Thursday, June 28, 2007

Easy Spicy Chicken and Rice

This is a quick dish that can be thrown together and takes no time. I promise it tastes better than it looks. It's best served with maybe some refried beans and guacamole, but my cupboard is usually pretty bare and this is what I had.


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 onion chopped
1-1/2 cups rice (I used basmati)
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies
1 can chicken broth
1 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
I added a special spice blend that I have that has cumin in it. You could use cumin with some chili powder or whatever you like.

Cut chicken into small pieces. Saute in pan with chopped onion until tender and chicken is no longer pink. Add rice and saute until just barely brown. Add Ro-Tel tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes until rice is done.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pecan Praline Muffins

I found this recipe looking through some old cookbooks. The brown sugar glaze reminds me of the 'gritty' texture of a praline. The muffins are not too sweet, so this glaze adds a nice amount of sweet to them.


1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I always toast mine)

For the glaze:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin pans. I got 18 muffins from this recipe. I used liners but you could just butter your pans if you prefer.

In a small saucepan melt butter until lightly brown, careful not to burn. Set aside to cool completely. In a bowl mix dry ingredients together, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt.

When butter is cooled completely, add the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just blended, do not over mix. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Place glaze on muffins while still warm.

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

I've added a link at the bottom of my blog thanks to the efforts of the Left-Over Queen who has created a Foodie BlogRoll for people to share their sites. There are some amazingly talented cooks on there and I am happy to be added to the group.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chicken Mojito with Lime Over Couscous

So, a few of the girls in the office are on a diet. They saw this recipe in Women's Health magazine by Food Network's Robin Miller. I told them I would give it a try and bring it in for them tomorrow. So here goes.

Chicken Mojito with Lime over Couscous

1 cup couscous (I used a whole box of Near East)
24 spears of asparagus
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon sugar (I did not use this).
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used three) cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (I just used one whole cup of broth - no rum)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup chopped mint (there's that green stuff again which I did not have). For the photo -- of course -- the ever present cilantro.

Cook couscous according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange asparagus on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes or until fork tender.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and sugar. Saute about 3 minutes.
Add chicken and saute 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Add rum and broth and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and zest. Chop asparagus and arrange with couscous and chicken mixture on a platter. Sprinkle with mint.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Breakfast in a Cup

I love breakfast. Especially on weekends when there is a bit more time. Paula Deen demonstrated this recipe on her show last week and it looked interesting. This was pretty good and the only thing that would have made it better would have been to be eating it on the front porch of a cabin overlooking some mountains and trees with the temperature being about 65 and hearing the wind in the trees. But I had to have it in reality -- oh about 85 degrees and 200% humidity!


2 eggs to scramble or poach
Ground country bulk sausage
Shredded cheddar cheese
Parsley for garnish

For the grits:

2 cups water
1/2 cup quick cooking grits (not instant)
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon butter

Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup quick grits, stir immediately and reduce the heat, then bring back to boil. Add butter and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer. Let cook approximately 5-7 minutes. (Paula adds half and half to make them creamier -- I did not).
Cook crumbled sausage and drain. (A way to lighten this up is to use Morning Star soy sausage patties -- 75% less fat and taste really good).

Scramble two eggs according to your favorite way. Paula also showed using a poached egg. Some people like the drippy stuff with their grits.

To assemble: Spoon grits into mug, about 2/3 full. Spoon sausage on top of grits. Add poached or scrambled egg. Sprinkle cheese on top then garnish with parsley. You'll notice in my picture that I used cilantro -- I didn't have parsley -- but hey, it was a photo op -- I could have gone in the yard and got a dandelion!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No Food to Share

I finished jury duty today. Not something I want to do again any time soon. Not a fun case to try but glad that it is over. It took a lot longer to come to a consensus so late getting home.

I feel like comfort food after all that, but think I'll just do the 'Nestea Plunge' in the pool. Less calories that way.

We had a really nice judge, very personable. I felt like asking him if he would like a 'Cookie Lady for the Courts'. I think I'd like that job.......:o)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mexicali Cornbread

I got this little cornbread pan at the outlet mall recently on a clearance rack. I like it because each piece of cornbread gets its own crispy crust.

Mexicali Cornbread

2 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 cup sour cream
1 (17-oz) can cream-style corn
2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup cheese, grated

Mix all dry ingredients. Mix eggs, oil, sour cream, corn, chilies, and cheese until blended. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes. (I made this small pan and a 9 inch square pan with the batter, baked at 400 for 25 minutes).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dinner for One

I spent the day at the courthouse for jury duty selection. Out of 65 people I was juror number 12 - DARN -- I was *this* close! I've never served before so it should be interesting.

I need to start cooking. This is just almost sad to post a poor picture of watermelon, but that is what I had for dinner. There are not too many enticing adjectives to describe having watermelon, but it was succulent, cool and refreshing -- how's that?? If anyone wants the recipe just let me know, however, I must say it is quite involved.........:o)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Coconut-Pecan Scones

With this recipe I got to use my Pampered Chef pastry blender I had not used since I bought it. It worked well for this. The scones are not overly sweet so I added a little drizzle of just powdered sugar with milk icing.


1/3 cup butter or margarine -- firm
1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans chopped (I always toast my pecans for recipes -- 60 seconds in my microwave on a paper plate does them just fine)
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 egg
1/2 cup half and half (I used milk)
Additional half and half or milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a pastry blender in a large bowl until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the pecans and coconut. Stir in the egg and just enough of the half and half so that the dough leaves the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Pat or roll into an 8-inch circle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate. Brush with half and half. Sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet; carefully separate the wedges.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Here is a picture of my latest eBay purchase. The pecan is the state nut of Texas (some would argue that perhaps I could be in the running....but that's another story). Well, actually, it is the tree that is the state something or other, but you get my gist. Our pecan crop last year was not very good. These are from Alabama. Even though they are last year's crop they are really good, much better than buying packaged. So I'll be in search of a recipe to make today.

Friday, June 8, 2007

London Bridge

This is the famous London Bridge that was brought in pieces to Arizona in 1971. During my trip to Laughlin we took a side trip to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and saw the bridge. The area around it used to have nice shops and fountains but it has gone down for the last few years. We visited a brewery there and my friends enjoyed a sampling of the different types of beer.

It was my friend's birthday while there. I took her a Heritage Cookbook from my town (I'm published!). Even though it was her birthday she brought a gift for me too. She has given me every Paula Deen cookbook there is but there were two more books that she brought for me. Paula Deen 'It Ain't All About the Cookin' and The Deen Brothers' Cookbook. What a nice gift for 'her' birthday! I had a nice visit and now it is time to find some cooking to add to this blog. I need more people to cook for -- everyone I know lately is on a diet!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Scrapbooking and Travel

My friend Trudy and I attended a scrapbooking convention over the weekend. We saw lots of good ideas. Trudy bought a really neat tool for setting eyelets. I can't wait to try it out. She is the one who got me started scrapbooking. She has some beautiful pages. A good thing about having a friend who scraps is being able to share things.

I'll be traveling to Laughlin, NV tomorrow to meet a friend whose birthday is the 6th. I'll fly into Las Vegas and rent a car and drive to Laughlin. Laughlin is much more laid back and less overwhelming than Las Vegas. It sits on the Colorado River which is nice to see. I hope the good luck fairy sits on my shoulder while I am there!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Fiesta Rice

The crazy thing about doing a blog is that now I feel like I need to make something to post. I don't normally cook just for me, but I already tried this recipe that I found on another blog that I read Culinary in the Desert/Country. This dish is really good. I made a little bit of guacamole to go along with it and voila -- dinner for a week! Now if I could only get better at taking photos.

Friday, June 1, 2007


My mom was the biscuit queen. She literally made her biscuits by pouring self-rising flour onto an opened sheet of newspaper -- no measuring -- and then making a hole in the middle and pouring buttermilk in the center and kneading it until it 'felt right' She would pat that down and cut the biscuits (with an emptied tomato sauce can) and place on a cookie sheet that she had melted Crisco. This morning I had buttermilk left over from making the pound cake so I decided to make a few biscuits. I was out of self-rising flour so I did an equivalent (1 cup flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt).

For THE VERY BEST BUTTERMILK BISCUITS I use the following recipe. This truly makes the best biscuits ever.

6 cups flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter cut into small pieces
3 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 to 4 cups of buttermilk

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk until it is quite wet. Pour onto a well floured surface and incorporate some flour until it is no longer sticky, making sure not to handle too much. Roll or pat out until about 1 inch thick. Cut out biscuits and place on a 9 x 13 cookie sheet that has been well oiled. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with butter.