Monday, December 28, 2009

Monterey Chicken

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone once again . . . I have felt like a stuffed turkey this past week with all of the amazing food that we have eaten! (It's fudge that draws me in and won't let me go!!!It didn't even seem like I spent that much time in the kitchen this year . . . but we still managed to enjoy the holiday season and grace our table with some favorites! Including Montery chicken . . . which I think I could eat just about every week! I love the color and how bright and fresh the ingredients are and how well they marry together . . . this is a good dish to eat when you want something hearty but not super heavy! This would also make a great pizza too! We love it at our house and I hope you will too!Monterrey Chicken

4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Bacon strips, cooked crisp and chopped (I used thick cut peppered bacon)
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 Roma Tomato's, diced
2 Green Onions, diced
1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and then bake in the oven for about 20 minute at 350 degrees. Smother the chicken breasts with BBQ Sauce on both sides and return to oven for about 3-5 minutes, until breasts are cooked through. Evenly top each chicken breast with the crisp bacon and cheese, broil for 30-60 seconds under the broiler to melt the cheese (optional). Top the chicken breasts with the chopped tomato and green onions. Enjoy!

I used Jenny's BBQ Sauce recipe. Click here to get it! It was soooo good!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Kalter Hund" and Merry Christmas

I LOVE cooking German and Austrian food! It just makes me feel connected again to two countries and cultures that I love!!! This year I have made a couple of German treats that I have previously never made before . . . which has been fun for me and helped me brush up a bit on my German since I have had to translate some of the recipes . . . and convert the measurements too! "Kalter Hund" . . . which interestingly enough means "cold dog" is one dessert that I had in Germany that I remember very well because of the name and because it was super rich and different from any cake that I had ever seen before . . . so this year I tried my hand at whipping up a pan and it turned out great! The cake was created to look like a mine car and is popular for kids birthdays and has a few other names including "Kellerkuchen"= Cellar cake, "Kalte Oma"= Cold Grandma, and "Kalte Hand"= Cold hand, and "Kalte Schnauze"= Cold snout . . . No matter the name . . . it tastes good! I hope that you and your loved ones will have a wonderful Christmas and have time to enjoy good food, good company and good times in the coming year! May the Christmas spirit always reside in your homes and hearts and may the joy of the Saviors birth fill your soul with love and comfort! Merry Christmas!

Kalter Hund
Recipe by : Emily
1 cup Dark Chocolate, chopped
3 cups Milk Chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup Coconut Oil (it is solid and will melt during preparation)1 cup Cream
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 package Butter Cookies, shortbread cookies, or graham crackers

1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (this is key to the dessert’s removal later).

2. In a double boiler, add both chocolates and melt. Stir in coconut fat and heavy cream. Whisk gently until well-blended. Add the vanilla extract and whisk again.

3. Spoon enough of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan to cover the bottom. Gently lay the cookies in an even layer across the chocolate. Cover with chocolate, add another layer of cookies. Repeat the process until you have reached the near the top of the loaf pan. Fill in any gaps with the remaining chocolate.

4. Cover and set pan in refrigerator for at least six hours. Better if left overnight.

To serve, slice thin (you really won’t need any more than a thin slice, I swear). The cake is best served chilled because it will melt at room temperature. Enjoy!

(The better the chocolate you use . . . the better the cake will be! You can also adjust the chocolate measurements to include more dark chocolate than milk chocolate if you like . . . just make sure you have 4 cups of chopped chocolate for the recipe)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Garlic and Herb Roasted Cornish Game hens

I think I have cooked cornish game hens once a year since I have been married . . . but this time around was the BEST that they have been!!! These were SOOOOOO good! Plus soooo easy to make! My hubby loved them! He is a meat and potatoes man through and through . . . so sitting down to dinner with these bad boys made him happy. I love stuffing the hens with orange . . . not only does it flavor the meat but it helps the bird retain its shape while cooking and stay moist! I may have to make them for Christmas dinner too! This recipe is super easy and SUPER DELISH!Garlic and Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Recipe by: Emily
2 Cornish Game Hens, washed and dried
1/2 tsp dried Tarragon
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp Parsley, dried
1 tsp Chives, dried
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Orange, cut into wedges
4 tbsp Butter, softened
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1. Combine the butter, herbs, salt and pepper together. Smear each game hen with the butter. Be sure to lift the hen skin and rub the butter underneath and on top of the skin. Lightly sprinkle the hen cavities with salt and pepper and then fill each cavity with the orange wedges. Place hens on a baking sheet and tuck the wings underneath the bodies and then tie the drumbsticks together with kitchen twine. Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for 55-60 minutes. After 15 minutes cover the hens with foil to keep them from over browning and then remove the foil for the last 5 minutes to crisp the skin. Allow hens to rest after baking for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!

(You can also use fresh herbs if you have them on hand!!!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Walnut Shrimp

If you have never had Walnut Shrimp now is your chance to experience a little heaven here on earth! My hubby gave it 2 thumbs up . . . as did I! I could live on chinese food! Some friends of ours told us about a chinese restaurant in a little town an hour or so away that we are amped to try as soon as the weather clears a bit! We'll have to do a triple D report when we make it over their! Until then I am more than content enjoying this tasty delight!
Walnut Shrimp
Recipe by: Emily

1 lb Large Shrimp, deveined, shelled and tails removed
3/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Sugar
4 Egg Whites
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/2 cup Walnuts, halves or chopped
1/4 cup Mayonaisse (regular, light, or fat free)
2 Tbsp Honey
1 1/2 Tbsp Sweetened Condensed Milk (regular or fat free)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup Oil (use whatever you prefer for frying, I used canola)

1. Combine the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, add 1/2 cup of halved or chopped walnuts and boil for 2 minutes. Remove walnuts from sugar syrup and allow to cool on a cookie sheet.
2. Mix the mayo, honey, sweetened condensed milk, and parika together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Beat the 4 egg whites in a medium bowl until light and frothy, add corn starch and wisk into a light batter.
4. Heat 1 cup of oil in a deep frying pan over medium high heat. Dip shrimp into corn starch batter and coat lightly, fry shrimp in oil until lightly golden brown on each side. Drain fried shrimp on paper towels or a brown paper bag.
5. Once all of the shrimp have been fried add them to the honey/mayo mixture and carefully coat the shrimp with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top of the shrimp and serve. Enjoy!
Don't forget to enter to win the Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Pecan Risotto

I made this for dinner last week and loved it! If you don't want to take the time to make rissoto just add whatever rice you like in place of the pearl rice and follow the cooking instructions on the package substituting chicken stock in the place of water and then just mix everything together before stuffing the squash. I love the texture and creaminess of risotto though and honestly it doesn't take much more time than regular rice does to cook. Okay I am off to take my Hebrew final . . . shalom!
White Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Pecan Risotto
Recipe by: Emily

1 lb Sausage
1 cup Pearl or Arborrio Rice
1 small Onion, chopped
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped and toasted
5-6 cups Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
2 tsp Butter

1. Brown the sausage in a large saucepan. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and add onion to pan. Cook onion until it is soft and begins to caramelize.
2. While the onions are cooking pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low.
3. Add the butter and pearl rice to the onions, stir until the butter is melted and has coated the rice. Add 1/2 sup stock to the rice and onion mixture and cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.
4. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock to the rice in intervals after the liquid has been absorbed until the rice is creamy and has just a little bite still.
5. Add the sausage and pecans to the rice with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, season to tase with salt and pepper. Add the chopped parsley and remove from heat. Cut 3 acorn squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Lightly butter the cavities of the squash. Place squash halves on a baking sheet and evenly distribute the risotto into each acorn squash half. Sprinkle the top of each filled squash half with additional chopped pecans and then drizzle lightly with maple syrup. Cover pan with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until the squash flesh is soft and cooked through. (pierce flesh with a knife to check.) Enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spekulatius and Chocolate Walnut Crinkle Cookies

It is the most wonderful time of year to do a little baking . . . well for me lately a LOT of baking! I currently have SEVEN types of cookies in my kitchen waiting to be eaten by family and friends!!! (We are having a cocoa and cookie party Saturday) I have just had a baking bug . . . which has been helped greatly by the good people at Domino Sugar who so generously sent me a $20 gift card to use to fund my holiday baking! I was challenged by them to make two recipes, one of my own and one of theirs from their website . . . and these two cookies are the results kids! I made my FAVORITE German Christmas cookie, Spekulatius and Chocolate Walnut Crinkle Cookies from their recipe selection. Love them both! The Spekulatius are spicy and crisp while the Chocolate Walnut Crinkle Cookies have a rich and chewy texture. I highly recommend spending a little time in the kitchen today or this weekend with some Christmas music while baking some goodies! Spekulatius
Recipe by: Emily

4 cups Flour
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/8 tsp Ginger
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Milk
1 cup Butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degress. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and milk and mix. Cut the butter up into little pieces and add to the flour mixture. Knead dough until you get a smooth consistency and the butter is distributed throughout. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch and cut with your favorite cookie cutters. Place cookies onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool on a wire rack. THESE COOKIES ARE BEST IF YOU STORE THEM IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER FOR 2-3 WEEKS BEFORE EATING. Enjoy!Visit the Domino Sugar website to get this recipe . . . and while you are their check out all of the FUN ideas and recipes that they have . . . including the recipe for Chocolate Walnut Crinkle Cookies!!! I used chopped walnuts in my dough rather than place a half on top (which is so pretty, they have picture of the cookies this way on the website) due to the simple fact that I grabbed the wrong bag in my shopping excitement!I love how festive they look! All you need is a mug of hot chocolate and you have a party!