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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best Chicken Parmigiana Ever!


I have tried  A LOT of Chicken Parmesan recipes. 

This is absolutely the yummiest, most fabulous Chicken Parm I have ever had!! (It is even better than anything I have had in a restaurant!) 

Thanks to The Pioneer Woman for this wonderful recipe! 

What makes it so excellent is the sauce.  It is rich with flavor!  Since I have made it I have actually day-dreamed about it a few times!

It is just that good!



Now doesn't that look divine?


Start out with boneless chicken breasts.  Trim fat and put in a bag, or between wax paper.




Pound with a meat mallet (or soup can) until very very thin and flat!




Dredge 'em in the flour mixture




Place gently in the hot oil and butter. 




Turn them over when they are golden brown and slightly crisped.  Repeat on other side and remove from pan and set aside.




In the same pan make the marinara sauce.  Add the chicken back in and top with lots of shredded Parmesan cheese.




Cover and let simmer until cheese is melted.



The result:  An incredibly satisfying dinner!  One you can be proud of!!





CHICKEN PARMIGIANA



4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat

½ cups All-purpose Flour

Salt And Pepper, to taste

½ cups Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped

4 cloves Garlic, Minced

¾ cups Wine (white Or Red Is Fine)
(I used Chianti)

3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Sugar

¼ cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 pound Thin Linguine



Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.


Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.

At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.

Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.

Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.

Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately. 

Serves 6








Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mega Morsels


I was really craving a dark chocolate chip cookie.  The unfortunate part was I didn't have enough chips to make a batch.  And I wasn't about to make a store run!  Then I remembered a cookie my sisters and I created years ago.  It uses many different kinds of chips. I had those chips in my freezer so I was ready to bake!

The result was pure deliciousness! 


Chock full of dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and butterscotch chips.  Along with some coconut and slivered almonds.





I started with this amount of "stuff".


It wasn't enough for my liking so I dumped in a bunch more!  Now this is more like it!!


Mix it all together.  It should look full of chips!


I scooped out my cookies with a big cookie scoop.  One batch made 12 cookies.
When they came out of the oven the cookies had spread quite a bit, so I used a metal cookie spatula to scoot the edges together to form round cookies.  Or, you could add a few more tablespoons of flour to the dough and it would probably eliminate the spreading!



This cookie really had it all!  They were divine! All of my favorite flavors and cooked perfectly! Slightly crispy on the edges but soft and yummy in the middle!




MEGA MORSELS


1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

You can add whatever you wish to this dough, but here is what I added:

60% Cocao Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips
Milk Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate Chips
Butterscotch Chips
Coconut
Toasted slivered almonds
(Macadamia nuts would be good also)

I don't have amounts of the things I added.  I just dumped until it looked good, so use your best judgement! I used equal amounts of the dark, milk, and white chips, with just a splash of butterscotch chips.

Cream butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in extras.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Yield: 1 dozen

If you don't wish to deal with the cookie spreading during baking, add a few tablespoons of flour to the dough.  You could bake one cookie and see how much it spreads.  If it still spreads, add a little more flour.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup



This soup is awesome!  I hadn't made it in quite some time, and I had forgotten how delicious it is!  If you have read  this post you know I am not a fan of Velveeta processed cheese.  But there are a few occasions where it is really worth putting health concerns aside and using it!! :)  This is one of those times!

Give this soup a try....I don't think you will be disappointed!


Thanks to my Aunt Caren for the recipe!


Chop all the veggies and put in a pot.  Add some water and cook until tender.



Cube up the Velveeta.


While the veggies are cooking, heat milk and water.  Add cubed cheese and stir on low heat until smooth.


When the veggies are soft, drain them and mix them into the soup.


Season soup with salt and pepper.  I couldn't resist putting on this picture of my son helping me with the soup!  He was so proud!  He is definitely Mommy's kitchen helper!


I put together a salad (romaine, carrots, broccoli, red onion, boiled egg, Monterey Jack cheese, and sunflower seeds).


I thawed some homemade bread I had in the freezer and dinner was ready!!  It was so tasty I can't wait until lunch tommorrow so I can have it again!  And it is kid friendly!  My 20 month old son liked it so much he had two bowls!



BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

4 cups potatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large head broccoli, cut up small
(do not use leaves or thick stem)
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 lbs. Velveeta cheese, cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook the vegetables together in water; drain.  Heat together milk and 2 cups water.  Stir in cheese.  Cook slowly over low heat until cheese is dissolved (this can burn very easily).  Mix drained vegetables into cheese mixture; add salt and pepper to taste.

I halved this recipe for my family of 3 and it was perfect!  Just enough left for us to have a bowl for lunch tommorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mom's Oven Stew



This is a wonderful meal for a chilly day!  Thick, hearty, and full of wonderful flavor!  My mom has been making this stew for as long as I can remember!  It is downright delicious!



This isn't your ordinary runny beef stew!  It is nice and thick and you must serve it over mashed potatoes!




You mix all the ingredients together in a oven-proof baking dish. 




Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 3 hours.  During the last hour or so your house will start to smell divine!




It comes out perfect every time!



MOM'S OVEN STEW


1 lb. stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
2 cups carrots, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 T. tapioca
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
generous dash of pepper
6 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water


Combine all ingredients in a 2 1/2 to 3 quart baking dish; mix well.  Seal with foil and cover tightly.  Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours (or 275 degrees for 4-5 hours).  Best served with mashed potatoes.
Yield:  About 4 adult size servings


For wonderfully creamy mashed potatoes:

Boil quartered potatoes until very mushy; drain

Put in Kitchen Aid mixer with paddle attachment.  Mix until potatoes are all chopped up.

Add:

Milk and butter, heated together until butter is melted and milk is hot
(For 5 lbs. potatoes use approximately 1 cup. milk and 6 T. butter) 

Add: 

1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

Mix with paddle until combined. 

Switch to whisk attachment and whip until very fluffy.  

On occasion I will add a few ounces of softened cream cheese and this makes them even better!


These amounts are based on 5 lbs. of potatoes.  If you have more or less potatoes adjust accordingly.  If your potatoes seem to stiff, add more milk.




Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chef's Salad


I wouldn't call this a recipe.  

Just an idea for an easy lunch or dinner!  Sometimes a person just needs ideas!! :) 

Basically I cleaned out the refrigerator!

We had some leftover lunch meat that needed to be used up, so instead of another sandwich, we did a salad!


I probably could have made it look a little nicer, but I was starving!  So I just piled it up high!


Here is the "salad bar"


Romaine.  It speaks for itself! I love it! Crunchy, mild, and full of fiber! Yum!


Carrots, broccoli, red onion, chopped boiled eggs, turkey breast, roast beef, and ham.  
(I try to buy low sodium deli meats if at all possible...too much sodium is not a good thing!)


Also some freshly grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese. 

 I always buy block cheese.  It is usually cheaper plus it tastes so much better!  And it really doesn't take much time to grate!  But if you want to use the pre-shredded kind...don't let me stop you!! :)


And some Croutons...Sunflower Seeds would be my pick, but I was out of them.


Usually I make my salad dressings from scratch, but this one is really good!


Add on the dressing and you have a delicious meal!

(I very much enjoyed it!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Frosted Black Bottom Cupcakes


I was really craving a thick slice of cheesecake.  But I didn't feel like going through the process of going to the grocery store, making the cheesecake, then waiting 8 hours or so for it to chill!  So I decided the cream cheese part of these cupcakes would have to satisfy my cheesecake craving!

I had posted these on my blog quite some time ago, so I will put the link for the recipe below.





Moist and delicious!




Even better with a swirl of mocha frosting!  Chocolate frosting would be great too!




Just another way to decorate them!





Sometimes there is nothing like old classics you grew up eating!

I prefer these cupcakes chilled!  

Here is the link for the recipe: 

The recipe is called Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes 
(also known as Black Bottom Cupcakes)

Hope your day is wonderful!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tahiti Sweeties


I am back! :) 

Thanks to each of you for your support! It is great to know there are more than a few people reading my blog!

  I am a novice blogger and had no clue I could go to a certain page and actually see how many people were viewing my page per day!  I guess you learn something new everyday!

These bar cookies are my favorite right now! They are moist and full of my favorite things! I love them slightly underbaked, and I freeze them so they are there when my sweet tooth starts calling :)


Want one?  They are sooo delicious! Chocolate, white chocolate, and coconut!  Triple yum!
Thanks to my niece Lacey, who shared the recipe with me!



Mmm! It is looking good already! 


Put the dough in a 9x13 pan.  I actually prefer a shiny aluminum pan over glass, 
but I couldn't find any of mine! And...If I wasn't pregnant I would definitely have eaten a spoonful by now!


Spread the dough out evenly.  Usually at this point I sprinkle more coconut, and both kinds of chips over the top.  But...I must have gotten interrupted because I completely forgot and put them in the oven!  


I was a little sad when I pulled them out of the oven and realized I forgot the extra toppings!  But there was no reversing it!  Oh well....live and learn! (They were still very tasty!) 

 These were baked a minute or two too long. (Probably another distraction!) Glass bakes hotter on the edges. That is why I prefer a shiny aluminum pan.  They seem to bake more evenly.  I guess if you like crunchier edges these would be great for you, but I am sort of a soft under-baked cookie lover! (Believe me when I say I most certainly enjoyed them though!)


TAHITI SWEETIES

1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup cashews, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chips
 (I do a heaping cup)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
(I do a heaping cup with these too)

extra coconut, chocolate and white chocolate chips for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar and butter until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla to mixture and mix well.  Take the flour mixture and fold into wet ingredients until combined.

Fold in coconut, cashews, chocolate, and white chips into batter.  Try not to over mix.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out.  Top with extra coconut and chips.

Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.  Do not over bake!  Cool to room temperature before cutting.  (If you can wait that is!)


I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer for mixing up the batter for these.  I did not do the cashews this time.  Sometimes I do them, sometimes I don't.  They don't affect the flavor...they just add extra texture :)








Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Should I Continue?

 It has been many months since I blogged last!  Before I became a blogger, I didn't realize how much time blogging actually takes!  I am always trying out new recipes, and I love sharing them with others.  I stopped posting recipes though, because it felt like I only had a few people checking my blog.  And those few people didn't make comments very often!  If you have ever blogged, you know how nice it is to get some sort of feedback showing you, that indeed it is worthwhile for you to continue blogging!!  (And that there are actually live people that are seeing what you are writing!)

So, what I am getting at, is if you do check my blog and would like me to continue sharing and reviewing recipes, let me know! Post me a comment on here, or facebook, or become a follower :)

Happy New Year!

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