Thursday, April 29, 2010

Citrus Pistachio Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

I really wanted to make a salad with pistachios. So as wandered around the produce section I put ingredients in my cart I thought would go good together. Oh yummy. I ate this salad for almost three weeks straight at work because it is so delicious. Then I made myself change to another salad so I wouldn't get tired of it. Mmmm...my mouth waters just thinking about it.

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 cup oil
1 bag of spinach
1 carton of strawberries, sliced
1 bag of mandarin oranges, segmented
1 bag of pistachios, shelled

In a blender, mix together the lemon juice, sugar, salt and poppy seeds. While the blender is still going, gradually add the oil. Store in an air tight container.

Toss together the spinach, strawberries, orange segments, and pistachios. Add the lemon poppy seed dressing just before serving.

Since I make this for lunch everyday, I put a lunch amount of salad in a tupperware with the dressing in a separate container and mix them together right before eating.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sour Cream Salsa Enchiladas

I signed up to bring enchiladas for a church party but ended up getting there late. So most people had already eaten and were moving on to desserts. Hence a lot of leftovers. Then someone asked if they could bring them to a family in our church who lives with their grandma. She had had a heart attack a few days earlier and they could use the food. When I went to get my dish a couple of days later, the dad told me that he didn't even get to eat any because his kids ate them right up. He went on to say that never happens in their house so kudos to me! And to think I didn't have "typical" ingredients for enchiladas so I made them out of what I had in the house.

1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Pepper Jack)
6 flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.

Stir the soup, sour cream, salsa and chili powder together in a bowl.

Stir one cup of the sauce in with the chicken and cheese. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll each tortilla up and place in the prepared pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.

Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zucchini Au Gratin

We had this for our Easter dinner. It was divine! I am looking for new ways to make vegetables and this is a keeper. Now I need to try several more vegetables au gratin style. Not only is the flavor great, this is easy to put together and an amazing way to wow your guests. I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner!

1 cup heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
5 - 6 medium size zucchini
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the garlic and thyme, just until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Slice the zucchini in 1/8 inch thick rounds.

Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then layer the zucchini, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, drizzle of cream - repeating the layers until the zucchini is gone. Finish the top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jack Mac 'n Cheese

Home macaroni and cheese is so amazing. There is just something about real cheese and the ooey-gooey goodness. I love to change up the flavors by changing the cheese. This is the favorite version I have come up with. You can eat the deliciousness as soon as you mix it all together or increase the flavor by baking the macaroni and then diggin' in.

12 oz. elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk (the truth is, the higher the fat - the stronger the flavor)
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the macaroni according the package directions.

Meanwhile, warm the milk in a saucepan. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the cheeses and stir until completely melted and mixed.

Add to the noodles and stir to coat. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Caramelized Pork

These pork chops are so fast to make. After a long day at work, they are so easy to throw together. As long as I remember to defrost the pork chops that is. The flavor is great. You could pair them with almost anything. And, the sauce can be made with staples you already have around your house.

1 pound pork tenderloin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon maple-flavored syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut the pork into 1/2 inch slices. In a large skillet, cook the pork chops and garlic over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook 2 to 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, to coat the pork chops. The pork chops are done when they are no longer pink in the middle and the sauce has thickened.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homemade Taco Seasoning

The other day my hubbie really wanted tacos. We had everything but the seasoning. That's not gonna stop me though! I sorted through my spice cabinet and came up with my own taco seasoning. I thought it was rather delicious and hubbie gave it a thumbs up. So try it and tell me what you think!

1 pound hamburger
3 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup water

Start to brown the hamburger in a skillet. After about 3 or 4 minutes, add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the water is gone.

Wrap some up in a tortilla, with all your favorite taco toppings, and enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Banana Cake

The other day I had some bananas that were ripe and I was tired of banana bread. I mean, I bought the bananas to eat but somehow that didn't happen. So what to do, what to do?? So I made cake! That's right - cake made with bananas. Dense and delicious, similar to banana bread but the luscious texture of cake.

On a side note, the last time I made banana bread I did not mash the bananas. I decided to let my Bosch do that. Well, I ended up with banana chunk bread. There really wasn't those lovely black banana flakes that make it so good. So don't copy me - take the time to mash the bananas!

2 1/3 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 medium bananas, mashed
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients together, except the brown sugar and chocolate chips. Beat for 3 minutes. (yep, it's just that easy). Pour into the prepared pan. Top with chocolate chips (I used peanut butter because I was out of chocolate) and brown sugar.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. And then good luck only eating a little!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

I love to cook from scratch. There is just something about mixing together ingredients and eating the end result. Plus, I'm kinda hooked. I think homemade tastes so much better than a box mix. This is my favorite blueberry muffin recipe. These ones whip up super fast, bake long enough to take a shower and start out your day just right. I think I'm going to have to make some tomorrow...

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 24 muffin cups by lining them with cupcake papers.

Mix everything together, except the blueberries, until well combined. (See, I told you it was easy!) Stir in the blueberries.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. I love to use a large ice cream scoop to do this.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Dig in and have a great day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Smorsel-style Bonzai Burger

Have you ever had the Bonzai burger at Red Robin? Well, that's all I eat when I go there. It's amazing and any time I've tried something different, it hasn't been as wonderful as the Bonzai - without mayo for me though. My sister Amy told me that her and her hubbie made their own version. So I tried it out and YUM-O! Every time I have made them for friends, everyone loves them. And they are so easy.

1 pound of hamburger
1 cup Yoshida's marinade (you get it a Costco)
pineapple, sliced
shredded lettuce
tomatoes, sliced
4 slices of cheddar cheese

Mix together the hamburger and Yoshida's until completely combined. Form into 4 hamburger patties. Barbeque until cooked through. Just before removing from the grill, add a slice of cheese and remove when the cheese is melted. While the meat is barbequing - throw the pineapple on the grill. Don't burn it though!

Once everything is cooked, assemble like this: bun, pineapple slice, hamburger patty with cheese, tomato slices and the top-o-the-bun. Then bite in and enjoy the little dance your taste buds do.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sesame Noodles with Chicken

The night after we had these noodles for dinner, I had to talk myself out of having them for breakfast! They have this flavor that I just LOVE! And this meal is ready in minutes. Literally, just a couple of minutes longer than it takes to cook the noodles. You could also add more veggies, I just didn't have any more on hand.

1 box of noodles
2 - 3 chicken breasts (or you could use shrimp), cut bite size
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
veggies (I used snap peas)
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Cook the noodles according the package directions. Drain when finished.

Cook the chicken breasts (cut bite-sized) in a frying pan for about 5 minutes. Add the oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and veggies. Stir to completely coat the chicken and veggies. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes longer, until the chicken is no longer pink and the veggies are crisp tender.

Toss together the noodles, chicken mixture and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet Dinner Rolls

This recipe is so easy and so melt in your mouth delicious! I love making all my own bread and highly recommend this recipe anytime you need some yummy white rolls. I made them for a church party and they were gobbled right up. I didn't bring all the rolls the recipe made and we loved having them as sandwiches for lunch the next few days. This recipe will make 3 dozen rolls.

1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups flour

Stir 1 Tablespoon of the sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Cover and let proof for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the milk in a saucepan, just until the milk begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining sugar and the butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Once the milk mixture is lukewarm, add it, the egg and the salt to the yeast mixture. Slowly add the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Let the machine knead the bread for 8 minutes, or knead the dough by hand.

Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Lightly spray 3 9x13 pans with non-stick cooking spray. Punch down and form into 36 rolls. I grab about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dough and fold it over several times to form a smooth top and an even shape. Place so the smooth side faces up. Put 12 rolls in each 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise for 30 - 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth-yumminess!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cheesy Veggie Pasta

This is a new sidedish I dreamed up when I was wanting to get rid of leftover veggies. You really could put any vegetables in it, but this combo I happened to make, was amazing!

3 cups mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon rosemary
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup veggie broth
1/3 cup whip cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz. box of bowtie pasta
2 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Saute the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary in the olive oil.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. When there is 7 minutes left, add the butternut squash directly to the water. When there is 2 minutes of cook time left, add the asparagus. Drain the water.

Mix together the broth, whip cream and salt. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 4 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together, toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dr. Pepper Porkchops

These porkchops are surprisingly different and very tender, thanks to the crockpot. Who doesn't LOVE crockpot meals?? When finished cooking, the sauce was much more barbequish than Dr. Pepperish, but delicious.

4 - 6 pork chops
1 can Dr. Pepper
12 oz. ketchup
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 Tablespoon water

Place the pork chops in the crockpot. Mix together the Dr. Pepper, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce until completely mixed. Pour over the pork chops.

Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove the pork chops. Mix together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the sauce and let it thicken. Serve over the pork chops.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Onion Soup Roasted Potatoes

I don't know any better way to eat potatoes, seriously. These little babies will WOW your company. And they will only take minutes to prepare. Well, aside from cutting the potatoes into cubes. Oh...my mouth is salivating just thinking of them.

2 to 2.5 pounds of red potatoes
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 package of dry onion soup mix

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the potatoes. Using your clean hands, mix the potatoes until they are evenly coated.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until fork tender. And then, make the other 1/2 of the sack of potatoes because you'll want more!