Monday, February 28, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

I got this recipe from the health magazine Prevention and it was major yummy! My hubby thought it was really good but a little mushy. So if you are not into that don't layer the casserole with the stuffing mix but just put it over the top of the casserole. You'll also need your slow cooker.

1 package of chicken stuffing mix, four boneless (I used six so it doesn't really matter) chicken breasts cut into cubes, 1-2 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms, 1 onion chopped, 1 bell pepper chopped (I used red because it looked so pretty,4 potatoes cut into four, 1 can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup and 2 cups of chicken broth. You can also add a couple of zucchini if you like. Combine stuffing mix with 1/2 cup of water, stir until moistened and put aside. Mix all of the above except for the stuffing and put into the slow cooker and then top with the stuffing, put on the lid. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or medium for 2-3 hours.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recreating Famous Menus

It's become overwhelmingly vogue to recreate famous menus written, tried, tested, served, and delighted in by well known famous chefs. Recently I read a book called Fanny's last supper written by Chris Kimball who decided to recreate, cook, and serve a dinner to friends based on a menu Fanny Farmer put together in her Boston School Cookbook. I've been searching the Internet to find similar famous menus but haven't had much luck. I did however find a menu that a la Julia Child put together in her book...mine now..."The French Chef Cookbook." I think it would be fun to recreate a famous menu and invite all your friends over to sample it. Of course creating this sort of extravagace requires a great deal of planning and preparation and to tell you the truth I actually did such a thing a few years ago (it's all on the blog). Here is Julia's menu for one gorgeous dinner:

First Course:

Coquilles St.-Jacques a La Creole (Scallops in Wine sauce garnished with tomato fondue.

Main Course: Casserole Roast of Beef with aromatic vegetables, potatoes and braised Carrot Slices.

Dessert: Le Vacherin (Meringue case for Dessert Creams, Ice Cream, or Fruit and Berry Mixtures).

If you find any other famous menus, let me know!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

French Breakfast Muffins with Bacon and Egg Frittata

I fed a total of seven guys this morning - one gorgeous old fart, aka hubby, one tween, and five 15 year olds. Normally I make heavy fare (pancakes, bacon, hash browns)with that many men in the house, but today I threw on my gorgeous white and black French apron and decided instead to air on the side of something sweet. I made two pans of muffins (24 in total) and can tell you that they were not only gone in 10 minutes flat, but my two sons told me a few times today how much they LOVED THEM!

French Breakfast Muffins: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup butter melted, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/3 cup melted butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Spray muffin tins with Pam spray or with whatever you usually use to grease pans. In a medium bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder nutmeg, and salt. Now make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add mixed wet ingredients: milk, egg, and melted butter. Stir just until moistened (may be a little lumpy). Pour batter into each muffin tin evenly and pop into the oven for about 20ish minutes. Once the muffins are done have a little bowl of melted butter and a little plate of sugar/cinnamon mixture waiting, first dipping muffin into butter and then dipping it into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Put onto a pretty plate and voila! I just got to thinking that you could add some BENEFIBRE to this! Yum.

Bacon Egg Frittata: 8 eggs (2 per person), one whole small sauteed onion, 1/4 cup of milk, 5 strips of bacon, 1/2 cup of white cheddar (or more if you so desire). Mix all together and put into a greased casserole or pie plate and bake away for about 25 minutes or until nice and golden.


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Another Easy Yummy Bread I Love: Peanut Butter!

Here's another super easy loaf of bread to try today.

2 cups of flour, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp salt, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 ¼ cup sugar, 1 ¼ cup milk, 2/3 cup peanut butter. Mix dry ingredients first, then mix milk and peanut butter together, and combine all of the ingredients together. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Best when one day old.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shrimp Ceviche

1 ½ - 2 pounds of uncooked fresh shrimp, 2 - 3 chopped avocados, 2 chopped up yellow/red peppers, 1 chopped cucumber, ½ cup of fresh lime juice, ½ cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, 1 tbsp. of chipotle spice – or instead you can buy one serrano chili (add seeded and chopped. You can get at Mexican store), 1 tsp. of sugar, 3-4 tbsp. Of tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp. of salt.
First put the shrimp into a bowl with lime and lemon juice and put into the refrigerator for about 3 hours. The acid of the juices will cook the shrimp. Then add all of the above ingredients mix together and put back into the fridge for another hour. Serve with some nice baked tortilla chips. ***Last April tomatillos were in season and I added a few of these.

***If you like you can add 4 chopped up tomatoes too – it will taste just as good.

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Tara's Beer Bread - Major Easy and a Real Friend Impresser!

Here’s a really delicious cool loaf of bread that you can make in just a few minutes. You’ll need to part with a can of beer, but wow - it has that amazing homemade yeasty taste and the top crust is nice and crunchy and the bread is amazingly homemade, but without all the hassle. I like to make it when I run out of bread at home.

3 cups of flour, 1 tbsp of baking powder, 3 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1 bottle or can of beer, at room temp, ¼ cup of unsalted butter, melted.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the beer all at once, mixing as little as possible; the batter should be lumpy. Pour the batter into a greased 9X5x3 inch loaf pan and brush with the melted butter. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.


Fantasticly Yummy and Rustic Zucchini Tart

Heat 3 tbsp. of unsalted butter and stir in 1 tsp. of basil and then 2 cups of sliced onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 2 ½ cups of zucchini and sauté until liquid is gone - 5 minutes. Spread 1 cup of mozzarella over an already made and baked pastry shell and top with zucchini mixture. Bake in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. Very delicious. Slice up and serve.

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My Cheese Torte a Delish Recipe I Lifted from the Wedgewood Hotel And Am Making This Weekend

(lifted from the Wedgewood Hotel Kitchen...)
1 cup of asiago cheese (put in shredder of food processor and shred), 1 cup of mascarpone cheese, 1 cup of dry curd cottage cheese, ½ cup of pesto, ¾ cup sundried tomatoes in oil. Drain the sundried tomatoes and put into the food processor and chop very fine. Set aside. Then mix all three cheeses into the food processor and don’t be afraid to over mix. Set aside. Divide the cheese mixture into three equal parts. Set aside. The first 1/3 of the cheese mixture, put back into the food processor with the sundried tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Spread on the bottom of the 8” spring form pan. Set aside. Take the next 1/3 of the cheese mixture and put in the food processor with 1 tbsp. of mayo or Miracle Whip and mix again. Spread on top of the first layer of the cheese mixture in the spring form pan. Take the last 1/3 of the cheese mixture and put in the food processor and mix it with the pesto sauce. Spread that layer on the top of the other cheese layer in the spring form pan. Put in the freezer to get pretty solid, but not frozen. Cut into wedges (pardon the pun) and wrap each wedge with Saran Wrap and put in the freezer. This freezes well l and fantastic for when you need something gorgeous and delicious to spread on crackers or a nice fresh baguette.

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Prawns with Feta

I remember whipping this dish up with these ingredients when we had some last minute guests drop by. It was unbelievably delicious.
1 small onion, finely chopped, ½ oz. of butter, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 125 ml of dry white wine, 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, 1 clove of garlic, crushed, ¾ tsp. chopped fresh oregano, salt, freshly ground black pepper, 4 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled, 2 lbs. of uncooked prawns, peeled and deveined, 4 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley. Sauté onion in butter and olive oil in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes, garlic and oregano. Season. Bring to the boil then simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Add cheese, mix well, and then simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add prawns and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4 or 1 if you are me.


Cheese and Bacon Muffins

Sorry for no postings...i got new nails and its hard to type. xoxoxoxo

These muffins are so damn good I used to make them for gifts for friends and on the occasional Christmas morning. Lovely with a bowl of hot soup.
2 cups of flour, 2 tbsp of granulated sugar, 1 tsp of baking powder, ¼ tsp. Of salt, ½ cup or more of sharp cheddar, 4-5 cooked bacon strips, 1 cup of milk, ¼ cup of cooking oil, 1 egg.
Mix first 6 ingredients into a large bowl. Stir thoroughly. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Beat egg slightly in small bowl. Mix in milk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into the well and stir only to moisten. Batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups ¾ full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes and remove from pan. Makes 12. ******I used to exchange milk for a tin of chicken or mushroom soup for extra flavour. Yummy!


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Don't try the Coq au Vin....Yet!

Oh goodness, I broke one of my own rules the other day and that is, "do not make a dish for the first time for company." Oh goodness. While it was good, it was not outstanding and that is my fault. I should have left the "chicken skin" on. I also should have made this dish over a two day period. I also didn't clue in that that wine I marinated the chicken in overnight cooked the darn thing right through. Why did they not tell me this in the recipe. How do you succulate cooked chicken in a pot after THAT??? Anyway, there was barely any left by the end of dinner and all my young (19 year old) niece and nephews told me that my dinner was awesome and that I'm a great cook.....which also leads me to believe that they don't get very good cooking very often if they loved THAT. I think I will follow Julia Child's recipe instead for the next time. And remember....never ever ever cook a new dish for the first time for company....yikes!!!