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Showing posts from 2010

Honey Chicken Strips

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Last week I made some delicious homemade chicken strips. The recipe came from my food-loving friend Emily, who originally pilfered it from Rookie Cookie . I may never eat another dino nugget for as long as I live. (If you know how deep-rooted my love for dino nuggets happens to be, you'll understand just how much I enjoyed these strips!) Our whole family loved them, even the difficult-to-impress husband. He begrudgingly admitted they were fantastic. Four times. I have made a really yummy Ritz Chicken before and assumed this recipe would turn out to be very similar. It didn't. Since I'm in a declaration kind of mood: I'll never make Ritz Chicken again either. Ingredients 2 sleeves of Ritz Crackers ( I used a generic store brand, not Ritz ) 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground pepper 4 or 5 chicken breasts 4 eggs 4 Tbsp honey 2 Tbsp water Directions: Set the oven to 400 degrees. Spray

Make-Ahead Semi-Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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Mmmmmm.... we're heading into the time of year when it's more respectable to eat pasta for every meal. As with most marinara sauces, this is best served at least one day after it has been simmered. This recipe makes a huge party pot of yummy delicious spaghetti sauce. Any extras can be easily frozen for future use. Ingredients 2 pounds ground beef 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium green pepper, chopped 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced 3 celery ribs, chopped 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes (I blend the contents briefly in a food processor; my kids and husband hate tomato chunks) 1 jar (26 ounces) of your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce (we love Ragu Mama's Special Garden Sauce, but any flavorful recipe will work) 1/2 cup ketchup 1 can tomato soup 2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon prepared mustard Hot cooked spaghetti Directions In a l

Brushed and Baked BBQ Chicken Rolls

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I was originally inspired by this recipe that I found online (it was delicious, btw). I decided to take it in a different direction and the end result was sensational! I'm only judging by the groans of ecstasy from every quadrant of the dinner table, but they're usually pretty reliable food critics. Ingredients 24 rolls Mayonnaise Baked chicken breasts, shredded BBQ sauce of your choice (I'm a sucker for KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar) Cheddar or provolone cheese, shredded or sliced Brush Sauce 1/4 c. melted butter 1 Tbs mustard 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce Optional Toppings Lettuce Tomatoes Sliced apples Cole slaw Carmelized onions Avocado Directions Mix together shredded chicken with bbq sauce until well coated. Slice rolls in half. Spread of mayo on the inside of each roll. Assemble rolls with bbq chicken and cheese. Place assembled rolls on a cookie sheet. Mix together the melted butter, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce with a whisk. Brush t

One-Ingredient Apple Dip

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I learned this "recipe" while I was teaching English in Russia 15 years ago. I was thinking about it recently and decided to make it again so that I could see if it was as delicious as I remembered. It was, and then some! In fact, I was hard-pressed to convince my neighbor's husband that I really and truly only used one ingredient. Ingredient: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk Directions: Take the wrapper off the can. Boil the UNOPENED can in a pot of water for *3 hours. Keep adding water as it evaporates. Keeping a lid on the pot really helps with that problem. Stir the can once in a while. Tip it over, roll it around, whatever. Remove it from the pot after 3 hours. Set aside until cool. When I made it, I set it aside for about an hour, but the can still felt hot. At that point I dropped it in a bowl of ice water for about 4 minutes and then it was all ready. Open the can, scoop out the yummy, decadent deliciousness, and serve as a sweet, carmel-like dip

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Mini Muffins

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Let me describe them this way: "Muffins so good even Crew will eat them." Many of you know that I am not a baker. At all . Nevertheless, after sampling a few dozen of these mini-muffins on a recent visit to my friend Kerrin's house, I rallied my courage and bought ingredients for the proffered recipe. Only 48 cents for baking soda? Who knew? I am pleased (and a little shocked) to report that they turned out just as good as Kerrin's . Ingredients: Wet Mix: 1 cup pumpkin (or 1 cup pureed canned yams!) 2 eggs 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 apple sauce Dry Mix: 2.5 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt Final Add-in 2 cups peeled and chopped apples Streusel Topping: 2 tsp flour 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon Cut in 4 Tbs cold butter (I grated it with a cheese grater!) Directions: Mix dry mixture and wet mixture separately. Mix together just until wet. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into greased mini-muffin

Thai Chicken Pasta

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This recipe came from the Top Family Recipe Collections of two of my friends. Knowing what talented cooks they both are, I took a leap of faith, despite my reservations on the whole concept. Peanut butter? With my pasta ? That seemed rather sacrilegious to this little Italian. Especially when I don't really love peanut butter all that much in the first place. Consider me converted. Thank you , Wendy and Allison! Kinley's response: "Wow... Wow.... WOW . This is good. SO good. If you ever go on The Next Food Network Star, you need to make this for sure to win the whole thing!" I made the recipe exactly as written and it was perfect just the way it was. I wasn't familiar enough with some of the ingredients to mess around anyway. I have never used sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, or chili-garlic sauce before. 12 ounces linguine ( NOT 16 ounces!) 2-3 breasts of cooked and chopped or shredded chicken. (I used 2 somewhat large ones) Sauce: 1

Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing

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I made this dressing for our weekend getaway. Mmmmm..... I made it with low-fat buttermilk and it was still delicious. The original recipe came from my friend Bethany. It's been a while since I've had Cafe Rio, but it tasted just like I remembered it, for whatever that's worth. Ingredients 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix 2-3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop 1 cup mayo 1 cup buttermilk ½ bunch cilantro 2 cloves garlic juice from 1 lime ½ - 1 jalapeno pepper depending on the size ( remove seeds for less fire... I removed the seeds; 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper without the seeds was plenty for our uber-gringo weak-sauce palates ) Directions Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in air-tight container.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

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I found this recipe on my friend Allie's recipe blog . It's delicious, fast, and simple. Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered 1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces 1 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup feta cheese 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1/2 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons minced onion 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup vegetable oil In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds, cranberries, and feta cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving. This makes a lot and does not keep well overnight--it gets wilty and gross. This tasty salad is a definite crowd-p

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

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I made these enchiladas on Saturday and they were de lectable. Justin told me 9 times throughout the night how delicious dinner had been, more delicious than Los Hermanos or Cafe Rio (I don't know about that , but high praise, indeed!) Kinley and Tanner clamored for seconds (and thirds for Kinley), which almost never happens. Kinley actually ate as much as Justin did, oink oink, claiming that these enchiladas are officially her new favorite food. I ran a sample of the meat over to our neighbor to see if it was really as delicious as I thought and she was in wide-eyed agreement. If you try nothing else , make the beef for the best taco salad meat of your life. I modified a recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com. It may look complicated at first glance; it's not. Ingredients: 2-3 pounds beef roast (my roast was 2.5 pounds) 1 can beef broth (2 cups) 1/3 cup water 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 medium onion, chopped o

Orange Barbecue Chicken Strips

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This recipe is also good with strips of chicken. And a little easier too.

Funeral Potatoes

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I have been making funeral potatoes for a long time, tweak-tweak-tweaking my recipe along the way. I finally have them perfect. Well, perfect for me anyway. We call them "creamy potatoes" around here because my kids find the name "funeral potatoes" a little disturbing and distracting. Ingredients: 1 26-ounce bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns (about 9 cups) 1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup 1 cup milk 3/4 cup sour cream 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 3 tablespoons butter, melted (and divided) -- I always use unsalted butter 1/4 cup diced onion Directions: Melt 1 TBS butter in small saucepan and saute onions until soft and onions start to carmelize. Mix soup, milk, sour cream, 2 Tbs melted butter, cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add sauteed onions. Slowly stir in hashbrowns and mix well. Pour mixture into lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake covered on 350 for 25 minutes. Take cover off and continue baking u

Tangy Apricot Pork

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My friend Jennie gave me a delicious recipe for shredded pork. We've made it several times now and it's a new favorite for the entire family. Kinley and Tanner love it by itself as a main dish; Justin eats it on sandwiches and I enjoy it on salads. It's different/unique and yummy and even better the second day! Ingredients: 2-pound pork sirloin tip roast (the 4-packs at Costco are perfect !) 1 cup apricot preserves 3 tbs yellow mustard 3 tbs worchestershire sauce 2 and 1/4 cups water (divided) Directions: Put roast into crock pot with 2 cups of water. Cook on high for 4 hours. Take roast out, shred with fork and dump out crock pot, removing any ickies from the bottom. Put the shredded pork back into the crock pot. Mix preserves, mustard, worchestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Add to crock pot and mix until pork is well coated. Continue to cook on high for 1-2 more hours. Serve warm.

Rosemary Chicken Pasta

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Sigh... This is a dish that haunts me in my dreams at night until I make it. I love it. I mean I really really love it. I originally got the recipe from my friend Heather W. and it's one of their family favorites too. My kids go bananas (in a happy way) when they find out Rosemary Chicken Pasta is on the menu. It doesn't look like much, but the flavors are unique and addicting. It's crazy good. Ingredients 2 breasts of boneless, skinless chicken 1/2 cup flour 4 tsp olive oil (divided) 4 tsp butter (divided) 1/3 cup diced onions 2 tsp minced garlic 3 cup unsweetened white grape juice 4 tsp chicken boullion 1 tsp ground or regular rosemary leaves 1/2 tsp salt dash pepper 12 ounces angel hair pasta (not 16 oz!!) fresh chives (optional; I have never used them) Directions Cut thawed chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and put into bowl. Pour flour into bowl and stir until chicken is well coated with flour. In a wide, deep skillet, combine 3 tsp olive oi

Montreal Roast

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Nobody loves roast beef like my Justin and I don't mind bragging that I make a great one. When we have it on hand, he'll eat it on sandwiches. It also goes great with potaters, of course! My friend Bethany helped me take my old roast to the next level with the recommendation of Montreal Steak Seasoning to wake up the flavors for "a party in your mouth"! Ingredients: 2.5 - 3 pound Roast 3 cups water Montreal Steak Seasoning Directions: Place roast in crock pot with water. Season the top liberally with Montreal steak seasoning. Cook on high for 8-10 hours. Shred with fork on a cutting board or platter and serve. Tip: It's extremely, delightfully moist, but it will dry out fast if you don't serve or store immediately. The moisture will evaporate from that super-hot meat if you aren't careful. If you plan on using it for next-day sandwiches, put it in a ziploc back immediately after shredding to keep it moist. Once it cools with the moisture

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

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This was another Allrecipes.com success story ! This is supposed to be a grilled chicken, but it's barely March. And we're out of propane anyway. Sooo.... it was fantastic broiled in the oven!! Can't wait to try grilling it outdoors this summer! Ingredients 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2/3 cup dijon mustard 1/2 cup honey 4 tbs mayo (fat-free is ok!) 2 tsp steak sauce Directions Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 5 minutes. Cut chicken into chunks and set aside. Mix mustard, honey, mayo, and steak sauce in bowl. Separate in half. Pour half of the mixture onto the chicken and stir well, until chicken is nicely coated in sauce. Thread the chicken on skewers. Place skewers on greased cookie sheet. Broil on one side for approximately 20 minutes. Turn over, baste with remaining sauce and broil for additional 10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. It's great for a main dish, sandwich innards, or to use in a salad. Great reviews over h

Sesame Chicken

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My friend Emily recommended The Rookie Cookie website for yummy recipes. A quick perusal of Rookie's listings landed me in the arms of her Sesame Chicken . Mmmm... no more Panda Express for us. Sesame Chicken Ingredients 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into bite-size pieces 2 Tbsp flour salt and ground pepper 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup sugar 2 tsp sesame seeds 1 stalk green onion, chopped** 2 cups white or brown rice, cooked according to package directions In a bowl, combine soy sauce and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken pieces and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add chicken. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes, depending on how large or small your pieces are. Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Stir the soy sauce mixture ag

Spinach Pasta Salad

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I originally got this yummy recipe from my sister, Heather. I love it and make it all the time. I have been working on it for a few years, tweaking to maximize taste and texture while minimizing caloric content. I'm there!* Salad: 1/2 lb. rotini pasta, cooked al dente, drain, rinse in cold water 1.5 C cooked chopped chicken 4 cups fresh spinach, shredded/torn 1/2 C black olives, chopped in 1/4’s 2 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled 1.5 cups diced tomtatoes (grape tomatoes, YUM!) 1/2 C monterrey jack cheese, shredded Dressing: 1 Tbs Dijon mustard 4 Tbs olive oil** 5 Tbs vinegar 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 Tbs honey 1 clove garlic, minced Blend dressing ingredients. Pour over mixed salad. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes before serving. Salt to taste at table. *This makes 12 delicious 1-cup servings, 178 calories each. Not bad for all that pasta and cheese! **If the dressing is too tart, add another Tbs of olive oil.

Baked Ziti

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For Valentine's Day, I made a delicious baked ziti for the family. It was extremely easy and just as delicious! I see why it had such high ratings on allrecipes.com . INGREDIENTS 1 pound dry ziti or mastaccioli pasta 2 cups onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic 1 pound lean ground beef 2 (24 ounce) jars PLUS 1 cup of spaghetti sauce** 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced 16 ounces sour cream (fat-free is OK) 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese DIRECTIONS Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente; drain. In a large skillet, brown onion, garlic and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce; warm through. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a (deep!) 9x13 inch baking dish.  Make sure it's plenty deep; this is a large meal! Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti Sour Cream (I like to mix the first half of the ziti WITH the sour cream.  Easier and faster) Provolone cheese