Jul 31, 2011

Foil-Pack Chicken & Broccoli Dinner

1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor; 30 min box
1 1/4 cup water
24 ounce Boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 oz each
(OR Chicken Tenders)
4 cups Broccoli florets
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
4 tablespoons Ranch dressing

Preheat the oven to 400*

Spray large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil

Combine stuffing mix and water

Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet

Top stuffing w/ a 6 oz chicken breast half

Top chicken with 1 cup broccoli

Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing

Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside

Place packets on a cookie sheet and back for 25-30 minutes

Remove packets and let stand for 5 minutes

We have a gas stove so we don't usually follow the time frame given on most recipes because then our food generally burns. We put ours in for about 15-20 minutes our chicken came out looking like this...

Still pink in the middle.
(This image doesn't give it justice)

We ended up putting our packets back in the oven for a few more minutes. 

Beware of how thick your chicken breasts are. My husbands chicken was thicker than mine so when all was said and done my chicken was a bit tough. We think chicken tenders would work best.
Then you don't run into the broccoli being too mushy or the stuffing too crunchy. 
It will then come out just right!!

Let us know what other variations you did to make this great for you!

Jul 16, 2011

Home-Made Waffles

Home-made waffles were something that I used to look forward to as a kid on Saturday morning. We didn't have them every Sunday, but when we did, boy was it a treat.

My Dad would get up early, well early meaning before us kids woke up, and start working on them. We would wake up to the whir of the mixer or to the smell of cooking waffles. Then he would wake us up just in time to get fresh waffles off the maker. 

The other memory that I have of home-made waffles is how my mother ate them. Now when I was a kid, the waffle maker that we had was a large square one with shallow holes. It was the kind that you could detach the waffle iron and flip it over to make it a griddle. But my siblings and I would eat the waffles with peanut butter and syrup, but mom, she would eat them with butter and syrup. The best part of the memory though, is how she made sure that every single little square had syrup in it. She would take her time and with a slow stream of syrup coming out of the bottle, make her way around her waffle. When she missed a square we would all shout out "Mom you missed one" and she would smile and make her way back to that one hole to fill it in. 

It doesn't matter what type of waffle I eat, shallow holed, deep holed, square or round. Those are the two memories that pop into my head and I can't help but smile.

So I hope you enjoy this recipe and make some memories of your own!

Ingredients: (and servings)

1/2 Recipe 
(makes about 4* waffles)
1 egg white, meringue
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Recipe 
(makes about 7* waffles)
2 egg whites, meringue
2 cups flour
2 cups milk (depending on the flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Recipe 
(makes about 11* waffles)
3 egg whites, meringue
3 cups flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup oil
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

(*I think that's according to the old waffle iron size, either way, you're bound to have left overs. Just pop them in freezer for breakfast another day.)

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add milk and oil until well-blended.

Fold in egg white meringue.

Pour into hot waffle iron,
(Don't forget to spray the waffle iron every other waffle in order to avoid sticking.)
(^ That also depends on the type of waffle iron you use.)

Our waffle iron isn't exactly my favorite...

Because our waffles come out looking like this...

But they were cooked all the way through and still tasted great. 
My new favorite kind of waffle maker is the Belgium Waffle makers.

We also had eggs with our waffles and out of the yolk came this cook fishy....

My other favorite memory is of the way my dad would eat his waffles. He is allergic to peanuts and therefore can't have the peanut butter... but more often then not, each 1/4 of his waffle had a different jam on it, or he would place his fried egg on the waffle with the yolk runny. To this day, eating waffles just isn't the same with out fried eggs!

Share with us you're favorite waffle recipes and memories!!!

Salmon with Cucumber Dill Salsa

So, before my husband and I got married, I would NOT eat fish. No one could get me to eat fish. So one night when we were on a date, before we got married, I decided that he could pick 3 different types of fish and I would try them. So... I tried catfish, trout and salmon. Since then, I have added mahi mahi and halibut.  Now I don't like catfish, but I love the rest!

This is our favorite way to eat salmon. And the recipe called for rye bread as a side but we decided to do Bruschetta instead and it was FANTABULOUS!!!  

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salmon Fillet
Salt and Pepper
1 Cucumber; quartered lengthwise and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill*, chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley*
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus juice of 1/2 lemon
*We use dried dill and parsley, so you would have to make different estimates on taste.

Heat the EVOO in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

While the skillet is heating, season the salmon with some salt and pepper.

 When the oil ripples, add the seasoned salmon skin side down , and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

In a bowl, stir together the chopped cucumber, dill, sour cream, red onion, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and a little salt and pepper.

Remove the salmon from the skillet to a plate and top with the cucumber dill salsa. 
(or to the side, that's how I like it.)

And now... It's time for me to add a little artistic flare!

Now let us know what you think and any other alterations or additions you've done!

This recipe was "stolen" from our Rachael Ray Cookbook

Lemon Pepper Chicken

1) Cut the excess fatty looking parts off the chicken
2) Put a little bit of oil in the bottom of a frying pan
3) Shake Lemon Pepper Seasoning on one side of the chicken and salt and pepper if you'd like.
4) Place Chicken Breast or Chicken Tenders in the frying pan seasoned side down and shake Lemon Pepper Season and salt and pepper on the other side.
5) Cover and simmer. Rotate after about 10 min

Before I got home from work my husband put a quick pasta salad together so that it could be chilling while we were making the rest of dinner.  We keep boxes of side dishes in our pantry for occasions like this and they are perfect for a little extra something when you don't have time or mind is fried at the end of the day.

This was another great dinner!