Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peaches and Cream

Last night I tried a new dessert recipe that my aunt had sent my mom, called Peaches and Cream. Oh my word, was it good! So good in fact that I convinced myself that it was kind of like coffee cake and had it for breakfast this morning. My kids kind of gave me the side-eye as I ate dessert for breakfast but it was worth it.

Like a cross between cheesecake and cobbler, this dessert is sure to win you friends, or at least start end your day right.

printable recipe
Peaches and Cream

1 (3 oz) package vanilla pudding (not instant, you need the cook and serve kind for this recipe)
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 egg
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 (15 oz) can of sliced peaches
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup + 1 tsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine pudding, flour, baking powder, salt, egg, butter, and milk in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat for 2 minutes then spread in a greased 8x8 inch square pan or 9 inch deep pie pan.

Drain the peaches, reserving the juice, and arrange on top of the fruit.

If you're feeling frisky, sprinkle a couple of handfuls of blueberries (fresh or frozen) on top.

Combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 Tbsp peach juice. Spoon on top of fruit.

Mix together the remaining tsp of sugar and the cinnamon.

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of cream cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, until cake mixture is golden on the edges.

Let cool down a bit, then serve warm. If you're impatient like I am and try to dig in too soon, you will end up with an (albeit delicious) mess.

However, if you let it sit up a bit it will lend itself to more tidy serving.


Chronicles of a crazy mom

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken Curry over Rice

I literally sat down to write this blog post three times in the past week. Each time I ended up playing solitaire on my computer for an hour instead, not because the recipe isn't good but because when my husband is out of town I am pretty much burnt out by the time I get the kids in bed and the house clean. Which means the blog suffers.

Fortunately for the blog, not to mention my emotional well-being, my husband is on his way home! Which somehow gives me the motivation I need to get this recipe posted before he returns and I go MIA from the blog for a few days while we enjoy being a family in the same house again.

This rather unconventional take on chicken and rice comes from my mom. It is topped with rice, peanuts, eggs, and bacon bits, which is tastier than it sounds. Give this a try next time you need a quick, tasty weeknight meal.

printable recipe
Chicken Curry over Rice

2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
1 stick of butter
3 Tbs of flour
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 Tbs curry powder
peanuts, raisins, chopped hard-boiled eggs and bacon bits

Melt butter in skillet.

Add flour and brown over medium heat.

Add curry powder, milk, and soup.

Stir until mixture boils.

Turn heat down to medium-low and add chicken.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Prep garnishes.

Serve curry over rice and top with garnishes.

So Followed Saturday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Photobucket issue

So I have a lot of pictures on this blog, between the step-by-step recipes and pictures of my kids. Awhile ago I ran out of room on blogger (did you know there is a limit on how many pictures they will post on your blog for free through their hosting service?) so I started storing my pictures on photobucket. That worked great until yesterday, when photobucket started experiencing "issues." Their website says they are doing maintenance, so hopefully things are resolved soon and my pictures come back!

Are any other bloggers out there experiencing this problem?

Friday, April 8, 2011

No Fail French Bread

Yesterday afternoon I invited my dear friend Melanie and her darling 6 month old daughter, Summer, over to make dinner. Our menu included:

No Fail French Bread

 and, as I mentioned in yesterday's post

We had so much fun cooking together. Between the two of us we had all of the ingredients except for the kale, so it was a great money-saver. When we were done cooking, we divided up the food and she left with plenty of soup for her family, a loaf of french bread, and several slices of cake. I discovered I love cooking even more when I am cooking with a friend.

I want to share this amazing french bread recipe with you. I have attempted to make homemade french bread before, and it has never turned out. So when I saw a recipe for "No Fail" French Bread on my friend Rachel's blog, I knew I had to try it out. True to it's name, the bread turned out perfect on our first try.

By the way, if you have a minute, check out Rachel's awesome blog: Family Ever After, she has it all: recipes, craft ideas, great pictures and funny stories. I love it!

printable recipe
No Fail French Bread

1/2 cup warm water
2 TB yeast
Mix and dissolve.

2 cups hot water
3 TB sugar
1 TB salt
1/3 cup oil
Put in mixer, dissolve.

Add yeast mixture and 3 cups flour. Beat well.
Add 3 more cups flour. Beat well to form a soft dough. Don't worry if the dough is more soft than normal bread dough.
Let rest 10 minutes. Stir batter down, let rest 10 minutes. Repeat process of stirring dough, followed by 10 minutes of rest until it has been done a total of 5 times.

Turn dough onto floured board and knead only enough to coat dough with flour.
Divide into 2 portions. Toll each portion into a 9x12 inch rectangle. 
Roll up jelly roll style, omitting the air bubbles. Arrange lengthwise on a greased cookie sheet. 
Brush tops with a beaten egg while (optional). Slash 3 times diagonally on each loaf. 
Cover, let rise until doubles, about 30 min. 
Bake at 400 for 35 min.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday was my husband and my 4th wedding anniversary! Unfortunately he was out of town, but when he comes home tonight, I intend to celebrate a little by serving him Texas Sheet Cake and Blue Bell ice cream. Yummy! We've been eating well and exercising hard all week, so it's time to treat ourselves a bit. Besides, he deserves something special for putting up with me for this long!

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Balsamic Fontina Chicken

Several years ago, Olive Garden offered this dish on the menu for several months and my husband and I loved it. We were so sad when it was taken off the menu and have been waiting for it to come back, to no avail. The other day, it finally dawned on me that I could recreate it at home.

It turned out pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself. And even though it wasn't technically a light meal, I felt better eating it at home where I served fresh produce on the side instead of fattening breadsticks and salad.

printable recipe
Balsamic Fontina Chicken

serves 4

1 package refrigerated cheese-stuffed tortellini
4 chicken breasts
Italian dressing (we like Good Seasons)
8 oz Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
4 oz fontina cheese, sliced thinly
freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

Marinate the chicken breasts for several hours in the Italian dressing. Cook the chicken on the grill over medium heat until cooked through. Remove to a plate, arrange cheese slices on top, and cover with foil for 5-10 minutes.

While the chicken is sitting, cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain and divide into 4 serving plates or bowls.

While tortellini is cooking, pour the balsamic into a large skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook and stir for several minutes, until the liquid is reduced into more of a pourable sauce.

Place chicken breasts on tortellini and drizzle the balsamic reduction over each breast.

Garnish with parmesan and black pepper and serve!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I have resolved to eat lighter. Since giving up my Saturday morning pancakes is not an option, I whipped up this healthier version last weekend. They turned out fluffy and flavorful; I highly recommend this recipe, slightly modified from one on Cooking Light.

printable recipe
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

yield: 12 pancakes (6 servings)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (optional, recommended if using blueberries)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Sprinkle each pancake with a handful of blueberries, if using.

Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with butter and syrup.

Linking to Fresh, Clean and Pure Friday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lime Tilapia over Black Beans, Pineapple and Rice

Here is a fresh, light meal just in time for spring. My husband found it on the food network website and it totally hit the spot. We are trying to eat a little lighter these days (goodbye Chicken Fried Steak and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, you were delicious but my thighs hate you). Here's hoping all the new, lighter recipes we try taste this good!

Note: we used only two tilapia fillets to serve just the two of us.

printable recipe
Lime Tilapia over Black Beans, Pineapple and Rice

serves 4

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 limes, thinly sliced
Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper.

Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish.

Shingle the lime slices over the fish.

Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.