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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Finally! Some success!

After a string of not-so-awesome results in cooking/baking (and hence little blogging), I finally made something tonight that I am very happy with! Baked Chicken Parmesan from Good Things Catered (Katie102006 on thenest) was a huge success! I made it even though my fiance isn't home for dinner, knowing he can take it for leftovers, but now I wish he was here to see it fresh out of the oven! I made a few changes, as described below.
Baked Chicken Parmesean

~3 large chicken breasts
~1 egg
~1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
~2 cups bread crumbs (I used panko)
~1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (I used dried)
~1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (I used dried)
~1 tsp garlic powder
~1/4 tsp paprika
~pinch of salt
~3 Tbsp olive oil
~3 cups pomodoro sauce (I made my own and added zuchinni to sneak more veggies in!) (I just used jarred pasta sauce (garlic and onion) and added zucchini/summer squash as she did!)
~3 large slices fresh mozzerella (I ended up putting two slices on each because after pounding the chicken out, they were really large!)
~ I also used about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a shallow dish mix together egg and milk.
3. In seperate shallow dish mix together panko, parmesan, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.
4. Pound to tenderize chicken breasts to about 1/2 inch thickness.
5. Preheat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
6. Dip chicken breastss into egg/milk mixture and then cover in breadcrumb mixture.
7. Place coated chicken breast in hot oil and saute each side until lightly browned (about 30 seconds per side).
8. Place browned chicken breasts on foil-lined pan.
9. Bake in oven until internal temperate reaches 170 degrees (about 15 minutes), taking out to add 1/4 sauce and sloce of mozzerella on top half way through cooking time.

Serve on top of pasta and additional sauce.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Family Recipes

Recently, I was gracious to receive a collection of family recipes. One in particular stood out and looked not only good but fairly simple to make. This came out really good, but I didn't make enough 'sauce' (note to self: add more wine!!), so next time I'll step that part up a little. My fiance thought it was 'exceptional', which means a LOT coming from someone who can't taste it if it doesn't burn your tongue off. This recipe is from a 'cook' type person, so there are only a few measurements given for ingredients, you kind of have to make it up yourself!

Chicken Piccata over Capellini (which I have never even heard of so I just used thin linguini :-) )

~Olive oil
~1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (I make 3 individual breasts)
~Cherry tomatoes (halved)
~White wine (I used.. about a cup? it wasn't enough)
~Butter (I used 1/2 a stick of light butter)
~Kalamata olives (pitted and cut into pieces)

Saute chicken in olive oil, capers, and a little butter until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan. Add olives and tomatoes to pan with salt and pepper. Saute until tomatoes soften, about 5-7 minutes. De-glaze pan with white wine. Reduce wine 5 minutes, then finish with pieces of butter coated with flour, until sauce thickens. Add chicken back to pan to heat through, then serve over capellini or other pasta.


I have never cooked with pumpkin. The girls over at What's Cooking were making some really delicious sounding things, so I decided I had to try it!

First up, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (care of Musing of a Mommy).

These were really good and made the kitchen smell GREAT! I think I like them better without the cream cheese, though.

Almost-Like-Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins... on a diet

~3 cups flour (I intended to use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose, but grabbed the wrong bag at the store)
~1 tsp cinnamon
~1 tsp nutmeg
~1 tsp ground cloves
~4 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice (I used a substitution of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves in a 4:2:1:1 ratio)
~1 tsp salt
~1 tsp baking soda
~4 eggs
~2 cups sugar
~2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
~1 ¼ cups vegetable oil (I used 1 ¼ cups unsweetened applesauce)
~8 oz package cream cheese (I used 4 oz fat free and 4 oz of the 1/3 less fat variety)
~Chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans) (optional, and I didn't use them)

Place cream cheese on tinfoil, roll into a log and freeze for up to an hour. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Remove cream cheese and slice. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Makes 24 muffins.

As I made them, the nutrional information per muffin is as follows:
Calories: 130
Fat: 2.3 g
Sat. Fat: 1.0 g
Cholesterol: 45 mg
Sodium: 216 mg
Potassium: 77 mg
Carbohydrates: 23 g
Fiber: 1.5 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protien: 4.2 g

Long over-due....

I'm back! I've been busy, wedding planning got in the way again.

My quest to find additional fun-things-to-bake-with-ripe-bananas lead me to a Sour Cream Banana Cake recipe from Recipezaar. I made this for work... and it was really yummy! Very moist and dense... delicious!

Sour Cream Banana Cake

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/3 cup crushed chocolate-covered english toffee bars
1/3 cup flour

3 small very ripe mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, salted
3 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream

Set oven to 350 degrees. Set oven rack to second-lowest position. Grease a
13 x 9-inch baking pan.

To make topping: in a small bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Rub the butter in the flour mix with your fingertips to make a crumb mixture. Stir in the caramel chips, set aside.

In a small bowl, mash (do not mix with a mixer) the bananas; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In another bowl, with an electric mixer (if you have a heavy-duty stand mixer attach the paddle attachment) and cream the butter and sugar very well until soft (about 6 minutes). Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and the vanilla. Add in banana, sour cream, and all dry ingredients, mix on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cake batter. Bake for about 45-50 minutes.