Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peach Blueberry Crisp

(from the Washington Post)

16 ounces frozen peaches, defrosted
16 ounces frozen blueberries, defrosted
1/2 t. almond extract
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch

1/4 c. oats (quick or regular, but not instant)
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
3 T. cold butter, cut into cubes

Combine the fruit and any accumulated juices, almond extract, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl, mixing well.  Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Have ready an 8x11 inch (ungreased) shallow baking dish.  (I used a 9x9.)

Combine the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl.  Add the butter and use your fingers (I used a pastry cutter) to thoroughly work it into the dry ingredients.  The consistency will be crumbly.

Pour the fruit mixture into the baking dish, distributing the berries and peaches evenly.  Scatter the crumb topping over the fruit, covering it as much as possible.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling up the sides of the dish and the crisp topping is starting to brown.

Let it rest for five minutes before serving.  Serve with ice cream, if desired.

Notes: Super yummy for a "healthy" dessert (with 8 servings, 190 calories, 5 grams of fat, 26 grams of sugar).   I left this unattended while we ate dinner and when the 50 minutes beeped, the topping had almost been completely usurped by the fruit, but it still tasted really good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lemon Dream Ice Cream

1/3 of a 1 pound box graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter
½ gallon vanilla ice cream
6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate

1. Set the ice cream and lemonade on the counter to soften.
2. Crush the graham crackers into crumbs. In a bowl mix the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture firmly into a 9x13 inch pan.
3. Mix the ice cream and lemonade together until combined. Then spread the ice cream mixture over the graham cracker crust.
4. Put it in the freezer for a few hours until set.

Notes: I also sprinkle some graham crackers crumbs on top just as a garnish. I have also tried pink lemonade but I don’t like it as well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Scalloped Pineapple

8 1-inch slices of French bread, cubed
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter,melted
3 eggs, beaten
2 20-oz cans of pineapple, tidbits or chunks, drained
1/4 c milk

Combine bread cubes, sugar and butter. Combine eggs and milk; mix in pineapple. Combine mixtures in greased 9x13 dish and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

This makes an excellent side dish for baked ham. I enjoyed it cold with lunch the next day, but I'm weird like that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Italian Stuffed Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp chopped garlic
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp oil
¼ marsala wine (optional)
½ cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup blanched chopped spinach, squeezed dry
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
8 ounces mild italian sausage, casings removed
¼ seasoned flour
¼ light olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice into the side of each chicken breast to create a pocket. Or pound with to a meat cleaver to ¼ inch thick.
2. Sauté garlic and mushrooms in 1 tbsp oil. Add Marsala and simmer until mushrooms have absorbed the wine (this is optional). Set aside to cool.
3. Add bread crumbs, spinach, green onions, basil, parmesan, salt and pepper to the cooled mushrooms. Mix in sausage until everything is incorporated.
4. Open the chicken breast pockets and fill with the stuffing. Or place stuffing mixture on ¼ inch piece of chicken. Roll the mixture in the chicken and secure with toothpicks. Dredge in seasoned flour and sauté in olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned. Finish cooking in the oven for 15 minutes, or until chicken is firm to the touch and has an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
5. Serve with desired sauce. Marinara sauce is recommended. This is also good served without sauce.

Peep Nests

Chow mien or crispy rice noodles
Whopper Robin Eggs
Peeps chicks

These fast easy chocolate nests are the perfect sweet treat for Easter. I found these on this blog. Unfortunately there are no measurements so go with what you feel. I used 1 bag of milk chocolate chips. 1 and 1/2 (3 oz.) cans of LaChoy rice noodles. After I had formed my nests and stuck the eggs on I put them in the fridge for an hour to solidify them. You can also sprinkle coconut on top and use colored jelly beans instead of robin eggs. Serve with a side of Peeps chicks. Voila!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

English Muffin Bread

I never knew there was even such a thing until my mom came to visit.  Now I'm not sure I'll ever buy English muffins from the store again.

2 c. milk (skim worked fine)
1/2 c. water
2 T. cornmeal (I just guesstimated)
6 c. bread flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda

Warm the milk and water in a small saucepan until very warm (125 degrees).  Lightly grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans; sprinkle cornmeal inside pans.

In a large bowl, mix together three cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and soda.  Stir milk into the flour mixture; beat well.  Stir in the remaining flour, one cup at a time, until a stiff batter (mine was more doughy) is formed.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes (I had to put foil on mine at minute 20 to prevent darkening).  Remove from pans immediately and cool.