Tuesday, August 30, 2011

French Country Chicken

This is a great chicken dish to make if you are looking for something different to do with chicken and are tired the same old chicken dishes. I didn't take any pictures while making this dish, but I promise it is super simple! Hope you Enjoy!!

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 Cup white wine (something you would drink or like the taste of)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 bag egg noodles (I used whole wheat but any variety is fine)
2 to 3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp dried parsley
Olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large skillet, add enough olive oil to coat bottom of pan and turn heat on to medium. Add in chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When chicken is about half cooked through, push to edges of pan and add in onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies until they start to soften and add in thyme and white wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits off bottom of pan and stir in. Add in can of crushed tomatoes. Season again with sprinkle of salt and pepper, stir everything together and turn heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes. While the sauce simmers, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When water boils, add in noodles and cook through. When noodles are done, drain and add back into the pot with butter, parsley and salt and pepper. Stir to combine and melt butter. To serve, place the  buttered noodles in a dish and spoon the chicken tomato sauce over the noodles. Start to finish, takes about 30 minutes to make.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lemon Angel Food Cake

My Brother's Birthday was yesterday and I wanted to make him a cake using the angel food cake pan he had given me. I have made angel food cake from scratch before and the box mix is SO MUCH EASIER and tastes just as good, maybe even a little better! Most of the box mixes only require you to add water and use an ungreased angel food cake pan or loaf pans. That is really important because if the pan is greased, the batter will have nothing to hold on to to rise while it bakes. The tube in the center of an angel food cake pan also gives the batter something to grab on to.

So, I followed the instructions on my box of mix but also added the zest of one lemon. You may recall me talking about lemon zest and microplanes when I made Lemon Cookies. I poured the batter into an angel food cake pan being careful to keep as much of the air that you beat into it while mixing as possible. I baked it according to my directions and then let it cool in the pan when done. When it was completely cooled, I took a butter knife and cut around the outside edge and the center tube and removed the bottom from the outer ring. Angel food cake pans should be two-part pans. Once the cake is out of the outer ring, take the butter knife and slide it in between the bottom of the cake and the bottom of the pan to remove.

I then took the juice from two lemons and mixed that with powdered sugar to make an icing to drizzle over the top. Depending on how runny you want the icing depends on the amount of powdered sugar that you use.

I had to box this up to take with us but how good would a slice of this be with some fresh berries! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is one of those great meals that I never get tired of. It seems like I can eat leftovers of it for days. And with all the great produce available right now, it seemed like a great time to share my recipe. However, I am not sure if recipe is the right word.....more like method.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add in 1 pound of trimmed stew meat cut into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown meat for 2-3 minutes and add in 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, and 3 chopped potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Let the veggies brown with the meat for another 2-3 minutes and pour in 1/2 cup of red wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan and add in a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 4 Cups beef broth and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring pot to boil and turn to low and simmer.

Above is the base of my vegetable soup. This is how I start it every time. It's the next part that seems to change every time and it has to do with what vegetables I have on hand or what is in season. Once the liquid comes to simmer, add in any vegetables you like. Really. You can add in as much or as little as you like. Just make sure that everything will be able to be submerged under the liquid. Canned, frozen or fresh vegetables can be used. Don't worry about thawing anything frozen but I do like to drain any canned veggies I use. Once all the vegetables are in, season with more salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours until the beef is tender and serve.

The vegetables I used for this batch were: fresh broccoli, canned green beans and wax beans, frozen peas and corn.

But also think about: lima beans, brussel sprouts (frozen work great!), cabbage (one of my favorites), cauliflower, diced tomatoes (canned ones work well) and really anything else you want to try.