Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Cover Macadamia Nuts

This is a great recipe that I found out there on the recipe blogs (I can't remember which one though! I feel bad.) It is the mix of chocolates that makes these chocolate covered nuts so good. Other nuts like peanuts and almonds would also be great. I used Ghiradeli chocolate chips because good quality chocolate really makes a difference when chocolate plays such a major role.

Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
3 cups macadamia nuts or other nuts

Combine all chips in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on 60% power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for another minute on 60% power. Stir gently until chocolate chips mix completely and are melted. You may need to put the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute on 60% power.

Mix in nuts and stir to coat well. With a spoon drop small clusters onto wax paper and allow to cool completely. Store airtight.

Jann's Chicken Enchiladas

Thank goodness for my wonderful friends who talk recipes with me! When I visited my friend Jann a couple months ago she told me about this recipe and I wrote it down on a page in my planner. Well tonight I actually made it and it was SUPER good! I like it better than my standard sour cream/cream of chicken soup/shredded cheese and chicken enchiladas. The cream cheese makes it extra creamy. Thanks Jann for this great recipe!

Jann's Chicken Enchiladas

1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans green chiles
3 cups cooked and cubed chicken or 2 cans cooked chicken
1, 8oz block cream cheese
flour tortillas (I used 9 medium size)
28 oz can green enchilada sauce
about 3 cups shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)

Saute onion in butter until soft and translucent. Add green chiles, chicken, and cream cheese and heat through until cream cheese melts. Scoop mixture (I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop) into tortillas and roll up with a sprinkling of cheese. Put enchiladas into a 9x13 baking dish. Pour green enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and top with about 1-2 cups of cheese. Cover with foil (I spray the foil with cooking spray so cheese doesn't stick to it) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook a few more minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cherry Rice Krispie Cookies

For our Dec. freezer meal swap we exchanged desserts as well as dinners and this lovely cookie dough was given to me by R. and the cookies were so good! My kids all love maraschino cherries so they thought they were awesome. The crunchy rice krispie outside and soft inside make these cookies so yummy!

Cherry Rice Krispie Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour (plus 2 tablespoons for high altitude)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
maraschino cherries, halved (red and green ones would be festive!)
rice krispies (1-2 cups)

Cream together margarine or butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add almond extract and mix. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until a smooth dough forms. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour (if the dough is too sticky to work with let it sit in the fridge longer).

Roll dough into 1 inch balls (I used my smallest cookie scoop to help me keep them uniform) and then roll in the rice krispies pressing the rice krispies into the dough. Press your thumb into the center of the dough ball, place a maraschino cherry half into the indent from your thumb. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, gently press cherries down into cookies, and allow cookies to rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes then remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

Favorite Ginger Snaps

This is the plate of treats that we gave to friends and neighbors this year. Santa Claus Nutter Butters, Rolo Turtles, and Ginger Snaps with a spattering of kisses and miniature peanut butter cups. I loved how wonderful the ginger snaps made my house smell as they were baking. I thought I would try a different ginger snap recipe that had a mixture of butter and shortening to make them not so flat and it worked. These cookies stay thick and chewy even when cooled. Perfect.

Ginger Snaps

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour (plus 1/4 cup for high altitude)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Cinnamon Sugar:
1/2  cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and shortening until fluffy, add sugar and beat for about a minute. Add the egg and molasses and beat well. Stir dry ingredients into the mixture until well incorporated, then roll into 1 inch balls (I use my smallest cookie scoop to help me make them uniform in size) and roll in cinnamon sugar before placing on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until top is just crackled and barely set (they won't look all the way done, but if you over bake the cracks open up and the cookies are hard when cooled). Remove from oven and allow to rest on cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes, then remove to wire racks and cool.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicken Pot Pies (Freezer Meal)

I doubled my regular chicken pot pie recipe and made it into a freezer meal recipe for my freezer meal swap group this month. I love this chicken pot pie. Ultimate comfort food. It freezes well. The best way is to freeze the filling separate from the pie crust and then actually assemble the pie the day you bake it - it makes a much flakier crust that way, but for convenience of the ladies in my freezer meal swap I did assemble the pies before freezing them.

Chicken Pot Pies (Freezer Meal)

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup flour
2 cans, 14 oz each, low sodium chicken broth
1 cup half and half or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash (original blend)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I use 2, 12 oz each, bags Green Giant Fresh Steamers Mixed Vegetables)
2 packages refrigerator pie crusts, or homemade pie crusts (enough for 2, 2-crust pies)

In a saucepan melt the butter over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, until tender. Whisk in flour, salt, chicken bouillon, onion powder, Mrs. Dash, and pepper until well blended. Gradually add the chicken broth and half and half, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened. Stir in chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat. Allow filling to cool.

Method I - Preferred Freezer Meal Method:
Divide filling in half and pour into 2 gallon size ziplock bags. Freeze each filling bag in a larger ziplock with a box of refrigerator pie crusts. Label with cooking instructions.

Method I Cooking Instructions:
Thaw filling and pie crusts in the fridge overnight. Allow pie crust to come up to room temperature. Line a pie plate with one pie crust, fill with thawed chicken filling, cover with the other pie crust, pressing edges together to seal. Tuck top crust under edge of bottom crust, flute edges, and cut slits in the top of the crust to vent. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbly. During last 15-20 minutes of baking cover the edges of the pie with strips of foil to prevent over-browning. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Method II - Pre-Assembled Pies Freezer Meal Method (more convenient for making, but results in a moist crust):
Line 2 pie plates (foil pie plates are available at most grocery stores) with 2 pie crusts. Add half of the cooled filling mixture to each pie and top with remaining 2 pie crusts. Tuck top crust under bottom crust, pressing together to seal. Flute the edges. Cut slits in the top of the crust. Place the assembled pot pies onto a cookie sheet and freeze solid in the freezer. Once pies are completely frozen, cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Label with cooking instructions and freeze.

Method II Cooking Instructions:
Thaw completely. Heat oven to 425. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbly. During last 15-20 minutes of baking cover the edges of crust with strips of foil to prevent over-browning. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
**Will take considerably more time to bake from frozen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cinnamon Apples

We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday and I signed up to bring cinnamon apples so I would get this tasty recipe. This is such a yummy side dish to go with BBQ - we had pulled pork and brisket as the main dish at the Christmas party! Yum! I'm making this again this week to go with BBQ pork sandwiches. And I can just imagine how good these apples would be warm over ice cream for a dessert.

Cinnamon Apples

5 lbs gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar if you'd like a less caramely sauce)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons of Carnet Foods Ultra Gel (or you can use an extra tablespoon of corn starch)

Place apple slices and enough water to just cover in a heavy pan or dutch oven (I used an enamel covered cast iron dutch oven). Boil on medium high heat until tender, about 20-25 minutes with the lid on, stirring every so often. Pour out 3/4 of the water and put back on heat. Mix cornstarch and cold water and stir into the apples. Cook until thickened. Add sugar, butter and cinnamon. At this point I added the Ultra Gel to thicken it up more, but you could just add more corn starch mixed with cold water if it is not the consistency you desire.

Sesame Noodles

This recipe is from Pioneer Woman and it was a great side dish for the Teriyaki marinated pork loin that we had last week. It was simple and yummy - my kind of side dish.

Sesame Noodles

12 oz angel hair pasta
1/4 cup soy sauce (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2-1 teaspoon hot chile oil (if you like zip go for 1 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons hot water
3 green onions, sliced thin
sesame seeds (toasted if desired)

Cook angel hair according to package instructions. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce, sugar, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot chile oil, canola oil, and hot water. Drain noodles and put into a large bowl. Pour soy sauce mixture over hot noodles and toss to coat. Add green onions and toss. Add more soy sauce to taste and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mom's Fudge

Fudge! This is my Mom's fudge and I love it. It is a quintessential Christmastime treat and I made it last night for munching on as we trimmed our Christmas tree. Christmas music, ornaments, laughter, and fudge. Does it get better than that?:)

Mom's Fudge

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 oz can)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (my mom uses chips, I used 3, 4 oz. Ghiradelli semi-sweet baking bars, chopped)
7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (I left it out)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, and milk. Bring to a full boil and boil stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted, add marshmallow cream and vanilla and stir well (takes some arm strength). Pour into a 9x9 pan. Let cool for about 2 hours at room temp or until cooled completely. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Fettuccine Alfredo

This lovely lovely recipe is from my friend Jenny who got it from The Pioneer Woman. I made it last night with the tri-color Christmas fettuccine that I got as a present from a friend. It was so good! And so simple to make. Obviously this is not something you should have everyday what with the stick of butter and heavy cream and all, but once in a while this is a perfectly wonderful meal and my whole family loved it. We had it with Caesar salad. Mmmm!

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb fettuccine
1 stick of butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a sauce pan melt the butter in the heavy cream; season with salt and pepper. Put 1 cup of Parmesan into a large serving bowl. Pour hot cream mixture over the top of the Parmesan in the serving bowl. Drain pasta and immediately pour into the bowl. Toss a couple of times, sprinkle with remaining cup of Parmesan. Toss to combine. Season again with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately. Top individual servings with more Parmesan.

BBQ Steak Strips

This was a freezer meal from R. in my freezer meal group and it was yummy and smelled so good as it was baking! Getting new freezer meal recipes is making me so happy! I'll make this one again for sure!

BBQ Steak Strips

2 lbs steak cut into strips
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry ginger
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Spray a 9x13 foil pan with cooking spray Place steak strips evenly in the bottom of the pan. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over the steak and cover with foil. Label with cooking instructions and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Bake covered with foil at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

Caramel Apples

These are so easy to make and probably one of my top ten favorite desserts. I love caramel apples! I love the ones at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but they are expensive and you can only get Granny Smith caramel covered apples there. I think Galas or Honey Crisp apples are so much better covered with caramel. So anywho, I made these for FHE last week and everyone loved them.

Caramel Apples

2 bags caramel bits
1/4 - 1/3 cup heavy cream
chopped Heath or Skor bars, mini m&ms, or other favorite topping
5 large apples (I used Gala)

Heat caramel bits and heavy cream over medium heat until caramel is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Dip apples (that have been skewered with popsicle sticks) in hot caramel and then roll in topping of choice, pressing into the caramel. Place on a parchment or wax paper covered cookie sheet. Let cool completely and enjoy - my kids like me to cut up their caramel apples into slices to make it easier to eat.

Parmesan Chicken (Freezer Meal)

This is a freezer meal from my friend S. and it was great! I baked it from frozen and it turned out great. The chicken was moist and flavorful. I'll definitely make this freezer meal again.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
5 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Mix breading ingredients together. In a separate bowl, melt butter and garlic salt. Dip chicken in butter mixture, then in bread crumb mixture and place in a foil 9x13 pan. Pour any remaining butter over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil, and label with cooking instructions.

Cooking Instructions:
Frozen: Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350for 50-60 minutes.
Thawed: Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with spaghetti sauce over all and sprinkle with Parmesan.