Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

I have always loved the soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden. But, we don't seem to go there very often.... I was thrilled when I began seeing this recipe pop up on several of the food blogs I frequent. I finally tried it a few weeks ago. I think it tastes just like Olive Garden's- and I had actually been there earlier that week :)

Zuppa Toscana

6 to 8 servings

1 pound ground spicy italian sausage (I used more- like nearly 2 pounds)
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (I omitted this, because the sausage was HOT)
1 large diced white onions
4 tbsp. bacon pieces (I used 4 slices of bacon chopped finely)
2 tsp. minced garlic
10 cups chicken broth (I added 2 tbsp. better than bullion)
1/2- 1 cup heavy cream (I used a half)
4 russet potatoes (I only used 2, 4 was a lot)
4 cups kale

In a large pot:
1. cook sausage until well browned, remove from pot
2. cook bacon until crisp, remove from pot.
3. cook onions and garlic until soft (I cooked it in the bacon grease, but you can drain that add oil)
4. return bacon to the pot, and add chicken broth. Cook until boiling.
5. Add potatoes, cook until soft- about 30 minutes.
6. Add cream and sausage, heat, but do not boil.
7. Add kale right before serving.

Enjoy with freshly grated parm. cheese!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Apricot Chicken

You MUST try this. Really, it is GOOD!!! And honestly the easiest thing I have ever made (well at least lately). My daughter said this chicken was, "full of flavor and the best I have ever made, because of the sauce." The best part, I had all the ingredients on hand! Try it, you won't be disappointed. I served this with garlic green beans and brown rice, if you want enough sauce for the rice you will need to double the sauce ingredients.

3 Chicken Breasts
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. water
(I added 1/4 tsp. better than bullion)

Sprinkle chicken breasts with curry powder and pepper on both sides. Brown chicken in skillet until cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm. Put apricot preserves, lemon juice, water and bullion if using. into pan (this will deglaze the pan), and stir until smooth. Pour sauce over chicken. (I returned my chicken to the pan and coated with the sauce and allowed it to simmer in the sauce for awhile)

BBQ Chicken

I made this last week for the first time. It was a hit! I loved it- easy, really flavorful. I served it with brown rice, and green beans. One thing- I think you could easily half the sauce amount and still have tons. It made a lot of sauce!! Found on SisterStuff Blog.

Chicken (I used 12 tenders, equivelent to 4 breasts?)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar (I used white, but think apple cider would have worked well also)
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mustard (I am out of yellow, so I used Dijon)
1 tbsp. corn starch (possibly more- I used a heaping tbsp.)

Brown chicken, combine sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover with tin foil, and bake at 300 for an hour and half. (I baked mine at 350 for 30 minutes or so, because tenders take less time to cook).

I want to know....

YOUR favorite recipes. I am in a cooking rut, I feel like I have been making the same things a lot lately, and I would love to try a few of my readers (there are people reading this, right!?) favorite recipes. Post them in the comments or e-mail me a few- taylarson at gmail dot com
I cannot wait to try some!!

Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad. Chances are if you have eaten lunch at my house, you have had my chicken salad. I have been making this for years, and I don't use exact measurements. So, make this to taste. And don't let the french dressing scare you! This will be a pretty orange color :)

Rotisserie Chicken- pulled off the bone and chopped/shredded
1/3 part mayo
to 2/3 part french dressing
(or try half and half if first and add more dressing...)
quartered grapes
chopped pecans
Salt and Pepper to taste

Serve on Croissants or a good quality whole grain bread.