Monday, December 29, 2008

Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles

Love this recipe!  Every Safeway I've been in carries El Pato tomato sauce (salsa de chile fresco) in the Hispanic aisle.  Look for the small yellow can with a duck on it.  Go ahead and get two cans of El Pato and for another meal try El Pato heated with 2 garlic cloves, 1 T lemon juice and shrimp.  Serve over hot rice- delish!

Cooking Spray
1  cup  thinly sliced onion
5  garlic cloves, minced
2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  (7 3/4-ounce) can salsa de chile fresco (such as El Pato)
15  (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1  cup  shredded queso blanco (about 4 ounces)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth and salsa to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of chicken mixture over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans

One of the simplest meals I've ever made and maybe should have been rated 5 stars if it looked prettier :) My toddler ate so much of it I was worried he was going to puke from overconsumption.

4-5 boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can corn
1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

Directions
Take 4-5 FROZEN boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot.
add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained.
Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. (My crockpot is always super hot so I actually just put it on "keep warm" and leave the chicken in there for 6-7 hours)
Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Deceptively Delicious Mozz Sticks and Chicken Nuggets

My good friend Emilie gave me the Jessica Seinfeld Cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" for my birthday.  I finally got around to trying a couple recipes from it!  Both recipes turned out really good and we couldn't taste the veggie purees in either of them.  We weren't patient enough with the mozz sticks in the freezer so they didn't cook up pretty (think smashed blobs of cheese) but they were very tasty!  Making the purees ahead of time in large batches would cut the prep time on these recipes in half!


Mozz Sticks
1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs 
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal 
1 tablespoon sesame seeds 
1 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella 
1/2 cup cauliflower purée 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
Nonstick cooking spray 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1/4 teaspoon salt 

What to Do
1. On large sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil, toss breadcrumbs with flaxseed meal and sesame seeds.

2. In large bowl, stir together mozzarella, cauliflower purée and cornstarch until well combined. Shape into eight 2 x 1⁄2 inch logs. Gently roll in breadcrumbs, then wrap in aluminum foil or waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes. 

3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add oil. Arrange mozzarella sticks in pan in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until crumb coating begins to brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm

Chicken Nuggets
1 cup whole wheat, white or panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup flaxseed meal 
1 tbs. grated Parmesan 
1/2 tsp. paprika 
1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
1/2 tsp. onion powder 
1 cup broccoli, spinach, sweet potato or beet purée 
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders, rinsed, dried and cut into small chunks 
1/2 tsp. salt 
Nonstick cooking spray 
1 tbs. olive oil

Lay a large sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil on counter. Combine first six ingredients on paper or foil, and mix well with your fingers. 

2. In shallow bowl, mix purée and egg with a fork and set bowl next to bread crumb mixture. 

3. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Dip chunks into egg mixture and toss in bread crumbs until coated. 

4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high burner. When skillet is hot, add oil. Place chicken nuggets in skillet in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until crisp and golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until chicken is cooked through, golden brown and crisp all over, 4 to 5 minutes longer. (Cut into a piece to check that it’s cooked through.) Serve warm. 

Garlic Chicken


After rave reviews from numerous friends, I finally got the recipe for garlic chicken out of the San Juan Classics II cookbook.  My only complaint is that it was really salty so next time I will use 1/4 t. of salt rather than the 1 t. it called for.  Maybe I used a salty chicken broth or something...

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
4 1/2 T Dijon mustard
3 1/2 T butter
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c. chicken stock
1 16oz. package bow-tie pasta
1 1/2 T butter
2 T finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 t finely chopped basil
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 t. salt (modified from original recipe)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4" thick.  Lightly salt and pepper chicken.  Coat with dijon mustard and set aside for 10 min.
2. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions.
3. Preheat oven to 350.  Over medium-high heat, melt 2 1/2 T butter.  Cook chicken until browned on all sides (doesn't have to be cooked through).  Transfer chicken to an oven-proof pan and bake for 10min.
4. In the chicken skillet, melt 1 T. Butter over medium heat.  Saute garlic for 2 min but do not brown.  Add stock and simmer until reduced by half.
5. Drain pasta and add 1 1/2 T butter, 1 1/2 T parsley and basil to the pot.  Cover to keep warm.
6. Add cream, parsley, salt and pepper to chicken stock.  Stirring frequently, simmer to reduce until sauce coats the back of a spoon.
7. Transfer pasta to platter, sprinkle with Parmesan, place chicken on top of pasta and spoon on sauce.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sugar Cookies

On Christmas day, my sister and I made these sugar cookies (she's the beautiful model in the picture) They were AMAZING. Even after they are cooked, they taste like cookie dough- yum!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

This is the frosting we used:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring

In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

Jen Bowhey's honey mustard chicken


I met Jen Bowhey in Safeway.  She's just that friendly.  We both had babies in our carts and before you know it, we were talking about colic, breastfeeding, formula, etc.  Our babes are really close in age so it has been fun to get together for play dates and get to know each other better.  Her and her hubbie Steve had Mark and I over for dinner and made this scrumptious chicken.  I was embarrassed by how many tenders I kept eating.  I couldn't get enough!  When I make this again, I am going to finish them off under the broiler to get some extra crisp!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 
Ingredients: 
 
3 Chicken Breasts, cut into tenders
 
Wet Mix:
4 T Butter
1 T Honey
1 T Honey Mustard
2 teaspoons Stone Ground Mustard
1 Egg White
 
 Dry Mix:
1 Cup Finely Shredded Parmesan
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
3 T Parsley 
 
Dipping Sauce:
2 T Butter
3 T Honey
4 Teaspoons Honey Mustard
1 Teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
  
Pound out chicken with tenderizing hammer (salt and pepper if you wish)
Melt about 4 tablespoons butter in microwave.  Wisk in 1 T honey, 1 T Honey mustard and 2 teaspoons Stone Ground Mustard.  Add one egg white and wisk.
Mix all dry ingredients in large shallow pan or bowl.  Dip chicken in wet mix, then dry mix and put on baking sheet.  Bake 20-30 minutes until chicken reaches 180 degrees & topping looks golden brown (No need to flip chicken breasts).  While chicken is cooling, melt 2 T butter in mirowave, wisk other dipping ingredients.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hively Stack Up


I have a lovely friend named Jill Wells (Hively) who is my favorite nerts partner and computer recording artist.  :)  Her wonderful family introduced me to the Hively "stack up" salad during one of the many meals I had at her house growing up.  I'm sure we made a music video afterwards or something.  The salad consists of lettuce, white rice, ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning, fritos, kidney beans (I used pinto), avocado, tomatoes, cheese and catalina dressing. Congratulations Jill and Josh on baby Leighton!

Homemade Carrot Cake


We had our community group Christmas party here on Tuesday night and so it was a great excuse to make this cake I've been wanting to try.  It was super moist and was devoured by the end of the night.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. First mix the dry ingredients:

3 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
 
Mix the wet ingredients together until well blended in one to two minutes.

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Oil
3 Eggs
1 (15oz) Can Crushed Pineapple, Drained
2 1/2 Cups Grated Carrots
2 Cups Raisins
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups chopped walnuts
Quickly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and blend for another minute or two.
 
I used 3 small cake pans but you could also make it in a 9 x 13 rectangle. Spray your cake pan(s) with cooking spray or butter and flour the pan.
Then pour the cake batter into the cake pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-60min (depends on what kind of pan you are using).  Mine took 40min.  
After the cake comes out of the oven, take a lightweight flexible spatula or frosting knife and cut the edge of the cake loose from the pan around the outside.
 
Then remove the cake from the pan by gently shaking the cake back and forth until it seems to be detached form the pan. Now put a cooling rack on top of the cake and then flip it over.
 
Remove the cake pan and let the carrot cake cool at least an hour before attempting to frost.

Note: Prior to placing the raisins into the cake batter, place them in a sandwich baggy with a little flour and shake to coat them with a light coating of flour. This will prevent the raisins from sticking to the baking pan.

This is the frosting I used:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

 

Catherine's Spicy Chicken Soup


I have no idea who Catherine is but I've made this soup many times thanks to her.  I found the recipe here.  I made a few modifications to the original recipe- less chicken breasts and no whole tomatoes.

2 quarts water
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 cubes chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
3 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.

Grilled chicken, cashew salad

The dressing is what makes this salad.

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless (2 1/2 pounds total)
6 cups baby spinach , cleaned and dried
1/2 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup roasted salted cashews

To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, cumin, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Place chicken in a shallow dish and pour in 3 tablespoons dressing. Turn breasts to coat well. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat grill or grill pan to medium high. Grill 4 to 6 minutes on each side until done, turning often to prevent burning. (Chicken should be browned and firm.) Remove from grill and allow to cool 10 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.

In a large bowl, toss spinach, tomatoes, and cashews with remaining dressing and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a platter or divide among 4 plates, and top with chicken strips.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scampi Wraps

We like things spicy in the Heaviland household, so I put in a heaping teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and wowza, these were spicy!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
30 deveined shrimp, peeled, tails off
1 teaspoon grill seasoning blend or salt and black pepper

2 hearts romaine
3 tablespoons capers
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the bowl
4 (12-inch) spinach or sun-dried tomato flavored flour tortilla wraps

Directions

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic and crushed pepper flakes. Add shrimp and season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Transfer garlic and shrimp to a cutting board and cool 2 minutes. Coarsely chop shrimp and garlic. Wipe out pan.

Chop 2 hearts of romaine and place in a large bowl. Add chopped shrimp and garlic, capers, lemon zest and juice. Toss salad, then add oil and re-toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Blister tortillas in very hot nonstick skillet or over open flame on gas burner stove top for 15 seconds on each side to soften. Pile 1/4 of the salad onto a wrap. Tuck in sides, wrap and roll. Repeat.

Hunter Style Chicken


This was a really quick chicken recipe that would be a good company dinner.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
6 slices bacon, diced
2 onions, chopped
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
1 pound tomatoes, diced
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet; brown chicken; remove. Add bacon and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add onions and mushrooms and continue to saute until onions are translucent. Return chicken to skillet; sprinkle with parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Add wine and tomatoes. Cover and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, turning chicken once during cooking. Remove chicken from skillet and pour sauce over chicken.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cobb Salad


Romaine, tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs and cheese.  I had an avocado but it was bad.  Boo.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Bakes


Definitely at the top of my favorite holiday cookie list.

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat cocoa, sugar, milk and butter over medium heat. Boil these verrrrry slowly (they will turn out better) when they reach the boiling point boil them for no longer than 90-120 seconds.
Stir together oats, peanut butter and vanilla with a big wooden spoon or Kitchen Aid. Pour the hot mix over the oatmeal mix and drop on wax paper.

Penne Vodka

James and I ventured into the liquor store near our house to buy a small bottle of vodka for this pasta.  I'm guessing they don't have many strollers coming through their doors very often!  I forgot the parsley- oops!

1 lb. penne pasta
3 Tbl. olive oil
9 oz. Pancetta (Italian bacon)
2 minced shallots
1 cup vodka
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl. chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the Pancetta and cook about 5 minutes until crispy. Drain the excess fat from the pan and add the shallots. Cook about 3 minutes until soft.

Add the vodka. WARNING: the pan can flame (ours didn't). Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces by half. Add the cream and cook 5 more minutes.

Add the marinara or tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to keep warm.

Boil the penne pasta in hot salted water. Drain, then add to the warm sauce. Once the pasta is well coated in the sauce, pour onto a serving platter or a large pasta bowl. Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serves 6.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mexican Chopped Salad


Me: "Isn't this an awesome Salad?" Mark: "It isn't my favorite, but it is good."  So apparently this is not a husband-pleasing meal, but I thought it was awesome.  Maybe it would be better appreciated at a women's brunch.

2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
3/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
Half a ripe avocado, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Honey-Lime Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper (use canned for less heat)

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over mixture and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Maple Sugar Walnuts


I made these nuts with some of my mommy friends to give as gifts this holiday season.  They are super tasty on oatmeal, pancakes or a green salad with pears and vinegaratte.

4 cups shelled walnuts 
1/3 cup unsalted butter 
1/3 cup maple syrup 
2 tablespoons water 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine butter, syrup, water, salt and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Mix in walnuts and stir to evenly coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed or parchment paper to cool. Store in an airtight container or package for gift giving.

(some people add in a dash of chili powder but I leave it out!)

Playgroup Granola Bars


I made these bars for our mommy Christmas book/cookie exchange.  I'm sure they could be healthier by substituting whole wheat flour and applesauce for the oil, but I like them just the way they are!

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Andouille sausage


Jentry gave me the recipe for this tasty soup.  James and I went on a great walk today to Double D Meats to pick up the andouille sausage.  Mark walked in the door and said, "Wow, it smells good in here!"  Sorry for my inability to take an appetizing picture of it.  You'll have to trust me that is tastes really good!

1 pound green split peas
10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound diced andouille sausage
1 1/2 cups diced carrot
1 cup diced shallot
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove bay leaves and season with salt and black pepper before serving.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Strawberry Cupcakes


I made these cupcakes for Bethany's shower. It was my first time using a frosting decorating tip and you can kinda tell I'm a rookie :)  I was disappointed that you couldn't really tell there were fresh strawberries in them.  I think I could have used a strawberry cake mix and nobody would have noticed.  But they were moist!

1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in cold water; stir in the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, flour and 1/2 of the strawberries. Beat for 5 minutes on the medium speed of an electric mixer. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the layers spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool cakes in the pans on wire racks.
For the frosting I creamed together 4 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 c. softened butter, 1 T vanilla, 1/3 c. milk and 1-3 drops of red food coloring.

Pork Varkenshaas


Pork Varkenshaas is a recipe Emilie gave me. I have to admit I didn't have fresh basil or parsley, but it was just as delicious with dried herbs! The pork was super tender!

2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Garnish:
Garnish: 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil and 4 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown pork on all sides. Reduce heat to moderate and cook pork, covered, turning occasionally, 10 minutes. Transfer pork to a shallow baking dish and roast in oven until a meat thermometer registers 155° F. for barely pink meat, 10 to 15 minutes.

While pork is roasting, add remaining tablespoon butter and shallot to skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add wine, broth, and mustard and simmer, scraping up brown bits, until reduced by about half. Add cream and basil and simmer until thickened. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Pour sauce over pork and garnish with chives.

Poppy Seed Chicken


This casserole is one of my favorites to bring to friends who are sick or just had a baby. It is super easy and oh, so comforting!

5 cups chopped COOKED chicken
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups crushed buttery round crackers
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the chicken into a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed soup and sour cream. Pour over the chicken. In a separate bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter. Sprinkle over the chicken and sauce.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the casserole is browned and the sauce is bubbly.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken


Greasy, fried chicken- gotta love it.  This was almost better the second day- served cold over a salad.  Don't forget it has to soak overnight!

4 boneless, skinless breasts
2 cups buttermilk
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
3 cups solid vegetable shortening


Soak chicken in buttermilk with garlic, onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on chicken. In a large paper grocery bag, mix flour with seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 3 cups shortening in cast iron pan until 350 degrees. Place chicken pieces in bag with flour and shake, let sit 1 minute, then shake again. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 20 minutes, then turn to finish.

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