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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Many Mini Chicken Casseroles

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Normally, I hate the word casserole. I make one exception.

My favorite food as a child was mom’s chicken casserole – mostly for the stove top topping, but the mushrooms are pretty good too!

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts (cooked. boiled or grilled is fine)
1 box of Stove Top chicken stuffing, prepared as directed
broccoli (frozen works fine)
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mushrooms (canned work well)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Shred the chicken and place in the bottom of casserole dish (or in my case, 7 mini casserole dishes). Mix together remaining ingredients (minus the stove top). Add half the soup mixture on top of chicken. Add broccoli and cover with remaining mixture. Top with stove top. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the stove top browns and the mixture is bubbly.

Enjoy! Yum. Talk about comfort food!

Pie Day!

July 20, 2011 2 comments

My office makes a pretty big deal out of birthdays. It’s always my favorite when someone comes to me to help plan (which is rare), and I get to suggest something that the honoree likes, but that I also love!

Pie!

This is my second time making pies for the July celebration. What’s more summer-like than pie?

Last night I hit the store for the few ingredients I needed (apples, cherry filling and pie crusts).

Don’t get me started on making pie crusts. I have about 12 square inches of counter space so I am not about to do it from scratch! And it was Martha herself that suggested to me once to use Pilsbury crusts. So I do.

Cherry pie is easy. Bring crust to room temperature, pour in two cans of filling, put crust on top and crimp edges. Done. Bake following the directions on the can.

But I wanted it to be special so I used my paring knife to write Happy Birthday to the honorees. It’s not easy. And I should have made “Happy” bigger because the crust cracked right through the word. but it comes out cool when the red filling bubbles up through the holes!

Next was apple. My right hand is still a little cramped from peeling and slicing 6 apples. I must be out of practice. Then I added a cup of sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and a dash of cloves to the apples. I let them sit for about 30+ minutes until they became nice and juicy and gooey. This filling is the best one I’ve ever made, I think. It was amazing. Just look how shiny the goo is!

After filling the crust and crimping and cutting vents, I baked at 450 for about 40 minutes. You know they’re done when the crusts are the perfect color.

Now I can’t wait until we get to eat them in two hours…

Life is like…

I do not love summer…but I do love me some cherries!

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Birthday/Anniverary Dinner – Strawberry Basil Lentil Salad and Filet Mignon

June 1, 2011 1 comment

First off, thank you readers! My little blog has surpassed 10,000 views this week! Wow!

Yesterday I finally cooked a real meal again. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I did something other than boil pasta or throw some meat and veggies on the Foreman grill.

For Charles’ birthday, I promised him a home cooked dinner (AND I’d do the dishes. That was almost more exciting to him than the dinner!).

I had actually planned to make this last Thursday, but at the last minute he decided we should go out. A couple weeks ago Lauren posted this recipe to her blog and Charles saw it and thought it looked good. I was surprised. Given that he hates lima beans and quinoa, I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about lentils.

And I was right. He told me I undercooked them. I told them they were supposed to be a sort of meaty texture! I think he would have cooked the hell out of them if I let him!

I followed Lauren’s recipe to a T, except for the tuna. My grocery store doesn’t carry fresh fish, and I didn’t want to risk it with something frozen. So I went for a nice juicy steak to grill instead. Yum!

I can’t serve Charles a plate that doesn’t have something green on it. I meant to sautee some spinach and use it as a bed for the salad, but I forgot to get spinach. It would have been great though. Thankfully, I had grilled eggplant from TJs in the freezer to save the day. And a fresh loaf of challah, it doesn’t get any better.

Charles and I both thought the best part was the balsamic reduction. I think I could eat a shoe if it was coated in that.

The strawberries and basil make a perfect summery salad. And we both felt good for eating something so healthy!

Cousin Kathy’s Irish Soda Bread

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I had really hoped to bake this last night to have photos to provide for you, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling like it. Hopefully I will get to have some this weekend when I go home to see Mom and I can add a photo of it then. She makes it better anyway. But I can assure you, it’s delicious!

I’m fairly sure this recipe came from Cousin Kathy (whose quiche I featured last year). If it wasn’t Kathy, it was someone in her family for sure! Since I don’t have a photo of the bread, I’ll share one of Cousin Kathy (dancing with her brother Danny).

This bread is best if it’s made in a large cast iron skillet. Something about the skillet gives the bread an amazing crust.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tsps baking powder (note – it’s POWDER, not soda, even though it’s called “soda” bread. yeah. this confuses me)
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins (pour boiling water over them and soak until plump)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter or oleo

Sift dry ingredients. Add the rest and blend with a fork. The dough will be moist.

Grease and flour a skillet (or cake or loaf pans if you must).

Flour your hands and loosen the batter from the sides of the bowel. It will be stiff. Pour it into your skillet or two small loaf pans. Brush the top with milk.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes (less time if you use smaller pans).

I can already taste the caraway seeds!

Traditionally, this bread is served with apples and cheddar. However, I prefer plain Kerrygold butter. Yum!

Pi Day

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

In honor of Pi day, I will voice a resolution.

Now that I’ve mastered peeling an apple without breaking the skin, I need to learn how to make pretty pie crusts like my mom (to the right). Not like these.

The world’s biggest Cadbury Creme Egg

March 10, 2011 9 comments

A couple years ago when my dad was sick, my sister and I decided to FINALLY create something from Pimp that Snack for him.  His favorite Easter treat had always been Cadbury eggs. Perfect, right?

First of all, while they call their egg the “Creme de la Creme,” I’ll go with “world’s biggest” for ours. Our mold was significantly bigger.

The ingredients are simple enough (for what seems like a complex treat):

1.5 kg of Cadburys Milk Chocolate
3lbs of granulated sugar
2 x 140 g bottles of liquid glucose (or corn syrup)
vanilla extract
red food colouring
yellow food colouring

Being that we’re not in Great Britain, milk chocolate was hard to find. I looked EVERYWHERE for dairy milk and couldn’t find it. My brother in law told us to just use hershey’s chips…BLASPHEMY!  Then it would be a hershey’s creme egg. Not a Cadbury one.

I finally found a World Market that had several cases of Flake bars. Close enough, right?

Well, the taste was right…but whatever it is that makes them “flake” also keeps them from melting. So while breaking $50 worth of flake into tiny peices and mixing in milk while melthing…my sister and I got rather sick of Flake.

You’d also think it would be easy to find an egg mold the week of Easter. You would also be wrong. We finally found ONE available in a candy store.

We spent hours stirring, melting, brushing, etc. It’s not as easy as it seems! (and we’d made candy in the past)

Next up, was the filling. Let me preface this by saying this was the first time my cousin’s boyfriend (now fiance) was meeting the family. He met us over a pot of boiling white goo. A pot of goo so gooey, we girls were too weak to handle the necessary stirring!

Thankfully, he was able to handle it while two or three of us held the pot down.

Once he got it stirred and out of the pot (and licked all our utensils!), we made our “yolk” with food coloring, and set about filling the chocolate shells.

(Note to self: I think I need to return to that haircut!)

It was a sticky job and involved some finger licking at the end, but someone had to do it!

Then, we attempted the magic. We put the molds in the refrigerator, the freezer, anything to help them “set.”

Damn Flake. It doesn’t set.

We ended up serving Dad two open-face halves of a Cadbury egg, but it was still the most amazing thing ever!

We all grabbed spoons and had at it, until we couldn’t have anything more. I also remember figuring out the Weight Watcher points the thing included. Trust me. You don’t want to know.