Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pan Fried Trout with Tomato Basil Sauce

This is an easy meal for a busy day. The fish only takes about 5 min.
to prepare. The baked potato takes longer, but you can put it in the 
oven and forget about it. We were able to use cherry tomatoes and
basil from our garden.

2 oz. pancetta (I used two slices of bacon)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 -- 6oz. trout (I used tilapia)
1/4 cup basil leaves
lemon slices (optional)
Cook pancetta or bacon in a skillet. Cook until it begins to brown.  Ad cherry tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes on each side. Top fish with tomato mixture. Serve with lemon slices if desired.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Chicken Casserole

Laurie, Jud's sister, has made this casserole for us a few times, but this is the first time I have made it.  My mom once told me that I should keep a recipe file so I wouldn't forget to make something. This is a perfect case in point. I was looking through my file looking for something I could make with left-over chicken. This was perfect. I will type the recipe as Laurie gave it to me, and put my changes in italics. This is not the prettiest casserole, but YUM! and EASY! I cut this recipe in 1/2 for Jud and me.

4 chicken breasts - boiled and cut in chunks--I used 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
1 can cream of chicken soup - I didn't have this so instead of going to the grocery store, I made a white sauce and put a chicken bullion in the sauce
1 (8oz.) sour cream
1 sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers
1 stick melted butter
Poppy seeds- optional
Place the chunks of chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Mix Cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Pour over the chicken. Crush the Ritz crackers and sprinkle on top of the soup mixture.  Pour butter over the Ritz crackers.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds if you so desire.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

I downloaded an app that I can track what I eat. They send some recipes and fitness hits during the week and this was one of the recipes on

Printable Version
1 pound beef stew meat
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 cups low sodium beef stock
1/4 cup beer I didn't have beer so I used white wine
1.4 cup red wine
2 bay leave
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup peas I didn't have any in the freezer, so I left it out this time
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Sprinkle stew meat with salt and toss until well combined. Using a fork, prick the meat in multiple places to tenderize. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but ideally refrigerate overnight.

Toss the meat with flour. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and then sear meat until browned on the outside.

While meat is browning, mix together tomato paste, soy sauce, beef stock, beer and wine in the slow cooker.

Transfer meat to slow cooker. Add garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, and black pepper.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Meat should be falling apart and tender.

If using peas, microwave for 1 minute and then fold them into stew.

Remove bay leaves.
Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Fruit Cobbler

This was posted on facebook by Lexi Salyers. I modified it a little and that will be in italic

Two 12 oz. bags frozen mixed berries I used one 12 oz. bag of peaches
1 box white cake mix (no pudding) I used 1/2 a box 
1 can diet 7-up (clear soda) I used 1/2 Sprite and not diet
I added about 1 Tablespoon of butter to dot on top. When I read the comments, it looked like this is what most people did, otherwise you get some powered cake mix on top.

This is so easy to throw together and not I have another 1/2 a box of cake mix and a bag of mixed berries to make another at a later date.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Crescent Chicken

This is one of the easiest meals I have made in a long time. I thought I found it in the Austin or San Antonio paper, but I couldn't find it so I did what I always do. I went to pinterest and typed in chicken and cheese crescent. This came up and it was exactly what I had seen in the paper. It comes from Janelle Nehrenz. You can find it Here

1 (8 or 6 jumbo count) package refrigerator crescent rolls--mine were not jumbo
2 cups chopped cooked chicken--I used a baked chicken from the grocery store and used the white meat
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (using soup can)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix soup and milk over medium heat in a sauce pan
Separate crescent rolls
Spoon chicken and cheese onto each crescent roll and seal to enclose filling
Pour soup around the rolls
Bake 350 degrees uncovered for 30-35 minutes until golden brown

Friday, June 19, 2015

Balsamic chicken tenders

Found this recipeHere on Pinterest. Quick and easy recipe. It was especially nice because I had all the ingredients in my pantry.  That is always a good thing.  The green beans are from our garden. Yea.

  • 2 medium (1.5 lbs) chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter 
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey 
  1. Slice the chicken breasts on a diagonal into six strips each. Place the strips in a quart sized zip top bag along with ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, one clove of garlic (minced), 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients in the bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the strips until browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes each side). You may have to do two batches. Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate.
  3. Turn the heat down on the skillet to medium-low and add the butter and last 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Use a spoon to stir the mixture and dissolve the sticky bits off of the bottom of the skillet. Once the mixture has dissolved together, add the honey, increase the heat, and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened (about five minutes).
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper (I just used a pinch of each). Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss to coat in the warm balsamic sauce. Serve immediately.

Cherry Brandy Scones

 I had some cherry brandy left over from a recipe from years ago and decided it was time to use it.  I went on Pinterest and found this recipe.  I don't usually love scones, but this is a winner.  You can find her recipe and video Here

Printable Version

3/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup plus 2 T. Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), cold and cut into cubes
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk or heavy cream, plus more for brushing

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 T. Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
1 T. milk
Red food coloring (optional) 

Add dried cherries and 1/3 cup Kirschwasser to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until the cherries are plump and all but a teaspoon or two of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

If using an electric mixer: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until just mixed. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and turn on mixer to medium for a few minutes until mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Add cherries and residual liquid and turn on mixer again on very low just until the cherries lightly combine into the flour/butter mixture. Add the egg, 2 T. Kirschwasser, and buttermilk to the flour mixture on low until just combined or mix in by hand, kneading lightly (but don't overwork it).

If mixing by hand: In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and work the butter into the flour mixture, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse pea or dime-size crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the mixture or the butter will soften too much and the resulting scones will not be flaky. Add the cherries and residual liquid and toss well. Then add the egg, 2 T. Kirschwasser, and the buttermilk to the flour mixture and mix until just combined, kneading lightly (but don't overwork it).

Scrape dough onto a nicely floured large wooden cutting board or work surface. The dough may be sticky, so take extra care flouring your hands and the sides and top of the dough as well, lightly patting it flat and into a rectangle shape, or into 1 or 2 circles (1 for bigger scones, 2 for smaller scones) about 3/4-to-1-inch think. Don't overwork the dough, as you want the butter inside to stay as cold as possible until the scones head into the oven.

Depending on your preference, you can use a round floured cookie or biscuit cutter to cut circles, or use a bench/dough scraper or knife to cut triangles (if shaping into circles, simply cut wedges like a pizza). Flip each cut scone over and place upside down on the parchment lined baking sheet (the bottoms are flatter and will look prettier as the tops of the scones), spacing a couple inches apart. Lightly brush on top of the scones (but not the sides) with a little heavy cream. Bake scones for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden on top (baking time will be dependent on size of scones). Remove from the oven and allow the scones to cool on the pan while you prepare the glaze.

Stir together the confectioners' sugar, Kirschwasser, and milk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add a sprinkle more confectioners' sugar. Too thick, add a drizzle of Kirschwasser or milk. If desired, add a few drops of red food coloring to achieve a nice pink color. When scones are cool, drizzle the glaze over the tops. Allow the glaze to set briefly and then serve the scones at room temperature.  I didn't use food color.

*Variation* Substitute the dried cherries with dried cranberries and/or substitute the Kirschwasser with Amaretto for a mild spiked almond flavor. Omit the red food coloring in the glaze.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Frozen yogurt pops

Believe it or not, this little boy is very hard to please when it comes to food.  There are only about 5 things that he will eat. I tried my hand at yogurt pops and was most surprised that he actually liked them and asked for another the next day.  Success!

1 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla)
1/2 cup milk
1 banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit of choice (I used mixed berries)
Mix in a blender or food processor and pour into molds and freeze until solid.

Sandwich Ring

Sometimes recipes do not turn out how you planned. This was one of those times.  The recipe I got said to use 2 packages of french bread. I decided to one up the recipe and make my own french bread.  The recipe will follow, but next time I would 1/2 the recipe. It was way too much bread. I took out the bread on one side, but it was still too much.

Ingredients for french bread (cut in 1/2)
1 cup warm water
1/2 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
Allow the dough to rise 30-45 minutes.  Roll into two rings and pinch the two pieces of dough to form a ring. Place on stone or in a spring-form pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dough seam side down on Large Round Stone or spring/form pan.. Make diagonal cuts 1/2 inch deep, on top of dough.  Combine egg white, minced garlic, and seasonings. Brush over top of bread dough.Bake 26-30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
2. Slice vegetables of choice Example (tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, cucumber)
3. To assemble sandwich, cut bread in half horizontally. Place bottom half on a serving plate. You may want to spread the bottom with mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Then arrange meat of choice and cheese evenly over bottom half of bread. Top with lettuce. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing evenly over lettuce. Top with vegetables and place top half of the bread to make a sandwich.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Father Leo's Funky Fusion Fajitas

The best fajitas I have ever had. Fast and easy. Jud says we should have them once a week.
Printable version

Ingredients for the marinade
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Holy Guacamole
2 avocados, halved and pits removed
Juice from 1 lime
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons minced cilantro
4 teaspoons finely minced red onion
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 colored pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2-4 tablespoons of the reserved marinade
Salt and pepper to taste
Screaming Sour Cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Use a meat mallet and pound with side that makes holes to tenderize. This is very important. Place in a resealable plastic bag and set aside. In  a blender place all the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 1/4- 1/2 cup of marinade. Pour the rest in the bag with the flank steak and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
2. To cook the steak, heat grill to high. Place steak on grill and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side. After both sides have cooked allow the steak for rest for 7-10 minutes. Cut the meat against the grain of the meat.
3. To prepare the guacamole, remove the flesh from the avocados and immediately pour the lime juice on top to prevent the flesh from turning brown. Combine the rest of the guacamole ingredients and mash together with a fork. Set aside in the refrigerator.
4. To prepare the vegetables, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the marinade to the mixture. Cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Take off heat and set aside.
5. To make the sour cream, mix together the sour cream, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. To assemble fajitas: Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of guacamole over the tortilla. Add 4-5 thin slices of meat. Add a few pieces of stir-fried vegetables. Top with sour cream.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Adams Best Creme Filled Birthday Cupcakes

I found this in the Express News and you can find it Here
The only thing that I had problems with was the butter in the cupcake mixture. I think if I had creamed the butter first then added the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla, I would have had better luck.  Jud said these were the best cupcakes I have ever made, so I guess the butter didn't make that big a difference.

Ingredients for cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar ( I used a 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
3 eggs
1 12/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled

Ingredients for Filling and Icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted, divided use
4-5 tablespoons milk

For cupcakes: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin or cupcake tins with 24 paper or foil liners.
Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa together. In another large bowl, cream butter, eggs, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix on low until well combined. Pour into cupcake tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
For Filling and Icing: Cream butter, salt and vanilla. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add remaining sugar with enough milk to make a smooth icing. Fill a piping bag with 1/2 or the icing. Stick tip of bag into cupcakes and fill. Ice and decorate top of cupcakes with remaining icing. I put all the icing in the piping bag and iced the top in circles.

Per serving: 270 calories