Friday, July 25, 2008

Chicken Marinade

This is one of my favorite marinades. It's so easy and so good!

1 1/2 cups Sprite
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic (or however much you want
2 Tbsp oil

Mix all ingredients together. I usually mix the ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag and then add the chicken. Marinate 4-5 hours in the refrigerator.

Banana Nut Roll

I made this for our enrichment night and Brad was really sad that he only got one little piece. It is pretty tasty!

4 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 recipe Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 recipe Cream Cheese Icing

Separate eggs. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a
15x10x1 inch jelly roll pan. Line bottom with waxed paper; grease the paper; set aside. For cake, stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Prepare Cream Cheese Filling; spread in the prepared pan. Set aside. For cake, in a small mixing bowl beat the egg yolks and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, beaing on high speed until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the banana and nuts.

Thoroughly wash the beaters. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold yolk mixture into whites. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over egg mixture; fold in gently just until combined. Gently spoon batter over filling in pan. Carefully spread evenly over filling.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when lighly touched. Immediately loosen cake from pan and turn cake out onto a towel sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar. Carefully peel off waxed paper. Starting from a shirt side, roll cake into a spiral, using the towel as a guid. Cool on a wire rack. Spread top with Cream Cheese Icing. If desired, sprinkle with finely chopped nuts.

Cream Cheese Filling: In a mixing bowl combine one 11 ouncces cream cheese, softened, and 1/2 cup sugar. Beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 egg and 3 Tbsp milk, beat thoroughly.

Cream Cheese Icing: In a small mixing bowl combine one 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened, and 1 tsp vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups sifted powdered sugar. Beat in enough milk (1 to 2 Tbsp) to reach spreading consistency.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mexican Lime Rice

This recipe is courtesy of Summer Perrero

3/4 cup Jasmine Rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 chicken bullion cube
1 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 tsp lime juice

Cook rice as instructed on the package with above ingredients.

I serve this with "Cafe Rio" sweet pork

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hot Buttered Pretzels

This recipe was an old challenge for the Daring Baker's group. The pretzels were pretty easy to make. I only had a couple that actually turned out looking like normal pretzels though- I think it just takes practice. They were really good!

Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion.

For the dough:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
1 cup warm water (you may need a little more)

For the pretzel topping:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
kosher salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Work the ingredients together until you can form a ball. If the dough is very dry, add a bit more warm water until it comes together. The dough will look messy, but don't worry about it.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading by pushing the dough away with the heel of your hand, and then folding it back in onto itself. Push the dough away again and then fold back in. Continue this motion, working the dough until it's smooth. This should take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a mixer with your dough hook for 5 to 6 minutes).

Once the dough is done, sprinkle some flour on the dough and put it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour. It will rise considerably.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.

Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a long rope that's roughly 24 inches in length. (Don't make it too long or your pretzels will be too thin.)

Taking hold of the ends of the rope, cross the rope over itself to form a circle with about 4 to 5 inches on each end that are sticking out. Twist the ends over themselves and secure each end on either side of the pretzel.

Carefully dip the pretzel in the water and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Sprinkle the pretzels with the kosher salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

Put the pretzels in the oven for 6 minutes, then rotate the trays and bake for an additional 6 minutes. Keep an eye on the pretzels so that they don't burn.

Remove the pretzels from the oven and immediately brush them with the butter. Keep brushing them with butter until you've used it all.

Serve the pretzels warm. I made a cheese sauce for Brad and I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top of mine.

**These were best right after you took them out of the oven and they were hot. They weren't so great the next day!

Olive Garden's Five-Cheese Ziti Al Forno

We celebrated Father's day at the Olive Garden with my parents and I had their baked ziti. It was so good that I had to find a recipe so I could make it at home. I think the next time I make this I won't use quite the whole box of pasta because it wasn't as saucy as the Olive Garden's. But it was still pretty tasty!

Ziti Sauce:

4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp fontina cheese, shredded*
1 tsp garlic pepper (I just used pepper)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Ziti Topping:

3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp Romano cheese, grated*
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp fresh parsley (I used dried)

Remaining Ingredients:

1 pound ziti pasta
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Prepare the ziti sauce: Combine all ingredients for the sauce together in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the ziti topping: In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients for the ziti topping. Add the garlic, oil, and parsley and mix until thoroughly blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to prepare the whole dish: Preheat overn to 375 degrees. Spray a 13X9 baking idsh with non stick spray. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Pour 1/2 cup of the prepared ziti sauce into the prepared dish, and spread it evenly over the bottom using a spoon. When pasta has finished cooking, drain the water and pour the hot pasta into the bowl of remaining sauce. Mix thoroughly; pour into the baking dish.
Spread 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over the pasta and sauce mixture. (I left this part out - I felt like there was already a lot of cheese)

Top the mozzarella with the prepared ziti topping, spreading evenly.
Place pan on center oven rack and bake until top is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately.

* I did not buy the fontina and romano cheese. I just used extra parmesan and it still worked. I guess mine is only 3 cheese ziti.