Tag Archives: easy

Quick Weeknight Meals

18 Jul

A new school year is just around the corner. I went into Walmart and picked up the kids supply list and it made me think of the busy year ahead. Everybody needs quick meals to make during a busy week. Here are a few of our favorites.

Spinach artichoke pasta

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

source: The Pioneer Women

Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 20 min.

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons Butter
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
2 bags Baby Spinach
2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 cups Milk
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1-1/2 cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
1/2 cup Chicken Broth (less Or More)
12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste

Directions:

 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.

 

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.

 

Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.

 

Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

20120804_130

Pizza is one of our favorite meals to eat in this house. You can easily make the dough over the weekend. Split the pizza dough in two equal pieces. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and place in freezer bag.

When you want to use the dough pull it out about an hour or so before you want to use it or the night before and place it in the refrigerator to defrost. Once defrosted make the pizza as you usually would. If you try and use the dough and its still frozen in the middle, just split it and let it sit out a few minutes more.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

A Punky original

I use this Pizza Dough recipe.

Ingredients:

A couple of cups of Leftover Chicken, Shredded

1/4 c Franks Red Hot

2TBS unsalted butter

Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 red onion, opitional

blue cheese crumbles, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500° with pizza stone place in the bottom half of the oven.

In a skillet over med heat, put franks red-hot sauce and butter in. Heat just until butter has melted. Add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside. Press dough out into a pizza round. Dock center of pizza dough. With a slotted spoon remove chicken from skillet and place on pizza dough. You don’t want to use a lot of the sauce. If you do you will have soggy pizza. Top with Cheeses, and onions. Bake in a 500° oven for 8-10 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden brown.

 

asian noodle salad

 

Asian Noodle Salad and Egg rolls

original salad source: The Pioneer Women

I modified a bit for what I had on hand.

Egg rolls: A Punky original

Ingredients

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
1 head Sliced Napa Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1 small head Sliced Purple Cabbage (reserve half for egg rolls)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 bag Bean Sprouts (reserve half for egg rolls)
Handful of baby carrots,sliced thin (reserve half for egg rolls)

1 Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
3 whole Scallions, Sliced (reserve some for the egg rolls)

_____
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

 

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

1 pkg Egg Roll wraps

1 lb ground beef, pork, or turkey

the reserved vegetables from the salad

2 TBS soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS cooking sherry

1 tsp ground or fresh ginger

2 TBS corn starch

1 TBS oil, to saute vegetables

oil for frying, at least a couple of inches worth

salt and pepper, to taste

little bowl of water, so that you can dip your fingers in to seal the egg rolls

Directions:

In a large skillet brown meat, when done browning drain off fat. Set meat aside. In a measuring cup or bowl mix soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking sherry, ginger and cornstarch. Mix well so that there are no lumps of corn starch.

In the same skillet add 1 TBS oil over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot add vegetables to the skillet. Saute vegetables for a couple of minutes. Add the meat back to the skillet. Pour sauce over meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. You wont need a lot of salt because of the soy sauce.  Warm for a minute or so. Turn off heat and set aside.

Pull out egg roll wraps from the refrigerator. Spoon 2-3 TBS of filling in the middle of the wrap and seal egg roll with a bit of water on your fingers. In a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat add a couple of cups of oil, at least enough to go up the side of the egg rolls. Once oil is hot enough, about 350°, place only enough egg rolls in the pot seam side down being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry till golden brown and flip carefully. This doesn’t take very long. Once fried remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.

This can be done ahead of time and you can freeze finished egg rolls. On the evening you want to eat them heat oven to 375° and bake for about 20 minutes or so.

eggrolls

 

 

Eggplant baked pasta

 

Eggplant Baked Pasta

a Punky Orginal

Ingredients:

5 TBS Extra virgin olive oil

1 eggplant, cut into cubes

1/2 box of mini penne pasta (or rotini, penne, ziti, or farfalle pasta)

1 small white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2-2 c. Mozzarella cheese

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Lightly spray a 13×9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

Turn on oven to broil.

In a large pot cook pasta according to package until pasta is al dente. Once done drain off water.

In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the diced eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add onion, garlic and spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning to the pot. Simmer sauce for about 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and about half the cheese to the pot. Stir to combine. Pour pasta into the baking dish. Shred fresh Parmesan cheese and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Place in oven and broil just until cheese is nice and brown. Maybe about 5 minutes, watch carefully you don’t want burnt cheese.

Serve with garlic bread.

shrimp fra diavolo

 

Super Quick Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

as seen on my sisters blog.

Ingredients

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes *I used a 28oz can
1 cup dry white wine *I omitted this because I didn’t have any, you can use chicken broth or omit all together if you use a big can of tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves * I used about 1/2 dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

 

 Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

 

Hope these recipes turn into your “go to” weekly recipes. I know they are ours. Happy eating.

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Long time coming

10 Jul

Well my husband is back for his deployment. YAY! We have been quite busy. We went to California for a month. Had tons of fun with family. Now we are back into the swing of things. We had friends over for the 4th and I cooked. I made pretzel dogs, which are always a big hit, my favorite fudge brownierecipe, grilled chicken marinated my favorite way, baked beans and Salted  Carmel Chocolate Chip cookies (my husbands request). I will post again soon. Lots of food will be getting made now that I actually have to cook again.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookie

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and just adapted it a bit. If you are tempted to try the Salted Caramel version right out of the oven DON’T DO IT. I did they taste pretty salty if you don’t let them cool. They are great after they have cooled.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

original post for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cups milk chocolate chips

about 16 pieces of Caramel cubes. Take wrappers off and cut into 4 smaller squares.

Sea salt for sprinkling the tops of warm cookies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure an oven rack is in the center of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until well mixed. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Mix well until the batter has lightened slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips at the same time. Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Using a cookie scoop or about 1 Tbs portion of cookie batter place on a silpat mat of parchment paper. Once cookies have been placed on cookie sheet place 3-4 squares of caramel pieces into the cookie. I push them lightly into the cookie ball. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and just lightly browned. Don’t overbake or else the cookies will be tough and hard. Once you pull the cookies out of the oven sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before trying to remove. Remove cookies and place on a cooling rack.

Happy Mother’s Day, Shrimp Scampi

12 May

So easy even the kids could make it for their Mom. I hope that everybody has been enjoying their Mother’s Day! If you’re still looking for a super easy dinner to make for that special lady in your life then try this. Longest part is boiling the noodles. No joke!

mother's day shrimp scampi

 

Shrimp Scampi

source: The Pioneer Women

4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic Cloves, Minced Or Pressed
1 pound Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
1/2 cup White Wine( I use Chicken broth…I didn’t have white wine on hand)
2 whole Lemons
4 dashes Hot Sauce (I Used Tabasco; More To Taste)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
8 ounces, weight Angel Hair Pasta
Chopped Fresh Basil To Taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

 

Boil water for pasta; have it ready.

Heat olive oil and melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for two or three minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add shrimp, then stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Add wine, butter, salt and pepper, and hot sauce. Stir and reduce heat to low.

Throw angel hair pasta into the boiling water. Cook until just done/al dente. Drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta water.

Remove skillet from heat. Add pasta and toss, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs to be thinned. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Top with grated Parmesan and minced parsley and serve immediately.

Cinnamon Rolls

2 Apr

My friend requested Cinnamon rolls for Easter, of course I had to oblige. Here is the recipe that I have used for years. I make them a couple of times a year. They are so easy and good and make enough rolls to freeze for later or to give as gifts.

Cinnamon rolls iced

Cinnamon Rolls

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) (plus additional rise time)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Yields: 12 huge “Cinnabon” size or 18-22 regular sized rolls.

Dough
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. yeast)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water (110 °)
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Up to 8 cups all-purpose flour
Coating
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  • Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cinnamon; set aside (this will be used later to spread on dough)
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water; set aside
  • In a large bowl, mix together milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, salt, and eggs; add yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour to mixture; beat until smooth; stir in enough flour to form a slightly stiff dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, or if you have a mixer that can accommodate this many ingredients. I always know when my dough is finished kneading (either by hand or machine) when it can stretch quite well. It must be elastic enough.
  • Place dough into a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15″ X 20″ rectangle.
  • Brush 1/2 cup melted butter over dough; sprinkle cinnamon sugar liberally over dough
  • Tightly roll up dough and pinch edges together to seal; cut the roll into 12 – 18 slices using unflavored dental floss or thread.
  • Lightly grease a couple of 9″ pie pans. Place 6-8 rolls in each pan. You can either cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze at this point or place in refrigerator overnight.
  • If you are going to bake them right away then cover pan and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until they have nearly doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

***If you are going to bake the frozen rolls, pull them out the night before and place them in the refrigerator. About an hour before you are going to bake them then set the rolls on the counter to allow to rise the final time. Then bake according to the directions above.***

cinnamon roll no icing
Cream Cheese Frosting ***if you aren’t planning on baking all the cinnamon rolls at once you can easily half this recipe***
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz.  Butter

1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
16 oz. powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread frosting on warm rolls.

cinnamon rolls

Easter Doughnuts

30 Mar

Just a quick post before I head out to my friend’s house to have a little get together for our kids. I made Baked donuts. They were super easy to make. I hope they all love them. I also may cinnamon rolls or breakfast tomorrow but I will post more about those once they are baked. I picked up a Wilton’s doughnut pan at Hobby Lobby the other day. I was supposed to make cupcakes for the get together today but I think the donuts will be a nice treat for the kids.

Easter Doughnuts

Wilton’s Baked Doughnut

source: Recipe on the doughnut pan wrapper

makes 12 regular-sized doughnuts      
Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Spray the 6-cavity doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and butter and beat until just combined.  Fill each donut cup until about 2/3 full.
3.  Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.  Cool in pan for about 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.  Complete donuts with either a dusting of powdered sugar, glaze, or cinnamon-sugar topping.  Best served fresh on the same day.
I took half of the donuts and topped them with powdered sugar. Just but about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a plastic bag and place one doughnut at a time in the bag and shake gently. Tap the doughnut a bit to remove excess sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar topping:
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter, melted

Happy blogiversary to me :)

6 Feb

Well it’s officially been a year since I started blogging again. Thanks to my readers and pinners who have visited my site. I have a couple new recipes to share. First one of my favorite things to eat. Chicken Chow Mein. Since moving to Oklahoma I haven’t been able to find a good Chinese restaurant. If anybody knows a good 0ne in the Lawton/Fort Sill area I would really appreciate the suggestion. Anyway, since I get a hankering for Chinese quite often I decided to add another recipe to the mix. The other one that I make is this orange chicken. Orange chicken is my husbands favorite and I really only make it when he’s here to eat it. Don’t get me wrong I like it too but it’s not on my short list when we go out for Chinese.

chicken chow mein

Ingredients:
source: Favorite Family Recipes

2-3 Boneless Chicken Breast
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 (5.6 oz) packages refrigerated Yaki Soba noodles (found in the produce section of the grocery store) (or you can find the dried Yaki Soba noodles. They are cheaper but you do have to cook them according to the package)
2/3 c. chopped celery (chopped diagonally)
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
2 c. cabbage, thinly sliced

Directions

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper. Set aside.
Cook or grill chicken with a bit of salt and pepper. When done set aside to add to the noodle mix later. Or you can use leftover chicken from a previous meal.
Remove Yaki Soba from packages and discard included flavoring packets. Rinse noodles well, drain, and set aside.(this is for the Yaki Soba noodles that are already prepared)
Heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Add celery and onion and saute for about 1-2 minutes or until onions start to become soft and transparent. Add cabbage and saute an additional minute or so.
Toss Yaki Soba noodles and soy sauce mixture with the vegetables over medium-high heat for an additional 2-3 minutes or until noodles are heated through. Add cooked chicken and heat just enough to warm it. Not too long or the chicken may dry out. 
chicken chow mein up close
 
What’s an anniversary without dessert? I had some really ripe bananas sitting on my counter and what better way to use them. You could make this banana bread or you could make chocolate chip banana cupcakes. The original recipe is one that I found on All Recipes. It was for 2 8 inch cake pans. This makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
banana chocolate chip cupcake stand
 
Chocolate Chip Banana cupcakes with Vanilla frosting
source: All recipes

Ingredients

2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

4 ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 pkg. chocolate chips, I used milk chocolate

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 – 8 inch round pans. Or prepare cupcake tin with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in the bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pans or scoop batter into cupcake tin. Fill 2/3 full with batter.
For cake bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes for cupcakes back for 18-22 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean and tops are golden brown. Mine took 20 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting cupcakes.

banana chocolate chip cupcake bite

Nothing fancy vanilla frosting

Ingredients: makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes, about 1 cup frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk, I had to use a bit more
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
In a bowl of a mixer combine the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Start mixing slowly so that sugar doesn’t go all over the place and then increase speed to medium speed until smooth and fluffy add more milk if needed.
banana chocolate chip cupcake bite close
 
Thanks again for an awesome year. I will be posting tomorrow to so you all my latest creation using my new sewing machine.

 

Join the Fun!

25 Jan

For all of those that sew there is an awesome sewalong going on at Sew She Can using bijou lovely’s herringbone block tutorial. This is my submission for this round.

valentine pillow

I love it. I used various red and black fabric. The red in the middle is my favorite. Its red with little white hearts. 🙂

valentine hearts up close

This is going to be on my chair for the month of February but I love it so much it might stay longer. Hurry the deadline for submissions is January 29th. The winner gets a $50 gift card to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop. Who doesn’t need more fabric ;). Have fun and post a comment here so that I can see your entries.

In other sewing news I finally started and finished part of my son Kizaiah’s Christmas present. Man I am such a slacker, well that and my sewing machine was acting crazy. Probably was in shock with how much I used it during the holidays. I have a new one on the way. So excited.  :)Anyway, he requested a “satchel” backpack. He picked out the fabrics months ago. He was super excited yesterday after school and couldn’t wait to use it today.

kis bagHe wants me to make him a key chain. For what keys I don’t know but I will oblige. Here is a shot of the inside.

ki bag inside

Winner winner Chicken dinner

5 Jan

This post is really about the sides but I did roast a chicken and I couldn’t resist this title 🙂 First this is how I prepared my chicken. I didn’t take picture of the process quite frankly it’s not a pretty site but the results are well worth it. Super easy and lots of flavor. I opted out of making the sauces. I just really like the finished chicken.

chicken dinner

But like I said this post is really about the bread and the green beans. I usually only make these rolls for special occasions. I don’t know why it’s not like they are hard to make. So I decided on Christmas that I would be making these way more often.

honey buns

Honey Yeast Rolls adapted from Cooking with the Big Dogs seen on Mom Makes aka my sisters blog

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour (508 grams)
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons honey
Directions –

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, stir together the yeast and warm water – let sit for three to five minutes. Add the honey, oil, salt and egg to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add three cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Switch to the dough hook and with the mixer on low, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.Continue kneading on low-speed for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sometimes, depending on the time of year (during the winter, especially), the dough is a bit drier, and I add in water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should feel soft (not sticky) and pliable when you are finished kneading it.Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it is doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work space and knead about 30 seconds. Cover and let the dough rest for another 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide it into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball and place into a greased 9×13 inch dish, spacing evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together melted butter and honey and brush the mixture over top of the unbaked rolls. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through. Let cool slightly before serving.

green beans

And then there’s the green beans. OH MY GOODNESS! We eat these at least three times a month. They are super easy and so darn tasty. So much better than canned green beans and a lot cheaper in the long run too. The biggest expense is the Parmesan cheese but the block lasts FOREVER!  You wont be sorry that you bought it plus you can use it on other things like Garlic bread, pizza, spaghetti the possibilities are endless.

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

1 lb. fresh green beans, stems removed
2 tbsp. unsalted butter (***I usually use olive oil instead)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Steam green beans until slightly tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Melt butter (***or olive oil) over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Transfer steamed green beans to the melted butter and garlic. Toss to coat green beans evenly and continue to sautee for approximately 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and sprinkle grated Parmesan. Toss once again until Parmesan is melted, approximately 1 minute.

 

Super Quick and Easy Turkey or Chicken soup

28 Nov

Another way to use up turkey leftovers is to make a super quick and easy soup. I made this tonight. I can’t waste such a tasty bird. I’m sure there are a lot of recipes out there for Chicken/Turkey soup but here is what I did.

Quick and Easy Chicken/Turkey soup

Ingredients:

Leftover Chicken or Turkey Shredded

8 cups Chicken Broth (homemade, carton or 8 c. hot water with chicken bullion cubes; follow directions on package)

2 cups hot water

2-3 celery stalks chopped

1 small white onion

a couple handfuls of baby or regular carrots, sliced

1/2 pkg egg noodles

pepper

*salt if needed*

Directions:

In a large pot over high heat add chicken broth, hot water, shredded chicken/turkey, celery, onion, carrots and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until carrots are cooked through. In the last 8-10 minutes of cooking add 1/2 package of egg noodles to the soup. Cook until noodles are done. Serve hot.

Using Thanksgiving Leftovers

26 Nov

I hope that everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now for the Christmas rush to get everything done. This year I intend on making a lot of gifts…so far I have only put a little tiny dent in my list.
In the meantime, I had to figure out a way to use up turkey leftovers. We spend this Thanksgiving with my friend and her family and they made 2 turkeys. Needless to say there were plenty of leftovers, enough for me to come home with half a turkey. Tonight I decided to make Rotel chicken casserole and use turkey meat instead, it’s a bird right. I have been making this for years. It’s a recipe my mom made when we were younger and I think that she got it from one of her friends. It’s super easy and can be whipped up in no time. Plus it can feed quite a few people depending on how much meat you use.

Rotel Chicken/Turkey Casserole

Ingredients:

Shredded chicken, in this case leftover turkey

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1-2 cans Rotel tomatoes with chilis, * depending on how spicy you like your food*

1 cup chicken broth, or water * if using 2 cans of Rotel you can omit this* It’s just to thin out sauce a bit

8-10 corn tortillas

2-3 cups shredded cheese, in the past I have used Mexican mix, Colby jack, cheddar, Monterey jack

cooking spray or a little bit of oil

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350°. Prepare a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray or a light coat of oil. In a medium boil mix, 2 cans of condensed chicken soup, 1 can Rotel and up to 1 cup chicken broth or water.  Stir well, it should be the consistency of thin yogurt or pudding. Spoon a thin layer of the Rotel mixture into the baking dish and spreed evenly making sure to put some sauce in the corners of dish. Place a single layer of corn tortillas in bottom of dish, you may have to break a couple of tortillas in half so that the fit with out too much overlapping. Tortillas can overlap but make sure to put a little of the sauce in between tortilla layers. Next spread a couple spoon fulls of sauce, about 1/3,  on top of tortillas, layer 1/2 of shredded chicken/turkey and 1/3 of cheese, make another layer just like this and top casserole with layer of tortillas, topped with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove foil and continue to bake for another 10-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling evenly across the top and cheese has melted.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. This is just a general recipe, I don’t have anything really written down. You know how some recipes are passed down by word of mouth, well that’s how I got this one. Feel free to adjust the levels of any component you just want to make sure that the tortillas are evenly coated because they can get dry and crunchy in the baking process if they don’t have enough Rotel sauce.

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