Wednesday, February 29, 2012

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

This pasta had fantastic flavor!
John's Rating: 8

Recipe from: Homemade by Holman

For the chicken:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Pan fry: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
Or grill chicken rubbed with spices, skip oil {This is what I did this time}

For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 T Dijon mustard
2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste {I used a large pinch}
Parmesan cheese to taste {Sprinkled on top}

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add garlic and onions. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add thyme, mustard, red pepper flakes and oregano. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. I blended it in the VitaMix to make my sauce smooth. Add cheese and stir to melt. {Cook longer if you need the sauce thickened} Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza

This pizza was a great change up in our pizza loving family. It was spicy with sweet red peppers and a perfect blend of flavors. Recipe adapted from: My Baking Addiction

1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 pizza crust (12 to 14 inch)
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese (I used Tillamook)
Chopped cilantro
1 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken

Cook pizza dough in preheated oven at 425°F 4 minutes. Spread salsa over partially baked crust. Top with half of the cheese then the chicken and red peppers. Top with remaining pepper jack cheese.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cauliflower Chowder

I cut this recipe in half and it made plenty for us. It was really good.
John's Rating: 8Recipe from: The Farm Girl Recipes

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
pepper
salt
3 tbsp flour
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
2 1/2 cups good quality, aged, sharp cheddar cheese, grated (it's totally worth it)

Bring chicken broth to a boil, add cauliflower and cook until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat: Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter and melt. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook for about 1 minute more. Slowly whisk in the milk. Stir into the cooked, undrained cauliflower. As soon as it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Puree soup on Vita Mix until you get your desired consistency. Blend the cheese into the liquid, stirring until all the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

These waffles were a huge hit at our house!! I made mine with greek yogurt to make them a little healthier :) My son that hates waffles asked for seconds...they all asked for seconds. They are so good....perfect for a weekend breakfast!
John's Rating: 9 (says this is his favorite waffle)
Recipe from: Recipe Girl

WAFFLES:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk (I used 1 1/3 cups choboni greek yogurt and 1/3 cup milk...then added a little more milk since they turned out thick)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CINNAMON TOPPING:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon grond cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE TOPPING:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare waffles: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened; batter will be slightly lumpy.

3. Preheat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick spray. Pour batter into waffle iron grid and close the lid. Bake until waffles are completely done- follow your waffle iron's instructions. Use a fork to remove finished waffles. Repeat with remaining batter. Keep waffles warm until ready to serve (a 200 degree oven is perfect).

4. Prepare cinnamon topping: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside.

5. Prepare cream cheese topping: In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese for 30 to 60 seconds; just until melted. Stir together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

6. When ready to serve, place waffle on plate, drizzle cinnamon topping, then drizzle cream cheese topping. Use as much or as little as you'd like. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Stawberry Celebration Cake

Strawberries and chocolate are my favorite treat, so this year for my birthday I made this cake. It was super rich, but very moist and good. It would have been prettier if I had taken time to make cute chocolate shapes to put on top with the strawberries, but figured I would enjoy it fine without them :) If I had somewhere fancy to take this cake, I would add them.

Recipe from: Taste of Home
  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted


  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk


  • GARNISHES:
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (I skipped this and drizzled ganache over the berries, but it would have looked cool)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled


  • GANACHE:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  • Combine the first seven ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioner's sugar and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in milk until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
  • Pipe or spoon melted chocolate onto waxed paper in decorative designs; let stand until set. Arrange strawberries on top of cake.
  • For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. Heat cream just to a boil; pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake, allowing ganache to drape down the sides. Top with chocolate garnishes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nutella Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

I've become a fan of greek yogurt as of late. My first time eating greek yogurt...yuck, but I have since discovered Chobani Greek Yogurt. My mom got me hooked on it. I love the pineapple one :) So this recipe combined greek yogurt and nutella to make a simple, super yumm-o fruit dip. Recipe from: Babble.com

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup NutellaLink

Mix the yogurt and Nutella together in a small bowl until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with fresh cut fruit.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Peanut Butter Blossoms


Use your favorite cookie dough recipe. When they come out of the oven press a heart shaped peanut butter chocolate onto the cookie. Next time I will try freezing the chocolates before putting them on the cookies. Some of them melted quite a bit. But my family LOVED them and thought they were a fun treat.