Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chicken & Noodles Paprika

An old family favorite of ours is Chicken Paprika. My parents have been making this ever since I can remember. I'll have to make it, and post it as well some day. This is a healthier, quicker version of the original. The one we make is usually served on rice or alone with some mashed potatoes. This version is served on egg noodles. A little different. The taste for me just wasn't there. There wasn't any heat or spice, and it, to me, was bland. Maybe it's because I'm from the South, and we like TONS of flavor in our food. I don't know. But, I'm gonna post anyways. 

  • 2 cups uncooked cholesterol-free noodles (4 oz) - I used No Yolks.
  • 1 tsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup fat free plain yogurt - I used Dannon Greek plain yogurt.
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves - I used dried.
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into thin wedges - I didn't have an onion handy, so this was omitted in my recipe.
  • Chopped green onion, if desired
  1. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package, omitting salt.
  2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
  3. In small bowl, mix yogurt and flour; set aside. In same skillet; heat broth, thyme, paprika and onion to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Gradually stir yogurt mixture into broth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (do not boil). Stir chicken into sauce. Cook 1 minute longer. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with green onion.

Recipe source: Betty Crocker

Monday, March 22, 2010

North Carolina-Style Spicy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1st food pic with the new camera. Whatcha think?

So, there's this place called The Shed...not to far from where we live. Everyone around here knows what that is. If you don't, you've been living under a rock for quite some time. They have the BEST BBQ. Of course, that is just an opinion. But, ask just about anyone, and they'll tell you the Shed is AWESOME! When I first started going there, I would only get the baby back ribs (which are still my fave). After about the 3rd or 4th time, I decided to try something new. So, I tried the pulled pork, and I was NOT disappointed. It is the most delicious pulled pork I have EVER had. EVER. Since then, I have been a big pulled pork fan. Which leads me to this recipe. When I saw it I knew I wanted to try it. Only thing is, it is a North Carolina-style pulled pork, which means it has a vinegear-based sauce. Down here, we don't eat that on our BBQ. So, I was a little hesitant about that, but the flavor wasn't bad. It does have a good bit of heat, which I like. I don't know if I would try this again, only because of the amount of vinegar in the sauce, but it was a really juicy and flavorful pork. Other than the vinegar, I give it 2 thumbs up. So, here ya go!


  • 1 tablespoon salt - I used kosher.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch celery seeds
  • 1 7-lb boneless pork shoulder, skin and fat left intact
  • 10-12 soft buns
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. For the pork, in a small bowl, stir together the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and celery seeds. Using your fingers, rub the spice mixture all over the pork to coat evenly. Place pork in a large resealable bag or a covered bowl; refrigerate overnight.
  2. For the basting sauce, in a large saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; simmer for 3 minutes. Let sauce cool; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place a rack inside a large roasting pan; place the pork on the rack. Roast for 2 1/2 hours; pour ½ of the sauce over the pork. Bake for 1 to 2 hours more or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 180°F, basting pork every 30 minutes with sauce and drippings from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove pork from the oven and let stand on the rack until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, warm the remaining sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Transfer the warm pork to a cutting board and shred or chop the meat into bite-size pieces, mixing in some of the fat and skin. Transfer pork to a large bowl; add sauce to taste and mix well.
  5. Serve the pork on buns, serving any of the remaining sauce on the side.

SourceY'all Come Eat  by Jamie and Bobby Deen

Friday, March 12, 2010

Homemade Oreos

Oreos to me are the 2nd most classic American cookies, of course, chocolate chip being the 1st. I can't eat an Oreo without milk though. I saw this recipe, and just knew I had to try it. It was really successful. You have to be careful with the cookies, though, because they burn quickly. The last batch I had to throw out because of that. I would say I definitely agree with the blogger I got this from in that the cream filling is spot on. I think I might like homemade oreos more than store-bought ones! A+ in my book!

For chocolate wafers:
• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 large egg

For the filling:
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• ¼ cup vegetable shortening
• 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Set 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.

2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. (I did the same as the person I got the recipe from. I used my cookie scoop to portion out the batter. I then halved each portion. I rolled each half into a ball and flattened it on the cookie sheet.) Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. (I didn't bother getting out my piping tip out for this. I just used a plastic sandwich bag and snipped the corner. Easy peasy.) Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

Makes 25 to 30 cookies.

Recipe Source: Beantown Baker


I love jambalaya...traditional jambalaya. But, the thing I like about this recipe, is that it's not heavy. It's easier and healthier than the traditional version. It's a great recipe for people wanting a quick jambalaya, for those who have never made it, or even for those who have never tried it. We loved it, and it will be made again.

• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 package (12 ounces, 4 links) spicy smoked chicken or pork sausage
• 1 medium-size onion, diced
• 1 green bell pepper, seeded & diced
• 1 rib celery, trimmed & diced
• 1 ½ tsp Cajun seasoning
• 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles, drained
• 1 cup long-grain white rice
• 1 can (15.5 ounces) light, low-sodium chicken broth

1. Heat oil in large lidded skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken & sausage and sauté, shaking pan and stirring frequently until chicken is no longer pink, but not cooked completely, about 4 minutes. - Ok, so this is what I did: I added the chicken by itself, sautéd it untilt it was no longer pink, removed it, then added the sausage and cooked it to heat through. I removed the sausage, and added it to the bowl with the chicken, and then went on to the next step.
2. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and sausage to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, green bell pepper, and celery to skillet. Cook vegetables until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, and rice. Add broth.
3. Bring to a simmer, then cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Stir chicken and sausage back into pan, along with any accumulated juices. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, until rice is tender.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Snickerdoodle Pie

I made this for this past Christmas dinner. I can definitely say, without a doubt, this is one of my favorite pies of all time. It is so simple, not fussy, which is what I like. It was very easy to put together...beautiful pie. The pictures do not do it justice. I have been waiting for the chance to make it again. This pie had just the right amount of spice with the cinnamon, and was very creamy. LOVED it!

• 1 pie crust recipe or pre-made uncooked pie crust for 9” pie plate
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
• 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 ½ cups buttermilk
• 4 large egg yolks
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ tsp salt

1. Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch pie pan and trim edges so they overhang by 1 inch. Fold dough under to create a double-thick edge; crimp decoratively. Place in refrigerator to chill while preparing filling.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set a rack in lower third of oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it on oven rack. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, egg yolks, flour, vanilla, salt and remaining 1 cup sugar. Pour into chilled pie shell. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over custard.
3. Set pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Without opening oven, reduce temperature to 325°F and bake until pie is set, puffed and golden, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool on a wire rack, then serve, or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate to serve cold.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Double-Decker Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie was one of the things on both on my list of things to try and my list of things to try to make. I can't believe it took me so long to try it. I guess the look of the traditional Shepherd's Pie kinda seemed weird to me. As I was flipping through a new issue of Rachael Ray's Everyday magazine, I saw this recipe for a Double-Decker Shepherd's Pie. It looked delicious, so I knew I had to try it. It is not a quick meal to make, but it's definitely worth it. The serving size is 4, but to me, it could've served 6. The serving size is HUGE. Another thing that was thought of while we were chowing down on this, was that you could definitely swap ingredients for ones that you would rather have. For instance, I cannot stand mushrooms (I have tried, even in this recipe, but I just can't seem to like them.). Next time, I will probably swap corn kernels or something for the mushrooms. And can I just say, the mashed potatoes were DIVINE. It took all of my strength to not eat just the potatoes. Anyways, this recipe was definitely a success! Everyone asked for seconds.

  • 2½ pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package white mushrooms, caps quartered & stems chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef - I used 80/20.
  • 1 bunch scallions, green portions thinly sliced and white portions finely chopped - Divide the greens from the whites.
  • 1 large poblano chile, seeded and finely chopped - I didn't use this. I used ½ of a green bell pepper & 1 jalapeno seeded.
  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, and preheat to 425°. In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water; return the potatoes to the pot. Mash with the cream until smooth; season with salt.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms & cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Crumble the beef evenly across the pan and cook, undisturbed, until the liquid cooks off & the meat begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat to medium & stir in the finely chopped scallions, the poblano, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved mushrooms, ¼ cup mashed potatoes, & the reserved 1 cup cooking water. Lower the heat and simmer until the juices are thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread slightly more than half of the potatoes evenly in a greased 9-by-11-inch baking dish. Spoon the meat mixture evenly on top, then spoon the remaining mashed potatoes evenly across the filling to enclose. Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the sliced scallions; let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.