Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moist & Crispy Chicken Breasts

This was super awesome! It reminded me a lot of the Ranch Fried Chicken I made back in September. But the flavors were even better! The beef bouillon cubes add a lot to the flavor. The chicken was moist, as the title suggests. And it was easy! Give this a try!

Moist & Crispy Chicken Breasts-adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 4
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, crushed to a powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Butter a 13×9 glass baking dish. Melt the rest of the butter and set aside.
Mix together all of the dry ingredients on a plate.
Coat each piece of chicken in sour cream thoroughly.  Dredge the chicken piece through the breadcrumb mix, coating it completely. Place the coated piece in the baking dish, and repeat with the rest.
Arrange chicken in the baking dish until they fit and there is about 1/2 inch of space between each one.
Once all of the chicken is in the pan, drizzle the melted butter over each piece of chicken as evenly as possible. You don’t need to be super precise.
Bake the chicken for 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees, uncovered.

Tenderloins with Rosemary and Wine

Steak is my favorite meat. I love it done rare-med rare-ish. The one thing that sucks about living in an apartment--no grill. I still will make steaks from time to time (case in point here) on the stove, but it just isn't the same. The sauce and flavors to this recipe were good. Nothing note worthy, but give it a try!

Tenderloins with Rosemary and Wine-adapated from 365 Last Minute Meals
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
Sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove steaks from skillet and keep warm; reserve drippings.

For the sauce, add rosemary to the drippings. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Carefully stir wine and water into the skillet. Bring to boiling and boil, uncovered, about 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced. stir in whipping cream and boil gently for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Spoon over steaks.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Apricot Chicken and Orzo

I'm always hesitant to try fruit with meat. I don't know why, it just always seems wrong in some way. I feel as though I'm always surprised though! The curry powder in this recipe brought in some great flavors. The apricots really brought in an interesting texture. And I always love cooking with orzo. If you haven't yet, you need to. I love it.

Apricot Chicken and Orzo--adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 cups dried orzo pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can unpeeled apricot halves in light syrup, undrained
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 green onions
Cook orzo according to package directions, drain. Drain apricot halves, reserving 1/2 cup syrup. Set apricots and the syrup aside. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add apricot halves, cut side down, to the skillet for last 2 minutes of cooking. Transfer chicken and apricots to keep warm.

Cut green tops off two of the green onions and cut into this diagonal slices; set aside for garnish. Chop remaining green onions. Add chopped green onions and the remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder to skillet; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the reserved syrup and orzo. Spoon onto plates and garnish with green onion tops.

Sausage Gumbo

Aaaand I'm back. It's been awhile, but I haven't stopped cooking! Just been busy!

Gumbo always makes me think of my dad. I'm not really sure why, because I actually don't remember him ever making gumbo. But gumbo makes me think on jambalya, which he loves. This recipe was good. It had a lot of flavor and a lot of good ingredients. It's not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed it!

One thing I did a little different, because of mine & Scott's work schedules was cook everything on Warm instead of low for about 8 hours. Everything was already cooked, so I wasn't afraid of anything getting into the "danger zone". It still turned out great and not burned!

Sausage Gumbo-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 4 Hours
Serves 5
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Hot cooked rice
In a large skillet, saute the celery, onion, green pepper and carrot in oil until tender. Stir in flour until blended, and gradually add the broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker. Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, oregano, thyme and cayenne. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Serve with rice.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

The only time I really remember eating chicken and dumplings as a kid is at Cracker Barrel. I've never even considered making this before. Scott seemed to think the dumplings were under cooked, although I thought they tasted like I remembered. The flavors were awesome and I'd totally make this again!

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings--Adapted from Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cooking 2
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 14-ounces chopped carrots
  • 14-ounces chopped celery
  • 8-ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4-6 cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • 6 cans (14-ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (at most) flour, for dusting
  • 1 container refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 1 jar turkey gravy
In a large heavy Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add broth, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

While stew simmers, prepare dumplings. On a flour-dusted surface, roll each biscuit 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut the biscuits into 1-inch wide strips. Set aside.

Stir in chicken gravy into pot. Stir in dumplings a few at a time. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 10 minutes. 

M&M Cookies

I made these for a friend's bachelor/bachelorette party and they were such a hit! Very easy batter that's delicious!

M&M Cookies-Adapted from AllRecipes
Total Time 20 Minutes
Makes about 15 large cookies

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, shortening, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add 3/4 cup of M&M candies.

Drop dough by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.

Bake for about 12 minutes minutes, or to your liking.

Best of June 2012

A little bit behind, but here's the best of June 2012! Enjoy!

2. Eggplant Parmesan--So delicious & easy!

5. Mustard Fish-and awesome twist for tilapia!


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