Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chicken Tetrazzini

I love my new ward cookbook and it's been fun to sample a few new recipes from it as well. I wasn't in the mood to go to the grocery store today and was looking for something to make that I already had everything of, and it ended up being super tasty- love it when that happens!!
My mom even said this is a dish that would be good to take to someone (i.e. new mom, sick neighbor, etc.)

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. + 1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
garlic (powder or fresh cloves) to taste
1 T. italian seasoning
1 can chicken broth
1 can 2% evaporated milk
bowtie pasta (I used about 3/4 of a 12 oz. pkg.)
2 c. chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in broth and milk. Heat to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in cooked pasta and chicken. Pour into 9x13 pan (or similar dish). Sprinkle w/ parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 min @ 350 degrees.

The original recipe said you can use whipping cream or half & half, but I didn't have either of those, plus they seem SO heavy and fattening, so I opted for the evaporated milk and it's an AWESOME substitute! I also added in the garlic and italian seasoning... it only had salt & pepper, but I thought it could use a little more flavor and I think it helped.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Food Network needs to be banned from my house! I found this recipe while flipping through channels and the Barefoot Contessa was making this, so I got up and had to start making them.
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.
** I did not use the coffee granules, and these would be even better with some frosting on top and a large glass of milk!

Fettucini with Creamy Zucchini Sauce

· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
· 2 large zucchini (or 1 zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash), scrubbed, cut lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
· 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 pound fettuccine
· 1 cup ricotta
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
· Freshly ground Parmesan, for serving
(again for variety I added yellow squash, red peppers and some onions)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and zucchini. During the last minute of cooking the second batch of zucchini, stir in the garlic. Add to the bowl of zucchini. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package instructions just until tender. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the warm pot.
3. Add the zucchini and any juices and the ricotta to the pot. Mix, adding enough of the reserved cooking water to make a creamy sauce. Stir in the basil, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately, with a bowl of Parmesan passed at the table.

This was a suprise to even me how creamy and yummy it was, the kids were a little hesitant, this is one of the first "HEALTHY" meals, with all the veggies, veggies for us is usually a can of corn, green beans or hash browns and the occasional carrot, so this is new!

Apple Braised Chicken

WWpicture looks so much more appealing, it really tatses good though... I think it must be the lighting? And Carter ate all my apples so I used pears as a substitute and allspice as a substitue for ginger and it turned out great, again rice as a supplement, my children needs carbs... don't they for growing? · 2 tsp vegetable oil
· 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
· 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
· 1 large onion(s), sliced
· 2 medium apple(s), firm, cored and sliced
· 1 cup apple cider
· 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
· 1/2 tsp table salt
· 1/2 tsp ground ginger
· 2 tsp cornstarch

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, warm oil over high heat. Toss chicken with flour in a medium bowl, patting off excess. Place chicken in skillet and brown well on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
· Reduce stove temperature to low and add onion to skillet. Sauté, stirring often, until onion is tender and lightly browned.
· Stir in apples, cider, chicken broth, salt, ginger and chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken, onions and apples to a serving dish.
· In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 to 3 tablespoons of pan juices. Combine cornstarch mixture with remaining pan juices, whisking constantly. Simmer for one minute. Pour sauce over chicken and serve. Yields 1 chicken breast and about 3/4 cup of apple-onion mixture per serving.

5 points, 1 one chicken breast and 3/4 apple (pear)/onion mixture

Homemade granola

I stepped outside of my box today and tried making my own granola and I am super impressed with it and wonder why it's taken me so long to do it! Oh well, it was worth the wait.

I found the recipe whilst blog stalking today, and I know there are slight differences to most, but this turned out to be pretty dang good.

7 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. powdered milk
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil (I used 1/4 c. canola and 1/4 c. olive)
1 c. honey
1 T. vanilla
Combine oats, powdered milk and cinnamon.
Add oil, honey and vanilla. Stir well.
Add any mix-ins and toss.
Bake on a jelly roll pan at 200 degrees for 2 hours (your home will smell delicious). No need to stir while baking- just stir after you take it out of the oven and let sit until it dries and hardens.
Mix-in ideas: slivered almonds, macadamias, pecans, dried cranberries, dried cherries, coconut, flaxseed, pepitas, or any other tasty morsel.

I added slivered almonds and coconut (I think I tricked my sister who doesn't like coconut, but she ate it and liked it- and doesn't know it's in there until now!) I think I may try to sneak in a few more grains next time.
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Baked Potato Pizza

You may recognize this picture from my blog. When Ryan and I were in Duluth, MN we ate at a pizza place and were introduced to Baked Potato Pizza. It was SO good! Last night I decided to recreate it, and honestly, I like it even better! Anyone up for something new, I definitely suggest trying it. Ryan and my brother, who came over to eat it with us, devoured it as well!

Pizza Crust (this is SUPER easy):
1 T yeast
1 C warm water
1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt
2 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 C flour

Mix together, knead with hands, let rise 10 mins. Roll out onto pizza pan. Poke holes in it with a fork. (The recipe says to now let it pre-cook for 5 mins, but I actually let mine cook for about 20 mins--until it was just starting to be golden) @ 375.

When the crust is ready, put a layer of mashed potatoes (I made my own red mashed patatoes,which I would suggest, but I suppose you could just use boxed mashed potatoes). On top of that, put whatever baked potatoe toppings you like--I suggest broccoli, tomato, bacon, and lots of cheese! With all the toppings on bake it again for another 15-20 mins (or until you feel like the crust is ready/the topping are warm).

Serve with sour cream.

It's SO good you guys! So much so, that I almost want to make it for dinner again tonight!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is from my collection of 'ward cookbooks'.
This soup is yummy and flavorful. It is similar to the Olive Garden's version.
(not that great of a picture, I apologize)

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausage
2 lg. russet baking potatoes - sliced in half, then in 1/4 inch slices and then quartered
1 lg. onion, chopped
6 slices cooked bacon crumbled (or bacon bits)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. kale, chopped well
1 qt. water
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Cook sausage in a 300 degree oven. Bake appox 30 minutes, drain on paper towels and cut into slices. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water and garlic in pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt and pepper (to taste) and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat. Add kale and cream. Heat through and serve.
Makes 8 servings.

**If I were to make this again, I would add less kale. I would also cook the kale longer, to soften it more.

Perfect for a chilly fall day! Enjoy!