Archive | January, 2011

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

31 Jan

I needed a quick easy dinner and in talking to a co-worker she told me about this recipe by Campbells using condensed soup.  I looked it up on the internet and I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided to make this for a weekday dinner.  I discovered that I did not have any picante sauce however I had a regular size can of El Paso green enchilada sauce.  It sounded like a useable substitute to me so I went with it.  This dinner was a hit especially with the guys.  They couldn’t get enough of it.  I don’t know if the green sauce is better than the picante but since I don’t care for the processed picante I will stick with the green sauce.  Another issue I had was the bottom of the enchiladas tended to be rather hard and somewhat crunchy so the next time I spread a very thin layer of the green sauce and that rectified that issue.  Then my last change was I cook the chicken in the crock pot so it is tender and juicier.  I also like to top the dish with more shredded cheese but I ran out this time.   Better make sure to add that this dish was made by Mariya with instruction by me as to the changes I made.  She brought this over to a friends house for game night.  She’s getting to be quite the little cook!

Adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1 10.75 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 10 ounce sour cream
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce or 1 cup picante sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 20 fajita size flour tortillas
  • optional toppings to include chopped tomato, green onion sliced, picante sauce, guacamole and sour cream

Mix soup, sour cream, picante sauce or enchilada sauce  (save a few spoonfuls for the baking pan), chili powder.

Mix 1 cup of the picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese.

Spread a few large teaspoons of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam-side down in a 13×9 baking pan.

Pour remaining picante sauce mixture over enchiladas.  Cover.

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until hot.  Top with garnishes of your choice.


Tangerine Sorbet

23 Jan

Barry brought home a large box of tangerines from school.  He spent days eating  tangerines when I came up with an idea to google for a sorbet recipe.  That evening I squeezed about 20 tangerines to get the juice for the sorbet.  I made the sorbet and we kind of forgot about it.  Christmas was over and Larry was going back on the road.  So on a Tuesday night Mariya and I were watching Cupcake Wars when I thought about the sorbet and asked if she wanted some.  We each had a scoop and then she went back for seconds.  Well the news spread like wild fire, this sorbet was yummy!  It was gone within a couple days.  Larry was coming home for new years and commented that he can’t wait to try the sorbet I had made but we forgotten to eat while he was home.  I had to break the news to him that it was now gone however I had more tangerines and would make some before he got home.  I squeezed about 4 cups of juice to use the remaining tangerines and I drank the extra cup.  Well you know what happens when you drink that much citrus juice before bed?  You get heartburn because the acids in the stomach are having quite the time.  Anyways the sorbet enjoyed by all and now it’s gone until the next time someone comes home with a basket full.

Tangerine Sorbet

  • 3 cups tangerine juice, strained
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange flower water
  • 1 tablespoon mandarin vodka

In a bowl combine all ingredients except the vodka.  Chill in the refrigerator. 

Add vodka to mixture.  Churn in ice cream maker as per manufacturers directions.  Freeze.

Green Tea Madeleine Cookies

21 Jan

Ever since our trip to Paris in 2009 I/we are obsessed with all things french.  So when Mariya became engaged it was only fitting to do a parisian themed wedding.  Since I am making everything for the dessert buffet I decided to include the madeleine cookie.  I never had this cookie and even when we were in Paris I did not try the madeleine.  I just like the shape of it because it’s a seashell shape and I love the ocean.  I bought a couple of the madeleine pans and since Larry was home I made a batch. 

This recipe comes from David Lebovitz book The Sweet Life in Paris.  This book combines his adventures living in Paris with fantastic recipes.  Having been there I can relate to his stories and I just have to laugh how true it is.  I envy him because his is a life I would love to live.  His recipe is for lemon glazed but he gave a few variations and I tried the green tea because I had the matcha powder and it called for orange zest and since I did not have lemons but Larry did have oranges it was the way to go.  The green tea variation called for a few swipes of zest and I added the zest of the whole orange.  It did overpower the green tea but that was my purpose.  This was the 2nd recipe I tried for the madeleines.  I prefer this recipe because I got the gorgeous hump that I like vs another recipe where there wasn’t much of a hump. 

I made these cookies one evening and Larry eat so many of them.  He had gone to the store to buy some vanilla Oreos and when he came home I already had them made.  He tried one and put the Oreos away.  He never had a madeleine before and said they were excellent.  I sent the remaining cookies with him to enjoy later.  They are light cookies and excellent with tea or coffee.  They are best served the day they are made but Larry said they were still great several days later.  Store them in an airtight container up to 3 days after baking or freeze plain cookies up to one month.  I plan on making more varieties in the future but will use this recipe as the basic because of the good results. 

Adapted from David Lebovitz The Sweet Life in Paris

Makes 24 regular size cookies

Green Tea Madeleines

  •  9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum free)
  • 2 teaspoons green tea powder (matcha)
  • zest of 1 small orange

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

Add the flour, baking powder and matcha and using a spatula to fold in the flour as it is being added gradually into the batter.

Add the orange zest to the cooled butter and slowly dribble the butter in the batter  while simultaneously folding it in with the spatula until all the butter is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to but no longer than 12 hours.

Butter the madeleine molds lightly.  If using nonstick molds that is all you need to do otherwise dust with flour and tap off any excess. 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Using a teaspoon, plop a generous amount of batter into the center of the mold.  It does not have to fill the mold.  Leave the dough in a mound and do not spread as the heat from baking will spread it out.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cakes feel springy and just set.  Remove from the oven and tilt the pan so cookies fall onto the cooling rack.

When cookies are cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

21 Jan

This is Mariya’s favorite pound cake recipe and I have to admit it is the best pound cake I have ever had.  I came across it in Southern Livings Desserts Nov 1991 cook booklet.  This a recipe I make several times a year.  This is the only pound cake recipe I make as it is that good.  I also like to make it at Christmas to bring into the office and when I tell my co-workers I brought my pound cake in, well it’s over at that point.  This is a nice dense and rich pound cake.  The batter is enough that I can do a small loaf size that usually has Mariya’s name on it.  Sometimes I also add coconut, vanilla and almond extracts to the batter or just stick to the vanilla, either way it’s good.  This cake also freezes well. 

Adapted from Southern Living

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or i will do a teaspoon each of vanilla, coconut, lemon and almond extracts)

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until cream.  Gradually add the sugar, beating 5-7 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time beating until the yellow disappears.

Combine the flour and salt and add gradually to the butter mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended.  Stir in the extract.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake at 325F for 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from pan and continue to cool on the rack.

Meyer Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

19 Jan

I always like to make a special dessert snack for New Years Eve.  Normally I would do a rum cake but since lately I am baking to come up with ideas for Mariya’s wedding I decided to doing something else.  I had a jar of lemon curd that I needed to use and googled for limoncello cupcakes since I also happen to have a bottle of limoncello chilling in the freezer.  I found this recipe and while it used a homemade lemon curd I used my purchased curd instead.  I actually tried to make curd before and was not crazy about the results.  To date I have used lemon, key lime, raspberry and orange curds and they were all great so any recipe that actually makes their own curd I will substitute the purchased stuff.   I made these cupcakes the night before NYE and doubled the recipe to get 2 dozen.  The kids were going to a friends house for game night and I sent some cupcakes their way.   We gave a few to our neighbor who thoroughly enjoyed them.  I figured I would have a few cupcakes to take to work.  Well that never happened.  These are really good cupcakes.  Nice and lemony with the curd, limoncello and meyer lemon.  Anyways it was voted in as the 3rd cupcake flavour for the wedding.  

Adapted from Tartelette’s

Meyer Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • jar lemon curd

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt: set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add limoncello and beat for another minute. 

 On low speed add flour mixture and alternate with the buttermilk.  Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low just until blended in.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 with batter. 

 Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely.

Cut a hole in the center of each cupcake.  Fill each hole with store bought lemon curd. 

Fill a pastry bag with star tip (I used Wilton’s 1M) with the frosting and pipe onto each cupcake.

Cream Cheese Limoncello Frosting

  • 2 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy about 3 minutes.  Add limoncello and beat for an additional minute.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar until incorporated and smooth.

Crockpot Chicken Brunswick Stew

10 Jan

The one thing I like about a cold blustery day is to make this stew and serve it with hot and fresh out of the oven bread.  There is nothing better and today was one of those days.  They started calling for snow late tonight already this past Friday.  Yesterday was chilly and very windy so when I woke up today I was trying to decide what to throw together in the crockpot that I don’t have to run to the store for any ingredients, then I remembered this stew.  I always have everything on hand for this stew.  Oh was the house smelling good!  I managed to grab a bowl before heading into work.  I had to text Mariya  how good it was.  Well when she got home she had responded back to me how delicious the stew was.  Even when I came home from work 5 hours later I could smell it outside as I was walking to the door.  I had to have more.  Anyways I came across this recipe in the newspaper many years ago.  I make it several times a year in the winter.  My family all loves it and its so easy, how can you go wrong with a dish like this?

Adapted from Sherri Madden’s Recipes & Remembrances: The Sellers FAmily Cookbook

Crockpot Chicken Brunswick Stew

makes 8-10 servings

  • 2 medium size onions, chopped
  • 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-15 oz cans cream-style corn
  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1-14 1/2 oz can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce

Place onions in a 4-5 qt crockpot.  Place chicken pieces over  the onions.  Add corn and remaining ingredients.

Cook, covered, on high setting for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.  Remove cooked chicken, shred meat and return to crockpot.  Continue to cook on low 1-2 hours.

Vegetable Paella

2 Jan

Some years ago I googled a list of key ingredients and came across a recipe for a chicken and sausage paella.  The family enjoyed this dish and while the ingredient list looks somewhat intimidating it is an easy recipe.  When my husband and I traveled to Spain a couple of years back we always ate one meal per day while we were out.  One beautiful day we went to old Malaga, we were walking along some side streets and decided to lunch at a cafe and had a pitcher of sangria and vegetable paella.  It inspired me to use the chicken and sausage paella recipe but make it vegetarian.  While we were in Spain I bought some saffron there.  It is so much cheaper than what you pay here.  I decided to make this dish for Christmas eve.  I used the last bit of my spanish saffron and I had about a cup left of a white dry sherry that I used instead of the white wine.  The spices are light and makes for a good paella.  I also included the directions for roasting the peppers and onions at the bottom of the recipe.

Inspired by Lindsay Olives Seville Chicken, Sausage & Olive Paella

Vegetable Paella

makes 10 servings

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 6 *frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 6 medium scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • ‘4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, heated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Spanish smoked paprika or the smoked hot
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups Arborio short-grain rice
  • kosher or sea salt
  • 1 large onion, roasted
  • 31/2 cup stuffed Manzanilla Olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup snap peas or snow peas, strings removed
  • 3 red peppers, roasted, 1 sliced lengthwise for garnish, 2 are chopped

Preheat oven to 400F.  Combine wine and saffron threads in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat the oil in a paella pan measuring 17-18 inches at its widest point ( I use a large cast iron that measured 13″ diameter), over 2 burners if necessary.  Add the zucchini, *frozen artichokes (if using the marinated artichokes from a jar then add to paella in the end with the veggies right before putting in the oven to bake), peas and scallions and saute about 3 minutes over high heat, until the vegetables are slightly softened.  Stir in the tomato, garlic, paprika, and cumin, and cook 2 minutes more.  Add the rice and coat well with the pan mixture.

Pour in 1/2 of the broth and the wine and bring to a boil.  Taste for salt and continue to boil about 5 minutes, stirring and rotating pan occasionally, until the rice is no longer soupy but sufficient liquid remains.  Pour in the remaining broth.  Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the snap peas, roasted onion, 2 chopped peppers and olives.

Arrange the roasted red pepper slices decoratively on the top (a “spokes of the wheel” arrangement is traditional) and transfer to the oven.  Cover; bake 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from oven; let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.

Roasted Peppers

Preheat oven to low broil setting.  Place peppers in a pan and place under broiler.  Watch peppers and as they char turn peppers and continue til all sides are charred.  Put in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for at least 10 minutes.  Peel off the skin and remove top and seeds.

Roasted Onions

Preheat oven to 350F.  Slice onions about 1 inch thick.  Brush both sides with olive oil and place in pan.  Roast each side til browned about 20 minutes per side.  Cool onions and chop.