“Eat More Chicken”…..so who doesn’t these days????  This recipe is not only quick and easy to make but moist and delicious.  Prepare some rice (Near East Rice Pilaf is our favorite), a salad or veggie and you have a healthy meal in under 60 minutes.

First you will want to “pound your chicken” out, to about ½” thickness.  There are several ways to do this, some people like to use a plastic zip lock bag, my preferred method is to place the chicken on a cutting board, put a piece of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) over the chicken and then use a meat mallet to pound the chicken.  Don’t have a meat mallet?  No problem, the back of a small sauce pan works just as good.

Then you will need three bowls, dry (flour), wet (egg mixture), and dry (breadcrumb cheese mixture).  This is known as 3-piece breading.img_5819

After you have breaded the chicken, place on a plate and refrigerator 30 minutes.img_5822

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Add butter to a baking pan, place in preheated oven until butter is melted.img_5825

Remove pan from oven and add the prepared chicken breasts.

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Bake according the recipe directions turning the chicken half way through the cooking time.img_5827

Place chicken on a clean cutting board, let rest 5 minutes covered, slice thinly and serve.  If you would like a little sauce on this, while the chicken is resting, scrap the pan drippings into a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat.   Add ¼ cup white wine or chicken stock and bring to a boil, spoon over sliced chicken.  img_5828

Oven Baked Cheddar Chicken
Prep time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Serves 3-4

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon garlic pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon Franks Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce, optional
1 tablespoon milk
¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup sharp shredded Cheddar cheese
Pound chicken breasts to a ½” thickness (http://www.wikihow.com/Pound-Chicken-Into-Cutlets).

In a bowl, mix flour, garlic salt, and garlic pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, hot sauce (optional), and milk. In a third bowl, mix the bread crumbs, pankos, and cheddar cheese. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture, dip in the egg mixture, then press into the breadcrumb mixture. Place prepared chicken on a large plate. Continue with remaining breasts. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerator 30 minutes (this prevents coating from falling off).

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a baking dish with ¼ cup butter. Place dish in the preheated oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven and add prepared chicken breasts into the dish. Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip chicken pieces over. Place back into the oven and bake until chicken temperature reaches 160°F, about another 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Buon Appetito!

Easy Baked Cheddar Chicken


According to Wikipedia “November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. November retained its name (from the Latin novem meaning “nine”) when January and February were added to the Roman calendar. November is a month of spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern Hemisphere”.  But to me, November means, football games, family holiday gatherings, raking leaves, cooler temperatures, and comfort food.

Wasn’t that long ago that I discovered (I know what you are thinking) spaghetti squash.  I REALLY don’t know why it took me so long either!  Well, this recipe is sure to delight everyone in your family, its the perfect “comfort” food for this time of the year.  And did I say, easy!  What you will need:

1 Spaghetti Squash
1 lb. large (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Weber N’Orleans Cajun Seasoning
¼ cup white wine, one that you would also drink :o)
¼ cup chicken stock
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, if desired
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds.  Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven, cool and remove squash using a fork.  You can use the skin as a vessel for the casserole, if desired.

In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium heat.  Add chopped shallot, garlic and Cajun Seasoning.  Cook until shallots are transparent, about 5-10 minutes.  Add peeled shrimp and cook until slightly pink, about 2-3 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine.  Add chicken stock, heavy cream and capers.  Remove from heat.

Place shredded squash in a casserole dish (or the reserved skins).  Top squash with shallot/cream mixture, add fresh parsley, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until top is golden in color.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Scampi

Baked Spaghetti Squash-Cajun Shrimp Casserole

You will love that one!  Now for the dessert…..

Crust:
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

Filling:
4 eggs
1 ½ cups Karo® Light corn Syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, butter, powdered sugar and salt with an electric mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly and evenly into a greased baking sheet (15 x 10 inches).

Bake crust 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Filling:
Beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, pumpkin pie spice,  and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in pecans.

Pour over hot crust, spread evenly.

Bake 25 minutes at 350°F until filling is firm around the edges and slightly firm in center. Cool completely on wire rack before serving.

Pumpkin Peach Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars

Buon Appetito!

Happy November – Baked Spaghetti Squash-Cajun Shrimp Casserole with Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars for Dessert


WREG “Live at 9” – Making Fresh Mozzarella & Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound fresh mozzarella curd*
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt

Slice the curd into thin slivers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add the salt and bring back to the boil.

Gently pour enough boiling water over the curd to cover, let it sit for a few minutes to temper the curd. Use 2 wooden spoons to gently gather the curd together in the center of the bowl. Use the spoons to scoop the mass out of the water and hold it above the bowl, allowing the weight of the cheese to cause it to stretch back down to the water. Repeat lifting the cheese and letting it stretch until it looks smooth and shiny.

To shape the cheese, lift the cheese out of the water and roll it into a tight ball. Pinch the bottom of the ball to seal the seam. The surface of the ball should be smooth and shiny.

Place the form balls into an ice-water bath to cool. If more flavor is desired, salt can be added to the water bath.

Wrap finished mozzarella balls highly in plastic wrap. Serve within 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.

*Mozzarella curd is available at specialty cheese shops, or on the web at www.goldenagecheese.com.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Grill time: 4 minutes

8 slices Italian Bread
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Brush pesto mixture on one side of each slice of bread. Layer tomatoes on 4 slices and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with mozzarella slices and remaining bread slices; firmly press sandwiches together.

On a preheated grill over medium high heat, place sandwiches on an angle and cover (close grill cover if grilling outside or use either a pan lid or a metal bowl, inverted, if grilling inside). Cook 2 minutes, rotate 90° and continue cooking an additional 2 minutes, covered. Flip sandwiches over and repeat process as above. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, if desired.

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

Buon Appetito!

 


I love being a mom-in-law!  Today my beautiful daughter (in-law) sent me a text asking for a recipe for her office (she’s a wonderful dentist) “Cinco de Mayo” party next week.  I guess you can say she knows where to turn when looking for a recipe.  I immediately thought of one that I wrote for a cookbook several years ago, however that recipe never made the final cut.  Here’s the recipe…

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup tomato salsa
2 tablespoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or to taste1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin
2 tablespoons Mazola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ to 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Queso Fresco cheese
Tortilla chips for dipping

Directions:

Combine black beans, salsa, burger seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, and oil in a blender or food processor; pulse until blended but still chunky.DSC_0035DSC_0038

Place bean mixture in a two-quart casserole dish.  Top mixture with shredded cheese.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbly.  Serve with chips for dipping.

Note:  Tonight when I made this dip I was out of canned chipotle peppers, so I substituted 1 tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke!  It rocked!!!

Quick Facts:
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15-20 minutes
Yield:  8 servings
Great dip or use as a topping on eggs, fajitas or sandwichesDSC_0043

Kinta’s Famous House Margarita

1.5 ounces Tequila (Reposado)
1.5 ounces Triple Sec
1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 cup Ice
1 lime
kosher salt

Rub the outside of 1 glass with cut lime. Dip into a plate of Kosher salt.
Combine the Tequila, Triple Sec and lime juice and ice into a cocktail shaker, shake well
and pour into prepared glass…..

Recipe courtesy of Kristopher Wallenta
Kinta’s Restaurant

margarita

Happy Cinco De Mayo


For those of you that have been waiting for this one….a wonderful dessert after any meal.  The Raspberry Yogurt Quick Breads are available at Sam’s Club. (Or you can use my basic crepe recipe…see below)

Raspberry Crepes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce

Yields: 12-16 crepes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes

Raspberry Crepes:
1 package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade Raspberry Flavored Yogurt Quick Bread mix
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Basic Crepes:
4 eggs
1-cup milk
1-cup flour
1 teaspoon of sugar

Put eggs and milk in food processor. Pulse several times. Add remaining ingredients. Heat omelet pan. Put enough batter in the skillet just to cover the bottom. Swirl the pan around to cover if you need to. As batter cooks it will become dry looking. Remove and add your filling.

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Vanilla Flavoring
½ cup blueberry or raspberry jam

Berry Sauce:
1 package (16 ounce) frozen berries
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon Argo® Cornstarch

Topping:
Powdered sugar

To make the crepes, combine quick bread mix, yogurt, milk, eggs and melted butter in a food processor or an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. Lightly butter a non-stick 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Using a one ounce ladle (or 2 tablespoons) pour batter into prepared pan,  rotating pan until batter covers the bottom. Cook until lightly brown, about one minute.   Remove crepe from pan and repeat with remaining batter.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, add the jam and stir until well combined. Preheat oven to 300°F.

To assemble the filled crepes, place about 2 tablespoon of filling on each crepe in a line. Roll up the crepes and place them in a baking dish, seam side down. Bake for 10 minutes.

To make the berry sauce, combined all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over cooked crepes and top with powdered sugar.

Happy March – Cream Cheese Filled Raspberry Crepes with Blueberry Sauce


For those of you who purchased my calendar, here is the one I know you have been waiting for….the perfect cheesecake.  Enjoy!!!

Bailey's Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
2.25 ounces toasted pecan pieces
1 16 ounce package Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted

In a skillet over medium high heat, toast pecans until slightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Place Oreo’s in a food processor and process until finely crumbled. Add toasted pecan pieces and process for a few seconds. Combine melted butter and Oreo mixture. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9” spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 7 minutes.

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bailey’s Coffee Liquor
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add Bailey’s and mix untiled blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth.

2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, melted

Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Drizzle 1/2 of the melted chocolate over the cheesecake. Using a knife, swirl the chocolate over the top. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake mixture and melted chocolate.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cake cool in the oven for one hour with the door closed to prevent cracking. Refrigerate overnight…best made one or two days before serving.

Buon Appetito!!!

Bailey’s Marbled Cheesecake