Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Piquant Sauce?"


What is "Piquant Sauce?"

I don't know!

All I know is this:  growing up, whenever we had meatloaf, my mom made "piquant sauce" to put on top of it!

I never hear other people talk about their mom's "piquant sauce."

Think about it!

Do you ever hear,
  • "OH!  I only eat my mom's piquant sauce!"
  • "OH!  They have the BEST piquant sauce ever!"
  • "Excuse me, do you have any piquant sauce?"
  • "You could put some piquant sauce on that -- it'd be great!"
Yeah, me either!

Do you eat piquant sauce?

Have you ever had piquant sauce?

Do you even know what piquant sauce is?

I looked it up!

As in, just today!

As in, just a few minutes ago!

Here are some of the things I found out about "piquant sauce."
  • Piquant sauce is a style of cooking used for rabbit, duck, alligator, chicken and seafood
  • A piquant sauce is a spicy sauce
  • sharp in taste; exciting or interesting
You may be thinking, "Wow!  Her mom is some kind of cook!"

We'll talk about that later!  But for now, let me share with you what I know about "piquant sauce."
  • I don't know 'nuthin' about cooking rabbit, duck or alligator!  I'm only putting this on meatloaf!
  • It is a bit spicy -- but not hot, just a little 'zingy!"
  • It is a bit interesting too.  I don't think I'd go "exciting" but I would say a little sharp in taste
Now you may be wondering how to make this sauce.

Wait no more -- here's the recipe for . . .

Piquant Sauce

3 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
1/4 cup ketchup

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the cooked meatloaf or serve along side the meatloaf . . . in case someone isn't up for the "sharp, interesting, and excitingly spicy sauce!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Sin"amon Cake

This is NOT my picture!  Our cake didn't last long enough to grab the camera!
That's what we call this new cake!

"Sin"amon Cake!

The cherubs say it's "sin in a bowl!"

My girl cherub says "Jesus can come back now!"

My boy cherubs says "Pure Sin!"

I don't know HOW they come up with these things?

The Mr. says, "This cake is so light, you could eat the whole thing!" 
(Please notice, he didn't say anything spiritual!)

The other day, in the office, the Mr. saw this recipe and picture and said, "Oh!  Send that to Karen; she'd want that recipe!"

Translated:  "I think Karen needs to whip that dessert up  .  . . and in a hurry!"

So the Mr. talked about how good this recipe sounded and how good the picture looked . . .

 . . .for days!

He got on "pinterest" to show me . . .

 . . .and he talked about it . . .

 . . . and he secretely drooled!

Then!
Surprise!

I made it!

Oh my!  It's ridiculous!

Don't be scared by the length recipe -- it's easy as pie cake!

"Sin"amon Roll Cake (It's really Cinnamon Roll Cake . . . we've just re-named it!)

Cake:

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt

1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

Topping:

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything for the cake together except for the butter.  Slowly stir in the melted butter and
pour into a greased 9x13 pan. 

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  Drop evenly over the batter
and swirl with a knife.  (I used the smallest Pampered Chef cookie scoop to evenly distribute the topping.  I didn't swirl it in -- because i forgot.  If it changed the taste or look -- who knew!  It didn't stop us from devoring the entire cake!)

Bake at 350 for 28--‐32 minutes.  (This is tricky -- you don't want to over-bake, but you don't want the ooey-gooey, half-done cake either!)

Glaze:

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While the cake is warm from the over, drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Dig in!  While the cake is still warm, enjoy a piece!  You won't be sorry!  Matter of fact, you're going to "Wuv" it!

We found we prefered the cake served warm!  About 15 seconds in the microwave was perfect!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

 A very long time ago, I was watching "Regis and KathyLee."

That tells you just how long ago "a very long time ago" was . . .

Kathy Lee gave a recipe for a chicken dish. 

It's so very easy! 

You can cook it in the oven or the crock-pot. 

You can use bone-in or boneless and skinless chicken.

You can use full-fat dressing or reduced-fat dressing, without compromising the taste.

Best of all, it's great left-over!

While you're grabbing the ingredients for this recipe, grab double; cook one now and put the other (all mixed up) in the freezer for another meal!  Make it easy on yourself!

Cranberry Chicken

8oz bottle of Catalina dressing (or Russian)
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
4 chicken breasts (I like to use bone-in with skin)

Place the chicken in a baking dish or crock-pot.  Mix the dressing, soup, and cranberry sauce together and pour over the chicken.

Oven method:  bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

Crock-pot method:  cook on high 3-4 hours, or on low 6-8 hours.  Once the chicken is cooked, I take the chicken out, remove the skin and bone, and using 2 forks, shred the chicken and place it back in the crock-pot with the sauce.  We also like the sauce a little thicker, so I add a bit of cornstarch at the end to make it more like a "gravy" rather than runny sauce.

Serve with rice.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Peach Salsa


This is the last of the peach posts.

This is for peach salsa.

It's easy and fresh tasting.

It's a bit of a jolt to your taste buds because you're not sure what to expect.

I've always got a keeper when the cherubs like the recipe . . .

 . . . and the cherubs like this!

It's probably because I served Stacy's Cinnamon and Sugar Pita Chips along side this salsa!

Either way, it's good as a dip or atop grilled chicken!

Peach Salsa

4 small peaches, diced
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp. honey
2-3 TBSP finely diced red bell pepper
2 TBSP finely chopped purple OR sweet onion
1 TBSP cilantro
1 TBSP finely minced jalapeno pepper, if desired.

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Flavors of salsa are melded together if allowed to sit at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Serve with grilled meat (anything except beef) or with chips or cinnamon chips.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peach Bread


Because of all of the peaches we've had,
I've needed wanted to find some new
ways to use fresh peaches!

This recipe is for peach bread.

I've never had peach bread, but I must say,
that while mild in taste, it's pretty yummy!

Remember the peach concoction from yesterday
that goes in the peach cobbler?

That's what I started with
(see picture above)

Then, I pureed the mixture, leaving
little bits of tasty peach.  
I was going to call it peach "syrup."
But, now that I think about it . . .
I'm going to call it "peach baby food!
It's that kind of the texture.

Again, don't really tell anyone . . .
it's just better left unsaid!

But here's a picture of it!
Regardless of how it looks --
it's really tasty peachy!



Now, for the peach bread!

Peach Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups pureed peaches  (see September 21 post for the peach recipe)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond)
1 cup chopped pecans, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the peach puree and vanilla, mixing until well incorporated.

In a small bowl, add flour and next 3 ingredients together.

Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet mixture, mixing well.

Stir in nuts, if desired.

Grease two loaf pans.  Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and bake for 45-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 15-20 minutes; gently loosen bread from pan and turn onto a wire cooling rack.

Cool completely.

*Serving suggestion:  cut bread into slices and serve with cream cheese that has been mixed with a bit of finely chopped peaches, pecans, and a tiny touch of cinnamon and vanilla.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peaches!


The other day, we were given a huge box of fresh California peaches.

As in, a HUGE box!

As in, "cut up and freeze" size box

or

"make jelly" size box

or

"share with your friends" size box

or

"search the internet for new recipes" size box!

We've done a great job eating the peaches and trying new recipes.  So over the next few posts, I'm going to share with you some new peach recipes that we've enjoyed.

The first recipe I made was a peach cobbler.  The cherubs just love peach cobbler!  This recipe is an older Southern Living recipe.  While the cobbler crust is similar to one I have posted earlier, the peach conncoction is what makes this dessert a splurge. 

I'm going to say the fresh peaches are "stewed."  But don't tell people that, because then they conjure up some wierd tasting sensation and think they won't like it!  But truth is, you can make the peach conncoction and serve with a simple sugar cookie, cinnamon and sugar pita chip, over ice cream, on top of pancakes, or by itself for dessert!  Which is exactly what I've done with the Mr. and the two cherubs! 

So!  What am I really trying to say:  when you make the peach stuff, go ahead and double the recipe -- 1/2 for the cobbler and the other 1/2 to keep in the refrig and enjoy!

Fresh Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peaches, cut into slices or diced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt the butter in a baking dish, 9X13 size.

In a large sauce pan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, fresh peaches, lemon juice and cinnamon, and place over medium high heat.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and is a gentle boil, stirring occassionaly so that the sugar doesn't burn.  Remove from the heat.

Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Add milk and stir until mixed well.  Pour flour mixture over the melted butter, and do not stir the butter and flour mixture together (it's as if you're "layering" the ingredients).

Gently pour the peach mixture on top of the flour mixture.  Again, do not stir (you should have 3 layers).

Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cobbler has a golden crust.

Serve warm or room temperature.


Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Corn Salad

Yesterday, we had a "Dinner on the Grounds" at church.

That's a fancier way of saying, "Potluck!"

Those things stress me out, for a variety of reasons,

none of which I'll share here!

But I will say, I grew up going to potlucks and when the Mr. and I were in full-time Senior Adult ministry, we attended a potluck a week for several years!  I still remember Mrs. Baird bringing her one can of white hominy every week, in the same 1 1/2 cup cast iron pot!

Matter of fact, our oldest cherub thought church was a buffet!  He literally cut his teeth on potluck meals!

You don't have to be going to a potluck to make this salad -- but you will need a crowd to serve it too! 

However, you could be "creative" and cut the ingredients in half and serve a normal family . . . as in "normal" in size, not mental standing!

Corn Salad

2 cans corn, drained (can be Mexican, shoepeg, white, or regular . . .just not creamed)**
1/2-1 onion, chopped, depending on the taste you want
1 cup mayonnaise (the real stuff)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (who measures cheese -- just dump it in 'til it looks right!)
1 jalapeno, chopped, if desired
1 small bag chili fritos

Drain corn well.  Place in large bowl.  Add onion, cheese, and chopped jalapeno (if using the pepper).  Stir in mayo until well mixed.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Just before serving, dump in fritos and stir.

Serve.

With the amount of mayo (1 cup), I use 3 cans of corn and I use the white sweet corn.  I don't use the pepper, because the kiddos will eat it if it's not hot.

Obviously, with the fritos in the salad, this isn't good left over because the fritos get lazy after a little while and get all droopy and gross!  How dare they!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dried Fruit Scones

Image of scones taken from a picture off of Food Network . . . but I'm pretty sure mine looked just like these!


I really do like scones.

But sometimes I don't like them . . .

because sometimes they're dry;

I don't really like dry desserts.

Call me crazy!

So when I decided to make scones my goal was for them to be moist and delicious.

I made "mini scones" -- kind of like what's being served at Starbucks. 

Have you seen the mini vanilla bean scones?

Very cute.

Mine where not very cute.

But mine where moist . . . at least on the day I baked them!
I didn't try them the next day . . .but my friend who ate 5 of them said they were great!

This recipe is from the King Arthur website.

Dried Fruit Scones

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit (I used cherries; you can use chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or almond, or other flavoring that goes with your fruit)
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk

Glaze

1-2 TBSP butter
Powdered sugar to make a "paste"
enough heavy cream to make your "paste" to desired consistency
A smidge of vanilla (or other flavoring that was used in the scones), if desired.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you're using them.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

Line your baking sheet with a silpat, or place scones on ungreased cookie sheet.

Roll the dough into a circle or rectangle.  The dough should be about 3/4" thick.

Dipping a a knife, pizza cutter, or biscuit cutter into flour, cut dough into desired shape.  I cut my dough into squares and then again on the diagoal; creating a triangle

Carefully place the dough onto the baking pan.  There should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.

For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Depending on the size of the scone, bake the scones anywhere from 12 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown; being careful not to overbake.  Since I made "mini scones" I only baked the dough about 12 minutes.  Remember, they will continue to cook just a bit once removed from the oven.

Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm, if desired.

When they're completely cool, you can drizzle or dunk them in the glaze, if desired.  Allow the glaze to set up a bit before storing at room temperature.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

On the first day of school my girl cherub delivered cookies to her teacher.

The classroom theme is "Franjac Ranch."  So what better to fit the theme than cowboy sugar cookies.

You'll have to excuse the poor pictures.  I already had them wrapped and we were headed out the door when I remembered I hadn't taken any pictures of the cookies!

So I did a quick snap and gathered them back up and ran to meet the teacher!

My cherub picked the colors to use on the cookies:  black, white, and 2 shades of pink (that lean to the red side!). 

We made hats, boots, and bandana squares.  This time we used the royal icing to decorate the cookies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cowboy Biscuits


No matter how old you are turning -- at our house, birthday's are a B.I.G. deal!

One way we do that is by celebrating with your "birthday dinner."

Whatever you want -- you get!

It doesn't matter if it goes together or not --

It doesn't matter if it makes sense or not --

It doesn't matter if anybody else likes it or not--

It's your birthday, you decide!

For my girl cherub; this usually scares us!

But for my boy cherub; we know we'll be eating well!

His birthday dinner did not disappoint him or us!

  • brisket
  • cheesy potatoes
  • cowboy beans
  • homemade bread
  • homemade cinnamon rolls
My cherub said, "This is righteous, mom!"

This bread recipe is so easy!  It requires no kneading.  All you have to do is mix it up in a large bowl and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it!  One taste of the delicious hot rolls and you may decide that you can make bread all the time!

Cowboy Biscuits

4 1/2 cups bread flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 heaping tsp. yeast
1/2 cup very warm water
2 cups buttermilk

In a measuring cup, dissolve the yeast into the warm water.

In a very large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients together.  Stir together with a whisk.  Add the oil, dissolved yeast, and buttermilk.  Stir together well and refrigerate, loosely covered, up to one week.  The dough will rise a bit in the refrigerator, make sure there is "risin' room!"

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

On a floured surface, dump out desired amount of dough.  The dough will be very sticky.  Mix in just a tiny bit of flour until the dough is workable, but not sticky.  Roll out to desired thickness (1/2-3/4 inch thick) and cut.  You can cut into squares or with a round biscuit cutter. 

Place dough onto a lightly greased pan.  At this point, you have to make a decision! 
  1. You can either let them rise a bit in a draft-free place or
  2. you can bake them right away. 
Either way is fine!  Really!  There is no wrong decision at this point!  For the birthday, I let them rise for a couple of hours, because I had the time.  I don't usually mess with the rising!

Bake until bread is golden brown -- time will depend on how large your rolls are; probably at least 15 minutes.

***Also, if you don't want to flour your surface and knead in a little flour and cut your dough -- you can just spray a muffin tin with pam, use a small cookie scoop, and plop some dough into the tin and bake as directed. 

You can't mess these up!

Monday, September 12, 2011

13!

Today, our oldest cherub turns 13!

It's so exciting!

It's so amazing!

I can't believe it! 

Today, I share just a few of my favorite pictures of my cherub.






These are his man-sized shoes.








This is always his idea of "be normal!"


This is who loves him most . . . right behind the Mr. and me! 

This is what he loves to do most of all!


This is my favorite boy cherub!

He's the cutest thing ever!

We are so thankful the Lord has blessed our life and home with him! 

These past 13 years have passed like 13 minutes -- and the next 13 bring more than my mind can even imagine! 

But here's what I know -- we could not have a better son than this cherub!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich

Photo taken by my oldest Cherub

A grilled chicken sandwich sounded so good!

I see them on restaurant menus but I never make them at home.

I'm not sure why -- maybe I'm intimidated by the task.

In an effort to satisfy my craving, I ventured out of my comfort zone

and made this:

Photo taken by my youngest Cherub
A delicious grilled chicken teriyaki sandwich!

Here's what I did:

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to similar thickness
1 bottle of your favorite teriyaki sauce (I used La Choy Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce)
1-2 onions, sliced thick
4 Hawaiian Hamburger buns
Mayonnaise
1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained
lettuce or spinach leaves

In a shallow dish, pour desired amount of teriyaki sauce over chicken and allow to marinate 2-3 hours our longer (I always go longer!). 

In another shallow dish, place a thin layer of sauce in the dish and place the thick sliced onions on top of the marinade turning to coat.  Allow to sit until ready to grill.

Take desired amount of mayonnaise into a small bowl and mix in a couple of tablespoons of well drained pineapple.  Stir until well combined, set aside.  You'll use the reamaining crushed pineapple on the sandwiches.

Grill chicken until done.  The last 5 minutes or so of the chicken cooking, place the coated onions on the grill and cook until tender.  The amount of doneness on the onions is to your taste.

Split the Hawaiian hamburger rolls in half and smear the bottom half with desired amount of pineapple mayonnaise.  Toast rolls (heating the mayonnaise mixture just a bit).

Top the toasted buns with a chicken breast, a bit of crushed pineapple, some spinach leaves, followed by some delicious grilled onions.  Place the top bun on and cut in half!

This is a juicy . . .and messy sandwich, but it's worth licking your fingers for!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deep Dish Apple Pie


My friend, Miss Gladys, sent this recipe to me at the request of the Mr.

Actually, the Mr. said, "Oh, send that to Karen, she'd want that recipe!"

Translated, "Oh, send that recipe to Karen, I want her to make it for me!"

I must admit, while the Mr. and two cherubs just love applie pie, I'm not an apple pie lover.  But this recipe sounded delish.

So I grabbed my cast iron skillet and the ingredients and had it whipped up in no time.

And guess what!

It is fabulous!  It should be . . . it's a Southern Living recipe!

We ate our skillet apple pie with cinnamon ice cream!

Easy Skillet Apple Pie

2 pounds Granny Smith apples -- cored*
2 pounds Braeburn apples -- cored*
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt -- optional
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla -- optional
1/2 cup butter -- melt in skillet
1 cup light brown sugar -- packed
1 cup pecans -- or walnuts, whole or chopped, optional
1 14.1 oz package refrigerated pie crust -- place on counter to come to room temp
1 egg white -- whisked until foamy
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Core apples and slice into 1/2 inch-thick slices or wedges. I cut apples into fourths, cored and then made slices rather than wedges. Peel, if desired (and I desired!)

**I used 3pounds of apples and used only Granny Smith apples because that's my preference.

Toss the apples with the vanilla, cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly. As it melts add the optional nuts. This should all take 2-3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.  (These are the directions from Southern Living -- but just to clarify:  this mixture doesn't "melt" -- if you cook it until it "melts" you are going to have caramel!  So you need to watch it, stirring constantly, until it begins to slow simmer.  But remember, you're not making caramel!)
Place 1 piecrust in the skillet over the butter/sugar mixture. Spoon the apple mixture over the piecrust.

Place the other crust on top of the apples. Brush the crust with the egg white and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.  (I skipped the egg wash and sprinkling of sugar on top of the crust . . . it didn't change the taste one bit!)

Cut 4 to 5 slits in the crust to vent the steam.

Place skillet on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour to 1 hour & 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Shield with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.

Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long. 

*The pie will have a brown sugar "crust" on the bottom, topped with the pie crusts and apples.  So when you serve this, remember to scoop out all the goodies from the pan!

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream (that'd be Braum's for me!)
Cinnamon
Chopped pecans, optional

Place desired amound of ice cream into a freezer safe large bowl.  I used about 2 quarts of ice cream.  Allow the ice cream to soften a bit. 

Stir in cinnamon, 1 tsp. at a time, until you reach your desired "cinnamon taste."  I used about 2 tsp. of cinnamon.  Stir the cinnamon and ice cream together until well mixed.

If you want to add chopped nuts, do so.  The amount depends on your preference.

Place ice cream back into the freezer until ready to serve.  It does need to set up a bit before scooping a delicious mound onto your pie!



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baking Business

It is true . . .I can bake for you.

I'm asked a lot -- do you bake for people?

The answer is "YES!"

The only requirement:  You have to live close enough that your items can be picked up -- I don't offer any sort of "drop shipment."

Whatever you want, I can usually make for you:
  • pies
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • scones
  • cupcakes
  • biscotti
  • brownies
  • bars
By Texas law, I must inform you that I am not inspected by the Texas State Health Department.  So with that information, I want to let you know two important facts:
  1. There are no animals that live in my house
  2. I keep a clean and sanitary kitchen
And finally -- when you order, I want you to know that you are receiving "home baked goods."  I do not claim to have bakery quality looks or abilities.  I simply make for my family what we enjoy and my hope is that you'll do the same!

So!  If your in wants of something to take to the office, or deliver to a friend, or carry to a pot-luck, and you live close by, contact me and I'll get you taken care of!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cheap Lamp made Chic

The other day we bought this lamp for a great price -- but it was kind of plain.

So my cherub and I created a bow and hot-glued it to the shade with a cute lime button in the middle of it!

My sweet cherub loves it!

For less than $10.00 she has a new lamp that was easily decorated to fit perfectly in her room!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce



No picture of the final project!

This was a, "Let's see!  We need dinner."

As in, tonight!

My cherubs prefer it when I feed them on a regular schedule.

It keeps them happy

and me happy too!

Here's what I had in the refrigerator:
chopped onions
asparagus
cherub tomatoes
grilled chicken that I had cubed up
Here's what I had in the pantry:

pasta

Here's what I ended up with:

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 oz cream cheese, cubed
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice (2 is light, 4 is bright!) 
1/3 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pasta
olive oil
grilled chicken
asparagus
chopped onion
(notice, I didn't use tomatoes!  I just kept them in the refrig!)

Boil pasta according to package directions.
In a large pan, saute onions in olive oil, until desired tenderness. 
I caramelized my onions because I wanted the sweetness with the pasta.
Clean asparagus and cut into large bite-sized pieces.
When the onions have cooked to your preference,
add the asparagus in and do a quick-stir cook, 3-4 minutes.
Toss in the cooked chicken and heat thoroughly.

For the Sauce

To the 1 cup of broth,
add 1 tsp. of cornstarch

Pour the broth/cornstarch mixture, lemon juice, butter and cream cheese into the pan
Stir until melted.
Slowly pour in the cream
Stir until well incorporated and is at a very low simmer.
Do not boil.

Toss in well-drained pasta

Toss to coat and serve while hot.

Please notice, there are no amounts on the pasta, chicken, asparagus or onions.
Use what you like!
I had a bit of chicken, a large bundle of asparagus, and 1/2 of an onion.
I used 1/2 a box of pasta.

It worked for us.

The boy cherub said it was "too much lemon but it's delish"
and the Mr. said it was "just right on the lemon."

I used 4 TBSP lemon juice.
I also used low fat cream cheese.