Archive for August, 2014

Chicken Broccoli Divan

This is a Campbell’s recipe, although I can’t seem to find the original online anymore. The closes one is here, although it has more broccoli than the version I have and omits the pasta completely.

  • 3 cups cooked broccoli
  • 2 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 can cream of broccoli soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 3 cups uncooked fusilli

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Arrange broccoli and chicken in a baking dish.

3. Mix soup and milk and pour on top of broccoli and chicken.

4. Mix breadcrumbs and butter and spread over top of broccoli and chicken.

5. Bake 25 min. Meanwhile, cook pasta.

6. Serve with the cooked pasta.

Broccoli Chicken Divan

Verdict: This was a very easy and very tasty dish. Sometimes I find it hard to give new foods a chance, something that I try to work on. When it comes to pasta, I tend to like my sauces to be either tomato or cheese based and although this recipe had cheese in it, it wasn’t overly cheesy. It’s weird, because the recipe I saw online has this as a standalone dish, whereas the version I have presents it like it’s a sauce, or maybe a side dish to the pasta. Either way, I did like the taste (considering broccoli used to be one of those foods I would never eat, victory in itself!), even though it probably won’t break into my top favourite recipes.

 

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Mini Pepperoni Frittatas

I think I found this recipe online, but I am no longer sure where.

  • 4 large plum tomatoes (we used 8 cherry tomatoes)
  • 9 eggs (we used 7)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. (If you are using 4 large plum tomatoes, seed and chop 3 and thinly slice the fourth. Because my sister doesn’t like tomatoes, we only added them in at the end to some of the frittatas.) Butter a muffin pan (we used a large muffin pan instead of the regular sized muffins.) In a bowl, whisk eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheese, onions, chopped tomatoes (we didn’t) and pepperoni.

3. Pour equal amounts of egg mixture into prepared muffin tin. Top each frittata with a tomato slice (we didn’t, but at this point we added the chopped onion to 4 of the six large muffin tins). Bake 2 to 30 min (because ours were larger they needed closer to 40 min).

Pepperoni Frittata

Verdict: These were a very tasty side dish. I am not completely sure I liked the pepperoni and egg taste together and I wish it had been a little cheesier tasting, but still good.

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Italian Chicken

I am not sure where I found this recipe.

  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in 2
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon each of basil and oregano
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 370ml can of evaporated milk
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Cook the noodles.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in big skillet. Cook the tomatoes, onion and garlic until tender, about 5 min. Add the basil, oregano and flour. Continue to cook while stirring, 3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth and evaporated milk. Bring to boil and cook 5 min. Add the chicken and let simmer, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked noodles, Parmesan and mozzarella. Cover and cook until cheese is melted.

Italian Chicken

Verdict: In dishes like these, the main thing that needs to be right for me to enjoy the dish is the sauce. Unfortunately, the sauce was not a success in my mind in this dish. It didn’t have a rich enough tomato taste, it wasn’t creamy or cheesy enough; it was just bland.

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OREO Ice Cream Bars

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 20 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 cups butter pecan ice cream, softened (we used cookie dough ice cream instead)
  • 1/2 cups caramel ice cream topping (we used butterscotch)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped

1. Combine cookie pieces and butter. Press onto bottom of 9 inch square pan.

2. Spread ice cream over crust. Drizzle with caramel (or butterscotch) topping. Cover with Cool Whip and nuts.

3. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

Oreo Ice Cream Bars

Verdict: I loved this recipe. It is so customizable, which you can see above with the changes we made, but just so good! It’s like an ice cream sundae in bar form.

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Nanaimo Bars

I found this recipe on another food blog.

Bottom Layer:

  • 1/2 cup  butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Middle Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar

Top Layer:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter

1. Bottom layer: Melt the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in the top of a double boiler. Whisk in egg and stir to cook the egg and thicken the mixture. Remove from heat and stir in Graham crumbs, walnuts and coconut. Press into an ungreased 8×8 pan.

2. Middle layer: Cream together the butter, cream and custard powder. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating until smooth and spreadable. (The end result should be a frosting like consistency. The original recipe said to add more icing sugar or cream as needed to get this consistency. We found we needed about 1 tablespoon more of cream.) Spread over the bottom layer. (We refrigerated for 30 minutes to set, before starting the top layer.)

3. Top layer: Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat. Once cool, pour over the custard layer and spread. Refrigerate until set.

Nanaimo Bars

Verdict: I really loved the top two layers of these bars. I thought that the chocolate top layer was just right, not too thick which I have found with other top layers. I really loved the taste of the custard, which I thought tasted like the store bought Nanaimo bars. The only part I didn’t really like was the bottom layer, which I found a little grainy.

 

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Barbecue Beef Hand Pies

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups Big Beef Batch (this is another Kraft recipe which calls for you to mix a large batch ground beef, onion and garlic and freeze in smaller amounts to use for different meals. In this case, we just took enough beef to give us 1 1/2 cup worth and browned it with onions and garlic to taste and let it cooled while we worked on the rest of the recipe)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 ready to use pie crusts
  • 1/2 cup cheese (we didn’t use the recommended Kraft Tex Mex, but another mix that had cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack)

1. Preheat oven the 425F.

2. Combine meat mixture and barbecue sauce.

3. Unroll 1 pie crust and cut into quarters. Spoon 1/8th of the beef mixture onto one quarter and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Fold each quarter lengthwise in half, crimp edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining crust. (We made ours a little rounder than what is described here and used a kitchen tool whose name I do not know to seal them, but it is what we use to make homemade pizza pockets)

4. Place hand pies on parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Beef Pies

Verdict: These were so easy to make and so delicious! The best part is how many different ways you can make them in the future. Instead of barbecue sauce I’m already thinking of a version with tomato sauce. Or you can just add in vegetables or rice to the fillings. Can’t wait to try them again!

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Caramel Ice Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache

I found this recipe online somewhere (maybe here?).

Shortbread and filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use salted butter)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 quarts caramel ice cream (we didn’t use as much, I don’t think. Just one container)

Chocolate Ganache

  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

1. Shortbreads: Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together flour, salt (if using) and cocoa powder and set aside.

3. Beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture and beat until just blended.

4. Divide dough evenly between prepared pans. With dampened fingertips, press dough evenly into pans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350F.

6. Bake shortbreads until center is firm to the touch, 25-30 min. Let cool for 30 min.

7. Run a spatula or knife around the edge of each pan. Invert onto a baking sheet and tap bottom until shortbreads pop out. Remove the parchment paper. Let cool completely.

8. Place the shortbreads in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Let ice cream stand at room temperature until soft enough to spread, about 5 min.

9. Place one shortbread on a serving place, top side up. Top with half the ice cream. Place in freezer. Place the other shortbread, bottom side up on a clean working surface and top with remaining ice cream. Set the shortbread, ice cream side up, on top of the other shortbread. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the coldest part of the freezer for at least 2 days.

10: Ganache: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream and salt to a boil. Immediately pour over chocolate. Using whisk, stir the chocolate until melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Spread the chocolate over top of ice cream cake. Freeze until ganache is set, about 10 minutes.

Caramel Ice Cream Cake

Verdict: I found this cake to be quite tasty, although I think that was because of the caramel ice cream. Ours melted quite a bit during the preparation of the cake, so we still have some work to do to master the art of ice cream cake making. I don’t think the shortbreads really held up to freezing as they didn’t really taste like shortbreads while you were eating the cake. I also thought that the amount of ganache the recipe asked us to make was too much as we ended up with a thicker layer that I think you are supposed to have on cakes like these.

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