Thursday, November 29, 2012

Too Much Chocolate Cake

I think this might be my new favorite chocolate cake.  It was rich, but not overly so, and very moist, perfected only by a large scoop of french vanilla ice cream.  My husband says I can't really take credit for it being so good since the recipe hinges on a cake mix.  So I won't take any credit.  I'll fully admit to loving something made from a box.  It was that delicious!

1 devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, and water.  Mix well.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12cup bundt pan.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (It took my cake a full 60 minutes)  Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate.  If desired, dust with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indian Flavored Chicken and Lentils

Yum!  I love one pot meals!  We ate ours over rice . You could definitely add two or three more thighs if they'll fit in your pot.  There are more than enough lentils from this recipe.

4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped (I use a splash of juice from a jar of pickled jalapeƱos)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups lentils
1 large carrot cut into chunks
1 1/2 cup chicken broth

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven, heat 2 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat and brown chicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Chop together onions, garlic and jalapeno and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in pan; cook remaining salt, garam masala and cumin, stirring, until browned, about 1 minute. Stir in onion mixture and cook, stirring, until browned, about 6 minutes. 

Add the lentils and carrots, stirring to coat. Stir in chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups of water.Add chicken back to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

Make a batch of these to help you get into the Christmas spirit - they were great!  The cookies were very light and a bit crumbly, but that didn't stop us from finishing them.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup whits sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped/crushed candy canes

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until all of the dry has been absorbed.  Mix in chocolate chips and candy cane.  Form spoonfuls of dough into balls, and place them 2-inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

We thought this was delicious!  It was more prep than I typically am willing to do for a casserole-type dish, but the wild rice and cheese sauce made it taste more special than your standard casserole.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 cups cooked white rice (that's two cups of already cooked rice)
16 oz. wild rice, cooked (I only had a 4oz. box to prepare, so I added two more cups of white rice - just guessing!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Cheese Sauce
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a little gruyere I had left and mostly cheddar)
top with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat oil in a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper, and garlic salt.  Turn off heat.

To prepare cheese sauce: melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.  Whisk until thick and nearly boiling, then stir in cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9x13-inch baking dish.  Top with additional cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.  Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Linguine with Bacon and Spinach

This was delicious!  I'll leave out the added salt next time, though.

12 ounces bacon, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts (totally forgot about these!  I had them in my cupboard and they would have been a great addition)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pound linguine
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently to avoid burning. Once the nuts are golden, set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the turkey bacon, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, until the turkey bacon and mushrooms are browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken broth and let the mixture simmer for about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon salt to the water in the pot and cook the linguine until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining the noodles, reserve 1 cup of the pasta wter and set aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the spinach, mushroom/bacon mixture, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine, adding additional pasta water, if needed.
Serve immediately, topping the pasta with the toasted pine nuts and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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