Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creamy Cajun Rice

From: Rochelle

So the other night, I was in the mood for some sort of comfort food. Something warm, but had a bite to it. I made the recipe up and thought I would share. I really liked it. Hopefully someone out there will to.

Cream Cajun Rice

2 C
Brown Rice-Cooked
2 Cloves
2 T
Cajun Seasoning
1/4 C
Dried Onions
1 Can
Cream of  Chicken Soup
1 C
2 T
Worcestershire sauce
1 T

Salt & Pepper
Sweet Red Bell Pepper- diced
1 C
Frozen Spinach
4 Strips
Turkey Bacon

1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. 
2. In a separate pan, cook turkey bacon until it is starting to brown and crispy. Remove. 
3. In the same pan, saute the garlic and add the seasonings and onions to toast them and bring out the flavor. 
4. Add cream of chicken soup, water, Worcestershire sauce, Mustard, salt and pepper. 
5. While sauce is simmering, cook the frozen spinach in the microwave until cooked and warm. Drain.
6. Add spinach,  bell pepper, and crumbled turkey bacon into the sauce. 
7. Mix rice with sauce and veggies. Can bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 mins with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top or eat right away. 

Lemon Blackberry Trifle

From: Rochelle

Austin LOVES Trifle. For Valentine's day dinner, I made this for dessert. It was light, yummy, and delicious! And it was SUPER easy. It is also fairly healthy for a dessert because it uses angel food cake vs. pound cake, and uses yogurt instead of pudding.

Lemon Blackberry Trifle
 1 (14 oz)  Can    Fat-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (8 oz)   carton Non-Fat Reduced Sugar Yogurt (Lemon, match to use whatever fruit you use, we actually used Vanilla Banana)
1/3 C Lemon Juice
2 t   Grated Lemon Peel
1 (8 oz) Container Reduced-fat Whipped Topping (thawed and divided)
1 (16 oz) package angel food cake (buy or make)
1 Flat of Blackberries*
1-2 Bananas*

*Substitute with any fruit you would like: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Can also top with toasted slivered almonds.

1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, lemon juice, and peel. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping.
2. In a 3 qt. Trifle bowl or deep salad bow, layer a third of the cake cubes, a third of the lemon mixture, and a layer of fruit. Repeat cake and lemon mixture layers. Top with more fruit, remaining cake cubes, and lemon mixture. Sprinkle with remaining fruit.
3. Spread remaining whipped topping over fruit. Sprinkle with almonds if desired.
4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. (We actually didn't do this. . . we just made it and ate it. It was just fine!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spaetzel with Thyme-Browned Butter

From: Rochelle

Austin found this recipe in our "Williams-Sonoma" new American Cooking cookbook. We had never heard of Spaetzel before, but it is a German dumpling-like noodle. We made a few adaptions, but it turned out really good! Both Austin and I said that it seemed like something you would get at a fancy restaurant. Perhaps Valentine's dinner? ; )

Spaetzle with Thyme-Browned Butter

2 C All purpose flour
2 Eggs
1/2 C Cream
1/4 C Milk
2 T Parsley
2 T Thyme
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Ground Pepper
1/8 t Nutmeg
1/2 C Unsalted Butter

1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, eggs, cream, milk, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the teaspoon of the thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic.

2. Fill and large pot three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer.

3. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the dough and press it through a colander or ricer directly into the simmering water. (You bascially need something with big holes that the batter and drip through. ) Simmer until the dough pieces remain floating on the surface, about 2 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon, draining well, put into a serving dish, cover, and place in a low oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough. The spaetzle may be kept warm in a low oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.

4. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the remaining thyme. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, just until the butter turns from yellow to medium brown, about 7 minutes. (Be careful. If cooked too long, the butter may burn, but if not cooked long enough, it will lack the nutty flavor characteristic of brown butter. )

5. Drizzle the spaetzle with the thyme-brown butter, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and toss to mix. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

 In case anyone was wondering. . . . we coated the asparagus with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a little bit a thyme and roasted them under the broiler.  SO good!

Lemon Chicken and Chicken Tacos

From: Rochelle

My cousin, Natalie gave me this recipe and both Austin and I loved it!! We cooked lots of the chicken on Sunday, and used leftover in chicken tacos the next day! It was perfect!

Lemon Chicken 
Cooking oil
2-3 Chicken Breasts
4 large or 6 small lemons
Olive oil
Rosemary, dried and crushed (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sprinkle the bottom of a 9 x 13 in pan with cooking oil to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces ( I usually cut each breast into 4 pieces) and place in the pan. Grate the rinds of the lemons, then juice them. Pour the juice and grated rind over the chicken. (You can vary the number of lemons you use by how lemony you want your chicken to taste.) Add water until the chicken is covered with liquid. Sprinkle with olive oil, rosemary (if desired), salt, and pepper to taste. Optional: Scrape out the white membranes of the squeezed lemons, quarter thepeels, and place them in the pan and bake with the chicken. 

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is done. 

Then add some lettuce, onions, and other toppings with sliced lemon chicken, wrap it up in a tortilla, and you have another meal! 

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