Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grilled Chicken & Dumplings Alfredo

Okay, I made this up from scratch and I have to say I really amazed myself. I was going to make just regular chicken and dumplings until I realized we did not have any of the traditional ingredients. So...I came up with this and I think I like it better!

Grilled Chicken & Dumplings Alfredo

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 bag frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • dash of salt
Cut chicken breasts into large strips or pieces. Grill and set aside (I use my George Foreman). Mix together dumpling batter and drop by large spoonfuls into boiling water 5 at a time. After 1 minute dumplings should be done. Using a strainer remove dumplings and set aside in a bowl. Repeat until batter is gone.

In a frying pan, melt butter. Sautee onions in butter for about 5 minutes on medium high. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time stirring constantly. As flour begins to thicken quickly add milk 1/2 cup at a time, adding remaining tablespoons of flour in between until milk and flour have all been added. Continue stirring. As mixture begins to bubble add garlic, salt and sour cream. Stir in spinach and cheese. Place dumplings and chicken in sauce and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Top with more cheese. Serve hot.

Pineapple Peach Butter Cake

My kids begged me to make a cake today. I had to work with what was in the pantry and this is what I came up with. It was bubbly and hot on the bottom yet crispy and crunchy on the top with a perfect gooey center. Yes, they inhaled it!

Pineapple Peach Butter Cake
  • 1 can of peaches in syrup (or frozen)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Spread peaches and pineapple on the bottom of cake dish. Dump dry cake mix over top and spread evenly. Slice up butter evenly over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Potato Puree Casserole

I got this idea from a soup commercial. I usually don't get excited when I see the word "casserole" however I put my own spin on this soup commercial idea and that's exactly what it became was a casserole and I must say this is no ordinary casserole. It is velvety smooth and within 25 minutes my family had licked the casserole dish clean. They made it known that this was a crowd pleaser!

Tip: If you are a meat lover you may want to layer 1 pound of cooked ground beef over potatoes before adding soup layer.

Potato Puree Casserole
  • 6-8 red potatoes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 family size can of Beef & Vegetable Soup
  • 1-2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • Sour cream (for topping)
Boil potatoes with skins on until soft (about15-20 minutes). Remove skins. Place in blender with milk. Blend until they become smooth puree (no lumps). You may need to add more milk if they become too thick to blend, just be careful not too add too much milk or it will become a soup. Blend in salt and garlic. Pour puree into 13X9 inch baking dish. Pour can of soup over top of puree. Spread evenly. Layer top with cheese and bake at 375 degrees for about 2o minutes. Top with cool sour cream and parsley.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce (I make my spaghetti sauce from scratch - tastes better)
  • Parmesan cheese
Defrost chicken in microwave. Chicken should be moist and juicy. Dip the moist chicken in bread crumbs and coat both sides. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad or grilled veggies.

Tortillas from Scratch

I love homemade tortillas! They are chewy and warm and so filling. They are pretty easy to make too!

Tortillas from Scratch
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup hot water
Sift flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender. Stir in enough hot water so dough holds together - add a small amount at a time. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide into eight balls and roll into thin circles (as thin as possible). Heat skillet over medium heat. Cook tortillas 30 seconds on first time or until it begins to bubble and then 10 seconds on the other side. Store in a zip lock bag until ready to use.

Green Enchiladas

This is how I make enchiladas at my house. I gave them the name "green" enchiladas because originally I used green tortillas and I use a green taco sauce. In the photo shown here I used homemade tortillas which I have included the recipe on my blog as well. This is a before picture (before it went into the oven) of course when they come out they are a cheesy, gooey sensation!

My sister and her husband said they replaced this recipe with their old favorite "chicken enchiladas" with white sauce. They say this is better.

Green Enchiladas
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 large bottle La Victoria green taco sauce
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 cups cubed chicken or beef
  • 1 pkg Taco Bell seasoning
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 Tbsp lime/lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Grease a 13 X9 inch baking dish. Fry meat in taco seasoning. Add onions and fry for 2 minutes. Add black beans, lemon juice and garlic powder as well as salt to taste. Scoop 1/2 cup of mixture into each tortilla. Sprinkle cheddar cheese (use 1 cup) on top of each one. Pour entire bottle of taco sauce over top with tomatoes and green onions. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Top with sour cream.

Mexican Cheesecake

Okay, this is one of the yummiest deserts I have ever had. I was making a Mexican dinner and was trying to decide upon a desert. I thought to myself, "I wonder if there is such a thing as Mexican cheesecake." so I Googled it and there it was!

I found this 5 star recipe and it is super easy. You can't have just one either. Mmmmm!

Mexican Cheesecake
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (soften)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls
  • 6 teaspoons butter (soften)
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup of sugar (reserve 1/2 cups of sugar for the topping). Roll out 1 can of crescent rolls and places on bottom of buttered 13 x 9 glass cake pan. Pour mixture on top of crescent rolls. Roll out other can of crescent rolls and place on top of mixture. (If seams come undone while rolling out. pinch together). Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 tsp of cinnamon in different bowl. Spread softened butter on top of crescent rolls. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of butter. Place in oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Cool and refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lemon Basil Crab Chowder

It was a cold night and my husband asked me to make something warm. Well, I had a package of imitation crab meat and I was going to make a salad with it. So after a quick change of plans I decided to just toss it in a pot and see what I could come up with. This was absolutely delicious and my kids loved it! I served it with baked fries but of course yummy sour dough bread would be a perfect side.

Lemon Basil Crab Chowder

  • 1 large package of flaked imitation crab meat (or real)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6-8 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • ground pepper
Heat large saucepan to medium high. Melt all of butter then add 1/4 cup of flour. Stir. Add 1 cup milk and stir. Add remaining flour and stir. Add remaining milk. Can add more flour to thicken. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Creme Brulee

Creme brulee means burned cream in French. It's just not the same without the burned sugar flavor - however if you are like me and you don't own a blow torch, you can sprinkle cinnamon on top and you'll get a similar look with a nice flavor variation. Also if you don't have or can't afford vanilla beans just use vanilla extract. Enjoy this creamy goodness!

Creme Brulee

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 Tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a saucepan on medium set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce

This goes perfect with a roast. Get yourself a 3-5 pound roast and place in a roasting pan in a bath of 1/4 inch of water. Sprinkle salt on top and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours. Serve with cold, creamy horseradish sauce.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Whisk together all ingredients and chill.

Fondue Swiss Cheese Sauce

I love fondue! I created this cheese sauce to mimic the fondue cheese I have had in Germany before. Over there you buy it in the store, but I think it tastes better homemade. This is yummy dipped with bread and steamed whole mushrooms.

Fondue Swiss Cheese Sauce

  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 block of Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
Place saucepan on medium heat. Pour in milk, butter and both blocks of cheese. As it begins to melt add the flour. Stir constantly. Add vinegar and salt. You may add more flour to thicken. Pour in fondue pot and keep heated. Enjoy your bubbly appetizer!!

Winger's Wing Sauce & Breaded Chicken

I created this sauce a couple years ago and it tastes just like Winger's Wing sauce. I'm not a bog fan of chicken wings because there is more bone then chicken, so I like to make breaded chicken and coat it in my sauce. It tastes great with celery sticks and cool, creamy ranch dip.

Winger's Wing Sauce & Breaded Chicken

  • 4-6 chicken breasts cooked (in the microwave until white)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oil
Wing Sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
Mix cornstarch with vinegar in a saucepan. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir for two minutes. Set aside. Heat frying pan on medium high and add oil. Coat sliced chicken in flour on all sides (shake in a zip lock bag with flour for quick results) Fry in pan until golden brown. Place in a dish and coat with sauce. Serve right away while outside of chicken is crisp and hot.

The Pizza Bowl

So you made my spinach dip recipe and it was a hit. The dip is all gone but now you have an enormous empty bread bowl. What to do? I created this for that very dilemma. I hate to wast food. My husband and I were joking that this would be a cool restaurant idea. Kinda like the concept of Subway - build your own pizza bowls. You go through the assembly line picking out your fillings and toppings and then it gets toasted in an oven and feeds your whole family. I could see this being on Man vs. Food. Well, you saw it here first. here is my invention of the Pizza Bowl.

The Pizza Bowl

  • 1 large round loaf of sourdough bread
  • 1 lb ground beef (or meat of your choice)
  • Veggies of your choice (mushrooms, olives, peppers, tomatoes, onions)
  • Cheese of your choice
Hollow out bread loaf into a bowl. Fill with cheese, cooked meat, veggies and top with cheese of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Succulent Spinach Dip

I made this for a party and it was an instant gravitation device. It is very addicting!!

Succulent Spinach Dip
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread
In a medium bowl mix together all ingredients. Hollow out a round bread loaf and use torn bread to dip. I like to serve with bagel bites. Serve dip in hollowed out bread bowl.

Chocolate Mousse Truffles

I was introduced to these at a church activity and just had to have the recipe. I changed the name to a more fitting name that better describes the taste. I made these for a party and was told these are the best cookies in the world. They look like a ball of cookie dough but are literally like eating a mouthful of mousse. They are light and fluffy and only 3 ingredients!!

Chocolate Mousse Truffles
  • 3 giant sized Symphony candy bars
  • 16oz Cool Whip
  • 3 cups Nilla Wafer Cookies (crushed)

Melt chocolate on a double broiler. I boiled a small pot of water and put a slightly bigger pot on top to melt the chocolate in. This method will give you smooth, silky melted chocolate. Avoid melting in the microwave or directly on a burner. Let cool for 10 minutes then pour in a medium bowl and fold in the Cool Whip. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to stiffen mixture. Form into small balls and roll in the crushed cookies. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
(Remember the mixture is very light and sticky so you need to roll very softly with your hands).

Avacodo Salad & Sweet Pink Dressing

I created this for a party and it was a hit. You can never go wrong with avocados and bacon. The sweet, onion dressing is yummy with just the right kick of red onion. It's a yummy marriage of flavor!!

Avocado Salad & Sweet Pink Dressing

  • 1 bag of spinach leaves
  • 4 ripe avocados sliced
  • 1 bag of pomegranate flavored Craisins (Ocean Spray)
  • 1 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds (Walmart)
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
Blend salad dressing ingredients in Magic Bullet or blender until thick and creamy. Refrigerate dressing until right before serving. Toss salad ingredients together. Pour dressing over and toss. Serve right away.

Peppermint Eggnog Float

I used to hate eggnog especially as a child but over the years I have discovered with just the right variations, eggnog can be quite delicious. I was wanting to add peppermint extract this year and make a creamy, peppermint eggnog - then I cam across this recipe and read that people who usually hate eggnog love this drink. So I had to try it and take it to a Christmas party where I knew there would be lots of eggnog haters. Yes, it worked! They all loved it. The way the cold soda hits the ice cream and fizzes into a thick foam, the swirls of pink and white, and the delicious candy cane flavor as you stir your drink with your peppermint stick. It's an icy cold dream!!

Peppermint Eggnog Float

  • 2 liter bottle of ginger ale
  • 1/2 gallon of eggnog
  • 1 container of Dryer's peppermint ice cream
  • Candy canes/peppermint sticks
Reserve 3 scoops of ice cream in the freezer for later. Melt remaining ice cream to room temperature. Pour into punch bowl. Add eggnog and then ginger ale. Stir. Place frozen scoops on top and sprinkle with crushed peppermint pieces (the soft kind). Use candy canes to decorate the bowl and as stir sticks for the cups. Fill tiny glasses with drink and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.