Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tex-Mex Tortilla Pockets

This recipe is super easy to make.  I cooked my chicken ahead of time, then added the rest of the ingredients once cooled.  This recipe is taken from Kraft’s “What’s Cooking” magazine Summer 2013.  My kids love Mexican food, so I like to change up our usual recipes.  I found that 1/2 a pound of chicken wasn’t enough, I ended up using 3 breasts of chicken and made 6 good sized tortilla pockets.  I did not need the egg to seal the tortillas that I put the refried beans in as they stuck just fine.  I made 3 tortillas without the beans for my kids and used the egg to seal those ones.  I served my tortilla pockets with the left-over refried beans and freshly made guacamole.



2 tablespoons oil, divided
1/2 lb. (225 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup Kraft 3 Cheese Mexicana Finely Shredded Cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
6 large flour tortillas
3/4 cup canned retried beans
1 egg, beaten

1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet.  Add chicken; cook and stir 4 minutes or until done.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese, salsa, corn, cilantro and cumin.
3.  Spread tortillas with beans.  Spoon chicken mixture down centres of tortillas.  Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then fold bottom over filling and once again to make rectangular packet.  Brush top edge with egg; press onto packet to seal.  Place, seam-sides down on baking sheet; brush with remaining oil.
4.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  


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Ten-Minute Chickpea Salad with Feta and Basil

This salad is wonderful!!  I found it on Twitter. @BobbisKozyKtchn tweeted this find from @Shockinglydlish. ( http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/ten-minute-chickpea-salad-with-feta-and-basil-from-herbivoracious/) This salad is super fast to make.  I made mine in the morning, and it was perfectly marinated by lunch. I did not add any salt, as I find the feta I use salty enough.



3 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Three-quarters of a red onion, finely diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 (15 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces feta, crumbled
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. In a large salad bowl, combine the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, roasted peppers, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.  Toss well to combine.  Add feta and basil and toss to combine.
2. Taste and add salt and peppers needed.  Depending on how salty your feta is, you might not need any salt.
3. Serve right away, or refrigerate for up to a few hours.
4. Serves 4-5 as an entree, or more for a side dish.


Sonja’s Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe was given to me by my amazing friend Krista.  She says when she shares this recipe with other people they love it…kids too!  Krista makes her soup with ground chicken and chicken broth.  I made the ground beef version.  Everyone in our house gobbled it up! Who knew that adding ketchup and mustard to a soup would be so good! A perfect soup on a cold night.  



1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 teaspoons garlic
3 cups beef broth
2 cups diced potatoes
1 teaspoon basil
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard

1.  Brown together ground beef, onions, celery and carrots until ground beef is cooked and the vegetables are tender.
2.  Stir in beef broth, potatoes and basil.
3.  In a small saucepan melt butter.  Whisk in flour and slowly add milk until thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese, ketchup and mustard. Add to soup.
5.  Serve with a crusty French loaf.  Garnish with chopped pickles.


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts

I LOVE this cookie!!  I make a lot of cookies and this one is by far one of the best. This recipe is taken from “Giada’s Family Dinners” by Giada De Laurentiis. I used 3 SKOR bars, they weighed just slightly over 4 ounces.  The hazelnuts were simple to toast and husk.  (Below the cookie recipe is instructions on how to toast and husk hazelnuts.)
Makes 4 dozen



1/2 cup old-fashioned (not instant) oats
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces English toffee candy (such as Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped (see below)
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.  Line 2 large, heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Finely chop the oats in a food processor.  Transfer the oats to a medium bowl.  Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.  Stir in the toffee pieces, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.
4. Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets by rounded tablespoonsful, spacing them 1 inch apart (do not flatten the dough).  Bake until the cookies are golden (they will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and cool completely.  (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.)



How to toast nuts and skin hazelnuts

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Place shelled nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts, on a heavy baking sheet or in a pie tin.  Toast the nuts in the oven until they are fragrant and golden brown on the outside and pale golden throughout the inside, stirring occasionally and watching closely to ensure they brown evenly and don’t blacken, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the nut.  Alternatively, preheat a small, heavy skillet over medium- low heat.  Place the nuts in the hot skillet and stir them until they become fragrant and golden brown on the outside and pale golden throughout the inside, about 5 minutes.

2.  To remove the dark brown skins on the hazelnuts, rub a small handful of cooled toasted hazelnuts at a time briskly between your palms, allowing the skins to fall from your hands and onto a work surface.  Don’t worry if a few specks of skin remain on the hazelnuts.

Lasagna Rolls

I like this fun way of serving lasagna.  My kids loved having their own individual rolls of goodness. This recipe was taken from “Giada’s Family Dinners” by Giada De Laurentis.  The recipe calls for 3 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto. I always order from my deli in grams, so I converted from ounces to grams and it works out to 85 grams.  The recipe asks to be sure to squeeze the spinach totally dry in order to avoid a watery dish.  The ” Quick Marinara Sauce” recipe is also on this blog.




Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Lasagna
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 dried lasagna noodles
Butter, for baking dish
2 cups “Quick Marinara Sauce”
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

To make the sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, whisking continuously.  Whisk in the milk.  Increase the heat to medium-high.  Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the cream sauce.

To make the lasagna:
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, egg, the 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper until blended.
2. Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the lasagna noodles and cook until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
3. Preheat the oven to 450F. Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.  Spread the cream sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish.
4. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Roll the noodles up and arrange the rolls, seam sides down and not touching one another, atop the cream sauce.  Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture.  Spoon 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the lasagna rooms, then sprinkle with the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.  Cover the dish tightly with foil.  Bake until the rolls are heated through and sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the cheese on top is golden, about 15 minutes longer.  Let stand for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot.  Transfer the sauce to a sauce boat and serve alongside.

Makes: 6 Main-course servings





Quick Marinara Sauce

I love the way my house smells when I make marinara sauce, especially when basil is added.  I have taken this recipe from “Giada’s Family Dinners” by Giada De Laurentis.  I used my food processor to chop everything up, it makes this recipe super fast and easy to make.



Makes about 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups)

2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 bunch of fresh basil, stemmed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a blender, purée the tomatoes with their juice and the basil until almost smooth.  Set the tomato purée aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté until very tender, about 12 minutes.  Stir in the tomato purée, oregano, and sugar.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. ( The sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  If storing for future use, cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Reward over medium heat before using.)



Killer Coleslaw

This coleslaw is so crunchy and good!  Perfect for a summer picnic!  This recipe is taken from The Best of Bridge “The Best of the Best and More”.  I use Ichiban original noodles.



Salad Ingredients
1/2 cabbage, chopped
5 green onions
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (or sesame seeds)
3 oz. pkg Japanese noodle soup mix, (save seasoning package for dressing)

Dressing
1/4 cup rice (or white) vinegar
1/4 cup salad oil
Seasoning package from noodles

1. Combine all salad ingredients except noodles.  Before serving, crush noodles, combine with salad ingredients and toss with dressing.  Serves 6. If there’s any left over -save it!  Kids love it the next day!


Subway Cookie Recipe

I took this recipe from Twitter. @CookiesRecipes (www.bestcookierecipe.net) I have a scale so I weighed the 4 ounces of the instant vanilla pudding mix and it works out to be 3/4 cup.  With my first batch of cookies I rolled exactly a 1″ ball and slightly flattened them. I cooked them for 8 minutes. The cookies came out too small and the bottoms were really brown. In the next batch, I made the cookies larger by 1/2″ and I really flattened them with my hand and they turned out way better. I’m not sure if they taste like the Subway version. (I may have to get some taste testers)  I’d make these again regardless if they taste the same or not….these cookies are really good.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour and baking soda and set aside.
3. Blend together butter, sugars and pudding mix until smooth and creamy.
4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.
5. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.
6. Roll mixture into 1″ balls and flatten slightly.
7. Place balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.