Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken

Wow, I have LOTS of recipes to review!I'll start with my favorite one I tried.
I was watching BYU television the other day (we don't have cable) and saw this interesting show called Food Nanny. She helps families rescue dinner time and shows them how to make quick and easy meals. The recipe featured on that episode was Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken- which I found the recipe online here.

YUMMY! I had my BFF over to taste test this recipe and we both agreed that we loved it! Definitely a keeper!

Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken

⅔ cup buttermilk or buttermilk ranch dressing
2 cups panko bread crumbs (These are Japanese bread crumbs and found right by the regular ones and YES, they are a must)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 pounds chicken breast tenders
⅔ cup butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease an oblong baking pan.
2. Pour the buttermilk or buttermilk ranch dressing into a wide, shallow dish or pie plate. Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt in another wide, shallow dish. Roll each piece of chicken in the buttermilk and then dredge in the panko mixture to coat.
3. Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared pan. Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and drizzle the melted butter over all. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Here are the results:

Now I know they just look average, but they are spectacular!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Valentine's Day Recipes Part 6

No Valentine's Day is complete without chocolate covered strawberries! I know you can get those little chocolate containers in the store that you just heat in the microwave and dip your strawberries in, but I wanted to try something different. I liked this recipe that I tried below because I felt like I could control the taste by which brand of chocolate chips I bought. The chocolate was also denser and just plain better when you ate the strawberries. Simple yet elegant!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves

1. Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.(I didn't do this)
2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
3. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.(I just layed them on wax paper and put in the fridge)

Here are the results:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Valentine's Day Recipes Part 5

I'm always on the hunt for an interesting salad recipe, especially ones I can take to an outdoor event. I absolutely loved this recipe for Byrdhouse Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms. The only thing I changed is that I added cubes of mozzarella cheese to it right before serving. The fresh basil is a must and it was divine. My sister had the leftovers and totally agrees that it's fabulous!

Byrdhouse Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
I added 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese

1.Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and basil; toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.

Here are the results:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Valentine's Day Recipes Part 3

For the main dish of my Valentine's Day Meal, I decided to try something a little more fancy. Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce was the star of the show, who else but The Pioneer Woman would I go to for a fabulous recipe. It was more somewhat time consuming to make, but it was worth it!

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

* 3 whole Red Bell Peppers
* 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (optional)
* 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* ½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
* 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
* ½ cups Heavy Cream
* Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Minced
* Fresh Parmesan, Shaved Or Grated
* ½ pounds (to 1 Pound) Pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Etc.
Roast red peppers, and then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then removed seeds. Set aside.
Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.
Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt.
Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.
Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.

Here are my results:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Valentine's Day Recipes Part 2

For the first course of our fabulous Valentine's Day meal, we started with Classic French Onion Soup. It's a favorite of ours when we go out to eat, but I've just never attempted it before. This recipe turned out VERY scrumptious and pretty easy. It was the first one I found online that was in a slow cooker which made it so much easier than babysitting the onions while they cooked on the stove.

Funny side note: I cut up all the onions,sauteed them, and dumped them into the crock-pot before church. I DID take a shower right after handling the onions and before going to church. My husband was already there and when I walked in the first thing he asked me was "Did you forget to put on deodorant?" I could have DIED! I asked him if I smelt like onion and he confirmed that I did and that's what brought on the comment. I went straight back home and washed my hands with both lemony soup and then with straight lemon juice (just a little tip if you ever need to get the onion smell off) It helped tremendously but I was still self conscious the whole day!

If you make this soup, it's fabulous, but be warned, you and your house will smell like onions!

Classic French Onion Soup

1/4cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 cup dry white wine (I just left this out)
3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef or chicken broth
(I used half beef and half chicken because that's what the pioneer woman does but it would have been just great with beef broth in my opinion)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 slices French bread, toasted
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
Fresh thyme for garnish

1.Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook and stir 15 minutes or until onions are soft and lightly browned. Stir in wine.
2.Combine onion mixture, broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and thyme in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
3.Ladle soup into 4 bowls; top with bread slice and cheese. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
After putting the bread and cheese on top, I put mine under a broiler until the cheese was melted, with the leftovers I put it in the microwave until the cheese was melted and I loved that extra touch.

Here are the delicious results:

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentines Day Recipes Part 1

We decided to stay in for Valentine's Day this year. Restaurants are crazy crowded and since I enjoy cooking, we thought it was for the best. I made FIVE new recipes for my husband and our morning started out with this wonderful quiche. I got this recipe over 10 years ago from my church and kept it for that long because I remember how wonderful it was. It was delicious (especially for my first quiche)

Brunch Quiche

1/2 lbs cooked sausage or 8 sliced cooked crumbled bacon
3/4 C Swiss cheese, grated
3/4 C cheddar cheese, grated
2 green onions, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 and 1/4 C whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1- 9 inch uncooked deep dish pie shell

Mix and bake in 9 inch deep dish uncooked pie shell at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.(I would go an extra 2 or 3 minutes as mine was just barely not ready) Cool slightly before serving.

Here are the results:

Here's a slice of the yummy quiche:

Don't worry, I still have 4 more other recipes to review and post this week so lots more to come!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sesame Pasta Chicken Salad

I think I've mentioned before that I am always on the quest to find the perfect salad recipes. I'm always asked to bring them to events and I never feel like I have conquered the perfect salad. Well, I think I have found my perfect pasta salad recipe. I really liked using the mini bow tie pasta this time because I thought they were the perfect size for for our event and there were lots of dishes to pile on your plate. This recipe is pasta salad meets oriental chicken salad. Adults and kids seemed to like it and I was asked for the recipe by a few people!

Sesame Pasta Chicken Salad
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped green onion
I added some cooked peas

1.Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds, and cook
stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and
set aside.
2.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta,
and cook for8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta, and
rinse under coldwater until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
3.In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger, and pepper. Shake well.
4.Pour sesame dressing over pasta, and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, and green onions.

Here are the results:


I had no idea my friend had this awesome blog: The Mom Blog located at I'm sure I'll be using that one a lot since we only have a few more months before my little one arrives. Anyways, she's giving away some way cute stuff on her blog. I've already seen her nursing covers on and if I don't win, I'm buying one anyways because they are so adorable! Head on over there are enter her giveaway!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Layered Turkey Nachos

Another amazing recipe found in Leanne Ely's awesome cookbook Saving Dinner.

Layered Turkey Nachos

Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich

I just wanted something really light to make one day. This recipe was strictly for me because my husband is the typical "Where's the meat?" kind of guy. That said, he came home and I made it for him as a snack with the leftovers and he liked it a lot! I LOVE this recipe for Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwiches. Although it's so simple it's almost not a recipe, I'll give credit where credit is do. It's amazing.(MY CHANGES ARE IN BOLD)

Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich
1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread (I USED TOASTED FRENCH HAMBURGER BUNS)
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I OMITTED CUZ I'M A WUSS)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1.Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Layer the basil, tomato slices, and mozzarella cheese between the two halves of bread. Cut into four sandwiches.
2.In a small dish, stir together the balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Use as a dipping sauce. (I BRUSHED THE TOASTED BREAD WITH THE BALSAMIC VINEGAR WITH A LITTLE OLIVE OIL ADDED IT IT)

Here are the results:

This recipe goes down in my books as five stars!