Friday, June 29, 2018

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

I saw sheet pan chicken fajitas in a magazine, but didn't like that version. So I googled it.  This is what I found and we love it.  As in Ray raves over it. And it is SO easy!!

Chicken Fajitas
Modified from Real Housemoms
 
3 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
dish of ground red pepper
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/4 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp lime juice
tortillas
toppings
 
Preheat oven to 400.  Mix spices in a small bowl and set aside.
 
Place chicken into bowl and add oil and lime juice and then spices.  Mix to coat.  Add in peppers and coat them as well.  As a note, I find most recipes use way too many peppers to chicken so I use a lot less and I tried to adjust this recipe to show that.  I really just add until it looks right....They used 3 whole peppers and a whole onion which is WAY too much in my opinion. Maybe not in yours.  When I made this last, I used about what I wrote in the recipe. 
 
Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, mixing once halfway through.
 
Serve in tortillas with favorite toppings.
 
Serves 4.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Meatless Pasta: Lemon and Pea Pasta

It's Lent...so I have to try some new meatless and/or fish recipes.  This was last week and it was pretty good! The lemon pea combination is always a winner. It would be better with some chicken, but oh well....


Lemon and Pea Pasta
Modified from Food Network Magazine
1 lb pasta (they used fusilli,,,I used something curly)
3 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 cups Parmesan (so this was a LOT ad I didn't use it all)
1 cup mascarpone cheese (which I did buy, although I found some good substitution methods online), at room temperature (which I always forget....))
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (I just used the whole bag), thawed (peas cook so fast I didn't bother)
1 tbsp lemon juice (I just used the juice from zested lemons)
1 tsp ground pepper (they said pink, I actually found a mixed pepper grinder at the store and I used that)

 
Cook pasta (as a note, you will need pasta water, so don't drain this before you reserve it if you can't get this all done in their schedule...which I never can!). 

 
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.   Melt butter, then add garlic and cook for about one minute.  Add 1/2 cup pasta water and reduce heat to low.  So now they add pasta at this point...I didn't....mainly because I'd forgotten to set the mascarpone out so I needed to melt it more and I'd rather build the sauce without it.  Anyway, so I added mascarpone next and stirred until completely melted into the sauce.  Add 1.5 cups Parmesan and lemon zest (they added salt, but I didn't since I used salted butter and they used unsalted).  Add more pasta water if too thick.  Then add peas, lemon juice, rest of Parmesan (I didn't do the full 2.5 cups) and pepper.  Add more pasta water if necessary.  Toss with noodles and serve.  Can serve with more Parmesan (I didn't...).

 
Serves 6 (it makes a lot)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cranberry Nut Muffins

I made these for my grandpa and everyone approved of these.  Ray even really liked them.  I don't like cranberries or nuts, so I just had a bite, but the OJ worked well in here.

Modified from Taste of Home

2 cups flour
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped

In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and baking powder.  In another bowl, beat egg.  Add orange juice and oil; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).  Fold in cranberries and pecans.  

Spoon into 12 greased (or paper lined) muffin cups (cups will be almost full). 

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.   Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack

Makes 1 dozen.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Appledoodles

Grandma had a ton of apples last year so I have done a lot of apples recipes, working on using them up.  These turned out well, but I didn't think they would ship well because of the fruit, which is an issue for the amount of cookies I sent overseas. 

Appledoodles
Modified from some website

3 cups flour
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup) (I even did this with frozen apples as we had them leftover from summer)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon and salt.  Mix well and set aside.  In another bowl, combine butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix until creamy.  Gradually add the flour mixture until combined.  Fold in shredded apples.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.  Mix well.  Form dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture and place onto prepared baking sheets. 

Bake for 11-12 minutes or until done.  Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

New Jam Recipes

These are my new recipes from this summer's canning season.  I did the apple as gifts this year as we had tons of apples leftover from last year's apple season.  So I had issues finding peach pie filling, but Rachel found it for me.   I was a little leery about the orange Jell-O, but it was seriously delicious!

Apple Rhubarb Jam
Modified from Straight from the Farm

3 cups rhubarb, diced
3 cups apples, diced and peeled
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (2 oz) pkg dry pectin

In a large saucepan, mix the rhubarb, apples, sugar, water and spices.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the fruit is oft.  Stir in pectin and boil for 5 minutes.  

Ladle into sterile jars, wipe rims with clean cloth and seal with new lids.  Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes (unless need to adjust for altitude).   

Makes about 3 pints (6 cups).  

Modified from Taste of Home

 2 quarts (8 cups) sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, diced
4 cups sugar
1 can (21 oz) peach pie filling
1 pkg (3 oz) orange gelatin (Jello)

Combine rhubarb and sugar (this has it stand overnight...I didn't bother...I think I might have added a little water, can't remember...I just have it a bit to sit).  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile cut up peaches and add with filling to saucepan; return to boiling.  Remove from heat, stir in gelatin.  Spoon into canning jars and process in a water bath canner.  

Makes about 7 half-pints.  

Fresh Herb Bread

So I made this this summer when I had a lot of herbs in my garden and it turned out well.

Fresh Herb Bread
Modified from Betty Crocker

1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 cups flour
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, copped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 tbsp dry milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine pan.  Select basic/white cycle.  Use medium or light crust color.  Remove baked bread from pan and cool on rice write.

Makes 1 (1.5 lb) loaf. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mongolian Beef

I have been playing with this and thanks to some help from my brother-in-law (who is a real chef), I think I have this.  I'm AMAZED at how much the cornstarch step helps here!

Mongolian Beef
Modified from Delish

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup beef broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 lb steak, sliced against the grain
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 small onion, diced
cooked rice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.   Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.  Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, broth, ginger, broth, sweet chili sauce and brown sugar and stir until dissolved.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced by  half, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile in large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 1/4 vegetable oil.  In a large bowl, toss flank steak with cornstarch until fully coated.  Add steak to skillet and sear until crispy, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain fat.

Add sauce and toss until combined then simmer a few more minutes.  Serve with rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Casserole Crock

So I've been playing with my new crock pot.  I already did the tater-topped casserole, but here's another one.  I've also been working on simply converting my casserole recipes over.  This is a great resource.  I find that doing a casserole in the oven (which often takes an hour to bake) is hard to scheduled for me (sports pick up and whatnot) many nights so being able to have this on, cooking, while I do pick ups is nice. I've been working through my regular casserole recipes and so far haven't had any issues. 

Chicken Rice Casserole
Modified from Campbell's Crock Pot Recipe book (that comes with the casserole crock)

1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 ups frozen mixed vegetables
1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Stir soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in the removable stoneware of the casserole crock pot.  Top with chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or low for 5-6 hours) or until chicken is cooked and rice is tender.  Top with cheese. Let stand, covered; for 10 minutes.  Stir the rice mixture before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

This was also a new casserole recipe I found and I did it in the casserole crock, on high, for 3-4 hours versus the instructions here. 

Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
Modified from Gonna Want Seconds

2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp parsley
3 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 (32 oz) pkg frozen tater tots
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheesed, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 by 13 pan with Pam.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine soup, sour cream, milk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, bacon, ranch dressing mix, pepper and parsley until thoroughly combined.  Stir in chicken and vegetables.  Transfer to baking dish.  Top with tater tots then cheese. 

Cover the casserole and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes or until through and golden. 


Makes 6 servings.  

Buttermilk Scones

Grandma asked me for scones....this is what I meant.  These came out pretty well.

Buttermilk Scones
Modified from Better Homes and Gardens

Scones
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1 beaten egg
1/2 buttermilk (which I can make....)
1/4 cup currants or raisins (I might try dried cherries)

Icing
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1 tbsp. buttermilk or milk

Preheat oven to 400. 

Stir flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, 1 tsp orange peel, baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Make a well in center and set aside.

In another bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and raisins.  Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture.  Using a for, stir just until moistened. 

Turn dough out and knead for 10-12 dough or until nearly smooth.  Pat into 7 inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges.  Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Combine 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp orange peel.  Brush wedges with 1 tbsp buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden.  Remove and let cool. 
Makes 12 scones. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

So I had never made these before - I know weird, right?  But I don't like peanut butter...like at all.  So I had no reason to do them. But Ray asked for them....so I made them!

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Modified from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
36 milk chocolate kisses

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter, PB ad sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.  In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; beat into PB mixture.

Drop by tablespoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until light brown, 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately push a chocolate kiss on the top of each cookie.  Cool on pans for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Apple Bread

Apple Bread
Modified from Simple & Delicious

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped peeled apples
1 cup chopped walnuts (which I skipped)

Preheat to 350.  Line to loaf pans with parchment paper and grease. 

Whisk first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter with be thick).  Fold in apples and walnuts.

Transfer to prepared pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.  Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Makes 2 loaves.