Friday, October 30, 2009

Lady and Sons' Chicken in Wine Sauce

I am always looking for new recipes to make for dinner. I like variety and get bored of making the same thing over and over again. One day a couple of weeks ago I found a recipe on the food networks website. Of course every time I thought I had all the ingredients I realized I was missing one. So finally this week I had all the stuff I needed to make it.

Lady and Sons' Chicken in Wine Sauce
Paula Deen (Food Network)

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for casserole
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces (about 8 slices) Swiss cheese
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup herb-flavored stuffing mix, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the chicken to a shallow buttered casserole and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Layer the cheese slices on top.

In a medium bowl, add the soup and the wine, season with salt and pepper and pour over the cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter.* Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Review: I knew making a Paula Deen recipe wasn't going to be healthy for you but it tasted SO good. This is a great recipe to make during the week because the prep to table time goes really fast. You just layer everything in the pan put it in the oven and you are done. I just heated up some veggies and had leftover rice. Mike liked it a lot and thought it was a lot more work then it really was to make it. I think the Swiss cheese really does add a nice flavor to the dish. This recipe is defiantly a keeper...we ate it so fast that I did not have time to take a picture of the finished dish.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monster Toast

The other day Jacob came home from school with a "recipe" for Monster Toast. I thought it was a cute idea so we made some to go with our lunch. I was able to find the print out he got online. I have to get a paint brush that we can use with food. Then I will post some pictures of our creations. I was thinking of doing something with this for Halloween dinner but not sure what yet.

This recipe is taken from the book Kinder-Krunchies, Healthy Snack Recipes for Children by Karen S. Jenkins. This book is distributed exclusively by Discovery Toys.

Print Out and Have Fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Ravioli with Gorgonzola Sauce

Bake at 350

This month's theme for Bridget at 350's Flavor of the Month challenge was Pumpkin. I have a great pumpkin bread recipe, but decided to search for something different. For some reason I had raviolis on my brain. I think it's because while we were making wine (we decided to make Pinot Noir) the group at California Wine Works let us read a review regarding a Pinot Noir that was made at CWW. The person went on saying how great it was and that he was enjoying it while eating some mushroom raviolis. My mouth started watering, what could be better than wine and raviolis. So I started looking and came across a recipe for pumpkin raviolis. Perfect!! The funny thing was when I told Mike that I was going to make raviolis, he was like you remember what happened the last time. (He's referring to the time I tried making raviolis from scratch, dough and filling. To make a long and painful story short, we ended up going out for dinner that night). But I told him this recipe calls for wonton no dough making for me.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Gorgonzola Sauce

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
30 round
wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooking Spray
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Spoon pumpkin onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels, and spread to 1/2 inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl, stir in breadcrumbs,
Parmesan, salt, minced sage, pepper and nutmeg.

Working with 1
wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel), spoon 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into the center of wrapper. Brush edges with water and fold in half, pressing edges firmly. Place on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and pumpkin mixture.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a simmer. Add half of ravioli to pan and cook 4 minutes or until done. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon, lightly coat with cooking spray and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ravioli.

Combine milk and flour in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts. Gently stir in Gorgonzola.

Place ravioli on a plate or in a bowl and pour some sauce on top; sprinkle with walnuts.


My Review: This recipe was really easy to make and I'm definitely going to make it again. Mike even asked for seconds. Too bad I didn't have any left to give him. Oh and we did have wine with them...not a Pinot Noir, but a wine called 7 Deadly Zins. So Good!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have a problem...and it involves bread

My local supermarket sells their day old bread for at least half price. I think you know you have a problem when you bring home a bag full of this bread. I just go over there every time to see if they have anything good. Well this past time they had a lot of good stuff. Also they had this big round loaf of pumpernickel that just look too good to pass name is Michelle and I love day old bread.

The picture has nothing to do with day old bread but the other day it was so warm here that a ton of lady bugs came out. This was a great shot I got of one of them...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ham & Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl: Part 2

OK so I completed the bread bowl for this mean it was time to figure out what soup I was going to make to fill them. I just knew it has to be thick and creamy like clam chowder but I did not want to make clam chowder. So I did what I always do when I am looking for a recipe...I searched the Internet to see what I could find. The Ham & Potato soup is the number 1 soup on with over 2500+ review. How can you go wrong making a recipe that has been reviewed that many times.

Ham & Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Review: I now know why this had some many reviews because it is a very easy and very good soup. The best part is that it doesn't take that much time to make and will be great to make with leftover holiday ham. Mike really liked this soup and I think enjoyed eating out of a bread bowl. When I mentioned to him I was making the bread bowls this was the kind of soup he hoped I would make. The one is defiantly a keeper and since I used the milk I had I don't think it is as bad if you used whole milk or heavy cream. One thing I liked about the soup is that it really stayed hot and warmed your insides right up. A perfect soup for those cold winter nights that are coming our way!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ham & Potato Soup in a Bread Bowl: Part 1

Yesterday was just one of those gross...cold...wet days where you just want to crawl back into bed and wake up when it is nice and sunny. Well since I have two young kids that is not an option for me. I also knew that we were going to be staying home all day. I wanted a little project to break up the day because who looks forward to doing loads of laundry.

I had this one recipe on my list for a while now Artisan Bread Bowls from King Arthur Flour. It just brings back memories of our trips to San Fransisco and Fisherman's Wharf. Having some clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl...what is better than that!

I actually remembered to get started early enough that I wasn't finishing the bread bowls at midnight. If my calculations are correct there is a minimum of 7 hours before you can bake the bread bowls. I used my bread machine again for the mixing/kneading and first rise part (about 1 hours). Then I took out my scale so I can divide the dough into 5 equal portions, made them into balls and put them on a silpat on a baking sheet. After that you put them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours let them rise can leave them in there up to 24 hours. Then 2 hours for you are ready to bake them you take them out of the refrigerator to continue rising.

Artisan Bread Bowls
King Arthur Flour

3 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, enough to make a smooth, soft dough

1) Mix and knead together all of the ingredients—by hand, mixer or bread machine—till you've created a smooth dough.
2) Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; it should become puffy.
3) Divide the dough into 5 pieces.
4) Roll each piece into a ball.
5) Place on a lightly greased or parchment covered baking sheet.
6) Cover the bread bowls with greased plastic wrap.
7) Refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 24 hours); this step will give the bread bowls extra flavor, and a delightfully crisp-chewy texture.
8) Two or more hours before serving, remove the bread bowls from the refrigerator. Uncover, and let them sit for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F.
9) Just before baking, slash the top surface of the bowls several times to allow them to expand.
10) Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, until the bowls are deep brown, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
11) Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Step #3

Baked bread bowl.
My favorite bowl...
My Review: If you are not a patient person then this recipe is not for you. There is a lot of waiting for the yeast to do it's job. At first I was worried that it would not be worth the wait but it was totally worth it. I planned on just doing the minimum rising times so we can eat it that night for dinner. Next time I think I will try to allow for more time in the refrigerator. The taste was perfect just what I expected out of this recipe. I think the whole wheat flour adds a nice flavor and texture to the finished product. Overall a very nice recipe and I can't wait to do this again!
I don't know why I had it in my head that I needed to eat these hot out of the oven. I didn't realize it calls for them to cool down...lucky for me it is cold here and I just stuck them outside for a little bit. So I think the next time I will start them the night before I want to eat them...let them have a good rest in the refrigerator and bake the the next day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Biscotti the King Arthur Flour way...

It is no secret that I checkout the Bakers' Banter everyday...sometimes more then once a day just in case they added something new. Their post on October 12th just spoke to me...just called to me and said " must bake right now and you won't be sorry." Who am I to argue with myself when I just make perfect sense. I had to run to the supermarket for something any way and picked up a package of the mini chips which was the only thing I was missing. I took out the butter to soften and then the night go away with me and I had to wait. Lucky for my I just had to wait one day and I was able to make them.

Black and White Biscotti King Arthur Flour

6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips, mini chips preferred
2 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping (optional)

Glaze (optional)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon water

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy

3) Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled.

4) At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.

5) Divide the dough in half, leaving half in the bowl, and placing half on the prepared pan. If you have a scale, half the dough is about 10 1/4 ounces (290g). Volume-wise, half the dough is a generous 1 cup.

6) Shape the dough on the pan into a log that's about 14" long x 2 ½" wide. Straighten the log, and smooth its top and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper (or wet fingers) works well here. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the chocolate dough.

7) To prepare the chocolate dough, add the cocoa powder and espresso to the vanilla dough in the bowl, stirring to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.

8) Remove the pan from the freezer. Using your wet fingers, spread the chocolate dough atop the vanilla dough, pressing it down the sides to entirely enclose the vanilla dough, if desired. You can also just leave the sides bare. Sprinkle the coarse sugar atop the dough, pressing it into the surface gently with your fingers.

9) Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes; just work it into the schedule of whatever else you're doing in the kitchen. While the biscotti are cooling slightly, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

10) If you've used parchment on your baking sheet, use it to lift the biscotti off the sheet onto a flat surface. If you haven't used parchment, carefully lift the biscotti off the sheet onto a flat surface. Using a serrated knife or sharp chef's knife, cut the biscotti crosswise into 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal — for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

11) Set the biscotti, on edge, back on the baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 30 to 40 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

12) Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

13) If you haven't topped the biscotti with coarse sugar, glaze them once they're cool. Mix the confectioners' sugar and water, and drizzle it atop the biscotti.

Yield: 21 biscotti, about 4" to 5" long.

Review: I was excited to make these more for the way they looked because they just look so cool. I was really happy with the end result in both...they looked amazing and tasted great. To me it is nice to have both flavors in each bite. I also do not think they are super sweet and the chocolate actually helps with that part. It calls for a glaze or coarse sugar on top...I did not do either. I actually meant to put the sugar on them but totally spaced on that one. So I figured I would just glaze them then...I think I ate too many and my 3 year old just wanted them ASAP that I did not get the chance. I was half joking when I commented on their blog that I now want to make . Neapolitan version...maybe cut the batter into thirds and just color one pink...or increase the recipe to 1 1/2 times and then do that. I have to say this batter was super sticking and wetting your hands totally helps. I think this one is a keeper and I might add it to my holiday baking list.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sesame Noodle

I am in maybe I should say I am addicted to a blog I have recently found out there called Pioneer Woman. She has a really great blog that covers cooking, photography, home/garden stuff and home schooling. It is really awesome you should check it will change your life.

I have to confess that I had a mommy brain moment because I bought sesame oil for something else and totally forgot what recipe I bought it for. So the other day when I was doing my daily check of what is new on the blog I came across a recipe her recipe for sesame noodles. It looked interesting to me so I saved it in my recipes to try folder.

Simple Sesame Noodles
Pioneer Woman

12 ounces thin noodles, cooked and drained (angel hair, thin spaghetti, or Asian style)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chile oil (more to taste)
4 to 5 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons hot water
3 to 4 green onions, sliced thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

Review: LOVE IT!!! I know it is a good recipe when Mike takes it to work with him the next day. I did not have any thin type pasta so I had to use fettuccine which was good. I also left out the chili oil because I don't think my 3 year old would have liked it but I might add a little next time. I had some fresh broccoli that I added to the mix and a cooked up the one chicken cutlet I had leftover. Overall this is a very easy and yummy recipe to make. Defiantly adding this one to my list...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Beer Pizza Crust

My family are big pizza eaters and I make it at home frequently. I just find it an easy thing to make when I have no clue what to do for dinner. I have my standard dough recipe that I don't even need to look in the book anymore. I make it all the time but I am always looking for something new and different.

It is no secret that I love King Arthur flour and order stuff from their catalog all the time. I have noticed a recipe in there catalog for Quick Beer Pizza Dough. Just the different type of pizza dough recipe I was looking for. I was hoping that the beer would give it a nice flavor the recipe said it would give.

Review: I think this one is a keeper because it has a great taste and the crust was crunchy. I though that the bottom crust was a little tough but I think I know why. I made the dough in the bread machine and I think it was kneaded to much...well that is my theory. I will try it again but this time maybe in the food processor like I usually do with my other crust and see how it comes out that way.


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