Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parmesan Garlic Squash

I have recently developed a love for squash.  This tastes really yummy as a side to pasta and many other dishes.

2-3 zucchini and/or summer squash
Garlic salt
Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Cut zucchini/summer squash in thin slices and arrange half evenly in baking dish. Place thin slices of butter on top (to taste... I used ~1.5-2 tbsp total). Sprinkle generously with garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Layer the rest of the zucchini and squash and repeat. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes (until center of zucchini/squash is becoming clear). Uncover and bake 5 more minutes.

Southwest Chili Mac

Another winner I found from the website On My Menu.  It is a tasty twist to a classic, and only one pan!  That's always a happy thing when there is only one pan to clean.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, minced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder (I used more like 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (I used 1 15oz. can)
2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni (I used cavatappi)
1 cup frozen corn
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese

Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, coriander, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat or grease (the amount will depend on how lean your beef is). Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer, until the macaroni is tender, about 12-12 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, frozen corn, green chiles and cilantro and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Cover and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Skillet

This is a yummy all-in-one meal.  It is adapted slightly from the Picky Palate.  It tastes really well as leftovers as well.  I get the sausage from Sam's Club...they have diffrent flavors. This last time I think I used spinach and asiago cheese. It was fabulous!

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper (any color you have on hand), diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cheese filled chicken sausages, thinly sliced
4 Cups broccoli florets, steamed until fork tender
4 Cups cooked long grain white rice
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
a few dashes Tobasco Sauce or hot sauce...as much as you'd like

Heat olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute bell pepper for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minutes then add chicken slices. Cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is browned on both sides. Add broccoli, rice, hot sauce, and parmesan cheese.  Heat through and enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Orange Honey Grilled Chicken Strips

This tasty chicken recipe I found on Sister's Cafe, tried it today, and it was fabulous!  I love orange zest and cilantro, and to combine the both of them...yummy!

1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 TB butter softened
2 TB finely chopped scallions
2 TB fresh orange juice
2 TB chopped cilantro leaves
1 TB honey
1-2 TB grated orange zest, 1/2 to whole orange

Cut each chicken breast into 3 length wide strips. Thread 3 strips accordion style, on each of 4-6 long metal or wooden skewers. If using wood skewers, soak them for at least 20 minutes in cold water before using to prevent scorching on the grill. To make the basting sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the butter, scallions, orange juice, cilantro, honey, and orange zest. Brush about half of the sauce on the chicken, covering each strip well. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes. If you have to let the chicken marinate longer refrigerate. 

Prepare grill to medium hot. Grill chicken about 15 minutes, turning several times, until the chicken is cooked through but still moist. Baste several times with the remaining basting sauce. Stop basting 5 minutes before the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve immediately.

Sauteed Broccoli

Yummy side dish!  It's great with grilled chicken, steak, or pork!

1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
dash of soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in pan   Place all ingredient in pan and cook on medium heat under tender.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fudge Crinkles

I loved these cookies growing up...found this recipe on Sister's Cafe and love it!  You definitely can't beat how easy they are!

1 box Devils Food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first 3 ingredients. Dust hands with powdered sugar then roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on greased cookie sheet (or silpat, ungreased of course). Bake 8-10 minutes. Don't overbake! They should puff up during baking and flatten with cooling.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chipotle Chicken Rolls with Avacodo Dipping Sauce

Another winner from Rachael Ray.  This is from her book 365: No Repeats.  I know it looks like there are a million steps, but really isn't bad at all....and it is worth it!

1 pkg (1 1/3lb) ground chicken breast
6 scallions, thinly sliced, then chopped
1 1/2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped or 3 tablespoons of a chipotle flavored salsa
salt and fresh ground black pepper
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Dipping Sauce

1 ripe Hass avocado
juice of 3 limes
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp coarse salt
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl, combine ground chicken, scallions, cheddar cheese, garlic, and chipotles and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a sealable plastic bag. To turn the sealable plastic bag into a homemade pastry bag, trim 1 1/2 inches off one of the bottom corners of the plastic bag. Push the chicken mixture to the cut corner without pushing it through the hole. Reserve while you prepare the phyllo.

Arrange 1 sheet of phyllo dough with the long side closest to you on your kitchen counter, brush liberally from edge to edge with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, again brush liberally with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the third layer of phyllo.

Place the trimmed end of the pastry bag 1/2 inch in from the left side and 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the phyllo sheet. Squeeze half of the chicken mixture from the bag while moving along in a straight line from left to right. Roll the front edge of the phyllo sheet away from you, encasing the chicken mixture. Continue until you have completed a long roll. Tuck the ends in and then brush the entire outside of the phyllo log with more melted butter. Transfer the first log to a rimmed cookie sheet, putting the seam side down. Repeat this process to make a second log with the remaining chicken mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until the log feels firm to the touch.

While the phyllo-wrapped chicken is in the oven, cut the avocado in half lengthwise, cutting around the pit. Separate the halves and scoop out the pit with a spoon, then use the spoon to scoop the avocado from it's skin. Place the avocado in a food processor and combine with lime juice, cilantro, coarse salt, and about 3 tablespoons of water. Process until avocado mixture is smooth, then stream the EVOO into the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Once the chipotle chicken rolls are cooked, remove from oven and let them cool just enough to handle. Cut each roll in half, then cut each half in 3 equal pieces. Serve 3 chicken rolls per person on a bed of Bibb lettuce with a dish of dipping sauce.

Taco Tot Casserole

This is such an easy meal.  It's one of those that the leftovers almost taste better than it does right out of the oven.  We found the recipe on the back of the Ore-Ida tator tot bag.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 package (1.25 oz.) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 can (11 oz.) corn with peppers, drained
1 can (11 oz.) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted
4 cups Ore-Ida® Tater Tots®, Onion Tater Tots® or Hot Tots®
salsa and sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 375°. Cook ground beef with taco seasoning mix according to package directions. Spoon meat mixture into an ungreased 11 X 17-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Spoon corn over meat mixture; spread soup over corn. Arrange frozen Tater Tots® in a single layer over soup. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned and mixture is bubbly. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Thank you again Paula Deen! This sounds absolutely serendipitous! There is nothing better than chocolate!

3 ounces best-quality chocolate (or a variety of your favorites)
2 teaspoons store bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate shavings, for garnish
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a small heavy saucepan or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.

Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining 1 cup of milk, the chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cram and chocolate shavings.

Honey Chicken Over Snow Pea Rice

Rachael Ray has some yummy recipes...this is one I've really enjoyed.  I usually use the pre-grated ginger in the bottle instead of the fresh stuff, and it tastes just as fabulous.

•3 tbls vegetable oil
•1 tbls unsalted butter
•1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1/2 cup dry white wine (a couple of glugs)
•4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
•Zest and juice of 1 lemon
•2 large handfuls snow peas, thinly sliced across the width
•2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
•1 large onion, sliced
•3 large garlic cloves, chopped
•3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
•3 tbls honey
•1 tbls cornstarch
•5 scallions, thinly sliced

1.Heat a medium saucepan or pot over medium-high heat
2.Add 1 tbls of the vegetable oil and the butter to the pot.
3.Once the butter melts, add the rice, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown the rice for 3 to 5 minutes.
4.Add the wine and allow it to evaporate entirely, 1 to 2 minutes.
5.Add 3 cups chicken stock and the lemon zest to the rice.
6.Bring the liquid to a boil.
7.Cover and reduce the heat.
8.Cook the rice for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
9.Once the rice only has about 3 more minutes of cook time, remove the lid and add the sliced snow peas. *Don't stir the rice; just add the snow peas on top and put the lid on.* They should still have some crunch to them.
10.While the rice is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbls of vegetable oil.
11.Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown for about 3 minutes.
12.Add the red pepper flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, and honey.
13.Stir frequently and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
14.Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer.
15.Once at a simmer, combine the cornstarch with a splash of water, and mix to create a thin paste.
16.Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering chicken, mix thoroughly, and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened.
17.Add the sliced scallions and the lemon juice to the chicken and stir to combine.
18.Serve the honey chicken over the snow pea rice.

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

This one is from the queen of butter...Paula Deen.  They are not overly pumpkin-y, which my husband prefers.  The frosting is the perfect compliment to these bars.  All I can say is yummy!  

I took the advice from others and put this onto a cookie sheet rather than a 9x13in pan, and cooked them for 20 minutes rather than 30.  They turned out perfect and were the perfect size, not too thick! 

*Update:  I have made these in a 9x13 pan and thought they were great this way as well...just depends on how many you need to feed!  

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


4 eggs
1 2/3 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1-15 oz can pumpkin
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. baking soda


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using electric mixer, combine eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Combine other dry ingredients together in separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture slowly while using mixer on low speed until smooth.  Spread the batter into a 9x13 inch pan.  Bake 30 minutes. Let cool.

For icing:

Combine cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Stir in vanilla and mix.  Spread over bars.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baked Potato Soup With All the Fixings

The only thing about it being cold outside is "soup season."  There is nothing like making a big pot of soup after being stuck in the cold all day.  This one was quite yummy.  Melinda submitted the recipe at cooking club a few months back, and I've been wanting to try it...and here it is!

2 lbs. frozen hash browns, thawed (I use the shredded type)
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1 (10 oz.) can Cream of Chicken soup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 c. half & half cream
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
dash Tobasco Sauce

Saute onions in butter. Add soup, half & half, milk, and thawed potatoes. Stir in cheese and heat gently until melted. Add Tobasco sauce.  Serve with additional cheese and bacon bits.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cilantro Lime Vinegarette

I think I have been converted.  I used to be a strict tomatillo ranch girl, but this stuff now has me addicted!  I have found a few different recipes for this, and this is the first one I tried.  I think it is spot-on and I don't need to try the others!  Thanks to Favorite Family Recipes for coming up with this yummy dressing!

2 tomatillos

1/2 bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. diced jalepeno (canned) --you can use less if you don't like it spicy at all. I like a little kick.
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. balsamic vinaigrette

In a food processor or blender, combine tamatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, and sugar. After it is all blended up well combine with balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Buttermilk Syrup

I discovered this recipe at cooking club a few months back. Two different people brought the recipe for this yummy syrup. I believe one of them described it as "sunshine in a bottle," and the other called it "liquid gold." So I had to try! I made Nate some waffles for his birthday breakfast and gave this a try. It is so good! Something about it reminds me of marshmallows, which is alright with me!

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. white karo syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Keep refrigerated after first use.