Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sesame Semolina Dinner Rolls

A large-capacity bread machine is needed to make this dough.  This batch makes between 24 and 30 rolls, depending on size. The dough was soft and pliable but not wet, and the oven-spring was impressive.

You'll find this recipe at my new website, Cook and Count!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Waste Not, Want Not: Potato-Chip Chicken

One of my neighbors works for a potato-chip company, and every so often he brings samples of new brands or new product lines to us for a taste-test. Yesterday he handed us a couple of bags of no-salt-added potato chips. 

If I'm going to eat chips straight out of the bag, they need to have a little flavor, like salt & vinegar or Honey BBQ. Not wanting these to go to waste, I figured out another way to enjoy them.

First I opened the bag, let out the air, then held the bag closed and crushed the chips. Then I poured some Old Bay seasoning into the bag, closed it tightly, and shook until the potato-chip crumbs were spicy. This became a delicious, crispy coating for oven-baked chicken drumsticks.

Here's the recipe for POTATO-CHIP CHICKEN

10 large chicken drumsticks
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 5-ounce bag unsalted potato chips, crushed
1 TBL Old Bay (or more to taste)

Cover a cookie sheet with foil and brush with olive oil. Preheat oven to 375.
Add Old Bay to the crushed potato chips. Close the bag tightly and shake until the crumbs and spice are well mixed. Pour into a shallow bowl (I used a pie plate).
Beat egg and milk together and pour into another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken drumsticks in egg mixture, then roll in chip crumbs until coated.
Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

You can use any spice you like with this, and you get to control the salt. This is also a good way to use up the broken chips in the bottom of the bag. (You can freeze the chips until you get enough to use for one batch of chicken.)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Dessert Time: Cookies & Cream Brownies

Dress up a boxed brownie mix with crushed Oreo cookies and mini chocolate chips! This is an easy recipe to make with the kids; even little ones can help crush the cookies and then sprinkle on the toppings before baking. And it's never too early for kids to learn that even broken cookies are good for something.

Here's the recipe for Cookies & Cream Brownies:

1 box brownie mix, prepared as directed (I used a Dark Chocolate brownie mix for this recipe)
1 cup crushed Oreos or mini Oreos
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Prepare brownie mix as directed on box and pour into foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.
Top with crushed cookies.
Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Bake as directed.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Soccer-Mom Friendly Dinner: Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Sometimes it pays to procrastinate JUST a bit. I was working on my meal plan over the weekend and browsing Twitter instead of focusing on the task at hand. Fortunately, I follow Jeff Young, the Catholic Foodie, and he tweeted a link to a recipe for Creamy Chicken Caesar Sandwiches.

My kids are fans of Caesar salad, especially when there's chicken involved. (Little Brother will eat just about anything if it includes croutons; in his world, croutons should have their own food group). With Little Brother and his crouton obsession in mind, I decided to serve these sandwiches on garlic bread instead of just plain rolls. (If you're local, I got the rolls from DeLuca's in Riverside.)

The original recipe is linked above; I'm writing it here as I made it.

Get the recipe at Cook and Count!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Dutch Oven Macaroni & Cheese

With an eye to planned leftovers that can be used for a quick lunch or dinner this week, I put together some baked macaroni & cheese.

3/4 pound small macaroni (mini penne, mini shells, elbows or cavatappi all work), cooked al dente
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
10 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (3+ cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
salt, to taste
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Cook pasta as directed on the package.

Heat milk in a small saucepan, making sure not to boil it, or heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Whisk in flour and then the hot milk and cook until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat. Add cheese, pepper, salt and mustard. Stir until combined. Fold in cooked pasta. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cover and bake 20 minutes at 350, then remove the cover and bake 10 minutes at 300 until the sauce is bubbly and the casserole is browned on top.
This is great with a salad and crusty bread!


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