Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shish Kabobs

I wanted to make a request for some quick and easy dinner ideas. I decided the best way to get a good response was to start the list myself. We had Shish Kabobs tonight. I skewered them and cooked them on the grill outside. But these are very versatile. You can broil them in the oven if you want - on or off a stick. If you don't have skewers, spread it out on a broiler pan and it's just as good.

1/3 cup olive oil
3 TBL lemon juice
2 tsp basil

Ideas for the kabobs:
I always use beef (stew beef so it's already cut for me!) Any meat would work

tonight I used:
summer squash

I have used in the past:

really, almost anything will work!

I marinate the meat anywhere from 30 min to a couple of hours depending on when I can get to it. I usually swish some of the veggies in the marinade as well. I made a couple of fun ones with everything on it. However, it's quicker and easier to just do a skewer with tomatoes, one with meat and onions, one with peppers, ect. This is good if you use veggies that cook faster, you can grill each skewer as long as that particular veggie or meat needs to be cooked.

Anyway, this takes all of 20 minutes to prepare and cook - so fast and so easy. It's also versatile so you can make it the way you want it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick and Easy Alfredo

I really like Alfredo sauce. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff in a jar. I've made several attempts to make alfredo and it takes forever and it always seperates or is too runny or lumpy or gross. I have a found a fairly easy and fail-safe recipe for alfredo sauce.

1/2 cup butter
1 package cream cheese (8 ounces) I use the 30% less fat stuff
2 tsp garlic powder (I use less)
2 cups milk (skim works fine)
6 ounces parmesan cheese (this is approximately 1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp black pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long.

I half this recipe and mix it with pasta, chicken, and green peas. Everyone eats it! It really is a quick and easy dish.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crunchy Carmel Corn

I know for most of you this is not a new recipe, in fact it isn't even my own. My sister wants me to post it and I definitely think it is good enough to deserve one!


Crunchy Carmel Corn
1c. brown sugar
½ c. butter (I typically cut out at least 2 T.)
¼ c. light corn syrup
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Pop 1 cup un popped popcorn in air popper. Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a 2 quart micro proof bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Place popped corn in a large brown paper bag. Pour syrup over corn and mix. Roll top of bag tightly to close. Microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Shake bag and microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes more. Pour onto flat surface, spread out and allow to cool.  (or just put it in a big bowl and stir until cooled.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

PW’s Marinated Flank Steak

My mom introduced me this incredible recipe. It comes from The Pioneer Woman.

Typically when I buy my steak the package includes two to three steaks. So I prepare the marinade as follows and then freeze the extra steaks with the marinade in a ziploc bag. When I want to eat it I pull out the bag and toss it in the fridge to defrost and marinate.


Flank Steak

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 heaping tablespoons minced ginger
3 to 5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 flank steak

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish. Remove flank steak from package and give it a quick rinse. Coat both sides of meat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours. (we typically do it overnight.)

Grill steaks to desired doneness and slice thinly against the grain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Braided Egg Bread

Through this blog, the true me is shining through- I love bread and cookies! One day I may actually post about something half-way healthy. Until then here is another one of my bread favorites.

My mom taught me how to make this bread, it is absolutely beautiful. Especially when you cook hard boiled, dyed Easter eggs into it.  (Which I do not normally do) Anyway the texture of this bread is unlike any other. Ross and I agree without a doubt, this bread makes the most fantastic french toast! DSC_0035

Braided Egg Bread

1 T. yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ c. warm water
4 ¾ c. flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. oil
¼ c. sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with  1 T. water

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in salt, sugar, oil and eggs. Gradually beat in flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled.

To shape bread, divide 1/3 of the dough and set aside. With the remaining 2/3 divide into 4 equal parts and roll out into ropes about 21” long. Place the 4 strips on a greased baking sheet pinch tops together, and braid as follows: pick up strand on right, bring it over the next one, under the third, and over the fourth.

Repeat, always starting at the right, until the bread is complete. Pinch ends together

Roll remaining dough into 3 ropes about 18” long and do a three stranded braid. Place braid on top of bread, and let rise until doubled in size.

If you are not so sure about the four braid thing you could simply divide the dough evenly into thirds and make three braided loaves, make sure to adjust your cooking times.

Brush egg yolk mixture evenly over braids.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My version of Chang's Spicy Chicken

So, we went to PF Chang's about two years ago and ordered their Spicy Chicken and I thought it was really good. I then decided that I would try and duplicate it and made this recipe which is quite similar. We again went to PF Chang's for Mother's Day and decided that my recipe is pretty darn close. If I were to change anything I'd maybe try adding brown sugar to have it more similar to PF Chang's. Also if your kids don't like spicy I'd recommend just giving them soy sauce.

2 to 3 chicken breasts cubed

3/4 to 1 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (usually found in the oriental section of the grocery store)

3 to 4 Tbs Soy Sauce

3 to 4 Tbs Water

Cook chicken over the stove (you can season with garlic or pepper if you'd like). While cooking chicken combine Sweet Chili Sauce, soy sauce, and water until you have a good consistency. I think the sweet chili sauce is a little too thick and hot alone so I add the soy sauce and water feel free to add however much soy sauce to get it to your liking I honestly have never measured when making this recipe so these are all guesses on the amounts. Place chicken and sauce over rice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

We had these for breakfast this morning - the kids LOVE them!

3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 c milk
1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries
lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine eggs, oil, milk, and lemon zest. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir blueberries into batter and spoon into muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, about 1/2 - 3/4 full. Bake 18 minutes Makes 2 dozen. They keep well. I think fresh blueberries taste the best (as always) but works well frozen berries as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

French Bread

This is without a doubt my favorite bread! It all comes together in under two hours, the bread is just the right texture and it makes the most AMAZING grilled garlic bread.


French Bread

2 1/2 c. warm water
2 pkg. yeast
3 T. sugar
1/3 c. oil
1 T. salt
6 cups flour

Combine water, yeast and sugar, let sit for a few minutes. Add oil salt and 3 cups of flour. Let mix for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the 3 remaining cups of flour and let mix until fully combined.

Leave dough in mixer, and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the mixer on and repeat the 10 min. rise for 50 minutes total. Then let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Shape dough into two long loaves (about the length of a cookie sheet) or 4 smaller loaves (about the width of a cookie sheet)  Place on greased cookie sheet. (Slit the tops with a sharp knife, if you want the more fancy look. )

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes depending on size of loaf. If you make the larger loaves, you will want to let the bread get pretty dark.

If you like a crunchy crust, place a small bowl of water on the bottom rack of your oven while the bread bakes. DSC_0535

To make grilled garlic bread, slice the loaf lengthwise. Spread on garlic butter (I use the garlic mix from Costco) Place bread face down on low heat until light brown----yummy!