Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

I was looking for a quick chicken recipe. This was perfect. I made two different batches of filling--one with mushrooms and one without because 2 of us like mushrooms and two don't. I used the extra filling in an omelet the next morning! We really liked this!

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

4 large chicken breasts
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 large white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
¼ white onion, diced
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
 4 teaspoons cajun seasoning Beth found this was too much
 4 tablespoons butter

Use a meat tenderizer to pound out the chicken breasts until about ¼-inch thick.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, bell pepper, and onions for 5 minutes, until par-cooked.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

Place a pinch of cheese in the center of each chicken breast. Place a large spoonful of mushroom and bell pepper mixture on top. Finish off with another pinch of cheese.

Carefully roll up the chicken so stuffing is completely inside. Secure the chicken with toothpicks. Place in the prepared pan. Season generously with cajun seasoning. Place a tablespoon of butter on top of each chicken breast.

Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is cooked through, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove toothpicks before serving. You can serve the chicken whole, or slice in half, or in 1-inch slices.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cajun seasoning

I needed this seasoning for a chicken recipe.  It was easy to put together and makes more than enough for a single recipe.
Cajun seasoning

2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (if you don’t have it, just substitute black pepper) 1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Store in air tight container.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shortcut Reese Oreo Chocolate Chip Brownies

I was looking for a quick and easy dessert to put together.  I put a few different recipes together to come up with this.  IT was a hit!
Shortcut Reese Oreo Chocolate Chip Brownies

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 pkg Oreos
1 pkg Reese peanut butter cup(Beth used Valentine shaped ones)
1 9 x 13 brownie mix and all ingredients to make brownies.

In a greased 9"x13" pan, layer cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and Oreo cookies. Make the brownies and pour over the rest of the ingredients.

Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, until toothpick between Oreos come out clean.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies

While these have great flavor, they spread out and all ran together on the pan.  I also used a cookie scoop, so my cookies were very large.  The recipe DOES say to drop by TEASPOONfuls, so do try that!

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies
Taste of Home Cookie Cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Best Birthday Cake

I made this recipe for our Financial Peace party a few weeks ago.  The cake got rave reviews! 

The BEST Birthday Cake

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream --You can substitute yogurt or buttermilk

For the buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Food coloring in your desired colors
Milk or cream, to thin (if needed)

To garnish (optional):
Birthday candles

Step 1:

Make the cake. Adjust an oven rack in the middle position; preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease, flour and line the bottoms of two 8-inch(or 9 inch is what Beth used) cake pans with circles of parchment paper.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set to the side.

Step 3:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a bowl for the moment, and set to the side.

Step 4:

Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a rotary beater. In the bowl (it's fine to use the same bowl you just used for the egg whites; no need to wash), cream the butter until fluffy and light, 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.

Step 5:

Add the sugar(s), and mix until combined and smooth, about another 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Stir in the vanilla.

Step 6:

Add the sour cream and flour mixtures alternately, in 2-3 additions each. Mix until the batter is smooth and lump-free, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The batter will be fairly thick.

Step 7:

By hand, fold the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently and only until no streaks of white remain.

Step 8:

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating at the 20 minute mark. To test doneness, insert a cake tester or toothpick in the center of the cake. It should come out mostly clean.

Step 9:

Remove the cakes from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, run a sharp knife around the perimeter of each pan, to loosen the edges. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks, gently peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely. Once cooled, level the cakes if necessary.

Step 10:

Make the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until very smooth. Add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the salt, and stir to combine, first on low then on a higher speed as the sugar is absorbed. Continue adding the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the buttercream has attained your desired spreading consistency. Stir in the vanilla and any colorings you'd like to add. If at any point the buttercream becomes too thick, add milk or cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the consistency has thinned out to your desired consistency.

Step 11:

To assemble, stack one of the cake layers on a platter, and apply a generous amount of buttercream on top, spreading it evenly all the way to the edges of the cake surface. Place the second cake layer on top; if you have leveled the cake, place the cut side down so that the flattest surface is facing up.

Step 12:

Apply a crumb coat (a thin coat of buttercream that is meant to contain crumbs and doesn't have to look pretty), and let the cake chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Once the crumb coat has set, use the remaining buttercream to ice the top and sides of the cake. You can pipe designs or take any liberties with cake decorating that you like! Garnish with sprinkles and birthday candles.

Recipe notes:
This cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container; it can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Refrigeration is not suggested. Beth DID refrigerate it over night

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies

    Kathleen had gotten some Bob's Mill Gluten free flour. I needed to make a quick dessert and these fit the bill. We all liked them.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies

    1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (*Note, my flour blend has xanthan gum included. If yours doesn't, add 1 teaspoon.)
    3/4 cup almond flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons melted butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    3 large eggs
    1/2 cup Andes Chocolate baking pieces
    powdered sugar for rolling the dough balls.
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
    3. In a small bowl, add all wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
    4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix.
    5. Add Andes Chocolate pieces and mix.
    6. Scoop a little dough and roll with your hands into a ball shape.
    7. Roll the ball in powdered sugar and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    8. When all of the dough is made into these balls, flatten them to 1/2 inch thickness with your hand.
    9. Bake 8-10 minutes.
    10. Remove onto a cooling rack.

      Thursday, March 23, 2017

      One-Hour Dinner Rolls

      I was in a baking mood and hadn't made yeast rolls in a while.  These were simple and delicious!

      One-Hour Dinner Rolls

      3 3/4 - 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
      1 1/2 tsp salt
      3/4 cup cool water
      2/3 cup milk
      4 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, plus more for tops
      1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

      Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together 4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

      To a medium bowl add water, milk and butter and heat in microwave on HIGH power until it reaches 115 degrees on a thermometer, about 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir to partially melt butter (you just want to make sure it's softened through).

      Pour milk mixture into dry mixture in bowl of electric stand mixer along with lemon juice. Set mixer with a hook attachment then set mixer on low speed and gradually increase to medium-low, knead about 3 - 4 minutes until smooth and elastic while adding additional flour as necessary (dough should be lightly sticky but manageable).

      Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

      Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into an evenly level square, about 9 by 9-inches. Cut into 16 equal portions (don't have to be exact). Shape dough into 15 balls, while using excess dough from the 16th portion to add to smaller rounds as needed, and place shaped dough portions into prepared baking dish.

      Dampen hands with water and brush tops of dough with the water (just so they don't dry while rising in oven). Transfer to oven, close oven and turn oven off, allow rolls to rise 20 minutes (don't open oven door). Remove from oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees (this should take about 5 minutes, so just allow rolls to rest on counter while oven preheats).

      Bake in preheated oven 14 - 16 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and run the top of a stick of butter along tops of rolls just to coat. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container (I recommend rewarming cool rolls in microwave for best results.
      Recipe source: Cooking Classy