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That looks amazing!

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Right now I have Orange Marmalade Chicken in the crockpot. Supposedly, it's supposed to be delicious. We'll see.

2 lbs chicken breast (I put them in frozen b/c I'm forgetful and forget to thaw)
1/3 C Orange Marmalade
1/3 C BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
2 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 Tbs. minced garlic (optional)
1 Tbs. Ginger (I forgot to put this in...darn it! So, I guess it's optional ;) )

Thicken sauce with flour and serve over rice.
 

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Rocky Road PopCorn Balls

Ingredients
1 bag (2.9 oz each) Orville Redenbacher’s® Gourmet® Kettle Korn Microwave Popcorn
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup Fleischmann's® Original-stick (1/4 cup = 1/2 stick)
1 pkg (10 oz each) marshmallows
1 envelope (0.73 oz each) Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
No-Stick Cooking Spray


Directions
Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels. Place popped corn and pecans in large bowl; set aside.
Melt Fleischmann's in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and heat 5 minutes or until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in hot cocoa mix.
Pour over popcorn mixture. Stir well with spoon sprayed with cooking spray. Spray hands with cooking spray. Form popcorn mixture into 16 balls. Store in tightly sealed container up to 3 days.
 

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Cindy--My mom's recipe for popcorn balls is quite a bit different! (Love them!) I'll have to try yours!

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Kale and Sweet Potato Hash | pure provender
I made this tonight and ate it with fresh tortillas. YUM! I forgot the lemon and clove, but added paprika and garlic. Also substituted the chicken broth for vegetable broth. I opted for no salt since a) the broth has sodium and b) I don't really cook with salt unless necessary.

The other potato/kale dish I threw together last week was just chunked multi-color potatos, roasted with EVOO, garlic, salt, and pepper; kale added and roasted towards the end. That was really good, too, for an easy meal.
 

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Comfort Food, Fancified!



Another Crock original. :) Creamy Cauliflower and Parmesan Soup with Hazelnut oil drizzle.


Melt 4-5 T butter in a large pot.

Add 1 cup finely diced onions, 1/2 cup finely diced celery, and 1/2 cup finely diced carrots. Throw some ground or diced garlic and pepper on it (lots).
Saute until tender.

Add 5 T flour and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups vegetable broth.

Now add 2 heads of chopped cauliflower (however course/fine you prefer).

Bring the pot to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

Squeeze 1 lemon into it.

Add 1 1/2-2 cups heavy whipping cream.

Season to taste: I added about a 1/2 T more of black pepper, 1/2-1 T garlic powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, dash of paprika, about 1 tsp course sea salt, and a "glug" of hazelnut oil. Stir.

If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree until about 50% consistency. If you don't have one, take about half the soup and put it in a blender or food processor and blend. Add that portion back to the pot.

Finally, add about 2 loose cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir until it is melted.

Taste for spices and adjust accordingly.

Serve with a drizzle of hazelnut oil, bit of parmesan, and dusting of freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy!
 

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"Instant" Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The original version of this recipe comes from a book called Meals In a Jar by Julie Languille. I was given it for this past Christmas. The recipes have required some tweaking. For one thing all of them are set up to produce 8 servings, and there's only two of us in the house. For another we have different tastes in seasonings etc.

So, here's my version of this recipe. It produces 2 servings (or one big serving with 2nds or left overs), and all the ingredients except the liquids will fit into 1 wide mouth pint jar for easy storage.

Into the jar put:
3/4cup of dehydrated broccoli
1/4cup dehydrated onion
1/4cup dehydrated diced potato
3tsp of chicken soup base or bouillion

Give the jar a firm tap to settle it all into the bottom of the jar so that there's plenty of space left on the top.

In a "snack size" ziplock type baggie place:
4tsp of sour cream powder
4tsp of flour
1/8cup of KAF Vermont Chedder Cheese Powder

Squeeze the air out of the baggie as you zip it closed and tuck it into the top of the jar. If you plan to have these jars on the shelf for some time tuck a dehydrator packet in the top as well. Close up the jar.

To make the soup:

In a good sized sauce pan combine 1/4cup of milk with 2 3/4 cup of water with the dehydrated vegis and bouillion (set aside the powder filled baggie for later). Simmer till the broccoli is tender. At that point mix in the powder from the baggie and stir till thickened.

If you're so inclined you can then puree the soup, but we eat it as is, and often add in some pre-cooked (home) canned chicken breast right before the soup is done cooking.
 

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I'm working on my cooking skills, but I love baking!

Here are a few of my favorite dessert recipes:
Sweet Potato Cupcakes I don't make the toasted marshmallow topping for these cupcakes. Instead I just use a homemade cream cheese icing
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies These are great for people who don't like using white flour all the time. I'll probably never go back to chocolate chip cookies with white flour after eating these!
M&M Cookies These are so yummy! I love the addition of vanilla pudding mix to the batter. It really helps make them taste extra good.
Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies These taste amazing! Mine turned out huge, compared to the picture, but they were still delicious!
 

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These all sound terrifically delicious, even though I'm a vegetarian :) My OH has been making/ made 2 batches of home-made tomato sauce over the past couple of days and I keep scoffing the lot within a few hours. It's delicious! Tangy, a bit like a salsa, but would definitely suit to a pasta with some Parmesan or mozarella over the top.
 

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Great way to make broccoli in the fry pan or wok:

Cut the broccoli into just the heads or leave stems on if you like them.

In a bowl, mix about a tbsp of oil, a tbsp of soy sauce, a few chopped up garlic cloves (to taste - I use a lot!) and some peeled, chopped up ginger. You want just enough of the mixture to coat everything with a tiny bit on the bottom of the bowl. I stir it up every once in a while to make sure all the broccoli stays coated and moist with the mixture.

Allow the broccoli to marinade for at least an hour, a couple of hours is better.

Fast fry or stir fry in a medium hot pan. I don't usually pour the marinade into the pan because it will sort of steam them. Fry til done to your taste - I don't like them soft, so it's a quick job. The medium hot pan will allow for a slight browning of the edges of the veggies, which I really like.
I have done a combination of broccoli and cauliflower this way too.
 
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I threw this together last night and it was surprisingly delicious!

Chicken breasts (or whatever you prefer) filleted to about 1/2 - 3/4 in. thick and thrown into a baking pan.
Drizzle EVOO and balsamic vinegar over it. (Just eyeball, quick pour but enough to coat)
Then give it a hefty sprinkling of an Italian herb mix (ie basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano), black pepper, and garlic (powder or minced). Add a dash of sea salt.
Mix everything around to coat.
Bake at 400F for 30-45 minutes covered with foil, remove foil and flip over, bake half an hour, flip over, bake another half an hour until done and liquids have reduced.
 

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OMG! i've been making the most delicious pudding lately and it is SO easy :D

if you haven't tried chia seeds yet, i recommend them...

1 cup milk (you can easily use a milk substitute, i used coconut ;))
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 Tablespoons loose/unpacked brown sugar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

i used raw sugar instead, and i used less sugar and more cocoa.
i also added a bit of cinnamon cuz that is really yummy, kinda like the abuelita hot cocoa mix :D i think that next time, i'm going to try grinding up my chia seeds in my spice mill first



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Not so much a recipe as a tasty tip:

Adding a heavy sprinkle of garlic powder to the water in which you then boil pasta adds signifigant flavor to the pasta itself. Garlic mac and cheese anyone?
 

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I did this one tonight and it is a keeper. The wife is at her parents for Memorial day and I was not going to eat anything that I did not cook myself.

From: Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe - Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup vegetable broth
12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne
pasta
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn
into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving broth, and coarsely chop.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
3. Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
4. Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 1 minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserved broth, and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking 2 minutes, or until heated through.
5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with Parmesan cheese.


and a picture of the finished product from the same web site:
 

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Just made this super super easy dish.

Awesome super-easy creamy pasta sauce recipe:

  • One avocado
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Couple leaves of fresh Basil
  • Couple of spinach leaves
  • Couple cloves raw garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Blend in food processor until smooth and toss with warm or cold pasta. Finish with lemon zest, fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, and salt and pepper. Serve with garlic crostini. Yum.

For the record, I prefer it cold, and I also added red pepper flakes even though they were not called for.
 
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