Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheddar-Broccoli Soup with Potatoes

Even though this recipe comes from Our Best Bites cookbook, I probably would not have made it before some other recipes in that cookbook, but one of my X mission companions, who also has a cooking blog (Kayla, I hope you know I have a cooking blog because you inspired me ... to copy your idea) HIGHLY recommended this recipe. And I love soup! So I made it and she was right... it is delicious! Thanks Kayla. And thanks Mormon Mom's In the Kitchen. Your cookbook is inspiring and your beautiful pictures make me hungry every time I open your book.

Cheddar-Broccoli Soup with Potatoes

1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 c diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 med heads broccoli, chopped (about 4 c florets and stems)
3 oz cream cheese
2 c low-fat milk
6 Tbsp flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp fresh or 1 Tbsp dried parsley

1. In a large stockpot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. When hot, add the diced onion. Saute for 1 minute and then add garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes longer or until onions are tender.
2. Add the chicken broth and potato and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add broccoli. Continue to simmer with the pot covered for about 5 more minutes or until both potatoes and broccoli are tender.
3. While the soup is simmering, combine cream cheese, milk, and flour in a blender and process until smooth. When potatoes and broccoli are tender add the milk mixture to pot. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and parsley. If desired, use an immersion blender to blend until desired consistency is reached. you can also pulse it in a blender. (I didn't. I like the chunks.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chile Relleno Casserole

I'm back. Sorry for the delay. I was on vacation in St. George, but I have not stopped cooking and collecting good recipes to add to this blog.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. I have mentioned my love for New Mexico and more for green chilies. Cora (James' mother) hooks us up with frozen green chilies that I love. For the longest time I only knew a couple of green chile recipes. Cora changed that when she sent me a whole stack of green chile recipe cards her ward had collected and put together some time ago. It has been fun to experiment with a few of them and now my green chile supply is quickly diminishing.
I remember my mother used to make a casserole similar to this when I was child. I remember because my dad and her were the only ones that liked green chilies so she would only put green chilies in half of the casserole and the rest was just the egg and cheese mixture (her recipe didn't call for meat). When I served a mission and learned about real chile relleno and learned to love it, I often was reminded of the chile relleno (minus the chilies) my mom used to make and it would make me laugh.

Chile Relleno Casserole

1 lb hamburger
1/2 tsp salt
2 small cans green chile
1 1/2 c milk
4 eggs (beaten)
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c grated cheese (I used a lot more cheese... because cheese is yummy)
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
(I cut up corn tortillas for a couple of layers in between to make the casserole go a little further)

1. brown meat and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
2. put 1/2 of the green chile in bottom of casserole dish, add cheese, add 1/2 meat, (this is where I added a layer of cut corn tortillas) add rest of the meat, more cheese, (another layer of corn tortillas if you choose) and the rest of the green chilies on top.
3. beat milk, flour, eggs, salt and pepper together. Pour over the top of casserole and bake for 45 minutes on 350 degrees.

**Substitute sausage for ground beef to make breakfast casserole

**James and I decided we like this casserole the best served with salsa or hot sauce over the top of it. OOooo it's so good!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chloe's Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

I have always been interested in cooking for people with food allergies or special diets. When I was going to college I had a few friends that were lactose intolerant. I found it a fun challenge to adapt recipes so that they could enjoy them as well.
I am not a vegan nor will I ever be but I do love Vegan and vegetarian cooking. I found this recipe in a magazine I was reading at the gym. I also love the food channel and have watched several episodes of cupcake wars. I have seen Chloe compete on these wars and she always makes vegan cupcakes. She won with this recipe and it was published in this travel magazine. I had to try it. Even if you are not a Vegan, if you like cupcakes, these are absolutely delicious. They are not any less fattening because they are vegan, but they are delicious.

Chloe's Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch processed) (I used cheap store brand cocoa, tasted great to me)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c water
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (I used what I had in my house, which I think was apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting & Finishing

1/2 c shortening
2 2/3 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
about 4 Tbsp non-dairy milk
1 1/2 c sliced strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12- cupcake muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 c water, the oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until just combined.
3. Pour batter into cup cake cups close to the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. let cupcakes cool completely in pan.
4. Frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla together. Beat in nondairy milk, 1 Tbsp at a time and beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
5. Cut tops off cupcakes and set aside. Smooth about 1 Tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake and cover with a few strawberry slices. Replace top, then add a dollop of frosting and a few tiny slices of strawberry. You can sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on the top to finish off. (I used an icing bag to put the frosting on the cupcakes. It worked great.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan, but really hate to make fried food. Mostly because I am not very good at frying food. I always use too much oil, and can't quite get the temperature right, plus I really hate the smell that lingers for days on end in my house and clothes. So I came up with this recipe that involves no frying but tastes just as great. This recipe is just based on principles I've learned but I made it up after lots of trials and errors. (Sorry for the lack of specific measurements)

Chicken Parmesan

Thawed chicken breasts, or tenderloins
2 to 3 Tbsp flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1 to 2 cups crushed crackers or croutons
1 to 2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp parsley
2 to 3 Tbsp Butter (Melted)
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1 bottle of spaghetti sauce (I like Barilla tomato and basil)
Angle hair pasta cooked according to directions on box or bag (or any other noodles you like)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (about 1 to 2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Put flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another bowl, and mix together other ingredients in another bowl.
3. Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Bread each chicken breast or tenderloin by placing thawed breast or tenderloin in the flour (just a light coating), then in the beaten egg, and then the the breading mixture completely coating the breast or tenderloin. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the breasts and tenderloins are breaded. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or cooked through.
4. While Chicken is baking, boil noodles, drain and place in the bottom of casserole dish. In the same pot used to boil the noodles heat up the spaghetti sauce.
5. Pour 2/3 of the sauce on top of the prepared noodles in the casserole dish. Place the cooked chicken on top of the bed of noodles and sauce. Pour remaining sauce on top of chicken, and cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted completely.