Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chicken Prosciutto Recipe

I entered this recipe in the Zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge.  I hope you all will enjoy this recipe and go vote for it here.
This is an original recipe that I came up with and it was a huge hit with my family (even the pickiest ones!).  I hope you enjoy it as much as they did!

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 slices prosciutto
3 French's Fried Onions, crushed
3 Tblsp crushed garlic & cheese croutons
5 Tblsp shredded Parmesan chees
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp garlic salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
5 Tblsp butter or margarine at room temperature, divided

1)  Add fried onions, croutons, Parmesan, sage, mint, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper to a bowl and mix well.  Add 2 Tblsp softened, but not melted, butter or margarine and mix with hands until well incorporated.

2)  Slice chicken breasts through the middle, forming a pocket.  Spread softened butter or margarine on inside of chicken breasts and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.  Stuff well with the onion mixture.  Wrap chicken breasts carefully with two pieces of prosciutto each.
3)  Place on baking sheet and place in oven preheated to 375 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes, baste with 2 Tblsp melted butter or margarine and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
4)  Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10  minutes to redistribute juices.

Again, I hope you will all go vote for my recipe here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quick Hamburger Casserole

I was at a loss one night as to what to prepare for dinner.  I searched my fridge and cabinets and put some things together.  I wasn't sure what exactly to call it, so it doesn't have the best name.  I hope you enjoy, my family and I did!

1 1/4 lb ground beef
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 pkgs taco seasoning
1 cup corn
1 can (15.25 oz) black beans
2 cup water
1 cup rice
approx 1/8 tsp salt & pepper
1/2 lb sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Brown meat with onions, peppers, and spices (except for taco seasoning).  Drain and return to skillet.  Add water and taco seasoning.  Add corn, beans, and rice.  Heat and stir until well blended.
Spray 9 x 13 in dish with cooking spray.  Pour half of the meat mixture into the dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Add remaining meat mixture and top with remaining cheese.  
Bake at 400 degree oven until rice is tender (time depends on type of rice used).
Remove from oven and serve topped with sour cream and chopped green onions, if desired.

*I used leftover corn on the cob, cutting the kernels from the ear.  You can use canned corn, if desired.
*May be really good layered with corn tortillas, or tortilla chips before baking, I just didn't have these things that day.
*I used a boil-in-bag brown rice, because that's what I had.  

I Won The Versatile Blogger Award!!!

The Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to Heather Murphy for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award. It's a great honor!  Check out her great blog, Random Interuptions!

Here are the instructions for the lucky recipients:

1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.

3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.

5. In the same post, include this set of rules.

6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

7 Random Things About Me:

1. I love to cook, but just recently decided to start writing down my own recipes.  I also am not a great baker.. I can follow a recipe just fine, but I get stressed when I bake, I have decided it's because I don't like following recipes.  I don't feel like I'm really cooking unless I add my own touches, hard to do when baking!

2. I have two wild little boys.  I now understand the meaning of the phrase "you pay for your raising"..  I wasn't a terribly difficult child, but my boys are just like me and wow!  I'm sorry, Mom!

3. I would rather have veggies than fruit!  Strange, I know.. I like fruit, I just don't eat it much, but I get excited over veggies!

4. I LOVE NFL football!  I get quite into it!  I am esp fans of the Colts and the Titans.. but around here, everyone is UK fans.. I just can't get into basketball!  I guess I don't fit in, but oh well!  I can, however, get into just about any sport if I am there live.

5. I am very much a girly-girl.  Although I may not seem it at times (see above).  I love all things shoes, boots, and skirts/dresses.

6. I am a "dreamer", always have been..  I guess that's why I love to read so much!  Which is why I have my other blog, you can check it out from the top of this page.

7. I like my tea unsweetened.  I don't add sweeteners of any kind.  Strange for a person from the "south", but I like it better that way!

Now it's your turn. And the nominees are

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zombie Birthday Cake

Ok, so this isn't actually a recipe post..  My son just turned 5 and he's very into Power Rangers & Scooby Doo.  He's been saying for a while that he wanted a zombie cake.  I'm thinking, "where am I going to get that??  I couldn't imagine trying to find it at the usual places (Sam's Club, Walmart, etc)!  Then I realized I have this amazing cousin, Tamie!  I'm so jealous of her talents, but she's an awesome woman!  She made my brother's wedding cake and it was beautiful!  So, I asked her..  she said she'd do it and the only directions I gave her (since, like I said, I have zero talent for this type of thing) were to make it really cool and 5 year-old friendly.  This is what she came up with!

I could not believe what she brought to my house!  It was awesome!  A perfect cake for a little boy (or girl) who is, for whatever reason, obsessed with zombies! Notice how the zombies are coming up from the "ground", and it's all edible!

The cake itself was what I like to call ah-mazing!!  It was a three-layer peanut butter & jelly cake.  Now, I know this sounds kinda gross.. But it was so tasty!  The idea was to use a red jelly and when cut into, it resembled blood.. Kinda twisted, I know, but fun!  It didn't really have a lot of the jelly in it and the idea was actually lost on the little ones, so don't worry.  But the flavor was like nothing I imagined!  I will eat the occasional PB&J sandwich, but couldn't imagine it as a cake.. Little did I know! 
Definitely a great idea, great for Halloween, too! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork with Wine Sauce

5 pork loin chops
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsps brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
3 Tbsps cornstarch
3 Tbsps water
1 cup brown rice

Salt & pepper pork and brown in small amount of oil.  Remove meat and saute onion and garlic in the pan drippings until tender.  Add liquids and sugar and stir until dissolved.  
Add pork to slow cooker and pour liquid over.  Place on the lid and cook on low heat for 7-8 hrs or high heat 4-5 hrs.  
When cooked through, remove meat, stir together cornstarch and water to form a slurry.  Add to sauce in slow cooker, return the meat and cook for about 30 mins, or until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, cook rice as directed.
Serve pork on a bed of rice and spoon sauce over the top.

*I used a Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe
*Any type of rice can be used, I used a rice cooker to prepare mine.
*I got the basics of this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine, and changed a lot of ingredients to suit what I had on hand, it turned out great!
*Shown here served with seasoned turnip greens.

Lemon Pesto Chicken and Pasta

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 to 4 Tbsps pesto
1 container (10 oz) Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Savory Lemon & Herb
7 oz whole wheat rotini pasta 
Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

Thaw chicken, if frozen.  Slice inside of chicken to form pocket and stuff with half of the pesto.  Salt & pepper outside of chicken.  Grill chicken until done.
Meanwhile, bring pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to directions.
In small saucepan, add cooking creme, remaining pesto, and extra lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.  Mix sauce into drained pasta, reserving a bit for garnish.
Serve cooked chicken on bed of pasta, spoon remaining sauce over the chicken.  

*I used home-made pesto that was frozen into ice cube trays.  I used one cube for chicken, and one for sauce.
*Any type of pasta would be great
*I used the Cooking Creme as a trial, your own home-made creme sauce would be great, too, with the pesto and lemon.
*Shown here served with my own seasoned french style green beans.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Own Chicken Noodle Soup

4 chicken breasts
7 cups water
2 Tblspns chicken bouillion
1/2 tsp dried parsley, crushed
3/8 tsp dried thyme and rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp dried mint, crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 large carrot, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
4 oz chow mein noodles

Bring to boil the water, bouillion, chicken and herbs.  Meanwhile, dice and add garlic and vegetables. 
When chicken is cooked through, removed and dice each breast and return to broth. 
Add noodles and cook until noodles are tender, this only takes a few minutes, so watch closely.

*I know the amounts of herbs are a bit odd, I just measured and added until I liked the flavor.
*Any noodles can be used, I just had the chow mein on hand and thought they were fun.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Own Beef Stew

11/2 lbs stew meat
3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 med potatoes, cut in bite size chunks
1 lg carrot, sliced
1 lg stalk celery, chopped
1 can (15.25 oz) corn, undrained
Extra virgin olive oil

Place meat in large bowl with wine, 2 cups broth, garlic and seasonings.  Cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight.
Place flour in a quart size zip close baggie.  Transfer meat to baggie, retaining marinade, close and shake to coat. 
Pour oil in large pot (just to cover bottom) over high to med-high heat.  Brown meat in small batches, adding more oil when necessary.   Set meat aside.
Add marinade to pot, scraping bits from the bottom.  Add 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water, replace meat in pot, cover, and simmer on med-low heat for 45 mins to 1 hr. 
Add vegetables and simmer, covered, until potatoes are fork tender.
Serve with sweet cornbread muffins.

*I used a Cabernet Sauvignon, but any dry, red wine will do.  The stew retains some of the wine flavor.  If this is undesirable, replace some or all with more broth.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White Chicken Chili

My own recipe..

4 chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 cans (16 oz each) navy beans
1 can (7 oz) chopped green chiles

Boil chicken, jalapeno, onion and seasonings in the chicken broth until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken, cut into small, bite-size pieces and return to liquid. 
Add beans and green chiles.  Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until heated through and desired thickness. 
Serve with or without crackers.

*I used frozen chicken breasts, any could be used.
*More jalapeno and cayenne could be added for more heat, this is a mild flavor, but with a hint of heat at the end.
*I used navy beans, but could use any white bean.

My husband, who can be quite picky loved it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Green Chili Casserole

1 lb hamburger
1 small can evaporated milk
1 small can chopped green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg corn tortillas
8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
Dash each of garlic salt, pepper & cumin
Brown hamburger and onions, seasoned with garlic salt, pepper & cumin.  Mix in large bowl with chilies, soup and milk.  Layer in casserole beginning each layer with tortillas and ending with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins or until set.  

*I usually double this recipe for my family of 4 or more
*Great garnished with salsa, sour cream and/or chopped green onions
*Chicken can also be used, and it's great that way!  Use about a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boil with onions and seasonings, shred cooked chicken and us in place of hamburger.

Swiss Potato & Cheese Soup

2 (103/4 oz) cans condensed chicken broth
1 (103/4 oz) cans condensed beef broth
3 cups water
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
4 large potatoes, peeled & diced
1 can mushrooms
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour
salt & pepper
shredded Swiss cheese

Bring water, broths, onions, celery, potatoes & mushrooms to boil in saucepan; cover & simmer for 30 mins or until potatoes are tender.

In a small skillet, melt butter and stir in flour.  Stir constantly over med heat until mixture becomes golden brown.  Add to simmering soup, stir until soup bubbles and thickens.  Add cheese and stir until blended.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped green onion and dollop of sour cream, if desired.

*I use sliced Swiss cheese & tear into pieces to add to soup, usually 3 or 4 slices.
*I often substitute broth made from bouillon for the canned broths.
*I never use the mushrooms, because my family won't eat them, but I think they'd be a great addition! 
*Great served with tuna salad sandwiches! (or any sandwich)

Steph's Homemade Lasagna

1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 to 11/2 lb hamburger meat
1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 + 1/4 tsp each:  dried parsley, oregano & basil, divided
1/4 tsp each: garlic salt & garlic powder
44 oz tomato sauce & enough water to rinse out cans
black pepper to taste
8 - 10 oz cottage cheese
16 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired
Parmesan, Romano & Asiago cheese blend

Brown meats together with bell pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt & 1/8 tsp herbs.  Drain well.  Return to heat.  Add tomato sauce, garlic salt, garlic powder, black pepper & remaining herbs.  Simmer on med/low heat for at least 30 mins, or until flavors are blended and sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, place large pot of water over high heat, bring to boil.  When boiling, salt generously and add lasagna noodles (about 10).  Cook to Al Dente.  Drain noodles, adding about 2 Tbsp of pasta water to sauce.

Spray 9 X 13 in dish with cooking spray.  Layer ingredients starting each layer with noodles and ending with cheeses.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins, or until thickened & bubbly and cheese is melted and golden.  Let stand for 5 - 10 mins before serving.

*Great served with garden salad and garlic bread
  to make bread:  Butter any kind of bread on both sides and sprinkle (on both sides) with garlic salt,
  oregano, basil & Parmesan cheese blend.
*Sauce is also great for spaghetti
**The above picture was not the best, I apologize