Monday, December 28, 2009

Green Chili Crockpot Chicken

This recipe was super easy to make. I was looking for something I could do in a crockpot but didn't want to do burritos again. So I came up with this, served in over mashed potatoes and with a veggie. It was very yummy and oh, so crockpot easy.

2 pounds chicken breasts (I put them in totally frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 4oz can of green chilies
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot. Mix together the soup, chilies, and spices. Pour over the chicken. Cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or low 6 -7 hours (your crockpot may vary, so don't over cook).

The chicken will be very tender so just take two forks and shred the chicken. I don't even take it out of the crockpot. Stir to mix chicken in.

Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Pretzels - Christmas Cookies Day 5

I got this idea from my sister, Amy, last year when we spent Christmas in Texas. They are so, unbelievably easy and fun. And I love the combo of salty and sweet.

1 bag pretzels
2 bags of Hershey kisses, unwrapped
1 bag of peanut M'nM's

Lay the pretzels out on a cookie sheet, filling the entire cookie sheet. Place a Hershey kiss in the middle of each pretzel. I make 2 cookie sheets full.

Put the cookie sheet into the oven, preheated to 350 degrees, for 2 minutes. Do not overheat or the kisses go hard. If the kisses aren't soft enough for the next part, you will need to put them into the oven for just a little while longer.

As soon as you remove the cookie sheet, press one peanut M'nM into the center of each Hershey kiss. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hershey Kiss Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 4

I LOVE these cookies! Sometimes I wonder why I only make them at Christmas but then I remember that if I made them more often, they would probably lose a little value in the yumminess department. This is a different peanut butter cookie recipe than when I was growing up. The peanut butter flavor is amazing in these cookies. So even if you are looking for a good peanut butter cookie, try this recipe.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Roll the dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheets. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, press one Hershey kiss into the center of each cookie. Then put on cooling racks to cool. If you let the kisses set up (harden) these cookies freeze wonderfully, even with the kisses on. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blackberry-Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 3

I've posted these cookies before but I changed the date so I could have all the Christmas cookies together. These have become my hubbie's favorite cookie. They are melt in your mouth yumminess. And so totally different from any other cookie you've had. They sound difficult, but are so easy to make.

8 ounces white baking bar (don't use white chocolate chips or the cookies go too flat - I use the white chocolate rounds at Micheal's craft store)
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup blackberry-raspberry jam (you can use any kind - this is just my favorite)
3 ounces white baking bar
1/2 teaspoon shortening

Melt 4 ounces of the white baking bar over low heat while stirring constantly; set aside to cool.

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and melted white chocolate bar until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour using a wooden spoon. Chop remaining 4 ounces of the white chocolate bar and stir into batter.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Just before serving, heat and stir the jam in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto top of each cookie. Beat and stir the 3 ounces of white baking bar and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Drizzle each cookie with some of the melted chocolate. Refrigerate cookies about 15 minutes to firm chocolate, if necessary. Makes about 48 cookies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies - Christmas Cookies Day 2

I LOVE sugar cookies!! Once I tasted sugar cookies made with sour cream, I have never gone back. This recipe is extremely easy and I use it for all kinds of holiday cookies. (Who doesn't love a good pumpkin shaped cookie topped with candy??) 

I use a basic vanilla icing recipe for these cookies which you can find HERE. For fun, I also add peppermint flavoring to the red icing for the candy cane shaped ones.

Did I mention you could eat this dough just like it was chocolate chip cookie's that good!

1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream with 1 teaspoon baking soda stirred in
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 1/2 cups flour

Cream the butter, shortening, sugars and sour cream until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Roll the dough out, to about 1/4", onto a floured surface and use cookie cutters to make different shapes. Place the cut outs on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely before frosting.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jubilee Jumbles - Christmas Cookies Day 1

Christmas is coming...and so are my cookie plates!! The next several blogs will be all the cookies and goodies that I give my neighbors. Most of these cookies are traditions started when I was a kid. These cookies are my Dad's favorite and oh, so wonderfully delicious.

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

Mix the shortening, sugars and eggs. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour, salt and soda. The dough will be really sticky. Chill the dough for about one hour. It will still be sticky but much easier to work with.

Drop by Tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. The dough will not roll, you will just scoop it off a spoon. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Browned Butter Icing
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 - 4 Tablespoons hot water

Melt the butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, and cook it until it browns. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and add the powdered sugar and enough hot water to form a thick icing. 

Spoon 1 teaspoon onto the cooled cookies while the icing is still hot. I usually just do it with my hands because it goes a lot faster.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Orange Chicken

I am totally ready to take on Panda Express now. This orange chicken is to die for!!! Even my husband agreed it was better than Panda Express (and hopefully he wasn't lying to me.) We tried this Thai place that had the most amazing orange chicken. You could really taste the natural orange flavor. So I worked really hard to get this sauce to be super "orangey" and I finally got it perfect. I've tried it with juice that's already made and fresh squeezed juice, and I didn't find a difference. Also I bake the chicken, rather than deep fry it. So it's healthier than deep fried chicken and still turns out crunchy.

2 pounds chicken, cubed
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice (I used already made, store bought juice)
1/4 cup lemon juice (again, I just used the stuff in the bottle)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 orange - finely grate the entire orange part of the peel
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
stir fry veggies, cooked
rice, cooked

Combine the flour, garlic powder and onion powder in a ziploc bag. Dip the chicken in the egg, then add to the ziploc. Shake to coat the chicken. Spread the coated chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

In a large sauce pan, combine the water, juices, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, grated orange peel, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water. Slowly stir into the sauce until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken and veggies. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

English Muffin Bread

I got this recipe from my friend, Aubrey. It only makes one loaf so I love to make it to compliment a meal.

3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the milk, water and olive oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat, in the microwave, to between 120 and 130 degrees. Make sure you measure the temperature! Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients in the bowl.

Beat on high for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.

Lightly grease a loaf pan. Scoop the dough into the pan, leveling it as much as possible. Cover the pan and let rise until it's barely over the top of the pan, about 1 hour.

Remove the cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely before slicing or it crumbles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sausage Chili

I LOVE soup, especially in the winter, and decided to try something a little different. Sausage was on a great sale so I bought some and then looked in the pantry for veggies that would go great with it. This is one of the most favorite things I have come up with. The flavor was amazing and the chili is perfect with some fresh hot bread (recipe coming soon!)

1 pound sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's regular)
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth (I usually use the powder kind and just add water)
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1 - 2 cans garbanzo beans (depending on how much you like them)

Combine the sausage, green pepper and onion in a large skillet. Cook until the sausage is cooked completely through. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Let the chili simmer for 10 minutes and then enjoy.

I also suggest if you would like less beans or have left over beans, you can mash them up and add them to the chili that way.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Veggie Lasagna

Sometimes it's so hard to make something so yummy, look good in a picture. And this is the same lasagna, just different views. You might think I'm crazy, but this lasagna was amazing!! I'm trying to find ways to include more veggies in our diet and so I came up with this. You could easily add different veggies to make it different every tim.

2 cups mozzarella
2 eggs
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
oven ready lasagna noodles
1 cup onion, diced
3-4 cups fresh spinach

Combine the mozzarella, except 1/2 cup, eggs and ricotta; mix well.

Put the squash in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Spread a little spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the noodles, then half the onions, spinach and squash. Cover with 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat the layering and end by covering with the last 1/3 of noodles. Pour the remaining 1/3 of spaghetti sauce over the top and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of mozzarella and the Parmesan cheeses.

Bake, covered, at 375 degrees, for 30 minutes. Then remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neeman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought I had found the cookie dough I was going to stick with, but I was wrong. I had forgotten about THESE cookies. They are the most amazing cookies, EVER!

If I remember the story correctly, my sister's friend and her mom were shopping and decided to stop at Neeman Marcus for lunch. At the end of the meal they were served cookies. The mom absolutely loved them and asked if the recipe was for sale. The waitress went to inquire and came back to tell the mom, that yes, the recipe was for sale for "two fifty." The mom happily agreed to the price, and since they were in a hurry, signed her receipt and left. Later, when she got her credit card bill, she freaked out because the recipe had cost two hundred and fifty dollars. She called the store to complain but they were not willing to compensate her. So instead, she gave the recipe to anyone and everyone who was interested. I'm glad I got a copy because they are, seriously, the best cookies.

Last night, Crystal and I went into sugar coma eating so much of the dough! And the cookies turn out with crunchy edges and soft, gooey centers.

2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups oatmeal, measure the oatmeal and then blend it in the blender until it is fine
24 oz. chocolate chips
8 oz Hershey chocolate bar, grated (personally, I don't think this adds a lot to the cookie)

Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and fine oatmeal. Mix until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and grated chocolate (if you want it).

Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.