Friday, August 29, 2008

Cinnamon-sugar mini muffins

Candice introduced me to this recipe from an old Martha Stewart magazine. I'm usually intimidated by Martha recipes because they seem complicated or require too many ingredients I don't normally have. However, these muffins are super easy and most ingredients I already had so I whipped them up for breakfast and we devoured them!

Cinnamon-sugar mini muffins

You'll need 2 mini-muffin tins for this recipe

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter mini muffin tins (or use paper liners), and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining teaspoon cinnamon; whisk to combine. In a small bowl, combine 6 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, buttermilk, and egg; whisk to combine. Using a large rubber spatula, fold butter mixture into flour mixture. The mixture should be lumpy.

Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each prepared cup, and bake until tops are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool in pan 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Dip top of each muffin in remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter, and roll in reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crunchy Oven French Toast

Many moons ago, I was treated to crunchy French toast at a friend's sister's home. I still remember how good it was, and what a fun twist on normal French toast it was. I have tried to recreate it a couple times, but with less-than-appetizing results. If you make it on the stove top, the coating gets crispy before the inside gets done. So I knew this oven-baked recipe from Pillsbury was going to be the ticket. It was really good. And very crunchy! I think it would be prettier with a french baguette that you slice yourself, but I only had time to pick up pre-sliced, and it worked great. This was our Hooray-Chris-doesn't-go-into-work-until-lunch-time breakfast today.

Crunchy Oven French Toast

3 eggs
1 C. half and half
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
5 C. cornflakes cereal, crushed
8 slices of French bread
Syrup and fresh berries

Grease 2 baking pans. In shallow bowl, combine eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat well. Place crushed cereal in another shallow bowl. Dip each bread slice in egg mixture, making sure egg mix is absorbed. Coat each slice with crumbs. Place in greased pan; cover. Freeze 1-2 hours til firm.

Heat oven to 425. Bake bread 15-20 minutes til golden brown, turning once 1/2 way through. Serve with syrup and fresh berries.
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Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce

It had been a little while since I made this, and I had forgotten how delish it is. Chris LOVED it. Kids didn't. Can't win em all.

Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
s and p
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. fettuccine
1/2 C. pesto (4 frozen cubes)
1/3 C. heavy cream

Between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, pound chicken into an even 3/4 inch thickness. Season with s and p. Heat oil on medium in large nonstick skillet. Cook chicken til golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Slice chicken into strips, cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to pkg. directions. Reserve 1/4 C. cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot. In small saucepan, heat pesto over low til liquefied. Stir in cream, heat til warm. Toss pasta with reserved cooking water and 1/2 the sauce. Divide among shallow bowls, top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Serves 4.

Basil Pesto:
1 C. pine nuts
8 C. lightly packed fresh basil leaves (4 oz.)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2/3 C. extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Spread nuts on a baking sheet. Toast in oven til golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, bring 4 C. salted water to a boil. Add basil, submerge with spoon. Immediately drain in colander. Rinse with cold water til cool, then pat dry in paper towels. In food processor, combine nuts, basil and garlic; season generously with s and p. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in steady stream through the feed tube; process til smooth. Use immediately, or freeze. To freeze, spoon pesto into an ice-cube tray (2 T. per cube); cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a re-sealable freezer bag; keep up to 6 months. Defrost pesto at room temp for about 20 min, or at 30 second intervals in micro.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Skillet Mac and Cheese

This is one of the recipes from "The Best 30-minute Recipe" that Maren and Kel gave me. It is perfection. I love homemade mac and cheese, but it has a tendency to turn out grainy, which Chris really hates. He is all about texture. This recipe calls for evaporated milk (from a can) which makes the difference from grainy to silky. It is a heavenly dish. Something I love about the pasta dishes in this book, are that they cook right in the liquid they will be eaten with, whether it is a red sauce, or water and milk as in this case. My only mistake was not serving it the instant it was ready- I went to get the camera, and not only had Adam started digging in, but it got a little cold and the sauce set up a little, and it is best eaten hot off the press.

Skillet Mac and Cheese

3 1/2 C water
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
12 oz elbow or small shell macaroni (3 Cups)
s and p
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 drops Tabasco
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 C shredded monterey jack
3 T unsalted butter

1. SIMMER MACARONI: Bring 3 1/2 C water, 1 C evaporated milk, macaroni, and 1/2 tsp salt to simmer in non-stick skillet over high heat, stirring often, til macaroni is tender, about 8-10 minutes.

2. THICKEN AND FLAVOR SAUCE: Whisk remaining 1/2 C evap milk, cornstarch, mustard and Tabasco together, then stir into skillet. Continue to simmer til slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

3. ADD CHEESE: Off heat, stir in cheeses, one handful at a time, adding additional water as needed to adjust consistency. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. SERVE IMMEDIATELY!
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Broccoli with red pepper butter

This might not look that tempting at first glance, but it really is a good side dish to know. And its a two fer one- 2 of the 5 fruits/veggies you should have a day. I love these flavors together. Try it!

Broccoli with red pepper butter

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
3 T. butter
1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into very thin strips
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boiling. In a non stick skillet, heat 2 T. butter over medium heat. Add red pepper to butter, reduce to medium low; cook stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook broccoli in boiling water for 5 minutes. After removing the red pepper butter from the heat, add remaining T. butter, salt and pepper. Place broccoli in a bowl, pour red pepper butter over top. Serve at once.
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Menu- week of August 24

Monday- Spinach and three cheese calzones leftover from Sunday; fruit salad

Tuesday- breakfast burritos with sausage, potato, red bell pepper, egg and cheese

Wednesday- Fettuccine and chicken with pesto cream sauce; steamed yellow squash

Thursday- BBQ chicken with twice baked potatoes and carrots

Friday- pulled pork sammies and all the fixins (at the lake)

Sat- maybe CPK... with a giftcard

Sun- dunno yet

Chicken Enchiladas Blancas

These might be my favorite enchiladas yet- and I've tried many. Credit goes to friend Laurel Anne (surprise, surprise). :) Chris reported they are the best he has ever had. Rachael said the same. They called for an onion- I grated half of one... to get the flavor but not the crunch. I really like the white beans in this.

Chicken Enchiladas Blancas

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C sour cream
1/2 C green salsa
1 onion, diced (or 1/2 of one, grated)
1 T. butter
1 can diced green chilies
2 C shredded monterey-jack cheese
1 can white pinto beans, rinsed and drained
10 flour torillas

Saute onion in butter til clear, add garlic and chilies and saute for 2 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients, except for tortillas and reserving 1 cup of cheese. Place about 1/3 cup filling in each tortilla and roll up. Place in sprayed 9 by 13 pan. Use any remaining sauce to top enchiladas. Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes til hot and bubbly. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and guacamole.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shredded Chicken Tacos

This is what we had for dinner last night and it was so good! I'm kinda proud because I thought it up all by myself.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar green taco sauce
16 white corn tortillas (I used 2 per taco)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 limes, cut into wedges
sour cream

Pour taco sauce over chicken in crockpot and cook on low for about 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken and keep warm in crockpot until ready to serve. Warm tortillas in skillet on stovetop, then add chicken, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and squeeze lime wedge over top. Serve with a side of Trader Joe's chips and pineapple salsa- it doesn't get much better than that!

Sweet n Sour Chicken

I stole this recipe from a blog, but now I can't remember which blog I stole it from. I searched desperately in order to give credit where credit is due, but my dang memory fails me. Oh well.

I made it last night, and it was pretty delicious. I think it could've used a little more kick from the "sour" side, but I'm not savvy enough to know how to do that. So, if you have any ideas on how to tone down the sweet, and kick up the sour a little, then I would recommend doing that. But otherwise, a pretty good and easy recipe, it looks delicious upon completion, and was very hearty and filling.

OH and the original recipe called for onions, but since those are an abomination, I substituted a green pepper instead, and it added some nice color in addition to the red pepper and pineapple.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
6 tablespoons flour seasoned with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits (reserve juice)
1/2 pineapple juice (use reserved juice)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced

Coat chicken in flour and fry in olive oil until browned. Drain and set aside. In same skillet, combine cornstarch, salt, pepper, brown sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, chicken broth and soy sauce. Cook and stir until boiling. Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken, peppers, and pineapple. Cook until heated through. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Menu- Week of August 17

Monday- Barefoot Contessa's grilled tequila lime chicken (minus the tequila), corn on the cob, and romaine salad with tomatoes and avocado

Tuesday- double-decker tacos

Wednesday- chicken enchiladas blancas (recipe to come)

Thursday- BBQ chicken, twice baked potatoes and carrots

Friday- Skillet mac-n-cheese, and broccoli with red pepper butter (recipes to come)

Saturday- Something delicious from someone else's kitchen

I do-ed it!

Kelli, I just wanted you to see that I am not completely bread-challenged, although I have had more than my share of failed attempts. I made the cloverleaf shape, so as to distinguish myself from your signature knots or butterhorns. :) Chris, the kids, and the YW in my ward had good things to say about them. I followed your instructions in the Bradshaw fam cookbook this time, instead of following the BH&G recipe. Thanks for showing me the way to achieve really hot buns.

Kelli's Hot Buns

1 C. milk
1 heaping T. active dry yeast
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 C. butter, softened
3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

Heat milk in micro so that it is warm to the touch, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add yeast and sugar to milk, mix, and let sit for 10-15 minutes until bubbles form. To yeast mixture, add salt, beaten egg, and butter. Then add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Mix until dough cleans the sides of the bowl and forms a ball in the center. Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead for 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Shape, place on greased baking sheet 2-3 inches apart, cover, and let rise again for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Green Pizza

When asked her favorite food, Maya will answer "green pizza" almost every time. This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence's Spinach and Three Cheese Calzones. I usually just make one big pizza, but all my cookie sheets are at Mom's house, and for the ease of transferring raw pizza dough to the hot pizza stone in the oven, I made four smalls.

Green Pizza
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. baby spinach, washed and dried
salt and pepper
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. grated parmesan
1 C. shredded mozzarella
1 egg
1 ball pizza dough

marinara sauce

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach, season with s and p, and cook for about 3 minutes, til wilted. Transfer to a colander and squeeze out extra liquid- calzone filling should be fairly dry. Combine spinach, cheeses, and egg in a large bowl. Season again with s and p. Roll out the dough, place on a baking sheet, and top with spinach mix. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chicken Spaghetti

This recipe was one of my Grandma's favorites and it is delicious! It calls for canned chicken which I usually use, but I decided to get a rotisserie chicken from Costco and shredded it. I used half for the spaghetti and the rest I saved for the next night and made a yummy chicken caesar salad.

Chicken Spaghetti

2 cans (or cups) shredded chicken
1 clove garlic
1 can tomato puree
12 oz. spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream

Combine chicken, garlic, bell pepper, and tomato puree and simmer on stove top until thick. Cook spaghetti in half chicken broth, half water. Combine spaghetti and sauce in 9x13 pan and bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and mix in the cheese and heavy cream. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Menus Continued...

Since Candice and I are swapping menus, here's mine for the week:

Monday- Chicken spaghetti with steamed yellow squash

Tuesday- Use leftover chicken from spaghetti for chicken caesar salad

Wednesday- Bean and cheese burros with lettuce and olives

Thursday- Mini pizzas

Friday- We'll be up at the cabin, so we'll probably have something on the grill

I'll be posting some of these recipes shortly!

This Week's Menu

Maren has been so good about planning her weekly menus lately... breakfast, lunch and dinner. So I was inspired to plan mine this week (well, dinner anyway)- here ya go.

Monday- Fast Chicken Fajitas, from Everyday Food

Tuesday- Orange Chicken Stirfry with Carrots and Broccoli, from Everyday Food

Wednesday- Jalapeno Refried Bean Burritos, from my new cookbook from Mare and Kel, and Green Salad with tomatoes and olives

Thursday- Green Pizza (or Spincah and three cheese calzones) from Tyler Florence

Friday- Sourdough Grilled Cheese Sammies and TJ's Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Saturday- either In-N-Out or Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. jk

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fast Fajitas

I love fajitas, but when cooked in a skillet, the peppers can become slimy and slug-like. I likee this method because it uses a minimal amount of vegetable oil, and you broil the chicken then vegetables in the oven. The chicken is cooked but not dry, and the veggies are done to perfection. I know that cooking with onions is an abomination, but I did. Chris likes them in his fajitas, and I like him, so he got a couple onion slices. Maya, Adam and I refrained.
Recipe from Everyday Food.

Fast Chicken Fajitas

4 chicken breasts, fileted in half
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper
3 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
lime wedges

Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat. Arrange chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Rub with 1 Tbsp oil. Sprinkle with chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
On another rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, toss peppers, onion, garlic, and remaining Tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly charred, 6-8 minutes.
Thinly slice chicken. Stack and wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel; microwave for 1 minute. Transfer chicken and pepper mixture to platter, and serve with tortillas, sour cream, and lime wedges.

This is my deal of the month. A three pound bucket of sour cream for 97 cents. They are discontinuing this size, so they are all marked down to this price. I am madly in love with Fresh and Easy. If you need some sour cream, I'm your girl.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Berry Cobbler

I will never forget the first time I had this dessert- it was SO amazing. My friend Laurel made it- a Tyler Florence recipe. I have made this many times since, and it is a crowd pleaser. You have to make it at least once a summer.
(Fresh and Easy marks down all their produce/breads/etc. that need to be used right away- so on the morning I made this, I stopped in there and bought all the berries for 50-75 cents a pint.)

1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blackberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more, for dusting
Pinch cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 recipe scone dough, recipe follows
Melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine berries with sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Spread berry mixture out on a 10-inch tart or gratin dish. Dollop spoonfuls of scone dough evenly over the top of the fruit; leave a border around the edge of the dish for spreading. Drizzle the surface with melted butter and dust with sugar. Set on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the fruit juices bubbling. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with heavy cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Scone Dough
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk or cream
1 egg

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix thoroughly. Cut in butter using 2 forks or a pastry blender. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs. In another bowl, mix buttermilk and egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate, do no overwork the dough.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Let's get cookin'

Howdy! We are Kay, Candice, Maren, Amanda, Kelli, and Emma- and we don't care much for onions. Except for Amanda- she loves them. But because we all love her so, we decided we wanted her in on the fun. We love cooking and eating together and want to share some of our culinary adventures with you. Let's get cookin'!