Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sharon Flack's Chicken, Cheese and Broccoli

This casserole full of yumminess comes from mom's cousin Sharon (Flack) Hall.  We first had it while visiting Sharon at the "camp" in Fair Haven, New York.  The house has been in the Flack family for longer than I know, and is nestled dreamily on Lake Ontario.  The view is out of this world beautiful, and is one of my favorite places on Earth.

Another tidbit about this one-dish wonder is that my niece, Brynn actually competed in the Kids' Pillsbury Bake-Off with this recipe here in Phoenix about 10 years back.  There were about 12 kids or so who competed.  She didn't win, but this recipe is a winner in our family ever since!

Sharon's Chicken, Cheese, and Broccoli
3 packages frozen broccoli (drained)
3 cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3-4 cups (or so) SHARP cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix soup, mayo, and 2 cups of cheese.
Place broccoli, and chicken in the bottom of oblong casserole dish.
Spread mixture on top, and sprinkle with
remaining cheese.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly.

Notes: uh... this ISN'T  a low fat recipe, so don't kid yourself.  Also,  I use cream of chicken, and cut the mayo down to 1 cup. Also, spray your dish w/ Pam, and make your life easier.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Murphy's Tortilla Soup

Mom was a big fan of Murphy's Restaurant and the Gurley Streel Grill in Prescott, Arizona.  This recipe was in her collection, and is actually printed on their letterhead.  Not sure how she got it, but it is so, so yummy!  I made it last week during our rainy spell, and it hit the spot. The leftovers were good, too.

Murphy's Tortilla Soup

1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic- minced
1 cup onion- diced
1/2 cup carrots- diced
1/2 cups celery- diced
1/2 cup Anaheim chili pepper- seeded and chopped fine
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1-1/2 Tablespoons  chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1-1/2 Tablespoons coarse salt  (I just salted to taste...)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups tortilla chips- broken into small pieces
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese- grated

Cut raw kernels off corn cob with a sharp knife. In a large saucepan, melt butter over moderate heat add the onion, celery, corn, carrots, garlic, and Anaheim chili and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, and oregano and continue stirring another minute to toast spices. Add the tomatoes, stock, cilantro, and chicken.  Bring mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, distribute the broken tortilla chips equally in the bottom of the soup bowls, ladle the soup over them, and garnish each bowl with cheese.

*Notes:  I am a cheater pants.  I used frozen corn, and a can of diced tomatoes, but it was still great, and had delicious flavor.  I've also thrown in a can of diced green chilies when I couldn't find an Anaheim, and yep it was still gooooood.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crumb-Topped Banana Muffins

Make these tomorrow morning and make your family happy.  You can use those old bananas that are sitting on your counter turning black. (Those are the best for baking anyway!)  This is an old, old recipe from mom's stash.  I have made them for breakfast functions, and about once a month or so for the family.  Kam's kids LOVE them, and she says they are the pickiest eaters on earth. 

Crumb-Topped Banana Muffins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix in a large bowl:
   1-1/2 cups flour
   1 teaspoon baking soda
   1 teaspoon baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in a smaller bowl, then add to dry ingredients:
    3 mashed bananas
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1/3 cup butter, melted

Spoon into 12 paper lined muffin tins.

Make topping in another small bowl:
     1/3 cup brown sugar
     2 Tablespoons flour
     1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     1 Tablespoon butter
     Cut butter in until mixture is crumbly and resembles cornmeal.  Sprinkle over muffin batter.

Bake @ 375 for 18-20 minutes.   Awesome.  :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crumb-Topped Mac N' Cheese

I think this was another 80's creation since it calls for the use of a microwave.  The best part of this is the topping. It changes up the flavor of the plain ol' mac and cheese. I used this recipe when I taught home economics, and the kids loved it!

Mac N' Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni (can use other cuts if you like*)
2 cups milk
1/3 cup flour
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 seasoned bread crumbs (I'm using panko crumbs & adding 1 tsp. Italian seasoning these days...)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cooked per package directions. When done, drain and set aside.

While macaroni is cooking, make the topping.  In a frying pan, melt the 1/4 c butter for topping, add crumbs, and seasonings.  Stir with a wooden spoon until lightly browned.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, flour, and salt and pepper to taste; whisk till smooth.  Add butter and cheese.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes and whisk until smooth.  Microwave additional minutes (one at a time) if not thickened. Add cooked pasta, and stir.  Place in serving dish.  Sprinkle with topping, and serve.

*NOTE:  When I used rotini, I used a full pound.  It is larger, and must just measure weird.  :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Infamous Chocolate Mousse

So... believe it or not I was a bit of a control freak growing up.  Hard to imagine, I know.  I think around 6th grade or so is where I really started to cook independently.  I found this here chocolate mousse recipe in one of Mom's old cookbooks.  It was a big hit in the family, and especially with my best friend and neighbor, Christy.  Now getting back to the control freak part... I wouldn't share the recipe with her, and it caused a HUGE feud between us.  Well, I have grown since then and here it is Christy.  Just for you! By the way, I was thinking about you the whole time I was eating my third bowl!

Chocolate Mousse
1 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
few grains of salt
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
2 egg whites, stiffly whipped

Combine together the chocolate syrup, condensed milk, vanilla and salt, blending well. Chill thoroughly.  Add whipped cream,  and whip until spongy. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Freeze in a square (8x8") pan. After mixture has frozen for an hour, scrape the sides and stir.  Finish freezing.

Notes:  You can cut it into squares, but I decided to scoop it out like ice cream.  I thought that looked prettier.  I also remember that I use to put chocolate sprinkles on it to "garnish" but it doesn't really need it.