Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black Cherry Chicken over Sweet Potatoes

I have a thing for fruit and meat together, probably ever since I was a wee little chick and my mom would serve a hot pork chops with cold cinnamon applesauce. Forget the gravy pass the applesauce. (I still eat pork chops that way, Baby Cakes doesn't like it. He doesn't know what he's missing.)

So if you come here often then you know that I get many recipes from fellow bloggers. This one is no exception. This recipe, Cheery Cherry Chicken is from Prudence Pennywise (a wonderful blog that, if you haven't already visted, you really must go check her out). She made this particular recipe for French's Cook Off, which she is in this year. Go to her blog to check it out.

This is a dish I plan on making for company, it's that good. She made hers with grits and at first I though mashed potatoes but while checking out the refridgerated setion I came across some sweet potatoes. They are awesome and my oh my how thier flavor complimented the cherry chicken. Great job Prudy, oh so yummy.

Black Cherry Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Honey Mustard
3/4 cup FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions
1 lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tbsp olive oil
1- 20 oz. jar of black cherry preserves
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp pepper
Bob Evans® sweet potatoes, microwaveable

Sprikle the chicken with the pepper and half of the worcestershire sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, top with the remaining worchestershire sauce and cook for about six to eight minutes per side; cook until done.

In a small bowl whisk together the honey mustard, 1/4 cup of water, and the black cherry preserves. Add this mixture to the cooked chicken in the pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes or until sauce is warmed through. Turn the heat to low and keep warm until serving.

Meanwhile, cook your Bob Evans® sweet potatoes per package directions.

In a medium bowl, combine parsley and crushed fried onions. Stir half of the mixture into the sweet potatoes.

To serve, divide sweet mashed potatoes between four plates. Cover with one chicken breast and a few spoonfuls of cherry pan sauce. Sprinkle with remaining FRENCH's onion/parsley mixture, dividing evenly, and serve.

Nom, nom, nom, XOXO,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Caramel Cream Dip

Got another one for y'all- Yum!

a.k.a. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
from Brown Eyed Baker

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and the brown sugar. Stir continuously, until the brown sugar dissolves. It will end up looking like a caramel colored roux. When it's done remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract (It will bubble incredibly so watch out). Set aside and let cool a bit.

In a seprate bowl beat the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar until smooth and then slowly beat in the cooled caramel mixture. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a rubber spatula. (It truly will look like raw chocolate chip cookie dough.)

Put the dip into a serving bowl and refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving. It needs a bit of time to soften. I'm serving mine with Nilla Wafers but I have read that Graham Crackers would work as well.

I truly thought this would taste just like cookie dough, it doesn't hence me calling it Chocolate Chip Caramel Cream Dip. Doesn't matter either way though it tastes so wonderful. Mmm-mmm-good.

Wonder what everyone will think,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ranch Pretzels with Dill

You'll probably have to bake this off in batches, or duh two baking sheets. I don't know how I forgot about that. I made this a bit early for a very special occasion this Saturday and although I can't post it on this incredibly public place just yet I will be posting about it - it's special to me, very dear to me. (Excited)

Ranch Pretzels with Dill
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

18 ounce bag of pretzels
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2- 1 ounce packets of Hidden Valley Ranch Dips
1 teaspoon dried dill

Preheat the oven to about 250 degrees. Put about half of the pretzels in a gallon-size ziploc bag. Add the 1/4 cup of the oil, seal the bag and toss to coat. Add the dry ingredients (1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip and 1/2 teaspoons dried dill) to the bag, seal and toss again until all of the pretzels are coated. Spread the pretzels out on a large baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the oil has absorbed into the pretzels. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Keep in mind that I adapted the direction for two batches. The entire bag of preztels in the ziploc didn't want to mix up very well.

I want to be honest here and say that I don't really care for them but Baby Cakes does. He kept eating them until I put the lid on the container. So just know that not everyone will like them. I'll let you know about how many people did after the special thing this weekend.

Enjoy Y'all,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Buffalo Chicken and Bean Soup

I love that winter has been so long this year. Normally I would have been completely burnt out- I had a mad case of the winter blahs earlier this season- but the fact that the sunshine is out during the day has made it wonderful. But the thing that tops it the most? I get to make lots and lots of soup. Here's the latest-

Buffalo Chicken and Bean Soup

2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup onions
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chiles
2 tablespoons buffalo wing seasoning mix
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cans (16 ounces each) northern beans
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack/ Colby cheese
1/8 cup prepared ranch dressing

Broil or bake the chicken breasts until done. Take them out of oven and let cool on cutting board. Either cut up or shred the chicken, set aside.

Chop up the onions and saute them in the oil over medium heat until tender, but do not brown. Stir in chiles and both seasoning mixes. Add the beans, liquid and all, chicken and the broth; stir. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a gentle bubble. Cook for about 10 min. stirring occasionally. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the prepared ranch dressing. Serve warm with cornbread or tortilla chips.

Sorry for the blurry picture.

If your anything like my Baby Cakes you'll probably want it a bit more spicy- once his bowl was made I stirred in another teaspoon or so of the buffalo seasoning. He was munching away, turned to me and asked if I would add this recipe as one of our favorites. Of course I will and I agree that it is worthy of the spot.

Another yummy,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Russian Style Mac and Cheese

For starters this dish smells sooooo good while cooking. The caraway seed made me think of rye bread, and the dill well I am so in love with anything that has dill in it. Yum!

I didn't go out looking for Mac and Cheese recipes, I'm not really a big sucker for it. There has only been one time that I had it homemade (as in not Kraft) and I can't say I fell for it, nor have I ever craved it. However, when I came upon this recipe on Branny Boils Over everything I ever felt about Mac and Cheese changed. Lordy, lordy. This one is staying in the monthly rotation.

Russian-Style Mac and Cheese

2 cups whole wheat rotini (4 oz)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp dried dill
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chopped fresh cabbage
1 bunch fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsley chopped
1 cup cottage cheese, small curd
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease a oval baking dish. Cook pasta in boiling water until just tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet and add onions. Saute 5 minutes and add garlic, cabbage, salt, and caraway. Cook until cabbage is tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped spinach.

Stir in cottage cheese, sour cream, dill, noodles and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Spread into baking pan. Top with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes before digging in.

Baby Cakes didn't add a pinch of anything. He kidded and said it didn't have any taste but after a few bites said he was kidding and that it was good. So maybe, according to him, not the best dish ever but to me the flavors were wonderful. If you like rye, cabbage and cheese or all three then you have to try this recipe.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Coconut Frosting for German Chocolate Cake

I cheated and bought a german chocolate cake mix. I figured if I am making this for the first time, and the icing looks tricky enough, then I can afford to go semi-homemade. So that's what I did.

It just so happens that right now on the world wide web of blogging I am finding quite a few german chocolate cakes. So imagine my surprise when I am told that that is the cake of choice when I offer to make one for Baby Cakes' Grandpa. This is not without trepidation. Very imtimidating cake, then again all baking intimidates me the first time around but if anyone is worth it Grandpa is.

After searching far and wide I decided to go with the icing recipe from the Trisha Yearwood cookbook and thanks to Sharon123 over at RecipeZaar I found it.

One thing I noticed is my icing cooked up a bit different from the recipe. Not sure what I did diffrent but it worked out perfectly for me in the end. I just couldn't seem to get the mixture to boil for the life of me, so I just ended up cooking it alot longer. Oh and I wasn't even sure how thick to make it so I made mine a bit thicker than gravy. (I am visioning brown gravy, a tad bit too thick brown gravy.)

Coconut Frosting
adapted from Trisha Yearwood


1 cup sugar
4 medium egg yolks
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces grated coconut (by weight)
8 ounces of pecans, finely ground


Fill bottom of double boiler or a large saucepan about halfway full of water, set over medium low heat. You want the water simmering.

Combine the sugar, egg yolks, and evaporated milk in a double boiler or in a glass bowl. Stir with a wire whisk until the yolks are fully mixed in. Add the stick of butter.

Place bowl/double boiler over simmering water and stir every few minutes for about a hour, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla right before adding it to the coconut and pecans.

Store in the fridgedaire overnight or until serving.

I highly advise icing the cake before it cools completely, it gets really sticky the cooler it gets. Oh and the scent of this icing vanilla-ee-caramelly-buttery yum!


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