Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bourbon Chicken


2lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons oil (for pan-frying)
cornstarch (for dusting, optional)

1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ teaspoon ginger (I used ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, and if you choose lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok and fry chicken bits in batches until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok and bring to a boil. Add chicken bits back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes


This makes a VERY large pot of soup. You might try cutting it in half or be prepared for lots of left overs. I did not use low sodium chicken broth--just regular and it was perfect. I also used a pint of my canned chicken in this.

3 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk so I used 2 cups 1% and 1 cup cream)
1 cup yellow corn muffin mix (Jiffy brand works great)
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 " cubes
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 cups frozen corn (not thawed)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix milk and muffin mix in bowl until well combined. Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, chicken and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens, about 10 minutes. Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Hot Hoagies


1 loaf french bread, cut lengthwise
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (in a pinch, you can use two large cans chicken breast)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheese)
Olives, chopped (0ptional - I omit these due to my kids' preferences)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place french bread on large baking sheet. Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl. Spread topping evenly on top of both lengths of french bread. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and edges are lightly browned. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 cup complete buttermilk pancake mix (I use the Krusteaz mix from Costco)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
Maple syrup
Toasted, chopped pecans

In a bowl, combine the pancake mix, cinnamon and ginger. In a small bowl, whisk water and pumpkin until blended; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray. Spread out batter with back of spoon. When underside is browned, turn pancakes and cook until second side is browned. Top with syrup and toasted pecans, if desired. Makes 6 pancakes. Can easily be doubled.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken

I liked this with a little sour cream and grated monterey jack cheese rolled up in a tortilla. I did put some in the freezer, and I'm going to try it in a soup.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

Coat the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded.) Serve in tacos or however your little heart desires.

*Freezable Meal: I freeze the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving the next day. I reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies


I took this to our fall break get-together at Debra's. Yummy!

2 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 ¾ cups white chocolate chips
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside (I lined my pan with aluminum foil and then sprayed the aluminum foil with cooking spray).

Whisk together flour, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and molasses and mix on medium speed until combined.

Add flour mixture on low speed until combined. Stir in white chocolate.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake until golden around edges and toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan; cut into 24 squares. Blondies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

**Update** I've had a few questions about these brownies "falling" after baking. They do fall in the middle and that is ok. I actually trimmed off the sides of the brownies (since they were ragged and a lot higher than the middle of the brownie) and saved them for my husband to eat. Then I cut up the uniform middle section of brownie into squares. Both parts taste great, the edges just don't look as pretty

Baked Manicotti

recipe from

This is fantastic! I did add the red pepper which I really liked, but for some it might be too much of a kick--just adjust to your taste. I didn't love it reheated so next time I am going to put half in the freezer and just make it in a smaller dish. It made enough to feed my family twice.

Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (in juice)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use the Barilla brand - apparently they are supposed to be the most similar to homemade pasta and I love them, both in this and in lasagna)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan chese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.

To assemble, pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in each row, allowing all 16 to fit in the dish). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

The manicotti can be prepared right up until the baking step then covered with a sheet of parchment paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace the aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Creamy White Chili

This recipe is from

This is wonderful and easy. A great recipe for canned chicken and canned beans. It would then go together soooo fast!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (if you like less kick, add just one can)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately. This is especially good served with tortilla chips. Makes about 6 servings.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garlic Herb Breadmaker Bread

I brought this to Debra's when we got together for fall break. I doubled the recipe that day and made it in the traditional way instead of the breadmaker. (It made two 9x5" loaves.) We like to do this in the breadmaker on Sunday's. It is yummy to come home to after church. I am posting the instructions to make it in the breadmaker.

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2-4 cloves minced garlic (I like a lot)

Cover completely with:
3 1/4 cups white flour
1 T butter (cut up cold butter and put on the flour)
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. yeast

Bake on white bread, light crust setting.

For the traditional bread method, I baked it at 350 degrees for about 32 minutes.