Friday, April 25, 2014

Jalapeño & Cilantro Chicken Rice Bake

I saw a few recipes that inspired this recipe, but none we exactly what I wanted, so I made this one up and it was fabulous! I will definitely be making it again. If you don't like spicy, it would still be good without the jalapeño, but I really like the spice and flavor it adds! I forgot to take a picture the day I made it, but here are my left overs!!

About 2 chicken thighs or 1 breast
spices (I used cumin, pepper, and paprika)
1 cup uncooked rice
1 Tbsp diced jalapeño (about half a pepper)
1 can cream of chicken soup
milk (enough to make desired consistency- about half the soup can)
1/4-1/2 C cilantro
pepper (to taste)
pepper jack cheese (or whatever you like)

Pre-heat the oven to 425*. Cut chicken into small pieces, coat with seasoning and bake.

Cook rice according to directions.

Once rice is cooked, mix it with soup, milk, jalapeño, cilantro, and chicken. Add pepper. Place in 2 quart baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted (about 20 minutes). I cooked it a little longer because we like when the cheese gets brown. You can do it however you like!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crabapple Jelly

Over Labor Day weekend, I made crabapple jelly with my husband and his mom and sister. It was a lot of fun, but very time consuming! 

We started the night before picking crabapples from the tree in my in-law's back yard. We also spent a few hours the day of picking. The kids even helped. It is a good activity if you want to get every talking.

Once we had the apples, it was time to juice them. My mother-in-law has an awesome contraption that steams and juices the fruit for you. Once you have 4 cups of juice, you are ready for the first batch. Add 4 cups of juice and 4 cups of sugar to a large sauce pan and set heat to high. Once the liquid comes to a low boil, turn the heat down and slowly bring it to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Before it gets to the right temperature, the bubbles will double in size and the foam will be very white. Watch closely at that point, so it doesn't get too hot.

Once it gets to 220, immediately remove from heat and let the foam settle. Then pour into jars. You will get 2 pints per batch.

Once the jelly is in the jars, you're ready to seal it and let it set.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Homemade Chicken Rice-a-Roni

I found this recipe from a cooking group and it turned out pretty well! It was a nice twist on plain ol' rice! I did not make it before hand, but I might. It would be nice to have on hand. I also like the idea of putting an egg in it for lunch! I'll have to try that too!

Chicken Style Rice-a-Roni Mix

3/4 cup long grain brown or white rice
1/4 cup broken spaghetti (or just use more rice)
1 tablespoon dry onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic
 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning or thyme
1 tablespoon dry parsley
3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon powdered bouillon

 Combine the rice and all of the other ingredients in a resealable plastic container.

To Prepare
2 tablespoons margarine
1 package of Chicken Style Rice-a-Roni Mix
2-1/2 cups water

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the margarine, Rice Mix and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible flame. Simmer, covered until done or for about 45 minutes for brown rice or 20 minutes for white rice. Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Honey Oat Bread

I don't love wheat bread. I grew up eating white bread and am slowly learning to love wheat. This bread might just change my mind! It is not as intense as purely wheat bread and goes well with butter and honey! Now I want to learn to make jam!

1 cup warm water
1 envelope yeast
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup oats
2 Tbsp milk
extra oats

Proof yeast in warm water and honey for 10 minutes, until it starts to foam. Stir in butter, salt, flours, and oats. Slowly add last bit of bread flour. You might need to add a little less. Knead dough for 5-7 minutes, until stiff and soft dough forms. 

Lightly grease ball of dough and let rise in bowl for 1 hour or until doubled. Punch down and let rise 10 more minutes. 

Place dough in greased bread pan. Cover with towel and let rise 45 more minutes, until doubled. 

Brush top of bread with milk and sprinkle with oats. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a dish I have never had any desire to make. Until now. I have to say, it was pretty good. It reminds me of the tradition some people have of "dinner in a pumpkin". You can really put whatever you want inside. It's about the experience! I have all sorts of ideas for the next time I try this!

Since this was my first time making this, I read a few different recipes to get an idea of what to do. Then I looked at what I had around the house and got to work. Here is what I came up with.

8-10 medium bell peppers (any color would be fine)
1 1/2 cups quinoa  (uncooked)
1 med onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans
1 can pino beans
1/2 - 1 lb taco meat (cook ground beef just like you would for tacos)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika (These are estimates. I usually just pour directly until it looks good)
shredded cheese (I used a cheddar jack mix)

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400.

While quinoa is cooking, heat a little bit of oil in large skillet. Add garlic and onions. Cook until onions are translucent. Add beans, meat, and spices. Cook until warm. Mix with quinoa (either in skillet or in a seperate bowl).

Slice peppers in half and take out seed and and extra "flesh" that doesn't look like you want to eat it. Put in shallow dish with about an inch of water. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes, until peppers are soft. Dump out water and place peppers in glass dish or on a cookie sheet. Fill with mixture. Top with cheese. Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

NOTE: I only made 2 of these the night of, then assembled the rest and froze them. I hear they are an easy meal to freeze and that they last for a few months. I haven't eaten the frozen ones yet, but I am excited!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crock Pot Potato Soup

The other night I was craving creamy potato soup. The best potato soup recipe I know was not creamy enough for this particular craving. I've made a decent creamy soup, but all the ingredients were from cans. So, I thought I'd try something new. Once again, no one recipe looked perfect, so I threw what I had in the crock pot and decided to wing it. It turned out awesome! So, here it is!

6 medium russet potatoes, cut into chunks (don't peel them)
ham chunks (add as much or as little as you want)
4 cups chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion, diced
seasoning salt
dried parsley
black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup half and half

Put the first 8 ingredients into the crock pot. I don't have exact measurements for the seasonings. I eye ball things like that. I would guess about 1-2 teaspoons of seasoning salt and pepper and about a tablespoon of parsley. Cook on high for 3 hours. Add cream cheese and half and half. Cook half an hour longer. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baby Banana Pancakes

Now I have a Jack Johnson song stuck in my head. "Makin banana pancakes, pretend like it's the weekend.." The hubs and I used to listen to him all the time when we were dating. But that is a little off topic.

I've been trying to find recipes for things Little Man can eat by himself. I still feed him purees, but now that he is 8 months old, I'd like him to be able to start feeding himself. It keeps him occupied, lets me get things done, and teaches him an important skill. Win-win! Problem is, I'm running out of things to give him! And puffs can't be the best thing for him. At least not a couple times a day! He doesn't have teeth and he's allergic to dairy, so that has made it a little more challenging. But I finally found something that was easy to make and that he likes! Banana pancakes! They aren't your traditional pancakes, but that is what I will call them. I just kind of added stuff until I had a pancake consistency. They aren't the best tasting thing in the world, but they are good. If you have an older kid (or you don't mind sugar and spices), you can add some sugar and cinnamon. I bet apple sauce would be good too instead of bananas. I made a bunch of these and froze them. Freezing food is addicting!

Baby Banana Pancakes  

2/3 C flour (I used wheat)
1 C water
2 bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients. Cook on pan or griddle. Enjoy!

Makes 20-24 two to three inch pancakes.