Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do It All Marinade

I saw this idea over at Real Mom Kitchen and adapted the marinade to our tastes and to what ingredients I had on hand. It was so yummy on our chicken breasts. I also think it would taste fantastic on pork chops. Enjoy.

*my measurements were to marinate 2 chicken breasts, so you may need to double if you are cooking for more than two people

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (I always use low sodium)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard (but I bet Dijon would be great too)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 Tbsp. dry parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. seasoned pepper (or more depending on your tastes)

Combine all ingredients and whisk together. Pour marinade into gallon size ziploc bag. Add your two chicken breasts and make sure they get coated well. Put ziploc bag in a large dish and refrigerate. The dish helps prevents any leaks in the fridge. Marinate for 5 or so hours, turning chicken every so often so that it marinates evenly. Once finished marinating, cook chicken as desired.

Picture updated 06/19/13.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cheesy Mexican Rice

I have finally found it! The perfect Mexican rice recipe. This is the only recipe I'll use from now on. It was amazing. We had another couple over for dinner last night and everyone had a second helping of rice. I LOVE when that happens! This recipe is adapted from one I saw over at Let's Dish. The rice has a tiny bit of heat to it, but I'm not a big fan or spice and it is mild enough for me. I am seriously so excited for leftovers!

2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (I use basmati rice)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chopped jalapeno (or you could do a 1/2 cup chopped green pepper)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz.) can mild Rotel
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/3 - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (your preference)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in the water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove rice from heat, keeping the lid on, let rice stand for 5 or so minutes then fluff and stir in shredded cheese. Serve hot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein

I really love Chinese food, I could eat it all the time. This recipe was just a few ideas I had to make something healthy and flavorful. Both Nate and I really enjoyed it and the leftovers were good too!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, julienned
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, julienned
2-3 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce (I always use low-sodium)
8 oz. Chinese noodles (or you could substitute spaghetti noodles)
olive oil

Mix water and cornstarch together in a small bowl, add brown sugar, ginger, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, and soy sauce and set aside. In a large skillet heat 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil and cook chicken. Once finished, remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. Add another 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil and saute vegetables. Cook vegetables until tender but still have some bite to them. Pour some sauce into the skillet, you want enough to cover the bottom of the skillet, but you don't want to drown the vegetables and mix well. Boil noodles and remove them from pot a few minutes before they hit al dente. Saute vegetables in the sauce until the sauce starts to thicken. Add partially cooked noodles and stir well. Continue to saute until noodles are finished cooking and sauce has thickened. Serve hot!

I linked this recipe up to Totally Tasty Tuesdays.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baked Chicken and Rice

Oh man, talk about good comfort food for a cold night! This recipe is reasonably healthy and so so flavorful. We loved it. I'm so glad we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. This is definitely a new family favorite of ours. I found this idea at Cooking with K.

1 1/2 cups long grain rice
6 boneless chicken thighs or 4 boneless skinless breasts, rinsed and pat dry (I used the chicken breasts)
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning (optional)
1 15 oz. can chicken broth (I always use fat-free, low sodium broth)
1 15 oz. can vegetable broth
1 pkg. Knorr classic vegetable soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread rice in the bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish that has been lightly greased. Arrange chicken evenly only top of the rice; sprinkle with salt and cajun seasoning. Pour chicken broth over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle vegetable soup mix evenly over the the chicken. Pour chicken broth over each piece of chicken. Using and fork, separate the chicken to let the broths run evenly around the chicken. Cover and seal tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Once finished, let it stand for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy hot!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hamburger Soup

This recipe is similar to one my mom would make when we were growing up. It was a favorite of my little sister Kelley's. I hadn't thought about this soup in years until a week or so ago. I called my mom for the recipe and she told me she didn't have one. She told me the basic idea and this is what I came up with. Instead of potatoes you could add pasta, but it has to be wagon wheel pasta, that's my mom always used.

4 cups beef broth
4 cups V8 juice
1 cup water
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 large potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces (or you can add wagon wheel pasta)
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 can cut green beans, drained
1 bay leaf
seasoning salt
seasoned pepper

Add beef broth, V8 juice, and water to pot and bring to boil. Add bay leaf, cut potatoes, carrots, and celery, reduce to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. Brown and cook ground beef with diced onion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain any grease from beef mixture and add to soup. Continue to simmer until vegetables are fork tender. Then add drained green beans and any additional salt and pepper that the soup requires. Simmer until beans are warm and then serve.

I linked up this recipe over at Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box.

Shredded Cuban Pork

For Nate and Brandon's birthday dinner I made this shredded pork recipe. I slightly adapted this from my favorite recipe blog, Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I really enjoyed it, tons of flavor, but not hot. You could use this for salads, nachos, tacos, tostadas, etc. Enjoy!

4-pound boneless pork butt or boneless pork top loin roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth or stock
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeƱo, minced
1 onion, quartered
juice of 1 lime

Rub the pieces of pork all over with salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, until the oil is shimmering and hot. Add the pork and sear each piece on all sides, working in batches, if needed. Once browned, remove the pork to the slow cooker. Into the same pot used to sear the pork, pour in the water and chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged spatula or wooden spoon to get up all the delicious brown bits from the bottom. Add pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, jalapenos, onion, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Pour the mixture over the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the pork is very tender.

Remove the bay leaves and onion from the pot and discard. Remove the pork and place in a bowl and set aside. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a pot on the stove and over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture boil until it reduces and is thickened slightly, about 10 -15 minutes. Add pork and sauce back to crock pot, mixing well, and keep on warm until ready to serve.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pizza Crust

We really enjoy pizza at our house and I've been on the search for the perfect pizza crust. This recipe turned out really well and made for a fun dinner. I found the recipe over at Oopsey Daisy.

3 ½ cups flour
1 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. honey
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt

Pour warm water into a bowl. Add honey and salt. Mix until well blended. Add the yeast and mix. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil. Mix until well blended. Add the rest of the flour and mix well.
The dough should turn into a ball. If it is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once the dough is balled up, place on a floured surfaced and knead for 1 minute. Place in a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.
After about 45 minutes, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch it down. Let it rise for another hour. The dough is now ready to be rolled out.
Roll out the dough on a clean, dry surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about ¼ inch thick. Place on a pizza pan. Take a fork and puncture holes all over the dough to prevent bubbling.
Brush with olive oil and Italian seasoning (I used garlic bread seasoning, and I also added a sprinkle to the top of the pizza toppings, so good!). Add your sauce, cheese, and toppings.
Bake pizza at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!

Super Soft Sugar Cookies

Can you believe I've never made sugar cookies the whole time I've been married? I know! Shame on me. To be honest, I didn't know that Nate liked them. Anyway, on Halloween night we made some sugar cookies. They turned out really well and are indeed super soft. I forgot to roll mine in sugar, but they were great anyway. I found this recipe over at Oopsey Daisy.

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3 eggs
3 tsp. baking powder
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Chill 1 hour. Roll and cut. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

The picture is awful, we didn't start baking the cookies until almost 9 pm, so the lighting was non-existant.