Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken

1/2 c. all- purpose flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 c. dry bread crumbs
1 T. butter, melted
2 large tomatoes, seeded and choppeds
3 T. minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 slices provolone cheese

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs; place in a greased 13 x 9 " baking dish. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken. Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover, bake 5-10 minutes longer or until top is browned. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (with the exception of the cheese). Spoon over the chicken. Add cheese on top. return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through. Enjoy!

This was a fun change of pace from the things I normally make. Mike and I enjoyed it...however the kids didn't care for it much.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup

4 Chicken Breasts
1 small bag frozen mixed vegetables
6 chicken bullion cubes
onion powder

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 pint half & half
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Cook chicken in water (about 6 cups). Add chicken bullion cubes. Add spices. When chicken is cooked thoroughly take it out and cut or shred into small pieces. Add vegetables. Return the shredded chicken To make the sauce in a separate pan..melt the butter, then add the flour. Stir to make a rue. Quickly add the half and half and cream. Then add the salt and sugar. Add the sauce to the chicken broth mixture. Soup is ready to eat once thickened. Enjoy!

As said before we enjoy our soup. Especially when most of the months up here are COLD! This is an Erika original!

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

2 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 lrg. pkg. frozen broccoli
1 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. mild cheddar cheese

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, and cream of chicken. In 9 x 13" pan, layer broccoli and chicken. Pour sauce on top. Next sprinkle cheese on top. Last, put croutons on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Cocktail Wieners

You can also substitute meatballs instead of the cocktail wieners

1 small bottle grape jelly
1 bottle chili sauce (my recipe says 1 round bottle of chili sauce..not sure what that means)
1 pkg. cocktail wieners or meatballs

Keep in a hot crockpot until ready to serve.

Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups cooked diced chicken
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes, cut in half
3/4 cup celery, sliced
1/3 cup green onions w/tops, thinly sliced
2 Granny Smith apples (if you like a sour zing), or 2 red apples (go on and pick your favorite)
1/3 cup pecans or cashew halves,
Croissants (the best are from costco or sams club)

In small bowl, blend mayo, yogurt, curry powder and salt; set aside.Dice chicken and cut grapes. Core and slice apples, cut into small pieces. Chop pecans or half cashews. Combine chicken, grapes, celery, green onions, apples and nuts in large bowl. Add mayo mixture; mix lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Cut croissant in half and fill with salad mixture. Or you can serve it on a bed of lettuce.

Oh my goodness how I love this recipe! Unfortunately we ate them so fast we forgot to take a picture. This is a fantastic dish to serve at a summer picnic or a wedding/baby shower. Even my kids can't get enough.

Cheesy Bread Sticks

2 Tbls. Butter, melted
1/2 Tbls. garlic powder
Mozzarella Cheese
Favorite Pizza Dough

Combine butter and garlic powder Spread pizza dough out on pizza pan and brush with butter mixture, Sprinkle with cheese and bake according to pizza doughs directions. Cut into breadsticks.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'd like To Thank...

I'd like to thank....Mandee and Brandy over at "Some Of This And That" for this blog award! How sweet it is to be recognized by others. It makes this whole blogging thing all worth while!

Thanks again ladies!


Homemade Mac-N-Cheese

(She gives a wonderful step by step picture tutorial)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (I thought this was a little too much, personally)
1 egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated1/2 teaspoon
salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed!
DO NOT UNDERSALT.Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

I grew up on homemade Mac-N-Cheese. My mom used to make it at our request. My older brother used to put ketchup on everything, including homemade mac-n-cheese. Somehow all us kids ended up liking the zing the ketchup gave our mac-n-cheese. Although my husband thinks it's odd, I still eat it this way today!

Frozen Grapes

Ok, so this isn't the most appetizing picture...but I promise...they are really yummy! Just simply wash your grapes, put them in a zip lock bag, pop them in the freezer, and they next day you have a healthy frozen treat! (My personal favorite are the red sweet grapes...not green sour ones)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 sticks butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3--3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg. chocolate chips
Optional: nuts

Cream butters, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread in greased 9 x 13" pan and bake at 350 for 11-20 minutes or until done.
I love this recipe because it is so quick and easy. If you're ever in a time crunch for a quick dessert, this is your lucky day!
The original recipe says cook time is 9-11 minutes. But mine was closer to 20 minutes. So just keep a close eye on how golden brown they are getting.

California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Salad

FRIED TORTILLA STRIPS (We actually just used crushed corn chips on top to save a step)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
12 corn tortillas, cut 1/4-inch strips

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cold water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
8 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon thinly-sliced scallion top, and whites
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon minced dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz ea)
1/4 cup good-quality sweet-&-spicy barbecue sauce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce (cored, rinsed and dried and cut into thin 1/8" strips)
1/2 head romaine lettuce leaf (separated, trimmed, rinsed, dried, and cut thin strips)
12 large fresh basil leaves, cut 1/8-inch strips
1 lb jicama, cut 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch by 3/4-inch strips (We didn't have on hand so we didn't use it this time)
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup canned black bean, rinsed drained
1 cup canned sweet white corn kernels, drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dices
1/2 cup good-quality sweet-&-spicy barbecue sauce


1To Make the Fried Tortilla Strips: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.

2To Make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

3To Make the Grilled Garlic and BBQ Chicken: Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4To Make the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mile High Biscuits

(I'll have to post pictures later)

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together
with a fork. Cut in the butter. Fold the buttermilk into the
flour mixture until just blended. Make dough balls from rounded
tablespoon; coat with flour. Place floured dough balls in greased
cake tin. Drizzle some melted butter over the top. Bake for 5
minutes at 500 degrees. Turn the oven temperature down to 450
degrees; bake for 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before
devouring the whole pan of biscuits. Yum!!!

I actually made these in my kitchen aid, it was quick, easy, and clean! I LOVE these biscuits. They are so yummy with butter and jam. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Lemon Chicken Farfalle

3 tsp olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; sliced
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 cup carrot, cut into small strips
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 Tbsp Cream cheese
6 cups farfalle (Bow tie) pasta, cooked
9 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Start boiling the pasta. Meanwhile...Heat a large, non stick skillet (med high heat) and add olive oil. Add garlic, saute one minute, being careful not to burn. Add chicken; saute until almost cooked through. Add carrots and peas and saute until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Add broth and cream cheese to pan and cook over med high heat until cheese melts, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Stir in chicken mixture, farfalle, and next four ingredients. Cook about one minute.
(serves 6; 8 pts per serving)
Mike and I really enjoyed the pasta, however the kids didn't care for the light lemon taste it has. We made the pasta with the Barilla MINI farfalle pasta. The kids thought the pasta "Was so cute and little". Anyway...we enjoyed it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Doughnuts!!!! AKA Wanna Be Krispy Kremes


Cutting out the doughnuts

Letting them rise

Cookin' em' up in the oil

Yum Yum give me some!

2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast
1/4 cup water (105-115)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
canola oil

Creamy Glaze
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4-6 tablespoons hot water

Chocolate frosting
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4-6 tablespoons hot water
4 ounces milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2-quart bowl.
2-Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour.
3-Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4-Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
5-Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
6-Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes.
7-(Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched.) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.
8-Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin.
9-Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
10-Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.
11-Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350°.
12-Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula.
13-Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface.
14-Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
15-Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.
16-Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack then when slightly cooled spread chocolate frosting on top.
17-Dip in sprinkles or other toppings after chocolate if desired.
18-Creamy Glaze: Heat butter until melted.
19-Remove from heat.
20-Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
21-Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
22-Chocolate Frosting: Heat butter and chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
23-Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
24-Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

Ha, funny story!!! I burned down my house (in my defense, not all the way down!!!) making doughnuts when I was about 12 or so. So I was a little nervous trying this out again. But this was actually my therapy. These were awesome!! Not as good as Krispy Kreme, but still the best darn home made doughnuts I've ever had.
Lately, I've enjoyed making my breads in the dough cycle in my bread machine, and then shape them in a pan and cook as normal. When I made the doughnuts, that's exactly what I did! I just put it on the dough cycle.
First I scalded the milk and let it cool a little. Then I added the ingredients in this order:
Scalded & cooled milk
lastly, add the yeast on top
Turn your bread dough on the "dough cycle".
Once the dough cycle is finished, follow the rest of the directions as normal.

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