Friday, December 30, 2011

Chicken, Bacon, and Spinach Pizza with White Sauce

I love traditions.  I love them.  I love going over to Grandma's house for a Christmas Eve dinner or homemade pizza.  Such great memories :)

This year we were away from all of our family (we live 2,000 miles away from them) because of how schedules panned out.  I missed having all the parties, people, and traditional food that makes it feel like the holidays.  So this year, homemade pizza was on the menu.

The hubby and I made up our own version of a white(ish) pizza.  The results were awesome!  Enjoy.

Chicken, Bacon, and Spinach Pizza with White Sauce

1 recipe pizza dough (see below)
About 2 cups rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
handful of baby spinach leaves
4 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cups mozzarella/provolone mix, shredded
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4-1/2 c. prepared Alfredo sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic

Pizza Dough

1 c warm water, divided
1 tsp sugar
1/4 oz package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
3 Tbsp oil (olive oil or vegetable)
2 ½-3 c flour
1 tsp salt

Put warm water in bowl. Stir in sugar and yeast and let proof for 1o minutes. Stir in rest
of ingredients. Mix until a ball, knead 10 minutes. Put additional oil in bowl and let rise in oil bowl for 1 ½ hours.

When dough is ready, press out onto pizza pan.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread Alfredo sauce over dough and spread garlic over sauce.  

Layer chicken, spinach, bacon, mozzarella, then Parmesan cheese.  (You can brush crust with butter and dust with garlic is really good :)  Bake for 15-18 minutes until cheese gets bubbly.

Recipe Source:  Our own creation :) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

We sure are missing our families this holiday season as we are thousands of miles away from all of them, but overall I must say that it has been a relaxing time.  No rushing around from house to house, eating 3 dinners in one night, etc.  We ate our Christmas dinner this year with some other friends that didn't make the trek back West to visit their families as well.  I was in charge of a few items on the Christmas dinner menu, one of them being dessert. I had just seen this and thought it would be great to take on over.  It was.  It is very rich, but can never go wrong with a trifle!

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

1 batch of your favorite brownies, cooled and cubed
1 large box instant chocolate pudding, prepared as directed
1 bag of peanut butter cups, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

With electric mixer, beat heavy cream and sugar until thick. Refrigerate. 
In another bowl add peanut butter and cream cheese. Mix until incorporated. Add powdered sugar, and milk. Fold in 1 cup of the cream mixture.

Now layer. Starting with brownies, then peanut butter mixture, peanut butter cups, chocolate pudding and whipped cream...and repeat. Refrigerate before serving. 

Recipe Source:  Our Family Treat

Monday, December 26, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

Simple. Flavorful. Comforting.  I'm sure most people have their own recipe for Swedish meatballs, but if not...give these a try!  They are simple to make and definitely fit into the comfort food category.  These are apparently originally from Rachael Ray's 30 minute meals, so next time you are rushed to make dinner, this will make your life easier!  Enjoy :)
Swedish Meatballs and Egg Noodles 

1 pound ground chuck, or ground beef, pork and veal mix 
1/2 cup bread crumbs 
1 egg, beaten 
1 small onion, finely chopped (or grated on a box grater) 
A few drops Worcestershire sauce 
Salt and pepper 

3 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons flour 
1/2 cup dry sherry (I just used more beef broth)
1 cup beef broth 
Salt and pepper 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
1/2 cup sour cream 

1 bag wide egg noodles 
1 tablespoon butter 
A handful of chopped parsley 

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. While waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs and sauce. 

To bake meatballs: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a medium-size bowl. Form bite-size balls and place on nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. 

To cook meatballs on the stovetop: preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a medium-size bowl. Form bite-size balls and add directly to the pan as you roll them. Once the last ball has been rolled, give the pan a good shake and place a lid or aluminum foil over the top. Cook meatballs 10 to 12 minutes, turning them occasionally. Remove meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate, wipe out pan, and return to heat to make the sauce. 

To make the sauce: melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and continuously whisk until a smooth paste is formed. Slowly add sherry while continuing to whisk sauce; cook until sherry reduces by half. Add broth in a slow stream and continue to whisk until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and whisk in salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and sour cream. 

Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and toss with butter and parsley. Add meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat, and serve over the 


Recipe Source: Taste of Home Cooking

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Remember that Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken I posted about a few days ago?  Well, here is another way to use it up!  These egg rolls were super yummy, although the Hubsters thinks they would have been amazing deep fried rather than be the judge :)

Baked Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls

12 egg roll wrappers
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce
Ranch dip mix
1 tub Philidelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup broccoli slaw mix (dry)
blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Mix cooked chicken with wing sauce.  Set aside.

Mix ranch dip and cream cheese.  Set aside.

Lay out egg roll wrappers on a clean surface.  Place @ 1 TBSP broccoli slaw mix diagonally onto bottom corner of egg roll wrapper.  Place @ 1 TBSP chicken on top of slaw.  Place @ 1 TBSP ranch cream cheese mix on top.  Add blue cheese crumbles. (optional)

Fold bottom corner toward center of wrap, tucking filling in tightly.  Fold right and left bottom corners toward center, creating an "envelope".  Brush water and cornstarch slurry along edges of envelope and tightly wrap up rolls, making certain all edges are sealed.

Spray wire rack with non-stick cooking spray.  Set wire rack on a cookie sheet.
Place rolls on wire rack.  Spray rolls with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until egg rolls become crispy and brown.

Serve with celery and extra ranch or blue cheese dip.

Recipe Source:  My Kitchen Apron

Black Pepper Chicken

It's been a while since I'm made some homemade Chinese food.  The other day I was really craving Pei Wei and very angry that it was a 25 minute drive to get there.  So, instead I turned to my recipe stash to fulfill my craving.  
It wasn't Pei Wei, but this turned out pretty good.  I had never heard of black pepper chicken before, so I thought, why not!?  It may be a little strong for youngsters, but otherwise it was yummy! 
Black Pepper Chicken
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
6 tablespoons cornstarch (for dusting)
1 white onion (diced)
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (or celery)
oil (for drying)
¼ cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sake or rice wine
Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cut chicken into ½“cubes and dust chicken pieces with corn starch until fully coated.

Deep fry (or fry in a wok) chicken in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and stir fry diced onion for a minute or two. Add peas and carrots (or celery) and stir fry for another couple minutes. Add sauce mixture to the wok and heat until bubbling. Add chicken stirring to fully coat with the sauce. Serve with white rice.

Recipe Source:  Blogchef

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Aren't these little babies adorable?!  I love how the color turned out, very festive for the holidays :)

My hubby loves the chocolate/cherry combination, in fact one of his all time favorite treats is Queen Anne cherries.  When I saw this recipe, I knew it was a recipe he would definitely be up for helping me sample.  The little chopped up bits of cherry were a yummy treat, and these cookies were very tasty.


Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies

1 cup of softened unsalted butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops of red food dye (optional)
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup of maraschino cherries, chopped up
White sugar, to roll the cookies in
36 chocolate kisses

Beat the butter with a mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, maraschino cherry juice, vanilla extract, and red food dye (if using); beat with a mixer until smooth. Mix the flour and salt together then pour in batches into the dough. Mix with the beater, making sure to wipe the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cherries and mix well with spoon. Place the dough into the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.

Roll the cookie dough into small balls then drop into a bowl of sugar; roll to coat evenly. Place the balls on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart; press your thumb down in the center of the cookie gently. Repeat.

Place into the oven and bake for 13-14 minutes. Remove them from the oven and immediately place a kiss in the center of each cookie. Let them set up on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Source:  For The Love of Cooking

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

I have professed my love for buffalo chicken ANYTHING in the past, but here's another one that makes it easy to have it anytime.  You can do this...4 ingredients and it is fabulous!  We used it to make some buffalo chicken egg rolls and these yummy sandwiches.  I also think it would be great on a quesadilla with some monty jack cheese and nachos.  Use your imagination :)

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

3 lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle Frank's Wings Buffalo Sauce
1 packet Ranch Dip Mix
2 TBSP butter

Put frozen chicken, wing sauce, and ranch dip mix into crock pot.
Cook on low at least 6 to 7 hours or high for about 4 hours.

Using two forks, shred chicken & return to crock pot.
Add butter.

Cook on low for an additional hour.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Glaze

The smells of the season make it FEEL like Christmas.  I love walking into a house and smelling cinnamon, or freshly baked cookies, minty hot chocolate, or the scent of pine.  There is nothing like it.  I love sharing seasonal, yummy recipes that are comforting and make it taste and feel like the holidays are right around the corner.

My hubby loves eggnog.  Me...I can have about half a glass before I am done (it is so rich!).  I do love the taste, though, which made me think these cookies would be right up my alley.  They sure were :)

 The eggnog flavor is definitely not overwhelming, and the eggnog glaze was a perfect compliment to the cookies itself.  Enjoy!

Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Glaze

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Eggnog Glaze:
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons eggnog

1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C)
2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Cream sugar and butter until light
4. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth.
5. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined.
6. Do not over mix
7. Spoon onto un-greased cookie sheets or parchment paper and make the dough balls rather small, they will spread generously in the oven. 
8. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
9. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges barely start to brown.
10.  While cookies are in the oven, make the eggnog glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with 3 T eggnog.
11.  Glaze your cookies warm or cooled and top with cinnamon.  

Recipe Source:  Your Cup of Cake

Happy baking to you all this amazing holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

I love yummy comfort food.  Anything warm and filling basically can fit into the comfort food category for me.  For whatever reason, I haven't made any pasta dishes in a long while and am not sure why!  They are so simple to put together and everyone always loves them.  It's even easier when you do a pasta bake!

This dish really was delicious and made for a great filling dinner.  

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28-oz) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands (or crushed tomatoes)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup heavy cream
1 pound rigatoni
10 oz baby spinach–I double the spinach and use 2 9-oz bags fresh (or 2 10-oz bricks frozen)
12 oz smoked chicken (or Jennie-O turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
¼ inch thick
6 ounces fontina (or mozzarella) cheese, 4 oz cut into ½ -inch cubes and 2 oz coarsely grated
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.
Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes. Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
If you freeze half in a 9×9 pan, you can put it straight from the freezer into a 400° oven for about 45 minutes, or until browned and hot throughout.

Recipe Source:  The Sisters Cafe

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

7 Up Biscuits

I love it when I find a recipe that is impressive, but takes only minutes to make.  This definitely was one of those.  We had some friends over for dinner, and everyone seemed to really enjoy these light and fluffy biscuits.  You won't be disappointed :)

7 Up Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft (and pretty sticky) dough.

Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out. 

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan, making sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered (I saved just a little bit to brush over the top of the biscuits).  Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Source:  Plain Chicken

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ham and Cheese Canneloni

  • I don't know what it is, but recently I have just not had the motivation to cook anything for dinner that takes much effort.  Maybe it is because I have been picking up more hours at work (graveyard shift), or maybe it's the gray skies, who knows?!  What I have not lost is the desire to try new recipes, hence my post today.

I never would have thought on my own to use egg roll wrappers as cannelloni shells, but honestly, they are great.  These babies were really easy to put together, were super filling, and were great on a cold day :)

  • Ham and Cheese Canneloni

  • 1 jar (15 oz.) Classico®  Light Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce
  • 1 cup(s) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup(s) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 egg-roll wrappers (available in refrigerated section)
  • 8 slices deli ham
  • 1 cup(s) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and mozzarella and the egg. 

  • 3. Reserve ¾ cup of the alfredo and spread the remaining sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange an egg-roll wrapper on a work surface. Spread 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over the wrapper, cover with a slice of ham, then roll up to form a log, jelly-roll style. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and place the cannelloni, seam side down, in a single layer in the baking dish. 

  • 4. Spoon the reserved cream sauce over the cannelloni, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Recipe Source:  Classico

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

I know I've mentioned it before, but any recipe that has the work 'buffalo' in it goes straight on my to try list.  This one got put at the top of the list for the fact that it was a Mexican dish as well (my fav :).  A little heat definitely is right up my ally.  

The best part of this meal is how simple it is.  Sometimes I just am not in the mood for a complicated meal and this one fits the bill quite nicely.  We served it up with some Knorr brand rice that just happened to be buffalo flavor as well.  Serve it up with some salad and have yourselves an amazing meal!

Do you love buffalo chicken like I do?  Here are some other recipes...

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

8 large whole wheat tortillas
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (+ more depending on your taste)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (blue or feta works here)
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour enchilada sauce in a bowl and begin by whisking in 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce. Taste and adjust according to your desired level of heat – I added in 1/2 cup total. Set aside.

Add shredded chicken to a bowl with 2 green onions and 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese. Pour in about a 1/2 cup of enchilada/buffalo sauce mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir until mixture comes together.

Pour a drizzle of enchilada/buffalo sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with a few heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish, seam side down. Pour another 1/2 cup or more of enchilada/buffalo sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining 
monterey jack cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Immediately after taking enchiladas out of the oven, add crumbled gorgonzola on top. Garnish with the remaining onions and cilantro and serve. Store the remaining sauce in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, and use if reheating enchiladas.

Recipe Source:  How Sweet It Is

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

I think I have mentioned I am in the middle of a Weight Loss War.  I am not winning.  That doesn't mean I am not trying!  In my quest for new healthy salads, I came across this one that looked interesting.  I loved the vinaigrette, very different from anything I have tried before.  It was a great lite dinner :)

Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

Green leafy lettuce (arugula, spinach, mixed greens)
red pear, sliced thin
blue cheese crumbles (not a fan? Try feta :)

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place all of the above ingredients in a small jar and shake, then drizzle over the salad.

Recipe Source:  Drizzle and Dip

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Hobo Dinners

I love hobo dinners, they remind me of girls camp when I was a teenager :)  Here is a fun twist in the ground beef version.  The chicken turned out super juicy and very flavorful.  I'm sure it had a lot more calories than I would have liked, but really good!

Chicken and Broccoli Hobo Dinners

1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor
1 1/4 cup Water
24 ounce Boneless skinless chicken breast; 6oz each
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cup Shredded chedar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled
4 tablespoon Ranch dressing

- Oven to 400
- Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil.
- Combine stuffing mix and water.
- Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.
- Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half.
- Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled.
- Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing
- Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside
- Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 25-30 mins
- Remove packets and let stand 5 mins
- Cut sits in foil for steam before opening.

Recipe Source:  Big Oven

Monday, November 28, 2011

24 Hour Pea Salad

I loved Thanksgiving this year...we were with some wonderful members of our ward and had some yummy food.  It is fun to have Thanksgiving with different people every year because everyone brings their own traditions to the table (literally), and they are always so yummy! 

We are blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people that we can spend such occasions with, when our families are 2,000 miles away!

This salad is one that my hubby's family always has at Thanksgiving, and it is really yummy.  The peas are my favorites part :)  The best part about this recipe is that you truly do make it 24 hours in advance, so it can save you time on the big day for other things.

24 Hour Pea Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 package frozen peas, thawed (but not cooked)
celery, sliced thin (I used about 6 stalks)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

Layer all ingredients (in order) in a 9x13 inch pan.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top.  

Then, mix:

1-1/4 c. mayo
1-1/4 c. sour cream

Spread mixture over the top of salad, sealing all the edges so air doesn't get in.  

Sprinkle with:

cheddar cheese (about 1 to 1 1/2 c. shredded)
bacon crumbles (I cooked up about 6 slices and crumbled them on top)

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.  Enjoy :)

Recipe Source:  Rick, my Father-in-law