Monday, September 22, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfaits


My daughter recently had a girls night get together and I was lucky enough to be invited!  She made these beautiful layered parfaits....just a bite...and just right!!  I mean, who doesn't like peanut butter and chocolate layered so sweetly in cordial glasses?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Parfait

Yields: 12-15 mini cordial parfaits

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers or chocolate wafers
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Homemade whipped cream or 1 small container whipped topping
Chocolate shavings, sprinkles or peanuts for garnish

Combine melted butter, honey and crushed wafers or graham crackers in a mixing bowl.  Fill each glass with one heaping  teaspoon of the mixture, tap down slightly, about 1/2" high.

Add a few chocolate chips and some peanuts on top of the crumb mixture.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.  Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Mix until well blended.  Gently fold in the whipped cream or whipped topping.  Carefully pipe or spoon the mixture into the glasses.

Garnish with chocolate shavings, sprinkles or peanuts for garnish.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours to set.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Thank you Miss Lindsey! It was a fun evening with lots of tasty food.....I loved the sweets that you shared.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats




Having an abundance of zucchini is a good thing.   It is such a versatile vegetable that we never seem to tire of it....it readily becomes soup, a fritter, a muffin or a cake....but, today, it became a serving dish for a version of chicken enchiladas!

These little guys were really tasty...the spice mixture was perfect...dinner was filling!

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Yield:  8 boats 
Serve 1 to 2 boats per person

Preheat oven:  400° F.

Enchilada Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Zucchini Boats
4 medium zucchini
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chiles, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked, shredded (Or, use shredded rotisserie chicken)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Topping
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or a mixture of Mexican cheeses

Garnish
1 avocado peeled and sliced
Sour cream
Chopped cilantro

For the Sauce
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Set aside until ready to use.

Zucchini Boats
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While waiting, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh leaving a 1/4-inch thick edge.  Chop the zucchini flesh into small pieces and set aside.  Drop the zucchini boats into the boiling water and cook 1 minute.  Remove from the water.  Drain on paper towels.

In a sauté pan, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and the chiles.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender.  Add the chopped zucchini flesh and cilantro, season with salt and pepper.  Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water and tomato paste.  Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the chicken and mix.  

Place 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and place in the zucchini halves cut side up.  Fill each hollowed boat with 1/3 cup chicken mixture,  Top each with about 2 tablespoons of sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of cheese.

Bake 35 minutes.

Garnish:  Sliced avocado and dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.



These are worthy of a repeat performance!  Great flavors!

I am sharing at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm, as well as Weekend Bits at Simple Living and Eating.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Curried Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is easily a popular spring and summer delight.  It is filling and doesn't take long to prepare...especially since I discovered the packages of rotisserie chicken chunks at Costco.  Being too hot for me to stand over the stove or to heat up the house by turning on the oven, this was a great find....speaking of finds, it is time to find a recipe for The Secret Recipe Club reveal day.

In preparing for this post I had to focus on something that did not involve an oven...that was not the easiest challenge.  Emily, at It Bakes Me Happy says she has a major sweet tooth.  She is a baker and lover of sweets...lots and lots of sweets.  I must say that Emily is one busy baker!  There were many sweet choices in her recipe archives...but alas, I have been trying hard to boycott sweets....so, I talked myself out of the Apple Crisp, the Apple Dutch Baby and the Buttermilk Biscuits!  No sweets!  No oven!

Instead, I focused on salads.  I spied a recipe for Curried Chicken Salad that looked perfect.  I thought that I might have everything in the pantry which meant no trip to the store...and that made it even better.  As the story goes I had to do some improvising as my pantry did not have golden raisins or pecans.  I had Craisins and slivered almonds.  I was also making more than Emily's recipe would make and serving it at dinner so I increased some ingredients and added a couple more ingredients such as pasta, celery and green onion.  It was quite tasty...and, as you know, I am a lover of curry, so curry always makes me happy.  Thank you, Emily, for allowing me to springboard from your recipe!


Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

Yield:  4-6 servings

2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast
2 ribs celery, diced
1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Craisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 thin green onions, chopped, both white and green portions
6 oz dried pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp honey
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, 3-4 twists

Garnish:  Additional chopped green onion or chopped cilantro.

Boil the pasta until al dente, drain, and set aside.  Allow to cool as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium size bowl combine the diced chicken, celery, hard boiled egg, Craisins, slivered almonds, and green onions.  Add the pasta.

In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, curry powder and salt.  Fold into the chicken mixture, stirring until evenly moistened.

Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

Serve as a sandwich, as a side dish or main course on a bed of lettuce, if desired.

Garnish:  Sprinkle with additional chopped green onion or chopped cilantro.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


This was not an over-powering salad as curry can sometimes be. The addition of the honey was a great idea. It smoothed the edge that curry can have and created a very pleasant salad.  We really enjoyed it!



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Baklava Cookies


Just reading the name of these cookies had me conjuring up visions of flaky layers interspersed with walnuts and honey...what could be more satisfying...and how could that become a cookie? I wasn't certain but the vision I had conjured up must certainly have a happy ending....

And, it did have a happy ending.  These cookies were easier to mix up than laying out layer after layer...and, we were not disappointed in the taste.   The cookies were soft and chewy....the drizzle of honey...mmmm....I had a bit of chopped walnuts left and sprinkled just a bit on top.  They were just right.

Baklava Cookies
adapted from The Good Stuff Cookbook

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Optional:  Finely ground walnuts to sprinkle on top.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, walnuts, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Slowly mix in the flour and nut mixture.

Using your hands or a cookie scoop, form small, round balls of dough and place them on the parchment lined baking sheets.  Gently press down on the balls, to flatten each cookie slightly.

To make the glaze, heat the honey, butter, vanilla, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture is syrupy.  Set aside until ready to use.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Remove the cookies from the oven and drizzle the glaze over the cookies.   (Lightly sprinkle with finely ground walnuts if desired.)  Let the cookies stand on the sheets until cooled completely.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


While I have been boycotting sweets, I couldn't resist making these little guys....nor could I resist eating a few....

I am sharing today to Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage, at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm and Foodie Friday at Simple Living and Eating.