Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette #89

This recipe is comes from a little Italian girl you might know that goes by the name of Giada De Laurentiis.  If there is one thing I could learn to cook and die happy (besides biscuits and gravy) it would be good roasted chicken in the oven.  I love to get roasted chicken in restaurants, especially when it has a certain sauce made over it.  A lot of time these recipes call for roasting pans or pans you can set on the eye afterwards to make a glaze using the drippings left over from cooking.  For my birthday, Michael got me my first Le Creuset dutch oven.  I got a larger one just so I could try one of these recipes.  Well, I'm finally getting around to it!

The case:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (giblets, neck and backbone reserved for another use)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag; seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange the chicken pieces on a large greased baking dish. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Place the baking dish on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the baking sheet with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken, and serve.

The ruling:
The chicken was cooked perfectly.  It was probably the most moist chicken I've made so far on this journey.  I'm sure the drippings aided the moisture.  I loved the outside of the chicken.  The lemon zest and parsley really added a pop of flavor.  Michael's first comment was, "Wow, that looks fancy!"  This would be a perfect company dinner.  I wish I knew a better way to get the flavor all the way through the chicken, but this was still delicious!

Baked Potato Casserole #88

This delightful little cheesy potato casserole came from Taste of Homes magazine.  Look at the ingredients.  What's not to like?  I'm sure it's low in fat too! :)

The case:

5 pounds red potatoes, cooked and cubed
1 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 cups cubed Cheddar cheese
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise*
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine potatoes and bacon. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add to potato mixture ad toss gently to coat. Transfer to a greased 4-1/2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

The ruling:
I used half a pound of bacon in my pasta dish last night, so I used the other half in this today.  I didn't see the point in opening another pack.  I also only mixed 4 cups of cheese in with the potatoes- half cheddar and the other half a Monterrey jack and Colby blend.  Then a added another cup on top.  I just thought 8 cups of cheese sounded like a whole lot!

Wow! I have hit a home run on this one!  The texture of the potatoes with the cheese and mayo/sour cream mixture is perfect.  I was afraid the potatoes might get to soft after boiling them and baking them for 1 hour, but they were spot on!  The saltiness of the bacon added wonderful flavor as well.  Just when I thought these couldn't get any better, I added ranch dressing.  They were kicked up another notch!  I now feel like I need to get on the elliptical machine for 4 or 5 hours, but that's okay.  Maybe later.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Garlic Herb Parmesan Bread #87

The only thing that can make a good pasta dish better is good garlic bread to go with it.  This recipe came from The Dragon's Kitchen, another food blog that I like to check up on. 

The case:
1 large Baguette or French Loaf
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Prick to top of each slice with a fork.
2. Combine butter, garlic and herbs. Season the butter with some salt and pepper. Generously spread the butter mixture on each slice.
3. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly on top of the butter.
4. Place the bread on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the bread in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the top is toasted to your liking.

The ruling:
This recipe has officially moved up to my #1 favorite garlic bread recipe.  It's amazing what a difference fresh herbs make!

Smoky Chicken Pasta #86

I love one dish meals, and pasta is my favorite type of one dish meal.  I've had this recipe bookmarked for awhile.  It came from the blog, Plain Chicken.

The case:

8 oz. Farfalle pasta
1 - 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (I used half & half and 1 Tbsp of flour)
2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 c. butter (I used 5 Tbsp)
1/2 lb. bacon, crumpled
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 bottle (12 oz) Lawry’s mesquite marinade with lime juice

Put chicken and marinade in the crock pot on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. Set this aside. About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter (and flour), add garlic, whipping cream, basil, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 5-6 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

The ruling:
I LOVED the sauce for this, but the chicken flavor didn't do much for me.  Overall this was very good; it's still going on my favorites list.  The white sauce overpowered the chicken flavor.  My favorite chicken in pasta recipes has been simply chicken breast sprinkled with salt, pepper, and Italian herbs, and grilled on the stove top.  I will be making this again, sooner rather than later, using a different type of chicken. 

I did make the sauce a little differently than listed.  First I melted the butter over low heat.  Then I added the basil, pepper, half and half, garlic, 1 Tablespoon flour, and double the Parmesan cheese over medium  heat.  After the cheese melted,  I turned the eye up to medium high and whisked constantly until the mixture came to a boil.  Then I lowered the temperature to lo and continued to stir while adding the bacon. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Honey Bun Cake #85

I was craving something sweet, so I searched until I found something with good reviews that I had all the ingredients for!

The case:

Cake Ingredients
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Icing Ingredients
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs and sour cream. Stir by hand approximately 50 strokes, or until most large lumps are gone. Pour half of the batter into an ungreased 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
3.  Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter in the cake pan.
4.  Spoon the other half of the batter into the cake pan, covering the brown sugar and cinnamon. Twirl the cake with a butter knife or icing knife until it looks like a honey bun (or whatever design you want to make).
5.  Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Frost cake while it is still fairly hot. Serve warm.
6.  To Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.

The ruling:
Oh me, oh my!!  This is spectacular!  I just can't get enough of it.  It's sweet and savory.  It's part sweet like a cinnamon roll but the cake is also savory from the sour cream.  The middle was warm and gooey.  I added maple extract in with the vanilla.  I believe the maple added a lot more flavor.  I couldn't have had a better night- honey bun cake, a tall glass of milk, and cuddled on the couch with my husband watching The Bachlorette!

Green Chile Soup #84

I know it's July and not many people want feel like eating soup in July, but in my defense it is a very gloomy, rainy day.  Plus, I love soup and could pretty much eat it anytime, even laying out by the pool!

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh green chile peppers
1 (5 ounce) can chunk chicken
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion until transparent. Stir in the garlic, green chiles, chicken meat, and cumin. Cook for one minute to blend the flavors. Stir in the cream of chicken soup and half-and-half. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

The ruling:
 I used canned green chilies, boiled chicken, no onion, and about half of the called for cumin.  I made the soup according to directions and tasted it.  I felt like it was missing something so I went ahead and added the sour cream and cheese.  It was definitely better with the toppings mixed in.  I liked this soup, but it is by no means the greatest thing that I've ever put in my mouth.  Bottom line, this soup is very easy with common ingredients that I always have on hand, so in a pinch I would make again. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garlic Chicken Pizza #83

Saw this the other day on Allrecipes.  I was in the mood to try something out of the box.

The case:
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Place the chicken breast in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until no longer pink, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly, then cut into strips.
2.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with garlic, onion and basil. Pour into a chilled dish to cool, and refrigerate until set.
3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4.  Roll out the pizza dough, place onto a pizza pan or other baking sheet, and spread the herb butter over the surface using the back of a spoon. Arrange chicken on top, then dot with ricotta cheese. Top with tomato slices, cilantro and Parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until crust is browned and center is cooked through.

The ruling:
Hmmmm.... This is very different.  It's okay, even good.  I doubt I will ever make it again, but it was a good change of flavors from what we normally eat, which is what I wanted.  This would be a lot better with some sort of sauce added to it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yellow Cupcakes with Sticy Chocolate Icing #82

I recently found a list on Pioneer's Woman's website of all her recipes.  It is a wonderful little page to bookmark, if you're like me and like to visit all the time.  Overall, this recipe stood out the most to me.  I am one of the few people on Earth that just don't care for chocolate.  I know it's weird, but I do like homemade chocolate icing on white cake for some reason, and these look just about as good as it gets!  I just wish I could get my pictures to look as good as hers.... one day.

The case:
2 cups Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¾ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Sugar
3 whole Eggs Room Temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla
¾ cups (plus A Tad More) Whole Milk
¾ cups Sweetened, Condensed Milk
6 ounces, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate
2 Tablespoons Butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3.  With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
4.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk in three batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition.
5.  Scrape sides of bowl, then mix one final time.
6.  Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until poufy but not brown. Cool before icing.

Sticky Chocolate Icing:
1.  Mix ingredients together in a small/medium saucepan. Melt ingredients over medium low heat, stirring gently. Icing is ready when all ingredients are melted and combined.
2.  Spoon warm icing over warm cupcakes, stirring icing to smooth after every third cupcake or so. Allow iced cupcakes to sit at least ten minutes before serving.

The ruling:
Mollye really enjoyed this cupcake as you can see!  I really liked this icing, but the cake was a little heavy.  I'm not sure if this is because of my horrible baking abilities or the recipe.  The flavor is good, I just like my cake lighter and fluffier.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Olive (Pepperoni) Cheese Bread #81

This is my mom's favorite Pioneer Woman recipe.  The only problem is that I don't like olives.  My mom suggested I try it with pepperoni instead.  So where this recipe calls for olives, I used pepperoni instead!

1 loaf French Bread
6 ounces, weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
6 ounces, weight Black Olives
2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
½ cups Mayonnaise
¾ pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

1.  Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.
2.  Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.
* Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.
 The ruling:
I accidentally turned the oven up to 425, so this got a little brown, but this bread is amazing.  Besides switching the olives for pepperonis, I also omitted the green onions.  I could make this as a french bread pizza and eat it alone any day.

Rolled Feta Chicken

This is the simplest, yet one of the most delicious chicken recipes I have.  I was actually out of Italian breadcrumbs, so I used Panko mixed with Italian seasonings. 

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 ounces tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs, divided

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.  Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Gently pound chicken with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick; remove wax paper.
3.  Place 1 ounce of feta cheese in the center of each chicken breast, and fold in half.
4.  Roll chicken in bread crumbs.
5.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Cinnamon Roll Pizza #80

I just love the internet.  I love sharing recipes and reading other people's recipes.  I would do anything to find a way to do this stuff full time.   The Picky Palate is one of my absolute favorite food blogs.  As many of you probably know, I can be a picky eater.  Her slogan is to "dress up" family recipes so that even the pickiest eater will enjoy it.  This is my theory also, I like things plainer than most people, but I still want to have stand out flavor of all ingredients.  As soon as I saw the post for cinnamon roll pizza, I knew I couldn't go another day without trying it!  Okay that is really sad, but it's also true....

The case:
4 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
13 oz pizza dough of choice
4 Tablespoons room temperature butter
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Cup powdered sugar
4-5 Tablespoons heavy cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray pizza pan with cooking spray and layer  with butter cubes and brown sugar.
 2.  Gently place dough into pan over butter and brown sugar then spread butter over tops of dough.
 3.  Layer with brown sugar and cinnamon.
 4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pizza crust is cooked through.  Let cool for 10 minutes or until butter and brown sugar have set.  (This part is torture!) Cut into wedges.
5.  Place powdered sugar and cream into mixing bowl and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over warm slices of pizza and serve.

The ruling:
I am officially 80% of the way to my goal, and out of those 80 new recipes I've tried in 2010, this is my favorite!  It is yummy, delicious goodness!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Firecracker Fried Chicken #79

I love spicy fried chicken, but I've never tried to make it on my own.

The case:
8 chicken drumsticks
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable oil for frying

To Marinate: Remove skin from chicken and place in a resealable plastic bag. Pour sauce over chicken, seal bag and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the spicier it will be.
In another resealable plastic bag combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. Add chicken, seal bag and shake to coat.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet to medium high heat. Add chicken and fry, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Turn occasionally to brown evenly.

The ruling:
I added garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne pepper to the breading.  After I breaded it, I left it in the fridge for another 45 minutes.  I fried it in the deep fryer at 360 for 15 minutes about 3 at a time.  This was very good fried chicken, but not nearly as spicy as I was wanting/expected.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grilled Corn #78

I think I have just about the most stressful job for 9 months out of the year, but for one week in the fall and spring, 2 weeks at Christmas, and 2 months during the summer it is truly the greatest job in the world!  Since school let out I've went from 3 hours available on my DVR to 90-something.  Opps...  Anyways, the majority of the huge items I've been deleting are all the saved shows off Food Network.  I've watched the parts of the shows that I wanted to watch, added the recipes I want to try to by recipe box, and deleted the shows.  So, it isn't like I've actually watched all 90 hours.  I just watched parts of a lot of those hours.   This corn is from one of the Neely shows I deleted.

The case:
4 ears sweet corn, husked and silks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Seasoning salt, recipe from Grilled Sweet and Tangy Pork chops
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lime, juiced, plus 1 lime, quartered, for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta

1.  Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2.  Rub the corn with olive oil and season with seasoning salt, to taste. Grill the corn until it's charred, on all sides, rotating for about 10 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne, lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste, together in a small bowl. Remove the corn from the grill and brush the hot corn with the mayonnaise mixture. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

The ruling:
I loved the corn grilled with the seasoned salt on it, but the actual mayo-mixture didn't do anything for me.  Michael and several members of the Greer family enjoyed the mayo-mixture, but I don't think any of us felt the Feta added anything.

Marinated Chicken #77

One of my daily internet rituals is to browse the daily recipes on Allrecipes.  This marinade was one of the recent daily recipes.  I love good grilled/broiled chicken but have trouble finding a recipe to keep it moist.  I'm very picky about dry chicken.  I'm not sure if its the recipes I'm trying or my cooking method but more often than not, my chicken ends up dry.

The case:

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, mix together oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir in mustard powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use to marinate chicken before cooking as desired. The longer you marinate, the more flavor it will have.
The ruling:
This is my new favorite chicken marinade!  It was delicious, and I have a feeling it would be really good with vegetables too.  I only put in 1 teaspoon of dry mustard because usually the taste is too strong for me, but I really didn't taste it at all.  All I had were chicken tenders, but I'm sure it would be even better with chicken on the bone.  My brother-in-law was the one who actually cooked it.  We're going to have to make it again soon to see if we can make it just as tasty.

Buttered Rosemary Rolls #76

It's officially 1/2 way through the year and I'm 3/4 of the way to my goal! YAY!! I guess my new goal is to see how many new recipes I can try in 2010!

Here is another promising Pioneer Woman recipe.   We have rosemary in our garden, and I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, so now is the time!

The case:
  • Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls
  • Melted Butter, Regular, Salted
  • Fresh Rosemary, Coarsely Chopped
  • Coarse Sea Salt
1.  Spray a small iron skillet with cooking spray (or coat with olive oil). Place frozen rolls in the skillet, leaving plenty of room for rising. Cover and allow to rise for several hours.
2.  After rising, brush rolls with melted butter.
3.  Sprinkle on chopped rosemary. Brush with additional butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

4.  Bake according to roll package directions (usually 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes), until rolls are a deep golden brown on top.
5.  Serve skillet on the table.

The ruling:
These were so simple and very good.  They look and taste like something that's a lot fancier than frozen rolls with butter and rosemary.  I will be putting this in my keeper file!

Baked Creamed Spinach #75

One of my favorite Food Network shows is called Cooking For Real with Sunny Anderson.  This is one of her recipes.  Sunny is one of my favorite Food Network personalities.  She is real and so warm.  You feel like she is your friend when you're watching her.  My absolute favorite vegetable dish is creamed spinach, and I have yet to try one of Sunny's recipes that I didn't like!  I have high hopes for this one. 

The case:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1/2 red onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup packaged fried onions (recommended: French's)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and red chili flakes and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the heavy cream, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Heat until the cream is just beginning to bubble, stirring often. Turn the burner off and stir in sour cream and spinach. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top evenly with fried onions. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

The ruling:
This is extremely good.  I've never had fried onions before, and I really like the contrast of the creamy and crunchy.  The pepper adds quite a bit of spice, so if you're cooking for someone who doesn't like things spicy, maybe leave out the pepper flakes.  I halved the amount and it was still pretty spicy.  I will definitely be making this again!

UPDATE: While reviewing this recipe on Food Network I read the 2 Tablespoons of Red Pepper Flakes was a typo.  Instead it  should have been 1/2 teaspoon, which makes a lot more sense.  That's what I get for not reading the reviews first!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Buttermilk Chess Pie

This is one of my favorite dessert recipes. This recipe came from Allrecipes.  The only change I make is to only use 4 eggs.

2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, combine sugar and flour. Beat in the eggs and buttermilk until blended. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Pour filling into the pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until filling is set.

Bacon Cream Cheese Crescents #74

I get about 5 cooking magazines in the mail.  I always cut out the recipes and "scrapbook" them into categories, but I rarely open that notebook.   My new goal is to make at least one recipe from each magazine I get in the mail, you know put those subscriptions to good use.  This is from Kraft's Food and Family Magazine. 

The case:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
8 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. milk
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

HEAT oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients except crescent dough.
SEPARATE each can of dough into 4 rectangles; press perforations together to seal. Spread each rectangle with 2 rounded Tbsp. cream cheese mixture, then cut into 12 wedges. (I cut each rectangle in half and then cut each half into 2 triangles making 8 wedges)  Roll up wedges, starting at short ends. Place, seam-sides down, on greased baking sheet.
BAKE 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.

The ruling:
If you don't already have all these ingredients in your fridge, go out and buy them!  They are amazingly wonderful!  I think the list of filling ingredients alone is enough to make my heart swoon.  I am going to try this same filling in mushrooms.  Oh my... I just might eat the whole batch before Michael gets home.  Just kidding.... I hope.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yoo-hoo Ice Cream #73

My friend Susie Mantooth gave me this recipe.  I was immediately intrigued!

The case:
  • 6 cans Yoo-hoo
  • 1 can Eagle sweetened milk
  • 1 pint half and half
Put into a ice cream maker, and let it work its magic.

I have 2 small ice cream makers, so I used both.  My ice cream never completely froze.  Michael said I should have refrigerated the Yoo-hoo first.  I am going to freeze it now, but so far it is an awesome milkshake!  Michael isn't the biggest chocolate fan, so he doesn't really care for it.  He says it is too chocolaty.   It sorta reminds me of a frosty.

Cilantro Mexican Chicken Casserole #72

I love my cranberry Pampered Chef baker, but I have no idea what to do with it.  The only thing I've ever made in it is roasted chicken.  And it was delicious.  The baker is famous for being able to go in the microwave.

A friend told me about this recipe.  As soon as she said it was cooked in the Pampered Chef baker, I knew I had to try it.  I went home and googled the recipe, and found this pdf containing several recipes to use with the Pampered chef baker.

The case:
1⁄4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey
Jack cheese, divided
1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup chopped)
1 can (28 oz) enchilada sauce 12 (6-in.) corn tortillas
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken Additional chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

1. Chop cilantro with Chef’s Knife. Place cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until very soft. Add cilantro and 11⁄2 cups of the Monterey Jack cheese; mix well using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®. Chop onion using Food Chopper; set aside. Spread 2/3 cup of the enchilada sauce over bottom of Deep Covered Baker. Pour remaining enchilada sauce into Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl; set aside.
2. To assemble lasagna, using Sauté Tongs, dip four tortillas into enchilada sauce in mixing bowl and arrange over sauce in baker, overlapping as necessary. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture over tortillas using Small Scoop; spread using Small Spreader. Top with 1 cup of the chicken and one-third of the onion. Repeat layers one time. Dip remaining four tortillas into sauce and arrange over second layer. Top with remaining chicken and onion. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over lasagna and sprinkle with remaining 1⁄2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.
3. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 12-15 minutes or until center is hot. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro. Cut into squares using Utility Knife; serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

The ruling:
I only used 3 tortillas in each layer, tearing the last tortilla in half.  I used all the enchilada sauce from the can soaking my tortillas.  I happened to have a bit of enchilada sauce from Trader Joes in the refrigerator, so I poured that over the casserole instead.  I also added a layer of cheese on top of the first chicken layer.   One tip that I think is important is that the cream cheese mixture needs to be soft to spread over the tortillas.  Put into the microwave for an extra 30 seconds if needed.  Of course, I didn't have or even use the tools that are listed.  You could make this same thing in a medium sized casserole dish.

This dish was absolutely delicious- a home run!  I will be making this for years and years to come.  It was so quick and easy.  I served it with saffron yellow rice.  I will definitely play around with the cream cheese mixture.  I think it would be tasty with lime juice and maybe even garlic added.  I forgot to add chopped cilantro to the top, but I'm sure it would be a great addition.