Monday, August 31, 2009

Teriyaki Chicken

I saw this recipe on Kara’s site and knew I wanted to try it. I’m so glad I did. Yum. Yum. Yum. This will become a mainstay at my house. It is SO good. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are a nice change of pace from white-meat chicken and thighs work really well in Asian-inspired dishes. This one goes together quickly and gives you plenty of time to assemble side dishes while it bakes! Next time, I may try this in the crock pot –I think it would work well, and I can only imagine the amazing smells that would meet me after a long day of work! (UPDATED: this works beautifully in the crock pot! Simply make the sauce, then coat the bottom of the crock with the sauce, top with the chicken and pour the rest of the sauce over. My chicken was done after 4 hours on low.)OK, back to this recipe.

Combine the dry ingredients in a small saucepan. In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and water.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the dry ingredients in the saucepan and whisk well to combine.

Cook this over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and bubbly.

Place the chicken thighs in a glass or ceramic baking dish. (Note that I only used 6. Silly me. I should have realized I would want LEFTOVERS!) Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bake at 400 for 45 minutes, turning the chicken after 15 minutes, and back again after an additional 15 minutes.

Thanks, Kara, for a great recipe!

Get more great ideas at Mouthwatering Mondays, Your Life, Your Blog, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday and Cultural Connections!

Teriyaki Chicken

1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. water
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Combine the dry ingredients in a small saucepan. In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and water. Add the soy sauce mixture to the dry ingredients in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Place the chicken thighs in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes, turning the chicken after 15 minutes, and back again after an additional 15 minutes.

For crock pot: After making the sauce, coat the bottom of the crock with about 1/3 of the sauce. Top with the chicken pieces, then cover with the rest of the sauce. Cook on low for approximately 4 hours or until chicken is done.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hot Fudge Sauce

This is my mom's recipe for hot fudge sauce which I have been the happy eater of for many years. And now that I cook, I am the happy cooker of it. It is SO simple and SO delicious. I bring it into work a couple times a year for birthday celebrations and it gets rave reviews every time.

You probably have all the ingredients to make it, and it only takes a few minutes! What more could you ask for in a pot of chocolatey goodness?

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt.

Add the boiling water.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat and let it boil until it reaches your desired amount of thickness.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. DO NOT omit the vanilla. The sauce will be virtually tasteless without it. That sounds contradictory since it's hot FUDGE sauce, not hot VANILLA sauce, but believe me, it's true.

Let cool slightly and serve over pound cake, angel food cake, ice cream, cream puffs, or eat with a spoon right from the pan. You can store this in the refrigerator for several days and reheat in the microwave. Just add a bit of water if it gets to thick before reheating and whisk well.

Need more chocolate? Check out Chocolate Fridays and Save Room for Dessert Wednesdays!

There are also more great recipes at Friday Feasts, Family Recipe Friday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, and Favorite Ingredient Fridays!

Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. cocoa
pinch salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butter

Combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a small saucepan. Add the boiling water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the sauce has reached your desired level of thickness. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Stir to combine. Let cool slightly. Serve over cake, ice cream, cream puffs, etc. Serves 8.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Corn Dip

This is another great recipe from Sweet Pea. She lives in Texas, land of hot and spicy. But this dip has just the right amount of kick, which you can vary according to your tastes. It's a great cold dip for hot summer days. I made some modifications and I will post the recipe I ended up with. Her original recipe is here.

The first step is to get the vegetables chopped! This recipe calls for mexicorn, but I didn't have any so I decided to use regular corn and chopped peppers - it worked great! I used red and orange peppers. Here I've got those chopped along with two jalapenos. I thought two was just right - you can use more or fewer jalapenos depending on your love of spicy food!

Green onions also need to be chopped - since the ones I had were kind of large, I cut them in half lengthwise before cutting them crosswise.

Now combine the mayonnaise and sour cream in a large mixing bowl or glass measuring cup. I like to use my big 8-cup measuring "bowl" since it has a cover and is non-reactive when putting stuff in the fridge.

Add the green onions.

Then add the diced green chiles and the jalapenos.

Add the other peppers and stir well, then add the cheese.

Drain the corn, and add that to the mix.

Finally, add all the seasonings and then stir well to mix.

Refrigerate this for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite dipping cracker.

Like Dips? Head on over to BooMama's Diptacular 2009!

There are more great recipes at What's Cooking Wednesday and Monday Munchies.

Corn Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 - 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped red/orange peppers
1 cup shredded mexican/taco cheese
1 - 15.25 oz can corn, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin

Mix together and refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fried Zucchini

This is a very delicious way to eat zucchini, albeit a very high calorie way - sometime soon I want to try breading these and baking them as I think the results could be very similar. But I don't turn my oven on in 85 degree weather, so I haven't tried it yet!

First, slice the zucchini in about 1/4 inch pieces.

I used ritz crackers for the coating. You can also use croutons, panko, regular breadcrumbs, saltines, etc. Use what you have! Crush the crackers or croutons using a rolling pin or a food processor or chopper. If you're using breadcrumbs, you can skip this step!

Place the crumbs in a bowl and add parmesan cheese and seasonings - I used Italian seasoning and garlic salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg and milk and whisk well.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, prepare the zucchini. First, dip a slice of zucchini in the egg.

Then coat it in crumbs - place the slice in the crumb bowl and then turn it over to coat both sides. Lightly shake it so that excess crumbs fall off.

Place the zucchini in the pan, and continue on with the rest of the slices until the pan is full.

I usually put the slices in the pan starting at the top (12 o'clock!) and going clockwise so I know how long they've been in (that is, the ones at the top, and 1, 2, 3 o'clock were in the pan and cooking longer than the ones at 9, 10, 11 o'clock) - then I just turn them over starting at the top and going clockwise.

Turn the zucchini after it has cooked about 3 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. I find that it works best just to use a fork to pierce it and flip it.

Cook on the flip side for another three minutes or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork and the coating is golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined iwth a paper towel, which will soak up some of the oil. If you need to, add more oil to the pan and continue to fry zucchini until all slices are gone! Enjoy with marinara sauce, salsa, or just plain.

Get more great inspiration at Monday Munchies, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table.

Fried Zucchini

1 large zucchini
1 cup cracker or bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
canola or olive oil for frying

Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Combine crumbs, cheese and seasonings in a bowl. In separate bowl, combine milk and egg and whisk well. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, dip zucchini in egg, then in crumbs and place in skillet. Repeat until skillet is full. Turn vegetables after 3 minutes, coating should be golden on the underside. Cook an additional 3 minutes after flipping, and remove to a platter lined with paper towels. Repeat until zucchini is gone. Serve warm with marinara sauce or salsa, or plain.

Zucchini on Foodista

Friday, August 21, 2009

Banana Blueberry Coffeecake

Ooh, bananas and blueberry. Together in a cake. That you can eat for breakfast cause it's called "coffeecake." (Who am I kidding? I don't need that excuse.)

This is a really delicious breakfast, or any time of day, treat. And you can use your bananas and blueberries from the freezer! You probably have everything you need for this, already in your cupboards and freezer. If not, put these ingredients on your list so you can make this SOON!

Start by creaming together the butter and sugar. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir or beat just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then remove 3/4 cup of the crumbs and set aside.

To the remaining butter/sugar/flour mixture in your mixing bowl, add the rest of the flour and dry ingredients and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until blended. It's ok if it's still a little lumpy.

Fold in the blueberries, then pour into a well greased 8 or 9 inch pan. Top with the reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping and cake are both golden brown. The original recipe says to serve warm, but I ate it cold and it was perfectly delicious.

Get more great recipes at Food on Friday, Family Recipe Friday, Foodie Fridays, and Friday Feasts.

Banana Blueberry Coffeecake

1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add 3/4 cup of the flour, and beat just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture.

To remaining butter/sugar/flour, add 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in blueberries.

Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch pan and sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until both topping and cake are golden brown. Serves 9.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fiesta Scramble

I came up with this breakfast creation this past weekend as a result of 1) inspiration having been recently served scrambled eggs with pepper jack cheese and loving it and 2) wanting to use up some veggies.

Many of you probably do stuff like this (creative cooking) all the time, but I was so pleased with the result that I thought I would post it. The combination of flavors was really tasty, and it would be easy to substitute whatever you have on hand. Just keep in the pepper jack cheese!

Determine the amount of ingredients you need in order to suit the size of your family. I won't post specific measurements here, just the ingredients I used.

Start by chopping your vegetables: I used onion, red pepper and mushrooms. I also used keilbasa which I diced.

Saute the vegetables over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until tender.

While they are cooking, lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, then add the eggs to the vegetables.

Reduce the heat to medium low and stir frequently to scramble. When the eggs are almost set, add the cheese and stir to incorporate.

This would make a great light supper and could easily be adapted to vegetarian by adding more vegetables and leaving out the meat. If you don't have keilbasa, you could use ham, bacon or even whatever you have leftover. Using up leftovers and making something delicious, that works for me!

There are tons of egg ideas at the Ultimate Recipe Swap. Get more simple ideas at Simple Saturday and What's Cooking Wednesday.

Fiesta Scramble

Onion and red pepper, finely chopped
Mushrooms, chopped
Polska kielbasa, diced
Pepper Jack Cheese

Saute the vegetables and sausage over medium high heat until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs. Add the vegetables and reduce heat to medium low. Stir frequently to scramble the eggs. When eggs are nearly set, add the pepper jack cheese and stir to incorporate.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Honey-Garlic Pork Chops

When I first started cooking in earnest (just before getting married 10 years ago) this was one of the first recipes I tried. This recipe is courtesy of the pork producers and I can see why they would give out this recipe: you will want to buy more and more pork so you can keep making this! I served it for my family that summer and my parents immediately declared it their "summer specialty" and made it for all their guests that summer.

It's tasty, easy, and quick - it only takes a few minutes to throw together the marinade, and then you're done until it's grilling time.

I measure the marinade into a glass measuring cup - that way there's only one dirty dish!

Combine the lemon juice and soy sauce.

Then add the honey. If you do it in this order, the honey won't stick!

Next add the minced garlic, and stir well to mix all the ingredients. Place the pork chops in a large zip top plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the chops. Seal the bag, and then shake it up to make sure the chops are covered with the marinade.

Place the bag in the refrigerator and let the meat marinate for 4-24 hours.

Grill the pork chops for 12-15 minutes, turning once. (You could also broil them.)

Get more great recipes at This Week's Cravings, Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Simple Saturdays.

Honey-Garlic Pork Chops

4 boneless center cut pork chops
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced

Combine the lemon juice, soy sauce, honey and garlic in a small measuring cup. Place the pork chops in a large zip top plastic bag. Stir the marinade well and then pour it over the chops in the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours. Grill for 12-15 minutes, turning once.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake

Zucchini can make it through the security checkpoint in carry on luggage. I proudly carried it in my suitcase when I came back from a recent trip which included a visit to my in-laws, and their prolific garden. Too bad my suitcase wasn't bigger. There are lots of great things to make with zucchini (kebabs with chicken, kebabs with pork, tetrazzini, skillet dishes with chicken and sausage) but this takes the cake! Literally. I love that this cake, which is NOT chocolate, uses zucchini. Vegetables in cake. What a great reason to eat this at all three meals. Kara posted this recipe and I knew it would be the perfect use for some of my zucchini.

First, peel the zucchini. You don't want any green stuff in your beautiful lemon cake.

Next, shred the zucchini. I used my mandoline. If you have a food processor, that would work, or an old-fashioned grater would work well too.

Drain the zucchini just to get the excess water off, and then combine it in a mixing bowl with the sugar, eggs, lemon extract and oil.

Beat until well mixed. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the lemon zest. (Zesting the lemon is the hardest part of this recipe!)

Gradually add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture, and beat until well mixed. Then fold in the blueberries. I used berries from my freezer stash.

Pour into a well greased and floured bundt pan and bake for about 65 minutes or until cake tests done.

Let the cake sit in the pan for about 10 minutes and then invert it onto a wire rack. Cool completely. While it cools, make the frosting!

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, salt and lemon zest.

Add the lemon juice and beat to a spreading consistency.

When you're done juicing the lemon, you can cut it up and use it to clean your disposal!

Spoon the frosting over the top of the cake and let it run down the edges a little.

Store the cake in the refrigerator. If you have any leftovers.

There are more great recipes at Foodie Friday, Family Recipe Friday, Food on Fridays and the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake

3 cups peeled and shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups blueberries

Beat zucchini, sugar, eggs, oil, and lemon extract. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir in with lemon zest. Gradually add to the zucchini mixture and beat until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Pour into a well greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 325 for about 65 minutes or until cake tests done. Let sit in pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Frost with lemon cream cheese frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
3 Tbsp butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat), softened
2 cups powdered sugar
dash salt
zest of 1 lemon (2-3 tsp)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (approximately)

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, salt, zest, and lemon juice. Beat to a spreadable consistency. Pour over cake. Store cake in refrigerator. Serves 12-16.
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