Friday, May 31, 2013

Peaches'n Cream Oven-Puffed Pancake

Oh, what a treat this was!  This is perfect for a nice breakfast, to replace the usual cold cereal or granola bars.  The pancake is fluffy and it melts in your mouth.  The peaches give it just a hint of tart, while the pecans offer a beautiful and delicious crunch.  Super delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For pancake:
-1/2 cup flour
-2 Tbs sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup milk
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 Tbs margarine
-1 (15 oz) can sliced peaches in extra light syrup, drained, reserving 3 Tbs liquid for the sauce
-1/4 cup chopped pecans
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
For sauce:
-1/4 cup sour cream
-2 Tbs powdered sugar
-3 Tbs reserved peach liquid
-1/8 tsp almond extract
Directions:
Preheat oven at 425 F.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, milk and eggs until smooth (do not overmix!)
Once the oven is hot, place margarine in 9 inch pie pan.  Melt it in the oven for about 4 minutes or until it sizzles.  Remove carefully from the oven and tilt to coat the entire bottom of pie pan.  Pour pancake mixture immediately into hot pan.
Top with sliced peaches and sprinkle evenly with pecans and cinnamon.
Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients until smooth.
Cut pancake into wedges and top with some cream sauce.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a Pillsbury cookbook.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

So light, quick and delicious!  I served ours with some white rice, but brown rice would do just fine.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cubed
-1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
-3 Tbs vegetable oil, divided
For marinade:
-3 green onions, cleaned and sliced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1 Tbs soy sauce
-2 Tbs sugar
-1 tsp cornstarch
-1 tsp salt
-1 Tbs chicken broth
-1 Tbs sesame oil
For sauce:
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-1/3 cup water
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-2 Tbs water
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-1 Tbs hoisin sauce
To garnish:
-toasted sesame seeds
Directions:
Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well.  Add the chicken and stir to coat evenly.  Let it sit on your kitchen counter for about 15 minutes.
Mix the 1 Tbs cornstarch with the 1/3 cup water.  Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs of the vegetable oil in large skillet.  Add the broccoli, garlic, ginger, 2 Tbs water, salt and pepper.  Stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp.  Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 Tbs oil.  Add the chicken and everything else that was in that bowl.  Add the pepper flakes too.  Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through and is golden brown.  Add the hoisin sauce.  Return the broccoli and stir in the reserved cornstarch-water mixture.  Bring to a boil.
Serve hot over rice and garnish with sesame seeds.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tropical Granita

This is such a refreshing treat!  It's also very healthy as it's only a mixture of fresh fruit, juice and honey.  Yum!  Granita is pretty much Italian ice.  Usually there is sugar in it, but not in this version.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 cup orange juice
-1 pineapple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
-1 Tbs lime juice
-1/4 cup honey
-2 bananas, peeled and broken into large chunks
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Cover and puree until smooth.
Pour into 9x13 dish.  Place flat into your freezer.
Scrape the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes to break up the ice crystals.  Continue this process for at least 3 hours until the whole mixture is frozen.  Scoop into serving dishes.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Sweet Baby Ray's Chicken

Right on time for the Memorial Day Weekend, here's another awesome barbecue recipe for you.  I love that this is done in the slow cooker.  I made this last Sunday and the house smelled heavenly when we returned from Church.  The sauce is super awesome and there is a little kick to it, which, as usual, scores high for me. The chicken melts in your mouth, of course.  Very yummy dish!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-2 cups Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce
-1/4 cup vinegar
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
Coat your slow cooker generously with cooking spray.  Lay the chicken on the bottom.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 hours.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kiwi Vanilla Cupcakes with Kiwi Buttercream Frosting

These cupcakes are so refreshing.  They're sweet, but not too sweet as there is that hint of tang from the kiwi.  The cupcakes are nice and fluffy, and the frosting is refreshing.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
-3 kiwis, divided
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 egg
-2 egg whites
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp sea salt
For the frosting:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
-3/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-mashed kiwis, what is left from the cupcakes
-a pinch of sea salt
For topping:
-1 kiwi, peeled, sliced (cut each slice in half)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
Peel the kiwis and mash them well with a fork (try not to have any big chunks).  Set aside.
Cream butter with sugar.  Then add the egg and egg whites, one at a time.  Mix well.  Add the milk and vanilla.  Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix well.  Add the baking soda and sea salt.  Stir in 1/3 cup of the mashed kiwis.
Pour mixture evenly into prepared cupcake pan.  Bake in preheated oven for abut 25 minutes or until golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely.
Make the frosting by creaming the butter with powdered sugar.  Add vanilla, leftover mashed kiwis and sea salt.  Mix until nice and smooth.  Pipe over cooled cupcakes.  Decorate with half of slice of kiwi.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken

Yes, it truly melts in your mouth!  So, so, so good!  My mother in law shared a link for this recipe on FB and I knew I had to try it.  So glad I did!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 large chicken breasts, cut in half
-1 cup mayonnaise
-2 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
-1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Place chicken breast halves onto baking dish.
Mix remaining ingredients and spread over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mashed Potatoes with Gruyere and Dijon

I recently received a beautiful piece of Gruyere cheese.  I wanted to use it in a recipe, so I went searching.  I came across this recipe from Rachael Ray and thought to give it a try.  Good thing, because it turned out real nice.  It's a different take on regular mashed potatoes and it takes the taste buds to a different level.  Very yummy!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
-1/2 cup milk or half-n-half
-1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere (Swiss is a good substitute)
-1 Tbs Dijon mustard
-salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Boil the potatoes until fork tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain and return to hot pan.  Mash well, then stir in the milk until creamy.  Add the cheese.  Mix well.  Add the Dijon and give it another good stir.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Banana Cupcakes with White Chocolate Macademia Frosting

Ok, I'll admit that I'm addicted to Food Network.  :)  One of the shows I like to watch is Cupcake Wars.  I'm in awe at what those bakers can create in such a short amount of time.  And, yes, I drool over their creations and wish to be one of the judges.  Well, this past week we celebrated a special birthday in my family.   It was the perfect occasion for trying out one of the recipes from Cupcake Wars.  I'm so glad I had this chance because these turned out way, way better than any cupcakes I made before.  The cake was nice and moist, while the frosting was to die for.  And now I can say that I've tasted one of the famous cupcakes from the show. :)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For cupcakes:
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups flour
-2 Tbs banana cream pudding mix (leave it dry)
-1 3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1 ripe banana, mashed
For frosting:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2 cups powdered sugar
-1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 cup milk
For topping:
-1/2 cup macademia nuts, roasted and chopped
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a 12 cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour, pudding mix and baking powder.  Pour in the buttermilk and stir until batter is smooth.  Add the mashed banana and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.  Beat butter and powdered sugar until well incorporated.  Add the melted white chocolate, vanilla and milk.  Mix until light and fluffy.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with macademia nuts.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spring Chicken Salad

This salad is so nice and refreshing.  It's also quite filling thanks to the red potatoes in it.  I love the dressing, which is quite simple but very flavorful.  If you do not like or don't have potatoes on hand, you can substitute them for hard boiled eggs.  Whatever you prefer, enjoy this delicious salad!
Ingredients:
-1/2 lb small red-skinned potatoes, halved
-salt
-2 Tbs chives
-2 Tbs white wine vinegar
-1/4 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
-pepper
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size chunks
-about 2 cups chunks cooked chicken (either rotisserie, leftover or refrigerated precooked)
-1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
-1 Roma tomato, cut into chunks
4-5 radishes, cut into wedges
-1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
Directions:
Place potatoes in a small pot, cover with water, season with salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and boil until fork tender, about 6 minutes.  Drain and cool.
Meanwhile, pulse the chives, vinegar, yogurt, salt and pepper in a food processor.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and pulse to make a thick dressing.
In a large salad bowl, toss the romaine, potatoes, chicken, cucumber, tomato, radishes and bell pepper.  Add the dressing and toss until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baked Parmesan Fries

This is just a nice alternative to regular french fries.  I really like the spices on them, then the nice addition of sea salt and Parmesan cheese.  Very tasty!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-about 1 lb red or Yukon potatoes
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp or more sea salt
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into fries.  Place them on prepared sheet.  Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with seasoning, garlic powder and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly, then arrange the fries in single layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Toss and bake for 5-10 more minutes or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and season with sea salt and cheese.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Easy Biscuits

Sometimes you want some hot bread, but you either didn't plan for it or your time is very limited.  These biscuits are perfect for just that.  They're quick, easy and delicious.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 Tbs margarine
-2 cups self-rising flour
-3/4 cup buttermilk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 F.  Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Pulse margarine and flour in food processor until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the buttermilk and pulse until smooth dough forms.  Roll the dough out and cut it into biscuits.  Place onto prepared sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until slightly browned.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Skinny Pineapple Whip

This is so refreshing!  The pineapple shines without being overpowered by too many additions.  Very yummy, healthy and tasty treat.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped OR 7 cups frozen chopped pineapple
-1 cup almond milk
-1 Tbs honey
Directions:
Freeze pineapple chunks for a few hours.  Place them, in batches, in food processor.  Pulse until pulverized.
Place all the pulverized pineapple in the food processor.  Add the milk and honey, and process until a frozen sorbet consistency is achieved.
Place in large plastic bag and pipe into serving dishes.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Chops

Easy and delicious, another meal that's perfect for those crazy busy days.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2.5 lbs boneless pork chops
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup ketchup
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 Tbs pepper
Directions:
Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add the pork chops.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chops.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Honey Barbecue Chicken Wings

Get your napkins ready for this finger licking treat!  The sauce is insanely good and addictive.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For the wings:
-about 4 lbs chicken wings
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-cooking spray
For the sauce:
-1 cup hickory and brown sugar barbecue sauce
-1/2 cup honey
-2 Tbs ketchup
-2 Tbs Louisiana hot sauce
-4 Tbs butter
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
Preheat the oven at 375 F.
Mix the salt, garlic, sugar, paprika, pepper and cayenne.  Season the wings with the mixture on both sides.
Coat a cookie sheet with a generous spray of cooking spray.  Place the seasoned wings in a single layer on a the cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Carefully, flip the wings over and bake for 20 more minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan.  Simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes or until nice, bubbly and ready to cover the wings. :)
Once the wings are done baking, pour the sauce over them.  Place the wings back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toffee Pretzel Bark

Warning: these are highly addictive!  I mean it!  Once you taste one, you just can't stop eating them!  They are a little salty, sweet, crunchy.. the perfect treat.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-8 oz mini pretzels
-2 sticks unsalted butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the pretzels all over it.
In a small sauce pan, mix the butter and sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Let it bubble, without stirring, for 3 minutes.
Pour mixture immediately over the pretzels.  Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and top immediately with the chocolate chips.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then spread the now melted chocolate evenly all over.
Pop it in the fridge for about 1 hour or until hardened.  Break into pieces and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Cups

Simple, quick, delicious and highly addictive!  These are an amazing, amazing appetizer or snack.  They're perfect for those lazy days when you just want to serve some yummy finger food to enjoy while watching some TV or something.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (12 oz) can grands golden layers buttermilk biscuits
-1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/3 cup mayonnaise
-2 Tbs real bacon bits
-1 tsp dried minced onion
-24-28 pickled jalapeno slices, drained and dried on paper towels
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Separate each biscuit into two rounds, then tear each round into halves.  Press each round in bottom and up side of each of 24-28 ungreased mini muffin cups.
In a small bowl, combine the chilies, cheese, mayo, bacon bits and onion.  Spoon equally in each cup.  Top with 1 jalapeno slice.
Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Let them sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove onto serving platter. Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Pillsbury recipe.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Apples, No Pie, a la Mode

This is an insanely scrumptious dessert, without the calories of a crust!  It is so, so, so good!  My family and I look for excuses to make this again and again; it is that good!  It's very quick to make, so be sure to have all of the ingredients close by. :)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 Tbs butter
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-3-4 (depending on size) Golden Delicious apples, quartered, cored and cut in large chunks
-2 tsp lemon juice
-3 Tbs brown sugar
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-vanilla ice cream
-whipped cream
Directions:
Melt butter in large skillet.  Add the ginger and apples.  Pour the lemon juice on top and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook for 2 more minutes.
Spoon hot apples into dessert dishes.  Top with ice cream and whipped cream.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and enjoy!  YUM!
Slightly adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chicken Pie

This is chicken pie, not pot pie. :)  It is super simple, yet so delicious.  Real comfort food.  I served ours with some lemony broccoli and cauliflower, but any veggies on the side would be a great addition.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
-seasoned salt, garlic powder, pepper, to taste
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
-1 cup self-rising flour
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 cup margarine, melted
-1 cup buttermilk
Directions:
Boil the chicken, then cut into chunks.  Layer it on ungreased 9x13 dish.  Season with a little seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Combine the broth and soup in a medium saucepan, over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Pour soup mixture oven chicken.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the pepper.  Stir in the melted margarine and the buttermilk.  Pour in small dollops all over the casserole.  Smooth the top, but do NOT stir.
Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the crust is nice and brown.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Trisha Yearwood recipe.

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