Friday, September 19, 2014

ABC Quesadilla

What does the ABC stand for?  Apple, Bacon and Cheddar.  A fun and easy to make snack or sandwich for kids of all ages.  You do not need a quesadilla maker either, I made this in a regular frying pan so maybe it's time to create some more cupboard space and donate mine.  I did use a mandoline for extra thin slices.  I think I could have made 3-4 quesadillas with one good sized apple.

ABC Quesadilla

1 large apple, I used a Gala but any apple will work, cut in thin slices
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 flour tortillas (you can use whole wheat)

Place 1 flour tortilla at the bottom of a heated frying pan.  Sprinkle approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese on top.  Circle apple slices on the cheese completely covering the tortilla.  Sprinkle the bacon bits and remaining cheese on top and cover with the 2nd tortilla.  Cook until lightly browned and cheese hs melted.  Carefully turn over and lightly brown the 2nd side.  Remove from heat and plate.  Cut into 6 pieces.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Bundt Cake

It's been quite a long time since I made a bundt cake.  I've seen quite a few bundt pans advertised lately so I thought it was time I dragged mine out from the back of the cupboard and made this Fall inspired cake.

Cinnamon Apple Bundt Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup apple juice 
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, apple juice and vanilla.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.

Place 1/3 of the mixture in a greased and floured bundt pan.  

1 1/2 cups diced pared apples
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle one half of the mixture evenly over the cake batter in the pan.  Add another 1/3 of the batter, top with the remaining apples and then cover with the remaining batter.

Bake for 1 hour at 350°.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a plate.  Let cool an additional 45 minutes before icing.

Cinnamon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk

Monday, September 15, 2014

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

The cold season has begun.  Understandable since the temperature outside drops to almost freezing and then up to the 70's.  I just returned from a trip home where my mom loaded me up with a lot of frozen squash so I had to do some creative rearranging of my freezers and in the process took out some turkey and corn that I had frozen for later use...later is now.  

Creamy Turkey Vegetable Soup

8 cups chicken stock
1 cup carrots, sliced thin (I set my mandoline at 1/16th)
2 tbsp celery flakes
1/3 cup rice (white or brown)
1/2 cup barley
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp rolled sage
2 cups turkey, diced or small pieces
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup milk
2 dashes hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the chicken stock to a low simmer.  Add in carrots, celery flakes, bay leaf, parsley and sage.  Let cook for 20 minutes before adding in rice and barley.  Add in turkey and corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes before stirring in the milk and hot sauce.  Taste before adding in salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baked Chicken Breasts

I think there can never be too many chicken recipes and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare chicken breasts.  I've had some Old Bay seasoning needing to be used so I created this chicken dish which you can make on a weeknight or for Sunday dinner.

Baked Chicken Breasts

Place in a plastic quart size bag that you can seal ~

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup milk
2 dashes hot sauce

Let marinade for a half hour.

Flour dredge ~

1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Slice up 1/4 cup unsalted butter and place on the bottom of the pan.  Dredge the chicken breasts on both sides and place on top of butter slices.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350°, turning halfway through.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sausage Pockets

I'm always looking for something new to take for breakfast on a work day.  I'm not a cereal person since milk at an early hour just isn't as appealing as my can of Coke eye-opener.  So this means that I need something that is on the go that will usually be eaten at my desk.  

I had bought some Texas rolls bread dough and thought about the many things I could stuff those with to make a portable breakfast sandwich.  Bacon and cheese would be good and I will probably try that next without eggs since I'm not really a fan and I'm not sure how well they would freeze.  So I went with breakfast sausage in that lovely pepper gravy.  You do need to drain off most of the gravy or else it would seep out no matter how well you tried to seal the edge but there's enough there to keep it moist.  You could add a little bit of shredded cheddar on top of the sausage.  Wish I had thought of that at the time...

Sausage Rolls

20 Texas rolls bread dough, allowed to rise completely
1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, cooked
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage.  When cooked, stir in flour until the sausage is coated.  Gradually stir in milk.  Let thicken and season to taste.

Roll out bread dough with a rolling pin into round circles.  Place approximately 2 tbsp of sausage mix (if it's still runny, drain off excess gravy) in the center of the dough.  Pull up edges of the dough and crimp all edges.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  When all 20 are done, place in a pre-heated oven to 350° and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Brush tops with butter when done.

You can freeze these for later use.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Chicken Poutine

It's the opening weekend of the NFL and a co-worker suggested that it would be a good time for poutine.  So here is the chicken poutine that I made for the Sunday games ~

Chicken Poutine

Fries ~

2 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a small bowl.  Mix spices in a separate small bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over potatoes.  Toss in spices and make sure the fries are evenly coated.  
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°.

Gravy ~

2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
2 dashes hot sauce

Whisk together chicken stock and flour.  Add in the hot sauce and heat until it thickens.

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (approximately 1 cup)
6 oz mixed cheddar cheese curds

Place baked french fries at the bottom of an oven ready pan.  I used a pie pan and it worked great.  Top with shredded chicken and cheese curds.  Return to oven for 5 minutes to a raised temperature of 400°.  Remove from oven and top with 1/4 cup chicken gravy.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

Hotdish is a variety of casserole which typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/or frozen vegetable, mixed with canned soup. The dish is popular in Minnesota and North Dakota.  Wisconsin hotdish typically adds an amount of cream and cheese to the mix.  Hotdish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at communal gatherings such as family reunions and church suppers. (From Wikipedia)

My definition is much shorter - comfort food.  They also forgot that it's easy to put together especially after work.  My recipe does not have canned soup since I do not buy that and prefer to make my own and freeze it for those days that you either do not feel like cooking or have a cold.

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked
1 cup Orzo, cooked per instructions on box (about 10 minutes in boiling salted water)
3/4 cup Colby Jack shredded cheese
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook chicken in a small frying pan with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Add in minced garlic right before it's completely done and cook for another minute.  Cook Orzo and drain.  Put in a greased casserole.  Add in peas that are cooked or thawed if frozen, cheese and cooked chicken breast pieces.  Stir in milk and spices.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.