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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love easy recipes that pack great flavor. I also love a good sale. So, when I ran across boneless skinless chicken breasts for .84/lb a few weeks ago, I bought a ton of them. When I got them home I needed to figure out what to do with them all. My favorite thing to do with chicken breasts is to package them up in gallon freezer bags with different marinades. You've just gotta toss them in the freezer and take them out to thaw the morning you want to cook them. Here is one of my family's favorites.

Lemon Garlic Chicken
4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts- or whatever pieces of chicken your family prefers.
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 c oil
2-4 cloves minced garlic, depending on how much your people like garlic.
3 tbsp dried parsley
1/4tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Put chicken in a gallon size freezer bag. If you are going to label your bag, do it before you put the chicken in. I use a sharpie to label my bags and I always do it before I put anything in them. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Pour over chicken. Seal, and put in the freezer. On the day you plan to cook the chicken, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw completely. You can either pour the entire contents of the bag into a baking dish and bake @350 until the chicken is done. It will depend on what type of chicken you used. It usually takes 20-30 min for boneless skinless breast. OR you can drain the liquid off and grill the chicken until it's done.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meatball Soup

I have been looking for crock pot recipes to help getting dinner ready during busy summer days. I love that I can toss things in the crock pot in the morning, and have a tasty dinner in the evening. I found this recipe on the 'A Year of Slow Cooking' blog. I changed it up a bit to fit in with my family's tastes and to use up what I had on hand.

Meatball Soup

15-18 frozen meatballs ( yep, that's right. I buy frozen meatballs.)

4 cups chicken broth ( I use homemade, but you can use whatever you have)

1-14 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen corn

1c diced carrots

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced ( or dried minced onion to equal 1 cup fresh)
1 cup rice

Put broth, tomatoes, corn, carrots, & celery in the crockpot. Stire in meatballs. Cook on low 8-9 hours. It's soup, it'll be fine. About an hour before you plan to eat, add the rice and turn to high. That's it. Super easy.
Now, I will say my hubby is not a big soup fan, so this didn't go over with him all that well. I thought it was fine. It was a nice soup. If you use canned broth, it may be a bit bland. I use a lot of spices and what not when I make my broth, so there was flavor added by that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taco Rice

I am always looking for ways to keep my kitchen cool during the summer. I use my crockpot & grill a lot. I have decided to start looking for recipes I can make in my rice cooker. Here's one we tried recently.

Taco Rice
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 cups raw rice
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 medium onion, diced
1 packet Taco Seasoning
Brown ground beef & onion. Mix in taco seasoning.Put rice in rice cooker. Add undrained tomatoes. Fill with water to the 3 cup line in your rice cooker. Put ground beef in the rice cooker and stir. Close your rice cooker and cook on the white rice setting (unless you're using brown rice, then use that setting.) Serve in a bowl with shredded cheddar & salsa, or rolled up in tortillas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crockpot Tuesday- Shepherd's Pie

I recently acquired a copy of Angela Coffman's (of Grocery Shrink fame) Slow and Savory Suppers e-book. It looks like it's gonna be a great crockpot resource. I have only been able to try one recipe so far, but it was fabulous. :) Everyone in the family liked it. I am going to be trying at least one of these a week until I go through them all. Here's the recipe I tried (reposted with Angela's permission, of course)

Shepherd's Pie
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas
2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb ground beef, browned
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-4 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
1.Combine all but potatoes and cheese in a greased slow cooker. ( I did not grease mine and it turned out fine.) 2. Spread mashed potatoes on top. 3. Sprinkle with cheese. 4. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I really like cornbread. A lot. The sweet kind. I know there is an unsweet kind, but I am not a fan. :) We have also built up more of a tolerance for hot and spicy since we've moved to Texas. Even Dave, who is not a spicy food person. Here's a recipe we like. I usually make a non-jalapeno version for the kiddos. Well, sometimes. Sometimes they just deal. LOL
Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
3 TBSP egg substitute ( I used the All Whites brand which is obviously, all egg whites. LOL)
4 jalapenos, diced (seed them if you have milder tastes)
1/2 cup Kraft 2% cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray an 8 or 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Put dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix the milk, egg substitute, and oil in a seperate bowl until well mixed. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add jalapeno and cheese to bowl. Mix until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned and tests done.I baked this in the Pampered Chef Square Baker. I cut this into small pieces and got around 16 pieces out of the pan. It turned out really moist and yummy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuna Cakes

Yep, you read that right. Tuna Cakes. It really is better than it sounds. Everyone in the family liked them. Total score for the Mom. : )

I used this recipe as a guideline, but of course I changed it up. Here's the Harman Family version.

Tuna Cakes
2 cans of tuna
1 box of stuffing- any flavor will work
1/4 cup mayo
3/4 c water- I used slightly less and added some dill pickle juice to make 3/4c liquid
1 cup shredded Montery Jack/Cheddar blend
1-2 tsp sweet relish-next time I will use dill relish, but I didn't have any on hand.
1-2 tsp dill- It depends on how much you like dill.
2 eggs
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, be sure to do this well so everything is all mixed up. Cover bowl and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes. I left it in there for about an hour. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a little oil or cooking spray. Using either a tablespoon or one of these, scoop out some mixture into your hot skillet. Smash slightly with the back of a spatula to make patties. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until both sides are slightly brown.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bacon Cheese Burgers

I'm in the mood for a nice tasty grilled burger for dinner. So, I figured I'd look up a few recipes online and see what I could throw together. This looked interesting. Of course, I don't have all of the ingredients on hand, so I improvised. I usually improvise. :)
Bacon Cheese Burgers
2 1/2lbs ground beef
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup sour cream
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar monterey jack blend)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Bacon Salt
Crushed saltines, just enough to hold meat mixture together
Mix all ingredients in a larg bowl until everything is evenly mixed. Form into patties. How many patties you get depends on how big you like your burgers. Grill over medium high heat about 8 minutes on each side, or until they are done to your taste. Serve on buns.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First go at fresh asparagus

I am pretty sure I have never eaten fresh asparagus. The canned stuff, yep. Fresh, pretty sure it's a no. I am POSTIVE I have never cooked fresh asparagus. Never. I have never even bought fresh asparagus. (While not buying and not cooking asparagus seems to go hand in hand, I often buy stuff that I forget about. Then it goes wonky & I never get around to cooking it. Sad, but true.) The other day while I was out getting groceries, I saw some asparagus and I bought it. It needed to be cooked today. So, I figured why not give it a go. :)
Yummy Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus
an obscene amount of butter...ok you could get by on 2 tbsp
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
First snap the non edible ends off the asparagus. I never did this before, but it was pretty easy. Hold both ends and bend each asparagus rod ( I am sure there is another name for this, but I have no idea what it is) until it snaps and throw the bottom end snapped off part away...Got it? Ok. Melt the butter over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to hold your asparagus. I used a cast iron one, but I am partial to cast iron. When the butter is melted, add asparagus to pan and pressed garlic. Toss everything around and let cook 5-10 minutes, or until asparagus is soft, but still slightly crisp.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Frozen Yogurt- A tasty summer treat

I have an ice cream maker I picked up for free while we were living in England. I had been looking at boying one just like it when I walked into the Airman's Attic (which is sorta like a thrift store, but everything is free. It's a military thing) and there it was just sitting on the shelf waiting for me to take it home. It's one of these.

It is fabulous. Makes yummy frozen treats in no time without the hassle of salt and all that jazz.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I made some crockopt yogurt (recipe is coming soon. I just want to make it one more time) and I had some still sitting in the fridge. So, I decided that since it's a million degrees here in He...urm...Texas, frozen yogurt would be yummy. I searched the internet and found this recipe. Then I promptly tweaked it. Here's what I did.

Vanilla Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

3 cups plain yogurt-I used homemade plain, but any would do.

1-2tsp vanilla extract- it depends on how vanilla-y you want it

Honey- I added enough to take the 'tang' out of the yogurt and make it slightly sweet. Probably about 1/2cup-ish. Sorry I can't be more exact, but it's really a personal taste thing

1/2 c frozen blueberries-You could probably use fresh, but I only had frozen.

Put yogurt, vanilla, and honey in a bowl and stir well. Add the yogrut mixture to you ice cream makin' machine and turn it on. Let the machine do it's thang. It took mine about an hour or so to get to the right consistency. At that point I tasted it for sweetness and added a bit more honey and the blueberries. I let the machine run about 5 more minutes. Just long enough for the blueberries and honey to mix in. At this point, it was a soft serve consistency, which we all thought was fine. I like a little harder of ice cream, but it was fine. There was a tad bit left that I put in the freezer to firm up. After about an hour or so it was much firmer, and more like I prefer it.

This was a great treat. Not terrible for you. I knew exactly what was in it, and the family loved it. I'll be making this a lot during the summer. Guess I better keep on crankin' out that homemade yogurt.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Leftover Saturday-Sloppy Joe Ring

Saturday is our "Leftover" day. It's a time to use up what has accumulated in the fridge all week. Normally that's our plan for lunch on Saturday. Unless we're out all day, and then that's the plan for dinner. Anyway, we go through the leftovers in the fridge on Saturday. LOL

I recently posted my Sloppy Joe recipe on the blog. (No pics of that one, I'll have to get them next time.) That particular recipe makes a TON of Sloppy Joe filling. We always have leftovers. Here's what I did with them this time.

Sloppy Joe Ring
1-2 cups leftover Sloppy Joe filling
2 containers crescent rolls
Preheat your oven to 375. Get out a large pizza pan. Open the crescent rolls and place wide side to the center of the pan, over lapping the edges to form a circle. This was kinda tricky for me and I had to re-arrange them a couple of times. Spoon the Sloppy Joe filling along the inside of the ring, on the wide edges. Don't put it right on the edge. You need a little bit of space to tuck the pointy bits under. After you get the filling in, fold the points into the center and slightly tuck them under the inside edge of the circle. Put in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is hot and crescent rolls are slightly brown. Easy Peasy.
This was a hit with most of the family. They Hubby loved it. The Large boy enjoyed it.The Medium boy ate seconds, which he doesn't often do. The Small boy didn't like the crescent roll part. ( I seriously do not know where this kid came from. No pizza, not a fan of cheese, and now crescent rolls....LOL) I thought it was yummy and supper easy. I will be making it again for sure.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Individual Chicken Cobblers

Individual Chicken Cobblers
Adapted from Cheap, Fast, Good by Beverly Mills & Alicia Ross
4 Frozen Southern-style biscuits (you can use canned refrigerated biscuits or homemade biscuits)
1 lb chicken, uncooked (Any chicken will do. Leftover chicken would work great. I used boneless skinless breasts)
1 TBSP veg oil
1 large onion, about 1 cup chopped ( I used dried diced onion because I hardly ever have fresh on hand)
8 oz fresh button mushrooms ( I left these out because the kids don't like mushrooms)
1/4 cup cooking sherry ( I used one cube of chicken bouillon disolved in 1/4cup water)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk ( I used whole because that is what we use at our house)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 Preheat the oven and bake the biscuits according to the package instructions.
2. Heat the oil in an extra deep 12-in skillet over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onion. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, adding them to the skillet as you cut. Cook, stirring occassionally. Meanwhile, rinse, pat dry, and slice the mushrooms,if using. When th e chicken turns white on the outside, after about 4 minutes, add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until they begin to release their liquid, about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then add the cream of mushroom soup, milk, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix well. Add the frozen vegetables and stir to mix in. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly and the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer while the biscuits finish baking. To serve, split the biscuits in half and place a bottom portion in each of four bowls. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly over the biscuits and top with the other half of the biscuits.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fresh Bread, Yummmmm

I like to make our bread. Having that skill is great. Knowing you can throw together a nice fresh loaf of bread for dinner is comforting. It really helps stretch your grocery dollars, as well. Sure you can get bread for less than $1 a loaf ( at least you can around here), but it's not as yummy as homemade bread and you probably can't read all the ingredients on the label, either. I tried this white bread recipe last week. I changed it slightly and made it in my bread machine. Here's my version with the instructions for my bread machine.

White Bread
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 egg
Put the milk, butter, egg, & salt in the bread machine. Add the flour. Make a small well in the center of the flour. Add the yeast and sugar. Select the "dough only' cycle. You know, the one that just does the kneading and rising for ya. :) I use the largest loaf setting on my machine. I think it's the 2lb loaf setting. Turn the machine on and let it do it's thing.
Once the machine is done, take the dough out and place it in a greased loaf pan. I flip the dough around to make sure it is coated in oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set somewhere warm to rise. I put mine in the oven with the light on. It seems to do well. After about an hour, or until the dough has risen slightly above the pan, your dough is ready to become bread.
Take the plastic wrap off and place your pan in a 350 degree oven. You can preheat it, but I normally don't. Back for 45 min or so until bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when you tap it. I am sure this is not the most scientific way to test your bread, but it works for me. Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. You can wrap it in a towel to cool, which helps keep the crust softer but I let mine cool unwrapped and the crust was fine. After your bread is cook, slice and store in an air tight container.
Because this is homemade bread, and doesn't have any presevatives, it won't last as long as store bought bread. You might get a week out of it. Ours doesn't last that long.