Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crockpot Potato Leek Soup

Here is my debut cooking leeks.  I've always liked them, but they somehow seemed like a "fancy" ingredient.  This soup sounded really tasty, so I decided it was time to give them a try.  This soup is definitely yummy, one that my husband loved as well (he's very particular about his soups...thinks they are not a true meal).  This is yet another recipe from the Sister's Cafe, where I have gotten many tasty recipes!

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 leeks, washed, sliced, including white and light green parts
1 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tb dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
2 Tb butter
12 oz. can evaporated milk
12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
chives, chopped - optional

Combine everything except last 4 ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 7-9 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Stir in the can of evaporated milk the last 45 minutes. Serve hot topped with bacon, cheddar, and chives.

Apple and Bacon Grilled Cheese

Soup and sandwich season is here!  I've always wanted to try a grilled cheese with apple, and so when I saw this recipe from Tyler Florence, I had to try it!  This was so good with the dijon mustard, give it a try :)

8 slices country-style white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
12 ounces farmhouse Cheddar, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
1 green apple, thinly sliced
Dijon mustard

Heat griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Alternatively you can use your panini press if you have one.

Assemble sandwich: Generously spread Dijon on 4 slices of bread. Top with slices of Cheddar, 3 pieces of bacon, apple slices and additional Cheddar. Place the remaining bread on top and spread with butter. Place on skillet buttered-side down and butter the remaining side. Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and sandwich is golden brown.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

Oh Thanksgiving....gotta love it!  This year we spent our holiday in the South with some fabulous family.  Being in the South we had our first sweet potato casserole, and it was so great!  It tasted almost like pumpkin pie...definitely a good twist on yams at Thanksgiving time.  Is it figure friendly...no!  That's why Thanksgiving only comes once a year :)  I highly reccomend this.  My picture is awful, I took it after the fact.

6-8 sweet potatoes, baked and peeled
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. brown sugar
2 sticks melted butter
1-2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
chopped pecans (optional)
mini marshmallows (optional)

Mix all ingredients.  Top with chopped pecans if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutres.  Top with marshmallows (if desired) and broil until brown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thai Chicken Pizza

After having Rachael Ray's Thai Chicken Wrap with Peanut Sauce (which was fabulous), I was excited to try this pizza.  The reviews on the pizza were fantastic, not a negative thing to say about it, and I would have to agree.  I loved the crunchy cold veggies in contrast with the warm crust and cheese :)  Many of the reviewers said they liked this pizza better than the California Pizza Kitchen's version, which I've never had, but this was mighty tasty!  Rachael's original recipe can be found here.

Thai Chicken Pizza

1 pizza dough, any brand
1/2 cup duck sauce or plum sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package (2 cups) shredded provolone or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoonful peanut butter
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons grill seasoning
4 chicken breast cutlets, 1/2 pound
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup bean spouts, a couple of handfuls
Palm full cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, 2 ounces
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Form pizza crust on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Top with duck or plum sauce - spread it around like you would pizza sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with some crushed red pepper flakes then top with cheese and peppers. Bake until golden and bubbly, 13-15 minutes.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce and peanut butter with hot sauce and grill seasoning. Use the microwave to loosen up peanut butter if it is too cold to blend into sauce, 10 seconds ought to do it. Add chicken and coat evenly with mixture. Let stand 10 minutes then grill chicken cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until firm. Slice chicken into very thin strips.

While chicken cooks, mix honey and vinegar and add the cucumber. Turn to coat evenly.

Top the hot, cooked pizza with chicken, scallions, sprouts and cilantro. Drain cucumbers and scatter over the pizza. Garnish pizza with peanuts, cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chorizo and Chicken Tortilla Stoup

Here we go with another Rachael Ray recipe!  Now what is the definition of "stoup?"  She says it is a soup that is almost as thick and hearty as a stew, but not quite.  I have been trying to limit my soup making to once a week to make my husband happy, but there are so many I want to try!  I had some chorizo that needed to be used, so this soup made it to the top of the list for this week.  Her recipes are always unique in one way or another, and this was no different.  It was pretty darn tasty!  Her original recipe can be found here.

1 pound chicken tenders (I used a big can of chicken)
Salt and pepper
3/4 pound chorizo sausage, in packaged meats case near kielbasa
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 small red potatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted chopped tomatoes (recommended: Muir Glen)
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 quart chicken stock
1 sack red or blue corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded pepper jack or smoked Cheddar
Suggested garnishes: chopped scallions, chopped cilantro or fresh thyme leaves
Preheat medium soup pot over medium-high heat.

Chop tenders into bite-size pieces. Wash up, then season chicken with salt and pepper. Dice chorizo. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken to pot. Lightly brown chicken 2 minutes, then add the chorizo and garlic. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, then add peppers, onions and potatoes. Cook 5 minutes, then stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, and hot sauce. Add chicken stock and bring soup to a bubble.  Simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

Garnish with scallions and herbs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

This chicken is so tasty!  The sauce makes the whole meal, it is absolutely delicious:)  I would slather it all over my chicken and rice and be completely happy.  I don't think it was too spicy, but I can take the heat.  If you are sensitive to spicy flavors, I would cut the jalapenos down to one or two.  

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

3 Chicken Breasts
A Sprinkle of Cumin per Breast
A Sprinkle of Chili Powder per Breast
A Sprinkle of Salt per Breast
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Jalapenos, Seeded and Chopped
6-8 Oz. of Cream Cheese
2 Cups of Chicken Broth
3 Slices of Bacon
3/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack
1 Tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped + more for garnish

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings while the bacon crisps. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat in the skillet. Cook chicken, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear and no longer pink. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add chopped jalapenos to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute more, until fragrant. Add chicken broth, deglazing pan. Bring to a boil. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add in shredded cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese in melted. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. Serve chicken on a bed of Mexican or Taco rice and topped with sauce. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Recipe Source: Krista's Kitchen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Toffee Almond Chocolate Blondies

This recipe came to me via my email inbox from my Aunt.  They sounded REALLY good and REALLY easy, and they were both!

1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 (17.5 oz.) pkg. choc chip cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 (8 oz) pkg. toffee bits
3/4 cup chopped toasted slivered almonds (I used sliced, thry were cheaper :)

Stir together butter and egg in a large bowl (mixture will not fully blend together). Stir in cookie mix and vanilla until soft dough forms. Stir in toffee bits and almonds until well blended. Press mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick in the center comes out clean.

Teryaki Ranch Chicken

I have really enjoyed the recipes from cooking club.  It's good to know that these recipes are definitely tried and true favorites!  This recipe came from our "Family Favorite Recipes" cooking club, and it was very tasty.  I never would have thought to put ranch and teryaki together, but it works!

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken

Chicken breasts cut in half or thirds
Teriyaki sauce
Ranch dressing
Cheddar cheese
Cooked and crumbled bacon
sliced green onions

Lightly brown chicken breasts in a little oil in a frying pan. Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour teriyaki sauce in pan until it is about 1/2 way up the chicken breasts. Flip the chicken over so each side is coated. Put a spoonful of ranch dressing on each breast and smooth out. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25-30 min (until chicken is almost done). Remove pan and top chicken breasts with bacon, sliced green onions and cheese. Cook for 5 more minutes. Serve with rice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Navajo Tacos

After having sones last week, I was craving some of these yummy Navajo Tacos!  We have tostadas (basically the samething, just on fried tortillas) all the time.  I need to mix it up more often and have these every now and again!

Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed & risen (or fry bread recipe found here)

vegetable oil for frying
1 pound ground beef
green onions, finely chopped
salsa or taco sauce
pinto beans or refried beans (I also like to use canned chili sometimes rather than the ground beef and beans)
grated cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
tomatoes, chopped
onion, chopped
sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
olives, sliced
cilantro, chopped

Flatten each roll to a 6-inch circle. Fry in vegetable oil at 375°F until golden brown, turning over once (about 30 seconds). Drain on paper towels.

Cook ground beef, drain off fat, and mix with taco seasoning according to package directions.  Heat pinto beans, refried beans, or chili in small saucepan. 
On flatbread, spread beans then top with taco meat.  Place other toppings on top as desired.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Saltimbocca

Not quite sure where the name came from, but this recipe comes to you from the kitchens of Betty Crocker.  It sounded to me like an Italian version of chicken cordon bleu, and it was very tasty!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 slices prosciutto (about 3 oz) (I used deli sliced ham)
4 slices (1 oz each) mozzarella cheese (I used shredded 4 cheese italian blend)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves (I used some flat leaf parsley instead)
3/4 cupchicken broth
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1.Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick. In shallow dish, mix flour, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and salt. Coat chicken with flour mixture; shake off excess flour.

2.In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook about 8 minutes, turning once, until browned on outside and no longer pink in center. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice prosciutto and 1 slice mozzarella cheese. Cover skillet tightly; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle sage over chicken. Remove chicken from skillet to serving platter; cover loosely with tent of foil, being careful not to let foil touch cheese.

3.Increase heat to high. Add broth to skillet. Heat to boiling, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil about 3 minutes or until broth is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat; beat in butter. Spoon over chicken.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lemon Cookies

When I came across this recipe in my 30 Minutes Or Less For People That Don't Have Time To Cook cookbook, it reminded me of some cookies I had from  a Dutch market in Baltimore a few months ago.  They also sounded a lot like the Fudge Crinkles I've had many times before.  These cookies are very light and cakey (is that a real word?!). 

1 package lemon cake mix
1 (8oz) carton Cool Whip
1 egg
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together cake mix, Cool Whip, and egg until thoroughly blended.  Chill Thoroughly, 3 to 4 hours.  After chilling, scoop up 1 teaspoonful (I did more like a Tablespoon) and roll into balls;  roll balls in powdered sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

I'm always looking for ways to spice up a classic.  This definitely fit that criteria!  They were very tasty, and they made enough that I could freeze half for another meal, always a bonus :)  I changed this recipe just a bit from See Jane In the Kitchen.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground italian pork
2 Tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian)
8 ounce package mozzarella, cut into small cubes (about 1/4 inch in size)

Mix all ingredients and form into walnut sized balls, forming meat around cheese cube. Cook in olive oil in a large pan. Try to be gentle, the cheese tends to ooze out if you turn too much. Serve over pasta and marinara. Top with parmesan.

This makes about 2 1/2 dozen meatballs. They said these meatballs freeze well, so I cooked them all and froze over half of them.  We'll see if they are good after freezing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cowboy Quesadillas

I have a sick obsession with Mexican food.  I have an even sicker obsession with chicken...as if you couldn't tell from almost every recipe I post!  This meal is very easy and quick to prepare, great for a busy weeknight!  It tasted great, a definite keeper!  The recipe comes from Our Best Bites.

1/2 C white rice
1/3 C black beans
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/3 C fresh frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
2/3 C diced tomato
3 Tbs sliced green onion
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (any type or combo you like)
1/4 C bbq sauce
6 small tortillas (fajita size, about 6") I used wheat tortillas

Dipping Sauce

equal parts bbq sauce and ranch dressing

Combine rice, beans, chicken, corn, tomato, green onion and shredded cheese. Add bbq sauce and stir to combine. Place about 1/3 C of mixture on half of each tortilla and fold over to close.

Heat a skillet to medium heat on the stove top. When hot, spray lightly with cooking spray, or drizzle with canola or olive oil. Place quesadillas in pan and cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp. Flip and repeat on opposite side. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with BBQ-Ranch dipping sauce.