Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thai Peanut Chicken and Coconut Rice

This is one of our family favorites. Seriously. TJ and I love it, and I love than I can serve it all deconstructed and the kids still eat most everything. It works out well for everyone really!


Thai Coconut Rice:

1 Cup uncooked rice (basmati, jasmine or long grain)
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup coconut flakes


Cooking Directions:
-Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.
-Stir well to combine
-cook over medium-high hear, stirring until mixture comes to a low boil.
-Immediately reduce heat to low
-cover and cook for 18 minutes
-fluff with fork.
-cover and let sit for 5 minutes
-garnish rice with additional coconut




Peanut Sauce:

I buy this packet. I know, sweet, huh? But I'm very specific on which one I like, this is the one. Only one HEB around here sells it (As far as I know.) and all other stores have stopped carrying it. I buy all they have when I go in (now, I'm extra lame). You could try making your own peanut sauce, I think I have before in a pinch, just like the coconut milk, peanut butter, red pepper flakes....

Anyway, just follow directions, it's simple, but you will need another can of coconut milk for the sauce, along with meat and vegetable of your choice.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies



I have been making these and packaging them into snack size zip bags and putting into the freezer to make preparing school lunches cheaper and quicker. As well, I've been known to serve them with orange juice for a quick breakfast!

Ingredients:
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. nuts or raisins (optional)

Directions:
Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
Mix in flour and baking soda.
Stir in oats and raisins/nuts; mix well.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Yields approx. 4 dozen

*Cookies will look flat, don't worry, that's how they are "chewy". If you refrigerate the dough a little bit the butter will firm back up and yield a nicer looking cooking. I don't care what they look like, they taste great!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blueberry Freezer Muffins

Alright, so I have really enjoyed making these up lately and then having some quick muffins stashed away in the freezer, so awesome! Ooh, these also come in other varieties, not just blueberry!





Streusel Topping
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine


Muffins
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh, canned (drained) or frozen blueberries





Directions:


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 12 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups, or spray bottoms only of cups with cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir 1/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon until mixed. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly; set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat milk, oil and egg with fork or wire whisk until blended. Add 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon streusel.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If muffins were baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. If muffins were baked in sprayed pan, leave in pan about 5 minutes, then remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cooled.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Decrease baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons.


Nutrition Information:
1 Muffin: Calories 220 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Carbohydrate 33g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 15g); Protein 4g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 8%; Iron 8% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.



Variations:

Apple-Cinnamon Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 cup chopped, peeled apple (about 1 medium) with milk. Stir in 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon with the flour. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Banana Muffins: Omit blueberries. Decrease milk to 1/3 cup. Beat in 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium) with the milk. Use packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins: Omit blueberries. Beat in 1 tablespoon grated orange peel with the milk. Fold 1 cup cranberry halves into batter.

Rasperry Muffins: Replace blueberries with frozen or fresh raspberries.


Freezing Directions:


Okay, so I like to make up a double batch, since it's "like" the same amount of work, or nearly. and we can't eat very many muffins very fast around here. So I fill cups, paper ones work, but I do like the metal liners for this. and then I scoop into a snack size baggy the right amount of struesel topping. I freeze the filled muffins while still in the muffin pan --so they hold shape better.




Then, after they are frozen, I package 6 together at a time (one pan's worth). This way I can just grab some out in the morning and pop them into the oven. I don't dethaw them first, although you could if you wanted or had time. I just set the time for regular time, and then check them. They usually need a few extra minutes, since they started frozen. Oh, I also write on the outside of my vaccuum package what temperature and how long they need to bake for, along with the date they were made.

Dough Boys



Yep, that's what they are called, or at least in my house they are! We grew up eating these mainly for breakfast and they are truly delicious!

Ingredients:
frozen roll or bread dough, or your favorite dough recipe
oil for frying
syrup, or your choice of toppings
Directions:
I often make my own dough recipe to use for this, just let it rise the first time, then punch it down, split it up into smaller sizes, a portion about the size of a fist will make one dough-boy. I also sometimes buy frozen dough, and when I do that I set the frozen loaf or rolls out the nite before, in a bowl, covered loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise over nite.
After portioning out the dough, just stretch it into a disc shape, just smaller than the pan you are going to fry in. You can use a rolling pin to get it flatter and more even. Sometimes if you get them thinner they pop up and then are a bit more like sopapillas. I usually opt for the hand pressed look. You can use a pizza cutter and cut into smaller pieces if serving for breakfast or a snack, etc.
Then, just serve with syrup or honey or powdered sugar or chocolate syrup for dessert, it's up to you.
You can also use these same fry breads for Navajo Tacos, just replace the sweet toppings with refried beans, hamburger, lettuce, tomato, etc. Heck, I bet you could even have tacos for dinner, then if there are left overs, have 'em for breakfast the next morning. Ooh, sometimes if there are actually leftovers, I'll pop them into the toaster to reheat them, helps them keep some of their crisp. Yum!



Friday, March 26, 2010

Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa and a side of Berry Couscous





Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa and a side of Berry Couscous

Oven Baked Salmon:
Marinate Salmon overnight in desired marinade. The Salmon pictured above was marinated in a Tangerine Pineapple Vinaigrette. Place salmon in baking dish and cook at 350 degrees until the internal temperature of the salmon fillet reaches 140 degrees (which is medium) or until desired doneness. Discard used marinade.
Tangerine Pineapple Vinaigrette (This makes 1 qt of Vinaigrette):
10 fl oz Tangerine juice
5 1/3 fl oz Pineapple juice
1 fl oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp White wine vinegar
2 tsp Prepared creole mustard
10 fl oz Vegetable Oil
5 1/3 fl oz Olive Oil
2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper, or to taste
1. Combine the juices, vinegar, and mustard.
2. Whisk in the oils gradually.
3. Season with salt & pepper.
Mango Lime Salsa:
Ingredients -
8 oz Honeydew melon, seeded, rind removed
8 oz Papaya, peeled and seeded
8 oz Mango, peeled and pitted
4 oz Red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 oz Jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
3 oz Red onion, cut Brunoise (this is pronounced BROON-WAH. A cut 1/8"x1/8"x1/8")
4 fl oz Lime Juice
2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
1. Chop the melon, papaya, mango, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper into fine dice. Be careful to safe the juices that are released.
2. Combine the chopped fruit with their juices, peppers, onion, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl.
3. Season to taste with salt.
4. Refrigerate until served.
Top Oven Baked Salmon with Mango Lime Salsa.
Blackberry & Raspberry Couscous:Prepare couscous as outlined on package (we use the brand Rise Select). This step should only take 7-8 minutes as the couscous should cook in about 5 minutes. Once the couscous has been cooked, add the washed blackberries and raspberries to the couscous. Stir gently. Plate this by placing a circle cutter (size of your choice- this is a circle mold...almost like a circle cookie cutter...almost) on to the plate and add the couscous to the rim. Gently remove the cutter. If you do not have a cutter/mold, a 1 cup measuring cup can be used. Fill (pack it, but not super tight or it will be difficult to release the couscous naturally...without a utensil) the measuring cup with the couscous and flip the open end onto the plate, gently tap on the top of the cup while lifting up at the same time.



Baked Red Peppers Stuffed with Italian Sausage

(This picture is before they were cooked...sorry I don't have an after picture.)



Baked Red Peppers Stuffed with Italian Sausage
Ingredients:
4 Red Bell Peppers
4 Ripe Roma Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Celery Stalk, Trimmed and Diced
4 Fresh Mild Italian Sausages, about 1 lb
8 Black Olives (Such as Kalamata, Gaeta, or Spanish), Pitted and Chopped
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Hot Tap Water

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Carefully cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise. Remove the stem, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Remove the seeds and ribs. Fill a large saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper halves, bring the water back to a boil and parboil (blanching) for 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pepper halves to a colander to drain. Keep the water at a boil to peel the tomatoes. Core and peel the tomatoes. Cut in half crosswise and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and set aside. In a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium-low heat, warm the butter or olive oil. Add the onion and sauté stirring, until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the celery and sauté until starting to soften, another 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion and celery to a plate. Set aside. Add the crumbled sausage to the pan and sauté over medium heat, turning several times, until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Return the onion mixture to the pan along with the tomatoes. Mix together and continue to cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the pepper halves, cut side up, in a baking dish in which they just fit comfortably in a single layer. Spoon the sausage mixture into the peppers, dividing it evenly. Top evenly with the bread crumbs. Add the hot water to the dish. Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are golden and the mixture is bubbly, about 40 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to plate for serving.

Anthony's Famous Cheese ball


Anthony’s Famous Cheese ball

This is a one-time batch recipe…we always make a two-time batch as it goes quickly.

8 oz Cream Cheese block
1 Ham Steak
Dried Parsley
Hot Sauce
Crushed Nuts…we use Pine Nuts
Additional Items for preferred taste:
Onion Salt
Garlic Powder
Pepper

Take soft cream cheese block, mix in diced ham steak, dried parsley, and additional items if preferred. Then add hot sauce to taste. Ball the mixture onto a plate and add crushed nuts on the outside. Chill 2-3 hours, but overnight preferred.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taco Casserole


1 lb lean ground beef
1 envelope (1.5 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
2 c water
1 pkg (8 oz) guacamole-flavored tortilla chips, crumbled (I can't find these, so I just use regular tortilla chips, which still work great.)
2 c grated cheddar
chopped lettuce
chopped tomatoes
salsa
sour cream

In a large skillet, brown ground beef; drain off fat. Add taco seasoning mix, refried beans, and water. Heat mixture, stirring occasionally, until it begins to boil. Spread chips in bottom of 9-in square baking dish. Pour meat mixture over chips. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in a preheated 350-oven 15-20 min, or until cheese begins to bubble. Pass lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream at table, and let each diner add toppings.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Pillows



Ingredients:
2 pkg. Crescent Rolls
2 C. Cooked Chicken (If David is home to start the grill then I grill it. If not, then I just boil it. I usually use about 3 chicken breasts. I also just cut the cooked chicken into small pieces but you could shred it too. )
1 (8 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese (easier if it is at room temp)
1 T. Chopped Onion
1/4 C. Melted Butter
Bread Crumbs (I use Italian but any works)

Instructions:
1. Mix: Cooked chicken, cream cheese, and onion in a bowl. (I usually wash my hands and mix it)
2. Place one rounded spoonful of meat mixture on wide end of crescent roll wedge. Pull dough around mixture toward the point while pulling the small end wider. Tuck ends and pinch dough together to make sure that the mixture is covered.
3. Dip the "pillow" in melted butter and roll in bread crumbs.
4. Bake 20-25 min @ 400

Sauce:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream (or milk)
1/2 C. shredded cheese

Heat mixture together and serve over pillows

***for re-heating it tastes better if you can warm them up again in the oven....but the microwave works too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skillet Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli



Serves: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

•1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1-inch pieces
•Salt and pepper
•3 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 onion, minced
•1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
•1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•8 ounces ziti (2 1/2 cups) -Or whatever pasta you have or like
•2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•1/2 cup heavy cream
•1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), stems discarded and florets cut into 1-inch pieces
•1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
•1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions

1.Pat the chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.

2.Add 1 more tablespoon of the butter, onion, red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

3.Sprinkle the UNCOOKED ziti evenly into the skillet. Pour the broth and cream over the ziti. Cover and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes.

4.Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the broccoli and roasted peppers. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta begins to soften and the broccoli turns bright green, about 8 minutes.

5.Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juice. Cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

6.Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, the Parmesan, and lemon juice (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Filo Onion Rolls

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

•8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
•2 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
•2 onions, chopped
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1/4 cup butter
•1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
•1/8 tsp. pepper
•18 (9" x 14") sheets filo dough, thawed
•More melted butter (I use about 1/3 cup)


Directions:

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and Gruyere. Set aside. In heavy skillet, sauté onions in 1/4 cup butter until very soft and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 1 minute. Cool 20 minutes. Mix together onion mixture and cheese mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place one sheet filo dough on work surface. Brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top, brush with butter, and put one more sheet on top.

Take the onion mixture, divide it into six parts, and form a roll about 1 inch in diameter down one short edge of the stacked filo. Roll up carefully and place on cookie sheet. Brush thoroughly with more butter. Repeat with remaining filo and filling, making six rolls total. I place three rolls on each cookie sheet. Cover well with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Bake for 10-17 minutes or until rolls begin to brown and cheese filling melts. Let stand 5 minutes, then, using a very sharp knife, cut rolls into 1" pieces. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve. The onion filling right out of the oven is super-hot. Serves 8-10. (Mine got too flat when they cooked as a roll and were cut after. I think in the past I have cut the rolls and then stood them up to bake, they held a rounder shape that way.)

You can also freeze these rolls. Wrap well in freezer wrap, label, and freeze up to 3 months. To bake frozen rolls, place rolls on cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-23 minutes or until the rolls are beginning to brown and crisp and cheese melts. Proceed as directed above.

"Tempt-Me" Truffles


Ingredients


4 c. powdered sugar

1 (8oz.) pkg cream cheese

5 (1oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 tsp. vanilla

toasted almonds, chopped

cocoa

powdered sugar



Directions
Gradually add 4 cups powdered sugar to cream cheese, mixing well. Add chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Chill for a few hours. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll to coat in almonds, cocoa or powdered sugar. Chill.
Makes 4 dozen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fruit Pizza


1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt



1 80z. package cream cheese

1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla



Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl cream together the butter and 3/4 c. sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. Combine the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt; stir until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool.



In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar, and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust. Arrange desired fruit on top of filling and chill.