Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pesto Chicken

I love pesto, though I know it's a love/hate thing for most people. I think it is fantastic on spaghetti, and now I think it's great on chicken too. While I didn't make my own pesto this time, this recipe still tastes great and is super fast!
Chicken is pictured with Spicy Oven Fries and Fresh Vegetable Skillet.
Total cost for chicken: $4.10 for 4 servings

1 pkg Knorr Pesto Mix
2 Tbl oil
4 Chicken breast halves
  • Blend pesto with oil. 
  • Brush on chicken.
  • Grill.
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Spicy Oven Fries

As we traveled back to Indiana from a wedding, we passed through Louisville. Anytime we drive this way, I use our passing through as an excuse to eat at my very favorite restaurant: Ramsi's. There is something for everyone at this place, but my dish of choice is the Jamaican chicken sandwich which comes with fried potatoes. Now, I try not to eat fried things, but these things are amazing. I'm not sure what they put in them to make them so addictive, but I'm sure it's illegal...
Well, I knew I could come up with something that isn't fried, but can still give me the taste want when we can't drive 2 hours to eat at Ramsi's.

1-1/2 bl red potatoes-cut in wedges
3 Tbl butter or oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Preheat oven to 450*. Grease baking sheet.
  • Toss all ingredients.
  • Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
  • Bake 30 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.

Fresh Vegetable Skillet

In our effort to try and eat more vegetables, we have been experimenting with lots of different side dishes lately. This was one my favorites so far. I love how the Parmesan cheese and basil bring out the flavor of the peppers and zucchini. I posted two pictures since it looks so different each time you make it. Any veggies would be great, but here's what I used...

1 Tbl butter or oil
2 large zucchini-cubed
2 large red or yellow bell peppers-cubed
corn, optional
1/2 c chopped onion
4 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Heat oil to Med-High
  • Cook vegetables for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce to Medium. Add garlic and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally-until crisp tender. 
  • Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simple Sugar Cookies

I have a box of recipes that I may have mentioned before. All the recipes come from my grandparents or great grandparents' kitchens. Most I had eaten at various times in my childhood and bring back special memories, and there are some that I haven't tried before. It's my goal to make them all at least once.
I don't remember eating these sugar cookies from "Momaw's" kitchen, but when I saw the recipe I knew I had to make them. I love cookies, and most of the time I love baking them too. One thing I hate though: the rolling pin! I hate rolling things out, and most sugar cookie recipes require you to do so. Not this one! That is when I knew this recipe was for me.

2-1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1 egg
1/2 c shortening (this is how you know it's an old recipe)
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl milk
  • All ingredients should be room temperature.
  • Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg. Mix till fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients until smooth. Blend in milk. 
  • Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
  • Flatten with bottom of glass which has been dipped in sugar.
  • Bake at 375* for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Cool. Makes 5-5-1/2 dozen 2" cookies

Monday, June 28, 2010

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with potatoes. I love the way they taste...I would love to eat them with every meal....I hate that they are not so diet-friendly if you eat them for every meal....Everything in moderation, right?

These potatoes could go with just about anything! This time we made them with Chicken Marsala and they were a perfect pairing.

3 Tbl butter, melted (I used canola oil)
1-1/4 lb red potatoes, rinsed and quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp rosemary, dried
  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Combine all ingredients. 
  • Roast 40 minuter, stirring occasionally.  Potatoes are done when crisp tender and golden.

Chicken Marsala

Anytime we go to an Italian restaurant, I order chicken marsala.  It is one of my very favorite dishes, and I'm so glad I found out how to make it at home.

For the most part, I had all the ingredients on hand. I did have to buy the mushrooms and the Marsala wine. This dish probably costs about $3-4 a serving, so it's a little more than I usually spend on dinner, but we are trying to eat in instead of going out and it's way cheaper than going out!

1/4 cup + 1 Tbl flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-lb chicken breast, pounded thin
3 Tbl butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pkg (10 oz) crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2/3 c Marsala wine
2/3 c chicken broth
1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • Combine 1/4 cup flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken until evenly coated.
  • Melt 2 Tbl butter over Med-High heat and cook chicken, turning once, about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Keep warm.
  • Melt 1 Tbl butter and cook onion and mushrooms about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with 1 Tbl flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add wine and cook for 1 minute, scraping the brown bits from the skillet. Add broth and thyme. Bring to boil over high. Boil 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over chicken to serve.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mahogony Pork and Veggies with Oven Polenta

While I'm trying to eat more vegetables during my meals, I could never be a vegetarian. I like meat too much. I have eaten vegetarian meals, and I always feel like I'm missing something if I don't have meat.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought another pork tenderloin (on sale) and had it cut up into chops so we could freeze the rest in one pound baggies  to take out when needed. I pulled out one of the bags of pork this week. Usually when I eat pork, I think it is a little boring, but this recipe made the best meat I've ever made at home! It is so flavorful and the bed of peppers brings out the flavor even more.

The second recipe, Oven Polenta, is something I had never made before. I had seen polenta in the grocery but didn't really know what it was. When I found the recipe, it seemed like cornbread without the flour. Well, it didn't exactly taste like cornbread, but it was delicious all the same. I will definitely make it again....and Eden (one year old) will be super excited. She couldn't get enough of it!

Mahogany Pork & Veggies
1-lb pork tenderloin, cut into strips
1 Tbl brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red or orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion
  • Combine pork with brown sugar, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, and garlic in a medium bowl. Combine peppers and onion in another bowl. Spray each with about 10 sprays of oil (maybe Tbl each?)
  • Preheat skillet to Medium-high. Add veggies Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove, cover, and keep warm.
  • Add meat to skillet. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until done. 
  • Put meat over veggies to serve.
Oven Polenta
1-1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth, will probably use veggie next time)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Tbl olive oil (I used Canola)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl Asiago or Parmesan Cheese (I think Cheddar would be awesome, too!)
  • Preheat oven to 350* Grease 8x8 dish
  • Combine all ingredients except cheese.
  • Bake 50 minutes, stirring once.
  • Stir in cheese. Bake 10 more minutes.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Plain Waffles

    We like to have waffles or pancakes on Fridays...I guess it's a reward for making through the week or something. Sometimes we do crazy things like add cinnamon and flax seed, but this time, we just wanted plain, regular waffles. I dug out the owner's manual that came with the waffle maker and found this recipe, and they are delicious! The best part is, the recipe made way more than we could eat. I froze the leftovers on a cookie sheet for about an hour, then placed them in freezer bags to on hand for a quick breakfast....your very own, homemade and better tasting, frozen waffles. Just pop them in the toaster or microwave when you want to eat them.

    3 large eggs, separated
    1-1/2 cups milk
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 Tbl sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    • Lightly grease and preheat waffle maker.
    • In large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks, milk and oil until thoroughly mixed. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Beat until just smooth.
    • In small bowl, beat egg whites with mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
    • With rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture. Do not overmix.
    • Pour batter onto the center of the waffle grid (Mine used about 1 1/3 cups-but your waffle maker may be a different size!)
    • Close the lid and bake. Repeat with remaining batter.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Grilled Cheese Burger

    We have been grilling a lot lately. One of our new favorite things to use as we grill is Sweet Baby Ray's Grilling Sauce. It makes everything taste so good! One day, I was really wanting a grilled cheese sandwich (I know, sometimes I have the taste buds of a 7 year old) but my husband really wanted burgers. The compromise: have them both!

    for each sandwich
    grilled burgers (we used premade patties)
    1 slice cheese of your choice (we used  sharp cheddar)
    2 slices bread
    butter
    garlic powder
    shredded cheese or more slices (triple cheddar)
    condiments of your choice (ketchup, mustard, relish, etc)
    • While grilling burgers, make bread....Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place butter side down on griddle. Put shredded cheese (or extra slices) on non-buttered side of the bread and sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast until golden brown on bottom and cheese is melted on top.
    • Place grilled burger with cheese on top on one piece of bread Add condiments. Place the other piece of bread on top of burger. Enjoy.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Chicken Veggie Stir Fry

    So the point of my blog is to share the things we eat on a budget. Sometimes I go overboard and get excited about cooking crazy and delicious things that I forget that sometimes, simple things are worth posting too. This was one of the easiest dinners I have made in a while...and it only cost about $4 for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day! Cheap and packed full of veggies and flavor!

    1 bag stir fry veggies ($2.99 @ Aldi)
    1 lb chicken, cubed
    • Saute the chicken in canola oil. I added a little 5 spice powder for extra flavor.
    • Follow the directions on the package of stir fry veggies...and add the chicken. Aldi has 2 types of stir fry-original and teriyaki. I used the original this time.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    strawberry glaze pie

    As promised in a recent post, I have another strawberry recipe for you. I mentioned that I visited the local U-pick and had a ton of strawberries. After we made the strawberry dessert and having our fill of strawberries and cream, I used to rest to make this strawberry pie. I've seen and made a few types of strawberry pies in the last few years, but I wanted to make a traditional one this time...as my husband requested "like the one's at the restaurants." I guess I should have bought the whipped cream in a can to put on top so it would look more like those in the restaurants, but I think it turned out pretty good despite it's esthetics.
    From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (Three Ring Binder Edition)

    Baked pastry shell
    1-1/4 c flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/3 c shortening
    3 or 4 Tbl cold water
    Filling
    8 cups medium strawberries
    2/3 c water
    2/3 c sugar
    2 Tbl cornstarch
    Several drops red food coloring (opt)
    Whipped cream (opt)
    • PASTRY SHELL: Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of water over part of mixture and gently toss with fork.Repeat till all is moistened. For dough into ball.  Roll into 12 inch circle. Unroll onto a 9inch pie plate. Trim edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake @ 450* for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack.
    • FILLING: Remove stems from strawberries. Cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
    • For glaze: combine 1 cup of strawberries and the water. Cover and blend until smooth. Add enough additional water to equal 1-1/2 cups. In medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in blended berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in red food coloring, if desired. Cook for 10 minutes without stirring.
    • Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over bottom and sides of Baked Pastry Shell. Arrange half of the remaining strawberries in the pastry shell. Carefully spoon half of the remaining glaze over fruit. Arrange remaining fruit over the first layer. Spoon remaining glaze over fruit. Chill for 1-2 hours. (After 2 hours, filling may begin to water out) Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Low-Fat Strawberry Dessert

    This is a recipe my mom makes a lot. In fact, she won her company picnic's dessert contest with it! It's super easy to make and tastes refreshing on a hot day. She makes hers with angel food cake and strawberry, but I made it another time with lemon cake and raspberry and it was wonderful, too.

    2 loaf style angel food cakes (or 1 big one)
    2 small pkgs sugar free strawberry Jello
    2 cups water
    24-oz frozen sliced strawberries
    2 small pkgs sugar free vanilla pudding mix
    4 cups 2% or skim milk
    1 large container Lite Cool Whip
    handful of fresh strawberries
    • Let frozen strawberries sit out and slightly thaw
    • Cut cakes into 1 inch cubes. Toss into 9x13 pan.
    • Mix Jello into boiling water until dissolved. Then, add frozen strawberries. Stir.
    • Pour over angle food cake cubes and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
    • Mix pudding mixes and milk as directed. Layer over the chilled cake/jello mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    • When ready to serve, top with the Cool Whip. Then, add sliced fresh strawberries to decorate.

      9-11 Remembrance – FamilyFreshCooking.com

      Zucchini AuGratin

      These holiday weekends totally interrupt my regularly scheduled progr---er blogging time ... but they also lead to more recipes with all the cookouts and parties we go to. Usually, I am nominated to bring desserts, but on occasion I do make other things. This zucchini dish is one such thing.(Check in on the next two posts for two great strawberry recipes!)

      Zucchini is actually one of the vegetables my husband usually likes, but he doesn't want to like it because it is a vegetable. Eating vegetables is a huge step coming from the guy who ate Hershey bars coated with peanut butter almost every night for dinner before we were married!

      This recipe was inspired by Au Gratin potatoes of course, but I used zucchini instead so it would be a little healthier. I think it turned out great, but next time I will not saute so long because I like my zucchini to be a little more firm.  I loved the topping! Sorry, I don't know where this recipe came from. I found it written on a sheet of paper with no reference.

      3 Tbl butter
      2 tsp onion powder
      2 zucchini (about 1-lb) sliced 1/4 inch thick
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp pepper
      1/8 tsp nutmeg (secret ingredient!)
      1 Tbl flour
      1/2 c hot milk
      3/4 c bread crumbs (I used crushed Ritz crackers)
      3/4 c grated sharp Cheddar or Gruyere cheese

      • Preheat oven to 400*
      • Melt butter. Add onion powder and zucchini. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then cook 5 more minutes (Instead of cooking in this step, next time I would just add these ingredients, and do the cooking in the next step so the zucchini will stay firm)
      • Stir in flour. Add milk and cook on low until a sauce is formed.
      • Pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
      • Combine bread crumbs (crackers) and cheese and sprinkle on top. 
      • Dot with 1/2 Tbl butter cut into small bits.
      • Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

      Special Note

      For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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