Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cilantro Chicken

I have experimented several times this summer with preparing a feast for friends and/or family. I got the idea from a blog of a woman who had made this a tradition in her family. Her feasts were complete with table decorations and ice cream with sprinkles for dessert. While my feasts have not been so elaborate, I've enjoyed preparing meals for slightly larger groups (10-12 people). I doubled this recipe for the latest feast and it easily served 8. I served it with cilantro rice and homemade refried beans. One of my friends contributed homemade salsa to top it all off!

Cilantro Chicken
2 T. lime juice
2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. honey
1 c. finely crushed tortilla chips
4 chicken breast halves (around 1 lb.)
1 16 oz. jar salsa
2T. minced fresh cilantro
1/3 c. shredded cheese (I used more than this.)

In medium bowl, mix lime juice, vegetable oil and honey together. Dip chicken breast halves in this mixture and coat with chips. Place in greased 9X13 inch pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes or until the juice runs clear. Pour salsa over chicken, sprinkle with cilantro and cover with cheese. Bake 5-7 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Serves: 4

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This recipe for dip that tastes just like buffalo wild wings is requested all the time. Serve it with tortilla chips or celery sticks and you will have a hit at your next party. It's a great appetizer when people are coming over to watch football! (Note: it is best served right out of the oven when it is hot!)

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 lbs. cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (you can substitute 3 (12 oz each) cans of chicken)
1 c. Ranch salad dressing
2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
12 oz. Frank's Red Hot
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together and place in a 9 by 13-inch backing dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or celery sticks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On Sale

This last week raspberries were on a great sale at the grocery store. So, I went looking for recipes that call for raspberries. The following recipe was the one I found that required the fewest number of ingredients. I did buy a graham cracker crust instead of making one, though. It was delicious. In fact, I am going to make it again tonight, since I bought so many raspberries. This recipe was published Taste of Home.

Raspberry Patch Cream Pie
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/3 cups cold water
1/4 cup raspberry gelatin powder (I just used jello)
3 cups fresh raspberries

In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. For filling, in a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Carefully spread over crust. For topping, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Arrange raspberries over filling. Spoon gelatin mixture over berries. Refrigerate until set. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My "Go-To" Dessert

Whenever we're having company and I'm in a time crunch, I make Chocolate Cheesecake Pie for dessert. Nearly everyone likes it (my mom probably wouldn't, since she doesn't like chocolate), it is quick to make and doesn't have to chill for very long. One of the students who used to be part of our collegiate ministry said that eating this pie is like eating chocolate marshmallows. He loved it! I do like to buy a quality (read, not generic) graham cracker crust, because I think it does make a difference. If you had a little extra time, it would be great with a homeade crust. Yum. I make this recipe exactly as directed. I got this recipe from an issue of "Quick Cooking" a few years ago.

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Cover and chill until serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.

You can eat this pie almost immediately as it doesn't have to chill very long. However, it does taste a little better if it's been in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight.