Saturday, January 30, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe is time consuming but the end result is worth it!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

8 baking potatoes, medium sized
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes with fork. Place directly on oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside. When potatoes are done, let them cool for ten minutes. Using a paring knife, cut off the skin in a canoe shape. Scoop out the potato and save the skins. Add all ingredients, leaving out 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 of the green onions, and 1/2 of the bacon, and mix with a hand blender to combine. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon if desired. Place back in oven and cook 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baked Chicken Cheese Enchiladas

I make this recipe all the time and it is one of my favorites. I typically use 10 inch tortillas and cover them with a simple cheese sauce made with milk, flour and cheese (about 2 cups of cheese, 1/4 cup flour, and 1 cup shredded cheddar). This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups salsa
2 cups grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup corn
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 scallions, thinly sliced
12 to 14 round 8 inch flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup of salsa. Stir in 1 cup of grated cheese. In a bowl toss together the chicken, corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese and stir to combine.

In a baking dish spread the remaining salsa on the bottom. Place about 1/3 cup of the filing on the tortillas, roll up and transfer to the dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Transfer to oven and cook 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Honey Wheat Bread

I'm constantly trying out new bread recipes since I make about two loaves every two weeks or so. This honey wheat bread is simple to make and tastes like bakery bread. I usually prefer a bread with more grains, but this is still great.

2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt and vegetable oil. Work in all purpose flour slowly. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place into a greased bowl, turning to coat dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for one hour until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Cover with cloth and let rise for an hour. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.


The first time I tried making fudge it was a disaster. I apparently did not allow the mixture to heat up as high and long as it should have been and the whole thing turned into a gross, sugary blob. After this failure, the husband bought a candy thermometer for me (which was a lifesaver), more ingredients, and I tried it again. It turned out perfect! I found this recipe on the Carnation Evaporated Milk label.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter/margarine
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in a medium saucepan Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. The fudge should ready 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, morsels, and vanilla. Stir for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan, refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan, remove foil. Cut into pieces.

Chicken Parmesan

The panko bread crumbs and olive oil make this Chicken Parm one of the best I've ever had. I made the tomato sauce from scratch but if you want to save some time then use premade sauce.

Recipe is from Bobby Flay

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 large eggs beaten with 2 tbsp water and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup pure olive oil
Tomato sauce, 24 oz jar
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breast in flour and tap off excess. Dip in egg and let excess drip off. then dredge both sides in the bread crumbs. Divide the oil between two large saute pans and heat until almost smoking. Add two chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about two minutes per side. Transfer to a baking pan and top each breast with sauce, mozzarella, salt and pepper, and Parmesan. Bake in the oven until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Parmesan Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken and this recipe is great. The oil makes the outside of the chicken crispy and very tasty!

4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 egg
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and basil. In another bowl, beat the egg. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with crumb mixture. In a large skillet brown chicken in butter and oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tequila Touchdown

Martha Stewart has a ton of great drink recipes. Who knew?

2 cups orange juice
1 cup tequila
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 oz grenadine
Ice, for serving
3 cups club soda

Pour orange juice, tequila, and lemon juice into a large pitcher. Add grenadine. Divide mixture among 8 ice filled glasses and top off each with club soda. Stir and serve.

Hot Spinach Dip

Mmmm, this dip is a great snack! Serve with water crackers and enjoy. This recipe is compliments of Martha Stewart.

2 tsp olive oil, plus more for baking dish
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cups milk
6 oz cream cheese
3 dashes Worcestershire
3 dashed hot sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven/large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, pressing to release all excess liquid. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Crab Cakes

I love going out to eat. I love it even more when the restaurants post recipes on their website. Cameron Mitchell does just that for all his restaurants. I have had crab cakes at Mitchell's many times and was so excited to see that they posted their recipe. My version turned out great, but I'll still go back to Mitchell's and have the original!

2lb crab
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp tabasco
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp scallions, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs, unseasoned
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients except crab and bread crumbs. Add crab and bread crumbs. Pat into cakes. Heat olive oil in a non-stick saute pan. Add crab cakes and sear until golden brown on both sides and cooked through in center.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is one of my favorite seafood dishes and this recipe is super tasty. I served this as an appetizer but it can also go well over pasta. I omitted the wine (I don't like foods cooked in wine, which is odd since I love to drink it!) and the parsley since I was out of it and it turned out great. I found this recipe on my favorite cooking site, The Food Network.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large shallot, diced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

In a large skillet melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan. Seat aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve.