March 29, 2009

New Recipes

So I'm trying out several new recipes this current menu. DH surprised me with a Nindendo DS a couple of weeks ago, and I bought myself a copy of Personal Trainer Cooking. I'm really enjoying this program because it's making me WANT to try out recipes that I used to think were beyond me. I make a couple of want to be Chinese and Japanese foods already, but until I started exploring this program I didn't realize that I too could cook more Asian food favorites....not to mention foods that I never even dreamed of! Today was a lot of fun because I used the PTC to make corn soup (one of my favorites whenever we eat Chinese), boiled dumplings, and lemon chicken. DH and I both LOVED the lemon chicken. The real key is the lemon sauce which I will post. Throw it over fried chicken (no thick batters though) or even baked chicken. It's excellent!
Other recipes that I'm going to try from the PTC are Turkish stuffed peppers (wanted something a bit different than my usual stuffed peppers which I'm not so fond of), Bruchetta, fried Risotto balls, and parmesan Risotto. I think my next recipe will have me making some German meatballs and au gratin potatoes from scratch! There are some more I want to try, but DH has gotten ahold of the game and told me "no" on some. So I'll have to sneak them in my menu. ;)

Lemon Chicken Sauce
*for about 1 lb of chicken.

7 1/2 tbsps sugar
8 tbsps lemon juice
4 tbspns rice vinegar
6 tbsps water
2 tsps potato starch (can use corn starch as a substitute)

Mix the ingredients together, leaving the potato starch for last.
Place mixture into a frying pan over medium heat. Stir until sauce thickens, then remove from heat. Pour over cooked chicken when serving.

Applesauce Pancakes

I'm really not obsessed by applesauce, but for some reason applesauce seems to make certain recipes all so much better. Applesauce pancakes are my FAVORITE pancakes ever. How did I forget to post this recipe?! It doesn't have an apple flavor IMO, but if you love apples like me chop up a small to medium apple (my favorite is granny smith, I usually have them on hand) and add it to the batter before cooking.

Applesauce Pancakes
· 1 ½ cups flour
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1 ½ teaspoons salt
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
· 2 eggs
· 1 tablespoon oil
· 1 cup milk
· 1 cup applesauce
Preheat a griddle or frying pan at medium-high heat. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Beat in the eggs, oil, milk and applesauce to form a smooth batter. Lightly grease the skillet with butter or cooking spray. Pour batter onto skillet. Turn when bubbles start to form on top of pancake and bottom is browned. 

Serve with butter and maple syrup or top with warmed applesauce, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dollop of sour cream.
Makes 12-14 pancakes.

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Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins - the BEST muffins EVER.

Really. The BEST. Who knew that whole wheat muffins could be so tasty? I certainly didn't. I went looking for a "healthier" muffin recipe last summer to put in lunches. Last week I flew home to be with my family for a week. They made me bake these muffins TWICE. In one week. Mind you this recipe doesn't make the "normal" 6 muffins. Usually I bake 6 regular muffins and a whole other pan of mini muffins (they fit better in my bentos). I've kept meaning to post this recipe, but somehow left it how.

Applesauce Muffins
· 6 tablespoons butter
· 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 eggs
· 2/3 cup brown sugar
· 1 ½ cups applesauce (chunky works best)
1. Heat over to 375 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with bake cups and set aside.
2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high for about 30 to 60 seconds; set aside to cool slightly.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. Stir in the applesauce and melted butter until mixture is smooth.
5. Pour the apple mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon just until the flour disappears.
6. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.
Optional - Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts (or a full cup if you LOVE nuts) to the batter before cooking.
Applesauce muffins with 1 granny smith apple chopped and added to batter.

New Menu!

28th Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: Corn Soup (bake whole wheat bread)

28th Saturday Diner: boiled dumplings, lemon chicken, broccoli

29th Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: leftovers/sandwiches

29th Sunday Dinner: pork tenderloin, frozen veggie, box pasta

30th – 3rd: Monday – Friday Meals:

1. leftover tenderloin, mac and cheese, veggie
2. Jambalaya
3. Calzones
4. Chicken, marinara sauce, and pasta
5. Baked fish, veggie, and starch

4th Saturday Breakfast/Lunch: omelets

4th Saturday Dinner: Turkish stuffed peppers, salad, homemade bread

5th Sunday Breakfast/Lunch: Bruchetta and fried risotto balls

5th Sunday Dinner: Parmesan risotto and baked chicken

6th – 9th: Monday – Thursday Meals:

1. Grilled cheese and tomato soup
2. Red beans and rice
3. Hot dogs, frozen veggies
4. Cheesy one pot chicken cacciatore

Gone 10th – 12th.

12th Sunday Dinner: Hamburgers, pasta box, and frozen veggie

13th – 17th: Monday – Friday Meals: (DH gone)

1. Apple quesadillas
2. Southwestern egg rolls
3. Frozen pizza
4. Leftovers
5. Eat out/leftovers

March 01, 2009

A few more recipes!

Artisan Bread - recipe is on the linked page. I just let mine rest on my round cookie sheet and threw that in the oven. I don't have a pizza stone. Bread still turned out GREAT. I highly recommend using the all purpose unbleached flour, even though the person at the link didn't. Save the bread flour for other breads (like Amish bread). Super yummy and super quick!

Spicy chicken stir fry - We never did get around to making this from the last menu. So it's appearing again this current menu. ;)

Creamy Chicken and Noodles - This meal was okay. We ended up adding shredded cheddar cheese to it and decided it was better that way. I'll make it again with maybe some slight changes before I decide if I'll keep making it or not. I think next time I'll put the frozen veggies in sooner because whenever you open the lid to the slow cooker it takes it forever to get back up to a good temperature. I ended up giving up on the slow cooker and dumping the contents into a stovetop pan and heating it up that way and mixing it with the pasta in the pot.

2 cups sliced carrots (4 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (3 medium)
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
3 medium chicken leggs (2 lbs), skinned (I used frozen chicken breasts)
2 cans reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces dried wide noodles (about 5 cups)
1 cup frozen peas (or other frozen veggie if you hate peas like me)

1. In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker place carrots, onions, celery, parsley, and bay leaf. Place chicken on top of vegetables. In a medium bowl stir together soup, water, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour over chicken and vegetables in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-4 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from cooker; cool slightly. Discard bay leaf.

3. Cook noodles according to directions; drain. Stir peas into soup mixture in cooker. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces; stir into soup mixture in cooker. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over noodles; toss gently to combine.
396 calories for 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture plus 3/4 cup noodles.