Whiskey Glazed Carrots

I wanted to test out this recipe for whiskey glazed carrots as a potential side dish for this year’s Thanksgiving meal.  I will most likely host Thanksgiving for my side of the family again (6 people total), so I’m already starting to plan.  🙂

I thought the carrots tasted great, but I accidentally used too much liquid and it never quite thickened up as much as I wanted. I misread the recipe and used 3/4 cup whiskey.  Oops!

Overall they were really tasty and I think that I will in fact serve them for Thanksgiving.  However, these were not good leftover.  Blech!

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Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

serves 6

2 – 3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into thick circles
1 stick butter {I used about 6 tablespoons}
1/2 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar {I used dark brown sugar}
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Melt 1 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 60 to 90 seconds each batch.  Remove from skillet.
Pour in whiskey and allow to evaporate 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining butter.
When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
Stir together, then add carrots to skillet.
Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is thick, about 5 more minutes.
Pour onto a platter and serve immediately.  Sprinkle with chopped chives if desired.

Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken

This was my first recipe request on the blog!  It was requested by one of my cousins and I’m so glad I made it.  It is very rich, but delicious and easy.  But, with that being said, I don’t think this recipe will be my “go to” Alfredo sauce because of the richness.  It was very good, and I’ll definitely make it again, but I’m also going to try the many lower fat versions out there.

This was great with and without chicken.

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Fettucini Alfredo

Serves 4

{source: Annie’s Eats and Joelen’s Culinary Adventures}

What you will need:

2 chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded thin

1 Tablespoon oil

1/2 pound dry fettucini

For the alfredo sauce:

2 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1½ cups heavy cream {I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk}

1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

dash of nutmeg – optional

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking the pasta.

While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, cook the chicken breasts.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet and cook until brown on one side, 3-5 minutes. Then flip and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through, an additional 3-5 minutes.  Remove to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

Once the pasta water is boiling, cook the pasta until al dente.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cream, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Mix in the Parmesan cheese and stir until completely melted.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Serve sauce over pasta and top with one chicken breast.

Enjoy!

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Menu 10-25-06

Meals:

I really need to grocery shop/fill up the new fridge, so I don’t have much planned yet…

Split Pea Soup

Beef Roast with potatoes and carrots

Beef and Noodles

Chicken Enchiladas

Leftovers

Things I plan to bake:

Scones

Beer Cheese Bread

DSC01522^ Cheese topping not shown above ^

This bread is phenomenal!  I have wanted to make a beer bread for a long time and just never got around to it.  Well, now that I’ve made it, I’m in love and I’m going to make it all the time!  It is super delicious and easy!

I have an odd fear of yeast, so this bread is right up my ally.  Next time, I may add some jalapeno peppers with the onion, but it is just perfect the way it is!

I’m going to go eat another slice now…

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Beer Cheese Bread

{source:  Milk & Honey originally from Cooking Light}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 13.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 3  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese {plus, I added 1/4 cup extra for topping-optional}
  • 1  (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer {I used Blue Moon’s Harvest Ale, but Budweiser would be fine.}
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  tablespoons  melted butter, divided

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper and garlic; cook 1 minute.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion mixture, cheese, and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

4. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon butter over batter. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. {Top with 1/4 cup cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes.}

Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Enjoy!!!

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Poppin’ Garlic Ranch Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

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Well, that’s definitely the longest title I’ve ever had in my blog!  It is the perfect name though, so I didn’t want to shorten it.

The garlic and ranch flavors in this dish really do pop.  It is extremely flavorful, which is a nice take on a chicken pot pie.  Sometimes pot pies can be a little bland.  Quite the opposite with this dish though!

It was a big hit with Tim too!  I can tell when a meal rates high with him when he tells me its “yummy” before I even ask.  He took his first bite of this and immediately said that he liked it!  Normally, we’ll be a few bites into a meal and I’ll have to ask what he thinks about it.   He almost always says it is good, but I don’t like fishing for feedback!

I made a few changes that I will note in italics below.  But one important note that I want to point out that this barely fit in my 9x13x3 pan so, I’ll use my huge lasagna pan that is approximately 11x17x3 next time.

Since this makes a huge amount, I think it would be great for a large family or pot luck type of meal where it will be finished in one sitting.  Leftovers were okay, but not great because the biscuits got a little soggy.

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Poppin’ Garlic Ranch Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Source: Picky Palate

Servings: 6-8

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Mix, reserve 1/2 teaspoon for topping

1/2 teaspoon salt – I omit

1/4 fresh cracked black pepper

2 10 oz cans cream of chicken soup {I used one cream of chicken & one cream of celery}

10 oz can cheddar cheese soup

1 Cup chicken broth

1 Cup milk

2 15 oz cans Mixed Veggies, drained {I used 1 can of green beans and 1 can of corn}

3/4 Cup crumbled bacon pieces, already cooked {I used 1/2 cup or less and I think it could be omitted all together.}

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 six count can Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits {I used an 8 count can.}

1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt

1/2 teaspoon reserved dry Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.    Place shredded chicken into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle in ranch mix (reserve 1/2 teaspoon for later), salt and pepper.  Toss to combine seasonings.

2.  In a large stock pot or dutch oven, place soups, broth and milk over medium heat; whisk until combined.  Stir in mixed veggies then shredded chicken.  Transfer to a large 9×13 inch {or larger if you have one!} baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle bacon and 1 cup of cheese over top.

3.  Open biscuits and place onto wax paper.  Cut each biscuit into little triangle pieces {I cut each one into 6 pieces}.  Place little pieces of biscuit over top of chicken mixture until it’s all covered.  Sprinkle biscuits with remaining ranch dressing mix, garlic salt and 1/2 Cup cheese.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and biscuits are cooked through underneath.  Cover with foil the last 25 minutes of baking to prevent too much browning.  Let cool for 10 minutes then serve in shallow bowls.

Enjoy.

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

I have mentioned my homemade tomato sauce numerous times {here, here, and here}, so I thought its time to finally post the recipe. You can use this recipe just as it is, or just use the method and go ahead and adapt to your taste.  For example, add a diced carrot and/or celery stick and omit the onion and peppers…whatever you like is fine!  I happen to prefer it chunky and peppery, but you may not, so add more wine, broth or water to thin it out and omit the red pepper flakes, etc.

This makes a lot, but it freezes nicely.  And, I know you may be thinking that it is easier to open a jar of sauce from the grocery store, but those generally contain more sugar than necessary.  A homemade batch of sauce only contains exactly what you like and want and you can control the quality of ingredients.  If you freeze smaller portions of this, it is just as easy to use as reaching for a store bought jar.

If you are making this for kids, pregnant women, or are just avoiding alcohol for whatever reason, go ahead and substitute any kind of broth for the wine (even though the alcohol cooks out, you can’t be too careful).

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 bell pepper {any color}, diced

1 onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup red wine

one 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

one 28 oz can diced tomatoes, slightly drained if you like thick sauce

one 14.5 oz can tomato sauce

3 or 4 heaping tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a deep soup pot or dutch oven, saute bell pepper, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat for a few minutes or until slightly soft and starting to brown.  Add wine and scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon.

Then add all of the tomatoes and stir well.  Bring to a simmer and taste.  Then add seasonings, and taste.  Continue to simmer at least another 20 minutes {1 hour is better}, taste again and adjust seasoning.  It will get thicker the longer it simmers.

At this point it is ready to serve over pasta if you like it chunky.  If not, you could use an immersion blender to puree it if you like a smoother sauce.

Or, cool it down and freeze in smaller containers.

Pictured above – I added meat to the sauce.  To do this, add ground sausage {sweet or hot} or hamburger to the pot with the onions, bell pepper and garlic.  Be sure to thoroughly brown the beef.  Drain, and then continue adding the tomatoes, etc…

Keep in mind that if you add meat, you won’t be able to blend it to a thinner consistency.

Menu 10-19-09

Meals:

Chicken Alfredo {hi Angie!} with broccoli

Pork Tenderloin and sweet potatoes

Leftovers…we are getting an awesome new fridge at the end of this week so I want our current fridge to be as empty as possible.

Other things I want to bake:

Beer Bread

chocolate chip cookies

granola bars

Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Hmmm…I don’t really know how to describe these rolls.  They were both easy and difficult to make at the same time.  Easy because they call for pre-made crescent dough and just a little mixing of a few other ingredients, but difficult because I found them messy and hard to roll and slice.

Also, they tasted good, but had no wow factor.  I tasted the frosting on its own before spreading it on the rolls, and I thought it tasted great. I also tasted a roll without frosting and thought it had nice flavor and I would probably enjoy eating them again sans frosting.  Although I may suggest kicking up the flavor with just a little more cinnamon/spice next time.  But the combination of the frosting with the rolls did nothing for me and I thought they tasted like little boring blobs.

The recipe creator {Picky Palate}, suggests using the frosting as a fruit dip, and I think that sounds like something we would like.  Tim thought the rolls were okay, but said he wouldn’t care if I never make them again and he normally LOVES all things pumpkin flavored.

Normally I wouldn’t post a recipe that we don’t like but, I am posting this recipe because I don’t think it is necessarily a flop.  I think it has potential, it just needs a little tweaking.  And I think each of the two elements are good on their own.  The thing that I am banking on being the true problem here is that the crescents aren’t a firm enough dough for my liking.  I just think they are too soft.  I’ll probably experiment with this filling and frosting on my go-to cinnamon roll recipe in the near future.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Source: Picky Palate

2 packages/cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup canned pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Unroll crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles placed side by side.  Pinch seams together to form one long rectangle.  Repeat with the second can of rolls, and line them up directly below the first row.  When you finish lining them up, you should have one large rectangle consisting of 8 single rectangles, 2 rows and 4 columns.  Take care to pinch all the seams together!

Place cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixer; beat until well combined.  Spread mixture over crescents leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges.  Starting at long end, roll up then cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place around two 9 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.  Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting recipe below.

Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 Cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin

1.  Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until smooth.  Spread over warm rolls.

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Chicken Quesadillas

For a really quick dinner the other night, I threw together some quesadillas and served them with chips and homemade salsa.  These quesadillas are simple and delicious!

The sky is the limit when choosing your fillings, so go ahead and adapt to your taste even if that means a simple cheese quesadilla.

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Here’s how I made them:

Chicken Quesadillas

{serves 2}

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil

1.5 cups chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded

taco seasoning & water if needed

1 small onion, chopped

3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

butter

4 flour tortillas

Directions:

Lightly butter one side of each flour tortilla and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and saute the onions and peppers until tender, just a minute or two.  Then add the cooked chicken and heat through.  Season with taco seasoning.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle or grill pan over medium heat.  Place one tortilla on the pan with the butter side down, and spread 1/2 cup cheese on top.  Then, place one quarter of the meat mixture over the cheese.  Allow the cheese to melt, but don’t over brown the tortilla.  Once cheese is melted, fold in half and remove.  Repeat with remaining 3 tortillas.

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Once all tortillas are made, slice each one into 3 triangles.

Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side.

Oven “Fried” Chicken Tenders

Do you ever crave kiddie food?  I sure do!  Mac and cheese, grilled cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets – all of these are considered kid food in my book.  That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of wonderful grown up or gourmet versions of them out there, but sometimes you just want the basics.

This chicken tender recipe definitely met that need.  They are just simply perfect – crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and slightly sweet.  Yum!

In the future, I may add different seasonings and spices to the flour part of the breading, just for variation.  Cajun seasoning comes to mind as the one I’ll try first.  Also, due to having extra cereal crumbs after breading all the tenders, next time I’ll use just 1.5 cups crushed cereal instead of 2 cups.  I have made that change in the ingredient list below.

I served them with homemade mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Crispy Baked Chicken Strips
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, seen at Annie’s Eats}

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/4 cup table salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips {I used 10 chicken tenders}
1/4 cup flour
7 tbsp. butter, melted
1.5 cups finely crushed Corn Flakes cereal {I used the “touch of honey” kind}

 

Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve salt in 1 quart cold water.  Add the chicken to the brine, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Remove the cutlets from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400° F. Place an oven-safe baking rack on a baking sheet [lined with foil for easier clean up].  Place the flour and butter in separate bowls.  Place the crushed cereal flakes in a shallow pie plate.  {I used 3 pie plates for the breading process.}  Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, then the butter, then the crushed cereal, shaking off excess in between each step.  Place the coated chicken strips on the prepared baking rack.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve with your choice of dipping sauces.

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