Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Salmon Chowder

This truly is a bowl of absolute goodness!  It's hearty, quick and super delicious!  The leeks are soft and sweet, combining perfectly with all the other delicious ingredients, while the salmon gives it that perfect touch.  Great, great dish!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 Tbs salted butter
-2 leeks, cleaned well and finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp celery salt
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 Tbs flour
-4 cups chicken broth
-1 lb salmon, skinless, boneless, cut into chunks
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
-1 Tbs dried chives
Directions:
In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the leeks, garlic, celery salt, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and flour and give it a good stir.  Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring once in a while.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Toss in the salmon chunks and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cream, corn and chives. Simmer for a couple more minutes.
Laddle into bowls and enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is easy and delicious, perfect for a simple dinner.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 slices bacon
-2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-1 tsp seasoned salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-4 green onions, finely chopped
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon for only 3 minutes per side.  Yes, it will not be cooked through.  Remove onto plate lined with paper towels and let it cool.
Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast in half.  Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken until nice and thin.
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, seasoned salt, garlic powder and chopped green onion.  Mix very well.
Place a generous portion of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each chicken breast.  Roll the chicken carefully, then wrap a piece of the partially cooked bacon around the breast.  Place in baking pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Leave the chicken in, but the off the oven and switch it to high broil.  Broil the chicken for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Regina's Cheesecake Dreams

My friend, Regina, has been making these delicious gems for like forever!  I absolutely LOVE them! They are super moist and literally melt in your mouth!  Regina's been very nice and shared her recipe with me.  They're actually quite easy to make.  Enjoy these pieces of heaven!
Ingredients:
-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
-1 cup flour
-1/2 cup walnut topping (the really finely chopped walnuts in the baking section)
-1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
-8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-3 Tbs milk
-1 Tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.  Set aside.
In a bowl, mic the brown sugar, flour and walnuts.  Add the melted butter and mix until nice and crumbly.  Save 1/3 cup of the crumbly mixture.  Place the rest in the prepared pan.  Press it gently into the pan, on the bottom.  Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar in your mixer until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients. Pour over hot crust.  Sprinkle on top with the saved 1/3 cup of the crumbly mixture. Bake for 25 more minutes.
Remove from oven and place (in the pan) on wire rack.  Cool completely.  Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe courtesy of Regina G.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cheddar-Zucchini Rice

This is a very nice side dish, a beautiful and delicious variation to the famous broccoli rice au gratin. It is creamy, cheesy and yummy.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 cup uncooked white rice
-2 cups grated zucchini (if frozen, thaw and squeeze most of the liquid out)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:
Combine the broth and rice in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is nice and tender.  Stir once in a while.
Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.  Mix until well incorporated.  Serve and enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Slow Cooker BBQ Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken

This is super easy to put together and the results are quite delicious!  I served ours with some rice and veggies, but mashies, pierogis, ravioli and other sides would go just as well.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken things, bone-in, skin-on
-1 cup bbq sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays)
-2 Tbs brown sugar
-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Directions:
Coat your slow cooker with some cooking spray.  Add the chicken, skin side up.  In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread

What a great combination of flavors!  You can use fresh zucchini or the one you froze over the summer, when it was so abundant.  If you're using frozen, make sure to squeeze all that liquid out. This bread is absolutely amazing! Everything blends beautifully together.  Enjoy!
This recipe yields two 9x5 loaves
Ingredients:
-4 large eggs
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup milk
-2 lemons
-2 cups grated zucchini
-1 tsp salt
-4 tsp baking powder
-4 cups flour
-2 cups fresh raspberries
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat generously two 9x5 loaf pans with baking spray (the one with flour and butter) on the bottom and up the sides.  Set aside.
In your mixer, cream the eggs and sugar.  Add the oil and mix.  Stir in the milk along with the zest and juice from the lemons.  Add the zucchini and mix well.  Add the salt, baking powder and flour, half of cup at a time.  Lastly, stir in the raspberries.  They will break nicely as you mix, but don't over do it.
Pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and let it cool completely on wire racks.  Slice and enjoy!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Cheesy Pasta Bake with Chicken, Spinach and Tomatoes

Simple, easy and delicious!  If you're pressed for time, you can prepare this in advance, but doing all the prep work necessary before baking.  Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, then bake it according to the directions.  The flavors are absolutely wonderful in this dish.  The cheese is all melted and yummy, while the tomatoes give it that fresh kick.  Really good stuff!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb pasta (any kind you like; I used bow tie this time)
-2 Tbs salted butter
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup milk (don't use lower than 2%)
-1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
-2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
-1 large chicken breast, cooked and cubed OR 2 (12.5 oz each) cans chicken breast in water, drained
-1 large tomato, cored and diced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butte in large saute pan.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes.  Stir in the cream cheese and cook until melted.
Reduce heat and add the sour cream, milk, parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook until cheese is fully melted.
Add the spinach, chicken and tomato.  Mix well.  Toss in the pasta and give it a good stir.
Pour pasta mixture into 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle on top with remaining cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
Remove from oven, let it sit for 5 minutes, scoop onto plates and enjoy!

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