Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

This is such a yummy comfort food! Eat in moderation though, it is NOT fat free!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

3 lbs chicken pieces
1 (2/3 ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
4 tablespoons melted butter ( divided)
1 small onions, chopped
1 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (10 1/2 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place chicken pieces in crock pot and sprinkle Italian seasoning over chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan and saute onion and garlic. Add Cream of Chicken Soup, cream cheese, and chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Add this mixture to crock pot and cook on low for an additional hour. Serve over rice or noodles.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lemon Gelato

We had an Italian themed date night this last weekend. We all dressed up, and my husband made and served us bow tie lasagna. After the kiddos were in bed, we had this awesome lemon gelato as we watched Life is Beautiful. Such a good/sad movie! The gelato was rich, creamy, and very fresh. We loved it!

Lemon Gelato

    1 cup milk
    1 cup sugar
    5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
    3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
    3/4 cup lemon juice
    2 cups heavy whipping cream

    In a small heavy saucepan, heat milk to 175°; stir in sugar until
    dissolved. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks.
    Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Add lemon peel. Cook and
    stir over low heat until mixture reaches at least 160° and coats
    the back of a metal spoon.
    Remove from the heat; strain. Stir in lemon juice. Cool quickly by
    placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in
    cream. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
    Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according
    to manufacturer's directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until
    ready to freeze. Transfer to a freezer container; freeze for 2-4
    hours before serving. Yield: 1-1/2 quarts. 

Source: Taste of Home

Monday, October 17, 2011

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Oh my! These are to die for! We had the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over for dinner that night, and they said that they get served enchiladas a lot, but these were the best they had tasted! Now, I will never know if they say this to all the other people that serve them enchiladas, but I certainly agree with them.  

Honey Lime Enchiladas
3 1/2 tablespoons honey
Juice from 1 large lime
1/2 tablespoons chili powder (I put in a bit more)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (a bit more)

2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
4 flour tortillas
12 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 onion, cut into strips and caramelized
rice, to taste
beans, to taste
10 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it
marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on
the bottom of a 8x8 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and
shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of
enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and
leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with
cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on

Oh, and I also added some olives on the top for a garnish, but that was only because they had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed used...

Source: my friend, Lara M.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marshmallow/toffee/chocolate fondue

This is a mixture of about 3 recipes I found online. It was very rich, but very good! Again, I ate way too much...
1 c marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. heath bits
1/3c. heavy cream
1 tsp. almond extract

Melt about 90 mins in mini slow cooker or on the stove/microwave and keep warm. Serve with cake squares, cookies, marshmallows, fruit...the possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Non-alcoholic Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 T flour
1/8 t pepper

In a large saucepan, bring cider to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Toss the cheeses with flour and pepper; stir into cider. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. Transfer to a small ceramic fondue pot or slow cooker; keep warm. If it starts getting clumpy try adding more cider.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cheesy Pizza Fondue

We recently had a fondue night. It was a lot of fun! I can tell you right now, I at WAY too much!

Cheesy Pizza Fondue
1 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce
1 t Italian seasoning
about 10 pepperoni slices, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzerellla cheese tossed with about 1 T flour

Combine pizza sauce, Italian seasoning, and chopped pepperoni in a small saucepan. Warm sauce over medium heat. Add cheese and stir contiunously until melted, about 3-4 minutes. Keep warm in a mini crock pot or fondue pot.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cream of Celery Soup

I know...celery soup? What? That's what my husband thought anyway. I had some celery that needed used up quick. It wasn't just a couple sticks, it was almost a whole bunch. I remember seeing a Campbell's cream of celery soup, so I thought I'd try. I found this recipe on via Google recipe search.  It was actually pretty good! My husband was very skeptical going into it, but this was his response: "I was pleasantly surprised." He took some to work for lunches too, so he must have liked it.

Cream of Celery Soup
    1 lb fresh celery or celery root
    1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
    1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
    1/4 c. white wine vinegar mixed with 1/4 c. water and 1 Tbs. sugar(the original recipe called for 1/2 c. white wine)
    1 qt vegetable stock or chicken stock
    Kosher salt, to taste
    Ground white pepper, to taste
    I threw some cream of chicken soup in there because I wanted it a little thicker/creamier kind of as an after thought. If I had thought of it before, I would have made a roux and added it at the very end.

Cut celery into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick, depending on diameter. Don't worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the celery.

In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over low-to-medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously. Add the vinegar mixture and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.  Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the celery and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don't let them get mushy, though.

 Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary. (Please vent the don't want to have celery soup all over your kitchen because the heat makes the lid pop off...It happened to me...I was venting the lid, but not enough)
Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. (This is where I would add the roux, if doing it again.)

Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.

Garnish with a toasted crouton and serve right away.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cauliflower Soup

Please excuse my oh so fancy dinnerware...
Ah, it's Autumn time! That means it's time to start soup season! I love soup, but I just can't bring myself to make it often in our sweltering Iowa summers. However, during the frigid autumn and winter months, I could make it everyday! I recently tried this recipe and really liked it. I have only had cauliflower soup on other time, and I loved it! I still need to get that recipe, but this one came in pretty close to what I remember the other one tasting like.

Cauliflower Soup

    1 stick Butter, Divided
    ½ whole Onion, Finely Diced
    1 whole Carrot Finely Diced
    1 stalk Celery, Finely Diced
    1 whole (to 2 Whole) Cauliflower Heads (roughly Chopped)
    2 Tablespoons Fresh Or Dried Parsley (chopped)
    2 quarts Low-sodium Chicken Broth Or Stock
    6 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
    2 cups Whole Milk
    1 cup Half-and-half
    2 teaspoons To 4 Teaspoons Salt, To Taste
    1 cup (heaping) Sour Cream, Room Temperature

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.

Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.

Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

Serve immediately.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

General Tsao's Chicken

It was one of those nights. You know the ones, the time just slipped away from you, you realize your husband is going to be home in 30 minutes and you haven't even thought about making dinner. The kids are both screaming, one didn't get a nap, the other one...well, he just screams all the time. Then you go into panic mode. You need something quick and easy. (I'm assuming you know what I'm talking about...but if you don't just imagine that I wrote I's and me's in stead of you's.) Well, that's what it was like for me the other night. I found this recipe and I got it on the table in 25 minutes. And my husband didn't even know about the panic I had when I glanced at the clock at 5. For all he knew I could have been slaving all day on this meal. Yes, it was that good.

The only thing I did differently was I dredged the chicken in some flour and paprika before cooking it. I also added a little sesame seed oil as well as some sesame seeds.

General Tsao's Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp. peanut or canola oil
2 cloves garlic
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 servings cooked brown rice for serving

Combine garlic, chicken broth, corn starch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet, and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned. Pour in the broth mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked all the way through. (You may need to add a little more broth/water if it gets too thick.) Serve over brown rice with veggies on the side. (Or, you could always make it a stir fry and put the veggies in the sauce, your choice.)

Source: Spark way of Google Recipe search

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chicken Stroganoff

We really love pasta at our house. Like, really. Especially my husband. This was a nice hearty dish, and totally has "comfort food" written all over it! The original recipe calls for canned mushrooms, but I used raw/fresh mushrooms, it was so much better! So, if you can, use fresh mushrooms. I have made it both ways, and it was good with canned mushrooms too. :)

Chicken Stroganoff

4 bacon strips, diced
1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 med. onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (more or less depending on personal preference)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
Pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. all purpose flour
1 c. sour cream
Hot cooked noodles
Additional paprika, optional

In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Drain, and reserve two Tbs. drippings.

In the drippings, cook the chicken, onion, and mushrooms until the chicken is no longer pink, and the mushrooms are tender. Add the broth, garlic, salt, paprika, pepper, and bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine flour and sour cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over noddles. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home