Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crockpot Meals

With it now being summer, I have been doing more crockpot meals because they don't heat up my kitchen here are 2 of my favorites...

Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken

4- boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1- 0.7oz envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/3 cup water
1- 8oz package cream cheese
1- 10 3/4 oz condensed cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
1- 4 oz can of mushrooms
Hot cooked rice, noodles or mashed potatoes

Cut uncooked chicken into bite sized pieces and place in crock pot. Mix water and Italian salad dressing mix. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Combine cream cheese, cream of chicken soup and mushrooms, mixing until smooth. Pour over chicken, cover and cook for 1 hour. Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

Note: I leave out the mushrooms and substitute baby carrots the last hour
I like to make this for people when they come over it is easy to do tastes great and you aren’t in the kitchen cooking while they are there. Freezes really well.

Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken

4 thawed chicken breasts ( I cut them into chunks but you can leave whole)
1 can coconut milk
8 oz cream cheese (you can use the fat free and it still tastes great)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 - 1 tbsp red curry powder (I used yellow because that is what I had and it was great!)

Throw all of the above ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve over rice.
You can add a can of diced green chilies if you like it spicy!
Freezes really well too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chops-On-Top Pork and Stuffing

This was kid tested and husband approved so I decided to pop it on here as a keeper.

6 boneless 1/2" pork chops
2 Tbl. Grey Poupon Honey Dijon Mustard (I totally just used spicy brown mustard)
2 Tbl. margarine
1/4 c. Kraft Catalina salad dressing
3 lg. carrots, thinly sliced
2 lg. red apples, unpeeled, chopped (I didn't have any at the time so left it out)
1 pkg. Stove Top chicken flavored stuffing mix

Coat chops with mustard. Melt margarine in large deep nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chops; cook 6 minutes on each side or until browned and juices run clear. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

Add 1 1/2 c. water, dressing and carrots to skillet. Cook 6-8 minutes or until carrots are tender. Stir in apples and stuffing mix (Don't make the stuffing ahead of time, just dump in the mix). Return chops to skillet; cover. Turn off heat. Let stand 5 minutes to set the stuffing. Enjoy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This was a big kid pleaser tonight - both of my girls asked for seconds!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Prep: 20 minutes + marinading
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided (I just used regular soy sauce because that is what I had on hand)
1 Tablespoon sherry or reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used water because I didn't want to open a thing of chicken broth for just one Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks (I don't know if mine was unsweetened or not, it was whatever I had in the pantry)
2 Tablespoons plus 1/3 cup cornstarch, divided
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 cups hot cooked rice

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry or broth (or water), salt, garlic powder, and ginger; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. Add enough water to juice to measure 1 cup (I didn't need to add any water). In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespooons cornstarch, sugar, and pineapple juice mixture until smooth; stir in the vinegar, ketchup, and remaining soy sauce. Set aside.

3. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray, stir-fry chicken in oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.

4. Stir pineapple juice mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken and reserved pineapple; heat through. Serve with rice.

Nutrition facts: 1 cup chicken mixture with 1/2 cup rice equals 428 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 571 mg sodium, 65g carboydrate, 2g fiber, 26g protein.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sour Cream Chicken

Super easy and a crowd pleaser! Even the pickiest kids (like my son) will actually eat Sour Cream Chicken - probably because it's so fattening. That's why it tastes good. :)

salt, pepper, paprika to taste
6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 c. sour cream
1 c. grated cheese
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ c. mayonnaise
chopped green onion, however much you like

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Combine remaining ingredients and spread over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 for about 1 hour (or less, depending on the size of your chicken breasts). Serve over steamed rice. We usually eat this meal with broccoli.

Buttery Pan Rolls

These rolls are semi-labor-intensive, but we think they're pretty good~

2 pkgs. active dry yeast
½ c. warm water
4 ½ c. all purpose flour
¼ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
10 T. melted butter, divided into 6 T, 2 T, 2 T
1 egg
1 c. warm milk

Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand until bubbly (about 15 minutes). Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, stir together 2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, egg, yeast mixture and warm milk. Beat 5 minutes until well blended. Gradually beat in the remaining 2½ cups flour. Cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

Pour 2 tablespoons melted butter into the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking pan and spread evenly using a paper towel or napkin. Punch down dough and form into balls, placing each in baking pan. (About 15-20 balls).

Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons butter over dough. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 30 minutes).

Bake at 425 for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn upside-down onto a plate to cool. Pull apart.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Multigrain Bread in the bread machine

From my Joy of Cooking cookbook. Soooo good. My family downed this. I think Billy ate half the loaf himself. It makes super tasty toast.

Follow your bread machine's instructions for the order of putting the ingredients in. Mine calls for liquid first, then dry ingredients, then yeast.

3/4 c. plus 2 T. water
1 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 T. honey
1 T. grated orange zest
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1/4 c. whole-wheat flour (I use white wheat)
2 T quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
2 T. cornmeal or polenta
2 T. nonfat dry milk
1 t. salt
2 t. active dry yeast or 1 1/4 t. quick-rise yeast

Process on the bread cycle. After 10 minutes of kneading or when the beeper sounds, add:
1/2 c. hulled sunflower seeds

May substitute sesame, flax, or hulled pumpkin seeds for the sunflower seeds (I used flax seeds)
Mat substitute soy, rye, and quinoa flour for the cornmeal or oats.

Raspberry Coffee Cake

I use the Trader Joe's Multigrain Baking & Pancake Mix. The side of it has a recipe for a blueberry coffee cake and this was my version. Also, I don't keep buttermilk around but instead use dry buttermilk that I keep in the fridge and mix it with water according to the directions.

This is really yummy served warm with a tiny bit of whipped cream on top.

1 egg
1 c. buttermilk
3 T. oil
2 1/2 c. baking mix
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and oil.
Stir in baking mix and sugar just until moistened.
Fold in berries.
Spread batter into an 8x8 square pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 or until top is golden brown and a wooden toothpick in center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Making Mozzarella...

So this recipe is a bit more complicated than MANY of my recipes, but it is an excellent use for powdered milk. There are just a few things I feel I should mention. First off, Rennet tablets can be purchased at Walmart next to the ice cream toppings area of the grocery store... And regular milk can (of course) be used in place of powdered milk. Also, don't expect this recipe to be successful the first time you make it. It is a tricky thing making cheese...

3 qts. reconstituted powdered milk, chilled
1 pt. cream
1/4 c. cold water
2 tsp. citric acid
1/4-1/2 Rennet tablet
1-2 tsp. salt (optional)
Pre-measure all ingredients and have them set out so you don't have to worry about it during the cooking process. Crush rennet tablet in cold water and stir to dissolve. Place your large pot on the stove and pour milk and cream into it. Make sure that all the froth and bubbles are gone, skim them off if necessary. Turn the heat to medium. Sprinkle citric acid powder into the milk and stir gently. Heat to 88°. You will start to see your milk curdle. At 88°, add your Rennet solution and continue gently stirring occasionally until the milk reaches 105 degrees. Turn off the heat (If you have a gas stove, turn the heat down, but don't turn it completely off). Leave the pot on the hot burner and continue to let the cheese curd (without stirring) until the temperature reaches 110°. Don't let the temperature go over 110°. You now have a mass of curds, clearly separated from the whey. Scoop the curds out with a slotted spoon into a microwaveable bowl. Microwave the curds for 1 minute on high and drain off the excess whey. Work the cheese into a ball until cool. Microwave two more times at 35 seconds each. Continue to drain the excess whey and work your cheese into a ball. If too hot to touch wear rubber gloves. Knead the cheese quickly like bread dough until it stretches like taffy. If you like, sprinkle it with the salt while kneading. When the cheese is smooth and shiny it is ready to eat.
Note: The whey you drain off can be saved and used as liquid in bread. It is very nutritious. Certain high quality powdered milks (such as Morning Moo and Country Cream) are whey based and can’t be used to make cheese. Cannery brand milk is best. Don't be surprised if you fail a few batches before you are successful with this recipe.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bubble Pizza


1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can(15 ounces)pizza sauce (more if you like sauce)
2 tubes(12 ounces each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1-1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In skillet, brown the beef; drain well.
Stir in pizza sauce. Slice the biscuits in 4 pieces; place in a greased
13x9 inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture. Bake uncovered at 400 Degrees
for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with Cheeses. Bake 5-10 minutes longer to melt cheese.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Best served with a green salad and ranch.

This is a favorite with the Men and kids at my house, and very easy to prepare!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Applesauce Bars

This is my Grandma Horn's recipe. I think I am going to make them for the potluck at the park tommorow. I usually omit the nuts and I'm not sure if I have any raisins so I'll probably give it a whirl without the raisins too. I took them once to a big playgroup get-together and they were a big hit.
Applesauce Bars

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
milk, as needed

1. Place flour, cinnamon, salt, allspice, cloves, nuts, and raisins in large bowl and mix well
2. Combine applesauce, sugar, oil, and soda in small bowl and mix well
3. Pour applesauce mixture into flour mixture and mix well
4. Pour onto greased cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes at 350.
5. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting while warm
7. For frosting:
8. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on low speed until light.
9. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy
10. Add milk if necessary to make spreading consistency

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What's cookin?

So I thought it might be fun to try and start a recipe blog that we can all contribute to like a recipe exchange. I love finding great recipes and I love trying out new stuff. What do you think?

Here's one of my favorite entrees:

Honey Gingered Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (3/4lb) each
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. oyster sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. plus 1 t. minced ginger
1 T minced garlic
1 T. ketchup
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/4 t. ground cinnamon

1. Place tenderloins in a baking dish.
2. Combine honey and next 9 ingredients, stirring well; Pour over tenderloins.
3. Cover, and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours, turning occassionally.
4. Remove tenderloins from marinade, reserving marinade
5. Grill tenderloins, over medium hot coals for 25 to 35 minutes, turning often and basting with reserved marinade.
6. Pork is done when meat thermometer instered into thickest portion of tenderloin registers 160F.
7. To serve, slice tenderloins thinly and arrange on a serving platter.