September 30, 2009

Caramel Icing

I used this icing on pumpkin cookies, and it was yummy! I have to admit that while it was really good, I think I prefer cream cheese frosting on pumpkin cookies. It probably just depends on your preference.

From the Sisters' Cafe:

In saucepan, heat 3 Tb butter and 1/2 brown sugar over medium to med-high heat until bubbling and thick. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup milk. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

September 20, 2009

Nutella Frosting

Nutella Frosting

3/4 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. Nutella

The frosting was a bit runny, so next time I plan on adding the milk a little at a time until I reach the consistency I want. Or, adding more powdered sugar at the end.

Still, a delicious frosting!

September 15, 2009

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla
4 Cups whole almonds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a 10x15 jellyroll pan with parchment paper (if you spray the pan first with Pam, the parchment will stick better). Lightly beat the egg white. Add the vanilla and beat until frothy, but not stiff. Add the nuts and stir until well coated. Mix the sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Add to nuts and toss to coat. Spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven stirring occasionally until golden. Allow to cool. Store in airtight containers.

These taste just like the ones sold at malls or sporting events. SO yummy!!

September 8, 2009

Homemade Pancake Mix

4 c. white flour
2 c. wheat flour
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda

Store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
To make, mix 1 c. pancake mix with 1 egg and 3/4 c. milk.
Pour onto hot griddle, bake, and enjoy!

September 3, 2009

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

32 oz box of chicken broth*
2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1.5 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk
8-10 oz egg noodles

Combine chicken broth, bouillon cube, carrots, celery, and onion into large pot. Bring to boil and boil for about 20 min. While boiling, cook your noodles in a separate pan, add a bouillon cube for flavoring, if desired. Add noodles to the veggies. Add 2 cups of water. Let cook about 10 min together. Add shredded chicken, cream of chicken, and canned milk. Stir all together, add salt and pepper to taste, and let it simmer until ready to serve.

This is a thick, creamy chicken noodle soup. *You can add more broth if you want it thinner. I also use the rotisserie chicken from Costco for this. It is cheap, and has great flavor, and mostly it is easy. This soup is delicious!

September 2, 2009

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

I made this as a side salad the other night, so I omitted the chicken. It was so good, make sure you do the homemade dressing, it is heavenly!

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
2 teaspoons white sugar

Salad Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package bow tie (farfalle) pasta
1/2 cucumber - scored, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 (6 ounce) bag fresh spinach
1 or 2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin orange segments, drained
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can make this without chicken for a side dish)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, candied and toasted (mix 1/2 cup almonds on stove top over low heat with around 4 Tablespoons sugar. Don't let it burn, stirring until lightly golden and sugar is melted and coating almonds.)


1. To make the dressing, blend together the ginger root, rice vinegar, orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar, and garlic until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the bowtie pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, and rinse under cold water. Place pasta in a large bowl.

3. To make the salad, toss the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, mandarin oranges, chicken, and almonds with the pasta. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture, and toss again to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

September 1, 2009

Individual Potato Gratins

from Melissa d'Arabian (food network)


Vegetable spray
2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese, and onions into each muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time. Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

4-Step Chicken

from Melissa d'Arabian (food network)


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half crossways (butterflied, cut all the way through)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves chopped (I used all dried)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine, optional
1 cup chicken broth
3 lemons, juiced
1 to 2 tablespoons butter


Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.

In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.

In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.

Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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