Monday, August 31, 2015

Mojo Grilling Marinade

Summer is nearing its end, but there’s still plenty of time for grilling! This is a great recipe I found on All Recipes and works well with chicken or pork. What I love most about it is the great citrus flavor it lends to the meat. We all liked this, but Timmy was especially in love with this one. He didn't even bother with a fork and knife or plate; he just kept getting the meat and chowing it down.

So, let’s get cooking!

Mince the garlic and onion.

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Megan was my “whisker” when we made this and she’s really good at it. ;)

Place the meat in a gallon freezer bag or marinating container and pour in the marinade. I used pork chops for this.

Let marinate for a couple hours or, even better, overnight.

Grill until desired doneness and they’re done! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Mojo Grilling Marinade

6 cloves garlic
½ c minced onion
1 c orange juice
1/2 c lime juice
½  tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp lemon pepper
½  tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Tobasco sauce
1 c oil

Monday, August 24, 2015

Peach Mustard BBQ Sauce

Peach? Mustard? Together?? Well, it sounded interesting so I gave it a whirl, and am I ever glad I did. I wanted something different for the chicken I’d scheduled for supper, and this recipe from Food Network fit the bill.

The only change I made was using average brown mustard for the whole grain they called for, simply because I couldn’t find any at the store, and the fancier mustards were all so much money for tiny jars. But seeing how I try to be frugal and make recipes that are delicious but also doable expense-wise, it was a fine substitute. And this recipe is so stinking good, I know you’re family will love it.

So, let’s get cooking!

Mince the onion and garlic. I used a really big clove instead of 2 average sized cloves.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until tender and translucent. Add the vinegar and boil down until reduced, stirring frequently.

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, cut up the chicken if you’re using a whole one or leg quarters like I did. I use them a lot because they generally cost me between 69 and 74 cents a pound, and you know how much more expensive breast meat is. ;)

To finish the sauce, add the brown mustard, peach preserves, and salt to the pan, stirring and cooking until melted. It doesn’t take long at all.

Place the chicken in the baking dish or on the grill you’ve fired up, and baste liberally with the sauce. If you’re using pieces with the bone in, place them bottom side up. Of course with legs, there’s not really a top or bottom. ;)

Bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes. Take the pan out, flip the chicken pieces, and coat with the sauce. Finish baking for another 30 minutes or so, until cooked through and juice runs clear.

Serve up and watch the smiles! My kids loved this! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Peach Mustard BBQ Sauce
   (makes enough for 10 pieces or so)

3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl minced onion
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbl apple cider vinegar
½ c brown mustard
¾ c peach preserves
½ tsp salt

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lemony Asparagus Pasta Salad

I found this recipe, originally named Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad on Gimme Some Oven. I had never had asparagus in a cold pasta dish, so that intrigued me. But when I went to make it, I had a flash of inspiration on how to change it and make it better. It’s simpler, and this is another out-of-this-world fantastic recipes now.

I nixed the arugula and basil, increased the feta cheese, and added in sautéed chicken breast. I used mini penne pasta instead of the fusilli because I liked how the mini penne would be around the same size as the cut asparagus. And I made a slightly different dressing for it. The result is a light tasting pasta salad that is delightful on a warm summer day.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain and rinse well with cold water.

Sauté the chicken breasts in a skillet with a little oil. I quickly sliced the breasts into thirds to reduce the cooking time. When cooked through and cooled, dice into smallish chunks.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….trim the ends off the asparagus and slice diagonally into pieces about 1 ½  inches long. Using a steamer basket in a covered saucepan, steam for about 4 minutes, then drain and cool off with cold water.

In a large bowl, place the pasta, chicken, and asparagus.

To make the dressing, just whisk together the lemon juice, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Pour over the ingredients in the bowl and toss together well. Add the feta cheese.

And…voilá! A delicious pasta salad with a light fresh taste that’s a perfect meal in itself.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Lemony Asparagus Pasta Salad

1 lb mini penne pasta
2-3 chicken breasts
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 c feta cheese
1/2 c lemon juice
1/4 c oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

I love pasta salads, and I’ve tried many that are so good I eat them for breakfast. But this one is the absolute tippity-toppest of them all. Oh. My. Tongue. It disappeared too quickly, and I can’t wait to make more. We ate it for breakfast and lunch the next day.

This recipe came from Butter With a Side of Bread, and I didn’t change a heck of a lot with it. The original recipe had a can of kidney beans and a can of olives in it, both of which I didn’t use. I felt the can of black beans was plenty, and the olives would have been great, but I didn’t have any. I amped up the flavor and zip with a teaspoon of chili powder. I also discovered, after eating it, that this would have been just as great without the chicken in it, so that’s an option for me in the future. The black beans gave enough protein by themselves. I know you’ll like this one as much as my family did.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for your pasta. I used a fusilli for this, also known as rotini. Cook until al dente, drain, and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a skillet with a little oil, sauté the chicken breast. When done and cooled, cube into small pieces.

Grate the sharp cheddar cheese and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, place the drained, cooled pasta, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cubed chicken, corn, and black beans.

For the dressing mixture, in a medium bowl, use a whisk to mix together the mayonnaise, milk, Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip mix, taco seasoning, and chili powder.

Add the cheddar cheese and dressing mixture and blend well. The original recipe added Fritos to the pasta salad, but I couldn't imagine adding something so crunchy to this. Add it if you'd like. ;)

It’s ready now. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Fiesta Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

1 lb fusilli (rotini)
2-3 chicken breasts
1 Vidalia onion
1 green bell pepper
2 tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 c mayonnaise
½ c milk
1 pkg Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip mix
½  pkg Taco Seasoning mix
1 tsp chili powder

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Summer is still here for a while, and what better way to enjoy it than with a new barbecue recipe? This one comes from the Food Network Kitchen and since I’ve heard of Kansas City style BBQ but never tried it, I was very interested. I’m so glad I did, and I know you will be also.

The original recipe called for a tiny amount of allspice, which I didn’t have, and “English-style dried mustard.” I did have dried mustard but it has vanished from my cupboard, so I substituted prepared yellow mustard. I also nixed the bay leaf and cut down on the water to make it a little thicker.

So, let’s get cooking!

Peel and mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil a bit. Add the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and ground cloves. Stir together and cook about 3 minutes or so, until paste is a dark color.

Next, add the ketchup, water, apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Mix together well, bring to a boil, and turn heat down to simmer gently for 30 minutes.

I used chicken leg quarters for this, so I cut them apart and removed excess fat. This would be excellent with pork, as well.

Now you grill the meat, basting with the sauce as needed. You can obviously also do this in the oven, which is what I did the night I made these. For pieces other than legs, turn them upside down. Baste sauce on each piece of meat liberally. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 25 minutes.

Remove the baking dish or sheet pan from the oven. Turn all pieces of meat over, and baste liberally with the BBQ sauce. Back in the oven it goes for another 30 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. You can also put them under the broiler for 5 or 10 minutes afterwards for that grilled look and taste.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

6 cloves garlic
2 Tbl oil
1 Tbl chili powder
1 Tbl paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 c ketchup
1/2 c water
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1 Tbi soy sauce
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl prepared yellow mustard
(or 2 tsp dried mustard)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This is one of those pasta salads that tastes so stinking good, you don’t want to stop eating it. I ate it for breakfast the next morning, it was that good. The original recipe, from Yellow Bliss Road, had peas in it, and for a cold salad, I knew that wouldn’t fly with my kids. So I 86ed the peas and added in some green and yellow bell peppers, red onion, and a clove of garlic for extra zip. I also added mayo with the Ranch dressing to mellow it out a little. This is definitely a keeper.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a pot of water to boil on the stove for the pasta. I chose mini farfalle for this; it just seemed to go good. But choose whichever shape you’d like. Cook until al dente, drain,  and then rinse thoroughly with cold water.

If you haven’t got cooked chicken or bacon on hand (left over), now would be a good time to cook those, too. ;)

Mince the garlic, dice the green and yellow bell peppers, red onion, and the humongous tomato. Yeah, I know there’s no tomato in that pic. You’ll have to just imagine it. Go ahead, it’s good for you; it builds your creativity. ;)

Place the pasta and veggies in a large mixing bowl. Now see? You imagined those diced tomatoes right into that photo! I knew you could do it!

Dice the chicken breast into somewhat smallish chunks, and chop the bacon. Add it to the rest in the bowl, and mix in the Ranch dressing and mayonnaise. This is so good, I’m sure you’ll love it!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

3 c pasta
(I used mini farfalle)
2 c cooked chicken breast
6 slices cooked bacon
½ green bell pepper
½ yellow bell pepper
¼ lg red onion
1 clove garlic
1 humongous tomato
¾ c Ranch dressing
½ c mayonnaise

Monday, August 3, 2015

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: deviled eggs and pasta salad. I have no idea why I never thought to combine them myself, but who cares? Now I have! ;) I did not stray very far from the original recipe, found on 52 Ways to Cook; I only left out the pickle brine and sweet relish, and added in hot mustard to give it some added zip. I think you’ll like it.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can obviously use any kind you want, but I love using different pasta shapes, and for some reason cavatappi seemed to be the best for this salad. After cooking until just al dente, drain and rinse well with cold water all the way through.

While that is all happening behind the scenes, dice the celery and red onion.

Peel and chop the boiled eggs. If you haven’t got any on hand, you obviously need to get those done. I have a bowl full in the fridge usually, because the kids like to have one of two for a snack. I figure, they’re inexpensive and it’s protein. I’d rather have them eating a couple of boiled eggs than handfuls of dry cereal.

In a large bowl, put the drained cooled pasta, the celery and onions, and the mayo and yellow and brown mustards.

Mix well, and add the eggs, mixing in but not so much as to decimate them. ;)

Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

1 lb cavatappi
(or another shape)
3 stalks celery
½ med. red onion
8 hard boiled eggs
2 c mayonnaise
3 Tbl yellow mustard
2 Tbl hot brown mustard