Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Another recipe from the Mayo Clinic website. I had never had tilapia before, but it's quite a tasty little fish. I ran out of mayonnaise once and used Miracle Whip instead. Boooooo.

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Greese a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh, the Devil Take It!

The day after Easter brings an abundance of hard-boiled eggs. Thank heavens Paula Deen is here to show us what to do with them! Here are our 2 favorite Deviled Egg recipes from her magazine.

Southwestern Stuffed Eggs
makes 12 servings

6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons salsa

1 1/2 Tablespoons sour cream

1 Tablespoon chopped green onion

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper

Halve eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onion, and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture. Garnish with additional green onions, if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

BLT Stuffed Eggs

makes 12 servings

6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 cherry tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

1 Tbs dried parsley flakes

Salt and pepper

Additional crumbled bacon for garnish

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chocolate Cups

Since this was our second attempt at these chocolate cups, I feel like we can impart enough wisdom to post the recipe. They're so cute! Popped balloons = lots of chocolate splatter to clean up, but otherwise fun to make. (We used dark chocolate and mint chocolate chip ice cream for our St. Patrick's Day version. I liked these better, though.)

5" balloons (NOT water balloons - they will pop... they will ALL pop)
3 bags white chocolate chips (for approximately 18 finished cups)
Crisco (or whatever) spray
Wax paper

Blow up the balloons - as many as you need for the number of cups you want. Melt the chocolate over medium low heat in a double boiler. When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, let it cool slightly. Spray the balloon with Crisco and spread the grease with your hand to about halfway up the balloon. (We have done it without the Crisco with sad results. The higher up you go with the grease, the easier it will be to get the balloons out.)

Hold the balloon by the knot and dip it in the melted chocolate, bringing it up out of the chocolate between each dip. (The longer you leave the balloon in the warm chocolate, the more likely the balloon will pop and you will be finding chocolate in strange places for weeks.) Set the balloon on a flat (and mobile) surface covered in wax paper (we used our cutting boards) until you have filled the surface. Put the chocolate covered balloons in the refrigerator (or freezer) for about 15 minutes.

Remove the balloons from the refrigerator and poke the top (near the knot) with a safety pin. Let the air out of the balloons slowly, then ease it out of the chocolate cup. Keep the cups cold until you plan to use them. We filled ours with strawberry ice cream and added a side of dipped strawberries.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

green eggs and ham

Adam was dreaming of having breakfast in green for St. Patrick's Day; green grits, green orange juice, green everything. I had thought about it St. Patrick's Day Eve, but when the morning came, I didn't have the energy. Luckily, I have a very festive husband who happened to be home that morning. He got busy working on the green pancakes, apple juice (no orange around),green butter, and green sprinkles to top everything. I got a good one of the girls and Adam. Somehow, Banks was not captured eating his green feast!

Friday, March 14, 2008

And Bring A Turkey!

I love turkey! Roast turkey and roast chicken are both recipes that cookbooks and grandmothers assume everyone knows. (Therefore I rarely see a recipe for a basic roast turkey.) It has taken me years to figure out how to make a good one. Keep your mind away from Grandma Shirley's disturbing raw turkey imagery and you're set!

1 turkey breast up to 8 lbs. (I prefer the kind with the bagged guts so I don't have to do any digging)
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 an onion, quartered
Fresh sprigs of:
1/4 cube soft butter
1 Reynolds oven bag
1 T. flour

Release the turkey from those high-security bags they come in, remove the giblets, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Set the turkey in the pan you'll be cooking it in while you cut the onion and put the flour in the oven bag. Come back to the turkey and pat it dry again. Liberally salt and pepper the cavity between the breasts (the turkey's, not yours) and put a few sprigs of herbs in, followed by the onion. Tuck the rest of the herb sprigs under the skin of the turkey breasts (you'll need to cut a little opening to get them in there far enough). Rub with butter (with your fingers is the only way!), then salt and pepper the whole bird. Put the turkey into the oven bag, leaving room for heat to expand around it, and place it in a shallow roasting pan. For an 8 lb. turkey, bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 50 minutes. (The package for the oven bags has excellent instructions for smaller birds.)

Serve with yukon gold mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. Delicious!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fuss-free Ravioli and Cheese Bake

I, personally, don't care how long something takes to cook as long as it's easy to put together. That's why this is one of my favorite recipes--it never takes longer than 5 minutes to prepare. Also, it's delicious and my kids will eat it, so bonus!

1 jar (16 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 oz.) reduced sodium beef broth
1/4 cup italian dressing
1 pkg (24 oz.) frozen cheese-filled ravioli (or 2 9oz pkgs fresh)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, with their liquid, broth and dressing in 13x9-inch baking dish. Add ravioli; mix lightly. Cover with foil.

Bake 50 min. or until ravioli are tender.

Remove foil; stir. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 5 min. until the cheese melts.

Makes 6 servings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Chocolate Cake

The title does this cake no justice. It's so good!

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, canola oil, eggs and vanilla for 4 minutes. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with boiling water to the sugar mixture. Beat well after each addition.
3. Pour into an oiled and floured 9x13 inch cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch.

I like to put cream cheese frosting on it. I just throw a brick of cream cheese, some milk and as much powdered sugar as you can stand.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Creamy Cheese Grits

Delicious anytime! Goes well with ham.

1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/4 tsp (or more!) cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp basil
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In 2-quart saucepan, combine milk, broth, cayenne pepper, and basil; heat to boiling over high heat. Slowly whisk grits into liquid. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened, 5-7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cheese.



2 Tbs oil
1 onion
1 green pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 greeen onoins
2 celery stalks (or not)
1 Family Size package Zataran's Jambalaya Rice Mix
2 lbs total of chicken, andouille sausage and shrimp

Preheat large saucepan on medium heat. Chop onion, green pepper, garlic and celery. Saute in oil while preparing other ingredients. Cut sausage into 1/4 inch pieces and chicken in 1/2 inch cubes. Add all remaining ingredients, except the shrimp, and cook on medium. After rice is cooked (about 20 minutes), add shrimp and green onions. Serve warm.

Whole Wheat Bread

This is for Makenzie so she won't have to write it out again and so she won't have to remember where she put it again. This bread is perfect in every way. It is a huge recipe, too, that will easily make 5 loaves.
1/2 C. warm water
2 T. yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
5 C. warm water
2/3 C. oil
2/3 C. honey
2 T. salt
6 C. whole wheat flour
6 C. white flour
1/4 C. gluten
Start yeast in 1/2 C. warm water with sugar
In a large bowl combine 5 C. water with oil, honey, and salt. Mix until combined.
In a different bowl combine wheat flour with white flour and gluten. Add three cups of flour mixture to water,oil,honey mixture.
Add yeast mixture to the other and mix until combined.
LET RISE to double size. Punch down and divide into 5 balls. Roll out each ball flat, then roll up like a cinnamon roll and put into greased loaf pan. Let rise a little longer, then bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes.

Tomato-basil pizza

This is a basic pizza recipe I found on the Mayo Clinic website. Usually we make it with two cups of plain flour instead of half wheat/half plain, but it's good either way.

1 cup whole-wheat (whole meal) flour
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups canned unsalted crushed tomatoes, drained
2/3 teaspoon dried basil
2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup reduced-fat (or not) mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 10-inch round pizza pan with cooking spray. (We use a pizza stone lightly coated with cornmeal.)

In a large bowl (or dough mixer), combine the flours, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the oil and warm water and mix well.

Turn dough out onto a generously floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough for one minute. If dough is too sticky, add flour 1 teaspoon at a time. Gather into a loose ball. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, basil, black pepper and garlic powder.

Roll out dough and press into prepared baking pan. Spread the tomato mixture over the dough. Top with cheese. Bake until dough is browned and cheese is bubbly, about 10 to 20 minutes.

For the Jeff and Melissa Special add:
Sliced artichoke hearts, bacon, and roma tomatoes (as pictured).

Note: This recipe makes much more sauce than is needed for one pizza so you may want to double the dough. We usually freeze the sauce.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Checkerboard Chili

Katy put this in the last installment of The Sisters' Cookbook (page 97). I made it for the first time tonight and Brian and I both loved it. Also, I was missing several ingredients (dumb dumb dumb) and I added a little something special (ouch). Lately I like to find any recipe that I can use a Costco rotisserie chicken in (that wasn't the something special, by the way). Anyway, here's my version of Checkerboard Chili.

The meat from 1 Costco rotisserie chicken, chopped
4 small garlic cloves, chopped fine
3 T. olive oil
1/2 of a small onion
3 drops of blood (Nicole's is sweetest)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Season Salt
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 (15-oz.) can white beans
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) soup can water
1 (10-oz.) brick (ha!) Velveeta

Saute onion, blood, and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot for two minutes. Add rotisserie chicken, sprinkle on Season Salt and cumin. Stir to combine the flavors. Add black beans, white beans, and crushed tomatoes. Simmer on low heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. Add Velveeta (cut into cubes) and let it melt for a few minutes before stirring again. Serve.

If I ever made side dishes, I would have served this with corn bread and a nice green salad. I haven't seen Marie Calendar's corn bread mix at the store lately. Is that over?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

French Country Slow Cooker Chicken

This is a good piano lesson day recipe. It also uses the wonderful tarragon that I bought for the maple salmon recipe and haven't used for anything else.

1 med. onion, chopped
4 Carrots, sliced
4ribs celery sliced
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and black pepper
1 can (10 3/4 oz.)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/3 white wine or apple juice (I use the apple juice!)
2 T. cornstarch
Hot cooked rice

1. Place onion, carrots and celery in slow cooker. Arrange chicken over vegetables. Sprinkle with tarragon, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Pour soup over chicken. Sprinkle with dry soup mix. Cover; cook on High 3-4 hours, stirring once during cooking.
3. Twenty minutes before serving, blend wine and cornstarch until smooth; stir into slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until thickened. Serve over rice.