Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wonderful dinner!!!

I'm back on the cooking and ejoying it bandwagon :)

Tonight we had cranberry marinated chicken and roasted sweet potatoes with a butter and cinnamon sugar glaze. They were both AMAZING!!!

For the chicken...
I did 4 leg and thigh quarters (Frozen)
over them I poured (combined)
1 can cranberry sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 cup French/Catalina dressing

I let the chicken defrost and marinate for about 6 hrs on the counter-top.
I put foil over the top and cooked it at 425* for 20 minutes, then I removed the foil and dropped the oven temp. to 375* and cooked it for another 30 minutes.

For the potatoes...
I melted 1/2 a stick of butter and combined it with 1/4 cup of cinnamon and sugar (1tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar)
I tossed 1 inch potato cubes in that.
I used 2 medium peeled, cubed potatoes

Those were cooked uncovered in the oven (on the lower rack) while the chicken cooked on the top rack. The potatoes were a little too done, I will probably only cook them for 30 minutes if I do them again with this chicken.

The kids loved the potatoes and the chicken, it is definately going to be a do-again here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bread pudding

I love Magpie's. It's a little restaurant in Old Town St. Charles. The food is AMAZING! The salads, soups, sandwiches, quiches, and even desserts. I discovered their bread pudding a couple years ago with my sister. Since then, I'm always looking for an excuse to go with friends or family members just to induge some more in it. While googling a few months ago, I found their recipe for bread pudding!!! Since it's dreary and rainy today, I thought it would be a perfect day to make bread pudding. :) It will also make the perfect ending tonight to my London Broil and potato dinner.

2 French baguettes (day-old or older, each 30 inches long and 8 to 10 ounces)

1/2 gallon whole milk

1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup dried cranberries

4 eggs

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) cold butter

The day before serving, tear bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour in milk, pushing on bread so that it is covered by milk. Cover bowl; refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan (see note).

Stir apple, raisins and cranberries into soaked bread. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour into the bread mixture; stir well.

Pour into prepared pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and randomly insert into the pudding.

Bake about 1 hour, until a knife inserted into the center comes out sticky. (If it looks milky and wet, the pudding is not quite done. If "set" pudding clings to the knife, it is done.) Cut into pieces; serve with caramel sauce and/or vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taco Soup

2 frozen chicken breasts cubed
4 cups of water
3 bullion cubes (chicken or beef)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans drained and rinsed

Put everything into a greased crock pot, set on low for 10 hrs.

I serve these with corn muffins

I also use low sodium EVERYTHING!

The older 2 boys loved this dish!!! They each had 2 bowls of the soup. The younger 2 kids only had a few bites and then ate their weight in muffins. It was a little too spicy for them, next time, I'll take some soup out before adding the tomatoes with green chilies.

We are using the leftover soup later this week with cooked white rice in it. I'm hoping that will make it less spicy... We shall see.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pantry adventures...

Lately I've been trying to shop more diliberately... I want to be very aware of the money I'm spending and what I'm getting for the money. I'm trying to keep the meals simple, but I don't want to always be using boxes of mac & cheese and chicken nuggests. I've discovered that a box of pasta, cooked rice, cans of black beans, creamed corn, salsa, queso, and diced tomatoes can go far.

2 recipes with very similar ingredients:

Mexican chicken and rice

2 chicken breasts diced and cooked

3 cups cooked rice

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup medium salsa

2 cup shredded cheese, divided

combine everything, sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese

bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes

Serve with corn chips or hard taco shells.

This recipe can be altered according to taste by using mild/medium/hot salsa and by using diced tomatoes or ro-tel tomatoes.

Recipe #2
Tex-Mex pasta

2 chicken breasts cooked and diced

1 can creamed corn

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can ro-tel

1 box of elbow mac cooked

1 brick of low-fat cream cheese

combine everything in a large pot over low heat, stir until cream cheese is completely incorperated.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bacon Tomato and Spinach pasta

1 box (160z) of pasta of your choice
8oz non-fat/low fat cream cheese
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
12 slices of bacon cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups spinach

combine the broth, tomatoes, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally.
add bacon and spinach and heat through.

Cook pasta for 10 minutes, drain, stir in sauce and simmer for 5-7 minutes

This recipe came out of my pantry and freezer. It turned out really good!!! Definitely a do again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Walking Tacos

My aunt and 2 of my cousins came to visit this past week. We had a fantastic time!
While here, my aunt made Walking Tacos, they were amazing! They are super easy-peasy, and the very large group and kid friendly!!!!
The nicest thing about these, is most of the ingredients are always on hand. I'm mad at myself for not getting a picture of them, but we were in a hurry to eat and get out of the house to go to the Arch and riverfront.

Walking Tacos
1 lb ground beef or chicken with taco seasoning (cooked and warm)
1 head of lettuce chopped
2 large tomatoes diced
1 bag of shredded cheese
sour cream
snack sized bags of Doritos or Fritos

Open the bag and buil a taco inside. So good!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring has sprung!!!!!

This yummy salad is a staple at most of the family parties hosted by my mom's side of the family. I have never made it before, just gladly partaken of its goodness.
Travis loved it! He giggled and just kept eating and eating. All 4 kids really liked it as well, that's a win in my book!!!! Look out for other variations of this as the spring moves into summer.

Taco Salad
1 lb ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 bags of shredded lettuce
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 cup of shredded cheese (I use colby/monterey jack)
1 bag of nacho corn chips crushed
Western salad dressing
brown the beef and add the taco seasoning according to the package
layer the salad in a bowl: lettuce, tomoto, meat, cheese, crushed chips
add dressing immediately before serving and toss.
That entire bowl was completely gone when the six of us were finished with dinner.