Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crockpot Chicken Jambalaya

I've made this twice since we've been married. I made it for Daniel the first week back from our honeymoon and then we had our first dinner guests last night, my parents, and they requested it. This dish has all the right seasonings with it not being too hot. I did some adjusting with the ingredients but I'm sure it would be just as tasty as it's listed below.

I highly recommend this dish. It's sure to please.

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes (I only used 3)
  • 1/2 lb Kielbasa sausage, sliced (I used a whole pound)
  • 1 can 14oz tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (I used a whole pepper)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning

Put everything in the crockpot on low for 7 hours. Serve over rice with a side of corn bead and you'll have a delicious dinner! Depending on your crockpot size the time may vary. Mine is a decent size so I only cook it for 6 hours and it turned out perfect both times.

Serves 6

If Only I had Pictures...

...then I'd feel really good about myself. But I never have pictures. Oh well! This delicious cobbler I most recently made as payment to my grandparents for watching Charles. Grandma loves fruit cobblers.

Peach Cobbler from Sweet and Simple, Gooseberry Patch
4 c peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced (I use canned or frozen)
2 T butter
1 1/2 c sugar, divided (you do not need this much, trust me)
1/2 c milk
1/8 t salt
1 c flour
1 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
1/2 c water

Preheat oven to 350. Cover bottom of greased 9x9 baking pan with peaches. Cream butter 1/2 sugar, milk and salt together. Add flour, vanilla, and baking powder. Spread batter over peaches; sprinkle with remaining sugar (you REALLY don't need to use an entire cup of sugar here - I usually use about 1/2 c). Pour water over top. Bake until golden about 45-50 minutes.
Served best with vanilla ice cream, of course!

Look out! I'm on a roll!

I have made these two desserts recently and more than once. The biggest plus about these: they are easy! I love easy homemade desserts.

Cocoa Brownies from Good Housekeeping Favorite Recipes: Cookies!
Prep: 10 min
Bake: 25 minutes
1/2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 inch baking pan. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. While butter is melting combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Remove melted butter from heat. Stire in eggs, one at a time, until well-blended; add vanilla. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until blended. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until toothpick inserted 2 inches from center comes out almost clean about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Perfect Company Breakfast

Another winner from the La Leche League cookbook Whole Foods for the Whole Family. This morning I made this for Peter. It is super easy, super quick, and can easily be doctored up for company. Oh yeah, and it tastes pretty good, too!

Puffed Oven Pancake
3 T butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
Optional Additions:
1 t vanilla
3/4 t salt
dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450. Melt butter in 5 quart baking dish or any pan with 3 inch sides. Process eggs in blender for 1 minute; add milk, flour and optional ingredients. Process for 30 seconds. Pour batter into heated baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 10 minutes longer - or until puffed and edges are browned.
*Recipe may be reduced using 1 egg, 1/4 c milk, 1/4 c flour, and 1/2 T butter per person.
Also to fancy it up - arrange fruit slices (apples, strawberries, peaches, etc.) or berries in baking dish before pouring in the batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar before the end of baking, if desired.
Serve piping hot with syrup. Other suggestions: sugar and lemon juice, fresh fruit jam, or honey.

*I recommend that you do reduce this recipe as needed because just from looking at my leftovers I don't think they'd be very good. Also, I'm tempted to title this recipe Puffed Oven Egg-Pancake - because there is definitely an eggy taste to it. But it's still quite good - and SO easy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I FINALLY did it.

...And I'm doing it again!!

I used the recipe provided by Kristen, and made a batch of Strawberry Muffins!

Um, I did it last week (sorry), and I'm such a die-hard Lola-Granola that I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour. I just can't help it, I do it every time!


I also whipped up some cream with a dash of sugar and a splash of Gran Marnier, topped each muffin with a dollop of cream and a sliced up strawberry, and presto: Instant Strawberry Shortcake for dessert! (And oh, so delicious to have for breakfast...)

Thank you, Kristen!

Now, to experiment with cake-ness...AFTER I make another batch of those delicious muffins, for our weekend guests. (This is SUCH a great way to use up those last strawberries that are going soft...)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mourning Mint Cookies n Creme Cupcakes

We had to put my very old and very dearest kitty to sleep on Friday. She was my baby for 20 years, but she was ill and had a seizure. I've been really good about this no processed sugar thing I am doing, but this weekend, i'm dropping it as a sign of mourning. Just for the weekend. Mom found this recipe in a Good Housekeeping magazine. The recipe is technically for mini cupcakes, but we made regular sized ones. We cut the recipe in half and made 8 regular sized. We also cut the sugar in half.

Enjoy. Love you Tara (my kitty).

Cookies n' Cream Minis
Makes 36 mini cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 Oreos, crumbled (we used mint creme ones)

2 cups confectioners sugar (we used 1)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp vanilla*
Crushed cookies for on top
*I also added 1/4 tsp Creme de Menthe (alcoholic)

Heat oven to 350. Line 36 indents of mini muffin pans with paper liners or foil liners. In small bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl beat butter till smooth. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

On low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and sour cream into the butter mixture. Beginning and ending with flour. Add milk and vanilla; fold in cookie pieces.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Frost as desired, sprinkle with crushed cookies if desired.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spiced Apples

Spiced Apples
2 apples (or 3), peeled and cored
1 T butter
2 T white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Slice apples into wedges. In a skillet, heat the butter over med-high heat. Add apples. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cook stirring occasionally until just tender.

This is such a simple and delicious recipe. I had some apples that were less than tasty on their own, so I decided to spice them up a notch. The smell reminds me very much of fall and the Feast of the Hunter's Moon. In short, of home. I also have Annie's CD playing which always reminds me of fall.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It Will be a Strawberry SOMETHING


It is WAY to hot to even think about turning on the oven right now. I have a flat of strawberries, and I think I'm just going to make the granita over at Coconut and Lime, until this heat breaks. Or I break, whichever!


UPDATE: I made the granita. It was a HUGE hit as a dessert for our fish fry on Saturday afternoon! Then, on Sunday, we took our inner tubes and our ice chest and some friends, and went to float on a river nearby (we are so country...). (Which turned out to be a GREAT idea, since it was 105 degrees on Sunday, and the river was still kind of glacial. Aaaahhhh...) The leftover granita, despite the ice chest, was more of a slushy texture than a sorbet texture, but it was still a refreshing snack!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Strawberry Muffins - For Erin

Hey Erin,

So this is technically a muffin recipe, but I don't see why it cannot become a cake recipe with a little tweaking? I think you could just put a light powdered sugar dusting with sliced strawberries on it. enjoy!

Strawberry Muffins
yields 12 muffins

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (I think this could safely be cut to a half cup)
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add strawberries. Beat eggs, butter, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir.

Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with paper liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

place a sliced strawberry on top of each muffin after they have cooled.

Strawberry Cake?

Hello, everyone!

Just checking in to say I'm still around, just not too active in the kitchen. But I'm not COMPLETELY idle; I've joined one of my cousins in a search for a REAL strawberry cake! All the recipes we've come up with so far (on the internet and in cookbooks) call for MASHED berries, cake mix and/or gelatin. We were hoping that somewhere out there is a cake recipe with pieces of fresh, unmashed strawberry, that will be light, summery, and delicious! Has anyone else ever heard of such a thing? (This is the closest I've come so cake mix or gelatin, but the strawberries are still mashed...I'm contemplating trying it with slices instead of mash.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Made Dinner!!!!

I love, love, love dinners that I can put together at any time and then stick in the oven right before dinner time. These are especially helpful when dealing with morning sickness - which randomly strikes at odd moments. So I seized the moment this morning while I was feeling well, and I put these potatoes together. I'll stick 'em in the oven 20 minutes before Peter is due home and voila - dinner!

P.S. I didn't mean to chose to make dinner on the same day that Garby is asking for help and move her post down on the blog, so please if you have any ideas leave a comment for her in the previous post!!!

Stuffed Potatoes from Whole Food for the Whole Family
5 baked potatoes, hot from oven
1 c plain yogurt
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
3 T butter
2 T milk
2 T finely minced onion (optional)
1/2 t salt
dash of pepper
1/2 c (or so) of crumbled cooked bacon

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out centers, reserving shells. Beat potatoes in mixer bowl with yogurt, cheese, butter, milk, onion, seasonings, and bacon. Stuff reserved shells. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Garnish with paprika and/or parsley.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Vegetables for Lunch HELP!

Ok ladies,

I have come to the conclusion that I don't get enough vegetables. While they are usually prevelant at dinner at my house, I can't seem to incorporate them into the lunches I bring to work. I have salads at home for dinner often, so i'm not too keen to bring them to work. Sometimes I grab leftover asparagus or broccoli that's in tupperware, but i'm looking for some more creative ideas for veggies at work. Carrot stick/celery i've done, so if you have any new ideas send the my way.

I prefer: green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, sweet potato and broccoli. And uncooked spinach.