Monday, September 30, 2013

Fusion Chicken


noun, often attributive \ˈfyü-zhən
: a combination or mixture of things

That describes the mixture that I put together for chicken recipe in the crockpot.  I made this years ago and was looking through my old recipes from before I started blogging and wanted to make it again.  The name is a description of how I was pulling bottles out of my refrigerator and mixing them together with herbs.

Fusion Chicken

3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup salsa
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano

Place chicken in the bottom of your crock pot.  Mix the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Gently shred the chicken with two forks and stir.  Place on lightly toasted buns.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chili Cheese Nachos

Cooler temperatures and football on the t.v...yep, it's fall.  I'm sad to see the trees changing color since Spring just didn't happen this year so Summer seemed so short.  But I did miss some of the foods that you just don't want to eat in Summer and chili falls into that category.  These are perfect bite size snacks that don't make a mess since it's a dry chili, not like you make normally.  A lot less liquid so it doesn't soak through the chips.  You can make as many as you'd like to feed your crowd.

Chili Cheese Nachos

1# ground beef
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 - 15 oz can Light Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup ketchup
Brown ground beef with the onions.  Just before they are cooked completely, add in garlic and cook for another minute or two.  Add in ketchup, tomato paste and water.  Stir until completely mixed and add in beans and seasonings.  Keep warm as you heat a pan filled with tortilla chips for 5 minutes in a 350° oven.  Remove chips and fill with warm chili and sprinkle about a tablespoon of cheese on top of each chip.  Bake for another 5 minutes.  Serve hot and with sour cream.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pepper Jack Chicken Soup

Even I'm wondering why I'm making soup when it's 82 degrees out but the weather is supposed to turn to the damp side starting later tonight so this will be nice to have on hand.  Plus this is the easiest soup recipe ever that I got from one of my friends a few years ago.

Pepper Jack Chicken Soup

2 chicken breasts, cut into small, bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
8 oz Pepper Jack cheese

Cook chicken in the bottom of a dutch oven or soup kettle in a half cup of chicken broth.  When no longer pink, add in remainder of broth and milk.  Bring heat up to almost a boil and add in cheese.  Stir and serve when cheese has melted.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Nothing like a tasty meal that cooks itself slowly as the aromas fill the house.  

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

1# round steak, cut in very thin strips
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup beef broth
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp parsley

Mix together flour and seasonings.  Heat olive oil in a large frying pan.  Dredge think round steak slices in flour and then into the frying pan.  When lightly brown place in crock pot.  Pour beef broth over and cook for 4 hours on medium heat.  Add in mushrooms and cook for another half hour.  Stir in sour cream and parsley.  Serve over egg noodles.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Cinnamon Snack Mix

Very little time to prepare for hours of snacking this fall.  Some parts have a slightly sweet cinnamon mix and chocolate bits are a must.

Fall Cinnamon Snack Mix

Place in a roaster pan ~

1/4 cup popcorn, measurement is unpopped
4 cups Crispix
1 cup peanuts
1 cup pretzels

In a small pan, melt 1 stick of butter.  When melted, add 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Stir and pour over the popcorn mixture.  Bake for 1 hour at 250°, stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool and pour into a serving container.  

Add to this mixture ~

1 box 7.5 oz Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams
1/2 cup Reese's Pieces
1/2 cup M & M's in fall colors
1 cup Caramel Apple Candy Corn

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

What is more comforting than a chicken soup?  Make it creamy and taste like a pot pie and it's guaranteed to be a success.  I'm in a soup mood so there might be a couple new soup recipes this week.  I consulted a friend to see if she would add corn since I normally do not to a pot pie and she said yes.  I was glad that I did for the bursts of sweetness.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
1 cup carrots, pared and diced
1 cup potatoes, pared and diced
1 cup peas
1 cup corn (I used 2 ears of fresh corn)
1 tbsp celery flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter in the bottom of a dutch oven or soup kettle.  Stir in flour and cook for a couple minutes.  Whisk in chicken broth.  Add in milk, chicken, carrots and potatoes, cover with lid slightly ajar and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.  Add in peas, corn and celery flakes.  Cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pear Syrup

I ran out of the delicious peach syrup I had made and already used maple syrup yesterday for my breakfast sweet potato so I guess it's time for a new syrup.  I had some pear juice on had so I made this topping for cinnamon waffles that I whipped up this morning.

Pear Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp corn starch
1 cup pear juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Whisk the first five ingredients together in a large saucepan.  Bring to a light rolling boil, stirring occasionally until it starts to thicken.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the cinnamon.  Serve warm or cold.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Breakfast Maple Sweet Potatoes

I enjoy quirky breakfasts and I put today's breakfast into that category since most people wouldn't consider having a sweet potato in the morning.  I plan or at least have an idea of what recipes I want to experiment with on weekends except this one.  I wanted something that would be easy to prepare since I'm also watching ESPN's Game Day since my town is featured today.  

Breakfast Maple Sweet Potatoes

2 good sized sweet potatoes
2-3 slices maple bacon, cooked and crumbled

Maple Crumble ~

1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp cashews, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup (don't skimp, get the good stuff)
Pinch of salt

Fork prick the sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour at 350°.  While they are baking, cook and crumble the bacon and make your maple crumble.  In a small bowl, (I used a metal one so I could place it in the oven and not dirty another dish), combine all the ingredients.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When potatoes are done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Slice open, mash slightly with a fork and add the bacon and crumble on top.  Breakfast is served.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Turkey Spice Rub

In-between weather.  Not warm enough to have your windows open and not cold enough to turn on the furnace.  That's what is happening in my part of the world.  It means it's a good time to turn on the oven and so I put this turkey breast half in mine with a rub that kept the bird moist and gave it flavor.

Turkey Spice Rub

2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard

I first placed the rub under the skin and the leftovers when on top to make the skin nice and crispy.  Bake in an 350° until the internal temperature of the turkey reads 165°.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Orange Zucchini Bread

I keep getting custody of the zucchini in the CSA basket that I share with my friend.  I made another bread since I have some zucchini frozen and it seems to go fast at work.

Orange Zucchini Bread

1 cup zucchini, peeled and shredded
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice, I used fresh squeezed


1 cup powdered sugar
orange juice, fresh squeezed.  Add just enough to have an icing that can pour over the bread

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Add in egg, oil and juice and mix well.  Fold in zucchini.  Bake for 55 minutes at 325°.  Remove from bread pan and cool on a rack.  Top with icing when cool.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

It's apple season!  One of my trees is absolutely loaded with apples this year so it's time to start using some.  What better way than with a comforting start to the day.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls 

1 sweet bread dough, allowed to rise overnight in a plastic wrapped and greased bread pan
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and sliced

Caramel ~

Melt in a greased 9 x 13 pan

1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4  cup light corn syrup

Spread out dough into a large rectangle.  Spread softened butter over the dough.  Evenly sprinkle the dark brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cut apple and spread over brown sugar.  I use an apple wedger.  That way the core is removed and all the pieces are equal so all you have to do is remove the skin.  Roll up the dough and cut into 12 equal slices.  Place in the caramel sauce in the pan and allow to rise.  Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pizza Balls

Since it was cold and rainy yesterday, what better than to make something fun for dinner.  I even took a shortcut of using a frozen pizza dough instead of from scratch...well it was raining and my Kindle and sofa enticed me to relax and nap.  

Pizza Balls

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed and allowed to rise. 
fresh mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese

Pizza sauce for dipping

When the dough has risen about 1/4 of the way, leave in the loaf shape but cut 8 equal slices to make it easy to divide out later.  When fully risen,  take apart pieces and roll out into about a 5" circle.  Place pepperoni and 1 tbsp of fresh mozzarella in the center.  Sprinkle each with a dash of oregano.  Bring the sides together and pinch dough together so it's completely sealed.  Place seam size down in a round baking dish ~ I used an 8" springform pan.  Allow to rise again until doubled.  Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread butter over buns and sprinkle more oregano and about a tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan on top.  Return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bacon Corn Chowder

It's a rainy day here in the valley.  I had a refrigerator full of veggies from my CSA that needed some attention so what better way to use the corn on the cob, carrots and potatoes than with a soul warming soup.

Bacon Corn Chowder

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
4 cups milk
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large potatoes (or 6 small), peeled and diced
6 ears of corn, shucked and cut off cobs
1/4 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 thick slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces and cooked until fat has rendered off

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter and stir in the flour.  Gradually whisk milk into the flour mixture.  Bring to a simmer and add in the carrots, potatoes and bay leaf.  When slightly tender, add in corn, bacon and seasonings.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pomarola Sauce

I made and canned this sauce over the weekend with tomatoes from my CSA and basil that I'm growing in pots on my deck.  It's a very healthy sauce that is packed with lots of flavor.

Pomarola Sauce

20 Roma tomatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add in onions and cook until tender.  Add in minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Add in tomatoes and basil and cook over medium heat until tomatoes are softened.  Put sauce through a food mill to remove seeds.  Season to taste.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bacon Roasted Potatoes

The crisper the better.  That's why I like making these potatoes so much.  Nice crisp potato pieces and this time I added Parmesan cheese and bacon. 

Bacon Roasted Potatoes

3 red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp parsley

Cook potatoes in water until fork tender.  Drain and spread out on a baking sheet that has the olive oil sprinkled over it.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400°.  Turn frequently.  When nice and crispy on all sides, sprinkle on bacon, Parmesan and parsley before putting in a serving dish.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Krispie Baked Chicken

That's not a typo.  I meant to type Krispie because the coating on this chicken breasts uses Rice Krispies cereal.  I took chicken out of the freezer and then looked in my pantry to see what I could make with it that was new and came up with this recipe.

Krispie Baked Chicken

4 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
1 cup Rice Krispies, crushed
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the spices.  Place in a wide bowl.  Place crushed Rice Krispies on a plate.  Dip the chicken breasts in the butter mixture, then in the Krispies and place in a greased baking pan.  Pour leftover butter mixture over the breasts and bake at 350° until the temperature reads 165°.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Blackberry Pear Muffins

Continuing with my blackberry and pear combinations, I made these tasty muffins.  One bite has a sweet taste of the pears and the next has a slightly tart taste of the blackberries.  I made it with some brown sugar to add a darker color and a hint of molasses flavor.

Blackberry Pear Muffins

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
6 oz fresh blackberries, cut in half
1 fresh pear, diced
raw sugar (turbinado) 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In another medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter and egg.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients.  Fold in diced pear and blackberries.  Place in greased muffin cups or in paper liners.  Sprinkle some raw sugar on top.  Bake for 20 minutes at 325°.  Makes 15 muffins.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Salsa Chicken

This is actually an old recipe revisited because it's so easy to make and so full of flavor.

Salsa Chicken

2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
ground Ancho chili pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

Brown the chicken breasts in extra virgin olive oil.  Season with Ancho chili pepper, pepper and salt (the amount depends on how salty your favorite salsa is).

Place in a baking dish and cover with one cup of salsa.  Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Parmesan Fried Corn

Corn season is here, late but plentiful.  I've already frozen some so I wanted to try frying some since that uses quite a bit from my overflowing refrigerator.

Parmesan Fried Corn

6 ears corn, shucked and sliced from ears
2 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Add in corn and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes stirring often.  Add in salt, freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

Some people hide zucchini from their family, I hide it from co-workers.  They're aware that I put it in the breads/desserts, they just ignore it because it's so well hidden that even I can't find it.  This is a really moist bread.

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1 /2 tsp poppy seeds

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and yogurt.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Fold in shredded zucchini, lemon juice & zest and poppy seeds.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Creamy Chicken Taco Calzones

The weather has taken a 180 turn and the air conditioning is turned off and the windows are closed because it because almost chilly outside.  In this area, I've learned just to wait 5 minutes and it will change again.  So while it's on the cooler side, I'm taking advantage and turning on the oven to make this twist on Italian calzones with filling the dough with a Mexican filling. 

Creamy Chicken Taco Calzones

1 frozen pizza dough loaf separated into 4 pieces

1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp green chilies
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp taco seasoning
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup Cheddar/Jack cheese, shredded

Place the chicken broth, green chilies and chicken tenders in a large skillet. Heat until chicken is cooked and broth has evaporated. Fork shred the chicken and add into taco seasoning and cream cheese. Heat until cream cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
Roll out each quarter of dough into a circle.  In the center of each dough circle, place a quarter of the chicken mixture and top with 1 tbsp shredded cheese.  Gently fold over and press edges together.  Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350°.  I removed from the oven after 20 minutes and sprayed with olive oil and returned for another 5 minutes for a golden brown crust.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Parmesan Cheese Ball

It's a holiday weekend and time to gather with family and friends.  Also, college football has started with the pros starting next week so it's time to entertain and how better than with an easy to make cheese ball.

Parmesan Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano

1 tbsp parsley
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup cashews, chopped

Mix together softened cream cheese, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Add in the garlic and spices. Shape into a ball shape in bowl and cover
with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove and roll in chopped

Return to refrigerator. Remove 15 minutes before
serving.  Serve with crackers or vegetables.