Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cubed
3/4 c. cornflour
2 eggs, beaten
vegetable oil, for frying

3/4 c. sugar
4 Tbsp. ketchup
1/2 c. vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Breaded chicken

Put the cornflour in a shallow bowl and the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip the chicken pieces first in the cornflour to coat, then into the eggs. Heat a skillet with the oil. Cook chicken until browned. Place in a baking dish.

Chicken with the sauce
To make the sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until smooth. Pour evenly over chicken. Make sure it coats all the chicken. Bake chicken for 15 minutes. Turn chicken, then bake for another 15 minutes. Serve warm.

You can either serve it as it is or over hot rice. Definitely making this one again!

Here is the link to the original recipe:

Link courtesy of Jennifer Frey

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

My new favorite cookie recipe!

Plan ahead... needs to chill.
Best cookie dough ever

1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 c. white boxed cake mix
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1/3 c. sprinkles, the brighter the better!

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Stir, then set aside.
Cookie dough

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Beat until creamy. Stir in the egg and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mmmmm, cookie....

Shape your dough balls to be taller than wider. I kind of thought they looked similar to a snowman shape when I was making them. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies start to brown around the edges. If the centers still appear a little soft, it's okay. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to a cooling rack.

Thank you to Sally's Baking Addiction for the recipe:

Lasagne Cupcakes

I know in the US we often spell lasagne with an 'a', but I prefer the European spelling which ends in an 'e'.

Wrappers with 1st cheese layer
Cooking spray
1/3 - 1/2 lb. ground beef
pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, fennel, salt (just a little of each)
1/2 an onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. can tomato sauce
oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper (all to taste)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
24 circular wonton wrappers
1 3/4 c. Parmesan, grated (I didn't actually measure any of the cheeses when I made this; these amounts are from the original recipe so you have something to go by. I just eyeballed it)
1 3/4 c. mozzarella, shredded
3/4 c. ricotta
1st layer

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside.

Brown the beef in a skillet. While cooking add in the pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, fennel, and salt. When finished, set aside.

 Saute the onion in a little butter, for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and saute for 1 more minute.

Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to a  large bowl. Add the beef, onion, and garlic. Add in oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Add in the sugar. Stir it all together.
Starting the 2nd layer

As you start layering the cupcakes, dip each wonton wrapper into a small bowl of water. Just quickly dip in the water, then press a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin tin.

Sprinkle a little Parmesan in each tin, then mozzarella, then ricotta. Top with a little of the meat sauce. Repeat all the layers again (don't forget to dip the wonton wrappers in water, one at a time).

Top each cupcake with a little more Parmesan and mozzarella. You can never have too much cheese.

Ready to eat!
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Let sit 3-4 minutes, then you can pop them out with a spoon fairly easily. Serve hot.

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Creamy Pasta with Sausage

1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sausage and onion
1 whole onion, diced
1 lb. Polish sausage
thyme, basil, pepper, oregano, coriander
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. chicken broth
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 oz. can green chiles, mild (or whatever you want, I suppose)
1/2 c. heavy cream
8-10 oz. pasta (if you use more, make sure you increase the chicken broth amount)
1-2 Tbsp. cilantro
1 c. Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano Cheese (or Parmesan or Asiago)

Everything in one skillet
Add the oil to a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and onion; cook until browned, about 5 minutes. While the onion and sausage are cooking, add a little bit of each spice listed above. Add the garlic; cook about 30 seconds.
Mmmmm, ready to eat!

To the skillet, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, chiles, cream, pasta, and cilantro. Stir it all together. Add more of the same spices here. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.

Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese. Serve hot. It is delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Focaccia Cambozola

1 garlic bulb
Garlic before baking
olive oil
1 uncooked pizza dough (if you want to make your own dough, follow this link to my calzone recipe, and follow the directions for the dough: Pizza dough )
dried basil
1/2 c. Parmesan, shredded
1 wedge Cambozola cheese (or any blue cheese or Gorgonzola will do)

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wedge of Cambozola

Cut off the top of the garlic bulb. De-husk around the outside of the bulb, then put in a pie dish. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt. Cover with tin foil and bake 40-45 minutes, until tender and mushy.

When the garlic is almost done baking, roll out the dough like you would for pizza, put on a pizza baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with the basil and Parmesan.

Before baking the dough
Use a fork to poke the dough all over, about 1-2 inches apart.

When the garlic is done, put in the pizza dough and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Focaccia bread after baking
Meanwhile, remove all the garlic cloves from the bulb, being careful not to burn yourself. Put them all in a bowl and mash them. Add in the blue cheese wedge, and continue to mash until it is somewhat smooth and spreadable.

Garlic cheese spread
Slice the dough into bread slices. I used a pizza cutter still to cut the slices. I served it so that everyone could put their own garlic Cambozola spread on their individual pieces. I suppose you could also spread it on the whole bread before serving it. It's up to you.

Next time I think I will use a stronger cheese like Gorgonzola with the garlic to see how the flavor changes. This was definitely a crowd pleaser, and there were no leftovers.

Recipe courtesy of Carla Pieplow

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

8 oz. spaghetti or angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
Bottom layer
1/4 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
spices: garlic powder, black pepper, cumin, coriander, oregano, basil, onion powder (I go by taste instead of measuring)
16 oz. tomato sauce
14 oz. canned diced tomatoes
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
4 oz. diced green chiles
Cooking spray
Parmesan cheese, grated

Second layer
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Set aside the drained pasta.

Steam the cauliflower in a small pot for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the beef and onion together until beef is browned. I added the spices at this stage, but left them out on the counter because I added more later.

Cream Cheese layer
Add the sauce, diced tomatoes, and the steamed cauliflower to the beef. Add more of the spices if you'd like. I used a lot of garlic powder and pepper. Stir and heat through.

In a separate bowl, mix the softened cream cheese and milk. Then add in the green chiles.

Spray a baking dish with the cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the dish.

Sauce layer
Layer the cooked noodles over the sauce.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the noodles.

Add the rest of the sauce, then top with the Parmesan cheese.

Top layer

Bake 20-25 minutes.

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted: