Tag Archive: Chicken

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

I get inspiration to make something when I hear and think about it all day.  A friend at work made Chicken Piccata for her son’s birthday.  That sounded so good to me.  I just had to have something with that acidic taste.  I didn’t have any lemons.  So I looked around the pantry and spied the Balsamic vinegar.  Why not?

Now I’m back on my “life style eating” plan (not a diet) so you can’t see the 4 ounces of chicken breast under the vegetables.  It’s there.  I should have used Canola oil rather than olive oil and no butter.  The chicken had no fat on it, so a little flavor was necessary.

I get carried away during the holidays and eat things that aren’t good for me.  Winter is not necessarily a good time to restart, but I have to do it sometime.  I have gradually given up Taco Cabana’s chicken flautas.  I just can’t go cold turkey!  Now it’s time to get serious and focused.  I think I have all the issues I need to worry about out of the way (I hope). I can concentrate on not eating everything I take a picture of for you to try.

Resolution/Solution:  Eat more salads, vegetables and chicken.  Try fish once in a while.

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Guest Post: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Our dear friend and Girl Scout Leader wanted to share this dip for the Super Bowl party with everyone.  She has a great and interesting blog Pearls on a Pig. Recently, she made Girl Scout cookie costumes to help her troop with cookie sales.  Check it out!  She just hasn’t had time to post this there.  You know, she is busy being a mother, worker, Girl Scout leader and volunteer.  She is a great baker and cook and this is one of her great recipes that I have personally taste tested.  So, here it is.  Enjoy!

Ginger Soy Chicken Noodle Soup

A Guest Post by Big Sister

Great minds think alike!  As the Tumbleweed Contessa was defending against the cold weather with her pressure cooker Chicken Soup I was whipping up a chicken soup from a friend.  I gladly moved back to Texas a few years ago because I could not stand cold and cloudy any longer.  This week we are having an unusual stretch of that weather which is so reminiscent of those days before I moved.  I was frumping around my house with all my layers on and staring hopefully at the window when this recipe dinged in my mailbox.  It really did turn my frown upside down.  I still need to see the sun mind you, but this helped.

Michelle B. gave me this recipe.  It is absolutely divine and OH SO EASY.  The soup makes enough for 8-10 people but we ate almost all of it between two of us.  This is going into my list of regulars for sure.  Don’t skip the greens in this one.  They count as vegetables and add great flavor.

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Cold Weather Chicken Soup

I think I am in love with my new T-fal pressure cooker.  Whatever I can think up, I can make when I get home from work and have for dinner.  I don’t always know what I may want for dinner when I leave in the morning.  Sometimes I go home at lunch (I work about 15 minutes from my office) and put something in the crock pot.  Now I can do it when I get home in the pressure cooker.  That way I have time to read some blogs and answer email while dinner is cooking.  I’m all about multi-tasking.  When the weather said 80% chance of snow for tomorrow, I knew I needed soup for lunch the next day. And guess what?  It snowed!   This is just outside my office.  I know it’s not much snow to some of you, but to West Texans this is just right!

What I like is the “long-cooking” flavor that develops as it is cooking.  Soups are the only thing I have made so far.  Next I am going to try a pot roast.  I really like pot roast, though none of my family cares for it.  My Momma made the best pot roast with potatoes and carrots and gravy.  Then she added a butterscotch and chocolate cream pie to that. I would love to have some of her pie.  I don’t do pies, and I don’t need them.  I can taste this meal still.

This soup is magic!  Day-long simmered flavor in 30 minutes.

Take a minute to stop by and meet my new “ramblin” friend Diana at New Friend Friday.  She is a creative lady with great ideas who has been a really good blog learning resource for me.

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Chicken Stir Fry

After Christmas, I need something entirely different tasting.  I was hungry for Chinese and decided a quick dinner was a stir fry with lots of veggies.  I could do without the meat and it would be just as good. The crispy pieces of chicken coated in the cornstarch were nice.

This is a quick one pot dinner that is easy to fix  Do you have any one pot wonders for a quick dinner?  I go to a stir fry to clear out the veggies from the crisper drawer too. After the holidays I always seem to have a few good veggies in need of an inventive meal.

 

Dr. Pepper Fajitas

Living here in the southwest we love our spicy food.  Anything on a tortilla is especially appetizing to my children.  Starting out I made over-spiced meat and made some really tough fajitas.  I have found that putting them in a container to marinade for a few hours really helps with flavor and tenderness.  A friend shared with me that a local restaurant used canned soda to make their fajitas.  So I tried it with Dr. Pepper and dry fajita seasoning.  The result was a tender piece of meat with a nice crust after grilling.  I even grill the peppers and onions.  Very little oil is required to grill the veggies.  This results in no leftovers.  So I think it is a winner.

 

My children like these served with Mexican rice and refried beans to make a loaded fajita burrito.

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Healthy, Easy and Hearty Chicken Stew

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our East Coast friends and family and everyone there too. We are thinking of you and this bowl of soup is just right for cold and wet. Take care!

I think I have been too busy at work, my volunteer job and kitchen creativity.  I’m tired.  I have been so busy I haven’t even written some of these wild concoctions up for you.  I have become determined to make easier and healthier meals for a while.  When cooking becomes a chore, I need to reevaluate what I am doing.  So, I made this simple Chicken Stew.  It was good and easy.  The recipe serves 2, but of course it can be multiplied.

Chicken Stew

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced 3/4”
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Water or chicken broth for simmering the chicken and adding to the stew

Simmer the chicken breast in a large open pan with the bay leaf, the oregano, salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, dice and cook the potato in a separate small saucepan until tender.  Add the bell pepper, celery, carrot and onion to the chicken.  Cook all these together for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken breast and cut it up when tender, returning it to the stew.  Add the potato without draining too much water off.  Add more water or chicken broth if needed and adjust for seasoning.   Add the frozen peas last and let this simmer to warm until the peas are tender.

Mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with enough water to thin and add to the stew.  Simmer until ready to serve.  The stew is not thick.  You can make your’s thicker with more cornstarch.

I served this with a large spinach salad with balsamic vinegar.  It was an-easy-to-prepare meal that was warm and good. Just what the Doctor ordered.  Well, not my doctor, he wants me to eat lettuce and mashed cauliflower.  In any event, it made me feel better.  I need to rest up because the busiest cooking time of the year is upon us.

Don’t forget to submit your cookie recipes to the Holiday Cookie Exchange.

Cookies 2012

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Hank’s Barbecued Chicken and My Pumpkin Streusel Cake

The last weekend of summer is what Labor Day means to me.   I hope the weather man knows that and begins to forecast cooler weather.   I skipped watering the flowers for a couple of days and they were drooping and looking frail from the heat and lack of water.

I did think about a grilled meal for this long weekend and what would go with it.  Green chile cheese grits, bar-b-que chicken and a decadent cake for dessert.  So, I made the whole thing.  Not good for the diet, but boy did it taste good!   The Hatch green chiles were a great addition to the cheese grits.  For the chicken, no low fat boneless skinless stuff.  Legs and thighs with the skin on were on my menu.  My son said he hadn’t had that much good food to eat in a long time.  “Music to a mother’s ears!”  Of course, the second helping of everything put him out for a nap.

I topped it off with a Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Cake.  I’m taking that to a pot luck dinner, but I needed a taste tester.  He volunteered.  He said it was great, if all the sugar didn’t put him in a coma.  I doubt it will do that.  It was a huge cake slice though.

This does not mean I’m not cooking again anytime soon, but nothing so rich and decadent as all those in the same meal.  It was fun.  Yes, I thinking cooking is fun and very relaxing.   Then I had to take pictures and write about it to share with you, my friend.  Wish you were here in my kitchen to join me.

Hank usually order cheese grits or scalloped potatoes, salad and broccoli with the chicken.  He cooked outside while I cooked inside and I cleaned up.  He had menus that went together.  I miss those menus, but not the cleaning up. I am celebrating his menu this weekend and adding a Pumpkin Streusel Spice Cake to top it all off.

Green Chile Cheese Grits

  • 1 cup grits (quick cooking, not instant)
  • 4 cups salted water (bring to a boil)
  • 1 stick Parkay margarine
  • 3 cups grated cheese, Cheddar is my favorite
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (or more)
  • 4-5 Hatch green chiles , roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

Cook the grits according to package directions.  (I don’t like the instant grits, but quick grits is all I can find any more.)

When the grits are done, add the eggs and beat in quickly.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to melt the margarine and cheese.

Pour into a well-buttered casserole dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350°.  The edges should begin to brown and crisp.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to set before serving.

 

Bar-B-Que Chicken

  • 1 large chicken or 6 large chicken parts  (We like legs and thighs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • water
  • Hank’s bar-b-que sauce or your choice of bottled sauce (see below)

Put the chicken in a large bowl and add enough water to cover.  Add 1 cup vinegar and salt and pepper.  Let marinade in the refrigerator at least an hour or 4 is better.  Drain well and pat dry.    Season generously with salt and pepper.

Place 2 pieces of chicken in a foil square and I sometimes double wrap them if using skin-on chicken.   Wrap tightly to allow to steam.  I use a gas grill,  but coals work too.  Turn over 2  times (every 15 minutes).  Then remove the chicken from the foil and allow to brown on the grill and baste with the bar-b-que sauce.

Hank’s bar-b-que sauce was unique.  It involved a basic bottled Cattleman’s Bar-B-Que sauce, a couple of tablespoons of butter, lemon pepper dry marinade, catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper and finally 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  What a concoction!  I seldom do all that.  Any bottled sauce works for me in a pinch. 

Pumpkin Streusel Cake

 Cake

 

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 

Streusel

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a Bundt or tube pan well.

In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy on medium.  Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix well.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and spices.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed just to combine.  Stir with a spatula to be sure all ingredients are well combined.

Combine the streusel ingredients in a bowl.  Put about 2/3 of the batter in the Bundt pan and add ½ of the streusel mix evenly over the batter.  Drop in the remaining batter and spread over the streusel.  Add the remaining streusel on the cake top.

Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes on a baking rack.  Invert on a plate.  Using another plate turn the cake streusel side up for a pretty presentation.

Drizzle with a maple glaze(below)

Maple Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Milk to thin to the consistency needed to drizzle on the cake.

Have a slice and enjoy!

 

I think I will take this to my favorite parties this week.  Mrs. Happy HomemakerKing’s Court,
  Jam Hands Or so she says  Recipe Box

 

Soup, Salad and Laundry?

This week we are hopping with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (a gluten free gal!), HomesteadSimple and Haute Mom.  I am also getting ready to take this to Strut Your Stuff Saturday with the Six Sisters.  I just love them and their stuff.  You should check them out.  Such a sweet story and a fun blog with lots of great ideas.

I got a call from my son, Andy on Saturday morning.  We had planned to get together over the weekend, but I didn’t know when he might decide to come over.  His call was to ask if he could come for lunch.  Oh, and by the way, could he bring his laundry?  While I am doing his laundry he tells me he needs to go to the outlet mall to get some new jeans.  So off he goes to the mall.  He comes back with new jeans and three new shirts.  He asks me for washing details for his new clothes.  I don’t know why he asks me about those details.  I’m glad he is trying to take care of his new shirts though.

I was glad I had the chicken and fixings for a light salad, and I had the soup made up.  So lunch was a cinch to put together.  He’s been watching his weight so a full cooked meal was not necessary.  Thank goodness, because I was in the middle of mixing up some oatmeal cookies because it was a nice cool morning.  I like to bake cookies on those rare cool summer days like my momma used to do. I got them baked about 4:00PM and it had warmed up some by then.

I have enough soup and salad left over for another meal or two for me.  It should serve 4 easily.  This chicken salad would be great served on some hoagie rolls with sliced tomatoes and leaf lettuce too.   It was soup and salad for us.  It was nice.

Spicy Chicken Salad

  • ¾ * of a rotisserie chicken, diced, bones and skin removed
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • ½ medium cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Heinz Hot Relish
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, low-fat (if you like your salad a little more moist add more mayo)
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • baby spinach

*I reserved ½ the breast for another meal.  You can use an entire chicken.  Combine the chicken, cucumber, celery, onion, relish, pecans, and mayonnaise.  Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste.  Mix lightly to combine.

Store in an air tight container to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  Serve on a bed of spinach or your favorite salad greens along with a cup of the Summer Squash Soup served hot or cold.

I served Breton Multigrain crackers with the soup and salad to make it a full, cool and easy lunch.

Since I have an abundance of squash from my garden, (I guess you have figured that out by now.) I am in search of any way to use it.  This idea came from a cream soup recipe, which I adapted and made into a clear squash soup.  It is tasty and served warm is a nice addition to a salad.  I’m not to keen on cold soups, but this one might be ok.  I’m going to give it a try.  I think I have finally found a spot to grow German thyme in my garden.  Lots of things are getting that added lemony taste this summer.

Summer Squash Soup with Thyme

  • 3 tablespoons butter or Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and green parts, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds mixed summer squash (green or yellow zucchini, crookneck,      pattypan), chopped into medium pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, low fat or full fat

Heat butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add leek and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek and garlic begin to sweat but do not brown, about 5 minutes.

Add summer squash and season to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to sweat. (Do not brown.) This should take about 7-10 minutes. Add enough water so the squash is almost, but not fully, covered, about 3 cups. Cover saucepan partially and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until squash is just tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Use a hand blender to blend soup until smooth or blend soup in a blender in two batches. Blend until totally smooth (again, working in batches if using standard blender), about 1 minute. (Strain soup through fine mesh strainer if desired.)  I didn’t do this.  I like a little crunch to my soup.

Let the soup cool at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally. Transfer to refrigerator and let cool, stirring occasionally, until well chilled, about 45 minutes.

Check soup and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper.  At this point it can be served with a drop of Greek yogurt or thyme to taste.

Makes 2 quarts, serving 4 to 6.

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

I’m rather patriotic.  I tear up at the Star Spangled Banner unless some twit is singing it on tv at a football game or NASCAR.  A certain amount of dignity is required, I think.  I love 4th of July parades, fireworks displays and bands.  The Boston Pops can keep me in tears. My high school band was a very special group of students.  We all felt pride when it came to the National Anthem and our school song.  I’m going to get to be a part of that in September at a high school reunion at homecoming.  (Hanky alert!)

I had to come up with a food for the 4th and chicken is my “go to” food.  Plus it is white.  Blue potatoes.  I never thought I would cook blue potatoes, but what better opportunity to use some of those little things.  Paula and I agree – potatoes are one of our favorite foods.  These little tiny things can’t have too many carbs in them.  Red is for tomatoes and red onions.  This is a simple recipe.

Red, White and Blue Chicken Skewers

  • 1 package of chicken tenderloins cut in half or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in strips lengthwise
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large red onion, cut in 8ths
  • 8 small blue potatoes, left whole
  • Salt and pepper
  • Low-fat salad dressing or your favorite marinade

I pre-cooked the potatoes in the microwave for about 4 minutes on a glass plate. Spread  the chicken with low-fat Italian salad dressing.  You could certainly make your own dressing.  Then I used metal skewers or you can pre-soak some wooden skewers for the kabobs.

To assemble the kabobs:

  1. Onion
  2. Chicken
  3. Tomato
  4. Chicken
  5. Potato
  6. Chicken
  7. Tomato
  8. Chicken
  9. Potato

This should make 4-5 kabobs depending on the length of your skewer.  Mine were about 10” and it made 4 very full kabobs.

After assembling salt and pepper and add an additional herb.  I chose a garlic/herb seasoning with no sodium.

I put these on a hot grill and cooked for about 7 minutes on one side and about 6 minutes on the other.  Only turning once so the tomatoes don’t fall apart.  Use tongs and turn them by using a piece of the chicken to hold on to as you turn.

Additional salad dressing can be added to one side before you turn and on the other side after turning.   Remove to a platter and allow to rest while you assemble your salad.