Friday, November 18, 2011

Potato Chowder

Long time no post? There has been so much going on lately. I will admit this deployment has had it's challenges. It is easy to let days go by and then wonder where they went. Add to that several health challenges I have had to deal with and adjust to. The hardest part is that I am supposed to eliminate sugar from my diet! Me? I am a sugar addict! Watch out Splenda here I come. (I'll post some of my experiments replacing sugar with splenda when I get brave.)

This recipe goes back almost ten years and in calculating the calories and nutrition I was pleasantly surprised that it is indeed healthy. One serving is 158 calories, 1.9g fat and 5.7g of protein. If you're worried about sodium you'll want to omit or substitute because celery itself is high in sodium. 

Okay, enough of the nutrition lesson. Use up those last few potatoes and have a belly warming comfort soup that is easy to throw together. 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 2 c milk
  • 3 large potatoes diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley
Print Recipe

Directions

Melt butter in large soup pan. Add celery and onion and cook until tender on medium heat.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Cook three more minutes. 

Add broth, milk and potatoes. 


Season to taste.
Cook at a slow boil until potatoes are soft. 45+  minutes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Iced Mocha Latte-FINALLY!

I know I have been gone lately. I confess it is VERY hard to cook when hubby is not around. It is far to easy to make the simple things or just get take out.

Many years ago Burger King came out with a Mocha Joe. I was addicted! Then they changed and I do not like what they now call a Mocha Joe. I switched to Sonic's Iced Mocha Latte. They are good but depending on who makes it sometimes they are too thick and sweet. Starbucks? Well, I'm not a huge fan. Very overpriced for mediocre flavor. At least the flavor I was after.

So for as many years that Mocha Joe came out I have been searching for a home recipe to save me the expense and driving to get one of these delightfully cold coffees. An unnamed person at my favorite BK up north told me how they make theirs (the original.) It involved their chocolate ice cream mix. That was a no go for brewing it up at home. I toyed with different methods and coffees and never could find what I liked.

Until today.

I am a coupon fanatic and if the coupon is valuable enough I will try new things. I happened across a display of Starbucks Via Iced coffee with a $2.00 coupon attached. Ok, that is worth a try. I read the label and it was lightly sweetened made for dissolving in cold water. Alright, it's not mocha but I bought it and as soon as I got home I added the required 16 ounces of cold water. No good. It was just so plain. I added about a tablespoon of chocolate syrup and it still was not right. Somewhat disappointed I sipped at this semi-blah iced coffee.

After about 1/3 was gone I decided to pour some milk in it. This did improve the flavor but still was not what I was looking for.

This morning after my errands I was going to stop and buy an iced coffee. Before I spent the $5 I decided I'd just mix up another blah coffee at home and save the money.

By the time I got home it hit me and this is what I did:

2 cups very cold milk
1 packet Starbucks VIA iced coffee
1 tablespoon Hershey's chocolate syrup
Mix it well until sugar is dissolved. Pour over ice cubes.

It was AMAZING! Now I can make my $5 coffees at home for around $1.00

I think this discovery could be a bad thing though. I'm on my second one today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Bars


I love the flavor of strawberry and chocolate. Being the world's fussiest eater I do not like to actually eat a strawberry. I am all about textures and that is one I can't do. I have to find compromises and in this case my compromise is using strawberry jelly rather than strawberry jam. I am very pleased with my final result. You could use any flavor of jam or jelly to vary this recipe according to what you like.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 cup strawberry jelly or jam
1 package chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, whatever you have on hand.
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine flour,

oats,

sugar, brown sugar and salt in large mixing bowl.

Cut in cold cubed butter until mixture is coarse. Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping.

Press remaining mixture into greased 9x11 baking pan.

Carefully spread the jam over the crust.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over jam. I did not use an entire package and there was plenty of chocolate.

Sprinkle nuts over chocolate chips.

Sprinkle reserved mixture over top of nuts.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Let cool then cut into bars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli


In some ways it is easier to cook when Mikey is not home. I only need to worry about pleasing my own palate. (Not the easiest thing in the world to do either.)
The hardest part is modifying all the recipes to make a meal for just one or two and not have tons of leftovers growing in the fridge.
The other night while I was drifting off to sleep I was thinking something cheesy with broccoli and chicken. So I looked around and modified some recipes and came up with my own small portion recipe.
I have to say it turned out great. Next time though, for my own personal preference, I will precook the broccoli. I like soggy veggies, not crunchy unless I am eating them cold. I live by Mark Lowry's joke: cook the vegetables and take a vitamin. You guessed it...I"m not a nutritionist.
The recipe is supposed to be for two. Depending on your appetite it may only serve one or for me, three servings. I think it would be very difficult to cut it down smaller than what I have.
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
4 ounces processed cheese, cut into chunks (yes it's processed but it's GOOD)
1/2 can cream of chicken soup (freeze the other half can in a small freezer container for some other use)
1/4 cup milk
1-2 cups chopped broccoli (I used one small crown but you could use frozen)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
Print Recipe


Spray pan with cooking spray and fry chicken on medium 4-5 minutes until cooked through. You can salt and pepper chicken to taste at this stage.

Toss everything else except rice into the pan with chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer until all cheese is melted.


Serve over rice. (I think next time I will mix it all together.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kladdkaka with Daim Cream (Chocolate Gooey Cake with Skor Cream)


A while back a friend put a picture of this on Facebook and was generous enough to share her recipe with me. I will post her original recipe first to keep with her tradition then I will post my Americanized version with instructions. Thank you so much Carrie for sharing with me. This cake was AMAZING!! Don't let the name or the looks of this cake intimidate you. It is super easy to make. I put lots of pictures for you to follow along and you know I'm always a message away if you need help.
Carrie's Original Version:
This cake is incredible! It's easy to make. Kladdkaka is a Swedish cake that's a bit gooey in the middle-a bad description but I can't come up with anything better at the moment. Daim is the Swedish equivalent of Skor/Heath bars.
I used half of the dark block (baking chocolate) and half Lindt either 90% or Madagascar-I can't remember. I also used an 8 or 9 inch silicone pan with baking paper in the bottom instead of the springform pan....not entirely sure why you would need a springform pan. Anyway, here's the very rough translation of the recipe:
Cake
200g butter
200g dark chocolate
4 eggs
2 dl sugar
2½ dl (150g) flour
pinch of salt
Daim Cream
2½ dl whipping cream
1½ tbsp cocoa
1½ tbsp icing sugar
2 double pack (56g each) Daim (broken into pieces)
Grease 22cm springform pan. Melt butter in microwave or on the stovetop. Break chocolate into smaller pieces stir into butter. (I just broke the chocolate up and melted it with the butter in the microwave).
Whip eggs and sugar together. Stir into chocolate mixture. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl; stir into chocolate mixture. Pour into pan and bake at 200C for 14-15 minutes. Let cake cool completely-cake can sit overnight (I took mine out of the pan after about 15 minutes and cooled on a rack. Covered with a dish towel overnight.)
Whip the cream with the icing sugar and cocoa until fluffy. Fold in crushed Daim, leaving some aside for garnish. Spread Daim cream over top of cake and sprinkle with remaining Daim pieces.
I broke the Daim up by just hitting the unopened packages with the meat mallet. Use a hammer, rolling pin, or if you are in the right mood-your fist. [:o)]
My Americanized version:
Let me say first I have never had to translate a recipe before and was not sure but thanks to modern technology I believe I got very close to the original recipe. And I will also confess too that I had to make the cake twice. When I removed the first attempt from the oven my springform pan came apart and the cake landed in the bottom of my oven. Second attempt I put the springform pan on a baking sheet.
CAKE:
1 cup butter
7 ounces dark chocolate (I used 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate)
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/8 cup flour
pinch of salt
Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp powdered sugar
2 Skor bars (broken into pieces)
Print Recipe

Directions

Grease/spray 10" springform pan.
Melt butter in microwave or for 45-60 seconds.


Chop chocolate into smaller pieces stir into butter.
Microwave 30 seconds and stir until melted. Set aside.

Whip eggs and sugar together about a minute or two.
Stir chocolate into mixture by hand.
Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl; stir, by hand,  into chocolate mixture.
Spread into pan. Bake at 390F for 14-15 minutes. NO LONGER. It should be gooey in the middle. My first try was overbaked so it was meant to fall into the bottom of the oven. It is going to be a thin heavy cake.

Let cake cool completely or overnight. Springform can be released after 15 minutes.


After the cake has cooled, whip the cream with the icing sugar and cocoa until fluffy. This takes quite a long time if you've never whipped cream before. It will hold it's shape when it's ready. Don't keep beating it past this point or you'll end up with some form of chocolate butter.


Fold in crushed candy, leaving some aside for garnish.

Spread Daim (Skor) cream over top of cake and sprinkle with remaining Daim pieces.

Break Skor bar up by just hitting the unopened packages with the meat mallet. Putting candy in freezer for just a while will help when breaking it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Super Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu


This is one of those recipes that looks like you slaved all day to make it and makes a beautiful presentation on the plate. It is one of the easiest elegant foods there are to make. Give it a try and tell me what you think. I wanted to keep it very simple so I served it with pierogies and salad.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
4 thin sliced smoked ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg; beaten
salt
pepper
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (make your own)
4 tablespoons butter
Mornay Sauce

Pound chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. It is not going to look pretty. I had problems with this part because my meat pounder is very small. The next thing on my list is a larger one!

Sprinkle each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on each breast.(I used two each because it was a very large breast.)


Roll up each breast using toothpicks to secure if necessary. (This is the hardest part. Don't worry if it's not beautiful. By the time you bread and bake no one will notice.)

Dredge each in flour, shake off excess, then in egg

and finally in bread crumbs.

Place seam side down in baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place 1 tablespoon butter on each piece of chicken.

Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes until juices run clear. Let stand for 10 minutes while you are making the mornay sauce. Ladle sauce on top and serve.





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