Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

This week my kids and I have had a great time making lots of Valentines Treats. Here are a few that we tried...
- Cupids Cups from Kraft Foods
- Heart Shaped Pretzels (We added red food coloring to ours to make them look pink)
- Glazed Brownie Hearts

To celebrate Valentine's Day I made my husband a candlelight dinner complete with romantic music & sparkling cider. We had a great time enjoying a quiet dinner, just the two of us (a rarity around our place!)

Our Menu:
Wedge Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
French Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Chicken Amore
Chocolate Raspberry Parfait
Sparkling Cider

Chicken Amore

6-8 Chicken tenders
1/4 lb angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
1 packet dry Alfredo Sauce Mix
1 T Olive oil
1 T butter
1 C milk
1/2 C water
1 C tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 C roasted red peppers (found in a jar marinated in olive oil)
1 T capers, drained
1 T onion salt,
1 T Italian Seasoning
1/2 T garlic powder (or chopped garlic if you like a stronger garlic flavor)
Lawry's Herb & Garlic Marinade
Mozzarella cheese, grated

1- Marinate chicken for at least 4 hours in Herb & Garlic Marinade
2- Heat olive oil in skillet on Medium heat. Add chicken. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until the juices run clear. Transfer from pan to plate tented with tinfoil to keep chicken warm.
3- Add 1 T butter to chicken drippings in skillet. Allow to melt. Meanwhile, whisk together Alfredo mix, milk and water until there are no lumps in it. Add to butter in skillet and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat.
4- Add tomatoes, pepper, capers and spices. Simmer on low 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken up a bit. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat.
5- Serve by plating pasta, top with chicken and a generous serving of grated mozzarella.

Wedge Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

1 head Iceberg lettuce
Purple grapes ,halved
Dried Cranberries
Cucumber ,thinly sliced
Tomato, thinly sliced

Cut two wedge shapes out of the iceberg lettuce. Place on a plate already drizzled with dressing. Surround with halved grapes, dried cranberries, cucumbers and tomatoes. Drizzle with additional dressing and sprinkle with your favorite cheese.


In a blender mix:
1/2 C red wine vinegar
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 T minced onion
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C strawberries, fresh or frozen ( I have also been known to substitue strawberry jam in a pinch!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu

Have you ever put together the perfect meal in a crock pot, complete with an expensive roast and equally expensive vegetables, then gone to work. You come home expecting a delicious, ready-to-eat meal, and instead you smell..... nothing. You forgot to PLUG IN the crock pot. So instead of savoring a tender roast and sweet vegetables, you feed them to the garbage disposal and eat Cheerios and Moose Tracks Ice cream. How depressing!

Yes, I have to admit this has happened to me, on more than one occasion. So before you walk out the door, check to see that your crock pot is securely plugged in and the knob is turned to the 'On" position!

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu
4 small chicken breasts pounded flat (or two large ones -fillet in half and avoid all that pounding)
4 thick slices ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C Sour Cream
1/2 C milk
1/2 C bread crumbs
1 T Italian seasoning

1- Place flattened chicken breasts flat down on a plate. Place 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese on top of each breast. Fold the chicken breast into thirds, rolling the ham and cheese in the middle of the chicken. Secure with two toothpicks. (I find that if I always use two, I always know how many to look for before I eat it)

2- Place chicken toothpick side up in the bottom of a crock pot. Meanwhile mix Cream of chicken soup, sour cream and milk in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the crock pot so the chicken breasts are almost covered. If you have any sauce left save in the fridge for later.

3- Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Italian Seasoning. Cover and cook on High for 4-5 hours.

4- Remove Chicken Cordon Bleu's from crock pot and pour sauce into a gravy dish to serve over the top, or on mashed potatoes. You may want to strain the sauce to remove any bits of chicken that fell off. Also, if you had any sauce left from earlier, warm it in a saucepan before adding to the remaining sauce.