Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas Island Chicken

No, it doesn't have to be Christmas to make this! I created this on a whim. Who said chicken had to be boring? We have had chicken every night for dinner the last week. the secret is not always the way you prepare it to change things up - it's the spices!

I had fun playing around with clove, curry and cinnamon. This dish tasted like Island food with a hint of Christmas. The tomatoes pulled from these spices quite well. It was a perfect marriage of flavors! Enjoy!

Christmas Island Chicken
  • 6-8 chicken tenders, thawed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • dash of salt
 In a skillet on medium high, add oil.  Add chicken and cloves. The cloves will flavor the oil, but you do not want to eat them, so be sure to remove them before adding the rest of your ingredients. When chicken is browned on both sides remove cloves. Add cinnamon, curry and salt. Toss and coat in spices. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and stir until flavors are blended. You may want to add additional curry, cinnamon or salt. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

If you like peanut butter cups watch out! These are so addicting - you really cant just have one. I like them after they have been in the fridge for 24 hours. They are a hearty snack - a little on the rich side but not enough to give you a heart attack. Who doesn't love an easy recipe? Enjoy!

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup  Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) can Fudge Frosting (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
 Fudge frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Frosting:  Melt butter in small pan on medium heat. Add chocolate chips stirring continuously until they begin melting. Add milk 2 Tbsp at a time - stirring continuously. Add vanilla. Remove from stove and add powdered sugar 2 Tbsp at a time until it reaches the thickness you desire. It will solidify on the bars when in the fridge.

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13 X 9-inch pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine 1 cup peanut butter, water and egg in large bowl, stirring until smooth. Stir in cake mix until blended and evenly moistened. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown. Cool completely. Blend frosting with 1/2 cup peanut butter in small bowl. Spread over cooled bars.Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Strawberry Tarragon Chicken

I made this recipe up as a new way to do chicken in our house. The tangy strawberry reduction sauce was a perfect marriage with the juicy and sweet Tarragon chicken. It was a perfect healthy, summer dinner!

Strawberry Tarragon Chicken
  • 4-6 chicken breasts, frozen
  • 1 Tbsp dried Tarragon
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
Strawberry Reduction Sauce
  • 1 cup ripe strawberries
  • tiny pinch of salt 
In a pot of boiling water, boil frozen chicken for 10 minutes. Heat skillet to medium high and add oil. Sprinkle Tarragon, lemon pepper and garlic powder over chicken on both sides. Fry chicken breasts until white in center and golden on outside.

While chicken is cooking add strawberries and salt to blender and puree. Add a little water if needed. When chicken is done remove chicken from pan and pour strawberry puree into pan. Simmer on medium high for about 6-8 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken as water evaporates. You want the sauce to pick up the chicken flavors from the pan but do not burn it!

Place chicken breasts on serving plates and drizzle sauce over top. Enjoy!

Rustic Chopped Potato Salad

I made this up the other day when wanting a salad because of the hot temperatures but knowing that my hubby and kids would need more substance in the salad to be satisfied for dinner. It was a delicious success!

Rustic Chopped Potato Salad
  • 1 head of Romain lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 turkey hotdogs, sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, halved and then quartered into small wedges
  • 1/2 cup shredded Paremesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dill
Place lettuce and tomatoes in a large salad bowl and chill in fridge. In a skillet on medium high, add oil and potatoes. Add mustard and lemon pepper and fry until golden and crisp. Add hotdogs and toss in pan for a few minutes. Set aside. Drain oil from pan and use for your dressing (will add nice smokey flavor to salad), add oil as needed.

In a small blender add the pan oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt and dill. Blend well. Place potatoes and hotdogs into chilled salad. Pour dressing over and add Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle additional salt or pepper to liking. Toss and serve!

Marinated Manti Turkey

 If you've ever been to the Manti Pageant then you have most likely tried Manti Marinated Turkey. There is no better way to eat turkey than Manti style! I can still smell the turkey barbequing on the grill in the warm summer air as the sun goes down and the pageant gets closer to beginning. Making this recipe brought back so many memories, especially having family from there.

I like to BBQ mine on the charcoal grill. There is nothing better than the smell of burning charcoal and sizzling meat in the summer breeze. This really will make your neighbors hungry. Enjoy!

Marinated Manti Turkey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 12 oz 7-up
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp horseradish ( I like to use the creamy sandwich spread kind)
Stir together in large metal bowl. Cut up turkey into large pieces and place in marinade and cover. Refrigerate overnight (8 hours). Barebeque when ready. 

Marinated Manti Gravy

So what to do with all that leftover marinade? Don't throw it away. I put mine in a saucepan and add 1 - 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. Whisk it until dissolved then turn on the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring and then remove. Gravy will thicken as it cools. You can serve it over your turkey or I like to serve it over creamy sour cream and garlic mashed potatoes. So yummy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Creamy Orange Chicken Toss

When I first saw this recipe I wasn't too sure about it. Then I really thought about it and believed that it could be better than it seemed. My husband who hates sweet things mixed in his dinner was very skeptical until he tried it. The creamy, tangy chicken bursting with juice and some crunch on a buttery, sweet toast. This was a winner!

Creamy Orange Chicken Toss
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds
  • 2/3 cup celery, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • crisp salad greens
  • loaf of sliced raisin bread

In a large pot of hot water, water chicken on stove until white in center. Chop chicken into 1 inch pieces. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees, set aside. Combine chicken, celery, onion and green pepper. Peel orange and separate segments. Thinly slice them. Blend sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, grated orange peel  and salt & pepper to taste. Stir into chicken mixture.

Toast raisin bread slices (you can butter if you like). Place on dinner plates. Top with a bed of salad greens then 1 cup of chicken mixture. Garnish with almonds and oranges. Enjoy!

Raspberry Sunrise Pie

I invented this recipe for a fun, new summer recipe to cool down with in the heat. It's a raspberry and orange cream pie in one! And who doesn't love a shortbread crust? Give it a try and you'll be glad you did! (makes 2 pies)

Raspberry Sunrise Pie
  • 3 pints of whipping cream
  • 2 pkgs cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp raspberry extract
  • 3 Tbsp orange gelatin powder
  • 4 Tbsp raspberry jam
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Shortbread Crust
  • 2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Make Crust - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. In small bowl mix baking powder and flour together. Add to butter mixture and blend well. Pat into a pie plate or tart dish. Bake 12-15 minutes. Then cool.

In a large bowl whip 2 pints of cream until almost stiff. Add softened cream cheese. Whip until blended well into a thick pudding type cream. Add OJ concentrate, orange peel, 2 Tbsp sugar, raspberry extract, and gelatin. Blend well.

Spread 2 Tbsp of raspberry jam onto each pie crust. Pour pie filling into each crust. Reserving some raspberries to decorate top of pie, crush remaining raspberries into a thick puree. Spread over the tops of pie fillings.

In a medium bowl whip remaining sugar and pint of whipping cream until stiff. Spread over tops of pies and top with extra orange peel and raspberries (you may want to wait until ready to serve before decorating with raspberries on the top, to avoid them from bleeding into the cream. Chill for 4-6 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Bottled Cherries

It's cherry season! We drove up to the mountain where the cherry orchards are and bought 2 bags of fresh cherries. I thought it would be cheaper but it was the same price as the grocery store. 

I remember having bottled cherries at my grandmas house when I was little and they were the best tasting cherries ever! We made about 5 jars from 2 bags and for sake of time we didn't pit them. Because of that they were so easy to can and the kids had a blast!

Bottled Cherries
  • 2 bags of cherries
  • 5-6 quart  mason jars
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water

Sterilize your mason jars (in dishwasher, oven or I just rinse mine in hot water). Rinse and remove stems from cherries. Pack cherries in jars just below neck.

In a saucepan heat up water and add sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Pour syrup into jars up to bottom of neck. Screw lids on.

Bring pot of water to a boil. Place jars in pot and boil for 25 minutes. Place on a towel to cool. You will hear lids make a popping sound so you know that they are sealed.  Test your lids before storing jars away. If you press down on center of lid and it makes a clicking sound, it has not sealed. If jars do not seal after 24 hours, re-boil or place them in fridge and enjoy!