Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gingered Chicken Dinner

This is another good recipe for two, but doubles well. I wouldn't say it makes the best leftovers, and if anyone knows how to alter the recipe to use regular rice, let me know!

1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or less. My husband thought it was too spicy, but I liked it.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 oz. each)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup (or more) frozen broccoli florets, thawed

In a bowl, combine first six ingredients. Pour half into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken to the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate over night. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
Drain and discard the marinade from the chicken. In a skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in butter for 2-3 minutes on each side. In a greased 8 inch square baking dish (use a 9x13 if you are doubling the recipe), combine the rice with the reserved marinade; top with the chicken.
Cover and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Top with the broccoli; cover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear (or chicken temps at 170 with thermometer*).

* I always use a meat thermometer when I cook. I think it is the best kitchen tool I have. It has the right temperature for each type of meat written on the side, and cooking meat just enough and not too much makes all the difference in how a meal turns out.

Pepperoni Lasagna Roll-ups

This is a great recipe for just one or two people, but can be increased for more. It also makes for great leftovers. I got it from a Taste of Home (!) cookbook.

3 lasagna noodles
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced chives ( I always leave that out)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
24 slices pepperoni
3 slices Swiss cheese, cut into thirds
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce ( it works better without the lumps from the meat)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain.Combine the ricotta cheese, chives, oregano and basil; spread 1/4 cup over each noodle to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Top with the pepperoni and Swiss cheese; carefully roll up.
Place seam side down in a greased shallow baking dish; top with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Fiesta Chicken Soup

10 oz chicken breast shredded (I poached* it first and then cut it up)
15 oz can black beans
15 oz can ranch style beans with jalapeno peppers (make sure you get the can with the picture of the beans, the black one without a picture isn't as healthy)
15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
4 oz can green chilies
1/2 a medium red onion chopped
2-3 cups chicken broth
15 oz can yellow corn
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer 30 minutes. It makes about 12 cups and a 1 cup serving is 2 points for anyone concerned about that. Enjoy!! :)

*To poach the chicken, bring a pot of water to boiling (about 1 quart per chicken breast - in this case, about 3-4 quarts. Go for more water instead of less if you have room in the pot.) Add the chicken breasts, cover, and remove the pot from heat. Let stand 20 minutes. The chicken will be cooked just right and will stay tender and juicy. I use this method to cook my chicken whenever I am not using a marinade.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bread and Soup

I'm posting my family's new favorite bread recipe and putting a link to the Pioneer Woman's Site - we have made her Cauliflower Soup twice in the last couple of weeks - it is killer good. I promise you will LOVE it.

Oatmeal Bread
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbls Active dry yeast
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup Rolled Oats (not quick oats)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey 0r molasses
2 cups flour
1 Tbls salt
1/2 tsp. soda
3-4 cups additional flour

• In small bowl, stir yeast into 1/2 cup warm water, let stand until yeast is dissolved and bubbly
• In medium saucepan, combine oats and boiling water - remove from heat and let stand until oatmeal is soft. (2-3 mins). Add buttermilk, oil and honey or molasses (we like it better with honey).
• Sift 2 cups flour, salt and soda into large mixing bowl. Add yeast and oats mixture, beat. Gradually add remaining flour until dough is stiff enough to knead. Turn onto floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes (I do all of this in our Kitchen Aid).
• Place dough in clean, oiled bowl and allow to rise until double in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Punch dough down, divide into 2 portions, cover with towel and allow to rest 10 minutes. Form into 2 loaves, put in greased pans let rise till double. Bake in 350 oven 25 - 30 minutes.

When I make it, I make rolls and one loaf of bread. I also use 1-2 cups of wheat flour. And none of my picky eaters seem to notice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chicken Delight

3-4 chicken breasts
2 boxes chicken flavored stuffing
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
2 cubes butter

Cook chicken until done. Mix 1 box stuffing with 1 cube of butter (melt then mix). Put stuffing in a 9x13 dish, spread across the bottom evenly. Cut chicken up, and mix with soup and sour cream. Spread across stuffing in casserole dish. Mix second box of stuffing with second cube of melted butter and spread over the chicken. Heat the chicken broth and pour over the entire casserole. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Balsamic Chicken Salad

I made this last night and it was so easy, but really good and filling.

3 cups diced cooked chicken, chilled (I never do things in advance, so mine was hot and still good)
1/2 cup diced apple
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried fruit (we used cherries. Cranberries would be good too)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 Tblsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Croissants, pita bread or other rolls

Combine all dry ingredients. Combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over other mixture. Chill or serve immediately on the bread.

Cheesy Potato and Ham Casserole

We made this for dinner the other night and it was GOOD!

Bottom Layer:

32 ounces- frozen hashbrowns (cubed)
1 tablespoon- dried chopped onion
1 teaspoon- salt
8 ounces- sour cream
1 can- cream of chicken soup
2 cups- grated cheddar cheese
2 cups- chopped cook ham (we just bought the chopped ham in a package)

Combine these ingredients in a greased 4 1/2- 6 quart crockpot.

Top Layer:

1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 box of pork stove top stuffing

Sprinkle stuffing mix over top, drizzle the butter over that. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high for 2 1/2-4 hours. This makes about 10-12 servings.

We served green beans, salad, and rolls with this. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Apple Cinnamon French toast Casserole

1C. Brown Sugar
1tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2C. Melted butter
1 Apple peeled and grated, or chopped.
1/2C. Raisins (optional)
6 Sliced bread cut into cubes
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2C. Milk
1T. Vanilla
2tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 13x9 pan. In bowl mix together: brown sugar, 1tsp. Cinnamon, butter, apples and raisins. Spread on bottom of pan. Arrange bread over apple mix.
Mix together: Eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining Cinnamon. Pour over bread. Make sure all slices are soaked through. Sprinkle bacon over top.
Cook for 45-50 min.

Another option is to add small cubes of cream cheese and place that over apple spread before you add the bread.
You can also make this the night before. Just cover with foil and place it in the fridge overnight. Cook for 40 min. covered, and then take the foil off for the last 5-10 minutes.

Easy Alfredo Sauce

Chicken Alfredo-NaDell Ransom
The other day I decided to make an Alfredo sauce from scratch. I didn't have the little pocket of mix and didn't want to go to the store. I made my OWN! From SCRATCH!
I was even missing the heavy cream that all the recipes called for, so I looked up a substitute for that.
Beware: This is NOT a diet recipe. Chicken Alfredo just sounded so yummy to me.

Here's what I did:
Alfredo Sauce
-1/4 cup Butter
-1 cup Heavy Cream
(substitute-melt 1/3 cup butter in microwave, add 3/4 cup milk, 1 Tablespoon Flour to thicken.)
-1 clove Garlic (I actually used about 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder)
-1/2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (I actually used the powdered Kraft kind)
-1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Parsley (I actually used about 2 Tablespoons of dry parsley)
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

I cut up two chicken breasts and browned them in a frying pan with 1/4 teaspoon garlic and 1 Tablespoon Parsley and then combined the sauce with the chicken. I boiled Vermicelli noodles (Size between spaghetti and angel hair) and put the sauce on the noodles on the plates.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secret to great homemade bread

OK, maybe all of you already know this. But in December we finally figured out the secret to fantastic homemade bread. It's a lot simpler than we realized: an electric knife.

If you don't have one, I beg you to invest in one -- $10 at Wal-Mart for crying out loud. We make homemade bread every day now, and when it's sliced with an electric knife it tastes 100 times better and there are never leftover pieces drying out overnight.

I dare you to try it and tell me it doesn't make a difference. Your slices will be light and airy, not dense and smooshed like homemade bread can get when you cut it.

And while I'm at it, I might as well post our recipe for bread.

Potato Bread (small loaf)
3/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup potato flakes
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Mix and let rise for about an hour, kneading once or twice throughout. Put it in a well greased bread pan (and let rise a little more if you think it needs it) then bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Immediately out of the oven put loaf on a cooling wrack and spread butter on the top and sides. Let cool, then (this is CRITICALLY important) SLICE IT WITH AN ELECTRIC KNIFE.

You can also just throw it all in the breadmaker under the Basic mix, 1 pound size, light crust. But you still need an electric knife.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Turkey soup?

Hey does anyone have a good soup recipe that calls for leftover turkey? We made a big turkey dinner on New Years, and so now we've got turkey coming out of our ears. Any help would be much appreciated. I can only eat so many turkey sandwiches :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Edited: Ok, I have made this soup and I was right - it is divine! Very good on a cold winter night :) It also is yummy when heated up for leftovers.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons CRISCO® Pure Canola Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 package (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Lime slices (optional)
  • Spray a baking sheet and both sides of the corn tortillas with Crisco No Stick Cooking Spray. Slice the tortillas into strips; sprinkle lightly with salt. Place on baking sheet; bake for 12-15 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat Crisco Canola Oil over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add chicken, corn, beans, tomatoes, chilis and taco seasoning; stir to combine. Add chicken broth; stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 10-15 minutes. Stir in lime juice.

    To serve, place a few tortilla strips into soup bowl; ladle soup over. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Top with remaining tortilla strips. Garnish with sour cream and a lime slice.

    *When I made the soup, I left out the diced green chilis, and it still tasted good ... also, mine was a little thin, so I made mine a tiny bit thicker using a flour/water thickener. All in all, very yummy!