Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amy's Last Meal...Sort of

While in college in Chicago, I had a roommate that made this poppy seed chicken for us.  I remember we all loved it, probably because it tasted like home cooking.  My sister, Amy, always asked me to make it, so for one of her last nights here in Nebraska before she moved to Michigan, I made it for her and my family.  Everyone enjoyed it, and left little for leftovers.  Enjoy!
Poppy seed Chicken
2 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers
1 stick margarine, melted
2 tsp poppy seeds

Cube chicken and boil for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Place evenly in 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Mix soup and sour cream together; pour and spread over chicken.  In a separate bowl, mix crackers, butter, and poppy seeds.  Shake mixture over the top of the chicken.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dutch Oven Beef Stew

I am in love with my Le Creuset Dutch Oven!  I spent about a week researching Dutch oven recipes to try out my new one for the first time.  I decided on a beef stew recipe, and it was different from the regular beef stew I was used to.  This one is tomato based, so it was more like a soup and we all loved it.  The hardest part was smelling it cooking and resisting trying it every 10 minutes.  I doubled the recipe to feed five people, and to have enough for leftovers.  It was so good on the second day!  I also included the slow cooker directions.  Enjoy!

Beef Stew 
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into eighths
1 bag (8 oz) baby-cut carrots
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can condensed beef broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 small red potatoes (1 1/2 lb), cut into fourths

Slow Cooker Directions:  Chop onion (1/2 cup).  Omit tomato sauce.  Increase flour to 1/2 cup.  In 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker, mix all the ingredients except beef.  Add beef (do not stir).  Cover and cook on low heat 8 to 9 hours.  Stir well.

Dutch Oven Directions:  Heat over to 325 degrees F.  In ovenproof 4 quart Dutch oven, mix all ingredients except potatoes.  Cover and bake 2 hours, stirring once.  Stir in potatoes.  Cover and bake 1 hours to 1 hour 30 minutes longer, or until beef and vegetables are tender.

Chicken Alfredo with a Twist

The first time I try a new recipe, I follow it exactly.  The second time around, I like to make some changes to add some more flavor and experiment.  With this recipe, I added peas, garlic, and red peppers.  This recipe is just as easy as opening a jar of Alfredo sauce.  For the sauce I used skim milk and the 98% fat free condensed soup to make it a little lighter.  I also used frozen broccoli instead of fresh.  Enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
8 oz linguine
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 diced red pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into slices
1 (10.75 oz) can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions.  Add broccoli and peas for last 4 minutes of cooking.  Drain.  Heat butter in skillet.  Cook chicken until browned, stirring often.  Add garlic and peppers and saute for 1 minute.  Add soup, milk, cheese, black pepper, and linguine mixture and heat through.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Homemade Corn Bread Muffins

Skirell and I have argued whether you should have cinnamon rolls or corn bread with chili.  I take the side of cinnamon rolls, and he chooses corn bread.  I decided to try the corn bread recipe my friend Shawna sent me so we could settle the score.  Not only were they super easy to make, they were very good!  I went right by the recipe, but I read some reviews later and some suggested using canned corn instead of the frozen.  One the second day the corn can get a little chewy in the muffins, so next time I will try the canned corn instead.  Enjoy!

Cornbread Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup canned corn

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or line 12 muffin cups.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and salt.  Mix in flour, cornmeal, and baking powder; blend thoroughly.  Stir in milk and corn.  Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Makes 12 muffins.