Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Awesome Agave Avocado Smoothie

When I was reading my Family Fun magazine (September 2010 issue), I came across an avocado smoothie recipe.  It sounded interesting, so I changed it up a little bit (using almond milk and agave) to make it more healthy.  Mmmm, it was delicious!  Rich, creamy, refreshing!  Tricia, you need to try this one. 

Awesome Agave Avocado Smoothie

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup crushed ice
4 teaspoons agave nectar (add more if you want it sweeter)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cranberry Almond Coleslaw

We had a get together for a friend who was retiring.  Everyone brought a salad and each salad was so tasty.  I had wished I could have gotten all the recipes, but I did get one recipe for a delicious coleslaw.  It's a Paula Deen recipe so you know it's got to be good.  It's called Rene's Coleslaw. 

I brought it to a cookout at a friend's house.  Everyone loved it and you will too.

Cranberry Almond Coleslaw

5 cups shredded cabbage (I used a 1 pound bag)
1/2 cups almonds, toasted ( I used sliced almonds.  My friend used whole almonds.)
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 Tablespoon honey mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cabbage, almonds, cranberries, celery, green onions, and green pepper in a large plastic bowl with a snap-on lid.  Combine all dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Pour dressing over the slaw just before serving.  Stir well. 

**I mixed the dressing  with the cabbage mixture and then let it sit in fridge until ready to serve.  It was so good.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti

Now this is a recipe my son Jonathan is going to love.  It's like the Chicken Spaghetti Casserole he loves, but without all the fuss.  Jonny, this one's for you. 

Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti

1 (8oz.) package spaghetti, broken into 3 parts
2 cups cooked chicken (I used 3 chicken breasts)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chicken, 1 cup cheese, soup, milk, salt and pepper.  Drain spaghetti and add to the chicken mixture.  Mix well and put in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until heated and cheese is melted.

This was so easy to make that my 3 year old granddaughter, McKinley, helped me. Here she is wearing her chef's hat. She had to wear it while she was cooking.
Isn't she precious!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boiled Peanuts

One of the staple foods in the South is definitely boiled peanuts or as they say in the South "bald" peanuts.  It is definitely easier to buy them than to make them yourself, but they are so good when you make them fresh.  If you have a pressure cooker, you can make them in half the time.  I don't have one so I boil my peanuts 7 to 8 hours.  It's very simple to make boiled peanuts because you all you do is boil them, duh!  It just takes time to boil them.  So start them early in the morning so you're not waking up in the middle of the night to check on them.

Boiled Peanuts

2 pounds of fresh green peanuts
8 - 10 cups water
1/2 cup salt

Put green peanuts in a large pot.  Add water to cover the peanuts.  Add the salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low or medium low.  Boil for 7 - 8 hours until peanuts are softened.  You will need to add more water when you check them since the water evaporates ( and you need to check them often).  You can add a little more salt if needed, but be careful--you want the peanuts salty, but not too salty.  After about 6 hours of cooking, I will taste a peanut to see if it is soft or if it needs a little more salt.  You just have to keep checking and tasting until they are cooked they way you like them.  When done, pour into a colander to drain off water.  Let cool.  Of course you have to eat some while they are cooling, and if there are any left, store in refrigerator :-)

**Remember:  You must use fresh green peanuts.  You can't boil roasted peanuts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

That's Nacho Chicken

I found this recipe for nacho chicken and it reminded me of this joke:  There were three boys who stole some cheese from a store.  When they met up, the first boy said, "I got some cheddar cheese."  The second boy responded, "Well, I got some Swiss cheese."  The third boy said, " That's nothing, I got some nacho cheese."  "Nacho Cheese!" yelled the first two boys, "How do you know it was nacho cheese?"  "Well", explained the third boy, "The man from the store was running after me shouting, 'That's nacho cheese, that's nacho cheese!' "    

So I decided to name this chicken recipe "That's Nacho Chicken".

That's Nacho Chicken

4 -6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken in baking dish.  Slice 3 cuts in the top of each breast.  Mix the salsa and sour cream together and put on top of breasts.  Put crushed tortilla chips on top of salsa mixture.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and cook another 5 - 10 minutes until chicken is done.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cini De Pepe Salad / "Frog-Eye Salad"

My son-in-law's mom gave me this recipe.  I made it when our whole family went to the beach.  It makes a lot of salad and we have a lot of family, so it was the perfect fruit salad to make.  Plus, it was delicious.  It takes time to make it, but it is worth it, especially if you have a lot of mouths to feed.  Be prepared--this salad needs to chill overnight, so plan to make this the day before you plan to serve it.

A Cini De Pepe Salad / Frog-Eye Salad

1 package A Cini De Pepe pasta (16 oz.)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup pineapple juice (use juice from pineapple)
3 cans (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 carton (9 oz.) Cool Whip
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cans (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

Cook acini in 3 quarts water with 1 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoons salt.  When tender, rinse in colander and cool. (see package directions)

In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Add pineapple juice and beaten eggs.  Cook stirring until thickened and smooth.  Add lemon juice and cool.

Place cooked pasta in a large bowl.  Pour thickened mixture over macaroni and cool well.  Add other ingredients and blend well.  Chill over night.

If everything is chilled well before you mix it, you get a fluffier dessert and it tastes better.  It also must be allowed to chill over night to set.  If you're a coconut lover, you can add 1 cup coconut.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Broiled Chicken

When I was growing up, my family was a meat and potatoes family.  I don't ever remember my mom making us a casserole.  We always had steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, peas. . . . never a casserole.  Of course, I live on casseroled now, but sometimes I just want meat and potatoes.  Here is my mom's broiled chicken recipe.  It is easy and so delicious.  It's great left over, cold , right from the refrigerator.   I made it last night and as soon as I'm finished with this post I'm raiding the fridge!

Broiled Chicken

1 whole fryer, cut into parts (or buy chicken legs, split breasts or any other parts of the chicken you enjoy)
garlic powder

Wash chicken and remove most of the skin.  I always leave a little bit of skin on the chicken because it gives it such good flavor.  Pat dry and put on a broiler pan (or line a baking pan with aluminum foil).  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over chicken pieces.  (I'm always heavy handed with these spices, but it makes it that more delicious!)  Place a small dab of butter on each chicken piece.  Place under the broiler for about 15 minutes on each side until each side of the chicken piece is browned (almost burnt).  I even turn it over again and let it stay under the broiler for a few more minutes.  Remove chicken from pan, place on a plate, serve and enjoy!