"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

This is a simple and quick Chicken Parmesan recipe my mom and dad cooked for us when we were visiting them this week. My kids liked it and I thought it tasted good, so I wanted to blog the basics of the recipe so that I won't forget to add it to my crock pot file. My mom said she got the recipe from my Aunt Jayne so I am going to have to do some calling for the exact recipe.

Here is what mom and dad did for the one we had:

Put Chicken Breast in crock pot and cover with one jar of your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. About 30 minutes before finished add another jar of sauce and heat through. (This helps your sauce be thicker and not watery.)
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese when ready to serve.

Dad actually made the recipe today and he put both jars over the chicken then cooked it. It turned out pretty saucy, so he added a can of cream of mushroom soup to it hoping to thicken it a little bit.

We served it with angel hair pasta and a salad.

I love that it is a quick hands-off recipe! Nice for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

We made this recipe at my mom's house for Valentines Day. I didn't have my camera so no picture. This is rich and delicious cheesecake.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

2 cup crushed vanilla wafers (about 5 wafer)
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 (14-oz) package vanilla caramel (about 48 Caramels)
1 (5-oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecan, toasted
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate piece, melted and slightly cooled
Whipped cream (optional)
Melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
Caramel ice cream topping (optional)

For crust, combine crushed vanilla wagers and melted butter. Press mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool and set aside.
In medium saucepan, combine caramels and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over low heat, stirring frequently , until smooth. Pour over prepared crust, Sprinkle with the 1 cup pecans. Chill in refrigerator while preparing filling.
For filing, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating on low speed until combined mixer on medium speed until combined (do not overbeat); stir in melted chocolate. Pour over caramel-nut layer in pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 40 minutes or until center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool cheesecake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen from sides of pan cool completely on wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish each serving with whipped cream, chopped nuts, and /or melted chocolate, if desired. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition facts:
436 Calories, 25 g Fat, 37 mg Chol, 320 mg sodium, 49 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g protien

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, via foodnetwork. The kids enjoyed it, so that's a plus. Cameron thought it was a spicy hot even though I cut the cayenne back to 1/8 teaspoon. Next time I might have to alter the Chili powder a little too. Every one else thought the spiciness was just fine. Another modification that my sister-in-law makes is to use flour tortillas because her kids don't like corn tortilla. We have had it both ways and both are great.

Mexican Lasagna (Food Network Robin Miller)

Cooking spray
12 ounces cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 cup sour cream (regular or low-fat)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (regular or low-fat), divided
1 cup shredded Cheddar (regular or low-fat), divided
1/2 cup mild, medium or hot salsa
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 6 wedges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat an 11 by 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, sour cream, 3/4 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese, 3/4 cup of the Cheddar, salsa, chiles, cilantro, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange half of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of prepared pan, overlapping pieces slightly to cover the surface. Top with half of the chicken mixture and smooth over with the back of a spoon to even the top. Layer remaining tortillas over top, and spoon over remaining chicken mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup each of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.
Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 more minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
To reheat, bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Banana-Oat Muffins

I got this recipe from the Cheerios website. Hugh, my 2 year old, helped mommy by opening a second and unneeded box of Cheerios. Fearing that they would go stale and not necessarily wanting to make "treats" with them I opted for trying this recipe instead. They turned out good and the kids loved having warm muffins for breakfast for a change. I loved that it was quick to mix and toss in the oven.

Banana-Oat Muffins

2 cups Cheerios cereal (where they say you get the "oats"-okay its a stretch don't you think?)
1 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed very ripe banana's (2 t0 3 medium)
2/3 cups milk
3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg white

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray, or greased bottoms only of muffin cups.

Crush cereal. In large bowl, stir together cereal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in remaining ingredients just until moistened Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle muffin with powdered sugar just before serving.

**My kids preferred butter or honey.

For High Altitude (3500-6500 ft.) Heat oven to 425 degrees.