Monday, June 28, 2010

Mom's Picante Chicken

This recipe tastes like 1987. My Mom used to make this one growing up. I remember requesting this meal for my Birthday meal on more than one occasion. It is simple, kid friendly and cheap! Tastes pretty darn good too.

Mom's Picante Chicken
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 T. olive oil
1 c. mild salsa or Picante sauce
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. cooked white rice

While large skillet heats up to medium heat, combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in shallow dish. Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture. Add oil to skillet. Fry strips in oil until golden brown and crispy. Remove from skillet. Remove any excess oil from pan. Place rice, salsa, and cheddar in skillet and combine. Fold chicken strips in and serve!

Greta and Miles Rating: They gobbled this up and asked for seconds!

Sugar Cookie Bars

I have a small list of blogs that I just love. It is like having a few friends you can count on to only give you terrific recipes. One of those blogs is Annie's Eats. Annie's Eats is where I found this recipe. Every recipe I've ever tried on her blog has been fantastic! Head on over and check it out.
This is a great recipe for cook outs and get togethers. It makes a TON of bars. I added almond extract to both the bars and the frosting. The whole family loved these babies!

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. almond extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5 tbsp. milk
Food coloring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet (I used 15x10 and another small 5" pan). Combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the extracts. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk to blend. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until incorporated.

Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet and press evenly. Bake 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the extract, salt, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the milk. Tint as desired with food coloring. Spread over the cookie in the pan, cut into bars and serve.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rice Cooker Mac N' Cheese

I love my rice cooker! I use it at least once a week. It is the fastest, easiest, and best way to prepare rice, couscous and even homemade mac n' cheese! For the milk, can use heavy cream if you are feeling luxurious, skim milk or even soy milk. I've tried all three. The cheeses are versatile as well. We've used cheddar only, cheddar and goat cheese, cheddar and mozzarella...anything goes! The original (but altered) recipe was found at RecipeZaar.

Rice Cooker Mac N' Cheese

2 C. whole wheat penne pasta (or pasta of your choice)

1 1/4 C. milk

1 C. water or broth

1 C. shredded cheddar

1/2 C. shredded mozzarella

2 T. butter or margarine

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

pinch of cayenne (optional)

Dump pasta and water (or broth) and milk (or cream) into rice cooker. Cook. When finished cooking add remaining ingredients. Stir well. You may need to add additional water or milk. Serve to happy little kids. Serves 2 hungry adults or 1 adult and 3-4 little bumpkins.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

I love tilapia. It is cheap. It is good for you. And it is delicious! We make this recipe often. This is definitely a "melt in your mouth" good recipe. The amazing thing is that one serving is only 203 calories! I found the recipe on I usually serve this with rice or couscous and last time I served it with roasted sugar snap peas. Yum!

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 T. mayo
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 t. dried basil
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. onion powder
1/8 t. sea salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat broiler. In small bowl, combine all ingredients for the topping. Broil fish 2-3 min. on one side, flip. Broil another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and brush topping on the filets. Broil another 2-3 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden.

Greta and Miles rating: Both my 2 year old and 4 year old LOVE this dish.

Rosemary & Garlic Crackers

Who knew that home made crackers could be so easy and so good? The whole family loved these simple crackers. I found the recipe here, and below is my version. These could so easily be changed up! You can use any type or combination of flours as well as herbs or spices.

Rosemary & Garlic Crackers

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or combination of grains –I used whole wheat and oat flours)
1/4-1/2 c. butter, melted
1 cup water and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed

1 t. garlic powder

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

The flours can be soaked for 12-24 hours, but the crackers will be great even if you skip this step.

Combine flour(s) with water and vinegar. Soak (or not) for 12-24 hours.

After soaking (or not) add the melted butter, salt and baking powder. Knead ingredients together until well combined. Divide dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a large rectangle (about 1/16 inch thick). Cut into desired squares and place on a cookie sheet. Pierce each cookie with a fork 2-3 times. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown. Enjoy!

Browned Butter Banana Bread

My Mother-in-law makes a mean banana bread. Seriously, it is the BEST. I have the recipe, and it uses a cake mix in the ingredients. Call me lazy, but I just never buy or use cake mixes. Well, maybe that is the opposite of lazy? I have tried my best to find a banana bread recipe that is even close to as good as hers. I have made probably about 5 versions. This one is very, very good! I found the recipe at Sing for Your Supper. I love her blog! Her recipes never disappoint. This bread was even better the 2nd day!

Browned Butter Banana Bread
1/2 c. butter
2 c. flour
3/4 c.brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas, mashed
1/2 c. chopped pecans (I omitted)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8" loaf pan.

In a medium saucepan over high melt the butter. Once it is melted lower the heat to medium and swirl the butter around the pan. Continue to swirl the butter occasionally. After about 5 minutes the butter will literally turn brown. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool while getting everything else ready.

In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients.
In another bowl whisk the eggs then add the mashed bananas, vanilla and the semi-cooled butter.
Add the liquid to the dry mixture. Mix just until incorporated, don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, until it is browned on top and a fork inserted comes out clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kale Chips

We got our 2nd CSA box for the summer today. In our box was some beautiful kale and I was sooooo excited. I’ve seen recipes online for kale chips and have been dying to try them. Well- the verdict is in——–DE-LIC-IOUS! Everyone in the family loved the chips. They just melt in your mouth. What a cool way to get your leafy greens! I combined a few recipes and came up with my own. Give it a try!

Kale Chips

2 bunches (or 1 large bunch) kale, washed and cut into small pieces (think smaller than tortilla chips)

1 1/2 T. rice wine vinegar (balsamic or even apple cider vinegar would work)

3 T. Olive oil

1 t. sea salt

1/3 c. grated Parmesan *optional

Whisk together oil, vinegar and salt. Using hands, toss kale with oil mixture. Spread onto 2 cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cheese (or not). Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Use a spatula about half way through to loosen the chips. Enjoy!