Friday, February 26, 2010

Mushroom and Artichoke Chicken

Before I post the recipe, can I just say while we enjoyed this, neither of us actually loved it, but we felt that was because of personal taste not because of a bad recipe. The basil and oregano in this are in the forefront, and the artichokes are strong -tasting because they're marinated. A little tweaking is probably fine. I got this recipe from a friend's family cookbook, and I got the chicken from Sprouts, which is having a sale through this coming Wednesday (FYI for you CO folk) $1.67 a pound, which is unheard of around here.

Mushroom and Artichoke Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts (I used 3 large ones instead)
flour - roughly a cup or so
2 Tab oil
1 C marinated artichoke hearts
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, or the equivalent
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz mushrooms
1/4 C red wine vinegar

Dredge chicken in flour and brown on med-hi in oil. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove and add mushrooms and garlic till golden. Add artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red wine and herbs, pepper, and salt. Cook 5 minutes, put chicken back.
Cover and cook on medium low for about 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with fresh parmesan.

Ack! I just realized I forgot to put the cheese on top. I think that would have made a delightful difference. Still probably won't make it again, but don't forget it if you do. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Almond Chicken and Rice

(I will add a photo later when I can upload it.)
Almond Chicken and Rice
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup Italian Dressing and marinade (divided)
1 1/4 cup fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup almonds

3 cups of cooked rice

Cook chicken in 2 tablespoons of dressing in large skillet over medium heat 4 minutes or until evenly brown on each side. Stir in broth, garlic powder and remaining dressing; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 5 minutes. Remove chicken. Add broccoli to skillet and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and almonds. Serve chicken over rice.

You can definitely use instant rice, but since I don't I tweaked the recipe a bit. You do the exact same thing for instant but have to let it stand for 7 minutes before serving so the liquid can be absorbed into the rice. It was well received (except my picky daughter) and pretty low in fat. (original recipe from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemade Creamy Tomato soup

I found this recipe in my "favorite Italian Dishes" cookbook. It was easy and quick, and in my opinion tasted basically the same as Knorr dried tomato soup. Wasn't as creamy as they said it would, but still a pretty good recipe.

4 Servings

  • 3 tbsp butter (1-2 would be enough in my opinion)
  • 1lbs 9oz/700g ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (and peeled if you don't have a strainer)
  • 3 3/4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • generous 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup milk or light cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp shredded basil leaves
  • salt and pepper
1. Melt the butter in large pan. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper
2. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 min.
3. Meanwhile, under a preheated broiler, lightly toast the ground almonds until they're golden-brown (1-2 min)
4. Remove the soup from the heat, place in a food processor and blend the mixture.
5. Pass the soup through a strainer to remove any tomato skin or seeds (I skipped that step, but I had peeled my tomatoes first, and removed most of the seeds)
6. Place the soup in pan and return to the heat. Stir in the milk (I put heavy cream instead, and still it wasn't that creamy...), toasted almonds, and sugar. Warm the soup through and add the shredded basil leaves just before seving.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Camee's Buttermilk Pancakes

Breakfast for dinner? Um, yes!

2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. milk
2 T. butter (melted)

Mix together. Drop onto med- high heat pan.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fish Tacos with Cilantro/Lime Dressing

Sorry not the best of pictures, this was actually seconds. I couldn't wait to eat the first one!

Create a "pan-like" shape from aluminum foil. Place the foil on top of a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the foil. Place fish fillets of your choice (I used Tilapia) on the foil and turn so each side gets a little bit of olive oil on it.

Sprinkle a generous amount of seasonings over the fish, I used plenty of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Montreal Mesquite Seasoning (really whatever you want, it just depends on how spicy you want it).

Put the fish under the broiler for 5-10 minutes. Watch the fish closely to make sure they don't burn. The edges of the fish will become somewhat blackened from all the seasonings. When the fish is done, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the tacos.

I used wheat tortillas that we just heated up for about 15 seconds in a kitchen towel in the microwave (you can also use flour or corn tortillas). Add shredded lettuce, cheese, diced tomatoes (not pictured because we were out), green onions, black beans and fresh lime for garnish. Place a fillet on each taco and serve with a generous amount of lime dressing.

Lime Dressing:
3/4 C Ranch
1/2 C salsa
1 t dill weed
1/2 t lemon pepper
3T Lime Juice
1 t ground pepper
1/8 t ground red pepper
1/2 t horseradish
2 T cilantro
3 t sugar (this offsets the lime juice, you can omit it if you want)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Jared gave this one a big thumbs up and it was a super quick meal to make. It took me no longer that 30 minutes from start to finish. Success!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stuffed Bread

Stuffed Bread is super easy, very versatile and oh so yummy.

Start with my French Bread recipe:

French Bread
2 1/2 C water
2 Tab yeast
1 Tab sugar
1 Tab salt
1 Tab oil
5+ C flour

Proof yeast in water with the sugar. Pour into mixer, add the salt and oil and mix. Add flour, one cup at a time and mix on slow, but until incorporated. Pour out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes. Sometimes I do it for 10 - do whatever feels right. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled. Punch down, knead a few times and shape into a loaf.
Bake at 400ยบ for about 20 minutes or golden brown all over. I bake this in a special french bread pan that looks like this. You can also bake it on a cookie sheet, but it doesn't taste nearly as good. Also use parchment paper if you're doing that.
(I know it seems like a splurge of a pan, but it seriously makes a HUGE difference baking french bread, stuffed bread, any any other kind of bread that is similar. I've used mine over and over, and I'm hoping to get a second one for Mother's Day - it's that good. I know you can get knock-off brands else where for about 18 instead of 27.)

For the stuffed bread:
Roll out to the length you want it to be and then roll in the other direction until it's about 1 - 2 inches thick. Spread about a tablespoon or so of oil on the surface so it will hold the spices in place. Sprinkle spices, then cheese, then meats and/or vegetables. Fold the points from the long ends in a little and then roll up to make a loaf, then bake in the pan as normal.

For spices:
My mother uses Italian spice, or basically a combination of basil, oregano, salt, and maybe a little garlic powder.
I prefer to use salt, garlic powder, a little onion powder, and a smidge of red pepper.
All of this is to taste or your preference...I'm a little scared to start adding amounts onto spices.

For cheese:
White cheeses are the best here, and Mozzarella is always the winner. I grate mine and then sprinkle what looks right as evenly as possible.

Again, you can have creative license here. I like lunch meat like ham and turkey, but you could even put pepperoni or salami if you're into that. I LOVE to add tomatoes - they are incredible in this bread, but green peppers can be good too.

For this particular picture I used my spice mix with mozzarella cheese, a few slices of lunch meat (turkey).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pasta w/ Tomato Cream Sauce

Tomato Cream Sauce
1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce [USE PLAIN TOMATO SAUCE!!!!]
1 cup half & half
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dried basil

1/8 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve on top of pasta & sauce.

In a large saucepan combine pasta sauce, half & half, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and basil. Simmer over low heat for 45 to 50 minutes; do not boil.

I also made crazy bread again. I realized that last time I posted, I didn't even complete the recipe. So here it is, complete!

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cube margarine or butter

Mix yeast, sugar, water, flour and salt.
Let rise 20 minutes.
Melt butter in a 9x13 pan.
Add dough. Spread evenly in pan, then turn dough over so both sides are butter coated.
Cut dough into 12 pieces.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garlic salt.
Let rise 20 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dutch Sausage Soup

I know you have all missed me. Still no camera.

9 c. water
1 pound dry lima beans
1 c. ham
4 celery stalks including leaves (sliced)
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 pound cooked polish sausage

Heat water and beans to boiling in a large pot and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Add remaining ingredients except sausage. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer at least 3 hours. The add whole sausage to the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and slice, return to soup.

I served it with fresh rolls. It is a very easy soup. It is hard for me to remember to do things in advance for dinner that aren't crock pot. However, I did this as I made lunch for my children and it turned out fabulous. (Oh, and I used turkey sausage.)

Andy is very proud of his Dutch heritage and said this soup tasted like what his Grandma makes.

Spinach Rice Casserole

Sorry no photo. Gasp! I made this last night and it was quick. But Brian and I agreed it's more of a side dish. I had never made it, so I didn't know. Brian was a big fan.

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup shredded cheese

2 eggs

½ t. salt

2 T. worchershire sauce

1/3 c milk

2 T. Melted butter

10 oz frozen chopped spinach (or cooked spinach)

Mix together and bake ~40 min at 350

By the way, I'm missing you contributors. Especially those who have yet to post...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Peanut Sauce Chicken

Behold one of our favorite dishes. This comes from the repertoire of Brian's family.

2 chicken breasts, skinned, boned & cut

1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. water
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar

1. Put sauce ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and warm it (about 30 seconds-1 minute or so in the microwave) until it's starting to dissolve. Stir to combine.

2. Heat 2 T. peanut or veg oil
3. Add 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
4. Add chicken. Stir fry 5 minutes and add a green vegetable (3-4 c.) [we always make it with green beans. It rocks.] and cook for about 3 minutes. Add sauce and cook for 3 minutes.
Serve over rice.

I like it when the green beans are cooked so they still have some crunch on them. This is one of those dishes where you want seconds even though you're full because it tastes so good.

Potato Cheese Soup

This was fast to make. About 25 minutes. That's fast for me anyway!
Saute together:

2 diced medium onions
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Add to the onions:
2 cups (1 can) chicken broth
5 peeled, diced, large potatoes [I like to dice them small for this soup.]
1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil until the potatoes are done, about 15 minutes. Then add:
1 cup milk
1 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks

Cook milk and cheese just until the cheese melts. Serves about 7 cups.

Note: Don't leave the pot alone while the potatoes are cooking. Stir it occasionally. Mine burned a little because I did that.

I really liked this soup, and it was pretty much gone by the next day.

Courtesy JoAnn Stevens Liddle's Family & Friends Cookbook.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coleslaw and cheese quiche

So, I didn't make the coleslaw from scratch. I used a seasonning mix bought from the Sunflower market and just added cabbage and mayonnaise. It was pretty good.

As for the cheese quiche... Well I had never made it without lardons (big chunks of bacon) before, and it turned out quite bland without. So, unless anyone's interested in a bland tasting cheese quiche and fuzzy directions, I won't explain how I did it.
Instead here's a recipe I found online that looks pretty good:

You'll need :
  • 1 simple crust of pate brisee (classic pie dough --> see the recipe for tomato pie)
  • 9 oz of creme fraiche (I'd use heavy cream instead)
  • 8 oz of Gruyere
  • 3 eggs
  • Pepper (or nutmeg, I think it tastes better)
Spread half of the cheese over the crust. Using a fork, beat eggs, heavy cream, pepper and the remaining cheese together. Pour the mix over the crust and cheese. Bake for 30min at 375F (or until the top turns light brown)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baked Ravioli, Crazy Bread, & Salad

BAKED RAVIOLI (Courtesy Martha Stewart)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, or oregano
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 pounds store-bought ravioli
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.
  3. Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Crazy Bread (Courtesy JoAnn Stevens Liddle's Family & Friends Cookbook... Brian's Aunt Melody)
3 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 T yeast (bread machine type)

Mix yeast, sugar, water, flour and salt. Let rise 20 minutes. Melt margarine in 9x13 pan. Add dough. Spread evenly in pan, then turn dough over so both sides are butter coated. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Let rise 20 minutes. Cook at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

We really liked the crazy bread.

Mandarin Spinach Salad

Recipe thanks to Jill (Brian's Mom)!

6 oz. baby spinach

1 can of mandarin oranges or one fresh peeled and diced
1/8 cup of slivered almonds or chopped walnuts
Small red onion sliced(optional)

¼ cup orange juice
2 T. lime juice
1 T. honey
2 t. oil (peanut or olive or vegetable)
Salt and pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a small container and stir or shake
with lid on until honey is dissolved. Pour over other ingredients
and serve. Good refrigerated for a few days as well.
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