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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ultimate Chicken Tenders

Source: Stephanie Cooks and back of Bisquick Box

I first found this recipe on Stephanie's Blog. But once I started to make it I realized that the recipe was also on the back of the box. Imagine that! ;) So I kinda combined the two since there were little differences between the two.

  • 2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • Olive oil cooking spray (used 1 beaten egg)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick sprat or line it with foil.
  • In a Ziplock bag combine the first 5 ingredients, shake well.
  • Spray each chicken piece with olive oil spray until coated on both sides. Drop into the bag.
  • Toss the Ziplock until all of the chicken is coated on both sides.
  • Line the chicken on the cookie sheet.
  • Drizzle with the melted butter.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cooked. Flip halfway.
  • If the chicken isn't crispy enough, put it under the broiler for a couple minutes.
Next Time- These turned out great. Moist and crunchy, with good flavor from the seasonings. Nothing needs to be changed!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Another TTC Update.

Still no baby. I've scheduled my yearly exam for September 14th, so we'll see what input the doctor has on our situation. I don't think Tim will be going with me. I actually haven't even asked him if he's interested in going. So I'll ask, and see what he says.

We've been working on narrowing down our baby names list. I've been going back and forth over whether I wanted to share our ideas with everyone or keep them a secret. I've decided to share my top 5 boy and girl names. These aren't necessarily what we'll go with.

Girl: Ashlyn, Kailyn, Aubrey, Ryan and Shaylyn

Boy: Kaden, Ryan, Alexander (Xander), Colton, and Jackson

I really prefer Ryan for a girl, but since H really doesn't I'll compromise and use it for a boy. That's why it is on both lists.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and Rice Stir-Fry

Source: One Dish Meals Cookbook

Do you love Sweet-and-Sour Chicken? I know I do. I especially love the sauce, it's great for dipping egg rolls. When I saw this recipe in the cookbook, I knew H and I would love it. It didn't disappoint.

  • 1 lb. precut chicken breast strips for stir-frying
  • 1 (1lb) pkg frozen broccoli florets, carrots and water chestnuts, thawed and drained
  • 1 8oz can pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice, undrained (used 20 oz. can)
  • water
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant white rice
  • 3/4 cup purchased sweet-and-sour sauce
  • Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat over medium-high until hot.
  • Add chicken: cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Stir in vegetables.
  • Cover: cook 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are hot and chicken is no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile, drain pineapple liquid into 2-cup measuring cup; add water to make 1 1/2 cups.
  • Add pineapple liquid mixture and pineapple to skillet. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in rice; return to a boil.
  • Reduce heat ot low; cover and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in sweet-and-sour sauce.
Next Time- This was great. I especially enjoyed all the pineapple. Definitely am happy I used the larger can. This was really sweet, so perhaps a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes would give it a bit of a contrast.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spinach-Artichoke Ravioli-Lasagna

Source: Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals

I don't completely consider this meal a success. While it turned out good, and was filling it wasn't as easy to make as Rachel made it look. It certainly didn't come together in 30 minutes. But to some extent it was my own fault because I misread my measuring spoon. I pulled out the 1 tsp spoon instead of the 1 Tbsp, which resulted in me not adding enough flour to the butter. Oh well, live and learn.

  • 1 (10-ounce) packages chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (omitted)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese (used 1 15oz container)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest (omitted)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 packages large fresh ravioli cheese, wild mushroom or spinach stuffed varieties (used 2 24oz frozen bags of cheese ravioli)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (used grated in the can and didn't measure)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
  • Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat broiler or oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Defrost the spinach in the microwave for 10 minutes on high.
  • While spinach defrosts, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Cut butter into small pieces and melt. Whisk in flour and cook a minute or 2 then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a bubble, as it begins to thicken, drop heat to low and season it with nutmeg, salt and pepper, to your taste.
  • Combine ricotta cheese, a little salt and pepper, lemon zest and garlic in a bowl.
  • Cook pasta to al dente, 5 to 6 minutes in salted water.
  • Remove spinach from the microwave and wring it completely dry in a kitchen towel. Open the towel and separate the spinach with your fingers. Pile up the sliced artichokes on your cutting board.
  • Drain pasta well. Ladle just enough white sauce in the bottom of a lasagna dish to lightly coat it. Top with 1/3 of the pasta. Top the pasta with a layer of half of the ricotta cheese dotted with half of the spinach and artichokes. Thinly cover the veggies with more white sauce then top liberally with grated cheese. Repeat these layers then top your lasagna with the remaining 1/3 of the cooked ravioli, the last of the white sauce and some grated cheese.
  • Place under hot broiler or into a preheated 425 degree F oven until sauce browns and bubbles, 3 minutes (cooked a bit longer, like 10 minutes)
Next Time- While this had great flavor there are a few changes I would make. Cut the artichokes down to 1 can. Also dice them smaller. The only other change would be to make the Bechamel sauce right the first time. I was happy with the amount of ricotta cheese, I don't feel the 3 cups is needed. Mozzarella cheese melted on top could be a nice addition, but with all the cheese in the ravioli and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses I thought that would be a little much.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Source: Bella's Bistro

Like an easy recipe that requires little prep time and is even easier to serve? This is perfect. Another recipe from my fellow May '08 Nestie, Bella. This was super moist, and good flavor.

  • 1lb. Chicken breasts
  • 1 Onion, cut into half rounds (used half a large onion)
  • 1 1/2C. BBQ Sauce (eyeballed it, used what I had left in container)
  • Salt, pepper and granulated garlic
  • Buns of your choice (used hot dog buns)
  • Slice onion and add to empty crock pot.
  • Place chicken on top and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic (to taste).
  • Add 1C. of BBQ sauce and stir to combine.
  • Set slow cooker to 6-hours (med-high). Cover and do not peek!
  • After 6 hours, drain out most of the extra liquid, shred chicken with 2 forks and add in the other 1/2C. BBQ sauce. Keep warm in crock pot until ready to use. (didn't need 6 hours to cook and didn't drain liquid)
Next Time- While this turned out really good, I wasn't really impressed with the flavor. Which I think is due to my choice of BBQ sauce.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baked Ziti with Mascarpone

Source: Lauren's Kitchen

I love pasta with cheese. This recipe doesn't fail. Tons of leftovers, so I have plenty of time to enjoy it.

  • 1 lb ziti pasta (used mostaccioli)
  • 1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 lb ground beef (used 1 lb.)
  • 1 small onion, diced (used half large onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (used garlic powder since I was out of garlic cloves)
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 cups Mozzarella cheese (used full 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (used more, not sure on amount)
  • Cook pasta to al dente. Drain & set aside.
  • Meanwhile, brown meat with onion & garlic. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add marinara sauce to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Thin the sauce just a tad with about 1/8 cup water or chicken stock. (used chicken broth)
  • Season the sauce with garlic & herbs, to taste. (skipped, didn't need anything)
  • In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, sour cream, and cooked pasta.
  • Layer the pasta, sauce and cheese in a large greased casserole dish as follows:
1/2 pasta
1/2 sauce
1/2 cheese
remaining pasta
remaining sauce
remaining cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with Parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Next Time- The only thing that comes to mind is adding pepper to the pasta mixture before doing the layers. I tried this first, then ended up adding pepper while eating. It turned out great. I was worried that the mascarpone would make it too sweet, but it didn't. Just made it nice and creamy.