Saturday, July 31, 2010

Garlic Chicken

Original recipe from allrecipes

2 t crushed garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c dried bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish.
3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

*Ellen and I just harvested a beautiful crop of garlic and onions--more than we'll be able to use.  That led me to looking for a new recipe to use them.  This chicken was moist, flavorful, and so easy.  I used frozen chicken breast that had been left to defrost.  They were still about half way frozen (which makes it easier to remove obvious fat) when I brushed them with the olive oil and then rolled in the crumb mixture.  1/4 c olive oil was much too generous, but I used the leftovers to roast some garden tomatoes.  I did add more bread crumbs and cheese before I had finished.  I will be making this again--only next time use 3 T olive oil, 1/3 c bread crumbs, and 1/3 c Parmesan cheese.  Jacob loved the chicken and more than finished his plate.

Homemade Roasted Tomatoes

– 10-14 roma tomatoes (you could experiment with other tomatoes, but romas are less delicate and less seedy and work well)
- Olive oil (probably about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt (kosher, preferably)
- Pepper
- Spices you like – Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, whatever!
- Sugar

Add minced garlic to the olive oil and let sit while you prepare the tomatoes. Slice tomatoes into wedges, 8 per tomato. Spread on cookie sheet and brush with garlic olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, spices, and sugar. Bake at 200 degrees for 2-6 hours or so.

*I didn't follow this recipe too closely, but adapted it to make a pasta dish to compliment Garlic Chicken.  It turned out so well even Jeff liked the tomatoes so I thought I better add this to the recipe list.  I actually used cherry tomatoes from my garden and a few pretty girls that I had picked.  The picture above shows them uncooked, the cherry tomatoes cut in half and the pretty girls sliced in about 8 sections.  I seasoned as suggested using less olive oil, fresh garlic, kosher salt, pepper, fresh basil, and just a hint of sugar.  They began baking at 200 degrees, but I left them in the oven when I cooked the garlic chicken at a much higher temperature.  When they were roasted, I tossed with bowtie pasta and it was a beautiful, aromatic side.  Can't wait for more tomatoes to ripen so I can try this again!

Kaiserschmarrn (Emperor's Pancakes)

- 2 C flour
- 1 C milk
- pinch salt
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 C butter
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/2 C butter
- 1/2 C raisins (traditional, but optional)
- 1/2 c butter
- 2 T powdered sugar

Mix flour and milk together. Add salt. Stir in egg yolks, 1/4 C butter and raisins (if using). Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with the sugar until peaks form. Melt 1/2 C butter in a 12 inch skillet that can be placed in the oven. Add egg whites to the flour mixture and pour batter into pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with plum sauce.

*This was a fun experiment for Saturday breakfast and my family informed me it was definitely a keeper. Just a few personal notes, if you look at the original recipe post, the skillet looks very shallow--I used a deep skillet and was glad I did as mine was definitely meant for a deep dish--next time I'll use my larger skillet and perhaps it will not be as thick (which really wasn't a problem, though I did cook it for 22 minutes). We left out the raisins and served it with powdered sugar and syrup. 1/2 cup was a lot of butter to cook the batter in--I think I could safely decrease it to 1/4 cup and not loose too much flavor. Enjoy eating like a king!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Salt Dough

Click here for original recipe

What you need:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
food coloring (optional)

  • Directions: Combine salt and flour. Add oil and enough water to give the mixture a claylike consistency. Add more water a little at a time until the mixture is pliable but not sticky. Knead slightly. If you wish to color dough, add food coloring to the water before adding the water to the salt and flour. Keep the dough in an airtight container.
    *I estimate that it took about a 1/4 cup of water, but add slowly.  This play dough is just as fun as the store bought kind and doesn't seem to dry out.  If you are planning on making different colors, you might try mixing the flour and salt and then separating it in thirds.

Awesome Mud Pie

by Lori Law

1 pkg graham crackers, smashed
2-3 T sugar
1/2 -1 c butter, melted
1 container cool whip
1 pkg cream cheese
½ c power sugar
Instant chocolate pudding, prepared according to pkg

1. Combine first 3 ingredients and place in freezer to set.
2. Mix next 3 ingredients, spread onto crust.
3. Top with pudding. May put graham crackers, whip cream or Oreos on top.

*You can obviously tell from the picture that I didn't have graham crackers when I made this, so I used Oreos in their place.  To make an Oreo crust, follow the same directions, using only 1 T sugar and 1/4 cup butter melted butter.  Jeff likes the Oreo crust better, I still like the graham cracker crust. Cool, easy, refreshing, and crowd-pleasing.

Chicken Salad Croissants

3/4 c mayonnaise
3/4 c sour cream
1 t salt
1 t pepper
¼ to ½ t fresh tarragon (may use dried)
4 c chopped cooked chicken
1 c seedless green or red grapes
¾ c pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (or cashews)
20 croissants
Red leaf lettuce
Fresh tarragon springs

1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken, grapes, and chopped pecans, tossing to coat. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

2. Cut a slit horizontally on 1 side of each croissant; fill evenly with lettuce and chicken salad. Skewer sandwiches with fresh tarragon sprigs to hold together.

*Delicious and as good as any chicken salad sandwich I've had.  I sometimes use Miracle Whip in place of the mayonnaise, dried tarragon, peanuts (instead of pecans--though I prefer cashews), and Romaine lettuce.  Don't be shy with the chicken.  One of Jeff's favorite meals.