Monday, January 21, 2013

Veggie and Bean Chili

This is Rachael Ray's take on veggie chili...I loved the idea of adding in refried beans at the end to thicken it up. This was great and even better reheated. It came together really quickly and is a filling lunch!

Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili

Friday, January 18, 2013

Smothered Pork Chops with Smashed Potatoes

Just a link so I don't forget...these were great! Norris said I should make this every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (he says that about all the dinners he loves, I think) The only part I didn't do was mix coleslaw in with the potatoes and just served salad on the side instead.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spicy chicken tenders with honey mustard

It was time for dinner and I knew I was making chicken tenders, but hadn't decided how or what to do with them. I normally just throw some spices together, but was feeling like trying something new (but without thinking, so knew I'd need a recipe:). This recipe from Giada was excellent! I used half the amount of breading/egg ingredients and it was plenty for about 12 chicken tenders. I made half the honey mustard, too, and it was perfect with the chicken tenders! The amounts below reflect the changes I made.
Spicy Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard

cooking spray
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp hot sauce
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil or line with Silpat.
Combine honey and mustard until smooth and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs and hot sauce. In another medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then shake off excess. Roll in cornmeal mixture and place on baking sheet with space between each chicken tender.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.

from Giada

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cranberry Orange Pistachio cookies

During our holiday break (which was nice and long), we took breaks from packing to cook and bake. Pretty fun way to spend the day! This made our Christmas treat list and I loved the flavors in them. Don't skip the orange sugar--really adds to it. Plus, they're pretty and festive!

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Orange Sugar:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp freshly grated orange peel

1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup pistachio nuts
1 tbsp freshly grated orange peel

Heat oven to 350F.
Combine all orange sugar ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well mixed. Set aside.
Combine 1 cup sugar, butter and egg in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients. Continue beating just until mixed.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in orange sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with bottom of glass to 1 ½-inch circles.
Bake for 7 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.(DO NOT OVERBAKE). Cool 1 minutes; remove from cookie sheets.

Source: Adapted from Land O’Lakes Holiday Cookies 2005
from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Pasta Bake

Another Pinterest winner! Especially for Norris--he really liked this. He loves it when I make hot food (what I consider dinner food) for lunch, so over break I made this. I prepped it two days before I actually baked it, so I baked it for a little longer and covered it with foil for the first part so it wouldn't overbrown. It also made great leftovers!

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Pasta Bake

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk (I also saw other versions that used regular milk with good results)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dry ranch salad dressing mix (not the dip blend).....I accidentally used the dip blend and it was still good
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken (about 2 large chicken breasts)
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 C. uncooked penne pasta
1 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 C mozzarella cheese, grated (I saw another version that replaced these two with three cups of colby jack, and I'd say I used closer to 3 cups)

Spray a 9x13 baking dish.

Cook pasta until about 2 minutes under regular cook time. Drain and add to baking dish.
Combine evaporated milk, dressing mix, and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Heat just to a boil, thensSimmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.
Layer chicken, sauce, and cheese into dish over pasta. Bake uncovered at 350' for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving if you want it to come out prettier, or just eat it in a big pile on your plate while it's still steaming, which is more my style!

from Mommy I'm Hungry

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kentucky bourbon bacon Chex mix

Happy 2013! It's been a while since I've been here. Last term was crazy--two grad classes, no plan period, selling our house, living with a friend for a few weeks, moving in to our new house..... the dust has finally settled and we have enjoyed cooking in our new kitchen!
My sister, cousins, and I got together for a cooking and craft day in December where we all brought something to make something good to eat and to make a craft. Let's just say that the food was more successful than the crafts:) We could have been hits on craft fail! Some were successes and turned out really cute, though!
This was my contribution. We first sampled this at a tailgate when my friend said "there is chex mix with BACON in it!" so we had to try. The only thing I changed was to use about half of the chili powder suggested. This is good stuff and really easy to make. I didn't find anyone who didn't like it and there definitely wasn't anyone disappointed to find bacon in their chex mix!
Kentucky Bourbon Bacon Chex Mix
15 oz bag Chex Mix traditional snack mix (have found these on great sale at Big Lots lately)
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 lb bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp bourbon
3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (I used half and just regular chili powder)
Heat oven to 300°F. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix snack mix, pecans and bacon. Set aside.
In 2-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool 2 minutes. Carefully stir in bourbon and chipotle chili powder. Pour over snack mixture; toss until evenly coated.
Spread snack mixture on pans. Bake 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to caramelize mixture. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store covered in refrigerator.