Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken

This dish is so amazingly delicious!  It's spicy (which I love), salty, savory, and simply delicious.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into small chunks
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-2 tsp sesame oil
-3-4 green onions, minced
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
-2 Tbs soy sauce
-2 tsp sugar
-1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
Directions:
Heat sesame oil in large saute pan or wok.  Toss the chicken chunks into cornstarch.  Add chicken to hot sesame oil.  Stir fry for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from heat, leaving the juices in the pan.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl.  Mix well.
To the pan add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger.  Stir fry for about 15  seconds.  Add vinegar mixture to pan.  Return chicken and coat with sauce.  Stir in peanuts.  Cook for about 5 more minutes.  Serve hot over rice.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:
-4 (4 oz each) boneless pork chops
-2 tsp garlic powder
-2 tsp seasoned salt
-1/4 cup flour
-1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
-1 egg
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
-1/2 cup milk
-1/3 cup apple juice
-8 oz sliced mushrooms (fresh, not canned)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a shallow dish combine flour, bread crumbs, 1 tsp garlic salt and 1 tsp seasoned salt.  In another shallow bowl beat the egg and mix with 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp seasoned salt.  Heat olive oil in large saute pan.  Dip each pork chop first into egg mixture then into flour mixture.  Place in hot oil.  Saute for about 5 minutes per side, or until breading is golden brown.
Remove chops from saute pan and place into 9x13 baking pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven.  Cook for 30 minutes.
In the last 5 minutes of baking, mix soup, milk, juice and mushrooms.  Remove aluminum foil and pour soup mixture over chops.  Cover again with foil and bake for an extra 20-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Costco Pilaf

Such a simple, quick and delicious dinner!  I call this the Costco Pilaf, because I was shopping there a few years ago and this cute old lady gave me a sample of this.  I instantly loved it!  I loved it even more when I learned how easy it is to make.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-1 can (12.5 oz) chicken in water, drained
-1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
-1 cup minute rice
-1 cup water
Directions:
Mix everything in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and cover.  Cook for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Glazed Poppy Seed Cake

This cake is simply delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For the cake:
-1 super moist yellow cake mix
-1 box instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
-1 Tbs poppy seeds
-1/2 orange juice
-1/2 cup oil
-1 cup sour cream
-4 eggs or 1 cup egg beaters
For the glaze:
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup orange juice
-1/2 cup butter
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray bundt pan with baking non-stick spray.
Mix batter ingredients until nice and smooth.  Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
While cake is cooling start making the glaze by bringing all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan.  Brush the bottom of cake with warm glaze.
Place wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.  Place cake on wire rack.  Brush rest of glaze all over the cake.  Let it cool for at least 1 hour.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finger Licking Chicken Drumsticks

I guess the title of this recipe says it all.  It's seriously soooo good!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/3 cup vegetable oil, for frying
-7-8 chicken drumsticks
-salt and pepper
-2 onions, chopped
-8 garlic cloves, minced
-3 Tbs tomato paste
-1 tsp flour
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 cup red grape juice
Directions:
Heat oil in large sauce pan.  Score drumsticks and season with salt and pepper.  Add to hot oil and cook until brown on both sides.  Remove drumstick from pan.  In the same pan add onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for an extra minute.  Add tomato paste, flour, broth and juice.  Stir to mix well.  Return drumsticks to pan.  Cover and lower the heat.  Simmer, turning chicken once or twice for about 15 minutes.  Serve with some mashies and vegetables.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cran-Apple Granola Bars

This is a quick and easy recipe, with delicious results.  It's also a great way to use my food storage .  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 1/2 cups quick oats
-1 cup sliced almonds
-1 egg, slightly beaten
-2/3 cup butter, melted
-1/2 cup honey
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup sunflower kernels
-1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
-1/2 cup dried apples, crumbled
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350  F.  Spray baking sheet with PAM.  Spread oars and almonds on sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix egg, butter, honey and vanilla.  Add sunflower kernels, coconut, apples, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon.  Stir well.  Stir in oatmeal mixture.  On a baking sheet sprayed with PAM, spread the mixture as evenly as possible.  Bake at 350 for 13-18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut into bars and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slow Cooker Cabbage Beef Soup

I love slow cooker meals.  You get everything in at the beginning of the day and enjoy a ready, yummy dinner in the evening.  This soup is very flavorful and simply delicious.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 large head cabbage, cleaned and roughly chopped
-2 (16 oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed well and drained
-6 cups beef broth
-2 (14 oz) cans tomato sauce
-1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
-salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Spray saute pan with PAM.  Add onions and beef.  Cook until beef is well browned and crumbled.  Add mixture to crockpot.  Add rest of ingredients.  Mix well, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.  Stir well, pour into bowls and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Persian Chicken

While it might not look like much from the picture, this dish is absolutely divine!  Such incredible flavors!  I absolutely love the combination of the subtle cinnamon with the spiciness of the red pepper flakes and the crunchiness of the walnuts.  Amazing!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
-1/3 cup chopped onion
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-2 Tbs flour
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 Tbs rice vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine too)
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
Directions:
Heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned.  Remove chicken onto a plate.  In the same saute pan add onion and garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add walnuts and cook for a minute, or until toasted and fragrant.  Add flour, cinnamon and pepper flakes.  Stir well.  Add broth and mix well.  Return chicken to pan.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through (turn chicken on the other side half way through).  Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce thickened, add vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Orange Chocolate Mousse

Yes, I love orange and I love chocolate...  This is a must try mousse!  It was beyond delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-8 oz dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 1/2 Tbs orange extract
-1 cup whipping cream
Directions:
Melt chocolate.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, melted chocolate, sugar and orange extract until light and fluffy. 
Beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks.  Fold the whipping cream into the chocolate mixture.  Mix well.  Pour mixture into serving bowls and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Orange and Oat Cookies

So I'm trying to lose weight, and what do I do?  I bake cookies!!!  I guess my sweet tooth was in dire need of sugar today...Well, I'm happy I did though because these are some of the most amazing cookies ever!  There is so much flavor packed in such a tiny cookie!  You have to try them!  Yum!
Ingredients:
-2 cups brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
-1/2 cup shortening
-3 Tbs orange juice, pulp free
-1/2 tsp orange extract
-2 eggs
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 cups quick oats
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper (this batch makes about 43 cookies!).
In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar, butter, shortening, orange juice, extract and eggs.  Once done, add the flour, baking soda, salt and oats.  Blend well.  Fold in walnuts and coconut.  Scoop dough onto cookie sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Broccoli and Burger Pizza

This is quick, yummy and a winner with little picky eaters!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 packet pizza dough (or homemade pizza dough)
-6 oz marinara or traditional sauce
-8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/2 cup steamed broccoli
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a non stick saute pan, cook the ground beef.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Spread the dough on the baking sheet.  Top the dough with the sauce, cheese, cooked beef and steamed broccoli.  Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.  Cut and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr. from Food Network

Friday, February 11, 2011

Savarine-1st version

I have been craving these for way too long!  I found a lot of recipes, every one of them slightly different than the others and I kind of combined them together.  I was also skeptical at the use of bread crumbs, but oh, boy, were they good!!!  The down part is that this recipe only makes 4 of them.  Enjoy!
 Ingredients:
-5 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
-5 Tbs sugar
-5 Tbs plain bread crumbs
-1 Tbs all purpose flour
For the syrup
-1 cups water
-3/4 cup sugar
-1-2 tsp rum extract
-1 tsp vanilla extract
To decorate:
-whipped cream
-about a tsp of your favorite jelly (I used cherry)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray 4 ramekin dishes with baking spray.
Beat the egg whites until foamy.  In a large mixer bowl, beat the yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes white.  Add bread crumbs, flour and eggs whites.  Pour mixture evenly in the prepared baking dishes.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
While they're baking, make the syrup by mixing the water and sugar into small sauce pan.  Place on low heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  Once cooled, add rum and vanilla extracts.
After the savarine are baked, remove from ramekin dishes onto a baking sheet.  Pour the syrup on top of them.  Be very generous.  I used about half the syrup.  Then let them cool completely.
Right before eating, cut the top off and fill with whipped cream.  Gently spread a bit of the jelly on the top.  Enjoy!
ps: check out the 2nd version too!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken Shaorma

My family in Romania has been raving about this dish for quite some time now, so I had to try it.  It actually comes from the Middle East and it's basically a stuffed tortilla.  It's pretty good.  The white sauce seems to be the key.  I will not give particular measurements to the filling, as that is up to how much you want to eat.  The sauce does have measurements,although that could also be according to your taste.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-burrito size tortillas
-cooked chicken breast (it could be grilled, fried, boiled etc)
-shredded cabbage
-french fries
-sliced pickles
-garlic sauce (recipe to follow)
-ketchup
Garlic sauce:
-1 cup sour cream
-3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
-salt, to taste
-ground white pepper, to taste
Directions:
Warm up a tortilla.  Fill it with chicken, cabbage, fries, pickles, garlic sauce and ketchup.  Wrap it up and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slow Cooker Tomato Parmesan Soup

This soup is absolutely AMAZING!   My husband doesn't like soup very much.  With this one though, he had TWO bowls!!!  And he kept on saying how delicious it was.  Now, that says something, right?  I like a little heat in my food, so I used canned tomatoes with jalapenos.  They're kind of hard to find, so if you want to have a little heat in your soup, just add about a teaspoon or two of your favorite hot sauce.  If  you don't like spicy food, just use diced tomatoes without anything in them.  I served this soup with my foccacia.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 (14 oz ) cans diced tomatoes with jalapenos
-1 cup finely diced onion, or a handful dehydrated onion
-1 tsp dried oregano
-4 cups chicken broth
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 cup butter
-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-2 cups half and half, or whole milk, warmed
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
Directions:
Add tomatoes, onions, chicken broth and oregano to slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 4 hours.  As the 4 hours come to and end, you need to make a roux this way: melt the butter in a skillet over low heat.  Add flour and mix very well for about 3-5 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup of the hot soup from the crockpot.  Mix well.  Slowly add 3 more cups of the soup and mix well until smooth.  Add mixture to slow cooker.  Stir and add Parmesan, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for another hour.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:
-1 bag baby spinach, cooked and chopped
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
-1 cup mayonnaise
-1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
-3 green onions, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 cup shredded mozzarella
-a dash of Tabasco sauce
-1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
-salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add mayonnaise and beat until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour mixture into 8x8 baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until top is brown and dip is bubbly.  Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, crostini or veggies.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a Paula Deen recipe.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Marinade for Chicken Breasts

This is a great marinade for chicken.  The flavor is amazing!  
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
-2-3 tsp dried oregano
-1 1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
-2 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper, to taste
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
Directions:
Combine all spices into large Ziploc bag.  Close bag and shake very well, until well mixed.  Add chicken to bag.  Close and shake again, making sure that each piece of chicken is well coated with marinade.  Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 6 hours.  Grill chicken and enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

This is such an amazing salad.  Super easy and soooo tasty!  It's my mother in law's recipe.  I just love it.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 head broccoli, washed and cut in bite size pieces
-1 head cauliflower, washed and cut in bite size pieces
-1 cup dried cranberries
-3-4 Tbs ranch dressing
Directions:
Mix everything together and enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Quick, easy and delicious!  I LOVE these little cups!  They're way better than the Reese's ones.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
-1 cup peanut butter
-1/2 powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Melt chocolate chips.  In a large bowl, mix melted chocolate and rest of ingredients.  Mix very well.  Pour into small baking cups.  Refrigerate until set.  Makes about 30 cups.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Orange Tortilla Soup

This soup was really yummy.  The flavors were mild and perfectly harmonized.  It was also more than welcome on this frigid weather that we keep on getting.:)
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 large garlic clove, minced
-2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), diced
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 cup water
-1 1/2 cups orange juice (pulp free)
-1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
-1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp chili powder
Toppings: shredded Cheddar, sour cream and tostidos chips
Directions:
Heat oil in large saucepan.  Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Add the rest of ingredients and bring to boil.  Lower the heat to low and let is simmer for about 20 minutes.  Top with suggested toppings or with your own.  Enjoy!
Adapted from here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

My wonderful husband made these for us as a treat.  They were delicious!  We ate most of them in one sitting...:)  Yeah, we love cookies.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup margarine
-1/2 cup shortening
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 egg
-1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-1/2 cup shredded coconut
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, margarine and shortening.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg.  Blend well.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut. 
Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheets.  Cook in preheated oven for 9 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool for 1 minute, if you have that much patience and enjoy!:)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

I LOVE this dish!  I just couldn't stop eating it.  It's that good.:)  I have never had grits until I made this dish.  My husband, being from the South, had them growing up but was not too fond of them.  Well, this dish made him change his opinion about grits for ever!  He loved it too!  This dish was perfect with my lemon broccoli.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3/4 cup instant grits
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-3 Tbs margarine, divided
-1 lb large shrimp,peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-2 large garlic cloves, minced
-a pinch of cayenne pepper
-1 Tbs lemon juice
Directions:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, over high heat, covered.  Uncover and slowly whisk the grits in, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 5 minutes).  Stir in the cheese and 1 Tbs margarine.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 Tbs margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne pepper.  Cook, tossing until the shrimp are pink, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 Tbs water and the lemon juice.  Stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the grits among 4 plates or shallow bowls, and top with shrimp and sauce.  Enjoy!
Adapted from the Food Network Magazine

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