Saturday, November 9

Eneregy Bars (Homemade Granola Bars)

1 10 oz. pkg. miniature marshmallows or 40 large marshmallows
1/2 cup margarine or butter (I use butter)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup unsalted peanuts (I used the WalMart unsalted dry roasted peanuts)
2 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups rice krispies

Toast oats and rice krispies in a Teflon coated skillet or warm in 200 degree oven. (optional)  Melt marshmallows, butter and peanut butter in a large pot over low heat. Add raisins and peanuts; stir. Add oats and rice krispi8es to mixture (Work quickly as mixture hardens fast.) Spread mixture in buttered 9x13 pan. (I like to spread mixture in a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan. It doesn't make the bars as thick.)
Courtesy of April Steimle and Kathleen Magnusson

Tuesday, November 5

Pasta Salad - Marybeth

Angel Hair pasta
Breaded chicken tenders
Sliced red, yellow and orange peppers
Diced tomates
Romaine lettuce
grated cheese

Combine ingredients and top with Bolthouse Ranch Dressing

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup quinoa I used a black bean quinoa package
  • 2 pound large sweet potatoes ~3-1/2 cups
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans
  • 1 can (14.25 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix
  • 5 cups chicken broth*
  • Optional: fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Spray the slow cooker with nonstick spray. Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and put them into the slow cooker along with the rinsed quinoa.
  2. (I found a black beans seasoned quinoa package which I used and loved, but regular quinoa will work as well, just make sure to rinse it well.)
  3. Remove the skins and chop the sweet potatoes into cubes adding them into the slow cooker.
  4. Drain and rinse the black beans and add those in. Add in the undrained petite diced tomatoes, minced garlic, chili seasoning mix, and chicken broth.
  5. Place on high for 3-5 hours (It took 4 hours on high for my crockpot.)
  6. Using two forks, shred the chicken and stir all the ingredients together.
  7. Add salt and pepper and if desired fresh parsley.
  8. Serve immediately.
     
    Recipe and photo courtesy of Chelsea's Messy Apron

Friday, October 11

One Pot Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. Fettuccine 
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 TBS dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (optional) 

Instructions

  • Thinly slice the onion and mince the garlic. Remove the red peppers from the liquid in the jar and then slice them into thin strips.
  • In a large pot, combine the broth, onion, garlic, red pepper slices, diced tomatoes (with juice), basil, crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Stir these ingredients to combine. Break the fettuccine in half, then add it to the pot, attempting to submerge the pieces as much as possible.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high. As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, give it a quick stir to loosen any pieces that may have stuck to the bottom, return the lid, and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Let the pot simmer on medium low for 10-12 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Return the lid as quickly as possible after each stir. After ten minutes, test the pasta to see if it is al dente. Once the pasta is tender, remove it from the heat. (If the pasta becomes too dry before it is tender, simply add a small amount of water and continue to simmer.)
  • Divide the cream cheese into tablespoon sized pieces, then add them to the pot. Stir the pasta until the cheese melts in and creates a smooth sauce (it will look lumpy at first, just keep stirring). Serve hot.

Notes

Breaking the pasta in half helps the larger pieces of tomato and pepper stir in evenly with the pasta. It also helps allow the pasta to be submerged under the broth.

Thursday, October 3

Nanaimo Bar

Bottom Layer
1/2 Cup unsalted butter
1/4 Cup sugar
5 T cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 Cup finely chopped almonds
1 Cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler.  Add egg and stir to cook and thicken.  Remove from heat.  Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts.  Press firmly into an ungreased 8 x 8 pan.

Second layer
1/2 Cup unsalted butter
2 T and 2 tsp cream
2 T vanilla custard powder
2 Cups powdered sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well.  Beat until light.  Spread over bottom layer.

Third layer
4 Sq. semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz each)
2 T unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.  Cool.  When cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Wednesday, September 18

Creamy Enchiladas with Chicken, Tomatillo and Poblano

  • 3pounds (18 to 24 medium)tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1largefresh poblano chile
  • 1 1/2tablespoons vegetable oil or rich-tasting pork lard, plus a little oil for spraying the tortillas
  • 1medium white onion, chopped
  • 2cups chicken broth, plus a little extra if needed
  • Salt
  • 1/2cupMexican crema , crème fraiche or heavy (whipping) cream
  • About 2cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken, preferably grilled, roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 2/3cup shredded Jack cheese or Chihuahua cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • A few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4cupfreshly grated Mexican queso añejo for garnish

Instructions

The sauce. Roast the tomatillos and chile on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until they’re darkly roasted (they’ll be blackened in spots), about 6 minutes. Flip everything over and roast the other side—5 or 6 minutes more will give you splotchy-black and blistered tomatillos and poblanos that are cooked through. Cool.  When the chile is cool enough to handle, rub off the blackened skin of the chile, then pull out the stems and seed pod. Tear the chile open and rinse briefly to remove any stray seeds and bits of skin, then rougly chop.  Transfer the chiles and tomatillos with their juice to a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth puree.
In a medium-size (4- or 5-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican cazuela), heat the oil or lard over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium-high, and, when the pot is noticeably hotter, stir in the tomatillo puree.  Cook, stirring, until darker in color and gets thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in the broth, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon. The sauce should be a slightly soupy consistency—not as thick as spaghetti sauce.  If it is too thick, stir in a little additional broth. Keep warm over low heat.
Other preliminaries. Stir the crema (or one of its stand-ins) into the sauce. Put the chicken in a bowl and stir ½ cup of the hot sauce mixture into it. Taste and season with additional salt if you think it needs it. Have the cheese at the ready.
Finishing the enchiladas. Heat the tortillas by spraying with the oil, then sliding them into a microwaveable plastic bag.   Fold the top over but don't seal it.  Microwave on high for 1 minute to create a steamy environment around the tortillas and then let them stand 2 to 3 minutes before using.  Smear about ¼ cup of the warm sauce over the bottom of 4 to 6 nine-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish.     Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken into each tortilla, douse evenly with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle on the shredded melting cheese and bake at 400 degrees until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 15 minutes.
Garnish with añejo cheese, onion rings and cilantro sprigs and serve immediately.
Recipe and picture from Rick Bayless

Easy Chicken for Tacos

2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts
1 can green chiles
1 jar of salsa
1 8 oz block of Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Put in crock pot and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.  Shred and put in tacos, enchiladas or salads.