Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas Gift For You

This year I have had fun finding new recipes to feed my family and our house church. Over time we have collected a few favorites from various magazines and friends. I decided to type up a few of our favorites for some family and then thought I would just post them here to share with you. Below is a little gift for moms out there needing something new to cook this winter season. Merry Christmas! And enjoy!

Rosemary Chicken with White Beans (a crockpot recipe, serves 5-6)

2 tbs. oil

4-6 chicken breasts

1 cup carrots, sliced

½ cup celery, sliced

2 15 oz. cans white Kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ tsp salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 tsp. rosemary

1/3 cup Italian dressing (I use Ken’s Steakhouse, Lite Northern Italian)

In a large skillet, healt the oil and brown the chicken breast. Remove and drain. Place the carrots, celery and beans in the bottom of the Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and add the chicken breats. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, pepper, rosemary and Italian dressing and pour over the food in the Crockpot. Cover; cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.


Sausage and Tortellini Soup with Spinach (serves 4-6, easy 30 minute meal. Can be doubled for large gathering. Great with cornbread!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian sausage (lean/low fat if you can find it)

1 onion, chopped fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups low-sodium chicken both (Swanson’s Certified Organic Free Range chicken broth)

1 bay leaf

1 (9 oz) package fresh cheese tortellini (usually found in dairy or deli refrigerated areas of grocery store)

3 cups baby spinach

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook sausages, rolling occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.

Cook onion in sausage fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and bay leaf, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to boil.

Cut browned sausages into ½-inch rounds and add to pot. Stir in tortellini and simmer over medium heat until tender, 6-8 minutes. Stir in spinach until just wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and papper. Discard bay leaf. Serve.


Quick Beef Empanadas (can serve as 4 large main course or 8 fingerfood, easy 30 minute meal)

1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef (or – you can use ground turkey if you want to be really healthy about it!)

1 onion, chopped fine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (low fat, if you prefer)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (I only use 1/8 cup)

Salt and pepper

1 (15 oz) box Pillsbury Just Unroll! Pie Crust (One box contains two rounds of dough that you will cut in half. The assembled empanadas can be refrigerated for 12 hours prior to baking.)

Adjust over rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (I just used non-stick cookie sheet and sprayed it with Pam)

Cook beef and onion in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, stir in cheese and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut each dough round in half. Arrange one quarter of filling on one side of each dough half, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Brush edges of dough with water, fold over filling, and crimp edges to seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Using fork, pierce dough at 2-inch intervals so steam can escape. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Serve.


The Best Artichoke Dip!

(I triple this recipe for a large gathering and always run out early!)

1 6oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts (on canned veggie row)

2 tbs. green chilies, diced (this makes it sooooo tastey!)

¼ cup mayonnaise (low fat, if preferred)

1 cub cheddar cheese, shredded (low fat, if preferred)

Drain the artichokes, reserve the marinade. Chop the artichokes. Combine artichokes, chilies, mayonnaise and cheese in a microwavable bowl. Heat in microwave until cheese ie melted. Stir to mix ingredients, then blend in 1 tbs. of reserved marinade. Serve with corn chips.


Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (from Cassie Graham - THANK YOU!)

(not a low fat nor a 30 minute meal, but still easy AND seriously delicious!)

6 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons flour

2 cups half and half

3 cups chicken broth (free range, organic)

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded

1 small onion, chopped

1 box wild rice with seasoning, prepared as directed

Lemon pepper (as much as you want!)

Melt butter in large pot, blend in flour, cook on low 2 minutes whisking constantly. Slowly add half and half and 1 cup of broth, whisking constantly. Add remaining ingredients.

Can also add mushrooms, carrots, and/or celery if desired… mushrooms are great!)

Simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!


Black Beans and Yellow Rice (our entire house church LOVES this one! Healthy and SOOOOOOO easy!) (I double and even triple this recipe for guests) serves 3 as is:

1 5 oz package yellow rice mix

1 15 oz. can black beans

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Light sour cream to garnish

Cook rice according to package directions; keep warm.

Meanwhile, drain beans, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Combine beans, reserved liquid, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve beans over rice and garnish with sour cream. Serve. Once mixed together this is a very tastey vegetarian main dish!

(This meal also tastes great served with tortilla chips and salsa and pineapples or bananas!)


Carrot and Raisin Muffins (yummy and great for breakfast too! Not too sweet and EASY to make, kids can help out!)

2 cups SELF-RISING flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ cup shredded carrots

½ cup raisins

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

some brown or regular sugar to sprinkle on top of each muffin, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Stir together flour, sugar, carrots, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a “well” in the center of mixture using a WOODEN SPOON (no metal!). Whisk milk oil and egg in a small bowl until smooth. Pour milk mixture into “well” and stir just until moistened. Spoon batter unto lightly greased muffin pans, filling three-fourths full (makes 12 muffins). If desired, sprinkle brown or regular sugar over top of each muffing BEFORE baking. This adds a little sweetness to the muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm and with butter if desired.


Better-Than-The-Box Mac and Cheese (great mac and cheese dish for the kids or for a side dish, makes 6 good size servings!)

12 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni

¼ cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 (8oz) loaf pasteurized prepared cheese product (like Velveeta), cubed

dash of garlic powder

dash of pepper

2 ½ cups (10oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni in boiling water according to package directions; drain macaroni in a colander, and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cubed cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Reduce heat, and stir just until cheese melts. Stir in cooked macaroni.

Spoon half of macaroni mixture in a lightly greased 11x7 inch baking dish; sprinkle with half of cheddar cheese. Do the same thing all over again with remaining macaroni mixture and cheddar cheese. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


carissa said...

y-u-m-m-y! i can't wait to make all of these!!! thanks so much! when i read the name cassie graham, i thought it was me at first and wondered when in the world i'd given you that recipe because i had never made it. ha!

Jenn said...

Yummo! Thanks!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Elissa said...

Love this, especially since I have tasted most of these recipes and can independently verify that they are all delicious!! Thank you!