Thursday, August 30, 2007
The fun friday theme this week is Around the World - Asia. I had a really hard time coming up with something to bake. I thought about doing something savory but I was really in the mood to bake. So I flipped through my trusty Betty Crocker: Baking for Today cookbook and came up with something I think fits the theme. Sure it isn't authentic Asian, but there is ginger in it. ;)
(Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker: Baking for Today)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp groung ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Vanilla Butter Frosting (recipe below)
In a large bowl cream sugar, butter, eggs, molasses and water. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except frosting). Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hr
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8 minutes and then cool on wire rack. When completly cool frost.
Vanilla Butter Frosting
1/4 cup butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
About 1 tablespoon milk
In a medium bowl, mix butter and powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk until smooth and spreadable.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This is the second time I have made this and it was just as good this time!! I love the crispy outside and the meat on the inside is super tender. It is a great easy recipe that can be finished in under 30 minutes. I found this recipe on my good friend Annie's blog and the original recipe from Giada on Every day Italian. I served this with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
2 large eggs
¾ cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 pork chops
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
Whisk the eggs in a bowl to blend. Place the bread crumbs in a plate. Place the parmesan cheese in another plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the egg, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate and serve with lemon wedges.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I have really been craving sugar cookies lately then last night there was a post on my cooking board about them. It must be fate, right? ;) So tonight I pulled out my favorite recipe. It's pretty simple and always reliable.
Ava's Sugar Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Ava
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup butter flavored Crisco (you can sub regular butter if you like)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar and Criso in a large bowl (I use my standing mixer)beating at medium speed. Add eggs, syrup and vanilla. Beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to the creamed mixture at low speed. Divide dough into quarters and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 of dough with flour and roll out onto floured surgacte to 1/4" thickness. Cut out with floured cutters (I used my pampered chef medium scoop, which is why they look like ice cream in the picture). Place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-9 minutes. Don't overbake. Cool 2 minutes and frost.
I have to say that I am a pretty lucky girl, pretty much anything I make Jesse will try. He doesn't always love it but he will always eat it. Usually I can tell he doesn't like something because he won't eat all of it and he certainly won't go back for seconds. Tonight.... he wasn't quite as subtle. LOL. Let's just say Jesse doesn't like gruyere cheese and he REALLY doesn't like french onion soup. I on the other hand, loved it!! Too bad I probably won't be able to make it again :( Seriously though, this is a great recipe. Here it is for all of the stinky cheese lovers in the world. Now I better go order a pizza....
French Onion Soup
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence; Ultimate Bistro Episode
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I have really been craving baked garlic rice lately but I haven't been able to decide what to have with it. Just a few days ago my friend Amber posted her bourbon chicken in her blog and it looked and sounded amazing. I asked her if she thought it would go well with the baked rice and she thought it would. And boy was she right! Dinner was so good tonight. Jesse really enjoyed it. On to the recipe!
(Source: RecipeZaar.com, as seen on Amber's blog)
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved.
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.
These are the changes that I made-
*I tossed the chicken in about 2 tbsp of seasoned flour (salt, pepper and garlic powder) before browning in the skillet, just enough to lightly cover the chicken.
*Per Amber's suggestion I used about a 1/4 cup of slurry (cornstarch and water) to help thicken the sauce
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This meal was soooooo good! I can't wait to make it again. Which is lucky because we were having company over and I was worried about trying something new, practically recipe free!
I was originally going to make this recipe "Chicken
and mushrooms in garlic white wine sauce", but after reading the reviews I was afraid it would bland. So I took the basic idea and ran with it.
Chicken and Mushrooms in a Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
1 pound of chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp dry sage
1 tsp dry parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 bulb of garlic roasted (400 degree oven for 1 hour with a drizzle of EVOO)
2 tbsp butter
a drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 bag of No-Yolk egg noodles
Start by combining the flour, sage, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Toss the bite size chunks of chicken in the flour mixture to coat.
In a large skillet melt 1 tbsp of butter and a drizzle of evoo
Saute the chicken for a minute then add the mushrooms and some of the
roasted garlic (I think I squeezed in 3 cloves for this part). Continue to saute for 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and cover in foil. (Now is also a good time to cook your egg noodles)
To the skillet add the remaining tbsp of butter and flour.
Then add the chicken broth, white wine and remaining roasted garlic. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Slowly add the half and half and let it reduce.
When the sauce has thickened return the chicken and mushrooms to pan and let simmer.
Serve with the egg noodles.
Who would of thought that this was possible? I was actually really amazed with how well this turned out. The cake was SO moist it was amazing. Actually it was so moist I had a really hard time with the "icing" and stacking the 2 round cakes together! When I make this again I will definitely just make a sheet cake and leave it in the pan to serve. While the final product of the double layer cake looked great it was a serious pain the butt!! Other than that this is the easiest "recipe" in the WORLD!
I have seen this recipe so many times but I have never seen it sourced before. I think it is a weight watchers recipe but I can't say for sure. If you know where the idea originally came from feel free to let me know!!
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 can of Sprite Zero
1 tub light Cool Whip
1 pint of strawberries cut into slices
Combine the box of cake mix and diet soda and bake according to the directions on the box. Ice the cake with room temperature Cool Whip (if it's cold it will be really hard to spread). Top with sliced strawberries and serve!
Can you think of three things that go together more perfectly? Growing up I always had BBQ and coleslaw together. I'm not sure if it is a regional thing or not, but I like to put the slaw right on the sandwich! The crunch of the slaw with tang of the BBQ is just perfect. If you haven't tried it before you should!
I am very proud of this meal because it was completely from scratch! I even made my own BBQ sauce!
Beer BBQ Pork
(My own recipe)
1 bottle of good flavorful beer (I like Shock Top or Blue Moon)
2 cups of BBQ sauce (my recipe to follow)
2-3 lbs pork shoulder roast
The night before put the pork in a dish and pour the bottle of beer over the meat. Cover and let marinade overnight.
The next morning drain half of the beer from the meat and put the remaining beer and pork in a crockpot.
Pour the BBQ sauce over the meat and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving shred the meat with a fork and leave the lid off the crock pot (while still on high) to thicken the sauce a little bit.
My version of BBQ
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp finely chopped onions
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp regular paprika
a sprinkle of chili powder
Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
(Adapated from Amber)
1 bag cole slaw mix [or 1 head finely chopped cabbage and
1/4 c shredded carrot]
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 celery seed
1/4 c milk
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth.
Add the finely chopped cabbage and carrots.
Mix well - cover and refrigerate AT LEAST 2 hours before serving - this time is vital for the best flavor.
Tip - If you like your cole slaw in smaller pieces pulse the cabbage and carrots (or Cole slaw bag mix) in a food processor for 1 second 3 or 4 times. Do this in 2 batches so it is evenly chopped.
My version of mac and cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup extra sharp vermont white
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 pound cooked to al dente elbow noodles
Start by making of roux with the butter and flour.
Slowy add the milk and let it reduce down for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the spices
Add the cheese and mix well until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.
Pour the cooked noodles and cheese sauce in a casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. Or until the edges start turning golden brown.
Monday, August 13, 2007
What a fantastically rich dinner. I decided to go with a pretty basic recipe since it was my first time making it. That's about all I can say about it!
(Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence)
1 pint heavy cream - (I did use half and half I didn't want to be too bad!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly cracked black pepper
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
To prepare alfredo sauce: Heat heavy cream over low-medium heat in a deep saute pan. Add butter and whisk gently to melt. Sprinkle in cheese and stir to incorporate. Season with freshly cracked black pepper. In a large stockpot, cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Quickly drain the pasta and add it to the saute pan, gently toss the noodles to coat in the alfredo. Transfer pasta to a warm serving bowl. Top with more grated cheese and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I am always in search of a new and delicious brownie. I don't know how I have never tried this classic recipe but I haven't. This brownie turned out great. I didn't have a square pan so I just used a round one and cut it into pie shape and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Mmm that was good, the only thing it was missing was ice cream. I might be running to the store :)..........
(Recipe Courtesy of Hershey's Kitchens)
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)
* CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING(recipe follows) (I omitted this, I prefer my brownies with out frosting)
* I also added about 2 tbsp of hershey's chocolate syrup and 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.
2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Prepare CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING; spread over brownies. Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.
What a great summertime dinner! This is the second time I have made this dish and we really enjoy it. The subtle lime taste is nice and refreshing and I love the spicy heat in the back ground of the dish. I made exactly like the recip the first time and this time I tweaked it just a bit. Changes are noted in bold.
Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken Pasta
(Recipe Courtesy of Amber)
1 cup chicken broth
1.5 tbls lime juice (adjusting amount to your liking)
1 tbls corn starch (I used more like a tbsp and a half)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (I used a lot more than this, I like things spicy!)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder (I used dried onion flakes instead)
1/4 tsp dried thyme (I ommitted this)
1/4 tsp dried parsley (I ommitted this)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
1 tbls butter
Few drizzles of olive oil
8 oz pasta (I used whole campanelli)
1-2 cups broccoli florets
Optional - Parmesan cheese for topping
1) Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 5 minutes of pasta cook time add the broccoli into the boiling water. Drain.
2) Mix together all the sauce ingredients (chicken broth through parsley) and set aside. (I actually cut the chicken into pieces and then put the spices right on the chicken like a dry rub)
3) Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add bite size chicken pieces into heated pan. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Pour the sauce ingredients into the pan with the chicken and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened. (When the chicken was finished I added the cornstarch then when that was dissolved I added the lime juice and then the chicken broth)
4) Toss cooked broccoli and pasta with the chicken and sauce (I let it simmer for another 2 minutes in the sauce!). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and serve.
My very good friend Katie had her first baby last Saturday! It is such an exciting/stressful time for her. I knew that the last thing she would want to do would be COOK! She is going to have more important things to do, like take care of her ADORABLE baby. So I decided instead of bringing her a few baby outfits after his birth I would bring her some frozen meals that would only need to bede-frosted and baked.
It took me about 4 hours or so in the kitchen to get everything prepped and ready to freeze. I bought those disposable aluminum pans to put everything in so she wouldn't have to worry about cleaning and returning any dishes. Once it was in the pan I pressed saran wrap over top of it and made sure all of the air was out. Then I wrapped it in heavy duty aluminum foil. On the top of each dish I wrote the name, directions for thawing/cooking and the date that I made it. For the chili I bought those crock pot liners and I put it in a plastic glad ware bowl. That way she could just take the whole liner out pop it in her crock pot and throw the liner away when finished! NO MESS! If you have any questions about preparing meals to freeze feel free to e-mail me at Jigginjessica @ gmail.com.
The menu and recipes -
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes -
(Recipe Courtesy of the Best from Ohio Cookbook)
Ingredients: (I cut this recipe in half)
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cooked
1/2 cup butter
1/2 sour cream
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2-1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing (I actually just used 1/4 cup of already made italian dressing)
Mash potatoes: add rest of ingredients. Whip together then put in a
casserole dish. Set in refrigerator overnight (or a couple of days or
FREEZE) Bakeun-covered at 350 for 45 minutes.
Chicken and Chilies Casserole:
(Recipe Courtesy of Allrecipes.com)
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup light cream (I subbed cream cheese)
* 1 cup chopped onion (I used dry onion flakes)
* 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1 (2 pound) package frozen loose-pack hash brown potatoes
* 2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
* 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
* I also added 2 tsp Cumin and garlic powder to this. Then I crunched up tortilla chips and sprinkled across the top before I baked. It gives it a nice crunchy texture and a lot of taste.
1. In a large bowl,combine sour cream, light cream, onion, chilies, salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes, chicken and 2 cups of the cheese. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.
5 Cheese Stuffed Shells
(Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; saute 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine
breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15
Yield 2 casseroles, 6 servings each (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
(Recipe Courtesy of ME:))
Bare with me here. I just make chili up off the top of my head. So this is probably not an exact recipe!
1 pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tbsp chopped green chilies
A drizzle of EVOO
Seasonings to taste - Cumin, Chili powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Pepper, Bay leaf
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can red beans (I only used half because Katie doesn't like beans, for me though, I'll use 2 cans)
In a large stock pot drizzle EVOO and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add the ground beef and brown. Add the green chilies and seasonings to the browned meat and let simmer for a minute. Then add the tomatoes and beans. Let simmer on low for a couple of hours. Or transfer to crock pot.
Once again it was food friday at work and I knew I wanted to bake something! This week the temperature has been almost 100 degrees every day. So it is HOT outside. Knowing this I didn't want to make anything heavy and I want it to be refreshing. I remember the lemon squares my aunt had made and I thought perfect! What's more refreshing on a hot summer day than lemon! They turned out great! Even people that said they normally don't like lemon loved them.
Creamy Lemon Squares
(Recipe Courtesy of Kraft Foods)
20 Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers, finely crushed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold margarine
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
2 tsp. powdered sugar
PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; set aside. Combine wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar in medium bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.
MEANWHILE, beat Neufchatel cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and 2 Tbsp. flour; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. lemon peel, lemon juice and baking powder; pour over crust.
BAKE 25 to 28 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining 2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel just before cutting into squares to serve. Store leftover squares in refrigerator.