Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken and Waffles

For the Chicken
Chicken breast tenderloin strips
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Season All (seasoned salt)
3/4 tsp pepper
1 c. flour
2 tsp. paprika

1. Place chicken in a bowl of milk and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.
2. In a gallon Ziploc bag or large bowl, mix salt, Season All, pepper, flour, and paprika. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 1/2 stick butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter in preheated oven. Spread the melted butter around the bottom of the pan. If needed, lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray to make sure that there are no dry spots.
4. Shake excess milk off of chicken and place in Ziploc or bowl. Coat each piece of chicken completely with the seasoning mix. Place in pan.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Prepare gravy, syrup, and waffle batter while chicken is baking.

For the Gravy
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a ball forms.
2. Add milk all at once and stir with a wire whisk. Continue to stir until sauce comes to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes more. Add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste. Do not over boil or allow milk to burn. Remove from heat and place a lid on the pan to keep the gravy warm.

For the Syrup
1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. maple flavored extract

In a small saucepan, bring water to boiling. Add sugar. Continue to cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Once the syrup is clear, remove from heat. Add maple flavoring. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Waffles
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
2 beaten egg yolks
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. canola/vegetable oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites

1. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
2. Combine egg yolks, milk, and oil with wire whisk.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. There will be a few lumps in the batter.
4. Fold in egg whites, leaving a few fluffs. Cook waffles according to waffle maker's directions. Make sure to cook these right before the chicken is done so they are still warm when you are ready to serve.

Assembly Directions
For each serving, place a piece of chicken on top of a waffle. Top with syrup and milk gravy. Enjoy!

Notes: We saw the idea of chicken and waffles on a Food Network show a few years ago and finally decided to try it ourselves. It was a bit of work, but it was worth it. You can certainly make this easier by using a waffle mix and store-bought syrup and gravy mix, but I tend to make these things from scratch. There are several other versions which include topping with just gravy or just syrup. We liked the combination of the sweet and savory, the crispy chicken with the softer waffles. Very tasty! We will be making this again. Source: The chicken recipe came from Our Life Uncommon. The remaining recipes are my own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thai Peanut Noodles

1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts

1. Cook noodles in salted water.
2. In a medium saucepan combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove pan from heat.
3. When noodles are done, drain and toss with sauce. Divide into individual servings and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts. Before eating, squeeze juice of 2 lime quarters over each serving and stir to combine.

*If desired, add meat to this dish by stir-frying shrimp or very thinly-sliced chicken (partially freeze it first to make slicing easier) in some olive oil with a couple cloves of garlic, some fresh ginger, some green onions, soy sauce, and a small squirt or two of Sriracha chili sauce.

Notes: Similar taste to Thai Peanut Chicken, perhaps a little spicier. We couldn't find the Sriracha chili sauce, so we used a different kind. I enjoyed the added texture of the chopped peanuts. Very tasty. Source: Our Best Bites.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. oregano
salt to taste
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
2 c. mozzarella cheese
12 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Lasagna noodles, uncooked

1. Brown ground been, garlic, and onions. Drain.
2. Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and mushrooms with beef.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cheeses.
4. Layer sauce, then noodles, then cheese three times and end with a fourth layer of sauce.
5. Cook in crock pot on low for 5 hours.

Notes: Simple and easy way to make lasagna. Source:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Summer Vegetable Tian

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium potato
1 medium tomato
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. shredded Italian cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion is softened and translucent.
2. While the onion and garlic are sauteing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.
3. Spray the inside of an 8x8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic on the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternately pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.
4. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Notes: The vegetables I used were large, so I couldn't squeeze them all into an 8x8. I didn't want to waste any veggies, so I baked it in a 9x13 pan. It is best to make sure your vegetables are very thinly sliced so they get nice and tender while baking. Be sure to add plenty of pepper and salt. The vegetables themselves can be a little bland, but with the seasonings and cheese, this is really tasty. Source: I got the recipe from Budget Bytes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

French-Toasted Ham & Cheese

French_Toasted Ham & Cheese
1 loaf Italian bread, about 15" long
1 8-oz. pkg. ham slices
1 8-oz. pkg. mozzarella cheese slices
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine
syrup (optional)

Cut 16 slice from the Italian bread. Fold ham and cheese slices to fit on 8 bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices to make 8 sandwiches. In pie plate with fork, beat milk and eggs together. Dip sandwiches in to egg mixture, one at a time, until well coated on both side.s Melt butter or margarine in skillet. Cook sandwiches until golden brown on both sides. Serve with syrup for dipping.

Notes: We liked this recipe. We had planned on using some leftover sandwich meat for the recipe, but it had spoiled so our sandwiches were just cheese. Dipping the sandwich in syrup overpowered the flavor of the cheese. Source: Freezer meals recipe binder that we were given as a wedding gift.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken

2 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds for milder)
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar jack
2 Tbsp chopped scallions
8 thin sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets, 3 oz each
1/2 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 1/2 juicy limes, juice of
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh pepper
olive oil non-stick spray

1. Wash and dry chicken cutlets, season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Combine cream cheese, cheddar, scallions, jalapeño and bacon crumbles in a medium bowl.
3. Lay chicken cutlets on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one, secure the ends with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out.
4. Place breadcrumbs in a bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
5. Dip chicken in lime-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down on a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray.
6. Bake 22-25 minutes, serve immediately.

Notes: I thought these were tasty. Our chicken was a bit thicker and doesn't look as cheesy as the original photos seen at the source link, but still tasted good. Source: We also tried their Fiesta Lime Rice.

Chicken with Lime Butter

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. dried minced chives

Place oil in large skillet and place on medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side until fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm by covering with foil. Add butter and lime juice to the skillet. Cook and stir until butter is melted. Stir in dill and chives. Drizzle over chicken. Serve with couscous.

Notes: New post! Yay. We had this in January, and I remember liking it. Source: Prairie 4th Ward 2nd Edition cook book.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tortellini Carbonara

8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 c. whipping cream
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini

Combine bacon, cream, parsley, and cheese in a a large saucepan. Cook over low heat until hot. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and scorching. Meanwhile, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle cheese sauce over tortellini and toss to coat.

Notes: Brittany and I both really liked this, and we will definitely be having it again sometime. Source: Prairie 4th Ward Recipes and Remembrances cookbook.  It was submitted to the cook book by my sister, Jill.

Fauxtisserie Chicken

1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb )whole chicken
1 tsp. seasoning salt
4-5 whole cloves garlic, peeled
Optional: fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, sage, basil, or tarragon. See variations.

1. Make 3 balls of aluminum foil about 2 inches in diameter.  Place them in a triangular pattern on the bottom of your slow cooker. These balls hold the chicken off the bottom of the dish so the hot air can circulate all around the chicken and so the chicken is not stewing in its own juices.
2. Slice garlic cloves lengthwise into thin slices and set aside.
3. Rinse chicken, including the cavity, and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure to remove and discard any chicken parts inside the cavity. 
4. Place the chicken on a plate so it lies with the breast facing up and the legs on the plate. Loosen the sin of the entire chicken and gently separate the skin from the bird while keeping it attached around the edges. Use your hands to place the sliced garlic cloves under the skin.
5. Rub seasoning salt onto the skin of the chicken. Place chicken breast-up on the foil in the slow cooker, cover, turn heat to low, and leave it alone for 6-7 hours or until interior of chicken reaches 160 degrees F.

2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 lime

Spread the cilantro under the skin with the garlic from the main recipe. Add chili powder and cumin to the seasoning salt mixture. Cut one lime in half and rub both halves all over the outside of the chicken. Place lime halves inside the chicken cavity before cooking.

Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon

Place rosemary under the skin of the chicken. Cut lemon in half and rub juices all over the outside of the chicken before applying the seasoning salt. Place both lemon halves inside the chicken cavity before cooking.

Notes: We had the Lemon-Rosemary variation.  I probably could have added all of this as variations to the slow cooker whole chicken recipe I've already got on here. Oh, well. The picture in the cookbook is much better than mine because they left the skin on. Source: Our Best Bites cookbook; also available on the Our Best Bites website here.

Spinach-Chicken Stromboli

1 refrigerated pizza crust or 1 recipe of breadstick dough
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
3 1/2 tablespoons canned Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
8 oz. shredded, cooked chicken breast, about 2 cups
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Favorite pasta sauces for dipping

1. Preheat oven to the temperature indicated on the dough package or recipe (425).
2. Working on a floured surface, roll pizza dough into a 12 x 15 inch rectangle. Brush 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over entire surface of crust. Evenly sprinkle Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons Parmesan on top.
3. Keeping remaining toppings one inch away from all edges, evenly spread the spinach leaves, shredded chicken, mozzarella, and tomatoes over the dough.
4. Working from the long end of the rectangle, roll up from one end to the other (like a cinnamon roll). Pinch seam shut and then pinch each end shut and tuck under toward seam.
5. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Gently cut 3 slits along the top of the Stromboli.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into 1-inch slices. Serve with marinara and/or Alfredo sauce for dipping.

Notes: This is supposed to be like a stuffed loaf of bread, but I think we had too much stuffing or not enough bread, because it ended up more like a wrap for us. Still, it was rather tasty. Source: Our Best Bites cookbook, although I also found it online here. Note that the cookbook has an error - it doesn't tell you when to add the mozzarella.

Creamy Corn Chowder

6-8 oz. bacon (1/2 package)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. 1% milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 tsp. chicken base
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
3/4 c. minced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained, or about 1 1/2 c. frozen fresh corn
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)
Optional garnishes: extra crumbled bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Cook bacon until crisp. 
2. While the bacon is cooking, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don’t boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 
3. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste.  Start with about 1/4 tsp., give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it.
4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want.

Notes: Serves 6-8. This was good, but I think I like our other corn chowder recipe better.  Source: Brittany made this using the recipe in the Our Best Bites cook book, but the recipe is also posted online

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore

1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and either crushed or halved
1/4 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken breasts and thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup apple juice or white grape juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 (16-oz) package linguine, cooked per instructions
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and stir frequently until onions are tender and garlic is fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon (this is why you need to keep the onion and garlic pieces big) and transfer the onions and garlic to your blender. Increase the heat on the stove top to medium-high.
2. In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper. Add chicken pieces, seal bag, and shake to coat pieces with flour. Place all the chicken from the bag into the hot pan and stir quickly to prevent pieces from sticking together. Saute until chicken is golden. Remove the chicken with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Remove the pan from heat.
3. While the chicken is draining, add the juice, vinegar, chicken broth, tomato paste, thyme, and marjoram to the onions and garlic in the blender. Blend until smooth. Place the chicken and bay leaf in a medium or large stockpot and pour the blended mixture over the chicken. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 60-90 minutes.
4. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the mushrooms and green peppers. When the mushrooms and peppers are tender, remove the bay leaf and serve over hot linguine or rice and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes: Love love love this stuff. Partly because it reminds me of meals I had on my mission in Paraguay and partly because it is just really good. Brittany really liked it, too. You have to plan ahead to make it, though, due to the amount of time it simmers. We didn't have linguine and used spaghetti instead. Source: Our Best Bites cookbook.

Black Bean Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
3/4 cup diced celery (about 1 rib)
1 cup diced onion (about 1 small-medium onion)
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (3.5-oz) can diced green chilies
2 (15-oz) cans low-sodium beef broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
1 lime, juiced, plus other limes, for garnish
Optional toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, etc.

1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender. Place lid on blender but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Cover the hole with a paper towel to avoid splatters.
4. Puree soup until desired consistency is reached. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.
5. Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges.

Notes: I liked this, but did not love it. I think perhaps I would enjoy it more if we made it again, though, because now I know what to expect. It was perhaps a bit too spicy for my 3-year old. Source: Our Best Bites cookbook that I got for Brittany for Christmas.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Smoky Mac 'n Cheese

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (12 oz.)
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
8 oz smoked Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Progresso plain bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil

1. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on box. Return to saucepan; cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream, mustard, salt, and red pepper to boiling. Reduce heat; stir in Cheddar cheese with wire whisk until smooth.
3. Pour sauce over macaroni. Stir in tomatoes and onions. Pour into baking dish. In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Stir in oil. Sprinkle over top of macaroni mixture.
4. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are bubbly and top is golden brown.

Notes: Another winner. I really liked this. It has a bit of a kick to it and I didn't think my 3-year old would like it, but surprisingly she ate several bites (and took several drinks of milk in between to cool her mouth down). We couldn't find smoked cheddar, so we used what we had. Source: Betty Crocker 2011 recipe calendar.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wild West Sizzlin' Chicken Tacos

2 cups cooked chicken strips
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
4 Old El Paso Stand N' Stuff taco shells (from 4.7-oz box)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup barbecue baked beans (from 16 oz. can)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In small bowl, toss chicken strips with cumin and paprika to coat. In 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish, stand taco shells side by side.
2. Fill each shell evenly with seasoned chicken. Divide pepper strips evenly over chicken. Top each with 1/4 cup baked beans and 1/4 cup cheese. Sprinkle with bacon.
3. Bake 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. If desired, garnish with grape tomatoes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 tacos

Notes: I think this is my first 2012 post that we actually made in 2012 (there are still 4 or 5 from 2011 that I haven't got to yet). We bought the regular taco shells because they were a better deal, but it made it hard to fit everything in. I put in what I could and ended up with 6 tacos. I really enjoyed these. They looked delicious in the original photo and I wasn't disappointed at all. Source: Betty Crocker 2011 recipe calendar.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 Medium size pumpkin, about 4 pounds
1-1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cup cooked rice

black olives
steamed carrot
whole cloves
fresh parsley

1. Cut lid from pumpkin, scrape out the inside of the pumpkin and discard what you scrap out.
2. In a large skillet brown hamburger, green pepper, celery, and onion. Mix salt, pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, cream of chicken soup, and cooked rice together. Mix together with hamburger, green pepper, celery, and onion. Mix well and place mixture into pumpkin. Place lid on pumpkin.
3. Place pumpkin on foil lined cookie sheet and bake in 350 oven for 1-1/2 hours.
4. When you spoon your portion, be sure and scrape and get some of the cooked pumpkin too.

Optional: If you want to, decorate outside of pumpkin. Attach olives to pumpkin (using toothpicks) for the eyes, steamed carrot for the nose, and whole cloves for the mouth. Use fresh parsley around top for hair.

Number Of Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 2 Hours

Notes: We got this recipe from Brittany's brother, Brian. I don't know where he got it. We had a similar recipe at a friend's house and really liked it. This version was also tasty.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

David's Chili

2 cans red beans
1 can black beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
Salt, black pepper and jalapeno to taste.

Combine in pot and simmer at least until heated and peppers are cooked.  The longer it simmers, the better.

Notes: This recipe is from my brother-in-law. When Brittany first made it last year, we didn't have any jalapenos, and I didn't think it was anything special. Then David made it (with jalapenos) for a family gathering around Christmas and I really liked it.  So in my opinion, the jalapenos are essential. David made the following comments when he posted this recipe on the family web site: "I like [my chili] a little more spicy then Stephanie but not hot enough to burn your mouth. I also like mine more liquid. I do not drain the juice from the beans."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shush Kabobs

1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium apple, coarsely grated
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 lb ground turkey breast (we used beef)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, egg, apple, mustard, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add turkey and fold into wet mixture until just combined.
2. In a frying pan, heat oil on medium. Roll meat mixture into 12 balls. Fry, turning frequently until meatballs are browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
3. Glaze: In a pot, mix apple juice, maple syrup, and vinegar. Simmer over low heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Toss meatballs in glaze, thread three onto each kabob stick. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: From the magazine: "We put these sweet glazed-apple meatballs on a stick so your kid would be so engrossed in the presentation, he'd forget that he's trying something new." Luckily our kid doesn't have any problems trying something new, so for us the presentation was just for fun. My toddler really enjoyed these, and so did I. They were tasty. Source: October 2011 issue of Parents Magazine, page78.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Smoky Chicken Tacos

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken, cooked (or leftover)
Shredded lettuce, shredded light cheddar cheese, and/or salsa (optional)
6 corn tortillas

1. In a saucepan mix the broth, tomato paste, paprika, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and warm over medium heat. Place the lettuce, shredded cheese, and salsa in small bowls.
2. Set out the chicken and tortillas and let your family make their own tacos with the toppings, as desired. Makes 6 servings.

Notes: I remember liking these. I don't think we have smoked paprika, so we may have used regular paprika. Source: October 2011 Parents Magazine, page 170.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Harvest Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Ground black pepper to taste
Whole-grain croutons

1. In a big pot, heat oil on medium. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Add squash, apples, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Cool slightly.
2. Puree soup, in two batches if needed, in a blender or food processor. Add pepper and croutons. Makes about 6 cups.

Notes: We had this in October and, as with a few of the other recipes I've posted in the last couple of days, I don't really remember my initial impressions on it.  I seem to recall thinking it was okay. Brittany tells me that after having the leftovers a couple of times she was ready to be done with it. For a similar soup that I think is better see the Pumpkin Soup post (the pictures don't give it justice). Source: October 2011 Parents Magazine, page 74.

Parmesan-Sage Meat Loaf and Garlicky Spinach

Meat Loaf
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp honey

Garlicky Spinach
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. spinach
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and reduce the heat so the cook gently without browning. Saute for 8 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
3. In a large bowl mix together the onion mixture, the beef or turkey, bread crumbs, egg, salt, cheese, parsley, sage, and pepper. Shape meat in to a loaf (about 7x3x1.5 inches) on the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Brush top and sides of loaf with honey. Bake for 10 minutes more or until done (165 degrees F).
4. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the spinach and salt. Saute until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Let meat loaf rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with garlicky spinach. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: We've tried and posted several different meat loaf recipes on this blog. I liked this one but wouldn't say it is my favorite. I did not like the spinach - I thought it was too garlicky. Source: October 2011 issue of Parents Magazine, page 170.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

10-Minute Chicken With Baby Potatoes

1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 3.5-lb. whole chicken, cut into parts
1 lb. tiny new potatoes
Finely chopped parsley for garnish, optional

1. In a very large bowl stir together the yogurt, paprika, olive oil, and salt. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and turn to coat with the yogurt mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigeration for 2 to 8 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Cut the potatoes in half, and lay them on the parchment paper, cut side down, leaving a little distance between them.
3. Place the chicken pieces on the potatoes. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or until chicken is done (170 degrees F for breasts, 180 degrees F for thighs and drumsticks). Sprinkle the chicken and potatoes with the parsley. Serve the rest with a simple green salad. Makes 6 servings.

Notes: Another recipe from last year, and again I don't remember my impressions of it very well.  We used thighs instead of a whole chicken. It was good, but I think the picture in the magazine made it look better than it ended up tasting. Source: October 2011 edition of Parents Magazine, page 168.

Easy Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas

1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 flour torillas (6"), warmed
1 small tomato, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir soup, sour cream, salsa, and chili powder in medium bowl.
2. Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken, and cheese in large bowl.
3. Divide chicken mixture among tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place seam-side down in 11x7x2" baking dish. Pour remaining soup mixture over filled tortillas. Cover baking dish.
4. Bake 40 min. or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with tomato and onion.

Notes: We had this last September, and I remember thinking it was okay but nothing special. There are better enchilada recipes out there.  I also remember thinking it was hard to get a good photograph. Source: an ad for Campbell's soup in the October 2011 Parents Magazine. I removed the brand names from the ingredients.

Pastrami Burger

Hamburger patties
Cheese (we used Monterey Jack)
Bacon (cooked)
Barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's)
Hamburger buns
Any other toppings that you want to add

Grill hamburger patties and top with your choice of toppings.

Notes: I generally don't put stuff like this up on the blog, but my dad made these for a family gathering and I wanted to have a post as a reminder. He had a similar burger at a restaurant and enjoyed it enough to try and re-create it at home.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stove-Top Barbecued Chicken

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. catsup
1/3 c. water
4 tsp. white vinegar
4 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. crushed celery seeds
2 lbs. skinless chicken pieces
1 (8-oz.) package spinach or wide egg noodles

Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet; saute onion until tender. Stir in catsup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and celery seeds. Bring sauce to a boil. Add the chicken to the skillet, placing the side down that has the skin removed; spoon sauce over the pieces.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces, and simmer covered for about 20 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through. Cook noodles according to package directions; serve chicken over noodles.

Notes: I remember liking this but it has been several months since we tried it so I don't have any specific comments. I don't think we have celery seeds, so we may have left those out. Source: binder of freezer meal recipes that we received for our wedding.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

6 boneless pork loin chops
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cold water

Sprinkle pork chops with pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook pork over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Remove and keep warm.  Add the water, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to skillet; stir to loosen browned bits. Mix cornstarch and cold water together, add to sauce mixture.  Bring to boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Return chops to the pan.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Notes: Brittany and I both thought this was good, but both of us also prefer other pork chops we've tried.  It is easy, though.  Source:  Prairie 4th Ward cook book.