Monday, March 25, 2013

Asian Slaw

Nate's family is in town and one of the dinners I made was shredded teriyaki chicken sliders topped with this Asian slaw and pineapple slices. I think it was a hit. Several people commented on the slaw and that they really enjoyed it. I based the recipe on one I saw at East Village Kitchen. Enjoy!

1 (14 oz.) package coleslaw mix
1 package ramen noodles, crunched up (toss the flavoring packet)
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. sunflower seed kernels
3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Then add the sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, and crunched up ramen noodles. Stir frequently and cook until golden brown. Once finished, spread onto a baking sheet to cool. Mix up dressing. Add dressing slowly to coleslaw mix, tossing as you go. You may not need all the dressing. Once the dressing is mixed in add the sesame seed/sunflower kernel/ramen noodle mixture. Serve immediately. This doesn't keep well, so make it just before you intend to serve it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bunny Buns

You know how I love a good festive recipe! These are no exception. I knew I had to make these in time for Easter. They come from the Rhodes webiste and they turned out great. Enjoy!

12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed but not risen (I used the Texas sized rolls)

Cut a small piece off of one roll for a tail. Roll remaining piece into a 12-inch rope with pointed ends. Twist top of rope together. Place on a large sprayed baking sheet and pull pointed ends apart for ears. Roll small cut off piece into a ball for the tail and add on top of the bottom loop. Repeat with remaining rolls. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow to rise 30-45 minutes. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes or until a faint golden brown. We had them fresh out the oven, yum!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grilled Asian Pork Kabobs

You know by now that we love Asian food around here, so it's no surprise that I'm posting another Asian inspired recipe. The weather here has been so nice the last two weeks, we have busted out our beloved grill. Nate had been wanting to grill some kabobs with his new skewers and so this is what we had for dinner last night. We both loved it and will definitely be making this again. I saw this idea over at Allrecipes and just tweaked a few things (like usual). The pork has a great Asian/teriyaki flavor without being too salty or too sweet, you could also add some red pepper flakes to add heat. This was so good, make it soon!

1 1/2 pounds pork, cut into 1" cubes (I just used some really thick pork loin chops and cut them up)
5 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
3 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper

Basting Liquid-
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Prepare marinade by combining 5 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, 3 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, and pepper. Pour marinade into a gallon sized ziploc bag and add the cubed pork. Seal up the bag and place it in a mixing bowl or large tupperware container in case of leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Prepare the basting liquid. Dissolve cornstarch in beef broth and add that and 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, and ground ginger to a small pot. Heat over high heat and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Set aside. Get your marinated pork onto skewers. Remember if you use bamboo skewers you'll need to soak them in water for 30 minutes first. We used metal. Once your grill is hot cook your pork kabobs, basting every couple minutes. Cook until pork is at your desired doneness. Enjoy hot with your favorite Asian sides.

Spicy Sesame Asparagus

I love, love, love asparagus! Such an awesome vegetable. I look forward to it being in season each spring. I saw this asparagus variation over at My Name Is Snickerdoodle and it was a definite hit with last night's dinner. We'll definitely use this recipe again and again. It has just a subtle hint of heat, not too much that I can't handle it, but feel free to add more sriracha if you like lots of spice! Enjoy.

1 bundle fresh asparagus
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced (I forgot to buy an onion, but I'll definitely include this next time)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Lawry's teriyaki marinade)
1/2 - 2 tsp. sriracha (an Asian hot sauce found in the ethnic aisle of most any grocery store, I used a heaping 1/2 tsp.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

In a small bowl prepare sauce. Combine teriyaki sauce, sriracha, garlic, ground ginger, and sesame seeds and set aside. Wash asparagus and cut off the woody end, about 1/4 off the bottom of the stalk. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Once hot add in asparagus and onions. You'll saute them for 4-5 minutes, or until they get just shy of your desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over asparagus. Mix to coat all the asparagus, and make sure you scrape off any bits from the bottom of your pan. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened, garlic cooks, and your asparagus reaches your desired tenderness. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pizza Chicken

This was another winner recipe. It's been on my list to make for weeks now and I'm so glad we finally tried it. Nate and I both really enjoyed this dish.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Italian dressing
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce
12 slices pepperoni, cut into fourths (we love Hormel's turkey pepperoni)
1/2 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
hot cooked pasta

Marinate chicken in the Italian dressing for 2-3 hours. Once marinated, bake chicken at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. While chicken is baking, dice veggies and cut up pepperoni slices. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot add diced veggies and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Return skillet to stove and turn heat to low, add marinara sauce and 1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning. Combine and heat through. Once chicken is finished baking, remove from oven and transfer to a clean baking sheet/dish. Spoon some sauteed onion and peppers over the top of each piece of chicken, then spoon on some sauce. Top that with pepperoni pieces and finally the mozzarella cheese. Broil smothered chicken on the top rack until cheese is melted through. Place some pasta on each plate, top with a little bit of marinara sauce and then the chicken. Enjoy your dinner!

I shared this over at Chef In Training and Mandy's Recipe Box.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Taco Cups

Such a great variation of tacos! We love Mexican food at our house (especially the man of the house) and so I always love a good Mexican recipe. I saw this idea over at my favorite food blog, Mel's Kitchen Cafe and knew we had to try it. We weren't disappointed, we loved this dinner. I served these with a green salad and some corn, yum!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet plus the water it requires (or your favorite homemade mix)
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
12 small fajita sized flour tortillas
toppings- shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, olives, salsa etc.

First lightly grease a muffin tin. Cut out about 4" circles out of each of your tortillas, I just used one of those hospital mugs. I flipped it upside down and then cut around it with a paring knife. Place a tortilla into each muffin well and set aside. In a skillet start to brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Halfway through cooking add the diced pepper and onion. Once finished cooking add taco seasoning packet and water and cook according to packet instructions. Once that's done add the tomato sauce and cook over medium-low heat for a couple minutes. After the meat is done cooking, spoon some into each of the tortillas. Nate topped his with some queso and sriracha before baking. You can add your shredded cheese now or after baking. Bake at 375 degree F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the tortilla cups are a nice light golden brown. Serve and top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smoky Asian Barbecue Chicken

We really enjoyed this chicken. We are always on the look out for good chicken recipes and this is definitely a keeper. We'll definitely be making this again and again. I saw the idea over at Allrecipes, and just adapted for our tastes. The marinade makes enough for 8 chicken thighs or 4 medium chicken breasts. Enjoy!

chicken thighs(we like to use boneless, skinless) or chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper (we love Lawry's seasoned pepper)
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together all the ingredients except the chicken. Place chicken in gallon size ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Place marinade bag in a dish and let marinate in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours. Once finished marinating, cook on the grill over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with your favorite Asian or barbecue side dishes.

Copy Cat Lo Mein

I loved this dish! It was so good. Asian is always a top favorite of mine. This is a great side dish for Asian meals, and bonus, it's quick and easy to prepare too. I saw this idea over at Favorite Family Recipes. It's a copy cat version of Panda Express' chow mein. This version tastes so much better than Panda Express! Enjoy!

1 (7 oz.) package refrigerated Yaki Soba noodles (found in the produce section of my grocery store)
1/3 cup celery, sliced diagonally (about 1 stalk)
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. black pepper (we love Lawry's seasoned pepper)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Set aside. Open Yaki Soba noodles, throw out seasoning packet. Place noodles in a colander, rinse well and drain. Set aside. Over medium heat, heat oil in a wok. Once hot, add celery and onion and saute for a couple minutes until they start to soften, 2 - 3 minutes. Add cabbage and then saute another minute or so. Add in Yaki Soba noodles and sauce, toss well to combine. Cook for another few minutes until noodles are heated through and at your desired consistency. Taste and add any additional soy you like. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Caramel Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies

These were such a hit! I'm so glad I tried them. Everyone who ate them loved them. This is definitely a keeper recipe. I saw the idea over at Lauren's Latest. The only change I made was to add a tiny bit more flour to get my cookies to the right consistency. I hope you enjoy!

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour (in my climate I usually have to add a tiny bit more flour to get to the right consistency)
1 1/3 cups chopped Hershey’s Caramel Kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whip butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and eggs. Scrape sides and mix again. Slowly incorporate all dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chopped Hershey’s caramel kisses. Scoop by the teaspoon full onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes (mine took 10 and were perfect) or until the edges are barely golden and the middle looks like it’s not quite done.{You may have the urge to keep them in longer–don’t! Unless you want crunchier cookies in which case you should then leave them in a minute or two longer… but I like mine chewy so I pull them out sooner.} Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Store in airtight containers.

Look at that cute Easter plate my mom gave me!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Mmm... I love Italian food. Nate is not a big fan of pasta, but he really enjoys chicken parmesan. This dish is a good fit for both of us because it doesn't have pasta but it does have great Italian flavors and a great breadstick topping. It was really good, we both enjoyed it a lot. I'll warn you, it smells so good while baking that it's hard to wait for it to finish! This is definitely a keeper recipe for us. I saw the idea over at Betty Crocker and totally tweaked it to suit our tastes. Enjoy!

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian dressing (I always use fat free)
1 (12 oz.) tube Pillsbury pop 'n fresh plain breadsticks
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
12 slices pepperoni (I always use Hormel brand turkey pepperoni)
1 1/2 - 2 cups of your favorite marinara or pasta sauce (the amount of sauce is flexible, just add however much you like)
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup + shredded mozzarella cheese (again, the amount is really up to your preference)
grated Parmesan cheese

Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
Dice onion and pepper. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium heat, once hot add diced veggies and saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Set aside. Cut pepperoni slices into fourths. Set aside.
Cut marinated chicken into 1" cubes. Heat olive oil in a skillet (just use the same one you used for veggies) over medium high heat. One hot add chicken pieces. You aren't cooking the chicken all the way, you just want to get a nice golden brown on the outside.
Once chicken is seared, add the chicken to an 8x8" glass baking dish that's been misted with non-stick spray. Add sauteed vegetables over the chicken. Stir in 1 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning with your marinara/pasta sauce. Next pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies. Top that with the cut up pepperoni slices and then the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Melt remaining 3 Tbsp. butter. Pop open and lay out breadstick dough onto flat surface. Brush with some of the melted butter. Use a pizza cutter and cut the breadsticks into 1 inch pieces. You won't need all the breadsticks, only about 2/3 (use the remaining breadsticks to make cinna-sticks for dessert). Place breadstick pieces, butter side down, on top of the casserole. Once it's all covered, brush with some melted butter and then sprinkle remaining garlic bread seasoning over the top. Finally dust the top with some Parmesan cheese.
Bake loosely covered in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the breadstick topping is a nice golden brown. Serve hot with a nice green salad.

I shared this over at Chef In Training and High Heels and Grills.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini Cinnamon Monkey Breads

So yummy! These were such a good dessert tonight. I rarely make dessert and I'm so glad I did tonight, we loved these! Is there anything better than the smell of cinnamon and sugar baking?! I saw these today over at Life As A Lofthouse and knew we had to have them immediately. Nate's favorite treat is anything with cinnamon and sugar. We'll definitely be making these again and again! Enjoy!

12 Rhodes Dinner rolls, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon (I highly recommend McCormick's Saigon cinnamon)
Vanilla Icing- (we didn't ice ours)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, melt butter. In a seperate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Cut each thawed roll into 6 equal pieces. Dip each piece of roll into the butter and then into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place all 6 coated pieces into a well greased cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Repeat with all remaining rolls. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove rolls from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before removing rolls from tin. If you don't let them cool slightly they will fall apart. Nate and I agreed, they are so good warm we don't care if they fall apart! While rolls are slightly cooling, make vanilla icing. Stir all of the icing ingredients together in a medium bowl, using more or less milk to reach desired thickness. Spoon over rolls and enjoy.

Mashed Potato Topped Pork Chops

It's another installment of Comfort Food Wednesdays at our house. I had some red potatoes that needed to be used and some pork chops in the freezer and so this was an easy choice for dinner. It definitely fits the comfort food bill too. I adapted the idea from The Sisters Cafe and it's something we will make again. Very good!

4 boneless pork chops (ours were not too big, and were about 1/2 inch thick)
8 red potatoes, diced into cubes
6 Tbsp. butter
3-4 Tbsp. milk
seasoning salt
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
steak seasoning

Boil red potatoes until soft. Drain water and mash with 4 Tbsp. butter, milk, and salt to taste. While the potatoes are boiling, sauté the onions, and Worcestershire sauce, in 1-2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat until onions are transparent, 5-8 minutes, add minced garlic during the last minute or two of cooking. Fold sautéed mixture into mashed potatoes and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F. Season both sides of the pork chops with steak seasoning. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear pork chops on both sides. Place pork chops into a glass baking dish lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Spoon mashed potatoes over each pork chop (I had leftover potatoes). Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through. Time will depend on thickness of the chops. Once cooked through, uncover and broil for just a minute or two to get a nice golden brown crust on the potatoes. Serve hot. I also made some gravy to serve with this dish. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nate's Spicy Roasted Red Potatoes

My husband loves spicy food. He seriously adds sriracha hot sauce to everything! We were making these garlic and butter roasted red potatoes the other night and he decided to make half of the potatoes spicy. He loved them and informed me they were nice and hot, so I didn't dare try them. :) Here's what he came up with.

3 good sized red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1/8 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 - 2 tsp. chili powder
1 - 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 - 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

Mix the diced potatoes, melted butter, and seasonings. Spread evenly into a glass baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 - 45 minutes or until soft. Serve hot.

I shared this over at High Heels and Grills.