Saturday, July 12, 2008

Magic Chicken

SOOOOOO Easy!!!! Just use the 3 quart fantasia covered baker from Princess House or deep covered baker from Pampered Chef. I know it sounds weird that you microwave chicken, but it is the mostmoist chicken you will ever eat!

1 whole chicken
1 lemon
dried oregano
garlic powder

Wash chicken and make sure cavity is emptied out. Place chicken in dish. Cut lemon in half and squeeze over chicken. Place lemon rinds in chicken cavity. Sprinkle with desired amount of seasonings. Cover and microwave for 32 minutes. Take out and serve.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Potatoes Au Gratin with Ham

These are great for a busy night! We just eat them with scrambled eggs and sliced fruit- Easy Schmeezy ham and cheesy!
6 med. (2 lb.) potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 med. onion, chopped
8 oz. cooked ham, cubed
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
In slow cooker layer: 1/2 potatoes, onion, ham, cheese. Repeat layers. In small bowl, mix soup, milk, thyme. Pour over potatoes. Cover, cook on HIGH setting for 3 hours. Reduce heat to LOW setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until potatoes are tender

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pork, apricot and red onion kabobs

Vegetable oil for grates
1/4 Cup apricot jam
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound) cut into 20- 1 inch cubes
8 apricots, pitted and quartered
1 small red onion, cut into 2 inch wedges

Heat grill to medium, lightly oil grates. Soak four skewers in water. I small saucepan, heat jam, cayenne and 1 tablespoon water over medium low until jam is liquefied; season with salt and pepper. Onto each skewer, alternately thread thread 5 pieces of pork with 8 of apricot and 4 of onion, beginning and ending with pork. Grill kebabs, turning occaisionally and brushing with basting sauce, until pork is cooked through and apricots begin to char, 12-14 minutes

Greek tossed salad

Toss in a bowl or arrange on a plate:
mixed greens
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
sliced cucumber
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced green onion
feta cheese
sprinkle with salt and pepper
drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or Newman's Own olive oil and vinegar dressing

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Soy Glazed Beef with Asian Vegetables

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (I use the frozen brown rice from TJ's- it only takes 3 minutes to cook, and it's more healthy!)
8 ounces snow peas, trimmed
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3-inch lengths
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
1/4 cup soy sauce
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 London Broil (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), halved crosswise
1/4 cup honey

Cook rice according to package instructions; cover, and set aside. Meanwhile, heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss snow peas, carrots, bell peppers, and scallions with oil and 2 tablespoons soy sauce; season with salt and pepper.
Place beef on top of vegetables, and season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon honey. Broil until beef and vegetables begin to char, 6 to 8 minutes. Toss vegetables, and turn beef; drizzle beef with 1 tablespoon honey.
Continue to broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of beef registers 140 degrees and vegetables are charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing vegetables once more. Remove from broiler. Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest, 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, make sauce: Stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and honey. Thinly slice beef, and serve with vegetables, rice, and sauce.

Helpful Hint
Instead of using a separate bowl to toss vegetables with seasoning, use the baking sheet they’ll be cooking on. You’ll save time and cut down on cleanup

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Goat Cheese Ravioli

8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 small garlic cloves, crushed through a garlic press
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
24 square wonton wrappers (3 1/2 inch)

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan
2 teaspoon water
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, stir together parsley, olive oil, Parmesan, and water; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together goat cheese, ricotta, garlic, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Assemble ravioli: Arrange 6 wrappers on a work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered with a damp papper towel.
Spoon 1 level tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. With a fingertip, wet edges of wrappers with water. Fold a corner of each wrapper over filling to form a triangle, and press edges to seal. Flatten area around filling to eliminate air pockets. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If making ahead, cover ravioli with plastic wrap; refrigerate up to 1 day. Or freeze on sheet for 1 hour, then transfer ravioli to a large resealable freezer bag; freeze up to 1 month.)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; reduce to a bare simmer. Drop ravioli into water, one at a time, stirring them gently to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. (Cooking time is the same for frozen ravioli.)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer to drain briefly. Divide between two plates; drizzle with parsley sauce, and serve immediately.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pineapple Stuffed Jerk Chicken

2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (20 ounces each) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
Cooked rice, for serving

In a small bowl, combine thyme, allspice, cayenne, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set spice mixture aside. In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, lime juice, scallions, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Season stuffing with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Lay chicken flat on a work surface. With a paring knife, cut a 2-inch-long slit in the thick side of each breast; insert knife, and pivot inside chicken without enlarging opening, carefully forming a deep pocket (make sure not to pierce the opposite side). Dividing evenly, tightly pack each breast with stuffing; rub exterior with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture.
Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; arrange chicken on sheet. Broil until chicken is opaque throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into stuffing reads 165, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve stuffed chicken with rice.
Helpful Hint
To freeze: Arrange on a baking sheet (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Wrap each in plastic, and place in a resealable freezer bag; freeze up to 2 months. To broil from frozen: Unwrap chicken and proceed with step 3, broiling about 40 minutes, turning chicken over halfway through.

Butternut Squash and Apple Gratin

1 butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, divided
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced, divided
3 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar, divided
1 cup whipping cream, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour 15x10x2-inch baking dish. Spread 1/3 of squash slices over bottom of dish. Arrange 1/2 of onion slices, then 1/2 of apple slices over. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/3 cup cream. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layering. Arrange remaining squash slices on top. Drizzle with remaining 1/3 cup cream. Dot squash with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover dish with foil. Bake until squash and apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Remove foil. Bake until squash is golden brown, about 10 minutes

Mango Cream Puffs

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

2 cups 1/3-inch cubes peeled pitted mango (from about 4 large; see Test-Kitchen Tip below for details)
1 cup chilled sour cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted, diced

Mango Mojito Sauce
2 Mangoes, peeled and diced
6 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
4 tablespoons (or more) sugar
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons (packed) finely chopped fresh mint

For puffs:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring milk, butter, and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Add flour all at once. Reduce heat to medium and stir with wooden spoon until dough forms ball and some batter films bottom of pan thickly, about 4 minutes. Transfer dough to medium bowl and cool 5 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs and yolks 1 at a time.Drop dough by generous tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto baking sheets, making about 24 puffs. Smooth tops with wet fingertips. Bake puffs 15 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake puffs until deep golden, about 10 minutes longer. Make small slit in side of each puff. Return to oven, turn off heat, and let dry 15 minutes. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

For filling:
Stir mango and sour cream in medium bowl to blend. Beat whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mango mixture. Cover bowl; refrigerate filling at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
For Sauce:
Purée mangoes in blender or processor until smooth. Transfer 1 1/2 cups purée to medium bowl (reserve remaining purée for another use). Mix yogurt, 4 tablespoons sugar, fresh lime juice, and chopped mint into purée. Sweeten sauce to taste with more sugar, if desired. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cut cream puffs horizontally in half. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling into each bottom half; cover with tops. Sift remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar over. Divide cream puffs among 8 plates. Spoon sauce onto plates and serve.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thai Lettuce Wraps

This is my copy cat recipe of the Thai lettuce wraps from the Cheesecake Factory.

The amount of ingredients you use depends on how many people you are serving and if you want leftovers. We always make lots and eat them for a couple of meals. Here's a list of ingredients in the wraps:

butter lettuce
red bell pepper strips
chopped green onions
japanese noodles (or Top Ramen)
shredded carrots
sliced cucumbers sprinkled with seasoned rice vinegar
chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro
bean sprouts

Grilled chicken-
I always marinate 1 lb. chicken in this:
3 Tb lime juice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Peanut Sauce:
2/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 coconut milk
1 Tb soy sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper sauce

Bottled Sweet & Sour sauce
Bottled Teriyaki sauce