Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

We had this for dinner tonight, it is a family favorite. My sister (Aunt Didi) sent me a recipe for this years ago, and, of course, I tweaked it to make it work for us. So, here goes my version....

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box wild rice mix
1 cup white rice
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large casserole dish with cooking spray. Mix wild rice and white rice in casserole dish. Sprinkle with seasonings from rice mix. Cut chicken breasts in half through the plane (long way). Put the chicken on top of the seasonings, then turn the chicken over so seasoning side is up. Pour water and Worcestershire sauce around edge of casserole. Dot butter around casserole on top of rice. Spread cranberry sauce on top of chicken. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes uncovered. Serve with salad or green beans for a super easy meal. If you don't need to feed 6 hungry people, make this with 1 pound of chicken, don't use the white rice, and reduce the Worcestershire sauce and water by half. The cranberry sauce is so good on the chicken that you will want to use all of it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Something new to me...Roasted Asparagus

I have never cooked asparagus in the oven before, but tonight I decided to try it and it was really good! And of course, super easy!

Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash 2 small bunches of asparagus. Snap off ends (at wherever they want to snap). Put in large flat pan. Toss asparagus with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Put pan in oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yum!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Apple Bundt Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

Okay, this cake is perfect for fall, and the glaze is yummy! This recipe is cobbled together from a couple so no credits to any....

Apple Bundt Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups peeled, diced apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your Bundt pan by rubbing a knob of butter all over the inside, including the center post. Combine two tablespoons sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle all around the inside of the Bundt pan. (Roll the pan to cover all the surfaces.) Peel and dice the apples, toss with the other two tablespoons sugar,one teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of flour. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, apple juice, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth, add the remaining flour (2 and 1/4 cups). Stir in the apples by hand. Pour batter into the pan, bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, cake will be dark and firm. Let cake cool for 10 minutes, then put on large plate.

While cake is cooking, make the glaze.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped (yes, pecans, you are after all southerners)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (yes, heavy cream, you are after all my children)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add pecans, brown sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil (this is a boil that cannot be stirred down), boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, let cool until thickened. Add in vanilla, spoon over warm cake. If you did not put the cake on a large plate, you may end up with glaze all over your kitchen counter. Ask me how I know. Make a pot of coffee, I will be right over.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Aunt Lauren's Minestrone Soup

I love this soup, I love it especially when Aunt Lauren makes it, hers is always better than mine!

Aunt Lauren's Minestrone Soup

1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
5 carrots, scraped
3 stalks celery, washed
5 to 6 potatoes, peeled
1 32 ounce carton low sodium beef broth
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup rice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
black pepper
salt to taste (don't add any salt until right before serving, you may not need much)

Brown the hamburger meat in a frying pan. Drain, and add to soup pot. While meat is browning, chop veggies into bite size pieces. Add to soup pot, along with beef broth, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook, covered, until potatoes are just about done, then add rice. Serve with Parmesan cheese, crackers, or homemade cornbread if you really want your family to love you. Makes great leftovers. You can add pasta instead of rice if you want, and/or a can of drained, rinsed kidney beans. This soup is no work at all if you have MK around to prep all the veggies!