Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tasty Buffalo Chicken Dip and Olive Cheeseball

The first recipe is from one of the most beloved people of my childhood. I remember eating this cheeseball at Mary's house. She then wrote out a copy of the recipe for me when I was a young cook. My 19 month-old daughter loves olives. I made it this week because I thought she'd enjoy it. We enjoyed it with Pepperidge Farms Snack Sticks.

Mary's Cheesy Olive Ball

1 package cream cheese (cut in 6 pieces)
1/3 cup stuffed green olives (well-drained)
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/8 to 1/4 t. garlic powder

With knife blade (in food processor), pulse to mix, about 60 seconds. It may be necessary to stop and stir mixture once or twice. Turn mixture out onto wax paper; mound into ball; wrap. Freeze 45 minutes then roll in ball. Can be covered in nuts or parsley.

This Franks Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe is great for those that love hot sauce. One time I was craving it, and had neither blue cheese dressing or blue cheese crumbles. I substituted ranch dressing, and it was still delicious. My mom made this once and substituted a hotter sauce. Because of the creamy ingredients that mellow the sauce, it still wasn't too spicy.

Franks Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 pkg. 8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans 9.75 oz chicken breast, drained
1/2 cup Red Hot sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Assorted veggies and crackers

Stir cream cheese until smooth. Stir in other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kenyan Baked Fish

This recipe was in the local paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I made it with cod. It was delicious and fresh-tasting! I love buying just one jalapeno pepper in the grocery store. It often costs around 9 cents because it weighs so little! The peppers don't have much heat after the seeds and white ribs are removed.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper
16 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
4 (1-inch-thick) cod fillets or halibut steaks (2 lb total)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare the sauce, in a skillet, heat the oil over high heat until hot but not smoking; saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper until the onion is transparent. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, coriander and salt. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Place the fish in an ungreased oblong baking pan (I just baked mine in the large cast iron skillet that I sauteed the vegetables in). Spoon the sauce over the fish. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 286 calories, 9 grams fat, 9 grams carbohydrates, 42 grams protein, 98 milligrams cholesterol, 668 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 28 percent of calories from fat

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baked Potato Slices

2-3 large Russet potatoes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Garlic Powder

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub potatoes. Slice into 1/4 inch disks. In a bowl, toss potato slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and garlic powder. Toss until coated. On a baking sheet lined with foil, spread potatoes. Bake 20 minutes or until golden and tender, turning halfway through.

Mushroom Chicken with Green Beans

This was inspired by a recipe title I saw on allrecipes.com. I didn't even look at the recipe, but I put this together with things I had in the house.

2 large or 3-4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can Progesso Mushroom Soup
1 bag frozen green beans
extra virgin olive oil

Cut the breasts into 2 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken breast pieces and cook 1-2 minutes on each side until browned. Reduce heat to medium and add soup. Stir gently. When soup bubbles, reduce to low heat and simmer. While this is simmering, cook green beans according to package directions. Allow chicken to simmer for 45 minutes until very tender. Stir in green beans. Season with salt and pepper. For more flavorful and tender beans, add them after chicken has simmered 30 minutes allow to cook with chicken for last 15 minutes.

Yummy Cookies that Happen to be Gluten Free

Both of these recipes are favorites at our home. The chocolate macaroons are from the revised version of the Hershey's 1934 cookbook. The peanut butter cookies I believe are from kraft.com.

Chocolate Macaroons
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups shredded coconut
1 t. vanilla

The recipe calls for the chocolate to be melted on a double broiler. I just melt it in the microwave. Cook 1 minute, stir. Cook 30 seconds longer. Stir, and repeat until melted. Stir in milk. Add coconut and vanilla. Stir to combine. Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 deg. 10-12 minutes or until set. I usually take these out of the oven just before they are completely set. I let them set on the sheet for several minutes before removing. They sometimes stick to the pan and require a little care when removing them!

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients. The dough is sticky, but shape into a ball and flatten on ungreased cookie sheet. If unable to form a ball, drop by a spoon and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 deg. until barely set approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on sheet before removing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicken Tacos

My favorite way to make taco filling is to put a couple chicken breasts in the crockpot. I add some water, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Because I'm usually at home, I monitor the cooking throughout the day. When it is cooked mostly through, I pull it apart with a couple forks and let it continue cooking. I usually start it on high and turn it to low about 45 minutes later. It turns out juicy and flavorful! Yum!