Monday, June 28, 2010

Apple Pancakes

This is a recipe found in a family cookbook. We tried it a couple of weeks ago while we had some family over. They turned out really good!
INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 c milk
2 eggs
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c apple sauce
****
Mix dry ingredients, set aside. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Cook pancakes and top with cider sauce. Enjoy!

Cider Sauce

This is a syrup for apple pancakes
2 c sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
4 c apple juice or cider (or apple sauce)
4 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Boil in sauce pan until thick. Pour over apple pancakes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pudding Cake

What I love about this cake is that it's light, it doesn't make you feel bad after you eat it. It's so delicious!! It's our new favorite cake, and it just made my mouth drool after seeing the photos again!

Bake a yellow cake by the directions on the package. Let cool.
When cake is cool, take the end of a wooden spoon and poke holes, moving the spoon around to make the holes a little bigger.

Make a large box of chocolate pudding and pour about half over cake, before pudding sets up. Spread over cake a few times to work pudding in to holes.

Take remaining pudding and mix with half regular container of cool whip. Spread on top of cake, as icing.

It's a "Piece of Cake" to make! Enjoy.

Brown Sugar Crusted Meatloaf

This is one of those recipes that is really easy to make around the add ins you have. I always change up the vegetables I add in it. I tried it with soy sauce for the first time last night and we really liked it. I didn't measure, just put some in. It's a really easy recipe and we have always loved it. We aren't big fans of red sauce, so this is a great way to go around the normal meatloaf recipe.

1 LB. HAMBURGER, THAWED

3 PIECES OF BREAD, TORN

1 EGG

½ ONION, CHOPPED (I PREFER TO SAUTEE MINE)

½ CAN CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP
(EITHER MIX IN OR POUR ON TOP - I HAVE ALSO USED A FULL CAN. I MIX IN THE SOUP, SINCE I USE SMALLER DISHES TO BAKE THEM IN)

I HAVE ALSO ADDED IN SHREDDED CARROTS, ZUCCHINI AND MUSHROOMS
(IF YOU HAVE THEM ON HAND AND WANT TO ADD THEM)

2 TSP. SOY SAUCE, OPTIONAL (THE AMOUNT DEPENDS ON YOUR PREFERENCE)

GARLIC SALT, OPTIONAL (I SPRINKLE ON ONIONS WHILE I SAUTÉ THEM)

*****

MIX ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER AND FORM IN TO PANS. I USE THREE SMALL CORNING WEAR PANS. USE WHATEVER YOU HAVE ON HAND.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350*
BAKE 20-25 MINUTES
SPRINKLE BROWN SUGAR ON TOP
BAKE ANOTHER 10-15 MINUTES, OR UNTIL ITS COOKED THROUGH.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spicy Chicken Shawarma

A few months ago I subscribed to "Cooking Light" magazine to check out their recipes. I came across this recipe and really wanted to try it, it is a Middle-Eastern dish. The recipe calls for a spice (Tahini) that I was not able to find and therefore made a small change to the recipe, the recipe still turned out great. You will need pita bread and you can find a recipe for this on my previous post. Let me also say, that this turned out to be such a good summery dish, it must be the cucumber in it. I suggest you read the recipe completely before making so you note the changes I made and see what works for you.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley (I used cilantro instead)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I used 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground coriander
5 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt, divided
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
4 (6-inch) pitas, halved
1/2 c chopped cucumber
1/2 c chopped plum tomato
1/4 c chopped red onion
***
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon (I added just a bit more) yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; saute 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently. The chicken turned out delicious!
Ok, here comes the change I made, but before I tell you, I will write the original instructions for the sauce: While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita half.
***
I decided to skip the tahini mixture since I couldn't find the tahini. Instead I decided to use the sauce I make when making Pakora's (see Middle-Eastern label for recipe). The sauce is made with plain yogurt, fresh cilantro, jalapenos and salt. It is a very yummy sauce and personally thought it went great with this dish. I don't know the taste that the tahini gives, but just the mixture I made without the tahini didn't convince me at all and that's why I decided to use this sauce instead.Anyway, after spreading the sauce inside each pita half, divide chicken evenly among each pita. Fill pita halves with cucumber, onion and tomato.
Add more sauce to the top of each pita if you like. Enjoy!!!

Pita Bread



I wanted to try a recipe that required pita bread. I had actually never tried pita bread before and wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. I didn't want to go to the store to purchase them so I decided to look for a recipe and make them at home. The bread turned out really good and it was very easy to make, totally recommend it. I found the recipe on "about.com." I will write the recipe here, but you can also go directly to their site for the recipe by clicking here.


INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1/2 c warm water
3 c flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 c lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy

Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast water, slowly also add the 1 cup of warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon until elastic.

Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. You have kneaded successfully when the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky.

Coat large bowl with oil and make sure your dough is coated as well. Place covered bowl in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

When ready, roll out in a rope and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. In the mean time, preheat your oven to 500 degrees farenheit and make sure the rack is at the very bottom. You should also preheat your baking sheet.

Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles (about 5-6 inches accross and about 1/4 inch thick).
Bake each pita for 4 minutes until bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and continue baking the rest of the pita bread.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CHEESE STEAK SANDWICH

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine (again), but of course tweaked the ingredients. I hope you enjoy the sandwich as much as we do!

SERVES TWO:

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pds. RIB-EYE or EYE-of-ROUND Steak

1 Tbs. OLIVE OIL (I do not have a non-stick skillet, so I doubled the Olive Oil)

1 WHITE ONION

1 RED BELL PEPPER [my addition]

1 SWEET YELLOW PEPPER [my addition]

1 RED JALAPENO PEPPER [my addition]

8 Slices PROVOLONE Cheese

COARSE SALT and GROUND PEPPER

Freeze the Rib-Eye or Eye-of-Round Steak 35 minutes.

Thinly slice the Onion, and Peppers.


Once you remove steak from freezer slice very thinly against the grain with a serrated knife and season with Coarse Salt and Ground Pepper.

In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil, and cook the sliced White Onion, and Peppers until onion has browned and all have begun to soften.

Transfer Onion and Peppers to bowl. Wipe non-stick skillet clean, otherwise add steak and cook until cooked through and browned around edges.

Gather meat evenly into two mounds and top with Onion, Peppers and 4 slices of Provolone per mound.

Cook until cheese melts. Serve on toasted Hoagie Roll.


ENJOY!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Basic Drip Beef

I made this for my in-laws and parents. My mother in law confessed that she has never made such a tender roast in all the years she's been cooking. Maybe I was just lucky that day.
  • 1 whole 2.5 to 4 Pound Chuck Roast
    ¼ cups Butter
    1 whole Large Onion, Sliced Thick
    3 cloves Garlic, Peeled
    ½ cups Soy Sauce
    1 cup Sherry (cooking Sherry Is Fine) (I used 1 can beef broth instead)
    ½ teaspoons Salt
    4 cups Water
    I believe I added in some brown sugar as well
    Toasted, Buttered Deli Rolls
    OPTIONAL: Rosemary, Thyme, Other Spices

Heat butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get brown.

Put onions in to crock pot and set chuck roast on top of the onions. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover crock pot and simmer (very low heat) for 6 hours, or until beef is fork-tender and falling apart. Shred meat with two forks until all large chunks are gone. Serve immediately or continue to simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

*Mixture can be refrigerated overnight. Remove hardened fat from top of pan before reheating.

Serve on top of toasted, buttered deli rolls. I used Ciabatta Rolls that I got from Wal-mart.
Top with cheese and place under the broiler if desired.

Mushroom Soup

I found this recipe on thepioneerwoman.com. I was a little skeptical when I started making it, but it turned out really good! It only makes about four small servings. Make it with the sinful bread I posted earlier, it's a great combo. I also left out the white wine, because I didn't have any. I just used chicken broth in it's place.
***
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Small Carrrot, Finely Minced
1 whole Celery Stalk, Finely Minced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, Crushed And Minced
1 pound White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
4 ounces, fluid Chablis White Wine
4 ounces, fluid Tomato Juice
4 ounces, fluid Chicken Broth
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
¼ cups Water
1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste
***
Heat oil, over medium heat, in a large deep pot.

Mince the carrot and celery nice and fine. Too big and the soup will end up chunky. Toss into the pot and allow them to soften while you slice the mushrooms.

Next, add your garlic, right as the carrots and celery start to cook down.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and allow them to reduce and soften. Pour in the Chablis, and let it cook with the mushrooms for a few minutes.

Add the tomato juice, and the chicken broth. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes before adding the heavy whipping cream, and bring to a soft boil.

Grate Parmesan and add it to the pot. Let this cook for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and blended with the soup. Add the cornstarch to 1/4 cup of water, then pour into the soup.

Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Salt and pepper the soup to your own tastes.

Sinful Bread

I made this bread one night with a recipe called Mushroom Soup.
It was truly delicious. I couldn't get enough of it.
Unless you have a large group, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half.

Sinful Bread
***
2 loaves French Bread
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated fresh)
I cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced onion
***
Combine ingredients. Split French bread horizontally, spread mixture and sprinkle with paprika (if desired... the above picture is minus the paprika). Broil to crisp up.
***
Enough for 2 loaves of French bread.

White Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

WHITE SAUCE CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
***
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
½ Cup Sour Cream
2 oz. Diced Green Chilies
¼ Cup Onion, Chopped (sauté, if preferred cooked)
8 oz. Chicken Breast, Cooked (chopped or shredded)
5 ea. 6 inch Flour Tortillas
¼ Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded (6 cheese blend is good too)
¼ Cup Black Olives
***
Preheat oven to 400*
Mix soup, sour cream, chilies, and onions in a bowl. Spread ¼ of mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Divide chicken evenly between the tortillas and place down the center of the tortillas. Spoon 2 T. of soup mixture over the chicken in each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place enchiladas edge side down in the casserole dish. Spoon remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and olives.
***
Bake 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

No Bake Cookies


CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER NO BAKE COOKIES
***
1 STICK BUTTER
½ CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS
½ CUP MILK
2 CUPS SUGAR
1 TBS. VANILLA
½ CUP PEANUT BUTTER
3 CUPS OATS
***
BOIL BUTTER, CHOCOLATE CHIPS, MILK, SUGAR, VANILLA AND PEANUT BUTTER FOR ONE MINUTE. ADD OATS AND MIX WELL. SPOON ON TO WAX PAPER AND LET COOL.
***
MAKES APPROX. 40 COOKIES.

Chicken California

Before putting in to the oven:
After Baked:

Our latest and most favorite recipe is Chicken California. You can add in different vegetables to change it up each time and it's so simple to make. I definitely recommend it. My favorite way to make them is with my "special" sautéed mushrooms and onions. Sauté your mushrooms with butter, soy sauce and brown sugar and you will get such a wonderful flavor. Ignore the fact that they aren't very healthy anymore and just enjoy them!

If you try the recipe, let me know how you made them. I'm always interested in different ideas. A co-worker of mine tried it and she said she cooked her chicken in chicken broth and when the chicken was cooked, she threw in broccoli and onions and let it simmer for a minute then put it in the tortillas. I have thought about adding in rice the next time I make them as well. This recipe is great for variations, just use what you have on hand.
The next time I make them, I will take a photo to post.

CHICKEN CALIFORNIA
***
4 TBS. BUTTER
4 TBS. FLOUR
½ TSP. SALT
¼ TSP. PEPPER
2 CUPS MILK
¼-½ CUP VEGETABLES (ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, BROCCOLI, ETC.)
2 CUPS CHICKEN, COOKED & SHREDDED
2 CUPS GRATED CHEESE (I have used different blends of cheese, it doesn't matter.)
8-12 FLOUR TORTILLAS
2 TBS. PARSLEY
AVOCADO
***
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350*
***
MEASURE FLOUR, SALT & PEPPER IN TO SMALL BOWL. MELT BUTTER IN SAUCEPAN OVER LOW HEAT. ADD FLOUR MIXTURE; WHISK UNTIL MIXED WELL. COOK OVER LOW HEAT; STIRRING UNTIL MIXTURE IS SMOOTH AND BUBBLY. SLOWLY STIR IN MILK, WHISKING CONSTANTLY AND HEAT TO BOILING. CONTINUE STIRRING UNTIL SMOOTH AND THICKENED. PUT A SPOONFUL EACH OF CHICKEN, SAUCE, CHEESE AND VEGETABLE IN TORTILLA, THEN ROLL UP ENCHILADA STYLE. LAY SIDE BY SIDE IN 9X13 PAN. SPREAD REMAINING SAUCE OVER TOP AND SPRINKLE WITH CHEESE AND PARSLEY.
***
BAKE UNCOVERED 20-25 MINUTES.
TOP WITH AVOCADO SLICES.