Archive for April, 2014

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 2 lbs of sweet potatoes cut into 3/4 inch chunks (I don’t really measure these things so I am not actually sure what size my pieces were)
  • 3 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Combine sweet potatoes and pineapples in large bowl. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients. Add to potato mixture and toss to coat.

3. Spread onto rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake 45 to 50 min, turning at 30 min or until potatoes and pineapples are tender and golden brown.

Sweet potato and pineapple

We maybe should have thought about the presentation a little bit more when it came to the side dishes. So much orange with the carrots we had made as well!

Verdict: This was one of our Thanksgiving meal side dishes, but it didn’t work out so well. Thankfully we had other side dishes. I don’t think we baked these too long, because we checked pretty often and took them out as soon as the potatoes were done, but they seemed to be a little dry.  The glaze, which is similar to one we’ve used before, just didn’t really seem to work with the sweet potatoes and pineapples. Actually I’m not sure if I thought the sweet potato and pineapple really worked together for me.

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Brown-Sugar Apple-Cider Donuts

I found this recipe online, though the website I found it on seems to need a login now in order to access their recipe archives.

  • 3 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil for frying (the recipe suggested 8 cups, but we used a lot less than that. We just put enough oil in the skillet so that the donuts wouldn’t touch the bottom)
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Mix in cider and melted butter. Add flour mixture and stir until combined (our dough was very dry and we needed to add a couple more tablespoons of apple cider in order for the dough to come together).

3. With floured hands, pat dough into a round disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight (we left ours overnight).

4. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan or deep skillet over medium high heat. On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut doughnuts into rounds (we used a round cookie cutter and a plastic bottle cap for the center). Place the icing sugar in a bowl.

5. Carefully slip the donuts into the oil. Fry until golden, turning once. Drain donuts on paper towel then transfer them to icing sugar and roll to coat.

Apple Cider Donuts

Verdict: We made about 36 donuts and 45 munchkins (which is what we call the donut holes). These were very good. They tasted like cinnamon more than apple, which was weird considering we added more cider than the original recipe called for. We seem to have bad luck with donuts though, because they only last one night. The donuts themselves were almost stale the next day and the icing sugar was more like a glaze, but not a very appetizing one. I’m not sure if we are missing something in the storage, because it’s kind of pointless to keep making donut recipes when they won’t really last more than a day.

 

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Layered Potato Cheddar Tart

I am not sure where I originally found this recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups potatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (we didn’t use)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie shell
  • 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and sauté for 10 min, until slightly softened. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and parsley (if using).

3. Whisk together eggs and milk. Season with remaining salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place pie shell in a pie plate. Spread potatoes evenly on pie shell. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour egg mixture over top. Bake 15 min then reduce heat to 350F and bake another 15.

Potato Cheddar Tart

 

Verdict: This was our meatless dish for Good Friday. It wasn’t the greatest meal as I thought this recipe had too little taste. We used old cheddar because it has a nice rich flavor to it, but it didn’t seem to come out in the dish. I’m wondering if a different type of cheese altogether would have worked.

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Colourful Chicken Fried Rice

I am sure this is a Pillsbury recipe, but I can’t seem to find it online at the moment.

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced and peeled ginger root (we used 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil or margarine (we used butter)
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed vegetables
  • 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

1. In a small bowl, combine ginger, ketchup, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add chicken, stir to coat and set aside.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic in oil (or butter) until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and all liquid it was coated in. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 min until chicken is no longer pink.

3. Add vegetables (original recipe says without the onion, but we added the onion as well because we wanted it to be cooked more than what was called for) and pineapples. Increase heat to high and stir fry 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add rice (and onion here if you prefer) and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until rice is heated.

Chicken Fried Rice
Verdict: I liked this dish, but would probably increase the measurements for the liquid part. I thought that after you added the rice, there just wasn’t enough of the ketchup-soy sauce mix to coat everything evenly. But otherwise, a very good and simple dish to make.

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Caramel Turtle Rice Krispie Bars

I am sure that I found this recipe online but revisiting the page I can’t seem to find them anymore.

  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 40 large marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter (we did not use that much, more like a couple of tablespoons)
  • 3/4 pounds individual caramels
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (we used walnuts)

1. In large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows; stir until melted and well blended. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in vanilla. Add cereal, stirring until coated.

3. Using lightly buttered spatula, press into buttered 3.5L (13 x 9″) pan. Cool.

4. On top of a double boiler, melt the caramels along with water and vanilla. Reserve a small amount and spread the rest over the prepared Rice Krispies. Place whole pan in the fridge for 5 min or until caramel sets.

5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate (in microwave or on top of a double boiler), stirring until smooth. Spread chocolate evenly over caramel layer. Top with walnuts and drizzle remaining caramel on top. Refrigerate again until chocolate has set.

Turtle Rice Krispies

Verdict: These were delicious. Rice Krispies squares are also a nice, nostalgic dessert. Adding caramel and chocolate just made it better and gooey-er.

 

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Chicken with Mozzarella

I found this recipe online on a page called Diabetic Living Online, that I am afraid to link to because it popped up some aggressive ads last time I was there.

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions or scallions (we used onions)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and well drained (we cooked it as well)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts (we used walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (the original recipe said smoked mozzarella, but we had regular on hand so that is what we used)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Place one chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with flat side of a meat mallet into a rectangle like shape about 1/8 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with other pieces.

2. Cook garlic and onions (or shallots) in the 2 teaspoons of olive oil until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, nuts and mozzarella cheese.

3. In a shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

4. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on each chicken breast. Fold in the bottom and the sides and roll up (ours weren’t exactly rectangular so this wasn’t as easy as it sounded).  Lightly brush each roll with olive oil and coat with breadcrumb mixture (because ours looked kind of unstable when we rolled them up, we didn’t roll them around in the breadcrumbs but just kind of sprinkled the breadcrumb mixture on the top and bottom of each pieces). Place seam side down in an oven dish. Bake 25 min at 350F or until chicken is no longer pink.

Chicken and Mozzarella

Verdict: Since starting to cook for myself I have tried to use some ingredients that I am either not as familiar with or ones that I used to not eat because of my irrational dislike of them. Spinach was one of those foods. I have been trying it in a couple of dishes I’ve ordered at restaurants lately and I still couldn’t tell if I liked it or not. I thought this was the perfect recipe to use as a test because I liked everything else in it. I really enjoyed this recipe. I think the spinach tasted very nice with the chicken, I liked the crunch of the walnuts. Personally, I would have added more cheese, but that might just be me.

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Cookies ‘n Cream Scones

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold (we used 35% cream)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup crushed Oreos
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)
  • Additional cream for brushing scones

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, beat the cream and egg together. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt (if using) and baking powder.

3. Add cold butter pieces to flour mixture. Use your fingers to combine. Stop when you have it mostly fixed in, with butter being about pea-sized.

4. Pour cream and egg into flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Add in Oreo chunks and chocolate. Knead by hand until it comes together (original says to do this in the bowl, but we needed the space provided by a floured countertop).

5. (Now it says to turn out dough onto countertop, which we had already done.) Divide dough into two pieces, patting each down into a circle. Cut into wedges. Place wedges on prepared baking sheet and brush with cream.

6. Bake scones 15-18 min (our needed almost 20. The cream on top also made it look like it was still unfinished even when it was cooked through). Cool 10 min before serving.

Cookies and Cream Scones

Verdict: The dough itself was pretty tasteless. The only things giving these scones taste were the Oreos and chocolate chips.

 

 

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