Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fish with Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Asparagus Risotto

This sauce was so easy and delicious to make. The original recipe called for flounder, but I used swai fillets. You could probably use any white fish for this.

Fish with Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Asparagus Risotto-adapted from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking 2 by Sandra Lee
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 fish fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 cup aribo rice
  • 3 1/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup light Alfredo pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Pour oil into 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange fish in the dish and sprinkle with the seasoned salt and lemon pepper. Roast in oven for 5 minutes. Add chopped asparagus to the dish and roast for 5-7 more minutes, or until fish flakes easily witha  fork. Remove from oven and keep fish warm.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions with the chicken broth and seasonings. Stir in the roasted asparagus.

In a small blender, puree the red peppers and Alfredo sauce. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and heat through.

Serve fish with risotto and topped with sauce.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chicken Coleslaw

I kind of picked up these ingredients without really thinking about the recipe as a whole. As I was making it, I got a little worried because Scott isn't always the greatest fan of cole slaw. In the end, it was a fantastic recipe! It was very refreshing and had a lot of flavor to it.

Normally, I don't have a problem interchanging mayonnaise for Miracle Whip, but from making a cole slaw or two in the past, I knew the Miracle Whip brought some extra flavor that I didn't want to miss out on.

This is definitely a dish I would consider bringing to a party or get together. It's really simple to put together, and stays rather well for an extra day or two.

Update August 20, 2013
Scott made this for a work gathering. In playing around with it, we added two sliced green onions. We also seasoned the chicken with seasonsed salt and pepper, as well as adding additional lemon pepper to the dressing mix after the fact. Keep playing around with it til it tastes like you want it!

May 29, 2014

Chicken Cole Slaw-adapted from Shortcut Recipe Cards by Taste of Home
Serves 4
Total Time: 20 Minutes

  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • Seasoned salt & pepper for the chicken
  • 16 ounce bag of cole slaw mix
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 hard cooked eggs, diced (here's my favorite website to learn how to make hard boiled eggs)
  • 6 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Dash celery salt
  • Dash or two of lemon pepper
Season chicken with seasoned salt & pepper. Cook over medium heat in a large skillet until no longer pink in the middle. In a large salad bowl, combine the chicken, cole slaw, celery and eggs. In another bowl, combine the remainder of the ingredients. Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat. Continue to season with lemon pepper and celery salt until desired taste. Refrigerate until serving.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Orange Chicken

So, to be honest, I totally overcooked this chicken. The flavors, however, were fantastic so I'm still marking this as a great recipe because if I make it correctly next time I have no doubt it will be awesome!

Orange Chicken-adapted from The Pursuit of Happiness
Total Time: 5 hours
Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 6 ounces frozen juice concentrate, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
Grease the inside of a 5 quart slow cooker. Mix together the salt, vinegar, ketchup, orange juice and brown sugar until combined.

Using a large ziploc bag, toss the chicken pieces in flour until well combined. Place in the orange juice mixture and toss until lightly combined.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice and egg rolls.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Homemade Dinner Rolls

I was so excited to try these dinner rolls. I'm so unbelievably happy I found this recipe and don't know that I'll ever use refrigerated biscuits again. I mean, just look at the picture! It looks just professionally made dinner rolls! They were absolutely fantastic and super easy to make. My favorite part is that these can be made up to  4 days in advance.

Update 12/1/2013
I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a hit again! I had trouble again with the batch on the bottom getting burnt, so just make sure you're watching them at about 10 minutes of cooking!

Homemade Dinner Rolls-adapted from The MotherHOOD
Total Time: 2 hours-4 days, depending on chill time
Makes 24 dinner rolls

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-4 1/2 cups flour
Combine water an yeast in a large bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt until combined. Add in flour one cup at a time until too stiff to continue mixing. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to up to 4 days!

Grease baking sheets. Make 24 small balls of the dough and place on the baking sheets. Place baking sheets in turned off oven for about an hour to let dough rise. Turn on oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until rolls are golden brown.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Herbed Quinoa Salad

I haven't cooked with the superfood ingredient, quinoa, until NOW! And, let me tell you, it was totally worth it! The flavors in this were greek-inspired and just awesome. This was a huge hit at the Memorial Day party we went to.

Herbed Quinoa Salad-adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cups chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Bring chicken stock and quinoa to a boil in a large pot and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for 15 minutes, until all the water evaporates. Remove from pot and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the spices and olive oil until it resembles a pesto. Combine the herb mixture and quinoa. Add in cucumber, tomato, olives and feta cheese. Gently toss to combine.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Snicker Salad

I remember going to a Brewer's tailgate with some friends a few years ago and someone had made Snicker Salad. I had never had anything like it before in my life. It was refreshing and sweet, with a little bit of tang. This is definitely what I was looking for, but, not going to lie, it kind of sucks to make. Chopping apples and snicker bars is just not easy. But it's a good party/pot-luck dish when you're responsible for dessert!

Snicker Salad-adapted from Erica's Bloggity Blog
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 12

  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 bags mini snickers, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 8 green apples, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 8 ounces cool whip
In a large bowl, combine the pudding and milk until combined-let chill while you chop the candy. Fold in the cool whip until combine. Mix in the apples and candy and toss lightly to coat.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ginger Chocolate Chip Bars

I made these bars for Mother's Day (I know it's super late). They were really good! They tasted like chocolately gingerbread cookies...but in a bar-if that makes sense at all. They were very easy to make and will definitely be made again!

Ginger Chocolate Chip Bars-adapted from Real Simple
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes 24 bars

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and line with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt. 

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center, about 40-50 minutes. Cool completely and then cut into bars.

This can also be frozen for later:
Instead of baking the batter, freeze it in the pan for up to 2 months. Bake as directed above

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Mac 'n Cheese

I'm not going to lie--it's been awhile since I made this mac 'n cheese. However, I remember it being super easy and we really liked it! It's a slow cooker recipe that only needs to be cooked for 2 1/2-3 hours, so it can be a nice last minute dinner! It does take a bit more watching/changing than a standard slow cooker recipe, but it's worth it.

Slow Cooker Mac 'n Cheese-adapted from A Whisk and A Prayer
Total Time: 3 Hours
Serves 2

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded Italian blend
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Spray the inside of a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended. Add the shredded Italian blend, macaroni and black pepper and toss gently to coat. 

Sprinkle the parmesan on top and cook on high 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jack Daniel's Cupcakes

So after looking at this picture, I realize I need to learn how to frost cupcakes properly. Or maybe get one of those piping bags (can you say registry item)?

Anyway, although the picture isn't the greatest, these cupcakes were great! They were a moist, vanilla flavored cupcake. The frosting gave a nice spicy taste with the Jack Daniels and just a creamy chocolately flavor. I knew I had to make them as soon as I saw them since this is one of Scott's favorite adult beverages

Jack Daniels Cupcakes-adapted from Hugs & Cookies XOXO
Total Time: 1 hour (with cooling)
Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 6 teaspoons Jack Daniels whiskey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time and then add vanilla. Combine other dry ingredients into another bowl, then alternate into butter mixture with milk. Beat until well combined.

Spoon into lined or greased muffin tins and bake in oven 20-25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely

While cooling, beat all ingredients for icing in a small bowl until smooth. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. Garlic mashed potatoes are even better. These are from the Pioneer Woman, using this recipe for the roasted garlic. These potatoes were so incredibly decadent and delicious. The recipe is for 5 pounds, which definitely is enough for your large gatherings!I even peeled these potatoes, as the Pioneer Woman has never steered me wrong!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes-adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Total Time 40 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3-5 heads roasted garlic
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in boiling water until fork tender. Drain potatoes, return to pot with heat turned down to low and thoroughly mash potatoes. Mix in the remainder of ingredients well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Queso Dip

I was so excited when I found this recipe on Pinterest as queso dip is one of my favorite things when I go out for Mexican food. However, this did not turn out very well. I don't know if I did something wrong, or didn't buy the right cheese or what. It never got to that smooth consistency and just didn't taste good. It pretty much looked like a garlic butter, which was very odd. Maybe one of you can figure it out?

Update 11/16/2013
I tried this again. And pretty much got the same result. See the picture below. It did not get smooth even after many many minutes of stirring. And it just looked like butter. I tasted it and it did taste okay, but it's not that appetizing to look at so I won't be making this again. So disappointed.

Queso Dip-adapted from The Royal Cook
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 10

  • 1 1/4 pound block white American cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 ounce pickled jalapeno juice
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin 
Put all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring every 1 minute. Serve with chips.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Peanut Butter Chicken

When I told Scott I was making peanut butter chicken, he was very excited! He stated that whenever he goes to a Chinese buffet (yes, we still do from time to time), he always looks for the peanut butter chicken! The best part--he said this tasted just like it! It was a very simple recipe that I'll be making again!

Peanut Butter Chicken-adapted from More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'dea
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy-your choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked white rice for serving, if desired
Grease a 4-5 quart slow cooker. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and top with the rest of the ingredients. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (high for 4). Serve over rice.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Chili

I can't lie to you guys. I didn't try this recipe. I made it, so I still want to put it up here. Since it's a slow cooker recipe, I got it ready in the morning and went to work. I think this was a day we got a surprise free lunch at work, and I just wasn't hungry all night.

Scott ate it though! The only thing he complained about was that the chicken was a bit dry. I know I put it on the top of the mix, so I'm thinking I need to put it on the bottom next time. I'm not going to give this a rating, but I'll try it again and update you. If you give it a try--let me know!

Buffalo Chicken Chili-adapted from Best One Dish Meals by Pillsbury
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 6

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 -15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • Crumbled blue cheese
Spray 5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

Stir in Buffalo wing sauce. Serve with blue cheese.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cheesy BBQ Chicken

This is another slow cooker recipe where I cooked it for too long and the chicken was over cooked. I need to remember to watch that a little more closely! You can over cook something in the slow cooker! Sometimes I'm really into barbecue sauce, but other times I'm not. There wasn't anything wrong with this recipe, but I just wasn't a huge fan. It was very simple and easy to make and you usually have most of this stuff in the pantry, so it's a good last minute dinner!

Cheesy BBQ Chicken-adapted from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes by The Original Crock-Pot
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 6

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 26 ounce bottle barbecue sauce
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
Grease the inside of a 5 quart slow cooker. Place chicken in slow cooker and cover with barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.

Before serving, cut bacon slices in half. Cook bacon on the stove until done to the preferred consistency. Place two pieces on each chicken breast and top with cheese. Recover slow cooker and put on high until cheese melts.

Roast Cod with Crisp Potatoes

The problem I always run into when baking a light-tasting fish, like cod, is that Scott says there's always not enough flavor to it. The same definitely happened in this recipe, unfortunately, and I even added a bunch of lemon pepper seasoning! I'd still make this again because it was really easy, and one whole meal in one which is always nice to not dirty 423,234 dishes every time you cook (which I definitely tend to do). I just need to make sure to add additional seasoning. I'm thinking some cayenne, red pepper flakes, and garlic possibly? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Also, I added in some carrots to the recipe below. I had some left over and they definitely baked well!

Roast Cod with Crisp Potatoes-adapted from Meals Made Easy by Real Simple
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (peeled, if desired)
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 4 cod fillets
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the potatoes and carrots in a baking dish, drizzle with the 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes. Stir and roast for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, season the cod fillets with the lemon pepper seasoning. After the 30 minutes of roasting, move the potatoes and carrots to the sides of the baking dish and place cod fillets in the center. Drizzle the remaining oil and roast about 10 minutes, until the fillets are cook through and flake easily.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato-Olive Sauce with Toasted Baguette

Scott and I have recently found our new love of bruschetta. When I saw this recipe, I just knew I had to make it. Goat cheese is something I haven't had a whole lot of experience cooking with yet, but I know I love to eat it! The hardest part of this recipe was slicing the goat cheese as it's a rather soft cheese, however I didn't care. I just went with it!

The next time you have people over, make this as an appetizer. I promise, you and your guests won't be disappointed. Scott and I definitely at this (and only this) for dinner when I made it.

Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato-Olive Sauce with Toasted Baguette-adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 thin baguette, thinly sliced
  • 2 small logs (3.5-4 ounces each) goat cheese, sliced into 3/4 inch disks
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook until garlic starts to sizzle and turn golden. Add tomatoes and olives, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer about 10-12 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to center position and place baguette slices in single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Pour tomato sauce into small baking dish and top with goat cheese disks. Bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until goat cheese lightly browns, 1-2 minutes longer. Serve with a knife and spoon.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Roasted Asparagus

I've recently realized that I probably have an obnoxious love of asparagus. I feel like we never had it at home when I was a kid, so I never really wanted to try it when I got out on my own in college. Now, I've had just plain baked asparagus and prosciutto wrapped asparagus--if you have not tried this, it is definitely something you need to do. A friend made these over Thanksgiving, and I've been craving them ever since.

Anyway, this recipe was so simple. I love the added pepper and onion for a little extra flavor. It's incredibly easy that can be ready for dinner in less than 30 minutes, and only about 5 minutes of prep! The one new thing I learned is how to trim the asparagus. You can see the instructions on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

And yes, you can see by the picture below, we had this with GIANT, delicious ribeye steaks with mushrooms and onions. Best. Dinner. Ever.

Roasted Asparagus-adapted from Better Homes and Garden's New Cookbook
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Place asparagus, onion, pepper in a large baking dish (I used 9x12). Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, seasoned salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.


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