Sunday, January 29, 2012

Breakfast Burritos


From: A friend of mine mentioned the idea of making breakfast burritos ahead of time to freeze and I thought I'd try it.  Here's what I put in mine... It makes 9 burritos.

Ingredients:

9 tortillas
1 package of about 8 fully cooked turkey sausage
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of salsa
8 eggs
2 tbsp oil

How to: 

Start by finely chopping the turkey sausage. Set aside for a moment.  Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat for about a minute.  Then add the eggs and scramble on medium high heat, adding salt and pepper to your liking.  When the eggs are about halfway cooked, add the sausage and finish scrambling the eggs.  Now lay out the tortillas, egg and sausage mix, cheese, and salsa.  Assemble the burritos, wrapping each one in a paper towel.  Use a paper towel, which can be microwaved, not foil, plastic or wax paper.  Make sure to eat one while it's hot!  The rest of the wrapped breakfast burritos go into a freezer bag and into the freezer immediately to be warmed when you're ready to eat them.  I warm mine in the microwave for about a minute.  Now you've got a quick hearty breakfast that only take a minute to prepare!  Yummmm...

Side notes: Do you need a lactose or dairy-free option?  Use dairy-free cheese (click here for recipe) instead.  Do you have little ones in the house?  You can leave out the salsa and cut the burritos in half before wrapping in a paper towel.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pesto-Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts


From: This recipe came from one of those recipe cards that Safeway distributes in their store.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts
1/2 red pepper
olive oil
mozzarella cheese (shredded)
pesto sauce



How to:  

Cut a slit in the two chicken breasts so that you can stuff ingredients inside.  Cut the red pepper into strips and caramelize them (cook 'em) in olive oil in a skillet. Then stuff the inside of the chicken with pesto, mozzarella cheese, and red pepper.


Secure it closed at an angle with a couple of tooth picks, being sure the tooth picks are flush with the meat (so they don't keep the meat from being cooked well on all sides. Spread pesto on the outside of the chicken breasts. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Cook the chicken breasts on medium heat (slowly so they cook all the way through).  You can grill them too.


You can also microwave them for three minutes after cooking to be sure they are fully cooked inside, if you desire.  Be sure to remove toothpicks and top with more mozzarella if desired, before serving.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken Craisin Salad


From: This recipe is from my Aunt Carol.  It's more filling than you'd think!  We love it for dinner!

Ingredients:

mostly white chicken pieces cut from small roasted chicken, about 3 c.
1 cup dried craisins (dried cranberries)
1 cup walnuts
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced vertically, then chopped
pineapple slices, cut in wedges, two 15-oz cans
Marie’s (brand) cole slaw dressing (or 1000 Island or Honey Mustard) - we like honey mustard
Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

How to:  Combine all the ingredients except the dressing and cheese in a large bowl. Serve.  Top with dressing and cheese as desired.

Chicken Quesadillas


From: My husband whipped this up one evening and surprised me by setting this plate full of the best chicken quesadillas I've ever had right on my desk as I was working.

Ingredients:

flour tortillas
chicken
oregano
salt
pepper
parsley
basil
cheddar cheese
avocado
sour cream
butter
olive oil

How to:  Start by tossing some olive oil in a pan.  Heat it up and spread it around.  Then tossed in the chicken and the spices (to your liking).  Cook it through, allowing it to get nice and golden brown on the outside.  Then shred or dice it up.

Now load up a tortilla with cheddar cheese.  Add chicken, avocado and sour cream.  Close the tortilla and butter the outside.  Heat a clean pan.  Saute the quesadilla until the outside is golden brown and the cheddar cheese is melted.  Then flip it over and do the other side.

Now serve it up and eat it!

Bruschetta


From: This is the Pioneer Woman's Bruschetta recipe.  Holy heaven, this woman has done it again.  This is to die for.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
5 fresh cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 pint Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
1 pint Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
16 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
Salt And Pepper To Taste (don't Oversalt!)
1 loaf of French bread
8 Tablespoons Butter

How to: 

Follow the Pioneer Woman's instructions.  The only deviation I suggest is that you only toast the top side of the bread.  That way, you get the crispy buttery goodness of toast and the soft fresh french bread at the same time.  It's fantastic.

Italian Chicken Soup


From: I started with this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and then tweaked it a bit to suit what I had in the kitchen and to make it a bit easier.

Ingredients:

1/2 box Rigatoni Pasta
About 1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 whole Medium Onion, diced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 can (15-ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes
1 cups Heavy Cream (optional)
2 Tsp Oregano
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
Parmesan Cheese Shavings, For Serving
1 Tbsp butter

How to: 

Cook pasta in a pot according to package directions, being sure not to overcook it. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

Cook the chicken in a skillet. I added salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and basil to season. Then dice it up.

Place chicken in a large pot and cover in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer chicken, while chopping and preparing the veggies.

In the same skillet you cooked the chicken, saute onion, green pepper, celery, and jalapenos, and oregano, salt and pepper in olive oil and butter over medium heat until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add to the pot of chicken and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add cooked pasta, diced tomatoes and cream. Stir to combine. Turn off heat. Serve with lots of Parmesan sprinkled on the top--the more the better!

Side notes: For lactose intolerant guests, hold the cream and Parmesan cheese and serve on the side for those who want it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Caprese Salad


From: I have always loved caprese salad.  But this post from the Pioneer Woman inspired me to master our own homemade version.

Ingredients:

3 whole ripe red tomatoes
a handful of fresh basil leaves
mozzarella cheese or homemade fresh cheese
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar

How to:  

Slice tomatoes thinly.  Then layer:  tomato, cheese slice, basil leaf, tomato, cheese slice, basil leaf.  Salt and pepper the entire plate lightly.  Then you can either drizzle balsamic vinegar over the whole thing, or you can make balsamic reduction and drizzle that over the whole thing.  To make balsamic reduction, follow the Pioneer Woman's instructions:

She says, "In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool."