Monday, February 22, 2010

Pineapple Rice Pudding

I love rice puddings, and this is one of my favorites, a nice change from the usual. I found the recipe in my Taste of Home book, but modified it slightly. For best results, you should use a higher fat milk. I usually use a can of evaporated milk and regular milk for the rest.

4 cups milk, divided
3 cups cooked long-grain rice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits or chunks
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine 3-1/2 cups milk, rice, sugar and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until thick and creamy, stirring occasionally. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Beat in eggs and remaining milk. Stir into rice mixture. Cook and stir for 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in vanilla. Spoon into six dessert dishes.
Drain pineapple, reserving the juice; set the pineapple aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, butter, salt and reserved pineapple juice. bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in vanilla and pineapple. Spoon over pudding.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quinoa Chicken Soup

I've been on a Quinoa kick lately. If you don't know all about the health benefits, google it. It's a great food storage item. Costco sells a 3lb bag which is the most inexpensive way I've found it, plus it comes already rinsed and ready to cook. I like to keep some cooked and in the fridge, then I can easily add it to yogurt or other things.
I found the recipe to this soup here. I think it tastes great, plus it's healthy.
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 Cups sweet pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
64 oz chicken broth
15 oz can diced tomatoes
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 Cups cooked quinoa
4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, shredded and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce, I used Cholula
Kosher Salt, fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 1/2 Cups fresh parsley, chopped
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrots, peppers and zucchini until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and tomatoes and potatoes. Increase heat to high just until broth starts to boil. Reduce to medium high and cook potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in quinoa, chicken, dijon mustard, hot sauce and season to taste w/ salt, pepper and Lawry’s. Stir in fresh parsley and simmer until ready to serve.
8-10 servings

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I came up with this dish when trying to re-create the Cajun chicken pasta at Chili's. Cajun seasonings vary a lot by brand, so start with less and experiment until you get enough heat for your taste.
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/4 oil
2 TBS Cajun seasoning (or more or less, depending on the brand and how spicy you like it)
1 lb penne pasta
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
shredded Parmesan cheese
Alfredo Sauce:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups milk
6 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper
Combine white wine, oil, and seasoning in a bag and add chicken. Marinate several hours or overnight. Grill chicken and cut into strips, set aside.
Prepare the alfredo sauce by melting the butter and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and milk, whisk until smooth. Add cheese and pepper and whisk until cheese is melted.
Cook pasta according to directions, drain. Pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta. Add chicken and toss. Heat through, then stir in tomatoes and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese.
8-10 servings

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sugar Cookies

I found this cookie recipe online. It's from Kneaders Bakery. I found the icing recipe on allrecipes, but had to change it a bit. You may need to add additional milk or corn syrup to get it to the right consistency. When it dries it stays shiny and bright.
2 cups butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
7 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp lemon extract
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp honey
1. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add eggs, then milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl often.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Dough will be soft and sticky.
4. Place dough on well floured pastry cloth or workspace.
5. Knead in just enough flour to make dough workable. Dough will be very soft. It is best to knead with a rolling motion so you have a smooth surface and you will not get cracks on the tops of your cookies.
6. Gently roll out to 3/8 inch thick.
7. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheet lined with parchment.
8. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until just the edges barely start to change colors. Makes approx. 4 dozen.
Sugar cookie icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or try lemon or vanilla)
assorted food coloring
In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup or milk. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.