Thursday, September 24, 2009

Banana Boats

I ran across this blog posting today and decided to try these out for dessert tonight. Let me just say that the kids LOVED making them! Very fun, very easy, and very yummy. They would be the perfect dessert for camping, too--no measuring, no dishes, no clean-up (just roll up the foil and toss!).

Rather than try to re-explain this, I am just posting the link for the instructions/pictures:

My only improvement would be to go lighter on the chocolate chips, heavier on the marshmallows and cook for closer to 20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coffee Cake

When we were living in Rochester, NY for business school, my good friend JoAnna and I would randomly make dinner for each other's families. She brought this cake one night and I fell in love. I have been making it ever since. Even Marc likes it--and that is saying a lot, since he really doesn't eat any dessert that isn't chocolate!
This can also be made for breakfast, brunch, a baby shower, etc.

Coffee Cake
(thanks JoAnna!)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 small box instant vanilla pudding

2 eggs

3 Tblspn. vegetable oil

1 1/3 c. water

Mix all ingredients and pour ½ of batter into greased & floured 9-inch square cake pan.


½ c. flour

½ c. brown sugar

2 Tblspn. cinnamon

3 Tblspn. butter

Mix above ingredients and cut in butter to make a “crumble.”

Sprinkle first layer of batter with ½ crumble mixture.

Pour remaining cake batter on top of crumble and then top off with remaining crumble.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Drizzle with powdered sugar icing.

Coconut Chicken

The real name of this recipe is "Coconut Chicken Wings" but I can't bring myself to include the "wings" part--they seriously gross me out. As I said in a recent post, I only use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders. For this recipe I used tenders, and also substituted "cream of coconut" for coconut milk--since that is what I had on hand. The chicken came out almost candied (maybe due to the cream rather than milk)--it was really good, and my kids loved it!

Coconut Chicken
(Family Fun magazine, July 2009)

3 Tblspn. vegetable OR light olive oil
2 Tblspn. soy sauce
2 Tblspn. sugar
1 tsp. mild curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 c. coconut milk
3 lbs. chicken wings (or tenders)
1 c. flaked coconut
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the first seven ingredients, then whisk in the coconut milk. Reserve and refrigerate 1/2 cup of the mixture divided evenly in two containers.

2. Cut off the tips of the wings (reserve them for stock or discard), then halve the wings at the joint. Place them in the bowl and toss them with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

3. Just before grilling the wings, toast the coconut in a medium-size skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour the flakes onto a plate and allow them to cool, then lightly crumble the flakes with your fingers and set them aside.

4. Prepare the grill for cooking and oil the grates. Grill the wings 8 to 10 minutes per side, turning once, or until the meat is no longer pink inside. Use one container of the reserved marinade to baste the meat at each turn.

5. As the wings finish cooking, warm the other container of reserved marinade in a small saucepan until heated through.

6. Transfer the cooked wings to a platter and coat them with the warmed marinade. Sprinkle the wings with the toasted coconut and serve them immediately. Serves 6 as a main dish or 12 as an appetizer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chicken & Bean Slaw Wraps

Sounds gross, looks gross, but tastes GREAT!

Chicken & Bean Slaw Wraps
(I have no idea--I've had the recipe for forever)

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 1/2c. coleslaw mix with carrots
1 (15oz.) can spicy pinto beans OR Ranch Style beans OR whatever bean you like
1/3 c. Ranch dressing
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
flour tortillas
shredded cheese
BBQ sauce

Mix together cubed chicken, coleslaw mix, beans, Ranch dressing and onions.
Set aside (can be refrigerated and eaten cold, too)
Place tortillas on baking sheet and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake tortillas at 350 degrees for about 3-5 minutes.
Spoon chicken mixture onto hot tortilla, lightly drizzle with BBQ sauce, and roll up.

**If looking for a nicer presentation, you can roll up in parchment paper, twist ends, tie with raffia and then cut in half on diagonal**

Spinach and Bacon Frittata

Breakfast for of my most favorite things! :)

Spinach and Bacon Frittata
(MS EveryDay Food, Sept/Oct 2009?)

6 large eggs
1 c. ricotta cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
coarse salt and ground pepper
5 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 red potatoes, boiled and quartered
fresh spinach

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Set aside.

2. In a medium, nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, 6-7 minutes. Drain all but 1 tsp. fat from pan. Add potatoes and cook until warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and toss until barely wilted, about 30 seconds.

3. Add egg mixture and stir until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until center is set, about 15 minutes.

Tomatillo Chicken & Classic Cornbread

I am back on the bandwagon...I think. I will try to play catch up today and post a few of the recent recipes we have tried this past week. I have pictures of most of them, but need to figure out how to download my new camera--so they are coming...a bit later.

Before posting this chicken recipe, let me just state the obvious. I don't like meat on the bone. No chicken, no steak, no ham, no pork, no nothin'! Therefore, I adapt many recipes to my good ol' boneless, skinless chicken breast/tenders--which is exactly what I did here--just substituted chicken tenders for the whole chicken. I also halved the recipe for my little family and then only used 1/2 a jalapeno so it wouldn't be so spicy for my kids.

Tomatillo Chicken
(MS EveryDay Food, Sept/Oct 2009?)

2 lbs. tomatillos (husks removed, washed & halved)
1 Tblspn. vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3-4lbs), cut into 10 pieces (wings reserved for another use)
(or about 8-10 chicken tenders)
coarse salt and pepper
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (15oz) hominy, drained (optional)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a food processor, puree tomatillos; set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until browned on one side, 6 minutes. Transfer to plate.
(I still lightly browned my chicken tenders, too)

2. Add jalapenos and onion to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillo puree and hominy (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in sauce. Cover pot simmer until chicken is cooked through, 22-25 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.

I think I must have a little bit of my dad in me. He loves to go for drives, discover new places (especially ones off the beaten path), appreciates history and isn't afraid to just get in the car and go. So a few Sunday's ago, that is exactly what I did. My family was not up for the "Sunday drive" adventure, so I went alone. Quite enjoyable, actually.

There is a street in town called "Anderson Mill Rd." It recently came to my attention that this road was actually named after a real mill--that still exists. It is only open one Sunday a month and is run by the local garden club. So I went to check it out. An interesting piece of local history, a great photo backdrop and very friendly seniors anxious to show me around. While there, I learned that the mill still grinds organic corn, donated by WholeFoods. The women swore it made the best cornbread--so I bought a bag and here is the recipe that was attached:

(thanks to the woman from the Anderson Mill Gardeners Club)

Beat together:
1/3 c. sugar
2 Tblspn. shortening
1 egg

In a separate bowl, mix together:
1 c. regular flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda

Alternating with dry mixture, add:
1 c. buttermilk

Beat enough to mix well.
Grease 9 x 9 pan or muffin tins.
Bake @ 375 degrees until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.