Monday, May 30, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

You know how much Nate loves cinnamon rolls. When I saw these I couldn't resist. These are a little time consuming since you have to wait to let them rise, but they were delicious! This recipe comes from Beantown Baker. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet (1/4 oz./7 g) dry active yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

icing if you want them frosted

Dissolve the yeast and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in the warm milk in a large bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes until foamy. Mix in the eggs, butter, salt, and other 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add flour and mix until well blended and the dough forms a ball. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about one hour). After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners and lightly spray over the top of them with cooking spray. Roll dough into a 12x22 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 24 rolls. Place each roll in a cupcake liner. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let rolls cool completely before frosting.

Parmesan Knots

For Memorial Day today Nate grilled some ribs. We enjoyed them along with a salad and these parmesan knots. We kept it nice and simple since ribs are so heavy. I saw these over at Rachel vs. the Kitchen.

1 tube (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Cut each biscuit in half. Roll each piece into a 3-inch rope and tie into a knot; tucking the ends under. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add the warm knots and gently toss to coat.

Chicken Wonton Tacos

We are big fans of Chinese food in our house, but I still feel hesitant about cooking it. I don't know, something about it still seems intimidating. I saw these wonton tacos over at Life as a Lofthouse and they seemed manageable. Her recipe is for a spicy chicken version with a coleslaw type topping. I adapted these to fit our Asian themed dinner. They do take a little bit of time and work, but they made for a fun dinner.

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Lawry's teriyaki marinade
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow onion, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
40 wonton wrappers
vegetable or canola oil for frying

Marinate the chicken in the teriyaki marinade for an hour or two and then grill the chicken until thoroughly cooked. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes and then cut into small bite-sized pieces. Sautee the vegetable in the soy sauce until tender. Meanwhile heat oil in a thick skillet. Use enough oil to to make it about an 1" deep in the skillet. Use two wonton wrappers per taco. Place a few pieces of chicken in the middle. One the oil is hot carefully fry the tacos, you will have to use tongs. Make sure both sides get nice and crispy and golden brown. Once finished let the wonton tacos cool on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Top the wonton tacos with the vegetables and enjoy them while they are hot!

We ate these with ham fried rice.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

French Bread Pizza Bites

Okay this is such a quick and easy recipe! We made these really quick and ate them with a simple green salad. Makes for a nice easy dinner. I like that people can make them to their own tastes as well. I found the idea over at Jamie Cooks It Up. She made it using homemade french bread. I think it would make these even better!

1 loaf of french bread
mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce
pepperoni (we like turkey pepperoni in our house)
other pizza toppings of your choice
butter (optional)

Cover a baking sheet with tin foil. Cut the french bread into even slices and arrange them on the baking sheet. If you want you can butter the bottoms of the slices. On the top of the french bread slices spoon on some pizza sauce and cover with cheese and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are nice and toasty and the cheese on top is all nice and melted.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Island Chicken

I really liked this chicken. Good flavor and it was nice and juicy. I adapted this recipe from one I found at Rachel vs. the Kitchen.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. Lawry's seasoned pepper
2 large chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a mixing bowl or large airtight plastic bag. Whisk or shake well until the marinade is well mixed. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl or plastic bag so that they are covered by the marinade. If using a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. If using a plastic bag, press out all the excess air and seal the bag tightly. Refrigerate and marinate up to 10 hours. After marinating, grill, bake, or cook your chicken however you like and enjoy!

picture updated 04/11/13

Garlic and Butter Roasted Red Potatoes

I had planned on making rice and sauteed vegetables with dinner tonight, but I had potatoes that needed to be used. Since Nate loves roasted red potatoes so much, I wanted to do something similar. I just adapted it for russet potatoes. I saw this idea over at Rachel vs. the Kitchen. Her recipe has you microwave the potatoes, I baked mine We loved these!

6 red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieced
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2-1 tsp. seasoned salt (depends on your preference)
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic, minced

Mix the diced potatoes, melted butter, and seasonings. Spread evenly into a glass baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until soft. Serve hot.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken Bakes

I think I just solidified my place in wife hall of fame with this recipe! My husband loves Costco's chicken bakes. I happened across this recipe online and knew I had to try them asap. They turned out really well and Nate is one happy man! I found this recipe at Miranda's Recipes and just adapted it for our tastes.

1 package of yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. oil
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 tsp. garlic bread seasoning

cooked, diced chicken
cooked, crumbled bacon
Caesar salad dressing
shredded Monterey Jack cheese*
shredded Mozzarella cheese
shredded Parmesan cheese
1 bunch green onions, diced

For the dough-
Dissolve yeast in warm water and add sugar. Let yeast sit about 10 minutes (you want it good and foamy). Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Beat vigorously 20 strokes. Allow dough to rest 5 minutes in a bowl with saran wrap or a towel over it. I just made the dough in my bosch mixer.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle that's approximately 5x11". Spread 1-2 tsp. of caesar dressing on the dough and add some chicken, bacon, green onions, and monterey and mozzarella. Fold down the 5" sides of the dough and then roll up the long sides. Place them seam side down on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the chicken bakes with a small amount of caesar dressing and top with some parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Eat hot! This recipe makes 4 chicken bakes.

The site where I found these says that they freeze really well. So make some extras for some easy lunches!

*I just used the cheese I had on hand. It is a cheddar/jack mix.

Obviously I struggle to make a nice rectangle.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baked Pork Chops and Rice

We had this for dinner tonight. I had it on last week's menu but we didn't get around to making it. I've wanted to try this for a while and I'm so glad we did! It turned out really well! This recipe is one I found at Mommy's Kitchen.

4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
6 pork chops, bone in (I used 3 thick pork chops and they turned out great)
Salt and Pepper
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup water
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the rice and saute until it is light brown, about 5 minutes. Spread the rice in a 9X13" casserole dish. Season both sides of the pork chops with the salt and pepper* and arrange them on top of the rice. Pour the broth and water over the chops. Spread the onion and green peppers over the chops. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until pork chops are tender. Remove the pork chops to a plate and keep warm, then cover the dish and return the rice to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. If the rice is dry, add a bit more water before returning to oven (dependent on climate). Serve the pork chops on a bed of the rice.

*I seasoned my pork chops with Lawry's seasoning salt, Lawry's seasoned pepper, and McCormick's garlic and onion seasoning. Super good!

Lime Cilantro Rice

This is a recipe from Alisha. I think this is the same kind of rice that you can get at Costa Vida and Cafe Rio. Yum!

1 cup rice
1 t. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. grated lime zest
1 can chicken broth (15oz)
1/4 cup water
2 T. lime juice
2 t. sugar
3 T. chopped cilantro

In saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime zest, broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15-20 min. or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice. Serve warm.

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Earlier in the week Nate commented on how it has been a while since I made him any cookies. Usually I make him either chocolate chip or peanut butter cup cookies. I wanted to try something new so Nate picked these brownie chunk chocolate chip cookies. The recipe comes from Picky Palate. I LOVE her site. She always has the best ideas. I have tons of her recipes bookmarked to try.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups cubed prepared brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or silpat liner.
Place butter and sugars into the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.
Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips and brownie chunks until just combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Orange Creamsicle Pie

Nate loves orange creamsicles and Sonic's orange cream slush. When I saw this recipe I knew he would love it. I found the idea at Sadie's Kitchen.

2 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 drops red food coloring
1 drop yellow food coloring
1 graham cracker crust
Whipped topping for garnish (optional)

In a bowl combine the icecream and orange juice concentrate. Stir in food coloring. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or over night. Remove 10 minutes before serving to let soften. Garnish with whipped topping right before serving.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crispy Onion Chicken

This recipe is another keeper. Nate ate all of his piece of chicken and some of mine! It is really easy to make and only 3 ingredients. I found this recipe at Mandy's Recipe Box. I modified this recipe for the two of us, adjust amounts if you're cooking for more than two.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. honey mustard
1 cup French's fried onions, crushed

Evenly coat the chicken with the honey mustard then roll in the crushed onion. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done. Mine were really thick breasts so they took about 40 minutes.

Please forgive the awful picture.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nachos Supreme

Call me lame, but I seriously get such a sense of accomplishment when I make a new recipe and Nate likes it. Tonight was no exception. These nachos were super easy and super tasty. This recipe is a definite keeper! I found the idea at Tied and True Cooking with Heidi.

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cans refried beans
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2-3/4 cup water (I used a half cup and it was perfect)
2-3 Tbsp. taco sauce (optional, just if you want a little extra kick)

tortilla chips
queso or shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
sour cream
sliced black olives
pico de gallo
really whatever nacho trimmings you like!

Combine all the filling ingredients and place in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over tortilla chips and top with cheese and trimmings! Enjoy!

*My Note: Since the ground beef is already cooked when it goes in the crock pot there isn't a real cook time. You just want to give it a few hours for the flavors to combine. Mine cooked for about 5 hours and it was just right! This is a good recipe for a crowd, it makes the one pound of beef go really far, we have a lot of leftovers.

This is my plate, I opted for shredded cheese.

This is the hubs plate. He ate his with a spicy queso.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Blackened Chicken

Nate LOVED this meal! He rated it an 11 on a 1-10 scale. We will definitely be making it again. I found the recipe at The Sisters Cafe. The only changes I made was to omit the sugar and I added some seasoning salt to the tomato cream sauce. This chicken is amazing! I think a salad with blackened cajun chicken and some pico de gallo on top would be divine! Enjoy!

3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts halves
2-3 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. gemelli or penne pasta
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 tsp. dry basil
1 tsp. sugar (I omitted this)
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
2/3 cup cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm. Pour tomatoes into a small sauce pan and add dry basil and sugar. Reduce the tomatoes over medium-high heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
While tomatoes are cooking, rub chicken breasts with desired amount of Cajun seasoning. {I like to use 3 Tb but we like it spicy at our house. When I’ve used 2 Tb in the past, it has a mild kick of spice – still very delicious and probably perfect for finicky kids… or adults!} Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat (careful not to burn the oil). Add chicken and cook 7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear when pierced. Remove from skillet and slice thinly across the grain.
Once the tomatoes have thickened, reduce heat and stir in cream. Heat through but DO NOT BOIL! Toss with pasta and parmesan cheese.
Serve sliced chicken on top of pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

*My Note: I just made 2 chicken breasts for the two of us. I omitted the sugar all together and added 1 tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt to the tomato cream sauce. My dish came out a little creamier than the photo of the original recipe. Nate assured me that it tasted amazing!

This is the cajun seasoning I used and we loved it! Please ignore my gross nails.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sliced Red Potatoes

Both Nate and I enjoy steak. We rarely cook it, but when we do we like to go all out. Nate made Brazilian churrasco style steaks tonight. He doesn't remember the measurements of the steak rub, so I'll have to post it another time. The next part of tonight's dinner was these potatoes. I found the recipe from a cute site called Your Homebased Mom. Nate loves red potatoes and I like that these cook so quickly. Yum!

8-10 medium sized red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cube butter, melted
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne powder (I left this out, I am not a fan of cayenne)
2 tsp. mild chili powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt*

Mix above ingredients and toss with thin sliced potatoes. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 7-10 minutes, then turn potatoes and bake another 7-10 minutes until desired crispness.

*I found that these potatoes needed just a touch of salt. I am not a big salt person, but I did add a little salt to these. Next time I would add a 1/2 tsp. or so of salt to the recipe.

Cheese Biscuits

Woo hoo! I am posting an actual recipe! It's about time. I do have to admit that I can't take all the credit, Nate did all the cooking tonight. Since I've been feeling so lousy, he has truly been amazing! I seriously have the best husband. Okay, back to the food. Part one of tonight's dinner was garlic cheese biscuits. Nate loves biscuits but I find that so many of them taste a little off, either too much like buttermilk or too much like baking powder for my taste. I thought these might be winners, and they were! We really enjoyed them even though I forgot to buy the garlic. Despite that, we will be making these again! I found the recipe here.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. butter
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 clove garlic, minced (I didn't have any garlic, and they still turned out great!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the milk and cheddar cheese; stir to combine. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. While biscuits are baking mix melted butter and minced garlic. Brush garlic butter over hot baked biscuits.*

*We didn't add the garlic or the additional butter to the top of the biscuits. They are nice and rich all on their own!

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Menu for May 15-21

I can't stand to think of this blog lying dormant for one more day! I've really been struggling with my heart issues the past two weeks and cooking/blogging/homemaking has all fallen to the wayside. I just got off the phone with my cardiologist and hopefully these new adjustments will help! I haven't really cooked much this week, but I really want to be back in the swing of things. This is my menu for next week. Almost all of the recipes are new. I've included the links if you want to try them too! All the pictures are from the websites where I found the recipes.

Super Easy Chicken Drumsticks

Churrasco Steaks (Brazilian style steaks)
Onion Roasted Red Potatoes (I'm not going to add cheese)
Garlic and Cheese Biscuits

Cajun Pasta with Blackened Chicken
Green Beans
I've never had anything with cajun seasoning, so this will be a new experience! This is the recipe I am most excited to try this week.

Crockpot Nachos Supreme
Pico de Gallo
Nate usually works late on Tuesdays so I wanted something super easy. We love Mexican food so this will be fun to try!

Crispy Onion Chicken
AuGratin Potatoes

Smashed Sandwiches (I know, I'm really going all out!)
Carrots and Celery Sticks

Baked Pork Chops and Rice
Nate loves pork chops so I'm hoping this will be a really good recipe.

Brunch- Breakfast Burritos
Dinner- Date Night

Anyway, I hope that helps me get back into the groove of cooking. I miss trying new things. Hopefully I will be better at posting too! If you try one of these recipes, let me know how it turns out!

Monday, May 2, 2011

French Bread Breakfast Sandwiches

This recipe is the result of me not being in the mood to cook dinner and Nate wanting to "experiment" in the kitchen. We had a loaf of french bread that needed to be used up and Nate was in the mood to have breakfast for dinner. I do have one disclaimer, I only ate scrambled eggs and bacon, Nate had the sandwich, which he LOVED!

1 loaf of french bread
6 eggs, seasoned and scrambled
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
4 square slices pepper jack cheese

Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Slice the french bread lengthwise. Top half the loaf with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese. Toast under the broiler until the cheese has melted. Put the toasted plain side on top of the other side, slice up and enjoy! I think this makes enough to serve 4, we had a lot of leftovers.

This has Nate's seal of approval!