Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken Alfredo

This is such an easy, go-to meal that my husband and I both adore. I absolutely despise canned alfredo sauce, as does my sister. Every once in a while I will just put my finger in the canned stuff to see if MAYBE I can just suck it up and eat never, EVER works! I hate, HATE, hate it. No question. So, my sister and I made up this alfredo recipe, and it is to die for!

12 oz pasta (we love wheat pasta)
1 large chicken breast
1 Tbs. EVOO
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cube chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Heat pan to medium-low with EVOO. (The slower you cook your chicken the juicier it will be without burning).  Place chicken in pan and sprinkle with seasonings. Cover pan with additional dish and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes, tossing regularly.
Use THIS recipe for Alfredo Sauce and place chicken and sauce over pre-cooked noodles. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bread Pudding

Ahhh. Bread pudding. When I eat this I just feel at home, it is just one of those dishes I guess. Perfectly gooey with a little bit of crunch, nothing but bread and a sweet sugar and cinnamon flavor. I opt out of putting anything such as raisins in my bread pudding, it ruins it! This was the best bread pudding I have ever had...I will now be making it with every extra piece of bread I have! Enjoy...seriousoly...Enjoy...

2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar (white or brown, depending on taste preference)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread, torn into small pieces (french bread works best)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

 In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk just until film forms over top. Add butter to warm milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add milk mixture.

Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm with sauce below.


1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. flour
dash of salt

Mix everything together and bring to a boil for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then pour on warm bread pudding.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Mustard Sauce

Yummy, yummy, yummy! This meal was delicious...especially with the Honey Mustard Sauce to top it off. Cody doesn't like mustard, so he ate it plain and still loved it. It is a relatively easy meal that has a great presentation. Making this for guests would WOW them without much work from your that's what I call a good meal!

From: The Open Pantry

4 Chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded even
4-8 slices of Ham
4 slices of Swiss Cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
Milk or egg

Lay the butterflied chicken breasts flat, lightly salt and pepper. Place a slice or two of ham and then swiss cheese on top of chicken and roll up, secure the rolled chicken with toothpicks and then dredge milk or egg, and then in bread crumbs. 

Cook in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thru. Once the chicken is done allow it to rest before cutting to retain the juices and let them set back in the chicken. Serve with honey mustard sauce or your favorite sauce or even plain. Enjoy!

Honey Mustard Sauce

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
3 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Brown mustard or Whole Grain Mustard
1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
3 Tbs Milk

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and heat thru, add milk to reach the consistency that you desire. Serve the sauce hot with Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thai Peanut Chicken

Hi pinterest visitors! We love this recipe, but we have more that we enjoy just as much!
to be pointed to my main page with the most recent recipes, or
to get to all of our favorite Chicken recipes! Thanks for stopping in!

Chalk it up for another DELICIOUS 30-minute meal! I seriously made this in about 3 minutes. What a wonderful thing a crock pot is...
Okay, so is it just me or do ALL crock pot recipes tell you to cook on HIGH for way too long of a time? I seriously never pay attention to the time on the recipes...I have just lived and learned I guess! This was such a different recipe for us, which is ALWAYS fun! For me to cook, anyway! It ended up really well. There are a few things that I would change here and there, and I have done that. I was afraid, for some reason, that this would be way too strange for our taste buds. Well, it ends up that is was very fitting. It was FLAVORFUL, not spicy, which is always good for us, we are wimps! It was also a quick, yummy, crock pot meal, which gives it a couple more stars on my list.
Thai Peanut Chicken
Printable Version
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts(I threw them in the crock pot frozen!)
3/4 cup medium or hot salsa(we used mild)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. soy sauce (or this to be GF)
1 Tbs. brown sugar
½ tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
1/3 cup coconut milk
cilantro(for garnish, a necessity to us!)
chopped peanuts(for garnish)
Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix salsa, peanut butter, lim juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger root. Pour mixture over chicken. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. remove chicken from cooker and shred into large pieces. Return to crock pot. Add coconut milk and turn to warm setting for 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
Serve over rice or noodles.
Top with cilantro and peanuts. My husband LOVED the cilantro, as did I. I would NEVER make this meal without gives it just the right PUNCH at the end! Enjoy!
Serves 4-6
ADAPTED from Family Dinners Cookbook

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Talk about easy and delicious, this is it! My husband whipped this up in minutes, and we loved every bite! I highly recommend this meal, I know that we will be eating it often! I consider this a 30 minute meal, because it literally takes 10 minutes or less to prepare.

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 cup Honey flavored Barbeque Sauce
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbs. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350.
Place chicken pieces in a baking dish that has been sprayed or the bottom is covered with tin foil(I do this with all of my meals that I bake to make for an easy clean up!) In a bowl, stir together BBQ sauce, pineapple (I, of course, pureed the pineapple to make this chunk-free), ginger, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve over your choice of rice...ours is brown!

Coconut Chicken Curry

Okay, so I know that this SOUNDS weird, but it really isn't! I was totally scared the entire time that I was making it that Cody was going to take one bite and then we would head out to get some pizza. Well, it was the opposite! Everyone that ate it took seconds! It was very delicious, and not too spicy, not at all. Honestly, you could feed this to your kids and be just fine. The coconut milk must sweeten it up a little bit...however, you cannot taste a distinct coconut flavor. So, even if you are not a fan of the big-c, give it a try! Now, the potatoes. I am NOT A FAN of potatoes, I almost omitted them...but, these were delicious! They soak up the flavors that surround it and just crumble in your mouth...yum!

From: Melanie at My Kichen Cafe

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (substitute cayenne pepper if you like the heat)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 red or russett potatoes, cut into chunks and pre-cooked 
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
Jasmine rice (cooked)

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil, curry powder, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-low heat for two minutes, until fragrant (but don't let it burn). Turn the heat up to medium and stir in onions(which I pureed) and garlic and cook ten minutes more or until onions are very clear. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through. Add potatoes, then add coconut milk, tomatoes (I blended mine before adding in order to make a chunk-free meal!), tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes or until sauce thickens. The sauce thickens upon standing, but is great served piping hot (and a bit thinner), too. Serve with Jasmine rice (or your favorite rice) and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Bars

This was my first gluten free but tastes like it has gluten recipe, and it turned out absolutely delicious! I have been holding off on buying a billion different types of flour to see if being gluten-free actually helps my pain. Last Saturday I got a knock on my of my friends dropped off all sorts of great GF stuff! Including a flour mixture that made this dessert sooo good! Thanks Jen! I took some to friends and family, and everyone raved about them. They are going on my make all the time list! Yummy!

2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup pumpkin puree 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups
 gluten-free flour mix*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum 
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the eggs till blended; add the oil and beat to combine. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin, beat till smooth; add the vanilla, beat to combine. Add the flour mixture, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum and spices; and beat just until the batter is smooth. 

Dump the batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan and spread the evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the bars are firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting after the bars have cooled completely.

*gluten-free flour mixture:
3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts corn starch
2 parts soy flour
1 part masa harina

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gluten Free flour Mix

This is a great flour mix to use in baked goods...
3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts corn starch
2 parts soy flour
1 part masa harina

Saturday, November 1, 2008


These were fun to make, and fun to eat! Especially for kids! If you have never worked with Phyllo dough, it can be a challenged. Once you get used to it, however, it make DELICIOUS dishes! I really recommend that you try using it, you won't regret it when you are chowing down! TIP: It is very, very important that you let dough completely thaw before working with it. Also, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep phyllo dough covered. This will keep it from getting dry, and it gets dry quick! I usually just work with one piece at a time and keep  a towel covering the other sheets.

From: Paula Deen

1 package phyllo dough
1 cube butter
10 slices ham
10 string cheeses
pimento or ketchup for eyes

Remove one sheets of phyllo dough from the stack, being sure to re-cover the others with a towel. Butter the sheet liberally, then top with another sheet and butter it as well. Wrap 1 string cheese in 1 piece of ham. Place the ham and cheese roll on one end of the pre-buttered phyllo dough. Roll two turns, then fold in the ends and continue to roll until closed.

Next, tear a sheet of phyllo dough into strips and wrap multiple strips around the roll. The messier the better, for these are the mummies wraps! If you are having trouble making the wraps stay, feel free to use butter to get them to sticks to the roll. Repeat 10 times.

Place on a  greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-2o minutes. When the mummies are cooked, used pimento or ketchup to dot eyes. Serve and be afraid...very afraid!

The BEST Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I have been eating these since I could eat solid food, and it doesn't get any better than this. You can munch on these at any time, and they are so good for you! I will never do them any other way!

For every 2 cups of seeds:
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. alpine touch (Or 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper)
1 1/2 Tbs. EVOO(or 8 sprays of spray on EVOO)

Clean out your pumpkin and place seeds in a bowl of water. After letting them soak for about a half an hour, it should be very simple to separate the pulp from the seeds. Discard the pulp and rinse the seeds clean. 
Put seeds in a saucepan with 3 cups of water and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Drain and dry seeds on a paper towel then place them in a large bowl.
Toss clean, dry seeds in EVOO, then in the seasonings. Spread out evenly on a greased baking sheet. 

Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes. If you have more than 2 cups of seeds, you may need to adjust baking time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

This isn't only a Halloween pie, you can make it any time of the year. Simply change your topping decor for the seasons! If you know me or read my blog often, you know that peanut butter and chocolate combined is the way to my heart! So, I automatically LOVE the person who showed me this recipe! It was a delicious, gluten-free, peanut-buttery, chocolaty dessert! It was rather rich, but richness and me get along well. I highly recommend this recipe! I served this cold, because it gets more pudding-like if served warm.

From: The Open Pantry

Chocolate Crust
1 cup semisweet Chocolate Chips
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 1/2 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
1/4 cup mini semisweet Chocolate Chips

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
One 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
Milk Chocolate Curls, for Garnish

Make the Crust: In a double boiler(I just used a regular saucepan), melt 1 cup chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Gently stir in the rice cereal until completely coated. Set aside to cool to lukewarm, then stir in the mini chips. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 Minutes to set the chocolate.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Pour the filling into the crust.

Make the topping: In a double boiler(I did this in the microwave), melt the chocolate chips over hot water. Add the cream and stir until blended. Set aside to cool slightly, then drizzle over the top of the pie. Refrigerate pie until firm, about 2 hours. Garnish with chocolate curls.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Menu: Week 5 (Gluten Free Menu)

We had a relatively normal week this week! Crazy! That hasn't happened in a long time. Here ya go!

Sunday: Chicken Tacos and cilantro lime salsa
Monday: Chef Salad
Tuesday: Mexican Lasagna
Wednesday: Honey Glazed chicken with brown rice and steamed broccoli and corn
Thursday: Apple Cider chicken with brown rice and corn
Friday: Out
Saturday: White Chicken Chili
Sunday: Lasangne and Divine Breadsticks(these are not gf but the lasagna is)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Bars

Yummy, yummy...or so I hear! I am still doing the Gluten-free thing, but not everyone in my life is! I was headed to a dinner with my hubby, sister + fam, Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt and Uncle and I was in charge of dessert. My mom had made these and said that they were delicious. She took them to work and every was ranting and raving about how wonderful they were. So, I decided, even though I can't eat them, I have to make them just to see how they turn out. My hubby's first reaction was, "O, these are NOT good!" Aka: never make them again because I will just eat the entire batch and get fat. Thanks for another one Mel!

P.S. I am an icing freak...I would either 1 1/2 or 2 times the icing recipe!

From: Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apple Cider Chicken

MMM....tis the season for apples. They are SOOO crisp and good right now. If you are not making some recipes with apples, please start! I would make this recipe as well as Apple Strudel in Phyllo Dough for dessert...mmm! Okay, maybe not in the same meal, that is a lot of apple-ness! Anyway, this was a great, simple dish that is not too filling. Sometimes after I eat I feel like I am going to EXPLODE! This is not one of those meals, which is nice every once in a while. I suggest eating a piece of apple in every bite that you take. The juices that they apple absorbs make this dish much more flavorful. My hubby is not a chunk person, so he just put the sauce over the top with no apples. He still enjoyed the meal, but I know it didn't taste as good my my chunky bites! hehe! Thanks for a keeper, Ash!

From: Ashley Wray

3/4 T olive oil
1/2 t minced garlic
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 apples, peeled and diced (I used gala)
3/4 C apple juice
1 1/2 T butter

Slice your chicken breasts in half horizontally to create thinner breasts. Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat, add garlic. Cook until translucent. Add chicken breasts. Cook on for about 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook another 2 minutes. Add apples and saute for 2 minutes. Add apple juice and reduce liquid by half, this will take about 7 minutes.
Mix in butter and salt and pepper to taste. remove chicken, pour sauce over and serve over rice! Enjoy!

Alpine Touch

I have had a few inquiries about the spice that I use on EVERYTHING, Alpine Touch. I use it in virtually every recipe, even if I do not list it. From eggs in the morning to casseroles, chicken, and steak at night. I put it on potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, every side dish that you can think of. Anyway, enough of the raving. I am not sure how to explain is a spiced-up salt and pepper with 10 times the flavor. It is delicious! I challenge you to try will not regret it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

Well, where to begin. I thought that this was delicious...but needed a few extra spices in the tomato sauce. The next time that I make this I will double the garlic powder and put some oregano and parsley into the sauce. Cody did not like this dish. I think it is because it was a "bake" aka casserole, but he also thought that it needed a little more flavor. I think that is a great different-than-chicken dish for us...and I am going to add those few spices and make it again in a couple of weeks! Shhh...! Don't tell Cody...!
From: Erika

1 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 can chopped green chili peppers
10 oz crushed corn chips(make sure that they aren't too salty)
2 cups grated monterey Jack cheese

Fry beef , add onions, garlic powder, and tomato sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, cottage cheese, and chopped green chili peppers. Place half of the crushed chips on the bottom of a casserole dish. Add 1/2 meat mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Spread entire sour cream mixture evenly over casserole. Repeat chips and meat layers. End with cheese on top. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Menu: Week 4 (Gluten Free Menu)

Yes, I know, this one has been a long time coming. It has been a while since we have had a full week of menu' has been crazy. Also, I am still trying to be Gluten Free, so that always gives me a challenge as well. 

Monday: Bourbon Chicken and steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Stuffed Chicken and house salad
Wednesday: Lemon Chicken and steamed asparagus
Thursday: Penne a la Carbonara and house salad
Friday: Out
Saturday: Out

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vanilla Frosting on Halloween Cupcakes!

Okay, so I know that these are not the prettiest pictures, but they were rushed! 
The pic above is a spider web with a chocolate chip spider. These ones were my favorite to make, I think I made them in every color variation possible.
Anyway, what I really wanted to share was the frosting recipe. I am a TOTAL cream-cheese frosting girl, and my hubby would never choose anything but cream cheese. Despite this, I decided to whip up some Vanilla frosting. Okay...DELICIOUS! I found it in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook for kids, so it is SOOO easy and SOOO yummy! It was the perfect consistency for frosting cupcakes, too.

From: Williams-Sonoma Baking with Kids Cookbook

3/4 cup butter at room temperature
2 Tbs. heavy cream (I used 1 % milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Mix the above ingredients until smooth.
Below is the...
ONE EYED ONE HORN FLYING PURPLE PEOPLE EATER! That is for my BFF Carrie! Woo-hoo! (I know it really has nothing to do with Halloween, but I had purple frosting, so...that's what I came up with!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Award

I feel like there are so many of these floating around the internet that I was bound to get one at some point...but it is still so fun to know that other people enjoy my recipes! A lot of my top hits for recipes have already received this don't feel bad if you are not on here...I know that you have already got it from another source! Emily at The Open Pantry recently gave me this award. Thanks so much, and here it goes...

Please find at least 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you’ve posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know too!!! (If you don't come up with 10, that's fine too!)
And the E for Excellent blog award goes to ...

1) Ally at All the Bits and Pieces. This is a relatively new blog, and she does the cutest crafts. Earrings, nursing covers, diaper wipe covers, and lots more adorable things!

2) Karina at Gluten Free Goddess. She has provided me with many recipes and I have learned a ton about gluten-free eating from her great site.

3) Melanie and Liz at Kill the Gluten. This blog has literally helped me survive these past 6 weeks! Thanks!

4) AnonyMOM Cooks. Almost all of her recipes are totally kid-friendly...which helps me when I am feeding my picky husband!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bourbon Street Chicken

Okay, so immediately after tasting this, I realized what everyone was raving about! The sauce has a great flavor, just the right amount of sweetness and spice. It is also such a simple recipe...which of course makes meals 10 times better! There is no BOURBON in this recipe...who knows why it is called bourbon?? Anyone? Anyway, it is delicious, my hubby said it is one of the best chicken dishes I have ever MADE! Points with the husband can never hurt. Definitely serve it over rice...of course, we used brown rice. MMM!

Adapeted From: Blog Chef

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 Tbs. oil (for frying) 
4 Tbs. cornstarch 

 1 garlic clove (minced) 
1/4 teaspoon ginger 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1/4 cup apple juice 
1/3 cup light brown sugar 
2 tablespoon ketchup 
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup water 
1/3 cup soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos to be GF)

Cut chicken breasts into bit sized pieces, and lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok or frying pan and fry chicken until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a separate bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok or frying pan and bring to a boil. 
Add chicken back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve over rice...delish!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cookie Cooking Class

I went to another cooking class this morning...this one was at Williams-Sonoma. (Ps-I love that store, I am pretty sure I could spend every penny of every one of my paychecks there! I don't...not worries...I just cry at night instead.:) Anyway, it was a great class and I am going to keep going to them on Saturday mornings at 9:00. We are already up for the Laundry Mat, so, Why not, right? I learned how to do royal frosting on sugar cookies that you think only pros can do! Also, I learned lots of basic tips that make cookie making easier: 

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature
only roll out your dough 2 times or it gets too tough
stamp your cookie cutters from the OUTSIDE get more cookies from your dough
spray pam in cookie cutters prior to cutting, the dough will slip out easier

I know these are all pretty basic, but they will help me make yummier cookies, for sure! I can't wait to show you the beautiful ones that I make! (Okay, they might be LESS than beautiful, since they will be my first ones!The ones above are not mine!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mexican Corn Chowder

This was DELICIOUS! Okay, let me rephrase that: I loved it, my husband hated it. Sad day, I know. I love, love, love corn, and chunks do not bother me in the least. My husband loves, loves, loves corn, too...however, he and chunks do not get along. I asked him prior to making it if he thought he would be okay with chunks of corn. He said he would be fine, because, well, he loves corn. It was quite the contrary. There is A TON of corn in this soup, and it was just a bit too chunky for him. If you have a chunky-hater like me on your hands, I would suggest food processing 2 cups of corn instead of only one. I also tried to make it a little less spicy by not adding quite so much onion, green chilies, and cumin. BIG PROBLEM! Don't do that...I think that it would have been even more delicious with the full servings of each of these.
The original recipe did not have potatoes, but we added them. It made the soup a little more hearty and filling, where without it I feel like I would have needed a few bowls to fill me up.
Like I said...I LOVED this soup...I will be eating it for lunch for the next 3 days with no hesitation whatsoever...enjoy!

Adapted From: Kill the Gluten

1 small onion, diced
5 medium potatoes, chopped and boiled
3 (15 oz) cans corn, drained
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk or cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic salt
2 cups cooked diced chicken
toppings: sour cream, cheese(this was my favortie), salsa, tortilla chips, avocado

Put onion, chilies and 1 can of corn in food processor, or blender, and pulse for 10-20 seconds.  Pour corn mixture into large saucepan. Add chicken broth, milk or cream, cumin, garlic salt, and 2 cans corn. Heat over medium heat until warm. Add chicken and potatoes. Heat and stir for 10 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, salsa, tortilla chips and diced avocado.

Stuffed Chicken

Yum, Yum, Easy, Yum. This recipe was great! Not to metion it was so easy! My husband whipped this up with no instruction whatsoever. He even added his own flare to it but using prosciutto instead of deli ham. This is definitely a light, 30 minute meal that we will be putting on our menu often. To make this a heavier meal you could use one chicken breast for each person instead of sharing one. If you do this, I recommend thinning your chicken breast out with a cooking a mallet, this meal is much better with minimal chicken on each side! Once more: YUM!

Note:This recipe is only for 2 double, triple, or quadruple to accommodate your needs!

Adapted From: Kill the Gluten

1 chicken breast, sliced in half
4 slices of prosciutto (or deli ham, but I recommend prosciutto)
3 swiss cheese slices

Slice each half of the chicken breast lengthways, until almost cutting through. (It will be like a hot dog bun, don't cut it all the way through, leave just a little to keep it connected). The chicken will be very thin on each side. Open breast to butterfly position. Layer 1 slice of prosciutto, 1 1/2 slices of swiss, then one additional slice of prosciutto. Fold top over and use toothpicks to secure.  
Place in greased baking pan to prevent sticking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I do not recommend seasoning with extra salt, the prosciutto is very flavorful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lemon Curd

This is the dessert that I learned to make in my most recent cooking class. It is simply...delightful. Not to mention, it is done in a microwave! A traditional curd is done on a double-boiler, and can curdle very easily. This is stirred every minute, preventing it from curdling. Kelcey was honestly embarassed to give us a microwave recipe, but she said it is her #1 go-to recipe for lemon curd, and that she will never do it any other way!

1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, whicsk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. 

Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter. If the butter is hot, make sure to temper it into the egg mixture. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after eachminute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This is called Nape in cooking terms: simply dip the back of a spoon in the mixture and run the tip of your finger down the middle. If the mixture stays firm and doesn't leak into the absent space, your curd is done. 

This can take anywhere from 4-7 minutes, depending on your microwave. 
Remove from the microwave and serve on top of, well, anything!
Ice cream
Ginger cookies
Angel Food cake
Tart shell
Tip: This mixture can be stored for up to three weeks in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Also, if you over cook the mixture or forget to stir, you can pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the bits of cooked egg.