Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Hubby came home completely inspired by the cafeteria on campus the other day. Crazy, we know. But- he put in a special request to recreate what they'd been serving. Delicious!

Prepare pizza dough, or buy ready to use pizza dough. (We're a fan of Bobs Red Mill GF pizza crust mix.)

Make sauce by combining in a bowl Ranch dressing, your favorite buffalo wing hot sauce, and a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese to taste. Measurements depend on how spicy you want your sauce to be!

In another bowl, stir to coat cooked, shredded chicken with buffalo wing hot sauce.

Assemble pizza by spreading sauce on crust and topping with:
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Buffalo wing hot sauce coated chicken
Sliced black olives
Chopped celery
Cubed cream cheese

Friday, September 14, 2012

Home made cinnamon sugar apple sauce

It really does not get much easier than this!

Fill a crock pot with chopped apples- big bite size. Add:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 T cinnamon
Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, just until apples start to break down and mash easily when stirred. Then, transfer to a blender and combine for a just a bit; seriously it's a matter of seconds. Just until the apple sauce is fairly smooth. Serve warm or let chill in the fridge for later.

Drying Apples

I LOVE snacking on dried apples. This year, my apple snack is turning out even better than they did last year thanks to one helpful tip: STEAMING! I set myself up with apples in an assembly line and had them sliced, steamed and drying in no time.

How to dry apples:

1. Wash and dry apples.
2. Thinly slice apples. (Removing the skin is optional.)
3. Steam apples for 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on a food dehydrator.
5. Dehydrate for most of the day. I want to say I left my apples alone for 8, maybe 9 hours? Just taste them every so often and shut off the dehydrator when you're happy with the result.
Why steam?

Steaming apple slices before drying them helps them stay a beautiful color without browning. They also get a bit crispier than being left plain, or being sprayed with lemon juice first (which is how I used to dry apples.)

Preparing Freshly Caught Fish

My husband does not fish. If there are two things he dislikes most, they'd have to be solitude and sitting still. Because of this, all the fish that I prepare for dinner no longer looks like fish. It comes in neat little packages with a bar code. Our neighbor, on the other hand, does like to spend his time out in the quiet of nature and he brought over a fish for us! A real, fresh caught fish that my grandma identified through picture text as being trout. Thankfully, he gutted it and offered a few cooking tips before he left it in my care! I have to admit all I kept thinking while I was getting ready to cook this sucker, was it had better not move! Which, of course, was ridiculous considering how it didn't have any insides... but still...
His tips; my thoughts: 

1. Leave it as is. The skin protects from burning the meat and keeps the moisture in. The only thing I had to do was cut it in half as the fish was too large for the skillet.
2. Butter not oil. Aye, aye captain. I followed this instruction, no problem.
3. Medium - low heat; keep the lid on. He said keeping the lid on was important to keep in the steam- I personally think it is important to keep that awful fish smell contained!
4. 15 minutes each side. This worked perfectly for our fish. I could tell it was done and ready to eat when the skin came right off and the meat flaked away easily from the bones.
Who knew this fish was going to taste so good! What a pleasant surprise. I've decided we have a pretty cool neighbor.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sweet Chipotle Chicken

Awhile back our local Albertsons had a killer sale on bone in chicken breasts- so guess what our freezer is stocked full of? This then begs the questions: Does bone in chicken breast cook the same as a boneless chicken breast? Am I supposed to remove the bone before cooking the chicken? I created something today that left the bones in- but wasn't similar to a recipe I'd typically use boneless chicken breast in. In this recipe I get to use Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. This is my favorite ingredient to cook with!
Sweet Chipotle Chicken

3 Chicken breast on the bone

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup cranberry juice (or another type you have on hand- I used grape today.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

1 tablespoon oil

Marinate chicken in all ingredients except for the oil for at least 30 minutes. Today, I let the chicken marinate while we attended church and then came home to prepare a quick dinner.

Cook chicken in marinade stove-top until chicken is just cooked through. Heat oil in a skillet and transfer the chicken breasts, but reserve the marinade. Brown chicken on both sides. Then, return chicken to marinade and continue to cook on low heat for 20 more minutes.

We served ours on quinoa and beside a spinach salad tonight.

Chicken Parm: Gluten Free and Light

Here is a lighter and gluten free version of the timeless favorite: Chicken Parmesan.

3 Chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally to get 6 thin slices of chicken.
1 Cup gluten free flour
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 Cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Cups crushed rice chex
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a broiler pan with non stick cooking spray.

Set three shallow bowls out on the counter.

In bowl one, set the flour.

In bowl two, whisk egg and egg whites.

In bowl three, combine cheese, chex and seasoning.

Coat each chicken piece in the flour, then in the egg, then in the cheese mixture. Arrange on broiler pan and bake until cooked through; about 30 minutes. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

September Meal Plan

This post is mainly for me because I am already getting frustrated over not remembering where my recipes are- and we're only on day 4 in the month! Arg! Did I see the recipe on pinterest, is it here on this site, is it in one of my cook books, did I just imagine it in my mind... ? Well, now that I've found em- most of em- I'm gonna make sure I don't lose em again!

September Meal Plan

1. Chicken Parmesan (lighter and GF) with a side salad.
2. Sweet adobo Chicken over quinoa with a spinach salad.
3. Happy Labor Day! Dinner out with the family.
4. Country fried steak (use GF rice chex instead of bread crumbs) with mushroom gravy and sauteed green beans, and strawberries.
5. Shredded BBQ chicken in crock pot, corn bread, steamed zucchini
6. Penne rosa with shrimp (GF noodles) and a side salad
7. Bird Nest Pie *Make an extra to freeze for later. Fresh peaches.
8. Baked buffalo chicken bites, veggie sticks and a fruit smoothie. 
9. Pork chops cooked in apple sauce served over rice.
10. Shredded chicken enchiladas *Make an extra to freeze for later. Rice and beans.
11. Pesto shrimp and veggie pizza- try making fresh pesto sauce- and a fruit salad.
12. Sweet and sour chicken, stir fry veggies and rice
13. German pancakes, zucchini slippers, fruit smoothie
14. French dips, apple slices, brown sugar sweet potato fries
15. Bajio chicken salad
16. Crock pot stuffed peppers, rice and fruit.
17. Thaw extra bird nest pie (from the 7th) and serve with salad.
18. Fish tacos with cabbage, rice and beans.
19. Chicken in cranberry mustard sauce, quinoa, apple sauce
20. Thaw extra enchiladas, rice and beans. 
21. LEFT OVERS NIGHT (Use today to make the following freezer meals- 3 meals of each)
22. Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves, steamed veggies.
23. Chicken cordon bleu and green beans
24. Crock pot beef roast and a side salad.
25. Italian chicken and pineapple with quinoa and broccoli.
26. Grilled chicken, macaroni and cheese, fruit salad.
27. Crock pot chicken tomato soup
29. Teriyaki freezer meal over rice with stir fry veggies
30. Fajita freezer meal on corn tortillas