Monday, April 30, 2012

Easy Chicken with Greek Yogurt

This was so easy and so tasty!  It's definitely fast enough to make after a long day at work.  Plus, when you use nonfat Greek yogurt, there's so little to feel guilty about.  You can't lose!  (Please do try it in spite of the bad picture.  One day I'll improve my photography skills.)

Easy Chicken with Greek Yogurt

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp seasoning salt (I use Montreal Steak Seasoning)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix yogurt, cheese, and seasonings in a bowl.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray, and place chicken breasts in dish.  Spread mixture over chicken breasts, and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

What a wonderful, filling side dish!  The cheese sauce has the same base as my favorite macaroni and cheese dish.  If you don't eat them all, they are great reheated (for dinner and for breakfast).  The down side to these is that they take a whopping 1 1/2 hours to bake, so you need to plan ahead for these.  However, if you're awaiting your hubby's return from the river, these will make both of you happy.  Enjoy!

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

4 russet potatoes
1 small yellow onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a one-quart dish with cooking spray. Layer sliced potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté the diced onion in one tablespoon of butter. When the onions become translucent, pour them on top of the potatoes.

In the same saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Holy cow.  We LOVED these.  We used the Salsa Crock Pot Chicken (which we make about once a week--so handy to have ready!) for the filling.  We had the rest of the ingredients in the fridge or the pantry, which might say more about us than how common the ingredients are, but that's okay.  They're easily adaptable, so if you want to add jalapenos or black beans or pico de gallo or whatever else, you can.

We recommend them highly, and we hope you like them as much as we did! 

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup sour cream
6 large flour tortillas
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
1 small can green chiles
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 cup sour gream, green chiles, and cheese.  Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the six tortillas.  Fold tortillas, and place seam-side-down in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove enchiladas from oven.  In a small bowl, combine the salsa verde with the remaining half cup of sour cream.  Pour mixture over warm enchiladas, and serve.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Delicious Chicken Salad

This was amazing chicken salad!  It was my first time to make my own, and I'll definitely make it again.  I loved the sweet crispness of the grapes; that was my favorite part.  I ended up making sandwiches and serving them on Hawaiian rolls--to die for!  The two of us had them for dinner, and we both had chicken salad sandwiches for lunch for the next two days, so it makes plenty for leftovers. Yum!

Chicken Salad

3 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup light mayonaisse
3/4 tsp paprika
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp seedless red grapes, quartered
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 green onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp seasoning salt
ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise with paprika and seasoned salt. Blend in grapes, celery, green onion, and nuts. Add chopped chicken, and mix well. Season with black pepper to taste. Chill at least one hour.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tomato, Feta, and Basil Tart

What a perfect recipe for the summer!  Our tomato plants actually already have tiny tomatoes on them (so early!), and our basil is taking off.  When I make it again, I'll add more basil after it comes out of the oven.

I used a refrigerated pizza crust for this, and it was really easy.  If possible, put it on a hot pizza stone, so the bottom of the crust can be crispy; otherwise, it's a little soft, but it's still good.  Feel free to make your own crust for this if you're inclined.

Hope you enjoy--the tart, as well as the beginning of summer!

Tomato, Feta, and Basil Tart

1 refrigerated pizza crust
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, on top of dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold edges of dough over tomatoes to partially cover. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, and sprinkle with basil.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grit Cakes

Buck and I went out for dinner last Friday at a great seafood restaurant, and we both ordered shrimp and grits.  I'm not a huge fan of grits, but I am a huge fan of grit cakes, which is how the restaurant served them up (in a sauce with Andouille sausage, bell peppers, onions... it's to die for!).  I couldn't wait to try some out for myself.

This is based on a Paula Deen recipe that was surprisingly light.  She put Parmesan cheese in hers, but I substituted Cheddar cheese and a few jalapenos.  The grit cakes are baked (not deep fried!), so the outside gets crispy, but the inside is still warm and soft. 

If you have a certain shape you want them to be (mine were round; the restaurant's were triangular), then find the right cookie cutter.  I just used the rim of a glass, and it made 14 round cakes. 

You have to plan ahead for these: leave enough time for them to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  They also bake in the oven for an hour.  I didn't cook shrimp with it; I just drizzled some queso dip across them and served them alongside baked chicken.  They were such a treat!  You should try them! 

Grit Cakes

4 cups (32 oz) chicken broth
1 cup quick cooking grits
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
10 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
1/2 tsp salt
Cooking spray with flour

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Stir in grits, and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until grits are thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese, jalapenos, and salt. Remove from heat.

Spoon grits into a 9x13-inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover, and chill at least 2 hours, or until firm.

Un-mold grits onto a large cutting board. Cut out number of desired shapes using cookie cutter.  Spray a large jellyroll pan with cooking spray. Place grit rounds on pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn grits, and bake 45 minutes more.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Ever the optimist, Teak waits as Buck loads the dishwasher, hoping some food will somehow fall to the floor for him. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Green Beans Y'all Won't Believe

I didn't make up the title for this recipe. It is actually called "Green Beans Y'all Won't Believe" (so says the newspaper in which the recipe was published). It's pretty true, though; they're delicious!

We didn't have fresh green beans available, but if you do, use 1 1/2 lbs of them in his recipe. Instead, we used 2 cans, and it was great. Hope you like them!

Green Beans Y'all Won't Believe

2 cans green beans, drained and rinsed OR 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
5 strips bacon
6 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350. If using fresh green beans, rinse the beans, and remove ends and strings. Leave whole or cut into one-inch pieces. In a 2-quart saucepan, cook beans in a small amount of boiling, salted water, covered for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and tender. drain and set aside.

If using canned beans, drain, rinse, and set aside. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, drain, and crumble; reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings in the skillet. Stir sugar and vinegar into the drippings.

Pour sugar mixture, green beans, and crumbled bacon into a casserole dish, and combine. Bake for 45 minutes or until heated through.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chicken Breasts Eden Isle

Are you ready for this? Cream of chicken soup, sour cream, AND cream cheese. It's every bit as wonderful as you think it is. (The picture doesn't do it justice.)  You just have to get on the treadmill. (Or you can pull around my baby nephew in his wagon six times a day--I think that burns several calories. I hope so, at least.) This was excellent.

The dried beef isn't beef jerky. It's on the same aisle as the tuna and canned meats. I'd normally be wary of an ingredient like that, but it was really good. It's worthy of a spot on your Easter table!

Chicken Breasts Eden Isle

4-6 chicken breasts,pounded thin
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg (about 3 oz) dried beef
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
3 oz cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 325. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13 baking dish; sprinkle with pepper. Separate slices of dried beef and place over chicken. In a separate bowl, combine the soup, cream cheese, and sour cream. Spoon mixture on top of chicken and beef. Cover dish with foil, and bake at 325 for one hour.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Buck's Favorite Sandwich

This is really a recipe from Pioneer Woman, and it's also her husband's favorite sandwich.  Our twist is to use venison cube steak because we have quite a bit of it in the freezer, but you can use beef cube steak, and it will still be delicious.  The other way I changed the recipe was to seriously cut down on the butter she uses.  While I want to feed my husband tasty meals, I also want him to be healthy.  (And it's still his favorite sandwich, so we all win.)

Buck's Favorite Sandwich

1 - 1.5 lbs venison cube steak
3/4 large sweet onion, sliced
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Grill seasoning
Tabasco Sauce
Pepper Jack cheese, shredded or sliced
4 deli rolls

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the sliced onions.  Cook and stir until onions are softened and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.  While onions are cooking, slice cube steak into think strips against the grain of the meat.  Season strips with grill seasoning. 

When onions have finished cooking, remove them from the skillet.  Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter, and melt over medium high heat.  When the skillet is hot, add the meat, and cook it on one side until it's brown; flip the meat and cook it until brown on the other side, about 2 minutes per side.

Add Worcestershire sauce, a couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce, and stir everything to combine.  Add the cooked onions to the skillet.

Toast the deli rolls.  To assemble the sandwich, pile the meat on the roll, followed by a spoonful of the sauce.  Top with a handful of cheese and the other half of the roll.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice

I successfully made pork chops for the first time, and they were fantastic!  It's originally from Pioneer Woman, but my sweet friend and old roomie Erica shared it with me.  (Thanks, girl.)  The sweet pineapple chunks and fried rice accompanied the pork chops perfectly, and the recipe makes this wonderful sauce that gets drizzled on top of everything. 

You should definitely try these!  I was concerned about making these because I knew nothing about cooking pork chops, but just follow the recipe, and they'll be darn good.  The recipe below makes 3 servings, which is perfect for two people plus the next day's lunch.

Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice

1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup white or brown rice, cooked
3 pork chops
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tsbp canola oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar; the original recipe called for rice wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp hot sauce
Salt, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg
2 roasted red bell peppers (from the jar), diced

Cook rice according to package instructions. Set aside.

Grill or saute pineapple chunks until they have good marks/color on the outside, and set aside.  
Heat butter and oil over medium high heat, then add the pork chops to the pan. Saute on both sides until they have nice color.  Add the sliced onions and work them into the crevices between the pork. Move the onions around, and let them cook for a few minutes.
When the onions are starting to soften, add 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and hot sauce. Stir and let it cook and bubble up for a few minutes until the pork chops are completely cooked and the sauce is thicker. Remove the pork chops to a bowl, then let the sauce bubble up and cook for another 30 to 45 seconds. Pour it over the pork chops. Set aside.

Add a small amount of oil to the same pan (without cleaning it) and return it to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir it around, then crack in the eggs and immediately stir them to scramble them a bit. Add the diced bell pepper and additional soy sauce. Add cooked rice and stir it around to cook for a couple of minutes, until warmed through.

To serve, pile rice on a plate, then top with a pork chops and onions from the sauce. Drizzle sauce over the top.