Friday, September 30, 2011

Pie Crust Sticks

Yea! It's fall...although it doesn't feel like it here yet. It was 100 degrees yesterday. Anyway, I love fall because it's when I start using my oven more, and baking all kinds of yummy things. I made a pie recently (that didn't turn out that well, so I unfortunately won't be posting it) and I wanted to show what I do with the leftover crust. After you roll out your pie crust, fit it in the pan, and trim off the edges, you are usually left with a little bit of dough. Not enough to really do anything with, except make these. You can make them whatever shape you want. I cut them into strips with my fluted pastry wheel. My kids eat just them plain. To take a picture of them, I stuck mine in some Blue Bell Mexican praline ice cream, and it was so good!

Pie Crust Sticks
1. Roll out leftover dough.
2. Spread on butter or margarine. (I spray mine with spray butter.)
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
4. Cut into strips, or desired shapes
5. Place on a small baking sheet and bake with your pie for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chicken Fried Chicken

I love this recipe! I use this when I make chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken. I pound my chicken pretty flat. I like to use pie plates for my cracker mixture and egg mixture. I line them up right next to the pan so I can put the chicken right in after dipping. If you want to check and see if the chicken is done cooking in the middle, just take your thickest piece and cut it in half. If it's still pink, stick it back in and cook it a little longer. Sometimes I make gravy to go along with it, and sometimes I take the easy route and use a Pioneer country gravy packet.

Chicken Fried Chicken
adapted from southern living
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
38 saltine crackers (1 sleeve), crushed
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 cups oil

1. Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag and pound with a meat tenderizer until even in thickness. Cut chicken into desired portion sized pieces. (I usually have about 8 pieces.)
2. In a shallow dish, combine cracker crumbs, flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and baking powder.
3. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together milk and eggs.
4. Dredge chicken in cracker mixture; dip in milk mixture, and dredge again in cracker mixture.
5. Pour oil into a 12-inch skillet; heat to 360° (or med-high). Fry chicken for 10 minutes. Turn and fry 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove chicken to a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan. Keep chicken warm in a 225° oven, if needed. Repeat with second batch.

Serve gravy with chicken. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Makes 6-8 servings

To make gravy:
Carefully drain hot oil, reserving cooked bits and 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Whisk together remaining  3 cups milk, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add milk mixture to reserved drippings in skillet; cook, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chili Dog Casserole

I found this recipe in a magazine many years ago. I almost feel a little embarrassed to put it on here, but my husband specifically requests this on occasion, so here it is. This is pretty much a man dish...meat, more meat, and cheese. It might be something you could make for a game day meal. You can use chili with beans or without. I like all beef hot dogs. If you're feeling fancy you could also add some chopped onion on top. I garnished my piece with sour cream and green onions to make the picture a little prettier, and I really liked the sour cream with it.

Chili Dog Casserole
2 cans (15oz. ea) chili
8 hot dogs
8 small flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spread one can of chili into bottom of an 11in. x 7 in. baking dish.
3. Roll each hot dog in a tortilla and place in baking dish with the seam side down.
4. Spread the other can of chili on top and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are awesome! I already have a chocolate chip cookie recipe posted on my blog, and I love that one too, but these are different. They have a box of instant vanilla pudding in them, which somehow makes them soft. I was skeptical at first, and thought I would be able to taste powdered pudding in the dough, but I can't. The dough is so good, sometimes I think I make these cookies just so I can eat it! 

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small pkg (3.4oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the pudding mix and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition eggs. Add vanilla.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto prepared pan. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden and set. Let cool on sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Creamy Italian Chicken

I found a slow cooker recipe this week that I feel deserves to be added to my blog. You can't get much easier than 4 ingredients! I will most definitely be making this again. I had it with rice, the hubby had mashed potatoes. It would also be good with noodles.

Creamy Italian Chicken
adapted from
4-6 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. zesty Italian dressing mix

1. Place frozen chicken in slow cooker.
2. In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, soup, and dressing mix; stir well.
3. Pour cream cheese mixture over chicken.
4. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours.

Serve with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Here's what the dressing mix looks like.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zucchini Bread

At lunch the other day my husband said he felt like having some zucchini bread. Being the nice wife that I am, I went to the store (with all 4 kids) and bought some zucchini so I could have it made for him when he got home. This is the recipe I use. It's a pretty basic recipe that I got from my mom. I don't add nuts, but you most definitely can. I like to use the baking spray with flour. It makes them pop right out of the pan. To cut down on the bake time I made 5 mini loaves (5 3/4in. x 3in.) and baked for 40 min. My kids love to eat it as a snack after school. They freeze well, and make great gifts. UPDATE 6-2017 I've been making this with zucchinis from my garden and boy is it good! I even added some sugared pecan to one batch. YUM!

Zucchini Bread
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsps ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl add flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and zucchini until well blended.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just blended. Pour mixture evenly into prepared loaf pans.
5. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until knife inserted into center come out clean.

Small loaves bake for about 35-40 minutes
Muffins bake for 22-25