Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saucy Mexican Chicken

So, so easy. As the day draws near that I have to return to work... quick & easy meals will be of utmost importance. Here is one that should definetly be added into the rotation! I served this with rice & corn. The chicken could easily be shredded and this would be a tasty topper for some nachos!

Saucy Mexican Chicken
Source: Food & Family Magazine - Holiday 2009

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 small breasts)
1 16oz. jar of chunky salsa
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar

Cook chicken in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides.

Add salsa and beans. Bring to a boil, cover.
Simmer on medium low heat 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Top with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chewy Brownies

Brownies from scratch?? Like the chewy kind from the box??? No mixer needed??? Yes! Please!! I love making things from scratch! These are really good! It's so great to know all of the ingredients going into our treats! Made these for our 2nd anniversary as a treat! (Complimented them with peppermint ice cream!!) Thanks to the Brown Eyed Baker blog for sharing this recipe ~~ and thanks to my friend J for testing them first!!

Chewy Brownies
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 24 Brownies

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

(From Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicken Pepper Penne

This is a simple, quick weeknight meal..... especially when peppers are in season. My mom used to make this all the time for us ~ I am not sure where she dug it up. I had forgotten about it. Why did I forget to make this all summer?!? I'll put this recipe back into our rotation for sure.

Chicken Pepper Penne

Cook pasta

Cut chicken in slices ~ 4 breasts
Put in skillet sprayed with Pam.
Cook through

1 TBSP garlic, thyme, rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth (can use a whole can)

Cut a green pepper and a red pepper into slices
Add to skillet

16oz. tomato sauce

Simmer for a couple minutes

Blend with pasta

Sprinkle with parsley & parm cheese.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oreo Freakout!

A 40th Birthday called for a special cake/dessert!! Ice cream cake!! A friend made this at work a couple years ago - it stuck in my head ~~ then, when my friend C made something similar recently ~ the idea was reborn! And again, this fits the new mom criteria..... easy & quick to make.

Oreo Freakout!!

1 package Oreo cookies
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened (don't forget "half gallons" of ice cream are smaller now--so you will need a little more than one container
1 jar Hershey's hot fudge sauce (do not HEAT it)
1 large container of Cool Whip

Crush the Oreos (filling, too). Spread a layer of cookies on the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan (about half the crushed cookies). Spread the ice cream on the Oreos (this can be tricky--use your hands!). Spread the fudge sauce on the ice cream. Sprinkle a layer of peanuts on the fudge sauce. Spread Cool Whip on the top. Top with the remaining crushed cookies. Cover and freeze. Keep frozen. ENJOY!!