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Monday, February 8, 2016

Recipe Review from 2/1/2016

A mostly uneventful week where we did the usual errands, yoga classes, and picked up extra hours at H&R Block.  Some reading got done, some knitting happened, a couple of walks down on the lake.  It snowed, of course.  Oh, and the John Beargrease sled dog race happened, which is kinda a exciting thing.

photo from the internet

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftovers  (S)  Chicken Tortilla Soup
Mon (Yoga)  leftover tortilla soup
Tues (PM yoga/Block)  leftover corn soup for me
Wed - Baked Ziti  leftover tortilla soup
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri (Block)  leftovers
Sat (Block)  leftovers    (S)  Baked Ziti

Lunches - Slow Cooked Corn Chowder, chips or bread, luna bars, yogurt, fresh fruit

Treat - Rice Krispy Bars!

Best EVER Rice Krispie Treats (South Your Mouth Blog via Pinterest)
Yes!  I actually baked!   Well, if you can call rice krispy bars baking, but I made a weekday treat for us which is pretty unusual.  Now, you might be wondering, why am I posting this recipe?  Everyone knows how to make rice krispy bars.  Well, these are a smidge different.   Bigger.  Better.   I added some  mini-M&M's and mmph mmm divine!

Warning, this recipe makes a substantial 9x13 pan, so be prepared to share!

photo from South Your Mouth
10 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup (1 stick) real, salted butter
2 10-oz. bags miniature marshmallows, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional - 1/2 pkg mini m&m's 

Measure exactly 10 cups of rice cereal and add to a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Line a 13x9 baking pan with aluminum foil then spray lightly with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt butter over low heat in a large pot. Once butter is melted, add all but 2 cups of marshmallows, vanilla and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until marshmallows are completely melted. Once mixture is smooth, add remaining 2 cups of marshmallows and stir to incorporate. Marshmallows will mostly melt but those little lumps that are left are going to add little pockets of marshmallow awesomeness to the treats. 

Immediately pour marshmallow mixture over rice cereal and gently stir until cereal is evenly coated.

Spread mixture into prepared pan. (Author notes: I use a rubber spatula to get it nice and level then use another 13x9 pan to smoosh everything down nice and evenly. Let treats cool to room temperature uncovered. Once set, remove from pan by lifting up on the aluminum foil then cut into 24-30 squares. Store in an air-tight container.

Slow Cooked Potato and Corn Chowder   (Damn Delicious Blog via Pinterest)  vegetarian
This is super easy to pull together - the only preparation is dicing the potatoes.   This is also on the bland side, and I thought this could have benefited from more backbone in the way of sauted onion, celery and maybe some carrot.   Still, it was mostly satisfying (salt helped) and filling for lunch.  I had mine along with some leftover bread, husband had corn chips. 
photo from Damn Delicious blog
24 ounces red potato, diced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream  half-n-half or milk (I used goat milk)
  1. Place potatoes and corn into a slow cooker. Stir in flour and gently toss to combine. Stir in chicken stock, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.* Stir in butter and heavy cream.
  3. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (Gimme Some Oven Blog via Pinterest)  gluten free
This was ridiculously easy to pull together.  Minimal chopping (onion), lots of plopping, cover, and walk away.   You don't even need to dice the chicken before putting it in the cooker.   It will cook up on its own and all you need is a spoon to gently shred it.

I didn't use the dried pasilla chile (wouldn't know where to even find one), so I used 1 tsp chili powder.  I could have used 2 tsp for our tastebuds, but..didn't know that ahead of time.  This has very bright flavors, everything kinda shines on it's own merit.  I did serve with Tostido's scoops and shredded cheese, because that's what we like. 

This made enough for 4 meals for two of us (about 8 servings)  Awesome as leftovers.  Recommended! 
photo from Gimme Some Oven Blog
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)  (I used chicken thighs)
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained  (I used a partial bag of frozen mixed veggies)
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 dried pasilla (negro) chile peppers*
(I used 1 tsp chile powder)
1 white onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
fresh lime wedges
optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, diced red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips/chips
  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken.  Remove the pasilla chile(s), and discard.
  2. Serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and topped with optional garnishes if desired.
  3. You can also refrigerate this soup in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Author notes:  *If you can't find pasilla/negro chiles at the store, you can substitute in 1 ancho chile instead (which is a bit sweeter) or 1 Mulatto chile (which is a little earthier) or 2 teaspoons chile powder (feel free to add more/less to taste).  The type of chili you use will be one of the main ingredients to flavor the broth, so feel free to use whatever sounds (and smells) best to you.

Baked Ziti with Ricotta  (Yummy Addiction via Pinterest) vegetarian
For a baked pasta dish, this takes about an hour plus from start to table, assuming you have to grate your cheese.   Which I do because I don't like the stuff added to keep grated cheese "fresh".  With the exception of Parmesan.   Easier to buy that pre-grated.  I'm weird.  I know.

This is drier than other baked dishes I've prepared, not as "saucy".  I'm not sure I'm completely a fan, but it's still  tasty.  Saucy is a personal preference. 

photo from Yummy Addiction Blog
Serves: 6-8
1 (16 oz.) package ziti pasta
2 cups (16 oz.) ricotta cheese, divided
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (you can add more if you want it extra cheesy)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
⅓ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (plus more for garnishing)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped basil leaves. Let the sauce simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool (makes about 2½ cups).
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of ricotta cheese, ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese along with an egg. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in about 1½ cups of cooked tomato sauce. Pour the pasta into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to coat.
  5. To assemble the casserole, add half of the coated pasta to a baking dish, then dot the surface with ½ cup of ricotta cheese. Add the rest of the pasta and sauce on top and press the pasta down gently so it doesn't stick above the sauce too much. Top with dollops of the remaining ricotta cheese and sprinkle on top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh chopped basil, if desired, and serve.
You can add more mozzarella or Parmesan cheese if you want it extra cheesy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lock your doors!!!! I'm on my way north to eat up all those Rice Krispies treats!

(I'll be the one on your kitchen floor in a diabetic coma with marshmallow smears all over my face and fingers!!! But I'll have a big ol' happy grin on my face. YUM!)

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