Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken Salad Revistited...

A while ago I posted about a chicken salad recipe I made, mentioning that I heard variations of chicken salad using yogurt instead of mayo. I now must say:

Best. Idea. Ever.

The yogurt based chicken salad is a bit sweeter but that's pretty much the only difference. I added walnuts and celery. It was awesome.

Just thought I'd share

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut finely (leftovers are awesome I found out)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp finely diced onion
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  1. Mix cream cheese, chicken, celery, and onions in a bowl.
  2. roll out the thawed pie crust. Cut into 3 by 3 inch squares.
  3. add a SMALL amount of the mixture on the pie crust. Seriously, overstuffing is bad...
  4. before folding, dip your finger in water and trace along the edges, this acts as a glue for the pie crust
  5. fold over and seal edges with a fork.
  6. bake for 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
OVERALL: This recipe was inspired by One of Paula Deen's and an early afternoon due to a canceled biochemistry class (canceled meaning there was a review Q&A session...). So I got home, having leftover chicken and half a pie crust left to use. Since the original recipe had some ingredients that my fridge lacked, I changed the idea around, playing with my favorite flavors.

It was very good. The only off putting thing was the pie crust was a little heavy. Maybe using wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers would be better, but the whole ratio of filling to bread was off... Also, I made this mean for just me, it was very simply to make, the most time consuming thing being assembling the empanadas. Also, I forgot to add cheese... i might do that next time=)

Look at that overflowing filling.... Need to be more conservative!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berry Muffins =)

Mixed Berry Muffin
  • 1 box muffin mix (I used blueberry since the blueberries come separate)
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jelly
  • 1/3 cup milk

1. Combine muffin mix, milk and jelly... don't worry it's not going to look smooth because of the jelly.

2. Slowly fold in the berries.

3. Bake in a 425 oven for 16 minutes.

Overall: These were really good. I was trying to substitute the vegetable oil for something else. Normally I resort to applesauce but since I was sans applesauce, I opted for trying Strawberry jelly. It worked nice, but as the muffins cooled they got a bit stickier. But I loved adding the frozen fruit instead of using the prepackaged blueberries that came with the muffin mix. It was awesome. That being said I'm going to stick with substituting applesauce for oil when I feel the need to be health(ier)...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Soups! (21-40)

21. Fish Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16) with just 2 ounces bacon. Omit sage; swap the cream with half-and-half. Add 1 pound white fish chunks and 1/2 pound flaked smoked trout during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
22. Pistou Make Minestrone (No. 20); add 1 sliced zucchini and 1 cup diced butternut squash with the vegetables. Swirl in pesto.
23. Tortellini Make Minestrone (No. 20); substitute 1 cup tortellini for the ditalini.
24. Sweet Potato Sweat 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, and 1 teaspoon coriander in olive oil. Simmer with 6 cups chicken broth until soft. Puree; top with salsa.
25. Curried Sweet Potato Make Sweet Potato Soup (No. 24); use butter instead of oil and add 1 tablespoon curry powder with the potatoes. Top with chutney.
26. Curried Red Lentil Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 each chopped onion and carrot, 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger and a pinch of cayenne in oil. Add 6 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup rice; simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with lime, cilantro and scallions.
27. Split Pea Simmer 1/2 pound split peas with 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot, a ham hock and a bundle of fresh herbs in 5 cups water until tender. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in ham.
28. Vegetarian Pea Make Split Pea Soup (No. 27); omit the ham hock. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in; add 1 cup diced carrot. Top with croutons.
29. Cheddar-Horseradish Sweat 2 each diced carrots and leeks in butter. Add cayenne, salt, 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons dry mustard; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 bottle beer, 1/4 cup horseradish, 3 cups water and a dash of Worcestershire; simmer until thick. Whisk in 2 cups half-and-half and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
30. French Onion Cook 4 sliced onions and 2 thyme sprigs in butter, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 hour, or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups beef broth; simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac, salt and pepper. Top with gruyère toasts.

31. Tomato Alphabet Boil 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato juice and a pinch of dried oregano. Add 1/2 cup alphabet pasta, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Stir in grated parmesan.
32. Tomato Orzo Make Tomato Alphabet Soup (No. 31) with orzo instead of alphabet pasta. Omit parmesan; top with feta and dill.
33. Carrot-Ginger Sweat 2 sliced shallots and 3 tablespoons minced ginger in butter; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 pound sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water. Simmer until the rice is tender, then puree.
34. Carrot-Dill Make Carrot-Ginger Soup (No. 33); omit the ginger and add chopped dill. Garnish with sour cream.
35. Pappa al Pomodoro Sauté 1 chopped onion in oil until tender; add 3 chopped garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes, 1 large can chopped tomatoes, 1 cup water and a basil sprig. Add 2 cups stale bread cubes; simmer 20 minutes.
36. Thai Coconut Sauté 3 sliced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a Thai chile in oil. Add 1 sliced raw chicken breast and 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
37. Black Bean Soak 1/2 pound dried black beans overnight; drain. Sauté 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot and 2 smashed garlic cloves in oil. Add beans, thyme, a bay leaf, a ham hock and 5 cups water; simmer 40 minutes. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in the ham.
38. Mexican Bean Make Black Bean Soup (No. 37); omit thyme and add 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and cumin. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in. Mix in the juice of 1 lime; top with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.
39. Curried Cauliflower Cook 4 sliced leeks with 1 tablespoon curry powder in butter. Add 1 head chopped cauliflower and 1 garlic clove; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until soft, then puree. Simmer with 1 cup cream.
40. Thai Shrimp Make Thai Coconut Soup (No. 36); omit the chicken and add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Also from Food Network

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Soups! (1-20)

1. Basic Chicken Chop 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 2 carrots and 1 tablespoon thyme; sauté in butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups chicken broth; simmer 20 minutes. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/3 cup mixed chopped dill and parsley, and some lemon juice.
2. Chicken Rice Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1); omit dill and add chives, chervil and tarragon. Stir in 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice.
3. Italian Wedding Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1) with a rind of parmesan in the broth. Add 1 pound mini meatballs, 1 cup orzo and 3 cups torn escarole; simmer until the orzo is tender.
4. Chicken Dumpling Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup farina cereal and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop half-teaspoonfuls into simmering chicken broth; cook for 3 minutes after the dumplings float.
5. Escarole and White Bean Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 head chopped escarole and a parmesan rind; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 can white beans, parmesan and salt.
6. Butternut Squash Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Simmer until tender, then puree.
7. Squash and Sage Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6) using 2 shallots instead of onion. Fry sage leaves in the butter. Replace 1 1/2 cups of the broth with apple cider; add nutmeg. Top with crème fraîche and the fried sage.
8. Parsnip-Bacon Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6); substitute 2 pounds parsnips for the squash. Top with crumbled bacon and crème fraîche.
9. Asian Chicken Puree 2 garlic cloves with a 2-inch piece peeled ginger; fry in oil with 1 bunch sliced scallions. Add 3 cups each chicken broth and water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and a pinch of sugar; boil. Add shredded cooked chicken, sliced carrots and snow peas; drizzle with sesame oil.
10. Spicy Dumpling Make Asian Chicken Soup (No. 9); add frozen dumplings instead of chicken. Top with Asian chili sauce.
11. Spicy Tortilla Puree 2 seeded, soaked ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; fry in oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth, 4 torn corn tortillas, some shredded cooked chicken and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer until thick. Add salt; garnish with crisp tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, avocado, cilantro and lime juice. (I sorta made this?)

12. Stracciatella Beat 2 eggs with 1/3 cup grated parmesan. Drizzle into 6 cups simmering chicken broth; cook 2 minutes.
13. Egg Drop Cook 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and 3 chopped scallions in sesame oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth and 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and sherry; bring to a simmer. Slowly pour in 2 beaten eggs and cook 2 minutes.
14. Sausage-Bean Make Escarole and White Bean Soup (No. 5); sauté 4 chopped sweet Italian sausages with the garlic.
15. Egg-Lemon Cook 1/2 cup pastina in 6 cups simmering chicken broth with 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; whisk in a little hot broth, then stir the mixture into the soup. Cook over low heat until thick.
16. Potato Chowder Sauté 4 ounces chopped bacon; add 2 tablespoons butter, 2 sliced leeks and 2 teaspoons each sage and thyme. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups cream, a bay leaf and 3 chopped potatoes. Simmer until tender; top with chives.
17. Potato Cheese Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); stir in 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar.
18. Clam Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage and use 2 cups each clam juice and water in place of broth. Season with cayenne. Add 2 cups clams during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
19. Corn Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage. Stir in 2 cups corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Garnish with diced roasted red peppers.
20. Minestrone Chop 3 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery stalk and 1/4 head cabbage; sauté in oil. Add 1 can each white beans and diced tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth and a parmesan rind; simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 cup ditalini pasta and simmer until tender. Add salt and pepper.

Courtesy of Food Network

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Girls Night Part 2

I mentioned in another post the awesome-ness that is Girls night. Every so often a group of my girlfriends and I decide on a theme and do dinner and a movie/TV show. Over summer it was True Blood...but now since that's over we must come up with either new show addictions or new ideas for dinner. For the record, it's a great way to de-stress from exams and homework and catch up with friends you might not see that often. I can't tell you how many friends I've lost to the library come mid-october (I may or may not be including myself)

This most recent night was favorite kids foods & movie. We had awesome mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and a killer veggie cassorole covered in cheese and goodness. We also watched the Little Mermaid, one of the classics of our childhood...

So I was wondering if any of the readers I may have (I know you are out there somewhere!) Have ideas for themed dinners aside from Mexican & Italian....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cream Cheese

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (rm temp)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  1. whisk cream cheese and maple syrup together until blended
  2. heat pumpkin on a small sauce pan, about 5 minutes
  3. combine all dry ingredients into large bowl
  4. in a seperate bowl, combine milk and eggs
  5. stir the pumpkin and butter to wet ingredients
  6. Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and heat.
  7. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
  8. fold egg whites into batter. ]
  9. ladle into waffle iron. enjoy =)
Overall: So for the record, these were made by my roommate and his awesome vegetarian cookbook/dictionary... Came home from shopping to this being made. Super awesome flavors and just a great treat. So good, they barely made it to a plate....

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hope they make your day better =)

Best Ice Cream Sandwich

From Here
Best Overall

Epi Top Pick: Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwich ($3.99 for a box of six)

Pros: The creamy ice cream with real vanilla flavor and the moist, spongy cakelike cookie won raves from the testers. "The ice cream is so fluffy and smooth!" said one editor. "The vanilla specks are not just for show, the ice cream tastes like it's made with a real vanilla pod; very natural," said another.

Cons: Thin in comparison to other competitors.

First Runner-Up: Nestle Super Sandwich ($2.50 per bar)

Pros: All editors agreed that this ice cream sandwich's 2:1 ice cream–to-cookie ratio was just right. Tasters also loved the incredibly creamy, milky ice cream and the coffee bean color and cocoa flavor of the cookie. "A masterpiece," commented one editor.

Cons: Cookie is a bit dry, according to several judges.

Best Nondairy: Organic So-Delicious Nondairy Frozen Dessert ($ 5.49 for a box of six)

Pros: This nondairy option was far more engaging than the other soy-based competitors. In addition to having a firm and dense filling, it actually tasted milky. The bars are also marketed as low-fat. "This one is my new go-to, even though I can eat dairy!" said one taster.

Cons: It's the most expensive of the winner's circle entries, and the filling has a slight eggnoglike taste.

The Other Contenders: The Bottom Three

Two out of the three nondairy varieties were voted the least favorite of all the sandwiches we tested. Soy Dream Lil' Dreamers had a grainy texture and tasted like edamame (soy beans). Tofutti Cuties' filling appeared foamy and had an off-putting orange tint.

Among the classic sandwiches, Dolly Madison's fared the worst: The ice cream was foamy and tasted artificial. The cookie was unimpressive—it tasted minty and like fake chocolate.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kit Kat Ice Cream

  • 4 kit-kat bars
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract.

1. Cut kit kats into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Combine sugar and egg until creamy
3. Slowly heat milk on stove.
4. Add the milk to the egg/sugar mixture SLOWLY and whisk while adding. (This prevents scrambled eggs...)
5. Return the egg/milk/sugar mixture to stove top and cook on low heat until heavy cream like consistency (coats the back of spoon)
6. In a separate bowl whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
7. Add the vanilla and fold in.
8. In the ice cream mixer combine the egg/sugar/milk mixture and the heavy cream into the ice mixture.
9. spin for 30 minutes. (add kit-kats about 5 minutes before ice cream is done.)

Overall: I made this with my new roomie and his ice cream maker. This was very creamy ice cream. We were using the good old Ben & Jerrys recipe book... from the 1980s. It said to use raw egg, so we modified the recipe and tempered the egg... (not even sure if I spelt that right). The recipe book called for 1/2 inch kit-kat bits but I would have cut them smaller. Also, roommate suggested that the ice cream was 'eggy' but in the same moment, other roommate didn't realize that egg was in the mixture but I would try to modify that because I did taste it. Not to mention there was a weird coating on the roof of your mouth when you ate this. Not sure what, but I would restructure this recipe before making again....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chocolate, Coffee, and... Peanut butter milkshake?

Yes, so this was an entry sitting in my "drafts" for a while simply because I made this way back in may with my sister and haven't even looked at posting this... but I should.
  • 3 scoops Vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • handful of chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

You should know my measurements are never exact and I think playing with what is available is always fun. We happened to have a smidgen of vanilla ice cream left and used the rest of the ingredients because they were almost empty and taking up space in the fridge. Always fun. But this is a very nice, smooth, and a tab rich for a milkshake. Not healthy by any means =)