Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This reminds me of the girls. It reminds me of showers for babies, showers for brides, and times when the girls get together. I think we eat this about every time I see my cousins for a special event. I love when there is a family recipe that is never overdone. No mater how many times you eat this it never gets old.

I love that I have a go to salad when I am invited to showers, parties, or friendly gatherings. I know that if I make this people will try to find out who made it so they can get the recipe. This salad is that salad. Not only is is delicious, but it is EASY! Yes, delicious and easy. What more can you ask for.

1 pound bag spinach
1-2 heads leaf lettuce
1 pint fresh strawberries sliced and/or Mandarin oranges.
1 large egg white
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds or pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest (grated orange peel)

*Beat egg whites until frothy. Dip almonds in egg whites. Mix sugar and orange zest. Dip almonds in mixture. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir and bake for 5 more minutes.

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp dry minced onion
1/4 cup canola oil

Toss greens, Garnish with strawberries and almonds on top. Pour dressing on just before serving.

*I sometimes don't have the time to do the almonds the way it says. Instead I put the almonds and sugar in a pan and heat on medium heat until the sugar melts and the almonds start to brown. It takes about 10 minutes. It seems like it will never change and then it changes really fast. Make sure you stir constantly. Enjoy!

Smitty's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

My mom made a cookbook a few years back that she gave us all for Christmas. It really is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. I dare say it is my favorite. There is a standing joke in my family about the title of this cookie. I made these cookies all the time. I introduced my family to this recipe. Which in my world means the recipe gets your name in it. My brother Smitty made these cookies a couple of times. I do have to say that he rocks this cookie. The funny part to me though it that when my mom put it in her amazing cookbook she named them "Smitty's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies." I was a little irritated in a playful way of course. As I looked through the whole cookbook I realized my name did not get to grace a single title. Best part though, one of my good friends got her name in the cookbook. WHATEVER! You know I love you, Mom. I just think this is now a funny story. It is certainly one that I had to put on this blog.

Back to the cookie. These cookies are YUMMY! I love to give these to my neighbors because I know everyone will love them. So try these out because they are scrumdiddleumptious.

Cream together:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (Measure and then put small amounts in a blender and blend until it is powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix the dry ingredients with the creamed mixture and add:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped up sympathy candy-bar (optional)

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make golf ball size cookies. Place 2 inches apart and bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Makes about 50 cookies. Recipe is very easy to double.
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Dry blended ingredients.

My good friend Alma always is so thoughtful in the gifts that she gives. She knows how much I love to make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. One of the steps is to blend the oats. She realized that you could use a coffee grinder to do it instead. This little thing is so handy. I would much rather get this out then the blender. Thanks for the gift and awesome tip.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Steak Fajitas

Jeron is convinced that I have a little Latino in me. I love Mexican food. Granted this is my Americanized version of Fajitas. I use to make these when I lived in my first apartment. They were easy and not to expensive for a yummy meal.

I remember when I lived with my grandma I made these one night for her. She kept yelling into the kitchen saying "What is that smell? I don't think I will eat dinner tonight." I just laughed and kept making my yummy dinner. When I brought it out to her she very hesitantly ate a bite. She then said "Who knew you could cook!" It made me laugh. She loved to tease me and this is a fond memory I have of the days I lived with her.

1 pound Top Sirloin strips
1 large green pepper sliced
1 large red pepper sliced
1 medium onion sliced
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed oregano
1/4 cup water (dry climates only)
2 tsp. lime juice (optional)

Sour Cream
Salsa or diced tomatoes
Colby Jack cheese

In a fry pan heat oil. Cook peppers, and onion on medium high heat until tender. Stirring constantly. Set aside on a plate. In the same fry pan cook the beef. I cook it on medium heat until it is cooked through. Then add black pepper, chili pepper, cumin, garlic powder, crushed oregano, water, and lime juice. Simmer this all together with the meat. Then turn up your heat and sear the meat on one side. This will give it a smoked taste. Mmmmm Return veggies to the skillet and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Place in a tortilla and top with your favorite toppings. Wrap up. Enjoy! Serve with Spanish rice, beans, lettuce.

Artichoke Chicken

This is a new family favorite. My mom started making this a few years back and it fast became one of my favorite dishes. My sister thinks it taste like Christmas. Rosemary or thyme both kind of have a Christmas feel to them. Jeron didn't think he would like this one. He was very apprehensive about it, but what do ya know, he loves it.

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
2 T butter
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
8 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup liquid reserve from cooking chicken
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and some to sprinkle over the top.

Saute mushrooms in butter and set aside. Place chicken breasts in a pan. Pour chicken broth over top and simmer for 20 minutes. While chicken is cooking combine butter, flour, salt, pepper, and rosemary over low heat. Add half and half and reserved liquid from chicken. Stir in cheese. Arrange breasts in buttered pan. Top each piece with artichoke hearts. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle on the mushrooms and more cheese over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You can serve over rice. I enjoy it just as is with no rice. Enjoy!

Monday, 15 February 2010

No-Bake Cookies

I don't think these were ever made in my home growing up, but I do remember when they were on the menu for school lunch and I would get so excited. They were called Haystacks in school. I loved them. I would always try to find a way to get more than one. Who knew these cookies were so easy to make. Even in elementary I could have made these just fine.

When I got married Jeron would talk about these cookies that his sisters would make all the time called No-Bake cookies. I thought that it would be some weird cookie if you didn't bake them. Little did I know he was talking about my childhood favorite school treat. It wasn't until our neighbors brought us a plate of cookies a couple of years ago that we put two and two together. Jeron said "these are no bake cookies," at the same time I was saying these are "Haystacks". We had a good laugh about it. Dorks, I know. We were just both so excited that we now could make our old yummy favorite.

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick oats

In a medium sauce pan combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for at least one minute. In a mixing bowl add salt, peanut butter, and quick oats. Add vanilla to the cocoa sauce once you remove it from the heat. Add the cocoa sauce to the oats mixture. stir together.

On a sheet of wax paper drop a heaping tablespoon of the cookies onto the paper. It makes about 20-25 cookies. Let them cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Chicken Mushroom Rockwell

Okay, so this is simply a new recipe for me. There is no cute story to go with it. Okay, maybe there is a story, maybe not a cute one, but a story non the less. Last night, I was reading my comments on this blog. I have never had comments on this blog before so I was rather excited. I found out that not only did I have one but I had four comments.

I started this blog for two reasons. One was that my sister and sister in law live away. We like to exchange recipes, and I thought rather then send it in an email why not have it down forever. The second reason I did this is because I really thought that I could do something I really enjoy (taking pictures and cooking) and start a hobby. So when I saw that other people were actually using it I was blown away. I have been in a cooking rut so thanks to those four comments, my desire to cook is in full swing. Thanks for showing me the love!!

Puff Pastry crust (Pepperidge Farm)
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 T butter
4 T minced green onions
2 Cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper
8 slices of mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt

Flatten chicken breasts with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Cook chicken on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Don't cook your chicken too much. You want it to be able to fold.

Prepare filling by melting butter in a heavy frying pan. Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic, and saute until onions are tender. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper. Place a heaping tablespoon of the mushroom mixture on each chicken breast, and mozzarella cheese slice. Roll up, and tuck in ends. Roll out pastry sheet cut into fourths. Place each breast on one of the pastry squares, and fold over the chicken. Beat the egg and salt together. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg mixture. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 8 servings. Enjoy!