Monday, April 26, 2010

BBQ Chicken Braid

After my super chef brother-in-law, Ryan, showed me how to to fancily braid my pizza pockets I have been looking to upgrade one of our dinner favorites. And then I found this on one of my favorite food blogs: My Kitchen Cafe. The bread recipe she uses is incredible!! My braid came out soft and fluffy on the inside with a light crunch on the outside.
If the braiding is confusing Melanie has a tutorial on her blog. Check it out.

The only change I made was adding mushrooms, and bacon crumbles and then brushing the top with garlic butter as soon as it comes out of the oven. My oh my this is delicious!
p.s. the kids aren’t too hot on BBQ so for them I make a ham and cheese or pepperoni—they LOVE it.

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BBQ Chicken Braid
*Note: the amounts of chicken, onions, barbecue sauce, and cheese in the recipe can be altered based on your preference - simply add more or less to your liking.
*Makes 2 large braids
1 recipe French Bread Rolls
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
Bacon crumbles
1 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
After the French bread roll recipe has gone through the first rise, split the dough into two parts. Lightly cover one portion and set aside. Roll the other portion into about an 11X17-inch rectangle (I roll mine out directly on a sheet of parchment to make for easy transfer to the baking sheet and oven). Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut 1-inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread half of the barbecue sauce down the center strip. Top with the chicken, onions and cheese. Fold the side strips over filling, alternating strips from each side and pressing them into the dough on the opposite side, forming a braid. Pinch or twist to seal.
Place the braid on a lined baking sheet (or simply transfer the silpat liner to a baking sheet) and let rest for 15 minutes. While it is resting, follow the same steps above for the second portion of dough. Bake the first braid for 15-20 minutes (while the second braid is resting), until golden brown and bread is baked through. Remove from oven, brush with melted garlic butter and bake the second braid.
Let the braids rest for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut braid into sections and serve warm.
Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

French Bread Rolls
adapted from
*Makes about one dozen rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12-14 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bajio Chicken

I found this recipe and really liked it. Im not sure what Bajios chicken tastes like but this is good. I forgot to take a picture. Sorry.

5 chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1 T. cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 oz. can diced green chilies
6 oz. sprite

Through all of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 5 hours. Shred the chicken and let it cook for another hour. I had mine as a taco but you could do a lot with it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lemon Chicken

This is something I came up with that has become a staple at our house. I will warn you, I am a non-measuring type of cook.Last time I made it I came up with some measurements and this is what you get. If it’s a little tart, add sugar. If it’s too thick add chicken stock, etc, etc.
Like all recipes there are many things you can change, for this you can bread the chicken in regular bread crumbs, but you will sacrifice texture, big time. Panko crumbs can be found in the bulk section of Winco or the Asian section. If you have never used them before you will be very pleasantly surprised how incredible the the chicken will taste.


Lemon Chicken

Chicken Breasts, pounded thin (I use tenders, much easier)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

Bread chicken by first dredging breasts in flour, then eggs and finally bread crumbs.
In a large skillet melt a tablespoon butter with some EVOO. Heat until warm enough to pan fry.
Place chicken in the oil and pan fry until golden brown.

1/3 c. Lemon Juice
1 2/3 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. sugar
2-3 T. butter
2-3 T. flour

Once the chicken is cooked add butter to the pan and melt. Once melted, add flour to create a roux. Slowly add chicken stock, lemon juice and sugar. Cook over med. heat until the sauce is thickened.

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hot Tamale Casserole

I found this recipe in a magazine (Womans Day) and tried it a while back. We liked it. It was when Nancy was home visiting so I adjusted the recipe so that she could eat it except for the cheese on the top. Since the first time I have adjusted the recipe even more so that it is even better now. I am just going to post my version of the recipe. Enjoy!

4 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup cornmeal
1 lb. ground turkey, or whatever you like
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 oz.) green enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chilies
1 can sliced olives, drained (2 1/4 oz)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 T. minced cilantro
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a small heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt and cayenne to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil, slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon for 15-20 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the turkey, onion, red pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the beans, enchilada sauce, chilies, olives, chili powder and cilantro; heat through.
Spread polenta into a greased 8 in. square baking dish. Top with meat mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Overnight Cherry Danish

2 T. yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
6 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cups warm half and half cream
6 egg yolks, beaten
1 can cherry pie filling

2 T. butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
dash of salt
4-5 T. half and half cream

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add the yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks; stir until mixture forms a soft dough (it will be sticky). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Punch down dough; divide into quarters. Roll each portion into an 18 x 4 inch rectangle; cut into 1 x 4 inch strips.
Place two strips side by side; twist together. Shape into a ring; pinch ends together. Repeat with remaining strips. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled about 45 minutes.
Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 1/2 inch deep indentation in the center of each roll. Fill each with about 1 T. pie filling.
Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
For icing, in a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla, salt, and enough cream to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over rolls.

I have been wanting to make these since I found this recipe in Womans Day. They didn't disappoint us. They were delicious and not too sweet or rich. I just used my kitchen aid mixer for the whole thing and it worked great. This definitely made Nancy sick this day. I am done for the week and will cook low fat food the rest of the time. This is just another way to use our pie cherries! Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lemon Delight Trifle

3 1/2 cups cold 2% milk, I used non-fat
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) instant lemon pudding mix
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese softened, I used the low fat kind
1/2 cup butter, I left this out
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 carton (12 oz.) cool whip
1 pkg (12-14 oz.) lemon cream-filled sandwich cookies, crushed slightly

In large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth. Gradually stir in pudding until blended. Set aside 1/4 cup each of whipped topping and crushed cookies for garnish. Fold remaining whipped topping into pudding mixture.
Place half of the remaining cookies in a 3 qt glass bowl, top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved whipped topping and crushed cookies. Refrigerate until serving.
We had this for Easter and it was delicious! I found the recipe in Woman's Day.

Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi
1 T. olive oil or Pam
1/2 finely diced red onion or I use whatever I have
1/2 finely diced red pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno, I take the seeds out
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
However much garlic you want
1 cup cream
1 generous cup grated pepper jack cheese
2 T. butter, I used 1

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. You still want them to be crunchy. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again.
I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman and it is great as a side dish or even as the main dish. It isn't hot at all, just slightly spicy. We love it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe from The Pioneer Women and everyone loved them. She calls for coffee but I didnt put it in. As you can tell this recipe makes a ton so I cut it in half.

1 quart Whole Milk (I used skim)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

1 bag Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/2 cups Milk
1/4 cups Melted Butter
1/8 teaspoons Salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture. Turn off heat and leave to cool for 45 minutes. When the mixture is warm sprinkle in both packages of yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of flour and stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and roll it out thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Now begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round pie pan (i used a 9x13 and it worked great) and place cute rolls in them.
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees for about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.