Friday, August 26, 2011

Mango Orange Chicken

Of the three recipes I have tried from the Kraft website this week, this one is by far the best. I had some for dinner last night and was counting the hours until lunch time today until I could have some more. Light and delicious, I can't wait to make it again.

Mango Orange Chicken

1+1/4 tsp. ground ginger.
1 tsp ground cinnamon.
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts .
2 tsp oil.
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous, uncooked.
2 mangos, peeled, chopped.
1/4 cup Kraft Signature Mandarin Orange with Sesame Dressing.
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onions.
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro.

In shallow bowl, mix cinnamon and ginger. Roll chicken in spices. In large skillet, heat oil, heat chicken in oil until cooked through. Meanwhile, prepare couscous as per package instructions; in a separate bowl, mix mango, onion and orange dressing.

When chicken is cooked, remove from pan and plate with couscous. Pour mango mixture into hot pan and cook for one minute until heated. Pour over chicken to serve.

I could not find couscous, and I prefer rice anyway, so that is what I used. I had some in these handy little cups, so it was convenient to take for my dinner last night.

My house smelled divine while the chicken cooked, the ginger and cinnamon combined to make a delicious coating. The remaining spices in the pan flavoured the mango just right.

The recipe makes enough for four, but I cut it in half, with the fresh fruit I wasn't sure if it would freeze well, and I am going away for the weekend so I will not be around to eat it. I had one more recipe to make this week, but I think I am going to wait until Monday for the same reason. I do not want leftovers sitting around in the fridge all weekend, just in case, because I hate wasting.

I hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Irene stays safe, she is headed here next, but they think it will be a tropical storm by the time it hits us Monday or Tuesday. Still something to contend with, but not as bad.

Have a safe and happy weekend, everyone!! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Muffins

This is another of the four recipes that I found on the Kraft website Monday when I was bored. I made these yesterday morning, and I am very impressed by them.

Peanut Butter Muffins.

1 cup flour.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup sugar.
2 tsp baking powder.
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter.
1/4 cup margarine.
1 cup milk.
2 eggs.

In medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, cream butter and peanut butter. Add milk, and eggs, combine well. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stir until just combined. Batter will be lumpy. Scoop into lined muffin cups, bake at 375 F for 15 to 18 minutes.

One of the comments suggested putting a dollop of jelly in the center before baking. I think I might try them that way next time. They turned out very moist and very peanut buttery. The original recipe called for crunchy peanut butter, but I usually buy smooth so that is what I used.

The batter whipped up fast, I got 11 medium sized muffins out of it. This is a perfect recipe for anyone who loves peanut butter. I am not to crazy about it, i prefer mine on toast as opposed to in baked goods etc, but these are pretty good. I will definitely be making them again sometime. Maybe the next time we all go home for a night, my sisters are wild about peanut butter!

It's almost Friday, and I can't wait for the weekend! Have a good day, everyone!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zesty Home Fries

On Monday afternoon when I was bored, I found myself wandering the Kraft website. I found 4 new recipes that I couldn't wait to try. I made one yesterday, and will make another today if I have time The other two will be sometime this week if I can get the ingredients when I am out today. This one was a quick recipe, I divided it into two and had a large dish for dinner last night, but it is supposed to serve eight as a side.

Zesty Home Fries.

2 lb. red new potatoes (about 4 potatoes), cut into large chunks
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1 cup Cheddar shredded Cheese

Mix potatoes, dressing and pepper. Pour into baking dish. Bake at 400 F for twenty minutes. Stir, add chopped onions and bake another 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Mix in bacon and parsley, stir. Sprinkle cheese on top, bake until melted. 

I didn't bother melting the cheese because I was putting it all into containers right away. I just sprinkled it on top and when I re-heated it later it melted in. 

I ended up using just under 2 Lbs of potatoes, just because I wanted to use up the ones my Mom gave me from her garden. They only came to about a pound and a quarter, so i added 3 small ones from the bag I had going. 

The only change I made was that I used dried parsley instead of fresh, so I mixed it in at the beginning. This meal was delicious, it took more than the recommended cooking time though. After 40 minutes the potatoes were still a bit hard, so i left them in for an additional 10 minutes. This was easy, so I will be adding it to my recipe collection. I think it is a good dish for a pot-luck, since it would be great hot or cold!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far. I am heading out to the grocery store to go camping shopping, we are going again this weekend; so far they are calling for sun!! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is one of my favorite foods, there are so many different combinations of toppings, you can have something different every time. I have always wanted to try making pizza, and last night I finally got the courage to dig up a recipe. I found the recipe for the dough on a blog called Annie's Eats through a Google search. I am saving the blog to my favorites because there are a few more of her recipes I want to try. 

Homemade Pizza Dough.

1/2 cup warm water.
2 + 1/4 tsp instant yeast.
4 cups flour, plus more for dusting.
1 + 1/2 tsp salt.
1 + 1/4 cup room temperature water.
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

Dissolve yeast into 1/2 cup water. In bowl of mixer, combine flour and salt. After yeast has activated, add mixture to 1 + 1/4 cup water and oil. Stir in mixer until just combined. Add dough hook and let knead for 5 minutes. 

Put into oiled bowl, flip to coat. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about an hour and a half to two hours. 

Deflate dough and divide into two. Work each into a smooth ball on a floured surface, At this point, the dough can be frozen by wrapping in plastic and then putting into a freezer bag. Cover dough that is being used with a damp cloth and let sit 10 minutes to relax. 

To bake, preheat oven and stone to 500 F. Sprinkle working surface with cornmeal, shape dough and add sauce and toppings as desired. Transfer shaped pizza to stone in oven and bake 8 to 12 minutes, until dough is brown and cheese bubbly. 

It is not the most beautiful looking pizza, but it is delicious! I started the dough around twenty after ten. It was ready to sit by 10:30. I found it a bit sticky, but it did not take a lot f extra flour to make it workable. It did not take the full two hours to raise, in fact it was ready by about 11:45. Maybe because I sat it in the sun? :-)

While it did its thing, i cleaned up and prepped my toppings: salami, turkey bacon, green peppers, red onion and a hotdog. 

I also grated some cheese and made a sauce. Last Friday I had made tomato sauce in my crock-pot, so I took a bit of that and added more parsley, oregano and some Italian spice mix. I let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes to let it all blend. 

Finally, it was time to put it all together. I spread it out on some parchment on a cutting board (parchment was a hint by Annie). Added the sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan and the toppings.

I put the hot dog on top of the cheese since it was the only meat that was not pre-cooked. 

While I was topping it, I pre-heated my oven. Even though the recipe stated 500 F, the instructions with my pizza stone said 450 F. I did not want to risk over heating it, so I went with that temperature. Fifteen delicious smelling minutes later, I had pizza!

The only thing I will change for next time is maybe giving the crust a bit of garlic butter, I found it very doughy.  But then, next time I may get the crust a bit more even, which would eliminate that. It turned out delicious, and I am definitely going to make it again. I still have one dough ball left (in the freezer) so it most likely will be this weekend! 

Hope everyone is having a great week, it is half over already!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

No Machine Homemade Ice Cream

A few weeks ago, I found some homemade ice cream recipes. I was excited! I love ice cream! I couldn't wait! Then, I started pricing ice cream makers around my city, and got sticker shock. Boo. I was resigned to eating from the 4 tubs already in the freezer (ice cream is expensive, so I stock up when it is on sale).

A few days ago, I found this recipe for homemade ice cream without a machine. Yay! Thank you to Jamie Cooks it Up!, I had most of the ingredients and I quickly ran out to get the last one.

Homemade Ice Cream (without a machine!)

2 cups whipping cream.
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk.
1/2 tsp vanilla (or other flavoring)
food colouring (if desired)
Mix-ins as desired.

In mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Add milk and mix until combined. Stir in colour and flavor, add mix ins. Pour into freezer-safe container, freeze 6 hours.

Because I had a request for Maple Walnut and I am not wild about maple flavor (I am not a very good little Canadian), I made two flavors. My second is my favorite, chocolate mint chip. I used my cookie scoop to take two little bites, since it is only 9:30 in the morning.

I mixed it into one big batch and then divided the mixture into two empty ice cream containers. They are big enough to be able to mix in everything easily and have expansion room.

To the first I added 2 drops of peppermint, 2 drops of green colour and a handful of chips. They sunk to the bottom when I stirred it, so I added a few more on top.

The Maple walnut got 2-3 drops of maple flavor, which automatically coloured it, and a handful of walnuts. I learned from the first batch and added the nuts after stirring in the flavor. I gave it another stir after adding the nuts, but they didn't sink so much. Science! Chocolate is denser then walnuts. I put them in the freezer overnight and this morning had this lovely sight.

I love this recipe and am definitely going to use it again, especially since I found This Page with a bunch of yummy add-in recipes. The ice cream turned out creamy and not to sweet. And, not including add ins, it cost  less than a tub of ice cream! It was 2.99 for the cream and 1.99 for the milk, I got two half tubs that usually cost 6.99 each (I try to get them for 4.99 or less).

Perfect timing to make ice cream, it is shaping up to be a very hot Saturday, which is great because it has been raining all week! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have had a box of manicotti noodles in my breadbox(that i keep pasta in) since well before last Christmas. I never really got around to using them. Finally last week, I decided they had to be used up before they went bad, although with dry pasta that would probably be quite awhile.

I did an online search for manicotti, every recipe I found had either ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. I can not stand either. I noticed on Google I could check any ingredients I wanted or did not want, so I put a 'without' check next to those two ingredients and did another search. I found one recipe that did not take either cottage cheese nor ricotta cheese, but it took sour cream, something else I do not like the taste of. So finally I gave up and decided to create my own. And this is it, in a take out container because it is going to work with me for dinner.

The first thing I did was fry up a pound of hamburger. I drained it, wiped the pan and then added some green pepper and red onion. I cooked them for a couple minutes and added about 1/2 tsp pre-chopped garlic in a jar. I let it all cook together for half a minute and then added the hamburger back to the pan for another minute.

While I was doing this, i cooked the pasta as per the box directions. Boil a big pot of water, add a few noodles at a time, boil for 6 to 8 minutes. I boiled 5 at a time, there were 14 all together.

After my hamburger and veggies were cooked, I made my stuffing. I mixed the burger with a jar of sauce and, to fill it out, a can of tomato sauce and one of tomato paste. I also added 4 cheeses: A mozza-cheddar blend, some Parmesan and some Havarti with jalapeno.

Filling was messy fun. I had sauce everywhere. I filled a large pan and a small one. I sprinkled more of the four cheeses on top and baked them as per box instructions at 350 F. They were only in there about 20 minutes, i tested with a knife poke to be sure the pasta was tender.

After they cooled a bit, I divided it into containers of 3 noodles each, the leftover two I put on a plate for tomorrow's lunch. The dish I had for dinner was delicious and very filling! With all the cheese, it was a stringy mess; i think it would be a fun dish for kids. It also had just the right amount of kick with the jalapeno Havarti in it. I think i may end up making it again someday, sooner if it were not so messy.

So it has been a busy week so far, I had a great weekend just bopping around in the rain and sunshine. I meant to make this Saturday night, but the company I had coming for dinner is not a big pasta fan, so I made potato scallop instead. In my opinion it did not really turn out (I cooked it for to long and the milk had boiled off), but he cleaned 2 plates of it!

Hope everyone is having a good week! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chicken Caesar Bowtie Salad

Yay, it's Friday! When means, tomorrow I can relax, sleep in a bit and do nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, but less than what I did today! Last night just before leaving work, I was cruising the blogsphere and found this recipe on Life as a Lofthouse. It looked easy and delicious and it was different, which is something I have been looking for. I kind of downsized it a bit, I am only one person, but here is her full recipe.

Chicken Caesar Bowtie Salad.

2-3 large Chicken Breasts
1 tsp Olive Oil
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1/2 lb Bowtie Noodles
3 Hearts of Romaine Lettuce
1 Cucumber
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Caesar Croutons
Caesar Dressing

Drizzle oil and seasoning over chicken, bake at 375 F until done. Let sit for five minutes, then chop into bite sized pieces.

While chicken is baking, prepare other ingredients, Wash and chop romaine, chop cucumbers, cook noodles as per package instructions. Cool pasta by running cold water over it.

In large bowl, toss together romaine, cucumbers, cheese and croutons. Add noodles and chicken, toss again. Serve with dressing.

Yum! It serves 4 to 6, but I made 3 large servings instead, because I planned on having it as a main rather than side. I added bacon bits to the dish i ate for lunch, but i left them out of the dish i plan on having for dinner tonight because I find they go soggy.

I only changed one thing in the recipe, instead of sprinkling the spice over the chicken before cooking, I sprinkled it on last night while it thawed and let it sit all night. I used 3/4 of a cucumber and only one chicken breast.

I could not find romaine hearts, so i just used regular romaine. I ended up using about 5 leaves.

I am definitely going to make this again, i used up all my bow-tie pasta, so I will have to get more or use something else. I have so many shapes to chose from, and i don't think it would make any difference.

Once I got everything into the bowl, I used a rubber spatula to toss it all. They are great for getting to the bottom of a bowl!

I am probably going to have soggy croutons by the time dinner rolls around, but i think i can live with it. This was surprisingly filling, while I was eating it i thought I might need to make a grilled cheese to go with it, but by the time i finished, i was quite full.

I am thinking of trying another new recipe tomorrow night, so i will be back soon! Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bow-tie pasta in sauce

I can't believe it is August already!! Wow, where has this year gone? My last week of July was so busy I did not have time to post (again), but I had so much fun! We went camping Saturday night, got a bit wet because it poured for a few hours that afternoon; but it stopped in time to cook dinner and have a campfire, and everything worked out great. I also managed to get some great pictures, even in the rain; stop by my other blog My Saint John to check them out!

Everything has been so busy lately, I have not had time to do any baking or cooking. My cookie jar has been empty for abut three weeks, horror! I ended up buying dinner 3 days out of five last week, which is tough on the pocket book. So this morning, while I was out starting my Christmas shopping (horrible, aren't I?) I decided I was going to make something to take with me to work tonight. Yesterday afternoon I was bopping around the Kraft website and I found a few recipes, using them for inspiration, I decided to concoct my own. And this is what I came up with.

I started with a chicken breast, I thawed, chopped and cooked it in the frying pan. When it was cooked through, I added a cup of vegetable broth, a can of tomato sauce, a tsp of chopped garlic (from a jar) and about 3 handfuls of bow-tie pasta. It looked a bit bland, so I threw in a half tablespoon each of dried parsley and oregano and a sprinkle of Italian spice mix. I stirred it all together and covered it, then I made some more  yogurt popsicles while it cooked.

I used blueberries instead of strawberries, and I had to add a splash of apple juice since the concoction was to think; most likely because both the bananas and berries were frozen.

So after about 15 minutes, my pasta was tender and I pulled it off the stove. I gave it a sprinkle of Parmesan and voila! Lunch and dinner. Yum.

It made enough for 3 fair sized portions, or two large. Maybe 4 or 5 if it was just a side. I don't know if it was the broth, as I have never used veggie before, but I found it to be a bit salty. I do not add extra salt to my cooking, and I am glad for it, because it would have been to much. This is easily changeable, I could have added an onion, green pepper or some different herbs or spices. I didn't think to add a bit of heat, and I could have easily added more pasta to the amount of sauce I had.

So, another meal taken care of, and I have to get back into baking. It is supposed to be rainy and miserable all week, which means perfect baking weather. I will have to dig out some recipes!

Hope everyone is having a great week, and all my Canadian friends had a great long weekend! I worked Monday, since I am employed by an American company, but I still managed to have fun!

See you again soon, promise ;-)