Thursday, February 23, 2012

BBQ Chicken Dip - Love in a Pyrex Dish!

I have taken my word verification off commenting since it has been such a pain in the backside for me and everyone else trying to comment on blogs.  If you have word verification on your blog, I am stopping by and enjoying your posts, but can't comment because I keep getting "Internal error" messages.

This mouthwatering dip that I lucked out and found at Plain Chicken while looking for fun tailgating food this past fall, will have your friends and family begging for more!  Torture them baby, you have to keep them wanting more so don't give up the recipe!  After all, some things, especially the really good food, should to remain a mystery. 

1 lb. bonesless, skinnless chicken breats, cooked and chopped
1 package softened cream cheese (8 ounce package)
3/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce  (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Original)
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups chredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced thin on an angle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine chopped chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish. Top the dip with half og the green onions and remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes then sprinkle the remaining green onion over the top and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes, until bubbly. 

Allow to set about 10 minutes and serve with your favorite cracker or chip.  Now sit back, relax and watch the most fascinating disappearing act right before your very eyes!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza Poppers

Finger food, appetizers, party food or whatever you want to call it is just fun to eat.  Let's face it, eating with your hands without clumsey utensils getting in the way is a plus!  These poppers were one of several tasty treats we munched while watching the Superbowl. 

They couldn't be easier to make plus you can add any of your favorite pizza toppings.  I kept it simple for the picky eaters.  A.J. and I would have enjoyed some Kalamta olives, Feta cheese and mushrooms...

2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 -  8 ounce package of softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 jar (8 ounce) Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pepperoni, cut in half

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
Spray a tartlette or mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, blend the csoften cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder together and set aside.

Roll out each can crescent roll dough one at a time and press the seams together to form a rectangle. Using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle into twelve squares. Press each of the squares into the muffin cups, shaping the edges.

Place about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on top of each dough square.  Gently press it into each little muffin cup.  On top of the cream cheese misxture, dollip with approximately 1/2 teaspoon sun-dried tomato pesto. Place half of a pepperoni slice on top of each popper (or other toppings of your choice) and then top with the mozzarella cheese .

Bake for 11-15 minutes, dough is golden brown and cheese is melted.

I bet these would be great to serve at your President's Day soiree!


Please take the time to read Justice for a Grandfather   If any of you have children or grandchildren, this story will certainly touch your heart.  The brave lady that posted her story is asking for signatures on her petition for justice for her husband, the grandfather of their three precious little grandsons.  She is the mother-in-law of a friend of mine and the grandmother of one of the homegirlz' close friends.

I live in the county where all of this took place and believe me, no justice was served by locking up a good and decent man trying to protect his grandchildren who could not defend themselves against a monster.  Money and backroom deals should not seal any one's fate.

thanks and have a fantastic weekend!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Maple Yogurt Pound Cake

You think you know your family and you think you know what the won't touch with a ten foot pole, you know what they will tolerate, what they like and what they will devour like it's their last supper.  You "think"...

Well, I found this recipe at Candy Girl's blog and she described the flavor of this pound cake as tasting just like nice warm syrupy pancakes.  Well, c'mon, I had to make this!  I mean, how bad can a pound cake be that's made with non-fat yogurt.  You're thinking the same thing in your head right now, aren't you?

Right after I took the pictures, I told everyone to come and try a piece and see what they thought. At first they were saying, "Yay, I like pound cake!" then it went to, "Oh my gosh mom, are you serious?  I mean seriously, mom, you are a beast with pound cake!".  Translation, this Maple Yogurt Pound Cake is a huge sensation!

Now I can't wait to try it with my Louisiana cane syrup in lieu of maple syrup.  I made a couple of little changes due to the ingredients i had on hand.

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup Greek non-fat yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven.

Generously grease a 9x5x3 bread loaf pan with shortening.  Shortening handles the heat better than butter and will not give you that faint burnt crust taste.
Whisk together the maple syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.   In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just to incorporate. Add the oil a little at a time and fold it in as you go, until oil is absorbed into the batter.

Be careful no to over mix the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Set the loaf ppan on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove the loaf pan from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes.

Slide a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the pound cake.  Turn out onto the rack, then turn cake right side up to completely cool.

Pancakes, it's what's for dessert!

Umm, just saying...send poor A.J. a hug.  Today is our 20th Anniversary, yep he's had to put up with me for a very long time.  Love you honey!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Dijon Mustard Sauce

Now this is a taste bud party just in time for Mardi Gras revelry.  Pair this with Gnocchi Au Gratin Orleans and you have the makings for serious begging from prospective dining guests. 

6 each thinly sliced chicken cutlets
9 thin slices of Havarti cheese
2 teapsoons dried thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Season salt (I used Lawry's) and pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup Canola oil
12 wooden toothpicks
2 tablespoons flat leaft parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow pie dish, beat the eggs, then add in the Parmesa cheese.  Put the flour in another shallow pie dish and season with season salt and pepper to taste.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the Canola oil over medium heat. 

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack over the baking sheet.  Spray the rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Lay out the chicken cutlets on a flat surface.  Season with season salt and pepper on both sides.  Cut two of the thin slices of Havarti cheese in half and place 3 to 4 of the halves (depending how they fit on the cutlet so you can roll the cutlet).  Roll the cutlet from the small end and secure with 1 to 2 toothpicks.

I know this is backwards and if I knew where my mother got this recipe, I could give the reason for this method, but trust me, it works!   Dredge the chicken rolls through the seasoned flour and then through the egg mixture.  Place in the heated skillet and frey until golden brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.  Transfer the chicken rolls to the baking rack.

Once all of the rolls are browned, place the chicken in the oven to finish cooking and crisping for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is crisping, boil the chicken stock and cream in in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup.  Stir in the mustard, cook for 5 more minutes and remove sauce pan from heat.  Cover and reserve.

To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon of  Dijon mustard sauce onto a plate, place a chicken roll on the plate and and ladle some more  Dijon mustard sauce over the top.  Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and have an incredible dinner!

Thank all of you for your kind words and thoughts!  We'll talk real soon, you just don't know how much you have helped get me through this difficult time.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Soup

Several weeks ago I joined Pinterest because I was finding several of my pictures getting "pinned" and I as wondering, "What the hell?".

So I made a couple of boards and found it pretty boring.  Then I saw a gorgeous picture of Buffalo Chicken Soup.  The photograph had been pinned so many times, after clicking and clicking, I could not find the food blog it came from or the recipe.  Talk about bummed.

The silver lining was, I was given the challenge to figure it out my own way instead of being lazy.

If you're a die-hard for the buffalo chicken flavor and can handle the heat, this is the soup for you!

1 package (1 lb.) chicken tenderloins
1 bottle (12 oz.) Frank's Hot Sauce, Original
1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 small-medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
40 ounces chicken stock
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons shredded goat cheese
2 teaspoons Ranch salad Dressing
Celery stalk slices (optional)
Salt and pepper

Liberally season the chicken tenderloins with your favorite dry rub or Cajun seasoning.  Heat a grill pan over medium heat or the outdoor grill.  Grill the chicken tenderloins until thoroughly cooked.  Remove to a platter dice and reserve.

While the chicken is grilling, crumble the goat cheese into a small bowl and add the Ranch salad dressing.  Stir with a fork until smooth, cover and refrigerate. 

Heat the Canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions  and saute for about 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in the garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle in the flour, stir to combine.  Stir continuously for 5 minutes to make sure the flour doesn't stick and burn and to cook off the flour.  Slowly whisk in the stock 1 cup at a time.  Thoroughly blend in the stock with the veggies and roux before adding more stock.  Stir in the chicken, Worcestershire sauce and Frank's Hot Sauce and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Lower heat to simmer and add in the cheddar cheese and stir occasionally.  Allow soup to simmer for  20 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls or crocks.  Dab a generous dollop of the goat cheese/Ranch mixture on top and sprinkle with the dried dill weed.  Serve with a toasted baguette sliced "buttered with goat cheese and a sprinkle of dill weed. 

Oh yeah baby, just call me iron guts, but you better say it with a smile = )

This is a picture of my mother when she was 19 years old.  She passed away Friday after a long and brave battle with lung cancer.  I will be out of pocket for a few days to travel to New Orleans to bury her next to my dad, the love of her life so I won't be around be commenting much this week. 

She would have been all over this soup....she LOVED spicy!  Keep her in you prayers ya'll.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gnocchi Au Gratin Orleans

Have you ever tried to make gnocchi?  I am 0 for 2; two mushy disasters.  Thank goodness my local grocery store carries gnocchi. 
I poured over several recipes for sauces for gnocchi and saw one of Emeril Lagasse's sauce recipes I really liked.  This recipe has been tweaked quite a bit to accommodate our tastes and the ingredients I had on hand.  This turned out to be a quick and tasty alternative to pasta and rice.  

1 package gnocchi (16 ounces)
3 slices of smokey bacon
1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Louisiana hot Sauce)
Emeril's Essence, recipe follows
2/3 cup grated Parmesan  (reserve 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy and drain on a paper towel.  Once cooled, crumble and reserve.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet  and add the onions.  Saute for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute.  

While the veggies are sauteing, place the gnocchi in an oven-proof dish and season with Essence.

After the garlic has been in the skillet for a minute, slowly whisk in the cream, Worcestershire sauce, and  hot sauce. Bring the sauce up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking the sauce until it thickens and reduces by 1/3.

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and sprinkle the dish with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 5 minutes, remove dish from oven and sprinkle the crumbled bacon, chopped parsley and reserved Parmesan cheese over the top.  Return the dish to the oven and bake for 3 to 4 more minutes. 

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

I can't wait to make this again.

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