More Italian Chicken!

tmp_23497-IMG_20150806_180655-1507886880Chicken is so versatile. I call this Italian chicken, but it’s basically CHICKEN, with any favorite spices plus a few regulars. One of my favorite spices is McCormick Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper seasoning.

As you see in the picture above, I made chicken tenders from two chicken breasts. They were fried in extra virgin olive oil and butter. I added a splash of white wine and let the tenders get nice and brown.

The entire cast iron skillet went into a 350° preheated oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove skillet, add diced potatoes and raise oven temperature to 450° so that everything SIZZLES.

Bake for 10 minutes, stir potatoes and rearrange chicken. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove chicken, rest it for 5 minutes while potatoes finish roasting.

Serve hot. Enjoy!

tmp_27546-IMG_20150806_175708-1507886880

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricotta Cookies

tmp_14052-IMG_20150729_084301855180056These delicious cookies are courtesy of AllRecipes, thanks to Lisa.

I made them last night for a church gathering. There were no cookies leftover at the end of the night.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
16 ounces Sargento Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used lemon)
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°F

In large bowl, crean butter and sugar. Beat eggs in, one at a time. Stir in ricotta cheese and vanilla.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder. I use a whisk to gently combine all the dry ingredients.

Add flour mixture, one cup at a time, to the wet ingredients. Stir gently until completely mixed.

On greased cookie sheet, drop by rounded spoonfuls. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

-I didn’t use frosting. Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. shortening
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp. lemon extract
1/2 cup colored sprinkles

Warm milk, butter and shortening in medium pot. Stir over medium heat, until butter and shortening are melted completely. Remove pot from heat and gradually add the confectioners sugar and lemon extract. Dip each cookie into icing, then dip into sprinkles.

Thank you, All Recipes, for sharing great cooks with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fettuccine Alfredo

tmp_2444-IMG_20150725_162036855180056Oh my goodness!

We’ve been having a summer class at church snd it’s all ITALIAN!

I decided to make fettuccine alfredo, based on Father Hank’s recipe:

Boil one pound of fettucini, according to package directions. While pasta boils, shread 8 ounces of fresh Parmesan cheese. Also, melt one stick of butter in large pan. Once the fettucini is al dente, drain well. Pour into melted butter and stir carefully. Add cheese and stir, making sure all of the noodles are covered with cheesy butter.

Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste Test: Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn

tmp_27143-IMG_20150725_192306855180056While perusing the aisles of the local grocery store, a bright yellow bag of popcorn grabbed my attention. I’m glad that I paid attention, because this popcorn is incredible!

Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn is vegan; certified Kosher; contains no GMOs or trans-fats; whole wheat – and it’s DELICIOUS!

If you love popcorn but are afraid of buying already-popped-in-the-bag popcorn, you have to try Angie’s. It’s crunchy and crispy, has the perfect amount of salt – and it’s good for you.

FIVE STARS out of five stars for Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn

 

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Au Gratin Potatoes with Ham

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIngredients
One box (3.95 ounces) of Idahoan Au Gratin Homestyle Casserole
Ingredients as directed to make the above casserole ^
1 cup of cheddar cheese (I used Braum’s Cheddar Cheese)
1 cup of cubed ham (I used Farmland Cubed Ham)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare potatoes as directed. Add ham and mix gently. Top with cheddar cheese.

Bake as directed.

Allow casserole to rest for about five minutes to let the cheese thicken.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chicken Enchilada Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIngredients
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can (10 ounces) of Ro*Tel Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice and Cilantro
1 can (15 ounces) of Hunt’s Tomato Puree
1 packet of McCormick’s Enchilada Sauce Mix
2 cans of water (15 ounce can)
1 can (15 ounces) of corn
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Slice up the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, removing as much fat as possible. Pour the diced tomatoes, tomato puree into an oven safe pot. Add the enchilada sauce mix and water and stir gently.  Carefully place covered pot in oven and “bake” for six hours. Remove from oven and place on stove burner; add the corn (no need to drain). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream.

I made this and took it to my best friend’s house; she was in the hospital up in St. Louis and her mom stayed here to watch her granddaughter. I was concerned that the first grader wouldn’t like the soup, but she liked it! Daniel, Mary and I had seconds.

Tuna Tetrazini

Yes, I can be a boring cook and take the easy way out. My son likes Tuna Helper, so tonight I made Tuna Tetrazini.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce again, the McCormick’s Grill Mates Pork Rub comes to the rescue!

Ingredients
2-3 pound pork shoulder
canola oil, as needed
McCormick’s Grill Mates Pork Rub, to taste
1 cup water
Barbeque sauce, to taste

Directions
Place the pork shoulder into a big enough plastic container; you’ll need the lid, too.

Rub canola oil over the pork shoulder, both sides. You won’t need a lot, just a bit so that it will help the rub stick to the meat.

Now comes the fun part! Pour some pork rub onto one side of the pork shoulder; massage the rub in. Note: unless you use food-grade plastic gloves, your hand will look like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll need to wash your hands after handling raw meat, so it’s really no biggie. Rub a nice coating onto the pork shoulder.

Turn the pork over and repeat. Here’s my pork shoulder, after its massage. It looks pretty happy, doesn’t it?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover the container and allow it to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning, take out your slow cooker! Pour the water into the slow cooker. Now add the meat. My pork shoulder didn’t quite fit into my small cooker, so I cut it in half and added it to the slow cooker in two layers.

Set slow cooker on HIGH and cook for four hours; remove the meat and flip the meat layers (put the half that was on the top, on the bottom first so it can cook in the juices; put the bottom half on top). Cook for four more hours on LOW.

After the eight hours have passed, turn off the slow cooker and carefully lift the two pieces of meat out into a bowl. My pork shoulder was already falling apart at this stage, which made me very happy!

Using two forks, shred the meat. Taste it and make sure it’s incredible…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you have finished shredding the pork, it’s time to add some barbeque sauce. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque Sauce. Add as little or as much as you like.  Serve on buns, with the barbeque sauce available for those who like drippy sandwiches (like my son).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Rib Eye Steaks, Restaurant Style

I am in LOVE! The original recipe is at Amuse Bouche.

Ingredients
2 rib eye steaks (6 ounces each)
salt and pepper
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Salt and pepper the steaks. Place the butter and olive oil in a cast iron skillet and melt on HIGH heat. When the oil and butter are really, really HOT, add the steaks and sear on one side for three minutes – you’ll want a nice crusty brown steak. As the steaks brown, use a spoon and drizzling the pan drippings onto the steaks. Turn and sear other side.  Drizzle with pan drippings.

Whew! Are you drooling yet?

Place the cast iron skillet into the hot oven; After five minutes, add one tbsp. butter to the top of each steak and continue the cooking process for another three to four minutes to get a nice medium rare steak. Of course, this time may vary upon how thick your steaks are. We like our steaks rare! Use your meat thermometer to check the inside temperature of each steak. The temperature of a medium-rare steak will be 165 degrees F.

Remove the cast iron skillet and steaks from the oven; place steaks on serving plate and cover with foil. Let them rest for five minutes.

We like ours with baked potatoes and a veggie. Don’t they look luscious?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey were!

 

Playing Catch-Up

I’ve got photos to upload, recipes to post…I hope to be able to get caught up tomorrow.