Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken and Asparagus

I know that I've mentioned my Adopt-a-Blogger friend over at Other People's Food, but I don't think I've done a recipe from her yet. Well, this recipe is one I had picked out to try even before we were paired up by Kristen. It's a chicken and asparagus dish. Really yummy looking and very healthy. Last week, I pulled out some chicken from the freezer and got ready to make the dish. I cheated a bit and used canned asparagus. :-) I just love asparagus, especially fresh; but right now it's just too expensive to do that. This is a really easy dish to shrink and make for only a few...just cook less chicken. If you have extra sauce, no biggie! The other changes I made were to use sherry as I don't have wine and to use Australian cheddar instead of Gruyere. The was a delicious dish that I'd love to make again. It made a great salad a couple of days later, too. Because of the healthy asparagus and the chicken, this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. For the original recipe, click here. I've noted by changes. Chicken & Asparagus with Melted Gruyere
Eating Well Magazine, June 2007
1 can asparagus
2/3 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tsps all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ,trimmed
¼ Tsp. salt
½ Tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil
½ C sherry
1/3 C yogurt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tsps lemon juice
2/3 C shredded Australian cheddar cheese and mozarella cheese
Whisk broth and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side (it took me about double the time), adjusting heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Add wine and the reserved broth mixture to the pan; cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in yogurt, tarragon, and lemon juice until combined. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of each piece of chicken, cover and continue cooking until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Serve with asparagus on top or in the sauce. Serve over rice or couscous.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pie in the Sky

It's Daring Baker time again! I was pretty excited when I saw the challenge this month. It's something that I've never made the "real" thing; I also thought, "Too bad Daddy doesn't live near me anymore...he love this dessert." What is it...this challenge this month was lemon meringue pie! The form I have always had is the the form made with sweetened condensed milk. Still good, but I guess more of the semi-homemade form. At the beginning of the month I had hoped to make this for a get together with friends. Weeeelllllll, both of my options for that fizzled out and I was left wondering who I would make this pie for. Cue chimes! My parents came to town this weekend for a wedding and I got to make the pie for them...so, Daddy ended up getting to try it. Making the pie took longer than I thought, only because I didn't read the instructions before I started. The most time consuming part was the crust because it requires two sets of chilling and two sets of baking. Other than that, this was actually easier than I thought. The crust for the pie is more of a shortbread, which I love even though it has so much butter! I decided to use my food processor that I got for Christmas to make the crust...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the food processor! The dough was kind of hard to roll with the rolling pin; so, once I got it to a decent thickness, I just placed it in the pie plate and pressed it out. I don't know if that is why, but after the second baking, the center of the crust had puffed up quite a bit. It didn't really have any detrimental effect on the pie but kind of had me worried at first. On to the custard. SO much easier than I thought. To me, the hardest part was juicing the lemons as I don't have a juicer yet. I was concerned that the lemon wouldn't be strong enough. HA! This had such a strong, wonderful lemon taste. And the meringue...I love meringue. It turned out perfectly. I wish I hadn't cooked it quite as long as I did, but it still tasted fine and was nice and tall. Time to serve it up!!! What did my reviewers think? Mama really liked the crust, while Daddy says he prefers his Mama's (a traditional, thinner pie crust). I think that the thinner crust would be really leaky and probably wouldn't hold up to the moisture of this filling. Daddy just loved the pie as a whole. He thought the lemon flavor was really strong but was not disappointed in that. The texture of the custard was perfect. Daddy even went back for seconds! He said to give this pie glowing reviews! I enjoyed the pie, too. Lemon is one of those completely refreshing flavors that I just love. Honestly, this is probably the first recipe that I've made as a Daring Baker that I would say I'd like to make again. Thanks for choosing this recipe, Jen!!! WONDERFUL! If you want to see other DBs and their pies, check out the blogroll here. Lemon Meringue Pie (from "Wanda's Pie in the Sky" by Wanda Beaver)
Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:
3/4 cup (180 mL) cold butter, cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm)
2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1.2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

To Make the Crust:
Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling:
2 cups (475 mL) water
1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten (save the whites for meringue)
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
3/4 cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice (this was about 5 lemons for me)
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

To Make the Filling:
Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick.

Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature (mine were cold and worked fine), use the white from the yolks used in the custard
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

To Make the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reese's Pieces Cookies - SHF

Well, I just saw this morning the theme for this month's SHF and I actually have a cookie that I made recently that fits the rules...use store bought candy! I just hope that CandyRecapper will accept my entry...it's a day late! If you go in search of a cookie using Reese's pieces, the recipes are few and far between. Add to the qualifications a cookie that is not chocolate based and the search is even harder. SO, I decided to make my own cookie. I had just a few peanut butter chips left and decided to incorporate those into the mix. The cookies ended up being a little crisp, but not that crumbly, break your teeth crisp. It was a pleasant crisp and softened upon warming in the microwave. So, if you get a craving for Reese's pieces cookies, try these out! Check back at CandyRecapper Jan 28th for other great entries!Reese's Pieces Cookies
1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 stick margarine (4 T)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup AP flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese's pieces candy
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, mix 1 stick margarine and sugars until fluffy. Meanwhile, melt the 1/2 stick margarine and peanut butter chips in the microwave; 2 one minute sessions should work, stirring in between. Add this mixture to the sugar-margarine mixture. Blend until mixed. Add vanilla. Mix in flours and soda until just combined. Stir in candy and nuts. Drop onto baking stones or sheets in tablespoonfuls. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
*I'm not completely sure that this is the amount I used. If you think the batter is too thin or your cookies are too thin, feel free to add some more flour in 1/4 cup increments until it is the consistency you desire.

Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich

Over breaks when my brother and I are both home, I enjoy making breakfast, er, lunch...um...the first meal he eats, when he gets up around noon or a little after. This Christmas, he got up one day and wanted a sausage egg biscuit sandwich. Well, two to be exact. I was pretty excited to try my hand at frying the eggs. I cooked the sausage first, flipping to the opposite side when I could see it had cooked halfway through! Then, using the fat from the sausage and with the burner on medium (after getting the pan hot), I fried the eggs. The first one was pretty good but did fold over on itself just a bit. The second one, perfect if you ask me. The biscuits we used were those frozen ones. I, personally, this these are the best there are and wish I could figure out how to make homemade ones like them. Anyone have a good recipe? Nevertheless, Philip took his plate into the den, set his tray, and enjoyed his sandwiches while watching some car show (probably!). Breakfast Sandwiches
frozen biscuits (or your own homemade!)
breakfast sausage patties
Prepare in the amounts you need!
Preheat the oven to the package instructions. Bake biscuits. While they cook, fry the sausage until cooked through. In the fat from the sausage, fry the eggs. Flip the eggs when they are beginning to cook over the edges but are still uncooked right around the yolk. The second side needs only minimal cooking if you like a runny yolk (which my family does). Split open the biscuit and place a sausage and egg on top. Top with the biscuit top and enjoy. If you like,you can put cheese on the sandwich or even use bacon or canadian bacon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Coffee Cake or Muffins...How about BOTH!

Who better to try a new recipe on than a hungry, tired, frustrated, on call medicine team?! I mean, even if it's bad, they'll eat it, right? Before Christmas, I made some muffins for my team when we were on call on a Sunday. I decided to make these cinnamon muffins that I found on Nic's old site. These were very coffee cake like and yummy. Because cinnamon is so good for your heart and is an anti-oxidant, this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Drop by and check out the other great recipes. Cinnamon Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray (or use paper liners). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars and the egg until smooth. Beat in vegetable oil and vanilla. Working in 2 or 3 additions, alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk to the sugar mixture, stiring until just combined.In a small bowl, stir together remaining brown sugar and cinnamon. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. Sprinkle with a scant 1/2 tsp of the brown sugar mixture into each cup. Evenly divide remaining batter on top and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.Bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. I made 12 muffins, but the original recipe suggests only making 11 unless adding nuts or fruit.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Christmas roast

Somewhere along the way, I think from my Papa, our family started a tradition of having rib roast for Christmas dinner. Beef is not my favorite meat, but this year the roast was very good and enjoyable! So, for all you steak and potato people out there....I give you rib roast (NOT brisket, as I was quickly corrected by my Dad!). We served this with horseradish sauce, squash casserole, green bean bundles, roasted potatoes, and fruit.

Instructions per Dr. Bill Nettles, aka Doc, aka Daddy, aka brother of THE Tom Nettles:

Total cooking time: 30 minutes per pound.

You want the ribs cut off and retied. Usually that's the way they come if they are in a package, but sometimes the butcher will cut a fresh roast.

Rub the roast with pepper and salt. Place in a roasting pan, ribs down.

Preheat oven to 400F. Cook roast at 400 for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 325 cook another 30 minutes. Cover the left and right sides with Al foil (about an inch on each side) to keep the ends from over cooking and cook at 325 for remainder of time as deemed by weight.

Remove from oven and cover with foil until time to slice and serve. (Roast should set out of oven at least 15 minutes before slicing.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pecan Pound Cake

Anyone need a good breakfast cake recipe? Well, this one is pretty good. It is from Baking Bites. I made it for my Sunday School class Christmas brunch. Yes...I actually got to go. You see, third year of medical school we still get a Christmas break...it was my last one. By the time that Sunday came, I was SOOO ready for a break and making this cake was a treat. It turned out to be very much a pound cake, which made me think of my Granny. In fact, it was the first time I used her tube pan! What did I like the best about the cake? That crust on the top of the cake that kind of flakes up and falls off. In fact, I've been known to pick that off and not eat the rest! Pecan Cake
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated (I used dried)
5 large eggs, room temperature (I used 4)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in flour, salt and pecans at low speed until completely incorporated. Mix in vanilla and nutmeg.With the mixer on low, add in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated to add the next. Turn mixer up to high speed and beat for 5 minutes.Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then slide a knife around the edge to loosen the cake and turn it out onto a wire rack (reinvert so the crunchy top stays on top) to cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tiger Food???

You'd think I was an LSU Tiger fan if you looked at the colors in my dinner last night...I had eggplant parmesan over spaghetti squash...colors? Purple and gold! To tell the truth, I have nothing against the Tigers and, being a fan of the SEC, am glad they won the national championship; however, I am NOT trying to support them in my food color choices. Needless to say, last night I tried something "new." I've had spaghetti squash before and thought I didn't like it. However, I decided that I should try again. On top of this spaghetti squash, since I haven't had it in FOREVER, I have baked eggplant parmesan. Well, this turned out GREAT! Guess what...I do like spaghetti squash. If you want to learn more about it, click on the link...it has options on how to cook it, how to purchase it, and even more recipe options! The baking instructions I used were from The Joy of Cooking. As to the eggplant parmesan...I've made this before but have found an even easier way to do it. You don't even have to pre-cook the eggplant. Just spap it all in a baking dish and bake away. Yum! With all of the vitamins, beta-carotene, and surely ARF's, this is my entry for Cate's ARF Tuesday over at Sweetnicks. Last week there were lots of great recipes and several newcomers. Drop in and see what everyone else is cooking up.
Microwaving Spaghetti Squash
Take your squash and pierce it generously with a knife. Place in a microwave and cook on high for 15 minutes. Let the squash sit in the microwave for 10 minutes before removing and cutting in half lengthwise. Using a knife, scrape the spaghetti-like strands from the squash. Eggplant Parmesan
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch discs
jarred spaghetti/marinara sauce
garlic powder
Nature's seasoning
parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
leftover chicken (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a oval baking dish (or 11X8 casserole), place one layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with Nature's seasoning, garlic powder, and grated parmesan cheese. Spoon enough spaghetti sauce over the eggplant to cover the vegetable. Continue this in layers until the eggplant is gone. If you have some leftover chicken or want to add chicken, just cut it in chunks and sprinkle through the eggplant layers. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes (or until the eggplant is fork tender). Sprinkle the cheese on top and return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve over prepared spaghetti squash (or spaghetti!).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Adopt a Blogger

There are so many great food bloggers out there. I think this community has really grown recently. Sometimes, starting a blog can be kind of intimidating. What do you post? How do you take the pictures? What if no one sees your blog and you just do this for...no one?! Well, Kristen of Dine and Dish came up with a fantastic idea - Adopt a Blogger! In this event, a "veteran" blogger adopts a new blogger and they keep up with each other and let others know about the other blogs. Well, because I've been blogging for a year and a half or so, I'm considered a veteral blogger...don' t know if I agree but...! Who is my adopte blogger? Katie of Other People's Food. She has been blogging since April and has some WONDERFUL looking food. In fact, I have a chicken recipe tagged to try soon. Check back to find how that is...in fact, go to Katie's blog and look at her wonderful array of dinners, salads, and desserts...how about that goat cheese! Mmmm!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Roasted Potatoes

Well, last week I gave you green bean bundles, but Cate wasn't have her ARF event. This week she is and I give you potatoes. These are the recipe off of the Lipton onion soup mix. We decided to make these during the process of making Christmas lunch. Super easy and really delicious, these should make a showing on your dinner table. Potatoes have lots of vitamins in the SKIN, so don't peel them people! Check out the other great recipes at Sweetnicks' event on Tuesday.
Roasted Onion Potatoes
4 medium potatoes, washed and cubed (we used red potatoes...about six-eight)
1 package dry onion soup mix
1/4-1/3 cup (really, I just drizzled) olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare potatoes and place in a jelly roll pan. You can even line the pan with aluminum foil if you want easy clean up. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and toss. Pour the onion soup mix over and toss. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christmas Sugar Cookies

As several other bloggers, I have a lingering Christmas cookie to post. I always make these for my brother, but I think my parents enjoyed them more with their coffee or tea. Mama liked the snowmen the best because they have M&Ms...I like the stars because they were fun to decorate! Yes, it's just a simple sugar cookie; but a good recipe for those are hard to find. Many are too thin and crispy for me. I like the soft, fluffy kind. This recipe comes from a cookbook my mom received from her friend. I don't remember the name, but will get it and let you know! These turned out great and would be fun to use at Valentine's day. For decorating I just make a simple icing from confectioner's sugar and water. Set up your painter's palette and have fun. Kids love it! Sugar Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into shapes. Bake for about 15 minutes. Do not overbake.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bundles of Beans

Welcome to 2008! What better way to start off the year than with an ARF recipe. Today, I give you one of our vegetables from Christmas. These have been one of my favorites for a while. The baking of the beans just lends such a unique flavor. You can make this as decadent as you want or lighter if you desire by substituting ingredients. These green bean bundles are easy to make and crowd pleasing. Kids even enjoy them with the fun shape! Because of the healthy beans, this is my entry to Sweetnicks' ARF Tuesday. Check out the other recipes. Green Bean Bundles
2 cans whole green beans
1 package bacon or turkey bacon (you don't have to use the whole package)
Catalina dressing (regular or light) or Russian dressing

Set the oven to broil. Drain the beans.Gather a bundle of beans. Wrap half a slice (or a whole if you're going decadent!) of bacon around the bundle. Lay bundle in a 13X9 pan (or even a toaster oven pan if you're doing a small set). Do this until you have as many bundles as you want or are out of beans! Now, pour dressing over the bundles. If you are going decadent you can use the entire bottle, but I find this to be too much and just put enough on there to get some dressing on all the bundles. Place pan in oven and broil until bacon in done (maybe 10-15 minutes). Remove and enjoy with family. (The pictures are my mom!)