3.31.2009

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

I don't think a main dish can get much more simple than this. It was gone so fast I don't even have pictures to post.

Chicken breasts or tenders - marinate for at least an hour in prepared ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley and let it sit overnight, but any kind will do).

Dip marinated chicken in shredded parmesan cheese to coat.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Easy as that. The sauce is yummy with a side of roasted red potatoes.

3.29.2009

White Bread from Heaven

There's a story behind this bread. Ohhhhhhh, this bread. It is manna straight from heaven. I can never turn down a second (or third, or fourth...) slice of this white, soft goodness. When I was 12 or 13, I used to walk home with my friend Jenny from junior high. Her mom almost always had fresh bread and jam, and I'm sure I made a fool of my junior high self indulging in more than my fair share of daily bread at their house. Eventually, Jenny and I went separate ways, but, all these years later I still think about that bread. So much that I emailed my old friend Jenny and asked for her mom's recipe. She was sweet enough to oblige (thanks!)...

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. potato flakes

1/2 c. vegetable shortening

2 T. salt

5 c. milk, scalded (5 min. in microwave)

2 T. yeast

12-14 c. flour

Combine scalded milk, sugar, shortening, potato flakes, and salt in bread mixer.

When lukewarm , add two cups flour and yeast.

Add remaining flour until dough leaves the side of the bowl and knead for 5 to 7 minutes in mixer. Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down and let rise again until double.

Shape dough into 4 loaves and place in greased pans. Let rise until double.

Bake bread at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Brush with butter. Let cool on racks.

3.21.2009

Overnight French Toast w/ Peaches

1/2 c. butter
2 TBS. light Karo syrup
1 c. brown sugar
Bring above ingredients to boil.
Meanwhile, drain 1 29 oz. can of peaches (fresh is best, but use canned if peaches aren't in season) and dice up into little bites.
Once syrup reaches a boil, pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with peaches.
On top of peaches, place 12 slices of thick Texas Toast (when I made this, I had leftover cubes of french bread) on top of peaches.
Mix:
5-6 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
1.5 c. milk
Pour over bread.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.

Cover and let soak in refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until well-browned.

3.20.2009

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I love these little powdered sugar delights!

1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 t. water
2 c. flour, sifted
1 c. almond or pecans (I used pecans)
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and water. Add sifted flour and nuts, mix until blended. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 325. Shape dough into balls or crescents. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Roll in powdered sugar. (the powdered sugar sticks better if the cookies are still slightly warm when you roll them.)

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

2 cans cheddar cheese soup
1 8oz. block of velveeta (or any other brand of block processed cheese), cut in cubes
1 Tbs. worcestshire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 TBS. dried snipped chives (optional)
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT shredded cheddar in greased crock pot, heat on low for 2 hours. One hour before serving, add shredded cheddar, stir until incorporated, and keep on low until time to serve. Serve with cubed bread, roasted baby potatoes, blanched broccoli, cubed cooked chicken, or whatever other crudites you like!

Swiss Cheese Fondue

Made this for book club and it was a hit!

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, halved or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups white wine, chicken broth or unsweetened apple juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
7 cups (28 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese (if you don't have enough Swiss, you can substitute some with Gouda, Mozzarella or Gruyere)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Cubed French bread

Rub garlic clove over the bottom and sides of a fondue pot; discard garlic and set fondue pot aside. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, bring 1-3/4 cups wine and nutmeg to a simmer. Gradually add cheese, stirring after each addition until cheese is melted (cheese will separate from wine). Combine cornstarch and remaining wine until smooth; gradually stir into cheese mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and mixture is blended and smooth. Transfer to prepared fondue pot and keep warm. Serve with bread cubes. Yield: about 4 cups.

3.13.2009

Sticky Coconut Chicken

This recipe is fantastic - a little spicy (if you're hot chili flakes are fresh), but flavorful and delicious.

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5 lbs)
2/3 c. canned coconut milk
1 TBS. fresh minced ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. hot chili flakes
3/4 c. rice vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
3 TBS. soy sauce
1 tsp. hot chili flakes
4-5 green onions, finely chopped

Rinse chicken, pat dry. In large bowl, mix coconut milk, ginger, pepper, 1 tsp. hot chili flakes. Add chicken and mix - cover and chill for at least one hour, or up to a day.

Lift chicken from bowl, reserving marinade. Pull thighs open and lay flat on lightly oiled grill on high heat (we broiled this in the oven and it worked fine). Cover and cook, turning thighs as needed to brown on both sides until meat is no longer pink inside. Baste frequently with remaining marinade (USE ALL MARINADE). Tranfer thighs to warm platter and pour chili glaze (recipe below) evenly over meat. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Chili Glaze:
In large sauce pan, combine rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and hot chili flakes. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (8-10 min.) Makes 1/2 c. glaze. Make sure to put your pan straight in water after the glaze has been used- once it hardens, it's VERY HARD to get off - it turns to a candy-like substance!

Serve warm over steamed brown rice.

3.06.2009

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

All I can say is, "un-button your top button" and get ready for some serious indulgence. This soup is (so not healthy for you) comforting, flavorful and should be served warm with your favorite bread. I make the bacon, bake & mash the potatoes, and saute the veggies ahead of time to make dinner assembly a cinch! Hope you love this as much as we do.

10 oz hickory smoked bacon
5 stalks celery finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 cups small cubed ham
32 oz chicken broth (or substitute with veggie broth)
6 oz heavy whipping cream
10 med/lg. potatoes, baked, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ Cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz sour cream
1 ½ Cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Garnish each bowl with:
dollop of sour cream
sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese
sprinkle of chives
sprinkle of crumbled bacon

1. Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Cut bacon into small pieces and cook until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard bacon grease, reserving 2 Tablespoons to sauté veggies. Saute celery, carrots, jalapeno, and onion in bacon grease for 10 minutes, stirring often until softened. Stir in garlic and ham; cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in chicken broth and cream.
2. Place mashed potatoes in bowl to mash/mix. Mix while adding salt, pepper and cream. Stir mashed potatoes into soup until combined. Heat for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in sour cream and cheese until smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low until ready to serve. Spoon into bowls and garnish.

Easy Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Or...if you like, white chocolate macadamia nut, or cranberry macadamia nut with white chocolate. You decide! This recipe is super easy and very good. Found it on sister's cafe.

1 white cake mix
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 cup cranberries*
1/2 cup macadamia nuts

Mix ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes, or until edges are starting to golden and top is not shiny anymore.
*To mix things up, substitute cranberries or macadamias with white chocolate chips

3.01.2009

Cyndi's Chocolate Cream Cheese Raspberry Pie

Topping:
1 pkg. frozen raspberries
2 c. whipping cream (prepared)

Filling:
1-8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg

Crust:
1 pkg crushed graham crackers
15 chocolate stuffed oreos
1 stick butter

Directions:
Use crackers, oreos and butter to make a crust in a pie tin. Freeze solid.
Combine filling ingredients pour over crust and refrigerate to set up.
Top with raspberries stirred into fresh whipping cream (prepare this right before serving).

Delightful!

Garlic Parmesan Loaf

Oh, this is a wonderfully easy bread that is wonderfully addicting.

Grease a bundt pan. Cut up 1/2 - 1 stick of butter (depending on how greasy you like it) into small pieces. Place a few pieces of butter in the bottom of bundt pan. Sprinkle with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese. Drop a handful (maybe 6-8) rolls in the bundt pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt to taste, and Italian Seasoning. Cover with a few more pieces of butter. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese. Drop another layer of rolls, sprinkle garlic salt, and italian seasoning. Cover with more parmesan cheese. Let rise in cold oven overnight, or for 6-8 hours until bundt pan is filled to top. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Delicious!