Monday, January 21, 2013

Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken

This was recommended to me by a friend, Lindsey Spencer.  It is similar to the Alice Springs chicken I've made several times before, which is one of our favorite meals.  

The case:
Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken from Plain Chicken
  • 4 boneless chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp bacon, cooked and chopped (You may use Oscar Meyer bacon bits)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice and paprika.  Pour over chicken in a Zip Loc bag.  Refrigerate for a few hours.  
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Place chicken in 9x13 baking dish. Pour all of sauce over chicken.  Season chicken breasts with lemon pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  4. Top each chicken breast with 1 Tablespoon of bacon and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.  Continue to bake until cheese is starting to brown (about 10 minutes).

The ruling:
This was very good.  I loved the sauce!  I need to combine my favorite things about this recipe and the Alice Springs chicken recipe.  I especially want to add mushrooms, but I like the way this is cooked better.  The chicken is so flavorful and moist! And there is more sauce to pour over! Yum!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Egg in a Hole

For the longest time (since about 6 months ago), if I was going to eat an egg, I wanted to eat it scrambled.  I had no desire to even taste a runny yolk.  In college we used to go this little hole-in-the-wall grille that served a burger called the One Eyed Jack.  It had a fried egg on it.  Michael always got it and ranted and raved about how tasty it was.  Well 5 years later, this past fall actually, I decided to try a similar burger while visiting a burger joint in Charleston.  Ummmm..... Best Burger of My Life!!!!  I still think back to how delightfully delicious that burger was.  Well up until today that was still the only fried egg I'd ever had.  Having ingredients on hand is my number one reason to cook a dish, and today's Egg in a Hole was no exception.  I had eggs and bread that were about to go bad and I needed a quick lunch.  It's much harder to do anything on time with 2 kids!  Plus I've been eying this recipe since I got Pioneer Woman's cookbook several years ago.

The case: 
Egg in a Hole Adapted Slightly from: Pioneer Woman

  • Slices of any kind of bread (I used regular honey wheat)
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. With a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, press a hole in the center of the slice of bread.
  2. Next, heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt a Tablespoon of butter in it. When the butter is all spread out, place the piece of bread in the skillet and crack the egg straight into the center of hole. 
  3. Cook for about a minutre or so before attempting to move the bread or things could get messy. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper to taste. After about a minute, flip it over with a spatula and salt and pepper the other side.  Add another dab of butter.
  4. Now move the whole piece of toast around the skillet, soaking up all of the glorious butter. Let it cook until the yolk feels, to the touch, still soft without feeling over-jiggly. (Or cook to your liking)

The ruling:
Recently Michael and I've started giving a number to the new recipes I try and to our regular standbys.  We've been numbering them from 1-10.  Recipes that I make regularly that we enjoy have been getting a 7-8.  He's really tough.  It's got to be something very special to get higher than that.  Well, this my friends, got a 9!  5 ingredients that almost every household has got a 9!  ingredients that I can throw together and cook in 10 minutes got a 9!  I think that's enough said!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chicken Noodle Casserole

For me, this is a play on an old favorite.  One of the first things I ever learned to make was chicken casserole.  You know, the one with the chicken, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup.  I have to thank my college roommate for teaching me how to make it- I had no idea how to even poach chicken!  I made that chicken casserole about once a week while Michael and I were in college.  We couldn't get enough of the stuff!  Needless to say, our palate has matured over the years.  But a couple of times a year, we take a walk down memory lane and have the plain and simple dish.

This Chicken Noodle Casserole was actually the recipe of the day on All Recipes.   I did make a few changes based on what I had on hand and some spices to make it more flavorful.  For years, I simply put boneless skinless chicken breasts in boiling water and let it simmer for 30 minutes.  Now I flavor my water with a few spices which really enriches the chicken flavor.

The case:
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 cream of mushroom soups (I use light)
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 6 oz egg noodles (I use the whole wheat)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 3 T butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Bring enough water to cover chicken to a bowl add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.  Poach chicken for 30-35 minutes.  Remove chicken and shred.
  3.  Cook pasta according to directions in water that chicken was boiled in.  You'll want it al dente since it will be cooked more in the oven.
  4. Meanwhile, combine mushroom soups and sour cream.
  5. Drain pasta and gently mix in shredded chicken.  Gently stir in soup mixture.
  6. Place in 2 quart baking dish.  Crush crackers and toss with butter.  Sprinkle over casserole and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This was definitely a step above our old favorite.  A yummy comfort food for a cold day.   Ryder kept saying cheese as I was taking pictures of this dish, so I had to snap a few of him too!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Super Bowl Favorites

Tailgating food is my absolute favorite of food.  We'll just be staying home this year since we have a newborn that we don't want to get out of the house with all this sickness going around.  I've been thinking about what I would like to have.  Even though it will just be the two of us, I still like to go all out and get it the spirit.  I like to have a few old favorites as well as try a few new ones.  Here are a few of my favorite appetizer type foods that would be perfect on Super Bowl Sunday:

Mahogany Chicken Wings

Stuffed Mushrooms

Restaurant Style Hot Wings

Charleston Cheese Dip

Homemade Salsa and Chicken Lime Nachos

Saucy Island Sandwiches

Frito Chili Pie

I've made this recipe several times and think I've finally gotten it perfect for our family.  One of the first lessons I learned from Paula Deen was to make a recipe the first time like it's written and experiment the next time.  I can't express how helpful this tip was.  When I first went off to college, I knew very little about cooking.  It really wasn't until I moved in my first apartment and started watching food network that I knew how to do anything.  I used to be an extremely picky eater and didn't feel I could make more recipes because they had things I didn't like in them.  I thought you had to make a recipe exactly like it was written or it wouldn't even come together.  I pretty much thought all recipes were baking recipes. 

The thing that truly makes this chili perfect for me is that I put several of the ingredients into the food processor before adding.  I know I'm weird, but usually I enjoy the tastes of things but don't like the texture.  Feel free to put the Rotel and beans in whole if you're not a weirdo like me!  But this is a smart way to sneak in different foods for kids!

Frito Pie Chili
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 can Rotel (I put in food processor first)
  • 1 can (12-14 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t ground oregano
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 cans beans (I use chili and process in food processor first)
  • 1/8 cup cold water
  • 1 T corn starch
  • Fritos
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  1. In a medium pot, brown beef and pork over medium heat.  Drain and return meat to pot.  
  2. Add tomato sauce, Rotel, crushed tomatoes, and seasonings.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse beans.  Add to pot, stirring to combine.  Return lid and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Mix water and corn starch.  Stir into chili and simmer 10-15 more minutes. 
  5. Serve with desired toppings.