Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry for dinner. I'm sure my boys won't be thrilled about the broccoli but I know they'll like the chicken. They love these flavors. On the side we'll have brown rice.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
Amy - amylz
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens

1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
About 1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds, optional
Serving suggestion: Jasmine rice

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates and garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.

Notes: The garlic and ginger can be chopped together in a minichopper to save time. Scallion greens can also be used to garnish, if you like that extra onion-y flavor and you want to use up the scallions. The broccoli stems are used (love all that fiber) to add textural contrast and also to help bulk up the dish, and why waste them?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

All-Day Meatballs, S'mores Bars

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having All-Day Meatballs for dinner. These are done in the crockpot. However, I don't really like cooking meatballs in the crockpot with the sauce. I think it makes them too watery. So, I am going to cook them in the oven first, about 18 minutes at 400. Then I will put the sauce over them and bake a little longer to heat the sauce. On the side we'll be having some spaghetti and green beans. Then sometime this week I'm planning to make S'mores Bars.

All-Day Meatballs
(Cathy Ryan in The New Slow Cooker Cookbook and Saeta)

1 cup milk
3/4 cup toasted oats
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine milk, oats, onion and salt in bowl. Crumble beef over the mixture and combine well. Shape into 1-inch balls and arrange in slow cooker. In another bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, water, vinegar and sugar. Mix well and poor over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

S'mores Bars
Katie (Katiedid) from Baking Blonde blog

1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter (no substitutions)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 crushed graham crackers (I used 9 rectangular crackers)
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with PAM.
In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour mixture in bowl with the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (Marshmallows and chips will melt a bit). Fold in remaining marshmallows and chips. Press mixture into prepared pan.
Cool until set. Remove foil and bars from pan, cut and serve. Store in airtight container either room temp or in fridge (if during warm months).

Katie's Notes: I used 9 whole (rectangular) graham crackers

Monday, 9 January 2012

Crusted Steak Pizzaiola

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having Crusted Steak Pizzaiola for dinner. I haven't found the crusting blend yet but I'm going to check Safeway in the morning. If I can't find it, I may just sort of make up my own with panko breadcrumbs and some spices. On the side we'll be having some whole wheat penne and a caesar salad.

Crusted Steak Pizzaiola
Amy (amylz)
McCormick Makes 4 servings.

1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick)
1/3 cup McCormick French Onion, Pepper & Herb Crusting Blend
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup green and red bell pepper strips
2 cups spaghetti or marinara sauce

1. Moisten steak lightly with water. Coat evenly on both sides with Crusting Blend. Discard any remaining Crusting Blend.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add steak; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes longer or until steak is desired doneness. Remove steak from skillet; keep warm.
3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon in same skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms and peppers; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms and peppers are tender. Add spaghetti sauce; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Serve sauce over steak.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cracker Chicken

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having Cracker Chicken for dinner. I'm going to do the strips and I bought some chicken tenders to use so I don't have to cut them up. I had some Ritz leftover from the holidays and I knew this would be a great way to use them up. On the side we'll be having rice pilaf and roasted veggies.

Cracker Chicken
Amy - amylz
Family Fun Magazine Serves 8 to 10.

24 butter crackers, such as Ritz
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 small, skinned chicken drumsticks or about 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch-wide strips
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water

Step 1 Heat the oven to 400. Combine the crackers, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If you don't have a food processor, you can crush the crackers in a sealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl or a sheet of waxed paper.

Step 2 Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, honey, and water until blended. Dip the drumsticks or breast pieces into the egg mixture, then dredge them in the cracker mixture. Place the chicken on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Step 3 Bake drumsticks for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for 20 minutes more or until the chicken is tender and the coating golden. Bake chicken strips for 16 to 20 minutes, turning once.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Strawberry Lemon Trifle

Hi everyone!

Here is a recipe for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. These look pretty easy to make and sound good to me. I love the idea of a gravy with enchiladas. Yum! On Sunday I'm making this Strawberry Lemon Trifle for my home group.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Amy (amylz) Makes 6 servings
McCormick Country Gravy "Makes the Meal" Recipe Contest

1 package McCormick Fajitas Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 package McCormick Original Country Gravy Mix
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups Colby Jack cheese, divided
6 flour tortillas ( buritto-size)
1 can (2.2 ounces) sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Shredded lettuce (optional)
Chopped tomato (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix Seasoning Mix, water and oil in small bowl. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
2. Prepare Gravy Mix as directed in package, using 2 1/4 cups milk instead of water. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Pour 1 cup gravy mixture into 13x9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
3. Transfer chicken and marinade to large skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat 7 to 8 minutes.
4. Place 1/4 cup chicken in center of each tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold over sides of tortilla and roll tightly. Arrange rolled tortillas in single layer in prepared dish. Pour remaining gravy mixture over tortillas and top with remaining cheese.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with black olives and green onion. Serve with lettuce and tomato, if desired.

Strawberry Lemon Trifle
Katie (Katiedid) from Taste of Home
Yield: 14 servings.

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
2 cups fat-free milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding mix
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
1 tablespoon white grape juice or water
1 prepared angel food cake (10 inches)

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and yogurt. Add the milk, pudding mix and lemon peel; beat until smooth. In a blender, process 1/2 cup strawberries and grape juice until smooth. Tear cake into 1-in. cubes; place a third in a trifle bowl or 3-qt. serving bowl. Top with a third of the pudding mixture and half of the remaining strawberries. Drizzle with half of the strawberry sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining cake and pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Avocado & Egg Salad Sandwich, Napa Valley Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Hi everyone!

Here are the sandwiches for this week:

Avocado & Egg Salad Sandwich
Amy (amylz)
Makes 4 sandwiches

6 hard cooked eggs, peeled & diced
1/3 cup celery diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons avocado, diced
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 slices honey-berry wheat bread

In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, celery, mayonnaise, avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Using a tablespoon, place the egg salad on bottom slice of honey-wheat berry bread. Place the top slice of bread on bottom. Using a sharp knife cut bread in half and place on plate.

Napa Valley Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Amy (amylz)
Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups cut-up cooked chicken (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
3/4 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 loaf peasant or sour dough bread, sliced
Arugula or lettuce leaves (optional)

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add chicken, grapes and walnuts. Toss to coat. Chill, if desired. To serve, assemble into sandwiches with arugula.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Banana Cream French Toast, Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, Banana Nut Oatmeal

Hi everyone!

Here are the breakfast for this week:

Banana Cream French Toast
Amy (amylz)
(4 servings)

8 slices white bread (day old preferred)
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teasppon vanilla
butter or margarine for frying

2 ripe bananas -- peeled and sliced
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

TO MAKE THE TOPPING: In a medium sauce pan, combine bananas, orange juice, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the bananas become very soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer bananas to blender. Add 1/4 cup liquid from the pan and puree until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap in medium bowl and chill until cold (at least 2 hours). Just before removing banana mixture from the refridgerator, beat whipping cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Remove banana puree and fold into the whipping cream.

TO MAKE FRENCH TOAST: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Dip bread slices into egg mixture, coating both sides generously. On a griddle or skillet at medium heat, melt butter and then cook slices until each side is golden-brown. You can place completed French Toast slices on a serving plate in an oven set to 100 degrees -- to keep finished slices warm as you cook the others.

TO BRING IT ALL TOGETHER: Top each serving of French Toast with a generous dollop of the banana cream topping. A couple of fresh banana slices placed on or around the toast provides the perfect delicious garnish.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
makes 20 3-inch pancakes

1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 T baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 T butter, melted
4 T sugar
1/4 t each of ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, or 3/4 t pumpkin pie spice
Vegetable oil
Syrup or Confectioner’s Sugar

1. In a small bowl, combine the white flour, wheat flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, sour cream, butter, sugar, and spices. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
3. Heat a nonstick griddle over low heat with a bit of vegetable oil. Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter onto the griddle and cook on one side for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side until brown. Drizzle with syrup or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Banana Nut Oatmeal
Amy (amylz)
(This recipe yields 1 serving)

1 banana
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey (or brown sugar)
dash of salt

Mash the banana in a bowl. Mix in the oats. Add the milk and microwave for 45 seconds. Add the nuts, wheat germ, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. Microwave for another 45 seconds, or until oats are cooked and soak up all the liquid. Give it a good stir and a dash of salt. It will be hot. Let it cool a couple minutes before eating.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Beer Burgers

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having Beer Burgers for dinner. I'm planning to freeze a few of the burgers for when I'm out of town in a couple weeks. That way my men can pull them out for dinner! On the side we'll be having fries and some sliced tomatoes. My kids really do love the tomatoes. Sometimes I put course salt on them and some basil and sometimes I drizzle EVOO and add some garlic salt.

Beer Burgers
teamgulley via

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup beer

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix in the beer until absorbed by the meat mixture. Form into patties.Cook on the preheated grill until the burgers are cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for well done. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Best Ever Sausage with Peppers, Onions, and Beer!

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having the Best Ever Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Beer. You'll have to read my review later to know if we really thought it was the best. It looks good though. On the side we'll be having rice with greens. I like to throw in a handful of anything green I can find like spinach, kale, parsley, whatever.

Best Ever Sausage with Peppers, Onions, and Beer!
Amy - amylz
All Recipes Yields: 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds Italian sausage links
3 red bell peppers, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
2 large red onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (12 fluid ounce) bottles beer
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove sausage from pan, and set aside. Pour in 1 bottle of beer to deglaze the pan, scraping up any blackened bits from the bottom. Place the red peppers, green peppers, onions and garlic in the pan. Stir in the remaining beer and the tomato paste. Season with oregano, cilantro, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer until onions and peppers are tender. Slice the sausages into bite size pieces, and add to the peppers. Cover, and simmer until sausage is cooked through.

Monday, 2 January 2012

CATALINA Cranberry Chicken

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow we are having Catalina Cranberry Chicken for dinner. This calls for bone in chicken. If you use boneless, make sure you adjust your cooking time. On the side we'll be having baked beans and some raw veggies.

CATALINA Cranberry Chicken
Rachel ~ burns_toast from Kraft Food & Family Makes: 8 servings

4 lb. bone-in chicken pieces (breast halves and/or thighs)
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle (8 oz.) KRAFT CATALINA Dressing
1 env. onion soup mix

HEAT oven to 350F. PLACE chicken in 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes. MIX remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. BAKE 50 min. or until chicken is done (165F)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Cubano Mac & Cheese

Hi everyone! Happy New Year!

Tomorrow we are having Cubano Mac & Cheese. Let's face it, my family probably won't like this but it sounds good to me and I'm going for it. On the side we'll have a green salad.

Cubano Mac & Cheese
Cyndy (MyPB&Jelly) Rachael Ray Show
Yields: 4-6 servings

1 pound whole wheat elbow pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
3 cups Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded, plus additional for topping
1/2 cup pickles, chopped
1 pound thinly sliced ham, chopped (from the deli counter)
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat broiler to high or oven to 400F. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta and cook it just shy of al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium-size skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in stock, milk, hot sauce and yellow mustard, and bring up to a bubble. Stir in the cheese in a figure-eight motion, reserving enough to sprinkle on the top of the casserole, until it is all melted. Fold in the pickles and ham, and season with salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is done, drain it well and combine with sauce. Transfer the mac and cheese to 4 individual ceramic ramekins and top each one with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet and toss them under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese on top, 2-3 minutes. Serve the Cubano Mac & Cheese with a simple salad alongside and enjoy.