Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Honey Roast Chicken

Cook's Country Magazine has been on a roll lately. Tons of delicious recipes that I've finally been trying. This was one of them and it was fabulous. The most tender and juicy chicken I've ever made. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the sauce. We preferred it plain. I loved that this recipe made two chickens. Perfect for a bigger crowd or to use later in the week for some different recipes.

Honey Roast Chicken
Serves 6 to 8
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), giblets discarded
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup honey
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into pieces and chilled
1. PREP CHICKEN Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, and paprika in small bowl. Pat chickens dry with paper towels. Rub mixture under skin and over outside of each chicken. Tuck wings behind back, and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
2. MAKE GLAZE Stir cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in bowl until no lumps remain; set aside. Bring honey and 4 tablespoons vinegar to simmer in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ½ cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk cornstarch mixture into glaze. Return to simmer and cook 1 minute.
3. ROAST CHICKEN Arrange chickens, breast side down, on V-rack set inside roasting pan. Roast until just golden, about 35 minutes. Remove chickens from oven and, using wad of paper towels, flip breast side up. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. Pour 1 cup water and broth into roasting pan. Return chickens to oven and roast until thigh meat registers 165 to 170 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Brush chickens evenly with thick layer of glaze, and continue to roast until glaze is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer chickens to cutting board, brush with remaining glaze, and let rest 15 minutes.
4. MAKE SAUCE Meanwhile, pour pan juices and any accumulated chicken juices into saucepan; skim fat. Stir in thyme, bring to simmer, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and remaining vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Carve chickens and serve, passing sauce at table.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

These cute little cheesecakes are the perfect dessert for Spring. Easy to make, already portioned and cute as can be. Usually when you make something in miniature form it ends up being a lot more work. Definitely not the case with these. You probably have most if not all these ingredients in your fridge. Because you use shortbread cookies for your crust there is no rolling and crushing involved and the best part is the easy clean up. Using muffin liners makes removing them from the pan and clean up a snap. 20 minutes to bake and another hour to cool. Pretty quick for cheesecake. They turned out creamy and delicious with an extra hit of flavor from the strawberry jam. Perfect for a bbq, baby shower or just because you feel like eating cheesecake! The original recipe called for seedless raspberry jam but I had strawberry on hand and it was delicious.

Strawberry Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes
Cooks Country
Serves 12
12 Keebler shortbread cookies or any that measure 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup seedless strawberry or raspberry jam
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese , softened
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
Fresh strawberries or raspberries for garnish, optional
1. PREPARE CRUSTS Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Place cookies in cupcake liners. Dollop with 1 teaspoon jam each.
2. MAKE FILLING With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in condensed milk, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until incorporated. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. BAKE CHEESECAKES Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
4. GLAZE AND GARNISH Remove cheesecakes from muffin tin. Microwave remaining jam until thinned slightly, about 15 seconds, and use it to glaze cheesecakes. Top each cheesecake with fresh raspberry, if using. Serve.
Posted by: Sallie
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Are you in need of a simple, yet elegant dish for company? How about chicken cordon bleu. Succulent, breaded chicken breast, thinly sliced salty ham and a delicious pocket of melted swiss cheese. I've had this dish many times before but this is by far the easiest and prettiest recipe I've ever made. It turned out perfectly and got rave reviews from the whole fam.

As per the instructions, I made mine a whole day ahead, just praying that the crumb topping wouldn't be soggy and guess what? Not only was it not soggy, it was perfect! Major bonus!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Cook's Country

Serves 4 to 6

To help prevent the filling from leaking, use large, 8-ounce chicken breasts and thoroughly chill the stuffed breasts before breading.

25 Ritz crackers (about 3/4 sleeve) I used whole grain Ritz with great results
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread , torn into pieces (I used wheat)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. MAKE CRUMBS Adjust oven racks to lowest and middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pulse crackers and bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Drizzle in butter; pulse to incorporate. Bake crumbs on rimmed baking sheet on middle rack, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to shallow dish. Leave oven on.
2. STUFF CHICKEN Top each ham slice with 1/4 cup cheese and roll tightly; set aside. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. cut pocket in thickest part of chicken, and stuff each breast with 2 ham-and-cheese rolls. Transfer chicken to plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
3. COAT AND BAKE Beat eggs and mustard in second shallow dish. Place flour in third shallow dish. One at a time, coat stuffed chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, and dredge in crumbs, pressing to adhere. (Breaded chicken can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day.) Transfer chicken to clean baking sheet. Bake on lowest rack until bottom of chicken is golden brown, about 10 minutes, and then move baking sheet to middle rack and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown and chicken registers 160 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve.

Posted by: Sallie

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spicy Pork and Green Beans

Continuing with the Asian theme (it seems to be my current food kick) and my love for anything spicy, this fabulous dish from Family Fun Magazine (via Prudence Pennywise) caught my eye.

It was originally featured in a "takeout at home" section. I love recreating my favorite restaurant foods at home because it's a lot healthier and a lot cheaper but you still feel like you're treating yourself to something special. This meal was just what the doctor ordered. Fresh and crispy green beans and spicy pork with hints of ginger and garlic. To make it extra special, serve with Jasmine Rice. It is so delicious with a slightly sweet scent that will make your house smell amazing!

Spicy Green Beans with Pork
Family Fun Magazine via Prudence Pennywise

Estimated Cost: $6.00 for 4 servings

1 pound pork tenderloin or chops

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine or chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce (I left this out because I couldn't find it at the store)

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil

1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds


Cut pork into the thin possible strips. (Tip: first partially freeze it for 30 to 90 minutes.) In a small bowl, toss the shaved pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, and the pepper. Marinate the pork at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch, and set aside.Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beans and stir-fry them until they begin to brown or blister, about 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry the mixture until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute.Add the reserved sauce and green beans, mix well, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Finally, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving. Makes about 5 cups.

Posted by: Sallie
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Caramel Turtle Ice Cream Cake

With warm weather in full swing (at least for today) I thought ice cream would be nice ending to our Sunday Dinner. Always wanting to try something new and different, I spotted this recipe from Cook's Country. A delicious Oreo crust, dulche de leche (caramel), vanilla and chocolate ice cream and crushed Skor bars made for a delicious dessert . Topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce I think we were all in ice cream heaven.
A few pointers after making this
1- don't feel tied down to the flavors of the recipe. Be creative. I think substituting mint chocolate chip for the caramel ice cream and adding some crushed grasshopper cookies (instead of the skor bar)would be delicious! Note that using good quality ice cream here is going to make a HUGE difference!
2- Don't let your ice cream get overly soft while you are spreading it. I made this mistake with my first layer and some of it melted out the bottom of the springform pan. If you wanted to avoid this, you could use a 8 in square pan and just not worry about the skor bar or sprinkle it on top. Also, I could only find 14.5 oz containers and next time I might use two, just to make the layers more pronounced.
3- Make sure you smooth down the ice cream layers really well. A flat bottomed measuring cup works great. Then tightly pack down the oreo crumbs.
4- Make sure your Skor bar is cut into fairly small pieces or use the pre chopped bits in the bag. Mine were a little too big and I had a hard time getting them to stick on the sides.
Caramel Turtle Ice Cream Cake
Cooks Country

25 Oreo cookies , broken into rough pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
1 pint dulce de leche ice cream (Häagen-Dazs)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup finely crushed Skor bars
toasted and chopped pecans (for sprinkling on top)
Caramel Sauce
Whipped cream
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Process the Oreos in a food processor until finely and evenly ground, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, pour the butter through the feed tube and continue to process until the mixture resembles wet sand (you should have about 2 cups).
2. Transfer 2/3 cup of the crumbs to a 9-inch springform pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake until the crust is fragrant and set, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Scoop the dulce de leche ice cream into a large bowl and work to soften. Spread the ice cream evenly over the cooled crust. Sprinkle another 2/3 cup Oreo crumbs over the ice cream and pack them down lightly. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until the ice cream is just firm, about 30 minutes. Repeat with the vanilla ice cream and the remaining 2/3 cup of Oreo crumbs, wrap tightly, and freeze for another 30 minutes. Soften the chocolate ice cream, spread evenly in the pan, and smooth the top . Rewrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.
4. To serve, run a hot paring knife between the springform pan and the cake, then remove the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the pan bottom to loosen, then slide the cake onto a serving platter. Press the Skor bars onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle pecans over the top. Serve with Caramel Sauce and whipped cream.
To Make Ahead
The ice cream cake can be assembled and frozen in the springform pan, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 1 week before serving.
Posted by: Sallie
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Spiedies

I literally have a pile about 3 feet high of recipes I want to try but with all of the activities going on lately it's hard to find time to sit down to eat dinner, let alone actually cook something. This recipe finally made an appearance a few nights ago with great results. The chicken does require marinating but only for a short 30 minutes and because it's cubed before grilling it cooks up really quickly. I loved this new twist on chicken sandwiches. Juicy, marinated chicken grilled to perfection and topped with a tangy and light mayo vinaigrette dressing. I served mine with some chips and a green salad. If you want your sandwich to be extra delicious, serve with these rolls, toasted.

Chicken Spiedies
Serves 6
You will need six 12-inch metal skewers here. To prevent sticking, preheat the grill, covered, for 15 minutes (5 minutes if using charcoal) and scrape and oil the cooking grates before grilling. I used a grill basket instead of skewers and it turned out fabulous!
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons grated zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
6 (6-inch) sub rolls , slit partially open lengthwise
1. MAKE SAUCES Combine oil, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes in large bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons oil mixture to separate bowl and whisk in mayonnaise, vinegar, and lemon juice; refrigerate. (Sauces can be refrigerated, covered, for 2 days.)
2. PREP CHICKEN Prick chicken breasts all over with fork, cut into 1¼-inch chunks, and transfer to bowl with remaining oil mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
3. GRILL CHICKEN Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto six 12-inch metal skewers. Grill chicken over hot fire, covered and turning frequently, until lightly charred and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to sub rolls or bread, remove skewers, and drizzle with mayonnaise mixture. Serve.
Posted by: Sallie

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Flat bread with Salsa Verde, White Beans and Corn

Let's just say it how it is. This time of year we're all wishing we would have practiced a little more self control when it came to all those holiday goodies. (I know I'm not alone because I've had several requests for some "healthy recipes".) I also think life is too short to live on rice cakes and salads with fat free dressing just to look better in a swim suit. My advice? Invest in a couple of cookbooks that are light but have recipes that you will actually want to make and eat. If you don't want to spend the money check some out from your local library or get recommendations from friends. Two that I really like are Cooking Light- Everyday Favorites and Pam Anderson's The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great. I also have been anxiously awaiting my copy of Cook's Illustrated Light and Healthy 2010.

Today's recipe comes from Pam Anderson's Cookbook. She is a best-selling cookbook author who after testing millions of recipes to "get it right" found herself 50 lbs. overweight and sick of yo yo dieting. She has a great down to earth philosophy and lots of great tips along with recipes to keep you healthy and satisfied.

I ate this for lunch and couldn't believe how tasty it was. It tasted like an upscale grown up version of a chewy tostada. I loved the hearty, yet still light and chewy flat bread crust. ( I opted to use the white whole wheat flour but you can also use bread flour, regular whole wheat flour or a packaged 12 in. thin pizza crust.) There was a little kick from the salsa verde and the shredded chicken paired perfectly with the beans. The corn, cilantro and scallions added a delicious freshness and the monterey jack cheese was delish! I would love to experiment topping a regular pizza crust with these exact toppings. She also has about 12 other topping ideas like Spinach, Feta and Olives or Chicken, cranberry, caramelized onions and goat cheese that I can't wait to try. Eating healthy or not, this is a recipe I will enjoy again and again!

Quick Flat bread Dough

The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great

1 cup bread , white whole wheat , or 1/2 bread flour & 1/2 regular whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup warm water, plus extra if necessary

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Mix flour and salt in a food processor. Mix water and oil and pour over flour mixture; process to form a soft dough ball. (see notes below for white wheat and whole wheat flour.)If dough is too stiff (hard-clay texture), process in another ablespoon of warm water. continue to process until dough is well kneaded, about 15 seconds.

With floured hands, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into quarters. working with one quarter at a time, roll dough out to about a 12 by 4 inch rectangle, dusting with flour and turning as necessary to keep it from sticking.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. (All 4 flat breads should fit crosswise on the same sheet.) Top with desired toppings and bake.

*If using white whole wheat flour you will need to process the dough for longer. This is what I used and I ended up adding more water also which resulted in a slightly chewier crust which is what I prefer. If you opt for whole wheat change the bread flour to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.*

Chicken Flat bread with Salsa Verde, White Beans, and Corn

Quick flat bread dough or 1 packaged 12-inch thin pizza crust

1 cup drained white beans (from a 15.5 oz can), mashed

1 cup store-bought salsa verde I used Herdez brand

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)

1 cup shredded Montery Jack or Pepper Jack cheese (3 oz.)

3 medium scallions, sliced thin

2 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees for flat bread dough or 450 for packaged pizza crust.

Place flat bread dough or pizza crust on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or silicone mat). In a small bowl, mix together beans and 1/2 cup of the salsa; spread over dough. In a medium bowl, toss remaining 1/2 cup salsa with chicken and corn. Top pizza with chicken mixture.

Bake until spotty brown, 10-14 minutes. top hot pizza with cheese, scallions, and cilantro, return to oven, and bake until cheese melts, about 2 minutes longer. Serve individual flat breads or cut pizza into serving portions. Makes 4 flat breads or 1 12-inch thin pizza serving 5.

415 calories per serving.

Posted by: Sallie

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hoisin Chicken Bowls

I have been craving Asian food lately and after having had this recipe (and many others from her site) bookmarked forever, finally got around to making it. I'm so glad I did. I loved the flavors of Hoisin sauce and teriyaki and combined in this recipe they made a flavorful and healthful dish. Serve with rice, wrapped up with lettuce or both.

Hoisin Chicken Rice Bowls

slightly adapted from Dinners For a Year and Beyond

serves 5

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 large red pepper, diced small

1 10-ounce package baby portebello mushrooms, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced small

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained, diced small

2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3 cups of hot cooked ricer

omaine lettuce leaves

sesame seedsscallions, thinly sliced

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan. Add red pepper and mushrooms and saute for 5 - 6 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Add chicken to pan and cook for 6 - 8 minutes or until cooked through. Stir chicken and red pepper mixture occasionally while it cooks. Add water chestnuts, teriyaki sauce and hoisin sauce and stir to coat the chicken and vegetables. Continue cooking until heated through.To serve, line a single serving size bowl with romaine leaves. Top with a large scoop of rice, some of the hoisin chicken, and a sprinkle of the sesame seeds and scallions.Alternately, serve the rice and hoisin chicken on top of a large romaine lettuce leaf and eat like a taco.

Posted by: Sallie
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lemon Truffle Cake

I was in charge of desserts for Easter and this Lemon Cake from Recipe Girl seemed right up my alley. Mine turned out almost identical to the picture (too bad my camera battery was dead.) and was the perfect addition to our Easter meal. I loved all the layers and textures--moist, light white cake, creamy truffle filling, and delicious cream and lemon curd to top it all off. I really like a strong lemon flavor so I might experiment next time adding some lemon extract or more lemon juice to kick up the lemon curd a notch. This cake does require a good amount of time so plan ahead.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup unsalted butter or white vegetable shortening, at room temperature ( I always use butter over shortening because I think it adds better flavor.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 large egg whites


3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup water

2 large egg yolks

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 cup (6 ounces) chopped white chocolate or vanilla baking chips

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese


1 cup whipping cream

3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Prepare the cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter or shortening. Blend until the butter is evenly mixed. Add the vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl constantly, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently but thoroughly fold the whites into the cake batter. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes are no longer jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Split the cooled layers horizontally to make 4 layers in all. (I use a serrated knife… and gently saw around the center to cut even layers).
5. Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork. Slowly stir about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking quickly while adding the hot liquid. (You don’t want to create scrambled eggs, so be sure to add the hot mixture slowly, whisking it into the eggs as quickly as possible). Continue adding ¼ cups of the hot mixture to the eggs until you have warmed up the egg mixture. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back to the mixture in the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture boils, whisking constantly, then continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice and zest. Transfer half of the hot filling to a small bowl and set aside to cool. Add the white chocolate to the hot filling in the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is melted; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the white chocolate mixture until light and smooth. At this point, you should have a small bowl of lemon curd and a bowl of white chocolate truffle filling.
7. Spread one third of the white chocolate filling over one layer of the cake. Top with a second cake layer, then spread with one third more of the filling; top with a third cake layer and spread the remaining filling over. Top with the last cake layer and spread reserved lemon curd. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the filling is set (2 to 3 hours).
8. Make the whipped cream: In another bowl, whip the cream and sweeten it with the confectioners’ sugar. Frost the sides of the cake with half of the whipped cream frosting. Put the remaining frosting into a pastry bag and pipe decoratively around the top and bottom edge of the cake. Refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.
Serves: 16.

Posted by: Sallie
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Costa Vida Chicken

Cafe Rio and Costa Vida are two of my all time favorite, would eat there every day restaurants. I love the homemade version of the Cafe Rio pork but honestly every time I go I get either the Chicken Salad or the Tortilla soup. I tried Leigh Anne's recipe and it was delicious. We used it first on salads and then in tacos. It was so fast and easy, used only a handful of ingredients, and your crock pot does all the work! A great way to change up taco night at our house!

Costa Vida Chicken
Leigh Anne

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 Tbsp. each of Cumin and Chili Powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts

This recipe can easily be halved but I took Leigh Anne suggestion and froze half for later.

Cook all ingredients in crock pot on high for 4 hours. Shred chicken and cook 1 additional hour. Serve.

Posted by: Sallie

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Grilled Chicken Breasts and Asparagus with Orange Glaze

This meal was the perfect spring dinner. Light tasting and healthy but full of flavor. The chicken was amazing! My husband did and excellent job of grilling it so it turned out juicy and tender and the glaze was perfect. There's a delicious kick from the cayenne pepper but it wasn't too spicy. If you're not a fan of spice, half the pepper or leave it out. My husband was skeptical of the grilled asparagus but it was delicious as well. I served mine with brown rice (made with chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor) and a nice green salad. It got a big thumbs up from the whole family!

Grilled Chicken Breasts and Asparagus with Orange Glaze
adapted from The Quick Recipe

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 1/2 lbs. asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 5 to 6 oz. each ( I pounded mine with the smooth side of the meat tenderizer between wax paper. This is a great trick to get your meat to grill more evenly)

1. Preheat your grill.

2.Meanwhile, bring the orange juice, ginger, coriander, and cayenne to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high and simmer until the juice mixture is syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, 6-8 minutes. Transfer the juice mixture to a small bowl and stir in the brown sugar.

3. Toss the asparagus with the oil in a medium bowl or on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill 4-5 minutes until tender and streaked with grill marks . Transfer to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil.

4. Brush chicken with half of the glaze. Grill until the chicken is about halfway done about 4-5 minutes, basting the chicken all during cooking. When chicken is about halfway done flip and re glaze. Keep glazing until glaze is gone. Grill another 4-5 minutes or until done. Should reach a temperature of 160 degrees when done. Transfer to a platter and serve with asparagus.

Posted by: Sallie
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