Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tomato Basil Feta Couscous Salad

Once again, I've forced my husband to try something he's never tried in the food world; couscous. When he asked what it was and why it had such a stupid name, I replied that it is a Moroccan staple. "Why the hell do I want to eat staples?!" Funny guy.

This recipe was more than enough for 3-4 people.

1 1/2 c tomato, diced
1 c shallots, minced
1/3-1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsp lemon juice (vinegar is ok as well)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c arugula, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt (kosher recommended)

1 c water
1 c uncooked couscous
4 tsp fresh basil, chopped
basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients, set aside to marinate 20-30 minutes.
Cook couscous according to package directions. Cool.
Combine all ingredients, garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve chilled.

I also like this with pasta.  I use whole wheat rotini.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Banana Split Freezer Dessert Trifle-esk Thingie

**2/2/11 SO! According to my Live Traffic feed to the right, THIS is the most popular post found off of the web. If you've made it, please leave a review to let me know if you loved it, hated it, changed it, etc. I'd like to know YOUR opinions! Thanks so much!

I walked in on someone talking about a banana split dessert at work the other day. She said it was AWESOME, though it wasn't actually a banana split. So here it is, my challenge piece, the Banana Split Freezer Dessert Trifle Thingie.

3-4 bananas
1/2 gal Neapolitan ice cream (the kind in the box)
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 c chocolate chips
2 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs (divided)
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 16 oz Cool Whip, thawed
2 c powdered sugar

Cover the bottom of a 11x15 or 13x9 in pan with 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs. Thinly slice bananas and place over crumbs. Slice ice cream into 1/2 inch slices and layer next in the pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Place in the freezer until frozen solid.
While freezing, melt the chocolate chips & butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Add powdered sugar and evaporated milk. DO NOT BOIL. Cool mixture slightly. Remove pan from freezer and add chocolate as the next layer. Freeze again. Remove from freezer, cover with Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining crumbs.
Keep frozen, remove 5 minutes before serving.
(not my photo)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Freezer Biscuits & Bread

These great biscuits are made ahead of time and are to be kept in the freezer. NOTE: they must be kept frozen, or they will not cook correctly.  I actually made these today, making half the dough into biscuits and the other half into bread.

6 c flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c cream (I used half & half)

Line baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix with a wooden spoon about 1-2 minutes. (dough will be like a thick waffle batter)  Turn dough out onto a floured work surface (you'll need LOTS of flour to keep dough from sticking to you and your surface) and knead until smooth. Pat dough out to be about 3/4 in thick.  Use a 2 in. biscuit cutter to cut as many as you can from the first knead.  Re-knead remaining dough and cut again.  Place biscuits on baking sheets, 1 in. apart.  Freeze until solid; about 4 hours.  Once frozen, put into freezer safe container to keep.
You can also use this dough to make a thick, heavy, rustic-looking bread.  After kneading, simply form into a loaf shape and place into loaf pan.  
Bake 450 for 20-25 minutes (35-40 for bread)

Orange Glazed Chicken

I discovered this recipe in my search for easy to make and easy to freeze recipes.  I don't remember the source, however I changed the recipe significantly...therefore, whatever.

2 lb chicken; breast, pieces, etc.
1/2 c french dressing
7 oz ginger ale
1/2 c orange juice
1/3 tbsp corn starch

Marinate chicken in french dressing 60 minutes or more.  Place in roasting pan or deeper baking sheets;  sprayed with cooking spray.  Brown chicken under broiler.  Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, combine ginger ale, orange juice and corn starch over medium heat.  Glaze chicken with orange mixture. (at this stage, you can cover and freeze)  Bake at 300 for 1.5 hours, basting with orange sauce.
(If frozen, thaw before cooking)

Zesty Veggie Soup

This soup is very easy to make on a lazy day, either in the crock pot or stove top.  Makes about 10-12 servings.

4  c   hot & spicy tomato juice
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 c each; frozen or fresh corn, green beans, peas, carrots; etc.
2 c potato; chopped
1/2 medium onion; diced
2 tsp garlic; minced
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil; dried
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large stock or crock pot.  Simmer 4-6 hours. Enjoy!