Monday, December 28, 2009

Orange Chicken

This was a delicious combination of flavors!

1 1/2-2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh Tenders (do not use Chicken Breasts)
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Orange Marmelade
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1/4 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Put the defrosted Chicken tenders into a gallon sized ziploc bag, add the flour and pepper and shake to coat the chicken. Heat the oil in a pan, and fry just to get the flour coating to stick to the chicken, do not cook the chicken through. Once done put the chicken in a crock pot, and mix together the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the chicken and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Serve over rice.

*Rice tip*
When making rice add some chicken bouillon to the water before it boils, adds some flavor to any dish. If making a beef dish add some beef bouillon.

This was delicious! It had a little bit of kick to it, like most Orange Chicken has but we really enjoyed it! I totally recommend it for an easy last minuteish meal. 4 stars.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Things

Well all I have some good news to report...


My husband and I just heard tonight that the house we put an offer in on a week ago is ours, and we are SO excited. Things will be moving quickly from this point out, as our closing date is currently estimated at January 15th. So we have a LOT to do in the next month. Sadly I will probably be posting less if at all until after our move. I promise I will put up pictures once we are all moved in and what not.
We greatly appreciate any and all prayers during this time for us, as it is sure to be exciting but also stressful.
God Bless you all, and have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Microwave Brownies

Recipe Source George Duran

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (3 whole squares of Baker's Chocolate)
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips (Semi-Sweet)
Nonstick cooking spray

Put the butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir and if the chocolate's not melted heat another 30 seconds. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. In a large bowl sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the egg and chocolate mixtures along with the vanilla and stir well to combine. Spray an 8 by 8 by-2-inch microwave safe glass pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan, spread it out evenly, and scatter the chocolate chunks on top. Cook on high for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let rest for 3 minutes before cutting and eating.

This is a to die for recipe! I know cooking in the microwave goes against everything your momma taught you, but trust me these are AMAZING!! I found these late one night during the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy with my son, and made them on the spot, fell in love and now they are my go-to dessert recipe! It's so easy and delicious, I've doubled the recipe before for a large group no problem, so long as you have a large microwave and a 10x8 pan. Just increase the cooking time a couple of minutes. 4.5 Stars!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Sausage and Tomato Basil Tortellini

I adapted this recipe from Stephanie Cooks

2-3 Italian Sausages
1 (20 ounce) package cheese tortellini
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the sausage til browned. Then chop in into bite sized pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tortellini, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
While you get the tortellini going, combine the tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, basil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk and cream. Stir this mixture into the saucepan along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 2 minutes.
Drain the tortellini, but do not rinse, then pour them into the saucepan with the sauce, and add the sausage. Stir to coat, and serve.

This was so delicious! The house smelled amazing as it cooked. It was pretty simple to make, and I will definitely be making this again. I give it 3.5 stars.

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Cinnamon Twists

My Grandma Ruth made up this recipe for her children and it was a family tradition to have them every holiday for breakfast! I love them, and hope they warm your hearts and belly's as they do mine!

1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or one package)
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
2 tablespoons soft shortening
3 cups flour

2 tablespoons soft butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Heat sour cream to lukewarm in a large pan.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate container dissolve the yeast into the warm water to activate the yeast. Once activated add that to the sour cream mixture. Add egg, shortening, and flour to the mixture. Mix well, use hands if necessary. Turn dough on floured board or counter and knead until smooth. Roll the dough into an oblong 24 x 12". Spread one half length with filling, fold the other half over. Cut into 20-24 strips 1" wide. Hold strips at each end and twist. Place twisted rolls onto a greased cookie sheet and press ends to the pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size about 1 hour (heat oven to 200 Degrees for about a minute and then shut off, this will be warm enough to raise the dough). Bake at 300 Degrees for about 6-8 minutes depending on your stove. Frost with glaze while still warm.

These are light, and delicious! They have an amazing flavor, my Grandma is an amazing cook! We would have them every Holiday growing up, so they have a festive feeling to me. These went over great with my whole family, including my In Laws. I give them 4 Stars!

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Sugar Free Apple Pie

I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it was a big hit. The original recipe is from my Grandma, and you can use either Splenda or Sugar depending on if you want it sugar free or not. I used a Pillsbury pre-made crust because I had 4 pies to make a little time to do so. But I'll include the recipe for the crust as well. I hope you like it!

For a 9 Inch Pie Pan:
Oil Piecrust:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Mix together until it forms a ball. Roll out between sheete of waxed paper. Makes enough for 2 9" Pie Crusts.

Apple Filling:
3/4 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled granny smith apples
2 tablespoons butter or margarine.

Heat oven to 425 degrees (I did 350 with my oven and it turned out fine).  Prepare pastry.  Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Mix with apples.  Turn into pastry lined pan; dot with butter.  Cover with top crust and seal.  (I usually wait to cut slits in the top crust until I have it in place.  The oil pie crust is hard enough to handle without any cuts in it ahead of time!)  Cover edge with 2 to 3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.  Remove foil last 15 minutes of baking (This is optional, I left mine on the whole time and it was great!).  Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slips in crust.

This was a huge hit with our family, and even being Sugar Free it tasted just like a normal Apple Pie! I served it with Sugar Free Whip Cream, you could serve it with a Vanilla Ice Cream, or however you like! I would give this a 4 star rating.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

I made this for my husband as he LOVES Olive Gardens Chicken Alfredo Pizza, and I thought it would be a nice change. I hope you enjoy it! The Dough recipe is from Bread Machine Magic, and does require a Bread Machine, but feel free to use whatever dough you prefer! The sauce is from my Easy Chicken Alfredo, a half recipe of my sauce is what I have posted for this recipe and is enough for 3 pizza's, remaining sauce can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Dough: (This recipe makes one 16 inch Pizza)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces whipping cream
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, Diced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon basil
1 dash pepper

1-2 grilled chicken breast, diced Can use pre-cooked grilled chicken strips
1 1/2-2 cups Italian cheese blend
1-2 green onions, Chopped

Place all ingredients for the dough into the bread maker, starting with liquids. Set on the Dough setting, and let it go. Once it's finished turn out onto lightly greased Pizza Pan. Melt the butter for the sauce in a small saucepan on low heat. Once melted add in the garlic and simmer until brown. Add in Cream, stir with a whisk until butter and cream no longer separate. Stir in the cheese and spices until all cheese is melted. Continue to cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Spread desired amount of sauce on the dough. Sprinkle the Cheese on top of the sauce, then add the diced chicken on top of that. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake about 6 minutes, then sprinkle on the green onion. Cook another 6-8 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted and slightly browned on the edge. Let it cool a minute, cut and serve.

This pizza is outstanding! Another huge hit with family and friends, I often get requests to make this. It can be rich, so if rich is not your thing you may not love this like we do. The reason I use the pre-cooked chicken is because a lot of the time when I make this I either a) am very short on time and need it to come together really quickly, b) my store was out of chicken breasts *yes this does happen often* and it was my only option, or c) they were on sale and cheaper than grilling the chicken myself. I have made it by grilling the chicken myself, and we've thoroughly enjoyed it both ways. Also I've heard that some may find the sauce to be runny, I am truly sorry if you run into this problem. I've never had a problem with it, mine has always been very thick and cheesy, but if you do have this problem I'd recommend either lowering the cream to 6 oz. from 8oz. or adding a little flour to the recipe. I give this 5 stars, as it is something we love and I make often.

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Cran-Apple Oatmeal... In the CrockPot!!!

I made this for "breakfast" this morning, which was actually eaten around midnight or so as a snack, and it was also cooked long before I thought it would be. I did not get a picture of it, I had planned to but it was all eaten before I even thought to grab my camera! I hope you enjoy!

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
3 1/2 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
2 Granny Smith Apple, Peeled & Chopped
1/3 - 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Spray your Crock pot with Non-Stick Cooking Spray. Add the ingredients, and half the apples, in and stir to combine. Cook on low for 3-5 hours depending on your crock pot. Mine was done in about 3 hours, but my crock pot cooks fast. Add in remaining apples the last hour. Serve in bowls, or leave on warm til morning.
Serves 3-4

This was absolutely wonderful! I came up with it spur of the moment wanting to have something ready for breakfast the next morning. Little did I know it would be too good to last til then! The apples do get kind of mushy, so if you want them more chunky add them in the last hour or so. But the flavor was wonderful, and I will totally be making this again!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

BBQ Chicken Calzones

I was having a hard time figuring out what to make for dinner tonight, and realized I had some leftover Shredded BBQ Chicken in the freezer that I made a few weeks back. So I decided to try out something new! I hope ya'll can enjoy it too! Now the calzones can be made with just some plain cooked chicken breasts too, I just used what I already had on hand.

Shredded BBQ Chicken:
4-6 Chicken Breasts (I put them in frozen)
1 16 oz. Bottle of KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce

Place Chicken in the Crockpot, pour the bottle of sauce on top, should be enough to coat and have a little extra. Cook on Low for 5-6 hours. Once done shred the chicken with two forks and place it back in the crockpot for another hour or so to soak up more sauce. Serve on rolls, or use to make Calzones. This also freezes beautifully!

Calzone Recipe: This recipe makes 2 largs calzones

Pizza Dough: (I made homemade but you can easily use a store bought dough)
This is for a bread machine - Makes a "small" pizza
3/4 Cup Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Sugar
2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

Place dough ingredients in bread pan starting with wet ingredients. Select Dough setting, and press start.

Once the dough is finished, turn it out on a very lightly floured surface and cut it into 2 even sized pieces. Roll each ball of dough out into a rectangle.

BBQ Chicken (if using plain chicken breasts be sure and add 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the mixture)
1 Green onion
Shredded Cheddar

Mix Chicken, Sauce and onion in a bowl and spread it evenly on half of each crust. Sprinkle Cheese on top. Fold other half of crust over and pinch the ends of the dough together to seal everything in. Place a Pizza Stone in the oven and preheat to 350 Degrees (can also use a cookie sheet). Once heated place the calzones on the stone and bake for 15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Spread a little butter on top while still hot and sprinkle with some Garlic Powder.

This was delicious! I know it seems like a lot of work, but it really wasn't. The chicken was in the freezer and was just defrosted for this recipe. We really enjoyed it and I will totally be making this again!

*Pizza Dough adapted from Bread Machine Magic 

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Honey Glazed Chicken

Tonight's dinner was incredibly easy, and very yummy! All 3 of us enjoyed it and ate it all. The original recipe can be found at:
Crockpot Tuesdays

I did modify it a bit. Here's my modified recipe:
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup bbq sauce (I used KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce)
8 Oz. Can of Pineapple Tidbits with the juice
1/2 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (I used 3 small breasts)

Put chicken in crockpot and pour sauce on top of it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high or 4-6. To thicken up sauce add some corn starch to the sauce once the chicken is done cooking and whisk til incorporated, let cook another few minutes to thicken up.

For freezing: Place all ingredients int a 1-gallon freezer bag. Lay flat in freezer. To thaw: Take the bag out of the freezer the night before, making sure the freezer bag is completely sealed. Place bag on a shelf and lay flat.

Review: This was so yummy, we all enjoyed it. This smelled so amazing as it cooked and did not disappoint. I served ours with rice on the side and thickened up sauce. I will totally make this again!! 3 stars.

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