Monday, November 28, 2011
When I was making the cheesy chicken pasta I wanted to have a bread with this dish that would compliment the flavor of this dish. I was thinking on the line of garlic bread, but I didn't have any French bread in the freezer to make garlic bread and I didn't want to have to make a large batch of bread dough to make loaves of bread.
So I decided to experiment a little. As anyone that follows my blog knows I love to make fresh bread, but the breads I make are usually simple with no frills. When I started thinking what I would add to my bread I decided that Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning would go deliciously with the chicken pasta.
I decided to make just a basic roll type bread and then add these two ingredients. The bread turned out so great and we all enjoyed it. I knew as soon as I had the dough made on that it would be a delight; just the smell of the dough had my senses dancing. I even took a sample of the dough to try it and it was very good. Mike loves raw bread dough so I gave him a sample as well, and he said too that it was very good.
The smell of this bread baking in the oven left the house with this delightful aroma. I couldn't wait to take it out of the oven to sample it. As soon as it came out we cut a roll open, put butter on and sampled it, I have to say that it was delicious. Even if I say so myself I am quite proud of this bread and that I tried something new, something that I would have not even thought of before my blog.
Parmesan Herb Rolls
1 package yeast
3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Combined and mix yeast, 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese.
2. Combine milk, water, and shortening until warm. (Shortening does not have to be melted all the way).
3. Add milk combination to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add egg to this mixture and mix well.
4. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough, just so the dough does not stick to your hands when kneading the dough.
5. Grease the bottom of the bowl with shortening; turn the dough over so that the dough that was on the greased side of the dough is now on the top.
6. Cover and let rise until double, about 45 minutes.
7. Divide dough into 12 pieces and make into balls. (Instead of rolling the dough it is good to pinch the side down and tuck the dough underneath the ball, this will make a nice smooth and neat bun). Place each ball onto greased cooking sheet and cover for about 1/2 hour.
8. Bake at 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. While the rolls are baking combine the melted butter and garlic powder. Once the rolls are done baking brush the rolls with the garlic melted butter.
Friday, November 25, 2011
After the heavy meal yesterday for Thanksgiving, I thought I would go with a lighter dinner today. I have been wanting to make a pasta dish where I would pair chicken with pasta. After searching for a recipe that I thought everyone would enjoy and not really finding what I wanted; I decide to throw one together on my own.
I couldn't decide if I should go with a tomato based sauce or something all together different. In the end I decided to go with no sauce at all. Parmesan and Mozzarella won out over the sauce and I have to say that it was a good choice.
I had wanted to make it a little spicier by adding some crushed red pepper, but I got a thumbs down by some of the family members. So I decided to set the crushed red pepper on the table so the ones that wanted a little heat could add it. Either way this dish turned out to be a tasty meal and we all enjoyed it. I had baked some Parmesan herb rolls to go with the pasta dish, which went well with this pasta. Parmesan herb rolls will be on the blog soon.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta
2 pounds chicken breast grilled or broiled (I used my George Foreman Grill)
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounce bag frozen broccoli (I used the one that you steam in the bag)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound box pasta (I use Penne Rigate)
3/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup Mozzarella
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1. In a large kettle add 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil to this add the garlic, onion, and green peppers. Saute until vegetables are tender.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Grill chicken until done. If the chicken breasts are large you can cut into smaller piece to cut down the cooking time. Once the chicken is fully cook slice into bite size pieces.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Be sure not to over cook.
4. Steam broccoli according to package directions or if using fresh cook until broccoli is tender.
5. Add the chicken, broccoli, and pasta into the kettle that the garlic, onion, and green peppers were saute in. Once these ingredients are mixed completely add the Parmesan and Mozzarella. Toss until the cheese is mixed in with all other ingredients.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I love it when I can bake a delicious dessert in just a short time. When life is so busy it is nice to have recipes that you can whip up and everybody loves them. This Turtle bar recipe just so happens to be one of those recipes.
I have made them for all sorts of occasions and everybody tells me how much they enjoyed them.
In fact this year when I asked my daughter Lisa what she would like for her birthday dessert she requested these bars.
The crust is a simple one, just flour, butter, and brown sugar, but don't let that fool you into thinking that it is going to be simple tasting. Then you have the middle, another simple step with butter and brown sugar which you cook up to be your caramel center. Oh yeah, if you like nuts please add that to the top of your crust layer of the bars, but if you don't like nuts don't worry these bars are quite yummy without the nuts.
After you bake these bars for a short time you add chocolate chips and let them melt. It doesn't matter if you like semi sweet or milk chocolate, either kind goes nicely with this bar. The chocolate and the caramel center and the crust with the butter and brown sugar all pair to be this delicious bar/cookie. So in about a half an hour you can have a dessert that not too many will be able to resist.
Turtle Bars (As found in a local cook book)
2 cups A/P flour 2/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl combine flour, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter. Mix at medium speed. Put this mixture into a 9x13 cake pan and use finger tips to pat the mixture so that it is packed down. At this time if you are adding nuts sprinkle over the unbaked crust. In a heavy pan combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup butter. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to boil, continue to boil for 1/2 minute to 1 minute stirring constantly. Pour this mixture over the unbaked crust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, take out of oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place this in oven for about 15 seconds, take out and swirl the chocolate chips.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
When I asked Krista what she would like for her birthday, she suggested Chicken Cordon Bleu. At first I was thinking really, you had to pick something like this, a dish I have never made before, a dish I have never even eaten before. There was going to be nine of us for dinner and I was kind of worried if I could pull it off. But I decided if that was what she wanted I would do my best to make an enjoyable dinner for her.
I took a trip to our local library in search of the perfect Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. That was a failed trip, I didn't find a recipe that I thought would be tasty and easy to make. So my next step was to go to the Internet, now I was sure I wouldn't fail at finding the perfect recipe somewhere on the web. After looking at several websites I came across the perfect recipe at Angie's Recipes . A Taste Of Home. Her recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu was perfect.
The chicken was full of flavor and not too hard to make. The chicken, ham, cheese and the spices came deliciously together and the flavor made you wanting more. The bread crumbs that you rolled the chicken in gave it a nice little crunchy texture to the outside of the chicken. Over all my family loved it and I am sure we will make this recipe again. Thanks Angie for the perfect recipe.
Check out Angie's Recipes, you will fall in love with her pictures and recipes.
Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu (Adapted from Angie's Recipes)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 clove garlic - minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Parmesan
1 teaspoon paprika
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 slices ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree oven. Combine chicken broth, melted butter, and garlic in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and paprika.
2. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch with a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano. Place cheese and ham on each chicken breast with in 1/2 inch of edge. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jell roll and secure with toothpick.
3. Dip each roll in chicken broth mixture and dredge in bread crumb mixture. Place roll seam side down in baking dish coated with butter. Pour remaining broth over chicken. Bake 28 minutes or until golden brown.
(Note: I used Parmesan instead of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Swiss cheese instead of Gruyeres that Angie used).
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I love pulled pork and so does my family. In fact when our four children graduated from high school, Mike insisted that we make pulled pork for all of their parties. It was a hit with each party. Everybody enjoyed it and it was easy to make.
There are so many things that I love about pulled pork, but the list would take forever to write. One of the many things is the easiness of making it. I normally roast pork tenderloins with salt and pepper to taste and after I have pulled the meat apart I add dried onion soup mix to it. This method makes a delicious pulled pork sandwich.
But this time I thought I would change it up, I thought some BBQ sauce would be a good touch. I decided to make the BBQ sauce recipe that I usually make for BBQ ribs. It is quick and easy. If you are looking for a spicy BBQ recipe, sorry this one is not for you. Not that this one isn't full of flavor. This BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy; which comes from the brown sugar and the Worcestershire sauce that is in this recipe.
I served this with the potato buns that I posted a couple of days ago. It makes for a great combination; my family said that it was an amazing sandwich.
3 to 4 pounds of pork tenderloin
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pork tenderloin in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until the meats is no longer pink inside. While pork is cooking prepare BBQ sauce. Once the pork is fully cooked shred meat and put back in to baking dish.
3/4 cup catsup
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup onion
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Combined the all ingredients bring to a boil and simmer for several minutes. Pour sauce over shredded pork and bake in oven for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour, until the meat is nice and tender.
(Note: I doubled this recipe for my pulled pork.)
Monday, November 14, 2011
Yes, another posting about bread. I am not sure why, but I have been in the mood for making homemade breads of late. Maybe it is the cooler weather here in Minnesota and it is nice to have the oven on with the aroma of the bread lofting through the house. Actually I made these potato rolls (buns) to go with some BBQ pulled pork that I made. I will be posting the pulled pork on my next post.
I have been making potato rolls when I want to have fresh buns for sandwiches of late. I had never thought of making them until my sister started making potato rolls and they were so delicious. When I thought of potatoes in rolls I was wondering if you would be able to see the potatoes in the baked buns, but you can't. The potatoes dissolve into the bread when they bake.
By adding the cooked mashed potatoes to the dough, it makes a lighter softer bread. I think that is kind of strange, I would have thought that by adding the mashed potatoes to the bread dough that it would have made for a heavier dough. Also the potatoes don't really make a difference in the flavor, which you would think that it would. The main thing I know is that my family loves them and so do I.
Potato Rolls (Buns)
6 - 7 cups of A/P flour
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water (not hot)
1 cup warm mashed potatoes packed
1/3 cup melted butter
In a large bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Once it is mixed together add the warm water, milk, and melted butter. Slightly beat the eggs and add to the flour mixture.
Gradually add enough of the flour so that it doesn't stick to your fingers, and knead the dough until it is nice and smooth.
Lightly grease the bottom of the bowl, after the bowl is greased turn the bread over so that the side that was on the bottom is now on the top. Cover with towel and let rise double in size, about an hour.
Pinch off dough (about the size of a tennis ball) and form into a ball. Place on a greased cookie sheet and flatten bun a little.
Cover with towel and let raise for about 1/2 hour. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of oven and brush tops of bun with butter.
Friday, November 11, 2011
I really love homemade breads. It doesn't matter if they are yeast breads or quick breads I love them all. There is just something about the aroma of bread baking in the oven that you cannot beat. And then there is eating that first warm slice of bread that makes my mouth water.
On my latest visit to my public library I found an interesting cookbook called Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett. It is a cookbook that has recipes that contain yeast in each of the recipes but you don't have to knead them at all. I was quite intrigued by this because I thought with yeast breads that kneading the dough was always part of the process.
It turns out that you may not have to knead it but you let the bread set for many hours, so I believe that is the reason that there is no kneading involved (my guess). I have to say that I was skeptical about making the recipe, but I am glad that I decided to. My family loved the bread and the streusel that went with the bread was terrific. I have made several different streusels for coffeecake, but I have to say that this one was the best one by far. It is a coffeecake that I know that I will be making for a long time coming.
Simple Streusel Coffeecake
(All purpose sweet dough)
2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2/3 cup plus more as needed.
5 to 7 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste, divided
1 1/4 teaspoon tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon instant, fast-rising, or bread machine yeast
1 1/4 cups ice water, plus more if needed
Flavorless vegetable oil for brushing
1/3 cup good-quality instant nonfat dry milk (do not use a generic brand)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
First Rise: In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together 2 1/3 cups of the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the salt, and yeast. Vigorously stir in the water, scraping down the bowl and mixing until the dough is thoroughly blended. If the mixture is too dry to incorporate the flour, a bit at a time, mix in just enough more water to blend the ingredients. If the mixture is soft, stir in enough more flour to make it firm, but not hard to stir. Evenly brush the top lightly with vegetable oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.
Second Rise: In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar, the milk powder, and butter, then mix in the eggs until well blended. Gradually add the egg mixture, the 2/3 cup flour, to the dough, mixing until evenly incorporated: this will take several minutes so it's best to use a dough hook and heavy-duty mixer on low, if possible. If necessary, add in enough more flour to yield a hard-to-stir dough, scraping down the bowl sides carefully.
Stir a generous half of the streusel into the batch of dough. For a shaped, round coffeecake, turn out the dough into a well-oiled or nonstick spray-coated 8 to 12 quart angel food pan. For a rectangular coffeecake, turn out the dough in a well oiled 9 x 13 inch flat baking dish. Spread the dough out evenly using and oiled rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly over the dough. Cover the pan with nonstick spray coated plastic wrap.
Let Rise Using Any Of These Methods: for a 2 to 3 hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature, for a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling hot water; or for an extended rise, refrigerate for 4 to 36 hours, then set out at room temperature. If the dough nears the plastic wrap, remove it and continue the rise until the dough has doubled in deflated size.
Baking: Bake on the lower rack for 30 to 40 minutes for the rectangular coffeecake or 40 to 50 minutes for the ring-shaped coffeecake, until the top is nicely browned. If necessary, cover with foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over browning. Then bake for another 5 to 10 minutes to ensure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. If baked in an angel food pan, run a knife around the center tube and sides to loosen the loaf, then lift it up and onto the rack.
Make - Ahead Streusel:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup chopped walnut or pecans
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, breaking up any lumps of sugar as you work. Stir in the butter until evenly incorporated and the mixture forms small clumps. Stir in the nuts. Refrigerate until firmed up, about an hour. Just before using, break up any large clumps with fingertips or a pastry cutter. Use as directed in the coffeecake recipe. If not using immediately, refrigerate, air-tight, for up to 3 weeks. Let warm up slightly before using.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I love a hot bowl of vegetable soup when the weather is cold. It seems to warm you from the inside out and that's a good thing when you live in the cold climate as I do. I usually make this soup on the weekend when I don't have to go into work, so it has time to simmer on the stove top and the flavors have time to blend.
I made a big kettle this weekend, enough so that I can take it for my lunch at work for the week and also to share with the rest of the family. It wouldn't be fair if I saved it all for myself, since my family enjoys it as much as I do.
Usually when I make my vegetable soup I don't use herbs or spices of any sort. I like to use some beef bullion and some salt and pepper and leave it at that, but since I have started my blog I am determined to try new things. So once again I have stepped out of my cooking comfort zone and tried to change things up again a little bit.
I decided to add a little rosemary and bay leaf in this soup and what a difference it made. Everyone said that it was some of the best vegetable soup that I have made. I guess I found a new way to make vegetable soup. I sure am glad that I started my blog and I think my family is too. We have been trying things that we would not have normally tried and it has been a great experience.
Hearty Vegetable Soup
2 to 3 Beef soup bones
2 1/2 quarts water
3/4 cup barley
2 medium onions
1 cup carrots
3 stalks celery
3 medium potatoes
14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup kettle cook soup bones until meat is done. Remove bones from kettle and strain the broth (I like to strain the broth once the bones are cooked). Remove meat from the soup bones and add back to the broth. I like to chop my vegetables so that I have about bite size pieces, but you can cut to the size that you like. Add the vegetables to the beef broth, once the vegetable are added it is time to add the bouillon, rosemary, bay leaf and the salt and pepper to taste. Bring this to a boil and turn down to simmer. I like to simmer for a good hour, but be careful not to over cook, because the vegetables will become mushy.
(Note: If you like to have more meat in your soup you can use a small roast beef instead of the soup bones).
Sunday, November 6, 2011
One night while Mike and I were eating dinner with my daughter Krista and her boy friend Joe; Joe mentioned that I hadn't made oatmeal raisin cookies for a long time. He thought that it would be a good idea to make them and post them on my blog. It was a hint for me to make these cookies. You see these are his favorite cookies and I guess he was getting hungry for them.
My daughter told me later that he asked her to mention this to me that I should make the cookies and when she didn't I guess he could not wait any longer, he decided to tell me himself. I do enjoy these cookies myself, but not everyone in the house does so I guess I forget to make them sometimes.
This recipe is a little different than some of the raisin cookies I have looked at in cookbooks. You actually cover the raisin with water then cook them for 8 minutes and use some of the juice that is made from the raisins and the water in the cookies. It may not sound too appealing to use this so called raisin liquid, but it makes for a very soft cookie.
So if you are an oatmeal raisin cookie lover, I would bet that you would really like these cookies. It may take a little longer to have to boil the raisins first, but they are worth the extra time to do this.
Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup seedless raisins (cover with water and boil 8 minutes, drain and save the liquid)
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup quick oatmeal
Cream shortening and sugar and then add eggs. Add sifted dry ingredients plus 5 tablespoons of raisin liquid to creamed mixture. Stir in raisin liquid to creamed mixture. Stir in the raisins and oatmeal. Drop from teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
A few years ago when we were visiting Mike's parents in Florida, they took us out to eat at one of their local restaurants. Mike and our oldest daughter ordered chicken breast that was smothered in cheese, onions and mushrooms. They liked this chicken so much that we have made it at home ever since.
The thing that I like about this is it is versatile. As far as cheese goes mozzarella tastes great on this chicken, but colby jack tasted just as well. And I am sure that you could use just about any kind of cheese that you like and it would taste wonderful on this chicken.
You can serve it with sautéed onions, mushrooms, peppers, and the list goes on. Use your imagination and go wild. In my family once again we face the dilemma that not everyone likes the vegetables. So what we like to do with the sautéed vegetables is to serve them separately from the chicken and this way you can choose what you want on top.
We like to use our George Foreman Grill for this recipe, but we have broiled it as well. Either way it turns out perfect. So for a nice healthy chicken recipe I hope that you will give this a try. It truly is one of our family's favorite.
Smothered Chicken Breast
Chicken breast (skinless and boneless) 1 per serving
Your favorite seasoning for chicken (we normally use garlic pepper, on the chicken breast in the pictures we have used Mrs Dash Original Blend)
Sauté onions, mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, or what ever vegetables you enjoy sautéed .
Cheese - mozzarella or your favorite cheese.
Brush olive oil on the George Foreman Grill or broiling pan to prevent sticking. Season chicken breast to your taste with favorite seasoning. Slice vegetables and sauté as the chicken is cooking. Grill or broil chicken breast until completely done (time will be determined by the size of the chicken breast). Once chicken breast and vegetables are done to your liking top chicken breast with your favorite vegetables and enjoy!