Posts Tagged With: Food

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday–Chicken Cordon Bleu

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Chicken Cordon Bleu is definitely one of my favorite foods. I always thought it was just something I ordered at restaurants because it would be too complicated and time-consuming to do at home. But this allrecipes.com five-star recipe proved me wrong. It’s not too hard and doesn’t take much time at all! You can read all the reviews on the site and see that it really is an amazing recipe. I made just a couple very, very minor changes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons wheat flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream (Sometimes I just use milk and add one or two tablespoons more of cornstarch and it works fine!)

Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick (I like to get the thinly sliced ones. They save lots of mess and time, I think). Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks (mine never work out this way…ham and cheese usually hang out the edges, and that is fine for us. Ideally not, but perfection is something I don’t focus on too much here, and they’re still delicious!). Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

What’s for dinner at your house this December Wednesday night?

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Categories: What's Cookin' Wednesday | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday–When Life Gives You Snowstorms, Make Potato Soup

It’s been said that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

If that’s true, I’m doomed. At least as of late…

Take last night for instance. Cold  cereal. Cold Cereal. And…hot dogs. Yeah, I totally agree. It does sound like a disgusting combination. It’s embarrassing, really. I don’t even have a good excuse. I’m ashamed to admit that’s what went down last night at our house. As we brushed our teeth after the chores were done and the kids were asleep, my husband said, “I miss your old cooking. You know, like when you used to, I don’t know…cook?” I knew something had to change, and fast, because my love was certainly not getting through to his stomach with Raisin Bran and the amazing Applegate tube stake. For what it’s worth, my kids were in heaven.

So here’s my plan. I’m going to post a recipe on Wednesdays (What’s Cookin’ Wednesdays, clever, yes? Or…ok, just cheesy) from the good old days when I had my wonderful husband’s appetite won over. I’ll cook it beforehand and make sure it really is a winner, take pictures, and give you the recipe so, if you so desire to woo your family with a new recipe, you can do just that. Then I’ll have a bit of extra motivation. I hope I haven’t scared you off with my cereal and hot dog story. I promise, I really do pretty well in the kitchen when I actually try.

My absolute favorite dinner is potato soup. Especially when a snowstorm comes and makes you want to bundle up and stay warm (like it’s done here!). It’s my kids’ absolute favorite too. Can’t beat that, right? And this recipe is spectacular. It’s my mother-in-law’s and it honestly and truly can’t be beat. Even the five-star, rated-by-thousands-of-people Ham and Potato Soup on allrecipes.com doesn’t even come near it. This recipe is not only delicious, but it has NEVER failed me. I’m so glad I married into my husband’s family for many, many, many reasons, and this is one of them.

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Potato Soup

1 cup onion, peeled and minced
3 TBSP butter or margarine
6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (I often use red potatoes and don’t peal them)
6 stalks celery, diced
4 ½ cups cold water (or 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, and omit the chicken bouillon)
5 cubes chicken bouillon
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 cup milk
6 TBSP cornstarch
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon pepper

Add cornstarch to mild and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Melt butter in large pan. Stir-fry onion in butter over moderate heat until limp.
Add potatoes, celery, water, salt, celery salt, and bouillon. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Gradually stir in cream, milk mixture, and pepper. Continue stirring to prevent lumping. Simmer uncovered, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes, until soup thickens.

Scaled to serve 6—it’s a great leftover soup!

I hope you can woo some tummies, big and little alike, in your house with this recipe. It’s definitely a blue ribbon winner around here. Stay warm!

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If you liked this post, I’d so appreciate your vote. Just click here. That’s all you do. Thanks!

Categories: What's Cookin' Wednesday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

When the Sun’s Commin’ Up I got Cakes on the Griddle

My husband and I met in college. Just like many college students, I was living off of cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spaghetti. I was a lousy cook. My husband on the other hand ate really, really well. When we started dating I think he took pity on me and would invite me over to eat quite often. We ate ravioli, lasagna, enchiladas, turkey, broccoli, asparagus, salads, real cheesecake, homemade brownies, and anything else you could imagine. It was SO nice to eat good food! You see, he had a roommate who was an excellent cook (say hello to his awesome wife at http://www.kyinthekitchen.com :). Not just an excellent cook. If he weren’t an engineer I would imagine he could be a professional chef. He was THAT good. From the beginning I knew that he was the master chef of the apartment, but I suppose I just assumed that my soon-to-be-husband wasn’t so bad himself. Well, when we got married the truth came out. My husband was excellent at cutting up the broccoli. He could wash off the grapes like a pro or stir a pot with the best of ’em. Beyond being a really good helper, he was no more of a cook than I was. In some ways I’d say that our position was worse than most newlyweds. While we were both really bad cooks, we were used to good food thanks to his roommate. Burned casserole and love was just not going to cut it. I had to learn how to fix something… and FAST! I had some pretty epic failures that summer, but over time I got the hang of our closet-sized kitchen and successfully kept our little family happy.

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When you think about country living one of the first things that comes to mind is good food, right? A hardy breakfast, a filling lunch, and a dinner fit for a cowboy. I certainly won’t brag about my amazing cooking skills that I wish I could say I’ve gained over the last seven years, but I will say that we don’t have to eat soggy spaghetti for dinner every night. Since we moved to the country, I have made an extra effort to make breakfasts to fit our new country life. We LOVE breakfast at our house, and I try hard to make sure that anyone walking out of our door in the morning leaves satisfied and ready to tackle the day. I am totally convinced that a good breakfast can make monumental differences in how you feel, act, and do. And country livin’ (and city livin’ I suppose too) means lots and lots to do! Breakfast is so very, very important.

So, without further ado, here’s a week’s worth of breakfast meals from our country kitchen. Just remember that I’m a novice at this country living and a little at cooking too. I admit I’m a copy-cat cook, so most of my recipes are from friends who are better chefs than me or from two of my favorite food sites:

allrecipes.com

100daysofrealfood.com

Ultimate Enfrijoladas
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One reason I love breakfast so much is probably because of our lovely little hens who so faithfully provide eggs for us every morning. The dog is a bit of a pain some of the time, the rooster is terrible most of the time, but the chickens are just plain AWESOME all the time. I absolutely love having chickens and would recommend it to anyone wanting pets. They are just great. Stinky, but great.

This is our favorite breakfast around here. My husband spent two years in Mexico and had enfrijoladas for breakfast, so this is a spin on what he loved so much there. Plain Enfrijoladas are another fav (though not one we ate this week). It’s just flour tortillas with refried beans, grated cheese, and salsa on top. I like this tortilla recipe:

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/05/26/recipe-whole-wheat-tortillas/

Corn tortillas with cheese, ham, eggs, spinach and (if you want) refried beans and salsa on top.

If you’re feeling ambitious… Corn tortilla recipe:

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/04/26/recipe-easy-whole-grain-corn-tortillas/

Blender Batter Pancakes

This one is a huge hit here thanks to my sweet friend Suzanne. We have used this fantastic recipe hundreds of times since she gave it to me a year or so ago. She’s a great cook who has read tons of books on nutrition so I trust her kitchen expertise. This recipe is nutritious, easy and so versatile.

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1 Cup plain yogurt
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup another grain (ex. quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat…)

1 TBSP melted butter or oil

1 tsp vanilla (unless using buckwheat. Then omit)

Blend in blender and sit overnight (I think Suzanne said this makes it better for you, but sometimes I forget and just do it all in the morning) In the morning, add:

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Blend until all combined. Add oats or yogurt to make it the right consistency. Cook on hot greased skillet.

Waffles

Probably the best waffle recipe I’ve ever tried.We like to add nuts to it too, cause we like those nuts!

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/07/23/recipe-whole-wheat-waffles/

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French Toast

French Brioche from allrecipes.com is the way to make these! I usually make a loaf of to have with pulled pork or soup the night before and use what’s left for French Toast. I’ve tweaked the recipe to as follows and have never had it fail me:

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  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour*
  • 1 TBSP Vital Wheat Gluten*
  • 1/4 cup (heaping) honey*
  • 1 TBSP* active dry yeast
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons water

Italics and * are things I’ve changed.

  1. Place the first seven ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by your manufacturer. Select dough cycle.
  2. Turn finished dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead 5 to 10 times. Separate into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll with hands into strips. Braid or twist strips together. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk together 1 egg white and the water. Brush onto the top of the loaf.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Brioche/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=french%20brioche&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1

The French Toast part is simple. So simple I don’t even measure. one egg, a bit of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip the bread in and fry it on a greased griddle.

C’s Cereal

We tried some hot cereal called Dee’s Cereal a few years ago and it was delicious. This is our home made attempt, using either cracked wheat or quinoa.

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Cracked wheat or quinoa, cooked. Sunflower seeds, Pecans or Walnuts (or both), raisins or blueberries, maple syrup or honey.

Oatmeal

Nothin’ beats good old oatmeal with brown sugar or honey, raisins or craisins, and walnuts!

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Granola

I’ve tried many granola recipes and this one knocks the socks off of any other I’ve tried. It’s crunchy and just sweet enough. Plus, the chunks actually stick together!

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/04/recipe-granola-bars-cereal/

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Eggs Benedict

This was actually our dinner one night, so here’s an extra breakfast idea! This is the most requested breakfast meal at our house. And it’s THE definition of country cookin’. Nothing says home on the range like poached eggs and ham on homemade english muffins smothered in homemade holindaise sauce sprinkled with parsley.

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English Muffins: www.http://pinkrecipebox.com/whole-wheat-english-muffins/

Only thing I did different was to use all whole wheat (no all purpose) and add 1 TBSP vital wheat gluten. They turn out great!

hollandaise sauce: http://goodfood-lin.blogspot.com/2010/04/hollandiase-sauce-101.html

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