Tuesday, December 23, 2008
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (I recommend Pepperidge Farm)
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup (you could also use cream of chicken or cream of celery, whatever you have on hand or whatever is your preference)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic & Herb flavor Mrs. Dash (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook the chicken breast until done, about 30-45 minutes. After the chicken is done, cube or shred it. Lower the heat to 350 degrees.While the oven is lowering temperature, gently unfold the puff pastry onto a well floured surface and cut it into 9 equal squares. Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.While the puff pastry is baking, prepare the chicken gravy. Pour the soup in a medium saucepan, and add the milk, mixed vegetables, chicken, Mrs. Dash, and seasoned salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes or so or until the veggies are tender. You can thin out the sauce with more milk to your desired consistency if you like.To serve, place 2 puff pastry squares in a bowl and ladle the chicken gravy over it. Enjoy your upside down chicken pot pie!Next, I have a second super easy dessert recipe for you as a bonus!This is a great brownie recipe if you need something super quick and easy in pinch. And they look and taste fantastic. No one would ever guess you just doctored up a box mix. Everyone loves these!
Candy Bar Brownies
- 1 box of your favorite family size brownie mix, for a 9x13" pan, prepared according to the directions on the box
- 3 large size Hershey's Symphony Bars (I like the ones with toffee and almonds)
First, prepare the brownie mix according to box directions. Pour half of the brownie batter into a 9x13" pan. Top the brownie batter with the candy bars (three of the large ones should just fit into your pan). Then, top with the remaining brownie batter. Bake according to box directions. Enjoy!
Coming Up....This Saturday, I spent the entire day baking and I gave away my holiday boxes on Sunday! They contained Cookies 'n Cream Fudge, Neiman Marcus Cookies, Christmas Rice Krispie Treats, and Swirled Turtle Brownies! I hope the recipients enjoyed them. I'm going to do a big post and share all of my recipes soon. Also, I just finished planning our Christmas Eve menu! This year, Mr. JY and I will be having our own party and exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve, and we'll be spending Christmas Day with our parents. I've decided to make Beef Wellington, Brussels Sprouts Gratin, Carrot Souffle, Homemade Yeast Rolls, and Homemade Butter! And individual chocolate souffle cakes for dessert! It's going to be so yummy. So be on the lookout for an upcoming post about that. Oh! And also, I wanted to tell you, I WON the cubicle decorating contest at my office! I will be posting about that tomorrow.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 12 ounces of your favorite pasta (I used corkscrews)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups grated Fontina cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley)
- 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
First, spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.Cook your pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water until just al dente, about 6 minutes. Remember it's going in the oven later, so it should still have a bite to it. After the pasta is done cooking, drain well. Do not rinse.Whisk the cream, milk, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to your baking dish.In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter. If it looks a little dry, add a little olive oil. Set aside. Slice the tomato into thin slices and set aside.Next, top the noodles with the tomatoes, the remaining cheese, then the breadcrumbs. Put into the oven for 30 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are brown and cheese is bubbly. Let it sit on the counter for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
Hint: If during baking your breadcrumbs become too brown, cover the mac and cheese with foil.
Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding
- 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies (you may want to get three, I felt I ran out of cookies)
- 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
- 2 cups milk
- 1 5oz box instant French vanilla pudding mix
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1 140z can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12 oz container Cool Whip, or equal amount homemade whipped cream
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
It's a very classic chocolate cake, moist, with a nice, rich chocolate flavor. There is a frosting recipe to go with it, but my attempt fell flat - it came out much too thin to use as a frosting, more like a glaze, and I ended up going with Betty Crocker instead.
The cake recipe, however, is fantastic. For now, it is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. I'd like to try some variations, like maybe using coffee or buttermilk in place of the water in the recipe, but this cake is also delicious just the way it is. I wish I'd taken a picture of the inside; it was light, fluffy, and almost had a reddish tinge to it, like Red Velvet Cake. It's the perfect cake for a birthday or for any time. What's your favorite type of cake to have on your birthday?
Triple Chocolate Threat
adapted from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen by Tyler Florence
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups ice water
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Prepare 2 round 9" cake pans by coating the hottom and sides very well with cooking spray and flour (or use Baker's Joy like I did and save yourself a step). Line the pans with parchment paper by tracing around the edge of them and cutting out a circle that will fit perfectly in the bottom of your pan. Then, spray the tops of the parchment. This will ensure your cakes come out.
3) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
4) In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and beat for 3 minutes to incorporate.
5) Beat in each egg on at a time and then add vanilla extract until well blended.
6) Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 3 minutes.
7) Gradually add in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the ice water. Beat for 1 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the cake's structure. Mix until the batter is smooth.
8) Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it equally, and smoothing out the top. The pans should be two thirds full.
9) Place the pans on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and/or the cake springs back when touched.
10) Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack until completely cool. This is a very important step! Do not attempt to take the cakes out of the pan while they're still even remotely warm, as you risk this very light cake falling apart.
11) Once cool, turn them out and remove the parchment paper. Frost with your favorite frosting of choice!
I would post Tyler's frosting recipe here, but it didn't turn out well for me and I didn't care for it all that much. I used Betty Crocker Whipped Chocolate frosting, but you could use your favorite buttercream recipe or whatever blows your skirt up. I decorated my cake easily by pressing handfuls of mini chocolate chips onto the sides.
Make this for a friend or family member's next birthday.... they'll love you for it!
- Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze - These cupcakes take a short cut by using a doctored up white cake mix, but they are so good. I couldn't find any mascarpone at the store I was at, so I subbed cream cheese and they came out just fine. The strawberry glaze gives them a light pink color, and anything mini is just cute. Perfect for a bridal or baby shower, or a girl's birthday. You can find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mascarpone-mini-cupcakes-with-strawberry-glaze-recipe/index.html
- Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage - This recipe comes from Tyler Florence. And just like every other recipes of his I've tried, this one didn't fail me. I was a little skeptical of some of the ingredients, like raisins, but these turned out really well. If you love mushrooms, you'll love this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/stuffed-mushrooms-with-sausage-recipe/index.html
- Brie en Croute - This is a Paula Deen recipe. You really can't go wrong with ooey, gooey melted cheese tucked inside flaky puff pastry. The Brie inside is topped with pecans and raspberry jam, and makes for a unique and delightful treat. I made mine up in the morning and popped it in the oven just before guests arrived so it was nice and warm and melted inside. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/brie-en-croute-2-recipe/index.html
And lastly, here is the one recipe I made up. It's inspired by an amazing sandwich I ate at a restaurant in Chattanooga, TN called River Street Deli. It's owned by a New Yorker and it's just one of those simple, amazing hole in the wall places. You might think this is an odd combination at first, but its great!
Mini Open Faced Ham, Cheddar, and Green Apple Sandwiches
- 10 slices of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread
- 1/4 c. apple butter (approximate)
- 1 large or 2 small Granny Smith apples
- 1 package Sargento sliced Medium Cheddar cheese (or any deli sliced cheddar cheese)
- 1 package good quality deli ham or proscuitto
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the crusts off your bread slices, and then half them. Put all of the bread slices on a cookie sheet, and spray with a little bit of cooking spray. Put them in the oven until just toasted. This took about 5 minutes for me, but check them often. You want them to be barely browned. Next, core and slice your granny smith apple into very thin slices. I didn't peel mine because I liked the color. I also put mine in a bowl of cold water and lemon juice after slicing so they wouldn't turn brown. After slicing your apples, you'll want to slice up your cheese into rectangles that fit perfectly on top of your bread slices. Make 20 cheese rectangles and you can nibble on the scraps. After the cheese is done, you're ready to assemble your appetizer. Spread each bread slice with a thin layer of the apple butter. Top with a slice of cheese, a slice of apple, and then with the ham or proscuitto. I just layed the ham prettily atop the apple, but if you have proscuitto you can wrap it around the sandwich. Just experiment and see what looks good. Arrange on a tray and wrap with plastic wrap until guests arrive so the cheese won't dry out around the edges. I would make this one the day of so its fresh.
2 Ingredient Brownie Muffins
- 1 box your favorite Devil's Food cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Moist Deluxe)
- 1 15oz can pumpkin (I recommend Libby's brand)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. Combine the cake mix and canned pumpkin in a bowl. It will be relatively thick, but don't be tempted to add water, oil, eggs, or anything else, as it will ruin the mixture. And add fat and calories, and we wouldn't want that, now would we? Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full with the mixture. I think I got 16 muffins out of my batch, but I wasn't really exact with the measurements. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack & enjoy!
1 Muffin, or 3 minis - 181 calories, 3.5g fat, 37g carbs, 2g, fiber, 2g protein - 4 WW points.
Instead of Devil's Food cake mix, try using spice cake for yummy, moist pumpkin spice muffins.
To add a little bit of decadence to your brownie muffins, stir in chocolate chips or other add ins. I bet peanut butter chips would be good. Of course, this makes them higher in fat and calories. Last night, I stirred in some Nestle chocolate chunks that I had in the pantry.
You can also just spread this in an 8x8 baking dish and cut into squares for low fat brownies. A friend of mine made hers this way and they turned out great!
Peach Pie Smoothie
- 1/2 cup nonfat or 1 percent lowfat milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 cup frozen unsweetened peaches
- 1 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground ginger
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories 240; Total Fat 0 g; (Sat Fat 0 g, Mono Fat 0 g, Poly Fat 0 g) ; Protein 12 g; Carb 49 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 150 mg
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- 1/2 15oz can of pumpkin
- 1/3 C softened unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 package spice cake mix
- 1/2 C milk Parchment paper for lining the baking sheet
In a large bowl, beat pumpkin and butter until smooth. Add spice cake mix, eggs, milk, and beat at a low speed until combined for 1 minute. Use a spoon or mini ice cream scoop to ladle batter, about 3 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until lightly browned around the edges (about 15 minutes). Cool the cakes on the parchment paper so they do not become sticky.
Spiced Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
- 1/2 C softened unsalted butter
- 8oz package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 of a 7oz jar marsmallow creme
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. In mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth, add cream cheese and marshmallow creme and continue beating. Add dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing until smooth. The longer you mix it the more fluffy you will get. I suggest 5 minutes minimum. Spread filling on the flat half of one cake, and top with another cake to make a sandwich. You may end up with extra filling. Just a tip - It's great spread on gingersnaps and banana bread too!
The recipe on Food Network's website is here:
You might notice I changed the name of the recipe and switched the order around. That's simply because I think the chili is the true star of this recipe and I think it's a little counter-intuitive to list the waffle recipe first. I made the waffles while the chili was simmering, so it makes sense to me to just go ahead and make the chili first, and then make the waffles. But to each her own, I suppose. Paula does, after all, have her own shows, restaurants, and megabucks cooking empire and I just have this little food blog here no one reads, so why would you listen to me?
Paula Deen's Spicy Chili with Cornbread Waffles
- 1 pound lean ground chuck 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 (15-ounce) cans ranch-style beans (Note: I could not find these at Target, so I just used
- 2 15oz cans of seasoned pinto beans and it turned out just fine.)
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can niblet corn, drained
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
Spicy Chilli Directions:
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown ground chuck, until beef is crumbly. Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Yield: 10 to 12 servings
While the chili is simmering, make your waffles. Now, if you don't have a waffle maker, you could certainly just make corn pancakes in a skillet. Or cornbread muffins. But trust me, if you DO own a waffle maker (and this recipe might just be grounds to go out and buy one if you don't) you are gonna want to make these waffles.
Before I list Paula's recipe for the waffles, I have a confession to make........
I used Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix to make the waffles. I know, I know. But it really saved me time. And I have an obsession with Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. It makes the best sweet cornbread. Until I taste homemade that's better, I won't back down from that. So, if you need to save some time, use the Jiffy box. It's okay. No one will know. Just follow the directions on the box.
But for you pretentious people that would like to make it homemade, here's the recipe:
Cornmeal Waffles Ingredients:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
Cornbread Waffles Directions
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add milk, oil, and eggs; stirring until smooth. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron and bake in batches. Set aside and keep warm.
Serve waffles topped with heaping spoonfuls of Spicy Chili. Garnish with shredded Cheddar, sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro (unless you hate cilantro like I do, then by all means leave it out).
Trust me when I say you have got to try this recipe. As Paula would say, it's truly "out of this world"!
Easy 20 Layer Crepe Cake
- 20 basic crepes (I used store bought Melissa's brand, but you could make your own, of course)
- Mascarpone Cream
- 2 8oz containers mascarpone cheese
- 1 8oz block cream cheese
- 1 3.4oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract*
- 3/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar (or more to taste)
To assemble the cake, all you do is layer it with about 1/8 c. mascarpone cream for each layer(and whatever other ingredients you'd like) and garnish with powdered sugar, fruit, chocolate, whatever blows your skirt up!
Now, for the varations. For the one in the picture, I made it a Chocolate Hazelnut 20 Layer Crepe Cake by spreading every third layer with Nutella (aka the food of the gods). I garnished it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries.
To make a variation, all you have to do is add things to the cream (like different extracts instead of vanilla, switch out the vanilla pudding for chocolate and add cocoa to make a chocolate cream) and use different ingredients for layering. Here are three variations I came up with on my own. Can you think of any others?
Citrus Crepe Cake: Omit the vanilla and add orange, lemon, or lime extract to taste. You could even add in some zest for extra flavor. Then, layer orange, lemon, or lime curd on every third layer.
Mocha Crepe Cake: Add a bit of cocoa powder, substitute brewed coffee or espresso for the milk, and substitute chocolate pudding mix for the vanilla.
Bananas Foster Crepe Cake: Add a bit of rum or rum extract to the cream, use banana pudding mix instead of the vanilla, and alternate with layers of caramel and bananas. Yum!
As you can see, the possibilities are endless!