Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pita Crisps!

Don't you just love those baked pita "chips" that are always being dipped into something fabulous at Costco?? Well, I love them! So, I didn't want to have to buy them all the time and thought I would investigate a way to make them.. this is what I came up with...

1 bag whole wheat pitas (6 to a bag)
about 3 T. olive oil (I am going to try grape seed oil next time!)
about 1 t. cumin
about 3/4 t. ground red pepper
sea salt to taste
shredded parm cheese (or what ever your favorite cheese, Asiago would be great too!)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the oil and the seasoning (not the salt) in a small cup. Cut the pitas in half, as if you were going to stuff them. Then take your kitchen scissors and carefully cut along the seam of each half. Do all of those first... then brush the oil on the outside of the pita halves. Stack two halves, oil to oil and cut into 4 pieces (in half, then in half again is how I did it) with a pizza slicer. Place all the pita pieces, oil side up, onto two large cookie sheets. Salt the pieces and sprinkle with cheese. Place each cookie sheet on a separate shelf in the oven; set your timer for 6 minutes. Switch the pans to the opposite shelves and reset the timer for another 6 minutes. This helps them to cook evenly. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy as you wish!

Creamy Chicken & Biscuits (Gooseberry Patch - Comfort Foods)

As usual, I will give you the recipe (then let you know what I did differently).

2 c. potatoes, peeled and diced (I used about 4 cups)
2 c. carrots, peeled and sliced (I bought already shredded carrots!)
1 onion (I used 1/2 large sweet onion)
3 T. butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
2 cubes chicken bouillon (I used 2 t. of granules)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I boiled to Large bone-in breasts and it gave me some fresh chicken broth and then I picked the meat off when it was done)
12-oz tube refrigerated biscuits (I used 7 oz tube, 8 regular size biscuits)

Cover potatoes, carrots, and onion with water in a medium pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in pan, stir in flour, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, bouillon, and broth and cook until thickened; about 3 - 5 minutes. Set aside. Place chicken in a 13x9 pan (spray with PAM first), layer the vegetables over the chicken and pour the sauce on top. Arrange the biscuits on top and bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and the sauce is bubbly.

** OK, so for MY tastes, this was a bit bland, so I added some more spice to it. I added a lot more pepper, garlic powder, and salt. It was probably more bland because I used so many potatoes and I use skim milk. I also boiled the chicken the same time I was boiling the vegetables and then cooled the chicken in a cold water bath before I picked it. It's what I had on hand, and I like to make my own broth. It's so easy and a lot cheaper than buying it! =] I think those were the only things I really did differently.. it was pretty yummie and most certainly "comfort food!"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicken Salad

I took some chicken salad sammies to church one day for something we were doing and Sharleen really wanted the recipe for the chicken salad. I've been telling her for about a year now I would get it to her... the problem is, I don't remember what I put in it because I didn't write it down.... so I am going to guesstimate and not give any measurements because I have no idea... it's all to your own liking...

I made a lot so I probably used 3-4 large cans of chicken
mayo to taste
chopped onion
chopped pecans
Fugi apple, chopped
dried cranberries

I think that was it. I will try to remember if there was anything I missed! =] Enjoy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

7 Layer Salad... (Gooseberry Patch - Comfort Foods)

1 head of lettuce, torn (I used iceberg this time, but any would work)
1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped (I had a really large one and only used about 2/3 of it)
10 oz package frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked to a crisp then crumbled
.7 oz package Italian salad dressing mix
2 c. mayo (I used light mayo)

In a large bowl (I used a glass 13x9 baking pan - but, a nice LARGE glass bowl would be great too!), layer ingredients in the order given except the mayo. Spoon mayo over top and seal the edges. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve layered or toss before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

** The mayo step at the end is kind of messy... as hard as I tried to make it neat, it just grabbed some of the bacon and pulled it in. It's sort of like frosting a cake before it cools down all the way! =] It may not look super pretty, but it sure was yumma! I took it to work and everyone enjoyed it a lot! It's fun trying to get them to guess the layers. The men just shrugged - and easily guessed six of them, while the women examined it closely and could almost always name all 7!

This is how it looked before the mayo topper!

This is how it looked after the mayo topper!

This is some in a bowl. =]

I really AM going to figure out why all my pictures are coming out blurry! I took quite a few of this dish and I couldn't use most of them.. the ones I did choose to use aren't very good either, but I had to put something in here! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dutch Puffed Apple Pancake (Gooseberry Patch - Comfort Foods)

1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
4 eggs
1 c. milk (I use skim)
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. salt (I use sea salt)
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries (I used one 100 calorie pack of craisins!)
3 T. brown sugar (I didn't measure this or the cinnamon, I just guesstimated)
Garnish with maple syrup (I didn't use any, but my son used a little)

Spread butter in 9 in. glass pie plate; arrange the apple slices and nuts over butter. Bake at 425 until apples begin to soften and nuts are lightly toasted. Beat together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt (the recipe says mix on medium speed with an electric mixer, I used a whisk). Stir in cranberries. Remove pie plate from the oven and spray the edges with non-stick spray. Pour batter over apples and walnuts; sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake, uncovered at 425 until the center is set and edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with maple syrup. Serves 4.

I served it with sausage links and the kidlet said it was a keeper! He wasn't sure for many bites whether he wanted syrup or not... he did both! I thought it was yumma... tasted like custard pie and pancakes with apples and nuts! =]

My new adventure!

As some of my friends have heard, I've been recently inspired by a movie coming out soon called "Julie & Julia." Julie is a woman who decides to blog her way through one of Julia Childs cookbooks and I have decided to do the same thing, sort of. It isn't Julia Childs, but Gooseberry Patch instead! I love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, well all cookbooks really, but I often rush through to get things done and forget to actually USE them. But, I do read them as if they were a favorite novel! =]

So, you are invited to watch my journey through the cookbook I have now called "Comfort Foods." I will post the recipe as the book has it and then I will explain what I did differently, if anything. I will also try to get pictures, but I will warn you that I don't have a great camera and I am most certainly not a food decorator person! I will try to do a couple a week, maybe more or less depending on my schedule. Have fun!!! =]