Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baby Gator

Matt brought this book home from work a while ago. It had been hidden away somewhere, probably a promo thing or something. The kids & I have been excited to try it out. It has a TON of fun ideas. Today for lunch we made the baby gator as seen on the cover.

1 loaf Rhodes bread dough

1. Put frozen dough in a plastic bag. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for about 3 hours, until thawed but still cold.

2. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Cut a piece off the end of the loaf. Roll the rest of the loaf into a baseball bat. Put it on the cookie sheet. Flatten the big end into the gator's head.

3. Make cuts down each side of the gator. Pull them out to make 4 legs.

4. Cut a mouth. Hold it open with crinkled up foil. Pinch the end of the nose up.

5. With the rest of the dough, make 2 eyes and 4 feet. Cut the toes.

6. Put the eyes on top of the head. Put the feet under the legs. Clip scales on the gator using scissors.

7. Tun the oven on to 350 degrees and wait 20 minutes.

8. Bake about 25 minutes. Take foil out of gator's mouth when it has cooled.

I didn't roll my dough out enough, hence the pug-nosed, chubby gator! He still tasted good, though. I brushed him with a beaten egg before baking so he was glossy. We served him up with sandwich fixin's and he was delish! The kids thought this was so much fun. We can't wait to try all the other ideas.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ginger Grilled Chicken with Tropical Fruit Chutney

I love the Costco Cookbooks! If you haven't looked at them you should. You can download a PDF version of the books here. This recipe was a great one for the grill. I used chicken breasts and it was delish {and took less time to cook}!

Ginger Grilled Chicken with
Tropical Fruit Chutney

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 cup diced cantaloupe
1 medium pineapple, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sweetened grated coconut
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper

1. In a food processor, puree ginger, garlic, peppercorns, cilantro, soy sauce and oil.
2. Place puree in a bowl, add chicken and marinate, covered, in the refrigeratorfor 1 hour.
3. In a saucepan, combine mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, sugar, cumin, coconut, peanuts, jalapeño and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.
4. Preheat grill to hot.
5. Grill chicken for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with tropical fruit chutney.

Makes 4 servings.

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Roasted Veggie Cream Cheese

I love the Food Network and the other day I was watching "Good Eats". It is a quirky show that gives you the science behind cooking, plus some great recipes. That is where I got this recipe. We eat it with crackers or on toasted wheat bagels. Super HEALTHY and super TASTY!

1 small zucchini, sliced 1/4-1/2 in thick
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 small red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced 1/4 in thick
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T olive oil
1 block of cream cheese, room temp

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sliced veggies on cookie sheet with sides so they don't slip off. Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast veggies on oven, tossing a few times to ensure even cooking. This takes about 45 mins. Let veggies cool and place in food processor. Pulse a few times, do NOT puree until smooth. You want some texture to the spread. Refrigerate in air tight container for up to a week.

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Shout Out

Jaime's Lemon Ice Cream recipe is featured today on Tip Junkie! Way to go! You're famous ;)

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maple Butter Blondie Dessert

Maple Butter Blondie Dessert (like Applebee’s)

I debated on whether I should save this for my next Gourmet Dinner Group or just share the recipe right now. They are really good! Try 'em!!!!!


1 ½ c flour
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 ½ c margarine or butter
1 ½ c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ t vanilla
1 c white chocolate chips
1 c chopped walnuts or pecans
(the nuts can be added to the brownie or served sprinkled
over the top of the finished dessert – or both)

Blend butter and brown sugar together. Add baking powder, salt, vanilla and then eggs. Mix in flour. Stir in white chocolate chips and nuts.

Put brownie batter into a greased 9x13 pan and smooth mixture with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 – 25 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary, do not over bake. Top should be shiny and firm when you touch the center with a finger.

Maple Butter Sauce

1 1/3 c sugar
1 c whipping cream
2/3 c butter
1 ½ t maple flavoring

Combine sugar, butter and whipping cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the maple flavoring.

To assemble:

Cut brownies into 12 pieces. Place a brownie on a plate and top with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with more nuts. Enjoy !!

*I found this recipe to be just a little denser than those at Applebee’s. This recipe may need to be adjusted for high altitude by adding 3 T of additional flour. I also thought it was strange that the baking powder and salt are not sifted together with the flour in the instructions.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thai Style Grilled Chicken Breasts

We're all about the BBQ around here lately. I just tried this recipe & it's REALLY good and super easy. Not really "Thai style" according to Matt, but yummy nonetheless!!

Thai Style Grilled Chicken Breasts
1/3 C chopped basil
1/3 C chopped mint
1/3 C chopped cilantro
1 t ground ginger
2 t garlic
1 ½ T soy
1 ½ T fish sauce (alternatively, increase soy)
1 ½ T oil
1 ½ T brown sugar
1 t crushed red pepper.
Combine in food processor. Marinate 6 chicken breasts in sauce for 2 hours to 1 day. Grill chicken breasts, approximately 5 min. per side.

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