Monday, April 29, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

I have seen this all over FB lately and thought that it looks good.  So, I tried it. :)  The verdict is: yes, it is good!  The combination of sweet and spicy is wonderful and it tastes quite good.  Enjoy!
-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-garlic powder
-chili powder
-1 lb bacon slices
-1 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Generously season breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder.  Roll in half (on the long side) and wrap in bacon slices (about 2 per breast).  Dredge through brown sugar.
Lay in baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, but still moist.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

This is super easy, quick and tasty.  I served ours with some hot French baguette and veggies, but you could serve it with any other side you'd like.  Enjoy!
-1 lb raw shrimp, deveined, peeled, with tails removed
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 Tbs apple juice
-salt and pepper, to taste
-4 Tbs melted butter
-1/2 cup Italian style Panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Combine in a bowl the shrimp, garlic and apple juice.  Pour into an 8x8 baking dish.  Spread out evenly, then season with salt and pepper.
In another small bowl, mix the melted butter with the Panko crumbs until well combined.  Sprinkle the mixture with your hands over the shrimp.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until shrimp is nice and pink.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Healthier Apple Ambrosia

This is a great way to enjoy some fruity dessert without feeling the guilt of the extra calories.  It's a wonderful combination of fresh fruit, orange juice and coconut.  If you feel the need or your fruit is not very sweet, go ahead and add the sugar.  Otherwise, enjoy it without.  Either way, this is a great treat.  Enjoy!
-3 large ripe apples (Gala, Red Delicious, Pink Lady or other types)
-1 cup orange juice
-1 (8 oz) can pineapple tidbits, with juice
-1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
-1/4 cup sugar, optional
Peel and core the apples.  Grate them into a large bowl, using the large-hole side of the grater.  Add the rest of the ingredients, including sugar, if using.  Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Scoop into serving dishes.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vegetable Soup

I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods, but around here, the cold weather seems to be quite comfortable and refuses to leave.  So, I still have soups and stews on my mind.  This soup is very, very good, hearty, filling, simple, super quick and absolutely delicious.  I like mine with some oyster crackers, but you can leave them out or use other types of crackers or some warm bread.  Enjoy!
-4 cups chicken broth
-3 red potatoes, peeled and diced
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with zesty jalapenos
-1 (10 oz) package frozen baby lima beans
-2 Tbs finely chopped onion or 1 Tbs dehydrated chopped onion
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 (14 oz) can cream-style corn
In a large pot, mix broth, potatoes, tomatoes, beans and onions.  Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the corn and serve.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a Trisha Yearwood recipe.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken and Red Potatoes

Oh, how we loved this dish!  It's simple, hearty and so filling.  The flavors are absolutely amazing too.  What I really liked was that the carrots retained the crunch, which is always a plus for me (I'm not a big fan of mushy carrots).  The potatoes were nice and tender, and the chicken falls off the bone.  The gravy is also delicious.  Yes, we absolutely loved this one.  Enjoy!
-3 Tbs flour
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4 medium red potatoes, peeled (optional) and cut into wedges
-2 cups fresh baby carrots
-1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained
-1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of onion soup, undiluted
-1/4 cup milk (2 %)
-1/2 tsp chicken seasoning
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
Heat oil in large skillet.  Dredge the chicken through flour and brown on both sides in hot oil.
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray (be generous and cover the walls of the dish as well).
Place the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and chilies in prepared slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the soup, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and rosemary.  Pour half of this mixture over the vegetables.  Top with the browned chicken.  pour remaining soup mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peaches and Cream

This is extremely quick and easy.  It's also done with things most people already have in their pantry.  It's a very nice little treat.  Enjoy!
-canned halved peaches, in syrup
-1 cup heavy cream
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tsp powdered sugar
-blackberries or other berries to garnish
Place a couple peach halves in a bowl with some syrup.
Beat cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form.  Scoop some over the peaches.  Top with blackberries or other berries.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Honey Orange Chicken

Here's a different take on a simple chicken dish.  The sauce is a very nice combination of sweet and savory, with the orange juice, honey and ginger mix.  Enjoy!
-2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
-4 Tbs butter, divided
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 medium onion (yellow, red or a combination), sliced
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 cup orange juice
-1/4 cup honey
-1/2 cup ripe pitted olives
-cooked pasta
Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in large skillet.  Add chicken strips and cook until no longer pink.  Sprinkle with salt, paprika and pepper.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
Melt remaining butter in same skillet (do not clean it after chicken!).  Add the onion and cook until tender (about 4 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, nutmeg, orange juice and honey.  Mix well.  Pour mixture over tender onion.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in the olive and reserved chicken.  Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.  Serve over cooked pasta.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

BYU Mint Brownies

Yum, yum, and more yum! :)  I love mint brownies, what can I say.  These were quite a treat, of course.   I made this for one of my children's birthday, instead of a cake.  The said child also doesn't like nuts (no allergies, just plain dislike).  So, to satisfy my love for nuts, I put some on half of the brownies and left the other half alone.  Win-win!  Enjoy!
For the brownies:
-1 cup margarine
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 Tbs honey
-4 eggs
-2 cups sugar
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 Tbs baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
For mint icing:
-5 Tbs margarine
-1 Tbs light corn syrup
-2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp mint extract
-2 drops green food coloring
-2 Tbs milk
For the chocolate frosting:
-1 stick (8 Tbs) unsalted butter
-4 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/3 cup milk
-4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a 9x13 pan with baking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
To make the brownies: melt margarine.  Mix cocoa powder in it.  Allow to cool.  To it, add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt/  Mix well.  Add nuts, if using.
Pour batter into prepared pan and cook in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely.
To make the mint icing: mix margarine with corn syrup and powdered sugar.  Beat until smooth and fluffy.  Add mint extract and food coloring.  Mix well.  Add the milk until smooth.
Pour over cooled brownies.  Place in the freezer for a few minutes, until you're done making the chocolate frosting.
To make the chocolate frosting: melt butter over low heat.  Stir in cocoa powder and milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring.  Remove from the heat.  Add powdered sugar and stir until well incorporated.  Spread warm frosting over cool brownies.
Cool completely in the fridge before cutting.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe found here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

I like Brussels Sprouts.  Maybe it's because I grew up eating so much cabbage.  But I like the taste and the fact that they are filling.  I usually prepare them with bacon, but this time I wanted something different. Searching, I came across this recipe from Alton Brown.  It looked so good.  And yes, it doesn't only look good, it tastes good too.  I love the combination of the sprouts with the butter, the crunchiness of the pecans and the sweetness of the cranberries.  Definitely a winner.  Enjoy!
-1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
-1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
-3 Tbs unsalted butter
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-4 oz coarsely chopped dried cranberries
Slice the sprouts thinly, either using a food processor (the thinnest slicing disk) or manually.  Set aside.
Set a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pecans.  Cook, stirring continually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma, about 2 minutes.  Add the butter and stir to combine.  Once the butter has melted, add the sliced sprouts, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring continually, for about 6 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat, stir in the cranberries, and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe courtesy of Alton Brown.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Tomato and Mushroom Chicken

This is another great dish for those very busy days.  The flavors are amazing and they combine perfectly.  I served ours on some eggs noodles, but any type of pasta or even rice would go great with this.
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos
-1 Tbs garlic powder
-2 Tbs soy sauce
-1 Tbs dry mustard
-1 Tbs water
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
Coat slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place chicken in slow cooker.
Mix tomatoes, garlic powder, soy sauce and mustard.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Mix water and cornstarch until smooth.  Pour over chicken.  Add the drained mushrooms.  Cook uncovered on high for 10 minutes.  Serve over pasta or rice.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham, Black Bean and Corn Chowder

I love this type of dish, where you throw everything in the slow cooker and have a nice meal waiting for you at the end of a long day.  You could stir in some sour cream in your bowl, if you want to, but the flavors are so amazing in this chowder that I don't think you'll need that.  Enjoy!
-1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
-2 cups cubed ham
-1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/2 (005 oz) envelope dry onion soup mix
-1 1/2 chili powder
-1 cup water
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos
-1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
-shredded Cheddar cheese, for topping
Add soup, ham, beans, soup mix, chili powder, water and tomatoes with their juice to the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  Add the corn, cover and cook for 15 more minutes.
Ladle into bowl, top with some cheese and sour cream, if desired, and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pork Stew with Sauerkraut (Tocanita de Porc cu Varza Murata)

This is serious comfort food to me.  It is very easy to make, it's simple, very filling and absolutely delicious.  The pork melts in mouth and the flavors combine perfectly.  I like to serve mine on top of mamaliga, but you could enjoy it with some nice warm bread.  Enjoy!

-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 lb pork shoulder, boneless, cut into chunks
-1 large onion, diced
-2 garlic cloves, sliced
-2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (make sure you rinse it well)
-1 cup crushed tomatoes
-1 bay leaf
-4 cups water
-salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in large non-stick pan.  Add the pork and brown on all sides.  Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic slices and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir in the sauerkraut, tomatoes, bay leaf and the water.  Give it a good stir, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.   Serve hot over mamaliga.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

If you still have some leftover boiled eggs from Easter, this is a great recipe to use them.  There are some great flavors here!  And don't be concerned about the jalapenos in this recipe.  They are seeded, so there's no heat to them.  Enjoy!
-12 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and halved
-1 cup mayonnaise
-1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
-3/4 tsp dry mustard
-1/2 tsp sugar
-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Remove the yolks from the eggs, put them in a large bowl and mash them with the fork.  Add the mayo, vinegar, mustard and sugar.  Mix well.  Stir in the jalapenos and bacon.
Spoon into eggs.  Sprinkle with some paprika and chill until ready to serve.


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