Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Ok Cara picked chicken and dumplings for her recipe this time, and all I could think was really chicken and dumplings when it is 100 degrees outside, I don't know about this, but they turned out pretty good if you sit under the air conditioner and think cold wintry thoughts.
Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole Chicken
2 cans of canned biscuits
Salt and pepper
Chicken Bullion

Boil a whole chicken until done in a large stock pot, remove from water and debone it. Add the meat back into the broth where you boiled it before, skim the broth if necessary before you add the chicken.  Add some chicken bullion if desired and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil over medium heat. Once chicken and broth are boiling take biscuits and pinch off  bits of them and put them in the boiling water. Stir in and let cook until biscuits are firm. Enjoy!

Fish Packets

This is a easy recipe that is so very very good! Ben chopped the veggies for these fish packets and did a wonderful job with this meal. The squash and bell pepper were out of our garden and the kids picked them for this meal, they were delicious!
Fish Packets
Talapia fillets
Squash sliced
Celery sliced
Carrots sliced
Onions sliced
Mrs. Dash

In a piece of foil placed fish and sliced veggies sprinkle with Mrs. Dash and at a pat of butter on top. Fold the foil so that it makes a little packet for the fish and veggies. Place on a cookie sheet and cook at 350 until fish is done and veggies are tender. Enjoy!

Country Ribs

I am running behind on getting all of these meals posted. This is a meal that Ben cooked. He wanted to cook country ribs a simple two ingredient recipe but he kinda got way to much season salt on them so we ate more of the ranch style beans, and rice than the the actual ribs, but he did learn that the importance  that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Country Ribs
2lbs of pork boneless country ribs
Season Salt
 Take you ribs and place them in a large pan and sprinkle with season salt. Cover with foil and cook in oven at 350 degrees until meat is tender and fully cooked.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Caras Fried Chicken Nuggets!

Ok it has been a crazy busy week this week but the girl has been waiting ever so patiently for her turn in the kitchen. She Decided to make fried chicken and mashed potatoes with Ranch Style Beans. And the meal came out great!

We used this recipe but instead of butterflying the chicken like it says we just made chicken nuggets! It is by far the best Fried chicken recipe ever!

Fried Chicken
Chicken breast butterfly cut threw the thick part of the chicken to make two thin chicken peaces
flour water Salt Pepper, Garlic, and Cajun Seasoning
Mix flour and water together until it is like a Pancake batter thickness. Season chicken with seasoning and place in batter. Cover and let set in the refrigerator for several hours, or if you are like me a few minutes.
Then Heat oil and dip marinated chicken in flour and salt to bread it and place in hot oil till golden brown. To make bone in fried chicken first soak raw chicken in salt water for several hours to draw out the blood then fallow directions for boneless chicken.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The boy had to pick Lasagna!!!

Well 3 hours later our task is complete, and it came out rather well I think! We only lost one egg to excess crushing and one glass bowl that shattered when I opened a cabinet door, but that was because my little dishwashers think they can just cram as much clean dishes in any space they find and if they can shut the door then they did good. Not so much, thankfully it was just a Pyrex dish.
I have to admire the boy he stuck with it for the entire 3 hours accept for an occasional detour to pester his sister.  While the sauce was simmering he decided to make chocolate chip cookies too.  All in all it was a wonderful meal that he did almost entirely by himself, all I did was help with the reading and surprisingly enough he was really good at the measurements. He learned how to identify and pick Sweet Basil from the garden, and how to mince it with scissors. He also got introduced to the food processor to cut up onions. Not to mention he learned that onion juice on your hand really burns when you rub your eye. All in all a good experience, but I think next week I will direct him toward an easier dish that does not take so much time and energy to prepare.

Here is the recipe we used for Lasagna! Because it was so long and this was our first week I did not make him write out the recipe but next week  he will have to for sure!

Absolute Favorite Lasagna

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste
1/2 Cup of Water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons fresh Basil leaves chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
23 ounces of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 egg
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 lasagna noodles

Place these ingredients into a large dutch oven.
1 pound (450 g) of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound (450 g) of ground beef
1/2 cup (120 mL) of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Cook ingredients until browned.

Add the following:
1 (28 ounce) (784 g) can of crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) (230 g) cans of tomato sauce
2 (6 ounce) (168 g) cans of tomato paste
1/2 (120 mL) cup of water
Gently stir this into the cooking meat.

Add the following:
2 tablespoons (30 mL) white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) fennel seed
2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh Basil leaves chopped
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground pepper
Gently stir these seasoning into the sauce.
Cover the pot and let the meat sauce simmer.  Simmer on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes  This is the ideal simmer time but not mandatory.  If you don’t have time it will still be great after one hour of simmering. 

Soak 12 lasagna noodles.
The lasagna noodles need to be soaked in hot tap water for 15 minutes. 
While the noodles are soaking you can make the cheese filling.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:
23 ounces (644 g) of ricotta cheese.
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) fresh grated nutmeg
Grate fresh nutmeg over the Ricotta cheese.

Add the following:
1 egg

2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh Italian parsley chopped
Mix these ingredients together with a spoon

Now we start building the lasagna layers.
Use a 9×13 inch baking pan.  Spread 2 Cups (480 mL) of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Remove your lasagna noodles out of the water bath.  Shake water off wet noodles. Lay 6 noodles across the layer of sauce. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the ricotta layer. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella layer
Spread 2 cups (480 mL) of meat sauce over the cheese layer Lay down the next layer of noodles Spread the remaining ricotta mixture over noodles Spread the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses saving  some cheese for the top of the lasagna Put the last layer of meat sauce on the cheeses . Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover with foil Bake in preheated oven at 350 F (177 C) for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes

–Serves 12 people– 

The recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookies was just the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag but use real salted butter not margarine. 

Summer Cooking Project

This summer we are doing something we have never really done in earnest before. To keep the kids busy and hopefully maintain some of their academic skills I have issued a challenge to my 11 yr old son (aka the boy) and my 9 yr old daughter (aka the girl). The challenge is this to use all available resources to them either cook books, family recipes, or the internet and plan, shop for, cook, and serve their meal.  They have to copy by hand down the recipe, go to the store with me to buy the ingredients, and prepare the meal with either their dad or me helping.  The goal of this project is three fold, one they will get a better understanding of what it takes to make a meal, two they will keep up their writing and math skills, and three maybe they will stop complaining every time I cook something that they do not like. Each kid is responsible for one meal a week, the meals have to be on separate days, and something they really want to try out. We shall see if this turns out to be a good thing or something we never want to do again. I will try to blog the recipes and a picture of how it turned out for each meal they do. Wish us luck!