Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Aunt Alecia's Chocolate Chip Cookies

From My Kitchen Cafe
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies


1 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon very hot water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and both sugars together until well mixed. Add eggs (extra-large eggs are really important - if I don't have that size I add 3 large eggs and then beat an additional egg in a bowl and add about half of the beaten egg) and mix for 5-7 minutes, until the batter is very, very light in color. Add hot water and mix again. Add salt, vanilla, soda and mix. Add flour and chocolate chips together and mix until combined. Drop cookies by rounded tablespoon (I use my trusty cookie scoop) onto parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes until barely browned around the edges - don't overbake!


Roasted Broccoli and Roasted Chicken

From RecipeStop

Roasted Broccoli

Take Broccoli and cut it in to small florets. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread broccoli out on cookie sheet. Lightly pour or spray olive oil over the broccoli and toss to coat the pieces so they are shiny. Spread out on pan in one layer and salt and pepper to taste. Put in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the ends look brown and toasty, then turn over add salt and pepper to taste, and roast for 5-10 minutes more. This has become one of our favorite vegetables and we eat it like its popcorn! You can also do the same technique with sweet potatoes, tomato slices, onions, carrots, green peppers , cauliflower, and potatoes.

Roasted Chicken

I like to make this when I am already going to be cooking something else in the oven, like roasting chicken breasts. I will just take chicken and toss in olive oil, add salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash and roast for about 40 minutes until done. When there is about 30 minutes left, I just add the broccoli on a cookie sheet on the other shelf in the oven so that everything is done about the same time.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Italian Chicken Pastina

From My Kitchen Cafe (photo courtesy as well)


1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta - I used cellantani)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis


Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein

From Cooking Light
Serves 6


4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
(I substituted with sesame oil)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups chopped broccoli

1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion

1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
(I omitted)
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
(I omitted)


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine pasta and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.

While pasta cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broccoli and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Add pasta mixture, soy sauce, and remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute or until lo mein is thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

****I need to figure out a way to cook the meat beforehand so that it's more tender, cooking it with the broccoli toughened it up a little too much for my liken.****


Monday, July 21, 2008

Black Bean Couscous Salad

From Julie R.
Serves 12


1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice (lemon if you're out)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
4-8 green onions
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup thawed, frozen corn or small can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
A handful of grape tomatoes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


Boil the chicken broth and then stir in the couscous.

Cover, remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. (think Minute Rice)

Combine oil, juice, vinegar, cumin in a small bowl.

Chop onion, red pepper, and cilantro.

Fluff couscous with fork.

Toss all ingredients in large bowl.

Tastes good the next day!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

From The Joy of Cooking and Lugubrious Delights
Makes 2 9x5 loaves


4 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm (105*F-115*F) water, divided
1 cup warm (105*F-115*F) milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 - 3 cups bread flour


Dissolve yeast completely in 1/4 cup warm water, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 cup water, milk, butter, honey, and salt. Stir gently until honey and salt dissolve. Add liquids to yeast mixture, stirring until combined. Add all of the whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup bread flour; beat on medium-low speed until well-combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add another 1 1/2 cups bread flour and beat on low until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in enough remaining flour to make a soft, non-sticky dough. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough out, knead briefly, and return to bowl (re-oil if necessary). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, then throw down onto a lightly floured surface to break up air bubbles. Knead briefly if necessary. Divide into 2, form each half into a loaf, and placed in a greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray and let rise until dough crests nicely above the pan, about 1 hour.

Bake at 450*F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350*F and continue baking for another 25 minutes, until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

****You can skip the second rising unless you want your bread lighter. Also, I baked the bread at 450* F for 10 minutes and it was already pretty brown on top, so I covered each loaf with aluminum foil, forming a tent, and baked at 350* F for 20 minutes and it came out perfect.****


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chicken Fried Rice

From Sun Bird
Makes 5 servings, about 1 cup each


1/3 cup chopped, cooked chicken (beef, pork or shrimp)
2 tbsp oil
3 cup cooked, cold rice (white, brown, or instant)
3 green onions, sliced
1 package of Sun Bird fried rice seasoning (it's the only brand I have tried, so I can't vouch for any other brand)
1 tsp soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup frozen peas (or peas and carrots), cooked


Cook meat, rice and frozen peas according to package directions. In a large skillet, heat oil; stir-fry cold rice and green onions. Add seasoning and soy sauce; stir-fry 1 minute. Push rice to the side, add eggs, scramble; stir in rice. Add peas and meat, if desired.