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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fruit Slush

(Fruit slush prior to freezing)

This is a refreshing and light slush. Perfect for those hot summer day BBQ's right around the corner. This recipe is T. Mangus adapted recipe from a Taste of Home recipe. T. Mangus has the "great cook" title hooked to her name here in our little town. They say whatever recipe she submits to the hospital cookbook, shares, etc. Is always sure to be a hit. For me this one was no exception. When we were served this at a small church gathering they served it with a dollop of canned whipped cream on it--the added touch.

Fruit Slush (T. Mangus)
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade
3-4 Bananas
1 can pineapple crushed or tidbits, with juices
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can peaches with juices
1 can pears with juices
1 container of frozen strawberries (I used a frozen bag and put it what I thought looked good)
1-2 cups frozen blueberries or other berries
6 oz can of Orange Juice, undiluted

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving. Mix in 1 (20 oz) bottle of Sprite or 7-Up before serving.

*Red grapes halved can be used instead of blueberries. The berries just give it more contrast and sweetness verses a tart flavor.

Chicken Nuggets (Cent$ible cookbook)

During the past month I had to come up with something to do with some extra chicken I had thawed out. The kids were starting to get hungry and I had no idea what I was going to feed them, so I thought I would try these nuggets because I had everything on hand and wouldn't have to make a trip to the store for one more day! They are different then the store bought breaded kind, but my boys didn't seem to mind. Where they are baked not fried I am sure they are far better for you too.

2 lbs, Chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt or milk (I used 1 % milk)
1 cup cornflake crumbs
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (Not originally called for--I just thought they needed something!)
1 Tablespoon canola oil

Place chicken chunks into a large bowl with yogurt or milk. Make sure all pieces of chicken are coated with yogurt or milk. Combine cornflake crumbs, flour, parsley, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder into a clean, resealable plastic bag and mix well. Drizzle in the oil and mix.

Add the chicken chunks to the crumb mixture, seal bag, and shake well to cover all the pieces. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with oil and place the coated chicken pieces on the cookie sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until all chicken pieces are cooked through. Makes 8-10 servings.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Breast with Avocado, Tomato, and Cucumber Salsa

I was looking for a quick and easy Cinco De Mayo recipe that called for Chicken because we had eaten beef the last two nights and I wasn't really interested in making our usual tacos. I got this in one of my e-newsletters yesterday morning and thought we'd give it a try. It was quick and easy. The salsa was different and refreshing, the cucumber gave it a sweetness that I liked, but I love cucumbers and tomatoes anytime. We made our own chips with tortillas that the kids always gobble up!

Chicken Breasts with Avocado, Tomato, and Cucumber Salsa

Baked tortilla chips make a crunchy companion for this simple summer supper. Try the salsa another night on grilled fish or shrimp.

Yield: 4 servings
(serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 3/4 cup salsa)

Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I used regular Chile powder
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped seeded peeled cucumber (about 1 large)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (I used diced Roma's)
1/2 cup prechopped red onion (I used white sweet onion)
1/2 cup chopped peeled avocado
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I used 1 teaspoon minced-in adult half only)

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder evenly over chicken; add chicken to pan. Cook for 6 minutes on each side or until done, and remove from heat.

2. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, tossing well. Serve with chicken.

CALORIES 243 (28% from fat); FAT 7.6g (sat 1.6g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.3g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 94mg; CALCIUM 34mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.3g; SODIUM 533mg; PROTEIN 35.6g; FIBER 2.7g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2008

Secret Recipe Cookie (BYU)

I got this recipe from the BYU Dietitian Students Cooking Lab while I was a student nearly 10 years ago-wish I was a Dietitian student, but I studied otherwise. Their class was handing out recipes and samples and I was lucky enough to get offered one. The very title of the cookie makes me laugh as they were freely passing them out to those of us passing by.

1 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
1 cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats (I frequently use regular oats)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream Crisco and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. Drop onto cookie sheet in desired size (teaspoon to Tablespoon). Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

*I always like to stay on the lower side of the times given and then let them rest for 1 minute on the pan before removing to cooling racks. I think this helps the cookies stay nice and soft.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo

This sandwich was nice for a quick weeknight family meal. Its a good mix-up to an original ordinary sandwich. Jack thought that they were hard to eat on the Ciabatta. He thinks they would be easier for kids to eat on a softer style roll. I liked the Ciabatta flavor and texture, but agreed with Jack it is quiet the mouthful. The one perk of buying Ciabatta bulk par-baked at Costco is that I can under bake them slightly so the crust isn't so crisp.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo

1/4 cup Basil Pesto (I buy mine in bulk at Costco and then divide it up into 1/4 cup baggies and freeze them. We use it for a pasta sauce too.)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or 8-10 tenders depending on how many sandwiches you need)
4 Ciabatta rolls or French rolls, split horizontally (I buy my Ciabatta by the case at Costco too and split it with some one)
8 Thin slices provolone or other Italian cheese

Preheat grill or broiler. Spread 3 Tablespoons pest over chicken breast. Place remaining pesto and mayo in small bowl and combine until smooth. Chill until ready to use. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes over medium high heat; turn over. Grill for an additional 3-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Spread pesto mayo over bread and top with chicken and cheese. Add lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and onions if desired.

Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your eaters! :-)

Spring has Brought Me such a Nice Surprise-Popcorn Popping!

This is a new found recipe for baked carmel corn that is taking the top slot for the wedding favor. It is good and the white chocolate chips makes it different. Our family loves carmel corn no matter which method is used. If you like the simpleness of using a microwave for making the carmel and baking like we use with our Jell-O popcorn you may want to check out our Brown Paper Bag Popcorn too.
Spring Time Popcorn
6 oz Popcorn (my mom thinks that white puts off less kernel husks)
This is equivalent to about 1 cup of kernels.

Popcorn and then top with the carmel.
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popped popcorn in a large stainless steel bowl or roasting pan. Spray pan lightly with cooking spray. (I have also used foil lined cookie sheets-which isn't as easy for the stirring)
In heavy sauce pan place white chips, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook on medium. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a light boil. Place a small drop of coloring into saucepan if you desire a color; mix until combined. Remove from heat and pour carmel evenly over popcorn. Gently stir to coat popcorn . Bake in oven for 10 minutes stirring every couple of minutes. Remove from oven and pour popcorn out on waxed/parchment paper to cool. Break into pieces and serve.

Spring has Brought Me such a Nice Surprise-Popcorn Popping!

We have had fun this week at our house trying different popcorn treats. My little sister is getting married in a mid-May and she wants to give a carmel corn treat away to the guest as her wedding favor. We have lots of favorite family carmel corn recipes, but we went searching for more and tried a few out of our family cookbook as well as some new ones from the web.
For Family Night treat we tried a recipe that one of my co-workers gave me over 10 years ago! The kids loved it. You make it with Jell-O and cook it all in the microwave so this was a great recipe that allowed the boys to help me in the kitchen--Which they LOVE!

Jell-O Popcorn
1 Large Brown Paper Bag
Non-Stick Vegetable Spray
10 cups unsalted popped popcorn (we used closer to 12 or 14)
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 3-oz package of Jell-O any flavor
1/4 teaspoon soda

Spray bag with non-stick spray. Put popped corn in bag. Set aside. Microwave butter in a glass dish 45 to 60 seconds. Add sugar, syrup, and Jell-O and stir. Microwave on high for 3 minutes or till full boil is reached. Remove from microwave stir in Soda. Immediately pour over popped corn. Close the bag by rolling the top down until it will fit inside your microwave. Microwave bag of goodies for 1 minute on high. Remove SHAKE, return to microwave for 30 more seconds. Shake bag. Microwave for 30 more seconds. Pour out of bag onto wax paper to cool.

Enjoy a fruity fun treat one kernel at a time.

We have tried, Strawberry, Raspberry, Peach. The kids favorite is the Strawberry. The Raspberry is tart, the Peach is sweet and has a little tang to it.

This is our first batch-strawberry flavored. Turned out nice and PINK

Easy Chicken Kabob's

I got this recipe from my friend Melissa W. who said she got it a while back from the gal that is teaching our little community cooking class at my home. They were a hit with the kids! They were super easy to make. The grill should have been a little more oiled and my skewers a soaked a little longer, but it all turned out in the end. I love that the marinade is so simple and that I have all the ingredients on hand all the time. Thanks Melissa for sharing this treasured recipe of yours with our family.
Easy Chicken Kabob's

Marinate Chicken of choice in:
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Marinate Chicken for at least 1 hour or longer. Put on Skewer if desired and grill until done.

We served ours with rice and a side salad with Asian flavored dressing.

Clubhouse Chicken Squares

I got this recipe from one of my Pampered Chef Cookbooks. This a tasty appetizer that we actually had for a dinner on one of our warm spring days-not like the snow today! The kids liked it and it was tasty, but loaded with calories and fat! Because of its high fat and calorie content it is probably best served as an appetizer (Each square if you get 12 servings out of your creation according to the book has upwards of 300 calories and 20 g of fat. Now if you used reduced fat products like I always like to do I can't tell you what the counts are, but I bet it doesn't change them all that much!---DARN!). This would be a fun party or shower finger food.

Clubhouse Chicken Squares

2 packages (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese softened ( I personally think you could go less here!)
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon Dill mix (I used McCormick's "It's a Dilly mix)
1 can (10 oz) Chunk white chicken, drained and flaked (I cooked and diced chicken tenders)
1/2 small cucumber, seeded, sliced, and quartered
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used slicing tomatoes I had on hand)
1/2 cup (2 oz) Shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll one package of crescent rolls across one end of stoneware pan with longest sides of dough across width of pan. Repeat with remaining package of dough, filling pan. Roll dough to seal perforations and press up sides to form crust. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool completely.

In a bowl combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, pressed garlic and dill mix; mix well. Spread mixture evenly over crust; top with chicken.

Thinly slice cucumber and cut into quarters. Dice tomatoes and grate cheese. Sprinkle cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and bacon over chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Cut into squares.

Serves 12.

We didn't wait for it to cool. We just ate it up the way it was and were content that dinner was accomplished! :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chalupa--crock pot

This was a recipe I tried from our "Centsible" cookbook. I expected it to be more spicy, but it was bland to very mind if anything. I will increase the salt next time and if you want more spice I would recommend 2 cans of chilies or more chili powder or even adding a touch of Cayenne pepper. My kids at it pretty well. We did Taco's one night and over rice the next. We shared some with family and froze some for later. So as you can tell we didn't eat the 1 cup servings each that it recommends.
Chalupa-roast shredded and returned to the crock pot ready to be served.

We used it to make Burritos with all our favorite toppings-tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, etc.

We also liked it over rice.

1 lb. dried pinto beans
1 lb. Pork roast or 2 to 3 pork stakes (I used 1-pork roast that you can by in a 4 pack at Costco)
7 cups water
1/2 cup onion, chopped (I use a whole onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt (I personally think it needs at least 1 1/2 tsp.)
2 Tablespoons Chili powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 4-oz can green chilies, chopped

Put all ingredients in a dutch oven, crock-pot or heavy kettle. Cover and simmer about 5 hours or until roast falls apart and beans are done.

Uncover and cook about 1/2 hour until mixture reaches the desired thickness.

Serve with tortilla and the following toppings if desired (chopped tomato, chopped avocado, chopped onion, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, taco sauce, or other hot sauce. Makes 12 servings (1 cup each)