Sunday, February 28, 2010

Texas Ranch Chicken

This recipe is also good in the slow-cooker. The nice thing about that is you can more easily use raw chicken. Just dump the ingredients in and shred the chicken before serving.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided


  • In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the onion, celery and peppers in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the chicken, soups, tomatoes and chili powder.
  • Line the bottom of a 3-qt. baking dish with half of the tortilla strips; top with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve over rice and garnish with crushed up tortilla chips. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tater Tot Casserole

This is a veggied up version of the kid-friendly classic. To make it even healthier, use half of the tater tots by spacing them further apart and cut out the cheese.

1 lb very lean ground beef (or bison, which is what I cook with)
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
16 oz frozen tater tots

Saute veggies until tender. Add burger, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add soup and milk. Place meat mixture in a 1.5 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle on cheese. Arrange tater tots on top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

No-Knead Bread

This is my favorite bread to make. It is soft on the inside with a crusty shell. Although the effort required is shockingly small the dough does need a night to rest. I doubled the recipe the other day and by the time they came out of the oven I wished I had made more as both loaves were gone very quickly. My favorite is to serve it with roasted garlic and melted brie.Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SImple Sesame Chicken

These chicken strips are so easy and yummy! They also make great leftovers. I paired this with broccoli and creamy fettucini, which was delicious. Marc is a sauce person, I am not, he liked it with a little sweet and sour.


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2/3 cups Caesar salad croutons, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil


  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, combine crushed croutons and sesame seeds. Place eggs in a third shallow bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture, then dip in eggs and coat with crouton mixture.
  • In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in butter and oil in batches over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Yield: 6 servings.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ice Cream Cake (like you buy)

My mom came up with this method for ice cream cake. It is so simple that I will never spend $30 on an ice cream cake again when I can make it myself for around $5. My grandma requested this recipe, so I am posting it. You can watch a demo video by clicking here, or go to the end of the post.

  • 1 spring form pan (a must) 8 or 9"
  • 1 box favorite cake mix
  • 1.5- 2 quarts favorite ice cream
  • frosting:
  • 8-12 oz cool whip
  • 4 oz instant pudding package
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  • optional stir in's to put on top of (or in the middle of) the ice cream before the cake layer goes on top:
  • brownies, (goey undercooked works best) broken in dime size pieces, crushed candy canes, candy bars, chocolate/carmel sauce, cookie pieces, pie filling etc, etc, etc.

1. mix cake batter as directed on box. (you may use one egg)
2. Pour about 1/2 cake mix into prepared (spray with PAM) spring form pan and bake as directed on package about 20-25 minutes. If you have 2 pans bake both at the same time.
3. remove cake from pan by running a knife around edge to loosen, taking off side and flip onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or aluminum foil. Don't worry if it is lopsided, falls apart or whatever. It will be covered by “forgiving” icing. set aside. This will be your cake top.
4. Bake the other half of cake mix in the same spring form pan if you haven’t before. If you have two spring form pans the same size or 1" difference, you can cook both at the same time. Do not remove second cake from pan. This is your cake bottom Let cool by setting in the freezer or on counter.
5. When cake and pan are cool, remove ice cream from freezer to soften. Start scooping ice cream onto the cake in the spring form pan. Smooth the ice cream as you go and fill in all holes or gaps. Don’t be afraid of really pushing the ice cream on the cake to get rid of air holes. If you want to use optional stir in's, this is the place, on top of the ice cream, or in the ice cream. Put the reserved cooked cake on top and gently push down to not have any gaps, this will fill in the sides. Place in freezer until frozen. This depends on your freezer temp, overnight is best. Make the frosting.
6. mix 1 c. milk with the
7. 4 oz instant pudding and whip. This will be a thick pudding. Add the 1/4 c. powdered sugar and stir in 8-12 oz. of cool whip.
8. When mixed, remove cake from spring form pan by sliding a knife around the edge. You may need to put your knife in water. Unclamp the pan and gently take off. You will serve the cake on the bottom of the spring form pan.
9. Frost the top and sides making sure not to miss any areas. You may need to get the counter messy or put the cake on another pan to get if off the counter. Quickly put into freezer for at least 3 hours. I don’t cover it. Will keep uncovered 5+ days.
10. To serve: let sit on counter 10 minutes or we just saw through frozen cake.
11. 2:1 favorite is chocolate cake, mint chocolate ice cream and chocolate instant pudding.