Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taco Bowls

10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
5/8 ounce reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
4 ounces shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese
4 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim about 1/2 inch from the edge of each tortilla. Push the tortilla into nonstick muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan, sauté beef/turkey over medium heat, breaking apart large chunks and stirring occasional until the meat is cooked through, about ten minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and 1/3 cup water and simmer meat about 5 minutes.
3. Fill each tortilla cup with 2 tablespoons of cooked ground meat and top with a large pinch each of shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and cups start to brown.

Notes: We made these taco bowls after seeing a recipe in Parents Magazine. I wasn't able to find the recipe again, so I've posted something I found online that looks similar and is also from Parents Magazine. The recipe we used was likely in a late 2011 or early 2012 issue. This recipe is from a 2006 issue. We used the bottom of the muffin pan to make the taco bowls, as seen in the image below, and I don't think we cut any of the tortilla off.

Source: Parents Magazine (originally), but recipe here is from with ingredients scaled to make 10 taco bowls instead of 20.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

1 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers.
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs.
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. Yield: 7 servings.

Notes: We made this back in February 2012 and I remember liking it.  Check out the source for better photos.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons dry sherry (we used water instead)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bias-sliced carrots
2 cups fresh pea pods, tips and strings removed, or one 6-ounce package frozen pea pods, thawed
4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Hot cooked rice

1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
2. For sauce, stir together sherry, soy sauce, water, fish sauce (if using), cornstarch, and red pepper. Set aside.
3. Pour oil into a wok or large skillet. (If necessary, add more oil during cooking.) Heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to wok; cook and stir for 15 seconds. Add carrot; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add pea pods and green onions; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok.
4. Add chicken to hot wok. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir sauce; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to wok. Stir in peanuts. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Serve with rice. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: I enjoyed this stir fry quite a bit, but for our kids I think Thai Peanut Chicken is still the winner. There is an updated version of this recipe of the BHG website that replaces the sherry with rice wine and modifies some of the amounts and directions slightly. Compare also with Thai Peanut Noodles.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

4 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 (5-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Steamed rice, for serving

1. Place the onions, garlic, ginger, and bay leaf in an even layer in the slow cooker.
2. Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Arrange the chicken in an even layer on top of the onion mixture.
3. Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper together in a medium bowl and pour it over the chicken.
4. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone, about 4 to 5 hours on high or low. Remove and discard the ginger pieces and bay leaf. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes: Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish, but this probably isn't the traditional way to make it. I was introduced to adobo by one of my college roommates who served a mission in (and eventually married a girl from) the Philippines. This recipe was super easy and I really liked it. The leftovers were even better. Check out the source for a better photo.

Source: CHOW

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
3. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Notes: Super easy to make and tasty, too. We've had several variations of baked breaded chicken, and I think this was as good as any of them.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

2 slices sandwich bread
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup prepared sloppy Joe mixture (we used the Super Sloppy Joe recipe we posted earlier this year)
2 slices provolone cheese

1. Butter one side of each slice of bread using one tablespoon for each side.
2. Add a slice of cheese to each unbuttered side and add sloppy Joe mixture. Put slices together.
3. Cook sandwich in a pan over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy and brown.

Notes: This is the third grilled cheese sandwich variation we've tried in the last few months. All three have been tasty, but I liked this one more than the smoked gouda/ham/apple but not as much as the white pizza. That's just my opinion, though.

Source: She Knows

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catalina-Cranberry Chicken

4 lb. bone-in chicken pieces (breasts and/or thighs)
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle (8 oz.) Catalina Dressing
1 envelope onion soup mix

Heat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Bake 50 min. or until chicken is done (165°F).

Notes: We halved the recipe because 4 lbs of chicken is still a lot for us. We enjoyed the flavor and wouldn't mind having this again, although we will probably use less of the onion soup mix next time.

Source: Kraft Recipes

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Italian Meatball Soup

1 recipe Italian Meatballs (see below)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
5 (14-ounce) container chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup small pasta noodles, uncooked
2 cups spinach, thinly sliced

Italian Meatballs
½ pound ground beef
½ pound sweet Italian sausage
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
¼ dehydrated onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper

1. Turn on the oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Gently combine all meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. Shape the meat mixture into small and bite-size meatballs (use a cookie scoop for less messy results). Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are just starting to brown and can maintain their shape.
4. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add broth, water, tomatoes and seasoning, and heat until boiling. Gently add the meatballs, carrots, pasta, and spinach. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook approximately 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables tender, and the pasta is al dente.

Notes: Another recipe that we had over a year ago and I don't remember very well. We'll have to try it again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Orange Chicken with Snow Peas

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger or bottled minced ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz. fresh snow peas, trimmed of the string
Hot white rice for serving
Sesame seeds, optional

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok set to medium heat. Add minced garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2. While chicken is cooking, whisk together cornstarch and orange juice in a bowl. Whisk in marmalade, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and red pepper flakes and set aside.
3. Add snow peas to chicken and cook for about 1 minute. Add sauce to pan and increase heat if needed to bring to a simmer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Serve over white rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Notes: We couldn't find snow peas when we made this, so we used sugar snap. I think it still turned out well.

Source: Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (2)

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
2 Tbsp dehydrated onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups water or pineapple juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce

1. In a medium bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place under the broiler in your oven for 5-7 minutes or until the meatballs begin to brown.
2. In a large saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Notes: Another tasty recipe from Our Best Bites. The cook book includes slow cooker instructions: After bringing sauce mixture to a boil, transfer it to a slow cooker and add the meatballs. Cook on low 3-4 hours.

Source: Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen cook book

Monday, November 4, 2013

Natchitoches Meat Pie

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2+ tsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (it’s the cheapest, best, and widely available)
Tabasco sauce to taste (start with about 1/4 tsp.)
1 can beef broth
Pie Crust, tripled
1 egg
1/4 c. cold water

In a large skillet, brown ground beef and ground pork, breaking the meat into small pieces. When it’s about halfway cooked, drain excess fat and then add green and red peppers, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Add 2 tsp. Tony’s and 1/4 tsp. Tabasco. Add beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with additional Tony’s and Tabasco if necessary, keeping in mind that the seasonings will mellow in the pie. You can refrigerate this mixture for 3-4 days before baking the pies.

Prepare pie crust and roll the entire ball onto a floured surface. For large (meal-sized) pies, use a bowl that’s about 6″ across the top; just invert the bowl onto the dough and trace a knife around it to cut the dough.

Place about 1/4 c. of the meat mixture onto one half of the dough circle, keeping about a 1/2″-1″ margin from the edges.

Fold the other side over and gently pinch the edges shut.

For the decorative edge, crimp the edge with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. You could also use a calzone or empanada mold.

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place prepared pies onto your baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and cold water and brush over the pies.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool a few minutes and then eat as soon as humanly possible. Makes about 12 6″ pies or lots and lots of small (biscuit cutter) pies.

Notes: We made this from the recipe in the Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen cook book, but the recipe posted here is the one I found online. We had this in February 2013, and I remember liking the flavor. Our crust turned out a bit too dry for my taste, though.

Source: Our Best Bites Cook Book. Also online here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Maple Glazed Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops (6 oz. each)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. In a a shallow bowl, beat egg and ginger. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip chops in egg mixture, then coat with crumbs. In a large skillet, cook pork in butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove and keep warm. Add sauce ingredients to the skillet; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve with chops. Yields 4 servings.

Notes: If the date on my photo is right, we made this in March of 2012. It has been long enough that I don't really remember much about it. I'm fairly certain that I did not like it as much as the Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce recipe that we've got on the blog, because I would remember that.

Source: Prairie 4th Ward Recipes & Remembrances Cook Book 2nd Edition

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pasta with Sweet Potato Cream Sauce and Roasted Kale

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat or skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + 3 tablespoons
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
1 head of kale, cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread diced sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix together with clean hands to make sure they're all evenly coated. Roast in oven for 15 minutes until completely tender.

Meanwhile, mix together kale, sesame oil, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Massage together with hands for a minute or two. Spread onto a baking sheet. When potatoes have finished roasting, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake in oven for 18 minutes (stirring a couple of times) until crispy. Set aside for serving.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta as directed on the package.

Move cooked potatoes to a food processor (or blender) and puree. Pour milk in a little at a time while pureeing until a smooth texture. Set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Stir in chopped onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add flour and stir to make a roux, whisking constantly. Add sweet potato/milk mixture, whisking to combine. Let mixture thicken and get warm through. Add more milk as necessary and stir in remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Add spaghetti to sauce and serve with roasted kale on top (or stirred in - I just put a little on top so it would keep it's crunch).

Notes: I am a fan of most things sweet potato, and I enjoyed this sauce. There was a limit of how much of it I could eat, though, before I didn't want any more. I had my sauce on top of the pasta but it may have been better mixed in as shown in the photos at the source. 

Source: Lizzy Writes

Friday, October 25, 2013

Smoked Gouda, Ham, and Apple Grilled Cheese

Ingredients (for 1 sandwich):
2 pieces bread
Approximately 4 thick slices smoked Gouda
4-6 slices country smoked ham
1/4 apple, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter

1. Heat one tablespoon butter in pan on medium-low heat.
2. Add one slice of bread to the pan and top with two slices of the cheese, all of the ham and apples and then top with the additional cheese and the other slice of bread.
3. After about three or four minutes, pick the sandwich up with a spatula and melt the remaining one tablespoon of butter.
4. Flip the sandwich over to grill the other side. Check after about three or four minutes to make sure it's not over-browning.
5. Flip again and cover with a large lid until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is warm throughout, about two more minutes.

Notes: This was a tasty sandwich. I noticed the apple flavor more with my second half of the sandwich, after it had a chance to cool a bit, but I don't know if that is just a coincidence. This was our first experience with Gouda cheese, which we found at the deli counter.

Source: She Knows Food&Recipes. I first found it on this page, along with the White Pizza Grilled Cheese we posted in August. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Indian Chicken Curry

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
salt to taste
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. 
2. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Notes: This recipe was recommended by Brittany's brother, Curtis. We also added peas, sweet potatoes, and cashews. We enjoyed it. Expect your kitchen to smell like curry for a while after you make this. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Easy Skillet Lasagna

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
2. Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.
3. Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

Notes: This is a recipe we tried in June of 2012 and I don't remember what I thought about it at the time. Apparently I was hungry because that is a big pile of lasagna.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

3-4 nice size boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
salt and pepper
1 c. honey
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T canola oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 t. red pepper flake
1 T toasted sesame oil
4 t. cornstarch dissolved in 6 T water
sesame seeds for garnish
chopped green onions for garnish

Season both sides of chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Place flat into Crock Pot. Scatter onion over the top. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 t. cornstarch in 6 T. of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for 10 more minutes. Shred chicken and return to pot. Toss with sauce before serving. Serve over rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions.

Notes: I remember enjoying the flavor of this recipe. Since it is cooked in the crock pot and not breaded, the texture is different than what you are going to get at your typical Chinese restaurant.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chubby Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos

3 cups cooked shredded chicken
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach, stems removed
Coarse salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
9-10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Optional sauces: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, taco sauce, ranch dressing

1. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, cheddar and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
2. Working with one tortilla at a time add 2 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture off center and spread out like a log. Roll up and set seam side down on a platter. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled and rolled. 
3. Add enough oil to a large skillet to generously cover the bottom. Heat on medium to medium-low heat, cook tortillas in batches, turning to brown each side. Remove to paper towels to drain.
4. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.

Notes: These were tasty. The recipe at the source link recommends using rotisserie chicken.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crunch Wraps

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning (or less, to taste)
4-5 burrito sized tortillas, warmed
sour cream
tomatoes, pico de gallo, or salsa
shredded cheddar cheese or nacho cheese sauce
tortilla chips, slightly crushed
shredded lettuce

Brown ground beef and mix with taco seasoning according to package directions. Spread a small circle of sour cream in the center of each tortilla. Divide beef between tortillas, placing in the center with the sour cream. Top with tomatoes, cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and lettuce. 

To fold, pull the bottom of the tortilla to the center and continue around the entire tortilla. There will be a small opening in the center and you will have a hexagon shape. Place each wrap in a skillet over medium heat with the open side down. Grill for about a minute on each side until browned.

Notes: Check out the source link if you want a better photo than mine. Brittany almost always orders a crunch wrap on the (rare) occasion that we go to Taco Bell. I think this recipe was a decent attempt at replicating the experience.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Soup

3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer about 30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add cotija cheese and half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup an cook about 20 more minutes until desired consistency.

If soup isn't as thick as desired, you can add strips of flour tortillas. They will dissolve into the soup to thicken the broth. Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved pepperjack cheese, and cilantro if desired.

Notes: We made this way back in March 2012. I remember liking it, but I think it was too spicy for the rest of the family.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fish and Chips

4 potatoes
corn or peanut oil
1 lb cod or 1 lb other lean fish fillet
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
2/3 cup water

1. Cut potatoes lengthwise into ½-inch strips.
2. Heat oil (2 to 3 inches or enough to cover) in deep fryer or Dutch oven to 375 degrees.
3. Fill basket one-fourth full with potatoes. (Be sure and put the chips in one at a time so they don't stick to each other.) Skip the next step if you're not using a basket.
4. Slowly lower basket into hot oil. (If oil bubbles excessively, raise and lower basket several times.) Use a long-handled fork to keep potatoes separated.
5. Fry potatoes 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
6. Place potatoes in single layer on cookie sheet and keep warm.
7. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
8. Cut fish filets into 2 x 1/-1/2-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels.
9. Mix flour and salt.
10. Mix baking soda and vinegar.
11. Stir vinegar mixture and water into flour mixture; beat until smooth.
12. Dip fish into batter, allowing excess batter to drip into bowl.
13. Fry 4 or 5 fish pieces at a time (do not use basket) about 3 minutes, turning fish once, until brown. Drain on paper towels.
14. Set oven control to broil. Broil potatoes 6 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp.

Notes: We don't have a deep fryer, so I believe Brittany baked our (sweet potato) fries when she made this, and followed steps 8 through 13 for the fish.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ginger Carrot Soup

2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and white pepper
Sour cream
Parsley sprigs, for garnish

In a 6-quart pan, over medium high heat, add butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp. Add broth, carrots, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.

Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Don't fill the blender more than half way, do it in batches if you have to. Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender*. Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender. Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Notes: We obviously didn't bother with any garnish. It has been almost a year since we tried this, and I honestly don't remember whether I liked it or not. That probably means that it was okay but nothing special. We will have to have it again sometime and I will update the notes.

Source: Recipe, including advice on blending hot liquids, comes from the Food Network.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicken Chimichangas

2 1/2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1-2 c. salsa (we used green)
Green onions
1 c. black beans
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt

Put shredded cheese and chicken mixture in tortillas. Fold up (sides first then top and bottom) and put on baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with melted butter. Top with cheese(optional). Bake 475 for 13-15 min or until golden brown. Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, etc.

Notes: These were really tasty. Erin recommended using green salsa and so we did.

Source: Our friend, Erin.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Crock Pot Pasta E Fagioli Soup

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions

1. Brown beef in a skillet.
2. Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
4. During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Notes: This made a lot. It almost didn't fit in our crock pot. The recipe is supposed to be based on the Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli soup, but since I've never had that, I can't really say whether or not it comes close. Our vegetables were still a bit crispy even after 7 or 8 hours and could probably have used more time.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

5 pounds russet potatoes, washed but not peeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
10 cloves of garlic, minced
64 ounces (8 cups) chicken stock or broth
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
optional garnishes: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions

1. Add potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning, and chicken stock to slow cooker.
2. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
3. Add the softened cream cheese and puree soup with an immersion blender until the cheese is incorporated and about half the soup is blended. (You could also remove half the soup and the cream cheese to an upright blender, then re-incorporate).
4. Stir well and top with your choice of garnishes. Yields about 10-12 servings.

Notes: I really enjoyed this soup. I didn't come close to getting tired of the leftovers, even after having it 4 or 5 times.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tastes Like Lasagna Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
8 Whole-wheat breadsticks or grissini (optional)

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan. Serve with the breadsticks, if using. (Whole-wheat lasagna noodles take a little longer to cook.)

Notes: I thought this was tasty, although it didn't taste quite as much like lasagna as I expected, given the name. I would suggest breaking the noodles into bite-size pieces. Also, we used mild Italian pork sausage, instead of turkey sausage.

Source: Deen Bros

Friday, August 30, 2013

White Pizza Grilled Cheese

4-6 slices fresh ciabatta bread (sandwich count depends on size of bread)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces finely shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
2 thin slices provolone cheese

Lay out the bread and lightly oil one side.
In a small bowl, add ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
Add equal amount of filling to the un-oiled side of two slices of bread. Top with other slice of bread (oiled side out) and add to a skillet that has been heated over medium heat.
Cook till one side is toasted, carefully flip and toast other side. Serve hot.

Notes: Delicious! You could probably do this with some other kind of bread, but I don't think it would be as good without the ciabatta bread. Yields 2-4 sandwiches (depends on bread size). Check out the source link for a much better looking photo - I always have a hard time getting a shot I like with sandwiches.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fish Tacos

1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless cod, orange roughy, or other fish fillets
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 1/2 cups packaged shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw mix) or shredded cabbage
8 corn taco shells, warmed according to package directions
1 recipe Mango Salsa (below)

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut fish crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Place fish in single layer in greased shallow baking pan. Combine butter, cumin, and garlic powder. Brush over fish. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 4 to 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise and lime juice. Add cabbage; toss to coat. Spoon some of the coleslaw mixture into each taco shell; add fish slices. Top with Mango Salsa.

Mango Salsa
Combine the following in a medium bowl:
1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled mangoes or peaches
1 medium red sweet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Notes: It has been quite a while since we had this, but I remember enjoying it.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 12th Edition

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bow Ties with Sausage and Sweet Peppers

8 ounces dried large bow ties (about 4 cups)
12 ounces spicy Italian sausage links
2 medium red sweet peppers, cut in to 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup vegetable broth or beef broth
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, cut the sausage into 1-inch pieces. In a large skillet cook sausage and sweet peppers over medium-high heat until sausage is brown. Drain.
3. Add the broth and black pepper to sausage in skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over pasta; add parsley. Stir gently to coat.

Notes: I quite enjoyed this recipe and we'll likely have it again. Tasty and pretty easy to make.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 12th Edition

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mississippi Roast

Chuck roast
Hidden Valley ranch dressing packet
McCormick Au Jus mix
1 stick of butter
5 pepperoncini peppers

Put the chuck roast in crock pot. Sprinkle with Hidden Valley ranch dressing. Add McCormick Au Jus mix, a stick of butter, and 5 pepperoncini peppers. DO NOT ADD WATER. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Notes: I really enjoyed the flavor of this meat, but it probably isn't for everybody. If it sounds like something you would like, then try it. We couldn't find pepperoncini peppers so we substituted a few banana peppers, which apparently are a bit sweeter and not quite as spicy. I've seen elsewhere online that it is recommended served over mashed potatoes with au jus sauce. We didn't know that when we had it.

Source: My cousin, Michelle, posted a link to this recipe on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lemon-Zucchini Fettuccine

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons, divided
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 medium zucchini
salt and pepper
5-6 cloves garlic
8 ounces fettuccine
fresh basil (about 1/2 cup)
fresh oregano (about 1/4 cup) or about 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Prepare grill. You could also do this on the stove top in a skillet or a grill pan.
2. Place chicken in a zip-top bag with the juice of one lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the red wine vinegar. Seal the bag and gently squish the bag to make sure the ingredients are incorporated and surrounding the chicken. Set aside for 15-30 minutes.
3. In a large pot, bring water with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Press or finely mince garlic cloves. In a small sauce pan on the stove, place 1/4 cup olive oil and add garlic. Turn the burner to medium-low heat. It shouldn’t be popping and frying, the oil should just slowly warm, infusing the oil with the garlic and removing that zing fresh garlic has. 
5. When the water is boiling, add pasta.
6. Remove chicken from the bag and salt and pepper both sides. Place the chicken and zucchini on grill. 
7. While the chicken and zucchini are grilling and pasta is boiling, chop herbs and prepare the cheese. Zest both lemons and juice the one that hasn’t been juiced. 
8. When the zucchini and chicken are done, remove them from the grill. Allow the chicken to stand for 5 minutes and then chop the zucchini and chicken. 
9. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and immediately place in a big bowl. Place the chopped zucchini and chicken on top. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, herbs, and garlic-olive oil mixture.
10. Now take some tongs and give everything a big toss. If you feel it needs more moisture, add a little of the pasta water or a little more olive oil. 
11. Garnish with a little more Parmesan on top and another squeeze of lemon if you have any left. 

Source: Our Best Bites cook book. Original recipe is still online at Our Best Bites.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 can (13.75) chicken broth
1 1/2 c. water
1 head (2.5 lbs) cauliflower, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded

In a 4 quart sauce pan, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth and water; add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes). In a blender (with center part of lid removed for heat to escape) in small batches, blend cauliflower mixture at low speed until smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove sauce pan from heat; stir in mustard and almost all of the cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with the remaining cheese and serve.

Notes: We had this a year and a half ago (that's how far behind I am on posting recipes) and I honestly don't remember it very well. Brittany says it was okay, but that she prefers our Creamy Vegetable Soup recipe to this one.

Source: Prairie 4th Ward Recipes & Remembrances Cook Book, 2nd Edition

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Baked French Toast

1 loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1-inch slices
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in the bottom of the pan; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, half-and-half, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve with butter, syrup, and powdered sugar. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Notes: Super delicious! We like to have baked French toast for breakfast on special occasions and so we've tried several variations. This one is a simpler version of the Baked Apple French Toast with Caramel Sauce recipe that we posted a long time ago.

Source: Lion House Christmas cook book.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
3 cups sliced onions
1/4 cup butter
2 cups beef stock (or 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons beef soup base)
2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons chicken soup base)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 recipe Parmesan Toast Cubes (see below)

In a medium saucepan, saute sliced onions in melted butter until golden brown. Add beef stock,  chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan Toast Cubes just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Parmesan Toast Cubes
1 loaf French bread
Butter, room temperature
Parmesan cheese, grated

Slice French bread into thick slices and place on a large baking sheet. Spread each slice with enough softened butter to cover each slice. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Place slices under broiler and toast until light brown. Remove and cut into large cubes.

Notes: Simple and very tasty! The photo in our cook book shows the toast in strips or slices, so we did not cube ours.

Source: Lion House Christmas cook book

Friday, July 19, 2013

Turkey Tetrazzini

2 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey breast
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 teaspoons sherry wine or 2 teaspoons cooking wine
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
8 ounces canned mushroom slices, drained
1/4 cup pimento stuffed olive (optional)
12 ounces uncooked spaghetti or any type of noodle
parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Place all ingredients except spaghetti, Parmesan, water and cornstarch into crock pot; stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Prior to serving, you'll probably want to thicken this a little more. Mix lukewarm water and cornstarch in a bowl until corn starch is dissolved. Add to crock pot mixture. Stir until thickened. If it it not thick enough you may repeat this step.

Notes: The blog we got this from mentions this is a good way to use leftover turkey from a holiday meal, and I agree.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

3 c. quick oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
1/2 to 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (could substitute other berries or fruits)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, vanilla, eggs, and milk. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then add fruit. Spread in a greased 9" x 9" baking pan. Bake at least 20 minutes. If you prefer it to be a more cake-like texture, you can bake it up to about 45 minutes. Serve as-is or with milk.

Notes: We don't have too many breakfast recipes on here, but our family loves this one so much that we figured we better post it. I have started doubling the recipe and baking it in a 9" x 13" pan so we can have leftovers for later on in the week.

Source: This recipe comes from my sister Melanie.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quick & Easy Noodle Stir-Fry

1 12-oz. package linguine (whole wheat or regular)
1-2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Asian sweet red chili sauce (Thai Kitchen makes one that’s great and easy to find; this is not the chili sauce you find near the ketchup)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 small red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or pressed
1 large or 2 small orange, red, and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen green sugar snap peas, snow peas, edamame, or green beans
1 medium zucchini, julienned or chopped
Optional: Grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak, black sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the noodles and cook al dente. When the noodles are done, drain them and toss in 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil.
2. Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, sweet chili sauce, and dark sesame oil. Set aside. 
3. While the noodles are cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, but the garlic isn’t burning. 
4.Add the peas (or beans or edamame) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and peppers and stir fry for another 30 seconds or until the veggies are crisp-tender. Add the noodles and stir fry until the noodles are well-combined with the vegetables. Give the sauce a quick whisk and then drizzle it evenly over the noodles and stir fry the entire mixture for about 30-60 seconds or until everything is well-coated in the sauce. Serve immediately–if you want, you can garnish individual servings with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and black sesame seeds. Serves 6-8.

Notes: It has been several months since we had this that I don't really remember too much about it. I do love stir-fried bell peppers, though, and I'm sure this was tasty.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Barbecue Ribs

4 lbs pork ribs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (we've tried Sweet Baby Ray's and a cinnamon apple flavored sauce)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees f.
2. Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.
3. Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub.
4. Apply rub to ribs on all sides.
5. Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
6. Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.
7. Place on baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.
8. Remove from oven.
9. Heat broiler.
10. Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.
11. Arrange on broiler pan, bony side up.
12. Brush on sauce.
13. Broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.
14. Turn ribs over.
15. Repeat on other side.
16. Alternately, you can grill the ribs on your grill to cook on the sauce.

Notes: When we first tried this, it was our first ever attempt at making ribs. We've now had it twice, the first time with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and the second with a cinnamon apple BBQ sauce we found at a specialty store. I think it turned out really well both times and we will be having this again.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a touch of cream cheese, divided
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked

1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes. Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil. Mix half with the chicken mixture.
3. Spread half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice. Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.
4. Bake 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

Notes: This was a tasty lasagna, but in my mind I was comparing it with the Alfredo Chicken Lasagna recipe we had not too long ago (which was awesome), and I just didn't like this one quite as much. Brittany used diced tomatoes and added spinach.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Italian Chicken

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Ounce Bottle of Italian Dressing
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Italian Seasoning
4-6 Potatoes scrubbed cut in half or wedges
1/2 bag of mini carrots

Spray crock with Pam. Squirt a small amount of Italian dressing at bottom of crock pot. Place two chicken breasts in crock. Pour some of the Italian dressing on the chicken. Sprinkle half of cheese onto the chicken. Sprinkle Italian seasoning onto the chicken. Place next two chicken breasts into crock-pot, if possible not directly on top of the first breasts. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of chicken. Pour carrots on top. Pour more of the Italian dressing on top of chicken and carrots. Sprinkle Italian seasoning onto the chicken and carrots. Place potatoes on top. Pour the remaining Italian dressing on the potatoes. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the potatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Notes: I thought this was tasty at first, and the chicken was really tender, but the Italian seasoning was a bit too strong to eat a lot of it. I prefer Creamy Chicken Italiano.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

General Tso's Chicken with Chow Mein

1 Lb. chicken breasts (cut into 1" pieces)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. "lite" soy sauce
1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 c. white distilled vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
4 green onions, sliced

Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil over medium heat (in a wok or a skillet) until golden brown and crispy. Drain excess oil. Sprinkle cayenne over the chicken and keep warm on low heat. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and ginger) and heat gently. When sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved, SLOWLY add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until sauce has thickened to desired thickness. Pour sauce in the wok and stir to coat chicken. Stir in green onion and hot red pepper flakes (optional). Remove from heat and serve with fried rice.

Notes: I think this may have been the first time I have ever had General Tso's chicken. I enjoyed it but have no idea what it should taste like. We had ours with chow mein (see below) instead of rice.

Source: Favorite Family Recipes

Chow Mein
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 (5.6 oz) packages refrigerated Yaki Soba noodles
2/3 c. chopped celery (chopped diagonally)
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
2 c. chopped cabbage

1. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper. Set aside.
2. Remove Yaki Soba from packages and discard included flavoring packets. Rinse noodles well, drain, and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Add celery and onion and saute for about 1-2 minutes or until onions start to become soft and transparent. Add cabbage and saute an additional minute or so.
4. Toss Yaki Soba noodles and soy sauce mixture with the vegetables over medium-high heat for an additional 2-3 minutes or until noodles are heated through.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana

8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters
5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
6 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz part skim mozzarella
olive oil non-stick spray
1 cup pomodoro sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese in one bowl and 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites in another.

Shred or finely chop 1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese and combine with remaining grated cheese, spinach (make sure you squeeze it dry), 2 tbsp egg beaters, and ricotta cheese.

Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down.

Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray with olive oil.

Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sauce then cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 more minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side and grated cheese.

Notes: Tasty. Check out the source for some much better photos. I wasn't happy with any that I took.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Crispy Baked Breakfast Taquitos with Lime-Chipotle Dip

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
12 large eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 C grated pepperjack cheese
1/4 C chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 C sliced green onions
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp hot sauce
16 6″ flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil

Dipping Sauce:
1 1/2 C sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/2 C sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When skillet is hot, add egg mixture to pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble. Remove from heat when slightly undercooked. Add cheese, roasted red peppers, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce to taste. Gently fold to combine.
3. Warm tortillas in microwave to ease rolling process. Working with a few tortillas at a time, place a scant (slightly less than) 1/4 C egg mixture into the center of each one and roll up into a cylinder. Place rolled tortillas on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, so they are not touching each other. When all tortillas are rolled and filled, lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and crisp.
4. While taquitos are baking, combine 1 1/2 C sour cream, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and kosher salt. Stir to combine and store in fridge. Remove taquitos from oven , let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve with dipping sauce.

Notes: These were very tasty! I halved the recipe for our family, but these can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer for later use. Check out the recipe on Our Best Bites for their make-ahead directions.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spaghetti with Beef and Mushroom Sauce

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 10.75 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 10.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
1 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)
12 oz. dried spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, except for pasta and cheese. Bring sauce to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, Serve sauce over hot spaghetti. If desired, sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Notes: This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens 12th Edition cook book, and it originally ran in the 1953 edition of their cook book. Since it relies on canned soups for the base of the sauce, I don't know that we will have it too often, but it was quick, easy, and tasty.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Super Sloppy Joes

1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 crusty rolls, split, and toasted

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.

Notes: We thought these had great flavor and we will likely make them again. This is a great alternative to the Chicken Gumbo Sloppy Joes when chicken gumbo soup is not available. This recipe comes from here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Roast Pork Loin Crusted with Maple and Mustard

Roast Pork Loin Crusted with Maple and Mustard
3 pounds boneless pork loin
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh sage (minced)
2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper as needed

Apple Dried Fruit Chutney
3 tart, fresh apples (chopped)
2 tablespoons dried apricots (chopped)
2 tablespoons Craisins or dried cherries
2 tablespoons dried figs (chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup red onions (diced)
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons walnuts (chopped)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Pan sear pork loin in pan on medium-high heat, browning all sides of the pork loin.
2. Mix maple syrup, mustard, sage, and Panko bread crumbs together mixing until incorporated. Crust the top of the pork loin fat-side up with the mustard honey crust.
3. Place pork loin into a 300 degree oven and cook until the internal temperature of the roast is 145 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before cutting.
4. For the chutney, add the butter into a sauce pan with red onions and cook on medium high heat until the onions start to caramelize. Add diced apples, dried fruits, spices, honey, and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce has started to thicken.

Notes: I really liked the flavor of the pork, but found the chutney to be too strong for my tastes.  A small amount of chutney went a long way. Makes 8 servings.

Source: BYU Magazine

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Alfredo Chicken Lasagna

6 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup Alfredo sauce
3/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. In a large skillet, saute the chicken, mushrooms and onion in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in Alfredo sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning and parsley.
3. Spread 1/2 cup Alfredo mixture in an 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Layer with two noodles (trimmed to fit pan), half of the cottage cheese mixture, 3/4 cup Alfredo mixture and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers.
4. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 3 servings.

Notes: We really liked this recipe. It needs to at least be doubled to make a reasonable amount.

Source: Taste of Home