From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fancy Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Candied Nuts

This salad is amazing.  Every time I have had it, I have loved it.  Feel free to 1/2 the amounts or double the amounts according to the crowd you are serving.  You can add tons of ingredients to this salad to bulk it up for a meal or to serve as a special side salad.  I have used all romaine lettuce and I have also done it with a combination of romaine and mixed leafy greens.  Both are delicious.  Just use what you have on hand.  The nuts, feta and dressing are key though in making this salad unique, tasty, and special.

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1 medium onion, chopped roughly
1 c sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1 tbs poppy seeds
2 c veg or canola oil
1 tsp salt

In a blender combine onion, sugar, cider vinegar and poppy seeds.  Puree mixture.  Then while the blender is running, add oil and salt.  Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Candied Nuts:

1/2 pound of nuts (any kind) about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1/2 tbs. water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Beat egg white and water in a bowl until soft peaks form.  Add salt, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon.  Beat with mixer.  Add nuts, and stir to coat nuts evenly.  Line baking sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray.  Spread nuts evenly on cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Other ingredients for the salad:
Feta Cheese
Chicken (optional)
Green onions (optional)
peas (optional)
shredded carrots (optional)
cucumber (optional)
tomato (optional)
strawberries (optional)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Herb and Apple Stuffing

I got this recipe from my dear friend Becky who made it last year for our Thanksgiving meal.  I loved it, and fell in love all over again this year.  I had to make some modifications according to the ingredients that were available.  It turned out amazing!  It was so good to combine it with the turkey, and mashed potatoes.  I made it the day before, which I think really makes a difference in flavor and texture.  It may seem super liquidy to you, but trust me it won't be when you cook it up.  Its crunchy on top and soft on the bottom.  Delish!

Herb and Apple Stuffing

  • 8 cup(s) sourdough bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounce(s) of bacon, cut up
  • 2 cup(s) (about 1 large) chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) (about 3 large stalks) chopped celery
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) medium or dry sherry or white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 5 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cup(s) heavy cream or half n half
  • 1 cup(s) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cup(s) (8 ounces) freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange bread in single layer on 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.  Needs to be like croutons almost.
    1. While bread toasts, in 12-inch skillet, heat butter on medium-low. Add bacon; increase heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion, celery, and apple; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry/white wine, rosemary, 3-4 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
    2. Meanwhile, in very large bowl, beat eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère. Add bread, then vegetable mixture, stirring until well combined. Let stand 30 minutes to allow bread to soak.
    3. Stir mixture well; transfer to 2 1/2- to 3-quart (13-inch by 9-inch by 2-nch) gratin dish. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. (To make ahead, assemble bread pudding, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day before baking.)
    4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top is browned and custard is set (when knife inserted in center comes out clean). Serve hot or warm.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I made these Berry Bars a while back, and I forgot to blog about them.  We always have a bag of Costco frozen mixed berries in our freezer. I wouldn't waste your money on fresh berries for this recipe.  This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  The crust and topping tastes like a brown sugar oatmeal cookie, and the filling is to die for. 

Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

3 cups of frozen berries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch 

Crumble and Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick-cooking or regular)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into 7-9 large chunks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together berries and lemon juice and cook medium heat until fruit is defrosted.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Scrape berry filling into a medium bowl and set aside.

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking pan.
In a food processor (or large mixing bowl), combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda , salt and vanilla extract. Pulse until mixture is thoroughly blended and resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture in a medium bowl. Pour remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread evenly and pat down. Place filling in dollops over crust and carefully spread to cover entire surface. Squeeze reserved crumb mixture into large clumps with your fingers and sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit filling.
Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Cut into 20 bars to serve.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies

It's a couple days after Halloween, and we have ALOT of leftover candy.  Soccer season has ended and we have a potluck pool party we are going to.  I needed to bring something, and so the wheels turned in my head.  I used my favorite cookie base for chocolate chip cookies and instead of adding chocolate chips, I added all sorts of chopped up candy bars.  Snickers, Reese's, Baby Ruth, Malt balls, Hershey's bars, Nestle Crunch, M and M' name it, it went into the batter.  I went away from putting anything mint into the mixture and stuck with more of the caramel, nut, nougat, peanut butter profile.  These turned out incredible, and was a good way to use all those candy bars.  If you want to do one big chopfest, candy bar chunks can be stored a ziplock in the freezer for later uses.

Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies

2 c. plus 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
12 tbs. butter, melted, then cooled till warm
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 -1 1/2 c. assorted candy bar pieces chopped up

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave just until it melts, don't scorch it! Add sugars, vanilla, and salt to butter mixture. Add egg and egg yolk, blend. Add flour and baking soda, mix until blended. Stir in candy bar pieces. Scoop tablespoon sized cookies onto an ungreased, light colored baking sheet. Cook for 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly not over bake. Let cookies sit for 1 minute until removing them from the pan to cool.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

I have tried dozens of cut out sugar cookie recipes.  I have to say, this is the one!  I hate it when I cut out the sugar cookies into shapes and after baking the cookies, the shape gets distorted.  Not this recipe.  The shape maintained it's straight lines, and the taste and texture is delicious.  Especially when you pair it with some almond flavored fave. 
Keep dough really cold in between batches.  I like to cut out all my cookies at once, place them onto a a cutting board and stick them into the fridge so that they stay cold before putting them into the oven to cook.

Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

1 c sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups + 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixer, beat butter and sugar together until blended. Stir in egg, almond and vanilla extracts. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again. Slowly stir in flour and baking powder until just incorporated. Dough will be crumbly so you'll have to work it together with your hands. Shouldn't take too much effort. Roll dough out to be 1/4-3/8 inch thick on well floured work surface. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to baking sheet. Immediately transfer to oven and bake 7-8 minutes. The thicker the cookie, the longer the baking time. Cool 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Serve at room temperature.  Frost with frosting and decorate if you wish.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

I made a great dessert tonight.  I love brownies and I love cookies.  Combine the two and you get a a unique dessert.  This was very simple to throw together and was much better than just the ordinary brownie.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies
(Recipe Courtesy of Pinch of Yum)

1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
2 tbs brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c plus 2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips
18.9 ounce brownie mix(I used Giradelli brand from Costco)
(eggs, oil and water for brownie mix)

  1. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars in a small mixing bowl. Add vanilla and egg; cream again until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir gently until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Prepare brownie batter as directed. Pour batter into a glass 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish. Scatter pieces of cookie dough over the top of the brownie batter.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes (35 for gooey, 40 or more for fully baked), cover the top of the pan with foil until the last 10 minutes. The foil keeps the cookies from getting too brown on top. Let stand for 15-20 minutes and cut into pieces for serving.
  4. You may have to adjust baking time, as you want the middle of the brownies to be barely set.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

I think this is my new favorite pasta dish.  I love this pasta dish because I feel like I'm getting alot of flavor without the loads of fat that you get with an alfredo sauce.  You could put any veggies in this meal.  For the chicken part, I just grabbed some frozen rotisserie chicken that I had in the freezer.  This meal came together very fast, and will be a week night staple in my house.  My kids ate the whole thing, even all the vegetables.  If you hate bacon (which I can't even imagine) leave it out, it will still be good.  You could also just make this vegetarian and put tons of different types of vegetables in it.  It would end up being a like a pasta primavera.
Make sure to salt your pasta water!!!! Super important.  The water should taste like the ocean.  You are using the pasta water for part of the sauce, and it needs to be flavorful!

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

12 oz. pasta (any shape)
1 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 heads of broccoli, cut up into florets
1/2 small onion, sliced into 1/2 moons
4 slices of bacon
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
Lawry's season salt to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Slice bacon into little pieces.  Cook bacon in a large skillet until golden brown and crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.  Leave all but 1/2 tbs of bacon grease in the skillet.  Start pasta water to boil.  Season with salt when the water comes to a boil, it should taste like the ocean water.  Add pasta, and set the timer for 4 minutes under the time it says to cook it. 
Over medium heat, add onion to the skillet until crisp tender.  Add cream cheese to the skillet, and retrieve about 1- 1 1/2 c. of pasta water from the pot. Add some pasta water to the skillet to loosen up the cream cheese.  Add bacon back to the skillet. 
Once the timer goes off for the pasta, add the broccoli florets to the pasta pot, and set the timer for 3 more minutes.  When it is done, drain, and set aside. 
Add garlic to the skillet, and more pasta water if needed to thin it out. Cook for about 1 minute.  Take skillet off the heat, add broccoli and pasta, shredded chicken, and the juice of one lemon.  Stir all together, adding pasta water to make the sauce thin enough.  Taste pasta, and season with lots of pepper, season salt or regular salt until it suits your taste.  Serve immediately. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Creamy Garlic Herb Sauce

This recipe is simple yet makes an impact.  This condiment is sooooooo good on top of hamburgers, or used as a dip for oven roasted potatoes or any type of fries.  I had to blog it, because I didn't want to forget the recipe.  Its quick to pull together, and takes your homemade food into something that you would find in a upscale burger place.  I halved the recipe for a family of 4.  The recipe I post makes enough for 8.

Creamy Garlic Herb Sauce

1/2 c mayonnaise
3 tbs sour cream
3 tbs chopped basil (parsley or mint)
1 scallion, chopped
1 garlic clove, quartered
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender.  Puree until creamy and pale green.  Place in a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to use. For burgers put a generous amount on top of the lettuce and tomato.

TDF Chicken Salad

I have been out of the cooking world for sometime now.  Sorry about that.  There has been a certain something growing in my belly that has sucked the life out of me, and turned me off to food this summer.  Yes, I'm expecting in January, and I'm very excited.
I do have a wonderful recipe to share with you.  Do you hate that chicken salad just tastes like mayonnaise?  I do, and that's why I came up with the TDF version, that I absolutely love.  I usually put this on top of lettuce leaves, eat with crackers or for a party you could put on croissants or rolls.  It really is flavorful, and has lots of crunchy goodness in it.  You will love it!

TDF Chicken Salad

2 c boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 green apple, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1/3 c dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots, chopped
2 green onion, sliced thinly
1/4 c nuts, any kind, chopped (this is optional)

1/3 c mayonnaise
1/3 c sour cream
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed up
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together, and chill for flavors to meld together.  Serve on top of lettuce or on bread.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cameron's Ultimate Lemon Cake

My sweet little 4 year old loves lemons.  He loves anything sour.  When we were out shopping the other day, he begged me to buy a lemon cake mix for his birthday, which isn't for another 6 months.  With such excitement in his eyes, I told him we would make a special lemon cake for the family that night.  He was thrilled beyond belief.
A good cake to me needs to be moist, the frosting has to be TDF, and there shouldn't be any dry brown edges.  I set out to accomplish that with this recipe.  This cake is moist, has a lemon syrup drizzled into the cake, as well as a lemon buttercream frosting on top.  It was amazing!  It's not super sour, but the flavor of lemon is prominent in every bite.

Cameron's Ultimate Lemon Cake

1 box Lemon Cake Mix
4 eggs
3/4 c water
3/4 c oil

Lemon glaze:
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 c powdered sugar

Lemon Buttercream:
4 tbs butter, softened
zest of one lemon
Pinch of salt
2-3 c powdered sugar
milk to desired consistency

Preheat oven to 310 degrees.  Grease a bundt pan or a 9x13, set aside.  Combine all ingredients for the cake, and pour into prepared dish.  Cook for 30-40 minutes or just until done, don't over bake.  Combine ingredients for lemon glaze.  When cake come out of the over, prick several times with a fork, all over, and slowly pour lemon glaze over the whole surface.  Let sit until almost cool.  If using a bunt pan, invert it onto a plate.  Mix lemon buttercream ingredients together until desired frosting consistency.  Frost the top of the cake.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fruit Pizza

I love fruit pizza.  This recipe serves alot, and is fast to throw together.  I use the help of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix.
This is my husband and son's favorite dessert that I make.  They are both fruit lovers.  Any fruit you have on hand will work.  Frozen berries, oranges, bananas, peaches, nectarines,

kiwi, fresh or canned pineapple, fresh berries, mandarin oranges, grapes, etc.  If you want to make ahead, use some jam or canned pie filling to top the bananas to prevent them from browning.

Fruit Pizza

1 pkg Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
3/4 c powdered sugar
assorted fresh, canned, or frozen fruit
Jam or pie filling (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix together cookie mix according to package directions.  Press batter onto a greased cookie sheet pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes it just until slightly golden around edges.  Remove from oven, set aside and let cool completely.  Mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until whipped and combined.  Spread evenly on cooled cookie crust.  Top pizza with fruit in whatever design you like.  Serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

I'm always looking for ways to change breakfast up.  I have noticed that when I eat something with alot of protein, paired with a healthy carbohydrate, I don't get hungry all morning.  This muffin is extremely good for lacking butter, oil, flour, and alot of sugar.  I plugged all my ingredients into a recipe nutrition website to calculate the value of one muffin:

Calories: 110
Fat: 2g
Protein: 5g

Not bad, right?  I made a batch, and froze them.  Whenever you are ready to eat, defrost at room temperature or put into the microwave.  My kids loved them, and they will be a great snack/breakfast on the run. 
Do NOT over cook these babies.  I removed them just as soon as the top was softly set.

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

2 1/2 c old fashioned oats
2 bananas, ripened and mashed
2 eggs
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tbs honey
3/4 c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 320 degrees.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray, and set aside.  In a food processor or blender place the oats, and process until the oats turn into a powder.  Add all of the other ingredients into the food processor or blender, and blend until mixture is smooth.  Divide batter between the 12 muffin tins.  (I had enough batter for 14 muffins).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or just until set.  Cool, and store in the freezer until ready to eat.

Picture courtesy of:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

I test alot of baked good recipes.  I would say only 50-30 percent get my TDF approval.  This recipe is a huge hit.  In fact I think I prefer these bars to lucious lemon bars to get my lemon fix.  The filling is to die for!  Not to mention the fact that I love cookies and the filling is surrounded by a delicious oatmeal buttery type cookie.  My husband approves and he is the true lover of lemon in our family.  Please, please use REAL lemon juice for this recipe.  It really makes a difference.  I made these a day in advance, and I was glad I did.  The longer that they sat in the fridge, the more set up they were.  Don't expect to cut these into squares for a couple hours after you bake them, as it needs to set. 

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

1 1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c oats (quick or old fashioned...I used a mixture of both)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c lemon juice
zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a smaller bowl, combine condesnsed milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  mix until fully blended, set aside.  In a medium bowl combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla.  Add flour, salt,baking powder, and oats.  Stir till almost combined, and then use your hands to really mix the dough, it will be crumbly.  Spray an 8x11 pan with cooking spray, press 1/2 of the dough on the bottom of the pan.  Spread the lemon mixture on top of the dough.  Crumble the remaining dough over top evenly.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the sides start to just turn golden.  Let sit for at least and hour.  Refrigerate leftovers...if there is any! :)

Recipe and picture courtesy of

Monday, March 25, 2013

Donut Muffins

I'm sitting down at my computer, and my brain wants to explode with how good these are.  I tried these on Sunday, when my friend Jenny brought them to church.  I saw them, and thought, "oh, its just a cinnamon and sugar coated muffin".  But, when I tried one, I felt like I was eating an actual donut.  The texture, and flavor make these muffins unbelievable.  This is for sure my new fav.  Thanks Jenny J!
Tonight I tried rolling the donut in powdered sugar, and it was off the charts good.  The cinnamon and sugar coating tastes like a churro donut and you get a good texture from the sugar crystals (Lana you will love this). 
Make this for breakfast this year on Easter morning, YOUR FAMILY WILL, (as my 4 year old son Cameron likes to say when something is good) "DIE OUT".
DO NOT OVERCOOK these babies, keep a close eye on them as oven temps vary.

Donut Muffins

1/3 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg (a must)

6 tbs butter, melted
powdered sugar (1 cup or so)
cinnamon and sugar mixture (1/2 cup or so)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine sugar and shortening, add egg.  Mix until creamy.  Add milk, combine well.  Add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  Stir until dough comes together.  Spray a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray.  Divide dough evenly among 12 muffin tins.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until tops are just set.  Tops of the muffins should still be white. 
Remove each muffin one at a time, dip into melted butter, and then coat with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar.  Let cool on a cooling rack. (Makes 12 muffins)

Picture courtesy of Sugarcrafter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicken with Kalamata Olives

This is my 150th recipe that I'm posting on the blog that I started a couple of years ago!  Wow! I love this blog, because it is a hobby of mine that can be shared with the public.  I never feel like this blog is a job, or a commitment, and that is what makes it fun for me.  I love that so many friends and family can try out new recipes, and I love hearing comments from people that I don't even know. I'm excited for 150 more recipes to come...
I have a new obsession.  Kalamata Olives!  I never had olives growing up, and still detest olives in the can.  However, lately I have really really enjoyed Kalamata olives.  They are salty and vinegary, and unique in flavor.   Plus, this meal is on the healthier side I would say.  How bad could that be? This recipe is a tribute to my new love of the olive!

 Chicken with Kalamata Olives

4-5 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
1 c chicken broth
zest of lemon
juice of  a lemon
1/4 c kalamata olives, sliced in half, and then halved again
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbs flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c diced onion
tomato, diced
Feta cheese (optional)
fresh parsley(optional)
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over high heat.  Season chicken thighs with salt/seasoned salt and pepper on both sides.  Add chicken to the pan, making sure it is hot enough to get a good sear.  Brown chicken on both sides (don't worry about cooking it through, it will cook later) and remove to a plate for later.

Add dried herbs, and garlic to the pan. Saute for 30 seconds,  add chicken broth, and lemon juice.  Dissolve 1  tablespoon of flour into some water, stirring to make a sort of runny paste.  Add to the broth mixture, whisking to incorporate.  Add chicken and all it's juices back to the pan, along with the olives.  Cover and let mixture simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove lid, and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Add lemon zest.  Serve chicken over rice, cous cous, orzo or noodles.  Garnish with diced tomato, feta cheese and fresh parsley.

Photo and recipe adaptation from here

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teriyaki-Coconut Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

I have made this recipe about 4 times, and I absolutely love it.  I love this recipe because you are not just getting flavorful teriyaki chicken, but teriyaki coconut chicken.  I love all things coconut, and we have alot of recipes in Hawaii that use coconut milk.  This one will not disappoint.  I made this for my parents when they came for a visit, as well as for my sister and her husband during their visit.  It pairs nicely with white rice, and a salad using my amazing Asian dressing.  I have never made this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but I'm sure it would be just fine.  I love the way the boneless, skinless thighs taste in this recipe.  And the good thing, is that if you are afraid of overcooking the chicken on the grill, you can't over cook thighs.

Teriyaki-Coconut Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

1 c soy sauce
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c water
1/2 can coconut milk (freeze the rest for later use)
1/2 onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Combine all ingredients into a freezer ziplock bag.  Add chicken, and let marinade at least 8 hours, or up to 12 hours.  Grill chicken until done, enjoy!

 Recipe adapted from here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mimi's Honey Bran Muffin (Copycat)

If you have been to Mimi's Cafe, you should know about the Honey Bran Muffin that they give you when you order soup or salad.  I love this muffin, with it's sticky gooey outer layer, and moist inside.  *Now, if you don't have powdered milk, just use 1/4 c milk and 1/4 c water*.  The muffins become more gooey the longer they sit.  I think this muffin is as close as I'm going to get to the original Mimi's Cafe Honey Bran Muffin in Hawaii.

Mimi's Honey Bran Muffin (Copycat)

Dry Ingredients:
 1 c flour
1 c wheat bran (I bought mine in the bulk bins)
4 tsp dry milk* (see note above)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c honey
2 tbs molasses
1/4 c oil
1 egg
1/3 c raisins (you could use prunes as well)
1/2 c water *(see note)
1 tsp orange zest

3 tbs sugar
3 tbs dark brown sugar
3 tbs butter, softened
2 tbs corn syrup
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.  Divide glaze mixture among 12 muffin tins, making sure to coat the sides and bottoms, set aside. In a blender or food processor puree raisins and water together. Add puree to the rest of the wet ingredients, and combine well.  Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until combined.  Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin tins.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops of muffins are just set set. (Do not over bake!) Immediately invert muffins onto wax paper or foil, and let cool.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Oatmeal Cookies

Can cookies really be healthy?  My answer is NO.  But can it be full of more nutrition, have less sugar, and butter than an average cookie and still taste good?  My answer is yes!  This recipe turned out really good.  I was super skeptical, but I loved the flavor and texture of this cookie.  I ate two, and I was super full for the rest of the day!  Probably because of the oats, peanut butter and banana.  This was delicious!  I found this recipe here.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 tbs butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c peanut butter
1 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 banana, mashed completely
2 c quick oats

Peanut Butter/Honey Glaze

3 tbs peanut butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tbs honey
2 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.   In another bowl combine butter, and sugars.  Add peanut butter, and honey, mix till combined.  Add mashed banana, egg and vanilla until combined.  Add dry ingredients to wet, combine, and then add oats.  Scoop batter by the tablespoon onto baking sheet.  Flatten dough slightly.  Bake for 7-9 minutes or until tops are just set.  Remove from baking sheet and cool completely.  Mix together glaze ingredients until spreadable consistency.  Spread a little bit of glaze on each cookie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cream of Chicken Soup from Scratch

I have had it with Campbell's cream of chicken soup in the can! I can't stand the flavor, texture or smell of it. I made creamy white enchiladas a couple of months ago using cream of chicken soup, and I couldn't stand it. Each to his own though. It may not be worth it for you to make your own,but it certainly tastes better to make your own. I saw on pinterest, someone calling it "Cream of Crap" soup, I'm a believer. Instead of 15 ingredients in the can, when you make your own, there is only 4-5 at most. I made this for Hawaiian Haystacks, and it was delicious! This made 4 cups of soup. So you could scale this way down to fit the recipe you wanted.

 Cream of Chicken Soup from Scratch (4 cups) 

8 tbs butter
8 tbs flour
4 c chicken stock
3 c milk
1/2 c minced onion
juice of half a lemon

In a pot melt butter, add onions and let cook until onions are translucent. Add flour, and whisk for a minute, letting the flour cook. While whisking, slowly add the chicken stock, and milk, whisking the entire time so that you don't have any lumps. Cook, stirring constantly over medium low heat until thickened to desired consistency. Add lemon juice and pepper at the end.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reeses Pieces Nutty Buddies

There was a sale recently here in Hawaii on Chex cereals.  I loaded up on corn and rice Chex not only because they are good for breakfast, but also good for a quick sweet treat.  This recipe doesn't actually have the candy Reeses Pieces in it, but the mixture you put onto the Chex cereal tastes just like Reeses Pieces, which I'm a huge fan of.  Of course, you could throw in some Reeses Pieces candy into the bowl, but trust me there is no need.  I also feel like the corn Chex works best for this, as it adds better flavor.  The key to a good nutty buddy mix is the amount of powdered sugar you use.  You want the Chex mix to not be white like the powdered sugar, but just be coated enough to wear the Chex mix is not wet anymore from the chocolate mixture (like a fudge coating) I have made this in small batches when I have needed a sweet fix at night after the kids go to bed. DELISH!

Reeses Pieces Nutty Buddies

8 cups Corn Chex
1 c white chocolate chips
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
3 tbs butter, softened
1-1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Place corn Chex in a large bowl.  In another medium sized bowl melt white chocolate in the microwave, stirring 15 seconds at a time.  Add peanut butter and softened butter, and microwave for another 15 sec, or until chocolate/peanut butter mixture is smooth.  Pour over corn Chex, and coat the cereal.  Place 1 cup of powdered sugar into a large freezer ziplock bag.  Place Chex mixture into bag, and shake around to coat the Chex with powdered sugar.  Add more powdered sugar if necessary. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chewy, Nutty, Coconut, Oatmeal cookies

These cookies are super yummy.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for a cookie without chocolate chips in it.  The texture of this cookie gets its chewiness from coconut and oatmeal.  The nuts and brown sugar are what make this cookie taste rich.  You can use whatever nuts you have on hand.  I had bought a huge bag of pecans from Costco, so that's what I put into my cookies.  You could also leave the nuts out of it, and it still would taste wonderful.

Chewy, Nutty, Coconut, Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 c sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 c shredded coconut
1/2 c quick oats
1/2 c finely chopped nuts (i used my food processor)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine sugars and butter.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix until combined.  Add oats, coconut, and nuts until combined. Bake for 7-10minutes.  Do not over cook, should just barely start to turn golden on the edges.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Southwest Baked Egg Rolls

I made this recipe a couple of Sundays ago, and they turned out super yummy. I didn't even realize I was eating a vegetarian dish.  (Not that I'm opposed to eating vegetarian).  Make sure that you don't fill these too full, divide the mixture evenly amongst the 24 egg rolls.  These turned out super crispy baked in the oven, and were awesome with guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side.

Southwest Baked Egg Rolls

2 cups frozen corn, thawed
(15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 
2 cups shredded cheese  
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry  
4 scallions (green onions), chopped  
1 (4 oz) can of green chiles, drained  
1/2 t ground cumin  
1/4 t chili powder  
1 t salt  
½ t black pepper  
¼ t cayenne pepper 
 24 egg roll wrappers (1 package)

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly mist two baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the egg roll wrappers and stir to thoroughly combine.
Pour some water into a small dish and set aside. On a flat surface, place an egg roll wrapper, corner facing toward you (like a diamond) and put ¼ cup of the mixture from the bowl on the center of the wrapper. Spread the mixture in a horizontal line from the left corner to the right corner of the wonton wrapper, leaving ½ inch or so of space on each side. Fold the bottom corner closest to you up over the ingredients. Fold the side corners in and tuck them. Dip your finger in the dish or reserved water and lightly wet the edges of the remaining top corner of the wrapper. Finish rolling the filled egg roll over the wet corner so that it adheres. Place wrapped egg roll onto the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
When all of the egg rolls are wrapped and on the baking sheets, lightly mist the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 14-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the wrappers are golden brown. 

Recipe comes from here

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Simple Red Enchilades

Everything I have tried from the Pioneer Woman, I have loved.  This recipe comes from her, and they were absolutely delicious.  We love anything Mexican at our house, and these really past the test in my book.  Alot of times I shy away from enchiladas using the sauce out of the can, because its all I can taste in the dish.  I loved the method of combining the store bought sauce with chicken broth to mellow it out.  I made this recipe with store bought corn tortillas and I ran out, so I made up some homemade ones.  The store bought were delicious, but the homemade tortillas were to die for.  Of course you don't need to go to the trouble to make your own.  However, if you live near a Mexican market or some other place that sells fresh tortillas, they are amazing.  I modified this recipe only in the fact that I didn't fry the tortillas before hand.  I sprayed each tortilla with cooking spray, and put them on my pancake griddle so that they would toughen up and not break when I roll each enchilada up.  I also added more cilantro to my sauce, didn't use olives in the filling, and cut the green chilies down to just one can instead of two.  Play around with this one, according to what you like!

Simple Red Enchiladas

For the sauce:
1 tbs canola oil
1 tbs flour
1 (28 oz.) can red enchilada sauce (I used mild)
2 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tbs chopped cilantro

For the Meat:
1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 can diced green chilies
1 tsp salt or seasoned salt

To Assemble:
3 c of grated cheese
1 c chopped green onions
1/2 c chopped cilantro (to sprinkle on top at the end)
10-15 corn tortillas

To make the sauce,in a medium sauce pan combine the oil and the flour and whisk together to make a paste, cook for one minute.  Pour in red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 30-45 minutes
Brown meat with onions in a skillet.  Add green chilies, and salt. Set aside.
Spray each corn tortilla with cooking spray.  Place on griddle and let crisp up just a little.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour 1/2 c red sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then spoon meat mixture, some cheese, and some green onion into the center.  Roll up and place seam side down in the pan.  Repeat until everything is used up. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has melted.  Sprinkle cilantro all over the enchiladas when they come out of the oven.