Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brunswick Stew

The church I grew up in back in Georgia has a big BBQ luncheon every year.  They make some great BBQ pork and I get a few frozen packs of it from my parents.  I pretty much use it just for this recipe now.  The BBQ meat I use is already sauced but it's not necessary.  This is great year around but very nice in the winter for "warm me up" comfort food.
Brunswick Stew

1lb smoked pork, chopped
1lb smoked chicken, chopped
1 small onion chopped
16 oz bag frozen niblet corn
16 oz bag frozen baby limas
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of chicken broth
1/2 bottle of ketchup
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/4 c Worcestershire
1/4 c brown sugar

Saute onions in 1 T oil in large pot.  Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for about 2 hrs.

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light.  It is one of my favorite magazines that I receive.  The recipe below is for 2 chicken breasts so just adapt it for as many as you need.  You could even prepare the chicken ahead and then just cook them when you were ready if you were doing these for company.  Also, this is a basic recipe that I think you could adapt an endless number of ways.  How about broccoli and cheddar?  You'll also notice that I use garlic oil to saute my spinach.  I think this is such a great flavor booster ingredient and it saves me an extra step when cooking which is always great.  It has become a must-have in my kitchen.

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1T olive oil
1/3 c chicken broth
2 c fresh spinach
1T garlic oil (or you could use olive oil and add a little garlic)
1/4 crumbled feta

In an oven proof skillet (not non-stick) saute the spinach with a little salt and pepper in the garlic oil.  Once wilted and cooled, squeeze out as much water as you can.  Chop the spinach and add the feta.  Take your chicken breasts and cut a pocket into the side of the thickest end.  Fill the pocket with the spinach mixture.  Use the toothpicks to skewer the pocket closed and salt and pepper the chicken.  Reheat your skillet over med-hi heat and add olive oil.  Brown the chicken 3 minutes on each side.  Preheat your oven to 350.  Once the chicken is browned, add the chicken broth to the skillet and place the skillet in the oven for 15 mins or until done.  Let the chicken rest about 5 mins before serving.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Army Birthday Cookie

This year Sam wanted a Birthday Cookie decorated like an army base.  I bought a large chocolate chip cookie from Publix's bakery and also got some extra fudge icing and green icing from them.  He picked, from his large collection of army stuff, the pieces he wanted to use and he decorated it (with my help).  It turned out so cute and couldn't have been easier!

Mafiaoza's Restaurant

Yeah for a new and different Italian restaurant in B'ham!!  We especially liked the very cool antipasti platter!  They have all of these Italian sliced meats, cheeses, and dips that were just absolutely delicious.  I also tried a salad that had some roasted veggies on it and we had the DeMartino pizza.  You can see their menu here.  I definitely recommend giving this place a try.

Chuy's Mexican Restaurant

We went to Chuy's for Bill and Sam's birthday.  Their food was very fresh and delicious.  Fresh made salsa and handmade tortillas.  You can view their menu here.  I had a beef chile relleno with ranchero sauce and chicken enchilada with tomatillo sauce.  I have, for some reason, always been afraid to try the chile relleno at other mexican restaurants.  It was really, really good at Chuy's and I was told it is nothing like the others.  So I guess I'm still afraid to try it at other restaurants.  The enchilada was just ok.  Next time I'll get two rellenos!!  Bill had Chuy's special which was blue corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese and topped with tomatillo sauce and a fried egg.  We had their soapapillas for dessert which are the closest to what we have had in Texas.  Pretty much, they are doughnuts dusted with cinnamon and served with honey.  I definitely give this place a thumbs up and will look forward to going there again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Polynesian Chicken

This is a nice change for something to brush on chicken for the grill.  It's sweet and a little garlicky.  Yummy!

Polynesian Chicken

3/4 c pineapple juice
2T honey
1T dijon mustard
1T soy sauce
1 1/2 t cornstarch
1 clove garlic minced
12 chicken thighs or drumsticks
salt and pepper

Add glaze ingredients to saucepan and simmer until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill for 30 mins.  Brush with glaze and cook an additional 10 mins or until done.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Peanut Chicken

This is a product recommendation and recipe.  I really like curry dishes and Thai dishes but I haven't tried many dishes like that at home.  A Taste of Thai is a brand of Thai inspired products for dishes at home.  This was a super easy recipe and so very good.  It is a little sweet and just a little heat.  Very easy too, I just made the chicken and served it on brown rice with a side of sauted green beans.  You can visit Taste of Thai here and see the recipe and the products I used.

Peanut Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I pounded my a little to get it an even thickness)
1 can of coconut milk
1 packet of peanut sauce mix (use both packets inside)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a 9x13 baking dish, mix coconut milk and peanut sauce mix until well blended.  Add chicken and turn in sauce to coat.  Bake uncovered for 30 min or until chicken is done.  Serve over rice or noodles and spoon extra sauce on top.

Beef Stroganoff

This is a recipe I found on the back of a bag of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta.  I really didn't alter the recipe at all except for leaving out the mushrooms.  I love them but my family doesn't so I just saute them on the side and add them to my plate.  Sorry I don't have a picture.  I'll have to add that next time!

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb gr beef
1/2 c chopped onion
1 1/2 c water
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 T AP flour
12 oz whole wheat egg noodles
16 oz sour cream
Sauted mushrooms

Brown gr beef with onions in a large skillet.  Meanwhile, boil pasta according to package directions and drain.  Drain gr beef and add back to skillet.  Add water, bouillon, and Worcestshire and bring to a boil.  You can add the mushrooms here if you want them.  Add flour to sour cream and then add to skillet.  Bring mixture to a simmer but don't boil.  Add pasta and mix thoroughly coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Praline Brownies

This is a Betty Crocker recipe.  You can see the recipe here.  They are very sweet but I think they turned out great.

Praline Brownies

1 box brownie mix & ingredients for brownies
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook brownies according to package directions in a 9x13 pan.  Allow to cool.  In medium saucepan, mix cream, butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans, powdered sugar and vanilla. Cool 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Spread frosting over brownies. Allow to stand 30 to 45 minutes, or until frosting is set.

Splenda Apple Pie

I have had a really hard time finding No Sugar Added apple pies in the freezer section or bakery at my grocery stores.  It is my husband's favorite dessert but he is diabetic so we have to go for the no sugar added variety.  This is Splenda's recipe that I've modified a little.  Here is their original recipe.  I don't think anyone can tell that it's made with Splenda.  Sorry there's no picture.  I'll add it the next time a bake one.

Splenda Apple Pie

2 refrigerated pie crusts
7 c peeled and sliced apples (I use Granny Smiths)
1t lemon juice
1 c Splenda
3 T cornstarch
1 t apple pie spice blend (I use a Cinnamon Blend from Pampered Chef)
1/4 t salt

Combine apples and lemon juice.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to thoroughly coat.  Fill pie crust and top with remaining pie crust.  Crimp edges and cut a few slits in the top for venting.  I lightly spray the top of my pie with butter cooking spray.  Bake at 425 for 40-50 mins.

Pimento Cheese

I finally made my own pimento cheese!  It was delicious and I'll probably be making another batch real soon!

Pimento Cheese

16 oz sharp cheddar cheese block
2 c mayo (I used Duke's)
4 oz pimentos (I may double this next time)
several dashes of Worcestershire
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper

With your food processor, grate the cheese and then dump the cheese into a bowl.  Remove the grater attachment and insert the chopping blade.  Add back 1/2 of the cheese and add the mayo.  Blend and when it is well blended, add the rest of the ingredients.  Blend until well incorporated.  It will be pretty soft but will firm up some once refrigerated.  I think it tastes better two once it has been refrigerated overnight.

Grilled Vegetables with Feta and Orzo

This is such a great side dish or could also be a light, meatless main dish.  If you are not familiar with orzo, it is a rice shaped pasta.  Also, I use a grill basket to hold my chopped vegetables on the grill.  If you don't have one, you can just cut your vegatables into large pieces for the grill and then after they are cooked just chop them some more for the dish.  Enjoy!

Grilled Vegetables with Feta and Orzo

1 lg zucchini
3 sm yellow squash (I like the small ones because they are less seedy)
1 sm red onion (I use vidalia when they are in season)
1 red bell pepper
1 med tomato
1t Greek seasoning (Cavender's is good)
1 T olive oil (garlic infused oil is good here too)
1/2 c crumbled feta
1 c orzo
1/4 - 1/3 c good Italian dressing (Paul Newman's Olive Oil and Vinegar is great)

Chop all of the vegetables into 1 inch chunks and combine into a bowl except for tomato.  Season with Greek seasoning and oil and toss to coat.  Grill until charred and tender.  Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions.  Be careful not to overcook or you will have mush.  Drain the orzo and in a bowl add the dressing and chopped tomato while the orzo is still hot.  Add grilled vegetables and feta.