Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mom's Chicken Salad with Grapes on Croissants

While my parents were here visiting, my Mom wanted to make this chicken salad for sandwiches. You can really add what you want and how much. I didn't list amounts because we just eyeballed it all. For the dressing, figure starting with about 1 Cup of mayo and a little milk until it's the consistency you'd want. Season to taste. Warning: these are a little messy to eat, but oh so good, especially on croissants!

Mom's Chicken Salad with Grapes on Croissants
1 roasted chicken, cooked and pieces diced
celery, diced
red onion, finely diced
dried cranberries
sliced or slivered almonds
red and green grapes. halved


salad mix or lettuce

Combine everything but the dressing together in a large bowl. Mix dressing together in a separate bowl then toss with chicken mixture. Serve on sliced croissants with lettuce or salad mix.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie

Please check out this week's TWD pick from the blog of Emily called Sandmuffin for this recipe to All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie. It's REALLY good, you'll want to bake one! I made this while my Parents are here visiting with us and they loved it too! Did you know this is my first ever apple pie I've made? Do you want to know that this will be my go-to apple pie for now on!

It was great, the flavors were perfect in this. I loved the thick sauce it made (see it oozing out the side in the photo?). I used Granny Smith green apples and Golden Delicious in my pie. Dorie even suggested using pears and apples which sound really good too. The crust came out perfect and flaky (I'm telling ya, check out Dorie's crust recipes! They are really good!). I brushed the top of the crust with some heavy cream and it came out such a pretty golden color (I usually use an egg wash when baking like that, but I think cream is the way to go now!). I served this with a vanilla yogurt blend and it was just delicious, not a single complaint from all seven of us!

Go check out the link to Emily's blog for this recipe. It is DELISH! By the way, this was Dorie Greenspan's Birthday weekend, so Happy Birthday to her! =)

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs picked Caramel Pumpkin Pie for TWD this week. It's perfect for Fall! I love pumpkin pie too so I was not going to skip this week! For this one, you have to make a caramel, don't worry it's easy and takes just minutes and a watchful eye. Dorie did mention the darker the caramel turns as it's cooking, the richer the flavor, so keep that in mind.

This was a gorgeous pie, I baked it in my stoneware deep dish, and it came out of that dish in just a perfect slice, nothing fell apart and the crust was really flaky too (I just love Dorie's crusts!!). Even though I kept the pie covered with parchment while baking, the crust still got a little darker than I like.

The pie was even still a touch warm even after sitting on the counter for 4 hours after baking! The texture was creamy, the flavor was great (I did used a little less of the spices) and I even topped it with a little crumble as Dorie suggested we could. While I thought the pie was pretty good, I myself could taste the "burnt sugar" in it while it was still warm. But then, I had my photo piece, cold the next day...and it was even better! I could not taste that burnt sugar flavor as much.

PS. I used apple cider in mine, and I have to say I LOVE it! I've never had it before (OK maybe once long ago) and don't really care for apple juice, but apple cider! Mmm!

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Ultimate Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free)

These were part of my blog review & giveaway, I used the gluten free Bisquick mix to coat these. We all enjoyed these chicken tenders, and I think you will too!

Ultimate Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free)
adapted from Bisquick

3/4 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (or 8 tenders)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Cooking spray
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika and salt in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat with other pieces, dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture two times each. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray.
3. Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Classic Apple Crisp

Seeing everyone's Fall recipes for apples, tempted me even more to make this recipe from the Aug. '10 BH&G magazine. I think I used 8 medium sized Golden Delicious apples. I made this in my deep dish pie dish, and even though it was very full when ready to bake, it will sink down after it's done (you can see that in the "cooling off" photo below). This recipe was great, but both Mr. and I agreed that it was rich. I think I am more of a cobbler person myself. Sorry for the night time photos.
(The red rose was included in the photos because I wanted to get my whole $5 worth out of it. We went to a Mexican Rest. days before and suckered myself into buying a rose, from the nice lady walking around sticking them in everyone's faces! (of course I thought she was giving it to me! lol) It did last a good week though!

Classic Apple Crisp
from Better Homes and Gardens

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or 1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut in pieces
8 cups peeled apples, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or 1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Butter for baking dish

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With your fingers work the butter into the flour mixture until it just begins to cling together. "Work it just past the just crumbly stage," says Scott. The topping can be made in advance, store it for up to a week in the refrigerator or a month carefully wrapped and frozen. "I like to keep some on hand, then make an individual crisp using a single apple baked in a ramekin or custard cup."
2. In a 4-quart bowl toss together apples and lemon juice. "I like my apples a little thicker than for a pie," Scott says. "Slice them too thin and the apples collapse and cook down to sauce. In a small bowl combine the 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, salt, and nutmeg. Use the lesser amount of sugar for sweeter apples, Scott says.
3. Sprinkle apples with sugar-nutmeg mixture, then with your hands, mix together. Heap into a lightly buttered 2-quart baking dish. "Apples collapse a good bit during cooking, so it is important to pile them above the rim of the baking dish," says Scott. "Otherwise you can end up with a sunken crisp." Cover the top of the apples with the crumb mixture, breaking up large pieces as necessary to cover.
4. Cover the crisp first with parchment, then foil. (I just kept mine covered with parchment *ALSO, mine bubbled over, so you might want to place a baking sheet under it) "This eliminates the chance of any 'tin can' flavor into the crisp," Scott says. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and paper from the opposite side of the pan (to keep steam away from your face and hands). Return to oven; bake 30 to 40 minutes more or until top is golden and apples are just tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. To ensure the flour in filling is cooked, bake until thickened juices bubble from the fruit. Let cool 15 to 30 minutes before serving

my mile high apple crisp!

cooling off quickly by the open window (red rose again!)

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Slow Cooker BBQ Beans and Polish Sausage {Gluten Free}

This reminds me of a grown up version of beenie weenie casserole. I used 2 rings of sausage for us, and even with 2 cans of each kind of bean, it makes a lot! The beans reminded me of baked beans and Mr. loved them. The juices from the sausage will make a nice bubbly liquid along with the BBQ sauce for it to simmer in. I was thinking this might be a great potluck dish to bring, just slice up the sausages before you go and add a little extra BBQ sauce. I served this up with corn bread muffins.
*I have edited to add my Gluten Free version.

Slow Cooker Barbecued Beans and Polish Sausage
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup barbecue sauce (Our fave homemade version here, it is GF)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce {Lea & Perrins is Gluten Free}
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 rings (1 to 1 1/4 lb) fully cooked smoked Polish sausage {Gluten Free}

Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients except sausage in cooker. Place sausage ring on bean mixture.
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Heart Beef Photo Challenge

Ahhh, slow cooked, basted and grilled beef ribs. The perfect dinner during our Summer. Yeah, I'm still thinking about them. Did you know these were my first ever slow cooked ribs? Once they were slow cooked, I threw them on the hot grill and slathered them in our favorite homemade BBQ sauce. They were so tender and DELISH!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Strawberry Ganache Cake

We celebrated our oldest's 13th Birthday the other week, and I always ask what kind of cake they'd like. She chose a chocolate cake with strawberries and cherries and chocolate frosting. Here's what I came up with. A rich chocolate cake with a whipped cream & fruit filling with ganache poured over each layer. I used the same chocolate cake as the Oreo cake and the filling as well but with fruit instead. I attempted to do a "poke cake" and have ganache go into each layer, but my pokes weren't big enough to fill them much, next time. As I was piping the ganache on top, my bag exploded and Whoops!! haha! This cake was SO good, very rich and chocolaty.

Chocolate Cake
by Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake

2 c. sugar
1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. Hershey's Cocoa
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. boiling water

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9-inch round baking pans, lining with parchment.
-Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
-Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
-Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
-Pour batter very carefully into prepared pans.
-Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
-Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and place onto wire racks.
-Remove parchment and cool completely.

For filling:
1/3 c. whipping cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
small dash vanilla extract
1/4 C. ea. Chopped fresh strawberries and jarred cherries, drained (if not fresh, pitted)

-Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff.
-Gently fold in the chopped fruit

Ganache I made x2 (will have extras)
single batch from Joy of Baking

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir with a whisk until smooth.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

How about these crispy chicken sandwiches for dinner? What makes them special is the tortilla chip crust. If you want more spice to these, I suggest doubling the hot sauce, because even my kids never knew these were supposed to be spicy, but I did use less in my recipe (and I used Cholula hot sauce). These cooked up perfectly juicy inside and were pretty darn good! I used large boneless breasts, filet in half so we had lots, more than what this calls for, and I even had to cut each patty in half to fit on the bun. I also added a little cheese on ours. The mayo was great with these too!

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro-Lime Mayo
from Cooking Light Dec. '08


1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup egg substitute
3 tablespoons hot sauce (I used 1 1/2 TBL)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 1/2 ounces baked tortilla chips (about 6 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Remaining ingredients:
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls, split
12 (1/8-inch-thick) red onion slices
4 lettuce leaves
1. To prepare mayo, combine the first 4 ingredients.
2. To prepare chicken, combine egg substitute, hot sauce, oregano, and salt in a large zip-top plastic bag. Cut chicken breast halves in half horizontally to form 4 cutlets. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.
3. Place tortilla chips in a food processor; process 1 minute or until ground. Place ground chips in a shallow dish.
4. Working with one cutlet at a time, remove chicken from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Coat chicken completely in chips. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and chips.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Spread mayo evenly over cut sides of rolls. Layer bottom half of each roll with 3 onion slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and 1 chicken cutlet; top with top halves of rolls.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Remember my Mom's Potato, Ham and Carrot Casserole?

Remember this post? Well this is another of my faves from my Mom I have to share on the new blog.  

Potato, Ham and Carrot Casserole

2 lbs sliced ham
1 onion diced
1 cup peeled sliced carrots
3 cups sliced potatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 1/4 tsp flour
1 cup milk
sprinkle of salt
sprinkle of pepper

Brown ham and onion in a greased frying pan. Remove from pan, add flour, soup and milk, heating until it boils. Arrange carrots, potatoes, ham, onion, salt & pepper in a 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over top. Cover and bake 350' for 1 hour. Uncover for 15 minuets more to brown potatoes.

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