Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spicy Cauliflower Poppers

This is a good alternative to the traditional steamed cauliflower.  It was pretty tasty, although I must say I was expecting a little more for some reason.  They may be too spicy for kids, so cut back on the cauliflower and cumin for the wee ones!  I found this one on Taste Buds.

1 head cauliflower
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp course salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut cauliflower florets into {good sized} bite-sized pieces. Place all ingredients in a large zip bag and toss to coat. Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 min.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cutlers Brownie Marshmallow Cookies

When I started working in hospice (which seems like forever ago), my office was right across the street from a Cutlers.  I had never heard of Cutlers before.  As time went on, my co-workers started talking this place up from its yummy soups to its cookies....still, I didn't try it.  Then, at a meeting one day, there was a big box of their cookies.  I tried one of these babies and was hooked!  Whenever I get to Bountiful (which is next to never, since I now live in Ohio), I love to stop and get one of these...but you have to go early, if you wait to long in the day they run out (I've had this unfortunate experience a few times!)  I was excited when I saw this recipe on A Bountiful Kitchen!

1 egg, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shortening
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Chocolate frosting:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla


Beat egg and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, shortening and melted chocolate. Blend well. Combine all dry ingredients into small bowl. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to chocolate mixture. If using, add nuts. Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. When the cookies are almost done cooking, remove from oven and place 1/2 of a large marshmallow on top of each cookie. Return to oven for about 1 minute or just until marshmallow puffs. Remove from oven, flatten marshmallow with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Beat softened butter in bowl. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in cocoa, powdered sugar, milk or half and half. If needed, add more milk, a little at a time.

German Chocolate Cake

Today is Nate's birthday, and german chocolate cake has always been his absolute favorite birthday cake, so he's getting it!  This is my first time making it, and I got my recipe from All Recipes.

1 (18.25 ounce) package Pillsbury® German Chocolate Cake
1 cup water
3 eggs plus
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, water, 3 eggs, oil and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Beat on low speed until moistened, then beat on high speed 2 minutes.

2.Pour into well-greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

3.In small saucepan, combine remaining sweetened condensed milk, egg yolk and butter. Over medium heat, cook and stir until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add pecans, coconut and vanilla; spread over warm cake. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spaghetti with Chicken and Peanut Sauce

This one is a definite winner!  My husband loved it...just the right amount of spice/lime/peanut butter mix.  I found this one here.  I added cilantro to this recipe and it made it mighty tasty!
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon cooking oil, plus 1 tablespoon more if needed
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound in all)
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter, preferably natural
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (I used 1/4 tsp.-we like it spicy!)
3/4 pound spaghetti
3 scallions including green tops, chopped
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (optional)
2Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

In a medium, shallow glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the 3 tablespoons soy sauce, the 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic, and the ginger. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Let marinate at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium, stainless-steel saucepan, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 2 teaspoons lime juice, the peanut butter, broth, sugar, salt, and red-pepper flakes. Pour the marinade from the chicken into the saucepan and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking until smooth.

Heat a grill pan over moderate heat. Cook the chicken until browned and just done, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Alternatively, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy frying pan. Cook and slice the chicken in the same way.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the peanut sauce, chicken, cilantro and scallions. Top with the chopped peanuts, if using.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Individual Potato Gratins

I have seen this one floating around the food blogging world and knew I had to try them!  Potatoes are my all-time favorite go-to side dish, and this one is yummy and so cute in their individual portions!  The recipe comes from Melissa d'Arabian, a winner of the Next Food Network Star and host of Ten Dollar Dinners.  I'm glad this recipe made it my way!  For her original recipe, click here.  We ate this with Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast.

Vegetable spray
2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese, and onions into each muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time. Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Betty Crocker Banana Bread

Banana yummy!  This is  a Betty Crocker recipe.  I'm not sure which recipe I've found has been better...but this one was really good! 

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired (I used black walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches, or one loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches. Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until just moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour. Bake 9-inch loaf about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack until completely cooled. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Beef Stir Fry with Green Veggies

Stir fry...yummy!  This one caught my eye because of all the yummy veggies that are packed into it...all yummy green veggies!  I doubled the sauce...I like my food saucy, and I think it was the perfect amount.  This is another one that came from Taste Buds that I will definitely be making again!

1 1/2 lbs beef sirloin, top round or flank steak
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic; minced
2 cups asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup edamame

3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp grated gingerroot
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine ingredients for stir fry sauce and set aside.

Thinly slice steak across grain into strips (you can place meat in freezer for about 15-20 min to make this a little easier.)

Heat a large skillet over med heat. Add olive oil and onions and cook until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add beef and cook to desired doneness (3-7 min) Add asparagus, broccoli and sauce and cook until crisp tender, stirring frequently. Lower heat and if needed put a lid on skillet and steam vegetables until done. Add edamame and warm through.

Serve over or along side rice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Potato and Sausage Dinner

Easy!  We had this for dinner last night, but it would be just as good a breakfast or lunch.  I must say the leftovers were better for lunch today than it was last night.  Definitely a quick-fix meal!  Thanks to Taste Buds for this comforting, filling meal!

3 tsp olive oil
1 onion; chopped
4-6 med red potatoes (I love my spuds, so I used 6)
16 oz light sausage link; sliced in 1/2 in pieces
1-2 clove garlic; minced
salt & pepper
parsley; chopped (I used 2-3 Tbsp)
dash or two of Tabasco sauce

Parboil potatoes for about 5 minutes with skins on prior to chopping into bite-size pieces.  Heat olive oil in pan over med heat. Add potatoes & onions and season with salt & pepper. Cook over med heat (stirring frequently) until potatoes are tender & browned. Add garlic, Tabasco, and sausage & cook until sausage is browned a little. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

I'm trying to get out of my chicken rut!  My poor husband has had about enough!  I came across this one from On My Menu.  It was really good!  My husband's only complaint is that he wishes it were a little saucier, so next time I may try adding some chicken stock before I simmer it to see if that'll do the trick.  Also, if your not a spice fan, I would  definitely go for Mild tomatoes, I used the original Rotel, and it definitely had some kick, which I like, but I know many people like things on the milder side!

*UPDATE...if you like your red beans and rice saucier...try this one from Sister's Cafe, it is really tasty as well, but has more sauce and uses the crockpot!

Red Beans and Rice

1 – 16 oz. package of Kielbasa cut into ¼ inch slices (any sausage would do)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 – 15 oz. cans red beans, drained (we used light red Kidney beans)
1 – 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (per her suggestion we used Rotel for some spice)
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. pepper and salt
cooked rice
lime wedges (to squirt on top after dished up and ready to serve)

While rice is cooking, in large skillet cook sausage over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir in onion, green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until tender. Pour in beans and tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes serve over rice.  Serve with lime wedges.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crunchy Oven-Fried Chicken

I have a sick obsession with eating chicken.  Since I've been pregnant this time around, red meat does NOT sound good for some reason.  So therefore, let the chicken recipes roll!  I like this one because it is not deep fried (although that tastes marvelous as well!).  Makes me feel a little bit more on the healthier side!  I got this simple recipe from a book we got for our wedding called 4 Ingredient Dinners by Betty Crocker, although I have switched some things around.  The original recipe called for cornflakes, which I didn't have so I used a mixture of french fried onions and Ritz crackers in it's place.

3-4 chicken breasts
2 tsp. paprika
1-1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/2 can French's fried onions (I had the cheddar flavor on hand)
1/4c. margarine or butter.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt margarine (or butter) in a jelly-roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x1 inch), in oven.  Place crackers, onions, paprika, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in blender.  Cover and blend until the crackers are blended into fine crumbs.  Dip chicken into melted butter, then coat evenly with cornflake mixture.  Place chicken back on pan.  Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until juice is no longer pink when centers o thickest pieces are cut.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Easy Mexican Chicken and Beans

This recipe comes from a book we got for our wedding, 4 Ingredient Recipes, which is great!  We have found a few things in the book that we absolutely love.  This one is by far my favorite!

1 lb. cut-up boneless chicken breast for stir-fry
1 envelope (1 ¼ oz) taco seasoning mix
1 can (15-16 oz.) black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, undrained
1 can green chiles

Spray 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook chicken in skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10
minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in center. Stir in seasoning mix, beans, corn, and ¼
cup of water. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce is slightly thickened.  Serve on tortillas and top with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, olives, and/or cilantro.

Barbecue Chicken Salad

Ah Springtime...makes me want lots of fresh produce and salads! Here's one that is oh so tasty full of fresh ingredients, and easy to make!

Barbecue Chicken Salad

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or diced small)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
avocado, diced
shredded cheese, Mexican blend or cheddar
Crispy tortilla strips (I use the packaged ones from the grocery store by the salad, Santa Fe flavor)
*you can also use tomatoes, altough neither me nor my husband are fans!

Stir shredded chicken in with the BBQ sauce until well coated. Of course you can use less or more sauce, it's up to you! I like quite a bit since I love the smoky flavor of BBQ sauce in a salad. Toss together the lettuce, cilantro, corn, beans, and chopped veggies. Top with shredded chicken, cheese and crispy tortilla strips. Drizzle ranch or Cilantro Ranch over salad and enjoy!

Cilantro Ranch Dressing, Version 2

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender.

Parmesan Bread

In searching for some new sides, I came upon this yummy bread at The Sisters Cafe, and it was a yummy change up from the traditional garlic bread.  They entitled it "Sinful bread," and for good reason! I halved the recipe and only used one loaf of bread. We'd never eat 2 loaves of bread before it was completely stale!

2 loaves French Bread (I used Italian a loaf of bread, it's much softer)
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated fresh)
I cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (not in the originol recipe, but I thought it was a crime to make bread without it!)
Combine ingredients. Split French bread horizontally, spread mixture and sprinkle with paprika (if desired). Broil to crisp up. Enough for 2 loaves of French bread.

Peanut Butter Frosting

I saw Ina Garten make this the other day on her show.  It looked really yummy on top of her chocolate cupcakes (which I will probably never make because there are way too many ingredients!).  But you cannot beat the chocolate/peanut butter yummy!

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

I was searching for a classic shepherds pie recipe and came across this one from On My Menu.  I adapted that one just a little bit.  It sounded like a yummy twist to an old classic.  The french fried onions were really yummy!  I admit, I used Betty Crocker boxed mashed potatoes, butter and herb flavor, but it was still very yummy!

- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 2 c. French's french fried onions
- 1 can tomato soup
- 1/2 c. water
- 2 t. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 t. each salt and pepper
- 1/2-1 can of corn, drained
-1/2-1 can cut green beans, drained
- 3 cups hot mashed potatoes

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook meat in large ovenproof skillet until browned; drain.(I use a normal skillet and layered the ingredients in a 9x13 dish for the oven)

- Stir in 1 c. fried onions, soup, water, seasoning, salt and pepper.

- Spoon veggies over beef mixture. Top with mashed potatoes.

- Bake 20 min. or until hot. Sprikle with remaining 1 c. onions. Bake 2 min. or until golden.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread

1/2 c butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c very ripe bananas, mashed (~3 bananas)
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts (if desired) and pour into pan. Bake until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Crispy Oven Potatoes

This recipe is one of our favorites.  My husband had this a lot growing up, and it is so easy!  It's pretty much like an au gratin minus the cheese and heavy cream, just leaving the crispy, soft potatoes themselves.  It's a great side to any meat dish.

Potatoes (about 1 per person)
1 large onion, cut into slices
seasoning salt
Butter, about  1/2 a stick (will need more if making for a lot of people)

Peel potatoes and slice thin.  Spray a 9x13inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and begin layering...layer of potatoes, onions, then sprinkle with seasoning salt.  Continue layers until all used up.  Melt butter and drizzle over potatoes.  Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour until edges of potatoes are crispy. (May need longer if there are more than 4 layers or so, just start checking them around an hour!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lasagna Rolls

Even though I'm in Ohio, I follow Good Things Utah's recipes, they have some great stuff!  This one caught my eye because it had the 3 sauces...marinara, alfredo, and creamy pesto.  Yum!  They really were pretty easy to make as well.  Here's a link to the original recipe...Not Your Momma's Lasagna Rolls .

18 lasagna noodles (about 1 pkg), cooked al dente
1 16 oz jar Alfredo sauce
1 16 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 packet creamy pesto sauce, prepared with all milk
½ C parmesan cheese

Filling Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
½ lg onion, diced
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 2 lb container ricotta cheese
½ box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
Heaping ¼ C sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ C 5 Italian cheese blend
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, & ground nutmeg

1) Cook lasagna noodles until al dente. They should still have a good bite to them.

2) Combine chopped bacon and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent. Drain all but 2 Tbs bacon grease.

3) Add ground turkey to the bacon & onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp Italian seasoning, or to taste. Cook through.

3) Place meat/onion mixture in large bowl along with remaining filling ingredients. Season with ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt,1/8 tsp black pepper, & ½ tsp Italian seasoning. Combine thoroughly.

4) Spoon ¼-1/3 C filling along entire noodle then roll’er up. Continue with remaining noodles.

5) Spread ½ the jar of Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Place lasagna rolls, seam side down in the pan. Pour remaining Alfredo sauce, then marinara and finally the pesto sauce atop rolls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

6) Bake @ 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until parmesan is golden and lasagna rolls are cooked through. Enjoy!

Cranberry Crock Pot Turkey Breast

I never would have thought to crockpot turkey, but my eyes have now been opened!  It's a good alternative to the traditional Sunday roast that I end up making so many Sundays.  I know it sounds weird to put a barbeque and cranberry gravy on your potatoes, but don't knock it until you've tried it.  It is fall apart tender and juicy, you will not be disappointed :)

This would also be perfect if you were having a small Thanksgiving with only a small definitely frees up some oven space for other things!!

Cranberry Crock Pot Turkey Breast

2 (1 1/2 lb.) turkey breast roasts (I found a 2.75 lb one that works just fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 c. diced celery (can omit)
1/2 c. diced onions
1 (16 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 c. barbeque sauce, your favorite

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and bake on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Remove turkey breasts from crock pot and slice thinly. Serve with sauce on the side.

Delicious with mashed potatoes - use the extra sauce as gravy!

From:  Cooking Club (thanks for sharing Nollie!)