Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bourbon chicken

Ingredients:

2 lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2T Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove
, crushed
1/4t
Ginger (I used 1/2t)
3/4t C
rushed Red Pepper Flakes (I used 1/2t)
1/4C Apple Juice
1/3C L
ight Brown Sugar
2T
Ketchup
1T
Cider Vinegar
1/2C W
ater
1/3C
Soy Sauce

1T Corn Starch

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken and set aside. 

Add remaining ingredients (mixing corn starch with water before adding to skillet), heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved.

 
Return chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

 
Serve over hot rice.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Faux-reo, the Oreo knock-off

What? What was that? I'm sorry I couldn't hear you over the sound of how AWESOME these cookies are! My husband is a HUGE oreo fan. He'll eat a whole row of oreos in one sitting. So when I came across this recipe a few weeks ago it immediately moved to the top of my to-make list. Now that I've made one batch I'm already planning on making another tonight. Oh so good.

I made my cookies quite large unintentionally. They turned out about 4-5 inches in diameter and they ended up more on the cripsy side versus gooey and soft. But still fabulous. Next time I'm going to use my large Pampered Chef scoop and bake them for the minimum amount of time.

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 cups chopped white chocolate (a 4-oz. Ghiradelli bar yielded 1.5 cups for me)

(Note from original source)

*Substituting with natural unprocessed cocoa is not recommended. The Oreo-like flavor comes from the richer dutch-processed cocoa. I used Hershey Special Dark blend of dutch-processed and natural because I cannot find pure dutch-processed in these parts for the life of me!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, and set aside. Beat the butter on medium-high until light and add sugars, creaming well. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for 15 minutes.

Scoop the dough onto a parchment- or silpat-lined cookie sheet, press down on them slightly, and bake (see note below). Let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet and store in an air-tight container.

Note: Shawnda states that she uses a No 12 scoop to drop a well rounded scoop of chilled cookie dough (a little less than 1/2 cup of cookie dough) and bakes for 24 minutes. At this size she gets 8 or 9 cookies with a diameter of 6 inches using the No 12 scoop. If you scoop a more normal sized cookie, she estimates 12-16 minutes in the oven. I used a large cookie scoop from Pampered Chef, which is approximately 3 Tablespoons in size, and I got 13 cookies out of my batch, with 18-20 minutes in the oven seeming to do the trick.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I searched high and low for a good cheesy garlic biscuit recipe to go with our Cajun chicken pasta tonight (which, again, was heavenly. One of my new favorite foods for sure). I finally came across these at allrecipes.com and decided to give them a try.

They were very tasty, but I think I made them a little too big because they turned out very, very flat. Next time I make them I'll try them smaller. I think I'm also going to try to put the garlic into the batter and bake it since the butter w/garlic on the top was a bit much for me- too buttery. Otherwise I give them 2 thumbs up.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450°. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Cut in the butter until it is coarse crumbles. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour in the milk and cheese. Mix until well combined.

Scoop spoonfuls of batter onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Cook for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush melted butter and garlic mixture over the still warm biscuits.

Source: allrecipes.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe is so delicious and so simple! My dear friend Dana has had this on her blog for several months and I can say with great emphasisim, it is fantastic!

I made a few changes to how I usually make it this time, including making it mile-high style (this was one BIG pie) and adding 1/2 a can of cream of celery soup. I also used a rotisserie chicken, lemon-herb seasoned, this time since I was in a bit of a rush to make it. I can't tell you how good it was!

Ingredients:

1 package of rolled refridgerated Prepared Pie Crust (Found in the pillsbury section of store)
1 to 2 cups Chicken cooked and shredded into bite sized pieces
1 (16 oz) bag of your favorite frozen vegetables cut into bite sized pieces (I use peas and carrots)
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375°

Place first pie crust into pie pan and smooth down. Alternately fill crust with cooked chicken, veggies (You can cook them first, I never do and it turns out well) and soup until it reaches desired fullness. Place 2nd crust on top and pinch the edges together.

Vent the top crust a few times.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.

Source: Dana at Freddie's Favorite Foods

Herb Chicken with Creamy Orzo

This is one of the very first recipes I tried in my adventures into non-sucky cooking. In reality, I think successfully making this for dinner is what finally made me realize that I could actually improve my culinary skills and made me want to try. So kudos to Annie from Annie’s Eats for the inspiration )

This is the first time I’d ever made orzo and ooooh yum! It certainly won’t be the last! The recipe makes a lot of leftover orzo and about enough chicken for 2 full servings plus a bit leftover for lunch the next day. I really liked just the orzo and sauce by itself so I froze the leftover orzo and used it a few weeks later for another lunch or two. It froze very nicely which surprised me.

Herbed Chicken with Creamy Orzo

Ingredients:

8 oz. orzo
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 ½ cups fresh broccoli florets
½-2/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

 

Directions: 

Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil over medium-high heat.  Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
Season chicken breasts on both sides with Herbes de Provence (1 tsp. per breast), salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook 4-5 minutes before turning.  Once chicken has been turned, cook 2 minutes more. 

 
Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes (adding more olive oil if necessary).  Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add the broccoli florets to the pan and cook for 4 minutes more, until tender but still firm. 

Reduce the heat to medium and add the whipping cream.  Add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat.  Remove from heat and add grated Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. 

Season generously with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Source: Annie's Eats

Honey Wheat bread

I first made this bread a few months ago and I really enjoy it. While the American Sandwich bread still holds a special place in my heart (and a weekly spot in my kitchen), this bread is a great one to break up the routine. It is fully with a slightly sweet flavor.

We ended up switching to another bread only because Brian's toast in the morning was coming out almost fuzzy feeling out of the toaster. Turns out we just needed a sharper bread knife! So, I think this one will be back in popular demand very soon.

bread2

Ingredients:

1 (.25 oz) pkg. rapid rise yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
½ cup warm water (110° F/45° C)
1 (12 fl. oz.) can evaporated milk
¼ cup water
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup honey
2 tsp. salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup warm water.

Combine milk, ¼ cup water, melted butter, honey, salt and wheat flour in food processor or bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add white flour and process until the dough forms a ball. Knead dough by processing an additional 80 seconds or mix and knead by hand 10 minutes. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. Form into loaves, and place in buttered 9×5” loaf pans. Butter the tops of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 30 minutes.

Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until tops are dark golden brown. Butter crusts while warm. Slice when cool.

Source: Annie's Eats