Friday, June 22, 2012

Spaghetti Braid

I have also made this with pizza-like variations. The kids LOVE this!

1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough thawed to room temperature      1 egg white
    6 oz spaghetti, cooked                                                         Parmesan cheese
    1 cup thick spaghetti sauce                                                 Parsley flake
 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes               Garlic powder
Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray (or use parchment paper). Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12x16-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and let cool slightly. Remove wrap from dough. Place spaghetti lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down the center of dough. Tip with sauce and cheese cubes. Make cuts 1 ½-inches apart on long sides of dough to within ½-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid. Lift braid with both hands and place on large sprayed baking sheet. (or transfer parchment paper to baking sheet). Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley, and garlic powder. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
                     1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 TBSP salt
                                     6 ounces fresh spinach

1 tsp pepper
                                        1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp dried basil
                               2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp dried oregano                           1 cup lowfat milk

                                                            1 cup Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breasts
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
 1 pound fettuccine
5 cloves minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow pie combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is lightly to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.

Taco Seasoning

4 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp plus 1tsp paprika
3 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp plus 2tsp onion powder
1tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to blend. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To prepare taco meat, use 2 heaping TBSP in place of a seasoning pouch.

Gingerbread Cookies

I'm not usually a fan of gingerbread cookies, but these are soft and and delicious!

1 c. white sugar 1/4 c. dark corn syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 c. butter
4 c. flour 1 tsp. baking soda

1. In medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir until blended well. Add corn syrup and 1/3 c. water. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat.
2. Add butter, stirring until melted. Cool 30 minutes.
3. Stir in 3 cups flour and soda, mixing until smooth.
4. Add remaining flour with hands and mix until flour disappears. Knead until smooth.
5. Refrigerate 2 hours (optional). Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8" thick. Cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

Lisa Nelson

Chicken Ranch Tacos

3 cups cooked chicken, cut up                       
1 pkt. taco seasoning
1/2 cup Ranch dressing

Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken & warm it for a few minutes. Sprinkle on the dry taco seasoning. Do not add any water! Heat for 5-7 minutes until all heated through & powder is stuck to the chicken.

Add Ranch dressing, heat an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever had. These always turn out for me and are super chewy when not over-baked.

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.

3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.

4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)

5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  Makes approximately 3 dozen.