Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

Recipe slightly adapted from Parents Magazine
My name is Misti and I'm a pancake-aholic.  I love warm, fluffy pancakes for breakfast and these pancakes definitely did not disappoint.  They were so light and fluffy, and course, I love them because they have pumpkin in them. I love pancakes!  I love pumpkin!  I love Fall!  That's a lot of love. I hope you love them too.

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 Tbsp lemon juice with enough milk to make a cup; let stand 5 minutes)
1/3 cup canned pumpkin

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Melt 1 Tbsp butter. Whisk in egg, buttermilk, pumpkin and melted butter.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tsp butter and swirl to coat pan.  Spoon batter onto skillet and cook until pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, turn and cook until golden on bottom.  If pancakes brown too quickly, reduce heat to medium.  Serve with berries, syrup or other toppings of your choice.

Check out this sinful version from Two Peas and Their Pod - oh baby! yummmmm!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Squash Cassarole

Recipe from Taste of Home 2005 Annual Recipe Book
Got Squash?

Serves 2-4

2 small yellow summer squash
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise (don't use reduced fat or fat-free mayonnaise for this recipe)
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp crushed cornflakes
1 1/2 tsp butter, melted

In a medium saucepan, combine squash, onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover with water. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes or until squash is crisp-tender. Drain.

In a bowl, beat the egg, mayonnaise, sugar, pepper and remaining salt until blended.  Stir in cheese and squash mixture.  Transfer to a greased 2 cup baking dish.  Toss the cornflakes and butter;  sprinkle over top.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Granola

Recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod adapted from Baking Bites
Oh... my favorite time of year... Fall!  It's almost here!  And so, to celebrate, I made this delicious granola.  My husband loves granola and yogurt for breakfast and I came across this recipe and had to try it. Not only is it delicious, but it makes your house smell absolutely a-mazing! 

5 cups rolled oats
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds*)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.  In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract.  Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated.  They will be moist.  Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and stir.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.  Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas.  Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Serve granola with yogurt, milk, or enjoy plain.

*I found pepitas in the bulk foods section at WinCo

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

adapted very slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Serves 6 as a side dish.

3 large sweet potatoes or yams
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place two rimmed, foil-lined baking sheets in the oven while it preheats and while you prepare the potatoes (about 10 minutes).  Peel the potatoes and slice the potatoes into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips or wedges.  *(They will kind of resemble carrot sticks).  Try to keep the pieces about the same size so they will bake evenly.

Place the potato strips in a ziploc bag or bowl.  Toss the potatoes with the oil.  Add the seasoning and mix until the potatoes are evenly coated.  

Carefully remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and divide the potatoes evenly between the two sheets, taking care that the potatoes are not touching so they bake evenly.  Also, leave any excess oil in the bag or bowl to prevent the potatoes from getting too soggy while they bake.

Bake the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through until they are tender and well-browned. Serve immediately.

Check out this dip from Our Best Bites. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds amazing!

Honey-Lime Dip

6oz container plain, low-fat yogurt
1 T mayo (low cal is fine)
1/2 T honey
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 t cumin
1/8 t oregano
1 t parsley
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t kosher salt
Mix all ingredients until combined.  Chill until ready to use.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

Recipe from Lion House Classics cookbook
1/2 c corn flake crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 ounces dry ranch dressing mix
6 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
26 ounces marinara or spaghetti sauce

In a shallow bowl, combine corn flake crumbs, 1/2 c Parmesan cheese and ranch mix.  Coat both sides of chicken with mix. Place in a 9x13-inch pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Spray tops of chicken with nonstick cooking spray to keep moist.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Just prior to serving, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.  Heat marinara sauce and serve over cooked pasta and chicken.  Serves 6.  

**I found when making this recipe, I usually end up having to throw away some of the breading at the end.  So, instead of wasting it, now I only put a little bit of the breading in the bowl to dip the chicken breasts into and then add more as needed, keeping the rest out of contact with the chicken. The remaining unused breading can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used again later.  When you already have it all made up, it makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coconut Chicken Curry

recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or strips
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika (substitute cayenne pepper if you like the heat)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk, light or regular
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, Italian style
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
Hot cooked Jasmine or brown rice

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Heat oil, curry powder, and paprika in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, until fragrant (but don't let it burn).  Turn the heat up to medium and stir in onions and garlic and cook 7-9 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through or nearly cooked through. (It will continue to simmer in the next step).  Add potatoes, coconut milk, tomatoes (Mel said she lightly crushed the stewed tomatoes with her fingers before adding), tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan and stir to combine.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.  The sauces thickens slightly upon standing, but is great served piping hot (and a bit thinner), too.  Serve with Jasmine rice (or your favorite rice) and garnish with cilantro, if desired.  

**Mel also added that often she will make the dish right up to the step where you are supposed to let it simmer for 40 minutes.  At that point, she pours it all into a crockpot and lets it sit at low heat for 4-5 hours to finish cooking.  She said she just likes to do it that way sometimes to be able to fix it earlier in the day and avoid all the chaos that inevitably accompanies trying to get dinner ready with kids clamoring for your attention at dinnertime.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Zucchini Bread or Cake

recipe from my Mom
There are so many wonderful recipes for zucchini bread and cake out there.  I'm not claiming this one to be superior to any... it's just the one my Mom gave me and I like it.  It is more of the spice cake zucchini bread variety than the chocolate zucchini bread recipe that is also out there.   If my husband could, he would have me add chocolate chips every time I make this bread, but I do like just the bread in all its delicious spicy glory sometimes.  This recipe can be used to make bread, or it is also delicious as a cake frosted with cream cheese frosting as well.  

**Makes 2 loaves or a 9x13 cake

1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar (packed)
1 c canola oil
3 eggs
2 c grated zucchini
3 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c nuts (if desired)

In a mixer, beat sugars, oil, and eggs until fluffy.  Stir in zucchini and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and combine.  Pour batter into 2 bread pans or a 9x13 baking dish  and bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Check center of loaf with a toothpick at about 45 minutes.  If toothpick comes out clean, bread is done.  I have found that loaves take closer to the hour time and a 9x13 cake takes closer to 45 minutes to finish baking.  

*I have also played around with this recipe to try to make it a little more friendly on the hips and here is a variation I have had success with.

3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c applesauce
3 eggs
2 c grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
2 c white flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder

Same process as above.  

No-Bake Cookies

recipe from my Mom
I know probably everyone out there has their own favorite no-bake cookie recipe.  But, for the sake of organizing my own recipes and posting some of my family favorites, I could not pass this one up - especially when the craving came for these cookies the other day.  They are quick, easy, and perfect for when you just need a little chocolate to make the world a better place... tell me you've had days like that too.

2 c sugar
1 stick butter (do not substitute margarine here or your cookies will not set up well!)
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 c milk
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk.  Stir frequently and heat to boiling.  As soon as mixture is boiling with bubbles rolling across the entire surface, set timer and continue to boil for one minute. Don't allow them to boil any less or more than a minute or your cookies will either not set up or will be too dry, respectively.  Immediately remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla.  

Spoon into small circles on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and set aside to set up.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

recipe adapted from Deals to Meals

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and Pepper
1 small onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tarragon
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c cold water
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 c cream

Melt butter in skillet.  Add chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle onion, garlic and tarragon over chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.  Whisk together flour and water until smooth.  Pour over chicken.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes until mixture thickens.  Stir in cream, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until mixture just starts to bubble.  Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chunky Monkey Pancakes

recipe from Our Best Bites

These are a frequent request of my husband.  He LOVES them.  They taste a lot like banana bread pancakes and of course are a kid-pleaser with a few chocolate chips sprinkled around.  I find that these cook a lot better if you keep them pretty small.   A yummy, fun Saturday morning treat!  

1 1/2 c flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 large or extra large egg
2 small or medium ripe bananas
1/4 c mini chocolate chips (or regular chips roughly chopped) tossed with 2 tsp flour (This helps to keep the chips suspended throughout the batter instead of sinking to the bottom.)
cooking spray or butter for griddle

1 c maple syrup
1/2 c peanut butter

*As a substitute for buttermilk, place 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar in a 1 1/2 c measuring cup and then fill the remainder with milk.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow acid to sour the milk.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until moistened and combined.  Place bananas in a bowl and roughly mash with a fork.  Fold into batter.  Add the chocolate chips that have been tossed with flour and stir.

For syrup, heat peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Add maple syrup and gently whisk to combine.  Heat in the microwave for another 30 seconds, whisk, and then set aside.  

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray or butter and pour pancake batter onto griddle.  Use 1/4 c for large pancakes (4-6")  or 2 Tbsp for kid-sized ones (2-3").  Wait until bubbles form and edges are set and then flip.  

Reheat syrup if necessary and pour over warm pancakes

28-30 2-3" pancakes (using 1/8 c batter measure)
14-15 4-6" pancakes (using 1/4 c batter measure)

Freezer instructions:
Let cooked pancakes cool to room temperature.  Place in a single layer in the freezer until frozen and then place pancakes in a Ziplock bag or airtight container.  Reheat in a microwave or toaster until heated through.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Basic Stir-Fry Sauce

recipe adapted from Family Wok
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 c chicken broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp rice wine or sherry (I used rice vinegar)

Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan.  Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 15-30 seconds over medium heat until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper and lemon juice.  Bring just to a boil, stirring.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the wine and whisk into the sauce.  Heat until sauce thickens and reaches a full boil.  Simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.  Pour over your stir-fry and mix.  Serve over rice.  *Depending on how saucy you like your stir-fry, you may want to double the recipe for more sauce.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Skillet Summer Vegetable Lasagna

recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Okay, I am trying to become a good food photographer, but I just didn't know how to make this picture look exceptionally appetizing, but trust me, it is a delicious, easy meal that utilizes many of the garden vegetables you probably have coming out of your ears this time of year.  

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I used a quart jar of my stewed garden tomatoes)
Salt and pepper
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil (I didn't have any fresh, so I used about 1 1/2 tsp dried)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
(I also added 2 cups fresh spinach)
1 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Drain tomatoes into a 2-cup liquid measure.  Add water to tomato liquid to make 2 cups.  Add tomato/water mixture and 1 tsp salt to skillet.  

Scatter noodles into the skillet, layer tomatoes over the noodles and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, stirring occasionally (so the noodles won't stick) for about 10 minutes.  

Stir in zucchini and squash, cook, stirring now and then, until noodles and squash are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add basil, (spinach if, using), and half of the ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese to the noodles, stirring until the sauce is creamy.  Dollop remaining ricotta cheese over the noodles, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bread Sticks

from my sister-in-law Brenda
Use Basic Roll Dough recipe.  1 x recipe makes one pan of breadsticks.  Follow recipe until it says to roll into desired shapes.

Basic Roll Dough 
3 1/2 c flour
1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
1 1/4 c milk
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter or margarine
1 tsp salt
1 egg

(1/4-1/2 c melted butter for pouring over breadsticks before baking)

In a large saucepan on stove, melt butter over medium low heat. Then, stir in sugar and milk.  Continue to stir until milk mixture is warm, but not so hot that it kills your yeast.  In a bread mixer, combine 1 1/2 c flour and yeast.  Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and mix.  Add egg and salt.  Slowly add remaining flour until sides wipe clean. (You may need a little more or a little less.) Mix for 3-4 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let raise for 45 min to an hour.  Punch down and roll into desired shapes.  Let raise on greased or silpat lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown.  This recipe can be used for cinnamon rolls, rolls, bread sticks, or pigs in a blanket.

For bread sticks:
After the dough rises, punch down and roll into rectangular shape.  Grease the bottom of a large baking sheet.  Dough should fit into bottom of sheet.  Spread dough evenly into sheet by pushing into the corners with your fingers.  Score dough into strips.  Melt 1/4-1/2 c butter and pour over strips. Use your fingers or pastry brush to spread evenly over all bread sticks.  **Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a little garlic salt. Let raise 5 minutes.  Bake 12-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on rack to prevent sweating.

**I also like to use this Garlic Bread Seasoning recipe from Our Best Bites

Garlic Bread Seasoning:
recipe from Our Best Bites

Combine the following ingredients:
1/2 c powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp parsley

Sprinkle over bread sticks or combine 1 1/2 Tbsp seasoning with 1/2 c melted real butter and pour over bread sticks.  This is also the seasoning that goes in this amazing pizza sauce!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Taco Night Tacos

Recipe adapted from Deals to Meals
I love taco night!  It is simple, quick and always tastes yummy.  I used to use the packaged taco seasoning... until I became aware of all the unhealthy stuff that is put into those seasoning packets and realized when you make your own, your taste buds, tummy and overall health love you for it!  

1 lb. lean ground beef 
(*I used 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa for these tacos  and my husband said they still tasted great!  Score!  I cooked the quinoa in beef broth to give it a little more flavor)
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Taco Seasoning:
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
dash pepper

Brown the ground beef and drain off grease. Add onions and garlic and continue to cook until onions are starting to appear translucent.  Stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes and then serve.  We love the uncooked tortillas you can buy at Costco at our house, but this goes great in soft shell, hard shell, over tortilla chips, whatever floats your boat!

You can make the taco seasoning in a bigger batch and then store to use in the future. If you do this, just add about 1 1/2-2 tsp to your ground beef.

If you decide to use quinoa, bring 1/2 c quinoa and 1 c broth or water to boil in medium saucepan. Boil for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Honey Cornbread

adapted from my friend Laurel
I got this recipe from one of my old college roomies, Laurel.  I like this particular cornbread recipe because it doesn't call for as much butter as others that I have tried and it also uses honey as the sweetener instead of sugar.

1 C sifted flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C cornmeal
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 C milk
1/4 c butter
3 Tbsp honey

In a large bowl, mix and sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the cornmeal and mix.  In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until moistened.

Pour into and greased 8x8 baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 min. Watch closely! (The original recipe says to bake at 425 degrees, but I always found that the cornbread was getting too brown on top and was a little dry.  At 375, my cornbread baked through, but stayed moist and crumbly.)  Yummy!  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mango Quinoa Salad

Recipe from Our Best Bites
2 cups cooked quinoa* at room temperature or chilled
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced**
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Quinoa can be cooked in water or broth.  OBB suggests using vegetable or chicken broth for enchanced flavor, but plain water works great too.

Place quinoa in a large bowl.  Add mango, red pepper, green onion, black beans, and cilantro.  In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice. Whisk until smooth and pour on top of salad.  Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for at least one hour before serving.  

*If you are unfamiliar with quinoa, check out this tutorial from Our Best Bites.

**Also, I love this tutorial on how to cut a mango.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

recipe from Our Best Bites
4 c chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 c chopped grilled chicken (you can use Taco Chicken* if you want.  It is delicious!)
1 c cherry or grape tomatoes, washed ( I just used chopped tomatoes, since that is what I had on hand)
1/3 c vertically sliced red onion
1 avocado, cubed
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 3/4 oz can corn, rinsed and drained. (I like to use frozen corn)

1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 c light sour cream
1 1/2 tsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle chili peppers (You can usually find these in the Mexican food section of the grocery store)
1 tsp chili powder
4 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt

Tortilla strips
Or, I bought taco shell bowls at the deli section at Macey's and served the salad in those. It was delicious!

Make sure all salad ingredients have been washed or rinsed.  Combine lettuce, chicken, beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl and gently mix.  Set aside.

Mix dressing ingredients.  Start with 1 1/2 tsp of adobo sauce and then go from there, probably adding more if desired 1/4-1/2 tsp at a time.  You could even chop up one of the chili peppers and toss it in there if you are super brave with spiciness.  I just added the 1 1/2 tsp of sauce recommended in the recipe and it was just the perfect amount of "kick".  Set dressing aside.

When ready to serve, add avocado, tortilla strips (if desired) and dressing, gently combine and serve.

I have never used adobo sauce before and it added such a yummy smoky flavor to the salad.  It's worth the trip to the grocery store to try it!  

*TACO CHICKEN  Recipe also by Our Best Bites

1 lb chicken breasts or thighs
A couple of juicy limes
A splash of red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or coarsely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Juice the limes and combine with a couple splashes of red wine vinegar.  Add garlic.  Pour over chicken.  This will not completely cover chicken; just turn it occasionally as needed.  Marinate for at least 4 hours, no longer than 8.

Heat an outdoor grill (you can also use a grill pan inside or your broiler in your oven).  Combine salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl. Remove chicken from marinade and rub spices all over the chicken.  

Grill about 7 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and allow to stand for a few minutes so it doesn't lose its juiciness.  You can either eat the chicken as it is, maybe with Mexican rice and beans, or slice it up and use it as you would taco meat. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh Henry's

recipe from my Mom
This recipe was a favorite in our house when I was growing up. It is very simple and perfect for a potluck or neighbor treats (if you can bring yourself to share.)  Although I am not a huge butterscotch fan by itself, when combined with the chocolate chips, it adds a creamy texture and subtle difference in the taste of the chocolate topping that is a-mazing!  Enjoy!

1 c sugar
1 c Karo syrup
1 c peanut butter (I like to use chunky so that you get a little bit of nuttiness)
1 c salted nuts (optional)  I usually don't add these, so that is why I use chunky peanut butter
3 c Rice Krispies
6 oz chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet because this is already a very sweet dessert)
6 oz butterscotch chips

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add peanut butter and stir to combine. (I use the same measuring cup that I used for the corn syrup to measure the peanut butter because it helps the peanut butter to just slip right out.)  Add the nuts (if desired) and the cereal.  Mix well.  Spread mixture into a 9x13 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  

Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a double-boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, you can boil water in a medium saucepan and place a smaller saucepan inside the medium one  to melt the chips.  

Pour chocolate sauce over the Rice Krispie mixture and spread evenly.  Set aside to cool.  When cooled completely, cut into squares.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Recipe from Our Best Bites
1.  Begin preparing your dough (See pizza dough recipe)  Complete steps through the first rise.

Breadsticks & Pizza Dough

1 1/2 c warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 1/2 c flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir.  Add 1 1/2 c flour and mix well.  Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl.  Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

2.  While your dough is rising, prepare your sauce.

Pizza Sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste
6 oz water (just use the empty tomato paste can)
3 Tbsp garlic bread seasoning*
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly until combined.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and allow to stand until ready to use.  Covers two average-sized pizzas;   Freezes extremely well.

* Garlic Bread Seasoning
Combine the following ingredients:

1/2 c powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp parsley

3. Preheat your oven (and your pizza stone, if you want) to 425 degrees.  (I don't have a pizza stone, I just use round pizza pan and this recipe still works great!)  While oven is heating, punch down dough and shape into a disc.  Spray your work surface, rolling pin, and pizza stone (or pan) with non-stick cooking spray.  Place dough disc onto work surface.  Roll and shape into a circle.  Very gently transfer the dough onto your pizza stone (or pan) and continue to shape up to the edges of the stone.  

4.  Using a fork, prick several holes in the crust.  Drizzle crust with a little olive oil... and brush all the way up to the edges.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Both oiling and salting the crust help crisp it up, give it a great flavor, and keep it from getting soggy in the middle.  

5.  Bake crust in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.

6.  Spread layer of sauce over the surface of the crust.  Top with whatever toppings you like.  Add layer of cheese and then sprinkle with oregano.

7.  Return crust to oven and bake 10-12 minutes more or until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown.