Monday, October 17, 2011

Fish and Sand

Our friends came over last year for a dinner and planning meeting for our upcoming trip to California. I thought it would be fun for the kids to have a beach themed dessert to get them in the mood for our upcoming vacation!

36 vanilla cream-filled sandwich cookies
3 (3.9 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (You could also try lemon flavor)
6 cups milk
1 large package gummy fish candy

1. Place the sandwich cookies into a resealable plastic zipper bag, and crush with a rolling pin into crumbs. To get finer sand, chop cookies in a food processor.
2. Whisk together the pudding mix with the milk in a bowl, stirring for 2 minutes. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the crushed sandwich cookie crumbs into the bottom of a serving bowl, and spoon the pudding over the crumbs. Smooth out the top of the pudding, then top with the rest of the cookie crumbs to resemble sand. Poke gummy fish halfway into the sand and add a cute umbrella. Refrigerate until serving.

Irish Chicken and Dumplings

I found this recipe on All Recipes.

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups water (I like to substitute chicken broth for the water to add more flavor)
1 cup chopped celery
2 onions, quartered
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 carrots, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas (sometimes I substitute peas for corn)
4 potatoes, quartered
3 cups baking mix
1 1/3 cups milk

In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours.

Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer.

Add dumplings. To make dumplings: Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto BOILING stew. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. hamburger
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery

2 10 3/4 ounce cans tomato soup
2 T. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine hamburger, green pepper, onion and celery in dutch oven or skillet. Cook over medium heat until hamburger is browned. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over toasted hamburger buns.

Cola Hot Wings

I'm an absolute 100% fan of these chicken wings. We made them Saturday night and I'm already trying to decide when I can make them again this week! I don't list anything on my blog that I don't love and these are seriously at the top of the list! This isn't the best picture but we gobbled them up so fast these were the 3 remaining...and then I ate them! :)

3 lbs. chicken wings
1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 can (12 oz.) cola
1 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. pepper
Blue cheese salad dressing

Cut chicken wings into three sections; discard wing tip sections. In a small bowl, combine the hot sauce, cola, soy sauce, cayenne and pepper.

Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill chicken wings, covered, over indirect medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn; grill 10-20 minutes longer or until juices run clear, basting occasionally with sauce. Serve with salad dressing.

*I recommend using a charcoal grill for these bad boys! You won't be disappointed! I also poured about 1/4 of the marinade into a gallon zip-lock with the chicken and let them flavor up for about 1/2 hr.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grilled Salmon

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

*I always make a foil packet for the fillet and close it up, leaving a little room for air to circulate inside.

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a super easy Stuffed Mushroom recipe that everyone is sure to love. 

1 box Stovetop Stuffing Mix
1 package large mushrooms (I like the ones at Sam's Club or Costco, jumbo)
5 oz. sausage
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, chop up sausage and cook until done. Prepare stuffing in a separate pot according to directions on the box. Combine sausage and stuffing into a separate bowl, cover, and set aside. Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Lightly saute mushrooms in a pan with 1 T. butter for 3-5 minutes depending on size. Remove mushrooms from skillet and place on a baking sheet. Fill each mushroom with approx 1-2 T. stuffing mix. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese and bake in oven until cheese is a golden brown. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Honey Butter

2 sticks of butter at room temp.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup honey
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Use the whisk attachment on your mixer and whip the butter (make sure it’s soft and room temp). Add to it the powdered sugar, honey, and then the cinnamon. Whip it good. Scrape the sides. Whip it again.

You can keep the jars in the fridge but it spreads easier at room temp! Serve on English muffins, bagels, biscuits, rolls, or toast. Really it’s quite diverse.

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Texas Roadhouse Rolls - Copycat Recipe
adapted from: Good Stuff Maynard

4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 T. of melted butter, slightly cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 quarts all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour to make a medium batter. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy. Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Beat well.

Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto counter and let dough rest. Meanwhile, grease a large bowl. Knead dough until smooth and satiny and put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid to knead this for about 4-5 minutes). Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down. Turn out onto a floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into desired forms. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Baste immediately with butter. Yield: 5 to 6 dozen.

*I shaped my rolls by rolling out the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick, then I folded the rectangle in half, making it about 1-inch thick. I used my rolling pin and rolled over the dough, ever so gently, just to seal the two halves together. I then used a dough scraper and cut the rolls into squares and placed those on my greased baking sheet. I cut the recipe in half and I got exactly 12 big rolls and baked them for 16-17 minutes. In order to get the 5-6 dozen rolls like the recipe states, you would have to make really small rolls.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Indian Tacos and Scones

2 cups warm water
2 T. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening
2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and egg. Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture. Pour flour mixture over yeast and mix. Let batter rise for 1/2 hour. Heat 1" of oil in skillet to approximately 375 degrees. Pinch off a ball of dough and gently flatten and fry to a medium brown on each side.

Let each one rest on a plate lined with paper towels to dry up excess oil. Serve with chili, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, olives, salsa and sour cream.

Scones can also be served with butter and honey for dessert.

S'more Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
1 cup marshmallow creme

*In this picture, I quadrupled the batch to take to a backyard bbq.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.

Press remaining mixture into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Place candy bars over crust; spread with the marshmallow creme. Crumble remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

*I always replace marshmallow creme for the new flattened rectangle shaped marshmallows. They fit in the pan great with less mess!

Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb. Mini Farfalle Pasta
2 cans chicken, drained (Costco)
2 cups chopped Gala apple, some peeled
2 cups red grapes, halved
1 cup celery, chopped
1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, thoroughly drained (start with this first)
1/4 cup sliced green onion (I just used finely diced white onion)
1 cup Best Foods Mayo
1 cup sweet salad dressing, such as Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing or Marie's Coleslaw Dressing
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup cashews, just before serving, optional

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain & cool.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, apple, grapes, celery, pineapple tidbits, green onion, and pasta.

In a small bowl, mix mayo, dressing and salt & pepper. Pour over the salad and stir until well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in cashews.

*If there are any ingredients you don't like just leave them out. You may also add 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained. This is for a full size recipe to feed a large family or to take to a party. I always 1/2 it to feed my family.