Category Archives: Recipes

Mock Chicken Tetrazzini

Have you ever found yourself short on ingredients but long on hunger? I found myself in this predicament last Saturday. After completing a quick inventory of my fridge, freezer and pantry, I tallied a 12 oz package of spaghetti, one sleeve of crackers, cream soups, chicken breasts, celery, onions, 2 bell peppers – green and red, garlic and a half bag of shredded cheddar cheese.

I scoured the cooking websites for inspiration but soon discovered I didn’t have enough ingredients for recipes pulled from my search results. Although I was hungry, I didn’t feel like schlepping to the store. What to do? Determined and motivated by a growling stomach, I decided to make a hodgepodge of the various recipes I found and develop my own.

First, I seasoned the chicken breasts with seasoned salt, pepper, and onion powder. Placed it in a pot with one stalk of celery, half an onion and half a green bell pepper. I covered with the chicken and veggies water and brought to a boil. I then lowered the heat and let simmer 1-2 hours. Once done, I removed the chicken breasts from the pot so they cool enough for me to handle. I reserved the stock.

I cooked the spaghetti according to the package instructions, drained and set to the side.

While the spaghetti was cooking, I chopped the remaining half of the onion, the red bell pepper, and two cloves of garlic. I sauted the vegetables in a little butter until they were tender. I added one can of cream of chicken soup and one can of cream of mushroom soup to the vegetables. I then added half a can of milk and about half a cup of chicken stock, stirring until well incorporated. I shredded the chicken and added it and the cooked spaghetti to the soup mixture, making sure the soup coated the chicken and noodles. I then added the remaining the stock. I poured the mixture into a 9×13 pan and sprinkled cheddar cheese on top. I placed the pan in a 350 degree oven and baked for twenty minutes.

While the dish was in the oven, I crushed a half sleeve of crackers (I used Ritz Crackers) and melted approximately 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan. I removed the dish from the oven, sprinkled the cracker crumbs on top of the cheese then drizzled the butter over the crumbs. I placed the dish back into the oven and baked for ten minutes.

I was a bit nervous before the first bite but, boy oh boy, it was good. I was surprised because this is the first time I have ever variated from a recipe and it actually worked.

I have been making the effort to eat healthier, so I realize the processed foods, butter, etc. goes against that goal. I wouldn’t eat this every day nor every week for that matter. However, it is a simple and satisfying meal that was beyond easy to prepare. Given the shortcuts I took, I can’t call this a true Chicken Tetrazzini. For a more authentic dish, try this version by Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.

If you decide to try my recipe, let me know how it turned out. Or, offer ways to kick it up or make it healthier!

Going Green

As I officially enter middle age, I’ve been thinking a lot about healthy eating, specifically the nutritional benefits of consuming raw foods. I’ve finally made the transition from thinking to action and, as a starter, am drinking green smoothies.

Green smoothies incorporate leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale with fruit. Blending the vegetables rather than cooking them helps retain their nutritional value.

After researching many sites and manuals for green smoothie recipes, I decided to strike out and create one of my own with the fruit and vegetables I had on hand. I blended together 1/2 cup of water, 1 navel orange, 1 cup of white grapes, 1/4 of a banana, 1 cup of fresh spinach and 1/4 cup of ice cubes.

I’ve always had a natural aversion to creamy green foods. I’ve never had split pea soup. I was in my thirties before I ever tried guacamole. So, after pouring my masterpiece in my glass, there was a brief hesitation. However, knowing I was embarking on a journey that was going to make me healthier, I took a sip.

And loved it. There wasn’t a strong spinach taste. It was smooth and fruity and delicious. I plan to variate the fruit and greens to develop different flavors. In addition to the green smoothies, I also concocted a fruit smoothie made with a navel orange, green grapes and frozen peaches. Delicious.

If you’ve been considering green smoothies, go ahead and take the plunge. Don’t let the look fool you. Green smoothies are quick, easy and tasty. They are also healthy. Make one today!

The Breakfast Klub’s Wings and Waffles

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/NNMvUp-r7sQt7Q2l-kO9wA?select=K_HOJ5_y8MCBACkoDLS4aQ

The Breakfast Klub is a Zagat-rated casual dining restaurant located in midtown Houston, TX that has been lauded by Good Morning America as one of the “best breakfast restaurants in the nation”. The man who established this nationally-recognized treasure, Marcus Davis, recently visited the local Fox news affiliate, Fox26, to prepare one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, Wings and Waffles. Click the following link to see Mr. Davis prepare this scrumptious breakfast:

Wings & Waffle from The Breakfast Klub: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

Do you want to give it try? The actual recipe can be found here.

Easy and Delicious! Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I usually review products and books, but yesterday I tried a recipe that was so yummy that I had to give it a mention – Cajun Chicken Pasta by blogger Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman.

I saw Drummond prepare this meal a few weeks ago on her new Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman. The recipe is simple and quick, but boy oh boy, the end result is rich and delicious.

I did have one issue with the wine; I couldn’t for the life of me get the darn cork out of the bottle. It may have to do with my, ahem, frugality and the fact that my corkscrew was bought from a dollar store. Very. Bad. Idea. Hey, I drink wine socially, not at home. Although disappointed that I could not add the wine, the dish turned out wonderfully. I can only imagine how great it tastes with all of the ingredients.

My Wine Disaster. The silver distending into the wine is the tip of the corkscrew. AARGH!

Do yourself and your family a favor and give this recipe a try. If you like flavorful and spicy dishes, you will love this!

As always, may God continue bless you and your family.

Festive Tea Cookies

Santa will not be able to resist!

These tender, crisp cookies are enjoyed year-round by my family but take on a festive flair during the holidays.  Sweet, buttery goodness abounds in each bite.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

4 cups sifted flour

4 level tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Add dry ingredients and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

3.  Slightly beat eggs and vanilla together then add to creamed butter and sugar.  Beat well.

4. Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time until all is used.

5. Separate the dough into thirds and flatten each third into discs.  Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at at least one hour.

6. Roll each disc to your preferred thickness (I usually roll between 1/4” and 1/2”) then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out into fun shapes.

7. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired.  Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:  This is a tender cookie dough.  Dust your rolling surface and rolling pin with extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking.