Thursday, May 27, 2010

99 Things

I saw this list on California Girl Lost in a Southern World, and thought it was fun, even though it has nothing to do with cooking! The ones in bold are ones I've done. How many have you done?

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on NYE
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Gotten a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baked Apples

I've made these since...well, as long as I can remember. My dad taught me how to make these when I was younger, and since then, I've loved them. This probably isn't technically considered a recipe, but they are so good, I figured I'd share it anyway. This is such a simple dessert, but it does take a while in the oven, so I like to put it in right before we eat dinner. Some people like to put chopped walnuts and/or raisins in the center, which is good, but I prefer mine plain and simple, so no nuts or raisins in mine. In my mind, this is the perfect dessert (especially when paired with vanilla ice cream)!

Baked Apples

Original Recipe

2 large Golden Delicious apples
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. With an apple corer or paring knife, cut out the cores of the apples, being careful not to cut all the way through the bottom. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drop 1/4 tbsp. of butter into the hole of each apple. Fill the hole the rest of the way up with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, packing it in pretty tight. Top brown sugar mixture with 1/4 tbsp. of butter. Set apples on a pan or in a Pyrex dish. Bake for about 1 hour, or until apples start to split and get soft. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mini Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

There's a restaurant down the street from our house that we love. They have the best wings in town, hands down. But more often than not, I opt for the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich. It's a grilled teriyaki chicken breast, provolone cheese, and a pineapple slice. It's pretty delicious, to say the least. I've always thought it'd be easy to make at home, but have just never made it for some reason.

I was craving one of those sandwiches tonight, but had ground chicken out, not chicken breasts. I figured I could try to make something similar, so I just improvised with what I had on hand. These were nothing short of amazing...seriously. And maybe, just maybe, better than the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich I set out to make in the first place!

Mini Hawaiian Chicken Burgers
Original Recipe, idea from local restaurant

1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 c. bread crumbs
pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic powder, to taste
2" slice of mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 equal pieces
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
8 pineapple slices
8 slider buns
cooking spray

Mix ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, and seasonings in a bowl with hands, until well mixed. Divide mixture into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Add 1 piece of mozzarella to the middle of the disk, then wrap meat around to cover. Roll into a ball again, and flatten to form a patty.

Generously coat a large pan with cooking spray and turn to medium-high heat. After the pan is hot, place burgers into the pan. Cook for about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Drizzle half of the teriyaki sauce over burgers, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes per side. In another pan, heat the other half of the teriyaki sauce over medium heat. Put pineapples in the pan, then turn to coat. Cook until pineapples are hot. Serve burger with a pineapple on top on a toasted bun.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

It's not often that Mr. Z and I eat lobster. I love it, but Mr. Z could live without it. And I'm certainly not too fond of spending a lot of money on a little bit of food that he doesn't love. This macaroni and cheese might have changed his mind, though. He didn't just like this...he pretty much loved it. And so did I! This recipe is made pretty similar to the buffalo macaroni and cheese I made last week. It was pretty involved, and best made when you have a little extra time to cook and do dishes. But again, it was well worth the time and mess.

I don't usually use Ina Garten's recipes because of the insane amount of fat and calories they contain, but this one looked too good to pass up. Plus, I changed it a little to lighten it up a bit.

I think I'll make this again next time I decide to buy lobster!

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
from, written as I made it

1 lb. cavatappi
4 c. milk (I used skim)
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. flour
8 oz. shredded Colby Jack cheese
4 oz. shredded cheese (I used fat free)
pepper, to taste
1 lb. cooked lobster meat, cut into pieces
1 c. breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously spray a 9x13 Pyrex pan with cooking spray. Cook pasta in salted water, until al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat milk in a small pot until hot, not boiling. In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp. of butter over low heat, then add flour. Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until smooth. Add milk and continue whisking for about 2 more minutes. Add Colby Jack, cheddar, and pepper; stir until well mixed. Add macaroni and lobster; mix well. Pour the mixture into the Pyrex dish.

In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter; stir in panko. Sprinkle mixture over macaroni. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top starts to brown and bubble.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

When it comes to side dishes to go with my meals, I am terrible. It's always the same thing. Potatoes or rice and some sort of green vegetables (usually green beans or broccoli). Bor-ing. So, when my grocery store had pasta buy-one-get-one-free last week, I stocked up on regular spaghetti and pasta, but also things I don't normally buy like pastina and orzo, in hopes of making some different side dishes.

I've always wanted to try orzo, but never have. So, I did what I always do when I'm searching for a random recipe...searched through my Google Reader. When I searched for orzo recipes and saw this one, I knew it'd be a winner because, well, everything on Joelen's blog is a winner! This recipe was really good, and I'll definitely make it again, along with some variations of it, because as of now, I'm a big fan of orzo!

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

from Joelen's Culinary Adventures, written as I made it

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. chopped onions (I used frozen)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. orzo
4 c. chicken broth
10 oz. frozen peas
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook until onions get soft and start to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour orzo in the pan; stir to coat well with butter. Toast for about 5 minutes, or until orzo starts to turn golden brown.

Add chicken broth to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed and orzo is tender. Stir in peas, parmesan cheese, and pepper and heat until peas are hot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mini Blackberry Pies

A few weeks ago, someone gave me a huge container of blackberries. But that was when we had a million things going on and were hardly ever even home. So I stuck them in the freezer and, until today, forget all about them. When I looked through the freezer and found them, I decided to take them out and make something with them. I looked for a blackberry pie recipe, but after much deliberation, decided to make mini pies in ramekins. We all know mini anything is so much cuter and more fun than regular sized! These aren't the prettiest looking desserts but man, they are good! Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh, and yes, this is kind of the cheaters' version of blackberry pie, because it uses ready-made pie crust, but that was the best only took 5 minutes to prepare!

Mini Blackberry Pies
from, written as I made it

4 c. blackberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 pkg. of refrigerated pie crusts
2 tbsp. milk
sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine berries, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Using one pie crust, cut out pieces to fit into the bottom of 8 ramekins, with a little extra hanging over the edge. Spoon blackberry mixture on top of dough. Using the other pie crust, cut out pieces to fit on top of the blackberry mixture. Press edges of bottom piece and top piece together, to make a seam. Brush a little bit of milk on top of pies and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops start to brown.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Here I go again with the buffalo chicken kick. I have actually decided that I love buffalo chicken anything so much, it deserves its own category!

I have been seeing quite a few versions of this recipe floating around the internet and I have always thought it looked amazing. But most of the recipes looked pretty involved. And I was right about that- it took about an hour and a half from start to finish and dirtied a bowl, a Pyrex dish, a pot, and 2 pans, not even counting the plates and silverware we ate with (...and the bowls we had dessert in). While this recipe was excellent, it's something I will probably only make again when I have a lot of time to prepare it. Last night, we didn't end up eating dinner until 9pm by the time it was done!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

from Noble Pig, written as I made it

5 tbsp. butter
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 c. Frank's Buffalo Wing sauce
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 c. half and half (I used fat free)
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
6 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2/3 c. sour cream (I used fat free)
1 c. panko
1/2 c. bleu cheese crumbles
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9x13 Pyrex pan with cooking spray. Cook pasta in salted water, until al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Add chicken and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes, or until brown. Add 1/2 c. wing sauce, stir, and cook until it starts to thicken.

In another pan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Add flour and mustard and stir until smooth. Whisk in the half and half and remaining 1/4 c. of wing sauce. Cook until it starts to thicken. Mix in cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, and sour cream and cook until smooth. Pour chicken mixture and cheese mixture over the pasta and stir until well mixed. Pour the macaroni into the Pyrex dish.

In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter. Stir in panko and bleu cheese crumbles. Sprinkle mixture over macaroni. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top starts to brown and bubble.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crispy Cauliflower with Parmesan Dip

Last night I was feeling lazy and did not get home until almost 8pm. When I'm feeling lazy or I don't feel like making dinner, the go-to dinner is a meal completely made up of appetizer type foods. Last night was no exception.

Any vegetables roasted in the oven are a-okay with me, but I had never tried cauliflower. I've had this recipe saved since the day it popped up on my Google Reader, but for some reason, had not made it until last night. Well, that was a mistake! I loved this recipe. I will most definitely be making both the cauliflower and the dip again, maybe together, maybe separately. The dip, as Jessica suggests, would be great with bread, crackers, other vegetables, and probably a lot of other things. And the cauliflower is delicious on its own too.

Crispy Cauliflower with Parmesan Dip
from How Sweet It Is, written as I made it

Crispy Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop cauliflower into small florets. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until brown.

Parmesan Dip
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/3 c. parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Divide mixture between two ramekins. Bake for 10 minutes or until top starts to brown.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bananas Foster

I've always loved bananas foster. I have ordered it as dessert at a restaurant more than my fair share of times. I've had it at parties and weddings. I eat it sometimes when my chef family member comes to visit. But it has always seemed too difficult to make. Especially when they light the rum on fire. No thanks.

The other night, I had a bunch of bananas and a craving for bananas foster. So I went on a hunt for an easy bananas foster recipe, preferably one that did not require me to light anything on fire. This recipe was really good, but in my opinion, tasted a little more rum-y than other bananas fosters that I've had...not that that is necessarily a bad thing, just different. I would definitely make this again!

Bananas Foster
from, written as I made it

1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. dark brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp. rum
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 bananas, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon. Heat until mixture begins to bubble. Add bananas and walnuts and cook until bananas are hot. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cheeseburger Bread

I've mentioned before that I have been trying to use more ground turkey and chicken rather than ground beef in an effort to eat healthier. I've also made lots of trips to Sam's Club lately, so I'm trying to be creative in making meals out of the 10 pounds of chicken breasts, 5 pounds of ground turkey, and 20 pizza dough balls that are in my freezer. This recipe I've had saved for a few weeks now, but forgot about it. Two nights ago, I was browsing through saved recipes in search of something to make out of my thawed ground turkey, and came across this. This recipe was excellent! I told my dad I was making this, he asked me to save him a piece, and he loved it too! Not too bad for a last minute dinner decision!

Cheeseburger Bread
from Telly's Tasty Tidbits, written as I made it

1 lb. ball of pizza dough
1 lb. ground turkey
Worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 kosher dill pickle, chopped into small pieces
ketchup and mustard, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook ground turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Drain. Stir in cheese and pickles; stir until well mixed.

Roll dough ball into a big rectangle. Spread the dough with ketchup and mustard. Put meat mixture in the middle of it. Roll to make a loaf and pinch edges to make a seam. Bake for 15-20 or until dough starts to brown.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boneless Buffalo Wings

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I love, love, love anything and everything buffalo flavored! I love buffalo wings, but boneless buffalo wings are so much less messy and easier to make (in my opinion, anyway).

I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.97/lb. at Sam's Club on a regular basis, but I usually only cook for the two of us, and as we all know, Sam's Club only sells things in huge quantities. So I freeze most of them in Ziploc bag, with two chicken breasts in each, so I can easily defrost just enough for dinner. And usually, when I thaw out chicken breasts for dinner, the first thing that pops in my head is some kind of buffalo chicken. This recipe is great, and not so bad for you because it is baked. I have combined several different recipes to make something that sounded just right to me, so I'm calling this an original recipe.

Boneless Buffalo Wings

Original Recipe

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 c. flour
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. BBQ Pringles, finely crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. buffalo wing sauce, or more to taste
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Mix flour, parmesan cheese, Pringles, and bread crumbs in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Dip chicken pieces into beaten egg, then drop in Ziploc bag, about 1/4 of the chicken at a time. Shake bag until all pieces are fully coated.

Place coated chicken on a greased cookie sheet. Spray tops with cooking spray. Bake for 7-8 minutes, turn over, spray tops with cooking spray, and bake 7-8 on the other side. Put chicken in a large bowl, cover with wing sauce and butter, and mix well until all pieces are coated. Put back in the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Lime Sorbet

I will apologize in advance for another ice cream-y post, and for the third sweets post in a row. What can I say? I have a major sweet tooth. And it certainly wasn't helped by my new ice cream maker! I have already made two batches of ice cream, and wanted to try something different. I decided I'd try sorbet. I always buy sorbet at the grocery store...and it is $4-something for a tiny little carton that Mr. Z and I sometimes (ok, more like always!) eat in one sitting.

This recipe makes a lot more than one of those little puny cartons I get at the grocery store, and was much, much better tasting. I bought the ingredients for this sorbet for about the same price as one carton of the Häagen-Dazs stuff. I would definitely like to make this recipe again, although I'll probably try lots of other new recipes before repeating any.

Strawberry Lime Sorbet
from Cook Like a Champion, written as I made it


1 lime, peeled and roughly chopped
2 c. sugar
2 lb. strawberries (I used thawed frozen strawberries)
2 tbsp. lime juice, or more to taste

Put lime and sugar in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. Put strawberries in the food processor and pulse. Add strawberries and lime juice to the lime/sugar mixture.

Mix with hand blender until mixed. Pour in ice cream maker, and freeze according to ice cream maker directions (mine was about 25-30 minutes), until desired consistency. Transfer to another container and put it in the freezer to harden even more.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Apple Pie Ice Cream

As much as I love chocolate, sometimes, I've just got to have some chocolate-less ice cream. Don't get me wrong, I would never turn it down if you offer me some chocolate ice cream, but sometimes I crave ice cream with fruit in it. And homemade ice cream with fruit in it is 100 times better!

Just a couple weeks ago, I entered a giveaway over at Life on Dahlia Lane, and won a $40 gift certificate for CSN Stores. I searched and searched for what I would buy, and eventually decided on a Cuisinart ice cream maker. I've been itching for an ice cream maker for a while, and figured, it's practically free, so what the heck?

My package arrived yesterday, and this morning, Mr. Z and I went to the bookstore to buy Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, because several people had recommended it to me. The base I used for this ice cream came out of that book. Believe it or not, the other ingredients I thought up on my own while walking around the grocery store thinking of ingredients I could throw in. This ice cream was delicious! The only problem I had was that it was not hard enough...maybe I should have read the directions before I started making it! I guess next time I'll leave it in for a bit longer.

Apple Pie Ice Cream
base is Sweet Cream Base (pg. 28) from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

2 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar

2 c. heavy or whipping cream (I used heavy cream)

1 c. milk
3 sheets cinnamon graham crackers, finely crushed
2 tbsp. caramel sauce
1/4 c. walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 can apple pie filling, chopped into small pieces

Whisk eggs in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in sugar and whisk until blended completely. Pour in cream and milk and whisk until blended. Pour in ice cream maker, and freeze according to ice cream maker directions (mine was about 25-30 minutes), until desired consistency.

Five minutes before ice cream is ready, add graham crackers, caramel, walnuts, and apples.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Bars

You should see my freezer. It is absolutely full of virtually every type of frozen fruits and vegetables I can find. I much prefer using frozen over canned, and often times, even over fresh. The problem with us buying fresh fruits and vegetables is that our schedule is so unpredictable that some days we are home during the day, some we are home at night, and some we barely make it home in time for bed! By time I am able to use them all, they are going bad. More often than not, half of what I buy goes to waste. Not on purpose, but still, that's a lot of money I spend going into the garbage!

Anyway, I'm always looking for recipes that call for or can easily use frozen fruits and vegetables, and this recipe was one of those. These bars were pretty amazing. But pretty unhealthy too, with all the sugar and shortening. And pretty messy to eat. I ate one (ok, two!), then packed the rest of them up for Mr. Z to take to work tomorrow, because I know exactly what will happen if I leave them around my house!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

from, written as I made it

1 1/4 c. white sugar, divided
3 c. all purpose flour
4 c. frozen blueberries
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. shortening
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Stir together 1 c. sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, until well mixed. Add shortening and egg, then use stand or hand mixer to blend. Dough will be crumbly. Divide dough in half.

Pat half of the dough into the bottom of greased pan. In a separate bowl, mix remaining 1/4 c. sugar and cornstarch together. Add blueberries, and toss to cover all blueberries. Pour blueberries over the crust in pan. Crumble remaining half of dough over blueberries. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is starting to brown. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers

If you give me buffalo chicken anything, I'll be your friend. That has quickly become one of my favorite foods...or, rather, food groups. If I'm at a restaurant and something buffalo flavored is on the menu, 9 times out of 10, I'm getting it. I love all kinds of chicken wings, but the best is just plain ol' hot. As far as wings go, the spicier the better. And let's face it, bleu cheese makes anything better!

I took a package of ground chicken out of the freezer for dinner last night, and knowing that we wouldn't be home until pretty late, I decided we would have some type of chicken burger. Well, it didn't take long to decide what kind of chicken burger it would be. These were so good, but for my taste, I had to add extra sauce to the patty after it was done. Mr. Z thought it was perfect the way it was.

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Burgers
Original Recipe

1 lb. ground chicken
2 oz. bleu cheese crumbles, plus extra for serving
1 egg
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, plus extra for serving
pepper, to taste
Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning, to taste
4 hamburger buns

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, Wing Sauce, pepper, and seasoning in bowl with hands, until well mixed. If it is too wet, add extra bread crumbs. Divide mixture into four even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Add 1/4 of bleu cheese crumbles to the middle of the disk, then wrap meat around to cover. Roll into a ball again, and flatten into a patty. Place burgers on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for ~18 minutes, flipping halfway through. Top with extra bleu cheese, and serve on a bun.

Tip: I also like to toast the buns for a few minutes. Slice buns in half, spread a little butter on each side, and bake for about 5 minutes, or until buns start to brown.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken Lo Mein

Here we go again with my Chinese food obsession. I just can't help it! I've been wanting to make lo mein for a little while now, but have had little luck finding lo mein noodles in the grocery stores around me. Then, three days ago, I happened to walk through the Oriental aisle of the grocery store and whaaaat? Lo mein noodles!

Right away, I set out to find a good recipe for lo mein. After a little while spent searching, I picked up the box again and well, what do you know? A great recipe right there on the box! I really liked this recipe. It wasn't a difficult recipe, but I have a small problem multi-tasking in the kitchen. This sent me into a small frenzy because there are several things going on at once, but in the end, it came out good! Not the healthiest of recipes, although again, it has to be healthier than the lo mein from the Chinese takeout place!

Chicken Lo Mein
from the China Boy Lo Mein Noodle box, written as I made it

1 lb. bonless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1-8 oz. box of lo mein noodles
1 1/2 c. frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 tblsp. canola oil
4 oz. baby corn
2 tbsp. cornstarch
5 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3/4 c. chicken broth
4 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic

Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth, sesame oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Mix very well. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken until almost done. Add frozen vegetables and baby corn. Stir-fry until everything is hot. Meanwhile, in another pot, boil lo mein noodles until al dente, or about 4 minutes. Add cooked noodles to chicken and vegetables. Add sauce to pan; mix well until everything is coated in sauce.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

I'm not a fan of peanut butter. Or a fan of pretzels. But I am a fan of chocolate, and surprisingly, a huge fan of these truffles!

I have definitely had my fair share of problems making truffles. Like this past Christmas, when I had the grand idea of making about 10 different types of cookies/truffles to give to family and friends. I quickly discovered that I obviously did not know a thing about melting chocolate. I threw three (yes, three!) whole bags of chocolate chips away after scorching them in the microwave.

I have since learned how to properly melt chocolate (for the most part), and tried my hand at truffles again last night. I must say, though, that these are the simplest truffles I have ever attempted. Super easy + super good = definite winner in my book! Plus, the came from Eating Well, so they can't be that bad for you. At least, that's what I keep telling myself!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

from, written as I made it (I doubled the recipe)

1 c. peanut butter (I used smooth)
1/2 c. finely chopped salted pretzels
1 c. milk chocolate chips

Mix pretzels into peanut butter in a small bowl. Freeze for about 15 minutes, or until partially firm. Roll dough into small balls-about 1 tsp. each (my double batch made about 30 truffles). Freeze on a cookie sheet with wax paper for about an hour, or until balls are very firm. Melt chocolate according to package directions and coat each ball well. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.