Friday, May 30, 2008

Breakfast Tostadas

Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

4 corn tortillas
4 eggs
4 slices of cheddar cheese
2 tbs salsa
4 tsp sour cream

Fry eggs over medium. Fry each tortilla until crisp and arrange on a baking sheet. Top each tortilla with a fried egg and a slice of cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted & bubbly. Top each with 1/2 tbs salsa and 1 tsp sour cream.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Better Than Orange Julius

This is an original recipe we made up this afternoon for FHE:

Prep: 5 minutes
Yield: about 6 cups

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
16 ice cubes

Blend together until smooth, serve immediately.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

This recipe comes from Whine, Cheese, and Chuckles. It's that time of year again for homemade ice cream!

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream
This brown sugar ice cream, rich but not overly sweet, has just a swirl of Nutella. Even better, a simple method for making the custard base means no standing over the stove.

Ingredient - Volume - Weight

Milk - 2 1/2 cups - 20 ounces

Cream - 1 1/2 cups - 12 ounces

Brown sugar - 1/2 cup - 3 1/2 ounces

Egg yolks - 4

Nutella - 1/2 cup - 5 1/4 ounces

Oil (flavorless or nut) - 2 tablespoons - 1 ounce

1. Heat the milk, cream and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, to just under a boil.
2. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks in large mixing bowl until combined. Run tap water until it is hot and put a couple of inches of water in the larger bowl. Float the mixing bowl on the water (hold it to stabilize) while continuing to whisk the yolks until they are warm and frothy, a minute or so. (The yolks should be just under body temperature, about 90-95F.)
3. When the milk is just starting to bubble, put the mixing bowl on a towel next to the stove. Slowly pour the milk into the warmed yolks, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for a minute after everything is combined.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly. I generally dump the hot water from the big bowl at this point and fill it with ice and water to cool the ice cream base faster. Just float the bowl in the ice water - remember to make sure it is stable so it doesn't tip over- and give it a little time (30-60 min) to cool. (The texture is a bit better if the ice cream base is chilled overnight before churning but it's really not necessary.) When the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled, strain the mixture and freeze it using your ice cream maker.
5. While the ice cream is churning, stir together the Nutella and oil. The oil keeps the Nutella from freezing, although it occurs to me now that a shot of alcohol would accomplish the same thing. I'll obviously have to try it.
6. If your ice cream maker has a hole to drizzle it through, add the Nutella to the ice cream in the last 30-60 seconds of churning. Watch and stop it quickly so it remains in swirls. If you can't add it while the ice cream machine is running, fold it in quickly when the ice cream is done, while you are scraping it into a storage container.

Tips And Tricks
You will need two bowls, one for mixing and a larger one that your mixing bowl will fit inside of with a couple of inches of room around it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chicken And Mushrooms In Foil

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes + resting
Yield: 6 servings

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1-1/4 cups water, divided
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stuffing Mix for Chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), 1/2 inch thick
4 slices Thin Sliced Smoked Ham, chopped
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1-1/2 cups frozen peas

Mix soup and 1/4 cup of the water; set aside. Combine stuffing mix and remaining 1 cup water; spoon evenly onto center of each of six large sheets of heavy-duty foil. Top each with one chicken breast. Cover evenly with the ham, mushrooms, peas and soup mixture.

Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place packets in single layer in a baking pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min. at 400 or until chicken is cooked through (170°F). Remove packets from oven; let stand 5 min. Place one packet on each of six dinner plates. Cut slits in foil with sharp knife to release steam before opening.

Tips and Tricks
I used my own homemade stuffing (from the freezer) and added chicken broth instead of water. I also used a frozen peas and carrots mixture. Spray the foil with cooking spray to prevent the stuffing from sticking. Open the foil packs carefully. I also used chicken tenderloins and made four foil packs instead of six.
Make It Healthier
Use reduced-fat condensed soup.
How Kids Can Help
Measure ingredients. Fold up foil packets.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Creamy Chicken With Rice and Spinach

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into wide strips
1-1/2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked
4 oz. Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) baby spinach leaves (8 cups packed leaves)
1 large tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp.grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat dressing in Dutch oven or large deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 min. Add broth; bring to boil. Stir in rice; return to boil. Cover. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 min.

Add Neufchatel cheese; cook 2 to 3 min. or until melted, stirring frequently. Add spinach. (Skillet will be full.) Cover skillet with lid; cook 1 min. or until spinach is wilted. Stir gently to mix in spinach.

Remove skillet from heat; let stand, covered, 5 min. Stir in tomatoes; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Tips and Tricks
I skipped cutting up the chicken and broke it up with a spoon as it cooked. I also used my wok to cook this dish. When you add the spinach, the skillet will be very full. Be sure to use a large pot.
Make It Healthier
Use light salad dressing or make your own.
How Kids Can Help
Grate the cheese. Dump the spinach in the pan.

Easy Baked Fish and Chips

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

2 large baking potatoes (1-1/2 lb.)
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 pkt. Extra Crispy Seasoned Chicken Coating Mix, divided
4 haddock fillets (1 lb.)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Cut each potato lengthwise into eight wedges; place in large bowl. Add Italian dressing; toss to coat. Add 1/4 cup of the coating mix; toss to coat. Place in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 min at 400 degrees.

Spread remaining coating mix onto large plate. Spread tops of fish fillets evenly with half of the mayo; press, mayo-side down, into coating mix on plate. Repeat with remaining mayo and coating mix on plate to coat remaining sides of fish fillets. Place on rack of broiler pan. Add to oven with potatoes.

Bake potatoes an additional 15 min. and bake fish 15 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork and potatoes are tender.

Tips and Tricks
I made this dish with tilapia and it turned out well. In place of the seasoned chicken coating (AKA Shake and Bake), I used my homemade Cornflake Coating For Chicken, which I already had made up. I also used homemade Italian salad dressing in place of storebought. To coat the fish evenly with mayo, I used a basting brush.
Make It Healthier
Use reduced-fat mayo and reduced-fat salad dressing.
How Kids Can Help
Kids can pour dressing and coating over potatoes. Older kids can brush mayo on fish and press into coating.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing

Prep/Total Time: 5 minutes = 30 minutes chilling
Yield: 12 servings

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Tips and Tricks
I omitted the chives because I didn't have any. I also used light sour cream and reduced fat mayo and it still tastes very rich to me. Cut it with milk if it's too thick. This dressing also makes a great dip.
Make It Healthier
Use low-fat or light mayo and sour cream. Omit salt.
How Kids Can Help
Measure spices. Mix in bowl.