Monday, September 28, 2009

Bourbon Chicken

This was a wonderful dish~

Bourbon Chicken
submitted by LinMarie on

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (***I used four chicken breasts)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over hot rice and enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tomato Pie

Dottie Kuster's Tomato Pie
~*~Sandy~*~ from
9-inch unbaked pastry shell
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and thickly sliced (remove most of the liquid and seeds)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil (I used fresh chopped basil and was generous with the amount)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated, sharp cheddar cheese (I used shredded)

Bake pie crust at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 400 degrees. Cover the bottom of the pie crust with tomato slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, basil and chives. Thoroughly combine the mayonnaise and cheese. Carefully spread this mixture evenly over the tomato slices, making sure to seal the edges of the pie crust completely. Bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

1 lb ground beef
packet of taco seasoning
can of refried beans
sour cream
sliced black olives
blended shredded cheese
Cook ground beef over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain, add taco seasoning, and a little water. Mix well. Add can of refried beans and mix well. In a 9x13 casserole dish, spray bottle with Pam and layer with three tortillas (you may need to cut or trim them). Spoon half of the meat/bean mixture over tortillas. Spread sour cream and sliced black olives. Sprinkle cheese. Layer another 3 tortillas, repeat with meat/bean mixture and top with cheese. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caesar Salad with Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups tomato juice
5-8 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, simmer tomatoes and tomato juice for 30 minutes to an hour. In a blender add the basil leaves. Puree the tomato mixture with the leaves and return puree to the stove. Add the heavy cream and butter, being sure not to boil, stirring until the butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Caesar Salad

bag of Romaine lettuce
package of sliced mushrooms, cut to bite size pieces
4-5 slices of Swiss cheese, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cardini's light Caesar dressing (as much or little as you like)

In a Tupperware bowl, place all ingredients, replace top and shake to coat everything. Serve.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-Ups with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-Ups with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

16 cremini caps, cleaned with a damp towel and finely chopped in a food processor
1 small yellow-skinned onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or the equivalent of freshly grated
2 cups part skim ricotta
8 curly edge lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente **I used 10 noodles**
1 cup fat free chicken broth
8 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

In a medium skillet over moderate heat, saute mushrooms, chopped onions, and garlic in oil until mushrooms give off their juices and darkened and onion are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; the salt will help draw water out of the vegetables as they cook.

Add dry chopped spinach to the pan and heat through for 1 minute. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Add ricotta and stir into mixture to heat cheese through, 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat but leave in the warm skillet.

Heat broth in a small pan over moderate heat. Melt Gorgonzola into broth and bring liquid to a bubble. Stir in cream and thicken sauce 2 minutes.

Place cooked lasagna noodles on a large work surface or cutting board. Spread lasagna noodles with a layer of spinach-mushroom filling. Roll up pasta and arrange the 8 bundles (**10 bundles in my case) in a shallow casserole dish. Pour warm sauce over roll-ups and top with mozzarella. Place casserole under broiler to melt cheese.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Potato Leek Soup with Reuben Sandwiches

I altered a recipe for Potato Leek Soup that I had found from Emeril Lagasse at I will type the recipe as I did it. I paired this soup with a classic Reuben sandwich.  Excellent!
Potato Leek Soup

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
1-1/2 tablespoons white wine
3 cups of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
minced chives, for garnish

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add onion and leeks, sauteing for 2-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter. When melted, stir in flour to make a roux. Whisk in chicken and beef stock. Add wine and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.

Let cool and pour in blender and puree. Garnish with chives.

Reuben Sandwiches

Rye bread
thousand island dressing
sliced corn beef from your deli counter
Swiss cheese

Warm sauerkraut on the stove. Meanwhile, spread thousand island on one side of two slices of rye bread. On one slice of bread layer 3-4 slices of corn beef, top with 2 slices of cheese. Spread sauerkraut on top and place other piece of bread. Put on cookie sheet in preheated 350 degree oven until cheese is melting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Classic Spaghetti, Country Style Steak and Gravy, Crockpot Chicken

Classic Spaghetti

Normally I would do this recipe for sauce on the stove over a couple hour period but this time since I was making it on a weeknight, I cooked the meat the night before, threw everything in the crock pot and let it do it's thing during the day, only having to worry with the noodles and plating it when I got home from work. Doesn't get much easier then this~

1 lb ground beef
2 large bell peppers, cut into chunks
1 large onion, diced in chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
1 fresh tomato, diced up
1 jar spaghetti sauce (traditional)
3 4-oz cans of sliced mushrooms, drained
Italian seasoning (to your taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
fresh basil, ripped into pieces (a couple of leaves reserved for garnish)
shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lb linguine or spaghetti noodles

Cook ground beef until no longer pink and drain. In crock pot, mix all ingredients. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve over pasta.

Country Style Steak and Gravy
4 cube steaks
vegetable oil
package of dry brown gravy mix

Heat enough oil in a pan to coat the bottom. Dredge cube steaks in flour. Over medium heat, cook steaks until they are browned on the outside and no longer bleeding. Remove from pan and keep warm. In same pan, add about 1 cup cold water and whisk in brown gravy mix, scraping bottom of pan to remove bits. Serve gravy over steaks.

Crock Pot Chicken (for multiple purposes)

I found this recipe way back when, somewhere online. It was a recipe for chicken to be shredded and served in pita pockets as a nice lunch meal. However, when I first made it, I decided to first serve it whole, with a side of rice using the juices, and use any leftovers for the sandwiches. Ever since, this is how I use the chicken. However, the chicken is so moist and flavorful, I've also used it leftover to make quesadillas among other things. I always go ahead and shred Serena's chicken and mix with the rice, but found tonight she likes to eat it better whole from my plate.

3-4 split chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian dressing (any kind, any flavor)
1 cup water
1 package dry onion soup mix
garlic powder

In a crock pot, lay the split chicken breast. Sprinkle garlic powder. Pour in 1/2 cup Italian dressing. Mix water and dry onion soup mix and pour on top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shreds easily from the bone. Serve whole with rice or shredded in pitas or in quesadillas.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tyler Florence Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups of milk
5-1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cups chipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 slices bacon (cut crosswise into thin strips)
1 large onion, diced
2 gloves garlic (minced)
leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme (about 1 Tbsp)
1 cups frozen peas (thawed in a colander under cool water)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Gradually whisk in the milk and, whisking vigorously, cook until mixture is thick and smooth.

Stir in 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley to the skillet, and stir to coat. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1-1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, garlic and thyme and saute for about 5 minutes to soften the onion, stirring. Fold in peas and season with salt and pepper. To serve, saute pea-and-bacon mixture over the mac and cheese.

**Changes/Variations - 3/4 lb elbow macaroni, 3 cups of milk, shredded gourmet Cheddar blend (blend of Wisconsin, New York and Vermont Sharp Cheddar cheese), no olive oil, 7 slices of bacon, green onion (green and white parts), and dried thyme (about 1 tsp). Everything else was as the recipe stated.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tyler Florence Grilled Brie and Tomato on Crusty Bread

Grilled Brie and Tomato on Crusty Bread
from Tyler Florence's Stirring The Pot

Arugula Pesto
4 cups arugula
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 baguette, thick bias-cut slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/2 pound Brie, sliced thin

For the Arugula Pesto, in a food processor combine arugula, basil, garlic, and pine nuts and process until mixture become a smooth puree. With the motor running, slowly pour in the 1/2 cup oil through the feed tube until you get a spreadable consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to medium. Drizzle the bread slices with oil, then grill about 1 minute per side. Remove bread from grill. Spread each slice with some of the pesto. Add a layer of sliced tomato and a piece of Brie. Grill about 1 minute more, until cheese melts and the bread is nicely toasted.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Easy Potato Soup

Easy Potato Soup
4-5 potatoes, peeled and put into small cubes
2 cups of water
1 small onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Crushed red pepper
Ground black pepper
2 to 2-1/2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham

In a pot, boil the potato cubes in water until tender. At the same time, melt butter in sauce pan and saute onion. When onions are tender and transparent, sprinkle desired amount of red pepper and black pepper. Slowly add a 1/2 cup of milk and in batches, stir in flour. Add this mixture to tender potatoes, add other two cups of milk, stirring continuously. Add cheese and simmer about 30 minutes on low, stirring often. Spoon into bowls and garnish with chives.