Monday, November 22, 2010

My Mom's Amazing Sweet and Sour Chicken Stew

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
several potatoes (I use 2-3 smallish ones), cubed
frozen mixed vegetables

1. Put flower, salt and pepper (based on your personal taste) into a freezer size bag. Add cubed chicken. Hold the bag closed with one hand and shake the chicken around so it becomes coated with the flour mixture.
2. In a big pot put olive oil and heat it up.
3. When olive oil is warm/hot add chicken and brown.
4. Once chicken is brown add the water, ketchup, brown sugar, apple vinegar, and worcestershire sauce and stir.
5. Add chopped onion, carrots, and potatoes. Stir.
6. Add however many frozen mixed veggies you want. I usually add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups.
7. Simmer for at least 40 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. The longer it simmers the better.

We usually serve the stew with bread and salad. YUM!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

People, I'm going to announce this in advance: If you make these muffins, you might not be able to stop eating them, thereby adding several inches to your waistline. Consider yourself warned.

My lovely sister signed me up for a subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, and two issues ago, I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins. I'm not going to bother re-typing the recipe here because I made no modifications to it. These doughnut-muffins are so fabulous.... They truly are a combination of a cake-style doughnut and a muffin. The actual cake/muffin part is not overly sweet, but after you bake these bad boys, you brush them with butter (YUM!) and roll them in a cinnamon-sugar recipe (DOUBLE YUM!). So, they end up being just the right amount of sweet. Holy mackerel, just typing all of that made me want to run out to the store and buy more pumpkin so I can make another batch.

Here's a picture of the muffins I baked:

They turned out looking virtually identical to the picture that comes with the recipe (with the exception of my terrible photography skills, that is). When does that ever happen?!? It probably helps that I followed the recipe's instructions exactly. I usually never sift all the dry ingredients together first, and alternately adding ingredients in portions typically sounds like a step I can skip. Funny how those instructions might actually be worthwhile....

So good. Soooooooooo good. I think my only complaint is that a single batch only makes 12 muffins. I didn't realize that; otherwise, I would have doubled the recipe. Oh well. There's always a next time.

P.S. Just like cinnamon-sugar cake doughnuts, these things are a tiny bit messy to eat, so consume them over a plate or the sink (if you're ghetto like me).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Italian Bow Tie Bake

This is such a freakishly easy recipe that I feel kind of silly even putting it on the blog. It's the first new recipe I have tried in a long time that my husband, Corey, actually liked, so I thought it necessary to celebrate a little. I got this out of a magazine that specializes in super easy cooking, but then I modified it to cater to my own tastes. The original recipe doesn't call for any meat, so it would work well meatless too. I want to try it with Italian sausage next time. The key ingredient here is the Italian salad dressing mix -- it adds that certain je ne sais quoi that most of my dishes are usually missing.


8 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 jar (16 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease the a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

3. Brown ground beef and drain.

4. In a bowl, combine the spaghetti sauce and salad dressing mix; add pasta and meat, then toss to coat.

5. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings.


Yeah, it's not such a beautiful dish, but it was super yummy.

And here is my 11-month-old (wearing his "Chicks Dig Me" bib, which I swear I only bought because it's hard to find bibs that don't velcro in the back and the only alternative was "Princess") wolfing it down:

Aaaaaand here is my 2-year-old eating a PBJ sandwich because she refused to eat the Italian Bow Tie Bake and I am still too chicken to just let her starve if she doesn't eat what she is served.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chicken Stroganoff in a Crock Pot!

I love my crock pot!!!! And this recipe is soooo easy. And soooo yummy. Plus, there was enough left over to freeze for another meal.

3 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cubed

1/8 cup margarine or butter

1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

  1. Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in crock pot; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until hot.
  3. Serve over rice or egg noodles.