Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Italian Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

This was experiment. My hubby kind of hates it when I do that, but even he was pleased with the result. I did take some inspiration from other recipes. For example I never would have thought to use Italian Dressing as a type of cooking oil, but it actually worked really nicely. I think the Red Peppers really made this dish. I don't buy them a lot because they are expensive, but we got a BUNCH in our Bountiful Basket this week. BTW...if you haven't heard of them you should TOTALLY check them out at bountifulbaskets.org. I know they have sites across several western states. It is a food coop and I have been SO happy about it for the past few months since I've been doing it. Maybe I will do a separate post to give you more info in the near future...

Anyway, on with the recipe:

1/4 C Italian Salad Dressing
2 C fresh Broccoli florets
2 C fresh Red Bell Peppers, sliced
1 C cooked chicken, shredded or diced

Saute the broccoli and red peppers in the italian dressing. I cooked it on a lower heat and covered it. This helped to kind of "steam" the veggies. Add the chicken and cook until warm. Serve over rice.

A note about the proportions on this recipe: I used what I had ON HAND. The chicken actually came from a rotisserie chicken we'd eaten the day before and was just the leftovers. The more I cook the braver I'm getting about putting things together without a recipe. Don't be afraid to experiment...for example, you could probably add some squash, onions, or other veggies to this and it would be great. Or you could use more chicken if you wanted it meatier. Let me know if you can come up with an even yummier version of this...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cafe Rio Pork

I know I already posted this one, but tonight I added a picture and some updated information on a recipe I posted this time last year. To see it go HERE. It is the epitome of DELICIOUS and EASY! Happy cooking!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peach Pie, Times Two!

I love Peach Pie. It's always been my favorite. My sister has been asking for my recipe, so it seems like the perfect time to post it here.

First off...I always make my own pie crusts. They are a hundred times better than refrigerated, probably more nutritious and just about as easy. I've used a few pie crust recipes. Here is one of my favorites. The key to making a flaky, yummy crust is two fold: 1 - Use ice cold water. 2 - Don't overwork your dough. Ideally you should still be able to see some of the butter or shortening pieces in the dough when your done. With that here's the recipe I use most often:

Pie Crust Dough (For one crust):

1 C flour
1/3 C shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 3/4 C water as needed

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter (or two knives if you don't have one!). Add water and mix until you get the right consistency. I'm not quite sure how to describe what the right consistency is...I started making crusts when I was probably 10, so it's just easy for me. I might suggest finding a friend that can do crusts and working with them a time or two to get the idea.

This recipe makes a little more than you actually need for one crust. So if I am doing say 2 pies with a top and bottom crust, I will triple the recipe and that usually makes enough.

On to PEACH PIE. I got this recipe from Betty Crocker. Love it! Hope you do too. I actually rarely do straight peach pie anymore. One day we didn't have enough peaches to do a whole pie, so we added some frozen strawberries. It was heavenly and I almost always add strawberries or raspberries now. If you do that, just use fewer peaches and however many berries you like to make 5 C of fruit. (I usually add 1-2 C of berries, but you could do more or less depending on your preference). Also, I usually use frozen or home canned peaches. I don't really like commercially canned peaches and so don't have them around. I don't really know how they would work with this recipe. Fresh is really good too, but I don't usually have them around either, which is why I do frozen or home preserved. OK, now back to the RECIPE:

Betty Crocker's Peach Pie:

5 C Sliced Peaches and Berries, if desired
1 tsp lemon juice (I think this is mostly for fresh peaches, to keep them from browning)
1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBLS butter or margarine (optional)

Heat oven to 425. Prepare pastry. Mix peaches and lemon juice. In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients, then mix with peaches. Turn into pastry lined pie pan (this recipe will fill a 9 inch pan), dot with butter. Cover with top crust, cut slits in the top. Seal and flute. Cover edge with tin foil if desired to avoid burning the edges. Bake 10 minutes at 425, then 25-35 minutes at 350. If desired you can baste the top pastry with milk or egg whites to help it brown.

Finally as a bonus, I'm also including my uncle's recipe for Fresh Peach Pie. This is a little different that you usually get, but is delicious when peaches are in season and perfect for eating raw. You don't bake the fruit, so make sure it is ripe, with a good flavor and texture, or you pie won't turn out well.

Fresh Peach Pie:

One pie shell
2 TLBS orange jello powder
1 C water, divided
3/4 C sugar
3 TBLS cornstarch
5 C Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

Make one pie crust, line the bottom of your pie pan, poke holes with a fork and cook it until golden. Answers I found online suggested 425 for anywhere from 8-15 minutes. One tip said to cover your crust with aluminum foil and fill it with dry beans while you are baking to help it keep it's shape. Just remove when you are done ;)

Mix the jello, water, sugar and cornstarch. (TIP: When cooking with cornstarch you need to make sure you mix it with COLD water first. I usually use the same amount of water as I do cornstarch. So from your 1 C, just take 1/4 C or so and mix it with the cornstarch first. This prevents it from getting lumpy.) Boil the ingredients and cook until it starts to thicken. Add to peaches and put in your COOKED pie shell. Serve with cool whip. YUMMY!