Sunday, July 25, 2010

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 refrigerated pizza dough crust
2 chicken breats, cooked and chopped
amazing BBQ sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
green or red bell pepper
red onion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pizza dough, naked, for 5 minutes. Remove dough from oven. Spread BBQ sauce over crust. Toss chicken with BBQ sauce to coat in a bowl and spread evenly over pizza. Then top the chicken with the cheese, pepper, and onion. Through it back in the oven for about 15 minutes till it looks good enough to eat.

This barbecue sauce is probably my favorite thing I've ever made. I'm tempted to eat it with a spoon... seriously. This meal came together super fast because I used chicken that I had cooked the other night when I made the chicken club crescent wreath. Also, I think I prefer red bell peppers over the green, but the reds are also twice as expensive. You can decide what's more important :) P.S. The cooking times are approximate to the brand of dough I bought, adjust accordingly.

Strawberry Brown Sugar Gratin

Strawberry Brown Sugar Gratin
adopted from

1/2 cup sour cream
8 strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Fold strawberries together with sour cream in a small bowl. Dish into 2 ramekins. Divide the brown sugar and dust over the ramekins. Throw it under the broiler until the brown sugar starts to caramelize. Serve immediately.

When I look for recipes, I want them to be quick, easy, and not a lot of ingredients and this dessert meets all the criteria. I got to try out my new ramekins, and I got to use up some strawberries I didn't know what to do with.... win-win! I realize sour cream is not the first thing you would think of for a dessert, but it balances well with the sweetness of the fruit and the brown sugar. Try it... I know you're curious.

Chicken Club Crescent Wreath

Chicken Club Crescent Wreath
from Pampered Chef All the Best Cookbook

Making the wreath:

Unroll 2 ( 8 oz) packages refrigerated crescent rolls; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange 8 of the rolls in a circle with the points facing outwards and the edges toward the center (similar to a sun that a child would draw). Then, with the remaining rolls, arrange the wide ends matching ends with the triangles already in place (points will overlap in the center). Press or roll the seams together. Scoop the filling evenly over the dough in a continuous circle. Beginning with the last triangle placed in the center, bring point of triangle straight across filling. Next bring point of opposite outside triangle diagonally across filling, covering the previous triangle (filling will show) Repeat, overlapping points of inside and outside triangles to form a wreath. Tuck last end under first.

Making the filling:

2-3 cooked chicken breasts, coarsely chopped
3 small hand fulls of bac-o's
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mayo
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tomato, chopped
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, bac-o's, 3/4 cup of cheese, mayo, mustard, and tomatoes, mix well. Scoop the filling over the wreath. When the wreath is complete, brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

I made this for the first time last summer. When I made it then, I used canned chicken and real slices of cooked, chopped bacon. This time, I focused on the chicken, but skipped out on the bacon! haha. I'm all about keeping things simple. I apologize that I didn't take a picture of the wreath process. To be honest, it was ugly and I didn't want you to see it :( Hopefully the description will suffice. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
serves 6
adapted from

1 pound Ground Chuck Or Ground Beef
½ cups Panko Or Other Bread Crumbs
1 clove Garlic, Minced (I substituted garlic powder)
½ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce
12 whole Dinner Rolls (or Slider Rolls)
4 slices Provolone Cheese, Cut Into Four Wedges Each

Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Knead together with hands. Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized rolls. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs between the onions and brown for one minute. (You might have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet.) Pour in jar of marinara; shake pan gently to mix. Put on lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, cut each dinner roll in half. Place a wedge of Provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bottom bun; top with the top bun. Serve immediately!

Usually when I find a recipe I want to try, I have it saved on my computer for a few weeks before I make it. This recipe only had about a day and a half turnover time! My husband and I both thought it was amazing, even though I forgot to add those two ingredients that should almost ALWAYS be invited to the dinner party, salt and pepper! I'm starting to wonder if I should re-theme this blog into 'almost catastrophic kitchen'.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Philadelphia Classic Cheesecake

The Philadelphia Classic Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
(4) 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter, press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until blended. Pour over crust. Bake for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan before removing rim after letting it cool. Refrigerate 4 hours.

When I bought my salt and pepper shakers, I also bought a springform pan, so obviously I had to make a cheesecake as soon as possible! My batter was a little lumpy because instead of adding the eggs one at a time, I dumped everything in the bowl and started mixing. I need to get better at reading recipes! I'll blame it on the fact that I have to go back and forth between the table where my computer is and the kitchen counter. I've been lucky so far not to have any disasters! I heard a tip that if you let the cream cheese sit at room temp for a while it's easier to mix. Also, I need some tips about not having my cheesecake look like the Grand Canyon with a huge crack in the middle. Anyone have any pointers?

Tuna Burgers

Tuna Burgers
serves 4

1 can of tuna, drained
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 minced small green bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 hamburger buns

Combine all ingredients (except the buns) in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Shape into 4 patties. Optional: refrigerate patties about 30 minutes so that they become easier to handle.

Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray; fry tuna patties for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked thoroughly. Serve on buns with delicious leftover honey balsamic bean salad.

These are a great alternative to a traditional hamburger. They are really light and are super easy to make!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honey Balsamic Bean Salad

Honey Balsamic Bean Salad
1 (15 oz) can each of Black, Garbanzo and Pinto beans
1 bag of Romaine lettuce
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 stalks green onion
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine the beans, lettuce, almonds, and green onion in a large salad bowl. Set aside. Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt in a small container. Add to the salad bowl along with a good amount of the dressing. Toss well, and add more dressing if you like.

I never knew I like beans until now! This would be a great recipe to bring to a barbeque or a picnic. I double the original recipe because otherwise I'd have 3 cans of beans that are half full sitting around. As a result, it made a lot of beans, thus, you should share your beans :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Iced Coffee

So, I made this before I realized that I didn’t have any ice, which is apparently a main ingredient in iced coffee. Without the ice, it was way too strong. :( At least it looked good!

Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries with Carrots

Crispy Rosemary Chicken and FriesFrom

8 chicken thighs
6 small red potatoes, quartered
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary*
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano*
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken and potatoes into a large bowl. Pour olive oil over them, and stir to coat. Scatter the chicken and potato pieces in a large baking dish, or cookie sheet with sides. Sprinkle with rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, uncovered. Baste during the last 15 minutes for extra crispness.
*One can use 1/3 the amount of dried herbs instead of fresh

For some reason, I had “boneless, skinless chicken” in my head so when I unwrapped the chicken, which was with bone and skin, I took off the skin but left the bone. I need to start reading recipes more carefully! But, it still turned out great! My husband said it’s now one of his fav meals!

Cooked Carrots
12ish baby carrots
1 can veggie broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Few dashes of pepper

Put carrots, broth, thyme and pepper in a sauce pan over medium high heat stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Serve hot.

I bought carrots specifically for this recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this recipe so I winged it! Next time, I’ll add more herbs/spices after they are removed from the broth since the carrots didn’t turn out as flavorful as I had hoped. But, it was a successful cooking method!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups combined butter and shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt then add them to the large bowl in 2 or 3 batches. Fold in chocolate chips. Make golf ball size cookies and bake 16-18 minutes.

Who doesn't love Mom's chocolate chip cookies???