Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slow Cooked Lemon Chicken

So Jeff hates lemon and has a moral objection to chicken (it's a family farmer thing). But, being bound by the Try It Tuesday code of "you must try it, it is Tuesday" (it is unbelievable that my family will eat anything if it is Tuesday), I forged ahead with the Lemon Chicken.

Also because I am trying to go a week or two by only cooking with the stuff I already have in my kitchen. If you have never done this, I highly recommend it. Not only will you find boxes of groceries that you don't remember buying, but you will be amazed at how creative you can be.

I'm pretty sure this came from Taste of Home. But that is just judging from the format of the printout I have.

Coat the chicken breasts in spices and lightly brown in melted butter. Typically, I am not one to brown meat before putting it into the crock pot, but I am moving more and more toward that crucial step since I discovered that it really DOES help to seal in the juices. And for this recipe, it is especially important.
Add the chicken to a 4 quart slow cooker. To the browning pan, add in lemon juice water and garlic.
This will quickly come to a boil. Grab a whisk and make sure all those browned chicken leftover bits are picked up into this sauce.Pour it over the chicken and cook on high for about 3 hours.
Remove the chicken.
In a small measuring cup, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to about a cup of water. Blend this well and add to the leftover juices. Bring to a boil and you will have a thick lemon sauce to pour over the chicken.
This was yummy. I really thought that it wouldn't be enough lemon flavor, but it was perfect. Just the right amount of zing for me.

I served it over rice, which The Girl didn't really like. But that was okay since Jeff finished hers (insert evil laugh here). Next time, I think I will try it over noodles.

I also think I will try this as a marinade for grilling sometime.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Slow Cooked Lemon Chicken
3 chicken breast halves, skin removed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cube chicken bouillon granules
Hot cooked rice
Combine the oregano, seasoned salt and pepper; rub over chicken. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in butter; transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add water, lemon juice, garlic and bouillon to the skillet; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits. Pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until meat juices run clear.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chocolate-Strawberry Peanut Butter Pie

You know those little recipe books you stare at as you are waiting to check out of the grocery store? I love those. I have actually put The Girl in charge of making me put them back so I don't end up buying a new one. But I came across a big box of them at a recent garage sale (I love those, too) and couldn't resist buying a cookbook for a quarter.

One of my treasures included a 2004 Better Homes and Gardens entitled "Chill Out" that had an incredible looking pie on the front. Now, I cannot recall every having made a frozen dessert, but that has, as of today, become my new obsession. Why in the world have I never done this????

When I saw the recipe, I actually thought the peanut butter was a misprint. Seriously? Strawberries and peanut butter? Never heard of it. Never crossed my mind. No way.

But, The Girl wanted to. So we did. Now you must. This is incredible. This is delicious. This is going to be gone by tomorrow.

This takes a little doing; it took me about 30 minutes to put it together. Of course that was with help, so it might not take you as long.

Mix a package of cream cheese with 1 cup of powdered sugar until it is well blended. Divide this in half into two medium sized bowls.
Because you didn't read ahead, wait for The Girl to lick the beaters clean (then wash them) and add half a cup of chunky peanut butter to one bowl and mix again.
Since The Boy wants to "help" give him a strawberry on a stick to keep him distracted.
Fold in half the whipped topping. Be patient here. Folding is just a way of stirring in fluffy ingredients so that they stay fluffy. If you don't want fluff, feel free to stir. But you want fluff.
In the other bowl, add about 2 cups of chopped strawberries. When you chop these, be sure they are fairly small pieces. This is a frozen dessert, so large chunks of strawberries are not friendly to those with sensitive teeth.

Hmmmm...maybe that's why I shy away from frozen desserts....

Mix that in good and add the rest of the whipped topping. Again, FOLD it in to mix well.
Alternately spoon in each mixture into a graham cracker crust.

I used a big ice cream scoop. I think next time, I will use my smaller scoop. I think that might blend it a little better.

Use a butter knife to swirl the mixture and make it marble.

Freeze this for about 6 hours to really set it up. I ended up freezing it for about 4 in my chest freezer and it was perfect.

To serve, drizzle with chocolate syrup or ice cream topping. To be honest, I don't really think it needs it (and that's saying something coming from me). While I adore chocolate, I don't like a lot of flavors competing for my attention. It was wonderful both ways.

Seriously, don't be afraid of the weird combination here. You must try this.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Strawberry Peanut Butter Pie
1 Graham Cracker Crust
1 (8 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1 (8 oz.) Container Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
2 Cup Chopped Strawberries
Chocolate Ice Cream Topping (optional)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Divide cream cheese mixture between two medium bowls. Add peanut butter to one bowl. Beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth; fold in half of the whipped topping.
Add strawberries to the other bowl and gently stir. Fold in remaining whipped topping. Alternately spoon dollops of peanut butter mixture and strawberry mixture into prepared crust. Use a butter knife or narrow spatula to slightly swirl mixtures to marble.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours 0r overnight. Let frozen pie stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.) To serve, drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 Cup Crushed Graham Crackers
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter

Mix all together and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.


Click here for Printable Recipe

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chicken "Enchiladas"

I haven't cooked in forever. May nearly did me in this year. Our house went into summer mode really early: kids weren't getting baths, we weren't getting to bed on time and we were eating watermelon for supper.

One thing that saved me was our local grocery store. They have an incredible deli for as small as we are. They have the most divine roasted chicken. After picking up The Girl from Girl Scouts and dropping her off at gymnastics, I would go get a chicken before picking her back up again. They are big enough that we have leftovers for at least one night, two if Jeff isn't home.

So I found a couple recipes for chicken enchiladas that I combined to make these.
Mix together 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup sour cream.
Spread a large spoonful down the middle of a flour tortilla. Add about the same amount of chicken, and some diced tomatoes.
Fold up the tortillas and place seam side down in a pan. Repeat until you run out of ingredients. Top with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. I used cheddar here, but monterey jack would be wonderful.

Bake at 350 until the cheese is all melted.I added lettuce on the top just because I had chopped some up and forgot to put it inside. Does lettuce go inside or on top of the enchilada?? I liked it on top.

Everyone devoured these, especially since they weren't overly spicy. Jeff loved these. Until he found out they contained cottage cheese. He's so weird.

Click Here for Printable Recipe

Chicken Enchiladas
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cups Shredded Cooked Chicken
1 Cup Diced Tomatoes
8 Flour Tortillas
1 Can Red Enchilada Sauce
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Mix cottage cheese and sour cream together. Spread a large spoonful down the middle of a flour tortilla. Add about the same amount of chicken, and some diced tomatoes. Fold up the tortillas and place seam side down in a pan. Repeat until you run out of ingredients. Top with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 until the cheese is all melted.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kansas Baked Potatoes

So my dear mother in law took her entire family to San Antonio this spring. The main purpose behind this trip was to celebrate her retirement by glimpsing George Strait at his annual roping festival. Of course, when I take a vacation to the southern part of the country, the weather turns dismal. Something like 50 degrees and rainy. Everyone under the age of eleven wanted to leave the roping (even our Roper) after about an hour. So I gathered them all up to go back to the motel to go swimming.

But not before spotting the baked potatoes being offered at the concession stand. You thought I was going to say George Strait, didn't you! (Yeah, no such luck for me) I could not get them out of my head. McDonald's drive through just didn't quite satisfy me after that. Texas does know how to do some things :)

So now that school is out, my mind has time to wander, it wandered back to the baked potatoes. So here goes the quest for the best baked potato I never got to try.

Mix a bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce with about 1/2 a cup of Italian dressing and a couple tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce. If need be, empty out all the miscellaneous leftover bottles in your fridge.

NOTE: One of my leftover bottles was called "Devil's Spit." In retrospect, I would have added a little bit less...I am still sweating from this one.
Whisk this together.
Sample, realize something is missing and add in 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Whisk again and pour this over a pound of sirloin steak. Pork or chicken would be wonderful, too. Put all of this into your crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

With about an hour before supper time, scrub your potatoes, wrap them in foil and stick them into the oven. 400 degrees will take about an hour.

NOTE: This is the perfect time to check to make sure you have actually turned on the crock pot. If, for some inexplicable reason, you have not turned it on, this is the time to transfer the above mixture into a baking pan.
Once everything is in the oven, actually cooking, now is a good time to stop the toddler from "hewping oo matke sooop, mom." with the Worchestershire sauce that you forgot to put away.
Do this before the DH comes in from his welding project and mistakes it for a horrible tomato slicing accident.

Slice up the steak and add it to the potato. I added sour cream to tone down the heat of my chosen barbeque sauce and topped it with some cheddar cheese.
This was yummy. You could add butter and sour cream along with a little cheese. I think chicken would be delicious and it would probably shred really easy.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Kansas Baked Potatoes
1 Bottle Barbeque Sauce
1/2 Cup Italian Dressing
2 Tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Pound Sirloin Steak
4 Baking Potatoes

Mix all sauces and brown sugar together. Pour over steak in crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Cook potatoes in 400 oven for 1 hour.
Slice up the steak. Top potatoes with sauce and steak.