Monday, May 27, 2013

cajun chicken & sausage jambalaya.


This classic cajun dish is sure to spice up your taste buds. The andouille sausage combined with spicy cajun seasoning and crunchy green peppers make this dish something your mouth will definitely not want to miss.

Cajun Jambalaya

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch cubes

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup to 1 cup onion

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 can stewed tomatoes

2 tablespoons cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

2 cups instant whole grain brown rice


1 cup low sodium, fat free chicken broth


3/4 cup water

1. Heat oil in large heavy skillet on medium-high heat.

 Add chicken and sausage; cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.

2. Pour off excess oil. 


Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir on medium heat until onion is softened. 

Stir in tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and thyme.

3. Return chicken and sausage to skillet.


4. Add rice,  broth, and water; bring to boil. 

5. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring 

occasionally. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

white & chocolate chip chocolate cookies.


I hadn't baked any sweets in probably 3 weeks so this was necessary. These are chewy with just the right amount of crunch. They are bursting with chocolate chips  in every bite. Hershey's calls these cookies "perfect white chip chocolate cookies". I have to admit they are pretty close to perfect.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Special Dark Cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Directions:
  • 1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, and baking soda; gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in both kinds of chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking; flatten upon cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

slow cooker salsa chicken wraps.


It's hard to describe how delicious this meal is so you'll just have to try it out for yourself! BUT it's definitely not hard to describe how easy it is- just measure and mix ingredients then let the crock pot do the rest!

Ingredients-

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 cup salsa
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
Tortillas

Directions-
Place chicken in the bottom of your crock pot. Mix seasonings together. Sprinkle mixed seasonings on chicken. In a bowl, combine soup and salsa. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours. Shred chicken with two forks and stir in sour cream. Serve on tortillas or as desired.

**Note: The above seasonings = 1 packet of taco seasoning. So you could use that instead but I recommend the homemade version. :)

Inspired by: http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2012/02/slow-cooker-salsa-chicken.html &
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/

Saturday, May 11, 2013

light fettuccine alfredo.




This recipe is much lighter than most alfredo sauces. You won't find a whole stick of butter or a whole brick of cream cheese in this recipe (not that there is anything wrong with that!). The small amount of heavy cream, butter, milk, and cream cheese blend together wonderfully to make a thick yet still creamy sauce. The cheese and garlic give it rich flavor. We ate this pasta dish with chicken parmesan the first time and had leftovers with plain cooked chicken. Both times it was delicious!

  • Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. fettuccine pasta, uncooked (I used whole grain linguine)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 1/2 oz. freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp slightly packed)
  • 2 oz Neufchatel cheese (aka 1/3 less fat cream cheese), diced into cubes
  • freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
  • finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional 

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to directions listed on package. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Once fully melted mix in flour and cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually add in a little milk at time, whisking vigorously until smooth after each addition. Stir in cream, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder. While stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, cook sauce until mixture thickens and begins to gently bubble.
  • Reduce heat to low, add in Parmesan cheese and Neufchatel cheese and stir until cheese has melted. Stir in a few tbsp pasta water to thin sauce if desired. Drain cooked pasta well (DO NOT rinse pasta with water or the pasta sauce wont stick) then pour drained pasta into sauce and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately garnished with ground pepper, optional parsley and Romano cheese.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

whole wheat pizza crust.




For a whole wheat recipe, this one was definitely a winner.  I like using whole wheat flour in recipes because it adds a little more flavor and has some healthier benefits that white flour leaves out. For our pizzas, we topped them off with bacon, pepperoni, bell peppers, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese. We also added basil, oregano, and garlic powder which was an excellent addition.  We also stuffed one pizza's crust with mozzarella string cheese which is always awesomeness.


Ingredients:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (from tap)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 shakes of salt (or up to 1 teaspoon)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour



Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Add the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. When the dough is doubled, divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled. (I did not do this step because I didn't see it...but I probably wouldn't have done it anyway because I'm not that patient!)
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Stretch and roll out pizza dough then place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables. 
  5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.




    Grandma's lasagna.



    I am sharing my Grandma's lasagna recipe and it is one you'll definitely want to try! It's the best lasagna I've ever had! Actually it's just about the only lasagna I'll eat. It's a classic lasagna recipe bursting with tomato sauce, flavorful oregano, and lots of cheese. 

    Ingredients:
    1 jar spaghetti sauce (23-25 oz-ish)
    1 lb lean ground beef- optional
    8 oz lasagna noodles
    8 oz shredded mozzarella
    1 cup grated parmesan cheese
    1 lb small curd cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/4 tsp garlic powder

    Instructions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cook noodles according to package. Brown and drain ground beef.
    3. Combine eggs and seasonings.
    4. Add cottage cheese to egg mixture.
    5. Combine spaghetti sauce and ground beef.
    6. In a 9x13 baking dish, arrange layer of sauce/beef, layer of noodles, layer of egg/cottage cheese mixture, layer of mozzarella, and finally a layer of parmesan. 
    7. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with a layer of sauce on top.
    8. Bake for 1 hour. Cover with foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Let stand 15 minutes before serving (I usually can't wait this long though!).


    Friday, May 3, 2013

    chicken enchiladas.


    so delicious with a side of chips & guac!

    here's what you need:
    6 whole wheat tortillas
    1-2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded
    1-1 1/2 cups sweet corn
    2 cups Mexican style cheese (or more if you like lots of cheese!)
    2 T butter
    4 T flour
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 cup sour cream (or more if you want to put some on top)
    5 oz Ro-Tel Original
    1/2 t Cumin
    1/2 t Garlic Powder
    Black pepper

    here's what you do:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Fill the center of each tortilla with a handful of shredded chicken, a tablespoon or so of the corn, and a pinch of the shredded cheese.
    3. Roll and place in the bottom of a baking dish with the seam side down.
    4. In a pot over medium heat melt the better. Add flour and whisk into a thick paste.
    5. Add chicken broth, sour cream, Ro-tel, garlic, cumin, and pepper.
    6. Whisk gently for about 5 minutes until warm and smooth.
    7. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and top with remaining shredded cheese.
    8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and serve warm.

    **For the guacamole, I mashed up 2 avocados and mixed in 5 oz of Ro-tel...talk about delicious! 

    [this recipe was inspired by http://www.marthastewart.com/318900/lighter-chicken-enchiladashttp://foodfamilyfinds.com/recipe-easy-and-creamy-white-chicken-enchiladas/]

    Oh and it was also Pajama Chef approved ;)