Saturday, February 28, 2009

Super Brownies

1 package family size brownie mix (makes a 9 x 13 inch pan)
3 large Symphony bars with the 'crunchies'

Preheat oven and prepare pan according to brownie mix package. Prepare brownie mix according to package. Spread half of mix in bottom of pan.
Unwrap the candy bars and place them on the mix in the pan - should just about perfectly cover the mix. Spread remaining mix over the candy bars.

Bake according to brownie directions. Remove and cool before cutting.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Golden Potato Halves

(This is a good use for leftover boiled or baked potatoes)

Cooked potatoes
Olive oil

Preheat broiler. (If potatoes are cold you may want to warm them a little in the microwave or oven before cutting).
Cut cooked potatoes in half and arrange in a baking dish with cut side up.
Brush each with a small amount of olive oil.
Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.

Place under broiler until potato tops are golden brown.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Herb Seasoned Bread Cubes (Large batch)

Herb Seasoned Bread Cubes
30 slices firm-textured bread, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup cooking oil
3 Tbsp instant minced onion
3 Tbsp parsley flakes
2 tsp garlic salt
3/4 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp seasoned pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put bread cubes in two 13 x 9 inch baking pans (I use larger sheet cake pans which makes it easier to toss). Toast bread cubes in oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from over and cool slightly. Stir in oil, onion, parsley flakes, garlic salt, sage and seasoned pepper. Lightly toss bread cubes with seasonings to coat cubes. Put in a large airtight container (I use Ziplock bags). Label and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 3 to 4 months.
This is good as croutons in a salad or soup and can be used to make Stuffing or Casseroles.

Turkey and Dressing Casserole

1/3 c margarine or butter
3 cups herb-seasoned bread cubes (I make my own)
1/4 cup water
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 package (1o oz) frozen peas
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp instant minced onion
2 cups coarsely cut up cooked turkey or chicken

Place margarine in round baking dish, 8 x 1 1/2 inches. Cover loosely and microwave on high until melted, 45 to 60 seconds. Add bread cubes and water and toss to coat. Remove 1 cup.
Spread remaining mixture evenly in baking dish.

Mix soup, peas, milk and onion in 1 1/2 quart casserole. Cover tightly and microwave on high 3 minutes; stir. Cover and microwave until hot and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes longer.

Stir turkey into soup mixture. Pout over bread cubes in baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved cup of bread cubes.
Microwave uncovered on high until hot and bubbly, 7 to 9 minutes.

Serves 6

Blackberry Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup seedless blackberry preserves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Season chicken breasts with thyme. Cook chicken with onions in skillet until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove chicken to plate and keep warm.
Add preserves and vinegar to the skillet and cook over medium high until thickens.
Spoon over chicken.

To prepare ahead of time - mix chicken, onion and thyme and place in a gallon freezer bag. Put inside a second freezer bag and freeze. The day before preparing, thaw in the refrigerator.

Lemon Chicken Thighs and Potatoes

This is a recipe from Weight Watchers that I have modified for the slow cooker.

12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
1.5 pounds small whole potatoes, scrubbed well but unpeeled
3 tbsp dried oregano

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic cloves. Brown chicken thighs and place in a slow cooker. Pour chicken broth and lemon juice in skillet and let come to a boil, scrapping the bottom of the skillet to get any bits of chicken.
Place potatoes over chicken in slow cooker. Sprinkle with oregano. Pour broth and juice mixture over contents of slow cooker.

Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.

Bread Pudding - Crock Pot

Bread Pudding

8 slices bread (raisin bread works well although my family doesn't like the raisins so I use a Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread if I have some on hand)
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup raisins (1/4 cup if you use raisin bread - again my family doesn't care for the raisins so I don't add them)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (the first time I used the cinnamon swirl bread I cut back on the cinnamon but that did not work - evidently there is not that much cinnamon in the cinnamon swirl bread. I will just use the same amount as regular bread next time)

Spray the crockpot with vegetable oil spray. Cut bread into cubes or tear into small pieces and place in crockpot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over bread. Stir to mix. Cook on High for 1 hour and then on Low for 3-4 hours until thermometer placed in center reads 160 degrees.

2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Melt margarine in saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add water, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 2 minutes). Serve over warm bread pudding.

Panini Sandwiches - on George Foreman Grill

Per Sandwich:

2 slices bread
2 slices lunch meat
1 slice cheese
Spicy mustard or condiment of your choice

Heat grill while preparing sandwiches.
Spread slices of bread with mustard of condiment.
Place one slice of bread on grill - mustard side up.
Place lunch meat and cheese, followed by second slice of bread with mustard side down.
Close grill - press firmly on top using a towel or hot pad as it may be hot to touch.
Grill several minutes - until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

We love these as a quick meal in the evening. The grill makes the characteristic marking on the bread and you don't have get the extra calories from the margarine when you cook the traditional 'grilled cheese' way.

I usually cut in half and put on the plate with a small salad or some chips and a pickle.