Archive | October, 2013

Amish Chicken

30 Oct

Amish Chicken – my husband just asked, “What’s Amish about it?” And the answer is…I have no idea. Someone posted the recipe on Facebook, I thought it looked good and decided to try it. Maybe it’s the same way with the Amish – you see them in their horse and buggy, sporting some pretty sweet beards and say to yourself, “Hey, I should try that.” Yeah. Or maybe they just cook really good chicken.

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Ingredients:

6 -8 chicken pieces, cleaned
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups water

Directions:

Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and spices and arrange skin side up in a baking dish. Mix the cream and water and pour over the chicken. Bake at 350^F for 1 1/2 hours or until the skin is golden brown.

Italian Meatballs

28 Oct

My neighbor got Mono a couple of weeks ago. I had it the summer after my freshman year of college = no fun. And I didn’t have kids to take care of back then – she has 4. So, I made their family dinner, and asked the kids if there was anything they didn’t like or anything they preferred. There was talk of macaroni and cheese and other kinds of kid favorites, but then their eyes lit up; “Spaghetti and Meatballs!” I love spaghetti – my husband does not. So, whenever I make spaghetti, it is a special treat for me. 🙂 However, I usually just make spaghetti with meat sauce. I have never made meatballs. But they asked specifically for meatballs! It’s always a little scary making something you have never made before with the intention of giving it to someone else. It doesn’t leave much room for error – even though you know that they would never say anything if it tasted horrible. I contemplated just doing my regular meat sauce, but then my conscience would strike and I just didn’t have much choice – I promised meatballs.

I was really pleased with this recipe. The meatballs were like miniature meat loaves, and then of course, there is the ease of the crockpot! Even my husband tried them. 🙂 He’s still not a huge fan of spaghetti, but said the meatballs were pretty good – I take what I can.

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Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand – use your bare hands for best results. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball. Drop raw meatballs into crockpot filled with Marinara Sauce. Cook on high for about 3 hours.

Original recipe found here: http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-italian-meatballs-92095

Pumpkin Bread

28 Oct

I made pumpkin cookies a little while ago. They turned out ok, but they were just like regular chocolate chip cookies! Pumpkin cookies should be fluffy and soft, not flat with crispy edges. 😦 That recipe did not make the blog cut. Anyone have a really awesome pumpkin cookie recipe they’d like to share?

To make up for one pumpkin-fail, I had to redeem myself with a recipe that I knew would end up good. This is my grandma’s pumpkin bread and it is fabulous! It’s really unlike any other pumpkin bread I’ve ever had (secret ingredient being coconut!). Her recipe calls for raisins too but my family is anti-raisins unfortunately, so I typically leave them out.

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Ingredients:

5 cups flour

4 cups sugar

3 cups pumpkin

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

4 tsp baking soda

2 cups raisins

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup grated coconut

Mix all dry ingredients and sift together. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil and mix well. Stir in raisins, nuts, and coconut. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350^F for 1 hour or until toothpick test comes out clean.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

25 Oct

We read the book ‘Garlic and Saphires‘ by Ruth Reichl for my book club this month. I’m not usually into non-fiction (I live non-fiction, so when I read I like to be somewhere else :)), but I did really enjoy the book. Reichl is a food critic who visits high-end restaurant’s in disguise in order to get different viewpoints on the food and the restaurant experience. I learned one thing – I defiantly don’t have the palate to be a critic! But it was a fun read, plus she added a few of her favorite recipes in between chapters. Most of them had ingredients that I don’t frequently cook with :), but this one jumped out at me. Pasta – check. Eggs – check. Bacon – check. Not too scary, and now I can say that I can cook like a food critic even if I can’t afford to eat like one.

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Ingredients:

1 lb spaghetti

1/4 – 1/2 lb thickly sliced bacon

2 cloves garlic

2 large eggs

pepper

1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring large pot of water to boil, prepare spaghetti noodles – 9-10 minutes. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon begin to crisp.

Break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat with a fork. Add pepper to taste.

Remove garlic from bacon pan.

When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

*I added grilled chicken as well.

Italian Crockpot Beef

24 Oct

By far, the best dinner I’ve made in awhile – and that’s saying something because I’ve been using my best recipes lately so I could get them added to the blog! My husband’s work takes them out to lunch every Friday (I made this on a Thurs) and he called after they had had bbq catered: “Your meat was much better.” Score. And it’s crockpot. You just can’t get easier than crockpot. The meat was so-so tender this time around because I didn’t get it in the cooker soon enough – but an hour longer and it would have been fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth kind of goodness. And the fact that I could completely over look the fact that it didn’t shred as well as I would have liked attests to the fact that the taste is so ridiculously good that it really didn’t matter. Mmmmm…go make it.

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Ingredients:

3 lb. beef chuck roast

10.5 oz. beef broth, canned

1 oz. au jus, dry mix packet

.7 oz. dressing mix, dry Italian salad dressing mix

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place roast into crock pot and pour the beef broth over the meat. Sprinkle the au jus mix, Italian salad dressing mix, salt, and black pepper over the roast. Cover. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or all day, until meat is very tender. Shred, and place meat on bread of choice (I used Kaiser rolls). Top with Provolone Cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown cheese.

Original recipe found here: http://getcrocked.com/2013/03/11/best-ever-crock-pot-italian-beef/

Treacle Scones

22 Oct

If there was a fall version of the scone, this would be it. Molasses, ginger, all spice… good stuff, people. Make yourself a breakfast treat, and if you have the brilliant idea to make breakfast for dinner for a family of 6, either double the recipe or plan a side – this recipe only makes 8 scones. 🙂 If it’s just you, then eat them all yourself…I won’t tell.

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp all spice

1/4 cup butter

1 Tbsp molasses

milk

Mix dry ingredients. Heat molasses and butter until melted. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture and enough milk to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Divide dough in half, roll each piece into a circle about 1/2″ thick. Cut them into four triangles and bake at 400^F for 10 min until browned. Serve with warm butter, Buttercream Syrup, and jam.

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Chocolate Eclair Cake

19 Oct

I’ve been waiting, and waiting for an excuse to make this Chocolate Eclair Cake. I finally had a get together last night – a ‘bring a treat to share’ get together, with lots of ladies making crafty things late into the night, and needing a little sugary kick to keep them going. YES. I’ve always heard that eclairs are temperamental and if you don’t have your kitchen at the right temperature, or cook the dough just right, they won’t turn out (true? or old wives tale?). Hence the reason why I’ve never made eclairs. That being said, reading through this recipe I just couldn’t find a way to mess it up. So, I took a gamble, and ended up with one tasty treat.

I did learn an important lesson in making eclairs – or eclair cakes anyways. While preparing your ingredients, if an egg rolls off of the counter and you try to stop its decent by sticking out your leg and pushing said egg against the cabinet, one of two things is going to happen. One: the egg is going to break and get all over your pants, the cabinet, and the floor. Two: the egg is going to break and get all over your pants, the cabinet, and the floor. Either way, I think you’re better off just letting the darn thing fall. You will have lost an egg and will have to live with the guilt of having done nothing to save it, but at least you won’t have to change your clothes.

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Ingredients

 

Crust:

 

    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 large eggs

 

Filling:

 

    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
    • 3 cups milk

 

Topping:

 

  • whipped cream
  • chocolate syrup

 

Instructions

 

  1. Instructions:
  2. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″X13″ glass baking pan.
  3. For the Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down).
  5. For the Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of whipped cream, however thick you want it and serve with a drizzle chocolate syrup.

Original recipe found here: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/06/chocolate-eclair-cake.html

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Viva La Chicken

18 Oct

As of yesterday, I officially have 101 followers. Wahoo! Now, 101 sounds very small when you compare it to a lot of other blogs that have 101,000. But! I’m pretty darn excited about it, considering the fact that I have never actively tried to advertise my posts and I still have no idea how people manage to find them in the first place. I started this just as a personal little database of recipes and to have a place to jot down my silly rantings and ravings. It makes me happy that others like the food that I love and I still get giddy every time I get an email, “so-and-so is now following you.” 🙂

Viva la Chicken!!! A fitting post for my 101 celebration…

A super tasty, Mexican casserole – kind of like a 9×13, shredded up enchilada.

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Ingredients:

1 lb cooked, shredded chicken

1 dozen corn tortillas, shredded into 1 inch chunks

1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup milk

1 onion, chopped

1 (16 oz) can green chili sauce, green enchilada sauce, or salsa

1 lb cheddar cheese, grated (3-4 cups)

Mix soups, milk, onion, and sauce. Add shredded chicken and tortillas until incorporated. Pour mixture into greased 9×13 baking dish, top with cheese and bake at 300^F for 1 hour.

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Orange Chicken

16 Oct

I think I’m getting old. My kids are famous for not sleeping through the night until I force them to at about 10-11 months – I’ve survived three of these. So how come I am withering away to a state of mental nothingness at only 4 months? Granted, the last few nights my little man has been up way more than usual, but still…I should be able to suck it up. I should be able to function. I should not have these giant holes in my face where my eyes used to be and I really shouldn’t be this crabby. I am forever grateful to the person who decided that makeup wasn’t just for prostitutes and for kids who don’t mind having a down day here and there. And for recipes that can fulfill that Chinese take-out craving without having to actually go out. I may be grateful for the makeup, but I don’t always want to bother putting it on. 🙂

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Ingredients:

Chicken (Homemade Chicken Nuggets):

4 chicken breast halves

1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp water

1 1/2 cups flour

Sauce:

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cornstarch

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Coat in egg wash. Put flour in a zip lock bag and season with salt and pepper or season-all salt to taste. Put chicken pieces in bag of flour and shake until coated. Fry chicken pieces in vegetable oil until cooked through and light brown. Combine last 6 ingredients in medium saucepan and simmer 1 minute until thickened. Place chicken in a shallow baking pan and pour sauce over pieces. Bake at 350^F for 45 min, stirring the chicken to coat occasionally. Serve over rice.

*I like mine more saucy, so I typically double the sauce

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Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

15 Oct

Fall=soup weather. Yay for soup. Don’t be scared away by the cauliflower in this one – my husband is not a fan of cauliflower and almost refused to try it, but I talked him into it and, surprise! I did not spare him the, “I told you so.” I actually like to mix mine with the Roasted Tomato Soup – kind of a half and half concoction. Yum!

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups milk

32 oz chicken broth

1 head (2 1/2 lbs) cauliflower, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tsp Dijon mustard

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a 4 qt saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk and chicken broth. Add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender – about 10 minutes. In blender, with center part of blender lid removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with remaining cheese and serve.