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Friday, June 19, 2009

Apricot-Glazed Chicken Breats with Almond Couscous

I have a confession to make. Even though I don't really like to cook, I love to buy those Pillsbury and Betty Crocker type books that are in line at the grocery store. I love when a new one comes out. I actually haven't made much that is in them, so one day, when I was feeling really inspired, I decided to go through and write down all the recipes that I wanted to try, what books they were in and what page number for easy reference. So the other night, we finally tried one! It was really good, though Ryan put some more pepper than the recipe called for on the chicken and it was pretty hot. So I would just follow the recipe. It was easy, good, and only 400 calories. And I discovered that my girls absolutely love couscous. Who knew?


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tbsp apricot preserves

1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted if desired

Set oven to broil. Spray broiler rack with cooking spray. Flatten each chicken breast by placing between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Working from center, gently pound chicken with rolling pin or flat side of meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick.

In small bowl, mix garlic powder, pepper and ground red pepper. Sprinkle on both sides of chicken; place on rack in pan.

Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Brush with half of apricot preserves; broil 1 minute longer or until preserves are bubbly. brush with remaining preserves before serving.

Meanwhile, in 2 quart saucepan, heat broth and butter to boiling. Stir in couscous and almonds. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork before serving with glazed chicken.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Homemade Whipping Cream

Okay, you guys aren't probably challenged as I am, but I thought I would include this anyway. Whenever I want to make homemade whipping cream, I can never remember how much is needed of whipping cream and sugar. I swear, I must have called my mom like 8 times for this. So when I couldn't remember AGAIN last night and had to call her to come to my rescue, I was determined to put it on the blog, just so I don't have to bug her anymore regarding this! And have I mentioned that I love summer because you can get the most delicious peaches ever?! And mixed with angel food cake and homemade whipping cream, life couldn't get much sweeter. This picture is proof that I am totally impatient, I under whipped this a little but I just couldn't wait to start eating!

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 tbsp of sugar, to taste

Of course, if you need more or less, just adjust for size.
Put whipping cream and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix on medium for 2-3 minutes depending on speed, just until cream creates stiff peaks. Don't overwhip it to form cottage cheese but the cream does need to have a firmer consistency. Have fun!

Parmesan Chicken

This is a fabulous dish! Ryan and I have had another recipe that we have been using, but decided to try one that was on my friend Christy's blog and it was so much better and easier! I was going to take a picture of ours from last night but I could not find my camera. I actually started freaking out a little thinking that I must have left it somewhere because I had torn the house apart and it hadn't turned up. Luckily, Ryan finally remembered that when we had gone to Cirque de Soleil on Friday they hadn't allowed cameras and he had put it in the Stow N Go of our car. If he had not remembered, I doubt we would have found it for a month. But by the time he remembered, the chicken was digesting in our bellies. So I stole this one off of Christy's blog again.

4 chicken breasts (We just used three, just depending on how many you are cooking for)
1/2 stick butter (melted)
1 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 t. garlic powder
Jar of Spaghetti sauce
mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Mix the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. *It really doesn't matter how much Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs you have. Just make sure it's equal parts. Melt butter in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then the bread crumb mixture then place on the baking sheet. Cover the middle of the chicken with spaghetti sauce. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top for the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve over spaghetti with extra spaghetti sauce.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

I have been trying hard not to be wasteful when it comes to food lately and when I saw that I had several bananas sitting on my counter going bad I was going to make banana bread. But then I remembered that my friend Christy had posted on her recipe blog a muffin recipe that looked delicious. So I tried that instead. Surprisingly, I had all the ingredients in my pantry. They are really good!

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c butter, melted (5 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/3 C packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. (I only have a 6 muffin tin, I just made big muffins!)
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
For those, like me, who had no idea what cutting in meant, here is the definition!
To work a solid fat, such as shortening, margarine, or butter, into dry ingredients, usually with a pastry blender. (I just used a fork!)


Ok, this isn't really a recipe per say, but it is quick, easy, inexpensive, and surprisingly, really tasty! I got this from Tracie and it has been a go to on nights when I have absolutely no ideas.

Box of Jose Ole chicken and cheese taquitos, rolled in flour tortillas
can of enchilada sauce
shredded cheddar cheese (as much as wanted)

Line up as many taquitos as wanted in glass dish. Pour enchilada sauce over taquitos. Then sprinkle as much cheese as wanted over top as well. Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour. See how easy that is. And it really is good!
I usually have refried beans as a side. I also either have a green salad or corn mixed with avocado on the side. A well rounded meal!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Mom's famous enchiladas! This is one of the reasons we wanted to start the blog, to have these great recipes down. You probably all have this recipe but just in case, here it is!

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp butter
1/2 C chopped sweet or white onion
can of green chilies
can of cream of chicken
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C milk
1 C to 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Bake chicken. In a skillet, melt butter and saute onions. In a bowl, mix onions, can of chillies, can of cream of chicken, sour cream, and milk together. Save 1/2 C mixture for the top. Then add 1/2 C cheese and chicken to bowl. Fill tortillas. Put in pan, add saved 1/2 C mixture over the top. Add 1/2 C to 1 C of cheese over top as well.
Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour. (You can add salt and pepper as needed).

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

This pie is infamous in Ryan's family. Whenever his mom would make it, she would make two pies, one being just for Ryan which he would promptly eat. It has great flavor and texture. I know a lot of people want to make things that take a lot of time and are difficult to test their culinary skills. Me, on the other hand, know fully well my total lack of skills, therefore am always on the lookout for easy things that taste great. This is both!

1 8 oz. block cream cheese
1 pkg Jello Lemon instant pudding
1 3/4 C milk
1 tsp of grated lemon peel

Soften cream cheese, put in blender and mix, slowly add milk as it blends until smooth. Add pudding mix and lemon peel and mix until yellow. Pour in pie crust and let set in fridge.

The crust is graham cracker crust. You can buy it from the store pre-made or make it on your own.