Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

January 28, 2009 at 8:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

I found this recipe a few years ago when I was getting desperate for new vegetarian dishes for Lent.  I am so glad that I found this recipe, it is a nice easy dinner, great for leftovers and perfect vegetarian meal for the non-vegetarian.

I always forget how much this really makes every time I make it. As good as they are, by the time we actually finish all of the burritos we’re pretty burrito-ed out. You could easily half or quarter this recipe for a more manageable size. And besides, mashing 6 cups of kidney beans can get quite tiring!

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
Allrecipes
Makes 12.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Cook and mash sweet potatoes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Saute onion and garlic until soft.
  4. Stir in the beans and mash.
  5. Gradually stir in water and heat the mixture until warm. 
  6. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce.
  7. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the 12 warm flour tortillas.
  8. Top with cheese. Note: I added sour cream and green onion. Just add whatever you normally like to your burrito.
  9. Fold up tortillas burrito style and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes. Note: I generally heat up the burritos as we eat them, I wrap the “extra” tortillas up and heat them up in the oven at a later time a little bit longer.
  11. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Now that Lent is coming up again, I’m sure we will be making these soon!

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Chicken Piccata

January 28, 2009 at 7:49 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Chicken Piccata

And guess what, I am still catching up! We had our friends over for dinner a few weeks ago (they have been over for dinner many times since) and we usually try something new every time. This night it was chicken piccata. I have never cooked with capers before, so this was a bit of an experiment.

We served this with pasta.

Chicken Piccata
Cassie’s Ruminations
Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb chicken tenderloins or thinly sliced skinless boneless chicken breast (I used chicken breast and tenderized it. )
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons flour
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons drained capers
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1-2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Rinse and dry chicken. Note: I went ahead and tenderized the chicken.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lightly coat the chicken with flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
  6. Reduce heat on pan to medium-low. Add garlic and capers to the skillet. Cook for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and stir to coat compleatly with oil, making a roux.
  8. Add broth and lemon juice, increasing the heat to medium-high. Cook for another minute or tow, stirring constantly. Sauce should thicken and all of the flour should be incorporated.
  9. Stir in the parsley, then return the chicken to the skillet. Coat the chicken completely in the sauce.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy!

This was good. Not sure if it is my favorite, but I will be trying it again. As usual I doubled the recipe and had plenty of leftovers! Something new to add to the dinner rotation!

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Sausage Bean Casserole

December 1, 2008 at 9:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Sausage Bean Casserole

Misha and I were in the mood for something easy and simple, and since it has been cooling off a bit lately I thought that this would be the perfect time for this dish.

Sausage Bean Casserole
Adapted from and a cookie for dessert.

Ingredients

1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 (16 oz) package light smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth (low sodium, fat-free)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (somehow the whole 6 oz can was used, so I just upped the brown sugar a bit to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon mustard (I added)
3 (16 oz ) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf (omitted)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional, omitted)
3 slices white bread (I used breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (omitted)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat (this recipe uses a dutch oven, but since I don’t have one I used a saucepan and a casserole dish).
  3. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  4. Add onion and turkey sausage to pan, saute for 5 minutes or until browned.
  5. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  7. Stir in brown sugar, tomato paste, thyme, pepper, beans, bay leaf, and mustard. Add ground red pepper, as desired.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Place bean mixture in casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over bean mixture, and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  12. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until browned.
  13. Discard bay leaf.
  14. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I missed the spinach that Brooke added, so I think that I will add that next time for a little extra nutrition. This dinner hit the spot and was perfect. We even made more the next night. This recipe is on our list of easy weeknight meals. A perfect meal for a cold day in Southern California.

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Matzo Ball Soup

November 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Matzo Ball Soup

I wasn’t feeling great the other evening, so though we had leftovers for Misha I wasn’t feeling well enough to eat them. My usual go-to meal for nights like these is Matzo Ball soup. It is quick, easy, simple, good, and great for nights that you don’t feel great.

Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients

1/2 cup Matzo Meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled and sliced

Directions

  1. Blend matzo meal, eggs, vegetable oil, and salt in a bowl until mixed. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add carrots.
  3. Pull matzo meal mix out of the refrigerator and form into 1 inch balls. Try to handle the mixture as little as possible, and roll very gently. Note: The less that you handle them, the better. It helps to make them light and fluffy.
  4. Gently place matzo balls into the boiling chicken broth.
  5. Cover tightly, and cook for 30-40 minutes (they should be floating).
  6. Ladle soup with a few matzo balls and carrots into a bowl. Serve and enjoy!

I love this soup. I usually have leftovers for a few lunches or dinners.

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Capt’n Crunch Yogurt Chicken

November 13, 2008 at 6:28 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Key Lime Pie

Many many years ago I was at the doctor’s with my Mom and they had some sort of booksale in the lobby. My mom and I stopped by, and discovered a cookbook called Top Secret Recipes. Though I have not been to many of the restaurants or tried the dishes, this cookbook is a fun book that we have found some truly unique recipes. One of the random gems was a chicken coated in Capt’n Crunch. Being that my mom never bought “fun” cereal, this meal was a real treat. Capt’n Crunch and a yummy dinner.

Well, being that it was cooked in oil it was not the healthiest of meals. That didn’t help my craving of it though. So, realizing that I had two cups of yogurt in the fridge that needed using, and the recent Crispy Yogurt Chicken discovery, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and play with the recipe a bit more than I ever have before.

Capt’n Crunch Yogurt Chicken
Adapted from Top Secret Recipes.

Ingredients

4.5 cups Capt’n Crunch Cereal (next time I will add a bit of panko or corn flakes)
2 cups yogurt
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds chicken breast, cut into tenders

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix yogurt and minced garlic.
  2. Add chicken to yogurt mixture and stir thouroughly until all chicken is coated. Note: I let this sit for a while, but I didn’t have enough time to let it really sit.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. In a food processer, grind the Capt’n Crunch, onion powder, and pepper.
  5. Dip the chicken pieces, one by one, into the Capt’n Crunch mixture.
  6. Place coated chicken in a cooking dish coated with non-stick spray.
  7. Cover in foil and bake at 350 for 45ish minutes, or until the chicken is done (I forgot the foil). Remove foil during last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  8. Serve with a honey-mustard sauce and enjoy!

Well, This recipe kind of turned out. I forgot the foil, so I think as a result the cotaing melted off more than I would have liked, and it didn’t get as crunchy as it would have had I cooked it in oil. But, when I try it next time I will add a bit of panko or corn flake crumbs to the Capt’n Crunch. I think doing that, and using foil, will really make a difference. It still tasted good, it just didn’t look as pretty or have quite the crunch that it could have.

Either way, we will be trying this recipe again, with a few modifications.

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Chicken and Veggies

November 13, 2008 at 6:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Key Lime Pie

This is one of our favorite stand-by recipes. It is so easy to throw together and really good. It is also one of those recipes that it is easy to remember what you need, in case you are out and about when you are trying to figure out what to do for dinner.

Chicken and Veggies
Adapted from Elly Says Opa.

Ingredients

3-4 Chicken breasts (or whatever type of chicken you fancy)
4-5 potatoes (Depends on how big they are)
2-3 carrots
1 onion
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
salt
pepper
oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Peel and chop up potatoes and carrots into large pieces.
  3. Cut up onion into larger chuncks.
  4. Add some extra virgin olive oil and the juice of half a lemon to a baking dish.
  5. Add chicken, potatoes, carrots, and onion to the baking dish, and turn them around so that they are coated with the olive oil and lemon juice.
  6. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic to the chicken and veggies.
  7. Flip the chicken and mix the veggies, then salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic the other sides.
  8. Add chicken broth to the pan, and squeeze the remaining half-lemon over the chicken and veggies.
  9. Bake at 400 for about an hour, basting the chicken and vegetables as necessary. Note: The onions tend to brown on top, so keep an eye on those.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

So easy and so good. We usually serve this with a simple salad.

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Hamburger Noodle Bake

November 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Hambuger Noodle Bake

There is a recipe that I have been craving lately. My mom made it when I was little, all I remember is the oohy goohy goodness of the cheese, noodles, and meat. I was at Misha’s Aunts house and spotted this recipe in a old cookbook. It sounded like it was it, so I checked with my mom and she thinks that this is the one. It wasn’t quite as I remembered it, but it was still good. I think that my ratios were a bit off (they don’t make packages in the same sizes that they used to, and what was I going to do with 4 oz of egg noodles!?). It was still good, I’ll be trying it again to see if I can replicate it.  

Hamburger Noodle Bake
Cooking for Compliments, Knudsen.

Ingredients

1 8oz package medium or wide egg noodles
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup minced green onion
parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions, adding 1 Tablesppon butter or oil to water. Drain.
  3. Brown ground turkey in a large frying pan. Drain Excess fat.
  4. Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, and basil to grount turkey. Saute for 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomato sauce to turkey mixture and remove from heat.
  6. Blend cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and onion.
  7. Spread half of noodles over bottom of baking dish.
  8. Cover with cheese mixture.
  9. Cover with remaining noodles.
  10. Top with meat sauce.
  11. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on top.
  12. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

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Honey Baked Chicken

November 10, 2008 at 10:41 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Well, I don’t have a picture of this recipe, but it was too good to not blog.

Honey Baked Chicken
Misha’s Aunt.

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (We did them whole this time, next time I would cut them up)
1/3 cup margerine, melted (I would use much less margerine next time)
1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons mustard (She makes her own mustard, it is the best!)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Arrange chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan.
  3. Combine melted margerine, honey, mustard, and salt. Pour over chicken.
  4. Bake 45 min to 1 hour (shorter if chicken is in smaller pieces) or to a minimum internal temperature of 165, basting every 15 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

So good! we cut ours up into little bits and enjoyed the chicken in the honey-mustard soup goodness. This recipe is a keeper. Misha didn’t like how strong the mustard was, so next time I might try it with less butter, mustard, and maybe adding in some apricot jam. It was delish!

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Herbed Roast Pork

November 3, 2008 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Herb Roasted Pork

We have been at a lack for dinner ideas lately. I pulled out some of my latest Cook’s Illustrated and Cooking LIght magazines, and let Misha pick something for dinner. He found this Herbed Roast Pork in Cooking LIght

Herbed Roast Pork
Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried tyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (1 lb) pork tenderlons, trimmed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 475.
  2. Combine butter, salt, sage, thyme, and oregano in a bowl.
  3. Rub mixture over pork.
  4. Place the pork in a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 475 for 17 minutes (or until a thermometer registers 160).
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes (tented with foil).
  7. Slice and enjoy!

I think that this had a little too much sage (or maybe I added too much since we doubled the recipe). It was still good, just a bit to heavy on the herbs. I will try this again, but go a little easy on the sage.

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Herbed Chicken Parmesan and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

November 3, 2008 at 10:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Chicken Parmesan and Basil Orzo

We have been pretty stuck on dinner ideas lately. I was browsing around cookinglight.com and found this recipe, and decided that it sounded good.

Herbed Chicken Parmesan
Adapted from Cookinglight.com.

Ingredients

1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (I used dried)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 large egg white, lightly beaten (I just used a whole egg)
1 lb chicken breast tendres (I used chicken breasts, tenderized them a bit and cut them up)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) shredded provolone (we used slices)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine 2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt ina shallow dish.
  3. Place egg in another shallow dish
  4. Dip each chicken piece in egg then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side (or until done). Put in a casserole dish when done.
  7. While chicken is cooking, combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper.
  8. Pour sauce over chicken (in casserole dish) and top with parmesan and provelone cheese.
  9. Cook in the oven until cheese is melted and pasta is heated through.
  10. Serve with Orzo with Parmesan and Basil and enjoy!

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
Adapted from Allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1/2 cup greated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I use dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed (15-20 minutes).
  4. Mix in parmesan cheese and basil, season with salt and pepper
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Both of these recipes are keepers! I love chicken parmesan, and it was a nice change to add the parmesan to the breading and the balsamic to the pasta sauce. Two very easy changes that made a difference.

This was our first time trying orzo, and it was good. I will be making it again!

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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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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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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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Tangy Chicken Kebabs

September 30, 2008 at 1:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Tangy Chicken

I went over to DH’s Aunts house for dinner last night and we made chicken shish-kebabs. They were very very good. I’m not so sure about the Romesco Sauce, it sort of grew on me but the marinade for the chicken is a definite keeper, and would also be great on pork. I’ve never had grilled green onions before, they were addicting.

Tangy Chicken Kebabs
Sunset Magazine, July 2007

Ingredients

8 wood or metal skewers
2 lbs boned, skinned chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches green onions, roots ends trimmed.

Note: Smoked Spanish paprika, aka pimenton is available in the spice aisles of many grocery stores.

Directions

  1. If using wood skewers, soak in cold water at least 30 minutes before using. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag combine chicken, cilantro, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper.
  2. Toss to coat, then marinate, chilled 25 minutes.
  3. If desired, make Romesco Sauce.
  4. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Thread chicken onto skewers, discarding marinade.
  5. Drizzle green onions with remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Lay skewers on grill (cover if using gas) and cook 4 minutes. Turk skewers over, then lay green onions on grill. Cook 4 minutes until chicken is browned and cooked through and onions are charred in places.
  7. Serve hot, with Romesco Sauce (following) and enjoy!

Romesco Sauce
Sunset Magazine, July 2007

Ingredients

3/4 cup peeled roasted red peppers (canned or fresh)–this is about 3 peppers
1/4 cup whole almonds or hazelnuts, toasted (we used almonds)
1 slice crusty bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 Tbs garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

Note: Smoked Spanish paprika, aka pimenton is available in the spice aisles of many grocery stores.

Directions

  1. Put roasted peppers, nuts, bread, vinegar, remaining 1 tbs garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in food processor and whirl until pureeded, sauce will be thick.
  2. Serve with chicken kebabs and enjoy!

I will be enjoying the leftovers today. The sauce was a bit different, maybe it would be better warm or if the garlic was roasted. Not quite sure. But the chicken and onions were delish!

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Arroz Branco (Brazilian Style Rice)

September 30, 2008 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Brazilian Rice

In honor of the premiere of The Amazing Race, MIl and FIL came over for dinner and we wanted to do something special. I searched to see what the first destination was and decided to do a Brazilian theme for fun. We did this with Brazilian BBQ Beef Shish Kabobs.

Arroz Branco (Brazilian Style Rice)
Google… the web site was in Portuguese

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon of oil
1 small chopped onion (it ended up being about 1/4 cup chopped onion)
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup rice
1 can chicken broth, boiling
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and carrot until onions are tender.
  2. Add rice and saute until rice is browned. Note: This took a lot longer than I expected, but I had read that it was important to do this, so I just kept the rice moving.
  3. Add garlic and salt. Saute for about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in chicken broth. 
  5. Turn down the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. I stirred occasionally so that the rice didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Let the rice rest for about 10 minutes, serve and enjoy!

We enjoyed the rice, and we are still enjoying the leftovers. Another keeper.

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Brazilian BBQ Beef Shish-Kabobs

September 30, 2008 at 11:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Brazilian Shish Kabobs

In honor of the premiere of The Amazing Race, MIl and FIL came over for dinner and we wanted to do something special. I searched to see what the first destination was and decided to do a Brazilian theme for fun. We served this with Arroz Branco (Brazilian Style Rice).

Brazilian BBQ Beef Shish-Kabobs
Google… the web site was in Portuguese

Ingredients

1 lb of beef tenderloin
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 lb bacon
16 wood skewers
salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Cut beef tenderloin into 3/4 inch cubes. Cut bacon into squares.
  2. Marinate in olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper for 2 hours.
  3. Soak wood skewers in water for 2 hours.
  4. Assemble beef and bacon on skewers, alternating between beef and bacon.
  5. Grill on bbq as usual.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a keeper, for such a simple marinade it was very very good. My FIL is even considering including it for a tailgate (which says quite a bit with his gourmet tastes).

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Pulled Pork

September 30, 2008 at 11:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Pulled Pork

I was in a car accident on the way to work on Wednesday. After DH picked me up and we finished calling the insurance company and taking my car in for weeks of repairs, we knew that an easy brainless dinner was in store for that night. Since it was still early, we decided that we had enough time to put some pulled pork in the crock pot and recover from the day.

Pulled Pork
What’s Cooking boards on thenest.com.

Ingredients

2-4 lbs pork butt roast (or tenderloin)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cans of root bear or some other cola-ish soda (we have used Dr. Pepper before)
salt
pepper
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce (we used KFC Masterpiece Sweet and Tangy in hopes of recreating our favorite Firestone’s “Pig Sandwich” pulled pork)
Buns

Directions

  1. Put pork in the crock put. Add some salt and pepper, put onions on top, and pour soda into the crock pot. Soda should just about cover the pork.
  2. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. The longer and the lower the temperature, the better.
  3. When pork is falling apart, drain the liquid out of the crock pot and shred the pork with two forks on a cutting board.
  4. Put the shredded pork back into the crock pot. Add the bbq sauce and mix well. Let cook on low for another hour.
  5. Serve on toasted buns and enjoy!

One of our favorites. A dinner, that with planning ahead of time, is easy, quick, and doesn’t require much.

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