Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crock Pot Asian Beef with Mandarin Oranges

BEST Crock Pot meal EVER!! So tasty, and so easy...instread of browning the meat & pre-cooking veggies, I just threw everything in the Crock Pot and cooked on low for approx 9 hours. I bought the already sliced beef for stir-fry at Kroger & threw that in first and then followed with the veggies & it turned out fantastic!!! LOVE the Crock Pot, so easy! I got this recipe from my friend Amy, who got it on definitely need to make this one, perfect for the winter too!

Hands-On Time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 10 hours (LOW) or 5 to 6 hours (HIGH)
Yield: 6 servings

~2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I omitted)
~2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1⁄2-inch strips (I used stir-fry beef already pre-cut)
~1 small onion, thinly sliced
~1⁄3 cup soy sauce (I used light)
~1⁄4 teaspoon salt
~2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I used fresh jar kind)
~1 small green bell pepper, sliced
~1 package (about 3 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I omitted)
~1 head bok choy, cleaned and chopped (I omitted)
~1 can (5 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
~2 tablespoons corn starch (I used a little more to make sauce thick)
~1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained and syrup reserved
~2 cups beef broth
~6 cups steamed rice (I used Basmati Rice & subbed a cup of water for Beef Stock)

Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning to brown all sides. Transfer beef to 4 1⁄2-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker as it is browned. (I omitted this step & just coated bottom of crock pot with cooking spray & threw the uncooked meat in)

Add onion to same skillet. Stir over medium heat until softened. Add next soy sauce, salt, ginger, green pepper, mushrooms, bok choy and water chestnuts and cook until bok choy is wilted, about 5 minutes. Spoon mixture over beef. (I just threw all of this on top of the uncooked beef in Crock Pot).

Whisk together corn starch and reserved mandarin orange syrup in medium bowl. Stir in beef broth and pour over ingredients in CROCK-POT® slow cooker. (Again, added this as the last step alltogether)

Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until beef is tender.
Stir in mandarin oranges. Spoon steamed rice into shallow serving bowl and spoon beef over rice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup

WOW!! I got this recipe from Lazy Houswife's Blog....This soup was probably one of the best I have made myself so far...the hubby loved it too! This recipe makes a TON, so I suggest halving the recipe if you don't want to eat it for 3 days in a row! I also added lemon juice to this recipe, because I found that it ended up a little bland and then I just added more pepper/salt & lemon juice. We paired we grilled cheese panini's (Sourdough Bread, Cheddar & Swiss Cheeses).
Serves 8
~3 chicken breasts
~Olive oil (I used evoo, extra virgin)
~Butter (this is for the chicken & veggies it is not included in the cup you use for the Roux)
~1 1/2 cups chopped celery1 1/2 cups chopped onion
~1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
~2 cloves of garlic, minced
~1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used Basmati)
~3 1/4 cups chicken broth
~1/4 cup sherry
~1/4 cup lemon juice
~1 cup butter (2 sticks, I used Margarine)
~1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~4 cups milk, divided (I used all of the milk because it ended up thick, pouring in a 1/2 c. at a time)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Melt approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter each in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts until done, turning once, about 5 minutes each side. Set aside and let cool.
2. Add additional butter and olive oil to the pan. Add celery, onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned bits.
3. In a stockpot over high heat, add vegetable mixture, chicken broth, and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (I simmered for appox. 22 minutes), or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly add the flour, stirring often, to make a roux. Add 4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time, while constantly stirring. Add this and the chicken to the rice mixture and return the rice mixture to the stovetop over low heat. (**I added the Sherry & Lemon Juice here, you might want to add a little at a time & taste test first) (If the soup seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining 2 cups of milk.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Garlic Chicken Ranch Pizza

~1 large pizza dough, uncooked (fresh, frozen, or whatever you like best)
~3/4 c. ranch dressing (we used Hidden Valley light ranch)
~2 cloves garlic, crushed
~2 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
~1/2 c. bacon, cooked and crumbled (we omitted)
~2-3 sliced tomatoes
~1 c. chicken, cooked (**I like to rub the chicken with olive oil and generously sprinkle with Montreal Chicken Seasoning on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.), cut into cubes.

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix ranch dressing and crushed garlic together then spread evenly on the pizza dough. Sprinkle a little cheese over the ranch dressing then add chicken and bacon. Sprinkle more of the cheese over that, add the tomatoes, then add the remaining cheese. Put in the oven for about 12-15 minutes (or until crust is a nice golden-brown). Top with parsley or basil flakes if desired.

OMG Pumpkin Pie Bars

These are AMAZING!! Seriously. Just go make them now!! This recipe was adapted from Kraft Foods. Everyone loved them, even my non-sweet eating brother-in-law!!

For the crust and topping:
~1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
~¼ cup granulated sugar
~½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
~12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I used margarine)
~1 cup old-fashioned oats
~½ cup chopped pecans
For the filling:
~8 oz. cream cheese, softened
~½ cup granulated sugar
~3 large eggs
~1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pie filling
~1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
~1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the foil. Combine the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork. Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.
Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture and set aside. Add the remaining crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake the crust alone in the oven for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined.
Once the crust has been removed from the oven, pour the filling into the pan and smooth over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green Pizza

I found this recipe on Eating Well.
This sounded really good and healthy, and the hubby loves Broccoli!

~1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
~2 cups chopped broccoli florets
~1/4 cup water
~5 ounces arugula ,any tough stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups) **use Spinach instead of Arugula if you do not like**
~Pinch of salt
~Freshly ground pepper to taste
~1/2 cup prepared pesto
~1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Nutrition Facts:
Per serving: 323 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 511 mg sodium; 241 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Calcium (34% dv), Vitamin A (31% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium fat meat, 1 1/2 fat