Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Couscous Pilaf Salad


I have been horribly neglectful of this poor little blog. But I have a good excuse. So while I have been doing a lot of eating, I've lacked the energy to take pictures and post. But I found this recipe in my old binder, made it, consumed a lot of it, and had to share it. This is courtesy of my friend Catherine.

1 box of Near East Couscous
1 1/3 c. and 2 T. vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 T. canola or olive oil
1 onion chopped (yellow or spanish)
2 T. cider vinegar
1 T. curry powder
1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. each of salt, cumin and cinnamon
1 c. fresh or frozen peas
1/2 c. diced red or green peppers
1/3 c. chickpeas
1/4 c. raisins (optional)
2 T. sliced almonds (optional)

Follow the directions on the box of couscous and use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to cook the couscous in.

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, remaining stock, curry powder, brown sugar, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Mix. Add in all vegetables and optional mixings and cook through. Add to couscous and toss gently. Can be served hot or cold.

My Recommendations:
To make this recipe more kid friendly, you can cut down on the amount of curry powder. My two don't eat this even if I leave out the curry powder all together, so I always add the full amount. You can also add any vegetable you would like such as broccoli or cauliflower. Lastly, I always tweak the amounts of chickpeas, peas and almonds, putting in more chickpeas and almonds and less peas.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup


When I spotted this recipe at A Mommy's Blessings, I knew I would have to try it. One of Al's favorite things to eat is buffalo chicken (remember how he hoards the buffalo chicken dip?), so the soup would have to be popular as well. And it sure was. I'm fairly certain that there will be a rumble over the leftovers.

6 c. milk
3 c. shredded chicken
3 cans cream of chicken
1-2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. hot sauce
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1-2 c. shredded cheese

Add all ingredients to crock-pot and stir until combined. Cook on high for 1-2 hours.

My Recommendations:
I cut the recipe in half because we didn't have much milk left and we were still left with plenty of leftovers. Next time, however, we will not be cutting it in half!

I didn't have cayenne pepper so I subbed in chili powder, and also added a good amount of salt and pepper. Other than that, this recipe needs no tweaking, it's that good. It was perfect with some toasted honey wheat bread on the side for dipping.

Homemade Strawberry Orange Julius


It was the first semi-nice day in a really long time (remember our 78 inches of snow this winter?). So I decided to celebrate by making us a cool, frothy Orange Julius.

My brother and I used to make these all the time when we were in high school, so although I knew the basic ingredients, I needed a refresher on the quantities. While searching, I couldn't find any recipes that didn't include either egg whites or whole eggs. Adding raw eggs kind of skeeved me out (remember - I am scared of raw meat), so I crafted my own.

2 c. orange juice
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. white sugar
1 t. vanilla
handful of strawberries (optional)
tray of ice cubes

Add all ingredients to blender except for ice. Blend. Add ice. Blend until smooth.

(No judgement on my smeary glasses, k? Thanks)

My Recommendations:
These were delicious and my kids could not drink them fast enough. I don't think they took a breath until they had finished their entire glass.

It's entirely up to you how much ice you want to add, and whether you want to add eggs. From what I read, the egg/egg white is what makes the drink frothy, so I'm sure it would be delicious. But still skeevy in my humble, warped opinion.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sausage Wontons

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home

Next week is Al's birthday so I'm putting together a menu of his favorite things. I'm awesome, I know. This recipe tops the list of his favorites and was introduced to us by his mother. I usually hesitate to make anything his mother has because she is amazing in the kitchen. And because the one time I did, Al mentioned that it wasn't as good as his mother's. He may or may not have been in the dog house big time for that sweet little comment.

But because I'm so awesome, and because it's his birthday, I'm going to make these. And he's going to like them.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home
1 package (12 ounces) wonton wrappers
1 pound bulk pork sausage
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby cheese
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

Lightly press wonton wrappers onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until edges are browned.

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until browned; drain. Stir in the cheese, peppers, onions and salad dressing. Spoon a rounded tablespoonful into each wonton cup. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until heated through. Yield: about 4 dozen.