Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fiesta Chicken Bake

This is so yummy and so easy. I threw it together the other night and my husband and kids loved it. I couldn't believe how good it tasted for how simple the recipe was. This will definitely become a staple around here. Rice and bell pepper would also be good in this dish.

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
3/4 cup Chunky Salsa
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Black Beans (or Kidney beans)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Mix soup, salsa, beans, and corn in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with chicken and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Top with cheese and bake for 10 additional minutes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Maddey's Snickerdoodles

I've always loved these soft, sweet cookies. Growing up, I remember my mom pulling them out of oven just as I was getting home from school. They are Madalyn's favorite. She requests them all the time... and I'm glad she does because I always forget how delicious they are.
These are the best cookies for kids to help make. My kids LOVE rolling the balls in the cinnamon/sugar.

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
  3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Blend well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll dough in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.
We were feeling festive and really wanted to use our Halloween sprinkles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tomato Pie

If you've never tasted Tomato Pie than you have no idea what you are missing. When people hear pie they immediately think "sweet". But this pie is definitely not dessert... it's what's for dinner.
I think it tastes better with fresh tomatoes from the garden, but of course store bought will do too. We usually eat it 5 or 6 times during the summer.
And it comes from the kitchen of Paula Deen. How could it not be delicious?

Paula Deen's Tomatoe Pie
1 deep dish pie shell (9-inch)
1 egg white (lightly beaten, about 1 tablespoon)
4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced (or use 5 Roma tomatoes)
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 large green onion, chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the pie shell onto a baking sheet.
3. Lightly brush the bottom and sides with egg white.
4. Partially bake the pie crust for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
5. Layer the tomato slices with the basil and onion into the partially-baked pie shell, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
6. In a bowl mix together both cheeses and the mayonnaise, then spread over the tomatoes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harvest Hash

I just love generous neighbors! Since my garden was almost non-existent this year, it was completely delightful to receive a bag full of fresh produce from my neighbor's garden. I wanted to make something really yummy using it all, so I came up with this vegetable goulash type dish. It was incredibly delicious! I was so happy it turned out so yummy. Now... if next year, I can get my garden in on time and have it do well, I'll be making this quite a bit.
This is a really versatile dish. You could easily mix and match the vegetables to your liking. You could also play around with the spices. I'm sure I'll throw in whatever fits my mood next time.

1 pound lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 yellow crook neck squash, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon fresh or dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the garlic. Drain fat.
  2. Return skillet to stove, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in green and red peppers, squash, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, paprika, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper; cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in beef and tomato sauce; simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Layered Reece's Peanut Butter Cake

My sisters came up for a visit and it just happened to be my older sister's birthday so I wanted to make her something special. She loves Reese's Peanut butter cups so I thought this cake would be perfect.
It looked fabulous, but unfortuneatly, it was just okay for us. It tasted like dipping a spoon in peanut butter and eating straight peanut butter. I didn't like it at all, but my sisters thought that it was okay. Very rich though. Anyway, since this is a record of my adventures, I thought I would post it even though it didn't turn out quite like I was expecting. If I were to make it again, I would greatly decrease the peanut butter in the cake, and leave it out all together in the filling. To me, a hint of peanut butter tastes much better than a smack in the face of it.

Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Cake

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
½ Cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

8 oz softened cream cheese
½ Cup powdered sugar
¼ Cup creamy peanut butter

2 packages Recees Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 9 x 1 1/2 inch pans. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

2. Mix together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter for two minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and mix for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and mix for another minute.

3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated about 20 seconds. Then add the sour cream, mixing again for 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture. Add the hot water in a slow, steady stream and mix on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix for another 10 seconds. Add the peanut butter chips and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the cake batter into the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes. If you have Use a toothpick to see if it is done. Let cool completely.

5. Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and peanut butter into a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Once cakes are cooled, spread cream cheese over bottom of one of the cakes. Top with 2nd cake.

Chocolate Ganache
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ Cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Place chocolate chips into a medium mixing bowl. Place cream and butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat cream/butter until just boiling. Remove and pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-5 minutes then stir until smooth.

To Assemble: Place layered cake on a wire rack. Place rack on top of a cookie sheet so that the extra chocolate has a place to drip onto. Pour chocolate ganache over cake and using a narrow metal spatula, quickly pared it evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups in center of cake.

Courtesy of Picky Palate

My sister blowing out her candles (with a little help, of course)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crispy Caramel Brownie Treats

Another one on my dessert list crossed off! This came from Picky Palate, of course. She's the master at ooey gooey treats. I did a few little things different but followed the basic recipe. I brought them to a neighborhood BBQ and they were gone fairly quickly. I thought they were quite delicious.

Crispy Caramel Brownie Treats

1 brownie mix of your choice 9x13 size
¾ Cup caramel ice cream topping (I did not have a jar of caramel topping, so I melted individual caramel squares with 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. I think this really made a difference.)

3 Cups Mini Marshmallows
2 Tablespoons butter
3 ½ Cups rice crispy cereal

1 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (you can also use heavy cream)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. As soon as they are done baking, remove from oven and drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.

2. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt marshmallows and butter until puffed up. Stir in cereal until well combined. Quickly place over brownies and gently spread evenly over top. Place chocolate chips into a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir in coconut oil or heavy cream until shiny and smooth. Pour and drizzle over top of brownies. Let cool then cut into squares.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

White chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

I'm a little bit obsessed with desserts... and anything sweet. (As if you didn't know that) I have been food blog surfing lately, and have a whole list full of sweet treats I want to try. Here is the first in the series. I found them on Picky Palate. Actually a whole lot of delectable desserts on my treat list were found there. She has an awesome collection. I can't wait to try some of them out.

First, these White chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies. Perfect for dunking in milk!

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addiction. Add the salt and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chicken Divan

First of all, let me just say that this dish is divine. My hubby even said, "Most of your dinners are good, but this is out of this world." He couldn't stop eating it, and neither could I, and most importantly neither could my kids.
This is definitely a fail safe recipe that I will be making over and over again. And a big bonus: It's simple, quick, and I always have all the ingredients on hand.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups instant rice
2 (10 oz) packages frozen broccoli spears, thawed and chopped medium
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I put more cheese on of course)
36 Ritz crackers (1 sleeve), crushed to coarse crumbs (1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then cut into 2 inch chunks. Spread in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk the cream, broth, and mustard together in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high until boiling, about 8 minutes.
Stir the rice into the cream mixture, then pour over the chicken, Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Pat the broccoli dry, then stir with the cheddar into the baking dish. Sprinkle the Ritz crumbs over the top. Continue to bake until the edges are bubbling and the crumbs are browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
From America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook