Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blackberry Galette

During my many hours of surfing the web looking for recipes to blog about, I stumbled upon this blog. Under her dessert tag, she has a ton of recipes for galettes. I had never heard of them but they looked delicious and simple. I looked up galette on Wiki and found that it's a French term to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crusty cakes and pastries. It looked so rustic and the recipe looked so simple, I couldn't resist putting the ingredients on our grocery list! Check out her blog for more galette recipes and delicious pictures!

1 pie crust
2 cups of blackberries (frozen or fresh)
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp corn starch
1 egg beaten
Raw sugar (or more white sugar if raw is not available)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat, if available.

Clean the blackberries then place into a bowl and sprinkle the sugar and cornstarch on top. Gently stir the berries until the sugar and corn starch evenly cover the berries.

Pour the blackberries inside the pie crust starting one inch from the edge. Fold the edge of the dough over the blackberries. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle the edges with raw sugar. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Chicken Empanadas

One of my favorite things from Taco Bell used to be the caramel apple empanada. Minus the fact that it was over 300 calories it was delicious. I loved the pastry outside and the gooeyinside made it that much better. When I found this recipe here I had to try it. I could still get the delicious pastry outside but with a much healthier inside. Plus they are baked instead of fried! I slightly adapted the recipe to include a small can of green chilies instead of the jalopeno since it's what we had on hand.

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
8 ounces shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces of cream cheese softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalopeno, seeded and chopped (or small can of green chilies)
1 tbsp ground cumin (I used chili powder)
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
15 oz package refrigerated pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400º. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and the next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15 inch curcle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter or the rim of a cup. Re-roll dough as needed to make 12-15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean flat surface. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with water. Place one heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture into the center of the round. Fold dough over the filling and press the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (At this point, the recipe can be frozen for up to 1 month) Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekly Meal List

I have a few Fall recipes planned for this week but if the weather continues to be anything like today, this menu will be changed. It hit 107º today and I was barely able to get out of the house so I doubt making soup will be high on my to do list!

Monday: Spaghetti Bolognese
Tuesday: Lemon and Basil Chicken Breasts
Wednesday: Homemade Pizza
Thursday: Fiesta Cornbread Casserole
Friday: Chicken Pastina
Saturday: Chicken Empanadas
Sunday: Baked Potato Soup

And for dessert sometime this week a blackberry galette!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Salsa Chicken

I've been very busy lately with school and regular life. When I find a recipe that utilizes my crock pot, I immediately like it. When it turns out to be a delicious recipe, I love it. Salsa Chicken apparently made the blog rounds awhile back but I am just now trying it out! I don't know where I got this recipe from; it's kind of a combination of a few of the ones I've seen. I had originally planned on serving this with flour tortillas but instead we ended up eating it straight out of the bowl with tortilla chips!

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
24 oz jar of salsa (mild, medium, or hot-whichever suits your taste buds!)
1 package of taco seasoning
1 can Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
1 cup frozen corn

Combine the chicken breasts, salsa, taco seasoning, and nacho cheese soup in your crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6. Shred with a fork or just eat as is!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pizza Pasta

This recipe from Lemons and Love was a nice twist to our usual spaghetti meal. I tweaked it just a tiny bit from the original recipe and you can add any other pizza topping you can think of!

16 oz pasta, cooked and drained (we used angel hair but I think rotini would work better)
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (I used about 1 and 3/4)
1. 25 lbs of ground turkey (we used lean ground beef)
2 cups chopped pepperoni
2 cups Italian mix shredded cheese, divided
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
garlic powder
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350. Season ground beef/turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cook until browned, draining fat if necessary. Add in spaghetti sauce and pepperoni. Simmer.

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer half of the pasta mixture. Top with 1.25 cups Italian mix shredded cheese. Layer the rest of the pasta mixture on top and finish with 3/4 cup Italian mix shredded cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

I added the pepperoni to the ground beef while it was cooking to make it crispy. We also added onions to ours.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheesy and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. They are probably my most favorite side dish. Unfortunately, I find it easier to just buy the instant kind that takes 5 minutes tops to completely prepare and I prefer the ease of instant to the hassle of peeling real potatoes and the time it takes to cook. But when I found this recipe on Allrecipes, I had to try it. I liked the idea of using evaporated milk. So when the hubby requested meatloaf, which is usually accompanied by instant potatoes, I tired it out and I have to say, I'm in love!

Sorry there's no picture! But mashed potatoes pretty much all look alike :)

2 lbs potatoes
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste

Optional add ins:
Crumbled, cooked bacon
Green onion
Extra cheese

Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to saucepan and add evaporated milk and butter. Beat with handheld mixer until smooth. Stir in cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Add any additional toppings and enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I'm not really a fan of cooked vegetables; I prefer them raw. Give me a stalk of broccoli and some vinegar and I'm set but try to feed me cooked broccoli covered in cheese and I'll have to be rude and decline. So when I put stuffed peppers on the menu this week, I was a little hesitant. But since I don't mind peppers in a stir fry or on my philly cheesesteak, I decided to try it out.

I like stuffed peppers for the same reason I like stuffed shells: there are so many different ways you can make them. These could be made with a vegetarian mixture, you could stuff them with spaghetti and meat sauce, beans and rice, the list could go on and on!

This recipes is from Allrecipes with a few revisions.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 cup water
6 green peppers (we only used 4 but we had plenty of meat/rice mixture left over)
1 tablespooon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 16 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350º. Place the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes until done. Meanwhile, season the beef with garlic and onion powder and then cook the beef evenly in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Put the peppers into boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then quickly put into ice water. In a glass baking dish, spread enough spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange peppers in baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upwards.

In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Use the remaining spaghetti sauce to cover the stuffed peppers.

Bake for 45 minutes in oven and enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Farmer's Market Free Organic Recipe Booklet

After my Fall post the other day, I stumbled upon a link for free recipe book. Considering it had a ton of fall-inspired recipes, I thought I'd share.

Click here to download or click here to request a mailed copy of Farmers Market Collection: Above and Beyond.

The booklet includes recipes for:
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
Vegan Pumpkin Per
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Chili, Pumpkin style
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes (Yum!)
Sweet Potato Dip
Butternut Squash and Apple Bread
... and more!

Puppy Chow

The first time I had puppy chow was during freshman orientation at the University of Georgia. We were each given little baggies of this addictive dessert after touring the campus and learning the fight song.

Even after watching my Dawgs lose to Arkansas this weekend, I was feeling a little nostalgic for my time at UGA. The hubby and I were also craving something sweet so this quick dessert came to mind. The crunchy/sweet combination satisfied our craving and had us hoping that UGA will do better next time.

9 cups of Chex, or similar cereal
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups powdered sugar

Put cereal in a large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in the microwave (took me about a minute and a half). Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal and stir evenly until evenly coated. Pour cereal into a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add powdered sugar, seal bag, and shake until well-coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

Hopefully next game will go better!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I love Fall

Image from Martha Stewart

I love Fall. The colors, the weather, the holidays, and the food. However, living in Southern California, I've heard the palm trees don't really change colors and besides a slight chill in the mornings, the weather doesn't really change either. So I'll have to make do with the holidays and the food- which I have no problem with.

I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I can't wait to decorate and cook, especially with pumpkin! I keep hearing that there is a pumpkin shortage this year but I've had no trouble finding it. Even so, I went ahead and stocked up. So get ready for pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin fluff, pumpkin fudge, and if I'm super ambitious, pumpkin bread.

Halloween is such a fun holiday. I love decorations and I absolutely adore all the cute desserts. I also can't wait to try my hand at using royal icing to decorate some Halloween sugar cookies. I've found a few tutorials and I'll be sure to post the results once I've tried it!

So get ready for some fun fall themed posts! And if you have any
suggestions please let me know!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weekly Meal List

I'm excited about our meal list this week because I have quite a few blog-worthy recipes on here!

Thursday: Lemon Spaghetti
Friday: Stuffed Peppers
Saturday: Chicken Pastina
Sunday: Meatloaf with cheesy mashed potatoes
Monday: Salsa Chicken
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza
Wednesday: Pizza Pasta

Lemon Spaghetti

This was a delicious, refreshing, light, pasta recipe. We had nothing planned for dinner tonight and I did not want to give in to the frozen pizza sitting in the freezer waiting for nights like this. So I searched through our pantry and came up with this recipe. The lemon sauce was a nice break from our usual heavy meat sauces and the basil complemented it perfectly!

1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (the hubby thought it needed more but I thought it was enough)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Meanwhile, mix the oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan in a bowl to blend. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped basil.

Lemon on Foodista

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gooey Bars

AKA Cream cheese bars

Although reading the ingredient list made me cringe a bit when I thought of all the calories, I couldn't resist making these. They sounded delicious and I was craving something sweet. I plan on sending half to work with the hubby so that I don't eat too many! I didn't bake mine for the full time because I prefer them a tad bit gooey!

This is another recipe was Beantown Baker. I really need to stop visiting her page because everything looks delicious and I just can't resist trying out her recipes!

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter melted
3 eggs
1 lb powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese

Mix cake mix, margarine, and 1 egg with a fork. Press into bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Set aside.

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 2 eggs for about 4 minutes. Pour over the cake mixture.

Bake at 350º for 40 minutes (or a few minutes less if you want them gooey). Cool completely, cut into bars, and enjoy the gooeyness!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cream Cheese Pie

For Labor Day weekend, we went up to our friends new house for a barbeque. They provided the meats (her husband makes some awesome bbq chicken) and asked us to bring a side. I had pasta salad all ready to go but I was craving something sweet. This recipe came together in less than 10 minutes and even though we didn't refrigerate it right away it still tasted amazing! It reminds me of my mom's cheesecake.

I got this recipe from As usual, I read the reviews and added another package of cream cheese. It helps to cut down on the sweetness from the condensed milk.

16 oz cream cheese
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust
2 cups cherry pie filling, or other fruit (optional)

Cream together cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Add lemon juice and blend well. Pour into graham cracker crust. Top with fruit, if using, and chill for 2 hours before serving.