Looks Can Be Deceiving!

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Looking at the picture above, what do you guess it is????

Yes….it looks like an ordinary biscuit, but if that was your guess, then you would be wrong!

Yesterday someone had asked for suggestions of an appetizer to make for an upcoming holiday party. It had to be simple! So, I took to my Pinterest profile to look at some recipes I had already pinned to my “Small Bites and Appetizers” board. One of the first things I ever posted was a pepperoni monkey bread (here). It looked so good, and I had been thinking about that recipe ever since. I had most of the ingredients, but wanted to change it up and add a few things. Below is my version!

Stromboli Pockets

Ingredients:

1 pkg whole wheat Pillsbury Grands biscuits
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Turkey pepperoni (about 24)
Turkey sausage (casing removed), about 1 tbsp per biscuit
Shredded mozzarella cheese, about 1 tbsp per biscuit
Green pepper, thinly sliced or chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced or chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Melt butter in small sauté pan. Add garlic. Cook on low while assembling Stromboli to allow the butter to absorb the garlic flavor.

Cut pocket in each biscuit, being sure not to cut through or create any holes other than the opening for the pocket. Fill each biscuit with the desired ingredients. I made 4 biscuits with pepperoni, green pepper, onion, and cheese. The other 4 then had pepperoni, sausage, and cheese.

Once filled, seal opening by pressing ends firmly, still maintaining overall biscuit shape. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with garlic butter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

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This in an extremely versatile recipe. You call fill the biscuits with anything you and your family like. Ham and cheese would be delicious!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

How many ways……

….can you make a chicken breast?!?!

We eat A LOT of chicken in our house. Mostly because it is quick and easy, but it is also healthy….depending on how you prepare it. BUT…..chicken breast can get really old, really fast!!!

In typical fashion, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw, while I was at work, without a clue on what I was going to do with it. So, I took to Pinterest without any success. I then moved on to another favorite recipe site, All Recipes, and I simply entered the search terms “chicken breast.” I came across this recipe within minutes. It looked delicious and easy. I was sold!!!

Although, I made some changes from the original recipe.

Chicken with Onion Gravy

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Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cup chicken broth/stock
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chile powder

Directions:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat.

Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast in half to make 8 pieces. Salt and pepper each side.

Place 4 pieces of chicken in heated pan at a time. Cook each side about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the other tbsp of olive oil to pan, and heat. Cook remaining pieces of chicken. Transfer to plate.

Melt butter in same sauté pan. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook 2 minutes.

Stir in chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; cook and stir until gravy begins to simmer and thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in onions and chile powder (I also added additional black pepper).

Return chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

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As seen in the picture above, I portioned 2 pieces of chicken per person. My chicken breasts were on the smaller side. If they are larger, 1 piece may be enough. I also served it with steamed broccoli, topped simple with salt and pepper.

**A few changes I might make next time….

First, I would probably slice the onion rather than chop it. Secondly, I would try adding either lemon zest or lemon juice to the gravy.

Have fun making this recipe to suit your family!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Another family recipe!

As I have grown older, I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life. Looking back, I can definitely admit I took a lot for granted growing up. Now that I’m older, and living away from my family, I look forward to and truly cherish any time I get to spend with my family. Family recipes are just one way that I pay tribute to how grateful I am for my family!

For the recipe below, I have to given credit to my Aunt. I have always loved family get togethers and cookouts because I could almost always guarantee that my Aunt was going to make this! In the case of today, it was in honor of college football. Even though our local team had a home game, we stayed home to cookout and watch the Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma game that was playing at about the same time. And what a great decision that was!!!!!

Rotini (Macaroni) Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut pasta, uncooked (I used Rotini because that’s what I had on hand)
1 cup light Miracle Whip
2 tbsp yellow mustard
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup Spelnda sugar blend
1/2 can fat free evaporated milk
Pinch of salt
Carrots, onions, celery, peppers, hard boiled eggs — to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine Miracle whip, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and evaporated milk. Stir until smooth.

Chop desired vegetables. I used shredded carrots and onion. I did not have celery on hand, but I normally would add that as well, and I never use peppers. Just do not like them in this salad.

In a large bowl, combine drained pasta, dressing mix, veggies. It will seem like too much, but as it sits the pasta absorbs the sauce. Place in refrigerator to cool. Stir in chopped egg just before serving.

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This would be a great addition to any get-together, cookout, or tailgate!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Quick and Easy Stromboli!

Tonight’s dinner is a throwback to the days we lived in Philadelphia in our tiny studio apartment with only a toaster oven to bake. I have to admit, with only that toaster oven, I was rather creative! I had to cook almost as if I was only cooking for one, and have individual servings.

I would make miniature Stromboli for my husband and I using prepackaged crescent rolls, separate the dough into 4 rectangles, and make 4 miniature Stromboli in order to fit them into our toaster oven.

Since then, we have upgraded to a full size kitchen with a full size oven. What a treat that was when we moved 5 years ago!

Below is the recipe for how I made them tonight.

**PLEASE NOTE: Portions listed are very general. It really depends on you and your family’s taste. Also, Stromboli is very versatile. You can add and/or substitute anything that you like! For example, one of my favorites growing up that my Dad would make was ham, lots of cheese, and yellow mustard. So yummy!!!

Ingredients:

2 prepackaged thin crust pizza dough (I used Pillsbury brand)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4-5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
Sliced mozzarella
Sliced provolone
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, no casings
1 package turkey pepperoni
1 jar of your favorite pizza sauce
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil, and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium sauté pan, cook turkey sausage, until no longer pink. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to help absorb some of the grease. Set aside.

Open 1 package of pizza dough and carefully unroll onto a large cutting board. (I lightly sprayed the cutting board to prevent the dough from sticking while I assembled.)

Begin to assemble. The first one I made had cheese, pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushroom, and more cheese.

After you have all your desired cheese, veggies, and meats down, begin to roll the dough until you have reached the end. Tuck the ends under, being sure they are sealed.

Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spray top of Stromboli with cooking spray, then make 3-4 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Repeat for the second pizza dough. My second one included cheese,pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, onion, and more cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and heated through. Remove from the oven and let them rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. I was able to get about 6 slices from each Stromboli.

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I served it with a garden salad topped with the same veggies I included inside the Stromboli. Also, I personally do not like pizza sauce in or on my Stromboli. So, I heat a store bought sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat, just until warm, for my husband.

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Have fun, and make it your own!!!

ENJOY!!!!

Can you guess the hidden vegetables??

Looking at the picture below, can you guess what 3 vegetables went into making this??

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I ask this not because I try to find ways to convince my son to eat and try new things, but because I need to convince my….HUSBAND!!!

A few days ago, I was rather unsuccessful fooling him into thinking he liked crab meat. Tonight I was attempting to change his mind on a vegetable that he does not like.

I am sure you are wondering what this vegetable is…….CAULIFLOWER! I happen to love cauliflower, and I would probably eat it every day. I even like it just very simply steamed with a little salt and pepper. No cheese sauce. No butter.

Below is a recipe I developed with a little help from some online scavenging.

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Smash

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, washed, and cut into florets
3 to 4 small to medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the carrots and cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil (about 2 tbsp), enough to coat vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and herbs. Cook until onion is translucent. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place roasted cauliflower and carrots into a food processor. Add the sauteed onion, garlic, herbs, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until smooth.

**Recipe inspiration: Multiply Delicious

I served this with a combination of chicken thighs and drumsticks that I marinaded in a store bought balsamic marinade for a couple hours and baked at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. I reserved some of the marinade to make a sauce.

Balsamic Onion Sauce

Ingredients:

1/3 cup balsamic marinade (I used Ken’s brand)
1/3 cup chicken stock
Half a large onion, sliced

Directions: In a small saucepan, I combined the reserved marinade, chicken stock, and sliced onion. Heated to a boil, then reduced to simmer about 5-10, until the onions are cooked.

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This time was a success!!! My husband really liked the carrot and cauliflower smash!!!

ENJOY!!