Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whats the chicken?!

Good Day! Well I am not sure how this blog entry will go. Blogger just got a new layout and I am still figuring out where everything is. I think it will be ok, it will just take some getting used too.
So it is sorta storming out right now, and my husband and a friend of his are working out, outside. I asked if maybe they should come in since lightning was striking like, a mile away and they said no. It added to the work out, they claimed. Men are so weird sometimes.
I will gladly stay in, and write this blog for you. And I will let you know if they are still alive by the end of it.
Chicken Kiev
I got this from my Taste of Home cook book. It has been a good one. You will be surprised to know that I tried this dish. What did I think of it? Well you will have to read til the end to find out.

1/4 cup softened butter, 1 Tbsp minced chives, 1 clove of minced garlic, 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, 3/4 cup crushed cornflakes, 2 Tbsps minced parsley, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/3 cup buttermilk

I know what you are thinking. That is a ton of buttermilk! Well it took me a good 5 minutes to locate that buttermilk, and it was the only size I could find! I kid you now. And it was the only brand. Does anyone know a recipe that I can user the left over for? Oh, and the original recipe called for fresh ingredients on all the herbs. Yeah right! You know how expensive FRESH  herbs are?? Too expensive thats how much. So, I cheated. But I don't think the recipe suffered. And if you have the means feel free to use fresh!

In a small bowl combine the butter, chives, and garlic. Shape into a 3inx2in rectangle. Cover and freeze until firm. About 30 minutes.

Ok, a few things that I have to add about this part. I was impatient for the butter to soften, so I nuked it in a microwave for like 10 seconds and that worked fine, I think. But, shape into a rectangle?? What nonsense!  As you can see by the picture below I could not shape that mix into any anything. It was that soft. And to such a specific size too. 3in x 2in. What if I wanted it in a 2.5in x 2.5 in one? It didn't make sense. So I threw some plastic wrap over the bowl and set in the freezer. 30 minutes. Way to long! I think ten would've been better. It was solid as a ROCK when I took it out of the freezer. I couldn't even spoon it  out. So, I nuked it again. Just for 5 seconds. That made is somewhat managable without it being a soup. Lessons learned my friends.

Flatten each chicken breast to 1/4 in thickness. Cut the butter mix into 6 pieces(I guess that was if you made it into the super specific rectangle, I just scooped up 6 equal-ish parts)place one piece in center of chicken. Fold over butter; secure with toothpicks.

I had whole chicken breast that I just cut in half, and that seemed to work fine. I have said it before and I will say it again. I can't stand touching raw chicken. That is what the tongs are for.

Every time I pounded the chicken a hole usually was in it. Just from hitting one place too much I guess. Oops!

There they are, all rolled up. A few were more difficult then others, seeing as there usually was a hole in them. But it worked out ok. Not my best work.

In a shallow dish, combine the cornflakes, parsley, and paprika. Place buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip the chicken into the buttermilk and coat. Then evenly coat with cornflake mix.

I did not measure the cornflakes. I just crushed up a 1 qt ziplock bag filled with the cereal. And it came out to about a cup. With these dipping scenarios in recipes I tend to lean more toward having too much rather then too litte. Otherwise when you run out you have to wash your gunky hands and make more for that last piece of chicken, then you do have too much extra. Better safe then sorry.

I didn't really have any shallow dishes, so I used my super cute pyrex! I love the older pyrex stuff, and want to have a kitchen filled with it someday.

I didn't measure the buttermilk either. I just poured some in(my cute dish!)until I thought it was enough.

Place chicken in a greased 13in x 9 in baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove toothpicks before serving(Dah!).


There ya go! All done. That one in the back, its seasoning was a bit burnt. But that is because it had the very last of the seasoning that was mostly cornflake dust, so it burnt a little. Now, for how it tasted. It was ok. I didn't like it all that much. I think it was the cornflakes. The inside was great, but the outside, not so much. I think next time I will just use bread crumbs, or something. My husband found it to be just ok as well. It really needed a dipping sauce, so he used ranch and said it improved it greatly. So please tell me a way to make this dish a home run. I am still new at cooking, and need advice. So if you make it, let me know, tell me what you did differently.
Oh, and my husband and his friend are just fine. They still worked out when it started to rain. It too, added to the work out. Goofs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Titles are Overrated.

Hi! Well here I am again. I don't have much commentary to add, except that I hate my camera. Thank goodness these are small pictures! Its not really my camera. My husband bought it before we were married, like 6 years ago. I have never liked it. No matter what all the pictures are fuzzy and out of focus. Oh well. What can I do? On with the recipe!
Beef Broccoli Supper

3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice, 1 lb lean ground beef, 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, 1 can condensed broccoli cheese soup undiluted, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp salt free seasoning blend, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp melted butter
For the salt free seasoning blend I just used Italian seasoning. The bread crumbs were roasted garlic seasoned. I was gonna get just regular, but my husband is all about flavors. He insisted on it. And I like to make him happy. :)

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

So I didn't really know how to cook 3/4 cup rice. The package only gives directions for a cup. And I know, from watching Chopped, that rice is super hard to cook. I just guessed. I put enough water in to cover it a little and just hoped for the best.

I had a few broccoli heads(is that what they are called?)and just plucked off enough florets until I had my desired amount.

Cute, huh? I thought so.

Add the rice, broccoli, soup, milk, seasoning blend, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Transfer to a greased 2 qt baking dish.

Blech. It smelt as bad as it looked too.

So my rice. Yeah, it got a bit crispy on the bottom. But the top was nice. And since it was going into a casserole and not just by itself I used it. Stirred it up a bit and you could hardly tell. And my husband didn't say anything about crunchy rice so I think it was fine.

Toss bread crumbs with butter; sprinkle over beef mix. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.

There ya go! The finished product. I thought uncovering and cooking it for another 5 minutes wasn't really necassary. It did keep it warm though. But I think I could skip that next time. My husband liked it a lot. He ate a plate of it even though he said he wasn't really that hungry. I make him eat it right away so I can ask him how it was. Its not that same if he has it reheated a day later. I would not eat this(surprised?). I like raw broccoli but cooked is gross. And so was the soup! Until next time!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What's in a Name?

Hiya! Yes, I do realize it has been awhile. Well I must admit I have had a super lack of interest in doing things in general. Had a slump, and it usually comes every month. Like clockwork, like some sort of cycle.
Well since that slump only lasts 4 - 7 days, what accounts for the rest of the time? Who knows! Just accept the fact that I don't post at regular intervals.
So whats the recipe? A bit different one for me. I actually ate this!
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
I got this recipe from my taste of home cook book. Not the casserole one. My husband wanted to have a side for his lunches, and he suggested I make some rolls. I have never made bread of any type before this so I was a bit wary. I think it turned out rather well though.
I was going to name this blog post, Wesley Crusher, after Will Wheaton's character on Star Trek The Next Generation. But I figured that was a bit far off. On with the recipe!

2 packages(1/4 oz each) active dry yeast, 2 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees), 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 cup shortening, 2 tsps salt, 2 eggs, 3 cups whole wheat flour, 3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 cup melted butter

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.

At first I was worried that the hot water from the tap wouldn't be hot enough, but it worked fine! Just needed to make sure that the faucet was all the way to the left.

Add sugar, shortening, salt, eggs, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth.

"Who love ya, baby?"...Get it, Kojak? He is bald. Smooth head. Smooth dough? Yeah, it was a stretch.

Stir in enough of the all purpose flour to form a soft dough.

Ok, so talk about super vague instruction. Add enough until its done, was basically what it said. Since I had never made rolls, I had no idea what consistency it was supposed to have. So I ended up usuing all of the flour, plus a whee bit more. I think the altitude messed with me a bit too.

Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

I have no idea how to knead dough, really. What I know I learned from movies and stuff. So I just winged it, but I think I got it.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. About an hour.

I was super dubious of whether or not this dough would rise. Who knows what I did wrong, ya know? But it worked! I lifted the bowl and squeled in delight. It worked!

Punch dough down(really fun). Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 4 pieces. Shaped each into 12 balls. Place 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise about 25 minutes.

Aren't they cute?

Bake at 375 degrees for 11 - 15 minutes or until browned. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

How do those look? Super good right? I tried one, and it was fine. Not a huge fan of whole wheat. A friend came over when they were done and she tried one for me and said they were really good! And my husband said they were very moist and tasted great. Mission accomplished. Well I've got a super bad head ache, and I think its stress related. I am freaking out hopeing the Penguins beat the stupid Flyers in game 1 of the playoffs. Gotta go listen. Have a good day!