Wednesday, April 2, 2014

butternut squash soup


Just a slight variation from an AllRecipes.com recipe*, shared with me via our good friend Missy. Hooray for Bountiful Baskets and the yummy new recipes they encourage! 



RECIPE: Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
2 butternut squashes, peel + chop
8 c water
1/2 cube butter
3 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp chicken bullion
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz cream cheese (1 pkg)
1 c milk
Gruyère cheese (opt)

Directions:
Peel and chop the butternut squash. Put it in a large pot. Add water, butter and all herbs/spices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Boil/simmer for 20 min or until the squash is tender.

Carefully purée in a blender (it's hot) with the cream cheese. Pour back into pot and add milk. Serve warm and top with shredded Gruyère cheese. Yum!

*Original recipe here: http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/12974/butternut-squash-soup?ast=butternut+squash+soup&asas=Mobile+Home+Page&asat=Quick+Search&ase=event10%2Cevent8

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Asian Sesame Chicken


We were thiiiis close to ordering Chinese. But I was strong and whipped this up instead. It was super quick and super easy - and way cheaper than delivery! AND it was well received! Yay! 



RECIPE: Asian Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:
2 lb chicken breast (ish)
Asian Toasted Sesame dressing (half bottle?)
Sesame seeds (2 Tbsp?)
S&P

Directions:
Heat a cast iron skillet to med-high (8?) heat. Squirt a bit of dressing/sauce in the skillet (as you would oil) then add chicken breasts. Season a bit (easy on the salt). Let one side sear then do the other. Reduce heat (6?), add more sauce, stir to coat, cover. After a few minutes, cut up chicken (not cooked through yet) into chunks. Coat with more sauce and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through and adequately glazed. Throw some sesame seeds on top and remove from heat. Serve over rice, with a side of veggies!

Friday, February 7, 2014

cooking tip: quick brownies

Do you love brownies but hate waiting the 30+ minutes for them to bake?? Well, we did. So we tried something new (that may be common practice in most households but was a novel concept in ours): bake them on a cookie sheet*! Using a standard box of brownies, prepared as directed, this reduces the baking time to a mere 15 minutes**! Not bad, eh? We love them! The only problem? You feel like much more of a pig eating half the pan! :)

* Be sure to use one with a raised edge!
** Still at 350F.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pinoli Pasta Bake


This is our knock off of a delicious pasta they used to serve at Firehouse, one of our favorite local eats. Derek especially loved it and would get it almost all the time. We thought we'd give it a go and try our own version. It wasn't quite the same, but it was pretty close- and quite tasty! (I think their tomatoes are better- see Note#2.) Still, this version was a major hit with the whole family! We will definitely be making this again!


RECIPE: Pinoli Pasta Bake

Ingredients:
2 oz raw pine nuts
8 oz trumpet/twists pasta
1/3 c (?) fresh basil, cut into strips
4 oz sundried tomatoes (in oil), chopped*
1/3 - 1/2 lb fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut up 
1/2 c Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
Balsamic vinegar 

Note: I used 1/2 a bag of pine nuts, 1/2 pkg pasta, 1/2 lil jar of sundried tomatoes...etc. Basically eyeball it. This is a to-taste kind of recipe.

Note #2: Firehouse uses "roasted marinated tomatoes," and they're amazing. We'll have to try that sometime!

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Put a med pot of water (salted) on to boil. 

Line a baking dish (8x8ish) with foil and sprinkle pine nuts on/in it. Toss in the oven (keep an eye on these, and stir every couple of minutes) until lightly toasted, about 5-6 minutes. Remove foil and nuts. 

Once water is boiling, cook pasta -- only for 8ish minutes, though. It'll cook further in the oven. Drain.

Combine pasta, basil, tomatoes, now-roasted pine nuts and sauce/dressing in an 8x8ish baking dish. Top with fresh mozzarella. Bake at 350F until cheese is melted.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quick & Easy Green Chili Enchiladas


We came home from church today hungry and impatient. I saw the green chili enchilada sauce (Hatch brand, of course) in the cupboard and suggested smothered bean burritos. Somehow that involved quickly into a super quick (and surprisingly delicious) green chili enchilada. The whole family really enjoyed it; even my critical kidlets were singing its praises and asking for seconds! Yum. Here's how we did it...



RECIPE: Quick & Easy Green Chili Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS:
1 can cream of chicken
1 can chicken breast (it's cooked already)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can diced green chilis (Hatch)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 can green chili enchilada sauce (Hatch)
6 flour tortillas, warmed

DIRECTIONS:
Dump the cream of chicken, chicken, beans, chilis, 1/2 the cheese and a bit of the enchilada sauce (1/3 maybe) into a medium bowl. Mix well. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring mid-way. 

Pour a little of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8x10 baking dish (to grease the pan, sorta). Fill the dish with rolled enchiladas (about 2-3 spoonfuls of chicken mixture inside a tortilla, rolled into a burrito, repeat), all in a line. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes (or if you're super impatient like as were, just broil on high... it was really good this way too) until the cheese is melted and bubbly and brown. 

And that's it! Easy peasy! Next step: dig in!

Friday, December 6, 2013

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies


RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 c pumpkin puree
1 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1 egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c (1 pkg) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Mix all ingredients until well-incorporated (usually wet first, mix, then add dry, mix, then add choc chips). Bake on a cookie sheet or stone at 350F for 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the very best banana bread muffins

 

This recipe came from Pam of For the Love of Cooking, who got it originally from Shelley from AllRecipes. I basically followed Pam's recipe, but I was generous with my spice measurements and lazy in my preparation (and I made muffins instead of loaves). Still, they turned out AMAZING!! Seriously, my favorite banana bread recipe so far! Buttery and moist without being too dense or greasy... fantastic rising... perfection. I will definitely be making these again...and soon!


RECIPE: The Very Best Banana Bread Muffins


Ingredients:
1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c (packed) brown sugar
2 eggs
4 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease your muffin tin(s). In a large bowl {or Kitchenaid mixer!} beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, bananas, and vanilla until creamy. Then add the dry ingredients and mix (don't over mix). Pour/spoon the batter into your muffin tin(s). Bake for 25ish minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!



** Links to original recipe(s):
http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2011/02/banana-banana-bread.html
http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/20144/banana-banana-bread