Showing posts with label Freezer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freezer. Show all posts

6/21/13

13 Sesame Ginger Salad Wraps!


Growing up, I did not like salad.  To me, eating lettuce was like eating leaves off a tree and nobody would do that....

My mom finally forced convinced me to eat an iceberg lettuce leaf.  After a bite, I decided it needed salt.  For awhile there, that's all I would eat with my dinner.  A lettuce leaf with a sprinkle of salt.  I would sit there for the longest time, munching on that salted lettuce leaf, feeling like a rabbit...

In high school, I discovered Ranch Dressing.  It changed my life.  Of course, I would still pick out the "weird" things like the purple shredded stuff...

Fast forward to today.  I have discovered that I love chicken in my salad and could eat it as a main meal.  Hubby, however, refuses to eat a main course salad unless it is wrapped up in a homemade tortilla

I love the ginger soy dressing at Costco, but don't need a whole quart of it.  If you love an Asian dressing, you will not believe how easy it is to make this perfect balance of  tangy and slightly sweet Ginger Sesame dressing.

Brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, rice vinegar and onion powder (or green onions) are thrown into the blender.

I love using fresh ginger and love the freezer tip to use it when I need it.  It takes this dressing to a whole 'nother dimension!


Not sure how much ginger I shredded.....but this looks good!


When blended, it looks like this...I gave it a taste and added just a wee bit of Real Sea Salt.


In the summer, I love to grill chicken on the BBQ.  You can easily use some of this dressing as a marinade for extra flavor.

Whip out my kitchen shears and cut some cooked chicken into bite size pieces...

The best way to assemble a salad is to put all your ingredients into a bowl...I love the extra crunchiness of crispy Chinese noodles tossed in.

Feel free to toss in some Mandarin oranges....



take a spoonful of dressing, and mix it up.  That way, everything gets coated.


Put the tossed salad onto a fresh tortilla...


Wait!    It's missing something....Oh, yeah.  Carrots.  Gotta have carrots!

So much better!


There you have it.  One of my all time favorite salads for summer.


Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)


2/6/13

0 Lean Cuisine Chef's Pick


Have you seen the newest Lean Cuisine entrees?  Doesn't this roasted Chicken Pecan in a maple bourbon sauce with wild rice, pecans, sweet potatoes, apples and cranberries look good?

Today's hottest chefs have brought their skills and fresh ideas to the Lean Cuisine kitchen.  Just check out these celebrity chefs who have contributed to over 16 new entrees!


I have not had good luck with frozen entrees.  First, they never look like what's on the box. The pasta is always overcooked and there is never enough sauce.  Rice tastes wooden and the veggies are always mushy.

Cooking this entree in the microwave was very simple.  Poke a couple of holes in the plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Let it sit for 1-2 minutes and this is what you get:



Hmmmm...kay....  Let's see if we can make it look like the picture on the box.

Much better!


After one taste, I knew this wasn't just any ordinary freezer entree.  The chicken was made from whole white chicken breasts and the rice was not mushy or wooden in texture.  The sauce was mild tasting and had a wonderful crunch of pecans.  Nothing was over or undercooked. I'm looking forward to trying  other varieties that Lean Cuisine Chef's Pick has to offer!


I have partnered with Lean Cuisine through DailyBuzz Food to help promote their new line of Chef's Pick products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you Lean Cuisine!




11/13/12

4 Southern Pecan Pie & 6 Professional Pie Baking Tips


I have never been a fan of Pecan pie. Until now.

Why?  The filling is usually a lumpy, gelatinous mess, which to a texture eater like me, just doesn't settle well in my mouth.

It took a professional baker, who introduced me to this REAL Southern Pecan pie: a rich, buttery, silky and sweet filling with pecans and a crunchy cookie-like topping.

I just had to have the recipe ... and she gave it to me!

In a bowl, combine granulated sugar, light brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of flour (don't worry, the full recipe link is at the bottom of the page)...



Next, eggs, melted butter (not hot), evaporated milk and some coarsely chopped nuts.

Tip: Pan roast the nuts to bring out even more flavor!



Tip: Stir this with a spoon.  Why?  If you use beaters, it will cause too much of the sugar to dissolve and the top of your pie will burn while baking in the oven. (I did not know that!)


Tip: Next, create a 4" strip of foil that will fit around your pie.  It took three strips, ends pinched together, to go around this pie.  This will be your pie "shield" or "fence" that will prevent your crust from getting too brown while in the oven.  (I always thought the shield had to go on top of the crust)


Tip: This professional baker prefers to use glass pie pans.  Pour the filling in a premade, uncooked pie crust.

This is as full as I dared ~ this recipe will fill a deep pie dish. Luckily, I had two smaller 4" pie crusts in the freezer and pulled those out to hold the extra filling.

Tip:  Yes, you can freeze pie crusts!


Put the pie in a preheated 350°F oven and wrap the foil around the pie, pinching the ends and creating your pie "fence." Bake the pie until the middle no longer jiggles when you try to shake it.  During the last five minutes, remove the foil to allow the pie crust to brown nicely.

It is better to overbake than underbake, to make sure the pie crust gets cooked.

Tip:  Remove the pie from the oven, but DO NOT CUT INTO THE PIE WHILE WARM OR HOT!  The pie must be completely cooled before cutting or the filling will run ...


This pecan pie will be puffy and brown, but will settle a little bit during the cooling process.

I was thrilled that this pie had set ~ no runny, goopy mess!

Ohhhh .... look at that flaky pie crust ... I know you want a piece!



This is an extremely rich pie ~ you will want to cut it into much smaller pieces than you would normally cut a pie.


This recipe is a keeper ~ pin, share and made it for your next holiday meal!

Southern Pecan Pie

(4x6 recipe card download)     (full page printable recipe)





Four Pies to Try for Thanksgiving

Prebaked Pie Crust: Blind Baking

Double Pie Crust

Perfect Single Pie Crust

11/7/12

2 Freezing Rosemary & Other Herbs




My rosemary plant did really well on its own this year ~ I cut off the branches and covered the "stump" with dry leaves.  It helped that it was a mild winter in Utah last year.  I'm hoping for another mild winter...

But just in case my rosemary plant dies, I want to have fresh rosemary this winter and throughout next spring.  I love using it in my Herbed Turkey Breast and Prime Rib recipes during the winter holidays.

Freezing fresh herbs is very simple.  I wash and dry the herbs in my OXO salad spinner.  You can also dry your herbs between sheets of paper towels.


Removing the leaves from its woody stem is really easy.  Hold the rosemary branch in one hand and hold the top with the other hand... (my right hand is taking the pic)


Pull the leaves in the opposite direction that they are growing in....the leaves come off very quickly and easily.


 Pinch off the top bunch of leaves and viola ~ you have a pile of fresh, clean herbs!


I blotted these herbs with a paper towel and bagged them in a freezer safe bag.  These herbs should last me up to a year.  To use these herbs, take out what you need directly from the freezer and chop or use according to your recipe.


The temperatures will be dropping to the freezing zone soon .... I better go see what other herbs I can rescue in my garden and freeze for the winter!






Some Favorite Recipes Using Rosemary:

Roasted Baby Red Potatoes

Roasted Turkey Stew (close to Chuck A Rama's Kettle Roasted Turkey)

Foccacia

Potato Rosemary Rolls

Company Pot Roast

10/17/12

2 Chicken Bacon Ranch Bakes



The flavors of chicken, bacon, cheese and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing come together perfectly in a soft, pillowy bun, topped with Parmesan cheese.  Your kids are sure to gobble these up!

The inspiration came to me from a reader who left a comment on my Dinner Roll recipe:

        "Made two batches of these tonight. Put onion powder, garlic powder and dried cilantro in with the milk. When it came time to shape the rolls, I rolled them flat and stuffed half with diced ham and mozzarella and the other half with pepperoni and mozzarella . Let rise and baked as directed. Cooled on a rack and then stuck them in the freezer, ready to pop in lunch boxes. INCREDIBLE!!!!! Thank you so much! My hot pockets beat THEIR hot pockets six ways to Sunday."

Cool, huh?  I love it when my readers share how they have used my recipes!

Her comment, a bottle of ranch dressing, and Costco gave me the inspiration for my Chicken Bacon Ranch bakes.  They were so simple to put together and my family loved them!






Begin with a batch of my dinner roll dough, pizza dough or store bought dough, whichever you prefer.  Allow the dinner roll dough to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

Next, cut up some strips of cooked bacon.  Freezing bacon is a great tip for times when you only need a couple of pieces.


Next, cook your chicken.  I like to cover it with plastic wrap and cook it on high in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, checking for doneness.  Using kitchen scissors makes quick work of cutting up cooked chicken, especially when it is hot.



Add Hidden Valley Ranch dressing to the chicken, bacon, shredded mozzarella cheese, and parsley.


Stir to combine.  It's looking good already!


Divide your dough into two piles.  Roll each pile into a 12"x12" square.  Cut each square with a pizza cutter into 6 pieces, for a total of twelve pieces of dough.


Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each piece of dough.


Bring the long edges together, pinching tightly, and pinch the ends closed. You don't want any filling to leak out!


Put the filled chicken bake seam side down on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet and brush with melted butter.


Top with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and parsley.


Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown.  No, you do NOT need to let these rise!


These are the perfect size for anyone ~ think of all the options for filling that you can use....


Chicken Bacon Ranch Bakes
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)
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