Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken

So, even though we're back into our apartment now, we're still having some issues.  Like, our oven only broils, and we're short one burner- which wouldn't be a big deal, except its the one big burner.  Fortunately, we did get our crock pot replaced, so I've been doing a lot of experimenting with it.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.  Add one chicken breast per person eating, or if you're being healthy and want to split the chicken breasts, you do math.

Cover with one jar of salsa.  I like Newman Peach Salsa.  It gives it a nice sweet flavor.

Cook for 4 hours on low.

Add 2 cans of drained black beans.  Cook on low for another 4 hours ish.

Serve with cheese and sour cream.  Its kind of a goolash.  Add fritos if you're feeling frito-ish.

Eat.  This gets better with age.  Optimal age is 2 days, I wouldn't recommend more than 4. 

Cream Cheese Dip

I made this to dip my cinnamon chips in last night, and it was a hit. It could be used as a fruit dip, too.

2 blocks of cream cheese
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
a splash of vanilla (to taste)

Let cream cheese soften. Throw it all in a mixer and whip it together.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Contest time

Okay, we need more recipes.

Here are the rules:

1. One point per dessert recipe.
2. Two points for non-dessert recipe.
3. A bonus point per picture that YOU took. (So, make the recipe, take pictures along the way, like fancy cooking blogs do, and you can get a whole bunch of posts.)
4. All recipes must be tried by you, and may not have been previously posted.
5. You lose all points for that recipe if you don't label it.

Contest ends Saturday, April 3oth at midnight.

Winner will receive a prize, of some sort. I'm thinking chocolate. You also get bragging rights.

Edited to change end date. After Emma's comment, I realized that, with all that is going on, one week just isn't enough. We'll go for just over a month.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hot Pockets

I made these for Amy's crew, and I heard they were a hit. My kids love them, too. They are very freezable. Just cook them up, and toss them in the freezer, and they easily reheat in the oven. (Don't reheat them in the microwave, though. They are chewy and weird.)

1 1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 1/2 cups flour

Combine water, sugar, and yeast, and let stand about 10 mins. Mix in salt and 1 1/2 cups flour. Add flour gradually until it forms a sticky dough. (You want it a little stickier than normal bread dough, but not so sticky you can't work with it.)

Let it rise until double in size (45 mins -1 hour).

(Note: If you want to, right here, make these into breadsticks, cinnamon sticks, or pizza dough, that works, too.)

Pull off small balls and roll them out into a disc. I do one hot pocket at a time. I tried rolling out half the dough and slicing it into sections, but that didn't work as well. Put filling in (see below), and pinch the edges. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 425 for about 12-15 mins.

Now, for fillings, I have tried the following:

-chicken, spinach, cream cheese, and seasonings. I thought it was great; kids weren't fans.
-pepperoni, cheese, pizza sauce.
-sausage, cheese, marinara sauce.
-ham and cheese (Tom's favorite)

I've found 2-3 tablespoons of total filling is about right. It depends on how big of a pocket you make. My next ones, I want to do some dessert ones with pie fillings and a cinnamon/sugar sprinkle on top.

Friday, March 12, 2010


These are not that hard to make! I don't know why I don't make them more often. Makes about 10.

2 Eggs
1 C.Milk
1 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 C Flour
Pinch or two of salt

Half fill muffin cups. Put them in a cold oven (I think this also works better if the eggs and milk are at room temperature. The idea is to raise the temp gradually). Start the oven going towards 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then another 20-25 minutes turn it down to 350 degrees.

Pork Tenderloin in Sauce

My own invention:

1 Pork Tenderloin (remove silverskin and cut in to chunks)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter

Melt the Butter and Olive oil together. Sprinkle salt and peper on the Pork Tenderloin pieces. Fry. You could stop here, and they would be tasty. But I used a Cast Iron Fry Pan because it could go straight from the stovetop to the oven:

1 can Chicken Broth
4-5 Tbsp Ketchup

Put it in the oven, stirring occasionally until the Broth and Ketchup are heated and combined. You could stop here, but it gets better:

2-3 TBSP corn starch
1/2 C. Milk

Add it to the sauce. Put it back in the oven. Let it cook down and thicken. You can cover it loosely with Aluminum foil if you like.

Serve over noodles or bread or potatoes or whatever starch you feel appropriate. (I made popovers to go with it, and it was all yummy.)

Spinach & Tomato Pasta Salad

Sautee minced garlic in olive oil.

Toss in a lightly chopped pile of spinach and some halved cherry tomatoes. Salt & Pepper.

Add some pre-cooked spiral pasta, lightly salted. Sprinklie on Grated Parmesan and Asiago cheese.

I think the basic idea came from Giada (Food Network) but I can't find it online. But it was very tasty, served as a side to broiled salmon.