Thursday, June 25, 2009

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

This recipe was a great one, and gave me the chance to try out some of the spinach from our garden.
Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake

1-1/2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked (use whatever pasta you have)
1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh spinach leaves
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 jar (14-1/2 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

COOK pasta as directed on package, adding spinach to the boiling water the last minute.

COOK and stir chicken and basil in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 3 min. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; bring to boil. Simmer on low heat 3 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese.

DRAIN pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole or 8-inch square baking dish.

BAKE 20 min. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 3 min.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 2009 Gourmet Dinner Group

Lemon Chicken with Guacamole Sauce

juice of 4 lemons
6 T olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in ziplock bag and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Grill chicken over medium low heat. Serve with guacamole sauce.

Guacamole Sauce

2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
6 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 water (or more to get desired consistency)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

Zesty Spring Salad
(slightly modified from Ivory Cookbook)

2/3 cup pecan pieces
4 T sugar
1 T butter

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 orange, peeled and sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, chopped
spring greens

1/3 cup olive oil
2 T sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 green onion, finely minced

Carmelize pecans by mixing with sugar and butter in small skillet over low heat until sugar melts. Spread on foil and cool, then break into pieces.

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Toss salad ingredient together with pecan peices, add dressing to coat and serve.

Asparagus with Creamy Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 pounds asparagus spears
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
4 T raspberry vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dijon-style mustard
7 T olive oil
4 T sour cream or plain yogurt
pepper to taste
1 cup fresh raspberries

Toss asparagus in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and salt and stir with whisk until dissolved. Stir in mustard. Gradually stir in oil until blended. Add the sour cream and pepper to taste. To serve, place the asparagus on plates and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with the fresh berries and enjoy.

French Peasant Bread

1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 T sugar
4 cups flour
corn meal
melted butter

Place year, water, sugar and salt in warm bowl and stif until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do not knead. Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size. Oil hands, remove dough from the bowl and place in 2 rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Let rise an additional hour. Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush again with butter. Serve warm.

Luscious Lemon Water

5 quarts water
3 cups sugar
1 T citric acid
1 T lemon extract

Stir together all ingredients until dissolved. Chill and serve!

Lemon Ice Cream

2 quarts whole milk
1 pint whipping cream
4 cups sugar

Combine ingredients in ice cream freezer and let churn for about 5 minutes. Open and add:

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tablespoon lemon extract

Continue running ice cream freezer until ice cream is frozen.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Free Copycat Recipes

Download this booklet of copycat recipes from A&W, Bennigan's, McDonald's, Red Lobster and more..

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kiwi Muffins

This recipe was a great way to use up all the extra kiwi I had from our family festivities last week. The whole family enjoyed these.

Kiwi Muffins
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 kiwi fruits, diced (I used 3)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Fold in kiwi. Pour into muffin cups. Make sure the cups (or pan if you don't use cups) is greased very well. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

*yields about 16 muffins

For the frosting:
3 ounces cold cream cheese
4 teaspoons butter (room temperature)
¾ cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp. lime juice

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add sugar and lime juice and blend. Top cooled muffins with frosting & diced kiwi.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strawberry Bread

5 T, plus 1 tsp butter
1 pint strawberries, mashed or blended
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 by 4 in loaf pan. Bring strawberries to a boil over med heat. Cook, stiffing for 1 min. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat butter, sugar and eggs in another bowl til fluffy. Add flour mixture slowly and fold in strawberries. Pour in buttered pan, smooth top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. Tent with foil if top gets too dark. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool completely. Serve with cream cheese or butter.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Monkey Cake & yummy cupcake icing

This is the cake I made for Jackson's 2nd birthday. The cake itself is super yummy, and the buttercream frosting was extra good for some reason (although I did have to add a splash or two of milk to get it to the consistency I wanted) so I thought it was worth sharing, even if you don't make it into a monkey!!

Also, the burnt butter icing I used for the cupcakes was to die for!!

Monkey Cake
from Martha Stewart
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 very ripe, large bananas, mashed (about 1 1/3 cups)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
Fluffy Chocolate and Yellow Buttercreams
2 black-licorice drop candies
Black-licorice rope, for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-inch-diameter 3-quart stainless-steel or ovenproof bowl and 1 cup of a large (1-cup capacity) muffin tin; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and brown sugar; mix on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to medium; mix in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with banana mixture. Stir in pecans.
Fill prepared muffin cup three-quarters full. Transfer remaining batter to prepared baking bowl. Transfer to oven, side by side. Bake cupcake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Let cool in tin on a wire rack. Continue baking large cake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes more (1 hour and 40 minutes total). Let cool in bowl on a wire rack 30 minutes. Invert bowl to remove cake; let cool completely.
Trim flat side of cake to be level. Trim away top of cupcake to be level. Cut cupcake in half vertically for the two monkey ears. Cut bowl cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Spread 3/4 cup chocolate buttercream on top of flat layer. Top with domed layer. Transfer to a cake plate. Spread a thick layer of chocolate buttercream over entire monkey head. Spread buttercream over cupcake ears. Attach ears to sides of head, top of cupcake facing forward, securing with toothpicks.
Place remaining chocolate frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #5). Pipe dots around bottom edge of cake in a continuous line. Switch to a small multi-opening tip (such as Ateco #233); pipe hair on top of head.Fill another piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip (such as Ateco #11) with yellow buttercream. Pipe an oval near the front base of cake. Fill in with frosting, and smooth. Place 2 small pieces of licorice rope inside for nose. Add a long piece of rope for mouth. Place licorice drops above oval for eyes. Pipe yellow half-circles in centers of ears; fill in with frosting, and smooth. Decorated cake can be refrigerated up to 3 hours.

Fluffy Chocolate and Yellow Buttercreams
Makes 3 3/4 cups chocolate frosting and 1 1/4 cups yellow frosting.
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Yellow food coloring
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 stick butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups sugar; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in food coloring to make pale yellow. Transfer to a small bowl; cover.
Put remaining 3 sticks butter in mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add cocoa. Mix until smooth. With mixer running, add remaining 3 3/4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on high speed until incorporated, 10 to 20 seconds more.
Burnt-Butter Icing
from Conversations with a Cupcake

4 T. butter
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1-3 tsp. milk
In a medium saucepan, bring butter to a boil over extremely high heat. Do not stir. Allow butter to boil just until it takes on a medium brown hue (you want to burn it, not scorch it!). Once browned, immediately add marshmallows to the pan. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of the milk. Now start to whip it with your electric mixer. Just whip and whip (and stop to taste and adore.) Then whip and whip some more. Add milk as needed. The consistency should be thick, but spoonably soft. The flavor of fresh caramel on a vanilla fudge cloud. Place a heaping spoonful atop cooled cupcakes.

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Stacked Burrito Pie

Has it really been a month since anybody's posted on here?? Sheesh!!

Well, here's a good recipe to get things started again :) It's a fun twist on regular old burritos!

Stacked Burrito Pie
from Family Fun Magazine

2 TB vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 LB ground beef (I used a pound of ground turkey)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
8 oz. Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute for 5 min, stirring often. Add garlic and saute another minute.

Increase heat to medium, then add ground beef, chili powder, and cumin. Cook mixture until beef is browned and no longer pink, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add salt, water, beans, and corn, and bring to boiling, stirring occasionally until the liquid evaporates, about 20 min. Remove mixture from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350°. Using the rim of a 9 inch springform pan as a template, trim 3 of the tortillas to the size of the pan. Leave the fourth tortilla untrimmed.

Butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Press the untrimmed tortilla evenly into the pan's bottom. Spread 2 TB of the sour cream over the tortilla, followed by 1/4 cup salsa. Spoon and spread a quarter of the beef mixture over the salsa, then sprinkle a quarter of the grated cheese evenly over the top.

Place one of the trimmed tortillas on top of the cheese, then repeat the layering until the ingredients and tortillas are used up. You should end up with four layers, topped with the final sprinkling of cheese.

Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the rim from the springform pan. Slice the pie into wedges and serve.

*note- you can also bake this dish in a 9 inch round cake pan and serve it like a lasagna.

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