Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Caprese Salad

If a caprese salad doesn't say summer then I don't know what does!  I love this salad because it just tastes so FRESH!  You do have to splurge for fresh mozzarella and basil, but it is so worth it!  As long as you like tomatoes you will love this perfect combination of flavors!

Caprese Salad

Really good tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil, chopped
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Chop everything up and either lay it out on a plate or throw it in a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.  Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top to taste.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sally Nielson Chicken

We got this recipe from Rachel's mother-in-law, Sally, so we just call it Sally Nielson chicken.  I'll never know what it's truly called.  But it is YUMMY!  I have served it to company and they always ask for the recipe, especially once I mention how easy it is!  Enjoy!

Sally Nielson Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (cut in 1/2)
Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup, mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing, crushed
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine


Place chicken breasts in greased baking dish.  Place one big slice of swiss cheese over each piece of chicken.  Mix the cream of chicken soup with 1/4 cup water and pour over the top of the chicken.  Crush the croutons and spread over the top.  Melt butter or margarine and drizzle over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and serve over rice.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lime Dill Butter Sauce on Tilapia or Chicken

My husband got some pots of fresh herbs for the backyard this year (Yes, HE is the one who cares about such things!) and the dill is flourishing a bit too much, so this has become a regular, delicious staple in our home.  It is so quick and fresh tasting!  We have been having it on fish lately because it is lower fat than chicken, but it is amazing on chicken as well.  It has become one of our family's staples.  I originally got the recipe from a friend, Sarah Jacobs Huff.  We "eye" EVERYTHING and do approximate amounts on this recipe.  It's not an exact science.

Lime Dill Butter Sauce for Chicken or Fish

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tilapia fillets (We use the frozen ones from Sam's Club.  Good and WAY cheaper than fresh fish!)

Vegetable Oil (for cooking)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 Tablespoon lime (or lemon) juice
1/2 teaspoon dill weed, chopped up

Dry off the meat with a paper towel.  (This is an essential step in "browning!)  Salt and pepper the meat.  Use a bit of vegetable oil to brown the meat in a skillet.  Remove browned meat and keep warm.  Add butter and lime juice (or lemon juice if you're in a pinch) to the skillet; cook and stir until butter is melted.  It tastes even better if you brown the BUTTER a bit.  Cook until just brown but not burned.  Stir in the dill weed and drizzle over the meat.  YUM!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This recipe was created by Alton Brown of the Food Network.  Find the original here, along with a video tutorial.  It was a piece of cake and soooo yummy!  We served it with torn up bread, but you could also use crackers or pita chips.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts  (We couldn't find them frozen, so we used canned.)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Decadent Dipped Pretzel Rods

I have had these before and seen them around, but we were reminded of the idea while browsing our favorite recipe website, Our Best Bites, for shower food ideas.  They have a very detailed post about dipping pretzels, if you'd like more info.  It is pretty self explanatory, though.  Here's what we did....

Decadent Dipped Pretzel Rods

Pretzel Rods (We used Snyder's brand....apparently the Walmart brand break easily, so avoid those.)
Caramel (The melting bits that come in the baking section are unwrapping!)
Chocolate (Either chocolate chips combined with shortening to thin it out or "bark," which is made for melting.)
Candy or other coatings (crushed candy bars, graham crackers, coconut flakes, etc.)

Melt the chocolate (we did milk chocolate, white chocolate, and mint chocolate) and caramel in MUGS. Mugs are easy to tip up and manipulate.  Dip the pretzel, let the excess run back into the mug, and lay on wax paper or a cooling rack.  (Note: If you use a cooling rack---like we did---then remember to put wax paper UNDER it---like we did not---so that you won't have a huge mess stuck to your counter.  Ugh.)  We loved the combo of dipping in caramel, letting it cool, and then dipping it in chocolate.  A yummy surprise!  You can roll them in toppings or drizzle other chocolates on top.  Our favorite combination, for both taste and appearance, was caramel with a layer of milk chocolate on top, drizzled for effect with white chocolate.  We put them in cups and they were both tasty and cute!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yet Another Banana Bread Recipe

I feel like we have a lot of bread up here: zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, easy homemade bread, two versions of corn bread, and now two versions of banana bread!  What can I say?  I guess we're just a bunch of carb junkies!

This is a recipe for banana bread that I got from a friend of a friend.  It is this woman's family's banana bread recipe that has been passed through the generations.  It is so moist....YUM!  Even though we already have one great banana bread recipe up here, I thought this one was worth sharing as well.

Banana Bread

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons sour cream
2-3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured pan.  (BAKING PAM!)  Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cheesecake Brownies

Remember us?  We're alive!  We've just been busy moving!  Rachel and I (Sarah) both just moved home to Denver for the next stage of our husbands' training.  We will try to make up for our absence with some new recipes to share soon!

Last night we had a baby shower for....RACHEL!  That's right!  Remember that "Hoping to Adopt" button?  Did you notice that it disappeared?  Well it did, and there's a reason!  Rachel and her hubby will be adopting a baby boy in August, and we threw her a baby shower to prepare last night.  It was a great success---lots of gifts and good food!  Over the next couple of days I will post a few of the recipes that we used to prepare food for the shower, starting with a surefire hit, which I often use for events where I need something easy to bring that will still impress:  Cheesecake Brownies!  Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies*

One Brownie Mix of your choice (and the ingredients that you will need to make it)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make brownie mix and pour into a greased pan.  Whisk together cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.  Drop small dollops of the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter in the baking pan, then run a butter knife through the batter to create swirls.  Bake as directed.

*The cheesecake portion of this recipe came from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

This isn't Rachel's baby, but he sure is a cutie!  She's going to be an AWESOME mom!!!