lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Easy Belgian Waffles

Last week my phone rang at 6 am on a Monday.  Which is quite strange in itself, but even more so because it actually rang, I usually turn my ringer off at night.  It was a message from Miss F's school cancelling classes, Houston was under water.  C attempted to get to work, but didn't make it very far before having to turn around and head back home.  I decided to treat everyone to fresh waffles since we were going to have a long day stuck indoors.  This recipe is great because you don't have to separate the eggs, which makes it incredibly easy.  It is adapted from All Recipes.
Easy Belgian Waffles

2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the Belgian waffle iron. Beat the eggs in the bowl of the stand mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, milk, oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract just until smooth. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and fill each well with two ice cream dishers (about a half cup) worth of batter. Close the waffle iron and let cook for 5 minutes. Check to see if the waffles are golden brown, if not, cook for 1 minute more. Serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Lobster Pot Pie

Considering how much Miss F loves crawfish (still her most favorite food,) it is not surprising how much she loves lobster. I had ordered paella at Artista before we saw Mary Poppins, I don't think I got a single bite of the lobster from my plate, she stole nearly every single piece.  She requested lobster for dinner while C was out of town.  I decided to try making lobster pot pie, which was incredibly delicious.  Miss F said it needed more lobster, which isn't surprising at all.  A tip: if you are serving it to kids, be sure to take it out of the hot ramekin before serving, don't let them get anywhere near the hot crock...and it helps to cool the filling faster.  This recipe was adapted from Cosmopolitan magazine.  I am sure under the heading "how to trap yourself a man" or something equally silly.
Lobster Pot Pie

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
½ pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite sized pieces
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, then add the corn and peas. Stir in flour, and cook 1 minute more. Add milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat, add lobster and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator. Cut the dough in half, and reserve one half for another use. On a lightly floured surface, flatten out the pastry, using a floured rolling pin, to about 1⁄8-inch thickness. Cut the puff pastry into two circles the size of a two cup oven safe ramekin. Spoon the filling into the bowls, and place one circle of dough on top of each potpie, pressing the edges to seal the pastry to the bowl. Cut a vent in the center so air and moisture can escape. Place the potpies on a baking sheet. Bake until the pastry is puffed and becomes a dark golden brown shade, about 30 minutes.
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lemon Butter Poached Trout

Ever since our trip to the lakes region of Austria, Miss F has been obsessed with trout. Her favorite trout back home is of the steelhead variety, but she very much enjoyed this rainbow trout as well. This method of cooking fish couldn't be any easier, with a bonus that you don't even dirty a dish because it is entirely self contained in a neat little foil pouch.  The fish is perfectly cooked without any fuss.  It slides easily from its skin and presents beautifully.  Thanks to Sweet C's Designs for the fantastic fish cooking technique. I can't wait to try it with other fish, especially snapper.
Lemon Butter Poached Trout

1 pound rainbow trout filets, skin on
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the fish filets on a piece of foil twice the size of a baking sheet., skin side down. Salt and pepper each filet, place pats of butter evenly over the filets. Cover the filets with lemon slices and then fold the foil into a sealed pouch, place the pouch on a baking sheet. Bake the fish for 15 minutes. Unwrap carefully and serve.
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Skillet Lemon Chicken Penne with Broccoli

This dish came about entirely because I had bought a ton of penne pasta on sale (like 10 cents a box sale) and the fact that I had a drawer full of lemons courtesy of my mom.  C proclaimed it was "too lemony" but I am positive if he hadn't seen me squeezing the lemon juice, it wouldn't have been an issue.  Miss F inhaled hers, though was being picky about the broccoli.  I had made broccoli while we were in Whistler and she now insists that Canadian broccoli is far superior to the broccoli we get here.  I adapted this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Café.
Skillet Lemon Chicken Penne with Broccoli

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
½ teaspoon dried basil
3 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
16 ounces penne pasta
3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat, add the chicken and sauté until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the garlic and basil to the skillet and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the water, broth and lemon juice to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the penne, stir to combine. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the broccoli and cover, cook for 2 minutes more. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch, stir into the skillet along with the Parmesan and reserved chicken. Simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve.
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lemon Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have never attempted a lemon cake from scratch before. My mom had brought over a ton of lemons from her lemon tree and I figured now was the time to finally try it. And more importantly, to try out lemon cream cheese frosting. I am not sure I can ever make boxed lemon cake again!  I adapted my usual cream cheese frosting recipe to have just a hint of lemon, be sure you use freshly squeezed juice.  The cake recipe is actually  adapted from a Chowhound posting about lemon layer cakes. As usual, I omitted the zest from the recipe because I don't love the texture it adds to sponge cake.  I did add fresh zest to the top of the cake, which Miss F was a huge fan of creating.
Lemon Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. In a medium
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light, about 3 minutes. Add the whole eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low, then slowly add the lemon juice. Beat in half of the dry ingredients, alternating with half of the milk after each addition. Beat for 30 seconds after adding all the ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake the cakes for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.

½ cup butter, softened
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Frost the cooled cake.
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Monday, April 11, 2016

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I may have a bit of a problem with making Cajun chicken pastas. It is reminiscent to my past Spaghetti Carbonara obsession.  As soon as I saw this recipe on All Recipes, I knew I had to make it.  I adore mushrooms, but I am the only one in the family who does.  So while we ate dinner, both C and Miss F piled my plate with their excess mushrooms.  We used fresh vegetables from Froberg Farm after a big afternoon of strawberry picking.  Miss F was a huge help in making  this dish, she is becoming much more confident working with things on the stove top, it's all quite exciting.
Cajun Chicken Pasta

16 ounces Penne pasta
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1” cubes
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the pasta per package directions, drain and set aside. Toss the chicken with the Cajun seasoning. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms, cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the cream, basil, salt, garlic and pepper, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the parmesan cheese and drained pasta, serve.
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hula Chicken Sandwiches

By far my favorite use for the crockpot is to make shredded meat. It is so easy to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and come home to perfectly tender meat by day's end.  These Hula Chicken Sandwiches were a great spin on my usual Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches.  I served them on my most favorite brioche buns along side sweet potato waffle fries, which are the only sweet potato fry that Miss F will touch.  It's nearly the same with regular fries, she doesn't love them, but she will inhale waffle fries.  This recipe was inspired by Betty Crocker.
Hula Chicken Sandwiches

½ cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 cup crushed or diced pineapple, drained, juice reserved
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 sandwich rolls
4 slices of Provolone cheese

In a two cup measure, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger and Sriracha. Pour the mixture into a crockpot and add the pineapple. Place the chicken breasts on top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred, return to the crockpot and increase the heat to high. Cook, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened; if the sauce is too thick, add the reserved pineapple juice. Toast the split sandwich rolls under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve the shredded chicken on the toasted bun topped with a slice of cheese.
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Lemon Sticky Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

These sticky buns are absolutely heavenly. I usually always prefer a cinnamon roll, but these may just change my mind. I cannot wait to try the dough out with a cinnamon filling instead of the lemon, but I think I will be making these lemon sticky rolls quite often at our house. I adapted the recipe from Mel's Kitchen Café, mainly omitting the zest because I don't prefer it and changing to an overnight rise in the refrigerator so it wouldn't take hours in the morning to eat them.  These rolls were perfection.  Complete and total perfection.
Lemon Sticky Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze

½ cup buttermilk, warm
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Whisk together the buttermilk and butter together in a liquid measuring cup. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together 2 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. With the mixer running at low speed, add the buttermilk and eggs; mix for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium, add the remaining flour a little at a time until it is entirely incorporated. Knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes at medium speed. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and set aside. Roll the dough into a 12-inch square and spread the softened butter over the square of dough. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar, sprinkle over the softened butter. Roll up the dough and pinch at the seams to seal. Cut the roll into 8 equal pieces and place them in the greased cake pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden. While the rolls are baking, whisk together the cream cheese, lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread the icing on the warm lemon rolls, serve.
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