Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fig Jam

You're going to have to trust me on this, even if you think you don't like figs, you'll love fig jam. It's sweet and delicious. It's especially yummy with spreadable goat cheese on yummy bread.

3 1/4 lbs fully ripened figs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 t lemon rind, grated
1 pkg pectin (MCP brand or Sure-Jell)
7 1/2 cups sugar (do not try to alter the amount of sugar, I know it's a lot)

Trim stems from figs. Grind or chop figs and place in a 6 quart sauce pan. Add lemon juice and stir. Add pectin and stir until dissolved. Place figs over high heat and cook until a hard boil is reached. Immediately add all of the sugar (I measured and placed it in a bowl before I began cooking the figs). Bring back to a quick rolling boil that will not stir down. Cook 1 minute.

Remove from heat. With a metal spoon skim off the foam that has formed on top. Ladle into prepared glass canning jars* leaving 1/2 inch of room on the top. Cover with lids and rings. Freeze.

*To prepare jars for canning/jam, wash well in hot soapy water. Rinse and allow to dry completely.

Placed into cute glass jars, this would make a great gift for Christmas, etc.

Request:Whole Wheat Recipes


I am trying to use more whole wheat in my recipes and was wondering if any of you can share any whole wheat recipes. I have used some of the ones on this website already and they have been great, I was just putting a call out for any more. I also have purchased some whole wheat pastry flour which they say can be substituted for regular flour in most recipes. any ideas, suggestion, or recipes are welcome! Thanks!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Figgy Treat

Thanks to Meggie (and Susan at her work) for teaching me this recipe.

Figs, stems removed and halved
Gorgonzola (or blue) cheese, sliced
1 fresh lemon

Place figs on a jelly roll pan cover in foil, split side up. Cover opened figs with a small amount of fresh lemon juice. Top each half with a slice of Gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle figs with honey. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately. This would make a great appetizer or dessert.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Watermelon Cookies

Children LOVE these cookies. They taste like a sugar cookie (not like watermelon) and are so cute!

½ cup shortening
½ cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. almond extract
2 ½ cups flour

Color 1/2 dough red, ¼ green and leave ¼ white. Shape red dough into a long tube and freeze. Roll white dough out into a rectangle and shape over red dough (using a little water lightly spread over the white dough will help the two layers stick better). Freeze. Roll out green dough into a rectangle and shape over white and red oblong dough. Refrigerate.Slice and place on cookie sheet. Place 6 tiny chocolate chips on watermelons so they look like seeds.

Bake 350* for 7-10 minutes. While still hot, slice in half.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Avocado-Feta Salad

This is another Lindsey recipe that she made last time she was here and it was very good, I was leary at first but I really liked it.

Avocado-Feta Salad

4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 avocados, chopped
Assorted tortilla chips

Stir together first 9 ingredients. Gently stir in avocado just before serving. Serve with assorted tortilla chips.

Chicken & Rice Casserole

This is a great freezer meal, one of those that you can make ahead and freeze and then just pop out when you are ready to eat it. For Christmas last year I made Lindsey 6 meals to keep in her freezer and this was one of them...it was the gift of time since she is so busy, it would give her 6 nights of hassle free dinner. Last time I made this, I doubled the recipe and had enough for one large casserole dish and I think 3 of the smaller 9X9 casserole dishes. If you freeze it, wait to put the cornflake topping on it so it doesn't get soggy. Its very basic but easy and affordable. You could probably spruce it up with some frozen peas or something if you want some color. I usually make a big batch and eat one that night for dinner and then freeze the rest for the future on those nights when I get home and just want to veg on the couch. This is also good for when you need to take dinner to someone who just had a baby, you can just take it to them frozen and they can fix it whenever they want, that night or in a week when everyone is gone and you need an extra hand. :)

Chicken & Rice Casserole
1/2 c. butter
3 c cooked rice (or it says you can mix in 1.5 cups of raw rice and it will work, but I haven't tried it)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
4 c. boiled, boned, cut-up chicken or turkey
cornflake crumbs

Put butter in dish and melt. Mix all other ingredients together and stir in butter. Top with cornflake crumbs. Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours. You can fix this ahead of time and freeze. This freezes well. Make 2 or 3 at a time to have on hand.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Roasted Broccoli & Roasted chicken

Roasted Broccoli

Take Broccoli and cut it in to small florets. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread broccoli out on cookie sheet. Lightly pour or spray olive oil over the broccoli and toss to coat the pieces so they are shiny. Spread out on pan in one layer and salt and pepper to taste. Put in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the ends look brown and toasty, then turn over add salt and pepper to taste, and roast for 5-10 minutes more. This has become one of our favorite vegetables and we eat it like its popcorn! You can also do the same technique with sweet potatoes, tomato slices, onions, carrots, green peppers , cauliflower, and potatoes.

I like to make this when I am already going to be cooking something else in the oven, like roasting chicken breasts. I will just take chicken and toss in olive oil, add salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash and roast for about 40 minutes until done. When there is about 30 minutes left, I just add the broccoli on a cookie sheet on the other shelf in the oven so that everything is done about the same time.

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

3 cans of cheese Soup
1 Box of chicken Stock
2 Baked Potatoes
12 slices of bacon cooked until crispy (or bacon bits)
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of Mrs Dash
Sour Cream
Shredded Longhorn Sharp Cheddar Cheese to top

Take 3 cans of cheese soup (I spiced it up and used 1 can of Pepper Jack cheese soup) and add a box of chicken stock. Simmer and stir on the stove. Bake 2 potatoes and cut them into chunks (like potato salad size) and add them to the soup. Cook some bacon or use bacon bits, about 6 slices worth, crumble and add to soup. I also used 6 more slices crumbled up to top the soup when serving. Add salt and pepper to taste plus about 2 teaspoons of Mrs. Dash. Served with a dollop of sour cream, cheese, and bacon pieces. Yummo! I think you could probably make a creamy version of this soup by using Potato pearls instead of real potatoes, with that and the bacon bits, it could be a food storage type meal.

Monterrey Chicken

This is a Lindsey classic, she created this dish off something she ate in a restaurant and its a favorite of ours. I think this is a budget conscience meal and I usually make it as s a two-for meal. Meaning, I make more than I need for the first meal and then jazz it up some and have a totally different meal the next night but with parts from this dish. I will explain below.

Chicken Breasts (However many you need to feed everyone, I usually make 6 to feed 3-4 people plus have 2 left over for the next meal)
Package of Bacon
Sliced or Cheese (We use Swiss, Cheddar, or Provolone...whatever I have)
Jar of Barbeque Sauce

Take Chicken and wrap a bacon slice around it, place in casserole dish or pan. Cover with bbq sauce and put in oven at 375 for about 45-60 minutes until done. With about 10 minutes left, add slices of cheese over each breast. You can also put this in the slow cooker on low and cook it all day and add the cheese at the end. Lindsey has also made tiny bite sized versions for appetizers.

For the next day, I have a few variations of this meal. My favorite is to take the leftover chicken breasts, sauce, and bacon and cut it up or shred it and add some butter and Frank's Red Hot Sauce and it makes a barbeque buffalo chicken. I put the chicken in a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce, ranch dressing, and any other fixins and make a wrap sandwich. You can also take that same buffalo bbq chicken and toss it on a salad, add baked tortilla strips or chips and you have a bbq buffalo salad.

Lindsey will take the chicken and make quesadillas the next day with it, just shred it up, add cheese and anything else you want to a tortilla and cook it in a non stick or cast iron pan, flip when it gets toasty.

You can also just cut up the Monterrey Chicken and add it to a salad the next day.

I do this because I think it is cost effective since I don't have to buy items for two complete meals, plus it saves on prep time the second day and I don't have to turn on my oven and pay the electricity to have the oven on and my a/c to cool down the hot house from the oven being on. :) I just use the microwave the second day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peasant Bread for bread machine

¾ cup water
2 T olive oil
2 C flour
1 t salt
1 ½ t sugar
1 ½ t rosemary (it is best fresh)
1 T yeast

Add ingredient to bread machine in order. Select the dough setting.

When machine is finished, shape dough into a mound. Cover and let it rise for about and hour or until it has doubled.

Rub olive oil on lightly with your fingers to coast.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Cut into strips to serve.

You can double the recipe by a half increasing the flour to 3 cups.

Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

8 servings

8oz. Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil (they are the cheapest at Super Walmart)
1 C chopped onions
8 cloves of garlic minced
1 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 oz. mushrooms
10 oz. black olives
3 T fresh basil chopped (I use and entire package that you can get in the produce session)
3 C heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste
16 oz. penne pasta
4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 t chicken paste (it is like chicken bullion but better, you can get it at Super Target or Sam’s)

Cook the pasta as directed.

Drain the sun dried tomatoes from their oil, coarsely chop them and set them aside.

Brown chicken in a skillet in the oil from the sun dried tomatoes for about 2 minutes on each side.

Transfer chicken to a 9 X 13 baking dish, cover, and bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes.

Add onions and garlic to the oil that you cooked the chicken in until tender and translucent. Add the mushrooms and black olives and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cream, chicken paste, and sun-dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil and let reduce for a few minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven and chop it into cubes.

Chop basil and add it to the sauce. Let it warm for about a minute

Combine pasta, chicken, and sauce in a big bowl. Mix it up and add the parmesan cheese.

Serve with peasant bread.

Asian Lettus Wraps

Tastes like P.F. Chang's and Pei WeiMakes
4-6 servings

½ cup finely copped or shredded carrots
½ cup water
1 (16oz.) package of ground turkey
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 small can of water chestnuts diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
¼ cup hoisen sauce (can be found with the oriental foods)
½ cup sliced green onions
1 head iceberg lettuce, separated into leaves

Cook carrots and ½ cup water in a sauce pan over high heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until carrots are softened and water is evaporated.

In a large skillet cook turkey over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink. Add carrots, mushrooms, and next 8 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook stirring constantly, 4 minutes. Add green onions, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Spoon mixture evenly onto lettuce leaves; roll up.

Request: budget-friendly meals

So, I know everyone has noticed that food at the grocery store is getting really expensive. That, combined with the fact that I officially quit my job 10 days ago to be a stay-at-home mom has me looking at our grocery budget. Does anyone have any yummy budget-friendly meals they can share? I'll be looking online for some, too, and will post what I find. Thanks!

Zuchini Stuffing Casserole

2 lbs zucchini or yellow summer squash diced (about 7 cups)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
8 oz. carton sour cream
1 c. shredded carrots
2 c. cooked, diced chicken
1 box stuffing mix according to directions

In large pan of boiling water cook zuchini and onion for 5-10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

In a large bowl combine soup, sour cream, chicken and carrots. Fold in zucchini and onions.

Spread half of stuffing in bottom of pan. Add zucchini mixture and then remaining stuffing. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until heated through.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk (I just add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to regular milk)
2 1/2. flour
2 c. diced zuchinni
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. nuts (optional)
3 Tbsp. cocoa

Beat well with mixer. Bake in 9x13 pan at 325 for 40-45 minutes. Needs no frosting! (But is good warm w/ cool whip).

Asian Chicken Salad

Hi, I am Heather. I know the Stratons from "way back when" in the Colleyville Ward. This is my favorite salad these days, my husband even loves it. Its very versatile, I hope it is Lugubrious worthy!

2 Cups of cooked chicken breasts
1 bag or 1/2-3/4 head of lettuce OR 1 bag of shredded cabbage OR broccoli coleslaw mix
1 cup of pecan halves (slivered almonds can also be used)
1/2 bag of Chinese Chow Mien noodles or 1 bag of Ramen noodles broken and sauteed in butter (The original recipe calls for fried won tons, which are fab but I was trying to cut down the calories and the effort so I went with the noodles)

Dressing for Asian Chicken Salad

2 tsp of Mrs Dash Original
4 Tbsp sugar (I have used Splenda before and its just as good)
1/4 cup of oil
4 Tbsp vinegar (I usually use cider vinegar)
1 tsp salt

Add chicken to lettuce/cabbage and set aside. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake well before pouring on salad. Next add noodles and pecans. Toss and serve. I just pour the dressing on until its well covered, I don't always use it all. Serve with crusty bread. If you are taking the salad to eat for a church dinner or something, you can mix it in advance and then add the noodles when you get there.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Banana Bars

2/3 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Sour Cream
2 T. Butter, softened
2 egg whites
3/4 C. mashed banana (about 2 normal sized)
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 375°F . Spray 9x9" pan. Beat sugar, sour cream, butter, and egg whites in large bowl 1 minute on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in bananas and vanilla on low speed 30 seconds. Beat in flour, salt, and baking soda 1 min. Spread in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes til light brown.

I like to frost them while they are still fairly warm. That way the frosting seeps in to the bars. (Adding to the density).

1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. sour cream
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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I made this for Mandy's baby shower---yum!

1 ½ c. sugar
¾ c. butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt cake pan, tube pan, or 2 loaf pans.
Beat sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in large mixer bowl on medium, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 min. Beat in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt alternately with sour cream on low speed. Prepare filling.

Spread 1/3 of the batter in the pan and sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling (about 6 T.). Repeat 2 times. Bake until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hr. for bundt pan. Cool slightly; remove from pan. Cool 10 min. and drizzle with glaze. Makes 14-16 servings.

Filing –
Mix ½ c. packed brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ c. chopped nuts (opt.)
Light Brown Glaze –
¼ c. butter or margarine
2-3 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat or in microwave. Stir in p. sugar and vanilla. Stir in milk a little at a time until glaze is smooth and of desired consistency.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Avocado Mandarin Salad

This is a nice fresh alternative for a summer salad!

10 oz pkg mixed salad greens
15 oz can mandarin oranges
Thin slices of red onion (put in as much or as little as you want)
1/4 cup toasted almonds (I used honey toasted almonds)
1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing or Balsamic vinaigrette
2 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into chunks

In a large salad bowl combine greens, mandarin oranges, onions and nuts. In a smaller bowl combine dressing and 1/2 cup avocado cubes. Mash and blend into dressing. Add remaining avocado chunks and dressing to salad. Toss and serve!

*Note: I made this yesterday and LOVED IT! However, I had a little left over and put it in the fridge -- I tried to eat it for lunch today and let's just say that this IS NOT a good leftover salad. So, only make enough to eat with your meal or the remaining will go to waste!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fresh Basil Pasta

1 c. chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 can (14.5 oz) italian stewed tomatoes
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 c. fresh, chopped basil
1 c. fresh, grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Penne or bowtie pasta

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes and simmer until bubbly. Remove from heat and add whip cream. Add all other ingredients and toss.

* May also add mushrooms, zuchinni, chicken or shrimp