Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Picture Post

I wanted to post these recipes because they were so good. I had a Stella and Dot jewelry party last Friday. I did a wine & dessert theme, but I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.

Salted Fudge Brownies: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/salted-fudge-brownies
So good! Even better with a glass of red wine

Spiced Pumpkin Cake: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spiced-pumpkin-cake-00000000044847/index.htmlVery simple to make and pretty when it was all said and done. Great for the fall season.

Not served at the party but something I made for this week. Roasted Tomato Soup. What a great pairing for a panini or grilled cheese!

Sunday Dinner

My work schedule is about to get very hectic with travel so I wanted to follow some advice & roast a chicken on Sunday, then use the leftovers for something else.

Roasting a chicken is so easy and hands off. I just took the chicken, doused it with Italian dressing, put in a dutch oven and let it bake. I want to say at 325 maybe? I have a digital thermometer so I wait until it tells me its done. In addition to the chicken I made roasted red potatoes. These happen to be a favorite of mine from college days. My roommate's mom used to make these for us when we were home for the weekend.

They are so easy. Just quarter some red potatoes & toss them with spices. I use garlic or roasted minced garlic, salt & pepper. Roast at 425 for about 45 minutes until they are crisp. I usually stir them up about half way through.

My leftover recipe. White Chicken Chili! It has gotten cold here and this sounded delicious.

White Chicken Chili (adapted from Paula Deen)
2 cans cannelinni beans
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (fresh or canned)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add the chicken, cannelini beans, cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Serve with cornbread, if desired

The only thing I would have done differently is saute the onions more. They were a little crunchy as were the peppers.

***on a side note, its dark when I get home now so my pictures are going to suck

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

Here is a quick & easy meal! Since I started a new job, I wanted to try out some recipes that wouldnt take too long, store well, or could be made by the husband. This was one of them.

Chicken Tetrazzini
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1 can (14 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

**I omitted the peppers, my family doesnt like them**

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COOK spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook chicken and vegetables in large nonstick skillet 5 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.

BRING Neufchatel, flour and broth to boil in same skillet, stirring constantly with whisk; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min., stirring frequently.

DRAIN spaghetti; return to saucepan. Add Neufchatel sauce, chicken mixture and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole; cover.

BAKE 25 min. Top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan; bake, uncovered, 2 min. or until mozzarella is melted.

** I also topped this with panko to make it extra crsipy on top!

Apple Muffins!

Yep. Still working on the apples. I finally peeled most of them & froze them. I can't do much more apple around here :) I got this recipe from blogchef. I love the website b/c not only do they have great pictures, they do some step by step on some of the recipes too.

I made this one early morning, when my son decided to wake everyone up at 4am. He fell back asleep. I did not. These were amazing right out of the oven. They had a crisp topping and a melt in your mouth middle. But...
I let them cool & placed them in a Tupperware container. The crisp top turned mushy. They were still delicious, but I was wanting that crisp, crumbly topping. Any suggestions on how to store them?

Apple Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped apples (about 3 apples)
Cinnamon topping-
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in apples and then gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

To make cinnamon topping- in a small bowl mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until the mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the tops of the batter in the muffin pan.

Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Apple Crumble Bars

I am still working through my apples. I need a recipe that calls for about 20 apples in order to actually use them all.

I have made these twice already. They are so awesome!!! I would expect no less from an Annie's Eats recipe though.

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble Bars
For the base:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:
4 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and coarsely diced
5 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup fruit jam (I used apricot)

For the topping:
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

To prepare the filling, in a large skillet combine the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm. In a small cup, whisk together cornstarch and lemon juice. Add to the apple mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8” baking dish with foil, leaving overhang on both sides for easy removal later. Grease foil.

To make the base, in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Mix well. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, two forks or your hands, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven. Spread the fruit jam evenly on the base while it is still hot. Top with the cooked apple mixture.

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the topping. Mix well until combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Using the foil, lift out of pan. Cut into squares and serve. (If desired, refrigerate before cutting to firm up a bit for easier slicing.)

I wish I could post a voice note I took via my phone. Jayson LOVES the apple bars. So much he can say it. Its absolutely hilarious.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A return item

I remembered the last time my mother in law brought us apples I made an amazing apple cake. I was so glad to see I had blogged about it & didn't have to try to recall whose recipe it was or where I had seen it. I reminded me why I blog. Because while I love to try new things, I like that I have history of my recipes to relate to. My husband is terrible at remembering things, so I get requests like "you know that one chicken thing that had ranch & potatoes".

Anyway, here the latest apple cake remake

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma & moi!

I would say this is more of a cake than coffee cake. I associate coffee cake with the mornings, in that, that is the only time I drink coffee. The cake is amazing, moist, delicious. But, its also sweet and too sweet for the mornings for me.

Chicken and Rice

This was an easy dinner to throw together. I recipes like this because they don't scream casserole, but they are just as simple.

Chicken and Rice Bake
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1 cup water

3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

1.Stir the soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Season with additional paprika and black pepper. Cover the baking dish.
2.Bake at 375°F. for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.

I served it with some steamed broccoli. And this would have been pretty good except for 2 things.

1) I used the wrong side of the pepper shaker. Like the pour side, not the shake side. It had a little kick to it to say the least.

2) My rice was crunchy. If you havent been following my blog for the past few years, you won't understand that crunchy rice is pretty common with me. There only seems to be one recipe in which I can make normal rice. I dont know what the deal is. I am rice challenge.

Its Apple Time Again!

Leave your favorite apple recipes for me in the comments section. My mother in law brought us a 5 gallon of bucket apples.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SnickerDoodle Scones

You will see Annie's Eats referenced often on my blog. I simply love her. Every recipe I have ever made from her website has been phenomenal. So whenever I want to try out something new, I go to her website for the recipe.

I was trying to decide between biscotti or scones. I've never made either, and I can't recall ever eating either. So I asked a friend, and the answer was scone. This was such an easy recipe. But I don't think it turned out quite right. Then again, maybe I have never had a scone??? I was thinking it would be more biscuit-y less cake-like. You tell me!

Snickerdoodle Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup whole milk or heavy cream
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:
¼ cup sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar; stir together with a fork. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture and cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture is crumbly and the largest butter pieces are the size of peas.

Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir together with a fork just until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. If necessary, knead the mixture just a few times by hand to bring the dough together. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and form a large round disc about 8-9 inches in diameter. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle generously over the top of the dough round (you will not need to use all of the topping.) Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on the pan, then slice into 6-8 wedges for serving.

Also, I suck at using my pastry cutter. I don't know what my deal is, but I just cant get it to work. Practice I suppose. These tasted great, like a dense cake. I think I should have used more cinnamon, but I didn't measure that part.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


As I get back into baking and cooking, I am revisiting the old sites I used to frequent. Williams-Sonoma has the best line of cookbooks around. Everything I have ever made from there is fabulous.

One of my favorite things about their recipes is that they give you background. Sure the recipes are by no means easy, especially the cooking ones, but you learn something, whether it be terminology or a technique.

So I wanted to bake some cookies and decided to hit up their website. I made buttery pecan cookies & chocolate crinkle cookies. I decided to do two different types because you cannot bring nuts into Jayson's daycare.

Buttery Pecan Cookies-- Talk about quick and easy! These reminded me a lot of the pecan sandies you buy in the store and taste great with coffee!

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth. Turn off the mixer a few times so you can scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and nuts. Continue mixing until the dough looks like moist pebbles, then turn off the mixer.

Gently squeeze the dough together with your hands. When the dough comes together in a mass, place it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands, shape it into a log 10 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Unwrap the dough and place it on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into slices 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the slices about 1 inch apart on the foil-lined baking sheets.

Place 1 baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies until their edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second and then the third baking sheets.

Lift the cooled cookies off the baking sheets with your fingers. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Makes about 40 cookies.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies -- Jayson's teachers said "these were like brownie cookies something just delicious!"

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter.

Put the confectioners' sugar into a bowl and set aside.

Mix the ingredients
In another bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the other egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.

Form the cookies
Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Scrape the dough off the spoon into the palm of your other hand. Roll the dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the confectioners' sugar until covered. Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies
When 1 baking sheet is full, put it in the oven and bake the cookies until they are crackled and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Using a metal spatula, move the cookies onto the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Makes about 24 cookies.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hi My Name Is ...

Julie and this is my blog about cooking and baking. Oh wait, I have been here before. A little deja vu anyone?

Well, I have had some extra time on my hands lately and decided to start the ole blog again. My husband is at a new company and they just love all the baked goodies I make for him to bring into work. So I have been baking more.

And cooking more. Now the the baby is no longer a baby, try 18 months. He is eats everything. I mean EVERYTHING. His favorite food so far is bacon wrapped filets. Yeah, as in steak. But he is STARVING by 5:30/6:00pm. This creates a bit of a challenge for dinner time.

So a few things have changed,not everything is from scratch. I do have store made spaghetti sauce now a days. No P90X, although I probably should. And I let my subscription to Cooking Light run out, so what you will see on this blog are a lot of recipes from other blogs. And maybe a few that will make re-appearances. I forgot how much easier it is to search my blog for a recipe instead of the printed out recipes that are mashed into a binder.

Here is one I made a few weeks ago. I found it on one of my absolute favorite blogs, Annie's Eats. They are called Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy Bars. Mine were a bit more gooey than hers. Not sure what I did though....

Chocolate Oatmeal Almost Candy Bars
For the oatmeal layer:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup salted honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the chocolate layer:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup salted honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the sides of the pan with butter.

To make the oatmeal cookie layer, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-high speed until it is soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Mix in the oats and peanuts with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Reserve 1½ cups of the mixture. Place the remaining dough in the prepared pan and press over the bottom of the pan in an even layer.

To make the chocolate layer, combine the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is warm and the chocolate chips and butter are melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peanuts.

Pour the warm chocolate mixture over the oatmeal cookie layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie mixture and scatter evenly over the top of the chocolate.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the chocolate layer is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars as desired and serve.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recipes to share

This is another no photo blog, but I wanted to get a few recipes out here so I can come back to them later. I was going through my google reader today & saw someone post a recipe (with a link back to my blog) that I made a long time ago (uh 2008!) and realized a) I really liked that recipe & will make it next week and b) thank god I can just dig up old posts for my recipes.

Just 2 to add here.
Orange Beef & Broccoli -> We realized that my son LOVES chinese food. Something with a little kick to it but also sweet and I think he just really likes rice. We went to a chinese buffet a few weekends ago & I believe he ate more than I did. So I knew this recipe would be a hit-and it was really quick to make.

Veggie Cold Pizza-> This has to be one of my favorite appetizers. Its the healthier option when at a party and really, I just love. I made this for my book club. I am sure there is a recipe out there but I'll just type up the one my friend Jen sent to me

2 cans crescent rolls
1 8 oz cream cheese (I used the 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (light is what I used)
2 Tbsp mayo
2 T green onions
1 pkg ranch mix
Any chopped veggies you like (cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots)

Line a cookie sheet w/ foil & spray it with Pam/Crisco whatever.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Press the uncooked crescent rolls into the pan so they form a nice base-make sure the seems all meet yup.
Bake for 12 minutes
Mix the rest of the ingredients, minus the chopped veggies, in a bowl.
After the crescent rolls have cooled, spread the cream cheese mix on them.
Top with your chopped veggies!

As a side note, we have joined Door to Door Organics through my work. I love it! The beef & broccoli recipe was made with organic oranges & broccoli & I used the broccoli on my veggie pizza too. There are 2 things I love about D2D. 1) It gets delivered to my office. 2) I get a variety of fruits & veggies I wouldn't normally try. Meyer lemons, mangoes, blood oranges, red pears. While I see these things at the grocery store, its not like i ever actively seek them out. So its fun to try new things with the produce I receive.

Chocolate & Caramel bars

I was in charge of dessert this month for Ronald McDonald House dinner. I knew I wanted to make some type of bar b/c I wouldn't have time to make a bunch of cookies. I also knew I had a box of yellow cake mix in my pantry.

So off to bettyCrocker.com. (I love the Internet, could be why I work in that field). These little beauties were the first thing that caught my eye. Enough so much that I decided to make two batches-one for RMH & one for my co-workers birthday.

Chocolate & Caramel Oatmeal Bars

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 jar (12.25 ounces) caramel topping (1 cup)
1 tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour

1. Heat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Beat cake mix, butter and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed about 1 minute or just until crumbly. Stir in oats, using hands if necessary. Reserve 1 1/2 cups oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture in bottom of pan. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown.
3. Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts over hot crust. Mix caramel topping and flour in small bowl; drizzle evenly over chocolate chips and walnuts. Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over top.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

In all seriousness, I had everything in my pantry for these, even the caramel sauce. These would be great for a potluck or picnic.

vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies

Awhile back I tried to make something, I think granola, with quick oats. That didn't turn out so well. So i was forced to try the old fashioned oats. And let me tell you, best thing to be forced to do!

On the top of my handy Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats can is a recipe for Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies. Its your standard oatmeal cookie recipe, but I have never made them using the old fashioned oats. Boy have I been missing out. This is probably the third time I have made these cookies. They disappear very quickly and you don't feel so bad eating them for breakfast.

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I roll mine into a ball with greased hands)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min

Also,I have gotten in the habit of putting my cookies/dough in the fridge while one set bakes. I like to think it helps keep their shape.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Its still winter

and it sucks! Not only b/c I am over this cold & snow, but because its too dark at night to take pictures of my food.

Now that Jayson is eating everything we eat, meals have been a bit of a challenge. He is STARVING by 6:15, so I have to make some pretty quick meals for him. If I want to make anything that takes longer than 30 minutes, then I need a backup meal for him.

Anyway, here are somethings I have made recently. I need to get the papers off my cookbook holder and this blog is great for documentation!

Big Brother's Sunken Burritos--> I had every intention of making these per the recipe, but I didn't have time to cook the rice so I omitted that. However, I did roast a chicken earlier in the week & was able to use that chicken for my filling in these burritos.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo -> I am pretty sure my son was unhappy he couldn't have any of this stuff. He LOVES the spicy food. So before I mixed in the shrimp, I gave him some of the noodles w/the tomato sauce. The rest of dinner he was eyeing my plate.

Mushroom Marsala Pasta with Artichokes -> I made this so long ago! I don't think I was in love with it, but it wasn't bad. I may have been expecting something phenomenal-I mean, it has mushrooms & artichokes, my 2 favorite things!

Baked Ziti-> this was hit! I made it for the NCAA Championship football game (Roll Tide!). We had some friends over & this was the easiest thing to make. Everyone loved it-from the munchkin to the 15 yr old to the 40 yr old. But I would expect nothing less from Annie's Eats

Marshmallow Crunch Brownies -> Yes I still bake! I have made these 2 times since I found the recipe. One time I got in trouble b/c I brought them to the daycare teachers (No Peanut Facility) the second time I brought them into work. And now that I have stumbled upon the recipe again, I think I will be making them soon.

Sweet potato pecan pie -> I have been making sweet potato pie for an annual party we attend. This year, when I found a merge of sweet potato & pecan pie, I knew it would be perfect! It was, only we had to leave before we got a slice :(

Grilled Chicken w/creamy orzo -> Another Annie recipe. I wasn't in love with this one though, however I can't blame Annie. 1. I didn't have herbs de provence so I seasoned with a variety of herbs. 2. I didn't want to use heavy cream-it is the new year after all.

Sloppy Joes -> Ok so I have never in my life made sloppy joes from scratch. When I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it. Now I have to say it wasn't as good as the Manwhich can- I think it had too much thyme. But I do feel better knowing that it was the healthier option and even though I wasn't in love, my husband and munchkin were.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie -> At some point during the holiday season, cream soups were on sale for something cheap. I bought a bunch. I had about 5 cans of cream of chicken soup in my lazy susan. (No worries, I bought the 98% fat free) Anyway, this was a great & quick way to use one of them up.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken Packets -> This was something I came across in my Best of Pillsbury cookbook. I had everything on and and it was essentially hands off cooking. I had a little extra time on my hand the night I made this. Oh, I totally didn't grill this. It was like 5 degrees outside when I made this. It was baked in the oven, likely with me standing over it hoping to feel warm.

So you see-I have been cooking. My baking has been lacking but I hope to have something to post about tomorrow on that front. I suppose I should feel better about not baking, it means we haven't been eating sweets right? Wrong. We have Girl Scout Cookies in the house. Thank god they are gone now.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Doesn't this look good?

I have no idea how I made it. Sure its mac n cheese, but that's all I got.
I will use this as a learning experience. If I don't blog about my recipes/cooking, I will never remember how to make them again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Too Many Recipes!

I have so many recipes either starred in google reader, tagged in my cookbooks or linked in a word document/email. I needed some way to organize them & work them into my weekly menu. Those of you who don't know me personally will not understand this, but I am an extremely organized & planned person. If I didn't have a plan for each day, I am not sure I would get through them.

So my new menu plans will consist of something like this
Sunday- Slow Cooker/Soups/Salads/Sandwiches
Tuesday: 3 piece dish (ie: grilled chicken, veggie, rice/potato)/casserole
Wednesday: Ethnic foods, so Chinese, Italian, Indian, Greek, etc...
Thursday: Another 3 piece dish/casserole
Friday:Fish Friday!
Saturday: Slow cooker/soups/salads/sandwiches

My first week at this menu I made a roast chicken on Thursday. The recipe came from a Cooking Light cookbook so I'll have to get it at home, but it basically consisted of Thyme & sliced lemons on a chicken & roasted for about 60 to 90 minutes. (PS whole chickens are cheap and so easy to make!!)

So I had all this chicken leftover. Well a few weeks ago I attended a baby shower for one of my closest friends. Our awesome host had made these mini paninis from french baguettes. HOLY DELICIOUS! So I had her email me the recipes & made some mini paninis of my own out of this chicken.

Frontega Chicken:

Smoked & pulled white meat chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions, chopped basil & chipotle mayonnaise, grilled hot on our Focaccia.
Basically got a rotissierie chicken and pulled that apart with some mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions, basil and then mixed adobe chili powder and cayenne powder into may to make the mayonnaise.

- Turkey Artichoke:
Smoked turkey, spinach artichoke spread, Asiago-Parmesan cheese, tomatoes & caramelized onions, grilled hot on our Focaccia.
Got sliced deli turkey, store bought spin dip, sprinkled asiago/parm cheese on it with some tomatoes and caramelized onions.

- Tomato & Mozzarella:
Fresh mozzarella, roasted & fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and all-natural sun-dried tomato pesto on Ciabatta.

- Hickory Smoked Turkey:
Hickory smoked turkey with cilantro lime cream cheese, smoked chipotle aioli, red onion and provolone cheese on a hoagie roll

- Mini Grilled cheese:
caramelized onions, swiss and honey mustard

Thanks so much Kari! We loved the frontega chicken & can't wait to try the other ones.

I also made some white chicken chili from the remainder of the chicken. Jayson loved it! He has a thing for spicy foods.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Have you been to Annie's Eats? If not, make your way over there.
http://annies-eats.com/ Maybe start off with her best of 2009 posts-you will want to make everything on it.
I am apparently a blog stalker b/c as I was putting together my menu for the week I noticed I had 3 recipes from Annie's Eats. And I have at least 10 more tagged "to make".

First up, Chicken Tortilla Casserole.
I had been wanting to make this one b/c I had about 1/2 bag of tortilla chips and my son eats casserole type dishes better than anything.

We loved this. Putting it in the repeat pile-which is rare for me. What surprised me the most was that my 9 month old apparently like spices dishes. He was kicking the highchair every time he wanted more.

On tap, for this week Baked Ziti & Chicken Gyros!