sunset harvest

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Annie's Pizza Burgers

Straight from Annie in Monmouth, Illinois! This recipe was easy and a nice change to ordinary hamburgers! Pretty sure you will have all the ingredients already and this is easy! I think I added a bit too many red pepper flakes as Grace complained of the heat, so next time I will take that down!
Add oregano, garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes to hamburger meat. Form into patties and grill! Warm up some pizza sauce and then add provolone to burgers the last few minutes. Serve with sauce on top!
Pizza Burgers

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. red peeper flakes (according to preference)
Provolone cheese
Pizza or Marinara Sauce

Add oregano, garlic powder, salt and red pepper flakes to ground beef. Mix together and form patties. Grill burgers and heat up sauce in a small saucepan. Add cheese to burgers and melt. Remove to plate and pour some sauce over the top. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Just as it sounds, a chicken stuffed with a jalapeno cheese mixture, fried to make it a little crispy then finished off in the oven. Not too hot for the kids (or me) as I only used one pepper. Think if you want some more heat, 2 peppers would be more appropriate. And I am sure the healthier version would not include the frying first, but I wasn't going for health points on this meal! Pretty basic list of ingredients, most of which you probably already have.
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Place softened cream cheese in bowl and add some cheddar cheese and the seeded and chopped jalapeno. In the thickest part of the chicken breast cut a horizontal pocket. Fill with as much cream cheese mixture as you can. I try to slide my knife down to the smaller part of the chicken if I am able, careful not to tear through. I found it easier to take some of the cream cheese mixture and roll it into a long log and then place it in the chicken breast. If you need to, place a toothpick to hold together. Roll chicken in a well beaten egg and coat in seasoned bread crumbs. Warm oil up and once the oil is hot place into pan. Cook on each side until nice and golden brown. If you want to fry till cooked through the internal temperature should read at least 165 degrees. I placed in the oven at 350 and baked for 3o minutes.
Delicious! This is an easy recipe and not too many ingredients necessary to add some good flavor to your chicken!
Just in case you still need some convincing...

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

3-4 Large chicken breast
1 package (8oz) softened cream cheese
1-2 seeded and diced jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil

Mix together cream cheese, cheese, peppers. In the largest portion of the chicken breast make a large cut. Stuff cream cheese mixture into the chicken. Secure chicken with toothpicks if necessary. Roll chicken in beaten egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Fry in pan till internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees, or after browning place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until no longer pink.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

On my first trip to California a few years ago to visit my bf...she spoiled me rotten and one of her many generous gifts was a cookbook, "Family Meals" by Maria Helm Sinskey. This has a lot of nice family meals and a few recipes I always go back to. I think my all time favorite has to be the overnight Cinnamon rolls. I have done a few variations to the original recipe and hope you try these soon! They do require some time in the morning to rise, but it is worth the wait!
In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk till smooth. Add in flour and cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot and let it stand for about 30 minutes.

Next add the eggs, sugar, salt, and remaining four cups of flour to the mixture and with the dough hook attachment on your mixer, knead on medium speed until smooth. Add the butter and continue to knead, adding a little flour to reduce the stickiness if needed and continue to knead for about 10-12 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise till it has doubled, about 2 hours. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Mix softened butter with brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over the rolled dough.

Beginning on the long side, begin to roll dough and pinch seam together. Seam side down, cut into 12 rolls. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish and spread melted butter over tops of rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. The next morning remove and let rise again on the counter for about an hour. Place rolls in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. While rolls are baking mix ingredients for the icing. Remove rolls from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes and then pour the glaze over the top of them..if you can wait that long that is! They are delicious!! I think I should work on sizing mine better, but in the end it really didn't matter too much!
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from "Family Meals"

For the dough;
1 TBLS active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk till smooth. Add in flour and cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot and let it stand for about 30 minutes.
Next add the eggs, sugar, salt, and remaining four cups of flour to the mixture and with the dough hook attachment on your mixer, knead on medium speed until smooth. Add the butter and continue to knead, adding a little flour to reduce the stickiness if needed and continue to knead for about 10-12 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise till it has doubled, about 2 hours.
1/2 cup butter, divided
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBLS cinnamon
Remove 2 TBLS of butter and set aside. Mix remaining butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Spread mixture over dough, using your fingers if necessary. Beginning on the long side, roll and press the seam to seal. Cut dough into 12 rolls and place in a buttered 9x13 inch pan. With the butter that was set aside, melt and spread over the top of the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. The next morning remove and allow to rise on the counter for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 TBLS butter, melted
2 TBLS milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix and pour over rolls. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Spaghetti Casserole

I used to eat at Fazoli's when I lived back in the great state of Indiana..then moved over to Illinois and was so pleased that they had one in my town..only to have it close down a few years after I moved here. I always ordered the same thing, the baked spaghetti. This recipe is hands down better, probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is homemade! I think this would make a nice meal to make up, and freeze and then bake when you are ready. I have some friends about to have their second child and will test this out on them, sure they won't mind being the Guinea pigs! This makes a lot, I sent the leftovers with Doug and the kids the next day to his parents while I went to work.
I made homemade sauce, I am sure the a jar of sauce would make this even easier, but Doug claims the jar sauce makes him sick. Little does he know, or maybe he does that more than a handful of times I have used the jar. Begin by cooking the pasta according to package directions. Melt 1 TBLS of butter in a medium sauce pan and add chopped onion and garlic. Once the onions have softened add the ground beef and cook till no longer pink, drain off any fat. Add basil and Italian seasoning and blend in with the beef. Add sauce and let simmer while you cook the pasta noodles.
Once the noodles are finished drain and add to a large bowl. Add cream cheese and Italian seasoning to noodles and stir to coat.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish and spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom. Add the noodles and spread out evenly. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, let stand for about 10 minutes and serve. You will not be disappointed! This is delicious!
I also made homemade french bread to serve with this and will post that recipe soon!

Baked Spaghetti Casserole
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

1 Package spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
For Sauce:
1 TBLS butter
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, diced (I use the jar stuff and add about 2 tsp)
1 lb. ground beef
1 Large can tomato sauce (I added an additional smaller can as well)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
Melt butter in medium saucepan and add onions and garlic. Add ground beef and cook till done. Drain fat and add Italian seasoning and basil. Mix till blended and add tomato sauce, let simmer while the noodles are cooking.

When noodles are done, drain and add to large bowl. Add the following
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Stir till combined
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread a small amount of sauce in the prepared pan, add noodles and spread evenly. Pour remaining sauce over noodles.
Top with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese (or in my case, whatever I had in the fridge!)
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, remove and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuxedo Cake

Time is flying by...I have lots of recipes to share...just as soon as I have some time! Grace is turning five in a week and I am in denial she could be this old! We have been busy and trying to deal with it being dark by 5:30. This is definitely not my favorite time of the year! I will get busy trying to share some new dinner ideas but wanted to share my first tuxedo cake...the challenge was made and I hopefully delivered on this one! I didn't take any pictures of the process, I was too concerned with the cake turning out OK the entire time!
It has three chocolate cake layers with a whipped cream filling between each cake and then frosted with the same frosting all around. A chocolate glaze is then poured all over the top and drips down the side allowing some of the white to still show through.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baked Crispy Chicken

This is a MUST make. I found this on Jamie Cook's it Up, and have been wanting to try it for awhile. Even my "Anti any type of sauce or dip" husband loved it and actually liked the sauce on top. Grace had two helpings and said it was the best chicken she has ever had. I don't know if I would go that far, but it was definitely one of the best. Thought I would have some left over for lunch, but not a chance!
It is always nice to find a new way to do chicken. I actually had a few other recipes to put up that didn't involve chicken but thought this was too good not to share right away! Begin by taking 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers and putting them in a small food processor, pulse till crumbly. I had a hard time keeping little and big fingers away from the crackers before I got them into the food processor. (That was possibly the hardest part of the meal) Next line up three bowls or shallow pie dishes would work nicely as well. Pour milk in one, cheese in the next one, and then the bread crumbs in the last bowl. Add salt and pepper to the bread crumbs to season.
Line the bowls up in that order, milk, cheese, crumbs. I began with 3 boneless skinless chicken breast and cut them into 3 pieces. Begin dipping! Place in a 9x13 greased baking dish as you go along. Once finished, cover tightly with foil and place in preheated 400 degree oven. After 35 minutes remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes till chicken is crispy. The last 10 minutes of baking time begin the sauce. Add once can of cream of chicken soup to a small saucepan along with sour cream and butter. Cook and stir often till all are incorporated. Remove chicken, plate it and top with sauce.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
adapted from Jamie Cooks it up

3-4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Sleeves of Ritz Crackers
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 TBLS. sour cream
2 TBLS. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pulse bread crumbs in food processor. Place milk in bowl, followed by cheese, and then add crackers to final bowl. Cut each chicken breast up into three pieces. Grease 9x13 baking dish and begin assembly. Dip chicken and coat in milk, then cheese, finally the crackers and place in baking dish. Cover dish with foil and place in oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes, to brown and crisp the chicken. While chicken cooks place soup, sour cream, and butter in smalls saucepan, cook over medium heat and stir till hot. Remove chicken and top with sauce. Optional: Sprinkle dried parsley flakes over the top.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

This dish is one that I used to make but somewhere along the years I stopped, and forgot exactly what I did to make it REALLY Good. This turned out good, but the "REALLY" is missing. Every year on my birthday my Papa, mom's dad, would take me out for a birthday dinner till he passed away. My 2 favorite places he used to take me no longer exist. The chicken I am attempting to re-create is from one of the restaurants. In the meantime, this will have to do! I have also always wanted to try the smashed red potato...they were great, the photos may not look so great, but they taste delicious. I also threw in some EASY dinner rolls, bread sticks with a "twist".
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin with boneless, skinless chicken breast. Season with salt and pepper. Mix together 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup prepared mustard. If you do not mind a strong mustard taste you could add more like a 1/2 cup of the mustard, however since I have some picky eaters I added more like 1/4 cup. Add in 1 teaspoon of Paprika and mix well. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan and place chicken in, and pour half of the mixture over the chicken and brush to coat. Bake for 30 minutes, remove and turn chicken over and coat with remaining mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is done and no longer pink inside. Sprinkle cheese on top of chicken the last 5 minutes of baking. Remove and sprinkle with green onions (That is if they can be tolerated by your family).
Before I began the chicken, I started the potatoes. These were sooo good! I really loved the crisp outer layer and then the soft, mashed center!
And by far the easiest part of the meal, the bread sticks, or in this case, the knots. Sometimes just changing something up can make it taste better!

Although I did enjoy this, I will still be on the hunt for the missing ingredients to this chicken, maybe some bacon, diced tomato, or maybe BBQ sauce?! I don't know but will some how figure it out someday!

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together honey, prepared mustard, and paprika. Sprinkle chicken breast with salt and pepper and place in baking dish prepared with cooking spray. Drizzle half of the honey mixture over chicken breast and spread to coat. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and turn over chicken and put remaining mixture over chicken breast, spreading to coat. Place back in oven for 15-20 minutes till chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. The remaining five minutes, top with shredded cheese. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

Red potatoes, preferably 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter (mine were probably not the ideal size)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp. Thyme leaves

Adjust oven racks to the top and bottom position, heat oven to 500 degrees. Arrange potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour 3/4 cup of water onto baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminium foil. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, making sure that potatoes are tender by poking a knife through the foil to test the potato. Remove foil and cool for 10 minutes. If you have any water left on the sheet, dry up with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and rub to coat. Using a potato masher, smash each potato down to 1/3 to 1/2 inch think. Sprinkle the thyme leaves and salt and pepper over each potato and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Place back in oven on top rack and roast for 15 minutes, move to the bottom rack and bake for 15-20 minutes making sure they are browned. Remove and serve!

Sesame Bread Knots

1 can refrigerated bread stick dough
2 TBLS butter, melted
Sesame Seeds

Remove dough and separate into strips. Tie each piece of dough into a knot and place on baking sheet. Brush each knot with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where I have been

I want to try and update as much as possible however this past week I was somewhere wonderful, Sanibel Island, Florida. Thanks to my wonderful parents, Doug and I were able to get away without the kids for a few days. I have some great meals to put on here, but while I am getting back into our routine I thought I would share one of my excellent meals I had while I was in Florida...Thank you Island Cow...this was called the "Bubba Gump Shrimp Dinner" and it was amazing!