Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roasted Chicken (Serves 4)

1 whole chicken - approximately three pounds

Wash chicken inside & out (removing anything inside).
Sprinkle seasoning of your choice on the chicken (Lawry’s, Mrs. Dash, salt, or pepper).
Next put three balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the slow cooker (this creates a rack so the chicken doesn't soak in its own juices).
Place the chicken in, breast side down, and cook on low for six to eight hours***.
Pair this dinner with a side of mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

***Adjust the cooking time according to your slow cooker. I do not put this chicken in until 1:00 and it is ready by 5:00 on low. The newer slow cookers seem to cook quicker so adjust your times accordingly.

Pepperoni Bread

This is a fun dish and the kids can help you make it!

1 lb loaf frozen bread, thawed
1 egg, beaten
4 oz sliced pepperoni
1 cup mozzarella
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1½ tsp Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375°. Roll bread into rectangle and brush with egg. Arrange pepperoni and cheeses. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Roll and pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until golden.
Yield: Four Servings
Serve with spaghetti sauce for dipping and a salad with cut up pepperoni, olives, and Italian dressing.

Penne with Rosemary Chicken

1 pound diced cooked chicken
1 pound penne pasta (can sub with any short pasta, should penne not be available)
1 cup low-fat shredded cheese blend
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups milk
1 1/2, 15 ounce cans of cream of mushroom soup

Preheat ovent o 350. Place everything into a baking dish and cover with the foil. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Or, place in a slow cooker set on low heat for five to six hours.

Stroganoff Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1- 10 ¾ oz can cream of mushroom soup
3 c wide egg noodles (uncooked)
1 c sour cream
1 c beef broth,
½ c water

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat; drain and return meat to skillet. Gradually add soup and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until noodles are tender.
Makes four to six servings.

Sticky Chicken

1 tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 - 3 or 4 lb roasting chicken
1 cup chopped onion (I omit this)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken and onion. Rub herb mixture inside and outside of chicken. Place in food storage bag; seal bag. Refrigerate overnight. Remove chicken from bag; stuff with onion. Place in crockpot on low 6-8 hours; high 2-4 hours. Chicken juices should run clear and chicken reaches 180*. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Baked Potato Soup

Makes 4 servings

4 large baked potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk (whole or two percent)
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
12 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out the pulp and put it in a small bowl. Melt butter in a large pot. Add flour. Gradually stir in milk. Continue to stir until smooth, thickened, and bubbly. Stir in potato pulp, salt and pepper, & ¾ of the cheese. Cook until heated. Stir in sour cream. Top with remaining bacon & cheese.

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli (I used one bag of Aldi frozen broccoli instead of fresh)
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

salt and pepper
1. Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Can be pureed in blender . Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Note: If your kids are not keen on big hunks of broccoli, you can use an immersion blender, standard blender, or a food processor to puree the soup before serving.

The Best Birthday Cupcakes and Frosting

24 paper liners
1 package plain butter recipe golden cake mix
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Syrup Frosting (recipe to follow)
Colored sprinkles or candy cake decorations for garnish

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line cupcake cups with liners. Set the pans aside. Place the cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are well blended then stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should be smooth and thickened. Spoon or scoop 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full (You should get between 22-24 cupcakes). Place the pans in the oven. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 24-27 minutes. Remove pans from oven and place them on wire racks to cool for five minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool fifteen minutes before frosting. Meanwhile prepare your frosting…

Chocolate Syrup Frosting
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate syrup in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined (about 30 seconds). Stop the machine and add the sugar, milk, and vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Use to frost your cupcakes.

Chocolate Coffee Creamer

1 can sweetened condensed milk (or make your own sweetened condensed milk)
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk (you can use prepared powdered milk)
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Blend all ingredients together in your blender.
Pour into a mason jar or your old coffee creamer dispenser.
This creamer will keep up to two weeks in your fridge.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9×5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
Serve with cream cheese.....YUM

Easy Pizza Sauce

Easy Pizza Sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cloves garlic (I use the minced garlic in the jar)
3 tablespoons dried parsley flake
4 teaspoons dried onion flak
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups water

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker (This is ideal when making large batches). Cook on low for six to eight hours.

make this sauce in huge batches and divide it in containers for the freezer. It is easy (and no splattering) if you can prepare this in your slow cooker.
This is great for your pizzas, for making bagel & English muffin pizzas for the kids, or as a dipping sauce.

Honey Butter

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together and store in the refrigerator.

One-Pan Chicken & Potato Bake

4 bone-in chicken pieces (1 ½ pounds)
4 large potatoes cut into wedges
1/4 cup Italian Dressing (I used ½ cup because I wanted more flavor to the chicken & potatoes)
¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken & potatoes in 13×9 baking dish. Pour dressing over chicken & potatoes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake one hour or until chicken is cooked through.

Faux Orange Julius

1 cup milk (use prepared powdered milk to cut down on using up milk for smoothies,works perfectly)
1 cup ice water
1 (6 ounce) can of frozen orange juice concentrate
12 cubes of ice (I just threw in a whole bunch of ice because I like it really thick)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup sugar

Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and blend for two minutes (or until smooth).

Hot Cocoa Mix

4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding
1/2 teasp salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. If a finer consistency is desired, you can pour the mix into a blender or food processor and run it through that. Store in an airtight container. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on your cocoa preference) of the mix to an 8 ounce mug of boiling water.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The last trick to getting a really thick, chewy cookie is to chill the dough before you bake it. You can scoop it and then chill it, or, if you’re like us, scoop it, freeze them and store them in a freezer bag so you can bake them as you wish. I find they’re always thicker when baked from the cold — only a couple extra minutes baking is needed.

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats

2 cups raisins

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick.
The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oreo Truffle

1package oreo cookies
1 regular package of cream cheese
1 block of bakers secret semi sweet chocolate.

Melt chocolate Crush the oreo's and blend together with the cream cheese, roll mixture into balls and dip into melted chocolate and set them aside to set.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie

1 baked pie crust
½ cup powdered (10X) sugar
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 cups scalded milk
3 egg yolks, beaten **
2 Tbls butter
¼ tsp vanilla

*Use the egg whites for the meringue.

Combine powdered sugar and peanut butter. Blend til like biscuit mix. Spread half over pie crust.
Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt, add milk and mix well. Pour small amount over beaten yolks, mix and return to milk mixture.
Cook til thick, add butter and vanilla. Pour into shell. Cool.
Top with meringue and sprinkle remainder of peanut butter mixture over meringue.
Bake at 350° til lightly browned.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentine Crockpot Chocolate Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
8 oz sour cream
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 cup chocolate chips (o try using white chocolate chips )
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into lightly greased 5qt crock pot, metal coffee can or Crock Pot Cake Bake pan. Cover.
Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
This cake is so sinfully rich and serve..spoon dip into your sexiest desert glasses, stemware or bowls. To tone down the richness serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and a maraschino cherry on top...strawberries are nice too! If your serving in stemware...decorate the stem with a red ribbon!

Cashew Chicken

    2 cups quartered mushrooms 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup snow peas 8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size...