Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cream Cheese Pasta

12 oz. garden noodles, cooked
1 large chicken breast, diced and cooked
8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. parsley
1/2 bag of frozen California-style vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)

Boil noodles in water until tender.  Dice chicken, then cook on medium heat until golden brown.  In a medium sauce pan, mix cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, milk, and parsley on low heat until melted.  Add vegetables to chicken and stir until vegetables are cooked through.  Mix completed sauce with noodles and then serve.

Notes: Brittany added ham.  We didn't have California-style veggies, but we did have broccoli and cauliflower, so we used those.  Tasty.  We got this recipe from the Prairie 4th Ward Recipes and Remembrances cook book.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half (or milk)
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound potato gnocchi
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux, let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Into the roux add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings.

Notes: Delicious.  Brittany found this recipe on Copykat Recipes.  We found gnocchi in the pasta section in a vacuum-sealed package, but we've also seen it in the frozen section before and Copykat Recipes suggests looking in the gourmet section.

Slow Cooker London Broil

2 pounds flank steak
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (optional)

1. Place meat in the bottom of the slow cooker; if necessary, slice meat to make it fit!
2. In a medium bowl, mix together mushroom and tomato soup. Pour mixture over beef. Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over top.
3. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours.

Notes: Brittany found this recipe on  She adjusted the recipe based on the comments and added the Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar.  She also cooked potatoes and carrots in tinfoil in the top of the crock pot according to the comments. They turned out really well.   

Macadamia Nut-Crusted Fish with Mango Chutney Sauce

Ingredients for fish:
1/4 c macadamia nuts
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1 egg

Ingredients for sauce:
1/4 c shallots
1 can coconut milk
1 can pineapple juice
1/2 c pineapple (we used chunks; crushed may have been better)
1/2 c mango
1/2 c papaya
Shredded coconut (to taste)
Peppers, seeded and sliced (serranos, jalapenos, etc.)
2 Tbsp whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar

Pulse nuts and bread crumbs in blender. Whip egg with salt and pepper to taste.  Dip fish in flour, egg mixture, and crumb mixture.  Pan fry in butter just until crumbs are golden brown.  Remove to a baking pan.

Cook shallots in butter until translucent.  Stir in all other sauce ingredients and simmer about 30 minutes while the fish bakes in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Notes: We couldn't find any fresh papaya in our area here in Massachusetts, so we left it out.  We used tilapia fillets. We got this recipe from a friend in California.  She invited us over for dinner the night before we moved and made this.  Generally we aren't seafood people, but we both really liked this, especially the mango chutney sauce.  The photo doesn't give it justice.

Chili Relleno Casserole

2 large cans Ortega whole green chilies
3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 eggs, separated
4 Tbsp. flour
2/3 cup mik
1 small jar salsa

Grease glass baking dish (9x13). Put layer of chilies on bottom of dish (overlapping slightly). Take half the cheese and sprinkle cheese over chilies. Repeat to make two layers. Beat 4 egg whites till foamy (not stiff). Fluff egg yolks and stir together. Slowly add 4 tablespoons flour to egg mixture. Stir in well. Add 2/3 cup milk to mixture and mix well (should still be foamy). Pour over cheese and chilies. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and pour 1 small jar of salsa on top. Bake additional 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: We just topped ours with the salsa after serving it instead of pouring the salsa on and baking for another 15 minutes. Brittany had to halve the chilies in order to have enough for two layers. This is yet another recipe from the Prairie 4th Ward's Recipes and Remembrances cook book.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nacho Chicken Casserole

1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 c. cubed cooked chicken
3 c. crushed tortilla chips
2 c. shredded cheese

In a large skillet, cook pepper, onion, chili powder, and cumin in hot oil until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in soups and tomatoes. To assemble, sprinkle 1 1/2 c. crushed tortilla chips over bottom of 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish. Top with half of the chicken, half of soup mixture, half of cheese, and half of the crushed chips. Repeat until all layered. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with more tortilla chips. Top to your liking with sour cream, guacamole, olives, tomatoes, or green onions.

Notes: We got this recipe from the Recipes and Remembrances cook book that we have been using a lot recently. (There are lots more recipes to try, too.) I was a little surprised that the chips were still crunchy after baking.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chinese Noodle Casserole

1-2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water
sweet red or green bell peppers, green beans, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, etc. (optional)
1/2 c. rice
6 oz. can or package of Chinese noodles

Brown ground beef and onions. Drain. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, soup, water, optional vegetables, and rice. Put in a large casserole dish. Cover and bake in oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, bake 20 minutes more (or until rice is soft). Stir, sprinkle with Chinese noodles. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Variation: For a quicker cook time, cook the rice separately. Cook all the rest of the ingredients except for the noodles in a skillet until hot and bubbly. Add cooked rice to meat mixture or serve meat mixture over rice. Either way, top with noodles.

Notes: Makes about 8 servings. If I make this recipe again, I will cook the rice separately. After baking uncovered for 20 minutes, I increased the temperature to 350 and cooked for 20 minutes more and the rice still wasn't entirely cooked. We found this recipe in the Recipes and Remembrances 2nd Edition cook book mentioned in previous entries.

Mushroom and Sour Cream Meatloaf

2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. chopped onions
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. sour cream (we used plain, low-fat yogurt)
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. bread crumbs
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients, except sour cream mixture. Put half of meat mixture into a loaf pan. Make a shallow trough in center of the meat and fill with sour cream mixture. Seal with remaining meat over top. Seal edges well. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let stand before serving.

Notes: Like most of the recipes we've been trying recently, we got this recipe from my sister, Jill. Brittany ended up cooking this for 20 or 30 minutes longer than the recipe calls for because it wasn't done after an hour.

Chicken Ole

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. grated onion
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
12 flour tortillas, each torn into 6-8 pieces
3-4 c. cubed, cooked chicken
7 oz. jar salsa
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Combine soups, sour cream, onion, and 1 1/2 cups cheese in a bowl. Place one-third of each of the following in layers in the slow cooker: torn tortillas, soup mixture, chicken, and salsa. Repeat layers 2 more times. Cover. Cook on low 4-5 hours. (This recipe does not respond well to cooking on high.) Gently stir. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover. Cook on low another 15-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and lettuce.

Notes: Tasty. Brittany substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream. Apparently yogurt is healthier.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Relief Society Hash

1 lb. ground beef
1 finely diced onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c. frozen hash browns
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet. Mix in cream of mushroom soup, hash browns and salt and pepper and spread into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Or microwave: mix and put in microwave safe dish. Cook for 15 minutes on 80% power. Stir; sprinkle with cheese and cook on full power for 1-2 minutes more. Serves 4-6.

Notes: If you are wondering what the Relief Society is, click here or here. We got this recipe from my sister, Jill. She suggested using the hash browns that come mixed with onions and peppers. We didn't have that kind, so we just added the peppers.

Kielbasa Bow Tie Skillet

8 oz. uncooked bow tie pasta
1 lb. fully cooked kielbasa or smoked polish sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 jar (4 1/2 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen snow peas
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the sausage, mushrooms and garlic in butter. Combine the cornstarch and milk until smooth; gradually add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta; add to sausage mixture. Stir in the peas and cheese; cook until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings. Variation: add a package of Fiesta Ranch powder to add more flavor.

Notes: Another recipe from the Prairie 4th Ward's Recipes and Remembrances cook book. We used sugar snap peas instead of snow peas; they were cheaper and I like them more anyway. We both enjoyed this recipe. It's only the 2nd kielbasa recipe we've tried (the other is here) and it always nice to have more than one option.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chicken/Beef Surprise

2 pkg. beef lunch meat, chopped
4 chicken breasts, cut in half
8 slices of bacon
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pt. sour cream (1 cup)

Spread chopped lunch meat in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Wrap bacon around chicken and place on lunch meat. Mix soup and sour cream with a little bit of milk and pour over chicken. Bake, covered, at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.

Notes: We got this recipe from the Prairie 4th Ward's Recipes and Remembrances 2nd Edition cook book. Jill recommended we try it. I believe her comments about the recipe were something along the lines of: "Usually I am wary of a recipe that has 'surprise' in the title, but this was actually really good." We used leftover roast beef instead of sandwich meat. The recipe is very similar to the Continental Chicken recipe I posted a few years ago, which uses dried beef instead of sandwich meat and is cooked in a crock pot. Both are very tasty.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

4 slices canned pineapple (save 2 Tbsp. of juice)
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally, rinsed and patted dry
salt to taste
4 rolls, grilled if desired
lettuce leaves, optional

Lay the pineapple slices on paper towels, blot dry, set aside. In a small bowl, blend reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, molasses, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and ginger. Set a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil when hot. Add chicken breasts and salt very lightly. Fry chicken 4-5 minutes per side, until just done. Add sauce and fry for another minute or so, spooning the sauce over the chicken, coating both sides. Remove chicken and add pineapples slices. Cook about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Assemble sandwich. Spoon sauce over chicken and pineapple.

Notes: We got this recipe from my sister, Jill. We only halved 2 chicken breasts and had enough for 4 sandwiches. We also used toasted sesame seed buns instead of rolls. I really liked this recipe. Brittany wasn't feeling well and told me she was only going to have half a sandwich, but she must have liked it, too, because she ended up eating the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Crumb Coated Ranch Chicken

2/3 c. ranch salad dressing
2 c. coarsely crushed cornflakes
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Pour salad dressing into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the cornflake crumbs, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Dip chicken in dressing, then coat with crumb mixture. Place in a greased shallow baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

This recipe comes from the Prairie 4th Ward's Recipes & Remembrances 2nd Edition cook book which we recently received as a gift from my sister-in-law, Jill. It was contributed to the cook book by Jeana Haight. We didn't have any corn flakes, so we used corn Chex instead. I think corn flakes would have been better, but it was still tasty and quick to prepare.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pork Chops and Wild Rice

4 thick sliced pork chops
2 apples
1 cup brown rice
1 onion, diced
1 t. parsley
1 stalk celery, with leaves, diced
1 t. salt
1 C. hot water
1/2 t. chili powder

Combine everything but pork chops and apples in crock pot. Stir well. Core the apples and slice each one, making four rings. Place on top of the rice. Brown the chops on each side. Place on top of the apples. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Notes: I found this recipe here. From the way the recipe is written, we didn't know if each apple was supposed to be sliced into 4 slices or if there were supposed to be 4 slices total, one for each pork chop. We made it with 4 slices/halves total. If we make this again, we will probably try it the other way. Also, the recipe doesn't specify what type of apple to use. I would be interested in trying different apples since the apples we used had a fairly mild flavor. A tart or sweet apple might be interesting.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pizza Rigatoni

1 1/2 lbs. bulk sausage
3 cups rigatoni, lightly cooked
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, chopped
15 oz can pizza sauce
8 oz can pizza sauce
3 1/2 oz pkg. sliced pepperoni
6 oz can sliced ripe olives

1. Cook and drain sausage. Place half in 4 qt or larger slow cooker.
2. Layer half of pasta, cheese, soup, onion, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and olives over sausage. Repeat layers.
3. Cover. Cook on low 4 hours.

Notes: We didn't have any olives. I got this recipe from my sister, Karen. The 8 oz. can of pizza sauce can be substituted with an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce seasoned with basil, garlic, and oregano (or half of a 15 oz. can) if needed.
Note from Brittany: I just used three 8 oz cans of tomato sauce and seasoned it with pizza seasoning. I also only used 1 lb. of sausage, since that is what I had. It turned out just fine, though!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Herb Roasted Chicken

3-4lb whole chicken
1 lemon
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2-3 Tbsp. canola Oil
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried sage, rosemary, and thyme (see notes)

1. Rinse and dry chicken with a clean towel or paper towel. Be sure to remove the bag of gizzards. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you are using fresh herbs, remove stems and chop them up.
2. Add salt and pepper to herbs. To that mixture, add oil and stir to combine.
3. Chop lemon in half, give a rough chop to the onions (leave it in big chunks), and smash the garlic. Stuff them into the cavity of the chicken.
4. Rub the chicken with the herb and oil mixture, being sure to lightly cover all sides. Place chicken on a cookie sheet or in a shallow baking pan. Place in preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the chicken has a nice golden brown crust. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes: I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman. As explained on the website, fresh herbs would be best in this recipe, but I just had dried. If using fresh herbs, use about 1-2 tablespoons of chopped herbs. You can also stuff various things into your chicken, such as apples or carrots. Stuffing the chicken provides it with additional moisture, as well as adding extra flavor from the inside. This was actually my first time roasting a chicken. It was so simple, and so tasty! I used the leftovers in another recipe or two later that week. Whole chickens can be pretty cheap, so I suggest giving this a try and getting a few meals out of it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creamy Bean Soup

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 small)
4 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups refried beans (two 1-pound cans)
1 3/4 cups thick & chunky salsa (16-ounce jar)
1 3/4 cups chicken broth (14 1/2-ounce can)
1 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese(optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro(optional)

Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in beans, salsa, broth, lime juice, cumin and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro before serving.

Notes: We got this recipe here. It was good but nothing special - it tasted like refried beans and salsa.


Beef top sirloin steak (or any cut of beef you want. Leftover roast beef works great!)
Onion soup mix OR onion, garlic, salt, and pepper
Beef or chicken bullion or broth
Sour cream or plain yogurt

1. Place beef, a small amount of water, and seasonings in slow cooker. Cook until tender. I used 1 lb. of top sirloin steak and cooked it in our 1.5-quart slow cooker with about 1/2-3/4 c. water. My meat was frozen, so I set the slow cooker on high for about 2 hours, then turned it to low for about 3 hours. It would work to cook it on low all day, as well. I used 1/2 packet of onion soup mix, but you can also season it to your own liking.
2. When meat is done, remove from slow cooker and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
3. Skim about 1/4 cup of the fat from drippings (the oily liquid on top) and place in a saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup of flour and combine well. Add remaining drippings and any additional broth or water until you have the amount of sauce you want. If just adding water, be sure to add beef or chicken flavoring if needed. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. If the sauce needs to be thicker, combine more flour in a little bit of cold water, then add it to the sauce. Be sure to do a "taste test" and add any seasonings or flavoring if needed.
4. Turn heat to low. Add a small amount of sour cream or yogurt (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup, or however you like it). Yogurt is a healthier alternative and adds a nice little tang, but I used whatever I have on hand.
5. Add meat to sauce and serve over noodles or rice.

Chicken Breasts with Tomatillo Salsa

2 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Tomatillo Salsa
1 13-oz can tomatillos
3 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1. In a plastic bag combine cornmeal, flour, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Add chicken pieces, a few at a time, shaking to coat.
2. In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken in no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once.
3. Meanwhile, for salsa, drain, rinse, and coarsely chop tomatillos (you should have about 1 cup). In a small bowl combine tomatillos, cilantro, onion, lime juice, and jalapeno pepper. Serve salsa over chicken.

Notes: From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition. Our grocery store didn't carry tomatillos, so we just bought the pre-made green salsa (made from tomatillos) and used that instead of making our own. We also chopped the chicken up into smaller pieces to cook faster, but I think it might have been better if we hadn't. I thought the flavor was okay, but nothing special.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Southwestern Steak, Rice & Black Beans

2 lb boneless top sirloin steak, about 3/4-inch thick, trimmed
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 medium lemons
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups hot cooked medium or long grain rice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

1. Preheat grill or broiler. Rub both sides of steak with 2 tablespoons canola oil. Mix chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; rub onto steak.
Grill or broil steak 10 minutes for medium-rare, turning halfway through cooking, or to desired doneness.
Place steak on cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing across the grain; set aside.
Meanwhile, grate 1 tablespoon lemon zest and combine with juice from one and a half lemons and remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in large bowl.
Add tomatoes, black beans and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and mix well. Add hot rice and toss to blend.
Place rice mixture on serving platter and top with beef slices. Garnish with cilantro and additional lemon wedges, if desired.

Notes: YUM!!! We got this recipe from Macey's
recipe of the day. It was so delicious.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 chicken breasts
4 slices of ham (may need more or less depending on how thick they are)
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. butter

1. Pound chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. This can be done easily by placing the chicken breast between plastic wrap and using a mallet to pound it.
2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place 1 slice of cheese and 1 slice of ham on each chicken breast. Roll up each breast, using a toothpick to secure if needed.
3. Dredge in flour, shaking off any extra. Dredge in egg and then bread crumbs. Place in greased baking dish. Place about 1 tablespoon of butter on each chicken breast.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until juices run clear. Serve with a sauce made from chicken broth and cream, or cream of chicken soup and sour cream, seasoned to your taste.

Notes: Although it sounds fancy, this recipe is really simple and extra tasty! *The amounts can be adjusted depending on how many people you will be cooking for. I think I only did 2 chicken breasts, but doubled the recipe for this post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or dill)
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 15 minutes. (Times double for doubled recipe.)

Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf, and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add basil and cream, if using. Puree in your blender or with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

Notes: This is the 100th recipe that we've posted on the blog! We got the recipe from one of my high school friends and his wife. It is definitely a step up from canned tomato soup, and we both thought it would be very tasty in a bread bowl.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chicken Mole

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 lbs chicken parts
1 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 to 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
8 cups cooked long-grain white rice (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook, turning frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in salsa, broth, chili powder, peanut butter, and cocoa. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place chicken in sauce; cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink near bone. Makes 8 servings.

Optional: Combine rice and parsley in medium bowl; serve with Chicken Mole.

Notes: One of my college roommates was from Mexico and used to frequently make mole. He got me hooked on it. Despite the fact that I've craved it several times since Brittany and I got married, this is the first time we've made it. There are lots of different mole recipes out there. I found this one here. I thought it was easy yet tasty, but I really don't know how authentic it is. We quartered the recipe and, while it didn't call for it, chopped up the chicken. I will probably make more sauce next time we have this if we chop up the chicken again. The original recipe calls for Ortega salsa and we just happened to have that kind - different brands would likely give different flavors.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pineapple Glazed Chicken (or Pork Chops)

4 medium sized chicken breasts or pork chops (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
1/2 can pineapple rings, drained (reserve juice)
3/4 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/8 cup cold water
enough water to bring reserved juice to 1/2 cup

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. Salt and pepper pork chops or chicken to taste.
In a small sauce pan combine pineapple juice, water, brown sugar and mustard and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and cornstarch mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes until thick, stirring constantly.
Brush sauce on pork chops or chicken breasts and place on a prepared grill. Brown pork chops/chicken for 2 minutes on each side, brush on more sauce and top with pineapple rings. Cook for two or three more minutes and turn so pineapple rings are on the grill surface and get the nice grill marks and cook for two or three more minutes. Flip once more, baste with sauce, and check pork chops or chicken. If done allow to rest for five minutes and serve.
Notes: Although these directions are for grilled chicken or pork, we still don't have a grill so we broiled the chicken instead. I thought it was quite tasty and it would probably be even better on the grill. Brittany used 2 large chicken breasts and sliced them in half so that they were thinner. She also used pineapple chunks because that is what we had. Brittany found the recipe, which she halved, at