Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strawberry Banana Pancakes

1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 beaten egg
2 Tbsp. oil
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 - 1/3 cup strawberry yogurt

1. Sift together dry ingredients in mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Combine eggs, oil, milk, bananas, and yogurt.
3. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
4. Bake on hot griddle (350 degrees F).
Makes about 12 pancakes.

Notes: We had a couple of over-ripe bananas, so Brittany decided to add them to her normal pancake recipe. She also added the yogurt just for kicks. (Remove the bananas and yogurt for a regular pancake recipe.) We didn't really notice a strawberry flavor in the pancakes once cooked, so we topped them with homemade strawberry jam and fresh strawberries (yummy). Maybe using more yogurt/fresh strawberries or only one banana in the batter would have allowed the strawberry flavor to come through. Also, the texture of the pancakes was different than normal pancakes due to the banana.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jack-O'-Lantern Pot Pie

1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
1 chicken bullion cube or 1 tsp. chicken base/chicken granules
3/4 to 1 C. milk or water (you can also use chicken broth for the liquid and chicken flavor)
1 cup mixed vegetables
1/4-1/2 cup broccoli
1 1/2 C. chicken, cooked and cubed or shredded

Pie Crust:

2 C. sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 C. shortening
5 to 7 Tbsp. milk

1. Saute onion and garlic in butter in saucepan. Add flour and mix well.
2. If using chicken bullion cubes or granules, mix them in water or milk. If using chicken base paste, mix it in with flour mixture.
3. Add liquid to flour mixture and mix with a whisk. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. If soup is not thick enough, add some flour to some cold milk or water; pour through a fine mesh strainer into pan to keep lumps out. Cook until thick. Remove from heat; set aside and keep warm.
4. If using frozen or fresh vegetables, cook until tender. If using canned vegetables, you do not need to cook them.
5. Add chicken and vegetables to soup. Heat through. Set aside and keep warm.
6. (Directions for pie crust) In a large bowl, sift flour and salt together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until pieces are pea-sized.
7. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of milk at a time over the flour mixture, gently tossing with a fork after each addition. Repeat until moistened.
8. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball. Flatten each ball on a lightly floured surface, rolling from the center to the edges until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut Jack-O'-Lantern face out of one piece of dough.
9. Place piece of rolled out dough without cutouts in pie pan (tip: gently fold crust into quarters, lay in pan, then unfold, being careful to repair any small tears); add filling. Place the dough with Jack-O'-Lantern cutouts on top of the filling, sealing edges.
10. Bake at about 425-450 degrees until crust is lightly browned and filling begins to bubble. If the edges begin to brown too quickly, you can put foil around the edges to keep them from burning.

Notes: This was very tasty, but it took a lot of work to make. It can be made much quicker by using diluted, canned cream of chicken soup instead of making your own. You can also use pre-made (unbaked) pie dough. The amounts for the filling are approximate. I made about twice this amount, and had enough left over for another pie. The inspiration for the Jack-O'-Lantern pie came from a Jack-O'-Lantern Sloppy Joe Pie recipe that John received in an email (it can also be found here). The cream of chicken soup recipe is from my sister, Kimberly. The pie crust recipe is my mother's.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 Tbsp
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 lb chicken breasts

1. Combine all marinade ingredients.
2. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken.
3. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight.
4. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight.

Notes: I believe this is the last of recipes from Karrissa's Kitchen that Brittany had on her list to try. We baked the chicken instead of grilling it or frying it, and parts of it turned out a little dry. It was still tasty, though.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lasagna Roll-Ups

1/4 lb ground beef (we used more)
2 Tbsp onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 dash cayenne pepper

1 1/4 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp onion powder
6 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and cayenne. Simmer for 10 minutes. Spread half of the meat sauce on the bottom of a greased 9” baking dish.
2. In a bowl combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley and onion powder. Spread ¼ cup of the cheese mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle. Roll up and place seam side down in rows in the baking dish. Top with remaining sauce.
3. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. About 5 minutes before the dish is finished cooking remove from the oven and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and cook until cheese has melted.

Notes: This is another recipe that Brittany found at Karrissa's Kitchen. The original recipe is from Blog Chef. Go to the Blog Chef page if you want to see step-by-step photos and an end result photo that looks different than regular lasagna (unlike my photo). The recipe more or less tastes like regular lasagna as well - it is just a 'fun' way to make it. For another variation, check out the Lasagna Toss recipe I posted a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pork Chops with Orange Rice

4 pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/3 c. uncooked rice
1 C. orange juice
1 can chicken with rice soup, undiluted

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Salt and pepper pork chops and brown in oil on both sides.
2. Sprinkle rice in a greased 9"x9" baking dish. Add orange juice.
3. Place pork chops over rice.
4. Pour chicken with rice soup over chops; cover. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
5. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until meat juices run clear and rice is tender.

Notes (1st time we had this): This recipe is adapted from a recipe found here. I did only 2 pork chops (they were big) and had a hard time fitting them in the pan. It may be a good idea to use a bigger dish. There was no temperature given in the original recipe, so I baked the chops at 350 degrees. I had a difficult time getting the rice to cook, which may have been because of the pan size or the temperature. If you wanted to skip buying a can of chicken and rice soup, you could probably just use chicken broth or stock instead. John and I both enjoyed the flavor of the rice. It was a nice change.

Notes (2nd time):  Instead of using a can of chicken with rice soup, Brittany made the rice on the stove, using 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups orange juice and 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice. She also added a little butter and some orange zest at the end.  It turned out a lot better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mitch's Chicken Roll Ups

4 cups cooked chicken (we shredded it)

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

Salt and pepper to taste

4 Tbsp chopped green onions

2-3 pkgs. Pillsbury crescent rolls

Bread crumbs (we seasoned them with some Italian seasonings)

Melted butter


1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup sour cream

Flatten individual crescent rolls. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except bread crumbs and butter, in bowl. Place small amount of chicken filling on roll and fold together, sealing edges. Dip in melted butter and roll in bread crumbs. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream; heat through. Serve roll-ups with gravy or sauce.

Notes: This is a recipe that my former roommate, Mitch, made a couple of times for the dinner group I was in when I started this blog. The roll ups can be frozen after baking. For variations on the same idea, check out Chicken in a Blanket or the other Chicken Roll Up recipe we have on the blog. They are all really tasty.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spicy Honey Chicken

2 tsp vegetable oil

2 tsp granulated garlic (we used garlic powder)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (we didn't have this, so we left it out)
8 boneless chicken thighs (we had bone-in, so that's what we used)

1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Use kitchen shears or knife to trim off any excess fat from chicken pieces. Pat dry.
2. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces.
3. Toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well.
4. Grill chicken a few minutes on each side, until cooked through.
5. While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it's not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2 Tbsp honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling. Drizzle remaining glaze over chicken before serving.

Notes: Brittany found this recipe on Karissa's Kitchen blog, but apparently the original is found at Our Best Bites. Both sites have a link to a spicy honey chicken salad that sounds really tasty. We don't have a grill yet (maybe someday), so we baked the chicken. It was still delicious. I'm sure we'll have this one again sometime in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mexicali Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp oil
1/2 cup salsa
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 avocado
2 Tbsp green onion

1. Spread mustard over chicken.
2. Heat oil and put mustard side down and cook, turn over.
3. Combine salsa and lime; spoon around chicken and simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked.
4. Top with avocado and onions.

Notes: I found this recipe on a blog called Karrissa's Kitchen. John thought it was good, but not as good as it sounded from the recipe. That might be because he isn't a big fan of the kind of salsa we have right now. I thought it was a nice change, but nothing special.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Polynesian Crockpot Spareribs

3-4 lbs pork spareribs
5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 cup chicken broth

Place ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 8 - 9 hours. If the ribs are fatty boil for 5 minutes before placing in slow cooker.

Notes: This was really tasty! When I looked at the ingredient list I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but Brittany, my parents, and I all really enjoyed it. It tasted like a sweet pork recipe I've had at a restaurant somewhere. I found the recipe on a website called Tasty Crockpot Recipes. We think it would be good shredded and on a sandwich or in a wrap as well.

Mozzarella Chicken with Tomatoes and Mushrooms

2 chicken breasts (or 1 for each person)
1 small tomato, sliced
about 4 mushrooms, sliced
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh or dried basil

1. Place chicken breasts in an oven-safe pan or casserole dish. Top with tomatoes and mushrooms. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese and basil on top.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear.

Notes: This is a pretty simple recipe. I got the basic idea from my sister Kimberly. She likes to pour canned tomatoes on top of the chicken and add cheese and basil on top. That is tasty, too! You can change the amounts, depending on what you like.

Sausage, Beans, and Rice

1/2 package smoked polska kielbasa (Polish sausage)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans, reserve about half the liquid
Salsa (to the consistency you like)

1. Slice sausage into 1/2-inch thick circles. Fry in a large pan until it is golden on both sides.
2. Add green pepper and onion to pan. Saute with sausage until tender.
3. Add kidney beans, with about half of the liquid, and salsa until you reach the desired consistency. It shouldn't be too runny, but not real thick, either.
4. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve on top of rice.

Notes from Brittany: The amounts are approximate. My sister Stephanie made this while I was visiting her. I tried to copy it according to memory.