Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
From Cottage Living, January 2005

1/2 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 14oz can low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups frozen baby corn blend
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 TBS chopped fresh dill, divided
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 refrigerated piecrust
1 large egg yolk
1 TBS water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter over medium heat. Saute onions 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add peas, corn blend, parsley, 2 tsp dill, and chicken. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9-inch deep pie dish.

Whisk together egg yolk and 1 TBS water, and brush underside of crust edge with egg wash. Place crust, brushed side down, over pie; crimp or use back of fork to seal rim of crust around dish. Cut 4 to 5 vents in the pastry. Brush top with egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of dill. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and mixture is bubbling.

Very easy pot pie to make, and would be even faster using pre-cooked diced chicken. Next time I'll cut the butter to 1/3 or 1/4 cup because it was way to much for this recipe. A good fall and winter meal!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Philadelphia 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake

Philadelphia 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake
From Kraft website

2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softenend
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground cloves
dash ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.

Pour into crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Cheesecake is my favorite dessert, but I'm not a fan of the time consuming ones that involve a water bath, so I frequently make recipes found on the Kraft website. I've made this one before, and it tastes just like pumpkin pie but with a cheesecake consistency. Great for fall!

It's rare that I can make a cheesecake that doesn't crack in the middle. I'll have to work on that.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Adapted from recipe by Hersheys

48 Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used reduced fat)
2 TBS + 2 tsp Splenda sugar blend
2 TBS + 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1 egg
2 TBS milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add Splenda sugar blend and Splenda brown sugar blend, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8) or until lightly browned. Immediately pressed an unwrapped Hershey Kiss into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen

These are Patrick's favorite cookies and he asked me to make some for him to take to work this week. Hopefully there will be enough left because we keep eating them! There are one of my favorites to make at Christmas as well.

I wasn't thrilled with using shortening, but I don't make enough recipes that call for it to know what to substitute for it. I'll have to figure that out for next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
From The Piggly-Wiggly

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 - 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning (I used low-sodium taco seasoning)
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I used reduced fat b/c I had it in the fridge)

Add onions to bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top of onions. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken. In a small bowl, combine soup, salsa, and sour cream. Add on top of seasoned chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Serves 4.

This smelled so good while it was cooking and tasted even better! It will definitely go on our list of favorites. Very easy to throw together with ingredients you probably already have.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
Adapted from Food & Wine November 1997

1 brownie mix (and associated ingredients called for on the box)
8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 TBS all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking pan.

Make brownie mix according to directions on box. Pour batter into 9x13 baking pan.

In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix on medium-high until smooth. Stir in flour.

Dollop pumpkin mixture onto brownie batter. Swirl using a knife.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

Yield: 24 brownies

These taste like brownies with pumpkin pie swirled throughout! If you don't love pumpkin, I'd suggest using 1/2 cup instead of a full cup. I should have softened the cream cheese a bit more because the pumpkin/cream cheese mixture came out slightly lumpy. It still tastes fantastic, but isn't as pretty as I was hoping for. Definitely a great fall dessert, and would be good at a Halloween party.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
From Southern Living April 2006

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz can tomato sauce
1.25 oz package chili seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2-qt. slow cooker; stir in corn and next 7 ingredients until well blended.

Cook at High 4 to 5 hours or at Low 6 to 8 hours.

Serves 4-6.

I cooked this on Low for 6 hours and it turned out perfectly! Great chili for a cool, rainy day.

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth's friend Heather

16 oz. cooked macaroni
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 grated carrots
1 bell pepper, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine

Cook macaroni and rinse in cool water until cooled. Mix all ingredients together. Will keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Serves 8+.

This is a sweet variation of typical pasta salad. The first bite is not what you expect from pasta salad, but it's always a huge hit.

(Apologies for the horrible picture.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Party Mix

Party Mix
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth's sister

1 bag pretzels
1 bag M&Ms
1 bag banana chips
1/2 box Frosted Cheerios
1 container honey roasted nuts

Mix together in large bowl.

Serves....I'm not sure how many. A lot of people.

This doesn't really deserve a blog post because it's not really a recipe, but I can eat this mix all day long. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet.

3 Cheers Caramel Dip

3 Cheers Caramel Dip
From Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn

8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Blend all ingredients together. Serve with assorted fruit.

Makes about 5 cups.

This dip should be called crack dip it's so good! Everyone at our cookout absolutely devoured it! We quickly ran out of apples for dipping. I'm not sure why it's called caramel dip because it definitely doesn't taste like caramel, but it's still amazing. It's not overly sweet which caramel would be.

Crab Dip

Crab Dip
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth's Aunt Heather

8oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp Worcesterchire sauce
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Old Bay (I use 1/2 tsp)
1 lb fresh crab meat (I bought whatever is cheapest at the grocery store, but is still real crab)

Cook cream cheese in heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until cheese melts (I use a double boiler). Stir in mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients. Add crab and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Transfer to a chafing dish and keep warm.

Makes 2 3/4 cups.

This is my very favorite hot crab dip recipe, and I've eaten a lot of crab dip. It's always the perfect taste and consistency. Even my friend who doesn't like seafood likes this dip!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef-Macaroni Italiano

Beef-Macaroni Italiano
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth's mom

3/4 cup elbow macaroni
1 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 16oz can sliced stewed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine (I used red cooking wine)
1/2 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups cubed, cooked beef (I used pre-cooked Tyson roast beef)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook macaroni according to package and drain.

In saucepan, melt butter; blend in flour, stir in undrained stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, onion soup mix, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in beef and macaroni.

Spoon mixture into 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted, approximately 5 minutes.

Serves 4.

This is another of my mom's recipes that I grew up on. Very tasty and very easy, especially if you use the pre-cooked roast beef. My mom would always make this with leftovers after she made roast beef, but as I have never made that myself I used the pre-cooked beef. Another recipe that's almost better heated up for lunch the next day!

Fall House Decorations

Pictures by Patrick

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart, Halloween 2004

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup packed Splenda brown sugar blend
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) Smart Balance Butter Blend
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bo
wl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes 24+.

These cupcakes are so good and very moist. The pumpkin flavor isn't overpowering, and these definitely taste more like cupcakes than muffins. Patrick has declared them to be the best cupcakes ever, and prefers them without cream cheese icing.

Martha says the batter yields 18, but I stopped at 24 and probably could have gotten at least 4 more.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mediterranean Salmon Cakes with Cucumber Sauce

Mediterranean Salmon Cakes with Cucumber Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light, May 1999

2/3 cup diced cucumber
2/3 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
1/4 tsp dried dill
1 tsp canned minced garlic

Salmon Cakes
1 14.75 oz can red salmon, drained
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used Progresso)
1/4 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 TBS lime juice
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
1 TBS canola oil, divided

To prepare sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, dill, and garlic in a small bowl.

To prepare salmon cakes, remove bones and skin from salmon. Place chickpeas in a medium bowl; partially mash chickpeas with a fork. Stir in salmon, breadcrumbs, and olives. Combine parsley and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir into salmon mixture. Divide mixture in 12 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4-inch thick patty.

Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 patties; cook 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties over, and cook 4 minutes or until golden. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 tsp oil and remaining patties. Serve with sauce.

Yields 6 servings.

The sauce for these salmon cakes is so good and fresh tasting. This is probably a better summer meal, but we loved it anyway. I love crabcakes and usually make them if I'm making any kind of seafood cake, but this was a great change.