Tuesday, January 23, 2018

chicken and brown rice soup











Perfect for a rainy day.  I wasn't sure how I was going to like the herbs de Provence but this soup is delicious.  In fact, my kids didn't wait for dinner because it was hot on the stove when they got home from school so they'll enjoy it twice.

chicken and brown rice soup (mel's kitchen cafe)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
6 cups chicken broth
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup brown jasmine rice
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence (I found mine at Trader Joes)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4-5 cups chopped kale
3 cups cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)

Heat oil in a soup pot.  Add onion, carrots and celery.  Cook 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.  Add broth tomatoes, rice, herbs and pepper.  Simmer and cook 40-45 minutes.  Stir in kale and chicken.  Season if necessary.  May serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the top and with crusty bread.

Friday, January 12, 2018

lasagna casserole











As I was thumbing through my SIL's ward favorites cookbook I saw this recipe and it caught my eye because it was a twist on the classic lasagna so of course I had to try it.  I liked it!  Furthermore, I didn't expect my kids to like it and they did!  Even my son ate it although he literally spit out an olive onto his plate.  It was one of those moments when you catch yourself staring with your mouth wide open. 

lasagna casserole (La Canada ward "favorites" cookbook)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
1 (4 ounce) can sliced olives, drained
2 teaspoons oregano
1 pound leanest ground beef
lasagna noodles (I like the flat sheets that are whole wheat)
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, saute onion and green peppers in a couple tablespoons water until tender.  Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano and ground beef.  Cook until ground beef is no longer pink.   Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.  Place 2 cups of sauce in a greased 9x13.  Sprinkle with a cup of shredded cheese.  Place flat lasagna noodles over the shredded cheese.  Repeat:  2 cups sauce, cheese, lasagna noodles.  Then add the last two cups of sauce and mix the can of soup with the milk until smooth.  Pour over the top.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for an hour.

homemade baked doughnut













I thought doughnut making would be a fun after school activity and it was!  The kids and I made some very traditional looking and tasting donuts.  My husband grabbed all sorts of interesting things from the pantry to make voo-doo type doughnuts.  These baked doughnuts aren't the same as fried but they're totally fun to make and a lot healthier.
Note:  I made a double batch so that's the recipe you'll find below.  It made 3 dozen doughnuts in Wilton donut pans.

homemade baked doughnuts (King Arthur Flour.com)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I may put use lemon extract instead next time)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease doughnut pans.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth.  Add the eggs, beating to combine.  Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.  Stir the flour into the batter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon the batter into the lightly greased doughnut pans, filling the wells to about 1/4" shy of the rim.
Bake for 9 minutes.  Remove them from the oven, and wait 5-7 minutes before turning them out of the pans and onto a rack.  Dip into a glaze and decorate with toppings of your choice.

easy vanilla glaze
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons milk or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix until nice and smooth.

chocolate glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt in a small sauce pan on low heat until nice and smooth.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

store bought favorite: party hawaiian meatballs





















Earlier this week my daughter got into the car after teaching piano lessons and told me the family she taught was having meatballs for dinner and she got to sample them.  She said they were so delicious I just had to get the recipe.  I texted my friend Mandy and asked for the recipe and she said that she grabs the party size mini meatballs at Trader Joes along with the Hawaiian soy sauce and throws it in the slow cooker and cooks them on low all day. This is going to be our little secret.  Teenagers are hard to impress...but not this time! :)  
Thank you Trader Joes!

store bought favorite: party hawaiian meatballs (my friend Mandy)
2 bags party size mini meatballs from Trader Joes
1 bottle Island Soyaki from Trader Joes

I threw the meatballs into my slow cooker and poured half the bottle of Soyaki over the top and set the slow cooker on low.  I plan to serve the meatballs over rice.


Monday, January 8, 2018

bruschetta chicken











This bruschetta chicken was just as delicious as I thought it would be when I found it in my sister in law's recipe book when we visited over Christmas.  How I love our new 9am church schedule.  Gives me plenty of time to make a nice meal for dinner without the rush or slow cooker.

bruschetta chicken (La Canada ward's "favorites" cookbook)
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
12 chicken tenderloin pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs (Winco carries whole wheat breadcrumbs which I used!)
1 tablespoon butter
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil (I had to use 1 teaspoon dried basil and threw in some chopped spinach for color)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls.  Dip chicken in flour then in eggs.  Place in greased 9x13 pan.  Combine Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and butter.  Sprinkle over chicken.  Loosely cover with foil.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients.  Spoon over chicken.  Bake 3-5 minutes to warm topping.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

broccoli chicken casserole











My mom used to make a similar casserole when I was a child and I always really liked it.  I don't think I'd ever made it for my family so when it came time to take a meal to my son's teacher who recently had surgery I gave it a try- I never know what to make for other people!  My kids loved it.  Simple casserole.  Simple flavors.

broccoli chicken casserole (adapted from Jen P's recipe in the Hershey ward cookbook)
1 cup brown jasmine rice, cooked as directed
1 rotisserie chicken (I love Costco's!), chicken pulled off the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces 
2 heads broccoli, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup, Campbell's healthy request
1 can cream of chicken soup, Campbell's healthy request
1 empty can filled with milk
handful of shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine soup, milk, rice, chicken and broccoli.  Pour into a greased 9x13 or two 8x8 dishes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Note:  Next time I will add half an onion, shredded to the mixture before pouring it into the pans.

slow cooker chicken enchiladas











I know, I know.  Not an inspiring photo.  But you know what- my family didn't care what it looked like.  They ate it.  So there.  Put a pretty salad next to it on your dinner plate. :) This dish was always one of my favorites as a child but being able to cook it in a slow cooker adds another option and I like options.  This casserole makes great leftovers.

slow cooker chicken enchiladas (found in a La Canada ward "favorites" cookbook)
Mix:
2 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken
1 medium onion, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I prefer Campbell's healthy option)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I prefer Campbell's healthy option)
1 cup light sour cream
10-ounce can green enchilada sauce (I prefer Las Palmas)
1 small can green chiles, diced

Then layer in slow cooker in this order:  Chicken mixture, tortillas (20 corn tortillas total, torn into bite sized pieces) (I used whole wheat flour tortillas),  and cheese (3 cups cheddar total) (I used mozzarella to cut fat and calories).  Heat until warmed through.