Sweet and Sour Chicken

October 29, 2008 at 7:07 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Sweet and Sour Chicken

We went over for dinner at the ILs and made fried rice and sweet and sour chicken.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Adapted from All-Recipes.com.

Ingredients

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour or corn starch
1 1/2 green bell peppers, diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken meat, cut into strips

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat blend reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix in flour (or corn starch) and stir until thickened.
  2. Stir bell peppers, celery, and water chestnuts into the saucepan.
  3. Mix in chicken. Cook and stir until heated through.
  4. Stir in the pineapple chunks before serving.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

This was nice and simple and good.

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Fried Rice

October 29, 2008 at 7:06 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Fried Rice

Misha has been craving fried rice for weeks. Usually we put chicken in with the fried rice, but since we were serving this with sweet and sour chicken we skipped the chicken.

Fried Rice
Adapted from multiple sources.

Ingredients

1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 onion
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
green onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
4 cups white rice, cooked and cooled in the fridge
1 can diced pineapple, drained

Directions

  1. Cook and cool the rice ahead of time.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft.
  3. Add green onion and garlic, saute.
  4. Add eggs and scramble.
  5. Stir in peas and carrots and saute.
  6. Add rice and soy sauce and stir until heated through.
  7. Add pineapple, and cook until heated through.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

I missed the chicken, but it was nice not using a seasoning packet. It very much helps to cook the rice in advance and give it enough time to cool in the fridge.

As a result, while cooking the rice ahead of time and getting it into the fridge to cool about a cup of it fell on the floor. Not to worry, we had two very happy pups to help us out:

Mollie

Abby

Note: I must have been really tired when I posted this recipe… I know that I had written out the directions and ingredients… but something must have happened and none of the changes went through. I think I need a break! oops!

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Crispy Yogurt Chicken

October 21, 2008 at 9:22 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Yogurt Chicken

We had some friends over for dinner on Thursday night. We decided to try this new recipe, needless to say I decided. And we were glad that we did, it was AMAZING. It didn’t brown very well, but another WC Nestie gave me a hint to mix some crumbled rice krispies in with the panko. I’ll try that next time.

Crispy Yogurt Chicken
Adapted from PW Cooks.

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken (I used sliced up chicken breasts)
2 cups plain, unflavored yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
parsley
juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt
seasoned salt
butter
3 cups Panko Bread Crums

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix yogurt, garlic, parsley and lemon in a bowl.
  3. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt.
  5. In another bowl place the breadcrumbs and a bit of seasoned salt.
  6. Butter a baking dish.
  7. Dip chicken in the yogurt mixture to coat and then roll the chicken in the panko bread crumbs. Note: After many chickens I was thinking that it might have been better to place all the chicken at once into the yogurt mixture to evenly coat, or use a ziploc bag with the yogurt mixture to coat.
  8. Place the breaded chicken into a the baking dish.
  9. Place a small slice of butter over the largest part of each chicken piece (or spray with a bit of pam).
  10. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, removing foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Note: I tried to turn them over, but it didn’t work very well, I’ll try again next time.
  11. Chicken is ready when it is nice and golden. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a keeper. I was skeptical at first, but it was well worth my time.

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes

October 21, 2008 at 9:21 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Mashed Potatoes

We had some potatoes from some of our cooking, so I decided that a good side to PW’s Crispy Yogurt Chicken would be mashed potatoes. I toned down some of the butter, to make it a little healthier.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from PW Cooks.

Ingredients

5 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes (I didn’t measure, I just filled my pot)
1/2 cup butter
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Directions

  1. Peel and cut potatoes.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add potatoes.
  3. Boil potatoes for 30-35 minutes or until fork-tender.
  4. Drain the potatoes.
  5. Place the potatoes back into the dry pot. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing the steam to escape (before adding anything else).
  6. Turn off stove and add butter, cream cheese, milk, seasoned salt, and pepper.
  7. Stir well and place in a medium-sixed baking dish and top it off with a few small slices of butter.
  8. Bake it in an over at 350 until the better is melted and the top is slightly browned.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

So good. I have never had mashed potatoes that have been browned in a oven before and it was good. We have tons of leftovers. DH and I will be enjoying them for days!!!

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Canyon Casserole

October 20, 2008 at 6:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Canyon Casserole

I was checking out blogs, and while trying to figure out dinner plans I stumbled across this casserole dish. It looked simple enough, I didn’t have self-rising cornbread mix, so I just made it from scratch. I wanted to try and make it a bit healthier and mixed some whole wheat flour in with the all-purpose. It was still yummy.

Canyon Casserole
Adapted from Kit in the Kitchen.

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 11×14 baking dish or shallow casserole with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown ground turkeyin large skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.
  3. Drain.
  4. Add seasonings, tomatoes, corn, beans, and water; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  6. Combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  7. Combine egg, milk, and oil in a small bowl, mix well.
  8. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture, stir until just blended.
  9. Add shredded cheese to cornbread mixture.
  10. Spoon batter over ground turkey mixture in baking dish. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

This was very good. I think next time I would almost double the meat mixture.

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Tangy Garlic Bread

October 20, 2008 at 6:45 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Tangy Garlic Bread

This is one of our favorite garlic bread recipes.

Tangy Garlic Bread
Adapted from All-Recipes.com.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, chopped (or more if you are like us and love garlic).
1 1/2teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 loaf French Bread
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
sprinkle Paprika

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a medium bowl combine butter, mayo, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut bread whichever way you would like it.
  4. Spread mixture over bread.
  5. Sprinkle with grated paremsan cheese and paprika.
  6. Broil bread for about 5 minutes (watch it, make sure that you don’t burn it).
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

We once added cayenne instead of paprika, that was a spicy batch. So watch your red spices!!!

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Pasta Carbonara

October 19, 2008 at 4:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Pasta Carbonara

I have made Tom Cruise’s Pasta Carbonara before and loved it. On Sunday night Misha was busy studying and I really didn’t feel like going out to go get something to make dinner. I started looking through the pantry and realized that I had everything for Pasta Carbonara. I was thrilled, so I pulled up PW’s recipe and decided that I would surprise DH with an amazing dinner.

Much to my later dismay, after I started my surprise was ruined and dinner was just about a disaster. Right when I was at the point of cooking the pasta… I started putting it in the water. At first it felt a little.. well.. it might have been a bit old but since it was a special type of pasta made out of legumes I thought that this was maybe how it “got old”. I got impatient and dumped the whole box in only to discover a bunch of bugs!

So DH heard the noise downstairs and discovered the mess that I had gotten myself in. He was a sweetheart and ran to the store and got me more pasta. I really didn’t want to wast a whole pound of bacon and onion. I was totally paranoid though that some buggies jumped over from the pasta box into the cooking onion. After much inspection DH and I determined that our onion was safe.

Ends up it was a wonderful dinner. I served it with our yummy garlic bread.

Pasta Carbonara
Adapted from PW Cooks.

Ingredients

1lb linguine pasta Note: I used Barilla plus spaghetti.
4 eggs
1 pound bacon or pancetta
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
8-12 cloves of garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white wine (or substitute another cup of stock) Note: I used more chicken stock.
1/4 cup butter
1 handful of parsley
1 Tablespoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Slice up the bacon into 1-inch wide pieces.
  2. Cook the bacon until browned and crisp.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, set a pot of salted water to boil. When it comes to a boil add the pasta and cook until all dente.
  4. When the bacon is done cooking, remove from pan reserving the grease in the pan.
  5. Saute the onions until they are soft and translucent (a couple of minutes).
  6. Add the garlic to the onions. After they are cooked remove from the pan. Discard the grease.
  7. Place the pan back on high heat until it starts to smoke a little. As soon is the pan is hot, pour in the wine (or chicken stock). Whisk until all the little brown bits on the pan have come off.
  8. Add the chicken stock to the pan along with the bacon, onion, and garlic. Let simmer over medium heat.
  9. Crackand scramble eggs into a large bowl.
  10. Add most of the Parmesan cheese to the eggs, along with the parsley and pepper. Mix.
  11. Drain the pasta, and immediately add the pasta to the egg mixture and toss with a fork.
  12. Add the bacon/onion mixture to the pasta.
  13. Add the butter.
  14. Toss it all together well. Serve with parmesan.
  15. Enjoy!

I forget Tom Cruise’s recipe, I’m not sure how different they are. But as usual, PW’s recipe was a hit!

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Chicken Pot Pie

October 15, 2008 at 6:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Chicken Pot Pie

I am still in my freezing mode. I made two of these pies, we had one for dinner and leftovers and the other is in the freezer. For the one that I knew that I would freeze I lined the pan with foil so that I could get it out. Since the filling was hot (I did not bake it, I’ll save that for when I serve it) I waited for it to cool down before I put it in the freezer. Once it was frozen I took it out of the pan and wrapped it in plastic as air-tight as possible. To reheat my plan is to defrost it the day before in the fridge and then put it in the oven to bake. It may take a bit longer than before, so we’ll see.

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from All-Recipes.com.

Ingredients

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
garlic
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk

2 9″ Buttery Flaky Pie Crust, following (make in advance)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery, and potato. Add water to cover boil for 15 minutes. Note: I added a bit of chicken stock in with the water as some other reviewers recommended.
  3. In a second saucepan over medium heat cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic, flour, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in the bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away extra dough. Make several slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until pastry is golden-brown.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

Butter-Flaky Pie Crust
Adapted from All-Recipes.com.

This makes one 9″ pie crust.

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and grated (I put the butter in the freezer and then grated it using a cheese grater, I then put it back in the freezer so that it would be nice and cold)
1/4 cup ice water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine flour and salt.
  2. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Roll dough to fit a 9″ pie plate. I rolled the dough out twice, first roll out is crumbly and uneven, gently gather in edges and form another ball and roll out again producing a smooth, round, even crust. Note: This was the first time I have ever had a pie crust be this pretty and smooth on the edges!
  6. Place crust in pie plate, press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Note: I baked the bottom crust before filling it.

This was a good, basic chicken pot pie. I don’t know if it was my favorite, but it was good. I’ll probably keep on playing with the veggies and the filling. I was surprised with the pie dough though. I normally HATE making dough and rolling it out. This one went so much easier than the others. I was thrilled.

We now have a few dinners in the freezer. Now all we have to do is start eating them. =)

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Potato Cheese Soup

October 13, 2008 at 7:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Potato Cheese Soup

This is one of our favorite recipes, we used to make it in college all the time. It is a popular one so I always double it so that we have lots of leftovers. This time I froze all the leftovers for some easy dinners.

Potato Cheese Soup
Adapted from Top Secret Recipes.

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes (I always use a version of russet but they never end up being the large kind. Though I usually almost double the potatoes).
2 tablespoons finely minced celery
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon grated carrot
2 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon shredded monterey jack cheese (omitted)
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (omitted, trying to make it a tad healthier)
1 tablespoon chopped green onion

Directions

  1. Peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-size pieces.
  2. Make sure that the vegetables are minced into very small pieces.
  3. In a large saucepan combine vegetables with the chicken stock, salt, and vinegar over medium heat.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together flower and milk.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat and add flour and milk mixture.
  7. Return the saucepan back to the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes or until soup has thickened.
  8. Add 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese to soup and simmer until melted.
  9. By now the potatoes should be falling apart. If not, continue cooking until soup is as thick as you would like it.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese, green onion, and crumbled bacon.
  11. Enjoy!

I love this soup, it is simple but it just takes a while to cook.

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Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder

October 13, 2008 at 5:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Corn Chowder

I am working on getting more ready-to-go dinners in the freezers so on the nights that we don’t feel like cooking we don’t go out. I was in a soup mood and while asking about Potato Cheese soup someone sent me this recipe. It sounded good, and easy, and perfect for some leftover chicken I had that I wanted to do something with.

Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder
Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, and potato, cook for 3 minutes or until tender stirring frequently.
  3. Add flour, cook 1 minute stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil, cook until thick (about 5-10 minutes).
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This was a fairly simple corn chowder and both DH and I liked it. I think DH’s favorite part was the chunks of chicken in it. It made about 6 servings, I froze two dinners in a ziplog bag in the freezer.

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