Thursday, April 23, 2009

sugar & cinnamon tortillas

This is our own mixture of cinnamon and sugar. We filled an empty salt & pepper shaker, or spice jar with a shaker top, after we mixed it to our liking. We usually do about 1-2 Tablespoons of cinnamon per 1/2 cup of sugar. To figure out your preferred ratio, I would start by adding 1 teaspoon at a time to your 1/2 cup of white sugar. This mixture comes in handy for snickerdoodles, cinnamon toast, as a topping on vanilla ice cream, and of course, this recipe featured here.

I love this treat. I don't know if it's a Californian thing, a Mexican thing, a poor person thing, or if it's an everybody thing, but this is something from my childhood. When my mom had leftover pie crust or extra tortillas, she would make us sugar and cinnamon tortillas. Sometimes she would use cherry pie filling and make a cherry pie quesadilla (minus the cheese, of course). This is so easy and so good. It kind of reminds you of a churro.

tortillas (any size you want. We like starting with uncooked tortillas)
cinnamon & sugar mixture

Heat a medium to large pan on medium heat. Spray pan lightly with cooking spray. Place tortilla in pan and lightly brown. Flip over. Spread with butter (we do it very lightly, but it's up to you). Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the entire surface of the tortilla. Continue to cook until the bottom has been cooked until lightly brown as well. The longer it's in the pan, the harder, or crunchier your tortilla will be. I prefer mine a little on the crunchy side. Roll up and eat, or you can also cut into little triangles like I did for the kids. (That's my daughter's little fingers in the photo above.)

These can also be baked in the oven for a crunchier texture, or microwaved if you are the impatient type. For the microwave you would spread the butter on one side and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll it up and then microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until slightly hot. Time probably differs per microwave.

This is a tasty and somewhat "healthier" dessert than many. It was also fun for the kids help. It was easy for them to do and it kept their interest.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

sweet and sour chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs

1/2 cup chicken broth
4 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
dash of garlic powder (I press a couple of cloves)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
chopped green peppers (optional)
1 small can pineapple tidbits (optional)
  1. Mix eggs, milk, cornstarch, and flour
  2. Dip cut up chicken pieces in egg mixture and deep fry in oil until chicken is cooked and no longer pink. Drain on paper towels. (you don't have to deep fry it, sauteeing it in a little bit of oil works well too)
  3. Put all ingredients for sauce in a 9X13 casserole dish, mix, then put chicken on top. (I sometimes add 1 small can of drained pineapple tidbits, you can also add chopped green peppers)
  4. Bake at 325 for one hour.
Serve with rice and veggies. We like to do broccoli or fresh whole green beans. If you are in a hurry, you can heat the sauce on the stove until it thickens and then pour on top of already cooked chicken.

Friday, April 17, 2009

baked apples with streusel topping

We had these for breakfast this morning. They were so easy, and tasted like an apple pie, minus the pie crust, of course. I do have a recipe for whole apples, filled in the center with spices and other goodies and then wrapped in pie crust. So it's like an apple pie ball. Those are on my list of things to try.

Baked Apples with Streusel Topping

4 golden delicious apples, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats cereal
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
whipping cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13X9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Remove core and seeds from each apple half. Place cut-side down in prepared pan. Spray apples with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until apples are partially tender when pierced with a fork. I like mine more tender so I did 15 minutes. While the apples are cooking, combine cereal, sugar, flour and cinnamon in bowl. Cut in butter until mixture forms crumbs. I use a fork and just mash it until the desired consistency. Set aside. Turn apples cut-side up in pan. Divide cereal mixture over apples and pat down gently. Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped topping.

Makes 8 servings. Refrigerate any leftovers.

go to meals I

Chicken Roll Ups, Chicken Filled Stuffing Rolls, Mystery Rolls, Hidden Treasure Rolls. . .

These are called a by a number of names, and there are numberless ways of preparing them. Really, anything goes. I've made them a variety of ways, using crescent rolls, cream of soups, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese, etc., but I shun canned soups now, and I also want things to be as easy and short as possible these days, so this really is the easiest way one can make these. I call them Chicken Stuffed Rolls, and here's what you need:

Frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls (16-20 rolls in a 9X13 pan)
(or if you have time, you can make your favorite roll recipe)
1 Tub Philadelphia Chive and Onion cream cheese
2-3 chicken breasts

If you are using the frozen rolls, follow the speed method for thawing. Plan for about 1-2 hours. You just need the dough to be manageable, or able to be flattened or rolled out. Cook chicken breasts until done, using preferred method; boiling, stove top, or oven. Dice into small bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, you are going to combine the chicken pieces with the entire tub of cream cheese.

Filling the rolls: Remove one of the thawed sections of dough. You can roll it out flat or pat it back and forth in your hands to flatten. I use my hands. In the center, you are going to place 2 Tablespoons of the mixture in the center. Then you wrap the dough from all sides around the mixture. Pinch the dough together so that it is sealed and place face down in a lightly greased 9X13 baking dish. Continue with the rest of the dough. You will bake the rolls according to the package instructions. I usually do it at 350 for 20-25 minutes, but that is our oven. You will want to make sure that the tops are golden.

We eat them as is, but a lot of people pour some kind of a gravy on top made out of cream of chicken soup. Some people, before placing them in the oven, dip them in butter and then roll them in seasoned breadcrumbs. Like I said, these are very versatile. They can be filled with a number of ingredients. This is how we prefer them. They can also be frozen before or after baking them. Simple, and as easy as it can get. It's one of those meals where I usually have the ingredients on hand. Frozen rolls, chicken, and cream cheese. We are cream cheese fanatics.

dessert in a hurry II

My 3 year old, Luke, showed up with a hungry dinosaur. I love these pictures.

I can't remember the original source where I got this idea, but apparently there's a restaurant that made these famous. They call them Pazookies. It's half baked cookies, taken out early so that they are still gooey inside. They are usually made in a pie tin and then sliced into pie slices and topped with ice cream and fudge or caramel or both.

For this version, I put chocolate chip cookie dough in ramekins and baked them for 10 minutes or so at 350 degrees until the top was turning golden and crispy. We didn't put ice cream or toppings on ours. We just ate it as is. But next time we might try it that way. It would make it look like a fancy dessert that took a lot of time to prepare for sure in these little ramekins. But we had fun eating our fancy cookies with spoons.

dessert in a hurry I

This is probably my favorite dessert of all time. Strawberry Shortcake. I've made homemade angel food cake before, the homemade whipped cream, and I grew up in Ventura, California, home of the world's greatest strawberries. One of the things I miss most about living there is during strawberry season. The workers picking strawberries in the fields, the strawberry stands on the side of the road where you can pick up a flat of just picked strawberries, the Strawberry Festival. Strawberries picked fresh and right from the fields are big, juicy, and a brilliant red. The strawberry above reminded me of the strawberries from home. It was huge! I sliced it leaving the top intact to look pretty when I served it. I didn't make the cool whip look all fancy on there. I just sort of plopped it on because like the title of this post mentions, I was in a hurry.

This is not a homemade recipe. This is when you need a dessert in a hurry for whatever reason. A get together, or you are craving it yourself, which is what this ocassion was, and you don't want to do all the work. All you need is 3 items:

Angel food cake
1 carton of Cool Whip
1 pint of fresh strawberries

Slice the angel food cake into desired sized wedges. Put a dollop of whipped cream, or cool whip on top and top with sliced strawerries. I never add additional sugar to my strawberries. This is also a good topping on pound cake, biscuits, or inside crepes.

Do you make your like this? What way do you make your strawberry shortcake?

edamame is soy crazy

My kids love eating edamame. And I had always heard that it is super good and nutritious for you. But then recently I heard that unfermented soy has high levels of estrogen which is really bad for you if you are a boy (rumor is that it will make a boy gay), an infant, or if you want to get pregnant. I know you can't believe everything that you read on the internet, but all the research I've done is that soy is either the best choice you can make nutritionally, or essentially soy is the devil. I know that ut is used a lot in Japan, Korea, and China, but apparently they use the "safe" kind. Basically, I don't know what to think about it now. We don't do soy milk or other soy products except for this, so I don't feel too worried, but I am curious what the truth is. Soy is all the rage, that's for sure. Not just soy milk either. If you buy any processed foods, you will notice the majority of the time that it will say in bold print something like; May Contain wheat, soy, and egg . Common sense tells me that it's best to just eat from scratch, or from what you grow. Or as Jillian from the biggest loser puts it, "If it doesn't come from the ground, or doesn't have a mother, then don't put it in your mouth" (or something like that-this is from the top of my head). But soy beans are from the ground. Maybe they're not meant to be eaten in this way, but prepared a certain way first.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Banana Bread to rival Grandma's

I thought Grandma's Banana Bread was the best I'd ever had. That was until I made Grandma's sister's banana bread. That's right. Great Aunt Eddie has her own recipe that is fantastic. Sorry Grandma. The best word I can use to describe it is light. I think because it uses less eggs, and 3 Tablespoons of sour cream. Sour cream makes everything better and softer. My favorite pancakes and my favorite sugar cookie recipes call for sour cream.

Aunt Eddie's Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 bananas, mashed
3 Tbsp. sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
1 cup chopped nuts (My family uses walnuts, I never put nuts in my bread)

(She says to mix by hand-I don't) Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, bananas, and sour cream. Combine dry ingredients and add to first mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour into large loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.