Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cajun Chicken Pasta

1/2 lb pasta (any kind you prefer)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - sliced into thin strips or cubes
2 tbsp cajun seasoning
1/2 - 1 cup mushrooms (add to desired taste)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (see below for heavy cream recipe using milk)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
optional - add any vegetables you like (green peppers, red peppers, carrots, etc.)

1. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips or cubes and place in a bowl
2. Add cajun seasoning to chicken and marinate for at least one hour in refrigerator. The longer it's marinated the better

3. Once ready to cook, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and return to pot
4. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat cook chicken until no longer pink, about 6 minutes
5. Add mushrooms (and any other vegetables you chose) and cook for another 2 minutes
6. Reduce heat and stir in heavy cream
7. Season with basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, parmesan cheese and heat through
8. Add the chicken mixture to the cooked pasta and mix well
9. You can also just add the chicken mixture onto of the pasta on your plate if you prefer not to mix them together

Milk substitute for heavy cream
If you do not have any heavy cream on hand use the following:
1. In a small pot over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter
2. Add 3 tbsp flour and mix well
3. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups milk while constantly stirring
4. Keep stirring until milk thickens (about 7-15 minutes, depending on amount of milk used)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kousa Mehshi (Stuffed Zucchini)

Suggestive amounts - rice and meat to be adjusted according to number of zucchinis being cooked
7 Zucchini
1/2 cup Rice
Ground Meat (lamb or beef, whatever you prefer) - about 1/2 lb maybe less (sorry do not know exact amount)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Seven spice (found in middle eastern stores)
3-5 tbs Tomato paste
zucchini corer (found in middle eastern stores)

1. Cut the stem off the zucchini and core out the inside using a corer or a small spoon. Be careful when coring the zucchini as to not puncture and break it. My suggestion would be to buy some extra zucchinis to practice on cause my first time doing this i kept poking holes in the zucchini :(.

2. Once all your zucchini is cored, wash the inside and place in a colander to drain.

3. Mix the rice, meat, salt and allspice together. 

4. Stuff the zucchini with the mixture. Do not fill more than half way. To close the top off you can add a piece of tomato/potatoe at the opening to prevent the mixture from spilling out during the cooking process.

5. Get a large enough pot and place your zucchinis. Add enough water to reach top level. Add your tomato paste (i dissolve it in a cup of water and add that to make it easier to blend). Cook on high until it comes to a boil. At this point you can taste your broth and add salt if desired. Lower heat and cook covered for an hour until zucchinis are tender.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hamburger Cupcakes

I love the idea of dessert that looks like some of our favorite food items. I saw these cupcakes about 6 months ago on Bakerella and ever since have been wanting to make them... I finally got around to it. Not only are these lil cupcakes soo cute but sooo yummy as well. My husband and I absolutely loved them.

Yellow cake mix
Brownie mix
Food coloring - green, red, yellow
Coconut (optional)

1. Prepare cake mix and bake in muffin tins. Make sure to only half fill the cup or else they will end up way to big and not "bun" looking and don't forget to grease the tins. Once cooled cut off the top to the create a top and bottom layer to the "burger bun".

2. Prepare the brownie mix in a 9x13 pan and cut into "burgers" using a circle cookie cutter. If brownie burgers end up smaller than your bun just flatten them down. I ended up having to do that and for the next time i would flatten them a little more.

3. Split your frosting into two bowls and add the food coloring for your mustard and ketchup.

4. For the lettuce i used shredded coconut. Take some green gel food coloring and add a couple drops of water to it and mix. Then put the coconut in a ziplock back and add the food coloring to it and shake. If you don't like coconut then use frosting with the green food coloring instead.

5. Assemble your burgers. If you'd like, you can add sesame seeds to the top bun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Welcome to my first post....  enjoy and hopefully many more to come!

My husband has been suggesting that I try making an Asian dish for a while now however seeing that I am not a huge fan I kept putting it off. One night while trying to decide on what to make for dinner I came across this recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken from My Kitchen Cafe and figured I would give it a try.

I'm so glad I did. My husband absolutely loved it and I thought it was pretty good for a person who doesn't like Asian foods. The best part of this recipe is how simple it was to make and didn't require any special ingredients or even a trip to the grocery store.

I made the following changes to the recipe... I used flour instead of cornstarch and I didn't use any eggs and  it came out perfectly browned. I also doubled the sauce and poured all of it into the baking dish so that it reached the top level of the chicken. I topped it off with a side of steamed veggies and white rice.

I would definately make this again in the future and suggest that you guys give it a try as well.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 325°F
2. Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg.
5. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through.
6. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
7. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken
8. Bake for one hour turning chicken every 15 minutes.
9. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stove top. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced – about 6-8 minutes.