Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cream Cheese Chicken And Broccoli

This is a stand-by recipe at my house. It's one of the few things my six-year-old will eat without complaining about. Lucky for us we seem to get broccoli in our Bountiful Basket just often enough to keep her satisfied. When we get a plethora of broccoli, I always make a few extras to put into the freezer.

Cream Cheese Chicken With Broccoli

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (1 ounce) Italian salad dressing mix
2 cups sliced mushrooms*
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed low-fat cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup dry cooking sherry
Hot cooked pasta
Toss chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian salad dressing mix. Add to gallon sized freezer bag. Add mushrooms and onion. Combine soup, broccoli, cream cheese(cut into small chunks) and sherry and mix well. Add to bag & Freeze.
To serve:
Place in 5-quart slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 3 hours. Stir and continue to cook on LOW 1-2 hours more.
Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.
**if using canned, don’t freeze; add to slow cooker after defrosted

Frosted Sugar Cookies

A good friend of mine recently shared her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with me. She told me they were the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever so of course I had to give it a shot. I loved them but they weren't chewy enough for my picky boys. (I love soft, fluffy cookies so they were perfect for me. Naturally I ate the entire batch by myself....) But sorry folks, it's a top-secret recipe- I'm not at liberty to even post a picture!... either that or I ate them all before I could snap one... Just know that they were good!
Maybe it was the almond extract (can I say that?), but the dough reminded me a lot of my sugar cookie recipe so I of course then had a craving for frosted sugar cookies... MMMmmmmmmm! They were delicious but this batch had to be promptly given away or I'm sure I would have eaten all of these too. I'm such a cookie addict, it's sad...

Frosted Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup plain yogurt

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dry milk
4 eggs
2 tsp pure almond extract

4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
7 cups sifted flour

 Cream butter, yogurt and sugars very well. Add flavorings and eggs, beating well. Add dry milk, baking powder, salt and soda and mix well. Add flour 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff. (By the time all the flour is added you'll probably have to mix by hand). Shape into 1 or 2 inch balls and smash them down onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 8 minutes or until very lightly golden. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
yellow food coloring (optional)
Cream together cream cheese, sour cream and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until mixture begins to look dry. Beat in lemon juice and food coloring. Whip until fluffy then pipe over cookies or cupcakes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Egg Biscuits

Easter dinner is so easy! Especially when you can pull just about everything from the freezer, stick it in the oven and come back 2-3 hours later to a complete meal. Unfortunately I realized too late that I'd forgotten the rolls. Lucky for me I have this recipe in my arsenal of easy goes-well-with-anything breads. To fun things up a bit, I even cut these out in cute Spring shapes like butterflies, flowers and bunnies!

Egg Biscuits
3 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup cold butter
3/4 c. milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Into a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. With pastry blender or 2 knives (or you can just use your fingers like me!), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, beat milk and eggs. Add to flour mixture and stir until flour is moistened. Place on a lightly floured surface; knead once or twice and roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Daikon Asian Slaw Salad

I could eat this every day! But this is totally "my type of food" as my husband puts it so I won't be offended if you don't love it as much as I do. This slaw doesn't hide the bold flavor of the daikon so if you aren't a huge fan of them, you probably won't love this salad. If so, replace the daikon with more cabbage in the following recipe. 
If you do love daikon and are looking for more ways to eat it, try slicing it and adding it to your next veggie tray along with snap peas and broccoli with your favorite vegetable dip. 
Daikon Asian Slaw Salad

2 cups julienne cut daikon radish (1 large daikon)
1 small carrot, julienne cut
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons minced sweet onion (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tablespoons unsweetened white grape juice (or pineapple juice)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 

1 tsp sweet rice wine (mirin)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
crushed peanuts (optional)

Place the daikon in a colander/mesh strainer over a bowl or the sink and sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and then rinse well with cold water. Drain.
In a small jar, combine the rice vinegar, juice, pepper, oil, yogurt and rice wine. Seal jar and shake well.
Transfer the daikon to an airtight container along with the carrot, cabbage and onion (if using) and pour the rice vinegar mixture over. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.
This can store for up to a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long. If desired, serve topped with crushed peanuts.

Daikon Radish Stir-fry

 In our Bountiful Basket last Saturday we got some Daikon radishes. I was excited to cook them up a couple different ways tonight for dinner. For our main course I made stir-fry featuring the little beauties and then shredded another into an Asian coleslaw salad. 

I'm not a big meat eater and when I cook a dish like this I really prefer it with no meat to detract from the other flavors. To me this was a perfectly satisfying main course, especially served over a bed of brown rice, but for my carnivore husband I grilled some chicken and added it to his plate.

Daikon Radish Stir-fry

  • large daikon radish
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow crookneck squash
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 stalk celery 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry  
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water


Peel daikon and carrot and slice into 1/2 inch thick circles or half circles. Chop celery, pepper and onion. Slice squash into circles. Heat vegetable oil over high heat. Add vegetables and stiry-fry. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Allow vegetables to slightly brown around the edges as you stir-fry and then add the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. When the liquid has boiled down by about half, combine the corn-starch, water and sesame oil then stir it into the sauce.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zesty Asparagus

Hard as it is to believe when it's snowing outside, it really is Spring! Here's the proof right here in my garden. Yummy tender asparagus shoots popping out of the ground. I finally had enough to cook with our dinner and I'd been patiently waiting to try this recipe for myself. This comes from a friend of mine (Emily). Thanks!

Zesty Marinated Asparagus

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch asparagus just until tender, about 1 minute. Plunge into a bowl of cold water to cool. Drain asparagus and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in vinaigrette and seal bag. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Just before serving, drain asparagus, reserving vinaigrette. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve reserved vinaigrette in a small dish on the side. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Masaman Curry

Over the course of our marriage my husband and I have realized that some things go without saying which has really helped to cut unnecessary dialogue from our conversations. Which is good because we usually have to attempt a conversation with each other over the heads of 4 kids who are all competing for the next words out of our mouths to be directed at them and not to each other.
For example, when we are planning our date night all that needs to be said is: "Do you want to go out to eat?"
It's automatically understood that the answer to this question is. "Yes, let's go get Thai food!" 
One of my favorite things on the menu is Masaman curry- so much so that I had to learn a few tricks of my own to tide me over between dates which, let's face it, don't happen as often as they did 2-3 kids ago...

Masaman Curry

1 Tbsp soybean oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp salt   
1 cup potato, diced   
2-4 Tbsp masaman curry paste (use more for a stronger flavor)       
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken   
1 tablespoon tamarind
1/4 cup peanuts (optional)   
2 pinches cardamom
2 bay leaves (optional)

Heat a wok over medium high heat. Stir-fry Masaman curry paste with oil then add 1 cup coconut milk. Break up the paste and mix well with coconut milk. Stir constantly to keep the mixture from sticking. When you see the red oil bubbling up (about 5 minutes), add the meat and another 1/2 cup coconut milk, stir to cover the meat with curry. Heat until boiling. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for potatoes, onion and cashew. Stew for 1/2 hour or until chicken is cooked. Add potatoes, onion and cashews. Let simmer for 20 minutes more. The liquid should be reduced and you should be able to see some chunks. But, if the liquid is very low, add some water.

Masaman tastes great if you let it sit overnight so that the spices penetrate the meat and potatoes. I find that the tastes just don't come together until the next day.
**I've also added Summer squash and bell peppers the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

I usually make enough masaman to have for days.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I made these for lunch because my daughter kept asking me for a "meat and jelly" sandwich. No, she'd never had a Monte Cristo before- she just thought it sounded good! The kids had so much fun eating their lunch that I've put this back onto the menu for this week. After all, ham will be on sale!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches


  • 8 slices bread
  • 8 slices thinly sliced ham
  • 8 slices thinly sliced turkey or chicken
  • 8 slices Swiss or Gruyere cheese
  • a little mustard and mayonnaise, if desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Fruit preserves for dipping


1. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Or just fire up your deep-fryer. While oil is heating, make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
2. For each sandwich layer a slice of ham, slice of cheese, a slice of turkey or chicken then repeat. Add a little mustard or other dressing, if desired. Press sandwich lightly and trim crusts. Cut into halves diagonally and secure with toothpicks.
3. Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated. Deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides If using a skillet, you will have to flip the sandwich. Remove toothpicks and arrange on a serving tray. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving and serve with fruit preserves on the side. 

Makes 4 sandwiches, 8 cut triangles, to serve 4.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. oil
1 1/2- 2 tsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 Tbsp confectioners' sugar

Mix wet ingredients, then add dry. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans (or 2 large) and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mix all glaze ingredients together and put on top of bread while still hot.

Quavish- Portugese Kale Soup

I am so far behind on my recipe blogging! Life has a way of coming along all at once and knocking people right over. I promise I've still been cooking- but I've neglected to put myself out there and try anything new for a while. Mundane and routine sometimes is a great comfort for me...
This was something I cooked a few weeks ago when we got kale from our Bountiful Basket. While not the most photogenic soup, it is definitely one of the most flavorful! It combines the bold flavor of kale with creamy cooked potatoes and garlic infused Portuguese sausage called Linguiça. While substitutions may be made for this hard to get sausage (at least in my area) I wouldn't recommend it. And if you do substitute - do me a favor and just don't call it "Quavish", k?

Quavish Soup  
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
4 carrots, sliced
5 potatoes, cut into chunks
1 head cabbage, cut into large chunks
2 lbs Linguiça, sliced
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 large onions
6 cups beef stock 
1 heaping tsp. black pepper 
3 bay leaves 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
I've also added: 
1/2 cup diced turnips or
3-4 sliced parsnips

In a large stock pot (very large), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, turnips and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the Linguiça, bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well. Add the beef stock and cook at a low boil for about 30 minutes. Add the cabbage, kale and potatoes. (Add water if necessary to cover all the vegetables.) Bring the soup to a low boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove the bay leaves and serve hot. Serve with homemade bread or hard crusty rolls.

**This recipe makes enough soup for a large family gathering- you can always reduce it by half or just do what I do and freeze what you can't eat all at once and save it for later. Add cooled soup to a large zip-top freezer bag. To reheat simply run hot water over the bag to loosen it then slip contents into a large slow-cooker and cook on LOW until heated through.

***You can also combine ALL of the above ingredients into a large electric roaster pan. Simmer 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.