudge recipe on the back of my marshmallow creme container!

world's best chocolate fudge (Solo)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (13 ounce) container Solo Marshmallow Creme
2 (12 ounce) packages semi sweet chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups sugar
10 ounces evaporated milk
2 sticks butter

Mix sugar, evaporated milk and 2 tablespoons butter in a 5-6 quart saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Continue boiling and stirring mixture until candy thermometer reaches 233 F. Add the remaining butter to the boiling mixture and heat until melted. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Immediately add the vanilla, marshmallow creme and chocolate chips. Stir until well blended. Pour the fudge into a greased 13x9 inch pan. Cool at room temperature until firm and cut into squares.
Heat mixture longer for firmer fudge. Use 12 ounces evaporated milk for softer, creamier fudge.

Friday, April 15, 2011

better-than-papa-john's pizza









 

This pizza really does taste like Papa John's. We love it. I was in the mood for olive and shrimp pizza like I had once when I was babysitting when I was about 14 years old but I forgot the olives and shrimp and I do not go to the grocery store twice so I settled for extra cheese and mushroom pizza...a great way to have a whole pizza to myself. My kids had pepperoni pizza, of course. They all asked for seconds, even Loui (neighbor friend) who never asks for seconds.
I saw something today at Delightful Bitefuls that made me smile. A poster that reads, "You can't buy happiness BUT you can buy ice cream. And that's kind of the same thing."

better-than-papa-john's pizza (cookbook: Carondelet Ward Relief Society, 2004)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons salad oil
2 1/2 cups flour

sauce (makes enough for 2 pizzas whereas the crust recipe makes 1)
12 ounces tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix together sugar, salt and flour. Add yeast and oil. Mix well. Knead for a few minutes, then cover and set aside. Mix all sauce ingredients together. Grate cheese and prepare other toppings. Grease a large pizza pan. Place dough on pan. Pat and stretch over the edge of the pan. Let rise a few minutes. Spread sauce on dough, then cover with toppings. Bake 20 minutes at 425 or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
Stuffed crust variation: Slice 6 string cheese sticks into 6 slices each. Roll up edge of dough with string cheese and seal tightly before letting the dough rise.

What I have to say- I love this pizza dough; it's so easy to work with. I did not need any additional flour to roll the dough out on the counter top which was a first! I made a white crust for the kids and a 100% whole wheat crust for myself. For the whole wheat I used 2 cups flour instead of 2 1/2. If you're not a fan of whole wheat or not a die hard health nut, stick with the white crust! I still prefer the whole wheat. I just feel healthier when I eat it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

parmesan chicken sticks









I can guarantee our breakfast was better than yours. You probably had cold cereal. We had Parmesan Chicken Sticks while listening to loud music. One of my favorite parts of the day is morning. The hour and a half before my kids wake up. I did not have that this morning and everyone is grumpy. These chicken sticks are cheering me up. Deafening music helps too.

parmesan cheese sticks (blog: Sisters Cafe)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 or 4)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
unsalted butter
olive oil
bamboo skewers (6-10 inches long)

Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice each diagonally into 4 or 5 large strips.
Grab 3 dinner plates and set them before you. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on the first dinner plate. Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon water and place on second plate. Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan on the third plate. Dredge (lightly coat chicken to be fried) chicken breasts on both side in the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and last, roll in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the chicken strips on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes on each side, just until cooked through. Don't crowd the pan. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Serve each strip on a skewer or stick.
You can keep the chicken breasts warm for about 15 minutes on a cookie sheet in an oven preheated to 200 degrees while the rest of the chicken is cooked.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

asian chicken salad









 

We really enjoyed this salad tonight. The dressing is very, very good. Perfect springtime salad.

asian chicken salad (Food Network Magazine, May 2011)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 small head napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 pound snow peas, cut crosswise into thirds
kosher salt
1/2 cup chow mein noodles

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Make the dressing: whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, honey mustard and ginger in a medium bowl, then add the vegetable and sesame oils in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
Toss the chicken with 1/4 cup of the dressing in another bowl; let marinate 10 minutes at room temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and grill until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the cabbage, carrot, scallions and snow peas with the remaining dressing in a large bowl. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the salad. Season with salt. Top with the chow mein noodles. Serves 4.

What I have to say- It is now 8pm and I'm enjoying it as an evening snack. It's even better after the salad has had a chance to sit and absorb all the flavors. Next time I'll make the salad in advance and add the chow mein noodles when it's time to serve it.

no bake peanut butter pie













We made one pie for good luck for my husband who takes arguably the most difficult exam of his life tomorrow morning. We made the other for our neighbor friend Shannon who simply deserved a special treat. She has gone above and beyond the call of friendship in so many ways during a busy time for our family. She gave us her house key so that we could let ourselves in her home during showings at any time. She offered to take me and our kids to the airport at 6am when it comes time to fly out since we have to leave before my husband. She always lets my 3-year old come over to play and my daughter always eats her out of house and home. Never once has she let on that we've been an inconvenience and I'm sure we have been...there's a lot of us and we're a busy bunch! Besides, I'm sure she's had things to do. Everyone is busy. When I say thank you she always says, "That's what friends are for." Thank you, Shannon!!

no bake peanut butter pie (allrecipes.com)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
16 ounces frozen whipped cream topping, thawed
2 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
chocolate sauce for drizzling

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into two 9-inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

What I have to say- this recipe reminds me of a recipe we really liked from Cooking Light. The ingredients were similar but light cream cheese, reduced fat peanut butter and light whipped cream was used. It also called for a layer of sliced bananas on top of the crust.

Monday, April 11, 2011

greek chicken tortellini salad









My neighbor friend Laura made this delicious salad for our meal swap tonight. It was 80 degrees today so this was the perfect salad. I had a couple servings and will go back for another right after I post this!

greek chicken tortellini salad (adapted from allrecipes.com)
2 (9 ounce) packages cheese tortellini
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 pound baby spinach leaves
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup slivered red onion
grilled chicken

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add tortellini, and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano and salt. Place the cooked tortellini in the bowl, and toss to coat. Cover, and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Place eggs in a saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and quarter.
Gently mix the spinach, feta cheese, chicken and onion into the bowl with the pasta. Arrange the quartered eggs around the salad to serve.

What I have to say- Laura marinated the chicken as the recipe called for but wasn't pleased with it enough to use it to marinate the pasta and chicken so she used bottled Greek vinaigrette (Newman's and Gazebo brands).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

balsamic strawberries









This is a really nice way to serve strawberries. My second daughter had about 4 servings and wanted to keep going. Delicious!

balsamic strawberries (my friend Jamie G.)
4 cups strawberries, halved or quartered
2 tablespoons unpacked brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Combine strawberries, sugar, vinegar, and pepper in a bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, stirring at least once. Serve strawberries by themselves or topped with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

chicken pesto sandwich









Great sandwich. It was a hit with the entire family. Excellent reason to fire up the grill.

chicken pesto sandwich (blog: Sisters Cafe)
2 packages refrigerated French Bread dough
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, or kettle cooked turkey breast or rotisserie chicken
salt and pepper
2 medium red bell peppers
2/3 cups light mayonnaise
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and stemmed

Place dough, seam side down on a large baking stone or silpat covered cookie sheet. Use serrated knife to make 4 diagonal cuts, 1/2 inch deep, on top of each. Using a pastry brush lightly brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 26-30 minutes or until deep golden brown. (I bought some rolls from the bakery!)
If grilling the chicken heat the grill to medium temperature. Brush chicken with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Slice bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Place chicken and bell pepper slices on grid of grill. Grill uncovered for 12-15 minutes turning as needed until chicken is cooked and bell peppers are tender. Remove from grill and cool slightly.
Cut chicken into thin strips. Combine salad dressing, pesto and lemon pepper. To assemble sandwich, cut bread in half horizontally. Spread half of the pesto mixture over cut side of bread bottom, cover with spinach leaves. Arrange chicken evenly over spinach; top with bell pepper strips. Spread remaining pesto mixture over bottom half. Cut each loaf into 4 sections. Enjoy! Serves 8.

orange pancakes with orange sauce









These pancakes are really yummy. This recipe comes from my mom's friend Joy. 


orange pancakes with orange sauce (my mom's friend Joy)
1 egg
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup Bisquick


Mix above ingredients. Small lumps will disappear while cooking. Cook pancakes at 375 degrees in an electric frying pan.

orange sauce
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar

Mix and stir until steaming hot but do not boil. Serve over hot pancakes. (This is not a thick sauce.)





Friday, April 8, 2011

cantaloupe bread with praline glaze









My oldest loves cantaloupe but she's the only one in the house who feels that way about cantaloupe. I put half of one in a fruit salad tonight and wasn't sure what to do with the rest. A whole cantaloupe is a lot for one girl! I found the following recipe at allrecipes.com and thought it was worth a shot. Great way to satisfy everyone in the family! We couldn't taste the cantaloupe; it's a lot like zucchini or pumpkin bread. Very moist and yummy.

cantaloupe bread with praline glaze (allrecipes.com)
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cantaloupe- peeled, seeded and pureed (about half a cantaloupe)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

glaze
1/2 cup butter
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of a loaf comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine butter and brown sugar. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals; mix in pecans. Pour sauce over warm bread. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

What I have to say- I didn't make the glaze. It really didn't need any extra sweetness.

pasta with cheddar sauce and ham









I wasn't sure what to make my kids for dinner (and two of their friends) as I had my eye on leftover South of the Border Lasagna. I thought I'd use what I had to make a dish I remember enjoying at a friend's house way back when. When I was in elementary school and middle school I had a friend named Elizabeth with beautiful long blond hair. We carpooled to ballet twice or three times each week and would occasionally have dinner or sleep over at each other's homes until she moved to Switzerland for a couple of years. I remember her mom served homemade macaroni and cheese with chunks of ham and I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it tasted so good. So simple yet so good! I remember thinking this family was so proper and I loved that about them. Elizabeth's mother was a French teacher and she drove an old tan colored Volvo (I love old Volvos!) and we only listened to classical music in the car. Oh the things that stand out in my mind!
When I met my husband it didn't take long before we talked about the future. He said when we had kids old enough to drive we should buy them an old tan Volvo to drive around. I said that was a perfect plan. Safe car that looks nothing like a sports car.

pasta with cheddar and ham
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
egg noodles, cooked and drained
diced ham

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Pour in milk and broth. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in cheese. Cook, stirring constantly until melted and well blended. Pour over hot noodles and ham. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.



pumpkin rolls









These rolls could compliment any dinner. They don't scream pumpkin but are subtle and flavorful. This recipe comes from New Hampshire, from a Methodist church bulletin printed around the turn of the century. A recipe that's tried and true, no doubt.

pumpkin rolls (cookbook: Greene on Greens)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup stone ground whole-wheat flour

Combine the yeast, granulated sugar and water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. Cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the buttear n dpour it in a medium bowl. Beat in the brown sugar, salt, pumpkin, egg, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the risen roll base. Beat until smooth. Add the whole wheat flour and enough all-purpose flour, about 2 1/2 cups, to make a firm dough. Cover, and let rise for 2 hours.
Punch the dough down and transfer it to a floured board. Knead briefly and roll out until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1-inch circles. Place them on flour-rubbed baking sheets, cover with flour-rubbed tea towels, and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and brush the rolls with it. Bake 15 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen rolls.

What I have to say- Split them in half and spread a little butter or honey butter on top.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

south of the border lasagna










This recipe reminds me of my friend Erin R. because I served this for dinner the last time I saw her and her family before they moved away. I love Erin; she touched my life. She's one of those people you admire and love and will always feel that way no matter how often you do or don't correspond. 


south of the border lasagna (cookbook: The Junior League Centennial Cookbook)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
12 corn tortillas or lasagna noodles
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
toppings: chopped scallions, sour cream, sliced black olives

In a large heavy skillet, brown the meat over medium high heat, stirring to break up lumps. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add the chili powder and mix well. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, olives and chiles. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350. Place 1/3 of the meat mixture in a 13x9 baking dish. Top with a lyer of half the Monterrey Jack cheese. Spoon on half of the cottage cheese and cover with half of the tortillas. Repeat the process, ending with the meat sauce on top. Cover with grated Cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.
Allow the lasagna to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Place the toppings in small bowls and let guests serve themselves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

chicken in a horseradish pan sauce over orange and herb couscous









I dare you to try to remember the name of this dish. Such a long name but this recipe is so good it deserves a good, long name. Do I love this recipe! It is one of my favorites. I was in need of a good, hearty meal tonight and I found it with this one.
If you're a Rachael Ray fan, check out Saturdays with Rachael Ray!

chicken in a horseradish pan sauce over orange and herb couscous (cookbook: Rachael Ray 365)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups plain couscous (I used garlic couscous with spices this time and preferred it to plain)
zest of 1 navel orange
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (a handful)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (I use horseradish sauce)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (I used 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup half and half

Preheat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook until brown on both sides. While chicken is cooking, in a sauce pot combine 1 1/2 cups of the broth and remaining oil. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add couscous, orange zest and parsley then stir. Cover and let couscous stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onions, horseradish and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add the mustard, about 3/4 cup of the remaining broth and half and half. Bring up to a simmer, and simmer until the liquids have reduced by half, 3-4 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet to heat, about 1 minute. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork. Divide the couscous among 4 dinner plates then top each portion with a chicken breast and some of the horseradish pan sauce.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

lemon icebox pie









Our family has reason to celebrate- we accepted an offer on our house last night! What a tremendous blessing for us. We didn't have FHE last night because we were intent to seal the deal so we'll make up for it tonight and focus on our blessings and our gratitude for the Lord, that He has answered our prayers in a very obvious way. I am feel happy for the family moving into our home and hope they will love our home and our neighbors as we have. I'm certain they will.
This pie is delicious. The lemon is very subtle and it tastes just like cheesecake. Mmmm!

lemon icebox pie (allrecipes.com)
1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon lemon zest

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon rind. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves if desired.

cream of fresh carrot soup









This is a really nice soup. It's smooth, peppery and sweet. A couple months after my husband and I met he invited me to his home in Southern California for Thanksgiving. We arrived very late that night (I think it had to do with having to spend some time smooching at every stop sign once we entered his home town). Now I've lost my train of thought. Anyway, his mother served this the next evening before driving to Utah to spend Thanksgiving day with his sister and her family.

cream of fresh carrot soup (my mother-in-law Anne in CA)
1 pound fresh carrots
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a double boiler:
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk

Wash carrots, scrape and slice thinly. Prepare about 3 cups carrots. In a small saucepan combine carrots, onion, butter, salt, sugar, pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until carrots are tender, 20-30 minutes. Mash carrot mixture (or put in blender). In top of double broiler melt 2 tablespoons butter, blend in flour, cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add milk, continue cooking and stirring about 5 minutes. Add carrot mixture to milk mixture. Cook covered over hot water 30 minutes. Stir often. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with chopped parsley.

What I have to say- I garnished mine with a little bacon tonight.

lemon squares









I've always loved lemon squares. I love the sugary sweetness and how they melt in my mouth. They make me think of spring and tea parties and pretty things. My oldest needed to take a treat to school today for a class pizza party and this is what we decided on.

lemon squares
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 pound butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix 2 cups flour with powdered sugar. Cut in butter. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
Beat 4 eggs; add 2 cups sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. Pour over baked crust. Bake 25-30 minutes at 325 F. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Allow to cool. Cut into squares.

kaluha pork









My friend Mandy this pork as part of a frozen meal swap a few years ago. I loved it so much that I've made several big batches since then and have frozen baggies full of it for sandwiches, enchiladas or burritos. I made it for my meal swap tonight and served with an oriental cabbage salad and steamed rice.

kaluha pork (my friend Mandy)
8-9 pound pork loin (typically costs about $40 so wait until you can get it on sale for around $20!)
kosher salt
liquid smoke
banana leaves or plastic wrap
aluminum foil

Rub the pork loin with kosher salt and sprinkle with liquid smoke. If you have banana leaves available, wrap them with the leaves. Otherwise, plastic wrap works okay. After wrapping in plastic wrap or leaves, wrap with aluminum foil. Place in 9x13 cake pan or broiling pan (it takes two if you are working with 8-9 pounds of meat) and bake at 200 degrees overnight (10-12 hours). Take out of oven and shred the pork- do not discard the liquid. Enjoy! You can serve this on tortillas or buns or with an Asian salad. Mandy's favorite is on buns with a slice of cheese and a little BBQ sauce.

Monday, April 4, 2011

oriental cabbage salad









This is a really yummy salad. I enjoy it as a side alongside my friend Mandy's kaluha pork or if you want to enjoy it as a main dish, you can add shredded chicken.  To cut back on carbs I often omit the noodles but you can always add some celery for extra crunch.


oriental cabbage salad (my friend Erin B. in Hershey)
1 package coleslaw mix
1 small head purple cabbage, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
2 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded), optional
1 package chicken flavored Ramen noodles
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons sugar
6-8 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup oil (I usually halve)

Put coleslaw mix, cabbage, onions, and chicken breasts into bowl. Set aside. Mix sugar, rice vinegar, oil, seasoning packet from the Ramen noodles, and a little salt and pepper in a bowl. Bread up Ramen noodles. Put dressing mixture, Ramen noodles and almonds on salad just before serving.

world's best peanut butter fudge









I don't think I'd ever tasted peanut butter fudge. When I did a recipe search to use up the rest of my marshmallow creme (I used the other half for yummy fruit dip), this recipe called to me as I'm always up for something new. I just thought of what it tastes like- a peanut butter pop from See's. You know those hard, square pops that come in chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter (I love Sees!)? I'm going to serve this fudge with kaluha pork, rice and Oriental salad for my meal swap tonight. I can't wait for dinner!

world's best peanut butter fudge (allrecipes.com)
4 cups white sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
12 ounces peanut butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the marshmallow creme and peanut butter. Gradually stir in the flour. Spread into the prepared pan, and let cool.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

chicken tortilla casserole









This recipe was by far my favorite everyday recipe when I was growing up (I think I'm still growing up). When I knew this casserole was for dinner I couldn't wait! As a grown-up, when my mom would visit me after the birth of each child, she would always make this for our family. This is comfort food at it's best!

chicken tortilla casserole (my mom)
4 whole chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 onion, grated
1 can green chiles
1 cup sour cream (this is something I always add but isn't in the original recipe)
1 pound grated cheddar cheese

Cut tortilla strips. Mix soups, milk, onion, chiles and sour cream. Butter a shallow 9x12x2 baking dish. Pour half cup of broth into bottom of dish. Arrange in layers: 1/2 tortilla strips, 1/2 chicken pieces, 1/2 sauce, 1/2 cheese. Repeat layers. Refrigerate 8 hours or more. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

What I have to say- My mom always cooked her chicken in a pressure cooker but I cooked my chicken breasts in a slow cooker over night on low with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. It is always very tender. Assemble the casserole in the morning then bake it for dinner!

citrus cream cheese pull apart rolls









I made these for the first time 6 months ago on Sunday morning for General Conference and I've made them a few times since but not too many times because I want them to be something we look forward to with great anticipation every 6 months. They are absolutely incredible. I could get my husband to say or do anything by enticing him with a dish of these freshly baked rolls. I'm telling you, these are divine.

citrus cream cheese pull apart rolls (blog: Home Based Mom)
1 package frozen roll dough (25 ounces)
cooking spray
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used pomegrannite today)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 (8 ounce) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Thaw roll dough at room temperature for 20 minutes. (It usually takes longer for them to be soft enough to cut.)
Cut rolls in half. Place 24 halves, cut sides down, in bottom of each of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Brush butter evenly over rolls. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juicea nd egg; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over rolls. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and rinds. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.

quiche lorraine









The name of this recipe is pretty ordinary. It doesn't quite explain how delicious this quiche really is. It's so rich and flavorful yet not so rich as to prevent you from eating an entire pan (I should know).

quiche lorraine (my friend Annie)
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
2 green onions, minced
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup chopped ham
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend all but cheese, onion and ham in blender. Add last 3 ingredients, saving some cheese for top. Bake 45 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Recipe fits in 9-inch pie tin. I've seen Annie serve it in a 8x8 or 9x9 before too.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

zesty buffalo chicken dip









Chicken, cream cheese, blue cheese and Frank's. What a delicious combination!

zesty buffalo chicken dip (Weis store ad)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 (8 ounce) brick Neufchatel 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (I halved it this time)
1/2 cup Ken's Light Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
3/4 cup Frank's Red Hot hot sauce
1 bread bowl, top removed and cut into bite-sized pieces, optional
carrots sticks, celery sticks and Triscuits for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients through hot sauce and stir thoroughly. Bake in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray for 20 minutes or until dip is hot and bubbly. Transfer dip to a bread bowl and serve with celery, carrots, Triscuits and bread chunks.

confetti veggie pizza









Watching General Conference this weekend is going to be like watching the Superbowl for our family. We're going to kick back at home and eat our way through the sessions. Would you believe I have never watched the Superbowl? At Ricks College I went to a homecoming game followed by a dance that evening. I am surprised I lived through that long game.
This pizza was a huge hit. My kids told me if I want them to eat more veggies this is the way to do it.

confetti veggie pizza (adapted from Friend Magazine, March 2011)
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup light mayo
2 tablespoons packet Knorr's vegetable soup mix
red, yellow and green peppers, diced
carrots, cut into matchsticks

Preheat oven to 375F.
Open the crescent rolls. Press the dough into a round pizza pan or a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Put the cream cheese and mayo in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the dressing mix. Mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the cooled pizza crust and sprinkle on the veggie confetti. Enjoy!

fruit dip









This is a really, really yummy dip. Light tasting, smooth and the right amount of sweetness. I got the recipe at a Relief Society meeting in St. Louis. I don't remember the topics that evening but I do remember the theme of the refreshments! There were all sorts of dips to sample and recipes to exchange. My kids love this dip!

fruit dip (my friend Nicole from my days in St. Louis)
1 small jar marshmallow cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

Mix together well. Serve with strawberries, apples, etc. or use as a topping for fruit salad.