Thursday, April 22, 2010

Apricot Chicken

This recipe is from a Rachel Ray cookbook. I'm not sure which one.

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)

2 lbs. chicken tenders, halved on an angle

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 large onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

12 dried pitted apricots, chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup apricot all-fruit spread or apricot preserves

2 Tbsp. chopped chives, for garnish

Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add evoo and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly brown the chicken on each side. Add onions and cook, 5 minutes. Add vinegar to the pan and let it evaporate. Add apricots and broth. When broth comes to a bubble, add preserves and stir to combine. cover pan, reduce heat and simmer, 10-15 minutes. Serve chicken with a sprinkle of chives as garnish.

I put this on top of rice.

Chocolate Eclairs

I got this recipe in the mail with those bunches of cards that people randomly send. I put green food coloring in the dough and pudding filling for St. Patricks Day.

Prep Time 25 minutes

Baking 45 minutes

Makes 12 eclairs


1 package (about 3 1/2 ounces) chocolate pudding and pie filling (I used vanilla and put green food coloring in it)

2 cups milk


1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 medium eggs


2 tbsp. butter

2 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

To prepare filling, cook pudding according to package directions. Chill for 1 hour.

To prepare pastry, in a heavey saucepan, heat butter, water and salt over medium high heat until mixture boils and butter melts.

Reduce heat to low. Vigorously stir in flour all at once until mixture forms a ball.

Transfer pastry to a bowl; cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Drop dough into 12 mounds, about 5 inches apart, on prepared baking sheet.

Spread each mound into a 4 x 1/2 inch rectangle, piling dough on top and slightly rounding sides.

bake until golden, 35 minutes. Remove from oven; make a 1 inch long slit on side of each eclair. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cook.

To prepare frosting, heat butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Slice eclairs in half. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of filling onto each bottom half and replace tops. Spread tops with frosting.

**I don't worry about making the dough mounds just so-so as you can see by my photo. And I like to add some flavoring to the peppermint or orange. This things can be devoured very quickly.

Mile-high tortilla pie

This is another recipe from my parents magazine.

serves 6

prep time 15 minutes

cook time 15 minutes

1 can (19 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (11 oz) whole-kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained

1 jar (16 oz) chunky, mild salsa

1 pkg. (10 oz) fajita-style cooked chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

5 (10") low-fat flour tortillas

2 cups (8 oz). shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Fat-free sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, salsa, chicken and cilantro.

Coat the bottom of the baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Place 1 tortilla in coated pan. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the bean mixture and 1/4 of cheese. Layer 3 more times, finishing with the last tortilla.

Bake in oven 15-20 minutes, or until cheese melts and filling is hot. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Taco Soup

I got this recipe from a roommate, Amber Woodmansee.

1/2 pound ground beef, browned and greaseless

1 can of diced or stewed tomatoes
1 can of corn
1 can of red kidney beans
1/2 cup salsa or spaghetti sauce
2 tbsp. chili pwder
garlic salt (optional and to taste)
salt and pepper to taste.

sour cream
frito chips

Dump everything into a pot--do not drain the cans.
Bring everything to a boil and it's done.

Chicken Curry Fruit Salad

This is my own recipe. I love this dish.
3 Tbsp. chopped onion
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/4 tsp curry powder
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, mostly drained
1 red apple, cored and diced
1/3 cup almond slivers
1/2 cup purple grapes, halved
1/2 cup green grapes, halved
a few Tbsp. celery, sliced
In a small bowl, mix onion and water, let stand for 10 minutes. Melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add onions and curry powder, cook, stirring for 3-5 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir curry mixture, mayonnnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add chicken, pineapple, apples, almonds, celery, ad grapes. Toss gently then sprinkle with coconut.

Crispy coconut chicken

****Please excuse the horrible picture! I realized after we were halfway through that I hadn't taken a picture! It's kind of a mess.

I got this from the Parents magazine. I really love the recipes from there.
Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
2/3 cup crushed multigrain crackers (about 8)
1/3 cup flaked coconut (I added more because I like coconut)
1 jar (9 oz.) mango chutney
3 tbs. lime juice
1 tsp. curry powder
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (I used chicken breasts and it worked out beautifully)
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 up cooked brown rice
Heat oven to 375. Place crackers in a large zip-top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or cup. add coconut to the bag and shake. In a small bowl, stir together the chutney, lime juice, and curry powder,. Remove 1/4 cup of chutney mixture and set aside. Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, in the remaining chutney mixture, then place chicken inside the bag. Shake to coat.
Bake chicken on a foil-lined shallow baking pan for 40 minutes, or until they're done. Cover chicken loosely with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.
In a bowl, toss peas with reserved chutney mixture. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. combine peas and rice and serve with chicken.

Just Peachy Meatballs

I absolutely LOVE this dish! It's extremely easy to make and only has three ingredients! The only downside is the peach mix needed is hard to come by. If you look online at and go to the "where to buy" tab it will show you the stores near you where you can get a bottle or two the juice. Or you can order online. I usually just order a few bottles at a time. I also have an amazing recipe for a chex mix using the "southern praline mix" but I haven't made it in awhile so I don't have any pictures of that.
Anyway, here's the recipe:
1 bag frozen italian meatballs
1 jar of chili sauce
Southern Peach Mix
noodles or rice
Combine the meatballs and chili sauce in a crock pot.
Refill the empty jar with the "Southern Peach Mix" and add to the crockpot.
Cook on high temperature until heated through.
I usually serve the meatballs and sauce on noodles but you can eat with rice as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Creamy Spinach Tortelliini

I got this recipe from all and tweaked it for our family. (we don't like cooked spinach or mushrooms)

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Servings 4

1 (9 oz) package refrigerated cheese tortellini

2 tbsp butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup milk

fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook until soft and translucent. Mix in cream cheese, parmesan, milk, mushrooms, and spinach. Gently mix in tortellini and cherry tomatoes with skillet contents; warm through, and serve.

Dad's Chili

1-2 lb. ground beek
1 tap onion (dried or fresh)
2 (15 1/2 oz.) cans of kidney beans
1 quart of tomato juice (not paste or stewed tomato)
1-1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp cayenne red pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
half stick of celery, chopped

1 3/4 lb. ground beef. Break it up and put on to simmer.
Put 1 tsp of dried or fresh onion while simmering.
Simmer and cook to slight browning color of meat. Break meat apart with spoon. Drain grease out of pan. Put cans of kidney beans and its juice in with the meat. Pour 1 quart of tomato juice into pan. Dilute the tomato juice with about 1 -1 1/2 cups water. Put 1 tsp. of cayenne red pepper and 2 tsp. of chili powder in. Stir it in well. Chop up a half stick of celery and put in pot. Check every so often and stir. Once it starts boiling, put on lower setting (simmer). Let simmer and cook for about 2 hours.

We like to put some grated cheese and butter on ours and serve it with bread or home made scones.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Strawberries and Cream Dessert Squares

Great for the Spring/Summer season when Strawberries are out. You can use other berries with this recipe though.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Makes: 20 servings
I got this recipe from Betty
I recommend this for a gathering/get together sort of thing where you won't be bringing any back home with you. It tastes amazing the first day and it tastes good the next day or two but then it starts to get mushy and the strawberries look gross (the guys will eat it happily still).
1 pouch (1lb. 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 cup white vanilla baking chips (6 oz.) **I used soem that had red in them
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries **I used 5-6 instead because I just love berries!
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
10-12 drops red food color, if desired
***I doubled the sugar, water, cornstarch, strawberry goo mixture. I knew I'd like it better that way. But that's just me.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom only of 15x10x1 or 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough dorms. Press evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
2. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave baking chips uncovered on High 45-60 seconds or until chops are melted and can be stirred smooth. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in melted chips until blended. Spread mixture over crust. Refrigerate while making topping.
3. In small bowl, crush 1 cup of the strawberries (**I crushed 2 cups instead since I added a cup or two extra and also remember I doubled the cornstarch mixture as well...). In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in crushed strawberries and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in food coloring. Cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in remainging 3 cups strawberries. Sppon topping over filling. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set; serve within 4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

The Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The title is seriously right on the dot. These are amazing and I hate to say that I ate the majority of them...they were that good. I got this recipe from all

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat the vanilla, egg, adn egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just bleded. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and putty (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake.

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

***I just rolled up good sized balls of dough and put them on the sheet pan. I didn't make a big deal about degrees and stuff. Came out with amazing cookies!!!!!!