Friday, January 28, 2011

Million Dollar Brownies

Sometimes I think I've posted one of my favorite recipes, only to find that I have sub-consciously kept it to myself.  I'm a sharer though, I really am.

This is my current go-to brownie recipe - named "Million Dollar Brownies" and totally worth a million dollars.

They're rich, thick, fudgy, chocolately, gooey and delicious.



7 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
1/2 cup pecans (optional, which means at my house they are a no-go...)

Heat oven to 350°.  Melt butter and stir in cocoa, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in rest of ingredients.  Spread (it's thick) in a greased 8 x 8 in. baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.  (I usually make a double batch and bake in a 9 x 13 in. pan for 25-30 minutes).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

OAMC - revisited

The second OAMC recipe we tried was just as good, but I totally took creative rights with the recipe.  See, it's written as a casserole, which is perfect for freezing, but I was making this to eat that night, and I didn't want it to be a casserole...I wanted to use my slow cooker again.

Hence, the slow cooker casserole was born.


1 10 oz. package frozen broccoli
1 10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

Place chicken and broccoli in slow cooker.  Mix together chicken soup, miracle whip, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, and salt in a separate bowl, then pour over chicken in slow cooker.  Top with breadcrumbs.  Cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  Serve over rice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

OAMC - Worth It?

The recipes are, if nothing else.

OAMC - Once A Month Cooking.  Find it here or here.  This is a handy little program that allows you to cook a months worth of main dishes in one day, thereby supposedly saving you money and time.

I might try it, seriously.  I could totally get into saving time and money.

I borrowed the Family Favorites book from a friend to see if the recipes are even worth it.  After reading through the entire book, yes, the ENTIRE book, I'm pretty convinced it'd be worth trying.  The authors have laid out the entire process, including shopping lists, assembly lists and all the recipes with ways to manage what you've frozen and what sides you'll need to prepare the day of.

The great thing about every single recipe is that you don't have to cook it in bulk a month before, you can make it the day you want it, but if you WANT to freeze it, all of the recipes are created to freeze well.

It's perfect for a busy family, if you're preparing for surgery/birth, if you need to take a meal to someone, or a hundred other reasons.  Try it, I dare you.

Here's one of the recipes we've tried from the book this week, though when I cooked it I adapted it for the slow cooker, easy adjustment - delicious dinner.


1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Jasmine rice

In a small skillet, saute the onion in the oil until transparent.  Combine the onion and the remaining ingredients, excluding the rice, and pour into baking dish, bake at 350° for 50 minutes.  If you prefer the easy slow cooker way, place chicken in slow cooker, combine all sauce ingredients and pour over chicken, cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Serve over jasmine rice.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Orange Chicken Recipe

I got the original version of this recipe from AllRecipes. Ive made a few changes but for the most part it's that same. I sometimes use less cornstarch and replace some of the water with pineapple juice. You will notice a difference if you try to replace the minced ginger root with dehydrated ginger powder (I've tried), stick to the fresh! I also spread the cooked chicken on a pan and put it in the oven to stay warm when making the sauce and then just add and serve (instead of simmering longer) to help keep the breading on. Orange Chicken
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jalapeño New Year

Shane, my husband, has this thing with jalapeños. If they weren't a vegetable I'd be a little bit jealous. They're little, and they're hot. What's not to be jealous of?

I love them too, as referenced here. Seriously, they're awesome. They have a place in my kitchen, and in my heart too. Just not as much as my husband. Did I mention he loves them hot?

Jalapeños are a little unpredictable. Sometimes they're as mild as a green bell pepper. Sometimes they're hot enough to almost start a fire. Trust me, I've eaten both kinds. I'm more of a middle-of-the-road sort of gal.

Shane has been talking about a combination for months: steak, shrimp and jalapeno butter glaze. One of his friends mentioned it and he's been all over the internet finding a suitable recipe.

Mission accomplished. We made it last night. It was deliciously sweet. It did not, however, have an ounce of heat. Apparently the jalapeños we bought were just too fresh. Next time we're aging them and leaving a few seeds in, just to kick it up a notch or two.

Keep in mind this recipe was for a glaze for salmon, not shrimp or steak. It went really, really well with both the shrimp and the rib-eye steaks we ate with it. It would go really well on salmon too. It's versatile and yummy. Be creative.

I'm not sure where the recipe originated from, but we changed it enough I'm not sure the original author would recognize it anyway....


1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp. butter
2 large jalapeños, sliced, stemmed/seeded (or not)
1 pound cooked shrimp

In a medium skillet, mix together the honey, lemon juice, butter and jalapenos. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Add shrimp and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until nice and hot.

Serve as a side or over rice.

As mentioned above, I think this would be an amazing glaze for steak or salmon too. Trust me, it's delicious.