Monday, November 22, 2010

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken

I found this recipe on a Yahoo site and decided to try it. It turned out pretty well, but we had leftovers for days. I would add a few more spices (especially salt) to the breading or to the chicken itself, but overall, it was pretty tasty and easy...once I got all the skin off the chicken.

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 lbs. meat chicken pieces, skinned (I used 16 drumsticks)
3 Tbl. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Grease two large shallow baking pans; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine egg and milk.
3. In a shallow dish, combine Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, oregano, paprika, and pepper.
4. Dip chicken pieces into egg mixture; coat with crumb mixture.
5. Arrange chicken pieces in prepared baking pans, making sure pieces don't touch. Drizzle chicken pieces with melted butter.
6. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170 degree F for breasts; 180° degree F for thighs and drumsticks). Do not turn chicken pieces during baking. Immediately transfer chicken to a covered container; serve within 1 hour. (Or cover and chill chicken; transport in an insulated container with ice packs.)

Lemon Cheesecake Cookie Bars

So I found this recipe on some site, and decided to make them because I had a lot of cream cheese sitting around. And cream cheese is my favorite dessert component of all time (sorry, chocolate), so I figured, why not? The original recipe didn't call for so much lemon/lime, but I wanted to use up the ones in the fridge. Plus, I know Zak likes citrus flavors. Oh, and I added in raspberries from the freezer to balance out the citrus zing.

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup melted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
5 -6 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1 - 2 Tbl. grated lemon zest
1/2 Tbl. grated lime zest
10 or so raspberries
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Mix brown sugar, nuts & flour together.
2. Stir in the butter and work until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for the topping; press the rest firmly into the bottom of an 8x8" pan.
3. Bake at 350° for 12 - 15 minutes; leave oven on.
4. While crust is baking, cream the cream cheese and sugar together.
5. Add the egg, lemon & lime juices, milk, vanilla, zests, vanilla. Beat thoroughly. Add raspberries (if desired), beat thoroughly. Pour over baked crust
6. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top of cream cheese mixture; bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Makes 16 2" cookie bars.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cranberry Bread

I remember my mom making this recipe a lot around Christmas time and giving them as gifts to her friends, people in the ward, etc. I am thinking of making this for some of my friends for Christmas, but wanted to do a 'test run' before. I played around with the recipe and it came out just delicious! Zak took some to work and it was a hit, so it looks like my plans will continue as scheduled...

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbl. lemon zest
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries, washed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together flours, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar; set aside.
3. Place sugar & lemon zest in a food processor or blender and process until lemon zest is finely grated.
4. Add butter and process until smooth; add eggs one at a time; mix well.
5. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix until smooth; transfer mixture to a separate bowl.
6. Place cranberries in food processor and pulse on and off until coarsely chopped.
7. Add cranberries to dry mixture, mix to combine.
8. Stir butter-yogurt mixture into flour-cranberry mixture and mix well.
9. Place into greased/floured pans and bake 50-60 minutes (40 for mini loaves) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
10. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes; remove from pans and continue cooling. Wrap well and refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

This bread freezes really well. This recipe makes either one big loaf or three mini loaves.

Pumpkin Bars

Ok, pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are one of my favorite desserts. I love them. Pretty much anything with cream cheese frosting is a favorite of mine. It's a weakness. I made some modifications to my mom's recipe (no offense, Mom, just wanted to experiment), and they turned out really good--dense & moist. Zak practically ate half of the pan in one fell swoop, he loves them.

2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbl. canola oil
1 c. plain pumpkin
1/2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour

3.5 oz. neufchatel or cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1.5 Tbl. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Beat eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce and pumpkin until light.
2. Sift together baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and flours.
3. Combine mixtures.
4. Bake in greased 9"x13" pan at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
5. Cool completely and frost.

I cut these into small little squares, and got about 32 squares.

Banana Nut Muffins

I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try, since we had a ton of bananas about to go bad. They were easy to make and very yummy! I froze some, I hope they freeze well! I've been playing around lately with making recipes with whole wheat flour, far everything I've tried has worked out, and no one even notices!

1 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbl. baking powder
1/4 c. salt
3 c. mashed banana
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. nonfat plain yogurt (I only had vanilla at the time, still worked fine)
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 -2 dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin pan.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together banana, sugar, egg and vanilla.
4. Stir in the yogurt.
5. Add banana yogurt mixture to flour, stir until just combined.
6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool before serving.
Makes 24 muffins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

I LOVE these cookies. They are the perfect autumn cookie and are easy to make. I have a bunch of recipes involving pumpkin I got from my mom, who had compiled them for a church activity years ago. So I used the recipe I grew up knowing and will pass it along to you. Zak requested that I try raisins next time, since it's more of a spice cookie. I told him that I originally signed up for plain chocolate chip cookies to bring to work, so I didn't want to change that completely. They are great with chocolate chips, and I'm sure they'd be great with raisins too!

1/2 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, greased cookie sheet.
2. Cream butter together with sugars.
3. Add in egg, pumpkin and vanilla; beat until smooth.
4. Mix in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder; beat until smooth.
5. Add in chocolate chips.
6. Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared sheet, bake for 8 - 10 minutes.

This makes about 20 cookies, depending on the size of the spoonfuls. I doubled this recipe and had lots for work.