Monday, August 30, 2010

Chipotle Chicken Salpicon Salad

I got this recipe from a Costco Cookbook.
Salpicon means 'hodgepodge' in Spanish; a pretty good description for this salad.
Which I devoured...
Chipotle Chicken Salpicon Salad
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. diced cheese (I used cheddar)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 ripe avocado, cubed
cilantro leaves

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 minced canned chipotle chile and 1/2 Tbsp. adobo sauce from the can
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients.
Cube salad ingredients so they are about the same size as the chickpeas.
Snip cilantro leaves into salad and pour however much of the dressing you want on top.
Toss to combine and serve.
Garnish with extra cilantro.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Savory Swiss Chard

My parents grew Swiss Chard a bunch when we were growing up, so I was excited when I got some in my local co-op food basket.
I tried this recipe for the first time and it was delicious!
I will definitely be making it again.
Savory Swiss Chard
Recipe from Rachael Ray

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Large bunch chopped swiss chard leaves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1/2 c. chicken stock

Heat oil in large skillet and add greens.
Toss to coat and cook until wilted.
Add nutmeg, cumin, salt, pepper and worchestershire sauce.
Add chicken stock and simmer until crisp-tender.
Serve warm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Don't you love how you can just throw the word 'bread' onto the end of a recipe and assume that it is good for you?
This little number should probably more appropriately be labeled as a 'cake'.
But it isn't my recipe so who am I to change things up?
Either way, it is decadent.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Recipe modified from Our Best Bites

2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. applesauce
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream
3 c. grated zucchini
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour 2 large loaf pans (or 3 medium, or muffin tins) and set aside.

Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Place flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
With a stand or hand mixer beat applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until combined.
Gently stir in the grated zucchini.

Take a spoonful of the flour mixture and stir in with the chocolate chips (that will help keep them evenly distributed.)
Add the remaining flour mixture to the batter and stir just until combined.
Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Divide the batter between two large bread pans.
Sprinkle topping over each.
Bake 2 large loaf pans for 50-60 minutes.
For 3 medium sized loaf pans bake for 35-40 minutes.
You can also make muffins,  Bake those at 375 for 15-18 minutes.

Let bread cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pans.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sweet Relish

Sweet Relish
Recipe from Sandy Bishop

13 large firm cucumbers
3 green peppers
4 onions
1 red pepper
1 quart water
4 Tbsp. salt
3 c. vinegar
4 tsp. celery seed
4 tsp. mustard seed
5 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cloves
3 tsp. tumeric

Put cucumbers, peppers and onions through a grinder. In a large stock pot, combine vegetables, water and salt.
Boil for 15 minutes.

Drain in a cheesecloth bag until juices stop - for about 4 hours.
In stock pot, bring the vinegar, sugar and remaining seasonings to a boil.
Add veggies and bring back to a boil.
Remove from heat and immediately pack hot relish into hot, sterilized jars.
Remove air bubbles and wipe rim clean.
Screw on sterilized lids and process for 10 minutes in a waterbath canner.
Remember to adjust for altitude.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

Do you have hoards of zucchini and tomatoes from your garden?
Try this:
This is a perfectly "light" summertime meal.

Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Pasta

4 medium zucchini, chopped
5 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
7 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound linquine
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, 5 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper, spread into a single layer, and roast until the vegetables are cooked through and the zucchini is beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente according to package directions, about 12 minutes.
Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl.

Remove vegetables from oven and add to pasta.
Toss to combine.
Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, basil and cheese.
Toss to combine.
Serve immediately.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sesame Almond Green Beans

These are super easy and wonderfully delicious!
A good twist to your everyday average.
Sesame Almond Green Beans
Recipe from Mindika Moments

4 c. fresh green beans,
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. butter
½ c. almonds

In a large skilled heat sesame oil and butter over medium high heat.
Add green beans and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
Stir in almonds and continue to sauté until green beans are cooked to desired doneness; about 3-4 minutes more.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Margarita Pizza

Margarita Pizza
1 pizza dough (recipe found here)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes
Basil Leaves
2 c. mozzarella cheese

Roll out pizza dough.
Combine garlic with olive oil and brush over dough.
Spread 1 c. cheese over pizza.
Top with sliced tomatoes and torn or roughly chopped basil leaves.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is golden and crust has browned.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Apricot Nectar (Bottled)

I just want to publicly say THANK YOU to my brother David for letting me come and pick all of the apricots I could ever want!
Bottled Apricot Nectar
Mason Jars, Lids and Rings

Rinse apricots in sink full of cold water.
Remove pits, and put apricots in a blender (do not skin).
Pulse 7 or so apricots until you have about 1 cup of juice (you may need to press them down into the blades with a knife... or use a potato masher... you get the idea).

Once you have a cup or so, fill the blender to the top with apricot halves.
Blend until desired consistency is reached.
Fill up jar(s), leaving about 3/4" headspace.
**Remember to leave about 1 c. of liquid in the blender to use for the next batch.
Repeat until all jars are full.

Use a knife and run it along the edges of the jars to remove air bubbles.
Make sure rings on jars are clean and chip free.
Place lids and bands on jars.

Process quarts for 25 minutes, pints for 20
Remember to adjust for altitude - Utah time is 35 minutes for quarts, 25 for pints.

To make nectar once bottled:
Combine 1 quart nectar with 1 quart water and 1/3 c. sugar.
Mix and enjoy!

**For more detailed instructions, click here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sweet Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Oh my goodness...
Bread pretty much makes or breaks any sandwich in my opinion, so we used freshly baked home-made french bread.
I am almost drooling just thinking about it!
Sweet Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
2 large chicken breasts
Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (we use Kraft)
Sliced tomatoes
Carmelized Onions (optional, but you know me!)
Fresh French Bread

Slice raw chicken breasts as thin as possible (best to do when frozen).
Place in a ziplock bag or storage container and pour in about 1/4 bottle Italian salad dressing.
Toss to coat and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

Fire up the grill!
Layer chicken on grill and discard remaining dressing.
Cook about 2-3 minutes per side (depending on thickness of meat).

Toast the bread and assemble sandwiches - layer chicken slices over tomato and lettuce; top with onions.
You can serve these with mayo, honey mustard, or your favorite dressing, but we ate them plain.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tex-Mex Squash Casserole

A few things...
I had never heard of (let alone prepared) a squash casserole.
The idea of it was not very appealing to me.
I imagined a squishy mess of soggy grossness...
I also didn't think that it would be good for a main dish.  I doubted its ability to fill up my husband.

All of my predetermined expectations were incorrect.
This particular dish was delicious and satisfying.
A good one to have on hand when the garden wont stop growing...
Tex-Mex Squash Casserole
Recipe from Homesick Texan

2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini, cut into coins (5-6 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 can tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. half and half
1/2 c, sour cream
1/2 c. of cilantro, chopped
2 c. total of grated pepper jack and cheddar
2 c. crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium heat.
When melted, add the squash, onion and jalapeno, and sauté until onions are translucent and the squash is soft, about ten minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and cook for a minute.
Then stir in the flour and cook until a light-brown past forms, about a minute.
Now add the broth and tomatoes and stir until the mixture thickens, which should happen in a couple of minutes.
Add the half and half, sour cream and cilantro and turn off the heat.
In a greased casserole dish, layer the bottom with the crushed tortilla chips.
Pour on top of the chips the creamy squash mixture and then cover the whole dish with the grated cheese.

Cook uncovered for thirty minutes, or until top is brown and bubbling.
Serves 6-8.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Strawberry Meringue Cake

I have had this recipe sitting in my "recipes to try" pile for about 9 years (literally).
Because of that, I have absolutely no recollection of where I got it.

However, it was delicious (as most cakes are),
and is definately sweet enough without gobs of frosting.
The recipe said to double layer, but the meringue made it pretty unstable.
Next time I would just make 2 seperate cakes,
but it was still good!

Strawberry Meringue Cake
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 eggs seperated
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 pint fresh strawberries
8oz. cool whip
1 lb. strawberries

Combine cake mix, yolks, orange peel and juice; beat 4 minutes at medium speed.
Pour into 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans.

Beat 4 egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks.
Gradually add sugar, beating to stiff peaks.
Spread meringue evenly over batter in cake pans.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes; cool.
(The meringue will not look that wonderful, don't worry).
Let the cakes cool, and remove from the pans, meringue side up.

Mash 1/2 of the strawberries, and fold in cool whip.
Spread 1/2 of the mixture on top of one cake.
Slice the remaining strawberries, and layer half of them evenly over the cool whip.

Repeat with the other cake, OR layer the cake on top and repeat.
Store leftovers in fridge.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A1 London Broil

London Broil is one of our steaks of choice.
It is easy to prepare and feeds a lot of people.
A1 London Broil
2 lb. London Broil Steak
1/2 - 3/4 c. A1 Steak Sauce

Marinate steak in A1 for several hours.
 BBQ over medium-high heat, 7-10 minutes per side.

Remove from heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Slice against the grain in thin strips and serve.