Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken Taco Soup

Such a ridiculously easy recipe it's worth making at least once a month. I used 3 chicken breasts and shredded them once they were cooked in the soup and I used a slow cooker. Crumbled chips on the top are a must.

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Rotel
1 can pinto beans
1 package of Chicken taco seasoning
1 cooked chicken
1/2 C (roughly) of Ranch dressing (coat all ingredients together)
Optional: 1/3 cup chicken stock

Combine all ingredients together in a large pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 min.
Toppings: cubed Jack cheese at the bottom of bowl. Sour cream, chips

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ratatouille Tart

A delicious excuse to go to your local farmers market and pick up some squash!

1 1/2 yellow squash
1 1/2 zucchini
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
3/4 cup cheese, shredded, your favorite (mild is best)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

For tart dough:
Pulse 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour and 1/2 t EACH salt and black pepper in a food processor. Add 6 T cold, diced unsalted butter and 3T cold, diced shortening; pulse until pieces of butter and shortening are the size of peas. Add 3T ice water; pulse to combine. Shape dough into a flat disk, refrigerate at least 30min.

1Press pie dough into 9” tart pan. (I didn't have a tart pan so I used a pie pan) Press dough into pan’s fluted edge, trim excess. Cover dart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or baking weights. (I didn't have these so I just covered it with foil) Bake at 375 for 25min or until it feels dry. Remove foil and bake shell 5 minutes more. Let cool 5 minutes.
2Slice veggies into 1/8” slices – a mandoline is very handy for this. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cheese and basil over bottom of tart.
3Arrange vegetables around the edge of tart shell, repeatedly overlapping 2 slices each of zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and onion. (the onion tends to fall apart – just use a generous pinch of shreds.) Arrange a smaller circle inside the first. Put onions in the center, covered by more squash.
4Drizzle the tart with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until tart is golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bread Machine Bagels

For some reason there are very few bagel shops in Seattle. We were used to seeing an Einteins or Brueggers Bagels on every other corner in Tucson. Maybe people in the NW are more carb sensitive or something, but we don't like it at all. So we decided to make our own! We added blueberries and cinnamon/raisin to some but the plain ones ended up being the best!

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 quarts boiling water
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Place water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting.
When cycle is complete, let dough rest on a lightly floured surface. Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Cut dough into 9 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a clean cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle an ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute, turning half way through. Drain briefly on clean towel. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well browned.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Make these tomorrow and thank me later. They are TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 (18.25 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs

vanilla frosting for top

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls; place onto a baking sheet, and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (I froze mine for 6 hours)
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat 3 eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer to break up. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake (not the cookie dough ball) comes clean, about 16 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! The cookie dough should remain dough. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Soft Zucchini Spice Cookies

The original recipe is below but I didn't add cloves or ornage peel (because I didn't have any) and they turned out great. I was pleasently surprised that even the guys at our picnic liked these (maybe they didn't know about the zucchini).

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar; add the egg and mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini, nuts, raisins and orange peel. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are set.

Blueberry Scone

Scones get a bad rap for being dry and crumbly. These scones are neither. They are moist and delicious! The dough is really wet and therefore hard to form into the traditional scone shape so I just dropped them in large balls on the cookie sheet. It was a fun way to use the blueberries we picked this week!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Cut butter into mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add blueberries and toss to mix.
In separate bowl beat together cream and egg, and slowly pour into dry ingredients, stirring with rubber scraper until dough forms. Knead just until it comes together, 3 or 4 times. Don't overhandle.
Divide dough in half. On lightly floured board, shape each half into a 6-inch round. Cut into 6 wedges.
Bake on ungreased sheet about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Serve warm!!

California Club Pizza

A tasty Pampered Chef Recipe!

1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
1 pkg (13.8 oz/283 g) refrigerated pizza crust
2 cups (500 mL) diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups (500 mL) shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack or marble cheese blend (8 oz/250 g)
2 plum tomatoes
¼ medium red onion
1 medium avocado
1 lemon
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced, cooked and drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with oil. Unroll dough onto bottom of pan, gently stretching and pressing dough to cover bottom. Top crust with chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 16-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown; remove from oven.
Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise using Utility Knife; scrape out seeds and dice. Slice onion.
Cut avocado in half, avoiding pit; twist halves apart and remove pit. Dice avocado and place into Classic Batter Bowl. Add tomatoes and onion. Juice lemon to measure 2 tbsp (30 mL) juice; add to batter bowl and stir gently using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®.
Distribute tomato mixture evenly over pizza. prinkle with bacon, if desired. Cut pizza into squares with Pizza Cutter.

Dijon Chicken Fricassee

Thank you Bethany for this tasty chicken recipe. The fresh thyme makes all the difference so don't make it without it!

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
3 pounds chicken pieces, skinned
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1. Combine mustard, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; toss well to coat. Chill 8 hours or overnight.

2. Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan.

3. Add chopped onion to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.

4. Cook sauce, uncovered, over medium heat 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour sauce over chicken, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Neapolitan Baked Ziti

I had really high hopes for this recipe. How can you go wrong with a layer of red sauce AND a layer of white cream sauce? However, it just tasted to be like pasta in a red sauce that needed more flavor. We sprinkled hot pepper flakes on top which made it better but still it just tasted like pasta in a red sauce.

1 pound ziti with lines
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
4 to 5 leaves basil, torn
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 large ball fresh mozzarella, diced
1/4 cup (a handful) grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to boil to cook the ziti. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook just shy of al dente. Drain thoroughly.
While the water is coming up to a boil, start the red sauce: Place a medium-size saucepot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring every now and then until the onions start to get tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and smash them up into small pieces with a potato masher or with the back of a spoon. Add the basil and season with some salt and pepper. Bring up to a bubble and simmer for 15 minutes.
Once you have the red sauce working, make the white sauce: Place a medium-size saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook for about a minute. Whisk in the milk, add the bay leaf and season with some salt, pepper and a couple of grates of nutmeg. Bring up to a bubble, turn the heat down to low and gently simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Combine the cooked ziti with the red sauce in the pot the pasta was cooked in and transfer everything to a baking dish. Top with the white sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and grated Parmigiano over the top, transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream Cake

I thought for SURE this would be a 5 star recipe! However, the cake on the bottom was way to dry for my taste. Maybe frozen cake always tastes dry or maybe it doesn't really need to bake for 40 min! If you make this, check the cake after 25min to see if it is done. I have a feeling the recipe cook time is incorrect.

2 1/2 c cake flour
1 c sugar
1/2 c malted milk powder
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c hot water
1/3 c vegetable oil

1 quart chocolate malt ice cream
1/3 c fudge sauce
2 c heavy cream
1/2 c malted milk balls

Preheat over to 375. Coat a 9 in springform pan with nonstick spray

Whisk together first 5 ingredients then add water and oil- just until combined. Pour batter into springform pan and bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (40-45 min). Let cake cool in the pan. Once completely cooled, remove pan and level the top of cake. Return cake to springform pan. Layer the cake with chocolate malt ice cream, spreading to the edges of the pan. Cover cake and freeze 1 hour. Top ice cream later with fudge sauce. Cover pan, freeze cake at least 4 hours. Thaw in refrigerator for about 30 min. To serve, whip cream in a bowl with a mixer on high speed until medium peaks form. Spread whipped cream onto fudge later sauce. Remove cake from springform pan. Sprinkle chopped milk balls over the top of the cake.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dump Cake

This simple dessert recipe is perfect for something really fast to bring to a potluck. We brought it to a community group bbq and it definitely got some rave reviews. It tastes really similar to a cobbler.

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box yellow cake mix (white works, too)
1 1/2 sticks butter
Whipped Cream (optional)

Dump cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple into baking dish. Stir together. Sprinkle cake mix over the top of the fruit. Slice margarine and butter and distribute over the surface of the cake mix. Bake this sacrilege at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then, to redeem yourself and become the person your high school history teacher always wanted you to be, whip some cream and put a dollup on top.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hershey Pudding Cake

Another fabulous Chocolate Desert from It's very weird to pour hot water over a cake before baking it but I guess that is how the magic happens. On the bottom of the cake is the fudgy, hot pudding layer. It is to die for!

3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
1 1/4 cups hot water

Heat oven to 350 F. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top; do not stir.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Herbed Cheese-Stuffed Salmon

My mother-n-law Jane was raving about this dish so I cooked it for my mom and aunt's visit. It was a hit!

6 (6 ounce) salmon fillets, skinless
1 lemon
5 1/4 ounces spreadable cheese with garlic and herbs
sea salt
1 cup soft breadcrumbs (about 1 1/2 slices)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly shredded (1/1/2 oz)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Preheat oven to 425.
2Finely shred enough peel from lemon to make 2 teaspoons; cut lemon in wedges and set aside.
3In small bowl combine semisoft cheese and lemon peel.
4In top of each fillet, from about 1/2 inch from one end, cut a pocket, taking care not to cut all the way through the fish. (If the fish is thin, cut into the fish at an angle).
5Spoon cheese mixture into pockets. Season fish with salt Place in baking pan and set aside.
6In small bowl combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, butter and pine nuts; sprinkle over fillets, pressing lightly.
7Bake, uncovered, about 14 minutes or until salmon flakes when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

Asian Chicken Wraps

I first had these wraps at Heather Braun's house. They are really simple and taste like they were made in a restaurant!

3 tablespoons unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (I just used soy sauce)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
8 ounces grilled chicken breast strips (such as Louis Rich)
12 Bibb lettuce leaves

Place peanuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Remove pan from heat; set aside.

Combine hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, oil, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine peanuts, coleslaw, water chestnuts, and chicken in a medium bowl; toss well.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken salad in the center of each lettuce leaf; top each with 2 teaspoons sauce. Roll up; secure with a wooden pick.

Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce

A great Grill recipe for the summer.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. sweet hot chili sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin

Make chicken skewers (or cubes) - as much or as little chicken as you want! Marinade in garlic soy sauce for at least one hour.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pan and warm up (don't bring to a boil or it will separate), stirring frequently. You can make the sauce the day before and just microwave it when you need it. If the sauce is too thick, just add more coconut milk!

Spaghetti Carbonara

Also called coal's miners spaghetti because carbonara is derived from the Italian word for charcoal, this is a very simple, tasty pasta dish.

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.


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