Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups day-old bread cubes (Challah or Brioche would work well)
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped and divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Spread the bread on a cookie sheet and toast lightly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine bread, bananas, 1/2 of the peanuts and chocolate chips in a greased 9-inch square baking dish; toss to mix.
  4. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in medium bowl over a pot of simmering water until well blended.
  5. Pour over the bread mixture.
  6. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven about 40 minutes, depending on how set you want it.

Source: Inspired by various recipes around the web and my own tinkering

Ginger Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken or chicken parts
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Clean excess fat off the chicken but do not remove the skin and pat dry.
  2. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, lime juice, garlic, sugar, ginger, red pepper and salt.
  3. Whisk to combine.
  4. Put your chicken in a large container or bag to marinade and pour the marinade over it.
  5. Let sit in the refridgerator for a few hours to overnight turning at least once.
  6. Prepare the butter by combining the butter, cilantro, ginger, lime zest and juice in a bowl.
  7. Set aside in the refrigerator to firm up.
  8. When you are ready to grill your chicken, remove the meat from the marinade and shake dry.
  9. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.
  10. Stuff the butter under the skin.
  11. Cook according to your grill instructions.

Source: My kitchen

Spicy Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken (turkey works too)
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, finely diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup peppers, diced (I like red and yellow)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Combine the meat, eggs and vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Tabasco and seasonings.
  3. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture.
  4. Serve in salad form or sandwich form.

Source: My kitchen

Ham and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 2 cups cooked ham, cubed
  • 1 cup peas, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente, drain.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  5. Saute onion until clear then add garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  6. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper.
  7. Cook and stir until smooth and the flour starts turning a golden brown.
  8. Pour in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  9. Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  10. Stir in mustard and cheese.
  11. Continue to cook stirring occasionally until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  12. Remove from heat and stir in ham, peas and pasta.
  13. Pour into a greased baking dish.
  14. In a small bowl combine Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  15. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top.
  16. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Adapted from: http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2011/05/ham-cheese-bowties/

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup semi-dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Place chicken pieces between sheets of plastic wax; gently pound with a meat mallet to flatten evenly.
  2. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil and butter; sauté onion slices, mushrooms, and celery until tender.
  3. Add egg, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Stir to blend well.
  5. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper; fill with even portions of the filling mixture.
  6. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
  7. Arrange chicken breasts in a shallow 3-quart baking dish, spooning any extra filling around the chicken rolls.
  8. To prepare the sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter with olive oil.
  9. Add onion, mushrooms, and cayenne pepper.
  10. Sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes.
  11. Add wine and reduce until almost evaporated.
  12. Add chicken stock and simmer until reduced by 1/3.
  13. Pour sauce over chicken.
  14. Bake at 350, basting occasionally with sauce in the baking dish, for 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Sources:  http://southernfood.about.com/od/chickenbreastrecipes/r/bl30627w.htm and http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/sunny-anderson-grilled-chicken-mushroom-sauce-recipe

Asian Roasted Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound zucchini and/or yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chunked
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut up the vegetables and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl, adjusting as needed for taste.
  4. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  5. Pour into a large, flat baking dish and loosely cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize.

Source: My home kitchen

Magic Custard Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, lukewarm
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease and line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with parchment.
  3. Separate eggs.
  4. Add the egg whites to a mixer and to stiff peaks and set aside.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light.
  6. Add butter and vanilla and beat for two mins.
  7. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  8. Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed.
  9. Add the egg whites, a third at a time, gently folding them in using a spatula.
  10. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  11. Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Source:  http://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2014/04/magic-custard-cake.html

Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds apples (I use whatever kind I have on hand)
  • 1 1/3 cups apple juice (you can use water as well)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional, to taste)

Directions:

  1. Peel and core your apples then chop them into pieces.
  2. Combine the juice, vanilla, sugar, honey and spices in a bowl and mix until disolved (as best you can).
  3. Combine the apples and liquid mixture in a large pot.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the apples get mushy and the liquid is reduced.
  5. Use a blender to puree the applesauce to the desired consistency being careful not to overfill the blender carafe. A stick blender would work well, too.

Source: My kitchen as inspired by my grandmother

Easter Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Prepare a strainer with a large layer of cheese cloth or clean dish towel.
  2. Add eggs to a large pot.
  3. Whisk to break up yolks.
  4. Add the milk, salt and vanilla.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  6. When curds and whey have separated, pour them through the strainer.
  7. Let drain well.
  8. Transfer to clean cheese cloth or towel.
  9. Twist into a ball and let hang for about a day.

Source: Elek family recipe (Traditional Slovenian Easter cheese)

*Most recipes I’ve seen on the web call for only a quart of milk.  We’ve always had better luck with a half gallon.  You can definitely start with a quart and if it seems like there aren’t enough curds, you can add in additional milk.

Brine for Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingreients in a bowl and mix until everything disolves.
  2. Pour over your meat.
  3. Let marinate a few hours to overnight.
  4. Cook meat as desired.

Source: Our home kitchen