sunset harvest

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Philly Cheese Steak "Cupcakes"

I have seen all the taco cupcake craze over Pinterest and after having them while I was visiting my family I thought why not turn one of my all time favorites into a "cupcake". I changed things up just a little and was very pleased with the end results. This comes together fast and is a perfect weeknight meal! Of course I didn't add the approximate 1 tablespoon of mayo to Doug's cupcakes, but I definitely  added it to mine and it made the whole thing come together perfectly.
Being by browning ground beef. In a separate pan saute diced onion and green peppers in a little bit of butter till softened. Add some Worcestershire sauce and mayo to the beef. Spray muffin tin generously with cooking spray. Lay one won ton wrap in each tin. If you have picky eaters that will not eat the green peppers or onions, do theirs first. Start with the ground beef, then sprinkle with cheese and repeat by placing another wrap on top of cheese, followed by meat and cheese. If you don't have anyone who will throw a fit if there is onion or peppers in the meat, you can stir in the onions and pepper into the ground beef before assembling them. Bake for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
I served these guys with some fries and applesauce for the kids. Trying to offer my suggestions for sides to help my ever lovable sister in case by change I can't answer my phone when she makes this and wants to know what to serve them with :)

Philly Cheese Steak Cupcakes

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 TBLS. Butter
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 TBLS. Mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
24 Won Ton Wrappers (Found mine in the produce section of my local grocery store)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Brown meat in pan. In separate pan melt butter and add onion and green peppers and saute till tender. Spray muffin tin and place one won ton wrap in each tin. Add mayo and Worcestershire sauce to the meat. Add onions and pepper to meat and stir to combine. 
Layer meat in each wrap and then sprinkle with cheese. Add another won ton wrap on top of the cheese and repeat, meat and then finally the cheese. 

Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I have always loved Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was our main course when we got married years ago...I have made my favorite version many times, even tried a layered casserole awhile ago. However, this version surpasses my other casserole option. When I have the time I like making the classic version, but this dinner came together easily and tasted delicious! When tasting the sauce I could have kept eating it, but decided it was better if I used it in the actual meal I was preparing! I accidentally left three ingredients out of the picture, so in addition to what is pictured below, you will also need 3 oz. cream cheese, 2 cups of milk, and 2 TBLS. flour.
Before you begin the casserole, bring your water to a boil and cook the pasta. The first step in the casserole process may seem a little tedious. The original recipe calls for you to blend the cream cheese, flour, salt and milk in a blender. I just used my food processor and pulsed it a few times to get the mixture soft and smooth. Once that is ready, warm up 1 TBLS of butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, slowly add the milk mixture, stir and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the onion powder and Italian seasoning. Add a little salt and pepper, try some and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Continue to heat and stir till the mixture becomes thick. At this point I poured the cooked pasta, cooked chicken, bacon and ham into a large bowl and poured the mixture over the top. Stir to coat and pour in a casserole dish. 
Melt 3 TBLS of butter with 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly browned. 
Now that is what's for dinner!!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Adapted from Eat Cake for Dinner

2 1/2 cups pasta, your choice (measure before cooking)
Cook pasta according to package directions

I decided to just grill some boneless skinless chicken breast during the day so they would be ready for dinner. You need about 2 cups of cooked, diced chicken
4-5 Strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 lb. deli ham, diced

In a food processor or blender combine
2 cups milk
4 oz. cream cheese, straight from the refrigerator 
2 TBLS flour
1 tsp. kosher salt

Melt 1 TBLS butter in a saucepan and add 1 tsp. garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds and carefully add the milk mixture. Stir continuously for about 3 minutes until simmering. Add in 
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Continue to stir until mixture thickens. 
Add 1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese and stir till cheese melts. 

In large bowl combine pasta, bacon, chicken, and ham. Pour the milk/cheese mixture over and stir to combine. Place in a greased casserole dish.
Mix together 4 TBLS of melted butter with 1 cup of panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used two smaller casserole dishes to prepare this. I baked one and placed one in the freezer to pull out when we are in a rush or in need for an even easier dinner! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Asian BBQ Chicken

This chicken will forever be known in our house as the chicken that convinced my husband that boneless skinless chicken thighs are OK to eat and actually taste very good! I could honestly say I could eat this almost every night of the week during the summer. It is that good. I let the chicken marinade overnight, for chicken..I think it is a must! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, but I also pounded out 3 boneless skinless chicken breast, just in case my husband would not eat the thighs. Next time, sticking with all thighs! 
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add to the chicken. The next day I made a little more of the marinade to pour over the chicken after it was finished on the grill, I poured some of the marinated I heated up over the chicken before serving. I realize that sometimes some people may not know what to do with a root of ginger, I have one very special person in mind, thus the photos below for getting fresh ginger into the marinade:) Slice off the outer edge of the ginger by running your knife along the outside of the piece. 
Once all the brown is removed you can just grate the ginger into the bowl. 
After marinating and cooking on the grill, this is what you end up with..mouthwatering chicken!
I served the chicken with some Cilantro Lime Rice, Fresh green beans and the cucumbers and onion salad. I made this when we had some friends over and couldn't have been more pleased with the way it all turned out!

Asian BBQ Chicken
adapted from Our Best Bites

8-10 Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs ( Next time I will make even more..we had no leftovers and this served 4 adults and kids)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
Juice from 2 limes
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 tsp. fresh, grated Ginger
1/2 tsp. Sesame Seeds

Set chicken thighs aside and combine all the ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Place chicken in a gallon size Ziploc bag, or what you prefer to marinade meat and pour marinade over. Marinade overnight for best results. 
Grill the chicken about 5-10 minutes on each side till cooked through. 
* Make about 1/4 of the above marinade when you are cooking the chicken, I made it and warmed it up on the stove top before serving I poured it over the chicken and sprinkled with sliced green onions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Classic

A few summers ago I noticed Grace in the our garden picking a cucumber. I watched as she picked it, and ate the entire thing. That's my girl! I make this cucumber salad and between the two of us we have no problem finishing it off in a day or two. It is a perfect summer classic and this recipe is one of the best! After all, how can you go wrong with these ingredients!?
Water, salt, vinegar, sugar, whipping cream is all that is needed for the marinade. I prefer the English or seedless cucumbers but the store only had the regular ole cucumbers our last visit. When this is the case, I prefer to slice them length wise and then scoop out the seeds/insides with a spoon. Then slice them and place in the water/salt brine for about an hour. Meanwhile, slice up the onions and place them in the vinegar, sugar, and whipping cream.
Drain the cucumbers, rinse and place on paper towels to drain. Put the cucumbers in with the onions and give a good stir. Place in the refrigerator, overnight if you can wait that long, and enjoy! They made a great side dish to our Asian BBQ chicken the other night, recipe coming soon!

Cucumbers and Onions
Recipe from Krista's Kitchen

2-3 cucumbers, sliced 
Mix together 2 cups of water with 2 TBLS Of salt and stir to dissolve. 
Put cucumbers in and let sit for an hour. When ready, rinse and drain the cucumbers on a paper towel.
Mix together the following, 
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup whipping cream
Add a sliced onion, followed by the rinsed cucumbers. Stir to combine

Refrigerate preferably over night...if you can wait that long:)