Monday, June 28, 2010

Best. Fucking. Pancakes. EVER.

These were so good that after dinner, I made another batch to heat up for breakfast tomorrow. So good that my children each ate 4, and proclaimed them to be the best pancakes they had ever eaten, better than IHOP even. They're like a bowl of warm, soft, oatmeal wrapped up in a pancake. Make these. Trust me. Hell, make a double batch. Now, I'll warn you, these cook a little differently than most pancakes. They don't cook as fast, and the consistency can make them tricky to flip but if you let them cook long enough before flipping, it isn't too bad. They need to go a few minutes per side. Probably takes about twice as long as regular pancakes.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups quick oats (I ran them through the food processor for about 10 seconds)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup veg oil
2 eggs, beaten
Combine oats, soda, and buttermilk. Let stand 5 min. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, & sugar. Combine oat mixture, oil, & eggs. Add dry ingredients & stir till blended. Cook on lightly greased griddle or skillet. Yield 14-16 Pancakes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Key Lime Cake

1 (3 oz) package lime jello
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups veg oil
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup key lime juice (from about 25 small key limes or 4 large regular limes)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Cream Cheese Icing:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature (i'm using light real butter)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature (i'm using light)
1 (1 lb) box confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans. In large mixing bowl, combine jello mix, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the eggs, oil, orange juice, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir well. Divide batter evenly amongst pans, and bake 35-40 minutes on middle rack (you'll want to keep your eyes on the cakes, mine did not take this long. I rotated them after 15 minutes and the one in the back was almost done. So I rotated, cooked another 5, then removed that one, and cooked the other 2 for another 10 minutes). Test for done by lightly touching cake, or by inserting a toothpick in center. Cool the layers for 5 minutes in pans, then turn them out onto racks. While layers are still hot, mix the lime juice and 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and pour over the layers on racks. You can pierce the layers before pouring on the glaze to allow the glaze to soak in better. Allow layers to cool completely as you prepare the icing.
For the icing, cream the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the confectioner's sugar until mixture is smooth and easy to spread. Spread the icing between the layers and on top and sides of cake.
Note: The cream cheese icing is optional. This cake is beautiful and tastes great with just the glazed poured over it.
Makes 12 servings.

Cheesy Spinach Treats

This was a recipe from a magazine that G gets, High Five from Highlights, for younger kids. So it's a recipe for kids to make with help from parents. You can let them do the "easy" stuff that doesn't involve cooking. G cracked one of the eggs, though that didn't go too well lol so I did the rest of the eggs. She scooped all the sour cream into the bowl, and did all the mixing. It has a very strong sour cream flavor, considering there is 2 whole cups in it...I wasn't sure about it, but she wanted to make it, and it turned out really good. It didn't call for the ham, but I added it, coz I can never make a damn recipe the way it calls for it to be made!!

Cooking spray
4 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
3 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup of your favorite cheese, shredded
few slices ham, diced

Heat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Tear spinach into small pieces. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet, saute' for about 4 minutes or til wilted. Remove from heat and cool. In large bowl, whisk eggs, add sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Add cooked spinach, and 1/3 cup of cheese. Fill 12 muffin cups with mixture. Top with additional shredded cheese. Bake on middle rack of oven for 25 minutes. Wait 5 minutes before removing from muffin tray. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brown rice

This is a common side dish at my house. It goes with just about anything, I like it best with fish or chicken. It's nothing fancy, just an easy way I figured out to make rice a little more flavorful.

1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbsp butter (I use land o'lakes light salted sweet cream stick butter)

Add all to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 40-50 minutes, til tender and water is absorbed.
You need to stir it every 10 minutes or so. I don't care what the package says, it normally says to not lift the lid and do not stir for the entire cooking time. Fuck that. Do you know how many damn pots I have burned up by following those directions?? Rice is the only thing I have ever burned. And I have done it more than once. But not since I started stirring the shit more often during the cooking process! Also, keep an eye on the water amount. If the water seems to be absorbing too quickly, add a little bit, about 1/4 cup or less. The water should not be gone at the 20-30 minute mark, for instance.

Shredded Thai Chicken Salad

Made this a couple of weeks ago. Everyone loved it. Very good peanut flavor. G has wanted green onions almost every day since I made this lol! The leftovers were good as well.

2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken)
1 cup julienne (matchstick-cut) carrots (I didn't use quite a cup, but about 3/4, and then added an extra 1/4 cup of the broccoli slaw mix to make up the difference. Thought it would be a more even ratio, didn't want the carrot to be overpowering)
1 cup broccoli slaw mix
1 large green onion, chopped (I don't know why they thought 1 onion would be sufficient, but I used a few)

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce
Fresh cilantro, if desired (you DO desire!! lol)

In large bowl, toss salad ingredients. In small bowl, beat dressing ingredients with wire whisk. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad; toss until evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro.

Buttermilk Herb Dressing/Salad

I made this last night to go with the salads that we had for dinner. A simple main course salad- I used part of a head of green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, on-the-vine tomatoes, avocado, shredded parmesan, smoked honey turkey, red onion, shredded carrots, and fat free herb croutons. It was soooooo good, and really hit the spot with this freakin heat we've been having!!!

3/4 cup buttermilk (I used lowfat)
1/2 cup RF mayo
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (I didn't have any, so I used 2 green onions instead)
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I ended up using more like 4 tbsp)
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (didn't have, so I used just a few shakes of dried)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
1 garlic clove, minced (I used about 1 tsp of garlic in a jar)

Place in blender, blend about 30 seconds or til herbs are finely chopped.

Taco Ring

This was tonight's dinner. Yummy. I haven't made it in years! I don't think I have made it since I had G! The kids loved it though! I believe this is a Pampered Chef recipe, my mother gave it to me several years ago after I got married.
To the ground beef, I added about 1/2 can of drained and rinsed black beans.

3/4 lb ground beef (I used lean)
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup (4 oz. weight) shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp water
2 (8 oz each) pkgs. refrigerated crescent roll dough ( I used the reduced fat, and they taste the same as regular!)

Optional for serving:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
chopped onions
sliced black olives
sour cream (of course I used light lol)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook ground beef. When done, drain (if you use lean or extra lean, you probably won't have to drain it). Turn off heat, remove from burner and stir in seasoning mix, cheese and water. Arrange crescent triangles in a circle on a 13" round pizza pan, with bases overlapping in center and points to outside (there should be a five inch diameter circle in center). Spoon meat mixture over rolls, in the wide area. Fold points of triangles over filling and tuck under base at center (filling will not be completely covered). Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut and serve with desired toppings/accompaniments.
*I like to spread a little sour cream on mine, then top it with some shredded lettuce, black olives, and tomatoes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Restaurant Style Smashed Potatoes

We had these with steak a few nights ago, and it is my new favorite way to eat potatoes!!!

6 whole Large Red Potatoes
1 stick Butter, Softened And Cut Into Pieces (I used light butter)
5 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 whole Green Onions, Sliced
3/4 cups Sour Cream (I used reduced fat)
Salt To Taste (add Plenty!)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste (ditto!)
3/4 cups French Fried Onions, More For Topping ( I didn't use these, didn't think that sounded good. I shredded up some sharp cheddar instead to use as a topping!)

Microwave potatoes or bake in the oven until fork-tender (don't forget to pierce them!). Add to a large bowl and smash with a potato masher, leave them chunky, you don't want smooth. Immediately add softened butter, green onions, bacon, and sour cream and stir with a rubber spatula. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add french fried onions and fold in (like I said, I left these out). Serve hot, sprinkling on extra french fried onions and green onions (I sprinkled on cheddar and more green onions instead).

Fish with Lemon and Caper Sauce

I've only made this once so far, just a couple of weeks ago, and it was delicious! We used mahi mahi and I think it was perfect. If you've ever had chicken piccata, this is like fish piccata!

2 teaspoons capers
4 mahi mahi or other firm white fish fillets, each 6 to 8 oz
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced (I didn't have shallots on hand, so I just used very finely chopped white onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup dry white wine (also didn't have any wine, so used chicken broth)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (used juice from a bottle)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 grated lemon, zest of (didn't use at all, didnt have lemons)

Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. In a large, nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Arrange the fish in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and opaque throughout but still moist looking in the center when tested with a knife, 6 to 8 minutes total. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the fish to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley, capers and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the warm sauce over the fish and serve immediately.
We had this with brown rice to soak up some of the yummy sauce, but pasta would work good too- we always have pasta when I make chicken piccata!

Shrimp Creole Au Gratin

Or something lol This is something I learned from my friend Gelena, and it is delicious. Anyone I have made it for instantly drools over it. It sounds a little weird, and it isn't exactly good for you lol but sonofabitch is it ever tasty!! Some measurements are approximate, because I don't have an actual recipe for it, just learned it by watching her make it! If you are the kind of cook that needs an exact recipe to follow to cook, this might not be the recipe for you lol! But if you're cool with winging it and throwing shit together, then gets to cookin'!!

2 box Zatarain's dirty rice (there is a low sodium variety available)
3 stalks celery, diced
about half a medium onion, diced
butter (you'll need a good 4 tbsp or so)
about 1 and 1/2 lbs ground beef ( i get the biggest package over 1 lb I can find but you don't quite need 2 lbs)
2 lbs shrimp (i get 2 bags frozen shrimp, 1 lb each), thawed, peeled
2 egg yolks
flour (you'll use the same amount of flour as butter, to make a roux, so about 4 tbsp)
milk (this one is a tricky probably need at least a cup, maybe up to 2 cups. You have to add it in a little at a time til the sauce is a saucy consistency lol)
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 bags sharp cheddar (enough to cover top of 13x9 casserole)

Cook rice per package directions, with ground beef. In skillet, saute celery and onion in 2 tbsp butter til tender, push to side. Add 2-3 more tbsp butter, melt, then equal amount of flour to make roux (remember you already added 2 tbsp of butter to cook the onion and celery in, so add those 2 tbsp of flour too. So if you add 2 more tbsp of butter after cooking the onion and celery, you'll need a total of 4 tbsp flour. Got it? Hope so!). Cook til golden and bubbly, using a whisk to stir often. Whisk in milk- start slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time. Keep that whisk moving to get the milk into your roux. You want the sauce to be thick, but creamy, so add small amounts of milk, stirring between each addition, to get the right consistency. Add the 2 egg yolks, stir well. Bring to boil. Stir in a handful or 2 of shredded sharp cheddar, allow to melt. Now for the seasonings- I'd say start with a teaspoon of creole seasoning, stir well. Give it a taste. If you don't taste the spice, which you probably won't at that point (I probably add about a tbsp or more of seasoning), add another teaspoon. Again, stir and taste. If you want more flavor, then keep adding little bits of seasoning at a time. The salt and pepper are optional, it may be salty and peppery enough for your tastes with just the creole seasoning. Once you get the consistency and flavor right, add shrimp and stir. Pour sauce mix into a 13x9 casserole dish, top with cheese to cover (we like lots of cheese). Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or til cheese is melty and casserole is bubbly. Serve over the prepared dirty rice.
This makes a lot, you could halve the recipe easily. When I make it just for us at home, I only make half.

Light Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo

6 oz uncooked fettucine (I used wheat the first time, it was ok, but we prefer this one with non-whole wheat noodles)
2 tbsp butter (I use light real butter)
4 1/2 tsp All Purpose flour
1 cup Fat Free half and half
1 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Cook fettucine according to pkg directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add half and half. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 1 min. or til thickened.Drain fettucine; stir into pan. Stir in the shrimp, cheese, and salt; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Chicken Fajita Tostadas

It's been awhile since I have made this, but was looking through my recipes and I think I might have to make it soon!! It's really tasty!

2 med. onions, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 box (10 oz) frozen corn
1 cup prepared fresh salsa
2 tbsp olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
4 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. On foil, combine onions, peppers, corn, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, til veggies are tender and lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Add chicken; stir to combine, and continue to roast til warmed through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, discarding foil. Arrange tortillas on sheet.Brush with oil and top with cheese. Bake til edges are golden and cheese is melted, 5-8 minutes. Dividing evenly, top tortillas with chicken-veg mix and remaining 3/4 cup salsa.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Shredded Thai Chicken Salad

Had this for dinner the other night. Mmmmm mmmmm goooood!!

2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken)
1 cup julienne (matchstick-cut) carrots
1 cup broccoli slaw mix
1 large green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce
Fresh cilantro, if desired

1. In large bowl, toss salad ingredients. 2. In small bowl, beat dressing ingredients with wire whisk. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad; toss until evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro.