Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chicken and Dressing

I'm from the south where we are pretty particular about our dressing being "dressing" and not "stuffing."  If you've tasted both, you know that there is a big difference and I do not care for the stuffing version.  This recipe has a few steps but it is worth the effort.  Now that it is almost September I am offering more fall type dishes for my Tastes Like Home business.  I plan to pair this dish with sweet potato casserole and homemade apple pie.  There is sage is this recipe, which I personally prefer in my dressing.  This dish comes with chicken mixed in, but you could leave that out if you want to make this for a side dish to go with your turkey or ham for the holidays.

4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
canola oil
crumbled cornbread (see recipe below)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2-1 Tbsp ground sage
2 cups cornmeal
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine all cornbread ingredients and pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Saute onions and celery in oil until tender.
4. In a large bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, crumbled cornbread, broth, soup, eggs, salt, pepper, and sage.  Mix well.
5.  Stir in chicken.
6.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Strawberry Cake

Everyone loves strawberry cake, right!?!  This recipe comes from Southern Living and the only tricky thing about making this cake is the icing getting runny.  You really need to make sure the cakes have cooled completely before icing and I suggest freezing for about 20 minutes in between icing each layer.  The icing tends to get runny and makes some of the layers shift so I like to keep it refrigerated until about 30 minutes prior to serving.  Also, if you are making this on a really humid day, you probably want to add more powdered sugar to the icing to firm it up even more.  I made this cake for my daughter Camille's first birthday, and my daughter Alivia's 9th birthday.  My daughter Alivia requested I cover her cake in skittles (her favorite candy) in a rainbow design.  You can see in the picture that it had been sitting out a couple of hours at a skating party and was beginning to shift, but she still loved it!

1 box white cake mix
3 oz box strawberry jello
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
32 oz powdered sugar
1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Prepare 3 - 9 inch cake pans with Crisco and flour.
3.  In a large bowl, mix all cake ingredients with electric mixer on medium for 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
4.  Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.  Cool cake in pans for about 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans to cool completely.  Put wax paper between layers to cool.
6.  To make frosting, beat the butter for about a minute.
7.  Add powdered sugar and strawberries and beat at low speed until combined and creamy. Set in refrigerator to firm up while cakes are cooling.
8.  Spread frosting on first layer, refrigerate for about 10 minutes.  Frost second layer and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.  Frost third layer and sides and refrigerate until about 30 minutes prior to serving.

Add caption

If you want to skip the skittle decor, but make it a little fancy, you can add cut up strawberries in a flower design on top.

Chicken Cobb Salad

Chopped romaine lettuce
Tyson frozen crispy chicken strips
boiled eggs, cut up
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped tomatoes
cooked and crumbled bacon
choice of salad dressing

Microwave your chicken strips and cut them up.  Layer the lettuce, eggs, cheese, tomatoes, bacon, and chicken.  Top with your favorite salad dressing.  It's that easy!

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

I've been on a quest to find the most delicious chicken salad recipe for a while now.  I like most chicken salad recipes whether they include grapes and nuts or boiled eggs and pickle relish, but I still felt something was missing.  When I came across this recipe recently it sounded so good!  And let me tell you, it is the best chicken salad I have ever tasted.  I was eating it like candy and just couldn't stop!  My favorite way to eat chicken salad is on a croissant, but it is good on crackers or most any type of bread.

1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 medium red delicious apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mayonnaise
12 croissants

Mix all of the ingredients until well combined.  Put about 2 Tbsp on each croissant.

Serve immediately.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

It tastes as good as it looks!  Cheesecake is my favorite!  My all time favorite cheesecake has been Caramel Brownie Cheesecake for years, but this recipe now ties for first place.  It is very rich, so a small sliver will do, and I think cheesecake tastes better with coffee.  May be it's the bitter taste of the coffee that rounds out the rich sweetness of the cheesecake.  Don't be turned off by the amount of work it takes to make this recipe.  It is worth all the effort.  First, you make the oreo crust from scratch and set it in the refrigerator to chill.  Then, you make the eggless cookie dough from scratch, scoop out balls of dough onto a plate, and let them sit in the freezer while you mix up the cheesecake.  After you mix the cheesecake ingredients, you fold in the cookie dough and some more chocolate chips and pour into your crust.  It has to bake for an hour, sit in the hot oven with the door cracked for an hour, cool to room temperature on a wire rack for about an hour, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  So don't plan on making this the day you want to eat it.  Cheesecake keeps in the refrigerator for a week, and I think the taste gets better every day.

For the crust:
24 Oreo cookies (whole cookie, including the filling) crushed
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cheesecake:
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease a 9 in springform pan with Crisco and flour.
3.  Mix butter and Oreos for crust and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.  Set in refrigerator.
4.  To make cookie dough, cream together the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5.  Add the milk and vanilla, and mix until blended.
6.  Blend in the flour and salt just until combined.
7.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
8.  Scoop teaspoon size portions of the dough and place on a large plate in the freezer.
9.  To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt with an electric mixer until creamy and no more lumps of cheesecake remain, about 3 minutes.
10.  Add the heavy cream and vanilla, and beat to combine.
11. Beat in the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating for about 15 seconds before adding the next.  Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and evenly incorporate.
12.  Fold in the balls of cookie dough and the mini chocolate chips.
13.  Pour the filling into the chilled crust and spread into an even layer.
14.  Place the pan on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake 45-60 minutes.  The outer couple of inches should look puffed and the center still jiggly.
15.  Turn off the oven, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake inside for an hour.
16.  Place cheesecake on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, and run a knife around the edge of the cake
17.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

*Leftover cheesecake can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.