Sunday, January 31, 2010

Homemade Pesto

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Pesto is such a fresh, light flavor and can be used for so many things. It can be used as a spread on a lunch meat sandwich, to add flavor to baked chicken, or to create a really great pasta dish. I prefer homemade over store bought, so here is a recipe I found. You can freeze pesto in ice cube trays, pop them out when frozen and store them in a freezer bag. When needed, pull one (or more!) out and let thaw. There you have a fast, fresh, healthy seasoning ready to make your meal come alive!

Found on Food for Thought

They recommend doing this in a food processor. I had to use a blender because I am not the lucky owner of a big enough food processor (mine only holds maybe 1/2 cup of anything). Sigh.... :)

3 cups of packed basil leaves (washed and stems removed)

2/3 cup pine nuts

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

olive oil - enough to allow it to blend freely, but not be soupy

Place all of these ingredients in a food processor and drizzle a generous amount of oil on top. Pulse several times until it is coarsely chopped, adding more oil as necessary. Pulse a few more times until it is finely chopped.

Freeze in containers (I used ice cube trays, then when frozen, popped them out and put in a freezer bag), or use fresh.

Italian Flag Chicken

Posted in by blkris | Edit
I found this recipe on Eat it Up and thought I would give it a whirl. I had everything I needed, which was a big plus. It turned out great! The pesto gave it a very fresh flavor. I will wait next time to add the tomato on top. By the time the chicken was done, it was almost mush and so pretty much killed all nutritional value. I think I will add the tomato on top just before the chicken is done. Anywho... this was really easy, fast, and yummy. Hope you like it!

This feeds approx. 2 adults.
-2 thawed chicken breasts
-3-4 tsp of pesto, homemade or bought (mine is homemade (see next post for that recipe) and is frozen in ice cub trays; I used 3 pesto cubes)
-grated mozzarella
-1 tomato
-bread crumbs
-Parmesan cheese
-Bacon slices

1. Put your thawed chicken in a zip lock bag and pound with a mallet until thin and flat.

2. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and put a teaspoon full of pesto on half the chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese (this is also where I added a slice of uncooked bacon).

3. Fold chicken over and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 1-2 tomato slices.

4. Cover top and bottom with Italian bread crumbs.

5. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese (I omitted this part) and pop in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes. So easy!!

Best Ever Whole Wheat Bread Machine Bread

Posted in by blkris | Edit
I have tried my fair share of bread machine recipes. I finally found one that my whole family likes. It is thick and hearty, but not too heavy. I am sure you can add things to it and make variations (like adding sunflower seeds and craisins) but I am a simple kind of bread girl.

Found on; this makes a 2 pound loaf

1 1/2 C plus 2 Tbs luke warm water
2 Tbs oil
2 tsp salt
1/3 C. brown sugar (I have substituted Agave nectar and honey for this and they both turn out great!)
3 Tbs nonfat dry powdered milk
4 1/4 C wheat flour
2 tsp dry yeast

My machine requires liquids, solids, then yeast on top (so the ingredient order is how I put it in my machine). Do according to your machine directions.

I set this on the dough cycle. When finished, I pull it out, spray a bread pan, mold the dough into a nice shape (careful not to mess with it too much or it becomes tough), plop it into the pan and cover with a towel for about 30 min. to rise. Cook at 350 for 30-35 min.

This is great warm with butter and honey, almond butter and honey, or homemade jam. Enjoy!

Homemade Oreos

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Mix together:

1 Chocolate cake mix (or devils food cake mix)
2 eggs
1/3 C. oil

Make dough into small round balls and drop onto cookie sheet (ungreased). Cook for 8-10 min (no more or they will get too crispy!!) at 350.

When cool, smear the bottom of one cookie with cream cheese frosting (either store bought, or homemade)and put another cookie on top. TA DA! Your very own homemade oreo cookie! These never last long in our house. They are very rich, but SOOO YUMMY!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat together:
3/4 block softened cream cheese
1/2 stick softened butter

Then add about 3 cups powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla. (Give or take on the powdered sugar depending on how much or little of a cream cheese taste you want.)

If this is too thick, add a little water or milk.

Minestrone Soup

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
This is a great soup for a cold day. It calls for hamburger, but is also good with ground Elk meat too. I have never tried ground turkey though. If you do, let me know how it turns out! This is a recipe that I got from my Mom and I think of home every time I eat it. Enjoy!

-Boil 2 qts. water in a big pot with 1 Tbs salt (you may need to add more or less salt depending on how much salt is in your tomatoes)
-Divide 1 pound hamburger into small round balls.
-Put meatballs into boiling water and let boil until no pink remains.
-Then add:
1/2 of an onion (white or yellow, chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 can of stewed tomatoes plus 1/2 of a small can of tomato sauce
- After this has simmered for a little while (until vegetables are getting tender), add:
1 can of carrots (undrained)
1 can beans (I prefer french cut; undrained)
1 chopped zucchini
about 3/4 cup macaroni noodles
1/4 C. dried parsley
-When heated through and ready to serve, add parmesean cheese to the top of the soup in each bowl.


PS This makes a lot!