Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chicken, Corn & Potato Chowder

Happy Halloween!

Here is a soup recipe to warm up all your bellies after trick-or-treating in the rain last night (for all of you here in Utah) and for all of the other people that are going out tonight! 
I have never had corn chowder before, so I am not sure how this recipe compares to others?  However, I thought this chowder was good.  By itself, it wasn't extremely flavorful, just a light flavor of all the ingredients, but with buttered french bread dipped in it, I thought it was really really good!  Thick and creamy with chunks of potato, chicken and corn.  I cut this recipe in half and had tonz, enough for at least four or five bowls.  MMM... I would make this again.  

Chicken, Corn & Potato Chowder
adapted from: Cook Like a Champion

3 slices bacon
1 Lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
     cut into bite size pieces
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
5 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. peeled & diced russet potatoes (I added more)
1 c. frozen whole kernel corn
1 (14 oz.) can creamed corn
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk (I used 1%)
1 1/2 c. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
thinly sliced scallions or cilantro, for serving

Cook bacon in large saucepan until crispy; remove and set aside.  Add chicken, onion, bell peppers and garlic to pan with the bacon drippings.  Cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes.  Add diced green chiles and cook one minute longer.  Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add both the frozen corn and creamed corn and stir to combine.  Place flour in medium bowl and gradually whisk in the milk; add to soup and bring up to medium heat.  Cook about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until soup has thickened.  Add the cheese and cayenne pepper.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve with desired toppings.  I topped mine with the cooked and crumbled bacon and cilantro and dipped french bread in it.  You could do bacon, cheddar and scallions or cilantro and baked tortilla strips.  Whatever you like.  Serves: around 8  

Thursday, 28 October 2010

PAULA DEEN'S BANANA BREAD

What's the best way to use up dark, really ripe bananas?  Make banana bread of course!  I have not found a "go-to" recipe for banana bread yet.  I have tried several and I have many more to try.  Most recipes I have tried taste pretty similar, but I am looking for that one recipe that just stands out.  Paula's recipe was really good and you won't be disappointed if you make it.  It was moist and had a good banana flavor, but I think I will keep looking for "the one".  I think I will try my friend Nicole's recipe next, it calls for sour cream and I have not yet tried that in a banana bread.  
Paula Deen's Banana Bread
adapted from: This Cookbook

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 brown)
2 c. flour
1 tsp.  salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (I didn't add)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream shortening and sugar.  Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to creamed mixture.  Add remaining ingredients; mix well.  Pour into a well-greased loaf pan.  Bake 45-60 minutes.  


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

JALAPENO POPPER DIP

mmmmmmmm.............please excuse me while I eat the whole bowl of this dip!

Wow, this dip was so incredibly amazingly delicious!!  I started out with only a small amount of each ingredient, because I wanted to try and stuff it inside a chicken breast.  I mixed everything up and grabbed out a tortilla chip to taste it to make sure it had the right amount of each ingredient.  I liked it so much that I couldn't stop eating it.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up having to make more.  

I combined two different recipes, one from My Baking Addiction and one from Homemade By Holman, because I liked a little about each recipe!  Seriously, I wish I had some more to eat right now.  The funny thing is, you are supposed to top this with bread crumbs and bake it in the oven, but I loved it so much at room temperature it almost didn't make it in the oven.  I did, however, try it in the oven and it was really good too.  I didn't have any jalapenos, so I used Anaheims, which are milder than jalapenos, but I loved it.  To me, this dip had the perfect amount of spiciness.  Just enough to leave my lips slightly tingly when I was done eating.  So, give this a try next time you have a football party or a work party or just for fun!   
Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. Mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
3-4 Anaheim* chiles, ribbed, seeded and finely chopped
   or 1 (4oz.) can jalapenos, drained
1 c. Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 c. Italian cheese blend, shredded
1/2 - 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp. cumin, to taste
1/2 - 1 tsp. chili powder, to taste
bread crumbs, opt.  

*Note - I used Anaheims from my home grown plant which are much smaller than store-bought Anaheims, so  adjust recipe according to desired taste.  (If using store-bought, 1- 1 1/2 should be plenty).  

Combine cream cheese and Mayo until smooth.  Add diced green chiles, anaheim chiles, both cheeses, cilantro, cumin and chili powder.  Stir together until thoroughly combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  If you would like to serve this dip hot, pour into a 9x9 baking dish and  top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until hot and golden.  Serve with baguette slices, tortilla chips, crackers, veggies, etc. . .  

Monday, 25 October 2010

BBQ PULLED PORK & BAKED BEANS

Both of these recipes are ones that I have been making for a few years.  I am still working on perfecting the beans.  I still think my beans are delicious, it's just they are not "perfect" yet.  Jake's dad (Bob) makes the best baked beans I have ever had in my whole life.  So, every time I make mine, I adjust the ingredients a little until hopefully, one day, they will be as good as Bob's.  This time I added some bacon, which I had never done before and let me tell you, it adds so much amazing flavor that cannot be accomplished by any other ingredient.  Let me know if you have any "secrets" to perfect baked beans!   Also, we like to use a pork loin for our pulled pork, because it is not as fatty as a pork shoulder, but you can use whatever type of pork you desire.  
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
From: Jenn

around 1 1/2 Lbs. pork loin
1/2 onion, cut into slices
1 tsp. minced garlic


Rub:
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. brown sugar
salt and pepper


Sauce:
1 c. apple cider vinegar
5 Tbl. Worcestershire
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Barbeque sauce, for later use


Put half the rub on the pork loin, cover tightly with saran wrap and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.  Add the other half of the rub in the morning before putting pork in crockpot.  Combine all of the sauce ingredients (except barbeque sauce), and pour about 3/4 into the crockpot.  Add about 1 cup of water, the onion slices and minced garlic.  Place pork into crockpot.  Spoon some juice over pork and place onion slices on top.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  Refrigerate remaining sauce for later use.  When pork is done, remove from crockpot, discard juices and onion slices.  Mix about 1/4 cup barbeque sauce with reserved sauce mixture to make it a little creamy.  Shred the pork in the crockpot and add barbeque sauce mixture.  Cook on low another 1/2 hour or until warmed through.  Serve plain or on toasted hamburger buns.  Serves: 3-4 people.


Baked Beans
From: Jenn
(Printable Recipe)

1/4 - 1/2 Lb. sausage links, cut into small nuggets
5 strips of thick bacon
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped
1/2 med. onion, chopped
1 can Pork and Beans in tomato sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire
dash of liquid smoke
salt and pepper, to taste


Brown sausage in skillet.  Remove sausage and cook bacon in same skillet.  Spoon out excess grease.  Remove bacon and crumble; set aside  Saute the pepper and onion in same skillet. Again, spoon out excess grease.  Combine all ingredients in casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Serves: 3-4 people.   



Friday, 22 October 2010

FLUFFY DINNER ROLLS

I usually save homemade rolls for Sunday dinner, since they take so much time, but I was browsing a few different blogs and came across a fluffy dinner roll recipe over at Jamie Cooks It Up that can be done in an hour!!  So, I jumped up and began mixing.  I decided to try half white flour and half wheat flour.  Also, Jamie didn't specify what type of yeast to use, so I went with Instant yeast, since you add it to the dough rather than dissolve it in water.  Overall, these turned out pretty good.  Now, they are not my mom's rolls, but for a quick and super easy roll, I thought they tasted good.  Great for a week night!     

Fluffy Dinner Rolls
adapted from: here

3/4 c. milk
4 Tbl. butter
3/4 c. hot water (almost too hot to touch)
4 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 - 4 1/2 c. flour
1 heaping Tbl. yeast

Pour milk into a glass measuring cup.  Add the butter to the milk and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Add milk/butter mixture and hot water to bowl of stand mixer.  Add sugar and salt.  Then, add 2 cups of the flour and let mix for 1 minute.  Add the yeast.  Turn mixer on and add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time.  You have enough flour when dough scrapes the side of the bowl clean.  Using dough hook, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes.  Spray cutting board or counter with cooking spray.  Lay dough on top and cut into 12 even chunks.  Gently roll into balls and put in a greased 9x13 pan.  Put pan in warm 170 degree oven.  Let rise 20 minutes or until they have risen 1-inch above the pan.  Leave pan in oven and turn up temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 more minutes or until golden brown.  Brush with a little butter.  Yield: 12 rolls.   

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Not So Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

There are two reasons why I titled this post "Not So" red velvet sandwich cookies.  Reason number 1:  They didn't turn very red.  I added more food coloring than the recipe called for and they still aren't that red.  I know it's because there is a lot of cocoa in them, but I was hoping they would be brighter.  Reason number 2:  These cookies are really good, but they taste nothing like red velvet.  Red velvet tastes a little more tangier, because it has buttermilk and a little vinegar in it, but this recipe had neither of those, so it just tastes like a chocolate cookie, not a red velvet cookie.  


I love homemade oreo cookies and I have always used a chocolate cake mix for my cookies, but I think I will use this cookie recipe from now on.  These cookies are chewy and have the perfect amount of chocolate flavor, not too much and not too little.  I also like the addition of the chocolate chips, it adds a fun texture you aren't expecting.  I was planning on filling them with a regular cream cheese frosting until I saw Jessica's post.  Scroll down to the bottom of her post and you will see these cookies stuffed with pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting.  Oh man, when I saw that picture I moved this recipe to the top of my "to bake" list.  I absolutely loved these with the pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting.  I wish you could see the pretty speckles in the frosting from the spice, but my camera cannot pick that up.  I highly recommend trying these with the pumpkin spice frosting!!  However, if you are not a frosting person, check out Amanda's post.  They loved them without any frosting.     
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
adapted from: here and here

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cocoa
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 c. milk, if needed
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.  If batter is too stiff, add a little milk until soft enough to stir in chocolate chips.  Add chocolate chips.  Using a small ice cream scoop, drop batter onto cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Yield: 15 cookies (I got 24 using a small ice cream scoop).  Cool Completely. 

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 stick cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 - 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, to taste
2-3 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.  

Monday, 18 October 2010

Mom's Stroganoff

Looks can be deceiving.  I couldn't come up with a good way to photograph this dish to have it look somewhat decent.  It is what it is, I guess.  But, what does it taste like?  That's the only thing that should matter, right?   

This is one of my favorite dishes. I loved it as a kid and I still love it as an adult.  I have made it countless times.  It is extremely simple to make and it uses ingredients that I usually have on hand.  The only thing is, Jake prefers his stroganoff over bow-tie noodles and I will only eat my stroganoff over a baked potato.  So, what's a girl to do?  Well . . . .
Jake's Dinner

Jenn's Dinner

Mom's Stroganoff
From: Sharon H. (Mom)

1 lb. hamburger
salt and pepper
2 Tbl. onion, finely chopped, opt.
1-2 Tbl. flour
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
milk

Brown hamburger in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook a few minutes until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle a few Tbl. of flour over hamburger to help thicken sauce.  Add cream of chicken soup and sour cream; stir to combine.  If sauce is too thick, add milk until it reaches desired consistency.  Cook until warm, but do not boil.  Serve over rice, noodles or baked potatoes. Yield: About 4, 1 cup, servings.  

Friday, 15 October 2010

Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice

Let me just start out by saying "I love America's Test Kitchen".  I think they have so many great recipes and I am never hesitant to try one, because I know it will be good.  So, when I saw this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, I knew it could quite possibly be one of my new favorite dishes.  She adapted it from America's Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers.  I love that you only have to dirty one skillet and dinner would be ready in 30 minutes.  That is always a plus.  So, how did I like it?  I really liked it.  All the flavors went so well together, the chicken was flavored perfectly and the rice had the perfect amount of spice.  I did not add the spinach, because by the time I cut the recipe in half, I would only need 1/4 cup and I couldn't buy a whole bag of spinach for only 1/4 cup.  Although, I would like to try it with the spinach, so next time I make it, I will have to plan another meal in the week that could use up the extra spinach.  
Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 Tbl. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 poblano peppers, cored, seeded & chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cumin
2 (10 oz.) cans mild green enchilada sauce
1 1/2 c. long grain white rice
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach leaves

Gently pat dry the chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper.  In a large, 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Brown chicken on each side until golden, but not cooked all the way through.  Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.  In the hot skillet, add the onion and poblanos and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Stir in the garlic and cumin and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the enchilada sauce, rice and water.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and set the chicken in simmering rice mixture, nestling them in a bit.  Cover skillet, set heat to low and cook 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken is cooked through, stirring every 5 minutes or so to ensure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom.  Stir in the cilantro and spinach and season with salt and pepper.  Serves: 4-6.  
     

Thursday, 14 October 2010

BREAKFAST BOWLS

I just recently purchased a set of Food Network® Ramekins at Kohl's®.  They were on sale for $11 and I had a free $10 coupon, so I only had to pay $1 and some change!!  What a steal of a deal, huh?  I have a long list of recipes to make that require ramekins, now I can get working on crossing recipes off that list.  This was one of those recipes.   I found this recipe in The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook, which if you do not currently own, I highly recommend picking yourself up a copy.  These breakfast bowls were pretty good.  I added ham instead of sausage and bacon, but next time I will add bacon for more flavor.  The salsa on top is a must, it added a lot of flavor that was definately needed.  I left out the basil (like the original recipe called for), but added a finely diced anaheim chile instead.   
Basic Breakfast Potatoes 
adapted from: here

4-5 Red potatoes (I used 3 Russet)
1 large onion, diced (I didn't add)
vegetable oil
bacon fat or butter
salt and pepper

Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until fork-tender.  Place hot potatoes on cutting board and dice them into 1-inch pieces.  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Add a little vegetable oil and add some bacon fat or a little butter.  Add onions and saute until they start to turn brown.  Next, throw in the cooked, diced potatoes.  Salt and pepper the potatoes, stir them around, then slightly press/pack them in the skillet.  Cook without stirring for several minutes.  You want to make sure the pan is hot enough to crisp the potatoes, but not hot enough to char them.  After several minutes, use a spatula to flip the potatoes over to the other side and cook several more minutes.  Be sure to thoroughly salt and pepper the potatoes.  

Breakfast Bowls
adapted from: here

1 recipe basic breakfast potatoes (above)
8 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
3/4 cup half-and-half 
4 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
yellow or green onion, finely chopped
1 anaheim chile, finely chopped
1 Lb. breakfast sausage, browned and crumbled
4 strips thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs and half-and-half.  Season with salt and pepper; set aside.  In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and chile.  Stir together and set aside.  To assemble, divide the potatoes between 8 ramekins.  Top with sausage and bacon and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.  Pour egg mixture evenly over ramekins and last, top with Cheddar cheese.  Place bowls on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are just set.  Keep an eye on the bowls to make sure the eggs don't brown.  Top with salsa and serve. Yield: 8 ramekins 

Monday, 11 October 2010

KNEADERS SUGAR COOKIES

I cannot believe that I found this recipe!!  The other day at work, we were talking about how much we love Kneaders sugar cookies and wished we could get our hands on the famous recipe.  So, yesterday, I decided why not try to search the internet (I really didn't think I would find anything), but I found the recipe on a local news station's website. Could it be real?  


If you live in Utah, you most likely have eaten something from Kneaders.  It is a bakery & cafe that serves all types of homemade breads, sweets, sandwiches, soups, salads and more.  So so good.  
Well, I couldn't wait any longer, I had to make these cookies.  I decided to cut the recipe in half, just in case they didn't turn out.  Also, they use a powdered lemon flavoring in both the cookies and the icing and since I didn't have any of that I substituted lemon extract in the cookies and went with vanilla extract in the icing, because Jake is not a huge lemon person and I wanted him to eat these cookies with me, so I wouldn't eat them all myself.  Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.  I was careful not to add too much flour, so they wouldn't be dry.  


The end result, the most amazing sugar cookies ever!!!!  Seriously, this is my new go-to recipe.  I am going to play around with the icing a little bit to see if I can come up with something slightly different, but oh man, these cookies are so soft and fat and melt in your mouth amazing!!  I am not sure how many it makes, because I made big, medium and small cookies and with half a batch, I had three cookie sheets worth.  Do yourself a favor, go make these right now!  
Kneaders Sugar Cookies
adapted from: here

2 c. butter, softened
2 1/4 c. sugar
4 Lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. milk
7 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. lemon flavor
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbl. honey

Icing:
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbl. corn syrup
3 Tbl. milk
1/4 tsp. lemon flavor

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and then milk.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Dough will be soft and sticky.  Place dough on a well floured surface.  Knead in just enough flour to make dough workable.  Dough will be very soft.  It is best to knead with a rolling pin motion so you have a smooth surface and you will not get cracks on top of your cookies.  Gently roll out to 3/8 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes (mine took 13) or until edges barely start to change colors.  Cool. 

For the icing: mix together all ingredients until smooth.  Dip cookies in icing and hold upside down to allow excess to drip off.  Let harden.   

Saturday, 9 October 2010

PUMPKIN PIE CAKE

This cake is, by far, MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE PUMPKIN DESSERT EVER!!!  There is just something about it that is so comforting.  It has the perfect textures and combination of spices.  Oh and don't forget the amazing streusel topping.  I love sitting down on a cold day and eating a warm piece of this cake with a little Cool Whip on top.  Pure heaven!  I always eat this cake warm, just zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds or so, top with Cool Whip or whipping cream and enjoy.
Pumpkin Pie Cake
From: Sharon H. (Mom)
(Printable Recipe)

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 c. margarine
2 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon


Reserve 1 cup cake mix; set aside.  Combine remaining cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup melted margarine.  Spread into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Mix canned milk, pumpkin, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Beat until fluffy.  Pour over crust.  Combine reserved cake mix, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Cut in remaining 1/2 cup margarine until it is about the size of peas.  Sprinkle topping over pumpkin filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Serve warm with Cool Whip or whipping cream.  

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Almost Hands-Free Risotto

I have always wondered what Risotto tastes like, but I never dared make it, because I heard that it was a very involved recipe that can be ruined very easily.  I figured I would just have to order it at a restaurant sometime, until I came across this recipe.  The name says it all.  


Now, I don't know how this compares to other Risotto dishes, but I thought it was delicious.  I will definately make this again.  I got home from work, threw a few seasonings on a chicken breast, covered with foil and baked it in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.  The recipe says to brown the chicken in oil then simmer in the broth, but I decided it would be easier to just bake it in the oven.  Then, when I was ready to start dinner, my chicken was already cooked and ready to go.  So, other than baking the chicken, this dish took me about one hour from start to finish.  I did add a little too much salt, so be careful.  Next time, I am going to try it with just the cheese and chicken, no herbs.  I cut the recipe in half and had the perfect amount for two servings.  Creamy and delicious!
Almost Hands-Free Risotto with Chicken and Herbs
adapted from: America's Test Kitchen

5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. water 
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 (12 oz.) bone in, skin-on chicken breasts,
    cut in half crosswise
4 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 large onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups)
salt 
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 c. Arborio rice
1 c. dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbl. fresh chives, chopped (I didn't add)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I didn't add)
pepper


1.  Bring the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.  
2.  Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until just starting to smoke.  Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until golden brown, 4-6 minutes.  Flip the chicken and cook the second side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to the saucepan of simmering broth and water and cook until the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10-15 minutes.  Transfer to a large plate.    
3.  Add 2 Tbl. butter to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the onion and 3/4 tsp. salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened but not browned, 4-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.  
4.  Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2-3 minutes.  Stir 5 cups of the hot broth mixture into the rice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.  
5.  Add 3/4 cup more hot broth mixture, and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
6.  Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat into bite-size pieces.  Gently stir the shredded chicken, the remaining 2 Tbl. butter, and the parsley, chives, and lemon juice into the risotto.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  If desired, add up to 1/2 cup remaining broth mixture to loosen the texture of the risotto.  Serve.  

Monday, 4 October 2010

CHICKEN TACO SOUP

This is my favorite recipe for chicken taco soup.  I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Kim.  I make this several times a year and it is one of the few dishes I will eat left over.  I make a big pot and eat it everyday (no joke - everyday for lunch - love it) for up to a week and it tastes the exact same as it did the first day. Kim's original recipe calls for (18 oz.) Old El Paso Taco Seasoned Chicken, but I have been having a hard time finding it lately, so I have been cooking my own chicken. (It used to be in the refrigerated section by the Lloyd's Barbeque meat in a tub).   Either one tastes just as good.  It has been such a rainy day today, that I thought this recipe is just what we needed!  You will have no problem throwing this together any day of the week, because it is so fast and easy.   
Chicken Taco Soup
From: Kim H. (my sister-in-law)

18 oz. tub Old El Paso Taco Seasoned Chicken or regular          chicken, cooked and shredded with a little taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 can kidney beans (15.25 oz.)
1 can pinto beans (15.5 oz.)
1 can corn (15.25 oz.)
1 can diced green chiles (4.5 oz.)
1 can Rotel (10 oz.) (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
taco seasoning, opt.
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Fritos
sour cream

Pour all the canned ingredients into a large pot, don't drain cans.  Add the shredded chicken and stir to combine.  Add taco seasoning, to desired taste.  Heat on the stove or in a crockpot until warm.  Serve with cheese, Fritos & sour cream.    
  

Sunday, 3 October 2010

CANDY BAR COOKIES

I had been wanting to try this recipe for a few years now.  It is adapted from a 2007 Better Homes & Gardens magazine.  


It all started, because I wanted to bring a treat to work on Friday, so I flipped through about 4 different cookbooks/magazines until I came across this recipe, so I decided that I should finally make these.  When they were all done, I was worried because they didn't look very pretty (they looked nothing like the picture in the magazine), that they might not taste very good either.  So, I decided not to bring them to work.  Well, when I got home from work on Friday, I decided to taste one, they were actually pretty darn good.  Why didn't I taste them sooner?  They reminded me of a chewy granola bar with chocolate coating. So, I wished I would have taken them to work, because now I might just eat the whole pan myself!  My house must be pretty warm, because the chocolate never hardened.  
Candy Bar Cookies:
adapted from:  2007 Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

1 c. packed light brown sugar
2/3 c. butter
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats (I only added 3 cups)
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 c. butterscotch chips
2/3 c. peanut butter (I didn't add)
1 c. chopped peanuts (I didn't add)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  For oat layer, in a large saucepan, stir together brown sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is combined.  Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in the oats until combined.  Press oat mixture evenly into an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Let oat layer cool slightly.  Melt together the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.  Stir in the 2/3 cup peanut butter until smooth.  Sprinkle half the peanuts over oat layer, if adding.  Slowly pour chocolate mixture over oat layer, spreading evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top of chocolate mixture.  Cool in pan for several hours or until chocolate layer is firm.