Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chicken Bryan

   A few years ago our friends introduced us to this delicious meal. It instantly became a family favorite. If you have ever tried this dish at Carrabas you know exactly how good this is.  Even though this recipe is not the exact same as theirs, I have to say it is just as tasty in my eyes. Its a perfect combo of sweet and tangy. You won't be sorry to try this chicken dish out!
 Chicken Bryan 
Ingredients:
 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts butterfly cut to make 
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
olive oil
8 ounces goat cheese
1 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
 2 tbsp onion, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
12 tbsp butter, divided
5 tbsp white grape juice
3 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Brush chicken on both sides with olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Grill chicken until done. (internal temp of 165F) Prepare lemon butter sauce while chicken is grilling. 
Saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsp butter until soft and fragrant. Add lemon juice, vinegar and lemon juice,reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes to reduce by half. 
Add remaining butter, a little at a time, until it melts and is emulsified.
Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and basil and heat until hot. ( do not overheat or sauce may break)
Top nearly-done chicken breasts with the goat cheese until cheese warms and softens. 
To serve, spoon sauce over chicken.  
 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Broccoli Salad

With summer here and in full swing I thought I would whip up some broccoli salad to go along as a great side at any barbeque or family gathering.This is always a crowd pleaser where everyone wants the recipe.  I am all about quick and easy meals. This is definitely one of those things that you can toss together in a jiffy.
Broccoli Salad
Ingredients:
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup craisins
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped purple onion
1/2 cup bacon bits
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Directions:
In a large bowl combine chopped broccoli, craisins,sunflower seeds, chopped onion, bacon bits, cheese, and tomatoes.set aside.  In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Mix until all ingredients are combined and a dressing is made. Pour over the broccoli salad and mix well. Let broccoli salad chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tomatillo Ranch

Today we attended a baby blessing for my cousins sweet little girl. Afterwards they a luncheon where they served sweet pork salads and burritos. DELICIOUS! That is one of my faves!  When I asked beforehand if there was something I could bring and she told me what was going to be served, I had to offer to bring some tomatillo ranch, I LOVE this stuff, especially on sweet pork salads! I love putting it on burritos and taco salad as well. It is so easy peasy to make and totally kicks up the flavor in so many dishes. I love being able to create restaurant style flavors in my own kitchen!
Tomatillo Ranch
Ingredients:
1 Package of hidden valley buttermilk ranch 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
3 tomatillos
1 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the blender and puree. Allow dressing to cool in fridge 4 hours before serving.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Strawberry Peach Freezer Jam

Its peach season here and I knew the perfect thing that I wanted to make. I came across this strawberry peach jam recipe and have been dying to make it. Last weekend my friend and I took our kids to a local farm where they have an orchard of peaches and let them run wild picking the ones that they thought were just right.  When we got home my daughter was so excited to make this jam. This is super easy to make and super delicious on a warm slice of homemade bread! Perfect for the summertime!
Strawberry Peach Freezer Jam
Ingredients:
1 1/4 Cup Crushed Strawberries
2 Cups finely chopped peaches
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 (2oz) box MCP Pectin
4 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup light corn syrup

Directions:
Wash your strawberries and peaches. Peel the skin off of your peaches and cut the greens off of the strawberries. You can mash your fruit with a potato masher or put in the blender for a few seconds. You don't want to puree your fruit completely since jam is supposed to have some small chunks of fruit in it. 
Measure the EXACT amount of fruit and lemon juice that the recipe call for and place in a large bowl. Add in the 2 oz box of MCP pectin. Stir every 5 minutes for 30 minutes until the pectin has dissolved.  Mix in 1 cup of light corn syrup then gradually add in the 4 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir until dissolved. Pour jam into washed containers leaving a half inch space for expansion in the freezer. Make sure they are freezer safe! Allow jam to sit on the counter at room temperature for 24 hours while it sets. Store in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 1 year. Recipe calls for 7 cups. 

Note- Do not substitute other pectin's for this recipe. Only use the MCP brand. Not doing this will result in your jam not fully setting. Also using substitute sugars or lessoning the amount of sugar will also result in your jam not fully setting. 

Check out these CUTE peach pickers! Couldn't have made this jam without their wonderful help! 

                                        recipe from chef-in-training.com

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pasta Salad

Summer is officially here! My daughter finished up her last day of preschool yesterday and we are excited to enjoy the summer before she heads off to Kindergarten! It's time to start enjoying all of the wonderful foods that go along with summertime. Pasta salad is one of my favorite things. I enjoy eating it as a side, or even as a meal. Last night we had this for dinner, along with some garlic bread, and I plan to eat the left overs for lunch. It's so easy to make, and a great way to get your husband and kids to eat their veggies!
Pasta Salad
Ingredients:
1 lb box of  pasta. (I used Barilla mini penne pasta)
1- 6 oz can medium olives- sliced
1-6.5 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts- diced
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 broccoli crown chopped
1/4 red onion chopped
1 cup mini or chopped pepperoni
1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
 Italian dressing to taste (I like to use the Olive Garden Italian dressing. I found it at Walmart)
Directions:
In a large pot of water cook pasta according to box directions. While the pasta is cooking chop up your vegetables, and pepperoni. Combine cooked pasta and remaining ingredients. Top it off with your favorite Italian dressing. I preferre my pasta salad after it has been able to chill for a little while, but it is good warm as well.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Green Salsa

Last night we went out to eat Mexican food at one of my dad's favorite restaurants growing up. Mattas! I haven't been there in years. Generally we hit up Mi Amigos or Tia Rosas but this was a good change. It got me in a salsa mood, so last night my husband made up this delicious green salsa. If you have ever eaten at Tia Rosas before than you are familiar with how dang good this salsa is. I could drink it! My dad started making it a few years ago, and gave the recipe to me. He is the green salsa master, but I think we are starting to catch up!
 Green Salsa
Ingredients:
10 tomatillos husked
1 small onion (I used a yellow one. White is good too)
2 garlic cloves
1 small can diced green chilies
1 bunch cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
3-4 TBSP brown sugar
2 TSP white sugar
salt to taste
Directions:
 Peel the husks off your totmatillos and wash. Place them in a pot of water .Let boil for about 10 minutes or until the tomatillos begin to soften, change color and burst. Once done put them on your cutting board and cut the core out of the centers. That is the bitter part of the tomatillo. Place them in the blender along with your onion, garlic, and cilantro. Once they are all blended pour it into a saucepan along with the remaining ingredients. Heat until it starts to boil and then remove from heat. Let it cool and taste. You might want to add a little more sugar or brown sugar to make it a little more sweet. I know I did! Beware you might eat the entire sitting! Its kinda addicting! Its great with chips, on tacos, burritos, Nachos etc. I hope you guys enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

A few weeks ago it was my sister in laws birthday. Since I was looking for any excuse to make up some cupcakes I thought these were a perfect opportunity. Everyone needs some cake on their birthday! I gave some of the left overs to my brother and he was absolutely raving about how they are the best cupcake he has ever had and is constantly asking me if I am going to make them again anytime soon. The fun surprise is the baked cookie in the center of the cupcake!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes 
Ingredients:

For the cupcake:
1 box Duncan Hines devil's food cake mix
1- 5.9 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; slightly beaten
2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup warm water

For the frosting:
3 sticks butter; softened
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 Tbsp clear vanilla extract
4-6 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

Directions:

For the cupcake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with 24 liners. 
In a large bowl mix together devil's food cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, slightly beaten eggs, vanilla, and warm water. 
Using a large cookie scoop divide batter between the 24 liners. About 3 Tbsp per cupcake liner.
Measure 1 tsp of cookie dough and roll into a ball. (I just used premade cookie dough in a tube from the store) Drop the cookie dough ball into each cupcake liner and be sure to cover completely with the the batter. (I generally fill the cupcake liner with one cookie scoop full of batter, drop my cookie dough ball in, then cover it with one more cookie scoop full of batter)
Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack. Prepare your frosting while your cupcakes cool completely.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl cream butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the 2 pounds of powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add heavy cream or milk to the frosting until a desired consistency is achieved. 
Pipe frosting onto cupcake and garnish with mini chocolate chips and a cookie. 
You can bake your own mini cookies or buy already made ones at the store. I went for the easy and uniform shape route and just bought some of the chips ahoy soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies and cut them in half before placing them on top of the frosting. Be sure and garnish the cupcakes quickly because the frosting does harden on the outside pretty quick. Maybe frost and garnish 5 cupcakes at a time.