Sunday, July 29, 2012

(almost) Perfect Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

I wasn't going to post such a simple recipe on my blog, but then I remembered the reason I started my blog in the first place...my kids. Both are in college, and you never know when they might want to make scrambled eggs and bacon. This is the way I have made them my whole life, at least the eggs. My Dad has always made wonderful scrambled eggs, one of his secrets is lots of grated cheese in them! YUM! I ran across this way to cook the bacon on T.V?? or by word of mouth with friends?? I can't remember... I have always hated cooking bacon in a frying pan because it splatters everywhere and curls up on the ends and you never get an evenly cooked piece of bacon. I love this method and it's easy cleanup! Enjoy!

Almost Perfect Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

10 to 12 slices of Bacon ( I like peppered bacon)

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk or half n' half
Dash or two Hot sauce (I like Franks or Louisiana)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup (or slightly more) grated cheese (whatever you like best... I used a Colby jack today)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, folding the edges up so you have a dam on all sides (this keeps the grease contained) Place bacon in a row on the cookie sheet and bake in the over for about 20 minutes or to your desired crispiness.
Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel. When the aluminum is cool, just wad up and throw away! (Easy isn't it?? and the pan should be clean! )
While your bacon cooks, make your scrambled eggs by cracking the eggs into a medium size bowl. Add the milk, the dash (or two) of hot sauce, Salt and Pepper (I never measure the salt and pepper, I just shake the salt 4 or 5 times and the same with the pepper). Whisk this mixture until the ingredients are all incorporated and yellow.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, spray generously with a non-stick cooking spray and pour in your egg mixture (this should sizzle pretty good) Sprinkle on the cheese, and turn your heat to a medium heat. Let the egg sit for a few seconds to start cooking on the bottom, then stir.
Keep letting it cook for a few seconds and stirring until when stirred it doesn't come together in the pan. (Also remember you don't stir it while it's cooking, you let it cook a few seconds, then stir so it's lumpy like the above picture.)
When it looks like this........
turn the heat completely off, stirring occasionally until your eggs look like this....
             now serve along side your perfectly cooked bacon and fresh fruit! Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Version of Alice Springs Chicken

Goodness time goes fast, especially when you're busy. I've been busy since the 4th of July it seems, I made a pulled pork dinner for our big 4th of July bash and breakfast the next morning, I made a cake for my friend at work, took a quick trip to Salt Lake City to help my daughter get residency and sign up for school at UVU, and just this last week I have helped my son move back home from BYU-Idaho. It took me 2 trips since he seemed to have slowly taken the whole house up with him! Plus, you don't ever want to volunteer to help an apartment of boys with their clean check.... especially the kitchen. UGH! But being the mother that I am that's what I did. I also have a regular job that I work 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, and try to keep my own yard and house clean on the weekends. Anyway, I haven't had much time to post recipes, and it has been quite hot to cook in the house anyway, but I wanted to post this recipe. I made this over the 4th of July week that my mother-in-law came to visit. It turned out delicious! I got the original recipe out of one of my Top Secret Recipe cookbooks, but I tweaked it a bit like I usually like to do with recipes. I grilled it too since the heat in the house was about 100 degrees, so we cooked and ate outside. It was a lovely evening. Enjoy!

My Version of Alice Springs Chicken

Honey Mustard Marinade:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (Note--if yours are really thick like mine were butterfly them through so you end up with 2 breasts that are thinner instead of one really big, thick one, I used 3 breasts that were butterflied all the way through)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 12 mushrooms)
2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
8 slices of cooked bacon (I like to cook mine in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil, takes about 15 to 20 minutes on 350) you want about 2 slices per chicken breast.
4 slices of Monterrey Jack cheese (or1 slice per chicken breast)
4 slices of Cheddar cheese ( or1 slice per chicken breast)

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, vegetable oil, and the lemon juice until it's well blended.

Place your chicken breasts in a gallon size Ziploc baggie, pour about 2/3's of the marinade in with the chicken, zip up the bag and mush it around until the chicken is well coated. Let marinade for about 2 hours. Chill the rest of the marinade in a covered dish to use for dipping later.

When you're almost ready to cook your chicken after it's been marinating for a bit, cook your bacon however you desire. While that's cooking, melt the 2 Tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook and stir until they are cooked and almost caramelized in the butter. I also season these with a little salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium heat. When grill is hot, place your chicken breasts on the grill. I gave mine a good sprinkle of salt and pepper after I got them on the grill. Let cook on this side for about 7 minutes. Turn and cook this side for 6 or 7 minutes until done.
Remove chicken from the grill and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Stack 1-1/2 to 2 pieces of cooked bacon on each chicken breast. Now spoon on the mushrooms dividing them so that each chicken breast gets an equal amount. Then place a slice of each kind of cheese on each chicken breast. Place under broiler in your oven for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melty and gooey.
Serve with  the remaining marinade for dipping and your choice of sides! I think I served mine with steamed broccoli and a crispy salad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Who doesn't love cookie dough??? Sometimes that's the only reason I make cookies... because I'm craving cookie dough!! I know you aren't supposed to eat it because of the raw eggs in it but who can help them selves! Not me! I found a recipe like this one on pinterest... I made it for the 4th of July for a treat... but something was off... it didn't quite taste like my cookie dough and I thought it was a bit sugary. So I thought why not try my favorite Choc Chip cookie recipe but leave out the eggs and baking soda?? I tried it and it worked! I added 2 Tablespoons milk and an extra Tablespoon of butter to get the correct consistency but it worked! It's the cookie dough I LOVE!! I think I ate 5 balls worth of cookie dough while making these! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 Table spoon butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla (yes, that's 1/2 Tablespoon)
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
chocolate bark (for dipping, I like to use Guittard dipping chocolate)
 Sprinkles or white chocolate to garnish
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Mix in milk and vanilla.
Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll or scoop the dough  into about 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator and chill for a good hour or two.
If you have any cookie dough balls left at this point, it's time to dip them in Chocolate. Chop up the chocolate bar and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in microwave for 45 seconds, remove and stir, if needed place back in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds,stirring afterwards and repeating this step until the chocolate is melted. Remove the cookie balls from the refrigerator and dip into melted chocolate. I like to use a plastic fork with the two middle tines removed to scoop my cookie ball out of the chocolate, I let sit over the bowl a bit to get the excess off, then place the dough ball back on the wax paper lined pan.
 After all the balls have been dipped in chocolate you can garnish with small sprinkles or I like to melt a little bit of white chocolate and drizzle over the top. You can add food coloring to it too if you want the drizzle to be colored.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week. ENJOY!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Coconut Cake with Coconut Lemon Glaze

I was watching Food Network a couple of Saturday's ago, which is my favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning while I relax in bed --while it's still cool outside. I watched Trisha Yearwood's new show, she does cooking like I like to do. This is her recipe that she got from her Grandma Yearwood. I LOVE coconut... and lemon and I wasn't disappointed in this recipe. I made half the glaze that she had the recipe for, I've posted what I did and it was plenty to coat the outside of the cake. Also, I don't have a Tube cake pan so I used two loaf pans and it turned out great! For the original recipe click here. I also used half toasted coconut and half baker's sweetened coconut in the cake, love toasted coconut! Just follow the directions on the package for how to toast! YUM! ...sorry for the blurry picture... I think I need a new camera. Sometimes I get blurry pictures... and I don't think it's because I have frosting on the lense. :)
Coconut Cake with Coconut Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood\
12 servings.

Ingredients:
Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing
Flour, for dusting pan
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
One 12-ounce box vanilla wafers, finely crushed (this is used instead of flour!!)
One 6-ounce package grated coconut, (you can toast this if desired, I used half toasted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Coconut Lemon Glaze:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon
1 heaping cup grated coconut
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
For the cake: Grease and flour a 9-inch tube cake pan (or 2 loaf pans) Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beating well. Mix in the vanilla wafer crumbs, coconut and pecans. Pour into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour or until golden in color and a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted in the center of cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.

For the glaze: Mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest and juice, 3/4 cup of water and coconut in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened, for about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then using a toothpick, poke several holes in the top of the cake and drizzle the glaze over the cake.
Gooey but YUMMY! Enjoy!!

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Iced Green Ginger Tea

I love Iced Tea on a hot summer day... Green Tea is good for you, and I saw an episode of Dr. Oz one afternoon where he was making all kinds of teas that were supposed to help you boost your metabolism and bust your belly fat. This recipe was found to be the best tasting by a taste tester they pulled out of the audience. It's easy to make... I made mine in a gallon container that I let sit out in the sun one really hot sunny summer day... Refreshing!!

Iced Green Ginger Tea
1 Gallon water in a clear jar or pitcher
12 green tea bags
12-1/4 inch sliced of fresh ginger

Place the tea bags and slices of ginger in the gallon of water.
Place outside in a sunny spot and let steep for hours...I think I left mine out there for about 6 hours. Or to your desired strength of tea.
Strain the tea into another pitcher and store in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve pour over ice in a glass and sweeten to your desired taste with a little sugar, truvia or sweetener of our choice. Enjoy!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Baked Crispy Parmesan Chicken Breasts

I got this recipe from a kitchen meeting I attended the other day, only I tweaked it just a bit. Our meeting was about healthy recipes and this was one of them, I made it the next day to go with a pasta side dish I tried out of my food network magazine (which I won't make again) and we loved the chicken!! It's great with a pasta dish, or you can turn it into Chicken Parmigiana (which they did at the meeting I was at) see variation below the recipe! Enjoy!

Baked Crispy Parmesan Chicken Breasts
6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Kraft House Italian Dressing
1 cup Panko Bread crumbs ( usually found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the chicken breasts in a gallon zip-loc bag (if your chicken breasts are really thick like mine were, butterfly them by cutting clear through the thickest part, making two thin breasts) Pour the Italian Dressing in the bag with the chicken, zip it shut, and mush the chicken and dressing around so the chicken is thoroughly coated. Let marinate for a few hours ( I did this part on my lunch break so it would be ready to cook when I got home from work).
After marinating, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. In a shallow dish or plate, combine the Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Take one chicken breast at a time and place in the crumb mixture, slightly pressing it into the crumbs so they stick. Place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the chicken has been coated, bake for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is done and the crumbs are golden and browned around the edges.
Remove from oven and serve with steamed veggies!

Chicken Parmigiana

To make into a Chicken Parmigiana prepare the chicken as above but place in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and pour your favorite marinara sauce over the top. Sprinkle with about a cup of grated Mozzarella cheese and about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti noodles. Yumalicious!