Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken and Brie Sandwich with Roasted Tomato

I found this recipe here while looking for a way to use up the 1/2 round of brie I had in my fridge. Its from the June 2001 issue of Cooking Light magazine. Its such an amazing mix of flavors! I think I could eat the tomatoes on anything!! I used leftover shredded chicken and a loaf of sourdough bread (my grocery was out of french bread :0 ) I also used 1t dried thyme because I was out of fresh.

Makes 6 sandwiches

1  teaspoon  olive oil
2  cups  halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound)
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme (i used 1 t dried thyme)
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1/4  cup  low-fat mayonnaise
1  tablespoon  whole-grain Dijon mustard
1  garlic clove, minced
1  (16-ounce) loaf French bread
3  ounces  Brie cheese, sliced
3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  balsamic vinegar
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 300

1. Mix mayo, garlic and mustard. Place in fridge til you need it
2. Heat 1t olive oil  over med-high heat. Add tomatoes. Saute 5 minutes
3. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 15 minutes
4. Cut loaf of bread lengthwise
5. Spread mayo on the top portion of the bread
6. Spread tomato mixture on bottom portion of bread
7. Top hot tomatoes with sliced brie (it wil start to melt)
8. Top brie with warm shredded chicken
9. Whisk together 2t evoo, 1t balsamic vinegar and pinch of salt. Dump in spinach. Toss
10. Top chicken with spinach mixture
11. Put the top on the sandwich
12. Slice into 6 sandwiches.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Gyro Salad

This salad uses one of my OAMC freezer kits and tastes awesome! You do not have to use the kit. Just marinate a few chicken breasts in this marinade and make some tzatziki for dressing

Makes 2 dinner sized salads

1 chicken gyro kit (marinated chicken, tzatziki and pita bread from this post)
8oz chopped romaine lettuce
1 plum tomato (sliced)
1/3 can black olives
0.5 to1oz feta cheese (crumbled)
1/4 sweet onion (chopped)
1/2 cucumber (to use in frozen tzatziki)

1. Defrost gyro kit
2. Wrap chicken in foil and warm in the oven
2. Wrap pitas in foil and warm in the oven
3. Pile lettuce on a plate, place sliced tomatoes around the edges
4. Sprinkle lettuce with black olives, onions and feta
5. Top with warmed chicken
6. Chop and de-seed cucumber and mix with tzatziki packet. Use this as dressing
7. Serve with warmed pitas

Monday, January 25, 2010

French Toast Sticks

I also love french toast. I never make french toast, but I love it. I actually just never think to make it. We only ever make breakfast on the weekends when my husband is home. If its just me and the baby I try to eat something quick like a bowl of cereal or a banana after I feed her.  So when I found this recipe it just called out to me. It was french toast I could make ahead of time and microwave in 1 minute! This is my adaptation of that recipe.

This will make you 54 sticks. Best yet my estimated cost is only $3.25 (and that is rounding up) for the entire batch and I know what is in them. I know packaged frozen french toast sticks are very popular. I have never bought them but most of my friends with young children go thru them like a junkie goes through crack. I know that alot of fast food places also sell this. Burger King has them on their $1 menu. You get 5 for that $1. You get 5 of my homemade ones for around 30 cents. I bet kids could even eat them in the car

1 loaf Texas Toast (18 slices)
8 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup melted margarine (1 stick)
Cooking Spray (like pam)

Preheat oven to 350

1. Cut each piece of bread into thirds (you know like a stick lol)
2. Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla
3. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Mix into egg mixture
4. Melt margarine. Slowly whisk into the egg mixture. If you dump it in the hot butter might cook the eggs so go slow.
5. Spray cookie sheets with Pam (dont use a stone.. I did my first batch and they didnt cook right. Use a cookie sheet)
6. Dip each stick into egg mixture them place on cookie sheet
7. Place them in the oven (middle rack)
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes Flipping them over about halfway through baking

To eat fresh from the oven: Put on a plate, drizzle with syrup, enjoy!

To freeze: Allow to cool. Flash freeze sticks on cookie sheet. When they are hard transfer to large freezer bag.

To cook after frozen: Put 3 sticks in the microwave. Cook for 1 minute

I ate 5 right out of the oven! They are so good I couldnt resist. Plus my house smelled like french toast for hours. Yum!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Makes 4 wraps

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 10" flour tortillas
1/2 cup creamy caesar dressing (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup sliced black olives
2 plum tomatoes sliced
approx 6 oz chopped romaine lettuce (I used half a bag)
parmesan cheese to sprinkle

1. Mix shredded chicken with creamy caesar dressing. (you can skip this step and drizzle dressing on wrap but I think this makes alot less mess)
2. Warm flour tortilla
3. Lay tortilla flat. Add 1 handful of lettuce.
4.. Add 1/2 cup of chicken mixture in a line down the middle
5. Sprinkle black olives
6. Line sliced tomatoes along the top of chicken
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
8. Fold bottom up and wrap mixture with tortilla
9. Repeat steps 3-8 with remaining tortillas.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crockpot Salsa Shredded Chicken

My husband for years has driven me crazy because he wont eat Mexican food. He wouldnt specify what about it he didnt like, he just didnt like it. It took me awhile to narrow it down, but I finally found he just didnt like cumin. He associated ALL things remotely southwest or mexican with cumin and therefor wouldnt even try things.

I for one LOVE mexican food. I love fajitas and quesidillas, enchiladas and burritos. It made me sad that I could never make anything remotely tasting like these things because he wouldnt eat it. Now that I know its the cumin I find ways to introduce non-cumin versions of my favorites so he will eat them.

Almost everyone has a version of salsa chicken. Most people have it as a meal with taco seasoning and sour cream mixed in. My salsa chicken is a base for many meals. Its basically a filling. I have never eaten just salsa chicken for dinner, but I have eaten a lot of it. I always make a BIG batch in my crockpot and freeze it in 2 cup portions. Its really basic and makes a ton.

3-4lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar of your favorite medium salsa*
1/4 cup water(to rinse out jar)

1. Toss everything in your crock pot
2. Cook on high 4 hours.
3. Shred chicken in juice

*Use a salsa you have eaten and LOVE. Your chicken is going to taste like it. Dont just but the cheap stuff or something on sale. If you love it and its on sale... awesome! Just make sure you like it.

So far I have used this for: (I will share recipes soon)
chicken quesidillas
chicken nachos
chicken pitas
chicken burritos

and my husband eats them up!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Parmesan Garlic Oven Roasted Fries

I have been craving fries for days but Im trying my best to stay away from fried foods. Last night I decided to try my hand at oven roasting fries. After looking around the net at various recipes I came up with this one. They are covered in bubbly parmesan cheese and have that nice bite of garlic. Make sure to scrap the little bits of cheesy garlic from the pan!

5-6 yukon gold potatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
2t minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Cut potatoes into a medium size fry. You can peel them first but I dont.
3. Soak fries in cold water until ready to go in the oven
4. Drain water and dry fries completely with a paper towel
5. Toss fries with olive oil, salt and pepper
6. Spread fries into a single layer on a cookie sheet or a baking stone.
7. Bake 35-40 minutes turning potatoes every 10-12 minutes
8. When brown remove from oven Sprinkle with parmesan and garlic. Toss fries with tongs to coat them.
9. Put back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt cheese

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick tip: Stock Cubes

When I make chicken stock I always make a huge stock pot full. I use lots of chicken so I have extras to use for other recipes. Lots of chicken lend me lots of rich delicious stock. I always make chicken noodle soup with some of it but I always have some left over. Sometimes it would get dumped out if not used in the next few days(which is wasteful and sad) I would freeze it but never remember how much was in there or Id need more/less for recipe.

On my quest to throw nothing out I decided to start freezing even little bits of stock. I found the best way to freeze stock is in an ice cube tray. That way I can just microwave however many cubes I need and have stock whenever I need it.

This also works if you open a carton of chicken broth and can't use it before the date. You can do this for beef broth, beef stocks or veggie stock!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Theme Party: Breakfast at Tiffanys Tea

I wish I could take credit for all of the gorgeousness I am about to show you, but this party was ALL my Mom's doing. Now the cool thing is she threw the party for me on my 30th birthday. I adore Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffanys is one of my favorite movies. We started with a lovely tea full of tasty treats and then watched the movie while sipping red wine and having desserts.

Black and white Holly posters
Black tablecloth
Silver blue napkins with silver rings
Glass vase filled with tiffany blue and silver ornaments
Tiffany blue tablecloth (movie room)

The Menu
Chicken Salad on a croissant
Pimento cheese sandwiches (shaped like CAT)
Sal E Tomato Brushetta on baquette toasts
Cucumber Sandwiches
Cheeseball with crackers
Brie with crackers
Chocolate cups filled with fresh fruit
My SIL Pam's famous iced sugar cookies
Pumpkin Mini muffins
Mini brownies
Apple Cinnamon Tea

Sugar cookies are shaped like Holly's dress, lips, shoes, moon(river), cats and tiaras. Also cakes and martini glasses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

My husband dreams of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Okay... not really but he loves them. Whenever RL is brought up all he can talk about is the biscuits. I dont even know if he can name anything else on the menu.(we rarely eat there) So I decided to surprise him and try to duplicate them at home. I found this recipe and tweeked it a bit by adding a little more cheese (at husbands request)  I think I ate 6 out of the first batch! They rock!

2 cups bisquick
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t old bay seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Mix bisquick, milk and cheese
3. Drop biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet
4. Bake 8-10 minutes
5. Mix butter, garlic and old bay
6. Melt butter mixture
7. Spoon over top of baked bisuits

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is SO hot right now. (dig the Zoolander reference) It seems everyone is making some variation of it. Its hot and bubbly and cheesey. Its good both hot (in a crockpot for a party) or cold (when you go sneak some out of your fridge at 2am)  Best of all it tastes just like a chicken wing and you dont have to mess with the bones. Pardon the bad picture. The piggies at this house were eating it before I had time to put it in a serving bowl and take pictures :) It makes a TON and is perfect for a party.

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup Franks hot sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Mix everything and dump into a 13x9 glass baking dish
2. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Serve with celery sticks or tortilla chips (I do both)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pineapple Salsa

Mmmmm pineapple salsa. I adapted this recipe from the pampered chef seasons best cookbook (spring 09) Its sweet and tangy with a little bit of bite. Add more jalapeno to make it hotter.... but whatever you do be careful when cutting that sucker. My thumb is still burning.

1 (20oz) can pineapple (or 1/2 fresh pineapple)
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1 (6") piece seedless cucumber (or a deseeded regular cucumber)
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

1. Dice tomato, onion, cucumber
2. Cut jalapeno in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Finely chop jalapeno
3. Chop cilantro
4. Dice pineapple
5. Toss all in a bowl.
6. Squeeze 2-3T of lime juice into mixture. Sprinkle with salt
7. Mix everything together.

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