Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you like Indian food, or are feeling adventurous, here's a recipe to try. We had it for dinner tonight and really enjoyed it. It comes from my sister-in-law's sister-in-law (I think).

1 1/2 Tbls. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. (heaping) curry powder
1 can (12 to 14) ounces unsweetened coconut milk (In Asian section)
1 cup fresh diced OR canned diced tomatoes
2 Tbls. tomato paste
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (uncooked)
1/2 cup packed fresh baby spinach

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Cook until soft (6-7 min). Add curry and stir constantly for 1 minute. Stir in Coconut milk, tomatoes, and paste. Cook until thickened (5-6 min). Stir in chicken and cook about 6 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Stir spinach in and cook for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve over Jasmine rice.

This serves 4-6 people.

* Notes: This is not a hot spicy dish. I have very wimpy taste buds, so I used a little less than 1 T curry, but next time I'll put in the full amount. Also, Jeff has an aversion to the texture of onions, so if you have someone in your family like that, I recommend dicing the onion really, really small, and cooking it a little longer than the recipe says, to take all of the crunch out. I didn't have Jasmine rice--I'd like to try it sometime--but it was great over regular rice.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quick Chicken Marinade

I found this chicken marinade on and modified it slightly. We used it last night with grilled chicken breasts, and served it with vegetable stir fry and rice. I don't think I've ever had grilled chicken so tasty. It was delicious!

Allow chicken to marinade 4 hours or less (I did about 2 1/2-3), NOT overnight.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (I used regular, but I was worried it would be too salty so I cut it down just a tad and added a little water to make the full 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 T liquid smoke flavoring
1/2-1 t dried mustard
2 t ground black pepper
2 t garlic powder

Mix all ingredients except chicken. Place chicken in a bowl and coat with marinade. Cover and marinate a maximum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Grill 6-8 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 pkg yellow cake mix
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
4 large eggs
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C canola oil
1 tsp Mexican vanilla
1 tsp pure almond extract

Mix altogether. Pour into greased 10-inch tube pan (if possible). Bake at 350 degrees until cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35-40 minutes.
Cool 20 minutes.Invert onto cake platter.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Raspberry Almond Bars

Simple to make, but it's a layering proccess, so it takes a little time. I really enjoy these little treats and think they are very elegant, so I often make them for showers or nice events.

1 C flour
1/3 C marg. or butter, softened
1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
*Combine ingredients and mix well. Press into ungreased 9" square pan (or similar dimensions like 7 x 11). Bake 375 for 8-10 min.

1/2 C raspberry jam
*Carefully spread jam over base; cool slightly.

1/2 C flour
2/3 C sugar
1/2 C marg. or butter, softened
1/2 t. almond extract
2 eggs
*Combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Spread gently over jam. Bake 375 for an additional 25 min. or until light brown. Cool completely.

3/4 C powdered sugar
2 T. marg or butter, softned
1/2 t. almond extract
1-2 t. milk
*Combine, adding enough milk for icing to spread easily, blend until smooth. Spread on cooled bar.

ALMOND TOPPING: (if desired)
*Top with 1/4 C sliced almonds, toasted. Cut into 36 bars.
NOTE: To toast almonds, spread on cookie sheet; bake 375 for 5-10 min.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chicken Chardon

I LOVE this chicken. (But if you don't like mushrooms, don't bother.)

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 egg
salt and pepper
2 t garlic powder
1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup butter
1 t parsley
1 T lemon juice
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

In a small bowl, beat egg, salt and pepper, and 1 t garlic powder. In another bowl, mix together crumbs, 1/2 t garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Dip each piece of chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Arrange in 9X13 pan (I usually coat with foil first to cut down on clean up time).

Melt butter with 1 t garlic powder, lemon juice and parsley. Pour half over chicken. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375. While the chicken is baking, combine remaining butter, mushrooms, and remaining bread crumbs. After removing chicken from oven, cover with mushroom mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes.

Greek Rice Pilaf

This is the rice we made with our Greek Christmas dinner. It's a great side dish with meat or fish. It does kind of have an interesting/different taste, but to me it's a good kind of different.

1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked)
1-2 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 small stalk celery, chopped
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts
black pepper to taste
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley (or used dried and cut amount way down)
1 T dried mint

Cook rice in rice maker or on stove top. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, celery, and salt, and saute until tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the pine nuts, pepper, and garlic, and saute another 5 minutes. Mix in the rice, lemon juice, and herbs.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Seven Minute Frosting

Place in top of double boiler:
(Don't have a double boiler? Neither do I. Just hold a saucepan over a larger pan of boiling water, but not touching the water.)

2 unbeaten egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/3 cup cold water

Dash of salt

Beat for 1 minute at low speed. Cook, beating constantly, till frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Don’t overcook. Remove from heat. Add:1 teaspoon vanilla (use clear vanilla if you are leaving it white) Add coloring, if desired.Beat till of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mrs. Fields Choc. Chip Cookies

* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup butter (real butter)
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 tsp. soda
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 2 and 1/2 cups flour
* 2 and 1/2 cups oats
* Any amount of milk choc. cips
* walnuts optional

Cream sugars and butter. Add eggs and beat well.
Add salt, soda, baking powder, and vanilla...mix
well. Next add in the flour and oatmeal. Mix in
the milk choc. cips. Nuts if you choose to add them.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes!
Makes 4 dozen cookies.