Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti

Oh my!  It's way too long!  I have since gone back to work full time and to be honest, I don't cook or bake and I miss it!  I have also been mildly obsessed with Pinterest and have pinned 537 recipes.  Ummmm... ok. :)

Below is a recipe that I stumbled on while on there and I fell in LOVE with it.  It's easy, simple and so good.  It doesn't take a lot of time at all.  ENJOY!

(picture is from here. Recipe is from here.)
8 ounces angel hair pasta
2 cups chopped, grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
8 ounces sour cream or greek yogurt
Sprinkling of Parmesan or Mexican-blend cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil pasta as package directs and drain. Mix all other ingredients (except cheese), add to cooked pasta and put in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with your choice of cheese and return to oven to melt.
Enjoy with a simple spinach salad and thick, crusty slices of warm French or multi-grain bread. Yum!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Homemade Wheat Thins

I tried this recipe yesterday, really out of pure boredom.  I do have to say tho, that I was pleasantly surprised!  I LOVED them and so did my kids.  And to make it even better, they were easy, my kids were able to help and it took NO time at all.  ENJOY!
(Original recipe can be found here.)
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) 100% whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling on
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Earth Balance (I used soy-free) or butter
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (or a tiny bit more if dough is too dry)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, paprika, salt).
3. With a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the Earth Balance or butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. See image below. Now mix together the water and vanilla and then pour into the flour and Earth balance mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together. I got in there with my hands and really squeezed the dough to help it come together. If it appears dry add a touch of water, but you don't want it sticky.
4. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever shape you desire. Using a splatula, place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat as necessary. Sprinkle with more salt and sesame seeds if desired.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Half way through baking rotate the pan to ensure even baking. My crackers took 10 minutes, but if you do not use a baking mat it will likely take less time for you. Be careful because they burn quickly. Cool completely. Makes about 64 crackers for this full recipe. Store in an air-tight container.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

English Muffin Bread

Do you like english muffins?  Then, this bread is just simply to die for!  Not to mention, one of the easiest breads to make, EVER!  Don't believe me?!  Try and see for yourself!  This is where I found this awesome recipe!  ENJOY!  I sure did and so did my neighbors!

5 1/2 cups warm water
3 packages RAPID RISE yeast
     (Update: You can use regular yeast, but you will need to let is rise TWICE. Once in the bowl, til it reaches the top…and then again in the pans, til it reaches the top. With the RAPID RISE you only need to let it rise once in the pans.)
2 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
11 cups all purpose flour

Mix altogether in a large kitchen aid or very large bowl.  (Dough will be very sticky.)  Spoon into 3 9x5 loaf pans or 4 smaller loaf pans. Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter.
Makes 4 small loaves or 3 large ones. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before toasting. Makes terrific toast.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Salted Caramel Frosting

You will notice that I spend a TON of time on Pinterest! A TON! Well, the other day, I tried this incredible recipe and it was a HIT! I actually wanted to eat it with a giant spoon until it was all gone! Check this recipe out! You will thank me!
Salted Caramel
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea
1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
3. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
4. Do not stir from this point on, but instead swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn.
5. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
6. *** Be careful here *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly and is very hot.
7. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
8. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Save any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is delicious on ice cream, not to mention your finger…
Here is a step by step process. This is making the actual caramel.

Here is where you add the caramel to the frosting. Are you kidding me with this one?!?!
Salted Caramel Frosting
2 sticks butter at room temperature
8 ounces of cream cheese
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel (recipe above)
1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
3. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
4. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.

Here is the final product! Go here to find the original recipe!
I made homemade oreo cookies with this frosting. You can do what ever you want! I would love to hear how it works out!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

Here is a great option for dinner tonight! It's easy, yummy, and very very kid friendly!  Enjoy!
(Picture and recipe from above link.)
1 (16-ounce) package ziti
2 (10-ounce) containers refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare ziti according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Stir together ricotta cheese and next 3 ingredients; spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Are you kidding me with this one?!  So, easy and so yummy!  Dip in alfredo sauce!  ENJOY!
(picture and recipe found from above link.)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs yeast
1 Tbs salt (yes, the recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon, which I use every time and they turn out great.)
2 Tbs butter, softened
4-5 Cups flour

3 Tbs butter melted
sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the dough, pour the water into a stand mixer with the sugar and yeast, let that sit and froth for about 10 minutes. Add salt, butter, and 2 cups of flour. Mix the dough on low. Add the rest of the flour a half cup at a time, until dough scrapes the sides of the bowl clean. Mix the dough about 5 minutes on medium speed, until its soft and easy to work with. Roll the dough out into a long log, spray a knife with cooking spray and cut the dough into 12-14 pieces. Roll those pieces into about 6 inch long snakes. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with cooking spray, and lay the breadsticks out leaving about 2 inches between each one. Place them in the oven with the temperature turned to 170 degrees. Let them rise for about 15 minutes, or until doubled in size.( I have also let them sit at room temp until they are doubled in size and then bake them in the oven) Once risen, brush them with the 1 1/2 T of melted butter and sprinkle them with salt. Now preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake them for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. While they are baking combine the rest of the melted butter with 1/4 t garlic powder. When the breadsticks are golden brown, remove them from the oven and brush them with the butter/garlic mixture.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies"

Wow!  It's been too long!  OK, so honestly, I think I took a very long sabbatical from cooking!  Just ask my family!  I, like most mom's with small children, feel like a short order cook.  One wants a grilled cheese, one cereal, the other corn dog, spaghetti, quesadillas!  You get the picture, or perhaps live with this madness!  So, instead of cooking, we ate out!  Well, I'm sick of eating out!  So, here we go again! Thanks to Pinterest, I have found so many wonderful recipes!  SIDE NOTE... Have you discovered Pinterest yet?  If not, get right on it!  NOW!
Here is a cookie recipe that I found and LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!  Trust me!  MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW!  You're welcome!

(see above link for recipe and picture info.)
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely. Makes approximately 3 dozen. Try not to eat them all.
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