Saturday, 25 April 2009

Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This recipe was shared with me from a lady who goes by the nick name of Rainbow Meadows in a graphics group I belong to. Thanks lady !
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained and excess water squeezed out
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 small onion, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 (8 oz) pkg mozzarella cheese, divided in half
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper (I only added some pepper)
parsley for garnish

Place artichoke hearts, onion and garlic in bowl. Add drained spinach and stir. In another bowl combine mayo, sour cream, parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese along with the oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the spinach, artichoke and stir well to combine all. Either use one baking dish or divide into two smaller dishes.

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top and a bit of parsley. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown. Serve with Tostito scoops, baguette bread or crackers.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Baked Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

click on image for larger view
These are really easy to make and they're baked so ohhhhhh so much better for you. I've done this various ways as far as the coating. For this one I used some corn flakes and some bread crumbs together along with the flaked almond and parmesan. I've also done it with just cornflakes and parmesan. Experiment with it they're all good.

Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees F. Line baking sheet with aluminium foil and spray with oil or drizzle with oil. I use the spray as it's just easier to work with.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
4 Tbsp sour cream
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and apepper to taste
1 cup any cereal crushed or bread crumbs with any seasoning you prefer
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 c flaked almonds or sliced almonds
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl or ziploc bag (I use the bag it's easier clean up) mix your sour cream, paprika, salt and pepper and add the chicken strips and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to marinate. I crush my cereal in a ziploc bag with a rolling in.

Combine cereal, bread crumbs, almonds and parmesan in a ziploc bag or bowl and mix well.
Add chicken strips to bag with cereal mixture and toss until it's all covered evenly. Arrange on your baking sheet and drizzle or spray over a little oil on top.
Bake for 10 minutes then turn over and bake for approximately 5 - 10 more until browned and cooked through.
Serve with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce or Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp honey
Mix thoroughly and serve.
I used lime juice instead of the lemon because that was what I had and it was wonderful.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Almond Praline Cheesecake

Let me begin by saying I am not a baker. I never have been nor will I ever be I don't think. But every now and then I find something that I think ohhhhh, now that sounds good and it looks easy I can do that. So I give it a try.

I made this wonderful cake but I didn't have the springform pan that it needs. But not to be defeated I forged ahead undaunted. Well, trust me you need that pan. You really, really do need that pan. I baked my cake in a regular cake pan, although a heavy duty one a regular one just the same. Sadly, it looks like it got hit by the ugly stick more than once but it tastes wonderful !

Then I thought okay no problem I'll just take my knife and go around the edges, slap a plate on top and it'll be out no problem. Well there was a problem. The cake came out perfectly unfortunately the graham cracker crust didn't. It stuck like a tic to a dog. I mean people it wasn't coming off. I then proceeded to scrape it off and I thought no problem I'll just "smear" it back on the cake. Then I took another plate and inverted it once again so I could add the wonderful almond praline topping. (and it is wonderful trust me on this one). Well when I did, the "top of the cake stuck to the plate I had put it on to begin with......aarrgghh. I scraped it off and placed it back on top of the cake where it belonged anyway. Then I proceeded to add my praline topping which by this time was a bit cold . . .bigger sigh.
BUT, having said all that this cake is definitely worth making. Even though mine looks like it's been hit by a BIG truck it tastes delicious. Hence, no picture today.
The recipe is from Eagle Brand and it really is a good one.

Ingredients:3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted and finely chopped.
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c butter or margarine melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND Sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
Almond Praline Topping

Instructions:Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, almonds, sugar and butter; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan or 13x9 inch baking pan.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, Gradually beat in eagle brand milk until smooth, (do not overbeat) Add eggs and almond extract; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Top with Almond Praline Topping. Chill. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Almond Praline Topping: In small saucepan combine 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup whipping cream (heavy cream for UK). Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup chopped, toasted slivered almonds. Spoon evenly over cheesecake. For 13x9 inch pan double topping ingredients and simmer until thickened.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sloppy Joes Quick and Easy

1 lb. ground meat (turkey or beef)
½ onion-diced
¼ green pepper-diced chunky
¼ red pepper diced chunky
½ c. catsup
3 Tbls brown sugar
1/3 Tbl Allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder optional
1 tbsp yellow mustard
¼ to ½ c water
S&P-to taste

Brown meat and onion and peppers in a little oil. Drain in colander. Add catsup and the rest of the ingredients. Add. water--simmer all until water evaporates; at least 10 minutes.
I served mine on toasted multi grain buns. I also used fresh allspice berries and crushed them. If I don't have them I just use the powdered allspice. The peppers can be cut smaller if you prefer them smaller. This is a very forgiving recipe to make a quick dinner.
I have a good friend who publishes on the blog Good Vegetarian Recipes which you can find I think she made a vegetarian taco I wonder if you could do a vegetarian sloppy joe. Maybe she'll see this and let us know.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Black and White Special Fried Rice with Morecambe Bay brown potted shrimps and red peppers

1 c Basmati Rice prepared according to instructions
½ c Black Rice prepared according to instructions
1 large carrot chopped into small pieces
1 large red pepper chopped into small pieces (green would work just as well)
½ tub Morecombe Bay Potted Shrimps in butter (optional any baby shrimps will do or leave them out)
Vegetable oil
1 small onion chopped
1 egg, scrambled
½ tsp sugar
Sesame oil
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

The first thing I should say is you don’t have to use basmati rice, I do because I like it but any white rice, long or short grain will do, just use what you like. Don’t use an Arborio rice as that is more for a risotto. When I make rice regardless of what the instructions say I have always used ½ portion of rice to 1 whole portion of water. (example ½ cup rice to 1 cup water)

Note: I have just recently read but haven’t tried it yet that you will get better rice if you are cooking whole grain rice such as brown rice or black rice to use more water. The choice is yours but I am going to try it.
Okay now, back to the recipe. Take your chopped onion and sauté it in your pan with a little vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil). Add in your carrots and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Then, add in your peppers and sauté a further 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

You want your pepper al dente. From here it’s just an assembly job really. Add in both the white and black rice’s to your pan which holds your vegetables, add in the shrimp, sugar and scrambled egg. You can add more egg if you like it eggy. Toss this all together.

When ready to serve sprinkle over a very little bit of sesame oil and garnish with chopped parsley if you wish.
This reheats wonderfully and keeps in the fridge for two to three days. (Ours never lasts that long.)