Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spanish Rice

Recipe: Spanish Rice
Source: Junior League of Las Vegas Glitter to Gourmet
Ingredients: Easy
Party in the Tummy Scale: Solid 9!

I am a little behind on my posting... way behind actually!  I have been so busy, but all with good things!  Don't you just love it when that happens?

When we made the previous chicken recipe, I also made this Spanish rice to go with it.  The ingredients were few, so I was a bit skeptical.  It did come from a Junior League cookbook though, so chances were that it was good.

Once again, Junior League did not disappoint!  This was easy to throw together and can be made in advance, then baked.  The bacon added an amazing flavor to the rice.  Bacon is good.  Always.  And, I love how this recipe calls for the bacon to be diced and cooked ahead.  Have you ever had a dish that calls for bacon added in when raw, then bakes along with the dish?  The result is mushy, fatty, bacon.  Blech.

The kids scarfed this up, and R actually gave himself a bellyache by eating, oh... about four servings.

Spanish Rice

6-8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 (10-oz) can tomato soup
2 c. cooked white rice
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.  Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Add the onion and the pepper to the bacon drippings.  Saute until translucent but not browned.  Remove the onion and pepper to a bowl.  Add the bacon, tomato soup and rice to the bowl.  Add some of the bacon drippings for flavor if desired.  Stir to combine.  Spoon into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  This dish can be made up to one day ahead and baked just before serving.

Note: I did not add any extra bacon drippings.  I figured the veggies sucked up enough or it while sauteing!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Recipe: Southwestern Grilled Chicken
Source: Junior League of Las Vegas Glitter to Gourmet
Ingredients: Easy
Party in the Tummy Scale: 8.5

My family and I had so much heavy food this week, that some easy, light, protein rich cluckers were in order.  No marinading, no fancy-schmancy sauce, just easy peasy.  I had R set the grill up, and we put the ingredients on the chicken.  A short while later, they were ready!

The four of us sat down to eat... my son took his first few bites, and a "hallelujah moment" happened right there, at my kitchen table.  Coop was actually eating the chicken without... RANCH DRESSING!  I was so shocked, I started falling out of my chair.  When R noticed this and asked Coop if he wanted any Ranch and Cooper said "no... this chicken is so good it doesn't need it", I started choking on my food as tears of joy welled in my eyes.

We actually would have given this a 9 on the PITT (party in the tummy) scale, but R has mad skills when it comes to grilling.  So, not only did it taste fabulous, but it was cooked to perfection.  I thought it only fair to score it a bit lower, because not everyone lives with a master at the grill like I do.

We will definitely be making this again!  And, I think you could easily bake it in the oven or bust out your George Foreman for this too.

Southwestern Grilled Chicken

2 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.  Brush the mixture on both sides of the chic ken pieces to coat.  Grill over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve with chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese and chopped black olives.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

(Almost) Superlative Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: Superlative Chocolate Chip Cookies
Source: Junior League of Las Vegas Glitter to Gourmet
Ingredients: Readily available
Party in the Tummy Scale: 8

I admit it... when it comes to cookies, especially chocolate cookies... I am a snob.  I firmly believe I have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe known to kitchens everywhere, so it takes a lot to impress me in this area.  However, with a name like "Superlative Chocolate Chip Cookies", I had to try it.  You never know... there just may be another recipe out there better than mine.

Or not.

Someday I may share my recipe... but I don't know if I am ready to put it "out there" to the world.

The recipe intrigued me not only because of the name, but also because of some of the ingredients.  It called for oatmeal, but not a lot.  It also called for cinnamon.  And lemon juice.  Hm...

When these first came out of the oven, they were a bit flat, and fragile.  I ate one warm, and actually wasn't impressed.  The next day though, they were much better, and pretty darned yummy.  My favorite?  No.  But not a bad cookie, at all.  One thing I didn't care for was the oatmeal.  I love oatmeal, especially in the cookie form, but this recipe called for just enough to make the texture a little bit funky.  I did however, adore the addition of the cinnamon.  It was just enough to add depth to the flavor without tasting cinnamony.  And the lemon juice... well, I'm not really sure what it's purpose was.

My children, my husband, my brother, and my parents, non of whom are cookie snobs, all enjoyed these.  Especially the kids... they asked for some ever day until they were gone!  So, if it were just me, I would have given them a 7.  Since everyone else liked them so much though, they deserve an 8!

Superlative Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. rolled oats
4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. chopped walnuts

Combine the butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oats in a bowl.  Add to the butter mixture gradually and beat until mixed.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.  Drop by spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto nonstick cookie sheets.

Bake at 325 degrees for 17 minutes for soft cookies or bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes for crisp cookies.  Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Yield: 4 to 5 dozen.