Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

This was a great chicken dinner! A perfect blend of spicy and sweet. I cut the heat in this so the kids wouldn't complain, and little boy ate two pieces!! So, this will be on our menu for now on. I have tried many Cooking Light recipes back in the day, and loved them all, now this one's included.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
adapted from Cooking Light 3/07

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder (I used 1 tsp Ancho Chile Powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 shake of ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat broiler.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup with Breadsticks really hits the spot

This is one of my favorite soups. I've had it for many years but only started making it 3 1/2 years ago, it's from a Betty Crocker booklet. It's super super simple and fast to make. I'm not a big fan of Italian sausage, but I love it in this soup, and the kids love the cheese tortellini! I made these breadsticks again, love them!
I'm sharing it again with you so it can be part of my new recipe URL.  =)

Tortellini & Sausage Soup
adapted from Betty Crocker

1 pound Sweet Italian link sausages (casings removed)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed tomato soup
3-5 Cups water (may need to add up to 5 C if you use more Tortellini)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Cup chopped carrots
1 medium zucchini halved lengthwise and sliced
8 oz frozen cheese tortellini
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook & stir sausage & onion in 4 qt dutch oven until sausage is light brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables and tortellini are tender. Serve with cheese.

Quick and Easy Breadsticks
from Jamie Cooks it up!

1 1/2 C warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/2 t salt
3 1/4-3 1/2 C flour
1/4 C butter
3/4 C grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Johnny's Garlic Seasoning (I used McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder + garlic, onion powder + parsley)

1. Mix the water, sugar and yeast in the bottom of your mixer until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt and the flour, one cup at a time, until it is well incorporated. Mix on high for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
3. Melt the butter and pour half of it into a jelly roll pan (large cookie sheet).
4. Place the dough in the center of the pan. Let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes. Letting the dough rest makes it MUCH easier to shape.
5. Spread the dough out flat onto the pan until it reaches all of the edges. Doing all of the spreading and cutting of these bread sticks, in the pan makes cleaning up your counter so much easier!
6. Pour the other half of the butter onto the dough. Spread it around with your hands. Sprinkle the Johnnys Garlic Seasoning all over the dough, and then the Parmesan cheese (maybe next time I'll add the Parm in the last few minutes, so it doesn't turn so dark and crunchy).
7. With a pizza cutter cut the dough into three rows lengthwise, and then into about 12 little height wise rows. Did that even make sense? I hope so, wish I had a picture!
8. Put the pan into a 170 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. The breadsticks should rise about 1 inch. (mine took 20 mins)
9. Turn your oven up to 350 and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Coffee Break Muffins

Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous chose Dorie's Coffee-Break Muffins for TWD this week. I decided to turn ours into mocha with a little chocolate syrup swirled in the batter. I baked mine for 15 minutes and still found them to be dense and a little dry. I made these thinking Mr. would love them (sorry none for the kiddos) being a coffee lover, these have espresso and coffee in them. Well I guess he's not a muffin man (haha) he only ate one. I've had 2 since baking them and the rest are in the freezer. I guess these weren't it for us, but other TWDers have been enjoying them.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Also, Chicken Tacos with Charred Salsa

These are the recipes from my Light & Delish bookazine review, the directions and nutrional values are different online, but the ingredients are listed the same. Anyways, we all liked both these dishes and I wanted to share them with you!

Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
from Good Housekeeping

1 bunch(es) (1 pound) broccoli rabe (I used broccoli)
12 ounce(s) penne pasta
1 (4 ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch-thick-slices
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
1/4 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Salt and pepper
CLICK HERE for directions!

Chicken Tacos with Charred Salsa
from Redbook (NOTE: Prep ahead!)

Charred Salsa:
1 pound(s) tomatillos, husks removed and washed
1 pound(s) plum tomatoes
2 jalapeƱo chiles
1 small yellow onion, cut into 4 slices
1/4 cup(s) chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
1 tablespoon(s) lime juice

12 whole-grain yellow corn tortillas
3 cup(s) shredded cooked chicken

Shredded iceberg lettuce
Shredded white Cheddar cheese or jack cheese
Sour cream
CLICK HERE for directions!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup makes it all feel better!

I've made this recipe a few time before and blogged it here, but my kids think that chicken noodle soup is for the sickies so that's when I make it, otherwise I'd make it any day of the week. I did make some the other day, when Little Boy came down with a fever and I caught a 24 hr cold. I like this recipe, it's quick, easy and good and feeling sick, it sure was just what I needed (ok and lots of OJ too)! You can probably be eating this in less than 40 minutes.

Chicken Noodle Soup
adapted from allrecipes

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery (start with the center parts & leaves, they have the flavor)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
3 (14.5 ounce) cans vegetable broth
1/2 pound raw chicken breast, cut in pieces
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion and celery in butter until just tender, 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, vegetable broth, bring to boil. Add in chicken, cook for 10 minutes. Add noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 more minutes before serving.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Frosted Zucchini Bread Muffins

I turned this Zucchini bread recipe (found here ) into frosted muffins. Muffin/cupcake shapes are more appealing than sliced bread, are they not? At least for my kids. This has been my go to recipe for zucchini bread for the last oh, 5 years? I froze some non frosted muffins for the kid's school lunches, they'll thaw in time for snack or lunch. They all loved these!

Zucchini Bread Muffins

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
3 teaspoons vanilla
Ground almonds for garnish

Beat eggs and sugar, add oil and spices, and blend. Add dry ingredients, flour and zucchini, and mix. Stir in vanilla. Scoop into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes for regular size muffins, 11 minutes for mini muffins. Allow to cool frost with cream cheese frosting, sprinkle with nuts.
This gave me 12 regular muffins + 19 mini muffins, OR 1 loaf + 24 mini muffins.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1-2 TBL milk
Combine all until smooth. Frost muffins.
mini muffins, so cute!


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Friday, September 3, 2010

Garlic and Wine Cream Sauce

This is my new favorite cream sauce! It really made my "frugal leftovers" dinner the star! Even Mr. says I can make this again and again and again. I simply breaded and egg washed some chicken tenders, then lightly pan fried them, served them with some leftover mashed potatoes (with parsley added in) and peas. I also had a little bit of cream leftover, leftover fresh parsley, garlic and wine. That's when I found a recipe and of course changed it up. Total YUM! This got nonstop rave reviews. From. Mr.!

Garlic and Wine Cream Sauce
inspired and adapted from here

3 Tbl unsalted butter
3 Garlic cloves, diced
1 Tbl fresh parsley, diced
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 C. Heavy whipping cream
2 Tbl dry white wine
Salt to taste
Melt butter in a heavy, large skillet over a medium low heat. Add garlic and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add cream and white wine then simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add in parsley and season with salt. Serve over chicken and mashed potatoes.
Makes about 1/2 Cup.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

These are a Quaker recipe, and yes they have shortening in them (gasp!), maybe that's why I love them so? I've made them a few times over here and an apple version here so now I've added them to my recipe's new home. I just whipped these up today, they're so fast and easy. These are really soft and keep for days, if they last! (if anyone out there has a good soft & chewy recipe without using shortening I'd love to try it!)

Quaker Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening and granulated sugar until creamy. Add egg, water and vanilla; beat well. Add combined oats, flour, salt and baking soda; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Add 1 cup of any one or a combination of any of the following ingredients to basic cookie dough: raisins, chopped nuts, chocolate chips or shredded coconut.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shrimp and Chicken Scampi with Linguini

One of my favorite dishes to order at that Italian Restaurant chain is their chicken scampi. When I saw Tyler Florence make it the other day on his show, I had to make it. I was craving it so much just thinking about it, that I made it 2 days later. I adapted his recipe to include bell peppers and chicken, since the kids won't eat shrimp. As I was cooking the oil, butter, shallots, red pepper flakes and garlic together, I ran into the garage where Mr. was to get a clean dish towel from the laundry, and he said "It smells SOOOO good!". This was good, we all enjoyed it! It's similar to another one I made, but that has a little cream in it if you like that.

Shrimp and Chicken Scampi with Linguini
adapted slightly from Tyler Florence

1 pound linguini
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large shallot, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 pound chicken breast tenders
10 large shrimp, about 1/2 pound, peeled and deveined, tail on
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine, Sauvignon Blanc (TIP: freeze leftover wine into ice cubes for later use)
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until just golden, turn and cook the other side until just golden also, remove and set aside. (You may have to add a little more oil & butter to continue cooking shrimp and peppers) Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Saute the bell peppers until just tender, set aside.
Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta and reserved pasta water. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

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