Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easy Cheesy Beer Bread

I made this bread for a soup supper for my teachers at school. It's great for dipping into soups, but it definitely has a strong beer taste.


Ingredients
2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar
12 oz. bottle of lager or stout
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan for baking. In large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine well. Add cheese and whisk to combine. Slowly add beer to dry ingredients and stir lightly until combined. Knead dough lightly until it just comes together. Place into prepared loaf pan and pour melted butter over top. Place in oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Recipe Source - http://goodthingscatered.blogspot.com/2008/09/easy-cheesy-beer-bread_16.html

Homemade Pizza Crust

I got this recipe off a blog a long time ago, and have seen it many places since, but I don't remember the original source. It's a great, easy crust.

Ingredients
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degress F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour


Directions
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix. Dump onto a floured surface. Knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so). Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan. Add some pizza sauce and your toppings. Bake at 450 degress F for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

Menu Plan Monday


Our Christmas break got off to a bit of a rough start. Corey woke up on Christmas Eve with a stomach bug. :( Needless to say, it wasn't a very enjoyable day and we had to miss Christmas Eve service at church, which is always one of my favorite services of the year. On the plus side, he woke up on Christmas day feeling better, so we still got to go visit my family and Eric's family. Now that we are back home, we are looking forward to a week of relaxing together. Eric has to go back to work this week, but Corey and I have one more week off school! Woo hoo! We plan to see a couple of movies, read some books, and just enjoy some time at home. Our menu this week is pretty simple. We're trying to avoid a trip to the grocery store, so we're relying on freezer items and pantry staples. For other menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com. We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Sunday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, Corn, Orange and Apple Slices
Monday - Mexican Gumbo, Oranges (didn't get to it last week due to illness)
Tuesday - Cheese Manicotti, Salad, Garlic Muffins (from the freezer) (didn't get to it last week due to illness)
Wednesday - Chili (from the freezer), Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Thursday - Homemade pizza, Salad
Friday - Bruschetta 'n Cheese stuffed Chicken breasts (suggested by my sister-in-law, Tanya), Green Beans Almondine
Saturday - BBQ Pork (from the freezer) Baked Potatoes, Salad, Peaches

Bruschetta 'n Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This recipe was pretty simple to make and looks very impressive. It is definitely a company-worthy dish. I took four large chicken breasts and split them half to make 8 thin breasts and avoided having to pound them thin. I also substituted Kraft Light Italian dressing for the one mentioned in the recipe because it was what I had on hand. I have an alternate, casserole-style version of this recipe listed at the end.

Ingredients
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cups Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stuffing Mix for Chicken
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lb.)
1/3 cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing


Directions
HEAT oven to 350°F. Mix tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheese and basil in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.



PLACE 2 chicken breasts in large freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Pound with meat mallet or side of heavy can until chicken is 1/4 inch thick. Remove from bag; place, top-sides down, on cutting board. Repeat with remaining chicken. Spread chicken with stuffing mixture. Starting at 1 narrow end, tightly roll up each breast. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with dressing.



BAKE 40 min. or until chicken is done (165°F). Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted.


Recipe Source - Kraft


OR


If you don't want to go to the hassle of pounding, stuffing, and rolling chicken breasts, you can make it casserole style with this recipe from the Stovetop website:


Bruschetta Chicken Bake


Ingredients:


1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg stuffing mix for chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chcken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 t dried basil leaves
1 c shredded mozarella cheese


Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, 1/2 cup hot water, and the garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.


2. Place chicken in 13x9 baking dish; sprinkle with basil and cheese. Top with the stuffing mixture.


3. Bake 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.


Makes 6 servings.

Green Beans Almondine

These are very tasty. I used frozen green beans that you steam in the bag and they worked great.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. Fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tsp. Butter
1/2 tsp. Shallot, minced
1 each Garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Toasted sliced almonds
3 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Blanch green beans in simmering, lightly salted water for 3 minutes or until slightly tender
yet firm. Remove green beans and immediately submerge in ice water to chill thoroughly.
This step halts the cooking process allowing vegetables to retain their crispness and color.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, sauté until
translucent. Add blanched green beans, almonds and optional bacon. Sauté for 3 - 4 minutes while stirring. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Transfer to a warm serving platter or bowl for service.
Yield: 4 - 6 Servings

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday




Well, I've been fighting a stupid cold all week, so this is going to be a short post. We're out of school for break, though, which is a great thing. I didn't get to a couple of recipes last week, so you'll see them repeated this week (I made one tonight). I do promise to get pictures added to the recipes this week.

As far as a family favorite holiday recipe goes, my son has really enjoyed making brownie lollipops. He even made some by himself for his girlfriend for Christmas.

Here's the menu for the week. We'll be traveling some, so friends will be staying at our house to take care of the dogs, and I have no idea what they will cook. ;) I'm going to enjoy having someone cook for me for a few days. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! For more menu ideas, go to orgjunkie.com.

Sunday - Herbed Chicken in Pastry, Brussels Sprouts, Peaches
Monday - Beef Porcupine Balls, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday - Mexican Gumbo, Oranges
Wednesday - Cheese Mannicotti, Salad, Rolls
Thursday - Eat at my mom’s house
Friday - Eat at Eric’s mom’s house
Saturday - Eat at Eric’s mom’s house

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Last week was a bit hectic for our family (which is not unusual), but on top of it all, I managed to catch a cold. I'm such a wimp about being sick. Anyway, this week shouldn't be too bad. Corey has a band concert on Tuesday, and Friday is our last of school before Christmas break. Woo hoo! They are predicting bad weather for this week. It's 60 degrees out right now, but supposedly the temperatures are supposed to drastically drop tonight, and we are under a winter weather advisory for sleet, freezing rain, and snow. They are forecasting this kind of weather all week, so we'll have to see what happens. I don't really want the weather to be bad enough that we would miss school, but there's always that part of you that can't help but root for the snow day. :)
I did a pretty good job with last week's menu (the only meal I didn't get to was the shrimp). The pork medallions were unbelievably good. They will definitely make it into the rotation. This week I have a couple of new recipes as well, so I will get photos up as soon as I make the meals. Here's this week's menu. For more menu ideas, see orgjunkie.com.
Sunday - Pot Roast, Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad
Monday - Bourbon chicken, Rice, Pea Pods
Tuesday - Eat out (band concert)
Wednesday - Herbed Chicken in Pastry, Brussels Sprouts, Peaches
Thursday - Pork Chops with Cranberry Balsamic Sauce, Rice, Broccoli
Friday - Beef Porcupine Balls, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Saturday - Eat at book club

Breakfast Bake

I had some Crescent Creations in the fridge that I needed to use, so I gave this recipe a try. It was really tasty and the family loved it. I didn't have a whole package of ham, so I added about 6 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped). It's great heated up the next day.



Ingredients
1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (I use Crescent Creations so I don't have to deal with perforations)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham, chopped
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 350oF. Unroll dough in 13x9-inch baking dish; press to cover bottom of dish, firmly pressing perforations and seams together to seal.
SPRINKLE ham over crust. Beat eggs, milk and pepper with wire whisk until blended; pour over ham. Sprinkle with cheeses.
BAKE 25 min. or until center is set.

Trim 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving by preparing with reduced-fat refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, fatfree milk, KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese and KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese.

Recipe Source - Kraft

Beef Porcupine Balls

These were a very tasty alternative to traditional porcupine meatballs made with regular rice. The Rice-a-Roni gives it a great flavor.

Ingredients
1 pkg. beef Rice-a-roni
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 c. hot water


Directions
Mix together ground beef, Rice-a-roni and egg. Shape into small balls. Brown on all sides in skillet. Combine contents of beef seasoning packet with hot water. Pour over meat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Thicken gravy if desired.

Pork Chops with Cranberry Balsamic Sauce

The picture doesn't do this recipe justice. It's very tasty. Even Corey ate it!


Ingredients:
4 boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick
Lemon pepper seasoning
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried cranberries OR dried cherries


Directions:
Season the pork with the lemon pepper. Cook the pork in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 20 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove the pork from the skillet and keep warm.


Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add the garlic and cook until it's tender. Stir the stock, vinegar and cranberries in the skillet and heat to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the remaining butter. Serve the pork with the sauce.


Recipe Source - Campbells

Herbed Chicken in Pastry

This was a wonderful recipe that looks very impressive, but it's so easy to make!




Ingredients
1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
Ground black pepper (optional)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
2 tbsp. butter
1 container (4 ounces) garlic & herb spreadable cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley




Directions
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it's easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Season the chicken with the black pepper, if desired. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate. Cover the plate and refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.



Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry
sheet into a 14-inch square. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 (7-inch)
squares. Spread about 2 tablespoons cheese spread in the center of each pastry square. Top each with 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 chicken breast. Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg mixture. Fold the corners of the pastry squares to the center over the chicken and press the edges to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.



Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastries are golden.



Recipe source - Pepperidge Farm

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


We had a nice week this week! I managed to cook everything on the menu, I had my colleagues over to our house for our faculty Christmas party, and I had an amazing Family Reading Night (over 500 people came!) and got to wear my princess dress (Thanks, Mom!)! Be sure to check out the pictures. :)
This week I have to teach a computer class, the boy has scouts, play practice, and a play performance, and we have the hubby's employees coming over for their Christmas party. The boys will be running the Jingle Bell 5K on Saturday. Lots of fun stuff. :)
Here's the menu for the week. The Pork Medallions recipe is a new one, and it was great! For more menu ideas go to orgjunkie.com.
Sunday - Pork Medallions with Cider Sauce, Mashed potatoes, Spinach
Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Pasta Carbonara, Salad
Wednesday - Easy Chicken Stuffing Skillet, Green Beans, Peaches
Thursday - Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Salad
Friday - Eat at party
Saturday - Leftover sliders from the freezer, French Fries

Hot Spiced Tea

There is actually no tea in this recipe. It is a great hot drink to make for a party or family gathering.



Ingredients
1 gallon water
1 ½ c sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
1 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate

Directions

Bring water, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves to a boil in a large pot. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. To the water and sugar mixture add the orange juice and lemonade. Stir and cool. Pour into containers and refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep in refrigerator for 1 week. Heat before serving.

Servings: 15

Pork Medallions with Cider Sauce

This recipe was absolutely amazing!The cider sauce is so flavorful and it really makes the dish.


Ingredients

1-1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 1" - thick medallions
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pepper

Directions

Cut the pork tenderloin into 1" - thick medallions.

Heat a nonstick skillet sprayed with no stick spray over medium-high heat. Sear the pork for 5 minutes on each side or until brown.

Add apple cider, wine and apple cider vinegar. This will deglaze the pan and release any brown bits stuck at the bottom. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove lid, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes more. Turn pork occasionally.

Transfer the pork to a plate and season with pepper. Tent with foil to keep warm.This part is very important. Simmer the liquids until reduced to 1/2 cup. The sauce should be thick and syrupy and should coat the back of a spoon. This could take 10 to 20 minutes depending on your stove and the size of the pan you are using. Do not over-reduce or it will scorch.



Recipe adapted from - Noble Pig

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