Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Creamy Greek Yogurt Maple Dijon Salad Dressing

That's a very long title for this very simple to put together dressing!    It really doesn't get much easier than this, gather your ingredients, a few quick measurements and then shake until combined.   Easy Peasy.   I had one unintentional substitution- I picked up lemon Greek Yogurt instead of the plain.   I'm very very happy with the end result, I only wish I had some better quality produce to put it on!    This one will definitely be made often, and I want to thank Brianne at Cupcakes and Kale Chips for sharing it!    :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

  Creamy Greek Yogurt Maple Dijon Salad Dressing

     1/4           cup  lemon Greek yogurt
     1/4           cup  Dijon mustard
  1         Tablespoon  apple cider vinegar
  2        Tablespoons  real NH maple syrup
  2         Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                 kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake until combined.  


Linked at the Weekend Potluck #168 

Monday, April 27, 2015

One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

I should have known not to attempt anything complicated for dinner tonight.   I have a terrible head cold, and I've been barely functioning for a few days.   But my son is at a sleepover, and I was pretty excited to get into some of the recipes I've been saving for those times.    I had no intention of making this one exactly as is, I knew I was going to be swapping out beef broth for chicken broth, yellow mustard for dijon mustard and that I was going to do a combination of sliced and shredded cheese.   I had no idea how far this was going to go off the rails. 

I like to line up all my ingredients on the counter before I start cooking, opening any cans, boxes, etc and lining everything up in the order I need it.     I did that per my usual, and then went fishing in my cabinet to find my stockpot.   I've handed the chore of dishwasher emptying off to my son, and he takes it as a personal challenge to create the most jenga-like configuration of stacking possible of my pots and pans.   This time was no exception.   I located my prize, went to lift it to the stove and in slow motion, the lid started to slide off.  In an attempt to catch it, I instead fumbled it and flipped it onto the counter where all my prepped ingredients were sitting.

Disaster.   I lost the entire can of tomatoes on the floor.   I lost half the box of pasta.  Worst of all, I lost the lid to my stockpot, which cracked in two.   Deep breaths.   Cleaned up all the mess, my head pounding.   Surveyed the remaining ingredients.

And decided to plow ahead anyway.   Yep.  At this point, the recipe went sort of out the window, and I went for more of an "inspired by" feel.    I browned the beef with minced dried onion in the oil in my 5qt saute pan (my largest item with an intact lid).   I drained.    I added my beef broth, the entire 2 cups called for.   I added Ragu traditional sauce and a squirt of tomato paste.    Then I read, add 2 cups of water.   No way.   That would be way too much liquid for the pasta I had left, so I omitted it.     I left it to simmer and then crisped up some bacon on the griddler.   When the pasta was halfway done, there was still a lot of liquid, so I turned the heat up to medium and took the lid off.   When the pasta was completely cooked, I topped it with 5 thin slices of Sargento cheddar, and about 1 cup of shredded cheddar.  For my serving, I added chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, the bacon and chopped red onion.

It's delicious.   I will NEVER be able to replicate it, and my luck, it will be my husband's new favorite meal.   My apologies to Chungah at Damn Delicious for the massacre of her fine recipe!  I've had several hits from her blog, and I know there will be many more.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  olive oil
  1 1/2         pounds  ground beef
  1               tbsp  minced dried onion
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
  8                ozs  Ragu traditional
  2              tbsps  tomato paste
  2               cups  beef broth, reduced sodium
     1/4           cup  ketchup
     1/2            lb  elbow pasta
  1               tbsp  yellow mustard
  1                  c  shredded cheddar
  6              slice  Sargento thin sliced cheddar
                        Diced tomato, diced red onion, shredded lettuce, cooked crumbled bacon

Brown the ground beef with minced dried onion in the oil in a 5qt saute pan.  Drain grease.    Add beef broth, Ragu traditional sauce and tomato paste.   Let simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes, then turn it up to medium for another 8 or until pasta is done (I removed the lid).   Top it with thin slices of Sargento cheddar cheese, and about 1 cup of shredded cheddar.  Replace the lid and let cook until the cheese is melted.    Top with tomato, lettuce, bacon and red onion if desired. 

adapted from  ""

Linked to Weekend Potluck #170

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Banana Bread Waffles

We are big 'breakfast for dinner' fans.   Our go-to is usually Belgian waffles, but we've been getting bored with the classic recipe.   I found this recipe on the Mother Thyme blog a while back.   I've got a stockpile of frozen bananas, perfect for this recipe.     I put them in the bowl I'd be using for the wet ingredients, defrosted them in the microwave and then mashed them.    For the topping, I pulled another banana out and sliced it while still frozen.   I added a 1/4 cup King Arthur Flour mini cinnamon chips to the batter and omitted the nuts.    Mini chocolate chips would be great too.    A drizzle of real NH maple syrup, the sliced bananas and a few more cinnamon chips made this perfect.  

This is my third hit from Jennifer's blog.    I look forward to finding many more   :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

                   Banana Bread Waffles

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  flour
  2        tablespoons  sugar
  1           teaspoon  baking powder
     1/2      teaspoon  baking soda
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  cinnamon
  1/4 teaspoon              Pinch  nutmeg
  1                cup  milk
  2               frozen bananas -- defrosted and mashed
  2              large  eggs
     1/4           cup  vegetable oil
  1           teaspoon  vanilla
     1/4           cup  mini cinnamon chips

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.    Mix together milk, eggs, bananas, vegetable oil and vanilla.   Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until combined, and no lumps remain.    Add in mini cinnamon chips.

Cook per your waffle makers instructions.   For the Presto Flipside, the waffles baked in about 4 minutes.  

Top with butter, sliced bananas, mini cinnamon chips and maple syrup. 


Linked up at the Weekend Potluck #167!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pineapple Upside-Down Donuts

I've been a member of the Taste of Home Community for over 13 years.  One of the fun posts there is a weekly challenge where an ingredient is given and you are supposed to try a new recipe using it.   This week's ingredient is pineapple.   I'd pinned this recipe a little while back and the challenge was the perfect reason to bake it up today.

I doubled the batter ingredients from the original recipe, I wanted to make sure I had enough to make some mini donuts too.     

Thank you so much Ashley at Baker By Nature for this fun recipe!  

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Pineapple Upside-Down Donuts

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
                        For the batter:
2                cups  + 4 tablespoons flour
     1           cup  light brown sugar -- packed
     1      teaspoon  salt
  2           teaspoon  baking powder
     1      teaspoon  cinnamon
     1/2           cup  milk
     1/2 cup  pineapple juice ( I bought pineapple in 100% juice and reserved it after I drained the fruit)
  2           teaspoon  vanilla extract
  5    tablespoons  unsalted butter -- melted
 2              large  egg -- at room temperature
                        For the pineapples:
  6             slices  pineapple -- from a can, patted dry, sliced in half (see note below)
additional light brown sugar for sprinkling in donut pans

Heat oven to 350º.  

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.   Melt butter in a glass bowl, let cool.   Add milk, pineapple juice, vanilla and eggs.     Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture, but don't over mix.  Spoon into a piping bag or ziploc.

Pat dry the pineapple rings. Slice each ring in half to make two.   Spray or grease the donut pans well.   Crumble about 1t of brown sugar into each spot.   Lay pineapple in.    Fill each with batter to about 3/4 full.    Bake for 10 to 12 mins or until they test done.    Let cool in pan for a minute.   Place wire rack onto the pan and invert.   Tap slightly on the bottom if needed.

*for minis-  spray or grease pan, sprinkle in brown sugar.   Break up pineapple into small chunks and put 3 or 4 pieces in each spot.   Pipe in batter.   Bake for 5 to 8 mins or until they test clean.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Creamy Balsamic and Herb Chicken

Another week, another new chicken recipe.   I fear we may sprout feathers soon, but still, I keep finding great new ways to serve it up.    I picked up heavy cream and then completely forgot why, so I went in search of recipes that used it in my MasterCook files.   I found this recipe from Mother Thyme, and I knew it would be a gamble.   Jake doesn't like herbs or sauce.   Worst case, I figured I'd hold some of the chicken aside and he could have that.   I was shocked when he not only finished his chicken, he asked for more of the sauce to be spooned over his orzo.

I increased the sauce ratio slightly to have plenty for the pasta.   When it wasn't thickening like I wanted, I removed about a quarter cup, whisked in a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch and added it back to the pan.   Perfect!

Thanks so much to Jennifer at Mother Thyme for this fantastic recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                     Creamy Balsamic and Herb Chicken

  1 package thin sliced chicken breasts
  1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon  salt
  1t  fresh cracked black pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  garlic powder
  2        tablespoons  olive oil
  2        tablespoons  butter
  1                cup  chicken broth
  1 1/2                cup  heavy whipping cream
  6          teaspoons  balsamic vinegar
  1           teaspoon dried basil
  1           teaspoon dried thyme
  1           teaspoon dried rosemary

Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow dish.    Dredge chicken and set aside.

Heat oil and butter over medium high heat.  Brown chicken on both sides and cook through.   Remove to a clean platter and keep warm.

Deglaze pan with chicken stock.   Add heavy cream, balsamic, basil, thyme and rosemary.    When sauce is warm, remove approximately 1/4c and whisk in a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch.  Return to pan, whisking to incorporate.   Bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer.   Sauce continues to thicken when removed from the heat, so take it off a little before your desired consistency.   Spoon sauce over chicken.   


Linked up at The Country Cook Weekend Potluck #166

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Southern Bird Dogs

We're eating lots of poultry lately, and I've started hearing the grumbling from my family.   With the grill covered with snow and ice again (yay New England!), my options were a little limited.    Staring at the package of chicken tenders in my fridge, I wondered what I could do to them that would be exciting and different.   I had a few hot dog rolls and 4 strips of bacon that needed to be used up.

Enter Southern Bird Dogs.  I saw this recipe on She Wears Many Hats.   She used storebought chicken tenders, but recommended this recipe from Add A Pinch to make them from scratch.    I had everything on hand except the buttermilk.     I used the "add vinegar to regular milk" trick instead.   The only problem is that though that mimics the tang of buttermilk, it doesn't have that nice thick consistency.    My first coating on the chicken seemed thin, so I let them sit for 20 mins, then put them back through the milk and flour mixtures again.    I gave them another 20 minute rest before browning them up.

The recipe doesn't recommend spraying the baking sheet, and I had a teeny bit of stickage.   Next time I'll give it a quick spray.   I tested my chicken with a probe thermometer, looking for a temp of 160º.    

While the chicken was cooking, I buttered the New England style rolls and popped them on my preheated Griddler.    When they were done, I laid out the bacon and closed down the lid.

My kid loved these.   He ate 2.    The chicken strips alone are so good, and over the top doesn't even describe the completely done up Bird dog.    Buttery roll, crispy, well-seasoned chicken, crunchy  bacon, melty cheese and the honey mustard to bring it all home.   

Thank you so much to Amy at She Wears Many Hats and to Robyn at Add A Pinch for the recipes!  These are not the first hits I've had from their blogs, and they won't be the last.

Southern Bird Dogs

4 New England Style Hot dog Rolls
1T softened butter
4 slices Bacon, cooked to crisp
Shredded cheese
Chicken Strips (recipe follows)
Honey mustard dressing (I used Ken's)

Spread rolls with butter and griddle until golden brown.   Crumble half a slice of bacon in bottom of roll, top with Chicken Strip.   Sprinkle with cheese.  Pop under the broiler until the cheese is melted.    Top with honey mustard and crumble the remaining bacon over the top.


* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Chicken Strips

2 1/4lbs chicken tenderloins
  2               cups  buttermilk (subbed 2T vinegar and enough whole milk to make 2c)
     1/2      teaspoon  Sriracha sauce
  2               cups  flour
     1/2      teaspoon  dried thyme
      1           teaspoon  seasoned salt
     1/2      teaspoon  Penzey's Black and Red seasoning
     1/2           cup  vegetable oil

Heat oven to 375.  

In a bowl, combine milk, vinegar, and sriracha.    Add chicken strips.    In a shallow dish, combine flour, thyme and Penzey's Black and Red seasoning.

Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.   Dredge chicken pieces in flour, one at a time, making sure they are well coated.    Place on rack.    Let rest for about 20 minutes.   Do a second coating, and let rest another 20 mins.  

Heat oil over medium heat until it just starts to shimmer.    Fry chicken strips 4 or 5 at a time until they are browned, about 3 mins per side.   Move them to a baking sheet coated with a little cooking spray.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160º.     Let sit for a few mins before serving.

Source  ""

Linked to Weekend Potluck #165 The Country Cook

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools Prank :)

Realizing his fruit punch is actually Strawberry Jello...

Usually I put together a more elaborate prank and get him with it earlier in the day.   This year I let him think I forgot, and then we sat down to dinner.

(Prepare Jello as directed on package, add straw and let it set up.  If you try and add the straw after it doesn't look as convincing)