Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Italian Chicken Cheese Ring


To start with, open two cans of crescent roll biscuits. Don't separate the triangles out--just leave them in rectangles. Lay out the rectangles in a pattern like the one in the photo to the left.

In a large bowl, mix two cans of cubed, cooked chicken and 8oz of softened cream cheese. Shred the chicken with a fork as you mix. Add a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 3-4 tablespoons of Italian dressing. Mix thoroughly. Spoon out the mixture.

Fold the crescents over the chicken mixture, smoothing over the edges to create a ring.

 Bake the ring for 15-17 minutes at 375 degrees. Slice and serve!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Avocado Breakfast

Avocado Breakfast
1 Avocado
2 Large Eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the avocado in half.
Remove the stone and dig out avocado flesh, leaving a 1/2-3/4in rim all round.
Crack an egg into each half of the avocado.
Add crumbled up bacon.
Bake avocado halves in oven for 20 minutes.
Delicious and nutritious!

Fast and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

It has been a really long time since my last post, but I'm hoping to post a little more regularly now. This recipe in particular I have wanted to share. I've been making it every couple of weeks for a few months now and I love it! I have always loved pot pies, but they can be a lot of work. This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and only 30 minutes to cook.
To start with, preheat the oven to 350.
The recipe calls for 4 cups cubed chicken. I buy two cans of chicken, about 15oz each and then cut them into smaller pieces. Throw the chicken in a large saucepan.
For the vegetables, I just buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and then put about as many vegetables as chicken.
Add one can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup, 1.5 cups chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, mix a packet of biscuit mix (2 cups), 1.25 cups milk, garlic powder to taste (about 2 tsps.) in a large bowl. The mixture will be runny.

Pour the chicken/vegetable mixture into greased ramekins, leaving a  I was able to  get enough for three 16oz and four 7oz ramekins but it's really up to your personal preference. 7oz is a decent lunch sized portion if you are also eating snacks. 16oz is a dinner size portion, though I can't usually finish a whole bowl. My husband can though. 

Spoon the biscuit mixture over the tops of the ramekins until it just reaches the rim. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

 Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!
For quick reference, here are the ingredients:
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
Approx. 1/4 to 1/2 large bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1.5 cups chicken broth

Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups biscuit mix
1.25 cups milk
Garlic powder to taste
Shredded cheddar for sprinkling

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Health(ier) Spicy Egg Salad

I'm not sure how healthy mustard is, but I know mayonnaise is not healthy and that is what I took out of this egg salad recipe.
Start by boiling the eggs. I used nine eggs for this recipe, mainly because I accidently broke the first three in the box. I was going for a dozen. Put the eggs in a pot of water, bring it to a boil and boil 8-10 minutes. To make sure the eggs are done, I usually pull one out with a spoon, run it under cold water and crack and peel to make sure the middle is cooked. When the eggs are cooked, a good way to cool them down enough to peel is to dump half the water, add cold water, dump half, add more cold, etc.
Peel the eggs.
I like peeling them all at once. I also really like this photo. There wasn't much to say about it, but here it is!

I make about four or five cuts across the top of the egg down to the midway point and then do the same thing in the other direction so it makes a checkerboard pattern.

One of the chunks fell out of the middle, but you get the idea. Once you finish the top half, cut it horizontally and add the pieces to the bowl, then repeat with the second half.

Add salt, pepper, mustard and yogurt to taste. I used about a tablespoon of mustard and two tablespoons of yogurt (half of a 6oz container).

To add some spice and flavor, I also added salsa--about 1/4 cup. In the past I've really enjoyed egg salad with garlic powder and relish. I don't know if that sounds good to you--it certainly didn't to me--but my husband made it for me and refused to tell me what was in it until I'd eaten it. :) It was delicious! I should say it was his mother's homemade relish so that probably helped. If you have any other ideas, let me know!

Leftover Baked Potato Soup

I was so excited to find this recipe because it is super easy and quick to make. All you need is a
baked potato, a cup of milk, a can of creamed corn and some salt and pepper. Potatoes bake really easily in a crock pot so what I did was put an extra one in the day before when we had loaded baked potatoes and then stuck it in the fridge overnight.
Peel the potato and place it in a medium sized sauce pan. Mash the potato.
Add one can of creamed corn and one can of milk. If you want to save dishes, one can of milk is about 2/3 of the creamed corn can.
Mix the ingredients and heat over medium heat until it reaches the temperature you desire. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy! This recipe takes about twenty minutes from start to finish and contains 5 servings.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Peppermint Glass

 Technically this recipe is for peppermint candy canes, not peppermint glass, but I only got two canes made before the rest of the candy hardened so I had to break it up like this. I am a first time sugar-sculpture-maker and I imagine a lot of you might be too, but if you aren't, then this is a candy cane recipe!
First, grease two baking sheets with about one teaspoon of butter.

Next, bring one cup of sugar, one cup of water, one cup of light corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to a boil. Stir them together when you first add them, but do not stir them while they are heating. The recipe I used didn't give any specific directions about heating--it just said to bring it to 280 degrees. I got worried because for the first several minutes, I couldn't bring it beyond 225 degrees. This is where the science of cooking kicks in. As the water boils away and the concentration of sugar increases, so does the temperature. Because of this process, it does take about twenty minutes from when the mixture begins to boil and when it reaches 280 degrees.

To speed the process along, I pulled out the thermometer and covered the pan until I saw the boiling increase dramatically.

By the time it reaches 280 degrees, the bubbles should look like this. Remove the pan from the heat.

 Stir in 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and 6 drops of red food coloring. You should be moving very quickly at this point because every second counts when it comes to shaping the candy.

As you can see, I didn't do a great job with pouring. It is difficult to pour evenly in a hurry. I would suggest pouring thinner lines to get thinner peppermint canes if that is what you want. If you just want glass, it doesn't matter! And it still tastes good.

Wait one minute to start rolling to cool the candy enough that it won't burn you. It should still be warm though. I waited two minutes and that was too long to get it all rolled.

Here is my candy cane attempt.

This is my husband's.

After we finished those, the candy just broke when we rolled it, so we snapped it into bite sized pieces. It's difficult to bite apart, so make sure the pieces are small enough to fit in your mouth. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Triple Chocolate Fudge

Every Christmas my mom would make batches and batches of this fudge. It seemed like she did nothing but make fudge for a whole week in December. We put it in little holiday bags and my brother and I delivered it to neighbors, teachers, bus drivers, etc. I've continued the tradition and it's still one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.

Start by putting 4 cups of sugar, 1 can of evaporated milk, and a full stick of butter in a big pot.

Add two squares of unsweetened baking chocolate. We always used Baker's.
Heat everything on a med-high heat, stirring frequently.
Once the mixture starts to boil, set the timer for eight minutes.

After a few minutes it will start to darken and thicken. Continue to stir, or else the bottom will burn.

After eight minutes, the mixture will look like this. It will also smell amazing :)
Ok, I have a confession to make. Despite the fact that I have made this a million times, I decided to do it differently this time and I was wrong. For some reason I had it into my head that it was the marshmallows that made the fudge stiff to stir so I decided to mix in the chocolate chips first. Big mistake. The chips stiffened the fudge even more quickly and instead of pouring out, I had to scoop out the fudge and plop it onto the cooling pan. So...don't do that. lol. My husband did say the fudge tasted more chocolately done this way so it wasn't ruined, but it was not the stuff of tradition.
Anyway, the next step in the process is to mix in one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, one bag of milk chocolate and one bag of marshmallows.

When you're done, pour (or plop) the fudge into a buttered jelly roll pan as quickly as possible to keep it from setting before you've spread it out.

Spread the fudge to all corners of the pan. Then, eat the fudge leftover in the pot and on the spoon. That's the best part--it's warm and delicious!

Wait for the fudge to cool and then cut it into squares.