Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Posts

There is a cool new stat feature on blogger (check your blogger dashboard) where you can easily check how many people check out your site daily, what countries they are from, etc One of the most interesting things to me was seeing what the most popular posts have been since I started this food blog. Here they are (in order):




Have you made any of these?

Chicken Tostadas


My sister has been raving about this recipe and I see why. This is one of those recipes that you have to make- it was delicious!! If you have any faith in Bites, make this recipe!!

1 medium white onion
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 large radishes, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 rotisserie chicken, meat coarsely shredded (4 cups)
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (1-pound) can refried beans, heated
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled queso añjo (aged white cheese, also called cotija) or ricotta salata

Accompaniments: sliced serranos; lime wedges

Preheat broiler.
Cut half of onion into 3/4-inch wedges, then chop remainder. Toss onion wedges, tomatoes, garlic, and whole chiles with 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-sided sheet pan, spreading in 1 layer.
Broil about 4 inches from heat until softened and charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss together lettuce, radishes, chopped onion, and half of cilantro.
Purée tomato mixture in a blender along with one or both roasted serranos (to taste) and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth(use caution when blending hot foods). Transfer purée to a bowl and stir in chicken, remaining cilantro, and salt to taste.
Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry tortillas, 1 at a time, turning once or twice and pressing with tongs to immerse, until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds per tortilla. Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to plates.
Spread tortillas thickly with heated refried beans, then top with chicken mixture. Slice avocado over tostadas and dollop with crema.
Mound lettuce mixture on top and sprinkle with cheese.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake


This was the cake we made for Jesus' birthday on Christmas morning. SOOOOOOOOO moist!

1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Mix in 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Spread 1/2 of batter in the prepared pan.
Prepare the filling: In a medium bowl mix 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and cinnamon. Sprinkle cake batter with 1/2 the filling. Spread second half of batter over the filling, and top with remaining filling.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro and Chiles


I was totally surprised with Mark said he wanted to make this for Christmas Eve dinner. This is not the type of recipe he usually goes for! A co-worker had brought it into the office and he really liked it. He also needs credit for being the hand model in the picture. It was a perfect salsa for Christmas.

4 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup natural unsalted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)- Trader Joes sells them
Sea salt
2 cups fresh cranberries or frozen, thawed
1 1/3 cups chopped green onions (dark green parts only; about 2 bunches)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced seeded serrano chiles
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas; stir until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate; sprinkle with sea salt. Place cranberries in processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl. Add onions, cilantro, and chiles. Stir sugar and lime juice in another bowl until sugar dissolves. Add cranberry mixture and pepitas to lime juice mixture; stir to combine.

Christmas Brunch Casserole


This recipe was packed full of flavors! I didn't have enough bacon so I subbed in some chopped ham.

1 pound bacon
2 onions, chopped
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 pinch dried parsley
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Place bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside. Add the mushrooms and onion to the skillet; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.
Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with the tablespoon of butter. Place potatoes in bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon, then add the onions and mushrooms.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and parsley. Pour the beaten eggs over the casserole and top with grated cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until set.

Paninis


The George Forman Grill is not only just for chicken breasts anymore!

Use ciabatta loaf sliced, brushed with olive oil
Chicken (cooked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar)
Pesto
Arugula (optional)
Chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
Provolone

Layer ingredients on bread and cook in a George Forman or Panini maker!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Cheese Chicken Lasagna

Mark loved this recipe! It is not for those trying to lose weight but rather for those getting ready to hibernate this winter :) It was very comforting.
PS- I realize I've been slacking with new recipes lately! I have a bunch in the pipeline for next week!

9 lasagna noodles (you can cheat and use no-boil noodles like I did)
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained WELL
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala


This was my attempt to recreate the amazing Tikka Masala we had in Iceland. This is an America's Test Kitchen recipe so it will use about every cutting board/pot/baking sheet you own but it was really, really good. It is very similar to Butter Chicken but there isn't any butter and the chicken is cooked outside the sauce. But the overall flavor was very similar- we loved both!

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

masala Sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chocolate Revel Bars


I CANNOT believe I haven't posted Revel Bars before! Before Texas Sheet Cake came into my my life, this was my favorite dessert. Nikki's family introduced me to them growing up and now they are a favorite in my family!

3 cups quick cooking oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir into butter mixture. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with remaining oat mixture.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

Beef, Cheddar and Potato Pie


When I went to the store, they did not have puff pastry sheets- only shells. So I improvised this recipe and it still tasted great!

2 pounds ground beef
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dark beer
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a skillet, combine the beef, carrots, onion, celery, garlic and potato and cook, breaking up the meat, over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and some liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the beer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Let cool.
On a floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch round. Place in a 10-inch skillet or deep pie dish. Roll the remaining puff pastry sheet into an 11-inch round. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat mixture to the skillet. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with some of the egg wash, then place the second sheet on top. Press the edges to seal, then trim to a 1/2-inch edge.
Place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more of the egg wash and cut an "X" into the pastry. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the crust darkens too quickly. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Zippy Egg Casserole

The perfect casserole for Christmas morning. Prepare it the night ahead and just pop it in the oven in the morning! If your family likes things *spicy* than use Hot Jimmy Dean sausage instead of original.

1 pound pork sausage
1 (5.5 ounce) package seasoned croutons
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
8 eggs
1 pint half-and-half cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
In a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish, arrange the croutons in a single layer. Layer with Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, and pepperjack cheese. Top with the cooked sausage.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, milk, mustard, onion, salt, and pepper. Pour into the dish over the sausage. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 60 minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nutella Hot Chocolate

I love that Mark agreed to pose for this picture, all wrapped up in a Snoogle (generic Snuggie). I love this guy!! Step aside chocolate malts, there's a new favorite drink in town.

3 tablespoons nutella
1 1/3 cups milk

1Put Nutella and 1/3 cup milk in small saucepan over medium heat.
2Whisk until blended.
3Add remaining milk, increase heat to medium-high, and whisk until hot and frothy.

(One Serving)

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