Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lemon Herb Chicken Bake

I have been so busy lately that what I have been thinking about for meals are things I can put in one pan and run.... this is what I came up with and it was yum. I totally loved this. It is WAY easy, a no brainer. Sorry for the title, I am not in a very creative mood...

6-7 chicken breast thawed and trimmed
5-6 med red potatoes - quartered
1 C peas (frozen)

In a sauce pan combine the following and let simmer for 3-5 minutes
1/4 C butter
3 Tbl lemon juice
3 Tbl minced dried onion
1 Tbl Rosemary blend spice
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2+ tea lemon pepper
1 tea sugar
2/3 Cup 1/2&1/2

Sprinkle on right before baking
1/2 C fresh Parmesan cheese

Place chicken in baking dish, cover with red potatoes and peas and pour sauce over the chicken and vegetables and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered 400 approximately 40 minutes until bubbly and potatoes are browning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Southwestern Lasagna

Southwestern egg rolls... lasagna style! Totally loved this!!! This is one to add to my SUPER FAVES for sure!

8 small flour tortillas
3-4 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (see tip here)
1/2 sweet onion (see tip here)
1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
1 sm can diced green chilies (I puree these for the kids)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 C frozen corn
1 Can black beans
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 C water (as needed)
1/4 or less chopped cilantro (to taste for garnish)
3 C monterrey jack cheese - grated

Combine cooked chicken, onions, Rotel, green chilies and spices into a pan and saute. Let simmer until slightly bubbly. Then add corn, black beans and water if necessary to obtain a ever so slightly soupy consistency.

Lightly grease baking dish. Layer 2-3 tortillas on the bottom, cutting one in half if necessary to relatively cover the bottom of your pan. Scoop 1/2 chicken mixture on top of tortillas then with 1/2 monterrey jack cheese. REPEAT (tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese. Then with a pizza cutter slice 2 tortillas into little triangles, place on top of casserole and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with guacamole and sour cream or ranch dressing.

Preheat oven 350, bake 20 minutes covered and approx 20-30 more minutes uncovered.


Time Saving Cooking Tips

Buy a Extra Bag
When I am at Costco I like to buy an extra bag of chicken. Whne I get home I throw its entire contents in a large stock pot and boil the chicken. When it is cooked I remove it from the water, trim it, shred it and season it, then place it in Ziploc baggies to be placed in the freezer in 3-4 breast increments. I can not tell you how many times I have wanted to give myself a big hug for doing this. On days where I do not have very much time (most days), or an just tired (most days) I can whip something together. This is what I did today and was grateful I made the effort to do that in advance.

When onions are a good deal at the grocery store or if I just need a good cry, I will buy a big bag of sweet onions and come home and shred them all in my Cuisinart (food processor). I then bag them in 1/2 C to 1 C increments and freeze them. I LOVE THIS! I can kill two birds with one stone, kids love the flavor that onions bring and they cannot see them when they are shredded AND some days... I am not very motivated or have the time to finely chop an onion. It is ready when I want to throw it in to soups, sauces, or casseroles... This is a no brainer

Lemon Herb Rice

1 quart chicken stock
3 Tbl olive oil
1 C white rice
1/4 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 C chopped parsley
1 Tbl minced rosemary
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 C grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a medium sized frying pan heat oil until shimmering, add the rice and stir to coat. Gradually add a little chicken stock, stirring with a wooden spoon, until rice mixture leaves a clean trail in the pan after stirring, then add a little more stock. Continue that process until rice is thick and creamy and yields to a tender bite. Stir in herbs, lemon extract, 1/4 C Parmesan and the remaining stock to make a creamy consistency. Garnish with fresh chives and 1/4 C fresh Parmesan cheese.

Wonderfully served with grilled herb chicken.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cherry Almond Sugar Cookie

Some recipes I am reluctant to share... because they are SO good. This is one of those.We did these great cookies for a RS Visiting Teaching Conference and gave them as a gift to the sisters wrapped with ribbon in a cute cellophane bag and a quote. They turned out really good if I can say so myself :)

1 C Butter room temp (* see note)
1 C Sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 + tsp Mexican vanilla (**)
1/4 + tsp almond extract - high quality
4 C flour

Cream all liquids, add flour, do not over mix. Dough will be sticky. Roll out 1/2 inch thick on floured counter space and with cookie cutter cut in any shape you desire. Bake 375 for 9 minutes. These are intended to be thick gourmet cookies. You can roll them thinner if you would like, personally I prefer a big chunky cookie, then I can get away with heaping the frosting in them. Wait until cookies have cooled before piping frosting and best served chilled.

1 (+/-) bag of powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter - room temperature
1 1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla (**)
1/2 C milk
1/3 C pureed maraschino cherries with juices
1/2 tsp almond extract

(*) can also substitute with butter flavored shortening
(**) I am sorry here.... real vanilla is a must! If you do not have it, it is worth finding.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cookies

These are wonderful and wonderfully easy cookies. Perfect for fall days ahead. Bonus there are low fat.

1 box spice cake mix
1 reg, size can pumpkin
2 Tbl water
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1/2 Cup cinnamon chips (optional)
1/4 Cup white chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 Cup chocolate chips (optional)
* I did all three chips.

Mix it all together, scoop onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for approx 20 minutes (depends on size of scoops) or until barely golden.