Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happiness- a dinner the whole family ate!


Mom's Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Rolls
  • 8 Rhodes Texas Rolls or similar, thawed but cold
  • 2 cups diced (very important!) cooked chicken breast (I used 2 medium cooked in the crock with a little ranch)
  • 1/3 c. diced onion
  • 3/4 c. fresh mushroom, chopped (I skipped this per hubby's request)
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. salt (I just sprinkle)
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used neufchatel)
  • 1/2 c. ranch dressing (I use light)
  • 3-4 T. melted margarine (for dipping the rolls into)
  • half-sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (for dipping rolls with butter into)
  1. Combine cooked chicken, onions, mushrooms, salt, pepper, cream cheese and ranch. Mix well.
  2. Flatten each roll into a circle, stretching it out at the same time. Place a rounded T. of chicken mixture in the middle. Bring each side of the roll to the middle and seal well.
  3. Dip each roll into the melted butter, then roll in the cracker crumbs.
  4. Place on sprayed cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
What an accomplishment! All the kids raved. I have made these before, but they like them so much better when the chicken is diced to the point they can't really tell it's chicken. That also helps the flavor be better distributed. This is the only recipe, along with spaghetti and orange chicken, that these guys all eat successfully.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another addictive treat..


White Chocolate Gorp
(allrecipes.com)

  • 2 pounds white chocolate
  • 6 cups Rice Chex ™
  • 3 cups toasted oat cereal
  • 2 cups thin pretzel sticks (I wanted more to add to the salty-sweet flavor)
  • 2 cups cashews (I skip)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package mini candy-coated chocolate pieces
  1. Melt chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat or in microwave until just until soft. Stir until melted. Combine all the other ingredients in big roaster pan or bowl. Stir chocolate into mixture. Turn out on waxed paper. Of course anything you like can be added or substituted, but this recipe is a great combination!
  2. Combine the crispy rice cereal squares, toasted oat cereal, pretzels, cashews and candy in big roaster pan or bowl. Stir chocolate into mixture. Turn out on waxed paper and let cool.
Make sure to lay these out flat so they don't clump! A very tasty treat. I often just melt a bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave instead of buying white chocolate.

A great Christmas treat or gift

picture from familyfun.com
Oreo Cookie Bark

  • 1 (20 ounce) package chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling
  • 2 (18.5 ounce) packages white chocolate

  1. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with waxed paper. Coat paper with non-stick vegetable spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, break half of the cookies into fourths with fingers or the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. In a microwave safe glass or ceramic mixing bowl, melt one package of the white chocolate according to package directions. Remove from microwave and quickly fold in broken cookie pieces. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread to cover half the pan.
  4. Repeat process with remaining chocolate and cookies, spreading mixture into the other half of pan. Refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.
  5. Remove bark from the pan and carefully peel off waxed paper. Place bark on a large cutting board and cut with a large chef's knife. Store in airtight container.
We gave these as gifts last Christmas and though it takes a little practice to make the pieces look more like art than an odd-looking homemade treat, presentation can help a lot. So put them in Christmas cellophane paper and add a nice ribbon for the finishing touch. It should be a given but the taste is wonderful! Mix it up- mint oreos w/milk chocolate, candy cane cookies (do they make those?) in white or milk chocolate...the possibilities are many!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can't stay away...


Beth's Starbuck's Coffee Cake
(from pickypalate.com)

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
  • 2 Sticks cold salted butter (I used margarine and cut off a couple T)
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 ¾ Cups sugar (I used 3/4 brown, 3/4 white)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting-optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare cake mix in large bowl according to directions on box. Grease 9x13 pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until center is just barely set.
  3. While cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. In large bowl of electric mixer combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla until all crumbly.
  4. Immediately after cake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, sprinkling over top. Put back in oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes (topping will begin to look a little less wet/raw). Let cool fully then dust with powdered sugar, using a sieve.
  5. Cut into squares and serve.
I know I have another coffee cake recipe on here, but this one is different because of the cake mix and crumb topping that is a bit more thick. I love it. It's a great way to mix it up if you are a cake mix fan, and a great dessert if you love coffee cake/cinnamon-sugar desserts! Very moist and addicting. Don't let this keep you from making it, but I did have to blot a little of the grease off the top. Hey- that's what happens when you use 2 sticks of butter for a topping. It's a great cake worth making!

Monday, December 15, 2008

If you have extra Fruity Pebbles on hand-


Pebbles Cupcakes
(kraftfoods.com)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 pkg. (10-1/2 oz.) mini-marshmallows (6 cups)
  • 1 pkg. (13 oz.) fruit-flavored sweetened rice cereal (about 8-1/2 cups)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) ready-to-spread frosting 1/4 cup colored sprinkles (optional)
  1. Microwave butter in 4-qt. microwaveable bowl on high 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; mix to coat. Microwave 1-1/2 min. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 sec. Add cereal; mix well.
  2. Press cereal mixture firmly into 24 lightly greased muffin pans to form "cupcakes," using about 1/3 cup cereal mixture for each cup. Cool; remove from pans.
  3. Spread with frosting just before serving. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
These are a sugar hit with kids. Cute, colorful, sweet, different...and they are easy to make.

Quick Sweet Pull-Aparts


Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread aka Monkey Bread


  • 3 cans (7.5 oz. each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 c. butter or margarine, melted
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut each biscuit into quarters.
  2. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in ziploc bag. Add dough quarters to bag and shake to coat.
  3. Melt butter with brown sugar in the microwave, stir well.
  4. Place the biscuit pieces in 12-cup fluted tube pan; pour the butter mixture on top.
  5. Bake 40 to 45 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Cool in pan 15 min.; invert onto serving plate. Remove pan.
These are a really impressive treat using these biscuits. Kids won't notice the canned biscuit taste, and I am pretty sensitive to it and I only slightly taste it. Fun for kids to help with too, if you have some extra time to put this together.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Honey Glazed Chicken


Honey Glazed Chicken
(adapted from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)

  • 2 lbs of diced uncooked chicken breast (I used 2 breasts; next time I'll use 3)
  • 1/3 cup flour (or as much needed to coat chicken pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  1. Heat oven to 350. In a big ziploc bag combine the flour and seasonings. Throw the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and shake to coat.
  2. Melt 2 T. butter and pour on cookie sheet or baking dish and place chicken pieces in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes (or until cooked through) at 350 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter and add honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and ginger. If you need more sauce, increase the honey, soy sauce, and butter.
  4. Add cooked chicken pieces gently into the pan with the sauce. Heat through and serve with rice and your choice of steamed veggies.
We liked this! The kids did, too. It was sweet and not spicy at all, which the kids were happy about. I like the idea of more sauce, but I understand why that doesn't work so well with this recipe. It's because the honey makes the chicken sweet enough on its own that it would be overkill to have excess honey-sauce.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fun, quick, and dippable!



Pizza Pinwheels
(allrecipes.com)

  • 1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 24 slices pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pizza sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. On a large baking sheet, pinch the 8 crescent roll dough triangles into 4 rectangles. Seal really well!! Layer each rectangle with a couple teaspoons of the chopped pepperoni and even amounts of mozzarella cheese. Roll tightly lengthwise and slice each into 4 or more pieces.
  3. Roll should look like this before slicing into 4 pieces.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Serve with pizza sauce or ranch for dipping.
We thought these were fun and easy! We don't like pepperoni so I just chopped up some turkey deli meat and used a couple teaspoons on each roll-up, along with a couple T cheese (ham would be great, too). You have to be careful not to over-fill, or log will be messy. These are great for a lighter main dish or a fun appetizer/after-school snack. To make rolls easier to work with, freeze can or crescent rolls 15 minutes before working with them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Roasted veggies that taste good


Roasted Vegetables with Chicken in a Sweet Onion Sauce

  • red potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
  • sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • baby carrots
  • tomatoes (I kind of thought these got too soggy though- it's personal preference)
  • mushrooms
  • green or red pepper or both
  • 1-2 chicken breasts
  • Vidalia Sweet Onion Dressing (I buy this at Sam's Club), or Honey Mustard, or any dressing you love
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes, carrots and onions on greased baking tray. Drizzle with dressing, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender, turning veggies in the pan every 15 minutes so they don't burn on the bottom.
  4. I cooked my chicken in the crock pot with a little dressing and then just cut it up last and added to the cooked veggies, tossing with a little more dressing.
We thought this was very tasty. A nice twist on a classic meal. Supposedly you can roast a ton of veggies one night and have them to eat for the whole week. I thought I cut up a lot but we ate them all! This onion dressing is really good, but this would be tasty with a lot of dressings, including ranch and honey mustard. We also like this dressing mixed in with tuna fish and eat it in sandwiches or with crackers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chocolate pastry of sorts


Easy Chocolate Croissants
(realsimple.com)
  • 1 8-count tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.

  2. Unroll the dough and separate it into 8 triangles. Place about 10 chocolate chips on the bottom third of each triangle and roll the dough up around the chocolate.

  3. Transfer the croissants to a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if desired, for easier cleanup). Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These are similar to those yummy Arby's chocolate pastries. Same deal- chocolate melty good stuff with the non-sweet pastry. These are versatile; I used 2 squares of cookies 'n creme candy bar and it was really good that way. You can try squares of Hershey chocolate, with or without a marsmallow or two for another good treat. Another recipe I saw used pie crust, using a cookie cutter to cut two shapes, add the chocolate on one, top with the other, seal, and bake. I'd like to try that sometime, too. These disappeared really fast at our house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Italian Shells


Italian Turkey Stuffed Shells
(picture and recipe from goodthingsutah.com)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes (cut up and big pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (I used about half)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (I cut in half)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (I also cut this in half)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 4 cups shredded Italian Style cheese (I used 2 cups from the Italian Blend cheese package)
  • 12 large shell pasta and drain
  • 1 pound of cooked browned ground turkey (or beef)

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Brown and drain the ground turkey.
    3. Boil the water and cook the Large shelled pasta, drain and rinse with cold water.
    4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about three minutes.
    5. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, mushrooms, and 4 cups of the shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is cooking, add the cooked turkey.
    6. Place the pasta in a 9x13 inch glass dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon the mixture into the shells, saving sauce to spoon around the shell pasta.

    Cover the top of the dish with foil. Bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with green salad or green beans and bread.

  • I saw this recipe on Good Things Utah. We thought it was great! I halved the cheese, didn't melt it before putting it in the oven, browned the onions with the ground turkey instead of separately to save time. The ground turkey is pretty healthy and cheap, too. It tasted good in this recipe! I cut the seasonings in half just to make it less potent for the kids. Season to preference.



    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Another BBQ-ed Crockpot Chicken recipe


    Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
    (from realmomkitchen.blogspot.com)
    • 4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 (18 oz.) bottle of barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1. Place chicken in crock pot.
    2. In a bowl mix 2/3 of the bottle of barbecue sauce, Italian Salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over chicken.
    3. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
    4. Shred chicken and place back in crock pot. Drain any excess juice if desired.
    5. Add remaining 1/3 of bottle barbecue sauce to chicken and mix.
    6. Makes at least 8 sandwiches.
    We loved this meal! One of my favorite meals is just a good sandwich on a good roll. I halved the recipe and used 2 large chicken breasts and it made plenty. I always put frozen breasts right in the crock pot to save time. Tastes wonderful on these rolls. Just make the roll size a big larger.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008

    Some more yummy Panda Express style


    Bourbon Street Chicken
    (adapted from mmmcafe.blogspot.com)

    • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
    • 2 T. vegetable oil
    • 2 T. cornstarch (or enough to coat cubed chicken)
    Sauce:
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/4 t. garlic powder
    • 1/4 t. ginger (I just do a sprinkle- I'm not a ginger fan)
    • 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or less, depending on heat preference)
    • 1/2 c. apple juice
    • 2/3 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. ketchup
    • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 c. water
    • 2/3 c. soy sauce

    1. 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.
    2. Combine all sauce ingredients into frying pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken. I also added a mix of 2 T cornstarch with 1 T water to thicken up the sauce. When it thickened, I turned down to low. I served veggies on the side with rice. This amount fed 3 adults. The sauce is very generous, which we prefer with the rice.
    We loved this, and I enjoyed the fact that I always have these ingredients on hand. It is a sweet and spicy combination. Next time I'll probably do just 1/2 t. red pepper flakes because it was a bit spicy for the kids.


    Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe:
    (from sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com)
    (Serves 4-6)

    Ingredients:
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup apple juice
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    2 Tablespoons ketchup
    1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup cornstarch

    Directions:
    Place chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, apple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, water and soy sauce.  Pour sauce on top of chicken.  Replace lid and cook 6-8 hours on low.  Remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks.  In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup of sauce from the crock pot.  Whisk together and pour back into the crock pot to thicken the sauce.  Return chicken to the slow cooker and let warm until ready to serve.  Serve over rice and garnish with additional red pepper flakes.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Making cheesecake a great snack


    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
    (recipe from dozenflours.com, taken from cookbook)

    Crust

    • 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 9″-square baking pan (mine was round). Line pan with parchment paper (I used tinfoil), leaving enough to extend over the sides. Butter the parchment paper. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Press crust mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.

    Cookie Dough

    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.


    Filling

    • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended. Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.
    Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack.

    For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. (Tip: put the chocolate chips into a zipper bag and heat on 50% power for a few minutes. Cut the corner off the bag and squeeze the bag to make drizzling less messy). Use a teaspoon to drizzle chocolate over top of bars. Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour.
    Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars (clean the knife after each cut) and serve. Best in fridge for a couple of hours.

    These really don't take that long, though it seems like they could. Prep time was about 30 minutes for everything, and then the 35 minutes in oven. These are so fun and good! The cookie dough isn't dough-ey, it is cooked, but it is soft and a good texture with the cheesecake filling. These make a lot if you cut them in little bars, and they are so fun to eat! Yummy!

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Harvest Bread


    Harvest Loaf Cake
    (allrecipes.com)

    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn't have but it turned out okay)
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
    • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (milk is fine..but careful on it- as you can see my frosting was a bit runny even after adding more powdered sugar so add milk lightly!)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan (I used 3 little loaf pans instead). In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda, salt, 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger and cloves (I sprinkled a little cinnamon in there, too). Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with pumpkin. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pour batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 65 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (it took about 40-50 minutes with the mini pans) While still warm, drizzle with glaze. Cool for 6 hours before serving.
    4. to make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine confectioners sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix and add 1 to 2 teaspoons cream until drizzling consistency.
    We loved these and they cooked well in the little pans! You might want to turn the pans around in the oven halfway through to ensure even cooking. The girls (ok, and Sam got bites) devoured this. I still don't like pumpkin pie but this pumpkin bread/cookie thing I am all about! I want to get Mom's recipe next....but I just used the one I found after a quick search on allrecipes and this was good too!

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    A festive meal

    Mummy Dogs
    (click here to see cute picture and recipe at pillsbury)
    • 1 can crescent rolls
    • 8 hotdogs
    • 2 squares American cheese, sliced into 8 strips (optional)
    1. Heat oven to 375.
    2. Roll out crescents from can, making 4 rectangles by sealing 2 rolls together.

    3. Cut into long strips, about 4 each rectangle. (supposedly you can get 40 but I did what was easiest)

    4. Wrap a piece of cheese around the hotdog, then 2 strips of dough. Make it like a mummy if you are fun but just twist it around if you are like me.

    5. Place on pan sprayed with cooking spray and cook for about 10 minutes or until rolls are cooked. Mine cooked pretty fast!

    6. Add mustard for eyes and mouth.


    Not the healthiest meal but very fun and I thought they tasted good too! Nothing like processed rolls, dogs, and cheese....every once in a while, right?

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Another creamy, fun soup!


    Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
    (recipe from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)
    • ½ cup butter
    • 1 finely chopped onion
    • ½ - 1 cup frozen corn
    • ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • ½ cup carrots, sliced
    • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    • 6 ½ cups chicken broth (can use 7 bouillon cubes plus 6 ½ cups water)
    • 2 cups cooked wild rice (I used rice-a-roni wild rice blend)
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I used 1 large breast)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon curry powder
    • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
    • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup slivered almonds (I skipped)
    • 2 cups nonfat half-and-half
    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes.
    2. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well.
    3. Transfer mixture to large pot. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all has been added. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer.
    4. Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half.
    5. Let simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil or it won't thicken properly - let it simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
    I halved this recipe for our family and it was enough for 2 adults and 3 light kid eaters. I loved the mushrooms. It was creamy, had a good flavor! The curry didn't overpower at all; it just added a subtle, interesting flavor. I'll make this again. Russell hates mushrooms and I used a ton but he loved the flavor of the soup. Next time I'll cut them down for him. A great soup that is different and fun! The nonfat half and half was surprisingly rich and good. I'm sure regular would work, too!

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Good Fall cookies!


    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
    (allrecipes.com)
    • 1/2 cup shortening (I use Imperial)
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
    3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.
    I never made these before, because I didn't think I really cared for them, but I have changed my mind! Such a great cookie for this season, and really any time. When does canned pumpkin go on sale though? These are soft, yummy.....the kids like 'em, and less butter than most cookies. And a fruit (or a veggie?) in them. The house smells so good with these babies cooking...

    Quick and yummy caramel popcorn- addicting!


    Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn
    • 1 bag popcorn, popped (I used light butter)
    • 1 cube margarine or butter
    • 1/4 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows (for the topping)
    • 1 c. mini marshmallows (that go w/the popped corn)
    1. Pop your popcorn however you want, then place in bowl with the 1 c. marshmallows.
    2. Melt the butter and brown sugar on the stove on low-medium, cook for two minutes. Add marshmallows, cook until all melted and mixed.
    3. Pour over popcorn and marshmallows, stirring well.
    4. Eat....yum.....
    This is so fast and good! The marshmallow addition is really good, because they are not all the way melted when you mix in with the popcorn. I'd advise doubling the recipe. I've also microwaved this with good results. Just make sure to stir every 15 seconds or so after adding marshmallows.
    Here is a recipe for basically what I'm thinking is the same thing, but microwave version.

    Yummy Caramel Popcorn

    • 2 bags buttery popcorn (microwave and remove all kernels)
    • 26 large marshmallows
    • 2 cubes real butter
    • 1 cup brown sugar

    1. Microwave marshmallows, butter and sugar for 1 ½ minutes then take out and stir. Put back in for 30 seconds.
    2. Add ¼ tsp. baking soda and put back in for 8 seconds.
    3. Stir until frothy. Pour over popcorn and eat.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Quick Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken!


    Sweet and Sour Chicken
    (from mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)

    • Chicken: 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • garlic salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup cornstarch
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 2 T canola oil

    1. Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks (or leave them whole, but will take longer to cook in the oven).
    2. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg.
    4. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through.
    5. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
    Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

    Sauce:

    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 3/4 cup vinegar
    • 1 3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 3/4 c. chicken broth

    1. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 20 minutes if chicken is in small chunks or turn once if you keep the chicken breasts whole.

    Yummmmmm! We loved this. Olivia, the pickiest, had thirds. Goes great with broccoli or stir-fry veggie blends or potatoes and rolls. Fast and like Chinese Sweet and Sour, only not as greasy or heavy.

    Who wants some Hummus?


    Extra Easy Hummus
    (allrecipes.com)
    • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid, until desired consistency is achieved.

    This is good! I can see myself using this regularly as a snack- just out with the carrots and crackers. Garbanzo beans are high in protein and fiber, and by blending them up the weird texture of these beans goes away. I like the addition of cumin, which makes it a little mexican-ish. Quick and easy!


    Thursday, October 9, 2008


    Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
    (allrecipes.com, photo actual recipe from flickr)
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
    3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.
    These are excellent snickerdoodles! Make sure not to overbake. This is the only snickerdoodle recipe you'll need...

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Warm, cheesy veggie -ful soup!


    Super Soup
    (allrecipes.com)
    • 2 turkey legs (I use 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked already)
    • 1 cup diced celery
    • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
    • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
    • 1 pound processed cheese, cubed (I usually cut that amount by 1/4 c.)
    • 1 cup diced carrots
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
    • 4 cups water (I use half chicken broth, half water)
    1. Boil turkey in water until tender. Cut up meat, and add back into turkey broth.
    2. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Boil until tender.
    3. Add frozen vegetables, and cook 15 minutes more.
    4. Stir in cream of chicken soup and cubed cheese. Cook over medium-low heat until cheese melts, stirring often.
    This is one of my favorite soups! It takes some time to cut up the veggies but they taste so good in the soup it is worth it. How often do you like eating your veggies? Anika loves this soup, Isabelle eats it, so we do pretty well with it!

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Oreos in cookies!


    Adam's Dirt Cookies
    (allrecipes.com)
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 sleeve Oreo cookies, crumbled in however big a chunk you like
    1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the white sugar, brown sugar, and the butter together until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir the crushed cookies into the dough. Cover, and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
    3. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove to cool on wire racks.
    These are really good! A nice change from chocolate chip. I do like my chunks to be sizable!

    White Lasagna



    Alfredo Lasagna
    (adapted from allrecipes.com)

    • 6-9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
    • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried with a paper towel
    • 1 diced tomato (optional)
    • 1 c. chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
    • 1/2 c. diced red onion
    • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
    • 1-2 jars Alfredo-style pasta sauce
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1 pint (2 cups) ricotta cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and alfredo sauce, stir together. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and drained, cooked spinach, add any other veggies, and stir.
    3. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then place one layer of lasagna noodles, edges overlapping. Place 1/3 of ricotta mix, then another noodle layer, then sauce, some cheese, then noodles, and whatever's left...some cheese on top. Layer it however- I never layer it the same way twice!
    4. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.
    This was a fun meal. Sure, it's a little fatty- but it is heavy on the veggies and calcium as well, so it all balances out. Plus you can make your own alfredo sauce using low-fat/no-fat cream cheese if you're worried about that. This is a pretty fast meal that switches it out from normal lasagna.

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    A tasty fast meal


    Apricot Chicken

    • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
    • 2/3 cup French dressing ( I use no-fat successfully)
    • 1/3-1/2 cup apricot preserves
    • 2-3 chicken breasts
    1. Place everything in crock pot over chicken.
    2. Cook on high 3 hours or until done.
    3. Serve over rice or with potatoes.
    This is one of our favorites. It is no-fail. I never measure out the ingredients and just throw in the amount of each that looks right and it tastes great every time. Olivia even eats this! She eats it with a toothpick so it will be like free samples. Whatever works.. the sauce is so good we like to add broccoli (I like frozen chopped) to make the veggies taste good. And they do!

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    My last curry post for a while, I promise!


    Curried Chicken and Couscous Salad
    (adapted from allrecipes.com)
    • 2 cups cooked couscous (or rice)
    • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I used 1 cooked breast)
    • 1/3 cup celery, sliced
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons peach or mango chutney
    • 1-2 teaspoons ground curry powder (to taste)
    • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
    In a large bowl, combine the couscous, chicken, celery, green onions, bell peppers, sour cream, mayonnaise, chutney, curry and salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until chilled. This serves 2 adults.

    I know I seem to have a one-track curry mind lately! I am trying to use the bottle of mango chutney I bought, since it was a good 4 bucks. Plus we're not bored yet and are still Indian-food intrigued. This recipe is a lot like the chicken salad I made last week, but this is more grain based with the couscous. I like this better, it's a versatile salad! Russell said it tasted like stuffing (I guess a good thing) but I think that was the celery talking. I might just skip that next time. The flavors were good, texture great, red pepper and green onion added a lot. I might add some peas in next time for more veggie power.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Warm, creamy soup!


    Snowman Chili
    (adapted from Laura's recipe)


    • 2 cans cannelloni beans, not drained
    • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced (I cook one breast in the crockpot with the chili)
    • 1/2 c. diced onion
    • 2 cloves garlic (I use 1/4 t. garlic powder)
    • 1 t. cumin
    • 1 can green chilies (I usually skip)
    • a pinch oregano
    • 1/2 c. chicken broth (you can add more to thin soup later if desired)
    • 8 oz. cream cheese (I use 4-6 oz lowfat)
    • a handful corn
    • 1/2 can diced tomatoes

    1. Add all to crock pot except cream cheese!
    2. Cook for 3 hours on high. Add cream cheese last 30 minutes.
    This is a great creamy chili. The girls love it too! That is a rare thing. I added corn and tomatoes to the original recipe for added veggie benefits. I think it's a great addition! I'm glad it is getting to be soup season again. I'm excited to soup it up a lot the next couple of months!