• Chicken Sesame Noodles

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    I really love Asian food. When we go out for Asian food, we always go to a Thai restaurant…Thai is my absolute favorite! The only Chinese restaurant I like is one little joint in Baton Rouge, LA, which has national acclaim. All other Chinese restaurants scare me–either the smell of the restaurant turns me off, or the food is just not good. But because I love Asian cuisine, to get my fix, I make it at home. This is one of our old standbys and I love it! The blended sauce works great as a dipping sauce for fresh (not fried) Thai spring rolls too–I should make these some day soon, because they are delicious.

    My kiddos complained and complained about what we were having for dinner, and then my oldest really enjoyed the chicken, but our youngest didn’t touch her dinner – she must not have been hungry, but she was most certainly hungry for breakfast the next morning after not having eaten any dinner ;)
    Ingredients:

    • 1 box of whole grain linguine
    • 1 lb. chicken breast, bite size pieces
    • 2 tsp. sesame oil
    • 2 inch piece of ginger, chunked
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper or Sriracha hot sauce (omit for more kid friendly)
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 TBSP brown sugar
    • 3/4 c. peanut butter
    • 3 TBSP rice wine vinegar
    • 3 TBSP soy sauce
    • 6 TBSP hot water
    • 1 red pepper thinly sliced
    • 1 c. carrot matchsticks
    • 1 c. cilantro, chopped
    • 1/2 c. green onions, chopped
    • sesame seeds for garnish
    • peanuts for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Cook linguine according to package in salted boiling water. When cooked, drain and run cold water over the noodles until all noodles are cold.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet, and saute the chicken until done.
    3. In a blender add ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, lime juice, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water; blend until everything is combined and a thick sauce forms.
    4. Place cold linguine in a large bowl, add the red pepper slices, carrots, cilantro, green onions, and chicken. Pour sauce over and combine. Garnish with sesame seeds and peanuts.
    5. Serve room temperature or chilled.

    Chicken Sesame Noodles:

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  • Crumb Cake

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    I found this recipe over at the Picky Palate food blog, and this afternoon my kiddos and I made it, and it was delicious. Not surprisingly it is grown up and kid approved! It’s really easy to make, but mine took a lot longer to bake than the directions indicate.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
    • 2 Sticks cold butter
    • 2 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
    • 1 ¾ c.sugar
    • 1 1/2 TBSP vanilla
    • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

    Directions:

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350.
    2. PREPARE cake mixe in large bowl according to directions on box. Spray 9X13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until center is just barely set (mine was at the 25+ minute mark and wasn’t really set in the center). I’ll probably use my larger 9×16 pan next time–by the time the cake and topping is added it was nearly over flowing in the 9×13.
    3. WHILE cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. In large bowl of electric mixer combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla until all crumbly.
    4. IMMEDIATELY after cake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, sprinkling over top. Put back in oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes and the topping will begin to look a little less wet/raw (mine was in for 20+ minutes). Let cool fully then dust with powdered sugar, using a sieve.

    Crumb Cake:

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  • Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce, Asparagus, and Peas

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    I love asparagus, but unfortunately I’m the only one in our house that with this love. So, with -s out of town, I tried a new yummy recipe from Cooking Light’s August 2007 issue. I was going to add chicken, but I was too lazy. Chicken would be a most delicious addition. I was just going to saute a boneless breast, so next time I’ll try that. You can also substitute green beans for the asparagus. Here’s my version of this recipe:

    Ingredients:

    • 1 box of whole grain penne
    • 1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (you can substitute green beans)
    • 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, but into bit sized pieces
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 c. chicken broth
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 2/3 c. heavy cream
    • juice of 2-3 lemons
    • 1/4 c. capers, drained and rinsed
    • salt as necessary
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper

    Directions:

    1. Cook Pasta according to package in salted water. Add asparagus during the last minute of cooking and add the thawed peas in the last 15 seconds. Drain and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. If using chicken, add chicken, and saute until cooked through; next add garlic to pan and saute 1 minute. Combine broth and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Add broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cream, juice, capers, salt and pepper. Add pasta mixture to broth mixture; toss gently to coat.

    Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce, Asparagus, and Peas:

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  • Dill Potato Salad

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    I had some leftover dill sour cream sauce from the other night, so I decided to make a potato salad and use the sour cream sauce as the sauce for the potato salad. I added a little extra dill for garnish, and the potato salad came out quite tasty.  The salad would be great as a side for burgers, hot dogs, or anything really.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lb yellow or red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
    • Left over dill sour cream sauce (or see recipe below)
    • Dill for garnish

    Directions:

    1. Boil or microwave potatoes until just fork tender; cut into bit size pieces.
    2. Add sauce; toss to coat and garnish with dill.

    Dill Sour Cream Sauce:

    • 1 c. sour cream
    • 1/4 c. dill pickles, minced
    • 1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Dill Potato Salad:

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  • Chicken Parmesan

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    I have to admit that -s is usually the chef on chicken parmesan night. He makes the most delicious chicken parm I’ve ever had. Mine was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, but -s’s is still better!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 TBSP Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 c. flour for dredging
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
    • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
    • 1/4 c. fresh basil, chiffonade
    • 1 lb. pasta of your choice

    Directions:

    1. In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs, salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper (if you can’t find panko, you can use Italian seasoned bread crumbs, but I would omit the salt and go easy on the rest of the seasoning). In another shallow bowl beat the eggs. In another shallow bowl add the flour.
    2. Place chicken in between plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until about 1/2 inch thick.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large non stick large.
    4. Dredge the chicken breast first in the flour, then dip in the egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Add chicken to the pan and cook until bread crumbs are browned, then flip and cook until chicken is done.  You may need to add more olive oil as the chicken cooks.
    5. Place chicken in an oven safe dish. Spoon sauce over chicken and place sliced mozzarella on top. Bake until cheese melts. Serve over pasta and garnish with basil.

    Chicken Parmesan:

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  • Baked Fish with Dill Sour Cream Sauce

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    I found this recipe on the Closet Cooking food blog, and we tried it tonight. It was really tasty. When we cook fish, we usually cook salmon or steelhead trout, but tonight we used haddock. I think this sauce will be even better on the trout or salmon. When we lived in Oregon, one of my favorite restaurants was Mo’s, and this sauce tastes so much like their tartar sauce, which I loved. In fact, I bet if you substituted mayo for the sour cream you’d have a very close version of Mo’s tartar sauce.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. sour cream
    • 1/4 c. dill pickles, minced
    • 1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients and serve over fish

    Dill Sour Cream Sauce:

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  • Chicken Posole

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    I love posole, and most recipes I come across use pork. Since we don’t eat much pork, I usually pass those recipes by. I found a vegetarian recipe on the Taste and Tell food blog, and I decided to use that recipe as inspiration for my own chicken posole. It turned out great! The original recipe called for feta cheese (pictured above) but we both liked it better with shredded pepper jack.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 Polbano Chiles
    • 2 Anaheim Chiles
    • 4 c. chicken broth
    • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    • 2 15 oz cans of white hominy
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • salt for seasoning adjusting, if necessary
    • 1 lime, quartered
    • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
    • 1 c. pepper jack cheese, shredded
    • sour cream
    • Garnish with cilantro, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream

    Directions:

    1. Broil the poblano and Anaheim peppers until they are blackened on all sides. Once charred, place peppers in a zip lock bag and close. This process will steam the outer skins so they remove more easily. After 15 minutes, remove peppers from the bag, and remove the skins, stems, and seeds. Then chop the peppers into 1/2 inch chunks.
    2. Add the broth, peppers, chicken breast chunks, hominy, onion, oregano, and cumin to your crock pot. Cook on high for 3 hours. Taste and add salt if necesary.
    3. Ladle posole into bowls, squeeze the juice of one lime quarter into each bowl; then top each bowl with cilantro and shredded cheese. For those who enjoy sour cream, add a dollop.

    Chicken Posole:

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  • Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    I love to cook, but cookies are definitely -s’s domain! The original source of this recipe I believe is Betty Crocker. Over the years -s has changed it up a bit, primarily the amount and type of chocolate. These cookies are just to die for!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/3 c. butter, softened
    • 1/3 c. shortening
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 1/2 c. flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 12 oz. chocolate chips (use one kind or do 1/2 dark and 1/2 white chips)

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375.
    2. Mix sugars, butter, shortening, egg, and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients.
    3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

    Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies:

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  • Mexican Wedding Cookies

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    These cookies are just delicious. We found this recipe years ago at a Texas cooking site and have been making them ever since. They are easy to make, and since there’s no egg in the dough, it’s a great recipe for kids to help make.  Both of our kiddos like to taste as they cook, so this recipe is great for that, and they are a real crowd pleaser.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 c. shortening
    • 2 c. powdered sugar, divided
    • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 2 c. sifted flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 c. finely chopped pecans

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325F.
    2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, and 1 c. sugar in a large bow. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
    3. Gradually add the flour and salt. Use your mixer for the first cup of flour, and work in the remaining cup of flour and the finely chopped pecans with a wooden spoon. Dough will be stiff.
    4. Form dough into balls (1 level tablespoon each). Place on an ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake on middle oven rack until light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
    5. Let cookies cool a bit then while they are still warm, place the remaining powdered sugar in a shallow dish. Roll the cookies in the sugar to coat completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

    Mexican Wedding Cookies:

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  • Mayan Orange Brownies

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    I found this recipe on the Closet Cooking food blog. Since I live orange and chocolate together I knew I had to give these a try, and they didn’t disappoint.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. butter
    • 2 Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate bars, divided
    • 1 c. white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 TBSP orange juice
    • 1 tsp. orange zest
    • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
    3. Melt the butter and one Maya Gold chocolate bar in a sauce pan and remove from heat and let cool.
    4. Stir in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest.
    5. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder.
    6. Chunk the remaining chocolate bar and stir it in.
    7. Spread batter into prepared pan.
    8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes–mine actually took closer to 45 minutes.

    Mayan Orange Brownies:

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