Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buffalo Pulled Chicken

A while back I found a pin for this type of thing on Pinterest. The recipe took me back to a blog I'd never been to before called My Kitchen Apron and I decided to give it a shot although I made several changes after reading reviews and such. It was pretty tasty, but definitely hit my preferred tolerance-level as far as the heat was concerned (Bing would probably not consume this as he and I share drastically different "pepper palates" as it were. It made for a tasty open-faced sandwich with some ranch dressing drizzled over the top though and it shall be a tasty treat to keep in the freezer when I want a warm treat!

Buffalo Pulled Chicken
Serves 5 (generously)
Estimated Point Value: 4.5 pts

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix
2 Tbsp butter, salted
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  1. In a crock pot, layer the chicken breasts after spraying the pot with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the packet of dressing mix over the top of the chicken.
  3. Pour the hot sauce and chicken stock over the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. After 4 hours remove the chicken from the crock pot and "pull" (using two forks or the handy stand-mixer-with-paddle-attachment trick, whichever you prefer) then return to the crock pot.
  6. Add the butter and yogurt and stir well.
  7. Cook for 1-2 hours on low until it reaches your desired consistency.

    I went about 30 minutes with the lid on, then 30 with the lid off, 30-on, 30-off. The result was a bit sloppy for picking up a sandwich to eat, but I ate mine open-faced and it was amazing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ham and Mushroom Quiche

What to do with leftover Easter ham? The possibilities are all delicious, but this year I attempted my first quiche. From what I gathered doing some research on the interwebz, there were about a bazillion ways to make quiche. I stumbled along and came up with something I found pretty tasty (and it even qualified as "dinner" for Hubby which is quite a feat since he would probably say there is only one person's serving of actual ham in the quiche ;-) )

Ham and Mushroom Quiche
Serves 6

8 oz diced cooked ham
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small red onion
4 eggs
1 cup milk
6 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury is my brand of choice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a pie pan for baking with the refrigerated pie crust.
  2. In a skillet with some olive oil, saute the mushrooms and onion together until soft.
  3. Layer the ham on the bottom of the pie shell, then the onion/mushrooms, and finally the cheese.
  4. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and milk and pour over the top of the quiche filling.
  5. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until the egg is set and a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool a bit before serving.
Super easy and super delicious. I didn't use any seasoning since the various components were pretty flavorful on their own. I have a feeling you could adjust the filling for whatever veggies you had on-hand and it would be just as delicious!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mini Iced Sugar Cookies

Happy Easter!!

I've had "Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!" in my head for the past 24 hours...not in a bad way, but I never could quite since those alleluias sung in all. Still it's one of my favorite hymns of all time and you really only hear it at Easter in most churches (unless you get a special request day...oh man...those were the best...Dad always requests #600 Wonder Words of hymn I can still play on the piano without much trouble at all...then again...I was always better at hymns than your standard-issue classical was the chords...I have super long fingers...this makes hymns a bit easier...but I digress.)

I saw these cookies a week or so ago and knew I wanted to make them for the post-church lunch we're hosting for our family and friends today for a couple of reasons.

#1 - Sugar cookies are The Hubby's favorite and I have yet to perfect these bad boys. (I believe I have done so with this recipe).

#2 - How cute are the Cadbury Mini-Eggs?! I had never eaten one until baking these cookies and oh my goodness, I'm HOOKED! The colors are great and springy and fun.

We don't do Easter Bunny shenanigans around here, but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy a good theme-cookie =)

Mini Iced Sugar Cookies
Makes 5 dozen mini-cookies

22 1/4 oz flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
10 1/2 oz sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1/3 cup unsalted better, meled
1 Tbsp vanilla
Green food coloring

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a stand-mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium/high until fluffy.
  3. With the mixer still going, add in the eggs and vanilla (each egg one at a time).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture (I kept the machine going and just kept adding in spoonfuls of the flour so the mixer wouldn't get too overwhelmed).
  5. Cover the dough and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets.
  7. Roll the dough into balls using about a tablespoon of dough (or if you're a nut like me, 3/4 oz of dough per my kitchen scale!) and place on the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake the first set of sheets for 10-11 minutes, rotating once halfway through. (Bake the remaining sheets 9-10 minutes.)
  9. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to allow them to completely cool before icing.
  1. Beat together all the icing ingredients (add more sugar to thicken, more milk to thin) - I used 8 drops of food coloring for this amount of icing.
  2. Make sure the icing is thick enough that it will harden and keep the candy eggs in place.
  3. Using a star-tip, ice the cookies and place three eggs on top.
  4. Allow the icing to set completely before storing.
I ran out of eggs because I'm a moron and so I used some jellybeans. Which this isn't as cute, it's certainly tasty and good for any non-chocolate lovers in your house (I have no idea what those people are personally, but I hear they exist...people that don't like chocolate...)

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasing life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stuffed Red Peppers

So, my mother is going to pass out when she sees this one!

I hate stuffed peppers.

So, why are they making an appearance on my blog? Why, they are one of Megan's favorite foods, so naturally I need to learn how to make it so that when she doesn't have the time in her schedule for a road-trip to her mom's kitchen, she can just place her request for some peppers and consider it done (complete with her own set to take home in an aluminum baking dish that she can pop in the oven and then throw away after consuming the contents, brilliant!)

The results were pretty tasty, I'll consider the major improvement the red bell pepper vs. green bell pepper I grew up eating (stuffed with meatloaf, which you know is also one of my least favorite foods, but one I have two good recipes for since not only does Hubby love meatloaf, it's one of Megan and Tessa's favorites's a girl to do ;-) ) Next time I may play with the spices a bit more...remove the cumin and dump up the Italian Seasoning or keep the cumin and add some corn and/or black beans for a more Tex-Mex twist (as you know I love!)

Stuffed Red Peppers
Stuffs 4-5 small/medium-sized red bell peppers
Estimated Point Value: 2.5 per half-pepper

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 onion, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c tomato sauce
14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, drained
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
RF Cheddar Cheese, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and prepare a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook rice according to the package instructions and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Brown beef with onion in a large skillet.
  4. Season beef and pour in tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, breaking up tomatoes into smaller chunks.
  5. Allow beef mixture liquid to reduce until basically gone.
  6. Combine beef mixture and rice mixture in a large bowl.
  7. In the large casserole dish lay out the pepper halves (cut in halve, remove stems, ribs, and seeds).
  8. Fill each pepper with as much of the beef and rice mixture as possible (I got just under a 1/4 cup in mine I believe).
  9. Pour in the remaining chicken stock around the peppers (not too deep, barely covering the bottom of the pan.
  10. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and top with shredded cheese and allow to melt, or put back in the oven for a minute or two to speed up the melting process.

I served one pepper (two halves) with sides for dinner last night - broccoli roasts nicely in the 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes...spray with olive oil spray and season with garlic salt and pepper...that's basically all you need unless your dining companion is like my man requires a potato =P) I'm guessing you could freeze individual pepper halves that have been stuffed before the baking and have an easy to pull-out dinner in the freezer waiting for you, not a bad idea if I do say so myself!