Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

I may have already put this recipe on my blog at some point. It's one of my absolute favorite dinners I make for my family. It's great for Sundays and company because I can make it ahead of time and just bake it right before we eat. I serve it with pasta, extra sauce, a salad and bread or bruschetta.

Start with a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts and pound them with a meat tenderizer in a ziplock bag (so the juices don't splash all over the place) until they are so thin they are starting to fall apart. It is really important to make them super thin so they cook evenly and quickly. I can't stand thick, dry chicken breasts. Plus it really seems to make more this way. I always end up with more servings than I anticipated and have a hard time fitting them in the pan.

Then pat them dry with paper towels and dip them in a mixture of beaten eggs and either milk or water. This helps the bread crumbs stick.

Next coat them with Italian bread crumbs. They're full of flavor, so you don't need to add any extra spices.

Heat a very thin layer of canola or vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan. You don't want to use too much or else it won't crisp up. Work in batches and rotate them around to make sure they cook evenly, adding more oil as needed. When they are golden brown on both sides, put them on paper towels to soak up the excess grease.

Then transfer them to a 9x10 pan that has a thick layer of spaghetti sauce (I especially like Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara, which has a great flavor). I use about half a jar in the pan and heat up the other half to seve with the pasta.

Bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then top with mozzerella cheese and bake until it's melted and bubbly, about 10-15 more minutes. I happened to have some fresh parmesan this time, so I grated that on there too. Serve over pasta. Yum!! This recipe also works great with eggplant parmesan. Of course you don't need to pound those - just slice them nice and thick. The leftovers make excellent sandwiches - reheat and put on toasted sourdough or hoagie roll with plenty of sauce.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Peaches and Cream Cake

This is for Megan. It was a delicious birthday cake. It comes from the evil cake book.

1 can (29 oz) peach halves packed in heavy syrup, drained and syrup reserved
1 pkg. plain yellow cake mix
8 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
whipping cream
sugar for the whipping cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 in. pan.
2. Place about 8 of the peach halves in a food processor and process until smooth. (I think I did this in my blender.) This should measure about 1 1/2 C. Reserve 1/2 C. syrup and the remaining peach halves.
3. Place the cake mix, peach puree, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put it in the oven.
4. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick. Carefully pour the reserved peach syrup over the layers so the cake soaks up all the juice. Let the cake cool completely.
5. Prepare the whipping cream. Cut the remaining peach halves into 1/2 inch thick slices.
6. To serve: cut a slice of cake, top with peaches and sweetened cream.

You may find that you want more peaches than the leftovers from the can. And don't be skimpy on the whipped cream. Yum.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Trip to Morocco

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, we like food from other countries. One of our new favorites is Moroccan food. I found this recipe on Rachael Ray's site and it was so good. I highly recommend making the yummy couscous to go with it.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb or Chicken

2 pounds boneless leg of lamb or chicken, diced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper
flour for dredging
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 red chili peppers seeded and chopped (I think I just used bell peppers)
2 onions chopped (I just did one)
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp orange or lemon zest with juice of said fruit

Sprinkle the meat with the cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper then dredge in the flour. Heat the oil in a pan and when it starts to smoke, add the meat and brown all over. Remove it to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat a bit and add a bit more oil, chili peppers, onions and bay leaves. Cook 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, stock, zest and juice. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add the meat back in. Reduce heat and thicken it a little.

I love it when web sites give you what to serve something with. Sure we could have gone with plain couscous but there was a link to this one right on the other recipe. What's a girl to do?

Pistachio, Garlic and Mint Couscous

1/3 cup shelled pistachios
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

Toast the nuts in a saucepan suitable for rice. Remove to a food processor and finely chop (or just a cutting board and chop well). Add the oil and garlic to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse-chop (or use that handy cutting board and knife again) the mint in a food processor very fine. Stir the mint and nuts into the couscous as you fluff with a fork.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Orange Chicken

I was perusing Pioneer Woman for dinner recipes one day and jumped over to another food website that she recommended. The recipes there were totally amazing. I printed off two recipes, this orange chicken and a brushetta chicken. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of it or how I got there, so going back and getting more recipes is difficult. (I'm currently searching for a chile relleno recipe.) If anyone knows or finds out what website I got this off of, let me know.

This orange chicken is as good as or maybe better than Panda Express.

Orange Chicken

Serves 4

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about a lb., but you could do more, there's lots of sauce.)
1/4 c. cornstarch
salt and pepper
1 c. orange juice
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 strips orange zest--1" wide by 2" tall (or the equivalent in small ones that you're likely to get.)
1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 whole dried red chilies, broken in half (I used a few shakes of red pepper flakes.)
2 Tbsp cornstarch, for the slurry
2 Tbsp. water, for the slurry

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat about an inch of vegetable or canola oil to about 375F. Heat the oven to 250F.
In a large zip top bag combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks and seal the bag. Toss to coat completely. (As an alternate method, I salted and peppered the chicken, and tossed it in a bowl with the cornstarch.)
Add the coated chicken to the hot oil in two or three batches. Cook until lightly golden and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Hold the chicken in the oven. (You could skip the oven and just warm up the chicken in the sauce right before you serve it, or make the sauce first, then the chicken and put it in warm.)
In a sauce pan, combine the water, orange, lime and lemon juices, vinegar, orange zest, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and dry chilies. Stir to combine. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce reduce by 1/3.
In a small bowl, prepare the slurry by combining the cornstarch and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the sauce and whisk until the sauce thickens. Take the sauce off the heat. Take out the orange zest. Stir in the chicken pieces.

I was thinking that you could also just saute the chicken and skip the frying. Also, don't leave out the orange zest. I'm pretty sure that's the difference between just okay orange chicken and really great orange chicken.

The recipe also has instructions for fried rice, but I haven't tried it yet. Some people in my house refuse to eat any rice that isn't white and covered in soy sauce. Let me know if you want me to post it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dutch Oven Potatoes

Kirk Farmer made these amazing potatoes at the Bingham family reunion. He graciously shared his recipe with me. This makes a ton of potatoes!

Dutch Oven Potatoes

10 lbs potatoes, sliced thin (Kirk does his on a salad shooter, a mandolin might work just as well, you can keep the skins on or take them off, whatever you like.)
1 lb bacon, diced
1 lrg onion, diced
1 cube butter
shredded cheese (Kirk says he often uses Velveeta, because it melts so nicely. He also said the Mexican Velveeta is good in this too.)
14" Dutch oven

Cook the bacon in the dutch oven until crispy, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Cook the onion in the bacon drippings until translucent. Add the potatoes and stir to combine with the onions. Add a little water to help the potatoes steam. (Sorry, I don't think he told me how much he adds, I would imagine 2-4 cups would work. If you try it, let us all know what you used and how it turned out.) Dot the top of the potatoes with the butter. Cover and let cook for 45 minutes. Take off the cover and add the cheese and bacon. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I apologize if I have gotten anything wrong. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the recipe when Kirk told it to me, and I haven't tried it yet to see what I may have forgotten. I will let you know what happens when I do try it. Also, if you don't have a dutch oven, you could make this in the oven. I would try it at 350.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toast Casserole

This is amazing. I first had it at a baby shower. I asked for the recipe, and I also found it online at Then Dave made it for the mother's day brunch at church, and many, many people have asked us for the recipe. You have to make it!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 (8 to 9) inch round loaf Challah bread (we used Sara Lee Texas Toast bread - it's not quite an inch thick, but close).
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (we used cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring until smooth, and pour into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Cut 6 (1-inch) thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bring bread mixture to room temperature. Bake uncovered in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

To serve, cut into pieces and put on plate upside down. The original recipe called for whipped cream on top, but we thought it was plenty sweet enough. Yum!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soccer Mom

This is my first time as a soccer mom. All of our games are scheduled during prime dinner making and eating time. So, I am sending out a request to all you who have done this before. What meals have you made on game night that work for your family?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie--A Recipe in Three Incarnations

This is a recipe that our family has enjoyed for years. It's been through a few changes. I offer them all to you here, perhaps one will become your family favorite too.

Recipe #1
I originally got this recipe from Emily's sister-in-law, Joy. Here it is unadulterated.

3 cans Cream of Potato soup
16 oz. frozen vegetables
2 C. cooked, diced chicken
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed
1 egg for topping

Mix soup, veggies, chicken, milk, thyme and pepper in a large bowl. Roll out one pie crust and put in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Put filling into pie crust. Roll out second pie crust and spread over filling. Crimp edges. Cut slits in pie crust. Beat egg and brush on top of pie crust. Bake at 375 for 40 min.

This is a good recipe, but I knew there was no way I was going to buy frozen pie crust and do you know how hard it is to find mixed veggies with no lima beans or green beans? (Aaron doesn't like lima beans and I hate frozen green beans.) So, I decided to change it up a bit. This is my version, call it Chicken Pot Pie ala Missa.

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 bag frozen peas and carrots
1/2 can each corn and green beans
2 potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked
2 C. cooked, diced chicken (I always season this with salt, pepper and garlic powder before I saute it.)
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 recipe Lion House Pie Dough (follows)

Mix together the filling ingredients in a large bowl. (I recommend mixing the soup and milk together first, you can whisk them together and not have soup lumps.) Divide the pie dough into thirds, roll out one third and put it in a pie plate. Put the filling into the pie plate. Roll out the second pie dough and top the pie with it--don't forget to cut slits in the top, then crimp the edges. (The third piece can be saved for later, wrap it up well in plastic wrap and tin foil and freeze it, or you can have pie for dessert too, hooray!) Bake at 375 for 40 min.

Lion House Pie Dough

1/2 C. butter or margarine
2/3 C. shortening
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp powdered milk
3 C. flour
1/2 C. cold water

Mix together the butter and shortening. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt, and powdered milk, mix. Add 1/2 the flour, mix. Add the water, mix. Add the other half of the flour. Mix until the dough comes together. Makes three pie crusts. (I love this recipe because I don't have to cut the butter into the flour, I can make it in my KitchenAid, and I don't have to fuss with everything being cold.)

Now, as you can see, this recipe takes A LOT more time. It's really good, my family has eaten it with gusto for years, however, the time commitment makes it less than ideal. So, recently, I solved one of my problems with this recipe when Hannah wanted Shepherd's Pie for dinner and Maggie wanted Chicken Pot Pie. Thus Chicken Pot Shepherd's Pie was born.

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
16 oz bag frozen peas and carrots
2 C. cooked, diced chicken
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 servings instant mashed potatoes, made according to package directions
1/2-1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the soup, veggies, chicken, milk and spices together. Put in a greased 9x9 pan. Top with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Really, any veggies your family likes would be good in this. The frozen peas and carrots are what we like, but don't be limited by frozen, canned or fresh work well. Those of you who are rotisserie chicken people could make this with a rotisserie chicken. That would save time. There's also the canned chicken option. I would say this recipe feeds around six people. Especially if you take the extra time to make a salad or other side dish to go with it. I usually figure there is veggies in it, and I've already gone through all that work, do we really need something else? Don't forget the thyme either. It's just a little bit, but it really makes this meal.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Irish Dinner

We had crock pot corned beef with potatoes, carrots and cabbage a few days before St. Patrick's Day because I knew we'd be too busy getting ready for the Pinewood Derby for such a big meal. But then I still wanted to make something green and Irish on Thursday, and I wanted to make some kind of soup with the leftover crock pot vegetables. I googled Irish soups and found a very yummy one called Fresh Vegetable Soup from a lady in Ireland.

I looked up Irish soda bread on allrecipes, and of course I had to choose the one called Brennan's Irish Soda bread. It's even spelled right:) It was the quickest, easiest, yummiest bread. Seriously, there is no yeast, no rising, very little kneading, and it only took 30 minutes to bake. It was so good.

The soup was fabulous, and I even had some fresh chives that survived the winter to put on top.

And every holiday is a good excuse to make Ethel's sugar cookies.
Fresh Vegetable Soup From the kitchen of Mary LydonDunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland
2 tablespoons butter (I doubled everything except the butter, oil and onion)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 leek (I used lots of extra cabbage instead)
1 carrot (I used more)
1 potato (I used more)
1 onion
2 stalks celery
1 tablespoon frozen peas
3-3/4 cups chicken stock
1 bouquet garni *
salt and pepper to taste
Several of my soup recipes call for bouquet garni, which is a bundle of herbs tied with string that is removed before serving. I prefer to tie it up in cheesecloth so I have no stray herbs in my finished product.
Wash, peel and chop vegetables. Heat butter and oil on medium heat. Add vegetables and saute for 5 minutes (do not brown).
Add stock, seasonings and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Remove bouquet garni and puree with blender or electric mixer (don't overfill the blender, and hold the lid down tight. Mine exploded all over the kitchen). Serve in warmed soup bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
*Bouquet Garni: 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs of thyme, 4 large sprigs of parsley (including stalks), one 4 inch piece of celery stalk with leaves, two 4 inch pieces of leek (green part) and 5 whole peppercorns.

Brennan's Irish Soda Bread
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir the milk and vinegar together, and allow to stand until curdled, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually stir the soured milk into the flour mixture until the dough just comes together, and turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead a few times, and shape into a round. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut an X shape into the top of the dough to release steam and help the bread keep its round shape.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes. (I baked it in a cast iron skillet with a lid. I preheated it in the oven and took off the lid for the last few minutes so it could brown on top. Yum!!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Strawberry Cake

With a surprise snowstorm in the middle of March, I needed a taste of summer. As a result, this cake just kind of came together. It was easy to make but took some time for refrigeration. I think it turned out very yummy. Everyone else seemed to like it, too.

Strawberry Cool Whip Cake

1 box strawberry jell-o
1 container cool whip, thawed
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 pint strawberries, washed & sliced

1. Frosting: Make the jell-o according to directions on the box. After adding the cold water, fold in the thawed cool whip. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
2. Make cake according to directions on box. Allow to cool completely.
3. If layering the cake, then spread a bit of the frosting on top of the first cake, then place the second cake on top of it. Use the rest of the frosting on the entire cake; the frosting will get a bit runny as you work with it. Refrigerate finished cake.
4. Garnish the cake with the sliced strawberries.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet Potato Soup

The other day I somehow went over-board making Baked Chicken on Roasted Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes. I used the left-over chicken for chicken quesadillas (of course), but what to do with all that left-over potato/sweet potato? The sweet potatoes were cooked almost to the point of falling apart, which to my mind suggested "soup." So here's my on-the-fly recipe for potato/sweet potato soup.

First make Baked Chicken on Roasted Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes

--Peel and cut several baking potatoes and sweet potatoes in a 2" dice
--Rough chop one onion
--In a roasting pan, toss diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onion with 1/2 envelope of onion soup mix (no oil--the chicken will provide plenty of fat)
--Remove skin from chicken drumsticks and bone-in thighs (from all the pieces, or just some of them, depending on how much/little fat you want). Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, garlic powder (don't over-do it), and "Herbs de Provence"--ie. basil, rosemary, marjoram, sage, savory, thyme, lavender (I didn't even know lavender was edible, but it's listed on this herb blend I used). Let sit about 20 minutes for seasonings to permeate the chicken.
--Arrange chicken parts on top of diced potatoes/sweet potatoes.
--Cook chicken and potatoes at 375 deg. F. for 45 minutes until chicken reaches at least 165 deg internal temperature and the vegetabels are soft.

I turn the chicken after 30 minutes so that it browns on both sides and sometimes even turn on the broiler for just a couple minutes at the end so that the chicken looks good and browned. People in this house seem to have a thing against pale chicken.

Also the sweet potatoes will be noticably softer than the baking potatoes, but other than adding the sweet potatoes after 10 minutes of baking--which would mean taking off the chicken, mixing in the sweet potatoes, and replacing the chicken--I don't see how to avoid that.

--Once your family has had its fill of the chicken and potatoes, season the left-over roasted vegetables with a little tarragon and thyme, and salt and pepper if needed.
--Add chicken broth and fat-free half-and-half (or other choice of cream/milk) in a ratio of 2 parts broth to one part cream. Actual amounts depend on how much vegetables you have and how thick or thin you want the soup to be (for 4 servings of fairly thick soup I used 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup half-and-half).
--Blend the vegetables with the liquids to a smooth, creamy consistency.
--In a sauce pan, gently heat through.

Uche said it was "okay"--maybe he was put off by the orange color--but I quite enjoyed it. I wonder how it would be with roasted apple or pears, maybe topped with toasted pecans.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have recently discovered risotto and boy is it yummy! It takes a special kind of rice called arborio rice which is a little bit pricey but worth it. I haven't actually tried any other kinds of rice but when I was researching just what arborio rice is, I read that any other kind of rice will just get mushy.I'm going to start with the basic recipe (from the back of the package) and give a few ideas to tweak it.

Arborio Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper (optional)
grated parmesan cheese for excitement

Saute onion in oil and butter for three minutes, or until soft. Add rice and stir for about two minutes. Stir in one cup of broth and cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add rest of the broth, a cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. When all of the liquid is absorbed, stir in parmesan cheese.

There are no times listed, probably because it depends on your pot. The last time I made it, I noticed how long it took. In a wider, shallower pot it took about 30 minutes from the time I added the rice. Basically you have to stir it regularly, not necessarily constantly, and pay attention to it. When I make it, I serve it with a simple main dish that doesn't take much work; chicken I can just put in the oven and leave it alone or even leftovers.

Mushroom Risotto: Add fresh, sliced mushrooms and saute with the onion.

Sweet Potato Risotto: Peel and dice two smallish sweet potatoes. Add them to the pot when the onion is sauteing. By the time the rice is cooked, the sweet potatoes will be soft. Mix in chopped pecans with the cheese at the end. (Jason has decided he likes risotto better with some crunch to it to break up the softness.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cream Cheese Delights

I haven't actually made these but I have eaten them and they are yummy.

2 8 oz. packages of crescent rolls
2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk and white divided
1-2 cups chopped nuts (I had it with sliced almonds)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Grease 9x13 pan and line with one package of crescent rolls. Mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of the sugar, vanilla and egg yolk and spread it on top of the rolls. Spread the second package of rolls over the cream cheese mixture. Mix together the egg white, 1/2 cup sugar, nuts and cinnamon and spread it on top of the crescent rolls. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cool adn refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Popcorn Party

Dominic came up with a great idea for popcorn - add different seasonings. So we made a lot of plain popcorn and went to town. The seasonings listed are the ones we used. Feel free to try different ones, then tell me in the comments how they turn out.

Flavorful Popcorn

quart-sized, resealable baggies
Butter Buds
Parmesan Herb seasoning, by McCormick
Ranch salad dressing mix
Cheesy Taco seasoning mix, by McCormick
hot chocolate powder
plain popcorn, lots
kettle corn, microwaveable

1. Prepare the baggies by putting 1 - 2 tablespoons of each seasoning in its own bag. Label the bags.

2. Pop the popcorn in an amount that's reasonable for your family. Air-popped corn with butter and no salt works great. I imagine that a low-sodium microwave popcorn would also work well.

3. Fill the bags about half full with popcorn. Seal them up and shake the bags. Kids really like doing this part. Enjoy your popcorn!

Our verdicts:
Butter Buds - tastes like regular buttery popcorn, but less greasy
Parmesan Herb - subtle; good for a little extra flavor
Ranch - much bolder; reminds me of ranch Doritoes
Cheesy taco - very bold
Ranch + cheesy taco - yummy combination
Hot chocolate - used with kettlecorn, it's a delicious dessert popcorn

Thursday, February 3, 2011


We were watching Man vs. Food the other day. The third season is on Netflix, if anyone wants to watch it. Adam was in Boulder, Colorado, when he went to this restaurant that served pancakes with bacon and sausage inside and egg on top. My kids all said they wanted to try it. So the following Saturday we made gigantic pancakes (1/2 c. batter instead of the usual 1/4 c.) We cooked up some bacon and sausage, cut them into bite sized pieces and sprinkled them into the cooking pancakes. We made them to order, of course, sausage in one, bacon in another, some wanted both. Then I made some eggs. Aaron and I had over easy, like the restaurant; my brother and kids had scrambled. Then we stacked them all up and poured syrup on top. I was surprised at how good they were. All the kids liked them. My brother declared it the best breakfast ever. The salty from the meat and the eggs was the perfect foil to the sweet syrup. The pancake stack was called something else at the restaurant, saddlebags I think, but I'm calling them man-cakes. Hooray for breakfast!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tamarind-spice Glazed Roast of Brussels Sprouts,Onions and Chickpeas

I got this recipe from a weekly email I get called Weeknight Kitchen. It's from the NPR show Splendid Table (I believe I've mentioned it before). This turned out better than I thought it would be. Not that I didn't think it would be good, I just didn't expect it to be this good.

3 large garlic cloves
2 tightly-packed tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 to 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4 in wide wedges
1 cup tightly packed arugula, curly endive or spring mix (I used spring mix)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cross over spice blend (basically a mix of 2 parts cumin, 4 parts coriander, and 1 part black pepper)
1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate or 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice with a bit of zest and 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I ended up using 2 tablespoons tamarind nectar, found in a can in the Mexican section of the store)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil (it was a bit oily so you could get away with 2-3)

Heat oven to 450 and put cookie sheet on the middle rack. In a food processor (I used our chopper) process the garlic, cilantro and ginger - don't puree them. Turn the mix into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and toss to blend. Carefully put it all on the hot pan, spreading it all out. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning often and scraping the brown glaze from the pan's bottom, or until the peppers are tender, the greens are brown and chickpeas crisp.

Put into a serving bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate if desired. You can also garnish with more cilantro and plain yogurt. To make it a complete protein, serve with rice.