Archive for August, 2013

Cheddar Chicken & Vegetable Skillet

We modified this from a Kraft recipe.

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups frozen vegetable blend (ours had beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, corn and broccoli, I think)
  • 1 cup water (we used 1 1/2 cup, as per the direction on the frozen vegetable package)
  • 1 packet of Stove Top Mixing for Chicken
  • 1/2 cup mix of shredded Mozzarella and cheddar cheese

1. Cook chicken until done. (We cut the chicken into smaller pieces instead of cooking them as full breasts as in the original recipe.) Remove chicken from skillet and cover to keep warm.

2. Add vegetables and water to skillet. Bring to boil. (We also simmered it after this point, as per the package directions, before bringing it back up to a boil). Stir in stuffing and mix until just moistened.

3. Add chicken back to skillet. Top with cheese and cook over low heat until cheese has melted.

Veggie Chicken Skillet

Verdict: This was a very simple and good supper. I probably would add more cheese, because I don’t think there was enough to have a satistfyingly cheesy taste (though I love cheese, so I may be biased).

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Chewy Chocolate Brownies

I found this recipe online.

  • 16 chocolate Graham crackers (I am not sure that they sell these where I live, because I have never seen them. Instead we used 2 cups worth of a  generic chocolate baking crumb)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white (we used a third egg)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 300F. Prepare an 8 by 12 inch baking dish (this was definitely too big. We used a small 8 inch square pan instead).

2. (If using Graham crackers, pulse into crumbs. You should have 2 cups.) In a small bowl, mix together crumbs, cocoa powder and salt.

3. Combine eggs, brown sugar and sugar in a large bowl. Mix until thickened, about 2 minutes. Blend in coffee granules and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips and Graham cracker (or chocolate baking crumbs). Spread batter evenly in prepared dish.

4. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, 25-30 minutes (ours needed 35).

Chewy Choc Brownie

Verdict: These had a nice rich chocolate taste to them. There isn’t a lot of liquid ingredients in the recipe; I would have liked more for a moister brownie.

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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 57: Slice-and-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on another food blog. I converted the measurements of the original recipe, which is probably where everything went wrong for me.

  • 1 1/2 cup of flour (the recipe probably needed more flour, closer to 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour (a little more than the original recipe called for)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (didn’t use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I don’t like almond extract, so I changed this to vanilla, in addition to the vanilla below)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk (I used 2 eggs)
  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt (if using), nutmeg, almond extract (if using) and vanilla.

2. Add in eggs and mix until dough is combined.

3. Add in the flour. Add in the chocolate chips.

4. Separate the dough into 2. Form each into a log and wrap in wax paper.

5. Refrigerate 24 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.

7. Unwrap logs and cut each into 12 pieces.

8. Arrange cookies on parchment covered baking sheets.

9. Bake 10-12 minutes.

SliceBakeChocChip

Verdict: These were probably my biggest baking failures in a long while. I think the main problem with the cookies was the batter didn’t come together enough. With more flour, I think they could have been saved. Unfortunately these cookies just never set right. I tried 3 different batches of 6 cookies each, but no matter how small I made them, in the oven they just spread out quickly and thinly. The cookies seemed to bake in two layers, with the thin bottom cooking quicker. So either the cookies were burnt on the bottom by the time the top cooked or else the top layer was raw.

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Blueberry Buckle

I am pretty sure I found this recipe online, but I can’t seem to find it anymore.

  • 1 1/3 cup flour, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (we used butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch square glass oven dish.

2. In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup of flour, 1/2 cup and sugar and the cinnamon. Using fingers, work in the butter until a crumbly mixture forms.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining flour and the baking powder.

4. In a large bowl, beat together the remaining 1/2 sugar with the shortening (or butter).  Beat in egg. Beat in flour mixture, in 2 batches, alternating with the milk.  Spread batter in prepared baking dish. Scatter blueberries over batter and sprinkle with cinnamon topping. Bake 40 min.

Blueberry Buckle

Verdict: This was really good. The bottom of it tasted like a cake, it was moist and spongy. The crumble on top was a perfect match. Delicious!

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Maple-Baked Apple Chicken

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 2 red cooking apples, sliced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Classic Herb Dressing

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat cook chicken 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove from heat.

3. Place onion on top of the chicken (we cooked our onions with the chicken). Surround with apple slices. Mix the syrup and the dressing and pour over the chicken.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve with the syrup mixture from the skillet spooned over the chicken.

Maple Apple Chicken

Verdict: We didn’t really enjoy this dish. The syrup soaked into the apples making them too sweet while the chicken didn’t seem to absorb any of the maple or apple flavours and was pretty bland.

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Parmesan Basil Biscuits

I found this recipe in a WeightWatcher’s magazine.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons basil (we used 1)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Cooking spray (we used 1 egg for an egg wash instead)
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in butter until coarse mixture forms. Stir in Parmesan cheese and basil. Add in buttermilk and stir until just moist.

3. Spoon out 8 mounds of dough onto a baking sheet. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray (or brush with an egg wash) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

Parm Basil Biscuits

Verdict: This is going to sound strange, because it is right there in the title, but these had too much basil in them. And we used half of what was supposed to be there! The basil taste just overwhelmed everything else.

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Blueberry Beignets

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (we used butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we didn’t use because the butter we used was salted)
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Icing sugar for dusting

1. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until bubbly.

2. Using a stand mixer, mix together the remaining sugar, evaporated milk, egg, shortening (or butter) and salt (if using). Add in the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft sticky dough forms (in the blog where I found the recipe, they needed less than 3 cups to get this type of dough. For us, we needed all 3 1/2 cups of flour to get it to the right consistency). Detach bowl from stand mixer and stir in blueberries until just combined.

3. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and transfer dough to that bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight (we let our rise overnight).

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle about 20×16 inches big and 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into squares of about 2 1/2 inches.

5. Fry the beignets, turning frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to a pan lined with paper towels to cool. Dust generously with icing sugar.

Beighnets

Verdict: We made 27 (though the last one was made of all remaining dough, so it was kind of on the big side). The first day, these were so delicious. They were light and fluffy and tasted like a fried dough dessert my grand-mother makes (frittelle). The second day, I don’t know if it was because we improperly stored them (we put them in a plastic container) but they were inedible. Not because they were stale, but because of how greasy and sticky they became. And I know we patted them down with paper towels a lot to remove the oil, so I don’t know why they turned out like they did. Given the effort needed to make them, I probably wouldn’t make them again, not if they are only going to last one day.

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