Thursday, April 22, 2010

Peanut Chicken Bowl

Attention all peanut-butter-lovers out there (yes, I'm pointing at Mark)! I found this on Recipe Girl and it is really good. I used frozen broccoli (thawed), sweet red pepper and carrots. I left out the crushed red pepper.

Two 3-ounce packages Oriental- flavored ramen noodles
3 cups cut up vegetables, such as broccoli florets, red pepper strips, halved pea pods and/or thinly sliced carrots
1¼ cups water
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs packed brown sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
¼ cup chopped peanuts
¼ cup sliced green onions

1. Set aside 1 seasoning packet from noodles to use in recipe; store remaining packet for another use. In a large saucepan bring 2 quarts water to boiling. Break up noodles slightly and add to water along with cut-up vegetables. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan whisk together the 1¼ cups water, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and seasoning packet. Whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Add chicken, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots to sauce; heat through. Add to noodle mixture in saucepan. Toss to combine. Top with peanuts and green onions.

Servings: 4

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pad Thai

Learned how to make Pad Thai thanks to this great recipe Mark found for me. So yummy- now I don't have to wait around for our semi-annual date to get my fix!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fiesta Chicken

Here is a yummy crock-pot recipe using ingredients that you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now!

6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups salsa (I use Costco Mango salsa!)
1 can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 can white (Northern) beans, drained
2 pkts. Sazon Goya seasoning mix
(You might have a box of this if you have tried the Beans and Rice recipe.)

Place chicken thighs in crock pot, season generously with onion powder and garlic powder. Now add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours, or until your chicken is cooked through. Add 1 can of corn, drained- cook on low till chicken is fork-tender. Shred the chicken with two forks. Before serving, stir in 6 oz. cream cheese, (melt it a little in the microwave first.)

Serve over hot rice, top with grated cheddar cheese. You can also add chopped fresh tomatoes and avocados. Yum!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Homemade Goldfish

I came across this recipe for homemade Goldfish crackers (which all kids love,) so I thought it would be a fun project for us. They are really yummy right out of the oven, you'll want to keep popping them in your mouth! Ours came out a little puffy, but I liked them that way. You can cook them for about 15 min. to get a really crispy cracker, more like the ones you buy, or about 12 min like we did, to get these little cheese puffs. Either way, I thought they tasted even better than the real thing! (But a little more time-intensive). We did not happen to have an itty-bitty goldfish cookie cutter, so we used little cutters from our Play-Dough set. (Be prepared to punch out a lot of crackers! We made about 3 cookie sheets full, cut the recipe in half if you want to make less.)

Note, you do have to have a food processor to make the dough, I'm not sure how else you could blend cheese and flour all together into a smooth mixture. Recipe as follows:

1 cup all purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

(I left the pepper out)

1. Pulse the flour, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper together using a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Pulse in 3-4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade.

3. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes to 24 hours.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees

5. Line 2 baking pans with parchment or wax paper, set aside (I just used a little cooking spray.)

6. Roll the dough out to 1/8th inch thickness. Cut out as many crackers as possible using a small cookie cutter.

7. Place them on the prepared baking pans (you can put them close together because they get smaller)

8. Bake until golden and crisp- 15 to 20 minutes. (Like I said, my oven only took 12-15 min. to bake them).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Since we're still in the middle of some cold, wet weather, it's still a good time to make some of this simple, creamy homemade soup!

In a large pot put

6 potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters

3 leeks, chopped

6 carrots, peeled and chopped

Add enough water to cover the veggies. (I also added a tsp. of chicken boullion powder and S & P). Boil till veggies are tender, then pureƩ till very smooth. (It may look a little like baby food at this point but don't worry!) Return to pot and add 1 pnt. half and half, and one cube real butter. (Yes, I think this recipe is French!) Season again with S & P.

A few notes:
What is a leek, you say?
Leeks look like giant green onions, you chop off the tops and use only the white to light green part. They tend to have sand in them, so after cutting the tops off, slice them down the middle lengthwise, and rinse any remaining dirt/ sand out of the outer layers. They have a very nice mild, oniony flavor, and can be found in most produce sections.

Now when it came time, I couldn't actually bring myself to put the whole cube of butter in, but using 3/4 of a cube worked for me. And I made up for that by serving it with chopped bacon bits on top, which we thought was very good. Also, if you wanted a plain white soup, I think you could leave the carrots out. You could play around with some substitutions like chicken broth and milk to get the fat content down a little. Also, this makes a pretty large batch, I would cut the recipe in half if you have a small family. All in all though, this is a very easy and tasty soup. Serve with a thick slice of honey whole wheat bread.