Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Havarti & Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I wish we had a fresh meat market in town! I wanted skinless-boneless chicken breasts but settled on breasts with the rib meat attached...ugh!

Despite my little fit about not getting what I was attitude adjustment time!

I really like Havarti cheese and pair it with apples-oh yum-a taste treat indeed!

Try to purchase nice large breasts-MINUS-the rib meat as they would assemble so much easier!

Havarti & Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Thinly peeled apple slices
1/4 cup Havarti, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider
Fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit about 2" long in thick side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Season inside of pocket with salt and pepper. Stuff 3-4 apple slices & 1 tbsp. Havarti into each pocket. Secure cut edges together with wooden picks.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high heat and add chicken...cook two minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and transfer to oven for about 20 minutes, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet and place on serving platter.

To the skillet, add the apple cider and stir for about 4 minutes over medium/high heat or until cider has reduced and thickens a bit. Pour cider mixture over the chicken and serve. You may want to garnish with chopped parsley, sliced green onions and a few sprigs on thyme.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chicken Apple Sausage With Penne

If you have not tried the chicken and apple sausage, available in most grocery stores, you should consider it! The hint of apple is really tasty, especially as we approach the fall season!

I chose to use Penne pasta but you could use another variety if you wish.

I prepared this dish after work and it doesn't take long at all, unless however you are really hungry.

With a side of steamed broccoli and summer squash-oh and the sliced nectarine you have a nice flavorful dinner.

Chicken Apple Sausage With Penne:

3 quarts water
2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta
12 oz. package of chicken apple sausage
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat sausage according to package directions (I microwaved)~Cut sausage into bite sized pieces
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add pasta and cook about 7 minutes, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid
Sprinkle flour into saucepan and gradually whisk in the milk and reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for at least two minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, sage, salt, and pepper. Finally, add the sausage and pasta.
Transfer the mixture to an 8X8 baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded Swiss on top and place back in oven (uncovered) and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Garnish with fresh sage~


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Savory Tartlets

Now, this is my kind of dinner but Ben, on the other hand, thought there should be a little meat included in the tartlets...maybe next time!

I cut the puff pastry into 3" rounds and using a sharp knife scored four little cuts being cautious not to cut through the dough.

The above photo was snapped just prior to placing in oven~

Here we have the finished product and the aroma is heavenly throughout the house.

Mushroom, Gruyere, and Caramelized Onion Tartlets:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, I used a sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
16 oz. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1egg beaten together with 1 tbsp. water
Handful of parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat and then add the onions. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions start to caramelize (about 20 minutes or so)- be patient in this process, you'll be happy you did!

Add the butter to pan of onions and once melted, add the mushrooms, stirring once in awhile until they are completely soft and the liquid has evaporated. This takes 20-25 minutes. Again, be patient!

Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken broth and cook once again until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.

Unfold the pastry sheets and cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter, placing the rounds on a silpat lined cookie sheet (you will need two sheets). Cut 4 small slits into each round as in the above photo.

Top the rounds with a small amount of the mushroom mixture, keeping the filling within the score marks. Top with shredded cheese and brush the edges of pastry with the egg wash.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Garnish with parsley!

You could make these into appetizers very easily, just use smaller rounds of pastry. Using the 3" round made 16 tartlets so if they were cut smaller you would have many appetizers.

Perhaps next time I will please Ben by putting a little sausage into the mixture but I was completely happy with the recipe as is!!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Zucchini Stromboli

I had some zucchini on hand as well as a can of crescent rolls...what to the internet...and here is what I found!

Be warned that this is bit messy to prepare but the end will result will please your palate!

As you can see in the above photo the crescent roll seams are a bit difficult to close with the moisture of the shredded zucchini.

Here, you can see the ingredients all in place and ready to roll up and bake!

I wanted to show the garlic and chopped basil, before adding the zucchini and mozzarella.

Zucchini Stromboli:

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped basil
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Sea salt
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Roll out the crescent dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Pat all the seams well and brush with the olive oil.

Spread the garlic and basil over the olive oil and finally add the zucchini and mozzarella over entire surface. Sprinkle with the sea salt.

Fold the longest edges in, then fold one short end in. Finally, roll up very tightly (jelly roll style), making sure the seams are secure.

Brush entire surface with the beaten egg and bake for 20 - 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with a little parsley and serve with a little fruit!

Just a thought...perhaps the seamless crescent roll dough would be easier!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Taco Pizza

Haste makes waste...that is how I feel about the photo's in this post. They are a bit blurry and I apologize and please don't judge this recipe by my poor photography!

This dinner choice is quick, easy, and in my opinion delicious!

You could use this, as we did, for dinner...or how about an appetizer. Thinking I will go the appetizer route this fall!

I am quite certain that if you enjoy taco's, you will count this as a keeper recipe!

Taco Pizza Recipe:

1 pound ground round
1 package of your favorite taco seasoning (small pkg.)
2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (2 - 8 oz. cans)
16 oz. can refried beans
2 - 3 cups shredded cheese (I used Taco/Mexican Blend)
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes (your choice)
Green onions, chopped (I used 6)
You could add olives, but not at our house

Pre-heat oven to375 degrees
Brown and drain the beef
Add the taco seasoning, according to package instructions

Unroll crescent rolls into a jelly roll pan or you could use a large cookie sheet
Press dough over the bottom and up the sides a little to form a nice edge. Bake for about 11 minutes or until golden

Microwave the beans for a minute or two and carefully spread over baked, warm crescent rolls.

Top with beef mixture then sprinkle with cheese, followed by tomatoes and green onions. Return to oven for 5 -6 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garlic, honey, & balsamic chicken

This recipe is relatively quick and easy...perfect in and of itself...but the flavor is wonderful and the garlic/balsamic aroma will tease your taste buds!

Once you gather the ingredients, the rest is a snap!!!

The store did not have any just plain boneless chicken breasts so I used the ones with rib meat.

The sauce thickens up and is so flavorful!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons honey

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in large pan (over medium/high heat); add olive oil and finally add the chicken breasts. Cook on both sides until thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken and place on plate and cover with foil.

Add chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and honey to pan that you cooked the chicken in. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until sauce thickens, be sure to stir in the browned bits in the bottom of pan.

Remove foil from chicken and spread/pour sauce over all. Garnish with a little parsley and serve.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ben's Brainstorm...

My husband, Ben, is always thinking on how to make "things" yesterday's post, I showed you how to cut corn off the cob into a bundt pan with virtually no mess...

As he was observing my corn cutting idea, thoughts were forming in his head on how he could improve on the task.

Ben was concerned that my knife was coming in contact with the metal bundt pan and that is not acceptable!!!

I can't provide dimensions or cutting instructions but I am sure that the pictures will suffice!

The small wooden end goes down into the hole of the bundt pan and the corn is placed on the screw tip.

Thank you, Ben, for improving upon my are a genius and I love you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clever Corn Idea!

It's that time of year when the farm markets have so many wonderful fruits and vegetables and corn ranks right up at the top for me! There was a time when Uncle Alfred and I would dine on only corn for the evening meal...he lived with our family after suffering a stroke and never lost his love of corn on the cob!

This clever idea is slick as a whistle and when you are freezing corn what a time saver and there is virtually no mess is sweet is that?

After blanching the corn just place the bottom end of the cob into the hole of a bundt pan (make sure you leave a little of the end in place so that it rests down in the hole).

Now cut away and you will be amazed at how the kernels just fall into the bundt pan, not all over the counter!

This yellow/white sweet corn came from The Grossnickle Farm in Kaleva, Michigan and believe me it is excellent! They also have many other vegetables and fruits!

I think you will enjoy using this method of cutting corn off the cob and I'm certain you won't miss the mess!