Monday, August 31, 2009

Slow Cooker Mondays - Creamy Chicken in Chive Sauce


My friend, Joelle, suggested that I become better acquainted with my slow cooker. I use it 1-2 times a month which I thought was honorable. She owns FOUR slow cookers and generally makes all her meals in her slow cookers (all on the same day, too). I was quite impressed.

Now I've realized that my boys have a homeschool coop class on Thursday mornings, homeschooling lessons to complete Thursday afternoon, and soccer practice at 5:30 on the same day. There's definitely not time to prepare a meal unless chicken nuggets and macaroni count. I've decided to become better acquainted with my slow cooker so that my family can have a nutritious and yummy meal waiting for us when we got home from soccer.

Another friend recently sent me a list with lots of slow cooker recipes. I figured it was a good place to start. I thought I would take you on this journey. So, without further ado: Introducing.....Slow Cooker Mondays. Joelle will be so proud. If only my slow cooker could do my laundry...


I'm going to start off Slow Cooker Mondays with a recipe that is already listed here. I thought I'd try a new recipe on Thursdays and then share the recipe on Mondays with you (unless it bombs) and maybe even a picture if it looks appetizing.

This recipe is from my friend, Johanna, the Martha Stewart of my life. She got it from her friend who lived in France for several years....could we call it French food? Probably not, but it sure is a family favorite around my house.

Creamy Chicken in Chive Sauce
6 boneless chicken breast (1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 c butter
1 0.7 oz package of Italian salad dressing mix
1 can of golden mushroom soup
1/2 c of dry white wine
1/2 of an 8 oz tub of cream cheese with chives


Place chicken in slow cooker. In pan, melt butter. Add dressing mix, soup, wine and cream cheese. Stir until combined. Pour over chicken. Cook 4-5 hours on low. Serve with pasta.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

We had a church function tonight and I wanted to make something easy, but yummy. I found this recipe at My Kitchen Cafe and decided to try it. It was so yummy! I think it would even be good as a coffee cake without the chocolate and more cinnamon sugar. YUM!


Chocolate Chip Cake
from My Kitchen Cafe

Cake Batter:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Middle & Top:
cinnamon sugar (mix them together and then sprinkle the mixture on the layers.)
1 bag chocolate chips, divided (I used semisweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan). Grease a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine all of the cake batter ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed; mix 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over batter making sure to get the corners and then sprinkle with 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. Pour remaining cake batter on top and spread across bottom layer. Repeat with cinnamon and sugar and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs (don't over bake or cake will be dry!).

*Note- I baked this in a glass baking dish and it took exactly 35 minutes. It may take a little longer, so if you get to 35 minutes, check it every couple of minutes, because at 30 minutes I didn't think this would be done at 35 minutes, and it was!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Zesty (and sweet) Pork Chops


This recipe is from the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook. I bought some pork sirloin chops on sale and needed to figure out how to cook them instead of my go to with Dales and garlic powder. I found this in my cookbook and had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought I would try it. I thought it would be spicy since there is horseradish in it, but it isn't, it is sweet. It reminded me of something Chinese, since it is pork with a sweet sauce. I really liked it, and so did my family. It was quick and easy! Enjoy!



Zesty Pork Chops

adapted from the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook


Ingredients:

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 pork chops (the original recipe calls for 6 fully cooked smoked pork chops, I didn't do this)


Directions:

Heat gas grill or coals. Heat brown sugar, horseradish, and lemon juice to boiling, stirring constantly. Brush on pork. Cover and grill pork on medium heat about 20-25 minutes, turning once. Continue to baste pork with sauce 2-3 times during cooking. Serve remaining sauce with pork.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mexican Pasta Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 cup tomato sauce (from 15-oz can)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups uncooked regular or multigrain elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (2 oz)


1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
2. Stir in salsa, tomato sauce and water. Heat to boiling. Stir in macaroni and corn. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender.
3. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

You can easily reduce the fat and calories in this dish by using lean beef or turkey, 2% cheese, etc.

Recipe from Betty Crocker

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pecan Crusted Salmon

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but since I found a lot of pecan in my freezer, I thought I'd give it a try - along with Amber's recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken. You can get that recipe by clicking here.

1 lb salmon cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon mustard
11/2 cup honey
1 cup crushed pecans
2 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400, spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients, and mix mustard and honey. Dredge the salmon in the honey mustard, coat with breading and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until flaky.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Cook a Whole Chicken

Erin, over at $5 Dinners, just put up a great post on how to cook a whole chicken. She's the one that inspired me to start buying, cooking, and shredding split chicken breasts. So go on over and visit her site to see a step by step tutorial, (with pictures!) on how to cook a whole chicken and use all of the parts!

Girl Talk

One of our recipes has been featured on Girl Talk! Way to go, Casey, for sharing that recipe with all of us!

Parmesan Chicken and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken; sauté 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Stir in rice and broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese and parsley.

4 servings.

Source: cookinglight.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheesy Salmon Patties

This is my grandmother's recipe for Salmon Patties. They are easy, delicious, and the kids like them!

1 15 1/2 oz can pink salmon- drained ( I usually use 3 small cans, not sure how much in each)
1 egg- beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup cheddar cheese (I use a little more.)
1/4 cup oil

Mix above ingredients together and make into patties.

Cook in hot oil, medium heat, approximately 8 minutes or until brown, turning once.

Drain on paper towels.

Southwest Lasagna Rolls

1 can (15 ounces) vegetarian chili with beans
1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Spread about 1/2 cup on each noodle; carefully roll up. Place seam side down in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover; top with salsa. Bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ground Beef Shepherd's Pie - Taste of Home Magazine

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) beef gravy
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2-1/2 cups mashed potatoes

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the gravy, vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Spread potatoes over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fuss-Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake - Kraft Foods

1 jar pasta sauce
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can 25%-less-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 pkg. refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1 cup Italian blend Shredded Cheese

HEAT oven to 375°F. COMBINE first 4 ingredients in 13x9-inch baking dish. Add ravioli; mix lightly. Cover. BAKE 50 min. or until ravioli are tender. STIR ravioli; top with cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

TIPS
You can also use frozen ravioli - no need to thaw before using.
For a delicious flavor twist, stir 1 Tbsp. pesto or 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil into the baked ravioli before stirring and topping with cheese.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Idiot Rolls

I haven't tried these rolls, but I liked the name of the recipe.

Mix in large bowl:
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup cold water



Blend in small bowl:
1 stick butter
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup boling water

Let cool. Dissolve two packets of yeast in 1/2 cups of lukewarm water. Mix all ingredients and add 7 cups of self-risging flour. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before using. Form rolls, butter and back at 450 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pecan Crusted Chicken-repost

Tonight I cooked Pecan Crusted Chicken. I was reminded of how easy it is, and more importantly, how yummy it is! I posted about it awhile ago, and you can click here to get the recipe. This time for the sauce, I used spicy brown mustard. It was even better than the Dijon mustard. YUM! If you haven't tried it, I recommend that you do!

Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

I got this recipe from the site, www.momadvice.com. It loots really simple and yummy. I plan to try it out soon


Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad

1 pound chicken (about three small breasts)

½ pound penne pasta (This ingredient is available this week at Aldi. If it isn’t at your store, you can substitute with elbow macaroni)

1 romaine heart, chopped

½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes

1/3 cup Caesar dressing


A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top

Bake chicken breasts as directed on package on a cookie sheet. While the chicken is baking, chop the romaine heart and halve the tomatoes. Cook pasta until al dente, as directed on package. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Dice the cooked chicken and put this in a bowl. Toss in pasta, tomatoes, lettuce, and the dressing. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. This can be served with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicken and Potatoes au Gratin - Family Fun Magazine

1 broiler-fryer chicken
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, halved
3/4 cup non-fat sour cream
3/4 cup skim milk
1 small onion, minced
3 tbsp. chopped pimiento
1 tsp. prepared mustard
4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1. Cook chicken. Remove and discard skin and bones and cut meat into pieces. Mix broth with cooked chicken. Spray a 2 quart shallow baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Rub dish with garlic halves; then mince garlic and place in small bowl. To this bowl, add the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the milk, onion, pimiento and mustard; stir to mix well. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper.

2. In prepared baking dish, place 1/3 of the potatoes; top with half the chicken and half the sour cream mixture. Repeat layers and then top with remaining third of the potatoes. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of milk over all; sprinkle with lemon juice and Romano cheese. Mix the butter or margarine and bread crumbs; spread over all. Bake in 375 degree oven about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Neiman Marcus Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Puffin Muffins

Have you ever been to The Bread Basket and tried one of their Puffin Muffins? They are one of the best things in this world. It's a cross between a muffin and a doughnut with lots of sugary goodness in between. I discovered how delicious these things were a couple of weeks ago. At a $1.59 a pop, I cannot make the trip too often, so I thought I'd try to make some myself. I googled the recipe, and I found two. Here and here.They were both very similar, the only differences were the amounts of spices and sugar. Below is what I did, and let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS, but not nutritious, so I paired the muffins with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk (plus a tablespoon or two more)

For dipping:
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat egg, butter, vanilla and sugar until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat in milk until smooth. Fill each cup of lightly greased muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes, or until a light golden color, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 1-2 minutes and remove from pan.

For dipping:
Melt butter. In separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
While puffins are still warm, dip each one in butter, then in sugar mixture, coating thoroughly. Serve warm, or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Fluffy Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cups buttermilk (I use the powdered kind that you add water to)
1 beaten egg

Sift dry ingredients. Combine buttermilk, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until moistened. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Bake on hot, ungreased griddle. This recipe makes 6-8 pancakes. Double/triple recipe to meet your family's needs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Taco Pie

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
shredded cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 envelope of taco seasoning

Beat eggs; add flour and milk to make topping. Brown ground beef and onions together. Add taco seasoning. Spoon into 9x9 pan. Add egg/flour/milk topping over meat. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese and bak another 2 minutes until cheese melts. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crockpot Alfredo Chicken with Spinach

4-6 large boneless chicken breasts
Seasoning salt, to taste
16 ounce jar Alfredo Sauce
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, cut in 1/2
3 cloves garlic, cut in half of three tsp of minced garlic
Garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
chopped 4 1/2 ounces fresh spinach, about 1/2 bag

Place the chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle on both sides with seasoning salt.
Add the sauce and garlic; mix to coat the chicken with the sauce.
Place the mushrooms on top of the chicken; sprinkle with a little garlic powder and pepper. Cook on LOW about 4 hours or until the chicken is done. Add the spinach and cook just until the spinach starts to wilt. If your chicken breasts are quite large, you may be able to cut each one in half and get about 8 servings

Peanut Butter Pie

2 cups peanut butter (smooth or creamy)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tub of Cool Whip
8 oz of cream cheese
2 graham cracker pie crusts
crushed Reece Cups

Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon into pie crusts. Freeze for four hours.

NOTE: I made this yesterday for a friend who recently had a baby. I used fat free Cool Whip and low fat cream cheese. I didn't try the fat free sweetened condensed milk, but I will the next time I make it. The lower fat ingredients tasted just as good as the full fat alternatives. Also, I omitted the Reese Cups. Well...almost as good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe! (and icing)

For Wil's birthday party, I wanted to make duck cookies as party favors for the guests. I wanted a cookie like the cookies you get in cookie bouquets. I don't know about you, but every sugar cookie I've ever made fluffed up and didn't even look like the object I intended it to look like. I wanted cookies that were thick like the kind used in cookie bouquets. So I googled "cookie bouquet recipe." I found two. The only difference was the amount of baking powder used, so I used in between the two. This is now my go to sugar cookie recipe. I've also included the recipe for Royal Icing that I used to decorate the cookies. YUMMO!


Sugar Cookie Recipe
adapted from Do It Yourself Gifts

Ingredients:
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 cup granulated sugar
•1/2 tsp. kosher salt
•2 sticks of butter, unsalted, softened
•1 large egg
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•dash of almond extract

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg, salt and both extracts.

Slowly add flour mixture (1 cup at a time) and stir until mixed.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (*or see hint below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to approximately 5/8" thick. Cut the cookies into shapes and place the cut cookie shape on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you plan on making a bouquet, place a stick into each cookie.

Bake the Cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown in color. (I baked mine on parchment paper. When you use the parchment paper, and you see any hint of brown, remove them. The tops will still look white, but the bottoms will be golden.)Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5-3.5 dozen cookies, depending on how thick you make them.

*HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies.

Lesley's Royal Icing Recipe
adapted from Kitchen Collectables

Ingredients:
1 bag confectioners' sugar
4 T. meringue powder
2 t. flavoring (usually almond)
warm water

Directions:

Put confectioners' sugar and meringue powder in mixing bowl. Start beater and mix slowly for a few seconds.

With mixer running, add 3 to 4 T warm water. Add flavoring. Continue
mixing and adding water a little at a time until you get the consistency you want.

Divide and color! (I used Wilton's Gel Coloring.)

NOTE:
Remember that royal icing only takes a long time to dry after you put it on a cookie. Until then, it turns to concrete in seconds. Keep your containers covered until you are ready to use it. The cookies you see a on Kitchen Collectables' web pages were all decorated with Royal Icing. Royal Icing has several advantages over buttercream:: no fat, the icing won't separate, the icing hardens so cookies can be stacked, and you can freeze cookies iced with Royal Icing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homemade Chicken Strips

Have you ever made your own chicken strips? If you haven't, you should! They are delicious! Travis commented that they were the best chicken strips he'd ever had. Pioneer Woman (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE her site?) posted this recipe a couple of months ago and I've been wanting to try it ever since. I decided to tonight. The key ingredient? Buttermilk! I just can't get enough buttermilk these days! You can go here for a detailed pictures and a printable version of the recipe from her site. Enjoy!



Ingredients:


Chicken Breasts cut into strips
Buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
2-3 tsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt (or other seasoning) *I also used a little Cayenne pepper
Vegetable Oil *I used vegetable and canola oil

Directions:

Rinse and pat dry chicken strips and submerge strips into buttermilk for at least 15-20 minutes. (I let them soak for an hour and a half.)

In another bowl, combine flour and Lawry's. Mix this together well. Next, add about 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk into the mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it.


Remove a few of the buttermilk soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Continue coating them until all the chicken is ready to cook.

Heat oil in a skillet. When oil is ready, begin cooking strips a few at a time. Cook them for a minute and a half or so on each side. When golden and crispy, remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I am totally in love with these blueberry muffins that are sold at the bakery at Greenlife, an organic grocery store here in Chattanooga. They are like cake! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!! So I thought I'd email greenlife and see if they would send me their recipe. They responded by saying it was a typical muffin recipe, with organic ingredients and buttermilk. So even though they didn't give me the recipe, they gave me the key ingredient my muffins are always missing, buttermilk! So I googled recipes and found this one below at Padma's Kitchen. They were delicious and easy to make!




Ingredients:
1C fresh blueberries or frozen (unthawed)
2C all-purpose flour(unbleached), plus
1T all-purpose flour(unbl)
2/3 C granulated sugar
2t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/4t salt
1 large egg (or 1/4 C orange juice)
1 1/4C buttermilk
1t vanilla extract
3T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

for Crumble topping(optional): *I didn't do the topping*
1/4C all-purpose flour (unbl)
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/4C firmly packed light brown sugar
2T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions:

To make the bluberry muffins: preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. generously butter or grease the muffins cups/tins.
If using fresh blueberries, rinse and thoroughly dry the berries. In a small bowl, toss the fresh or forzen berries with the 1t flour.
In a large bowl, sift together 2C flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. Add sugar and salt, stir well so that all the ingredients mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and 1C of buttermilk until combines, whisk in the vanilla and melted butter.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well, begin stirring the liquids, gradually drawing the dry ingredients into the well until they are blended well. If the mixture is to thick add theadditional 1/4C of the buttermilk and gently mix.
Add the blueberries and fold in just to distribute evenly taking care not to overmix.
Evenly divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups
To make the crumble topping (optional): In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon and brownsugar. Add the butter pieces and cut into the sugar mixture with a pastry blender until the topping looks like crumbled
Evenly divide the crumble topping among the muffins, sprinkling it on top.
Bake the muffins for 30 to 35 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin come out clear. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 mins, then carefully turn out onto the rack.

Serve warm, or cool completely. Store in an airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

Variations: You can choose to add your favorite berries, cherries or any dry fruits according to your taste.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Key Lime Pie

Graham Cracker Crust:
1/3 of a 1-pound box graham crackers
4-5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar (if you like a sweeter crust you can add 1/3. I don't like a very sweet crust)

Filling:
4 egg yolks
2 cans (14-ounce) cans sweet condensed milk
1 cup key lime juice (I have tried fresh key limes and "Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice". Couldn't tell any difference and the latter is easier plus cheaper.)

Topping:
1 cup heavy or whipping cream chilled
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process to crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and then crush the crackers with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and side of a pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, about 8 minutes (keep an eye on it as the crumbs can burn quickly). Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.
-In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filing in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
-Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Cut the pie into wedges and serve very cold, topping each wedge with however amount cream you like! I sometimes make more topping so I'll get a pint of cream. The whipped cream is what makes the pie so yummy in contrast to the tartness of the pie. Also, sometimes I'll add an extra teaspoon of confectioner's sugar to make the whipped topping a little sweeter.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Vegetables

1 can cream of chicken soup with herbs
2 leeks, white and light green parts sliced (1 1/2 cups) or 1 1/2 cups sliced scallions
2 lbs of chicken breast
4 medium new potatoes, cut in 1 1/2 in chunks
8 oz baby carrots
1 Tbsp Dijion mustart
2 Tbsp of snipped dill
2 Tbsp sliced scallions

Stir soup and leeks (or scallion) in a large crock pot until blended. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots. Stir to mix and coat well. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours until chicken, potatoes and carrots are tender when pierced. Remove chicken and vegetables to serving bowl with slotted spoon. Add mustard to cooker and whisk until smooth. Stir in the dill and scallions. Spoon over chicken and vegetables.

From Woman's Day Magazine

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Simple BBQ Ribs

Photo from allrecipes.com








This recipe comes from allrecipes.com. Now if only our grill hadn't died.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 pounds country style pork ribs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup barbeque sauce



DIRECTIONS
Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Bring water to a boil, and cook ribs until tender.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Remove ribs from pot, and place them in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour barbeque sauce over ribs. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chicken Salad Recipe


In my search for a new chicken salad recipe, I thought it might be fun to have YOUR recipe. Do you have a super chicken salad recipe that you'd like to share with everyone? If so, you can either leave it as a comment or go to "submit a recipe" in the top right corner.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I got this from another mom, Wendy. She brought it to us after Jacks was born. It is super easy, and good! Enjoy!

You will need:
3 chicken breasts
one 4.5 oz diced green Chile peppers
one 8 oz block of cream cheese (I use fat free)
one 10 oz can green Chile enchilada sauce (last time I made this I bought the red sauce labeled hot. We liked this better, but we tend to like things with a little more of a kick. It is delicious with either sauce you choose.)
fajita size flour tortillas
one cup grated cheese- either Mexican blend or Monterrey jack

Instructions:
Boil chicken breasts until cooked
Cube or shred chicken (this is where my already frozen shredded chicken comes in handy!)
In skillet begin to let cream cheese soften over low heat, stir often to keep from scalding
Add can of chopped green chilies to skillet with cream cheese
As cream cheese and chilies soften into "globs" add chicken
Keep stirring until all chicken is coated and mixed in
Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling into top fourth of tortilla
Spread filling in a line across the tortilla
fold in top edge over filling and continue to roll
Press seam side down into a greased (Pam spray) baking dish

Cover and keep in fridge until you bake.
**Do not put sauce or cheese on until you bake!**
Can stay in fridge for 2-3 days

Before baking, pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas
Top with cheese
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes

Hints:
Can make 14-16
I use all store brand ingredients.
After baked can top with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole

To freeze:
wrap individually in wax paper and put all in freezer zip lock bag, and pull out as needed.
Can bake frozen, top with green sauce and cheese.

Blue Cheese Burgers

We were planning on making burgers for dinner, and I thought we'd try something new. I googled recipes for blue cheese burgers, because I LOVE blue cheese, and found this one below. They turned out really well! I have copied and pasted the recipe below but you can click here to see the original post with pictures. I served this with homemade baked french fries (red potatoes, olive oil, S&P baked at 425 for 20-30 min) and sauteed asparagus.

2 oz. cream cheese (I didn't have any so I used neufchatel cheese)
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/8 t. onion powder
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/4 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef (I use 85% lean)
salt and pepper
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

1. In a small bowl, mash together cream cheese and blue cheese then stir in the onion powder and parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
2. Divide ground beef into 8 equal pieces. I first divide it into four pieces then divide each piece again. Form the pieces into balls then sprinkle the balls lightly with salt and pepper, rolling them around a bit to make sure all sides are covered. Flatten each ball to form thin patties of equal size. I find it easiest to form the patties on a sheet of waxed paper.
3. To fill burgers, place a tablespoonful of cream cheese mixture in the center of each of four patties. Spread the filling out evenly to within half an inch of the edge of each patty. Place the remaining patties on top to form four filled burgers. Gently press the edges of each burger together to form a seal.
4. Sprinkle burgers liberally with coarsely ground black pepper (optional).
5. Prepare your grill and cook burgers until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees (USDA recommendation) or until desired degree of doneness. Let rest for ten minutes.
6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: I recommend cutting these burgers in half before eating to avoid ‘burger blowout.’ I don’t add anything besides salt and pepper to the meat because the filling is so flavorful, but you are more than welcome to add extra seasoning to the meat if that’s what you like. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings in the filling, too!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fun Pita Faces

Inspired by some library books about "playing with your food", we decided to do the same thing. I cut up some pita bread into triangles, made some hummous, and laid out various veggies along with the kitchen shears.
I sometimes make my own pita bread using this recipe: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/breadsrice/r/pitabreadrecipe.htm
and hummous by getting out my blender and tossing in a can of chick peas, a little water, olive oil, 2T sesame tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cayene pepper to taste.
Some ideas are sprouts for hair (my kids actually ate them this way!), olives or capers for eyes, carrot pieces for eyes, cucumber pieces for mouths, etc. You could also cut the florettes from brocolli for hair. The other nice thing about this is if you buy store bought bread or bake it the night before, there's no cooking involved so it's a great summer lunch or light dinner. Have fun!