Friday, February 27, 2009

Navajo Tacos

Fry Bread-
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 cups oil (for frying)
1lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes (diced)
Sour cream

In a large skillet cook ground beef with taco seasoning according to the package directions. Cover and keep warm. To make fry bread – in a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball. On floured surface kneed the dough until its smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes. Heat oil in a deep skillet (oil should be at least 1 ½” deep) to 365 degrees. Break off ¾ cup sized pieces of the dough and shape into round discs that are about ¼” in thickness. Make a thinner depressed area in the center. Fry the bread (1 piece at a time) in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Turn only once. Drain on paper towels. Top fry bread with toppings. (Makes 4 Servings)

* These are AMAZING! They have such a great texture. 1 recipe of the fry bread makes 4 fry breads. I think it's better to make them a little bit thicker so they are tender in the middle.
*The fry bread is awesome for dessert also with some butter and honey, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar. They are just a basic scone so they can go sweet or savory.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu Calzones

WOW!! These are my new FAVORITE!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 ounces each)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
8 thin slices deli ham
4 slices swiss cheese
Additional milk, optional

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil until hot. Season chicken with Season All (or whatever you like.) Place in skillet for ONLY 2-3 minutes on each side. You want the meat to be a little underdone because it will cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes later and you don't want it to dry out. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir into skillet. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cut pastry sheets in half widthwise. On one side of each half, place a chicken breast, 1/4 cup mushroom mixture, two ham slices and one cheese slice. Fold pastry over filling and seal edges. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of calzones with nonstick spray or brush with an egg wash to create a nice, crisp top if desired. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Yield: 4 calzones.
*These are not dry AT ALL and are completely delicious and in my opinion, they are WAY better than just plain old chicken cordon bleu!
*When making the sauce mixture, I tore up 1-2 piece of swiss cheese and let it melt into the sauce and it makes it so much more delicious...I would definitely recommend doing that.
*These turn out HUGE! I couldn't eat a whole one myself. If you want smaller portions, I would cut the chicken breasts in half after cooking them and do it that way. Or you can just cut the originals in half.
*Adapted from Taste of Home

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Alfredo Chicken Tortellini

1-1/2 cups frozen cheese tortellini
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 bacon strips, chopped
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove and drain in a paper towel. Add chicken to skillet with garlic. Cook till chicken is no longer pink. Add onion and red pepper; cook and stir until tender. In a small bowl, combine the soup, milk, sour cream and Parmesan cheese; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes. Drain tortellini; add to chicken mixture. Stir in broccoli; heat through.

*I used spinach tortellini from a box (not frozen), so that's why the picture actually looks kind of gross. I would recommend normal, but I couldn't find any in the store I was hoo.
*I added A LOT more cheese, cause I like things cheesy. I would do more like 1/4-1/2 cup.
*I also only had a green bell pepper in the fridge, so I used that, but I think the red would add SO much more color and be prettier.
*Next time, I might just use homemade alfredo sauce instead because I like things pretty rich...but this recipe was still delicious!
*Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sausage Penne

5 links Mild Italian Sausage (about 20 oz)
1 26-28oz jar spaghetti sauce of choice
1 can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bell pepper, julienne
1/2 onion, julienne
1 lb whole grain penne pasta

Heat 1T olive oil and 1/2 c water in large skillet. Add sausage links, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and let rest. In the meantime, boil a pot of water for the pasta and cook till al dente. Deglaze the skillet used to cook sausage with a little water, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove all delicious bits. Add 1T olive oil to pan and add bell pepper and onion and saute about 5 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes. Cut sausages 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick and add to sauce. Simmer another 10 or more minutes. Serve on top of penne pasta.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Molton Chocolate Cakes

OH MY GOSH! These are beyond heavenly and probably the easiest thing I've ever made!

2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
6 egg yolks
6 eggs
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour

Melt the chocolate and butter together. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and eggs then mix in the powdered sugar. Whisk this into the chocolate mixture then whisk in the flour. Fill 12 greased 4-ounce foil tins with the batter and refrigerate until ready to bake, or bake immediately. Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 5 to 6 minutes from cold, or 4 to 5 minutes from room temperature. Turn out of tins immediately onto the plate upside-down.
*From the Food Network
*I halved this recipe and don't have ramekins, so I just used a 12 muffin tin and used the middle six cups for a more even cook. I also lined the cups with butter and a cocoa dust instead of flour. They popped right out. I filled the cups to the top (they don't top the pan too much.) I also cooked them for about 10-11 minutes and they were PLEANTY molton! You can cook them more for less molton (the cake part is still incredibly moist), or less for more...whatever you like. I didn't have any ice cream, but I would recommend eating them with some vanilla. Also a white chocolate ganache would be AMAZING! You can really top them with whatever you like...chocolate, whipped cream, fresh fruit or pie filling, or powdered sugar. These are SUPER easy because they make a lot (12) and you can make the mixture early and put it in the fridge till you want to cook them and they are so fast to cook...they also look pretty gourmet (even though they are SUPER easy)!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mini Yellow Cupcakes with Sticky Chocolate Frosting

Yes...they're this sticky!
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup (plus a tad more) whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.With an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix to combine. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk in three batches, mixing for a few seconds after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix one final time. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until poufy but not brown. Cool before icing.
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Mix ingredients together in a small/medium saucepan. Melt ingredients over medium low heat, stirring gently. Icing is ready when all ingredients are melted and combined. Spoon warm icing over warm cupcakes, stirring icing to smooth after every third cupcake or so. Allow iced cupcakes to sit at least ten minutes before serving.
*From The Pioneer Woman
*The cupcakes weren't THAT moist or special, so next time I would just use a box yellow cake mix or a doctored box cake mix.
*I used 4 ounces Guittard chocolate chips (which are the ONLY kind I buy and they are the BEST!) and 2 ounces semi-sweet chips...Jami and I both agreed it was better than just the semi-sweet. The frosting is SOOOO good and it definitely is better than regular frosting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wedding Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
½ t almond extract
2 c flour
¼ t salt
1 c pecans chopped

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. In another bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans. Mix dough until it holds together. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool cookies for a few minutes and roll in powdered sugar several times until well coated. Makes about 3 dozen.

Spicy Mac and Cheese

1 lb macaroni noodles (4 c)
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 4oz can diced green chilies
1 c frozen corn
1 heaping cup pepper jack cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c heavy cream
olive oil
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta until al dente. In large skillet, add olive oil and saute onions, bell pepper, garlic and corn over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir. At the end, add 2 T butter and stir. Enjoy!

*I used a can of Mexicorn instead of frozen and it was great.
*I also used half and half instead of heavy cream and it was fine...not like it saves that many calories! It doesn't matter anyway...this is DELISH!!!
*You can also add diced grilled chicken.
*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sugar Cookies

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
6 c. flour (more if needed)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

In an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. In 2 batches, place in plastic wrap in a disc shape and chill for at least 2 hours for best results. Once chilled, roll and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350º F for 9 -11 minutes depending on how thick you cut your cookies. Remove and let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
½ c. butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4½ - 4¾ c. sifted powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in enough of remaining sugar to make frosting of spreading consistency. Yields 3 cups.
*For Chocolate cream cheese frosting: add ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder and reduce powdered sugar to 4¼ -4½ c.
*I usually half the recipe for both unless you are making a TON of cookies to give to people.
* Pictures courtesy of Jami and her SUPER nice camera!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


1 lb ground beef
15 piece package uncooked lasagna noodles
1 26-28 oz favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
Italian seasonings
seasoned salt
minced onion
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
4-6 oz asiago cheese (parmesan or romano can be substituted)
1 lb mozzerella cheese
1/2 c cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in skillet with Italian seasonings, seasoned salt and minced onion. Drain fat if needed. Add spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes. Heat through. In a bowl mix ricotta cheese and asiago. Put a layer of sauce in 9 by 13 pan. Then add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Add another layer of sauce and then a layer of ricotta mixture. Top with thin layer of mozzerella. Repeat layers 2 or 3 times (depending on how many noodles you have.) Top with mozzerella cheese and cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

*I usually add a little cheddar in every layer, but I like the tang of should try it too.
*If you like your lasagna saucier, add more spaghetti sauce to ground beef, or a few cans of tomato sauce.
* I would advise NOT to substitute for asiago cheese because it makes it AMAZING!

Friday, February 13, 2009


For the pastry cream:
3/4 cup sugar
A pinch of salt
3 1/4 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the éclair dough:
1 cup water
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
For the topping:
1 tub favorite chocolate frosting or ganache
Yields: 16 3-inch éclairs

Make the pastry cream: In a medium saucepot over medium heat, combine the sugar, salt and 3 cups milk, and bring up to a bubble. While the milk is heating up, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch in a bowl and stir until completely dissolved. In another large bowl, break up the egg yolks and whisk them together.
Using a whisk, add the cornstarch mixture into the simmering milk and stir continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes (it's ok if the mixture boils lightly).
When the mixture has thickened up, slowly add a couple ladlefuls of the hot liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Add the egg yolk mixture back to the pot, return it to medium heat and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic down so that it covers the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Make the pastry: Preheat oven to 400ºF.
In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, combine water, butter, and salt. Heat until butter has melted and water is boiling.
Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Stir until mixture begins to create a dough ball in the center of the pot and dough is completely pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On low speed, add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well after each addition and beating until the bowl feels cool (the mixture should be very smooth and silky).
Transfer the mixture to a plastic food storage bag and cut a half-inch off of one corner to create a pastry bag. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, squeeze the mixture into desired shapes and bake until golden brown and puffed, about 40 minutes.
The pastries can be made a day or two ahead of time and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. If they feel soggy when you take them out, pop them into a 400ºF oven for a couple of minutes until they crisp up again. Allow them to cool before filling.
To assemble éclairs (they should be assembled the day of serving): Give the pastry cream a stir to break it up and smooth it out then transfer it to a plastic food storage bag. Cut off about a quarter-inch from one corner to make a pastry bag.
Using a chopstick or the tip of a pair of scissors, poke a hole in one end of each baked pastry (they will be hollow on their don't worry about having to scrape anything out.) Squeeze the pastry cream into each opening, filling the pastries. To finish, top with frosting or ganache (if using ganache, you will need to refrigerate until chocolate is set up.
*I made mine too HUGE, so don't do that! It's better to have them small so that you can eat them in 2 or 3 (max) bites. Make sure when you are making the pastries, you cut the hole in the plastic bag pretty small, otherwise you will have a monster eclairs like me...although they were still TO DIE FOR!!!!! Also, don't be afraid of how long the directions are. They were SUPER easy to make and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
*From Rachael Ray

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/2 lb butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate. Drop the dough on a baking with a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These are EXCELLENT for making ice cream sandwiches also! Makes about 36 cookies.

* I halved the recipe and it made about 16 cookies and they turned out PERFECT! I also only had about 4 oz of white chocolate bars so I put in milk chocolate chips too and it was delicious.
* Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Monday, February 2, 2009


Sorry about the picture...the lighting in my kitchen struggles. And OH MY GOSH!!!! This is the BEST stuff I've ever eaten in my ENTIRE life!!!

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 small or 1/2 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Arborio rice
7 to 8 c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream
2 cups (total) grated Parmesan, Romano, and/or Asiago cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chopped chives

Heat oil and butter in large skillet, then add chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft. Dump in 1 pound dry Arborio rice, and stir to coat. Then add the broth, in 1-cup increments, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed (add one cup broth, stir until liquid is absorbed, then add another cup, etc.) This takes about 20-30 mintues. Rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite. After all liquid is absorbed, add cream, cheese, salt & pepper, and stir to combine. Stir in chives and serve immediately. THE BEST THING I'VE EVER HAD!!!!!!

*From The Pioneer Woman

Chicken Pillows

1-2 c cooked, diced or shredded chicken
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can crescent rolls
1/4 c parmesan cheese (can use romano or asiago)
1/2 cube butter, melted
Italian style bread crumbs
Mix chicken, parmesan cheese and cream cheese in bowl. Unroll crescent rolls. Place 1-2 T of mixture on the largest part of single crescent roll. Fold all around mixture and seal all openings. Dip in melted butter and then roll in bread crumbs. Place in small baking pan with edges touching. Sprinkle top with more parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Makes 8 pillows.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pizza Pinwheels

1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 T shredded asiago cheese or parmesan cheese
1/2 c sliced pepperoni, finely chopped
2-3 T pizza sauce
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, mix cheeses, pepperoni, and pizza sauce. Unroll dough; separate dough into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Spread each rectangle with about 3 tablespoons pepperoni mixture. Starting at shortest side, roll up each rectangle; pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 6 slices. Place, cut side down, 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg white. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with additional pizza sauce. Makes 24 pinwheels.

Sweet Sauteed Corn

2 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
½ c onion, diced
1 large bag frozen corn
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 T butter
3 T honey

Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute red and green bell pepper with the onion for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in corn, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and honey until well combined and melted through. Serve warm.