Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hollie's Pinwheel Chicken

My friend Hollie posted this recipe on the POH blog a long time ago and I've been meaning to try it ever since. Last night was the big night and we really enjoyed it! The paprika and lemon juice add a nice kick that is different from all my other breaded chicken strip recipes and we really liked the variety. Fairly simple to make and healthy if you use your own bread crumbs instead of store-bought ones.

Pinwheel Chicken:

  • 2-3 Tbsp parsley (if you're using fresh, use more and chop very fine)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (make them if you can)
  • 1/3- 1/2 Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
  • 1 lb of chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into strips)
  • paprika
  • 1 lemon or lime

1. Melt stick of butter completely in bowl
2.) Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl: bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley Parmesan cheese
3.) Make an assembly line in this order: raw chicken, melted butter, dry mixture, greased Pyrex or oven-safe pottery
4.) Designating your left hand for butter dipping, dip chicken strip into butter and drop into crumb mixture. With right hand only, fully cover the chicken by tossing around and roll it up like a pinwheel or a snail into the dish. It might take some time rolling it with one hand, but with a little practice, you'll be a pro. *By designating one hand for butter dipping and the other hand for dry ingredients, you eliminate a lot of moisture and clumps in your dry mixture; thus making it go farther.
5.) Continue placing each pinwheel into your Pyrex, touching one to the other, so keep them tightly rolled.
6.) Sprinkle lightly with paprika all over to add a little kick and color. Adds great flavor!
7.) Squeeze lemon all over the pinwheels (This is the secret ingredient and a MUST to this dish.)
8.) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*Check on them at 25 minutes, depending on your oven. The key here is not to dry them out/over bake them since they are very thin strips. Chicken should reach a temperature of no higher than 170 degrees, although some prefer 160 degrees to retain moisture. I prefer 160 degrees.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Home-made Tomato Soup

I love tomato soup! It is a comfort food to me... growing up, we ate it (along with a grilled cheese sandwich) almost every Sunday afternoon in the fall and winter. But since I've tried to stop cooking with canned soups, I haven't had it in forever! So when Girl Talk blog gave this easy recipe for Tomato Basil soup, I jumped at the chance to try it! I have to admit that I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I kind of took the idea and ran with it. (For example, I didn't have any heavy cream, so I used a combination of our whole milk and cream cheese :). I also sprinkled parmesan cheese on top. Oh, it was so good!

La Madeline's Tomato Basil Soup

4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick (1/4 lb) of sweet unsalted butter
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Simmer tomatoes in saucepan for 30 minutes. Puree, with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan and add cream, butter, salt and pepper while stirring over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Creamy Chicken Divane Soup

I found this recipe while waiting for my OB apt. and looking through a Southern Living magazine :) We absolutely LOVE my Mom's chicken divane recipe, but I don' t make it often because I don't like the mayonnaise and canned cream of chicken soup it requires. So I was excited to find this soup recipe that does taste surprisingly similar! I added some shredded carrots to it for added nutrients and it worked well with the soup. This recipe makes a lot, so I cut it in half for our family. This post is part of the Whole Food for the Holidays Progressive Dinner!

1 Tbs. butter
1 med. sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (I left that out)
1 (48 oz.) container chicken broth (I used home-made)
2 (12-oz) pkg. fresh broccoli (about 12 cups)
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8oz.) block sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 shredded carrots if desired :)

Directions: Melt butter, saute onion til tender, add garlic (and shredded carrots) and red pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and broccoli. Cover and bring to a boil 10-15 min. Stir in cream cheese. Process with a blender til smooth (we wanted it chunky, so I skipped that step :). Add chicken and shredded cheese. Cook on med-low, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes til cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Butternut Squash Fries

I've seen recipes for butternut squash fries, but stayed away from them because I thought they would be a pain to make. But Kimi gives a great tutorial on the easiest way to cut and peel the squash HERE. I highly recommend checking it out. These were the best tasting fries yet. I'm still working on getting the perfect size of fry and amount of oil so they are really crispy, but the whole family loved these, even the softer ones!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 butternut squash
4 tablespoons oil (I have used coconut oil or a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil)
Sea salt and pepper

I added a sprinkle of cinnamon, cloves and sucanut :)

Directions: Check out Kimi's post on how to cut your squash! Place the cut squash in a bowl, and, if needed, melt coconut oil gently. Toss the oil with the squash and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

The other secret to getting not overly soft squash fries is to very widely space them on your sheet pan. The ones below really were a little too close. It works best to have them far apart from each other. I would use two sheet pans for one squash, if possible.

Place in your hot oven for about 45 minutes, switching the sheet pans, half way through. This will depend on your oven and how small you cut them, so check early, and leave a time cushion if they take a little longer then you expect.

You want them to get not only well cooked, but slightly browned as well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Creamy Ranchy Dressing

One of my New Years Resolutions was to find a Ranch dressing recipe for my husband. I am quite content with pretty much any of the EVOO and ACV variations, so I have been eating healthy salads all year long. But I suddenly realized that it was October and I had been letting my husband slowly destroy himself with rancid soybean oil for the past 10 months! (OK, I'll admit that I am slightly dramatic, but store-bought salad dressings are ever so bad for you and my dear husband just loves his Ranch on EVERYTHING (pizza, roasted potatoes, etc). So last night I was fixing us a taco salad for dinner and randomly decided to try out a recipe that I had bookmarked several months ago. And I was so glad that I did, because after 10 months of only eating oil and vinegar dressings, this creamy dressing was just heavenly to me! My husband said it was pretty good, that it didn't taste exactly like Ranch, but was close enough and a good enough dressing for him to be happy to eat. So here is the recipe that I got from Heavenly Homemakers (a fabulous blog, by the way!)

Note: I don't recommend using the mayonnaise version, unless you make your own, because store-bought mayonnaise is also filled with rancid vegetable oils that are bad for you. The dip version is healthy, though, and I actually made up my own version utilizing the dry mix and a cup of buttermilk, a pkg of cream cheese, and several Tbs olive oil. Oh, and I added some dill because we love dill :) (Sorry, I know I can't ever leave a recipe alone :) But the mix is good to use with whatever creamy sauce you like :)

Ranch Dressing Mix

5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

For dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream. (I use buttermilk.)

For dip: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or kreme fresh.

Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.