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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.

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.

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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Homemade Chicken Nuggets

14 Oct

I tried to make homemade gummy worms this weekend. Jello + straws = fun activity with the kids, right? Ha – turns out, not so much. Jello requires boiling water which they can’t help with. Waiting for it to cool – kids are terrible at waiting. Then, pouring Jello mixture into a strategically stacked tower of straws without spilling…also not something I really want them helping with (anything red is cursed and in the hands of a little person it will spill, guaranteed). Jello has to set – back to the waiting bit. Then, trying to squeeze the worms out of the straws…let’s just say that I did three and had to stop because my hands hurt from the effort it took. And I used 100 straws. I couldn’t justify wasting all the effort I’d already put into these worms, but I also couldn’t fathom extracting 97 more little gelatin tubers. My husband took pity on me and threw them in the trash so that I didn’t have to. In the end, homemade worms = bad idea.

However! Homemade chicken nuggets = good idea! No mystery meat in these babies, no jello, and no straws. Win.

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Ingredients:

4 chicken breast halves

1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp water

1 1/2 cups flour

salt/pepper or Lawry’s seasoning salt to taste

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Coat in egg wash. Put flour in a gallon sized ziplock back and season with salt/pepper or Lawry’s. Put chicken pieces in the bag of flour and shake until coated (this may need to be done in multiple smaller batches as opposed to putting all of the chicken in at once – enables better coating). Fry chicken pieces in vegetable oil until light brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel to absorb excess grease.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

3 Oct

I am in love with these taquitos! I’ve never made taquitos with flour tortillas before, but they were fabulous. I actually had to make them twice because the first time everyone ate them before I could take a picture. 🙂 They are really quick, but I ran into a snag the second time around – no salsa. I usually borrow from my neighbor in a pinch, but she wasn’t home. So, I skipped on over across the street (and when I say ‘I,’ I actually mean I sent my husband and all the kids so I could work on dinner in peace) to ask my other neighbors if they had salsa. No go. But! Hubby came home with all the raw ingredients for salsa that they neighbors had so generously offered. So, with their tomatoes, cilantro, and onion, we added a handful of pitifully small peppers and an ear of sweet corn that our little garden managed to eke out this season, and ended up making some Homemade Salsa to finish things up. They turned out better than ever!

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Ingredients

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese

1/4 cup salsa (Homemade Salsa)

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup grated cheese

flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, chicken and cheese and combine well. Place 3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges, then roll it up as tight as you can. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 12 taquitos.

Adapted from: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/04/baked-creamy-chicken-taquitos.html

 

Hawaiian Haystacks

30 Sep

My life has been all consumed lately by dragons. Three of them to be exact. And three little girls who so desperately want me to finish said dragons. Welcome, Halloween costume extravaganza! I was only going to make one – the other two were going to be hula girls…and then they saw the shiny fabric for the first dragon, and “I want to be a dragon too!!!” How do you say no to that? Well, you don’t. So, I have pictures and recipes stacking up, waiting to be blogged about, and instead I’ve been cutting, pinning, unpicking (a sad reality when I sew), and piecing together three dragons. They are going to be awesome!

All consuming sewing projects also call for relatively fast dinners. I love Hawaiian Haystacks because  everyone can tailor (haha…no pun intended) to their tastes. We call them ‘birdies nests’ at our house and the kids have fun stacking them up and arranging all their toppings.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

1 cup milk

2 cups chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 tsp salt

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

Melt butter, and mix with flour until golden brown. Add milk and broth and stir until incorporated. Stir constantly until thickened. Add salt, cream of chicken, and diced chicken. Serve over rice with toppings.

Suggested toppings:

diced tomatoes

diced pineapple

coconut

chow mein noodles

shredded cheese

Cordon Bleu Pasta

6 Sep

My local grocery store posts recipes on their website weekly. I’ve never tried one before, but gave this one a go last night for dinner. I was going to be gone, so I needed something that I knew the kids would eat so my husband didn’t end up with a battle on his hands (yeah, I’m thoughtful like that). I thought this Cordon Bleu Pasta might be more like alfredo, but I was surprised to find that it was actually quite different. It’s definitely not a low-fat recipe with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of cream! But you have to indulge every now and then. 🙂 I snitched a bite or two (or four to be exact) before heading out, because it’s pretty much against the rules for a cook to not taste test – plus, it being a new recipe, I was hoping my plan of making a kid-friendly meal hadn’t backfired. Good new is, everyone loved it. And it was way simpler than a traditional Cordon Bleu.

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Ingredients:

16 oz pasta

1 cup butter

1 cup swiss cheese

2 cups cream

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed

1 cup ham

1 cup bread crumbs

Cook pasta per package directions – set aside. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in cheese and cream until blended. Continue heating, stirring constantly, just to boiling. Remove from heat. Toss pasta, meats, and sauce together. Sprinkle with bread crumbs (or crushed Ritz crackers!) on top and serve.

*Original recipe found here: http://maceys.com/recipes/recipe?id=46

Salsa Crockpot Chicken

17 Aug

How easy is the crockpot? I really don’t know why I don’t use it more than I do. Dump and leave…awesome. This chicken is pretty self explanatory – it is literally chicken and salsa cooked in a crockpot. And it tastes sooooo good! You can add more stuff to make it more of a meal, or just use the chicken in your taquitos, tacos, breakfast burrito, etc. Either way, you can’t ask for a simpler way to get such a tasty result.

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Ingredients:

2 frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2-3 cups salsa

taco seasoning to taste

*Optional add ins:

1 can corn (I prefer frozen corn – about 1 1/2 cups)

1 can black beans

sour cream

shredded cheddar cheese

diced tomatoes

Place frozen chicken, salsa, and taco seasoning in crockpot, making sure chicken is covered. Cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken is very tender and shreds easily. When chicken is fully cooked, shred and and serve or add corn and sour cream, just enough to make it as creamy as you would like. Cook the black beans separate on the stove top until soft, then add them to the mix. Serve burrito style on a tortilla with shredded cheese and tomatoes.

 

Tacos & Taquitos

16 Aug

I learned a couple of things from my dream last night: first, during a zombie apocalypse, people think you have to have guns and chainsaws and baseball bats…not so. Apparently, all that is required is window coverings. Yeah. Blinds, shades…you pick. Just make sure those zombies can’t see into your hugely awesome house at night and you’re good (I always live in the coolest houses in my dreams). Of course, if you have one of those pesky doors with a window taking up half of it, and you only have one of those cheap paper-like shades, don’t let your two-year old sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night because she’ll tear it down in order to draw a mural and expose you to all kinds of unwanted zombie attention. Second, if your sister happens to have been bitten by said zombies (unfortunately, zombie faces are very hard to distinguish so I’m not really sure which sister it was), don’t feel like you shouldn’t visit her every week, like you would an ailing aunt in a rest home. Just because she’s a zombie doesn’t mean you have to avoid her. You may have to stay a safe distance away – like across the street – and settle for a hearty wave instead of a sisterly-hug but, family is family.

Seriously though, If there ever really were a zombie apocalypse, I would have to be sure to have a stash of corn tortillas. Even when I am bare-bones, Old Mother Hubbard, I can always count on dinner of some sorts if I have corn tortillas – namely tacos and taquitos. Taquitos, I just barely figured out the right technique so that the tortillas don’t split before  you fry them, and I’m very excited about it! If I didn’t just run out of my stash of corn tortillas, we may just be having them for dinner every night this week. Better get to the store, just in case of a zombie apocalypse.

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Tacos:

corn tortillas

1 lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned to taste (I am old school and use salt and pepper) 

toppings of choice – cheese, salsa, sour cream, olives, fresh tomatoes, guacamole…etc

In a small pan, pour in a shallow amount of oil and heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil and fry until edges are brown. Flip the tortilla and brown other side. Remove from oil, form into a taco shape (quickly, before the shell cools and becomes crisp), and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining tortillas – refill oil as needed, but be sure to not make it too deep. Fill with ground beef and add toppings.

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Taquitos:

corn tortillas

prepared filling – ground or shredded beef, chicken, pork, etc.: Salsa Crockpot Chicken

Fill a pan with about 1″ oil and heat. Place a corn tortilla in the oil, fry until the tortilla floats to the top of the oil (this happens quickly, so don’t allow it to cook too long or it will be too crisp to roll). Remove tortilla from the oil and place on paper towels. Place filling in the center of the tortilla, then roll using tongs as the tortilla will still be hot to the touch. Again using the tongs, pinch the taquito gently, holding the roll in place, and place into the oil, fold-side down. Fry taquito until crisp, then rotate and repeat on all sides until all of it is crisp. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve hot.

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