Asian food is a favorite in our home. I’ve often heard that many people don’t want to start cooking Asian food because they have to buy all these ingredients. The ingredients used in this recipe are commonly used in many different Asian recipes, they have a long shelf life and are usually fairly inexpensive. Continue reading
Ok, don’t judge me. This was my favorite dish in the cafeteria at my high school, or was it at my first downtown job? Either way I finally got enough nerve to ask one of the cooks in the cafeteria for the recipe. Of course I had to do a little math to scale it down to 8 servings. I finally pulled it out of the archives to make it for my family. Continue reading
The quilting group I’m in (called SOS) meets every month. We rotate who hosts and whoever hosts gets to pick a theme for lunch. This month’s theme was to share a favorite Thanksgiving dish. It was a delicious lunch with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, a pumpkin pie and an apple crisp, all of the traditional favorites. While my dish is not traditional, nor is it a dish that my mom made when we were growing up, it’s something that I started making when I took over the Thanksgiving dinner. Warning – it’s not the lightest dish, but then again, it’s Thanksgiving where all calories don’t count!
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
2 – 16 oz. bags frozen chopped broccoli
2 sticks butter, divided
1 lb. Velveeta, cubed
2 rolls of Ritz crackers, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a medium sized baking dish or larger casserole dish. The one I used is 7.5″ x 10.5″.
Cook the broccoli according to the package directions, drain. Melt 1 stick of butter along with the Velveeta in the microwave. Set the microwave to 1 minute intervals and stir to combine between each minute. Once combined, mix the broccoli and cheese together. Set aside.
Melt the other stick of butter. Once melted, mix it with the crushed crackers.
Layer in the casserole dish alternating the cracker crumbs and broccoli mixture. Start with crumbs on the bottom and end with the crumbs on the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble on the edges.
My grandmother loved to bake and always used “real butter”. Knowing that I loved the taste of “real butter” and it was something we only had on holidays at our house, at her house she would sneak me a small pat near the fridge and we giggled as we let it melt in our mouth. One of the things she was famous for was her Gems, in this recipe I put my twist on it using a cranberry filling and a streusel topping. If you find yourself with leftover cranberry relish around the holidays, you can use it up here. I hope you give them a try!
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups flour
Place all crust ingredients into a bowl and combine using a pastry blender, or a fork. Press the ingredients together until combined and you can form a ball. Place the dough in the refrigerator until chilled.
12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients into a sauté pan and cook until thickened. Use the back of a spoon to smash the cranberries. Cook for about 25-30 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and set aside until ready.
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients and press together using a pastry blender or fork. Do not over mix, it should be crumbly.
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix the glaze ingredients in a mug until smooth, you can adjust the thickness by adding more milk to thin it or more sugar to thicken it to your liking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them in the cups of a mini muffin tin. Press the dough out in the tin to create a pie crust in each tin. Fill the crusts with the filling and top with the streusel. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cool and then drizzle with the glaze. Yield – 48 gems.
Our youngest son loves the Mexican Gumbo at Qdoba. He asked if I could try and recreate the recipe. I used a rotisserie chicken and it comes together quickly. Our boys are not a fan of beans…yet, but if I were making this for adults, I would add a can of black beans. I hope you like it as much as we do.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, quartered and sliced
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
10 oz. can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel)
3 cups Spicy V-8 (or store brand)
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1# smoked sausage or kielbasa, cut in half and sliced
8 oz. frozen corn kernels (1/2 bag)
1 can black beans, drained (optional)
1 cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned, removed from the bone and chopped or shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Steamed white rice
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a stock pot (about 8 qts.) and saute onion and carrots until onion is soft. Add chicken stock, V-8, tomato sauce, tomatoes and chilies, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until carrots are almost tender.
Add sliced kielbasa and frozen corn (add beans if using) and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and stir to heat. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in a bowl over hot white rice. Enjoy!
Whenever I am making anything with chicken, Yoshi is ready to help! #chickenlove
Baked Corn Pudding
This is a favorite at our house at Thanksgiving, but don’t forget about it at anytime of the year.
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 stick of butter, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 – 15 oz. can cream style corn
1 – 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, do not drain
Blend the butter and sour cream together, add in the eggs and then muffin mix. Stir in the 2 cans of corn. Turn into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish and bake at 350º for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and set.
You can substitute the whole kernel corn for Mexican style corn, or add a can of diced green chiles with the regular corn.
Saucy Chicken Thighs and Orzo
3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 cup red wine
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
5 sprigs of thyme
1 qt. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
salt and pepper
Heat a large stock pot (8 qt) on medium-high and add the olive oil. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place them in the pan to brown without crowding. You may have to do this in two steps. Once browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine. Stir to remove the brown bits from the pan. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. Return the chicken to the pan, add the tomatoes, thyme sprigs, chicken stock, oregano, tomato paste and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes add the orzo to the pan and stir frequently for about 10 minutes until the orzo is done. Remove the thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!