Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms

26 Feb

Yes, this is very similar to another chicken dish I recently made, but there are some slight differences. First, I paired it with mushrooms instead of green beans and cherry tomatoes. Second, I added a little cooking wine. I used cooking sherry, but marsala or even a white wine would work great in this as well. The wine does give it a little extra pop of taste, but can be left out and still be very good.

Tonight, I paired this with mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus (made in my rice/vegetable steamer). It would also go well with rice and a variety of vegetables, like green beans or broccoli. I have also added some fresh spinach in when I added the mushrooms while cooking, which came out really well too.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms

 

Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin or cut in half through the thickness
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cooking wine, like sherry, marsala, or white
1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced
Olive oil

How to make it:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, stir and cook until soft and translucent.

Season chicken with fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add chicken to the skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side to brown both sides.

Stir in chicken broth, cooking wine, and mushrooms. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes, if desired.

Finger Puppet Valentine Hearts

17 Feb

It’s been a crazy start to the month in our house, and Valentine’s Day crept up on me. I had wanted to make Valentines with both girls for their classes, but hadn’t really looked at ideas. I had seen a few variations of heart finger puppets on Pinterest, and decided that would be what we would make.

So, I got out a few cutting tools that I have, a Fiskars Portable Scrapbooking Paper Trimmer, a heart template, and a Fiskars Circle cutter.

Tools to make finger puppet valentines

Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Use the template to trace the big heart on the left onto colored cardstock, and cut each out by hand.
  2. Use the circle cutter to cut two 1″ holes towards the bottom of the heart for the finger holes to make the “legs” with.  Keep the circles.
  3. Cut a different color cardstock into 1″ thick strips that are 4″ long. These are folded accordion style for the “arms”.
  4. Use the 1″ circles that were cut out for the finger holes to glue on the ends of the “arms” to create “hands”.
  5. Write message on back side of heart, such as “From Your Friend, Jenny”.
  6. Glue “arms” onto back side of heart.
  7. Glue googly eyes on front side of heart, or draw eyes.  Also draw a smile and cheeks.

Here are how they all turned out:

Finished Finger Puppet Valentines

I did all the cutting, but my 4-year-old wrote her name on all of them, drew on the faces, and helped with the gluing.  She loved making them, and was so excited to show them to all of her friends.  And, her friends all had fun with them too!

Pesto Pinwheels

16 Feb

For the Super Bowl, we didn’t really watch the game or have a party, but I wanted to still have some party food. So, I made Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip, and then was trying to decide on what else. I had a can of crescent rolls, and thought back to the Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels my sister made on New Year’s Eve. I decided it would be yummy to use pesto and shredded mozzarella cheese.  They turned out delicious!

Finished Pesto Pinwheels

 

Pesto Pinwheels

What you need:

1 can crescent rolls
1 cup pesto (I used this Kale Pesto recipe, but only had half the amount of kale, so used a 1 oz container of micro arugula from my FarmBox in place of the remaining kale)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Open can of dough, unroll, and press into 4 rectangles.  Spread pesto over each rectangle, then add shredded mozzarella cheese.

Spread pesto on unrolled crescent rolls

Roll the dough from one side, and pinch the edge to close.

Rolled up pesto pinwheels

Cut each roll into about 6 pieces, placing each piece on a baking sheet.

Rolls cut into 1/2" sections and placed on foil lined baking sheet

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Our 2013 Recipe Book!

15 Feb

I finally found the time to sit down and share this! This photo book was our gift to family and to teachers this year. I used to do a photo book of pictures throughout the year, but it became too much to put together. Last year, we made a mug, which did turn out really cute. This year, I wanted to do something a little more and different. Since I love to cook, and both of my girls love to cook with me, we decided to put together a book with some of their favorite recipes, and photos of them helping get ingredients and cooking in the kitchen. It turned out great, and we’re already thinking of what we want to put in next year’s book!

recipe book

You can view the entire book here: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8BctWrZy3bMga

No-Bake Chocolate and Mint Cheescake

2 Feb

My younger daughter found this on a tear pad at Target yesterday and insisted we needed to make it.  Of course, it calls for a limited winter type of morsels, dark chocolate and mint, which they didn’t have. But, they did have the Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips, which, from licking the mixer blade and the scraper, seems to be an excellent substitution so far.  Just means there will be no pretty green drizzle on top.  I’m fine with that, one less step for me!

Note: Mine will look a LOT messier than theirs, but I don’t think it will matter if it tastes good!  I also used just a graham cracker crust instead of a chocolate crumb crust, since there will be plenty of chocolate going on anyway.

Recipe can be found here: http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/143923/No-Bake-Dark-Chocolate–Mint-Cheesecake/detail.aspx

Update: Here is a picture of mine:

No-Bake Chocolate and Mint Cheesecake

 

It was very, very rich, and very, very, good!

Meatballs in Creamy Dill Sauce

25 Jan

This dish was inspired by the other part of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals.  His dish was Swedish Meatballs with Celeriac and Spinach Rice.  I liked that he used dill, since I had some fresh dill on hand.  I looked at some other recipes online, and created a blend of a few different meatball recipes.  This was really, really good.  Everyone liked it, and there really wasn’t much leftover.

Below, I have the recipe for the meatballs and sauce.  I served it over rice with spinach, but mashed potatoes or egg noodles would work well with this too.  For the rice, I cooked the rice in my steamer, then put in a large bowl when it was done.  I quickly added chopped spinach to it while still very hot, mixing well.  That way, I got a vegetable in!

Meatballs with Creamy Dill Sauce

 

Meatballs with Creamy Dill Sauce

What you need:

2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup grated onion
2 tablespoon fresh dill
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 quart beef stock
1/2 cup cream, half and half, or milk
1/4 cup fresh dill

How to make it:

In a large bowl, soak breadcrumbs in the milk for a few minutes.  Mix in onion, 2 tablespoons dill, ground beef, eggs, and salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Roll ground beef into 1″ balls.  Add to the heated skillet and brown each meatball on every side, in batches if necessary.  When browned, remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium low and melt butter in the skillet.  Mix in flour.  Cook, stirring often, until you have a brown roux.  Whisk in beef stock, then cream and 1/4 cup fresh dill.  Add meatballs into the sauce.  Cover and turn heat down to low.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until meatballs have cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 F.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

25 Jan

This meal was inspired by an episode of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals on TV one Saturday morning.  While it’s a little disappointing that cartoons don’t dominate weekend basic cable TV anymore, my kids and I love that there are a couple of cooking shows on to watch since we don’t have full cable TV and the Food Network.  He did the chicken over a pesto pasta with green beans, but I had gotten a lot of cherry tomatoes from Market on the Move, so I decided to make the chicken with green beans and cherry tomatoes.  The rice I cooked separately as a side, but the chicken, green beans, and cherry tomatoes are all cooked  in 1 skillet on the stove top.  This did take more than the 15 minute version from the TV show, but not much more.  We all really enjoyed it, and will be making it again!

Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

 

Rosemary Garlic Chicken with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin or cut in half through the thickness
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Olive oil

How to make it:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, stir and cook until soft and translucent.

Season chicken with fresh rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Add chicken to the skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side to brown both sides.

Stir in chicken broth, green beans, and cherry tomatoes.  Cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until green beans are soft and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes, if desired.

Eggplant Lasagna

24 Jan

I’ve always wanted to try Eggplant Lasagna, but just hadn’t gotten to it.  After we got eggplant at a recent Market on the Move event, I decided it was time to try it.  Now, I have made Moussaka, so I know how to prepare the eggplant.  Then, I decided to take my favorite Lasagna recipe from Daily Cynema, use the meat sauce and cheese filling, subbing the roast eggplant in place of the noodles. We did a row of 4 slices of eggplant for each layer.  I didn’t get a real good picture showing how the eggplant looked, but you can almost see how in the 2 pictures here.

My older daughter enjoyed working on this with me, and we all enjoyed eating it!Layering the Eggplant Lasagna Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

What you need:

2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ slices, outer peel removed, if desired
Salt
Olive oil
1 pound ground beef**
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 large jar (45 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 egg
1 15 oz container ricotta or cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon oregano

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set on paper towels for 15-20 minutes to let them drain.  Pat tops with a paper towel.  Spray or brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes, flip slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, until they are tender and slightly brown.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper, and continue to cook until soft.  Pour in all but 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg.  Mix in ricotta or cottage cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, 4 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan, and the oregano.

In a small bowl, mix the reserved 1 cup of spaghetti sauce with the remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the meat sauce into a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Put down 1 layer of the roasted eggplant.  Next, spread 1/2 of the cheese/spinach mixture over the eggplant.  Then, spread the next 1/3 of the meat sauce.  Lay down another layer of roasted eggplant.  Spread the other 1/2 of the cheese/spinach mixture over the eggplant, then the last 1/3 of the meat mixture.  Lay down the final layer of roasted eggplant.  Spread the sauce and cheese mixture over this final layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until bubbly.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve.

**Note: If you would like to make this meatless, use diced mushrooms or zucchini/yellow squash in place of the ground beef.

Honey Orange Baked Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

23 Jan

I’m not sure how, but I had a lot of sweet potatoes.  I think I forgotten I had some and just kept getting more.  Anyway, I have made chicken and roast potatoes many times, but just with russet or gold potatoes, not with sweet potatoes.  To somewhat match the sweetness of the potatoes, I decided to make a honey orange sauce to pour over the chicken.  I baked it all together in a pan with green beans, and was very happy with the result!

Honey Orange Baked Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

Honey Orange Baked Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound green beans
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup honey
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, orange juice, olive oil, and Italian seasoning blend.

Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan.  Add sweet potatoes, green beans, and onions to the pan.  Pour half of the sauce over sweet potatoes, green beans, and onion.  Toss to coat evenly.

Place chicken breasts on top.  Pour remaining sauce over chicken.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken reaches a temperature of 165 F.

Easy Appetizers

21 Jan

My sister and I made some yummy, easy appetizers for New Year’s Eve.  The nice thing about these is that one uses crescent rolls and the other uses biscuits, which tend to be on sale fairly often.

Bacon Cheese Pinwheels and Mozzarella Bites

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

What you need:

1 can crescent rolls
4 slices bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Open can of dough, unroll, and press into a large rectangle.  Sprinkle bacon and cheddar evenly over the dough.  Roll the dough from one side, and pinch the edge to close.  Cut the roll into about 16 pieces, placing each piece on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mozzarella Bites

What you need:

1 can Grands biscuits
2-3 mozzarella cheese snack sticks
Olive oil
Garlic salt
Oregano
Grated Parmesan cheese

How to make them:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut each Grands biscuit in half and cut each mozzarella cheese snack stick into 1-inch sections.  Press each biscuit piece into a circle, and place a section of cheese on each circle.  Pull up sides of the biscuit around the cheese, and press to close.  Place the sealed side of each biscuit down on a baking sheet.  Brush the tops with olive oil, and sprinkle with the seasonings and grated Parmesan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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