Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Apple Pie

I have two things to confess today. The first is that I LOVE pie. It just simply rocks my world! The second confession is that I am such an amateur about making pie crusts. They terrify me! My mom could make such wonderful tasting pie crusts that also looked so pretty. I have friends who have made amazing, flaky pie crusts, but not me! I am so intimidated by the whole crust thing. So this pie recipe is for what goes on the inside, not the crust. Use your amazing crust recipe, I just bought a pre-made crust which was just fine.

Cranberry Apple Pie
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2-3 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup cranberry juice
3 firm apples sliced 1/4 in. thick
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp.  butter

Preheat oven to 425°. In a saucepan, stir together cranberries, sugar, orange zest, flour and juice until slightly thickened. Place your bottom crust in your pie pan. Place your apples neatly in your pie pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and dot with butter. Pour cranberry mixture over the apples and cover with a latticed top. Brush the top of the pie crust with milk and sprinkle sugar on the crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Philly Cheese-Steak Sloppy Joes

In the past two years, I have recently began to develop a strong feeling about Philly Cheese-Steaks. I love them! There is a restaurant here in Utah that makes the most amazing sandwiches, but they are a little pricey. So I started making them at home, but they are not as quick and easy as I thought they could be. I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest (original recipe here ), and knew I had to try it out. Both my husband and I really like it, and my friend did as well. My super picky boys didn't like it, but then again, they don't like cheese-steak sandwiches or sloppy joes, so no real big surprise there! I keep trying with them, I hope that someday they will out grow their picky habits!

Philly Cheese-Steak Sloppy Joes
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. steak sauce
3/4-1 cup of beef broth (depends upon how "wet" you like your sandwich)
Salt and pepper
Dinner Rolls
Provolone Cheese slices

In a large skillet, brown beef, onion, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Once your meat is cooked, stir in steak sauce and broth. Bring to a bubble and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Split open the rolls and remove some of the insides. Butter them and lightly toast them under the broiler. Scoop meat onto the bottom of the roll and add a slice of cheese (you can put them back under the broiler to melt if you desire) and top with the other half of the roll.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I saw this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and finally got around to making it last night.The recipe is was posted here. My husband and I LOVED it, my kids, however, did not. Two of them have a strange aversion to red sauce, poor kids, they miss out on a lot of yummyness. My third son, didn't care for the garlic flavor, but said if that had been toned down a bit, he would have liked it. The baby was being a two year old and was boycotting anything that I labeled "dinner". I will make this again and see if the results change, but I loved it! The croutons were wonderful- most of them stayed crunchy, but those that didn't were like a wonderful breading to the chicken. Try this recipe and let me know what your family thinks.

Chicken Parmesan Chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
Hot Pepper flakes, to taste
Boneless Chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)
2 cups Marinara sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
8 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 5 oz. package Garlic Croutons

Spray a 9 x 13 in. casserole dish. Place oil, garlic and pepper flakes in the casserole. Lay chicken on top of the oil mixture. Pour marinara sauce over top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the basil, half the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Place croutons on top as evenly as you can and top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes (check the temp of your chicken to make sure it is done- it could take longer depending upon the thickness of your chicken).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

There are times when we have left overs and we just can't bring ourselves to eat it again. Not that it wasn't good, just that we were tired of it. One of my favorite things to do in cases like this, is to remake the ingredients into something new. If I have left over chicken or pork, rice and veggies, I will whip up this very tasty fried rice. This is one of my favorite lunches. I feel good that I am not wasting food. I just cringe every time I have to throw some thing out. This makes me feel better about our food usage.

Chicken Fried Rice
1 1/3 cup water, divided
1 1/3 cup minute rice
2 Tbsp butter
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup cooked chopped chicken
Veggies, chopped

Cook rice with one cup water, following the directions on the box. Meanwhile, cook egg in butter in a non-stick skillet until set. Add onion, veggies and rice and cook and stir over medium heat until rice and onion are lightly browned- about 5 minutes. Add chicken. Stir until warmed through. Stir remaining 1/3 cup water with soy sauce. Stir into rice and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fiesta Style Cranberry Sauce

I love November! Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite days of the year. As soon as Halloween is over, my thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and all the yummy things that you can make. One of my favorites is a cranberry recipe that I got from my sister and her husband a couple of years ago, Before she made this recipe, we would always open the obligatory can of cranberry sauce, slide it into a bowl and nobody would touch it except for my nephew who LOVES canned cranberry sauce. Blech! This lovely sauce rocked my cranberry world. I am never going back. Give this a try. I even like to use the leftovers as a fruit spread on toast- it is that good!

Fiesta Style Cranberry Sauce
3 cups fresh cranberries
2 oranges, chopped
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Serrano chili, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. lime peel, grated
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Combine cranberries, oranges, sugar, and water and cook over medium low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil until cranberries pop and start to thicken slightly. Stir in chili and lime peel. Cool completely. Stir in cilantro.  Yield- 2 cups